Chapter 198: Who cares if they die or not (3)

“In any case, please calm down first.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon tried to pacify Yi Ji-Hyuk as gently as humanly possible. If they brought over the American ability users while this guy was behaving in this manner, there wouldn’t be enough space left to load up all the coffins in the plane heading back over the Pacific Ocean.

If that happened, the relationship between South Korea and America would completely break down, shattered into a million little pieces.

Well, sure, the times had changed and there wouldn’t be any ‘big things’ happening just because the mighty America’s nerves were poked somewhat, but still, as the saying of old eagle being better than a young crow had alluded to, you’d be doing no favours to yourself by being at odds with the most powerful nation on Earth.

‘Now that I think about it, it kinda irks me a little, too.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon frowned slightly.

Although they were being requested to lend their aid, the fact that they had to worry about making the ones doing the requesting unhappy and had to tip-toe around left his nerves just a wee bit pricked at the moment.

If it was before, he would have thought this was the most obvious thing, but seeing that it was tugging at his conscience like this, Choi Jung-Hoon realised that he too didn’t see America as occupying the unshakable position of the No.1 in the world anymore.

‘Even then, we can’t ignore them, now can we?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

If you were talking about the combat potential of the ability users, then sure, the NDF and Yi Ji-Hyuk would overwhelm the Americans. However, if you excluded the ability users and only counted the actual military firepower, then no matter what South Korea tried, she’d never ever win against the US of A.

‘What would happen if…?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

If so, what would happen if all the forces were combined in this scenario? What if there was war between the US and South Korea which included ability users?

“Mm…..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

The end result would be rather simple, actually.

If the Americans got super serious, then Korea wouldn’t be able to endure for one single day, its entire territory turning into a barren wasteland where not even an ant would survive.

Ability users might be perfectly suited for hunting down monsters, but their ‘merits’ would plummet rather drastically when facing an actual army.

Even if they were able to fully showcase their monster-hunting prowess against the army, they’d still be unable to defend this land from the American military’s combined firepower.

If America’s firepower was not enough to deal with Yi Ji-Hyuk, then he’d end up as the lone survivor in the Korean peninsula and proceed to systematically destroy the American territory.

But, what meaning would be there in doing that? The Republic of Korea would cease to exist by then.

‘Yup, worsening the relationship is no good for us.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Sure, the Americans wouldn’t come out swinging that radically. If Yi Ji-Hyuk decided to not help them, then next time another high-level Gate opens up, the United States of America wouldn’t be able to avoid the fate of complete annihilation.

Even then, Korea couldn’t readily claim superiority over America in this situation, either. Because, the one holding all the cards wasn’t the Korean government but Yi Ji-Hyuk himself.

If one couldn’t tell this crucial fact apart, then one would end up committing a grave error sooner or later.

The moment one mistakenly believes that the superiority Yi Ji-Hyuk held over others was theirs instead, one would start saying things they shouldn’t and start doing things they should never do.

‘That’s why I have to get rid of this haughty mindset right now.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

It was fine to be displeased about this situation. However, it was definitely not fine to let that emotion dictate the proceedings.

“To be honest, those ability users haven’t done anything wrong, wouldn’t you agree? They are not the guilty party here, you know.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“But, they are guilty of appearing before me when I’m feeling p*ssed off?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“……………”

Well, uh, if you say it like that, I don’t have anything clever to rebut you with….

Ahh, so this is what happens when a person throws away all notion of logic.

Since logic doesn’t apply here, I can’t pick the assertion apart, I can’t criticise it, and I can’t even retort against it.

Hang on a minute. Isn’t this, like, the most unanswerable answer out there?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)

“….You know, a person shouldn’t be saying such things.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“Why not?! Why not!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Choi Jung-Hoon spat out a lengthy groan.

Seriously now, what wrong did those folks about to be thrown into hell by Yi Ji-Hyuk commit here?

It felt like a bit of antagonistic sentiments were slowly piling up against the American government recently, but then again, the American ability users were simply doing what their mother nation told them to do.

These folks didn’t even mind being trained by ability users of another country just so that they could protect their homeland better. So, it was completely a wrong thing to leave these people to a guy planning to practically throw them under the bus he was driving just because he didn’t feel so happy right now.

‘It’s like we’re the bad guys here!!’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon’s expression became rather serious now.

Now that he thought about it some more, anyone would objectively call Yi Ji-Hyuk’s side as undeniably the villainous ones here.

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But the problem with that would be the simple fact of the NDF being dragged into that evaluation alongside him and end up being seen as the bad guys, too.

Even though the NDF was only guilty of receiving the American’s requests for help and ran around like crazy trying to answer their call, instead!

“Groan…. Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, those people really didn’t do anything wrong. So please, calm down.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“I’m telling you, they are guilty.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“And that would be appearing before you when you aren’t feeling so good?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“That’s right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk smiled so radiantly just then.

“You’re only joking, yes?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“Of course.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“………………….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon saw how Yi Ji-Hyuk was ridiculing him with a look that said You thought I was being serious? and just closed his eyes shut.

When you say something, you b*stard, even jokes don’t sound like freaking jokes to others!

