“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk!!” (Jeong In-Su)
“Argh, what the hell?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk jumped up in surprise and looked behind in the general direction of the voice.
“….Sorry about being late.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Hul? I thought you were too preoccupied lately?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’d have nothing more to ask for if I was given four hands right about now.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Although your new silhouette might be a bit too grotesque, but… That could be pretty useful.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked towards the wryly-smiling Jeong In-Su.
“Anyways, I thought the defence command was overseeing the North ‘operation’ thing? What happened?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, not true.” (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su shook his hands around in denial.
“We don’t have any reason to go up north, actually. No, we are the defence command, not an assault command. That job will be left to another division.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Jeong In-Su with somewhat mystified eyes. Since it felt like all military-related actions taken so far had been overseen by Jeong In-Su as the commanding officer, it kind of seemed natural for him to take command of the North ‘operation’ too, but when one thought about it, what the good ‘former’ colonel said was right.
The defence command’s job was not to deal with the ability users, but the monsters. As long as the North Korean regime didn’t start wielding a monster army, they didn’t have a business stepping forward here.
“But well, I’m fully confident of doing a better job than regular soldiers if we were given the mission.” (Jeong In-Su)
“That could very well be.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
There were no other advantages to the so-called ‘elite forces’ besides the fact that they were very ‘thoroughly’ trained than the regular grunts. It made sense to think that a military division that didn’t see much on-field action wouldn’t be able to best the defence command that fought their butts off against monster threats every single day.
“Even then, we’re a division tasked with defence, after all.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Not because no other division can fill up the gap in defence?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Honestly, that also played a big factor, as well.” (Jeong In-Su)
Of course, it wasn’t as if the higher-ups didn’t entertain the idea of deploying the combat personnel from the defence command, but there was just too much risk associated with utilising them in that manner.
They had to worry about the absence of the NDF during this situation, so if the defence command was also absent at the same time, responding to a large Gate suddenly opening up would become pretty much impossible, even with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s presence.
‘When considering that, it seems like the higher-ups do value the existence of the defence command pretty highly…’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If only the KSF commanders in the frontlines valued the defence command half as high as the higher-ups did, then they wouldn’t be behaving so superciliously.
“….That’s a spectacle, alright. You summoned them this time too?” (Jeong In-Su)
“Yes. Well, things might have been simpler if I got hands-on here, but honestly speaking, I’m a bit lacking in the precision department, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Precision department??” (Jeong In-Su)
“If I use an example from your side, then I’m kinda like a cannon? Sure, I have no problem blowing away the pockets of enemies here and there, but killing the creatures that are weaving in between structures without destroying said structures, is not really my forte, so to speak….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Back in Berafe, he didn’t really need to worry about such things.
He didn’t have a reason to differentiate the enemies he needed to kill and the allies he needed to protect. As a man using monsters to fight other humans, he had no reason to worry about collateral damage to his own forces.
But after finding himself in the position to protect humans, there were just way too many things for him to worry about now.
If he caused an explosion over there where a high concentration of monsters could be seen, then sure, he might be able to kill quite a lot in one hit, but that might in turn also cause the surrounding buildings to collapse in a heap of rubble, too.
“So, it’s a similar reason to why we don’t deploy self-propelled artillery in city warfare.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Something like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Indeed, such an aspect does make city battles like this one a bit of a headache.” (Jeong In-Su)
From the perspective of the defence command, the best possible location for a Gate to generate was somewhere preferably uninhabited.
The perfect scenario would be in a remote mountainside or some such – a Gate like that was thought to be a ‘free meal’. They would set up a rather sparsely-manned encirclement at a suitable distance away from the portal, then when monsters show up, they would let the artillery prepared in advance rain down a hellstorm of fire down on their targets.
The absolute majority of monsters would inevitably end up as medium-to-well-done monster roasts, and those small number of persistent ones that managed to hang in until the end would be taken care of by the KSF agents. If not, they could use the repurposed KP-SAM rockets to blow away the nasties, instead.
However, it’d become a migraine-inducing problem if a Gate popped up in the middle of a city.
First of all, a large-scale firepower couldn’t be called upon. Modern buildings wouldn’t be able to survive the impact, that’s why. The destroyed buildings being a serious waste of resources was one thing, but more importantly, the second wave of damages resulting from said destruction would be very hard to cope with.
