Chapter 11: Chapter 11

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

Min Sung couldn’t shake off the feeling that there was a memory just within reach.

‘What could it be? Grandma? Why am I thinking about her cooking?’ he asked himself. However, he had no recollection of having eaten sushi with his grandmother. While the question lingered in his mind, Min Sung took a sip of water in order to cleanse his palate.

“… Did you enjoy your meal?”

It wasn’t until then that the champion looked toward Kyung Tae.

“Mr. Kang, I would highly advise you that you join the Shadow Guild. You’ll be treated with the utmost respect.”

“I’m sure you came here knowing what my answer was going to be. In case you don’t, my answer is no.”

“Ain’t that a shame. May I ask why you insist on going solo?”

“I have no intention of taking orders from another person.”

“Mr. Kang… this kind of behavior will get you in trouble one of these days.”

“Are you threatening me?” Min Sung asked, chuckling.

“Threatening you? It’s not in my nature to do such a thing. It’s a piece of advice, if you will. The denser a tree, the more likely it will snap in two. It won’t be long until your decisions come back to bite you. You’ll find yourself becoming a target before you know it. That’s just how this world works. So, with that said, join us, Mr. Kang. We’ll help you become even more powerful.”

“A target, you say?” Min Sung replied, chuckling and adding, “Now, I find that degrading. Aren’t thugs like you at the center of this crime-stricken world? Now, it sounds to me that what you’re suggesting is that I be part of your criminal pack, and I hate to break it to you, but that makes no sense to me.”

At that, a look of anger appeared on Kyung Tae Oh’s face.

“I think you’re way out of line, Mr. Kang. You’re insulting my guild at this point.”

“Supervisor of the Shadow Guild, did I guess that right, Kyung Tae Oh?” Min Sung asked, looking at Kyung Tae with his deep, dark eyes.

“…”

“What’s really insulting here is that I’m sharing a table with a piece of trash like you.”

At that, Kyung Tae’s face flushed bright red. Paying no attention to it, Min Sung drank another sip of water, slammed it on the table and stood up.

“Shadow Guild, was it? You better stay out of my sight. Don’t let me see you, not even your shadow. Otherwise, you’ll regret it,” Min Sung said, paying for his meal and exiting the restaurant nonchalantly.

Left alone at the bar, Kyung Tae stared at the empty wooden platter on the table, chuckling. Then, looking in the direction the champion had gone out, he clenched his hand into a tight fist.

“… Why, that son of a bitch!” he let out with a ferocious look on his face, his body trembling with anger. Growing up, Kyung Tae’s childhood had mostly consisted of taking orders from a neighborhood bully, who was now the head of the Diamond Clan. That is, until Kyung Tae realized his potential. Since getting hired by the Shadow Guild as an intern, he was always the top-performing member. Fueled by his fierce determination to undo the shameful past of his weak self, Kyung Tae led a life more intense than most people. Yet…

‘Insulting? With a piece of trash like you? You dare mock ME in public!? A mere level 150!? And you have the guts to take your sweet time with your food just so you could say no!?’ Kyung Tae thought, his eyes bloodshot.

“I’ll teach you. You’ll see just how worthless you are,” he said, taking out his phone and making a call. Then…

“Yes, sir.”

“We’re holding an event. We’ll give out one whole kilogram of diamonds as a reward,” Kyung Tae said.

“Understood. Should I head there immediately?”

“Come find me in my office in thirty minutes.”

“Yes, sir.”

After hanging up and with tightly clenched lips, the supervisor caught his breath, rose from the seat slowly and buttoned his jacket.

Seeing Min Sung getting in the back seat of his car, Ho Sung quickly turned toward the champion and asked, “So, how did the conversation go? I mean, not that I’m trying to be nosy or anything. I thought I saw you talking with someone in there.”

“There was no conversation. He kept bugging me, so I told him to get lost,” Min Sung replied, redirecting his attention out the window. At which point, Ho Sung became deathly pale.

“Take me home.”

“Of… Of course, sir.”

Punching the address of Min Sung’s home into his GPS, Ho Sung drove off, his heart racing. Then, furrowing his brow, he wondered, ‘Did he actually insult a Shadow Guild officer?’ Finding his mind in disarray, he shook his head forcefully, thinking, ‘At least he didn’t beat the guy up. There isn’t a good enough reason for the Shadow Guild to act on this.’ However, if the champion had managed to ruffle Kyung Tae Oh’s feathers, there was still room for trouble. After all, the supervisor had a reputation for being short-tempered.

