The Gate opened up abruptly, just like that, and monsters began pouring out from the portal.
“What the hell is this?!”
The crowd screamed in fear.
A Gate opening up was a common occurrence nowadays. Also, one opening up in the middle of a city happened every now and then, so the current situation shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, either.
However, it was a first for such a huge Gate to suddenly pop up in the middle of a city and open up right away without even giving anyone the chance to get surprised.
Those folks who grew curious of the Gate and sneaked closer to get a better look screamed in panic after witnessing the blue colour change to red in an instant. As soon as the portal opened up, they all began running away without question or argument.
“Report this!! Someone report it, right now!!”
Screams and roars created a scene of complete, utter chaos.
The horde of monsters rushed out of the Gate.
Now normally, there was this certain, unspoken rule regarding monsters coming out from the Gates. For instance, only Goblins came out from the Gate that Yi Ji-Hyuk first encountered. Meaning, no other type of monsters appeared, other than Goblins.
It had been the same story with the other Gates thus far.
However, the current Gate was somewhat different from the rest.
All sorts of monsters emerged at the same time from this giant portal – from the familiar Builder Monkeys and Goblins, to Wyverns taking to the skies and Giant Worms burrowing into the ground. Countless other types of monsters rushed out from the portal as if it was the gate of Hell.
People desperately ran away, but it was impossible to escape from monsters with human legs.
Soon enough, victims lost to the monster horde began appearing from everywhere.
“What is the KSF doing?!”
“People are getting killed here!! Those incompetent b*stards!!”
Yi Ji-Hyuk trudged outside the cafe and placed a cigarette between his lips.
“Hah….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What a complicated situation this was.
Indeed, it’d have been far easier to deal with if it was a Dragon or something; he was facing a horde comprising of many different monster types, which meant that he had to personally kill them one at a time and well, that would be one heck of an annoying thing to do.
“I’ve already requested for support.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Sure.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Call completed. Will arrive, soon.” (Doh Gah-Yun)
“Mm?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his gaze and found Doh Gah-Yun had sneaked closer to him before he had fully noticed it. She had oh-so perfectly concealed herself until now, but was forced to appear like this due to the developing situation.
“What about Dah-Som?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Over there.” (Doh Gah-Yun)
“Take her to a safe place and then come back.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Roger.” (Doh Gah-Yun)
Doh Gah-Yun nodded her head before melting into the scenery and disappeared from view. He then shifted his gaze over to Jeong Hae-Min and spoke to her.
“And you, isn’t this going to be too dangerous for you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“If it gets too dangerous, I can just teleport outta here.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“….What a cheat character.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Now that he thought about it, this girl wouldn’t get done in by anyone, really. Now that he finished sorting out his own situation, he could pay more attention to the monster horde.
“H-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He observed the rampaging monsters for a bit before looking at Kwok Myung-Hoon next to him.
“Are you going to help?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Of course.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Aren’t you a kind-hearted person.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Kwok Myung-Hoon heard Yi Ji-Hyuk’s slightly sarcastic remark and his cheeks reddened slightly. It was true that he had suffered abuse from the public, but that didn’t mean he could leave these dying people behind and escape from here.
“It’s my duty.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“That’s a commendable mindset.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
It was at this moment that they saw a patrol car hurriedly driving towards them.
“P-please, do something!!”
The vehicle was manned by none other than the two officers who tried to arrest Kwok Myung-Hoon earlier. Back then, they had used excessive force to suppress an innocent man, but now that they desperately needed something, they showed up here to ask for help.
“Wowsers, what a couple of shameless geezers. Seriously now. Don’t you guys have any conscience?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The complexion of the cops reddened immediately as Yi Ji-Hyuk chided them.
“Don’t worry, I understand.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
However, Kwok Myung-Hoon answered the cops’ call with an earnest face.
“Ahjussi, aren’t you unhappy about this situation?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon me?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“You got treated that badly, yet it looks like you still want to help these people out. Were you Gandhi in your past life or something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hahaha….” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon replied with an awkward laughter.
