Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
While staring at the large monitor, one of the subordinates nearby cried out in shock, "I don't believe this! Ma'am, the number of monsters started plunging all of a sudden!"
The red monster indicators that once took up a good portion of the screen started to disappear at an exponential rate. After sundown, the monster wreaking havoc in Seoul moved out of the city and hid in the mountains or in unoccupied areas of the city. While it was possible to track those monsters with the Institute's current technology, they were severely shorthanded. On top of that, the monsters were incredibly powerful, making it difficult for the hunters to fight them off. Now, for a mysterious reason, the number of monsters was plummeting at an incredible rate.
"It must be the hunters from the US!" the same subordinate said. However, Ji Yoo Kim, the Great Lord of the Central Institute, shook her head and said, "No. It's not them."
Considering their time of arrival in Korea, there was no way that the hunters from the US had already started raiding the monsters. If anything, they had to be on their way to get in position. Which could mean only one thing:
'Min Sung Kang!' Ji Yoo thought. Otherwise, there would be no explanation for the exponential rate at which the number of monsters was decreasing. After smiling briefly, Ji Yoo hardened her face, turned toward her subordinate and asked, "When is the Special Operations Team from the US arriving?"
"I'll look into it. One moment, ma'am."
The Special Operations Team had been given the specific task of exploring the labyrinth. Because of that, Ji Yoo was planning on joining them on the exploration as soon as the team arrived in Korea. Crossing her arms, Ji Yoo waited patiently for her subordinate's response.
"Thirty minutes. They'll be here in thirty minutes."
Hearing that, Ji Yoo nodded affirmatively. The time to explore the unknown that was that dungeon drew near.
"Let me know if anything comes up," Ji Yoo said, turning around to leave the room. To which, the subordinate sprung up from his seat and saluted the Great Lord.
Swords and spears danced in the air, cutting the monsters down. Similarly, the monsters also attacked the hunters just as fiercely. It was a bloodbath.
Seeing his clansmen being ripped to pieces by the monsters, Ho Sung gritted his teeth. However, the American hunters paid no attention to the massacre unfolding before their eyes. Unlike Ho Sung, who was running around to save his clansmen, the American hunters focused solely on their mission, as if the lives of the Diamond Clan members were of no importance to them.
"Aghhhhhh!" a clansman let out in agonizing pain while a monster bit into his side. Hearing that cry, Ho Sung ran frantically toward that clansman and swung his sword, decapitating the monster. After that, the first wave came to an end.
When Ho Sung looked around, he saw the American hunters were busy inspecting their equipment, paying no attention to the countless dead from the Diamond Clan around them.
"Why, you sons of bitches!" Ho Sung let out, his entire body shaking with anger toward the American hunters. At that moment, Min Wook came up to him, grabbed him by the arm and said, "I know you're upset, but we have to work with them."
With Min Wook's reminder, Ho Sung dropped his head and saw at yet another clansman who breathed his last breath. At that point, Ho Sung's face grew stone cold. Shaking Min Wook off, he said to him, "Follow me. Interpret."
Breathing heavily, Ho Sung strode toward Callis, the leader of the team of American hunters. Looking at Ho Sung, Min Wook covered his eyes with his hand, let out a heavy sigh, and followed him. Noticing Ho Sung standing in front of him, Callis, who had been inspecting his equipment, gave him a puzzled look.
"You guys are a bunch of heartless assholes, you know that?" Ho Sung said. Glaring at Min Wook, who was flabbergasted, Ho Sung said, "Interpret."
Left with no choice, Min Wook interpreted on Ho Sung's behalf. At which point, Callis scoffed condescendingly and replied, "How's that our fault?"
With Callis' indifferent reply, Ho Sung felt the piercing urge to drive his Death Knight's Sword into his throat.
"People are dying all around you! You and your team have the skill to take these monsters down, yet you're all just sitting there and doing jack shit! I don't even wanna think about how things are looking for the other teams! What? You just don't give a shit about people getting torn to pieces as long as it's not one of your people!?" Ho Sung yelled.
Looking at him pitifully, Callis replied, "Why should we go out of our ways to babysit you and your underlings? We're only here to rescue this country from its impending doom, not to take care of each and every one of you goons."
Then, scoffing, Callis kept on, "You should give gratitude a try. You realize that you and your so-called clan would've been in much worse shape if it weren't for us."
"You people have power! Does it hurt to help your fellow hunters out?!"
"Now, that's offensive. You shouldn't compare us, a team of world-class hunters, to thugs like you."
