Chapter 245: Someone stop him! (5)

“Wha, what…..?” (middle-aged man)

What the hell was this?

How could there be ‘something’ like this?

He might seem like a human being, but how could a person with such a face even be real?

“B-b-but, why do you….” (middle-aged man)

“What’s that?” (Chang-Sik)

“N-no, it’s nothing.” (middle-aged man)

The baldy uncle quickly lowered his head.

‘Wowsers, he’s so scary that I might see him even in my nightmares!’ (middle-aged man)

This uncle wouldn’t lose out on the contest of who had a tougher-looking face wherever he went, but even then, this youngster’s countenance proved to be far too much to behold even to a veteran like him.

So much so that he felt apologetic for calling out Yi Ji-Hyuk on his ugly eyes earlier.

I mean, there is a face like that in this world, so who cares about such thuggish eyes?

Yup, a person should be satisfied as long as the eyes, nose and mouth are in their supposed places. (middle-aged man’s inner monologue)

“Oiii, ahjussi.” (Chang-Sik)

“….Y-yes?” (middle-aged man)

The baldy uncle looked around him before pointing to himself.

“You mean, me?” (middle-aged man)

“Is there anyone else here besides you?” (Chang-Sik)

“….There are lots, actually.” (middle-aged man)

“What was that?” (Chang-Sik)

‘Hul….’ (middle-aged man)

The kid only shot him a simple glare, yet what was up with this shudder shooting up from the baldy uncle’s tail bone to the top of his head?

He used to be someone in the shadier parts of society and got to throwdown with all sorts of brats back in his heyday. Not to mention, he had met his fair share of ugly motherf*ckers as well. But still, this would be his very first time running into the king of all ugly faces capable of completely f*cking you up just from the looks alone.

“W-what’s the matter, young man?” (middle-aged man)

The uncle ended up speaking in a polite manner even before he noticed it.

That face might defy all attempts to guess his true age, but judging from the clothes he wore, this kid was definitely younger than the uncle, yet the latter just couldn’t muster up enough courage to speak in a curt manner at all.

“I’ve got something to ask you. Uncle, why are you being like this?” (Chang-Sik)

“Y-yes??” (middle-aged man)

“Freaking hell, you don’t wanna say thanks to folks saving your a*s yet you what now? Compensation and what not?” (Chang-Sik)

“N-no, the thing is…” (middle-aged man)

Just as the uncle tried to explain himself, the face of the tall kid in front of him crumpled into a scowl.

“Ah….” (middle-aged)

Simply by looking at that face, the baldy uncle felt as if his head was blanking out.

“Urgh. Hey, Chang-Sik-ah.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes, hyung-nim.” (Chang-Sik)

“Don’t make a face like that. It might show up in my nightmares.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….Yes.” (Chang-Sik)

Chang-Sik pouted slightly and shifted his head away from Yi Ji-Hyuk to glare at the baldy uncle once more.

“Ahjussi, what’s your name?” (Chang-Sik)

“Oh, uh, I’m Park Hyeon-Dong.” (middle-aged man)

“Oh, okay. So, Hyeon-Dong ahjussi. Uncle, you shouldn’t be like that. A person should have some conscience, no? Did these people do something bad to you or something?” (Chang-Sik)

“No, they haven’t.” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“In that case, you should be thankful, instead. They saved people who were about to be killed, so how wonderful is that? Yet, you come here and argue about compensation and whatnots? What will you pay them for saving your life, then?” (Chang-Sik)

“That, our tax…..” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“Taaax?” (Chang-Sik)

Chang-Sik snorted derisively and rummaged through his pocket to produce a ₩500 coin. He then lightly tossed that to Park Hyeon-Dong. (TL: 500 Won = less than 50 U.S. Cents)

The older man inadvertently caught the flying coin and stared back at the young kid with puzzled eyes.

“So? How much was the ‘tax’ you paid these hyung-nims? Isn’t that coin enough?” (Chang-Sik)

“……”

“Okay, your precious tax has been repaid, so what now? It’s time to pay the price of saving you, isn’t it?” (Chang-Sik)

“N-no, w-wait, I was….” (Park Hyeon-Seong)

Choi Chang-Sik gritted his teeth.

“A person isn’t human just because he knows how to yap on, you see. No, he should know what’s right and wrong! I might be stupid, but even I know that much. But you lot, aren’t you smarter than me? So how come all of you are behaving like this?” (Chang-Sik)

He then glared at the people behind Park Hyeon-Dong and spoke.

“It’s the same crap for you lot. You should’ve stopped the man when he went overboard like this. Why are you waiting around as if there’s some bread crumbs for you to snack on later?” (Chang-Sik)

Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Choi Chang-Sik and nodded his head in satisfaction. Just listen to this kid, not even 20 years old and talking to his elders like that. As expected of Chang-Sik!

This spectacle not coming across as weird or awkward was only possible because it was none other than Chang-Sik himself.

“But, isn’t the government paying the ability users our tax money so that they can protect us?” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

Choi Chang-Sik smirked in response.

