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Both of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s hands began drawing magic runes in the air.
If he was asked to blow the power station to smithereens, or block it up, that wouldn’t prove to be difficult at all. But, what Yi Ji-Hyuk was trying to cast right now was a magic spell that just so happened to be one of the most difficult there was.
Yep, it was truly the peak of all top tier-magic that only a true grandmaster of magic like Yi Ji-Hyuk, who possessed both the rich experience as well as the unbelievably precise magic formula calculation ability, could attempt to cast it.
In the midst of his calculations, Yi Ji-Hyuk frowned.
“It’s not enough!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He didn’t have enough Mana, something he was never short of back in Berafe. If he was planning to cast an attack magic, then he’d be able to bring forth a humongous explosion with less amount of Mana than found around here.
But in the case of casting a complex chain of spells as he was trying to do right now, he couldn’t simply rely on the Mana found in the immediate surroundings. He needed a bigger supply of that certain type of Mana he preferred so much.
Unfortunately, since he had devoured pretty much every monster nearby, he had no real avenue of procuring more in a hurry. Besides, if he were to find and suck away enough amount of Mana, then only the top-class monsters would suffice…..
“Oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes and Oh-Sik’s met each other.
Suddenly, a grin formed on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face, and he began to walk closer to the Ogre.
Sensing something was about to go terribly awry, Oh-Sik began retreating, a step by step.
“Hey, Oh-Sik-ah, this hyung needs a quick injection of Mana, so, behave yourself for a bit, okay?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL: “Hyung” = “older brother” or informally, “boss”)
Yi Ji-Hyuk knew that the Ogre didn’t understand what he was saying, but his conscience dictated that he should at least explain the situation.
“Well, it’d been easier for me if I just devoured you but, you know me, right? You know that I’m really caring towards those who are close.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hah?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk decisively ignored Seo Ah-Young’s sarcastic snort and grabbed Oh-Sik’s hand.
The Ogre instinctively tried to pull away, but he stopped after Yi Ji-Hyuk’s deathly-cold glare landed on him.
“Behave, or else.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If I mention that I thought the growling coming from the Ogre just now sounded a bit pitiful, then others would probably point their fingers at me and call me insane….(Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Thinking like this, Choi Jung-Hoon thought it was too bad that he had forgotten to whip out his phone and record this spectacle sooner.
“Don’t worry, I’ll only take a little bit. Just a tiny little, okay?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik, in the end, chose to run away while barking like an adult wolf – however, Mana still began gushing out from the Ogre’s fingertip like a fountain.
“Hmm. Oh, yeah….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk let out a moan of satisfaction as he got to taste the purest form of dark Mana in quite a while.
Oh-Sik began trembling in fear as he watched his Mana drain away.
It can’t be.
He wouldn’t, right?
I mean, I worked like a dang slave for him!! (Oh-Sik the Ogre’s inner monologue. Yep, we’re even getting those now.)
Unfortunately, Oh-Sik had witnessed Yi Ji-Hyuk draining Mana out from his minions exactly like this many times in the past. And those victims would always end up as very mummified corpses, so quite understandably, the Ogre’s fear was only getting worse every passing second.
And when Oh-Sik realised that the remaining amount of Mana inside was getting low enough to threaten his life, the Ogre hurriedly cried out like a terrified puppy.
“Ah?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Only then, Yi Ji-Hyuk removed his hand.
“Ohh…. Oops. My bad. I drained more than I needed. I mean, it’s been such a long time and all….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik, looking a lot more lean than before, collapsed face first on the floor, completely exhausted now.
His eyes were full of anguish and dissatisfaction, but hell, he was still alive, so there was that!
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly patted the Ogre in the head, and then, turned around.
“Alright, again!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk resumed drawing the magic runes in the air.
As his Mana-laden hands brushed past the empty space, the transparent yet distinctly clear traces of Mana remained there and began emitting pure rays of light.
“What are those?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
While standing at the rear, away from the frontlines, Jeong Hae-Min gazed at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s magical symbols with a pair of dreamy eyes. Those symbols full of unknown meaning seemed so beguiling to her.
Meanwhile, Yi Ji-Hyuk was frowning somewhat as he finished up drawing the last of the magic runes, which now formed a magic circle.
What he had completed here was a spell that just so happened to be quite literally useless, but featured such high degree of difficulty that even throughout the entire history of Berafe, only three people had managed to master it.
Hell, one would become a top sorcerer by investing the same amount of time needed to master this spell on learning several other spells. Obviously, no one even attempted the feat as a result. But Yi Ji-Hyuk could master it, since he had nothing but time on his hands.
Yi Ji-Hyuk finally stopped moving his hands, and he let out a single chant.
“Time Reversal!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
From both Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body and the floating magic circle, blinding rays of light exploded out. And at the same time, the reactor no.2 stopped going through the meltdown and started emitting bright white light as well.
“It’s…. so pretty.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Completely ignoring Jeong Hae-Min’s earnest admiration, Yi Ji-Hyuk and the power station continued to emit the bright light for a while.
And when the light finally subsided, Yi Ji-Hyuk let off a long sigh.
