Auto Hunting - Chapter 21
Yoon Kang-cheol was the CEO and the Operation Control Chief of QR Corporation.
His achievements were as popular as his name. He had been one of the first heroes.
Twelve years ago, Kargadon, a 6-star (★★★★★★) monster, appeared in the country’s southernmost part. It was Yoon Kang-cheol who persuaded the government to prepare for a large-scale firepower concentration.
From there, he created the Raiders, a team of hunters, and miraculously succeeded in just one attempt.
At the time, the equipment and the efficiency of the CE injection procedure were far inferior to the ones now. Usually, military support was essential to catch monsters with more than five stars. Because of the limitations for hunters, astronomical damage to facilities and infrastructure happened almost every month.
However, Yoon Kang-cheol succeeded with his team of hunters alone – the fifth record in the world and the second in Asia.
As a result, he was awarded a Platinum Seal and granted operation to a gigantic firm in Korea. The tycoon himself was waiting in the hospital’s director’s office.
The door opened, and the man he had been waiting for appeared. Oh Yoo-seong.
For a few moments second, the man’s gaze swept over Yoo-seong’s body. Yoo-seong was still in his training outfit, which revealed the curvature of his form.
Yoo-seong felt a familiar sensation run through him. It was the same as when he had shaken hands with Lee Jae-Hak – the feeling of being probed.
“Indeed,” Yoon Kang-cheol said in satisfaction after completing his evaluation,
“You’re more than I expected. Nice to meet you. I am Yoon Kang-Cheol.”
“Nice to meet you, too. I am Oh Yoo-seong .”
Yoon Kang-cheol motioned for Yoo-seong to sit in the chair next to him; however, Yoo-seong didn’t move.
“Why don’t you have a seat?” Yoon asked.
“Well?” Yoo-seong said, hoping to get the conversation over with. His eyes turned to Jin Chang-hoon, who sat on the other side of the table.
“Wouldn’t it be rude to talk with someone else here, especially if I don’t have any medically related business?”
“Uh, Yoo-seong,” Jin Chang-Hoon said, blushing. “This is Yoon Kang-cheol of QR.”
Even if Yoo-seong didn’t mean to be hostile, he wasn’t supposed to talk that way to such a distinguished individual. If Kang-cheol wanted to have a conversation in the ICU ward, he could as well do so.
But then again, this was Jin Chang-Hoon’s hospital, and Yoo-seong had a point.
Of course, if Yoo-seong didn’t want to talk with Kang-cheol, Jin would have to find a way to keep the CEO from leaving in anger.
“Well. That’s right,” Yoon Kang-cheol said as he suddenly stood up.
He was a head taller than Yoo-seong, and his shoulders were twice as large in comparison. The muscles of his neck flexed whenever he spoke.
He looked down at the bold newcomer. Yoo-seong refused to feel intimidated.
“I wasn’t thinking,” the older man said. Yoon Kang-cheol looked at Jin Chang-Hoon and nodded.
“I didn’t intend to be rude, please. I thought you were his guardian.”
“No. He’s just my doctor.”
Yoon Kang-cheol looked at Yoo-seong again. “Well, then, where can we talk?”
“There is a cafe on the first floor of the building,” Yoo-seong replied.
Before leaving the room, Yoo-seong looked at Jin Chang-hoon and bowed his head. Jin remained silent, in awe of Yoo-seong as the two hunters left the room.
Yoon Kang-cheol spoke again as he pressed the button to go up in the elevator. “Can I get to the point? I don’t want to seem like I’m in a hurry, but I hate unnecessary formalities.”
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“I want you to join QR.”
The elevator hadn’t even arrived on the first floor yet.
“I haven’t seen the action cam video myself; however, I have a trusted friend who has – Yang Jae-ho,” Kang-cheol continued.
After returning from hunting, Yoo-seong had set the action cam cloud storage to private. He’d show it to anyone if necessary, but it wasn’t wise to leave the cloud open to everyone.
“You know him?” Kang-cheol asked.
“Yes,” Yoo-seong calmly replied.
Yang Jae-ho was the gold-seal hunter who had wanted to claim ownership of the Queen.
“I am only ten years older than you,” Yoon Kang-cheol continued.
He had just entered his twenties when his first crack appeared. However, when he was at the same age as Yoo-seong, he was already a famous hunter.
“If you compare both of us at the same age, I would still be a better hunter. I had accumulated the necessary experience and skills over the years.”
“I think that it’s too much of a compliment to be compared with you,” Yoo-seong said, more in honesty than in modesty.
Yoon Kang-Cheol, at 39, was a platinum-seal holder and someone who had captured a six-star monster. He was an incomparable opponent by all standards.
Yoon Kang-cheol nodded at this and continued.
“However, you can become far greater than me in both fame and skill.”
The elevator door opened, and the hunters stepped out.
They passed by a team of hunters who had gone to the hospital for treatment.
One of the hunters, who had been confessing his passion, paused as they walked past.
There was no one in the industry who didn’t know Yoon Kang-cheol. All the other hunters began to stutter.
Yoon Kang-cheol walked away without talking to them. There was a small smile on his face in contrast to Yoo-seong’s face.
As they walked into the café, Yoon Kang-cheol finished his statement.
“Of course, that’s on the premise of accumulating the appropriate experiences in a good training environment.”
“I have no intention of joining the QR Corporation,” Yoo-seong told him. “Do you have anything else to say to me?”
He had stopped walking and had almost turned to leave.
Yoon Kang-cheol was too stunned to speak. Yoo-seong’s decision not to join a group was based on his use of Automatic Hunting.
The ability wasn’t suited for hunting in a way that required constant team communication.
If he would eventually join a team in the future, it would have been because he had fully grasped the potential of the Auto-Hunt functions.
