(TL: This chapter is brought to you by these wonderful examples what humanity is capable of: Tae-Ha K, and Kaung TWN! Thank you for your support!)
“N, no, I’m not the killer! Hey you!! What nonsense are you spouting now?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min’s face began reddening up considerably in an instant. Thick teardrops began forming at the edges of her eyes as she glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk with a resentful expression on her face.
“Here’s the situation.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pointed at the displayed map and replied.
“If you assume that teleportation markers are placed in major urban centres, then making sense of that messy map becomes much easier.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s true.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon nodded his head.
In order to minimise the teleporter’s weakness, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to leave behind a marker where there were a lot of people?
At a first glance, the map resembled a jumbled-up mess, but if one were to consider the radius around the major city centres, then most of the red dots fell more or less within them.
“I, I’m not the killer!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min cried out in alarm, and began growling in anger.
“What the?! You dare to get going again? You better stop, or else!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
*SFX for a sudden and very abrupt ending*
“When did I say you were the killer? You stayed by my side every freaking day, so where would you even find the time to go and off someone in the first place?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
….And with that declaration, weird gazes were directed in Yi Ji-Hyuk and Jeong Hae-Min’s direction.
She stayed by his side every day?
Wasn’t that woman Jeong Hae-Min?
That man was together with an idol from the group S Girls, the South Korea’s one and only teleporter, every freaking day?!
When he muttered something that could be taken out of context rather easily, the mood inside the conference room became quite strange in the blink of an eye.
Sure enough, several ‘uncle’ fans of the S Girls hidden within the ranks of the investigators were beginning to openly tremble in rage and perhaps, a bit of jealousy as well. (TL note at the end)
“W, when did I ever stay by your side every day?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Oh? In that case, you can be the murder suspect, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N, no… Wait, that’s not it….” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min’s face was dyed completely in red and she began stammering in panic. Choi Jung-Hoon spat out a groan and stepped in to normalise the situation.
“You’re right. If we consider the possibility of a teleporter being the culprit, then many things about this case makes sense. However….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Normally, people wouldn’t have thought of that possibility. Why? Because, teleporters were a rare commodity, that was why. Normal people would find it hard to imagine that a teleporter was going around committing heinous crimes like that, when there were less teleporters then there were nations in the world.
‘Maybe, he’s just open minded?’ (Choi Jung-Hoon)
No, he simply has a different way of looking at things from everyone else. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Choi Jung-Hoon arrived at a simple enough conclusion and then, lightly clapped his hands to draw the attention to himself.
“If that’s true, then solving this crime might get easier from now on.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
….Wow. I wanna learn how to p*ss off people so quickly like him.
Just how can anyone get on others’ nerves that easily? (Cho Ji-Woong’s inner monologue)
“Did you just say it’ll get easier from now on?” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“Well, it’s better than not knowing….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
It was then, the smirking Yi Ji-Hyuk abruptly cut in.
“Let’s assume for now that the murderer is a teleporter.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“How are you planning to apprehend him or her?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nonchalantly reached out and grasped the scruff of Jeong Hae-Min’s neck, and lifted her up.
“Kkyah?! What the?! Stop it!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“You might be able to catch one like this, but then…. Hey, you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Can you teleport out of here while leaving me behind?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ng, I can do it.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Yi Ji-Hyuk then looked at Choi Jung-Hoon.
“Well, there you go. You heard her, no?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Wowsers. This is…. Isn’t this an unexpected problem? (Cho Ji-Woong)
If the murderer was indeed a teleporter, then would they even be able to arrest the perp in the first place? Seriously, how would anyone apprehend a criminal capable of simply teleporting away when things looked bad?
Even if the cops found a way to slap the cuffs on him, the b*stard would simply teleport away while leaving behind the restraints.
“This just got more difficult, didn’t it? (Cho Ji-Woong)
Narrowing the scope of the investigation was difficult to begin with.
