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We returned home, and I texted Yoo Ji-soo our home address.
The Yoo Ji-soo group was already on their way to Bucheon and not 30 minutes later, they arrived.
“Been a long time.”
This erotically dressed woman with short dyed-blonde hair and short hot-pants was Yoo Ji-soo.
“Nice to see you.”
And the large man with a big build was Cha Jin-hyuk.
…… it was just these two.
If memory serves, there was another man with glasses.
‘Then he’s dead.’
I sensed it intuitively.
Because both their faces were hung in darkness.
I didn’t remember his name. but I recall him being calm and friendly.
“Huh? Cha Ji-hye?!”
“You were alive?”
Yoo Ji-soo and Cha Jin-hyuk were completely taken aback seeing Cha Ji-hye.
It seems these two haven’t yet heard news about her yet.
“It has been a long time. I died and became an examinee.”
“Woah, really? I only heard that you had gone missing, what happened?”
Yoo Ji-soo was more affectionate than she looked like she would be and she was curious about her situation.
Cha Ji-hye told them briefly how she became entwined with Lee Chang-wee and Cbhief Kim Joong-tae.
“That chief bastard, what a piece of trash. I sensed he was dirty but……!”
Yoo Ji-soo got mad as it is happened to her. She looked like a delinquent but was actually a very caring and sincere woman.
“So, what turn are you on now?”
At Cha Jin-hyuk’s question, Cha Ji-hye pointed to me.
“I’m a 9th turn examinee like Hyun-ho.”
“What? Didn’t you become an examinee after he did?”
“I caught up.”
“You can do that?”
“I didn’t take the rest periods and took the exams consecutively to make up the time. And right now, I’m on the same team as Hyun-ho as well.”
“You can transfer teams too?!”
“It isn’t unheard of if you look at all the examinees around the world.”
“Anyway, that’s amazing. You were skilled to begin with so as an examinee, you’re just flying through.”
Said Cha Ji-hyuk with a frightened expression.
“Compared to Mr. Hyun-ho, I’m far away.”
“Yeah but he’s just a really weird case!”
Shouted Yoo Ji-soo.
“How did you get to be ranked 7th in such a short time?”
“I ran into the Chinese examinee group in Arena. I killed a lot of corrupt examinees and got a great result.”
“I’m so jealous! I’d like to experience something as amazing as that!”
“Do you think those bastards are normal? The fact that he is strong enough to fight and kill several of them, that alone is extraordinary.”
When Cha Ji-hyuk said that, Yoo Ji-soo shut her mouth.
Cha Jin-hyuk, he’s changed a lot since when I first saw him.
Before, he was belligerent enough to start a fight with Kang Chun-seong, but he’s become much more composed since then. Has he suffered many obstacles since then?
“Anyway, this is a nice place.”
Said Yoo Ji-soo excitedly as she looked around. She was amazed at the 50 pyeong terrace (1779.16 sq ft)
“Wow, this is practically a yard! This penthouse is awesome! How much is this place?”
“Not much. 14 billion won?” ($12.5 million USD)
I bought it all without much thought, so I didn’t really remember how much it cost. I really am a billionaire now.
“Incredible! To get a place like this in Gangnam would be tens of billions. Should I have just stayed in Bucheon?”
I guess she lives in Gangnam. Well, she’s a veteran examinee so I’m sure her net worth isn’t small.
“It got a training space as well.”
Said Cha Jin-hyuk who followed us out onto the terrace as he saw the mu ren zhuang and showed interest in it.
“Who uses this?”
“You know martial arts?”
“Not quite martial arts I’d say.”
“As much as Kang Chun-seong?”
I thought it over a moment and then said.
“By now I’m probably about the same level if not a little better I think?”
I mastered the reflex skill, so I don’t think my ability to use my physical abilities would fall behind Kang Chun-seong.
But it’s incredible that Kang Chun-seong got to that level based on training alone and not a skill.
“Want to give it a go with me?”
Suggested Cha Jin-hyuk suddenly.
“Hey! What are you doing all of a sudden……!”
Cha Jin-hyuk stopped Yoo Ji-soo’s scolding.
I shrugged my shoulders.
“I don’t use blades.” (Cha Jin-hyuk)
“Think you’ll be alright?”
“I’m not who I used to be.”
Smiled Cha Jin-hyuk as he took off his coat.
‘He wants to verify my skills.’
No matter how aggressive his personality, we’ve reunited after a long time and it was kind of awkward to fight so suddenly.
Before asking me for help, he wanted to check out how good I was. Admittedly, being ranked 7th when I’m only a 9th turn examinee does sound suspicious.
With a light heart I stood in front of him.
Cha Jin-hyuk had experienced way more exams than I had. But I’ve also fought the likes of Heising, so I’m not really scared.
“I’ll go first.”
As he said that, Cha Jin-hyuk threw his fist without restraint.
His hand reached out for my neck.
I made a big sweep with my left arm, then counter punched to retaliate.
Cha Jin-hyuk stepped out of the reach of my arm but that’s what I wanted.
Pa pa pa pat!
Like a machine gun, I started punching without end.
Like multiple branches sprouting from a tree, the punches consecutively rained down on Cha Jin-hyuk.
A surprised Cha Jin-hyuk quickly dodged to the left but I chased after him with footwork and continued punching without rest.
Pa pa pa pa pat-!
