“Buncheonru is the largest shopping building in the Yuxin Empire. It has many personalities. It is sometimes called a store of everything because there are accommodations, restaurants, other stores, and so on. Of course, it is very big. Buncheonru is located in Taeyang, the capital of the empire. It is the largest building in Taeyang, after the imperial palace.”
Hearing the employee’s words, Hyeonu’s expression distorted. Then he quickly returned to his original expression.
‘Isn’t this a big problem?’
In short, Buncheonru was like a building with a hotel on the upper floors, a department store underneath, and a COEX nearby. This was very bad news for Hyeonu. In the ledger of the Seongho Group's master, it was only written that a small amount of gold coins had been sent to Buncheonru.
The meaning of this was simple. It meant Hyeonu’s investigation range had expanded considerably and that more time would be consumed. This was the prelude to a lot of labor. Hyeonu’s plan to clear the quest in the minimum amount of time was disrupted.
“Thank you for the explanation. The capital city... I need to be diligent,” Hyeonu said before bidding a polite farewell to the employee.
The employee smiled and left. Then Hyeonu looked at Tang-E. “Did you hear? We have to go to the capital. Do you want to return to Bung Bung Island? It will be a long and tedious journey.”
Tang-E shook his head without saying anything.
Hyeonu continued, “Yes, once the meat comes out, we will go slowly after eating. This time, we will ride a carriage without difficulty.”
Then Tang-E nodded with a smile. No one knew if Tang-E was pleased by the fact that they weren’t walking or if he was smiling because he could eat meat.
In recent times, Hyeonu’s smartphone was very dissatisfied with the lack of time to rest. Calls, texts, and messages were constantly flying in. It was the same now. The phone’s owner, Hyeonu, had no intention of coming out of the cube, but the phone kept vibrating without rest. If the call wasn’t connected, then there would be a text message. If there was no text message, then a message would be received. Due to this infinite repetition, the smartphone was eventually killed.
“Eh? What? Why is it turned off?”
Hyeonu came out of the cube and looked for his smartphone as usual. It had become a habit these days because he had many people to contact and a lot of work to do. However, his smartphone was turned off. Hyeonu quickly figured out the reason. The cable that should be at the bottom of the smartphone wasn’t visible.
‘I didn’t plug the charger in.’
Hyeonu connected his smartphone to the charger and turned it on. Soon, a half-chewed apple logo appeared, and the smartphone booted up.
-17 missed calls.
-6 text messages.
-999+ unconfirmed messages.
‘There is too much.’
Hyeonu started checking the missed calls. It was because the more important the issue, the more calls would be made.
‘Pass on Sunny, pass on Yeongchan, pass on the unknown number...’
After prioritizing and organizing, two names remained—Kale and Moon Doyeong.
‘Kale will be first.’
Hyeonu immediately called Kale. Kale answered Hyeonu’s call before it even rang three times.
-Mister Gang? Are you done?
“Yes. I just came out of the cube. Why did you call me?”
-I called because something important happened. I think we need to change the order of the member announcements. I think we should announce Heder tomorrow.
“Why are you saying this all of a sudden? Changing the order?” Hyeonu wondered while feeling confused by Kale’s sudden words.
This rarely happened. It was very rare for Kale to take the initiative to express his opinions.
‘What is it?’
Kale explained to Hyeonu who expressed his doubts, -Remember how I told you that we conducted our own investigation thanks to the information we received from you?
“Yes, I remember.”
-That day, the boss didn’t meet with people related to Quency but a Korean prosecutor.
‘Prosecutor? Why a prosecutor?’
Hyeonu instantly frowned. Why had Jamie come to South Korea and met with a prosecutor? Hyeonu couldn’t figure out the reason.
-Yes, a public prosecutor. He met with the prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office.
Hyeonu’s joking attitude rapidly became serious.
-There must’ve been a prosecutor inside the prosecutor’s office who was already investigating the manipulation of the Arena professional league. The boss said that after they met, that prosecutor immediately called the suspects for an investigation. I will receive the results today or tomorrow before the press release.
‘This makes sense.’
Hyeonu realized why Kale suggested that Heder be announced tomorrow.
‘Both sides will be compared.’
On one side, there were the players and teams involved in the match manipulation, and on the other side was Lee Hoon, who was a proxy knight in the past and was now restoring his image somewhat through reflection. Who will the public go against, and whose side will the public be on?
Of course, some people could take advantage of this to set out in an attempt to cleanse themselves, but their past was too flashy.
‘There are only a few players who have been confirmed to be proxy knights. The number of people who are suspected of being proxy knights is a few times more than that. There are also many people with personality problems.’
