The matter in France couldn’t really be considered urgent at the moment, not anymore. No, it’d more correct to say that there was no more reason for the urgency over there.
The monster’s relentless march that began from the heart of Paris ran straight through France’s countryside, and the creature was now almost near the border to Switzerland.
Which meant that it was now the Swiss’ and Italians’ turn to feel the heat.
There was one silver lining here, however, and that would be this particular monster’s movement speed being far slower than that of the Seti’s from the American crisis. But, on the flip side, it destroyed far more of its surroundings as it marched on.
“What a disgusting creature.”
Lieutenant General Xavier spat on the ground while looking at the sea anemone-like monster through his binoculars.
That d*mnable thing was responsible for laying waste to his beloved homeland.
France had summoned every single soldier and all sorts of ability users under her disposal and threw them at the monster, yet that disgusting anemone didn’t even flinch.
If he were to find some solace in this mess, that would be the monster possessing slightly less power than expected and thus didn’t cause as big a damage as everyone had feared, but still….
“It doesn’t leave behind any buildings, does it?” (Xavier)
Looking at all those craters left in the wake of the anemone, several colourful swear words jumped out of Xavier’s mouth.
That huge mass of flesh lumbered on and swallowed up everything it came in contact with. Thankfully, it moved slowly and people could run away from that dang thing, otherwise the overall destruction would’ve been far worse.
“To think, I can do nothing but wait until it leaves our borders….” (Xavier)
That d*mn thing that raped his beloved nation!
His excessive pride had been wounded a great deal.
Just thinking about how he couldn’t do anything to an enemy that proceeded to rape his beloved land and simply watch it slowly lumber towards the border, it felt like all of his innards were boiling in frustration.
But, the cruel reality being what it was, he had no other way.
“God d*mn it.” (Xavier)
Lieutenant General Xavier angrily spoke up.
“What did the Swiss say?” (Xavier)
“They assured us that they’ll do their best to support this side. It’s the same response from the Italians.”
“A bunch of useless sons of b*tches.” (Xavier)
They showed not one hint of interest back when France was getting destroyed to bits, but now that they found themselves in the firing line, they were desperately trying to defend their borders.
Of course he understood where they were coming from, but that didn’t make Xavier’s innards to boil any less.
“The Koreans say they’ll be coming to lend their aid soon!”
“The Koreans?” (Xavier)
Lieutenant General Xavier recalled the name of Yi Ji-Hyuk.
The hottest ability user in the entire world.
The man who kicked the a*s of the monster wreaking havoc in the States in one fell swoop.
Indeed, he was the man befitting the nickname of humanity’s ultimate weapon.
The information regarding that man only circulated among a very privileged few. Fortunately, Lieutenant General Xavier was counted as one of those privileged few, and he knew very well that the French government had been using every diplomatic channel available to request the Koreans’ assistance ever since the monster appeared in Paris.
“Why only now?!” (Xavier)
If they were planning to appear, then why didn’t they do so sooner?
Those d*mn b*stards.
Since that man’s abilities had been proven to be the real deal, he couldn’t say anything else, but truthfully, he didn’t like this at all. Not one bit.
“God d*mn Asians.” (Xavier)
“….That sounds like cussing, doesn’t it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Xavier scanned his surrounding to locate the source of that voice.
Xavier quickly raised his head and spotted several people descending from the sky.
What was the meaning of this?
Were they…. parachuting from a plane or something?
Then, Xavier’s mouth closed shut real tight when he realised that none of those people had any parachuting equipment on them.
In any case…. these ability users seemed to know how to break one’s common sense with ease.
Once they landed, one of the Asians with a sharp and well-groomed appearance tidied his business suit and approached Xavier, before extending his hand for shake.
“I’m Choi Jung-Hoon, working for Korea’s NDF.”
“I’m Lieutenant General Xavier. Your French is quite fluent.”
“Well, isn’t speaking French in Europe considered to be a basic etiquette?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I’ll pray that your personality is as good as your tongue.” (Xavier)
“Of course.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
What a glib-tongued fellow he was.
Not only that, wasn’t he a good looking man, too?
“Choi Jung-Hoon, was it? Choi Jung-Hoon….” (Xavier)
He remembered hearing that name a few times before.
For someone like Xavier, who was overseeing the operations at the frontlines most of the time, to hear that name, that could only mean that this Choi Jung-Hoon was yet another bigshot as well.
