<Chap. 25 – To Bueyo (2).>
While Kim Tae-Hoon was active in Incheon-si and brought about many changes to the city, there were also many changes in Bucheon-si.
The most notable change was none other than the start of the cultivation of farmlands.
The results from the cultivated land, connecting the Han River and Goolpocheon over the winter, began to show little by little as spring arrived
“It has finally begun.”
“The first year of farming has begun.”
The harvest will not immediately provide self-sufficient quantity to the survivors, but securing farmlands and starting the cultivation will minimally provide a faint hope for the future.
“Now, let’s go to Incheon!”
Also, the manufacturing for additional solar panels, using the left over materials from the Kwangmyung-si Solar Panel production factory, has begun, and the tanker trucks, drivers, and the needed technicians to move the stored LNG, from the Songdo LNG storage center, began to operate as the occupation of Incheon-si has completed.
“We’re headed for the Siheung-si! Let us capture some monsters!”
Seven clans were already active in and around the Guild of Mek, and going beyond Kwangmyung-si and Incheon-si, they began to expand their territories in to the cities of Kimpo and Siheung.
Also, medical systems began to align quite quickly.
The temporary hospital, which An Sun-mi was running, was being transformed into a mature operation, as it began to use university facilities, helped by many doctors and nurses, and consistent production of electricity.
From being an errand person just a few months ago, An Sun-mi has become the new owner of the university hospital.
Through facility expansion and power supply, more professional and systematic workshops were being produced.
Flood of Items began to be manufactured by altering the Items of the dead monsters and acquired relics.
All final products were verified by the quantity of the Monster stones that are held by the Guild of Mek.
“Does all of that have to be eaten for real?”
Or it was possible to verify by the quantity of the stones that Kim Tae-Hoon had to eat.
Contracts that Kim Tae-Hoon signed, with other hunters under the Guild of Mek, were still valid.
The 40 percent of the collected Monster stones during Kim-Tae-Hoon’s absence from Bucheon-si, by the hunters belonging to various parties and clans under the guise of the Guild of Mek, automatically belonged to Kim Tae-Hoon.
That was not a small amount.
Enough to fill up a back-pack with 30 liter capacity!
“This world really feels like Hell.”
Definitely for Kim Tae-Hoon, who was eating, but Kate was also feeling equally troubled, just from watching him.
“It will get even more hellish going forward.”
The thing that troubled Kate the most was the fact that she had to travel to Buyeo with Kim Tae-Hoon.
Kim Tae-Hoon’s reason for bringing Kate to Buyeo was simple.
Kate holds the A-ranked energy. Although her strength and stamina levels are low, not that many will be able to confront her, when and if, she is in a rampage.
This means, in order to put a surveillance on her, we need someone with the comparable level of mind controlling capability as that of Bang Hyun-Wook’s, but he also has a lot on his plate. During the absence of Kim Tae-Hoon, Bang Hyun-Wook is the spiritual leader of the Guild of Mek.
Furthermore, Bang Hyun-Wook is good at protecting someone, but he has never done any surveillance work before.
“It would have been much easier for you if you had just left me in Bucheon-si—-.”
Ultimately, it was better for Kim Tae-Hoon to bring her along, for her safety as well as for the purpose of surveillance.
Another reason was that Kate is not simply a hostage, but a very important human resource for Kim Tae-Hoon.
“East direction, approximately 300 meters, it’s an Ork.”
There were obvious reasons for Kim Tae-Hoon to groom Kate as a hunter.
A very competent hunter, that is.
“A single sword is the only weapon.”
Kim Tae-Hoon threw a sword as he spoke. It was not a special sword.
“Aren’t you asking for too much by asking me to capture it using a kitchen knife?”
A kitchen Knife.
It was an ordinary kitchen knife that you will easily find in stores.
“You should give me a gun or something at least to face a Monster
In fact, he gave a gun initially.
It was a known knowledge for everyone that using a gun effectively than a knife is much more helpful when it comes to reinforcing combat power.
However, when Kate quietly recited “is this M5949?” immediately after inspecting the aim and the magazine upon handing a K5 automatic pistol, made him rethink about presenting her with a gun again.
It was obvious to him.
She was a person, who had fully enjoyed the given ownership rights of firearms in America, where gun ownership rights are protected, and that she has had experience of firing guns more than once or twice.
Since then, Kim Tae-Hoon taught her how to handle a sword rather than a gun.
“If you don’t like it, hire a law firm to sue me, or find a gun to use yourself.”
“You are too witty.”
“Thanks to the person that I hang around with.”
“Very good English. Your ability must have been much better than I had thought?”
Kim Tae-Hoon alerted to the location rather than giving a reply, and Kate peevishly spoke.
