Chapter 101: Accomplice #2
Kang-suk reported his progress to the police chief.
Originally, he would have to contact Kim Do-shik first, but the superintendent ordered that anything related to Phantom was to be reported directly to him. Could it be due to the unpleasant situation that happened to the former police commissioner due to Phantom and the Bomber? The newly appointed police commissioner was desperate to catch Phantom.
Kang-suk was aware of this face and said as gently as possible.
"First of all, I would like to negotiate with him. He seems to know something about the Park Sung-yul case.”
Then he heard an angry voice over the phone,
-Detective Cho. What does that mean? What? Since when did the police work with criminals? And the Park Sung-yul case? There was something like that?
Kang-suk was perplexed but he finished as calmly as possible.
“…I uploaded the report a week ago. I also have new information that will be uploaded again today.”
-Hrmm. Really? Do you think I am a leisurely person that can worry about all those little things? Last weekend, I was running around with government officials and was tired. At any rate, there will be no negotiations. I will get as much support troops for you as I can. I will make sure that Detective Cho’s commands are listened to. I’ll also take you to the opera this year. If there is anything else, report it immediately.
“Yes, I understand.”
Kang-suk's expression darkened in an instant. The superintendent wanted to give priority to catch Phantom rather than finding Park Sung-yul’s victims. It felt like his eyes would turn red from hunting Phantom.
In the end, Kang-suk’s forehead wrinkled as he frowned.
Hyun-ho, who had been waiting for the conversation with the Gangdong police superintendent to end, said to Kang-suk,
"I’m guessing the negotiations didn’t go so well?”
"Yes. In order to get some support troops, I have to catch Phantom.”
“Whoa. Catch that monster? Now that he has the weapons...”
Joo Hyun-ho enlarged the excel table on his table screen, which summarized the current armed state of Phantom. He still had two bombs that could blow up buildings, and that wasn’t all. Didn’t he obtain Cold War firearms from the Triads killer?
"In addition, he has strange abilities that can’t be identified. Even highly trained special forces wouldn’t be able to catch him without any casualties.”
"It might be tough and it probably won’t end simply. Do you remember how he took the money during the Bomber incident? It is like the police are playing on the palm of his hands.”
"He seems great because you say so.”
"At any rate, what will you do?”
"What else? Follow the command from the upper ranks.”
"Don’t get too depressed. If Phantom is arrested then you can try and get what he knows about Park Sung-yul in the interrogation process.”
“Who is depressed!”
"It isn’t easy to throw a ball into a bucket if you don’t know where to throw it. First, let’s focus on arresting Phantom.”
“...That seems to be for the best.”
A lot of preparations were needed for the troops to move and the opponent was armed with powerful firearms and bombs. A lot of preparation was needed to deal with him. Then Kang-suk spoke like he just remembered,
“But... Can we really catch the Phantom? I’m not sure if that is possible.”
Even the genius investigator couldn’t come up with an answer.
Phantom, the criminal that the police were looking for, was in a bit of a difficult situation right now.
"Now. Try it.”
Tae-hyuk looked at Eun-young, who was trying to feed him a sandwich, with an absurd expression. He had recovered enough to wrestle, but he had to keep that a secret from Eun-young.
‘I might not be able to go to school for a while so I need to get help from Class President. Let’s do what she wants.’
“Um. Delicious. Is everything homemade?”
An Eun-young brightened as he ate her sandwich.
"Ah right, please pass this on to Teacher-nim. It is my diagnosis.”
Tae-hyuk reached in a drawer and pulled out the documents he prepared in advance. Of course, it was an elaborate fake. It wasn’t that hard to create. After copying the original, he just needed to adjust the ailment and treatment period at the bottom. A technique that could forge a medical certificate or a painting...
He couldn’t help sighing as he thought about it.
An Eun-young’s eyes narrowed as she received the medical certificate and started to look it over carefully.
"Fortunately, it is spring break soon. I think I can get better before school starts again. Then I will be a third year...”
