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Jillian had been too excited to sleep, and he grabbed his phone as he sat up in bed. The call was picked up immediately…
<Jessica, you couldn’t sleep either?>
<Confirm the American Deputy Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Finance’s schedule.> (EN: The Assistant Secretary for International Finance supports the Treasury’s work on international monetary policy, coordination with the G-7 and G-20, technical assistance, and regional and bilateral economic issues.)
<He’s visiting Moscow tomorrow.>
Jessica immediately replied with an excited voice, and while Jillian had been surprised at her forethought, he was even more surprised at the investment proposal’s estimations and originality.
Jessica came to Jillian’s room later in the night because neither one could sleep, so they might as well work. She came in bringing a bundle of documents and organized them on a table.
“The amazing thing about this proposal is that it’s not only about the numbers.”
“Yes! It predicts the behaviors of the major players too.”
Jessica was still talking about Moscow, though not the schedule, as that could be checked by a simple phone call.
“The proposal predicts that the Deputy Under Secretary’s request for a meeting will be blocked by the Russian Prime Minister’s chief secretary.”
“Yes, that secretary doesn’t understand the new Russia and still lives in the Cold War. He will think that it is an insult for the Prime Minister to meet a mere Deputy Under Secretary, even though he was sent based purely on his expertise. I agree wholeheartedly with the prediction.”
Jessica then handed Jillian a few documents, and they were still a bit warm from the printer. Jillian did not need to tell her anything, as she prepared what he wanted without saying.
‘A person like this was managing a Call Center just because she was a woman. Wall Street is obsolete and deserves to be ousted by an Enfant Terrible like Jonathan.’ (EN: Enfant Terrible is a French expression, traditionally referring to a child who is terrifyingly candid by saying embarrassing things to parents or others)
Jillian turned his gaze at the documents, which had summarized the personal history of the Chief Secretary of the Russian Prime Minister, specifically it was a record of past actions in which he allowed his personal opinions and prejudices to override his objectivity, which was a part of his duties. Jessica found multiple evidence for what the proposal predicted in just a few lines.
“If the Deputy Under Secretary’s request is refused, it will make quite a ripple.”
America had been the World’s Police in International Economics, sometimes even directly controlling the economy of entire nation-states. For example, Japan after World War 2. This had been due to their status as the strongest Superpower. However, the power mechanism had changed, as America realized that financial control was better than military firepower and became stronger thanks to capitalism.
If Russia refused this meeting…Jillian could not take his eyes off of the investment proposal and Jessica’s supplementary documents. She spoke.
“If we take a short position for the ruble and the proposal’s predictions are accurate…” (EN: A short position refers to a trading technique in which an investor sells a security with plans to buy it later. Shorting is a strategy used when an investor anticipates the price of a security will fall in the short term.)
“What if the predictions are wrong? Do you want to risk everything on a single Russian’s behavior patterns? The proposal clearly states that it is only a supplementary prediction and focuses on trends further in the future.”
“However, the ripple effect will be too large. The proposal is talking about the possibility of the IMF refusing to bail out Russia.”
“Let’s see the other documents.”
Jillian continued to speak calmly like a schoolteacher, and it was then Jessica suddenly changed the subject.
“Have you read it?”
Jillian obviously knew what it was, as everyone, even those not involved in finance, was interested in his book. A newbie had made tens of billions from forty thousand dollars in half a year! It was a record-breaking event that defied imagination, and made one question one’s belief in a sane and orderly Universe.
“Yes, I remember a memorable sentence. ‘Now is the time to see the people and not the numbers. The numbers may fluctuate from policy, but people don’t change their way of thinking, their prejudices and their opinions. I focused on the fact that policies moved numbers and people moved policies.”
“You memorized that already? I did not know that you were such a fan.”
“I saw him quite often, and he always seemed down when he came to the stock exchange. You haven’t met him since you were stuck in Morgan?”
“People can’t be judged by their cover.”
Jessica smiled meaningfully at Jillian, and he waved his hands.
“Let’s not talk about Jonathan. We’re both jealous.”
‘It’s not that.”
“You’re saying that it fits this situation, right?”
“There are many investment methods in this world, and Jonathan found the way that best suits him. You said that he had always seemed down, right? People only see the success and not the failures. You saw how many times he failed until he found his own method.”