"Now, I suggest you shut up and be thankful that we're even here. In case you haven't caught up yet, we're the ones doing all the work here."
"But your team could've helped us" Ho Sung murmured, stunned.
"You and your little underlings are nothing more than meat shields. You're wasting my time, and I'm not known to be the most patient. Now, quit complaining and follow our lead," Callis said, turning around. Noticing Ho Sung glaring fiercely at Callis with intense anger, Min Wook held Ho Sung back in a hurry.
"Listen, you piece of shit! People DIED today! Right before your eyes! My clansmen are getting slaughtered left and right, and you're telling me to be grateful?!"
"S-sir," Min Wook said nervously, his face pale as he gripped Ho Sung by his sides tightly.
"Let go! I should've known better! Meat shields, huh?! How are you yankees any different from these monsters, huh?! Min Wook! Tell 'em! Now!" Ho Sung yelled. Swallowing nervously, Min Wook shook his head. Should he interpret what Ho Sung had said to Callis, it would've been the end for him. At that moment, an American hunter approached Callis and whispered to him. It seemed like the hunter understood Korean. Sure enough, Callis' eyes grew ice-cold.
"Haha You just don't get it, do you? We have permission to kill anybody who doesn't cooperate. If I were you, I wouldn't run my mouth like that. Ho Sung Lee. If you wanna walk away in one piece, get on your knees with your head on the ground and ask for forgiveness," Callis said to Ho Sung, glaring piercingly at him. However, Ho Sung had long lost his composure.
"Screw you! Try me! Kill me now! You piece of sh" Ho Sung yelled at the top of his lungs, only to be interrupted by Min Wook, who pushed him aside, stood in front of Callis and got down on his knees with his head on the ground.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Ho Sung said to Min Wook with a look of shock. Looking up at Callis, Min Wook said, "I apologize! It's just that seeing our colleagues getting killed before our eyes is a lot to take in. We appreciate your help from the bottom of our hearts, and"
"Min Wook Cho!" Ho Sung shouted, his face burning red.
"Are you trying to get everyone killed!? Please! If you're the head of a clan, then act like one!" Min Wook let out in frustration. At which point, Ho Sung's jaw dropped open. It felt like an ice-cold dagger had pierced his heart. Rather than a sense of betrayal, it was the pain that came with his helplessness in that situation. Slamming his head on the ground, Min Wook apologized profusely to Callis. However, chuckling, Callis stared intently at Ho Sung and replied, "I don't need your apology. Ho Sung Lee, again, get on your knees and ask for forgiveness. This is your last chance."
In a daze, Ho Sung looked at his clansmen. Wounded, dead, or staring at Ho Sung with hope, desperate to die with their dignity intact, even at the cost of their pride.
Just like Ho Sung had expected, the situation with the other search teams was not any better. Much like the situation on Ho Sung's side, the American hunters paid no attention to the members of the Diamond Clan being massacred around them. Despite being accompanied by a healer, the American hunters prepared to move forward without even bothering to help the local hunters. Not only that, when the local hunters tried to take the wounded to the hospital, the American hunters severely limited the number of people who could take them and ordered the rest to focus on hunting down the monsters. Needless to say, it wasn't long before the local hunters broke out into an uproar. However, the rebellion was short lived. Without the help of the American hunters, hunting became much more difficult, and refusing to cooperate with them meant going against the Central Institute's orders. The situation grew worse and worse, showing no signs of improvement.
Eating a wild shiitake mushroom he had picked, the champion walked on. The monsters' trails had gone cold, forcing him to move to a different location. From the looks of it, it seemed like he had no choice but to hide his presence and move swiftly and discreetly. Noticing their numbers decreasing at a disconcerting rate, the monsters were on high alert, which made it a hassle for the champion to have to chase them down. However, knowing that he wasn't the only one hunting the monsters down, Min Sung reminded himself that it would all be over soon. Then, Min Sung realized that he was out of mushrooms.
'Maybe I should've picked some more,' he thought, dusting his hands longingly, anxious to have a proper meal after bringing the monster crisis under control. The fruits of his labor would surely be sweet. At that moment, while he was thinking about what to eat, Bowl peaked its head out of the champion's pocket and said, "Master, look!" pointing in a certain direction. When Min Sung looked toward that direction, he saw a large group of wounded hunters making their way down the mountain with the help of their uninjured comrades. They had to be from the Diamond Clan. Looking away from them slowly, Min Sung stared intently at the mountain from which they came down.