Dead Man Switch Chapter 1.3

Author: WhatTheFlo Editor: Flo

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I headed to the management office at the opposite end of the lobby on the first floor. The office, glimpsed through a small window full of holes, was empty.


“Teacher, are you there? Is there anyone? Hey! Anyone, please.”


I knocked on the door and shouted. My cry rang out in the eerie still hallway. There was no answer. I turned the handle around. The door was not locked.


I entered the office and looked around. Various papers were stacked on the bookshelf. The whiteboard calendar on the wall was full of security guard shifts and building cleaning schedules. Everything remained the same. It was so calm and silent that it was hard to imagine that something really terrible was happening outside.


There was another door as I entered the office after passing through the window with desks and chairs. It was an overnight office. It was the place where the inspector used to stand on night duty.


I accidentally tried to open the door and became startled. There was a large ‘X’ mark on the night shift door. The letter “X” drawn roughly with a red meteor pen was ominous.


And that wasn’t all. Blue tape was stuck between the door handle and the door. In front of the door, a large iron cabinet was laid horizontally to block it.


Thud. I felt a small vibration in the door. I took a step back. As the field of view widened, a small red letter was seen at the corner of the door. It was written in a  hurry with terrible handwriting, but I had no problem reading it.


〈If you want to live, then keep quiet. Don’t wake them up.〉


The ‘quiet’ part was underlined time and again. I felt suffocated. I stared blankly at the door in front of me, frozen in place.


Thump, thump, thump…….


I heard a roar from the inside again. And the next moment.


Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang!


A series of loud noises broke out. It was a deafening noise. A cold shiver ran down my back. At some point, my hands were shaking.


I realized that I had made a big mistake. Running around the hallway with footsteps, knocking wildly on the door, and calling for a supervisor. It wasn’t what this was supposed to be.


The door with the tape on it shook violently. The corner of the tape was gradually being torn apart, unable to overcome the force being pushed inside. Tap, tap, tap.


I heard an ominous sound. The cabinet that blocked the door was pushed back little by little.


I gritted my teeth and ran out. Without knowing where to go, I headed upstairs recklessly. It was based on the judgment that it would be safer inside the dormitory than outside, where there is no place to hide.


Quaang! There was a loud noise behind my back. It was the sound of a roughly open door hitting the wall. I didn’t slow down or look back. I wasn’t the type to enjoy watching horror or thriller movies, but I knew that I would die if I stopped leisurely and looked behind me in the current situations.


I climbed the stairs frantically. I didn’t know whether it was the third or fourth floor. There was a shuffling sound from beneath. I glanced down over the railing. A black figure caught a glimpse. It was pretty fast for something with limited mobility.


I squeezed even the strength I was sucking on and increased my speed. I forcibly moved my leg, which was about to collapse due to my strength failing. I was on the top floor before I knew it. There were no more stairs to climb. I headed for the hallway. There wasn’t even a single rat in the hallway. It was so quiet that my breath sounded so loud. Numerous identical visitors lined up on both sides.




There was a chilling sound coming from the stairs. It seemed to have chased me all the way here. It was really persistent despite being unable to move quickly and lacking intelligence.


I ran across the hall. What if something pops out from the front, what if the road is a dead end? However, rather than worrying about obstacles that may or may not be in front of me, it was first to avoid the immediate threat from behind. There was no option.


The corridor in front of me was clean. But there were some oddities here and there. I saw several rooms with doors slanted open. In some places, white painted walls were littered with footprints. These were things that hadn’t caught my eye until a few minutes ago, when I was heading to the convenience store without a sense of danger.


The pursuer behind was persistent. I was quickly exhausted from sprinting all the time, whereas that one was not a living person and didn’t get tired. The sound of scraping vocal cords, and swaying limbs came closer and closer. I turned around to look back even though I knew I shouldn’t do this.


It looked familiar. Except that half of the head was distorted, and the jaw joint was strangely twisted and the tongue was drooping out of the mouth.


