There was something that worried him a little.

The name Zeus. His concern might sound a little ridiculous, but looking at the incredibly unstable weapon zap about and in the moment that he pressed the button, the thought that popped into Gyosu’s mind was that its name felt incredibly jinxed.

After World War III started, nations all around the world invested all of their resources and technology into weapon development and, as a result, created countless new weapons.

Among them, there were quite a few that were expected to change the history of weaponry, and the scientists, with their strong patriotism, had a very positive opinion of naming their weapons after gods’ names.

The cluster biohazard missile, Hades, was one of them…

The napalm rail bullet, Agni…

Bird-luring device, Horus…

Lightweight vehicle bridge device Moses and others continued the tradition.

But as if they were paying the price for their arrogance, all of the weapons didn’t have that great of an end.

Hades blew up an entire country because of a misfire.

Horus, which used birds to create a birdstrike wall in the air to block aerial routes of enemies, instead made the research lab containing the prototype into one of Hitchcock’s movies because of a researcher’s mistake.

The portable infantry vehicle bridge device Moses was sturdy but incredibly weak to lateral pressure, so if the enemy poured just two tank lorries’ worth of water upstream from where the bridge was placed, then the bridge would start to shake, and thus was given the dishonorable nickname ‘Stepping Stones to the Sanzu River’.

He didn’t know the reason, but all of the weapons named after gods had problems in one way or another. In the end, the scientists came to believe in the ‘God Name Weapon Jinx’ and, from then on, named weapons R-7 and Mk-3, like they did in the past.

“Cough! Gaghhh!”

[Eeep! The body… the body’s not moving! Hey vessel! You still hanging in there?]

“Ah, euuhaaaaah…”

His entire body shriveled up as if it were injected with an intramuscular drug. Like he predicted, the overcharged Zeus poured out all of the power it gathered, and the currents that it couldn’t manage to control were released into its surroundings.

[Stop struggling and just lie down! I’ll try to move you!]

“Shut up… Who knows how much of my body will mutate next time I hand it over to you? Cough!”

But unexpectedly, his body was in decent shape. He did get a bunch of red spiderwebs all over my body like someone who’s been hit by lightning, but other than that and his entire body aching with no strength left in it, everything else was fine.

[Aren’t your standards a little too low? Normal people usually call those levels of wounds a ‘near-death experience’.]

“The fact that I can feel pain throughout my entire body means that none of my nerves were completely fried. Honestly, I thought… cough! I would have to live with a paralyzed body for the rest of my life. If I survived, that is.”

I’ve seen a lot of people with fatal injuries claim that ‘I know my own body best!’ and continue to act recklessly, but after actually being on the brink of death once, I sort of understood why they said that. It was a pretty bad wound, but he could feel that it would heal with rest. There wasn’t any proof, but it just felt like it.

‘It might be that because I’ve already had one foot in the afterlife before, I know instinctively that it’s not time to go just yet.’

Gyosu tried to crawl to the window but gave up and lied down because his body couldn’t muster up the strength.

‘Need to… I need to check what happened…’

[Stay there. I’ll move you.]

Clack, clack, clack, clack.

Gyosu’s left arm dragged his body, covered in red webs from his broken capillaries, using its fingers.


Feeling his back touch the glass, still hot from the aftermath of the shot, Gyosu turned his eyes.

“Hah, hahah… my goodness…”


He wanted to check the enemy’s situation, but there were no enemies. From the point where the cannon was aimed at and beyond.

Where the dozens of tanks and combat vehicles and countless numbers of Raptor infantry had been fighting, there was only a single, brown valley. A valley where dozens of tanks and several times more combat vehicles, the Raptor’s infantry, sand, and bedrock melted into one and turned into oddly shaped bedrock.

“Hah… It’s no wonder they claimed that they’d win if they just bought time.”

[Even I would gain patriotism if I were a soldier that saw that thing pass over my head. Patriotism? Chauvinism? Anyway.]

“Ian would have loved to try this.”

