en English
en Englishid Indonesian

The Little Prince in the Ossuary – Chapter 23: High Risk High Return (10), Paso Robles Bahasa Indonesia

Chapter 23: High Risk High Return (10), Paso Robles

Debris of the shattered buildings flew around as though they had been swept up by a storm. There were also dismembered body parts wrapped in torn pieces of military uniforms scattered around the road. This hellish scene was the work of Grumble’s close combat pattern.

When Gyeoul arrived at the site, Grumble was running riot among the residential area. With only a couple of punches, a third of a single-story house crumbled away. The soldiers who had entered the empty house for cover crawled back out from the opposite window. But unfortunately, one of the soldiers failed to escape the house as a mutant grabbed his leg from the inside. After giving a cry, he was soon dragged back into the house.

The soldiers on the other side took a potshot at the giant mutant. Gyeoul, however, knew their effort was completely useless, as Grumble possessed almost zero weaknesses except for his orifices and throat. Of course, some highly destructive armaments such as KEP or HEAT rounds would be effective against it, but the soldiers who were facing such a monster for the first time couldn’t possibly have prepared such ammunition.

When the walls and roof of the house Grumble was hitting gave way, Grumble slowly turned towards the soldiers with a deafening roar. A sign that Grumble was preparing for a distant combat pattern. It was either one of these two: 「Hurl」 if it had something throwable at its hand’s reach or 「Dash」 if not.

As it happens, there was a van near the monster. In its grip, the frame of the vehicle crumpled like a cardboard box. Then, with a whoosh, the crumpled van went flying towards the soldiers. In the place where the metal scrap landed, the blood of a soldier who couldn’t move away in time splattered on the ground.

“You… do have a plan to kill that, right?” Sergeant Cohen asked, terrified at the sight.

The sound of the van’s motor must have drawn the monster’s attention. The flashing eyes of the mutant fell on the van Gyeoul and Cohen were in.

“Please tell me you do…!”

“You go on ahead and back up.”

Gyeoul gestured to Cohen to fall behind as he got out of the van.

Instead of pulling out his pistol, Gyeoul grabbed the rifle in order to safely fire direct hits.

[Kwaa—*Brrrt*—rrrgh!! Kek!]

Of the seven bullets he fired, five of them successfully pierced Grumble’s mouth. The monster shut its bullet-riddled mouth and staggeringly took a few steps back. Gyeoul approached Grumble, keeping a firm grip on his rifle all the while, and pulled the trigger whenever it opened its mouth. For shooting while on the move, Gyeoul accuracy remained surprisingly high.

The surviving soldiers poured out a rain of bullets on Grumble. Gyeoul worried that the mutant would change its target back to them. Fortunately, the monster didn’t take its eyes off of him. Perhaps it was because they weren’t inflicting any damage due to its physical immunity.

Once the boy was about five meters away from the monster, he stopped walking and took out a grenade he had taken from Sergeant Cohen. Then, with a swift motion, he removed the clip and removed the safety pin with his teeth.


The grenade thrown by the boy flew straight into the frightful maw of the monster. Not knowing what had entered its mouth, Grumble spread its arms, ready to use Dash. But as soon as he took a step forward, its body swelled up with an explosion. Grumble fell into a convulsion, vomiting blood and bits of flesh. Bloody tears streamed down from his ruptured eye.

Gyeoul instantly fed the giant mutant another grenade. Along with the loud blast, the body of what seemed like an invincible entity began to fall apart from the inside. A stream of blood cascaded down the gorges of muscles. The giant monster’s life quickly drained away like a machine running out of juice.

Some soldiers that still hadn’t recovered from the fear fired a hail of bullets at the dead body. Little did they know that the noise was attracting other ordinary mutants towards them. The soldiers, however, were so focused on shooting the monster that they didn’t seem to have noticed the mutants approaching from behind.

Gyeoul quickly raised his hands and crossed his arms over his head.

“This one is dead! Behind! Look behind you!”

It was only then that the soldiers came back to their senses, but it was too late. From each corner of the buildings mutants appeared one after another. Their numbers grew larger and larger until they completely surrounded the soldiers.

Just when Gyeoul was about to step up, a raspy noise of an engine came into his hearing. It was Cohen. He drove the van crashing into all the obstacles on his way and stopped with a sharp turn before them.

“What are you fuckers staring at? Hop in!” Cohen said as he poked out his head through the driver’s window.

The soldiers immediately crushed into the side door of the van. Some of them were in too much of a hurry that they even tossed their guns aside to fit in the van.

“Fuck yeah! That was epic! Haha!” Cohen shouted when Gyeoul seated himself in the passenger seat.

The car veered off the road and belted in between the houses. As befits the United States, a country overflowing with surplus land, there was enough space for cars to drive in between. Of course, there were fences and other obstacles, but they weren’t enough to stop the van.

When the van arrived at the Health Department, Cohen slammed on the brakes, making the people in the back jump through the windshield. The soldiers spat out curses at him, but Cohen only sat there grinning inanely.

Gyeoul went into the building alone to bring Staff Sergeant Ashford to the van. A couple of soldiers offered their help, but Gyeoul refused. Not only did they need a rest, but there weren’t any mutants left inside the building. The staff sergeant, who kept on groaning while walking outside, became healthy again as if he hadn’t been sick at all when he got reunited with his team.

