“Isn’t this….?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes opened wider.
“I had to spend over half of my Mana just to bring that item over here. I was wondering whether I should give it to you or not, but now, I don’t have much of a choice anymore.” (Affeldrichae)
“You really came up with a pretty dang great gift for me, haven’t you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned widely.
On top of his hands rested a certain artefact he loved using back in Berafe. It was a magic power booster, fashioned out of the hearts of four Ancient-class Dragons he personally had hunted down.
Out of countless artefacts he used to own, he enjoyed using this one the most, and also, he thought of it as the most important one in his possession, as well.
He thought that this artefact was destroyed when he jumped dimensions due to the resistance of the worlds, but who would’ve guessed that she’d bring it here!
“It was found abandoned on the spot you disappeared from Berafe. It seems that the Heart’s desire to stay in its original world prevented the artefact from travelling with you.” (Affeldrichae)
“Even after death, the remnant of their wills still remains, is that it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hearts are Dragons, and Dragons are their hearts.” (Affeldrichae)
“Hmm. Well, it’s fine either way.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Whatever the case may be, in the end, this artefact found itself back in his hands. Yi Ji-Hyuk looked deeply at the Dragon Hearts each emitting different hues, before clasping them around his arms.
With that crisp metallic click of the clasps, Dragon Hearts were now locked in his arms, and he felt quite a bit satisfied afterwards. Should he say that this felt like he was recovering his lost pieces one by one?
“….Didn’t you find the main Heart as well?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You sure know how to demand others to cough up the heart of their mother, don’t you?” (Affeldrichae)
“I didn’t know Dragons were capable of that kind of filial bonds. What, your kind know how to recognise your mothers now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Maybe I’m just the weird one.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk happily chuckled out.
This was why he couldn’t get close to this woman.
She might be able to understand humans with her vast intellect, but there was just no way he’d get to truly share his feelings with someone who calculated her emotions and acted based on the result.
“It wasn’t there.” (Affeldrichae)
“H-mm. That’s too bad.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I need the main Heart to bring out the full might of this artefact, though.
Well, doesn’t matter. If it’s not here, I’ll just use it as it is. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Even without the Main Heart, this artefact would still boost Yi Ji-Hyuk’s attack power by several folds, after all.
“Besides all that…. You really exceeded yourself this time, bringing me the Hearts of your own kin like this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“They aren’t mine, so it doesn’t matter.” (Affeldrichae)
“Right. You guys were always like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even though it was me who said it, I still can’t get used to how Dragons think…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“So, what is your plan now?” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked back at Affeldrichae in a slightly reproachful manner, his eyes implying why on earth she was even asking that question in the first place.
“Find it, fight it, and kill it. Obviously.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Looks like you forgot to add ‘how’ in that sentence. How will you find it, how will you fight it, and how will you kill it?” (Affeldrichae)
“Nicely, of course.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….I’m not in a joking mood with you.” (Affeldrichae)
“A Dragon talking about moods, what a funny notion that is. Why don’t you use that ice-cold head of yours to figure it out?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s a little belated for me to say this now, but….” (Affeldrichae)
“If I remained in that world after the end of the war, my brethren might have killed me already, saying that I’m a mad Dragon.” (Affeldrichae)
That could really have happened.
One thing’s for sure, the Affeldrichae of their first encounter and Affeldrichae of now were two completely different beings. The Ice Queen-like Affeldrichae of the past should be considered as good as dead now.
What was so different about her from back then when she still couldn’t really understand humans even now?
Actually, a Dragon wanting to understand more about humans was the evidence of the creature going bonkers for real. One should think about how a human, in his desire to understand ants better, tried to imitate the actions of ants and live like one.
Now that would be the finest example of one going mad.
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at Affeldrichae and lightly clicked his tongue, before spreading his arms out wide to stretch his muscles.
“From here on, it’s my job.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae shook her head.
“It’s ‘our’ job.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quietly stared at Affeldrichae.
