Chapter 123 - Swallow the Sun #1
Shatter the Sun Cult.
At first glance, it seemed simple to handle them using the Bomber or the Phantom’s abilities. However, unlike all the previous cases, this wasn’t a problem that would end so simply.
Would it end just by blowing up the base of the Sun Cult with a bomb? They would simply move elsewhere. He knew of the crimes committed by the leader, but plenty of people went to jail instead of him.
In the end, he couldn’t use his previous methods to get rid of Sun.
"First, I should classify the chess pieces that are available right now.”
He needed to use everything he had to fight the Sun Cult. If possible, he wanted to avoid working as Seo Tae-hyuk as much as possible, but there was a limit to Phantom’s network.
Tae-hyuk opened a desk drawer and pulled out an old chessboard that he used to play with. After unfolding it, he placed the black king in the middle.
“This is me, Seo Tae-hyuk. My identity absolutely can’t be revealed, so it is something to be unconditionally defended.”
Next was the queen. It was the strongest piece that he could move freely.
“That is Phantom.”
The loss of the queen would play a huge part in the king’s resignation. Both ends of the chessboard were for the rooks.
“Then Big Mama and Moonlight Flower.”
They were chess pieces made before he started acting as Phantom. When he met them, he had to hide that he was associated with Phantom as much as possible.
Big Mama's intelligence network. Moonlight Flower’s hacking and stealing skills were necessary to deal with the Sun Cult. Tae-hyuk held a bishop and muttered,
"I don’t like it but the bishops will be Shin Se-ho and the Bomber.”
They were difficult to use, but had the ability to reverse the situation. The pawns were the members of Nuclear Bomb that could be freely mobilized with money.
Finally, there were the knights. Tae-hyuk placed the knights on an empty space and said.
"This is Detective Cho Kang-suk and Investigator Joo Hyun-ho.”
They had the authority to investigate and arrest the enemy.
He had to meet the rooks and pawns as Seo Tae-hyuk. He would meet the knights and bishops as Phantom.
He imprinted this firmly in his mind and reached out towards the white king, who could be called the enemy.
“Now, let’s go slay the king.”
"You have been promoted. Why are you still eating noodles?”
Kang-suk heard a familiar voice as he was organizing the investigation headquarters. It was his junior, who was smirking while eating spoonfuls of butter.
“It is a busy day. Have you come to help me clean up?”
Joo Hyun-ho placed an ice coffee in front of Kang-suk and said,
"Oho, avoiding the answer means that something is going on. The suspect will answer the investigator.”
Kang-suk thought about what happened yesterday and cleared his throat a few times.
"Actually, I proposed to Seo Ha-ran.”
“Wah! You finally made a decision! Congratulations Sunbae! Aren’t you moving at the speed of light?”
"Wow! A ring that I never thought I would see on Sunbae’s finger! It is somewhat modest, but made of platinum, a symbol of unchanging love! Judge, this is definitely an engagement ring!”
Kang-suk couldn’t help laughing as Hyun-ho made a fuss.
Who would have ever thought that he was an investigator from Russia’s Federal Security Service? Of course, he had returned to Korea after half a year of working there, stating that it didn’t fit him.
However, he was considered one of the top three investigators in South Korea. Hyun-ho was delighted.
“So when is the wedding?”
"I think May would be perfect. I want to give Ha-ran the happiest day.”
"Of course, the inspector will be glad...”
"When I saw him, Inspector-nim was worried about when Sunbae would finally get married, so I asked him what he would do if it happened. He said that he would bow deeply to the bride. I just want to see that.”
Kang-suk felt dizzy at the thought. Such a bet was going on without him realizing it? Then why? He didn’t hate it.
“...I’ll sing the congratulatory song.”
"That’s okay, you can just emcee.”
As Kang-suk desperately waved his hands in rejection, Hyun-ho looked at Kang-sk with wide eyes.
"Kang-suk doesn’t want Phantom to emcee?”
"Why would he be interested in emceeing my wedding?”
“You are best friends.”
What? Who would want Phantom as the emcee of his wedding?
Kang-suk looked at Hyun-ho with a perplexed expression.
"I'm sorry, but I don’t want the special troops as guests for the wedding.
"Huhu. Won’t it be spectacular?”
Hyun-ho took off his trench coat and placed it on a coat hanger. Then he sat in his chair and started to whisk the whipped cream in his coffee with a strange face.
“Since then, have you been in contact with Phantom?”
“Well. No? He just took the money. He is strangely quiet.”
"Then, does Sunbae know a way to contact Phantom separately?”
“No. There is no way to contact him first. It’s a burner phone. The number is changed every time, and the one time I tracked the location, he appeared to be in Sichuan China.”
Despite the interest of the police commissioner, Phantom’s identity was still veiled.
“He is like 007. But if you have a chance to meet Phantom again, will you take me with you?”
Kang-suk narrowed his eyes at the other person.
Joo Hyun-ho had started to show a large interest in Phantom not long ago. It might not be for a big purpose. It seemed like he wanted to play a game against Phantom.
