“Only the small numbers will go?” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren quickly sidled up to Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Actually, I wouldn’t have minded going with big numbers, but.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Christopher McLaren)
“How can a big number go inside there? I mean, you said that I can’t just blow the building up, didn’t you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Well, that I did.” (Christopher McLaren)
If only the building in question wasn’t the White House, they would’ve created some sort of siege but regardless of what, it was impossible for a large number of combatants to enter the structure.
If they were to give up on preserving the building, then it might be doable, but if they went ahead and bombarded the target, then there was no guarantee that the U.S. President would survive.
No, nine times out of ten, he’d be dead.
The demon king in there didn’t have a duty to protect her hostage, the President, after all. Now normally, a hostage would be used as a guarantee of safety for the hostage taker, but the current situation was a somewhat unique one.
Even if the President died, the demon king would lose absolutely nothing at all.
“So, why did you have to go and escalate the dang thing, then?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk roared out angrily, and Christopher McLaren could only drop his head lower in silence.
You godd*mn DOD sons of b*tches.
I’ll definitely show you what hell’s like later!! (Christopher McLaren’s inner monologue)
Christopher McLaren gritted his teeth.
Never mind trying to help the one on the same side as them, they caused him to taste such humiliation in front of another country’s ability users!
“Euh….” (Christopher McLaren)
He shoved his hand inside the pocket only to go, Oh, sh*t.
Argh, I threw the phone away, didn’t I?!
God d*mn it, I still have a ton of sh*t I want to say to them, but I don’t have a way to communicate anymore! (Christopher McLaren’s inner monologue) (TL: the raw said radio/communicator, rather than his phone. I figured that the author made a mistake and changed it slightly.)
Christopher McLaren could only pull his hand out, sorrow quickly filling up his heart.
“What should we do now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk whistled to himself.
Looking at the demonic aura mushrooming around the white-coloured residence of the U.S. President sure made him feel strange inside.
That thick, dense aura was telling him that his opponent would be very tough to handle. However, there was something rather odd about it, too.
‘Why is it only that much?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Compared to the quality of the Mana on display, there was just not enough quantity of it.
If it got p*ssed off enough to pour out Mana like that, then even if the demon king wasn’t particularly trying to do anything, the White House would’ve been blown to smithereens without leaving behind a trace, so this…
Mana was being emitted, yet seeing how little there was, he couldn’t help but feel strange.
And then, there was one more strange thing, too…
‘Why do I keep getting the chills?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That Mana…. It’s really making me feel weird, you know?
It feels familiar to me somehow. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
When one got technical about it, Yi Ji-Hyuk already knew every demon king residing within the demon world, so it was not strange for him to feel a certain amount of familiarity here.
No, maybe it was an obvious thing instead, since he knew their magical energy patterns.
But how could he go about explaining this chill?
Yi Ji-Hyuk stopped walking then.
“What’s wrong?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min asked him, but he didn’t answer back and quietly glared at the White House. There was some distance still left, yet how could he explain his feet’s reluctance to step forward?
‘Is it one of the top ten-ranked demon kings or something?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The current Yi Ji-Hyuk wouldn’t be able to guarantee a victory over such a demon king.
In fact, the top-ranked demon kings were the kind of existences that even when he was at his peak, he still had no assurances of defeating them completely and thoroughly.
Of course, as Yi Ji-Hyuk would’ve been immortal while the demon kings were not, which was quite unfitting for their titles actually, the battles would inevitably end in his favour, but still.
That was when the balance had been tilted to one side to create an unfair battle to begin with; if they went head-to-head with just a single coin per player, then Yi Ji-Hyuk wouldn’t be able to win against them. (TL: an arcade fighting game reference in case you don’t get it, BTW.)
So, there was no point in even mentioning right now, when he was so much weaker compared to back then.
“Aren’t you going?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk groaned in distress and began walking forward again.
No matter who the opponent was, he simply couldn’t end this situation with greeting the darn thing with ‘Welcome to Earth!’ as long as it had crossed over like this.