“Hey, uncle.” (Chang-Sik)

“Y-yes?” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“You wanna go back to the military?” (Chang-Sik)

“Eh?”

What kind of a chill-inducingly horrible suggestion was this?

How could any sane-minded person go back to military voluntarily?

“….What are you trying to say, young man?” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“What’s wrong? According to your logic, shouldn’t it be exactly the same thing as going back to the army to protect you and the nation? I mean, soldiers draw salary from your tax money, don’t they?” (Chang-Sik)

No, hang on. That’s a bit different, but….

But, now that I hear it, it also kinda sounds similar, doesn’t it? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at Choi Chang-Sik with surprised eyes.

Has he always been this smart?

He looks just like an Ogre, so I thought his intelligence would be simil….

Ahh, wait. Ogres are really smart, aren’t they? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

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Yi Ji-Hyuk slapped his own thigh as if he finally understood all the secrets in this world.

Indeed, it was a rather dangerous and foolish thing to judge a person or a creature on nothing but their looks. It was exactly like how a cute-looking panda would prove to be a surprisingly vicious killer.

It didn’t mean Chang-Sik was a dummy because of his looks, yet Yi Ji-Hyuk ended up thinking that was the case precisely because of that kid’s face.

“This won’t do.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

For sure, it’d not be strange for Chang-Sik to be gifted with a slick tongue. Yi Ji-Hyuk quickly admonished himself for underestimating the kid, even if it was only for a short while.

“But, the amount here is different, isn’t it?” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“Amount? From where I’m standing, it looks like these folks would earn lots more if they stopped working for the government? Don’t you agree?” (Chang-Sik)

“………”

“When you get to the nitty-gritty, these people are no different from the conscripted soldiers, so how come you pity those getting drafted into the army and pray for them, but are so rude to these people working their butts off for you?” (Chang-Sik)

Park Hyeon-Seong couldn’t readily provide his rebuttal.

First of all, he didn’t know what to say, and also, even if he did say something, he couldn’t be sure of his words actually working on this youth, to begin with.

And, he was slightly fearful of getting beaten up if he muttered a wrong thing by mistake, too.

“A person shouldn’t be like that, no? Ah? Should I just flip a d*mn table or something?” (Chang-Sik)

Chang-Sik’s shoulder muscles bulged and quivered in a threatening manner. And complexions of everyone looking at those muscles became paler than sheets of white paper.

Weirdly enough, these people were confident that ability users wouldn’t lay a finger on them. That was why they could afford to be so rude and mean.

The ability user special law did protect them to some degree, and also, they often heard that the cases of users harming regular citizens were very few and far in between as well. As an aside, this was the reason why the previous serial killing case caused such a wave in the country.

However, Chang-Sik was a civilian, just like the rest of them.

It’d only be normal for a regular person to be scared of the ability users, at least more than what he’d feel about Chang-Sik, but strangely enough, the kid came off as much more terrifying than they were.

“Hey, Chang-Sik-ah.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes, hyung-nim.” (Chang-Sik)

“Why are you trying to create such a scary atmosphere, dude?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I thought that they were being too inconsiderate towards you, hyung-nim. And also….” (Chang-Sik)

Chang-Sik sneaked a glance at Seo Ah-Young and blushed just a bit.

Ah, stop that. Just stop.

Chang-Sik-ah, what are you doing? That’s something you must never do.

You think ‘blushing’ suits a face like yours?! Blushing???!!! You crazy buffoon!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner cry)

Yi Ji-Hyuk began trembling in fear.

He had faced many, many demon kings in the past, yet never once did he get scared. But, he was facing off against his instinctive fear right now.

“And also, things might get out of hand if you stepped forward, hyung-nim.” (Chang-Sik)

“What about me now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Uh-whew, I must step forward to make sure that things are sorted out nice and easy. I mean, with your personality from before….. Uh-whew!” (Chang-Sik)

Even before Yi Ji-Hyuk had a chance to defend himself, Chang-Sik quickly shifted his gaze over to Park Hyeon-Dong.

“Uncle, you should consider yourself lucky that I’m here today. This hyung-nim? If he got p*ssed off for real, then all of you would’ve been holding your funerals right here.” (Chang-Sik)

“Chang-Sik-ah.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Do you have any idea what this hyung-nim was like in the past? Holy cow. If I want to tell you the whole story, I might need three days and four nights straight. And all the blood I shed after getting beaten up by him back then would be enough fill up a well, you know….” (Chang-Sik)

“Chaaang-Sik-ah??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“……….”

Chang-Sik instantly realised that he might have gone a little too far and sheepishly chuckled in a very awkward manner.

“Aha…. Ahahah.” (Chang-Sik)

“Rrrright. It was like that. Now I can vividly remember every single little thing. Listening to you helped me to remember it all.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….H-hyung-nim.” (Chang-Sik)

“Right, right. Every. Single. Thing. Freaking hell.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Please spare me.” (Chang-Sik)

Chang-Sik hurriedly clung onto Yi Ji-Hyuk’s arm and pleaded for his life. Choi Jung-Hoon was overcome with a weird feeling after seeing such a huge boy display a behaviour approaching halfway to aegyo.

