Chapter 7 – [What Is Life, Just Live as You Live]
A department store located at Yeongdeungpo Station was engulfed in flames. The falling debris along with the intermittent explosions were menacing enough. Police officers to control traffic and citizens, and firefighters geared up and ready to rush in to extinguish fires and rescue lives.
“There must be some people still inside. The fire doesn’t seem to have moved to the movie theater yet, so move the injured there, okay?”
Ha Jung-wook of the fire department said to his juniors. His rank is at the level of team leader, but none of the fire brigade members ignored him.
As he said, the current fire broke out in the main building of the department store. The building on the side of the movie theater located next to the building was relatively unharmed and was not hit by fire, so it could be safely put in along the way connected to the main building.
Burned or dead bodies are seen everywhere. If there was even the slightest hope, they would try to save them, but their bodies burned like charcoal showed no hope of survival.
They were fortunate to have fire equipment, among them respirators. Otherwise, I would have had to smell the disgusting smell of burning human flesh.
“Damn it, why aren’t the sprinklers working?”
“I think the fire pipe has gone bad.”
“Looks like you didn’t check properly. Shibeol, but compared to the collapsed Sampoong Department Store, you’re a nobleman.”
Eventually, the team split up and they started. I first looked at the place where there were supposed to be a lot of people, and started looking for survivors, nervous about the explosion that might explode again.
“Here are the wounded!”
“Check for injuries before moving! If there is an injury to the head, be careful when moving!”
Little by little, little by little. They said they were evacuated, but they started moving the survivors who still remained. This department store and the Yeongdeungpo fire station are so close that it takes less than 10 minutes on foot, so they were dispatched quickly, so there were survivors even in the fierce smoke.
“Are you okay? Can you stand?”
“Uh, uh…Sa, please save me…”
The injured who were able to stand were assisted and quickly rescued from the scene. The disabled person was rescued using a stretcher.
“Here’s someone crushed!”
“Sah, save me! Leg! My leg!”
“It was simply crushed by rubble! Lift it up with a paru and get it out!”
There were also broken places. Flames roared and tried to consume them, but their will was stronger than the flames.
Ha Jung-wook, the head of the team, found a middle-aged woman lying down. Her arm was bleeding as if it had been rubbed by a shrapnel. Considering the size of her wounds and the amount of time she lost them, she needed urgent treatment.
“Ma’am, are you awake? Ma’am!”
There were no scars on her head, so I checked her consciousness by shaking her body. A little, but a voice came out with a groan.
At least being conscious is important. Relieved of her a little, he carried her on a stretcher.
“How do you think you can’t do that with a pump?”
“Insufficient hose length! We need to extend it in the middle!”
Team leader Ha Jung-wook swallowed saliva in his parched mouth. Even if you try to save more, the situation is not easy. Right now, it’s better to get out of it once, then prepare a bit more, receive support from other places, and then reintroduce it. By now, other fire departments would have arrived.
“Hye, Hyemi… Please find our Hyemi”
The middle-aged woman from before being carried away on a stretcher muttered. In a pleading voice, as if she had come with her daughter, she grabbed the fireman’s collar.
Even though her body was not in good shape, she held on tight and muttered without knowing who she was talking to.
“Please find our Hyemi. Our Hyemi, Hyemi……. I’ll beg you, please find our Hyemi…….”
It was her mother’s earnest wish. It was the wind Team leader Ha Jeong-wook saw it and looked beyond the flames.
“……It won’t be too far away.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll look around for a while! I’ll be nearby, so I’ll find you soon! You guys go downstairs first and come up with support!”
Grab a nearby fire extinguisher, pull out the pin, and spray it on the flames. It’s only for a moment, but the flames fade, and in the meantime, rush inside.
Only one more.
Just one more this time.
He’s not a comic book superhero. If you ask him he’s a hero, you’d say he’s right, but he doesn’t have any super powers. Not even a Force user.
However, as a normal person, I don’t want to save ten or a hundred people if I want to. Just this moment. I hope that even one person can be saved.
What could be the least thing a mother and a child who came to the department store would fall for? Missing child? Of course there are cases like that, but they are rare. If you’re looking for the most common and simple reason…….It’s the bathroom.
If the mother was shopping and her child was a bit older, she would have allowed her to go to the bathroom alone. Ha Jung-wook, the head of the team, ran to the bathroom on this floor.
The last cubicle of the bathroom was closed. He knocked on the door and shouted.
“A kid? Are you inside? You’re a firefighter! I’m here to save you, so open the door!”
After waiting for a while, I heard the sound of opening the lock. When I opened the door, there was a girl who appeared to be in the lower grades of elementary school.
“You are Hyemini? I found and rescued your mother first, so don’t worry.”
He hit the sink faucet with the paroo he was holding. The faucet broke and water gushed out like a fountain.
Outside, the fire was still not extinguished. She might get burned if she just went out, not knowing herself in her fire suit. But she might be able to lessen it if she sprinkled some water on it.
And as soon as she got out of the bathroom, she started running. She ran through the flames and through the smoke to escape as quickly as possible.
