Chapter 306: Ah, so this is what national disgrace is like (1)

“The situation doesn’t look so good, does it?” (Park Seong-Chan)

Park Seong-Chan piped up, only to be shot down by Choi Jeong-Hoon.

“Didn’t we get told to sit back, since he’ll sort it out himself? You don’t trust our military boys that much?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Then, he turned towards the special forces soldier that tried to dissuade them earlier.

“Well, didn’t you?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“…………”

The soldier looking at the developing situation with a serious expression replied with embarrassment and fluster mixed in his voice.

“He doesn’t seem to be in a favourable situation at the moment.”

“……….”

What will I do if you say stuff like that, my man?? (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)

Park Seong-Chan stared at Choi Jeong-Hoon with a pout next.

“In any case….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon couldn’t even retort and simply looked up at the ceiling.

‘Why does it feel like things are getting complicated all the time nowadays?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Since when did such a thing begin?

Choi Jeong-Hoon shook his head.

What do I even mean, when? Obviously it’s after Yi Ji-Hyuk showed up, that’s what.

Everyone trusted me as a capable administrator before then…..  (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)

“So, what should we do now?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon decided to change the topic.

“We may have to observe the situation for a little longer, but if it deteriorates any further, we must consider withdrawal from here.”

“Withdrawal, is it?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“We can’t volunteer to aid the ones pointing guns at us, now can we?”

“Mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon’s expression became doubly serious.

“More than anything, your safety is our utmost priority. If this situation persists, a firefight can potentially break out, which might cause injuries or casualties. Our mission is to safely escort you to Pyongyang. If achieving that mission is deemed impossible, then the next best thing is to return to Seoul safely.”

“But, how….?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Wanting to go back through Panmunjeom meant they would be trying to break through the border. If it was Amnok River, the border security was rather lax there so it should be fine, but trying to force their way through one of the most heavily armed and fortified border zones in the entire world wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.

‘If things go wrong, just open up a Gate, then….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

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As Choi Jeong-Hoon began thinking about this and that possibilities, he sensed a movement behind him.

“Ng?” (CHoi Jeong-Hoon)

“Get out of the way, will ya?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

It was none other than Yi Ji-Hyuk and his deeply unhappy face trying to step forward.

“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, let’s calm down first, shall we?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Calming down can kiss my a*s. Step aside. Time to resolve this situation in a friendly manner has flown past a while ago, so stop wasting my time. If you don’t want to lose practical benefits or pretexts, that is.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon had no choice but to acknowledge Yi Ji-Hyuk being right this time. This situation had become too complicated to unravel smoothly. So, the best way to untangle it was use a knife to cut through it, and thankfully, the world’s sharpest knife just so happened to be right next to him.

“Please don’t go overboard.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Tsk.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly nodded his head as if he got it, and Choi Jeong-Hoon stepped aside.

“Darling, what will you do? You want to kill them all?” (Erukana)

Erukana clung onto Yi Ji-Hyuk’s shoulders in clear excitement. He frowned deeply and pushed her away.

“Do I look like an indiscriminate murderer to you?? You think I’ll kill anyone just because they bothered me a bit?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“But, it’s true, isn’t it?” (Erukana)

“Uh…. Hey, you’re right, now that I thought about it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

There was a period of time when I just killed everything even if they didn’t get in my way, no?

Right, now that I look back, wasn’t I a seriously messed-up madman? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

“In any case, I ain’t killing anyone. If I start killing every single guy like them, there won’t be anyone left alive in this world by the end.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I don’t mind that at all. Only Darling and I will remain in this world that way. How romantic!” (Erukana)

The complexions of everyone on the bus quite figuratively rotted away.

They all sometimes would forget this crucial fact because she was such a beautiful woman – that she happened to be a demon king. Just how low of a being were humans in her eyes?

“Stop uttering nonsense and go sit down!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Darling, you’re so manly! Like how you were back then.” (Erukana)

“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He pushed away Erukana’s face trying to rub against his and stepped outside the bus.

“And who the hell are you?” (soldier)

Once he stepped onto the ground, the barrels pointed at him instead.

“Me? I’m a human being.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk stretched his limbs grandly. He then yawned loudly on top of that too, before cracking his neck muscles noisily. His glare landed on the North Korean soldiers.

“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?” (Jeong In-Soo)

The surprised Jeong In-Soo tried to dissuade him, but Yi Ji-Hyuk simply shook his hand, instead.

“Wait for a second, okay?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Chwa-ah-ahck!

The moment he finished saying that, tentacles suddenly shot out from his entire frame.

