Chapter 87: Chapter 87
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
In the plane that was about to take off, the man in the robe checked his email on his phone. The plan was a simple one: forge an ID upon arrival, send a message to the US government through the means of terrorism, and return home.
Should the message get across, the US government would surely start searching for the suspect. Then, once they confirmed that the suspect was of Korean descent, the conflict between the two countries was bound to evolve into something unresolvable. Turning his phone off, the man in the robe leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes to the announcement saying that the plane was about to take off.
Upon arrival, the man in the robe got in a car at a predetermined spot and made his way to his destination. After a two-hour car ride, the man arrived in a certain city. Getting out of the car, he took his phone out. Looking at the map on it, he made his way to a certain destination, his steps getting gradually faster. On a night with a full moon, the man traversed the streets like a cat moving through the dark. After some time, the man arrived at a small house with a door painted blue. Lifting a flower pot next to the door, he picked up a key underneath it, opened the door, and entered the house. Standing in the small living room, he checked the items laid out on the table one by one.
Putting the forged ID in his wallet, he moved the bag of explosive enchanted stones next to the door, picked up a mask and made his way to the bathroom. Shortly after, the man came out of the bathroom, looking like a completely different person. There was nothing awkward about the way he looked. Comparing himself to the picture on the ID, he made sure that he looked exactly like the person in the picture. He was truly a master of disguises.
With all preparations out of the way, the man returned to the living room and turned on the TV, which showed news on the recent labyrinth incident and the conflict between the Americans and the local hunters in Korea. After he turned off the TV, the man checked the watch. Confirming that there was still about half an hour to spare, the man leaned back against the couch, only the ticking sound of his wristwatch between him and silence.
Upon arriving home, Ho Sung threw himself on the bed, his body aching all over as if it had been beaten with a hammer.
“Min Sung Kang, that piece of shit… asshole…” he muttered. Then, springing up from his bed, he set an alarm. After doing some math, he realized that he could get two hours of sleep at the most.
It wasn’t until Ho Sung set alarms on five different clocks that he fell sound asleep. Then, just as his sleep started to become deeper, the alarms started to go off. At that point, Ho Sung glared fiercely at the clock with blood-shot eyes. Fighting the urge to crush it to pieces, Ho Sung forced himself out of the bed.
“I. Am. SO FRIGGIN TIRED! AGHHHHHH! THAT ASSHOLE!” Ho Sung shouted. Although feeling slightly better, the shouting did little to wake him up. “I should’ve waited before bringing up the idea of hiring a chef. Damn it… DAMN IT!”
Reminding himself to think before making a suggestion to the champion, Ho Sung went into the bathroom. After scrubbing the stench of monster blood out of his skin with every bit of strength left in him, Ho Sung came out of the shower. He still felt like he had fought hundreds of monsters.
“Man… I’m dying.”
With a look of weariness on his face, he dried his hair, changed into a fresh set of clothes and drove to a fast-food chain nearby. Because it was between breakfast and lunch hour, there were hardly any customers in the restaurant. After ordering himself a burger combo meal, Ho Sung brought his laptop out and turned it on while munching on his burger.
“‘I’ll be expecting a chef by lunchtime…’ Seriously? What? Am I goin’ grocery shopping?’ he muttered. While massaging his forehead, which was throbbing with pain, Ho Sung started looking for a private chef for the champion. However, most renowned chefs seemed to be focused on building their careers. Because of that, convincing a professional chef to work as a private chef for the champion was becoming less and less likely, no matter how much money Ho Sung offered. Grasping at straws, Ho Sung contacted each and every one of them only to be rejected by the chefs, who were against the idea of working privately.
“This isn’t as easy as I thought,” Ho Sung mumbled, sipping his Coke, his face twisting into a frustrated scowl. It was clear to Ho Sung by that point that he would find himself in a world of trouble should he return to the champion empty-handed. It didn’t help that the champion hadn’t been able to eat on time because of his hunt for monsters.
“What do I do?” Ho Sung asked himself, his eyes shaking apprehensively. Then, his eyes sparkled as an idea struck him, “Yeah! Maybe I should look into retired chefs!”
