The Returner - Chapter 387
The Returner Chapter 387
“You are not a psychologist, so you shouldn’t diagnose someone’s mental state so carelessly like that. It seems that you haven’t heard the phrase, ‘get a doctor to diagnose you, but get medicines from the pharmacist’.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Yeah, you definitely sound like a nutcase.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shook his head.
“Seeing how you can still crack jokes in your current situation, I should at least acknowledge the toughness of your mental state.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I thank you.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“But that’s about it. What will you do now? Doesn’t look like you have any other cards left to play.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Cards…” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong shifted his gaze ever so slightly towards Argolas still collapsed on the ground, and sighed at length.
“A demon that I placed all of my hopes has ended up in this state after failing to withstand your attack, so I guess there’s not much I can do anymore.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“…Acting all weak and stuff, are we?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk glared at Jeong Min-Seong. To his eyes, this ‘North Korean’ man seemed to possess as much strength as Argolas the demon.
“Well, you can say this is fate, so how about having a little chat?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“You won’t buy enough time for your Gate to open up by doing that, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…We aren’t talking about a fruit that’ll ripen by itself, so how can a portal open without a supply of magical energy? The guy supposed to be doing that is lying here looking like a well-cooked sweet potato, so that’s not going to happen.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Well, you do have a point there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk glanced at Argolas collapsed on the ground and nodded his head. For sure, Jeong Min-Seong couldn’t control Mana, so it’d be impossible to activate a Gate on his own from this point on.
“Okay, so? What do you want to talk about, then? I’m willing to listen to your last words. However, there should be a suitable compensation for extending your life, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What the heck, a conversation in the middle of all this?!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young suddenly blew her top, but Choi Jeong-Hoon rapidly grabbed her arm.
“What’s wrong?” (Seo Ah-Young)
“Please, just be still and watch.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon had calmly analysed the situation.
Although this crisis was about to wrap up in a relatively painless manner, there were no guarantees that similar events in the future would also conclude as easily as this one.
‘This isn’t the only one.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
If the other party was determined to try again, then they could choose other nations similar to North Korea and do their thing there. For instance, the African continent was now basically no longer within the reach of Western nations.
If it weren’t for Park Yong-Hui escaping from imprisonment and alerting the authorities in the South, the whole world would’ve probably had to sit back and helplessly watch the doorway open up.
There was a definite need to get some information through ‘calm conversation’ if possible.
“Okay, so. All these North Korean people, they haven’t returned to being normal yet, so how should we change them back?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mm, is that the prerequisite for starting this conversation?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Yup.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…Do I really have to tell you that?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Not really. It’s fine even if you don’t wanna tell me, since I don’t know any of those people, to begin with.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Meaning, he’d just beat up Jeong Min-Seong to death if the latter didn’t say anything, and then stop caring about the rest afterwards.
As he was smart enough to read between the lines, Jeong Min-Seong raised a white flag immediately.
“They will revert back even if you just let them be. Their state needs to be continuously maintained, you see.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“It’s not Mana, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“It’s one of my abilities. Please don’t take me too lightly.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“But you do look like a lightweight?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk sneered, prompting Jeong Min-Seong to spit out a groan.
“Yes, yes. With our situation being what it is, I don’t have anything to retort even if you see me as a lightweight. However, if only you hadn’t come here, things wouldn’t have devolved into this state, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Stop wasting time and say your final piece already. I’ll make sure to blow you apart in the blink of an eye.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I’m a human being, though?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“So what?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…You are an equal-rights activist, aren’t you? Someone who doesn’t discriminate whether others are humans or monsters.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Something like that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong dragged a chair from behind and settled down on it.
It seemed as if a lengthy debate was about to unfold here. Park Seong-Chan, seeing this spectacle, began grumbling out loudly.
“Is it fine to be doing this right now?” (Park Seong-Chan)
It was then, the American side contacted Choi Jeong-Hoon.
“We’re confident that this person is linked to Alpha, the number one on our most dangerous individuals list. We recommend that either you extract information related to Alpha from him, or capture him alive.”
“I’ll tell him that.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon shifted his head back to Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“You heard what he said, yes?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“….I forgot to turn on the translation magic.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Seriously?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon groaned helplessly and explained.
“I got it. It’ll be pointless, but whatever.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked back down into the crater and Jeong Min-Seong began talking.
“Honestly speaking, I can’t understand why you’re siding with them.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“I also can’t figure out why you’re over there, too.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…The reason why I’m here is because of what you did, though. Nevertheless!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Maybe he didn’t want to get sucked into Yi Ji-Hyuk’s pace, Jeong Min-Seong began speaking up in a resolute tone of voice.
“You possess the ability to rule this world. But why are you living like a dog serving those in the seats of power and the regular, powerless humans?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Because they feed me on time?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N-no, wait a minute! I’m being serious, you know!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Yi Ji-Hyuk replied in a disinterested tone of voice.
“I did the whole rule the world thing before, but it wasn’t anything special.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong formed a strange expression.
“You… did?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Yup.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Ah, is that so?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Yup.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong roughly scratched his head.
“Urgh, this isn’t supposed to happen this way. That answer wasn’t in my how-to-reply manual…” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Then, he opened his mouth again.
“Eii, even then. This world and the other one might be a different prospect, you know?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“What’s so different, then? They are not. Not really. Even if I rule this world, it’s not like what I eat will change, or my sleeping hours will suddenly gain a couple of an extra hour or two. Every day will grow bloody tiresome and irritating after all those nagging idiots show up and ask you to do this and that for them.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Uh, mm…” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Besides, there’s no reason to do that in the modern world. You should just make a lot of money, instead. With money, you can live a life that your average politician can never even dream of.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…Now there’s advice I should engrave in my heart. Feels like I’m genuinely being convinced right now.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong cracked a joke.