In the end, An Eun-young exploded. She grabbed Tae-hyuk’s arm and pulled it towards her chest.
The confused Tae-hyuk couldn’t say anything for a moment. The distance between the both of them was close enough for a hug. He could feel An Eun-young’s breath on him and he couldn’t look straight ahead.
"This room. It is a one person room. There won’t be anyone who can interfere.”
“I-Is that so?”
"I actually came here to do this.”
"What do you mea...?”
"You will be in hospital for a while, so I have to do it.”
“Wait a minute, let’s just calm down. I think you are a little too excited right now.”
"Oh, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.”
"What are you doing?”
An Eun-young came closer to Tae-hyuk before grabbing the bag that she had thrown on the bed and returning to her original position.
"I came packed with everything necessary... Don't be too nervous, I have been preparing this every day.”
An Eun-young’s condition was strange. Then he discovered something in her words.
"Every day? D-Don't tell me..."
“Yes. You need to study.”
An Eun-young started pulling out books and printouts from her bag with an excited face. Then she grinned as she placed them on the bed.
"How much are you going to fall behind in class? You have to really work hard to not fall behind so you can go to university. We have to work hard to get you into university.”
Tae-hyuk was at a loss for words.
He had promised to go to university together, but it seemed like she had misunderstood it as going to the same university. However, this wasn’t a situation where he could correct it.
Tae-hyuk swallowed his saliva.
‘D-Don't tell me. Is this withdrawal symptoms?’
An Eun-young was a model student with the studying skill. She studied most of the day. Thanks to her skill, she was very good at teaching others how to study. However, after getting accepted into university, she didn’t need to do as much studying as before. In addition, Tae-hyuk who she studied with every day was admitted to hospital. For that reason, she didn’t seem to spend as much time studying as she used to.
That rebound had come all at once.
Tae-hyuk gulped. He didn’t know if the withdrawal symptoms were due to her skill, or simply because of her personality. The only certainty was that he would have to study with her for all of today. It was literally ‘only’ studying.
He couldn’t help screaming.
Kang-suk finished his conversation with Phantom and made a determined expression. Joo Hyun-ho, who came along with him as a partner, stood with a serious expression. Usually, that seriousness would be gone already but this was an emergency situation.
Behind Joo Hyun-ho was the special unit waiting for the police superintendent.
Hyun-ho muttered in a low voice that could only be heard by Kang-suk.
"He is an unbelievable great guy.”
Kang-suk ignored the strange person in the trench coat and told the police superintendent.
“Superintendent-nim. 30 minutes. The meeting is at XX Building. It seems like he has accepted negotiations because there is something he wants from the police.”
The police superintendent nodded with a satisfied expression.
"Well done. Will he be armed?”
“Probably. He is very careful and smart. He will run away if there is even the slightest sign of anything happening.”
“Yes. First of all, I want you to go in and talk to him as much as possible. Meanwhile, the special forces will enter to suppress the opponent.”
Kang-suk’s expression clouded over. Even if he wore a bulletproof vest, the opponent was a terrorist armed with bombs and firearms. He was being used as bait to catch such a person.
Kang-suk couldn’t refuse the unreasonable command.
A police superintendent who was more interested in the achievement than catching criminals. The police commissioner was the same as well. He felt nauseous but it couldn’t be helped. He was the only one who could act as bait right now.
Kang-suk closed his mouth and nodded. He decided to come back alive no matter what. And after this incident, Ha-ran...
"Then Detective Cho Kang-suk, please head to the scheduled place. The whole crew will be armed and waiting for the signal.”
The superintendent was entrusted with full authority by the police commissioner. Thus, his neck was stiff.
The superintendent exclaimed in a voice that didn’t seem dignified at all.
“It is time to strip off Phantom’s mask!”
XX Building was approximately 20 minutes away by car. Kang-suk made his way to the destination in a military van. The commandos chief in charge of the vehicle smiled and said,
“Detective-nim, don’t worry. Our members were trained to compete with the US counter-terrorism forces.”
