I Alone Level-Up Chapter 42
- "The current estimates put it at thirty billion, but once we establish our Guild there, the value is sure to go up greatly. Ah, hyungnim, right! Do you need a copy of our agreement? Should I fax it over to you?"
Jinwoo covered the bottom of the phone so he could not be heard.
"If you don't believe me, would you like to speak to him directly?"
Ahn Sangmin shook his head while sweating.
"No, it's alright. I'm hanging up."
- "Yes, hyungnim."
After Jinwoo ended the call, he noted Ahn Sangmin's expression had completely changed from before. The man's eyes were shaking lightly.
'Even before they made the Guild, Yoojin Construction promised him thirty billion as the contract fee? And the respectful way that the chairman's son was addressing him…'
Ahn Sangmin's head was spinning.
"So, er, that's… So that amount is a bit beyond my authority to decide… If you just gave us some time to talk it over…"
Jinwoo cut him off,
"Then our conversation ends here."
Ahn Sangmin was at a loss for words. He weakly nodded and realized that he had failed.
'Ultimately, it was because of the lack of information.'
He was angry that he had rushed all of this. He was blinded by the prospect of a big windfall and moved too carelessly. If only he had investigated Yoojin's offer more thoroughly and worked with the Guild to proceed…
'I have to report this to the Guildmaster.'
If Jinwoo was a Hunter worth 30 billion to Chairman Yoo Myunghan, he could be worth 50, maybe even 100 billion. It was not too late.
'Once I obtain the Guild's support, I'll investigate him more thoroughly and approach with more aggression next time…'
Jinwoo interrupted his thoughts,
"I wanted to ask one thing."
Ahn Sangmin raised his head. The smile had disappeared from Jinwoo's face. Today had a warm spring weather, but suddenly, his surroundings became cold.
"How many people know about me?"
"Ah… Right now, it's just me. I had rushed in the attempt to recruit Hunter-nim, and I didn't have the time to report this to the higher ups."
Truthfully, there was one other. His subordinate and right-hand man, Hyun Gicheol. But Ahn Sangmin hid the man's existence in case Jinwoo became angry. However, Jinwoo spoke again with a more threatening tone,
"Why don't we respect each other and avoid telling lies?"
Ahn Sangmin panicked.
'What? Did he come here with some information about us?'
If that was the case, making excuses right now would worsen their relationship.
'Guess I'll have to come clean.'
The relationship between a Hunter and a Guild was like that of a celebrity and their agent. Even if they could not recruit Jinwoo right now, it would be a good idea to maintain a friendly relationship for the future. At the very least, they would have to avoid any friction with a Hunter. This was the ironclad rule of the Second Management Division.
Ahn Sangmin spoke,
"Truthfully, one of my subordinates is also aware. But I swear that he's the only other."
'As I thought…'
It was as he had guessed. All of this would be too much for one man to handle. The investigation, the surveillance and the contact. The damning evidence was the contact. He was called right as he got home.
'Someone must've been watching me and gave the signal.'
They were eager to meet with him but could not afford to tip off Yoo Jinho.
'But at the very least, I've confirmed that it's not the entire Baekho Guild moving after me.'
He was able to discern this from Ahn Sangmin's reaction to the 50 billion earlier. The man had panicked when Jinwoo brought up an amount that he did not have the authority to agree to. If the Guild's higher-ups were involved, the man would've at least made an effort to contact them then and there. And so, Jinwoo suspected that there was only a small team involved, and as he thought, it was indeed just two people.
He did not want to complicate his situation. If it was just two, it was an amount that he could deal with. If he did nothing, he was sure that it would become a headache down the road. So Jinwoo decided to leave them with a little warning.
"If I'm being honest as well, I've also rejected Yoojin's offer."
At Jinwoo's explosive confession, Ahn Sangmin sat straight up.
Suddenly, Jinwoo disappeared before his eyes.
Ahn Sangmin stood-up in shock. He quickly looked around but did not see the Hunter's figure.
'What was that? Did he move faster than my eyes could follow?'
While panicking, Ahn Sangmin realized too late that someone had placed a hand on his shoulder.
A cold chill ran down his back.
"Don't turn around."
A voice came from his side. Jinwoo, who had disappeared without a trace, was standing right next to him.
Ahn Sangmin's brows were dripping with cold sweat.
'He… he's not mad at me, is he?'
In many ways, Hunters were monstrous existences. And the man who worked close to them knew this better than anyone else. That's why he had always put on the most respectful attitude towards them.
'Is he mad at the surveillance and the tailing? Should I have brought a bodyguard from the Guild? No, wait, I don't even know the man's ranking, how could I ask for a bodyguard…'
His head spun with many thoughts and his heart was beating like it was about to explode. Every time he gulped, he was surprised at how loud it sounded in his head.
