Novel Name : Auto Hunting

Auto Hunting - Chapter 159

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Chapter 159
No. 159
The alarm blared through the base.
Troops immediately arrived at the scene, but no confrontation arose.
First of all, an Asian man had just fallen from the sky.
Secondly, despite that ridiculous situation, he was now casually talking to the Korean Special Defense Agency representative, Chae Shin-young.
Nobody would misunderstand the scene. Everyone knew who the man was, even if it was the first time they had seen him.
Besides, the base’s top-ranked official was already with him. He’d witnessed what had happened with his own eyes, but rather than awe, he felt somewhat frustrated.
“Next time, I hope you go through the proper security channels. We have a gate,” the man said with a stern expression.
Chae Shin-young immediately translated his words to Yoo-seong. The middle-aged man was Colonel Mike Francis Foley, whose position was second only to the State Defense Commander.
Before Yoo-seong could respond, the stubborn colonel spoke again. “I don’t know if you don’t respect the military in your country. But here… I hope you behave properly, even just for the sake of saving your country’s face.”
Although Yoo-seong couldn’t understand the words, the tone was obviously sarcastic. Chae Shin-young translated it without changing the words, but she lowered her tone as if trying to urge Yoo-seong to be rational.
With an unreadable expression, Yoo-seong told her, “Please relay this clearly.”
“Okay…” Chae Shin-young was worried. ‘You can’t be thinking about fighting him,’ she thought. She was frightened as to what might happen. Beads of cold sweat flowed down her back, and she felt lightheaded. The only thing in her mind right then was how she could subtly change what Yoo-seong would say.
“I sincerely apologize,” Yoo-seong said.
“Huh? What?”
“Chae Shin-young?” Yoo-seong raised an eyebrow at her. “Let me finish.”
Chae Shin-young bit her lip.
Yoo-seong turned his head to the colonel and spoke to him directly. “As you said, breaking in without permission was wrong and inexcusable. As I was trying to reach Chae Shin-young quickly, tracking her phone, I made an unintentionally disrespectful move. I had no intention of disrespecting the Colonel and the Nevada State Guard.”
Yoo-seong made eye contact with the colonel as he spoke, and Chae Shin-young translated in almost real-time, only one phrase late. After speaking, Yoo-seong humbly bowed his head to the colonel.
It was obvious to the colonel that there was no deception in the translation, just a pure, polite apology. He acknowledged it with a simple nod.
“Okay… Let’s make it quick. I hope you faithfully follow the rules as long as you’re here. Our relationship is one of cooperation. It would be great if we could finish the operation without clashing with each other.”
“That’s right,” Yoo-seong agreed.
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The colonel then moved on to another matter, signifying that the situation was over.
“I gave the briefing to your manager. It will be much more efficient if she gives it to you in your language rather than go through the hassle of interpreting.”
Then the colonel turned around and left them. Yoo-seong turned to Chae Shin-young.
“What was that just now? Why did you go ‘huh, what?’ in the middle of translating?”
She didn’t know how to respond.
“Well, I… I thought you would complain about…”
“You thought I would be dissatisfied?” Yoo-seong looked surprised. “Isn’t he right? I’ve been in the military myself. If a foreigner just came to our premises, we would surely get angry. Surely you didn’t think I was so arrogant as not to realize my mistake?” he asked.
“That…” Chae Shin-young was speechless.
“Also, we are here on business bearing our country’s flag. My actions will reflect on our Special Defense Agency.”
Chae Shin-young began to consider. ‘Do I have some trivial prejudice against Yoo-seong?’
“Well, what’s done is done, so I don’t want to take too long. It’s a little sad, though, that you underestimate my intelligence…”
“Oh, if you…”
“Let’s talk about the briefing,” Yoo-seong cut her off.
At this, Chae Shin-young effortlessly conveyed the briefing to Yoo-seong. “The amounts they talked about are the same as the ambassador told us in Korea. Of course, it will remain the same unless you negotiate for a revision,” she finished.
“What kind of monsters are they talking about?”
“It’s… they didn’t disclose anything about the monster species in the operation area. I don’t think they have that information.”
“Unconfirmed?” Yoo-seong’s eyes widened. “Until now? A few days have already passed since the crack opened.”
Yoo-seong couldn’t hide his surprise. Of course, he’d been expecting that the monster or monsters in question were something really powerful. Otherwise, Miracle Boy’s juniors would have been enough to take on the job. They wouldn’t have had to reach out across the Pacific to contact Yoo-seong.
However, it didn’t make sense that they could not even get the minimum of information about the monsters after such a long time.
Chae Shin-young took a few photos from a manila envelope. “Here you go,” she said as she handed them over.
Satellite photographs and an aerial view of the operation area. Natsville was a small town, an old western frontier built in the wilderness of Nevada.
However, it couldn’t be seen in the photos. Something was blocking the view.
‘Fog? Or some kind of a gel-type shield?’ Yoo-seong thought.
