Seoul Object Story Chapter 18

Chapter 18 - Central Research Institute (9)

༺ Central Research Institute (9) ༻

 

 

  I kept running through the hellish, chaotic mess.

 

  My junior had also disposed of her beloved hammer somewhere along the way and kept running with only the investigation materials in her hand, breathing heavily.

 

  The city, once enjoying a normal daily life, had transformed into the epicenter of hell itself, a place filled with blood and screams.

 

  Pill bugs, resembling burning bowling balls, rolled down the streets, knocking people aside like bowling pins. Rocks soared through the sky, spewing out high-pressure water that tore people into pieces.

 

  Even though I had done a lot of investigation on Objects, I saw many unfamiliar Objects, ruthlessly trampling on the innocent bystanders.

 

  Every passing second was rife with tension.

 

  Whenever my monocle revealed the characteristics of an Object, I had to quickly determine a response method.

 

[Can only attack moving entities.]

 

  “Stop!”

 

  A tadpole with huge eyeballs floated in the air while looking around.

 

  Those unaware of the Object’s abilities recoiled in horror at its grotesque appearance, instinctively fleeing for their lives.

 

  Unfortunately, running away only led them to a gruesome fate.

 

  The tadpole spouted tears from its eyes, and those unfortunate souls who had turned their backs slowly dissolved into nothingness, writhing in agony until their final breath.

 

  ‘Dammit, was it a mistake to make that deal?’

 

  Perhaps thanks to our early escape or from our sheer diligence in running away, we arrived at the outskirts of Songpa-gu before we knew it.

 

  When I looked back, I saw the weary figure of my junior, accompanied by a path littered with blood-soaked corpses.

 

  With a single decision of mine, Songpa-gu had become a literal hell.

 

  As soon as we broke through the border, the military arrived, erecting barricades to block the way.

 

 

We had survived.

 

 

  However, the image of the blood-stained road was etched into my mind, refusing to fade, as if my eyes were still fixed upon that scene.

 

***

 

  The loud sound of the helicopter reverberated in his ears.

 

  Access to the Songpa-gu area, where the central research center was located, had already been restricted, but such matters were not important to them.

 

  What mattered more to ‘Daily Object’ was the interest and number of views their current video would generate.

 

  People screamed and ran away, while the broken roads no longer seemed to function.

 

  Objects that had been contained within the Central Research Institute now roamed freely, turning the area around Songpa-gu into a living hell.

 

  However, there was something even more horrifying.

 

  It was the fact that the government had effectively given up on the residents of Songpa-gu.

 

  At the blockade line surrounding the outskirts of the district, soldiers continuously fired bullets after bullets to hold the front line.

 

  Most of the Objects sent to the Central Research Institute were deemed too dangerous for any private research institute to handle.

 

  Protection of citizens who had fled to the outskirts? The military couldn’t care less about them, especially when faced with a giant mantis that could regenerate instantly even after being struck by a bomb.

 

  However, the camera of the ‘Daily Object’ was not interested in other Objects.

 

  The fierce battle on the barricade line of Songpa-gu? They were not interested in that either.

 

  The camera focused solely on two Objects which were fiercely fighting at the central laboratory site.

 

  The Hungry Ghost, which had shocked and terrified Korea three decades ago.

 

  The Gray Reaper, who had once again garnered attention due to the Seoul Forest Village Fire incident.

 

  It was a match between two Objects that never ceased to be a topic of debate in VS Battles of the internet, and now, it had actually happened.

 

***

 

  The monitor at the Sehee Research Institute displayed real-time footage of Seoul’s center being destroyed, accompanied by the deafening sound of a helicopter.

 

  Throughout the battle, the Reaper seemed to be on the back foot. 

 

  The Hungry Ghost rampaged, demolishing buildings and thrashing at the Reaper with its tentacles. Its power was so formidable that the concrete crumbled into dust and scattered in the wind.

 

  Meanwhile, the Reaper darted around in small strides, occasionally doing a strange action.

 

  Most of its actions seemed meaningless, such as gripping a traffic light and yanking it before running away, or trying to induce the Hungry Ghost into pushing a car.

 

  Occasionally, the Reaper would attack the Hungry Ghost at the expense of one of its arms, seemingly to focus the Hungry Ghost’s attention on itself.

 

  “The skin of the Hungry Ghost is famous for its durability, impervious even to dozens of missiles. But it! Was! Easily! Destroyed! By the Gray Reaper!”

 

  Every time such a scene happened, the reporter from ‘Daily Object’ would spit about how terrifying the reaper was.

 

  The reporter also gave a rough estimate of the damage caused by the battle between the Reaper and the Hungry ghost, highlighting the exorbitant cost of the buildings alone. 

 

  In just a brief collision, yellow flames erupted as the Reaper’s left arm and one of the Hungry Ghost’s tentacles disappeared.

 

  The Reaper’s face remained expressionless as ever, but to Yerin, its torn left arm looked very painful.

 

  “Um… The Reaper will be okay, right?”

 

  Though both the Hungry Ghost and the Reaper always got injured simultaneously, the Hungry Ghost still seemed to hold a significant advantage. After all, even if they both lost parts of their bodies, the difference in their body size was staggering.

