The Demon Emperor Has Returned (1)
Now that was a bizarre sensation.
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor thought his body was floating aimlessly in the air.
It felt as if he was floating on water and drifting away, but it also felt similar to falling from the sky.
What a bizarre sensation this was—as if every part of his body, from his head all the way down to his toes, no longer belonged to him.
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor indulged in this sensation of being adrift.
He felt inexplicably secure within this bizarre incongruousness.
‘Just like this, forever…’
A desire to rest peacefully like this sprang up in his heart.
Just how long had it been since he had last felt so at peace? The kind of peace that he never got to experience during his waking days ever-so-gradually stole his consciousness away.
Unfortunately, something started to hinder his relaxation.
The peaceful rest was broken.
That wonderful sense of comfort vanished, leaving behind only overwhelming displeasure and unrelenting irritation that tormented him.
‘What is it?’
‘Who dares to keep disturbing me?’
‘Just leave me alone!’
‘…Leave me be!’
“Can you hear me, sir?”
Heavenly Crimson Demon's eyes flew open.
When he realized that something, or someone, was right in front of him, his hand reflexively shot forward to grab it.
However, something funny happened all of a sudden.
His hands always scythed through the air faster than lightning, but today…
Never mind speedily subduing the enemy, his hand weakly quaked and moved so slowly that a fly might have sat on it if given half a chance.
Furthermore, he was also besieged with extreme pain from his waist.
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor furrowed his brows deeply before looking at the person in his view.
“…Where?” A turbid voice leaked out of his mouth.
Stunned by the sound he had just produced, Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor slowly touched his own lips.
This voice sounded foreign.
A voice that didn't sound like his own had come out of his own mouth.
The person before his eyes was a woman kitted out in pink apparel with her hair neatly tied back.
She suddenly cried out in alarm.
“You mustn't move, sir!”
“Sir, you were in an automobile accident and you’ve just gone through surgery.
If you make sudden movements like that…!” The woman was about to explain herself when she noticed that the bandages wrapped around Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor’s waist were gradually turning red.
She almost threw her hands up in the air.
“Your wound has opened up, sir! Oh, no, what should we do now?”
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor tried so hard to understand the spectacle unfolding before him.
He barely managed to take in the surroundings.
First of all, he noticed white walls all around him, then a modern hospital bed.
A window made of glass, and then, that large black object located in the middle of all this…
The woman hurriedly addressed him.
“Sir, you mustn't move anymore! I'll bring a doctor over! Make sure not to move until I come back, sir! Do you understand?”
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor ended up silently nodding at her threat.
The woman quickly headed to the doorway, only to do a double-take behind her without even realizing it.
'What kind of a person has eyes like that…?'
She remembered the light burning within the patient's eyes as he woke up.
He was simply a patient regaining consciousness after an operation, but that light still made her yelp in surprise.
Simply recalling that moment was enough for her to hold her shoulders and shiver.
'Did I imagine it?'
The woman shook her head before leaving the room altogether.
Meanwhile, Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor was quietly observing her back.
If his memories were correct, that woman was most likely a nurse.
A nurse was employed by a hospital to look after the patients.
However, a nurse being in a hospital room was not the weird part.
No, what puzzled him was that he had actually seen a nurse just now.
And that there was a glass window and a modern TV.
“Did I really come back?” Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor whispered while looking at his trembling hand.
But all he could see was a pale-smooth hand without any calluses and scars.
What a deeply unfamiliar sight…
Back when he had reached the peak of the True Demon realm and experienced a transcendence, his cracked, callused hand had failed to regenerate properly.
But now, that hand had transformed into a pale, smooth one belonging to a child.
The rest of his body must have changed, too.
While Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor was trying to calm his chaotic thoughts, a doctor in a white gown stepped inside the room.
The latter frowned at the blood seeping through the young patient's waist.
He turned his head and shot a glare at the nurse.
“Didn't you warn him not to move?”
The nurse protested unhappily.
“He started twisting his body the moment he woke up, Doc.”
The doctor spat out a lengthy groan.
“I'll have to look at the affected area, young man.” He didn't even wait for Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor's consent and began cutting through the bandages with a pair of scissors that the nurse had handed over to him.
Soon, the wound which resembled a centipede revealed itself.
Crimson blood was seeping through the stitches.
Despite the presence of blood seeping from the wound, the sutured area seemed intact.
Something on this level should naturally heal on its own.
“Good, it doesn't seem to have opened up,” the doctor muttered in relief while nodding away, then began cleaning the blood oozing out from the wound.
“Young man, you mustn't move for the time being.
If the sutured area ruptures, we'll have to stitch you up again.
If that's the extent of the damage, then we can all rest easy.
But if the rupture happens internally, you'll have to go through another operation.
Do you understand what I'm saying?”
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor wordlessly nodded.
The confusion in his mind even managed to silence him.
Of course, he didn't know what to say in the first place, anyway.
The doctor frowned once more before ordering the nurse to bandage the young patient up again.
He then picked up the patient's medical chart and asked, “Excuse me, what's your name?”
He didn't think that the doctor would talk to him, so he remained silent for a moment, faltering like a lost kid.
The nurse had to ask him again.
He quietly replied, “…Yes?”
“What is your name, sir?”
“Yes, your name.”
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor delved deep into his memories to drag his original name out of the deepest recesses of his mind.
The name that he hadn't used in such a long time that it now sounded so awkward to say was… “Kang Jin-Ho.”
The nurse asked once more.
“Where do you live, Mr.
“Your home address, sir.
