Chapter 163 - God of Crime #5
"Ah? Ah? Ahh? Failure? Failureeee?! Me? Never! I didn’t fail! Don’t talk such nonsense! It doesn’t matter if you are a guest! Don’t!”
The moment was enormous enough to break down a mountain. However, he was just an old man with a burnt body, and his only weapons were a penknife and an iron skewer. He couldn’t win against Tae-hyuk, who had fought numerous criminals.
Tae-hyuk sent a signal and the robotic arm inside his backpack extended, punching the Clown in the face.
The Clown literally flew back and hit the ground. He got up and exclaimed,
“T-This! M-Machina! H-How do you have it?”
“Oh, this? I got a lot of sponsorship and received one. It is easy to clean myself in the bathroom now.”
The Clown moved his gaze and watched Tae-hyuk. The Clown felt instinctively that he couldn’t beat the opponent. Tae-hyuk approached the Clown and said,
"You can’t win against me even if you mobilize all your people. Killing you here will be the most neat way to end this, but I’m not comfortable with that. I will stun you and take you to the police.”
Tae-hyuk struggled because the Clown knew his identity. But the opponent was completely crazy. Anyway, he was no longer active as Phantom. If he stayed quite than the Clown would just be treated as a madman.
Tae-hyuk deliberately raised the Machine in a threatening manner.
“Clown, this is checkmate.”
Then the Clown commanded the pierrots.
“Hikikikikik! You ignored what I cherished the most! Then! Yesss! This time, I will take your most precious thing... Thing! My cute little pierrots! Seo Ha-ran over there...!”
“...Kuk! T-this bastard!”
Not even one second passed. All sorts of ideas passed through Tae-hyuk’s mind. It was the worst situation.
He had purposely talked about something else in order to turn the Clown’s attention away from Seo Ha-ran. Was it the wrong choice? Would it have been better to obtain Seo Ha-ran first, even if there was a little risk? If the Clown’s command was completed, then Seo Ha-ran would be in danger.
There was only one way to stop it right now. It was to kill the Clown...
N-No. He couldn’t become that monster again... Then what about Ha-ran?
"Stop right there, Director Go Ah-tae.”
His accelerated throughts stopped. Tae-hyuk slowly turned his head and looked at the entrance of the laboratory. There was a man holding a gun.
The Clown was so confused that he shut his mouth before issuing the order to kill Seo Ha-ran.
“Fortunately, it seems like I made it in time. Um, is that Phantom over there?”
“D-Detective Cho Kang-suk!”
Kang-suk narrowed his eyes as he looked around the roo. Then he discovered Ha-ran tied up among the pierrots. His eyes trembled for a moment. However, his pistol was still aiming at the Clown.
Kang-suk looked at Tae-hyuk wearing the phantom mask and said,
“I never thought I would meet you here... I was looking for the whereabouts of my missing fiancee. Is it a bingo?”
“...Yes. It is nice timing.”
Kang-suk showed up to save Ha-ran. Tae-hyuk didn’t give any hints, but Kang-suk discovered this place. If the Clown didn’t give orders, then the pierrots wouldn’t do anything. If he did anything even slightly suspicious then Kang-suk would fire his gun.
Tae-hyuk suddenly asked,
“But how did you get here? There were clearly guards.”
"Huh? There was no one?"
“...Detective Cho Kang-suk, your luck is really good.”
“Hahat! I will take it as a compliment. At any rate, Director Go Ah-tae. I will arrest you on charges of kidnapping, etc.”
“Kiik! Kikikik! Me? I will get arrested? I have to complete my research that will bring a new prosperity to mankind!”
Kang-suk sighed loudly and said,
"You might have been that before, but now you are just an ugly criminal.”
"C-C-Criminal? Me?! Criminal?”
The Clown fell into a state of cognitive dissonance and became restless. Kang-suk spoke to Phantom,
"I'm sorry, but it is hard for me to move. Can you help me with the kidnapped woman over there? I will definitely pay it back. Well, my actions might be a little bit illegal.”
Kang-suk seemed to perfectly think that Tae-hyuk was Phantom. Tae-hyuk nodded and went over to Ha-ran. The pierrots didn’t receive any orders so they just gave a low moan. Ha-ran was tied up but he couldn’t see any . It seemed like she had taken something similar to a sleeping pill.
