Choi Jeong-Hoon stared at his phone while forming a less-than-impressed expression.
“You won’t even give me enough time to eat a burger….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Well, that’s the life of a civil servant, I guess.
No, hang on a minute. Most regular civil servants aren’t like this, are they?
I must’ve developed a strange prejudice of the world after never experiencing what it’s like to go home on time as a civil servant. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jeong-Hoon helplessly shook his head and picked up the phone.
“M-mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
The number of his superior, the Director of the KSF, showed up on the phone’s display. Although, that position had become more of an ‘in title only’ after Yi Ji-Hyuk started rampaging about.
‘Did we get found out?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He was thinking that it was only a matter of time before they were found out since the incident this time was just too big in scale, but he didn’t expect it to be this quick. He’d soon be subjected to a nasty bomb of nagging and scolding from here onwards.
He always had to put out the fires he didn’t even start in the first place, so he didn’t mind it at all, usually. But, for today, he felt especially wronged for some reason. He spat out a groan and answered the call.
“Yes, this is Choi Jeong-Hoon speaking.”
He listened to the barrage of words coming from the other side and tilted his head.
“Yes, that’s correct. Yes, yes.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He answered with a strange expression on his face before raising his head to look at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Yes, he’s currently with me….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Others couldn’t figure Choi Jeong-Hoon’s reaction out and began tilting their heads, too.
“Alright, I understand. We’ll talk to you once we get there.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon ended the call.
“What was that about?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young asked first, but he simply carried this hard-to-describe expression on his face. He continued staring at Yi Ji-Hyuk for a bit, before finally opening his mouth.
“So, uh, the thing is, the monsters Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk has chased off are now marching towards Pyongyang.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Pyongyang??” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s expression hardened.
Even she could understand the severity of the monsters potentially destroying Pyongyang. It was the same story as destroying North Korea itself.
“Okay, so what’s happening now?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“The North Koreans have formed defensive lines, but unsurprisingly, they have failed to stop the monsters, it seems. It’d been very tough to fight back when those Gates opened one after another, so you can probably imagine how bad the current situation is after they opened up all at the same time.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Yes, I guess so.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young too bore witness to the endless deluge of monsters with her own two eyes.
If it weren’t for Yi Ji-Hyuk, she wouldn’t even dare to stop that flood and simply issue an order to retreat, instead. The North failing to stop the tide would present a serious problem, but even if they did manage to stop it, another big problem would present itself.
“I’m sure it’ll soon turn into a diplomatic nightmare, right?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Not only that, with a country that no one wanted to get involved with in this world. Considering that, one should realise how thoughtless Yi Ji-Hyuk had been to cause such an event.
Park Seong-Chan butted in just then.
“However, I don’t think it’ll be like that.” (Park Seong-Chan)
“Excuse me?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I mean, if Pyongyang gets swept away, the North Korean b*stards will be crushed flat, too. So what could possibly become a diplomatic problem in that case? Even the higher-ups wouldn’t have anything to do, so we’ll just swallow the North up without lifting a single finger.” (Park Seong-Chan)
“Do you really believe that the North Korean pigs will die because some monsters showed up? They’ll probably run away to save their skin before everyone else.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Even then, they will suffer a heavy blow if Pyongyang’s infrastructure is destroyed, right? They won’t even have enough leeway to ask us for compensation or something.” (Park Seong-Chan)
He seemed to make some sense with his words there.
‘Was Mister Park Seong-Chan always this smart?’ (Seo Ah-Young)
She must’ve held a prejudice against him because he was a body reinforcement type. Of course, they weren’t friendly enough to share any meaningful conversation, so she couldn’t have guessed his level of intellect, anyways.
“Ehh…. Well, that’s not it….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
It was then, Choi Jeong-Hoon opened his mouth to speak, his voice sounding a bit embarrassed, prompting others to focus on him.
“The North has responded with a rather unexpected move.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“An unexpected move?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Well, yes. Mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He scratched his head as if he couldn’t figure it out either before quietly finishing what he wanted to say.
“It seems that, uh, the North Korean government has requested for Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk’s dispatch.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Everyone’s head slowly shifted towards Yi Ji-Hyuk.
Up until then, he had been hoovering up many burgers as if he couldn’t care any less about anything in this world. But even he couldn’t swallow the mouthful of the cheeseburger he was chewing and look a bit dazed by this news.
