Chapter 69 – To the US
Sunggoo opened the back seat door of his beloved steed, and he let out a scream.
“Ooh-ook. It stinks… What happened?”
Woojin pinched his nose then he took a step back.
“Uh-whew. He made a mess.”
After Haemin looked into the back seat of the car, he shook his head.
Soonghoon was still asleep, but the smoothie inside his intestines was warming up inside of Sunggoo’s car.
“I’ve called for a chauffeur service, president. Let’s go to the main road.” (TLN: can hire someone to drive your car for $$)
Jung-minchan was always quick to act. He looked at Woojin after he finished making a call for a car.
“All right. Everyone won’t be able to fit inside the car… I’ll just take a taxi. I’ll see you tomorrow, Sunggoo.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, director Hong.”
“Please take good care of Mr. Soonghoon.”
Woojin, Minchan and Haemin left side by side. Sunggoo looked at the back seat with tears in his eyes.
“Hoo-hook. I’m sorry… Hoo-hook..”
He didn’t know if Soonghoon was in a drunken stupor or he was talking in his sleep. Sunggoo felt sorry for him, and he also felt annoyed….
“My Boongboong… Boongboong….” (TLN: nickname for car)
It hadn’t been too long since he took out this car yet it was already in this state.
Sunggoo held back his tears as he waited for the chauffeur to come.
Woojin got off on the main road in front of his house.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yes, president. Please head on in.”
Woojin waved his hand then he walked into an alley. When he checked there weren’t any people around, he called out Bibi. The black smoke coalesced, and a figure of a cat solidified on top of Woojin’s shoulder.
“Nyahng. We are already home-nahong?”
When Woojin’s familiar was inside the Summoning room, they shared his sight and senses. From Bibi’s perspective, it was better for her to stay inside the Summoning room instead of the house. She didn’t like being separated from Woojin.
“Why? Are you worried?”
“Ha. I am worried-ahong.”
Woojin laughed as he picked up Bibi from his shoulder, then he held her against his chest.
“Sooah should be close to the dog now.”
Originally, Sooah had wanted a dog. She might leave Bibi alone now.
“The secret code this time is…”
Woojin found the memo inside his hand phone, then he pressed the secret password to the front door.
Ddi ddi ddi, ddi-ri-reek!
After returning home, the first one to greet Woojin was the dog. He came running towards Woojiin.
“Wal, wal! Koo-rooh-roong.” (TLN: bark bark growl)
He had been only gone for several days, but the dog had grown a lot. Woojin flicked his finger on the dog’s forehead.
“He’s showing teeth after not seeing me for only several days.”
Woojin lifted the fairly large dog, then he looked into the dog’s eyes. He glared into the dog’s eyes, and his eyes shook. The dog couldn’t maintain eye contact, so he turned his gaze away.
Sooah was the one to rescue the whining dog.
“Mom! Oppa is here.”
Sooah bounded towards him. Woojin let go of the dog, and he opened both his arms wide.
“Aigo. My Sooah missed oppa?”
After she gave a brief hug, she immediately went towards Bibi. She quickly grabbed Bibi into her grasp.
“Hey, Bibi. Didn’t you miss unni?”
Instead of forgetting Bibi, her absence must have fostered Sooah’s yearning for Bibi.
Woojin let out a bitter laugh. Bibi sent a gaze asking for salvation towards Woojin.
“You don’t like playing with the dog?”
“I play with Bokhwee, but I like Bibi better.”
“…Bokhwee is his name?”
After she spoke in a bright manner, she ran into the living room, while she hugged Bibi. Then she searched for her laser pointer. His mother showed up around that time.
“You are here, Woojin?”
“Let’s talk for a little bit.”
Woojin followed his mother into the kitchen. After he sat near the small dining table, his mother took out some water from the fridge. She placed the water in font of Woojin.
“Did you drink alcohol?”
“Ok. Did you meet the president?”
“No. I was at a company dinner.”
It seemed the news said he was heading towards the Cheongwadae immediately after he returned from North Korea. Woojin felt a bit awkward, so he changed the topic.
