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Chapter 189: < Protect – Episode 188 – Shotgun  >
Nigeria’s capital was Abuja located at the center of the country, but the biggest city was actually Lagos located at a South West harbor. The original capital was Lagos, but it was later changed to Abuja. Lagos was currently the focus of a lot of manpower and materials due to the war that was going on. The media was criticizing the US military for digging their own graves, but it wasn’t actually that bad at the actual scene.
As soon as Ahn Soo Ho stared strangely out the car window, the native guide explained using fluent English.
“The South West region is currently getting ready for war. As a result, many from surrounding countries are all coming over to gather.”
“Any terrorist threats?”
“Our government military isn’t allowing any Muslims to pa.s.s through.”
“If the media finds out, they’ll call that discrimination.”
“They wouldn’t be able to speak carelessly if they knew Africa’s current status. We respect doctors and political activists, but not reporters.”
Just because Africa had a high illiteracy rate didn’t mean they were all stupid.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t asked your name yet.”
“Campbell. My name is Campbell.”
The black man with white hair had a very affectionate smile. The car that Ahn Soo Ho was in stopped at the richest neighborhood in Lagos and the houses he saw were one of the biggest in that area.
“Welcome! Mr. Guardian!”
A fat black man wearing a Hawaiian s.h.i.+rt opened his arms for a hug, but Ahn Soo Ho only looked at him after giving Logan and his underlings their orders.
“Welcome to Nigeria, Soo Ho.”
He looked like an African black man on the outside, but he was actually a European who was born in the Netherlands. He was also a super major in charge of Africa as well as a member of a Nigerian oil corporation.
“What about Exxon and BP?”
“They’ve entrusted everything with me.”
“Your relations.h.i.+p must be good these days.”
“Yeah right. It’s just that… they’re afraid to face you.”
Exxon Mobil and BP once clashed with Ahn Soo Ho and got hurt big time.
“Are Chevron, Total, and ENI also on the same boat?”
“It’s better for me if I just have to negotiate with you only.”
“Go easy on me, Soo Ho.”
As soon as he entered the house with Felix’s guidance, he saw many employees moving quickly. When he saw the women dressed in maid outfits, he finally realized he was in Africa. Regardless of the development status of a country, feudal societies still took advantage of people below them. They might have just considered it one of many job positions, but in a feudal system of top and bottom relations.h.i.+ps, the commoners had no choice but long for the vibrant lives of the upper cla.s.s as well. The problem was that longing led to following and following led to fanaticism.
The banquet hall was full of guests. Since he wasn’t a celebrity, there was no way the public could have known his name, but a few of them were skilled men who controlled Africa’s economy. The one in charge of a world-famous grain major called Cargill named Woody complained as soon as Ahn Soo Ho sat down.
“Soo Ho, ever since you retired, Africa has been becoming a lawless world. Just the other day, someone in charge of Congo got kidnapped, and now an inspection team in Tanzania got kidnapped. Can you do something about this?”
Africa was like a bread basket with lots of development potential, and as long as they settled down right, they were able to reel in large profits. Cargill made a lot of investments in Africa for quite some time, but it wasn’t easy building and operating a major farm on land where fists worked better than law.
The public would have been surprised to know that the ones with the most power in Africa were grain majors including Cargill. Their men consisted of low-level soldiers, but their scale had been huge for a long time. But despite that fact, companies didn’t want Africa’s democracy, economy, and culture standards to improve.
‘Because if that happens, they won’t be able to start chaos there.’
A country’s stability meant the government was gaining power, and if the government had power, that meant they could regulate the companies. There wasn’t a single country in Africa that was free of collusion with police and corruption of every kind. The kind of corruption that most people thought of was just bribery and non-serious corruption, but in Africa, there were cases where even lives were at stake.
“What about Monsanto?”
“For them, they went into seed and biotechnology rather than production and circulation, so they shouldn’t be a problem.”
“I don’t see Amia.”
Ahn Soo Ho scanned the room and tilted his head when he didn’t see a familiar face he was expecting.
