12. First Mission (2)
There was a map for the entire hospital near the entrance where they came in.
“We’re heading towards the pharmacy on the first floor.”
— “Yes, sir.”
“If you see anything strange, report back immediately.”
The number of corpses increased sharply as they made their way deeper into the hospital. The recruits’ grimaced as the rotting bodies reeked of decay. Without a word, Kwang Hwi hurried over to his destination.
Looking at his surroundings, he noticed a convenience store next to the pharmacy. ‘More food is always good.’ Kwang Hwi gestured for Team 2 to take control of the convenience store next door. As they rummaged about and salvaged whatever they could get access to, Kwang Hwi headed for the pharmacy. The door creaked open and dozens of shelves came into sight, overflowing with medical supplies.
— “Convenience store clear. Stockpiling is underway.”
— “Pharmacy clear. Securing medical supplies.”
The men began shoving medical supplies into their backpacks and grabbing ahold of any equipment that could be easily transported back to the base. With the sheer amount of things to salvage, they would have to make multiple trips to secure everything that was available.
“Boss, everything has been loaded into the vehicles.”
A scream rang out from further away.
— “Convenient store is silent.”
— “The truck is clear!”
Kwang Hwi exited the pharmacy and reunited with the team that was looting the convenience store.
— “Boss! Movement detected on the third floor!”
They hurried up the stairs. Kwang Hwi, who was in the lead, suddenly threw himself to the floor. Not even a second later, something crashed into the wall behind him with a loud thud. Glancing up, he could see a fire axe embedded in the wall, still shaking from the force of the throw. Even he wouldn’t survive being hit by that. One wrong move and he’d be put out of combat—permanently.
A curious monster stood at the top of the stairs. It cawed and looked down at them. It was unlike the previous monsters, bearing no resemblance to the Keku or the Black Wolf. Instead, its face and skin looked like they were wrapped in a black membrane. On the surface, a large blister was wriggling around.
Kwang Hwi immediately showcased his disgust for the monster. He had seen his fair share of gruesome things in his past, but this was definitely near the top. As he thought about his new adversary, a few friends popped up beside the mass of black. The slew of monsters brandished makeshift weapons made of ramshackle items collected from the building. They carried levers, fire axes, and iron pipes, ready to bludgeon anybody who came close. He raised his gun and pointed it at the first monster that appeared. It didn’t resemble a person, which meant that he needed to deal with the hostiles. Gunshots rang out and the face covered in blisters popped. A small piece of crystal that lay inside shattered into pieces.
『You are the first person in the world to defeat a ‘Blister.’』
『You have obtained 500 MP.』
As soon as the first one died, the other monster shrieked at the sight of his comrade dying. Blisters began arriving from all around the pharmacy and they charged directly at Kwang Hwi and his men. Kwang Hwi, however, had his men get into position and begin gunning down the opposition. Soon after, he received another notification:
『You have defeated 10 Blisters faster than anybody else in the world.』
『You have obtained 1,000 MP.』
Despite taking down 10 in an instant via baptism by ballistics, more and more continued appearing. The number of Blisters was increasing far too quickly, and soon became overwhelming. In response, Kwang Hwi took out his own treasured weapon: the M32A1 Grenade Launcher.
『A revolving grenade launcher used in the American and South Korean military bases. It can carry up to six 40mm rounds at once.』
Unlike the automatic grenade launcher that he had used prior, the M32A1 was designed to be portable so he could stay on the move. He pointed the barrel towards the horde of Blisters and fired.
The round exploded directly in front of a Blister and it burst into hundreds of pieces, launching its crystal against a wall, where it shattered. If someone else saw the crystal without knowing anything, they would have mistaken it for a beautiful jewel. Kwang Hwi fired his remaining 5 rounds at the Blisters and they burst apart. Walls were blown out and the railings on the stairs were nowhere to be found. After checking to make sure that the cylinder was empty, Kwang Hwi reloaded and raised his launcher again.
As his soldiers let out sighs of relief, he noticed something in the corner of his eye and broke into a sprint. A woman covered in gore was trying to catch her breath as red blood gushed out of her stomach. Kwang Hwi could see that she didn’t have much time left. He reached out and grabbed her hand, providing what little comfort he could to this dying woman.
“Are there any survivors?”
The woman’s hand went limp as her eyes glazed over. It was tragic—they had lost her just on the cusp of rescue. Kwang Hwi closed her eyes and left her to her eternal rest.
