<Side Story 1 New Employee Kim Rok Soo (3)>
“What the hell? How did they know about this place?”
Park Kyung Ho grumbling in such a loud voice that it was hard to think that he was talking to himself.
He then walked over to Choi Jung Soo.
"We are going to search here so why don't you go somewhere else?”
“Ah, Mr. Kyung Ho.”
His companion, Choi Soo-In, tried to stop him, but Park Kyung Ho was still looking at Choi Jung Soo and Kim Rok Soo with a disapproving gaze.
‘I wanted to learn under Team leader Lee Soo Hyuk-nim.’
Park Kyung Ho had become an ability user half a year ago. His ability was given quite high marks and he was immediately designated as a Grade 4 user.
This was quite a good start.
After that, he trained and practiced quite a bit to come into this company and his efforts paid off when he was hired on the first try.
That was why he had been pretty certain that he would be in Lee Soo Hyuk's team.
Lee Soo Hyuk was one of the first multiple ability users.
Only the warriors among warriors were said to be in his team.
That was why it only made sense for that position to be his.
‘But these two are going to be under him?’
He especially did not like Choi Jung Soo, who was clearly not a rear support member and would be in the battle squad.
“Mm. We were planning on starting our search here as well.”
Choi Jung Soo scratched his head.
“The main building is quite large so why don’t we split it half and half to search?”
"Why should we do that? We were here first so the respectful thing to do would be for you go to somewhere else.”
Choi Jung Soo could not hide the awkwardness he was feeling in this situation. The supporter in Team 2 was feeling the same way. She knew it would be great if Team 1 left but Park Kyung Ho's attitude was quite shameful to watch.
Kim Rok Soo moved next to Choi Jung Soo at that moment.
"We will look through the annex before going somewhere else.”
Park Kyung Ho scowled at the stoic response but did not say anything else. He quickly turned around and headed for the City Hall building.
“Let's go, Miss Soo-In.”
She bowed toward Choi Jung Soo and Kim Rok Soo.
“I'm sorry. But this is a competition, so I trust that you will understand. It is true that we got here first.”
Choi Jung Soo gasped before turning his head.
“Will it be okay, Mr. Rok Soo?”
“Who knows, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Kim Rok Soo responded as if he didn't care much for it and looked around.
“To be honest with you, I was not expecting to find anything in City Hall.”
“The government or a guild would have gone through City Hall first.”
"There was a famous architect’s office around here. I heard that he was preparing the model for a new City Hall.”
“The judicial scrivener and tax accountant office buildings seem to have maintained their form as well so we can look around it.”
Choi Jung Soo looked at Kim Rok Soo, who seemed to be in his early to mid twenties like himself, and blankly asked.
“...How do you know such things?”
“There will always be records somewhere.”
Kim Rok Soo didn't even look at City Hall or the annex before walking around it.
Choi Jung Soo gasped in admiration before following behind him.
He gasped in admiration a few more times before quietly mumbling to himself so that Kim Rok Soo could not hear.
“I should be good friends with this guy.”
Kim Rok Soo suddenly stopped walking at that moment.
Choi Jung Soo flinched, wondering if Kim Rok Soo had heard his mumbling. He slowly walked over to Kim Rok Soo, who was standing stiff while looking down.
“Umm, Mr. Rok Soo. What I said was-”
“...Let’s go to City Hall, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Choi Jung Soo found this comment to be odd and stood next to Kim Rok Soo.
He then flinched for a different reason from earlier.
Kim Rok Soo’s gaze was even sharper than before. He was cowling while looking down.
Choi Jung Soo looked down as well.
“Huh? The bugs......?”
Ants and other bugs were moving in a long line.
He had seen ants do this before, but it was his first time seeing all sorts of bugs doing this.
Kim Rok Soo’s gaze slowly moved and Choi Jung Soo's gaze followed.
The bugs were all leaving from around City Hall in this long line.
The bugs were running away.
“What the heck?”
Choi Jung Soo felt an unexplainable sensation. His back became cold.
This was anxiety.
He was anxious because he felt as if something, something bad, was about to happen.
“Mr. Rok Soo, why are all of the bugs running away from City Hall?”
“It’s not all bugs, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Kim Rok Soo's eyes thoroughly scanned the area around City Hall. He recorded everything.
He recorded what was here and what was not.
He used the records as foundation to figure it out.
“The spiders are heading toward City Hall.”
Choi Jung Soo's jaws dropped.
“...What is about to happen here? D, didn't they say that there were no monsters in this direction?”
Kim Rok Soo felt as if he might know what was going on, but he did not respond as he was not certain.
Instead, he lowered the backpack he was carrying.
The backpack was placed on the ground with a thud and he opened the zipper.
The anxious Choi Jung Soo looked at Kim Rok Soo in disbelief after seeing what was inside the backpack, but Kim Rok Soo took a few things out before putting the backpack back on his back.
