“Ehheei! Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon hurriedly wrapped his arms around Yi Ji-Hyuk and pulled the latter back.
“Let me go for a sec, okay?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ehheeeei, what are you doing, man! Calm down, calm down!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“No, hang on a minute! Tsk!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Someone raising a fuss to that extent in Berafe would’ve lost his head by now. How dare he demand the rescuers coming to save his sorry a*s to empty out their wallets, too?
If it were the Knights or Sorcerers from Berafe, then forget about their wallets, they would present a one-way ticket to Hell almost instantly. Like, as if to demonstrate that they would chop off the heads or roast the fools real nicely.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t Berafe. And that was why even Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t make these fools admit to their mistakes and reflect on themselves like how he would do back in Berafe.
Wasn’t a human supposed to reflect on his or her sins in front of King Yama? Of course, if this was Berafe, all those capable of recognising Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face within 1 kilometre radius would be tripping over themselves to run away first.
“A person should know some sense of shame.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Even Seo Ah-Young seemed deeply irritated right now.
Jeong Hae-Min observed the unfolding spectacle and spat out a long groan. She bore witness to things similar to this all the time, but that didn’t mean she was getting used to seeing them.
As an idol, she was more sensitive than others when it came to the public’s sentiment. She knew full well how stubborn and persistent the public could be, as well as how violent they could become, as well.
“Ji-Hyuk-ah!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
That was why she simply had to stop Yi Ji-Hyuk from doing something.
Didn’t matter how righteous or polite his protests were, an ability user getting involved with regular citizens would always result in the sucker being painted as a villain. It was the same story with entertainers, so she knew.
It wasn’t important who was in the right or wrong. No, the fact that an incident had unfolded was the crucial thing.
Even as Jeong Hae-Min was trying to defuse the situation, there was someone who didn’t like Yi Ji-Hyuk’s attitude one bit.
“Why the heck are you glaring at me for?”
A straight-forward provocation flew in at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face.
“Hul…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s eyes grew wider.
“Ah!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Euh…” (Seo Ah-Young)
Both Seo Ah-Young and Jeong Hae-Min covered their faces as if they had seen something they shouldn’t have. However, Yi Ji-Hyuk was simply smirking insidiously.
“But, I wasn’t glaring at you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Then what’s up with your eyes looking at me?”
“They are originally like this, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“How can a person’s eyes be like that? You’re openly glaring at me.”
“They are originally like this, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The middle-aged man trying to provoke Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his glance to the side ever so slightly and stared at Choi Jung-Hoon.
Without saying anything, the latter simply nodded his head.
One shouldn’t be like that regarding other person’s biological features. Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t look like that because he had a choice, after all.
“…Your eyes are really like that?” (middle-aged man)
“Yep.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, why do you look like that, though?” (middle-aged man)
“……..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even the one and only Yi Ji-Hyuk momentarily forgot what he wanted to say.
What did he mean, why?
Why did that uncle have to ask Yi Ji-Hyuk about that?
It wasn’t as if he chose this look, too!
‘Mom….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Dew formed around Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes.
Seriously now, he’d been stressed out lately due to all the guys with otherworldly looks around him, but hearing crap like this, his accumulated stress was about to reach its boiling point.
“What the hell?! You think I chose to wear this face?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“In that case, why don’t you just get yourself sunglasses? What will a young kid like you do with such bad countenance….?” (middle-aged man)
White-hot steam began shooting out from the top of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head.
“What the hell?! Do you really wanna have a throwdown with me, uncle?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ehheeeei! Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk! Ehhei!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon clung onto Yi Ji-Hyuk like a tenacious leech.
“Step aside!! Looky here, that uncle! Why is he worrying about someone else’s looks when he’s a baldy like that?! He should go and get hair implants, instead!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What the f*ck?! You little punk!!” (middle-aged man)
The middle-aged man singled out by Yi Ji-Hyuk’s critique hurriedly grabbed his head. The sparkling skin on his head as spied between his fingers came across sorrowful for some reason.
How dare that young, full head of hair poke fun at the card-carrying member of the slicked-back forehead association of baldy uncles?!
“You’re going too far!”
“How long do you think you’ll have that full head of yours?!”
