I deeply apologize. I forgot to publish last month's chapters. I will publish 4 chapters today
Hey guys, quite a bit of announcements today…
First I would like to thank 2 people who donated some time ago. I just noticed it this sunday since the notification e-mail was sent to my personal e-mail and I kinda of avoid going there (too much RL stuff going there).
Thank you very much and sorry for not noticing it earlier. I won’t mention your names just to play it safe but let it be know you guys rock!
Okay, the second announcement is that I am kinda confident on making one more release week.
Last but not least is the fact that this last few chapters titles will be seeing some changes. I could finally understand what this red and blue ocean thing means! To be fair it is kinda surprising I couldn’t find anything in the first place, but I think I focused too much on it being an idiom and missed the forest for the trees.
Here is a resume of it: (Source)
“The concept is quite simple to understand. The Red Ocean is where every industry is today. There is a defined market, defined competitors and a typical way to run a business in any specific industry. The researchers called this the Red Ocean, analogous to a shark infested ocean where the sharks are fighting each other for the same prey.
The Blue Ocean, on the other hand, is calm, smooth, with lots of food and little or no competition. This is where everyone would like to be and it is possible for you to have a Blue Ocean.”
I won’t get too deep on it since this whole note is already quite big and this part in articular will be better explained in chapter 15 but the new title will be: “Red Ocean and Blue Ocean are two chapters of a book”. Where that book is actually a real thing.
Thanks for reading!
Red Ocean and Blue Ocean are Two Chapters of a Book
After finishing a simple lunch meal the three gathered inside a room in a hotel built behind Yangpyeong. Usually all of Yangpyeong’s accommodations would already be crowded, and with its hotels being fully booked, Seol Yeong decision to reserve accommodations in advance was an excellent choice.
The thick information book listed each Knight candidate’s picture, height, blood type, and their overall scores in each category, finishing with their ranking based on the combined values.
“Ms. Maria, is there any standard criteria for one to select a good Knight?”
Seol Yeong asked looking at Maria, who was already helping herself to a glass of red wine. Even though Maria had carelessly flipped through some pages, she seemed to hold little enthusiasm.
“Well, in fact, seeing it directly is the fastest wat to judge something. But, only the graduates this year should probably exceed 700… It would be convenient if all there was to it was looking at the rankings.”
Maria pointed at the first in the aggregate ranking, Kang Ju-Yeon. ‘Body Reinforcement A+, Weapon Proficiency A+, Teamwork B-, Willpower A+, Potential A+, Stability A-‘, certainly a record befitting of a model student’s report card. Of course the estimated grades shown here were based on nothing but the Knight Temple’s standard, it didn’t mean her body reinforcement reached the A Rank.
“This much is enough to receive C Rank immediately. And, it probably wouldn’t be a difficult matter to get promoted to B Rank.”
She gave Kang Ju-Yeon a high evaluation. Yet, Maria looked at Kang Ju-Yeon’s smiling profile picture and clicked her tongue.
“Despite all that I don’t like this sort of kid.”
“It is precisely a disgust for ‘perfect students’.”
Maria extreme words were like those of a thug, actually the way she was acting was no different from a delinquent. Kang Ju-Yeon’s impression and the capabilities she possessed were enough to be immediately chosen and became a new employer in any big enterprise.
“It’s not only my prejudice, the probability of these ‘perfect students’ committing serious mistakes is about 1.76 times higher than an ordinary person. These type of kids are only bastards who learned how to score well. Look at it this way, did any teacher ever had them participate in a real fight?”
It would be a mistake to pick based only on these scores, it wasn’t uncommon for people to end up wetting themselves when ingressing in an actual fight. Kang-Joon too nodded his head knowing the reason Maria said such words was not wrong.
“I want to compliment you for acknowledging your bias.”
“In any case, high-ranked candidates scouted under the right conditions have, evidently, an enormous entertainment potential… the required down-payment is probably just as big…”
Hero Management didn’t possess the capital of those big companies. Clouds and Lescian invested a lot to recruit a large number of Knights graduates this time, being impossible to know how many people they would absorb during their collection. Kang-Joon completed his explanation,
“We want to find out if there is anyone in the lower rankings we can can use.”
A ranking is, in the end, something which includes a degree of objectivity.
After all, rankings were a merciless division and possessed a rigid hierarchy where those at the end were inferior and the ones on top superior, where the chance of it being incorrect increased accordingly with its objectiveness. Kang-Joon was an easy example of that.
