As we continued driving along the path, the number of corpses we found began to grow. And we continued to stop at each dead body to pick them up and load them onto the truck.
Pretty soon, there were over 10 bodies in the truck.
They were all Ezekiel hunters.
“One thing’s for sure. This was definitely not a monster attack.”
I said this as I glanced at Sohn Aram. I’m sure she had a lot of questions, but she was doing a good job holding them back.
She must have felt my eyes on her because we met eyes. She lightly sighed before speaking.
“It seems things are more dire than I expected them to be.”
She continued as she started to press some things into her phone. It looked like she was looking for the camera app.
“What are you doing right now?”
“I’m trying to get some evidence. If something were to happen to me, at least I can leave behind some photographic proof. If we can find the Chinese hunters and prove that they were getting ready for war, I can ask for reinforcements to be sent here.”
“It would be nice if they can send some people right now…”
At Sooah’s little comment, Sohn Aram made a slightly sour smile.
“If I ask for reinforcements and they don’t find anything here, I’ll get a negative mark on my record. Unfortunately, we’d need some real proof.”
“I’m sure we’ll come across that proof you need very soon.”
It was then that we discovered the truck that the Ezekiel who had left before us were riding in.
All we saw were a few dead bodies within the truck. It seems they were attacked right here.
“I’m pretty sure that the hunters who got out of the truck went deeper into the forest.”
Park Hanbum commented as he looked around.
Used to hunting solo, it seemed he was used to tracking and searching for evidence in the area.
“I think they were probably lured.”
“I agree. What should we do now?”
Were we going to move the truck in our way and continue down the path?
Or are we going to track and follow where the Ezekiel hunters had gone?
“I think it would be a smarter to follow into the forest and take care of them first instead of moving forward with the chance of being ambushed from behind.”
“I agree completely.”
We unloaded the ATV from the truck. Park Hanbum aside, everyone got onto the ATVs 2 people per vehicle. Sohn Aram sat next to me on my ATV.
This was because she had the lowest defense among everyone in the party I was the best person to keep her safe.
The 4 wheel drive bike made a roar as it raced into the forest. Park Hanbum led in front and I followed behind. Every once in a while, we would see dead bodies dotting the forest here and there.
Each and every corpse was an Ezekiel hunter.
“Was this really done by the Chinese hunters?”
Sohn Aram spoke with a bit of a stutter. She continued to take pictures with her phone’s camera raised up. This was all evidence.
“At the very least, I am sure this was done by a person.”
She seemed to say something, but I couldn’t hear what over the roar of the ATV. She seemed pretty shaken up.
Something like this has been happening elsewhere in the new land too. She must have known somewhere deep inside.
But knowing something and seeing something with your own eyes is an altogether different thing.
After racing for a good long time, we saw Park Hanbum taking a sharp left up ahead.
Several arrows lodged into the ground where he had been earlier. I hurriedly braked the ATV near the trees to the side.
“Please go to where Sooah is. She will protect you.”
She ran towards Sooah with her arms covering her head. A few arrows flew in her direction.
I jumped up to knock them all away.
“Don’t stand there like an idiot. Hurry and keep running!”
Sohn Aram shook her head and started running again.
Sooah should be able to handle these arrows with the Redemption Necklace without a problem.
I yelled out as loudly as I could.
“Initiate defense team!”
This meant everyone on Team Delta except me, Jong Sawon and Park Hambum would get together to defend the entire team.
We had practiced a few scenarios such as this as Team Delta. It wasn’t anything great, but it did allow us to act more quickly as a group in predetermined formations.
This was something I came up with after thinking how we could keep everyone safe in the case we were under attack by enemies we could not place.
After making sure the noncombatants and long range attackers were as safe as possible, Jong Sawon and I moved as the team strikers while Park Hanbum rode his bike to locate the enemy.
The arrows really starting hailing down now. THey were serious. There were many more arrows that I anticipated raining down through the branches of the trees.
I pulled out the Smash Sword and blocked each and every arrow. It would be difficult to hit the fast moving Park Hanbum as well.
