Chapter 57: Declaration of War (1)

He could hear Edward’s happy voice as soon as he picked up.

[You are the best!]

His voice was so loud that even Yoo Jaeha and Irene who were next to him could hear Edward’s voice.

That was why Ju-Heon sneered as he responded.

“I guess the deal went well based on your voice?”

There was no way he would sound so excited if it had not gone well. As expected, Edward shouted with joy.

[Listen! The US gave 300 million dollars extra! They also agreed to make a large investment in the artifact business I am creating in the Middle East! The President guaranteed it!]

“What? 300 million dollars? Really?”

[That's right! General Keira said this was the best map-type artifact she has! She was extremely happy! So, I will pay you extra too!]

Ju-Heon quietly chuckled after hearing that.

‘These idiots!

That’s a fake!’

However, Ju-Heon could not say that so his head was down and his body was shaking. He was trying his best to hold back his laughter.

On the other hand, Yoo Jaeha's face was slowly turning pale.

They had given 300 million dollars extra and will invest in his business for a fake. He said the President got involved as well.

Yoo Jaeha was getting afraid as the scale was getting larger than he expected. Yoo Jaeha thought about Interpol's Most Wanted List before he tried to take the phone from Ju-Heon with fear.

Wouldn’t he be safe if he recalled it before it was revealed to be a fake?

However, such methods did not work toward his wicked boss. Ju-Heon kicked Yoo Jaeha away and responded like this.

“Old man. Don’t forget that you told me you'll pay me extra. You said it yourself.”

[Of course! Just trust me!]

‘Aigoo, you poor old man. That’s a fake.’

Yoo Jaeha could only sniffle as he could not say that out loud.

[I'll bring a nice bottle of alcohol next time!]

Forget the alcohol, Edward came looking for this scammer with a gun a few days later.


“Jaeha, where is your captain?! What the hell did he sell to me?! Tell him to get his ass out here!”
“N, no, you see!”

They were in a hotel in Macao.

Edward who came to the location Ju-Heon gave him was running wild. He clearly was a weapons merchant as he looked ready to use the rifle in his hand.

Edward exploded once Jaeha guided him to Ju-Heon’s room.

“Seo Ju-Heon! You scammer!”

His voice was so loud that Yoo Jaeha gasped and wanted to say, ‘aigoo, I did nothing wrong. I just did as I was told.’ Before running away to hide in the next room with Irene.

However, Ju-Heon calmly greeted Edward once the door was opened.

“Edward, this is our first time meeting face to face.”

Forget greeting, Edward looked ready to shoot him. However, he could not do so because he was shocked after seeing Ju-Heon's face.

‘Is this punk Seo Ju-Heon?’

He was shocked because Ju-Heon was much younger than he had expected. He had thought that Ju-Heon sounded like a young businessman based on his voice and expected him to be in his early thirties.

But he never expected it to be such a greenhorn.

“Hold on. Jaeha! Is this youngster Seo Ju-Heon?”
“Yes. Why?”
“My goodness…!”

‘Is this why Chairman Kwon had been so angry?’

Jaeha did tell him that his Captain was younger than him. But he was shocked because forget being a greenhorn, this guy seemed like he was a little boy!

‘I relied on a child to do that job?’

The fact that Ju-Heon probably looked like a high schooler to Westerners probably played a part. Edward soon shook his head.

‘No, that’s not important right now.’

“I asked you what you sold me!”

Ju-Heon leisurely smiled after seeing the veins in Edward’s neck sticking out.

“What did I sell you? The map artifact from the Chinese tomb as you asked.”
“Map artifact my ass! Did you scam me?”

‘Did you just figure that out?’

However, Ju-Heon just smiled at him.

“Relax. There’s no way I would scam my future partner. What happened?”
“What happened? The artifact you gave me disappeared! The US sued me for fraud!”

Ju-Heon feigned ignorance as he asked.

