📢Try To Re-load or Re Log-in to Show Loves

    Loves Error

    Deep Pivot Episode 27

    Instinctively fumbling for his holster, Yeon-woo grabbed his military knife and stabbed at the Ghoul’s shoulder repeatedly.

    Stabbing something living is much harder than shooting a gun. With no experience of taking a life, Yeon-woo’s knife work lacked the force it needed due to his mental resistance.

    Even with a knife embedded in its shoulder, the Ghoul had strength to spare. It pinned Yeon-woo down and bared its teeth. The bite of a Ghoul is many times stronger than that of a crocodile. When its jaws open fully, it can crush a human skull in a single snap.

    Untrained civilians usually panic and raise their arms to defend themselves when a Ghoul attacks, but if bitten, the arm is not only severed, but the victim will die within two minutes due to nerve paralysis.

    “Ugh, argh….”

    Yeon-woo grabbed his rifle and held on desperately. The Ghoul growled and smashed its teeth against the barrel of the rifle, snarling menacingly. Sticky mucus dripped from its open mouth onto the night vision lenses of Yeon-woo’s helmet.

    Bang!

    Suddenly, Yeon-woo’s vision turned hazy. He realized he was drenched in Ghoul blood as the creature’s head exploded and its body collapsed to the side.

    He rubbed the lenses urgently with his gloved hand, but a large hand thrust forward right in front of him.

    “Get up.”

    It was Ji Seo-joon.

    “Lieutenant.”

    Ha… Yeon-woo exhaled in relief and took Seo-joon’s hand. He felt both relieved to be saved from a near-death situation and guilty for putting himself in danger.

    In critical moments like this, Seo-joon was always there. Yeon-woo had once again barely survived by holding onto Seo-joon’s outstretched hand.

    Seo-joon pulled out a 500ml bottle of water from somewhere and poured it over Yeon-woo’s head. The remaining fluids washed away, and his vision became much clearer.

    “Thank you.”

    “Reporting you’re out of bullets means the last magazine is left. It’s not about individual rounds.”

    Seo-joon handed him a magazine.

    “Sorry, I thought I had enough.”

    “Everyone makes mistakes at first. Don’t let it happen again.”

    “Yes.”

    “And here.”

    Suddenly, Seo-joon stepped close and reached around to Yeon-woo’s lower back. Their helmets knocked together as Yeon-woo instinctively stepped back, but Seo-joon wrapped his arm around his waist and pulled him closer again. Feeling around his lower back, Seo-joon soon pulled out something.

    “There’s an emergency revolver here. You packed it yourself earlier, remember?”

    “…Oh.”

    Yeon-woo’s eyes widened, and his mouth hung open. He had completely forgotten about the emergency revolver. Finding Yeon-woo’s expression amusing, Seo-joon let out a short laugh.

    “I don’t know why I keep doing such foolish things.”

    “It’s fine. These kinds of mistakes are common at first.”

    “…Did you make mistakes like this too, Lieutenant?”

    “Of course. I got scolded so much by Kang Chae-won.”

    That distinctive husky voice and savage curses immediately came to mind. Yeon-woo, who had recently been on the receiving end of her scolding, smiled secretly behind his mask.

    Even Seo-joon had those days. Though Yeon-woo hadn’t seen them personally, he felt more human for it. And yet, even back then, Seo-joon must have been impressive, just as he had been during the countless moments when he saved both the 13-year-old and present-day Yeon-woo.

    “When using a knife, try to aim for a vital spot from the start. It’s the same with shooting, but it’s easier to stab once accurately than repeatedly.”

    “Yes.”

    Yeon-woo hesitated before speaking gently.

    “…Thanks to your teaching, I think I’m getting better at shooting now. As long as the target doesn’t move, I can hit the head in one shot. I hit multiple times earlier.”

    “Really? That’s impressive.”

    Seo-joon praised him in an exaggerated tone, still smiling. “You’re the best. Really, you’re the best.” Leading down the escalator, Seo-joon gave a thumbs-up over his shoulder. Yeon-woo grasped the thumb and gave it a playful shake.

    “Don’t tease me.”

    …Oops.

    Yeon-woo let go of the hand quickly. Was that too impolite? Just because Seo-joon treated him warmly, he shouldn’t get too bold.

    He feared that if he crossed the line, Seo-joon would easily discard his kindness and revert to his earlier, sterner self—the Ji Seo-joon who furrowed his brows skeptically with every word Yeon-woo said at their first meeting.

    ‘Over time, people grow attached and sometimes even mistake themselves for fated lovers. They call it the attachment reaction. Nothing special, really.’

    The voice that passed through his mind felt like a cold breeze against his chest.

    ‘Anyway, I really hate those kinds of things, so I prohibit guidance beyond level three from the start. Let’s just keep our boundaries.’

