Novel Name : Auto Hunting

Auto Hunting - Chapter 122

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Chapter 122
Soft knocking sounds came from the door, but there was no answer from the inside. Yoo-seong kept at it.
Still no answer.
‘There is nothing I can do.’ Yoo-seong sighed as he turned to leave.
Right now, it would be useless to force a conversation between him and Biyeon. If she needed time to calm down and compose herself, it would be better if Yoo-seong allowed her.
However, as soon as Yoo-seong turned away from the door…
It opened. Yoo-seong turned around.
Yang Biyeon’s gaze met his.
There was a silence.
Yoo-seong spoke first. “May I come in?”
Yang Biyeon’s eyes widened. ‘It was…’
He had not spoken in Korean. It was slow, and his accent was as clumsy as when Yang Biyeon spoke Korean, but Yoo-seong had spoken in Mandarin.
Yang Biyeon stared in disbelief. “I practiced. But I’m not as good as you are.”
‘No way,’ Yang Biyeon said to herself.
Even though he had gotten an interpreter named Seoyu as soon as he arrived and had a translator app with him at all times, Yoo-seong was still slowly learning their language.
“It must be because of my personality.” Yoo-seong looked as calm as ever.
However, this time, his eyes were on the floor, not Yang Biyeon.
“I try to learn and grasp everything I can, to control things as much as I can because… I am afraid.”
Yang Biyeon’s eyebrows raised.
‘What does he mean by this nonsense? Is he saying that he’s a coward?’
Yoo-seong’s gaze stayed on the ground as he added, “I am afraid of failing.”
Yang Biyeon was stunned by Yoo-seong’s honesty.
She didn’t know what to say.
“Whether it’s a monster or another adversity in life, when a situation comes to me, I am afraid I won’t be able to control it… that I won’t be able to take responsibility. So I push myself to the utmost to overpower anything that gets in my way.”
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Of course, the people who knew Yoo-seong might not agree. Even objectively, Yoo-seong was not a coward.
‘Maybe this is how he sees himself,’ thought Yang Biyeon, who, for the first time, was seeing a different side to Yoo-seong.
‘I’m not sure. But somehow, doesn’t everyone doubt themselves?’
Yang Biyeon’s thoughts were cut off as Yoo-seong continued.
“I must not fail. I have to always prepare perfectly for whatever may happen.”
For Yoo-seong, it had always been like this, even before he started his life as a hunter. He was always looking to push himself to another level. It didn’t matter if it meant he had to put in more effort.
Whatever it took.
In that sense, Auto-Hunt was an irreplaceable blessing for Yoo-seong. It allowed him to exceed the limits of a human being.
“I started hunting out of mere coincidence. I never thought I’d be a hunter. Even now, I still find it hard to believe.”
By continuously grinding, he’d stepped into a world he’d never dreamed of before. But the thing was, the stronger he became, the bigger the stage he played on grew.
More people started to depend on him. The consequences of his failure also grew larger.
“Catching monsters, joining Dives, all this stuff is frightening. But I can’t fail. I’d be responsible for anything that went wrong. I simply cannot afford to fail.”
Yoo-seong was terrified of not being able to save the people whose lives were at stake during every operation.
He was scared of betraying the trust and hope of the citizens who depended on him.
“What scares me the most is that I could hurt people who have done nothing but support me,” Yoo-seong sighed.
Yang Biyeon did nothing but listen.
“As much as possible, I want to avoid the possibility of people trusting me, because I am afraid.”
‘He is a foolish coward,’ she thought.
“I understand,” Yang Biyeon’s answer was barely audible. “I didn’t know you felt this way. If I’d known…”
“You wouldn’t have come this far,” Yoo-seong finished her sentence.
“Yes.” Her mouth and throat struggled to let out words she didn’t mean.
Despair tore at Yang Biyeon’s heart. Yoo-seong had come knocking at her door, only to draw a deeper line between them.
“If I’d thought you were such a pathetic human being, I would not have liked you from the beginning,” she whispered with regret.
Yoo-seong slowly stepped back after revealing his deepest weakness to her.
‘I disgust her. I can’t be around her anymore,’ he decided.
“Oh my God. I cannot believe I almost got fooled by someone like this. I’m angry…”
“I understand.” Yoo-seong helped Yang Biyeon out. “No one likes pathetic people.”
“Yes, that’s right.” Yang Biyeon reached for the handle of her door.
She gripped it so tightly that the metal groaned.
‘Let’s close the door,’ Yang Biyeon thought. ‘It is time to close the door and accept it. You can bury yourself in pillows and cry it out, or you can push your emotions down and swallow them. But what is certain is… It’s really over now. So close the door and forget this man.’
“So I want you to leave now…” she said with a voice that was growing weaker and quieter.
Summoning every inch of strength she had, Yang Biyeon pushed the door closed.
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The door, which should have been firmly closed by now, did not move. It was only when she raised her eyes that she understood why.
Yoo-seong’s hand was blocking the door.
He was no longer staring at the floor. He was staring straight at her.
“Why? Why…”
Yang Biyeon no longer knew what to say or feel.
“As I said. I may be a pathetic human being,” Yoo-seong replied with an embarrassed smile, “but can I… uh… come inside?”
Surprise flashed all over Yang Biyeon’s face. Then she understood.
