Chapter 192: I don’t need a reason to seek him out (2)

“Where did you say you want to go??” (?)

That voice was low, heavy, and thick.

This bassy voice possessed a certain something that could shake one’s soul.

It didn’t carry any hint of emotion, yet the voice seemed to carry this power to shake the blood filling up the empty spaces in one’s body.

“A place called Earth.” (??)

The replying voice could only be described as sensuously seductive.

It drifted ever so gently and caressed those who listened, but beneath the sensuousness, there was another layer of not-so-gentle stickiness to it as well.

This seductive voice wasn’t perturbed in the slightest by her opponent’s heavy, sharp tone and lightly returned the ball in the other court.

“Have you forgotten just who you are?” (?)

“Of course not.” (??)

“Even so, you wish to go to Earth?” (?)

The voice belonged to a certain ‘woman’.

Her entire frame wrapped up tightly by a black leather garment of unknown origin, this woman raised her head and pouted slightly.

Perhaps it was too dry in here, she wetted her lips slightly with a lick from her tongue. She then stared at the owner of the other voice, an unknown man, with a pair of sleepy eyes.

“So what?” (??)

“Erukana!” (?)

The woman called Erukana returned a look that asked, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ and the man’s expression crumpled in an instant.

“Fine. What is your reason?” (?)

“My reason?” (Erukana)

The woman began laughing out boisterously.

Although it was sharp and pointed, her laughter still possessed that sting to utterly entrance the listener’s minds.

She was the most powerful, imposing figure among the countless Succubi out there, not to mention one of the demon kings residing in the demon world.

She occupied the position of the 13th demon king, or queen, as it were.

The Succubus Queen, Erukana.

Her reddish irises were staring straight at the other man.

“You surely must be asking me that while knowing the answer, right?” (Erukana)

“Is it because of that fool?” (?)

“Obviously. If it’s not, why would ever I want to go to that place? I mean, that place is so boring and they have no sense of fun, you know? If you exclude that man, then there’s not much of a redeeming quality to be found in that place.” (Erukana)

The man slowly shook his head.

This Succubus Queen, the woman occupying that important position. Not to forget, one of the most powerful demon kings in existence and possessing an incredible level of influence within the demon world, too.

It was simply unfathomable why such a woman would obsess over that single human being.

“The 99th demon king is no more, He’s simply a human being now.” (?)

“I know that.” (Erukana)

“Even if you were once the right hand of the 99th demon king, he’s now just a pathetically weak human being and nothing more. So, I can’t understand your obsession with that man.” (?)

Erukana looked at the man as if she couldn’t believe how dumb he was being right now.

“Don’t be a moron.” (Erukana)

“M-mm!” (?)

“I didn’t stick around him because he’s the 99th demon king, okay? I was the one who made him the 99th demon king. Remember that.” (Erukana)

“….I’ve forgotten that for a moment.” (?)

Demons or Dragons were about the same when it came to not forgetting the past. However, the existence of the 99th demon king was simply that impactful enough to force others into making mistakes like this.

“And so, do you wish to turn him back into the demon king once more?” (?)

“Nope. I don’t think he wants that anymore.” (Erukana)

“In that case?” (?)

Erukana continued to stare at the man with the exact same look of reproach as before.

“You keep searching for a reason, but here’s the thing.” (Erukana)

“…….”

“I don’t need a reason to seek out him out. In any case, that’s how it is, so take it as you will.” (Erukana)

“If you’re leaving, then how will you manage your territory? Have you forgotten that, after absorbing the 99th demon king’s lands, yours have become the biggest within the demon world?” (?)

“If you want it, you can have it.” (Erukana)

“You……” (?)

“Such things don’t have much of a meaning, anyway. I’m going over to his side regardless.” (Erukana)

The man glared at Erukana with eyes that could burn, but she no longer paid him any mind, turned around and left the meeting location.

The man bit his lower lip as his eyes caught the sight of her departing rear and her swaying tail.

“You, 99th demon king…..” (?)

Yi Ji-Hyuk!!

That abominable b*stard still managed to influence the demon world even now.

“I should have killed him back then!!” (?)

If the 13th demon king were to join him by his side, then destroying the 99th would become that much harder in the future. If that was the case, then he simply had to make his move before that.

“Boro-El.” (?)

“Yes, oh demon king.” (Boro-El)

“Go summon Delkaran.” (?)

“Your wish is my command.” (Boro-El)

The man half-closed his eyes and leaned against his throne.

That human might have brought about a certain vitality back to the demon world, but his existence had become too threatening right now to let him be like that.

