Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at the Gate in utter shock.
“Ah….!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Indeed, he had completely forgotten about it.
Now that he thought about it, he did shove a man inside the Gate before coming over to North Korea, didn’t he? As for the coordinates, he haphazardly left it on ‘auto direct’ and it seemed that this Gate ended up overwriting the one for Oh-Sik.
Yi Ji-Hyuk embarrassedly scratched his head.
How could he have forgotten about leaving a poor man inside a Gate…?
‘My guilty conscience is….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even if his nerves were made out of Grade-A steel wires, he still couldn’t help but feel just a bit of guilt on this blunder.
“W-who??” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Unlike him, though, Choi Jeong-Hoon was tilting his head in confusion.
An unfamiliar man suddenly crawled out of a Gate, then began huddling on the ground all by himself next, so it’d be strange for him not to get confused here.
“You know…. I shoved a dude in there before coming here, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Before… coming here?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Back when we were surrounded by reporters.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….P-party leader-nim?!?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon freaked out and hurriedly ran towards the Gate. However, what could potentially be the reason for his departing back looking so flustered like that?
‘I guess that dude also forgot completely.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Regardless of whether Yi Ji-Hyuk was clicking his tongue or not, nothing mattered to Choi Jeong-Hoon right now.
How could he make such a blunder?!
He had completely, utterly forgotten that the leader of his nation’s ruling party had been cast away in another world. This had to be one of the worst mistakes he’d ever made.
Even if he was too preoccupied by matters of crossing over to North Korea on a short notice and before that, going on a battle of wits in the Blue House, none of these were an adequate enough excuse.
‘By the way, how come no one contacted us?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Never mind the Blue House, what about the reporters themselves….?
They should’ve given him a call at least once to inquire about the well-being of the party leader Song Jeong-Su.
Even the ruling party itself didn’t call him. Their leader had gone missing, yet they didn’t even bother to search for him?
‘Or, they know where he is but since it’s related to Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, they can’t do anything about it?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Now that he thought about it some more, if he was in their shoes, he also wouldn’t be able to call Yi Ji-Hyuk and ask about the current whereabouts of the party leader. After all, this guy was the kind of man who’d only escalate things the more you egged him on, so it was probably the wisest not to get tangled up with him and let nature take its course.
Besides, from the perspectives of other people, they probably thought ‘nothing too bad will happen’ during the last two days.
‘But then, how can those two days….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
….Transform a person to this extent?!
Choi Jeong-Hoon flinched when Song Jeong-Su slowly raised his head.
“P-party leader-nim, are you alright?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Heh, hehehehehe.” (Song Jeong-Su)
Song Jeong-Su cackled as if he had lost his marbles.
Choi Jeong-Hoon was overcome with both sympathy and fluster while observing this scene. How panicked and scared would you be when finding yourself in another world without warning? The hardship one had to go through would’ve been unimaginable.
Even Choi Jeong-Hoon, a regular, powerless person, nearly went crazy trying to survive after spending six months of torture thinly disguised as training in another world, didn’t he?
But this man, all alone….
“Hang on a minute, party leader-nim??” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon discovered something very odd here and tilted his head.
Wasn’t the party leader in his sixties?
In that case, what was up with that strange body shape below his neck?
Rather than strange, it…. kinda looked grotesque?
Choi Jeong-Hoon was about to say something, but became speechless by Song Jeong-Su’s body.
The expensive suit the politician wore before was nowhere to be found now, replaced by an unknown animal’s hide tightly wrapped around his body.
But then…. the pair of arms jutting out from that brown-coloured hide covering his upper torso were just about the perfect role model in demonstrating what a man’s muscles should look like. Those muscles were bulging in all the right places, yet they didn’t look overweight or fat at all; as for the torso itself, it was lean and smooth like a jaguar’s. The same story applied to the legs stretching tautly below, too.
This, wasn’t this beyond the level of overflowing health and straight into the explosion of manliness?
Just what happened during the last two days to remould a person’s physique to this extent? Choi Jeong-Hoon simply couldn’t understand it.
