185, The Last Episode
"You said you wanted to see me…"
Alvin did not raise his bowed head. In fact, he seemed to be sleeping on his knees. Then, after a few minutes, he finally responded to Yoo-seong.
‘How am I alive?’ Yoo-seong assumed that was what Alvin wanted to ask him.
Sending a nuclear warhead across the crack. It had actually been a pretty clever and well-thought-out move from Alvin.
He hadn’t resisted being arrested because he had already calculated what was going to happen.
Once Oh Yoo-seong and the tools that could open and close cracks at will were gone, the flow of events would have soon returned to normal. The world would have had no choice but to proceed with Alvin’s plans. The numerous giants, and even his father, who had abandoned him, would have no one else to rely on but him.
He would just have had to spend a little leisurely time in prison and wait for the world to need him.
"You seemed pretty confident about it," Yoo-seong remarked.
"Why wouldn’t I? After all, humans depend on heroes." Alvin shrugged.
"And you thought that, with your plan, you could erase the responsibility of launching nuclear warheads over foreign territories?"
"Hey! It’s not as if it was the territory of another country!" Alvin’s laughter rang out in the cell.
"Your father called and warned our government," Yoo-seong said.
"He… he’s weak." Alvin’s laughter stopped abruptly. He looked like he had just swallowed a bitter pill.
However, before long, he recovered. "Even if he warned you, they had no way to stop the warhead. Everything would have worked out so well…"
"If only you’d managed to kill me, right?"
"Yes, if only you were gone!"
Bloodshot eyes stared at Yoo-seong.
"So, why did you come here? To bask in your glory? To enjoy your time as a winner? What?"
"Of course not," Yoo-seong answered. "I am a very busy person."
Yoo-seong sighed as he fixed his tie.
"When the hell will I be free? Later, I will be in a meeting with your new government leaders. In fact, your new president was the one who gave me the clearance to meet you."
What had brought about Alvin’s complete defeat was not only the fact that Yoo-seong had survived. No matter how powerful he and his family were, the United States was not a country that an individual could control. Complaints about Alvin and his father’s actions had begun popping up all over the place since the bombing in Nevada.
Alvin’s unauthorized entry and access to nuclear warheads had been the final straw.
His father’s call to Korea had been made as a desperate move to save their political position. The United States government had wanted it to look like they’d had nothing to do with Alvin’s actions.
Still, that did not completely settle the situation, and in the end, the country’s top officials, including Alvin’s father, had faced impeachment for allowing an insane Miracle Boy free rein.
"After that meeting, I have to visit a few countries in South America as well… To be frank, you don’t have any business value that would make it worth devoting my time to you."
"I just stopped by here for personal reasons."
Alvin tried to swear. Despite being tied down in chains, he was desperate to hurt Yoo-seong somehow, even just with his words.
However, before a syllable came out of his mouth…
With a short metallic sound, the chains that had been clamping down on his limbs fell. Almost instantly, he had been released.
Alvin was stunned. He did not know why he was being released.
"I can’t believe it…"
Alvin stared at Yoo-seong, who had his back turned against him.
Yoo-seong was calmly walking away.
"Is your power gone?" Yoo-seong provoked him without even looking back.
The distance between them was about ten steps.
Alvin knelt on one knee and raised his arms to the height of his chest.
That was all it took for Alvin’s brain to calculate the scenario of defeating Yoo-seong and escaping the facility.
"You are now free to…"
Alvin did not miss the opportunity as Yoo-seong spoke. From his bent knee, he gained momentum and bounced off for a tackle.
It was a simple but effective attack, a single blow that contained all of Miracle Boy’s physical energy.
His speed transcended that of sound, and the impact was enormous.
The reverberation from the impact was so sudden and powerful that it seemed to stop all the airflow in the room.
In that frozen moment, there were only two things that were moving: Alvin’s pupils… and his all-out tackle that couldn’t quite reach Yoo-seong.
Casually raising a knee as he turned, Yoo-seong struck Alvin’s chin as the latter rushed in.
Alvin could clearly hear it…
The sound of his bones shattering.
The next moment, he found his body soaring into the air.
Meanwhile, Yoo-seong had already fully rotated and thrown his right foot up to follow Alvin’s body.
His foot glowed with intense light.
The most powerful kick, of such strength that it could dissolve even a nuclear warhead.
With it, he hit Alvin’s lower abdomen.
Blood spurted out of Alvin’s mouth as his body was thrown backward.
"As I was saying"—Yoo-seong once again fixed his tie and his suit—"your new president was actually opposed to me coming here. But as soon as he knew what I was going to do, he welcomed it with open arms."
"In my heart, what I really wanted was to destroy you. You have done things a human being should not do."
