The pitch-black Mana tore through the blue sky and began writing a dark symbol up above.
The dark Mana gushing out of his flesh caused hellish pain to tear through his body. He gritted his teeth hard as he endured against this tide of pain, and acrid stink of blood leaked out of his mouth.
He had gone through this crap far, far too many times for his liking.
However, he still walked away with an important lesson from this. And that would be – humans would never get used to ‘pain’.
One’s threshold for pleasure would continue to creep upwards. Repeatedly experiencing it would eventually lead one to not feel all that happy from the so-called small pleasures anymore. However, seeing that pain would never get blunted no matter what…. This existence called a human was inconveniently designed, that’s for sure.
Blood seeped out of his tightly clenched fists. Fingernails dug into his palm and tore the skin.
Mana escaping his body seemed to blanket the entire sky, and soon, the heavens above were dyed jet-black. Even though it was in the middle of day, darkness had filled the world.
“….What is this??” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young dazedly looked up at the sky.
Just what on earth was going on here?
She thought that, having seen what Yi Ji-Hyuk was capable of so far, she’d not get surprised anymore regardless of what would happen, but this spectacle easily trumped everything he had done so far.
“Did day and night swap places?” (Seo Ah-Young)
But, that couldn’t be.
Such a thing wasn’t logically possible. Unless the planet was spun around in an instant, that couldn’t be achieved.
If so, then what was this?
How could anyone explain why this place was slowly becoming darker and darker?
Zombies must’ve also realised that the surroundings were getting darker and began looking around their vicinity. Perhaps affected by the dark Mana filling the world, a portion of them began making bizarre noises as their bodies shuddered.
“What the hell is going on here?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon also looked around himself with a flustered expression.
The sun was now completely hidden behind the veil of darkness, and the black sky with not a single blinking star was looking down on the masses below.
It was a mysterious phenomenon. There was a little doubt about that.
However, what was he trying to do with it?
What did making the world dark and solving the zombie crisis have to do with one another?
It was at that moment Yi Ji-Hyuk swung his hand down.
‘Veil of Darkness.’ (TL: was written in English in raw.)
The darkness filling up the entire sky slowly descended lower and lower.
“Oh, my god.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon watched this sight and felt his legs almost giving away. He’d have plopped down on his butt already if not for his willpower.
The sky was falling.
It wasn’t collapsing, but just like how it sounded, the darkness filling up the sky was descending lower and lower.
Choi Jung-Hoon was instinctively terrified by this spectacle. A deathly chill broke out all over his body.
“Just what…..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
His wide-open eyes were quickly shifted in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s direction.
Just what on earth was he?
Even though he thought he had managed peel back a lot of layers by now, Yi Ji-Hyuk kept revealing something new.
If Choi Jung-Hoon considered the length of time and the power Yi Ji-Hyuk possessed, then such a feat shouldn’t come across as strange, yet even after knowing all that, he’d still end up getting flustered like this because that man continued to exceed the powers he had displayed before.
‘That’s why controlling him is impossible.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
How were you supposed to control someone you couldn’t even figure out properly?
Just as Choi Jung-Hoon felt yet another bout of awe, the darkness finally descended fully to the ground.
Zombies all raised their heads and stared at the darkness about to swallow them all up.
“Uh? Uh, uh??” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young failed to get out of the range of this descending darkness in time and, even though she was gasping out in shock and tried to escape, got herself trapped within.
“W-what’s this?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Panic and confusion filled up Seo Ah-Young’s eyes.
It was dark.
Everything was black.
However, it wasn’t simply that.
‘….It’s not there?!’ (Seo Ah-Young)
She couldn’t see her own hands. Not only that, she couldn’t see anything at all.
The perfect darkness where not even a speck of light existed had completely enveloped her now.
She opened her mouth to call out, Is anyone there?
She even cried out, What the hell is going on here?
However, she couldn’t hear any of them.
Her ears couldn’t pick up any of her own shouted words.
Not just her sight, but even the sounds were perfectly swallowed up by the darkness. She couldn’t see a thing, and couldn’t hear a thing.
‘No, it can’t be….?’
