Yi Ji-Hyuk took one look at the tattered state of the emerging ability users and tilted his head in confusion.
“What’s the matter with them?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Of course, them looking tattered were all within his calculations. No, it was actually par for the course. However, his issue here was with the type of ‘tattering.’
He would’ve been able to understand if their clothing were torn and damaged, and if their bodies bore the remnants of terrible wounds from fighting the endless stream of monsters day in and day out in that hellhole. However, their clothing seemed ‘worn out’, instead.
That kind of wear and tear was possible only when one wore the same clothing for months on end.
Seeing their ragged and worn out attire, Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t help but feel that he had forgotten about something rather important.
“Huh? Mm? ….Ah? Ohh!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Ohh, that’s right!
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly clapped his hands.
Now that he thought about it, he had spent over 1000 years in Berafe yet only five years passed by on this side. He had forgotten to consider the difference in the flow of time!
He just threw these poor suckers into the demon world without even thinking about it!
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned refreshingly.
“Oops. My bad.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Oops?! Oops my a*s!!! You rotten son of a b*tch!!”
“Euhwaaaaah!! Kill that a*shole!!!”
“Kill that motherf*cker!!”
The exploding fury and the deep resentments of his victims poured out like tsunami waves and crashed on Yi Ji-Hyuk, but he simply shrugged his shoulders.
“Hmm. I see that you all got a bit stronger.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young, standing at the far back, glared at the youth with bloodshot eyes.
“You son of a….” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Ehheii!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon hurriedly stepped in front of her to stop, and her bloodthirsty eyes shifted their aim over to him, instead.
“What now?! What do you want?! Ahh?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Hul…….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Her unusually vicious response, and that venomous expression etched on her face, forced the clearly-shocked Choi Jung-Hoon back by several steps.
“I’m gonna rip that b*stard into pieces!! Don’t you dare stop me!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I don’t know what happened to you all, but for now, please calm down first!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Calm down? Did you just tell me calm the eff down?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
I’m not the one who did you wrong, though!! Why are you getting p*ssed off at me for?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
As Choi Jung-Hoon began shedding bucket loads of cold sweat, Yi Ji-Hyuk was whistling out in leisure, before a bright grin formed on his face.
“Come on now, a guy can make a mistake every now and then, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“A mistaaaaaake?!?!” (the NDF agents)
Undisguised killing intent filled up the returning ability users’ expressions.
“Well, you shouldn’t be worrying about me, though.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Only then did Seo Ah-Young remember the monsters still pouring out from the Gate just over yonder. Even if most of her reasoning had gone bye-bye, that didn’t mean she had forgotten why she went through that hell in the first place.
“Let’s take care of this mess first.” (Seo Ah-Young)
As soon as Seo Ah-Young issued an order, the NDF ability users got into position in perfect sync and pounced on the monster horde.
“Ho-oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk watched the event unfold with a genuinely interested expression on his face. He was able to sense that these people had gotten stronger, but seeing them in action was by far the best way to gauge the the actual amount of improvement.
Park Sung-Chan was running ahead of everyone else; as he ran, he suddenly lowered his body as if to touch the ground. Then, his body began rotating and he slammed into a monster in front. The chest cavity of the monster exploded as it flew away like a bullet.
The flying monster crashed and blew away others of ilk behind it, creating an open space for the Spitfire to jump in and began pouring out literal rivers of swirling flames.
Meanwhile, the user named ‘Rudra’ floated up over the Spitfire’s head, manipulated the air current, and spread the flames out even wider.
In the meantime, Seo Ah-Young was getting ready to fire a stupefyingly massive attack by gathering a large amount of flames in her hands.
“Get out of the way!” (Seo Ah-Young)
The monster horde was in complete disarray as the winds carrying the flames swept over them, failing to detect in time the reddish flaming ‘sun’ created by Seo Ah-Young rapidly descending on them.
Seeing all of these things unfold, Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head again.
They did get stronger, for sure, but the overall direction of their growth seemed a wee bit off kilter.
What he wanted to see was the increase in the individual combat prowess, but it seemed that their teamwork and cooperation had gotten much slicker, instead.
Of course, they did get stronger individually, but still….
‘Oh, well. This is fine, too.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The world never really spun according to one’s wishes anyways. It was still a good thing if these people did get stronger in one way or the other.
*SFX for massive flames bellowing out*
After the red flaming sun exploded in the midst of the monster horde, the only thing remaining in the aftermaths was black ash.
Not even the half of the ability users stepped out, yet more than 50% of the massive monster horde emerging from the Level 5 Gate was wiped out in an instant. Even the remaining monsters were being swiftly taken care of by other users not participating in that coordinated attack.
Compared to how badly they struggled to even deal with the similar Level 5 Gates in the past, this was an incredible improvement, without a doubt. Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head in approval at this display.
Yup, now that’s what I’m talking about.