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Things have become quite interesting.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
The President of the Republic of Korea, Yun Yeong-Min, was smiling happily at this piece of good news to land on his lap in a long while.
To think that North Korea would reach out first.
When viewed from the diplomatic perspective, this had to be the biggest win in the last few decades. During those years, North Korea displayed hints of going along with the South’s reconciliation efforts, but how long had it been since the last time they lowered their heads first and asked for help?
As far as achievement went, one could say this was a monumental one.
What with South Korea’s current international acclaim being so sky-high, Yun Yeong-Min could easily be recorded in the history books as the nation’s greatest president ever if he even managed to improve the relationship with North Korea using this opportunity.
“Those prideful North Koreans lowered their heads first, huh.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
For a bunch of beggars, their pride was uselessly high. They constantly made everyone else oh-so tired by throwing regular tantrums like clockwork and tried to pick a fight whenever they saw an opening, yet to think, they would take this position first.
Could there be an event more refreshing than this one out there?
“If only Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t involved, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
The Chief Secretary Park Du-Jin decided to rain on Yun Yeong-Min’s happy parade just then.
“Groan…..” (Yun Yeong-Min)
The South Korean President got himself a sizeable psychological trauma after getting involved in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s affairs and couldn’t do his job properly for a little while there. Understandably, he spat out a heavy groan after hearing that name.
“Right. You’re right….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
All semblance of strength went missing from Yun Yeong-Min’s voice. Just thinking of Yi Ji-Hyuk drained all vitality out from the President’s body.
“Right, Yi Ji-Hyuk is the problem. He is the problem…..” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Sorrow could be sensed from his voice now.
Why did the heavens bestow such powers to a guy like that….
Even if opportunities always accompanied dangers, wasn’t imbuing both into a single person’s body the same thing as the heavens making fun of humanity?
If such abilities manifested in a person like Park Du-Jin in front of the President’s eyes, then South Korea would’ve become the world-conquering nation by now. So, why did those abilities manifest in a scumbag of a person and in turn, gradually change Yun Yeong-Min into a wastrel himself?
“….So, where is Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk right now?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“We’ve contacted him through Choi Jeong-Hoon.” (Park Du-Jin)
“He actually answered the phone?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“It seems so, since I received the word that they are in America right now.” (Park Du-Jin)
“America??” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Apparently, they went over to get some burgers.” (Park Du-Jin)
Yun Yeong-Min squeezed his eyes shut.
They actually wanted to eat bloody hamburgers in this emergency situation??
Do they travel over to the USA just to eat some burgers all the time?
How envio….. Ah, that’s not it. (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)
Yun Yeong-Min quickly took hold of his scattering mind.
“Okay, so what did they say? Did he agree to be dispatched?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Well, uh, the thing is….” (Park Du-Jin)
“Please speak.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Well, I’ve been told that they’ll come here first to discuss it.” (Park Du-Jin)
Yun Yeong-Min tilted his head.
What does he mean?
Okay, so…. (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)
“….He wants to come to the Blue House again?!” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“That’s correct, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Heeeeiiick?!” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min yelled out in pure fear.
“N-no, why?! Why does he want to come here?! Why!!” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“S-sir, please calm down. Mister President!” (Park Du-Jin)
“How can I bloody calm down when that guy wants to come here?? Why don’t you ask the American President?? Ask him if he can calm down when Yi Ji-Hyuk wants to go and speak to him!!” (Yun Yeong-Min)
‘D*mn, I do understand where you’re coming from, but this…’ (Park Du-Jin)
….You’re supposed to be dignified as a nation’s leader, so don’t you think this is way too much fuss? (Park Du-Jin’s inner monologue)
Park Du-Jin couldn’t really tell whether Yun Yeong-Min was at fault for raising a huge fuss just because a certain man was supposed to show up soon, or Yi Ji-Hyuk was a seriously amazing man for making a nation’s President act this way.
“S-so, what did you say in response?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Well, how should I discourage someone who wants to come here, sir? And when we consider the severity of the situation, shouldn’t someone on the level of Minister of Defense or Director of the National Intelligence Service be here so that the conversation can move forward meaningfully?” (Park Du-Jin)
“Groan….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
What a perfectly logical argument, that.
They were thinking about deploying the Republic of Korea’s greatest combat force in North Korea, so they couldn’t treat this lightly at all. Quite obviously, holders of South’s highest positions needed to butt heads and discuss this matter at length.
