Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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(TL: Partially edited.)
In front of the NDF building.
“….Where are we going again??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dazedly asked.
Okay, so, where did she say it was? Did I hear it correctly or not?
Without a doubt, it was Yi Ji-Hyuk himself who talked about going to a theme park. But the kind of a theme park he had in mind was something like…. the one in Yongin, kinda like that. (TL note at the end)
However, what the hell?
“In America?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, in America.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“You wanna go to a theme park in America???” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes. Is there something wrong? That’s where you’ll find the world’s best theme park, so quite obviously, we should go there if we want to have fun, don’t you think so?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dumbfoundedly stared at Seo Ah-Young.
She was planning to go the United States of freaking America just for a fun day out at a theme park. Just what kinda bullsh*t notion was this?
What a bizarre notion, that.
Indeed, it was a bizarre notion, but….
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s stare shifted to Jeong Hae-Min decked out in a bright dress standing next to Seo Ah-Young.
‘Well, as long as she’s here, it’s not bizarre at all, I guess.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The reason why most Koreans wouldn’t think of having a day out in America was because of the transport costs, as well as the time needed to get there. But, with Jeong Hae-Min around, both of those issues were addressed in full, so was there a reason not to go?
‘Yup, as expected of a teleporter.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What a tremendously wide variety of usages she had.
No matter the destination, he was going to utilise the services of the shuttle Jeong Hae-Min. So, who cared about distance and all that?
“Okay, fine. So, are we ready to go?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, looks like everyone’s here, doesn’t it?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk narrowed his eyes and scanned his surroundings.
Never mind the blindingly beautiful Seo Ah-Young kitted out in a black skirt and a cardigan thrown over her white shirt, just what was up with Doh Gah-Yun’s attire??
Was that supposed to be her putting in some effort to look more presentable?
“….Hey, who dressed her?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began glaring in annoyance.
That kid wasn’t some preschooler going on a field trip, so how could anyone force her to wear that frilly dress??
“It was me!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young began smiling brightly as if she was expecting to be praised or some such, prompting Yi Ji-Hyuk to slowly shake his head. He then looked at Jeong Hae-Min.
Now that was an excellent sense of fashion.
Pleasantly plain, as befitting a celeb; she was a walking showcase of brand name clothes that at once seemed like she just threw on whatever she could find in the closet, but at the same time, there was just a subtle hint of her coordinating her clothes just right.
“Hey, will you do something about that girl’s appearance?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Hae-Min checked Doh Gah-Yun’s status and spat out a long sigh. She then grabbed the hand of the younger girl and dragged her away.
“No, hang on a minute. Confirm the hous….”
Even before he could finish, a van suddenly drove up from the far corner of the street and stopped in front of Jeong Hae-Min.
*SFX for the van’s side door sliding open*
The side door of the van opened, and everyone could see rows of clothes in there.
“Wait for a minute.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min dragged Doh Gah-Yun into the van, and closed the door shut.
Yi Ji-Hyuk clicked his tongue as he witnessed that scene.
Sure, she might be a celebrity and all, but why would she feel the need to carry around extra clothes in a separate vehicle?
Oh, well. She was a celeb, after all…
…Eh? Hold up! She’s a teleporter!
If she needs a change of clothes, she can just teleport to her own house or the closet, can’t she?!
If she can’t make up her mind, then she can just teleport around with her coordinator, so is there a reason to really have a van full of clothes like that?? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Not one person here is sane. Not even one!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head helplessly and shifted his gaze over to the rest.
Kim Dah-Som was kitted out like the usual, simple and easy to move around, and as for Kim Dah-Hyun standing next to her….
“What’s up with you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Why are you even here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“My little sister is going, so I must go, as well.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“What does your sister going have to do with you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, an oppa must chaperone her little sister wherever she goes.” (Kim Dah-Som)
Yup, even this guy was beyond help.
Now that Yi Ji-Hyuk thought about it, it wasn’t just the females around him who were a bit insane. Even the men surrounding him all had misplaced a few screws in their heads, too.
At least, there was one silver lining here and that would be….
That wondrous appearance.
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Choi Jung-Hoon and spat out a sigh of admiration.
Choi Jung-Hoon had escaped from his usual look of the regent hairstyle and the slick business suit. He now wore a simple sweater and a pair of blue jeans, plus he let his hair down, too. He just exuded a different aura altogether now.
If the Choi Jung-Hoon of everyday emitted a sharp, sword-like aura of an elite, then the current him would be…..
….The walking, talking ‘ikemen’?
For some reason, it felt like the sun would shine down on a cloudy day and rain would stop falling if he opened his mouth to speak.