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The village was covered in a dull, gray film.
“Per their observation, the gray film started to spread out right after the crack was created, and it stopped right after it covered the entire village.”
“What about the hunters who entered?”
“They sent a total of eighty-six people. Of those, eighty-five were existing hunters who were deployed after the creation of the rift. The other one…”
Yoo-seong nodded and finished her sentence. “The other one was a special force sent after those eighty-five people.”
Chae Shin-young’s eyebrow raised a little, but she continued speaking. “Action cams and communicators don’t work inside the gray area. Fourteen hours after all eighty-five hunters failed to return, the National Guard dispatched another hunter.”
“Of course, he would have been carrying different communication equipment that should have worked?”
Chae Shin-young nodded. “It’s said that he came in with different types of equipment, but the only one that worked was the most basic. A beeper that used Morse code.”
But that hadn’t lasted long either.
“He reported that the village was empty. Then the signal got cut off. They haven’t heard from him since.” Chae Shin-young leaned in closer. “Your special mission is to rescue that person. Bring him back no matter what state he’s in.”
Then Chae Shin-young leaned back and narrowed her eyes as if she thought it was a little strange.
“Certainly… something is weird,” she muttered. “They didn’t even talk about the eighty-five people who went in first. I feel that the focus is on the one missing person rather than the gray curtain covering the village right now…” she added.
“Wouldn’t that be natural?”
“The one in there is version two of Miracle Boy.”
Yoo-seong, with a matter-of-fact tone, began telling Chae Shin-young what he’d been through after leaving Korea. The trouble in Hawaii and what happened when he arrived in California.
Of course, he left out some personal details, but…
Even the gist of the story was enough to make Chae Shin-young exclaim in surprise.
“This is too, too…”
“…big, yes,” Yoo-seong helped her.
It was definitely something huge, even in her experience. She was a sheriff in the Special Defense Agency. More than capturing dangerous hunters who committed crimes, she’d also had to undertake various forms of dirty work to stop foreign entities from trying to use or take out domestic hunters.
“But this scale, my… God damn it! I don’t know what to say! Do you know what you’ve done?”
“I always know what I’m doing.”
“Well, such a person…! It’s Alvin Hawkins! The US Vice President’s son!” Chae Shin-young exclaimed. “This isn’t something you can take responsibility for yourself. No, no matter what you think, you shouldn’t even try!”
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This was an entirely different story. It was a high-level problem far beyond simply hunting monsters and closing rifts. The situation involved foreign companies, and there were astronomical amounts at stake.
Yoo-seong shouldn’t have intervened in Hawaii in the first place. If he had quietly contacted Chae Shin-young once he arrived in California, the terrible situation would have been avoided.
“If anything goes wrong… How many ramifications will come as a result of your actions?!”
“Really, who do you think you are to…”
“I’m a hunter.” Yoo-seong’s firm voice cut off Chae Shin-young’s words.
“What?! For a man calling himself a hunter…”
“Why wouldn’t I get involved in such a situation, regardless of the scale?”
Politicians and entrepreneurs had the same choices as hunters. To make society better for its citizens or to keep creating more wealth for themselves. Every word they said or action they took could affect the lives of countless others.
“They have power, and they take for granted the fact that their actions can have consequences for other people’s lives,” Yoo-seong stated.
Weren’t they here because they were trying to avoid the eyes of those in power in Korea?
“But I, as a hunter… I have power, too, and a lot of it. Why can’t I do something that will affect other people?”
“Well, do you think that makes sense?” Chae Shin-young challenged him.
“I’m not saying it makes sense. But it is the reality.”
Yoo-seong was firmly convinced that he was right.
“Anyway, even if I choose not to get involved, another person will use their power to make waves around the world. What I want is to decide the direction of the waves at my disposal.”
“You consider yourself the world’s justice. You think you’re always right and can never be wrong,” Chae Shin-young scoffed.
“Not at all!” Yoo-seong laughed.
“I don’t want to make everything right in the world,” he explained. “But I can’t just keep still while something is going wrong around me. It’s my personality.”
‘And I desperately want this personality to change,’ he wanted to add. ‘As I told Alvin, everything is a matter of luck and probability. I don’t know what’s waiting for me, but I eagerly hope that I can find something that will make me feel satisfied enough to take my weary body out of this battle.’
“I… I… I don’t know.” Chae Shin-young shook her head. “Why would the Director like a person like you? He trusts you so much… You just…”
“It’s probably because I’m a risky ball, and he doesn’t know where I’ll bounce next,” Yoo-seong agreed.
Then Yoo-seong turned around and started walking toward Natsville, the operation area.
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“Please tell the colonel one thing for sure,” he said. “I haven’t stamped the contract yet. What I will receive in return for this operation, I will negotiate after the hunt.”
“Do you think they will accept those ridiculous terms?!”
“They will,” Yoo-seong affirmed without even looking back.
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