Auto Hunting - Chapter 173
Jang Ki-ryung wasn’t his real name.
It was actually no different from a stage name, he thought.
His real name was Gillian. It was the name given to him by his mother, who was pure Chinese in nationality, but whose heart and soul were British.
She was not a religious person. After the death of her husband, a former priest in Jin Wei-baek’s temple, she had fled to England with her newborn son.
That was during the time when cracks hadn’t reopened yet. To her, the true wisdom that the temple had educated them on was nothing more than a myth.
Jin Wei-baek hadn’t been hard on her. However, when her son turned eight years old, the old man had set off to find them.
‘-Will you come with me?’
Jang Ki-ryung had not hesitated. With his weeping and wailing mother behind him, he took Jin Wei-baek’s hand and left.
It had been the natural choice for him. In both strength and intelligence, Jang Ki-ryung was a natural genius, and he’d known it. That was why he had hated being in England. He hated the environment and everyone around him, including his mother. Jang Ki-ryung couldn’t stand to be with these nerds, who had looked at him with pity because of his race and because he didn’t have a father.
‘-Please let me walk the path my father took.’
For the young Jang Ki-ryung, Chunma Jin Wei-baek was his savior.
For twenty years after leaving England, he never once missed his house or his mother. The only home he’d known was the temple. Jang Ki-ryung had been like a fish in water the moment he stepped into the temple. He’d poured all his talents and energy into learning and mastering the Chunma martial arts. By the time he was in his mid-teens, he was at an incomparable level, considerably the best prospect inside the school.
However, Jang Ki-ryung, who was full of ambition, hadn’t been satisfied with it, and for the rest of his life, he had strived to reach greater fame and glory.
It had come with the opening of the cracks twenty years ago. Their school had used the shell of a company called Tenz, and the martial arts pupils had turned into hunters. Jan Ki-ryung’s success had no longer been limited to the confines of the temple.
Everyone had shouted his name. People had looked at him with admiration and respect.
How wouldn’t that be fun?
How could he not delight in it every day?
After that, Jan Ki-ryung had only had one goal left: to inherit the Chunma title and Tenz.
At that time, the path to his goal had been clear.
All he’d needed to do was wait.
He would soon be the next generation Chunma. However, a few months ago, an unseen variable had ruined his already decided future.
“Is he alone?”
“The old man will only run away as before. It would be nice to take the Scissors and Needles at least, this time.”
“I’ll do it myself,” Jan Ki-ryung said. “Don’t interrupt until it’s over.”
His four allies nodded quietly.
They were a force created to capture the old man. They were not just sheriffs from the Chinese government. Tenz assassins, heads of other organizations, and other descendants had decided to oust Jin Wei-baek. That was why the five of them, including Jang Ki-ryung, were cooperating with each other.
As it was a cooperative relationship, there was no official top or bottom in terms of their group, but…
Jang Ki-ryung was the number one in the Ship Zone.
Besides, once they had dealt with the old man, he would stand as the head of Tenz, the pinnacle of the Chinese hunting industry. His allies, therefore, deferred to him with respect.
“I know you,” Yoo-seong said as he stared at him. “You’re Tenz’s next-in-line after Jin Wei-baek.”
“No,” Jang Ki-ryung answered. “I’m not the ‘next-in-line’ anymore.”
“Really…?” Yoo-seong fell silent for a while as he considered.
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Then he asked, “Is it worth doing this?”
“Well,”—Jang Ki-ryung sighed—”the former Chunma tried to spoil the deep tradition of the doctrine. To pass it on to an outsider like you…” he trailed off.
“I’m sorry, but I wasn’t talking about that,” Yoo-seong said, shaking his head. “I’m talking about being the head of Tenz.”
“To create an operation that would risk the lives of even the most talented people… to oust a person who was willing to step down… to distort the truth to the government.” Yoo-seong stared at Jang Ki-ryung, who looked hurt, before adding, “And to cut your existing ties.”
“You crazy son of a…” Jang Ki-ryung’s anger manifested.
They were standing in a vacant lot, about a block away from the baekban restaurant.
His Aura rose, filling the vacant lot.
“Doesn’t it seem like, to be the head of Tenz, you have given up everything that made your life worth living?” Yoo-seong continued to provoke him.
“That… that is natural, dear child. Only those who are more capable and powerful have the right to know and have more.”
“Well…” Yoo-seong pursed his lips. “That’s a nice, generic statement.”
“It’s an attitude that a Chunma should have. Strength is not the only qualification. The person who holds the title should have class,” Jang Ki-ryung said.
For Yoo-seong, there was nothing else to say. Instead, he brought an arm forward and pressed the button.
“Ah,” Jan Ki-ryung remarked. “The rumored ‘move.’”
“We already know about it. It’s a ritual that you always do before you go into battle. You seem to be using Tech to make up for your lack of talent, right?”
“Come.” Yoo-seong didn’t answer the question. Instead, with a palm outstretched, he beckoned Jang Ki-ryung. “Doesn’t the weaker one attack first?”
The remark hit Jang Ki-ryung hard. In response, his repressed CE soared in all directions.
Even so, there wasn’t a single Corona. The talents and achievements Jang Ki-ryung had accrued over the years… Even the four men who had come with him had no choice but to admire as they watched from behind. Following the raised Aura…
Jang Ki-ryung clenched his fist. The sidewalk block his feet were on was compressed with heavy pressure.
