“Go find some Cola! Right now!!” (Park Yong-Hui)
Park Yong-Hui roared out at the top of his lungs.
“S-sir, did you just say Cola?”
“That’s right! You’ll surely find a bottle or two if you search through the residential homes. So, go through every nook and cranny in Pyongyang’s homes and find me some d*mn Cola!” (Park Yong-Hui)
“But, Comrade Chief. Ever since Comrade Supreme Leader said he’d thrust anyone caught using Yankee items into a bout of ‘self reflection’, all traces of foreign products have disappeared from the capital.”
“What did you say?!” (Park Yong-Hui)
“It should be far simpler to acquire South Joseon products at this stage, rather than a Yankee one, sir.”
“Godd*mmit…” (Park Yong-Hui)
Park Yong-Hui hugged his head.
He needed to do whatever necessary to pacify that rampaging b*stard.
He wasn’t sure how the South Joseon people perceived this event, but for him, it was an incredibly important deal. And that was precisely why he was meticulous about all the preparations, so how could he not jump up and down in fluster when measly Cola threatened to ruin everything?
Park Yong-Hui hardened his resolve and nodded his head.
“Call South Joseon.” (Park Yong-Hui)
“Are you deaf? Call South Joseon right now. Dispatch a helicopter to fetch Cola if you have to.” (Park Yong-Hui)
“Comrade Chief of Staff! What do you mean by that, sir!”
“You can’t tell?? I’m telling you to procure that d*mn Cola right now!”
“I-if Comrade Supreme Leader learns of you trying to illegally import South Joseon products, it’ll turn into a huge issue, sir!”
“What do you want me to do, then?!” (Park Yong-Hui)
Park Yong-Hui roared out, prompting a flood of sweat from the adjutant to trickle down the poor man’s face.
The latter never imagined that they would have to debate to this degree over an order to buy Cola one day. This had to be the end of the world. Had to be.
“I’ll call the Chinese first since this is an emergency. Why don’t we send a helicopter over to Ryongsong or Dalian and secretly ask for one?”
“Hurry up!” (Park Yong-Hui)
“If it’s done quickly, we might procure one in two hours.”
“I get it, so just hurry up, will ya?!” (Park Yong-Hui)
Park Yong-Hui sent his adjutant away and pulled out a handkerchief to dab away the sweat caking his forehead.
“Just what in blazes is this….” (Park Yong-Huio)
He was well informed of how illogical the man called Rhee Ji-Hyuk could be, but still, he had no idea that the illogical streak would continue even in the North, too.
Who would’ve known that there was a guy willing to go crazy in an enemy territory over the lack of Cola?
“Comrade Chief of Staff.”
“Ng?” (Park Yong-Hui)
“We just received a call from the South, sir. The caller says he’s the Unification Minister. How should we proceed?”
“Connect me to him this instance.” (Park Yong-Hui)
Park Yong-Hui cleared his throat and answered the phone.
“This is Chief of Staff Park Yong-Hui from Joseon Workers’ Party speaking.”
– “I’m Republic of Korea’s Minister of the Unification Ministry, Choi Seon-Hyeong.”
“What can I do for you?” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “We just received a call this side that you’re having a big problem.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
Park Yong-Hui rubbed his head.
A problem, he said.
Sure, it was a problem alright. But calling it a problem was a problem in itself.
“That’s correct. Who knew things would escalate like this over some sweetened water?” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “Allow me to apologise first of all. We also can’t control that man, so….” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
“Well, it’s not something you should apologise for.” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “We should’ve prepared for such eventualities beforehand. It was our lack of foresight to blame. So, allow us to resolve that issue from our side. However, we need you to grant a special permission first.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
“You will resolve it?” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “A teleporter will be urgently dispatched there.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
“Listen here! You should say something that makes sense! Don’t you know how our side will react if you people in the South send a teleporter over here??” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “That’s why one will be dispatched from Japan.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
“M-mm?” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “A Japanese ability user has agreed to assist us. Cola will be supplied from Japan, so please grant them the necessary permission.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
Park Yong-Hui nodded his head.
“Something like that is not a problem.” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “In that case, we’ll tell them that we have your understanding.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
“Alright. I’ll also get my people ready this side as well.” (Park Yong-Hui)
– “Well, then.” (Choi Seon-Hyeong)
Park Yong-Hui ended the call and told his underlings that a Japanese teleporter should be arriving soon so they should get ready to receive this person. Then, he leaned against his chair, visibly spent.