Kang-suk’s mouth twitched.
He was going to confront Phantom, who was armed with bombs and guns, alone. If the opponent wanted, then he could put a bullet in Kang-suk’s head.
Kang-suk muttered sarcastically,
"A well trained crew won’t be able to stop a bomb from blowing up.”
“Huh? What did you say just now?"
“Nothing. Oh, that seems to be the building.”
It was a three story building in the middle of the city. It was reported as a factory. The lights were on even at this late hour.
"Did he take any hostages?”
Kang-suk wondered as he headed to XX Building. The soldiers and police waited in the darkness so that Phantom wouldn’t smell them. Once the commandos leader sent a signal, they would pour into the building at lightning fast speed.
Once Kang-suk’s shadow disappeared into the building, the leader gave an order on the radio.
"Enter in five minutes. Prepare your power.”
-Yes? Then Detective Cho Kang-suk...
“What did you say? I told you to be ready in five minutes.”
The commandos leader smirked.
Right now, catching Phantom was more important than the life of one detective. He stared into the darkness with greedy eyes.
Kang-suk never dreamt that someone he had just been talking to would stab him in the back.
Once he arrived at the entrance of XX Building, a security guard stopped him.
"This is private property. You can’t go in here.”
Kang-suk quietly showed his police badge.
"It is an emergency situation. I received a report that a criminal is hiding here.”
The security stuttered with panick at Kang-suk’s words.
“T-That, to come in here, a warrant...”
Kang-suk pulled out the handgun that was hanging from his waist.
“I said it was an emergency.”
A terrorist with bombs and firearms was hiding here. It was one of the few situations where a detective from South Korea could fire his gun.
The frightened guard stepped back.
Kang-suk didn’t hesitate to kick the iron door and break the lock before entering.
“…Phantom is underground.”
He had to hurry as much as possible. Kang-suk ran like the wind towards his destination. White-faced women screamed with confused faces, but they couldn’t stop Kang-suk. In the end, Kang-suk arrived at the door in the basement where Phantom was waiting.
"First of all, I should make the gun disappear.”
He put the gun in his pocket and slowly opened the door. He spoke in a quiet voice towards the waiting opponent.
“Phantom... As promised, I’ve come.”
The special troops would arrive here one minute later. They would pour all their firepower towards Phantom without worrying about Kang-suk’s death.
Kang-suk realized that there was no one in the room. There was only a small table in the corner. The phantom mask was placed on top of it.
As he looked around, tremendous shouting could be heard.
Dozens of people entered the room with their muzzles facing forward.
Kang-suk’s face distorted.
"Weren’t you supposed to come at the signal?”
The commandos chief became aware that Kang-suk was alone in the room.
“Where is Phantom?”
Kang-suk quietly pointed to the table.
"He didn’t come?”
“…Maybe he caught on to the operation.”
The commandos leader threw his rifle and cursed,
“What? Was it a trick to come here? Did we fall into a trap? Daaaaammmnnnn!”
Kang-suk spat out some dust. If the Phantom was here then Kang-suk would’ve been shot. These bastards.
The commandos leader approached the table and slammed his fist against the phantom mask.
Then he screamed. His fist smashed against something inside and blood sprayed everywhere.
"...Pff. It is a very slapstick comedy.”
Kang-suk could only think that. Kang-suk shook his head and approached the leader holding his fist.
He was still cursing Phantom.
"Are you alright?"
“Do I look okay?”
"Maybe you should call an ambulance.”
“Then you call!”
The commandos leader yelled at Kang-suk.
Kang-suk cleared the scattered pieces of the opera mask. There was a tablet with sharp edges. It was a trap designed to hurt the hands if they tried to destroy the mask without checking the content underneath.
“If that was a bomb then we would all be dead.”
Kang-suk clicked his tongue as he looked at the tablet. Once the mask blocking the light disappeared, the pre-recorded video started playing.
Phantom’s face flashed on the screen.
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