Yi Ji-Hyuk strode inside the house but then, suddenly covered his mouth.
“Bleeeeergh!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He crumpled to the ground and vomited out blackish blood like a gushing waterfall.
“Euh… Mom’s gonna shout at me for this.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk snapped his fingers.
“Clean!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A simple magic spell was cast, and the blood splattered on the floor completely vanished next.
“Hey, if I can’t find a job later, maybe I should start a cleaning company?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If he used the slogan, ‘We’ll break down all the dust in your home into atoms and eliminate them’ in his advertisements, he’d surely make a killing.
It was then, the space behind Yi Ji-Hyuk wavered and Affeldrichae revealed herself.
“You know, it’s against humanity’s etiquette to enter someone’s house without ringing the bell first.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, this is also my house, too?” (Affeldrichae)
“Ah, right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk chucked an unfunny joke in her direction, but her eyes were deeply locked on his body at the moment.
‘It’s serious.’ (Affeldrichae)
So much so that she found it miraculous that his body was still maintaining its original shape. If this level of damage repeatedly wrecked his body after every battle, just how long would he be able to endure?
Since this was an unprecedented case, not even someone of Affeldrichae’s calibre could tell exactly how long the process might take. However, even a blind man could see that it’d not be that long.
She quietly bit down on her lip.
“This way.” (Affeldrichae)
She reached out and grabbed his arm, then began leading him towards the bedroom.
“…Isn’t this a bit too hot-blooded when it’s still daytime?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Oh, so you do want it?” (Affeldrichae)
“I’m sorry.” (Affeldrichae)
When Yi Ji-Hyuk quickly lowered his tail, Affeldrichae could only sigh deeply.
Being able to joke around even in a situation like this was indeed one of his plus points, but sometimes, she couldn’t help but get angry after thinking that he was being too lackadaisical about his state.
“I don’t know why humans sometimes talk about things they aren’t interested in.” (Affeldrichae)
“Mm…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Well, it’s not like I’m completely uninterested, though. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk hurriedly swallowed back some words threatening to break out of his mouth and quietly followed after Affeldrichae to enter the bedroom.
She helped him lay down on the bed, then after kneeling down near his head, began injecting Mana slowly.
“Urgh…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His body began shivering.
‘It must hurt a lot.’ (Affeldrichae)
If she was asked to select just a person from every single dimension out there who was most used to being in pain, then Affeldrichae would immediately pick Yi Ji-Hyuk out. He had become far too familiar with pain while living for an incalculable length of time.
His tolerance to pain was such that he’d not even c*** an eyebrow after his fingernail got pulled out and an awl was shoved in there, yet the body of someone like that was convulsing noticeably while he fought off against the intense pain rushing in.
‘But, for what?’ (Affeldrichae)
The protective barrier she had cast around his brain was broken after he overexerted himself in utilising the dark Mana.
Her job now was to push out the dark Mana hiding within his brain and filling it up with her own Mana, instead.
The event of dark Mana and the regular ‘white’ Mana colliding inside one’s body would always be accompanied by the intense pain far worse than any torture imaginable.
However, it simply had to be done.
If left as he was, Yi Ji-Hyuk wouldn’t last one day before transforming into a demonic being himself, that’s why.
Preventing that from happening was Affeldrichae’s sole reason for existing on this Earth.
“Please, endure.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t reply.
He clenched his fists so tightly that his fingernails were digging into his palms and the resulting blood dyed the bedding below.
Mana endlessly flooded into his head. Meanwhile, Affeldrichae’s complexion was getting indescribably paler in turn.
This was a world without Mana.
Although some attribute-less Mana – not the Dark Mana – she could use, also leaked in after this world got connected to the demon world… Compared to Berafe that could be described as an ocean of Mana, this amount was simply far too lacking for her.
That was why this task also placed a heavy burden on her shoulders.
