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I had heard what Chairman Park Jin-seong and Chief Secretary Kim Byung-ho had said and I was carefully organizing my thoughts.
World governments and businesses had entered the Arena business.
The most advanced group in creating technology that used majeong was in America, the Maglun family.
The business belonged to that Smith Maglun that I had cured before. The world’s 1st ranked Dana Litalin was also on the Maglun’s’ side.
In terms of majeong collection and quantity, the Chinese examinees were number one.
Befitting a large nation of 1.3 billion people, they had the most examinees. Considering that they are also pirates, I’m sure they collect majeong all sorts of other ways as well.
Due to the annihilation of Heising’s faction, the numbers have been halved but I don’t think their members will be easily swayed by this.
Other than that, there was Odin’s Nordic examinee group and Indonesia, Russia, Japan, many countries holding top ranking examinees.
This world Arena business full of strong players and the Korean Arena Research Agency’s position isn’t that high.
Now that Korea was now joining together with Jinseong Group’s Arena business and was planning on having an exponential growth spurt in competitiveness.
‘And to do so they need me, who is ranked 7th?’
I think they wanted me to be their poster boy.
But I was already contracted with Jinseong Group.
I was already contracted to sell the majeong I collect to the Jinseong Group. If the Jinseong Group merges with the Korean Arena Research Agency, naturally my affiliation will be grandfather in with Korean Arena Research Agency.
I felt that was a bit strange and asked.
“More straightforwardly, what it is you want?”
“There are many things.”
Said Chief Secretary Kim Byung-ho.
“Currently, it is my understanding you have not collected any majeong.”
I was focusing on clearing the missions and hadn’t paid much attention to majeong collection. And I had no reason to be fired up about getting any majeong either.
“We want for you, Mr. Kim Hyun-ho, to collect a far higher class of majeong than before for us.”
“And in the instance of examinee Odin, whom you know well, he reigns as a powerful feudal lord in the Arena world. Just like him, we would like you to also gain a high and firm position so that other Korean examinees’ actions can become easier.”
“Then I cannot work with the same goals in mind as you two.”
“Why is that?”
“I am not a businessman. The reason I fight in Arena is to survive.”
“I think you two want a firm groundwork for a continuous business, but I will make it so no one else has to go to the Arena ever again.”
I gave a final word of advice to the two people who were at a loss for words.
“I’ll speak plainly as well. I will clear these missions until I reach the end. Will you support me in that wholeheartedly?”
“Our goals are in opposite directions, but if cover our eyes and play nice and get in the same boat? How much sincerity would there be in that? And how long do you think that would last?”
An awkward silence fell upon us.
Chairman Park Jin-seong finally broke the silence.
“From what I understand that is kind of the assumption. If you clear all the missions, the other examinees too will be freed from the missions, there is no way to know that for sure. Isn’t that true?”
“That is true but putting together everything we know so far, we can analyze that everyone’s missions are heading towards one thing. That is why there are corrupt examinees absorbed in making money and have given up on the missions.”
“Regardless, until all the missions are cleared, can you not work with us?”
“We go our separate ways.”
“What I worry about is one thing. The government and Jinseong group have invested a lot in the majeong business. But because of me we will arrive at a point where majeong can never be collected again.”
I shrugged my shoulders and asked them.
“Are you going to leave me alone? When there has already been someone who sold me out for a couple bucks to the Chinese?”
“There will be no cause for our government to harm you.”
“And I’m saying I cannot believe that.”
“In the end neither one of you is saying that you will wholeheartedly support me in clearing the missions to the end. So, you don’t want that?”
Chief Secretary Kim Byung-ho for sure and Chairman Park Jin-seong too, in the end, were investors.
To these people, more than the safety of the examinees, their investment was more important.
I got up from my seat.
“The more we talk, the more it’ll just cement the point that we are in different positions. I’ll be on my way.”
Cha Ji-hye followed me and headed out too.
We got in the car together and returned home.
“I don’t quite understand it.”
Said Cha Ji-hye suddenly as we were driving.
“How you have such a sense of duty to clearing the exams.”
“You are strong now Kim Hyun-ho. If you don’t become absorbed in clearing the missions, I don’t see any real danger in the Arena for you now.”
Her words were right.
Rather it was more dangerous for me to try to clear all the missions.
The last 8th turn was like that.
The pirate attack and whatnot, if I had just ignored it all and left the Deport harbor, I was sure there would have been nothing dangerous for me.
I was actually volunteering my life to fight basically.
“Not clearing the missions and keeping the examinee identity and maintaining your skills, you can earn higher profits, receive superior treatment, and live life that way. You have the flame of life so, unlike the Chinese examinees collecting majeong, you won’t have to do dirty work like that either.”
“So why is it you are so adamant about clearing the exams?”
I had never thought about it that deeply so I couldn’t really give her an answer.