And on the way he found a man standing in the middle of the fire, trembling. There were no signs of injury, but there was no reaction other than trembling in place.
Only one more.
“Mister! Come this way!”
There are no visible injuries and since he is standing, he should be able to walk and run. Although he doesn’t know how he does it in this fumes, the thought that he has to save people first and see them fills his head.
“Relax! Mister! Mister!”
When he approached to shake his body, he reacted only then.
Dull red eyes. It was the same color as the flames mixed with soot.
“Do not come!!!”
There was a riot once again.
* * *
The vicinity of the Yeongdeungpo department store was busy with people flocking to see the fire and police controlling it. Reporters flocked to film the scoop on the department store fire, as well as people filming themselves.
Baek-ri, who arrived as soon as possible by catching a taxi instead of the subway or bus, muttered as she looked at the burning department store. The fire is big. I can’t even imagine how many people will die if you add up the people who are injured.
His father, Ha Jung-wook, will also be put into the scene to rescue people.
Shortly thereafter, firefighters rushed out of the scene with the injured. I feel a little freedom in the outside air that I barely inhale with charcoal soot smeared on my face in a fire protection suit.
“Dad, what about you?”
Baek-ri spoke to a firefighter she knew among them. Looking around, his father is nowhere to be seen. Firefighters took off their respirators and looked around to see his face, but they couldn’t find him.
“The team leader said he would come out looking for a little more. Maybe he’ll come out in a little while…”
An explosion erupted in silence for his words. The explosion was so intense that even the outer walls of the building were shattered, making it possible to see inside. Seeing this, the white man’s complexion turned pale.
His hands trembled. He couldn’t move his feet.
Just like when I encountered an enemy species in the past. Even though he had a younger brother, even though he had someone to protect him, he couldn’t move properly.
Back then, thanks to his younger brother, who had awakened as a force user, he said he overcame the crisis, but things are different now. It is not he who dies, but his father.
When her sister was in danger, the feeling of not being able to do anything as her brother remained deep throughout her life. It was for that reason that he worked part-time because he thought of her sister’s college tuition rather than his own. Because I wanted to atone for that.
Are you going to do nothing and not hesitate?
It sounded like a faint voice. It’s different this time. Gradually, he felt as if something had settled in his body little by little, and his body became light.
Feeling his own body change, Bai Li clenched his fists. Stronger than usual. I feel the power to bend the temporary fence that blocks people.
I began to see white energies invisible to normal people gathering around him and flowing into his body.
The majority of Force users often awakened in crisis situations. In a crisis situation, desperate emotions evoke the awakening of the force. A close example was Baekri’s younger sister, who awakened after being chased by an enemy species.
Baekri, who had gained strength, had no more time to worry about the back. When he jumped in place, he jumped over people and fences at once.
“What?! A force user?”
“Wow, did you just see that. That’s cool!”
The police rushed out, but were unable to catch him. It is not an opponent that even a newly awakened Force user can deal with with the life span of an ordinary person. If there were no limitations on the amount of force, force users would not belong to the country, but would have had a great influence in moving the country themselves.
Baek Li entered the fire scene. The roaring flames and smoke were not a problem. He didn’t know how to handle the Force and didn’t have any enlightened characteristics, but he pushed away hundreds of kilograms of building debris with just his active body and didn’t get scorched by fire.
“Dad! Dad! Where are you, Dad!!!”
Baek Li went around looking for his father. The floor where the explosion occurred. He had seen it from the outside, so he could roughly tell what floor it was on.
And I saw piles of rubble from collapsed buildings. He shouted into it just in case.
“Dad? Are you there? Dad?!”
Instead of an answer, I heard the voice of a little girl crying.
It wasn’t the person he was looking for, but after a bit of hesitation, Baek-ri removed the debris from the building. It was a weight that ordinary people couldn’t even push, let alone lift, but it didn’t pose a big obstacle to Baekri, who had awakened as a force user.
And after digging for some time, he was able to find a firefighter in a firefighting suit inside. Hug the child and lean down to protect it as much as possible. Thanks to that, the child was able to survive without any serious injuries.
Even a respirator had been given to the child, so I could see his soot-stained face. Baek Li woke him up by shaking his body to check his consciousness.
“Dad, Dad?! Wake up. Dad?!”
His consciousness is blurred, perhaps because he hit his head a little in the rubble of a collapsed building. But even in the midst of that, Ha Jung-wook asked.
“Ah, is this all right…?”
“……Yes, I am safe. I am safe because my father protected me.”
They are such people.
Baek-ri knew it as well as he had seen it before. Baek-ri, who grew up with parents like that, said that his children resemble his parents.
After belatedly coming to his senses, he was surprised to see his son right in front of him. This is a fire scene. He is a place his son shouldn’t be.
“Baekri? Why are you here…?”
“Now get out of here quickly. Quickly!”
“Because firefighting equipment is heavy…”
With the child on her back, Baek-ri lifted Ha Jung-wook with one hand and held him as if he were holding him by his side. Firefighting equipment weighing dozens of kilos is not a problem for him.
