Yet another life rushed at him to die.
A rusted sword pierced his lower belly, severed his spine, and exited through his back.
Yi Ji-Hyuk reached down to grab the sword sticking out from his belly. The sharp blade cut into his skin and bit into his bones.
But, it was fine.
Because, Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t die. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t.
So, he’d not die just because of a measly sword wound.
He saw the pale face before him. Seeing those scared eyes trembling like that, a cold smirk formed on his face.
You were the one who stabbed me with a sword first, yet why are you scared of me?
*SFX for a sword sliding out of human flesh*
As the blade was extracted from his body, a chilling and horrifying noise could be heard. With an emotionless face, Yi Ji-Hyuk grabbed the sword’s hilt and swung it against the attacker’s neck.
The arteries were sliced open and blood gushed out like a fountain, dyeing the world crimson.
Another one died.
While carrying the bloodied greatsword, Yi Ji-Hyuk walked forward.
His eyes could see countless men and women rushing towards him.
A demon, a devil, a monster….
He was sick and tired of those names.
Wasn’t there another title people could call him with, that might be able to pique his interest once more?
*SFX for arrows leaving the bows*
Along with the successive twangs of bow strings being let loose, arrows utterly blanketed the entire sky.
‘Those might hurt a bit….’
Yi Ji-Hyuk slightly turned his head away and shielded his eyes as the countless arrows flew in.
*SFX for arrows piercing the body*
Chilling, gruesome noises entered his ears.
How unfortunate that those noises were coming from his body.
Yi Ji-Hyuk yanked out an arrow stuck in his mouth.
Yeah, that f*cking hurts….
The desperate assault went on and on.
Arrows flew in, flames from various magic spells burned his body, a long spear pierced his heart, and swords slashed and cut his arms away.
What would all those actions change, anyway? He was someone who couldn’t die. He shoved back the eyeball that nearly succeeded in popping out of its socket and formed a disgusting smile.
This was too d*mn boring.
No, if he could actually feel boredom, then that would’ve been great. His mind continued to get refreshed. His old emotions were erased and a state of calmness was maintained constantly.
He didn’t feel bored, nor did he get too angry.
He never got enraged, neither was he in a constant state of suffering, nor did he ever feel too lonely.
Nope, he was pretty relaxed throughout his journeys.
If there were something interesting and fun about him maintaining such a calm state for centuries upon centuries, then that would be…. Him managing to stay sane even after all that time.
In the end, even this event would be nothing more that a small blip in his life that would pass by soon enough.
All that remained afterwards would be a slight ache here and there.
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out a lengthy groan.
Think what you want.
In this world where religion rules everything, I’ve already come to accept the fact that I’ll be called the devil simply because I look different from you lot.
You can call me whatever you feel like….
In the end, you’d fight me and oppose me all you want, and then….
You’d curse me with your dying breaths.
Exactly like how things have been repeating ad nauseam until now.
With every step he took, arrows were automatically pushed out from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body and fell to the ground.
Seeing him like that, despair and horror filled up the expressions of the attackers.
It was those eyes again.
Indeed, those d*mn eyes.
Just how could it be possible that all these disparate people looked at him with the exact same sort of expression at the end of their lives?
He was sick and tired of them.
Those d*mn eyes….
When Yi Ji-Hyuk opened his eyes, the world seemed to glisten in a golden hue. An endless span of gold, so unfathomably deep that it almost felt like he was being sucked in.
It was the golden world that felt comfortable and at the same time, he also felt a faint homesickness from it.
“You’re awake.” (Affeldrichae)
Those were Affeldrichae’s eyes.
It sure felt weird that the very first thing he saw as soon as opening his eyes happened to be her.
“What happened back there?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You collapsed.” (Affeldrichae)
“I did?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, you did.” (Affeldrichae)
Now that was something he hadn’t experienced in a really, really long time.
The reason for him losing consciousness could only mean that his mind was in the process of breaking down. However, as far as mental fortitude was concerned, Yi Ji-Hyuk was pretty much at counterstop, so him blacking out like that couldn’t be a simple situation at all.
With his fixed state being undone, either his mental fortitude had weakened considerably, or it was likely that his mind had eroded to such an extent already.
Affeldrichae quietly combed his hair with her fingers.
Had she been stroking his hair until he opened his eyes? He kinda felt a wee bit uncomfortable by her thighs acting as a pillow under his head.
“How long have I been out for?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Maybe a day? Somewhere around there.” (Affeldrichae)
For him to stay unconscious for that long…. It most likely meant that his body couldn’t endure the overpowering dark magic and came close to breaking down right there and then.
If he continued to rely on dark magic as he had done so until now, then his brain would be completely corrupted by it soon enough.
If his mind were to get completely tainted by the dark magic, which was basically a combination of everything negative and bad, he’d no longer be a human being.
