After returning to Korea, Sungyoon enjoyed the time he spent with Shinhae. However, unbeknownst to him, a meeting was occurring across the ocean. The US president was watching the footage of Sungyoon’s exploits along with another person.
“What do you think?”
The president of the US looked dignified, but he was starting to lose his hair. He put down his cigar as he asked the question.
His question was addressed to the other person in the room. This person was like Hyunwoo and Russell, and he was one of the strongest Connectors in the world. He represented the US. Bruce leaned back into the sofa as he locked his fingers together.
“He’s an amazing Connector. He had enough power and skill to stop the Behemoth that had appeared in London.”
“How is he compared to you?”
Bruce smirked, but it was clear that he didn’t like that question.
“I’m undisputedly the strongest Connector in the US. That guy is great, but it hurts my pride that you're comparing him to me. In the first place, he didn’t fight against the real Behemoth. Connectors become weaker on Earth, but they don’t become as weak as that Behemoth.”
Bruce twirled a finger in the air as he spoke.
“Let me tell you one thing. This Behemoth used the Breath attack only once against Buckingham Palace. But in the Great Labyrinth, the Behemoth can use the attack almost indefinitely. It's as easy as breathing for that monster.”
“… That sounds like a nightmare.”
“Also, I can easily kill the real Behemoth.”
Even the US president was ignorant when it came to battles conducted by Connectors. Therefore, he thought the weakened Behemoth, which had appeared in London, was on the stronger side. However, it seemed the normal Behemoth was much more frightening in reality. Moreover, it seemed the President had undersold Bruce’s abilities too.
“So that Connector is just slightly stronger than an average Connector? Does he have no worth beyond that?”
“That isn’t true either.”
Bruce picked up the remote control, and he rewound the footage.
He paused at the scene where Sungyoon had summoned his sword.
“He was able to summon his weapon in an instant, and there was almost no delay in casting his spells. This means he can activate his Gems at incredibly high speeds. Fast might be inadequate in describing it.”
“How long does it take you to activate your Gems?”
“It takes around 30 seconds even for me.”
The President pressed the play button as he rewatched the scene.
“… There is no delay from what I’m seeing.”
“That’s the amazing part about him. In terms of activation speed, he's peerless.”
Bruce had been in this industry for several dozen years, so he was able to make a level-headed assessment.
However, he had also built up his ego over all this time, so he had to get the last word in.
“Still, I would win if I fought him.”
The President let out a bitter laugh at those words.
“It's to be expected. Even if he is amazing, you're our country’s best Connector. Of course, you won’t lose to a person who became a Connector a little more than a year ago.”
“Wait a moment.”
The President had spoken those words to stroke Bruce’s ego, but Bruce reacted in an odd way.
“Were you just talking about that Connector? Sungyoon Woo? How long has he been a Connector?”
“Just a little over a year.”
“… What's his age?”
“He is thirty-nine in Korean age, which should be thirty-seven in American age.”
“… I hope you aren’t going to say that he's a 1st Gen Connector.”
“You're correct. He is a 1st Gen Connector.”
“… I’m sorry for repeating these questions once again. But you're saying he's a 1st Gen, and he’s capable of handling Jewel rank Gems after awakening as a Connector around a year ago? Moreover, he can activate his Gems without delay? Are you sure about the veracity of this information?”
When Bruce became serious, the President also became serious.
“That’s right. It hasn’t been long since we’ve started gathering information about him, but we're sure of it. Also, you should've heard the rumors regarding him in Armstrong city, right?”
“It wasn’t an urban legend?”
Bruce shouted. It seemed he had thought that it had been an elaborate rumor or an urban legend spread by ignorant Connectors. Bruce had been apathetic until now. His attitude went through rapid change.
“Citizen… Can we naturalize him as an American citizen?”
“Is he that great of a prospect?”
“Of course, there are other Connectors that are at his power level, but his abilities are rising too fast! Just this fact makes him a candidate to be scouted! However, he is also a 1st Gen! It means his children are guaranteed to be stronger than him! That too by several times! He isn't a goose that lays golden eggs but one that lays diamond eggs!”
“Is he really valuable to that extent?”
The President thought Sungyoon was an amazing person, but in the eyes of an expert, it seemed Sungyoon was beyond being amazing.
“Mmm. Still, it’ll be difficult for us to make him an American citizen. The Korean government would fight tooth and nail to make sure that man remains their citizen. Moreover, we're allied with the Koreans.”
It might have been better if Sungyoon was a prospect from a hostile nation. They wouldn’t have hesitated in recruiting him to the US. That was how valuable Woo Sungyoon was. The President was filled with regret the more he thought about it.
“If you think he's such a great prospect that’ll bring great benefit to our nation, I might be able to play a bit of hardball.”
This meant the President would forgo going through the diplomatic channels with the Korean government, and make direct contact with Sungyoon.
Bruce looked a bit conflicted. In the end, he shook his head from side to side.
“I don’t think you have to go that far. Even if we make him a citizen, the only benefit we’ll see in the near future is having another high ranked Connector on our roster. We aren’t that desperate to add a Connector of his caliber. The problem is his future children. If it were a woman, it might be difficult, but he is a man. It isn’t that hard to acquire a progeny from a man. There’s no man that’ll reject the attention of ten women. As a man, I would know.”
“You want to send women.”
“This might sound crude and cruel, but we just need his seed. We just need one of the women to bear his child, and that child will become a great power to our country.”
They were not talking about doing something moral. If others heard what they were discussing, there would be a considerable amount of hatred and criticism toward the two of them.
Despite this fact, the President decided to go ahead with the plan.
