Novel Name : Auto Hunting

Auto Hunting - Chapter 169

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Chapter 169
No. 169
Yang Chang-guk placed his water bottle back on the table after taking a sip from it. He cleared his throat in preparation for the upcoming meeting, the thirty-second Special Defense Emergency Response Committee convention.
The last time the committee had convened was twelve years ago. They had thought then that the committee would have no reason to meet again. Originally, a convention was held whenever major issues or catastrophes related to special defense occurred, whether inside or outside the country.
Twenty years ago, it had convened at least once a month, each meeting lasting for several days.
‘That lessened as time went on,’ Yang Chang-guk thought.
Over time, people had learned about the beasts and the rifts and how to deal with them. Moreover, hunting was now solely in the hands of hunters. The time had passed when politicians and bureaucrats sat around a table and discussed how to protect civilians.
About ten years ago, the committee had been dissolved, and the burden of its duties was given to the Special Defense Agency.
It had been more efficient to do it that way, to leave the work to the experts.
Yang Chang-guk and the employees of the Special Defense Agency had performed the tricky task of acting as middlemen between hunters and civilians. They had endured getting minimal help from the politicians and bureaucrats in return for being an ‘autonomous’ institution.
‘Now I have to be here and discuss the basics,’ Yang Chang-guk thought, wiping sweat from his brow.
The Special Defense Agency had so much to do. An unclosed crack had already opened in the middle of Suwon. They had to create a timetable rotation for hunting groups and send out the schedule. In addition, Chae Shin-young’s report had just come in, and the contents were unbelievable. Every minute—no, every second he spent here was a waste of time.
“Director Yang.” A voice came from beyond the wide table.
“Yes, Minister?”
“Now that everyone has gathered, I wonder if you can start talking about the current situation. I don’t have much time.”
“…Yes. Okay.” Yang Chang-guk masked his annoyance.
‘Is he saying that his time is more valuable than ours?’
Civilian anxiety had already reached its peak after the unclosed crack’s appearance in Suwon, coinciding with other unclosed cracks around the world. Everyone, including the President, was doing their best in their own way.
“As you can see from this data, the unclosed crack could not be closed with the equipment we…”
“I’m not here to listen to this basic information!”
A palm slapped on the hardwood table. Yang Chang-guk was stunned. The man who had slapped the table was the Minister of Special Defense. He was head of the department that controlled the distribution of various alien by-products to public and private enterprises.
“I already know that we had the means to close those cracks,” the man exclaimed.
“Right,” Yang Chang-guk nodded. “With the ability of our hunter, Oh Yoo-seong—”
“The question is, where is that hunter now?!”
The Minister’s words had an unnecessary edge, and Yang Chang-guk knew why.
The Minister of Special Defense was one of the few top officials connected with the Hankwang Group. And Yoo-seong had wanted to leave the peninsula because of people in such high positions.
“You don’t need to make up an answer,” the Minister added. “I know he has been dispatched to the United States.”
“That’s right.” Yang Chang-guk had no reason to lie.
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Some of the people in the hall gasped upon hearing this information.
News of Yoo-seong’s employment in the United States had not been made public. At another time, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Hunters, after all, were individuals who could choose where to sign contracts.
However, now, things were different.
Unclosed rifts were happening all over the world, including Korea. Oh Yoo-seong’s value at this moment was incomparable.
“Is it possible for you, Director Yang Chang-guk, to contact him right now?” The Minister’s voice was daunting.
“Not right now.”
“Do you have his current location, at least?”
“Not right now. The latest information we have is that he will be returning home at the soonest—”
“Is that so? What’s your proof? How can you guarantee us that he has not turned into an American already?”
“Minister!” Yang Chang-guk was reaching the limit of his patience.
“What were you thinking when you sent him to the United States? Why did you give your permission?”
The Minister’s hard questions kept coming.
“Hey! What do you mean by that?” Yang Chang-guk couldn’t help but feel amazed at the level of disrespect he was getting.
“In this troublesome time for every country in the world, including ours, were you unaware of his strategic importance when you sent him away? Do you think attaching a special agent with him was enough?”
The Minister wasn’t content with simply raising his voice. He stood up and began pacing the room. Around them, the other high-ranking officials began to murmur agreement.
“Minister Kim’s words make sense…”
“Why would the Director send away a hunter of that value? The temptation of asylum…”
‘This…’ Yang Chang-guk turned pale. ‘These people are…’
It wasn’t that he was afraid the Minister was trying to pass the blame onto him. It was that they didn’t seem to realize the crisis the entire world was in.
They were looking at Yang Chang-guk with triumphant faces as if they were satisfied that they had a scapegoat. It appeared that the meeting’s purpose was a witch hunt.
Perhaps, when the convention ended, Yang Chang-guk would no longer be the Director of the Bureau.
