Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
unfortunately this chapter couldn’t be double-checked by my friend, who is a senior translator, therefore this chapter may be a little worse than the previous ones.
He is feeling unwell those days so lets all wish him a speedy recovery.
Worse is relative though, I think I there won’t be any silly mistakes (like ‘teached’ instead of taught *shrugs* I can’t explain it either) or any glaring errors but it is certainly true the changes he did made the chapters flow better. That is the power of experience.
As such, if any of you see a part who seems awkward or wants to suggest some rewording feel free to leave a comment below. This is technically the very first chapter entirely done by me so any feedback is welcome.
As always the chapter is divided in 2 parts.
Thanks for reading!
EDIT: It seems the page split is causing some issues with the footnotes link. I think the best way would be to create 2 footnotes (one for each page) but i am reluctant to make any changes at the moment as i can already see people are coming in to read the chapter (So fast!)
So i am changing the links for now, this will cause you to have to load the other page like you would after reaching the fist part end. This sounds a little click-baity (forcefully forcing page loads) but trust me when i say it was not intentional. It worked fine during the post preview.
Red Ocean and Blue Ocean are Two Chapters of a Book
In the end, Kang-Joon’s cheeky behaviour was rewarded with a fierce kick in the shin upon arriving at the Knight Temple. And, because of that, Kang-Joon collapsed half-crouching on the floor for about a minute.
“You… Is it right to beat people ignorantly like this?
“Those who doesn’t respect others should, naturally, receive punishment.”
Had she kicked with her all it would have been enough to smash an electric pole to pieces, so it was clear she was looking after him at the time. Seol Yeong thought of how the world knew Paladin Maria and also thought of her hot-tempered personality, unlike her cold image she unexpectedly got to know she possessed a fiery personality.
‘Although I don’t know if that is only in front of Mr. Kang-Joon.’
Despite what it looks at first glance the two were very close.
The Knight Temple was located at Yangpyeong city Yangpyeong town’s Yangkyon village . Even though the location’s modern name disharmony was severe that was indeed the place. The Temple had purchased the place where the church was originally located, expanded it, and created a temple of huge scale at the site. Here there was dorms, educational buildings, gymnasium, including the most advanced strengthening buildings, and, because of the huge upheaval caused by management companies, it was preparing to expand the parking lot in the future.
Seven years ago, thanks to Knight Temple, Yangpyeong was promoted from county to city and developed to a degree incomparable to its past-self. Considered as the Knight’s hometown, Yangpyeong city is now of big enough size to not be inferior to any small or medium-sized city.
As such, the Knight Temple held an important place in Korea.
“There is so many people.”
Due to the completion ceremony, the parking lot was densely packed with cars of family members and of management personnel.
“It’s natural that a lot of families came.”
Commented Maria. While in the Knight Temple one had to live inside an enclosed space with a fixed diet, scheduled training, and strict education. Naturally going out and visits were rarely approved. The Temple’s training period was 2 years, and during that 2 years, although not completely isolated from the world, those inside lived with a fairly restricted freedom.
Excluding pure Hunters, although Knights, Awakens, and Mutants could be said to be mostly the same, a Knight most important strength was being able to dominate one’s mind before anything else. If the will is shaken their reinforced bodies will lose its hardness, and if those standing at the frontline collapse the whole group will be in danger.
That is why in addition to the different curriculum the Knight Temple also taught how to manage one’s mind. Therefore, almost all contact with the outside was blocked to emphasize the conditions to attain a perfect ‘crystal clear and calm as water’ mindset.
“Shall we go?”
Seol Yeong was in front, Maria and Kang-Joon followed. Maria’s eyes darted left and right with concern while she covered herself with the sunglasses and hat. Kang-Joon watched Maria with a grin.
“You look just like a celebrity right now.”
“Hunter or celebrity, these days the two are about the same.”
They were interlinked through publicity, there was even Hunters who appeared regularly on talent shows. After all, most Hunters didn’t have a sense of duty or anything of the sort, anything was acceptable if they could make money without risking their lives. Just like the athletes of the past were titled celebrities , Hunters were also considered celebrities and their continuous emergence was a trend.
