Chapter 301: So, you want me to go there now? (1)

Yun Yeong-Min’s forehead was gradually soaked in sweat.

‘You dumba*s!’ (Yun Yeong-Min)

The unification of the two Koreas??

How could he mention that subject matter so casually like this?

‘M-mm, well, this guy isn’t a politician, so…’ (Yun Yeong-Min)

To any Korean politician, the idea of ‘unification’ was a very, very sensitive subject. Of course, it wasn’t as if there never had been Presidents who came up with utterly nonsensical agendas based off on the topic of unification just to secure extra support from the voting public. However, that ‘agenda’ could only come about on the basis of the unification being a pie in the sky dream that every citizen in the country tacitly understood to be impossible already.

But then, he was asking ‘how about unifying the two countries’??

Why was he saying stuff like that as if he was dropping by at a local convenience store to pick up a packet of crisps?

Yun Yeong-Min definitely heard Yi Ji-Hyuk’s words, but he had a duty to sneakily dismiss the latter here.

“What do you mean by that?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“I’m asking you, don’t you want to unify the two countries?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“……..”

Was he really a dumba*s?

“It, it’s not as easy as you make it sound.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“I know it’s not easy. That’s why I’m asking you if you want to use this opportunity.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

How did you arrive at that conclusion, man??

“It’s not something I can decide.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“If it’s not the President, then who will?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yun Yeong-Min shut his mouth.

Well, he wasn’t wrong on that one. If the country’s President didn’t decide on such matters, then who else would? It wasn’t as if he could hold a democratic voting process over it, now was it?

“It’s not easy to unify our two countries. First of all, the preparation alone can take up to several decades.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Yun Yeong-Min as if he was a pathetic fool. The latter clenched his fist as this sense of unfairness rushed in.

He already knew that he wasn’t the people’s favourite President in history. Just taking one look at the public approval poll said everything you needed to know, so how could he not realise the truth?

He thought that the regular citizens didn’t know him well enough to judge him properly, but whatever the case might have been, him being a disliked President didn’t change.

However, who would dare to openly disparage him like this?

He was still this nation’s President-elect, was he not?

“I’m telling you this because there is a way to shorten that ‘decades’ of years.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“What is that?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Very simple, really. Just tell them we’re coming, but then we sit back and suck on our thumbs while watching the fireworks going off.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“……………..”

“With that, Pyongyang will be sorted out in no time, and you will have your bloodless victory.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“That was a funny joke.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yun Yeong-Min ended up chuckling out.

“But, I was being serious?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Do you have any idea how many people live in Pyongyang?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Dunno. How many live there?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“…..”

I was just saying that to make my point, so why are you asking me back with such a specific question? Now I don’t know what to say! (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)

“W-well, that is…” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Park Du-Jin quietly whispered in his boss’s ear.

“It’s three million, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)

“I-it’s three million!” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.

“That’s more than I thought. Anyways. So what?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Just for the sake of unification, you want to watch and do nothing as three million people lose their lives? Have you thought about the level of condemnation that will be aimed at you if you did something like that?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Condemnation?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.

“Why would I be condemned?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Right, you won’t be.

Of course no one’s going to condemn you!! But I’ll be instead, you fool!! (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)

Yun Yeong-Min had to suppress a string of expletives he hadn’t used since back in the days of being a National Assembly member, from leaving his mouth. If he lost his temper here, everything would be over.

“Turning a blind eye to a massacre for the sake of one’s profit is not what a human being should do.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Oh, really?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Isn’t it obvious?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“But, why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….Excuse me?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Why is that obvious?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“What the? Do I really have to explain it to you? Aren’t we all human beings?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked derisively.

“Oh, so what you’re saying is… Since we’re all human beings, I must obviously go and save them if they are in danger?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….If you don’t have the necessary abilities, then no, but if you do, isn’t it the right thing to do so?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Again, why should I?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk leaned his back against the couch. That reaction, a mixture of half irritation and half lazy annoyance, caused Yun Yeong-Min to momentarily forget what he wanted to say.

Well, it was the unfortunate truth that there could be no proper answers when asked, “Why should he?”

The wealthy donating to the poor was an act of generosity. However, that act was not compulsory. If the wealthy decided not to donate, then sure, you could condemn and criticise all you want, but you couldn’t force them to give things away, either.

