Split in Half. Pt.(2/8)
No one spoke a word. Park Don-Gul’s words stabbed deeply into everyone’s hearts. Wetting his lips with his, Park Don-Gul continued.
“There is no need for trust when everyone thinks their own life is the most important. What I want is a team that helps each other and won’t drag us down. I only want people who are prepared for this.”
“That’s…. too much.”
“Go ahead and call me selfish. It’s not like anything will happen. But mark my words, if this doesn’t seem like it will work, I will go alone. It seems like you guys hate me already…. And truthfully, I don’t think I am the only one that’s tired of this halfway attitude. That crossbow guy must have gotten frustrated so he left to go and keep watch. You guys, start using your brains.”
“Are you joking? Being useless. Or being absolute no help, how do you know without trying first?”
The smart mouth lady disputed immediately. However, there was no strength in her voice. Park Don-Gul looked like he just caught a prey, as he replied with a satisfied look.
“Know without trying first….? Are you joking with me?”
“Do you still think this isn’t reality? Are you running around thinking you have extra lives? This isn’t a computer game where you can save and load. Wake up! If we bumble ahead and someone makes just one mistake….”
Halting for a bit, Park Don-Gul took his thumb and dragged it across his neck.
“We all die.”
His last words seem to have been a great shock to everyone as they all looked shaken. Lee Bo-Rim just stared down at the ground with a vacant expression, and the smart mouth lady just chewed on her lips. Still, the only person who kept her composure was that icy woman.
“Don’t take it the wrong way. I already know you hate me. I understand why and I apologise again for that. But don’t act on useless nonsense. I haven’t said anything about abandoning anyone.”
Seeing their response, Park Don-Gul gave out a fishy laughter as he thumped his chest.
“Now that’s been said, let’s all decide. Anyone who agrees with what I said, come to my side. I will welcome anyone who is prepared.”
As Park Don-Gul concluded, there was a strained tension that lingered on the hill. Shaken by his words, everyone eyed each other. While I hate to acknowledge it, his words had effectively rattle their minds. Under his speech, Park Don-Gul had manipulated the people’s yearning to survived, and played on that instinct.
The repercussion from that backlash began to spread. An-Hyun and An-Sol were deeply troubled, even the smart mouth lady who constantly went head to head with Park Don-Gul was hesitating. In contrast, that good-for-nothing Park Don-Gul was playing around with his iron rod with a relaxed attitude.
Frankly speaking, I didn’t care as long as An-Hyun and An-Sol didn’t go to his side. Nevertheless, to prepare for the unknown I used my Third Eye on the smart mouth lady and the one other woman I had yet to analyse. I had to at least check on the Attributes. My first target, with quite an expectation, was the smart mouth lady.
< Player Status >
1. Name : Lee Yu-Jung(Year(s) 0)
2. Sex : Woman(22)
3. Height · Weight : 166.3cm · 51.7kg
4. Alignment : Good · Neutral
[Strength 32] [Resistance 38] [Agility 50] [Vitality 30] [Magic Power 48] [Luck 46]
(Remaining attribute point: 0 point.)
I was wondering what stock she put into to confront Park Don-Gul like that, and looking at her Attributes, she definitely had what it took. While An-Hyun and An-Sol had ridiculously impressive stats, this early on her attributes were nothing to scoff at either. She was especially blessed with the high Agility and Magic Power, as it was like opened up two different branches of Magic. I decided to keep an eye out for Lee Yu-Jung.
Next, I turned my Third Eye to the last woman. She stirred up my curiosity as well.
< Player Status >
1. Name : Kim Han-Byeol(Year(s) 0)
2. Sex : Woman(21)
3. Height · Weight : 170.2cm · 48.5kg
4. Alignment : Lawful · Chaos
[Strength 28] [Resistance 32] [Agility 46] [Vitality 24] [Magic Power 68] [Luck 40]
(Remaining attribute point: 0 point.)
< Unique Ability >
1. Charisma (Rank: F Plus)
The moment I saw the Unique Ability, without me knowing, I exclaimed in surprise.
‘This is ridiculous. Charisma?’
The shock I received was similar to when I check An-Sol’s information, and I was left momentarily speechless. I could now understand why Kim Han-Byeol reminded me of ‘her’ when I first saw her. She had the same Charisma ability as ‘her.’
I was left with fleeting regret that I shouldn’t have seen her status, but I shook my head to clear that thought. My thoughts became crowded. Based on my initial plan, both Lee Yu-Jung and Kim Han-Byeol were the right type of people I couldn’t let go of.
My mind was uneasy, and out of habit I gathered sand in my hand and let go. Fear and doubt entered my heart. An-Hyun and An-Sol. Lee Yu-Jung and Kim Han-Byeol. These four exceeded the average starting Attributes in Hall Plain. Even if we were all completely scattered, with their Attributes, they could all survive.
‘Is there something I overlooked?’
No matter how much I thought, I couldn’t find an answer. Although I had several hypotheses, there was no definite conclusion. For now, I decided to put the matter aside. To observe the situation again, I activated my Third Eye once more. I was of the mind to drag the four of them with me, and I would have plenty of time to scrutinise them later.