‘I better stay on the down-low, even if it costs us,’ he thought to himself. Something big was about to happen.

Upon returning home, Min Sung sat on the couch in the living room. There was not a sound at home. Staring at the portrait of his smiling grandmother hanging on the wall, he wondered, ‘Is it because I’ve been gone for a century?’ Although looking directly at the portrait of his only family, Min Sung didn’t feel a thing. He felt only loneliness poking at the pit of his stomach. With a deep sigh, he looked around his home, which looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a while. There were cobwebs in every corner of the house. Though he thought about calling Ho Sung, he decided that he needed to move his body in order to fight off idle thoughts. Taking the broom, he swept the floor and removed the cobwebs. Then, taking a wet rag, he started to wipe the furniture. To his surprise, he was finding joy in that small task that was cleaning his own house. While cleaning, Min Sung couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. After cleaning the living room, his room, the kitchen, and the bathroom, he looked toward the balcony. ‘One more to go.’

At that moment, as he opened the door to the balcony with a freshly washed rag, he stopped in his tracks. Something had caught his eye: a jar that came up to about his knees.

Puzzled, Min Sung opened it. It was filled with soy sauce, which had to have been made a long time ago by his late grandmother. In which case, it had to be at least a decade old. There was also a saying that aged soy sauce had a medicinal quality to it.

‘Yeah, I remember.’

Min Sung’s grandmother was in the habit of aging her soy sauce. Reminiscing to his distant past, he dipped his pinky finger into the soy sauce and tasted it. Followed by an intense saltiness, there was a deep flavor to it. At that moment, he was struck by a certain realization.

‘Now I know why I thought of my grandma at the restaurant.’

It had been the soy sauce, which had been brewed in small batches at home rather than being mass produced in a factory.

‘So, that was why,’ he thought to himself, staring intently at the surface of the soy sauce in the jar. Then, he closed the lid and wiped it with care, thinking, ‘This should come in handy when I eat at home.’

Staring at the jar in good spirits, he started cleaning the balcony.

‘Knock! Knock!’

“Come in,’ Kyung Tae said. At his permission, a certain man with pearly white skin came into the office. Closing his document file, the supervisor looked up at the man, who appeared to be twenty years old at the oldest. However, his dark, ominous, eyes defied his age. Despite his age, the black uniform suited him quite well, the only flaw being that it gave him a sly look.

‘Lv369 Jung Hee Lee: The Eternal Flame.’

From his name to his feminine appearance, one would be easily convinced that he was a woman. However, he was an assassin who excelled at eliminating targets without a sound. His impeccable skill had never let Kyung Tae down, which made Jung Hee his secret weapon of sorts. Because of him, the supervisor was confident that Min Sung wouldn’t be around much longer. Although his incredible growth rate would have made him a valuable asset to the guild, he was a rookie who didn’t know his place in Kyung Tae’s eyes. No matter how talented one might be, they couldn’t fully realize their potential without luck or without being born at the right time. It was simply the law of nature.

Looking at the young assassin, Kyung Tae smiled and asked, “Heard you just got back from vacation?”

“Yes, sir, from Hawaii. The women were beautiful there,’ Jung Hee said, licking his lips like a snake. He had an unspeakably twisted hobby, not that it mattered in the world they were living in. After all, the world was dominated by hunters and was rotting from the inside. Taking the file, Kyung Tae tossed it toward Jung Hee, who caught it in midair and opened it. After reading it, a look of contemplation appeared on the assassin’s face, which was a look uncommon to him. Tilting his head, he groaned ambiguously, “Hm…”

Getting antsy, Kyung Tae stared at Jung Hee.

“So, he’s level 150, yet he managed to take out Yang Bong Koo with ease. From the looks of it, those interns must have been mere decoration. It says he’s a… master-grade hunter?”

“Intimidated?” Kyung Tae asked.

“Not one bit. This won’t be my first time taking out a hunter with master-grade potential. Though, considering that he has potential similar to the highest possible Master, I might wanna be thorough about this. Even if he’s just a level 150,” Jung Hee replied as he closed the document file.

“What does that mean?”

“I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t get close to him or confirm his death afterward.”

“That’s more than I can ask for,” Kyung Tae said with a big smile.

“I’ll get ready.”

At the young assassin’s answer, the supervisor smiled with satisfaction.

“Sir,” Jung Hee said. Then, after bowing to the supervisor, he left the office.

Leaning back in his chair, Kyung Tae looked up at the ceiling with a smile on his face and said, “Pretentious prick. You can regret all you want when you’re in hell.”