By the way…. Uhm…
Why are they all looking at me like that? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Finally realising that their eyes emitting dangerous light were now focused on him, Yi Ji-Hyuk surveyed his immediate vicinity and found that, even before he had noticed it, not one person was standing near him anymore. That included the Defcom soldiers. Even Choi Jung-Hoon was no exception, as he stood far away while observing the situation develop.
“Mm?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What could be the reason for this reaction?
“Mister. Yi. Ji. Hyuk.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Yeah?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Her voice full of naked hostility, Seo Ah-Young glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk while slowly opening her trembling lips.
“So. Tell. Us. The. Reason.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“What reason?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The reason why you threw us in that place for half a year.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Half a year?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Huh. That’s longer than I thought.
It’s only been what, a week over here? Yet it was half a year for them over there. What’s the difference in time flow, then?
Is it around 20 to 1?
Hah! That’s nothing but a child’s play! I mean, my difference was like over 200 to 1!
If I had sent you lot over to Berafe, it would’ve been five whole years, not half a year! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Oh well. As long as you got stronger.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You saying that after abandoning us for half a year?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“I told you, a guy can make mistakes every now and then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mistaaaaakes?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Is he claiming that he made a mistake, when he threw us into that hell for half a year?!
Does he even have any idea just what kind of horror we had to go through to survive in that place?! (Seo Ah-Young’s inner monologue)
“A mistake…. It’s a mistake, he said….” (Seo Ah-Young)
With an embarrassed expression on his face, Yi Ji-Hyuk added something else in his defense.
“That’s why I made sure to send over some food whenever I had the chance, you know.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, other ability users standing guard behind Seo Ah-Young began piping up one by one after hearing his defense.
“Yeah, that was like a blessing from the heavens.”
“Food was literally falling from the sky.”
“I almost cried whenever we couldn’t get the timing right and monsters ended up eating our precious food. My food, from various parts of the world!!”
“What are you even on about? Didn’t you kill that monster, split its belly open and took out the food before eating it?”
“But, the taste was way too different, you know!!”
Seo Ah-Young shouted at them in anger.
“Shut up!” (Seo Ah-Young)
She easily subdued the noisy bunch behind her and resumed glaring at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
About once every ten days, food from various countries around the world fell from the sky in droves. It it weren’t for these timely ‘supply drops’, they wouldn’t even be here right now.
But, that didn’t mean she was thankful, though!
There was no freaking way she’d be thankful. No way in hell!!
Those types of food, she’d been able to eat them no problem in this world, anyway!!
However, she couldn’t figure out the reason for the variety of food falling on them. Was he trying to feed them with varied but balanced diet of nutrients or something?
“What were you doing while we were gone?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Well, uh, this and that….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk as he blurred the end of his sentence, before abruptly switching her attention to Choi Jung-Hoon, instead.
Understandably, Choi Jung-Hoon fell into a deep dilemma as the pressure from Seo Ah-Young’s silent glare and Yi Ji-Hyuk’s whistling inundated him. Thankfully, he was able to find the bestest, most optimal answer available.
“He was on a sightseeing tour of the world.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yup, time to rat his a*s out, then.
The ends of Seo Ah-Young’s lips twitched rather violently.
*SFX for teeth gnashing*
Oh, so you threw us into the pits of hell, and went on a relaxing sightseeing holiday, did you? (Seo Ah-Young’s inner monologue)
“You are right. Anyone can make mistakes.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“That’s what I’ve been saying all along.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“In that case, we can also make mistakes, correct?” (Seo Ah-Young)
As soon as Seo Ah-Young finished speaking, the NDF users began surrounding Yi Ji-Hyuk, leaving no room to escape.
“Oh, so….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned like a fool and spoke.
“You wanna kill me, is that it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young corrected him.
“No ways. It’s true that we’ve become stronger, after all. Just like you promised.” (Seo Ah-Young)
Indeed, that was the truth.
Trapped in a world so dark, where the darkness made identifying things nigh on impossible for the naked eye, they encountered and fought many terrifying monsters over and over again. So, obviously, they had gotten much stronger than before.
They had to overcome countless life-or-death situations. If it weren’t for Kitamura Ren’s timely intervention, who got thrown in there along with everyone else for no good reason whatsoever, no more than three people would’ve come back alive.
Indeed, they had become a lot stronger.
The greater the pain they suffered, the stronger they grew. So, they should feel thankful for that.
“I’m really thankful. We were able to become stronger thanks to you. That is why….” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young began gnashing her teeth loudly again.
“….You should see for yourself how much stronger we’ve become, no?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“And while that’s happening….”
“….Mistakes can happen.”
As the users inched closer and closer, Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head in confusion.
“I can already tell more or less even without fighting, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Their response to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s words were immediate.
“Eii, eii, there’s no way you can tell.”
“Things like this, you won’t be able to tell.”
“But, what gets engraved into your heart won’t ever be forgotten. Just like how it was for us.”
“I think you should be especially mindful of your piehole.”
“Riiight, that piehole of yours….”
