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Yi Ji-Hyuk lowered his gaze in contemplation as the countless Gates began emitting light, the surest signs of them opening up.
The greater the urgency of a situation, the calmer a person had to be. His body remembered this indisputable truth before his head did.
Of course, he wasn’t going to celebrate that fact now.
The mere fact that he was getting tense, which was a state of mind he had thoroughly mastered through countless battles in the past, attested to how urgent the current situation was.
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s eyes exuded a cold, calculating light. The rage boiling in his heart cooled down instantly, as the cogs in his brain spun in double time.
What was required from him the most right at this moment?
How should he act in this situation, in order to minimise the damage?
“Have you decided?” (Alpha)
And just what should he do to make fine mincemeat out of that snow-haired irritating b*stard and his flapping gums?
He didn’t waste much time deciding.
“Jeong Hae-Min.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Y, yeah?” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Talk to Choi Jung-Hoon, and make it your priority to find and secure the ability users deemed most suitable under the current situation. Make them join the fight, right away.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Okay! Got it!” (Jeong Hae-Min)
“Seo Ah-Young.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“The destruction caused by the Gates located to our right will be greater than anywhere else. Go over there and plug up the monsters’ route to the location with the highest concentration of civilians. Do not let a single one go past you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I won’t let them!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Yi Ji-Hyuk then turned towards Kim Dah-Hyun.
“Path Drifter.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, hyung-nim!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Your job… is to run. Run faster than the monsters and rescue people trapped in the horde’s path.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Understood.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Mister Choi Jung-Hoon, stick close to Jeong Hae-Min. Make sure the military support arrives as quickly as possible, and in the meantime, take charge of the evacuation.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Leave it to me.” (Choi Jung-Hoon)
The preparations were complete.
For the last time, Yi Ji-Hyuk turned his head to glare at Alpha. He was leaning against wall, his legs crossed and looking rather relaxed as he held Yi Ji-Hyuk’s gaze.
Does he possess the ability to open up Gates?
No, hang on a minute. There can’t be an ability like that.
….Which can only mean that this guy is maintaining some sort of cooperative relationship with someone or something capable of opening up Gates…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
“I’ll take care of you later on.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“But, will that be easy as you imply? Defending against all those Gates will surely push you to your limits. Even the US government would find it almost impossible trying to minimise the destruction in an event such as this one, so will you be able to do something like that all by yourself?” (Alpha)
“You said you know about me, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, I did.” (Alpha)
“Do you really?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Do you really believe you know about me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha didn’t answer Yi Ji-Hyuk’s question.
“Let me show you.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Especially for you.
So, open your eyes real wide and don’t miss a thing.
Because, you won’t get to see it again. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
The smoke-like black Mana began oozing out languidly from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body.
It had been such a long time – a long time, since he felt this way.
He felt like he’d be able to cut loose completely for the first time in a long while.
Yi Ji-Hyuk clenched his fists tightly while his burning gaze locked onto the sight of countless scores of monsters pouring out from the numerous Gates.
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Choi Chang-Sik was in the middle of a desperate run.
When he managed to sneak a glance behind him, he spotted a horde of blue-coloured monsters with pig-like heads busy chasing after him.
“What the heeeeell is this sh*t?!” (Choi Chang-Sik)
Just what on earth was going on here?
If a Gate opened up, wasn’t it normal for an order to evacuate to be issued first? So, how could it make any sort of sense when monsters showed up before that?
Choi Chang-Sik alternated between swearing and screaming while running hard enough for his legs to almost break.
He came out to the local high street to have some fun since night had descended on the cityscape. That was it.
Of course, he didn’t forget to drag a couple of easy-looking marks over to some shaded corner and extort a handful of… “pocket money.”
But those things weren’t big enough crimes to warrant a punishment this severe!
“Somebody, saaaaaaave me!!” (Choi Chang-Sik)
More importantly, out of all the people on this street, why were these dang monsters only chasing him down and seemingly no one else?
Was he mistaken? Could it be him…. simply imagining things?
Choi Chang-Sik took a sharp, abrupt turn into an alleyway leading onto a backstreet. Which prompted the pig-headed monsters to follow him into the alleyway, too.
“I wasn’t imagining things, was I?!?!?!” (Choi Chang-Sik)
What sins did Choi Chang-Sik commit to deserve this?
No matter how hard he ran, and then ran some more, the distance between him and monsters wasn’t increasing but shortening instead.
“N, no!! Help!!” (Choi Chang-Sik)
Strength was finally abandoning his legs.
His breathing couldn’t keep up anymore.
And with an unfortunate timing, something tripped his legs.
Choi Chang-Sik fell and rolled on the ground.
Even as he rolled ungainly on the ground, he could only think of one thing.
Didn’t matter whether it was painful or not, the moment he stopped running was the moment he’d be deader than dead. He had to get up and continue running….
*SFX for roars of monsters*
Before he could push himself up off the ground, the pig-headed monsters pounced on his unguarded back.
