Auto Hunting - Chapter 62
Waves of condolences had come from all over the world. This was because a sudden rift had formed in a city with a population of more than 20 million. The death toll alone had already exceeded 3333. The count had not included the number of those missing, and those that were unaccounted for.
This was the highest number of casualties recorded from just a single crack. Media from all over the world were talking about the Shanghai Shock.
Of course, there had also been unpredictable changes happening in cracks all over the world. However, so far, China’s response had been far too insensitive.
Six years ago, a crack outside Qingdao had caused a whopping total of 124 casualties.
If it had been a different country, it would have been recorded as a disaster, and they would have completely changed their response policy. However, despite the accidents, China’s ability to cope with the crisis had not improved at all. A year ago, there had been a sudden rift in the territorial waters near Shanghai.
Fortunately, there had been no major disaster except for the deaths of a few fishing workers, but the difference between then and now was the location itself.
The crack had appeared in the middle of a city, and not within the vast sea.
“It was said that the disaster happened because of bad luck,” Seo Sang-hwan said on television. He was an advisor to the Special Defense Agency, being interviewed for the news show.
“But honestly, I don’t think that’s what happened here,” he added.
“It’s certainly more than bad luck,” the host laughed bitterly.
Seo Sang-hwan looked heated about the issue. In fact, it would be fair to say that his opinion reflected the current sentiment in Korea.
It had not even been a month yet since a Chinese hunter named Zhang Li tried to harm Yoo-seong. Korea’s anti-China sentiment was already at an all-time high.
The Goryong Company and the Chinese government had both taken diplomatic initiatives, but unfortunately, no one trusted them. The majority of the South Korean population had the same deduction.
‘The Chinese government tried to kill a skilled hunter to dominate the Korean market.’
“The opposition is using it as an opportunity to gather people to criticize the government’s complacent response,” Seo Sang-hwan further speculated.
In an effort to calm Seo Sang-hwan, the host then tried to change the subject.
“Meanwhile, isn’t it a city where five-star hunters are currently active?” the host asked carefully. However, all it did was to agitate Seo Sang-hwan even more.
“That’s right. That only makes it worse!” Seo Sang-hwan exclaimed.
“There are four of China’s most ferocious beasts, the Ship Zone, as you all know. China’s best hunters also have a hard time dealing with them.”
Everyone in the studio nodded at Seo Sang-hwan’s words.
Through Tenz, it had then been revealed to the world that Oh Yoo-seong was the one who hunted one of the Four Perils. This in itself had caused a frenzy in Korea as well.
The name of the monster had occupied the top search terms of various websites. Even Korean hunters who had been active in China for a short while had appeared on TV to present their views about Yoo-seong’s achievement. Probably, if the Shanghai Shock had not occurred, the Korean media would still be talking about the Qiongqi until now.
“As everyone knows through Tenz’ release, Oh Yoo-seong made another incredible feat this time. What does this mean?” the host inquired.
The Chinese government thus far had been extremely reluctant to release video footage of their hunting operations overseas. The same was true, even for Shanghai Shock.
“If Tenz had not announced Oh Yoo-seong’s achievement, we wouldn’t even have known. It is a place where a foreigner’s performance is ignored,” Seo Sang-hwan answered.
“If that’s the case, could it be said that hunter Oh Yoo-seong had a hard time with the Shanghai Shock?” the host asked.
“Maybe.” Seo Sang-hwan shrugged.
“In the case of a disaster involving civilians like that, there is not much a hunter could do with his power alone. I’m sure that Oh Yoo-seong tried to save as many lives as he could.”
“I guess you can hear me now,” Seoyu said as she approached.
“It’s still echoing, but I can hear you,” Yoo-seong answered as he descended from a building’s ruins.
About 30 hours had already passed since the cracks were closed. Repair and rescue operations were still underway.
In addition to clearing the bodies of monsters and people, they were also looking for missing people and possible survivors within the rubbles of the collapsed buildings.
“Lunchtime is over, isn’t it?” Yoo-seong asked.
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With Seoyu following closely, Yoo-seong walked towards the building he was previously working on, and then got back to clear the debris.
