’Just what the hell happened to me? ’

Even after Kang Jin-Ho left, Bang Jin-Hun still couldn ’t sober up.
It was to the extent that the cafe owner got the shock of his life when he entered the conference room after watching Kang Jin-Ho exit the cafe and found Bang Jin-Hun sagging like a soggy blanket on a chair!

Bang Jin-Hun grabbed a glass of cold water placed in front of him, but his hand kept on shaking as if he had Parkinson’s.

The cafe owner asked worriedly, “Have you recovered a bit, sir?”

Bang Jin-Hun nodded after the voice entered his ears.
However, he wasn ’t doing so while consciously understanding his own actions.
The inside of his head was still blank like a moron ’s, and rather unsurprisingly, he couldn ’t respond to anything properly right now.

All he could do was nod since someone had asked him a question.
That was it.

“What exactly happened in here, sir? It was eerily silent in this place, you know?” the cafe owner asked again.

was silent?” Bang Jin-Hun muttered in a daze.

“Yes, sir.
I couldn ’t hear anything.”

”…You didn ’t hear anything when my hand broke and my gut was impaled? ”

“I ’m sorry, sir?!”

Bang Jin-Ho looked at his hand, then at his gut, before chuckling hollowly.
What a big surprise.
He was completely fine, so the cafe owner had to be thinking, ’what ’s gotten into him today? ’ right now.

The owner went silent while trying to figure out the hidden meaning behind what Bang Jin-Hun had said.
However, Bang Jin-Hun glanced at the owner and sighed before waving his hand dismissively.
”It ’s okay, I ’m fine.
Can you leave me for a minute, please? I ’d like some time by myself to organize my thoughts. ”

“…Of course, sir.” The owner nodded and left the room.

The door closed, leaving Bang Jin-Hun alone.
His still-trembling hands barely managed to extract a cigarette from its pack.
However, Bang Jin-Hun ’s irritation level shot up rapidly after realizing how his shaking hands couldn ’t even grip something as insignificant as a bloody cigarette.

”Damn it! ” He yelled and slammed his fist on the table, breaking it in half.
Only then did he manage to control himself.
”…Just what the hell did he do to me?! ”

Who could have experienced anything even remotely like this?! Honestly, he would have preferred to see his gut still ripped wide open when he came to.
With that, he wouldn ’t have to feel this way, at the very least! However, Bang Jin-Hun was physically unscathed, even though the sensation of his broken hand and impaled abdomen was still vividly haunting him.

It was as if he had been hypnotized by a devil…

He can ’t be human!”

Bang Jin-Hun could only tremble at the terror mushrooming from deep within him.
What happened just now transcended the limits of human understanding.
No human should be able to do what Kang Jin-Ho had done.

Of course, Bang Jin-Hun now fully understood Kang Jin-Ho’s incredible might.
Even if ten Bang Jin-Huns attacked altogether, they still wouldn ’t be enough to defeat Kang Jin-Ho.
However, that experience couldn ’t be produced simply because one was physically strong.

Bang Jin-Hun was forced to dream while wide awake.
He was physically subdued despite being fully conscious.
Who else in this world could have experienced something as bizarre as that?

Bang Jin-Hun finally managed to calm his shaking body as he clenched his teeth.

’Could it be…
an illusion-type sorcery? ’

Bang Jin-Hun heard about something similar to this before—a technique to control the mind of opponents.
Apparently, such sorcery techniques were widespread in the past.
However, Bang Jin-Hun had never heard about a sorcery technique that could induce such realistic depictions in the victim ’s mind.

If what Kang Jin-Ho had performed tonight was really an illusion-type sorcery technique, then the world would have long been taken over by sorcerers!



Bang Jin-Hun freaked out when his phone suddenly started to vibrate.
He shot up to his feet and immediately started fuming.

’Son of a stinking motherfu…! ’

Who was Bang Jin-Hun? Wasn ’t he one of the top martial artists in the Korean peninsula, a part of the elite club in this country? However, he was currently so scared that the mere vibration of a phone had startled him like this.

Bang Jin-Hun was given a rude reminder of his current state and responded by angrily yanking his phone out of his pocket.
“Who is it?!”

– Sir, it ’s Cheon Tae-Hun.

“What do you want?!” Bang Jin-Hun yelled back in a sharper-than-usual voice.

– I, I just wanted to find out what happened, so…

“Bloody hell…!” Bang Jin-Hun growled angrily.

Obviously, he knew that he shouldn ’t be losing his cool toward Cheon Tae-Hun.
However, it felt like he wouldn ’t be able to endure unless he took his anger out on someone.