“Isn’t this something that happens often?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What was different before these events began happening around us? It was the same story before Black Monday. People berated soldiers for being lazy b*stards and got angry at them for being incompetent…. They always did that. However, didn’t those very soldiers end up protecting this country?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“People not respecting you is the same as it was back then. But you didn’t earn any points with the public for wasting two years of your life through hard labour in the past. Compared to back then, we’re being treated somewhat better, wouldn’t you say?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
That was a story no longer related to him, but well, it was true that you couldn’t even use euphemisms to dress up the way people treated common soldiers.
That wasn’t all, though. Like, the firefighters who had to jump into the raging flames when they couldn’t even get a proper pair of gloves from the higher-ups, for instance….
The world functioned as it did because of these folks did their jobs silently from behind the scenes.
‘However, how long will that last?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A foundation built upon one-sided sacrifices was destined to buckle under its own weight sooner or later.
“Besides, I believe now isn’t the time to worry about such things. I must look like a weak combatant in your eyes, but I’m fully prepared to lend you my support, regardless.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Uhm, well, the thing is…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I’m not planning to do anything in particular here, you know? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk scratched his head.
“You know, I was thinking of just spectating today.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Spectating? What are you talking about?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon sounded dumbfounded during his questioning.
“Well, I’m off work and I just came out to have fun today so there isn’t something for me to do here, you see? It’s the KSF that should do the work, instead. If that’s not it, then some of our agents with nothing better to do will show up to take care of this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Kwok Myung-Hoon frowned deeply.
“You possess such an incredible power, yet you are simply going to watch people getting killed and do nothing?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“I’m kinda like a battery that doesn’t get recharged, so….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I mean, what if a Demon King shows up later, and I can’t fight it because I spent Mana sorting out this situation? That’d be the end of humanity, you see?
It’s not like I don’t wanna do anything cuz I’m too lazy…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“This is no time for jokes.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“I wasn’t joking, though….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Kwok Myung-Hoon’s face hardened.
“Looks like I was wrong about you.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Excuse me, we haven’t known each other that long to say something like that. It’s hasn’t even been a hour since you saw my face for the first time, you know. And also, you get swept up in incidents because you jump to conclusions and judge people unnecessarily.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’ll reflect on that.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon replied as thus, but his expression didn’t change.
“I don’t have any more time to waste like this. Excuse me.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
As soon as he was finished, Kwok Myung-Hoon dashed towards the Gate without even bothering to wait for Yi Ji-Hyuk’s reply.
“M-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk watched him go and spat out a sigh.
What a nice guy.
Yup, a really nice guy. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
He might have almost caused a huge incident, but he didn’t seem to be a bad guy, that Kwok Myung-Hoon. Even Yi Ji-Hyuk would want to flip everything up if he were to be subjected under such abuse after going through a month of non-stop hardship.
Watching that man jumping into the fire while still wanting to help people even after experiencing that crap made Yi Ji-Hyuk feel weird, though.
“Aren’t you going to help?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Why should I?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Because, watching people die will make you feel bad, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, that is true, but still…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Actually, he didn’t really feel all that bad, to be honest….
Yi Ji-Hyuk scratched his head again. Talking to her like this seemed to only confirm that his mind wasn’t normal and that sure made him feel complicated right now.
“Dang it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His gaze landed on the back of Kwok Myung-Hoon.
“Keuh-heuk!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon gritted his teeth.
Being pushed back by the overwhelming numbers was an apt description for this situation. Seemingly endless waves of monsters were pouring out from the Gate.
He was stronger compared to the past; it had been two months since he began training under the agents of NDF who came to visit his branch office at regular intervals, the folks that he genuinely looked up to.
The training proved to be incredibly harsh, but it allowed him to get much more familiar with effectively utilising his Ether, and as a result, he could proudly say that he was at least twice as strong compared to himself of two months ago.
Unfortunately, this situation wasn’t something that could be resolved by himself just because he was twice as strong.
Indeed, even if there were a hundred of him present, it still wouldn’t be enough to solve this situation. That didn’t mean he could stay back and watch on disinterestedly, though.
If he couldn’t solo this, then he’d try to cling onto its pant leg with everything he had. He should be able to save at least one more life this way. That was all he wished for right now.
Something exploded right next to him.
His ears rang loudly, and his vision grew fuzzy and blurry.
“Keuk.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Even then, Kwok Myung-Hoon didn’t falter. He reflexively fired electricity all around him while trying to reorient his shaking body.