He shook her body a few times before she started blinking.
“How you regained consciousness?”
Tae-hyuk said with panic.
“I am Phantom. I'm sorry but I think you mistook me for someone else.”
“H-Huh... No matter the situation, do you think I wouldn’t recognize you, even if you were wearing a mask? Oh, t-this place is dangerous! Get away from here quickly!”
“...We’ll talk more later. Just stay still for a moment. It is hard to untie you.”
Tae-hyuk would worry about what to tell Ha-ran after successfully rescuing her. But first, they had to get out of here. Kang-suk, who was confronting the Clown, shouted with a loud voice,
"D-Director Go Ah-tae, don’t run away!”
Suddenly, the Clown started running towards the Core Drive in the centre of the lab. The confused Kang-suk pulled the trigger of his gun.
If a culprit was trying to escape then the first place to shoot was the legs. The Clown ignored the blood dripping down his legs and headed into the Core Drive. It happened so quickly that Kang-suk couldn’t respond properly. The Clown manipulated a panel and triggered something.
“What? What are you doing?”
The inside of the Core Drive turned red. The plasma started to rotate around around the Clown’s body.
“Kiik! Kikikikikik! Kuhahahaha! I have activated the Core Drive! I will prove to everyone that my research hasn’t failed! Now from here! The human race! It will be a step towards evolution!”
The Clown danced with joy behind the tank made of tempered glass. The situation inside the Core Drive wasn’t clear so Kang-suk fired at the Clown.
"Stop what you are doing and get out of there! Damn! It is tempered glass!”
Tae-hyuk was also confused.
-The Spying skill has detected a danger.
-The special ability has been triggered and 20 affinity points have been reduced.
-Amount of time remaining until the Core Drive explodes―.
Core Drive explosion? Then what about the Psychotropic Incense? No, what big explosion?
There was no doubt that it would be dangerous.
“Detective Cho Kang-suk! Drag that clown out! He wants to blow this place up!”
Kang-suk made a horrified expression.
"Damn! I can’t die along with that bastard!”
Tae-hyuk took Ha-ran to the entrance of the laboratory and gave her the route to get out of here. Then he ran to the Clown and asked,
"Clown! What will happen if the Core Drive explodes?”
“Kikikik! That is impossible! My research was a success! Just stay there and watch the birth of the best invention in human history!”
Tae-hyuk bit his lip and muttered,
"Tell me just in case.”
“Kuk, kukuk. The Core Drive is an antimatter that generates infinite energy. If it explodes, then it will have the energy of one or two hydrogen bombs.”
“...You were studying such a dangerous thing here?”
“Don’t worry! My research! Definitely! It is successful!”
It was dangerous. This place was dangerous. This was why the study was frozen.
"Damn! I will make you stop this!”
“St-op? Stop? Stop?! I won’t do it! I won’t let anyone interfere with my research! Kuhahat! Kuhahahat! The Core Drive is a success! It is successful!”
Kang-suk’s face turned pale as he heard the story from the side.
“Phantom... Is that really what Director Go Ah-tae said?”
“...It seems so.”
"Damn! I will call reinforcements right now!”
“There are only 10 minutes left. We have no choice but to resolve this by ourselves."
“...I don’t know how much damage the blast will cause. Can we stop the bomb? Damn... Turn off that machine right now! Or else I will kill you!”
The Clown ignored Kang-suk’s desperate words and declared triumphantly.
“Kukuk... It seems like this is the only thing I can do to prevent the Core Drive from being stopped.”
The Clown closed his eyes and stabbed his chest with the iron skewer. The Clown laughed even when he was dying.
“My research is definitely a success! A success! Su...”
It was a pointless death. Kang-suk’s eyes filled with despair. He sat on the floor and knocked against the tempered glass with a bitter face.
“Damn... Dying like this...”
“D-Detective Cho Kang-suk. I will try it.”
“I am Phantom. Turning this machine off is simple.”
"Can I believe you?”
"I told you. If you go outside, then Seo Ha-ran will be waiting. Get her out of here.”