“I’ll meet the president soon. So why isn’t Sooah asleep yet?”
The company dinner wrapped up early, but it was already 11 pm.
“It’s Saturday tomorrow. She said she’ll sleep after seeing her oppa.”
If that was true, then why was she playing only with Bibi?
“Sooah still feels very awkward around you. You should be mindful of that.”
While she played with Bibi, Sooah kept sneaking glances towards the kitchen.
Now that he thought about it he had memories of Sooah when she was a baby. However, Sooah didn’t have any memories of him. She had suddenly gained an oppa, but the oppa didn’t come home regularly…
“Mmm. Should we go on a family trip?”
“I’m not saying this to steal time away from my busy son.”
Woojin suddenly felt embarrassed at his mother’s words.
“Sooah’s been sick a lot in the past. The hospital says she is doing fine, but she occasionally develops the same symptoms as before.”
Even though Woojin and his father had disappeared, Soohah’s hospital fees were a big reason why their household’s wealth had diminished so quickly.
When Woojin started raiding the Dungeons, she had the money to purchase almost everything she wanted.
This was why Lee-soogyung went back to the hospital to treat her daughter’s ailments. In the past, she couldn’t afford to treat Sooah. However, contrary to her expectation, the hospital test result gave Sooah a clean bill of health.
“She is so young, and when she occasionally has a seizure, mother’s heart is….”
When his mother’s eyes started to become moist, Woojin’s heart became heavy.
“The child is sick, but the hospital keeps saying nothing is wrong with her. I was so frustrated that I even visited a shaman not too long ago. The shaman said she was inhabited by ghosts.”
“Eh-ee. She doesn’t have any ghosts sticking to her.”
The one with ghosts was Woojin. There weren’t any evil spirits within the vicinity of Sooah.
Moreover, he had been very careful since he worried about his evil spirits sticking to his family. Even when they lived in a single room, Woojin tried to minimize the time he spent with them.
“How would you know about such things?”
How should he answer the question when she asked how he knew this… Mother. Your son is an expert about ghosts.
“Even though I knew the shaman was trying to bewitch me, her words still made me wonder.”
“Eh-ee. The shaman sounds like a fraud….”
“I’m saying this, because I’m upset. I can’t even support my son who is doing big things. Please look in on your only sibling once in awhile.”
Lee-soogyung saw Kahng-woojin appear daily on the television, so she knew he was busy.
Didn’t he succeed in pulling off some big job in North Korea?
She didn’t want Woojin to worry about the problems within the household. She wanted him to focus on his outside work, but this was about Sooah. Sooah’s illness was beyond her power.
The child was hurting yet there weren’t any solutions. She was barely able to put the issue out in the open as she had continued to internalize the pain she had felt.
“I’ll pay a little more attention to her.. I’m sorry, mother.”
Woojin tightly hugged the sniffling Lee-soohgyung.
Woojin went towards the living room, and he spent some time with Sooah. The cat acted as a bridge as he played with Sooah. There weren’t any awkwardness as they played, and they had a fun time.
It was getting late, so his mother took Sooah, who had wanted to play more. Only Woojin, Bibi and Bokhwee was left in the living room.
“Koon koong, koong.”
Bohkhwee was having a hard time calming himself after running and playing around. His nose twitched, and he rubbed his head on Bibi.
“Nyahng! Go away-ahong.”
Bibi swung her front paw. Bokhwee ran away after he was hit on the head.
“Nyahng. Let’s go bring a new cat-ahong. I’d rather kill monsters. This is too hard-ahong.”
“You just have to play with her for a brief amount of time. What’s so bad about it?”
“Nyahng. It’s more about me pretending to be a cat. It’s very taxing-ahong.”
…so, that’s what stressed her out. Woojin also put on a serious expression.
“Please endure it for a little bit more.”
“Nyahng. I understand-ahong.”
“Then stay a home for a while. You should keep a close watch on Sooah to see if any evil spirits approach her.”