    That cool attitude left Yeon-woo with a high wall. He couldn’t even imagine saying things like thanking Seo-joon for what he couldn’t express seven years ago at the orphanage or admitting that he had admired him since then.

    As long as he didn’t cross the line, he could stay by Seo-joon’s side. Just as long as he didn’t cross it.

    But it wasn’t that easy. When Seo-joon smiled, Yeon-woo would forget and want to draw closer to that smile.

    “….”

    Suddenly, Seo-joon turned his head. It wasn’t until their eyes met that Yeon-woo realized how long the silence had stretched between them. They locked gazes for a few seconds, both wearing subtle expressions.

    ― Isn’t it calming down a bit?

    ― Hey, where’s Ghost? Go find him.

    ― Ghost is on the 2nd floor, B-wing. I’ll check and report back in 3 minutes.

    ― Hey, did someone clean out the 2nd floor base camp?

    ― Ghost has arrived on the 5th floor.

    Just as Yeon-woo struggled to find something to say, the radio chatter erased the awkward silence.

    ― Ghost has arrived on the 8th floor. Checking the gate.

    ― Are we clocking out soon?

    ― Look at the size of the gate. You think we can clock out early?

    After the final question, the radio went quiet. They had been fighting Ghouls for hours. Everyone was feeling worn out.

    ✽✽✽

    Lieutenant Jang Su-ho, an S-grade Blinker, rarely panicked. Even though he didn’t have as much experience as Ji Seo-joon or Jin Cheong-oh, he considered himself a proud four-year veteran.

    His specialized ability also contributed to his composure. The Blinker’s short-range teleportation made him adept at rescuing people or escaping rather than directly fighting strange species. He seldom felt his life was at risk.

    “Ghost is on the 8th floor, checking the gate.”

    The 8th floor, shrouded in darkness, was calm and serene. Through his night vision goggles, everything appeared in shades of black and green. Nothing moved; it was utterly silent.

    Is it really over? It shouldn’t have ended so easily, given the scale of things. Su-ho, after stocking up on ammo at the base camp on the 8th floor, headed toward the screening room.

    He needed to check the gate status himself to determine whether he could deliver good news to his comrades or announce an annoying overtime shift.

    Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks, taking a step back and adjusting his night vision. Something was moving very slowly in the corridor of the screening room.

    “….”

    *Rustle. Rustle.*

    In a blink, he teleported to the 7th floor, his heart racing. He doubted what he had just seen. The massive body that filled the pitch-black screening room corridor—did he really see that?

    His body returned to the same spot on the 8th floor.

    He could see the shimmering scales arranged in a diamond pattern. The creature was too large to fit through the screening room corridor, writhing slowly.

    Back to the 7th floor, and then back to the 8th.

    “….”

    7th floor, then back to the 8th.

    *Crack.*

    7. 8.

    *Rustle, rustle.*

    .

    *Rustle, rustle, rustle.*

    .

    After several more teleportations, he stood on the 7th floor, looking up at the ceiling. Is that thing right above me? Right above my head?

    As soon as he had that thought, the ceiling creaked. Something too heavy for the structure to bear was up there.

    In a panic, Su-ho teleported to the 6th floor.

    “All Espers, gather immediately on the 6th floor. Team Leader included.”

    His voice was trembling.

    ― What about the guides? Should they wait?

    ― The guides are busy handling the remaining Ghouls.

    ― What’s happening that requires everyone to gather? I’m on the 1st floor, and this better not be nothing.

    ― Ha, here he goes again. What’s going on?

    Su-ho, biting his lip nervously, said.

    “…A Pasa has appeared. More than half of it is out.”

    The radio suddenly went silent.

    ✽✽✽

    The Pasa (巴蛇), a strange species first discovered in China, is essentially a giant snake. It measures a minimum of 80 meters and averages 150 meters in length, with the largest known specimen reaching 250 meters in Europe.

    Once it emerges, the Pasa causes significant casualties. It poses a grave threat not only to civilians but also to the awakened individuals who confront it.

    The Pasa, which has three heads, uses its acute hearing and sense of smell to detect its targets. The central head can spray venom that is lethal to an unprotected person within seconds of even the slightest contact.

    “First, issue an emergency alert and evacuate all civilians within a 200-meter radius.”

    The Pasa, sharing a genetic structure similar to deep-sea creatures, moves relatively slowly on land but is incredibly fast in water. In China, a gate once opened above the sea and released a Pasa, leading to a death toll that remains a well-known tragedy.

    “Wait, hold on.”

    Because of these traits, the Pasa prefers dark, humid places.

    “What lies directly below?”

    For example, an underground space like…

    “…Yeonseon mypark Station.”

    This content is protected.