No one dared to speak up within this spine-chilling atmosphere.
“I said, who sent you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk asked again while assuming the spot-on posture of a hoodlum, prompting the reporters to swap glances with each other.
How could these people not heard about it?
Reporters were supposed to be quick with gathering info. And the most sensitive topic nowadays was ability user-related. So, there was just no way that they wouldn’t know what Yi Ji-Hyuk’s personality was like.
The worst scumbag in the history of South Korea’s ability users.
Even other countries knew of Seo Ah-Young’s infamy as the Insane Witch, the nickname born out of her truly terrible personality, but even she had to take a bow after he made his entrance. And now, this wackjob had taken over the title of the “worst” ability user in history of mankind.
Anyone taking even a cursory glance at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s prior records would immediately reach the logical conclusion of, “Ah, I should never get tangled up with this b*stard, then.”
Since it was the part of their job, reporters got to meet all sorts of wackjobs before, so they were remarkably well attuned to the scents of such individuals.
Indeed, they understood that Yi Ji-Hyuk was definitely someone you shouldn’t get involved with.
That was one of the big reasons why none of them dared to publish a story on Yi Ji-Hyuk even if they received information on him often. Who knew what kind of accidents might befall upon them if they wanted to report on him? And who knew what kind of harassment they’d receive by writing the ensuing article?
Just a simple glance told anyone with eyes that he had already escaped from the fetters of the country’s laws, so touching a nerve of someone like that would be a bad idea.
However, they thought they could step up this time because Song Jeong-Su acted as their backer. They all united under one thought that, if the one and only Song Jeong-Su’s influence wasn’t enough, then they’d never got to report on Yi Ji-Hyuk like, forever.
The gazes of all the reporters shifted over to Song Jeong-Su.
‘You said you’d take full responsibility.’
Their eyes contained their unmistakable will.
Song Jeong-Su’s expression crumpled ever so slightly.
There was no point to meeting Yi Ji-Hyuk if the story of their encounter got around like some kind of an urban legend. He simply had to let everyone witness the scene of him chatting to the world’s greatest ability user personally. Even if that user was only known through gossip and rumours.
Only then would he get to reverse the free-falling atmosphere of the ruling party.
On top of that, he’d be so much more obliged if the reporters, through all the hints he’d been throwing their way, wrote their articles that implied Song Jeong-Su could somehow persuade Yi Ji-Hyuk, someone that not even the President of the nation or the government could control.
That’s why he started this whole thing, but…
‘This crazy fool….’ (Song Jeong-Su)
The problem was that this man, Yi Ji-Hyuk, was far stranger than he had bargained for.
He often heard that most ability users were not normal in the head. And he had seen terrible conducts of the upper-class ability users, including Seo Ah-Young, in the past. So, he’d been feeling that….
‘They simply have rubbish personalities, but this….’
But this guy, he was not simply a ‘strange’ man.
Rather than him being strange because he was an ability user, it was actually the case of a strange guy becoming a user, instead.
Why did it have to be such a case, though?!
“Argh, I said, who sent you lot?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
More and more reporters started gazing at Song Jeong-Su, leading him to flinch grandly and quickly wave his hands. The truth about him being the instigator must not see the light of the day.
The reporters seemed to get the message, because they began nodding their heads in a vague manner.
“We didn’t come because someone sent us, but to do our job as reporters.”
“Really?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes. Is reporting on news a sin? Do you have something to hide, is that it? If not, why don’t you show yourself in front of the public?”
One of the reporters shouted out, and others quickly followed suit.
“As a public figure, you now have the duty to answer the rights of the public to know. We need to know what kind of an ability user resides in our country.”
“Well, that’s one’s duty as a government salaryman, isn’t it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Without saying anything sarcastic, which was unlike him, Yi Ji-Hyuk simply listened to them. He nodded his head periodically at some of the words, and even added a line of his own, too.
Choi Jeong-Hoon watched this scene and his expression hardened.
‘This… isn’t going to be pretty.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He was getting this bad feeling; the whole atmosphere was getting more ominous by the second. He was beginning to think that, when ‘it’ happens, it was going to be one helluva big one.
