“I said, where’s my dang whaleeee?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon heard Yi Ji-Hyuk’s loud yell and quickly wiped the dew nestling around his eyes.
He thought that the latter had changed a lot, but seeing the fool’s behaviour today, it seemed that nothing had changed since the beginning. Indeed, it wasn’t Yi Ji-Hyuk who had changed, it was Choi Jung-Hoon who had, instead.
The former didn’t adopt to the ways of this world, but it was the latter who got used to his antics, instead.
“….Sometimes, it’s better not to realise the truth.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon swallowed back the tears trying to rush out.
“Argh, my whale….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ahhh, it’s right below you, dumba*s!!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon ended up involuntarily shouting out at the top of his lungs.
“Below?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head and looked below him, but he could only see huge dust cloud.
“But, where?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He slowly made his descent from the air. Once the dust cloud dissipated somewhat, the Cyclops could be seen lying on its back with a huge whale stuck in its mouth.
“Hul….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Why the hell is this fool trying to eat someone else’s whale?
Besides, if you want to eat it, then you should do it properly, so why are you trying to shove the d*mn thing down your throat in one go like that?
Even if you’re a monster, how can you be so stupid? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Tsk, tsk.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just as he began worrying about the Cyclops’s lack of IQ, the monster’s mouth began moving as if to assuage his worries.
“Hul….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
How could the chewing noise be this loud??
“Hey, you punk!! You’re not supposed to eat that!! It’s dirty, you know!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
How dare that thing try to sneakily snack on the whale he worked so hard to catch?!! Didn’t that monster know how much one of those things could fetch on the market?
Sure, there was coincidentally a whale right by the landing zone and all Yi Ji-Hyuk did was to crash straight into the poor creature’s head, but technically speaking, he did catch it, didn’t he!
Of course, one might say that the Cyclops sent him there in the first place so it could claim a share for itself, but that didn’t mean it could swallow the whole whale in one go, now did it?!
Now thoroughly enraged, Yi Ji-Hyuk descended at full tilt towards the monster’s tummy.
“Kkeung-chaaa!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His drop kick crashed just below the Cyclops’s solar plexus area. The monster spat out the whale from its mouth, while its body folded in half. It began making ‘kur-urk, kur-urk’ grunts, and otherworldly rumbling noises resounded out scarily from the creature’s stomach.
“Did it hurt?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked brightly.
“That’s why you shouldn’t drool over someone else’s whale!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His fist slammed into the monster’s solar plexus region again and again. Cyclops yelped out in pain and writhed around.
“Ura-chaaa!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Boom!! Boom!! Boom!!
His fist rained down mercilessly on the monster’s huge frame non-stop. Cyclops tried to smack him away from its stomach, but he dodged the attacks like a rat high on crack. Which led to the creature smacking itself in the tummy, instead.
The monster roared in anger and tried to stand back up, but Yi Ji-Hyuk’s kick landed in its eye and it fell hard back to the ground while desperately shielding its head.
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“Ah….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon stared at the Cyclops with a pitying expression on his face.
All the gigantic monsters that had appeared so far carried this imposing, awe-inspiring atmosphere, but this Cyclops couldn’t do much besides causing an earthquake in the beginning before getting pummelled one-sidedly.
Not by anyone, but Yi Ji-Hyuk buzzing around like a mosquito, no less.
When imagining a scene of a human rolling around on the ground after getting bitten by a mosquito, one could easily see how unrealistic this whole thing was.
“It looks so pitiful.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Ng.” (Seo Ah-Young)
It seemed that both Jeong Hae-Min and Seo Ah-Young held the same opinion as well. Since a Cyclops had no redeeming qualities as far as its exterior was concerned, that could only mean that Yi Ji-Hyuk must’ve come across as a horrendous villain to their eyes right now.
“If he’s going to kill it, why not finish it off quickly and painlessly? I mean, that thing’s not even a sandbag, so what gives?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
If he used that magic or whatever, a monster like that would’ve been taken care of in one go, but this….
Indeed, that creature only had a big body, and when compared to those beings called demon kings, it was just an empty husk and not much else. Anyone who felt the fighting aura emitted by a demon king would feel that way.
‘Wait, now that I think about it, I’m acting all weird, aren’t I?’ (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min watched the Cyclops writhe around on the ground and shrugged her shoulders. A few months ago, she’d end up completely frozen still in fear if she saw a monster like that with her own eyes.