She barely managed to expel all the dark Mana filling up the inside of his head and replaced it with a massive reserve of purer, gentler Mana, then finished up by re-casting another protective barrier around his brain. With a grave expression, she slowly stroked Yi Ji-Hyuk’s hair.
‘He’s not going to last long.’ (Affeldrichae)
At this rate, this world would soon witness the advent of a truly unstoppable demon king.
Affeldrichae formed a look of sadness.
As a mere human, he was cast into another dimension and had to endure all sorts of pain, and eventually managed to return home at a great cost. But to think that he’d become a demonic being at the end of all that.
‘It’s a good thing that this world doesn’t have a god.’ (Affeldrichae)
If a deity existed in this world, then she could’ve ended up shouting at it. To say that, wasn’t this too cruel a treatment for one of your own creations?
Even if she was also not in a position to stand before Yi Ji-Hyuk in complete honesty, at least she felt confident that everything she did and was trying to do was all in his best interest.
“Really, what are you going to do now?” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk barely managed to creak open his eyelids.
“Stop repeating the same things, will ya.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…The ‘you’ I know were never someone who wasted his time without any plan whatsoever. Weren’t you a man who still struggled desperately even when stuck in that despairing situation?” (Affeldrichae)
“Did I do that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Even back when you were weaker than Berafe’s humans, you still fiercely resisted against me. The current you isn’t like the one back then who kept shouting in anger that you’d tear my throat out.” (Affeldrichae)
“I guess I was insane back then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
To think that he’d threaten a dragon like that when he was merely a human being. One had to question whether his brain had been regenerated properly or not back then.
“But you let me live?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…No, it’s just that I failed to kill you.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk picked up on this deep sense of unhappiness from her tone of voice and quietly closed his eyes for a bit.
From Affeldrichae’s perspective, it would’ve been like an ant busy shouting at you while saying, ‘Imma kill you dead’.
However, a million ants would be able to kill a person pretty easily. A million human beings still wouldn’t be enough to deal with a bona fide dragon like her, though. Especially if those human beings were weak, powerless individuals like Yi Ji-Hyuk.
He tilted his head.
“Listen, Affeldrichae.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m curious about something, and I’m pretty sure you can answer me honestly now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Please ask.” (Affeldrichae)
“You… Why did you look after me back then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk continued on as if he couldn’t figure it out.
“As you said, I couldn’t be killed, right? Even if you leave me alone, I wouldn’t have met with an unfortunate accident somewhere. So why did you go out of your way to capture me? And it wasn’t as if you did that to abandon me in some weird place, either. Just what was your reason?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I already told you. It was an order from that great being.” (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk frowned deeply.
“Latrel? Are you saying that rotten woman told you to protect me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t understand it.
He was an immortal.
He couldn’t die nor could he change. At least rocks would wear down from the exposure but he couldn’t change no matter what.
So, why was there a need to protect him, in that case?
“Well, you were an irregular in our world, after all. Every one of your actions could have brought about a great change to our world. For example, if you were only a bit smarter and decided to invent firearms, then Berafe’s history would’ve looked quite different by now.” (Affeldrichae)
“Hey, you were insulting me just now, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…In any case. The knowledge you possessed posed a lot greater threat to us than you probably could have imagined. On top of this, you had the luxury of infinite time on your hands, allowing you to take your knowledge and turn it into reality eventually. So, when nicely put, we protected you, but when put not so nicely, we had you locked away.” (Affeldrichae)
“Hmm…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at her with a vague, unreadable expression.
“Surely, that’s not the whole story?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Dragons can’t lie. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll tell you everything. Isn’t that right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, that’s right.” (Affeldrichae)
Affeldrichae willingly nodded her head, and Yi Ji-Hyuk promptly got up from the bed.
“If you still wish to hide it even after things have reached this far, well, I guess I don’t have anything else to say, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Affeldrichae looked at him with eyes containing vague traces of unexplainable sadness.
“Well, it’s fine. It’s not important now, anyway.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His expression hardened as he looked back at her.
