Stagnant Water of Apocalypse - Chapter 157
What happened at the Sports Complex Station quickly spread through the Auction House. Seongho was always secretive in the first place so he never thought of publicizing what he did. But Jang Won-taek wanted to actively promote it. Because that’s how he could bring people together.
Once it became known that the Stagnant Waters had killed hundreds of monsters, two Sniffles, and even a mysterious monster, people started to flock to Sports Complex Station to check the site in person.
Naturally, people who were on the scene at the time and were forced to run away also gave their testimony; pouring another bucket of oil to the already blazing fire. Thanks to that, the four Stagnant Waters looked like monsters in the eyes of people. After all, they thought that no matter how much firearms were used, it’s far from enough to deal with hundreds of monsters, two Sniffles and a monster which was rumored to be stronger than Sniffles in such a narrow place.
Countless praises for the four Stagnant Waters were lined up at the Auction House. In particular, there was a lot of praise for Survivor 1. After all, the report said he was the one who killed the last monsters. It was also known that he was just doing what he was told to do. Regardless, a record was still a record.
In another comment section of the Auction House, many reviews about what the survivors dubbed as Stagnant Waters’ battle pilgrimage overflowed.
-When I went to the platform… WOW… It’s really no joke. Monster corpses are lying everywhere. It’s as if a horror movie had become a reality! If you haven’t come to the station, come quickly!
-Yeah. If you are late, you won’t be able to see it. It will all go to the stomach of other monsters!
-Everyone, I’m level 15, so I don’t really know. But can’t you kill all the monsters as long as you have a gun?
-Lv 15? A noob!
-You’re saying that because you don’t know. If you go there, you will understand.
-Imagine you are trapped in a subway platform with hundreds of monsters. Even if you want to shoot, where will you go when the monsters become too many for you to handle?
-There were also Sniffles and a monster that was stronger than Sniffles. Better to just commit suicide.
-I heard that bullets don’t work in Sniffles.
-If I were in such a situation, I am confident that I would die in 3 seconds.
Many stories had been told and conclusions had been drawn. The Stagnant Waters were strong, and those strong people were now gathered in one shelter. Government officials aimed at that point and started promoting in earnest. As they shed a little bit of their vision for the future, the survivors felt a strong temptation.
-I heard that we can use a gun after the Corrosive Disease is gone. Wouldn’t life become easier than before?
-Even though I agree with that pont, I think we won’t have our freedom anymore. No matter how large the Government Shelter is, if we only stay there for a long time, we will suffocate and die.
-You can just go outside.
-What about the zombies?
-I know, right. What about the zombie raids? Will the Stagnant Waters block them all?
-To prevent zombie raids from happening, we have prepared a totem. This item was made by Bae Geom-in-ssi, it can prevent zombie raids from happening.
When the totem’s existence was revealed to the survivors, they all went wild. Though, the government did not inform them that there were only two totems.
In any case, when the future plans of the Government Shelter and the presence of the Stagnant Waters were combined, it exerted tremendous luring power.
On top of that, the survivors’ doubt about their freedom was squashed by Jang Won-taek’s proclamation.
-You don’t have to think too big about Government Shelters. I am not the President, nor am I the ruler of the shelter. I’m just a survivor with some influence.
-Your freedom is guaranteed. Firearms will also be distributed fairly after adequate training. The stockpiled material will be used for everyone. Come to the Government Shelters. We are waiting for you.
At the Auction House, there was a great response, and Lee Beom-seok reported it.
“Many survivors have responded … we can see at least 300 people.”
But Jang Won-taek was sullen.
“I would be happy as long as 30 people decided to join.”
“The weather hasn’t cleared up yet, it won’t be easy to travel. And there will also be a lot of people who don’t want to throw away the hideout they’ve worked so hard to build over the winter. Let’s stay realistic and make a 30 person supply plan.”
“Oh, yes. I will.”
“And I heard that Seongho sent a bill?”
Lee Beom-seok’s face hardened at those words. But eventually he pulled out a piece of paper and presented it to his boss. It was a rundown that he didn’t want to report because he found it absurd.
“Hohoho. They must have secured military supplies from the reserve shelter, but they left it out.” Jang Won-taek chuckled.
“It makes no sense to ask for 5,000 bullets. It would be better to just ignore it.”
“The materials consumed are quite specific…” Jang Won-taek murmured. According to the bill, the Stagnant Water team consumed 23 guns and 5,200 rounds of ammunition. The fact that they also used several M72 rockets showed just how intense the battle was.
However, Lee Beom-seok did not lose his doubts.
“It must have been inflated several times.”
“We should double the numbers. Give him 10,000.”
“It is true that they consumed a considerable amount of ammo, isn’t it?”
“On top of that, we also gained some unexpected information. If they didn’t fight it, we would never have received it.”
It was information regarding the numbers of mad doctors. Even if it’s not confirmed just how many of them were out there, there should be more than one person. It was also an unexpected gain to know that they had combat power stronger than Sniffles.
