*SFX for helicopter rotors spinning quickly*
The sounds of a helicopter flying around in the air could be clearly heard from the TV’s speakers.
– As you can see, the location where multiple Gates opened up has been completely destroyed.
The footage shot from the sky showed the apartment complex that looked half-destroyed.
– The monsters that have broken past the barricades are now reported to be causing a great deal of damage in the city.
Next up, the footage shown was of the ruined and disarranged streets of a modern city. It looked as if a tornado blew past.
– The government has expressed their sorrow, and have made a public apology. The spokesperson has also announced the government’s intention to compensate the victims and the victims’ families. However, the distrust of the public has….
“It’s so chaotic, isn’t it?” (mom)
“Yeah. It’s so crazy.” (Yi Ye-Won)
Park Seon-Duk lightly clicked her tongue while watching the news on TV. Then, her eyes drifted towards the outside of her apartment, visible through the window.
She kind of found it rather surreal that the location shown on TV was actually right outside her own home. There was also the sense of strangeness mixed in, as well.
Currently, the disastrous event of yesterday had been more or less wrapped up. And, because Yi Ji-Hyuk’s presence, the family moving to that new ‘shelter for ability user’s family’ had been postponed until further notice.
Sure, it was not a nice feeling, staying near the location where monsters rampaged around not too long ago. But the thing was, it was also difficult to abandon their home, where her family had put down their roots, and move to a completely unfamiliar area. Plus, the KSF and her son was protecting them, so what could possibly happen?
But, most of all….
“Enemy top Laners should stick to their Lanes!!! Where are my Junglers?!?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL: Sigh. More LOL reference. TL note at the end.)
Madam Park Seon-Duk saw her son and couldn’t help but let a long groan leak out of her mouth.
The real reason why they had to return to this apartment was simply because… Yi Ji-Hyuk looked like he’d blow the KSF into smithereens, after hearing that there was no internet access at the new shelter.
Everyone present at the time came to a tacit agreement, to conveniently forget that they had witnessed Yi Ji-Hyuk calling up the internet service provider to lay down a scary threat, telling them to install the internet there right away, or he would totally annihilate them.
“Well, it is true that my son possesses one hell of an ability….” (mom)
“That is true….” (Ye-Won)
Park Seon-Duk and Yi Ye-Won looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk together, and let out a long sigh at the same time.
Looking at him playing that stupid computer game of his, still decked out in that worn out tracksuit, and the way he wore that headset of his while leaning forward as if the computer monitor was physically sucking him in… Anyone would be hard-pressed to seriously believe the idea that he was a very powerful individual.
Could he be an actual genius?
“All geniuses must’ve frozen to death if that’s the case…” (mom)
“Mom, he’s still your son, you know?” (Ye-Won)
“That’s why I’m allowed to say these words.” (mom)
“Hmm. Touché.” (Ye-Won)
You’re the same, you rotten girl.
Is that something you should be saying right now?
You were acting like a total lovestruck fool towards a man ten-plus years your senior, so what gives you the right to worry about your Oppa? I’m more worried about you!!
….But, he sure was dreamy. (mom’s inner monologue)
Park Seon-Duk clicked her tongue again and shifted her gaze back towards her son’s room.
But, as soon as she clapped her eyes on that boy, busy swearing out nonstop at the monitor while pecking at the keyboard like a hungry bird, an even longer groan escaped from her mouth.
“Should I really believe in him….?” (mom)
Mother, please don’t. (The Author)
“How will you take responsibility for this incident?!”
Seo Ah-Young stood tall and unaffected in the slightest.
“It is my honest opinion that the agents and the soldiers should be praised for responding as well as they did, to a completely unexpected situation. I mean, I thought you had called me in here today to give me a raise or a bonus.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“A bonus? Are you insane?”
“No. I am very much clear headed, thank you very much.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young glanced at the three important-looking people sitting in front of her and smirked. They were currently inside the briefing room of the KSF.
“To reiterate, there should not be one group or organisation in this world, that could have dealt with an incident like ours with as little sacrifices as we had to suffer. Without the help from our hidden Joker card, I’m convinced that you, the operating Chiefs of the KSF, would be far too busy counting the number of casualties by now.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“You think those are the correct things to say in this circumstances?!”
“Yes, they are indeed the correct things to say.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“What the?! Who the hell do you think you are!!”
Seo Ah-Young stared at them straight and continued on.
“Please open your eyes and take a long, hard look at the situation. I am not someone idle enough for you to vent your frustrations on. I understand it’s not easy trying to take care of the aftermath, but do you honestly think that venting out your anger on a really busy person will lessen the severity of our current situation?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Just as this guy was about to blow his top, the man sitting in the middle raised his hand and stopped him.
“Captain Seo Ah-Young.”
“Yes, Section Chief.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I do rate your actions and tactics employed during the recent incident very highly.”
“Thank you, sir.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“However, with the advent of the last incident, our established protocol detailing everything we know of how Gates operate, has been thrown out the window. I’m sure you’re aware of this?”
