“Has Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk arrived yet?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s voice was cold and sharp.
Today was supposed to be a day of celebration, a day to rejoice. Yet…
Today was the historic day when the National Defense Force, the one she’d been championing its creation for the last five years, would open its doors for the first time. Yet, Seo Ah-Young wasn’t feeling so wonderful at the moment.
And no, it wasn’t because there wasn’t any celebratory opening ceremony, nor people congratulating her lining the corridor of the building.
“What the hell?! Just what time is it already?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
No, what grinded her gears was the issue of one man, or the lack of his presence at the office, who was supposed to show up for work starting from today.
No matter how tardy or carefree a person was, how could anyone with a working, functioning brain be late on his very first day by more than two hours? Such a thing would not be possible unless she was talking about the king of all slackers.
“Have you called his house yet?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes, and apparently, he left quite some time ago.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“What about his mobile?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“He’s not answering.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young spat out a long groan.
“I should’ve known. There is just no way that guy would quietly show up for work.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Those are truly wise words, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
It was then, someone knocked on the door to Seo Ah-Young’s office.
“Come in.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Kim Jae-Beom opened the door and peeked his head in.
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk has arrived.” (Kim Jae-Beom)
“….Tell him to come in and see me.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes, ma’am.” (Kim Jae-Beom)
Kim Jae-Beom hurriedly ran out and brought Yi Ji-Hyuk along.
And, as soon as Seo Ah-Young clapped her eyes on him, she became utterly flabbergasted from the mental shock.
She was okay with his puffed cheeks, that unhappy face of his. She also didn’t mind his irritatingly arched eyebrows that seemed to make mockery of everything around him, too.
No matter what, a person shouldn’t….
“What the heck are you wearing to your workplace?!?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
….A person shouldn’t show up to work wearing a faded, worn-out tracksuit, at the very least!!
Besides, if he was so dead-set on wearing a tracksuit, then he should’ve shelled out some money and buy himself something that was not so wrinkly and less shocking in its colour scheme!!
Why was a guy as loaded as him still walking around wearing that old-as-sh*t blue tracksuit?!
“Is there a dress code or something that I didn’t know about?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Not really.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“So, it’s fine then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Indeed, it was technically “fine”. After all, there was someone like ‘Iron’ Park Sung-Chan who walked around half naked almost all the time, so…
Even with this fact, Seo Ah-Young couldn’t, for the life of her, figure out why Yi Ji-Hyuk’s choice of duds got on her nerves way more than that of Park Sung-Chan’s.
If she looked at it objectively, then Park Sung-Chan’s fashion sense was a lot worse. Yet….
“But, it’s your first day….” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Actually, it’s more weird to think of the first day as something special, you know. If you live your life realising that every day is new and exciting, you’d eventually realise that the so-called first days are nothing special in the first place.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Again, those words didn’t really seem wrong on the surface, yet….
Yet, why did they sound like utter drivel farted out by a stray dog when spoken by this man?
“Okay, fine. Fine. However, why did you come in late? To be late on your very first day, isn’t this just too much?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s expression crumpled in anger.
“Hell, do you know how difficult it was to find this place?! Seriously now, I haven’t ridden on the subway for years, yet the routes have all changed during that time!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When he came back and rode on the subway for the first time in years, he was using the familiar route so it was all good. But, as soon as he tried to get to a new area he’d never been to, he ended up getting very lost.
Hell, even after he exited from the correct subway station, he still couldn’t locate the right building, so he had to walk around endlessly for a long while. Naturally, he was pretty p*ssed off at the moment.
“That was why, I told you I’ll start showing up for work after the family moved house to the new place!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You think this is a kindergarten for preschoolers or something?! You can’t arbitrarily decide on when you want to show up, you know!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Hah! Why not? Doesn’t look like there’s much to do anyway!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….There will be, soon enough.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Look at you, making everyone show up for work just because you don’t want to be here all alone.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“YOU!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young grabbed a bunch of documents to throw at her target, but Choi Jung-Hoon rapidly jumped in to stop her.
“It hasn’t even been two weeks! Not even two weeks since the agreement! Please, calm down, ma’am!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
*SFX for Seo Ah-Young’s rapid, heavy breathing*
Seo Ah-Young closed her eyes and tried to control her breathing.
I must’ve lost my damn mind.
What was I even thinking when trying to rope this guy in?! (Seo Ah-Young’s inner anguish)
At this rate, Seo Ah-Young would keel over from a stress-related illness way before she could start killing monsters….
“So….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk leaned his head at an arrogant angle and asked.
“….What am I supposed to do here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“For now, you’re on standby.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon replied instead of Seo Ah-Young.
