His name was ‘Path Drifter’ Kim Dah-Hyun. He was a Korean ability user who could legitimately be called the fastest not just in South Korea, but in the world, too.
Although his reality was a sad one where he’d often get run over by his younger sister at home and get run over by Yi Ji-Hyuk at work, but as far as his ability was concerned, there was absolutely no doubt that he was as fast as they come.
It was just that he got mixed up with a collection of sheer monstrous individuals and didn’t get to shine as much; if he was analysed by his own merits, then it’d not be an exaggeration to call him one of the top ability users in the entire world.
“That’s why!!!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Kim Dah-Hyun’s sorrow and anguish filled voice cried out.
“Stop looking down on meeeeee!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
He was currently in a state exceeding the speed of sound, so his voice was unfortunately drowned out by the shock waves and no one got to hear it.
As a small consolation, zombies realised that he was running towards them at an incredible speed and redirected their attention his way.
Too bad, the distance was too short for the zombies to come up with a response, not to mention their reaction time was also rather slow, and perhaps most importantly, the Path Drifter was simply too fast for them.
“Cha-haht!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Kim Dah-Hyun pushed the zombies around him to the side and continued to sprint forward. He didn’t really need to use his hands or kick them away. The wall of air generated around him shoved the already-unsteady zombies away and created a large pathway.
Firstly, he separated a handful of zombies in a corner away from the rest of the horde.
“Hmm….” (Park Sung-Chan)
Park Sung-Chan was diligently running after the Path Drifter.
“Orya-cha!!” (Park Sung-Chan)
He jumped into the new pathway Kim Dah-Hyun had carved out and began grabbing and throwing the separated zombies to a specific location.
These flying zombies landed on a large safety net installed at the designated location. Before their faltering figures could stand up, the American ability users on standby around the net made sure no zombies could get out of there and suppressed them.
“Where is she?!”
Just as someone let out a loud yell, Jeong Hae-Min took Roabell and teleported to right in front of them.
Roabell didn’t bother to retort and simply raised her sceptre high in the air before shouting out her words.
“Oh, dear Buzugote!!”
The water-coloured divine power began pouring out like a waterfall from her sceptre.
“How unsophisticated.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly tutted as he looked on at this development.
Wasn’t achieving highest efficiency the basics of all types of work out there? Indeed, it was the most basic of all basics to only use the strength of, say, 100 people for the work that required the presence of 100 people.
However, that fool of a human, nay, the Elf, was pouring out the power equivalent of tens of thousands when only 100 would suffice.
The pure divinity poured down on the zombies. They got a literal cold shower from the divine powers, and suddenly, began writhing around while issuing bizarre shrieks and yelps before eventually sagging down without an ounce of energy left.
“Is that all?”
Roabell nodded her head.
Thanks to the translation magic Affeldrichae had cast beforehand, she had no problem conversing with these people.
“They will be fine a little later. Please, move them to somewhere safe.” (Roabell)
The Americans had already been ordered to provided as much assistance as humanly possible to these ‘Koreans’, so they accepted Roabell’s orders without any dissatisfaction.
Besides, even if they felt dissatisfied, they knew that now wasn’t the right time to voice their thoughts.
Almost as soon as the net was emptied, zombies thrown by Park Sung-Chan were flying in quite rapidly.
“….He’s in quite a bit of a hurry, isn’t he?”
But, then again – separating zombies 100 at a time and purifying them would mean she needed to perform over ten thousand purification processes, mathematically speaking.
And, even if this rate was maintained for the whole day, she’d still have a long way left to go before finishing the purification.
Jeong Hae-Min grasped Roabell’s hand.
“We don’t have time to dawdle.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
She then activated teleport and they disappeared from that spot.
“Hah-aht!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s method was somewhat simpler compare to others.
Even if these zombies didn’t seem to possess any intellect, they still had some capacity to perform basic reasoning, a sense of awareness, that allowed them to back off instead of advancing forward when there were huge balls of flames approaching them from the front.
Thanks to this fact, Seo Ah-Young’s job became that much easier compared to her colleagues. She only had to get some fireballs going and that would cause the zombies to separate in haste to left and right all on their own.
“If you knew this would’ve worked, maybe you should have used oil and set it on fire to create a wall of flames instead.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Christopher McLaren shook his head at Choi Jung-Hoon’s suggestion.