His place could soon be filled with someone from the Minister’s gang.
“What are you going to do?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be doing something right now?!”
Even those who were not originally on the Minister’s side seemed to have been persuaded.
“Isn’t Oh Yoo-seong the hunter who has been involved in several scandals? Like the Hankwang case? How can you just allow him to run around, knowing that his character is—”
“Stop.” Yang Chang-guk raised his voice and interrupted the Minister.
“I beg your pardon?”
The Minister looked at Yang Chang-guk with a surprised expression. He hadn’t expected an objection.
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“Mr. Oh Yoo-seong is not a person whose character deserves suspicion.”
“Look, whatever your personal opinion of him—”
“I don’t know what the Minister’s basis is, but Oh Yoo-seong has never been someone untrustworthy.”
The officials in the room felt uneasy. Yang Chang-guk, who was known to be gentle, was now almost growling with anger.
“No. Especially compared to someone like you,” the Director added.
“Director Yang!” someone yelled out to stop him.
However, Yang Chang-guk wasn’t finished. He slammed both hands on the table.
“This meeting is to report the current status of the cracks and to discuss countermeasures. If you want a witch hunt, then fine, hold me responsible for sending Yoo-seong overseas.”
Everyone flinched at the Director’s raised voice.
“It’s all my fault. But Oh Yoo-seong is a hunter who has done all he can to fulfill his duty. He does not deserve to be shamed by a sloppy politician.”
“This, you really—!”
Chairs screeched backward, and fists slammed on the table as the Minister and his colleagues stood.
“Now, now, everyone, stop this.”
A calm voice pierced through the room, bringing them to their senses. The seasoned fox, watching the situation, had finally opened his mouth.
It was President Kwak Seong-guk, the commander in chief of the Republic of Korea.
“What is happening? Is this a place designed for you to fight amongst each other?”
The President looked around the silenced room.
“The important thing right now is not who is responsible for what, but where Oh Yoo-seong is.”
“That’s right, Mr. President,” Yang Chang-guk agreed.
“It is the Director’s job to manage domestic hunters so that they are available immediately when their country needs them. With all things considered, you have failed in this, Director Yang. Am I right?”
“Yes, Mr. President,” Yang Chang-guk replied with a heavy voice.
“It wouldn’t be wise to make hasty judgments, but… I’m having the same thoughts that Minister Kim suggested.”
“Oh, no! It can’t be true. Yoo-seong would never—” Yang Chang-guk vehemently denied the possibility of Yoo-seong staying in America. However, the President’s gaze remained calmly fixed on him.
“Before I came here, I received a direct call from the Americans,” the President began.
Not only Yang Chang-guk, but everyone in the room fell silent. A direct call to the President’s hotline meant that the call was coming from his counterpart, the highest office in the United States.
“During that call, I was told that—”
Something fell through the ceiling, onto the center of the oval table.
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“A monster!”
Panic ensued for a few moments.
Even the officials’ bodyguards contemplated escaping. However…
“Sorry about this!”
From the dust and the smoke, a human voice came.
Everyone turned their heads and waited for the smoke to clear.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come this way, but the situation is so urgent that I had to find a shortcut.”
Standing at the center of the oval table like a chef at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, Oh Yoo-seong looked around the surprised faces in the room.
‘This is too much,’ he thought, blaming Auto-Hunt.
He’d wanted the fastest route to the Blue House. He had not expected to burst into the middle of what seemed to be an important meeting.
Yoo-seong didn’t know all the faces around the room, but they all seemed like VIPs.
His eyes stopped on the President’s surprised face for a moment before turning to a familiar face in the room.
‘Lucky the Director is here,’ he thought.
“Excuse me, can I ask how much of the situation they know?” he asked.
“Of course,” Yang Chang-guk nodded. Then a complete summary of what had happened in the meeting was relayed to Yoo-seong.
Of course, Yang Chang-guk omitted the useless arguments that had occurred.
“I see. Thank you, Director.” Yoo-seong gave him a little bow. Then, with a smile, he turned to the President. “You received a phone call from the United States.”
“Yes. From what they told me, you—”
“I’m sorry, Mr. President,” Yoo-seong cut him off. “Whatever you heard from them, it’s all crap.”
The President narrowed his eyes. “That’s a pretty big accusation… I hope you have some evidence to support your claim.”
“Such a cheeky bastard!” someone in the room belatedly yelled out.
One of the officials stood and began to move toward Yoo-seong, but…
In an instant, Yoo-seong had the Sky Scissors in his hands, and a crack had been ripped in the middle of the Blue House.
Everyone froze in shock and fear.
“I’ll show you,” Yoo-seong declared.
Then his hand plunged into the crack he had just formed. He took something from within, and-
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He threw it into the middle of the room for everyone to see.
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