Episode 4 – Line of Hypocrisy (4)
The next morning, I was almost out of supplies. Jung Heewon stared at the convenience store bags as if she couldn’t believe it.
“Oh my god, it is sold out?”
“Ha, really funny. Everyone was just watching and now...”
“Nope, it isn’t just the marginalized group.”
The guests who came in the middle of the night weren’t just members of the marginalized group.
“Kim Dokja-ssi, you are making the worst choice.”
Among them was Cheon Inho.
“You will regret it.”
More than half the food I had was taken by the mainstream group. Of course, they paid the exact amount.
Jung Heewon was in a rage after hearing the story.
“Wait a minute. Then the mainstream group will just monopolize the food again?”
“Something like that.”
“No, what is this? Weren’t you going to weaken the power of the mainstream group by promoting transactions among the people?”
It was unexpected insight. I responded with a bit of admiration.
“That’s correct. That was the intent. I wanted people to move voluntarily.”
“Then why did you sell food to the mainstream group? The situation won’t change!”
“It has changed. I have obtained coins.”
It was 1,450 coins. It was a huge income for one night.
“No...what is Dokja-ssi thinking? Sangah-ssi, can we really trust this man?”
Yoo Sangah flinched as attention suddenly turned to her but then she smiled brightly.
“I believe in him.”
It was burdensome.
“Dokja-ssi, did you leave enough food for yourself?”
“Nope, I sold it.”
Jung Heewon’s mouth fell open as if she was dumbfounded. At that time, someone poked my cheek. I turned my head and found a biscuit.
“Huh? You want me to eat it?”
Nod nod. The head moved cutely. I smiled, took the biscuit and put it in Lee Gilyoung’s mouth.
“I’m okay. You eat it. Ah, I should tell you something... everyone, do you still have the food you ate yesterday?”
“Yes, I have it.”
“I have a bit left.”
“Why? Do you want to buy it back? I will sell it.” Jung Heewon waved the biscuit in a playful manner.
“No, you should eat it now.”
“Eat it all before today. You should do it.” I repeatedly stressed. “Or you will regret it.”
“Why...no, wait a minute. Sangah-ssi, what are you doing now? Why are you listening to him?”
“There is a reason why Dokja-ssi would say this.”
Yoo Sangah smiled sweetly and opened a bag of biscuits. Lee Hyunsung was confused but ate the food. Meanwhile, Lee Gilyoung had eaten it the moment I spoke. He was a good listener.
“Ah well...I will leave one back.”
“I won’t stop you.”
I shrugged at Jung Heewon’s words. It was up to her to regret it.
At lunch time, there was a major announcement from the mainstream group. Cheon Inho stood on a platform surrounded by people and said.
“We will limit the food ration from today. The allocation is three biscuits per person. And―”
People became irritated before the speech was over.
“What? Three biscuits? How can we live on that?”
“That’s right! Don’t the scouts get more food? Do you think we don’t know?”
Despite being cursed at, Cheon Inho just laughed calmly.
“Your words are good. Yes. The scouts receive more rations. If you want food, please apply to be a scout.”
“Very few people have come back after applying to be a scout! The Cheoldoo Group members are the ones who always come back!”
“Do you want us to die now?”
Cheon Inho was nonchalant despite the violence reactions of the citizens.
“Those people were just unlucky. You know that it is terribly dangerous outside. Why don’t you obtain food yourself if you are dissatisfied?”
The people closed their mouths dumbly. If they went out now, they would die. Everyone knew this.
Cheon Inho wasn’t finished.
“Ah, there is a way to get food without being a scout.”
“What is it?”
“A deal. We will be happy to exchange food for anything we determine to be of value. Every person can give something different. Isn’t that right?”
Cheon Inho’s cold gaze caused the people to tremble. It was mostly the people who came to me yesterday and bought food.
[The character ‘Cheon Inho’ has activated the ‘Incite Lv. 2’ skill.
