“To think, a great demon king has perished…..” (Argolas)
Argolas was crouching in a corner, shivering.
“For someone who liked to talk big, your guy sure didn’t amount to much in the end, did he? Didn’t you say that only a single demon king summoned to this world would bring about the apocalypse?” (Alpha)
Argolas could only bare its fangs and glare at Alpha and his sarcasm-filled voice. Too bad, Alpha simply maintained his expressionless face and stared back.
“Indeed, I will admit to it. Matters have progressed in a rather unexpected direction. I didn’t expect her to make a move.” (Argolas)
The demon did take into account the possibility that ‘she’ might interfere in the matters of the 99th demon king. So, perhaps it should revise its excuse to something more like ‘it didn’t expect her to exert her influence in this world’.
“Who knew she’d utilise the Gate being opened from this side?” (Argolas)
Argolas didn’t expect that at all.
Indeed, it failed to guess that Beltreche would try to open a Gate in that situation, so how could it predict the thirteenth demon king making her appearance by figuratively jumping out from it?
“So? What’s your next plan? No, wait. Do you even have another one, to begin with?” (Alpha)
“….Of course.” (Argolas)
Argolas nodded its head.
It was a rather strange thing to ask if there were other plans. This world was already choke full of negative energy way before their schemes began unfolding. As long as they could use this abundant energy, they should be able to achieve pretty much anything, so what could possibly be the problem here?
“This is just the beginning. It is a fact that I didn’t expect our demon king to fail, but nothing has changed as it was only a low-ranked demon king.” (Argolas)
Also, just as important, the demon king wasn’t defeated by Yi Ji-Hyuk, too.
“For the time being, we should utilise what’s been left behind.” (Argolas)
As Argolas fell deeper into its thoughts, Alpha stared at the demon with a pair of contemplative eyes.
‘That sure was a shocking spectacle.’ (Alpha)
Beltreche did fall in the end, but even then, Alpha got to properly learn how powerful and dangerous an existence of a demon king could be.
Although he didn’t do it alone, the man named Yi Ji-Hyuk, who managed to drive such a demonic creature to the brink like that, left a huge impression on Alpha, as well.
That man was a human, yet to possess such a power to be able to do that.
Alpha always thought of himself as someone exceeding the boundaries of what it meant to be a human. But even then, he couldn’t help but doubt if Yi Ji-Hyuk was really born as a human in the first place.
“That Yi Ji-Hyuk…..” (Alpha)
“Just what is he?” (Alpha)
Argolas smirked mockingly and stared at Alpha.
“What’s the matter? Something wrong?” (Argolas)
“I get what that monster named Beltreche or whatever was. Because, anyone could tell that it was a monster. It would not be a strange thing for higher-ranked monsters to exist than the regular ones. However, isn’t Yi Ji-Hyuk a human being?” (Alpha)
Argolas shook its head.
“Oh, you foolish human.” (Argolas)
Alpha didn’t respond and simply chose to stare silently at Argolas.
“You’re mistaken about something. Even to us demons, the existence of demon kings are an unsolvable quandary. They didn’t get there because they were born with that power, nor were they destined to become one. You can’t survive in the demon world by relying on the power you were born with.” (Argolas)
“It’s the same story with Yi Ji-Hyuk. He used to be human, but now he has transcended his humanity to become a demon king. In the eyes of regular beings like you and I, they are beings of unfathomable mystery. We can’t understand them, nor should we try to understand them.” (Argolas)
“….You’re speaking some obvious things.” (Alpha)
“Indeed, they are obvious things.” (Argolas)
Alpha quietly recalled Yi Ji-Hyuk in his head.
“What a strange feeling I’m getting here.” (Alpha)
He knew very well that Yi Ji-Hyuk would become a great hindrance to his future plans, yet he also thought that man was the pride of humanity as well.
If Alpha had to face the demon king without Yi Ji-Hyuk around, then he’d have been plagued by an inescapable sense of inferiority and shame.
That was why he couldn’t help but respect that man, although they were enemies at the end of the day.
“Does that mean Yi Ji-Hyuk was far stronger back in the past?” (Alpha)
“The current him is just a shell of his former self.” (Argolas)
“So, he was on an equal footing with that demon king?” (Alpha)
Argolas chuckled softly.
