Yun Yeong-Min tilted his head as if he couldn’t fully understand the conversation taking place between Yi Ji-Hyuk and Choi Jeong-Hoon.
“A doorway to the demon world will open?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“It seems that way.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Unfortunately, only Choi Jeong-Hoon was adequately equipped to provide an answer in this place.
“What do you mean by that?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Unsurprisingly, this topic was far too difficult for Yun Yeong-Min to comprehend. Even Choi Jeong-Hoon himself hadn’t fully understood the concept, after all.
“Do you know about the existence of the demon kings?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Of course.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Although not in any concrete detail, the Korean president still knew that those creatures were basically the final bosses of all the monsters emerging from the Gates. Because of them, America almost got flipped on its head, while England lost her capital city. Heck, the latter nation was finding it still quite tough to maintain the minimum level of governance without foreign aid after London was blown to bits.
“The demon kings reside in that world, sir. It’s a land teeming with countless monsters, and also with a ton of demon kings, as well.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“And you’re saying we’ll be connected to that place??” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Yes, sir. So, if we use what Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk has said as basis of….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon calculated the effectiveness in his head from the number of people gathering in Pyongyang as well as Yi Ji-Hyuk’s own words, and he suddenly began smiling awkwardly.
“In case everything goes according to North Korea’s plan, then…. Of course, this is all under the assumption that the North’s regime is really planning to open a portal to the demon world by means of genocide. In any case, if it does go according to their plan, then we might even get to see a situation of dozen-plus demon kings showing up at once, sir.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Forget about a dozen, they might pop out like one of those special ‘buy one, get one free’ items.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Why are they suddenly on sale?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon knew too well that Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t trying to scare him for fun here. When he thought about it, Yi Ji-Hyuk had never exaggerated things nor did he outright lie about something. Indeed, he only spoke truths.
It’s just that his truth had this tendency to make you cover your ears desperately.
“I’m asking you this as our representative, so…” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Ehng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What will happen if a Gate with a scale you’re thinking of opens up?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“What do you mean?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What kind of an impact will that have?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Uh, mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
As if he were pondering something, Yi Ji-Hyuk raised his hand only to lower it again, perhaps signalling that there was nothing to mull over here.
“What kind of an impact do you think it will have? It’s the complete annihilation of the world.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, hang on a sec. Maybe it won’t go that far. They also need humans, after all. Okay, so. It’ll become a historic moment when the entire humanity becomes livestock.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Why don’t you just say everyone will die, instead??
“That is, mm…..” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min couldn’t finish what he wanted to say for a short while.
Although this banter sounded jokey and all, calling its contents horrific wouldn’t be an exaggeration whatsoever.
“D-do we have a response in place?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min spoke as he stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk. Sure, there had been plenty of situations that reached critical status up until now, but didn’t Yi Ji-Hyuk always step up to resolve them all?
“If the Gate is opened up….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“It’ll be better to just kill yourselves.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk then added more, although he didn’t really have to.
“These guys called demon kings, they are not quite right in the heads, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s definitely true.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon nodded his head while glancing at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“….And why are you looking at me like that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No reason.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon shifted his gaze away.
Wasn’t there a definite proof right before their eyes?
This man, he was also a demon king. And Erukana was a demon king, too.
Since the two demon kings he was acquainted with were certifiably nuts, it wasn’t a stretch of imagination to think that the other demon kings would also be serious mental cases, according to his inductive reasoning.
‘Creatures like him will pour out in their droves.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
At least Choi Jeong-Hoon was looking at Yi Ji-Hyuk as his comrade. What if you were thinking of him as an enemy? Just how bad would the whole thing be?
“We need to stop them.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon shouted out in an urgent voice.
“It’ll be akin to seeing a dozen-plus Mister Yi Ji-Hyuks pouring out from the other side!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“….Should I just hang myself?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min muttered in sheer sorrow.
“Hey, listen here, you lot!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just as everyone began falling into bouts of panic, the only one to retain his sanity, the Unification Minister, opened his mouth.