That was why Yi Ji-Hyuk could only sigh in appreciation.
There were plenty of handsome men back in Berafe. If one were only to judge with the facial features and nothing else, then Choi Jung-Hoon wasn’t beautiful enough to be on their level.
If one were to be honest about it, then Kim Dah-Hyun was better looking than Choi Jung-Hoon, even.
However, Choi Jung-Hoon had this innate magnetic charm that attracted other people.
‘If he was born in the past, he’d either have become a king, or the worst traitor in history.’
Indeed, that man was born with a sky-high natural charm.
He didn’t make enemies that easily, and his ability to make others think of him as a good person was not something any old regular Joe could possess.
Heck, even Yi Ji-Hyuk viewed Choi Jung-Hoon in positive light, didn’t he?
“It must be my first time seeing you in casual clothes.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Honestly, I’m not really used to this.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon smiled wryly and took a look at himself.
It felt like his awkwardness was increasing by several folds when he felt his hair flowing down instead of swept back in the regent style.
“Is this everyone?” (Seo Ah-Young)
When Seo Ah-Young asked, Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
“My family hasn’t shown up yet!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You didn’t come with them?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began shuddering from barely-checked frustration.
They went on and on about women needing time to prepare and some rubbish like that, and wasted his time. So, he only asked them to hurry up a bit, but then, he got branded as an unsophisticated country bumpkin and got chased out of his own home.
“I didn’t return home to be treated like this, you know!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon me?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“…….Never mind.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The woman’s mind was a mystery, indeed.
He had met so many women in over a thousand years of his life, yet no matter where and when, it seemed like their heads were still an unholy mess of confusion, a world of chaos, and a void full of dangerous maelstrom.
*SFX for the van’s side door sliding open*
It was then, the door of the van slid open, and Jeong Hae-Min emerged outside looking all triumphant and the like.
In the direction Jeong Hae-Min’s over-the-top gesture was pointing at, Doh Gah-Yun was walking out of the van, looking somewhat awkward.
Choi Jung-Hoon stared at Doh Gah-Yun, his hand wrapped around his chin.
The kid wore monotone clothes most of the time, but with a bit of colour injection, her looks seemed to have come alive now.
“Very good.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
When Choi Jung-Hoon declared as so, everyone nodded their heads, with the sole exception of Yi Ji-Hyuk. He was too busy staring at Seo Ah-Young with an expressionless face, that was why.
“What now?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“You can still run your mouth after nearly scarring a child for the rest of her life like that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I, I did my best, you know!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“….Not everything requires your so-called best. Wake up!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Struck hard by the truth of life, Seo Ah-Young began faltering on her feet. That man knew how to say something one just couldn’t retort against.
“Hey, shorty.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Don’t call me shorty!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min shouted back, but Yi Ji-Hyuk simply dug his ear canals nonchalantly and roundly ignored her protest.
“Go to my house and fetch my family, will ya?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….You mean, me?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Who else is there?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Hae-Min nodded her head, and went Poof! from the spot. Shortly thereafter, she reappeared again, this time accompanied by Park Seon-Duk and Yi Ye-Won.
“Welcome.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Nice to see you.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Since Seo Ah-Young and Choi Jung-Hoon were familiar with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s family members, the duo greeted them first.
“Oh my goodness, it’s been a while.” (mom)
“Hello there.” (Ye-Won)
Unlike Park Seon-Duk, whose greeting sounded good-natured and warm, Yi Ye-Won greeted the duo cautiously as if she was feeling a bit shy.
“I heard that it was an employees-only day out, so thank you for inviting us as well.” (mom)
Park Seon-Suk spoke while bowing her head, causing Seo Ah-young to form an awkward smile as she bowed back.
She said ‘invited’.
Technically speaking, it was Seo Ah-Young who decided to insert herself in the first place. So, when that lady said such things, it felt like her conscience was being poked by a sharp stick.
“Well, it suuuure is nice to go together, I guess.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young sensed Yi Ji-Hyuk’s criticising glare stabbing into her back and cold sweat drops formed on her forehead.
“Now that everyone’s here, let’s get going.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Hae-Min nodded her head after Yi Ji-Hyuk voiced his opinion. She then told everyone to hold the hand of the person next to them.
“Make sure to never let go.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
However, for some reason, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t immediately hold Jeong Hae-Min’s hand, and instead, stood there pondering.
“What’s wrong?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“No, well, it’s like…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk searched through his pockets and then, tilted his head.
“I’ve got my phone, my wallet’s here, and I checked everything, but… But, it’s like, I’m kinda worried about something.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“If something does go wrong, we can just teleport back, so let’s get going already.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When Yi Ji-Hyuk grasped Jeong Hae-Min’s hand, they all disappeared from the spot, leaving only the empty street behind.
