Stagnant Water of Apocalypse - Chapter 107
Sponsored Chapter 12/17
< Mistletoe (2) >
Naturally, the bridge to Ganghwa Island was already destroyed. It seems that the government did not expect the bridge to crumble because of the corrosive disease when deciding to put the oil storage there.
The Ganghwa Island on the other side was surrounded by thick fog, and a strong wind blew over the remnants of Choji Bridge, where we currently are. On my side, Da-jeong’s body shook like leaves hit by wind. I’m not surprised though, because in this cold weather, she chose to wear a mini skirt and high heels.
“It’s time to let go of that nonsense fashion.” Even though she had eaten winter strawberries that increase cold resistance, the effect will be rendered obsolete with that kind of clothes.
Her cheeks turned red and could barely agree with my sentiment. “Yeah. I think that would be better. But I don’t have any winter clothes, so maybe in a while… the ghouls will look for some.”
“No, they don’t have to.”
It was fortunate that I had looted an outdoor outlet while coming to Seoul with Seokhyun. Amongst all the things I got from that place, I also got quite a few outdoor items for women. Of course, the metal parts of the clothes, such as zippers, were gone, but that problem could be easily solved by sewing a button on it.
I attached some buttons to the clothes in the cave and brought them out to Da-jeong. When she received the pants, sneakers, and the winter jacket, she quickly hugged me.
“You really are the only one for me!”
I patted her on the back.
“Just change your clothes quickly or you’ll catch a cold..”
“If I catch a cold, will you throw me away?”
“What nonsense are you spouting? Just get dressed quickly.”
Da-jeong smiled and took off her clothes without covering herself with her ghoul.
That, hmm… oh…
At that moment, I decided to think of Da-jeong as a man with boobs. I went into the shelter, took out a rubber boat, and let it float on the river. Ganghwa Island was not too far away from the place we stood, so it wouldn’t take that long for us to cross over.
Da-jeong, who was all dressed, tied up her hair and gave orders to the ghouls.
“You guys follow the boat, Go!!!.”
As the rubber boat floated in the sea, 30 ghouls followed. When we landed on the shore of Ganghwa Island, the island was surrounded by fog. In the ground and all other remnants of structures, green vines could be seen wrapping, making the atmosphere of the island much scarier than how it should be.
Da-jeong poked me in my side.”You know that I was sent to Bam Island before, right? Those things also could be seen there.”
“Yeah. It was much worse than here, though. Even when I was just walking around, somehow I got the feeling that the vines there were still growing.”
“It is not yet time for erosion to occur, though?”
In the setting of Survival Life, erosion only starts when the spores settled in the brains of zombies and ghouls finished consuming all the nutrients as well as finished growing and ceased to be active.
To make sure, I went into the cave for a moment to check the point at which the erosion occurred, and then came out once again. “Erosion should still be far away. According to the video, it happened at about the same time when trolls appeared.”
“After them, it’s the owlbears, right?”
“I’m not sure. Those guys will only appear when the ecosystem becomes stable.”
“Ah yeah, when the seed of those vines covered the world, right?”
“Though, those guys wouldn’t last long…”
Life needs energy. Neither zombies, other monsters, nor those vines can escape from that rule. Moreover, since those vines’ size were enormous, it would have to absorb a significant amount of energy to maintain its size. It wouldn’t be long before they died if these things can only absorb zombies in Ganghwa island.
However, at that moment, I remembered the hundreds of Chinese who came to Yeongjong Island.
“If the Chinese made a mistake, they would be absorbed by the vines, making them even more ferocious.”
“If that’s the case… Can we say that the monster is ‘Made in China’?”
“They must have also eaten a lot of Korean zombies too, so I guess it’s a joint project?”
While chatting like that, we moved along Provincial Road No. 84. Various plant-type monsters could be seen in the fields on the left and right of the road. There are many types of plant-type monsters, but most of them sit still and do not move. It was to decrease their energy consumption.
Suddenly, Da-jeong pointed at a large plant monster.
“We used to go inside that plant just to play around.”
The plant monster Da-jeong pointed at was a monster which will trap any organism that touches its leaf. Then, it melts it slowly, which was quite a terrible death back in the game. I’d rather just die at once.
