Auto Hunting - Chapter 80
“It has almost been a decade now,” Jin Wei-baek began, “but they say they still know nothing about the world beyond.”
“If you think about it, isn’t it even funny?” He then asked Yoo-seong. “What kind of unexplored land in the history of mankind has revealed its secrets in just ten years?”
This entire time, Yoo-seong listened silently.
“In addition, it is said Diving has changed the lives of people everywhere. However, less than a hundred people have experienced it. No one has even stayed on the other side for more than half a day.”
Jin Wei-baek sighed before he continued. “Moreover, thanks to the magnetic interference, even the advantages of modern technology cannot be utilized. Then, there is no real hope of actually ‘knowing’ something.”
Personally, Yoo-seong had agreed with Jin Wei-baek’s opinion, yet he just chose not to say it out loud.
“Maybe, this generation is too impatient. Four hundred years ago, humanity’s condition was much poorer, but their mindset is better and more open to possibilities.”
Yoo-seong continued to listen. Jin Wei-baek watched him carefully. “It’s not surprising that you aren’t surprised…”
“No,” Yoo-seong finally spoke. “I just don’t know how to react.”
Jin Wei-baek’s remarks were indeed defying common knowledge. Cracks had appeared ten years ago.
However, what Jin Wei-baek was talking about dated centuries ago.
“It’s really simple,” Jin Wei-baek added. “The doors have only just recently opened, but the absence of an entry does not equate to the absence of the world beyond.”
Yoo-seong nodded. ‘It’s simple, indeed.’
Was it a mere coincidence?
Or was it that Jin Wei-baek actually did a thorough investigation of his whereabouts?
‘No. It was just a coincidence’, Yoo-seong concluded.
Even if Jin Wei-baek knew everything that he did, it would be impossible for him to know about Yang Woo-jin’s writings. However, Jin Wei-baek was right.
Yoo-seong would actually be more surprised if he wasn’t.
There were people who knew about the cracks and what lay beyond.
That was the real value of Yang Woo-jin’s book.
“I had no idea when it started, but it was known with quite a variety of names,” Jin Wei-baek continued.
“Seonggye, Dowongyeong, Kunryunsan, Bongnae, Bangjang, Yeongju… even if you’re not from this country, you would have probably heard of them. They were only considered as myths, but in fact, they are records that were achieved by sacrificing precious human lives.”
Jin Wei-baek continued.
“It is only natural for humanity to use different methods to try to explain the world beyond. There have been numerous attempts to combine the myths and legends of each country with the world beyond. It is obvious just from the fact that the names of the monsters, including the Four Perils, were taken from an old Chinese mythical book called Sanhaekyung.”
Jin Wei-baek paused for a few moments. Then, he spoke again.
“But the conclusion was simple. There was a lack of evidence and data.”
“I thought the pill was valuable,” Yoo-seong’s expression was serious. “I can’t believe you’re investing to prove your fantasy.”
“It’s not fantasy,” Jin Wei-baek was confident. “All you have to do is get what I’m asking for.”
“It won’t end in a day,” Yoo-seong calmly replied.
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“It’s great that you noticed,” the old man chuckled.
Jin Wei-baek was also a true hunter.
He was also recognized to have the number one ability in the whole country.
The fact that he had to send someone in meant that the situation was dangerous enough to pose a threat to Jin Wei-baek himself.
Usually, a dive consisted of two cracks with an interval of 30 hours or less as the exit and entrance. If you didn’t come out in time to match the exit crack, you would get trapped inside the world.
That was also the reason why humanity did not have much information about the circumstances of the world.
“I have no idea how to get out of the crack,” Yoo-seong expressed his main worry.
The moment he couldn’t get out through the exit crack, he was as good as dead.
“Well, you take yourself too easily,” Jin Wei-baek dragged as if to praise his grandchild for his brilliance.
Although he had said it with a light expression, it made Yoo-seong nervous.
“That’s the main purpose of bringing you all the way here. I planned to send you with a Tenz-managed Dive after four hunts.”
Yoo-seong fulfilled all the conditions Jin Wei-baek wanted for this mission. He was a hunter who had the ability to survive long periods of time within the crack.
This was a foreigner who could disappear from this world without causing a major uproar.
“In the end, it will be for everyone’s good. Maybe you can even get a bonus,” Jin Wei-baek said playfully.
“That’s enough,” Yoo-seong told him. As he reached out to get the USB in Jin Wei-baek’s hands, the old man whispered something to him.
“If you get scared along the way…” Jin Wei-baek leaned closer. “You can come out through the exit crack.”
Yoo-seong’s brows furrowed.
“It’s a bet, anyway,” Jin Wei-baek smiled. “It’s going to be a shame if you don’t get the pill, though.”
“I don’t think I’m going to lose that bet,” Yoo-seong said firmly.
“You think so?”
“What I would bring back might be a few times more valuable than the pill. Then, I would have more options.”
“I suppose so,” Jin Wei-baek nodded.
His plain acceptance surprised Yoo-seong. In addition to this, his expression was not something that Yoo-seong had ever seen before.
