Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 4

Episode 4: Cataclysm (4)

“Pant, pant, pant!”

Choi Kyung-do ran like a madman, drooling.

“What the hell, what the hell is this!”

He was supposed to conduct a funeral as a funeral service employee, but suddenly a loud noise erupted and monsters he had never seen before started pouring out from all directions.

Initially thinking it was a movie shoot and watching curiously, he only realized the severity of the situation after seeing someone being devoured alive by a giant hound right next to him.

He moved quickly, always looking for places where people were gathered, and as soon as a giant hound attacked, he fled again. His judgment was quicker than anyone else’s.

“Oh, mister! Please help! Save me!”

A high school student running with him tripped, and unable to muster strength in his legs, he fell and cried out to Choi.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Choi abandoned the fallen boy.

“Save you? You look stronger than me, how can I help!”

Desperate to survive, Choi suddenly checked the road he was running on and his face turned pale.

“Damn, I’m screwed…!”

He was familiar with the area around the hospital’s funeral hall.

And he was running towards a dead end.

“Ah, no…!”

Reaching the dead end, Choi Kyung-do’s legs shook violently.

With eyes wet with despair, he looked back.

A giant hound sat silently, staring at him.

“Eek, eek!”

Struck by terrifying fear, Choi Kyung-do collapsed on the spot.

The word ‘death’ filled his mind, and involuntarily, his bladder gave out, his pants becoming wet.

“No, not like this…!”

As he started to lose consciousness, the giant hound suddenly turned its head to the right.

And then its mouth quietly opened.

Snap, snap, snap.

“Ah, save me!”

The sound of jaws clashing together incessantly filled the air, and Choi grabbed his head, burying his face on the ground.

His own body fluid made his face wet.

“Is anyone there?”

Just then, a human voice sounded, causing Choi to lift his face abruptly.

Tears were streaming down his face now.

“Ye-yes, someone’s here! Someone is here—!”

At his shout, a person appeared.

Shockingly, this person was riding on the back of the monstrous giant hound, and it was someone Choi Kyung-do knew all too well.

“You’re alive. That’s fortunate.”

Though Kang Sahu spoke from atop the giant hound, Choi could only tremble, a dumbfounded expression plastered on his face.

“What, wha… How are you here….”

“We don’t have much time. Let’s get moving. This place is safe now,” Kang Sahu said, and as if waiting for those words, the giant hound swiftly moved on.

In no time, Kang Sahu and two giant hounds had left, leaving Choi Kyung-do alone, his mouth agape in a dumbfounded expression.

* * *

Ratatatatata!

“Over here! Come this way!”

Suddenly arriving soldiers fired at the giant hounds, evacuating people.

The lower-ranked soldiers, facing this surreal situation, could not hide their dismay.

However, their commanding officer, seemingly aware of the situation before it unfolded, ordered calmly.

“Respond as trained! Stay calm!”

At his command, the soldiers fired their rifles at the giant hounds.

“Damn, all that crap about shooting drills and combat enhancement training at the end of my service! Did the officers know something like this would happen?!”

A soldier, close to discharge but dragged here by direct orders from headquarters, cursed.

Apparently, his cursing was not just from the hardship; it seemed, indeed, like the military deployment was unusually fast as if foreseeing this situation.

Other soldiers thought similarly, but seeing the monstrous creatures rushing towards them, they kept their mouths shut and did not stop firing.

Yet, whether due to thick skin or hard muscles, a squad of around ten could barely kill three giant hounds even after emptying an entire magazine.

“Damn, thought it was just a huge dog! This needs DEFCON level!”

Unaware of the full situation, soldiers who were deployed by the command screamed.

Considering the gravity of the situation, it seemed only tanks or grenades could address this dangerous threat.

“Hey! Watch out!”

As they were about to reload their magazines, three giant hounds seized the moment and leaped at the soldiers.

“Argh!”

“We’re gonna die!”

Soldiers clenched their eyes shut and thrust forward their bayonets attached to their rifles.

“Uh, uh… what?”

Feeling no contact with their rifles, the soldiers opened their eyes in shock.

The same type of monsters they had been confronting were now being torn apart by their own kind.

Crunch, crunch!

Snap, snap, snap!

Monsters emitting a faint green glow in their eyes tore their counterparts apart.

“What, what is this? What do we do?”

“What’s happening…?”

The soldiers, unable to comprehend the situation, hesitated on how to proceed.

The monsters that killed their own kind parted to the sides, creating a pathway.

“Gasp!”

“Oh, crazy!”

Seeing dozens of monsters lined up beyond the parted monsters, the soldiers screamed.

They were ready to shoot at any moment.

However, instead of monsters, people began running towards the soldiers through the cleared path, startling the soldiers enough to release their fingers from the triggers.

“It’s the military! We’re saved!”

“Ah! Finally, we’re safe!”

“Ah, wait, what the hell is this…?”

As the lined-up monsters crouched down on the ground, the soldiers remained bewildered by the incessant bizarre situations.

The crouching monsters made way for people, not themselves, coming through.

One of those riding approached the soldiers.

“Hello.”