“You think we haven’t considered that? However, what would you have done if they got hurt? It’s possible for the Flame Witch to control her flames if zombies get too close, but if we resort to using flames and one of them got burnt to cinders, we’d be under siege of massive criticisms from the rest of the country.” (Christopher McLaren)
“Well, that’s politics for you.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Oh, so you know all about it, then.” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren formed a deep frown.
This was a case of ‘Easier said than done’.
Indeed, the current scene was only possible because she was capable of flinging around powerful enough flames to push back that many zombies in the first place.
A typical flame-wielding ability user would struggle to consistently produce a ball of flame as large as their heads, yet she was currently producing house-sized flame balls from the tip of her fingers and, as if that wasn’t enough, she even proceeded to toy around with them at will, too. Now that was the display of true power the Flame Witch possessed.
‘But, she couldn’t have been that powerful….’ (Christopher McLaren)
If Seo Ah-Young the Flame Witch was such an outstanding ability user to begin with, then Christopher McLaren would have tried anything, even underhanded tactics, to make her an American citizen – his pride be d*mned.
The thing was, though, the Flame Witch of the past may have been strong but she was also a flame-wielding ability user commonly found pretty much everywhere. She certainly wasn’t someone amazing enough to risk causing friction with the Korean government to get his hands on.
Christopher McLaren shifted his gaze over to where Yi Ji-Hyuk was.
Just what did that man do?
If he didn’t do anything, then the American intelligence agency had been wasting their time up until a few months ago. He’d think that must’ve been the case if it were only Seo Ah-Young. But, then again, it was just inconceivable that they failed to accurately assess every single one of the NDF’s agents.
If that really did happen, then the American intelligence agency would very much be undeserving of the reputation as the eavesdropper of the entire world.
Seo Ah-Young’s flames managed to separate a portion of the zombies and drove them to elsewhere. That’s when Jeong Hae-Min and Roabell appeared together to rain down the water-coloured divinity on them. And the zombies getting showered on in that fashion soon collapsed to the ground.
The American ability users and special forces operatives hurriedly dashed towards the collapsed zombies, leading Jeong Hae-Min and Roabell to teleport out of there as if that was the most obvious thing in the whole world.
It was then, Christopher McLaren’s walkie talkie went off.
“What’s the prognosis?” (Christopher McLaren)
– “The collapsed people have regained some colour in their complexion, sir. We will need more time to properly assess their condition, but on the outside at least, they seem to be recovering, sir.”
“Don’t let your guard down! Even if they look fine on the outside, don’t take it easy, understand? Test them with every procedure you can think of and only then, move those victims deemed not dangerous out of the quarantine zone and into the regular hospitals!” (Christopher McLaren)
– “But, sir. At this rate, we will have over a million patients, and I don’t think there’s a hospital large enough to accommodate them all. Even if we utilise multiple hospitals, that would pose various challenges on their own, sir.”
“Then set up emergency tents somewhere, you dumb f*ck!!” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren angrily ended the call and shifted his anxious eyes over to the remaining zombie horde.
Currently, the whole thing was in a bit of a lull and these zombies didn’t show any signs of making large movements, but what if they suddenly began rushing forward….?
It was then – the zombies began to shuffle around again.
The American forces pulled the barricades back and that managed to temporarily halt the zombies trying to rush forward, but perhaps the attacks from the ability users agitated them, they were beginning to move again.
“Secure the barricades!!” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren cried out loudly enough to almost tear out his vocal chords.
The important thing right now was to stop the zombies from going anywhere.
The purification might have started now, but if this defensive line was breached, then the zombies would spread across America. And when that happened, the rate of new zombies appearing could vastly outstrip the rate of catching and purifying individuals.
“We’re almost there! We only need to hold out for a little while longer!” (Christopher McLaren)
He knew that they needed a LOT more time to purify all these zombies.
Even if the parties involved worked their butts off, no one knew how many more days they needed in the end. And it was also unknown whether Roabell could continue to pour out that divinity or whatever without a rest, too.
Unfortunately, Christopher McLaren couldn’t do anything besides whipping his charges into working even harder.
“Stop them! Look at the defence line over to the right side!! It’s too fragile over there! Send more reinforcements in!!” (Christopher McLaren)
“But, sir! We don’t have enough personnel at the moment with many of our ability users involved in rescue missions!”
“F*ck me.” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren glared at the countless banks of monitors filling up the situation control centre and gnashed his teeth.