In his eyes, Jin Wei-baek was a frivolous man who always dressed up in brilliant fashion. However, right now, for a very brief moment, he looked like an old man.
Jin Wei-baek seemed exhausted and helpless.
“You’re the right man for this,” Jin Wei-baek returned to his relaxed expression. “Didn’t you say it yourself? You’re a-”
“Hunter,” Yoo-seong finished his sentence.
Jin Wei-baek dropped the USB into Yoo-seong’s palm.
“Then, I leave it to you… hunter.”
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There were a total of five slots.
The first slot had the e-cigarette he received from Shin Yu-hee. The second slot contained Lee Hwi-min’s amulet that was used to enter the crack. In the third slot, there were the action cams worn by Yoo-seong and Yang Biyeon. Meanwhile, the fourth slot held an old PDA terminal.
He would use the terminal for Jin Wei-baek’s USB.
It also contained Yang Woo-jin’s writings in text form. Yoo-seong once again took out the terminal and checked the direction.
—When the jade-colored daytime moon passes over the awl-shaped mountain range,
Yoo-seong looked up and headed for the ‘awl-shaped mountain range.’ Because it is a very large flat terrain, it was a surface that could be seen even from a distance.
This information could only be known only to hunters who had dived in Shanghai.
However, Yang Woo-jin’s writings from centuries ago had described the mountain range perfectly.
—Head in the direction of the purple day moon,
Yoo-seong stared at the sky. Seven spheres embroidered the sky, each comparable to the size of the moon.
Yang Woo-jin recorded how to use them to orient himself.
‘After all, this man was a pioneer,’ Yoo-seong said to himself. It was also the right choice to send someone to return the books to the Red Dragon Society before the Dive.
He had copied the contents already, anyway.
Besides, if he encountered any unfortunate circumstance in the world beyond, the book may be of use for Yang Jeong-cheon and the Red Dragon Society in the future.
‘They have been nothing but kind to me.’
Something was busy murmuring behind Yoo-seong.
“No,” he answered firmly, for the twenty-third time. He did not even look back.
“No matter how many times you ask, the answer is still the same,” he spoke.
“You cannot go with me, Yang Biyeon.”
His voice was cold and unrelenting.
About ten hours ago…
“Let me come with you!” Yang Biyeon cried. It was a decision she made without a second thought. Her voice was full of determination.
No one had ever tried not going out through the exit crack for a Dive.
It was truly impossible.
‘How and what are you going to do, Oppa?’ Yang Biyeon thought.
However, she didn’t need to hear his reasons.
‘If it’s him… then, it’s possible.’
She trusted him completely. However, Yoo-seong refused her firmly.
—Are you out of your mind?
It was such a cold expression that Yang Biyeon had never seen before.
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—This is work. Obviously, it’s something my company assigned me to do. I have to do it.
Though she was only reading through a phone, Yang Biyeon clearly felt the disdain in Yoo-seong’s words.
—Thank you for your words, but I cannot have you join me.
Yang Biyeon struggled to type back.
—It’s not like that. I have no intention of interrupting your work.
—That’s why you have to stop. Don’t you understand? This is unprecedented. No one has ever succeeded. Even if it’s not just a contract issue, why do I have to do it with you?
Yang Biyeon was at a loss for words. Yoo-seong was right.
She was also a professional who had been doing this for years.
To say that you simply wanted to help was not enough reason for a professional to intervene with another professional’s job.
‘Help’ was not an acceptable reason for a professional to intervene with another professional’s work.
Rather than that, there was a risk that the merit and public perception would be turned against her, as Yoo-seong had said. He no longer listened to Yang Biyeon and started walking.
It had been ten hours.
“Please stop for a while,” Yang Biyeon said as she followed him.
“Right,” Yoo-seong turned and gave her an icy glare. Yang Biyeon tried her best to manage her facial expressions.
She tried to concentrate on the surrounding borders, looking everywhere except at Yoo-seong. But still, she couldn’t help it as her emotions started to overflow.
The sound of her tears falling on the ground was an echo they could both hear. It was something Yoo-seong could hear.
‘Damn it,’ Yoo-seong was cursing inside his head. It was hard for him to act this way toward Biyeon, but it couldn’t be helped.
More than anything, the difficult journey in this world had become a little bit comforting with a companion.
However, as Yooseong had previously established, she could not go with him.
‘Yang Biyeon and I are different,’ Yoo-seong said to himself. The effect of both of them not returning would be entirely different.
Aside from the grief it would bring her family, the Red Dragon Society itself would be on the brink of tragedy with the loss of its successor.
Even if they somehow make it out alive after some time, how much damage would have already been done by then?
The loss of an influential figure in an influential city like Shanghai may result in chaos due to the power shift.
‘This is for your own good,’ Yoo-seong thought.
Even if he didn’t entirely want to, he had to cut her off.
The wind blew in their faces. Yoo-seong raised his head.
Then, he was surprised.
What lay before him was enough to paralyze him in shock.
In Yang Woo-jin’s writing, this was the place he had wanted to go in, but in the end, all he was able to do was gather information.
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Yoo-seong now understood why.
A dragon’s lair lay right before his eyes.