I'm Not a Regressor

REAPER SCANS

 

I’m Not a Regressor

 

Chapter 222: Intermission - Reunion (4)

 

"Haaah."

Ohjin, lying on Boppi's back, let out a drawn-out yawn as he stretched.

"Am I almost here?"

Ohjin sat up, grabbing Boppi's fur. The Demon Realm's landscape came into view. A lush, overgrown forest. The forest interior, which should have been pitch black without sunlight, was illuminated by the firefly-like bugs fluttering around that gave off light. Thanks to the hauntingly mystical atmosphere, the scenery was rather beautiful.

‘The Demon Realm isn't as desolate as I imagined.’

What he had seen of the interior these past few days on Boppi's back differed greatly from what he had envisioned.

He had pictured a hellish wasteland that stretched endlessly, filled with blood and carnage. But...

"There are villages and cities of a sort too."

Although he had only glimpsed them from afar, surprisingly, the Demon Realm interior contained well-organized towns and cities that could be called "civilized."

‘Come to think of it, there are existences called Kings here.’

The presence of kings meant a hierarchy and society existed among the demonic beasts.

‘I haven't seen many monsters with that level of intellect, though.’

Up until now, most of the demonic beasts he had encountered were more like primal beasts driven by base instincts. He hadn't considered that such monsters could build villages and cities, serve kings, and form countries.

"Well... It's not like there are no intelligent monsters at all."

Usually, monsters with unique names, referred to as 'Named', exhibited intelligence surpassing that of humans. These names were attached to individuals rather than the entire species.

Before the Black Star Organization appeared, the biggest threat to mankind was the hordes of monsters led by the Named.

"The Named, huh."

Ohjin's voice held a tinge of enmity. The Thousand Curses Dragon, Barbatos. The monster who had taken Ha-eun's eye was one of the Named.

"Rrrr?"

Perhaps Boppi sensed the murderous intent, for he turned his head to look at Ohjin. Ohjin responded with a smile that seemed to ask, 'When did I ever show such intent?' as he gently stroked Boppi's fur.

"Oh, is that it over there?"

As he continued to pet Boppi, an enormous black gate came into view through the forest. It was a staggering gate, with a diameter of 50 kilometers.

‘That's the connection to the First Fissure.’

Due to the sheer size, it looked more like a vast black curtain spanning the land rather than a gate.

"Time to go home now."

Ohjin lay on his back on Boppi's spine and ripped open the potato chip bag Kasia had given him. He had thought he would have to fight for his life after being left alone in the Demon Realm. But thanks to Kasia, he could come and go as comfortably as flying in business class.

"Can't wait to see them."

Ha-eun, Isabella, Vega, and Riak. Only after being left alone did Ohjin fully realize how important they were to him.

"Rrrr!"

Perhaps sensing Ohjin's murmurs, Boppi let out a low cry and picked up speed. Ohjin's body rocked up and down, but with his superhuman sense of balance, it wasn't an issue.

Woooong!

What came into Ohjin's view after returning through the black gate to Earth was...

"Kieeeeek!"

"Rrrr!"

The scene of Allen, Isabella, Shaolin, and Shaoran fighting and tangled up with thousands, tens of thousands of monsters. And...

"Oh, Ohjin! Ohji... Huh?"

Ha-eun hurriedly called for him, then stopped short with a start.

"Huh?"

Ohjin's expression, lying on his back eating chips on Boppi's spine, froze.

'What is this.'

There was no time to calmly assess the situation. The moment the thought 'fucked' flashed through his mind, his body reacted reflexively.

"Cough! Cough!"

Clutching his chest, Ohjin immediately rolled off of Boppi's back.

He inflicted wounds through Transformation and caused internal damage by discharging lightning internally.

"Cough!"

Dark red blood trickled from his mouth.

"Mr. Oh, Ohjin?"

Amid battling monsters on the right, Isabella hurriedly looked his way.

"H-How is everyone here...?"

Ohjin raised his head incredulously. Seeing Isabella running over, he urgently yelled, "Ah, don't!"

Crawling desperately on the ground, he looked at Boppi in terror.

"Everyone run away!"

"Mr. Ohjin...?"

Isabella's footsteps halted.

[Boppi! Attack me!]

In the short instant that Isabella’s footstep halted, Ohjin activated his Stigma of Capricorn. With his Stigma’s power to control ‘sound,’ he sent out his voice so that only Boppi could hear.

“Grr?”

At the sudden ringing of Ohjin’s voice inside his head, Boppi cocked his head.

[Hurry and attack me! Right now!]

“Krrrr.”

Boppi nodded and smashed the sprawled Ohjin with his massive forepaw.

Thwack!

Ohjin's body flew like a cannonball after being struck by the paw of the monster dozens of meters in size, tumbling across the ground.

"Oh, Mr. Ohjin!"

Isabella looked on in horror and ran toward Ohjin.

Ohjin commanded Boppi amidst the excruciating pain wracking his body.

[Good, now don’t move from there anymore. Glower this way and raise your head.]

“Krrrr!”

Boppi obediently followed Ohjin's directions, raising his head and glowering at the crumpled Ohjin.