“Just what the heck is this….” (Park Yong-Hui)
Just because of some stupid Cola, three East Asian nations had to cooperate like this?
Who the heck was this man, Rhee Ji-Hyuk?
“End of the world, is it?” (Park Yong-Hui)
Indeed, that sentiment seemed to be correct.
“Kyah~!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk chugged Cola down his throat before he started tucking in the cuisine laid out before him with great relish.
“Urgh, the greasiness almost killed me back there.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Groan…” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon scanned his surroundings. The atmosphere had become so cold that he was now getting indigestion.
‘You insane fool….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Seriously though, who would’ve thought that he’d go on a temper tantrum in North Korea just because he couldn’t drink Cola? A person should know the notion of ‘right time and place’ for some things, at least!
Crunch, chew, gulp.
Once Yi Ji-Hyuk began hoovering up the food, though, the atmosphere improved rather rapidly. Which was all thanks to those still remaining, and their desperate efforts to warm the atmosphere, actually – they all came to a mutual understanding that they couldn’t afford to walk away unhappy from here just because one madman.
The hostility between nations or the awkward, uncomfortable atmosphere between the groups were melting away like snow when subjected to the common opponent called Yi Ji-Hyuk.
‘You must’ve been suffering a lot because of that wackjob.’
‘We can’t even describe that in mere words.’
So, so many words were conveyed with nothing more than their eyes.
“Do you find our cuisine to your liking?” (?)
Choi Jeong-Hoon looked at an unfamiliar man walking up to him to engage in conversation, and greeted back to him.
“Oh, hello. Well, you’ve been very considerate, so….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Who was this man?
Choi Jeong-Hoon couldn’t help but grow wary after realising that this man was a bit too young to be included in this sort of a gathering. He could only see the wielders of considerable power getting in on their years attending this feast, so the presence of this young man came across as rather out of place.
“I’m Major Jeong Min-Seong, from the Joseon Workers’ Party, Department of Foreign Strategies.”
“Ah, I see. I’m Choi Jeong-Hoon from the NDF.”
The man who identified himself as Jeong Min-Seong offered his hand, and Choi Jeong-Hoon shook it back.
‘….Department of Foreign Strategies?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Was there such a department before?
Choi Jeong-Hoon wasn’t aware of such a department even existing. However, a young man from a non-existing department wouldn’t be allowed to attend this feast, so he now had to think that a new department had been created not too long ago.
“I’ve heard a lot about you. Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk and you are even more famous than South Joseon’s President nowadays.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“No, that’s not true. By the way, your accent?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Jeong Min-Seong grinned brightly.
“Our department requires us to speak other languages, so we’re expected to know how to speak South Joseon, as well. I guess it must be quite surreal to run into someone speaking in Seoul’s dialect in North Korea.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Haha. Yes, just a tad.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Even though he was laughing, Choi Jeong-Hoon didn’t stop studying this man called Jeong Min-Seong.
‘The Department of Foreign Strategies…..’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
What a meaningful name that was.
“How should I say this…. Since it is a part of our job description, I’ve heard quite a few things about Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk, but now that I’ve met him for real, it’s….” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“….It exceeds your imagination?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Mm, well, it’s kind of like that.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong smiled brightly.
“I thought that even if it was him, he’d not be so carefree in this place, yet he still acts as if this is his living room.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
His voice sounded a bit thorny just then.
“He’s got nothing to fear, that’s why.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“He’s not scared of our Democratic Republic?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“It’s not just North Korea. He won’t get scared even if the whole world tries to jump on him.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I see.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Jeong Min-Seong formed a smooth smile – as if his prior thorny tone was simply a test.
“As I’ve heard. That’s a relief.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“What is?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“If Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk’s personality is as I’ve heard, then he’s not going to try anything underhanded during his stay in our nation. He’s a man greatly influenced by his moods, isn’t he?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Well, it’s hard to argue against that.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“We’ve prepared this occasion with great care even though we’re under such trying times. Please relax and enjoy yourselves.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“I’d like to do just that. But….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon grinned bitterly.
“I see. No one alive would enjoy themselves while there’s a live bomb right next to them. I assumed that you’d feel comfortable being around him, after everything I’ve heard about you, Mister Choi Jeong-Hoon.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“There is no one in the world like that. If there is, then it’s probably his family only.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Oh, really?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Choi Jeong-Hoon inwardly went, Oh, crap.