‘Just what happened in the past?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Now that he thought about it, this character called Choi Chang-Sik was quite servile towards Yi Ji-Hyuk even when he didn’t know the latter was an ability user. That was back when the KSF first noticed the boy.

Sure, what with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s rotten personality, he still would’ve been no ordinary person without any abilities whatsoever. But, what did he do in the past that someone like Chang-Sik, who looked more than capable enough to snatch away the throne of humanity’s worst thug, be so servile and respectful?

‘Wait, could he have actually eaten people alive or something?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Unless it was an event on that level, why would Choi Chang-Sik voluntarily lower his head to someone with a normal, frail-looking physique like Yi Ji-Hyuk?

“Can you tell me what happened in the past?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Choi Jung-Hoon couldn’t win against his curiosity in the end.

“….In the past, you ask?” (Chang-Sik)

Choi Chang-Sik avoided meeting Yi Ji-Hyuk’s gaze while forming an awkward grin.

“Ji-Hyuk hyung-nim really took good care of us all back then. Every kid in the neighbourhood really loved him and followed after him, you see.” (Chang-Sik)

“Wowsers…..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

So, there was someone with such obvious telltale signs of lying in this world.

From those legs that trembled for a moment there, to his hands that just couldn’t find a spot to rest and continued to wave around aimlessly, and even those worrisome eyes wandering around as if he experienced an accident of some sort not too long ago.

What an honest young man he was, indeed.

“K-h-h-hmmm!! In any case!” (Chang-Sik)

Choi Chang-Sik attempted to quickly change the topic.

“A person shouldn’t do that. We’re all same human beings, aren’t we? Ability users are trying to save us with their blood and sweat, so why are you discriminating and abusing them like that? You think you’ll be okay if your positions are flipped around?” (Chang-Sik)

Park Hyeon-Dong replied in a bitter tone of voice.

“I’m sure it won’t be so good.” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“You know that, yet you’re still behaving like this?” (Chang-Sik)

“I know it won’t be good, but… These people can flip the situation whenever they want, can’t they?” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“What was that?” (Chang-Sik)

Choi Chang-Sik narrowed his eyes to a slit.

“These people can do anything they want, right? I mean, regular folks like us might end up as their slaves or something.” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“………”

“So, like, when we still have this small upper hand, we gotta drive home the point properly, or else we’ll all be stepped on later, you see?” (Park Hyeon-Dong)

“What kind of a dogsh*t is….” (Chang-Sik)

“That’s enough, kiddo.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“But, hyung-nim!” (Chang-Sik)

“I said, enough.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….Yessir.” (Chang-Sik)

Yi Ji-Hyuk then wordlessly stared at Park Hyeon-Dong.

The latter was about to say something to the former, but abruptly shut his mouth up. Seeing that Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes had changed from how they were like before, the baldy uncle couldn’t bring himself to say anything anymore.

‘The light in his eyes are….?’ (Park Hyeon-Dong)

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This was a completely different atmosphere compared to back when Yi Ji-Hyuk was playfully arguing with him. This incredibly weighty feeling that put Choi Chang-Sik’s exterior to shame was pressing down heavily on Park Hyeon-Dong’s crown.

“Well, it’s okay for people to think that way.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t bother to wait for the baldy uncle’s reply and shifted his gaze over to Jeong Hae-Min.

“Take these folks outta here.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“N-ng.” (Jeong Hae-Min)

She too didn’t seem to have anything particular to say, and did as she was told. When Yi Ji-Hyuk was emitting such an aura, she found herself unable to playfully tease him anymore.

“Everyone, gather around here.” (Jeong Hae-Min)

“Y-yes.”

The crowd wisely sensed that the overall atmosphere had become rather tense and without further complaints, quickly gathered around Jeong Hae-Min.

“Shouldn’t you be going, too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I’d like to remain here for a little while longer, hyung-nim.” (Chang-Sik)

“But, why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I just don’t want to go with them, that’s all.” (Chang-Sik)

Yi Ji-Hyuk broke into a slight smirk.

“Do what you want.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Jeong Hae-Min and the crowd disappeared from the spot, and Choi Jung-Hoon spat out a lengthy groan.

“Not everyone is like that, you know.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)

“I know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

However, the majority would be just as worried as these people.

The subtle falling-out Yi Ji-Hyuk felt initially after his return was growing larger and larger. If things continued at this rate, then an event of estrangement that could never be healed would occur between ability users and regular people, for sure.

‘Can that be prevented?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Unfortunately, Yi Ji-Hyuk was sceptical.

Not only was preventing such a thing monumentally difficult, even if he did succeed, events similar in nature would happen later on, anyway. And it was impossible for him to show up to stop that every single time.

While subjected to an extraordinary length of time, hadn’t he already learned the harsh lesson that a society’s advancement would always be accompanied by sacrifice and pain?

“Let’s mop this up and go home.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes.”

They managed to stop a Gate without seeing too much casualties today, but the expressions of the ones responsible for that feat weren’t all that bright.

< 245. Someone stop him! -5 > Fin.

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