“Amia… was replaced.”
“Amia made a testimony at a recent ICC that was unfavorable to a general’s crime, so she ended up being replaced for violating good faith of a client.”
Gaius wasn’t the only major in pharmaceuticals. When only considering sales, Synizer Meditech was way ahead of Gaius. They were a multinational company, but they didn’t have an office in Congo. Amia Daruan was an international lawyer sent by the UN in order to calm down Africa’s public sentiment.
She became the face of Meditech and visited many regions to deliver rescue materials. The problem was that she didn’t realize the difficulty the businesses in Africa went through, and she didn’t want to understand it either.
“General Juma isn’t a tyrant who enjoys murder. He was actually a friendly man with a brilliant mind.”
General Juma’s soldiers that controlled Congo, Burundi, and Tanzania, wasn’t particularly friendly with any of the countries. For that reason, they were a threat to the countries while also being helpful, and in the eyes of foreign investors, they were no different from corrupt warlords. The conflict arose when NGO’s food relief program and medical support plan ended up in failure.
Bribery was rampant in Africa, but the international relief groups were usually not messed with. That was because their activities were suppressing the dissatisfaction the citizens had about the military. In Africa, there was no mindset that a country could look out for their citizens’ welfare.
“They replaced her because of one testimony? That’s too much.”
“There’s more to it.”
“So you’re saying the testimony isn’t all she did.”
Ahn Soo Ho showed the palm of his hands and cut off Felix. He didn’t know what kind of situation it was, but it wasn’t important at this very instant. He scanned the banquet hall once more. Most of them were connections Ahn Soo Ho made during his years in Africa. Unless they were a family-run business like Cargill with unlisted stocks, even large corporations were unable to survive their time limitations.
Despite Ahn Soo Ho’s retirement, their solidarity strengthened rather than it weakening. Why? Because they felt a large impact from his vacancy. This went along with the saying,
‘Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.’
People were always too busy glorifying the good days than to focus on overcoming the current chaos.
Those who got a taste of the problem solver named Ahn Soo Ho got too addicted to be able to escape. He was retired now, but that didn’t mean he was going to completely ignore friends in trouble. Just by managing his connections well, he was able to stay seated and manage the world.
“I’m going to wipe out Boko Haram.”
He had already known through his informants, but hearing it from Ahn Soo Ho himself made him flinch.
“If you have any connections to Boko Haram, take care of that as soon as possible.”
“Are you going to pull them out by the roots?”
“No way. It’s impossible to annihilate those c.o.c.kroaches.”
If that was possible, America wouldn’t have had to be tied down by the Middle East for almost 20 years. No matter how many Taliban they killed, they kept appearing, and a mutated c.o.c.kroach like IS appeared from time to time to hara.s.s the US military. That was why people called the Middle East a black hole. If another black hole was to form in North Africa, even the current American president was going to have a hard time.
‘A back-to-back impeachment?’
If another impeachment was to happen so soon, even the most optimistic Americans were going to have problems. What was funnier was that signs were starting to emerge, but not even the Republican party wanted another presidential impeachment. No matter how much they hated the democratic party, they had to maintain America’s democracy with the symbol of the utmost freedom.
‘America will not lose!’
The pride of Yankees was still as high as when America defeated Poland and France back during World War II. To the true Yankees, the only Muslims they would tolerate were those who were dead.
“Were you the one who ordered Pitch Stone to cut off funding to Boko Haram?”
“Figures. Even K-Bank froze Boko Haram’s accounts.”
“Really? I didn’t order that one.”
“Then they must have decided to do that on their own.”
K-Bank, also known as Casa Blanca Neuro Bank was a place where the a.s.sa.s.sination unit, Angola laundered their money.
“There are rumors that J-Law ran away to Africa and that Issac chased him down.”
On the other side of the terrorist war in Europe, two tyc.o.o.ns were fighting over rights to the a.s.sa.s.sination world. Compared to J-Law who stressed the importance of an a.s.sa.s.sin’s duty and tradition, Issac’s promise to bring them plentiful fruits resonated a lot better. After a certain point, there became a greater difference in power. In the end, J-Law was cornered and forced to give up on Europe.