Yoo-seong’s words were sincere.
Alvin hadn’t just tried to kill him. His attempt had also been a threat to the Needle and Thread, the tools to salvation that would save millions of lives.
"But it’s not my way. As much as possible, I wouldn’t want to kill another human being."
"You… what did you…?"
Alvin struggled to stand. Not because of the physical damage, but because of a psychological one.
The physical damage he’d sustained in his lower abdomen was surprisingly small, considering that he’d been hit by the Annihilation Kick.
However, a feeling of emptiness stood out to him.
"What… to me…"
Yoo-seong, with his Annihilation Kick, had erased Alvin Hawkin’s core.
"What have you done to me?!"
"It’s the punishment that you deserve."
Through Sung-wook, Yoo-seong had learned firsthand how hunters felt after losing their core. The more pride a hunter took from their achievements, the more empty they would feel with their power gone.
"I thought about consuming it," Yoo-seong added, "but honestly, the amount is just not worth it."
At that point, Alvin rushed at Yoo-seong with his fists.
Yoo-seong did not fight back. Instead, he quietly took Alvin’s kicks and punches.
"Oh, ouch ouch!"
Alvin’s flesh was torn, and his bones broke from the impact against Yoo-seong’s body.
Now, he was just an ordinary person. He couldn’t win even against the weakest hunter.
"As I was saying"—Yoo-seong watched the broken Alvin—"you are now free to go."
Yoo-seong brushed Alvin’s blood off his suit.
"You no longer deserve to be imprisoned here. I spoke with your new president about your new life. You will be on parole with an electronic anklet to track your movements. A police officer will be assigned to monitor you anywhere you go."
"Lord, just kill me!"
"Commit suicide, if you want," Yoo-seong said coldly. "I won’t stop you."
He knew Alvin could never do that. He loved himself more than anyone else. Therefore, being exiled in society would be hell for him.
While being monitored by the laws he had belittled so much, he would live the rest of his life miserable.
Yoo-seong turned and left the Sea Tree.
As he’d said, there wasn’t any value to devoting his time there.
‘It would only take a few years for the Red Dragon Society to establish itself in a new land.’
Yang Jeong-cheon had thought so, but soon enough, he had to admit that he was wrong. There was no way to push through the five-year plan he’d had.
This was because things had gone much smoother than he’d expected. Shortly after Yoo-seong closed the last Korean rift and woke up, it had been decided in the Korea-China talks that the Red Dragon Society would surrender all its assets that still remained in China to the Chinese government.
Simply looking at the Shanghai base alone, it was equivalent to astronomical sums of money.
However, the Korean government had promised to treat them as distinguished guests.
Soon, plans for the pioneer bases in the alien world had been released.
Three preliminary bases had been identified, and the cleaning work to rid the areas of monsters would begin soon.
The bidding for those three areas had been as intense as possible, as companies were willing to risk everything just to secure a place.
However, the Red Dragon Society had been granted the sole right to one of the bases by the Korean government. It hadn’t been officially announced yet, but the rumors had spread far and wide.
Big brokers from overseas had been in touch with the Red Dragon to offer support.
More than the Red Dragon’s relationship with Yoo-seong, the organization was a perfect fit for the role talent-wise. The Red Dragon Society had veteran hunters, all with first-rate Chinese Tech. This fact had not changed even after they’d left China.
And when they had announced that they were recruiting in Korea, thousands of hunters flocked to them, paralyzing traffic around the area. Like this, much earlier than expected, Yang Jeong-cheon was witnessing the second heyday of the Red Dragon.
The voices of new trainees filled the dojo.
Biyeon took out a towel and wiped off her sweat. The daily training had just ended, but the day was not done for her. This was because Biyeon wasn’t simply an instructor in the Red Dragon.
She was the successor; therefore, she was also in charge of official duties and foreign activities. Her daily routine was quite overwhelming.
‘It’s getting exhausting,’ she thought.
It wasn’t as if there weren’t enough executives in the Red Dragon to take over her tasks. She just enjoyed working for the organization. Her sighs of exhaustion were all happy sighs.
From the time she was born, she had already been in the Red Dragon Council. From a very young age, she had been hunting monsters. She didn’t even have any hobbies or a personal life.
Biyeon had thought of trying to get one, but she didn’t know where to start.
‘Forget about dating,’ she’d thought. There wasn’t anywhere in her schedule that she could fit that in.
"I guess… I just have to find someone who could work hard together with me," she’d said.
However, recently, she couldn’t help but feel that everything had gotten a little more difficult.
Her footsteps felt heavier as she walked down the hall toward the reception room. Thirty minutes ago, the general officer had approached her and told her that a businessman had arrived.
