Descent of the Demon Master
Seeing Kang Jin-Ho silently stewing in his thoughts imparted this inexplicable feeling in Hwang Jeong-Hu.
He recalled the first time he met this young man.
Back then, Hwang Jeong-Hu really thought that the devil had come to make a deal with him.
As long as he could overturn the hopeless situation he was in, Hwang Jeong-Hu believed signing a contract with the devil was worth the price.
So, he didn ’t think too deeply about what—or who—Kang Jin-Ho could be.
However, the devil responsible for giving Hwang Jeong-Hu his life back didn
’t return to Hell and decided to stay put.
That devil adapted to the ways of the human world to live among humans, and that had been going on for the past five years or so.
Initially, Kang Jin-Ho looked so unnatural while trying to live an ordinary life.
He desperately tried to live as ordinarily as possible, but the subconscious awkwardness was still there as if he was trying to put on clothes that didn ’t quite fit him.
What about now, five years later? Hwang Jeong-Hu thought that Kang Jin-Ho had become somewhat more natural than before.
Kang Jin-Ho smiled a lot more these days.
He talked a lot more, too.
Most importantly, though, at a casual glance, one couldn ’t spot any hints of awkwardness in how ’ordinary ’ he acted in his daily life.
Hwang Jeong-Hu was glad to see that.
It meant a creature with half a foot in the human world but unable to make much progress was gradually turning into a real human being.
On the other hand, this development also pained Hwang Jeong-Hu somewhat.
Kang Jin-Ho acclimatizing to the human world was like a square peg being shoved into a round hole.
Only by shaving and cutting off parts of himself with his own hands could he fit in with everyone else.
Just how much pain and misery did he have to go through to reach this point? Perhaps this result shouldn ’t be seen as a good thing in its entirety.
Hwang Jeong-Hu continued from where he left off.
“I heard they call themselves the Yeongnam Group.”
Kang Jin-Ho looked back at Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“Have you heard about them?”
“No, I haven
However, I can still make educated guesses about their operation.
If you clash against an organization of that scale, it ’ll be impossible to walk away from that world again…
Regardless of your intentions.”
’t you been doing well until now? I heard you
’ve already punished those who dared to lay their hands on your little sister.
In that case, is there really a need to escalate things even further than this?”
Kang Jin-Ho silently sucked on his cigarette.
The bluish-gray smoke slowly wafted in the office ’s air.
Hwang Jeong-Hu narrowed his eyes.
“I ’m talking to you out of concern since I know how hard you have been working at blending into society until now.
However, getting entangled in that world once more can and will nullify everything you ’ve done to get here.
You know this, don ’t you?”
Kang Jin-Ho chuckled briefly at that.
Hwang Jeong-Hu got this bone-chilling sensation from that chuckle and hurriedly clamped his mouth shut.
Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t seem to care as he leisurely stubbed the cigarette out before lighting up a new one.
“Fuu-woo…” Kang Jin-Ho exhaled a lengthy trail of smoke before chuckling again in amusement.
“Everyone seems to be saying the same thing to me.”
“The same thing?”
Whether it ’s you, the ones I consider my friends or even my family members.
They all say the same thing.” Kang Jin-Ho ’s real self unleashed to the world in full after such a long absence only needed a few words to utterly dominate Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s attention.
Hwang Jeong-Hu sucked in a deep breath.
’Was he born with this talent? ’
Obviously, Hwang Jeong-Hu had encountered others giving off similar vibes as Kang Jin-Ho.
However, those people were dictators who had plunged their nations into an era of terror or the main character of a mythic tale about building their own corporation from nothing.
A ruler who lorded over countless citizens and ordered them around.
These were the kinds of people capable of subduing their surroundings with nothing but their presence and evoking obedience from everyone else.
It can be hard to make great work when its stolen from bit.ly/3iBfjkV.
However, none of them had an aura as intense as Kang Jin-Ho ’s.
’This is the kind of vibe only those who have stood at the peak can emit…! ’
This was one of the real reasons Hwang Jeong-Hu couldn
’t casually engage with Kang Jin-Ho.
It wasn ’t as simple as Kang Jin-Ho possessing a strong yet mysterious power.
And no, it wasn ’t simply because Kang Jin-Ho held Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s life in his hands, either.
Even without those reasons, Hwang Jeong-Hu would still never underestimate or poorly treat Kang Jin-Ho.
How could he do that when he knew what the people with such air about them were capable of?
Kang Jin-Ho languidly spoke, “They all say they know so well.”
‘Know what so well?’