“You… Did you become a force user like the youngest?”
He moved quickly without answering. You don’t know when another explosion will happen, so the first thing to do is to escape.
As he was about to leave, Baek-ri spotted the silhouette of a man in front of him. He was wandering with eyes not knowing where he was going or what he was looking for.
“Hey, hey! Are you okay there? Hurry up and escape there too!”
Ha Jung-wook reacted a step later. The last thing he saw before passing out was…
It was the scene where the man spewed out sparks and caused an explosion.
“Don’t come close to me!!!”
A more violent explosion than before. As he awakened as a force user, he could see Baekri’s force with the naked eye. That ability is the ability of a Force user like himself. However, unlike Gaia Force, which appeared white, something foreign stood out.
White Li’s enhanced reflexes moved his body in response to the explosion right in front of his eyes. She didn’t escape completely, but she was able to save her life. The building collapsed more and now reached a dangerous point.
If the same explosion happens a few more times, the shocked department store will start to collapse. It was rare for the main pillars that already supported the load of the department store to be unharmed, and at least those that were intact were in a state of cracks.
“Kuk?! What is it, ugh…”
Bai Li felt fear. Only if he had hit it squarely would he be lucky, he would have died instantly, he would have been no different from dying.
A deep burn mark was left on one of his arms. The pain comes later. Burning pain competes for rank among the pains a person can feel. Baekli screamed and vomited in pain.
“Sung-hye, Seong-hye-ya…… I, why am I, aaaaa!!!”
What are you looking at with your cloudy eyes? As if his condition had worsened, his body trembled as if convulsions had occurred, and as if in response, flames began to rise from the man’s body. Baek-ri had just awakened as a force user, but since his younger brother was a force user, he knew a few simple things.
Force users have characteristics that match their talents. Some showed great talents in telekinesis, moving objects without touching them, and some showed the ability to demolish buildings with their bare hands by strengthening their bodies. The development of such qualities is called a ‘trait’.
As you can see, the characteristics of men are two things: ignition and explosion. There may be other things, but I have no choice but to judge that for now.
“Out of sight, out of sight…”
If it does not have sensing properties, the range of expression of speech or hyperkinesis-type properties is limited to the field of view. At least there are people who have a narrower range than that when they are maxed out.
I picked up Ha Jung-wook and the girl again and moved. The pain from the burns in his arm kept making it difficult for him, but he gnashed his teeth and endured it.
The child cried He didn’t cry even in this situation to the extent that it was good that he didn’t cry until now, and now he burst into tears. And the man responded to that voice.
“Are you Seonghye?”
Hugely, the man’s convulsions stopped. As if he had finally found what he was looking for, his cloudy eyes turned to the girl Baek-ri was carrying.
“Sung-hye, are you there? Seong-hye, daddy, daddy. Daddy’s back… Huh? He’s here to keep his promise, he asked you to go on a picnic with your mom, right? Huh? Seonghye-yah….”
Where, no, what are you looking at, shedding tears, with cloudy eyes that are out of focus? It was only then that Baek-ri realized that the man was crazy. The answer is not to deal with crazy people.
However, the man’s attention was poured into the girl Baek-ri was carrying. Even if she tries to run away now, she has no intention of letting go.
“Sung-hye, where are you going? Seong-hye?! Seong-hye! Dad is here! Aaaaa!!!!”
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Kwaaaaang!!
Explosions occurred simultaneously. It wasn’t a big explosion like the one before, but it was a threatening explosion enough to smash building debris and pillars piled up here and there.
Baek-ri, Ai, and Ha Jung-wook were all safe in the explosion, whether it was because of Baek-ri’s physical abilities, luck, or some other reason. However, there was no place to escape anymore because of the flames and the ruins of the collapsed buildings.
“Sung-hye……Come to Dad…”
Gradually the man approached Baek-ri with staggering steps. No, he was approaching the girl Baek-ri was carrying.
You can’t hand a girl over to an insane man. Baek Li was at least prepared to fight.
He stepped back and grabbed a hand-sized stone among the rubble. If you’re the type of force user who relies on sight, it’s enough to disable that eye.
He was not far off, and his physical abilities improved. The stone thrown by Baekri landed on the man’s face. Oops, I hear the sound of bones breaking.
“Ah! Ahh! Seonghye! Seonghye!!!”
Quaang!! Bang! Quaang!!
Since he lost the use of his eyes, he thought he would not be able to use his Force abilities recklessly, but it was a big expectation for someone who was not in good spirits. In desperation, he began to use his abilities. I couldn’t move the explosion that I didn’t know when and where it would explode.
And then, right in front of me, a light flashed.
It was too late to react.
Death comes right in front of you. No time to run away, he gave no space to hide.
“Damn it, I do have eyes for people. It’s rare to see a guy as kind as you in this world.”
The explosion bent as if it had been refracted. The flames split into two as if a V-shaped wall had formed in front of my eyes centered on Baekri.
“Yes, brother is here.”
The worst has come.