I worried a bit for Jong Sawon, but I saw him moving from tree to tree to minimize exposure to the arrows.
It was then that I heard a roar echoing behind my back. The roar of a beat, no, the roar of a dragon?
Heat washed over me as a dragon breathing out plumes of flames passed by.
Someone let out a bloodcurdling scream as a tree went up in a heap of flames.
Taken completely by surprised, when I turned around, Han Joonseok said.
“It should be fine right….that amount of fire?”
“That’s not the stalker.”
“I spent quite a bit of money this time around.”
He lifted up a bow that was etched with a drawing of a dragon.
Level 5 bow, Dragon killer.
This bow was known to shoot an arrow straight destroying everything in its path. On top of that, since he had the the Explosion Quiver, every arrow he shot would deal extra damage by exploding upon impact. The combination of the two items turned an entire tree into a pile of ash.
I nodded my head before raising my hand into the air.
As soon as Kelby appeared, I commanded it to run between the trees. It should be fairly difficult to deal any real damage to Kelby with just arrows.
Bae Yeonkyoung and Han Joonseok were in the back dealing long range attacks. Kelby, Jong Sawon and I were closing in with our aggressive offensive styles. And Jong Sawon was driving around on his bike to identify the location each enemy.
See that we were much more formidable than they initially guessed, they immediately went into hiding.
Of course, this isn’t to say that they didn’t suffer any loss. There were 4 who had died just at my hands alone. Jong Sawon and Park Hanbum had killed one each as well.
Just when I figured there wouldn’t be any survivors, save for those who ran away, I saw Kelby dashing over to me with a hunter in his mouth.
He was in bad condition, but he was still breathing.
Coming a bit later, Park Hanbum said.
“It seems all of them pulled back.”
“Should we chase them?”
Han Joonseok asked.
“It could be a trap so there’s no reason to hurry. Our mission is to investigate it is not to annihilate them. It might not even be feasible.”
“I guess. Since we don’t even know how many hunters there are.”
“Lieutenant Sohn Aram, can you please interrogate this guy?”
When I turned to look at her, she did not look so good.
“If it’s difficult to do now, we can wait to do it later.”
“No, I’ll do it. This sort of situation is new for me so I was just taken by surprise.”
She looked worse than surprised. She was already in a bad state when she saw the corpsesI could only imagine what seeing people killed in front of her was doing to her.
Still, seeing that she was able to pull herself together fairly quickly, she wasn’t weak.
“Oh yeah….please use this.”
I pulled out the translation hat from my storage. It was camo green with a large red star in the middle.
She put on the hat without a word. When I had put it on, it was pretty hilarious, but when she put it onit somehow seemed like a fashionable item.
It seems the best accessory is a beautiful face.
After stripping our prisoner of all his equipment, we tied up the bleeding and muttering hunter before beginning our interrogation.
Soon after, Sohn Aram shook her head.
“He doesn’t know much. At Hwanghaedo, ah Hwanghaedo is what they call it. Anyway, he says that since Hwanghaedo is China’s land, there shouldn’t be any issues hunting here. Honestly, none of what he says matters. What’s important is the fact that we were able to confirm that they were Chinese hunters.”
She had already recorded the whole thing on her phone.
And immediately after, she saved it via Satellite for safekeeping.
“Were you able to find out where the enemy is stationed and how many of them there are?”
“He won’t answer.”
If it were me, I would do the same. Maybe she saw something in my eye, but she hurriedly added.
“You’re not thinking of torturing him or anything or you?”
“I’ve never done something like that before. And the thought didn’t even cross my mind. But I was thinking of making some threats at least.”
I asked her to pass the translation hat and crouched in front of the Chinese hunter who was shivering from fear.
From the looks of him, I didn’t think I would have to take things too far.
“Wang Ze Ming? Right?”
I was able to get that much from my manual.
His eyes turned as round as silver dollars as he stared at me. Even if he didn’t say anything, it was obvious I surprised the crap out of him.
“Aren’t you curious how I knew what your name is?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Hm, I’m pretty sure it does matter. Because we’ve already known for some time that Chinese hunters had invaded this land. We know everything about all of you.”
