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Chapter 14

Hiding a House in the Apocalypse

Translator/Editor: TranslatingNovice

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Chapter 14: Typhoon

Before the war began, doomsday preppers were not welcomed in society.

Looking at their attributes alone, you couldn't find many virtues that society would endorse.

People who practiced so-called psychoanalysis said that underneath the doomsday prepper's thinking lay megalomania, selfishness, and resignation.

Well, except for megalomania, that's pretty accurate.

I don't deny it.

I incurred debts and dug bunkers with those thoughts, and catered to Old Man Kim's whims.

But being a doomsday preppar isn't for just anyone.

You have to be tough.

You need the insensitivity to casually overlook the death of unrelated people.

Not to the extent of the human hunter who kills without a second thought, but you must not empathize with the pain of others.

When the world collapses, millions of pitiful and difficult people will pour out, and if you try to help each one, you'll end up in the same plight.

My ideal image of a doomsday prepper is a cold bystander.

Someone who, regardless of what happens around them or how many hundreds die, or whatever heartbreaking stories there are, ignores it all and lives only for themselves.

Such a person deserves to become a legend.

After all, isn't the last human often considered legendary?

Regrettably, I was somewhat lacking to become a legend.

I got the information that ‘it’ was coming the day after I checked the International Residence.

After finding another accommodation for a night and routinely visiting the national committee, I unexpectedly acquired valuable information.

The information obtained here is the main reason I maintain a connection with the city.

[ Breaking through the kill zone, a colossal monster is heading south ]

[ Estimated to be Kraken type ]

[ Speed approximately 22 km/h. Heading south-southwest ]

[ Entry into Seoul prevented but expected to turn to the outskirts ]

[ Estimated to disappear in about 56 hours ]

At a computer set up in the national committee lobby, internally uploaded information was being updated in real time.

'A Kraken type...'

I've encountered it in China.

A living building, if you will.

A monster that withstands all known firepower with its sheer sie, breaking through kill zones and defenses.

However, it's not invincible, and by my standards, not particularly dangerous.

It has low intelligence and simple patterns.With proper preparation, though killing it is unlikely, it should vanish by itself if left alone.

People often say that hunters, especially saviors, are the nemeses of monsters. But in fact, the most powerful enemy of monsters is the Earth itself.

Monsters, the inhabitants of another dimension, begin to lose vitality and collapse due to unknown reasons as soon as they cross the rift.

A monster that loses all its life force disintegrates into particles and vanishes, with the collapse happening faster the larger and stronger it is.

Of course, there are exceptions, but the one that appeared now is of the self-dissipating type.

Perhaps it's like a typhoon.

While alive, it wreaks havoc in human territories and destroys everything living, but over time, it loses its momentum and self-destructs.The intelligence agencies monitor the movements and directions of the monster and predict their paths to prepare for damage, not much different from a typhoon.

And that typhoon is passing through my territory.

It's a chilling thought.

Had I been in the bunker without knowing this information, I would have met my end like an extra in a disaster movie, oblivious to the impending doom, partying recklessly until saying "huh?" and being erased.

I wonder how I would have died.

No matter how much I think about it, it seems I'd die while posting on the community.

SKELTON : (Skeleton Surprise) ?!

Like this.

I've been worried lately about becoming an unpopular user in the community...

It feels like I'm worse off than even the human hunter.

Still, I haven't been blocked too much, right?

Unfortunately, there was no contact from Kim Daram.

I understand.

She doesn't know exactly where I live and is too busy to even blink.

During my time in the national committee lobby, I saw her walking quickly into the elevator with stern-faced soldiers, hunter-turned-officials, and politicians.

But I also wish she had given me at least a simple warning.

Bang!

A gunshot sounds in the distance.

For the first time in my life, I experienced an attack.

I wasn't directly involved.

The attack took place far ahead.

But the procession stopped, creating an unusual scene of traffic congestion during these end of times.

The police and military blocked the passage, just telling us to wait for the situation to end.

After a 3-hour delay, the situation was resolved, but precious time was wasted.

Passing by, I saw bodies sprawled on the ground.

