“Where did everyone go?”
The first scenery the Cha Jun Sung sees is similar to the bunker that Park Jin Hyuk brought him to a long time ago.
The way out is so small that a person would need to crawl out, and the inside is a flat square that cannot be more than 350 square feet. He is taken aback because 100 people entered, but he is only looking at his party of 10.
[There isn’t a secure area for 100 people to enter at the same time, so we have summoned you as parties in groups of 10 to bunkers. Each party is 2 to 3 km apart, and your PDAs are linked so that you can check each other’s locations.]
Odin’s voice comes through the battle suit. Rather than Odin speaking, it is a group announcement. Each of the Lifers’ helpers relayed the same message verbatim.
“So this means that the party closest to us is 2km away?”
“I guess so.”
The additional rankers Puppet and Black Leopard are going through the situation. Invisible stayed back. He has a quiet personality. He is too quiet. He has not said more than 20 words in the month that they have worked together. Nine Tails found something interesting and has a wide smile. Light Shooter is busy looking around.
“Seems like that’s the only way out.”
Park Jin Hyuk bends down and opens the bunker entrance. The sensors on his battle suit do not detect mutants.
“Shall we go out?”
“No. We have to wait until they radio in.”
It is a group effort. They cannot act on their own will. If the force is in the same situation, Strategist, the force leader, will lay out the commands.
[I’m sure you all heard the helpers’ notice?]
[We can’t see the terrain on the PDA, but each party’s location is roughly indicated with a dot. Rather than forcing everyone to meet up, it would be better to have each party search the areas they are in individually and join the parties that are closest to them.]
He wants them to go from 10 groups to 5, 5 to 3, and then to 1.
The goal of Public Underground is annihilation. They cannot leave a single being alive. It is dangerous, but it is better to have separate groups in order to search a wide area.
One party is made up of 10 battle suit owners. They can take on 3 or 4 level 5s even if they are top level. It seems there will not be much trouble as long as they do not run into level 6s.
“I’ll go out first.”
Cha Jun Sung hunched down and left the bunker. The party members followed him out in a line. They barely crawled out due to the size of their battle suits. It is not a space where more than 1 person can squeeze out at a time.
“It’s the Underpass.”
As soon as Park Jin Hyuk came out, he saw the outside foreground and realized that it is the Underpass he had gone in and out of regularly before. It is a little different, but there are a lot of things that overlap.
“You know where we are?”
“It’s not close to where I used to work. That’s worth 500 points, so it can’t be compared to 2 million. It feels like dozens of Blood Suckers could come bursting out at anytime.”
A musty smell tingles their noses. It smells rotten and fishy. The ground is flat but there is a large crater in the middle where strange dregs float on top of water. The ceiling is semi-circular, and is without a doubt a groundwater well.
A red dot blinks on Cha Jun Sung’s PDA. A party nearby is approaching to join them. They are slow. There is the inclination to be prepared for attacks from Blood Suckers and the path is not a straight path, but is more complicated like a maze.
“Let’s go in the direction that they’re coming in.”
The directions they can go are forward and backwards. The party is coming from behind them. They will create more distance if they go forward, so they need to go backwards and get closer.
“As expected, let’s take turns doing a field scan. We can quickly recharge the battle suit because we have a rapid charging device, but we should save it.”
Cha Jun Sung turned his field scan on. 10 people are bunched together. The effect is increased if they are far apart and is a waste of energy when they are together.
A radius of hundreds of meters is scanned in front of the battle suit hologram. The terrain is extremely complex. It is just the one path they see in front of them right now, but if they go in a little deeper, it forks out in dozens of different directions. Lifers without battle suits would not be able to find the path and get lost.
“Jun Sung, it isn’t narrowing.”
“I guess it’s because of the maze.”
2 to 3km is not a large distance. It is close enough to be a 40 minute walking distance at most. However, 20 minutes has passed and they have not gotten through a fourth of the way. The trip is taking longer than they thought it would because they are going back and forth in a twisted path.
They do not rush. Not even an hour has passed since they entered the mission. They do not know how long they will have to stay in here, so they will not last long if they start to become impatient already.
[What’s wrong with this path?]
[It feels like we’re looking for hidden pictures even though we’re walking with the field scan.]
The Lifers send messages over the radio. They are all experiencing the complexity of the path.
Cha Jun Sung halts.
“What is it?”
Cha Jun Sung leaves his party and walks forward alone. His heat sensor picked up something gathered to one place. He cannot tell how many of them there are because they are at the end of the field scan, but more are being picked up the closer he goes.
He gestures with a finger behind him to tell them to come. Using body language instead of talking means that there are mutants up ahead.
[Turn on your field scan.]
