<Side Story 1 New Employee Kim Rok Soo (2)>
“What do you mea-”
Most of the new employees who didn't know about the hazing ritual opened their eyes wide, looked around, and started talking.
Choi Jung Soo thought about the hazing ritual, something he wouldn’t have known about if he had not heard about it from Park Kyung Ho just now, and opened his mouth.
“Umm, what do you think the hazing ritual is, Mr. Rok Soo?”
“I’m not sure, Mr. Jung Soo.”
“Oh come on, you seem like you know all about it, Mr. Rok Soo.”
“I don’t know, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Choi Jung Soo frowned at the stoic Kim Rok Soo's response. Kim Rok Soo sighed after taking a look and was about to open his mouth when the emcee started speaking.
“You all know where this is, right?”
He couldn't help but gasp.
The auditorium that the orientation was taking place...
This place was quite far from the company.
“Is it possible-”
Choi Jung Soo looked at Kim Rok Soo who calmly opened his mouth to speak after noticing the gaze.
“If it is a hazing ritual, it is probably a search.”
He looked at the auditorium entrance and added on.
“This is one of the destroyed lands.”
That was the term given to an area where civilization had not been restored properly after monsters had rampaged through it.
There were quite a lot of places like that within Korea.
"As you all know, this is one of the destroyed lands.”
The MC gently addressed the talkative new employees.
“I'm sure you all saw it on your way here, but an auditorium has been built and a few new buildings are being built outside.
There was only one thing that could mean.
"Thankfully, this is an area that has returned to human territory.”
Monsters lived in the destroyed lands.
The humans who lived in new central cities based around the shelters were slowly recovering the destroyed lands around the city.
This land with the auditorium was one of those places where humans had pushed the monsters out and were reconstructing a city.
“The ones on the ‘Head’ side will be tasked to go through documents related to the reconstructions.”
The MC then looked toward the ‘Body’ side.
“As for all of you here, you will be doing a treasure hunt.”
The mission given to the new employees...
“...A treasure hunt?”
Choi Jung Soo looked confused while Kim Rok Soo's eyes clouded over.
"Everybody here is talented and has all sorts of abilities but we cannot send you to complete missions right away.”
That meant that they could not be placed in battle right away. That was why they were going to give them a different sort of ‘mission’ to check out their abilities.
The MC sternly but gently continued speaking.
“There used to be many important public institutions around this auditorium.”
The traces of a city and its records were important for a city reconstruction.
"Since we have already pushed monsters out of this area, you will move based on your teams to find something that might be helpful to the city reconstruction.”
Choi Jung Soo heard a mumbling voice.
“Hmm. They want us to search?”
The person who was saying that it was boring was a familiar voice.
‘Was his name Park Kyung Ho?’
A bitter smile appeared on Choi Jung Soo's face.
‘I personally didn't want to fight starting the first day.’
A search was much better. He did not want to see blood from the first day, regardless of whether it was human or monster blood.
The emcee continued speaking.
"We will rank you all in the treasure hunt based on the value of the item you bring back. The judging will be by the team leader-nims of the different teams who have gathered here.”
The new employees turned to look at their team leaders.
The emcee stomped his foot and gathered their gazes again.
Choi Jung Soo flinched after seeing the stiff look on the emcee’s face. He finally saw that the emcee's hands that were covered in scars. This person also seemed to be part of a battle squad.
“The most important thing is safety.”
The emcee sternly spoke to the new employees of the Body side.
“You cannot go into any buildings that look as if it may crumble. You will be removed from the ranking if you get hurt. Basically, it means that you are disqualified.”
Her emphasized and emphasized it again.
“You can return empty handed so please keep safety as the number one priority.”
Kim Rok Soo reaffirmed that word in his mind as he slightly nodded his head.
‘Safety is important.’
Of course, he had no idea what that clueless looking guy next to him, the person he would be moving as a pair with today, was thinking.
“The time limit is until 2pm today.”
It was currently 10am.
“Then please safely work hard. See you all at 2pm safe and sound.”
The emcee raised his hand.
They heard a buzzer go off somewhere.
“We're starting right away?!”
“Then do we need to go to our department? I thought we needed to look at documents?”
Search and office work. The new employees who had received their respective duties were basically all talking, causing chaos inside the auditorium.
