As if running away, Yoo Choong-Ryeol hastily left the apartment complex and then got into a sedan that was parked between the alleys.
He took a moment to catch his breath.

“Those little punks.
They look pretty young but don’t even know to respect their elders…!” After muttering under his breath, Choong-Ryeol fell into contemplation with a frown.
“But I feel like I’ve seen that pretty boy around somewhere…”

He searched deep within his memories, and just as he was on the verge of remembering… he was interrupted by his cell phone’s loud ringing.

Yoo Choong-Ryeol jumped, then quickly checked who the caller was.
He hesitated while chewing on his bottom lip, then finally answered the phone.
What greeted him was unrestrained profanity, such as a female dog and donkey, to put it nicely.

-…So where are you?

Yoo Choong-Ryeol slowly brought the phone closer to his ear.
He had been holding it at a distance with a frown while receiving harsh abuse from the caller.
He said carefully, “I am in Goseong, Gangwon-do for a bit.”

-Goseong? Why? Don’t you know that there’s a lot of work to be done?

To be honest, Yoo Choong-Ryeol was desperate for money.
He was a B-rank hunter, and he boasted a fairly good income thanks to his activities as a black mercenary.
However, he was always struggling financially due to his extravagant spending and serious gambling addiction.

Even so, with his capabilities, he could usually fill his pockets to his satisfaction if he took on jobs that were offered by this particular caller.
However, that wasn’t currently an option for him.

‘The reason there’s a lot of work is because no one wants to take them on.’

There was always work to be done in the mercenary industry, especially for the villains known as the black mercenaries.
Even so, it was quite rare for so much work to be left untouched… There was a simple explanation for the current situation.

“How could I possibly go back and work now? The Cheon-Ji Group, Comet Group, not to mention the Special Police Force are running amok and pummeling all the villains…” Yoo Choong-Ryeol retorted.

-Hey, you little punk.
We still need someone to take care of the jobs.
And you owe me, don’t you? Three billion won.
Are you not going to pay it back? If you don’t return right this second, you’re going to need to pay me back by tomorrow.
Otherwise, I’ll find you and kill you.
You know me, right? I’m a man of my word.

“Ah, hyung-nim.
Come on, is this all that we are? Why are you acting like that when it’s just pocket change?”

-Pocket change? You call three billion pocket change? You little bastard, you really need to…

“I’ll be back real soon.
I just need to take care of something here.
Don’t you know me? I’m Choong-Ryeol, bro.
How many years have we been working together? Don’t you trust me?”

I don’t trust villains, and I especially don’t trust debtors.
As for you, Yoo Choong-Ryeol, I wouldn’t even trust you to look after my pet goldfish.
Get to the point.
When are you going to return?

“Not today,” Yoo Choong-Ryeol answered as he looked back at the apartment complex.

Strangely enough, it appeared as if the apartment complex was seeped in an unusually black shadow.

-What about tomorrow?

“That will be difficult.
I’ll make sure to return within the week.”

-Within the week? Hey, it’s only Tuesday.
Stop spewing nonsense.
Come back tomorrow, no matter what.

Search for the original.

“Ah, hyung…”

-If I don’t see you tomorrow, I ’m going to send in the pursuers.
Your life ’s on the line here, so think before you act.

“Hyung-nim, that’s too harsh…”

Yoo Choong-Ryeol was not given a chance to finish before the call abruptly ended.

“Motherfu…!” Yoo Choong-Ryeol swore loudly in a fit of rage while throwing his phone to the passenger seat.
His eyes were bloodshot.

‘From the looks of it, he didn’t spend much of the insurance money.
He’s been living quietly…’

In truth, Yoo Choong-Ryeol didn’t know much about Yoo Jin-Hyuk’s family.
In fact, he hadn’t been close to that family at all.
However, he was familiar with Yoo Choong-Ho, his brother and Yoo Jin-Hyuk’s father.

