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Chapter 164: < Protect – Episode 163 – Ultra  >
Among the North Korean and kidnapping victims of Hong Kong, Ahn Soo Ho sent 121 of them who wanted revenge to a secret facility in the Philippines. Since half of the kidnapping victims of human trafficking were Chinese, that was for the Chinese Communist Party to deal with, and some of them went through their emba.s.sies to go back to their home countries.
For those North Korean defectors who wanted to go back to Korea, he tried to send them to Seoul, but when it came to Korean diplomatics, the process wasn’t very speedy. It was possible that they would use the excuse of the North and South Korea relations to delay the process. However, Ahn Soo Ho didn’t meddle in the affairs too much. They had to experience how hard it was before they realized how good his proposal was.
‘I’m not mad or anything.’
He wasn’t a kid anymore.
He really wasn’t mad…
“Since they’re all recovering quickly, you don’t have to worry about that.”
“Keep your eye on them anyway. They might look okay on the outside, but they can’t be normal.”
“I’ll talk to the doctors about it as well.”
The secret facilities in the Philippines were a training ground, but it was also a vacation spot. In order to take over an island, there was no need to convince the authorities. The gap between the rich and the poor was so extreme in the Philippines, that the government was practically begging people to take it. Investments weren’t properly taking place and most people were concentrated in the metropolitan areas more so than Korea, and the public safety of the countryside areas was so bad that there were always revolts taking place.
Ahn Soo Ho took over a no-mans-land the size of Ulleungdo and bought the best security organizations in the Phillippines to create an Alcatraz of his own. It was hard for anyone uninvited to enter the island, and it was even harder to get out.
“Under the current circ.u.mstances, around 3000 people can endure it here.”
“Food and clothes are the most important.”
“We have enough food, clothes, and medicine. The problem is…”
“They’re mostly men.”
Gender-related issues were sensitive.
“You got rid of those with a past history of s.e.xual a.s.sault, right?”
“Yes, Sir. But… you still can’t prevent some things.”
“What can we do about it?”
“The closest tourist destination is an hour boat ride. It’s even faster by helicopter.”
“But we can’t let them go off and get STDs.”
“I’ll try to negotiate with the authorities.”
They decided to put out the biggest fires first.
“Do you think the students will adjust okay?”
“Those with a clear goal won’t stray far.”
“Good. But make the rewards and punishments very clear.”
As soon as Ahn Soo Ho arrived at Incheon International Airport, he was greeted by Yoon Chul who should have been getting ready for his wedding.
“Don’t ‘yo’ me.”
“Why are you getting overexcited? You should calm yourself down before your wedding, my friend.”
“Phew. Forget it. Just get in.”
They would have normally taken a car with a designated driver, but Yoon Chul was the one driving this time because he had something important to say. As soon as the car took off, security guards followed.
“Did you look into it?”
“Youngjin a.s.sociation, right?”
“Before that, I have one question for you. North Korea was you, right?”
Ahn Soo Ho shrugged and Yoon Chul understood.
“Thanks for not asking Soo Jung for favors, Soo Ho.”
“A new bride should only look and hear good things. The bad things should be taken care of by bad guys like us.”
“Why am I a bad guy?”
“Hey, you know.”
A person with a weak mind couldn’t be a police officer for long. And without a sense of duty, it was difficult to keep one’s work ethic until the very end. Those tainted by power became more like villains than the criminals themselves, and at one point, Yoon Chul rebelled big time. However, he didn’t harm any innocent people.
“No matter how faithful Batman is to justice, he’s still a criminal who commits crimes.”
Yoon Chul hara.s.sed the sc.u.mbag criminals who couldn’t be punished by law.
“Was I wrong to do that?”
“No. I want to commend you for it.”
“Because it’s refres.h.i.+ng. Wasn’t it fun?”
No matter how impressive it was, using his profession as a police officer to hara.s.s others was abusing one’s authority. However, the ones who were targeted deserved it. He was just sad that he couldn’t hara.s.s them further.
“Soo Jung might not know this, but you and I can’t be saints. Chul… we’re not good people.”
They looked at each other and smirked.