[I can bet my entire consciousness that if he used this, then he would have dry-orgasmed and then passed out on the spot.]

Gyosu could understand why, when all other weapons named after gods disappeared after an accident or were changed to a different name, only Zeus was able to keep its title.

“My f—ing god… The world is at risk if this much can be done with just one button…”

The weapon’s power made its user call to the gods out of pure awe.

Even in the god’s eyes, this blue lighting that the humans created would have been satisfactory enough for it not to be an insult to his name.

Zeus… was a weapon with as much power as its name described.



Raindrops suddenly began to fall from the hazy sky, and steam began to rise from the terrifying valley created from molten metal and men.

“Rain after thunder… I see. Games still have a long way to go. Who cares if there’s magic and monsters? Reality’s even more unrealistic.”

The battle lasted from sundown to nightfall. In the aftermath of that explosion, ash and dust must have risen into the sky. And as the air rapidly warmed up from Zeus’ shot and the valley heated up to a temperature close to lava, it caused an updraft. Well, there should be some sort of scientific reason if anyone is asking for one.


For some reason, to Gyosu, this seemed like a sign from the heavens to stop.

[You… believe in that stuff?]

‘Shush. Maybe I’m just a little sentimental because I almost died.’

Both Hyde and Gyosu didn’t say anything, but they felt it inside. Even though they were the enemy, just a single hand motion from him made hundreds of people evaporate into thin air.

’…I’ve tried my best to be good so I can follow Mom to heaven.’

[…You did?]

‘Wasteland standards, you asshole. But I don’t think even that excuse will work anymore.’

[I dunno… If I were a god, then I would have given you good credit for killing the Raptors. Those guys are basically the human embodiment of a population reduction policy.]

‘The fact that I killed them isn’t the problem. The problem is that even though the fight’s over, in my head… all I’m thinking about is the other guys I need to kill.’

The Executive Department bastards that killed his mother. They’re hiding somewhere inside this city.

‘I need to kill them now. Now that they’ve lost, they’re either going to join the Raptors or go into hiding. If I can’t find them now, then I might never be able to find them again.’


Thankfully, whatever it was made of, his left arm was still in perfect shape.

[Where are you going?]

“Not sure…but why don’t we go out first? My throat is drier than this desert right now. Rain is scarcer in the Wastelands than food in a famine.”


“They say that water mages… can survive on just water. As a person who has somewhat of a connection with water, I can’t let this pass.”

Using his left arm, which was about one and a half times longer than his other arm, as a cane, Gyosu limped his way outside. A place where the Executive Department would go after defeat. It was just his intuition, but there was a place he thought of.


“More! Step on it faster! Get him off!”

“This is the fastest speed a tank can go, sir!”

“Then break it off and make it lighter, or go out and shoot him! Just… do something!”

“E-everyone except the people needed to operate the vehicle are already outside…”


“Keheheh, hey, Sol. What’s the matter? Your voice sounds a lot… different from what I heard on the comms. If you, the commander-in-chief, stay scared like that, you might ruin the Raptor Society’s prestige that you love so much.”

Sol felt like he was in a nightmare. He thought his escape was perfect. Looking at the opposite side of the battlefield swirling with metallic steam and blinding lights, he thought it was the right choice to survive!

“A man should have a strong backbone! At least if you were once my subordinate! You shouldn’t be this spineless! Try smiling brightly! Like the first day you met me, like when you were calling me earlier!”



“Like when you killed my family, saying it was for my good! Sol!”


But some motorcycle suddenly came behind them, and then the man riding on the bike grabbed onto the tank. They tried to shake him off, but he only climbed up more instead of falling, so he ordered several of the soldiers to deal with him so that their camouflaged vehicle didn’t get caught.

Not long after, blood splattered across the armored car’s periscope, and just as Sol was about to put his relieved mind at ease…



The sounds of thundering impacts continued to shake the armored vehicle. All of the soldiers had been killed, and the monster with a gauntlet-like gun in his hand was shooting at the armored vehicle again.

