“What about London?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s been partially destroyed.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“But, that’s not our fault, is it? Things got that bad because Delkaran went on a rampage there, so how could that be the reason for the overall atmosphere getting worse?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“When you look at it rationally, you’re right.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
A bitter smile formed on Choi Jung-Hoon’s face.
Indeed, Yi Ji-Hyuk was not at fault here. NDF didn’t do anything wrong, neither did the ability users involved. If there was one thing that did go wrong, then it’d be the fact that Delkaran decided to go crazy in the middle of a city like London. That was all.
Unfortunately, humans weren’t rational creatures.
A city of eight million people was destroyed in the proverbial blink of an eye. People who died from the aftermath of Yi Ji-Hyuk and Delkaran’s collision couldn’t even be counted properly since there were so many.
However, the target to lay their blame was gone. The cause of the disaster hadn’t been fully revealed to the public, too.
Besides, who would believe it when the only explanation available was the advent of a ‘demon king’?
The cause wasn’t clear, yet the lives of eight million were shattered beyond repair. To make matters worse, the city in question just so happened to be the capital city of a country called Great Britain.
That was why people were trying pretty hard to find the target to vent their resentment and anger.
‘It’s not as if I can’t understand them, but….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk knew full well that humans weren’t all that rational when it came to matters like this.
Humans like to think of themselves as rational and reasonable creatures, but actually, they were exceptionally irrational and emotional, not to mention unreasonable to boot, as well.
The truth was, one could even say that humans tolerating sharing living spaces with other beings up until now was a commendable accomplishment. If it weren’t for the continuous threats coming from the Gates, a big crisis would have unfolded already by now.
Boiling emotions suppressed below the surface began bursting out into the open, with the London incident serving as the trigger, and the raging wars were acting like fuel being added to the fire.
“I’m sure it’s hard for you to sympathise with….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“No, well, not really.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dug his ears and blew at his fingertip.
“Well, it’s a common occurrence.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“A plague does its thing, and people blame that on a sorcery of a witch and burn some innocent new bride to death, or when an Ogre suddenly shows up and kidnaps a few villagers, others don’t even consider killing it but instead, decide to offer human sacrifices and begin hunting for a virgin or something.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“M-mm…..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Well, it’s a common thing, that. It’s a lot more convenient to avert your gaze just enough, rather than trying to solve an unfolding incident, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
….This guy, was he always this pessimistic? (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“I’m familiar with being ostracised, but….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk disinterestedly leaned against the chair. Sure, he was already used to being ostracised and cursed at, but how would other ability users take the current situation?
‘I’m sure they’ll feel this whole thing is unfair.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When one looked at it logically, they were forcibly thrust into warfare by their own governments, so just who would be happy about being the targets of all those curses, malice and resentment under the current situation?
One could only hope that such an emotion of victimisation wouldn’t morph into one of hatred.
“It ain’t gonna be easy.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Humans had a tendency of wanting to get even with those who wronged them. So it didn’t take a genius to figure out that the ones subjected under unfair resentment wouldn’t take that lying down.
Indeed, who would sit back and take all those abuses one-sidedly when they hadn’t anything done wrong to begin with?
“Things have gotten really troublesome.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The wars unfolding right now weren’t the real issue. No, the real issue was the possibility that a conflict might arise between humans and ability users, with these wars being the catalyst.
“What about the local trends?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min, who was more sensitive towards these topics, quickly asked her question.
“M-mm….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon delayed making his reply as if he found it a bit tough, but eventually, spoke up after inwardly going, ‘Urgh, whatever. Here goes nothing’.
“First of all, it’s the absolute worst.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Absolute worst….” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“In all honesty, our country couldn’t be called a place holding a favourable view towards the ability users. We were able to suppress the dissenting views with idols and various broadcasts and public image makeovers, but the dam burst for good in recent times.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I see…..” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min nodded her head with a despondent pout. She didn’t think that things would change this rapidly.
