Yi Ji-Hyuk’s expression hardened to its coldest ever.
The demon world.
The sense of oppression that one name gave off was more than enough to suppress even him.
‘It’ll be over if the doorway opens up.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The world would transform into a living hell.
“But, opening a gateway between the demon world and Earth should not be this easy?? I mean, it’s impossible to supply enough energy necessary for that, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The rift.” (Erukana)
“The rift?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re right. Opening a portal between two worlds should normally be very difficult to pull off. However, the current situation isn’t about forcibly tearing open the dimensional wall, is it? Did you forget that a crack has formed in this world? It’s not that hard to widen that crack.” (Erukana)
“….That makes sense.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk turned his head and looked at the others.
“Go on ahead first.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Jeong In-Su)
“I’ll be there as soon as possible, so just go on ahead first.”
Jeong In-Su realised that this was a politely-worded request for some privacy, so he nodded his head in acknowledgement.
“However, we don’t have much time.” (Jeong In-Su)
“I know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, then.” (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su ‘dragged’ both Jeong Hae-Min and Kim Dah-Som into the black Gate. Yi Ji-Hyuk then turned back to the two remaining women.
“What were you two doing until now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We were trying to stop it in our own way. Although, it was impossible to do so, as it turned out.” (Erukana)
“….And you didn’t even tell me anything?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae replied with a hardened expression.
“You know what your current condition is like, don’t you?” (Affeldrichae)
“If we told you, then no doubt you’d have exerted yourself unnecessarily again. We attempted to shut the dimensional portal with help from the ones in America, but the other side is just too strong. So much so that I can’t help but wonder who is actually behind this event.” (Affeldrichae)
“Mmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It was then, a certain individual popped up in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head.
‘As powerful as that guy?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
But, that couldn’t be.
“We tried our best, but we can no longer hold back the widening of the gap between the dimensions. And it’s time you need to make your decision.” (Affeldrichae)
“My decision?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae nodded her head.
“This world is finished. It will turn into a demon world’s slave colony. Before that happens, you must abandon this world and escape.” (Affeldrichae)
“Abandon my world and go where, exactly?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Of course, to Berafe. You aren’t asking me because you don’t know, are you?” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked back.
“How is that place any different from the demon world? From my perspective, the latter should be a bit more convenient for me, wouldn’t you say?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“This is not the right time for jokes.” (Affeldrichae)
Affeldrichae’s expression hardened even further.
“This is not simply for the sake of this world, either. You already know this, don’t you? Your body has reached its critical point. If you insist on using your powers, then you will really turn into a demon.” (Affeldrichae)
“Yes, it’s all good and well to fight against your enemies. However, fighting like that will only bring about the descent of a true demon king to this world. When that happens, this world will either be destroyed by the demon world, or by your own hands. One of these two.” (Affeldrichae)
In a situation where the demon world was about to invade, the man who can potentially stop that might be an even bigger threat to Earth. Yi Ji-Hyuk chuckled at the sheer irony of that.
“Okay, so. What is it that you want to say here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The matter will be solved by taking along everyone you know with you.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t reply to what Affeldrichae said just then.
“The sole reason why you couldn’t let go of your lingering attachment to Earth is because you love this world too much, isn’t it? You can’t bear to abandon those people who have formed connections with you.” (Affeldrichae)
He continued to stare at her without saying anything.
“If so, the problem will be sorted out if we take everyone along. And with your power, you should be able to find your footing back in Berafe quite easily. You can even establish your kingdom where no one can invade you. The possibilities are endless as long as you manage to survive.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
“You came up with that idea only because you’re a dragon.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What’s so different about me?” (Affeldrichae)
“Let’s say we go around and gather up everyone related to me. Well, what about the families of those people, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“If I cut off their connections and evacuate only them and no one else, you think they can live a normal life? It’s impossible. Which means, I’ll have to take everyone who is related to them now, too. However, you think those people don’t have connections of their own?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae couldn’t answer that.
However, it wasn’t because she was rendered speechless, but more like she had failed to fully understand what he was saying.
“Look here, Miss Lizard.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began sneering at her.
“This is why you and I can only stand on the parallel lines forever. A dragon’s thought process cannot understand humanity, but the thing is, us humans don’t live alone. The moment we form connections, we begin to influence each other. Such a thing cannot be forcibly cut off.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Are you referring to a colony?” (Affeldrichae)
“It’s not the same, but not too far off, either. In any case, if I wanted to maintain my world by transferring everyone connected to me like what you have said, then we’ll end up in a situation where the entirety of South Korea needs to be transferred. We don’t have the power to do that, now do we?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana groaned loudly.
“Darling, we don’t have time to bicker like this. The situation has become too serious, and you don’t have a choice anymore. Even if that’s a difficult thing to do, there is no other alternative.” (Erukana)
“No, there always is an alternative.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked deeply.
“I’ve always been thinking about this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Would you consider it to be unfair if an asteroid hit the planet and wiped everyone off?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Or, do you think it’d be unfair if a pandemic went around and killed every single person on this planet?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Erukana didn’t reply.
“It wouldn’t be unfair if all of us are dead together.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Are you saying that you’ll meet your end with this world? I had no idea you were such a romantic.” (Erukana)
“Nah, that’s different.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pulled out a cigarette and mouthed it.
