Chapter 48: Chapter 48
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Furrowing his brow, Min Sung looked at the eastern and western representatives, who were at a loss for words due to the unbelievable sight that had just unfolded before their eyes. Meanwhile, Soo Hyun, still staggering, got back up. Cracking his neck, he spat out blood and said, scoffing, “Wow… that kinda hurt.” Then, the remaining three representatives took their weapons, which, needless to say, were all legendary, out of their inventories.
Seeing that, Min Sung let out a small sigh and closed his eyes. Then, he opened them slowly and said, “Do your worst.” There was a mysterious yet enormous energy in his voice, as if a dragon were speaking through him. Intimidated by the champion’s voice, the four representatives, who were some of the most powerful fighters in the country, couldn’t help but have second thoughts about attacking him. However, realizing that they were superior in number, they signaled to each other with their eyes and charged toward the champion. At which point, what appeared to be a storm of energy erupted.
Unfazed, Min Sung kicked the ground. He was as light as a feather. Traversing through the raining streaks of energy at the speed of light, Min Sung appeared in front of the eastern representative and grabbed him by the neck.
As the eastern representative let out a painful groan, the champion’s palm delivered a deadly blow to the representative’s side. With the explosive sound, came a series of crackling noises from the representative’s contorted body, which smashed through the safety rail and fell into the water when Min Sung finally let go of it. Then, punching his way through the raining streaks of energy, the champion moved on to the western representative and punched him at the center of his chest, sending the representative flying across the road with a bang. The representative’s body shattered the asphalt as it rolled through it.
Witnessing two of their colleagues fall at the hands of the champion, Soo Hyun and the southern representative came at Min Sung with everything they had. Dodging the wave of projectiles coming out of the representatives’ weapons, Min Sung scoffed and pulled his Orichalcon Dagger out of his inventory, swinging it diagonally. With an earth-shattering, thunderous crackle, the seemingly endless wave of projectiles vanished into thin air, and the champion’s crackling blade landed on the two representatives’ protective shield, cracking and eventually shattering them. Then, the champion swung his dagger two more times, cutting the southern representative’s leg off, as well as Soo Hyun’s right arm.
On the ground, the two groaned and whimpered in excruciating pain.
“What kind of monster is this?!”
“No. This can’t be happening. We’re so close to the finish line…”
The two said in turn, clenching their jaws tightly while staring at their mutilated limbs with disdain. At that moment, Min Sung shouted, “Ho Sung Lee!” and Ho Sung, who had been watching the battle in a daze, rushed toward the champion.
Looking around to confirm that his targets were thoroughly incapacitated, Min Sung said, “Time to eat. Lead the way.”
“Yes, sir. Of course,” Ho Sung said nervously, leading the way. Following him, Min Sung wiped the blood on his hands and forearms annoyedly.
‘Is this guy even human? Maybe he’s a demon. Or even a god,’ Ho Sung thought, his heart racing with fear. The Institute was a military organization capable of defending and representing the entire country, and miscellaneous types were its leaders. Yet, the champion had managed to ravage each of the four representatives with a single blow to each all by himself, which begged the question: Was he still human?
Astonished, Ho Sung felt as though he was still dreaming. In fact, the champion’s abilities would’ve been hard to believe even in a dream.
‘Is there even a limit to your powers?’ Ho Sung wondered. Then, startled by the champion’s voice calling to him, he looked toward the backseat of his car.
“Ho Sung Lee.”
“I wasn’t very satisfied with my dinner today.”
“Ah, not a problem. I know just the place. How does cold udon sound?”
“Yes, sir. It’s summer, so you can’t go wrong with cold noodles.”
“Sure, but at this hour?”
“Yes, sir. There’s a place that I go to regularly, and they sell cold udon there.”
“We’ll be there any minute now. It’s not that far from here.”
Emptying his mind of the thoughts crowding it, Ho Sung focused on driving. Besides, the more he thought about the champion, the more it became clear that the man was beyond what a human mind could comprehend.
With a loud screeching noise, the car stopped in front of a small, rundown street bar.
“It’s not much to look at, but they’re one of the few places that sell cold udon,” Ho Sung said. Nodding, Min Sung got out of the car. Breathing in the summer night air, the champion went inside and took a seat. At which point, the owner brought out a bottle of water for the table and some paper cups.
“One cold udon,” Min Sung said.
“Anything to drink?” the owner asked, and the champion shook his head. Following that, the owner brought out a bowl of cold udon and some pickled radish shortly after.
