Book 2: Chapter 176
Lukas decided to ask Lee Jong-hak about his relationship with Ishuta.
“Is she controlling you?”
His response was firm and clear.
Although he didn’t explain, he spoke in his usual calm tone.
“I owe Ms. Ishuta a great deal. She was the one who taught me, who was still ignorant about this world, how to live and grow. In return, I will work in Babylon as a Fighter for a year. There is about half a year left until the deadline.”
After hearing what Lee Jong-hak said, Lukas couldn’t help but bring up something else that he was concerned about.
“Do you intend to take part in the Championship?”
“Then you are the Champion of Babylon?”
“That’s not it. Now that I think about it, you haven’t been in the Heavenly Realm for a long time so it’s natural for you to not know.”
After mumbling those words, Lee Jong-hak explained.
“The Arenas in Major Cities are incredibly large, so they are allowed to enter three people into the Championship.”
In other words, in Babylon City, even if Lee Jong-hak wasn’t the Champion, he could at least be considered within the top three of the entire arena.
Of course, that didn’t mean that it was lower or easier than being the Champion in another city.
In Babylon alone, the number of Fighters belonging to the city easily surpassed 500. If the independent Fighters were to be included then this number would certainly surpass 1,000. And even if their numbers were large, the average level of these Fighters was not low.
So, to put it simply, to become one of the top three Fighters in such a large arena was actually even more difficult than becoming the Champion in a small or medium-sized city.
“Then the Champion of Babylon is stronger than you?”
“Yes. Much stronger.”
Lukas couldn’t help but feel a little surprised when Lee Jong-hak answered his question without any hesitation.
Lee Jong-hak’s current level was 92, and he was much stronger than any Dragonman Lukas had encountered in the Heavenly Realm before that day. Compared to Min Ha-rin, who was the Champion of the Herui Arena, Lee Jong-hak was still several steps ahead.
Nevertheless, Lee Jong-hak was now claiming that the Champion of Babylon was much stronger than him.
Lukas turned to look at the Major City Lords that were standing at the side. The difference between them and Lee Jong-hak hadn’t reached a ridiculous level, so the strength of the Babylon Champion should still be within an acceptable range.
Lee Jong deliberately trailed off after saying those words.
It seemed that he wanted to ensure that Lukas was paying attention to him at that moment.
“I have seen and experienced many things in this place.”
There seemed to be some kind of hidden emotion within Lee Jong-hak’s voice.
Lukas knew that two years was by no means a short amount of time.
The majority of Absolutes would never be able to sympathise with this, and they would instead find it amusing or ridiculous, but Lukas was different.
Because he was an Absolute who was once human.
“Looking back at it, when I agreed to follow you, I was still unsure about many things.”
There was a reason why he was unsure.
This was because Lee Jong-hak himself could not tell right from wrong.
Before that, his life had been different, much simpler. His enemy was clear and they were beings that had to be destroyed.
They could be called absolute evil. Therefore, Lee Jong-hak never had any hesitation or guilt when he killed them.
Even thinking about whether it was right or wrong had never been something he needed to do. Because there was no real reason for his actions.
But Lukas… forced Lee Jong-hak to look back and think about his actions for the first time.
At first, he couldn’t accept the things Lukas had done.
This being, who was more powerful than anything he’d ever seen, chose to support the humans from the shadows without helping them directly.
That fact alone caused his anger to soar. He didn’t understand it. And he thought that it wasn’t something he could accept, irregardless of the reason.
But that wasn’t it.
When Nodiesop, the man who devoured the Asian Branch, demonstrated his power without restraint, Lee Jong-hak felt that it was wrong for some reason.
‘This power, can he use it without any restrictions?’
It didn’t make sense.
However, he could only describe it as a ‘feeling’.
It could be called an instinctive reaction.
To put it into simpler terms, it felt like he was using a nuclear bomb to get rid of an ant nest. Such power wouldn’t simply stop at destroying the ant nest. Instead, it would leave enormous scars and aftereffects on the surrounding area.
…So what if Lukas had a similar reason?
What if the reason that he didn’t use his power wasn’t because of some preconceived idea, arrogance, or a lack of care, but because he was worried about the world’s existence?
If that was the case, then Lee Jong-hak had made an unforgivable mistake towards him.
While he was filled with these worries, Lukas came to him. And he asked for his help.
He didn’t have a choice.
At least, when he decided to go with Lukas, that was how Lee Jong-hak felt.
It was only after entering the Heavenly Realm that Lee Jong-hak regretted his hasty decision.
“Are you still unsure?”
When Lukas asked this question, Lee Jong-hak only smiled bitterly.
“Somehow, it feels like when I solve one problem, another one appears to take its place. I’m not complaining. It’s just that it feels like that’s always been the case.”
In all honesty, Lee Jong-hak’s current attitude filled Lukas with a strange feeling.
To a certain extent, this was all unbelievable. But this was natural.
After all, from Lukas’ perspective, he had met Lee Jong-hak only a little over a week ago, and at that time the man had appeared lost.
But for Lee Jong-hak, it had been two years.
Again, two years was by no means a short time. It was enough to figure out at least one thing that troubled you.
This was why the inner change he had experienced was somewhat understandable.
It felt like this was the first time Lee Jong-hak had called his name.
Lee Jong-hak looked at him with a gloomy expression and spoke in a low tone.
“I saw a demon in Nodiesop.”
Lee Jong-hak wasn’t talking about the Demon Race that had ruined his life.
Instead, he was talking about demons in a symbolic sense. The evil which stood on the other side of God.
Monsters that brought disasters and calamity to people for no reason.
“I realised afterward that, in his eyes, humans were nothing. We were no different from weeds growing at the side of the street. It was such an existence that held the Asia Branch in his hand and waved it as he pleased. I want to stop that. So…”
Lee Jong-hak decided to stop hesitating.
He decided to finally put the solution he’d thought of after careful consideration into action.
“Please forgive me for my rudeness in the past. And please help me.”
“I would like to fight by your side.”
Lukas didn’t answer.
Instead, he simply nodded slowly.
But that small action was enough to make Lee Jong-hak feel like a large lump, which had appeared in his chest at some indiscernible time, was melting away.