Kidnapped Dragons (KR Web Novel)

Chapter 173: When the cowering one blossoms (1)

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– Misterrr~~~~~~ Cthulhuuu~!!

Under the overwhelming applause of the crowd, a man wearing a squid mask – Mister Cthulhu – took a step on the octagon.

Having experienced the Great War, he knew how humans could become deformed corpses.

For example, a superhuman that died to a succubus would have all their bones melted and become mushy. Succubuses with a refined sense of taste sometimes tied a knot with the arms of the mushy corpse.

And now, he was going to do the same to the baby-chicken mask that was standing before him. If he destroyed all the bones of the opponents’ arms and tied a knot with them behind that laughable mask, people would definitely love it.

But a minute passed after the bell rang.

He didn’t even know what happened and was lying flat on the ground.

‘…?’

His chest was being stepped on by the man.

An outrageous force and pressure suffocated him. When he turned to the side, he could see the astonished gazes of the crowd and soon, the drunk referee checked whether he was dead or not with his arms crossed behind his back.

“You dead? Cthulhu?”

Dead my ass, you stupid dotard.

Mister Cthulhu thought to himself.

What happened just then? He had run in, in order to get in a grappling position and had successfully struck the opponent’s stomach with his shoulder.

Being struck by a 3-digit world ranker like him running in at full speed after strengthening the body and supporting it with mana, was more devastating than crashing into a dump truck.

And yet the man nonchalantly stopped and pushed him back.

Because of that he got fairly angry. He used mana to manipulate his blessings and closed the gap in the blink of an eye but…

What happened then?

He couldn’t remember anything after that.

By the time he realised it, he was rolling on the ground.

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“Do you accept your loss? Cthulhu?”

The drunk referee giggled. Enraged, Cthulhu grabbed the referee by the neck and threw him while still lying down on the ground. The old ref flew up, crashed into the ceiling and died immediately.

The cheers of the crowd distracted his ears.

Mister Cthulhu admitted his loss and the man wearing the baby chicken mask immediately lifted his foot.

On the way outside, he bashed another staff member of the fight club and killed him. Unable to control his anger, he picked up a running car and threw it. He then killed a ruffian walking by.

The longer his thoughts continued, the more it touched his emotions.

He remembered how it was when he exited the building. The cheers that had been for him had changed its target to the chicken mask. The envy of males and desires of females had all been replaced by sneers.

Normally, he wouldn’t even have the time to worry about stuff like that. However, he was currently Mister Cthulhu – one middle-aged man who dedicated his life to his hobby.

In the back alleyway, he couldn’t control himself and called someone.

“Hey. It’s me.”

There weren’t many inside the Association who knew of Mister Cthulhu’s secretive hobby life. He called the strongest junior who knew of his hobby.

“Can you deal with this one guy for me? Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. I lost at the 14th defense match.”

When he roughly explained the situation, a pitying voice escaped with a sigh from the other side of the phone.

– Bro. Isn’t it about time you stopped doing this? You’ll be 50 in a day or two, bro.

The tone of that voice was eating at his pride. However, Mister Cthulhu was fine with losing a little bit of pride here, as long as the baby chicken mask that was looking down at him could get smashed to death.

“Fu*k. What if I’m 50? You want me to swing a golf putter like all those boring guys out there?”

– Haigo. That’s at least better. What’s gotten into you right before hitting 50 after spending your whole life swinging pens? Why are you swinging a burning bat now?

“Oi, just help me out with this, dude.”

– If the Association hears anything about this, you’ll be absolutely destroyed bro. I’m sure you know that yourself?

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The one on the other side of the phone was from the International Superhuman Association’s vanguard secret ops. The commander of Vanguard: Fill the Gray – a top world ranker with the rank 271.

Shadow Human, ‘Ohn Sung-o’.

– Tch. So about what rank do you need. Considering how you’re a goner bro, maybe someone in the 2000’s? Like Alan, Pyo or Hezekiah?

“A goner my ass. I’m stronger than all of them.”

– Aigo. Of course yes.

Mister Cthulhu thought to himself. He still considered himself an active veteran. Although he hadn’t used everything in his arsenal, the opponent overpowered him in the blink of an eye and thus a random ranker won’t be able to do much.

“Sung-o, my brother…”

– Ah bro. Stop there.

Ohn Sung-o tried to stop him after realising what he was trying to say.

“Come on bro. I know all your schedules. There’s no-one to kill these days. It’s been very quiet recently and your life has been boring right?”

– Ahh, you’re telling me to come just for this random bloke?

“Even a knife gets blunt after not using it for a while. Come and sharpen it or something.”

– What do you know…

The voice suggested that he was looking down at him even till the end. He had the sudden urge to scrap everything but held it in.

Whatever the case, Ohn Sung-o was a strong superhuman and he should have no trouble smacking the baby chicken mask to death.

Thinking that, Mister Cthulhu soothed the rage he got from his hobby.

