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Zin headed north, following the trail of the prototype. The deluge showed no signs of letting up. The road had turned into a slip and slide of mud. Any traces of the prototype were quickly disappearing, and tracking it was becoming increasingly difficult.
Zin didn’t have to think too hard about where the prototype was heading, though.
‘It’s got a pretty intense hatred for humans...especially the humans at Wargrave…’ Her hatred of humans could be cleaned from the fact that she’d completely destroyed Hyuljin, which had nothing to do with Wargrave. The level of hatred she harbored for Wargrave was surely exponentially greater.
‘She’ll head for Seoul Mass Confusion Point fortress,’ thought Zin to himself.
Two hundred years is a long time, but Zin had no trouble finding his way. There were things along the way that brought Zin’s past back to him. Zin didn’t have access to the data, and it was Charl who downloaded the information on the prototype. He was, however, able to get a pretty good look at the data over Charl’s shoulder.
He also had an idea about the witch’s power, judging by the level of destruction at Hyuljin.
Some of the victims died from blood hemorrhages, caused by something very large. This was enough to confirm that she has the power of tentacles (alien).
There were bodies where all the liquid was completely dried out, like a mummy (vampire).
He could also say with confidence that she had the powers of a demon, judging from the places on the ground where darkness had burst through and only sewage remained.
Lastly, he knew she had psychokinetic powers (witch).
She may have other powers, but those were the ones Zin could be sure of. Wargrave must’ve started with the powers of a witch, and added to that various powers of other devils.
‘If she’s got the powers of an alien, vampire, demon and witch…’
The word ‘devil’ was astoundingly insufficient to describe the power of this monster, who’d waited quite a long time to make her appearance. Zin had no experience facing a monster of her level.
Yet for devil hunters, the enemy is never invincible, and the fact that Zin was still alive was proof. Like he had always done before, Zin would successfully hunt and eliminate his target.
Zin continued to forge his way through the downpour. He had no choice but to move as fast as he could. He had no idea how fast the prototype was moving, and could not afford to fall too far behind.
The storm was erasing the devil’s footprints, making it hard for Zin follow her trace. All he could do was trust his gut and head to SMCP.
He was used to working on next to nothing to track devils. He’d hear a rumor of a devil, investigate, follow the clues, which would lead to more clues. Eventually the clues would end, and he’d be at the devil.
There were also many times when the devil wasn’t trying to hide at all, but rather acting in plain daylight. Thankfully for Zin, this devil wasn’t aware of the fact that a devil hunter was on its tail.
He was also following an absolutely straight line straight over the Peninsula - no water to cross. Of course, Zin would have no chance to find the devil if it chose some random corner to hide in. The farther north he moved, however, the more sure Zin was that she was heading towards SMCP.
On his fourth day north, Zin picked up the pace.
Minus the sound of the rain, the surrounding area was deafeningly quiet. Not once did Zin hear the roar of a monster.
‘Is she rounding up all the monsters on her way north?’
Devil or no devil, at the end of the day it’s just a pile of meat. It can’t cover all areas, especially the ones out of its line of sight. Zin had an idea that the devil was using its psychowave to sweep up all the monsters, controlling them and forcing them north with her. She must be planning to use them to attack the fortress.
‘This is getting better and better.’
She’s already broken out of confinement. She’s got plenty of power. She be flying from excitement. That could be an advantage to Zin. The more excited she gets, the less aware she’ll be of anyone chasing her.
‘Busan fortress fell so easily because the fight took place on the inside. Attacks from Peninsula monsters aren’t enough to take down a Wargrave fortress. If they heard about what happened at the Busan fortress, they’ll be even more prepared. It’s going to be quite a battle. The devil will have no choice but to join the fray herself.’
‘Shoot when the enemy is sure of victory. I’ll have to use the NTW-20...first time in a long time.’
Zin realized that it was time to take out the giant sniper rifle. It’d been dormant in his void container for quite a while now. 20mm exorcism rounds should be enough to provide a killshot to even a hybrid devil. The key moments of the battle wouldn’t last long.
While it may seem like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut, Zin was of the opinion that ending this battle quickly was in his best interests. Once he’d settled on his plan, however, he didn’t budge from his stance. He had a bad look on his face.
Zin was standing in front of Ard Point. He could see a junkwagon in front of him through the downpour. Zin was confident the devil would be moving faster than him. It was clear that he’d need some serious horsepower if he wanted to catch her.
Moving faster than the devil necessitated taking the junkwagon. The noise from the storm would successfully mute the sound of the noisy engine. Up until now, however, Zin had avoided junkwagons like the plague.
“Ugh….motherfucker,” muttered Zin as he let out a sigh in frustration. It’d been so long since he’d ridden a junkwagon, that a whole new curse had graced his lips. He stared fixedly at the junkwagon before finally moving.
‘One of the wheels will probably break soon in this storm anyway.’ If that were to happen Zin would be in trouble. If the reactor then decided to explode it would be a catastrophe. In the end, Zin decided to start running, leaving the junkwagon behind.
‘I’d rather die than get on one of those deathtraps’ mumbled Zin, running as hard as he could through the rain. Zin’s maximum effort was faster than a normal human.
Nevertheless, the junkwagon indeed would’ve been faster.
The storm went on for much longer than a normal storm. A few days later, Zin discovered what he had expected - dozens monster tracks heading north, towards Seoul. The storm and the wave of monsters had started at the same time, both sweeping the Peninsula as they headed north.