I never really had any sense of duty. I wasn’t some hero with some flaming sense of justice or anything.
“I think I just don’t like it.”
“You mean Arena?”
“Yes, maybe it’s because I saw my teammates die. Because compared to examinees like us that have survived, I’m sure there are many more that have died.”
“Probably so. When I was with the Korean Arena Research Agency, I saw more dead examinees than ones that made it through.”
“And the exams are something created by the gods or a divine entity or law and angels.”
“Divine entity would be like a god or Truth, an absolute being. I think there is definitely a reason for the exams.”
“All the exams so far, they’ve had answers. That’s why I believe in what I do. No matter how man tries to take advantage of the exams, beyond that there must be an ultimate reason.”
Corrupt examinees had been created and various countries from our world were preparing businesses that relied on using the exams.
If you were to argue, it could be right to say that all this too was an arrangement of divine interventions.
For sure, more than what we could comprehend, I figured there was something bigger what we could see on the surface.
That’s why I did the exams.
I was going to keep clearing them and get to that answer once and for all.
It was when we had arrived back in Bucheon and were back in the parking lot.
We had parked the car and got out when two men approached us.
With black curly hair and dark tan skin, they look like they were from SE Asia.
“Divine Protection of the Wind.”
When these unfamiliar guys suddenly came towards us as if they had been waiting for us to arrive, I went ahead and used the Divine Protection of the Wind.
Cha Ji-hye drew up her aura too but thankfully the two foreigners don’t look like they were here to fight.
“We are not enemies, there is no need to fight.”
The two men spoke using the Arena’s language.
But upon finding out that the two of them were examinees, I became even more wary.
Amongst the two, the tall and handsome man extended his right hand.
“Arena in India, I am Krishna.”
Arena in India?
In a low voice, Cha Ji-hye gave me a hint.
“The Arena organization in India.”
While I was still suspicious, I calmly shook hands with the good-looking Krishna from India.
After that, the short and stocky Indonesian man extended his hand.
“We have come from the India exam group. Call me Rabra.”
India exam group? What is this?
While shaking hands I still felt weird about this so I had to ask.
“What is Arena in India and also what is the India exam group?”
“Our Arena in India is the formal Republic of India government organization that oversees examinees.”
“Our India exam group is a pure organization of examinees who have joined forces with the sole mission of clearing exams and surviving.”
Seeing them explain their positions so competitively, it seemed they weren’t on good terms with each other.
From what I’ve heard though, Arena in India sounds like a group for the profit in majeong business, and the India exam group is like the Nordic exam group and a collective for targeting exams.
Naturally, I was leaning more towards the India exam group.
Cha Ji-hye spoke.
“We are Hindu and Muslim.”
Only then did I understand the situation. I couldn’t distinguish which was one was right and wrong.
At Cha Ji-hye’s jab, the two men looked embarrassed.
“And why is it that you have come to us?”
“We have come to recruit you, Mr. Kim Hyun-ho.”
“We wish to share in your goal.”
Krishna and Rabra said at the same time.
They glanced at each other and the two men don’t forget to be wary of the other.
‘Now that I think of it, this kind of thing will become more and more common.’
My name and ranking had been publicized, so going forward there would be many recruitment offers like this.
First off, I communicated my refusal and sent them back. They said regardless of faith they reiterated they would treat me considerately.
They even offered a lofty 100 billion won but I wasn’t really interested in money.
I had thought the two people had left but Krishna came back.
“If so, then I will say something else.”
“I know someone in need of treatment.”
“Is that so.”
I immediately knew what he wanted. He originally wanted to meet me for two reasons. So I let him know.
“In American dollars, it’ll be 200 million. Treatment time will be 2 weeks, the location will be in Korea.”
Last time when I treated Chairman Maglun, I gave him my fee upfront as well.
“I can’t guarantee the treatment will only take 2 weeks, but the cost is too high and this person’s health is quite poor.”
“My rest period is very limited. I do not wish to spend two long weeks in a foreign country.”
“India is a good place. For the two weeks you visit we will treat you very kindly.”
“I am sorry. No matter what, I cannot compromise. Please relay that those are my terms or I must refuse.”
“How do you wish to be paid?”
“Before treatment is complete, I wish to be paid into my Swiss account.”
Then I suddenly remembered, and I added.
“If you would rather pay in karma, I will take just 5,000 karma.”
“5,000 karma? I think that will work. Very well, we will pay with karma then.”
“It’s been difficult lately to buy karma, you think that will be possible?”
“There are always plenty of examinees who wish to leave lots of money for their family. And India has as many examinees as China. Actually, now we have more than the Chinese examinees.”
In terms of population, India was comparable to China.
“Anyway, I will go and relay the news.”
Then Krishna left.
I currently had 16,000 karma left.
If, through this deal, I got 5,000 karma I could either raise my spirit summons or master another skill.
‘First, I have to think about how to use my karma prize.’
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