Chapter 54 – Topic (2)
Mido High school.
There weren’t much time left until the CSAT, so the hallway in front of the 3rd year classes were much quieter than usual.
Lee-soolgi was approaching Do-jaemin from the opposite side of the hallway. His face automatically wore a nervous expression.
“Hey, Soolgi. Hello?”
“Yeah. Hello, Jaemin.”
Soolgi laughed gaily when Jaemin awkwardly waved his hand. When Jaemin walked past her, it felt as if a heavy boulder fell on top of his heart.
No. It felt as if his heart was in a free-fall.
‘Ah, Dojaemin. You idiot.’
Even if he kicked himself, it was already too late. After that day, he felt an indescribable sense of distance from her. She was much prettier than before. She laughed more frequently, but he felt something was missing.
He was so out of it that he wasn’t able to focus on his studies, and he feebly passed the time.
Before Jaemin’s tutoring school class started, he opened his hand phone. As a habit, he opened his internet browser, then he shook his head when he read the posted articles .
“I would have never guess this hyung was such an amazing person.”
He had looked like a homeless bum, but now it felt like he was some rich heir.
[An Unprecedented Event. Two Person Party clearing 6 star Dungeon.]
[Hwarang Guild’s Vice President Lee-yunhwee’s Mysterious Death.]
[Kahng-woojin A?, AA?]
“Uh? There was an accident?”
Jaemin searched for more articles, and it seemed the internet was in an uproar since the dawn of yesterday. Before the Break could happen, Woojin and Lee-yunhwee entered the Dungeon, and they had cleared it. Moreover, Lee-yunhwee had died in the process.
It was big news that the two of them cleared the 6 star Dungeon to stop the Break, but the more shocking news was the death of the famous Roused Lee-yunhwee.
[Kahng-woojin’s Woman? Interest.]
Jaemin was surprised when he clicked open the article.
“What? He had a girlfriend?? Ooh wah. She is so pretty.”
The photo of Kahng-woojin kissing a woman was posted. His face had been injured during the Dungeon raid.
The number 1 real time searched topic was Kahng-woojin’s girlfriend.
As he looked through numerous pictures, Jaemin couldn’t help but shake his head.
“Ooh-wah. She’s really pretty.”
She looked very familiar, but amongst all the women he had seen before, she was the most beautiful woman he had seen. In the picture, her eyes were filled with tears, and it reinforced his opinion of her.
“Ok ok. Let’s start the lesson.”
When the teacher of the tutoring class showed up, Jaemin put his hand phone away, then he focused on the lecture.
When his lecture ended, Jaemin happily answered the incoming phone call.
[Are you heading home?]
[I’m also heading towards home…]
[Noonah quit her work.]
[I’ll talk to you when I get there. I’m almost there, so wait for me at home.]
“Uh uh uh?”
When his noonah ended the call after saying what she had to say, Jaemin had a confused look on his face. Jaemin arrived at home. He threw his backpack down, then he laid down on his bed.
He had a hard time studying on days like today. He could only think about Soolgi.
For a long time, he stared blankly at nothing. Then Jaemin heard the door click open.
“Noonah is here? Why did you suddenly quit your job….”
Jaemin froze as he was getting up when he saw his noonah. Jiwon laughed at Jaemin’s reaction.
Even she had been shocked, so how much more surprised would Jaemin be?
Jaemin’s two eyes blinked.
“Who do you think it is? It’s me.”
Jaemin remembered seeing the woman in front of him. When that thought suddenly came to him, he was surprised.
“W…Woojin hyung’s girlfriend?”
“Do you want me to hit you? Don’t you know your noonah’s face?”
Jaemin was surprised. After the accident, she had almost always covered up her face… Come to think of it, it was his noonah.
She looked the same as her previous beautiful self.
The siblings hugged each other, and they cried for awhile. Suddenly, Jaemin wiped his tears, then he looked at his noonah.
“Where is Woojin hyung?”
“He’s still at Daegoo.”
“Did hyung make you all better?”
Jiwon nodded her head.
“Hoo-hook. He asked to date you in exchange?”
“Huh? That is…”
He was deeply moved by the fact that his noonah’s face had turned back to normal, but he couldn’t help feel something had been stolen from him. This caused Jaemin to cry for awhile. (TLN: ( ?° ?? ?°) siscon)
Daegoo Jookjun Station’s neighboring hotel.
Woo-soonghoon immediately drove Jiwon back to Seoul. Jung-minchan had to negotiate how the ownership equities of the Dungeon will be divided between the army and the Hwarang guild. He had to delay his return to Seoul.
The negotiation dragged on, so Woojin took a long break inside the hotel.
“Ah. Why is my ears burning?”