“Originally, I wasn’t going to do this. But yesterday, Kim Dokja-ssi told me something nice. That’s right everyone. Is there anything free in the world? If you want food, you have to prove your worth. This is the way it is. Haha, thank you for telling me something good. Kim Dokja-ssi.”
...Look at this?
At this moment, everyone’s attention was focused on me. Their eyes were mostly filled with resentment.
“Because of that bastard...”
People wanted to be stupid and Cheon Inho had the ‘Incite’ skill. It was a skill that most good group leaders would have. But this way, the hostility would turn towards me again...
I looked at the back of Cheon Inho. It was a cute level. At least compared to the people at Chungmuro and Seoul Station.
The people gathered in front of the podium were already trying to bargain.
“I-I will buy it with coins. How much do you want?”
“Huh? But I don’t have that many coins.”
“Then go away.”
200 coins for one piece of food. Even the dokkaebi was likely to pass out.
One of the Cheoldoo Group selling food saw my look and trembled. He had a bandage around his thigh and seemed to be one of the guys I beat up yesterday.
“Did I ever say thank you for yesterday?”
I suddenly turned my head and saw Jung Heewon standing nearby.
“I think I heard it.”
“Still, I want to thank you again.”
I wanted to say something but Jung Heewon’s eyes were fixed on the injured Cheoldoo member.
“The one with the injured leg, he was the one who tried to rape me yesterday.”
“Don’t touch him because I will kill him myself. Understood?”
Her killing intent was impressive. Was she chosen by a sponsor or was it a late blooming attribute?
[The exclusive skill, Character List is activated.]
I was a little worried about using this skill. This woman would’ve died if I hadn’t saved her. Would she be registered as a character?
Name: Jung Heewon
Age: 27 years old.
Constellation Sponsor: None (Three constellations are currently showing interest in this person).
Private Attribute: Crouching Figure (General)
Exclusive skills: Demon Slayer Lv. 1, Kendo Lv. 1.
Overall Stats: Stamina Lv. 4, Strength Lv. 4, Agility Lv. 7, Magic Power Lv. 4.
Overall Evaluation: She was a ‘crouching figure’ with enormous potential. The attribute information wasn’t verified yet because the attribute hadn’t blossomed.
Fortunately, her information appeared. It was different from Yoo Sangah, Lee Gilyoung and Han Myungoh. Was she originally not abandoned? By the way, it was a very interesting exclusive attribute.
It didn’t seem big based on the name, but it was one of the few ‘super evolutionary’ attributes in Ways of Destruction. ‘Crouching Figure’ was a general rated attribute, but it could reach a rare or legendary rating depending on the occasion.
One of the 100 strongest people in Ways of Survival, the Crazy Butcher evolved from ‘Crouching Figure.’
Jung Heewon I thought she was just a passing person but I might have to consider taking her as a colleague.
It would take a while to grow her ‘Demon Slaying’ skill but this woman could become a powerful hitman if she was raised well.
“By the way, Dokja-ssi is very calm.”
Calm... It might seem like that.
“I am familiar with situations like this in the novel.”
“Huh? Does that make sense... Wait a minute. Where are you going?”
I didn’t answer and descended from the platform. Jung Heewon wanted to come with me and I reached out a hand to stop her.
Jung Heewon landed lightly below the platform.
I walked along the railway tracks and watched the tunnel road to Yaksu Station. It was filled with thick darkness and the inside wasn’t visible, but it smelt terrible. It was a bloody smell.
“You aren’t going inside are you?”
Jung Heewon asked.
“Everyone who went that way has died. The thugs or anyone else. Everyone who goes inside will unconditionally die.”
Her words were wrong. Not everyone died. At least one person had already gone down this road and moved onto the next station.
We climbed onto the platform again. We had been gone for quite a time but the line of people to trade food was still long.
Some people who protested against the mainstream group were beaten up and other paid unusual prices for the food.