“Watch,” he said quietly, “and die.”
Jang Ki-ryung leaped toward Yoo-seong.
At that moment, everyone saw it.
It wasn’t just one pair of fists.
Five pairs of fists rained upon Yoo-seong. The philosophy of Pacheunma Geukki was fully unfolding through Jang Ki-ryung. It was almost excessive, a waste on a single target with such a small audience to witness it.
Jang Ki-ryung’s feet touched the ground again, about four meters from where Yoo-seong stood.
He didn’t even look back at Yoo-seong. Was it because he didn’t need to look back?
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Rather than that…
Jang Ki-ryung grasped his face, wiping the blood flowing out of his nose and mouth.
His arms were limp, and his body stooped forward in a sloppy posture. His legs were trembling, and pinpricks of light blinked in his vision. When he was finally able to turn his body…
Yoo-seong was also turning towards him, looking perfectly unharmed.
Jang Ki-ryung leaped forward once more.
The distance of four meters narrowed in an instant.
This time, three fists stretched out toward Yoo-seong.
It was a much simpler technique compared to before. This was a more efficient killing method without the need to show off. However…
Just as with the previous attack, the three fists couldn’t hit their target.
One of Yoo-seong’s fists smacked right in the center of Jang Ki-ryung’s face.
A flash of light filled his field of view, just before his brain blacked out for a few seconds.
This was the same thing that had happened to him just before. As his five pairs of fists embroidered the air, Yoo-seong’s right arm had pierced through the circle and struck him.
“I will tell you in advance,” Yoo-seong said.
“There will be no concessions.”
As before, Yoo-seong didn’t make any follow-up attacks. Jang Ki-ryung wasn’t in a position to judge the single punches he received, but he couldn’t help but admire the great skill he’d just witnessed. It was an automatic counterattack that was almost muscle memory rather than conscious thought.
To think that so much power was contained in a reflex action…
However, he couldn’t just give up.
Jang Ki-ryung stretched out one fist with all his might. However, Yoo-seong easily blocked it by hitting his arm at an angle.
Yoo-seong’s fist hit Jang Ki-ryung’s lower jaw, crushing it. Jang Ki-ryung’s face twisted as he was hit in a blind spot he hadn’t known existed. Then…
Yoo-seong kicked his leg. His shin bones and ligaments collapsed.
‘I have to find… my flow…’
Jang Ki-ryung, despite the pain, focused on his next move. The talent and experience he possessed usually would have allowed him to find the best option in the middle of such a terrible situation.
However, Yoo-seong’s simple movements were nullifying his every option.
‘It shouldn’t be like this.’
Jang Ki-ryung clenched his fist once more, preparing what could be his final attack. His shoulder and arm muscles were filled to the limit with Aura as he pulled his fist back.
‘Either avoid this… or we’ll die together.’
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Jang Ki-ryung found himself desperately hoping for the former. Unfortunately, the result was neither.
In an instant, Yoo-seong caught his shoulder between his arm and his body, stopping it from stretching out. Then Yoo-seong lifted his other fist, and with a face that looked expressionless as always…
His fist struck Jang Ki-ryung’s face once more. Jang Ki-ryung almost collapsed, but Yoo-seong’s arm was holding him up.
Another massive punch landed on his face. His features would be gone by now, he knew. However, he couldn’t escape. He couldn’t even fall to the ground.
Jang Ki-ryeong thought back to what Yoo-seong had told him.
‘-There will be no concessions.’
As Yoo-seong pulled his arm back once more, Jang Ki-ryeong felt something else moving in the background. When Jang Ki-ryeong’s defeat had been made obvious, the four allies had quickly made eye contact and rushed in.
However, Yoo-seong did not move, even as attacks from four different directions came in. The only movement that could be seen was him blinking.
The moment their fists landed on Yoo-seong…
There was the sound of bones getting crushed. In an instant, Yoo-seong was covered with the enhanced Queen’s Hug. Its outer shell, composed of shards from the earth dragon, was a material that even Yoo-seong’s own attack could not have penetrated.
“Although I struggled for this,” Yoo-seong muttered, as he remembered it had taken him hours to extract the earth dragon’s scales using his wrist blade, “it seems that it was worth it.”
Then he turned towards Jang Ki-ryung and spat on his face.
“Should I hit you a little more?”
“Stop… now… enough…”
Perhaps Yoo-seong’s spit on his face was the final blow. Even if his body could have endured some more, he could not take any more mental damage.
“I am stronger than you,” Yoo-seong declared.
“So, as you say, I will know more and have more, including Tenz.”
Now, he turned to the rest of Jang Ki-ryung’s allies surrounding him. What had moved his body throughout the fight was his own consciousness.
The movement of his arm earlier had been to turn Auto-Hunt off, not to turn it on.
And now, he could afford some inefficiencies.
He kicked Jang Ki-ryung’s face and watched indifferently as the unconscious man fell to the ground. Then he raised his head once more to look at the allies’ faces.
There was perplexity. Fear. Perhaps even a little awe.
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“Choose,” Yoo-seong said to the four men who didn’t know what to do. “Do I need to beat up all of you, or will you fall on your faces now?”