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The Little Prince in the Ossuary – Chapter 9: The Little Prince in the Ossuary (9) Bahasa Indonesia

Chapter 9. The Little Prince in the Ossuary (9)

‘Something seems off.’ Inside the tent, there was near twice the maximum number of people it was meant to accommodate. As far as Gyeoul knew, the camp shouldn’t be running out of tents yet. The moment the boy questioned it in his mind, the Control AI displayed a result as if to answer him.

「AI Advice (Lvl 6 Insight): Judging by the fact that being part of a group makes it easier to protect oneself, they are likely a union of weak factions or a group of unaffiliated refugees.」

‘Oh, I see.’

It became quite self-explanatory when he thought about it a little bit more. A powerful faction would have occupied a whole area instead of cramming so many people into a single tent.

Gyeoul thus followed Yeonchul into the tent with more assurance.

A tense atmosphere permeated the interior of the tent. Yeonchul clapped twice to draw the attention of the people inside and proceeded to introduce Gyeoul to those who were at a loss.

“I believe most of you might already know him by the rumors, but let me introduce him for the sake of formality. This is Han Gyeoul-ssi. Please welcome him with a round of applause.”

The fact that Yeonchul was calling him, someone clearly younger, ‘mister’, and how he asked for applause as if it was some sort of festival almost made the boy cringe. But everyone seemed too strained and weary to retort. And it was probably the best that Yeonchul could do right now.

The boy glanced around the people sitting inside the tent. Almost all of them were refugees from minorities; women, children, and elderly people constituting the majority of them. Most of them looked skinny and ill-conditioned, giving off an impression of naivety and timidness. But at least they had some few grown men, so they’d be able to fight back if necessary.

After receiving a most awkward round of applause, Gyeoul was ushered to a chair right next to the stove. It was the best seat they had to offer, as the rest of the people were just sitting on folding chairs or the floor.

“I can see why you called me here.”

“You… do?” Yeonchul asked back with a stiff expression.

“You want me to protect you, don’t you?”

Yeonchul stayed silent at the boy’s question. The silence itself was an implicit confirmation.

“This is just miserable…” A growling voice came out from somewhere. It was the voice of an old man with grizzled hair. His face was plowed with deep furrows, a clear sign of his age. He finished the remaining words with a sigh. “Miserable and embarrassing. To think that I would have to beg for help from someone of my grandchild’s age—for my life! I’d rather die than continue living like this.”

“Please, don’t say that.” Horrified by his words, Yeonchul tried to dissuade the old man with all his might, “Something unbelievable happened just when we were on our way here. We were being followed by the different factions’ commissioners, including the Korean Patriotic Association. But Gyeoul-ssi somehow sensed them, called them out, and sent them packing with just a threat. The rumors were true! We can’t just judge him by his age.”

Then, this time Yeonchul turned to the boy. “Oh, umm… I hope that didn’t bother you,” he said, in the same careful tone, referring to what the old man said.

“No, not really. He’s right about me being young.”

He wouldn’t have cared about it even if someone told him that in real life. Besides, he knew there were penalties imposed on underage characters. That held true even in the real world, why would it be any different here? There was no reason to even pretend to be angry.

Yeonchul, agonizing whether the boy’s words were true or not, carefully brought up what he really had in mind.

“I didn’t mean to put pressure on you. The reason why I brought you here… What you said is true. We need help. The people here haven’t joined any of the factions, and because of that, we’ve faced several difficulties. But as you can see, there are quite a lot of us, so we thought that if we had a good leader, we might be able to establish a faction to protect ourselves. So we’ve been looking for someone who could lead us… and that’s why we invited you here.”

“How many of ‘you’ are there in this group?”

“Around 80 people…” Yeonchul answered in a feeble, timid voice.

In hard times like these, useless people were the first to be abandoned. The boy presumed that compared to how big the group was, only a few of them were useful, resulting in Yeonchul’s unassertive answer.

Gyeoul decided to change the question.

“How many of you can fight?” But before Yeonchul could answer him, he added one more word, “Frankly.”

Gyeoul kept his statement short and powerful. If he was going to accept the position as their leader, he had to make himself look imposing and compelling. If he were to take it easy on them, they would eventually start looking down on him. It was another lesson he learned the hard way.

“…17,” Yeonchul answered with a deep sigh.

“That’s too little.”


Gyeoul’s candor and his callous comment filled the room with a somber and chilling mood. It was as if winter had set in inside the tent.

After a long awkward silence, Yeonchul articulated some words. “I know, but… despite having the option of joining any of the other factions, and getting better conditions than anything we could offer, you still chose to be alone. So, that’s why I thought, maybe… maybe you don’t like those crooks either. If I’m not wrong, please help us. I beg you.”

