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Chapter 36: < Protect – Episode 35 – Aragon Company  >
“I talked to Ahn Soo Ho.”
“One of the people we brought is a client of his.”
“Should I… be relieved?”
“He gave us a meeting place.”
The man in the mask, also known as Seo Jung Wook, turned off his walkie-talkie and entered a shabby shack. Jina Davis stared at his weird behavior in a subtle way. What went wrong? There was no way for her to know without mindreading. The one certainty was that Seo Jung Wook could no longer do whatever he wants to Jina.
After the call with Ahn Soo Ho, Jina visited Seo Jung Wook often.
“You have a scary man as your middleman, Ms. Davis.”
“A scary man? Oh, are you talking about Soo Ho?”
Jina noticed that his way of speaking changed completely, but her sneering disappeared. She thought about what she was missing.
“Ahn Soo Ho.”
She didn’t think much about it when her parents told her about him. She just remembered that there was a man like that. It was superhuman powers that helped her remember his number in her time of need. In any case, he made her kidnapper more cautious, which made her interested in his name. So she said his name in a warmer tone.
“That clever wench.”
Seo Jung Wook clicked his tongue in his head.
Did most Americans act like people were close even when their not? He realized Jina’s lie in an instant. If she knew who Soo Ho really was, she wouldn’t have taken so long in mentioning his name.
“Let’s not make this difficult. What do you want to hear, Miss?”
“Is the negotiation still going on?”
“As I already said, with your cooperation…”
“I’m not stupid!”
Jina cut off Seo Jung Wook.
“I don’t think you should be getting mad at me…”
“What do you mean?”
“We should have killed all of you and more by now.”
Hearing him talk about killing as if it was nothing reminded her that he was a vicious killer. No one had died yet, but he didn’t hesitate to use violence.
“You must have really looked down on us to start a mission in the middle of a negotiation. I’m saying I have the right to execute at least a few of you right now.”
She was at a loss for words.
Just like he said, if the rescue mission failed, she wouldn’t be able to say anything to them executing a few of them. Jina realized how generous the kidnappers had been. And there was no need to explain any of this. Seo Jung Wook sent Jina back, took off his mask, and smoothed his face.
“I… hate this.”
There wasn’t a single thing that was favorable in this mission. When he was abandoned by his homeland, he decided to become a sc.u.mbag that only goes after money. After that, he focused on staying alive and good money followed. The problem was that as time goes on, he felt more and more empty. It was as if there was a hole in the bottom of his chest.
“Team Leader, an armed vehicle and five other buses are approaching.”
“What’s their ID?”
“Those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds are finally here.”
People thought the ones who led the kidnapping were the ones who attacked the States’ special forces, but the truth was, Aragon Company intercepted and got rid of the internal information. There was only one thing they were after.
“A civilian police force.”
They invested everything in trying to pa.s.s a law that would make a civilian police force possible so that they could control the brutal reality of South America, which even the U.S. military was scared of. In order to do that, a shocking incident was needed to change the minds of the public, and the kidnapping incident brought all the attention of South America.
Deep Breath also did a lot of horrible things, but Aragon weren’t mercenaries, but a real criminal organization. Seo Jung Wook, who took out his phone to call the team leader who would wait at the meeting place, had a weird feeling. Why wasn’t Aragon headed toward Campos? In any case, the one in charge of the contract between Deep Breath and Aragon was the team leader, and it was also him who called the shots.
When there was no answer, he looked at the phone and noticed that the phone had no reception.
It was more likely to get struck by lightning than to have a phone to break so suddenly.
Before Seo Jung Wook could finish, the barracks exploded. And then the guns started firing.
In contrast to Seo Jung Wook who dodged it, Collin’s body got shredded and was flung off by the explosion. Seo Jung Wook did his best to get up, but he couldn’t help but wobble. His ears were ringing. He felt like he was standing upright, but the sky and ground were twirling. He touched a flowing liquid and realized it was blood.
They were ambushed. They were definitely those Aragon b.a.s.t.a.r.ds.