“Heok!”

“Uwaaak!”

“W-what’s this?!”

Bullets were sprayed everywhere – the panicking soldiers ended up firing their weapons haphazardly.

“Heot!” (Jeong In-Soo)

Jeong In-Soo involuntarily freaked out after seeing the tentacles wrap around him. However, he believed that Yi Ji-Hyuk wouldn’t harm him in the slightest, so he managed not to show any shameful sight.

Blam, blam, blam, blam!

Bullets were deflected away by the tentacles.

“Uwaaahk!”

Soldiers were then ensnared by them and were lifted up high. Soon, every North Korean sentry ended up dangling upside down in the air.

‘Now, what should I do about this one?’ (Jeong In-Soo)

Jeong In-Soo observed this situation and began worrying about how to handle the potential fallout from it. But then, Yi Ji-Hyuk addressed him.

“Ahjussi.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….Yes, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Did we do something wrong?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“No, we didn’t.” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Do whatever you want, then. I’ll take the responsibility later.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Jeong In-Soo couldn’t help but grin just then.

Indeed, Yi Ji-Hyuk was right. Didn’t matter whether this was North Korea or hell, he was with Yi Ji-Hyuk. What could possibly be scary in that case?

“I wasn’t thinking straight here. My apologies.” (Jeong In-Soo)

His mission was to ‘shield’ Yi Ji-Hyuk. It was never about caring for the future relationship between the South and North. Whether incidents occurred or not, as long as Yi Ji-Hyuk returned home safe and sound, he had completed his mission.

“So, what should we do about these guys? I know of a perfect place to lock them away, actually….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“You want to send them away to a different dimension?” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Well, it’s a quiet little place. Very quiet, in fact.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“They won’t be able to do anything if you take away their firearms. Please drop them on the corner over there. They are nothing more than sacrificial lambs anyway, so no need to put them through a wringer here.” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Well, if you say so. Then…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk controlled the tentacles and gathered up the North Korean soldiers to a side, before letting them go mid-air.

“Uwaaahk?!”

The poor soldiers all screamed as they fell from around three metres high.

Thud, thud, boom.

Soldiers landed on solid ground and remained lying there, moaning in pain.

“That must’ve hurt.” (Jeong In-Soo)

Jeong In-Soo shook his head.

“Let’s get going again.” (Jeong In-Soo)

Just as the colonel turned around the enter the bus, a venom-filled voice suddenly pounced on them.

“You stinking sons of b*tches, you think you’ll be okay after…” (soldier)

Pow!

A clean impact noise later, the voice stopped.

Jeong In-Soo didn’t need to look back to figure out what happened.

‘You should’ve kept your mouth shut.’ (Jeong In-Soo)

It was a sort of mental illness not to be able to analyse a situation once it had reached a certain point. Meaning, one had to discern who your opponent was first before running your mouth off.

Jeong In-Soo sighed and let Yi Ji-Hyuk enter the bus first.

“You must’ve been frightened.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon welcomed the duo back with half worried, half mocking tone of voice, causing Jeong In-Soo break out in a smirk.

Would you look at this guy’s sarcasm?

“But, what will we do now? We don’t even have a lead vehicle anymore. And we can’t afford to wait around forever until they show up again, either.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Jeong In-Soo smiled meaningfully.

“Come on now, are we in South Korea?” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Pardon?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“You think this place has a dizzying network of roads like the South? Just head straight north, and we’ll eventually get to Pyongyang.” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Ah…” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“We’ll just keep ploughing ahead. There might be more idiots trying to block us, but we’ll just break past them again. That’ll be better than wasting time and arriving later than scheduled. We may have some leeway as far as our time table is concerned, but since we can’t be certain whether the time remaining is accurate or not, we need to get there as soon as possible.” (Jeong In-Soo)

“Understood.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Everyone, sorry about the disturbance. We’ll get going again now.” (Jeong In-Soo)

*

The lead vehicle didn’t show up again.

Jeong In-Soo continued to feel this strange sense of incongruity, but still, decided to continue their journey towards Pyongyang. He had no idea what else might happen, so he couldn’t let down his gua….

SNORE…..

The snoring noise began tormenting him for real now.

‘Wowsers. Are your nerves made out of steel?’ (Jeong In-Soo)

To think that Yi Ji-Hyuk had fallen asleep even in a situation like this – the colonel just couldn’t figure out how anyone could do that.

Sure, the three letters ‘Yi’, ‘Ji’, and ‘Hyuk’ could explain away everything, but even then.

