“Keuh-heuk!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body began melting down to resemble a slime.
“This doesn’t look so good!!” (Roabell)
Roabell shouted out in an urgent voice. Even then, Affeldrichae remained steadfast. If this method failed to work, then everyone here would be dead, anyway.
This world would perish, and so would Yi Ji-Hyuk. Might as well take the gamble on the horse with slightly higher odds of success in the race!
“Mister Ji-Hyuk!” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t answer her. But, that was obvious, since a man with all of his voice-related organs having melted wouldn’t be able to squeak out a word, to begin with.
“Just a little bit more!! You’ve got to endure it for a little bit longer!!” (Affeldrichae)
It was the same story for his eardrums, as well. Her words were probably not reaching him at all. So, there was no need to even speak here.
She knew that well enough already.
It was simply unimaginable that a Dragon like her, who based all of her actions in logical reasoning, would do something completely meaningless. In any other ‘normal’ circumstances, she’d never do that.
However, Affeldrichae did have to shout out. Yi Ji-Hyuk’s ears may not be able to hear her, but she still had to shout out loudly, her voice thickly laden with her earnest plea.
His head slowly rose up. Now looking utterly nightmarish after his skin had melted down, he began roaring without a sound at the heavens above.
And in that moment.
The surrounding Mana and divinity got sucked into his body in an instant.
Affeldrichae gasped out in surprise after witnessing this spectacle.
Mana being sucked in rapidly regenerated Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body. New bones grew, new muscles were generated in place of the old; nerve ends grew anew, and skin crept back to their original places.
“Kkeuh-heuk!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even his vocal cords seemed to have found their original position, as pained groans escaped from Yi Ji-Hyuk lips.
“Ah…. Ah……” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He panted out low, pained moans, but then, his eyes abruptly shot wide open.
Elation quickly filled Affeldrichae’s face. He had achieved a feat that was, at best, a high-risk gamble. He had endured it. Of course, she couldn’t be 100% relaxed about the result yet.
His body might have reverted back to his original condition, but it was still too early to confidently say that his mind was unaffected in some way.
It was far too common to see a person experiencing extreme pain lose their sanity for good. Especially so for Yi Ji-Hyuk, who used to possess an unchanging psyche due to his ‘curse’ and therefore, potentially lacked the immunity needed for situations like this one.
Affeldrichae cautiously moved closer to take a look at his expression.
There was no need for that, though. Even before she could get to his side, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s mouth shot wide open and he began screaming at the top of his lungs.
Seeing him scream like that, Affeldrichae’s own expression hardened like a rock.
‘Could he be….?’ (Affeldrichae)
Roabell also formed a poor expression as she looked in Affeldrichae’s direction.
It couldn’t be.
However, this wouldn’t have been such a strange occurrence, after all. Indeed, he went through such an incredible amount of pain for a sustained period, so it would actually be even more strange for him to maintain his sanity.
“No!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In that moment, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s brows rose up high and he extended his hand out.
A small-ish Gate suddenly materialised in front of his outstretched hand.
Affeldrichae flinched as she stared at this unfolding situation.
What could he be trying to achieve here…?
Soon, though, battered and bloodied Kim Dah-Hyun rolled out of the Gate and collapsed onto the ground. Just before he got swallowed up by Delkaran’s attack, Yi Ji-Hyuk created a Gate to extract Kim Dah-Hyun out of there.
“….!! Heal him!” (Affeldrichae)
Although it was hard to figure out what was going on here, Affeldrichae nevertheless needed only a second to realise that Kim Dah-Hyun’s condition was really terrible and urged Roabell to get on with healing him.
The latter didn’t hesitate and began pouring out divinity on the unmoving Path Drifter.
“Groan…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In the meantime, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body tilted forward.
Affeldrichae reached out towards him, but he still fell helplessly, face first into the ground.
“Mister Ji-Hyuk!” (Affeldrichae)
What followed afterwards was his loud, loud screaming.
“Aiiiiiigggooooo!! It freaking huuuuurts!!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
She dazedly stared at this… ‘spectacle’.
Yi Ji-Hyuk rolled around on the ground unsightly and kept on crying out loudly.