Hell, I was thinking just now that you’re perfectly capable of doing exactly what you said you would do. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)

“For now, tell them to come.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Ohh!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Yi Ji-Hyuk responded coolly, and Choi Jung-Hoon’s expression brightened almost instantly. This guy didn’t typically behave this way, so what gives?

“Will it be okay with you, then?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“Didn’t you kidnap and bring me here so that you can ask me to take care of them? But now that I have said yes, your reaction is rather odd, you know…. Just what is it that you want from me, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“But, aren’t you annoyed by this?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“Ahh, that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk nonchalantly yawned and slowly waved his hand about.

“I’m not gonna do it, anyway. So it’s fine.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Eh?”

Choi Jung-Hoon became somewhat dazed by that reply, but too bad for him, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t really feel the need to clarify himself.

“Tell them to not to worry about a thing and hurry on over. And when they arrive, just tell our own people to gather around, as well.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I will.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon didn’t know what Yi Ji-Hyuk was scheming here, but then again, knowing what the latter was thinking about wouldn’t change a thing anyway.

If he were to get even more technical here, then not even once did Yi Ji-Hyuk listen to Choi Jung-Hoon’s advice or opinions ever since the beginning. He always did whatever the heck he felt like.

“Wait, now that irks me really bad.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“Eh?”

“No, it’s nothing.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon shook his head and thought to himself.

For now, he should give Christopher McLaren a call and tell the American to send their ability users over.

And then, make sure to drive the point home that, if there were to be any unfortunate ‘victims’ during the process, it would all be Yi Ji-Hyuk’s responsibility and the NDF had absolutely nothing to do with that!

In the meantime, he watched Jeong Hae-Min bring along cups of coffee from outside the offices and hand one over to Yi Ji-Hyuk only to be criticised unnecessarily by him. Choi Jung-Hoon felt his chest tighten.

‘If only this guy possessed even a modicum of common sense….’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“Oh, by the way?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“How come I don’t see anyone in the office? Is there something urgent happening somewhere?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Well, you could say it’s an urgent matter in a way….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon lightly scratched the side of his head and replied.

“They are currently overseas lending their support.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

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“Eh?”

Yi Ji-Hyuk dazedly stared at Choi Jung-Hoon.

*

“Peking duckkk!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)

Flames were erupting out of Kim Dah-Hyun’s eyes.

Beijing!! If you were to talk about Beijing, then shouldn’t one be thinking about none other than Peking duck?!

What was the biggest attraction of travelling overseas? It’d be eating new, exciting and mysterious cuisines of other nations, wouldn’t it??

Just how much did he laugh his a*s off when he heard of the incorrigible idiot Yun Hyuk-Gyu going to Japan only to come back right away after resolving of the monster issue over there.

What an idiot. When you go to Japan, you check out Japanese food before coming home, and so, it’s only right that I get to enjoy Chinese food when I’m in China! (Kim Dah-Hyun’s inner monologue)

“Beijing duck!! Peking duuuck!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun) (TL note at the end)

“Urgh, god d*mn it!! I get it, so shut up!” (Xui Feng)

Xui Feng loudly yelled at Kim Dah-Hyun sitting in the back seat of the car and shouting out “Peking duck!!” since from a while ago.

“Did you get possessed by a ghost of hunger or something?!” (Xui Feng)

“Peking duck!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)

“This crazy son of a b*tch!” (Xui Feng)

They couldn’t understand each other to begin with.

Initially, Xui Feng was wondering what on earth this Korean man was busy shouting about, but the moment he heard ‘Beijing duck’, he could more or less figure out what was what.

“Groan….”

Meanwhile, his underling who was also the assigned interpreter did his best not to do the job he was here for and concentrated on driving the vehicle, instead. It was very unwise to open his mouth when Xui Feng was not feeling happy at all!!

“South Korea is a well-off country. So it’s not like he’s some kind of a d*mn refugee! He’s here to close up a Gate, so why is he shouting out the name of some random food like this?!” (Xui Feng)

“I don’t know, sir.”

Most of all, what a maddeningly sorrowful thing this was, needing to get help from such a person.

“We asked for Yi Ji-Hyuk, and this is what they do? Sons of b*tches.” (Xui Feng)

What did that man say, again?

Yi Ji-Hyuk doesn’t need to show up for something as minor as a Level 5 Gate?? (Xui Feng’s inner monologue)

“Are they making fun of the People’s Republic of China?” (Xui Feng)

They dare to refuse our request?

If it weren’t for the explanation provided afterwards, Xui Feng would’ve raised one hell of a commotion right then and there. However, the words spoken by Choi Jung-Hoon over the phone carried enough weight to cool the irate Chinese man’s mood down in an instant.

[“More importantly, that person is feeling rather unhappy at the moment, so if you start telling him to come and go over such a simple matter, well, I can assure you this right now, taking care of the aftermath will not be an easy task for you.”] (Choi Jung-Hoon)

In that case, it couldn’t be helped, then.

The advice regarding not to poke the hornet’s nest called Yi Ji-Hyuk’s moods was one of the most important unwritten rule doing the rounds in the Chinese spy agency.

