The woman staring into the monitor tilted her head in confusion as well.
“Are you telling me that that runt inside the room blew away a Jarchev’s head and rescued you, Mister Choi Jung-Hoon?”
“Yes, I am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“And that he’s not registered as an ability user, at all?”
“Yes, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“In that case, we can simply arrest his sorry a*s for resisting the compulsory register?”
“The situation is a bit queer, actually, for that.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon spat out a sigh.
“It seems that he’s been missing for over five years. He is even listed as deceased, so he’s not someone who resisted registering, but someone unable to; also, even the person himself is unaware of such a law in place, and we don’t have a suitable method at the moment to deal with him.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Well then, cut him loose.”
“But that’s quite bit unsatisfactory, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“And now, why?”
“I witnessed him kill a Jarchev with my own eyes, yet I can’t figure out how he did it.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I just can’t explain it.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
This time, the woman spat out a sigh and stared at Choi Jung-Hoon.
“Yes, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Our Choi Jung-Hoon-ssi, being overworked to death. Our Choi Jung-Hoon-ssi, who so dearly wishes to go home and sleep while not giving a rat’s a*s at phone calls and whatever.”
“…….Yes.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Yet, our Choi Jung-Hoon-ssi, who loves this line of work so much!! I finally make you go home after three days of trying, yet in this short moment, you bring in another trouble?! Are you a damn workaholic or something?”
Choi Jung-Hoon facepalmed.
What the heck did she mean by “workaholic”??
He was a person on the brink of killing himself from overwork.
Not one man alive would be this offended if his three generations of ancestors were dragged through the proverbial mud. What made this situation so regrettable, was the fact that he had no means to retort back to this grave insult to his very being.
“Holy cow. How incredulous. It’s already unacceptable that a KSF employee wandered into a restricted area like a drunken fool, yet you cause an incident inside the said area? And what should I even call this whole situation?”
….No, hang on. Aren’t you supposed to console your subordinate who brushed past the death’s grip instead?! (Choi Jung-Hoon)
The level of dissatisfaction Choi Jung-Hoon was feeling at the moment was too dang high, but for now, he kept his mouth shut. If he started arguing unprepared with this woman, then he’d waste his precious time listening to her yap on and on about useless junk while more work gets piled up on his lap.
The woman shook her head and shifted her gaze back to the monitor.
‘Why can’t you act like how you look?!’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Her outer appearance, at least, left nothing more to be asked for. Hell, her messily-tossed hair somehow found their way back, causing Choi Jung-Hoon to nearly ask her what brand of shampoo she had been using.
And what about the face peeking out between her hair?
You would be hard-pressed to find more beautiful women than her, even when there was a deep frown etched on her face. And, let’s not forget her body. Oh yes, of course not. Her height was the ideal 170 centimetres and where “volume” should be, volume amply existed, so even if she did not have that face of hers, her figure alone would still be enough to blind a man for life.
Overall, her countenance seemed a bit on the edge, but that didn’t tarnish her beauty and that killer figure one bit.
But… what a waste.
‘Her personality is the worst.’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
The so-called the Captain Witch.
The personification of the legendary Lady Bathory.
The walking, talking Miss Surround Sound Speaker System.
Well, the benevolent God was truly fair in His judgement. He had blessed her with a beauty that put many famous celebs to shame, as well as a personality that would probably cause her to b*tch-slap a superior military official. Thus, He had prevent the destruction of the natural balance, somewhat.
So, what could Choi Jung-Hoon do? That accursed woman in front of his eyes just so happened to his superior officer.
That was the name of the woman staring at the monitor, letting off lots of unhappy steam right now. Unfortunately, she was Choi Jung-Hoon’s direct superior, and the very cause for the habitually-flaring ulcer that tormented him.
Seo Ah-Young groaned after looking at the monitor for a little while longer.
“So, you’re saying that this runt is a ‘special’ special ability user, yes?” (Seo Ah-Young)
The runt Seo Ah-Young pointed to, must’ve been bored out of his mind while waiting, since they could see him blowing on the surface of the two-way mirror and started drawing a heart on it.
He looked okay-ish from the outside, yet it seemed that there were quite a few screws loose in his head.
“Most likely.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Looks like he’s not sane.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“That’s a definitive.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Definitely sane?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“No. Definitely not sane.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young and Choi Jung-Hoon’s gazes collided in the air. Yet, he showed not one sign of being embarrassed. Obviously, there was no problem calling a crazy person insane, after all.
“So, you’re telling me….” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young spat out yet another sigh. She was about to say something, before shaking her head. Then, she got up from her seat.
“Okay, fine. Let’s go. We’ll find out once we talk to the guy.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young took large strides towards the interview room.
The so-called interview room was a small enclosed space built in a huge, empty floor of a building. It was designed in such a way to contain ability users that couldn’t be contained by regular walls.
Seo Ah-Young went past simple security checks to get to the room’s door, took a several sharp breaths, and pushed it open.
A youth quietly sat on the chair before looking at her with ‘scared’ eyes.
‘What a crafty b*stard.’ (Seo Ah-Young)
Look at him, pretending to be all shriveled up and scared, when he was busy drawing hearts only a minute ago. Look at this rotten SOB.
But Seo Ah-Young didn’t let her inner thoughts be shown on the surface. There was no need to make the subject she was about to interrogate unresponsive from the beginning, after all.
“Hello there. May I ask what your name is?” (Seo Ah-Young)
The youth replied innocently enough.
“It’s Yi Ji-Hyuk.”
“Ah, so it’s Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk. It’s a pleasure. I am Seo Ah-Young, in charge of this particular team.”
Seeing Seo Ah-Young’s bright smile, the youth named Yi Ji-Hyuk also smiled.
