“….Eh?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon stared at the space in front of him in complete stupefaction. A Gate with its black mouth wide open was floating silently where his gaze landed.
“M-m-mmm……” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
He thought that he had seen many types of situations in his life.
Post-Black Monday, his life had grown considerably distant from what one would consider to be normal; he experienced all sorts of unbelievably crappy and crazy situations, and even those moments that seemingly had no suitable solution at all.
Sure, there should be plenty of folks that were living a hard life in this world, but as far as the level of pure difficulty was concerned, one could safely designate Choi Jung-Hoon’s life as Rank-S Hard Mode.
But, even someone like him who had managed to pull himself through such a Hard Mode just couldn’t come up with a single idea on how to handle the current situation.
“Did he really go?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young asked him, prompting a hollow chuckle to leak out of Choi Jung-Hoon’s mouth.
“It seems that way.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Seriously?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Most likely.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young too formed an incredulous and somewhat fed-up expression as she stared at the Gate.
“What an insane b*stard.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Simply imagining where that Gate was connected to was already giving them terrible nightmares.
“S-shouldn’t we try to stop him?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min never once tried to stop Yi Ji-Hyuk whenever he did something crazy, but right now, she too carried a flustered expression while staring at the black Gate.
That guy, he seemed to be getting all sulky while talking on the phone, then got super-irritated for some reason, and after suddenly creating a Gate, he disappeared into it.
Following that chain of events, it was oh-so obvious where that Gate led to, didn’t it?
“Sure, it does feel like we should try to stop him, but….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon stared at the Gate with a grave expression, but then, simply settled down on his chair, instead.
“….It’s not as if he’d stop just because we ask him to, anyway.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You’re right about that.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young must’ve thought the same, as well.
“B-but, shouldn’t we still try something??” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“M-mm….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon covered his face. He rubbed it for a while, and while staring at the Gate, nodded his head as if he had made up his mind.
“Let’s leave it be.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Ng?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Excuse me?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Choi Jung-Hoon looked as if he had given up on everything.
“From the get-go, he’s not someone who’d listen, anyway. So, what can we really do here? Besides, I can’t think of a reason why we should stop him in the first place, either.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
It seemed that Jeong Hae-Min’s thoughts were different from his, however.
“But…. the place Ji-Hyuk just went to, it’s that place I’m thinking of, right?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Probably.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I-if so, will it be alright to just let him be??” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“….Let me think about that for a second.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You need to regain yourself, Mister Choi Jung-Hoon!! You look like you’re completely out of it.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Choi Jung-Hoon rubbed his face harder this time.
Indeed, now wasn’t the time to be so dazed like this. Didn’t the old saying go, it’d be fine as long as you kept your wits about you even if you ended up in a tiger’s den?
Too bad – the Gate in front of him was not an entrance to a tiger’s den, and the place at the other end of the portal was a far scarier location than a mere tiger’s whatever.
Just as he began falling deeper into a panic mode, the hand of a saviour suddenly reached out towards him.
“So, like…. What seems to be the problem?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young leaned herself against a chair and spoke.
“He went to the Blue House, didn’t he!! Who knows what trouble he might cause there?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“So what if he did?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Ng?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Is there anyone who can do something to him because he caused trouble in the first place?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s eyes shot open wide.
“That’s correct!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
When he thought about it, sweating over this matter was an odd thing to do.
“I was intimidated by the weight the name ‘Blue House’ carried and failed to analyse the reality properly for a bit there! Right, who out there is capable of doing something to Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“What are you on about?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Choi Jung-Hoon formed a complicated expression of two halves, one of sorrow and the other, gratification.
“They better behave if they don’t want to get killed.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
‘I better behave since I don’t want to get killed.’
The Defence Minister inwardly made up his mind to never open his mouth.
Folks who didn’t know who Yi Ji-Hyuk was staring at the youth with a flabbergasted expression, but the Defence Minister knew well what kind of creature they were about to deal with, and so, he devised the wisest tactic to survive this encounter.
First of all, do not ever get noticed by that man….
Secondly, don’t ever make him p*ssed off at you.
“Y-you, who are you??” (Transport Minister)
A voice belonging to a fool who hadn’t yet figured out the situation could be heard now.
‘With a brain like that, he still became a minister…..?’ (Defence Minister)
Did he really ask because he couldn’t figure it out yet?
Just who on earth was capable of opening up a Gate and entering the Blue House under the current situation? It was already a wide-spread common knowledge that Yi Ji-Hyuk was the only man who could open up Gates, yet that person didn’t even know that?
