The man next to Jo Min Yeh stiffened up.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“…How do you know the number of survivors from our original shelter-”
The auditorium had become silent. The people slowly started to realize the meaning behind the numbers Cale was mentioning after hearing Kim Tae Hoo's comment.
Everybody here were leaders or chief executives of the newly created central shelters.
That meant that the chances of them being leaders or people in charge of an original central shelter or smaller shelters were high.
The people Cale had just called had all been leaders of the now destroyed original shelters.
Kim Tae Hoo instantly started to sweat.
‘176 people. That’s the number of people who survived from our shelter!’
The numbers Cale was saying was the number of people who managed to survive through the hell that had appeared when the original shelters were destroyed.
Of course, there were more people in the new central shelter where Kim Tae Hoo was the leader.
But that was the number of people who had made it out of his original shelter.
“…How did you?”
‘How does this person know about that?’
Cale started to speak again as the ability users started to stiffen up.
He was looking at the man next to Kim Tae Hoo.
“Ability user Park Young Hoon. You had quite a lot of survivors. 412 people.”
Park Young Hoon's jaw dropped.
Cale looked at the people who couldn't hide their shocks and held in the bitterness he was feeling.
Kang Il-Rae, Jo Min Yeh, Kim Tae Hoo, and Park Young Hoon.
He didn’t know what these people had experienced when their original shelters had fallen.
What monsters appeared, what buildings were destroyed…
How these people managed to survive…
He didn't know about any of that.
Cale remembered what happened around Korea on that day but had not been there to record it.
But he did remember the numbers.
Numbers were data that could give an overview of what had happened even without knowing the details.
The number of survivors from the original central shelters.
That hellish time had been recorded on a few sheets of A4 paper.
It did not record the number of dead people.
They could not check those numbers.
There were too many people.
When the world first experienced the cataclysm…
Quite a lot of people had died.
Then, when the original shelters crumbled…
Humanity faced danger once again.
That was the reason that the new central shelters that could fit tens of thousands of people had less than 10,000 total occupants.
This was why only the number of survivors were recorded.
There weren't any records of you if you died.
The original central shelters…
Cale slowly looked around at the people who had been leaders of those shelters as he started to speak again.
“Do I need to keep going?”
The entire auditorium was quiet.
Jo Min Yeh quietly started to speak.
“Is this the power of foresight?”
The number of survivors.
That wasn't enough to claim it to be foresight.
But she had no other word than foresight to describe how this man who looked like a teenager could know the number of survivors from shelters around the country.
Kang Il-Rae, who was next to Jo Min Yeh, was keeping his mouth shut as he glared at Cale with a piercing gaze.
Cale looked around before continuing to speak.
“I guess I will stop there.”
Cale was standing at the center of the platform. Choi Han was by the wall of the auditorium and looking around as if he was Cale’s guard.
Cale started to speak.
“I'm sure that not everybody here feels the same way as I do. Some of you probably just came for information and there may be some of you who will fight with us here in Seomyeon, but many of you likely do not wish to do so.”
‘Why should I fight with them to kill an unranked monster in Seomyeon? Why do I need to do that? It's hard enough for me to survive. It’s hard enough to care for our people.’
There were many thoughts going through people’s mind even without Cale having to say so.
Everybody was aware of that fact.
But the atmosphere inside the auditorium quickly changed.
“I will now make a prophecy.”
That magical word caught people's attention.
Cale wasn’t actually making a prophecy; he was just telling them the things he experienced.
“Population will start to expand once more through these new central shelters and people will start to create a social system once again.”
Some people nodded their heads.
These were the people who had recognized the defensive strength and expansive capabilities of the new central shelters.
“Furthermore, ability users will develop their abilities even more. Beyond that, there is data.”
Cale gently continued to speak with a smile on his face.
“We will gain data by facing these monsters and we will be able to hunt monsters with a sense of organization.”
The people who had felt chills at Cale’s ability just now were starting to look better.
“When that happens, people will start to expand our territory once again; similar to what our ancestors had done, starting from the area around this shelter.”
More people were now nodding their heads.
That seemed to be what they want in the future as well.
“The destroyed environment will slowly start to return to normal.”
Cale stopped after saying that.
He needed to lead as many people, if not all of them, there.
The selfish people, the greedy people, even they needed to come.
He needed all of them to experience taking down an unranked monster.
That was the only way to give them the data to survive the uncertain future.
Because of that…
Cale continued to speak with a smile on his face.
“Half of you here will die in order for us to get to that point.”
Silence filled the auditorium and it felt as if it had suddenly gotten many degrees colder.
Cale still had a smile on his face as he continued to speak.
“Over half of you will die.”
That was the truth.
That was the future that Cale had experienced.
“Altruistic people will die. Selfish people will die. People who were chasing after greed, going after the greater good, sacrificing themselves, running away on their own, all sorts of people will die.”
The smile disappeared from his face.
“All of that will happen in the next 15 years.”
Cale looked down at the people underneath the platform.
“But I wish to change what I saw through my foresight.”