“That’s right. But let’s not do that now.”
“Shall we try it with my ghoul? How many seconds will it take for the leaf to close after something touches it again?”
“About 1.5 seconds.”
“Ohho! As expected from the monster master.”
That title was given to me by Da-jeong and Rapwi, since, just like Geom-in, who mainly studied things related to shelters, I focused on studying monsters.
“Those slightly withered guys, which was caused by nutrient insufficiency, will close their leaves at around 2 seconds after something touches them. On the other hand, the fresh ones will close their leaves in only 1 to 1,5 seconds.”
“How do you differentiate between the withered one and the fresh one?”
“Can you see the veins behind their leaves? It’s bulging, right? That guy is a fresh one.”
After explaining to Da-jeong, my eyes were drawn towards a thorny fruit hanging from the body of the plant monster. That fruit is pretty tasty.
“Goblins like those fruits. They throw something into the leaves and use the gap to pick it.”
“Let us do the same.”
Da-jeong looked back at me and licked her lips.
You aren’t going to throw me, aren’t you?
Fortunately, she picked one of her weakest ghoul to be sacrificed. It was something she’d never do back when she still had zombies rather than ghouls. She even cherished them and gave them the name of Boys Generation. But that name was no longer used by her to call the ghoul.
When I asked why, her reason was simple: “They look ugly. Look at those ugly faces. Do you think I will be nice to someone with that kind of face?”
“Well… It does make sense.” I scratched my cheeks as I answered. Surely, there were a lot of handsome zombies in the previous Boys Generation. It was as if they were chosen based on appearance, like an idol group.
However, just before the weakest ghoul got sacrificed, a group of goblins appeared through the mist. Without thinking twice, Da-jeong commands her ghoul to catch them. Once caught, she commands them to throw those goblins towards the monster.
As soon as the leaves came into contact with the goblin, they grabbed hold of it and did not let go. Taking advantage of that opportunity, the ghouls rushed towards the fruit and plucked it.
After picking several more fruits with the goblins we caught, we found a military base on the road going up to Mt. Jingang. I was unable to loot one of such places back in the D-day, so, it’s now revenge time.
Military bases usually have ammunition depots. The things which were stored inside were usually starting from 5.56mm bullets to full blown dangerous items such as grenades,claymores, etc. (E/n hehehe, full ‘blown’ hehehe)
The problem was, It was now all useless since their shells were now broken because of the corrosive disease. In some cases, a small friction was made when the shell was being broken down, lighting the gunpowder and blowing everything up.
Fortunately, this unit’s ammunition depot was intact.
“You only need the gunpowder, right?”
“Yeah. But, If I do it wrongly, this place might be blown away.” I proceeded to tell her about what happened in the army base in Busan. At the time I told her the explosion even made mushrooms appear, Da-jeong put her hand on my shoulder.
“If you die, I’ll resurrect you as my subordinate ghoul.”
“If I died in an explosion, wouldn’t I disappear without any remnant? The power of gunpowder explosion is no joke.”
Let’s put aside the little curiosity about whether I could be used as a ghoul after death for now and focus on the trouble at hand. I could scoop the gunpowder with the plastic shovel inside the portal, but I wasn’t sure if it would hold up.
In the end, Da-jeong decided to send her ghoul to collect it. When some of them brought the gunpowder, the other ghouls divided it up and put it in a plastic bag.
Meanwhile, Da-jeong, who said she was tired, went into the barracks to rest. While the ghoul was still busy, I brought some gunpowder to the shelter and showed it to the scarabs.
“Will this much be enough for you guys research purpose?”
The scarab leader thought for a moment, and gave instructions to the scarabs under his command. The task was to separate iron grains from the gunpowder powder. The guys carefully ate the iron and moved the gunpowder, and in the end, only pure gunpowder was left.
The scarab leader put some gunpowder into a bowl and ignited it with the ignition stone.
As the gunpowder blazed fiercely, the scarabs retreated in amazement. The leader raised his front claw, seemingly satisfied with the firepower. Now, if we could just make the primer, we could make fully working bullets.
