If you get technical about it, there was no event that Yi Ji-Hyuk had failed to resolve after stepping up to the plate. Didn’t matter whether monsters or demon kings popped out, he’d always deal with them all, although the ensuing damage would be a separate thing from what the enemies had caused.
The fact that he simply didn’t come across as trustworthy despite all of his feats was truly ironic, however.
That’s what Park Seong-Chan thought.
In all honesty, he might as well be the person who received Yi Ji-Hyuk’s aid the most out of everyone here.
Without that timely aid, Park Seong-Chan would’ve died several times over by now. Never mind rescuing him from the brink of death, Yi Ji-Hyuk even saved him as he was dying, too.
So, it’d be only natural for a human being to feel boundless trust and gratitude towards Yi Ji-Hyuk. He knew this, yet…
‘A man’s heart doesn’t work like that, you know!’ (Park Seong-Chan)
He knew that he was behaving like an ungrateful brat here, but what could he do about his heart not willing to trust that guy?!
I mean, every once in a while, a lion just might save a dying person or something!
But that doesn’t mean you can safely shove your head inside its maw, either!!
Being thankful is one thing, and getting scared is another thing altogether! (Park Seong-Chan’s inner monologue)
“If you were planning to do something, then tell us beforehand!! Uwaaaah!!” (Park Seong-Chan)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body in the distance was now emitting pitch-black smoke that rose up like billowing flames.
He acts like the devil himself and to top it off, he’s also accompanied by a pretty horrifying visual, too.
Doesn’t matter who it is, people will think we’re the demon king’s army!! The bloody demon king army!
“Why is that dude’s reaction so OTT?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
I haven’t even done anything yet.
I just emitted a bit of my aura, so why are you looking at me with that type of eyes? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“It’s not like I’ve caused accidents in the past, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me? Did you say something?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I’m asking you, have I ever caused accidents in the past?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You actually are asking me that…?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon became utterly speechless.
Such words shouldn’t come out of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s mouth. If he had at least a modicum of conscience, then he shouldn’t have said them. If every little incident Yi Ji-Hyuk had caused were to be brought up, then…!
“Uh…..” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
W-wait, what were they, again?
Now that I wanted to bring them up, something feels off, doesn’t it?
When you think about it, all the accidents Yi Ji-Hyuk caused so far came about during his attempts to deal with the events unfolding at the time.
So, calling that “him causing problems” is a bit wrong, isn’t it?
But why does it feel like he has half-way destroyed Earth and reverted it back to how it was? WHY?? (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“I don’t get why they all behave like that. It’s like I’ve caused them serious harm or something in the past. What a weird bunch of people.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
…..Why can’t I make a retort here??
It feels like I need to say something here, but!!
It’s like I was born into this world with the historical mission to retort to those very words, yet how come I can’t say anything here??
You haven’t harmed anyone?! (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
This unquantifiable sorrow continued to force tears out of Choi Jeong-Hoon’s eyes.
“It’s because you keep emitting this uselessly weird smoke out of your body. You only do that when you’re about to do something big, that’s why.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
“Useless?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N-no, I didn’t mean it that way.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Tsk, tsk.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
With criticising eyes, Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at Choi Jeong-Hoon. The latter felt the harshness of those eyes and felt sorrow choke up his throat.
“To think that a guy with no ability to comprehend is in command of all these people….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Now look closely!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pointed at the monsters flooding out from the Gates.
“Can you see?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I do have eyes.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I said, can you see?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, I can.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked meaningfully.
“It won’t be a cakewalk trying to deal with all those creatures, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“M-mm?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s words caused Choi Jeong-Hoon to observe the monsters in a renewed light.
“….Ah.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He failed to pick it up until now all thanks to Yi Ji-Hyuk stealing away most of his attention, but hell, the horde of monsters before his eyes boasted a scale that couldn’t be joked about at all.
‘I, I’ve forgotten about it.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
No, rather than forgetting it, maybe it was more accurate to say that he failed to recognise it. Nasty goosebumps broke out from all over his body as he watched the monsters pouring out from the level 6 Gates like water from a fountain.
From very far away, one might get an impression of witnessing black water flooding out from six sluice gates.
“And that won’t even be the end, either.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
This sight alone already proved to be mind-numbing, yet the truly scary thing was that this wasn’t the end of the monsters. Up until now, every Gate ranked level 5 or higher spat out a large-scale monster that could easily be classified as a boss creature. So, there was little doubt that the same thing would happen here today, as well.
Considering how terrifying the large monsters could get, it was the same thing as these level 6 Gates not playing their true hands yet.
Even if that was the case…..
‘Feels like I’ll completely lose my mind at this rate.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Indeed, just the number flooding out from the Gates made him feel completely hopeless. His legs shook unstably, and all signs of strength tried to abandon him.
But, who could blame him?
Every each one of these monsters were capable of ripping a measly little human apart with nothing but their bare claws. Yet there they were, crashing in like waves stacked up high into the sky.
If a regular person saw this sight, he or she would’ve wet their pants by now and just collapse on the spot. That was how frightening this spectacle was.
“D-do something…..” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Just do something!
Choi Jeong-Hoon became utterly frustrated by Yi Ji-Hyuk’s relaxed demeanour, and he reached out to the later.
However, the black air currents circling around his body prevented anyone from grabbing hold of him. Choi Jeong-Hoon knew very well that the dark Mana swirling around was far more scary than those monsters, after all.
“Whee-yu. Now that’s a lot.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even Yi Ji-Hyuk was impressed by this sight.
Sure, these might be level 6 Gates, but they no longer presented the NDF agents with an impossible wall to climb even if he wasn’t here. However, having ten or so of them opening up at the same time did create a rather memorable spectacle to behold.
