“How can you even think about going home under the current circumstances?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk glared unhappily at Seo Ah-Young.
“Who cares even if it’s a war?! I still need to get off work on time! Don’t you know how important ‘leaving work on time’ is, for a salaryman like me?! You better not try to lump me with sneaky unpaid overtime, you hear?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If six o’clock was designated as the time to leave, then six o’clock it shall be!
And no, he’d definitely not accept the attempt by his so-called superiors to push overtime under the pretext of “finishing up the day’s work”!!
Seo Ah-Young shuddered from pure rage, before screaming out to vent out her feelings.
“You, you were late this morning, you b*stard!! You came in late, don’t you remember that?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seeing her like this, Choi Jung-Hoon ended up facepalming himself.
Oh, dear lord. You aren’t supposed to throw a tantrum! You should be issuing out orders instead, you idiot! Why are you fighting with your own subordinate in the middle of a battle?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s exasperated inner monologue)
“Ah?! Just because I was late, I must leave work late, too? Says who? Deduct it from my salary!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’ll definitely deduct it, then!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Hah!! Deduct all you want from that pathetic little pittance you call ‘salary’! No one’s going to notice it anyway!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His bank account was bursting at the seams because of all the cash he possessed, so who the eff cared about the small salary of a government worker? Not him, that’s for sure!
Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted derisively.
“….Excuse me.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon soothed his aching heart and opened his mouth. It wasn’t only him, though – even the Werewolves seemed very confused at the moment…
Regardless of what was happening around her, Seo Ah-Young remained steadfast.
“You can’t! You can’t leave! Wanna go? Then, clean up this mess first!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I, don’t, wanna.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Flames balls erupted out from Seo Ah-Young’s clenched fists.
“Eheii!! No!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon clung onto Seo Ah-Young to stop her.
“Stop! This isn’t the place to throw jokes around, you know!! We are in the middle of a battle, ma’am! A battle!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Jokes? JOKES?!?! Do I look like I’m joking around to you! You just get the paperwork for the workplace injury ready! Cuz! Accidentally! Flames! Will! Fly! Over there! And!! He’ll get injured by accident!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Huh. Busy saying something no sane person would believe…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young turned off the flames in her hand and pounded on her chest for a bit, before shouting again.
“If you wanna leave quickly, then quickly take care of this mess!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dug his ear canal while standing in a rather irritating manner, before….
“But, it’s past the office hours, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
….He blew the resulting matter off his fingertip, straightened his back, and spoke up.
“If you find it unfair, why don’t ya delay the time I need to come to work by a couple of hours, instead?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Then, at what time do you wish to show up for work?!
You were supposed to arrive at nine, yet today you ended up arriving near the lunch break instead, you b*stard!!! (Seo Ah-Young’s angry inner monologue)
“You….!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young was about to shout out something, but then…
Choi Jung-Hoon tilted his head slightly, before whispering in her ear.
“By the way, hasn’t the subjugation more or less finished already?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Huh?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Now that she took another look around…
The massive explosion Yi Ji-Hyuk caused, had killed off more than half of the initial Werewolf horde, as it turned out. And as for the rest, they had gathered at a corner, shivering out of pure terror.
“Why don’t we quickly sort this out? Since it seems that he has done what we asked him for.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young belatedly regained her senses after hearing Choi Jung-Hoon’s words, and quickly surveyed her surroundings once more.
And after seeing those stunned eyes of everyone else that screamed “Did those two lose their dang minds?”, she belatedly realised that it was indeed very unwise for her to keep fighting here.
After all, there was a real danger of her precious, newly-established agency being labelled as a home for nutters and crazies if this crap kept up. And it was still their first day!
Seo Ah-Young let off a long, pained groan and waved her hand dismissively.
“Fine. Fine. Go away. You can leave.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk deeply and quite politely bowed.
“Okay, I’m going home now. Everyone, you worked hard. Take care.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Wow. How polite.
So damn polite…. (Seo Ah-Young’s inner monologue)
After doing his bowing thing, Yi Ji-Hyuk began whistling leisurely as he walked away from the Gate.
“There might be casualties if we try to finish up here by ourselves…” (Seo Ah-Young)
When Seo Ah-Young let out an exasperated sigh, Choi Jung-Hoon formed a mysterious smile.
“There are always solutions if you look for one, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Huh?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Choi Jung-Hoon quickly ran up to the ‘escaping’ Yi Ji-Hyuk, and whispered something to the youth.
“What now…?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young had no choice but to stare at the two of them for a while longer.
Yi Ji-Hyuk began tilting his head this way and that after listening to Choi Jung-Hoon’s words, before he abruptly turned around and ran back towards the remaining horde of Werewolves.
“Euh-ahahah!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He drop-kicked the nearest Werewolf into the sky and began shouting out loudly.
“Come and get some, you stinking b*tches!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young couldn’t help but ask Choi Jung-Hoon while seeing the youth go absolutely mental as he began massacring the monsters.
“What… Just what did you tell him?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Oh, that? It was nothing much, really.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon grinned brightly.
