“Hahaha! Hyung-nim, you’ve got a great sense of humour!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“….You think I’m joking with you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
But please, just say that you were!
Just where do you think we are right now?! You crazy a*shole!! (Kim Dah-Hyun’s inner monologue)
“Oppa, you’re really funny!”
Yi Ji-Hyuk was about to say something, but then, one of the school girls reacted and interfered rather quickly. He narrowed his eyes in disapproval.
Huh, would you look at this little girl?
She’s already trying to protect him?
Even if he’s a handsome b*stard, you guys have only shared one greeting so far! A first time meeting and all! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Kim Dah-Hyun somehow managed to survive this situation by treating it as just a simple, off-the-cuff humour from the youth. Then, he searched for a seat he could use, and finally, chose the one on the opposite side to Yi Ji-Hyuk’s.
Because, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s left and right sides were occupied by Yi Ye-Won and Kim Dah-Som respectively, leaving Kim Dah-Hyun with no alternative.
“Hi, everyone. I’m Kim Dah-Hyun, Dah-Som’s oppa.”
“It’s so nice to meet you!”
….The tone of their voices seems different, no?
No, hang on a minute. It is a LOT different, isn’t it?!
We’re both human males, we’re both oppas of your friends, yet why do we get different types of greetings?
Is it because of my sister’s terrible personality?
Did I get affected by that, too? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s mind was trying to escape from the cruel reality of the situation.
“You’re also working at the NDF, oppa?”
“Oh, that. Yeah, I work there.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Wow, sooo cool!”
He said the exact same thing as I did, but again, your reactions are too different!
Uhm, excuse me…. You know, I also work at the NDF, too!
Why do you show us different reactions when I told you I also work at the same place as this guy?!
This makes no sense!!!
No bloody sense! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk learned that the world made no sense to him a long time ago, but for some reason, this fact seemed to dig even more painfully into his heart today.
“Oppa, since you work for the NDF, that means you’re super strong, right?”
“Hahaha. How can I dare to claim such a thing in front of this hyung? No, this man over here, he’s really powerful.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
The girls spared only a cursory glance at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s general direction. The lightness of their gazes that didn’t even linger for more than 0.1 second said everything one needed to know, really.
“Well, being strong isn’t the most important thing, you know.”
….If being strong isn’t important when fighting monsters, then what is?! Huh?!
Is it the ability to make friends?!
Should we go around making friends with monsters, then?
When Yi Ji-Hyuk began trembling in rage, Ye-Won tightly grasped her brother’s arm.
‘Calm down.’ (Ye-Won)
‘Keuk!’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Ye-Won looked at her brother with an expression of sympathy while shaking her head ever so slightly.
Although he did not really resemble a squid, the moment Kim Dah-Hyun made his unexpected appearance, Yi Ji-Hyuk was demoted as one from everyone else’s perspective.
And that dude wasn’t even a dang wizard or something; that face, capable of transforming a species of a person, now wasn’t that the most horrifying weapon in existence?
However, Kim Dah-Hyun was a really handsome man, that’s for sure.
He may not be Ye-Won’s type, but looking at him objectively, it wouldn’t be strange to call him a celebrity.
Too bad, his level was too low, though. A man should have a certain dandy-ness to him.
Hah…. Choi Jung-Hoon oppa….
By the way…. Ng?
Why is she acting like that? (Ye-Won’s inner monologue)
Ye-Won spotted Kim Dah-Som’s hand tightly clutching onto Yi Ji-Hyuk’s clothes.
Well, since that handsome guy is her brother, she should feel indifferent about him. Fine. But, still. She gets to see that nice face everyday of her life, yet she wanna act like this with my brother? (Ye-Won’s inner monologue)
Ye-Won just couldn’t figure it out.
“Of course it’s important. Why do you think it’s not? You’d change your mind after checking out how that hyung fights. Even though we both are men, I find it so d*mn cool.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Only then did the gazes of the girls looking at Yi Ji-Hyuk change just a little. However, when their curious gazes focused on him, his clothes were suddenly pulled taut from the side.
Kim Dah-Som’s unreadable glare landed on her older brother, and Kim Dah-Hyun’s complexion visibly paled before he quickly changed the subject.
“Ha, haha, ha…. That’s not that important right now, though! Am I right?” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“You’re so right.”
After succeeding in recapturing the girls’ attention, Kim Dah-Hyun checked his sister’s reaction. With a satisfied look on her face, Kim Dah-Som gripped Yi Ji-Hyuk’s clothes even tighter.
“Hey! You are going to stretch the fabric!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ye-Won spat out a lengthy groan.
That blonde girl might not be okay in her head, but this guy over here was also not right in the head, either. The girl who for some reason liked this squid of a man and chased after him, and the man who didn’t even know his place and was busy trying to kick away a girl who’d turn heads wherever she went….