– So, who was it again?

***

“I’m pregnant,” said Bom.

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Yu Jitae looked into her eyes as she looked back at him while wearing the circular-framed glasses. There was a word in her sentence that required some time for him to wrap his head around.

“…What?”

“Do you think there’s a way to make that sound smoother?”

Bom, who had seen Yu Jitae’s expression change for a moment, said while holding back her laughter. She was currently writing a novel.

“Surprised?”

“……Who knows. But why would you try to make that sound smoother.”

“Saying ‘I’m pregnant’, is too straightforward right.”

“Can’t it be straightforward?”

“It just doesn’t sound good.”

“How do you make it sound good.”

“I don’t know? That’s what I’m thinking of right now.”

She touched her lips in contemplation, “Hmm~”. Meanwhile, Yu Jitae thought for a bit before sharing other expressions for pregnancy.

“I conceived a kid.”

“Don’t think it sounds good.”

“There is a new child.”

“Don’t think it sounds good either.”

“‘I’ am not singular.”

“??”

“My stomach has expanded.”

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“That’s also…”

“I don’t know then.”

“Hmm…”

That was when Yeorum, who was sitting next to Yu Jitae, chimed in.

“Told you not to do it inside.”

“That’s a bit…”

“Is it bad? Hmm… our love has bore its fruit?”

“Huh?”

Bom widened her eyes and soon chuckled.

“What was that? Did I hear it wrong?”

Yeorum silently stared off into the distance, before changing the topic.

“Hmm. By the way unni, are you still writing a horror novel?”

“Nn.”

“You don’t write in other genres?”

“Like?”

“You know, like mystery, or romance. Things like that.”

“Nn. I don’t.

“Why?”

“Why…?”

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“You know. How about you try writing one.”

“Hmm…”

Bom tilted her head, while Gyeoul, who was quietly sitting next to Yu Jitae, also had a look of doubt in her eyes.

It was a strange thing for Yeorum to say.

“I’ll try if I have time,” replied Bom.

“Yeah. If you have to choose, maybe try romance… or something like that.”

She seemed somewhat embarrassed after saying that as she scratched the back of her neck. Bom stared at her with a knowing gaze before reluctantly giving a nod.

That day was a normal day. A day no different from other normal days.

“I’m back!”

In the afternoon, Kaeul returned to the dormitory after her lecture. Yu Jitae called her to the study because there was something he needed to tell her.

“Oing? Why?”

Fortunately, it appeared that she no longer felt repulsive against being with him alone and casually sat next to him on the bed.

“There’s something to give you.”

“What is it?”

Yu Jitae handed her a small ticket. The ticket had ‘Superhuman Academy Lair PR Team’ printed in bold at the front, with ‘For Baby Chicken Mask’ written at the back.

After quietly twisting and playing around with the ticket, Kaeul widened her golden eyes.

“Nnn? Uhhh…?! Is this…?”

In fact, even before heading to the PR team yesterday, he had already consulted Team Leader Yong Dohee about the Masked Singing Contest.

She asked if Kaeul was good at singing and he replied, yes. After that, Team Leader Yong Dohee used her authority in joy to give her a position. It showed how much she liked Kaeul.

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However, Yu Jitae couldn’t thoughtlessly continue with this plan. Yu Kaeul was the most sensitive child who had to be treated the most delicately.

Kaeul had to take this lightly.

She couldn’t be overly excited even if it worked out well, and she must not be depressed even if things didn’t turn out well. Therefore, he decided to do a little test with Kaeul.

‘You want me to act? Like she didn’t make it? Ah, you’re trying to surprise Kaeul right?’

Team Leader Yong Dohee gladly listened to his request.

After she seemingly didn’t make it into the contest, Kaeul was only slightly sad on the way back.

She passed Yu Jitae’s test.

“Let’s try it. Let’s try singing.”

When Yu Jitae mentioned something which she had considered to be over, her eyes turned blank for a second before becoming lively again.

“Uwaahh–! You’re the best. Ahjussi!”

She tried to hug Yu Jitae, but suddenly stopped.

“Aht… Ah! Anyway, I like you so much! Uwahh!”

Soon, Kaeul hopped out to the living room with the ticket in hand and showed off to her unnis and Gyeoul. “Amazing. Amazing right!” she shouted in joy, and the other kids also congratulated her in surprise.

Yu Jitae went outside and soothed her.

“Kaeul. Sit down first. There’s something I need to ask you.”

“Ah. Yes yes!”

There was something strange while he was proceeding with the event. It was that the application window had already ended by the time Kaeul told him about the Masked Singing Contest.

It might be something insignificant, but he decided to address it just in case.

“Ehng? Really?”

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“Yeah. You didn’t know?”

“I didn’t. That’s weird? Yuran told me they were receiving applications for it? I told you straight after I heard that.”

‘Jung Yuran’ was the name of her friend whom Kaeul often mentioned.