“On standby, huh.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes. Think of it as working at a fire department. Of course, there are still a ton of things to take care of in a fire department even without the request for dispatch. But, well, we don’t have a lot to do without an incident taking place.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Don’t have a lot to do, huh….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk liked this.
What a nice company to work for!
“By the way, this can’t be everyone. Where are the rest of the employees?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The building itself was pretty huge, yet there was not many people inside. Hell, so far, he had run into only these three people in front of him.
“Well, including that Gah-Yun girl, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If he were to include the one not visible to the naked eye, then four.
“Others haven’t finished changing their departments yet, so they will continue to join us as we move forward.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Oh, okay. So, I am supposed to wait and be on standby, which means there’s one important thing left to take care of.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
His eyes burning powerfully with conviction, Yi Ji-Hyuk stared straight at Seo Ah-Young and spoke in no uncertain terms.
“Where is my computer!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He’d not take ‘not here’ for an answer!
With an unreadable expression on his face, Choi Jung-Hoon observed Yi Ji-Hyuk.
The youth, as soon as he was guided to his desk, proceeded to switch on the computer and spent the next 30 minutes setting it up. And then, as if this was his own room, he settled down in comfort and began playing the video game in earnest.
….He was playing a dang computer game.
At his workplace, no less!!
Choi Jung-Hoon spotted Seo Ah-Young trembling from rage a bit of a distance away, but it seemed that even she couldn’t think of anything useful to say right now.
Well, it was Seo Ah-Young who told him to remain on standby since there was nothing to do. But, even though she disliked this sight of Yi Ji-Hyuk playing a computer game during working hours, she was fearful of what might happen if she gave him some task to perform, so she couldn’t even do that. (TL: No, I did not make a mistake here. The raw said it was Seo Ah-Young, not Choi Jung-Hoon…)
‘But, I’m pretty sure this guy has some kind of hidden talent.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Judging from how the youth carefully and meticulously dug into every little legally binding details within the contract, Yi Ji-Hyuk was definitely not an uneducated dummy.
No, considering how he was able to manipulate the flow of the negotiation and pushed Choi Jung-Hoon and Seo Ah-Young to the brink like that, it was more than likely, he was an incredibly shrewd/smart person.
That was one of the reasons why Choi Jung-Hoon didn’t mind giving Yi Ji-Hyuk some sort of official tasks, but…
‘But, surely, he’d find a smart way to royally screw it up…’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon would rather kill himself instead of seeing that happen.
Regardless of what others were thinking of, Yi Ji-Hyuk simply concentrated on the game and nothing else.
*SFX for rapid typing of the keyboard*
‘Look how fast he types….’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Fast enough to type thousand letters in a minute, probably….
To think, such an outstanding speed was utilised solely on playing a computer game. Choi Jung-Hoon found it both mystifying and at the same time, quite pitiful.
However, the one thing he couldn’t stomach any further was…
‘Jesus H. Christ. This guy sucks donkey balls!’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
He was pretty good (?) when playing a fighting game, yet as soon as he grabbed a mouse, he became an utter tool.
Plus, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s screen was in full view from where Choi Jung-Hoon’s desk was. It was as if this arrangement was made so in order to further torment Choi Jung-Hoon with the awfulness of the youth’s gaming skills.
‘This is really getting on my nerves.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon wanted to say something.
‘Wait, you! You weren’t supposed to go there, you idiot!’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Did he suddenly go blind or something? Why was Yi Ji-Hyuk walking straight into the opposing team’s base camp? Even Choi Jung-Hoon could see that from his desk so far away, so how come Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t?!
Choi Jung-Hoon’s body involuntarily moved several times.
“No, no. Calm down. Calm down, me.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon breathed in deeply.
He could not afford to waste his attention on things as unimportant as this.
It was only the first day. She was already fuming at the fact that Yi Ji-Hyuk was wasting time playing games, so if Choi Jung-Hoon decided to divert even a sliver of his attention to that, then the Flame Witch’s fury would explode right in his face.
Today was a historical, monumental day! The day that the National Defence Force, aka NDF, opens its doors!
So, he could not afford to make a scene here….
“Euh-ah-aht!! I can’t hold it anymore!! You!! You are not supposed to go there, you dumba*s!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Are you blind?! Why are you stumbling your way over there?! Can’t you see the minimap on the corner?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s not ‘eh’, you dimwit!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon couldn’t endure anymore after seeing that stupid look on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face, so he ran out from his desk, brushed the youth aside, commandeered the mouse, and began busily clicking away.