“You’ve had this thing that was way beyond your own abilities, so it’ll be better to discard it as soon as possible.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Okay.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min readily agreed with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s assessment.
Whatever the case might have been, she had seen the view from the top of the entertainment world through her abilities already so, although she did have some lingering feelings, she didn’t regret leaving it all behind.
“In any case, that’s not the most important thing right now….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his gaze over to Choi Jung-Hoon and spoke up.
“Have you discovered any strange or bizarre events happening locally yet?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, there hasn’t been any so far. We haven’t experienced any really big problems locally. If we had suffered a similar level of destruction as London, well, the Gwanghwamun Gate would’ve been swept away by the sea of protestors by now. Still, the opinions on the net aren’t very favourable.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“What about the internet?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“When people grow dissatisfied, they begin to get antagonistic. Before the Black Monday incident, people were antagonistic towards foreigners living in Korea, but now, that antagonism has shifted towards the ability users.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Hmm, well….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
He hadn’t taken the internet into account, but still, he had seen more than enough times rumours snowballing into something much worse pretty quickly through heresy before.
“However, it’s a bit unexpected that people are thinking of actively making a move. Surely, they should know that, without the presence of ability users, they would be facing a serious problem right away.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s why, for the time being, we’re in a situation where public dissatisfaction is overflowing but nothing else besides. However, it’s hard to predict what might happen moving forward. If something happens overseas first, we might see a similar thing breaking out locally as well.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“H-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
He fell into a deep thought for a long while, before shaking his head and switching on his computer.
“Are you thinking of searching for something?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Nope.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk replied in a calm, confident manner.
“I’m gonna play some games.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon became speechless and stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk in disbelief. If he was going to do that, then what on earth was up with that serious atmosphere only a minute ago?
“You want to play games? In a situation like this?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“There’s this thing my younger sister told me this morning….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Okay?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“The situation won’t change just because I start worrying about it, now will it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, that is….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
He wasn’t wrong there. Didn’t matter how hard Yi Ji-Hyul pondered over it, there was not much he could do in Korea. If he wanted to change the situation somehow, he needed to go to the places where the war was being fought, but if he did that, it’d be no different than the Korean government interfering in the matter of other nations.
Such a thing had to be avoided at all cost.
“Regardless of how things develop, the first thing that needs to happen is the higher-ups making up their minds.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just who in South Korea is more ‘high-up’ than you?!
Even the President has to step carefully around you.
Besides, you won’t lift a finger if you don’t like the decisions others made for you, anyway!
So, what you’re basically saying here is, while you play that stupid game of yours, we should come up with a suitable solution by ourselves and present it before you for your approval, is that it?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s emotions began boiling suspiciously as he glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk. Too bad, the latter still loaded up the game whether he knew about the former’s sentiments or not.
Choi Jung-Hoon shook his head in resignation.
When he looked back, just when did that man ever worry about anything with anyone? No, the ‘worrying’ bit was Choi Jung-Hoon’s job, while Yi Ji-Hyuk’s job was to take care of it.
So, one should be glad that he at least pretended to be worried for a second or two there.
“What the hell?! You can’t go in there like that! You wanna die that bad, ah?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began roaring at the top of his lungs less than five minutes after booting up the game and Choi Jung-Hoon could only sigh deeply in resignation.
Oh, dear God in heaven.
Just why, oh why, did you give a man like that crazy powers?!
Why couldn’t you have given them to me instead?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s grief continued to deepen.
“Urgh, I keep getting killed.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk threw the mouse away in irritation and leaned his head back.
Whether he was irritated because his gaming session wasn’t going well, or his gaming session wasn’t going well because he was irritated…. Finding himself stuck in this hard-to-tell boundary of understanding, he couldn’t help but get deeply frustrated.
“You seem to be really furious.” (Affeldrichae)
Affeldrichae smoothly extended her hands out and gently wrapped around his head.
“I’m not furious.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, you look like it, though?” (Affeldrichae)
“You should at least pretend to hear what the other person’s saying, you know? It’s like, whenever someone says something, you go like, it doesn’t look that way, or it doesn’t seem that way.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae smiled gently at him.