“Ah…! But, Yuran is a little bit weird these days.”

“Weird?”

“Yes yes. It feels like, there’s something… Sometimes she speaks to me like we’re close but when there’s a lot of people, she doesn’t reply… I don’t know why she’s like that.”

Hearing that, Bom asked.

“That’s weird. Is it very obvious?”

“Nn nn. When it’s just the two of us, I think she’s nice…”

“Have you talked to someone else regarding that?”

“No. Well, I tried asking one other friend? But she said she couldn’t really tell.”

“Hmm…”

“What, is she a bit of a retarded bi*ch?” interjected Yeorum.

“No…! She always asks me to go karaoke together! She’s a good friend.” Kaeul scratched her head before adding, “…She’s just a bit weird sometimes.”

There seemed to be something bizarre happening between the girls, which Yu Jitae didn’t know much of. Bom, Yeorum and Kaeul talked about the relationship for a long time. Yeorum criticised the friend while Kaeul shielded her but after listening for a while, Bom also shook her head.

“It doesn’t feel good. I think she’s being jealous.”

“Nn? Jealous? Why?”

“Only she knows why, I assume.”

“I think she’s definitely a crazy b*tch.”

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Kaeul made a straight face after hearing Yeorum’s blunt words.

“Unni! She’s my friend!”

However, Yeorum also crumpled her expression irritatedly.

“Friend or whatever. Listen, you idiot. She’s learning how to sing, and yet she makes you sing when all your other mates are there as well.”

“That’s true but…!”

“She’s fuc*in’ obviously making others compare you with her. And she fills up her ego by trampling on you like a shoe. She’s just a crazy b*tch. What else.”

“That’s not how it is…!”

“What the fk. What’s wrong with you? Stop just saying no.”

The situation was clearer after listening to Yeorum. It seemed that the cadet called Jung Yuran, inside Kaeul’s travel society, was trying to sneakily make her a target for comparison.

After hearing their conversation for a while, a doubt appeared in Yu Jitae’s mind.

“You said she’s learning how to sing?”

Kaeul nodded with a slightly disheartened look on her face.

“Yes yes. Apparently she was aspiring to be a celebrity in Korea.”

“Since when did she offer you to sing.”

“Hmm… it’s been a while already.”

A few days ago, Yong Dohee said the following:

‘But are you really going to make her anonymous? Although there’s no prize pool and scores, it’s one of the popular events from the firework festival. So 7 out of 10 people usually try to make themselves known by taking their masks off.’

In this era, superhumans were both soldiers and heroes.

If the success of a superhuman was decided by money and fame, name value was significantly more important than individual power.

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“Hmm… is that so.”

He thought to himself.

Kids being jealous of each other didn’t need a special reason or anything for that matter. This was Kaeul’s school life and her daily life but as her guardian, hearing all that didn’t necessarily put him in a good mood.

“Got it. In that case, how you sing will be the most important factor.”

In response to his words, Gyeoul who was quietly listening to them speak, clapped out loud. An exclamation mark appeared above Kaeul’s head.

“That’s true. We need to send a video of the song to Team Leader Yong as well, right?”

“Yeah. She wanted a video.”

“Then, I’ll record it when Kaeul starts singing,” said Bom while fidgeting with the watch.

Yeorum asked.

“But do you even have a song you wanna sing?”

At the centre of the attention, Kaeul was slowly turning stiff.

“Nn? Uhh, unn…”

She appeared to be getting nervous once it was about time to actually start, and blankly rolled her eyes.

That was when Yeorum suddenly thought of something and gave a wicked smile.

“Oi.”

“Nn…?”

“What’s her favourite song.”

“Who? Yuran? Why…?”

“There’s a song she sings everyday at the karaoke right.”

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“Ah, nn. There is…”

“What is it?”

“It’s called ‘Some time or other’… it’s a pretty sad song and Yuran sings it every time we go there.”

“That’s good. Try that. You remember it right?”

Seeing her suggestive smile, Kaeul felt slightly uncomfortable but it was too late to fight back. Bom had already started filming Kaeul with her watch and the protector, watching from the side, turned the light off.

“Uahh… I’m actually going to do it okay? I’m starting now…”

A lot of eyes were on her, but none of them replied to her voice. Not knowing what to do, Kaeul closed her eyes and slowly started to remember the voice and melody she heard at the karaoke.

Meanwhile, Yu Jitae was curious.

Luna, the empress of pop songs in the 1st iteration.

And Baby Yellow, the goddess of billboard in the 4th iteration.

Those two were a few of the destined futures of Kaeul. Her voice had echoed worldwide and had shook the hearts of countless people.

Does such unprecedented talent show itself even without going through practices and hard work? That was what the Regressor was curious about.

“…”

Soon, Kaeul slightly opened her lips with her cheeks flushed in deep red from the embarrassment.

Finally, the song began.

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