[Translator – woni]
[Proofreader – sharlottle]
Chapter 24: An Odd Answer
"< You shouldn't try what I'm doing, good children. I am a trained professional. If I catch you imitating me, you're screwed. >"
And with that, Limon's press conference ended.
Yet Lee Chun-gi couldn't take his eyes off the television. Park Hyun-gun could empathize completely.
When he first saw it, he had stared into blank space for several minutes as well.
Holding the President hostage…
Threatening many more government officials…
A message directed to a Monarch.
None of these things could be done in the right state of mind, and yet Limon had just done all three of them together.
It would've made any sane man stupefied.
That was why the moment Lee Chun-gi opened his mouth, Park Hyun-gun felt odd.
"Limon Asphelder… He appears to be more hellacious than I expected. He caught me off guard."
“What do you mean?”
It was indisputable that Limon wasn't just any typical lunatic, but Park Hyun-gun sensed another meaning hidden in the Monarch's words.
“If you mean the deranged threat calling you to the Blue House, you can just igno—”
"People will think I am leaving the dirty work to others in order to gain political authority."
"I doubt there would be anyone who would actually believe that nonsensical blabber."
"My true intentions do not matter. The senior government officials will be able to get to me with that pretext regardless."
Park Hyun-gun immediately went rigid. His mind has previously gone blank from the absurd video, and the gears in his brain had just started turning again.
“Are you saying they will pressure a Monarch?”
“Since their lives are at stake, yes.”
Normally, even the highest senior government officials wouldn’t dare do something so absurd.
Monarchs were the Absolute Rulers of this era. Crossing them meant their own inevitable downfall.
But Limon's hostage situation was different. Desperation drives people to act rashly. Politics would not be on their mind anymore.
And on top of that, Lee Chun-gi had to save the President. Anyone who wanted to live would shamelessly cling onto him as well.
Even for a Monarch with absolute authority, the situation was hard to ignore.
"If other Monarchs get involved, this will turn into a fight in a mud bath."
Lee Chun-gi wasn’t the only Monarch.
If he chose to not take any action, there were plenty who would run to the other Monarchs instead, uncaring about the consequences such an action might bring.
That was a much bigger danger than Limon’s measly threats.
Unlike Limon, a goner from the past, the other Monarchs weren’t people he could overlook.
“Do you think Limon Asphelder thought that far ahead?”
"I do not know just how far ahead he has planned, but there is no doubt in my mind that he was trying to create a situation where I had no choice but to come forward myself."
The most damaging part of all this was that Limon did it all publicly enough to be embedded in the heads of people for generations.
Things would have been different if he just gave a secret call.
But as long as that broadcast was shown to the entire world, Lee Chun-gi had no choice but to resolve the mess himself — whether it be for his practical interest, to defend his honor, or any other reason.
“Chief Park, recall the people we dispatched to Hotel Leviathan.”
“Would that be alright?"
"It is better to lose the Black Dragon Princess than get the attention of the other Monarchs."
"Then, I shall send them to the Blue House."
“No. There is no need."
Lee Chun-gi shook his head.
Watching Limon’s smile on the paused TV screen with cold eyes, he continued in a low voice.
"It looks like the Guardian of Humanity wants to settle the score. I will bring an end to this myself."
Translator - woni
Proofreader - sharlottle
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“Oh, this is good.”
The Blue House banquet hall.
In the early days of his election, President Han had remodeled the place using a considerable amount of funds. As such, he had taken quite a liking to it.
He would often enjoy inviting people of all social standings— international delegates, major CEOs, international students, and celebrities— to greet them in this very banquet hall.
But at the very moment…
The banquet hall President Han Jungkook endeared felt like an inferno.
"The world's improved. In the past, royals had to check for poison in their food. They couldn't have a hot meal when their life literally depended on it."
‘Just how long ago was that?’
"They couldn't season their food, nor could they have late-night snacks. Pitiful, really.
‘Not as pitiful as me, I bet.’
"Actually, why don't you have some too? You're spending a ton of taxpayer dollars on these, you shouldn't waste it."
‘Does it look like I have room for food?!’
"Hey, bring some more alcohol. An expensive one, while you're at it."
'That fancy alcohol was bought with taxes too!'
President Han felt his blood boil as he watched Limon nibble away at his food.
He was sitting comfortably on the ground, treating the banquet hall like his living room.
He would have thrown away his dignity just to say a word— no, a hundred —if he could.
But President Han couldn't find the courage to open his mouth.
Even during his meal, Limon continued pressing his sword against his neck.
It reminded him greatly of the virtue of silence.
'You damn psycho, you're eating! At least put down your sword!'
"Oh, I'm definitely a little senile."
President Han was aghast.
Limon's response to his thoughts was too natural.
"H-how…? Are you using 「Telepathy」?!"
"My ass. Guys like you who stare daggers all think the same type of shit."
Limon was no newbie to these kinds of things.
He'd seen all kinds of hostages. Most of them were bound to vary between acting like a mad dog, lunatic, nutcase, psycho, and many other synonyms.
So reading President Han Jungkook wasn't a hard thing for him to do.
