Chapter 290: Well, let’s see if they can sort it out, then (5)

The Gates were vibrating even harder now.

Park Seong-Chan, who had ran off to a far-off distance earlier, hurriedly dashed towards Choi Jeong-Hoon and asked a question.

“W-what’s going on here? What’s gotten into those Gates??” (Park Seong-Chan)

Choi Jeong-Hoon replied in a flat voice.

“A large monster is probably coming out soon.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“How can you sound so disinterested about it??” (Park Seong-Chan)

“Well, whether one comes out or not, there’s not much I can do about it, anyway.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

For a moment there, Park Seong-Chan got confused if he was talking to Yi Ji-Hyuk instead of Choi Jeong-Hoon.

‘Why did you learn stuff like that from him?’ (Park Seong-Chan)

You should’ve learned good points from him, yet why did you go and learn how to be sarcastic, instead?

….Ah.

Now that I think about it, I can’t tell what you could potentially learn from him. Maybe he doesn’t have any good points to begin with? (Park Seong-Chan’s inner monologue)

“Okay, so a large-scale monster is coming out?” (Park Seong-Chan)

“Is this the first time you saw a level 6?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“….Well, uh, I haven’t seen that many.” (Park Seong-Chan)

“I guess that’s normal.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Park Seong-Chan saw how curt Choi Jeong-Hoon was with his reply and sensed that something had gone terribly wrong. If this dude was behaving this way, then there was no future for the NDF.

“Excuse me, stop playing around and think of a suitable countermeasure!” (Park Seong-Chan)

“A countermeasure, is it….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon glanced at Yi Ji-Hyuk.

“Well, we do have one on standby, so….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Ah….” (Park Seong-Chan)

Indeed, that’s a pretty solid countermeasure, alright.

With Yi Ji-Hyuk here, even that level 6 Gate doesn’t feel all that threatening anymore. Still, I can’t help but wonder if you’re too lacking in the tensions department, but…. (Park Seong-Chan’s inner monologue)

“I’m sure it’ll work out.” (Park Seong-Chan)

“Pardon?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“It’s nothing.” (Park Seong-Chan)

Park Seong-Chan shook his head.

Rather than engage these folks in a chat and try to stop them, it’d be more preferable to just sit back and watch, and do the things he’s been asked to do. That was the best way not to get p*ssed off and lose his mind.

“Isn’t that thing vibrating even harder now?” (Park Seong-Chan)

“….And it’s not just one of them, either.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Just what kind of grand monsters were about to show up that the Gates were behaving in that manner?

“Shouldn’t we get ready?” (Park Seong-Chan)

Park Seong-Chan asked, prompting Choi Jeong-Hoon to nod his head.

“Yes, we should.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Although, I can’t be sure how much of a help we can be. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)

Choi Jeong-Hoon switched on his smartwatch and issued a new order.

“Director-nim?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

– “Yes?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“We’re requesting your assistance.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

– “But, weren’t there a lot of monsters?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“That’s not the current issue. Large scale monsters will soon emerge.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

– “…….Excuse me? I can’t hear you all of a sudden?!” (Seo Ah-Young)

“Director-nim!!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

– “Argh, okay, fine. I got it.” (Seo Ah-Young)

This ahjumma, she’s getting more and more crafty nowadays.

Choi Jeong began thinking that everyone in the NDF had become a lot more crafty than before as he glared at the Gates.

They were now distorting, too.

“That’s frightening.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

With them looking like that, he was indeed growing apprehensive about what might come out from them.

“Lala~.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk next to him was whistling, though. Unlike him, however, Choi Jeong-Hoon was a normal man who didn’t forget his liver back home before coming here today. Anyone with their brains screwed on properly would be scared by this situation. And when considering the number of monsters that appeared earlier, that fear should be even stronger.

“By the way, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Yes?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“At this rate, wouldn’t we have to deal with those eleven Gates all by ourselves, since the North Korean b*stards have all ran away?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.

“Huh, is that how things worked out?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Choi Jeong-Hoon stared back at him with less-than-impressed eyes.

“Well, sh*t can happen, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“What do you mean, it can happen?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Yi Ji-Hyuk raised his eyebrows.

