“What’s going on?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even though Yi Ji-Hyuk asked that, Choi Jeong-Hoon didn’t have anything to say. Well, he too had no idea what’s going on here, so how could he provide an answer?
‘They don’t seem to be from a government agency….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
When he first saw the rows of black saloons, he initially thought of the National Intelligence Service. But having now seen their attire, which came across as somewhat more casual than official, he had a feeling that his initial guess was wrong.
“I can’t be sure.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
However, if they weren’t really from a government agency, they wouldn’t dare to behave so forcefully like this. Choi Jeong-Hoon’s expression hardened.
“Uh? Hey, those guys are coming over here.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘I’ve got eyes, so I can see that too.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Those wearing black business suits were intermingling with those with casual clothing. Black sedans might dominate the view out in front, but there were several minibuses in the back, as well.
‘First of all, they knew that we’d use this road.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Either they were monitoring the NDF headquarters inside the ability user residential area, or there was a spy amidst their ranks busy letting on their itinerary to other parties.
“Neither possibility makes me happy, though….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Ehng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Oh, it’s nothing.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
While leaving the ignition on, Choi Jeong-Hoon unbuckled his safety belt. He hadn’t yet figured out where this was going, but he was sure of one thing.
He must definitely!
He must ensure that Yi Ji-Hyuk wasn’t involved in this matter, no matter what!!
If these people were aiming for this car, then they were targetting Yi Ji-Hyuk, not Choi Jeong-Hoon.
If they had their heads screwed on properly, then they wouldn’t dare to get ‘rowdy’ with Yi Ji-Hyuk. They surely showed up today fully knowing what he was like.
Which meant that they had a different purpose for coming here. Unfortunately for him, though, Choi Jeong-Hoon knew oh-so well what would be the end result of anyone getting mixed up with Yi Ji-Hyuk.
“Don’t get out of the car, please.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Why not?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….I beg of you.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Well, if you say so….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
How wonderful that he was willing to listen.
Choi Jeong-Hoon almost started crying just then, because all the hard work he put in just to create this bond between them had finally began showing some light.
However, what really showed light was not Choi Jeong-Hoon’s mind but something else entirely.
“W-what the hell?!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon freaked out from the camera flashes suddenly exploding from all directions.
His car was fitted with heavily-tinted windows, but it wasn’t to the extent where the occupants were fully obscured, so with such an amount of extra light, their faces should be captured pretty clearly on film.
“Argh, d*mn it!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When Yi Ji-Hyuk began showing the signs of irritation, Choi Jeong-Hoon became urgent in his shouts.
“Please stay here. I’ll take care of this quickly!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Urgh….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk was about to exit the car, but sat back on the seat after Choi Jeong-Hoon stopped him.
‘Godd*mmit.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon opened the door and jumped out of the car.
“What’s the meaning of this?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He shouted out with a truly annoyed face, causing the focus to fall squarely on him.
“Are you Mister Choi Jeong-Hoon?”
“What?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“And the person riding in the car, that’s Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, right?”
“….Who are you people?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon felt rather stupid even as he asked that question.
Indeed, he’d be the stupidest man alive if he couldn’t figure out who they were after witnessing this spectacle.
‘Why are these reporters here?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He figured that there would be an attempt to cover Yi Ji-Hyuk’s story from the press sooner or later. However, he didn’t foresee them coming out this way.
Even if the reporters were renowned for pouncing like a swarm of bees after smelling a scoop, they should understand the importance Yi Ji-Hyuk carried, so they would at least refrain from behaving so thoughtlessly like this.
‘Does that mean they have a trusty backer supporting them?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Indeed, there must be a reason for them doing something they hadn’t tried before.
“Don’t take the pictures! Don’t! God d*mn it, stop trying to p*ss me off!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon angrily shouted out and shoved the cameras away, but unfortunately, the baptism of shutter flashes aimed at Yi Ji-Hyuk showed no signs of abating.
“I said, stop!!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon grew even more urgent.
Did they even know who they were messing with right now?
Wouldn’t a reporter at least do a minimum level of research on their target first?
Did they really want to report on Yi Ji-Hyuk not knowing what might happen were he to get ticked off?!