“….Party leader-nim?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Hehehehe.” (Song Jeong-Su)
Feeling genuinely concerned now, Choi Jeong-Hoon shifted his head in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s direction.
“Are you sure you sent him to a safe-enough location?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Can’t you see that he’s still alive?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In that moment, Choi Jeong-Hoon realised what his first mistake was.
When Yi Ji-Hyuk was shoving Song Jeong-Su into the Gate, he should’ve confirmed whether that place would prove to be problematic to one’s attempt at survival or not. His mistake here, then, was not realising the crucial fact that the standards of “safe-enough” was different between him and Yi Ji-Hyuk.
The latter resolutely thought that a place was safe if you could manage to hang on to your life, so the former definitely should’ve inquired in detail if he wanted to ask about stuff like that.
‘He’d probably try to take my head off if such a standard is also applied to his family….’
Even if you were supposed to think about your family differently from strangers, wasn’t this just way too much?
“Besides, his physical change is quite severe for the time span of only two days, so what exactly was the time difference, then?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Weeeell, as far as that’s concerned….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk calculated something in his head then began smiling awkwardly next.
‘….Yup, he did it again.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
It was a rare experience to see Yi Ji-Hyuk make that sort of an embarrassed expression. They had been hanging around for a while now yet him making such a face could be counted on one hand.
Choi Jeong-Hoon didn’t want to hear Yi Ji-Hyuk’s answer anymore. Unfortunately, there’s nothing he could do about his functioning ears.
“Hul, what should I do? I ended up sending him to a world where one day here is equal to ten years over there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“T-ten… years?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
It was two days here, so….. so….
“T-t-twenty years?!?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He really imprisoned a sixty-something-year-old man in a world where one could barely hang onto their life without so much as a single knife?!
This was well beyond the level of elder abuse and straight into the human rights violation!!
“J-just what on earth have you done?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Well, a man can make a mistake or two in his life, can’t he?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Right, a man sure can make a few mistakes in life, fine. Fine!!
But, a man should not act so unfazed like you after making such a mistake!! (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Keuh-heu-heu-heuk!!” (Song Jeong-Su)
Suddenly, Song Jeong-Su grasped the ground below and cried out in excitement.
“I’m back!! I’ve come back home!!” (Song Jeong-Su)
Choi Jeong-Hoon was overcome with a vague sense of deja vu now.
‘This… Haven’t I seen this before?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He then abruptly remembered the moment when Yi Ji-Hyuk returned to Earth, and ended up saying something he shouldn’t have.
“Excuse me…. Would you like some Cola?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I told you to fire!! Don’t stop to take a breather, and keep firing!!” (Kim Ryong-Seong)
Kim Ryong-Seong roared out loud enough to tear out his own vocal cords. Since cannons were going off all around him, his voice couldn’t reach anyone anyway, but even then, he didn’t stop.
‘Monster b*stards.’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
North Korea also suffered from the Gate incidents for the past five years.
In other countries, new organisations related to ability users were set up which led to the rise of new types of influneces, but the North, infamous for its extreme isolation, didn’t welcome the emergence of new power among its ranks.
Thanks to that, the army’s top commander Kim Ryong-Seong was also now tasked with handling all matters related to the ability users.
He had experienced enough close shaves while fighting off against monster threats for the past five years, but he definitely had to say that this event was a first even for him.
‘It’s not working!’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
The artillery was pouring out their everything, yet not a single monster showed a sign of keeling over. No, it didn’t even look like they were being wounded at all.
Even if modern weapons didn’t work all that well on the monsters, it wasn’t to this extent.
One couldn’t guarantee accuracy when trying to hit a high speed monster with weapons other than guns. Imagine trying to catch a cheetah or a jaguar not with a machine gun but with a single-use RPG-7.
As long as the other side didn’t realise they were being targetted, this side might be able to get a direct hit somehow; but once the other side did realise it, then catching a wild animal with a great range of movements with a single-use weapon would be exceedingly difficult.
Still, the commonly-accepted consensus was that there should be at least some sort of an effect if you managed to hit the target, but these monsters before his eyes were currently destroying that common sense right now.
