Chapter 161: Chapter 160: I Heard You Were Looking For Duck Duck, Part II
“Do you think it’s true that the Yung Gong Guild is doing all that because they’re being supported by the Nayuta Guild and the Cheng Long Guild?”
“I don’t know, but I heard those rumors as well.”
“I’m 100% positive. Think about it! Would the Yung Gong Guild even think about pulling that shit if they weren’t supported by the other two guilds?”
“Well, you’re not wrong.”
“Then does that mean the three guilds have formed an alliance against the Sunbin Guild?”
“Yeah, right. I doubt they’re stupid enough to actually try that.”
“Exactly. They may be three powerful guilds, but they’ll end up with considerable losses if they try to outright challenge the Sunbin Guild to a full-scale war. It won’t be a short conflict, either.”
“That’s why people are saying that there isn’t anyone directly related to the foreign guilds working with the Yung Gong Guild; they’re all mercenaries paid for by the foreign guilds. But it’s not like no one knows it’s not them by this point.”
“They’re just poking around to see what sort of reaction the Sunbin Guild will take.”
“I don’t really like the Sunbin Guild all that much, but if they get pushed back by Japan and China…”
“Don’t worry. Wars between large guilds don’t break out that easily, especially when they have so much at stake.”
I got the gist of what was going on as I overheard the conversations around me, but something was off.
-The Yung Gong Guild is getting support from both Nayuta and Cheng Long?-
It wasn’t weird to hear about the Nayuta Guild now. It was around this time in the past when the Yung Gong Guild had allied itself with Nayuta. What I didn’t get was the Cheng Long Guild. That guild and Nayuta weren’t exactly on good terms. Hell, Sunbin, Cheng Long, and Nayuta really didn’t like each other very much.
-Well, that’s not important to me right now.-
I used both Blinks to get on top of the rooftops and quickly headed for the Gnosis Guild’s headquarters.
Outside the Gnosis Guild’s headquarters in Yeouido…
Alpha and the same four people were waiting for me outside their building. I calmly walked towards them. I acted as if the request I gave them wasn’t that important to me.
I regretted acting so emotionally when I put in the request as we talked about Lee Kangchan. I was sure they noticed it and they must have looked into what my relationship with Lee Kangchan was, or how I knew about him. They wouldn’t find anything, of course.
Either way, I made sure to put on my best poker face. They didn’t need to know why I was after him.
“Hello, Mr. Lee.”
“It’s been a while.” I shook Alpha’s outstretched hand.
“I apologize it took us a while to complete your request. We should have had it ready sooner. It seems we’re still lacking.”
“That’s alright. I don’t mind as long as the intel is good.”
“Thank you for understanding. Now then, shall we head inside and talk over a cup of tea?” Alpha was obviously fishing to see how badly I wanted the intel. He was acting as if he was trying to lure a boar into a trap.
“Sure,” I replied calmly, while looking right in Alpha’s eyes. I followed Alpha and his comrades inside to their parlor. There, Alpha handed me a cup of coffee and a not-too-thick folder.
“This is everything we gathered on Lee Kangchan.”
“Thank you.” I picked up my coffee first and took a sip.
“Also…” One of the women spoke up. I think her name was Lim Gina.
“What is it?”
“That report includes something else we uncovered during our investigation. All I can say is that it’s 100% true and should it turn out that it is false, the Gnosis Guild will shut its doors.”
“…” I didn’t understand what she was saying. Whatever they did, they could end up overstepping their boundaries and end up digging their own graves.
“You can think of it as part of our goodwill.”
“Okay, I’ll leave it at that for now. Thank you.” I didn’t know what this additional information was about, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. If I didn’t need it, I could always throw it away later. “Then how much do I owe you?”
“It was tough since we only had a name to start with. It’ll cost you…1 golden ring.”
That couldn’t be right. I stared at Alpha, but it didn’t seem like he was joking around.
“It may have been difficult, but we did take much longer than promised. Think of it as a small gift.”
“But I should still pay you properly for services provided.” I was still rich enough. I had spent most of my money on leveling up the Damage Link Totem, but I still had about 300,000,000 golden rings left.
“1 golden ring really is enough. We would just like to keep a good relationship with you, Mr. Lee. If we take any more, then all of our plans will fall through,” Alpha replied nonchalantly.
“I understand,” I said, nodding. I could tell they had some ulterior motives, but should they come at me with some weird favor, I could always turn them down. I had the authority to.
I bid the Gnosis Guild members farewell and left the building.
After Lee Jiwon left the Han Dong building…
“What do you think will happen now?”
“I’m not sure. This is his real mother we’re talking about. She didn’t exist in his entire life until now.”
“It’ll obviously be one of two things: he’ll either disavow her, or accept her. The die is cast; all we can do is wait and watch.”
No matter how deep they dug, they couldn’t find out what connected Lee Jiwon and Lee Kangchan. The two had never crossed paths before, so the problem lay with Lee Jiwon. That was why they dug deeper into his life. There had to be something if they took Lee Jiwon’s reactions into account. However, all they could find was his biological mother, even though the two were practically strangers. No, they really were strangers!
“Anyway, where is Lee Kangchan now?”
“Over at the Yung Gong Guild.”
“He’s been very busy kissing up to the Yung Gong Guild after offering more than half of his family’s power,” X said.
