“…The ones our rescue team members are trying to save in there aren’t human?”
Lee Soo Hyuk's eyes opened wide.
Cale just responded by nodding his head.
The Yeonsan-dong rescue team incident.
The incident that made people stop relying solely on ‘strength’ to rank the monsters and start adding the monster’s ‘attributes’ as well.
"The Mirror Masks have two special abilities. One is the ability to copy the appearance of a living creature they killed.”
It didn’t have to be humans.
The Mirror Masks perfectly copied the appearance of any creature they consumed.
“However, the Mirror Masks usually look like humans.”
This was because they ate a lot of humans.
They were wicked creatures.
Cale, who had fought against many monsters, wouldn't usually make such a harsh judgment about a monster, but the Mirror Masks were truly wicked creatures to him.
It was not just because they ate a lot of humans.
“It eats the weakest of a race and then drags in and kills stronger beings who show concern about the weak. These monsters continue to get stronger by doing that.”
“If we were to use humans as an example, they would first eat children and old people and act extremely pitiful looking like them before dragging in and eating other humans who want to help them.”
These Mirror Masks aimed for the weak first.
Then they used human compassion to their advantage in order to hunt the people trying to help them.
Kim Woo, who was listening, gasped.
Cale just stared at Lee Soo Hyuk's emotionless face as he continued to speak.
“The Mirror Masks’ second special ability is their ability to lure monsters and make them lose their rationality.”
Cale slowly turned toward the monsters surrounding the building.
He could see the monsters doing everything they could to get inside the building to where the rescue team members and the Mirror Masks were hiding.
The White Rabbit was already looking at the monsters as if they were odd.
“Those monsters will not become afraid even if you step in.”
“That must explain why they are showing no responses when the fact that I am here should make them become at least a bit wary or start to run. They definitely seem to have lost their rationalities as you mentioned, Mr. Rok Soo.”
One of Kim Woo's subordinates started to speak.
“Isn’t this a complicated situation then?”
He quickly continued to speak once he made eye contact with Cale.
“Isn’t it, sir? That means the monsters will continue to come charging in.”
Lee Soo Hyuk started to speak at that moment.
“It doesn’t seem that complicated at all.”
Cale started to speak once Kim Woo's subordinate asked.
"We just need to create a path.”
Joo Ho-Shik shouted at the same time.
“I have faith!”
Lee Soo Hyuk instantly got chills on his back.
It was the same for Kim Woo as well. Kim Woo’s eyes opened wide.
“W, what is that?”
He could see black smoke slowly starting to gather in the air once Joo Ho-Shik shouted.
Cale quietly said something at that moment.
‘Kim Woo, Heo Sook Ja, and Lee Soo Hyuk… All three of you fighting together would not be able to defeat Choi Han.”
Cale could see Lee Soo Hyuk and Choi Jung Soo’s gazes focused on Choi Han.
Choi Jung Soo subconsciously clenched the White Rabbit's fur that he was holding. Mister Rabbit peeked toward Choi Jung Soo before starting to smile.
Choi Jung Soo did not realize this as he focused on each and every one of Choi Han’s movements.
‘I will only teach you sword arts.’
Those words that Choi Han said to him in the past were filling his mind.
“That sword art-”
‘He was going to learn that sword art?’
Choi Jung Soo's heart started to beat wildly. However, his gaze turned sharp, unlike his excited heart.
‘He's definitely related to my family somehow.’
This sword art was similar to the ancient sword art that the Choi family had been researching.
“The foundation does not change.”
Choi Jung Soo focused on this man from the Choi family who was younger than him but used a sword art that had the same foundation as his own.
And one more person…
Lee Soo Hyuk let out a short gasp.
His eyes were observing how the black smoke in the air was slowly turning into the shape of a Yong.
“…He is strong.”
Lee Soo Hyuk had figured out that Choi Han was an extremely strong swordsman when he shook Choi Han’s hand.
The scars and calluses on his hand told him about how much work Choi Han had put in.
