Auto Hunting - Chapter 132
While his grandson was freaking out from excitement, Han Kwang-ho, president of the Hankwang Group, calmly observed the livestream.
Right opposite him was a screen covering the entire wall, showing Yoo-seong’s face.
Yoo-seong’s live broadcast was not only open to hunters. President Han Kwang-ho had been watching his struggles along with everyone else.
“It was quite a sight. But that is all,” the president said as he turned his head away. “What do you think, Mr. Joo?”
He was met with silence.
“Mr. Joo?” President Han Kwang-ho narrowed his eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Joo Hwan-jin, President Han Kwang-ho’s two-meter-tall personal bodyguard, as he bowed his head.
Aside from his height, Joo Hwan-jin also had an impressive body structure resembling an inverted triangle.
“It’s very unlike you to have a delayed response,” President Han Kwang-ho commented. “What were you thinking?”
“I was just thinking about this broadcast,” Joo Hwan-jin answered.
“Did it give you something to think about?”
Again, Joo Hwan-jin could not answer right away.
‘How could you watch that video and not have any thoughts about it?’ he wondered to himself.
President Han Kwang-ho did not understand anything at all.
“It was a fairly frivolous show,” the president said as he turned back to the screen.
It was showing Yoo-seong as he traveled down the building.
“Our young friend here was quite eager to reveal himself. However, he does not seem to have the sense and self-control to properly manage the situation. I think he succeeded in giving the entire operation a dramatic effect, but everything was too rash.”
Joo Hwan-jin simply continued to listen in silence.
“Did he need to break away from his image just to show off? It appeared as if he was stripped of his dignity the moment he started bleeding. That was quite an embarrassment, to be honest.”
Joo Hwan-jin could not help but stare at the president as he clicked his tongue. He was trying his best not to speak by biting his inner lip.
‘Does it really look that way in the eyes of the public?’
He knew that it was only natural for everyone to think that way on occasion. For some, what Yoo-seong did was nothing but a show.
Except that it wasn’t.
“It’s just that I think it’s a little too much to say it was all merely a ‘frivolous show.’”
Just moments ago, Oh Yoo-seong had revealed his presence, and Joo Hwan-jin knew.
So far, everyone had been mistaken about this rather famous hunter.
No one really understood the true value of Hunter Oh Yoo-seong.
The Psy and Aura he possessed? The unprecedented level of events he’d participated in overseas? They were really nothing compared to what Yoo-seong had just shown.
“Huh. Yeah, I guess that’s something only you hunters understand,” President Han Kwang-ho said mockingly. It took everything in Joo Hwan-jin not to talk back.
“Perhaps everyone is downloading the video by now.”
Joo Hwan-jin was sure of it.
Every hunter group in Korea must have been downloading Yoo-seong’s hunting footage to watch it over and over.
“I’m sure everyone is thinking the same thing. They will want to study and learn how they can move like Oh Yoo-seong.”
“Is that even possible? Are you saying that just by watching a video, someone’s sloppy skills are guaranteed to improve?” President Han Kwang-ho asked skeptically.
Of course, Joo Hwan-jin knew that just watching the video would not be enough.
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No one could just execute the same operation that Oh Yoo-seong had. It had been a miracle.
However, it might be possible for just a few moments. The skills that Oh Yoo-seong had exhibited were basic enough to replicate.
They did not require a lot of conditions.
No equipment, no CE, no Tech – not even exceptional talent.
What Oh Yoo-seong had just shown was a possibility. That was it.
It had not involved of Tech with limited information or rare equipment that ordinary people could not even see. Rather, it had been a style of hunting that thoroughly excluded such things.
It could be said that every hunter actually had the potential. However, no one searched for possibilities anymore.
Not until Yoo-seong had shown them one.
After analyzing his hunting footage, many hunters would soon follow his steps and combinations.
These hunters would then apply these practices in action.
They now had the chance to use Oh Yoo-seong’s basic skillset in real life.
And, because of that, Yoo-seong was filled with a sense of pride that his skills might be further advanced.
Just like students competing for the top student’s answer sheet right after a quiz, hunters across the country would enjoy this kind of festive competition.
That was the exact reason why Joo Hwan-jin’s heart was beating faster.
“Even so, I don’t know if it’s going to come to anything,” said President Han Kwang-ho as he sat next to Joo Hwan-jin, the business tycoon almost spitting his words in ridicule. “Isn’t everything you’re going to learn from watching Oh Yoo-seong’s videos pointless if you do not possess the skills?”
Joo Hwan-jin tried to explain, but the president ended up cutting him off.
“It has nothing to do with us anyway. The diligent ones do not matter. To be a leader, you must be mindful of those born with talent. You shouldn’t pay attention to those who are easily trampled on.”