But now, she was already half-dismissing that formerly-scary monster.
‘Isn’t this going to be a serious problem later on?’ (Jeong Hae-Min)
Seo Ah-Young seemed to be in a similar mindset as well, judging from the openly-bored look etched on her face.
‘I mean, a monster of that calibre appearing would normally be treated as a serious situation, wouldn’t it…?’ (Jeong Hae-Min)
If one wanted to kill that monster without Yi Ji-Hyuk’s help, then the forces of the entire country would have to be mobilised. Yet, she just couldn’t feel any tension in the air.
They all had encountered demon kings before, so a monster like that failed to make them feel nervous at all.
“We shouldn’t be like this, though….” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Ng?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“No matter what, isn’t that monster qualified to be seen as a nation-destroying grade?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“….Well, yeah. I guess.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“So, is it alright for us to hang back as if we’re watching a movie?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“It’s not easy to coordinate with that guy, so what can we do?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“H-mm….” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Indeed, once Yi Ji-Hyuk decided to go crazy all by himself, then there was naught anyone could do other than to sit back and watch.
“Ji-Hyuk-ah, finish it quickly!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min’s shout prompted a retort to fly out of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s mouth.
“Hey, ahjumma….! You think killing monsters is a cakewalk??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“A-ahjumma….??” (Jeong Hae-Min)
A massive earthquake erupted within Jeong Hae-Min’s eyes.
An ahjumma?! He dares to call a young, fresh twenty-something an ahjumma!! (Jeong Hae-Min’s inner monologue)
“He, he called me a-ahjumma….” (Jeong Hae-Min)
As tears began forming in Jeong Hae-Min’s eyes, Seo Ah-Young hurriedly began patting her on the back.
“No, that’s not true, unni! I mean, you look younger than me, right? Besides, it’s not our first time hearing that fool spew nonsense, anyway… So, just ignore him! Unni, you still look like a twenty-something.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“R-right?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Ng, of course. That fool’s eyes are not functioning properly, that’s all! I’m sure he’s not saying that you look like an auntie.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“N-ng.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
After finally managing to calm Jeong Hae-Min down, Seo Ah-Young exploded in irritation next.
“I said, stop wasting time and mop it up already!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Argh, I told you, I’m not deliberately wasting time here.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seriously now, I’m pounding away like a madman, yet it’s not getting hurt at all, so what do you want me to do, then?? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Tsk.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Thinking that there was no choice, he got ready to gather Mana but then, ‘that’ caught his gaze.
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was a mace rolling around on the ground alongside the Cyclops.
‘Isn’t that the Earth Mace?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was a magic artefact. More importantly, an artefact capable of causing an earthquake. And also, a mace-type weapon that only the most powerful Cyclopes carried.
No one knew how such a weapon came to be. Some monsters proliferated through procreation, but some also just appeared naturally. A Cyclops was a gender-less monster, and it was ‘generated’ naturally. And during its so-called natural generation, that mace would also appear simultaneously, as well.
“Hoh-oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
An evil leer crept up on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face. His figure blinked and disappeared from the spot, only to reappear next to the huge mace.
“Mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It is pretty dang huge, isn’t it? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The weapon was figuratively rolling around on the ground with no one to claim it; its handle alone was thicker than Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body.
“But, that can’t be.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He definitely saw quite a few folks using a mace similar to this one, so….
Indeed, this type of mace was one of the weapons that Knights just loved to use back in Berafe. Heck, he often heard stories of them getting theirs as a loot drop by killing a Cyclops, too.
As for Yi Ji-Hyuk, well….
His physical condition back then was worse than that of a regular Berafe citizen, so never mind an Earth Mace, he couldn’t even swing a shortsword properly so he gave up on using one pretty early on.
However, it’d be a different story now!
His body was almost on the level of Superman!!
….Mm, that’s a bit of an overkill, so forget I thought about that. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
In any case, unless it was an ability user on the same level as Park Sung-Chan, there shouldn’t be that many people possessing stronger physical strength than Yi Ji-Hyuk in this world when he was using Ether.
“Mmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He tilted his head slightly, an expression of a slight dilemma etched on his face, but eventually, he reached out and touched the mace.
‘Should I use Mana for this one, then?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even before he could make up his mind, the mace went Wuuong~! and began vibrating intensely.
“Oooh!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Smiling brightly now, he observed the mace’s transformation. It continued vibrating away as its overall size progressively shrunk down.