Just like the last free city he had just been through, by the time he got there, Shira had already played host to a feast of murder and flesh. Zin passed through about as fast as he could, quickly scanning the bodies for clues or anything useful.
‘They died fairly recently. Couldn’t have been more than a day.’
The attack on SMCP may have already started. Zin began to run faster. The monster tracks were begin to cluster and multiply. Zin ran over and through rubble.
The cries from the monsters rang out in all directions. None of the tall buildings that at one time dominated the skyline in Gangnam remained. The MCP had appeared in Gangnam, and the fortress had been built around that. The group of monsters was now surrounding the fortress. Zin was getting closer.
Zin ascended a half collapsed building when the roars were just loud enough. He wanted the higher ground. He could see far in every direction, thanks to the clear horizon after the rain. From his position Zin could see the sturdy walls of the Wargrave fortress. The scene outside the fortress could only be described as the seventh circle of hell.
There was a laser positioned on top of the fortress, and every time it fired, dozens of monsters were engulfed in flames.
‘There were this many monsters on the Peninsula?’ wondered Zin, astounded. The sheer number was enough to shock anyone. While some of the monsters were small and relatively harmless, the size of the legion suggested that the devil had rounded up every single monster on the Peninsula.
The prototype’s power in controlling the legion of monsters was enough to shock even Zin. The monsters were using the bodies of their dead comrades as a makeshift ramp, steadily ascending the fortress walls. The witch had made the monsters into an emotionless machine. The monsters under her control would either rip the enemy to shreds, or die protecting her, acting like a shield.
A legion this large under the control of such a powerful witch was a terrifying conceit. The fortress was no pushover, either. The laser on top of the fortress continued to fire, instantly turning its targets into ash. And the laser wasn’t the only defense.
Countless Wargrave soldiers positioned on top of the fortress were holding off the charge of the monsters with their high powered weapons. Wargrave was indeed at a disadvantage in terms of numbers. But numbers was all the legion of monsters had.
Zin took out his giant sniper and made the necessary preparations. His target was at least a kilometer away. He began his search. Thankfully for Zin, he was able to find his target without changing his position.
“Help! Save me!!”
The white-haired witch had her hand extended, with tentacles extending from each of her fingers like arrows. They wrapped around soldiers’ necks, throwing them off the top of the fortress without hesitation.
Thankfully for the soldiers, they fell to quick deaths into the thrashing mouths of the monsters below.
‘Is she strong enough to take down these walls?’
The witch continued to use her finger tentacles to grab soldiers and chuck them off the fortress. Any time one of the soldiers tried to shoot at her, she used her tentacles to form a kind of wall, blocking the attack. She seemed amused every time this happened.
The Wargrave soldiers continued to die, their numbers dwindling. At the same time, the monster legion was not unlimited in number. Soon, a space opened in the fortress wall, and white smoke began to shoot towards the monsters below.
The monsters clinging to the wall collapsed and fell immediately at the appearance of the smoke. The walls of a fortress are indeed not just walls. They can act as weapons as well. The white phosphorous smoke pouring out of the the holes in the walls leveled all the monsters in its path.
The laser atop the wall had also been altered, and blue rounds began to stream out of it. The fortress was prepared for this kind of battle, and it was built to fight back.
The thousands of lasers shooting from the top of the fortress shrouded the monsters in its path with blue smoke, throwing them off the walls. The walls were soon empty of monsters. The legion of monsters had taken a nearly fatal blow in a matter of seconds. Wargrave had purposefully held back some of their firepower to lure the monsters within range. Once they were in close enough, they unleashed hell, dealing the legion a devastating blow.
One soldier atop the fortress walls let out a sigh of relief.
“Phew, we can relax a bit now. What the fuck was that thing?” said the soldier. The soldiers had no idea about the prototype. It wasn’t a surprise that they had no idea what they were dealing with.
“The response team will be here soon. The warrant officer will is coming too. Just wait.”
“Yeah, but I think…”
“Just shut up and keep watch.”
The first soldier nodded his head to the superior officer’s command. Despite all of their attacks, the white-haired witch didn’t seemed affected at all. She easily blocked all attacks directed at her, and once the monsters were all eliminated, the attacks against her stopped.
Zin watched the scene unfold through his scope.
‘Normal attacks won’t work on her. Is that because of her alien and vampire powers?’ thought Zin. She was using her tentacle wall as a decoy. In reality, the physical attacks had no effect on her. She didn’t need the tentacle wall. Zin waited for the right timing.
‘Okay...what are you going to do now? You don’t have any monsters to take down the walls. Are you going to scale the walls and fight the soldiers in close combat?’ questioned Zin. the white-haired witch didn’t seem bothered at all that the monsters she’d brought were all dead. In fact, she looked utterly composed.
The witch laughed in ridicule the moment the heard the noise of the soldiers’ next attack.
“You’re paying too much attention to your exterior walls, friends.”
Monster roars began to sound this time not from the exterior walls, but the interior walls of the fortress. Nearly all of Wargrave’s forces were currently focused on the exterior walls. For all intents and purposes, in fact, their interior walls were defenseless.
‘The fight at the exterior walls was a trap.’
The sound ringing from the interior walls was enough to get anyone’s attention. The few soldiers atop the interior walls fired ceaselessly, but the monsters they were dealing with were completely different than the monsters outside the fortress. Wargrave’s special forces unit, armed to the teeth, had already rushed to the exterior walls to take on the prototype.
“Go to hell you assholes!!” shouted the witch.
With that, the witch’s giant tentacles began their assault on the concrete walls.