Choi Jung Soo slowly got up.
“The person who is the quickest is going to win! Let’s go!”
“Yes, let’s hurry!”
Many of the new employees had gathered with their teams and were headed out of the auditorium.
The moment Choi Jung Soo wondered what he should do and turned toward Kim Rok Soo...
“Stupid fools. Can’t they tell?”
Park Kyung Ho chuckled and spoke to the other newbie on his team.
“Shall we go? Just trust me.”
“You seem to have a plan?”
“It is obvious what you should do in such a test.”
Shh. Park Kyung Ho turned to look at Choi Jung Soo.
“Well, I guess there are some people who are completely clueless.”
“Okay, okay. Let's go, let’s go.”
A woman in the rear support squad who had a nametag that said that her name was Choi Soo-In, apologized to Choi Jung Soo with her gaze before pulling Park Kyung Ho out of the auditorium.
Choi Jung Soo looked to the side.
“What should we do, Mr. Rok Soo?”
He turned his head to see Kim Rok Soo quietly sitting on the chair with his eyes closed.
Tap. Tap. His index finger was tapping on his knee.
"Excuse me, Mr. Rok Soo?”
Kim Rok Soo finally slowly opened his eyes.
“Let’s go, Mr. Jung Soo.”
He then stood up.
‘He’s taller than I expected.’
Choi Jung Soo's eyes opened wide at the taller than expected but feeble Kim Rok Soo. His clear and dark black eyes looked into Kim Rok Soo's dark brown eyes.
“Umm, Mr. Rok Soo? Where are we going?”
Choi Jung Soo shrugged his shoulders.
"We can't just go out without thinking it through. I think we need to set a target before we start searching.
He slowly pointed to Kim Rok Soo’s watch.
“4 hours is pretty short for searching. I wonder if we should narrow our search radius and focus on a specific area, Mr. Rok Soo.”
Kim Rok Soo's eyes clouded over.
Unlike this guy's good-guy appearance that made him seem as if he would be happy about everything, his suggestion was quite smart.
“Your suggestion is true too, Mr. Choi Jung Soo.”
4 hours. It might seem like a long time, but...
It was an extremely short period of time to search the remains of a destroyed city rampaged through by monsters.
This was especially true because it was a place that was barely starting its reconstruction. It was extremely likely that most of, no, all of the new employees had visited this area for the first time since it was destroyed.
A place they were visiting for the first time.
A city that was completely destroyed where they could not tell what was what...
They were supposed to simply find some unspecified ‘important items’ in such a combination?
It was highly likely that they would return empty-handed.
“Mr. Rok Soo.”
Choi Jung Soo immediately continued speaking once it sounded as if Kim Rok Soo agreed with him.
“Then how about we pick a direction?”
“No, Mr. Jung Soo.”
"We will do a large area search.”
Choi Jung Soo scowled. Kim Rok Soo had just agreed with his suggestion but said the opposite and wanted to do a large area search.
It was highly like to amount to nothing.
"Excuse me, Mr. Rok Soo?”
“I remember it all, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Kim Rok Soo closed his eyes again.
Numerous images flashed through his mind.
These records of incidents were things he needed in order to participate as rear support for a battle squad as he didn't have any proper battle abilities.
He recorded as many things as possible.
“I know the map of this area prior to its destruction.”
Kim Rok Soo and Choi Jung Soo made eye contact.
"The subway routes, government offices, local businesses, and residential areas... I know them all.”
Choi Jung Soo blankly asked back.
“Did you live here in the past, Mr. Rok Soo?”
Kim Rok Soo chuckled at Jung Soo's clueless face and shook his head.
“My ability is called Record. It is related to memories.”
Kim Rok Soo gently patted Choi Jung Soo’s shoulder before heading toward the auditorium door. Kim Rok Soo and Choi Jung Soo were the only ones left in the auditorium now.
“I memorized the area nearby since they said that there was a company auditorium out here.”
Kim Rok Soo motioned with his head to Choi Jung Soo who was not moving.
“Shall we go?”
Choi Jung Soo gasped in awe.
“Wow. That’s amazing, Mr. Rook Soo. You just happened to see them all in advance.”
Kim Rok Soo responded nonchalantly as if it was nothing.
“I need to do this to-”
He stopped talking at that moment.
