“Aaaah-wuuuh!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stretched his shoulders wide as the sunlight enveloped him.
“Man, feels like that was the best sleep I had in months.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Sure, the dream itself might have been utter crap, but for the first time in a long while, his body condition felt excellent. Recently, he had been feeling like a soaked sponge regardless of how much he slept or rested, but today, he truly felt light and refreshed.
Chilly morning air seeped in and filled up his lungs. This sensation of his chest cooling down felt quite nice, too.
“Hmm.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly cracked his neck from side to side, and began walking towards the office.
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik standing next to the front gate was busy wagging its short tail.
“Why are you here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Although it was kinda funny to hear a deep, bassy bark coming out from such a small body, but never mind that – Yi Ji-Hyuk found it quite commendable that this little guy came to see its owner off.
“Come over here.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik quickly dashed over to Yi Ji-Hyuk and wagged its tail even more enthusiastically.
Would anyone even think Oh-Sik was an Ogre after witnessing this scene? This little guy was busy rubbing its body against Yi Ji-Hyuk’s leg, maybe after it had completely forgotten about its identity as an Ogre.
“Well, who cares about being an Ogre or a dog?? As long as you can live a nice life, it’s all good!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seeing Oh-Sik like this, he suddenly felt that the past him worrying about his humanity and identity was an idiot. What did any of that matter, anyway? No, what truly mattered was how happily one lived in the present. That was it.
“Learning from a beast of all things, huh. Now that’s commendable.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk left Oh-Sik there for a second or two to go back inside the house, and re-emerged with a large slab of meat in tow.
“Here!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik’s eyes went round after seeing the meat as big as its own body. This owner of his, always feeding the poor Ogre nothing but dog food, must’ve fallen off the bed or something this morning, because he was actually giving away meat.
The frozen slab of meat, so hard that not even a knife could nick it, was easily torn to bits by the creature’s fangs, leading Yi Ji-Hyuk to go, oh, as expected of an Ogre.
“….No, hang on. One’s sense of identity is important, it seems.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He could feel how crucial it was to live as how one ‘looked’ after observing Oh-Sik and his rather-cute looking small figure rip apart and swallow that meat, which happened to be as big as its entire body. The sense of disharmony in this scene was no joke.
In the meantime, Oh-Sik polished off the meat leaving no trace of it behind. Its belly bulged noticeably, too.
Was such a thing even physically possible??
That was basically the same as a man devouring an entire cattle in one sitting, but hell, Oh-Sik was still licking its lips as if that impromptu meal wasn’t enough.
“You aren’t getting more, kiddo.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If the word got out that he just fed the ‘dog’ rather expensive beef, his mother might end up exploding his back. Yi Ji-Hyuk’s thoughts arrived that far, and he hurriedly walked outside the front gate.
Oh-Sik barked and followed after him.
“Good morning.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Hul.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk was taken by surprise at the sight of Kim Dah-Som standing outside the gate waiting for him.
“W-what are you doing??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I waited for you, thinking that you might be going to work today.” (Kim Dah-Som)
Kim Dah-Som’s cheeks had become flushed from the coldness while she waited for him; she pulled out a tumbler from her bag on the side that kind of resembled a cooler box and pushed it towards him.
“What’s this?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s coffee.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“….But I don’t usually drink stuff like this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s half syrup, half coffee.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Ohh, thank you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He felt slightly scared of Kim Dah-Som who seemingly had completely analysed his personal tastes right down to the finest details, but well, the syrup-laden warm coffee letting off gentle steam was too strong a temptation to fight off in this particular winter morning.
Yi Ji-Hyuk slurped on the contents of the tumbler as he began walking towards the office.
Oh-Sik quickly jumped into Kim Dah-Som’s arms and went on a full-on aegyo attack, prompting the girl to pick up and hug the Ogre.
“Why is he so cute today?” (Kim Dah-Som)
….Actually, you should be the one that looks cute in its eyes. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“…No, hang on. Maybe it’s more like looking tasty?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon? I don’t eat dog meat. Not at all.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“It’s the opposite of that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
While watching her tilt her head in utter confusion, he began worrying about whether Oh-Sik was really thinking of Kim Dah-Som as just a snack or not, and was drooling at the prospect of devouring her whole.
He might have done some proper education on the creature, but wild beasts supposedly weren’t able to hide their true nature or something in the end, weren’t they?
“That tickles.” (Kim Dah-Som)
However, seeing Oh-Sik lick Kim Dah-Som’s cheek like that, he thought that maybe his worries were groundless, after all.
‘That’s supposed to be an Ogre….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That, that is…..