And it kind of overlapped with a certain view he used to see often in the past. Would Yi Ji-Hyuk have felt like this if he was standing on the other side back then?
He could more or less understand the reason why the NDF agents around him were standing around totally dazed, their will to fight abandoning them a while ago. He remembered that those trying to stop him in the past also carried similar expressions, too.
“I kinda miss that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The d*mn stinking Berafe.
That f*cked-up place called Berafe.
That rotten place he never wanted to return to, that still made him feel this way every now and then.
Yi Ji-Hyuk heard these creature’s howls and fell into a somewhat strange reminiscence of the past.
“W-what are you doing?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Argh, come on, dude. You’re a man, so what’s up with this panicky nagging??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly scolded Choi Jeong-Hoon, but that only caused the latter’s eyes to become utterly bloodshot.
“Urgh, I get it. I get it, alright? Why are you glaring at me like that for? You’re super scary, man.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk chuckled and yapped on a bit before turning around to face the waves of monsters rushing towards him.
The military personnel had already ran away a while ago. So, all those monsters started flooding towards Yi Ji-Hyuk, Choi Jeong-Hoon, and Jeong In-Soo resolutely manning his spot.
“Ahhh! Please! Do something already!!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon cried out loudly, only for his head to be grabbed firmly by Jeong In-Soo.
“Listen here, Choi Jeong-Hoon.” (Jeong In-Soo)
“Y-yes?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk will do his thing in due course. What a strange man you are. If you’re that scared, why don’t you run away like the others? Why are you sticking around here and nagging him like a little kid?” (Jeong In-Soo)
….Well, uh, because the safest place at the moment is right here.
If an asteroid were to crash into Earth, then I’m pretty sure that the safest place in the world is not some underground bunker somewhere, but right beside Yi Ji-Hyuk. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Ehehehe.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon discovered his true intentions, something he wasn’t even aware of, and ended up grinning sheepishly.
“Let him be. It’s not just once or twice anyway.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked and raised both of his hands up.
“Ah, by the way….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He turned his head to the side and glanced at Choi Jeong-Hoon.
“You know, it might get a tiny bit dangerous here.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me? What are you trying to do?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Well, it’s not like you’re going to get injured or something like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Okay?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“But you might go crazy, instead. So, you cool with that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Obviously not!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“H-mm, it’s a bit cumbersome to control it, but….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grumbled a bit before straightening his back.
His eyes scanned the waves of monsters crashing in. Half of them were familiar monsters and demonic creatures, while the rest were stuff he had never seen before.
“Kekekeke.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seeing these demonic beasts bare their fangs towards him sure was an interesting experience, indeed.
To Yi Ji-Hyuk, demonic beasts were akin to pet dogs he’d rear while feeding some pet food or something. They might have sharp fangs and could be rather threatening at times, but still, pets that would never attack him. That kind of things.
However, these ‘feral dogs’ before his eyes dared to bare their fangs, completely oblivious as to who he was.
“Kekekeke.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What an amusing thing this was.
“A feral dog baring fangs at people should be put down, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In normal times, that is.
Well, I have other uses for these things today, so should I just forgive them a little?
Instead…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“I guess I should scare them a bit.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, a storm-like barrage of Mana poured out from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body.
Choi Jeong-Hoon next to him began shivering.
He could tell.
Yi Ji-Hyuk was currently controlling this aura so that it wouldn’t affect his allies. Even then, Choi Jeong-Hoon was shivering away like a lone leaf against the wind.
Even though he knew so well that the horrifying, violent energy would not be directed towards him, he simply couldn’t stop his body from shivering instinctively.
He didn’t need to experience this aura to feel indescribable fear.
In that case, what would it be like for all those monsters bearing the full brunt of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s aura?
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s question was soon answered.
It was as if time had come to a standstill.
Monsters with enough momentum to swallow everything stopped in their treks as if frozen solid, not a hint of movements visible from within the horde.
Seeing countless creatures freeze up without making a single sound caused the observers to mistakenly think that indeed, time had come to a stop.
“Fu-wooo….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was Yi Ji-Hyuk’s soft sigh that shattered this chilling silence.
“Okay, now….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A meaningful smile crept up on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips.
Here it was, the spectacle of all these innumerable monsters trembling in fear. Was there anyone else on this Earth who could induce such an event?
The absolute position, brought about by the overwhelming power. Yi Ji-Hyuk standing on this very position shuddered just a little. This ecstasy, this was something that couldn’t be experienced through one’s flesh.
This was one of the reasons why so many folks in power simply couldn’t let go of their power. The mere fact that the masses of people would submit to you with just a single word brought about an unimaginable level of psychological pleasure.
So, how good would it feel when spectating on this amazing sight of monsters trembling in fear?
“H-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Actually, the answer was ‘Not that amazing’.
He had witnessed something like this way too many times before. It was nothing new to him.
“Well, then. Time to start running.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I should scare them even more, no? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Mana emitted from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body began to violently writhe. The dark flames licked and slithered like the tongue of a devil crawling out from Hell and soared into the sky.
The aura pouring out of him began to pressure the monsters. Just by being on the receiving end, the creatures felt as if their flesh was exploding and their necks were squeezed tightly.
Monsters instinctively realised it.
Unlike with humans, they were creatures faithful to their primal instincts. And they could accurately tell how dangerous and frightening a being this small human was.
Monsters, when faced with the prospect of dealing with a creature they couldn’t win against, would make the next obvious choice available.
Desperate escape attempts had begun.
While stomping and stepping and ripping apart other monsters, they began running back the way they came from.
The waves were now spreading in the opposite direction.
…Towards the North.
And they continued on.
Another meaningful smile formed on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips.
“I told you, you’ll regret it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
< 288. Well, let’s see if they can sort it out, then -3 > Fin.