It was to the extent that the current him came across as less tolerable compared to his past when he wielded limitless power.

“I shall help you sleep for eternity.” (?)

….Because, you probably haven’t had a good rest for a long time, that’s why.

***

“So, like, how should I go about finding a job in that courier company you talked about?” (Jeong Hae-Min)

“…………………” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk dazedly stared at Jeong Hae-Min.

He could, for the time being, disregard the fact that she was sitting in his living room as if it was her own house, and peeling an apple for her consumption. Fine.

However, why was she asking him that crappy question?

“Did you really give up being an idol??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….I can’t go on a TV show. Even cable channels don’t want me. No events invited me, so….” (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min became depressed in an instant and Yi Ji-Hyuk could only hug his own face.

Those were all she was good for, but now, she had firmly joined the long queue of the fellow unemployed, too.

“No, wait. You…. Don’t you already draw salary as an ability user?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“That’s way too little, so how am I supposed to live off that? Besides, a person shouldn’t be lazing around, you know! You gotta work for your keep!” (Jeong Hae-Min)

Park Seon-Duk was listening to Jeong Hae-Min’s declaration from the side and began tilting her head.

How am I supposed to evaluate that declaration, then?

I look at my boy’s bank balance and his monthly wages, and think it’s a pretty hefty sum, but she says it’s small so could she, in reality, like spending money like water….?

But then, she says she doesn’t want to laze around and work for her living, so she’s mature enough to lead a good lifestyle…..

Is this a minus or a plus point? (Mom’s inner monologue)

Indeed, it was a rather puzzling declaration.

“Wait, weren’t you really obsessed over being an idol? Didn’t you spend ten years training up to be one, too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Well, yeah, but now…..” (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min formed a complicated and heavy expression.

She recently realised that what she wanted wasn’t being an idol, but being acknowledged by someone else, instead.

Humans had this habit of not really understanding what they desired, to begin with.

She began thinking that it was fine to let go of the life of an idol, the one she did whatever she could to not give up, after sensing that there were a lot of people who needed her not as an idol but as an ability user. Sure, even when the treatment she got from the NDF was roughshod to say the least.

If it was in the past, she’d be buried in her bed bawling her eyes out the whole day, but seeing that she didn’t feel that bad right now, she must’ve gotten over her obsession over being an idol somewhat.

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“Oh….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk saw Jeong Hae-Min’s expression and nodded his head in understanding.

“You have finally realised that wasting time pretending to be an idol at your age is being too shameless!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“That’s not true!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min shuddered in barely-checked rage.

Unnis older than her were still running around in school uniforms and being adorable, so why!

Sure, she spent ten years as an idol hopeful, but then again, she signed up with the talent agency when she was really young so she was still not that old even now!

This guy, he thinks every woman older than him is an auntie!! (Jeong Hae-Min’s inner monologue)

“Right, right. Let’s be honest here, you really were being a bit too shameless back then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I told you, that’s not it!! There were plenty of people who cheered me on!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)

“Ohh. And where have they all disappeared to now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“……..”

Jeong Hae-Min’s shuddering intensified as she glared back at him. Big tear drops began forming around the rims of her eyes.

“T-that’s because, I haven’t been on TV, so like, a bit later, they…..” (Jeong Hae-Min)

“A bit later, they will get on a new bus to ship younger and prettier idols.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“N-no, not true!! People still send me letters, you know!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)

“As much as before?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Droop….

Her shoulders sagged like a sponge getting soaked in water.

How could you say, “as much as before”?! How could you say something so horrible!!

You’re a devil!! (Jeong Hae-Min’s inner monologue)

“You…..” (Jeong Hae-Min)

“It’s not like you can keep being an idol forever, anyway. You’ve been one long enough, don’t you agree? Now’s the time you start your new life as the international parcel delivery specialist.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Euh, euh, euh……”

Jeong Hae-Min’s body was quaking hard now.

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In her own way, she had already made up her mind over this, yet why did she feel so saddened and dejected when hearing it from the mouth of Yi Ji-Hyuk?

This man possessed this mythical, magical ability to make others feel utterly miserable even when talking about the same thing.

“How about, ‘Courier Idol’? Doesn’t it sound like it’ll be a hit? Ladies and gents, I hereby personally deliver your parcels…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

*SFX for a very loud and long wail of Jeong Hae-Min*

Yi Ji-Hyuk jumped in fright from the bombardment to his eardrums that went off for the first time in a while and quickly evacuated from the location. Meanwhile, even Park Seon-Duk and Yi Ye-Won covered their ears and escaped upstairs in hurry.

