At the same time, in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s home.
Yi Ji-Hyuk was dazedly watching Erukana’s actions. She was decorating his room while humming in happiness.
“….Hey.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ng, darling?” (Erukana)
“You’re not supposed to decorate a home of human beings with a severed head of a goat….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
There was indeed a severed head of black goat that came out from Erukana’s subspace currently resting on top of a table Yi Ji-Hyuk was staring at.
“I mustn’t?” (Erukana)
“If my mom saw that, she’ll probably try to place my own severed head right next to it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hmmm, if mahder doesn’t like it, then I’ll get rid of it.” (Erukana)
“No, hang on. That’s not the only one….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at the rest of the room decorated by her and sighed non-stop. This wasn’t some sort of a witch’s chamber straight out of a fairy tale, so this….
No, he shouldn’t use the term ‘fairy tale’ here at all. If any young kids saw this room, it was almost a guarantee that their emotions would be messed up beyond repair.
“….Why is everything in black, even the curtains?? Is this room for a blind man??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Oh, my! Black is truth, darling.” (Erukana)
That dang truth crap again.
You’ve been staring at black colour for tens of thousands of years, so like, don’t you hanker for more variation in your life or something?
Just how long will you keep harping on about the colour black?? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Euh, euh….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He felt like losing his mind after looking at his room where literally everything had become black, including all of his furniture as well as the pillow and bedsheets.
Even something as simple as their tastes didn’t align with one another.
Yi Ji-Hyuk had figured out a long time ago that it was an act of insanity to compromise oneself for another person, but even he had no way of escaping from Erukana.
As long as their contract remained intact, she could come and visit him in his dreams at any time.
“That’s why I tried to stay awake…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head dropped down.
“Oh, my? Did you not sleep because you were worried about me showing up?” (Erukana)
“Well, honestly speaking, that wasn’t really the reason….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I was thinking of coming for a visit earlier, but I found a barrier cast by that lizard, instead. I was wondering if you were two-timing me for a while there.” (Erukana)
“Two-timing you….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk chuckled hollowly.
She was one of a few existences in the world that knew the details of the relationship between Affeldrichae and himself. So, such words were nothing more than playful teasing on her part.
“Of course, I’m not really going to stop you if you wish to fool around with other women. But, don’t ever forget that I’ll always be your first wife, okay?” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk sagged down on the pitch-black couch made out of some indeterminable material and opened his mouth.
“What is your real goal here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Why did you even come?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I came to see you, darling.” (Erukana)
“Stop spewing crap, will ya?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The human race has this strange tendency to not believe in other people’s honesty. Why would I even show up here if not for my darling?” (Erukana)
“You really came here to see me? Is that really everything?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What’s wrong? Don’t you believe me?” (Erukana)
“Of course I don’t believe you, you deviiiil!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana laughed heartily and looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“You weren’t this cynical before…. my darling, why did you become so distrusting towards other people?” (Erukana)
She slowly approached him.
Even though there was no more place to retreat in the couch, he still managed to bury himself even deeper into the cushions. She climbed up on his lap, though, and began stroking his cheek.
“You don’t trust me, darling?” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned his head away.
If he were to name one single person he could trust the most in this world, then this demon right before his eyes had to be it.
Indeed, she was the one who extended a helping hand to him when he had no one to rely on. She gave him access to true power.
While wanting nothing in return, no less.
When considering the fact that you needed to put your soul up as collateral to sign a contract with a demon, Yi Ji-Hyuk simply couldn’t do that with any ol’ demon out there.
However, Erukana didn’t even ask him for his soul and one-sidedly signed the contract with him, and supplied Mana to him without asking for anything in return.
For sure, Yi Ji-Hyuk would’ve returned to Earth eventually after experiencing other events, most likely. He was certain of that. He possessed an undying body and enjoyed infinite time on his side so he’d have gotten stronger somehow.
However, if he didn’t sign the contract with Erukana and accessed dark Mana, he’d not have become the Bringer of Apocalypse, and he’d definitely not get his hands on the Eye of Latrel.
Even though he hated to admit it, admit it he must.
One could definitely argue that Erukana was his benefactor that allowed him to return home. A benefactor who didn’t even ask for compensation.
A benefactor indeed, but….
“If only you weren’t my wife.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘Dew droplets’ formed around Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes.
If only she remained as an acquaintance, one wouldn’t be able to find a better girl than her. But why did she have to be his wife?
Where would anyone find an existence more awkward and scary to deal with than one’s wife? Their tenuous relationship managed to last this far only because Erukana was not a demanding type, that was all.
They maintained the married life for over a thousand years when it was supposedly hard to keep it going for less than twenty….
“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk helplessly shook his head, and Erukana continued to stare at him, a seductive grin etched on her lips.
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Her jet-black eyes peered deeply into his. Irises blacker than black, as if not a single thing hid within. Every time he looked into those eyes, Yi Ji-Hyuk had to taste the dizziness of being sucked into a bottomless abyss.
“You don’t trust me?” (Erukana)
“….I trust you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“So then, why do you suspect my words?” (Erukana)
“Because you aren’t telling me everything.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s voice suddenly became weightier.
“It’s the same story for both you and Affeldrichae. You don’t tell me everything. No, you only worry about how to exploit me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Is that what you really believe?” (Erukana)
“Can you deny it with a straight face, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana giggled seductively once more.
“Ng, of course I can. I always act with your best interest in mind, darling.” (Erukana)
“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk groaned again.
She was definitely a demon.
Those born as one knew so well how to seduce a human being.
Trying to figure out just how much he could trust her was the one proposition that had tormented him after all this time.