It was the same thing with ‘power’.

The powerful stepping forward for the weak in times of danger was an act of goodwill, but not stepping up couldn’t be labelled as ‘evil’. From the get-go, the powerful would have to consider the hard work and potential losses incurred when stepping up for the weak.

“I understand what you’re saying here.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Ehng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head again.

“I understand that the current situation is making you feel really dissatisfied. I know that.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t say anything and observed Yun Yeong-Min.

“In all honesty, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, you don’t have any particular reasons to aid the North Koreans. I know that it’ll be hard for you to gain anything personally by travelling there.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Hoh-oh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk studied Yun Yeong-Min as if he was interested now.

Regardless of what, this man was still the President. Indeed, not any cats or dogs could occupy this position.

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“However, that kind of response is quite troublesome for everyone else involved. If you’re willing to talk earnestly and iron out your issues, only then will we be able to move forward properly.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head.

“Yes, that sounds about right.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yun Yeong-Min’s expression brightened.

This man, he definitely had the disposition of a dumba*s, but at least, being earnest could get through to him.

“In that case, let me make myself clear. I don’t feel like going.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Nope.

Didn’t get through to him. (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)

“T-that puts all of us in a bind.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Didn’t you just say we can talk earnestly about it?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“What you’re doing isn’t talking, it’s just announcing! Shouldn’t we talk about this? Let’s talk, please!” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“But, I’m not that interested, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Please don’t be like that….” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yun Yeong-Min stopped himself there and shut his mouth.

He felt saddened for some reason while he was talking just now. It wasn’t as if he was trying to sell something as a salesman, so clinging on like this when he was the President came across as a bit sorrowfully humorous.

Even when meeting the American President, such a one-sided power dynamic wouldn’t happen, so this….

“I don’t have to go, right?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

All the thoughts of dissatisfaction in the President’s head dissipated with that question.

“O-of course you have to go.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“But, I really, really don’t want to.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….I’m sure you don’t. However, it seems that you must aid the North Koreans this one time. Otherwise, too many lives will be lost.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Come on now, those people dying isn’t my fault, so why should I be responsible for them?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

The jaw of Choi Jeong-Hoon next to him dropped to the floor.

It is your fault, you d*mn fool!!

You drove the monsters that way!!

Holy sh*t, a person should have a conscience, man. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)

“….Hul??” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon’s body shuddered after he saw Yi Ji-Hyuk’s face. He was making a genuinely upset expression. Could he have forgotten about the incident he had caused already?

Is your brain removable or something? Did you switch to another one while I wasn’t looking?

Wowsers, what a convenient brain you have there.

Cleanly forgetting about anything that’s potentially bad for you. Scary b*stard.

No, hang on. Rather than bad stuff, you just quickly forget about stuff that doesn’t interest you, right? (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)

“We’ll do our best to assist you.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yun Yeong-Min’s voice became rather desperate, but Yi Ji-Hyuk remained unmoved.

“What can you assist me with, anyway?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“We will compensate….” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“I don’t really need anything, though?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Groan.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yun Yeong-Min swallowed back his groan.

This was indeed the big problem. No matter how much analysis and dissection of information were done, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t seem to be in need of anything in particular.

To make matters worse, he wasn’t that patriotic either, so he wasn’t interested in serving his country.

So, how could anyone even think of using this guy?

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Also, he was smarter than he looked when it came to calculating gains and losses, so he couldn’t be fooled in that regard, either. In other words, he should be considered as “perfection” itself. From the perspective of Yun Yeong-Min who had to entice Yi Ji-Hyuk and dispatch him to the North, this was truly a frustrating development, indeed.

“You don’t have anything you need?” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Yup.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“….W-well, it’s not like, you know, you need to get, uh, what you need before going, so….” (Yun Yeong-Min)

At this point, even Yun Yeong-Min himself had no idea what he was trying to say.

“I just don’t get why you’re trying to send me there. I mean, if you leave it alone, wouldn’t unification happen on its own? Isn’t unification the ardent wish of our people or something? Was that all bullsh*t?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yun Yeong-Min’s lips parted halfway.

No, it’s not bullsh*t. It’s definitely not, but… The thing is, our situation has changed a lot since that song came out, you see?

