Novel Name : Auto Hunting

Auto Hunting - Chapter 146

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Chapter 146
Episode 146
McGonner was tremendously shocked.
He had been told Oh Yoo-seong’s direct line was extremely confidential information. His home country’s intelligence department had gotten it through a secret contact. Even within the American embassy, only McGonner had access to it.
However, he tried his best not to show his surprise.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” McGonner said with a straight face.
However, Yoo-seong’s follow-up was too strong.
“Didn’t you get it from the Japanese Prime Minister?” Yoo-seong asked nonchalantly.
McGonner hardened his expression.
It was the truth.
After the recent Tokyo Disaster, Japan had been left with no choice but to resort to seeking aid.
The Japanese Prime Minister had been embarrassed, and their top corporation, the Leto Group, brought to a shambles. Even the Disaster Management Administration officers had stepped down one by one in shame after the news that they had forsaken their duties in favor of Tatsuo Sukune broke out.
The public had clamored for accountability, and the Japanese Prime Minister had no choice but to inflict punishment on the hunters. It was natural, given what they had done.
However, the hunters under the Leto Group’s control were also Japan’s top-notch hunters. Punishing them would drill a big hole in their country’s special defense. This had placed Prime Minister Murata in a dilemma.
Should he relax the sanctions that had been given to the top-notch hunters?
What would it do to the already inflamed public opinion if he took back his words?
In the end, he’d had no choice but to open his country to another superpower. That superpower’s response had come immediately.
“The USA government accepts Japan’s request for assistance.”
With a few exceptions, such as Korea, the USA was one of the few countries that could boast about its industry’s strength even without a long history of Psy and Tech. This was because of their advanced science and technology, as well as their capital. The money and manpower available to them made the US the world’s best in special defense research. The equipment they produced was top-notch and was exported to different countries. In fact, their special equipment could even allow ordinary people to face low-grade monsters.
Thanks to this, the United States was able to survive the manpower shortage that had been plaguing the world. It was no wonder that they could even supply manpower to other countries.
Nineteen large American firms had sent manpower to aid Japan, keeping the country safe while their top-notch hunters were in jail or banned from hunting. It was the reason Tokyo was safe now. It was also the reason they had been able to get Oh Yoo-seong’s contact information from Murata.
As Yoo-seong had assured Prime Minister Murata, the value of his contact information proved to be tremendous. It was more than anything money could buy, which was also the reason the USA had leveraged to get it during their negotiations with Japan.
However, for Yoo-seong, there was no harm in having his information available to the leaders of the US. That was why, when he gave his calling card to Murata, he’d packaged it as if it were a rare item.
His calculations had been correct: in the end, Murata had used it as a diplomatic resource.
The US aid to Japan was news that became a hot topic in Korea as well. When Yoo-seong heard about it, he’d assumed that his contact information had been used as part of the deal.
‘But I didn’t think the US would contact me directly so fast,’ Yoo-seong thought with a light smile.
McGonner, who was seated across him, looked flustered.
It was embarrassing how Yoo-seong knew that Japan had leaked his critical information to the US.
However, McGonner was a seasoned diplomat. Yoo-seong knew that he should not give him time to recover his bearings and take control of the negotiations. He had to push him now while he was flustered.
“So, what do you want to do with me?” he added, impatience in his voice.
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“Wait a minute… Could you please give me a minute…?”
‘Aim for where your prey shows weakness.’ That was the basis of fighting and hunting.
“If you’re still thinking about what to say, perhaps I should leave.” Yoo-seong acted as though he was about to rise from his seat.
“Hold on, what?” A look of panic appeared on the Ambassador’s face.
“To be honest, I feel uncomfortable about this meeting now. When I handed my contact information to Prime Minister Murata, I thought he would keep it confidential. But now… if you know about it, then who else does? How many of your superiors know?”
McGonner looked away in shame. Yoo-seong continued pushing aggressively.
“And now, even with that issue, I am lending you my ears and speaking with you honestly. Why does it seem like you are trying to compose a message, changing your words inside your head? Can’t we be honest and frank with each other?”
Yoo-seong was acting as if he was not talking to a representative of a superpower but as if McGonner and America were just his customers.
“If you don’t tell me directly what you want to do with me, it’s time for me to leave. And of course, given that you already have my contact information, I would have to cut off that leaked number so you could not use it again.”
Finally, a look of surrender fell over the diplomat’s face.
“Could you please sit down? Please hear me out.”
McGonner’s defense had reached its limit. He was left with no room to maneuver while negotiating with Oh Yoo-seong.
“You may have already guessed this, but… The US needs your help with our unclosed cracks.”
Yoo-seong raised his eyebrows and waited for the other man to finish speaking.
“A few days ago, a new type of monster we have never seen before appeared through our unclosed crack.”
McGonner’s attitude turned slightly hesitant, as if he was thinking about his next words.
Yoo-seong jumped in immediately. “Would you like me to hunt that monster?”
“Ah, yes. That’s right. I cannot give you more information about it right now. Please understand, I’m not trying to cheat you, but the situation we are in right now is…”
Chae Shin-young felt conscious of her position as a Korean Special Defense Agent and spoke. “If it’s something you can’t discuss because I am here, I will leave you two alone.”
“No.” McGonner shook his head. “The information about the beast will be announced after Yoo-seong is in our territory, right before the operation. Thank you for your understanding.”
“I understand,” Yoo-seong nodded. “So, how will I be compensated for this if I participate?” Yoo-seong asked in a matter-of-fact tone. What McGonner said next surprised him.
