Book 2: Chapter 48
There was a commotion in the city where the Asian Headquarters were located. And standing at the center of this commotion was a handsome man with a stern expression.
A man who had finally reappeared in this base after a few months.
“Le-, Lee Jong-hak!”
“The Human Dragon has returned…!”
The hunters grew excited as soon as they saw Lee Jong-hak. But Lee Jong-hak simply walked past them coldly.
Before, he might have even stopped and said hello to them for a moment, but now, he did not.
His expression was as hard as stone. He seemed so angry that he might explode at the smallest provocation.
Maybe it’s because they noticed this, but those who went up to greet Lee Jong-hak stepped back and cleared the way for him.
Like this, Lee Jong-hak entered the base.
His firm, determined steps were leading him to a specific place.
At that moment, he remembered Kim Go-hyuk’s words.
He’d asked him about Lukas, and Lee Jong-hak hadn’t answered. Nevertheless, Kim Go-hyuk learned that Lukas was at the European Headquarters. And later, the Asian Hunters attacked the European Headquarters.
They had only given one reason.
‘Lukas is a Demon?’
Lee Jong-hak clenched his fist.
He wasn’t. Nina had told him what he’d done, and Lee Jong-hak also had his own ideas of what he might be.
He was neither human nor Demon.
His thoughts and hypocrisy were completely unacceptable to Lee Jong-hak, but it was undeniable that he’d helped mankind tremendously over the years.
That’s why he couldn’t believe it.
The dozens of hunters who’d gone to attack the European Headquarters were all dead.
Among them were the Sword Saint, Army Nun, Hwarang Leader, and. above all, the Heavenly Dragon, Kim Go-hyuk. The European hunters would not have been able to stop such a lineup.
It was obvious who killed them.
Lee Jong-hak stood in front of the President’s office.
He’d already heard about what the man behind this door was like. So after taking a deep breath, he opened the door and stepped in.
“Nice to meet you.”
He didn’t even knock. In a way, he was showing his displeasure.
Nevertheless, the man responded to Lee Jong-hak’s appearance as though it was natural and expected.
He had bright blue hair, which was a color that didn’t quite suit his western features, but his appearance seemed to have a strange balance.
This was the man who’d overthrown Cha Gung-hwan to become the President of the Asia Branch, Nodiesop.
And it was his first time seeing him in person.
“Are you the new President?”
Nodiesop nodded without pointing out the blatant lack of respect in Lee Jong-hak’s tone. Instead, he looked at him with a gaze filled with interest.
“The Human Dragon, Lee Jong-hak. You truly are a human worthy of being called the greatest hero.”
His words made Lee Jong-hak feel like a giant snake’s tongue was licking his body. The man’s eyes also seemed to shine with a mysterious, magical light.
Just looking at him caused Lee jong-hak’s palms to become covered in sweat.
‘He’s different but similar to…’
However, Lukas was more…
“I know what you want.”
Nodiesop’s voice interrupted Lee Jong-hak’s thoughts.
“Exterminating the Demons is not difficult for me. I have the power to completely erase them from existence.”
This wasn’t a lie.
Lee Jong-hak recalled the miraculous scene he’d witnessed in Germany. A stream of water that he’d sent from thousands of miles away had annihilated every Demon without injuring a single human with incredible precision.
It was literally the power of God.
Nodiesop smiled as he continued.
“Unlike Lukas, I’m no hypocrite. I will not hesitate to save all of you. I will even swear on my name. After I get rid of that man, I will destroy all of the Demons on this continent.”
“…what do you want from me?”
Nodiesop’s answer was simple.
* * *
It was around 5pm when Min Ha-rin and Leo headed to the Portal Management Room. By then, all of their preparations had been completed.
They were scheduled to leave at 6pm, but their Master always arrived ahead of the scheduled time and waited.
This was not a very comfortable situation for disciples, so they hurried over this time around.
Fortunately, Lukas wasn’t standing in front of the portal when they arrived. Instead, they saw a man they’d never seen before.
It was a man with gray hair and a cold expression on his face. This was their first time seeing him, but for some reason, he felt familiar.
The man opened his mouth when Min Ha-rin’s mouth widened in realisation.