Never mind the economic ruin that would surely follow after an entire city became completely paralysed, one had to be resolved for the potential losses of civilian lives if some were unable to evacuate on time.
“Hmm. I have to wonder if the wide-area firepower is indeed necessary, in this case.” (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su’s question could be seen as rather logical.
Because, the great monster army before his eyes seemed more than capable enough to utterly sweep away the horde of monsters that came out from a Gate.
“….By the way, do you always let them charge forward like that all the time?” (Jeong In-Su)
“Eh? Should I do something else?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Aren’t those monsters under your control?” (Jeong In-Su)
“Yes, they are.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“In that case, why not use some kind of tried-and-true war tactics? That would allow you to more effectively suppress your targets with less losses to your side. For instance, make those monsters doing nothing at the rear go around left and right to encircle the enemies. It’s the common hammer and anvil tactic.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Why are you looking for a hammer here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Mm….” (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su quickly recognised his mistake. When explaining something to Yi Ji-Hyuk, it should be unpacked enough to be easily digestible. As if you were explaining it to a kindergartener, for instance.
“Simply put, if you fight while surrounding your enemies, the battle will unfold in a far more efficient manner.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Ah!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head in understanding.
“That’s not possible.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon? Why not?” (Jeong In-Su)
“There are several reasons. One, those guys are monsters. It’s really hard to make them ignore their enemies right before their noses and go around to the sides. Should I say that it’s going against their instincts?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I see.” (Jeong In-Su)
It took humanity centuries to tame wild horses until they could be ridden on by humans. So, even if monsters had been suppressed, it couldn’t have been easy to make them do what you wanted them to do.
“Secondly, my head might explode.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Oh.” (Jeong In-Su)
“How should I say this… Those things are not humans, you see. I can’t simply order them to do this and that, but have to use my willpower and Mana to control them. However, it’s not like they have identification numbers stuck to their backs or something, and it’s almost impossible to command them with thoughts like, come over here by that much and go over there by that much, you know? Sure, theoretically it’s possible, but my brain will overload first and explode.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mm, I see. That makes sense.” (Jeong In-Su)
This time, it was Jeong In-Su’s turn to nod his head in understanding.
“And finally…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes?” (Jeong In-Su)
“I tried this and that before, you know? But this had the best overall efficiency in the end.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You mean, this shut-up-and-attack strategy?” (Jeong In-Su)
“Humans usually lose their will to fight after witnessing the front rows get killed in situations like this. But monsters have a tendency to get even more agitated and rampage around when they see a battle in front of their eyes. So, with every passing second, they will become even more vicious.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pointed to his front and lightly snapped his fingers.
At the same time, monsters issued thunderous roars and began jumping over their fellow monsters in front to madly pounce on their enemies with utter reckless abandon.
“Just like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong In-Su watched that spectacle and shuddered ever so slightly.
‘It will have to be a surprise attack.’ (Jeong In-Su)
How would he respond if the monster army controlled by Yi Ji-Hyuk bared their fangs towards humanity?
Jeong In-Su already knew the best method available, actually.
And that was to completely ignore the secondary wave of damages, economic ruin or whatever, and simply rain down tactical nukes near where Yi Ji-Hyuk was.
That should be enough to wipe out every monster, then.
Although, it’d still be unknown if that’s enough to deal with Yi Ji-Hyuk.
‘No, it’ll still be difficult.’ (Jeong In-Su)
If the plan was to defeat Yi Ji-Hyuk, then he had to be dealt with right at the beginning.
He could simply open a Gate and go somewhere else if he sensed something was wrong. To a man who waltzed in and out of the Blue House or for that matter, the White House, as if it was his own living room, the bombardment attacks would only pose a minimum threat.
‘Wait, what the hell am I even thinking about here?’ (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su hurriedly shook his head.
Even if he was the part of the defence command tasked with defending his home country and therefore needing to consider all possibilities, it was still too disrespectful and wrong to earmark Yi Ji-Hyuk as an enemy.
Sure, this man might grumble and complain all the time, but hadn’t he saved South Korea and the world many times by now?