You think the people who wrote that song had any idea that things would be like this?? (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)

“If the unification happens now, there will be so many things we will have to consider.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Okay, what will you have to consider, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Where should he start the explanation?

Just as Yun Yeong-Min fell into the pit of bleak hopelessness, Choi Jeong-Hoon decided that now was the time to help his President out.

“First of all, double the territory means double the Gates to deal with. Meaning, your workload will double, as well.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Flinch.

Choi Jeong-Hoon accurately caught Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body flinch ever so imperceptibly and began the bombardment of facts.

“If it’s just ‘double’ the load, then it’d be a relief, actually. However, as it is the case with all things, the increase in the load will result in holes in the defences opening up, which will then lead to a further increase in the workload.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk seemed to be lowering his head for a bit there, but then, shouted out as if he realised something.

“In that case, I’ll just quit! The NDF or whatever, I’ll just quit and that’s the end of that!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Choi Jeong-Hoon maintained his good-natured smile.

“Once the refugees start streaming in and the Gate operations become harder, the whole country will become chaotic. That would lead to your family’s life becoming much harder as well. Don’t you agree?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Fut.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk smirked in response.

“You think I haven’t thought that far ahead? I’ll just emigrate, you know! To America!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Choi Jeong-Hoon nodded his head. Indeed, that was an option.

“Didn’t know you could speak English, though.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“W-with translation magic.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Can you cast that on other people, as well? Your parents can’t speak English, yet you’re asking them to live there?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“……..”

“What about your sister, Ye-Won?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“M-mm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Choi Jeong-Hoon then leaned in closer to Yi Ji-Hyuk and whispered in his ear.

“Honestly, everyone already knows that South Korea is the best country in the world to live in as long as you have the money. Good public security, everything’s readily available, etc, etc. You won’t find a better place to live than here if you have the money.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“W-well, that’s true.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“I mean, it’s not like you’re planning to eat burgers for all three meals every single day, so living in Korea should be more convenient for you, no? Besides, no matter which country you choose to live in, you won’t be able to escape from annoying little things like this. You know this already, don’t you?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

Choi Jeong-Hoon’s relentless fact bombardment pushed Yi Ji-Hyuk deeper and deeper into the couch.

“B-but, it’s too annoying.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“If you can avoid a bigger annoyance with a smaller one, then that’s a pretty good trade-off, don’t you agree?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk closed his mouth and frowned deeply. Yun Yeong-Min had to view Choi Jeong-Hoon in renewed light now.

What the hell is up with this guy?

He handled that dumba*s so masterfully.

So, this was the reason why both the Defense Minister and the KSF director pleaded with me to keep Choi Jeong-Hoon around next to that fool.

I was thinking that a young sapling of a civil servant was enjoying too much power here, but this guy, he’s not a wily fox sticking to Yi Ji-Hyuk for his own gains but more like a padlock that can lock him away, instead. (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)

“The problem is that he’s a bit too loose, that’s what.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Pardon?”

“No, it’s nothing.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Even if it was a chain that could be severed at any time he wanted, having one was better than not having it, after all.

“I believe we need to explain the situation in detail to Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk now. Mister President?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)

“M-mm.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

Yun Yeong-Min nodded his head.

“Defense Minister.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Yes, sir.” (Defense Minister)

“Take the lead with the briefing.” (Yun Yeong-Min)

“Understood.” (Defense Minister)

The Defense Minister stood up and at the same time, the door to the President’s office opened. A white board was wheeled inside, with a map of Pyongyang and its vicinity hanging on it.

“Don’t you guys have a giant projection screen or something here?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“Well, since this isn’t a conference chamber to begin with…. A beam projector will be installed shortly.” (Defense Minister)

“Even when I was an elementary school student, we had something much flashier than this, you know?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

“K-h-hmm.” (Defense Minister)

The Defense Minister smiled bitterly and ignored Yi Ji-Hyuk’s dissatisfaction to get the briefing underway.

< 301. So, you want me to go there now? -1 > Fin.

- my thoughts:
Follow me on twitter. twitter/A_Passing_Wanderer Please check this thread out on Novelupdates.com's forum, regarding another project of mine. https://forum.novelupdates.com/threads/a-new-drama-involving-slimicee-from-meteor-strike-media.94615/#post-5281139
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