“Aigo!! Ouch!! I’m dying, dying!! F******ck me, why the hell did it have to hurt like that?! Seriously man! This is bullsh*t!! Come on, man!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae’s expression became a bit hard to read next. It seemed to her that if she were to smack the back of his head with a Meteor, then he might regain his sanity for good, so…..
“Urgh, I thought I was really dying there!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head hard and took a look at his body’s condition.
“Looks like I’m all healed up?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m sure you are.” (Affeldrichae)
“Ohh? Maybe I should do this every now and then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….You really want to die, don’t you?” (Affeldrichae)
“That, well… Why do those words sound like they have double meaning to them?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Like, if I do something like this again I’ll die for real, or you’re just going to kill me right here and right now, instead…..
Which one is it? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
However, he couldn’t work up the courage to ask her. If he retorted without thinking too much and got a blast of Hellfire to the face, then it’d get too hot for his taste, that was why.
Ah, right. I might really die. Yup, I could, for real. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Anyways, I was really on the brink just now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Flames erupted out of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes. Putting aside all that pain for a second here, he was seriously on the brink of going into shock.
If he died here, he’d not be able to revive again!
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s burning eyes landed straight on Delkaran.
“That son of a bi*ch….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
There it was, the source of his pain.
But then again, Delkaran glaring back at Yi Ji-Hyuk could not be described as favourable, either.
“You d*mn rat-like b*stards!” (Delkaran)
Perhaps p*ssed off by Yi Ji-Hyuk saving Kim Dah-Hyun at the last second, Delkaran began gritting its teeth.
“Yi Ji-Hyuuuuuk!!” (Delkaran)
“Hah, d*mn it. Did that stupid snake b*stard lose his sanity or something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began to walk towards the demon king in slow, measured steps.
“Mister Ji-Hyuk!” (Affeldrichae)
Affeldrichae called out to him with a worried voice, but he simply shook his head.
“Time to get rid of that b*stard for good.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Upon hearing him say that, her eyes trembled greatly.
Where was his confidence coming from?
If he hadn’t spent a sizeable chunk of his Mana reserve in the previous attack, they wouldn’t even have dared to heal him.
So, him not having enough Mana helped him keep his life, but on the flip side, that meant he didn’t even have half of his Mana reserves available.
He should only be able to launch one more attack like the one he used just now. Worse still, it had been proven that such an attack wouldn’t be able to harm the enemy in any meaningful way.
So, what could he be believing in to feel that confident of his chances?
“Support him!” (Affeldrichae)
It was unknown what he was betting on right now. However, she knew that he wasn’t acting like this because he finally lost his mind for good.
If it was Yi Ji-Hyuk, she believed he had some kind of a plan up his sleeve.
Why? He was Yi Ji-Hyuk, after all.
He was the Bringer of Apocalypse, wasn’t he?
He was the man who, as a human possessing nothing, climbed up to the peak of the world with his own powers. Regardless of the situation, he should have found a solution by now.
“Oh, you recovered back to how you were? Having a human’s physique must be really inconvenient, is it not? It ends up becoming a torn rag only from such a little backlash and all.” (Delkaran)
“Hahaha.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Delkaran’s eyes narrowed to a slit.
‘He’s laughing?’ (Delkaran)
When he was standing before a demon king?
Delkaran felt emotions of anger and an unexplainable sense of trepidation at the same time.
Yi Ji-Hyuk had already seen that his attack wouldn’t work against the demon king. Yet, he was still laughing? Did he go insane from the terror?
‘But, that can’t be it.’ (Delkaran)
Unless it was someone else, there was just no way that could be true, especially with Yi Ji-Hyuk. Even if he had been weakened by a great deal, displaying such a pathetic sight would sully the title of the 99th demon king.
In that case, what could he be thinking of now?
“….I can’t figure out what’s on your mind.” (Delkaran)
Yi Ji-Hyuk wordlessly glared at Delkaran before opening his mouth.
“You can’t?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s right. What are you planning now?” (Delkaran)
“You’re asking me the obvious thing here. First of all, I’m planning to…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk reached out with his right hand.