When considering the effort they had to put in just to get to this planet, they definitely didn’t come here for a spot of sightseeing, that’s for sure.
“I just can’t figure out why they keep stepping onto someone else’s turf.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I mean, it’s not like there’s something extra great on Earth, right?
There’s Berafe, too.
They originally frequented that place often, didn’t they? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
‘Now that I think about it, it sure is strange.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
‘Do they hate me that much?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Sure, well, I did go on a bit of rampage back then.
Okay, actually, I went on a massive rampage, didn’t I.
Even then, isn’t trying to take my head while chasing after me through dimensions like this a bit over the top?!
It’s not even a sequel to Misery or something, too! You stinking b*stards! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“I haven’t done anything too bad, so what gives?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ng? What?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“…..I mean, they keep showing up here to harass me. It’s not like I’ve done something terrible to them, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You know those things?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Wait, now that I look back… You, weren’t you talking to that black thing back then? In a strange language? Did you actually know them?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Yeah.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“How?” (Jeong Ha-Min)
“I used to live on that side. Maybe around a hundred years or so?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Well, now it all makes sense.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pretty obvious why they want to kill you. Mm. Yup, they want you dead for sure.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When Seo Ah-Young threw herself into the conversation, Choi Jeong-Hoon quickly dissuaded her.
“Even if it’s the truth, that’s not something you should speak in front of the person in question.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Look here, man! Whose side are you on?!
And, why does it look like you’re all pitying the demon kings right now?
I haven’t done anything!
It’s just that, because they were getting in my way, I had them lined up all nice and straight so that I could beat some sense into them, that’s all. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
When considering how long a demon king’s natural lifespan was, what happened back then would be nothing more than a brief bleep in time, so this….
“Eh-whew….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head and trudged forward again.
Forget about it, then.
“Seriously though, I don’t know why I’m feeling this way.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tried to calm his palpitating heart and before he knew it, found himself standing before the White House’s front entrance.
“M-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The thick, choking Mana cloud filling up his view stopped him from advancing forward.
He wouldn’t get affected too much by entering it. Actually, he should be feeling a lot happier about this, since it was almost like a veritable banquet had been laid all around him.
But it was not the same story for his companions.
If they were to be exposed to such dense Mana, it’d only take a moment for their sanity to fly out the window.
“M-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk was now in a dilemma.
It’d not be too hard to advance while sucking in all this Mana, but he should not forget that there was someone controlling this Mana, an owner of it if you will.
If it pounced without warning, then dealing with the ensuing aftermaths wouldn’t be easy.
Besides, it was forbidden to enter a territory where another’s Mana was running amok like this, too.
“Uh?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s cautious gasp prompted Yi Ji-Hyuk to raise his head.
The fog of Mana that blocked their passage began to smoothly recede bit by bit. Seeing this, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes narrowed to a slit.
As if to create a path, the black Mana before them continued to retreat.
“Is it welcoming us, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A streak of cantankerousness entered Yi Ji-Hyuk’s expression.
Now normally, you’d flee right away and don’t even bother to look back in a situation like this one.
Indeed, wasn’t it like the rule of this profession? Like, entering all high and mighty because of the welcoming reception, only to run away in tears after getting struck by all sorts of traps and suffer like crazy, or just die at the end?
“Are we going in?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon asked in an unconvinced voice.
“No matter what, this looks like a trap….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“You think so, too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….It’s so obvious that it’s actually coming across as strange, isn’t it? So, who’d be dumb enough to walk straight in?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Hng! At least our enemy has manners! I must look terrifying, then!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Please stop with the cliched mutterings! Isn’t that what a third-rate villain would say?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“It’ll be alright. I’m the main character, after all.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Says who?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk cleanly ignored Choi Jeong-Hoon’s retort and took large strides forward.
“How dare you set traps before me!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I said, stop saying those lines! You’re making it too easy to see our future!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Fut, you made a mistake thinking that such cheap traps can stop me! The overwhelming, absolute gap in strength cannot be bridged by simple tricks or traps!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Argh…. He’s completely helpless. Seriously.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon shook his head in resignation.
