Auto Hunting - Chapter 53
“Mr. Oh Yoo-seong,” Seoyo lowered her voice as the crowd erupted into a cacophony of angry shouts.
“It’s a secret that Master is the head of Tenz.”
“I know it’s confidential,” Yoo-seong answered casually. Upon hearing this, Seoyu wanted to scream.
She would have understood if Yoo-seong challenged all the hunters gathered in front of them if he planned on using Jin Wei-baek’s name.
But this… with a foreign flag on his armband, nonetheless!
“Here in Shanghai… the respect Tenz receives here is…” she warned.
“I knew that. I did my research.”
Yoo-seong was aware that there were two dominant groups in this region. These were the Red Dragon Society and the Dragon Slayers.
Tenz was still considered as the most influential company globally, but there were areas in China that were not under their control. They had a footing in several provinces and administrative districts such as Hanam, Hebei, Shanxi, Anhui, and Shandong, but there were also areas that did not recognize their influence.
There were regions where other large organizations had dominated throughout history, and these organizations still maintained their power in the area.
‘There must be a reason why he sent me here’, Yoo-seong thought.
Since the dinner in Sung-wook’s apartment, Jin Wei-baek had never reached out to Yoo-seong. No conditions, no words, no information. In fact, the only form of contact he made was to send in a temporary secretary.
With Tenz’s background, it would have been easy to assign Yoo-seong in areas under their influence.
Instead, he was sent to a region where he had to compete. He was thrown in like cold water into a pot of boiling oil.
He didn’t know what Jin Wei-baek’s intention was, but he assumed that he was being made to suffer. He wanted to make Yoo-seong give up before he was even able to complete the contract.
Yoo-seong smiled. The opportunity to hunt in China was not something to suffer through. Rather, for him, it was showtime.
A contract for five operations was unusually long for a Korean, or any foreign hunter, to have. On top of that, Sung-wook’s recovery was on the line. It was a time to enjoy and harvest the fruit of his efforts.
Suddenly, a woman of Yoo-seong’s age walked out of the buzzing crowd. Even at first glance, it was obvious to Yoo-seong that she was the top hunter in the square.
“This is Yang Biyeon,” Seoyu said in a resigned tone. “The eldest daughter of the CEO… the heir to Red Dragon Society.”
The buzz quieted down as the woman walked forward.
Her outfit was the sort that could take people’s breath away. A hunter’s suit was designed first and foremost to be functional. Fashion was only secondary.
However, the suit that Yang Biyeon wore appeared to be an exception.
It was a suit designed as several red dragons wrapped around her body, with a texture that resembled a reptile’s scales. The tight suit hugged her body perfectly, revealing her sensual form.
“I represent the Red Dragon Society,” Yang Biyeon spoke in an unexpectedly soft voice.
Seoyu hurried to interpret for them.
“Withdraw your name, if you don’t want to die.”
“What?” Yoo-seong was surprised. “Can you threaten my life in public just like that?”
“No,” Yang Biyeon shook her head before continuing. “I know you’re a hunter of some skill. Perhaps take this as some sort of goodwill.”
Yang Biyeon nodded. “The monsters that could be found in our rifts are entirely different from what you’ve faced in the Korean peninsula. Threats like the giant turtle that you’ve struggled to push back have popped out here in the past.”
Yoo-seong managed to read between her words. Although it sounded as if she was concerned about his safety, it was obvious that he was being asked to stand down because he wasn’t good enough for them.
Seoyu observed Yoo-seong, expecting him to react violently.
Instead, Yoo-seong remained calm. “Please interpret this for me,” he asked her.
“Honestly, I have prepared enough for whatever, but thank you for your concern.”
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He held Yang Biyeon’s gaze. “I fully understood what you meant, but I am confident in my skills. I won’t remove my name. So, if you have other ways to persuade me other than this kind warning, please use it.”
The hunters who heard Yoo-seong’s remarks erupted with excitement.
Of course, what Yoo-seong meant when he said ‘other means’ was a type of provocation.