“Hey, if it is not president Seol. Still beautiful as always!”
Just before they entered the Temple entrance, a man dressed in suit approached and faced Seol Yeong. Seol Yeong outfit was a skinny jeans and sneakers, while Kang-Joon and Maria were dressed comfortably. They would be staying here for a few days so they had brought a lot of clothes to change into.
“Hello Mr. Choi Team Leader, I have not seen you in a long time.”
Despite being the oldest in the group Seol Yeong actually seemed the youngest, she looked just like a female college student going out for a stroll. Seol Yeong bowed her head politely. Then she gestured to Kang-Joon.
“Mr. Kang-Joon, this is Blue Order agency’s team leader Choi Jeong-Wun. In the past he was in charge of Hero Management’s third Hunter team.”
That meant he experienced working below Seol Yeong in the past. Whether the leaving process was unpleasant or not, it seemed there was no cracks in Seol Yeong and Choi Jeong-Wun relationship. Kang-Joon extended out his hand and leaned his head slightly.
“Hello. I am Choi Kang-Joon, currently learning about management on Hero Management.”
“Ah, nice to meet you. President Seol is an outstanding person so I am sure you will learn many things.”
“Haha… I am already learning.”
“How is he progressing, Ms. President? I suppose he isn’t being modest?”
“No. Our new employee is very hard-working.”
Seol Yeong spoke of how great her new employer, Choi Kang-Joon, was in front of team leader Choi and showered him with enough praises to make Kang-Joon embarrassed. Of course, she didn’t speak of how they handled any detailed issue but, as Seol Yeong spoke, she gazed at Kang-Joon with a special glimmer in her eyes.
“Oh, this is really good to see. I don’t know if we will be able to meet later and continue catching up. If that happens I would like to make you a little request.”
“I will certainly listen.”
As they were exchanging small talk Choi Jeong-Wun cellphone rang. Checking the message Choi Jeong-Wun facial expression became stiff for a short moment.
“Ah, yes. It seems I will have to go now. It was nice to see you after so long, Ms. President.”
“No. It was my pleasure.”
“In that case I am going, good luck.”
Before leaving Choi Jeong-Wun whispered to Seol Yeong with a small whisper. Although he deliberately spoke in a low voice it was enough for Kang-Joon and Maria to hear.
“I think Cloud and Lescian are going to sweep all Knights this year. These guys have come with many big shots in their hands. There is already many small management companies withdrawing. All of them are currently despairing for being assigned to this city.”
“Oh, oh… Yes. So it’s like that.”
“It’s probable we are the only ones willing to give it a try now…”
He showed a bitter smile knowing Hero Management’s circumstances.
“If possible, I hope you get a good result.”
“Ah, Yes. I also wish team leader Choi good results.”
“I will contact you later!”
Choi Jeong-Wun excused himself with a nod and ran hurriedly somewhere. Even with this brief glance it was possible to see he was a person with overflowing passion. His impression too was that of a gentle person, being very polite with Seol Yeong. Kang-Joon received a quite good impression of him. Even though he seemed a little simple-minded, those without tact originally were not bad people.
As they entered the Knight Temple Seol Yeong was greeted by many people, all of them shared brief, and sometimes long, conversations. Maria walked a little further behind, while Kang-Joon shared greetings with these people one by one.
All these people looked at Seol Yeong happily, sincerity could be felt in their gazes. Kang-Joon once again realized that he did not know much about Seol Yeong.
‘She is the popular type.’
Seeing her meeting everyone’s eyes, greeting, chatting, and her cheerful figure Seol Yeong was definitely a business person and someone with a fresh personality. Regardless of what any Hero Management’s officials told him it was impossible to explain this.
Despite Seol Yeong being all by herself she still greeted everyone faithfully.
Being such, there was no reason for people to dislike her. A pretty face, kind, respectful with those below her, and a likeable reaction. In truth there was no unpleasant part.