Yoo-seong had just shown her his bare face and revealed his vulnerable side.
‘It takes a different kind of courage to do that,’ she thought.
With his personality, he should be in training right now or doing anything else to push himself harder. However, he’d still chosen to come here and speak with her. In his own way, this pathetic man was trying to be brave right at this moment.
‘If I said no…’ she thought, ‘wouldn’t I be a fool?’
Time passed in silence. Yoo-seong continued standing in the hallway. Yang Biyeon remained at the doorway. Neither of them moved or made a sound. After a while…
The door closed. The hallway was finally empty.
It was dawn when Yang Chang-guk arrived at the embassy.
Politely refusing the Ambassador’s offer of breakfast, he went straight to the basement. He found Yoo-seong preparing for training.
“You came early,” Yoo-seong remarked as he heard the footsteps approaching his door. He knew it was going to be Yang Chang-guk even before he saw him. However, when the door opened to reveal the man he was expecting, Yoo-seong’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Director? What’s wrong?” he asked with concern.
Yang Chang-guk was breathing heavily. He had one hand on his chest, and he was sweating profusely.
“I came running here… hold on.”
Yoo-seong watched him as he caught his breath.
Yang Chang-guk looked like someone who had not gotten a good night’s sleep.
There were dark circles under his eyes, and his uncut beard was growing thick. Even though he seemed to be wearing a fresh change of clothes, they had creases all over.
His tie was also loose and out of place.
Yoo-seong prepared himself for the bad news. They’d both known that the diplomatic matters Yang Chang-guk was handling might not end smoothly.
“Fortunately,” Yang Chang-guk began between heavy breaths, “you won’t have to stay here any longer. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs… huh.”
Yang Chang-guk had to pause again and steady his breathing before continuing. “Needless to say, the public opinion is very favorable to your cause…”
“Then something else must have gone wrong. What is it?” Yoo-seong was worried.
Yang Chang-guk walked toward Yoo-seong as he began to explain the real problem.
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“Two days. Thirty-two hours ago exactly. Cracks occurred near the mountainous area of Hwacheon.”
“Hwacheon? The demilitarized zone? Did you have any problem with North Korea?”
“Oh, it would have been easier if that was what happened.” Yang Chang-guk shook his head.
Yoo-seong decided to listen in silence.
“It was a Typhoon-class crack, and fortunately, it was a smooth operation without the need for further assistance from the North. Our hunters completed it without any problems. Then they turned on the pulse breaker to close the crack…”
At that point, Yoo-seong realized what Yang Chang-guk was about to tell him.
“But six hours and twenty-one minutes later, a crack formed in the same location. According to the observatory, in terms of the size, shape, and location of the crack…”
“It was the exact same as the previous one,” Yoo-seong finished his sentence.
The Director nodded.
“Typhoon-class. It perfectly matches the previous crack. Fortunately, there were a few teams that were still on the site. It was a close call. Thanks to the quick response from the hunters that remained, no harm was done, and they were able to complete the operation.” Yang Chang-guk’s voice trembled as he continued. “But two hours later, the crack opened again. It’s like that crack you closed in Tokyo.”
“So it’s still open?”
Yoo-seong quickly realized that he already knew the answer to his question. Yang Chang-guk did not even need to tell him.
“We formed a wide barrier, and we’re going to have hunters take turns stopping the incoming monster waves. Thanks to you, the situation is better in terms of manpower fatigue, but with this…” Yang Chang-guk pressed his hand to his forehead.
Yoo-seong understood that there was more to the problem. It was what he had been worried about when he closed the crack in Tokyo.
“If there is a first, there will be a second…” he muttered.
“No, Yoo-seong. You’re wrong.”
“What?” Yoo-seong did not understand.
“The crack you closed in Tokyo, and this crack in Hwacheon… they were not the first and the second.”
Yang Chang-guk leaned closer to him as if the information he was about to say were confidential.
“As of yesterday, five reports from different countries have already reached our Special Defense Agency. Such incidents have already occurred in five other areas. Every Special Defense Agency is trying to control this information and prevent panic from spreading out through the media.”
“I don’t think it will be easy,” Yoo-seong told the Director.
With the action cam footage he’d taken during the Tokyo operation, millions of people around the world had seen the strange crack that didn’t close.
Right now, the common opinion was that it was a freak occurrence, something probably caused by a pulse breaker malfunction. However, the citizens had already formed the idea that an Unclosed Crack existed.
“I know.” Yang Chang-guk had read his thoughts. “But these people… they also know someone who could close an Unclosed Crack by himself.”
Finally, Yoo-seong realized why Yang Chang-guk had come running to him.
He didn’t have a reason to hide the Sky Needle. It was just something that could be used to close cracks other than a pulse breaker.
Also, it was his rightful possession, and no one had any reason to take it from him. However, with the arrival of this new phenomenon…
“We’re supposed to be happy, but honestly, I can’t help but feel worried about it right now,” Yang Chang-guk admitted.
They had a treasure in their possession. However, a treasure of such value could potentially lead to a disaster of the type that could hurt its possessor.
“If more of these Unclosed Cracks appear, it will not be easy for you, Yoo-seong. Why don’t you stay here for a while? The embassy would be the best…”
“No.” Yoo-seong cut him off. “I will take care of it.”
The time had come for him to return.
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