‘He must have left behind a lot of money.
That little punk must be hiding it somewhere.
Yoo Jin-Hwan…’

Yoo Choong-Ryeol licked his lips, then impatiently grabbed his car handle with his shaky hands.


The sound of thunder suddenly resonated from the sky, which appeared rather darker than usual.
Yoo Choong-Ryeol let out a sigh after looking up at the sky.
He muttered, “Damn it.
Even the weather’s crappy.”

Choong-Ryeol wanted to talk Yoo Jin-Hyuk out of all the hidden assets, but he didn’t have much time.
He was given only a single day, so he came to a decision after much thought.

“He couldn’t have hidden it anywhere besides the house.
And knowing my brother, the insurance money won’t be small either,” he said before licking his lips once more.
He reached for a bag located on the back seats, then took out a small bag containing white powder.

‘Glocaine poison.’

The medication bag looked nothing out of ordinary, but the white powder contained inside was a lethal poison.
The moment someone ingested it, their organs would melt, and they would die painfully.

If Yoo Jin-Hyuk had acted even slightly more friendly towards him or if he had some more time, Choong-Ryeol would not have resorted to this option.
However, since the teenage was clearly wary and suspicious, he couldn’t see any good reason in keeping Yoo Jin-Hyuk alive any longer.

‘I can’t let him hide away the money while I’m not here.
I’ll have to kill him tomorrow.’

When Yoo Choong-Ryeol came to a decision, a distant flash of lightning struck outside his sedan.


Soon, heavy rain began to pour down in turn with a deep growl of the sky.


Choi Yu-Seong was staying in a small place located near Yoo Jin-Hyuk’s house.
It was rather small and modest to be called a hotel.

Choi Yu-Seong called Jin Yu-Ri to his room and the two continued their conversation.

“So, what you are saying is that Yoo Jin-Hwan is actually Yoo Jin-Hyuk, who is supposed to be dead, right?” Yu-Ri asked.

He probably faked his identity because of the insurance money.
After all, Yoo Jin-Hyuk is still 18 years old, a minor,” Yu-Seong answered.

“How?” Yu-Ri asked.

“Yoo Choong-Ho, his father, was an expert in forging identification cards.
It wouldn’t have been a difficult task for him, since he learned from his father and actually took on a couple jobs as well,” Yu-Seong said.

“…Wait, so what about the deaths of the three people?” Yu-Ri asked with a surprised expression.

Choi Yu-Seong shook his head with a bitter smile before answering, “No, that was really an accident.
You know about it too, right? The dungeon break in Gyeongju from a year ago.”

“It was a big deal.
There were a lot of casualties.
Right, I guess you couldn’t really fake or manipulate something like a dungeon break,” Yu-Ri said.

“Yeah, more importantly, there’s no way Yoo Jin-Hyuk could have hurt his family,” Yu-Seong said.

“Right… His mother was a player.
Her ability was…” Jin Yu-Ri quickly skimmed over the documents she had received from Choi Yu-Seong.
She continued, “D-rank hypnosis.
I had forgotten because it’s been some time, but now I remember.
Their family’s records were unusual as well.
His father had a history of murder, and his brother, as a student, had been at a juvenile detention center.”

“But Yoo Jin-Hyuk is clean, right?” Yu-Seong asked.

“It’s not just clean.
It’s strange, it’s like…there’s no record of him.
In the first place, there’s no record of him at any schools either,” Yu-Ri answered.

“It’s because he would have rarely left the house,” Yu-Seong said while looking out the window with a bitter smile.
The rain accompanying the thunder was getting quite dense.

“It would be safe to say that he was abused as a child,” Yu-Ri commented.


To be exact, Yoo Jin-Hyuk had been abused as a child and into his teenage years.
There was a reason why he was the only one treated like this in the family of four.
Although his name was Yoo Jin-Hyuk and he was officially registered as Yoo Choong-Ho’s son, he was actually an orphan who had been picked up from the streets.