That was indeed correct, but…
“I’ve got a stomach ache, you see….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Sir, not this time.” (Park Du-Jin)
“But, it really hurts.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“I shall prepare some painkillers and suitable medicine.” (Park Du-Jin)
“….Can’t I get admitted to a hospital, instead?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Sir, no.” (Park Du-Jin)
Park Du-Jin remained firm, and Yun Yeong-Min could only spit out a lengthy sigh.
“I’m the President! And I just want to take a short break!” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“If you insist, I can send Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk to your hospital room, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“…..I’m sorry. Looks like I had momentarily let go of my rationality just now. Where were we regarding the previous topic?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“We were discussing the upcoming meeting, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
Yun Yeong-Min nodded his head, his expression bitter.
“Please call and tell every related party to be ready, from the ministers of the related ministries as well as high-level executives.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“There is a slight problem, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“What is it now?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“I’ve already tried to call the Ministers, but even before I could mention Yi Ji-Hyuk, the Foreign Affairs Minister dropped the call and is currently staying under the radar, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“….Again?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Yes, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
Yun Yeong-Min shook his head.
“I’ll remove him from the office, then. Pick a fresh blood, as it were.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Is it negligence of his duties, sir?” (Park Du-Jin)
“No. I’m just p*ssed off, that’s all.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“That cheap son of a b*tch, running away by himself alone.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Park Du-Jin realised the plain truth once more that you simply couldn’t hold a normal conversation with his boss as long as Yi Ji-Hyuk was involved on some level, and nodded his head in acceptance.
“In any case, it’ll be done, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Okay, do that.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Oh, and also, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Please speak.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Should we inform the mass media regarding this situation? Reporters sensing a potential story are sniffing around more and more, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Block them.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“There’ll be a limit to that, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“…..So, are you planning to let Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face show up in the main news bulletins on TV?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Park Du-Jin shook his head with a grave expression.
“Sir, that will be a serious problem.” (Park Du-Jin)
They couldn’t afford to expose the existence of Yi Ji-Hyuk to the rest of the citizens. The truth was, though, the rumour of the world’s greatest ability user residing in South Korea had made rounds by now. Just that no one knew exactly who that was.
The name ‘Yi Ji-Hyuk’ had already become more or less a known quantity, but his face or personal details were still being treated as the national secret.
Thankfully, the man himself rarely if ever left the ability user residential area, so the secret could be maintained until now somehow. However, if he were to publicly accept the North’s request and go there, then it’d become impossible to hide his existence.
“The backlash from the media will be fierce, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“It’ll be better than the citizens’ backlash….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Well, that’s true.” (Park Du-Jin)
Most likely, the public would happily cheer on after Yi Ji-Hyuk’s existence was revealed, at least for a short while.
However, how long would that last?
What if the citizens learn that the person representing South Korea was a scumbag that the leaders of the various nations couldn’t even control and didn’t want to meet if they could help it?
And, what if they realised that very ability user enjoyed the level of freedom that allowed him to completely ignore the commands of the President elected by the country’s people?
The society’s ‘atmosphere’ should go down the drain in an instant, that’s for sure.
Not to forget, the atmosphere currently was volatile to say the least, with both the ability users and regular people all claiming they were being discriminated against. So, the appearance of an ability user who couldn’t be controlled by the government would be like adding fuel to the already-lit fire.
“Groan. I’m not even Hong Gil-Dong, you know. And I can’t even call an elephant an elephant too.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“That’s how politics are like, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
“You’re right about that.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min nodded his head.
How he best utilised the bomb called Yi Ji-Hyuk would become the evidence of his political competence. He already knew what would happen if he failed, though.
“Okay, so where is Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk right now, then?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“He could arrive here at any second via teleportation. If not, he could stop by the NDF first. Either way, it shouldn’t take too long.” (Park Du-Jin)
“……I hope there won’t be any problems during his trip.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“I’m sure there won’t be.” (Park Du-Jin)
Park Du-Jin spoke up without giving it too much thought, but he didn’t know that what he said would end up as the seed, instead.
< 294. Who the hell is Rhee Ji-Hyuk? -4 > Fin.
(TL: Hong Gil-Dong is a famous fictional character from Joseon dynasty, and his heroics are quite similar in nature as Robin Hood. Some say he’s not fictional but based on a real person, though.)