Stagnant Water of Apocalypse - Chapter 48
To be honest, I never thought that someone would buy the ice bag I posted. It’s priced at 5 points, an amount which should be quite burdensome for many people at this point of time. One had to kill three zombies in order to get around 4-6 points, so the price I put for a single ice bag was the same as 3 zombies’ worth, which was ridiculous. Moreover, on this blistering day, it takes a lot of sweat just to hunt three zombies. So, after putting it on the Auction House, I didn’t pay much attention to it and did things I was planning on doing, which was making a garden.
However, In the middle of planning about the location and how to make it, I suddenly remembered the ice bag. When I checked what happened, someone had clicked the Buy Now button. Naturally, the comments section was raging. People were questioning why the buyer paid such a price just to get something as measly as an ice bag. And at the end of the comment, the successful bidder’s comment was shown.
-Do you have any more ice?
“Ohh. You want more, huh?” I smirked. For me, selling ice was as easy as selling river water. The snow around my cave was simply overflowing since it is currently winter in the forest. It piled up and became an ice wall. I just had to cut it with a saw and sell it. That’s 5 points in about 10 minutes. Of course, the ice is not unlimited, however I shouldn’t worry about running out soon since grey clouds are still hanging in the sky. Since I do want to earn points, I put up five more ice bags. As if the previous successful bidder was already waiting for it, the ice bag disappears immediately seconds after it was just displayed on the auction menu. Whoever bought it just used a total of 30 points to buy ice—a non-essential thing in this ruined world.
“Do they still have a lot of points left?” Of course, if they had a good unique skill, 30 points might not be a burden. But still, it takes quite a lot of effort to earn it. But spending it just to buy some ice…
“Nope. Let go of your preconceived notions.” I shook my head. The buyer might have a unique skill which makes earning points easy for them. By the way, I was actually quite curious about their identity… Since they just used 30 points without hesitation for a useless thing, it seems like they aren’t a stagnant water. I wanted to ask what their ID was, but before I could do it, the successful bidder openly revealed their identity.
―My game ID is Duck Buttock Goes Kwek Kwek. Are you perhaps someone I know? I kind of feel that way.
What is this… To think that I met Duck Buttock here… Why??
He was one of the 4 stagnant waters. He enjoyed doing crazy things in the game just like Rabbit Pwincess. If RaPwi was a bomb that could explode anytime, Duck was the one who kept igniting that bomb’s wick. When the two of them created an accident, it was always up to me and the Survivor 1 to fix it. Or sometimes, the four of us went crazy at the same time and then started from the tutorial all over again.
Thanks to him revealing his identity, the three people who were watching began to ramble.
-Hey, are you really Duck Buttock Goes Kwek Kwek? I’ve seen you play a lot.
―If you are a stagnant water, your unique skill should be insanely good, right? I’m also a semi-stagnant water, so how about it? Let’s work together.
―I am building a force in Seoul. It will become easier for you if you join me.
But Duck didn’t seem to be interested in their offer at all.
-I don’t need anyone’s help.
Does that mean he can do it all by himself? Or is it that he only wants to join other stagnant waters?
Then, the three continued to spit.
―You can do anything alone in the game, but this is reality hahaha! To survive, we have to help each other!
―No matter how good you are, you alone can’t beat numbers! I’m giving you a good offer right now.
Duck then left a comment in the end.
-Ah, these guys really! Just scram! Or else I’ll stick it at you.
-What do you mean, stick it?
-I’m going to stick it in your ass!
-Wow, Isn’t he a complete madman?
-Yeah, I’m a madman, what will you do? I oughta!
His personality came out. Even though Rabbit Pwincess was someone who was famous for his ‘sex’ catchphrase, the real pervert was actually Duck Buttock. His pervertness encompasses everything. Whether it was a goblin, kobold, zombie, werewolves… or anything, he didn’t care. It could be said that it was a miracle that he didn’t just lay his hand on every user.