The indescribable pain transmitted to his brain when sharp fangs dug into his shoulder caused Choi Chang-Sik to cry out like a little kid.
“Duck!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Huh?!” (Choi Chang-Sik)
It was in that exact moment that a ball of flames rapidly flew towards his direction.
What the f*ck?!
A swear word instinctively jumped out of his mouth, but he was smart enough to figure out what he need to do right away.
Using one elbow, Choi Chang-Sik did his utmost best to force the monster’s head away from himself, while shielding his head with his other arm.
*SFX for flames erupting*
*SFX for monsters’ painful cries*
Perhaps fitting for the occasion, Chang-Sik heard the sounds of pigs squealing in pain coming from his behind. Simultaneously, he also felt extremely hot air exploding and nearly scorch him in the process, too.
The moment he sensed the monster’s weight on his shoulder decrease, Chang-Sik desperately crawled away from the spot.
He was so short of breath, his consciousness was now a fading blur. And feeling the pain that was simultaneously sharp and dull, as well as seeing all that blood trickling down his arm and his leg, he couldn’t help but think that he was stuck in some sort of nightmare.
“You need to pull yourself together.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Eh? Ah! Y, yes, I will!” (Choi Chang-Sik)
Choi Chang-Sik dazedly stared at the beautiful woman standing before him.
Her pure-black hair extending down to her waist; her figure screamed that such a body ratio shouldn’t be logically possible; and then, her face that seemed to define the standard that all beauty should aspire to.
‘That’s…. Seo Ah-Young?!’
The face he’d been seeing on TV almost daily was now standing in front of him. A certain strong feeling swept past Choi Chang-Sik’s senses, enough for him to forget all about his pain.
You stupid a*s TV!!
You couldn’t even convey the half of her true beauty!!! (Choi Chang-Sik’s inner monologue)
“You need to escape from this area.” (Seo Ah-Young)
“P, pardon me?” (Choi Chang-Sik)
Suddenly, Seo Ah-Young’s expression crumpled unsightly.
“I said, get the f*ck out of here, you dumba*s!!” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Ohh. Uhm, yes, ma’am….” (Choi Chang-Sik)
Indeed, the TV screens failed to convey how beautiful she was, but then again, the rumours about her personality was pretty much spot-on.
The Insane Witch.
Just now, she displayed a hint of her personality that truly deserved that nickname. Choi Chang-Sik took one final glance at her and limped his way out of the alleyway.
And right behind him, a massive flame bellowed in anger.
“D*mn it!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
Kim Dah-Hyun ran with everything he had.
Just as his alias implied, the Path Drifter’s speed did not permit others to follow him with their naked eyes.
If Yi Ji-Hyuk witnessed this constant burst of speed, he’d be clamouring to turn Kim Dah-Som into his personal Phantom Steed. That’s how fast he was.
What proved to be Yi ji-Hyuk’s misfortune happened to be Kim Dah-Hyun’s good luck, because the former couldn’t get to see the latter run, possibly faster than anything recorded in the history of mankind.
*SFX for sonic boom left behind the wake of something moving really fast*
The air collided with his moving body, and an unbelievably loud shockwave exploded forth from the collision. His body shook crazily from the impact, but no matter what, he couldn’t slow down.
Kim Dah-Hyun pulled away yet another person from the closing jaws of a monster in the nick of time.
All thanks to this abnormal speed, he felt like his arm would break every time he pulled a person away from danger. Without a doubt, the person saved would’ve felt the similar type of impact as well.
However, that was still way better than ending up as a monster snack!
Kim Dah-Hyun gritted his teeth while rescuing and delivering yet another civilian from danger to a safe enough area.
He was doing his best!
Indeed, he was forcing his body to the extreme!
But still, screw this d*mned situation!
The number of people he couldn’t rescue was much, much higher than those he managed to save!
“Uwaaaah!!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Calm down, you idiot!” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
A familiar voice came from above Kim Dah-Hyun’s head.
“It’s you, Yun Hyuk-Gyu!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Hey, it’s Hyuk-Gyu hyung to you, you little….” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
Flame cannons shooting from the Spitfire’s hands collided with the horde of monsters.
“…You little rude son of a b*tch!!” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
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The sea of flames swept away the monsters and the resulting explosion rocked the world.
“What the hell? You’re late!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“You think I’m a fortune teller or something?! I ain’t gonna stay up the whole night waiting for a Gate to pop up! I came as soon as I got the call, so get off my case!” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
“Do something already!” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“Hah, talking is cheap.” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
Don’t you have eyes?
Can’t you see what’s in front of you?
Like, can’t you bloody see all those monsters crazily pouring out from the Gates?! (Yun Hyuk-Gyu’s inner monologue)
Indeed, this event could easily finish the nation of Korea, never mind just the city of Seoul.
“F*ck this insane sh*t!” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
His eyes dyed half in despair and half in fear, the Spitfire Yun Hyuk-Gyu got ready to fire another round of the flame cannon. It was then….