“Fortunately, I have a couple of people who will help me with my solo activities. I think it will be best if I worked alone in the meanwhile and learn what I need to.”
“Don’t you want to be like Lee Jae-hak?” Kang-cheol asked.
“Yes,” Yoo-seong said, wondering where the conversation was going.
Yoon Kang-cheol’s voice was full of urgency as he spoke once more.
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“That’s my goal. I want to build more Lee Jae-haks. It isn’t enough that ‘2F4T’ is a household name in Korea.”
Yoo-seong knew this.
Around the world, hunting was carried out by firms, teams, and individuals. However, when it came to gauging the best, it wasn’t the name of the teams or firms that came to mind.
It was always the best hunter in the group who was recognized.
For example, the Chinese Federation’s Ship Zone, the UK’s Glorious Seven, and the United States’ teams and firms were smaller than Korean teams.
However, the reputation of their heroes surpassed the corporate reputation of Korea, and that reputation came from their skill. Every country needed a star who could achieve a global record single-handedly or with a few teammates.
There was only one of such stature in Korea.
The genius hunter miraculously appeared, as if he fell from the sky. He had been successful in a solo charge against a storm-class rift.
It was an unprecedented achievement. Every other hunter envied his fame and wealth. They all wanted to be like him in skill.
Some even hoped that he would fail soon. However, no one had been able to meet up with his reputation.
“Our industry is a young one, and, with time, more talented people will come out. I plan to gather talented hunters and train them using the necessary experiences.”
Kang-cheol paused before pleading in an urgent tone.
“We need you to be part of this, Yoo-seong.”
As he spoke, he watched Yoo-seong. The younger man appeared to be listening carefully; however, he didn’t seem all that convinced.
“Oh, come on!” Kang-cheol exclaimed. He was frustrated because Yoo-seong wasn’t taking his offer.
“I’m sorry,” Yoo-seong said.
“No, it’s okay.”
Yoon Kang-cheol searched the inside of his jacket and pulled out a note with his private number.
“In a month or two, if a moderately-sized rift occurs, we’ll put the teams of prospects I spoke to you about in the center.”
Yoo-seong knew that the closer one got to the rift, the greater the difficulty of hunting became.
Therefore, only elite gold-seal hunters were always placed inside or right under the crack.
If one’s achievement score was low, he or she would not even be eligible to apply. Solo hunters had an even smaller chance of going because they didn’t work with a group.
“If you want, we can include you in the dispatch team. You don’t need to sign a contract with us. The profit distribution will still apply to you. When that hunt is over, you’re not obligated to join us.”
Upon hearing this, Yoo-seong accepted the note.
It was a great offer. From it, he could get hunting experience in the center. On top of that, he could experience the know-how of a QR Corporation hunt.
“In case you change your mind, you can contact us within this month. I’m not the only one who wants to hire you. As a senior in the industry, I believe that working with me is something worth experiencing at least once.”
Yoon Kang-cheol then stepped inside the elevator.
Suddenly, he realized that it was going up instead of going to the ground floor. Both of them laughed as he stepped out and entered the right one.
“Goodbye, then,” he said as the door closed.
Soon, the elevator reached the ground floor.
When the door opened, Yoon Kang-cheol encountered a familiar-looking man. The man was about to enter the elevator with coffee and doughnuts.
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Kang-cheol seemed to remember his face from somewhere. They had met a couple of times in the past from the industry.
He touched the man on the shoulder, preventing him from entering the elevator. The confused man looked at him as if he did not recognize Kang-cheol.
After a short greeting, the man entered the elevator.
Yoon Kang-cheol was still deep in thought as he walked out of the building. Suddenly, he raised his head.
A thought flashed through his mind as he saw the building’s name.
He had seen it when he came in, but he didn’t think anything of it.
It was common for people to put their names on buildings, and the name wasn’t uncommon.
He gasped. There was no way it was the same Sung-wook.
The man who just passed him in the elevator…
He remembered what Yoo-seong had said.
Fortunately, I have a couple of people who will help me with my solo activities…
He had wondered how a novice like Yoo-seong could have completed the complicated document procedures that came after a hunt.
After entering his vehicle and hitting the accelerator, he kept laughing to himself.
It had been four years ago when he last saw that man. His story wasn’t well-known because he wasn’t the type to reveal himself to the media like Lee Jae-hak.
Unfortunately, the promising young man was injured and thus had left the industry forever. His career eventually came to an end.
A man who had achieved feats quite equal to Lee Jae-Hak’s…
“I think it’s worth trying,” Sung-wook said while eating a crispy cream doughnut.
“Yes. You have nothing to lose there, right? You’ll just be going once, going through the motions, and then washing your hands off. By the way, I’m sorry to learn about your decision to forfeit the QR’s offer. At the same time, this doesn’t mean you have to write a contract with them.”
That was right. Even if the conditions seemed good at first sight, many contracts had terrible setbacks that come up along the way.
If the counterpart of an agreement was a large company, there was no way to win against them then.
“That’s all I know. Without knowing that, I would have said that you’re not interested in having an agent.”
“More than anything else, I can already see it in your eyes.”
Yoo-seong wasn’t in a hurry to achieve anything.
He was building himself slowly and consistently, trying to figure out what worked best for him. He was becoming a perfect hunter, even if he didn’t know it yet.
“I think you’re correct,” Yoo-seong confessed. “Since you say it’s okay, I guess I’ll go there.”
“Okay. Then, you’ll have to prepare throughout the month – steadily and consistently.”
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“I know. I heard that there are a lot of good guys at QR.”
“You’ll start training as soon as the veins heal. I’ll teach you something pretty fun,” Sung-wook said.
After four years, his skill would see the light of the world again.