One would become even worse than the lowly zombies, but since this was Yi Ji-Hyuk, he wouldn’t fall to the level of a walking corpse. Of course, he’d end up becoming a demonic entity or some such, instead.
“I’m already a demon king, anyway.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, you know it’ll be completely different, don’t you?” (Affeldrichae)
“What do you mean, different….?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The moment you fall and become a demonic entity, you’d become a completely a different person. You’d have different thoughts and emotions even if you were looking at the same things. Your perceptions and values of all the things you’ve seen, and all the people you’ve met, would fundamentally undergo a transformation.” (Affeldrichae)
“That’s so troublesome.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“In short, the personality called Yi Ji-Hyuk would cease to exist. And something else unknown would appear to replace the void.” (Affeldrichae)
Wasn’t that basically the same as death, then?
He already suspected something similar to this might happen to him, but having heard that straight from the Lord of Dragons, he was beginning to feel the harsh reality even in his bones.
The what-ifs had become undeniable fact and were swallowing Yi Ji-Hyuk up.
“That is why you need to stop.” (Affeldrichae)
“Well, I’d die anyways if the world was destroyed, no?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, you still have a place to return to.” (Affeldrichae)
“Well, that is one unfunny joke, you know….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Also, what a horrible way to curse someone, too!
Just how badly did I struggle to return to this world? Yet you’re telling me to willingly go back there? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“You’re still persistent, I see.” (Affeldrichae)
“Did you show up here to confirm that, Lord of the Dragons?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’d rather prefer the dang lizard woman, too. So, please don’t call me the Lord. I am not it in this world.” (Affeldrichae)
Nothing had changed, though.
My sworn rival and a powerful foe who had stood in my way for over a thousand years.
The protector of Berafe who tried to stop me right until the end.
How hateful, and how despicable… (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
It was here that Affeldrichae’s slender fingers stroked his head again.
“Did you sleep well?” (Affeldrichae)
“If you count blacking out as sleeping, then sure. I slept real well. I feel really refreshed and light, you know?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was then, the door to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s room was suddenly flung open!
Jeong Hae-Min, Seo Ah-Young, and Doh Gah-Yun were entering the room, but stood there utterly frozen after seeing the sight taking place on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s bed.
Wearing a loose-fitting nightgown, Affeldrichae was providing a lap pillow to Yi Ji-Hyuk while stroking his hair, as the guy himself was nonchalantly using her thighs as if it was the most perfectly sensible thing in the whole world, and being half-naked to boot.
Seo Ah-Young began fiercely massaging her temples as if a vicious migraine was assaulting her.
Hah, that man is completely, utterly beyond help, isn’t he? (Seo Ah-Young)
“What do you think you’re doing?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young shouted out sharply, while sidling up next to Jeong Hae-Min in order to shield her eyes.
“Ah?! That’s cold!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
A piercing chill invaded Seo Ah-Young’s back without a warning. Kim Dah-Som had appeared behind her without anyone noticing it and was glaring at the bed with a pair of deadly cold eyes.
‘What is up with her?! Did she come from the Winter Kingdom or something? How did she make the air as cold as this?’ (Seo Ah-Young)
Just as cold sweat drops formed on Seo Ah-Young’s back, the usually-quiet mouth of Doh Gah-Yun cracked open.
“Before the deed? Or after?” (Doh Gah-Yun)
“W, what nonsense are you even talking about?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young cried out with a reddened face.
This girl didn’t have any shame!
And besides, such a scene would normally result from….
“They all look relaxed, so…. Maybe, afterwards?” (Seo Ah-Yong)
Hul?! What did I say out loud just now??
“Wu, wuwuwu…..” (Jeong Hae-Min)
The ominous vibration began reverberating from behind her back, so Seo Ah-Young freaked out and turned around to grasp Jeong Hae-Min’s shoulders.
“Unni!! It’s not confirmed yet, so please calm d….” (Seo Ah-Young)
*SFX for Jeong Hae-Min’s loud wailing*
The morning call had begun in earnest.
Yi Ji-Hyuk was angrily sucking on his cigarette in the living room. And the female troupe had him surrounded from all sides.
“Argh, what now?! What?! I haven’t done anything wrong!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Of course, Yi Ji-Hyuk remained steadfast despite the odds.
He hadn’t done anything wrong, so he didn’t feel like humouring this kind of treatment at all.
No, wait – technically speaking, even if there was some kind of an accident, was there a reason for him to be cornered like this?
“Why don’t you come clean?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Eh? With what?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
By the way, why is she even here, busy nosing around in other people’s business?
And what’s up with her expression?
Did a cockroach crawl by on the floor or something just now? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Come clean with the reason why she was in your room, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“What the hell? Is that a crime? Something like that can happen, can’t it?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hah?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted derisively.
What is this? There was once upon a time when dozens of women used to frequent my room, you know?
