Christopher McLaren’s expression became dumbfounded as he stared at Yi Ji-Hyuk’s group busy arguing with each other.
"Just what the hell is up with those people?!" (Christopher McLaren)
He was already calling Yi Ji-Hyuk and Co unhinged fools when they faced off against the monster that shook the USA to its very core while not even looking remotely concerned; especially more so, when their lynchpin trudged towards that scary monster without a care in the world.
But what happened next turned out to be even more gobsmacking.
It didn’t even feel like that man had done anything particularly taxing, yet, he managed to defeat the monster in the proverbial blink of an eye - a creature no American could do anything about.
More importantly, the shocking sight he displayed in the course of doing so……
Christopher McLaren fished out a cigarette and lit it up.
‘What did I witness just now?’ (Christopher McLaren)
He was well aware of the subject ‘Mine’ being a dangerous individual.
If it weren’t for the Korean idiots, he’d be paying attention to this existence way before anyone else had the chance to. He knew better than anyone how dangerous this Yi Ji-Hyuk character could be, at least that’s what Christopher McLaren believed so.
The thing was, the kind of danger he thought of was nothing like this.
Even as an individual, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s abilities were unmatched in the world. He was a person receiving the close scrutiny of the world precisely because of that.
Yi Ji-Hyuk was considered too dangerous an existence that necessitated the creation of a brand new category ‘X’.
However, if Yi Ji-Hyuk controlled an army, that would change the story greatly once more.
Christopher McLaren’s eyes could still see that army of monsters standing around like dummies, waiting for Yi Ji-Hyuk’s next orders.
‘He has already exceeded the limit of power a single individual should possess.’
How was he supposed to go about figuring out the true extent of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s powers now?
This man’s power had already exceeded the level of combat strength a regular nation would possess.
As long as there was no one else like him, then it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that this man alone possessed war potential of a powerful nation.
Christopher McLaren’s brain kicked into high gear and spun around real fast.
While watching the sight of the monsters marching into the gate Yi Ji-Hyuk had opened, Christopher McLaren quickly pulled out his phone.
"I want you to check the location where the monsters are being kept. Are the monsters returning there? What?! They are not???" (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren’s hand gripped the phone even harder.
"God d*mn it!!" (Christopher McLaren)
Back when Affeldrichae made her first appearance, the monsters that appeared alongside her did not display any intentions to attack humans. So, Christopher McLaren did as she demanded and had those monsters kept in a secret location.
That was the result of three things combining into one - one, his thoughts of researching the monsters that did not display immediate hostility to humans; two, desire to use those creatures for his own gains; and finally, his fear of the woman named Affeldrichae.
However, all of those monsters had become Yi Ji-Hyuk’s property now.
That powerful, scary army of monsters that even tempted Christopher McLaren into thinking that the world conquest would be possible if they were utilised properly.
"What am I supposed to do now….." (Christopher McLaren)
Christopher McLaren grasped his head, now full of complicated emotions.
Just what was he supposed to do about that bundle of headaches?!
If it were up to him, he’d completely, utterly erase everything about that man’s existence from this world and totally wipe the slate clean, but as everyone had witnessed today, that powerful monster would never have been defeated without the presence of Yi Ji-Hyuk.
For the sake of humanity, Yi Ji-Hyuk’s continued presence was a necessity.
On the flip side, there was a chance that humanity was in deeper danger precisely because of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s presence.
Other people might call him crazy, but well, Christopher McLaren knew better than anyone what the end result of one individual possessing way too much power would be like.
And perhaps most vexing of all would be the fact that Christopher McLaren currently didn’t have any means to control Yi Ji-Hyuk, the source of all his torment.
To put it bluntly, if that man suddenly decided to let loose that monster army on US soil with hostile intentions, this country would not be able to avoid the fate of getting destroyed to the point of near collapse.
Anyone with a sane, functioning mind would never do something like that unless he was suicidal, but then again, Christopher McLaren also knew that human beings were never a rational species to begin with.
It was here that Christopher McLaren spotted a man walking in confident strides towards him.
That man raised his hands to smooth back the regent-style hair and formed a very gentle smile.
The man that the countries around the world considered to be even more important than the President of Korea.
The man who was only a measly little government employee of a small nation, yet now wielding more influence and power than the leaders of bigger nations after making Yi Ji-Hyuk his ‘ally’.