The very first person that stood up was Lee Shin-Wu. His Alignment was Lawful · Good, and while this indicated he was friendly, it also had it's disadvantageous. Most of the times, people with such Alignment didn’t have a backbone and were led by others. While it was unfortunate letting someone go with such Luck Attribute, there was nothing to him other than that, so I sent off with a light prayer.
“I, I want to be part of your team!”
Park Don-Gul evaluated Lee Shin-Wu with a critical eye before speaking in a rough voice.
“You will have to protect yourself. The moment you become a hinderance, I am going to throw you away without hesitation.”
“Yes! I understand! I will try my best!”
“... Good! If you fulfil your role, then I will do my best to support you. Let us do our best to survive in this hellish world. And…. I am sorry about before. I was too arrogant. Please forgive me.”
When he received Don-Gul’s positive response, Lee Shin-Wu ran toward him with a relieved expression. The scene of them drawing closer, was truthful, not a wholesome sight. For now, having recruited Lee Shin-Wu, Park Don-Gul’s next target was An-Hyun.
“You there. You should think carefully. If it’s you, I will welcome you anytime.”
That good-for-nothing idiot had deliberately and forcefully emphasised ‘us’ when he asked to join in a polite voice. An-Hyun’s face was full of worry. He was at a crossroad and the path was his to choose. Not only An-Sol, but everyone else swallowed heavily as they waited for An-Hyun’s decision. After a while, An-Hyun slowly opened his mouth.
“My answer remains the same. I am not going to abandon my sister.”
His voice didn’t fluctuate and had responded firmly. Immediately, An-Sol’s face brightened considerably and the bank lady seemed more reassured. Though, An-Hyun wasn’t finished.
“However…. That team you spoke of, it you will include Sol, than I might accept.”
With that, the ball was in Park Don-Gul’s court again. This was an unexpected boon for Park Don-Gul, as the choice was now his to make. His slightly pained looked morphed into an unwelcome expression as he replied.
“That’s a bit complicated. Truthfully, I don’t know about you, but your sister Sol will be difficult to protect and we have no intention to either.”
“You don’t need to worry about that, as I can do the work of two people.”
“No, it’s not that simple. There are situations where it doesn’t work…. Like in the clearing, if she drag us down it will just be more trouble.”
“Then it can’t be helped….”
“Just leave it for now. We will figure it out after all the team members have been decided.”
Park Don-Gul had intentionally cut off An-Hyun to give himself a leeway later on. Under all his talk, there were minute calculations and manipulations. In truth, there was only me and An-Hyun that actively fought against the Deadman. Yet, I wasn’t amongst them and the scale would tip in whichever direction An-Hyun went. Of course, there was a risk of not accepting An-Hyun, but Park Don-Gul had left himself rooms to manoeuvre and succeed in shaking the party once more.
“You…. Well, do whatever you want. Always point out to do this, do that, it’s just troublesome to deal with you.”
Park Don-Gul grumbled toward Lee Yu-Jung. She didn’t say anything, but only frowned at that. He turned his head without regret and looked toward the still Lee Bo-Rim and Kim Han-Byeol.
“Then…. I want to hear from the rest of you as well.”
“As I said, don’t misunderstand me. If I was going to abandon everyone, would I have accepted my friend over here? This kid said clearly that he won’t drag me down, he will protect himself and help out willingly. I didn’t take this role because I wanted to, I was really going to leave by myself. Anyway, I did this to survive. If you want to join this team, just promise in front of everyone just like the kid did.”
“How can I….”
The person who responded, in the end, was Lee Bo-Rim. Glancing at Kim Han-Byeol for a moment, Park Don-Gul replied immediately.
“That you won’t need blind protection and will help out the team however you can. If you won’t be any help at all, I will throw you away like trash. But if you are useful, we will help you out to the best of our ability. Those who are willing to harden their hearts, come to his team.”
Being useful to the team in any way possible. The nuance of his words was very strange and full of danger. Seems like Lee Bo-Rim had dimly realised such truth as she still looked hesitant. Kim Han-Byeol looked full of contempt. Licking his lips, Park Don-Gul spoke to Kim Han-Byeol this time.
“You as well.”
“.... Wait a minute.”
Kim Han-Byeol still had that icy exterior, but she closed her eyes as if she was in deep thought. I was slightly worried, but if I was right, then the chances of her withholding her decision were high. It seems Park Don-Gul allowed that much as he stepped back a bit and stood shoulder to shoulder with Lee Shin-Wu.
The obvious choice of rejecting the team was stuff that happened in novels or manhwa. In reality, a human’s emotion was a weak animal. Even more so when their ‘life’ was on the line, they threw away their pride easily as if it was an everyday occurrence.
I wonder how much time had passed?
In the end, the first person to stand up was Lee Bo-Rim. She feebly nodded her head, and spiritless walked toward walked step by step next to Park Don-Gul. She looked like she was facing a deep inner conflict, but she dropped her head and joined next to Park Don-Gul and Lee Shin-Wu.
Park Don-Gul had a pleased smile on his face.
====== Translator’s Note ======
Was going to finish off 13 today, but I ran out of time.