As such, there was only one thing Maria could say about finding anyone they could use among those ranked at the bottom.
“Well, I will see what I can do.”
“They are currently designing Duncheon new city. The construction work should be at its peak now, its probable large management companies are already desperate, all trying to obtain jurisdiction over it. Being under the government jurisdiction yet without any assigned manpower at the moment, its jurisdiction will most likely be granted to a team who could properly dedicate themselves to Duncheon.”
“That situation would require a great number of newcomers.”
“Yes. Therefore, the big companies will clash with each other trying to recruit as many Knights as possible during the Knight’s completion ceremony this time.”
Acting thoughtlessly might result in the situation like that of a shrimp fighting against a whale to occur. There are were many unfavourable conditions. Big companies were trying to scout high quality manpower from the start, but this time 2 of them would go through a bloody competition.
Although one is already a proven talent from the moment they complete the Knight training course, everyone there always wanted to choose the most remarkable among them.
Knights were people in the end, finishing a course didn’t mean they wouldn’t be terrified in a proper fight nor does it prevent them from dying in the future. Besides, Hunters moved in groups, if the Knight at the frontlines doesn’t fulfill their job, the rest might have to experience dangers together.
As such it wasn’t a question who concerned merely the life of a single person. Maria hesitated for a moment then replied,
“Even though I can’t think of those bastards from the big companies sweeping everyone, if we are gonna focus on the lower rankings, we should look for those who performed poorly on the Body Reinforcement and Weapon Proficiency categories but with high Willpower and Stability.”
“Why is that?”
“Low Stability means one has poor control over their body reinforcement, in that case one might reinforce their legs in the middle of a battle when, in fact, one needs to strengthen their arms, sending them flying. You and I know well the gravity of such accident in the middle of battle, right? And about Willpower… If a Knight flees because his hand was severed in half, is that not the same?”
“That is true.”
In fact, the capabilities the Management industry made the most use of at the moment were mainly Body Reinforcement, Weapon Proficiency, and Teamwork. Because of that the same pattern could be seen on those ingressing in the field at the moment, the industry created an atmosphere where only those abilities visible with one’s eye were valued.
“From the highest priority we have Stability on top, followed by Willpower, Teamwork, Potential, Weapon Proficiency, and Body Reinforcement. There should be no problem if we follow this order. This way we can avoid any pitfalls.”
“All right, let’s look through them.”
‘Perfect student’: The direct translation is ‘good student’ and it means (in this case at least) students who learned to score well instead of learning what is being taught per se.
Initially I tried to think of any word in english that could capture that meaning while still maintaining this slight derogatory tone Maria speech has. I couldn’t think of any and the best discussion I found didn’t return any useable example. In the end I am hoping ‘perfect student’ coupled with Maria’s slightly sarcastic tone can bring across that meaning…
Seol Yeong and Kang-Joon searched the information book, going through the low ranked candidates they could use one by one. And, as there was only one information book, the two had to, evidently, sit close together while looking through it.
“How about this person?”
“Well… I don’t know. Teamwork is probably too low…”
Maria looked at that sight and felt a strange emotion she couldn’t describe. There were a big difference on age, however, as it stood, they had the atmosphere like that of an older brother and little sister. Maria had no way of knowing that was something close to jealousy. As it is, it seemed she had to become aware of that sort of feeling on her own.
Seol Yeong young face. Clean and flawless skin without a single blemish like one would only believe seeing in a baby.
Despite what Maria though she couldn’t suppress the strange feeling.
Seol Yeong young face.
“Psst. Ms. President.”
“Well… Look at me for a moment.”
Seol Yeong gazed at Maria with an innocent expression, Maria looked at Seol Yeon’s eyes as if to pierce through them. Other people might not, but Maria could tell. It was difficult to sense, even with the unusual body senses she had developed.
Something heterogeneous was moving inside Seol Yeong’s black pupils. Seol Yeong was unaware such signs were present inside her own pupils. Seol Yeong avoided eye contact as soon as Maria severe gaze locked on her own.
“Wh-What is the matter?”
“Hospital, you should pass there sometime.”
“Whenever I look in other people’s eyes I am able to understand a little of their health condition, Ms. President body is not that good at the moment.”
At that words Seol Yeong seemed to realize something, her complexion turning pale.