Perhaps he himself hadn’t realised that yet, but well, that man’s influence had now exceeded Christopher McLaren’s own reach.
"Been a while, sir." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Hearing the rather crisp English words coming from that man, Christopher McLaren could only form a bitter smile.
"Indeed, it has been a while." (Christopher McLaren)
Choi Jung-Hoon was smiling brightly and came off as all friendly and the like, yet in Christopher McLaren’s eyes, he simply looked like a hateful little b*stard.
"What brings you here?" (Christopher McLaren)
"Well, I need to make sure, that’s why I came over to speak to you." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"Make sure what exactly?" (Christopher McLaren)
Choi Jung-Hoon presented his left hand, and it held a massive case filled to the brim with official documents.
Christopher McLaren guessed what those documents would entail and spat out a lengthy groan while taking the case.
"Even if you haven’t done this, we’d honour our promises anyway. We aren’t that low to dismiss the deal made in the name of the United States of America. I feel offended, actually." (Christopher McLaren)
"It’s not that I don’t trust you." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"What then? You prefer to be certain, is that right?" (Christopher McLaren)
Choi Jung-Hoon shook his head as if he was also feeling troubled here, before pointing in a certain direction with his chin.
"I’m just worried about how that man would react if the promises made were not honoured." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Of course, in the direction Choi Jung-Hoon pointed at, Yi Ji-Hyuk was there.
Christopher McLaren’s expression crumpled in an instant and pushed the case full of documents behind him.
One of his subordinates hurriedly took the case.
"Confirm them. Thoroughly. Don’t miss anything." (Christopher McLaren)
After dumping the bothersome task on someone else, Christopher McLaren glared at Choi Jung-Hoon with a pair of sharp eyes.
"It is true that Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk is hard to handle. However, from what I understand, he’s not the type to care about what happens around him. Isn’t that right?" (Christopher McLaren)
Hearing that vaguely insinuating tone, Choi Jung-Hoon waved his hands around as if he was terrified of something, and quickly opened his mouth.
"Of course he’s like that. However, that person really hates bothersome things, so it goes without saying that he’d be very unhappy if things he’s supposed to get aren’t there. Besides, he’s also small minded and rather timid as well, so he’d definitely find a target to vent his frustration on." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Small minded and timid…..
Something new to remember, then.
Having branded this new information on Yi Ji-Hyuk in his brain, Christopher McLaren nodded his head.
"There will be nothing to worry about. We will definitely honour our side of the deal. Well, we don’t know when we might need your assistance again, so there is no need for us to sour our relationship over matters this small." (Christopher McLaren)
However, you should watch yourself.
Perhaps sensing the meaning behind Christopher McLaren’s glare, Choi Jung-Hoon awkwardly smiled.
"Take care of us in the future as well." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"Well, that would certainly be nice." (Christopher McLaren)
Choi Jung-Hoon maintained his rather leisurely smile even after hearing that final sarcastic remark.
Christopher McLaren really didn’t like this man. If it were up to him, he’d have gotten rid of Choi Jung-Hoon, didn’t matter what the method was.
Why? Because, those who Christopher McLaren found to be an eyesore all became someone pretty d*mn big, that was why.
‘No, he’s already someone pretty big, isn’t he?’
Recognising the level of influence now wielded by the young man standing right in front of his eyes, Christopher McLaren did his very best to force the ends of his lips to rise up, and formed a smile.
"Well, besides all that. What are you planning to do about the other countries?"
The monster in the USA had been taken care of, but other countries were still going through utter hell, unable to deal with the monsters that had appeared there.
Well, even with the vast might of the American government, they still couldn’t do anything to one single monster, so what could other countries do on their own, realistically speaking?
"I wonder about that as well." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Choi Jung-Hoon scratched his head before shifting his gaze over to Yi Ji-Hyuk.
"He’s someone with a really fickle mind, so…." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"But, isn’t that good news from your perspective?" (Christopher McLaren)
"You’re very observant, sir." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
The more Yi Ji-Hyuk rampaged and showed himself off, the higher the position of Choi Jung-Hoon would become.
Both Choi Jung-Hoon and Christopher McLaren were aware of this fact.
"In any case, fine. I shall acknowledge you. That is why I have a new proposal." (Christopher McLaren)
"Pardon me?" (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"It’ll benefit both of our nations, without a doubt." (Christopher McLaren)
It was Christopher McLaren’s turn to smile brightly now.