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor, no, Kang Jin-Ho, honestly replied with a shake of his head.
“I don’t know.”
“Mm, I see.
Do you remember how old you are?”
Kang Jin-Ho tried to recall his age while he was still in this world, which should have been…
‘Did I remember that right? I can't recall it well, but I must be somewhere around that age, I think?’
However, it seemed that others disagreed with him.
The doctor's expression was so stiff that even a blind person would have noticed it.
He wordlessly stared at Kang Jin-Ho, before turning toward the nurse.
“Please call the department of neurosurgery.”
A short while later, another doctor entered the hospital room.
The previous doctor noticed him, then the two of them briefly stepped outside.
However, both men seemed carefree as their conversation could be heard through the wall.
“What happened? Does the patient have a problem?”
“The chart says he doesn't have any issues with his brain.
“It's possible that he might be suffering a slight concussion, but we didn't discover any signs of hematoma or brain hemorrhage.”
“He's displaying signs of amnesia and delusion.”
“What do you mean?”
“He remembers his name but can't recall his address and says he's 35 years old.”
“Well, now it’s a bit troublesome.
What's the reason, I wonder?”
The room's door opened, and the doctors walked inside.
Kang Jin-Ho stared dumbfounded at them.
What on earth were these fellas even discussing?
“Can you tell me how old you are?”
Kang Jin-Ho replied cautiously, “…I'm thirty-five.”
“How about your home address?”
“I don't remember.”
“Then, what do you do for a living?”
“I don’t have a job.”
“I see.” The doctor stopped his questioning there, then performed a couple more tests.
The tests themselves were infantile, such as asking Kang Jin-Ho if he could see how many fingers the doctor was holding up, which side the sound was coming from, and if he felt any pain after his skin was pinched a little.
Without saying much, Kang Jin-Ho complied with all of their demands.
“Hmm, he isn't exhibiting any other symptoms here…” The doctor shook his head.
I know everything must be very confusing to you right now.
The good news is that your memory disorder should be temporary, so you don't have to worry about it.
Still, just to be on the safe side, we'd like to take another CT scan.”
Kang Jin-Ho replied, “I'm sorry?”
“I'm sure you don't have anything to worry about.
It's just for that one in a million chance, so you can rest easy, Mr.
It was precisely at that very moment that the door was flung open, and a woman rushed inside the room.
Kang Jin-Ho turned his gaze towards the woman calling out to him…
and his irises enlarged in an instant.
The woman cried out, “Jin-Ho! Jin-Ho! How, how on earth did you get into a car accident! Doc! Is, is my son alright? Please tell me, Doc!”
The doctor patiently calmed the panicking woman down.
“Ma'am, the operation was successful.
His spleen was ruptured and he broke a few ribs, but they shouldn't threaten his life or leave lingering aftereffects.
You can rest easy, ma'am.”
“Oh, thank you! Thank you so much, Doctor!”
“But the problem now is…
It seems that Mr.
Kang is suffering from a minor memory disorder…”
“I'm sorry? His memories? Did my son injure his brain?”
“Ah, no, nothing like that, ma'am.
But he seems to have suffered a concussion during the accident and is in a temporary state of confusion.
We didn't discover any abnormalities during the initial CT scan, so we think he'll make a full recovery soon enough.
However, just to be safe, we'd like to perform another CT scan later in the afternoon.”
Thank you, Doc! Thank you so much!” The woman bowed her head several times at the doctors before quickly walking up to Kang Jin-Ho.
“How are you feeling? Does it still hurt a lot?”
The woman asked him again, “Jin-Ho? What's wrong?”
Kang Jin-Ho stared at the woman so hard that his gaze could burrow through a solid wall.
‘Why is she here? This person, she…!’
She was someone he could never forget.
Indeed, he had never forgotten about her, not even once during his life in gangho.
But she was also someone he never expected to see ever again.
“Yes, I'm here! I told you so many times to be careful, didn't I?! Why weren't you paying attention to the road?! Why?!” His mother continued to scold him for a long while, but in the end, she wiped the corners of her teary eyes and held Kang Jin-Ho's hand tight.
“Still, I'm relieved, Jin-Ho.
It could've been worse, right?”
“Mm? What's wrong, Jin-Ho?”
Kang Jin-Ho stared at his mother in a daze before urgently diverting his gaze toward his legs.
His legs moved.
His legs, they…
were actually moving! Kang Jin-Ho's figure began trembling all of a sudden.
“What's the matter, Jin-Ho? Are you in pain?”
“…No, I'm fine.” Kang Jin-Ho looked back at the woman before him and calmed his trembling body.
He had believed that he would never see her again, yet here she was.
But how was that even possible? By the time he had started his previous life in gangho, his mother had already been dead for a decade and a half.
So, how could she be here right now?
“You must be really shocked right now, seeing how you're still calling me 'mother.’ You’ve never called me that before, you know?”
“For now, try to get some rest, Jin-Ho.
I'm sure it must've been a nasty shock to you.
And if something feels wrong, you can always tell me.
His mother made a deeply worried face while reaching for Kang Jin-Ho's head.
He flinched slightly when her hand approached him, but he didn't try to dodge it.
Her hand eventually began gently caressing his head.
Kang Jin-Ho felt the warmth through his hair and closed his eyes.
'I came back.'
He wasn't sure what happened, but he was back.
Decades after being reborn in Zhongyuan of the ancient past, Kang Jin-Ho was back—back to the present.
Not only that but…
he was back much earlier in the timeline than when he had died, too.
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