Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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"We can go eat steaks at the dining section."
At Youngho's remark, Jongil's eyes sparkled.
"Man! You should've told me that earlier. By the way, I just spotted some beautiful ladies when I went to the bathroom. Let's go see them, huh?"
Youngho shook his head. Jongil still had not grown out of his old habit. He was thankful that he did not ask to go hook up with the girls.
The dining section was full during lunch hour. Since there were no seats left, Youngho and Jongil waited for the food for them to take out. The pa.s.sageway was narrow, so Youngho leaned against a wall—but someone pushed him to the wall with his arm. Three tough-looking guys were there. The front guy signaled Youngho to step aside by turning his face and smiling at Youngho. They were Asian-Europeans.
They seemed to underestimate Youngho and Jongil because of their lean appearances. Since it was his first time encountering rude people like this, Youngho just shrugged while looking at the guy. They smiled, and as they pa.s.sed by him, the guy tapped Youngho's face twice with his hand. Jongil was going to confront him but Youngho stopped him with a glance. Attracting people's eyes would not be of help since they were on a mission in Chechnya.
Sensing the tension between the guys and Youngho's company, people peeked at them. They turned away as Youngho did not react to the guys. Like they say, it was always fun to watch fires and people fight.
'What was that? It's weird around here. Most of them are Chechens…' thinking this, Youngho picked up the ready-to-go takeout food. As he turned to go back, someone s.n.a.t.c.hed his food from his hand. It was the guy who tapped Youngho's face.
Youngho naturally pushed the vital point of the wrist of the hand that took away Youngho's food, retrieved his food, and walked away. The guy stood still, stunned by what happened to him in such a short moment. All of the people in the dining section were stunned too. The guy then frowned, feeling pain from his wrist.
Youngho and Jongil came out of the dining section, leaving the pa.s.sage door open in a relaxed manner, so that the guys could follow them out. However, they still stood at their spots, not understanding what just happened.
"Those b*st*rds! They can't even follow us. Man! We should've taken care of them in the spot. Why are we waiting for them to come out?"
"We can't cause a scene in the dining section. There're too many people."
"Oh, is that right?"
"Hey, don't you think people here are tough? Not because they are highlanders, but they feel like fighters."
"Youngho, I don't think they know we are foreigners. They're treating us like hillbillies in a rural town. They must be bullies of the ridges between rice paddies."
"Man, they don't have rice paddies here! It's all fields and mountains here, so they'd be field bullies."
They laughed hard for a while to their joke. The guys in the dining section were still staring at Youngho and Jongil.
"Don't you need to release the pressure point on his hand?"
"It's going to be released in an hour. How dare a young boy tap a grown-up's face? Jeez."
The Grozny Station in Grozny, Chechnya's capital city, was nice, looking as if they had just rebuilt the station. The surrounding area was also full of modern style buildings. The street battle between Chechen rebels and Russia in 2000 had destroyed 90% of the structures around the station. Now, the Pro-Russian government had just finished rebuilding the whole city.
The people here were hard to distinguish since Youngho was not familiar with their facial features yet. At the station square, the field bullies and his friends were waiting for Youngho's company. Since Youngho had trampled on their pride, they were there to redeem themselves.
Youngho approached them, smiling and asking in Russian if they could go to a quiet area. They were perplexed by Youngho's att.i.tude. He convinced them that they would attract policemen if they fought in the open square, and Youngho and Jongil followed behind the guys with their carry-on luggage.
They took Youngho and Jongil to a building construction site. There were no people around, so it was great for fighting. The guy whose wrist was held by Youngho took off his s.h.i.+rt before Youngho, but Youngho raised his hand to stop him.
"I don't have a lot of time. Why don't all of you come at me at once?"
This made the guy even more upset, so he took out his pocket knife.
"Jongil, take care of our luggage. They might be pretending to fight us to steal them."
"Man, you guard the luggage. I'll go first!"
"Dude, he pointed at me. I can't back off now. I'm the chosen one."
"Dang, I should've gone first…." Jongil murmured.
Since Youngho and Jongil were not scared by their threats, the guys were reluctant to attack first. Youngho put on leather gloves and took out his Turkish flip knife. They seemed surprised by his action. He only took it out to intimidate them. Youngho planned to go easy on them if they had not taken out a knife, but he realized that they were not just bullies once they took out a weapon.
Chechen was famous for its street fights, so Youngho came along with them in curiosity, but it seemed that they were serious. People pa.s.sing by started to gather around one by one. Now there were ten people around them. Some people even tried to record the scene with their phones, but Jongil went around and stopped them. He acted like a security guard at a fight cage.
As the number of onlookers grew, Youngho quietly took back his knife. The guys were still hesitant. They had realized how relaxed Youngho was. Intuitively, they knew that Youngho was far ahead of them and they were not up to Youngho's level. However, it was too late since Youngho was getting tired of them.