‘Well, it’s got nothing to do with me now.’ (Defence Minister)
One’s execution due to one’s own ignorance was something he should deal with himself; the Defence Minister didn’t have to dirty his hands there.
“I-I said, who are you??” (Transport Minister)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The Transport Minister cried out while pointing at the youth stepping onto the table. Yi Ji-Hyuk scanned the office, discovered the Chief Secretary, and formed a deep smirk.
“Hey, ahjussi.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Y-yes?” (Chief Secretary)
“How should I say this? Well, ahjussi, you look like someone I can talk to, so let me ask ya something.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, yes.” (Chief Secretary)
“This uncle here, what’s he supposed to do?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“He’s the Minister of the Department of Land and Transport.” (Chief Secretary)
“I guess anyone can become a Minister nowadays? I mean, if a guy like that can become one, it must be true.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even if you had a mouth, there were some things you couldn’t say out aloud; the Chief Secretary was thinking of the same thing as Yi Ji-Hyuk, but still, he was in no position to say something like that, now was he?
“I said, who the hell are you?!” (Transport Minister)
The Transport Minister’s loud yelling finally forced the annoyance level of the Chief Secretary to go through the roof and the latter ended up shouting as well.
“Argh!! It’s obviously Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk!! Who do you think he can possibly be?!” (Chief Secretary)
In an instant, chilly silence descended on the office.
“Yi, Yi Ji-Hyuk????” (Transport Minister)
The Transport Minister muttered in a trembling voice and plopped down on the couch nearby.
Why did this guy suddenly appear here?
The Chief Secretary groaned under his breath and bowed his head in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s direction.
“Welcome to the Blue House, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk. May I ask what brings you here?” (Chief Secretary)
“Mm?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his gaze away from the Chief Secretary and looked around, and soon enough, a man sitting on the seat of honour caught his eyes.
“Oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
Didn’t that geezer’s face appear often on TV screens?
“Ahjussi, who you might be?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk was a straightforward and honest man. If he was curious about something, he’d simply ask.
The gazes of everyone landed on President Yun Yeong-Min next.
It was already a pretty embarrassing situation where a President of a nation lied about not being in his office, but he even got found out, too. None could think up of what would be the right way of responding in a situation like that.
“Are you talking about me?” (President)
“Yep.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yun Yeong-Min formed a simple, relaxed smile.
As expected, there’s the composure of the President. (Chief Secretary’s inner monologue)
The Chief Secretary nodded his head.
Even if the world’s current situation was responsible for his election victory, becoming a President was indeed a big deal. No normal person could pull such a feat off.
One could sense the strength of a man who managed to climb up to the nation’s top job from that smile.
Look at that composure!
Without a doubt, you wouldn’t be able to win the seat of the President by playing a round of dang go-stop! (TL: Go-stop is a Korean card game.)
“You don’t have to worry about me.” (President)
“There are enough high-ranking officials present here, as you can see. That person over there is the Prime Minister, so how about having a chat with him, instead?” (President)
Well, that is somewhat crafty, sure, but……
What could this be….
Mm…. (Chief Secretary’s inner monologue)
“Composure, my foot.” (Chief Secretary)
What a snake-like human being that was.
“Ah! I remember now!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk formed an evil smirk and slowly approached Yun Yeong-Min.
“Ahjussi, you’re the President, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Not too surprisingly, Yun Yeong-Min’s complexion began to dye gradually in the colours of soot.
“Y-yes, that I am.” (President)
With things having come this far, it was just too hard to deny the truth now.
“Well, that’s good. Why don’t we….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The smirk etched on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips deepened even more.
“….Have a nice little chat?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yun Yeong-Min’s next expression became very hard to read.
Christopher McLaren could barely get a hold of himself.
“Why don’t you wanna accept my resignation?!” (Christopher McLaren)
That was his life’s wish. As long as he was allowed to write a letter of resignation, then he’d not hesitate to do anything and everything.
He was so fatigued and pushed to the brink by work that he was even considering defecting to the country he previously loathed, Mother Russia.
Defecting to Russia would decrease the volume of his work by a great deal. Sure, he’d get really stressed out from the prospect of having to play best pals with the stinking Russian b*stards, but at the very least, he wouldn’t die from overwork if he went there.
As long as they were willing to give him enough breaks, he was more than willing to play nice with the Russians.
“But, why did you have to go and start a d*mn war, you crazy sons of b*tches??” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher held his head in despair.