“Maybe someone is talking behind hyung-nim’s back?”
Woojin grinned at Sunggoo’s words.
“My ears wouldn’t wouldn’t hurt just from a mere insult being spoken behind my back.. Maybe someone is casting a curse on me.”
“Let’s go run the Dungeon again.”
“Right now? The negotiations hasn’t been finalized yet…”
“Can’t we just give them some bloodstones after we clear the Dungeon?”
He didn’t really care about the ownership equities. He didn’t need to excavate for minor things like the bloodstones. However, he had to maximize his supply of Achievement Points and EXP.
His leveling was slowing down, but he was well on his way to becoming level 60 soon. His familiars leveling up was as important as Woojin leveling up.
‘Still, the process is much faster than Alphen….’
It wouldn’t take long as when he was on Alphen. However, he had a hard time relaxing, since he didn’t know when Trahnet’s large-scale invasion will happen.
The monsters hadn’t run wild on Alphen unlike the ones in the Dungeons. Eventually the Dungeons will erupt…
The real confusion will start from that moment on.
Woojin wasn’t in a hurry, but he wasn’t relaxed either. He was silently getting ready.
“I’ll have to go out and talk to Haemin. Get ready, so we can go to the Dungeon. I’ll just tell Director Jung to negotiate an adequate distribution of ownership. I’m willing to share the money.”
He would share the money, but he won’t share his EXP.
Woojin stepped outside, and Sunggooo got ready to reattempt the Dungeon. Woojin used his now overflowing points to buy the bags that would increase his inventory. Then he used the stored Reinforcement Stones to increase his Stat Points.
Soon, Haemin came looking for Woojin.
“President. It seems you will have to go there yourself.”
“I thought I left everything in Minchan’s hands.”
He didn’t want to go through a boring negotiation with those dirty bastards. This was why he employed Minchan and Haemin. They would take care of the annoying works.
“Ah. The negotiations are almost finished. The Ministry of National Defense wants a 20% share, Hwarang wants 30%, and our portion is 50%.”
“The army is taking an awfully large portion.”
“Well, just think of it as the price for being exempted form the military service.”
Anyways, they had participated in this operation at the request of the Ministry of National Defense.
“Also, the Hwarang guild also wants to participate in excavating the Artifacts. It seems they want to form a joint-party with Alandal. Since president wants to solo the Dungeon, Director Jung is renegotiating the terms. Roughly speaking, every time we use the Dungeon twice then the Hwarang guild will use it once.”
Woojin spoke as he stroked his chin.
“I want you to change it to time instead of attempts. We will use it for 2 days, then those bastards could use it for 1 day.”
The 6 star Dungeon had been cleared, and the information had just been released. In terms of real time, it would take around 12 hours to clear it. Two days time would flow within the Dungeon.
Alandal will be able to clear it 4 times and Hwarang will clear it twice.
In any case, it will be a 2:1 ratio, so he’ll earn EXP like crazy in the allotted time.
If Woojin picked up his speed, he would be able to complete more than 4 runs in two days. He could probably double the run.
He didn’t know when he’ll be able to take over a 6 star Dungeon again, so he decided to power level here.
“Go tell Minchan to negotiate for those terms.”
“Yes. Understood. However, this isn’t about the negotiations. You have to go to a press conference.”
Woojin’s eyebrows twitched.
There were several dozen cameras, and even more reporters present. Woojin entered into the hotel hall filled with people. Jung-minchan was already sitting with a dark expression on his face. Hwarang’s representative Lee-sahngho and several other people were also in their seats.
Woojin sat next to Jung-minchan.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop the interview. If anyone asks difficult questions, then please don’t answer it.”
Woojin barely paid attention to Minchan’s words as he looked around his surrounding. He saw Lee-sahngho flash him a smile, and he pretty much knew Lee-sahngho was planning something.
‘So does this mean he is probably up to something?’
Woojin sat still as he observed.
“Did the Hwarang and Alandal discuss beforehand about clearing the Dungeon? Did you discuss it before the Break happened? Did you make any agreements for this unreasonable Dungeon raid? Did president Lee-sahngho give any other directions?”
“I didn’t give her any other orders. Vice president Lee-yunhwee was entrusted to be in charge of the site. I told her to assist Mr. Kahng-woojin, who was in the spotlight these days, to the best of her ability.”
As if it had been rehearsed, Lee-sahngho quickly gave an answer to the reporter’s question.
“Then is it safe to assume that Vice President Lee-yunhwee entered the Dungeon to save Alandal’s president Kahng-woojin? Is it highly probable?”
“Mmmm. About that… I still can’t believe my dongsaeng wasn’t able to make it back…”
Lee-sahngho put on a tortured expression then he covered his face with his hands. Every reporter’s gaze headed towards Kahng-woojin when they saw this.