“Hey, Affeldrichae.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“My sworn enemy, who for so long stood in my path, wishes to stand by my side now and fight alongside me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Is there a reason not to?” (Affeldrichae)
“But, why should you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Just as you said, I’m not safe here as well. As long as I lack the sufficient Mana to open up a Gate that takes me back to Berafe, fighting alongside you will raise the odds of my own survival rather greatly.” (Affeldrichae)
“Didn’t you just say that fighting dead last is the wisest thing to do?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, you aren’t planning to be the last, that’s why.” (Affeldrichae)
“….Feels a bit weird to me, though.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yesterday’s enemy can become today’s ally. That can happen. Happens all the time, in fact.
However, I’ve never imagined seeing the day that this dang lizard would become my ally, so it’s a bit awkward for me, you know. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Yup, it’s awkward, alright.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“There’s no need to feel awkward. I’ve always been in your side, after all.” (Affeldrichae)
“….Well, now I’ve heard everything.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned around.
The reason why he still felt bitter was simple – he himself knew very well that she wasn’t exaggerating there. Although the methods didn’t seem like it, she always tried to help him out. It was Yi Ji-Hyuk that couldn’t really accept her.
It was the same story even now.
She had to be telling the truth when she said she came to this world to help him out. Dragons never lied, after all. However, even then, Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t really accept her goodwill.
‘It’s all twisted.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Because, as a human, as a living creature, even as a devil, he was all twisted up inside.
“Don’t slow me down, you hear?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m the Dragon Lord, remember?” (Affeldrichae)
“Right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That was enough talking, then.
When Yi Ji-Hyuk and Affeldrichae walked out of the quarantined hospital, all of the NDF agents were waiting for them by the front entrance.
“….And what’s this?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Aren’t you going to fight?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young replied curtly.
Who told them that?
Yi Ji-Hyuk lowered his gaze, and as if she felt guilty, Doh Gah-Yun stopped hiding in his shadow and silently emerged from there, before taking refuge behind Seo Ah-Young.
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out a groan and nodded his head.
“Fine, whatever.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We’ll go together.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“You really wanna kill yourselves that badly, huh. Do you even have any idea where you’re going to, in the first place?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, we’re going to die, aren’t we?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“….You finally gone crazy?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Unless one was not mad, one wouldn’t try to kill themselves that badly….
“From the way I hear it, it’ll be difficult even for you this time. Isn’t it?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Probably?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“In that case, we have to go together.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Why? Are you thinking of dying together with me? Have you actually grown close to me or something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young snorted derisively at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s snide remarks.
“Stop making me laugh, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk. There is no way we have that kind of a relationship. We only have a tenuous contractual relationship, after all.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“That’s right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We all know that, if you go alone and die there, we’d all be dead meat without a chance to resist later on.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Now that was a wise conclusion to make.
Even then, he still wasn’t too pleased about it because…. There was a hint, a trace of a certain emotion left hanging in her declaration.
“Do you know that you won’t be of any help, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m sure we can serve as cannon fodder.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk sighed again.
They would serve well as cannon fodder.
“Do what you want.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stopped trying to dissuade them.
Didn’t he work hard to train these folks precisely for this moment? Now that it was time to use them, he should do so accordingly.
“Don’t blame me if you die. No, wait. It’s fine if you do blame me, cuz I won’t care.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We expect nothing less from you.” (Seo Ah-Young)
After saying that, Seo Ah-Young began direct orders to the NDF agents.
“So….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk with withdrawn but calm eyes.
“….How will you locate your target?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
“No need to go around looking for that guy.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“He’s gonna show up all by himself.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What are you talking about?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t feel the need to explain himself. It wasn’t as if Choi Jung-Hoon would understand just because of an explanation, and besides, nothing would change, anyway.
Trying to make these folks understand the level of belligerence demon kings possessed was a foolish task. It’d be akin to making a bunch of children who knew nothing, realise that the sun wasn’t circling around Earth, but it was in fact the other way around through nothing more than a few explanations.
“You’ll see soon enough.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just by Yi Ji-Hyuk making a move, they wouldn’t be able to resist showing up here, regardless of which demon king it was.
It was an obvious thing, really.
The 99th demon king.
Just how much death and destruction did Yi Ji-Hyuk wrought in the demon world while acquiring the title of the latest demon king and eventually as the Bringer of Apocalypse?
