The Return Of Apocalypses Tyrant Chapter 76

The Return Of Apocalypses Tyrant

Chapter 76: “Is it really okay?”

Having exited the meeting room, Park Hyo-Joo walked down the corridor with Nangong and spoke to him.

“Even if something happens, we will protect the house… Why don’t you visit the Red Zone? After all, we have to hunt the boss monster to end this.”

“Well, I’m really worried if we can protect the house that we couldn’t even defend from the journalists.”

“Hmm… That…”

Her face reddened and she grimaced at Nangong’s words after she’d spoken with such firm resolve.

“It’s a joke. It’s not a lie that you’re the only one I can trust from the government in this situation.”

Nangong said.

“Just because we’re protecting the house doesn’t mean we’ll abandon the Red Zone. That’ll be left to Myunghoon.”

“Hmm….”

Park Hyo-Joo held her tongue.

She recognized Myunghoon’s skills, but she doubted whether he could shine in the Red Zone, where Revealed Ones like Alex Trauman were present.

“You don’t necessarily have to be strong to catch a boss monster.”

Nangong made a meaningful reply as if reading her expression.

He then took out a note from his pocket.

“This is a list of talented people within the country that I’ve separately investigated. After the Red Zone is open and some time has passed, when monsters are summoned… gather as many recruits as you can during that time.”

“Understood.”

Park Hyo-Joo looked through the list he handed to her and nodded.

“Why aren’t you going yourself?”

“Of course, I have to go as well. Besides them, there’s another place I must visit. Although I doubt whether that old man will be willing to help.”

“Who is it?”

“Mandeoksu from Nowon District. I’d asked Jang Gilsu before and he contacted me.”

‘Mandeoksu and Jang Gilsu… at least if those two are there, Seoul’s defenses will be somewhat organized.’

Nangong felt fortunate to meet him at just the right time.

“By the way, when allocating military forces, it would be good to focus on Daegu and Pohang areas.”

“What about Gunsan?”

“For Gunsan, it would be better to evacuate the citizens. The conditions for defense are not so great, but the upper Daejeon would be much safer than other cities.”

“Daejeon?”

“Yes. It may even be safer than Seoul.”

Nangong recalled a person.

Mujongong (武裝工) Jin Suhyuk.

Bearing a unique skill in weapon crafting, he would be fortifying Daejeon into a bastion by now.

‘That guy doesn’t need my concern. In fact, he grows faster without help.’

Jin Suhyuk was also one of the gatekeepers who protected the city without going to the Red Zone in Nangong’s past life.

“So far so good…”

Nangong sighed quietly and quickened his pace.

Even after finishing the best preparations possible at the moment, his expression was not bright.

‘But if we cannot catch Moul, we will be overwhelmed by the monsters.’

He had to finish it before then.

Whether it’s the Red Zone or here, it was all a battle against time.

* * *

-Alex Trauman’s Universe Clan deploys to conquer the Red Zone!

-Hidden Revealed Ones begin to make their appearance!

-The U.S. White House’s major announcement! The emergence of the great magician Den Howl!

-Australia’s relief organization, STW’s new director Eira Michelle, acknowledges the Revealed Ones!!

-STW decides to support the Red Zone conquerors… The goal is not hunting monsters, but aiding people!

-People around the world are moved by Eira Michelle’s humanity…

Three days after the Red Zone opened.

The world was bustling with activity, and as Nangong expected, one of the Revealed Ones, Den Howl, revealed himself.

“Everyone’s starting to move.”

The torrent of articles about them was continuously updated even as he read them.

Their interest was enormous.

“They’re playing the media card well. If they conquer the Red Zone, they’ll be heralded as heroes who saved the world.”

Nangong, who had previously stopped two Hellgates, found their behavior laughable as none of the articles mentioned his achievements or identity.

More than that.

There was no mention of the chosen contractors of the proxy race, who had been the focus of attention.

Only stories of conquering the Red Zone.

The internet was plastered with articles about the conquering Revealed Ones.