“We have no choice. Before we can gather enough moonstones, the magical energy and monsters are starting to appear on Earth. We need all the power we can get in order to combat these phenomena in the future.”
People looked at the Connectors with jealousy, but at the same time, people hated them too.
Connectors always fought with their lives on the line. So a lot of them were violent, and they focused on the pleasures that could be offered in life.
Above all else, they had a lot of money. This was why there were many cases where Connectors accidentally got women pregnant. Moreover, Connectors practiced polygamy. This was why there was a lot of criticism from society in regards to their behavior.
However, the incident in London had changed the perception of Connectors.
A lot of pushback against polygamy subsided to a great degree. A monster had appeared on Earth, and one of them almost razed a major city.
The only people capable of resisting such a calamity were Connectors. It meant there was a need of increase in the population of Connectors in order to combat this problem in the future. A social consensus was starting to form around polygamy.
However, the President and Bruce couldn't know the flaw in their plan. They didn’t know that Sungyoon was a man capable of turning down any number of women. Unfortunately for these two, there was a high chance that their plan would never come to fruition.
“So which company is he affiliated with?”
It was a throwaway question, and Bruce wasn't that interested in hearing the answer. However, his eyes narrowed when he heard the name.
“It's a company called Jungbum. The company wasn't formed too long ago. It is very small, and it was close to going bankrupt before Sungyoon Woo entered the company. Basically, the president of that company won the lottery.”
“Jungbum. Wasn’t there a famous Connector from Korea by the name of Jungbum Hahn in the past? Is she related to him?”
“The company's president is his daughter. She named the company after him. Did you know Jungbum Hahn?”
“He wasn’t in my social circle. I just knew he was a Connector around my level.”
“It seems his name put you in a bad mood. Did you not like him?”
“I’ve never met him, so I can’t say if I like him or not. However, I just know he wasn’t a likable person.”
The President became interested when he heard Bruce’s answer. It was like a riddle.
“He didn’t have a good personality?”
“No. As a Connector, he was skilled, and he had great manners. However, he had a personal opinion that I didn’t like.”
“What kind of opinion?”
Bruce frowned as he answered the President.
“Jungbum was known for ignoring the 1st Gen Connectors. There was no exception. He was known for publicly saying 1st Gen Connectors were only useful for breeding.”
Bruce shook his head from side to side.
“Well, not many would challenge his word in this industry. He might have gone a bit overboard with his words, but many Connectors hold similar opinions as him. But personally, I had a big problem with what he said.”
“… Sungyoon Woo is a 1st Gen.”
Bruce looked off in one direction at the President’s statement.
“That's why it's ironic. The daughter of the man who ignored the 1st Gens made a company in his name, and a 1st Gen revived that company.”
“The world is a funny place.”
The President bit on his cigar as he spoke.
Sungyoon's popularity had risen to an all-time high, and his fame was starting to really get in the way of him enjoying the small slice of happiness in his life.
The press had been absent only on the first day of his return. And now, reporters were camped outside his house. Sungyoon was incredibly stressed from trying to dodge them.
Moreover, representatives from various political parties wanted to meet him. He even received an invitation to Cheongwadae from the Korean president. Of course, to Sungyoon, this was all a bother.
Thankfully, things started to calm down a little bit as time passed. Of course, his life did not completely return to normal.
While he was going through all this, Jimin contacted him. He went to the company, and as he stepped in, he realized that the company had gone through a lot of changes while he was on break.
“Ah. You're here.”
The employee named Hyungwon looked at him with sunken eyes and greeted him.
“The President is waiting for you.”
After saying those words, Hyungwon buried his head in his computer. He looked like Sungyoon in the past when he had been swamped by work. At the height of his business, Sungyoon had worked through nights to fill orders and match the quantity of supplies. Sungyoon knew he shouldn’t bother Hyungwon, so he gave a short goodbye and moved to the president’s room.
“Please come in.”
When he knocked, he could hear Jimin’s voice from within. He entered and saw her face buried in her computer just like Hyungwon. Jiyoon was helping Jimin from the side.
It seemed the two of them were extremely tired as there was an unhealthy color to their faces.
“Looks like you're busy.”
“The Connector who represents our company became an international star. Many Connectors are calling us. Whether it be 1st Gen Connectors, 2nd Gen, or 3rd Gen, they all want to join us.”
“… That’s good.”
“Yes, I’m so relieved.”
Jimin spoke in a sarcastic manner. She let out a big sigh as she leaned back into her chair and massaged her temples.
“So why did you call me here?”
“I have a very important business to discuss with you. It's important especially to you.”
“… It's important to me?”
“Let’s have some coffee first.”
Jimin stood up from her chair.
Sungyoon, Jimin, and Jiyoon, all held a cup of coffee as they moved to sit in front of the guest table. Jiyoon tried to leave, but Jimin told her that she could stay. In fact, Jimin kept Jiyoon from leaving.
“What's this all about?”
Sungyoon asked. However, it seemed it was a difficult topic for Jimin to bring up. She took a couple more sips of her coffee to stall for a little bit more time.
“… You might take this the wrong way, and you might find this topic very objectionable, but I must discuss this with you. Let me get that out there first.”
“… What is it? Why are you beating around the bush?”
When he saw Jimin having a hard time speaking, Sungyoon became a bit worried. Jimin took a small breath and she let it out.
“I need to confirm your blood relationship to Shinhae through DNA testing. Please let me use your name to do this, Mr. Sungyoon.”
When they listened to her words, Jiyoon's eyes turned round, and Sungyoon's face stiffened.Previous Chapter Next Chapter