According to the Stagnant Water team, they were the ones who gave the resurrection scroll to Joo Seung-cheol. They also said that the doctor was completely dead because he didn’t have the Resurrection Scroll.
After receiving the instructions, Lee Beom-seok reported the information obtained by Major Kim’s team. Jang Won-taek’s white eyebrows twitched when he heard his report.
“That’s right. Nothing was found in the basement of Bupyeong-gu Office Station.”
“It can’t be… Didn’t the stagnant team say that the doctor came from that direction?”
“Major Kim’s team took note of that and looked all over the place. However, they said they couldn’t find any traces.”
“Hmmm…” It’s unexpected. Jang Won-taek thought that he could get at least a clue from this search. But turns out he got nothing.
Just where did mad doctor Jeon Ji-hoon conduct the monster synthesis experiment?
Perhaps there’s some kind of dungeon there. Unless they know how to get in and out, it wouldn’t be discovered.
Lee Beom-seok presented him with the last report. It was a list of several people who had officially expressed their intention to join.
Jang Won-taek’s gaze stopped in the middle of the paper.
“This person is alive?”
“Yes. He has been contacting me saying he wants to join us.”
“Hoho what a headache.” Jang won-taek gave a bitter smile. The very person who made him that way was someone who was famous for being a bastard.
Jang Won-taek patted the paper with his finger. “He proudly wrote that his unique skill is brainwashing. Is he ignorant of the world, or is he crazy?”
“From what I’ve heard so far, that bast- Keheum. I’m sorry, Mr. President. He had never left his shelter until now.”
“His level must be low, then?”
“Indeed. Though, he occasionally got information by interacting with the survivors around him.”
“He’s interacting with people while having brainwashing qualities? That’s incredible in its own right.” He had also endured for half a year. His patience was commendable. “He has guns, but still not relieved and is asking to join… This makes me really worried.”
“If you accept him, it will definitely be a problem.”
“Let’s meet him first. Can you ask him to come this way?”
“Yes. I will pass it to him.”
After Lee Beom-seok left, Jang Won-taek lit up a cigarette and puffed the acid smoke while looking at the ceiling. There’s a saying that a plan goes awry right after it is executed. The ground shelter, which could be said as the very first step in his future plans, did not seem to be proceeding smoothly.
“I’m already hearing creaking noises here and there…” But he couldn’t show a weak side of himself to his subordinates. Once he finished his cigarettes, he dressed neatly and stepped outside.
Half of February had come to pass. Government Shelters had finally begun their expansion in earnest. A large number of personnel were mobilized to secure a site for the construction of the ground shelter. Seokhyun and Geom-in were called out, and I went hunting with several people.
I gave an excuse that I would power level them, but that was not all; there’s another reason. Da-jeong, who was living in the same room with other women, was frightened by their smell.
-I can’t take it anymore, so let’s take them out to take a bath next time!
The causes of Da-jeong’s anger were Sooyeon, Mikyung, and Yeowool. They told her that they were okay with each other, but from Da-jeong’s point of view, she was not fine with them.
-Do you want me to lose my sense of smell?
-It’s because there’s no water…
-Don’t you just wipe your body with wet tissue too, unnie?
Their argument was sound and not baseless. The Government Shelters provided only 2 liters of water per day. they couldn’t even take a shower with such a minimal amount when there’s another need to use it. Even when they went outside to get water, they were completely frozen due to the weather. Thanks to that, the bodies of the shelter people stank. However, since they were all in the same situation, they naturally accepted it.
Da-jeong, I and the three others secured a building near Yeouido and made a bonfire with black charcoal inside. After opening the portal, taking out the metal bathtub made by the scarabs, and putting the hose in it, water gushed out and filled the bathtub.
The three of them stared intently into the bathtub.
“It’s really amazing…”
The portal was transparent, so the only thing they could see was a hose sticking out of the air. Sooyeon was even more surprised when she put her hand in the water.
“The water is not that cold.”
“It’s summer in the shelter right now. The water was also in the hut, so it is a bit lukewarm.”
“Where does the water come from?”
“There is a valley nearby. We put a water tank there and put a pump in the cabin.”
“It’s really incredible.”
“When Yoohyeon comes in later, the pump will be able to run automatically. I want him to come in quickly.”
If only Yoohyeon comes in, it would also be possible to install a water wheel in the valley to generate electricity. Nowadays, he was studying diligently by reading books in preparation for that time.
Of course he still complained a bit.
-To think I will be studying even in the apocalypse.
-Anything you need?
-I’ll tell you later hyung. For now I need some books about electronics.
Da-jeong came out of the portal and dropped the plastic bag on the floor. Inside was shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush… even towels. She declared, putting her hand on her waist.
“I’m going to take all the dirt stuck in your body here, so be prepared.”
“Ah~ How long has it been since my last bath…”
“I can’t dip my body in the bathtub, can I?”