All those men with heads reflecting the sunlight observing the situation from within the crowd quickly took on the middle-aged man’s cause.
“Ah, mm… Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, even I think you went too far just now.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon also sided with the middle-aged man.
“….What the hell? I was attacked first, you know?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, at least you can go for a surgery to fix your eyes, but that head condition doesn’t have any cure, you see.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“…..Oh.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quickly reflected on himself.
“Well, in that case. Riiise up, oh hair hair…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Kuwaahk!!” (middle-aged man)
Yi Ji-Hyuk went ‘Oopsie’ and took a couple of steps back to avoid the enraged uncle’s tackle. The agents of the NDF controlling the crowd stopped the uncle from going any further.
“Please calm down, sir!”
“Let me go! I’m gonna yank out all of that punk’s hair today or else!” (middle-aged man)
“Your head will be yanked out first before that, sir.”
“Please, get a hold of yourself, mister. That man isn’t someone you can so carelessly mess with.”
“And who the hell are you punks?!” (middle-aged man)
The agents began sweating buckets as the baldy uncle came at them without holding back.
‘Look how kind-hearted they are.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If this was back in Berafe, that uncle wouldn’t even be able to look at the ability user’s face properly. Because, well, his head would be chopped off the moment he was noticed just because the user felt offended by being stared at.
However, regular citizens with no power whatsoever were actually abusing the ability users, instead. A world where the notion of freedom and equality still existed – that was the greatness of the modern world.
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head while spectating on the unfolding spectacle.
He didn’t dislike this. No, he actually wished for something like this.
Even if the modern world was a pretty good place to live for the rich and the powerful, the treatment they received couldn’t be compared to how it was back in Berafe.
Back in Berafe, power was authority, financial muscle, and a right to overpower the others through violence. Power could substitute for everything over there.
However, a person with power couldn’t easily exercise that power against the public in this place.
Sure, it might be a bothersome thing to those possessing power. Still, it was a modern miracle, this system that humanity had created where the weak were protected from the abuse of power.
And Yi Ji-Hyuk had been desperately waiting for such a miracle. After all, hadn’t he suffered tremendously by the barbarity of Berafe for almost an eternity?
That was why he didn’t have much of a complaint regarding the weak protesting against himself.
However, a person should still know some shame.
This was a problem well beyond the issue of whether one was powerful or not. Even if that baldy uncle was stronger than Yi Ji-Hyuk, it was still wrong for him to come out and argue like this.
How could anyone be sympathetic when he was pointing accusatory fingers at the ones who did him a favour?
“Looky here, uncle.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What now??” (middle-aged man)
“If it wasn’t for me, you’d be dead by now. If you can’t say thanks for that, at least you shouldn’t treat us this way.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Quite unlike how he behaved usually, Yi Ji-Hyuk spoke in a serious tone of voice. This was his way of being as polite as he could get.
“So? What about it?” (middle-aged man)
“Hul….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk fell into a bit of panic here.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t known the very obvious truth of the world, the one about there being a certain portion of the populace who simply couldn’t be reasoned with.
“Isn’t that like, supposed to be your job?” (middle-aged man)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Your salary comes from all the tax I pay, no? And in exchange, it’s your job to protect us from the monsters, am I wrong? Which means you obviously need to save us. So, if you can’t even do that properly, shouldn’t you be apologising to us, instead?” (middle-aged man)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quickly became speechless.
Not because he was cornered by logic, but because he knew a man with such a thought process could never be talked down with mere words alone.
Indeed, continuing to mouth off here would be a total waste of time.
“Uh, well…. My bad.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Stunned silly now, Choi Jung-Hoon quickly stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk. Who would’ve thought that his mouth was capable of actual apologies? Could it be that the ‘uncle power’ was indeed, powerful? Even capable of making that one and only Yi Ji-Hyuk back down?
“Never mind that, how will you compensate me for this? Hey! I said, how will you compensate me now!” (middle-aged man)
“Mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk reached out and sneakily pulled Choi Jung-Hoon in before pushing him forward.
“What do you want from me now?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“But, this is your responsibility, isn’t it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Since when did such a thing become my responsibility??” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Since the beginning?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Oh. Really?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon was slightly beset with this odd feeling of being saddled with a new responsibility he was previously unaware of as he took a step forward.
