The light of dawn dispersed the darkness of the night as the Eastern Hemisphere began to wake. Some were already preparing to welcome the new day, while others found themselves still sunk in darkness. Ahn Geungan was one of them. He couldn’t walk out of the darkness that enveloped him.
His opponent’s popularity ranking surpassed his greatly in his run for office. If the situation continued, he would be more likely to collapse on the election stage than to see his campaign to the end. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the means to, but both his bank account and the Shinyeok Group were under surveillance. He couldn’t use the group’s money to him help run for office, and with the funds that he had, there was no chance for a comeback. It was an era where money was omnipotent, and progress without it was impossible.
Ahn Geungan felt that not being able to use his own money was the most ironic thing to ever happen in his life.
The light of dawn shone through his open window, and Ahn Geungan sat motionless in front of it. The cigarette in his hand had burnt out. A morning breeze whisked away the latter half of his cigarette from its butt, and it fell to the floor, crumbling to ash.
Ahn Geungan could hear footsteps coming from behind him, but he didn’t look back.
He felt a blanket being placed gently on his shoulders, and a woman’s voice rang in his ears. “You’ll get sick if you continue to be like this. Let go. You’ll feel better after letting go.”
“Let go? Hmph!” Ahn Geungan scoffed. “If I let go, will Suhyeong come back? If I let go, will my life be magically complete? I, Ahn Geungan, am not a man who is easily defeated!”
Seo Soojin sighed softly. “I went to Bongeunsa yesterday, where I had the fortune of talking with an enlightened Great Master. He said that holding on leads to hardship, while letting go brings happiness. What he said makes sense to me. We’ve done so much evil during our youth, so our son Suhyeong suffered our retribution. It’s time to let go and stop making more mistakes, or neither we nor our son will have better next lives due to our sins coming back to us.”
“So you’ve already forgiven the person who killed Suhyeong?” Ahn Geungan suddenly turned around to look at Seo Soojin.
Seo Soojin was silent for a bit before saying, “It was very difficult, but I no longer have hatred in my heart.”
“What would you do if he appeared in front of you?” asked Ahn Geungan.
“I’d ask him if he had any shame about it. I’d ask if he had any regrets. If his heart is still filled with hatred and evil, I would also advise him to let go,” said Seo Soojin.
“Why are you laughing?”
“My wife is taking refuge in religion. Tell me when you decide to be a nun, and I’ll personally put the robes on you.”
“This isn’t funny.”
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring...
A satellite phone rang, and its vibrating made the tea table shake. The phone kept ringing.
Ahn Geungan picked up the satellite phone. “It’s me.”
A man’s voice came over the line. “I’m here. Where are we meeting?”
“I’m waiting for you at home. Did you bring the things I asked for?”
“I did, but I’m warning you not to play any tricks. It’s still easy to kill you, even if you’re in Korea. You’d better think of what I have in my hands before you think of trying to pull anything against me. I can ruin you.”
“Hmph! I do want to kill you, but not right now!”
“True. The timing to make a kill is very important. You’d better not think of killing me, ever, in your lifetime. The moment you act on this thought, I’ll kill you first.”
The caller hung up after delivering this warning.
Ahn Geungan raised the phone high into the air, but did not to dash it to the ground.
“Geungan! W, was it that Xia Lei?” asked Seo Soojin.
Ahn Geungan neither confirmed nor denied it. He stayed silent.
“It was him, wasn’t it? It must be!”
Ahn Geungan suddenly stood up and threw away the blanket Seo Soojin had placed on him while shouting angrily, “So what if it was him? Keep your nose out of my matters, and keep your mouth shut!”
“So in order to become Korea’s President, you decided to cooperate with the devil?! Suhyeong will never forgive you!” Seo Soojin turned around and walked off.
“Where are you going?” bellowed Ahn Geungan. “Stop right there!”
Seo Soojin looked back at Ahn Geungan, her eyes filled with tears. “You think I’m going to expose you? I wouldn’t betray my husband, but I can never stay under the same roof as the person who killed my son! I’ll be living at the Bongeunsa in the meantime. I hope your dream of becoming president comes true!”
Seo Soojin left, and Ahn Geungan was left alone in the room.
Just a minute later, he picked up another phone and dialled a number. “Minghu, send two people to stop the ma’am, and send her to live at the Jeju Island villa. No one is to let her leave without my approval,” said Ahn Geungan.
Cui Minghu, the butler, replied. “Understood. I will do that now.”
“Also, have everyone come to where I am. A guest is arriving soon.”
“Bring them. Even if we aren’t going to use them, he needs to see my power.”
“Understood, I will do it right away.” Cui Minghu hung up.