Only then did Min Ha-rin step closer to him before saying.
“Your appearance… did you change it with magic?”
“It’s the Illusion spell. When you reach 5 stars, you will be able to learn it.”
Min Ha-rin was amazed.
She knew that Illusion was a 5 star spell. But even if she reached that level, the complexity of the magic formula and the extremely high mana consumption meant that she would have to be at least 6 stars in order to use it so naturally.
Of course, she knew the being in front of her wasn’t a 6 star Wizard but someone who could be called the creator and teacher of Magical Science in this world.
Then she realised that she couldn’t feel any mana from him.
“When I have this appearance, I use the pseudonym Frey, so you can call me that.”
He was using an identity he’d created before so that there wouldn’t be any problems when he went to North America.
Min Ha-rin nodded.
She could guess why he changed his appearance. The hunters in Asia would be looking for him everywhere, so it would be best to hide his appearance whenever he had to do any activities outside.
Lukas looked at his two disciples carefully before turning to look at Min Ha-rin.
“What did you tell Leo?”
“I told him everything.”
Then there was no need for him to say anything more.
Lukas simply tapped Leo on the shoulder.
“It will be a tough journey from now on.”
“I can handle it.”
“I believe you can.”
Leo smiled brightly at those words. And Min Ha-rin laughed slightly because she’d been told the same thing.
* * *
The North American Headquarters was located in Manhattan, New York.
Standing in front of the portal, Min Ha-rin felt a little anxious like a child who was about to go to an amusement park for the first time.
She’d heard a lot about North America, but this would be the first time she was going there.
It was probably the same for most hunters.
Heaven, Utopia, Another World.
North America was called countless names, and none of them were negative.
And as soon as she stepped through the portal, a huge light covered her body.
She felt the strange, floating feeling that came with portal transportation, as if heaven and earth had been overturned and all the directions had been jumbled.
Maybe it was because the distance was quite far, but she felt more nauseous than she usually did when travelling by portal.
Min Ha-rin forced herself to fight the urge to vomit.
Finally, the sense of weightlessness disappeared.
She felt herself land on solid ground, but her vision was still blurred.
Whispers- (TL: This was the best onomatopoeia I could find for the effect T~T)
The surroundings were quite noisy.
What’s going on?
When her vision cleared, Min Ha-rin looked around. And It was the first time she’d seen such a sight in her life.
Dozens of people in suits were aiming cameras at them.
Then, above them, she saw the view of the city.
Min Ha-rin subconsciously let out a cry of admiration. Her eyes widened, and she couldn’t help but wonder if she was dreaming.
The sun was high in the sky, unlike Russia, where it was already dark.
And the city that stood under the brilliant sun did not have smoke billowing out of it nor the abandoned or dilapidated buildings that she was used to seeing her entire life.
Instead, she saw a forest of skyscrapers that reached the sky and a sunlit river that flowed beside the city. On this river floated a pure white yacht.
Sochi, in Russia, was a relatively well preserved and redeveloped city. But Manhattan was so beautiful that it couldn’t even compare.
The portal was in the middle of a large square, which allowed her to take in all of these sights at once.
This fact shocked her greatly. After all, hunter bases were usually constructed in hidden locations, for example, underground.
Click – Click –
Then bursts of light began flashing from every direction. Leo shrank slightly.
It wasn’t magic. It was simply the flash of cameras.
“The European hunters are finally here!”
“Ah! There’s also the White Flower, a Titled Hunter from Asia! What is her relationship with them?”
“Huh? There is such a handsome boy. Who is he?”
What the hell was going on?
Tense, Min Ha-rin turned to look at her teacher.
Lukas stood with the same expression he always had on his face. Even though the appearance was different, it was easy for her to tell that it was the same person.
Her confused mind calmed down a little.
“Please wait a moment. Let me through.”
A woman with a stern voice appeared.
She was an extremely beautiful woman dressed in fancy clothes. She wore a red dress and high heels, with a luxurious-looking overcoat hung lightly on her shoulders.
She reminded Min Ha-rin of the Hollywood stars who existed in the past.
The woman put her hand on her hip as she spoke to the reporters.