 

  “It’ll be okay. When The Reaper burns like that, it becomes really amazing,”Sehee Unnie replied confidently.

 

  Upon hearing her words, Yerin looked closely at the image of the Gray Reaper on the monitor.

 

  “Ah!”

 

  When she looked closely, she could clearly see it.

 

  It was just hard to notice because it was so small compared to the Hungry Ghost.

 

  “The light emitted by the Reaper seems to be getting brighter?”

 

  “Though I don’t know why, that means that the Reaper is growing stronger.”

 

***

 

  My body was overflowing with strength.

 

  This probably meant that many people around me had died in pain.

 

  As my strength grew, my perception of death extended further and wider.

 

  It felt as though I was expelling the constant influx of power, and my mind was flooded with countless ways to kill.

 

  Like stacking dominoes, I built the conditions one by one.

 

  The goal was to neutralize the Hungry Ghost.

 

  But I derived the ‘Killing conditions’ with the determination to annihilate every Object in sight.

 

  The ‘Killing condition’ that I got from seeing an Object was just at the level of a vague hint.

 

  However, when it came to everything aside from Objects, I could discern more specific conditions.

 

  I could foresee events that were bound to occur, rather than just identifying a condition.

 

  Seemingly unrelated actions would converge, setting off a series of events that ultimately led to death. It was just like the butterfly effect.

 

  For example, if I were to place a stone three meters ahead of me, clap my hands, and spin around, a rabbit would be startled, step on the stone, and fall to its death

 

  While fighting against the Hungry Ghost, I meticulously established numerous of these death conditions, one by one.

 

  And now, it was time to see the culmination of these dominoes.

 

***

 

  The Hungry Ghost widened its mouth, bellowing in laughter.

 

  It was confident of its victory.

 

  After all, it was clear that the regeneration of that tiny creature had its limits.

 

  Even the power it continuously absorbed from its surroundings decreased rapidly once the humans around them disappeared.

 

  Now all that remained was to eat that little thing.

 

  However, when the creature suddenly stopped and stomped its feet on the ground, the earth began to crumble beneath it.

 

  Yet, the Hungry Ghost found this sudden collapse laughable.

 

  The severity of the crumbling ground was not enough to threaten it.

 

  Even though it had fallen down, it would soon resurface and eat that tiny creature up.

 

  !!!!

 

  But as it emerged to the surface, it heard a sound akin to the world’s scream.

 

  Simultaneously, the Hungry Ghost could feel a huge ‘something’ reaching towards it from the other side of the world.

 

  Though that ‘something’, standing behind the small creature, quickly disappeared, the Hungry Ghost still trembled with endless fear.

 

  No, to be exact, all Objects capable of perceiving the status of that ‘something’ experienced the same sensation.

 

  Gripped by terror, the Hungry Ghost flung itself into the collapsing ground.

 

 

***

 

  A huge collapse occurred.

 

  It was a collapse so massive that it should be called a ‘super collapse’.

 

  A sinkhole of several kilometers in diameter was created, its depth so deep that the bottom could not be seen.

 

  The Daily Object reporter, who had incessantly berated the Reaper , stood dumbfounded, his eyes widening as he forgot what he had to say.

 

  The Reaper suddenly stopped, clapped twice and stomped the floor with its small foot three times, triggering the collapse.

 

  The process itself was dramatic.

 

  Smaller cars tumbled like pinballs, and collided with others, resulting in a chaotic explosion.

 

  Even the nearby tanker erupted in flames.

 

  The vibration caused all the surrounding buildings to topple in a domino-like fashion, while gas pipes exploded all at once.

 

  It felt like a scene straight out of a movie.

 

  The Hungry Ghost was caught up in that collapse and fell into an abyss-like sinkhole before completely disappearing.

 

  “Wo…woah! The Reaper is really amazing, huh?”

 

  “It is… Isn’t it?”

 

  At the Sehee Research Institute, everyone watching the broadcast on TV couldn’t keep their mouths shut at the incredible incident orchestrated by the Reaper.

 

***

 

  Three days after the disaster, which would later be known as the Gray Collapse Incident, the world seemed to be gradually recovering from the shock.

 

  Initially, everyone was afraid.

 

  Many suggested abandoning Seoul altogether.

 

  After all, among the Objects that fell into the sinkhole, many had the ability to fly. To top it off, uncontrollable Objects such as The Hungry Ghost also fell into it.

 

  It became a terrifying place, where the appearance of a monster capable of destroying Seoul remained a constant threat!

 

  As a result, more and more people chose to abandon Seoul, thus moving to other regions.

 

  But no matter how much time passed, none of those Objects crawled back to the surface.

 

  Only a handful of insignificant small fry came back up, but they were easily disposed of by the military.

 

  Just like that, Seoul gradually regained its stability.

 

Seoul Object Story

Seoul Object Story

Score 9.95
Status: Ongoing Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
Humans, once the masters of Earth, were losing their place to the inexplicable phenomena known as Objects. And this is a story about becoming an Object and living worry-free in the Seoul of such a world.

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