Monsters such as Algon, Alpin, and Alchins were extremely agile, fast, and destructive. They were so dangerous that the support staff members were stationed at the foot of the mountain around the clock to quickly alert the base camp of any developments.
To protect these sentry members from monster and beast attacks, San and Biyeon had them install a protective outpost made of iron bars and jutting spears to hide in. Apart from the sentry work, the remaining staff members worked around the clock within the base camp.
“I don’t understand why we’re doing this… Ugh,” Yeria muttered under her breath as she busily moved around.
Working under the hot spring sun, she felt sweat rolling into her eyes and stinging them. She wasn’t holding a majestic sword… but a hoe. Was this something befitting a Count’s daughter?
Her gaze drifted down towards her bottom half. She wore shoes commonly worn by warriors and a pair of non-flattering pants. If anyone looked at her, they wouldn’t think that an attractive woman was present in this unflattering lower half. So, how she became like this… what happened was…
About three hours ago……
She was wearing a gorgeous and beautiful dress. As the Count’s daughter, she was a talented woman who boasted top-notch martial arts skills. She also proudly possessed beauty, culture, and academic knowledge.
“Are you going on a picnic?”
This was what the ‘man’ said about her while tilting his head.
“10 minutes, wait… you’re a woman, so I’ll give you 30 minutes. Change into a warrior-like outfit!”
He quickly turned his back and went to another place.
“What are you talking about!” she instinctively screamed. Her face must have been blushing red with shame and embarrassment.
“You… have you ever seen an Algon?” he asked without turning his head. His voice was serious.
“We’re not going into the mountains to date anyone. And remove that disgusting perfume smell! No one here forced you to participate. The choice is yours. You don’t have to return after 30 minutes. How is that, fair enough?”
He threw these final words at her and walked away.
“How dare you say such rude words!”
Yeria’s eyes quickly drained of life. This was the first time she’d been treated like a nobody. However, since he was an Awakened Warrior, he had the qualifications to act and talk so stubbornly. Still, she felt like he was going too far. If it weren’t for her father’s explicit request, she wouldn’t have even come here. Tears started forming in her eyes. Eventually, the tears flowed down her cheeks.
The fate of a woman in this era…… to be passed around amongst the powerful! Why did her father entrust this critical task to such a stubborn, lowly person? She moved to get changed with heavy steps.
Yuren was the 1st Company commander. He was given the company commander title for the newly formed company unit by the captains. It was definitely a good opportunity for him. However, he wasn’t happy about it at all. Rather, he felt a growing sense of anxiety and tension.
All of the support staff members had high expectations after being assigned to a new organization. Being with an Awakened Warrior itself was something lucky. Not only was it highly likely they would survive, but also, no one could easily ignore them. They could also expect a fairly hefty compensation package.
However, the expectation and daydream of a carefree, easy life crumbled from day one.
‘How did it come to this…’ he thought over and over again.
The captains moved directly and worked by hand. Their actions overturned all ‘common sense’. They memorized the names of all 20 members as well as each member’s personal information in just one day. Usually, respected warriors often didn’t even know the names of their own subordinates, even if a year had passed, which was usual in this part of the world.
Also, the two captains conducted face-to-face interviews with their staff members. For the staff members, this interview was the first of its sort in their entire lives. For the first time in their lives, they were asked about their family and were told to speak about their own opinions ‘freely’. It was a very uncomfortable experience for them.
The first thing the captains did was organize the staff and designate responsibilities for each member. The staff members were grouped into 10-person ‘companies’. The leader of each company was called the company commander. The captains also described how missions were to be carried out and with what attitude.
The mission objectives were clearly laid out, and all of their individual activities and actions were to be done to achieve the organization’s overall goals. Status, age, or origin would not be taken into account regarding task assignments.
Their selection criteria were simple. The first criterion was that the person must want the job. The second criterion was that the person must be someone who could do the job well.
The second thing the captains then did was check everyone's equipment. All the equipment they brought was laid out in the yard. Swords, hammers, shields, shovels, pickaxes, hoes, axes, and leather bags. Even feminine products…
They designated some of the items as ‘standard equipment’. Non-standard equipment was to be managed by a designated staff member within each company.
In addition, they wanted each company to take responsibility for managing their respective equipment. They also drew something and ordered it to be made at the forge…
They could faintly hear the sound of beasts around them. Yuren trembled while thinking about the beasts and monsters hidden in the shadows.
Suddenly, he realized what kind of situation he was in. They weren’t in the safest place on the hunting grounds… they were located at the center, with all the hunting parties branched out from them.
