Chapter 24. Making a deal (1)

[The UN has launched an investigation on the posts of light that have been appearing on the landmarks around the world. Meanwhile, from first-hand witness accounts, there have been official reports that these posts are gates that lead to a different world.] [There have been supernatural beings found around the world.] [From the reports of those who are traveling through the gate, this other world has all sorts of monsters.] [While mysterious medicines and items are emerging one-by-one, the United States has announced that they will actively recruit American “Dimension travelers” in order to gain intel on this other world.]

The news was noisy.

There were some who had gained special abilities from Pangaea who then went on an American talk show (although it was simple magic), and videos of healing serious wounds with a red liquid in a glass jar were all over YouTube.

Articles of an animal that looked like the mixture of a squirrel and a rabbit that was able to resist a 5.56 NATO bullet flooded social media. The January of 2021 was noisy and filled with news of findings of a new world.

“Sigh.”

Kang Chul-In, who had almost been watching the news for three hours, turned off the TV while letting out a sigh.

Habit.

A bitter smile formed on his lips.

The reason for watching the news was simple.

It was a way of sorts to lessen the gap between Pangaea and Earth.

Different from Earth where the supernatural did not exist and only pure science existed, Pangaea was a world where advanced magic, martial arts, and monsters existed simultaneously. If you lived in such a place for a while, your mind and way of speaking would tend to adapt to that of Pangaea. In order to lessen this, watching TV for long periods of time helped. Then, at least in reality, one would not use corny things like the “Shakespeare voice” or pretentious diction. Of course, when one returned to Pangaea, it would all become useless.

“Should I slowly get moving?”

Kang Chul-In mumbled as he left his house.

When Kang Chul-In stepped out the door, he was holding a full bag, within which was the 500 gold that Lucia had given him. Kang Chul-In was planning to sell this gold for money.

Vroom!

The Mustang let out a heavy sound as it left the parking lot. The destination was Yongsan, also known in the old days as “The Northern Gan Islands”, 21st street of an old business district. With the boom of online shopping from the 2000s and the opening of the 2016 HDC Shilla Duty Free, there were almost no natives left in Yongsan, and almost everyone here was a Chinese tourist. The glory of the electronic district in the past had become ancient history.

“We are not in business.”

The 40-year-old man was playing a card game on his computer with a cigarette in his mouth when Kang Chul-In entered the old, shabby store filled with old, dusty computer parts.

“We don’t buy things here.”

He seemed like he had some cigarette smoke in his eyes because he did not even look at Kang Chul-In and just furrowed his brow.

“I didn’t come here to sell. I came here to buy. Don’t pretend to do other things and open the shutters,” Kang Chul-In said.

The man turned his head slowly and looked Kang Chul-In up and down.

What is this, a young boy?

The man’s eyebrows came together. In his memory, Kang Chul-In’s face did not exist. It was a face he had never seen before.

Open the shutter? That means he does know something. Cop? Oh crap!

The man was wary of Kang Chul-In and was put in a difficult spot. For those who made a living dealing illegally, strangers were always dangerous.

“I don’t know what you are talking about, but we don’t sell or buy. Okay? So don’t be annoying and go do your business somewhere else.”

The man glared and said in a threatening tone. It seemed like he would throw a punch if Chul-In did not obediently leave.

“I came to see the Old Man Kwon, so open the shutter.”

“I’m not police, nor do I work for the government. I came to sell this.”

With a thud, the bag with the gold fell on top of the laptop that the man was playing his card games on.

“Ha. You bastard.”

The man showed an annoyed expression and stood up suddenly. He stepped close towards Kang Chul-In and put on a threatening face.

“Hey, what are you? What do you think this place is?”

“What do you mean what is this place? It’s Old Man Kwon’s store. Korea’s greatest money bug, Old Man Kwon,” Kang Chul-In said.

“You rude little bastard!”

At that moment, the man swung a fist towards Kang Chul-In.

The result was unfortunate.

“URGHH!”

The man grabbed his stomach, groaned, and threw up his lunch that he ate about an hour ago.

“Boss!”

“What is that?!”

“Get him!”

Just in time, the other gangsters who had stepped outside for a smoke came back inside and lunged towards Kang Chul-In.

The results were the same.

There was not one who was able to even touch Kang Chul-In’s clothes. With one blow, all of them fell to the ground.

Kang Chul-In was a man whose fighting power surpassed that of a professional boxer with no additional abilities. If he was Level 14 or even lower, these gangsters were at most elementary schoolers in his eyes.

“Y-you bastard! Who sent you here? Tell me before I put a hole in your head”

The man who fell first spoke menacingly. Before anyone noticed, his hand was in the inside pocket of his jacket.

This idiot?

Kang Chul-In knew what was in that inside pocket.

Old Man Kwon was a money-thirsty man who would deal in anything that would bring in money like drugs, guns, or stolen goods. For a gangster protecting Old Man Kwon’s store (although he was just one of many), they would carry at least one gun. However, Kang Chul-In did not seem at all scared even when he knew his opponent was carrying a gun. Of course, if he were shot with a gun now, in nine cases out of ten, he would die, but he was confident that he would not be hit in the first place, so there was no reason to be afraid.

I’ll break your neck.

It was then that Kang Chul-In smiled a bitter smile and decided to lunge at the man.

[Put the toy away. Nothing good comes out of making a commotion.]

An old voice flowed out of the speakers that hung at the corner of the ceiling.