Joo Hwan-jin shut his mouth.
He could not help it. After all, he was nothing but a knight.
He was a racehorse that ran the track according to his master’s will. This was the way President Han Kwang-ho looked at the industry.
And no, he wasn’t the only one who thought this way.
The same went for several powerful people who had followed in President Han Kwang-ho’s footsteps, all of whom Joo Hwan-jin had been given the opportunity to meet.
They all thought of the hunter industry as something like a sports business with richer commercial potential.
In recent years, the frequency of cracks, the accident in Japan that happened a few days ago, the Shanghai Shock that had happened prior – the sense of crisis all these brought differed greatly among the government authorities and the business sector.
Of course, the threat posed by the cracks should be stopped at all costs. However, for those who saw the world in numbers, the meaning and weight of what hunters did had long been erased.
In their eyes, exceptional hunters were nothing but stallions, athletes, and followers.
Hunters only strained their bodies in order to gain favor in the public’s eye. Hunters were racehorses bought to maintain their masters’ wealth.
It was one of the main reasons why Joo Hwan-jin had come to work for the Hankwang Group.
In his prime, he was one of the pioneers when the first of the cracks appeared. He was a ranker in the country, a ranker who had failed to survive amid the rising competition within the new generation.
Joo Hwan-jin had seen himself as a failed man, not because he sold his own organization but because of what he had become: Hankwang Group’s Chief Security Officer, who received a hefty salary.
For President Han Kwang-ho, he was a racehorse and luxury item that the president could show off by merely having him by his side. And right now, his master wanted more horses.
“Anyway, that’s what I’m saying. It’s easier than I thought. It would be foolish of you to push back on our previous plans unless you are willing for the risk to rise,” said President Han Kwang-ho.
“Mr. President, with all due respect…” Joo Hwan-jin tried his best to explain. “You underestimate him too much.”
“Do I?” the president asked.
“Wasn’t he involved in issues when he had an operation in Japan? People like Chairman Tatsuo Sukune and the Japanese Prime Minister…”
“Do you really think it was all Oh Yoo-seong’s doing?” President Han Kwang-ho snorted in half-amusement. “Of course,” the president continued, “Oh Yoo-seong might have done a thing or two, but not everything was because he is someone great. The Japanese Prime Minister and the chairman of the Leto group overestimated him. It was their fault that they fought amongst themselves before taking care of him.”
“Chairman Sukune was also a hunter,” Joo Hwan-jin reasoned.
“That’s why he did what he did. I will deal with Oh Yoo-seong as a hunter, but I do not have to consider anything else. That is all there is to it.”
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President Han Kwang-ho thought of Yoo-seong as nothing more than a “mere” hunter.
He was certain that there were many ways to deal with hunters, especially with the privileges and influence that he had.
“It would be a waste of time to exert too much effort,” the president told Joo Hwan-jin.
Humans do not run alongside horses.
In President Han Kwang-ho’s opinion, it was enough for a master to ride on the back of his racehorse or just sit and watch from a distance as the sheep ran.
“And no matter how crazy the horse is, you do not even have to hold the whip yourself.”
“But…” Joo Hwan-jin tried to object.
“Maybe it’s only natural that you are unable to see it.” Cutting off Joo Hwan-jin, President Han Kwang-ho’s words dripped with ice. “It’s because our positions differ anyway.”
At this, Joo Hwan-jin stood in silence.
Perhaps, even if the president himself would not admit it, there was still some sense of vigilance.
Joo Hwan-jin knew this. Oh Yoo-seong was someone different.
He had both his skills as a hunter and popularity. He was someone who exuded a presence that you wouldn’t want to cross.
At the moment, Oh Yoo-seong and the Hankwang Group were still going their separate ways, but…
“I’m tired. I will get some sleep,” said the president as he rose from his seat. “Wake me up if you hear anything from Jae-gyu.”
It was an order from President Han Kwang-ho to his horse.
Suppressing emotions that he could not vent, Joo Hwan-jin obeyed his owner’s instructions.
Just the way he was supposed to.
Yang Chang-guk stood, worried, in a lounge at the far end of the hallway of the hospital’s first floor.
“Are you okay? Your eyes were completely bloody.”
Contrary to how it looked, Yoo-seong’s broken nose was actually more of a problem. The doctors had managed to put a thin protector on top of it by adjusting the nose bone. However, Yoo-seong found the itch more bothersome to endure.
“It seems to fall by itself after some time.”
Barely managing to hold his nose, Yoo-seong threw a look at Yang Chang-guk. “I’m not the one you should be worried about right now. You look worse than I do.”
Somehow, Yoo-seong had spoken the truth.