This was the principle of fānziquán. When I fought with Heising, the moves of fānziquán were completely ingrained into my body and I could freely use it without restraint. Thanks to the effect of the master reflex skill.
Cha Jin-hyuk was impressive too.
He didn’t try to randomly block each attack but dodged left to right. His ability to adjust positions was impressive.
Even without using weapons, all that fighting experience in Arena was evident.
‘Now that I think about it, it seems like he’s still trying to go on the offensive?’
I wasn’t giving him an inch while raining down punches but every now and then he found a gap in my attacks to throw a counter. With his hands, he kept stabbing and swirling.
‘His hands are his blades!’
I realized that Cha Jin-hyuk’s hands were being used as blades.
Cha Jin-hyuk’s physical condition was superior to mine.
I had physical strength buff intermediate level 5.
Cha Jin-hyuk was probably at the superior level. Since he had aura control as his main skill.
But even if his physical condition is superior, I was leading the fight.
With the dynamic visual acuity I mastered, I could clearly anticipate what Cha Jin-hyuk’s next move was going to be.
Eventually, Cha Jin-hyuk was struck on his chin with my left jab.
A furious Cha Jin-hyuk immediately tried to react with a strong punch but…
I folded my body backwards and with kicked Cha Jin-hyuk’s chest twice in a row with both feet.
The strenght of my kick forced Cha Jin-hyuk back a few steps.
For a moment, with a surprised look, Cha Jin-hyuk looked at me and then his chest, and then as if he was flustered, said,
“How is it you fight so well? Is your specialty close combat?”
I took out the two Neilson H2 guns and held one in each hand.
Cha Jin-hyuk’s face contorts.
“What is your main skill?”
Then Yoo Ji-soo also joined in on our conversation.
“Can’t that only be done by elves and very few people?”
Cha Jin-hyuk shook his head back and forth.
“Someone who uses guns and spirit summons can fight this well? Well, you’re worthy of being ranked 7th in the world then.”
“Don’t mention it.”
“Anyway, I’ve seen your skills.”
“Now is it time for you guys to tell me what your favor is?”
At that, Yoo Ji-soo and Cha Jin-hyuk became dead silent.
I smiled and waited for them to speak.
Yoo Ji-soo shrugged her shoulders and opened her mouth.
“Alright. I’ll tell you honestly. Truthfully, in Arena we’ve run into some trouble and have come to ask for help. There wasn’t anyone we could ask other than you.”
“Well, tell me what it is. I’ll help as much as I can.”
“Thanks. So actually……”
Yoo Ji-soo’s explanation continued.
-Mission: investigate the mastermind (who is behind) the Rumad Consul.
This was the mission that team Yoo Ji-soo was given for their 24th turn.
In their 24th and 25th exam, the Yoo Ji-soo team consecutively failed this mission.
It’s not an assassination.
Just some investigation, but a veteran team like Yoo Ji-soo failed consecutively.
I can surmise that reason.
“Corrupt examinees intervened.”
“But this mission would’ve been given to you with that in mind.”
“I know. We had anticipated the involvement of corrupt examinees as well. We knew the Chinese examinee group has the pirate army in their palm and has a heavy influence on the Aman Kingdom.”
“And? What happened?”
I asked again.
And this time, Cha Jin-hyuk replied instead.
“The ones you have to be careful of are not the Chinese examinees, but those TUK bastards.”
Who are those guys?
At my question, Cha Ji-hye who was next to me, explained it.
“The acronym for the Testers of United Kingdom.”
Whew, got it right with my first guess. Thanks to my awful English I instantly thought it was America.
“TUK, that English agency intervened in the exams?”
“Yes, I’m sure of it. Because of this exam we had shared information and weren’t on guard when they suddenly turned into our enemy.”
“Because of those shits, Ji-yong……”
Cha Jin-hyuk grit his teeth.
Then I was finally able to recall. The name of the other member on Yoo Ji-soo’s team was Lee Ji-yong.
According to their story, TUK released information about Yoo Ji-soo’s teams’ whereabouts, and eventually Yoo Ji-soo’s team fell into an enemy ambush and Lee Ji-yong ended up dying.
“TUK is sponsored by the English royal family and noble houses. I have heard that because they want to quickly see the results of their investments, they are one of the strongest proponents of maintaining the commercialization of majeong.”
At Cha Ji-hye’s explanation I nodded my head.
Eventually, for the commercialization of technology that used majeong, the exams have to continue.
Because of that, the TUK attacked Yoo Ji-soo’s team who were approaching the end of the exams.
“Then agencies who are of the same mind as England’s, like the Chinese examinee group, may side with the black magicians.”
“Yes. Wanting the exams to continue is the same desire of Arena-related business investors around the world.”
I knew that.
But so far, unlike China, other country’s agencies have far hidden that agenda and moved in secret.
But this time, England operated out in the open.
‘It’s probably because we got near the pirate army.’
In the 7th exam, with Odin’s group, we eliminated the pirates that invaded the Deport Harbor and then killed the dark magician, John Omento, who was operating in secret nearby.
Because of those things, the end of the missions could be cleared so was a high chance that the various Arena agencies around the world started feeling nervous.
And because of that, the TUK couldn’t stand by and watch so they finally revealed their motives.
“So, are you asking for my help in the next mission?”
At my question, Yoo Ji-soo nodded her head.
“No, you have to clear your mission too, you don’t have the leeway to help us in Arena too.”
“Protect us while we’re in the real world. At least for now, that’s enough.”
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