[I don’t know where you are from, but you’ve got some fists.]

It was the voice of Old Man Kwon.

He’s still the same.

Kang Chul-In smiled quickly at the familiar voice of Old Man Kwon.

Old Man Kwon had often made deals with Kang Chul-In in the past.

Kang Chul-In had sold items that were difficult to sell legally and purchased items as well. It was quite the nice business partnership.

[Open the shutter and bring him downstairs. I want to see his face.]

Kang Chul-In was able to meet Old Man Kwon, who was surrounded by eight bodyguards when he passed the shutter and went down a secret tunnel leading to a bottom floor.

“You are not a familiar face. Who introduced you?”

Old Man Kwon formed a sort of approachable smile and asked.

“No comment,” Kang Chul-In answered.

“That won’t do. Although it may seem that in this line of work, you just do whatever, but there is no trouble afterwards if both sides are clean.”

The old man seemed reluctant.

“You won’t get an upset stomach even if you eat this, so let’s just make a deal.”

“Let’s just make a deal?”

In Old Man Kwon’s bald forehead, veins bulged.

“Haha! Hey, young man. Have you never heard of respecting your elders? You will go with one blow like that.”

“The Old Man Kwon that I know likes money more than talking about petty formalities,” Kang Chul-In responded back.

“?”

“First, this.”

Kang Chul-In put the bag with 500 gold on Kwon’s table.

“500 gold pieces that are 10g each. 97.8% purity. Market price is about 200,000? 10% commission is enough?”

“Ho… Business right away. Fine, money over formality. So, origin? Stolen? Illegal mining?”

“The noisy place these days.”

Old Man Kwon’s face stiffened.

“You must know that in any business, it is beneficial to start in the early stages, yes?”

Kang Chul-In slyly threw bait.

“Very beneficial. The early bird catches the worm. Yes, of course. However, entering a new market has also big risks.”

Old Man Kwon said, pretending not to pay attention. He was an experienced old man, so he did take the bait right away.

It is appealing, but he means that there is no reason to jump into it if the money is good right now.

Kang Chul-In could understand what Old Man Kwon was intending.

However, old man, you are going to decide to work with me.

There was a critical weakness in what Old Man Kwon said, and Old Man Kwon would also be played by Kang Chul-In’s speech.

“Seems like the risk is big enough, even now?”

“Hm?”

“Guns, drugs, fake IDs, money laundering, etc. If you get caught with one, 20 years is minimum. That’s your lifeline, and talking about risk, it doesn’t make sense.”

“Ehem…!”

An uncomfortable dry cough came from the old man’s mouth.

To speak the truth, Old Man Kwon was a criminal.

No matter how powerful Kwon was in the underworld, it would be complete annihilation once he was caught by the authorities. The old man had come this far with luck and good resources, but it was still like walking on eggshells.

Like a man dancing on the edge of a sword, it wouldn’t be strange if the old man was sent to prison suddenly.

“Hey, young friend. What you say isn’t false, but if you push me like this, nothing will be beneficial to you. If I put my mind to it…”

“You think you can do something to me with those gangsters?”

Kang Chul-In snorted and pointed to the old man’s guards with his chin.

“No matter how strong your fist is, it is no use in front of a bullet.”

The old man spoke coldly. It meant he would kill him if he fooled around further.

“I’m disappointed, old man.”

“Disappointed?”

“I thought you wanted to come out to the bright side.”

Upon hearing those words, Old Man Kwon’s wrinkled eyes opened wide.

“Old man, your money is like a prize beyond your reach. You can’t even buy a building under your name, and how long do you think you can live under an assumed one? What are you saying, that you don’t have too long to live anyway?”

“Of course, you deal in cash. Profit must be large, but considering how much it costs to silence people and eliminate risks, isn’t living that kind of life not that great either? There isn’t a country like Korea that is so sensitive to guns and drugs either. But I guess to change businesses now, you are probably afraid of all the negative responses from all sorts of places. It’s obvious you can’t fold your business because you cannot do this or that. Am I wrong?”

Kang Chul-In’s speech was sharp and painful, enough to rip the old man’s heart to shreds, but not one part of it was untrue.

“Old man, this is a chance. A chance for you to leave the dark side and come up to the light.”

“I’ll give you a bit of information. Of course, it will spread everywhere, but it is quite a good piece of information right now.”

“Talk.”

It seemed like the old man agreed with what Kang Chul-In was saying.

“The other world, more precisely, in Pangaea, you cannot take items from this world. You can only bring things from there. Think about it well, what this means.”

The old man slowly considered the information that Kang Chul-In gave him.

Cannot take in and can only bring out of Pangaea? Those who go back and forth are the select few who can only bring out. Hmm… wait, it seems like he is saying there is no need to invest a big amount of money.

At that moment, the old man’s eyes sparkled.

Distribution!

Although it was illegal, he had lived doing business for decades. Even with a little bit of a hint, his head spun fast, and a way to profit had come to him.

“Still smart.”

Kang Chul-In smiled a satisfied smile, as if he knew what the old man had thought of.

“You need to just secure a distribution network. Just sit still and wait until the dimension travelers of Pangaea bring the items for you to distribute, and all you need to do is profit off the commission.”

That was the key.

“But, but what? What do I know what they can bring from there? In detail, what kind of items?” Old Man Kwon asked.

“For example…”

Kang Chul-In answered.

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