Chapter 19

‘He knows who the suspect is?’

The shocking statement made everyone focus on Jinbum Park.

Everyone was waiting for the next sentence from his mouth.

However, it was different from what people expected.

“Good. Let’s finish up here. We will hold a meeting to establish the next steps later. You guys are good to leave. I’m just going to rest here a little bit.”

‘So, who is he?!’

People tried to hide their curious faces and slowly left the meeting room.

– I’m really curious who he is.

– Do you think he doesn’t know?

They whispered while leaving.

Soon, the meeting room became empty.

There were only Jinbum Park and the manager Kwan.

“I will see you later, sir… Oh!”

The manager finished cleaning up and politely bowed to Jinbum.

Then, somebody blocked his way at the entrance.

“You are….”

“It’s me. Hogun Jo, the manager of the hunting team.”

“Oh… You are still here. Excuse me, let me pass through.”

The manager of the hunting team.

He was the boss of ‘the hunting dogs’.

Although the hunting team and the strategy team are in a cooperative relationship, the strategy manager was a little bit uncomfortable with him. 

It felt like Dongsoo Choi, the previous strategy manager was between them.

“No, go inside again.”

“What…?”

The manager was pushed into the meeting room again by the hunting manager and there was one woman following inside.

It was the healer, Hayoung Choi.

Jinbum Park opened his mouth after seeing everyone.

“Everyone I need has been gathered now. Sit. We are going to hold a meeting to establish a countermeasure.”

It was the actual meeting to figure out how to catch ‘the guy’ without useless people.

***

“So, who is he?” (The hunting manager)

“It’s a guy Dongsoo had for about a month before.” (Jinbum Park)

“Oh!!!” (Hayeong Choi)

“Hayoung, do you remember? The guy who could absorb an abnormal status. You went to heal that guy.”(J)

“Yes, I do. As you said… I see. It makes sense.”(H)

“Yes. The guy survived and came back with the release skill.”(J)

“Then, it explains everything about what happened to the previous chairman and Dongsoo Choi. Besides, he bears a grudge towards them.” (H)

“Wait. I just don’t get it. Can anyone explain it to me?”

The hunting manager and strategy manager couldn’t follow, so Hayeong explained it to them shortly.

“Oh, I understand now. So the incident that happened to Dongsoo Choi…”

“Yea, he never drunk alcohol. It was my misunderstanding.”

There was silence for a moment.

“Is there a way to conciliate him?”

“He had endured from Dongsoo Choi for a month. Also, if it was possible, my father would have survived now.”

“First, we should use a body double. We don’t know when he’s going to come after you. It’s dangerous for you to do your work on your own.”

“I agree.”

“If you allow me, I will order a mask type artifact today.”

“Do it.”

Jinbum Park nodded his head while looking at the hunting manager and then turned his head to Hayeong Choi.

“Do you remember anything about him?”

“I only remember his face which was crushed by his burn scar… I’m sorry.”

“That’s not going to do anything. He even released his tattoo. He wouldn’t have the scar anymore.”

Jinbum asked a question to the hunting manager.

“Mr. Jo. What do you think? Can you kill him if you find him?”

“It is possible.”

He spoke with a guarantee.

“Oh, really?”

“All the skills have a weakness. So does his skill. It sounds like he is invincible, but he must have a weakness. I just have to target it.”

“Theory of principle. As Mr. Jo said, we should find him first if we want to kill him. Right, Mr. Kwan?”

“…Yes.”

“Can you find him?”

“Didn’t you tell me that the rulers interfered? I think we can find him easily with their help. Or, we can ask for help from the government and…”

Jinbum hardened his face.

“Hey.”

“Yes.”

“I know what you are talking about. However, the previous chairman and the previous strategy manager got murdered. This is Ohsung’s problem. We need to finish this as much as we can.”

“I understand.”

The manager cleared his throat once and continued.

“The guy seemed pretty careful. Don’t you think he wears a mask type artifact? Why don’t we examine mask sellers?”

“It’s useless. Everyone wears masks at the Dark auction. How can the sellers know what every single one bought from them?”