The vehicle started running again once Gyeoul hopped on board.

“It kinda bugs me letting those mutants follow us around,” said Gyeoul, pointing at the swarm of mutants that had been tailing the van. Though the mutants wouldn’t be able to catch up with the speed of an automobile, they were still able to follow them around owing to the noise of the engine.

“You got any plan for them?”

“There’s a gas station up ahead. Let’s cook them with oil and fire.”

“I gotta ask, are all Asians as smart as you? Because that is fucking brilliant!”

Gyeoul told Cohen to park the van far away from the gas station in case the fire grew uncontrollable. Besides, if the gas station itself caught on fire, the van had to be at a safe distance.

The boy first placed the radio he had obtained from the auto shop near the remains of the humvee. Thanks to the disaster broadcast channel, the radio would be producing human voices. After cranking the volume up to the limit, Gyeoul grabbed the gasoline dispenser and started spraying all over the road. Clear gasoline drenched the asphalt and dipped down the slope of Walnut drive.

Once the road was soaked enough, Gyeoul put the dispenser back and asked the soldiers watching him from afar.

“Does anyone have a lighter?”

“I do. Do you need a cigarette to go with?”

One of the soldiers threw his zippo and attempted to a crack joke, only to be answered with complete indifference.

As soon as the mutants set foot on the oil-covered road, Gyeoul threw the zippo at the other end of the oily field. The oil caught on fire even before the lighter could even hit the ground.

The road was soon engulfed by the maws of inferno. Black shadows struggled as if they were dancing. The background music was a cacophony of crackling fire and painful screams. The soldiers frowned.

Some mutants managed to escape out of the sea of flame—A desperate struggle of the pathogen in an effort to spread the disease at all cost.

“Don’t shoot them. It’s just gonna be a waste of bullets.”

Indeed, the mutants slowly died away on their own. They struggled even after falling on the floor as if the pathogen inside their brains were ordering their bodies to keep walking even when their legs had given away a long time ago.

The soldiers, who were behind cover, also came close and observed the horrible scene of the burning ceremony. ‘If there were hell on earth, this must be what it would look like,‘ thought Gyeoul. As if he had heard his thought, one of the soldiers made the sign of the cross and brought his cross necklace up to his lips.

“Okay, we’re done here. Let’s head back, to those waiting for us.”

Below the feet of those who walked with their backs facing the flames, lay layers of shadows filled with their sorrows.

With the tired soldiers aboard, the van finally arrived at their destination, the Daniel Lewis Middleschool’s gymnasium. Even Gyeoul felt as though he had been away for a whole week when it had only been a day.

Gyeoul led the soldiers to the back door and knocked on the door.

The one who opened the door for them was Yura. She seemed like she had been on the tiptoe of expectation. Before Gyeoul could even finish taking off his gas mask, Yura gave him a tight hug.

“I was worried… that you wouldn’t make it back…”

Sergeant Cohen blew a facetious whistle at them. But when she began to cry, he soon looked away scratching his head in a muddle.

The people inside the gym were startled when they saw seven more strangers flooding in from the door. Too strained to notice their military uniform, they pointed their guns at them for a moment. But the soldiers were too tired to even care. Some just plopped down on the floor before passing the barricade while heaving out sighs.

Some soldiers took out cigarettes and began puffing at them. Although the smoke couldn’t do any harm to the player in this virtual world, Gyeoul deliberately distanced himself from them. Back when he used to be alive or had a body of his own, he used to hate the smell of smoke his father left inside the house. The soldiers chuckled at him, joking about how he was still a kid.

For a while, the gym became abuzz with the arrival of the soldiers, but it then fell completely silent with the sound of sudden claps. The one that was giving the lonely applause was a young student. His eyes, shedding big drops of tears, were looking directly at Gyeoul.

The applause soon rippled across the crowd, along with ladling cheers. The soldiers also stood up and joined in. The noise-conscious praise could be felt even louder. Only Jinseok stood forlornly in one corner of the gym.

Yura was still grabbing hold of Gyeoul’s sleeve and sobbing. While Gyeoul was busy soothing her, Staff Sergeant Ashford came up to him.

“I, as the representative of our troop, would like to pay tribute to your courageous act. We truly appreciate it,” said Ashford with a crisp salute.

“Save your gratitude for after we get back to the camp.”

As usual, messages signaling favor revisions occupied the corner of his view. But the content was clearly different from the usual. The messages were filled with the favor players could acquire for saving lives, namely the permanent revisions. Something that could only be offset by the same permanent revisions. Unless Gyeoul killed their families in front of their eyes, it would last until the day they died.

After the staff sergeant returned to his colleagues, Gyeoul wiped the tears on Yura’s eyes. The smudges on her face were also wiped off along the tear marks.

Beauty was a double-edged sword. It could be used as a weapon, but it could also be a weakness. In a situation like this, where people were unsure of their safety, people tended not to take care of their appearances. Yura was no exception to this. Her disheveled hair and dirty face made it hard to guess how she would have looked before the epidemic. Just by wiping some dirt off her face, Gyeoul knew she must’ve been a good-looking girl.

Meanwhile, a sudden ring fell on Gyeoul’s ears.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chapter List