Since the monsters suddenly stopped moving from a while ago, this side managed to hit them with everything in their arsenal, but unfortunately, it was the North Korean army running out of steam first.
So, Kim Ryong-Seong could only shudder from this.
‘Will more of such monsters appear in the future?’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
He heard the rough explanation on why these monsters were showing up here. If it was up to him, he’d rip that son of a b*tch named Yi Ji-Hyuk into tiny little pieces, but as Kim Ryong-Seong had lived his entire life in the closed-off society called North Korea, he could only acknowledge the threat present right before his nose first.
‘Let’s say we somehow deal with this situation. But, what are we going to do when more monsters like that show up in the future?’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
Indeed, even if this event had been dealt with somehow, the North simply didn’t have the capacity to deal with more of such strong monsters appearing in the future, objectively speaking.
‘This will be a tough problem.’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
It’s true that this Yi Ji-Hyuk was a b*stard worthy of thousand deaths, but without him, no one could resolve potential future threats that might plague North Korea later.
The North had been extending a begging hand towards the South whenever they found themselves in a situation serious enough to destroy their established systems, but even back then, they still had the luxury of Plan B just in case. This would be pretty much their first time relying so heavily and completely on South Joseon to resolve a crisis.
‘Does this mean the lead will be handed over to them completely….?’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
The North might be in possession of nuclear arsenal, yet they still didn’t have a choice but to lower their heads and beg in front of the existence called Yi Ji-Hyuk. The relationship moving on should become more and more one-sided as more threatening monsters continue to emerge.
‘We need a plan.’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
However, there were several problems.
Firstly, the higher-ups hadn’t yet realised the seriousness of the situation they were currently in, and secondly….
“Insane son of a b*tch.” (Kim Ryong-Seong)
“It’s nothing.” (Kim Ryong-Seong)
The adjutant listening next to him tilted his head.
‘Who would have guessed that the number one warrior in South Joseon was such an insane b*stard?’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
Just thinking about how such a man would start frequenting the North in the future made Kim Ryong-Seong’s stomach churn real bad.
‘No, hang on. Don’t get ahead of myself.’ (Kim Ryong-Seong)
He quickly shook his head.
The situation before his eyes hadn’t been resolved yet. So, he shouldn’t be worried about what happens next. This crisis had to be solved first somehow….
“….What the freak is that?!” (Kim Ryong-Seong)
Abruptly, Kim Ryong-Seong’s brows shot up high.
He realised that Yi Ji-Hyuk was about to do something crazy again and shouted out in sheer dumbfounded astonishment.
“What is that b*stard trying to do now?!” (Kim Ryong-Seong)
“So noisy.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dug out his ears.
The cannons were so loud that he thought his ears were going numb. Sure, battlefields with magic attacks flying every which way also were filled with this level of noise pollution, but there was this certain sharpness in the modern weapons’ sounds that the magic simply lacked.
“Party leader-nim!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Not only that, Choi Jeong-Hoon was busy crying out loudly right in front of him too, so at least right now, he found it hard to keep his wits about him.
“Excuse me, there’s a big battle going on here, so how about checking up on him later….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was right then, Choi Jeong-Hoon shot a glare at Yi Ji-Hyuk with flames burning in his eyes.
“How can you say that after causing a man to fall into such a state?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“What about his state?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Can’t you see it for your….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon pointed at Song Jeong-Su, but then shut his mouth up.
His state is….
Uh, well, what should I say his state is?
D*mn, this shouldn’t be happening. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
He felt like his justification for criticism was swiftly withering away when he saw the party leader’s body that looked several times, nay, several dozen times better than before he was sent to the other world.
‘I mean, I might be able to say something if the improvement wasn’t so dramatic….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He realised that he just couldn’t get his scolding off the ground when using an example of a man who returned from another world with a body that fitness centres in Gangnam would go absolutely bonkers for.
It was then, Song Jeong-Su slowly raised his head and murmured quietly.
“I’ve finally returned.” (Song Jeong-Su)
Well, that’s similar to what Yi Ji-Hyuk have said, but it feels a lot different, isn’t it?
Seriously now. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
< 317. Ahjussi, why are you coming out from there? -2 > Fin.