“Now that I’m using the spell after such a long time, it sure was a lot of work, wasn’t it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young approached Yi Ji-Hyuk and asked him.
“Is it over?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yup.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s it? Just like that?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yup.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young stared at him with a face full of suspicion, before asking the youth again.
“Just what did you do? Looks like nothing’s changed.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Everything’s changed. Why don’t you go inside and take a look? It’s all reverted back to how it was like before.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Really?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Still somewhat suspicious, Seo Ah-Young continued to stare at Yi Ji-Hyuk giving out non-committal answers, before giving a wordless signal to Lee Seok-Woo, who just so happened to be watching this scene from the sidelines.
“You mean, me?” (Lee Seok-Woo)
“Is there anyone else other than you here?” (Seo Ah-Young)
‘You dang witch!’ (Lee Seok-Woo)
Lee Seok-Woo swallowed back the rising tears of resentment, and entered the power station.
And then, a short while later…..
“E, everything’s fine! The reactor… it’s working fine!” (Lee Seok-Woo)
Lee Seok-Woo emerged from the station with a dumbstruck face and began raising a huge fuss.
But that was par for the course, really – who in this world would’ve enjoyed the opportunity to witness something as absurd as that until today?
All the mechanisms required for the station’s safe operation, once full of bullet holes and beyond saving, had all reverted back to how they were, so obviously, he was stunned out of his skull.
“What in the world?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young’s eyes became quite profound as she stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk once more.
“Just…. What exactly did you do?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Ohh, it’s nothing much, really.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I mean, could the so-called abilities even be capable of something like that…?” (Seo Ah-Young)
Almost everyone present began to stare at Yi Ji-Hyuk with the eyes normally reserved when looking at a completely incomprehensible mystery.
Seeing that, Yi Ji-Hyuk simply shrugged his shoulders.
This magic, with its frustratingly high difficulty but utter lack of actual “usefulness” – it was indeed a pretty formidable spell that could wind back the time itself. However, it could only affect the non-living objects, so yes, it was pretty useless when all things were considered.
That was the Time Reversal spell in a nutshell.
Yi Ji-Hyuk researched this magic while hoping that he’d be able to escape from Berafe somehow by reversing the flow of time. But, when he learned of its limitation, he had not used it once. Until today.
If you were planning to, say, fix machines or buildings, or even recharge the depleted magic crystals after they were used up, then sure, you could do loads of things with this spell. However, honestly speaking, which top sorcerer capable of mastering this spell would stoop so low?
‘As someone once said, there are truly no useless things in the world…’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Indeed, Yi Ji-Hyuk was feeling rightly chuffed with himself, having learned the spell.
“You, just what is your real identity?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Why, it’s Yi Ji-Hyuk, of course.”
“You know that’s not what I meant!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young was about to say something else, but then, sighed out in defeat while shaking her head, instead.
Well, hadn’t she experienced enough times already, of the youth not giving out a satisfactory answer no matter how many times he was asked?
Her expression still full of unhappiness, she glared back at Yi Ji-Hyuk for a bit, before she waved her hand and turned away from him.
The once-possessed soldiers were slowly walking back to the shore having dragged themselves out from the sea water. Various ambulances and emergency medical staff were dispersing this way and that, trying to get to the injured and the like.
The whole place was in shambles, but at least, the power station had been spared.
‘Spared….’ (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young glanced at the station, and her body shuddered just for a little bit.
What a weird feeling, this was.
What with the manner in which today’s crisis got resolved so easily, one might be lulled into thinking that there was nothing to worry about in the first place.
However, on the flip side, if Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t here, then at a bare minimum, the area of Busan would’ve become a death zone where not one creature could survive.
Even an Ogre appeared here – a monster frightening enough for a nation with powerful defenses to declare a nationwide emergency. And then, there was the group of Spectres, and the nuclear power station was almost destroyed as a result.
However, all those potentially devastating events were resolved in less than one hour.
She had nearly forgotten it since she had to see his face everyday now and that led to them bickering all the bloody time, but once more, Seo Ah-Young was reminded of the painful reality that this rotten youth was beyond anyone’s comprehension.
Too bad, his everyday actions were just as incomprehensible, too!!
All of his stress-inducing actions!!
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s facial expression was like that of a bear with a full tummy, as he lazily opened his mouth.
“So, my off days are now fifteen, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s lips opened and closed without a sound several times, before he powerlessly nodded his head.
Why? He had figured that, in case he tried to wrangle out of the deal right now, then during the next inevitable urgent situation it’d only prove to be an even bigger loss, as Yi Ji-Hyuk would drive the dagger of vengeance and try to gut him open.
“However! Promise us that you’ll show up and help when we end up facing another emergency situation like today! If you do so, then I’ll allow this extension of your off days for sure!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Add one more day to the total, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Euh, euh, euh!!”
Choi Jung-Hoon trembled in unwillingness, but in the end, granted the ‘request’.
Yi Ji-Hyuk cackled to himself, wondering where he should go for his holiday break, when Jeong Hae-Min approached him and the others. She sounded rather curious as she asked.