She consciously pulled her arms closer and hugged herself.
‘….There isn’t any sense of touch, either?!’
The sense of sight, hearing, smell, and now, even touch…
Since she couldn’t think of a way to check her sense of taste right now, she’d gloss over that one, but one thing’s for sure – four of her five important senses weren’t working right at this moment.
This was the perfect state of ‘Nothingness’.
A world where nothing existed.
A world where she couldn’t even confirm whether she existed or not was imprisoning her.
‘Just what the f*ck is going on here?!’ (Seo Ah-Young)
Thanks to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s ‘consideration’, she got to experience a rather bleak world until she grew truly fed up with the place. However, this was on another scale altogether.
She finally got to experience how terrifying it was for a person to lose all five of her senses like this.
She couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, and couldn’t even touch. Because of that, she had to remain rooted to her spot like a rock. She couldn’t sense anything below her feet, so she thought she was swimming in the air, too.
And she felt like she’d go crazy from feeling this bizarre disharmony of her being pulled away by the river of darkness surrounding her.
What am I supposed to do?
Is there anything I can do? (Seo Ah-Young’s inner monologue)
Seo Ah-Young instinctively gathered Ether in her hands. The terror of potentially not realising that she just got attacked drove her to a state of panic.
Before she were to get attacked, first she would….
“….Ah!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Suddenly, the darkness surrounding her vanished. Just like that.
Seo Ah-Young fell down on her butt. Not a single strand of strength remained within her. When she regained her wits, she realised that her thick outer coat had become soaked through from all the sweat she had shed just now.
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Seo Ah-Young and lightly clicked his tongue.
“So, who told you to stand still and get caught in that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If this was any other times, she would have started screaming at him while saying stuff like, why couldn’t you aim better and tormenting me like this, and start flinging her flames every which way by now. But she simply didn’t have any energy left to do that.
She wanted to at least yell at him, but even her voice didn’t want to come out properly. It had only been less than a minute, yet the time she was trapped within felt like a f*cking eternity.
So long, in fact, she was completely deprived of all energy.
“Just what….” (Seo Ah-Young)
She wanted to interrogate him on what exactly he did to her, but her tongue was too stiff and didn’t want to move.
“Are you alright?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon realised that Seo Ah-Young’s condition was not good at all and quickly walked over to her side to lend his aid.
“…I think so.” (Seo Ah-Young)
She was about to say something, but chose to simply shake her head, instead. Trying to explain what she experienced just now in mere words sounded like an impossible exercise to her.
What she felt in that instant of being trapped in there was not something one could understand unless one had personally experienced it.
Would it be similar to a bird trying to explain flying to a human being?
Seo Ah-Young turned her head around and stared at the place she had been standing only a little moment ago.
“What the heck is this?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Her eyes caught the sight of a gigantic dome of darkness.
The darkness that could only be described as a huge dome had enveloped the entire area surrounding the barricade with zombies all trapped within.
‘I was trapped in there?’ (Seo Ah-Young)
You’d lose all senses by being inside that thing.
What would happen if you got attacked in a state like that?
You’d die without knowing what had happened to you.
She realised immediately that, even though it wasn’t a direct attack, it still possessed a frightening level of effectiveness. She began looking Yi Ji-Hyuk in renewed light.
“Hmm…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
However, he didn’t seem fully satisfied yet.
“That’s the first step taken care of….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even if those things were zombies, they were still fundamentally human beings.
Humans saw through their eyes, felt through their hands, heard through their ears and smelled through their noses. If all of that were to be blocked off, zombies that lacked a will wouldn’t be able to do anything.
A perfectly-fine Seo Ah-Young also got lost in it and didn’t know what to do, so it’d be even worse for the zombies.
She at least still possessed her instinct to protect herself and tried to attack her surroundings, but zombies and their extremely limited instinct of self-preservation wouldn’t even think about that.
How can I be so sure of that?
Because, I’ve already tried this before, you see!
You think it’s my first time seeing zombies?
Actually, I saw them pretty often, you know?