The 9 party members turned their field scans on. Red and yellow marks are dotted in the scope. There are hundreds of them.
[It seems like this is the Blood Devil’s nest. I told you before, right?]
When Park Jin Hyuk first entered Underpass, his party threw a photothermal bomb into a hole because they heard strange sounds. A level 3 Blood Devil jumped out and killed the entire party. The numbers and appearance of it is exactly that.
[Party 4 is going into battle.]
[Party 7 is going into battle.]
When Cha Jun Sung’s group discovered the Blood Suckers, other parties entered into battle. If the mutants are spread out throughout Underpass, they cannot avoid battling either.
[Party 10 is going as well.]
Cha Jun Sung is the head of party 10. He cannot just pass by it. They need to kill every last one of them because it is an annihilation mission.
“Let’s go lightly since we’re in the first half.”
Their sight is brightened. Night vision lets him see the dark underpass as though it is in broad daylight, and the heat detector and infrared sensor scan over the topography.
“I see the hole over there.”
If they use the battle suit, the sound of footsteps is reduced and their smells are hidden. Blood Parasites’ senses are degenerated. They can only smell. Due to that, the enemy did not approach them.
Cha Jun Sung goes into the hole. He does not hesitate. The same goes for his party members.
Cool air raises the hair on their skin. The Blood Parasites that had been asleep inside, scream. This is an attack out of the blue.
The party slaughtered them easily. They are just level 1. They are helpless against battle suits that can take on level 5s.
They heard a sharp sound while they were killing for a while. The Blood Parasites had pinpointed the location of Cha Jun Sung’s party exactly, and are all swarming in at the same time. They do not even leave a scratch.
They cut through the ones that bite with their vibrating weapons. They even ripped the parasites apart with their bare hands at times.
Park Jin Hyuk repeatedly hunted from the end of the party and quickly retreated to the back. A tail that has thorns longer than a human finger all over it, passes by him.
“It’s here. The Blood Demon.”
It is clearly visible even though it is dark. It is 10m tall, with thick skin, and thorns everywhere like a hedgehog. It is so hideous that it is impossible to find a similar creature to its face. It is as strange as an alien in a movie.
Its only characteristic is that it looks like a centipede with blades sticking out on either side of its body like hooks. A long time ago, it was so scary that he almost passed out.
There is 1 Blood Demon. It examines Park Jin Hyuk and circles him. He is so bored that he yawns.
It is swift. It wraps around Park Jin Hyuk within seconds. If he had been a normal human being, his entire body would have been punctured with holes.
The Blood Demon squeezes him as a snake would its prey, and its thorns scratch his battle suit, applying pressure.
“What are you doing. Let’s move.”
Park Jin Hyuk flexed his arm out. The Blood Demon’s body cannot beat that strength and rips. As a mutant, it is still alive even though its body is ripped.
“It’s proof that we’ve advanced.”
If Cha Jun Sung and Park Jin Hyuk had come across the Blood Demon when they first met, they would not have made it this far. They would have died on the spot.
“I think we could take on a couple hundred.”
“If the results are reversed even if the process is easy, the mission is going to the hills. Don’t let your guard down until the end.”
They need to catch the boss of Public Underground. There is no point in killing all of the subordinates if they cannot get the big one.
The battle was bland. They came back out of the hole before 5 minutes had passed. It seems there were about 300 mutants, but the 10 of them had not even warmed up.
“Is level 6 that strong?”
“If we measure the strength with the force as a standard, it’s extremely strong.”
The 3 top level Caicuses that ravaged Cha Jun Sung in the training room could take on 1 low level 6.
The deviation of strength following level is severe, but lowest and low levels have fairly large effects. But this is the highest of its level. If the difference is unimaginable, think about the difference between a low level 5 and top level 5.
“When thinking in terms of the virtual version, the basic type battle suit’s limit is low or mid level for this group.
Koharu helps Cha Jun Sung with his explanation. It is a party with 8 rankers. When their knowledge is put together, there is more that they know than they do not.
“So the key is for there not to be several level 5 or 6s.”
“Level 6 to be more precise.”
With the force members’ abilities, they can take on mid level 5s one-on-one. Top level would be two-to-one or three-to-one. Level 6? They will need at least 6 or 7 people. If they are beyond mid level, they will probably need 10 or 20 people to take them. If even 5 of them come out, half of the force’s strength will have to be focused on level 6s. It would be a tight face off because there will be a lot of level 3 and 4s as well.
“Let’s do our best. If we can’t do it even after giving it our best, it was an impossible mission in the first place.”
“There’s no such thing as impossible for us!”
Cha Jun Sung heard Park Jin Hyuk behind him and strut along their path again. He hoped Park Jin Hyuk was right, that nothing is impossible for them. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far