I contacted Kim Suho and asked about the sudden arrivals. He responded that he sent people that he discovered from Earth to me.
With that, the Secret Service now had seven members – Harin, Aileen, Rachel, Yi Yeonghan, Kim Horak, Yun Seung-Ah, and me.
Inside the director’s office, the Spirit Speech Master, Aileen, murmured with her legs crossed.
She was originally Kim Suho’s maid but had now been promoted to the Manager position of the Secret Service. That was one thing that the newly created institution made convenient.
“Yes, so to sum it up again, we need to work together to defeat Baal.”
Rachel summarized the plan once more.
“And there’s something else.”
I planned to add one more goal to our mission.
Aileen, Rachel and the others all turned their attention to me.
I showed them a portrait.
It was the portrait I made using the Book of Truth.
Aileen and Yun Seung-Ah seemed to know him, as they raised their eyebrows, and the other five tilted their heads curiously.
“Who is… this?”
Rachel asked me, but Aileen was the one who answered.
“He should be the previous boss of the Chameleon Troupe, back when the group wasn’t well-known. He was a criminal on the Hero Association’s Blacklist. From what I remember, he was the first person to be placed on the Blacklist as a single entity. Now, it’s a lot different with Wicked and the other Nine Evils.”
With that, Aileen leaned against the back of her chair.
Yi Yeonghan asked somewhat nervously.
The Association’s Blacklist was reserved for the most heinous villains and Djinns. It was believed that one had to at least be a Master-rank Hero to have any chance of killing a Blacklisted target. There were even rumors that the requirement for a high-rank Hero to rise to the Master-rank was to kill a Blacklisted target.
“Yep. Back in my time, the Chameleon Troupe was a lot more vicious than they are now. They used to abduct and sell people, take on assassination requests practically every week… Huaam.”
Aileen yawned. She stretched her arms out and then continued.
“But now, they aren’t that vicious. They’re still considered a group of bandits, but not only do they reject unnecessary murder and massacre, they even got themselves off the Association’s wanted list after helping them with the Orden Incident. And the reason the Chameleon Troupe changed so much is…”
Aileen paused and held up the portrait.
“Because this man isn’t their leader. He died a long time ago, and the Chameleon Troupe was reborn under a new leader.”
Yun Seung-Ah nodded in agreement.
Aileen tapped on the portrait and continued.
“So, since he’s dead, we can’t find him even if we want to.”
“She’s right, Hajin.”
I chuckled. Everyone who knew a thing or two about the Chameleon Troupe would think the same way as Aileen and Yun Seung-Ah.
“No, that man is alive.”
So I spoke firmly. I had confirmed that Yi Yeonjun was alive with my own eyes. According to Jin Sahyuk, he had been ‘frozen’ all this time.
“His name is Yi Yeonjun.”
I pointed at the portrait and continued.
“He faked his death and he is now in this place. He should be in the Arunheim Kingdom, but he will eventually come to the Republic.”
Aileen and Yun Seung-Ah’s expressions turned serious.
“We have to kill Yi Yeonjun before Baal’s descent.”
“No, wait, I don’t understand. How can he be—”
“You can understand slowly. For now, we have to get ready.”
Leaving behind Aileen who was still in shock, I turned to Harin. She didn’t seem to follow what we said, as she was taking down notes.
“…H-Huh? Ah, yes.”
Harin quickly paused and looked up at me.
I smiled at her as gently as possible and made a request.
“Please teach us how to hunt a devil.”
[Arunheim Kingdom – Guest Room]
The sky was both dark and bright as if the stars were about to fall out of the sky. On this cold, winter night, Jin Sahyuk came to see Yi Yeonjun. Jin Sahyuk asked to talk to him, and Yi Yeonjun happily obliged.
The two of them sat across each other at the table in the guest room balcony. The stares they exchanged were cold, and neither side revealed a hint of weakness.
“…Let me ask you one thing.”
In this tense atmosphere, Jin Sahyuk sparked the conversation.
“It can be more if you’d like.”
Yi Yeonjun replied with a smile.
Jin Sahyuk asked without even the slightest change in her expression.
“Why do you want to be with Baal?”
“Hm? Isn’t that question a little—”
“All Baal can do is destroy Earth. If Earth is destroyed, you won’t be able to obtain anything. Since you aren’t the true incarnation body, you won’t be able to form an equal relationship like Bell and Baal. You will just end up being Baal’s slave.”
Bell had lived for hundreds of years as Baal’s incarnation body. As Bell was incapable of dying, he had the ability to resist Baal. Once Baal successfully descended, perhaps Bell might even return to being ‘human’.
But that wasn’t the case for Yi Yeonjun. If he accepted Baal… he would become Baal’s slave and rampage until death.
“…It doesn’t matter.”
But Yi Yeonjun replied that it didn’t matter.
Jin Sahyuk threw a question.
“Mm… Who knows?”
Yi Yeonjun thought about the environment he grew up in and the events that shaped his personality.
A baby who was born an orphan.
A child who was only used by adults.
A youth who became vicious in order to appear strong.
Even at a glance, the world was nothing but a target of anger and resentment to Yi Yeonjun.
“It will be destroyed even without me, so I want to destroy it myself.”
“…Pft, what a petty answer.”
“Isn’t it? I fully agree.”
Yi Yeonjun replied honestly to Jin Sahyuk’s snarky comment.
But at the same time, memories of the past flashed inside his head.
The violence and abuse he suffered in the orphanage.
His friend and lover’s betrayals.
The time he killed the two people who abandoned him with his own hands.