However, the only one seemingly disturbed by this event was Jeong In-Soo; other NDF agents didn’t seem to care one jot. Meanwhile, Erukana sitting behind Yi Ji-Hyuk’s seat was looking at him with eyes filled to the brim with unconditional love.

What’s strange about this scene, though, was this: Erukana, known to be rather possessive about her hubby, was not doing anything about Affeldrichae next to him providing a lap pillow to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head.

‘Now that is a strange sight, indeed.’ (Jeong In-Soo)

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Even regular women wouldn’t sit back and watch their men use another’s lap as a pillow to sleep, yet Erukana, a demon king with a known streak of extreme possessiveness, was letting this happen?

Jeong In-Soo couldn’t understand it.

“Block it properly, lizard.” (Erukana)

“Of course.” (Affeldrichae)

Affeldrichae nodded her head without resisting.

“By the way, Erukana-nim?” (Affeldrichae)

“Ng?” (Erukana)

“Isn’t it quite serious?” (Affeldrichae)

“H-n-ng.” (Erukana)

Erukana’s gleaming eyes studied the sleeping Yi Ji-Hyuk.

“It’s almost at the limit, isn’t it?” (Erukana)

“….It has advanced that far?” (Affeldrichae)

“The mental erosion is already at an extremely advanced stage. Forget about a regular person, it’d not be strange to see even the chosen hero from the legendary tale transform by now.” (Erukana)

Affeldrichae’s hand quietly stroking Yi Ji-Hyuk’s hair trembled just a little.

“And if the erosion is complete?” (Affeldrichae)

“He’ll be reborn.” (Erukana)

Even Erukana’s voice sounded gloomy, which was uncharacteristic for her.

“….As a brand new person. He might retain all of his memories, but he’ll become someone you don’t recognise.” (Erukana)

“Reborn as a demonic being, in other words.” (Affeldrichae)

“That’s right.” (Erukana)

Erukana nodded her head.

“He became a demon king with a body of a human. If he becomes a demonic being, then he’ll become the cruellest, most dangerous and powerful demon king in history. Darling’s thought process can’t be seen as ‘human’ already. Not even the worst dictator or the cruellest criminal don’t think like my darling, you see.” (Erukana)

Affeldrichae had to admit to it. Yi Ji-Hyuk was already not like any other ‘human beings’.

That could mean a variety of things, but seriously now, one didn’t have to think too hard about how different Yi Ji-Hyuk’s logical reasoning was when compared to regular people.

So, what would happen when someone like that acquired cruel, destructive nature of a demonic being?

Was there anything more horrifying in prospect than that?

“And that’s the biggest reason why the demon world is wary of my darling. They are all scared of him becoming their kin, so to speak.” (Erukana)

“….I see.” (Affeldrichae)

Affeldrichae looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk with concerned eyes before speaking up again.

“Isn’t there some other way?” (Affeldrichae)

“Other way?” (Erukana)

“A way to stop him from becoming a demonic being. I’m simply delaying the erosion right now. But, it’ll become something unavoidable sooner or later.” (Affeldrichae)

“Right.” (Erukana)

“Isn’t there anything to stop that before it happens?” (Affeldrichae)

Erukana smiled seductively.

“There is one sure way to stop that.” (Erukana)

“Which is?” (Affeldrichae)

“Death.” (Erukana)

Erukana licked her lips and cackled softly.

“Cut open his neck right now and drink his blood. Then, the creature called Yi Ji-Hyuk can die while still maintaining his sense of identity.” (Erukana)

“….It’s a very logical yet truly sh*tty method.” (Affeldrichae)

“Oh, my? Lizard, you’ve become rather potty mouthed, haven’t you? This is amusing.” (Erukana)

Erukana giggled loudly as if to mock Affeldrichae.

“How can you laugh in this situation?” (Affeldrichae)

“Hohoho.” (Erukana)

Erukana was laughing, yet her eyes definitely weren’t.

“Didn’t you know it already?” (Erukana)

“….No, I knew.” (Affeldrichae)

“Don’t act surprised if you already knew the truth, then.” (Erukana)

Affeldrichae bit her lower lip.

She crossed over to Earth in order to prevent Yi Ji-Hyuk’s mental erosion. Yet, she couldn’t reverse the damage with her powers.

“Still, it’s not as if there is no other method available, you know?” (Erukana)

“Pardon?” (Affeldrichae)

“However, you’re better off not knowing, though?” (Erukana)

A sharp grin formed on Erukana’s lips.

The creeping foreboding Affeldrichae felt from that smile made her entire body shiver.

< 306. Ah, so this is what national disgrace is like -1 > Fin.

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