“You said that you had never experienced failure.”
“I didn’t, but I made a mistake I should have not made.”
He should not have gone to Morgan and New York. If not, Jillian would not have been stuck on this small island. He felt a bitter taste in his mouth.
“I don’t revere him. His success story makes me dream. I’ll find my own method, so can we move on?”
Jillian and Jessica spent the rest of the night on the investment proposal, and he felt like he was back in his student days when he would passionately debate over an assignment.
Therefore, he did not feel tired even when dawn came, and some more time passed. While Jillian had said to Jessica that she should not believe in another’s success story, he surrendered at about nine o’clock in the morning. He had wanted to find a crack in the proposal, but it was perfect. Every piece of evidence in the proposal, from the numbers to players, fit like clockwork to prove the premise that Russia would go bankrupt.
“…Russia will go down, and I want to meet the team that made this proposal.”
Jillian was seriously sincere.
“There will be many like you.”
He did not say that he was one of them and smiled. Jillian sent Jessica back and got ready to go to work. He washed from top to bottom thoroughly. He was planning to not come out of his office for a while and eat and sleep there. The proposal was perfect, and now he needed to think about making the most profit based on it.
He had received good money to do just that. He left his room with a bundle of underwear and left behind his cell phone like a hunter going into a dungeon.
Yeonhee Woo’s eyes widened. She had not imagined she would be going into one today. I spoke as I lay back in the passenger seat as much as I could.
“Go to Jeollabuk-do, Gimje.” (EN: Gimje is a city in North Jeolla Province, South Korea. North Jeolla Province is in Korean, Jeollabuk-do)
She seemed to be thinking about why we had to go there and not Hwasung and said that there would be a map in the glove compartment in front of me. I heard the car start as I closed my eyes after I gave it to her. (EN: Hwasung is the site of the dungeon with the mental health facility built to contain it.)
Yeonhee Woo woke me up in a rest area and looked at me in surprise as I only bought snacks and water. She then stopped in front of a truck display stand that sold cheap knives.
I realized what she was thinking and spoke to her firmly.
“Your hand will be ruined if you use something like that.”
The stand owner had been about to say something at that but only blinked. I spoke again after we came back to the car.
“I said before that you will not have to wield a knife against a monster.”
“I may be alone or be abandoned.”
“What do you think is the easiest way to die?”
“You said you thought about it a lot.”
“Have you bought them?”
“No, I met you.”
I shook my head and took a small metal box out of my bag.
“Take this as a talisman.”
She opened the box and only stared at the syringe inside it. I felt that I did not need to explain when to use it, and she started the car again and went on the expressway. She did not speak, and I closed my eyes. There was not even music, and only the wind was loud as she drove.
We were passing Gimje IC when I opened my eyes, and she was holding the steering wheel like a blade with a worse expression than when she looked at the knives. We passed the urban district, and as the rice transplanting season was over, I saw the green plants as we passed the rural roads for a while before reaching our destination. (EN: IC=Interchange)
“Stop there and open the trunk.”
We were at the base of a hill, and she got out of the car after me. I saw that she now realized what she was going into as I took out the same backpack and sleeping bag I had lost in the dungeon. I heard her rough breathing quicken.
Only she would wear a backpack, and I could not see her face after adjusting the length and tied on the rolled sleeping bag on the loops attached to the bottom. I could only see her legs below the bag, and she could not remain still under the weight.
“Almost anything you need is in the backpack, and there are also better knives you can use than the ones you had seen in the rest area.”
It was then when Yeonhee Woo realized what was going on, and her voice burst out in surprise.
“I’m a healer! You’re not saying that I have to go alone, right?”
“Do you know where the dungeon is?”
“So, go and find it. The method is simple. Cover as much ground as you can until the system notifies you.”
I grabbed her shoulders as I needed to emphasize this as much as I could.
“You have to come back right after finding the dungeon and not open it. Contact me then. If you open it out of curiosity, you’re not the only one who will die.”
“…What will happen?”
“Monsters will come out, and things that no army can handle will jump out to kill people.”
Of course, it will not happen. The dungeon closes again after the first person to enter dies in the dungeon. I had placed walls to not only block people from entering but in case someone escaped from the dungeon. I glared at her as I warned her again.
“Remember not to open it. Carve that into your mind.”
Edited by Userunfriendly