“You’ve gone crazy, huh?”
When Mikyung asked, she got a palm massage from her female comrades. The three said they were looking forward to it and looked at me. It’s my cue for exit.
I apologized and entered the portal.
“Those people will do fine… So…” I decided to take a look at the furnace made by the scarabs. When I entered the shelter and took a seat near the furnace, it came up to my waist. It was made from soil collected by Da-jeong from a volcanic area. As the fuel, etherstone and black coal were used. The two of them were grinded into powder and made a special kind of fire.
Actually, it doesn’t have to be this luxurious to make molten iron. But since processing magic metal and ore were the end game for the Scarabs, I have no choice but to do it this way.
“I believe only in you guys.” The scarabs carried the powder to the unlit furnace. When I ignited it with an ignition stick, a purple flame erupted.
“Beautiful..” I was drawn into the splendid fire and mused. The work began in earnest, and the chief scarab called me.
According to the guy’s explanation, this blast furnace is, in principle, something that should not be extinguished. It was said that once it was extinguished, the molten iron inside would harden and turn into garbage.
“We can just keep throwing fuel… wait, etherstone goes into the fuel, right?”
That was the problem. The amount of etherstone I originally had was 3. I got it all from hunting Sniffles. But since I used one just now, I only have 2 left. One of them could keep the furnace going for a month, so that means with the amount I have, the furnace would last for three months. If I don’t want to destroy the blast furnace they had just made, I would have to get my hands on etherstones.
“Where can I get it, I wonder…” Monsters like Sniffle were rare. Even if it’s not rare, with our current power, it took too many things to kill one of them. Thus, it was impossible to make it the main avenue of getting etherstones. The etherstone other people get from the entry quests would be eaten by the portal. So I can’t use that method too.
“I think it would be better to send an expedition to mine etherstone.” However, Captain Scarab’s opinion on the matter was rather ambiguous. Seems like there were no etherstone deposits nearby. I should think about it deeper later when I get the time.
I walked away from the furnace area and made my way to the workplace of the stag beetles. The guys were busy making totems for me.
“How are you guys doing?” I asked. Their reaction was different from the Scarabs. They just point their claws at the totem without looking at me. Seems like making the totem takes a lot of time because the material was elderwood.
So far, it had proceeded smoothly, but collecting elderwood had become a problem. I cut the branches with an Elementium knife, but after that I didn’t get permission to cut another one. According to the stag beetles, if I wanted to gather more elderwood, I had to take someone else with me.
“The amount an individual can collect is limited.” I was embarrassed to say that I couldn’t afford to forcefully collect it even if I ignored the warning.
“For now, Seokhyun and Da-jeong will be able to take it for me.” I guess I would have to wait for the others to enter the shelter to collect more elderwood.
I looked around the shelter and noticed that Dingsoon’s stomach had bloated.
“Seems like you guys finally did it, huh?” I smiled. The couple had rarely been inside the shelter these days. Whenever they came back, they just made their own nest in the corner of the shelter and never entered the cave. Seeing that Dingsoon was alone, Dingo was probably out in the forest looking for food.
I tore the yellow pollack into pieces, boiled a soup and put it in the nest. Dingsoon, without any doubt, emptied the bowl and licked my nose.
“You should have a lot of babies.” I patted her head. After taking a bath, I ate with the girls who had become brighter than before. When I returned to the Government Shelters to take the boys out, I met Jang won-taek who said he had been looking for me for a while.
“What happened?” He seemed hesitant at my question and then explained the situation regardless. One of the worst chaebol among chaebols in Korea was requesting to join. His trait was even worse; brainwashing.
When I stretched my neck to the side, Jang Won-taek immediately withdrew.
“Since it’s brainwashing, it’s a little bit like that, right? Forget I have told you such things.”
“No, let’s meet him first. I wonder what he’s going to say.”
“Since he’s only been in his own shelter for half a year, I doubt it will be a productive talk.”
I doubt whether it was really the case. But if he really had prepared in advance, it wouldn’t be impossible to do. On top of that, with his brainwashing ability, he could enslave some survivors and have life with minimal interactions.
Jang Won-taek laughed bitterly when he said that the guy’s level would be low. “You can think of him as an idiot who doesn’t know anything about the current world. He only has guns, and only knows about the situation in general. He doesn’t even know what the Auction House is.”
“I thought they were all dead.” I murmured. In the apocalypse, weak people and fools shouldn’t have survived. After all, it’s a cruel world that normal people even find it hard to survive. The fact that a chaebol, who has no knowledge of the world, is alive, was probably due to the combination of several factors. Unfortunately, it seems like his luck would run out pretty soon as he thought joining the Government Shelter was a wise move.
I told Jang Won-taek. “Let’s do that then. We should meet them first before deciding.”
“Why did I think he’s going to get ripped off by Seongho? I hope it’s just my misunderstanding.”
This man was too quick-witted…
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