Why was Ye-Won surrounded by such moronic beings?
Besides all that, why was her brother looking so sullen ever since a while ago?
Seeing the three jovial people sitting in front of him laughing and enjoying themselves, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s cheeks were puffing up more and more.
“…And that was why I had to endure so much hardship. Isn’t that right, hyung-nim?” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“You call that little thing ‘hardship’?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“………” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
So, how should Kim Dah-Hyun reply to that?
If he mouthed the following words, ‘Wouldn’t going through all that qualify as hardship?’, then without a doubt, Yi Ji-Hyuk would go absolutely mental and scream out, Let me show you what REAL hardship is!!
But, if Kim Dah-Hyun replied with, ‘Yes, that wasn’t much of a hardship’, then Yi Ji-Hyuk would definitely say something like In that case, you should experience hardship at least once in your life….
So, just what should Kim Dah-Hyun say here, when being glared at with the eyes that shouted out I’ll make you suffer regardless of what your answer is…?
“Haha…. ha. Well, uh, I guess that’s not all that important…” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Oh, so it’s not important anymore?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…..No, it’s… important….” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Oh, if it’s important, then why did you say it wasn’t? You trying to make fun of people?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I wouldn’t dare to make fun of hyung-nim.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“And why not? Is it because you think I’m a small minded guy who can’t take a lighthearted joke?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N, no, that’s not it. There is no way you’re like that.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Oh? Then why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Please, please! Show me a way out of this, please!
What’s up with this intensely hostile reaction?!
Did I do something wrong? (Kim Dah-Hyun’s inner monologue)
“….Did I do something wrong?” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“It’s your face that’s wrong.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Pardon?” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
When Yi Ji-Hyuk darkly muttered to himself, ‘All good-looking people should just die’, cold sweat trickled down Kim Dah-Hyun’s face.
Looks like I’ve really gotten on his bad side today, haven’t I?
At this rate, am I gonna get beaten up black and blue again? (Kim Dah-Hyun’s inner monologue)
Kim Dah-Hyun could somehow handle being beaten up until he vomited blood, but just imagining being sentenced to a spell inside that black gate made his entire body shudder involuntarily.
“Ha, haha…. Wow, I’m feeling thirsty all of a sudden…” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Uh? Oppa, you still haven’t ordered anything yet? In that case, how about drinking mine….?”
One of Ye-Won’s friends pushed her coffee mug forward, but it collided with Kim Dah-Hyun trying to wave his hand and fell to the floor.
Just as the gasps ran out, the coffee mug froze in mid-air. Then, it rose up by itself and landed back on the table. The whole thing happened very quickly.
Unfortunately, the issue was with the subsequent reactions.
The once-noisy interior of the cafe had fallen into deafening silence.
Kim Dah-Hyun let off a sigh and looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk with a helpless expression.
“Hey, why are breathing on someone’s face like that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….That’s not it, hyung-nim.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“What? ….What now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Can’t you read the atmosphere, man?!
Even if you’re a narcissistic a*shole, you’re still supposed to pay attention to other people, too!
Didn’t you feel the atmosphere becoming weird just now? (Kim Dah-Hyun’s inner monologue)
“We should get out of here first.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Mm? Why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Only then did Yi Ji-Hyuk take a look around.
And he found the stares of other patrons within the cafe focused on his table.
“Why are they looking at us like that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head slightly, and Ye-Won quickly whispered in his ear.
“Remember…. We’re not in our residential area.” (Ye-Won)
“So what?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Regular people don’t like ability users, remember?” (Ye-Won)
“Really?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Something like that, well, Yi Ji-Hyuk did expect such things to happen, so he didn’t feel anything particular about it. However….
Even then, he couldn’t help but feel that this reaction seemed a bit too pronounced. Was the relationship between the two camps this bad?
“We ain’t even monkeys in a zoo, either.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
There was a faint trace of enmity mixed among their stares.
Yi Ji-Hyuk lightly clicked his tongue.
Of course, he didn’t find this surprising. Even back in Berafe, Sorcerers and Knights were no longer considered as the same species as the normal powerless people, after all.
Yi Ji-Hyuk knew that there was no way a human capable of smashing a boulder into pieces with his bare hands, and powerless regular people could live together in harmony.
The difference between here and Berafe, though, was that the latter world had gone through a lengthy period of co-existence, so the ‘relationship’ there had stabilised to a certain degree. Besides, normal people had no avenue to compete against those with powers anyway, so they ended up treating the other side as objects of awe as time wore on, instead.
However, the mixing of the two groups had only begun in this world; so, it was hardly surprising to receive stares of jealousy, fear, and even a certain amount of vigilance.
Awkward? Was that the most suitable word for this situation?
In any case, it was now impossible to hold a conversation inside the silent cafe where a soft sigh would end up sounding like a ringing bell. Even a single word from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s group would be heard by the other patrons.