Sure, they always harped on about freedom of the press and all that, but they were better off infiltrating the President’s private home instead. What they were doing right now was trying to kill themselves by shoving their heads inside a tiger’s den.
“I told you all to stop!!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon grabbed the nearest camera and threw it down to the ground. The noisy clatter of the device resounded out, and the chaotic scene cooled down in an instant.
“….What the hell.”
Reporters shot Choi Jeong-Hoon with hostile, nay, murderous glares.
Now normally, a regular person would flinch from so many reporters glaring at them. However, just who was Choi Jeong-Hoon?
He was a hardened veteran who tagged alongside Yi Ji-Hyuk to experience all sorts of terrifying encounters that included monsters and demon kings.
Meaning, he couldn’t even bother to snort at the glares of some powerless civilians.
“All of you, who gave you permission to take the pictures? You better get out of our way!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s forceful tone of voice pushed the reporters back and made them flinch.
“We are reporters, so why do we need someone’s permission to do our job?”
“You’re supposed to be reporters, yet you don’t even know about copyright to one’s own images? You better bring all of your cameras here right now.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
The reporters quickly hid their cameras from the view.
“Bring them to me, now!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon even bared his fangs at them, causing the reporters to hastily back away.
“Hey, you! Don’t push me!”
“What are you doing?! Stop shoving me!”
Those at the back began complaining loudly, having failed to decipher the situation yet.
“Tsk.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon swept back his slightly dishevelled hair.
He was currently overflowing with forceful aura befitting an elite official who was expected to achieve many great things in the future. And after he encountered Yi Ji-Hyuk, he went through an additional level of hell which in turn hardened him even further, so no regular civilian would be able to fight back and win against Choi Jeong-Hoon’s vigour.
“If any of the outlets dare to publish the photos you took today, the NDF will officially lodge a complaint. And unofficially, I cannot promise you what will happen to you people.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon roared at them with words containing thinly-veiled threat.
While the reporters couldn’t figure out how to respond to his threats, a calm voice suddenly entered the scene.
“There’s no need to be that agitated, now is there?” (?)
“Mm?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon turned around, and his eyes opened up super-wide next.
“Song Jeong-Su?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He gasped out in surprise, prompting the middle-aged man identified as Song Jeong-Su to smile and answer back.
“Yes, I am Song Jeong-Su.”
“Ah, forgive me.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon hurriedly bowed his head. Regardless of what the situation was, it was bad manners to loudly yell out someone’s name like this, especially so when that person happened to be right in front of him. Also, when said person was older than he was.
‘But, why is he here?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He couldn’t hide surprise, though. So much so that he couldn’t help but think he made a pretty sizeable blunder just now.
The leader of the current ruling party.
If you excluded the current number one of the ruling party, the President, then this man should be seen as the wielder of the unimaginable authority.
‘No, hang on. You don’t need to exclude the President, now do you?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Yun Yeong-Min was elected to the Presidency because he rode on the temporary wave of momentum sweeping across the nation. However, the honest truth was, he could never better Song Jeong-Su when it came to political experience and influence pre- or post-election.
In any case, why was someone like him standing here?
‘Did he come here to meet Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
That was a distinct possibility.
He was one of the men who controlled the Republic of Korea, so no freaking way he wouldn’t have thought about the existence of Yi Ji-Hyuk in his grand schemes.
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” (Song Jeong-Su)
“Ah, yes!” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon hurriedly bowed his head again.
A giant of the Korean politics was standing right before his eyes, so even someone like Choi Jeong-Hoon felt the pressure regardless of how tough he was.
‘This is a completely different feeling from when meeting the President.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Well, truth be told, he always had this low opinion of the nation’s President due to how much of an a*s that guy could be. So, he was able to remain firm in front of Yun Yeong-Min.
However, the feeling he got from Song Jeong-Su was completely different.
“What can I do for you?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Song Jeong-Su smiled lightly.
“It’s somewhat obvious, isn’t it. We have someone about to embark on a massive and crucial undertaking, so I merely wished to have a chat with him beforehand. Although I do regret that we must meet under such circumstances, since I needed to avoid the eyes of certain people, I didn’t have much of a choice. I hope you understand.” (Song Jeong-Su)
“Ah, I see.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon could barely regain himself.