However, Xavier’s concern wasn’t focused on that.
“Who is?” (Xavier)
Choi Jung-Hoon immediately understood what Xavier was asking about and pointed to a certain man.
“That’s Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“….That’s him?” (Xavier)
Xavier caught the sight of some still-wet-behind-ears youth squatting on the ground with a I-don’t-care expression and a cigarette stuck to his face.
Also, he was visiting a foreign country, yet just what was up with the slippers-and-tracksuit get up?
‘If the Italians saw him, they might faint on the spot with bubbles foaming in their mouths.’ (Xavier)
Italians might not live or die on the matters of fashion, sure, but still, weren’t they famous for placing a huge importance on it?
Even Xavier couldn’t help but sigh at the pathetic sight of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s attire.
“So, what you’re saying is, that little kid there is THE Yi Ji-Hyuk, the one we’ve been desperately asking for until now?” (Xavier)
“Shhh. He can hear you.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“He’s not going to understand French, anyway. No matter how much I look, he doesn’t seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed.” (Xavier)
“He might not understand the words, but he will notice the meaning behind them. His ability to read you has already reached godhood, let me warn you.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Truly, that Yi Ji-Hyuk looked like he’d be full of petty tricks.
When Xavier met Yi Ji-Hyuk’s gaze for a brief second, he flinched.
What was that?
“How old did you say that man was?” (Xavier)
“According to his birth certificate, he’s still in the early twenties.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Is that for real?” (Xavier)
“Well, he does look young for his age, no?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“No, that’s not what I’m….” (Xavier)
Xavier had sensed something different from Yi Ji-Hyuk just now.
Those deeply withdrawn eyes. He felt as if…. he had just met a comrade.
Nowadays, Xavier might be living the life of a commander, but he didn’t start out his military career that way. From that youth, he acutely picked up the particular scent of a kindred spirit who had fought countless battles in many nameless nations over several long years.
‘But, when he’s still so young?’ (Xavier)
No, that certain aura exuding from Yi Ji-Hyuk exceeded his initial estimation.
Indeed, Yi Ji-Hyuk was emitting a certain atmosphere that someone his age simply should not possess.
This atmosphere, these feelings of calmness and wisdom, were almost the same as the captain who berated Xavier just as the latter was about to carelessly step forward during his very first combat situation.
And now, Xavier was feeling that aura from a young hatchling.
‘My gut feeling can’t be wrong.’ (Xavier)
It’d be more preferable if he got too old and his mind wasn’t functioning properly, but that couldn’t be it.
Xavier trusted his own eyes.
“Mm?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Xavier stopped staring at Yi Ji-Hyuk and approached the youth.
Choi Jung-Hoon watched on with a pair of rather nervous eyes. He couldn’t stop that older soldier from doing what he wanted, so he could only pray that Yi Ji-Hyuk wouldn’t cause an incident here.
Xavier quietly stared at the squatting Yi Ji-Hyuk, before saluting him.
“I welcome you to France.” (Xavier)
They were pretty simple French words, but there was no way Yi Ji-Hyuk could understand them.
Choi Jung-Hoon was about to hurriedly translate for the youth, but then, Yi Ji-Hyuk threw the cigarette away and stood up from the ground.
He then bowed slightly in a dignified manner.
“I’m Yi Ji-Hyuk.”
Choi Jung-Hoon became speechless for a moment there.
He’d swear that this had to be the very first time Yi Ji-Hyuk was showing some common sense.
The two men smiled lightly and shook each other’s hands.
“Translations, please.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, yes!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Even before Choi Jung-Hoon could hurriedly get to them, Xavier opened his mouth first.
“Thank you for coming all this way. Because we were not strong enough, we had no choice but to request your aid in this matter, Monsieur Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Xavier)
When Choi Jung-Hoon translated Xavier’s words, Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
“Believe in me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘….W-why is this guy acting like this??’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon held his complicated head.
He’s normally not like this, though?
Wait, is he scheming something right now? (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Xavier offered update on the current status of the operation and left to return to his post, allowing Choi Jung-Hoon to cautiously throw a question at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?”
“Why are you acting like this, all of a sudden?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“What do you mean?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, you don’t normally act like this. Your attitude just now was, well, too serious….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
“I gotta treat him right, no?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I don’t quite get what you’re saying….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You wouldn’t understand even if I explained it to you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quietly stared at Xavier’s back.