Hwang Jeong-Hu was puzzled and could only stare at Kang Jin-Ho.
Thankfully, Kang Jin-Ho was in a friendly mood to answer the question contained in Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s gaze.
“Tell me, do you think you know me well?”
Hwang Jeong-Hu was immediately lost for words.
Did he know Kang Jin-Ho well?
Up until a few moments ago, he would have said yes.
After Kang Jin-Ho directly asked him this; however, Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s thoughts went through a subtle revision.
‘Do I really know anything about this person called Kang Jin-Ho?’
For some reason, Hwang Jeong-Hu started thinking that he had no clue.
He might know better than Kang Jin-Ho ’s parents about what this young man ’s true status was and how he had been living his life.
However, Hwang Jeong-Hu still had no idea about where Kang Jin-Ho had acquired his mysterious powers or why he was pursuing the ’ordinary ’ life with such zeal.
In other words, he didn ’t know anything truly essential about Kang Jin-Ho.
What he ’knew ’ was simply based on his guesses, and that was about it.
“You don ’t know anything.” Kang Jin-Ho calmly stated the truth.
Hwang Jeong-Hu silently nodded in agreement.
He had to admit it at this stage.
“Even then, you still say those words.
That ’s what you ’re like, after all.
The ’you ’ I know.
You, you, you…” Kang Jin-Ho bared his fangs in a savage grin.
“It ’s not so bad to meet your expectations.
And it ’s not that difficult to live on as a good person.
By maintaining this life, I get to acquire many things.
I ’ll admit to that.
“…?” Hwang Jeong-Hu silently waited for Kang Jin-Ho to finish.
This could very well be the first time Kang Jin-Ho revealed his true nature.
“Why should I remain a good person to those who dared to provoke me? Do you think that makes sense?”
Here it was.
The ’Kang Jin-Ho ’ when he first showed up in front of Hwang Jeong-Hu was finally revealing himself once more.
With this, Hwang Jeong-Hu became certain of it.
This young man—he hadn’t changed at all.
Adapting to society, adapting to the world around him? It was merely a facade.
His true nature hidden deep within hadn’t changed at all.
No, its heavy panting and huffing were far sharper and far more vicious than ever before.
“You said something about the
’need,’” Kang Jin-Ho muttered while roughly stubbing the cigarette out.
“However, this isn ’t a matter of ’need,’ but one about principle.
I never let those daring to harm me walk away unscathed.
Do you understand what I ’m telling you?”
“…Yes, I do.” Hwang Jeong-Hu replied while closing his eyes shut.
A monster was growing inside Kang Jin-Ho.
And that monster was clamoring to break free from Kang Jin-Ho ’s restraints even now.
’It ’s not possible to change his mind, huh. ’
Maybe Kang Jin-Ho had been expanding an unimaginable amount of effort to maintain his current lifestyle—far more than what Hwang Jeong-Hu could imagine.
In that case, telling Kang Jin-Ho to respond the same way as he would with his acquaintances when a group of people dared to attack him—or even turn a blind eye in such a case—would be simply too unreasonable.
’ve made up your mind about this, then…
Do remember this,” said Hwang Jeong-Hu.
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly stared at him, and their gazes collided mid-air.
“Failing to set a clear boundary between the normal and abnormal will eventually lead to the abnormal swallowing up your normal life.
If you ’re truly set on staying on this side of the world, then your priority should be on protecting the boundary no matter what.”
Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“Is that advice?”
“Let ’s just say I ’m making a request.”
“I see…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, then asked in a polite tone.
“Is that all, sir?”
And just like that, Kang Jin-Ho had transformed back into his
A slight feeling of futility washed over Hwang Jeong-Hu, and he could only reply rather weakly, “Yes, we ’re done.”
I ’ll think about what you ’ve told me.”
After clapping his eyes on this
’Kang Jin-Ho,’ the
’ of a few seconds ago seemed like a well-crafted illusion to Hwang Jeong-Hu.
However, he knew that it had been no illusion or a dream.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
I ’ll be on my way now.”
“Do stop by more often, Jin-Ho.
If you keep being a stranger like this, I ’ll end up visiting you instead.
Once you reach my age, there aren ’t all that many people you can talk to, you see? Especially someone like me.
I rarely have anyone to share an earnest talk with.”
“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho grinned.
“In that case, we should go on a fishing trip together next time.”
It ’s a promise.”
Until next time.” Kang Jin-Ho leisurely got up and exited the office.
Hwang Jeong-Hu watched the young man leave, then mouthed a cigarette.