The room sunk into silence again. Ahn Geungan stared out the window at the rising sun, totally expressionless. He stood quietly for a while before he left his room. He came to the living room to wait for his guest.
Two white bodyguards stood by the living room’s door, both with an ice-cold demeanor. They respectfully lowered their heads in a display of respect to Ahn Geungan as he walked by. They were retired Special Forces soldiers from America’s SEAL commando unit. They were already experienced, but also received professional bodyguard training. Each of them could take on ten opponents at once, and possessed all the qualities a professional bodyguard should have.
But it wasn’t just those two. Ever since Ahn Suhyeong died, Ahn Geungan had spent a small fortune in rebuilding his bodyguard troops. A large proportion of them were native Koreans, but he also recruited ten elite operatives from around the world. Some were retired American Special Forces soldiers like the two he just passed by, while others were experienced soldiers from other nationalities who had already retired. He had even acquired former agents from Russia. His initial motive for building his troops was for revenge, but even if he couldn’t have it at the moment, he could use them to demonstrate his strength. His guest would think twice before threatening him.
That guest was Xia Lei.
He hadn’t arrived yet, but the atmosphere had already turned tense.
Ahn Geungan came to the living room door, and watched the main door, waiting for the moment Xia Lei arrived.
Five minutes later, a flustered Cui Minghu appeared before Ahn Geungan’s eyes. He was jogging, and when he was almost within speaking distance of his boss, he fell on the ground like a dog pouncing at food. The floor might’ve been slippery, or perhaps he was simply too nervous.
Ahn Geungan furrowed his brow. “What are you so nervous about?”
“M, Master…” Cui Minghu was unable to his feet. “There’s a… a pr, problem.”
“What kind of problem?” Ahn Geungan’s expression became grim.
“Our, our people…” Cui Minghu exclaimed as he climbed to his feet, “They’ve all been put down!”
Ahn Geungan was shocked, and his anxiety built. His eyes swept across every place he could possibly see, but he saw nothing other than trees and buildings. He couldn’t even see any of his own people, much less Xia Lei or his men!
The Ahn Residence, which occupied hundreds of acres, suddenly sunk into a strange silence, like sundown in a cemetery.
“Master, let’s c, call the police!” said Cui Minghu.
Ahn Geungan abruptly walked up to Cui Minghu and struck him across the face. “Bastard! Have I raised a group of useless scum? Calling the police as soon as you run into any sort of small trouble?! If the police are so useful, why would I ever need you?!”
Cui Minghu held his face and dared not say another word.
Ahn Geungan suddenly turned around and faced the two American bodyguards by his side. “Why are you guys still standing here? Find out who’s responsible for this! Now!”
The two American bodyguards looked at each other but did not spring into action right away. Their main responsibility was to protect Ahn Geungan, and not to capture whoever was making the attack. A bodyguard’s duty was to protect their employer, but that same employer had now given them an order that was in conflict with their role.
“Master, you must have someone by your side to protect you. I, I’ll go…” Cui Minghu suddenly fell limply to the ground before he finished his sentence.
A tranquilizer dart stuck out of Cui Minghu’s back. The darts were custom made, from traditional blowgun instead of a normal gun.
The person attacking them was nearby, but no one had discovered him!
The two guards on either side of Ahn Geungan abruptly pulled out their guns. They were clearly experienced, and they raised their guns shortly after getting in position. The Americans searched for places where one could hide, and be ideal for an ambush.
The search hadn’t lasted for five seconds when two more darts suddenly flew out from a tree to the side. Each guard was struck cleanly in the neck by a dart with just 0.5 seconds between each shot. It was obvious that the darts were being shot out of a blowgun, but they had been shot at blinding speed!
One second later, the two Americans of great stature and sturdiness fell to the ground like polar bears.
The entire Ahn Residence was silent after this one second.
Ahn Geungan was the only one still conscious, and he could feel cold sweat on his brow and wetting his back. He had been planning to flaunt his military power off to Xia Lei only moments ago. But now, he suddenly discovered that troops he had amassed so proudly were no better than child soldiers in Xia Lei’s camp.
As Ahn Geungan panicked, kneeling on the ground, an Asian man jumped down from one of the building’s banyan trees. He held an emerald-green metal tube, and a dart he had not yet placed in the tube. He was expressionless but his eyes were terrifyingly cold.
The man was Xia Lei’s head soldier, and the Zodiac Team’s Tiger. He was E’er Demutu.
A golden-haired young woman also appeared from the bamboo forest, and walked towards Ahn Geungan. As she strolled over, Anh Geungan could hear her reporting into a walkie-talkie. “I’ve already tidied up, so you can come and chat with him now. Silence is guaranteed.”
Ahn Geungan was dumbstruck. The punk had made such a scene, all for a quiet environment to talk in?
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