Jeong In-Su couldn’t offer any sort of resistance even when the demon king’s hand closed in on his face. No, wait – rather than couldn’t, there was no meaning in offering it in the first place.
No matter what he did, the existence in front his eyes possessed enough power to treat his life like an item to be taken out from a pocket. So, what meaning was there to resist against such a creature?
Besides, even if he wanted to resist, his body simply didn’t want to move, anyway.
Like a rat freezing up in front of a cat, Jeong In-Su’s whole body had frozen up and he could only wait for the inevitable end to come for him.
“Fufufu.” (demon king)
The demon king slowly retracted its extended hand.
“Seeing how you can still feel fear, your defence mechanism must be still fully operational. Sometimes you humans can come across as a bunch of fearless lifeforms, you see.” (demon King)
Jeong In-Su so badly wanted to fall down on his butt right now.
During that short period of time when the hand approached him, he ended up experiencing dozens of the ‘revolving lantern’ moments. It was to the extent that he began wondering if he aged by decades in an instant.
The demon king grinned as if his reaction was quite amusing to behold. If only that expression could be described as a smile in the first place, that was.
“No need to be surprised, human. Did I not say that I’m merely here to converse? Unlike you humans, we don’t enjoy spewing falsehoods. Besides, you’re not important enough for me to feel the need to deceive you, in any case.” (demon king)
Jeong In-Su couldn’t even get angry at what the demon king said. Because, it was all true.
From this demon’s perspective, he should be nothing more than the ant in front of the pack. Even if he was erased off the face of Earth now, another ant would step up to replace him. From humanity’s perspective, a lot would have changed when that happened, but the demon king wouldn’t see anything too different at the end of the day.
Although humiliating, he had no choice but to acknowledge it.
“What is that you want?” (Jeong In-Su)
“I said it already. A conversation.” (demon king)
“What kind of conversation? Is there something that necessitates a conversation between you and our side?” (Jeong In-Su)
“I’ll be the judge of that, obviously.” (demon king)
The demon king stared at Jeong In-Su with interested eyes.
“The first thing I wish to ask you about is the mindset of humans. I think that humans are rather intelligent creatures, but every now and then, you can’t seem to utilise that intelligence and do something quite stupid.” (demon king)
“…If you know that already, why don’t speak it in simpler terms for me?” (Jeong In-Su)
“It’s the same even now. What gives you the confidence to stand tall and proud before me? You should know that if I willed it, your measly little life can be torn apart in the blink of an eye.” (demon king)
Jeong In-Su was doing his best to make his replies sound as unperturbed as possible. No one asked him to, but at least in this moment, he was well aware of the fact that he had become the representative of humanity.
Even if he was to die today, he emphatically did not wish to grovel before these heartless invaders.
“Oh, if I don’t stand tall, are you going to raise us as your pets or something? I’d like to decline such an offer. Why don’t you ask what you want to ask already? Just the mere fact of talking to you is making me sick to my stomach.” (Jeong In-Su)
The demon king’s eyes quietly studied Jeong In-Su.
“This is exactly what I find so interesting about humans. You won’t lower your head to me no matter how much I torture you, correct?” (demon king)
“So you know.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Kekeke. However, I can make you submit to me in an instant.” (demon king)
Jeong In-Su didn’t retort to that and simply glared at the demon king. He was silently saying, try it if you can.
“Do not misunderstand me, human. I won’t lay a finger on you. There’s no need for that.” (demon king)
The demon king slowly raised its hand, and the jet-black demonic aura began coalescing there.
“You won’t submit to me even if you turn into dust specks and disappear from this place. However, what would you do if the ones to be turned into dust aren’t you?” (demon king)
The demon king then leisurely extended its hand to the side.
Jeong In-Su’s eyes trembled. That hand was now pointing at the civilians still evacuating, plus his subordinates protecting them.
“How about it, then? Do you still think the same? Do you believe that you will never bow down before me? Truly?” (demon king)
“N-no, stop!” (Jeong In-Su)
“Kekekeke.” (demon king)
The demon king slightly pulled its hand back, before pushing it towards the evacuees.
“I said, stoooooop!!!!” (demon king)
Jeong In-Su roared out while squeezing his eyes shut. However, no explosions could be heard, just the quiet chuckle coming from the demon king.
“This is why I’ll never lose my interest in you humans.” (demon king)
The demonic creature slowly lowered its hand.
“The term ‘race’ denotes a certain common characteristic. If I were to unpack that for your dimwitted brain to understand, all races have the shared consciousness. It doesn’t mean the simplistic hive mind in the biological sense, but more like, you can only call yourselves the same race when you share the same end goal.” (demon king)
The demon king then pointed at an ant traversing on the ground.
“The creatures living in a colony like that values the safety and prosperity of its colony far more importantly than its own life. That’s why when a battle breaks out, it participates despite knowing that it’d die in the process. The colony will carry on as long as the eggs are protected and the queen emerges unscathed, after all. But an individual entity living in a colony prioritises its own life ahead of its fellow kins.” (demon king)
The demon king’s sunken, contemplative eyes locked on Jeong In-Su.
“However, it’s impossible to evaluate you humans. You are all supposed to be the same humans, yet some of you find it completely normal to sacrifice everything else for their own satisfaction, while some others will not hesitate to rip apart their own lives for the sake of complete strangers. Just what kind of mindset do you have? How can humans be so different despite being one species?” (demon king)
The creature’s eyes now displayed signs of amusement next.
“Not only that, a human would make completely opposite decisions depending on the situation and timing. Compared to you humans, we demonic beings are very much true to ourselves. We’re strictly individualistic and destructive in our nature. We only make our moves for the purpose of our pleasure and benefits. However, one human can become a butcher and a saint in one breath.” (demon king)
The demon king pointed behind it.