“Time to discuss the really important topic, Affeldrichae.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Please go ahead.” (Affeldrichae)
He spoke with the most serious expression he’d ever put on.
“Do you know a way to close the dimensional doorway?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A man was staring at the computer monitor with amusement-filled eyes. The scenes from various locations around the world currently being destroyed were displayed on the screen.
Who would’ve guessed that the demon kings were going to take their sweet time after this man and his cahoots went through so much trouble to summon them here?
Initially, he feared that the world might be destroyed far too soon, but too bad, the demon kings were neither as quick nor as violent as he thought.
“Well, that’s not such a bad thing from our perspective, right?”
“…I don’t get what’s not so bad about this. I mean, from what I can see, this situation is as f*cked up as your head.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong looked at the man, Alpha, and sneered openly.
“Oh, that much is fine, actually.” (Alpha)
However, the latter relaxedly punted the sneer back to Jeong Min-Seong.
“Che.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
The North Korean sat down on a chair in irritation after Alpha didn’t take the bait.
“Okay, so. What’s your plan, then?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“What do you mean?” (Alpha)
“What are you trying to achieve by doing this to the world? Sure, all of us will get to live on after our contributions have been acknowledged, but the rest will all die later at this rate. And it’s not like we’ve been promised stable positions in the demon world too, now is it? I definitely decline the prospect of becoming pets to these demons.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“You don’t have to worry about that. It seems that from their aesthetics point of view, we look like disgusting creatures or some such.” (Alpha)
“That’s not what I meant and you know it. You going deaf or something?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Alpha shrugged his shoulders.
“Plans are meaningless at the end of the day. Every plan ever made will always be confronted by unexpected variables. So, the important thing is to set the events in motion first.” (Alpha)
“It’d be nicer if what you say and what you do match up.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong spat out a lengthy groan.
They had been ‘working together’ for a long time, but Alpha still remained as an unexplainable quandary. It was hard to figure out just what he was thinking of.
Even then, Jeong Min-Seong had no choice but to trust him. Because he always answered all suspicions and questions through tangible results. He might not be the type to thickly lay out an exposition of his plans, but he was still fully capable of making you accept it at the end of it all.
Meaning, he had a plan for this event, as well.
‘However, I hope it doesn’t start too late for us…’ (Jeong Min-Seong)
If Jeong Min-Seong knew the results from opening the doorways to the demon world would look like this, then he’d have vigorously voiced his opposition. Even if he couldn’t, he’d try to not go along with the plot.
It was true that Alpha ruled over him, but he’d still be able to make some moves to spoil the overall plan when he was free of that man’s control.
Jeong Min-Seong scowled as he stared at Alpha still looking at the computer monitor.
“Look here, Alpha.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“You told us that you’d show us a brand new world.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“That I did, yes.” (Alpha)
“That new world you’ve been talking about can’t be the destroyed planet where every single person has been killed off, I hope? If that’s what you’ve been planning, then don’t tell me, you failed to realise that there’s a simpler solution of us hopping over to the demon world, and thus you decided to cause the situation to spiral out of control, instead?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“…Aren’t you a smart cookie? Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?” (Alpha)
“You d*mn b*stard?!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong got triggered and shot up to his feet when Alpha continued to joke around. The latter waved his hand around.
“Don’t get too worked up.” (Alpha)
He then slowly got up himself.
“There’s no meaning to a world with no humans living in it. Obviously even I wouldn’t want that.” (Alpha)
“Be patient. Regeneration can only take place after destruction has occurred first. You don’t need to worry as we will take over this world in the end. Everything is meant to go with the natural flow of things, after all. Ku-hahahahaha!” (Alpha)
Alpha began guffawing strangely, causing a faint trace of fear to seep into Jeong Min-Seong’s eyes.
The flame wanting to burn the world down was right here.
< 400. See? I told you that the dude’s a turtle brain -5 > Fin.