When he did that, though, all those prickly glares rained down on him, instead.
“Hmm, hmm.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
He coughed to clear his throat and to bring attention to himself. He still wasn’t used to being stared at like this. Especially when those stares contained inexplicable animosity, too.
“And so, can you clarify where and how you’ve been harmed, sir?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I told you, my house, my car, stuff like that.” (middle-aged man)
“That’s not something you should lodge a complaint with us, but….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Never mind that!” (middle-aged man)
“Yes?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
What did he want to say now?
“You see, my mind is all confused right now after being swallowed up by that strange liquid thing. I think my current condition’s become a lot worse than before, so how will you remunerate me for that?” (middle-aged man)
“Excuse me? Remunerate?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
What kind of dogsh*t rubbish was this?
If it weren’t for the slime, this uncle would’ve died for sure, yet after he was rescued, he dared to demand reparations from them?
If it was regarding damages to property or something like that, one could somehow ask for assistance and draft a suitable response manual. But to think, he was demanding compensation regarding psychological damage.
‘Well, it’s not as if he’s really wrong there, though.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Indeed, it was the role of the country to provide care for the people who were inadvertently involved in a nation-destroying catastrophe and were harmed psychologically, so that they could reintegrate back into society.
Even then, though, he shouldn’t be asking for that here.
“Very soon, a response desk should be created to deal with the situation, and rescue personnel will come for you. I think it’ll be better to discuss such matters with them.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Rescue personnel??” (middle-aged man)
The baldy uncle snorted derisively and opened his lips.
“Just who was it that went and caused this incident? But you’re talking about rescue personnel now? Isn’t this all of your people’s doing?” (middle-aged man)
“We aren’t responsible for this incident, but the monsters were. We merely took control of the situation caused by the monsters.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Ohh, is that so? In that case, isn’t it your fault that you failed to properly handle the situation?” (middle-aged man)
“By that logic, are you saying that it’s the police’s fault when they fail to prevent a crime from happening, and it’s the fire department’s fault for not putting out the fire before it breaks out?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Why are you stating something so bloody obvious?” (middle-aged man)
“Oh….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon turned his head around and stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk. He’d been wondering why the latter chose to back away so soon, but here was the reason for that.
‘So, this is why the call centre agents were purported to suffer from excessive hair loss.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
The stress from this unreasonable bratty ‘customer’ was more than enough to make the inside of Choi Jung-Hoon’s head go blank, even though he was someone who dealt with temper tantrums of countless ability users up until now.
The problem here was that, even though other regular citizens knew that this baldy uncle was being way too unreasonable here, rather than stopping him, they seemed to be agreeing with him, instead.
‘What do they think they’ll get from this, I wonder?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Did they think that the remuneration amount might go up if this uncle accomplished his goal?
An event utterly illogical was unfolding right now before him.
“How do you expect us to remunerate you, then?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Medical fees and financial compensation, obviously.” (middle-aged man)
“Haha.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You laughing? Did you just laugh??” (middle-aged man)
The baldy uncle’s face reddened immediately as he rolled up his sleeves. Judging from the revealed tattoos on his arms underneath the clothing, it seemed that this man was no ordinary member of the public.
However, what did that matter now?
‘A person isn’t called a person because he acts in a rational manner, after all.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Either the guy in front of his eyes was irrational person, or someone who was way too rational for everyone else’s sake.
“So? What will you do now? Ah? What now??” (middle-aged man)
The baldy began to slap Choi Jung-Hoon on the chest and pushed him back.
“This fool dares to?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
It was then, Seo Ah-Young took a step forward with a murderous glare in her eyes.
“And who is this little girl now?” (middle-aged man)
“Hey, you!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young had been trying to calm the situation down up until then, but even she couldn’t tolerate someone putting his hands on Choi Jung-Hoon like that.
“What was that? Who the hell do you think you are?” (middle-aged man)
Just before she cracked and raised her fist, a certain someone’s booming voice resounded out from somewhere else.
“Oii, uncle.” (?)
The baldy shifted his head around to find out which sucker was trying to provoke him this time, only for his complexion to become pale-white next.
< 244. Someone stop him! -4 > Fin.