I couldn't tell if the bodies, lying with eyes wide open and staring into the void without any blanket cover of respect, were looters or victims.

I immediately returned to the bunker to prepare.

I moved some of Old Man Kim's plants inside in advance, and gathered camping equipment, food, and water.

For observation equipment, I prepared binoculars with night vision and a cheap drone.

The most important preparation was the four-wheel drive buggy car sleeping in the underground garage.

Mobility is needed against that monster.

Keeping distance is the best strategy, and in the worst case, I must escape before the two killing rays overlap and create a death zone.

I generously pour a full can of well-preserved gasoline into the car and launch the cheap drone.

There were no immediate threats nearby.

There is the threatening Gold Pack to the south, but I have no intention of heading that way.

I parked the car on a low hill above my bunker and waited.

There is still some time left before the monster arrives.

At first, I had no thoughts.

After a brief period of blankness, I thought about the expected appearance point of the monster and the corresponding escape route.

It didn’t take long.

I had simulated all possible scenarios in this area while doing construction work.

Of course, the appearance of a colossal speices was within the anticipated range.

I idly sipped a cup of coffee, waiting for time to pass.

There were still a couple of hours left.

It should reveal itself soon.

However, the situation with the K-walkie-talkie seems strange.

A disaster comparable to a typhoon is approaching, yet there’s not a single warning broadcast.

What could have happened?

The current time is 8:30 PM.

According to the situation report obtained from the national committee, the colossal species should have already passed the outskirts of Seoul by now.

Yet, military frequencies remain silent.

Could it be, the broadcasting station was hit?

"..."

It's none of my concern.

I'm a doomsday prepper.

I only need to preserve my own life and safety, regardless of what happens around me.

Those who wish to save the world are on the battlefield.

I am content to simply observe how this world flows in my own way.

That’s the path I chose, and the path I thought I should take.

However, my conviction began to waver as time passed.

The first thing that came to mind was the cheerful friends from my community.

I rushed down to the bunker and connected to the community.

My comrades in the community were going about their usual routines, unaware of the approaching typhoon.

Perhaps they don’t know about the monster’s appearance yet.

Or maybe, those who saw it are already in the next world.

I searched.

keystone: It's shaking like crazy down here in Paju. Is there an earthquake or something?

I sent a message.

SKELTON: Are you alive?

No response.

I wrote a post.

SKELTON: (Skeleton Question) keystone, are you alive? If you are, please reply.

No response.

10 minutes passed, 20 minutes passed.

Are they dead?

In the bunker, unaware of anything, did they get swept away by the typhoon and vanished without a trace?

Another comrade is gone.

Just an internet acquaintance, the name and face unknown, but still, their death feels real.

One less person to like my posts, increase my views, and leave a comment.

"..."

I hesitated for a moment.

It's true that I harbor resentment towards this world.

It's true that I blame God, and it's true that I'm sick of the system and humanity itself.

But does that mean I should watch them die?

A wool felt doll, occupying a lonely corner of the room, is staring at me vacantly.

What would anonymous337, its creator, think of me now?

What about the unnamed woman who died in an explosion for raising killer monsters?

The owner of this laptop?

There are still living people.

On that exceptionally cold Christmas night, the girl's voice still remains vividly in my heart as a living emotion.

"..."

I am neither a hero nor a savior.

I don’t have the qualifications or the ability.

The image I wanted of myself was a cold observer.

And that’s how it has to be.

But wouldn’t it be okay just for today?

It’s not a special day, but since the typhoon has arrived.

That whim moved me.

SKELTON: (Skeleton Warning) The monster is coming!

  • It’s heading south following the attached map route!

If you're in its path, just for today, leave the bunker and take watch.

Being in the bunker won’t help.

Its destructive rays will ignore cover and disintegrate all life within its radius.

This isn’t a joke, it’s serious advice.

If this helped, please like!

I don’t want to lose these friends.

SKELTON: (Skeleton warning) The monster is coming!

SKELTON: (Skeleton warning) The monster is coming!

SKELTON: (Skeleton warning) The monster is coming!

SKELTON: (Skeleton warning) The monster is coming!

