Chapter 67 Part 1: Hidden
The cause of the disaster was obvious.
That’s why Jo Yeon-Ho thought that the Indoor Gymnasium forming a community at the Yeonhwado Gate was a bad idea.
While it would be nice if all the survivors were able to keep a level head during a disaster, most of them had a rather crude way of expressing their anxiety and fear, and it could only cause even more disasters.
“What, what. Is this…”
Jo Yeon-Ho, who arrived late, paused for a moment as he surveyed the scene.
It was a strange sight.
Students were lying dead in a lecture hall that hadn’t even been invaded by monsters.
“Hunters! I– Ah, there’s a monster in here!”
“You mean in here right now?”
“I mean, the kid who was attacked by the monster, who, uh, came back alive, but it turns out he didn’t come back alive, he just disappeared and…”
He was talking in gibberish, but it was a familiar repertoire.
The Shapeshifter! He was in here.
‘But… isn’t there more than one?’
This was some distance from where I’d found Kang Woo-Jung, and it didn’t look like it had happened in just a few hours.
It seemed to have been going on for at least a day, with students getting beaten up…
It sounded like something similar to what happened to Kang Woo-Jung, and his club members was happening at the same time.
‘This means… There’s more than one Shapeshifter.’
There are multiple of them, and their Alpha is the boss monster!
Things are getting more troublesome.
I glanced around their faces.
Everyone had frightened expressions, pale complexions, and were avoiding eye contact with me, as if they were afraid that they might be suddenly called out as monsters.
“Okay, everyone, don’t move. If you move, I’ll assume you’re a monster, and I may have to use drastic measures to subdue you.”
Everyone gulped after seeing me holding the gun in one hand while looking at them with warning.
“It’s a gun…”
“It must be a real gun.”
The students, who saw the gun for the first time, expressed their respective impressions.
“This is why… people always buy guns when they get together.”
Jo Yeon-ho clicked his tongue.
My first priority was to help the injured students.
Of course, there would be a Shapeshifter in the mix, but it was more likely to be among the healthy students than the injured ones.
After all, It knows how to manipulate human psychology.
“Take care of the students.”
“Okay, Mr. Kang, I need you to help too.”
“What? Oh, yeah.”
Kang Woo-Jung was stunned, probably because he had been through one terrible thing after another, but he finally answered.
After leaving the two to help the wounded, I went about with my own business.
I had to do my job, which was to pick out the Shapeshifters from among the crowd.
“First of all, those of you who haven’t dyed your hair please stand where you are, and those who have dyed their hair, please come over here.”
The students were dumbfounded, but they all complied.
“This monster can’t digest dyed hair. It didn’t spit out any clumps of hair on the floor, so it probably ate someone it could swallow whole.”
In other words, if this thing ate someone and is mimicking that person, that ‘Someone’ is likely to have undyed hair.
The dark-haired students just stood there and kept looking around vigilantly.
Four of the dyed-hair students shuffled over, looking a little frightened.
The shapeshifter is probably hiding in the midst of these six remaining students.
Shapeshifters feed on humans and mimic them closely, but there is one difference.
‘The Shapeshifter can only read the memories of the last three hours or so of its victim’s life.’
Three hours was the minimum amount of time for them to mimic their target.
In that time, they can read what the victim saw, heard, and felt and digest it as their own, but they don’t know what happened before that.
‘There’s probably something that all these students know, but the victim wouldn’t think about in the three hours before they died.’
‘What could it be?’
Pyo Yeon-won remained silent and surveyed the situation.
No one was willing to step forward and take charge.
Even the seniors were scrambling around in a panic.
“Everyone, calm down.”
A man stepped forward and grabbed the attention of the screaming students.
“Originally, I didn’t want to reveal this, but… Since it’s such an emergency, I have no choice.”
He fumbled in his arms and pulled something out of his wallet.
It was a flat card, like an ID card, with his photo and a series of information on it.
‘Gate Access Authorization.’
“Hunter! He has the Gate License!”
Suddenly, as if they’ve found a savior, their surroundings became noisy.
The name on the License, written in fine print, was Park Young-Chan.
“I’m a professional hunter who is also a member of the Nightwalkers. Now that our plans to stay here have been thwarted, and we have to hunt down the monsters out there, I need you all to follow my instructions.”
“We’re safe…! There’s a Hunter!”
“What do we do?”
The room was noisy, and everyone was relieved that they’re finally saved, except for Pyo Yeon-Won, who had a sinking look in his eyes.
‘This is weird.’
Only he knew—- If what the mysterious voices were talking about was real then… then he’s the shapeshifter.
The source of the voices was uneasy.
He couldn’t tell if these strange voices were telling the truth or he was simply hallucinating out of his own anxiety, but he was reluctant to let someone with such a doubtful identity lead the group.
“I think this monster is a Shapeshifter. As some of you may know, it’s a monster that can only mimic, but it doesn’t have a very high attack power. So for now, those who have dyed their hair, please stand aside.”
…Sadly everyone had already moved towards Park Young-Chan’s side.
They were sending him expectant glances.
‘If I tell them that the voice in my head is telling me that he was a monster, I’ll probably be treated like a crazy person.’
So Pyo Yeon-Won could only remain silent for now.
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