Auto Hunting - Chapter 126
Although the word “dismissal” had not been directly stated, it was basically what the messages Kodama had received meant.
At the same time, the Sheriffs who had accompanied him to the scene also received notifications on their terminals.
-Stop ongoing operations.
-Currently, your authority as a Disaster Management Administration Sheriff has been revoked. Any actions you take during this time will be subject to the same standard punishment applied to the general public.
-Please return to the Disaster Management Office as soon as possible.
It was a natural preventive measure. Just like Kodama, almost everyone in the Disaster Management Administration was working under Leto.
This included the Sheriffs themselves.
Rather than rendering service for the country, the Disaster Management Administration acted like it was one of Leto’s departments. The loss of their privileges as public officials seemed to cause significant shock to everyone.
Everyone in the area stopped talking and stiffened with surprise.
Still, Kodama was not giving up. He needed to try and do something about his situation.
He firmly believed in the Leto Chairman, even more than the authorities. However, just as he was about to command the ex-Sheriffs around him…
His phone rang again. This time, it was Leto.
Kodama hurriedly picked up the phone he’d dropped and answered the call. It was from the new Chairman.
The half-mad Chika Sukune.
Yoo-seong had no idea what Kodama was being told. However, the man’s face went several times paler, even more than when he’d received the first call. Finally…
“Arghggh!” Kodama screamed like a mad man.
He suddenly turned around, almost blocked the road to hail a cab, and got in right away. He was probably headed to the Leto Headquarters or the Sukune family’s home. No one knew for sure.
The Sheriffs felt stunned.
With their leader gone, they didn’t know what they were supposed to do next. What was certain was they had to start looking for another career.
It shouldn’t be hard to enter the competitive hunter industry at their age and with their experience. However, because of this issue they were involved in…
Suddenly, someone raised his voice, breaking through their anxious thoughts.
“Is there anyone here who can speak Korean?” It was Oh Yoo-seong, looking around.
No one answered him at first.
“I need a car and someone to take me to the airport.”
Some of them who understood Korean raised their eyebrows.
“Well, I don’t have money with me, but…” Yoo-seong’s voice was calm.
“I can text or call the Prime Minister that you have been of great help,” he added.
Their reaction was immediate.
Yoo-seong arrived at the airport within an hour.
And, more than Yoo-seong had originally asked for, they even paid for his airplane ticket.
-No way. Did he really just bow?
In recent months, the Korean public had almost gotten used to hearing shocking news.
Oh Yoo-seong’s return from the Dive.
His single-handed hunting operations.
And today, they had witnessed two more unbelievable occurrences.
-He’s apologizing, isn’t he?
-Are you saying that he has a conscience?
-But it’s hard to apologize if you’re the Prime Minister, even if you know you did something wrong.
-That was unexpected.
Prime Minister Murata’s emergency press conference had been held an hour ago. There, the Prime Minister issued an unexpected apology.
A pure apology.
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Without any lame excuses, he perfectly pointed out his mistakes and why he had to apologize.
-Then, can Oh Yoo-seong return to Korea right away?
-Maybe he’s already here.
-It’s weird that he was just laying low somewhere and could not leave Japan in the first place! He must be given compensation for the time he couldn’t hunt because he was stuck here!
Others raised their voices in excitement.
Their faces were flushed, this time not because of anger but because of joy. It was such a thrilling story amid a flurry of international news.
Just like sports and cultural topics, the news of hunters overseas had long been a source of national inspiration and pride. Compared to what followed, therefore, the Japanese Prime Minister’s apology seemed trivial.
“What?! You’re the reason she defected?”
Yoo-seong nodded. “Nonsense!” Sung-wook could not believe it.
“I had the same thought, but what can I do? It’s her decision,” Yoo-seong said in frustration.
“Oh, well, what do you think she sees in a country like this?”
Fifteen minutes before Yoo-seong’s plane had landed in Kore, Yang Biyeon’s defection had been reported through the Special Defense Agency.
Sung-wook, who was at the airport to pick up Yoo-seong, was also one of the people who had been surprised to hear the news.
It was only natural to be surprised, though. There were many unranked Chinese hunters who could easily surpass the top hunters of other countries in terms of skills, power, and ability. But for a current Ship Zone hunter to defect to a country like Korea was unheard of.
‘What kind of work did you do in the Special Defense, Yoo-seong?’
Sung-wook, who knew the situation in the industry to some extent, was several times more shocked than most ordinary people.