“Look, it’s over here, here!! Why are you deliberately getting surrounded by the enemies?! You should escape when there are lots of them near you!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“As a man, running away is too shameful.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“This is a game, not real life!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Even if it’s a game, there’s no retreat! That’s true manliness!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Are you insane?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon swept his gaze up and down the body of Yi Ji-Hyuk out of pure disbelief. But then, he flinched greatly after sensing a fiery gaze stabbing powerfully into his back.
When he turned his head around, he spotted Seo Ah-Young shaking from raw fury over yonder; a thick, pulsing vein was visible on her forehead. She looked like a demoness straight out of hell.
“…….Ahh, uhm, I was…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You. Get. Out.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Without saying another word, Choi Jung-Hoon slinked off outside the office.
“Hey, hold up. Let’s go together.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk giggled in delight and accompanied Choi Jung-Hoon outta the door.
It was a chance to sneak in a smoke break, after all!
Seeing the two exit from the office, Seo Ah-Young slowly double facepalmed in despair.
“We’re ruined.” (Seo Ah-Young)
It was only the first day, yet the things weren’t looking up.
“Why did you give me advice in the first place?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk cackled, a cigarette hanging loose on his lips. Choi Jung-Hoon’s expression was a lot more complicated as he sucked on his.
“Anyways… That woman, she’s really high strung, isn’t she?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You mean, the Captain?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Indeed, Seo Ah-Young was a bit compulsive and high-strung. Sure.
You aren’t qualified to say that out loud, you know! (Choi Jung-Hoon)
When Choi Jung-Hoon glared at him with cocked eyebrows, Yi Ji-Hyuk simply shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly.
“Well, she’s got a lot on her plate, you see. She might seem highly strung on the outside, but she actually cares quite a lot.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Hah, if she cared any more, someone might end up getting killed.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…I’m being honest.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Sure, sure.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Why don’t you just come out and say you don’t believe me, why dontcha… (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“At any rate, following the orders of the Captain to the fullest makes our lives that much easier.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Okay, I understand. Oh, by the way….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“When’s the lunch break?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
At least pretend you were listening to me! At the least! Holy cow. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Thinking about the horrifying future laying await for him, Choi Jung-Hoon silently wiped the tears oozing out from his heart.
“Please, please tell me which crazy fool suggested we bring in that crazy son of a b*tch.” (Seo Ah-Young)
But, but! It was you, ma’am! (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon once more swallowed back the words trying to burst out from his chest.
Yi Ji-Hyuk played his computer game throughout the day, and when the time came, he ate his lunch on time, and now, he was literally pouring the packets of snacks down his gullet, while giggling out like a loon. Incidentally, he was looking at a comedy website at this very moment.
Unable to continue observing this craziness, the trio of Seo Ah-Young, Choi Jung-Hoon and Kim Jae-Beom exited the office and held an impromptu meeting by the corridor.
“Please, do something about that guy. I can’t concentrate on my work like this!” (Kim Jae-Beom)
When Kim Jae-Beom complained loudly, Choi Jung-Hoon shot him a glare.
“Well, uh, I’m just saying….” (Kim Jae-Beom)
Kim Jae-Beom slowly backed off. Choi Jung-Hoon let off a lengthy groan several times.
“There is one way to handle this.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Tell us.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“We isolate him.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Huh?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Choi Jung-Hoon remained logical, even now.
“It’s actually the best to avoid incoming storms. Getting mixed up in one would only result in great damages. So, let’s just assign him a room and let him play by himself in there.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“…I’m really saddened by the fact that I find your idea very good.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I’m also saddened by it, but there’s no other way.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
That dastardly labour contract!
If it wasn’t for that, they might have been able to do something by now…
His sudden demand of clearly classifying what he was back then – whether he was an office worker or an on-site field agent – rendered Choi Jung-Hoon and Co. utterly powerless.
Fine, fine. He was now pegged as the so-called field agent. Fine, but what the heck was up with him and that bloody computer!
Oh, dear mother. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jung-Hoon felt like tears would flood out of his eyes as he thought about his dearly-departed mother.
Just as I’ve grown fully accustomed to the Witch’s antics, a new monster has arrived on the scene.
And this new monster, I don’t know where to even begin… (Choi Jung-Hoon’s sorrowful inner monologue)
*SFX for a phone vibrating*
It was then – the distinct noise of a phone vibrating could be heard, and Kim Jae-Beom quickly pulled his out from the pocket.
“Looks like you’ll have to delay the thing about isolation chamber for now.” (Kim Jae-Beom)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s and Seo Ah-Young’s gazes fell upon Kim Jae-Beom.
