Dead End Chapter 112

Dead End

Dead End Chapter 112

Chapter 112

“Kelly! Alejandro! Hurry and go down the ladder first!”

Paula, who had drawn her bow before anyone else, now pulled on the bowstring. Thwack—the arrow hit the horse’s forehead with precision. The horse that had been trying to leap onto the roof lost its balance when it was struck by the arrow and crashed into the wall next to it with a loud thud.

“Is it dead?”

“No! It’s still moving!”

Although Paula’s shot was impressively accurate given how quickly she had fired, the problem was that the distance was too short for the arrow to gain adequate speed. The horse seemed barely affected by the arrow buried in its forehead. It neighed aggressively, started stomping the ground with its hooves, and in an instant, leaped towards Paula again.

For a moment, Son Taehwan couldn’t see the moon in the sky because of the leaping horse. It felt like a monstrous creature that had come from hell rather than just a horse.

As it descended, it crushed the spot where Paula had been standing. The horse’s hooves stamped down on the roof like using a stamp press, causing the roof’s main beam to collapse amidst a crash, the roof tumbling down, and dust rising everywhere.

The spot where Paula had been completely collapsed, and Son Taehwan called out for her.

“Paula!”

“I’m okay! Everyone, run away! It’s dangerous!”

Paula, hanging onto the edge of the collapsing roof, gestured to Son Taehwan to run away. Meanwhile, the horse attempted to trample Paula again, climbing over the rubble like a mountain goat ascends a cliff.

Son Taehwan, with a shotgun in his mouth and reaching out with his left hand, grabbed Paula by the scruff of her neck and pulled her up.

“Uh?”

Paula was an adult woman weighing more than 50 kilograms. Yet, with only one hand, Son Taehwan lifted her up to the roof as if he was helping up a teddy bear. Once on the roof, Paula rolled and their eyes met.

“How, how did you do that?”

Son Taehwan, unable to answer with the gun in his mouth, wouldn’t have had the time to respond even if he could. The horse reared up again, like one from a painting of Napoleon, trying to bring down its hooves on Son Taehwan’s head.

Son Taehwan, now holding the gun in his left hand, aimed at the horse’s head and pulled the trigger.

“Damn it! Of all things, birdshot!”

The shotgun spat out birdshot like sparks of fire, and the side of the horse’s neck burst open. Birdshot, consisting of small pellets, is generally used for hunting game birds like pheasants or ducks. For bigger animals like deer or wild boar, one would use buckshot.

Another mistake by Son Taehwan was not checking the ‘choke.’ The choke is a metal constriction at the end of a shotgun barrel that controls the spread of the shot. Depending on the situation, changing the choke allows for more focused or spread shots. The choke on this gun was unfortunately set for close range. Fighting the beta zombies just outside the barrier wall didn’t require choke adjustments, but now the situation was different.

To take down this horse, a solid hit was needed.

The birdshot strongly struck the side of the horse’s neck due to the choke setting. The flesh was torn, resembling raindrops on mud, rotten flesh scattering with black steam rising from the wound.

“Shit! This has gone to hell!”

The horse tried to stomp down on Son Taehwan’s head with its hooves. Son Taehwan rolled aside, barely dodging them. The horse continued, pulverizing the wooden roof like a hammer dismantling it, with dust flying everywhere.

Son Taehwan kept rolling on the roof and felt himself momentarily in mid-air.

“Damn it!”

He rolled off the edge of the roof and crashed into a well-tended rose bush. Thorns scraped his face and the back of his hands, and he felt a sharp pain in his coccyx from the fall. Yet he was relieved he could still feel pain. His right hand, torn up by the rose thorns, was now nearly numb. Son Taehwan knew exactly what that meant.

‘I’m… turning into a zombie. Although it’s slower than the others, I’m becoming one of them!’

Panic set in as his heart pounded and he felt a crushing weight on his chest.

“Damn it! I have to save Sujin and the others from the Maestro! Damn, there’s no time!”

Son Taehwan was acutely aware of the time limit imposed on his own body. If he died or turned into a zombie, Paula and the others would collect his gun and not search all the way to the airplane without him.

“Shit! Just a bit more! That’s all I need!”

Son Taehwan forced himself to stand up from the rose bush, gun still in his left hand, and then collapsed forward. From the roof, Kelly and Paula desperately called out to him.

“Hey! Are you okay?”

“He’s not dead! Get his gun first! Eek!”

The eek from Kelly came because of the horse. The horse leaped again from the roof towards where Son Taehwan was in the rose bush, looking truly like it had come from hell.

With black steam swirling around its neck, the horse’s head was barely visible. From above, it resembled the headless mount of a Dullahan.

Son Taehwan once again rolled aside just in time to avoid the horse’s hoof. It was fortunate that he was wearing a thick parka, sparing him from most injuries except for his exposed hands and face. Staggering to his feet, Son Taehwan aimed his shotgun at the horse. He had already fired the shots, but there was one 22 caliber bullet left.

Son Taehwan pulled the rear trigger, and with a bang, flames burst again from the barrel.

“That damn unicorn son of a bitch!”

He couldn’t help but curse. The horse, which was about to charge at Son Taehwan, twisted its body like a deer leaping to the side, causing the bullet to miss miserably. Son Taehwan hurled himself into a house nearby, knowing well that fighting the monstrous horse in open space was akin to suicide.

Crashing through the wooden window frame, Son Taehwan rolled inside and pushed a table against the window.

Bang! The horse’s hooves smashed through the table, grazing Son Taehwan’s forehead. His beanie was ripped off and flew away as the horse kicked forcefully again.

If the horse managed a full-body hit, Son Taehwan would have been killed.

“Here! Over here, you cursed horse bastard!”