“Yes, of course.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“The Republic of Korea has entrusted the establishment of the brand new combat and defense protocols to you. Are you aware of the weight of this task on your back?”
“Yes, sir.” (Seo Ah-Young)
The man in the middle nodded his head.
“Fine. Good. I’ll approve everything you ask for. I’ll also take care of the upper echelons and their grumblings. No effort will be spared in order to support your initiative, so you shall perform your utmost best to establish the best-in-the-world outfit.”
“Who will take up the lead position of the new outfit?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Most likely, it will be you. If you are deserving of a promotion, then you should get it.”
“Thank you, sir.” (Seo Ah-Young)
The baritone voice of the man in the middle entered Seo Ah-Young’s ears.
“Do not forget that, accompanying your promotion, you will also bear the burden of greater responsibilities. Up until now, the excuses of you doing your best had sufficed. But from here onwards, only the results will matter.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, sir.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Good. And there is one more matter we need to talk about.”
“Please speak.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I need to ask you for clarification here, but… Isn’t the requested budget for the department simply too high? Where could you possibly be spending this much money on?”
“….Well, the thing is….” (Seo Ah-Young)
As if her confident and proud posture until now was nothing more than a lie, Seo Ah-Young’s shoulders shrivelled and her head drooped low just a tad.
“Well, uhm….” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk, you damned b*stard!!
It’s all because of you!! (Seo Ah-Young anguished inner monologue)
Seo Ah-Young began gritting her teeth.
Inside one of the KSF’s offices.
“This is just endless. Endless, I tell you.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon spat out a long, long sigh. Even then, his hands never stopped moving on top of the keyboard, madly typing away. At times like these, he had this urge to learn how to use a 3-set type keyboard, instead of the current 2-set.
“What the?! Sir, I’m telling you, you shouldn’t be consuming so much energy drinks!” (Kim Jae-Beom)
When Kim Jae-Beom complained out loudly, Choi Jung-Hoon smirked in a rather sorrowful manner.
“But, I like how it tastes.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“How it tastes isn’t the problem here!” (Kim Jae-Beom)
Ignoring the sharp retort, Choi Jung-Hoon finalised the report and stood up from his office chair.
“You’re leaving?” (Kim Jae-Beom)
“Yes. I’ll be working outside the office today.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“There’s still so much work left in here, though?” (Kim Jae-Beom)
“You see, the most important task hasn’t been completed yet.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s eyes were gleaming brightly.
Sure, Seo Ah-Young gave him a direct order, but his pride was on the line here, too. The time had come to finally put an end to this.
Choi Jung-Hoon lifted up a rather sizeable box from behind where he sat.
“What is that?” (Kim Jae-Beom)
“This? Hmm….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
A mysterious smile spread out on Choi Jung-Hoon’s lips.
“It’s my secret weapon.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“A secret weapon? Are you planning to fight someone?” (Kim Jae-Beom)
“Well, there is someone.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s handsome face suddenly hardened as he began spitting out each words with barely-contained anger.
“A man who is exactly like the last boss of the wicked dastardliness.”
“What the hell?! You retarded son of a b*tch!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk was blowing his top as he stared at the computer screen.
– Still playing with your feet?
– Where do you live, you a*shat?!
– Why? You wanna go to where he is? Don’t waste your time. You meet that “hyung”, and you’ll end up sh*tting blood instead.
“Hah, should I really make you sh*t blood?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s entire body trembled from the sheer frustration building up inside.
Would he be able to find the addresses of these a*sholes if he called up the KSF?
“But, why?! Just WHY!! Why am I not improving at alllllll!!!!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Shedding manly tears, Yi Ji-Hyuk began despairing.
There was just no way…. No way he’d suck so badly at this game…
The ideal version of himself still rooted within his memories, and the reality of the situation, were colliding quite violently in his head, and he felt utterly nauseous.
“Nope!! Enough is enough!! No more!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quit the game and then turned on the internet browser.
“I, I need to relieve my stress…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just like how he’d been doing until now, he accessed the music streaming service Sp*tify and loaded the playlist featuring Kpop girl groups. Then, without taking a break, he also accessed the webnovel site and began browsing the recently-updated favourited novels as the music played in the background.
At the same time, stuffing his face with a noisy kwajeeck, kwajeeck SFX.
‘Yeah, this is the good life, but…’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
…But, it was definitely nearing the end of its run.
Yi Ji-Hyuk understood very well that this peace and tranquility was coming to a rapid end.
‘Hell, I’ve played around a lot already, haven’t I?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Although it kinda felt a lot shorter than what he’d been hoping for initially… Maybe this kind of mindset stemmed from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s sense of time being a wee bit out of kilter from everyone else’s.
In the past, he didn’t think too much about spending a year, or ten, to get one little thing done. Well, it wasn’t as if he’d die of old age, after all.
You see, since he wasn’t going to die anyway, and he had nothing but time to kill, he grew to not give two f*cks even if a matter he was cooking up progressed at the pace of a sleepy glacier. The time always remained his friend, back then.
