Isaac’s sudden arrogance to talk down to him like a subordinate struck Mazelan like a lightning bolt. Isaac continued as he lit his cigarette.
“I’ll take control from here. You can go back and work at your old job. I’m sure there are plenty of pretty ladies lined up to meet you, now that you’ve been on broadcast. Why don’t you take one and get married?”
“What do you mean go back?!”
“The Emperor gave me the honour of resolving this incident, so you’ll be referring to me as your superior. I’ll take care of this place. You should go, since you’ll just get in the way.”
Just when Mazelan was about to let hell loose, Colins stepped in.
“Ah. I apologise, but we can’t have that. You must stay until the job is done.”
“Who is this?”
Mazelan glared at Colins, annoyed.
“I am Colins from Central. I have been ordered by the Emperor to assist Lord Isaac.”
Mazelan almost began berating Colins for his insolence, but he remained silent because of the line of cameras ahead of him. Isaac took a breath of his cigarette and spoke to Colins.
“Who is the highest authority here?”
“… That’ll be you, Lord Isaac.”
“So why is someone who knows that telling me otherwise?”
“… It’ll be troublesome if you continue acting like that.”
“Troublesome? Haha. So you’ve grown a spine since then, have you?”
“You can’t treat me like you did in the past.”
Colins didn’t hide his disdain as he glared back.
“Ah. Is that so? Who’s more important between you and me? Huh? Whose side do you think they’ll take if I declare you’re the reason I don’t want to cooperate anymore?”
“Stand up straight!”
Isaac kicked Colins in the stomach, but he stood back up straight immediately.
“Have you lost your senses just because you’re doing some bigshot job?”
“Your answer doesn’t seem to match your face. You think the hierarchy will disappear just because you’ve joined Central? Oi, you there—turn off the camera. Children aren’t allowed to see what’s coming.”
The broadcast staff were confused when Isaac gave them the order. Just what was Central? It was an organisation with absolute power, standing at the pinnacle of all government bodies.
Even the lowest members of Central were treated like VIPs when deployed elsewhere, yet Isaac didn’t hesitate to assault one, even demanding them to turn off the broadcast.
“Let me go. Now!”
Remembering the old days, Colins grabbed Isaac’s waist in a panic. He was closest to Isaac, and thus the witness most familiar with how he cared for nothing when he went mad. And he dared to stand up against Isaac when he was already furious.
“Hng… Why don’t you stop now?”
Mazelan spoke as he rubbed his temples, watching Isaac smack the back of Colins’ head repeatedly.
“What do you mean stop? In fact, you should be busy packing to go home.”
“What do you mean, go home! The Emperor may have designated you as the highest authority, but I too was ordered by the Emperor to stabilise the prices of goods in Milros County!”
Isaac let out a deep sigh and smacked Colins one more time.
“Let me go, dumbass.”
Colins dodged Isaac nimbly and withdrew.
“Tsk. Watch where you stand.”
Cold sweat dripped down Colin’s back as he replied, avoiding Isaac’s cold stare.
“Just because you’re a part of Central doesn’t mean those days where you followed me around back in Campus never happened, idiot.”
“… Is that the setting?”
Mazelan whispered to Isaac to avoid the cameras from hearing him. Isaac smirked and nodded ever so slightly.
“So. Are you really not leaving?”
Mazelan gave no impression of changing his mind. Isaac sighed.
“Ha, I put so much thought into giving you a way out, and you do this…”
“What are you on about?”
“You’ll find out soon. We should head to somewhere quiet.”
“… Sure. Follow me. There’s a room we use for meetings.”
“Ah. You guys aren’t allowed. Only officials are allowed in this meeting. You guys stand by and wait for the result.”
Isaac prevented the broadcast staff. The staff remembered vividly of how Isaac assaulted a Central agent just moments ago and obeyed him.
“… What bullshit is this!”
A table sat in the middle of the briefing room Mazelan led him too. Isaac, Mazelan, Rivelia, Kunette, Reisha, and Rizzly sat, surrounded by a circle of Strategy agents.
Just as Mazelan was questioning the strange behaviour of the Strategy agents, Colins revealed the Queen’s plan. Mazelan naturally exploded.
“Don’t shout at me. I only found out moments ago too.”
Isaac raised both his hands in innocence. Mazelan turned to Colins and the Strategy agents instead.
“… They are all Invaders?”
“Yeap. I see the Emperor didn’t tell you anything.”
“Of course! How dare the Invaders take over the bodies of Strategy agents! What about those who had their bodies taken?!”
“”You’ve practically killed them! No, it’s much worse than that!”
Mazelan slammed the table. The Strategy agents silently pulled out their guns from under their clothes. Rivelia, Reisha, and Rizzly readied themselves, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.