According to Jeong In-Su’s memories, there had been five crises that could’ve directly led South Korea to destruction if Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t step forward to stop them. Here was a man who saved his mother nation many times in a short period of time, yet to think a battle simulation was being thought up of against such a person.
Jeong In-Su spat out a sigh. It seemed that he was on edge after things got too hectic lately.
“Besides all that. It feels like their charge has slowed down somewhat… What are your monsters doing?” (Jeong In-Su)
For some reason, the monster army didn’t seem to be advancing all that much compared to how frenzied their aura was. But there was a reason for that.
The monster army was currently devouring the dead monsters, that’s why.
“….I guess they were starving?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Should that be called the literal ‘dog eat dog’ situation? Cannibalism, maybe?
Although it was a bit wrong to say that they were all from the same species… Just like how creatures living on earth didn’t refer to each other as their kin, monsters probably didn’t recognise their fellow monsters as kin, either.
“What a relief that there are no eyewitnesses around here.” (Jeong In-Su)
“But, there are?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Eh??” (Jeong In-Su)
Choi Chang-Hyuk continued to stare outside the window with a pale complexion.
“W-what the hell is that??” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
The monsters Yi Ji-Hyuk controlled were busy devouring the enemy monsters.
“Hiii-eeek?!” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
Of course, the idea of monsters devouring other monsters didn’t come across as strange to him. Well, wild animals also preyed on other animals, after all.
No, his issue was with the scene of devouring being so explicit and grotesque. Such as, the limbs of the fallen monsters were ripped off before being eaten, or dozens of creatures pounced on a dead monster to start a bloody carnival, etc.
‘This is definitely not suitable for persons under the age of eighteen.’ (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
If not, it seemed likely that this footage would have to be released in the so-called restricted showing only. This spectacle was not good for your mental health even if you were a functioning adult.
People called Choi Chang-Hyuk pretty fearless but even he felt his stomach churn right now, so what would it be like with regular folks, then?
“I-it’s a lot different from what I thought.” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
“N-ng.” (Jo Ji-Woong)
Jo Ji-Woong agreed with Choi Chang-Hyuk’s opinion.
He too expected a flashy display since this was going to be Yi Ji-Hyuk’s fight. He was anticipating a superhero-type battle as seen in various movies, but what he was treated to instead was a big monster carnival, so he couldn’t help but feel this disharmony.
“Does Yi Ji-Hyuk fight like that all the time?” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
“Yeah.” (Jo Ji-Woong)
“….To think that it’s like this.” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
Choi Chang-Hyuk dazedly muttered, and Jo Ji-Woong replied to him in a grave tone of voice.
“Didn’t you say that being an ability user is nothing much, that’s it’s a cakewalk?” (Jo Ji-Woong)
“Yi Ji-Hyuk is the most special ability user in South Korea. On the other hand, the regular ability users like me need to physically stand up against the monsters rushing in like that. P*ssing in your pants and losing your mind at least once is seen as a rite of passage to us, you know.” (Jo Ji-Woong)
“So, don’t ever think that the ability users have it easy. If it weren’t for that d*mn law, I’d have run away many times over by now. If we were told that we can live like regular civilians but have to give up all of our special privileges, then over 90% of the ability users would quit the KSF right away. The government knows that, and that’s why they created this special law or whatever to force us.” (Jo Ji-Woong)
“I’m sorry.” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
Choi Chang-Hyuk willingly lowered his head.
Indeed, the difference between seeing it from a screen and seeing it live was too big. Choi Chang-Hyuk would rather kill himself first than stand in front of those monsters. How would he feel if his abilities suddenly manifested today and was told to enlist in the KSF?
He might have accepted it with a happy mindset if it was yesterday. But now, he simply couldn’t. He had to give up on too many things for just a little bit of ‘special privileges’.
“It was not easy. I didn’t know that.” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
Choi Chang-Hyuk’s observation caused others to nod their heads. None of them had any idea how terrifying monsters could actually be.
“By the way, what is he doing now?” (Choi Chang-Hyuk)
It was then, they caught the sight of Yi Ji-Hyuk suddenly coagulating a massive black cloud-like thing in the air.
“Oh my god…..”
< 373. That’s also not a bad idea -3 > Fin.
(TL: Everyone, do your best to stay safe. Let’s beat this c********** together.)
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.