“Just for participating in the operation, we will pay a down payment of one hundred and fifty million dollars. Regardless of the results.”
“If you retreat during the operation due to safety concerns, you won’t have to return the down payment. We will pay it just for your participation.”
It wasn’t just Yoo-seong who sucked in his breath. Even Chae Shin-young, who had nothing to do with the money, opened her eyes wide and repeated the amount.
A hundred and fifty million US dollars.
It was too much money to conceive of. Even if converted with a ratio of 1:1000 won:dollar, it would be a hundred and fifty billion won.
Not even Lee Jae-hak had earned that much for a single operation. Even top-notch teams or firms with multiple members didn’t receive this much for a contract. However, McGonner hadn’t finished yet.
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“For the operation itself, we will pay you fifty million dollars per individual monster hunted.”
The sums that were coming out of McGonner’s mouth were far beyond common sense.
“In the case of a live capture, we will pay three hundred million dollars per head on top of the fifty million.”
In other words, a total of three hundred and fifty million dollars for a live capture. Combined with the down payment, Oh Yoo-seong would receive five hundred million US dollars for capturing one live monster.
Chae Shin-young felt dizzy. Of course, she might have assumed that the USA was willing to spend that much, because it was unusual for them to hire a foreign hunter.
It was said that America’s greatest power was their money, and Chae Shin-young’s knees felt weak as she experienced that power, even if she wasn’t its target.
McGonner’s expression was impassive as he spoke about the money. He was blurting out unimaginable sums without much of an expression on his face.
“And…” McGonner continued.
“What? There’s more?” Chae Shin-young exclaimed.
“There are additional requirements, which we will disclose right before the operation. If those conditions were to be met, the reward would be an additional one billion US dollars.”
Chae Shin-young had seen that amount in an article before.
One billion dollars. It was the kind of money that American blockbuster movies earned. To receive such sales usually meant that an enormous budget had been spent on its production.
She had never heard of that amount being paid for a single man’s labor costs.
“As soon as you guarantee your participation, we will prepare the down payment,” McGonner continued. “It will be deposited in a special account secured with a password that changes in real-time.”
Chae Shin-young didn’t even need to look at Yoo-seong’s face. She knew he must look shocked. No matter how big of a hunter he was, that amount would have a tremendous impact on goals.
However, when Yoo-seong spoke…
“No, I don’t think I need that right now.”
“What?!” The word popped out unconsciously from Chae Shin-young’s lips.
McGonner was also surprised. “What do you mean?”
“Please don’t misunderstand. It doesn’t mean I don’t like money.” Yoo-seong placed his chin on his palm. “But if I accepted the down payment now, wouldn’t that mean that I accept the other terms and conditions you mentioned?”
“It’s definitely an eye-catching amount, but the standards for setting labor costs are always relative.” Yoo-seong’s expression and tone were serious. “If I’m correct… please tell me your requirements.”
“We’re definitely going to do that,” McGonner said, “but not here.”
“Then let’s go to America first. And I will see and judge the operation site and what I need to do with my own eyes. That’s when we will start the negotiations.”
Chae Shin-young couldn’t help but feel anxious. Yoo-seong was playing against a superpower. “Oh Yoo-seong, I don’t think this is an appropriate way…”
“I don’t think it’s a matter for me to decide,” McGonner admitted. “It’s a matter for my superiors. Anyway, if you think about it, you would receive a hundred and fifty million dollars just for going to America if you accept the down payment now. It would be almost as if you were getting it for free.”
“No.” Yoo-seong was firm. “Perhaps call your superiors and tell them what I’m saying.”
McGonner bit his lip and considered for a moment. From the beginning, he’d never had control of their conversation.
“Alright then.” McGonner got up from his seat and made a call.
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“Nonsense. This is total nonsense.”
As they walked to the embassy’s parking lot, Chae Shin-young repeated these words several times.
It really had happened as Yoo-seong wanted.
Less than three minutes after McGonner had grabbed his phone, they’d received a response from the other line.
-As soon as Oh Yoo-seong is ready, please enter the country as soon as possible.
“It must be a trap,” Chae Shin-young muttered.
“What?” Yoo-seong turned his head.
After a few moments of hesitation, Chae Shin-young poured out her thoughts. “No matter how much I think about it… it sounds too good to be true. Even though you are a great hunter… even though you’re the only one who can close that crack…”
“You’re wrong.” Yoo-seong shook his head lightly.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Think carefully. When Ambassador McGonner talked about rewards, was there any mention of closing the crack?”
Chae Shin-young thought hard about it. There wasn’t.
“It’s not about closing the cracks. I think this happened because they judged it as something not even I could do.”
“That’s… what do you mean?”
“Well? Think about it on your flight.”
Chae Shin-young felt wary of Yoo-seong’s words.
“Oh Yoo-seong! We can’t allow you to go alone. We must report to our country and secure flights to the United States as soon as possible.”
“You have to take care of departure procedures and permits first, right?”
“There are documents you need to use when going overseas.”
“Well, sure…” Chae Shin-young nodded her head.
“Good.” Yoo-seong smiled as if he was satisfied. “So I will go first. I just got my visa from the Ambassador.”
Before Chae Shin-young could say anything…
“See you in America. Later.”
Yoo-seong activated his Explosive Acceleration and soared into the sky. In an instant, he soared to a height invisible to the naked eye, and at some point, he stopped rising and shot away horizontally.
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Toward the Pacific Ocean.
“What the…?”
Chae Shin-young was left with her mouth wide open as Yoo-seong headed for the United States.
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