A lot of speculation had filled his mind as he waited for Yoo-seong to get off the plane, but when they’d finally met, all his doubts had been answered with Yoo-seong’s explanation.
“I thought you had been hunting hard when you were in China,” Sung-wook teased him a little. “I didn’t expect this… you’re good!”
“I never imagined things would get this big,” Yoo-seong shook his head with his face flushed.
The two were currently in a car being driven by Sung-wook.
“Why did you come to get me?” Yoo-seong asked. “Isn’t it time for your training?”
Sung-wook dismissed Yoo-seong’s questions.
“I told you to get some sleep. You must not have slept much in Japan.”
Yoo-seong was starting to worry at Sung-wook’s silence. “What happened?”
Instead of answering, Sung-wook just glanced at him. “You’ll find out soon.”
Whatever it was, it was clear that it had something to do with Yoo-seong, though he had no idea what could be.
‘I don’t think I remember ordering Seoyu to do anything before leaving for Japan,’ Yoo-seong thought.
“What are you going to do now?” Sung-wook asked.
“I’m planning to fill in my gaps first. CE Injection. Training alone will not be sufficient…”
“No, not that.”
The car stopped at a red light.
Sung-wook leaned back and sighed. “I’m not talking about your training. I am asking about your future plans.”
“I’ll just keep on doing what I’ve been doing so far…”
“Will it work?” Sung-wook stared at Yoo-seong. “First of all, you have changed, in your skill as a hunter, your fame.”
The path Yoo-seong was on was one nobody had ever trodden through the industry’s two decades of history. Sung-wook had no idea how to say it. ‘How can I say it? It’s too much.’
“The thing that you used to close the cracks, the Sky Needle?”
“Tens of thousands of people in the world know you have something several times more efficient than a pulse breaker.”
Sung-wook himself still did not understand the true value of the Sky Needle. However, a tool that could close a crack as soon as it appeared was bound to be something extraordinary.
“With that tool…”
“You’re talking as if I have some kind of a dangerous substance,” Yoo-seong smirked.
However, Sung-wook wasn’t joking at all.
“It is indeed dangerous. I think. Just like you, this is also a first for me.”
Yoo-seong’s growth had increased exponentially over time, and, given such skills, Yoo-seong had eventually overturned a country.
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He had made the Japanese Prime Minister apologize in front of everyone. He had changed the public opinion of a country that hated him into a country that supported him.
More than anything, he had brought back Tech that was the subject of a fairly complex international ownership issue. As Sung-wook had said, no hunter had ever done anything at this scale before.
Yoo-seong was no longer just a ‘hunter.’
“When the cracks open and the monsters pour out, a hunter’s job is to save people from them. This is a hunter’s purpose in society,” Sung-wook began to explain.
Some hunters were popular enough to appear on shows or shoot commercials, and some hunters accumulated enormous wealth and power over time.
However, Yoo-seong was different. He was doing things no other hunter could have ever done.
“Ordinary people don’t recognize it yet, but eventually, everyone will. You are different from all the other hunters that have ever been. And then, they will decide.”
‘They will decide how to deal with your existence.’
Being treated as a hero must have been something that Yoo-seong was used to and even enjoyed. However, at some point…
“There will be people who look at it negatively.”
‘No, there will be many. I have seen hunters who had fought for the people, only to turn against the people themselves.’
“So I think you should have an alternative for your future course of action…”
Sung-wook was about to finish his speech when…
Yoo-seong lifted his index finger. Then he pointed it forward.
Sung-wook thought for a moment about what it meant.
Loud honks were coming from behind their car. The traffic light had turned green.
Sung-wook hurriedly stepped on the accelerator.
“I’m a god,” Yoo-seong declared jokingly.
“You’re right,” Sung-wook agreed as he rolled his eyes at him. He then took a deep breath.
“You must think I’m a fool,” Yoo-seong replied as he scratched his head.
“No. Well, it’s not that you’ve done anything wrong,” Sung-wook assured him.
“I have been thinking about it. As you said, it is only natural that there will be people who think about it negatively. So I thought, is there any way to reduce it somehow? And…”
“I have come to a conclusion.”
Sung-wook stayed quiet as he waited for Yoo-seong’s next words.
“I decided not to care.”
For a moment, he completely forgot that he was driving.
He paused to stare at Yoo-seong as if checking he really was the Yoo-seong he knew.
Sung-wook could not believe he’d heard those words from the man who was always preparing himself for the future and all the kinds of issues that might arise.