Both Ahn Soo Ho and Yoon Chul got gooseb.u.mps when people talked about cause and victory. That was because they both needed to do whatever they wanted to feel relieved. But in contrast to Ahn Soo Ho, Yoon Chul knew the limits of his abilities and learned to control himself. To put it nicely, he knew his place, and to put it bluntly, he was a born opportunist.
“Tell me more about Youngjin a.s.sociation.”
“Do you know about Youngjin Securities Consulting?”
Ahn Soo Ho tilted his head and then nodded.
“It does sound familiar. Aren’t they the third biggest security service company in the country? They worked for the dream concert, right?”
“You remember. Youngjin a.s.sociation has affiliates such as Youngjin Securities Consulting, Youngjin Insurance, Youngjin Fire, Youngjin Planning, and Youngjin Construction for a total of 15.”
“So are they Youngjin Group?”
“But their stocks are unlisted. They’re more like a j.a.panese cartel. What’s scarier is that no one on the outside knows much about them.”
Something smelled fishy.
It was almost impossible to have a company in Korea with its stocks unlisted. Ahn Soo Ho suspected the Comradery a.s.sociation and Korea National a.s.sociation. They were being quiet for now, but that didn’t mean their evil reputation was gone. In order to lead vested rights for dozens of years, they needed more than just money and power.
‘No betrayal would have been allowed.’
Just like how the initiation of gangs is to kill…
‘It’s taboo to make unfounded predictions, but…’
If what he was predicting was true, the spy scandal was nothing.
“Provide everyone above the team leader level with guns and give all the guards tasers and police batons.”
“Aren’t you overreacting?”
“I hope so.”
If they knew that JBI-Hong Kong was raided, they were probably going to attempt concealment at the other cooperative companies in each country. Since he used his magic, they probably wouldn’t find out that it was him, but it was possible that rumors would get out about how he was involved in the Hong Kong incident.
In contrast to how active he was in America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, he didn’t accept many requests from Asia. That was because requests from Asia had no choice but to be connected to Korea. As someone who wanted to keep his distance from Korea, he consciously or subconsciously avoided it.
The car sped through the highway leading to Seoul.
Yoon Chul officially started working with the Hosoo Guard team not long ago. Kim Soo Jung complained about how he became a boss first, but she had no ill feelings. Since she was compet.i.tive with her beloved husband as well, people could see her as cunning, but she also had innocent pa.s.sion within her as well. Since Ahn Soo Ho arrived in the middle of the night, he wasn’t able to call Mrs. Park Ok Nam or Jang Seol Hyun.
The car stopped in front of the Daesan Hotel.
“Don’t get out.”
Ahn Soo Ho took doc.u.ments from Yoon Chul and tapped the car as if he was telling him to get going. Yoon Chul leaned down and said goodbye.
“See you later.”
Ahn Soo Ho was seeing off his friend when he noticed a man in a suit. It was a familiar face, also known as NIS agent, Han Joo Young. Ahn Soo Ho had no choice but to gesture for him to follow him in. They got into the elevator headed to the suite room. Ahn Soo Ho seriously felt the need to either take over Daesan Hotel or build his own.
‘It’s great that I have a home to go back to… but I need a workplace.’
He owned many buildings, but there were many that couldn’t be revealed to the public. It wasn’t a bad idea to group all the hotels he bought in all the different countries and create a hotel brand of his own. Hotels with a high floating population were useful for another reason besides a safe house.
“Come in, Mr. Han Joo Young. Would you like some coffee?”
“That’s all right.”
He took out a bottle of water from the fridge and sat across from Han Joo Young.
“Since it’s late, let’s just get straight to the point. What is it?”
“Did you… take care of North Korea?”
“How did you come to that conclusion?”
Han Joo Young hesitated before telling the truth.
“We’re suspecting if it has a connection to America.”
“Is it because I met with Amba.s.sador Woods?”
“There’s no connection. Or is there? We know each other, but she has nothing to do with this.”
Ahn Soo Ho gave an honest answer, but whether he believed it or not was up to him.
“Is that all, Mr. Han?”
“I want to know the truth about the Hong Kong incident.”
“That’s a difficult question.”
In contrast to his words, Ahn Soo Ho’s face didn’t seem troubled at all. He answered with his eyes. It said that if he wanted to know, he must pay a price.