The three of them were silent for a moment when the Duck Buttock came out strong. He must have had a good unique skill, so he would have thought that it would be better for him to work alone. Well, I’ll know about it later when we meet. Then, Duck asked me in kinder words.
―The person who auctioned the ice, have we ever played the game together?
Well, we were together until almost the end. However, I wrote a different comment.
-I’m not sure. I may have seen you once or twice.
-Hmmm… is that so? Do you have anything other than ice?
I have a lot of things, but it simply couldn’t be said here with so many eyes looking. So, I put another bag of ice instead of answering. Duck grumbled that he had revealed his identity for nothing, but he still bought the ice.
-The ice is really nice. Would you like to team-up with me for the rest of the summer? I can protect you.
Making ice wasn’t that great of a skill, so why is he doing this? Is he someone who needs ice to enjoy every drink except in the winter?
-Then you will abandon me after summer, right? I will have to decline.
-Why don’t you just try coming here first, then leave with no regrets.
-Don’t be surprised later.
-Why should I be surprised?
I left the Auction House, pretending not to read his last comment. By the way, I earned 45 points by selling ice today. The demand for it was still low for the time being, but I’m sure it will increase over time as more and more users unlock the Auction House. Not just ice, of course. People would need more variety of things than that.
“I can sell fish, meat, vegetables…” All of the resources I obtained in the forest were auction-worthy items. With them, my future was set.
“I just have to run straight on the path paved by my plans.” I smiled. An abundant life in the apocalypse… Although it’s not possible to share it with others due to the portal’s restriction, it’s still good. After all, if I had finished taking care of myself, I could then help the people around me.
I have more neighbours around my house now. A group of at least three people had come and settled down in a building between my two-story house and the academy. After observing them for a few days, there’s still no significant movement from them as of yet. So I concluded they were not hostile, at least for now. Yoohyeon also reported that Sooyeon had moved.
-Sooyeon noona will live in the two-story officetel on the crossroads. The items there were hers, so she said please don’t touch it.
When I asked Yoohyeon what she did with the rest of her luggage, he told me that she would slowly move it from her villa to the officetel. It’s really convenient to ask about something to someone who knows about it. I don’t have to make any conjecture whatsoever.
“Still, it’s a man’s duty to carry the luggage.” I spoke to myself as I rose to my feet. Once I arrived at the officetel, I could see Sooyeon and Yoohyeon. Her crestfallen face from a few days back had disappeared, replaced by an invigorated face.
“Seongho, did you come to help me?”
“That is the case, since I don’t have much to do right now.”
“Thank you. I’m not going to move everything, but still, please take care of me.” She said as she bowed at me. We promptly departed from the officetel to Eden Villa to take the luggage she left behind. Because Yoohyeon is quite skinny, he wouldn’t help much, but he brought a cheerleader named Mikyung. As soon as Mikyung saw me, she ran up to me and boasted.
“Ahjussi, my ability now has an additional effect!”
“Is that so? Can you tell me what the additional effects are?”
“I can now teleport together with someone!”
“Oh, that’s great. Now you’re like a transportation.”
“A transportation that can only carry one person.” Yoohyeon chimed in with a smirk on his face.
“I won’t give you a ride later.” Mikyung retaliated.
“You can go alone. I can stay at Sooyeon noona’s hideout and return to our place when it’s safe.”
“…” Mikyung looked at Yoohyeon incredulously before kicking him in the ankle.
“You… just wait until we return to the hideout.”
They seem to get along pretty well. When I asked if they were dating, both of them gave me a surprised expression and told me that it’s too much even if what I said is a joke. Sorry for crossing the line, you guys.
When the chatter died down, and we were ready to return to the officetel, I said to Mikyung. “Mikyung, attract the zombies while we move the luggage.”
“Okay, Ahjussi!” She said before disappearing. There was a good distance between Eden Villa and the officetel, therefore it was important to lure the zombies away in order to secure a safe route between the villa and the officetel. And since Mikyung was quick on her feet and had her blink ability, she’s the perfect person for the task. She did the job perfectly as we were able to move Sooyeon’s luggage without encountering a single zombie.