“Words aren’t the only methods to voice your opinion. Your hand gestures, body movements, and even the look in your eyes can convey what you wish to say. So, when you’re angry like this but deny being angry with your words, I can’t be blamed for not believing you.” (Affeldrichae)
“….Yeah, yeah, you’re so great.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out one groan after another.
“I don’t like this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You mean, humans?” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk closed his eyes.
It might not be that hard to complain about how stupid the actions of the fellow humans were to another person, but trying to do that in front of a… ‘lizard’ was leaving behind a sour aftertaste in his mouth.
Especially more so in front of a Dragon, which didn’t really like the human race to begin with.
“Humans have always been like that. They are irrational, emotional, completely incomprehensible, chaos-like existences.” (Affeldrichae)
“Hey, I’m also a human, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Indeed. You’re most definitely more human than other humans.” (Affeldrichae)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re totally irrational, uncontrollably emotional, completely…..” (Affeldrichae)
“That’s enough.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk gritted his teeth.
This lizard dares to make fun of someone right in front of her?
Should I just yank out all of her scales and be done with it or something?! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“But, I don’t understand why you’re so furious like this. You already knew humans behave in this manner, so how come?” (Affeldrichae)
“Well, that’s true…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yet another sigh escaped from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s mouth.
It was a well known fact that the beings called humans were not quite right in their heads. If humans were capable only of making decisions in a rational manner, there would never be conflicts breaking out in the world.
He wasn’t saying that because he was some high and mighty figure, oh, no.
He too was an imperfect, not-right-in-the-head creature and that was precisely why he ended up causing so, so much trouble back in Berafe, and eventually was labelled as a demon and was pursued by the entire world in the end.
He began thinking lately that, if only he used his brain a little bit better back then, he’d maybe have found a way to come back home without going through so much crap like that.
Unfortunately, Yi Ji-Hyuk was just too unstable and inconsistent, and that was the only method he could come up with. He simply couldn’t assimilate into their way of living, after all.
“So, what are you going to do now?” (Affeldrichae)
“H-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk roughly scratched his head.
“I should find the source, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Affeldrichae)
“Things happening simultaneously like this without a provocation is just too unnatural. It stinks. Some idiots are probably pulling the strings from behind the scenes. Time to find those fools.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Even if that theory is correct, how will you find them?” (Affeldrichae)
“I can think of a few b*stards off the top of my head.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae tilted her head.
Sure, you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. It’s only natural that you don’t. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Yup, it stinks pretty badly.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began staring into the distance.
Demons, Dragons, demon kings, and even gods; Yi Ji-Hyuk had fought a wide variety of enemies up until now. However, this one theory rooted in his head always made Yi Ji-Hyuk feel bitter and wry.
‘Humanity’s worst enemy will always be another human.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
There was this one man and his face deeply etched in his mind.
“Things are unfolding in an interesting manner.” (Alpha)
Alpha grinned refreshingly while looking at the monitor.
The wars of different countries could be seen clearly on screen. There was no need to go out and collect information at this point. Instead, he could simply rely on the news outlets for that, as they diligently informed their viewers of the developing situations anyway.
“If someone saw you, they would think that you’re a mere spectator.” (?)
Alpha heard the voice coming from behind him and replied without bothering to look back.
“I am spectating, that is true.” (Alpha)
He was spectating on people, and the world that was rapidly changing. The refreshing grin remained on his lips as Alpha continued on.
“I’m truly a spectator, watching the change this world is going through. Sure, I did poke them with a stick just a little bit, but in the end, they are the ones making the choices themselves.” (Alpha)
“That’s true.” (?)
However, they wouldn’t have made those choices without you poking them in the first place.
“So, what are you planning to do next?” (?)
“It’s simple.” (Alpha)
Alpha’s gaze was fixed on the monitor.
< 228. Isn’t there anything that can be done? -3 > Fin.