‘I need to do this to survive.’
He then continued speaking.
“I must do it like this.”
Choi Jung Soo could see Kim Rok Soo looking around once he exited the auditorium.
There was just a bunch of wreckage outside the auditorium.
Kim Rok Soo then spoke in a casual tone.
“City Hall is 3km away in the 3 o’clock direction. It is quite far but why don’t we start there and walk in an oval-shape back to the auditorium?”
“Yes, that sounds good, huh?”
Kim Rok Soo walked to the back of the auditorium and came back with something.
“...You have a lot of luggage, Mr. Rok Soo?”
That something was a backpack.
Kim Rok Soo, who was carrying this backpack that had quite a lot of things dangling from it as if it was nothing, calmly spoke.
“I am weak so I need a lot of things in order to survive.”
The corners of Choi Jung Soo's lips oddly curled up after hearing that.
“Is that sword all you have, Mr. Jung Soo?”
“Yes, Mr. Rok Soo.”
“Then let’s go.”
“I like this.”
Choi Jung Soo quietly mumbled to himself and quickly followed behind Kim Rok Soo.
There were people watching them as well.
On top of a building barely maintaining its shape not too far from the auditorium...
The people there were looking down.
“Wow. Team 1’s newbies seem a bit special, don’t they? Look at that bag and how they are starting last.”
Team 3 leader looked at Lee Soo Hyuk and laughed mischievously. Lee Soo Hyuk shrugged his shoulders while Team 3 leader sighed and started walking.
“I will be heading out first then. “Haaa, why do we even do this hazing ritual? The team leaders suffer more than the newbies.”
“I agree. But it’s nice to see many sides of the newbies, don't you think?”
Team 4 leader followed behind him while responding.
“Half of my team’s newbies just recently awakened their abilities. I’m worried. They might make a fool of themselves. Haaa, I'll be heading out too then.”
Team 5 leader left as well.
"Then me too.”
The other team leaders followed one by one as well. Each team leader was headed in the direction that their newbies headed in.
The team leaders would follow the newbies today to figure out their disposition and chances of cohesion while guaranteeing their safety.
“But Team 2 leader-nim.”
“Yes, Team leader Lee?”
Team 2 leader and Lee Soo Hyuk, the Team 1 leader, had not left yet.
“Are you sure that all monsters have left this area?”
“Yes, Team 2 leader-nim. They have not noticed any monsters in the past week.”
There was a gust of wind.
Lee Soo Hyuk pushed back his hair that was fluttering in the wind and closed his eyes.
“There’s a lot of wind right now.”
“There sure is. I wonder if it is going to rain.”
Team 2 leader watched the grey clouds in the distance getting closer and scratched her cheeks as if it was going to be annoying.
"We should stop the search immediately if it rains.”
“Shall we go together, Team leader Lee?”
She looked at Lee Soo Hyuk, whom she had no idea what he was thinking, and asked.
“It looks like both the newbies of Team 1 and Team 2 are headed in the same direction.”
“...They must be heading for City Hall, right?”
“Yes. It seems that way.” Our team's newbie, Mr. Park Kyung Ho, is originally from here. He said that his father used to work in City Hall. He probably headed that way.”
Team 2 leader smiled brightly but her face was full of concern.
“Mr. Park Kyung Ho did decide on a good direction, but, mm.”
City Hall was the first place in this city where they had pushed the monsters out.
That was why it was okay to relax.
“Both of the newbies on my team have good abilities but basically have no real experience. I'm worried.”
“Then we should go.”
Lee Soo Hyuk started moving and Team 2 leader set aside her concerns and followed behind him.
* * *
“I don’t think anybody would think that this is City Hall.”
Choi Jung Soo was following behind Kim Rok Soo while gasping about the building he was slowly starting to see.
This City Hall was pretty large with the main building and multiple annexes. The annexes were either all destroyed or had disappeared without any traces while the main building was about half destroyed, making it difficult to tell that this was City Hall.
‘Ah, this was a large building.’ That was about the most anybody would think about it.
“...And it looks like there is someone else who knows that this is City Hall.”
Choi Jung Soo walked in front of Kim Rok Soo with an awkward look on his face. Kim Rok Soo watched Choi Jung Soo walking forward with a hand on his scabbard before slightly frowning.