“We are heading to City Hall, Mr. Jung Soo.”
“...I suppose so, Mr. Rok Soo.”
Team 2 had two new employees just like Team 1.
Park Kyung Ho and Choi Soo-In. Of the two, Choi Soo-In seemed to be someone with a healing ability.
‘I can’t tell whether a monster has appeared or not. But I need to go look.’
Choi Jung Soo tightened his grip around his scabbard.
“Let’s go Mr. Rok Soo, hurry!”
He immediately started walking toward City Hall.
“One moment please.”
Choi Jung Soo turned his head after hearing Kim Rok Soo's voice and a noise.
“The two of us might not be enough.”
The item in Kim Rok Soo’s hand was burning.
“...Is that really a signal flare, Mr. Rok Soo?”
“Yes, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Kim Rok Soo responded calmly before shooting the signal flare into the air.
A flame shot up into the air and created a ray of light.
The light was extremely visible under the grey clouds that were now in the sky.
Choi Jung Soo looked toward Kim Rok Soo who spoke as he walked past him.
“I'm certain that there must be company employees watching us from a distance, Mr. Jung Soo.”
“Why would the team leaders who have so much work on their plate show up for orientation?”
Kim Rok Soo was looking around even as he ran toward City Hall.
‘I can’t see them with my current abilities.’
He could not feel whether there were other presences around them.
However, he was certain.
‘Team leader Lee Soo Hyuk is nearby.’
Kim Rok Soo did not put much meaning to the hazing ritual.
The reason behind it was simple.
Judging just on the item they brought back?
Would Team leader Lee Soo Hyuk accept that?
The Lee Soo Hyuk that Kim Rok Soo knew was not that kind of person.
Then why were the team leaders here?
‘Safety. And the process.’
They came to see the process the newbies use to get things done and to keep them safe.
That was the reason Kim Rok Soo had immediately fired the signal flare.
Choi Jung Soo gasped in admiration while looking at Kim Rok Soo, but Kim Rok Soo did not have time to pay attention to something like that. He had a bad feeling about this.
“But Mr. Rok Soo. You seem to have no hesitation at all?”
"What do you mean by that, Mr. Jung Soo?”
“No. It’s just that... You’re immediately trying to head to City Hall. It might be dangerous.”
"Then why are you going, Mr. Jung Soo?”
Choi Jung Soo was able to respond to Kim Rok Soo’s question right away.
What reason could he have?
“I just have to go.”
He was going because he thought that he needed to go.
“It is the same with me, Mr. Jung Soo.”
Choi Jung Soo chuckled at Rok Soo's response before looking at his back and asking another question.
“Mr. Rok Soo, may I ask how old you are?”
There was no response.
He was completely ignored.
However, Choi Jung Soo still smiled. Unfortunately, that smile quickly disappeared.
They heard a loud noise from the east side of City Hall.
* * *
“Wow, shit! What is this?”
Park Kyung Ho frowned while opening a crushed drawer.
"Why is there nothing here?”
They had started from the center of City Hall’s main building and moved east. The inside of the building was in better condition than they had expected. Of course, it was not bright since the electricity had gone out, but they were at least able to see enough.
If it wasn’t so cloudy and was a bright day today, they might have been able to do search better.
Anyway, Park Kyung Ho's face had been bright when they started their search in this still standing building.
“It’s all empty.”
However, every drawer was empty as Choi Soo-In mentioned.
“Haaa, why is it like this?”
"Do you think that someone else already went by?”
“We were the first-, ah!”
Park Kyung Ho gasped and then frowned. Choi Soo-In's face did not look good either. She sighed.
We were the first of the new employees to come here, but it is highly likely that other organizations have already been here.
“Haaaaaaaaa. I guess it is hopeless.”
Park Kyung Ho ruffled through his hair before standing up.
He kicked a drawer before walking over to Choi Soo-In on the other side.
“Let’s go somewhere else.”
“Yes. Let’s do that.”
Choi Soo-In slowly spoke to Park Kyung Ho who was touching his short spear with a disappointed look on his face.
“I guess we shouldn't have been so mean to Mr. Choi Jung Soo and Mr. Kim Rok Soo if it was going to be like this.”
Park Kyung Ho did not say anything else. He changed the topic instead.
I think that other organizations would have already searched all government offices.”
"Right? This treasure hunt was apparently harder than we expected.”
She smiled and then added on.
“I think Mr. Jung Soo should still be outside searching through the annex. I should tell them about it.”
“Do whatever you want.”
Park Kyung Ho grumbled before starting to walk toward the door at the center of the first floor.
“Let’s quickly get out of here.”
Choi Soo-In lowered her head at that moment.
“Hmm? Why are there so many spiders-”
Park Kyung Ho also looked at where she was looking.
There were all sorts of large and small spiders in multiple lines moving toward them.