Just how many demons perished after being stepped on by Yi Ji-Hyuk in the process of him acquiring the ‘core’ of the demon world that would supply him with endless amounts of Mana?
Originally, the number of demons existing in that world was incomparably greater than that of humans found on Earth, but by the time Yi Ji-Hyuk stood at the summit as the final victor, there were less than half of them remaining.
So, from the perspective of demons, Yi Ji-Hyuk was the legendary slaughterer of masses that managed to erase over half of their brethren.
Of course, demons didn’t feel all that much of bonds or fellowship among themselves so they wouldn’t have felt the same type of emotions as humans in the same situation, but still, the overwhelming majority of them would hate Yi Ji-Hyuk regardless.
That was why….
That demon king would be pretty desperate to rip Yi Ji-Hyuk to shreds right about now. All he had to was lightly scratch that itch, and the demon king would jump into the open all by itself.
“The issue is with the method of scratching, though….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spotted Christopher McLaren breathlessly running closer to him and asked.
“Where will I find a place with the least amount of collateral damage?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon me?” (Christopher McLaren)
Choi Jung-Hoon rapidly translated from the side. However, Christopher McLaren could only tilt his head as he still failed to understand the reason for that question, even with the translation.
What was this guy trying to ask for here?
“Find me a location where there won’t be any collateral damage even if I wreck havoc in that place.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Okay, I’ll find one.” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren wanted to clear something up, but the atmosphere oozing out from Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t allow that.
‘Is this the same Yi Ji-Hyuk that I know?’ (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren could only get flustered by the change of personality displayed by Yi Ji-Hyuk, who had now gone past the level of being serious and straight into being utterly grave.
The image of a punk messing around to his heart’s content had disappeared a while ago, only to be replaced by a warrior getting ready for a truly arduous battle that’s about to come.
“Ah, by the way……” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk suddenly opened his mouth.
“Why don’t we get some cameras, too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Eh?” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren stared dazedly at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
What was this about now?
Beltreche brought the glass of wine closer to its face. The crimson tongue slowly emerged from its lips and lightly licked the wine contained within the clear glass. And then, its yellow eyes were narrowed to slit, a frown forming on its face.
“Humans’ wines are still terrible.” (Beltreche)
It wasn’t as if Beltreche had any preference when it came to liquor, but well, it was true that fruit wines created by Elves were the best, and everyone knew that Dwarves made the best beer there was.
Either here or back in Berafe, wines made by humans were just not palatable at all.
And this particular wine was supposed to be the most high-class, top quality there was, yet with this sort of taste, Beltreche thought that it might as well give up on going on a tour of alcohol tasting in this world altogether.
“And so, you say ‘he’ has made a move?” (Beltreche)
“Yes. However, I can not figure out what he’s trying to do.” (Argolas)
“Current situation only.” (Beltreche)
“He’s moving towards a desert called Sonoran at the moment. It seems likely that he has given up on responding to the beetles.” (Argolas)
“Giving up, is it….” (Beltreche)
No matter how many bugs there were or how far wide they had spread out, Yi Ji-Hyuk would’ve been able to take care of them all.
Sure, it would take a long time, but eventually, he’d kill every single one. Because, that man possessed the ability to track down even the tiniest amount of dark Mana.
Yet, he was ignoring the bugs and had travelled elsewhere?
‘What is he scheming?’ (Beltreche)
It was then, the TV screen Beltreche was watching suddenly changed.
Beltreche spat out a surprised gasp.
It wasn’t because the footage shown had changed.
The demon king was only watching the TV to learn more about the nature and habits of the humans of this world anyway, so he didn’t really care for what channel he was watching to begin with.
No, what took Beltreche by surprise was the person appearing on the screen.
“….The ninety-ninth demon king.” (Beltreche)
Beltreche’s eyes began gleaming dangerously as Yi Ji-Hyuk appeared on the TV screen.
Was this a provocation?
Even though he may not know that Beltreche was watching TV, did he suspect that there could be collaborators working for the demon king somewhere?
As expected of the 99th demon king.
Beltreche’s yellow eyes shook violently next.
There was a black Gate above Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head growing larger and larger.
Beltreche cried out sharply.
< 164. You’re still not good with lying -4 > Fin.