He didn’t think Sooah was being tormented by an evil spirit, but since his mother had said it, he was leery of dismissing her claim. He thought about attaching Ggaebi on Sooah, but he was still a low level Shadow. He could have a bad influence on the host.
As of right now, Bibi was the best option.
“The child’s soul is strong-ahong. A mere evil spirit won’t be able to latch on to her-ahong.”
“You should stay with her just in case.”
Bibi was his familiar, so she could feel Woojin’s emotions. She knew how precious his family was to Woojin.
Bibi followed Woojin into his room.
Bokhwee was the only one left in the hall way, and he looked around nervously at the dark corridor. After a moment, the door to Woojin’s room opened slightly, and Bibi walked out into the hallway.
“Nyahng. You may come in here-ahong.”
Bokhwee wagged his tail as he followed Bibi into Woojin’s room, and he laid down at the foot of the bed.
It was Saturday, but Woojin came early to the office.
His mother was curious about Do-jiwon, so they had made an appointment for lunch. In the evening, they had promised to meet the high school friends they were able to contact. Before all of this, he had some work he had to finish at the office.
Since it was Saturday, the new employees didn’t come to the office. The founding members had come to work at an earlier time, and they were waiting for Woojin.
“You are here?”
“He’s inside the storage room.”
“Let’s head over there.”
Minchan received an order from Woojin to buyout the floor. Minchan paid a premium to clear out the other offices on the floor, and he made contracts for the other office spaces. The current office they had was getting too cramped, and this also resolved the problem of security.
They decided to use a roughly 1800 square feet space as the office for housing the sales department, and a storage room for the Artifacts.
The storage room held a small amount of Artifacts that wouldn’t even fill up a 1 ton truck. Moreover, the normal items and large ingredients made up most of the pile.
In the first place, Alandal had only two Roused, Woojin and Sunggoo. It was inevitable for the collection to be small.
The drop rate for Artifacts were high only for the first clear of a Dungeon, so even if they had a low number of Roused, the guild possessed a relatively numerous amount of Artifacts.
“Are you a bit sober now?”
“…I’m deeply ashamed.”
Woo-soonghoon was still hungover. He lowered his head .
It seemed Minchan and Haemin had been hardened by company life. Their faces were fine. Sunggoo’s body couldn’t’ be compared to before, so he looked fresh.
“I guess I’ll take it out now?”
Everyone looked at Woojin with anticipation in their eyes. Woojin opened his inventory, and he started taking out Kim-jungun’s collection.
Kim-jungun wasn’t a Roused, but he had gathered a lot of Artifacts and Skill books. Woojin had run out of Inventory space, so he had to waste a lot of Achievement Points to add additional slots.
It was as if Woojin was snatching items out of empty air. The items started pouring on to the floor like piles of clothes one saw in the market.
The amount of items far outstripped what one could earn clearing a Dungeon several times. Everyone’s mouth fell open in shock.
“What are you guys doing? Start sorting it out.”
“Sort out the item we’ll be able to sell on the market. Then sort out the stolen goods we’ll have to fence.”
…president actually acknowledged these were stolen goods.
He would have been put in an awkward situation if Woojin unreasonably demanded him to sell all these items on the market for money. Minchan was thankful towards Woojin.
Woojin poured out a lot of Artifacts, and it filled up an entire section of the storage room. They would need three 1 ton trucks to move it.
At Minchan’s direction, everyone started sorting the Artifacts.
The basic ingredients and Skill books that existed in high quantity wasn’t of much interest. They looked for items with unique shapes and unique abilities.
Basically, they made a separate pile for items people would recognize where it came from just by looking at it.
There were some unique items with low value, but most of the times were high performance Artifacts. There were 10 Artifacts that would conservatively sell for 10 to 20 million dollars.
“I guess I’ll use these.”
He took a pair of earrings. It wouldn’t be very noticeable even if he wore it. Then he put the rest of the Artifacts into his inventory.
He opened his Advanced Skill, then he put all the Artifacts into the [Combination Box]. At the bottom, there were two options. The [Combine] button was off, and the [Extract] button started blinking brightly.
Woojin didn’t hesitate to press the [Extract] button.