Chapter 47: The Family’s Condition #3
Choi Sung-yeol’s words contained a strange eloquence. He blended one lie among 10 facts. That way, it sounded like he was just telling the truth.
The contents of Choi Sung-yeol’s words were simple. Large corporations regarded their employees like slaves. In addition, they bribed politicians to try to pass labour reform laws. No matter how hard someone worked, they could be thrown away like a used tissue. They would never be rewarded for their efforts.
However, Tiwai was different. By default, in order to join the company, a person had to purchase a certain amount of shares. It wasn’t a relationship between an employer and employee, but one where everyone was an owner. If there were tangible results, then their rating would go up. The higher the rating, the greater the distribution.
‘Well, it sounds like a plausible story.’
Tae-hyuk clicked his tongue.
It was no use if people were owners. In the end, the exploitation targets just changed to a higher grade.
However, Choi Sung-yeol was extremely good at cajoling the new members. There were men and women next to him, all decoys planted by Tiwai.
The old people praised him by using their years of experience. The young ones said they had a burning passion. There were those who didn’t have proper jobs, and were now living well. Every one of them spoke words of praise. The praise, that was as smooth as butter, poured out of their mouths and were caught in the people’s ears.
While the sense of confidence increased, the final blow was dealt. If they joined now, then they could go up to a higher grade. They could reach the status of other people, who had worked for a few years, in an instant.
In that way, the participants were persuaded. Interviews with members of Tiwai were broadcasted on the screen. The attendees looked at the screen with flushed faces.
“Look at this. Many people are making more than five million a month. Are you willing to do that? Do you lack experience? Or is there a lack of enthusiasm?”
A person who earned around 800,000 a month would become someone who earned more than 10 million won in the first three months. A man, who said he was in his first year of employment, took out the key for a foreign car from his pocket and shook it.
Now everything was gathered for the perfect situation.
‘It is like taking off the label and replacing it with one from a deluxe brand. Furthermore, that isn’t a key no matter how I look at it.”
It was a fake made for use as a movie prop. It was made elaborately so that it couldn’t be distinguished from the real thing. However, Tae-hyuk had the ability to grasp the authenticity of an object, due to the Forgery skill improving his discerning eye.
Tae-hyuk wondered if he would receive a new crime skill and checked the Demon Revealing Mirror.
‘Um. There is no new skill.’
So far, Tae-hyuk had met seven blacklist members. However, except for Big Mama, he didn’t receive any of their crime skills. Was it necessary to upgrade to Noble?
'By the way, what is An Eun-jeong doing? She isn’t a decoy?’
She hadn’t appeared with Choi Sung-yeol’s party. Tae-hyuk looked around the meeting room and was able to find her. An Eun-jeong was sitting in a corner and writing down Choi Sung-yeol’s notes in a notebook. She looked just like An Eun-young.
‘... They are truly family.’
The other people were busy talking to each other. Tae-hyuk sat next to An Eun-jeong and asked.
"You have been writing really hard. What is the content?”
An Eun-jeong laughed and held out her notes.
“This? I was writing about Choi Sung-yeol sunbae. He really is great, and none of his words are ridiculous. The money he earns as well... I want to be like him someday.”
An Eun-jeong was looking at Choi Sung-yeol with sincerely respectful eyes.
Tae-hyuk inwardly sighed.
She was completely deceived without knowing it. The good news was that she hadn’t been completely corrupted yet.
'I need to discover how deep her feet are.’
"An Eun-jeong is working really hard.”
"Uh, how did you know my name...?”
An Eun-jeong asked with wide eyes. Tae-hyuk pointed to the employee ID hanging around her neck.
"I saw the name hanging around your neck. Oh right, my name is Lee Cheol-su.”
Tae-hyuk gave the pseudonym he used during the voyeur incident.
An Eun-jeong nodded.
"Oh, I see. Anyway, I am currently a silver member. If I can recruit 10 more people, then I can upgrade to gold... I need to work harder!”
An Eun-jeong took a fighting posture. She had a similar atmosphere to Ha-ran. It felt like he was watching a child.
Tae-hyuk lowered his voice as much as possible and said.
“That’s amazing. Already a silver member... You must have spent a large amount of money.”
An Eun-jeong hesitated before opening her mouth.
“... Yes. In fact, it was the money I had set aside to rent a room. I used it all but... I can make a lot more once I become a gold member!”
Tae-hyuk’s head started to hurt.
She must have devoted millions of won into this. After becoming a part of the multilevel marketing, a person could easily obtain a higher grade if they spent a certain amount of money.
However, the problem was after that happened. They had already invested money, and now they couldn’t pull their feet out. Once that happened, the appearance of the company would change by 180 degrees.
'Gather members. Bring in more money because your shares are low. Go out and sell new products.’
There was constant exploitation. At the end of the day, they wouldn’t be able to sell enough.
An Eun-jeong was laughing with an innocent face.
‘I thought she was moderately quick-witted...’
The woman in front of him never even imagined that she was being deceived.
"I’ll ask you just one thing. How many people have you brought here?”
“Well... Two or three people.”
A fool pulled in other fools. The multilevel scheme was truly scary.
Tae-hyuk asked with a heavy expression.
"So they all became part of Eun-jeong’s shares?”
At that moment, An Eun-jeong’s eyes shook.
"... It isn’t like that. It will be given the next time I register a name.”
“I see. The people Eun-jeong brought in received consultation from another person and was registered under their name. Next time, do better. Is that the method?”