“A-Ah… Yes. It is really like that.”
Maria was able to grasp Seol Yeong’s true state through only a single look in her eyes. Although the signs were very weak, Maria was able to capture the faint indications in her. Sympathy couldn’t help but seep on the gaze looking at Seol Yeong.
Kang-Joon didn’t concentrate on their conversation and still had his eyes fixed on the information book…
— // ———————————– // —
A long time later,
“This is a little problematic.”
“What is the problem?”
“Are people of this level too low?”
“No… that is not what I mean.”
They had to pick out the people they could use among those ranked in the last 100. However, Kang-Joon saw that this information book was slightly odd. He quickly skimmed the information book, checking all candidates’ profiles. He then asked Maria,
“How many people graduated when you finished your course?”
“Um… Approximately a thousand people? It was probably about that much.”
“There’s 700 now, so the number of people reduced.”
“The number of admissions must have decreased.”
“No, that is not it.”
Kang-Joon pointed at the profiles’ ‘aspiration’ column in the information book.
“The people here are all aspirant Knights.”
Kang-Joon propped up his chin with one hand and continued as if talking to himself.
“This information book doesn’t have a single Templar on its name list. It is missing part of the ranking.”
Kang-Joon had doubts about why among that many people there was not even one Templar. And, confirmed it seeing every person Aspiration category was filled with Knights. However, Seol Yeong and Maria reactions to Kang-Joon’s speculations was that it was coincidence.
“Well… Managements are recruiting Knights aspirants from the start, therefore, not having the Templar candidates doesn’t matter, right?”
“How can it not matter? If it comes to that they should have given us the complete ranking list from the start. Looking at it critically, having to separate only the aspirants Knights takes more than creating a mixed ranking list.”
Seol Yeong nodded her head as if she understood what Kang-Joon was trying to say.
“As management companies could approach the Templars candidates, that information itself was completely sealed in a large-scale.”
The aspirants Knights admitted in the Temple are, in the end, students, Templars also had families. As such, there were also those who tried to recruit as many Templars as possible. Even though there were complicated circumstances, like imposing a mandatory quota of free-lancer Knights to avoid Union’s monopoly over them and more, the decision of whether to become a Knight or Templar remained, in the end, up to the individual’s freedom.
“Indeed, ever since managements arrived for the completion ceremony no information relating to Templars was given..”
It would be a huge headache if a management official caught wind of a person about to become a Templar.
“In various aspects, in those conditions they had to come up with these sort of preventive measures to avoid losing Templar Knights.”
“So what are you intending to do? After all, our options have not changed.”
At Maria’s question Kang-Joon laughed.
“Didn’t the big companies set their eyes on the upper ranked Knights?”
“In that case we will take out the top ranked Templars.”
“W-What are you talking about?”
“One will face nothing but difficulty to enter it once, but if one can approach the Templars, it is exactly like a blue ocean.”
Ignoring the middle process for the moment, if one is able to do that it is indeed quite an excellent idea. If one is able to persuade them in a place without any form of management, it is a method one can obtain a top ranked Templar for free. Maria giggled hearing Kang-Joon’s words.
“It’s a good idea, but what do intend to do? It is not as if we have the correct list of names.”
“You will get it.”
“Please help with just this tiny bit.”
Kang-Joon shameless request left Maria speechless. She only had the following words to reply,
“You, I am starting to consider BS-ing is the only thing you can do.”
It went beyond BS-ing, this time Kang-Joon would be BS-ing others through a proxy.
Next Chapter is ready!
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“Blue Ocean-Red Ocean”: I left a note in the opening but here is for those who skipped it (Shame on you!).
Red ocean and blue ocean refer to the fight occurring in the business circle. A red ocean signifies an ocean full of sharks where their bloody fight turned the water red or a market where multiple enterprises are fighting for a piece. A blue ocean means a calm sea where ones faces no obstruction, basically the ocean is all yours.
Of course that is just my attempt at explaining it. Read more about it here.
BS-ing: Okay, the original word is “구라”, it is a slang who means Lies/Falsehoods. BS is AFAIK the most correct translation for this. All other words I could find were either completely humorous (I am totally using ‘Bulldust’ from now on) or were too formal like hoodwinking or deceiving.
Hoodwinking was a close call though. I decided to just roll with BS in the end because that is what they used in the previous translations and I saw it caused no issues.