Hunters had plenty of other abilities besides hunting. A skilled hunter’s body could surpass the strength of heavy equipment. It was just that their labor costs were too expensive.
Therefore, in Korea, the voluntary participation of hunters was “recommended” in case of emergencies caused by large-scale natural disasters.
“You don’t have to do this,” Seoyu stated. However, there was no such thing in this country.
“There’s no broadcasting station camera to shoot you. People are finding it weird,” Seoyu said as she looked around.
It was just exactly as Seoyu said. As everyone started to get back to work, people were throwing them stares, as if wanting to ask him.
“Why is there a hunter here?”
Yoo-seong was indeed a lot of help, but usually, hunters did not involve themselves with this work.
“I don’t care how you look at it,” Yoo-seong replied as he calmly lifted the debris.
“Or is it this country’s thing to stare while people do what they want to do?” he added.
“No,” Seoyu replied reluctantly.
“I have said this before, and I will say it again. I am doing this because I want to. It is better than lying around in the hospital room doing nothing.”
Yoo-seong then got back to work, ignoring Seoyu and the stares everyone was giving them.
“But I would rather. . .” Seoyu swallowed back her words.
She decided to hold back whatever it was that she was about to say.
‘What would I rather him do? What should Yoo-seong do right now?’
Even Seoyu was left with no clue with what would happen next. Meanwhile, rumors were circulating.
Hunters who have participated in the “blocking operation” had continued to talk about their experiences.
It was said that 27 hunters had received commands through an Aura thread. Then, these hunters met with other hunters whom they led, based on the message conveyed through their threads.
It was a form of centralized hunting, one they hadn’t experienced before. The first to be spotlighted was the Red Dragon Society.
Red Dragon Society’s Yang Biyeon protected the wounded and civilians. However, when the hunt was over, Yang Biyeon denied her contribution.
“I was not the one in charge,” she said.
Next was Seoyu.
She was a hunter from Tenz, although she was a little unfamiliar to Shanghai. However, she had said that she just followed the instructions she received.
No official announcement had been made about this occurrence. However, the entire Shanghai industry already knew.
They knew who connected the hunters and formed a system that controlled several areas around the city. They knew who the mastermind who gave instructions for Seoyu to relay was.
It was none other than the foreigner, Oh Yoo-seong.
Seoyu bit her lips as she watched Yoo-seong walk ahead and continue to clean up the debris. She felt frustrated, but it was not because of Yoo-seong.
‘Honestly, it was all thanks to him.’
The situation was just literally frustrating. With what he had done, there should have been a lot of praise and support around him.
However, right now, he was clearing debris, and no one else was around him but her, his secretary.
“The reason is simple…” Yoo-seong read her thoughts as he picked up a huge rock.
“It’s because I am an outsider.”
It was all Seoyu could say. Perhaps this was the first time for her.
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For the first time, she realized that there was a problem with the Chinese industry she felt so proud of.
“But the total compensation will be settled without any problem,” she began to add.
“Anything that can be used as evidence, whether it is a CCTV or a car black box, will be used as a basis to secure your rights,” she promised.
“I believe you,” Yoo-seong nodded.
He was under contract with Tenz. Just like what Seoyu had said, his compensation was guaranteed, thanks to Tenz’ influence. Yoo-seong no longer thought about it as a problem.
“And…” Seoyu hesitated.
“I’ll help you,” her words were barely audible.
She was a hunter, and there was nothing else for her to do.
“Let’s do it together… boss.”
Yoo-seong felt dumbfounded. Witnessing this was something else entirely.
This little girl, who had been full of Chinese thought and pride, had called him ‘boss’. At this, Yoo-seong could not help but stifle a laugh.
“Hey! What’s funny?” Seoyu grunted.
“Nothing. It’s just with that you seriously saying ‘boss’ with that height and face…”
Yoo-seong was barely able to manage his words out as he laughed. Seoyu’s face suddenly darkened, which prompted Yoo-seong to stop laughing and avert his gaze.
Just then, a group of hunters dressed in the traditional red appeared. These were members of the Red Dragon Society.
“Oh, here you are,” said a middle-aged man who approached as soon as he saw Yoo-seong. He was the general manager of the Red Dragon.