“It’s a mission.” (Kim Jae-Beom)
It was their very first assignment.
“Haaaa…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at the Gate and let out a long groan.
Here he was, facing a battle on his very first day at work!
What kind of BS was this?
All he had to do was to laze around for a bit longer. But, why did a request for a dispatch have to arrive with such a terrible timing!
“Why are we even here on our first day?! Why!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
After hearing Yi Ji-Hyuk’s pointless and also seemingly endless barrage of questions, Choi Jung-Hoon’s lips formed a bitter smile.
“What can we do, when a Gate decided to open up for us?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Besides that, why here of all places?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Actually, this Gate had appeared a few days ago. But now, they have requested for our presence since it is almost ready to open up.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Isn’t there someone else in charge of this jurisdiction or something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Indeed, there is, but…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
He would definitely get p*ssed off if I tell him that the higher-ups pushed this assignment on us to gauge the strength of the new agency.
I too know this is quite unfair. We don’t even have our full quota of employees yet. So, what’s with this gauging the strength bullcrap? (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
But, since Choi Jung-Hoon drew his salary from the government coffers, he had to abide by what the brass told him to do.
“It’s getting close to opening up now!” (Seo Ah-Young)
At Seo Ah-Young’s declaration, Choi Jung-Hoon nervously shouted out.
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Yeah, I know. I know already.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stuck a cigarette to his lips, lit it up, and trudged towards the direction of the Gate.
Seeing him so carelessly approach the Gate like that, the soldiers from the Defcom and the local KSF agents cried out in alarm.
“What the hell?!”
“Is he insane?”
Although the shouts of surprises and shock came from pretty much everywhere, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t show any particular reaction and continued to approach the Gate.
*SFX for vibration*
The Gate issued a screech and began opening up. At the same time, monsters began pouring out.
“What the hell do you want now, you piece of sh*ts?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The soldiers of the Defcom fell into a panicked confusion, not knowing whether to fire their weapons or not, since they weren’t aware of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s identity.
They knew they had to shoot, but then, there was a person standing there!
*SFX for beasts’ howling*
Giant bipedal wolves poured out from the Gate while roaring out loudly.
“Werewolves?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon frowned deeply.
But, such monsters shouldn’t even emerge from a small Gate like that!
Werewolves jumped out in droves, and the first ones to emerge pounced on Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Oh, so it’s dogs this time, huh.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly clicked his tongue.
*SFX for beasts’ howling*
Yi Ji-Hyuk avoided the rushing of the howling Werewolves and dodged to the side.
And then, he threw a glance at Choi Jung-Hoon.
“Fire!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
With Choi Jung-Hoon’s loud shout, the guns of the Defcom began unloading their bullets in rapid succession.
Those Werewolves that were too busy chasing after Yi Ji-Hyuk, were all exposed to the gunfire.
Multiple claymores went off one after the other.
Afterwards, it was revealed through the thick smoke that the Werewolves weren’t dead. They were simply bloodied and wounded from the barrage of bullets and shrapnel. Their bloodshot eyes were gleaming with killing intent, as the monsters growled out in anger.
‘This isn’t enough?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon shifted his gaze towards Yi Ji-Hyuk’s direction.
And at the moment, the youth was busy kicking the living crap out of two Werewolves that jumped at him.
“What the….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
….Why was he wasting time playing around like that, instead of blowing them away in one shot?
“Captain!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Deploy the ability users!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s cold and sharp voice resounded out; the waiting close-quarter KSF agents dashed out to tangle with the approaching Werewolves, and the long-distance agents relied on their individual abilities to target the monsters from afar.
However, these Werewolves proved to be tough customers.
‘Aren’t they stronger than expected? This, at this rate….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
But, it was then.
A huge deafening explosion shook the earth.
“W, what the hell?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Scared silly by that noise, Choi Jung-Hoon hurriedly looked towards the origin of that explosion.
And there, Yi Ji-Hyuk was standing upright as if it was a matter of course in a crater. Every single Werewolf that had been surrounding him only a few breaths ago, had been all turned into a mountain of meat paste.
The soldiers, the ability users…. Hell, even the Werewolves, could only look on at this unbelievable sight with totally dazed expressions.
As the blood of the Werewolves rained down from the sky, Yi Ji-Hyuk opened his mouth with a huge frown on his face.
“Hey, Captain?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Uh, y, yes?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young replied back, her voice shuddering almost imperceptibly.
That man, why was he so angry all of a sudden?
Yi Ji-Hyuk slowly opened his mouth once more.
“….It’s time to go home now.”
< 56. It’s time to go home (1) > Fin.