’Not easy at all, isn ’t it? ’
Even the ones watching him found it difficult, so how much harder would it be for Kang Jin-Ho? The weight of anguish he had to lug around had to be unimaginable.
“I sincerely hope that pressure won ’t blow up in the wrong direction…”
It seemed that Hwang Jeong-Hu should order Jo Gyu-Min to make the reports even more in-depth pretty soon.
“Then again…” Hwang Jeong-Hu helplessly smirked when he suddenly realized something.
“Those people wouldn ’t have provoked that guy first unless they are a bunch of idiots.”
“Hold on, please let me go and—”
“Kkyaaahk~! Look at his biceps! They are like steel!”
“N-no, wait…” Kang Jin-Ho grew nearly tearful when customers started clinging to his arms.
’Who knew running a business would be this hard…! ’
No one could have predicted that the business of selling pizzas would blow up to the stratosphere like this.
Even worse, this blow-up seemed far more serious in nature than when Kang Eun-Yeong was here to put on a concert.
The influx of customers showed no signs of abating any time soon!
Park Yu-Min muttered in a tired voice, “Jin-Ho? The store next door says the queue is blocking their entrance, so they want us to do something about it…”
“Can ’t we make the queue move to the other side instead?”
That ’s what we did when the other store complained earlier, you know?”
“Give me a break…” Kang Jin-Ho groaned while scanning the jam-packed dining area.
Having no customers was a problem, but having too many was also a problem in itself.
The sole comfort in this situation was Park Yu-Min mobilizing the kids in the orphanage enjoying their school vacation to work here as part-timers, thereby helping with a quicker turnaround time for each table.
Park Yu-Min groaned and asked in a rebuking voice, “Just how long will this madness continue, Jin-Ho?”
“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho kept quiet.
He couldn ’t reply to a question he had no answer for.
Park Yu-Min continued to complain.
“It ’s great to have lots of customers, but I can ’t even get a moment to breathe for myself.
Is it really okay for things to continue this way every single day?”
“Hey! Stop saying something so ungrateful!” Ju Yeong-Gi walking past the duo yelled at Park Yu-Min in dismay, “You and Jin-Ho started making money way too easily when you were still too young! And that ’s why you don ’t understand the value of money! You should be getting ready to offer a sacrifice or two to express your gratitude toward the heavens for all this great business, but you wanna whine about having too many customers instead?! Wanna die?!”
“Yes, I ’m sorry.”
“Yu-Min! Send out one of the kids and reorganize the queue to a different side! And you, Jin-Ho! Smile more when taking pictures with the customers!”
Kang Jin-Ho groaned loudly.
“That ’s not as easy as it sounds.”
“Then, look in the mirror and practice! These people might be here to see you, but they are still nominal customers here to buy our pizzas! At the very least, you should be thanking them properly!”
’re right.” Kang Jin-Ho sighed, but he still nodded in agreement.
He knew that Ju Yeong-Gi was a hundred times—no, a thousand times correct in this case.
Although the flood of customers was getting kind of old at this stage, a merchant should never have this kind of mindset.
As such, Kang Jin-Ho quickly corrected his wavering mind.
The closing time eventually arrived, but the queue of waiting customers didn
’t want to decrease at all.
Only by spending one extra hour of hard work did the pizzeria rid itself of all the customers in the dining area.
And by the time they sent every single person still waiting in the queue outside home and tidied up the dining area that resembled a disaster zone, the clock was already pointing at twelve o ’clock midnight.
It ’s finally over.
For today, at least.”
The trio collapsed on the nearby chairs and tried to soothe their exhausted bodies.
Park Yu-Min started complaining again.
This is no joke, guys.
Why do we still have so many customers?”
“Didn ’t you hear that the TV show went viral?” Ju Yeong-Gi retorted with a groan.
“Even then, this is a bit too much.”
Just as the complaints began flying back and forth, someone abruptly knocked on the pizzeria ’s door.
Park Yu-Min glanced at the doorway.
“Who could that be?”
’t care; just tell them that the store
’s closed for the day.
Who wants a pizza at this hour, anyway?!” Ju Yeong-Gi yelled.
Park Yu-Min nodded in agreement and got up to open the door.
“…Uhm, we ’re closed for the day, you know?”
“Yes, I know…”
However, the person knocking on the door coolly ignored Park Yu-Min and stepped inside the pizzeria.
“W-wait, you can
’t just come inside—.” Park Yu-Min tried to stop the person, but his hands came to a stuttering halt after he confirmed the intruder’s identity.
“Huh? What are you doing here at this hour?”
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