“It’s not yet clear what they are aiming for. Even if this man’s testimony is true and Jeong Min-Seong has indeed taken over the Party, the Kim family is still the emperors inside the North. Without the swine… no, I mean, their Supreme Leader’s consent, events of such magnitude will never happen. And he doesn’t have a reason to do it either, sir. He’s lording over the isolated country like an emperor already, so why should he drive the rest of humanity to hell?” (Unification Minister)
“Mm….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Those words held some weight, indeed.
“What should we do, in your opinion?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Hmm….” (Park Du-Jin)
The Chief Secretary Park Du-Jin quietly listening to the unfolding situation spoke in a melancholic voice.
“It’s quite difficult to do anything without the sure-fire proof of whatever North Korea is scheming, unfortunately.” (Park Du-Jin)
“However, wouldn’t it be an even bigger problem if the crisis he spoke of really happens?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“This issue must be treated like an international incident, sir. I believe that the optimal course of action is to inform the other nations of the current situation and come up with a solution together. For the time being, we should alert the Americans, Russians, the Chinese as well as the Japanese. These four nations.” (Park Du-Jin)
“I see.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min greatly nodded his head.
He never thought about cooperating with other nations since it was rather common these days for his government to lend an aid to them and not the other way around.
‘I guess being a leading nation isn’t as easy as it looks.’ (Yun Yeong-Min)
If something like this happened in the past, he’d simply inform the Americans and then take a relaxing break, before doing whatever they told him to do at a later stage. But now that he had to act as a leader in this crisis, it seemed like there were far too many things suddenly requiring his attention.
“In that case, inform our neighbours regarding the current situation.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Yes, sir. In order to do that, we need more information.” (Park Du-Jin)
Park Du-Jin’s hardened face shifted over to Rhee Jin-Cheol.
“It seems that we have more things to discuss.” (Park Du-Jin)
Yi Ji-Hyuk observed that spectacle and spoke up as if to test the waters.
“You mustn’t torture him or anything like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We won’t do that!” (Park Du-Jin)
The startled Park Du-Jin shouted out. What kind of an era were they living in for him to so casually mention torture?
“I saw it in the movies, you know? Torturing and stuff. If it’s a North Korean, then even worse.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Do you wish to see the whole administration fall into ruin?” (Park Du-Jin)
Park Du-Jin could only chuckle in disbelief.
“Actually, I’m just curious about what you’d do when torturing an ability user.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I see.” (Park Du-Jin)
Yi Ji-Hyuk gazed at Rhee Jin-Cheol as if to say he could relax now.
“This is fine, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Rhee Jin-Cheol reciprocated the gaze with a somewhat grateful expression.
“Comrade Rhee Ji-Hyuk.” (Rhee Jin-Cheol)
“Yes?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….I’m truly ashamed to ask you for this favour, but…” (Rhee Jin-Cheol)
“Okay?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Please, save Comrade Chief of Staff, Park Yong-Hui.” (Rhee Jin-Cheol)
“Ehng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….He’s still alive. He’s currently imprisoned in the basement of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. He’s slowly dying even as we speak. I beg of you, please rescue him.” (Rhee Jin-Cheol)
“Ahjussi, say something that makes sense, please. How do you expect me to go there and save that dude?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I beg of you.” (Rhee Jin-Cheol)
Rhee Jin-Cheol bowed deeply in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s direction.
“Hmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Leaving those words behind, Rhee Jin-Cheol followed Park Du-Jin and exited from the office. Yi Ji-Hyuk watched him leave and sighed under his breath.
“Well, we’ve done all we can, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Seems that way.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon stared at the pondering Yun Yeong-Min’s serious expression and nodded his head. It seemed that there was nothing for them to do here anymore.
“In that case, we’ll be going our way too, so when everything’s been decided, give us a call.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, really? Can we do that?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min stood up from his seat.
Yi Ji-Hyuk opened a Gate and while entering it, waved his hand.
“Bye now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Goodbye.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Once Yi Ji-Hyuk and Choi Jeong-Hoon disappeared into the Gate, Yun Yeong-Min collapsed on his chair and spat out a long sigh.