From up above, Paula’s cursing was heard as the horse’s hooves slipped from the table. She had probably shot an arrow at the horse. Son Taehwan was fervently hoping the arrow had pierced the horse’s head, but unfortunately, the sound of hooves and a ceiling crashing elsewhere followed.

“Hey, Son! Are you okay?”

“I’m still here! You should get inside too! Fighting that thing in the open is insane! I’ll draw its attention again!”

With the gun tucked at his side, Son Taehwan deftly ejected both the spent shotgun and 22 caliber casings with the tip of his little finger.

“Damn it, why didn’t they make the shell ejection automatic!”

Grumbling, he loaded the chamber with buckshot and another 22 caliber round. After repositioning the lever, he cleared the table away. Through the broken window frame, he saw the horse headbutt another house, probably where Paula and the others had fled.

Son Taehwan kicked a pot in that direction and shouted.

“Hey, sick unicorn bastard! Come over here and try stomping again!”

The pot clanged loudly on the asphalt, turning the horse’s head toward Son Taehwan. Meanwhile, Paula’s arrow, hampered by the black smoke, missed the horse’s unclear head, piercing harmlessly into another house instead.

‘Damn it! Can’t see the head because of the black smoke!’

It was a mistake to have used birdshot before. At this rate, Son Taehwan doubted he could hit the target from a distance, especially without any spare chokes.

‘I can’t hit with a shotgun unless I drag it within 10 meters. But it’s a horse we’re talking about! With the 22 caliber, even if it has longer range, can I kill that thing?’

The horse vented its frustration on the house Paula had shot from, pushing against it as if avenging itself.

“My God.”

The horse merely hopped and rammed the house, but the main beam collapsed and the entire structure toppled like dominoes. Although it hadn’t completely fallen, another ramming would surely result in a live burial for Paula and the others. The horse backed up a few steps to gain momentum, and Son Taehwan quickly aimed his gun.

Taking a deep breath, he laid his finger on the 22 caliber trigger. The 22 caliber Long Barrel was famously used to assassinate President Kennedy. Even though its lethality was questioned due to the bullet’s low destructive power, resulting in numerous conspiracy theories, the 22 caliber round was still a fatal weapon if aimed well.

“Phew, damn, I’ve hit targets at 500 meters. This is nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

As the horse charged forward, Son Taehwan pulled the trigger. Bang! The sound echoed, and he could sense that the bullet had hit close to the horse’s head, even from a distance.

“This damn beast! No, horse!”

The horse briefly tilted its head to the side and then fixed its gaze on Son Taehwan. Perhaps alpha zombies were indeed greatly influenced by their host’s ‘brain intelligence’. If the horse had been as clever as a killer whale, the group might have been annihilated by now.

Observing the horse’s actions thus far, it seemed to attack whatever attacked it first. Whereas a killer whale might have measured the distance and lured its prey into a trap, the host horse’s intelligence was not on the bright side.

“Paula! It’s not smart! It will unquestionably attack where it was last attacked from! We can use this to our advantage!”

“Ah! Got it!”

“We need to corner it in a tight spot! We’ll alternate attacks and draw it in!”

Their conversation was cut short as the horse charged at Son Taehwan. Despite the billowing black smoke originating from its head, the horse leaped accurately towards him.

Son Taehwan readied his gun as the horse launched itself. Being in the air made the horse’s trajectory somewhat predictable, even if it could twist its body to some extent. Not having automatic fire on the shotgun was a critical flaw, but Son Taehwan felt this time he would hit the mark as he prepared to pull the trigger.

But for a moment, both Son Taehwan and Paula’s group forgot something crucial.

The real master of this city, Punta Arenas, was not this horse.

Behind Son Taehwan, there was a violent vibration as if a nuclear explosion had occurred, and everything inside the house collapsed. The furniture crashed down, and as the house fell, Son Taehwan was trapped under a wooden closet. Luckily, the closet door was open, and he managed to squeeze inside.

The house’s debris rained down on the closet like beating on a large drum. How could the house collapse so suddenly? There was only one answer.

“Maestro!”

The Maestro had finally begun to move seriously. Son Taehwan was horrified to discover a ship’s propeller, looking initially like just a piece of metal. Now, it became clear he was looking at a propeller shaped like a throwing star from a fishing vessel. The Maestro had thrown the entire vessel at the horse with pinpoint precision.

“Is he planning to throw all the ships from the harbor? Crazy bastard.”

There was no time to complain. The Maestro could easily throw around heavy objects. If Son Taehwan didn’t escape from the closet soon, another object might crush him flat as a cockroach.

He desperately exerted his strength to lift the closet, but no matter how wooden the house was, it was still a house. The debris from a collapsing two-story building had completely buried the closet.

Straining with all his might, Son Taehwan glanced at the flashlight illuminating the floor. It was the one given to him by Alejandro earlier. The flashlight shone beside the broken closet door, hinting at a little space.

Without hesitation, Son Taehwan kicked the door and crawled in that direction. The closet had fallen next to the wall, making a triangular gap as it leaned against it.

Son Taehwan, covered in dust, crawled out of the rubble. There were pillars and other debris outside, but nothing too heavy.

“Oh damn! This is gonna kill me!”

However, just as he emerged from the house’s remains, Son Taehwan clutched his chest and collapsed forward. Another seizure struck him, this time far worse than the last. Foaming at the mouth, he crawled on the ground.

‘I can’t collapse here. Then everyone is in danger.’

Son Taehwan pictured Sujin’s face, following with the image ofAppier.Unable to stand, Taehwan clenched his fists and looked at his right hand.

“Damn it, at least… At least I should see Sujin before I die. What a crappy way to go. Hey right hand, son of a bitch, remember all the good times we shared…”



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