The previously-established response manual for the large Gates had been torn to shreds, and the matters he had to attend to were raining down like snow from the heavens, yet the Mexicans decided to breach the southern border, and the dang Russians invaded Ukraine on top of that, too.
The United States referred to itself as the World’s Police, but what with incidents happening all over the globe, it couldn’t even figure out where to start first.
Thankfully, the combat forces within the country itself was enough to put out the fire burning on the foot – Mexico situation – but still, his head hurt just from trying to think up of a way to utilise all the troops stationed overseas.
That d*mn useless and incompetent Defence Minister couldn’t do much and just go ‘uh-buh-buh’ over and over again, meaning Christopher McLaren was now saddled with seemingly every work under the sun.
‘Yup, I need to quit.’ (Christopher McLaren)
This was a case of elder abuse.
Forget about the country and whatnot; if this lifestyle continued on for another month or so, he’d die of overwork. He was sure of it.
It was then, the door to his office was flung open and one of his adjutants rushed inside. However, before the poor man could say something, Christopher McLaren seized the initiative first.
“Something big has happened!!” (Christopher McLaren)
“…That’s what you want to say, right? I’m already sick and tired of it, so please come up with something different, alright?” (Christopher McLaren)
“But sir, it really is something big.” (adjutant)
“I know!! I know already, god d*mn it!! Just what isn’t a ‘something big’ nowadays?! Everything is ‘something big’!!” (Christopher McLaren)
“N-no, sir. It is truly, seriously a big matter.” (adjutant)
Christopher McLaren sighed and lit his cigar up.
He had no idea what happened this time, but ‘something big’ occurred over a dozen times every single day, so there was no need to get unduly flustered here.
He deeply sucked on the cigar and slowly let the smoke ease out of his lungs.
“Fine. Why don’t you tell me what happened?” (Christopher McLaren)
“The White House has been taken over, sir.” (adjutant)
“Mm, sure thing. Fine, in that case….. Eh? What?” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren dazedly stared at the adjutant.
Wait, did I hear it wrong?
Doesn’t it sound like I heard something really odd just now? (Christopher McLaren’s inner monologue)
“Sir, the White House has been taken over!!” (adjutant)
“….You’re f*cking with me right now, yes?” (Christopher McLaren)
“No sir, I’m being serious.” (adjutant)
“Hey, you crazy son of a b*tch!! Just what place is the White House? How can anyone take it over?! Who is it?? Is it the Mexicans? Or the Russians?? If not, is it Alpha, then??” (Christopher McLaren)
“N-no, sir. That is….” (adjutant)
“Be out with it before I keel over from stress!!!” (Christopher McLaren)
“S-sir, it’s a faction that has not been known to us until now. No, wait. It’s a bit incorrect to call that a faction, so…. it’s just one individual, sir.” (adjutant)
“Just one?” (Christopher McLaren)
“Yes, sir.” (adjutant)
One man managed to occupy the White House?
Although what he heard sounded a bit odd, Christopher McLaren still could just about figure out what happened – the White House was the official residence of the American President, and the fact that it was taken over meant that the holder of the highest office in this country was now being held hostage.
Which in turn meant that a single person managed to barge into the White House and took the POTUS hostage.
“….Son of a…..” (Christopher McLaren)
Just what kind of a place was the White House? One more time, it was where the American President resided.
And after ability users appeared, the Secret Service realised that assassination and terror attempts through them became a distinct possibility, so no expense was spared in shoring up the White House’s defences.
However, a lone individual still managed to break into that place?
“….And we haven’t identified the identity of the perpetrator?” (Christopher McLaren)
“Yes sir. It’s an ability user whose looks and behaviour are completely unknown to us.” (adjutant)
“What about sniping from afar?” (Christopher McLaren)
“It’s deemed impossible, sir.” (adjutant)
Christopher McLaren scratched his head, hard.
This was the absolute worst situation. He needed a more detailed briefing to analyse it better, but just by going with what he knew so far, it was already the worst possible situation, indeed.
At least, he could take some solace in the fact that the perpetrator had taken hostages and that was it. Which meant this person had a list of demands, and if things worked out right, then he might be able to secure the President’s safety.
“Okay, so. What does our perp want?” (Christopher McLaren)
“That is….” (adjutant)
“What is it?” (Christopher McLaren)
The adjutant hesitated greatly, but eventually, opened his lips.
“….It’s ‘Find Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk’, sir.” (adjutant)
Christopher McLaren dazedly stared at his adjutant.
What dogsh*t nonsense was this now?
< 251. Find Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk -1 > Fin.