“Some from the Korea National a.s.sociation is playing with the media. If you’d like, I’ll stop that for you.”
“They’re also working on tainting your reputation.”
“They’re trying to frame Hosoo Group employees for drinking and driving, a.s.sault, and accepting bribes.”
It was a simple yet effective strategy. There were tons of b.a.s.t.a.r.ds who would do anything for money. He brought down the executive committee, but if he chopped one head, two was bound to grow.
“That’s why governmental authority is so desired.”
Han Joo Young laughed bitterly.
He made the Korea National a.s.sociation and the Comradery a.s.sociation be evil, but if he got rid of both of them, Korea was going to go back to the Stone Ages. This proved just how important power was. Justice was good and all, but what use was there if the country went down? The president was revolting against vested rights, but the government officials, politicians, and businessmen didn’t want their existing order to be shattered.
“Even if the president wants to do something, it’s not easy.”
“Sounds like you support Lee Joong Hyun.”
Through multiple attempts of reforms, Lee Joong Hyun received the support of many citizens, but it still wasn’t easy managing the administration.
‘It was all an exaggeration.’
He was initially elected through the help of the Korea National a.s.sociation. If he wanted to escape them, he didn’t have a political foundation anymore. He tried to claim his power by using Ahn Soo Ho’s takedown of Korea National a.s.sociation as his opportunity, but it was clear that he reached his limits.
Korea’s public mindset was more capitalistic than free.
‘Social justice doesn’t mean much in the face of money.’
There was no country more insensitive to sacrifice than Korea. It sounded cold-hearted, but a Korean’s justice was still the victor’s justice. Most thought that those who didn’t succeed had no right to express their opinions and that if they didn’t have status, they had no worth. They often claimed that authoritarianism had to be overthrown, but while they said that, they were busy seeking authority.
“I think I helped enough.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“If multiple scandals didn’t take place, the Blue House would have been pressured from both the political and media sides.”
The multiple scandals that took place were favorable for the president. Even with the recent spy scandal, he protested against the Blue House’s steps to stimulate the economy and strengthened his offense.
“Then is Hacker Try Net…”
“I’ll leave it to your imagination.”
The hacker organizations of the 21st century were pretty much national tasks, and in order to rank the skills of Korea’s cyber operations, it was easier to find them at the bottom than the top.
Han Joo Young stopped talking and went back.
‘It’s not like we don’t have enough patriots.’
There were many Koreans who loved and were devoted to Korea. However, the reason why there wasn’t a proper purification system was because most in power pa.s.sed down their positions to their offspring.
‘Is this similar to the j.a.panese invasion?’
The citizens tried very hard to keep the country up from tumbling due to the upper cla.s.s. Koreans had weaknesses but many strengths as well. In particular, they were so hard working that they made everyone else tremble in fear. Korea was the only country that looked down upon both j.a.pan and China.
His phone vibrated in his pocket.
Ahn Soo Ho checked the caller and answered it.
“s.h.i.+lla Group is in a groggy situation, Mr. Guardian. Shall we end them once and for all?”
“No, just stop it there.”
The next day, the media reported on s.h.i.+lla Group’s situation.
Their unreasonable attempts at foreign businesses have come back to bite them in the a.s.s! Their Chinese multiplex has fallen through!
s.h.i.+lla Department Stores in China are closing due to hygienic issues! How horrifying!
Despite China’s ban against Korea being lifted, the duty-free shops take a direct hit!
s.h.i.+lla Group’s affiliate companies are all suffering in the stock market! They bought treasury stocks to protect themselves! The rumors about how international capital are out for s.h.i.+lla Group has frozen the stock market.
“Is it here?”
During the chaos of the North Korean provocation, spy scandal, and s.h.i.+lla Group’s incident, Ahn Soo Ho stood in front of Youngjin a.s.sociation’s headquarters. In contrast to most major Korean corporations being in Seoul, Youngjin Group was in Asan next to Cheonan.
Ahn Soo Ho recognized the building as soon as he saw it.
Some of the guards were not normal. How could someone in such a small country have the guts to foster their own soldiers?
< Protect – Episode 163 – Ultra  > The end.