There were things that one could never figure out, even if one were to witness them happen right in front of their eyes.
A shivering that overwhelmed everything - Alpha was in the middle of such a state as his excitement reached its peak.
This was power.
Indeed, this was true power.
The black lump of Mana Yi Ji-Hyuk created began burning up like a real flame while rising up high into the sky.
"Sweep everything away." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
His voice sounded low and heavy - and was devoid of emotion. The moment that disinterested voice resounded out, the black Mana contracted slightly, before swelling to an even larger size. Then, it proceeded to shower the land with raindrops of pure black flames.
*SFX for screams and roars of monsters*
Those monsters that foolishly bore the brunt of the raindrops with their bodies didn't even have enough time to scream before melting into sticky wet puddles. Those who came in contact with the raindrops by mistake issued hoarse and nightmarish screams as they rolled on the ground in pain, scratching and clawing at themselves in despair.
A battle between two armies?
It was anything but.
Alpha had to acknowledge that he made another mistake. He thought that Yi Ji-Hyuk would create an army and engage the enemies that way. After all, the creatures he had summoned all looked fantastically powerful to his eyes.
But that assumption turned out to be wrong.
No, the true fighting style of this horrifying 'ability user' was to destroy everything with his own power.
The monsters and creatures he summoned just now were merely to buy him enough time to get ready. That was all.
Nearly twenty Gates opened simultaneously. Yet, all those monsters pouring out from them like a deluge were all cleanly swept away in one fell swoop.
No, perhaps "cleanly" wasn't the right adjective to use in this case.
How could it be, when there were monsters desperately struggling to remain breathing while their flesh melted - and while blood and foam escaped from their mouth?
This was 'Hell'.
Alpha hadn't been there before, but if such a place existed for real, then it might resemble what he was seeing right now.
His entire body continued to tremble as the uncontrollable excitement dug deep into his core.
"Ha. Ha. Ha!" (Alpha)
A dry chuckle escaped from Alpha's mouth. He now fully understood that Yi Ji-Hyuk was on a completely different realm compared to every other ability user he had met until now.
How could a man like this exist on this planet?
Not to mention, while successfully concealing his true self?
"How surprising." (Alpha)
"What is?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha suddenly felt a chill run down his entire back as soon as sensing the presence of an absolutely terrifying creature behind him.
Would one feel the same as he did if an apex predator bared its fangs and growled right next to his neck?
Was this nervousness the result of knowing that one might die at any moment? Or, fear?
No, no. It's not those.
This feeling, it's not something as low class as those two.
How can I describe it in words?
This sense of awe rising from the deepest core of my soul? (Alpha's inner monologue)
Human languages seemed too crude to fully express what his entire being had felt.
"I am truly impressed." (Alpha)
"Oh, is that right?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Yes. Indeed, I am deeply moved. You are a human, yet no longer one." (Alpha)
"Bullsh*t. I'm human. Certainly more human than you." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"….Really? But, I don't understand. Have you not already exceeded what a normal human being is capable of?" (Alpha)
Yi Ji-Hyuk replied with a disdainful smirk.
He endured all those horrifying years all because of the singular hope of staying human.
Maybe, others would take that as a compliment. But for Yi Ji-Hyuk, saying that he had 'exceeded being human' was like a slap in the face.
After all, hadn't he fought against an entire world just so that he could become human again?
"Whatever. I guess trying to talk sense into you was kinda interesting." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"So, how about it?" (Alpha)
"About what?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Will you not join hands with me?" (Alpha)
"You still going on about that?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha spun around to face Yi Ji-Hyuk and spread open his arms wide.
"You could become the absolute ruler of this world." (Alpha)
"Hmm?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"With you standing at the forefront, and with me providing support, conquering this world will not be difficult at all for you. The whole world will be born anew under your name. Don't you want to be part of that amazing event? The ecstasy that such an occurrence would bring?" (Alpha)
Yi Ji-Hyuk's brows furrowed.
"There are all sorts of pleasures to be had in this world. But not one of them can be as sweet as the one from being in power. In control. Really, isn't it obvious what those standing at the very peak of the world would desire? Allow me to aid you in this quest. Let me aid you, so you can stand at the very top. And make sure that the world experiences a rebirth. So, how about it?" (Alpha)
Yi Ji-Hyuk deeply nodded his head.
"Mm. Not interested." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"….I beg your pardon?" (Alpha)
"Not. Interested." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Please, don't be like that, and…." (Alpha)
Alpha's voice became more salesman-like as he tried to make his case.