“Well, besides all that….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He then studied the newly-opened path before then.
“What should we do about this?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“We have to go in.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Even then….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“The American ahjussi behind is looking at us with reddened eyes, right? We’ll have to go in eventually, so if we dilly-dally any longer, that ahjussi might end up dying of a heart attack.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jeong-Hoon was still unconvinced, but nevertheless, he had to concede that the situation remained grave.
The American President needed to be saved, and there was a time limit, to boot. They simply had to risk some danger and enter.
“Five of us will enter first. The rest, be on standby outside. We will call you if something happens.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Yes sir.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Kim Dah-Hyun must’ve been in charge of sub-command, as he was the one replying before ordering the remaining group to back away.
“Well then, shall we go in?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Hmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Without saying anything else, Yi Ji-Hyuk stepped inside.
“This, it’s still kind of unsettling….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon followed after him, still carrying an unconvinced expression.
“How gloomy.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
What with the blackish Mana surrounding them, it was like they were trapped in a pitch-dark night or some such. Even though it was in the afternoon in the U.S.
Walking inside a building where no light entered made him feel just a bit queasy.
No, hang on. Maybe it’s not just a ‘feeling’, but happening for real? (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
The surrounding Mana was now affecting their emotions as well.
“Will this be fine?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Nah, I’m sure it’ll be okay.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, doesn’t something feel off?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“As long as it doesn’t enter your body, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Sure, some folks might go insane just by being near this much Mana, but that’s only because they are weaklings, to begin with.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That means there definitely is a problem, you dumba*s!!
Just what the hell is in your head to fail to see the connections there?? (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Well, you have to risk your life in this line of work anyway, so if you can’t even withstand this, you might as well quit, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That kind of made sense.
Choi Jeong-Hoon realised that Yi Ji-Hyuk said something sensible so he closed his mouth.
Even though he didn’t have to come, he insisted on being here, so he was not in any position to air his complaints at the moment. Without a doubt, non-ability user like himself tagging along would prove to be a burden on Yi Ji-Hyuk, after all.
“What dreadful Mana this is.” (Affeldrichae)
“Euh-hut?! Holy sh*t?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon was shocked by Affeldrichae who just appeared out of nowhere next to him and fell down on his butt.
“You surprised me!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young softly muttered under her breath.
“Scaredy cat.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Who is scared here?! Just who??” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“What was the most recent horror movie you watched?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“….I haven’t seen any.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Scaredy cat.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s body began quaking from the unfairness of it all.
Hey, you!! Ask me if I’ve seen a movie or not after letting me go home first!!
I can’t even leave work properly, so when will I ever have time to catch a bloody movie?!
In fact, I have not stepped foot inside a cinema ever since starting work for you!! (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Before he could argue his innocence, though, Affeldrichae changed the topic first.
“This Mana feels familiar.” (Affeldrichae)
“Right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head, looking ever so unconvinced.
Not only him, but seeing that even Affeldrichae felt the familiarity, then he needed to assume that they were not dealing with an ordinary demon king.
Only someone possessing the incredible might would leave behind a deep impression on their memories, after all.
“By the way….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just before he was about to say something, they came face to face with the large door leading to the Oval Office.
“Mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s legs began shaking a little as he looked at that door.
Uh? What the heck, why am I so worried all of a sudden?
I can’t understand this. Seriously now. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Are we going in?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Well, what choice do we have?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at the door with an uncomfortable expression on his face, but eventually, he bit down on his lip.
Not sure why I’m getting this worried, but at least, I should confirm the reason first! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Hah. Hang on a sec. I gotta get ready first.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“A man should have more backbone!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Does a man have to be macho all the time?! Don’t you know how sensitive I am?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Sure, sure~.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Just before he could say something…!
The door flung open all by itself.
And then, the scene within the Oval Office could be seen by everyone.
There was an old man sitting so obediently in the corner, and then….
“….Heeeeeeeeeiiiick?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face was drained out of colour in an instant.
Why is that thing even here?!
< 262. Didn’t you miss me? -2 > Fin.