Chapter 317 – Japan (5)
“Who are you?” Hochi asked Lee Ho-jae again, who refused to answer.
“What nonsense are you spouting? What do you mean by who I am?” Lee Ho-jae replied in an irritated tone.
It was a perfect match: the pissed off tone and the expression. Its occurrences had decreased a lot recently, but in the past, Hochi had often seen it. No, it was always something he saw.
But Hochi was sure. “You, you’re fake.”
The way he talked, moved, and even his power and aura felt remarkably similar. At first, even Hochi hadn’t even noticed something strange.
“…When did you realise?” the fake Lee Ho-jae asked.
Truthfully, his acting skills were excellent. Instead, there was a lack of investigation from the fake’s side into Ho-jae’s character. Lee Ho-jae doesn’t like to interfere. If you didn’t thoroughly research Lee Ho-jae, his character would be hard to pull off.
In the past, when he gave advice, Hochi couldn’t act appropriately with him and spoke irritably. Ho-jae did the same. In some cases, they would inadvertently insult each other. Yes, in the past, it was like that.
Ever since he had apologized to Hochi for his past wrongdoings, Lee Ho-jae had changed himself. Lee Ho-jae, Hochi knew now, praised moderately and moved on, and did not point out meaningless details to hurt other people’s feelings.
He, who had ascended to a god, did not change easily. It would take so much effort and sacrifice to change even the smallest habit. The inner change caused by becoming a god was significant.
That’s why Hochi was sure that Lee Ho-jae’s appearance was not just a random thing. This Ho-jae was someone else.
“Acting skills… you talk nonsense.”
The atmosphere had drastically changed when Hochi discovered the con artist. He became hostile and intimidating.
A high-pressure power came up gently.
Hochi tried to grasp as much information as possible by looking at the rapidly changing aura of the fake.
“I remember where I saw that necklace.”
Hochi clearly remembered now. When he had last met Lee Hyung-jin in the competition, he tried to give a ball-shaped item to Lee Ho-jae.
Though he hurriedly stopped his words in the middle. The item looked just like that necklace.
“You’re the fake from the 17th floor, aren’t you?”
He had the same items as Lee Hyung-jin, who died. Just like Lee Ho-jae, they were people with the same aura and past attitude.
It was not difficult to guess how the phantom from the 17th floor knew Hochi.
Hochi wondered why he thought of pretending to be Lee Ho-jae in front of himself.
He noted something.
Hochi noticed the scent of a god on the fake.
The God of Hope.
Lee Ho-jae had said that the God of Hope was trying to take a peep at Earth. If this were a trick of the God of Hope, he would have given that fake information in advance.
“…The fake is not me, but you,” the fake said animalistically. The fake’s eyes, which had been feigning indifference until just now, were now full of life.
“It’s true that you’re the one who was designed to clear the 60th floor. It’s a waste of time, fake. Look at you now. How is your position different from a pet dog?”
He habitually tried to get to the enemy’s nerves, but his attitude was the same as Ho-jae.
The fake didn’t merely mimic Ho-jae’s appearance. He was the Ho-jae from the time of the 17th floor of the tutorial.
Hochi laughed at the fake. Lee Ho-jae was an insurmountable wall for Hochi.
It could be called his original, but in almost all respects, he was superior to Hochi.
However, there was only one thing in which Hochi was ahead of Lee Ho-jae. His manner of speech.
“Hey, isn’t it kind of funny that mass-produced fakes popped up one by one every time one went on a floor?”
“The fakes didn’t even exactly act the same. Were you made in China? Not a replica, but a crude fake. An inferior edition, you are not an imitation.”
The fake gritted his teeth. The muscles in his face shifted from the force of his grinding. His bloodshot face was so red that the veins were almost visible in his eyes.
Hochi chuckled at the sight. The most effective thing he did was provoking and annoying others. It was entertaining to tease.
“…Uhh, Hyung, w-why don’t you stop?” Joon-suk, who had been quiet next to him, whispered in his ear.
The fake’s hatred had reached its peak. He stared at Hochi like a beast ready to rush at any moment. but Hochi didn’t give in. In the first place, Hochi had too much experience to be scared of threats.
“I have to say this. Gentlemen! Ladies! The fake here got mad at me for making fun of him because he’s a fake! Oh, my God, no conscience at all. Same as the real thing but without conscience. Lucky you, man. You got a step closer to the real world today, didn’t you? If you get to the day when you can perfectly imitate the real thing…”
“Go to hell, you bastard!”
The fake eventually leaped at Hochi, shouting a curse.
Hochi immediately responded as he had been waiting.
[Specifying the opponent]
[ Mana oppression]
[Wings of Talaria]
“Go to hell, you crooked bastard!” Hochi, who used various powers at the same time, also rushed to face the fake.
Usually, Hochi was reluctant and passive, but this time he was different.
The appearance of the 17th floor Ho-jae was very unpleasant for Hochi, and the words that he uttered were also deeply offensive.
Hochi had no intention of waiting until Yong-yong or Lee Ho-jae came to help as usual.
At least this time, he was thinking of finishing the scumbag with his own hands.
* * *
It was too much. Apart from his mindset, the world was divided based on what was possible and what was impossible.
‘You’ll regret it one day. When you have to fight.’
Lee Ho-jae had said so on various occasions.
Hochi had ignored the words every time and was now paying the price for his negligence.
Hochi used a series of Blink to escape the fake’s attack. The fake tried to chase Hochi using the opposite, but there was one decisive difference.
“Ha! You inferior bastard, there’s a limit on the number of Blinks you can do, right? I don’t have one!” Despite being unilaterally pursued, Hochi did not stop his provocations. The fake flew at Hochi, screaming once again.
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Hochi said, “Hey! Listen to me!” to Lee Joon-suk, who was idly watching the scene.
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