“Lord Beltreche might have been a demon king, but in the end, it was only a lower ranked one. The higher-ranked demon kings are on another scale altogether compared to Beltreche, and those who have entered the top 13 positions are again on another realm compared to the demon kings below them.” (Argolas)
“But then, the 99th demon king was someone who had stepped on all of them to climb up to the peak of the demon world.” (Argolas)
“He has defeated them all?” (Alpha)
“Of course not. If he were to clash with the highest ranked demon kings, then the demon world itself wouldn’t have survived the ensuing calamity, after all. It was just that, the highest ranked demon kings openly avoided getting into conflict with him. That is why you can pretty much say that he had occupied the top rank. He was that kind of a man.” (Argolas)
A chill ran down Alpha’s spine. A human managed to climb up to such a position?
“What remains now is the smallest portion of that once-powerful man. But then, even this portion is far too powerful to be called a human.” (Argolas)
Alpha nodded his head.
In all honesty, he still couldn’t quite grasp what Yi Ji-Hyuk did in the past. He simply couldn’t wrap his head around the power scale being discussed here. But, he still agreed with the simple assessment that Yi Ji-Hyuk was far too powerful to be called a human, even now.
‘But, how should I view him as?’ (Alpha)
Was he a human being?
Or was he an ability user?
That man was flirting around with Alpha’s judging criteria.
“That’s not important. No, the truly important matter is something else.” (Argolas)
Alpha looked at the black marble in the offered hand of Argolas and shook his head helplessly.
“Don’t you think you are overworking me here, you rotten demon b*stard?” (Alpha)
“You shall receive your reward in due course.” (Argolas)
“To think that I have to trust a demon and work for no pay. Anyone would say I’ve lost my mind.” (Alpha)
Unlike his words, though, Alpha readily accepted the Argolas’s black marble.
After entering Yi Ji-Hyuk’s room, Choi Jung-Hoon spoke up.
“How are you feeling?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head as his reply.
“Well, I’m feeling fine.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What about your arm?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“As you can see, still stuck in the right place and in full working order.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk swung his arm around.
Choi Jung-Hoon looked at that arm while inwardly feeling astonished.
That arm had been definitely blown off to god knows where, yet seeing it like that, he couldn’t help but feel a bit weird inside.
With the advent of ability users who could heal, AKA Healers, they managed to shake up the very foundation of the field of modern medicine.
However, they could only perfectly re-attach the severed limbs or heal the types of wounds that modern medicine couldn’t do anything about. It was still impossible to completely regenerate a lost arm like in the case with Yi Ji-Hyuk here.
“Was something like this a common occurrence in the other world you used to stay in, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, it was actually a lot worse over there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Returning someone back to how they were, as long as they were still breathing – that was the Berafe’s divine magic in a nutshell.
A holy man or woman on the level of Dioreh the First would be able to mend any sort of wounds as long as the person was still clinging on.
A bit regretfully, even that world didn’t enjoy the concept of revival, so the dead couldn’t be brought back to life. But, as long as one was not dead, then it was possible to bring them back from the brink. That was Berafe.
“But they still charged you a sh*t load of money, though.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Never mind.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
That was the reason why the religions of that world had managed to grow that big over there.
If someone on Earth revealed to the world that he could fix someone’s lost arm through the power of a god, then he or she’d immediately be worshipped as the god’s living incarnation.
It’d be enough to just upload a handful of video clips on video sharing websites online. Once those videos being genuine and not tempered with have been established, the impact those video clips would carry was powerful enough to instantly render all the current religions dominating humanity as frauds.
‘No, hang on a minute. Since there are ability users existing on Earth now, maybe that wouldn’t happen?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
As Yi Ji-Hyuk began tilting his head this way and that, Choi Jung-Hoon was also tilting his head, still unable to figure out what the youth was trying to say here. He eventually changed the topic.
“In any case, that’s not that important right now. Our current situation is much more important.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I agree. So, how has the situation changed?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“For the worst, actually.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Without saying anything else, he pushed forward the tablet PC to Yi Ji-Hyuk. A video soon started playing on the screen.
Yi Ji-Hyuk quietly stared at the screen, before sighing out softly.
“That’s some good sh*t, that. I see that CGI technology has advanced by leaps and bounds nowadays.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That was all real, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eiii~. Stop lying.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I wasn’t.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk glanced at the screen multiple times and smirked again.