"You got away this far... Persistent bastard."

The low voice was flowing from Boppi's mouth. Of course, it wasn't Boppi's actual voice, but a fake one Ohjin created using the Stigma of Capricorn.

[Look around at the people and scoff.]

After glancing over Allen, the Shaolin sisters, and Isabella battling nearby monsters, Boppi let out a fierce snort.

"Sniff!"

[No, fuck, you didn’t have to go so far as to spew snort!]

Boppi wiped his snout where snot had dribbled with his forepaw.

"Lucky bastard."

The low voice rumbled.

"But no matter how you all struggle, it's futile."

He glared sharply and clacked his beak.

"This world will find a new order under the Black Star Organization’s name."

* * *

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Woooong!

Inky blackness coiled around Boppi's body, flickering ominously. The air was saturated with a murky, sinister energy that would churn one’s insides.

"A minion of the Snake?"

Allen, who had just beheaded the basilisk, looked at Boppi with chilled eyes. Boppi wrinkled his brows fiercely and glowered at Allen before speaking in a fierce voice.

"Do not speak of Her so casually, human."

"I knew it."

Allen gripped his sword hilt tightly, eyes flashing sharply.

"The rumors that the Snake has deluded even the demonic beasts inside the Demon Realm were true."

When he had heard that information from Megrez, he doubted the Snake could have laid her hands on even the demonic beasts inhabiting the Demon Realm. But it seemed those rumors were true.

"You... did this to Mr. Ohjin?"

Isabella, who had been cradling the blood-vomiting Ohjin, slowly got to her feet. Crimson aura swirled around her body, rocking the surroundings.

"How dare you, how dare you, how dare you... do this to Mr. Ohjin!"

Isabella gripped the crimson scythe. Just as she was about to plunge toward Boppi...

"Cough! Cough!"

Ohjin writhed, vomiting blood again.

"Ah...!"

Isabella quickly pulled Ohjin into her embrace and took out a potion from her bosom. Popping open the lid of the top-grade potion she had prepared anticipating Ohjin's critical condition, she trickled it into Ohjin's mouth.

"Isabella."

"It's okay, Mr. Ohjin. I'm here now... I came to save you, so don't worry anymore."

Tears rolled down Isabella's cheek.

"Hmph."

Boppi gave an insipid snort as he watched the scene unfold and turned his body away.

[You can head right back.]

“Krr…”

Before he entered the gate, Boppi turned his head slightly and let out a disheartened growl.

[It’s okay, Boppi. There will come a time when we will meet again.]

“Krr!”

Boppi wagged his snake tail and stepped into the portal.

“First… let’s get out of here.”

Allen clicked his tongue as he watched Boppi’s shape grow further away and slashed his sword at the demonic beasts around him.

Perhaps because the Snake’s subordinate had returned, the nearby demonic beasts that had viciously gathered seemed to lose their will to fight, and their movement grew dull.

"Hop on my back, Mr. Ohjin."

"Thank…you."

"…Don’t be."

Isabella gently stroked Ohjin’s cheeks, which had grown much slimmer, as if to display the hardships he must have endured the past few days. She almost could not recognize him.

"I... was so scared."

She spoke in a trembling voice as she held Ohjin's head.

"I was so afraid I'd never see you again... never get to meet you again... I was so scared..."

Tears flowing down her pale cheek gathered and dripped off her chin.

"Thank you... for staying alive, Mr. Ohjin."

The falling teardrops, like dew on the leaves at dawn, dampened Ohjin's forehead.

"I won't... let you go now."

Isabella strengthened her embrace, whispering her resolve softly.

"…"

And Ha-eun, watching all this...

"That fucker's spouting bullshit again."

Sighed, holding her forehead as if it hurt.

***

After Ohjin's safe return to Earth. Rather than going straight home, Ohjin was admitted into the hospital run by the Colagrande Household.

Despite barely having any injuries to begin with, after receiving intensive care from top medical experts, he quickly recovered fully.

"Yawn."

In the VIP hospital room furnished like a luxury hotel suite, Ohjin awoke with a lazy yawn after a 10-hour deep slumber. Lying in bed, he stared at the ceiling, continuing his thoughts.

'Well, that went surprisingly smoothly.'

When his eyes first met Ha-eun's, he thought he was doomed. Luckily, no one besides Ha-eun seemed to have seen him leisurely munching chips on Boppi's back.

'I got some solid rest too.'

Maybe due to the aftereffects of using Heaven Unfolding, fatigue had built up unknowingly. Hence, the thorough care from the top-notch medical team Isabella had prepared was rather welcome.

"Time to get going."

The moment he tried getting out of the hospital bed...

Clank.

"...Huh? What's this?"

Only then did Ohjin notice the red iron shackles binding his wrists and ankles. He couldn't break free no matter how hard he pulled.

"You're awake?"

Just then, the door opened, and Isabella entered the room. She approached the shackled Ohjin wearing the maid uniform she had shown him from the trunk.

"Isabella. What is this...?"

"Didn't I tell you?"

Isabella sat on the bed and gently stroked Ohjin's cheek.

"I won't let you go now."

Her eyes gazing at Ohjin glowed a vivid crimson.

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