Jinwo spoke with a quiet voice,
"Why don't you take a seat, slowly. I don't want to give you a fright."
Ahn Sangmin nodded,
'Sir, this situation is already plenty frightening…'
He complied and slowly sat down on his seat. Jinwoo reappeared and took a seat next to him.
Ahn Sangmin understood what Jinwoo had meant. Earlier, when Jinwoo spoke about asking one question, the air itself became cold in response. In this tense situation, if Jinwoo reappeared in front of him and met his eyes directly, he probably would've had a heart attack.
'Is this his way of giving me room to breathe?'
Still, the situation was definitely frightening. Regardless, Jinwoo spoke,
"The reason why I had refused Yoojin's offer was because I don't plan on entering a Guild for the time being."
The two men did not face each other, and instead, continued their conversation while facing forward.
"Is, is that so."
Jinwoo paused for a beat and continued,
"I don't want the number of people who know about me to increase."
What he wanted was simple. He did not want to enter a Guild, and he did not want his information to leak. Ahn Sangmin understood what Jinwoo was asking. However, there was one curious thing,
"Th-then, why are you Raiding with Yoo Jinho-ssi?"
"I'm helping Yoo Jinho out of personal reasons. He was the only one who knew about my Reawakening, and I thought of him as a trustworthy friend. And so."
Jinwoo spoke his next words with weight,
"If I ever hear about myself from someone else, would it be okay to assume that it's because of Chief Ahn Sangmin and your subordinate?"
Jinwoo had removed his hand from Ahn Sangmin's shoulder a while ago, but the man continued to feel pressured just from his voice.
'This is not a bluff.'
What was this feeling? Despite being backed by one of the top Guilds of Korea, Ahn Sangmin was certain that Jinwoo was someone who would be able to go through with his threat.
'I have never been wrong about a person.'
Jinwoo had repeatedly come out unharmed through multiple incidents. They say what happens in a Dungeon stays in the Dungeon. Nobody knew exactly what this man did in the Dungeon in those incidents.
'On top of that, this man can use 'Stealth'…'
The 'Stealth' was a troublesome skill. A person with that skill could freely commit crimes without leaving a trace. It bypassed all surveillance and monitoring equipment. A streak of sweat trailed down on the side of Ahn Sangmin's face.
'To think that he had such a skill…'
Possessing great abilities and a rare skill, it made perfect sense that Yoojin had offered him 30 billion.
'They are not a company to overpay for something.'
ba dum ba dum
Even though he was afraid, Ahn Sangmin could not help but feel excited. He opened his mouth with effort,
"I-I swear my silence on this matter. I'll make sure to thoroughly silence Gicheol, no, my subordinate as well."
To be honest, Ahn Sangmin was the one who wanted to bring up the idea of silence. Jinwoo was a hidden treasure that no one else had discovered. Ahn Sangmin did not want to invite unnecessary competition by spreading the news about his existence.
'If I'm being really honest, it's because I don't want to make an enemy out of him.'
"I'll place my faith in you, chief."
With that, the presence of the man next to Ahn Sangmin completely disappeared. Ahn Sangmin looked around, but the café was deserted as if he was transported to a different world.
The man could not speak, only heave a deep sigh. Hyun Gicheol ran into the café. The subordinate was watching the pair's meeting, but when Jinwoo disappeared into thin air, he decided to hurry to the side of his superior.
Ahn Sangmin's expression was not good. Hyun Gicheol asked with concern,
"What happened? Did it not go well with Sung Jinwoo?"
Ahn Sangmin took out a cigarette with a shaking hand and placed it in his mouth.
"Gicheol… We might've come across something bigger than we thought."
They had to obtain this treasure. Ahn Sangmin's head was filled to the brim with thoughts on how to obtain Sung Jinwoo. Thankfully, there was still a chance. Suddenly, Hyun Gicheol gently grabbed Ahn Sangmin's wrist.
Ahn Sangmin was about to light up his cigarette and raised his head,
Hyun Gicheol looked around and carefully whispered,
"It's no smoking in here."
Ahn Sangmin crumpled up the cigarette in his hand.
"You fucking son of a-"
The first thing Jinwoo did after coming home was to open up his status screen.
Name: Sung Jinwoo
Title: Wolf Slayer
(Available stat points: 0)
Physical Damage Reduction: 20%
-(Unknown) (Lv. Max)
-Unyielding Spirit (Lv. 1)
Proficiency (Lv. 1)
-Sprint (Lv. 2)
-Bloodlust (Lv. 1)
-Stealth (Lv. 1)
-Vital Stab (Lv. 1)
Gatekeeper's Necklace (A)
'I suppose all this is bound to catch someone's eye.'