“Hang up, now.
I ’m in no mood to talk to you.”

– But, Director!

Cheon Tae-Hun ’s urgent cry over the line left Bang Jin-Hun frowning deeply.
Did this punk dare raise his voice?

– Sir, please tell me that you didn ’t become enemies with that man! Please!

Listening to the despair-filled, tearful voice of Cheon Tae-Hun somehow helped to calm Bang Jin-Hun ’s boiling temper.
He groaned, then shook his head.
“That didn ’t happen.
I ’m hanging up.”

After ending the call, Bang Jin-Hun picked up the cigarette he had tossed to the floor.

’What a funny situation… ’

Thanks to Cheon Tae-Hun, Bang Jin-Hun ’s mind started to race once more.
He remembered that the situation he should be most worried about was being at odds with Kang Jin-Ho.

Kang Jin-Ho had amply demonstrated his strength, so if he decided to become an enemy, everything Bang Jin-Hun had built up over the years would dissipate in an instant like a flitting mirage.

The returner certainly possessed the power to do that.
However, Kang Jin-Ho chose to use Bang Jin-Hun.
There was no telling what might happen once Bang Jin-Hun ’s usefulness ran out, but for now? This arrangement was beneficial for Bang Jin-Hun ’s plans.

If Kang Jin-Ho was willing to step up, Bang Jin-Hun would be able to take over the Martial Assembly without incurring any further losses.
And he would get to fight the Yeongnam Group with Kang Jin-Ho by his side, wouldn ’t he? Besides, he had always been planning to fight the Yeongnam Group bastards after taking over the Assembly, even before Kang Jin-Ho had entered the picture.

So, what could be the problem here?


Bang Jin-Hun lit his cigarette and deeply sucked in a lungful of unhealthy smoke.
Objectively speaking, it seemed everything was working out rather well for him.
However, uneasiness and nervousness squirming deep inside his heart didn ’t want to let him go.

’Fine, I admit it.
I ’m scared of that man. ’

Search bit.ly/3iBfjkV for the original.

Frightened, in fact.
Bang Jin-Hun didn ’t even intend to do so, yet he still ended up joining forces with the devil.
At least, that was what it felt like.
What tormented him even more was how he knew he wouldn ’t be able to refuse any demands Kang Jin-Ho might make in the future.
Well, hadn’t he just become a witness to Kang Jin-Ho’s power?

Grip, cruuuunch…!

The chair ’s armrest was ripped off by Bang Jin-Hun ’s grip.
The steel chair was soon torn apart into pieces before being tossed aside on the floor.
Bang Jin-Hun roughly chewed on the cigarette filter while muttering to no one in particular, ”A devil…
A devil, is it? Fine.
Even if you ’re a devil, I ’ll still sign this contract with you.
You want my soul? Take it.
But the Martial Assembly will still be mine. ”

He tried to sound pompous and manly, but his voice came across as hollow instead.


’I need to buy a car, don ’t I? ’

Kang Jin-Ho leisurely strolling toward his home was freshly reminded of how inconvenient life was without his own car.

If he had his favorite ride with him, this distance would have posed no challenge whatsoever, but for now, his destination felt so far away.
Unleashing his movement technique would allow him to reach speeds far exceeding a motor vehicle, but Seoul was practically smothered in CCTV cameras.
Kang Jin-Ho was not keen on the idea of being that brave.

He could avoid all the cameras by running across rooftops, but he wanted to hold himself back from doing so unless it was an emergency.
If he kept relying on martial art techniques in his everyday life just because it seemed ’necessary ’ and ’convenient,’ the boundaries of his ordinary life would eventually crumble away to nothingness.
While relying on his cultivation, Kang Jin-Ho was practically Superman.
Someone like that wouldn ’t be able to mingle in regular society.

Kang Jin-Ho slowly exhaled the cigarette smoke into the night air and watched it lazily drift away.
A faint grin crept up on his lips soon afterward.

’At least for tonight, this isn ’t so bad. ’

Walking back home while enjoying the cool night air turned out to be rather charming in its own right.
Kang Jin-Ho ’s life had been pretty hectic lately, and it felt like he hadn ’t gotten a chance to enjoy a downtime like this in a long while.

Kang Jin-Ho slowly raised his head and stared at the night sky.

