Auto Hunting - Chapter 31
“Hey, Ji-young. It’s been a while,” he said.
She was unable to reply. Her heart was beating fast.
The only thing she could see was Yoo-seong. Her eyes roamed over his body.
It was completely different from nine months ago.
She had been slightly taller than him before. As he stood up to greet her, she realized he was now taller than her.
“Yeah,” she managed to say.
“It’s a bit surprising to see you here,” Yoo-seong said.
Seo Ji-young moved closer to the man who accompanied her.
His name was Bae Ji-hyun, currently the vice team-leader of the new Team BY, which was beginning to trend.
They had been together for three months after they met through a network of research institutes.
Seo Ji-young was nervous. Her relationship with Bae Ji-Hyun was going well so far. She just hoped that it wasn’t too obvious that she had been dating Oh Yoo-seong; however, she was sure her face had given her out.
She remembered Yoo-seong to be the calm type. She just hoped he wouldn’t say or do anything funny.
She feared he would hurt her pride. She had hurt his. It was only logical for him to take revenge.
“Ji-hyun,” she began in a bid to introduce him. “This is-“
Before she could finish, Ji-hyun stepped forward with an arm outstretched.
She became dizzy as her ex-boyfriend, Yoo-seong, shook her boyfriend’s hand.
Had they met before? Had Yoo-seong told Ji-hyun anything about her?
That was when she noticed the number on Yoo-seong’s seal.
“Hello, I am Bae Ji-Hyun, the vice team-leader at Team BY.”
“I am Park Kang-han.”
“Ah!” Bae Ji-hyun’s eyes lit up with admiration.
Ji-young’s eyes lit up in shock.
Were Yoo-seong and Kang-han the same person?
Ji-hyun turned around to face her and her friends.
He was the only hunter among them. They were all lab associates who were invited to this event.
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Her friends were also interested in Yoo-seong, but they restrained themselves from going forward to meet him.
“You just said hello to Ji-young. You know her?” Ji-hyun said, facing Yoo-seong again.
“Yes, I do,” Yoo-seong said before Ji-young could respond. “We were friends, though I haven’t seen her in a while.”
Ji-young could hardly believe Yoo-seong was so calm, considering they had just broken up not even a year ago.
“Wow, really?” Ji-hyun asked, before looking at Ji-young. “You didn’t tell me you knew Park Kang-han.”
The rest of her friends had the same question written on their faces.
She was flustered. She didn’t know what to say.
If only any of them knew the whole story.
Unfortunately, none of them did.
She wasn’t sure of whether to give them the full details about him.
“We moved far away from each other. That is all. I didn’t see the need to tell you all about him,” she managed to say finally.
“You’re so lucky!” One of her friends said, gushing.
“Would you like to sit with us for the presentation?” Ji-hyun asked Yoo-seong, much to Ji-Young’s horror.
She was on the brink of mental instability already. She began to pray earnestly.
The moment Yoo-seong began to decline, she heaved a sigh of relief.
Suddenly, they heard a voice from across the hall.
Everyone knew his voice, though only a few of them had heard it in-person.
They all turned to see Lee Jae-Hak.
“Sorry, I think my voice was too loud,” he said as he walked over.
Everyone made way for him to pass without his having to ask.
“Oh, thank you. Thank you,” Jae-hak smiled as he passed by his adoring audience.
Seo Ji-young forgot all about her surroundings the moment she saw him approach.
She had been in love with Lee Jae-hak for as long as she could remember.
She could hardly believe she was now before him.
“It’s been half a year, right?” Lee Jae-hak said the moment he was right in front of Yoo-seong.
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He held out his hand for a shake. Yoo-seong shook it.
“Yeah. We met in January. Nice to meet you,” he said.
“Well, it’s been a while since I’ve come to events such as this. I hardly recognize anyone. Are you sitting with anyone? Maybe we could sit together,” Jae-hak said.
“I’m not sure-” Yoo-seong began.
“Oh, come on. You can’t possibly intend to sit alone in such a place, can you?” Lee Jae-hak Lee said with enthusiasm.
Yoo-seong sighed as he nodded.
Then, he looked at Ji-young and her party.
“Hey, see you all later,” he said.
Bae Ji-hyun nodded, without realizing he was staring.
He was the only one who was able to respond.
Something didn’t quite add up for him.
Lee Jae-hak had called the man’ Yoo-seong’.
Lee Jae-hak smiled at them without saying a word as he led Yoo-seong away.
Ji-hyun turned to Ji-young.
“Did you know Kang-han and Jae-hak knew each other?” he asked.
“I’d be damned if I knew,” she managed to say as she watched the duo walk away.
“Are you alright? You seem to be shivering,” Ji-hyun said with concern on his face.
That was when she realized her arms were shaking.
Was it anger, jealousy, or regret? She wasn’t sure.
“I’m fine. Leave me alone,” she said as she walked away.
Yoo-seong and Lee Jae-hak sat down at a round table, close to the stage.
“Thank you,” Yoo-seong said.
“What for?” Jae-hak asked.
“You saved me from those guys back there.”
Jae-Hak Lee laughed.
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“Well, I’m your hero, aren’t I?”
Yoo-seong laughed with him. The truth was, it wasn’t just about Bae Ji-hyun and his crew. Many other people were waiting for their turns to speak with him.
If not for Jae-hak, he’d have had to keep speaking with them until he became exhausted.
He looked around him.
The people who would have wanted to interrogate him could only look at him now. They could hardly summon the courage to walk up to both him and Lee Jae-hak.
“Imagine wild dogs chasing an animal. That’s just how they kept coming, right?” Jae-hak said, and Yoo-seong nodded.
“Literally. It was just as though the wild dogs were chasing some animal and a lion suddenly stepped up. The wild dogs would just run away naturally,” Jae-hak finished.
“Right…” Yoo-seong agreed, though not too comfortable with being referred to as an animal chased by ‘wild dogs’.
Yoo-seong couldn’t ignore the arrogance in the statement.
“But, here’s what I think,” Jae-hak continued again. “What kind of animal would stand still while a lion is by it?”
When Yoo-seong didn’t seem to understand the question, Jae-hak tried again.
“You know, only birds of the same flock together, right?”
Suddenly, Yoo-seong’s face turned red as he understood Jae-hak’s words.
Jae-hak was calling him a lion, too.
“That’s too much. If I were a lion in the first place, I wouldn’t need anyone’s help,” Yoo-seong said.
“Even a lion’s whelp is a lion. The only difference is age,” Jae-hak said, shrugging.
Before Yoo-seong could respond, the lights on the stage came on.
The lights in the rest of the hall were dimmed as the host stepped forward to the microphone.
Everyone began to take their seats.
“I heard that Un-seol caused a nuisance just recently,” Jae-hak whispered.
Yoo-seong sighed before speaking in lowered tones.
“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or anything, but if your sister repeats such action, I will not hesitate to report her to the relevant authorities. I think she has self-esteem issues.”
“Do what you must. By the way, Yoo-seong, I’m quite surprised that you are the same person as Park Kang-Han. I must say, I didn’t expect you to rise that fast.” Jae-hak nodded towards the seal on Yoo-seong’s arm.
Jae-hak kept his voice lowered as he continued with a light expression on his face.
“But, don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.”
At that, Yoo-seong faced the stage again and focused on what was going on there.
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Yang Chang-guk, the director of the Special Defense Agency, began to read from a script.
When he was done, everyone was in shock. He had mentioned five names.
Among the names mentioned were Lee Jae-hak and Oh Yoo-seong.