“How long do you think it will take for you guys to be able to make the primer?”
At my question, the scarabs all fell silent. It was clear that they were troubled.
Was the question too urgent?
I quickly patted the carapace of the scarabs to ease their worry. “It’s okay. Don’t overdo it, take it slow. Just make sure everything you’re doing is safe first.”
Perhaps moved by my words, their eyes lit up brightly. By the way, these guys had grown quite a bit. When I first discovered them, they were as small as a plum, but now they are almost the same size as a mandarin orange. On top of that, they also become strong enough to do some work they’d never even dared to do before.
It was all thanks to the emperor’s honey. And looking how effective it was, I decided to use them only when it was absolutely necessary, as it’s not like they need to eat that everyday.
Once I left the shelter and entered the army barrack, I found groceries in the dirty kitchen box.
Rice, biscuits, and a few boxes of military rations were there.
Da-jeong looked at the drooling ghouls and said anxiously.
“These guys seem to be hungry.. What should I feed them…”
“Can they eat rice?”
“They can. But if they eat that, They would be unable to use their strength. After the goblin we threw earlier, no more monsters appeared.”
The crowder the place, the more monsters spawned. That’s the basic setting of Survival Life. In other words, the number of monsters in Ganghwa Island, which had a small population, was ridiculously low. Thanks to that, after we plucked the plant monsters’ fruit, we had nothing to do except walking and enjoying the scenery of rice fields and a few private houses. There’s no food whatsoever for Da-jeong’s subordinates.
Da-jeong put her arms around me.
“Even when you are alone, you aren’t lonely, right?”
“Well, I don’t know what loneliness is since I have a lot of work to do.”
Even months after the fall of civilization, I didn’t feel lonely at all. It was probably due to my personality and the fact that I still had some guys with whom I could share my days with, like the scarabs, Dingo and Ding-soon…
Maybe I was not lonely because I was able to communicate with the scarabs, even though it was mainly done through actions, not words.
Suddenly, Da-jeong whispered at me while holding my arm tightly. “I didn’t feel this way when I was in the city, but since we are the only ones here, I feel like I’m bursting with emotions…”
“Well, Ganghwa Island’s population is small…”
“Wow, you’re really cold…”
Are you unaware that I am someone who had little to no tears?
She suddenly said that her leg was hurting and begged me to give her a piggyback.
“Why are you asking for piggyback when your stats are higher than mine? If you really want a piggyback, ask your ghoul.”
“I’ve helped you a lot, haven’t I? Just pick me up quickly.”
Well, that’s true… I guess I could do at least that much for her. I walked along the quiet paddy field with Da-jeong on my back. I could feel something pushing at my back.
Hmm… it’s definitely big.
“This feels new… And since you have a wide back, It’s so reassuring and cozy at the same time. It was so comfortable to the point I felt sleepy.”
“If you drool, I will throw you away.”
“Wow…. What a bad guy.”
“Only ‘bad guy’? I’m closer to a psychopath. I can even live alone all my life.”
“What about me and Rapwi?”
“Well, both of you are my friends. I won’t betray both of you and run away by myself.”
“That’s enough for me.”
She rested her head on my back and started slurring.
“When I was about to leave the shelter, that old man asked me if I would just settle there.”
“Seeing that you are here now, it seems like you declined his invitation, huh?”
“Yeah… But I was a little torn about what to do. At the end, that old man told me something that seems to come from his own heart.”
“What did he tell you?”
“He told me his goal. It was to officiate people’s weddings.”
For a moment, I almost laughed. But when I thought about his goal, I realized the meaning and stopped. To officiate a wedding ceremony means that society had to be stabilized to a certain extent first.
President Jang Won-taek seems to be looking forward to that time. However, from my point of view, I felt that the day he envisioned might never come. But I couldn’t just laugh at him, since it was a respectable dream.
“Hey, I keep slipping down. Be sure to support my ass properly.”
“You are talking too much.” To be honest, her butt was too big for my hands to support.
“After the corrosive disease subsides, should we ride a motorcycle on this country road? I think it would be really fun.”
When I told Da-jeong about it, she wrapped my neck around her arms and put her strength on it.