Kang Il-Rae started to speak again.
“…How can you change something that you saw through foresight?”
Cale made eye contact with Kang Il-Rae.
Kang Il-Rae flinched after seeing the gaze of the person he had called a child.
Cale, the man with an unfathomably deep gaze, started to speak again.
Before people could even think about the meaning behind that number…
"That’s the number of people who died at the original central shelter I was at.”
People started to gasp in response.
This was not the number of survivors but the number of deceased people.
Nobody had died.
“Originally, less than 100 people would have survived.”
That was the record of the past that Kim Rok Soo had experienced.
“But the present had changed and therefore, the future has changed.”
Kim Rok Soo and the others had changed it.
“I hope that everybody here is able to survive.”
He really meant it.
“The more we shape the foundation to expand the number of people, the more chances humanity has for survival.”
He wanted to save as many people as possible.
Some of them would go on to become the worst possible people, but he just had to pass a list with the names of those people to Lee Soo Hyuk and say that it was the result of his ‘foresight.’
Lee Soo Hyuk was strong enough to look after those people and make sure they don't end up on that path.
“Have you heard this phrase?”
Cale started to again smile.
“Nothing beats numbers.”
Whether the unranked monsters were strong or not, whether monsters continued to appear…
“That’s right. There's nothing. There are no monsters that can win when going up against a large number of people.”
That was how humans managed to survive in the future.
The people in Kim Rok Soo's memories would overcome everything.
“The unranked monsters are the greatest enemies for humans to recreate society in the future.”
Everybody was focused on what Cale had to say.
"Why? It is because they are monsters with unbelievable strength that can destroy the new central shelters.”
His voice was quieter but it was still loud enough for everybody in the quiet auditorium to hear.
"And because you don’t know when that enemy might attack where you are.”
That meant that they could die whenever and wherever because of a strong enemy with unfathomable strength.
The weight of Cale’s words was heavy to these people who were slowly starting to trust what Cale had to say.
One of the people who were listening urgently shouted out.
“That! You can just use your foresight to tell us!”
"Who knows when I will die?”
The person who asked flinched and closed his mouth.
Kim Woo and Heo Sook Ja. The two of them, as well as Choi Han's gazes were headed toward Cale.
“My foresight is not omnipotent. I can only see a sliver of the future and even I don't know when I will die. That is why I can only move in the best possible direction.”
Heo Sook Ja, who had been listening, started to speak.
“…The best possible direction……”
At that moment…
Cale lightly stomped his foot.
Everybody focused on him once again.
“I will now give all of you an opportunity.”
Opportunity. That word made people's expressions change.
Cale looked at the changes in each of their expressions as he continued to speak.
“The way to defeat an unranked monster.”
The way to defeat a formidable enemy with unfathomable strength.
“I will give you the opportunity to experience the way to take them down. That experience will exponentially increase all of your chances of surviving the unpredictable future.”
Cale no longer looked like a feeble kid as he stood at the center of the platform.
He reached his hand out toward the people and continued to speak.
“Will you take this opportunity?”
The air inside the auditorium was heating up and as the silence looked ready to be broken…
“Ah. Let me tell you one more fact.”
Cale nonchalantly added on.
"As long as I am here, this Busan central shelter will not be destroyed like the original shelters you all have experienced.”
Some people flinched.
0 people dead. Cale's words echoed in their minds.
If they fought with him this time, they might be able to learn the way to save all of the people in their shelters with 0 people dead in the future as well.
The strong individuals from throughout the country were all gathered here.
It would be hard to find this many strong people anywhere else.
If they were with all these people?
Wouldn’t it be a bit safer?
As Kim Rok Soo mentioned, wasn't this the opportunity to fight against an unranked monster in the safest possible situation?
“Furthermore, the people here will fight while looking at my back the most, at least for this battle.”
That meant that he would be in the front fighting more than anybody else.
“I will let you experience victory instead of experiencing just survival for the first time in a long while.”
Cale’s words felt like thunder to these people who had barely managed to survive through difficult times and were doing their best to continue to survive in the future.
They would be victorious against these motherfucking monsters that had dragged them to hell for the past few months that felt like an eternity.
They would be victorious against one of the strongest monsters at that.
Some of their expressions started to change even faster.
Cale started to look bigger to the people inside the hall who were looking at his outreached hand.
“Please make your decision.”
Cale was done speaking and it was now time to hear their responses.
One person stood up after a moment.
More people started to stand up as well.
None of them were vocalizing the fact that they would fight with him, but it didn’t matter.
Heo Sook Ja clenched her fist while watching them.
It looked as if they would easily surpass one third or even half of the people in the auditorium at this rate.
She then looked back toward Cale.
‘I guess we won't even need to discuss the matter of making him the commander.’
Their original plan was to convince everybody that Kim Rok Soo was the best person to be the commander for this plan to take down the unranked monster.
But he had said that the Busan shelter would not be destroyed as long as he was here.
He had said that he would fight in front of everybody.
He had said that he would give them the opportunity to experience victory.
Cale was already the commander and the leader of this place by saying that.