“Sir, supervisor……”


My voice trembled terribly. The supervisor did not reply. The stench that would only come from spoiled meat from the opponent was reaking. Fatigue and fear combined and my body was about to collapse. Even though I know I’ll be like them if it catches up here.


“Huck, ha, ha…….”


I was out of breath. It looked red and black in front of me. I staggered around a right-angled corner. A large carrier was seen lying down in the middle of the hallway. The toiletries, basic cosmetics, and clothes believed to have been inside popped out and were scattered all over the place. And someone was sitting on it.


He was a tall man. I couldn’t see my face because he sat with only his back showing. With one hand stuck in the pocket of his pitch-black outer-clothing, he was stretching his long legs loosely and tapping his toes on the floor in a bored way.


It was a man, alive and well.




Forgetting that I was being chased, I faltered for a moment. The man who noticed my presence turned around. Black mask with black hair covering half of his face. I could see some piercings on his earlobe.


The man stood up quietly, staring at me. Only then did I see what was in his hand. It was a large fire ax with a red blade. A messy dormitory hallway, a man sitting peacefully in the middle of it, and a fierce-looking fire axe. It was an unrealistic sight.


He picked up the axe and swung it hard. I stood tall. My body froze stiff. I couldn’t do anything while watching the axe blade cut through the air right next to me. Splash! Something hot and sticky splashed at my feet. A little later I realized it was rotten blood.


I stared blankly at the floor. The axe was deeply inserted into the collarbone of what was once a dorm supervisor. The man kicked the supervisor in the ribs and pulled out the bloody axe blade. The dorm supervisor, whose neck and shoulders were half separated, wriggled.


The man tilted his head slightly. And he calmly stole a few drops of blood on the back of his neck, which was not covered by clothes and his mask. A long cross of the neck was seen inside the collar. A scar?


“Ah…… this is not dying.”


It was the first thing he said. Looking down, frowning slightly, he raised his axe again. Quajik! I caught a glimpse of the cut-off head rolling in the corner of my vision. I closed my eyes tightly. INo matter how bizarre they became, they were originally human. Even if we hadn’t seen each other, we had a conversation face-to-face. I felt sick to my stomach.


“Hello. Hoobae-nim. You came?”


The man spoke to me. It had a strangely friendly tone. I opened my eyes. When our eyes met, he pulled the black mask down his mouth and smiled slightly. He had black hair, black eyes, and a piercing on his ear. The impression was by no means mild, even as a joke.




I don’t know who that is. I’ve never had a senior like that. No matter how much I looked back, nothing came to mind.


“You’ve managed to live.”


The man asked with a calm look.


“Why are you still alive?”


Something was out of the ordinary. I stepped back a little. When I said, “Huh?” The man followed after me to narrow the gap, the end of the fire axe he was holding dragged on the floor.


“What are you talking about? Who are you?”


“No, damn it. Why are you pretending you don’t know? Now you don’t even want to pretend to know me? Oh, did you forget my name? Is that why?”


The man smiled. It was a smile that did not match his disturbing and dangerous appearance.


“I’m Young-won. Ki Young-won.”


“I’m sorry, but I really don’t know who you are. Are you sure you’re not seeing the wrong person?”


I blurted out whatever came out of my mouth and slowly spread the distance with my backsteps. I could tell by instinct. The man in front of me was not sane. A sane person does not calmly thrust an axe blade in someone’s neck, nor does he immediately pretend to know the person he met the first time and ask questions such as “Why are you still alive?”


“But, you know. Why do you keep running away?”


He asked quietly. The bloody axe in one hand added even more errieness. Say that now. It’s worth running away, so let’s run away! There was a lot I wanted to say. But I still had enough mentality not to say it out loud enough.




I closed my mouth and looked around, then ran back for the right time. That man was as dangerous as the abominations I had ever encountered, or, perhaps, more dangerous than them.