“Mikyung is really amazing.” Sooyeon said as we put down the luggage at the officetel.
“Hehe, it’s nothing, Unnie. It’s Ahjussi who was good at planning.”
“You are doing well.”
After she left, Yoohyeon walked up to me and made a strange expression on his face. “Hyung, didn’t you feel the way Mikyung was addressing people was a bit weird?”
“Aren’t Sooyeon noona older than you, hyung? Yet she called her Unnie, while she called you Ahjussi…”
Now that I think about it, what Yoohyeon said was indeed true. Does her conscience not allow her to call me Oppa?
“Well, it could be because she didn’t feel particularly close to me.”
“The way I see it, it’s absolutely not the case.” Sooyeon chimed in. But to be frank, I didn’t really care what people wanted to call me with. So I urged them to drop the topic and start to move again to Eden Villa. After a couple of hours, we finally finished moving all of Sooyeon’s luggage. Naturally, after moving so much in this damned hot weather, everyone was drenched in sweat.
“It’s really hot…”
“There is no wind whatsoever and it is a very hot summer.”
The coolest thing on the building was the stairs’ floor, so everyone sprawled on the floor while complaining and fanning their faces with their hands. While they were doing so. I went to Sooyeon’s luggage and prepared a meal. If I had been alone, I would have gone into the portal and had a cold meal to cool the heat off, but in this situation, I can’t help it. Therefore, today’s menu would be ration food. Everyone put it in their mouth as soon as I laid it in front of them even when they had no appetite. After all, they need the energy to keep surviving in this wretched world.
“Sigh… I feel more comfortable here than in our hideout.” Yoohyeon suddenly said in the middle of the meal.
“Why? Are you not getting along with the others?”
When Sooyeon asked, Yoohyeon sighed once again. “These days, the atmosphere of the group isn’t good. There are people who don’t get along.”
I knew the people mentioned by him were Hyung-jun Hyung and Kyunghoon. It seems that their nerve war was still on-going until now. If I were to guess, the one to blame for the whole situation was none other than Kyunghoon. Contrary to his appearance, Hyung-jun Hyung was quite old. So, he’s not the type of person who would actively argue with other people. But those kinds of people are the scariest when they get really angry.
“I would rather live with Ahjussi or Sooyeon unnie. Kyunghoon oppa and Bora unnie talk only with each other every day and it’s so uncomfortable.”
“If that’s the case, can’t you just divide the supplies and separate?”
“That’s my exact thought. In the first place, Kyunghoon oppa and Bora unnie were more friendly with those people anyway.”
When I asked, Mikyung answered with a lower tone than before. “People came into the office on the third floor a few days ago. They were all wearing hiking clothes.”
“Ah, those people.” I spoke. It was a group of two men and one woman. I paid close attention to them as they seemed to be the same people I met at the camping supply store on the D-day. But as they were quite silent, at least for now, I decided to just ignore them. By the way, if those two leave the group, I think I could join the academy group. The main reason I kept my distance until now was because I didn’t like Kyunghoon at all. it was unsightly of him to act as if he had become the leader of the members even though he didn’t know jack shit about anything. If both him and Bora disappeared, I thought it would be okay to join the group of Hyung-jun Hyung, Yoohyeon, Mikyung and Sooyeon. They were all trustworthy people. And it should be fine since our level now wouldn’t be so far apart.
Yoohyeon, who looked like he lost his appetite after a few bites, quickly folded a paper airplane and flew it away.
“I’m sending it to the Manager,” he said. “He must be alone now.”
“Huh? Is he eating alone right now?”
“Probably? We asked him to go together with us, but he said he didn’t want to go because he thinks at least one person has to stay to protect the hideout.”