‘So, this is the true pressure?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
This man, he didn’t say anything threatening at all, yet Choi Jeong-Hoon felt his body shrink back instinctively. This had to be that ever-elusive charisma at work.
“So, will it be fine for me to speak to Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk now?” (Song Jeong-Su)
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s eyes trembled.
This man’s goal was plain to see, but now that he heard it, he couldn’t help but get tense.
“I’m sorry, but the current situation isn’t very ideal.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“How come? Is it because you’re on your way to the Blue House?” (Song Jeong-Su)
“It’s not just that, but due to how urgent our situation is. We were scheduled to partake in an emergency meeting, after all.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I see.” (Song Jeong-Su)
Song Jeong-Su nodded his head, indicating that he understood what Choi Jeong-Hoon had said.
“Indeed, it is an emergency situation. The North Koreans have requested us for aid, and so, we need to decide whether Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk will be dispatched or not, and once he’s there, what he should do next.” (Song Jeong-Su)
“Yes, correct.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon stared at Song Jeong-Su anxiously. Why did a man who knew all that already wasting time like this?
“Regrettably, there are some things that needs to be said to the person in question even if the situation proves to be urgent. Because this event is simply too grave to be entrusted to our current President and Cabinet members.” (Song Jeong-Su)
“M-mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon just barely swallowed back his groan.
If someone else told him those exact same words, he’d have berated that person as an insane fool. No matter what, the position of Presidency demanded one to show respect, and the current President had been elected to his office by the citizens of this nation regardless of his foibles. That fact would never change.
The thing was, though, Song Jeong-Su saying those words didn’t sound wrong, somehow. After all, he would’ve become the President for sure were it not for the temporary craze that swept across the nation.
Also, when considering the amount of contribution he had made to this nation, then not many were qualified enough to speak lightly of the current President, Yun Yeong-Min.
“I understand what you mean. However, this is a matter of the government. I don’t think we’re allowed to discuss it with you, sir.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon resolutely cut Song Jeong-Su off right then.
No matter how much Song Jeong-Su had done for the country, the fact that this was a clear abuse of his authority didn’t change.
Sure, he was the leader of the ruling party, but that was simply a measure of his political power, and it didn’t grant him the authority to interfere with the running of the government at all.
“Is that so?” (Song Jeong-Su)
“Yes, sir.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s answer caused an unreadable grin to break out on Song Jeong-Su’s face, however.
“If that’s what you believe, I guess that’s how it is.” (Song Jeong-Su)
He was backing off without raising a fuss?
Just before Choi Jeong-Hoon could come up with a suitable goodbye to end this situation, Song Jeong-Su quietly opened his mouth first.
“However, I believe that this isn’t a matter for you to decide, Mister Choi Jeong-Hoon. If Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk hear you say that, mull over it first, and then agree with you, then I’ll have no choice but to accept it.” (Song Jeong-Su)
This sly old fox.
Choi Jeong-Hoon lightly bit his lower lip. He could already guess what Song Jeong-Su was about to say.
“Also, I’d like to personally speak to Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk. You’re not his guardian, so you surely can’t stop anyone from talking to him, now can you?” (Song Jeong-Su)
“….Mister Party Leader, sir.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Yes?” (Song Jeong-Su)
“Well, uhm… Please, listen to what I have to say without jumping to the wrong conclusions.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Song Jeong-Su’s brows twitched a bit.
He wasn’t sure where Choi Jeong-Hoon wanted to go with this.
The younger man was making this really regretful expression for some reason, but why should Song Jeong-Su feel regret in the current situation?
“What do you wish to say?” (Song Jeong-Su)
Choi Jeong-Hoon breathed in deeply and spoke up.
“The reason why I’m trying to stop you from meeting Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk isn’t because I must guard him. No, it’s to protect you, sir. The very notion of holding a private meeting with him when you lack any sort of understanding towards his personality is a dangerous and foolish one. I beg of you to reconsider.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Song Jeong-Su became utterly dazed just then.
What on earth was he talking about??
< 296. Who sent you lot? -1 > Fin.