And his eyes caught the sight of a giant Builder Monkey swinging its huge arm towards him.
‘I can’t dodge this?!’ (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
It was more than likely that he had over-extended himself. At a bare minimum, several KSF branches should have combined their resources together to defend against such a Gate. However, he did try to solo it, so this was an inevitable result.
He had been foolish.
He knew it oh so well.
The thing was, though – there were certain matters in this world that a man simply had to do it even if he knew that he was being foolish.
The Builder Monkey’s arm was almost in touching distance from his head now.
‘D*mn it’. (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon kept his eyes wide open. He didn’t want to die with his eyes closed.
“Oh? Would you look at this uncle?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was right then, he heard a hallucination-like voice coming from behind him.
Accompanied by a sound akin to a leather drum being banged on, the Builder Monkey flew high up into the air.
It flew so, so high that it became just a little speck in the blue sky before it began its rapid descent back to Earth.
“Hul…..” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon’s jaw dropped to the floor after witnessing this unrealistic sight.
“I’m telling you, guys like you get killed first, you know? Mister uncle? You’ll get killed at this rate. So, you should pull yourself together.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“M-mister Yi Ji-Hyuk??” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
He looked behind him to discover Yi Ji-Hyuk busy clicking his tongue.
“Are you here to help us?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“I thought about it for a bit, and….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Mana might not, but as it turns out, Ether does get recharged.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Eh?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon had no clue what that even meant so he asked back, but Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t planning to explain himself and simply glared at the monsters, instead.
“I was kinda curious how powerful I’d be using only Ether, so, like, might as well, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned confidently and spoke up.
“Let’s see here. Should we confirm how good you are? Stay close to me, okay? All you have to do is shock the monsters that I kick away. Do your best to get that final hit in. Cool?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ehh?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Let’s go!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s words had just barely left his mouth before he dashed forward. Unable to understand anything he said, Kwok Myung-Hoon just chose to chase after him, instead.
And that’s when the older ability user saw it. He saw why the name Yi Ji-Hyuk was stuck on everyone’s lips again and again in South Korean ability user community.
Boom! Bang! Thud! Pow! Bam!
It was like listening to musical notes.
Monsters unlucky enough to find themselves in front of Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t even have any time to do something about it before getting flung away. He swung his arms as if he was playing around, yet all those terrifying creatures were sent flying away while disregarding the laws of physics.
“What the hell is this??” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon couldn’t believe what he was seeing. How could such a thing even be possible?
Yi Ji-Hyuk increased his speed and his arms and legs began moving even faster than before. A huge monster was struck by his fist and flew backwards while spinning like a storm cloud!
Other monsters getting swept up in that storm screamed loudly.
“Urgh, this is so inefficient.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
However, Yi Ji-Hyuk continued to tilt his head this way and that as if something still wasn’t up to his liking.
“Hey, I told you to get the final hits in!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah!! Y-yes. Yes!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
They weren’t even playing a game here, so why the ‘final hit’?!
This wasn’t the right time to argue about that, so all Kwok Myung-Hoon could do now was to do as he was told. He fired electrical energy at the collapsed monsters.
“Don’t kill them!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“How can I even control that?!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“You just gotta do it right, you know! Just do it!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What the hell, this kid?? Isn’t he a bit of a dumba*s?? (Kwok Myung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Kwok Myung-Hoon was steadily realising that the good impression he had of Yi Ji-Hyuk was eroding away with every passing second.
“Argh! I said, don’t kill them!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What was he even talking about?!
When Yi Ji-Hyuk suddenly shouted out like that, Kwok Myung-Hoon got flustered and hurriedly took a look around. And then, he felt his mind blank out for a second there.
An endless rain of flames were falling on the area where he and Yi Ji-Hyuk, plus the monsters, were. He quickly realised the identity of those flames and ended up shouting out loudly, as well.
“There are people in here, you crazy idioooooot!!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Kekekeke.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk heard Kwok Myung-Hoon’s screaming and an ear-piercing cackling left from his lips. He should’ve believed the rumour that said the folks from the NDF were a bunch of moronic thugs. Despair quickly filled his face.
“I shouldn’t have gotten involved….” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Well, too late now, mister.
< 235. Can’t even say it when in front > Fin.