“Don’t spout nonsense.”
“Your skillit’s a level 2 steal skill. No?”
I must have surprised him even more this time because he almost hiccuped as he let out a harsh breath. I could see his eyes beginning to waver. I got him.
“Don’t, don’t make impossible claims. How could you know everything about all those people….”
This meant that there were a fair many hunters here. Their standards for “a lot of people” was on a different level than our own. This meant that there were probably at least several thousand of themmaybe even tens of thousands of them.
Thinking about this new revelationit made me want to go further in even less.
“Anyway, by telling you even this much you should know that my words are true to some degreeI’m sure you have a lot of questions. But before that, why don’t you answer some of mine. How did you get here?”
Whether he rode a boat or a plane, it didn’t make sense that they were able to cross into Korea’s land without being detected.
Even now, the Aegis defense weapon was constantly patrolling the waters around the Yellow Sea, and we had a high powered radar always on.
“I don’t know.”
Talk about crappy acting. It was so bad that anyone could tell he was lying.
“You say don’t know? Well, I guess that’s too bad then. I guess we have no choice but to just ask someone else.”
As I said this, I unsheathed the Smash sword and held it in both hands. Wang Ze Ming’s face turned a shade of blue as he looked back and forth between me and my sword.
He was probably having a heated debate in his head. Should he sell out? Or should he give up some little piece of info to save his own neck?
It didn’t matter what he did. Because I had no inclination to set him free.
I now raised the blade a foot above his head.
“Wa, wait. I’ll tell you. I said I’ll tell you.”
“If you don’t want to, you don’t have to.”
“I said I’ll tell you! Shit! Ask me anything! As long as you let me live….you’ll let me live right?”
“Hmdepends on what you tell me.”
After that, he started spilling his guts about things I didn’t even ask him about.
“What do you think?”
“Well, I guess it’s not complete drivel.”
They were able to sneak in using fishing as a cover. With the emergence of the new land, there wasn’t as many fish in the waters as before. And so, in turn, those who regulate the fishing have become complacent.
Fishing boats were small enough to not be picked up by the radar, and even if someone were to spy themthey just assumed they were just harmless fishing boats.
The problem was, there were now over 3000 of them who had invaded our part of the new land in this way.
I let out a sigh and look at Wang Ze Ming.
“Why in the world did the government in China decide to do this?”
“It wasn’t the government. We, the ChungHo, move of our own accord.”
Chungo referred to the organization of Chinese Hunters who have invaded the new land on this side.
“I feel like you were just instructed to say that.”
“I’m just a footsoldier. I don’t know anything beyond that.”
He didn’t deny it. Just as he said, he was only a level 2 hunter so I’m sure he wouldn’t be privy to the more sensitive information.
He was probably just doing whatever he was told from up top. But that didn’t mean that it was forgivable for him to come onto our land and hunt our people.
“Lieutenant, Sohn Aram, how would you like to take care of this guy?”
“I need to book him first then turn him over to the central government. This guy’s testimony is better if confirmed in person than just recorded via video.”
“Then let’s take steps to take him and return.”
Our enemy was over 3000 men strong. Even though they were spread over a vast land, just the sheer number of enemy hunters was foreboding.
“That’s….I think that is going to be a bit difficult.”
“I was told to find out where the enemy is before returning.”
“What kind of reckless command is that?”
Sohn Aram flipped to her phone and showed me the screen.
- Find out the enemy’s location and how many of them there are. Support troops are being organized.
No matter how I looked at it, this sounded like a death sentence to me. They were basically giving us the same support as a spoon and forkand asking us to save the country.
“Let’s ignore that. It’s better than dying. All we need to do is take this guy back. That should be enough to get something going.”
“Well, that’s not all.”
“If I don’t take more concrete proof, the people upstairs won’t do anything. They’ll say they can’t move blindly and will need more.”
“Wouldn’t it be better for us to post something on the market bulletin again?”
At Sooah’s words, Sohn Aram shook her head.
“Regular hunters are not ready. You guys are just a special case..most hunters are low level. What are you going to do if we post that and a bunch of hunters die? Is that what you want?”