If the murderer indeed teleported here, there and everywhere without limiting his scope of activity to a single, fixed location, then it was impossible to triangulate where he could be hiding. But, even if they somehow did close in on the perp, he’d simply teleport away and escape from their grasp.
If the suspect had left a marker in another country, then things would become even more hopeless. They were hoping for a new breakthrough, yet the situation was seemingly getting worse.
“However, it’s not for certain that a teleporter is behind the killings.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
Cho Ji-Woong spoke up, and Choi Jung-Hoon nodded his head in agreement.
For sure, they were just guessing at the moment. However, although it was merely a guess…. Choi Jung-Hoon couldn’t shake this sense of foreboding away.
“Let’s say, our suspect isn’t a teleporter. Then, what kind of an ability would one need to move around without leaving behind a single trace?” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“First of all….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon came up with a couple of possibilities.
“In case perp’s ability happens to be something like Invisibility or an advanced stealth ability, it shouldn’t be too difficult to trace the suspect. However, over here.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon consulted the reports and pointed at the projected map.
“Since the murders occurred in Busan and Gwangju only one hour apart, explaining that with Invisibility or other stealth type abilities alone will be very difficult. Unless you own a helicopter or a private jet, it’ll be impossible.” (Choi Jung-Hoon) (TL: the city of Gwangju is located on the South West of Korea, while Busan is in the South East. Basically, on the opposite side of the peninsula.)
Choi Jung-Hoon then asked the softly groaning investigators.
“Is there a possibility that there are more than one murderer?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“The modus operandi and the target profile are a match in all of the cases. Even if you have an accomplice, different people have differing dispositions and habits. No matter how closely you copy the M.O., fingerprints, etc, you’d be still be hard pressed to find such uncanny similarities.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
Which meant there could only be one killer, then….
Choi Jung-Hoon nodded his head softly before it began moving a bit harder.
“Okay. So, for the time being, we should assume that our killer is either a teleporter, or someone with a similar ability. At a bare minimum, he could be someone with an ability to travel great distance in a single breath….” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk silently listened to Choi Jung-Hoon’s musings, before asking a question.
“By the way…. If you look into that, you know, wouldn’t you be able to find out?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What do you mean?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I mean, you gotta be registered if you’re an ability user, right? So, the powers of most ability users should be on record, no? Wouldn’t you be able to find some sort of a clue if you start looking into those users with abilities that fit the criteria?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….That’s true.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Although this method made the most logical sense, it was also one path Choi Jung-Hoon didn’t want to tread on. Indeed, he didn’t enjoy treating the already-registered ability users as criminals.
However, he couldn’t dwell on his emotions anymore.
Because, the ripple effect from this serial murder case had all the potential to become absolutely uncontrollable. If the perpetrator was found to be an ability user, it’d be difficult to imagine the amount of negative impact such a revelation might bring.
If they don’t lend a hand during the arrest of the suspect, then it’d be impossible to dodge the pointed arrows of criticism flying at the NDF.
“Well, for now, the investigation team will explore this new lead. Meanwhile, the folks from NDF, please focus on securing the ability users with the powers that fit the criteria.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“Here’s one.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spoke after picking Jeong Hae-Min again by the scruff of her neck and dangling her in the air.
“Hey!!! I said stop it!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Secured.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Argh, this irredeemable moron…. (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
Meanwhile, Cho Ji-Woong was overcome with a bad premonition that things would not wrap up nice and clean at all. There was this whiff of ominous, sinister evil stench coming from this case.
Even if he and his men were to be assisted by the NDF….
“Put me down!! I said, put me down!!!!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Be still, will ya?! They said I gotta secure you!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I told you, I’m not the murderer!! How can I even kill a person to begin with?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Looks can be deceiving. Even salt can look like sugar!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL note at the end)
“YOU….” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Just as Jeong Hae-Min began powering her motor up, Yi Ji-Hyuk noticed this, flinched, and hurriedly dropped her. But he was still too late.
“*SFX for Jeong Hae-Min’s LOUD wail*”
As soon as that hellish sobbing exploded out from Jeong Hae-Min’s throat, Yi Ji-Hyuk covered up his ears and hastily retreated to a distance. The entire conference room reverberated from her sobbing, causing the unwary cops to cover their ears in shock as well.
