Novel Name : Auto Hunting

Auto Hunting - Chapter 100

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Chapter 100
Episode 100
If there was any advantage in a marine operation, it would be the presence of the Navy’s support.
Due to the nature of the sea, it was difficult to form a barricade without their ships. Moreover, since the risk to civilians and property damage was low, military firepower could be utilized without worrying about collateral damage.
Therefore, in Dokdo, two national Navy troops stood face to face on the disputed waters.
They were not there to engage with each other but rather to support their hunters. However, one couldn’t help but feel a strange tension in the air.
The hunters, on the other hand, weren’t interested in the atmosphere at all. All their attention was fixed on the grave scenario before them.
Naka Yasuo was on the deck of PHF’s Mitsu-233 transport ship. His gaze was fixed on the quiet sea below. There was a lot to think about.
The cracks would appear twenty minutes from now.
“Mr. Nakai!” A loud voice broke his train of thought.
Yusuke Kano. He was a famous broadcaster in Japan, sent by a public broadcasting station.
“We heard it. Two cracks opening at the same time! Isn’t this unprecedented?” The broadcaster was animated.
‘Unprecedented,’ Nakai thought with an irritated smirk. ‘People just throw that word around.’
There had been many precedents of simultaneous cracks. The broadcaster’s question was so ignorant that it wasn’t worth answering, and Nakai simply laughed it off.
A filming team was behind Kano.
In the past, there was no way that broadcasting staff would have been allowed to join hunting operations.
But before he set off on this operation, a powerful figure had spoken with him.
-Mr. Nakai, please.
The Japanese Prime Minister’s voice had been full of urgency. As part of the Japanese government’s right-wing policy in recent years, the current broadcasting industry was focused on praising their own country. This was their way of instilling their citizens with nationalistic pride and total trust in the authorities.
Thus, Dokdo was a pretty excellent stage for their agenda.
What better way to instill pride than to show Japanese hunters against their incompetent counterparts in conflict areas?
“One of the cracks will open underwater, right?” the broadcaster prodded him.
“That’s right.”
“Will that make the operation more difficult?”
“Of course.” Nakai nodded.
‘It’s not just going to be more difficult,’ he thought.
An ordinary person couldn’t even guess how an underwater crack was on a different scale altogether.
The world and the world beyond the crack were parallel. The overall shape of the terrain was almost identical, except for the details.
However, there was one glaring difference between them – height.
The world beyond seemed to operate at a higher point than this world.
That was why cracks created at ground level in the world beyond appeared in this world’s sky. The same was true of the sea.
If beasts living at sea-level beyond the crack appeared in this world, they arrived tens of meters above the surface. Hunters exploited this, taking advantage of the momentary confusion that the monsters experienced once they appeared in the air.
However, an underwater crack…
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For the beasts, it was nothing but a shift from one part of the sea to another. The hunters would have to adjust and prepare to fight them underwater.
In addition, the probability of high-risk monsters appearing increased. Underwater cracks meant that the monsters emerging were deep-sea inhabitants of the other world.
It wouldn’t be strange to see an unknown monster appear.
“Hoh, that makes sense.” Kano nodded thoughtfully after Nakai’s explanation. However, he wasn’t here to understand underwater operations. He was here to present the prowess of the Japanese Navy and the hunting industry.
“Looking at the layout, it’s not your group that will handle the underwater crack,” Kano observed.
“We’re in charge of the rift closer to each other’s territory.”
“Can the Koreans really handle the underwater crack?”
This was Kano’s main goal – to show that Japan was far better.
Nakai Yasuo paused for a few moments before answering with as much sincerity as he could muster.
“It will be difficult for them.”
Even if they had a hunter who could run on air, a marine operation was a different problem. Movements were limited underwater. Wearing a scuba suit and an oxygen tank while fighting unknown monsters had proved to be rough.
Without a Tech or a Psy specialized in underwater battles, an underwater hunt was almost akin to suicide. Oh Yoo-seong’s failure was almost guaranteed.
“Then, what about your team?” Kano asked him.
“We can get through it without any difficulty because of our group’s training,” Nakai answered confidently.
“Oh! That’s great to hear. So, if something unexpected happens, Takeshima here would be safe,” Kano teased the cameraman standing behind them.
Then he turned to the camera and said: “Of course, we have to hope that the Korean hunters can finish their operation safely and that we will not have to intervene.”
But neither Kano, the cameraman, or Nakai really hoped for it.
Oh Yoo-seong had to fail.
The Korean counterparts must appear miserable and in crisis. Then, the Japanese would intervene.
Nakai would swoop in, appearing heroic, saving their incompetent neighbors from disaster. It would be a wonderful presentation of the strength of Japanese hunters.
After the short interview, Kano talked with his colleagues. “Did you bring underwater equipment?”
“Oh, are we really diving?” his cameraman asked.
“Of course. Nakai and his team will keep us safe, anyway.”
As the broadcasting staff walked away, Nakai turned his attention back to the Korean side.
With his Aura-enhanced vision, he watched Yoo-seong on the deck of a Korean ship.
‘You said you crossed the sea in the world beyond?’ Nakai shook his head. ‘I don’t think it’s impossible at all, but… why would anyone do such a thing?’
Nakai thought that Yoo-seong and Yang Chang-guk should have acknowledged their incompetence instead of bragging to him.
It would have been better for them to ask for help. The rift assigned to the Japanese team was of low difficulty. Three elite hunters, including him, could handle it.