‘-He mentioned an investment problem… well, he looks pretty cool. Perhaps there is a purpose for wanting to meet you other than the investment.’
The general officer had winked at her as he explained it. As she was focused on the training, she hadn’t thought too much of it.
It wasn’t anything new. During her several months in Korea, Biyeon had suffered several of those young men. She was the successor of the giant Red Dragon Society, her Psy was world-class, and her looks were perfect. Popular hunters, as well as various celebrities, CEOs, and other businessmen, had made a fuss of her.
Perhaps the young man who had come for her this time had the same purpose.
Take a deep sigh in advance, Biyeon opened the door to the reception room.
The young man inside was already standing up.
"Long time no see," Yoo-seong said, scratching his head, trying to look cool.
It was a really obvious gesture.
"Yeah. It’s been a while." As soon as she’d recovered from the surprise, Biyeon had refined her voice, making it sound indifferent and cold.
"If I’m not mistaken… the last time we saw each other was in Japan, right?" he asked her.
The turmoil with the Sukune Family.
That was when Biyeon had left everything and gone to Japan to be with Yoo-seong. She had conveyed her feelings to him, but all he’d told her was…
‘-Please go to Korea and wait for me.’
That was all.
Since then, Yoo-seong and Biyeon had never met again.
"Biyeon… Your Korean has become perfect."
"Yeah. I have been busy. I heard you were, too."
Yoo-seong hadn’t come for her because he’d been busy, not because he hated her.
Right now, it was impossible to turn on the TV or check the internet anywhere in the world and not see his name.
‘But…’ she thought, ‘just how busy must he have been that he couldn’t even see me once?’
"So, what did you come here for?" she asked in a cold tone.
She didn’t know his reason, but knowing him, it must be something important for the Red Dragon. He was the type of person who always insisted on the best option available.
"If it’s something I don’t have to listen to myself, I have to go back to training. You can speak with Father, instead," she added.
"…Uh." Yoo-seong looked down, unsure of what to say. He looked like he was about to say something, but he kept on hesitating.
Finally, as if his legs were weak, he fell atop a chair in the waiting room.
"People… they don’t change that easily."
The words that came out of his mouth proved to be strange.
"For as long as I can remember… I have been living like this—efficiency, cost-effectiveness, optimization. I kept thinking that one day, all of this would be over, and I wouldn’t have to think of those things anymore… but it seems that that day won’t come. In the end, I’m afraid that if I don’t take the time now, I’ll live like this forever until I die."
"…But why are you telling me this?" she interrupted.
"I want to slow down."
Yoo-seong raised his head and looked into Biyeon’s eyes.
"I want to slow down a little, enjoy things for a while."
There was a sad smile on Yoo-seong’s face.
"I just thought… I wondered if we could catch on to the things we missed. Of course, you can say I’m a really shameless guy; I have nothing to say against that."
"Now, now, well…"
"This evening, I’m going to America again. I have some unfinished business there."
The Second Generation Miracle Boy, Jonathan Moksley, along with the other American hunters who had fled to Korea.
Yoo-seong respected them and had taken measures so that they could enjoy rest and seclusion to their hearts’ content.
However, it seemed that the US wanted to regain Miracle Boy at any cost.
Yoo-seong needed to reconcile that part. And yet…
"I don’t plan on flying myself across the Pacific this time. I rented a charter. It would be a little slower, but… in a spacious plane, with good drinks and food, idly watching the clouds… I think no one would curse me for going at such a ‘normal’ speed."
And, of course, there was one place he wanted to stop by.
"In LA, there is a café that I accidentally found. It has a terrace facing the beach, and their sandwiches and coffee are very good."
"The scenery is very pretty, so I promised myself that I would go there again someday…"
"…with someone I could talk to and watch the scenery with."
Biyeon was silent.
The general officer had deceived her completely this time. He and her father must have known about this in the first place. That was why Biyeon didn’t have anything scheduled for the next few days. The upcoming days were filled with tasks and duties that other people could cover for her.
"Well, I said it the long way. The point is simple: I’m asking for a date. Now that we have a chance…"
Standing up again, Yoo-seong repeated his question in the most straightforward way.
"Will you go out with me?
At Biyeon’s answer, Yoo-seong chuckled. It was laughter mixed with relief and apology.
Biyeon also smiled. Her smile was mixed with tears.
Those were their first steps.
For the first time in their lives, Yang Biyeon and Oh Yoo-seong would walk a little slower.
[Active: Thanks for reading this far! This story started off in the early days of AT! My girlfriend and I worked on the first few chapters together haha! It finished exactly 12 months from when we first started playing around with translations. Please leave feedback on NU! Cheers.]