When disputes over the operational area intensified, the team leaders of the group could settle it by setting up a simple battle to test the competing hunters’ abilities.
Everyone’s attention shifted to Yang Biyeon. The ball was in her court.
She was the team leader that would head the rush team.
Yang Biyeon remained silent for a while and considered. Then, she opened her mouth.
“Vice Lord…” one of the Red Dragon rush team members hesitantly approached Yang Biyeon.
“What is it?”
“Are you really thinking about putting that foreigner in the rush team?” He spoke for virtually all the members. “If we put a stranger in, it could mess up our formation.”
“If.” Yang Biyeon said sternly.
“What do you mean, Vice Lord? Do you want me to fight with him?”
In an instant, Yang Biyeon pulled out her weapon.
A pair of twin swords, each about her size, with a dragon engraved on each blade – the Red Dragon Twin Swords.
This was a family heirloom that had been passed down from generation to generation. This pair of weapons had been smelted with by-products of monsters. The swords were even considered as one of the historical artifacts in the Chinese hunting industry.
No one knew exactly what the weapons’ grade was, but it was rumored to have 9-stars at least.
“You and I are part of the Red Dragon,” she said, in a firm voice.
“There is no reason to worry about a foreigner joining us.”
Yang Biyeon simply unsheathed her weapons and set their tips on the ground as she spoke. However, the team members trembled. It was as if she had pressed the blades on their necks.
“Vice Lord, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry…” the team member apologized profusely with his head bowed.
“There is only one foreigner,” Yang Biyeon repeated, this time in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear. “It would not disrupt our operation and take away our glory.”
The team members yelled in agreement.
Then, Yang Biyeon sighed.
‘It’s difficult’, she thought to herself.
Three years had passed since she took on the position as a team leader and as the Vice Lord of the Red Dragon. However, she was feeling burdened by it.
She knew she lacked charisma. Although her father had officially declared that he would hand over the company to her once he retired, she still felt the stark difference with how the members treated her.
They respected how she started from the bottom of the organization regardless of her privilege. The members recognized her authority and followed her well.
However, Yang Biyeon couldn’t help but wonder if the members would have questioned the decision to let Yoo-seong join the rush team if it had been her father.
In the first place, she was used to hunting solo. She had never enjoyed being a leader.
Yang Biyeon sighed one more time before looking behind her. Oh Yoo-seong, the foreigner, was doing the basic warm-up exercises.
‘No matter how much I look at the situation’, Yang Biyeon thought, ‘I could only end up looking like a fool.’
The other team members were also watching the foreigner. Some openly laughed at him. Despite that, Yoo-seong was calmly doing his exercises, as if no one was watching him.
Then, as he changed his posture, their eyes met.
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Yoo-seong smiled a little while holding her gaze and nodded at her. Yang Biyeon nodded back.
‘This person’, she thought. It was the same impression she wore when she first approached him.
He held her gaze. His eyes never strayed down at her body.
Yang Biyeon hated her suit. However, she inherited it from her father, who had inherited it from their grandfather. It was a precious heirloom. Aside from its size, she could not alter anything on it.
The first time she wore it, she felt ashamed to death.
‘I’m not wearing this’, she thought. ‘I’m not a prostitute.’
Until now, she trembled every time she had to wear it and show her body in front of others. She worried about it more than the actual hunting operations themselves.
Of course, given her position, no one dared to stare at her openly. However, even her team members positioned themselves to where they could watch her implicitly. No one was an exception.
But this foreigner… Ever since they met, he had only met her eyes. It was as if he treated her as an equal.
A voice broke her concentration. It was the member who approached her earlier.
“The crack will open soon. And… I’m really sorry about earlier.”
Yang Biyeon nodded. “The Vice Lord is right. He’s cheeky, but he’s not a big deal. I will do my best to focus on hunting.”
At that moment…
The crack burst open.
Just before the monsters started pouring out, Yang Biyeon shot a glance at Yoo-seong’s direction. He looked completely focused.
