Kim Hannah spoke with a smile still on her face.
“Everyone else is sleeping. I’ll ask them to come to the meeting room when they’re up. You can come then. You know where the meeting room is, right?”
“Do we need to have a meeting? Just tell me.”
Kim Hannah laughed, then stared at Seol Jihu. In the next moment, Seol Jihu felt an indescribably strange sensation.
The craftiness Kim Hannah displayed against Eva’s organizations seemed to pour down on Seol Jihu. The way she gave him an icy look, Kim Hannah almost started to look scary.
“Wha, what’s wrong?”
When Seol Jihu barely managed to ask…
Kim Hannah retracted her gaze and flattened her brows.
“It’s nothing. Anyway, let’s talk later. I need a few days to see how things develop and to organize my thoughts.”
With that, she picked up her coffee mug and got up.
“These damned bastards!”
Park Dongchun slammed down on a table, expressing his frustration.
“They must think they’re some kind of heroes being so bold!!”
Snorting hard and his chubby cheeks trembling, Park Dongchun was very clearly enraged.
“A mere team dares to challenge us, the alliance of organizations? Gooood. If they want to die so much, we’ll grant their wish!”
A woman cut him off. Though the voice was calm, a faint hint of frustration could be felt from it. Park Dongchun turned his gaze with an indignant look.
The Royal Council often had seven representatives participating. As Sombat La-ongmanee, the leader of Royal Pattaya, died a pitiful death, there should be six people present.
But today, there were seven people in the meeting room, just like before.
“Do you think I can stay quiet in this situation!?”
Park Dongchun shot up and shouted.
“The VIP auction house was hit clean! The guards were all killed and not even Royal Pattaya was spared!”
Then suddenly, he grabbed the back of his neck and frowned heavily.
“They’re obviously provoking us. They want to fight! Just how much are they looking down on us, the Eva Alliance!?”
Park Dongchun looked around as if to seek agreement. The meeting room was silent. While everyone had icy expressions, they seemed to be hesitating as well.
“Fight? Oh, please.”
The woman sitting at the head of the table broke the silence with a nonchalant comment.
“You shouldn’t be the one to say that anyway, Mister Dongchun.”
Park Dongchun flinched. But then he revealed his teeth and growled.
“You think I sold that land just to make some profit? I had my own thoughts! Who would have thought that such a small group of people, who haven’t even finished registering as an organization, would do something like that on their first day in Eva!!?”
That was true. The Royal Council suspected that Carpe Diem had a reason for coming to Eva and believed that they would do something to shake the status quo.
The problem was that it came all too fast.
“Even the royal administrator is going around, making a mess of things… damn it!”
Park Dongchun collected his breath, then muttered in a provocative tone.
“Can’t you do something?”
“What do you mean?”
When a cold reply came back, Park Dongchun gritted his teeth.
“Don’t pretend you don’t know. I’m asking if you can do something about this situation. That’s right. I’m asking if you can help.”
Hearing Park Dongchun’s almost shamelessly brazen words, the woman snorted dumbfoundedly.
“What do you want me to do in this situation?”
And her response immediately made Park Dongchun frown.
“Hah, so you’re just going to watch?”
His sarcastic tone made the woman narrow her eyes.
“Hmph! It’s obvious what you’re thinking about! You’re trying to—”
As the atmosphere began to heat up, a brown-skinned, middle-aged man cut in respectably. He was Ochoa Cartel’s boss, Omar Garcia.
“Aren’t we here to discuss and come up with a solution that works for everyone? If we start fighting amongst ourselves, we’ll only be helping the Fox.”
He then turned to Park Dongchun and spoke.
“Please calm down, Leader Park. I understand how you feel, but everyone here is in the same situation. We’re all holding back.”
Omar Garcia was the one who received the biggest loss from last night’s incident. As slave hunt and trade were his main sources of income, having the VIP auction house destroyed had affected him greatly.
Park Dongchun let out a dry cough and sat down reluctantly. As Park Dongchun started to cool down, Omar Garcia slowly rekindled the conversation.
“Royal Pattaya contacted me late last night… but it was too late. By the time my subordinates got there, the guards were already encircling the building. The Royal Family was just quicker.”
“I don’t care what you do, just don’t get caught. Didn’t I make this clear?”
The woman sitting at the head of the table spoke sharply.
“The royal administrator did things on his own, and making this a problem, he asked for an audience with the queen. It’s only a matter of time before she finds out. And when that happens, she is sure to call me to confirm the truth.”
