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Past Life Returner 12

 

The Odin’s Wrath the Sixth Virtue used was actual lightning. Even though he had been an immature young man despite his powers, in his hands any weapon became Mjölnir, the myth made real. A mere club struck like a weapon that came out from a platinum box or above, a sky shattering crack of thunder with every strike. A weak punch became a hit from the God of Thunder, capable of shattering meters of solid rock. In the aftermath, after he stormed by, there would be no bodies, human or monster with intact limbs left. The limbs that looked like an angry beast had bitten them off and spat them out were burnt, and as they rolled on the ground they discharged sparks of electricity, left over from the residual charge.

I still was not able to forget. He had gone away after finishing his business, but I could not recover the kids’ bodies. The blue flames he had left on the ground and in the air made the place like a burnt down charnel house. That kind of destructive power lay dormant in the Odin’s Wrath skill.

 

***

 

It was early summer in South Korea, and the hotel room was cool thanks to the air conditioner. However, sweat dropped like rain as I bent down. My entire body was drenched in sweat, but there was not even the slightest sign of my stats increasing. I still had some stats I could raise by physical training…

Anyway, I had to prepare until I began conquering the dungeons in earnest.

I made the necessary movements with various imaginary weapons as I imagined that a F class Guard Dog was in front of me. At the moment I became tired enough so I could not move, the phone rang.

 

<Is this Mr. Sunhoo Na? Someone is on the line for you from overseas.>

 

Thankfully, Jonathan contacted me before I had to return home, and his voice rang my ears.

 

<You were right. They acted like they had been waiting for us, so I avoided being lined up against a wall and shot.>

<So, what’s the percentage?>
< In the early twenties. It’s touch and go.>

 

By touch and go, Jonathan was not speaking of the current situation Thailand was facing. He had said that Thailand still possessed more foreign currencies than we had thought and was starting to doubt the currency war would end with the hedge fund coalition’s victory. I ended my calculations.

 

<We agreed on all-in, Jonathan. Do you have any opposition?>

<Wasn’t that over when we gave away eighty bloody million dollars just to see how much they had?>

<Thank you.>

<One thing is certain. No matter the result, we’re doing something crazy, so I just hope it’s for the better. So? When is the D-day?>

<It’s July second. The ingredients are the application of the floating exchange rate system, the maximized fall of the baht, and the highest leverage. Put the spurs to her, boil them as you wish.>

 

Our stage had moved from the Thailand stock index futures market to the foreign exchange future market.

 

<July second?>

<That’s right.>

 

I heard Jonathan’s breathing.

 

<It’s crazy. I can’t even imagine this. If your calculations work, we… You know hedge funds such as the Dragon Fund->

<That they are Pied Pipers?>

 

(EN: Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, leading the horde of rats in search of food. )

 

If a famous hedge fund like the Dragon Fund attacked a country, they’re inevitably followed by smaller companies that follow them, like hyenas, fighting each other for the scraps left over by the Lion.  While individually smaller, their total size consisted of dozens of smaller entities that collectively dwarf the hedge funds that brought down the big prey. That’s why hedge funds were scary. It was not their capital, but the hungry pack of investors and banks that followed them. Their relationship was similar to the one between the Eight Evils and Eight Virtues and the lesser ranked hunters around the world. A fight between them led to a country’s ruin, brought on not by the main battle, but the hordes fighting over what’s left.

 

<Yes, that’s an accurate description. I couldn’t ask for a better one.>

 

It had to be accurate, as that was the exact term Jonathan had used to describe the hedge funds whenever he boasted of his best time during 1997 in his past life.

 

<So, Sun. If your calculations are right, we will harvest all the capital of the worldwide investment funds at once.>

<Are you saying that you want me to be wrong?>
<I’m saying it’s a problem if you do, as my weak heart won’t be able to stand it.>
<You’re stronger than you think, Jonathan. Don’t be scared by unnecessary assumptions and prepare for the conquest.>

<Conquest? That’s…an apt word.>

 

In other words, the fall of the baht on July second, 1997 will mean that I will be able to monopolize an S class dungeon.

