The rain of fire descended upon Earth in a spectacular fashion.
Kwok Myung-Hoon lost all of his cool after witnessing that sight. Didn’t the person firing those not give a d*mn about other people in here?
“Are you trying to kill me, toooooo?!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon roared out a scream filled with despair. The other person trapped in the same situation with him, Yi Ji-Hyuk, was cackling away like a villain, instead of lending an aid.
“All the people from the NDF are moronic thugs, so do not ever get mixed up with them. Hell, don’t even talk to them!!”
‘….I should’ve listened to the branch director’s advice.’ (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Apparently, normal people found a few strange things when looking at ability users. It was kind of like, after getting their hands on inhuman powers, their mentality would go through a slight change from how the rest of normal humans think.
The folks of the NDF were exactly that from the perspective of regular ability users.
Meaning, these people had one or more parts about them that were completely messed-up even when viewed by other ability users. And the two that stood at the top just so happened to be Yi Ji-Hyuk and Seo Ah-Young.
She was already nicknamed ‘Insane Witch’ from her KSF days and everyone judged her to be number 1 person never to get mixed up with anyway. As for Yi Ji-Hyuk, he appeared out of nowhere like a comet and turned someone like her into regular ability user ‘A’, and was rumoured to be the history’s worst moronic thug himself.
‘I really, really shouldn’t have gotten mixed up with them!!!’ (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
And some wise old man said that one had to experience it to understand it, or some such. Why oh why did he have to provoke the perfectly-calm Yi Ji-Hyuk who was simply minding his own business?
The normal reaction after realising that Yi Ji-Hyuk had shown up should’ve been Kwok Myung-Hoon high-tailing outta there without even looking back once….
Unfortunately, no matter how quickly regret arrived, it’d always be too late.
He looked up at the rain of fire falling on top of his head and opened his eyes wider. He barely managed to survive the threat of death at the monster’s hands only to be killed by a human’s hands, instead.
“Uwaaah!!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
When the flames were a touching distance away from the ground, Kwok Myung-Hoon screamed out once more.
“This uncle, seriously now. You are too much of a scaredy-cat.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, someone tutted loudly behind him, and Yi Ji-Hyuk leaped up into the air above Kwok Myung-Hoon’s head. Then, he began rowing his hands towards the falling flames.
‘Ah!’ (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
That’s right. This man was none other than THE Yi Ji-Hyuk. He was the number one ability user in this world, someone the entire planet paid close attention to. A man like that was here, so such measly little flames would be nothing!!
“Argggh, too hot, too hot!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hul.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
He energetically swirled his hands about, but too bad, the flames easily broke past his defences and enveloped his body. Soon, he was completely engulfed in flames, and he came crashing down to earth and began rolling around on the ground.
Something… was being cooked rather nicely.
….W-wait, why do I even smell something enticing, too? (Kwok Myung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Argh, that’s too dang hot!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Uhm, he can still speak?
I mean, you aren’t supposed to talk when being burnt alive, no? (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Wowsers, this…. I guess I can’t do it like when using Mana, eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk raised his still-burning body up and shook his head as if he had realised something.
“Uhm… Are you alright?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Ah, this much is nothing, so yeah, I’m fine.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, you’re still on fire, you know?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk took a look at his body, and his complexion paled gradually.
“Uwaaah?! Hey, Seo Ah-Young!! Put them out, nowww!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young clicked her tongue, her expression one of dissatisfaction.
“Why don’t you just die, instead?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“This stupid little girl?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shot her an angry glare.
“Well, you can take care of it by yourself, so you should do exactly that! What do you want from me when I’ve released my flames already?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I wouldn’t be doing this if I could take care of it myself!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“And why not??” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I can’t use my Mana, that’s why!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What was that??” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk oh-so badly wanted to run over to Seo Ah-Young and teach her the difference between Mana and Ether, and also why he shouldn’t use any of the former right now.
He somehow managed to suppress this powerful temptation to drill those important facts into that rock-hard head of hers until she could never forget them, and gnashed his teeth.
Ah, now isn’t the time for this.
My body is still burning and all…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
He unleashed just a wee bit of his Ether outside his body and that ably deflected all the flames burning on his skin. Using Mana would’ve been so much simpler, but too bad, he couldn’t use that energy source willy-nilly since he couldn’t replenish it.
Especially so, when he was dealing with these low-ranked mobs of small-fry.