There was a strange feeling in his mind, but he couldn’t say what it was. Kang-suk couldn’t help laughing at the thought. Phantom was someone that even people from other sides of the earth were interested in. It was no wonder that Hyun-ho was interested in him.
"Do you want to embarrass yourself like last time you met Phantom?”
“Aish, surely not. At any rate, you said you recorded it the last time Phantom contacted you. Can you send it to me?”
“I already sent it to the main office. Can’t you go and look directly?”
“I wanted to listen while writing a few reports. Well, it doesn’t contain anything important. In addition, an investigator like me will be bombarded with things to do if I go to the main office.”
There was always a desire to ask his opinion on new cases. Furthermore, he wasn’t in a position to refuse. Thus, the work would steadily accumulate.
Kang-suk looked at him with a sympathetic expression.
"You are also suffering a lot.”
In the end, that was the trouble with being too talented.
Not much had changed about Big Mama’s pawn shop. Tae-hyuk deliberately built up trust by trading her forged artwork that was worth several million won at a time.
There were two types of criminals that stolen goods brokers dealt with: Those who were lucky enough to get lucky and sell many goods, and those who would bring in a small, but consistent profit. Of course, it was the latter that stolen goods brokers wanted to trade with for a long time.
“Omo, did Tae-hyuk come?
Big Mama smiled as she checked the door and rose from her seat. There were no other customers inside the pawn shop.
When they first met, Tae-hyuk had felt a prickling on his skin. However, after some steady trading, her voice was soft, like they were old partners.
"I'm sorry but I won’t be selling anything today.”
"Do you know the group ‘Sun’, active in Z City?”
“Um, that is an emerging religion.”
Big Mama narrowed her eyes and said some neutral words. She didn’t know what he had to do with that place, so she refrained from any negative vocabulary.
Tae-hyuk smiled and revealed his relationship with Sun in one word.
“Yes. That cult.”
“Hoh. You know. Do you need information about it?”
"The more information there is, the better. I also want to know some family members who have gone missing due to the cult.”
"This seems quite lucrative.”
"I heard that they have some of Gauguin’s oil paintings there.”
Big Mama’s eyes changed.
Paul Gauguin was a French painter that was the representative of post-impressionism. He left numerous oil paintings behind that were traded at a price of over 100 million won.
"I didn’t know that they had such a classy hobby.”
"Ah right. Once I get the goods, I will make a deal with Big Mama. Can’t we profit from each other?”
Big Mama looked down slightly and laughed,
“Ohuhu... I welcome such a good deal. By the way, can you do it by yourself? If necessary, I can introduce other experts to you.”
"I’ll ask you at a later time if I need it.”
Big mama wrote message on her tablet.
“Wait two days for the information. And the price will be this.”
She showed Tae-hyuk the number she had written on the tablet screen.
10 million won.
"In the past, it would be 20 million won. Is this a regulars discount?”
“Yes. I hope for your support in the future and will be giving you a special service. And even if you don’t have any work, you can always come by to play. I will make you delicious tea.”
“Cough... Maybe after this is over. Then this is a deposit.”
Tae-hyuk handed over a bundle of 50,000 won bills. Thus, the information deal with Big Mama ended without any problems. If he bargained a big more, then he would’ve received free information on the condition that he turn over Paul Gauguin’s paintings.
However, this deal with Big Mama was just right, since he might get damaged if he went too far. He had to always keep an eye on the other person.
Tae-hyuk didn’t forget that fact.
Sun’s nest was on the outskirts of Z City in Gyeonggi Province. They purchased a ruined university and built their own kingdom on that vast site.
Tae-hyuk was sitting in a cafe and drinking coffee while reading the information that Big Mama gave him. How much did he read?
He stood up and cried out,
"Oh, this is too much for half-price information!”
Indeed, there was no free discount in this world. The amount was only 1/3 of the other information he bought.
In fact, he had expected it to some extent. Sun was a strictly closed off religious group. Finding out information about such a place would be difficult. The amount was small, but it was better than nothing.
Apart from the owner sitting at the counter and looking at a photo book, no other person could be seen. Tae-hyuk approached the cafe owner and asked slowly,
"I'm sorry, but can I ask for a refill?”
The cafe owner stood up with an embarrassed expression.
"Aigoo, that’s right. I was lost in thought for a moment. I will come straight away.”
"This cafe has a good atmosphere. But there doesn’t seem to be too many customers...”
"Haha... Is that so? In fact, when the store first opened, many people came from the nearby university. However, it eventually closed down and people left for the Seoul campus.”
“It must’ve been hard for Boss-nim.”
“Still, there are occasional customers from nearby factories. By the way, did you come here for a business trip?”
He had transformed into a white-collar worker with the crime skills. The misunderstanding was natural.
Tae-hyuk lied easily,
"Actually, my family member fell into some strange group. I came to meet someone from the Internet to come up with some countermeasures.”
"Ah, it is like that. Hu... There really are things like cults in this country...”
Tae-hyuk avoided the gaze of the cafe owner and confirmed the location of the hidden cameras installed in the shop.
'I didn’t say anything and he is already talking about a cult. Isn’t this too amateurish?’
It was true that he came here to meet someone. However, Tae-hyuk knew that this cafe was one of the traps created by Sun.
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