“Don’t worry. I haven’t lost my motivation. But I realized something a few days ago…”
“I was facing the Japanese Prime Minister at the scene of the accident, right?”
“Um, I also watched that live stream.”
In fact, everyone who had a phone or a computer had been watching it.
“I don’t know if it was obvious, but I was trembling like crazy. I was confronting the prime minister of a country, with hundreds of thousands of people watching it live.”
Of course. No one, including the Prime Minister, had even had the slightest idea that Yoo-seong felt so worried.
That was how thoroughly Yoo-seong hid his inner self.
‘What if I make a slip of the tongue?’
‘What if I say the wrong word?’
‘What if there are variables that I did not think of?’
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‘Will the people who are watching think of me as a jerk?’
‘Will they take my side and not the Prime Minister’s?’
“I was thinking about all those things, and eventually, I ended up thinking like this.”
“Like what?” Sung-wook asked.
“It’s useless.” Yoo-seong stared ahead.
He had always adjusted his character depending on the reactions of the people in front of him. However, the people he could not see, it wouldn’t make any difference to worry about their opinions and feelings, even if they were tens of millions more than those he could see.
So Yoo-seong decided to focus on himself instead of the reactions of people he barely knew.
“I have a purpose. If I move steadily according to that purpose, whatever the outcome, I will get a decent evaluation.”
‘You reap what you sow.’
It had been Yoo-seong’s unchanging philosophy. He glanced back at Sung-wook, who had been quiet, and decided to change the subject.
“I have an appointment with Director Yang Chang-guk later.”
“The Tech from Leto, we have to hand it over to their original owners. However, there are a lot of Tech that have lost their successors over the course of twenty years.”
In fact, most of the Tech he had brought back had no rightful owners left anymore.
“In China and the majority of other countries, the ownership of such Tech usually goes to the discoverer. In some countries, they appoint a person in charge to whom they can entrust the cultivation of the Tech.”
At this, goosebumps sprang all over Sung-wook’s spine. “No way…”
Koreans had believed for decades that they didn’t have their own Tech. And now, they’d found that they actually had quite a number, but these Tech seemed to have no owner.
“Regardless of which standard you apply, I would be the one to manage these unowned Tech.”
“My God… it’s… wait a second. Is there something more?”
Yoo-seong nodded as if he had something more significant to say. “I am going to create an organization, a facility to sort out the handling of these secrets.”
“You mean, like the Chinese organizations?”
“Yes. In that way, we will recruit members whom we could pass the Tech onto.”
‘This is too…’
Sung-wook felt speechless.
What Yoo-seong was talking about was amazing. It was much bigger than what he’d had in mind.
If it were implemented, a new organization similar to Chinese groups would soon be formed. This was a type of organization that had not existed in their country before.
To think that Tech could take root and grow in Korea, which had always been ignored in the past…
“Well, there is still time to make more specific plans,” Yoo-seong shrugged.
The car was now entering the underground parking lot of the Sung-wook Building.
“Although Director Yang has promised to support us in many ways, there are still a lot of things that we need to learn and prepare for. There will be a lot of problems. The biggest among those is money.”
“Well…” while closing the car door, Sung-wook muttered, “money? Maybe it’s not that big of a deal.”
“No, you do not have to invest. I may be able to…”
“Certainly. You can definitely take care of it yourself.”
Yoo-seong paused. Sung-wook was acting strange. It was as if he was holding back his laughter.
The elevator arrived at Sung-wook’s floor. “Welcome back!”
Yoo-seong immediately recognized Seoyu’s voice, and for the first time in several days, Yoo-seong finally saw himself in front of a mirror.
It was just as Sung-wook had said.
He had lost a few kilos. Dark circles had formed under his eyes.
“That’s enough. Just look at this instead!” Seoyu handed him a bunch of documents.
“It’s all organized.” There was a hint of exhaustion mixed with clear pride in Seoyu’s voice.
“There were a lot of operations that you had been involved in which included a lot of complications, right? There were also many overseas operations where it was difficult to determine the hunting ownership, like with the previous Shanghai Shock, right?”
“Right.” Yoo-seong nodded.
“For a while, your compensations were not properly accounted for. So I took this opportunity to sort them out.”
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‘Come to think of it, I had forgotten about those,’ Yoo-seong thought. After briefly thanking Seoyu for her hard work, Yoo-seong began scanning the documents.
As soon as he saw the first page, which showed the summary of the settlements…
“Oh my God!”