“Are you arguing with me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“No, not really.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Sure, he was arguing back, but how could he honestly voice his reply?

What a rotten world this was.

“I didn’t do that deliberately, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

‘That’s why I told you to do nothing!’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“And let’s be honest here, them being around won’t be much of a help, anyway.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“M-mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

He could be right on that one, though.

Choi Jeong-Hoon nodded his head.

This wasn’t disparaging the North’s ability users. The truth was, didn’t matter which nation it was, none would prove to be all that helpful when monsters streamed out from level 6 Gates nonstop.

Even the NDF would’ve been left helpless when all eleven Gates opened up simultaneously while Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t around. Anyone looking at the deluge of monsters would think the same thing.

But now, large-scale monsters?

It’d be a relief if they didn’t run away.

‘This is just too insane.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

A lone level 6 Gate would be more than enough to threaten a country’s survival, yet why were eleven of them opening up here all at the same time?

Even if one was praying for the destruction of a country, shouldn’t there be a limit to the excessiveness or something?

“Have they opened yet?” (Seo Ah-Young)

The NDF agents had created a cordon in front of Yi Ji-Hyuk before long, and Seo Ah-Young among them walked in closer while looking a bit hesitant.

“….Your escaping back looked rather beautiful, I must say.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Well, I was….” (Seo Ah-Young)

“You were running so hard, I was worried that you might pull a leg muscle or something.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“You actually saw that? You have a good pair of eyes, then.” (Seo Ah-Young)

“Well, you were running the hardest in the very front of the pack, so.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“What a stalker, even observing things like that. If you’re interested, you can just ask, you know?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“…………”

Choi Jeong-Hoon quietly glared at her, causing Seo Ah-Young to awkwardly avoid meeting his eyes. Everyone was also running away at the time, so why was he so cruelly singling her out like this?

“Looks like they are finally opening up?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“Mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon stared at the Gates with a hardened expression.

“What will come out this time?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

He wouldn’t get surprised by whatever crawled out from the Gates at this point, though.

Wuuuonng-!!

The Gates distorted almost halfway out of shape and some things were lazily coming out from them.

“Uh?” (Seo Ah-Young)

Seo Ah-Young’s flustered voice could be heard next.

“What are those?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“Even if you ask me….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Hul.” (Seo Ah-Young)

She looked back at the frontlines with a dumbfounded look on her face.

Not one large monster appearing out of a Gate so far came across as familiar to her. Well, every single one of them happened to be rare monsters that she couldn’t even think up of even in her wildest dreams.

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She thought that it’d be the same case today.

However, what came out from the Gates now possessed a completely different outer appearance compared to their predecessors.

“….It’s kinda small?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“You’re right.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Is it another spirit?” (Seo Ah-Young)

“Doesn’t look that way, though.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Click.

It was then, Yi Ji-Hyuk wordlessly pulled out a cigarette and lit it up.

“Fu-wuuu…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He breathed out a lengthy trail of smoke and frowned slightly as he stared at the frontline.

“Hah…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Shururu….

Erukana made her appearance from his back and settled down comfortably on his lap.

“H-mm?” (Erukana)

She too was carrying a displeased expression while staring at the mysterious thing coming out of the Gate.

“What is that?” (Erukana)

She tilted her head as if she couldn’t understand it either.

That was par for the course, though – the thing that came out from the Gate wasn’t a lifeform.

“It’s a mass of Mana?” (Erukana)

Every single one coming out from the eleven Gates was pure masses of Mana emitting white light.

Their density was so high that these masses were actually emitting bright light.

These masses that resembled Spirits of Light escaped from each Gate and began gathering in one spot.

Fu-wooo….

The blue-grey smoke Yi Ji-Hyuk breathed out scattered in the air.

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“It stinks.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“This is no coincidence, don’t you agree?” (Erukana)

“Hmm…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk turned his head and looked at Affeldrichae.

“Oiii, lizard lady.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Yes?” (Affeldrichae)

“You know something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“No, I don’t.” (Affeldrichae)

“Of course not.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk chuckled. However, quite at odds with how he sounded, there was this air of mockery permeating within his expression.

“It just reeks of something bad, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I really don’t know anything.” (Affeldrichae)

Since she was a Dragon, she probably wasn’t lying. Well, this overgrown lizard wouldn’t lie to him, anyway. Still, he could sense this slightly off feeling from the way she spoke her denial.