When he peeked out of his barracks, he could see the progress of the battle. Even though they were ambushed, they were fighting back hard. They never put their guard down. Mercenaries had a gun in their hand even if they ate, slept, or had s.e.x.
Du, du, du, du-
When the machine guns arrived, they were clearly inferior.
– There b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!
– Jo and Silva are down!
The long-distance communication was disturbed, but the nearby communication was still fine.
“Clear out! Immediately! Clear out!”
If the Aragon really tried, clearing out wouldn’t be easy, but mercenaries were known to do whatever they could to survive. But he still ran into the battlefield. He didn’t care if the people they kidnapped died or not, but he had to save one of them.
He couldn’t lose her in this chaos. It wasn’t because of loyalty toward Ahn Soo Ho, but because he needed some insurance. The barracks confining the kidnapped individuals was chaotic too. The explosion could be heard a few seconds after they saw the smoke.
Jina tried her best to get up, but the dizziness caused by the explosion made her eyes saw obscure images in front of her.
She covered her nose and mouth, but her throat stung.
The burned and damaged body was grotesque. The place was full of smoke and fire. When masked men with guns came in, she tried to ask for help, but gunshots fired before she could. The gunshots created a mixture of blood and dust that turned into fog.
There was no time to even scream.
The guns were not hesitant to blast through human flesh, burst arteries, and crush bones. People turned into pieces in just a few seconds as if they were in a meat shop. Jina laid flat. The fear made her lose her rationality and she lost feeling in her legs.
Was this the end?
Her heart told her to be brave, but her brain screamed that there was no way. Was this how people on death row felt? She had read it before. As deep despair took over, people only remembered their good memories.
Jina screamed inside her head. She peed herself instead of remembering good memories.
The good part was that she wasn’t shot. The masked men who fired all those shots became the next targets.
She struggled to take off the hand of the person who was grabbing her, but the familiar voice made her look up.
“If you want to live, run!”
Jina was unfamiliar with Seo Jung Wook’s unmasked face, but she didn’t forget his voice. Since they couldn’t differentiate who was on which side, it was best to see everyone as enemies. He pretty much dragged Jina out. The place Deep Breath used as a safe house wasn’t flooded with people, but it was not empty either.
Once Brazil dispatched an army to do a search, they were going to get caught. This place was so dirty that not even the poor people went there. When he opened an emergency exit, there was an underground tunnel.
Seo Jung Wook, who pushed her into the tunnel, turned around and pulled the trigger. A person’s head exploded.
Jina ran for her life. She didn’t think about anything but running. Her knees were cut and her hands were muddy. She was running out of breath. As she crawled out of the underground tunnel, her hair got grabbed and she rolled onto the ground.
It was a muddy soccer field in the slums. These people were like hyenas who were unfazed by the gunshots and only cared about whether or not they could get at her. The way the men were dressed screams the slums. A man got on top of Jina and ripped her clothes off.
Jina who suddenly ended up in a nude show didn’t have time to resist. It was all like a dream. She didn’t think things could get any worse than being kidnapped, but if escaping gun fires and getting raped by a hobo wasn’t h.e.l.l, what else could be? Maybe she wouldn’t have been subjected to such degradation if she was just killed in the butcher house.
The men looked at her and laughed as she cried in silence. Her b.r.e.a.s.t.s were exposed as soon as the bra came off. The excited males were ready to pounce as soon as they saw Jina lying there without even covering herself. Before a gun was aimed at his head, that was.
They all froze to the voice that wasn’t loud or quiet. Ahn Soo Ho used his skills to beat up the h.o.r.n.y b.a.s.t.a.r.ds. If he wanted, he could suffocate all of them too.
He kicked the man who was on top of Jina.
The loss of focus in her eyes made him realize that she wouldn’t be able to answer any time soon. Ahn Soo Ho gestured for people to come out. They were tactical agents completely armed with their combat uniform and weapons.
“Take her to the medical team.”