But seeing Choi Han using his sword with his own eyes…
‘I can’t beat him.’
‘But I won’t lose.’
His attribute was ‘slash’.
That made it so that Lee Soo Hyuk would not lose even if he could not win.
This was especially the case when it came to the sword.
The foundation of a sword was to slash.
Lee Soo Hyuk, who had that foundation, recalled how Kim Rok Soo had said that he would not be able to win.
‘Does he know about my ability?’
Kim Rok Soo had figured out the true identity of his ability?
Just making that assumption made Lee Soo Hyuk slowly move his gaze from Choi Han to Cale.
“…This is no joke.”
Lee Soo Hyuk felt the ground start to shake as soon as he started to smile.
In the direction Choi Han’s sword was pointing at…
A large black Yong swept through the ground.
The black Yong stopped right in front of the building before it disappeared as if it had ascended to heaven.
That instantly created a path for them.
Choi Han and Kim Min Ah stepped into the path and stood in front of the group.
"We are moving.”
Cale followed behind them.
Kim Woo quietly rubbed the back of his hands that had become full of goosebumps before quickly starting to walk.
He didn't want to be accidentally left behind.
Bae Puh Rum approached him and used his wind to help Kim Woo and his subordinates. Kim Woo bit down on his lips after hearing Bae Puh Rum, who was much younger than him, nonchalantly say that before rushing past him as if it was nothing.
This thought filled his mind over and over.
But he didn't have time to stand there lost in his thoughts.
The monsters could not attack them because of Kim Min Ah's spear, Choi Han's sword, as well as Bae Puh Rum and Park Jin Tae's supporting attacks from behind.
Of course, Mister Rabbit slapping them with his large ears played a role as well.
The rescue team members, who were watching this with shock from outside the building entrance, could not hide their joy after seeing Lee Soo Hyuk and the messenger.
Lee Soo Hyuk's expression did not look good as he looked at them.
It was because all of them looked terrible.
“How long have you been fighting?”
The Assistant Squad Leader of the group, who had been fighting in the front, started to speak.
“It’s been slightly over an hour and a half.”
“…That must have been hard.”
Lee Soo Hyuk's expression stiffened while the Assistant Squad Leader shook his head without noticing it.
“No, sir! You came for us, leader-nim!”
His expression was quite bright.
“Leader-nim, but these people-”
“Kim Rok Soo over here is in charge right now. Listen to him.”
The Assistant Squad Leader and the rest of the rescue team members, who were peeking this way while still fending off monsters, looked confused.
Cale ignored their gazes and looked toward his group.
“Mister Rabbit, please stay here with Joo Ho-Shik, Kim Min Ah, and Bae Puh Rum and help the rescue team members defend against the monsters surrounding the building.”
Kim Min Ah started to frown. It was because Cale left two strong people out here even though they were going to fight with Mirror Masks that were Grade 1 monsters.
But Cale could not take the two of them.
“Mr. Kim Woo.”
Kim Woo, who had not expected Cale to call him, looked toward Cale in shock.
“Please have your two subordinates help with the defense as well.”
The rescue team members looked shocked at the fact that Kim Woo, the man who always argued with Lee Soo Hyuk, agreed to what this man named Kim Rok Soo said without any complaints.
Cale looked toward the Assistant Squad Leader.
“I'm the Assistant Squad Leader.”
“We are going to go inside.”
“Ah! Yes, yes sir! Please let me lead the way!”
The Assistant Squad Leader peeked toward Lee Soo Hyuk before quickly walking into the building.
He had a bright expression on his face.
“The Squad Leader-nim and some rescue team members are currently on the third floor protecting the people we rescued. They were all found in terrible conditions, but thankfully, none of them have any severe injuries.”
He quickly headed up to the third floor.
“The leader-nim is here so all that’s left is to safely go back home!”
The Assistant Squad Leader looked happy.
Cale quietly said something at that moment.
“When did the monsters suddenly start appearing?”