*SFX for a huge roar of a monster*
Accompanied by an ear-shredding cry, a gigantic black hawk took flight into the sky.
“….What the…” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
Yun Hyuk-Gyu recognised that hawk, because that thing was one of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s summoned monsters!
“….Was it always that massive?” (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
No, it didn’t look as if it was simply supersized; even its outer appearance had changed significantly.
Back then, when the ability users were in “training” with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s monsters, that creature simply had an appearance of a simple black-coloured hawk, but now….
It now more or less resembled a mythical creature from some long-forgotten legend, a creature half hawk and half demonic deity.
‘Is he over there?’ (Yun Hyuk-Gyu)
Spitfire correctly guessed the general direction where Yi Ji-Hyuk was, and immediately turned to the opposite direction.
Because, there was this ominous feeling telling him not to go that way at all costs.
Alpha was studying the black smoke oozing out from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body with great interest.
‘What could that be?’ (Alpha)
Alpha had seen countless variety of abilities. Not to mention, he witnessed equally as many so-called ‘miracles’ and performed them himself.
Even then, what he was seeing right now seemed to be on a whole new dimension when compared to everything else he knew. A completely different ability, existing on a completely different dimension, was revealing itself right before Alpha’s eyes.
‘I want it.’ (Alpha)
He wanted to possess that power.
Alpha ever so subtly licked his lips.
It was then.
The black smoke swirling around Yi Ji-Hyuk shot up into the sky like a tempest winds of a rising dragon.
‘What is this power?’ (Alpha)
Alpha failed to understand what it could be.
Not the source of this amazing power, nor just how destructive it could be….
No, he couldn’t even begin to fathom just where he should start. But, there was one thing he did figure out: His entire being, no, every single cell residing within every corner of his flesh was reacting and screaming out all at the same time.
Run, as far away as possible from here!
….Now normally, Alpha obeyed his instincts.
But just for today, he decided to ignore them. No, perhaps, he was being more faithful to his instincts by choosing to stay.
After all, the thoughts of remaining here, and witnessing this spectacle unfold were much more persuasive than the warning bells going off inside his head.
‘Now. Show me.’ (Alpha)
Show me what you’ve been hiding.
Show me how incredible a being you truly are!! (Alpha’s inner monologue)
*SFX for intense vibrations in the air*
The black Mana crazily swirling around Yi Ji-Hyuk like the turbid breaths of a dragon suddenly condensed and began forming numerous black holes in the air.
And when those holes grew larger, black-coloured creatures began emerging from their depths.
Not only a huge black hawk, but there was also a black jaguar; four-legged creatures and winged monstrosities sprung forth from those holes by dozens upon dozens, and madly rushed towards the hordes of monsters coming out from the Gates.
Along with an ear-piercing grating noise, tens of tentacles, each one as strong as reinforced steel, shot out from the ground Yi Ji-Hyuk stood on.
Oh-Sik formed a toothy grin when he saw a tentacle headed in his direction.
The tentacle pierced straight into the Ogre’s body. The pain lasted for only a second; instead, Oh-Sik let off a mighty roar as Mana filled up his body and strength flooded back in.
Oh-Sik recovered his former glory in the blink of an eye. His eyes now completely bloodshot, he rushed towards the monsters in a mad dash.
That was not all – more and more monsters with the Seal of Obedience implanted in them emerged one by one from the black holes while emitting beastly roars.
“What… the….” (Alpha)
What was going on here?
Alpha’s entire body began trembling.
He was expecting to see a display of an incredible ability. Well, even he didn’t get to hear a detailed report on what Yi Ji-Hyuk’s powers were.
However, this was completely beyond his expectations.
At a bare minimum, he expected to see a battle of monsters versus a man.
But now, wasn’t this more like a battle between two armies, instead?!
Monsters bared their fangs and pounced on one another.
Flesh was torn apart, blood spilled on the ground, and torn heads were flung into the air.
Naturally, Alpha couldn’t stop his body from shuddering at this incredible sight.
“La Elta.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk slowly raised his hands in the air.
Alpha sensed it then.
The countless tentacles coming out from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s shadow began sucking in “something”, some kind of energy, and forced this substance into his body.
And then, Yi Ji-Hyuk converted that into his power.
A black mass formed above Yi Ji-Hyuk’s head, then it began growing larger at a rapid rate.
“….Just what is this?” (Alpha)
How should he go about describing what he was seeing right now?
Alpha began laughing out loudly, albeit in bitterness, after witnessing the kind of power that defied his attempts to understand it.
“He wasn’t kidding, was he?” (Alpha)
Alpha shouted out while shuddering from the goosebumps breaking out all over his body.
“Yes! More! Show me some more!! Aha, hahahahaha!!!” (Alpha)
The black Mana swirling around Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body began burning like flames of the abyss above the youth’s head.
It was as beautiful as the legendary conflagration that would supposedly destroy the universe at the end of days.
< 97. Do you really believe you know about me? -2 > Fin.