Muttering unhappily, she looked at the representatives in the room and criticized.
“Have you given any thought to how difficult you’ll make things for me? Although Eva lost its former glory and became impoverished from the long, drawn-out war, the queen thinks it is still a beautiful, crimeless city otherwise. What do you think she’s going to say when she learns the truth? How dare you speak that way when you’re the ones who caused the problem!?”
The woman glared in one specific direction, while Park Dongchun stealthily avoided her gaze.
“Anyway, I’m out of ideas. The royal administrator is managing the matter personally, saying that he’s acting on the queen’s behalf. Nothing we can do will change the law, and the royal administrator already snatched away the tiny methods that might have been available to us.”
Hearing this, Omar Garcia groaned. The woman continued.
“It sounds like he’s really resolved himself this time for the consequences. For now, we should remain quiet and look out for our own interests. No, not should, we must.”
She emphasized the last point, making a one-sided decision.
Then, she waited a brief moment before licking her lips. Looking around the room and glancing at the other representatives’ faces, she said with hesitation.
“Soon, I’ll contact you all about something.”
Omar Garcia, who had a bitter look until now, abruptly shot his eyes open. He wasn’t the only one. The other representatives also gave her surprised looks.
The woman who rarely showed up to meetings unless something big happened was saying she would contact them first?
“When do you mean by ‘soon’…?”
“A week at the earliest, two weeks at the latest.”
The woman gave a short reply to Omar Garcia’s question.
“By then, the decision will be made on how to deal with the currently imprisoned Royal Pattaya members…”
The woman smacked her lips, seemingly wanting to say more, but she trailed off and shook her head. She was clearly indicating that she’d talk about this again later.
In truth, it was quite obvious how the rescued foreign races and captured Royal Pattaya members would be dealt with. And no matter what happens, they couldn’t expect the current situation to change greatly.
However, Omar Garcia smirked while slowly nodding his head.
“So we just have to endure for two weeks.”
“Got it. It’s true that our carelessness was part of the problem, and we were going to wait and observe for the next three months anyway.”
“I’d recommend you do that as well.”
“Great. Then the Ochoa Cartel will do its best to be careful and not to trouble you.”
Drrk. The sound of a chair being dragged rang out.
The woman got up from the head of the table and left with big strides, her silky black hair fluttering in the air. As she made her way across the room, Omar Garcia glanced at her shapely butt.
“I’ll be waiting for your call.”
The woman stopped.
“…It sounds like you’re grossly misunderstanding this.”
The woman half-turned her head.
“The reason I occasionally participate in these meetings is to keep an eye on you all. Today, I came to give you all a warning. The same goes for why I will be contacting you later.”
“Of course, of course. I fully understand.”
Omar Garcia smiled brightly. After saying, ‘just don’t get caught’, she was now saying it was to keep an eye on them. Omar Garcia found the disparity between the two meanings a bit funny, but he didn’t show it externally.
The sound of footsteps continued until the door fully shut. After a brief moment of silence, Omar Garcia stretched his arms out.
“Should we get up too?”
He spoke with a far more relaxed expression than before.
“I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you, but let’s stay on the low for the next week or two, alright?”
With that, he turned his gaze to Park Dongchun, who was sitting on his chair with a grave expression.
“Ah, Leader Park, you’ve met with Carpe Diem’s leader during the land sale, right? Oh, I’m not trying to pin the blame on you or anything, so don’t worry.”
Omar Garcia spoke while waving his hand.
“I was thinking, maybe you should meet with him. After all, you’re already acquainted.”
“I can’t do it. Just thinking about his ugly face makes me boil. I’m sure I’ll start spitting out curses if I see them.”
“Just go. It’s too early for negotiations or trades anyway. Just mention the idea.”
Park Dongchun was reluctant, but he nodded his head as if he had no choice but to agree.
“Great, if you need anything, you’re free to cooperate with White Hwaru.”
The only remaining woman in the room sighed gravely.
“Got it. Since I’m at fault, I’ll do what I can. See you next time.”
Park Dongchun got up helplessly. Tang. The moment he closed the door behind him, the anger staining his face disappeared completely.
After looking around left and right…
‘YES! I wanted to meet him once anyway!’
He cheered inwardly and ran excitedly.
Kim Hannah officially requested a meeting to be held two days later. Her attitude seemed to suddenly change in the cafeteria, but Seol Jihu thought it was his imagination and didn’t pay too much attention to it.