Yi Ji-Hyuk simply placed a new cigarette in between his lips.
“Okay, so. Is that all you have to say?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, no. Not yet. I’ll get killed if this chat comes to an end, so I definitely can’t stop here. If the conclusion to the very last conversation of my life is ‘Make some money’, then it’d truly be the saddest thing ever, wouldn’t you agree?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Is that so? If you want to continue the conversation, we will need extra information. Where’s Alpha?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mm, well… that’s a difficult question.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Then just die.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“No, wait! I didn’t mean that the question is difficult to answer, but I don’t know where he might be, that’s it. If he was someone who revealed such a thing so easily to anyone, then by now, he’d probably be locked up and singing like a canary in an underground torture chamber run by the CIA.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“That sounds plausible. In that case, spit out any information you think is pertinent to me. If you don’t have any, then just die.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mmmm… please hold. I need to think about this one first. Ah, how about this one? There are other, similar projects to this place currently active elsewhere, so if I tell you where they are, will my life see an extension?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Yi Ji-Hyuk glanced at Choi Jeong-Hoon, and the latter nodded his head.
“Okay. Spit them out, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“First of all, Antigua and Barbuda!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“What was that, you b*stard?!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL note at the end)
“N-no, hang on! That’s the name of the country! Really! It’s the name of a country north of Venezuela!” (Jeong Min-Seong)s
“….Seriously?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“There’s also one in Guinea Bissau, too.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Yi Ji-Hyuk groaned under his breath.
“Eh, I think you should tell that to someone else, not me. I won’t be able to remember all that.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong recited the names of other countries for a long while, and when he was finished, the Americans nodded their heads.
“Okay, you may speak now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The problem isn’t simply about ruling the world. Honestly, the current you can live like an emperor in any of the worlds. But separate from that, don’t you find something is wrong with this world?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“What’s wrong with it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“A world where ability users are being persecuted, don’t you find it just too funny?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Yi Ji-Hyuk glanced at Kim Dah-Hyun and asked.
“Hey, did you get persecuted before?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Nope. I don’t know what insane rambling he’s on about.” (Kim Dah-Hyun)
“So he says?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong grandly shook his head around.
“The ability users are greater than regular humans, yet we’re being treated the same as them. That’s reverse discrimination. But you know that’s not the end of it. We the ability users are…” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Ah, ah. Stop right there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk abruptly cut Jeong Min-Seong off.
“That’s something you lot should sort out, since I’m not really interested.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You’re not interested?!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
“That’s not the issue of right or wrong, is it? If you had more power, you’d been able to rule the world, as simple as that. So the reason why you ended up like this is because you were simply too weak. Stop coming up with excuses and complaining like a little girl when it was your own weakness that caused this situation. It’s really irritating to listen to.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong’s expression visibly hardened.
“Okay, so. Are you finished with what you want to say?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk. You’re mistaken about something.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“About?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Suddenly, Jeong Min-Seong became quite relaxed.
“There are a lot of ability users in the world who think the same as us.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Is that so? Well, yeah. Probably. But what would that change, anyway?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Of course it’ll change everything.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong’s voice grew more and more intense.
“Don’t you get it? This world is filled with unfairness. Far too many things are patently unfair!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“I’m sure it is.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The world is rotten to the core, and those in the seats of power are only interested in securing their positions of luxury and security. This world is in a steady decline because of them.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.
“Okay, so what?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“That’s why this world needs to be reformed. The ability users appearing in this era, that is the very signal from the above to change this world. Don’t you understand that?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Ah, sorry about this, but… I’m an atheist, you see. I don’t believe in gods even if they exist.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk. That’s not what being an atheist means.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s tackle caused Yi Ji-Hyuk to pout unhappily.
“Argh, I don’t care. Whatever, I don’t believe in gods.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He got denied even by the gods in the past, after all.
“Is that all you have to say?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“This is merely a stream. A stream meant to purify the rotten humanity and reform this world for the brand new humans!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Uhm, not really.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted derisively.
“Not sure where you got brainwashed, pal, but I’m not spineless enough to fall for the speech of a pseudo religious fanatic like you, unfortunately. Okay, so. If you’re done talking, have a nice trip to the afterlife, okay?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“What the hell do you know?!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Madness began filling up Jeong Min-Seong’s shouts.
“Do you even know how humans treat ability users in the shadows?! Even as we speak, countless comrades of ours are dying in some underground lab somewhere! While being cruelly, inhumanly dissected alive! Even you would be filled with hatred towards humanity if you find yourself stuck in an underground torture chamber for three days straight!” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Actually, I didn’t get as p*ssed off as you say.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“…What was that?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“You will also realise it after getting burned alive for, what was it, ten days? This thing called hatred? How should I say this. Well, it’s something you only get if you were expecting something else.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jeong Min-Seong became speechless.
This guy… Nothing was getting through to him.
“Ehh… well. I guess it makes sense with you.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong cleanly gave up on trying now. He didn’t place much hope in convincing this man named Yi Ji-Hyuk from the beginning, after all.
“I shall give you high marks for expecting something from humanity. Here’s the thing, though. According to what I have seen, the current humanity isn’t rotten but that’s how humans are like inside. You think things will change after you drive out the ones in power and create a kingdom for yourselves? Nope, it’ll stay exactly the same. And that’s why history repeatedly goes through revolutions to go back to how it was, after it grows sick and tired of the current reality.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Jeong Min-Seong with a disappointed, pitying look and spoke.
“There is no such thing as utopia in this world. Find your utopia in your dreams, mister silver tongue.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
< 387. What the! Isn’t this a bit too much?! -2 > Fin.
(TL: The second part of the name, “Barbuda” sounds similar to “You’re a moron” in Korean.)
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