Of course, by women, I mean they were Succubi or Demi Liches, so on and so forth….
Ah, now that I think back, I’m kind of feeling depressed for some reason. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“What does that got to do with you, anyway?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His surprisingly logical counterpunch caused Seo Ah-Young to flinch.
Obviously, there was no reason for her to butt in here. What did it matter to her with whom Yi Ji-Hyuk chose to fool around with?
Seo Ah-Young bit her lower lip after seeing Jeong Hae-Min and her still swollen eyes.
The shorty idol might be a fool, but she also happened to be a kind unni, as well.
Sure, she was a bit slow in the head, a bit shallow, and definitely didn’t act her age, but….
“I can hear you, you stupid girl!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Hul? Really?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Lately, she often found herself inadvertently voicing her inner thoughts for some reason.
Seo Ah-Young shook her head and continued to pressure Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“I don’t care about the relationship between you two. However, as the department head of the NDF, I have the responsibility to know about things that might have a connection to your past! That is why, tell us what your relationship with her is.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“You aren’t making any sense at all!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk resisted, but the female troupe remained even more dedicated than he was.
“What’s your relationship with her?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min threw him a straight one.
“Curious.” (Doh Gah-Yun)
Doh Gah-Yun helped her along, too.
“….The past isn’t important.” (Kim Dah-Som)
The stares of Doh Gah-Yun and Jeong Hae-Min shifted to Kim Dah-Som almost right away. She had regained her usual calm demeanor already, but her voice still sounded chilly.
“The important thing is what will happen in the future.” (Kim Dah-Som)
Please don’t say those words with those kind of eyes. Please.
This unni’s heart is weaker than it looks, you know. (Seo Ah-Young’s inner monologue)
Seo Ah-Young wiped the cold sweat on her forehead.
Meanwhile, having been subjected to sharp glares from all sides, Yi Ji-Hyuk began gradually shrinking back.
This is so weird. What’s going on here?
I have never encountered this sort of a situation before in my life. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The Yi Ji-Hyuk’s interpretation of “in my life” had quite a different meaning to other people’s “in my life”, of course. But the combined pressure of the female troupe was indeed quite mighty, as evidenced by Yi Ji-Hyuk’s shrinking body.
Affeldrichae had been quietly observing this sight from the side for a while, before eventually opening her mouth as her head tilted a little.
“Why are you all attacking Mister Ji-Hyuk?” (Affeldrichae)
Why does that woman keep on calling him Mister Ji-Hyuk?!
Trying to show off that you’re close to him, is that it?! (Jeong Hae-Min’s inner monologue)
Jeong Hae-Min lightly bit her lower lip.
“Ah. I see. So that’s what it was.” (Affeldrichae)
Affeldrichae nodded her head as if she had finally understood what was going on here, before she muttered something out that no one else had been expecting.
“If it’s the matter concerning that, all of you should stop worrying about it.” (Affeldrichae)
“What do you mean?”
Affeldrichae smiled gently and carried on.
“A woman who lays claim to Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk already exists, you see.” (Affeldrichae)
Even Seo Ah-Young’s eyes grew extra round after hearing that unexpected revelation.
There was another woman?
Just what was this lecherous b*stard doing in the past?
“My relationship with Mister Ji-Hyuk isn’t what you think. If I were to be more specific, you could say that it’s the exact opposite, actually. If he regains his power, then…. Mm. It does not feel right to say that with my own mouth, regrettably. In any case, the person enjoying such a relationship with Mister Ji-Hyuk is currently….” (Affeldrichae)
“S, stop right there!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk cried out as his entire body quivered.
“Don’t you dare say it!! You’re creeping me out here!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon? But….” (Affeldrichae)
“I said, stop it!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Of course.” (Affeldrichae)
Affeldrichae understood where he was coming from, but the other females didn’t even display a hint of understanding his plight.
“Why do you stop in the middle of telling us?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“You see, there’s this thing…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk slowly opened his mouth with a crumpled expression etched on his face.
“….Called trauma!! A trauma so severe, it’s branded forever in your soul!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
And you lot are giving me a new one right now!!
“Whatever!! All of you, get out!! I wanna rest!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You already rested for a whole day, though!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“I said, get the hell outta here! Get!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk abruptly got up from his spot and shook his head hard, before marching straight back into his room. It was here that everyone’s gaze landed on Affeldrichae.
“Well, he told me not to speak about it anymore. So, excuse me.” (Affeldrichae)
Even Affeldrichae left them and went upstairs to her private room. The remaining females began brooding over what she said, their expressions hard to read.
“We gotta….” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Come up….” (Doh Gah-Yun)
“With a countermeasure.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
As the three female’s gaze focused on Seo Ah-Young, she could only think wryly to herself.
‘Why me….’ (Seo Ah-Young)
She couldn’t find a way out from this.
< 120. Your heart might stop beating, you see -5 > Fin.