"What do you mean? Fraud? Are you sure they didn’t destroy the artifact because they used it wrong?”
"Ah, this is so frustrating! They claimed that the artifact that was working fine suddenly disappeared! I might have to be on the run because I instantly went up on the wanted list world wide! I came here because you might know something about it!”
“Ah. You want me to teach you how to run?”
“Hey!”
“I'm joking.”

Ju-Heon calmly smiled. This was all going according to Ju-Heon's plan anyway.

“Edward. Don't worry. I'll personally go tell them myself. I'll tell them there was nothing wrong with the item.”
“What? You’ll personally tell General Keira?”

Yoo Jaeha who was next to Edward, and Irene, who was hiding in the other room, were both shocked to hear that. However, Ju-Heon continued to speak as if this was his goal.

“Yes. I will personally meet that person and tell her.”

Edward seemed shocked to hear that.

“Uhh, General Keira only meets with a select few people. I barely managed to build a relationship……I don't know if she’ll be willing to meet you.”

Honestly speaking, it meant that he didn't want to introduce Ju-Heon to General Keira. He was a middleman and wanted all artifact users to trade artifacts through him if possible. His role would disappear if artifact users met with each other and traded directly.

Ju-Heon chuckled after seeing Edward be so petty.

“Then I guess just be convicted of fraud and be arrested. Why don’t you consider your current situation a bit more?”

The extremely desperate Edward almost pulled all of his hair out.

“Damn it! Fine! I'll call her so you tell her yourself! Tell her there was nothing wrong with the item! Tell her you will take full responsibility!”
“I told you, don't worry.”
“But the question is whether that difficult General Keira would be willing to meet you.”

General Keira truly was a difficult person and very selective about who she met. She was not someone that Ju-Heon would normally be able to meet.

But the situation was different this time.

“The US spent a ton of money to purchase this artifact, I'm sure they’ll need someone to complain to.”

That wasn’t the only thing. Ju-Heon had sent the CIA members back alive on purpose to have them spread information about him. There was no way the Monarch of War would not bite on that bait. Keira who liked strong individuals would have no choice but to be interested in him.

Edward said fine and then left.

“I’ll set up a meeting for tomorrow!”

Yoo Jaeha and Irene looked toward Ju-Heon as if they didn't understand what he was doing. It was an obvious reaction. He shamelessly scammed them but was willing to meet with the victim face to face.

Most people would be running away right now!


"Captain-nim, you haven't gone crazy, right?”
“No. I'm not crazy.”

Yoo Jaeha was about to go crazy hearing his boss’s calm response.

“Why are you meeting General Keira if you are not crazy?! You're going to explain it yourself? You're not going to tell her, I sold you a fake!’ You're not going to confess, are you?!”

Ju-Heon laughed out loud after hearing that question.

“Of course not. I just have a reason to meet the Mon…no, Keira Clark.”

That was indeed the case.

That was the reason Ju-Heon had planned this scam in the first place.

“The Monarch of War is not someone you can easily meet. But I need to meet that woman.”
“Excuse me? Why?”

Ju-Heon looked toward Irene after hearing that question.

‘Because of you.”
“Excuse me? Because of me? How come?”

Irene became shocked at this unexpected response, but Ju-Heon just patted Zheng He’s artifact they were sitting on. Zheng He’s artifact was mumbling something as if it was upset that it had instantly ended up as a rug.

They weren’t in a tomb and his Linguistics skill was still ranked low so all he could hear was mumbling, but he was certain it was complaining.

Ju-Heon then put his cigarette out on the carpet as if he was telling the artifact to shut up.

“Hey artifact, shut the hell up.”

[#$#$(@#(!!]

The artifact cried and Yoo Jaeha who would need to restore the artifact cried even worse.

“Anyway, I told you I found Midas's tomb with this artifact, right?”

Irene nodded her head.