Kang-suk nodded slowly with a firm expression. Phantom was a criminal, but he didn’t seem the type to lie. Once Kang-suk left, Phantom... No, Seo Tae-hyuk muttered in a small voice.
"Now, what can I do?”
Fortunately, he sent Kang-suk and Ha-ran out of here, but the problem was from now on. If he didn’t stop the Core Drive then serious damage might occur. If he didn’t have any luck then the Psychotropic Incense might leak outside the lab. Then it would literally be like a zombie movie.
Tae-hyuk first collected the remaining Psychotropic Incense left in the institute and gve it to the pierrots.
Then he said,
"Get out of here right now. Head to the nearest hospital.”
The pierrots started to move according to the orders that Tae-hyuk gave. Thus, Tae-hyuk was left alone in the laboratory.
"If I use the Machine then I can break through that tempered glass. However, if I install a bomb...”
As Tae-hyuk was in distress, someone approached him. Tae-hyuk looked at them with confusion.
"What, you went outside... N-Noona?”
A smiling Seo Ha-ran was standing there. She said to him,
"It is a dangerous situation... Is there no time to explain it again?’
"I couldn’t move my body, but my mind was fine the whole time. I heard the entire conversation between Tae-hyuk and Go Ah-tae.”
“Don’t worry. I absolutely won’t tell the ‘truth’ to anyone. No, it will be fine.”
Ha-ran smiled and reached out to Tae-hyuk.
“Noona. Do you have anything to break that tank and stop the equipment?”
"Don't look like that. Noona...it will be okay. I’m not scared at all. I mean, I’ll do it. Sister will stop it.”
Tae-hyuk’s eyes flashed. She was saying that she would sacrifice herself with such a pure expression.
Ah, yes... He had seen this look before.
-From now on, I will be your mother and father.
Ever since then, Ha-ran had sacrificed herself for them. Tae-hyuk hesitated for a moment.
“...Noona. I’m sorry.”
"There is need to be sorry! I’m doing this because I like it.”
Tae-hyuk sprinkled some of the Psychotropic Incense in Ha-ran’s face. Her eyes instantly relaxed and she became a puppet who would listen to anything Tae-hyuk said.
"Run away from here. And together with Cho Kang-suk...”
He paused for a moment and looked at Ha-ran’s face. Yes, he came here because he wanted to see a smile on her face.
Tae-hyuk smiled. Finally, he ordered Ha-ran.
“...Live happily for a long time.”
"Un-der-stood... Ah, no, T-Tae-hyuk...”
Despite being affected by the Psychotropic Incense, she called out the name of her brother until the end. But she couldn’t disobey the command and left the laboratory.
Tae-hyuk sighed. There were only four minutes remaining. What was the condition for upgrading to the ‘God of Crime’?
Acquiring one million affinity points. Maybe the Core Drive exploding would emit a bigger energy than he imagined? Yes, there were one million people in the city.
The condition for acquiring affinity points. Changing someone’s fate. Killing a person who should’ve lived, or saving a person who should’ve died. Maybe the God of Crime was...
Tae-hyuk couldn’t help sighing.
He wasn’t afraid. He had been destined to die from the death penalty anyway. He had returned to the past to create a new relationship and to change his sister’s despairing face into a smile.
Yes, this was enough. He was satisfied.
Tae-hyuk slowly muttered as he watched the Clown lying on the floor.
"The crime skills. The evil that exists in the world is gathered and given shape. If a person’s mind is weak then they will get corrupted by it.”
The numerous criminals that he met popped into his head. He had learnt their abilities in the form of the crime skills.
“Pickpockets, scammers, kidnappers, murderers, thieves, gangs and the mafia. Their malice gathered and a monster was born. But... Humans who will sacrifice themselves for others exist.”
Seo Ha-ran devoted everything to her brothers. Song Hye-mi and Cho Kang-suk as well...
The world wasn’t simply filled with malice.
He slowly raised his head. It was different from the future, where he was falsely charged. From now on, he would change the fates of one million people. Of course, among them...
Sacrificing himself for somebody else? He wasn’t such a great person. He used to be on death row. Now, he was a criminal who committed numerous crimes.
"At best, I am just trying to be the God of Crime.”