“Eiii, that’s definitely a zombie movie, you know?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, it isn’t…..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“…Seriously?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Really, seriously, honestly?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“YES.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly tossed the tablet back to Choi Jung-Hoon and lied down on the bed.
“Well, now. Things sure have gotten serious, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, you don’t look all that serious, though?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Because, there’s nothing I can do about it now, that’s why.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….But, that puts me in a bind, you know.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Yeah, me too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk formed an innocent-looking expression and smiled refreshingly.
“What were you expecting from me, again?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon facepalmed.
This guy, why was he reverting back to “Slice open your own belly” mode??
“But, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, you know more about these things than anyone else right now. Am I wrong??” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I dunno anything, actually.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…….No, wait, it’s still more than other people….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I really don’t know anything.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Indeed, you do look a bit empty at times.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“….Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
When Choi Jung-Hoon played dumb and tried to gloss over it, the corners of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s brows arched up even more than usual.
‘….What a rotten-looking face that is.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“What was that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
….This guy, still reading people’s minds, is he? (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
He might not be able to read exactly what was on other people’s heads, but still, Choi Jung-Hoon thought that it’d be better to be more cautious in the way he thought about things. He quickly coughed to clear his throat and changed the topic again.
“In any case, we need a solution.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I’m telling you, I don’t know anything so stop asking me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The Americans have managed to somehow to put up a suitable response for the time being. The real issue is with Mexico. Because that country is being ruled over by a drug cartel, they lack the ability to stop what’s happening right now. At this rate, that place will become a zombie land very soon. Even Guatemala and Nicaragua will be wiped out in a blink, too.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Ni, Nica…. What? Nicotine?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s Nicaragua….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“What is that? Is that the language of the Martians?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….It’s a name of a country.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Well, I’ve never heard of it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon nodded his head. Well, it wasn’t too strange for this guy not to know of such things, after all.
“It might be simple to set up a defensive line by the Colombian border, but if that line is breached for some reason, then the entire South American continent will be in danger.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I’m sure they will be.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s why, we need to come up with a plan.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I’m sure you do.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s why! Help us with this plan!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Why should I?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shot up, evidently triggered for good now.
“Now that I think about it, you keep telling me to solve this and that as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world! Hey, look here man, I’m just an innocent young man passing by! So, stop telling me to do this crap and that sh*t! Just what on earth are YOU doing with my taxes?? Ah?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s my job to pester you, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“….Do your higher-ups know that you’re doing this?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Didn’t I already tell you that my official job title was changed not too long ago?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
What the hell is up with this ‘makjang’ country?!
How can the official duty of a public servant be pestering someone?!
Just when did the status of this nation fall this low? I was only gone for a little while, you know? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“I, I should’ve voted in the last election!!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Eh?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk finally realised the consequences of ignoring the civic duty of a citizen living in a democratic society, and wiped the welling tears off from his eyes.
When was the next election day again?
“This is no time to kid around.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s expression hardened.
“The bugs transmitting the disease have begun dying since last night. However, countless more people have become poisoned in the meantime. Since they couldn’t just go out there and wipe every infected victims away, even the Americans have resorted to trapping them behind a wall. But, because their land mass is so vast, it’s still impossible to keep all of them quarantined. There are many zombies escaping the net as we speak. If this continues, even America will end up facing a crisis that they can’t reverse out of. When that happens, everything will be over.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk scratched his head.
He knew what Choi Jung-Hoon was saying here. However, all he could do in a situation like this was to wipe out the zombies in one go.
Unless the people of this world understood already that the infected victims couldn’t be reverted back to how they were, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s name would be recorded in all the history books as the genocidal maniac if he went and offed every last one of those zombies.
Well, not that he cared about such a thing, but….
“….Hey.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned to face Affeldrichae and asked.
“Don’t you have any useful ideas?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae pondered for a bit, before opening her mouth.
“There is a very simple way, actually.” (Affeldrichae)
“Okay, what will that be?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, Mister Ji-Hyuk. You’re going to hate it.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began frowning ever so slightly.
….What is she planning to say here?
Wait, could she be thinking of what I’m thinking?!
< 172. What’s this? You… don’t have a soul? -2 > Fin.