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Chapter 122

 

The DOT-com crash caused massive damage to all the relevant economies, those that have invested heavily into Information Technology infrastructure, and it had been harsh for Korea. While Korea had overcome its IMF Crisis a year earlier than my previous life, it was still burdened with severe problems. People were ruined overnight, and the discrepancy between the rich and poor was widening at a frightening speed. During that time, I was in…another dungeon.

I swung the scimitar right after I opened the door. Lightning flashed from the blade to kill thirty-two Canine Pawns at once, and the blue light continued to burn them. I had cleared the area in an instant.

 

[You have activated Speed-up] (EN: Chapter 54)

[Your Agility class has changed. Change: C -> B]

 

There were two doors, and I chose one at random to clear the area and return to Yeonhee. She did not seem surprised at my sudden return after her Perception became C class.

 

“Let’s go slower.”

She asked me that because she had to create a map. She did not have the time to fight because she was busy plotting our progression and keeping track of all the branching paths in this dungeon.

 

“Finished.”

 

Yeonhee spoke as she checked the map. Maze dungeons forced us to spend unnecessary time. We managed to reach the boss room while I could still use Odin’s Wrath for ten more minutes. The boss monster raised its hand to summon a herd of Canine Pawns at me, but blue light flashed once more to end everything.

When we cleared the dungeon, Yeonhee and I were exactly the same as we had been on entering. We did not even sweat and had received no damage. Two Gold Boxes opened right after the other.

 

[You have opened a Gold Box.]

[You have received 3 Perception points, but they have been cancelled.]

 

“Nice job.”

 

Yeonhee took out a bottle of water, which was the only supply we had brought with us.

 

[You have opened a Gold Box.]

[You have received 1 skill point for the Man Who Overcame Adversity, but it has been canceled.]

 

The rewards from the Gold Boxes were nullified again because they were only effective for stats, skills and traits D class and under. With two or three exceptions, my stats were at C class. That had come from monopolizing the dungeons.

 

**

 

We came back with the agents’ eyes on us. The site was a small hill in London.

 

[You have received 1 Accomplishment Reward.]

[Accomplishment Reward: 213] (EN: That’s a lot of dungeons…)

 

“Thank you.”

 

We came back to the car with the men, and Yeonhee thanked them like she always did. However, the agents were silent. While some newbies were trained to remain quiet in the presence of clients unless they had something important to say, most of them sensed the secret behind her smile. As our stays in dungeons became shorter, from a day to half a day, half a day to an hour or so in the last sixteen months, they should have realized something.

I sent the agents back to their rooms after we came back to London, and it was one o’clock in the afternoon.

 

“The place is nice.”

Yeonhee had been looking at the glittering chandelier as I led us to a room. She was asking with her eyes the price, but one could not come to this restaurant only with money. I needed to pay an expensive annual fee and maintain a certain level of social status.

The manager led us to a private room, and the narrow corridor showed numerous doors. The rooms behind each door held men in finance who controlled various markets ranging from precious/strategic metals to oil. I could hear them speak just by expanding my Perception for a bit, but I had not brought Yeonhee to discuss these things. I wanted to confirm something and just give her a taste of another world.

 

“I think they are from the Rothschild Bank.”

 

Yeonhee spoke with a glance at the shared wall, between us and the next private room, and she whispered even though no one would hear her. It was inevitable, as we were at a salon managed by the Rodsilt family. The next room held board members from the Rothschild Bank and the London Bank. While I had not specifically targeted them, we had arrived on a good day.

 

“Do you know what Rothschild’s does?”

“It’s common knowledge.”

 

The walls were no match for our senses, and we both listened to the secretive meeting next door with interest. Their world would be surreal to Yeonhee, and it was also my first time hearing a talk like this. The two groups reached an agreement.

 

“Then, let’s agree to a 9% increase from the current price. We will deal with the Berlin Bank and the American Department of Treasury…”

 

Yeonhee looked at me with wide eyes. She seemed unable to believe the price of gold was decided by such a few people.

 

(EN: The price of gold was fixed for years, twice daily at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm, in a small room at Rothschild’s New Court headquarters on St Swithin’s Lane. The world’s main bullion houses: Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Scotia-Mocatta and Société Générale used the agreed rate as a price benchmark for gold products and derivatives in the world’s markets. The chairperson, traditionally appointed by the Rothschild bank, sat in the center, although the bank itself has largely withdrawn from trading. The five members of the London Bullion Association: Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Scotiabank, HSBC and Société Générale, now conduct their twice-daily meetings over the telephone. The meetings were a tradition as great as the ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange until 2004.) (EN: This quote was taken from the Wikipedia article on “Rothschilds & Co”.)

 

“What did I just hear?”

“It seems that the gold cartels are going to raise the gold price. Go and invest in gold when we get back to Seoul. You can use Jonathan Investments if you want.”

 

Yeonhee gulped as I continued to speak.

 

“You see now that reality is stranger than dungeons. Don’t think of us as being so special.”

 

Yeonhee should have become bored of our current routine by now, and I had no plans for us to conquer any more F class dungeons.

 

“I will take care of them, as they will not help us on the Day that is coming. So Yeonhee, do your best in the things you can do, and not worry about my tasks.”

 

I spoke to her about what I had not even told Jonathan. I did not need her to understand me but just feel my emotions. Yeonhee now began to calm down, and she now answered me with a serious face.

 

“If you are saying such things, we are going to a more difficult dungeon, aren’t we?”

 

**

I estimated that it would take me more than six years to increase my stats, traits, and skills to the max rank possible from opening Platinum Boxes. (EN: Remember each rank of dungeon boxes has a maximum rank they can upgrade, and it’s implied as you rank up higher, you need more boxes to upgrade stats, traits and skills to the next rank.)(EN: And it’s implied that Platinum Boxes are the next rank after Gold Boxes.)  If I factor in bad luck, there was no telling how long it would take. Therefore, I needed to open Diamond Boxes rather than Platinum Boxes to shorten the span. Since Diamond Boxes offered more points rather than insignias and items, I could hope for a half-year decrease in my estimates.

However, that was not enough as I could not spend all of my time in dungeons. The world would change in September, as that event will happen since the preceding events leading up to it have not changed. Israel had bombed Lebanon in 1982, the Kosovo War had happened, and that person was the US President. Today was August 11th, and preparations would be in progress somewhere in this world.

We had been about to leave the salon when my phone rang along with others at the same time from all around me. I heard surprised voices everywhere.

 

“An airplane…”

“The World Trade Center…”

 

I also looked at my phone that continued to ring.

 

<Sun, are you seeing this?> (EN: Yes, it is indeed what you think.)

 

Edited by Userunfriendly

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