“Aren’t your second daughter turning 5 now? She is so pretty! Isn’t that the time when they are the cutest? Haa, and you are so busy with work matters… How unfortunate.”
“I heard your esteemed son successfully passed the entrance exam. Unfortunately I had nothing to send but a red ginseng.”
“The dried corvina you sent me last festival was delicious. Thank you. Ah, these days Uijeongbu direction’s seems critical, isn’t that direction the place where…”
Seol Yeong had to remember many people at once, fully remembering their names, jobs, and family details. Certainly, that sort of crazy memory could only be seen on those possessing a businessman mind. And that was not the end.
“Mr. Kang-Joon, this is Rosewald’s finance team…”
“Mr. Kang-Joon, this is Lescian Management’s 5th Team Leader…”
“Mr. Kang-Joon, This is Dolleus’s… Oh, you changed jobs? Oh… so it is like that, where are you now… Oh, yes, Karam? Wow, congratulations!”
“Mr. Kang-Joon this is…”
Seol Yeong made sure to introduce Kang-Joon to every single person present.
Kang-Joon in truth felt his head spinning round-and-round after sharing greetings with so many people, while Seol Yeong wouldn’t hesitate praising Kang-Joon saying ‘He is hard-working and smart’ each time. After greeting so many people Kang-Joon actually felt tired, using every moment to recover his strained mind.
‘I am being given an opportunity.’
Every person present was a management company’s official, as such there was nothing wrong with getting acquainted with them. Management business couldn’t be done alone. There was no harm in getting to know people from each corporation as in business relationships were as important as money after all.
Seol Yeong was introducing Kang-Joon to everyone, she was also trying to plant a good impression. She probably didn’t think Kang-Joon would work at Hero Management forever. Therefore, as someone starting their own business would need to meet these people beforehand she was doing her best introducing them now.
‘She is a genuinely generous person.”
Among them, there were those who knew Kang-Joon’s name, and for that reason offered him a slightly strained greeting. But Seol Yeong’s easily overturned those situations with her quick wits.
In many ways, Seol Yeong was a superior who cared for the others, and, as such, the impression she passed was quite favorable.
‘With a little touch like this it is no wonder she ran a big corporation.’
Personal connections are important and together with a positive infrastructure are considerable merits to function. But even though the company president was important but so was the hand-on workers. If they receive a good impression some issues present in a group can be easily dealt with without one’s direct interference.
Even though he couldn’t be sure Seol Yeong was aware of it, the only thing Hero Management didn’t had was Hunters and nothing more, should it ever get back on track it certainly would experience a crazy growth. Kang-Joon looked at Seol Yeong being acquaintances with almost every person from the managements, all of them being friendly.
There were few people who would dislike having to interact with a beautiful girl with a gentle smile like Seol Yeong.
When he start his business in earnest, it wouldn’t be hard to establish a cooperation system between each management, and it would allow them to smoothly deal with the smaller matters.
However, Kang-Joon was still an amateur in some details, he still had many things to learn from Seol Yeong.
Every Knight was bustling somewhere enjoying their last week of vacation in the Knight Temple. There were even some officials already conversing with candidates.
As Seol Yeong was going to have a long conversation, Kang-Joon was told to go inside in advance. As the period of rest was fairly long Seol Yeong had to grasp how the management industry was nowadays, in the end, the casual conversations Seol Yeong was doing was in fact really important.
“Her popularity is huge, isn’t she more famous than me?”
“It seems that way.”
Kang-Joon, who had slipped out of the greeting upheaval, nodded his head at Maria’s words. To be frank, it was to the point of being considered an idol.
“Let’s go in first.”
The two entered the Knight Temple building, where huge books were stacked up in a desk.
“Hello. Are you a family member or a management official?”
“I am Choi Kang-Joon from Hero Management.”
“Yes, Oh, Hero Management. Yes sir, it is confirmed. Do you need an information book?”
“Yes, please bring a copy… I would like to inform that all hotels outside are completely booked at the moment, feel free to use the accommodations near the Temple should you wish.