A lone man then suddenly appeared in this empty street and took a look at the front of the NDF building with no one standing there. He slowly fell on his knees.
“What, what about me……” (dad)
Dad could only shed a tear of sorrow as he was left abandoned today as well.
“Wow!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min exclaimed loudly as she stared at the spectacle in front of her eyes.
“Look! Look over there!! It’s a huge castle!! It’s so big!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Ahh, sure thing.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“And that mascot over there is so cuuute, too!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“It’s just a rat.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“And that mascot!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Just a duckling.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….What about that one, then?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“It’s a just bitc…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL: the joke here revolves around Korean wordplay which obviously can’t be TLed into English. I tried, tho….)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shut his mouth up real quickly, perhaps realising that he shouldn’t finish his sentence.
A theme park stretching as far as eyes could see. Yi Ji-Hyuk was truly impressed by this overwhelming spectacle.
“Wow. It’s really big.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Close your mouth. You sound so unsophisticated.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Oh, so you came here before, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Wow, that’s so pretty, isn’t it?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
….Would you look at her quickly changing the topic?
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s narrowed eyes glared at her, but Jeong Hae-Min did not look back.
“Mm, so. People come here to have fun, is it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yup.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“So, like, what are we supposed to do here for fun, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Hey, you’re the one who wanted to go to a theme park, so why are you asking us for that?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at Seo Ah-Young and asked.
“Okay, so. What should we do now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s my first time coming to a place like this, so don’t ask me.” (Seo Ah-Young)
At Seo Ah-Young’s confident, straightforward reply, Yi Ji-Hyuk could only click his tongue and turn his head elsewhere.
“Anyone here who has come to a theme park before?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
No one replied back.
“What a pathetic bunch….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk clicked his tongue again, while his group lowered their heads in embarrassment. To be treated so disdainfully by Yi Ji-Hyuk, how shameful was this?
“What about you, then?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Nope, never.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Then, what are you so proud about?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Yi Ji-Hyuk puffed out his chest.
“I’m always proud.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…..Sure thing.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Choi Jung-Hoon hurriedly took control of the situation.
“For the time being, let’s go inside. We’ll just have a go on the various attractions and rides. That should be fine, don’t you think so?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
“Okay, let’s go.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk took to the front and began walking, and the others followed after him.
“So, this is the place, then.” (Alpha)
Alpha smiled slightly as he stared at the massive amusement park. He was holding a certain small ‘artefact’ Beltreche gave to him earlier.
“Now, let’s see.” (Alpha)
He chose a suitable spot, and placed this artefact down on the ground.
“And then….” (Alpha)
He then began injecting the dark Mana he received from the demons into the marble-like artefact.
This process was body-shudderingly painful, but Alpha didn’t even blink once and endured it. This dark Mana thing was a dangerous power indeed, but that was precisely the reason why it was so valuable.
Also, he heard that this was the source of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s strength, so it was definitely worth researching, too.
The artefact began vibrating as soon as it accepted the dark Mana from Alpha. And a small Gate slowly formed in the air.
Alpha stared at that small Gate and tilted his head.
Looking at that basketball-sized Gate, he wondered what a small thing like that could even do.
Beltreche sneered derisively at the methods that had been employed until now, and gave Alpha this artefact, so it should possess some sort of a special effect, but then again, he couldn’t really tell what that could be.
Oh, well. At least he finished his task, so that was that.
Alpha was about to leave, but his steps came to an abrupt halt. He took another look at that Gate.
Something was emerging out from the Gate.
There were sounds of vibrations, and noises of buzzing.
And when that something finally popped out of the Gate, Alpha could only chuckle in dumbfoundedness.
“Well, definitely, this would…. be quite effective.”
It was really hard to tell what the plans of those demons were, but he couldn’t deny the effectiveness of it. Alpha recalled the sight of demons while looking at that Gate, and slowly turned around.
“It’s going to get amusing, for sure.”
Alpha’s gaze was now directed towards the amusement park.
He wasn’t even trying to target that man, but well, what an opportune timing this was.
“Indeed, very amusing.”
The corners of Alpha’s lips arched up.
< 154. So, I shall allow a little bit of amusement -4 > Fin.
(TL: there’s a theme park in the city of Yongin called Everland. Fun fact – this place used to be called Yongin Agricultural Theme Park when it opened its doors in 1976. It’s also the largest in South Korea, and ranked 16th in the world in 2014. Finally, it’s run by Samsung. Yep, that Samsung.)