…And the days of his youth where he constantly told himself, “it’s this damned world who made me this way.”
“You realize how stupid that is, right?”
Yi Yeonjun chuckled at Jin Sahyuk’s question.
“Of course, I do. I do, but…”
Yi Yeonjun paused. Then, he remembered what once used to be his – the Chameleon Troupe.
Bell and Rumi.
Byul and Jain.
The days he spent with them and the rest of the troupe could perhaps be called fond memories.
But those days belonged to his Chameleon Troupe.
Yi Yeonjun clenched his teeth. Now, those memories had all lost their light. Byul had inherited the Chameleon Troupe, and she had been dirtied by someone he didn’t know.
“I have nothing left.”
He wasn’t afraid of death.
He wasn’t afraid of being forgotten.
“So I have no choice but to destroy it all.”
He couldn’t accept his ‘belongings’ being stolen from him.
In that instant, Jin Sahyuk couldn’t help but laugh.
Yi Yeonjun glared at Jin Sahyuk and continued.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with you anyways. I promised you that I’d open a dimensional portal to Akatrina. That promise will stand even if I become Baal.”
As he said this, Yi Yeonjun calmly stared at Jin Sahyuk. Then, he continued with a smirk.
“Becoming one with Baal and putting myself in an endless loop of destruction and death. That seems like a wonderful end to my pitiful life.”
Looking at him like this, Jin Sahyuk thought Yi Yeonjun resembled her. To be exact, her past self before she met Kim Hajin.
A bitter taste lingered in her mouth.
“…Let’s stop here.”
Jin Sahyuk sighed and rose from her seat.
…Same time, Arunheim Kingdom’s Priton Mansion.
Chae Nayun was racking her head with Shin Jonghak.
“So, for whatever reason, Kim Hajin and Black Lotus are fighting,” Chae Nayun explained.
Shin Jonghak frowned and tilted his head.
“Kim Hajin is fighting Black Lotus?”
“Well, something like that. I know they’re both competing to kill Yi Yeonjun or something.”
Chae Nayun demanded a more detailed explanation from Jin Sahyuk, but Jin Sahyuk remained silent in matters regarding Kim Hajin and Black Lotus’s relationship.
…In truth, Jin Sahyuk gave Chae Nayun a chance. That she would tell her if Chae Nayun beat her in a one-on-one fight.
But Chae Nayun couldn’t defeat Jin Sahyuk. Most likely, she wouldn’t be able to until the end of the Transnational Peace Conference. Just as Shin Jonghak said, her compatibility with Jin Sahyuk was the absolute worst.
Shin Jonghak asked again.
“Yeah. Kim Hajin is trying to kill Yi Yeonjun. As for why….”
—If you look at it from a bigger picture, it’s Yi Yeonjun’s fault that Kim Hajin had no choice but to kill Chae Jinyoon.
Jin Sahyuk’s voice constantly lingered in Chae Nayun’s mind.
Chae Nayun clenched her teeth.
“…It might be related to Oppa.”
Shin Jonghak didn’t say anything. He simply nodded his head. He knew how sensitive Chae Nayun was when it came to Chae Jinyoon.
Chae Nayun clapped all of a sudden.
“I was thinking, we should brainstorm together.”
Shin Jonghak scratched his head.
“You know, let’s think and come up with theories. How Kim Hajin, Black Lotus, and Yi Yeonjun are related, why Black Lotus is trying to kill the former leader of his group, and why Kim Hajin is trying to kill Yi Yeonjun.”
Chae Nayun put down a notebook on the table. It was filled with notes on the theories she came up with.
“Let’s go. If we rack our heads together, there’s nothing we can’t solve.”
“…If you want.”
“Great. Then let’s begin!”
Just like that, Chae Nayun and Shin Jonghak sat together and fell in thought. Several theories flew around their heads and notes.
As a result…
“N-Nayun, the person who planted the Devil’s Seed in your older brother…. What if that was Yi Yeonjun?”
…Shin Jonghak arrived at a shocking hypothesis…
…And Chae Nayun’s eyes widened like a frightened rabbit.
[Transnational Peace Conference D-7]
Only a week remained until the Transnational Peace Conference.
The Republic’s night brightened up with artificial nights, and the sound of civilization rang out both day and night from the countless people who came to the Republic of Leores to watch or participate in the Transnational Peace Conference.
—Can you see well from there, Director?
As Director of the Secret Service, I was overseeing a part of the security operations for the conference. Looking down from the watchtower in the middle of Leores Plaza, I kept my eyes out for terrorists.
“Yeah. Kim Horak, there’s a suspicious individual wearing a black hat to the northwest of where you’re standing. He has bombs on him too.”
Kim Horak followed my command. He approached the man and quickly subdued him and took away his ‘bombs’.
…Seeing Kim Horak who did exactly as he was told, I realized why Shin Jonghak ordered him around like a loyal dog.
—Here, take him away.
Kim Horak handed the man over once other security forces arrived.
“Good job. Looks like there’s nothing else to worry about within a 3-kilometer radius, so it looks like we can rest….”
Just as we were communicating through a crystal ball, I suddenly caught sight of someone.
There was an individual wearing a grey robe.
However, my Thousand-Mile Eyes easily penetrated his robe and saw the face hiding underneath it. As expected… it was Yi Yeonjun.
I smiled in satisfaction. It was then. My expression stiffened once again.
—Director? What happened?
I couldn’t tell them Yi Yeonjun was nearby.
Boss was with Shimurin just a short distance away.Previous Chapter Next Chapter