The assessment regarding Yi Ji-Hyuk as understood by the various spy agencies around the world was – he was the type to complain all the time but still did what you pleaded him with.

However, he was also a morally bankrupt character and no one could predict what he might to do if he didn’t get what he wanted. If such a person got p*ssed off and started acting out, then no one in this world would be able to answer that.

“So, the person we got instead is….” (Xui Feng)

“Beijiiiing duck!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)

“Arrrgh!!”

Xui Feng roughly scratched his head.

No, well, he understood that a person could be a weirdo sometimes. Some people were openly suggesting that more than half of the ability users were already insane to begin with. And Xui Feng himself had seen folks who were waaay more screwed up in the head than this Korean before.

Even then, what really drove him up the wall, so to speak, was the simple fact that the Korean man acting like this was a devastatingly handsome guy who could easily roundhouse kick any movie star into oblivion with his looks alone!

So, why oh why was this kid behaving this way, with that face of his?!

Xui Feng just simply couldn’t understand it.

‘All the Koreans are weirdos.’ (Xui Feng)

There didn’t seem to be a single normal person among them. He should’ve figured this out during the giant monster incident!

That Seo Ah-Young losing her marbles in someone else’s country was insane, and there was no need to even mention what kind of a person Yi Ji-Hyuk was, when he broke out into an evil cackle while watching her go mental like that.

Out of them all, Xui Feng remembered thinking this guy was the most sane of the lot so he ended up lowering his guard, but now….

‘Sane of the lot, my a*s.’ (Xui Feng)

Unless one’s idea of sanity had changed drastically, it’d be a massive insult to the rest of mankind calling this guy a sane person.

It was simply that this Korean’s insanity didn’t get to shine because he was next to Yi Ji-Hyuk and his unanswerable ways. This guy here, he was batsh*t crazy enough to be called the district’s top madman regardless of where he ended up in!

But back then, such a crazy fool came across as relatively normal in comparison, so just what kind of a gathering the NDF could be with all the other insane Korean ability users working for them?

“Yup, these people are completely unanswerable.” (Xui Feng)

Xui Feng helplessly shook his head.

It was a rather shocking thing for these types of mad people to continuously stream out from such a tiny little piece of land.

“T-there’s been a huge problem, sir!!”

It was then, his underling driving the car cried out.

“What happened?” (Xui Feng)

“The Gate has opened up, sir! I received the call saying that the forces on standby have engaged the monster threats!”

“F*ck!!” (Xui Feng)

Xui Feng cursed out in anger.

The initial analysis had indicated that there was still an ample amount of time remaining and that was why Xui Feng had vacated his spot near the Gate to come and fetch Kim Dah-Hyun.

But now, that d*mn Gate had already opened up?

“I guess the analysis and all that stuff are useless now.” (Xui Feng)

The world was undergoing a rapid change for the last few months. The methods in dealing with Gates humanity had learned in the past five years or so had now become all worthless as a result.

First of all, Gates themselves were behaving differently, and secondly, monsters that couldn’t be dealt with numbers and tactics began showing up more and more. For instance, the giant monster that appeared earlier – that was something the methods of the past wouldn’t have been able to do anything about.

‘That’s why we’re asking for help. But, still!’ (Xui Feng)

Xui Feng’s pride was being ruthlessly stepped on by the fact that he had to ask for help from a nation no different from being a vassal state, and also, that small nation didn’t even bother to send their best war potential but some hanger-on instead.

“F*ck!!” (Xui Feng)

Xui Feng angrily shouted out.

“Drive faster!” (Xui Feng)

“Yes, sir!”

Screeeech-!!

The car’s tires spun hard on the asphalt and issued ultra-sharp friction noises.

“Uh, uh?! Why are you driving faster?! Drive safely!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)

“Tsk.”

To think, a man nicknamed ‘Path Drifter’ was trembling like that just because the car picked up some speed….

‘We need a new plan.’ (Xui Feng)

Both in the US, and even China….

Xui Feng felt utterly flabbergasted by the current reality where the two giant nations, each ruling the East and the West, had no choice but to politely extend their hands out and quietly wait for bread crumbs to fall.

A hushed gasp of shock leaked out from Xui Feng’s mouth as he consciously thought of the unbelievable changes that took place in the last three months.

‘….Yi Ji-Hyuk.’

Inwardly burning with the duty to win over that incomprehensible existence over to their side, Xui Feng shifted his gaze over to the tablet he held in his hands.

< 198. Who cares if they die or not -3 > Fin.

(TL: “Beijing” and “Peking” both refer to the same two characters in Chinese Mandarin. You can blame their different spellings on the different romanisation systems, actually. Beijing is the newer term and in vogue, I guess, as it’s based on “Hanyu Pinyin”, the current recommended romanisation system for Mandarin Chinese. In any case, Kim Dah-Hyun obviously is talking about Peking duck, but the thing is, he’s alternating between ‘English’ and Korean. “Beijing duck” in English, while “북경 오리” in Korean. When I TL the latter, it comes out as Peking duck. Hence, you get the line of “Beijing duck, Peking duck”.)

- my thoughts:
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