The Defense Minister sneakily pushed forward an ashtray, pulled out a cigarette from his inner pocket, and presented it before Yun Yeong-Min.
“Hmm.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
The President placed the cigarette between his lips and lit it up. He wanted to quit this habit a long time ago if he could help it, but matters like this one seemed to always prevent him from doing so.
“A national crisis, is it….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
The ominous foreboding telling him this was no ordinary event was rocking the inside of his head.
“Is it possible to call the party leader-nim Song Jeong-Su?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“I think we need to hear his opinion. This isn’t a situation I alone can make decisions for.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“We’ll call him right away.”
“Good. And get other nation’s responses as soon as possible, too.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min shifted his gaze outside the window as deep frowns etched in his forehead.
This would be his first time sensing just how heavy this position could actually get.
“I’m going home now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nonchalantly waved his hand.
“Alright, see you later, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon didn’t try to stop him.
If this was any other time, he might have started nagging by now, saying that it wasn’t the end of the office hours yet. However, the current situation was seemingly barrelling towards uncertainty and so….
“By the way….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Yes?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What will really happen if such a crisis unfolds?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I told you, it’ll be annihilation.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“There’s nothing we can do?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t even stop to think and replied.
“Even back when I was in my prime, I couldn’t fight against the entirety of the demon world. Of course, it’s not like the whole demon world would cross over when the Gate opens up, but if five or so demon kings decide to show up at once? I’ll have to forget about everything and just run away.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“M-mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I’m not joking here, we really don’t have a way. So, we gotta stop them no matter what.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….I see.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Okay, I’m going now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk waved his hand again and headed in the opposite direction, so Choi Jeong-Hoon had to ask while tilting his head.
“Didn’t you say you’re going home? But, your house is not in that direction?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I’ve got a lot on my mind, so I just wanted to stop by an arcade, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, I see.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s back disappearing into the distance and formed a strange expression.
‘He’s got a lot on his mind?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
That Yi Ji-Hyuk? Really?
“What a nightmarish situation this is.” (Christopher McLaren)
The cigar-chomping Christopher McLaren chuckled bitterly.
“My wife asking for a divorce might be easier on my heart than this.” (Christopher McLaren)
“Isn’t that a good thing, sir?” (adjutant)
“It might have been in the past, sure. Getting divorced at my age is nothing to joke about, though.” (Christopher McLaren)
His joking tone of voice had no life whatsoever.
“If what the defector from the North said is real, how should we proceed next, sir?” (adjutant)
“What do you mean, how? We sweep the North clean, that’s what.” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren’s voice was resolute.
This wasn’t an American-only problem. No, it involved all of humanity.
If a doorway to the demon world opened up, then it’d not take more than three days for Asia and Europe to be completely wiped off the map.
Didn’t he personally witness the power of demon kings already? Delkaran only needed around ten minutes to blow London up into smithereens. But that was only because the accursed creature didn’t have a need to urgently destroy the city. If it wanted to, then everything would’ve been destroyed in an instant.
“It’ll be too dangerous if a demon king-level threat crosses over. And if there’s more than one, then especially more so.” (Christopher McLaren)
Yi Ji-Hyuk managed to somehow resolve everything up to now, but as Christopher McLaren had watched everything from a great vantage point, he knew how precarious those processes had been.
“For now, get the cooperation from the respective intelligence agencies involved and find out what’s going on inside North Korea.” (Christopher McLaren)
“Sir, yes sir.” (adjutant)
“And, also….” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren seemed to ponder whether he should say this or not, but in the end, decided to say it anyway.
“Inform the Vice President, and ask him to get the cooperation from both China and Russia.” (Christopher McLaren)
“What kind of cooperation are you talking about, sir?” (adjutant)
“If we fail to prevent the opening of the Gate….” (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren roughly stubbed the cigar on the ashtray and spoke up.
“All three nations will have to rain down a shower of nukes and wipe the country called North Korea off this planet.” (Christopher McLaren)
< 345. Time to wake up -5 > Fin.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.