"I assure you, the world conquest will not be difficult at all. Remember, I'll be lending my aid." (Alpha)
"And just who might you be?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"I possess quite a few strong abilities, actually. Thus, I'm most qualified to be your closest aide." (Alpha)
"Oh? Why don't you do it, then? Since you've got nice abilities and all." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Hah…. There are some things that one is not meant for…." (Alpha)
"Huh. Sure thing. Yeah, it's cool and all that since you know your place. Here's the deal, though - I'm not interested, so ask someone else." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Eiii, why not give it some more thought?" (Alpha)
"Nope, still not interested." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha's expression crumpled in an instant.
"Why are you not interested? You can have it all! Absolutely everything this world has to offer!" (Alpha)
"Don't need them." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dismissively waved his hand around.
"Hey, man. That thing of ruling the world? It's really much harder than it sounds. Do you know how much you gotta micromanage? Uh-whew, I ain't doing that for the second time. No ways." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha now looked rather speechless.
What the hell, this guy….
What is up with this man? (Alpha's inner monologue)
"Besides…." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared deeply at Alpha as he spoke.
"….You weren't thinking of conquering the world or some juvenile crap like that, anyways." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"What you want isn't conquering, but just good old fashioned destruction, am I right? You just wanna destroy everything, don't you?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha didn't reply. However, Yi Ji-Hyuk's words still managed to nail the truth, hard.
"I've seen my fair share of guys like you. Well, you do look a bit more capable than those idiots, though. Hmm…." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his glance to his summoned creatures and Oh-Sik, now taking care of the surviving monsters over yonder, before looking back at Alpha again.
"Well, I wouldn't have minded being a nice little tool for your usage and all that, but my bad, I'm way smarter than I look, you see. Okay, so. You finished with everything you wanna say to me?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"You'll come to regret this choice." (Alpha)
"Wow, you've got a magnanimous heart, dontcha? Worrying about other people and all. Now normally…." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk reached out and grabbed Alpha's neck real tight.
"….People would start worrying about themselves right about now, Mister I'm-too-nosy." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
*SFX for bones crunching under intense pressure*
Alpha's neck began twisting the wrong way and the sound of bones crunching could be heard.
Alpha's body began twitching and his legs flailed around. Both of his hands shot up and grabbed onto Yi Ji-Hyuk's arm, blood vessels visibly bulging out on the white-haired man's skin.
His nails dug into Yi Ji-Hyuk's flesh and drew blood. However, the youth looked nonplussed about it.
"Well, yeah. It's all cool and all that, but you started it all wrong. Didn't I tell you to return that serial killer to me first? So, we settle that account first." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
If it weren't for that, Yi Ji-Hyuk might've not killed Alpha.
No, hang on a minute - he needed to die anyway, since way too many people had already died already as a result of all those stupid Gates opening up.
Arcs of electricity suddenly crackled into life from Alpha's hands.
"Oopsie. Shield." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk let go of the white-haired man and cast a Shield magic to deflect the attack away. Then, he looked down on Alpha panting roughly on the ground with a derisive smirk on his face.
"Did that hurt?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Alpha's eyes became bloodshot.
"…..Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, if you continue to behave this way, then… I won't have a choice but to retaliate." (Alpha)
"Well, then. Retaliate away." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"….Words won't get through to you, I see." (Alpha)
Alpha stood back up.
"I'll take you with me after beating you half to death. I'm genuinely curious if you'll still say no, when I split your head wide open and everyone can see what your brain looks like." (Alpha)
"Mm. That's not a bad plan. But…. Well, my plans are a bit different from yours, though." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"How so?" (Alpha)
"Hey. Don't kill him." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik suddenly appeared and pounced on Alpha's unguarded back with a loud roar, and bit into his shoulder.
Oh-Sik then ripped Alpha's body up, from his neck all the way down to his waist.
And from the mouth of the Ogre, one could hear the sounds of bones being grinded into dust.
"Stop that, or I'm gonna punish you later." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Oh-Sik hurriedly spat out Alpha's chewed-up arm from his mouth.
"There you go. Good boy." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
After lightly praising Oh-Sik, Yi Ji-Hyuk leisurely walked over to Alpha.
The white-haired man was desperately applying pressure on his gaping wound with his remaining hand as he crawled away. A slimy smile formed on his mouth as soon as Yi Ji-Hyuk's feet stopped in front of his face.
However, the blood rushing out of his lips meant that his smile looked rather crooked and sinister.
"Does it hurt a lot?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Kekeke, something like physical pain…. Cough! I'm familiar with…." (Alpha)
"Ahh, is that so?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk placed his hand on top of Alpha's head.
"W, what do you…." (Alpha)
"You'll find out soon enough." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Mana coming out from Yi Ji-Hyuk's hand bore deeply into Alpha's brain.