With not much to do, Seol Jihu stayed cooped up in his room, focusing on mana cultivation.
Once he began, he usually spent three to four hours on average, but today, he had to cut his training short. It was because an unexpected guest had arrived at the building.
“Iya~ I heard the rumors, but this sure is an impressive building. We thought we did a good job with ours, but now I almost want to rebuild it.”
The man remarking casually while looking up at the large crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling was Hao Win. He exchanged greetings with Seol Jihu before being led to the reception room by Kim Hannah.
“I was really shocked when I received the news this morning.”
Hao Win got to the point as soon as he sat down on the comfy leather couch.
“Since you were behind it, I’m assuming you know what news I’m talking about. But you know… how do I say this… you were a bit too wild…? Or…”
Hao Win swallowed his words. Seol Jihu smiled without saying anything.
“I’m sure you had your reason. There’s no point in brooding over what’s already happened anyway.”
Hao Win paused, then leaned back on the couch.
“But I am a little disappointed.”
Seol Jihu’s eyes widened.
“At the end of the day, I’m the one who coaxed you into moving to Eva. I didn’t choose Eva just to leave Haramark. I had my own plans.”
Seol Jihu realized his mistake.
“Mister Hao Win.”
He tried to say something, but Hao Win raised his hand.
“Of course, you’re not obligated to follow my plan, Seol.”
“But, Seol, do you remember what we talked about in Haramark’s palace?”
Seol Jihu quietly nodded his head.
“I took an oath to make you a King, and you accepted it. In the Neutral Zone, we were friends. But since you accepted my offer, I think I have the qualification to call myself your partner. Or rather, I thought I did.”
Hao Win smacked his lips.
“It’s not just us who think this. Eva’s organizations probably have the same idea. Since we moved here at the same time, they’ll see us as a single entity. In other words, your actions both directly and indirectly affect the Triads.”
“Now, I said all this, but the main point is that it would have been nice if you called me on the communication crystal before and just let me know. That way, I would have been able to prepare for the coming day and perhaps even assist you. As your friend and your partner.”
Although Hao Win seemed to be calm and tactful, Seol Jihu got the feeling that he had a lot of emotions pent-up inside. Hao Win wasn’t being blunt given their relationship, but Seol Jihu could tell that he was disappointed.
“You’re right. I at least should have contacted you. I was just too worked up at the time…”
Seol Jihu trailed off, giving a bitter smile. He didn’t think he would be admitting he acted out of impulse.
“I didn’t really come here to hear you apologize.”
Hao Win locked his fingers together.
“I just want you to trust the Triads a little more. It’s true that we were pushed out of Haramark, but I’ll be troubled if you look down on us too much.”
Seo Yuhui entered the room with tea, lightening the heavy atmosphere slightly. Seol Jihu and Hao Win took a quick break to lighten up, exchanging small talk that wasn’t related to the matter at hand. Then, Seol Jihu suddenly grew curious.
“By the way, you said you had plans, right?”
“Mn, though I was forced to throw them out of the window this morning.”
“I’m curious. Can you tell me about them?”
“It’s nothing much.”
Hao Win spoke as if it really was a trivial matter.
“I planned to make a masterpiece movie with you, pulling a hilarious prank over Eva’s eight organizations. We’d go out and dance PPAP for the ending. Damn, and it was such a good scenario too…”
Seeing Hao Win talk so regrettably…
“That sounds good too. How long were you thinking to wait to start filming this movie?”
“Half a year at the earliest, a year at the lastest.”
“So 6 to 12 months…”
Seol Jihu mulled over the matter before shaking his head.
“That’s too long.”
“Is it? I thought it was just perfect.”
“I doubt the Parasites will sit back and wait during that time.”
“Well, I can’t really argue with that.”
Hao Win agreed easily, then spoke.
“Now that we’re on this topic, I want to ask. What’s your next plan?”
“We don’t have anything concrete. But for sure…”
Seol Jihu put more strength into his voice.
“I’m going all the way.”
“All the way… You mean there’s no room for negotiation or compromise?”
“No. I made up my mind after looking around Eva.”
Tak. Seol Jihu put down his teacup and smiled.
“I’m going to sweep away every bug that’s gnawing at Paradise. I won’t spare a single one.”
Hao Win didn’t answer. He neither agreed nor disagreed.
He only stared at the smiling Seol Jihu with his abyss-like eyes.
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