“I prefer to be informed in yards than in meters.”
She let out a long sigh as she looked on to the Suwon Kwangmyung Highway that has become a cemetery for vehicles.
‘I shall adapt for now.’
She was not a dummy.
At this moment in time, she knew very well that playing a pretty dumb blind with Kim Tae-Hoon will not work, imposing the fact she is the US Ambassador’s daughter will not even mildly change anything, or attempting to sway him with her peevishly charming ways will not change anything.
At the same time, she realized that it was also an opportunity.
At any rate, Kim Tae-Hoon was teaching her the knowledge of how to hunt Monsters and how to survive in this world.
He was giving her the education at no charge that could never be purchased with all the money in the world.
In many ways, it was the best strategy to go along with Kim Tae-Hoon, rather than trying to play a useless ruse in this situation.
Of all the things, she had potential.
A potential that was incomparable to others’.
She trusted that potential.
‘I can always make a chance with this power.’
And with that potential as the basis for a project, she conceived a game.
‘No formal training, I see.’
Kim Tae-Hoon closed his blackened eyes.
Kim Tae-Hoon imagined Kate, catching her breath as she put her foot on top of the Ork’s carcass.
‘She learned to fight as a hobby.’
She was rather a good fighter.
Jujitsu, boxing…… to put it in short terms, her experience included often going to a MMF gym.
In other words, that was all there was.
It did not appear that she had any formal training in the military.
It was as if she had learned, from her veteran father, the minimal, necessary skills needed to protect her-self
‘Perhaps that’s better.’
From Kim Tae-Hoon’s perspective, that was preferable.
If she had acquired professional, expert level skills, it was more than likely that she would need to go through a process of unlearning those practices.
What humanity has created over time, in terms of fighting techniques, has limited effectiveness against the Monsters.
For instance, jujitsu or boxing wouldn’t be effective against monsters like a double headed Ogre.
Having the will and the skill level to counter against incoming attacks and be able to protect oneself are sufficient.
‘Energy is beyond imagination.’
On the other hand, the power of Kate’s A-rank energy was simply incredible.
‘Strength level is at most 15, however, fighting ability comes as close to that of second lieutenant Kim Soo-Ji’s.
Energy reinforces the physical ability. Higher the basic ability, strength, and stamina, higher the effectiveness of the energy is.
To put it in another way, if strength and stamina levels are low, the level of reinforcement of physical ability is also low.
Kate’s current combined strength and stamina level is at 25, which is expected as she had never eaten a Monster stone.
Despite all this, Kate’s energy has demonstrated that the strength of her ability is already way over 100, reaching close proximity to Kim Soo-Ji’s energy rank of D+ as well.
Compared to the growth of Lieut. Kim Soo-Ji’s ability, which she has attained through continuous training and combat, it was an unbelievable potential.
If her strength and stamina levels were to rise, her combat ability will reach beyond one’s imagination.
‘Her sense of controlling the energy is well above that of Bang Hyun-Wook’s.
On top of this, there is a good harmony between her energy and the relics.
The force of the Grand General’s sword and Soon-Sin’s flesh will rise higher immediately if the user’s energy rank is higher.
‘Also like the fact that she is cunning.’
At the same time, she is intelligent.
‘Her spinning her head and the fact that I can see it is her blemish though.’
She studies her surroundings and searches for landmarks that she can reference in order to return in the future, all the while she is cooperative with Kim Tae-Hoon, are the proofs.
Kim Tae-Hoon recognized those signs. Although Kate is accommodative for now, she will be always ready to bolt when given an opportunity.
‘That’s better than a foolish doll.’
It was better from Kim Tae-Hoon’s perspective.
There is not a complete manual for a war against the Monsters, nor precedence. Ad hoc decisions will determine the outcome of life or death situations.
Kim Tae-Hoon opened his eyes as he finished his thoughts.
A road sign came into Kim Tae-Hoon’s vision. The sign informed him of the short, remaining distance to Soowon-si.
Presently, Soowon-si was being occupied by yellow grade monster, Three-Heads and green grade monster, Hanjari.
There was nothing to be concerned about those monsters.
At this moment, yellow grade monsters are no match for Kim Tae-Hoon and he can easily determine his chances of defeating green grade monsters, depending on the situations.
The problem lied beyond that.
‘We should reach Saejong-si in 3 days if we move fast.’
Once we reach Cheonan-si via Kyungboo Express Way, we will travel on Nonsan-Cheonan Express Way.
Then we’ll naturally pass thru Saejong-si.
That was the area where the blue grade monsters, which he has never encountered, are being coiled in.
That’s what Kim Tae-Hoon was concerned about.
A mere sound of a gun fire at this juncture did not alarm Kim Tae-Hoon at this, such a moment.