“This isn’t some petty sense of justice or my conscience speaking. From your perspective, it might be closer to giving up, in a way. I’ve been living for far too long. And that’s why I don’t want to make the choice where I have to cut off the most of me just to keep living. I don’t have much of an attachment to life, after all.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Rather than living a wretched life, might as well die like a man – well, my sentiments are a bit too vulgar to dress up with such flowery words, but whatever. Soon, people capable of assessing my vulgar self will disappear too, so it won’t matter much, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Enough.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
“I know what you’re going to say. And I also know why you’re saying that. I’m grateful to you both for thinking about my welfare right up until the end. I’m being serious.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s expression became uncharacteristically sombre.
“However, I want you two to remember this one thing. I came back to Earth to die as a human being. If you think I’ll abandon this world and return to Berafe just so that I can keep existing as a being other than human, then you all have failed to truly understand me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He never expected them to understand him.
Even back when he suffered through all those trials and tribulations in Berafe just to return to Earth, they didn’t try once to understand why he persisted in doing that.
‘Maybe, it’s me who’s wrong.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Compared to them, this existence called ‘human’ was a really cumbersome, inconvenient lifeform. Unlike demons or dragons who lived only for themselves, humans as a species wouldn’t feel fulfilled if they didn’t manage to build their little empires and at the same time, maintain some sort of connections to other people around them.
To Yi Ji-Hyuk, who longed to build relationships with other people for two thousand-odd years, telling him to cut off his current connections and go back to that lifestyle was not much different than a death sentence.
“If I’m to choose between a cool death or a pathetic life, I’ll always choose the former. Of course, it might look like a meaningless suicide to you two.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk scratched his cheek.
“Born as a human but after living for dozens of times longer than everyone else, bookending that life with a suicide – that doesn’t sound like a bad way to go. Don’t you agree?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I don’t get it, darling. I don’t get what you’re saying.” (Erukana)
“…..Right. Yeah, it won’t be easy for you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk cackled.
A measly demon was working so hard to save a human, yet still failed to understand the fact that Yi Ji-Hyuk the human was trying to maintain his connections with the others. In that regard, Erukana was so very un-demon-like, yet at the same time, very much a demon through and through.
“Let’s stop with all this complicated back and forth, shall we? What I want to say is this one thing. I don’t care if it’s the demon world or the gods invading this world, there can only be one conclusion. Earth is my territory. If anyone wishes to trample on this place, they better get my permission first.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s cackles grew hoarse.
“Besides, we might come across some kind of a new solution along the way, right? Okay, well. We’ve wasted too much time. I’m off now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, darling!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk!” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smiled refreshingly at the two.
“Let’s not get sappy about this, alright? That doesn’t suit us, anyway.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Leaving behind those words, Yi Ji-Hyuk strode inside the Gate. Not even Erukana nor Affeldrichae could stop him in his tracks.
The black Gate disappeared, and for a while, the two of them stared at the space where the portal used to be in complete silence.
“….In the end, it went as we expected it to.” (Affeldrichae)
“Right. I knew that my darling can be a stubborn mule, but never guessed he’d act like one in this situation.” (Erukana)
“Well, he’s always been like that, after all.” (Affeldrichae)
“Indeed, he’s like that.” (Erukana)
They just couldn’t figure him out with their thought process. However, that was the reason why they felt attracted to the man named Yi Ji-Hyuk, as well.
“Ah, ah…. Now I’m in a tight spot. Even though I look like this, I’m still a demon king, you know. The demon world is about to invade, and if I stand next to my darling and fight them, they’ll surely start calling me a traitor or something.” (Erukana)
“I didn’t know you were the type to care about that.” (Affeldrichae)
“Of course I don’t care.” (Erukana)
Erukana smiled seductively.
“I don’t understand what he’s been telling me. I’ve spent a long time with him, but honestly, there were lots of times when I just couldn’t understand what he was thinking of. But, what can I do? If my darling wants it, then I’ll have to follow through. What about you, though?” (Erukana)
Affeldrichae’s eyes cast down in a heavy, gloomy manner.
“….Still have something I must do first.” (Affeldrichae)
Determination filled up her expression.
“What the hell is all this?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon could only scream out.
It was as if the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun had morphed into a gigantic Gate. Monsters continued to pour out endlessly from there.
‘I’ve never seen those types before, too!’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
These monsters even looked different from the ‘regular’ monsters they usually fought. Creatures with truly horrifying shapes continued to flood out with no end. The elites of the five different nations were doing their best to stem the tide, but were helplessly being pushed back by this seemingly-infinite wave.
“Did you get in contact with Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk yet?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young shooting flames towards her front shouted as if she was having a seizure.
“Soon! He’ll be here, soon!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Da*mit! How many more times do I have to hear that?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s rage was understandable. Choi Jeong-Hoon felt his whole body going numb from fear right now and he was doing nothing of note, so how bad must have it been for the ones currently fighting the wave of monsters?
‘How can something like this even happen?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon couldn’t figure out the current crisis at all.
Did a Gate coincidentally open within the Kumsusan, or did a doorway open up just like what Park Yong-Hui had alluded to earlier?
If both of them were incorrect, then…
His confusion intensified, but no one could solve it for him at the moment. The best thing, and the only thing, they could do right now was to block the flood of monsters and protect the unconscious five million people behind them.
It was then, a silhouette of a person leisurely strode out from the wrecked remnants of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.
< 382. Call Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk here! Right now! -2 > Fin.