I’m Not a Regressor
[Translator – Maccas ]
[Proofreader – ilafy ]
Chapter 209: Snake’s Head (2)
“Where exactly did you find their traces?” Ohjin asked, his eyes narrowed.
-It’ll be faster for you to come and see for yourself.
-Ah, if this is about the Queen of Snakes, do not be worried. I secretly observed the surroundings myself for around a week, and it fortunately seems that she is not present.
“Hmm.” Ohjin thought about it and nodded his head. Considering how confident Cheon Sanggil was, it would be safe.
-Weren’t you the one to solve the demonic beast incident last time? I would like some assistance.
“That is true…” Ohjin narrowed his eyes and started to think.
He couldn’t just sit still and do nothing when he was told that a fissure leading to the Demon Realm had opened in the middle of a city.
It was right to do whatever he could as fast as possible before an irreversible event happened like in San Fruttuoso.
However, Ohjin felt an unpleasant, strange feeling like there were a few missing pieces of the puzzle.
“Gramps, how are you doing?”
-Hm? There were other people with you?
“Ah, yes. I’m with Ha-eun and Isabella.”
-Even better. I happened to be planning on contacting both of them as well.
It certainly wasn’t something Ohjin could take care of alone.
“When do we need to be there by?”
-The faster the better. It appears that no demonic beasts have exited the fissure yet… but we don’t know what will happen as long as it remains open.
“I agree.” Ohjin nodded and stood up. “We’ll head over right after we’re finished preparing.”
-Understood. Then I’ll hang up and contact the guild.
The call ended.
“A fissure that leads to the Demon Realm… I wonder why it suddenly appeared in Korea of all places,” Isabella wondered with a hardened expression.
“It’s likely to have to do something with the Snakes.”
“…Then isn’t it too dangerous to go there right now?”
“That doesn’t mean we can turn a blind eye to it.”
A fissure right beneath a city was the equivalent of a ticking time bomb. Well, it wasn’t likely for Ohjin to take damage if it did explode, however…
‘I need to do something, even if it’s just to maintain my hero title.’
If news that he didn’t participate for fear of his own safety happened to spread, his hard-earned reputation could hit rock bottom in an instant.
‘I can’t let that happen.’
He felt to the bone how useful the name ‘Lightning Wolf’ was when he covered up the Damien incident with Isabella.
If Isabella and Ohjin hadn’t made a name for themselves in the meantime, they wouldn’t have been able to avoid gazes of suspicion when huge news such as a Seven Star dying got out.
“I also now have a personal reason to chase the Snakes.”
“Is it… because of the Heavenly Demon?”
—The identity of the Heavenly Demon…
There was probably no living existence who knew more about that being other than the ‘Queen of Snakes’.
“It does seem to be pretty serious with how Gramps was acting.”
“Why? Was it different from normal?”
“Mhm. No matter how busy he is, he usually talks about irrelevant stuff a lot. This time, he only brought up the important points.”
To put it nicely, he was flexible in his speech, but one could also say he spoke in a sly manner. Ha-eun would know that best as one who was instructed directly under Cheon Sanggil.
“Let’s start preparing.”
“Okay, then I’ll head home and wash up.”
“Tell me if there’s anything you need and I’ll tell Roberto to get it for us.”
“Alright. It seems that we’ll have to eat from the lunch boxes later.”
“Fufu. Don’t worry. I’ll make them for you whenever you want.”
Ohjin, Ha-eun, and Isabella individually prepared what they needed before leaving home and inspected their equipment.
After he finished inspecting his wire shooters, Ohjin took out his spear that was in the shape of a folding knife and carefully polished it with an oiled cloth. Once he was done with that, he prepared the orange bracelet and gauntlet he hadn’t had an opportunity to use recently and recovered the mana that he expended during his short meditation and training.
“Is everyone finished preparing?”
Ohjin came out to the living room in a fully-armed state.
Ha-eun, wearing skinny jeans and a rider jacket, along with Isabella, holding a staff embedded with a large golden gemstone, were waiting for him there.
“Yes. We’re finished.”
“I’m a bit tired from getting beat up earlier, but it can’t be helped.”
“Um. That was…”
“I know you wouldn’t have done it if you knew this would happen, so stop putting on that expression.”
Ha-eun smirked and lightly pinched Isabella’s cheek.
Like it was her first time getting her cheek pinched, Isabella stroked it with one hand as her eyes widened. Her lips slowly turned into a smile while she was looking at Ha-eun.
“It’s about time we leave.”
“Will it be okay? Aren’t you hungry?”
“I’ll eat my fill there.”
It was more efficient to summon Vega once they arrived since her time on Earth was limited.
“Alright! Let’s go and catch that snake’s tail in a jiffy!” Ha-eun lightly stepped out the door.
* * *
“Hmm. So this is Sokcho.” Isabella exited the car and furrowed her brow as she took a brief look around Sokcho.
The downtown area of Sokcho had been damaged severely by the demonic beast incident half a year prior and hadn’t been able to recover yet. The many construction sites seemed to be proof of that.
“This is an inhabited city… correct?
“It’s like this due to the attack of demonic beasts gramps mentioned earlier.” Ha-eun took out a cigarette from her jacket and bit it with a bitter look on her face.
There weren’t casualties because they had already evacuated everyone in advance before they went on with their demonic beast subjugation operation, but they couldn’t prevent the destruction of their homes.
It wasn’t like destroyed buildings could be reconstructed in a day. More time would be needed for the people who live in Sokcho to see the original appearance of their hometown.