Something like that little thing is….! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The Ogre’s dignity, a creature so mighty that a single howling from it could make every tree and animal caught within range tremble in fear, was nowhere to be found now.
That thing… was simply a dog at this point.
“Anyways. What are you doing here so early?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Actually, it’s already a bit late, you know.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“My school usually starts much earlier than this, so I couldn’t come before. However, it’s okay for me to go to school late today and that’s why I came to see you.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Ohh, I see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, Yi Ji-Hyuk wanted to generously reward the school for guaranteeing that his morning commute would be eventless up until now.
‘Hang on a sec. Honestly speaking, it’s not all that bad, I suppose….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Indeed, he was exaggerating a bit since he had been carrying on with this shtick for a while now, but in all honesty, walking together with Kim Dah-Som proved to be not as terrible as he initially thought. Besides, it wasn’t as boring as walking alone, too….
“Oppa, aren’t your hands cold?” (Kim Dah-Som)
She pulled out a pair of gloves from her pocket, then personally put them on his hands.
“I’ll be fine without them, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Eii, but your hands are red from the cold, you know.” (Kim Dah-Som)
Ng? She’s right? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at his hands and was slightly taken by surprise. He had been sensing a bit of chilliness coming from his hands, and sure enough, they were rather red from the cold.
‘I’m supposed to be an ability user, though….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
This kind of phenomenon wouldn’t be out of place for the sorcerer version of Yi Ji-Hyuk, but his current physique bolstered by Ether should have brushed off this level of coldness pretty easily, so this was….
‘…I guess I have become really weak.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It seemed that his body had gone out of whack for sure.
What an irony it was, realising such a thing not during a serious situation nor in the middle of a fight, but during a normal, every day moment.
“Today’s really cold, isn’t it?” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Ng, it is” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Where is the scarf I gave you the last time?” (Kim Dah-Som)
“….Somewhere at home, I guess?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Please put it on next time. I heard that nothing else matters as much as your health.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“N-ng.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk scratched his head.
Now originally, he should’ve felt burdened by this level of interest or nagging being showered on him, but judging from how he wasn’t minding hers at all, it seemed that his thought process had changed a lot. If not, maybe his wish to lean on someone’s shoulders must’ve gotten stronger, instead.
Regardless of which one it was, though, one couldn’t deny that ‘changes’ had taken in him.
“Is Ye-Won doing well in school?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Kim Dah-Som shifted her gaze to the distance.
“….Just be honest with me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“M-mm….” (Kim Dah-Som)
Kim Dah-Som’s expression was troubled as she spoke up.
“After the transfer, she seemed to be behaving for a little while, but….” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Ng? But?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, nowadays….” (Kim Dah-Som)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t inquire any further.
Even King Sejong the Great failed to rein in Prince Yangnyeong, his brother. So, it seemed that siblings were eternally destined never to rein in their brothers and sisters the way they would have liked to.
“At least, she’s not bullying other kids anymore.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Well, that’s a relief.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk had to simply accept that his guidance couldn’t reach his little sister.
‘There is only one way remaining.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He needed to make Choi Jeong-Hoon and Ye-Won into a couple as soon as possible, no matter what.
‘It might be smarter to get them married right after she graduates.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If Choi Jeong-Hoon heard this, the poor man would’ve fainted with bubbles foaming in his mouth, but too bad, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t think of it that way. When it comes to the matters of marriage, the opinions of the parties involved should be considered as most important, but what with the level of blindness currently possessing Yi Ji-Hyuk, he genuinely believed that his younger sister was a wonderful wife material to Choi Jeong-Hoon as she was currently.
The office building came into his view in the distance, and Yi Ji-Hyuk stretched his limbs grandly.
“Don’t you have to get going soon?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’ll just accompany you to the front entrance.” (Kim Dah-Som)
“Okay. Let’s go.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was right then, something was rushing towards them from the distance at a frightening knock of speed.
“Daaaaaah-Soooooom-aaaaaah!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
That’s not why you were given that special ability….
South Korea’s fastest ability user, Path Drifter Kim Dah-Hyun, was dashing towards them at an incredible rate of speed. Anyone witnessing this uncool spectacle would begin to question just what an ability user was supposed to be.
“Your lunch! You forgot your lunch box!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Yi Ji-Hyuk suddenly felt this compulsion to punch the living daylights out of Kim Dah-Hyun after seeing the latter run towards here while wearing a motherly apron, its ends held in hand ever so delicately, but somehow managed to calm his boiling mind.
If only this fool was an ugly POS!