‘An abandoned child.’

Yoo Jin-Hyuk, a child no one cared about, had been picked up from the streets and made their possession.
By brainwashing and training him, he had been controlled and used completely and thoroughly.

Jin-Hyuk had also been abused.
To be exact, it was the wife and Yoo Jin-Hwan, not Yoo Choong-Ho, who had wielded violence against him to relieve their stress while Yoo Choong-Ho had watched.
In the first place, Yoo Choong-Ho had only decided to bring in Yoo Jin-Hyuk and raise him because he had seen the child quietly using a barrier skill in a dark alleyway.

“Yoo Jin-Hyuk was born Awakened.
He could use his abilities from birth, and one of them was the barrier he erected,” Choi Yu-Seong explained.

“Then, the reason Yoo Choong-Ho took him in was…” Jin Yu-Ri said.

“He had hopes that the small child would bring them money,” Yu-Seong said.

“But why…?”

“The first thing Yoo Choong-Ho did after bringing him home was to have his wife brainwash the child using her skill.
Jin-Hyuk was made to consider the three people as his family, people he had to show absolute, unconditional love toward to repay their kindness.
It wouldn’t have been easy since the skill rank was low, but… Yoo Jin-Hyuk was a child.
Soon, they succeeded in brainwashing him.
However, that’s when the problem arose,” Yu-Seong explained.

Although Yoo Jin-Hyuk was born with abilities, he could not use them any more after being brainwashed.

Yu-Seong continued, “How angry do you think that made Yoo Choong-Ho? He went through the trouble of picking up the kid and adopting him, but the kid suddenly became unable to use his abilities.
So he tossed the kid outside, but the hypnosis kept its grip on Yoo Jin-Hyuk, so…”

“He returned.
Back home.
For him, his family must have been more precious than anything else in the world,” Yu-Ri said.

That was always the outcome, no matter how far he was abandoned.”

Like a dog abandoned by its owners, Yoo Jin-Hyuk always returned home, and Yoo Choong-Ho had chosen to take him in in the end.
Then he had taught Yoo Jin-Hyuk how to forge identification cards and had made him work, sometimes letting him become a punching bag for his family to relieve their stress.

“Bastards…” Jin Yu-Ri growled angrily after hearing Choi Yu-Seong’s explanation.
She balled her hands into fists and her eyes reddened.
“I’m glad they died.
No, rather, that’s too bad.
Dogs like them should have had their limbs ripped one by one after experiencing hell…”

Her hands even dug into the wooden table that she had been touching.
She added softly, “…I’m sorry.
It just made me so angry.”

“It’s all right.
I’m not in a good mood either,” Yu-Seong answered.


Choi Yu-Seong looked out at the thundering scenery while recalling Yoo Jin-Hyuk’s face.
The hypnosis had been undone after the deaths of Yoo Choong-Ho and his wife.

However, Jin-Hyuk had loved Yoo Choong-Ho’s family for a long time and had craved their love.
Although he was freed from the brainwashing, it did not mean that the remnants of his emotions had disappeared as well.
Currently, Yoo Jin-Hyuk was struggling, stuck between resentment, anger, and a craving for affection.

‘I don’t dare to think I can cure that wound.’

However, according to the original novel, Yoo Jin-Hyuk would continue to experience countless betrayals.
His resentment against the world for abandoning and hurting him would continue to grow.
In the end, he would become a disaster with hatred and anger toward humans, a creature with more malice against humans than even the devil.
He would become the worst disaster, the Demonic Beast King.

“Ah, the man you asked about earlier.
I got the data.” Jin Yu-Ri checked her phone after receiving a notification, then frowned.
She proceeded to read the information, “He’s the brother of the deceased Yoo Choong-Ho.
His age is…”


At that moment, an unusually large flash of lightning descended along with a roar causing the whole room to tremble.

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