Season 2 Chapter 15: (Season 2) – Chapter 15
Drisa muttered with a blank voice while Lee Jong-hak and Min Ha-rin had strange expressions on their faces.
The one who was the most surprised was Allida.
She couldn’t help but wonder if she was seeing an illusion or if Nina had been hit in the head or something.
“You mentioned it when we separated the last time. That we would only meet again if there was an emergency. Master, is it that time?”
“No. The situation has gotten worse.”
Nina let out a bitter laugh at those words.
“I can’t imagine a situation worse than the current one. In any case, I understand.”
She understood what Lukas wanted from her. In other words, she understood her role.
Min Ha-rin and the rest were still staring at Nina with disbelieving expressions.
Nina Rednikova, President of the European Branch of the Hunter Association.
It wasn’t just Allida, the European hunter, who knew about her violent personality. Min Ha-rin and the others also knew about it.
‘It was Nina, who was considered second among all the Presidents, whom one had to be the most careful around.’
Lee Jong-hak had met Nina numerous times during meetings. At least as far as he knew, Nina Rednikova wasn’t even this polite to the Head of the Association.
Drisa scratched his head.
“President Nina. Who the hell is this man… no, this gentleman? Is he the Deputy Head? One who has never been revealed to the public?”
Any hunter knew of the position of Deputy Head of the Association.
It was the position directly beneath the Head of the Association, but the position had always been vacant. To be precise, most people believed that the position only existed in name.
Rumour had it that the Head of the Association was the only one who knew who the Deputy Head was and what kind of role they played in the association.
If Lukas was the mysterious Deputy Head, then Nina’s attitude could have been explained. After all, there were very few people to whom the President of the European Branch had to be polite.
But Nina shook her head.
“Before I answer that, I want to ask you one thing. Why do you think humans haven’t gone extinct?”
It was a sudden and extremely sensitive question. At least, that’s how any human should have felt when asked this question.
Min Ha-rin’s expression hardened and Drisa clicked his tongue.
“You want us to answer that now?”
When Nina responded in a firm tone, Drisa flinched slightly.
The fastest to grasp the situation was Allida. She sighed so softly that most of them didn’t even hear it before she answered the question.
“…It’s thanks to the treasures discovered all over the world following the Demons’ appearance.”
They suddenly began to appear in the world one day, providing humanity with a foothold to keep them from tumbling over the edge of the cliff.
They called them treasures, but there were so many kinds that they couldn’t have really been described as such.
From books on magic, swordsmanship, and martial arts to weapons, armor, and accessories had special properties and were made of materials that couldn’t have been found on earth.
The humans thoroughly analysed the treasures that they found and made them their own, which allowed them to obtain just enough power to resist the Demons.
Nina nodded before saying.
“It’s thanks to the potential of the humans that erupted when we became united.”
It was Lee Jong-hak who answered this time.
Of course, they didn’t join hands in the beginning. It took more than a decade after the Demons first appeared for humanity to unite. After they had suffered great damage.
But the resistance and potential that humanity had shown since then could only have been described as amazing.
Knowing that, Lee Jong-hak’s voice was filled with subtle pride.
The final answer came from Drisa, which came after he thought for a long time.
“Isn’t it because of humanity’s quick and accurate response?”
When the Demons appeared, Europe and Africa quickly became lands of death, and most of the great powers there could not have maintained their functions as sovereign states after the devastating blows.
North America, which was now called the safest continent on Earth, was no exception to the devastation, but they were able to earn that title because of their relatively fast defeat of the Demons.
Many countries lost their power, and the state of Anarchy lasted for nearly a decade.
Just before civilisation collapsed, the Hunter Association was founded, and it rallied humans together to restore stability to mankind.
In fact, for the first time in human history, a world government was established.
“You all are not wrong. But there are other large and small reasons besides those.”
“Why did you ask something like that?”
“To tell you the truth.”
Nina’s voice became serious.
“One of the decisive reasons why humanity didn’t collapse was because my Master was helping us behind the scenes.”
It was natural that those words caused a cold silence to descend upon the room.
“What did you just…”
“By Master… are you talking about Mr. Lukas?”
Nina nodded and continued.
“Of course, it won’t be easy to accept. I understand that. But everything I’ve said is true.”
Nina looked at the people in the room.
It was possible that if someone else had said those words to them, they might have already left.
With that in mind, she understood why Lukas wanted her to be the one to explain.
“…how exactly did he help us?”
“He was the one who scattered the treasures across the world, taught us how to interpret them, and advised us on how to utilise them. He was a great help in the founding and maintenance of the Hunter Association. He taught us how to hunt Demons, and those whom he taught personally are all key figures who are now supporting humanity. That’s the best I can summarise the essential points.”
Maybe it was just her, but it felt like the mood in the room had grown even more somber.
The four of them looked at Nina as if she was crazy.
Holding back her words of denial, Min Ha-rin asked a question instead.
“Are you saying he did all of that on his own?”
“How… Who the hell is this person?”
Drisa snorted loudly.
“How interesting. Are you saying he’s the second coming of Jesus?”
Nina chuckled, but Drisa didn’t mean that as a joke.
What would be so strange about Jesus resurrecting when Demons had already descended upon the Earth?