“You are a human, not a squirrel! Why are you hoarding so many things?”
“Because I live alone, I had no other option but to prepare as much as possible.”
“You must take me for a ride later! Promise me!”
“We need to get some gasoline first before doing that.”
When she heard those words, she jumped from my back and snapped her fingers. Her ghouls picked us up and started running crazily.
Just like that, we arrived near Ganghwa Gas Station.
But the atmosphere around the area was bad.
“There’s a lot of people here…”
“They are all Chinese, right?”
“You can’t just come to someone else’s land and take things without permission. These people, really.”
“Well, you have to do anything you can to survive.”
We hid in the bank and peeped out. We could see a group of people running away from the gas station, while another group of people approached the gas station from across the road.
Although the structure was now referred to as a gas station, before the apocalypse, the building was not actually a gas station, but a warehouse where various types of fuel were stored. Around it, vines could be found growing wildly. There were also a huge number of plant-type monsters. Of course, there were a lot of normal monsters, too.
“Everyone ran away!”
The fairly wide road was full of monsters and people. Some Chinese people, who approached the gas station while taking advantage of the other group that escaped, were chased away by the monsters. I thought we were the only ones on this island, so I was actually quite surprised.
In any case, the Chinese’s target seemed to be the same as mine: the fuel stockpiled at the gas station. Even I, who’s standing this far from the gas station, can smell the smell of the fuel inside. There’s no way they weren’t aware of the fuels stockpiled inside.
I checked the inside of the gas station with the Griffon’s Eye skill.
“Inside the blue container is diesel, the yellow one is gasoline, and the green one is kerosene.”
“Then, should we just take the yellow container?”
What a stupid thing to say…
“No way, I’ll take them all.” It was my philosophy to stock up on something, even though I don’t have immediate use of it. Who knows, maybe I’ll need it in the future.
At my words, Da-jeong looked at me with an incredulous expression.
“You are really greedy…”
“You just realized that? Anyway, even if I have to sacrifice the rice from the nearby rice center, I will get all the oils. After all, once I get the oils, I can expand my shelter and just go to another rice center somewhere and loot it clean.”
There’s a rice center nearby. However, since it’s been a while since the Chinese arrived here, there’s quite a possibility that it had been already looted by them.
By the way, what should I do to get the fuel while avoiding these bastards, I wonder?
By these bastards, I didn’t mean just the Chinese, but the monsters, plant-type monsters, and the living vines as well.
Da-jeong shook her head nervously.
“If we join the fray, it would become even more chaotic. Therefore, it would be difficult to mobilize the ghouls.”
“Well, it’s not like there’s no way…”
“Do you have a plan?”
“I will ask for help from my friends.” I opened the portal and called Dingo as well as Ding-soon from the shelter. When Da-jeong sees Ding-soon, who came out first, her jaw drops.
“Wait a minute… When did Dingo get so big?”
“She’s not Dingo. Her name is Ding-soon.”
However, even though Da-jeong was excited to see them, Neither of them showed much interest in her. Ding-soon growled softly as Da-jeong grabbed on her tail.
“Look at her temper. She’s just like her owner.”
“I’m sorry, but she’s actually a wild wolf. She’s just here to eat Dingo.”
“You know… ‘That'”
“Ahh. I know what you mean.”
But why are you looking at me with those sinister eyes, not Dingo?
When I explained the plan to her, she was quite skeptical about it.
“I don’t think It will work… Wouldn’t it be better to just shout ‘Free Tibet’ at them?”
Suddenly, I remembered the moment when Rapwi shouted ‘Taiwan number one’ in order to pull their aggro. It made me once again realize that both her and Rapwi were similar. Of course, in a crazy way.
I calmed her down. “My plan worked surprisingly well against the Koreans. I bet the result would be the same against them.”
“Well, okay then… but…”
Da-jeong looked at Dingo and Ding-soon, and I stroked them both. This time, you guys were the protagonists, so please take care of us two.
(T/N and here comes Yoo Seodam…)
(E/n for those who didn’t know, Yoo Seodam is the MC of another novel which we’re working on, Protagonist Are Murdered By Me. Do check it out!)