“Why couldn’t you gimme me that face when it was going to be misused like this?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Sure, Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t bad-looking himself, but he still felt rather burdened whenever Kim Dah-Hyun came too close, since the latter was handsome enough to utterly render any famous celebs into ugly squids in an instant.
“Why are you here?” (Kim Dah-Som)
“You forgot your lunch box.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“My school has a cafeteria! Who packs lunch boxes these days to school?!” (Kim Dah-Som)
“I told you not to eat those mass-produced junk food!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
The sight of the bickering siblings brought a deep sigh to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips. Sure, siblings arguing happened all the time, but there was something fundamentally wrong with these two.
“….Get out of the way, siscon.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hul, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
This guy didn’t even notice me?? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk felt somewhat saddened by the surprised expression forming on Kim Dah-Hyun’s face.
“Hey, aren’t you supposed to be at work?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, I’ll be. Right after this.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Kim Dah-Hyun quickly folded and stuffed the apron in his pocket.
Why did he need to act like an imbecile when he was blessed with such good looks?
Most of the time, Yi Ji-Hyuk was judged to be not ‘normal’ by the others, but Kim Dah-Hyun’s current behaviour made him wonder if he was one of the sanest, most well-adjusted persons among the ability users out there.
“Whatever. I’m leaving.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He had no time to waste on a moron. Regardless of what Kim Dah-Hyun was saying, Yi Ji-Hyuk resolutely ignored them all and hurried towards the office.
The sounds of the siblings arguing caused another sigh to escape from his lips, but what could he do?
‘Wait, is it possible that me and Ye-Won look like them to other people?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Now that would be a rather terrifying prospect, indeed.
“Welcome back.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
After sending Kim Dah-Som away, Yi Ji-Hyuk entered the office only to be greeted by Choi Jeong-Hoon and his smooth smile.
“Uh? Coffee?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Pardon?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Keuh, I had already prepared some for you so I can give to you the moment you stepped inside, but well, too bad.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began wondering since when he became known for his penchant for drinking coffee.
“Nothing happened today?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“A Gate is opening up, but it’s been determined to be a low-risk. Its level is low, so it seems that we are not required to show up there to provide support at this stage. I can’t tell how long it’s been since we had a morning as quiet as this one.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Why don’t you take a break and go home for a bit, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ahahaha, that was a funny joke, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I wasn’t joking, though….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
One should really take a break on a day like today, because Choi Jeong-Hoon might keel over from overwork at this rate. Having become aware of how badly out of whack his own body was, Yi Ji-Hyuk could now acutely tell how much strain other people was under, too.
“In any case, today’s aim is to go home at the designated hours.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Hoh-oh, you’re dreaming of something grand there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We dream so that it might come true one day. As long as the North continue to keep quiet, then it might really come true.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Ah, now that you mention it, what’s going on with them?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No notable news, so far. We can’t even tell who won in the end, actually. Pyongyang is eerily silent at the moment.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“H-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk recalled the good-natured face of Kim Yong-Hui. He judged that man to be a type that wouldn’t go for the option of spilling blood to stand on the apex of everything, despite his lust for power. But it seemed that that analysis was somewhat wide off the mark. (TL note at the end)
‘Well, the mindset of Berafe’s humans and modern Earth’s aren’t the same, so there.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Humans didn’t always behave in the ways he predicted regardless of how many examples he had come across. He shouldn’t have completely trusted in his own experiences, in other words.
“I see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned around to head towards his usual spot, only for Choi Jeong-Hoon to stop him.
“What now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Your seat is over there.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at the massive wooden desk at the best spot in the office and spat out a lengthy sigh.
“….Please revert everything back to how it was. Let Miss Seo Ah-Young sit there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, our director might rip us a new one if we did that.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Oh, and you don’t mind your director getting a new one himself?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….I’ll change right away.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Finally finding his pretext, Choi Jeong-Hoon swiftly issued his order of swapping the locations of the equipment to the new secretaries.
“Ohh, how should I put this? You now look like someone really important.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Fut.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon grinned in satisfaction. Considering the importance of him, it always felt like he never really had enough subordinates to boss around, but now that more personnel had been added to their ranks, he finally gave off the right vibe of a proper bigshot.
“It should’ve been like this from the beginning.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“You’re right. I don’t understand why it took so long, though.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s how all bureaucracy is like, unfortunately.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Just before Choi Jeong-Hoon could continue on, though, the office door was pushed open and a certain figure strode inside.
< 335. It’ll soon start -5 > Fin.
(TL: our author made a mistake with the name of the North Korean politician. It should’ve been Park Yong-Hui, but he wrote Kim Yong-Hui in the raw, instead. I left as is, just in case an unannounced change happens in the future chapters.)
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