No, they were moving past them.
“Why are there spiders all of a sudden-”
It was at that moment.
Park Kyung Ho heard an eerie noise behind him.
"Miss Choi Soo-In!”
He immediately moved toward Choi Soo-In and hid her behind his back.
"T, that is-”
On the east side of the first floor... Something was approaching them from this end that they had yet to visit.
Choi Soo-In subconsciously shouted.
"W, why is there a monster?!”
Something close to 2 meters tall was coming toward them.
They could see red eyes in the darkness.
There were eight eyes.
Park Kyung Ho realized it as soon as he saw those eight eyes.
‘This is a spider.
And that bastard has seen us as well.’
The monster spider’s red eyes flashed and it approached them just as he gasped.
Crack, crack, craaaaaaaaaack-
It was moving very quickly.
The monster was large enough to fill the wide hallway.
The monster was not flustered.
A hunter never becomes flustered because of the prey.
Park Kyung Ho could not continue speaking.
The monster was already close to them.
The spider extended a leg as if it was a spear.
Park Kyung Ho hugged Choi Soo-In and rolled on the ground.
The ground broke with a loud noise.
Park Kyung Ho, who barely managed to dodge the attack, could see the ground that was destroyed by the spider's leg stabbing through it. His pupils were shaking.
“Mr. Kyung Ho, what should we do?”
Choi Soo-In subconsciously asked after seeing the look in Park Kyung Ho's eyes.
“...Do you not have much real battle experience?”
Park Kyung Ho had repeatedly trained his ability and his physical body since awakening half a year ago. He only had a few real battle experiences through the Mountains and Streams Guild's Academy.
He was lucky and had many situations where he was protected during the initial stages of the cataclysm that he had not seen monsters very much. Well, he had many instances of running away after seeing monsters in the distance.
The monsters he had faced were all monsters that were under control.
“I had some real battle experience in the Academy-”
Park Kyung Ho had thought that those few times were enough. He had even gone up against a Grade 3 monster.
“I, I’ve never seen such a mon-’
That was why he knew.
‘That bastard is a 4, no, a Grade 3 monster.’
Monsters became stronger the closer they got to Grade 1.
Park Kyung Ho had faced a Grade 3 monster before.
However, that was tens of trainees fighting against one Grade 3 monsters under the guidance of an instructor. There was no need to feel any pressure or fear for his life as he learned how to safely deal with a monster in a safe situation.
He had never faced a monster with just one other person, no, honestly speaking, just himself since he was the only battle team member.
“The Academy is not real experience! That's training too!”
Choi Soo-In shouted in a sharp voice before dragging Park Kyung Ho's body up.
The spider’s leg was attacking again.
“Run! We can't deal with it!”
She peeked behind her to escape. She then frowned.
The spiders were filling up the whole pathway.
Choi Soo-In and Park Kyung Ho would have to get past this wall of spiders if they wanted to run away.
That wasn’t all. Spiders were filling the cracked windows as well. They were making the room darker.
‘Will it be possible?’
They could just walk past if they were regular spiders.
However, the spiders’ eyes were red.
They were all like that monster spider’s eyes. He had a bad feeling about it.
Park Kyung Ho shouted toward Choi Soo-In.
“The spider wall-”
“Do you have any other suggestions?!”
They had no other choice.
“I’ll hold them back for now so go first!”
Choi Soo-In could see Park Kyung Ho turn toward the monster spider while holding his short spear.
“Go out and send a rescue signal!”
“I got it!”
Choi Soo-In started moving toward a window that was not completely covered by spiders yet.
She was a healing-type supporter and didn't have any practical buffs. That was why the first thing she needed to do was to secure a path out.
However, it was not easy.
The monster spider moved quickly.
Its target was Choi Soo-In.
Park Kyung Ho charged at the spider with his short spear.
Currents slowly started flowing out of his spear.
Tap. Park Kyung Ho kicked off the ground before sending the short spear flying toward the spider’s leg.
However, the spider’s leg was firm.
The current-filled short spear was easily parried away.
The currents didn't seem to work on this spider.
The monster spider was already in front of Choi Soo-In.
The mouth underneath the monster spider’s eyes opened. It looked as if it would swallow Choi Soo-In.
Park Kyung Ho quickly stood up and charged toward the spider. He seemed ready to body slam it if his spear wouldn't work.
He heard a different noise at that moment.
The monster turned its head.
The large spider’s red eyes were all looking in the same direction.
It was a different window covered in spiders.
About half of the glass in the window was broken and the frame was crushed.
That window was destroyed.
Spiders blasted off of it.
Choi Soo-In’s eyes opened wide.
This was not fog.
White smoke squeezed through the window.
The window was destroyed completely and someone jumped in.
"Mr. C, Choi Jung Soo!”
The person who jumped in was Choi Jung Soo with his sword in his hand.