Typing away on his laptop in a hurry, Ho Sung looked up any possible information on renowned chefs who were no longer active. It was then that a certain chef caught Ho Sung’s eyes.
“Three Michelin Stars, huh?”
Despite his jaw-dropping achievements as a chef, the chef had since left his restaurant to a younger chef and set out on an adventure in order to study a culinary world that was unknown to him, seeking to expand his field of specialty as a chef. Being someone who had mastered a slew of cuisines, the chef seemed to be the perfect fit for someone like Min Sung. However…
“72 years old, huh…”
Looking at the profile of the legendary chef on the screen of his laptop, Ho Sung scratched his neck. Then, a thought occurred to him.
“Wait a minute… What does age have to do with anything? Besides, what choice do I have at this point?”
At that point, instead of calling, Ho Sung decided to pay the chef a visit. Whether the chef would accept the offer or not was not on his mind.
“Now, how do I go about convincing this old man?” Ho Sung asked himself, brushing his hair up, which was still damp. He rose from his seat and left the restaurant to meet the legendary chef. The pressure of success snapped him out of his drowsiness. In fact, it made him clear-headed.
‘Consider this your last opportunity, Ho Sung! You got this!’ Ho Sung reminded himself, bolting toward his car.
Woong Jang. Chef (retired). Seventy-two years old.
After inquiring about the legendary chef through the Shadow Guild, Ho Sung learned that the chef’s residence wasn’t that far from Seoul. Following the information he had received from the Shadow Guild, Ho Sung arrived at an enormous, three-story house.
“Hope he’s home,” Ho Sung said. With a nervous look on his face, he rang the doorbell. However, no matter how many times he rang the bell, there was no response. “Huh. Maybe he’s out.”
After backing away from the gate slowly, Ho Sung stuck his neck up like a meerkat. However, that proved to be of little help. Taking his phone out, he tried calling the number that supposedly belonged to the chef. Of course, to no success. The chef’s phone seemed to be turned off. At that moment, while Ho Sung was scratching his head in frustration, a large shadow cast across the ground. When Ho Sung turned around, puzzled, he was met with a startling image. He saw a silver-haired man, massive and muscular, holding a white grocery bag, which had stalks of scallion jutting out of it.
Looking up at the man’s face, Ho Sung realized that he had come to the right place. It was Woong Jang, the legendary chef.
‘Holy crap, this guy’s big…’ Ho Sung murmured internally as he stared intently at the chef, who looked down at Ho Sung with dry, emotionless eyes.
“Who are you, and what are you doing here?” the chef asked. Despite looking like a civilian, he had a presence comparable to that of a hunter. While it was clear to Ho Sung that the man wasn’t just an ordinary old man, there was something strange about the chef’s appearance.
‘Isn’t this guy supposed to be a legendary chef? I mean, it’s hot out, but a celebrity chef wondering about the streets in a tank top, shorts, and sandals?’
The chef looked nothing like what Ho Sung had imagined. Then, shaking those thoughts away, Ho Sung greeted the man, “Ah, where are my manners? Hello, sir. Ho Sung Lee.”
Instead of greeting him back, the chef stared at Ho Sung as if he wanted him to cut to the chase.
“I have a very important matter to discuss with you. I understand you’re a busy man, but do you think you can work me in?” Ho Sung said, thinking, ‘This guy looks intense. What if he says no? No, I’m confident that he will. What do I say to him then?’
Then, while Ho Sung was lost in thought, the chef said, “… I saw you on TV. You’re famous a hunter, aren’t you?”
“Haha! Yeah, something like that,” Ho Sung said, laughing awkwardly.
“A national hero visiting an old man like me? I don’t know what to say. Come on in, it’s hot out,” the chef said, walking ahead of Ho Sung and opening the door. Confused, Ho Sung followed him through the well-maintained garden.
‘Well, I guess being famous can be useful at times. This is good! Very good!’ Ho Sung said to himself, wiping the smile off of his face to appear calm and composed.
“Thank you,” Ho Sung said to the chef as he took his shoes off and walked into the house.
Meanwhile, having already put the groceries in the refrigerator, the chef started preparing some tea and a light snack. After that, the chef said to Ho Sung, “I hope you’re a tea person. Why don’t you come and join me?”