Based on the map at the entrance, the 15th floor was a VIP Hospital Room.
“We’re going up. This has turned into a rescue mission. Search for and destroy all threats on the way to the 15th floor.”
Kwang Hwi and his team rapidly ascended straight up the stairs. They didn’t have time to scour each and every single floor. There were innocent lives on the line. Monsters frequently appeared and ambushed the men as they passed by. Kwang Hwi received a notification that their kill count just passed 100 Blisters as they reached the 13th floor.
Unlike the other floors, a locked door blocked the entrance to the 15th floor. Motioning for his men to fall back, he fired a grenade at the door and blew it off its hinges. Kwang Hwi’s team stormed the entrance, lasers swept through the darkness.
The interior of the 15th floor was quite luxurious. Leather couches lined the waiting area and both an expensive coffee machine and a Smart TV sat on an avant-garde bookshelf beside the entrance. Unlike the other floors where bloodstains and corpses painted the background, the 15th floor was sterile. As they neared Room 1501, the militia were glued to the walls, ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Kwang Hwi battered the door down and stepped into the room.
They stormed the room and found themselves in a room very out-of-place in the hospital. A 1780 sqft VIP Hospital Room was furnished like a luxury apartment. In the center of the room, there were people tied up with rope on the floor. The sound of the door made them turn their heads and widen their eyes in surprise. The people struggled and Kwang Hwi could hear their muffled screams asking for help. He commanded his men to release them from their bindings. The hostages soothed their wrists, where red welts covered their skin.
“Is this every—“
“Hey you!” said one of the captives. He was a middle aged man whose hairline receded with a furious look on his face. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, arriving so late? It’s been a week! You dare show up now?”
Kwang Hwi shook his head. He had never seen this man before. Just in case, Kwang Hwi looked over at his men, but they shrugged their shoulders. They didn’t know him either.
“Who are you?” said Kwang Hwi with a frown.
“What?” He was enraged. “Who am I? You dare to talk back… to me? Son of a bitch! What military unit are you from?”
Kwang Hwi turned away from the bitter old man and spoke to another person in the room wearing a white gown. He looked like a doctor.
“Who is this person?”
“I-I don’t know, but he says he’s a General Officer in the Army.” The doctor was evidently very nervous.
“A general?” Kwang Hwi smiled. Now it all made sense. He believed that Kwang Hwi and his team were here to save him. “You’re a General Officer?”
“What is your unit and rank!” The old man bellowed at Kwang Hwi, going red in the face.
Kwang Hwi pointed his gun towards the elderly general, whose eyes were tinged with red. He fired a single shot and blood dripped from the man’s cheek. As the man began to understand the current situation, his eyes opened wide and his words were stuck in his mouth.
A dark smile appeared on Kwang Hwi’s face.
“It appears you are mistaken. We’re not from the Army.”
“I…but…then are you from the Navy? The Air Force?”
“Isn’t this guy a little slow?” Kwang Hwi’s subordinates burst into laughter. The new recruits watched with a complicated look on their face. They didn’t know how to react.
“Sir, which unit do you belong to?”
The general began speaking to Kwang Hwi politely, but by now, Kwang Hwi went to speak with the other survivors.
“My name is Kwang Hwi Baek. I am the leader of the militia in Dongducheon.”
Kwang Hwi nodded solemnly.
“As you may know, since the monsters have appeared, the world has become a mess. The army, which was supposed to be the first line of defense, has become powerless. We have not seen any sign of either the police or the military in a long time.”
“So it’s true, what they were saying on the TV?”
“Yes. For the past week, we haven’t encountered any armed soldiers. Additionally, we have confirmed that firearms have rusted out and have been rendered unusable.”
Here and there, the survivors let out a sigh. The general in particular was taking the news harder than most. He had doubts, but he didn’t think that the military had completely caved.
“Fortunately, we were able to secure an armory of functional guns and ammunition. With it, we’ve been getting by, doing our best to survive.” Kwang Hwi wouldn’t mention just yet that they were doing better than surviving with his newfound ability. That was news for when the time was right.
“I’ll get to the point—we are looking for people to join us, particularly doctors and nurses. We are lacking in people with medical expertise.”
Kwang Hwi looked at the crowd. There were roughly three people who looked like they worked for the hospital. Excluding the pompous old man, there were five people left.
“Is anybody interested?”
Looking at each other, everybody raised their hands at the same time. Kwang Hwi grinned in satisfaction.