’…I don ’t need to look up anymore, it seems. ’

He used to find this night sky so beautiful to behold back when he had recently returned to the modern era.
This night sky, the one he longed to see again, had no stars.
He used to miss this dark, gloomy, and depressing-looking sky so much.
But now…

Perhaps he had acclimatized to the modern era? Because from a certain point on, he stopped looking up at the night sky altogether.
Even though people often asked him why he even bothered to look up at the drab night sky not too long ago…

Did this mean Kang Jin-Ho had changed? If he thought of ’acclimatizing ’ as another type of change, then indeed, he had changed.
And it wasn ’t a bad change, either.
However, Kang Jin-Ho was also aware of how ’loss ’ always accompanied changes.
Just like Bang Jin-Hun.

Kang Jin-Ho quietly chuckled after recalling Bang Jin-Hun ’s face.

’So weak… ’

The modern-era martial artists were so weak that Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t really need to exert his strength to deal with them.
As for Bang Jin-Hun, he happened to be slightly more competent than others Kang Jin-Ho had met so far, but that was about it.
He was still inadequate to sate Kang Jin-Ho ’s need for competition.

Seeing how easily Bang Jin-Hun had fallen for the Demon Illusory Slaying technique was all the proof he needed.
If Bang Jin-Hun had been a martial artist correctly practicing a righteous cultivation technique, he shouldn ’t have fallen for an illusion-type sorcery technique like that.
Unfortunately, his realm was too low, and he couldn ’t resist the Demon Illusory Slaying technique containing a thousand years ’ worth of the demon cult ’s history.

’…Am I doing the right thing, though? ’

Kang Jin-Ho stared at the heavens again.
If it were the past him, Kang Jin-Ho wouldn ’t have bothered to go through all these…
unnecessary hoops.
His style was to sweep aside everything getting in his way, after all.
So, if ’Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor ’ of the past ran into this kind of situation, he would have simply charged straight into the Yeongnam Group ’s corridors and slaughtered everyone related to this fiasco.
He might—he might just spare those running away, but all those daring to challenge him would all perish.

Unfortunately, that method had its limitations.
For instance, Kang Jin-Ho was an expert at destroying things, but he had no clue when it came to running things.
The only outcome, if he insisted on sticking to his methods, would be the utter annihilation of the Yeongnam Group.
However, the void left behind would soon be filled up by somebody else.
The Martial Assembly could also fracture into pieces while its members clamored to get their hands on the benefits derived from the Yeongnam Group’s annihilation, which would surely lead to endless infighting.

In that case, someone had to control the situation.
Not Kang Jin-Ho, but someone else.
Whether that was Bang Jin-Hun or Lee Jung-Geol…

’I sure thought rather far ahead, haven ’t I? ’

Kang Jin-Ho was a beast who used to live by the straightforward mantra of ’Kill If Annoying.’ By reuniting with his family and meeting other ’ordinary ’ humans; however, he became a person once more and barely managed to claw his way to this position.

Kang Jin-Ho pushed down the urges squirming deep inside his chest.

’Stop going wild, will you? ’

‘I ’m not trying to suppress you, anyway.
There will be plenty of places for you to run wild later.’

Besides, he was getting a foreboding that the one hidden deep inside him would have to come out to the open more frequently in the future.
In that case, what should Kang Jin-Ho do?

His job would be to ensure that he would not get forced to go from one extreme to the other.
What he had to do, from now on, was to maintain the delicate balance between the ordinary reality and the ’other side ’ and keep the thin ice sheet from breaking.
To achieve this goal, Kang Jin-Ho had to eliminate all those invading his life.

Kang Jin-Ho recalled the Yeongnam Group ’s name and smirked faintly.

The time was nigh.
The time to undo all the restraints suppressing him and go wild like a beast was fast approaching.

Strangely enough, Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t tell whether this unexplainable excitement bubbling up in his heart belonged to ’Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor ’ or to ’Kang Jin-Ho.’

’I need to calm down, though… ’

Kang Jin-Ho failed to endure his boiling blood and ended up laughing out loud.
Just how difficult had it been to suppress his urge to tear off Bang Jin-Hun ’s head as that fool screamed pathetically under the illusion-type sorcery?

Was it because he had seen a lot of blood lately? All sorts of bizarre urges were trying to rule over him.
Where were all these gradually-strengthening urges coming from?

“…I need to get home.”

Kang Jin-Ho wanted to see his mother.
He wanted to drink his father ’s coffee, eat his mother ’s food, and bicker with his little sister.
Only those, he felt like, could effectively suppress these urges.

— But why do you need to suppress it?

“Shut up…”

Kang Jin-Ho lowered his head and walked toward his home while trying his hardest to ignore the vivid whispers in his ear.
Whether he did it purposefully or not, Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t look up at the sky even once as he made his way back home.

Meanwhile, the night fog quietly settled down behind him.

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