The man came right after me. Rattling, crash, tang. There was a series of eerie sounds behind my back. The blade of his axe hit the wall and the floor. Unlike the monsters who were dragging their bodies and walking because they couldn’t hold their limbs properly, he was rather very agile.


“Why are you running away? Do you hate me that much? Or are you scared? You think I’m gonna kill you?”


“Stop, gasp, stop, following me…….”


“No. Why would I kill you? You forgot my name, and now you’re making a fool out of me. It’s okay. It could happen. I’m not gonna kill you. No, I can’t kill you.”


The scenery of the empty hallway flashed by. I was scared in a different way than when I was chased by the dorm supervisor. I felt like I was being targeted by a psychopathic serial killer.


“You run quite well. You were crazy about dying like that, but now you want to live again?”


The hallway was over. I ran desperately downstairs. The man had long legs as much as he was tall. Jumping up the stairs two or three steps at a time, they caught up behind me at the same speed as flying.


“You’re doing it again. You always do this and that. I only end up being the fool.”


I couldn’t afford to answer that crazy question. As soon as I opened my mouth, I felt as if my head was going to split on the blade of the ax.


“Really, you are…….being too much.”


The man grumbled softly. Before I knew it, he followed right behind me. It didn’t even look difficult at all. I realized I could never beat him by running.


“Sun, sunbae. Ki Young-won sunbae nim!”


I stopped, closed his eyes tightly, and shouted. He was coming after me because I was running away pretending not to know him. So maybe he would let me free if I didn’t run away without pretending I didn’t know him. If I’m going to die trying anyway, regardless of whether I died like this or that, I wanted to try the last resort and die.


“I’m sorry! I didn’t dare to recognize you! Wait, I don’t remember, no, I’m confused.”




It sounded very lame and obsequious to me. But it seemed to work. The man did not move any more in his place. I swallowed my dry saliva, opened my eyes, and slowly turned around. And what came into view was the image of a man wielding an axe without expression.




I screamed unsightly. Of course, I had no choice but to lose. The world becomes strange overnight, and terrible monsters chase after it, and the only person who I’ve barely faced is crazy and sets me up with a bloody axe. It was strange to be calm in this situation.


Puff! There was the sound of an ax crushing the flesh and splitting the bone. What was about to rush at me from a step back fell into place. I couldn’t recognize his face, but he seemed to be a student of our school. Blood spread on the school mark engraved on the school jacket he was wearing. The rotting and sticky blood flowed slowly out to form a dark red puddle. There was a terrible stink.




My legs went weak and I sat down. My whole body trembled. The self-proclaimed senior stared blankly at the student who was scattered with a disastrous look. Then he gave me a look. After staring at me for a strange long time, he sighed slowly and collected the axe blade.


“Get your act together, hoobae.”


He no longer said anything out of the blue, why pretend not to know. He didn’t even try to kill me out of the blue. I don’t know if I can use this metaphor, but it was like a person who was obsessed with something and just woke up.


The senior once more donned the mask that had been lowered to his chin. His nose and mouth were covered and only the eyes that gave a strange cool feeling were revealed.


“Stay close to me properly. If you look away, you’ll get a head in my hand before you’re eaten by those cubs.”


I thought about whether it would be better to bite a monster or fly my head to an axe. Both of them were inseparable from each other.


“Follow me. Don’t make a loud noise.”




“Don’t ask me the same thing many times. It’s ridiculous to repeat what I have said again.”




I don’t think I’ve asked the same thing many times. But I kept my mouth shut. For once, life was precious. The senior loosened his axe in his hand and moved on. There was almost no sound of footsteps, even though he walked in dry strides as if they were bothersome. I watched him nervously and followed him a little later.


What’s going on here, what the hell is it that I’ve encountered, why is that man treating me as if he’s known me for a long time. I had a lot of questions, but I didn’t even have time to ask.


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Author's Thoughts

This is Chapter 3 & 4 of the manhwa!

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