Dead End Chapter 70

Dead End

Chapter 70

“It wasn’t just because of strength that they backed off.”

The three of them caught their breath as they watched the fatty zombie crunching down on another zombie. Skulls crushed, bones munched like crisps, the fatty spit out the corpse as if dissatisfied with the taste before throwing it aside. The falling body seemed to signal the next move.

The runner zombie charged forward, shoving other Beta zombies out of the way, while the fatty shielded its head and advanced. Tae-Hwan Sohn took his chance to hurl a firefighter’s axe toward the fatty.

‘This guy won’t go down unless you hit a vital spot!’

True to his prediction, the fatty withstood the impact of the axe. Taking advantage of this, Tae-Hwan received a sniper rifle from Han Soo-Jin, aiming for the fatty’s head. The Dragunov’s bullets, larger than the standard 5.56mm rifle rounds, packed a greater punch.

Thud. The fatty zombie’s hand trembled as the Dragunov round shattered its bone. Even with its immense durability, the fatty couldn’t prevent its bones from breaking. With the break came the twisting of muscles, and before it could even swing its pillar, its wrist snapped off and tore away. The fatty looked at its hand, seemingly unable to comprehend what had happened.

‘Regeneration is not happening!’

Tae-Hwan shouted with triumph upon witnessing this scene. He had seen the same during the runner and the spike zombie encounters. If they could regenerate, the runner’s eye and the spike zombie’s impaled neck would have healed and returned to normal.

In other words, no matter how superhuman the abilities of an Alpha zombie, it couldn’t regenerate. Simultaneously, Tae-Hwan realized how to combat Alpha zombies.

Attack their sense organs like eyes and nose, and as shown with the fatty zombie, incapacitate their bones without necessarily targeting the head directly.

“Shepherd! Set to automatic and go for the runner’s legs! He’ll back off!”

“Okay!”

Shepherd, having witnessed Tae-Hwan’s lucky shot, understood now how to engage the Alpha zombies. He carefully fired three shots at the runner’s legs. Not having to aim for the head was akin to Columbus’s egg.

“You think that’s enough, you bastard!”

The runner, though easier to deal with than the ‘one-armed’, showed that it could still defy expectation by dodging bullets in an abrupt angle change, mimicking the movement of African gazelles or zebras, rather than ordinary human evasions. Shepherd succeeded in halting the runner’s charge, and Tae-Hwan grabbed his hand in the meantime.

“The spike guy’s coming! You don’t need to shoot! Just keep them at bay!”

Hearing the gunfire, the most ferocious predator turned its attention to them. Ignoring the fatty and the runner, Tae-Hwan and the two others leaped down from the container building and crossed the runway. There were hardly any Beta zombies left, and they were running towards a pile of supplies packed in backpacks on the other side of the runway, which promised another chance for a strategy.

“Damn it, run!”

The runner and the spike zombie were the real problems. The spike zombie had already thrown a small container high into the sky, while the runner changed direction and followed Tae-Hwan’s group like a cheetah.

While running, Shepherd fired his rifle backward, but he couldn’t completely stop the incoming objects and the runner. White debris shot up like a bomb exploding on the runway as they dashed forward. The runner had closed the distance and Tae-Hwan felt as if he was plunging into darkness.

Then, suddenly.

“Sweet potato fries!”

Someone shouted loudly in Korean, followed by the rat-tat-tat of a machine gun. The runner veered off to avoid the gunfire, heading back towards the control tower, and the spike zombie also changed the direction of its throw.

“Dong-hyuk!”

Tae-Hwan took a deep breath, almost tripping, and yelled at the top of his lungs. Park Dong-Hyuk was bleeding profusely, shouting about sweet potato fries from atop the control tower. Beside him, another wounded person staggered to their feet and began throwing desks and other objects downwards.

At the beginning of the battle, when the spike zombie threw objects, both Xiao Wan and Park Dong-Hyuk had been hit with shrapnel and had lost consciousness.

“Hyung! Keep running! Sweet potato fries!”

As Tae-Hwan looked up at the control tower through his sights, tears welled up in his eyes. Park Dong-Hyuk waved cheerfully, hand blurry in front of Tae-Hwan’s eyes.

“Dong-hyuk!”

“Go! Survive with the doctor! Go!”

Once again, the spike zombie’s bombing focused on the control tower. Even the bone-broken fatty zombie took cover among other Betas, and Park Dong-Hyuk and Xiao Wan screamed frantically.

“Everyone go!”

“Go! Hyung…”

“Don’t just stand there like a fool! What are you doing?”