“Hmm, you don’t seem to believe me? We’ve stayed together as a couple for so long yet you still don’t trust me. That saddens me a little.” (Erukana)
“It’s because we’ve lived together for so long that I don’t trust you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana stuck her blood-red tongue out and licked his cheek, seemingly trying to mess with his mind.
“If you really want to know, then I’ll tell you.” (Erukana)
“Mm?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana’s eyes suddenly grew gloomier.
“Say it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“This place has become too dangerous.” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quietly stared back at her.
He had survived both Berafe and the demon world. No, never mind simply surviving, he managed to conquer both.
Yet, the planet Earth that should feature a much lower degree of danger compared to both of those worlds, was now being evaluated as ‘dangerous’?
This didn’t make sense.
“If you oh-so kindly explain in detail, I’ll be able to understand it better.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Darling, how do you think I exist before you in this world?” (Erukana)
“That’s….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk promptly shut his mouth.
Erukana could show up in any world if her contractor was residing there. However, that meant she could only invade that person’s dreams, and not actually teleport her physical being to another world.
If such a thing was possible, then Berafe would’ve been conquered by the demons a long time ago and not a blade of grass would have survived.
The denizens of the demon world knew of Berafe and dragged the negative energy from there for their own use, yet they still couldn’t invade and conquer that place.
All because of the dimensional restrictions.
“Are you saying this is different to what it was like before?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana rested her head on his chest.
“Treating me the same as any other demon kings. I feel like getting just a little bit angry now, you know?” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shuddered grandly.
His body trembled all by itself after his brain recalled what she was like during her fit of rage.
“N-no, I didn’t mean it that way….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ng, I know. My darling has really bad communication skills.” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk having bad communication skills?!
If Dioreh the First heard that, he’d probably become a Lich all of a sudden and jump out of his grave! He never rested his mouth even once during such a hellish situation and earned the ‘admiration’ of everyone present, yet now, that very mouth of his was being judged to be impotent???
Just what the freak did this woman see in that past thousand years?! (Author)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head again.
“You’re so bad with expressing your emotions too, so you can’t even say that you like something and pretend you hate it instead, acting all cold and the like. I know that side of you so well.” (Erukana)
No, that’s not it!
I really do hate things that I hate!
A Succubus is supposed to read a person’s emotions better than anyone, so how come you can’t read mine at all?! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“My darling is like that, so I can’t let him be, you see?” (Erukana)
“What do you mean by this world being dangerous?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The link.” (Erukana)
“Mm?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The demon world and this place are linking up.” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
“What do you mean by that? The worlds themselves are being connected?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His expression crumpled unsightly.
What he just heard, something like that didn’t even happen back in Berafe.
“Say that again. What’s happening here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana smiled meaningfully.
The face of flustered Yi Ji-Hyuk glaring at her had this power to make her heart flutter every time she looked at it.
“There’s no need to repeat myself, though. This world is gradually connecting up with the demon world.” (Erukana)
“How can such a thing even happen?! Is one world linking up with another one even possible?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk could safely declare himself as the number one in history when it came to understanding the intricacies of dimensions.
However, even with his vast knowledge pool and understanding of the subject matter, he couldn’t figure out how two disparate dimensions could overlap with each other.
The idea was so nonsensical, he almost assumed that Erukana made it all up on the spot, even though she’d never lie to him.
“Your evidence is right here, you know?” (Erukana)
“Evidence?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yup. Me.” (Erukana)
Erukana licked her lips.
“Even if I can sense your presence, I shouldn’t be able to cross dimensions and appear before you like this without being summoned first, right? You know how the demon world works, so you should also realise how incredibly crazy this whole thing is.” (Erukana)
“….Yeah, I do.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“This world is slowly but surely linking up with the demon world. I don’t know the cause, but there’s no denying that it’s happening gradually. And the side effects of that process should manifest themselves pretty soon, darling.” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes trembled powerfully.
The demon world.
If that place became one with this world, then that meant the monstrous creatures and demonic beings would literally flood into Earth.
Just one demon king was enough to nearly drive this planet to its doom, yet now, every other demon king still alive would pour in their droves?
That would basically mean the advent of Hell itself.
“And it’s already begun.” (Erukana)
“What has?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Why are you still behaving like a little child? The darling that I know isn’t a dummy like you. What happened to your ice-cold judgement? Maybe, you’ve become too lax from the peace in this world?” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t retort back to her.
Even if he was indeed tugging at the tension’s strings, it was still true that he had become lax compared to in the past during his stay on Earth.
“Darling, this place is no longer a safe zone. And you’re no longer the same person as you were in the past. You’ve become so much more frail and much, much weaker than before.” (Erukana)
“That’s why I’m here. To protect you, and to revert you back to your past self.” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked.
“I can’t go back after losing my immortality, don’t you know? And I’m not planning to revert back to my old self, either.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana slowly stood up from his lap and quietly stared into his eyes. Her expression was one of open ridicule.
“Hear ye, oh the Bringer of Apocalypse.” (Erukana)
Yi Ji-Hyuk gritted his teeth.
“Oh, the mighty one who ruled over the world and terrorised the demon world. Your current weakness pains my heart. However, you have no more reason to be concerned.” (Erukana)
Her voice began making fun of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s ears.
“Because, soon, the world you can’t protect with such pathetically weak self will arrive before you. Peace as you knew it is now over.” (Erukana)
Erukana’s high-pitched laughter resounded out in the room.
He quietly closed his eyes.
He too, had been sensing that what she said was true.
The world was distorting.
These short days of peace were precursors to the incoming apocalypse.
< 275. Mom, it’s your daughter-in-law -5 > Fin.