“Oh… I didn’t think about that. I’m sorry.”

There was only silence in the meeting room.

Jinbum Park let out a sigh.

“I guess this meeting is over. I can’t believe that we can’t find him even though we know who he is now…”

“I will figure out more.”

“We will try, too.”

His subordinates bowed.

Jinbum shook his hand while not looking at them.

“Let’s disperse for now. Mr. Jo… No. Mr. Kwan, follow me. We need to talk about the mask type artifact and also the body double.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And Hayeong, you gotta be careful. I think you are one of his targets as well.”

“Ok…”

“Mr. Jo.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Provide a team of guards to Hayeong.”

“I got it.”

 

***

 

Kimin was going to Saehyun’s shop.

‘I guess the Ohsung must have found out who I am.’

Kimin already predicted they would track him somehow. 

However, he had no choice.

He couldn’t just kill them.

‘I could just kill them. It’s much easier and they can’t find out about me.’

‘However, it’s not real revenge then.’

His philosophy about revenge was firm.

That was how he was always determined to suffer the consequences of his fulfillment.

‘I’m sure they haven’t gotten complete information about me. They might have information only about the previous me who was tortured.’

‘It’s not going to be easy to connect previous Kimin Kim to the current Kimin Kim now.’

‘If they have brains, they would use a body double.’

‘The problem is the rulers… Has Ohsung let the rulers know about this?’

His thoughts followed one after another and then he got to the shop.

Creek-

“How are you?”

“Oh, it’s you. Welcome back, sir.”

“I just came to drink a cup of tea.”

“Hahaha… You came at the right time. I was bored without a guest.”

Then, the phone rang.

It wasn’t Kimin’s. His phone was always on vibrate.

“Yes, it’s me… What? Yea, I got it.”

Saehyun hung up the phone.

He stood up with a worried face.

“Did something happen?”

“I’m so sorry. I think I gotta leave the shop.”

“Oh, ok. I understand. Let’s leave together.”

Kimin stood up to empty the shop for him.

However, Saehyun was weirdly hesitating.

Kimin couldn’t wait for Saehyun who was hesitating on what he wanted to say, so he asked.

“Hey, is there anything I can help you with? Do you want me to watch your shop?”

“No, well….”

“Mr. Jae. Tell me comfortably. I will help you if I can.”

Ha-

Kimin spoke nicely and Saehyun let out a sigh and opened his mouth with a shaky voice.

“Sir, I… I… am someone who tried to avoid asking a favor from you because I didn’t want you to misunderstand me.”

“Oh…”

‘Misunderstand’, ‘asking a favor’.

The keywords gave Kimin the answer. Kimin thought about what Saehyun knew about Kimin’s skill.

“The curse.”

“Yes, sir. Do you happen to have a lifting curse skill?”

If Saehyun asked Kimin to curse somebody, Kimin would reevaluate him again. However, it was not.

Lifting a curse.

It was a skill that a curse magician normally got as a potential skill.

Kimin wasn’t a curse magician, however,

“It is possible a little bit.”

Not only lifting a curse but also more than that.

“Then, is it ok to ask you to do that…? I will definitely pay you after.”

While looking at the old man who was so happy to hear that, Kimin was thinking.

‘I don’t think he is trying to use me.’

‘I owe him a lot so far…’

The thing that shook Kimin’s mind the most was the relationship with Saehyun Jae.

Saehyun was somehow the closest friend to Kimin.

“Yes, I will help you. In return, you should promise me a few things.”

“Just tell me.”

“First…”

***

Saehyun’s car stopped in front of a single-family house that looked like a huge mansion.

“This house looks incredible. Why do you run your shop? I think you could just rest.”

“This old man just wastes food if he stays home. A human should do something.”

“Hahaha…”

A masked curse doctor and an old man were walking through the inner garden.

“You came, sir.”

“Yes. Good to see you.”

They passed by many people who looked like the members of the house and arrived at the mansion.

They rode the elevator in the house and went to the basement.

‘B4? This single-family house has such a deep basement.’