“You will get the chance to interview them in a moment, so please calm down for now. Let me talk to them first.”
The reporters murmured under their breaths for a few moments, but they still reluctantly stepped back in the end.
It was only then when the woman turned around and addressed Lukas.
“Are you Frey?”
When Lukas nodded, Min Ha-rin couldn’t help but look at him. It was the first time she’d ever heard him speak so politely.
It seemed he truly intended to hide his identity.
“Hmm. Doesn’t seem like much, so why would the President want to see such a man…”
The woman murmured this in a soft voice, but it was still clearly audible to all of them.
Min Ha-rin and Leo glared fiercely at this woman for her rude remarks.
As if she noticed, the woman’s blue eyes turned to Min Ha-rin.
Then she smiled.
“What’s with that look in your eyes? Is this man your lover?”
When Min Ha-rin remained silent in shock, the woman laughed.
“Smile. It was a joke. Hmm. This is your first time in America. Am I right?”
When Lukas nodded, the woman spoke with a pitying expression.
“It must have been quite the surprise. Look at how tense you are. Relax your shoulders. This is a place for humans. Well, considering that you came from Europe, I suppose it’s natural.”
As she said that, the woman looked at Frey, Min Ha-rin, and Leo’s attire, one after the other.
Min Ha-rin immediately realised what the feeling she felt at that moment was. It was something she’d been feeling ever since this woman spoke to Lukas.
Min Ha-rin hated this woman.
“Ah, silly me. I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Joanna. I’m an American hunter who came to pick up our European guests on orders from our President.”
When she subconsciously asked back the name she heard, Joanna giggled in a satisfied manner.
“Oh, my. It seems I’m well known even in Europe.”
She wanted to deny it, but she couldn’t. Joanna was a hunter who was not only famous in North America but in the entire world.
However… Min Ha-rin saw Lukas frown slightly.
“In any case, please adjust to the pace. It’s been a long time since we had hunters from Europe here, so I called the reporters. You don’t have to do much. Just smile and answer a few of their questions. Ah. You don’t have to answer anything you don’t want to.”
Lukas couldn’t help but wonder if this was Neil’s scheme.
After saying what she had to, Joanna turned around again and headed to the reporters with sparkling eyes.
Lukas finally looked around, taking in the scene that Min Ha-rin had been amazed by.
It was a beautiful city, but they didn’t overdo it.
They had enough economic power to pursue glamour while also remaining confident in their safety.
‘I didn’t expect it would be this much.’
Although their presence was weaker than in other regions, North America wasn’t completely free of the Demons. After all, at one point, North America was also facing dark times.
However, the hunters in the region, under the command of Neil Prand, managed to drive the Demons out of most of their territory.
It had been decades since then.
And the utopia built upon the ruins had become a true paradise.
Perhaps Min Ha-rin and Leo felt like they were in a completely different world.
Then Joanna returned. She glanced at the three of them for a moment before speaking.
“By the way, I forgot to ask for your names. Could you give a brief introduction?”
Lukas opened his mouth first.
“Are you a hunter?”
“What job do you have?”
“I’m a Wizard.”
Joanna snorted at that.
When Lukas turned to look at her, she apologized without seeming the least bit sorry.
“Ah. Sorry. It’s just that there are many ‘self-proclaimed Wizards’ running around these days. I’ve seen far too many people who don’t even have a hint of skill.”
When Lukas remained silent, she added.
“Mm. Of course, I’m not referring to you. After all, you came from the frontlines in Europe, so you couldn’t be completely useless…”
Joanna narrowed her eyes.
“It’s just that I can’t feel any mana fluctuations in your body. You wouldn’t happen to be calling yourself a Wizard after reaching only 1 star or 2 stars, right?”
Her voice was soft, but the mocking tone in her voice was unmistakable.
Then a man in a suit standing beside Joanna bowed to her as he said.
“Wouldn’t any Wizard look like nothing in front of you, Miss Joanna? You are one of the few Archmages in North America.”
“Hmph, you don’t need to flatter me.”
While Joanna waved her hand and said those words, it was clear from her expression that she enjoyed the compliment.
Lukas simply looked at her without responding.
And Min Ha-rin and Leo simply stared at her with strange expressions.