“What the hell is this?!”
Choi Jung-Hoon shouted out in panic.
“Come on now! Why did you bully her like that?! Do something about this!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Can’t hear you!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Why did you make her cry?!?! You knew this might happen!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Did you say something?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Aaaaargh!! You stinking b*stard!!” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“I can hear that one! Hey you! Wanna die?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk left behind the flinching Choi Jung-Hoon, and approached the wailing Jeong Hae-Min. Then, he created a black hole which promptly swallowed her up.
“Hul……..” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
His hands trembling from shock, Choi Jung-Hoon asked the youth.
“Where did you send her?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“To a place with nothing in it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m sure she’ll calm down after bawling her eyes out for a while over there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
What the hell?! Why are you imprisoning a person in an isolation chamber, when she’s simply crying out in sorrow?! Will you take responsibility if her trauma becomes even worse than before?!
Isn’t this way too excessively logical from you?! (Choi Jung-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“It’s just my opinion, but…. I think it’ll be better if you let her out now.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“You think so?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Well, in that case….
Yi Ji-Hyuk extended his hand and reconstructed the warp gate. And just like that, Jeong Hae-Min emerged back in to the world.
“Hiccup.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Jeong Hae-Min’s face was completely devoid of any colour. When she spotted Yi Ji-Hyuk, she rushed towards him and began lashing out with her fists and kicks.
“You, why did you send me theeeeeere?!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Sit your a*s down if you don’t wanna visit that place again.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Hiccup.” (Jeong Hae-Min)
Scared silly by the threat of being sent there again, Jeong Hae-Min demurely settled down on her seat.
“Good kid.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
She’s a noona to you, you rotten piece of human being, who doesn’t even know “man” from manners!
The age difference should be over five years, at the least!
Actually, I’m the stupid one for expecting any sort of manners from that b*stard…. (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Excuse me….” (Cho Ji-Woong)
Cho Ji-Woong slowly shook his head in disapproval as if he found the NDF people’s lackadaisical, jokey attitude wholly unacceptable.
“It seems that you haven’t understood the severity of this situation yet.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“Pardon?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“Please take another look at the gap between each murders.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
When the recorded dates and time for each murder were checked again, it then became quite clear that the time gap between the murders were getting smaller and smaller.
“With that, we can confidently say that the perpetrator is getting bolder and bolder. He could be thinking that the police might not be able to catch him anymore. And, the moment he realises that the rule of the law indeed can’t reach him, he’ll no longer hold himself back. When that happens, we will definitely see the history’s worst serial killer make his mark.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
Half of that had come true already, though.
Cho Ji-Woong’s words caused everyone’s expressions to harden considerably. With the obvious exception of Yi Ji-Hyuk. But, of course.
‘Not that I care.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Whether that fool was a serial killer or not, Yi Ji-Hyuk had no reason to fret over such a minor matter. If you compared the number of people Yi Ji-Hyuk had killed, to the number of victims of the murderer, then the latter man might end up being referred to as an angel, instead.
And sure as hell, Yi Ji-Hyuk had no desire whatsoever to ‘cosplay’ as a normal, well-adjusted member of humanity that quivered in rage after hearing about this sort of crimes.
If he still possessed some modicum of conscience, then Yi Ji-Hyuk should never do that.
That was why, well….
“By the way, why are you guys so sure that it’s only one guy? What’s so similar about the M.O.?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“First of all, the manner of aiming for the victim’s lungs from behind with sharp objects is similar, and….” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“Okay.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“And all of his victims are young females with blonde hair.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“Blonde?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Correct.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
“Young?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That is also correct.” (Cho Ji-Woong)
Oh, so that’s how it is.
Blonde-haired young females, huh….
Wait a minute. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s brows began quivering in an odd manner.
If you’re talking about blonde-haired young females, then….