“Richae!! Riiiichae!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Affeldrichae emerged from her room after hearing the commotion. She spat out a groan and cast the ‘Silence’ spell.

Jeong Hae-Min cried with her mouth so wide open that her uvula was in full display. Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned slyly at that sight.

“Now this feels like a proper morning.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Indeed, what a refreshing start to his morning this was.

***

“Is this my lunch?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Nod.

“M-mm….”

Kim Dah-Som waiting outside the front gate handed over rice balls and traditional soup contained in a Thermos. Yi Ji-Hyuk smiled awkwardly and received them.

Well, sure. He felt somewhat grateful, but….

“Hey, you know, you should stop with this waiting outside the door thing now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….Pardon?” (Kim Dah-Som)

“Look, the weather is getting really cold….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk took a look at Kim Dah-Som’s half-frozen face and groaned out in helplessness.

The weather was okay in the past so he didn’t really care if she waited outside for hours on end, but now, the temperature was dropping below zero.

Only a madman would say he felt fine about some young kid, not an ability user to boot, freezing her butt off outside while waiting for him.

Ah….Right. I am a madman, no?

“You’re going to wait even if I tell you not to, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“……”

“Uh-whew….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Well, in that case. It couldn’t be helped.

“From tomorrow, just press the door bell and come inside, okay? Mom will open the door for you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Pardon?” (Kim Dah-Som)

“You’re going to wait even if I tell you not to, so might as well come inside to fool around, right? Look at this shorty, for instance. She thinks this is her house now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“No, that’s not true, you know!” (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min, her eyes swelled up from all that crying, shook her head this way and that.

She was wearing a hat with a bell attached to it, which swayed around along with her shaking head and that came across as… pretty adorable, actually.

“Got it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….Yes.” (Kim Dah-Som)

Kim Dah-Som nodded her head, her face still reddened from the chill. Yi Ji-Hyuk also felt somewhat less concerned, seeing a subtle smile form on that frozen face of hers.

“Tsk.”

….I sure have formed quite a few relationships, haven’t I?

And I didn’t even worry about looking after them, too. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

‘But, it’s going to be different this time.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk had been disinterested in the relationships in the past simply because he knew all of those would be nothing more than a passing footnote in his never-ending life.

To him who could live for an eternity, other people who were unable to live past a thousand years at a push were not existences he was willing to share his hearts with, even if he wanted to. Because, how could he be emotionally attached to those who’d be gone when he closed and opened his eyes?

However, these kids were a different story altogether.

These people would walk alongside him on what remained of his life from now on. By acknowledging this fact, he thought his interest was being rekindled by just a little bit more.

“And you too!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly tapped the ground, prompting a head to pop out from the shadow below.

“Please, put on some warmer clothes, will ya?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk frowned after noticing Doh Gah-Yun’s choice of attire that hadn’t changed all that much from the first time he met her.

When he thought about it, even this kid turned out to be a weirdo.

Didn’t she have a home to go back to?

She was always staying close to ‘spy’ on him. She did disappear every now and then, but she was never gone for long. That wouldn’t be possible if she had family or some other people she needed to meet.

Up until now, he remained uninvolved as he didn’t care one way or the other, but now that his interests began waking up again, he finally noticed that this girl was simply a huge ball of tightly-wrapped mystery.

“Hey, you. Who’s your guardian?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….The Witch.” (Doh Gah-Yun)

“Wait…. Your guardian is Seo Ah-Young???” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes.” (Doh Gah-Yun)

Yi Ji-Hyuk shuddered in shock right then.

Who’s whose guardian now?!

“Don’t you have family? Like, mom, dad, anyone?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“None.” (Doh Gah-Yun)

“….Your legal guardian is Seo Ah-Young for real?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes.” (Doh Gah-Yun)

It’s the end of the world.

Really, this is it!

Hey, Ministry of Health and Welfare!!

Ah, hold on. That’s not it, is it?

Uh, is it Ministry of Gender Equality and Family?

In any case!! What is the dumb fools in the government doing?! How can a woman like that be a guardian of anything?! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

“No wonder. I thought this kid didn’t receive any proper parental guidance, but well now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

That insane witch did whatever the heck she pleased with this kid, didn’t she?? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

Yi Ji-Hyuk realised yet another of his oversights and spat out a sigh over and over again. It seemed that he’d seriously need to tidy up the mess around his life soon.

“Okay, for now, time to go to work.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yet another peaceful daily life was about to start.

< 192. I don’t need a reason to seek him out -2 > Fin.

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