“They’re trying to create heroes.”

Nangong could well guess their intentions.

If they conquer the Red Zone, the media will hail them as heroes who saved the world.

Of course, the governments of each country hope that this hero comes from their alliance.

‘Because of that greed, instead of conquering the Red Zone, they’re too busy securing bases and fighting each other.’

“Tsk.”

Nangong shook his head at the memory he preferred not to recall.

“…Hmm?”

Just then, a headline caught his eye among the list of articles.

[Before heroes, there were heroes.]

Was it just curiosity?

Before turning off his phone, Nangong clicked on the article.

[Who stopped the 2 Hellgates? We need to pay attention to his identity.]

The article was about him.

In a situation where articles related to three Revealed Ones flooded the scene, it was surprising for him that a journalist took interest in him.

[After the first gate, Choi Myung-hoon, Kang Ho-jun were noted to be Revealed Ones, but it turned out they are not.]

[However, the two gates were indeed conquered in Korea.]

[Then who hunted the boss?]

[We need to find out about this person.]

He scrolled down to check the name of the journalist who wrote the article.

【National Border Daily Reporter Han Ji-hee】

“Hmm…”

Nangong mentally noted the name of the journalist who wrote a different article from the others.

‘It might be a rough stone, but maybe he’ll be of help in the future.’

Just then, his phone rang.

Jang Gilsu’s name appeared over the article on the screen.

-Have you arrived?

“Yes, just arrived.”

-Are you sure you don’t need to come with me? That old man’s temper isn’t easy. Last time, the association guys got thrashed and chased away.

“I know his temperament well. Don’t worry. Thank you, I will handle it. It must not have been easy.”

-Thank you for what… Anyway, if you need anything, contact me immediately. I will be further fortifying our base as you advised.

“Understood.”

After getting out of the car, Nangong ended the call with Jang Gilsu and looked at the address written on the note while scanning his surroundings.

In his absence, Majang-dong had begun to take shape as a fortress, albeit still insufficient compared to other districts.

The decision made with Jang Gilsu was not to covet the Red Zone but to block the invading monsters.

‘For Jang Gilsu who becomes stronger by devouring monsters, it’s not a bad choice to face the attacking monsters.’

Jang Gilsu, along with the association members, continued to create barriers to protect the city, but the areas they could defend were limited.

The Chamak Squad, a monster-specialized team led by Park Hyo-Joo, also had few members.

‘Seoul is big, and there are too few capable people to use.’

Neither was there someone like Jin Suhyuk, who could transform the city with his ability.

So they sought a solution.

“……”

Nangong scanned the ordinary neighborhood alleyway.

The streets, damaged from the first Hellgate goblin attack, still lay unrepaired.

“Grr-“

From deep within the alley came a strained breath.

‘This must be the place.’

When Nangong turned into the path, a cleared lot appeared where a building had seemingly been hit by a bomb, its rubble piled high.

“Excuse me.”

Despite it being mid-winter, an old man, clad in just a T-shirt with a towel around his neck, was hauling steel bars covered in cement. He turned his head at Nangong’s words.

Small in stature but with muscles well-developed, enough to belie his age and an extraordinary glint in his eyes, it was the workshop king (工房王), Mandeoksu.

Nangong had to suppress the urge to rush over and shake his hand, one of the colleagues he’d received help from in a past life.

But the man wouldn’t know him.

“Is this the hardware store? I had no idea there was such a big lot here.”

He feigned ignorance, showing his phone as if he had searched and found the place.

“Customer, is it? Then yes, you’re looking for the hardware store. It’s over there. Let’s go.”

Mandeoksu put down his shovel, wiping his sweat, and said,

“This is just a vacant lot I was tidying up. It used to be where my son and his wife lived.”

He spoke calmly, but the debris scattered around suggested a house had stood here once.

“…I see.”

Nangong’s response was subdued.

‘Mandeoksu had children? I didn’t know… Well, he was someone who barely spoke. It looks like he lost them after the gate opened.’