Hmm. Well, Ye-Won is no longer canary-haired, so surely, she’ll be fine.
Her hair is black coloured….
Uh? Didn’t I see something strange in the morning? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk pulled out his smartphone and loaded the K*kaotalk app. And when he clicked on his sister’s icon, his vision was filled with the newly-updated image of Ye-Won, spotting not brown, but very yellow hair.
[I dyed my hair back today. As expected, blonde suits me the best. Ha-ah. Why couldn’t I be born in Paris or something?]
Yi Ji-Hyuk quietly tapped the ‘Call’ button on his phone and pressed it to his ear.
– “What now?” (Ye-Won)
“Hey, you dumb crazy b****tch!!! Better revert your head back to how it was, or else!!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
– “What the?! Why are you calling me up and starting a fight out of the freaking blue?!” (Ye-Won)
“That’s not important, so dye your hair back to normal, this instant!!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
– “Hah. That’s for me to decide, you know? Who the hell do you think you are, telling me what to do? Ah?” (Ye-Won)
“You don’t dye your hair back to normal right now, then you better brace yourself, ‘cuz I’m gonna burn them all off!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
– “Get lost, you crazy b*stard!!” (Ye-Won)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shuddered from rage as he glared at the now-disconnected phone, before he shouted out as if he was shooting out a Breath attack!!
“Just what the f*ck is in that brain of that kid?!?! EUHUWAAAAHHH!!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Please, pleeeeease, just take a gander at the local news, for chrissake!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner screaming)
Of course, since Yi Ji-Hyuk also didn’t know until now, he too had no right to say that out loud.
He tossed the phone away as if throwing it away while gnashing his teeth.
Fine, sure, it’s my fault to begin with!
Indeed, it’s all my freaking fault!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s seething inner monologue)
“Did you say that murdering motherf*cker must be an ability user?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Ah, y, yes sir!” (Cho Ji-Woong)
Figurative flames lit up within Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes.
I don’t give a rat’s a*s what you do on your own time, but you just picked the wrong bloody target!!
A very, very, veeeery wrong target!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“Catch him….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Catch him by any means necessary!!!! Call Seo Ah-Young on the phone, and tell her to drop whatever crap she is doing right now to pursue this a*shole, pronto!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, why so suddenly?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“There’s an obstacle, so we gotta remove it!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That obstacle happens to be placed in front of the sister I’d like to beat up nice and thoroughly, though! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s quick inner monologue)
“You see, a human being won’t mind hitting someone, but he will definitely mind someone hitting back.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Huh?” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
“In any case, just call her up and tell her to come up with a solution!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…..Okay, I will.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
You, you stinking b*stard. You messed with a wrong person today. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The flames burning in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes blazed on even hotter.
“By the way, didn’t you say you can’t catch the perp? ‘Cuz, he’s a teleporter and all?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
When Jeong Hae-Min asked this question, Yi Ji-Hyuk instantly became dumbstruck.
“…..That’s right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
So, then. What should be done about that?
Suddenly, Yi Ji-Hyuk reached out and grasped the scruff of Jeong Hae-Min’s neck for the third time today.
“You, let’s experiment for a while.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Let’s find out how far you can run away from me.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….You mean…. I should?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
When worry and fear began clouding her face, a truly evil grin began spreading on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s lips.
< 90. A dirty world where only the handsome b*stards are treated nicely -5 > Fin.
(TL: Uncle fans “삼촌 팬” literally means old men being fanboys of girl groups and idols waaaay younger than they are. Came about because the age difference is kinda like between an uncle and nieces/nephews.)
(TL: The original line was “You might be able to tell what’s in the depths of ten gil of water, but you can’t tell one gil of a person.” – “열 길 물속은 알아도 한 길 사람 속은 모르는 거지”; it’s a Korean proverb which simply means, it’s hard to tell what’s in the hearts of people. “Gil” isn’t a currency system from some Final Fantasy games, but an actual ancient measurement system used way back when in Korea. Changed by my editor.)
(TL: Remaining amount till the nest sponsored chapter: $50)