“I’m afraid I’m too busy looking after myself.”

The boy pretended to be indisposed to accept their offer. That way, they wouldn’t have grounds to add any ifs and buts later on.

The factions that had current dominion over the camp relied too much on immoral acts. Even if the boy were to successfully become the leader of one of those factions, it was evident that their past actions would come to bite him in the future. That’s why the boy had no intention of joining any of the existing factions no matter how attractive their proposals seemed to be.

However, there was also no guarantee that these people wouldn’t become an impediment. The weak could also harbor malice. Even now, some of them were staring at him with cold eyes. They were so intense that he felt like he could hear their inner voices, saying that they were admitting him as the leader now, but that they would soon take his place.

Some also had eyes full of greed, looking like they were only interested in having a leader to shift their burdens on to. To these people, the boy was nothing but a convenient scapegoat. They would pretend to put him on a pedestal when they were actually just taking advantage of him.

The weak are not always on the side of justice. Rather, because they are weak, they often choose to do evil for survival. The weak who have been persecuted are prone to persecute the weaker. But that fact isn’t proof that those people aren’t good in nature either. Most of them do repent and regret what they’ve done when things change.

A college-aged woman, though the boy wasn’t sure of her age because of her disheveled appearance, raised her hand gallantly.

“We’re not asking you to help us for free. If you can stop other factions’ tyranny, we are willing to follow whatever you say. You can be a leader, you know.”

A hollow proposal. Her intention was black and white. She was trying to exploit him and was only looking at his young age, either on purpose or without being aware.

Soon after, following the woman’s example, the others also voiced their sentiments.

“To be honest, it is embarrassing to ask this of someone who isn’t even a grown-up yet. A boy like you decided to go out there and earn yourself a living, but a grown-up like me is just sitting on his bum, helplessly waiting for others to help. It really hurts my pride. But I must admit—Gyeoul, right? You’re a much better person than a weak coward like me. I mean, who cares about age? There are so many adults here who can’t even take care of themselves.”

“It’s been days since we had a proper meal. Even if we want to try and do something, there are a lot of people whose bodies won’t function well. Gyeoul-ssi, please help us out. If you can help us get some decent meals for a few days, we swear we’ll do anything for you.”

“He’s right. Besides, don’t you think it’d be safer to have someone trustworthy watching your back when we get to go out on a mission again? My husband, although he’s a little old, he used to serve in the Marine Corps.”

“I’ve been starving for too long, I can’t feed my baby properly. It’s okay if I die, but I just want to save my child.”

When he heard this, Gyeoul felt like something was hitting his heart. Something like a heavy pebble.

Parents. To the boy, they were nothing but an old sore. Not only his parents but his whole family.

Gyeoul raised his hand to stop the people from talking and looked at the lady that was holding her baby in her bosom. Her lean and scrawny body and her haggard face made her look older.

“Where’s his father?”


The lady kept silence with apparent displeasure on her face.

“He got a little on the side,” answered the woman who said to have a former marine husband.

“A little on the side?”

“When the 「Damul* Promotion Association」 accepted him as one of their members, those dirty bastards got him a new girl. He left his family after getting caught cheating on her.”

It was something he had experienced once before.

Gyeoul got up from his seat before they could continue with more of their stories.

“I’ll think about your offer. I need some time to think it through before I can accept.”

Since he had been using the stick, now it was time to give them a carrot.

“But before I leave, there’s something I’d like to give you. Here, take this.”

“Huh? But this is…”

What the boy was handing to them was a stash of ration stamps. Some extras that Lieutenant Capstone had been giving him before the mission, and his share of stamps he received after completing the mission. There were more than fifty stamps in total.

The refugees mobbed around the boy and received the stamps, almost snatching them out of his hand. They all looked like they couldn’t understand what was happening. Some of them even cried. To them, his action of giving away his stamps meant more than him just offering them a day worth of food.

“I’ll finish my dinner as soon as possible and go to the ration center. Since I dealt with them on our way here, they won’t dare to take your tickets while I’m there with you.”

The ration center was the place where the refugees usually got their ration stamps robbed, since going there meant that you had stamps. This kind of care—showing the people his ability as a leader—was an effective way to strengthen the group mentality of members of a community at the earlier stages of its establishment.

Gyeoul left the tent with a rousing, yet calculative send-off.

* Name of an ideology(?) that started when Korea was still the Goguryeo Dynasty, it means ‘to take back what’s been lost’. In modern days, Damul now means ‘to bring back the past glory’.

These people legit believe that Korea used to rule most of the land that’s now occupied by China. So ‘to take back what’s been lost’ = to take back the land from the Chinese.


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