The last time Yoo-seong saw him was at Yang Biyeon’s mansion, where he seemed to be in charge of managing the employees. The way the man spoke to him in Korean was pretty overwhelming.
“I’d like to formally greet you, Mister Oh Yoo-seong.”
“Oh, yes,” Yoo-seong said, not knowing how he should respond.
He also felt the same when he saw Yang Jeong-cheon. These people always looked like a group who came right out of Hong Kong movies.
“But why are you here? Did the crack open again?”
“No, the Vice Lord said she wants us to help out with the work here.”
Come to think of it, Biyeon asked Seoyu about Yoo-seong’s location earlier.
“Yes?” Yoo-seong asked without much thought.
“We are here to help.”
Sure enough, the members of the Red Dragon Society were already busy putting themselves to work here and there. The citizens around the area could do nothing but stare at the unfamiliar sight.
“This is…” Yoo-seong hesitated.
He did not know what else there was to say.
“I don’t usually do this,” the general manager laughed, “But you have set an example for yourself, and we can’t just sit still.”
Yoo-seong looked around. The other Red Dragon members looked at him and nodded respectfully.
“Yes, there’s the Vice Lord’s command,” the general manager added, “but a lot of people volunteered to come after hearing what happened.”
Yoo-seong once again felt the stares, but this time, there was nothing like the ridicule he had felt earlier.
“The Vice Lord is somewhere around here. There are many collapsed buildings, so we divided up into a few groups.”
At this, Yoo-seong was speechless. There had been instances when he had no idea what to say, and this was one of them.
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As they worked, he began hearing voices coming from afar.
“Is it this way?”
“Oh! There they are!”
As the work continued, more and more hunters began to appear. Beyond the Red Dragon Society, rumors spread through hunters and various organizations.
‘Oh Yoo-seong is helping with the work at the site.’
Less than half a day later, the scene was filled with hunters rolling up their sleeves.
Not everyone approached Yoo-seong. Some just stared at him from a distance.
As the number of hunters increased, there was nothing left to stand the way. Their working speed increased exponentially.
“Here, I can hear a human voice!”
“There are children and women underground!”
Miracles that would have been impossible were all made possible. The civilians who were buried for 40 hours were safely rescued and carried by hunters.
Yoo-seong found himself cheering along with the hunters.
“There must have been times when you have been disappointed,” the general manager, who was working silently next to him, said.
“Nevertheless, it is also a thing in this place that once someone has earned respect, people will undoubtedly follow him.”
Yoo-seong looked around at everyone who gathered to help, workers and hunters alike. The general manager smiled and walked back over where he was picking up debris.
“Did you see that?” Seoyu came to Yoo-seong’s side.
Her smart-looking suit had somehow been grayed out by the dust.
“This is China’s…e…” her words faded out as she saw the look on Yoo-seong’s face.
“…to be honest with you, it was too much for me,” Yoo-seong confessed.
Seoyu wanted to tell him that this scene unfolding now was a miracle he himself had created. Instead, they just smiled and bowed down at each other.
The work lasted until midnight.
Surprisingly, what was usually done in the course of 10 days had been finished in just a day.
Oh Yoo-seong’s reputation started to gain weight.
In China, where there was a clear line between the government and the hunting industry, reputations were built based largely on word of mouth.
There were no official rankings in China. Even an agency’s numerical evaluation meant nothing to the hunters.
However, now, for the first time since Yang Jeong-cheon retired… There was someone whom everyone had now recognized as the number one hunter in Shanghai.
The next morning…
Yoo-seong had just woken up. He was just about to brush his teeth when he heard a knock at his hotel room door. There was a man in round-rimmed glasses waiting for him outside.
“Nice to meet you,” the man said. He didn’t look like he was from room service.
“Who are you?” Yoo-seong asked.
“My name is Lee Hwi-min.”
Yoo-seong immediately recognized his name.
“Congratulations on reaching the summit of the Ship Zone, rookie,” Lee Hwi-min continued whilst smiling sincerely.
Yoo-seong’s response was also quite sincere. He raised his hand. Then…
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