‘But you see, Midas's tomb is located in a complicated location.”
“What do you mean by complicated?”
“It is located somewhere the Monarch of War has eyes.”
“Somewhere she has eyes?”

It was located near the Syrian border in the Middle East. But that was one of the locations that Monarch of War had used an artifact to mark. She marked the spot using Columbus's Map artifact that works like a radar.

“One of the artifacts that woman has. Columbus's Map gives her live updates on tombs or artifacts that appear in the locations she has marked.”

“Giving live updates on tombs and artifacts makes it sound like some sort of radar.”
“Yes. She then sends the CIA or the US excavation team to the spots that pop up on the map.”
“Then if we go near one of those marked areas…”
“The artifacts in our possession will pop up on Keira's map as well. There’s no way Keira who is aiming for good artifacts would let us be.”

Keira had marked multiple places around the world. However, just as how Columbus had found ‘new land,’ she was limited to marking deserts, oceans, mountains, etc instead of cities, places where people would not normally reach.

Either way, Ju-Heon who had to stealthily infiltrate a base in the past to kill the Monarch of War knew every area that Keira had marked.

Ju-Heon looked toward Irene.

"She won't really aim for any of the artifacts we have. They won't be good enough for her. But you are different. That General would desire your artifact quite a bit.”
“!”

That was the truth.

The Monarch of War had been the one who had used the Monarch of Destitution the most in the past. There was even a time in the past when she used Irene to cause a large scale currency war.

The Monarch of War did not seem to have noticed the Monarch of Destitution's artifact yet, but she would definitely be interested once her map tells her about the artifact.

“But as I told you in the past… Your artifact is a parasitic artifact so others cannot take it. She would need to cut open your body or kill you in order to take it.”
“Then you are saying?!”
“That’s right. That General will try to kill you or force you to join the US excavation team. She probably won't kill you easily because you are from the Holten family, but she would probably find a way to use your artifact to her advantage even if it means doing whatever it takes to find your weakness.”
“!”

Irene’s face turned pale after hearing Ju-Heon's blunt analysis.

However…

“Don't worry. I have no plans on handing you over to that General. I won't let you get hurt either. My goal is to let you live a happy and peaceful life with your family.”

That was obvious.

‘The Monarch of Destitution’s artifact is mine. There’s no way I would hand it over to the Monarch of War.’

That wasn’t the only thing.

‘The Holten family's wealth is mine too.’

Ju-Heon's gaze turned vicious, no, cunning, as he thought about that.

As long as he could lessen the aura of the artifact, he would be able to use Irene’s wealth ability and destitution ability as well as the Holten household's wealth for his benefit.

Then Chairman Kwon’s company would really become like a stupid phone salesman company.

However, Irene must have understood Ju-Heon’s words differently as she looked toward Ju-Heon with an extremely relieved expression.

Yoo Jaeha soon asked a question.

"Doesn’t that mean we can’t go to Midas's tomb? I thought you said Irene must go there with us.”
“No. She can go. That is why I'm trying to meet with General Keira.”
“Excuse me?”
“It’s simple. I just need to destroy that woman’s map-type artifact.”

Irene and Yoo Jaeha were shocked by that statement.

‘What did he just say?’

Honestly speaking, this was not just for Irene. Ju-Heon was finding the Monarch of War’s map-type artifact to be annoying.

Why?

It was because map-type artifacts were too effective at monopolizing artifacts. They were artifacts that told the user the location of tombs and other artifacts! How useful.

However…

‘Only I deserve to know which tombs are where and what artifacts are inside.’

He regressed to the past with information about tombs so how could he allow others to use map-type artifacts to easily find that information out?

That was unacceptable.

He wouldn't let them do that.

‘That is why I need to destroy all of the Monarch of War's map-type artifacts.’

Ju-Heon started to smile wickedly as he thought about that.

He needed to meet with the Monarch of War to destroy those artifacts and had used Edward to meet with someone who was difficult to meet.

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