“That’s none of my business.”
“I knew you’d say that, Soo Ho.”
Angola’s veterans were simply in honorary positions, but they were hoping Ahn Soo Ho would mediate the war. However, he didn’t care if a.s.sa.s.sins killed each other or not. There were many items on the table, but Ahn Soo Ho wanted to get rid of Boko Haram, so they managed to reel in some profits by providing useful information.
“Let’s postpone the party until next time.”
“That’s too bad.”
Felix saw Ahn Soo Ho off with a sad look on his face. Lagos’ downtown was full of US military soldiers, and just like all war areas, there were lots of pocket thieves, prost.i.tutes, and homeless children.
“I apologize. There’s a lot of traffic.”
His guide, Campbell apologized. As expected, the car didn’t have a navigation system. Ahn Soo Ho looked out the window. There normally would have been children knocking on the car window for money, but thanks to the police and military, Ahn Soo Ho didn’t have to be bothered.
The traffic continued until the US military’s checkpoint. The traffic got better after that. It appeared that Lagos was transformed into a supply base. Despite being Nigeria’s top city, Lagos was not very safe. There were even stories about how Lagos had never been safer since the war broke out.
As soon as he arrived at his accommodation, he was faced with a person he was expecting.“James.”
James Black wearing big sungla.s.ses greeted Logan with his eyes and then approached Ahn Soo Ho.
“Why are you back at a war zone?”
“The situation in DC isn’t so good these days, and don’t you need someone to be a bridge between you and the US military?”
The situation in Was.h.i.+ngton D.C. was at its worst.
“What are you planning to do to Boko Haram, Soo Ho?”
“You’re going to completely destroy them, aren’t you? Hmm. Can I give you our opinion?”
“Because the media and the public aren’t so happy about this.”
American media was known to be the harshest. While that of England was known to be cla.s.sy and cautious, America was more direct. In particular, they didn’t hesitate to joke about the president, and no matter how much they favored the Democratic party, they found it difficult to defend them after the Davis scandal and the Nigerian war.
When Ahn Soo Ho turned him down before he could even begin, James showed a troubled look on his face.
In response, Ahn Soo Ho stroked the hair on his chin.
“What about the diplomatic trouble with Korea?”
“They’re just a small Asian country… Oh, sorry.”
“That’s okay. I’m not Korean anymore.”
“Oh, okay. Then don’t worry about Korea. I’ll make sure no one can say anything.”
Once James realized Ahn Soo Ho didn’t care, he continued to call Korea a small country.
“Good thinking, Soo Ho. You’re too influential to be a man of such a small country. America is always willing to…”
James stopped as soon as Ahn Soo Ho waved his hands.
“I’ll listen to that later. It’s too early right now.”
Hearing him say he would hear it later was a great development. James felt a sense of excitement. If he could make Ahn Soo Ho into an American citizen, his country was going to become the greatest of all.
Ahn Soo Ho noticed a commotion toward the entrance. The civilian-military company signed a contract with the US military and set up facilities and accommodations for foreigners who normally would have been stationed in Abuja.
“What’s going on?”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. They sometimes beg… Huh? Soo Ho!”
James said it was no big deal, but Ahn Soo Ho pushed him aside and walked forward. What he noticed was that the man standing there wasn’t black but of Yellow Race. If that was all, Ahn Soo Ho wouldn’t have minded him. However, his overly developed hearing heard him speaking Korean.
“What’s going on?”
He was about to turn away when he heard a question from behind the guards that made him flinch. Behind the calm Asian face, there was a white man giving him scary looks, and from his 10 years as a mercenary, he made the judgment that he needed to give a sincere response.
“Oh, they were begging to come in without any identification or guarantors…”
“Did you try talking to them at all?”
“No, there were too many Chinese who entered illegally…”
“I can hear a Korean speaking as well though.”
The guard grew quiet after talking back to Ahn Soo Ho. He actually didn’t know what country Korea was.