The ordinary greeting, completely out of place in an urgent and dangerous situation, bewildered the soldiers.

The platoon leader, who had been watching from behind, rushed forward and stood in front of Kang Sa-hu.

“Hello. Are you perhaps an Awakener? Are these monsters under your control?”

“Yes, that’s correct. I’ve cleared the giant hound nearby with these guys.”

As Kang Sa-hu spoke from atop the giant hound, the soldiers wore expressions of disbelief.

While the soldiers were too shocked to say anything,

a voice came from the walkie-talkie on the platoon leader’s shoulder.

[This is the Company Commander. Report the current situation.]

As the platoon leader left to respond to the radio, Kang Sa-hu also took a long breath and relaxed his tense body.

[You’ve had a tough time.]

“Thanks to you. And, I’m sorry. I wanted to see you off well…”

As Kang Sa-hu muttered sincerely, Ryung burst into loud laughter.

He laughed so heartily that one could easily imagine him rolling on the floor holding his stomach if he were alive.

[You really take responsibility and pride in your work. I felt it from the first time I saw you.]

After finishing his words, Ryung simmered down his laughter and continued in a warm voice, as a grandmother would to a grandson.

[That will greatly aid your future. I have to depart now, but the world henceforth will be completely different from the world I knew.]

Kang Sa-hu was unable to respond.

He didn’t know what the future held, and he himself agreed with the thought.

[If it’s alright, please take good care of my son and granddaughter. I’m not asking you to continually watch over them or stay by their side. Just kindly look after them if your paths cross again.]

“I will do that.”

[Then I must be going. I only intended to show my face for a moment and leave, but this commotion has delayed me too much. If I linger further, I’ll wander eternally.]

The voice of the shaman’s spirit faded away like petals scattered in the wind.

Kang Sa-hu bowed his head slightly as he watched the fading spirit.

“Then, please take care.”

[Really… Thank you….]

With a final word of thanks, the shaman’s spirit completely vanished.

“…What’s he doing?”

“Uh, well, maybe he’s gone mad from the shock?”

“…Hey, don’t talk like that. What happens if the person controlling those monsters goes mad?”

As the senior snapped nervously, the junior mechanically replied, “Sorry,” and glanced at Kang Sa-hu.

‘…But if he’s not mad, that’s creepy in its own way.’

While muttering to himself and staring into the empty air,

he smiled peacefully amid the chaotic situation, a gesture difficult to easily accept as sane.

After the spirit departed, Kang Sa-hu made a call to his family.

Only then did he check his cellphone, to find numerous messages and missed calls.

[Son! Where are you? Are you hurt?!]

Right after the overseas roaming notification ended, his father’s worried voice came through the phone.

“Yes, Dad. I’m alright. But, due to the dangerous situation, I had to use some power…”

[What does that matter when it’s a life or death situation! Use it all! Even the forbidden rites—]

The voice, growing passionate, suddenly cut off with a snap.

[Son.]

His father’s voice calmed down, and his mother’s tranquil voice replaced it.

“Yes, Mom. Are you alright?”

[Yes, we are at the Necromancer Society now.]

“Oh, then there’s nothing to worry about. Is Ji-ye there too?”

[No, she couldn’t afford a plane ticket. Ji-ye went to school.]

“Isn’t that dangerous? Have you heard from her?”

Worried that the monsters might have appeared at his sister Kang Ji-ye’s school, he asked, but his mother’s voice through the speaker didn’t waver.

[We’ve received word. Something monstrous did appear, but Ji-ye and other Awakeners managed to defeat it.]

“That’s good to hear…. Uh, hold on. Did you say Ji-ye has Awakened?”

[That’s what they say.]

Kang Sa-hu was taken aback by his mother’s nonchalant delivery of such shocking news.

However, relieved that his family was all safe, he sighed briefly before his mother’s voice came through the phone again.

[I called to make sure everyone was safe. Let’s end the call, it’s expensive since you’re overseas.]

“…Understood. Please take care until you return.”

[Will do.]

[Son! None of that matters! If you’re about to die, even invoke the nearby spirits if you must…]

His father, who had been knocked out, shouted belatedly, but the call was curtly disconnected.

After finishing the call with his parents, when Kang Sa-hu tried to contact his sister Kang Ji-ye,

he noticed the giant hounds staring blankly at him.

“Now, what should I do with these guys?”

Maintaining them wasn’t too demanding as they were zombies—fresh with blood, muscle, and flesh still attached.

However, carrying around giant hounds was bound to cause misunderstandings, and more than anything, it was cumbersome.

“Maybe it’s best to release them…”

Just as Kang Sa-hu pondered liberating the zombies, the giant hounds, linked to him by will, started to rise one by one and moved toward him.

At this, the soldiers gasped and pointed their guns, but Kang Sa-hu, puzzled, simply watched the approaching giant hounds.

Click, clack.

Clickety-clack.

The zombie giant hounds seemed to consult each other, clattering their jaws, and eventually lined up in a long row.

“What’s this?”

While Kang Sa-hu was still baffled,

the leading zombie giant hound gulped carefully and then cautiously opened its mouth.

Within its mouth were a small marble and a gem.



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