This meant that, thanks to these crazy captains, the weakest group of people were assembled at the heart of this hunting event. The group that should be in the safest place was setting up a ‘support center’ in the harshest and most dangerous central area……
Yuren reminded himself of the unit’s goals and code of conduct.
“We can choose our missions and negotiate. However, once one chooses, the mission is unconditionally correct and must be completed. This means risking one’s life for the completion of an objective. So, if one's going to do it anyway, one should just enjoy it. There’s no retreat!”
That’s what Captain San had said.
“First, be wise. Second, use all the means and methods at your disposal. Third, trust your brother and sister in arms until the end.”
This was Captain Biyeon’s words. Not all the staff members at the time knew what these unfamiliar words meant. It was an unimaginable demand in their contemporary class society, and it was a leadership method and attitude that they had never experienced before. However, unfortunately for them, their new superiors were the living incarnations of this regimen and creed.
The support staff was rewriting a new destiny without even knowing it themselves. If the support staff members got used to the new ways these two captains proposed, and if they could find purpose and joy in the fierceness of a battlefield, then they would be forever changed.
Relying upon another. Teamwork would become the final lesson that would sweep them away from their past selves and towards a new fate. In the end, they would negotiate, navigate, and choose for themselves, so they must risk their lives to bear that fruit.
The afternoon sun was leaning westward. The sounds of monsters echoed here and there.
“It seems like the work is finishing up,” San said while stretching. He had just finished patrolling the base in a 30-meter radius. He checked and examined the support staff's work progress. Because the base was for support purposes, it was located in a basin that was easily accessible and seen from all directions. However, this also meant that this base camp would be the easiest target for all the monsters and beasts in the surrounding area.
San’s wish, to be challenged, was soon fulfilled. All of the support staff organization members probably had very different opinions and expectations than those of San and Biyeon…
Biyeon’s mouth was slightly distorted. Her hand held a white sword made of Archon bone. It was a little longer than a military bayonet, about the length from her wrist to her shoulder. The overall shape of the sword was modest, but the blade was sleek and could be easily carried around. It had been specially made for her.
San got up slowly, brushing the dust off his legs. He also held an Archon bone sword in his hand.
Yeria was unable to breathe properly. All the support staff members were barely standing as their legs visibly shook.
In front of them, the heads of giant monsters appeared one after another. A hunting party must have already been slaughtered. Pieces of clothes were scattered all over the monsters’ bodies and a fishy, bloody smell wafted through the air…
“Ar……chon?”Exploration – Chapter 14
The beasts growled with their necks lowered. Yellow eyes glared at their new targets. Even though the monsters were 20 meters in front of them, the low-pitched bass sound was so full and vibrant that goosebumps formed all over the staff members’ bodies.
The Archons' tremendous figures spanned over 15 meters. Additionally, there was not just one, but three Archons. Real, true fear in the face of pure evil threw the staff members into despair.
Pieces of torn cloth were strewn over the Archon’s skin. The staff members could clearly see blue cloak material, the same as those worn by the Dong-Myung clansmen, with chunks of flesh sticking onto the monsters’ bloodied bodies.
The support staff members looked to their right. This time, a group of Algons approached with lowered heads. The four Algons were 20 meters away. The smaller ones were 2 meters tall while the bigger ones were over 3 meters tall. They also seemed like they just finished hunting. Their lips were drenched in red blood.
The specially commissioned support staff members staggered backward and instinctively gathered in one place. They looked at each other with eyes full of abject fear and terror. Each of them was carrying a sword and shield, but they didn’t believe they could do anything with these weapons.
A sense of impending doom made them look towards their captains with great intensity. Their eyes seemed to implore many things from San and Biyeon. The staff members’ eyes also seemed to contain a sense of resentment for the people who drove them to such a godforsaken place to die.
However, their captains looked around the surroundings with nonchalant ease, not even affording their subordinates a glance. They were just tilting their heads while speaking quietly.
“Oh-ho, are they being hunted, not hunting?”
While muttering, San and Biyeon gazed at the forest ahead. The forest moved. A group of warriors popped out from the right side from where the Archons had just appeared. They ran straight toward the base camp. The support staff opened their eyes wide.
The approaching warriors were the Dong-Myung Clan warriors, led by the Awakened Warrior, Dongye. However, rather than hope, the eyes of the support staff immediately fell into further despair.
“Run… they’re… devils!” The leader, Dongye, shouted out. The appearance of the Dong-Myung warriors was terrible.
Dongye’s entire body was stained in blood, and from his shoulders to his back, tattered, bloodied flesh was exposed, as if one side had been torn off.
None of the Dong-Myung warriors were without injury. Furthermore, none of them had any working weapons. All the fancy weapons that they took with them at the beginning of the hunt were either broken beyond recognition or lost.