Son Tae-hwan wanted to tell him to come down, that they should go together, but he was too choked up to speak properly. Shepherd also looked on with reddened eyes, glancing at the scene through his binoculars.

The innards were already spilling out of Park Dong-hyuk’s stomach, and Xiao Yuan was spraying blood like a spray bottle from a critical wound on his chest. These two were past the point of survival. Yet they were gripping the machine gun to open a path for those who remained alive.

“Aaaahhhhh! Aaaaahhhhhh!”

“Go! Hyung! Goooo!”

Dong-hyuk didn’t even leave a last will, didn’t ask to pass on any words. It would have been easier for Son Tae-hwan if he had asked for a last wish or to be taken along. Park Dong-hyuk was helping without asking for anything in return. Son Tae-hwan hated himself for having doubted and even thought about abandoning him.

“Hyung! Thank you! I thought I would die at the Chinese base, but I was grateful to meet you again! Go! Survive!”

“Thank you.” Son Tae-hwan nearly fell as he ran the length of the runway, collapsing at those words.

“What’s there to be grateful for, you bastard! I. I! You damn son of a bitch, I was going to…”

Han Su-jin also shed endless tears, supporting Son Tae-hwan. She, too, had doubted Park Dong-hyuk a tad. That guilt made her cry. Even Shepherd, who didn’t fully grasp the situation, ran forward with a bitter expression on his face.

Park Dong-hyuk was again firing his machine gun towards the iron bar from the battered control tower. Right then, other alpha zombies came into view. He smirked at Xiao Yuan.

“Xiao Yuan. Farewell. No, Korean greetings don’t cut it. Chinese is better. See you again.”

“Yeah. You too. Zàijiàn.”

The two smiled grimly, holding the machine gun that had just run out of its 180 rounds of ammo. Then, a container flew with a whoosh and completely crushed the second floor of the control tower. With that, the battle at the Chile base was over.

Son Tae-hwan’s brilliant plan was trashed, and the Chile base was overrun with living corpses. Howls like wolves echoed from all around, and zombies devoured the bodies of the dead.

“Run! Su-jin! Run!”

Son Tae-hwan, his breath short, ran across the runway to the western end. They traversed snow pits and kept running. The alpha and beta zombies no longer pursued them, but they still sprinted on.

They paused briefly where they had hidden their backpacks but ran the 5-kilometer distance nonetheless. When the Chile base could no longer be seen or the zombies’ screams heard, they collapsed onto the snowbank.

For a while, only heavy breathing could be heard. Shepherd lay on his back, staring at the sky, while Son Tae-hwan clutched the snow, face-down. Even in the cold weather, sweat dropped and froze upon hitting the snow. Han Su-jin also panted, exhaling white breaths.

“Hey. Su-jin.”

“Huff, huff. What is it, senior?”

“My tears won’t come out; I only sweat. Shit. Is that even medically possible?”

Han Su-jin found it strange that sweat drops flowed instead of tears from her eyes. She approached Son Tae-hwan and laid her hand on his back. Without saying a word, she supported him for a long time. She did not blame him or even share in his sorrow. She supported him from behind. Son Tae-hwan was grateful for her silence. If she had spoken about Park Dong-hyuk, he might have completely broken down.

‘Human.’

Son Tae-hwan thought bitterly about people at that moment. He had not trusted Park Dong-hyuk, intent on abandoning him as a burdensome injured member. Yet, incredulously, the man he distrusted had saved them. In his mind, words of gratitude echoed.

“What’s there to be grateful for.”

Sometimes, what is trivial to one person may be a vast grace to another. Park Dong-hyuk was betrayed and abandoned by someone who had left Sejong base before him. Son Tae-hwan understood what ‘thank you’ meant to him.

‘Thank you for not abandoning me.’

‘Thank you for sharing your food with me.’

Son Tae-hwan had been fair and kind to Park Dong-hyuk. That’s why Park Dong-hyuk helped Son Tae-hwan and Han Su-jin. He tried to cry, but no tears came out, only sweat that turned into brittle ice, and he groaned deeply once more. Park Dong-hyuk had told them to survive as his last words, and that voice echoed.

‘Dong-hyuk, now our survival will be your last will. You fool. Why didn’t you ask me to convey something to your loved one, you fool.’

Survive.

That word resonated even more profoundly. Surviving was no longer about simple survival; it meant escaping this detestable snow kingdom to prevent Park Dong-hyuk’s death from being in vain. With that thought, Son Tae-hwan stood up again.

“Let’s go.”



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