He got swept up in the flow and ended up blabbering about one too many pieces of information.
“Besides all that. Is it fine to waste time like this? Weren’t the monsters supposed to be approaching this location?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Since he gave some info away, time to receive some in return.
“There is still enough time left, actually. Your people wouldn’t have much to do even if you went to the location ahead of the schedule, no?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Mm, I guess you’re correct.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Besides, going to the location now only will invite trouble, I believe. From our perspective, keeping you away for the time being will make things simpler for us. Folks at the defensive lines are rather belligerent to begin with, and their heads are filled with nothing but the thoughts of loyalty competition, so they unhesitantly do things most regular people wouldn’t even dream of. I think there is a serious problem there, since they don’t want to change their ways even after witnessing people similar to them getting purged en masse. Don’t you agree me with me on this one?” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“Well, I….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
What was up with this guy?
For a North Korean, he seemed to be quite free to express his opinions.
Compared to his age, his rank seemed high, and now, his level of freedom of speech, too….?
‘He was from the Jeong family?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
In that case, he couldn’t have come from the highest-class of families that referred to themselves as the Baekdu Bloodlines. Then, what exactly made this man so confident like this? Did he know that he’d never get purged?
Choi Jeong-Hoon engraved the name ‘Jeong Min-Seong’ in his psyche.
Either this man would be purged soon, or….
‘….Or, he’ll climb up to a very high position.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
He thought that they would run into each other frequently from now on.
“Now that you’re finished with the meal, would you like to be guided to your rooms? It seems that they are almost finished with the preparations.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
Choi Jeong-Hoon stared outside the window. The sun was setting already.
“Now normally, holding a feast throughout the night should be the right thing to do, but as you’ll be transported to the location in the dawn, I believe it’ll be better to get some early night in.” (Jeong Min-Seong)
“I agree.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon slightly bowed his head and walked over to Yi Ji-Hyuk. Seeing the latter sitting in the chair patting his bulging tummy, he…. How should he say this?
‘…I’m relieved?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon couldn’t help but smirk.
He should be stiff with nervousness, knowing that he was behind the enemy lines. Yet all of his tension flew away after witnessing Yi Ji-Hyuk acting as if nothing had changed. No, more than that, he was behaving almost as if North Korea was filled with morons.
Along with the thought of ‘Ah, so real human beings also live here’, a certain confidence filled Choi Jeong-Hoon’s head up, too. Confidence of knowing that no matter how unreasonable North Korea was, they couldn’t do anything to him as long as Yi Ji-Hyuk was right next to him.
‘Wait, was he aiming for this?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
But, that couldn’t be?
He might be able to plan ahead this far, sure, but Yi Ji-Hyuk really wasn’t that type of a person to do that for Choi Jeong-Hoon or the other NDF agents. He might scold you for being scared, but he definitely wasn’t someone who’d act all nice and considerate towards you.
“Let’s get going.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“So soon?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“I heard that we need to wake up before dawn.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Dawn?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk tilted his head.
“Why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jeong-Hoon grinned widely.
Do not get angry.
Do. Not. Get. Angry.
I’m a teacher in a kindergarten.
A kindergarten teacher will never get angry at children asking him the obvious things!
My mind must accept that the kids naturally don’t know anything, so I must never feel weirded out for explaining every little thing one by one.
Let’s take a deep breath here first, and…. (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“It’s because the monsters are predicted to arrive in the morning. In that case, we should turn in early for the night.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Why are they showing up in the morning?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Well, they are a rude bunch, that’s why. As an adult, you should be more understanding, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I guess there’s nothing I can do in that case. Where’s the bedroom, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk got up from the seat and stretched his limbs. His belly bulged forward like a small mountain.
“Such a person is the last hope of humanity…..” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Pardon?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“My bad habit seems to have reared its head again. Please don’t sweat over it.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Alrighty.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk nodded his head and was guided to his room. Once he was gone, everyone within the banquet hall grandly sighed out.
“For now, mm….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
As everyone focused on him, Choi Jeong-Hoon felt that he had no choice but to say the obvious thing.
“….I’d like to apologise for having to bring such a person here.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
This was the moment that the North and the South’s sorrow became united.
< 310. Ah, so this is what national disgrace is like -5 > Fin.