I even performed all sorts of experiments on them, too. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
When they found themselves in such a situation, zombies would start behaving in a very simple fashion. They couldn’t see anything, but still, they would try to shuffle towards somewhere.
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s right hand began gathering Mana again.
Maybe because the Mana in his body got exchanged for something so much purer, he could now activate a spell with only a fraction of the amount he used in the past.
“Rise up!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lifted both of his hands, and the ground itself began folding up.
Accompanied by the rumbling noises of thunder, the ground pushed and rose up until the dome of darkness was completely surrounded by it.
Yi Ji-Hyuk wiped the sweat off his forehead and stared in satisfaction at the giant dome he just created.
“What do you think?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s question brought about Choi Jung-Hoon’s earnest impression on the subject matter.
“A certain sports commentator will like it.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
I mean, you will be able to to make a domed sports stadium in an instant, no? (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue) (TL: TLed as is, but I don’t get the reference here either.)
“What are you talking about?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s not important.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon stared at that giant dome, before shaking his head in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s general direction.
“Is it over?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Well, the confinement part is. Now, only the easy part remains.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The easy part?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pointed to the black hole at the corner of the dome.
“Over there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t reply back to him and instead, addressed Roabell.
“You know what to do, don’t you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, I do. However…..” (Roabell)
Roabell formed an expression of someone seeing a disgusting bug.
“I find it rather unappetizing that I have to go where such darkness exists.” (Roabell)
“Oh, should I throw you in there instead, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“……It’s the sacred duty of the priesthood to purify darkness. Yes.” (Roabell)
This time, it was Seo Ah-Young’s turn to express her earnest impression.
“This Elf comes across as a lot different to what I know about Elves, no?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head in agreement.
Yup, this one’s really different. Very different, in fact. This one’s a rather special case, you see. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Roabell spat out a long groan and walked over to the passageway Yi Ji-Hyuk had created. She then drew something on the ground in front of that passageway and proceeded to plop down on her butt.
“What is she doing?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shrugged his shoulders and replied.
“Zombies hardly stay put in a single location, so if you just let them be, they would just roam around inside the dome. And eventually, few of them will start coming out.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Eh?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Look.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A couple of zombies shuffled out of the darkness and Roabell poured out her divinity to subdue them immediately.
“And so, all you have to do is to let her purify zombies that come out of there and move them to elsewhere. That’s the end. And if the numbers have decreased by a lot, then I can decrease the size of the dome, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah………..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Something this simple…..
And we had to work our a*ses off?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jung-Hoon quickly wiped the pool of moisture rapidly accumulating around his eyeballs.
He wasn’t a fool to not realise that, since Yi Ji-Hyuk’s base power level was on another scale compared to everyone else, what he could do would be different from everyone else’s. Even then, he couldn’t get over this feeling of eating some sort of loss this time around.
“Does this mean…. Is this the end?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Well, yeah. When you purify those guys, that is.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pointed to one side.
And that was where the ability user zombies stood around and glaring back at him after they had somehow escaped from the range of the darkness.
“Typically, regular zombies would get sucked in where they stand, but it looks like those guys retain some of their reasoning.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Is it because they possessed Ether?
Aren’t they a bit different from regular zombies? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Ho-oh?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young suddenly formed an ominous grin and stood up.
She was feeling really dirty right now, so she was rather happy about this timely appearance of some targets that she could vent her frustrations out on.
“I can go all out this time, right?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Mm, I guess.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shrugged his shoulders.
“Sure, do what you want.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Roger that.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young walked over to the ability user zombies as flames began dancing all around her. Yi Ji-Hyuk tutted to himself.
That’s why you still haven’t found a hubby yet!
Who’d wanna live with you? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Argh, why are my ears so itchy all of a sudden?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon began scratching his ears out of the blue. Yi Ji-Hyuk next to him was overcome with this chilling possibility and quickly looked at him.
“…Eiii, there’s no way, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Nah, it’s nothing.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Such a thing can not happen!! You mustn’t do that, brother-in-law!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Eh?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
The still-unawares Choi Jung-Hoon could only tilt his head this way and that.
< 190. Do I look like a honourable person? -5 > Fin.