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head and got up from his seat.
He didn’t expect things to be this bad.
The chasm between the ability users and the regular people seemed to be wider than Yi Ji-Hyuk’s calculation. Up until now, he had only been interacting with the KSF and NDF people, or stayed cooped up in his own house, so he never had a real chance to feel it with his own skin.
Sure, he read about anti-ability user groups and all that nonsense online, but well, with the internet being what it was, he didn’t take them too seriously.
Migrant workers, women, foreign countries – the internet was full of morons who’d kick up a fuss over pretty much anything and everything, so Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t pay them any heed. However, this issue didn’t sound so simple anymore.
“Let’s go.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, hyung-nim.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Yi Ji-Hyuk left the cafe and the others followed him out. Meanwhile, his heightened sense of hearing caught onto all the murmurs and whispers coming from the cafe.
“Fools who can’t even say that to my face….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk clicked his tongue again, prompting Kim Dah-Hyun to smile brightly in order to enliven the mood.
“Hahaha. You feeling okay, hyung-nim? It happens quite often, though.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Yeah, I’m okay.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked nonchalantly. Just who was he? He was the man who had endured the hatred of an entire world just fine.
So, he didn’t even spare a thought over a trivial thing like receiving a portion of hostility directed towards the grouping of ‘ability users’, which he didn’t exactly belong to in the first place.
No, he only left the cafe because he didn’t want to be bothered.
“You can’t carry on living while constantly worrying about what others think of you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘But, of course….’ (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Of course, if you were a guy who cared about what others thought about you, you wouldn’t have lived like this.
Wasted my time worrying about you, didn’t I? (Kim Dah-Hyun’s inner monologue)
The first trial for those who became ability users recently, was precisely this. The user would think that nothing had changed about him or herself, yet the people around that person would change, instead. Such as, the friends they thought they were close with, suddenly keeping their distances.
There were quite a few cases of users no longer on speaking terms with their families, too.
That in turn forced the ability users to seek out and hang around other ability users who could understand them the best, which only served to further strengthen the sense of alienation between the normal people and the users.
And currently, the situation had reached a worrisome level.
Even Kim Dah-Hyun had reached a point where he no longer spoke to normal people, unless it was with his immediate family members.
“So, is it fine for me to go home now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes. Well, there’s nothing much to do here, and the reason for us being here is finished too, so….”
Ye-Won must’ve thought the same, since she nodded her head in silence as well. Well, she got to prove her words, so there. Too bad her older brother ended up becoming a squid, though.
Ye-Won then looked at Kim Dah-Som sticking to her brother like a piece of gum and nodded her head.
She thought that, rather than having a few lame idiots hanging around him, it was far more preferable to have someone like her stick around, instead.
Although it was unfortunate that she was not right in the head, wasn’t her own brother a mental case, too?
So, yup, that girl had to be caught, now. If she were to be blunt, how would her older brother, with that face and that personality of his, catch a girl as pretty as that one?
It was right then.
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s NDF-issued smartphone began emitting bright white light.
“Eh? It had this sort of function, too?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, the light became even more blinding. And then… a shape of a female materialised in front of Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Huh?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His eyes became wider in surprise after confirming who this female was.
“What the, it’s you?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mister Choi Jung-Hoon is calling for you.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“What the hell? Just because you say that, I should go?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Probably?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
A vein popped up on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s forehead.
Would you look at this guy sending someone else, just because he’s too scared to call me on the phone?
Seriously now…. He wasn’t like that in the beginning, yet isn’t he becoming a bit of coward nowadays?
You think I’m gonna bite your head off or something if you called me?
However, what’s this?
Why am I feeling rather chilly all of a sudden? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The moment Jeong Hae-Min showed up here, it felt like the air had become noticeably colder for some reason….
“Argh! What the heck?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk finally spotted Kim Dah-Som breathing out icy cold breaths right next to him and quickly stepped away in fright.
“Yes?” (Kim Dah-Som)
Kim Dah-Som tilted her head as if she was puzzled by his action. Even then, her eyes never stopped staring at Jeong Hae-Min.
“Hmmmmm?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min too, received that stare with a slightly haughty attitude and a cocked head.
As the two females proceeded on with the hard-to-describe war of nerves, the man in the centre of this storm, Yi Ji-Hyuk, was calling up Choi Jung-Hoon on the phone in order to pour out lots and lots of verbal abuse.
Seeing this scene unfold, Ye-Won could only click her tongue in annoyance.
What a mess….
What a bloody mess unfolding around this guy….
Was the world about to come to an end….?
Yi Ye-Won spat out a long, long groan while glaring at the ‘Mister Squid’ that just so happened to be her blood kin.
< 87. A dirty world where only the handsome b*stards are treated nicely (2) > Fin.
(TL: Remaining amount till the next sponsored chapter: $25.)