Kang Chul-In, the meeting with Lee Chae-Lin behind him, drove his Mustang towards the marketplace near Gyeonggido, Buchun. His mother had run a fruit shop in the marketplace for 20 years.
If Alex Rothschild was the typical privileged born-to-wealth scenario, Kang Chul-In was a commoner who was raised by a single mother after losing his father at a young age.
Are you there?
His mother Park Sun-Ja, whom he noticed from far away, was staying warm in front of an antique heater, fighting the cold winter wind.
It was late.
All the other stores had closed their shutters one-by-one, and the grandmas who were selling different things on the ground were packing up, but Park Sun-Ja was not moving with her eyes locked on the TV.
“I need to work hard and earn money if I want to give you a nice home when you get married.”
Kang Chul-In remembered what Park Sun-Ja always said to him.
A nice home.
Park Sun-Ja, who could not give him an apartment worth $400-500 but still said she wanted to get him at least a nice home for rent, opened her store the earliest and closed the latest compared to anyone else. It was her determination to not send her son off with empty hands.
Park Sun-Ja noticed her son Kang Chul-In right away and smiled widely.
“What are you doing here? It is the weekday… you haven’t contacted me in a while!”
“I’m back, mother.”
Kang Chul-In smiled and, unlike his usual self, responded back to Park Sun-Ja. It’s been 7 years.
Kang Chul-In helped Park Sun-Ja close the store and went home for a late dinner.
Kang Chul-In spoke, with the fruit in front of him after the meal.
“I changed my job.”
Kang Chul-In made up something.
“Changed your job? Why? You were doing well.”
With the surprising news, mother Park Sun-Ja seemed surprised.
It was expected.
South Korea in the 2020s was filled with young people like Kang Chul-In fighting for jobs amidst an environment of westernization and unemployment.
“Employment Front, Unlimited Competition!” was a slogan and saying that was spreading amongst the young. In this sort of era, Kang Chul-In had left his job, so it was understandable that Lee Sun-Ja was worried.
“Intern again? Then, it would be better if you worked at the store with me…”
Kang Chul-In shook his head.
“I got to know the president of a trading company and decided to move to that job. The company isn’t too large, but it is going to be listed soon, and there is a big possibility that it will become medium-sized. Also… I am an official employee.”
“Yes. There are a lot of business trips, but the pay is good, and there are good benefits, so it is much better than the company I was at before.”
At that moment, Park Sun-Ja’s eyes opened wide.
“Is… is that true?”
“Oh… who is that president? Taking my Chul-In in…. he will be blessed, he will!”
“President Kwon Hyung Woo… he is known in the trade business. He is almost eighty, but he is well enough to still work in the field.”
Kang Chul-In sold out Old Man Kwon.
He felt a little guilty lying to his mother, but the world still thought of Pangaea as a dangerous, foreign planet. What sort of parent would be glad if her son was going back and forth to such a place? It would be better to tell a little white lie right now, even if he was to tell her in the future.
Also, for he who would be gone often to Pangaea, a trading company job would be a good excuse to avoid Park Sun-Ja’s worries and doubts.
“Oh, I see! Oh… seems like your father is looking out for you in heaven!”
Park Sun-Ja mentioned Kang Chul-In’s late father and teared up.
I will be good to you.
Kang Chul-In watched Park Sun-Ja and pledged that he would be a different son from before, different from the stoic, detached son in the past.
“No, this won’t do.”
Park Sun-Ja thought of something and made a serious face.
“Son, go to an academy starting tomorrow. I will give you money.”
Kang Chul-In’s face stiffened at the words.
It was as if he were hit on the back of the head.
“You said there are a lot of foreign business trips. Aren’t you not good with foreign languages?”
Park Sun-Ja was right.
The Kang Chul-In who Park Sun-Ja knew was not someone who had the ability to go on a business trip. It was also true that he did not have the background or the specs either.
She is smart in these ways.
Kang Chul-In was taken aback for the moment, but it was just that – a moment.
“お母さん,俺外国語上手ですよ.” (Mother, I am good at foreign languages)
Park Sun-Ja looked confused as he spoke Japanese unexpectedly.
“Meanwhile, I have learned conversation in whatever I can (in English).”
Kang Chul-In had begun to speak foreign languages.
“所以, 别担心.” (So, don’t worry.)
That was not all.
For a while after, Kang Chul-In showcased his skill in more foreign languages, and Park Sun-Ja, who did not know any other languages, was close to fainting by this display.
“Although I am not fluent in Japanese, English, and Chinese, it is enough for me to work. It may be awkward, but I can slowly learn while I work. There isn’t time for me to go to an academy because I am working as well.”
“Did you study separately until now?”
He had drunk a potion from a special tree in Pangaea and had mastered the languages on a whim and had never studied formally.
What time did he have amidst all the battles and attacking dungeons to study?
“Aigoo… my son, I’m so proud of you. The academies cost so much, so I could not pay for a good education… but… I’m so proud…”
Mother Park Sun-Ja’s eyes turned red and finally shed tears.
Kang Chul-In did not expect his mother to cry and was put in an awkward position. He had conned his mother, but she was crying.
“Son… I’m sorry… I should have supported your education more… my son is this smart…”
Kang Chul-In was going to say something, but he was a stoic and emotionless man by nature, so he answered by solemnly holding his crying mother.
After Park Sun-Ja cried up a storm, Kang Chul-In took out a thick envelope from his inside pocket.
“What is this, son?”
“The president must have taken a liking to me, and he gave me a bit of a bonus. It is for you.”