“Is it the Yeoeuibong or something?” (TL: The Monkey King’s magic pole that can increase or decrease its size; Dragonball’s Goku also has a version of it.)
Hey, isn’t this cool?
Well, it’s pretty interesting, alright. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Like a little kid seeing a cool toy for the first time ever, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s whole body began quivering in excitement.
The mace shrunk down until it became small enough for him to hold it no problem.
“By the way, this….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Could he even hold it, though?
The mace’s head portion was still touching the ground, but maybe because the contact patch had grown smaller due to its overall size shrinking down, the weapon was gradually sinking deeper into the concrete below.
Could Yi Ji-Hyuk’s scrawny figure even be able to deal with the kind of weight that caused the weapon to sink into the ground all by itself?
“Well, so what if I can’t?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Veins bulged on his shoulders.
“Fuu-heuph!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s arms, now loaded with Ether, slowly lifted up the mace.
“…Uh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Hey, it’s lighter than I thought?
No, hang on. Maybe, I’m stronger than I thought? Is that it? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
He swung the mace around this way and that, and with his face filled to the brim with confidence, he shot a glare in the Cyclops’s direction.
“You, you took way too much of my time for a small-fry.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Time to end this!
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out a warcry and leaped towards the monster.
“Ura-chaaaa!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
And then, the mace he swung at the monster’s head connected with its target with unnerving accuracy.
Along with the loud noise of a bell being rung, gigantic ripples spread out from the top of the Cyclops’s head.
As expected of the Earth Mace; Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t have to do anything but it still went and activated an earthquake on its own, shaking the monster’s head around.
The Cyclops screamed loudly enough to almost rip Yi Ji-Hyuk’s ears.
‘I wonder, can I inject Ether into this thing?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He heard that, although it’d accept Mana, that energy source didn’t naturally possess attributes to strengthen objects on its own, and as a result, there wasn’t any noticeable effect on the mace itself. Apparently.
In that case, what about Ether, then?
As an experiment, Yi Ji-Hyuk injected some of his Ether into the Earth Mace.
The weapon vibrated and began emitting bright white light next.
“Uh? Hey, doesn’t it look like this thing’s coming to life or something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The mace was shining brightly as if he had activated a hidden ‘Strike’ ability or some such. Not only that, it was pure white light, too!
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at the light show and grinned brightly.
His shoulders quivered once more as he felt like he had finally stopped being the villain of the piece and became the ally of justice after looking at that bright white light.
“Well, then, let’s finish this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly spun the mace in his grip, before leaping up again.
The Cyclops instinctively swung its arms to resist him, but he easily dodged them all and rose up high, before using the air as a foothold to make his rapid fall back to Earth.
“Uwaaaah!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He cocked the mace back until his shoulder joints almost popped out of their sockets; he then swung the weapon down with enough force to almost shatter his own wrists.
The attack containing power roused from his entire being slammed hard into the Cyclops’s head.
“Uwahh?!?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon reflexively squeezed his eyes shut.
Even if it was a monster, the sight of a head belonging to a living being exploding in a gory fashion would always remain as a disgusting, hard-to-stomach spectacle.
“….Is it over?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Ng, over for good.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Jeong Hae-Min asked a question from behind her hands covering her face, and Seo Ah-Young nodded her head in reply without hesitation.
If that thing was still alive after that, then it was not a Cyclops but a d*mn Hydra, instead. Nothing would survive its head exploding, not even if it had regenerative powers.
“Uh-koo!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL: variation of ‘aigoo’, but more manly, if you will.)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly jumped off from the Cyclops’s chest that was still convulsing violently, and landed back on the ground.
“Pretty useful, this thing.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Although he did end up using it just a wee bit, he didn’t have to resort to using Mana to attack, and still managed to kill a monster of such a calibre. At this rate, it’d not be an exaggeration to say that Yi Ji-Hyuk’s Ether application had reached the apex now.
Sure, the major reason for this victory was due to his combat intuition, but still, wasn’t this a commendable achievement, anyhow?
Looking mighty proud of himself, Yi Ji-Hyuk turned around to leave. Weirdly enough, though, the faces of the folks looking back at him weren’t so good.
“What’s wrong now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….It’s nothing.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon sighed softly under his breath.
“Can you do something about the slime next, please?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
It was then, something unexpected occurred.
< 242. Someone stop him! -2 > Fin.