“Ah, they started to attack not too long after we found the people. We must have attracted them as we entered the building.”
The Assistant Squad Leader was happy at the fact that they would get to rescue these people and safely return home.
But he could not see the grim expressions on the people behind him as he was in the front with Cale.
Cale asked in a casual tone.
“Have the people you rescued said anything?”
“Excuse me? Ah, they are all too weak and found it difficult to say anything.”
The Assistant Squad Leader then stepped onto the third floor and waved his hand toward the Squad Leader.
The Squad Leader was already waiting for them outside the third-floor entrance.
He flinched for a moment after seeing Cale, but he soon greeted Lee Soo Hyuk.
“Leader, you’re here?”
Lee Soo Hyuk held up his hand before looking toward Cale.
The Squad Leader found this to be odd, but Cale had already walked past the Squad Leader and entered the third-floor area.
The open third floor had pillars here and there, but all that was left of the walls were the steel frames.
“…Who are you?”
One of the rescue team members stopped Cale.
Lee Soo Hyuk's voice echoed through the third floor at that moment.
“He’s in charge of this operation.”
The person blocking Cale flinched and moved aside.
Cale headed toward the center of the third floor.
Lee Soo Hyuk, Choi Han, and the others followed behind him.
Park Jin Tae couldn’t help but sigh while Kim Woo seemed slightly out of it.
They looked extremely pitiful.
A group of skinny and weak people was gathered together and shaking in fear in the middle of the third floor as rescue team members surrounded them to protect them.
They looked so pitiful that anybody would be forced to stop.
Even Choi Han was affected.
‘Those people are monsters? They're Mirror Masks?’
For that to be the case…
‘They look too much like humans.’
They truly seemed to be humans.
Their actions were very similar to humans as well.
Whether they were children, adults, or old people… They all reacted the same.
They were looking at Cale, who was heading toward them, with both hope and wariness.
They seemed to be hopeful because this person came to save them, but also wary because they didn’t know this person.
Choi Han subconsciously stopped walking and stood in front of Choi Jung Soo.
‘There was a reason he left Bae Puh Rum and Kim Min Ah outside.’
He seemed to understand why Cale had done that.
Choi Jung Soo looked toward Choi Han with confusion.
It didn't matter if Choi Han stood in front of him because Choi Jung Soo was taller, so he just quietly stopped walking and looked forward as he could still see everything over Choi Han’s head.
Cale started to speak at that moment.
“There’s no reason to drag this out.”
Cale stopped in front of the gathered people.
"The rescue team members are all probably worn out, so it’ll be best to quickly take care of things and then get some rest back at the shelter.”
He then slowly crouched down.
His gaze moved to an old man who was on the ground.
The old man, who was shaking while bundled up in a jacket one the rescue team members had given him, looked toward Cale with a shaking gaze.
The Yeonsan-dong rescue team incident.
They all died after being tricked and ambushed by these Mirror Masks.
Even Lee Soo Hyuk had been tricked.
The fact that he had been frantically fighting the monsters off and decided to just rescue the people first before thinking about things made it that way.
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“In this world…”
The corners of his mouth seemed to twist up.
“You die sooner if your heart is weak and you have a lot of affection.”
Lee Soo Hyuk and the rescue team members who were watching him flinched.
One of the rescue team members stepped forward.
He couldn't understand why Cale was wasting time like this when they should be quickly getting out of here with these people.
But someone moved their hand to stop him.
It was Lee Soo Hyuk.
Lee Soo Hyuk stopped the rescue team member with his hand as he looked at Cale.
No, he was looking around at the third floor.
He could see some of the rescue team members at the corner of the floor who had received severe injuries and had only gotten emergency treatments.
Everybody looked terrible.
Because they were trying to save people…
They ended up like this while trying to do that.
But those people were monsters.
Bitterness filled the inside of Lee Soo Hyuk’s mouth.
‘In this world… You die sooner if your heart is weak and you have a lot of affection.’
‘…Is that really the case?’