“Tsk tsk tsk. Fool.” Alpha clicked his tongue. “How likely will it be for Lee Jiwon to put a stop to the Yung Gong Guild’s bullshit?”
“That I don’t know. All Lee Jiwon cares about right now is Lee Kangchan. That will only change if the Sunbin Guild brings him into it first.”
“How Lee Jiwon feels towards the Yung Gong Guild is important, too. Then again, if we take Lee Jiwon’s tendencies into account, I doubt he likes them very much.”
“Tendencies, my ass. You all already know. Duck Duck.”
“Of course we know. How could we forget?”
“Either way, if Lee Jiwon gets involved… things are going to get interesting.”
“Let’s keep watching him for now.”
“No, don’t. It’s too risky. Clairvoyance won’t work, either, since he still has Stop Watching Me,” Jay reminded him.
“I know. I’m saying we watch from a distance and through the people around him.”
“Fine, I get it.”
I booked a room at the hotel I stayed at every time I was in Seoul to quietly pore over the report.
This first page had a picture of the same Lee Kangchan I knew. “Found you.”
I carefully read through the report while asking the same question as ever to myself: Why did he do that to me? I always wondered if there was some specific reason he had singled me out. Did I hurt someone of his family, or did a distant relative of mine wrong him? I pored over every single word, but I found nothing that could explain his intentions.
“Was I just unlucky and got bit by a rabid hound?” There were a lot of crazy people in the old world and there seemed to be even more in the new world. “If that’s the case, then corporal punishment is the only answer for him.”
As I flipped to the next page, I saw a picture of a woman, and it also indicated her age.
-Is this it?-
I turned the page, thinking she was Lee Kangchan’s mother or something. I doubted I would ever resort to targeting his family just for the sake of revenge.
However, my hand started to shake as I read through the information on the next page. “This…this can’t be right.” It didn’t make sense. I was an orphan for as long as I could remember.
The thought that the Gnosis Guild was playing a prank on me crossed my mind, but they weren’t the type of people to do that. That was just stupid.
Were they trying to make me their enemy? They’d be crazy to do that…
I turned the page, still trembling. The request was for Lee Kangchan, but this report was more detailed than his. I closed the folder and tossed on the table in front of me.
“Ha…” I let out a heavy sigh. I wasn’t ready to believe everything in the report, nor was I going to head straight for Lee Kangchan after learning more about him. If I was going to properly get revenge, I had to bide my time and wait for the right moment.
However, a voice in the back of my head told me that everything I had read was true. The report was that detailed. They had obviously double-checked and triple-checked their sources before putting it together.
I stood straight up. I could ignore it. My real mom? What did that matter now, of all times? If she was living a decent life, I could ignore her…but I couldn’t. She wasn’t living a decent life. She was beginning to bother me more than Lee Kangchan.
“I’ll go. I’ll go and see for myself.” I couldn’t leave this unanswered now. I had to find the truth out for myself. I also couldn’t leave her in the service of his family. My pride wouldn’t allow that. I left the hotel and headed straight for Chuncheong Province, where Lee Kangchan’s family and the woman who was supposed to be my mother were living.
Meanwhile, at the Sunbin Guild’s headquarters…
“Hmm…” Song Daechul was sitting in at the table in the conference room, deep in thought. “How many men did Cheng Long and Nayuta send over?” he asked his officers.
“We’ve confirmed at least 10,000 from each guild.”
“How tricky.” Those three guilds probably still didn’t have enough soldiers to face against the Sunbin Guild properly.
“We believe that Cheng Long and Nayuta sent over mercenaries to use the Yung Gong Guild to get a rise out of us.”
“Tsk. How annoying.” There were too many to ignore, but the Sunbin Guild couldn’t afford to fully retaliate against 20,000+ soldiers. It didn’t matter how others played it off; the Sunbin Guild was still facing an alliance of three powerful guilds.
“So, what is that they want?”
“They’re demanding we yield the mid-grade dungeon in Jeju Island and control over Gangnam, Seoul.”
“Hah…crazy bastard.” Song Daechul could have been willing to give up the dungeon in Jeju Island, but he could not hand over Seoul, especially since Store 72 was there. Seoul was the Sunbin Guild’s home.
“And if we say no?”
“Then they’ll continue their harassment.”
“Moronic bastards. They know they’re being used; have they no pride? What did the Intelligence Division come up with?”
“…” The officers fell silent for a moment. Song Daechul asked the question they had been dreading.
“Master, there are many eyes watching the Sunbin Guild. We must take caution…”
“There’s a limit to how careful we have to be,” Song Daechul cut his officer off.
“But there’s so much at stake for us to launch a full-scale war. And if Cheng Long and Nayuta join in…of course, I’m not saying we have any reason to be afraid.”
“Tsk.” Song Daechul clicked his tongue at Song Myungsoo’s sensible response. Song Myungsoo wasn’t wrong, but there were times when they had to come out strong. Should they continue to appear weak, the enemy could easily take advantage of them.
“Three days. You all have three days to come up with a solution. Do it, as officers of the Sunbin Guild!”
Song Haechang was at the meeting, as well. He had come back from his intense training, as the fate of his guild now rest on the balance. It was then Song Haechang remembered Duck Duck.
He remembered how the Yung Gong Guild had relentlessly searched for this mysterious person. Most people knew by now who that person was, and the Yung Gong Guild should know as well; Duck Duck could only be none other than Lee Jiwon.
-Wait…maybe they really don’t know!-