Alpha screamed so loud, surely his vocal cords must've ruptured. Not too long afterwards, the whites of his eyes began showing as the screaming ceased; his entire body convulsed in silence.
"Since you're used to physical pain, I gotta torture you using your mind, no? But, wow, I haven't met a lot of people where this method worked as well as it did on you. You… must've gone through some really f*cked up stuff, haven't you?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk sniggered and lightly tapped Alpha's body with his foot.
"Seriously, though. It's a big problem, this - no matter which world it is, there's bound to be an idiot with a little bit of power wanting to cosplay as a demon king or something. You should just give up. I'm an actual demon king, you see?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Hell, I even have a certificate for it, too.
What the?! I'm telling you the truth!
Argh, dang it. I can't show it to you or anything, but still! (Yi Ji-Hyuk's inner monologue)
"Okay, anyways. How long will you be able to endure? I'll praise you myself if you can last another five minutes." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
I'm sure you can't even hear me anymore, anyways.
Alpha couldn't even twist his body around and simply convulsed on the ground.
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at him for a bit longer, before turning around to face the remaining monsters and ordered his tentacles to attack.
What a fortunate thing that none of the Gates were level 5 or higher.
No, wait a minute. He could've increased the number of his pet soldiers with the slave seal if there were Gates rated level 5 today….
….What an unfortunate thing that was, then.
After sucking in every bit of ambient Mana found in the atmosphere as well as monsters that were either still whole or in parts, Yi Ji-Hyuk took a long sweeping look at his surroundings.
A long groan automatically left his lips as he took in the sight of a city half destroyed. It was encouraging to know that civilian casualties was kept as low as possible, but he didn't feel like celebrating such a fact.
Yi Ji-Hyuk snapped his fingers, and Alpha's convulsing body suddenly went limp.
His weak, fading breaths could be heard now.
"Sure, you grew this angry and all that, after going through some bad sh*t. I get that. However, you gotta be more careful when choosing the target of your vengeance, and the methods of achieving your goal." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk then placed his foot on Alpha's neck, who still hadn't regained consciousness.
"This is the inevitable result when you don't choose right." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Warmth slowly left Alpha's limp body.
Death - a state so simple, yet so absolute and inescapable.
"Hmm. It does feel like I killed him too quickly, though." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
But, since he should've gone through decades' worth of torturous pain, Yi Ji-Hyuk decided this much should suffice. If this was Berafe, he might've thrown the departing soul of Alpha into the demon world, even.
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his gaze over to the ability users slowly walking to his position and spoke while spreading his arms wide open.
"Let's go eat something. I'm starving." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
This long, long night was finally coming to an end.
Somewhere far away….
The white-haired man wheezed violently as he stood up. He wiped the streams of blood leaking out from his nose, swept his long white hair back and tilted his head slightly.
"Didn't I tell you that already?" (?)
In front of this white-haired man, a young child-like figure stood tall and proud.
But, even a blind man would be able to tell that this 'child' was no ordinary being, simply from taking one look at the hair strands that resembled countless snakes intertwining with one another, as well as a pair of bat-like wings on its back.
"No. 8 is dead. He couldn't even lift a finger." (the white-haired man)
"But, there is something I find quite peculiar. He's not as strong as you said. I can probably kill him as I am now, so why are you telling me to be cautious of him? Aren't you far more powerful an existence than he is?" (the white-haired man)
"Nope. I'm just bluffing my way around right now. There is a limit to how much control I can exert to a spiritual projection without my physical body present."
"Is that so? How unfortunate." (the white-haired man)
"Allow me to give you a piece of advice one more time, if you will."
The "child" spoke in an ominous voice.
"Don't underestimate that guy. That guy is none other the 99th Demon King, the man who plundered the depths of hell, and most importantly, the man who brought upon the destruction of another world. Yes, he might be pathetically weak now when compared to his previous self, but then again, his mindset would be no different from when he was the Bringer of Apocalypse."
"He's not someone a mere human being can handle."
"So, a demon such as yourself can handle him, then?" (the white-haired man)
"If he were to regain most of his powers, even I'd be nothing more than a speck of dirt, waiting to be punished with my head kissing the ground. However, he's not like that right now."
"I see. Fine. I acknowledge the fact that he is the biggest obstacle standing in my way." (the white-haired man)
"So? What are you gonna do now?"
"Simple. You said it yourself - if he regains his powers, no one can stop him." (the white-haired man)
"In that case, eliminate him before he does." (the white-haired man)
The man with long white hair smiled refreshingly.
"I'll make him pay for killing me, too, while I'm at it."
….This man was none other than Alpha.
He was one, but at the same time, many.
< 98. Do you really believe you know about me? -3 > Fin.