“I watched humanity’s history earlier. I had a good chuckle after learning that your history’s most infamous genocidal maniac was apparently a vegetarian and a believer in animal rights. You are the chaos personified. You may hold sacred the idea of order more than any other species, but in actual truth, you couldn’t be any further from ‘order’ even if you tried.” (demon king)
Jeong In-Su grinned wryly.
“I had no idea that I’d find an intellectual demon king. Don’t you want to take a course in philosophy? I’m guessing you’ll get good grades.” (Jeong In-Su)
“Humanity’s teachings don’t really suit my style.” (demon king)
The demon king shrugged its shoulders.
“Everything in this world will look different depending on one’s point of view. That’s why I don’t like your attempts to restrict yourselves by setting up rules and regulations of your choosing. Your philosophy is, at the end of the day, nothing more than excuses. It’s more like, “We’re originally like this, therefore we are’. It’s strictly nothing more than thick skin. All you gotta do is admit that you can’t be controlled even by your own selves, yet you try to come up with all sorts of excuses to avoid facing the truth.” (demon king)
“Thank you so much for your valuable opinion, good sir. But what do we do now? I’m just a dumb little soldier and stuff like this sounds pretty much the same as a stray mutt barking at a wall.” (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su sneered back at the demon king.
But it was right then, his eyes caught a bizarre spectacle. His subordinates were slowly creeping closer to his position while holding onto their rifles.
Jeong In-Su used his eyes to dissuade them.
‘Don’t! Stop, you insane fools!’ (Jeong In-Su)
With mere rifles?!
You’d have better odds of victory against a tank while wielding a toothpick than this. Against a creature that wouldn’t get injured even after shoving an MG-50 in its mouth and firing indiscriminately, what meaning was there to attack it with regular firearms?
“Mm, there’s one other thing. You all claim to be logical, reasonable creatures, but from what I can see, you’re all quite stupid. Your compulsions frequently overtake your reasoning. Isn’t that true?” (demon king)
“…Let’s just call that signs of loyalty. However, the current situation for you isn’t any different from ants rushing at you, am I wrong?” (Jeong In-Su)
“Even a human wouldn’t look on favourably at a bunch of ants attacking them with naked hostility, no?” (demon king)
“If there’s no harm done, we sometimes let them be.” (Jeong In-Su)
“I see, so humans behave that way.” (demon king)
The corners of the demon king curled up.
“Unfortunately for you, I’m not like that.” (demon king)
The end began from there.
Jeong In-Su got to witness it.
Accompanied by the sounds of fireworks going off, he got to see the heads of his subordinates all blowing up in an instant.
For a moment there, he failed to comprehend what just happened. Well, it was such an unrealistic spectacle, after all.
His brain simply refused to accept this situation as reality. Unfortunately, refusing to accept wasn’t going to change anything.
Jeong In-Su tried so hard to get a grip on his sanity threatening to fly away while watching his subordinates fall one by one to the ground.
He must not get agitated here.
Nothing would change even if he got agitated.
He was responsible for the defence of Seoul, and he needed to drag things out as much as he could and ensure that the demon king’s attention wouldn’t wander off elsewhere.
That’s why, being agitated was…
“You son of a b*tch!!!! I’ll kill you!” (Jeong In-Su)
Jeong In-Su yanked his pistol out and pounced on the demon king. He knew this was a meaningless act. He also knew that firing something like this little gun would only end up tickling the d*mn creature.
He indeed acknowledged them all. What the demon king said was correct. No matter how much humans tried to act logically, Jeong In-Su proved that they could never truly go along with logic in the end.
The demon king grabbed the head of Jeong In-Su pouncing at it and slammed him down on the ground.
Flesh crashed into the hard concrete and blood splattered everywhere.
Jeong In-Su clenched his teeth, trying to get a grip on his consciousness threatening to leave him. Meanwhile, the demon king lifted him up by his head.
“Now, take a good look.” (demon king)
His body was slowly turned around.
“This is the situation you find yourselves in.” (demon king)
The city was burning down.
The taste of being invaded was bitter than bitterness itself.
Humanity simply couldn’t resist against these creatures. It was impossible to fight against an enemy with no natural weakness.
“It’s now time to pay the cost of living like kings in a world without any opposition. You humans had it too easy for far too long. You stood tall on the peak by sacrificing and trampling on the weak. What we’re doing isn’t anything special. We’re simply paying back what you have done to this world.” (demon king)
“Kekeke…” (Jeong In-Su)
The demon king’s expression shifted slightly for the first time.
‘He’s laughing?’ (demon king)
In this sort of a situation?
“…You’re so full of sh*t. What you’re all doing is murdering for fun, that’s all. Let me throw everything you’ve said back in your face. You’re killing because you want to kill, so seeing you coming up with all sorts of justifications is not even funny.” (Jeong In-Su)
“…Well, now. You’ve hit the nail on the head.” (demon king)
The demon king smiled brightly, and brought Jeong In-Su’s head close to its own.
“That’s right. I hate your kind and that’s why I’m killing them. You better keep both of your eyes wide open and witness just how many of your kind that I kill, starting from now on. No, hang on. A human without a head won’t be able to see anything, now will he?” (demon king)
Just before the demon king could shatter Jeong In-Su’s head, though, a low, weighty voice entered the creature’s ears first.
“You squeeze that hand, and your head will go flying away, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The demon king slowly turned its head back.
“And who you might be?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The creature discovered Yi Ji-Hyuk standing there with his arms crossed, and a voice containing joy and fear leaked out from the demon’s mouth.
“Good to see you, the 99th demon king.” (demon king)
< 405. That’s why we’ve ended up in this state -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.