There was no justification to stop Lee Hoon’s debut unless all these people were expelled. As long as Hyeonu and Nike handled things properly, public opinion would be on Lee Hoon’s side.
‘Things are going really well.’
Hyeonu revealed a knowing smile. “Then I will do it tomorrow. I will tell Heder and Sunny about the schedule change. I’ll push Sunny back. I think that could be more interesting.”
-I’ll leave it to Mister Gang’s discretion. You always have excellent senses. I’ll send you more information by email. Then...
Hyeonu started making phone calls again before his phone battery became green.
‘Why did this person call?’
Moon Doyeong also picked up instantly like Kale had done. He seemed to have been waiting for Hyeonu’s call.
“CEO Moon, it’s Gang Hyeonu. Why did you call me? I didn’t receive it because I was playing Arena.”
-It’s fine. I thought that was what happened. I just planned to call you later.
‘Didn’t he answer his phone too quickly for this?’
“If so... Well, if you didn’t have anything to say, why call? I’m busy.”
-Something happened. I’m on my way back from a meeting organized by the Korean Virtual Reality Gaming Association for the league club owners and various sponsors.
Hyeonu recalled Kale’s words a little while ago.
‘Is it because of that?’
“Is it due to the issue of match-fixing? I heard that the prosecution’s office is conducting an investigation...”
Then Hyeonu noticed from the tone of Moon Doyeong’s voice that he seemed surprised by Hyeonu’s words.
-How did you know that? One of the administrators, Park Jeonghyun, was summoned as a reference.
“Administrator? Is he a high-ranking person?”
Hyeonu didn’t know much about the association’s system and vaguely speculated that this was one of the highest positions.
-It is convenient to think of it as similar to how the president handles politicians while the administrator actually handles the association. It seems it is difficult for this investigation to pass easily because high-ranking members are involved.
Hyeonu frowned. The nuances he picked up from Moon Doyeong’s words seemed to imply that the administrator had spearheaded the match manipulation.
“Are you saying that the administrator is directly involved in the match manipulation? What does he want?”
After hearing Hyeonu’s words, Moon Doyeong laughed for a moment. Then he stopped laughing and coughed a few times. -Everyone is nothing in front of money, regardless of whether they are rich or poor. More isn’t enough, and less isn’t enough. Isn’t that how it is with money?
“CEO Moon, do you have anything to do with that person? If there is something that can be caught...” Hyeonu’s voice trailed off.
Moon Doyeong laughed openly. -I’m not so easy to deal with. Rather, it was the former team owner who was involved. That person was behind him. They must’ve done quite a lot of things together. That is why I’ve got the team now.
‘Then I’m relieved.’
Hyeonu had thought of Moon Doyeong when he heard the story from Kale. He couldn’t help remembering that Moon Doyeong was a private moneylender. It wasn’t a very good job.
“Then I’m glad. It might be noisy for a few days. I think you should pay attention and take care of your streamers. I might cause an incident as well.”
-You’re in a hurry to announce his signing? Okay. I also think this is the best opportunity. In any case, if it passes now, then it will be useless to bite at it later.
Hyeonu nodded. Moon Doyeong’s words were true. They just needed to pass through this trial once.
‘It’s sad, but this is reality.’
“I understand. Please contact me if there is more news. I will be waiting.”
Hyeonu continued to use his smartphone after talking with these two men. It was because Sunny and Lee Hoon had to be notified of the change in the announcement order.
-It’s being pushed back? Really? Sunny asked again and again.
It was as if she couldn’t believe Hyeonu’s words that she could postpone her announcement.
“Yes, that’s right. I’ve said it many times. I’ll postpone it if you want. However, this is your choice, Sunny. You can’t go back once it is made. I won’t force you.”
-Of course, it is my choice. Alley Leader, you’re not forcing me.
Hyeonu was tired now. It was hard to cope with her repeated questioning. Sunny hadn’t asked just once or twice. She had been repeating the same thing over and over for more than 10 minutes. However, he used shallow methods to avoid future accusations.
‘Do the job once the interest is at the peak.’
At this moment, Hyeonu decided that Sunny’s signing announcement would be the finale. It would be the finishing stroke.
He would do it like this: The fifth player is revealed, and the next introduction will be the last. We are only participating in the league with six players. I wanted to reduce it further, but I respect Quency’s regulations. Thus, I filled six spots.
‘It will probably attract attention like crazy.’
He had the confidence to pierce through whatever news was covering the world. The name value of Alley Leader made it possible. Hyeonu smiled and delivered his final remarks to Sunny, “I understand. I’ll push Sunny back to the rear...”
‘Don’t blame me later,’ he swallowed down these words. ‘The choice is hers.’
Three weeks down. Approximately three weeks left to go until the final submission date of November 15th.