“Uh, well, sure thing.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk finally cut the reporters off.
“Okay, I hear you…. But what I’m asking here is, who sent you lot?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The reporters shut their mouths up. What on earth did this guy listen to until now?
“I told you, no one sent us. We simply came here to report on you. If someone sent us, then you could say that our bosses have.”
“Is that so? Well, in that case….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk took a deep breath, and spoke.
“All of you, bring me your bosses. Right now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What was he on about now?
Yi Ji-Hyuk made it easier for them to understand.
“I don’t want to take my anger out on innocent people such as yourselves, so bring me someone who will take responsibility in your stead. One victim per person present here today.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The reporters were triggered immediately.
“Hey, did you just threaten us??”
“This guy! Who do you think you are, threatening reporters in this day and age??”
They knew oh-so well not to provoke the man named Yi Ji-Hyuk. As a matter of fact, they could’ve used language several times harsher than what they used just now but didn’t, choosing to hold themselves back rather admirably, instead.
Unfortunately for them, though, Yi Ji-Hyuk lacked the ability to understand their self-restraint.
“Threaten you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
“I wasn’t threatening you, but trying to help you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What are you talking about??”
“It wasn’t a threat, but…. mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk rested his chin on his hand as if he was pondering something, before scratching his head.
“Uh, you know. I’m feeling pretty unhappy right now, so I was thinking of throwing you lot into the nearest ocean, you see?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
This son of a b*tch, he’s being serious.
I, I’m getting goosebumps. (A reporter’s inner monologue)
Reporters inwardly calculated the distance from here to the ‘nearest’ ocean. In the meantime, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s voice invaded into their ears.
“But when I thought about it, there isn’t much meaning to beating you ahjussis up. My mom always says this about my dad. He’s only doing what he’s been told, yet everyone just blames him for everything. Like, why are the innocent people at the bottom getting blamed for what the president of the company did?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Since it was a story they could really relate to, the reporters involuntarily nodded their heads.
“My dad, he rarely interacts with strangers so he doesn’t get blamed that often, but I thought you guys were in a lot tougher position than my dad, so I didn’t feel so cool about doing something to you, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Reporters began carrying slightly excited faces.
Sure, they all had experienced nice treatments and received presents, etc. However, they also tasted just as much blames and pointed slagging, too. It felt as if they had met someone genuinely concerned about them for the first time today.
‘Maybe, he’s nicer than what I heard….?’
It was then, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s voice continued on.
“So, I’m just gonna f*ck up the people who sent you here, instead. I really feel like throwing all of you ahjussis here into the ocean, so if I take your bosses and dunk them in the water about fifty times, I might feel better afterwards.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Sweat flooded down Song Jeong-Su’s forehead.
“B-but, wouldn’t that person die if you did that?”
A reporter subconsciously asked politely. He could thank his decades-long experience in deciphering what’s real and what’s lies as a reporter for that. He knew instinctively that what Yi Ji-Hyuk had said wasn’t a mere threat.
“Well, if he dies, nothing I can do about it. Not like I killed the guy.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘No, it is you killing the guy, you insane fool…!’
For sure, this guy’s logic was out of kilter. Something had definitely gone wrong here.
“Okay, so. Tell me, who sent you guys here? If you don’t want to tell me, then ahjussis, prepare yourselves for a trip to the ocean. Oh, and…..” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk took a look around him.
“Mister Choi Jeong-Hoon?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Which way is to the ocean?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jeong-Hoon seemed to be pondering something, before answering honestly.
“Our nation is surrounded on three sides by oceans. Besides that direction, you can throw in any other directions. However, you need to throw at least past 600 kilometres if you wish to miss the land.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Eiii, hitting the land will kill that person, no?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘….Hitting the ocean will also kill the person, too.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
That’s the norm.
If you throw a normal person that far, he’d die for sure, you crazy b*stard!! (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“In that case…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked back at the reporters.