Watching the mood turn south so quickly, Isaac spoke with an annoyed look.
“Calm down. Nothing will change no matter how mad you get.”
“Do you think this is something I can be calm about?! Rivelia, why are you staying so silent?!”
Mazelan shouted. Rivelia spoke with a pained look.
“They invoked the First Contract.”
“… Shit. Your despicable nature puts demons to shame! It won’t go as you planned. I’m going to report this immediately! Where are the Inspectors? I received a report saying that they came here too! Did you kill them already?”
Mazelan’s furious belching reminded Isaac.
“Oh yeah, where are those three?”
“I don’t know, but Three-eyed despises locations filled with humans. I’m sure he locked himself somewhere quiet and is enjoying the scene.”
Colins replied as he dug into his ears, annoyed. Mazelan was left in shock, standing in the room with despair on his face.
“The head of Inspectors is a Three-eyed?”
Mazelan knew well just how much the Three-eyed hated humans. No amount of begging would be able to enlist their help. No, the chance to even meet them was non-existent.
“What, was the Inspectors your final ray of hope? Should I prepare you a Communicator if you’re so sad?”
Mazelan was just about to lose himself and attack Colins himself when Isaac stopped him.
“Stop. Don’t taunt him needlessly. And you calm down too, sunbaenim. The Queen has already taken full control of the communications. There is no way to reveal this news to the outside.”
Mazelan was left silent for a moment. His expression then changed to one of scheming. Isaac sighed and spoke.
“If you’re planning on using the media, I suggest you give up. Do you plan on revealing the existence of Invaders?”
Mazelan glared at Isaac, his teeth clenched. He then collapsed into his seat weakly, wrapping his head with his hands.
“What are you planning? Just what are you scheming, killing all of Strategy’s combat agents and taking over their bodies?”
“Figuring that out won’t help your headache. I’m still pondering how far-fetched this was.”
Both Colins and Strategy agents were noticeably shaken by Isaac’s words.
“What do you mean, pondering?”
Colins argued, and Isaac shrugged as he answered.
“I’m pondering if there’s a peaceful way to resolve this issue.”
Not only Colins and the Strategy agents—but even Mazelan, Rivelia, and the three non-humans frowned like they had heard
“Hey now, you guys of all people shouldn’t react like that.”
Isaac spoke out begrudgingly, seemingly almost hurt. Everyone coughed dryly and avoided Isaac’s gaze.
“Everyone has actions and words that fit them. But what you just said before gave me goosebumps.”
Isaac grumbled at Mazelan’s criticism.
“That’s harsh. I’m actually trying pretty hard here.”
Colins spoke his dissatisfaction to Isaac.
“I don’t understand. Why are you taking their side?”
Isaac turned to see the faces of the other Strategy agents. They all seemed to share Colins’ exact thoughts. Isaac took a puff of his cigarette and spoke.
“It’s me who doesn’t understand you. Just why are you guys in such a hurry? Time is on your side anyway.”
Colins’ face twisted as he spoke.
“How long have you been in this world?”
“Me? Let’s see… Is it short of 10 years? I’ve been here for a long time.”
“Kuk! You’re talking about time when you’ve only been here for 10 years? Our youngest member has been in this world for almost 40 years. For me, I’ve been here for a hundred. We don’t plan on waiting anymore.”
Isaac apathetically exhaled through his mouth and commented.
“You’re going to complain after living for that amount of time after telling me how nice it’ll be to live forever?”
Neither Colins nor the agents had an answer to Isaac’s comment.
“But I now understand why you have to put everything on the line for this job.”
Their youngest member was 40 years. As the saying went, mountains and rivers change after 10 years. Multiples of that were more than enough to change a man’s thoughts and beliefs. Other voices must have been speaking up within the Independence Army at this point.
How long could an organisation stay devoted to a single goal? Even 10 years was too many. At this point, other opinions would diverge so far that they couldn’t just be ignored.
That was why they were pushing this so hard. If more time passed, their original goal would be left in the dust, and everyone would move for their own profit. That was human instinct—selfishness.
But they were too rushed. You couldn’t even call this a plan since its success or failure hinged on the non-humans’ decisions. Let’s say, it did work out. How long would that last? From the non-human’s perspective, both humans from this world and the other were the same.
“… Do you think we will fail?”
“Whether you succeed or not is none of my business.”
Colins bit his lip, deep in thought. Isaac watched him apathetically as he continued to smoke. Colins sighed, as if he’d come to a decision.
“I guess there’s no choice. Lord Isaac…”
Suddenly, there was a ruckus outside. Colins frowned and looked at one of the agents. The agent immediately rushed to open the door to find out what’s happening. But as soon as the door opened, the employees of the Department of Supplies who’d come with Mazelan rushed in.
“There’s been a case of infection!”