“I asked him if he was prepared to ride the subway for the next two hours just to get back home.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“…Huh?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I told him that I’d give him a ride back if he quickly killed them all.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I also added that the faster the subjugation, the faster he’d get home, as well.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young dazedly shifted her gaze towards Yi Ji-Hyuk, who was in the middle of grabbing a Werewolf’s snout and yanking its tongue out.
No matter how wonderful it was to get off work, how could anyone throw such a crazed tantrum just so he could go home a bit earlier?
“What a scary guy…” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s body trembled slightly.
Then, she remembered something else…
“But, Mister Choi Jung-Hoon, I thought you don’t have a car anymore?” (Seo Ah-Young)
And then, it was Choi Jung-Hoon’s body that began swaying weakly.
Oh, god. My car…
My sweet, sweet ride…
My poor, poor sweet ride, with its roof torn away for no good reason…. I haven’t even finished paying for the installments yet… (Choi Jung-Hoon’s anguished inner monologue)
“There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you related to that, ma’am…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Yes?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Well, my insurance says my case is a bit… unique, because what happened back then couldn’t really be called an accident, according to their evaluation criteria… So, I was wondering if it’s possible to lodge an official financial claim to the agency. You know, since it was a work-related matter.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Mister Choi Jung-Hoon?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes, ma’am?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You know very well it’s not possible to do so, when it happened ‘on site’, so you shouldn’t even try your luck.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“….Yes, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon took a step back. And soon, Seo Ah-Young could hear a man’s sorrowful sobbing coming from behind her back. She felt really bad about it, but what could she do?
‘And it was such an expensive car, too…’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Well, the scrap yard treated every car as equals…
As Choi Jung-Hoon was busy wiping away his manly tears, Yi Ji-Hyuk was almost done with beating the living daylights of the Werewolves. He got ready to kick the crap out of the last one.
“This is the END!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk kicked the head of the last Werewolf as if it was a soccer ball and lightly dusted his hands. Then, as he approached Choi Jung-Hoon…
“It’s all done. What the…. Why are you crying?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m not crying.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“But, it looks like you’re?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, I’m not.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“No, hang on. I can see some sort of liquid on your…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re mistaken.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“…Let’s leave it, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Well, a man was supposed to cry alone in silence, anyways….
After begging her for a long while, Choi Jung-Hoon successfully borrowed Seo Ah-Young’s car and drove Yi Ji-Hyuk to his home.
“Okay, I’m going now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mister Ji-Hyuk? Please, try your best to arrive on time tomorrow morning…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I’m telling you, I didn’t do that because I wanted to!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’ll work out if you leave your home a bit earlier, just by a bit.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Fine, fine. I got it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s expression crumpled to show that he had enough of this nagging by now. Seeing that face, all Choi Jung-Hoon could do was spit out lengthy sighs.
Since when did the plea for arriving on time become the annoying words of nagging?!
Seriously, there was a limit to how screwed up this world was, already!
Choi Jung-Hoon pounded on his chest while watching the back of Yi Ji-Hyuk disappear into the building.
“Just why did you have to bring him in….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
No matter how quickly you regretted something, it was always going to be late – this was the indelible truth that Choi Jung-Hoon had belatedly realised just now.
“Argh, this is so annoying…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Stepping out of his house at exactly nine in the morning, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face was full of frowning lines and complaints.
Just who came up with the concept of going to work?
I’m so gonna kill that sonab*tch!!
Even today, I could’ve had it easy, rolling around in bed and doing nothing! Until mom started beating me up, that is… (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Hah… Am I supposed to get on those confusing subway lines again…?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just as Yi Ji-Hyuk was about to console his aching heart that felt the pain of all salarymen around the world, someone waiting for him out here got into action.
*SFX for a car’s horn blaring*
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When he heard the horn and turned his head around to look, he spotted a white three-door vehicle.
What the… Didn’t I get a ride on that last night? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner thoughts)
The window rolled down and Choi Jung-Hoon’s head peeked out. There was a grin etched on his face.
“Get in.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
This job, this ‘company’… It’s insane!
A superior officer came to fetch a subordinate!!
It’s so…. creepy!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at Choi Jung-Hoon with an abhorrent expression, before he slowly climbed into the car.
Well, it was still better than trying to get on the correct subway, that’s for sure…. Besides, he wasn’t going to drive anyway, so…
“What’s going on? Why are you here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I came to give you a ride, in case you’re late again.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“But, I’m already late, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…I did wait for an hour, but it’s fine.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You’re making me a bit apologetic, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
It’s not ‘a bit’!
Don’t you know how to speak Korean?
You can’t use ‘a bit’ under the current circumstance!
A superior officer from your work waited for you for over an hour, so is it so wrong to feel ‘a bit’ apologetic about it, you damn b*stard?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s angry inner monologue)
Although there were a ton of things he wanted to say, they had to remain in his mind. Choi Jung-Hoon simply smiled as always and kept on driving.
‘I really ought to talk to a shrink, soon…’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
…Before he keeled over from stress, for sure.