“Time to cough it up. Who sent you lot?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, why don’t you just bring me your bosses? I mean, you guys came here after getting their permission, right? No, hang on a second. I’ll end up wasting my time waiting if you guys bring them here. Change of plans. I’ll go see them personally, so tell them to come to their offices tomorrow. And if they are not in their offices, then tell them to say goodbye to their office buildings. Capiche?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Reporters began weighing the scales between their bosses getting killed or their office buildings being blown up. They eventually concluded that both of those options were no good.
Well, honestly speaking, they didn’t mind their bosses dying in that manner. It’d be a relief, actually, but if the bosses managed to survive somehow, then it’d be the reporters on the chopping block next.
Especially for a handful of reporters working for the newspapers renowned for their infamously short-tempered bosses – their complexions paled instantly.
“Ha, haha, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, that, that is not….”
“Ahjussi?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Do I look like I’m kidding around?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You see, I’m really p*ssed off right now. Even though I want to flip everything up right now, I’m holding back, you know? So, stop making me more p*ssed off by wasting time and either bring me the dude who sent you, or put up your bosses as your sacrifices. Choose between the two. If you don’t wanna, then you’ll get to solve it yourselves.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
No one dared to answer him.
“Who the hell do you think you’re, forcibly stopping someone going somewhere to take pictures without permission? Hey, you people, is that how you do your jobs as reporters??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….N-no, that’s not… it….”
“I was thinking of letting it slide and just continue on my way, yet you people keep getting on my nerves here. So, who sent you here? Speak!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Song Jeong-Su’s expression grew worse and worse. Now that Yi Ji-Hyuk began displaying his irritation, it was getting progressively harder to breathe. Chilling sensations crept along the politician’s spine, his whole body trembling out of control.
This change was far too sudden to be attributed to the person before his eyes getting angry.
“Euh, euh….” (Song Jeong-Su)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stomped on the ground.
At the same time, the asphalt below split up and caved in deeply.
“Can’t you hear me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Reporters looked at that sight in pure fear.
They all knew that ability users possessed incredible abilities. However, a scene like this one wasn’t that easy to witness even for them. Well, the areas surroundings Gates were cordoned off in the name of public safety, after all.
Sure, they all saw abilities in action through video footages, but seeing it for real imparted a completely different feeling altogether.
“Or, you people want to be on the receiving end?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A reporter cautiously opened his mouth.
“W-what will happen if we tell you who that person is?”
“I told you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk replied in annoyance.
“I’ll throw him into the ocean 50 times.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, from where that guy is, obviously. Why would I, from here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That’s because that guy is already here.
Every reporter’s gaze wordlessly shifted over to Song Jeong-Su.
‘Please do something about this.’ (every reporter)
Pressured by their expectant gazes, he formed an awkward smile and approached Yi Ji-Hyuk. Forget about the reporters and their problems, shouldn’t he do something here to protect his life, at least?
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Song Jeong-Su)
“Yes?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“M-mm, well, that’s not that important right now, don’t you agree? Regardless of who sent them, the main point is that the citizens of this nation wish to know more about you. If they made a small mistake during that process, shouldn’t you forgive them as you’re a kind-hearted man?” (Song Jeong-Su)
“But, I’m small-minded, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jeong-Hoon quickly followed that up.
“Very.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Song Jeong-Su’s jaw dropped as he stared at Choi Jeong-Hoon. Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly clicked his tongue.
“Okay, so…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Y-yes?” (Song Jeong-Su)
Song Jeong-Su muttered out a reply, prompting a smirk to float up on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips.
“The sea water should be pretty cold, so you think you’ll be alright?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Despair quickly filled up Song Jeong-Su’s face.
‘This devil like b*stard.’ (Song Jeong-Su)
He knew from the very beginning, but he simply was toying around with Song Jeong-Su.
“The standard variety show template is to dunk contestants in water.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Even better if it’s ice water.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
And they said that the sister-in-law trying to stop the proceedings was even more hateful – Song Jeong-Su wanted to kill Choi Jeong-Hoon so badly right now.
“Why don’t you come here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began walking towards Song Jeong-Su.
< 298. Who sent you lot? -3 > Fin.