After resolving the situation in the States one way or the other, the NDF group teleported back to Korea and were now all meandering about in this inexplicable fatigue.
Especially Yi Ji-Hyuk - he was holding his head while slumped in his chair. His entire head felt like it was being pounded on.
He didn’t need a lot of Mana to order around the monsters possessing the Seal of Obedience, but on the other hand, his mental energy would be used up to an extreme degree.
Indeed, gathering all of their will into a singular spot and make them follow his orders required a huge amount of mental power.
‘It wasn’t like this in the past, though….’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He never felt this taxed back in Berafe when he controlled an army of millions.
But back then, his brain was also in the fixed state, as was the case with the rest of his body, so if his mind got taxed by something, it’d have been reset time and time again.
‘Is that why…..?’
Just because he controlled an army of a thousand-plus monsters for a little bit of time, his brain felt like it’d melt into a puddle…. He’d gotten way too soft. Too soft.
‘I have become really, pathetically weak, haven’t I?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He sensed once more just how weak he had become.
In the case of magic, he managed to find a way to use his spells by absorbing more Mana as needed so he wasn’t really conscious of his shortcomings there, but this situation was completely different.
If the opportunity to control his former army came to the current Yi Ji-Hyuk, he’d be unable to do anything with them.
‘Well, that ain’t going to happen, anyway.’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
At this rate, wouldn’t his head explode when the number of monsters went over ten thousand or or more?
‘Well, I’ll be. I really was a cheap OP piece of sh*t, wasn’t I?’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
And now, he sensed how amazingly broken the character of Yi Ji-Hyuk back in the Berafe days was once more. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this version of Yi Ji-Hyuk and that past one were two completely different beasts altogether.
"Are you in pain?" (Jeong Hae-Min)
After seeing Yi Ji-Hyuk’s pained expression, Jeong Hae-Min cautiously sidled next to him.
But then, when she saw his irritated face, she flinched and hurriedly averted her gaze.
‘What’s wrong with me?’ (Jeong Hae-Min)
Did the spectacle Yi Ji-Hyuk displayed remain too deeply etched in her mind?
As Jeong Hae-Min stewed in her own thoughts, someone lightly brushed past her.
Doh Gah-Yun walked past Jeong Hae-Min and placed a can of cold drink in front of Yi Ji-Hyuk.
Silently, Doh Gah-Yun alternated her gaze between the drink and Yi Ji-Hyuk.
"You want me to drink this?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned slightly and took a big gulp of the cold drink.
He felt a lot better after something cold entered his body.
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at Doh Gah-Yun with probing eyes.
She wasn’t really someone who could read the moods this well, though?
"Looked fatigued." (Doh Gah-Yun)
"….I was?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk quietly stared at Doh Gah-Yun for a bit before also nodding his head.
In a way, Doh Gah-Yun was with him the longest since his return to Earth, so if anyone were to tell whether he was tired or not, it would be her.
"Thanks." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Doh Gah-Yun lightly shook her head and submerged into Yi Ji-Hyuk’s shadow once more.
Jeong Hae-Min felt defeated just now, and was about to say something, but too bad, Choi Jung-Hoon cut her off first.
"Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"Currently, calls from overseas are still inundating us." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"For what?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"They need us to solve their situations as well." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Yi Ji-Hyuk massaged his head as if a new bout of migraine began assaulting him.
"Hah….. Maybe later." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Even now, people are dying as we speak….." (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"What the heck. I didn’t open those Gates, you know?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk abruptly stood up from his chair and walked straight out of the office.
"Where are you going?" (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"Home! I’m going home for the day." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
A person can’t live on by doing nothing but work!
So, it’s only correct that I get to go home on time! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk hummed to himself and left the office.
"Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk!" (Choi Jung-Hoon)
Just as Choi Jung-Hoon tried to grab hold of Yi Ji-Hyuk, Affeldrichae stopped him with her hand first.
She shook her head and spoke to him.
"Let him go." (Affeldrichae)
"Pardon?" (Choi Jung-Hoon)
"It’s likely that he’s all riled up at the moment." (Affeldrichae)
Disregarding Choi Jung-Hoon, who was clearly confused by what she said, Affeldrichae quietly stared at the back of Yi Ji-Hyuk as he walked out the door.
< 130. Well now, been a while so let’s go crazy -5 > Fin.