“Why are you all acting as if we are in the clear?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Eh? What are you talking about?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Over there, that thing.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
On the spot Jeong Hae-Min pointed at, there was a never-before-seen creature squatting down.
“What is that?”
“A dog? Isn’t that a dog?”
“No, if you take a closer look, isn’t it more like a bear?”
“Even I think it’s a dog, though?”
The group began voicing their opinions while trying to decipher what that half-a-man-sized animal could possibly be.
Meanwhile, a huge smile bloomed on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face as he looked at that small animal with a mixture of red and black fur.
Oh-Sik-ah! Oh, Oh-Sik-ah!! How come you’ve become so adorable?! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
It seemed that, after most of its Mana was sucked out, the Ogre couldn’t maintain its massive bulk and had to decrease its size.
Yi Ji-Hyuk walked up to Oh-Sik and patted his head.
“Isn’t it just the cutest?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik’s head dropped low, while looking utterly depressed.
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes gleamed in a new light. He was actually worried about what to do when Oh-Sik was still a full-sized Ogre, but now that it was this small, there should be no problem whatsoever.
And hell, if it needed to be, he’d supply it with Mana to balloon it up, and by draining the Mana out of the creature, Yi Ji-Hyuk would get to lead it around like a pet dog….
“Huh, if I train it ju~st right, wouldn’t I be able to ride on it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk felt overjoyed at finding a new mode of transportation. However, Choi Jung-Hoon’s face lost all colour as he quickly cried out in alarm.
“You, you want to keep that as a pet?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Of course. Isn’t it cute?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jung-Hoon’s disbelieving eyes were directed towards the miniature Ogre.
The monster did have pure and round anime-like eyes, its nose was round and chubby, and the rest….
It is kinda cute, that’s for sure.
No, no, no!!
That’s not iiiiitttt!!
No matter how cute it looks now, that monster is still a damn Ogre!!
That’s the evil monster that could crush a nation if it went on a rampage!!
And you wanna keep something like that as a pet?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Where are you even thinking of keeping that thing?! And what are you going to feed it with?!?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I’ll just tie him down by the front entrance of the HQ. As for its meals….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head this way and that.
“I’m sure I can just give him pet food.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pet food?!?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You know, dog food.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik’s eyes trembled as if there was an earthquake happening right now.
At this rate, history’s very first dog food-eating Ogre might be born.
“What will you do if the Ogre decides to snack on a passerby?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eiii~, he’s not gonna do that. He definitely doesn’t want to get skinned alive, you know. Don’t you, Oh-Sik-ah?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The monster/animal quickly nodded his head after sensing Yi Ji-Hyuk’s dense killing intent. Even though he couldn’t understand human language….
‘To think, I’d live long enough to see the day when I’m feeling sorry for a bloody Ogre….’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
It was almost like a houserat feeling sorry for a lion here. Well, even though the poor thing looked like that now, Choi Jung-Hoon wouldn’t even be able to defend against a single finger flick from Oh-Sik in reality.
‘Wait a minute…. Just how strong is it now, when looking like that?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Right, it might be as small as a dog, but that didn’t mean it was really a dog.
Choi Jung-Hoon couldn’t help but suspect that it could still send any unwary passerby away on the one-way express ticket to the River Styx.
But to think, the youth wanted to put a dog collar on it and keep it as a pet?!
The sheer sense of hopelessness filled up Choi Jung-Hoon’s expression.
“In that case, why don’t you keep it in your own house?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Hul. Listen to this guy’s nonsense here. Hey, man. Are you going to take the responsibility if this little guy loses his mind and bites my mom or something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What?! Does that mean it’s fine for us to get bitten, instead?!?!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Eii, it’s not gonna bite, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What the bleep?! You’re not making any damn sense! No sense at all!! (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk cackled and lightly grasped the back of Oh-Sik’s neck.
“Hey, you prefer this too, don’t you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘What the, it’s almost crying now?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
No, hang on a minute… it’s not ‘almost’, is it? Look at that moist edges of its eyes. Aren’t they teardrops?!
Now I’ve seen everything. Including an Ogre tearing up.
Yep, it’s the end of the world, alright. The end of the dang world!
Huh, huhuhuhuhuh….. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Hahaha, I guess you really like this arrangement, huh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
How did you even arrive at that answer after looking at the Ogre’s expression?! How?! Just hooooowwwww?!?! (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Totally not caring whether Choi Jung-Hoon was crying out in anguish inwardly or not, Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly tossed the mini Oh-Sik up in the air slightly before catching it, while laughing out in satisfaction.
As if a powerful migraine was assaulting her, Seo Ah-Young stopped looking at this spectacle and began massaging her temples quite furiously. Meanwhile, Jeong Hae-Min sneakily approached closer and began cautiously stroking the back fur of Oh-Sik.
Finally giving up on seemingly everything, Choi Jung-Hoon then fell into a deep pit of dilemma, trying to figure out how should he go about concealing the presence of this…. animal, as well as on how to doctor the incident report.
None present here today would have guessed that today’s event was merely the prelude to the actual full scale invasion.
< 62. Eii, it’s not gonna bite, you know -2 > Fin.
Synopsis: The online game <