“Festival!” one of the members yelled out.
They were cow-like monsters the size of a house. They had sharp horns all over their body, which they could shoot out like hedgehogs.
Due to their weight, there were explosions everywhere they landed.
However, the rush team’s goal was not to deal with them. They could leave the monsters to the other hunters assigned underneath the rift. Their goal was to penetrate the rift and close it from the inside.
Several Festivals roared and sent horns flying towards the rush team. In terms of tenacity, the horns were enough to pierce armor.
None of the team members fled. Instead, those in front swung their swords.
The horns bounced off the Aura-coated blades.
Meanwhile, the other team members attacked the Festivals from a distance. The massive bodies of the four-star beasts crashed to the ground in an instant.
This was the power of each individual, magnified by the spread of Ki in their formation.
“How do you like that, foreigner?” one of the team members yelled out.
Every team member was full of pride after showing off their performance.
The coordination between teams and firms, the division of ranged and close-combat hunters, the various state-of-the-art equipment… All of the stuff the Korean hunting industry was proud of was nothing against pure martial arts developed throughout history.
Within minutes, the power lift that would carry the rush team into the crack has been installed.
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As soon as Yang Biyeon and the team boarded it, they noticed something.
“Where’s that foreigner?”
The lift had begun to rise.
“Hey!” One of the team members yelled. “Come quickly; you can still catch it.”
“Oh my God,” one remarked. “He froze.”
Yoo-seong was standing still, quite a distance away from them.
He was just staring at the slowly ascending lift.
“What is he doing? Vice Lord?” one of the team members sought Yang Biyeon’s guidance. He asked whether they should stop the lift and wait for Yoo-seong.
“No,” Yang Biyeon bit her lips. “Just go.”
There was no need to inconvenience the whole team by stopping the lift.
Oh Yoo-seong wouldn’t be much help anyway.
‘Maybe he realized the skill difference’, she thought, ‘and felt ashamed of himself.’
The lift was soon out of reach.
The Festivals jumped from rooftop to rooftop and kept shooting horns at them.
However, no matter how many horns were fired, the Aura-coated blades repelled them easily.
As they neared the rift, several members yelled taunts below towards Yoo-seong. When the members reach the rift, it was only a matter of time before the operation would end. It would seem that Yoo-seong would go home with nothing.
But then, a feet away from the opening, something unexpected happened.
A Festival, quite larger than the others, fell out of the crack just on top of the lift.
If it even grazed the rift, the whole thing would crash to the ground. The members of the rush team would fall to their death.
Yang Biyeon sprung into action.
“Everyone, bow down!” she yelled, as she unleashed the Twin Swords.
The giant blades looked tiny against a house-sized creature, but as soon as they touched the beast-
The giant Festival split into six in an instant.
“Wohoo!” The members cheered. They did not doubt their Vice Lord, even for a moment.
Even Yang Biyeon smiled lightly at their enthusiasm. The huge chunks of Festival flesh fell to the ground.
“What the…” one of the team members noticed something as his eyes followed the Festival fragments’ trajectory.
The others were also watching.
Everyone saw it. Something was moving in the air, using the large chunks as a foothold.
“It can’t be…” one team member mouthed as the others remained still, with mouths hanging open.
Yoo-seong was using the fragments as if they were stepping stones arranged just for him. In the midst of the stunned silence, everyone had the same realization.
Even with that, it would be impossible for Yoo-seong to reach the crack.
There were not enough fragments for him to step on.
Suddenly, from below, a wave of Festival horns came flying upwards, towards Yoo-seong.
He didn’t make a move to avoid or deflect it.
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Instead, he coated his legs with Aura, and used the momentum of the horns to aid his ascent, pushing him towards the crack even faster than the lift could.
Yang Biyeon and the team members watched him with a mixture of shock and amazement. Just as he passed by the lift, Yoo-seong waved his palms slightly.
It was as if he was saying, “I’ll go first.”