“Ha-eun, where did the black energy spike up again?”
“Oh, somewhere around there.”
Ha-eun, who was smoking and looking at the people walking lifelessly in the streets, rubbed her cigarette on an ashtray and put it out.
There was a large hole about 300 meters in diameter in the middle of the city next to the Expo Tower that was in the middle of construction. It was like a sinkhole had appeared.
* * *
Translator - Maccas
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
An old man wearing a hanbok waited for Ohjin’s party near the fences with danger warnings all over them.
“Thank you for coming right away.” Cheon Sanggil extended his hand towards Ohjin with a friendly smile.
“Is the Heaven’s Grace guild yet to arrive?”
“I received contact that they’ll be here soon.” He turned around and walked past the warning fences.
There was an unpleasant, sticky energy flowing from beneath the seemingly bottomless hole.
“…Is that where we’re heading?”
“That’s correct.” Cheon Sangil slowly nodded his head.
Ohjin sighed and waited until the Heaven’s Grace guild members arrived.
“Come to think of it, what are your future plans with Guardian?”
“Hm? What do you mean by that?”
“Haven’t three out of seven members died?”
“Ahh, right.” Cheon Sanggil nodded as if he had remembered something he’d forgotten about.
“Well, casualties can’t be helped during an operation.”
“That… is true.”
His reaction was much more easy going than Ohjin imagined it would be.
“I’ll try to recruit more people after this matter is over. We can think about who to recruit when that time comes,” Sanggil said while looking down at the black hole.
Ohjin nodded and observed the surroundings. “Come to think of it, is Lee Woohyuk coming?”
“I tried to contact him, but I heard he’s gone into seclusion.”
“Isn’t he on the doorsteps of 9-Star?”
It was indeed about time Lee Woohyuk advanced into the ranks of a high-rank Awakener.
While they were looking around and exchanging smalltalk, a couple of large vans arrived at the scene.
Heaven’s Grace members wearing improved hanbok stormed out.
“Is everyone here?”
The members stood in a neat line and bowed to Sanggil as if they had gone through army training.
“Then let’s head in.” Sanggil faced away from his guild members and started to move.
There were stairs around one meter in width on the outskirts of the deep hole.
Ohjin’s party followed him down the narrow stairs, and when they were around one hundred meters down—
“Can you feel it?”
—Sanggil turned around and spoke to Ohjin.
There wasn’t a subject in his sentence, but he didn’t need one to understand what he was referring to—there was ominous mana rising up like a haze from the hole.
“Yes.” He could realize there was something extremely ominous below even without using the stigma of the Hunting Dogs.
“That is the fissure I discovered.”
As they went down approximately 30 more meters, they saw a small fissure around one meter in size.
“What was the trace of the Snakes you mentioned?”
“Come over here.” Sanggil pointed to somewhere near the black fissure.
There was a bizarre magic circle drawn there, and in the middle of it was a hand-sized medallion engraved with the shape of a snake.
‘This is…’ Ohjin looked down at the snake medallion in the middle of the magic circle and narrowed his eyes.
Indeed, it was the exact same medallion as the ones possessed by Cheon Doyoon and Sosuke.
‘Is it about time I call Vega?’
Vega’s senses were a lot more exceptional than his in that area. Ohjin touched the silver pendant hanging around his neck, and she appeared out of thin air with radiant light.
[Hmm? Where is this?]
It looked like she felt the unpleasant mana in the area since she spoke with a frown on her face.
Ohjin explained what happened in a simple manner.
[A fissure that leads to the Demon Realm…]
Vega furrowed her brow while looking at the black fissure leaking the unpleasant mana.
[How did you find this place?]
“I happened to come across it while chasing after the Snakes. It appears to have been here for quite some time.”
[No.] Vega firmly shook her head.
[It… hasn’t been long since this fissure was created.]
“It hasn’t been long since it was created?”
“Then how long has it been?”
[I can’t give you an exact time… but around ten days? I believe it has only been somewhere around there.]
That would mean Sanggil discovered the fissure only three days after it was created.
“…” Ohjin narrowed his eyes and examined the black fissure.
“What’s its state like?”
[Hmm. It’s maintaining an incredibly stable state.]
“There’s no chance of demonic beasts or anything else coming out?”
[I can’t say that the chances of it happening are nil, but it is indeed low. Don’t monsters normally come out of fissures that are unstable?]
It was the same in San Fruttuoso—fundamentally, monsters would only exit a fissure when it was stimulated or in an unstable state.
‘Then does that mean it’s safe for now?’
Ohjin approached the black fissure and slowly extended his hand.
Then… the moment the tips of his fingers made contact with the fissure—
—the hole trembled as if an earthquake was happening.
“Wh-What’s going on?”
Ha-eun looked around with shock while Vega and Isabella urgently called out Ohjin, who quickly took his hand out of the fissure and backed off.
Like cracked glass breaking, the black fissure that was merely one meter in size suddenly started to expand.
Five meters, ten meters, thirty meters…
The fissure expanded at a rapid speed and swallowed up everyone within the hole in an instant.
Even as the fissure swallowed him, Ohjin quickly used his wire shooters and wrapped them around Ha-eun and Isabella.
His consciousness faded along with the feeling of his body getting sucked into somewhere.
In his hazy mind—
—he heard the whispers of someone… who had a thrilled, ecstatic voice.
-I’ve been waiting for you.
Ohjin lost consciousness without any sort of chance to identify who the voice belonged to.
Where he was lying when he opened his eyes… was inside the Demon Realm.
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