 

***

 

July first was the day in history  that Hong Kong was returned to China. It was inevitable that the media would continue to show Hong Kong’s seashores where celebratory fireworks were exploding. The same clips showed the British Military Units leaving and the Hong Kong troops of the People’s Liberation Army running to take their place.

 

“Son, do you know how Hong Kong became British?”

 

Father had come home early today, and I heard his voice from behind my back after I was about to go back to my room after greeting him quietly. His intention was clear, and I came back to sit on the sofa while Mother came with some cut fruits.

 

“There’s that Chinese film your mother likes so much.”

“That’s Once Upon a Time in China, right?”

 

My mother laughed silently as she had loved the film.

 

“You listen too. Maybe what I say will deepen your interest. The film’s background is the Opium War, as the Western Imperialist powers began to invade Asia.”

 

Father began to explain, and he was more passionate about my education than in my past memories. How the Opium War started, and what had happened before the Nanjing Treaty was signed, and Hong Kong was ceded. He thought of those explanations as education. However, history repeated itself. The current version of the Opium War was again happening in Asia. The Western investment funds will push dollars instead of opium to weaken a country’s economy and attack the said country by pouring in their currency instead of cannonballs.

Have I said that history repeats itself? The reason that there had been a terrible civil war in Asia in the future was not that the Eight Evils and Eight Virtues had clashed due to their ideologies, but due to an S class dungeon that was in Asia. A member of the Eight Virtues and those who followed him had been the main players, and their guild had already been notorious for their pro-western racism. I have no good memories about them. Therefore, I may have furrowed my brow and let out a sigh. I lowered my gaze quickly as I met Father’s eyes.

 

“Hey, if you had to go to the bathroom, say so. Wash and rest.”

 

Father spoke.

 

“There was nothing much at work today?”

“Is that something a middle school student would say? Yes, nothing much, kid.”

 

***

 

I didn’t even have a beeper, let alone a cell phone. The only way I could communicate with Jonathan was by email, and it was still quiet. We could transact about ten billion dollars in foreign exchange with a capital of two hundred million. Even if we wanted to bet all of it on the baht falling on July second, it was only possible if those in the opposite position permitted it. I had been waiting for Jonathan’s email because of this since the baht market was already narrow.

Currency had grades, and if the dollar was an S class, baht was an F class. The baht traded less than ten billion dollars a day in the foreign exchange futures market. I was not worried that the baht would fall, but the amount I wanted would not be finalized. So, what we were going to do was to monopolize the position that the baht will fall tomorrow.

I kept refreshing the page, and I had been clicking every hour, but the intervals became shorter from thirty minutes to ten minutes. My eyes widened when Jonathan’s email came in the empty mailbox. I had to say that the speed I clicked my mouse was as fast as lightning right then.

The email had no title, and there was only one sentence. However, it made me stand up after kicking my chair.

 

-Preparations for conquest complete.

 

It had been a long time since I had heard those words. My fists tightened until my nails bit into my palm. I felt like that time I went into the dungeon with a bag full of supplies. We had thrown ourselves into the dungeon despite no one being certain we would survive.

However, this time it was different. While my heart started to beat as I had gone into a dungeon, the cause was different. I was certain I would succeed despite not putting my life on the line. I would not feel the emptiness one felt when the points one gained with hard work became useless due to luck! No language could describe that emotion.

 

Now, a box was in front of me again, and I knew what would come out of it. An astronomical amount of dollars! The only thing I had to do was wait. We monopolized tomorrow!

 

-Thank you. I’ll decide when we will liquidate.

 

I replied to Jonathan. Was it because my infancy had been comfortable? Has peace become a habit? While it has been less than a year since I returned, subjectively, my past life, which I had lived out intensely, seemed to be something a long time ago. So, I recited Jonathan’s email, over and over to myself, so I would not lose my determination to fulfill my goals.

 

-Preparations for conquest complete.

 

Editor: Userunfriendly

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