There were a volatile mixture of loony happiness and unchecked rage showing up on the faces of the NDF agents as they got closer and closer to Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“I’m sure you won’t get killed. You see, Mister Kitamura’s healing ability has improved a great deal, too. So, you don’t have to worry about a thing.”
“That is correct. Well, you should still resolve yourself for the pain of experiencing a bone or two getting broken by accident.”
“However, that sh*tty piehole of yours will never go back to the way it was. That I promise you.”
“Why don’t we just stitch that hole up? Make sure it never leaks out another sound ever again?”
Seeing this scene unfold, Yi Ji-Hyuk scratched the back of his head.
They have no idea what kind of a mouth mine happens to be, do they? Saying they’ll change it and all that.
Yi Ji-Hyuk never rested his mouth, not even once, even when he was receiving all sorts of unimaginable torture in the past, yet these fools want to do something about it?
Okay, so. What should I do about these fools?
Of course, I accept that I am at fault here. It might be a tiny, teensy-weensy, little minuscule speck of fault, but it’s a fault regardless. Smaller than a molecule of dirt, even.
However, to slight and abuse me this much as if I’m the worst person in the world just for that insignificant mistake, isn’t that going against the principles of friendship as well as one’s conscience?
I mean, no matter how cold and indifferent this world is, there should be a limit to that! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“You guys might end up regretting this, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Seo Ah-Young’s eyes began burning in anger.
“If I don’t land my fist on that mug of yours, I’ll die of regret anyways.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Hell, a fist in the face isn’t enough!”
“Hah! There’s no guarantee whether I’ll feel better or not even if I get to beat you up for the next three days straight!!”
“You don’t have to worry about us. Instead, you should worry about your own body first.”
Yi Ji-Hyuk chuckled in bitterness.
Would you look at these guys?
What the hell? Did they lose their fear of me because I happen to treat them a bit better recently?
It’s only been a week since….
Oh, wait. It’s been half a year for them, hasn’t it? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“I guess it’s that time again.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Now normally, you’d go about threshing your crops at regular intervals.
The thing was, the seeds of rebellion always sprouted in the hearts of animals called ‘humans’ if left unchecked. So, one needed to pull the weeds out at a regular interval in order to maintain some semblance of peace until the time for house cleaning came around again.
“I’ll ask for the last time here. You sure you won’t be regretting this at all?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“We’ll have to wait and see who regrets first, don’t you think?”
“Keuh~. I’m shaking from hearing that typically villainous answer.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk deliberately shook his body for all to see. The ability users began clenching their fists real tight when they saw his nonchalant reaction.
They were all thinking the same thing:
That bloody piehole of his….
We’ve been dreaming of stepping on that mouth until it turns into a soft mush…
“You will get killed at this rate.”
“But, but. If you get hurt while acting like this, you’ll only feel doubly worse, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“How can you stay sarcastic under the situation, I wonder?”
“Well, this situation isn’t much to sweat over, though. But, you thought I was being sarcastic? Honestly, I wasn’t, you know? I’ve never been sarcastic in my whole life.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hey, you godd*mn motherf*cker!!” (Park Sung-Chan)
Park Sung-Chan shouted out as he threateningly stepped forward, prompting other users to hold him down. The end result of him facing the youth all alone was way too obvious for everyone here.
No, they had to stick to the plan they had cooked up and been practicing all for the last six months in order to stand a chance of revenge!
“Get a hold of yourself, Mister Sung-Chan!”
“Euh…. That a*shole…. Really….”
“Wowsers. You might end up hitting someone at this rate.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Euh, uwaaaah!! You, you f*cking b*stard!!”
Seeing the reddened face of deeply agitated Park Sung-Chan, Yi Ji-Hyuk inwardly clicked his tongue. It seemed that his mentality hadn’t grown at all, seeing how agitated he was only from such a small provocation.
Well, I’ve humoured them enough now, so….
Time to instill discipline in them once more. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk raised his right hand and began drawing black runes in the air, and sure enough, a black hole suddenly appeared there.
As soon as Yi Ji-Hyuk created the black warp gate, the NDF agents panicked grandly and began to retreat almost out of reflex.
“Mm? Ahh. Don’t worry. This is something different.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
However, they should still be suitably entertained with this much.
From the warp gate, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s enslaved monsters, led by Oh-Sik, jumped out.
“Let me say this before we get started. Just because you managed to survive among the monsters for a while, that doesn’t give you the qualifications to become so full of yourselves.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You see…. I’m a lot worse than those monsters.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A black tentacle shot out for Yi Ji-Hyuk, latched onto Oh-Sik and supplied the Ogre with Mana, thus restoring him to his original size. The Ogre roared out and dashed towards Seo Ah-Young and her rebellious group.
“Ladies and gents, time to squash the seeds of rebellion!”
< 83. What will happen if we enter there? (3) > Fin.
(TL: Remaining amount till the next sponsored chapter: $25)