Coming to the realization that he fell for a leading question, President Han turned red in the face.
But it didn't last long.
Despite getting caught swearing at the man in his mind, Han Jungkook saw that Limon was calmer than in his expectations.
Thinking that the ice had already been broken, he started talking to Limon.
"Are you not afraid of the consequences of doing all of this, sir?"
Of course, he didn't forget his formalities. Being the President didn't give him multiple lives.
And fortunately, Limon didn't immediately blow his hostage's head off.
"Are there any consequences I should be afraid of?"
Limon asked out of genuine curiosity.
Seeing an opportunity, Han Jungkook was rejuvenated and spoke confidently.
"Then… Did you think you could get away with holding the leader of this country hostage? You've gone from protecting this world to committing treason!"
"I was about to be arrested for that and terrorism before I started this mess, you know."
Another charge on top of that wouldn't really have changed much.
"Is-isn't talking things out first the proper way to solve a misunderstanding?!"
"Are you admitting to framing me?"
“That’s not what I meant…"
"Then? You mean you allowed Squad 909 to get wiped out because of something you weren't certain of? Will you be able to explain that to the reporters outside?"
‘I shouldn’t have talked.'
In the end, President Han had already lost any justification he had for his actions the moment he dispatched Squad 909.
It would be a problem, regardless of whether or not he was aware of what he was doing.
If he didn’t know, he would be impeached for not knowing the nation’s most elite special forces were committing illegal acts.
But Limon didn’t let it go.
Almost looking glad that he had brought it up, Limon tapped Han Jungkook's neck with his sword, asking,
"In fact, there's something I wanna know. What gave you the confidence you could get rid of me with treason charges?"
"Not that you have to answer. It's probably the Infinite Monarch."
‘Then why did you ask, you nutjob?!'
Paying no heed to whether Han Jungkook had cursed him in his thoughts or not, Limon crossed his legs and continued.
"I've thought about it for a while. You make light of things too much. If you charge someone with treason, you ought to be prepared if they actually start committing treason."
What a damn boomer.
Seeing how Limon was scolding him amidst all of this, Han Jungkook grinded his teeth.
"……Say what you want. You're running out of time atop your high horse."
“And what makes you say that?"
“Do you really think you can go against 『Infinity Guild』?” Han Jungkook bluffed.
Yes, President Han was in his current predicament because he had underestimated Limon.
But the guild named 『Infinity Guild』 was on a whole different level compared to the Blue House security team.
They were one of the top ten guilds worldwide!
He was certain that suppressing Limon would be more than possible if they took action.
"If you let me go right now, I promise that I will try my utmost to at least stop the Infinite Monarch from bringing down the wrath of his entire guild."
‘Work, please work!’
Han Jungkook tried to act like he was the one being merciful, as he activated his unique skill,
Han Jungkook tried to show mercy as he activated his unique skill,「Countenance Pledge」. As named, it was a skill that gave its caster the countenance of others in exchange for a pledge.
Although, his pledge had to be to the other person's liking. He also had to fulfill it if he did receive their countenance.
Despite its risks, there were endless uses for it.
In fact, it was his skill that got him elected as president.
But as soon as he heard those words, Limon erupted into laughter and rolled around on the floor.
"'The wrath of his entire guild'? No way, do you really believe that Lee Chun-gi would bring his guild here?" Limon asked a flustered Han Jungkook with a snicker.
"…Isn't that obvious?"
Han Jungkook replied begrudgingly.
There was no reason to hold back when it was an emergency where the President was being held hostage.
Limon lightheartedly laughed at his thoughts.
"You sure? I think he's going to confidently come to the Blue House, all by himself."
“Don’t be ridiculous!"
“I guess we’ll find out.”
Limon answered with a grin.
But deep down, Limon was sure of himself.
There was no way the Infinite Monarch would bring his subordinates with him when he was provoked so publicly.
That was the pride of an Absolute Ruler.
"Even if the Infinite Monarch does come by himself, you're still done for!"
It seemed he felt rather uneasy at Limon’s composed stance.
Limon tilted his head.
“Hm, I’ve wanted to ask you this question really badly for a while now.”
As if he couldn't bring himself to understand, or like he was genuinely dying of curiosity, Limon looked at Han Jungkook with an inquisitive look in his eyes.
“How are you guys so sure that I’m weaker than the Monarchs?”
Han Jungkook looked flabbergasted.
Not because it was a random question, but because the answer was as obvious as saying which direction the sun rises.
“Because you aren't a player, obviously."
Just like how guns are better than swords, and how cavalry could not defeat a tank — how could an ‘ordinary civilian’ without skills beat a Monarch, the zenith of all players?"
Limon smirked, seeing Han Jungkook answer without an ounce of hesitation.
“Yeah, of course you’d say that."
It was like the President was merely inconvenienced from all of this.
At that, Limon lost all interest in Han Jungkook and mumbled to himself.
‘As I thought, something’s off.’
It wasn’t something anyone else would understand.
Studying the uneasiness felt only by him, Limon tried to get back to his meal.
But before he could reach for his plate, Limon flung Jungkook away at the speed of light.
A single missile struck the banquet hall from the ceiling.
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