Gazing at the remnants of the building, he thought to himself.

Knowing the pain of losing a child better than anyone, Nangong decided to wait quietly while Mandeoksu finished his work.

“Are you doing this all by yourself?”

“Well… that’s how it is. Damned world… Even to an old man with so little time left, they take the most important thing away.”

Mandeoksu remarked bitterly.

“He’d probably want to locate his parents’ bodies. Who’d want to seek out their body?”

His words led Mandeoksu to look at the pile of rubble with a heavy sigh.

“But you can’t move all that debris by yourself. Why not hire some workers?”

“That’s alright. I want no one else’s help. Just go look inside for what you need.”

He pointed to the store.

“There might not be much left since most suppliers have closed. I don’t know if you’ll find what you need.”

The store, contrary to his words, was neatly stacked with wares.

Nangong browsed a few items.

‘Light.’

They looked ordinary, but the contents were anything but.

Click-

Pulling out an old power drill from a box, Nangong tested it.

Ziiing…

The drill spun, humming between the two men.

“It’s good.”

He showed the drill to him and put it back.

“That’s second-hand. It’ll work fine. I’ve tinkered with them from time to time. It may not be new, but it should outdo normal products.”

“It seems so. You must be quite skilled. Isn’t this a product from the specialist equipment company Tool&Co?”

“You’re well-informed.”

“Because they perform well, even the military uses them a lot. The downside is they’re damn heavy.”

Looking at him, Nangong remarked,

“But this one is as light as a toy. There’s no way a lighter version was released.”

“….”

Mandeoksu pulled out a small hammer from the deeper shelf.

It was an emergency glass hammer, designed to break windows in an accident.

It was, at best, palm-sized.

Step by step, Nangong walked out of the store with the hammer.

“Wait a moment…!!”

The moment he grasped the seemingly insignificant hammer, Mandeoksu rose hastily from his seat, his face flustered.

Clang-!!

Nangong struck the large concrete slab beneath him.

Cracks spread…

Bang!!!

“You’ve done more than just ‘touch up’ the tool.”

In unison with his words, the concrete shattered into fine dust where the hammer touched.

“If a child’s body is trapped under a collapsed building… any parent would want to rescue them immediately.”

He tossed the hammer to Mandeoksu.

“And yet you’re removing the rubble alone without hiring help? Why?”

He gave a subtle smile.

“Because doing it yourself is faster, isn’t it?”

“…What are you?”

Mandeoksu asked with a stern face.

“I’m going to build barriers in major cities, including Seoul. We’re mobilizing all available forces… but we’re short on time.”

“So?”

“Would you lend us your strength?”

“I’ve told you. I have no regrets in this world. I want to finish my work quietly and bring it to an end.”

“No. You must stay alive.”

“And what business is it of yours?”

At Nangong’s words, he asked with an incredulous look.

“Because I’m also a parent.”

Startled- 

Mandeoksu’s face hardened.

Whoosh!

Dark smoke billowed around Nangong.

At the same time, spectral soldiers began to seep into the broken rubble.

They, as smoky forms, enveloped the debris, lifting each piece.

“Oh, Kihoon…”

Mandeoksu’s son emerged from the ruins.

He and his wife, as if to overcome the last moments of terror, clung to each other tightly.

“Sob… sob…”

With a twisted face, Mandeoksu embraced the two bodies.

“Preserve the heart of a parent. Prevent the loss of a child. Avoid that horrendous experience.”

Crush-

Nangong lightly patted Mandeoksu’s shoulder.

“Tools you create can protect many more hearts. Will you lend us a hand?”

“….”

Listening quietly, Mandeoksu caressed his son’s face and asked,

“…You said you have a child?”

“Yes. I have a daughter.”

“Is she alive?”

Nangong hesitated for a moment at his question.

Flashing through his life before the regression, 25 years of chilling emotions pricked at him.

But now, he could answer.

“Yes.”

Nangong nodded solemnly.



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