An Eun-jeong looked at Tae-hyuk with a startled expression. Based on her expression, it seemed like he had struck the nail on the head.
"H-How did you know?"
Tae-hyuk told An Eun-jeong the truth.
"If you gather 10 more people, then you can reach the gold rank?”
The confident voice from a few minutes ago had become smaller.
"That number will never go to zero. Eun-jeong also knows this to a certain extent.”
An Eun-jeong looked at Tae-hyuk with a shocked face. Tae-hyuk had stabbed her with the sword of truth. However, he needed to use this degree of shock therapy on Eun-jeong.
At that moment, a strange thing happened.
Tae-hyuk noticed a strange smell spreading in the seminar room. It was a smoke with a sweet, floral scent. He felt light-headed the moment he breathed it in.
An Eun-jeong’s eyes also became blank. Then suddenly, her eyes became animated again.
She spoke in a strong tone.
“T-That can’t be. I can surely upgrade my rank if I work hard! Ah, that's right. Cheol-su! Cheol-su shouldn’t think like that. Cheol-su is also in our company. We should work hard together to make a lot of money. Then my father...”
He thought it was almost over. However, An Eun-jeong was completely possessed by this strange perfume.
Tae-hyuk bit his lip and pulled out the Demon Revealing Mirror to check his status.
"O-Oh my god! All my stats are being reduced at a tremendous pace!’
His intelligence, that was close to 50, was now near 40 points. Tae-hyuk realized that his judgement was gradually falling.
‘Did they even use a hallucinogen?’
He grabbed his left little finger in order to regain his spirit.
The twisting of the bones caused his stats to stop falling. Tae-hyuk inwardly screamed but persisted.
‘This isn’t a normal method for a multilevel company. Wait a minute. Didn’t Choi Sung-yeol have a partner?’
He wasn’t a criminal who worked alone. He committed his scams with an even worse colleague. The name of another blacklist member popped into Tae-hyuk’s mind.
‘... Producer Kim Joon-young!’
He was a famous criminal who produced bizarre shows, a producer. Then the fragrance with the hallucinatory effect... Perhaps there were three or more criminals gathered here.
'Damn. Now they are flocking.’
Scammer Choi Sung-yeol. Producer Kim Joon-young. An unknown perfume user.
Tiwai International was a lair full of criminals. Tae-hyuk was barely able to win against the hippo using all of his skills. Since then, he hadn’t got any new skills or upgrades. Yet this place had three criminals. In addition, there was the unidentified man who sent the note to An Eun-young. Who was he?
Tae-hyuk bit his lip as he thought about it.
‘But the fact that the Producer is here...’
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much written about him in the blacklist. However, he remembered about the Death Circus run by the Producer. It was a flashy show of human desire and betrayal.
Tae-hyuk thought about the structure of the building. The interior was much smaller compared to the size. It felt like there were secret rooms that couldn’t be entered through a normal route.
Maybe the Producer was planning the Death Circus.
Tae-hyuk realized that there was only one way for An Eun-jeong to escape from here.
“Eun-jeong. If there was a way to raise your rating all at once, what would you do?”
“Huh? A-All of a sudden?
"It isn’t gold but the platinum rating.”
Eun-jeong covered her mouth with her hands at Tae-hyuk’s words. It was the same rating as Choi Sung-yeol. He led the thousands of silver and gold members and gained a huge amount of money from what they earned.
"If you have any doubts, then you can ask Choi Sung-yeol.”
Tae-hyuk didn’t miss the fire blazing in An Eun-jeong’s eyes. She really was an easily convinced woman.
“… If there really is such a method then I will do anything. S-Surely...”
"It probably isn’t what you are thinking. You could die.”
"How do you know such a thing? Are you not an ordinary member?”
Tae-hyuk smirked. Now she had noticed.
"I came for this. Do you understand?”
"But I can’t do it alone. How about it? Do you want to reach the platinum rating with me?”
An Eun-jeong gave a strange groan as she hesitated for a moment. And after a while. She came to a conclusion and nodded.
"I accept. I should put my life on the line to make money.”
‘Ugh. This woman! Does she even know what she is saying?’
Tae-hyuk inwardly screamed. The words made him feel like puking. He needed to show An Eun-jeong reality.
‘... Yes. Let's try it. Death Circus. If I look at it directly then I’ll discover what I need to know.’
"Can you wait a minute? I have something to say to Choi Sung-yeol.”
Tae-hyuk walked towards the front of the room. Two people were talking without any worries to Choi Sung-yeol. Tae-hyuk smiled as he reached Choi Sung-yeol.
“What is going on? I saw you talking to An Eun-jeong. Is there an incident that you would like to document?”
"Oh, I wanted to join. I came when I heard that Kim Joon-young was here.”
“Huh? You came to see Kim Joon-young...”
"An Eun-jeong wants to play. Both of us would like to join the Death Circus.”
Choi Sung-yeol’s mouth twisted strangely.
“Ohuhu... There are applicants. How did you court An Eun-jeong? Anyway, it is nice to meet you. The show is scheduled for tonight.”
"I’m glad that I don’t have to wait.”
“But is it really okay? You are still young. Your lives will be ours the moment you apply to participate in the Death Circus.”
“It doesn’t matter. I will win.”
Choi Sung-yeol smiled brightly.
At best, they were hoping to pluck tens of millions of won from pushovers. Yet he willingly participated in the Death Circus. Now they could get hundreds of million of won.
“That confident expression is good. Then I will introduce you to Director Kim Joon-young.”
That night, the Death Circus was going to begin.
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