SKELTON: (Skeleton warning) The monster is coming!

...

...

[ Warning! Usage is restricted for 12 hours due to spamming. ]

"Damn! It was spamming with good intentions!"

So I spammed.

I thought it was enough, but my whim was already demanding the next action.

"This is Skelton. This is Skelton. If anyone receives this signal, please respond immediately. I repeat. This is Skelton! Skelton!"

It’s the sniper’s family.

I want to save them too.

Of course, I don’t like that woman, but her daughter is different.

"In one hour, a colossal species monster will arrive. It's a Kraken type, as big as a building, emitting deadly beams that can kill all living creatures within a 2 km radius."

I want to hear her voice next Christmas as well.

I want to say Merry Christmas to her .

Not through a keyboard, but with my own voice.

Even if it’s filled with the typical noise of a walkie-talkie,

It’s my humble wish.

Well, I have other intentions too.

With no response, I drove directly to the sniper’s territory.

With time running out, I passed through Gold's territory.

As expected, mutated dogs drooled and chased after me.

"These gaming laptop-like bastards?"

I evaded them with gunfire and speed and arrived at the sniper's territory, only to be greeted by a sharp gunfire.

Bang!

A bullet hit the ground at my feet, kicking up dust.

I spoke into the radio.

"Can’t you hear? You’re all going to die?"

No response.

I said it again.

"Are you going to let your daughter die too?"

That got a response.

The sniper and her daughter emerged from the darkness.

"Skelton!"

The girl smiled brightly and waved at me.

"What about the car?"

The sniper shook her head.

"Gasoline. It's gone bad."

"Get in."

I didn’t expect them to get in right away.

I thought I’d need to persuade them.

But the sniper surprised me by getting into the car without hesitation.

"I saw."

She said in broken Korean as she fastened her seatbelt.

"What?"

"Monster."

There was a reason she listened well.

"Hold on tight."

We drove away from the territory.

From a small hill where we could look down, we witnessed a huge monster appear in our territory.

A colossal creature, like a building with legs, trampling the ground and sweeping away all living things with web-like beams of malevolence.

The life-destroying ray narrowly missed my bunker.

If I had been there, I wouldn’t have died nicely.

Maybe torn in half?

Even the seasoned sniper, who had seen it all, was nothing more than a frightened lamb in the face of this world-denying monstrosity.

Watching them quietly, I said,

"Stand there for a moment."

“What?”

"Photo. Click."

"Why?"

"I have a printer at home, I'll print it for you."

It's a dog-shit era, but memories are important, aren't they?

Coincidentally, the typhoon that hit our territory dissipated just as I took the photo.

The monster, which had defiled the ground and scorched the living, started to disintegrate into particles, enveloped in a bright light.

Against the backdrop of the dark, unlit earth, the shimmering light scattering like a gold-leaf in the wind was hauntingly beautiful.

"…Pretty."

The girl murmured, mesmerized by the sight, while her mother held her hand, both watching the blend of this world and the otherworldly.

Click

A photo was saved in the folder.

SKELTON: (Skeleton Photo) Untitled03

My photo stirred a modest ripple in the community.

I collected many precious comments and received a few likes.

In particular, there were many comments about how cute the girl was.

Someone asked what the photo was about, but I didn't answer out of respect for the sniper family's privacy.

Unfortunately, my information didn’t prove very helpful to our community members.

None of our friends were on the monster's path.

Even keystone, whom I thought was dead, was alive.

keystone: Thought I was dying from a stomachache.

Did this guy block me?!

It doesn't matter.

The one I really wish would block me hasn't.

Defender: Skelton, you're seriously cool. You've got an eye for aesthetics. Your use of light is rough, but your composition is solid.

No, rather, he’s showing active interest in me.

That's decent, at least.

The human hunter sent me a message with a photo attached.

In the photo, you could clearly see the back of my head in the four-wheel buggy with the sniper and her daughter.

Message from Defender: Skelton. This is you, right?

SKELTON: No

Message from Defender: Thanks to you, this life got saved. Thanks. I'll repay this favor.

"…Ha."


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