A human’s life was rather short. Yi Ji-Hyuk knew that truth better than anyone.
People he met in Berafe all wanted to become somebodies and achieve great renown, but in the end, they were struck dead by the continuously-turning gears of history and disappeared from memories.
Someone who left their name in the history books turned out to be nobodies, and some who shouldn’t disappear like that got crushed underfoot by the weight of history and ended up being forgotten.
A hundred years at a push, that’s how long a human could live for. Against the relentless flow of time, a hundred years was just a blink.
However, because of the shortness of it all, there were those who managed to shine even brighter than everyone else. People who carried unwavering hearts and did their best to live their lives, not for the sake of fame and fortune, but for their own selves.
Those people who continued to silently endure the disparaging remarks from the others, fingers of ridicule pointing in their directions, etc, while performing their duties to the fullest.
Yi Ji-Hyuk respected those types of people.
Because, that was not something he could do.
Yi Ji-Hyuk began recalling those people.
“…Belton.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“….Nah, it’s nothing.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Back when Yi Ji-Hyuk was trying whatever method he could think of in order to become stronger….
There was this man who never backed down and continued to fight until the bitter end, even after he witnessed the destruction of his kingdom.
He was the kind of a man who made sure his corpse would block the front gate of the royal palace so that no one may invade, until someone managed to finally move it.
‘They are similar.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Not the outside appearance, but the aura they carried.
Those kind of people needed to be respected.
“Now that I think about it, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, you are a lot more friendlier towards soldiers.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I guess you’re right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was the same story with Colonel Jeong In-Soo.
Perhaps, Yi Ji-Hyuk enjoyed better rapport with the military personnel, rather than with other ability users?
Yi Ji-Hyuk might have been a Sorcerer, but he was also more or less the greatest commander there was, capable of ordering around an army of monsters.
Now that he thought about it, there was a time when he acted as a general commanding an army while he lived among humans a long time ago.
“This isn’t the time to become all sentimental, though.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re right.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk frowned deeply while staring at the giant sea anemone slowly approaching them at the far distance.
‘First time seeing one like that.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Didn’t matter whether it was a different dimension or not, and whether it was a human or a monster, all lifeforms shared a certain amount of similarities across all the worlds.
However, that monster was a type that Yi Ji-Hyuk had never seen before in his life. He knew he had to be careful here, since he couldn’t tell what kind of special attacks that thing might possess, but….
‘Should I use my army?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
For scouting purposes, using his monster army to attack was the most convenient method. Unfortunately, he wasn’t 100% certain that the mental strain he got from the US had been completely healed at the moment.
Also, shoving other ability users over there would be a problem in its own right, too.
“Here.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon pushed forward a tablet to Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“It’s the recorded footage of the monster.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Well, as expected. This guy…. was too smart.
Soon, Yi Ji-Hyuk was watching the footage of French ability users fighting against the monster. The video showed colourful cacophony of ability users’ attacks, and the monster simply letting them hit its body and countering back by spraying some sort of pitch-black liquid to its sides.
“Is that acid?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The acid sprayed all over the place began burning the ground black.
“Well, I guess it’s not that special.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head and handed the tablet back to Choi Jung-Hoon.
“It’s not going to be too difficult, no?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was a bad match-up with him. And it happened to be Yi Ji-Hyuk’s favourite type to fight against, too.
Well, that was very simple.
That thing was slow as f*ck!
The core element in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s battle strategy was to buy enough time so he could finish his spells. So, for someone like him, being able to bombard a super-slow monster like that from a far was like going out for a relaxing lunch.
So, that was why…..
“Step aside for a bit.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Should he quickly take care of this?
From both of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s hands, black Mana began pouring out.
This black Mana rose up into the air like dark smoke, then a giant magic circle suddenly formed there.
Yi Ji-Hyuk lowered his gaze after sensing something strange by his feet.
Indeed, something weird had sneaked out from the ground and was busy wrapping around Yi Ji-Hyuk’s legs.
So, well…. what could that be?
Right…. it is like a tentacle, right?
Exactly like a tentacle from that sea anemone.
Hahahaha…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Oh, crap.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Right then, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body was sucked underground at a frightening speed.
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?!”
The shocked voices reverberated to everywhere.
< 135. You’re her oppa. Aren’t you? > Fin.