“Uwaaah!!!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Hul?? What the heck?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Out of the blue, a loud scream resounded out from his side and he quickly spun his head around And that’s when he spotted Kwok Myung-Hoon rolling around on the ground, trying to put out the fire burning him, which came from Yi Ji-Hyuk himself.
“Urgh, this uncle, seriously now. This is too much, you know? Hey, are you alright?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ask me that after putting out this fire first, you crazy as*hole!!!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“….You know, I’m a human being too, so do you honestly think I’d wanna put out the fire when you talk to me like that? If you’re asking for something, then you should speak politely, at least!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You son of a….!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
As Kwok Myung-Hoon was running out of breath, Yi Ji-Hyuk went Tsk, tsk, and waved his hand about to pour out more Ether. Indeed, he still needed to save that dude first, didn’t he?
A powerful gust of wind blew by and extinguished the flames burning on Kwok Myung-Hoon’s body.
“Euh, euh….” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
The latter quickly scanned his body and shuddered in fear. Just how wretched was his current state after getting mixed up with these people?
“Are you alright now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, you told me to ask you after putting out the fire?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…..I’m fine now.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
I’d be even more ‘fine’ without you here. (Kwok Myung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Kwok Myung-Hoon desperately swallowed back the other half of what he wanted to say. He’d never, ever forget what happened here today. He would definitely remember it, and alert the rest of the KSF for sure.
He needed to let everyone know what would happen if they get mixed up with a man named Yi Ji-Hyuk. Now that was his new mission, a sworn duty, in his life.
“You two have enough time to twiddle your thumbs like that?” (Seo Ah-Young)
….She could’ve just told us to get a move on, yet she just had to be that sarcastic, eh. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shot a renewed glare at Seo Ah-Young with a deep frown. At first, she didn’t come across as such a hateful little character, but well, he couldn’t be sure why she was steadily morphing into one.
Is there a reason for that?
Eii, I haven’t done anything here, so no ways. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
As Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted in derision, Kwok Myung-Hoon was frantically looking around his vicinity.
‘What is going on here?’ (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
It couldn’t have been more than ten minutes since the Gate opened up. The current situation was… the promised support from the nearest KSF branch hadn’t shown up yet.
However, how could the agents of the NDF arrive first in this location already? It wasn’t just one or two people, either.
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at them and smirked.
“Looks like you guys really don’t have anything better to do? You all showed up at once?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Of course we don’t have anything to do. Because, you haven’t caused an accident yet.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“What?! What accident did I cause before, then??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Well, now that I think about it, you haven’t caused an accident, technically speaking. Let’s just say that we didn’t have anything to do, because for some bizarre reason, incidents hadn’t happened around you yet.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Should I just smack her now and be done with it? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quickly calculated his odds of victory when fighting her with only Ether and no Mana. Meanwhile, Kwok Myung-Hoon began roaring out at the top of his lungs.
“What are you all doing?! People are dying as we waste time like this! How can you be chatting away so relaxedly like this?!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his dazed gaze over to him.
Uh? This dude, he didn’t act like this when he was literally on fire just now. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“A person should stay consistent no matter what, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head in disapproval, but too bad, Seo Ah-Young’s response was quite different from his.
“Oh, is that so?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes!!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Okay, so. Who are you?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Excuse me?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“I’m asking you, who are you? Which branch do you work for?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“….I’m from Gahng-book district, actually.” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“In that case, call your branch and tell your branch boss to get his butt over here in the next five minutes.” (Seo Ah-Young)
You think that’s even possible?! Where do you think we are???
How can a person from a measly little district branch that doesn’t even have a teleporter in the roster show up this far in five minutes?? (Kwok Myung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“But, why do you….” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Simple. Personally slapping around a person who couldn’t recognise his superior officer and continues to shout back is a bit of a waste of my mental energy.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Is something like that important right now?!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“Oh, when will it be important, then?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“People are getting killed as we speak, ma’am!” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young formed a derisive smirk.
“Look here, mister.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“….Yes?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
“You can stop acting as if you’re the only one worried about the affairs of the world, okay? We have already grasped the situation, too. I hope you aren’t thinking that what you see is everyone from the NDF. Other agents are in charge of evacuating the citizens. Do you get it now?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Oh….” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
But, of course. There was just no way people of their acclaim would take care of business so shoddily, now was there?
“Then, what you said earlier was…?” (Kwok Myung-Hoon)
Kwok Myung-Hoon shifted his eyes filled with hopeful expectation and looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk, but the latter proceeded to shoot the former’s expectations down as if it was the most obvious thing in the whole world.