Kang-Joon took a thick book an sat near.
“How about it, make you think of the old days?”
“Well, it is certainly better than in the past.”
The Knight Temple had quite the sophisticated and modern design. It was on another dimension compared to the mutants dealings and their illegal procedures who generally occurred in the shadows. Maria giggled seeing the scene. Maria had quite the world-weary side.
“Receiving an injection sitting in a golden cushion and receive one in the dumpster are all the same.”
“Even though you say such obstinate word you know the importance of hygiene in the body modification process, don’t you?
“Although dirty, the pain is exactly the same.”
Mutants or Knights would have to face that process, although Knights had a low death-rate the process was certainly accompanied by pain. Besides, the modification process didn’t end with a simple injection as Maria described. Having to live in a port submerged in medicinal liquid for over a week, having a cube transplanted in your body and being dissected alive was some of the cases.
Maria gazed at Kang-Joon with a cunning smile.
“During the process of mutation the body goes in overdrive, and totally ignores the anesthesia. The body becomes hard and the scalpel doesn’t go in, therefore the flesh is split with an ether scalpel. With the whole empty screaming and thrashing the table of operations would be smashed in pieces, so all equipment there were preferably created with cube superalloy. As a result of the cube being forcefully inserted in an alive body’s internal organs and blood, black liquid would come out from every hole in the body, as such, the truth is you will wonder if you want to live through that. There one’s tenacity is measured by how many times and how loud they scream.”
“Even with all that there still many who go there now without thinking it through?”
“Sigh, I don’t know if any bastard actually wished to do it, but there were many kids stepped forward. In many ways you just become resigned to it.”
Be it Knights or Mutants, the mutation process was savage and terrible on their bodies. Specially the pain experienced, as Knights receive body immunity and strength because of their strengthened bodies they aren’t influenced by narcotics, and have to endure having their flesh being cut and foreign substances inserted in their blood vessels while being fully aware.
During Knights’ mutation process there were more people who died from shock caused by the pain than by the side-effects. Therefore, there were many who subjugated themselves to torture for the sole benefit of getting used to pain before the body modification process.
Maria’s complexion became pale white from the damage she received from her own words. Kang-Joon, on contrary, remained unmoved.
“Are you shocked by your own words?”
“This is a fear engraved in the bones, for each word I say I feel myself being cut.”
“In that case why take the trouble of bringing up those sick memories?”
“I feel better when I see other people being scared.”
“You too are a pervert.”
“Isn’t okay if I only do it once or twice?”
Hidden behind the Knight Temple fancy exterior was that sort of cruel body modification process. The strength they obtained wasn’t free of charge. Maria glanced around and rose from her seat.
“I am afraid we will end up meeting someone I know. Let’s go out quickly.”
“It is been a long time since we reunited with the Temple’s Director…”
“Do you want to see the sight of this smashed place?”
At that words Kang-Joon closed his mouth and followed Maria outside. Now they only had to escape through the gaps in the blockade formed by Seol Yeong and those people.
Well, today it is only footnotes:
‘Yangpyeong city Yangpyeong town’s Yangkyon village’: This was really troublesome to translate as it always sounded weird to me. The concept is simple as each of these denominations represent an area and it’s number of habitants.
So using Korea’s standard divisions:
City (시): is one of the divisions of a province. Cities have a population of at least 150,000;
Town(읍): is one of the divisions of a county (gun), and of some cities (si) with a population of less than 500,000.
Village(리): is the only division of towns and districts. The ri is the smallest level of rural government to contain any significant number of people.
So, in the end, despite sounding weird the whole thing is an only a form of tell the location and number of residents of the place. I admit having a ‘town’ inside a ‘city’ sounds weird (to me at least) but think of it more like a town being under the sphere of influence of the city.
Death caused pain: So it seems it IS possible to die because of pain. It seems more likely to die because of complications caused by the ‘shock’ cited above than directly though. But dying because of that while someone is cutting you up alive with an
light saber ether sword while black liquid is gushing out of your body sounds reasonable. I wouldn’t risk it…