Nakai, who had total control, could have assigned his remaining hunters to help with the Korean operation.
There was a fairly high probability that, with their combined effort, the underwater crack could be handled easily.
Of course, the control center received the government’s requests as soon as the crack locations were confirmed.
Oh Yoo-seong must fail. That was what the broadcast teams and the prime minister wanted.
So Nakai Yasuo, against his nature as a veteran hunter, had to convince himself.
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‘Regardless of the catastrophe,’ he thought, ‘I have no obligation to help them.’
His only focus must be to close the crack assigned to them. With this in mind, Nakai gave out his order.
“Two elite members will accompany me to close the crack,” he declared.
“And the rest?” one of the team leaders under him asked.
“The rest will be devoted to protecting the broadcasting staff as they film us.”
As always, Yoo-seong’s expression was unreadable as he silently checked his equipment. Yang Chang-guk was watching him with a hesitant attitude.
“If you have anything to say,” Yoo-seong suddenly said, “you can go ahead.”
Yang Chang-guk looked quite surprised. Despite Yoo-seong’s permission, it took him quite a long time to open his mouth.
“Can I be honest with you?” he asked tentatively.
Yoo-seong nodded. “I believe you will not ask unnecessary questions.”
Yang Chang-guk chose his next words carefully. “What do you think is the probability that you will… not succeed?”
Yoo-seong stopped checking his equipment and stared directly at Yang Chang-guk.
Yang Chang-guk blushed with shame. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
He bowed and apologized, even though he had done nothing wrong. In his mind, he had.
He’d called Yoo-seong out of the blue to join them here.
He’d personally asked a hunter who’d never participated in a maritime operation to risk his life, and now that he was on the brink of doing so, he began to worry.
“I don’t think you’re truly sorry, Director,” Yoo-seong said. “You haven’t even done your best.”
Yang Chang-guk’s face turned even redder. He had not brought Yoo-seong with any precise information or plans. Moreover, he was unprepared, just like last time, in Ieodo.
Operations conducted near the East Sea had increased, and the active teams and firms around it were already overworked.
However, their counterpart, the Japanese Defense Agency, had been fully prepared a day ago.
They had even sent him a message that they were willing to take over the operation.
To be honest, Yang Chang-guk felt afraid. He felt afraid to be cursed at again as the Director of Special Defense. The situation in Ieodo was a disaster for him, in both his career and private life.
Therefore, Yoo-seong was his last hope.
With Yoo-seong’s abilities, he should be able to handle this operation without any problems.
However, if Yoo-seong failed…
The public and the government would be even more rabidly against Yang Chang-guk. On top of being unprepared for this situation, he had even placed Oh Yoo-seong in a position to die.
“Yoo-seong, I…” He thought hard about what to say.
“It was my decision to come here,” Yoo-seong’s firm voice interrupted him. “You gave me a choice, believing in my abilities. When I accepted the task, I took responsibility.”
Yoo-seong continued as he checked his equipment as if he was saying something unimportant. “I’m not sure what the outcome will be. So I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know. I don’t have a way to measure probability.”
Then Yoo-seong stood and relaxed his body.
He was almost fully equipped. He only needed an oxygen tank to be installed.
“Whether the probability of success is 50%, 10%, or 0.1%… I’ll give my 100%.” Yoo-seong smiled at Yang Chang-guk. It was a sincere smile, if not a confident one.
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“Please… trust me.”
Those were the last words he said.
What happened next was something neither Yang Chang-guk nor the Defense personnel around them expected.
Yoo-seong ran off the deck and dove into the sea!
“What, what?!” The crewmates and the Defense agent were in a panic. Oh Yoo-seong had just left behind the most important thing for an underwater battle.
“He didn’t bring an oxygen tank!” someone cried out.
There were still a few minutes left before the appearance of the rift. However, Yoo-seong was long gone.
Everyone looked at Yang Chang-guk for direction.
“Stop,” Yang Chang-guk announced.
“Please stop sending communications to Yoo-seong. He doesn’t have time to answer. Give him space to work.”
The staff felt confused. It sounded like nonsense.
How could he work when he couldn’t breathe underwater?
However, Yang Chang-guk’s expression was firm.
“Trust him.” He echoed Yoo-seong’s last words.
Yang Chang-guk was no longer afraid.
It wasn’t because Oh Yoo-seong would surely succeed. It was because Oh Yoo-seong told him what he should do. Even if Yoo-seong failed, Yang Chang-guk had to give his 100%.
He would do all he could to fulfill his duty, even if he had to beg the Japanese to help them. No matter how much he would get cursed at, he didn’t care anymore.
He had to take responsibility.
Still, apart from his own comfort, Yang Chang-guk hoped with all his heart for Yoo-seong to succeed.
‘If you do well this time…’
His thoughts trailed off as he stared at the sea where Yoo-seong was.
“He’s out of his mind!” Nakai couldn’t help but raise his voice at the absurd scene he had just watched.
“Without oxygen, what is he going to do?”
Kano, who was watching the scene with Nakai, was also stunned.
The camera was facing the Korean side, so they were able to capture Yoo-seong’s drastic action.
“This really is a big deal!” Nakai exclaimed. “Now, we have no choice but to help…”
The sound of magnetic fields forming started above their heads.
Nakai pushed Kano away and raised his voice.
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“Only I and two others are going in! Protect the broadcasters!”
It took less than three minutes for Nakai to regret what he’d said.
Because, as much as he hated the word, the catastrophe waiting for them really was unprecedented.
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