Shortly afterwards, Jung Heewon saw a few young women from the marginalized group sneak into the back of a tarp and she became furious.
“Ah, really annoying. Did you see that?”
“I saw it.”
Cheon Inho had said it. ‘Anything’ could be exchanged for food. But the girls who just entered weren’t carrying anything.
Jung Heewon sprang to her feet.
“I can’t just watch this.”
“What will you do?”
“Stop it. I have to tell them not to do it, no matter the circumstances!”
“Then those women will starve.”
“Are you just going to watch?”
“Yes, I think you should just watch this time.”
“What do you mean by that?”
I silently received Jung Heewon’s contemptuous gaze.
“Jung Heewon-ssi, stopping those women won’t solve the current problem. Even if you stop them now, something similar will occur late at night.”
“...Then I will stop them again. I will stop it and stop it.”
“Then what about their food? Among those who just entered the tarp, there is a mother with a child. If that child starves to death, will Jung Heewon-ssi be responsible for the child’s death?”
Jung Heewon’s eyes shook. She bowed her head as if to hide her expression.
“...Then what can I do? The alternative...”
I looked up at Jung Heewon.
With this, Jung Heewon wouldn’t do anything unexpected. She was a ‘Crouching Figure’ with ‘Demon Slaying.’ Depending on how she acted, Jung Heewon might evolve into an indiscriminate murderer.
“Jung Heewon-ssi, the key to this problem is food. Isn’t that right?”
“Then we need to remove the cause of the problem.”
I looked at my watch instead of answering. It was time.
Yes, he showed up. The air split apart and a familiar figure was revealed. Screams came from everywhere. The nightmare of humanity that opened up this tragedy.
[H-How are you all doing? Haven’t you been free for a while?]
The people panicked at the appearance of the dokkaebi. It was never a good thing when this guy showed up. Even Jung Heewon, who was full of energy, flinched momentarily.
By the way, it wasn’t Bihyung. Originally, Bihyung was the dokkaebi responsible for all nearby channels. But this guy was different. Unlike the pure white fur of Bihyung, this dokkaebi had black fur.
[M-My friend who was originally in charge of this channel is undergoing disciplinary action... S-So, I am responsible for this scenario.]
The dokkaebi’s timid tone was very memorable.
[T-Then everyone. D-Don’t you look very peaceful? T-That Bihyung, he pretended to be pretentious only to set this level of scenario difficulty...]
“W-What are you saying? Tell us what you want!”
[H-Hik. Don’t be angry. Everyone. A-Anyway, I came for you guys...]
“T-Then give us food!”
[F-Food? Aha...if you want food...]
After his words ended, the dokkaebi moved his hand.
[A scenario penalty has been added.]
[From now on, food stockpiling is limited.]
[All existing stockpiled food has disappeared.]
The people with emergency food screamed. Whether it was from the mainstream group or marginalized group, everything that was called ‘food’ floated in the air.
[He, hehe. Then everyone. You can’t. Y-You have to think about how to break the scenario.]
The canned food, biscuits, calorie bars, etc. The emergency food gathered by the people were destroyed with one gesture from the dokkaebi. The people’s expressions became grim when they saw the food disappearing.
[Y-You want to eat? In any case, Earth trash...]
His tone suddenly changed. I seemed to remember his name. According to the original setting, there was one dokkaebi like this. His tone was timid but he was crueler than any dokkaebi.
In the distance, Cheon Inho was watching me with confused eyes.
[Everyone, let’s have fun from now on. Hehe...]
It was followed by system messages.
[A scenario penalty has been added.]
[The ‘survival cost’ clause has been added.]
[From now on, 100 coins will be deducted every night for the ‘survival cost’. If you can’t pay the ‘survival cost’, you will die.]
[The ‘survival cost’ penalty will be maintained until the second main scenario is cleared.]
I laughed as I read the rising messages. Yes, now it was like Ways of Survival.
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