Yang Chang-guk looked a lot thinner than when they met in Japan.
At that time, it had been evident that he hadn’t slept a wink. However, this time, Yang Chang-guk indeed looked worse.
“I’m… I’m just… Always…” Stuttering, Yang-Chang guk rubbed his eyes a few times before he was able to speak. “It’s nothing. It’s what I told you about last time, the crack near the Military Demarcation Line.
“Oh, that.” Yoo-seong nodded as if he’d just remembered.
It was an unexplored crack that had appeared for the first time in Korea.
As always, Yoo-seong was ready to carry out an operation at any time.
“We’re leaving right away.”
“No… No.” Yang Chang-guk shook his hand. Then with a quivering expression, he spoke. “I’m not asking you to close it. I think the operation to close the crack will be postponed indefinitely.”
“What?” Yoo-seong asked instantly. “Why? Nothing good will come of dragging it out. We have no idea what will come from the other side of the crack!”
“That’s not my decision to make,” Yang Chang-guk sighed in exasperation.
“But don’t you have to close the crack?” Yoo-seong knew the answer even before he asked.
There were rules when it came to closing cracks, and he knew them well. There were absolute laws that were followed in the hunting industry all around the world. Laws such as: ‘Hunters should not harm the public,’ or ‘The primary purpose of hunting operations is civilian safety.’
Among these absolute laws was: “All cracks should be closed as quickly as possible.”
So far, there had never been a reason to break this rule, though there was one aspect in an operation that had suffered because of it: the actual dive.
Sometimes, from the shadows of the industry, a joke would come out.
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What if the hunters did not close any of the cracks and kept them open?
What if hunters dove through the open crack, exchanged supplies, and replaced the injured?
The dive’s success rate would surely be several hundred times higher.
Such a notion could make individual explorations possible.
However, the risk was far too great for humanity.
“Of course, not a single country wanted to break the rules. A lot of unpredictable arisen from the continuous opening of cracks. We have no idea when and what kind of danger will threaten the safety of the people,” Yang Chang-guk explained.
However, even if they could not speak out openly, quite a few thought otherwise.
For mankind, the world inside the crack was full of dangers. However, at the same time, it was also a fountain of infinite value.
“Also, it’s not as if the crack could be closed with a breaker. Technically, we are not breaking any rules,” Yang Chang-guk said matter-of-factly.
‘But I can close it,’ was what Yoo-seong wanted to say. Yet, he kept his mouth shut.
His Sky Needle could close the crack, but it still wasn’t an officially-proven fact.
In other words, what Yang Chang-guk was trying to say wasn’t simply that there was a delay in the operation to close the crack in the Military Demarcation Line.
“You are telling me to keep quiet the fact that I can close the crack.”
Yang Chang-guk did not answer.
As Yoo-seong realized it, veins of anger throbbed in his temple.
He wanted to shout at Yang Chang-guk, asking if he knew what his request meant, but he knew it was pointless.
Yang Chang-guk had made no excuses. As he’d said, it was not his decision.
Aside from Yoo-seong, Yang Chang-guk had also been working overtime to respond to cracks appearing ceaselessly in various parts of the country. As absurd as the order was, Yang Chang-guk did not have the time or energy to argue.
With these thoughts in mind, Yoo-seong tried to calm down and reserve his rage. Instead, he asked, “Can you tell me where the idea first came from?”
“A lot of conglomerates have recently entered the industry. The politicians are not really doing a good job of regulating them. One of the heads of the conglomerates…”
For a moment, Yang Chang-guk worried that what he would say could potentially harm Yoo-seong. However, how could he lie right in front of him?
“As far as I know, it’s Hankwang.”
“The Hankwang Group,” Yoo-seong said as if trying to remember.
“Yes,” Yang Chang-guk confirmed.
Just like a predator that had found its prey, Yoo-seong fixed his eyes in the air.
‘Hankwang. Hankwang. Hankwang.’
He repeated the words over and over in his head. “Oh Yoo-seong!”
His train of thought was interrupted by a nurse’s voice from the other side of the hallway.
“I need you to come in. Go straight downstairs to Injection 3,” the nurse instructed.
At this, Yoo-seong rose from his seat. He firmly shook hands with Yang Chang-guk.
For a moment, Yang Chang-guk seemed to know what was running inside Yoo-seong’s head.
“As always, thank you, Director.”
However, Yoo-seong had already turned the corner and was going downstairs.
Yoo-seong continued to think about it as he walked toward the CE injection room.
It wouldn’t leave his head.
As he approached his destination, Yoo-seong took a deep breath.
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‘I must let it go, for now. I need to clear my head.’
It had been almost a year since he had gotten new energy.
Yoo-seong opened the door to the injection room.