‘That was fast. Maybe it has something to do with it being cold,’ Min Sung thought, expecting cold broth over pre-cooked noodles. Complete with a poached egg, the noodle soup was garnished with thin strips of seaweed and chopped green onions, and was served with some pickled shishito peppers, which was rather unusual.
‘I wonder if it’s any good?’ Min Sung asked himself while splitting the wooden chopsticks. Then, picking up the fat, glistening udon noodles, he slurped away. After the cold, tender noodles filled his mouth, he immediately followed up with some pickled shishito pepper, which had some heat to it. Although the heat caught him by surprise, it was rather pleasant. He couldn’t have guessed that the pickled peppers would go that well with a bowl of cold noodle soup.
‘Not bad at all!’ Min Sung thought with a subtle smile on his face. Despite the dish’s simplicity, which almost made it seem like it had been made haphazardly, there was something magical about it, and mixing the poached egg with the noodles heightened the flavors even more. Impressed by the fascinating flavors of the noodle soup, Min Sung picked up the bowl and drank the broth.
”Slurp! Gluck! “Whew!”
‘So, this is what cold udon is like!’
Although the dish wasn’t native to Korea, the way it had been prepared made it taste undoubtedly Korean and made Min Sung forget about the fact that it had been made at a street bar. Though humble in appearance and price, the dish remained uncompromised in its fundamentals, which was a common theme among the restaurants recommended by Ho Sung. The more the restaurant upheld the fundamentals of their dishes, the more that contributed to the flavors.
Picking up a large amount of noodles with his chopsticks, Min Sung slurped away, enjoying the rich feel in his mouth. Then, he immediately followed that up with the cold, refreshing, perfectly seasoned, and subtly sweet broth.
After eating all the noodles, Min Sung picked up the bowl and drank what was left of the broth in a single breath.
Putting the bowl down audibly, Min Sung let out a satisfied sigh and said, “Check, please!”
Hearing that, the owner walked up to the champion, wiping her hands on her apron.
“That’ll be four thousand won for ya. How was it?”
As a response, Min Sung nodded and handed her a ten-thousand-won bill.
With the news that the representatives of the four regional branches had been critically injured, the country fell into chaos. Since they were considered to be the guardians of their respective regions, the citizenry was seized by apprehension with the news that the four miscellaneous types were being treated at a VIP hospital. Meanwhile, the Central Institute did everything it could to silence the media, only to be outwitted by the Shadow Guild every time, who spread information to the public blatantly, yet made no mention of the suspect.
“What did you just say?” Ji Yoo asked, blinking in disbelief.
“Both the eastern and the western representatives were found dead,” somebody from the Shadow Guild said. Ji Yoo’s face twisted into a scowl.
“Did they die during their procedures?”
“It appears that they were assassinated.”
At a loss for words, Ji Yoo shut her eyes, took a deep breath and organized her thoughts.
“And the suspect?” she asked.
“We’re still looking.”
After the shocking news at an already-chaotic time, Ji Yoo found herself getting hopelessly lost.
“We’ll keep you updated.”
With that, the call ended abruptly, and Ji Yoo swallowed nervously. Although there were more questions than answers at that point, one thing was for certain: the third-party individual. If there had been a division within the regional branches, it wouldn’t make sense for the Shadow Guild to be involved in such an active manner.
‘Something’s not adding up,’ Ji Yoo thought, biting down on her lower lip nervously. “What the hell’s going on?”
At the rooftop of a skyscraper, there were two men at a standoff. As the man in the black robe walked toward him slowly, the southern representative, covered in blood, backed away while groaning in pain. However, it wasn’t long before he ran out of room to do so.
“Why, I would’ve never known. I didn’t know we had spectators,” the southern representative said. However, the man in the black robe clenched his Podao Sword tightly with dry, emotionless eyes. The long and broad steel blade shone brightly under the moon. Bleeding profusely, the southern representative smiled. By the time he had realized the real intentions behind Soo Hyun Kim’s plan to take over the Central Institute, it was too late. He couldn’t have known in his dreams that there was yet another power behind the northern representative, one hiding in plain sight. The sense of betrayal made the southern representative sick to his stomach.
“I have to ask you something before I die. Who was that man on the bridge, and who the hell are you people? How long have you been working with Soo Hyun Kim? Why did you use us of all people to take over the Central Institute…”
At that moment, the man in black in the robe swung his sword and tore the southern representative open. With blood gushing out of his body, the southern representative stared into the air with lifeless eyes and fell down from the rooftop. Soon, with a loud thump, his body landed on a car, and the man in the black robe looked down at it from the rooftop with cold, cruel eyes.