There was no strength in Lee Soo Hyuk's hand that was stopping the rescue team member.
It was at that moment.
Lee Soo Hyuk could see Kim Rok Soo looking past the old man and at him.
He then heard Cale’s voice.
“And that is because of these rotten things that try to use that to their advantage. I hate that very much.”
Lee Soo Hyuk's eyes clouded over and his hand became firm again.
Cale made eye contact with the shaking old man at that moment.
This old man really seemed pitiful.
This was someone's last moments before they were eaten by this monster as well.
Cale’s calm voice echoed through the area.
“Mirror Masks cannot talk. They cannot speak the human language.”
Cale started to smile.
The old man’s gaze instantly changed.
Cale asked as he smiled.
"What’s wrong? You can't say anything?”
The people on the ground stopped shaking.
Their quiet sobs stopped as well.
The old man opened his mouth at the same time.
The moment they heard an eerie noise that sounded like a snake…
Park Jin Tae and Choi Jung Soo dropped their jaws in shock.
It had all happened in an instant.
The pitiful-looking people jumped up and charged toward Cale.
They were moving very fast.
But more importantly…
“…Look at their hands!”
The humans charging toward Cale did not have human hands anymore.
Their hands had sharp claws the size of human fingers on their smooth but bumpy reptilian skin.
The human tongues disappeared from their open mouths and their snake tongues that were split at the end appeared from their mouths.
The Squad Leader shouted as he watched this happen.
“T they're not human?”
The monsters had revealed their true forms.
The Mirror Masks all charged toward Cale at the same time.
It looked quite dangerous with tens of these monsters charging toward Cale at the same time.
Kim Woo subconsciously started to charge toward the monsters.
Park Jin Tae tried to take his gun out before he stopped.
Lee Soo Hyuk stopped Kim Woo as he said that.
Kim Woo stopped moving forward and looked toward Lee Soo Hyuk.
But Lee Soo Hyuk was looking at Cale.
“Kim Rok Soo is stronger than us.”
Kim Rok Soo had said that he could defeat Kim Woo, Heo Sook Ja, and Lee Soo Hyuk on his own.
There was a reason Kim Rok Soo had been firmly etched in Lee Soo Hyuk this whole time.
He was a punk who always did the things he said he would do.
The Kim Rok Soo that Lee Soo Hyuk knew would never bluff.
Such a punk was currently looking at the tens of monsters trying to attack him without doing anything.
"We also have not received any orders.”
Kim Rok Soo, the current person in charge, had not said anything.
He had not requested help.
“Then we should just sit back and watch. Am I right?”
It was at that moment.
Lee Soo Hyuk saw red currents shooting up.
There was a gold and radiant light.
That light attacked the Mirror Masks.
Lee Soo Hyuk could see Cale slowly start to stand up from the middle of the Mirror Masks and the rose gold thunderbolts.
Cale's hand was holding the jacket one of the rescue team members had given to the weak man.
"They really were monsters!”
Everybody could now see the masks coming off of these monsters that were within this rose gold currents.
These monsters were black in color and stood on two feet.
They seemed to be a mix of chameleons and lizards.
“…The people I was trying to save were actually these monsters?”
One of the rescue team members plopped down on the ground.
Lee Soo Hyuk helped that rescue team member stand back up.
Lee Soo Hyuk patted the person's shoulder as he looked toward Cale.
Cale's current was not very strong.
It was only enough to make the Mirror Masks reveal their true forms.
Even if it was because of their special ability, Mirror Masks were still Grade 1 monsters.
Their attacks were as strong as the strongest of the Grade 2 monsters.
But this side had Park Jin Tae, Choi Han, and many other strong individuals.
Cale’s group moved the rescue team members who were blanking out to the rear as they quickly took care of the Mirror Masks.
Lee Soo Hyuk slowly called out to Cale who was walking toward him.
“Hyung. Mr. Kim Woo.”
Cale continued to speak to the two of them.
“I think this is enough, isn’t it? Isn't this enough to prove what we can do?”