“By the way, our place is really something, alright.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What do you mean?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“There’s no one there, and we’ve got nothing to do.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N, no. That’s only because we haven’t finished organising yet. The rest of the agents haven’t arrived yet, either. Oh, there should be one more new member joining us today.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Oh, really?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’ll get a huge shock when you get there.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You see, you’ll end up recognising this member.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
What the… This guy already knows well that the extent of my social circle is as big as a single brain cell, yet he claims I’ll recognise this person? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s confused inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk laid out all his personal contacts within his mind. And among these small list of people, he couldn’t really put a finger on who could be an ability user at all.
Someone from the office? Hmm…
Before Yi Ji-Hyuk could solve his riddle, the car arrived at the NDF building. Seeing that modern white building gleaming under the sun, he sighed out loudly.
If he saw it while walking around unawares, he’d call the design of the building quite nice, yet why did the same building feel like a prison now that he was working there?
While being cognisant of the cruel trickery his mind was playing on him, Yi Ji-Hyuk exited the car and trudged towards the building.
As soon as he stepped inside the office, he was greeted by Seo Ah-Young and her glaring eyes.
“Can’t you show up on time?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“But, I rode in Vice Captain’s car today?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
After listening to that shameless reply from Yi Ji-Hyuk, her glares shifted towards Choi Jung-Hoon, causing him to feel very much wronged in an instant.
‘What the?! What do you want me to do, when he didn’t want to come out of the house?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
But, to think…. he already had crap ton of things to do, and now, he even had to play a chauffeur, too!
‘What the hell…. Why did I even do that?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Couldn’t anyone do that? You know, driving someone to work?
Why was a high-value individual like himself doing this meaningless work in the first place?!
After all, he had subordinates, didn’t he?!
Choi Jung-Hoon shifted his blazing eyes over to Kim Jae-Beom’s direction.
Sensing that burning gaze landing on him, Kim Jae-Beom flinched and avoided meeting it in a hurry.
‘What the hell! That’s not my fault to begin with!’ (Kim Jae-Beom)
If they were to start picking faults, then he surely was innocent! If they were looking for the origin of this, then the person responsible was right here….
Kim Jae-Beom shifted his blazing eyes over to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s…
“Whatcha want now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N, no, it’s nothing…” (Kim Jae-Beom)
….He couldn’t shift his blazing eyes over to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s direction and instead, crumpled under the pressure.
Too bad for him, the game of passing-the-blame couldn’t be completed.
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at the flinching Kim Jae-Beom busy avoiding his gaze, and stretched his limbs out quite lazily. For some reason, he felt a wee bit lethargic and fatigued.
“Argh. I’m so tired already.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk got up from his seat and headed outside the office. Seo Ah-Young shouted at him.
“Where do you think you’re going? You just got here!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“To the john. What? You wanna come along, too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Actually, he was going out for a smoke break but, oh well. Yi Ji-Hyuk shut the door behind him, fished out a cigarette, and tried to leave the building altogether.
“I can’t even breathe in there!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even the air’s different!! The dang air!
What a rotten workplace.
The air should be the same no matter the place, so why is the air in the corridor feel so stuffy and overbearing?! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner complaints, part 1)
“Hey, you.” (??)
Argh, I really want to quit this stupid job! It’s only been two days, yet why do I find this whole thing so unbearable?!
I hear there are some people who’d rather work for the rest of their lives. Gee whiz, I wonder how they do that. I gotta show my respect to those people for real… (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner complaints, part 2)
“Ahh… I wish I could return to Berafe…” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I used to live like an emperor back then. Why did I return, only to live like an office slave…? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner complaints, part 3)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head swiveled towards the source of the noise.
Who’s calling me?
He looked around, but found no one.
“Am I hearing things?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, you ain’t.” (??)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk gaze fell towards the floor.
And he found a small girl, just about tall enough to reach his chest, standing right in front of him.
“Oh. Did you get lost or something, kid?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“K, kid? Hah……” (??)
The ‘kid’ got furious at him.
Yi Ji-Hyuk was, naturally, unfriendly towards kids. So, he simply waved his hands in a dismissive fashion.
“C’mon now. Go over there and bother someone else.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hey, you! Don’t you know who I am?” (??)
“Eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Don’t you know that I am older than you? Also, I’m your senior too! So, what the heck do you think you’re doing?” (??)
“Eh? My senior? Older than me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk sized up this girl, from top to bottom.
Actually, Yi Ji-Hyuk was slightly taller than an average Korean male. As for this girl, she was only slightly shorter than an average Korean female. Also, she simply looked young because she was so petite and her facial features were reminiscent of a child’s.
But, regardless of all that….
“Stop kidding around, or I’m gonna scold you good, you hear?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s words provoked something in the little girl. Her expressions crumpled in anger and she threw a kick towards his shin.
….And then, she got flung away, instead.
“Hul. Oops. You surprised me, and I ended up counter attacking you out of reflex.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk casually mouthed some words that didn’t contain one trace of apology, sucked on his cigarette and while whistling, walked away leisurely.
“HEY!!! You! Stop right there!!” (??)
….Did I hear a dog barking somewhere or something? (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
< 57. It’s time to go home (2) > Fin.