Camouflage technology didn’t make them transparent but instead reflected the surrounding environment to make it appear like the tank was not there. And because the man was clinging to the top of the tank, the tank picked up his image and projected it onto the surface.

When an all-too-familiar voice came out of the man’s mouth on top of the armored car, his face painted with hatred and bloodlust, Sol couldn’t believe what he just heard.

“T-that can’t be! H-how can a person change so much? What could happen to the symbol of logic and destruction, the man who served as the figure of the Raptors, to become so—”

“Oh, hey. Sol. Can you yell one more time? Looking at how I can hear your greasy voice especially well here…”

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Creak, cr-reak, crunch!

“Uh, uaaaaaaaahhhh!”


“It must be especially thin!! Even trash is helpful sometimes, after all!”

In the end, finding a gap in the armored car without its outer armor, Ian’s hand cannon successfully pierced a hole in the vehicle.

Through the open hole, a brown circular iris rolled around, as if looking around the interior.

“Here’s, Johnny! Keheheheheh!”

“G-go away! Leave me aloneeee!!!”

Bang! Bang! Bang!



The large-caliber bullets that he shot through the hole, about two fingers wide, bounced around the armored car and started to hit the people inside.


“Pack Leader! The main gate of the target point is closed!”

“Aaaaahhh! My… my foot!”

“The door’s blocked!”

“Goooooo! Crash into it and get him off of the vehicle!!!!!”


On Sol’s orders, the armored car crashed at full speed into their target destination, the Executive Department’s garage, and burst the metal doors open.


“Bloody… that driver sure as hell didn’t know how to drive… cough!”

Ian kicked away the wooden panels covering his body. He tried to hold on, but the impact was too strong for him to withstand with one hand.

“Hm? Damn it! It’s already worn out! It hasn’t even been a day since I got it from the Investigation Bureau!”

Ian let out a curse after seeing that the cannon support device attached to his left arm was in tatters. Just when his mind was thinking about repairs and replacements, he realized there was a dark red substance past the ragged device.


“Blood? Damn it. Did I get hurt somewhere?”

Feeling sticky, warm blood at the tips of his fingertips, Ian hurriedly checked his body. There are cases when bodies are unable to sense an injury because of adrenaline, so it is always good to examine one’s body as thoroughly as possible. Everything else was fine, but he saw a large splinter from a broken wooden box embedded deep into his calf.

“S—. Just my luck…!”


He pulled it out without even a moment of hesitation, then stopped the wound with the hemostatic spray he had left over after using it on Vex. This can’t even be called a wound. Mhm.

After shaking away the wooze in his mind, he quickly raised the hand cannon in his left hand and dragged his body forward, investigating his surroundings. Smoke was floating out of the armored car. There was no sign that the hatch had been opened, so the ones inside either died or didn’t plan on coming out.

‘The blood…wasn’t just mine?’

There were a few corpses. He thought they might have been run over by the armored car when it broke in, but the traces on the body weren’t ones that could be made from getting hit by a car.

‘There are five just from what I can see. A sharp… spear? Stake? Did they get hit by a ballista? There are signs of cuts too… And this one looks like it was crushed by some kind of heavy machinery.’

Their ages were between 40 and 50. Any other information was hard to get because of how badly the corpses were damaged. Traces are different from explosions. As if they were attacked by a giant beast…

‘Don’t tell me, this is…’

Suddenly, the battle with the monster that day around noon flashed through Ian’s mind. Mutant. A Type 2 mutant couldn’t produce this level of destruction, but if a Type 3 mutant occurred…

“Hahah! We’re saved! It’s the Raptor’s reinforcements! You’re done for now, you monster! No matter how strong you are, you don’t stand a chance against a tank!”



Just then, when Ian was hiding behind a stack of wooden crates, he heard cheers coming from the people ahead.

“Hey! Over here! We’re the Executive Department! In an alliance with the Raptors! We’re allies! This monster is an assassin sent by the Dome! Kill him! Shoot him right now!”

And in front of him was a familiar silhouette, looking down on those people.