“Bring them inside.”
“But the rules… Yes, Sir!”
The guard noticed James’ death stare from behind Ahn Soo Ho had no choice but to let them in. As soon as the guard took down the barricade, the people cheered with joy. Among the homeless people that came in, Ahn Soo Ho grabbed the middle-aged man who looked a little more civilized.
The man was startled when he heard someone speaking Korean, and then he looked at Ahn Soo Ho and blinked a few times. After about 10 seconds, he exclaimed in surprise.
“CEO Ahn Soo Ho!”
“You recognize me.”
“First, drink some water.”
James brought over some water, a hat, and a blanket. The Yankees suddenly looked friendly, and they had a hard time adjusting to that.
“Look! That’s CEO Ahn! CEO Ahn!”
“What are you… Huh? CEO Ahn Soo Ho?”
“Oh! It’s Ahn Soo Ho!”
The ones calling Ahn Soo Ho CEO Ahn or Chairman Ahn were middle-aged, and those calling him by his first name were in their 20s and 30s.
“Who’s the one in charge?”
The first middle-aged man he grabbed turned out to be their representative.
“What happened? I thought the overseas Koreans were sent back before the war.”
They left maintenance employees just in case the buildings that were constructed in Nigeria would be demolished during the war. What kind of nonsense was that? Did they think they could convince soldiers holding guns? It was a relief that there were no female employees.
“Are you serious? What about the Lagos annex?”
“I left word. But… I didn’t know they would change the location of the annex as well.”
The Korean emba.s.sy in Nigeria relocated from Abuja to Lagos right before the war. He thought that there would have been some kind of diplomatic s.p.a.ce for the Koreans that had to be left behind, but the Korean amba.s.sador to Nigeria had left for Liberia a long time ago, and no one knew where the annex was anymore.
James b.u.t.t in.
“Korea’s s.p.a.ce is on the inside.”
“So it exists?”
“Yeah. They relocated due to the kidnapping incident.”
“I need to see it for myself.”
The Korean diplomat ran over as soon as he heard. Ahn Soo Ho tried to give him a punch to the face, but he didn’t go through with it. That was because the diplomat that ran over was a familiar face.
“Han Kyung Il?”
“Ahn Soo Ho?”
Why was he in Nigeria and not America? Someone else stepped in front of him.
“Did the other employees arrive?”
“Yes! They should have arrived a day before us.”
Han Kyung Il shook his head and Ahn Soo Ho knitted his brows.
‘If another group had already arrived, they wouldn’t have been refused admittance.’
That meant they hadn’t arrived. Han Kyung Il arrived at the same conclusion and met eyes with Ahn Soo Ho with a serious look on his face.
“This always happens when I meet up with you, Kyung Il.”
“This is only the second time.”
“That’s already a lot.”
“That’s true… Well, we should find them.”
Han Kyung Il put his arm on his friend’s shoulder.
“I’ll leave it to you!”
“You little b.a.s.t.a.r.d.”
Ahn Soo Ho smirked and stepped up. Since they knew of the problem, all that was left to do was resolve it. He signaled Logan to mobilize his underlings. James followed them out with an anxious look on his face. They were headed to the Nigerian government’s military building. In order to make a civil complaint, he had to go through a long process, but Ahn Soo Ho was on the American president’s security council making it easy for him to approach the duty officer.
Ahn Soo Ho asked them to find the Korean employee that disappeared.
The black men laughed in response.
He then explained his relations.h.i.+p with America and asked again.
They then demanded a bribe.
Ahn Soo Ho laughed.
That was when James Black’s heart sank.
“Watch carefully, my friend. This is how diplomatics is done in Africa. This place is different from Italy and America.”
He talked to Han Kyung Il while reaching his hand out to Logan.
He pulled the arming handle as soon as he touched the gun. Logan and his underlings then kicked the black men to the cold ground.
The black men then screamed.
Ahn Soo Ho put the shotgun in the commander’s mouth.
“Let’s play, black man.”
< Protect – Episode 188 – Shotgun  > The end.