The ground rumbled noisily. The debris strewn about messily began rising up, and a figure of a person rose up among them before flying in towards Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Hmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was none other than Park Sung-Chan’s body, wrecked and damaged beyond recognition. Yi Ji-Hyuk carefully observed the unmoving man before sending the latter away towards Roabell.
“He’s still alive. Heal him!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Of course.” (Roabell)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned around, his teeth gritting loudly.
If it weren’t Park Sung-Chan…
If it weren’t him who boasted the greatest defensive capabilities within the NDF but someone else – other people would have died ten times over by now. One should really be thankful that he was still breathing somehow.
“Secondly, I don’t have to tell you what I’m thinking of for you to figure it out, no?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Delkaran cackled on. The snake heads on its body also trembled along.
“You wish to fight me head on?” (Delkaran)
“Well, something like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Even though you have failed once already?” (Delkaran)
“Mm, it’s a bit complicated….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk roughly scratched his head.
“You see, I now have only one life left.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Is there an existence with two lives, then?” (Delkaran)
“Just shut up and listen for a second. I now have only one life. Which forced me to become far more cautious compared to how I was before. Some stuff I’d have done without hesitation, now I can’t do it anymore. I get worried before doing it, you see? Like, ‘What am I supposed to do if I do this or that and end up causing a big mess?’ Things like that pop up in my head and that stops me from doing the things I need to do. Who’d have thunk that the one and only Yi Ji-Hyuk is a coward now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Delkaran’s red eyes wavered for a moment there.
What on earth was this b*stard talking about?
“In the past, I didn’t give a d*mn about the risks or whatever and did everything at full tilt, but now, I’m in a position to worry about risks first. That is why I couldn’t choose the best option available here. What an idiot I’ve been. Just one mistake and I’d have died anyway. I almost ended up not taking you out with me as a result.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I still can’t figure out what you’re trying to say here.” (Delkaran)
“You are not an idiot so you should get it soon enough, but….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The light in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes slowly lowered.
“This world has been invaded by a demon king once already.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Delkaran wordlessly glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“That signified that another invasion could happen again. I realised that another demon king would cross over, regardless of how long it might take. So, let me ask ya, if you were in my shoes, what would you have done?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Bingo.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly clapped his hands.
“As expected of a demon king. So smart, I tell ya.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“So, you expected someone like me to show up in this world, and made adequate preparations, is that what you’re saying?” (Delkaran)
“I tell you one thing, and you figure out ten more. Aren’t you a smart cookie. Definitely a demon king.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Hearing that sarcastic tone of voice, Delkaran began gritting its teeth.
“For a fool who almost died a minute ago, you sure can run your mouth, can’t you? If you’ve made preparations, why haven’t you used them already?” (Delkaran)
“I told you already. And that’s why I’m regretting it. But, there ain’t gonna be a reason for regrets anymore, so you can relax now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Oh, so. Does that mean I can see this preparation of yours now?” (delkaran)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned. That’s all he could do right now. It seemed that this dumba*s of a demon king thought Yi Ji-Hyuk was bluffing here.
How dare it?
“Hey, Delkaran?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You should start remembering again who I am.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Tension began filling up Delkaran’s expression. One sentence from Yi Ji-Hyuk and the demon king had remembered everything that it had forgotten.
Indeed, the enemy before its eyes was Yi Ji-Hyuk.
The 99th demon king, and the Berafe’s Bringer of Apocalypse.
Even if his powers had greatly weakened, the man before its eyes was the worst demon king in the history of demon world who did whatever he felt like it.
“It seems that you lot have forgotten about me, haven’t you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Surely, you feared me not because of my power, right?
I mean, ‘power’ is merely one of the things that made me, ‘me’, after all.
Even without power, I’m still ‘me’.
I guess it’s time to prove that. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“I’m going to die anyway, so….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted derisively and raised both of his hands up high.
“You better watch out.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even I can’t tell what’s going to happen now on.
But, I can say one thing for sure.
This will be my first time stepping into this territory, but the ripples from my actions today should be enormous. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Well, Imma do it my way now, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In that moment, a raging storm of Mana poured out from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body.
< 220. Imma do it my way now -5 > Fin.