“Hm? Ian? What are you doing here?”

“You… You…!”

Black hair with a familiar ruffled hairstyle. And although a little tired, the same witty voice.

With the sound of the bulky hand cannon clattering on the ground, Ian started to stagger towards Gyosu.


“Wow, it hasn’t even been that long since we last saw each other, but it’s still good to see you. You look pretty normal. What about Vex? Why’d you come here alone?”


Hearing his casual, friendly tone, tears started to pour out of one of the strongest men in the world like waterfalls.


“W-what’s wrong? What happened?!”


Without giving Gyosu a chance to stop him, Ian hugged Gyosu tightly as he continued to cry, even forgetting that they were still in front of the enemy.

Red blossoms of scars from an electric shock could be seen throughout all of his exposed skin. A military uniform soaked in blood. And…

His left arm, which no longer looked like a human’s but a monster’s.

After his exchange with Old Picture that morning, Ian knew all too well what the sorry state his friend was in meant.

“My friend died!!! He’s a mutant!!! Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!”

“D-die? Hey, wait! What are you talking abo—”

Heartbroken, Ian brushed his hand across Gyosu’s body, full of wounds. He was well aware of what those web-like scars were from.

‘Wounds from an electric shock. It’s not surprising he got caught after charging alone into the Dome, which is crawling with experienced street fighters. Electric shock torture… The simplest and quickest torture device to use. If he died, then it means he didn’t speak a word until the end.’

The image of Gyosu dying with electrical burns all over his body after receiving all sorts of torture from the Executive Department played in front of Ian’s eyes as clearly as day.

Another deep throb of pain pulled at the ironclad man’s heart.

‘The corpses up front must have been your doing. Gyosu Park, you were stronger than any other man I’ve met in my life. Even as you died from torture, the last determination your soul held carried on the mission, even after turning into a monster! You were strong enough to turn on the generator and chase the Executive Department all the way here!’

Ian had tears and snot dripping down Gyosu’s shoulder as he tightly hugged the most influential friend and man he would ever meet in his life.

“Sob! I respect you, my friend! You’ve lived a life more respectable than any other person I’ve seen! You were seriously… a great guy!”

“Uh… Ian? Mister Metal Jaw? Are you high? Like on drugs that the Raptors use for steroids?”

Ian didn’t even think of wiping away his tears. Because they didn’t stop anyway. Yeah, he always talked like this. What will happen to him now? Probably, even after killing everyone here, mutant Gyosu Park won’t die. He was a smart guy, after all. Even after the Executive Department is all dead, the cause of this situation is elsewhere. He wasn’t dumb enough to know that the cause was the Raptors.

Ian, once again, pulled out his wife’s memento that he kept preciously close to his heart.

“I won’t leave you like this… I can’t let my friend wander through the barren Wastelands alone to chase down the Raptors and die miserably!”


Ian believed that this time, for sure, was truly the correct time to use his Derringer.

“Farewell, my brother in soul. If you meet my wife, Molly, in the afterlife… then tell her you’re my friend, and she’ll treat you well. I will never forget you.”

“A-are you crazy?! Quit it with the gun! This bastard isn’t thinking straight!”


Feeling a dull throb in his forehead, Ian felt another wave of tears form in his eyes. This headbutt… it will probably be the last headbutt he’ll be able to receive from Gyosu! Ahh, my comrade!

“Don’t resist it! I at least want to complete the funeral of my close comrade with my own two hands!!!!”

“Who the hell’s dying, you f—ing idiot? Shut up before I send YOU to your wife!”

“Kurgghh-shwfp! That stubborn head of yours didn’t go anywhere even after you died, did it? Die! Die through my hands!”



Stupid motherf—er—

Stupid motherf—er—

Gyosu’s desperate cries in his attempt to stop Ian’s gun from shooting him echoed through the Executive Department’s garage.


Gyosu’s left hand made a sinister scratching sound.

If the man didn’t stop this time either, he was going to slap this guy’s head off at full power.

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