“Nope, I really couldn’t be bothered earlier, so I wasn’t going to get involved.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Where would you ever find a b*stard like this guy?!
Kwok Myung-Hoon stared at him with eyes reserved for looking at a space alien, prompting Yi Ji-Hyuk to shrug his shoulders.
“Well, stuff happens, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Kwok Myung-Hoon simply couldn’t understand this human being named Yi Ji-Hyuk. Just what on earth was bubbling inside that head of his?
“What are you doing wasting time like this, not clearing a Gate of this small size already?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young shouted out, and Yi Ji-Hyuk looked back at her with a pair of dumbfounded eyes.
“Since when did it become so obvious that it’s my job to deal with every Gate opening up??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re going to do it anyway, so if you’ve done it already, our lives would’ve been far more simpler, you know? You have this tendency of wasting time with unnecessary side talk.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Something about what she said really pushed his temper to the boiling point, but what a strange situation this was, he couldn’t bring himself to shoot her down with a suitable retort, either. His lips parted to say something, anything, but by then, Seo Ah-Young’s attention had shifted away from him.
“Let’s end this quickly! People getting hurt is one thing, but buildings getting damaged is taxpayer’s money down the drain, so let’s deal with this situation right away!” (Seo Ah-Young)
After issuing firm, determined replies, the NDF agents scattered in all directions.
“Hah-aht!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young quickly gathered Ether in her right hand and created a ball of flames the size of a house before chucking it in front of the Gate’s exit as monsters were still pouring out from there.
Gigantic, billowing flames erupted there. Confirming that spectacle, she nodded her head in satisfaction.
Fresh monsters emerging from the Gate could be handled by her all alone. The real problem was hunting down the monsters that had already scattered around the vicinity one by one. Now that was a far harder job than taking care of a large group of monsters.
“It’d been so much easier if the Gate’s exit had been blocked off from the get-go.” (Seo Ah-Young)
….Just who was she aiming for when saying those words out aloud?
Yi Ji-Hyuk began shuddering in anger.
“Is this my fault? My fault?? Am I the only bad guy here? Am I the only b*stard in this situation? You should be thankful that I even bothered to step up after I clocked off from work already! This is why the so-called superior officers are….!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“There is no clocking off in the Republic of Korea! None! You think your work day ends when you go home? Before you decide to retire altogether, your work will never be over, so you better stop deluding yourself with that nonsense!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Hah, This is ‘Hell Joseon’.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head in disapproval.
What an innocent time it was back then, thinking that things would get resolved by themselves once one left work at the end of the day. This dang nation and this dang job didn’t want to let a person be free even after the office hours were over.
“Whatever. I can go home now, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Groan….” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young began frowning as she glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
‘Hmm. Maybe it’s time to raise a bit of fuss again?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Doesn’t it feel like this older sister and other folks have regained their rebellious streak lately?
Well, it’s not that I don’t understand it, though.
Well, humans have this tendency of becoming a bit too big-headed when they get treated nicely for a while. And I have been treating them cordially, haven’t I?
In that case, it’s time to discipline them properly once more. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The thing was, though, there was another being that would discipline Seo Ah-Young instead of him, as it turned out. The Gate began to rock violently all of a sudden.
“Mm??” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young stared at the portal with nervous eyes. She thought that no large monster would pop out from it since the emerging creatures were kinda like ‘liquorice allsorts’, but it seemed that she was wrong here.
“What do you think will come out now?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I dunno.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk whistled leisurely to himself.
“Please, get ready! Feels like something big is about to come out!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Well, sure, maybe.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began to languidly back away.
“….And where do you think you’re going?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Lady, didn’t I tell you this before?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He suddenly formed a refreshing grin.
“I told you, I’m off duty. Kekeke.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
And then, he energetically ran away in the exact opposite direction from the giant Gate.
“W-wait…..!!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young shouted out loudly at the cackling Yi Ji-Hyuk’s back as he continued with his escape.
“Where are you going, you stupid moron?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned around during his sprint and replied with a hardened expression.
“If the other subordinates are too scared to tell you, then allow me to be frank here.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ng??” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Going home on time is more important than one’s life itself.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, then. See you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seeing his departing back again, Seo Ah-Young cried out in pure anger.
“Hey, you fool!! You are really leaving?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
This time, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t bother to turn around.
“…What the hell? How can someone like that exist for real??” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young was now looking at him in renewed light.
< 236. What did you summon, anyway? -1 > Fin.