It’s not necessarily the case, but he’s not Hyung-jun Hyung if he’s not stubborn. After a while, Yoohyeon’s face turned sour. He seemed to be looking at the hideout through the paper airplane.
“I must go. The atmosphere between the Manager and Kyunghoon hyung doesn’t look good.”
“How bad is it?”
“They are not fighting with their fist yet, but they are throwing curses at each other. Kyunghoon hyung told the Manager if he doesn’t like being here, he can leave.”
“Hiks Hiks.” Mikyung was in tears as soon as she heard it. I’d heard that the two often fight. Hyung-jun Hyung emphasized survival is the most important thing, while Kyunghoon said that they should focus on hunting. At first, I thought it was simply due to the difference in personality, but when Kyunghoon told me not to come anymore to their group, I knew my conjecture was wrong. If they were left alone like this, the end result was clear as day. It will be a bloodbath. I’ll have to go to intervene.
I slung my backpack to my shoulder and said to Mikyung. “Let’s go together. I think we need to find out what’s going on.”
“Yes!” She grabbed my hand after brushing off her tears. Yoohyeon told me that I just need to touch her in order to blink together with her, and the moment I did, the surrounding scenery quickly moved away. The next moment, we were already on the first-floor staircase leading up to the academy.
As I stood still, Mikyung asked, seemingly surprised. “Aren’t you dizzy, ahjussi?”
“I’m fine. Do people usually get dizzy when they do this?”
“Yes. Both Manager and Yoohyeon said they were dizzy as if they were on a rollercoaster.” Ah so there were such side effects. When I was musing like that, a loud noise could be heard from above. As I started to climb the stairs, Mikyung followed closely. And the moment I entered the academy, the eyes of three people were all focused on me.
“Uh-huh… Didn’t I tell you to not come here anymore?” Kyunghoon spoke in a sharp tone, but I ignored him and just kept walking to him.
“Is everything fine?”
“Yeah, it’s all fine. So, thank you for coming.” Hyung-jun Hyung said as he wiped the sweat trickling down on his red face. He must have been angered because of Kyunghoon and Bora’s sudden attack.
“Mr Seongho, I told you before, but this is our place. Please leave.”
“Why should he leave? Can’t I just invite him so he can stay?” When Hyung-jun Hyung said, Kyunghoon’s eyes went wide. It seems like he was baffled.
“What the hell is this, the leader ignores what the members said and does whatever he wants! Can’t you see that we’re uncomfortable?”
“Yoohyun and Mikyung say it’s okay, so, why are you the only one feeling that way?”
“Because he’s an outsider! Isn’t it strange that you guys just believe whatever he says?”
I could see Hyung-jun Hyung tried to say something for a moment but swallowed it down. Then after calming himself, he spoke in low tone “Yes, he’s an outsider, but It’s not like he’s a complete stranger to us. He has helped us a lot since before D-day and is still helping us until now. I don’t know why you look at him negatively, Kyunghoon.”
“He indeed helped us! But did I do nothing after the D-day? Every time I tried to express my opinion, you always said Seongho this, Seongho that. Do you believe more in an outsider rather than your own member?”
Was it bothering him that I helped? My influence had indeed grown among the gym members, and Kyunghoon seems to be dissatisfied with it. Therefore, when issues about hunting and farming come out, he comes out strong in order to assert dominance.
“It’s not like that. Seongho’s advice is proven to be correct, so I believe it. In the meantime, you, Kyunghoon, have never been right with your advice.” His face turned red at Hyung-jun Hyung’s words. He pretended to know a lot, but he didn’t seem to be of any help. It’s time for me to intervene, as I said calmly.
“With all of these disagreements continuing on and on, it’s hard to live together, isn’t it? Then, let me make a suggestion. Take all the supply you need, and go on your separate way”
“Haaahh…. What an absurd suggestion. If we leave, their fighting power will drop sharply, are you really suggesting that?”
“Not very much. Because Sooyeon and I will be joining.”
Hearing my words, Kyunghoon’s face contorted.