I will be releasing 4 chapters at once for novels that qualify eg Past Life Returner and Green Skin moving forward. This way readers can binge on stories. Cheers!
I was currently working on four different operations at the same time. First, I was arranging for logging on the mountain where the F-class dungeon was sealed. Second, I was expanding Jonathan Investments. Third, I was establishing a new investment company worth fifteen billion dollars on the Isle of Man, and fourth, I was looking for the Prime Evil and my last knight, Cheongsoo Kim.
The manuscript I finished editing on the plane back to Korea was for my second operation.
“The negotiation had gone well, but ANC and Blue Rock are worried that the Financial Supervisory Commission will not approve, as we are.”
“I have several things to tell you, so let’s start there.”
I took out my laptop and felt Jonathan’s stare. He felt that something was different with my tone, as I had always been polite and distant when speaking to him.
“Let’s talk about this first.”
I opened the manuscript file and handed Jonathan the laptop. I saw Jonathan slowly smile looking at me, as I showed him what I had written.
“Do I have something on my face? Look at the monitor.”
Jonathan’s eyes finally turned to the monitor, and he asked me what this was.
“ANC and Blue Rock mentioning the Financial Supervisory Commission’s approval was an insult, as they’re saying that the only way this deal will go through will be if we’re lucky. I was reminded of the attitude Wall Street has of you, Jonathan, that you had hit the jackpot just by sheer luck.”
“It’s not me, it’s you. Don’t be so touchy, Sun. So, this is…a manuscript. Did you write this?”
“Let’s talk after you read it.”
Jonathan seemed interested as he looked over the manuscript, and his scrolling slowed down as he read it. He looked back and forth at me and the manuscript as he again asked me a question.
“This is not an autobiography, but an investment manual. How can a thirteen-year-old think of this? You could predict trends with this book, and monopolize positions even if your brain doesn’t work like a genius. Moreover, your analysis of Predictive Modelling…damn. You don’t have a degree, right?”
The answer was clear, and Jonathan answered by himself.
“You were planning our revenge, and this is hot stuff. Everyone will be blown away by this, and no one will be able to claim ‘Luck’ anymore! Our credibility will be untouchable!”
While Jonathan was over exaggerating things, everything was about results. I just wrote up the theories I remembered from my past life, which have yet to be published or even created by their original authors, to explain our investment strategies to something a normal human being could understand.
“Jonathan, I’m not the author and left the foreword blank. Write up something about your childhood and how you grew up, and also how you became a financial investment manager and started on Wall Street.”
Jonathan shook his head violently at my words, which was a clear refusal. I had expected this response and asked him a question.
“Do you know the Asian concept of Yin and Yang?”
“Yin and Yang suggest nothing can live in isolation, as Yin cannot exist without Yang and vice versa. The two need to be in harmony for things to work. I’m saying that you and I work like that.”
“I wish you would step out of the shadows, but it can’t be helped.”
“Yes, this argument ends today. Don’t think that you’re stealing my achievements because you’re just doing something for me that I can’t do.”
“Until you come of age.”
“So enjoy it while you can so you won’t regret it. A moment will come when I take back what’s mine.”
I grew apart from my childhood friends when I studied in Britain and worked as an investment manager in New York. I only had colleagues after that, and it was the same when I had been Awakened.
Awakened could not become friends, and it had been the same for Jonathan and me. We were in a completely business relationship and shared profits and points, not friendship. I had thought that would remain the same in this life, but Jonathan was not who I had known. His nature did not belong in Wall Street, as he was gentle and had a streak of kindness.
When he asked me to become his friend, I thought that I could afford this single luxury…
Jonathan returned to New York with the manuscript yesterday, and his departure was quieter than his arrival. Those who had come to greet him and others went back to the new president’s inauguration ceremony. His departure was written in small letters in the daily newspaper.
That morning, Carl and Jane’s people had sent greeting emails, the investigating firm sent me pictures of numerous candidates for Bobby, and Jillian had given me a progress report after going back to Britain. However, the news I had been waiting for the most was delayed.
<How long will the construction go on?>
<I am sorry. It had snowed last week. Can you come to the site? We have cut down all the trees, and cleared everything, I am certain that you will be satisfied.>
<I’m on my way.>
I went there using a car I had rented under Jeonil’s name, as dealing with traffic cops in these times required cash rather than a driver’s license. I just needed to avoid big accidents.
The mountain was a big ugly brown blob, unlike other mountains and hills that were all green, covered with trees. It was a relief that the three-story village hall had been finished first. I passed the new building as I drove until I met Choi waiting for me at the base of the mountain.
“I approve and will send you the rest of the payment by tomorrow.”
I spoke as I looked up at the bare mountain.
“When will you proceed with additional construction?”
“That’s a much bigger scale, and while we will put your firm on the list, I don’t think you will be selected.”
“Is that so…”
“Anyway, have you seen a boulder that looks like an eagle’s beak? It’s about ten meters tall and would have been easily noticeable.”
Choi asked me to wait and ran to the workers, and he brought a middle-aged man along with him. I didn’t need to search the entire mountain to look for it, and the three of us drove up to the middle of the mountain with Choi’s truck.
We moved based on the worker’s memories, and while the dirt under our feet tended to crumble, we made much faster progress than when the forest was full of thorn bushes.
I then saw the boulder even before the worker pointed at it. It was just as I remembered, and I could not forget it since the thoughts I had when I passed that boulder the first time were burned into my brain.
‘Wouldn’t there be a chance to run away if I topple that boulder? Can I even do that? Damn, if I had just managed to rest, I could outrun these officers…No, if only I had Awakened with more strength instead of perception…’
I remembered myself being led away into the dungeon under military guard, and I first made Choi and the worker go back. I then started to mentally recreate a map of the camp the military had made, using the boulder as the landmark.
The dungeon entrance had been about two hundred meters to the northeast, and the entrance that could unseal the dungeon would be there somewhere. I began to walk faster and then started to run.
I could guess the spots where the dirt would crumble under my feet before I stepped, which reminded me that I had been Awakened, with high perception attributes back then, and now. I ran the sharp incline for about two hundred meters and looked around for the entrance.
I only needed to enter the radius of the entrance like the Awakened who had discovered the dungeon by accident, and then the dungeon would reveal itself.
I wandered about and found a spot where the notification I had been waiting for appeared. The System message I had hoped for appeared, and I received the achievement I had expected.
[Congratulations, you are the First to discover a Dungeon!]
[You have gained the achievement ‘Like the Deep Sea.’]
Other notifications followed.
[You have gained the trait ‘Explorer’ due to the achievement.]
[Congratulations, you are the first to discover this dungeon.]
[You have received a challenger box for being the first to find a dungeon.]
It was not a bronze, silver, or gold, not even platinum or a diamond box. I saw a shining box that seemed to be screaming at me to open it. I felt my heart skip a bit and reached out with my hand to open the shining box, that would light my way into the future.
Edited by Userunfriendly