“This question is for Mr. Kahng-woojin. Did you consult with Ms. Lee-yunhwee before you decided to enter the Dungeon?”
When Woojin sat there without saying anything, the reporters kept asking more questions.
“During the Dungeon raid, how was your teamwork with Ms. Lee-yunhwee??”
“Please give us a detailed account on how she died.”
“How did she die? Was Immortal the final monster? Did Mr. Kahng-woojin make every effort to save her?”
Woojin kept silent as they continuously asked him questions.
The one who answered was Jung-minchan.
“You all are asking too much questions. It has only been several hours since our president finished clearing the Dungeon.”
At Jung-minchan’s answer, one reporter immediately gave a rebuttal.
“I just found this out a moment ago. Didn’t he request to go in to the Dungeon again?”
“That’s right. If he is well enough to get ready to attempt the Dungeon again, then it seems he wasn’t too traumatized by this event.”
“Is he trying to avoid answering questions? Maybe there was some friction with Ms. Lee-yunhwee inside the Dungeon?”
Lee-sahngho grinned behind the hands covering his face.
Yes. Keep pushing him. The Roused are public figures.
Kahng-woojin wasn’t a Rank A. He might be a Rank AA, and this fact was being spread across Korea, and it was also starting to become known to the world.
Everything will be leaked to the media, so they will take notice of every single move made by him. The whole world will be focused on him, and Lee-sahngho wanted Kahng-woojin to live a weary life. He probably can’t even imagine how hard it was to live with that much attention on him.
‘I bet this bastard never received this level of scrutiny.’
He wanted Woojin’s temper to be the gateway to his downfall.
Since the whole world would be interested in Wooijn, the media will tear Woojin apart at the slightest mistake he made. It will lead to his downfall. This wasn’t about his Roused ability. His mental fortitude was an entirely different problem.
“Mr. Kahng-woojin. The people of this nation has the right to know. Please end your silence and answer the questions.”
At Woojin’s silence, Jung-minchan’s face hardened. The atmosphere was being steered towards a weird place as if they were in some hearing.
If he had known the press conference would turn out like this, he would have done everything to prevent it. Lee-sahngho had gained the upper hand in the negotiations, and he had to concede to the request of having a press conference. He had guessed Lee-sahngho was angry from losing his dongsaeng, but…
Of course, his president wasn’t at fault, but would the person who haf lost a family member feel the same way? He would probably assign blame to anyone he could see. He probably wanted to vent his anger.
‘He is pointlessly blaming our president…’
Even though Jung-minchan understood Lee-sahngho’s sadness, he still felt it was a little bit unfair. The press conference was being broadcast live, so he couldn’t question Lee-sahngho now.
“Mr. Kahng-woojin. Please answer…”
At the reporter’s clamoring, Woojin raised his hand as if to say stop. Woojin leaned back in his seat, then he arrogantly looked around at the reporters.
“What do you guy want from me?”
“The public has the right to know. We are….”
“Stop talking nonsense.”
Woojin stood up from his seat.
He walked past Jung-minchan, then he headed towards Lee-sahngho. Lee-sahngho looked up with his grief-stricken face still on his face. Kahng-woojin proceeded to kick Lee-sahngho’s shoulder.
Lee-sahngho fell over in his chair. He was too dumbfounded at what had just happened.
“What are you doing?”
Woojin grinned. When Lee-sahngho tried to get up, Woojin kicked him again on the chest.
“Huh. Are you crazy? This is a live broadcast.”
When Lee-sahngho stood up, Woojin grabbed him around the back of his neck. Woojin brought Lee-sahngho close to look him in the eyes. Kahng-woojin’s indifferent eyes seemed to see through him. Lee-sahngho’s eyes automatically looked down.
“If you want to spread bull shit, then you do it yourself. Don’t be a little bitch working from behind.”
“Hoo hoo. You are making a mistake. This is being broadcasted live to the entire country.”
Lee-sahngho laughed even though the back of his neck was being held. He knew this guy wouldn’t be able to overcome his temper, but he never expected it to happen this fast.
This is the end.
A live broadcast to the entire country? Did 50 million people make up the population of Korea?
What was the population of Alphen… One billion? Two billion? He had killed so much that he wasn’t sure what the exact number was. The entire planet basically watched his every move. No. Even if 6 billion eyes of whole world followed him around, did he think Woojin’s actions would change?
“Do you like being hit on live broadcast?”
Kahng-woojin’s hand slapped Lee-sahngho’s cheek.
The surprised cameraman continued to film with a dumbfounded expression on his face. The reporters lost the words they were about to speak, then they just swallowed their saliva.