Nevertheless, there would be no problem other than the exponential growth in the influence of Christianity, which already had a strong stake in the association.
“Of course not. Master is…”
Lukas looked at the one who said that.
It was Lee Jong-hak. He was expressionless, but it was apparent to those in the room that he was angry.
“Or something similar.”
Strangely, it wasn’t easy for her to deny those words.
Lee Jong-hak continued in a low voice.
“I have a question.”
“What is it?”
“Not you, President. I’d like to ask him directly.”
Lukas looked Lee Jong-hak in the eyes. His expression was very serious.
“Where were you, and what were you doing right after the Demons appeared?”
“In another place, saving others.”
“…then when did you come to ‘this place’?”
“About 30 years ago.”
Lee Jong-hak fell silent for a moment.
“According to Min Ha-rin, you have the power to kill a Demon Duke easily. So why have you been silent for the past 30 years? If you had been more active, you would have been able to kill dozens if not hundreds of Demon Nobles.”
How many lives could have been saved if he had done that?
It was Nina who answered.
“It’s not that simple. My teacher can only save a limited number of humans.”
“Limited? So you mean he saves humans selectively?”
Nina was speechless for a moment.
“Earlier, you said we were qualified. Is that why you saved us? Because we were qualified?”
Lee Jong-hak’s expression became harder.
“My mother died when I was 7 years old.”
“Many people consider Europe and Africa to be the lands of death; China was also in a bad situation. At least, it was the worst among the East Asian countries. The tragedy that took place in my hometown, Guizhou Province, was especially terrible…. A huge horde of Demons who covered the sky in black appeared suddenly. In the face of this disaster, my mother’s judgement was quick and wise. She found a place for me to hide behind a bookshelf.”
Lee Jong-hak closed his eyes, and it seemed that he was recalling that day.
Stay right there. Be quiet. No matter what happens, don’t say anything.
His mother had said this with a trembling voice while tears rolled down her cheeks.
How could he not have been scared at the time?
“She probably knew that after I was put in there, she wouldn’t be able to fit.”
When Lee Jong-hak opened his eyes again, there was a fire of hatred flickering in them.
“After a while, a Demon smashed the door and stormed in. My mother ambushed it with a kitchen knife, but it wasn’t enough. She was overwhelmed in an instant, and what happened next was hell to watch.”
At that point, Min Ha-rin didn’t want to hear anymore. This was an instinctive rejection.
Even before hearing it, she already knew how the story would end.
Nevertheless, she couldn’t cover her ears and her eyes remained locked to Lee Jong-hak’s lips.
“What was even more terrible was the fact that it didn’t kill her before it started eating her. It tore off my mother’s arm with its sharp teeth, ripped the flesh from her thighs, and ate it ravenously. Her screams were the most horrible screams I’d ever heard in my life. I wanted to rip my ears off. But… the most frightening moment was when I couldn’t hear the screams anymore.”
Lee Jong-hak would never forget the last sound he heard. The sound of the demon chewing on his mother’s skull.
“I couldn’t move. And my tongue had been frozen by fear. I even forgot how to blink, which meant I saw every single thing that happened.”
Lee Jong-hak looked up.
He looked directly at Lukas.
“If you are the saviour, then why didn’t you save my mother? Because she didn’t meet the qualifications you just mentioned?”
The ‘mother’ whom Lee Jong-hak was talking about wasn’t just his own.
Lukas knew that too. His words weren’t just whining. Instead, he was blaming him for his arrogance.
Instead, he was asking about the countless people who died because they weren’t chosen by him.
“I know, yeah. Everyone knows. It’s impossible for you to save everyone. Even God couldn’t have done that. That’s a given. What I’m saying might only be because of my perspective. However…”
Lee Jong-hak’s voice became filled with anger.
“Can you imagine how the fact that you wandered the world for decades saving only those you selected… looks to me?”
“This is what I’m really curious about. What if you saw a suffering human who didn’t meet your requirements? Would you just walk past them and pretend you didn’t see anything? Are you standing on the sidelines while countless humans, whom you can save, die? Just because they aren’t qualified enough?”
Nina spoke in a low voice, but Lee Jong-hak didn’t shrink back at all.
He continued in a cynical tone.
“I really wonder how I can feel grateful after learning that you only saved me because I suited your taste… I can’t accept that. I believe that you are a great being and that everything Nina said is probably true. You supported humanity from behind the scenes, gave us the tools we needed to defend ourselves, and taught us. However…”
Lee Jong-hak’s breath came out sharply.
“We haven’t been able to survive this long because of your help. We lost our families, our countries. Our population is not less than half of what it used. But even though there are countless monsters stronger than us out there, we haven’t given up…. That’s purely our own power. It’s not because we had the help of some unknown saviour.”
Nina couldn’t have been angrier. But the only reason she hadn’t done something was because Lukas had blocked her voice.
So all she could have done was grit her teeth and glared at Lee Jong-hak.
Lee Jong-hak rose from his seat. Then he walked past Lukas and said.
“…I will find a time to repay your favour of saving my life.”
After saying that, he left the room without hesitation.
Then Drisa and Allida slowly rose up from their seats.
“Um… well. I think I need some time to think about all of this. It’s not something that I can easily accept at this moment.”
“I’m sorry, President. Please give me some time.”