“Thanks. It’s my pleasure, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s a simple procedure we need to follow, so I’d like to ask you a couple of questions. How old are you currently?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Uhm, I am not too sure?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re unsure how old you are?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yes. My sense of time is a bit out of whack, you see.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, is that so?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young shifted her gaze towards Choi Jung-Hoon’s direction.
‘Looks like he is really crazy?’ (Seo Ah-Young)
‘I told you as much, didn’t I?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Seo Ah-Young nodded her head and moved on.
“Well, how old you are isn’t really all that important anyway. Then, where do you live?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Seoul.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘You are suppose to tell me the address, you numbskull.’ (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young knew how to differentiate what she needed to say and what she was thinking of. Besides, his age or the current address weren’t important. To get the conversation going, they were merely the starters that could be skipped if need be.
“Is that so. Okay, we’ll skip unimportant questions, then. Mister Ji-Hyuk, you defeated the monster, a Jarchev. Is this correct?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk replied without a shred of hesitation.
“Nope.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Excuse me?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I didn’t do what you said I did.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young’s gaze shifted back to Choi Jung-Hoon once more.
“W, wait a minute. Stop looking at me like that, please. I saw the whole event with both of my eyes wide open.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“And so he says?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Oh well. That ahjussi was shaking so bad back then, and must’ve seen a phantom or something. I haven’t done what he said I did. Not at all.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young’s gaze landed on Choi Jung-Hoon again.
“That’s what he said.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“No, it’s the truth!! I saw it as plainly as a day!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eiii, that’s just nonsensical. How can a little ol’ me kill a monster like that, now? Did you see exactly how I allegedly killed that creature?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That is….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon described the event as he witnessed right down to the minute detail.
“You swung your hand like so, and then, the Jarchev’s head went Phung!! and then….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Swung his arm? Phung?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s threatening voice leaked out. If one were to measure the threat level present in her voice, a little bit more would break past being merely a voice and end up grinding him into a bloody mush.
“So, so, he swung his arm this way, like that!! And…” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Phung.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out a soulless SFX and it shattered the final bit of persuasive energy from Choi Jung-Hoon’s words.
“Oh well. You must’ve seen some funny things, since, you know, the situation back then was really urgent and all.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon felt that he was wronged very badly.
Would you just look at that smug, crafty little b*stard!!
“Wow, I might go crazy and jump off this d*mn building.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I can’t do anything about you losing your sh*t, but I sure can shove you off this building, so you better go to a corner over there and shut it.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“…Yes, ma’am.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
After crushing Choi Jung-Hoon with a truly terrifying facial expression, Seo Ah-Young replaced that with a business-like smile and looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“It seems that one of our employees has made an error, somehow. Would you like to explain what exactly happened?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I was just walking there, minding my own business, then a monster suddenly ran up to me. I was standing there scared, when some other dude jumped out from nowhere and popped the monster’s head like a balloon and then, he disappeared.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk gestured with his hands and feet to explain his version of the events in absolute detail. Of course, ‘absolute detail’ was only when viewed from his perspective.
Seo Ah-Young’s smile became even more radiant.
“Ah. So, you were coincidentally taking a walk there, then you coincidentally ran into a monster, and coincidentally, a passing gentleman… No, I mean, a simple passerby rescued you. Coincidentally.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smiled brightly and replied.
“Yes, that’s correct!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“In other words, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk has absolutely nothing to do with the killing of the monster?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Of course.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“And my subordinate saw a phantom, is that it?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I think he’s under a lot of stress. He wasn’t even surprised at seeing a monster running towards us.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, is that so.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young halted the conversation, and picked up her phone.
“Hey. Did you secure it? Hmm? You did? Connect it to here.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Ending that short phone call, Seo Ah-Young resumed that business-like smile and looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“If the event unfolded as Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk has described, then there shouldn’t be any problems. We will let you go home right away.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Thank you very much. In the future, please check properly so no innocent people will have to go through such an inconvenience like I have.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“My sincerest apologies. I should’ve paid more attention. However, since there is the procedure to follow, there is one more thing we need to confirm.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“There’s more?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s a much simpler one this time. You don’t even have to answer. All you have to do, is to watch something with us.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Watch what, exactly?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“This.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young pointed at the wall.
“What are you tal…”
Before Yi Ji-Hyuk could finish, the wall flickered and then, became a screen, instead.
Yi Ji-Hyuk dumbfoundedly stared at the new screen.
And on it, a footage showed a grotesque creature, a monster, dashing towards a youth wearing a weird get-up. The monster raised its arms, ready to smash, and the youth simply took a small step forward and lightly swung his hand.
And then, the monster’s head went….
Choi Jung-Hoon inserted the appropriate SFX that contained all of his pent-up righteous anger.
The footage stopped at that precise moment, and then, the youth’s face got progressively enlarged. At first, by one level, then by two levels… Until finally, the youth’s face filled up the entirety of the screen – and it was the face of Yi Ji-Hyuk.
Unable to let go of his lingering resentment, Choi Jung-Hoon added one more SFX at Yi Ji-Hyuk, who was still dazedly looking at the screen.
“Swung. Phung.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Swung, phung.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
It seemed that he was feeling really, really aggrieved at the moment.
“Okay, okay!! I got it already, so stop!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young pushed Choi Jung-Hoon away slightly, then resumed that business-like smile and spoke up.
“Is there anything you’d like to add?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his gaze from the screen to Choi Jung-Hoon, then to Seo Ah-Young, and then, back to the screen again, while slowly opening his mouth.
“Nowadays….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A slightly trembling voice leaked out of Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“….The quality of CCTV footage is pretty nice, isn’t it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He was about to throw in the towel.
< 6. Ah, Is That So? – 3 > 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.