Ahn Soo Ho entered the underground tunnel.
It was a small tunnel that was made without much care. The gunshots have stopped for quite some time now. Brazil’s public order was so messed up that the police didn’t even show up to a gun battle. But then again this place was just as bad as Rio de Janeiro. Both the police and military avoided coming here.
“What a mess.”
He was welcomed by hazy smoke. The place was mashed up that even the bodies didn’t look like bodies anymore. It was a brutal battle. The ones who showed up after the gunshots stopped weren’t the police or the ambulance, but hobos of the slums. The way they looked through the bodies reminded him of hyenas.
The tactical agents that followed Ahn Soo Ho secured the perimeters. As soon as big black mercenaries approached, the hobos ran off. Ahn Soo Ho saw a survivor near the underground tunnel. Was it? He was barely alive.
“Did you… find… Davis…?”
Seo Jung Wook spat out blood every time he breathed.
“Why didn’t you clear out, 608?”
Seo Jung Wook answered with a look that looked like a smile or a frown. He was definitely in pain, but he was still smiling. Ahn Soo Ho was able to see so much from that smile.
“You wanted to die.”
Even though he made up his mind to be a b.a.s.t.a.r.d who was only after money, he was unable to let go of the hope of putting the puzzle pieces back together. Seo Jung Wook was a good person. But the reality wasn’t so accommodating for good people to live in.
“Isn’t it ironic?”
Ahn Soo Ho went on his knees and put his ear to Seo Jung Wook. The quiet voice faded into silence. Ahn Soo Ho closed his eyelids. When he got back up, a mercenary approached.
“There are no other survivors.”
“What about Deep Breath?”
“They failed to clear out.”
“They cornered them on purpose, didn’t they?”
“Yes, it looks like Aragon set a trap.”
“If it wasn’t him, Jina Davis would be dead.”
If Seo Jung Wook didn’t put her through the underground tunnel, she would have died. Aragon probably had no idea that there was a secret path.
“Tell James that we secured it.”
Ahn Soo Ho looked back at the mercenary, who didn’t move.
“What is it?”
“Aragon crossed the line.”
“Crossed the line?”
“Don’t misunderstand, Logan. This is the life of mercenaries. If you kill others, you should also be ready to get killed. Betrayal? Conspiracy? The victims are the fools.”
Ahn Soo Ho sneered. Even though Seo Jung Wook’s death was tragic and sad but that was it. Mercenaries were cold-blooded killers, so a couple of seconds were enough for them to mourn for the dead.
“There’s no such thing as justice for killers.”
“Aragon made a double contract! They violated the unwritten law!”
“That’s… not right. But so what? Are you going to report it to the police? Just like how there’s no justice, there’s no law for us either.”
“But… but you’re Mr. Guardian.”
The soldiers that lived on the battleground didn’t want to meet Ahn Soo Ho as an enemy. But if he was an ally then that would be a different story. In the end, mercenaries could follow the contract and be loyal to each other and trust each other with their lives. There was no mercy or forgiveness. All they do was use as many bullets as they were provided. But even in such a cold-hearted world, there were still standards.
He was the guardian angel for all. It was true.
Making a double contract was a hostile action that goes against the rules of trust and good faith. When the phone inside his pocket vibrated, Ahn Soo Ho raised his hand and stopped Logan from talking.
“What is it?”
“Aragon will attack the U.S. military soon.”
“Send me the location.”
“Do you need anything else?”
He thought about it carefully and then smirked.
“The full package.”
“The full package? Are you going to start a war?”
“Aragon crossed the line, Charlie. If war is what they want, I’ll bring it to them.”
When Logan heard what Ahn Soo Ho said, he blinked his eyes. In response to his gaze that asked what the point of their dispute was, he just shrugged.
“Deliver this message for me.”
When he thought about it, this made him furious. That was because putting people through hards.h.i.+p and s.c.r.e.w.i.n.g them over was his job.
“I’m coming for you.”
< Protect – Episode 35 – Aragon Company  > The end.