“We’ve arrived. Please wear these gloves.”

When the elevator opened, there were two people in front of a blue metal door.

They were Hakdong Lim and Sera Lee.

“…”

Kimin just walked to the door.

When he saw them last time, he just ran away so he couldn’t see their faces. That was why it was his first time to see them properly.

However, something was weird.

As he got closer to them…

The girl’s face was somewhat familiar.

‘That face and the name, Sera Lee…’

“…!”

‘Sera Lee, The spirit ruler.’

Kimin suddenly stopped.

“You are one of the rulers. Saehyun.”

Saehyun stopped and lowered his head.

“I didn’t mean to hide it. I should have told you before. I’m so sorry, sir.”

“You don’t have to be sorry, but…”

Kimin felt complicated.

What should he do?

Sera Lee was one of the people he had to take revenge against.

However, she was Saehyun Jae’s only niece and who he cared for the most.

If he killed her, Saehyun would be heart-broken.

Friend or revenge.

He felt very complicated, but he was already in front of the door.

“Are you ok? You weren’t saying anything…”

“…Yes. I’m ok.”

Kimin bit his lips.

‘Since I don’t know what to do… I should ask then decide.’

 

***

 

Creeek-

As Kimin went inside the metal door, the door closed with a heavy sound.

It was only Kimin inside.

One of the promises Kimin asked Saehyun to keep was for Kimin to go inside by himself.

Cold air wrapped around his body under the LED light.

‘That is it.’

Kimin looked at the source of the chill.

There was a huge ice column in the middle of the room.

‘It doesn’t look like normal ice… Is it some kind of artifact?’

And there was a woman who looked like a mosquito in an amber fossil inside the column.

She looked like a middle-aged woman and looked the same as Sera Lee.

A purple spot was covering almost half of her face and it was coming up from above her neck…

‘Probably, above her neck is all purple…’

Kimin reached his hand out to the woman.

 

[ You can absorb the abnormal status. ]

[ The abnormal status you can absorb: The vines of the hell flame, Eternal ice crystal,…]

 

Kimin’s eyes stopped at the vines of the hell flame.

There was no such word that was saying this was a ‘curse’.

‘Huh? This is not a curse…’

If it were a curse, it would be written ‘Curse: the vines of the hell flame’.

Kimin tilted his head and moved his sights.

‘Eternal ice crystal seems like the ice column. I shouldn’t absorb it.’

‘I think the ice crystal is to delay her state from progressing more…’

Kimin finished figuring out, turned around, and looked at the door.

It was now time to call Sera Lee.

 

***

 

“Nice to meet you.”

“Oh, long time no see. I’m sorry about what happened in the Dark auction. You knew my uncle.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about. I called you here just because I need you to release this curse.”

Kimin pretended not to know about the Dark auction and explained the reason why he called her to the room.

Of course, it was a lie.

It wasn’t to release a curse but also he didn’t need her to solve the problem.

Just, he needed her to solve his personal agony.

“You need me to release the curse? Then, of course, I will help you.”

“Sit here, please.”

The place was totally isolated from the outside with the metal door.

Sera Lee sat across the masked curse doctor in front of the ice column.

“She looks like you.”

“She’s my mother.”

“I see. It must be so tough. I’m trying my best so you should help me too.”

“Ok, thank you.”

“Do you know what kind of curse she’s put under?”

“No.”

“Have you ever called other curse magicians?”

“I have called several. However, they couldn’t find out…”

Sera Lee shook her head.

‘Obviously. This is not a curse.’

Releasing curse skills couldn’t solve this problem.

It was obvious that the curse magicians came up with nothing and left.

Kimin stared at Sera Lee for a moment.

The real test was starting now.

Saehyun Jae’s smile passed through his mind, however, Kimin heartlessly pushed it deep inside and opened his mouth.

“Ms. Lee. I have a request if you don’t mind.”

“Go ahead.”

“I need something to release this curse.”

“What is it? Just tell me.”

Sera Lee’s eyes glowed.

“I need a person whom I can transfer the curse to. You can find one for me, right?”

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