The s.h.i.+rtless guy tried to avoid Youngho's kick but Youngho switched his motion and punched his face with his fist. When the guy turned around, Youngho struck the guy's solar plexus. As the guy was falling on his back, Youngho went past him and kicked at another guy's temple.
As it happened quickly, the onlookers seemed to want to replay what just happened.
Youngho had left three guys alone, so that they could pick up and carry their friends who pa.s.sed out. Youngho picked up the knife the guy dropped and threw it away into the sewer.
As Youngho picked up his luggage and started walking, Jongil was fidgeting, looking uncomfortable. Youngho looked at his face. His face was asking Youngho why they should leave the rest of them alone.
As Jongil stopped the onlookers from recording and turned back, he saw two guys down and three guys left. Thinking that Youngho had left those three guys as his opponents, he stretched his body, but Youngho ended the fight all of a sudden and returned. Jongil felt betrayed.
"Man, are we really just leaving?"
Jongil's eyes were accusing Youngho.
"We should. Do you want to be broadcasted on TV?"
"What about my portion?"
"You can't blame me, dude. Do you really want to play with those scared kids?"
"That's why I told you, I'd go first. Man! I wanted to have some fun after a long time of nothing. I had plans for what to do in my mind."
Jongil wanted to show off his skills since there were some ladies among the onlookers, but Youngho had just ended the scene. He was mad at Youngho.
"Jongil, I'm tired. Let's just go to the hotel."
Jongil grumbled continuously on the way to hotel and stared at every guy to see if they would try to get back at him. He loved being involved in physical fights.
After checking in at City Hotel and unpacking their belongings, Youngho and Jongil left to get to the contact point with the Black Widows. They were dressed casually, and each hid a Beretta pistol in their front pocket.
On the way to the contact point, Jongil grilled Youngho, asking for his agreement to Jongil taking the first actions this time while carrying out their mission. He still felt bad that he could not scare the living daylights out of the bullies near the station. Coaxing Jongil, Youngho kept on his way to the contact point. Suddenly, he smirked, thinking about Fatima when he said goodbye before leaving Baku.
"Why are you smirking like a deflating balloon?"
"Fatima asked me why I needed the ring on when I'm going on a business trip to Russia. Man, I almost came clean to her. It's just funny how she's become obsessive over finding out more about me."
"Fatima's going to find out soon. Don't you think you'll have to tell her sometime?"
Youngho would never tell Fatima since it would stir trouble.
"Dude, then would you tell Karajan that you're a CIA agent?"
Most of field agents working in foreign countries kept their secrets to themselves, even from their families, until the moment of their death because it would not be a secret if they shared it.
Once the secret was out, the family members would eventually slip and tell the secret to their closed ones by accident. If not by accident, many of them would want to brag about the agent's great achievements. That was why most local field agents had fake business cards from a large international corporation or a government department. The family relations.h.i.+p changed once they realize the agent's real job since it would get the rest of the family worried sick for the agent.
The family members would obsessively check the agent's security, and he would have to keep making sure that they were safe every time. It was hard to maintain a normal marriage unless the agent was high in CIA's ranks or had a regular office position.
These days, it was rare for agents to get involved in fancy actions as seen in movies like in the past times. They now had warfare of advanced technologies to collect information with and prevent leakage of top secret information from other nations.
However, Youngho's Azerbaijani team was unique among other teams.
Since he was in charge of countries with big and small disputes, there were many missions requiring hands-on actions. The Black Widows was an aggressive armed force that was in a guerilla war against Russia for Chechnya's independence. The CIA wanted to investigate its case before deciding to support the organization.
The contact point was an open-air café. Although it was still midday, it was crowded with people drinking. Youngho looked at the young couples. As he was wondering why they drank so much at midday, he noticed that they were glaring at the Russian army base across the street. Since they could not fight with them with violence, they were expressing their spirit of insubordination through staring. The Russian soldiers looked calm however, as if they were used to receiving glares from people.
To capture Grozny, a city which was a military base, it cost Russia hundreds of tanks and armed cars and thousands of lives of Russian soldiers. After sacrificing a tremendous loss, Russia could capture the city by indiscriminately bombing the city.
The reason why Russia was obsessed with Chechnya was due to its ma.s.sive oil deposits and its convenient location. Chechnya was where the oil pipeline of the Caspian Sea pa.s.sed through.
Before the war, Chechnya was a wealthy place, gaining money from the oil industry that offered a hundred dollars as a bounty for a Russian soldier's life to elite foreign hired soldiers in order to get into a war with Russia.
The Chechen widows whose husbands or children were sacrificed in war this time formed the Black Widows. n.o.body expected that Muslim women wrapped in black clothes would carry bombs in shopping baskets and turn into suicide bombing attackers. Since then, Russia was scared of any women carrying any load.