It seemed that living a such life had become ingrained into his bones, somewhat. Nowadays, he was constantly being reminded of the fact that the time remaining for himself was less than a hundred years.
“Fooling around like this is getting boring, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Also, playing video games and reading webnovels everyday was getting monotonous as well. And since he had to go through a big battle yesterday, it was inevitable that his boredom would be confounded even further.
He couldn’t be blamed on this one, though. Not entirely. The level of stimulus received was like the heaven and earth. No matter how good the latest game was, it would still come across childish and not visceral when one personally experienced the intense battlefield where real blood and real gore were everywhere.
“I should start baiting them now, but…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
…But, trying to move and do something by himself was just too bothersome and annoying.
Then, what should he do, instead?
It was then, the sound of the doorbell rang out loudly.
Easily guessing the identity of the visitor, a smirk formed on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips.
“Bingo~.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It seemed that a fresh, still-alive-and-waiting-to-be-butchered prey just walked into the den of the tiger on his own volition.
“We meet again, mother.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Aigoo! Welcome, come on in.” (mom)
“N… Nice to see you again.” (Ye-Won)
Park Seon-Duk frowned as she saw her daughter transform back into the demure, well behaved girl.
What a crafty little fox this little girl was proving to be.
Even if she was her own flesh and blood, it was getting progressively harder to swallow this nonsense. Until a few minutes ago, she was wearing a pair of super-short hotpants with the excuse of her being indoors.
But now, in the proverbial blink of an eye, she had changed her attire into something a bit more… respectable.
The speed of her reactions was even quicker than that of her brother’s.
“I’d like to apologise for coming unannounced like this again.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Oh, no, it’s not a problem. We should be grateful that you’ve been graciously giving us your valuable time, instead.” (mom)
“Mother, I came here today to personally see to an end a very important task.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s sharp gaze landed on Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“It’s time to make your decision, Mister Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Ho-oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk swivelled in his chair and arrogantly leaned back on the backrest.
“So, you’ve come today with enough resolution to convince me, is that right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s correct.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You will? With me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The collision of the two men’s stares in midair caused sparks to fly. The ego of these two men were clashing against one another.
“You know this, don’t you? That if you fail today, I’ll never ever get in bed with the KSF.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Indeed, I am well aware. However, I am feeling confident today.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I certainly admire your baseless confidence. However….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
From all over Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body, a powerful pressure gushed out.
“It ain’t gonna be easy.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’d not be a worthy challenge if it weren’t so.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head in approval.
So, then. How should he go about devouring this guy piece by piece?
While whistling out, Yi Ji-Hyuk stood up from his seat.
“So, you were planning to do this how?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Actually….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon stared straight into Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face for a short while, before opening his mouth with a slight smile.
“…You’ve already made up your mind, haven’t you?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Hah?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m pretty sure that, even if I was in your shoes, I’d be able to make the same conclusion as well. And that conclusion is, no matter what you’re aiming for, working together with the KSF will provide the best results for you. Heck, if you’ve been plotting to take over the world, cooperating with the KSF for now would still be the best option available to you. I’m sure you already have thought this far ahead.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
….Uhm, no. I haven’t, though?
I haven’t thought that far ahead yet, mister.
What’s up with this dude?
Why is he eagerly jumping so far ahead?
Wasn’t he supposed to be the smart one? Was that a lie? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“But, I came to realise that it’s your pride preventing you from cooperating with us. That’s why you’ve been searching for the right opportunity.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“But, it’s not like that, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s okay. You can stop the charade now.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“No, hang on a minute. I’m being serious here….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I shall provide that opportunity for you now.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
How far was this man planning to take this?
Seeing the overly excited face of Choi Jung-Hoon, Yi Ji-Hyuk flinched slightly and took a quick step back.
“So, what are you trying to say here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Let’s have a fight.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“….A fight?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes. If I win, you’ll work for the KSF, no questions asked. But if I lose, we will never bother you again. No, wait. Such conditions don’t sound quite right, so, how about… if I lose, I’ll aid you for the next few months without asking for an appropriate compensation.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Hmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Did this fool declare his intentions to fight me?
How dare he challenge me!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted derisively and glared at Choi Jung-Hoon.
And Choi Jung-Hoon didn’t back away and reciprocated the glare.
“Okay, bring it on. So, what were you planning to challenge me with?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“If it’s a fight, then…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon confidently, but with not-so-loud voice, declared.
“…There’s only one way!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Ohh, I see now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk and Choi Jung-Hoon…
From now on, the battle between two men would commence!
< 51. If it’s a fight, then there’s only one way -1 > Fin.
(TL: In League of Legends, there’s a tactic called “Jungling”, which is about killing the so-called neutral monsters found on some maps, between the lanes. The “Jungle” in a map refers to areas that doesn’t fall to either team’s base, or the dividing lane itself. Junglers continue killing – farming – these monsters to supply the teammates – Laners – with necessary gold and experience points. In a standard 5-on-5 LOL match, 4 players will be the Laners, while the remaining one will be designated as the dedicated Jungler.)