“No, you need to use that when you get married. I don’t need anything like that. Speaking of which…”
“I want grandkids. A granddaughter might be better. I have a son, but I have never had a daughter. Now, my son is an official employee, so you need to get married soon. Right?”
As the feared marriage talk came up, fear appeared for the first time on Kang Chul-In’s face.
For the last 10 years, he was too busy fighting battle after battle and had no time to date, much less get married.
He had spent brief fiery moments with charming women, but those were only single nights. For Kang Chul-In to hear his mother talk about grandchildren, it was quite burdensome.
“It is before I have settled down… it is not too late to talk about that after I have settled in more.”
“I know that. But… you can bring a nice lady within the year, right?”
“I’m going to say it again, but I want a granddaughter.”
Park Sun-Ja emphasized “granddaughter”, and Kang Chul-In broke out in cold sweat every time she mentioned it. Even the great Kang Chul-In was just a powerless son in the face of this fearsome weapon.
But, he did not know then.
Neither Kang Chul-In nor his mother Park Sun-Ja would know what would happen in just a couple of months.
The next day.
After he had breakfast with his mother, he got on his Mustang and headed towards Seoul.
He first paid off the loans owed to the bank and others that he borrowed from and chose to purchase the Mustang. It did not seem like he would be able to buy a good car anytime soon because the economy of the territory was still unstable.
Kang Chul-In headed to the 63 building in order to return to Pangaea.
A couple of soldiers and a couple of researchers from the government were around the building, but no one stopped him.
Although the 63 Building acted like a sort of dimension door, it was limited to the outside of the building. The inside was still used by people. Also, one did not have to go inside the building to go to Pangaea anyways. You could go to Pangaea from anywhere within 2km of the building.
Kang Chul-In opened the dimension door, not caring if anyone saw or not.
When he said the command, the golden light that came from the 63 Building fell on Kang Chul-In, and he returned to Pangaea, disappearing without a trace.
“Lord, welcome back.”
The one that greeted Kang Chul-In the moment he was back was Lucia.
Lucia did not look happy.
Lucia, who had the aura of a headstrong, passionate professional, had a rather cold and picky look to her, but she was always smiled widely towards Kang Chul-In.
But how was Lucia’s face now?
Serious and even more serious.
No, actually, her face was stiffened beyond seriousness.
Something is up.
Kang Chul-In saw Lucia’s face and realized something bothersome had happened.
“Is there something wrong?”
“Yes, Lord. Please do not be surprised.”
Lucia seemed to think for a brief moment and spoke.
“Four workers and five Ants died.”
Kang Chul-In’s face hardened.
“The cause of death… no, who did it? Is it a Lord?”
If it was a simple accident at the building site or a fall, then there was no way Lucia would have this sort of response. This meant that it was another Lord or….
“Or is it a monster?”
There was rage on Kang Chul-In’s face.
He had returned to Earth, made deals, searched for Kwak Jung, and had even gone to see his mother. He had come back with a light heart, but his precious people had died.
For the extremely possessive Kang Chul-In who valued “his things”, his anger was understandable.
“It is a monster.”
“A Peacock Dragon.”
Kang Chul-In’s eyes glistened sharply upon hearing the attack was perpetrated by a Peacock Dragon.
The Peacock Dragon.
It was a monster that was a dragon but also not.
In Pangaea, dragons existed, but usually, they were red, gold, blue, or the like and were purebloods. But, there were so few in existence and were so rare that it was difficult to even see one in one’s lifetime. Kang Chul-In also, during his 10 years at Pangaea, only saw one blue dragon.
But, a subspecies like a Peacock Dragon was not too difficult to find. Roughly about ten different species… but it did have dragon blood and was not a monster to take lightly.
Kang Chul-In in his prime called the dragon subspecies “fake dragons” and poked fun, but for the current Kang Chul-In, Peacock Dragons represented a definite threat.
“Peacock Dragons… from the Drogonia mountains?”
The Drogonia mountains were the mountains located on the Eastern side of Laputa. Like the name, it was well-known for being a long-time home to dragons and their subspecies.
“It seems so.”
“Hah…a Peacock Dragon invasion at this time… I’m mad.”
This was a time to focus on internal affairs and build the governing system of the territory. For the Peacock Dragon to invade at such a time, Kang Chul-In felt like his ankles had been grabbed from behind as he was trying to move forward.
“From this moment on, announce to the entire territory that we are at war and for everyone to stay inside their homes.”
“I will fulfill the order, my Lord.”
“Also, I will use the territory’s hiding function to prepare for future attacks.”
Based on the diet of the Peacock Dragons that liked human meat, a second attack was inevitable if the first had already come. If he were to avoid additional casualties, it would be a wise decision to hide the territory, even if it would cost him gold.
“Instruct Administrator Timothy is to take care of the compensations for the families of the deceased. Ah, also…”
When Kang Chul-In tapered off as if he was thinking about something, Lucia spoke quickly.
“The Royal Guard is already waiting for orders and are fully armed. If you give an order…”
“No, not that.”
Kang Chul-In shook his head.
“If you say no…”
“Peacock Dragons are strong monsters. With our military strength right now, we will suffer immense casualties. It is time for us to grow our territory, not shed blood.”
“But sire, if you just leave the Peacock Dragon like this, there will be continuous casualties.”
“I did not say that I will leave the Peacock Dragon be. I will take care of it as quickly as possible.”
“But how… Lord, a battle cannot be won without bloodshed.”
“I know. But in this battle, our blood will not be shed.”
“I will use them to hunt it.”
Kang Chul-In’s eyes glistened.
Kang Chul-In was going to get in touch with the dimension travelers from Earth to hunt the Peacock Dragon.Previous Chapter Next Chapter