Because of the sheer scale of the defensive line, it was simply impossible to analyse the developing situation with naked eyes and efficiently arrange the troops according to their needs.
No, only by dispatching commanders to many different locations and receiving their real time reports while scanning each of the monitors constantly could he just barely manage to arrange the troops.
That was his current situation, yet now with several ability users leaving for the rescue mission, the balance precariously teetering on the edge was about to be broken.
“T-they, the zombies are trying to charge at the barricades!”
“Oh, my god….” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren now could see the horde of zombies dashing towards a section of the barricades through the monitors. These things were mounting a desperate attack right now.
If his troops could defend against that wave, then for sure, this disaster might be solved soon, but if not, then it’d be pretty similar to poking a hornet’s nest for no good reason.
“Do whatever it takes to defend against that!!” (Christopher McLaren)
He found himself to be utterly pathetic for simply shouting out like this without any concrete plan whatsoever, but realistically speaking, there wasn’t a whole lot he could do under the current situation.
“Can’t you increase the pace of purification??” (Christopher McLaren)
Choi Jung-Hoon could only shrug his shoulders when he heard the American’s urgent voice.
“I’d like to help, but as you know, I’m not a part of that mission so all I can do is pass on the message.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“It’s fine even if that’s all you can do.” (Christopher McLaren)
“Alright.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon knew doing that would be useless, but he also knew how desperate Christopher McLaren was feeling now so he didn’t say anything else.
Christopher McLaren yelled into his walkie talkie again.
“Defend that barricade as if your life depended on it! If it get breached, then you all better be prepared to lose your necks, got that?!” (Christopher McLaren)
– “Roger that, sir.”
A clear and concise reply came back. Choi Jung-Hoon nodded his head at this impressive spectacle. He could feel a powerful bond of trust among these Americans, which was something rather hard to achieve.
The United States wasn’t called the world’s strongest not because of their cutting-edge equipment or their seemingly-endless supply of everything. No, they were strong because they could move and act as one under the banner of trust built upon years and years of shared rationale.
‘We should learn from them.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
There was a limit to managing stuff with haphazard planning, after all.
Choi Jung-Hoon nodded his head, convinced, and spoke to his own communication device.
“The situation is getting more urgent as we speak. Please hurry up with the operation.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
– “Why don’t you do it then, you effing son of a b*tch?!”
– “Why, is it getting too comfortable for you, sitting there on your a*s and watching on? Yeah? Is it too f*cking comfortable now?!”
– “Where the hell are you?”
– “Don’t tempt me, otherwise Imma throw you into the middle of the zombies! Pah, sh*t!”
Choi Jung-Hoon switched his device off and stared longingly at the heavens above.
Yup, it was so, so blindingly, beautifully clear. So, so f*cking stupidly clear….
“Have you passed on the message? I thought I heard urgent replies? Are their situation that serious?” (Christopher McLaren)
“….Well, they said that they are willing to put their lives on the line to get it done.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Ohhh! I am envious of the relationship of trust you people have cultivated. I wish we also had such a culture of passionately responding to others like that. Should we start a special learning course for that, I wonder?” (Christopher McLaren)
“….I strongly recommend that you don’t.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Because, you might end up growing sceptical of life in general, you see. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jung-Hoon continued to wipe away the streams of waterworks threatening to break out of his eyes and shifted his gaze towards the frontline.
“Euh?! Look over there!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon got jolted back to his senses by what he saw and hurriedly shouted out.
“They are breaking through!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Where?!” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren hurriedly turned his head in the direction Choi Jung-Hoon was pointing at.
An armoured vehicle had been overturned and its unsightly belly was showing. The military personnel around it had to back up in order to avoid getting crushed by it, but that created an opening. And through that opening, zombies began flooding in.
“T-that?!” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren forgot what he wanted to say and stared at that unfolding spectacle.
In that moment, he felt the inside of his head blanking out.
I, I need to stop that, but… I must do something here….
But, but, what can I do? The reserve forces are… (Christopher McLaren’s inner monologue)
“Wowsers. They really broke through.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
…Ah, we still have someone in reserve.
Sure, we have someone ready, but…..
But, why does it have to be him?!
Out of all the countless ability user out there, just why did it have to be him?!
God d*mn it… (Christopher McLaren’s inner monologue)
< 185. Please, just go back to where you came from! -5 > Fin.