‘That’s why I hate this.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk got up from the spot.

“Darling.” (Erukana)

“I know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Those Mana masses were basically like a feast prepared for Yi Ji-Hyuk.

He felt that they hid poison somewhere, yet he couldn’t tell what kind it was. Except that, he just couldn’t refuse such a scrumptious feast all laid out before his eyes.

“I can’t let that go to waste, now can I?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

If this was Berafe, leaving it alone would’ve been one of his options. Too bad, this was Earth, not Berafe. Mana didn’t dissipate in Earth’s atmosphere. It scattered away at an incredibly slow rate, so if a passing monster managed to absorb that, then it’d lead to a massive-scale disaster.

“How amusing.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked to himself.

With this, he was half-sure of it now. There was someone deliberately opening these Gates. A creature with high intelligence was aiming for this place and had opened these portals.

And quite likely, this creature, it knew about Yi Ji-Hyuk, too.

“You didn’t have to send me presents, though.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He began cackling away.

The monsters coming out of the Gates were perfect types for him to subdue and use, and after that, this unknown being even sent him a large lump of Mana as well.

If he was told that this mysterious ‘benefactor’ held good intentions, he’d have totally believed it simply from this set-up alone.

“But then again, it just stinks, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk’s gut instinct, which was more often right than wrong, was busy telling that he’d get a tummy ache if he went ahead and devoured this feast.

“I think the same as you, darling.” (Erukana)

“You too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Ng. Let’s just let it rot.” (Erukana)

Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.

“No can do.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Even if it was poisoned, a feast was a feast still.

It was a common sense in his household that, if he tried to flip the dining table full of food, his back would light up from his mom’s palm smashes.

“It’s not cool to be a picky eater.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk cackled and strode forward, and Erukana began giggling away boisterously while wrapping her arms around his neck.

“My darling, you’re so manly.” (Erukana)

“….Tsk.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Should he say her reactions were just too one note, regardless of what he did? Well, that was one good point about Erukana, anyways.

With her tagging along on his back, Yi Ji-Hyuk walked towards the large mass of Mana.

“H-mmm…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

A familiar scent of Mana wafted in.

It was a bit difficult to pinpoint exactly what was so familiar about it, but this Mana certainly gave him the impression that he got in a tangle with it in the past. Which meant the source of this Mana would be a place he’d been before….

“….Berafe.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

If that was the case, then he could understand it, but the monsters that came out from the Gates weren’t found in Berafe.

Sure, some monsters from that world was mixed in among the horde, but in all honesty, the majority of them were types he hadn’t seen before.

In that case, just where were these creatures coming from?

“How complicated.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He slowly shook his head.

This feeling of something unfolding with him in the centre – he had felt it a while ago. But, as the feeling slowly turned into a certainty, the mystery was deepening, instead.

The biggest contributing factor here for his confusion was that there was nothing to gain by targetting him like this.

If he was some kind of a legendary Dragon possessing a fabled Dragon Heart, then sure, why not. But what would the other party gain by ‘investing’ in him like this?

“Maybe it’s a god who’s in love with me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Darling, it’s time for your medicine.” (Erukana)

I hope it’s the vitamins?

You ain’t talking about some psychoactive chemicals or something, right? Erukana? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked again and approached the mass of Mana.

‘It’s pretty huge.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He thought this might be his first time seeing Mana coagulate like this and give rise to a physical form. A high-density lump of Mana that easily rivalled the dark Mana Yi Ji-Hyuk condensed and used was buzzing about in the air, it’s size as big as a house.

“This is kinda heavy load, isn’t it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He formed a somewhat serious expression.

“Darling, you might get indigestion from this.” (Erukana)

“H-mm, well, stay back for a minute, Erukana.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Ng.” (Erukana)

Such pure Mana was indeed kind of like poison to someone like Yi Ji-Hyuk or her who used dark Mana.

“Is that guy trying to assassinate me by feeding me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He thought that such a method would be pretty smart, and extended his hand out to the Mana.

“Drain.”

< 290. Well, let’s see if they can sort it out, then -5 > Fin.

- my thoughts:
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