Chapter 33: Chapter 32: Hyungjae Loans, Part I
I stored my orc greatsword in my inventory and came out of the Store.
It was definitely easier not having to carry around all my weapons and golden rings in my hands.
“I still have to go to Jeju Island and Busan, but I don’t have enough money.”
I could leave the trip to Japan until later, but I still needed to find the rest of the dungeons in Korea. To do that, though, I would need at least another hundred thousand won.
Sure I could utilize my super high STR, AGI and VIT to run around the country to find the dungeons. But that would be stupid and I wasn’t not going to use Korea’s fine methods of transportation.
“Do I… need to rob a bank, or something?” I muttered to myself as a strong breeze blew around me. As I tried to think of ways to quickly make some cash, a small, business card-like piece of paper flew at me and I instinctively reached out to grab it.
We specialize in one-day loans. We loan our help like a brother who will never leave your side. Pay us back daily, every three days, every five days, or once a week. Stop worrying and give us a call. Oh Hyungjae is at your side. Call Oh Hyungjae! 010-XXXX-XXXX.
It was a loan flyer you see everywhere.
These loan sharks were just parasites feeding on the misfortunes of their fellow citizens and neighbors.
“Wait… Oh Hyungjae?” That name sounded very familiar.
The flyer was worded to seem like it was five brothers running the stint, but as soon as I read it I knew it was someone’s name.
“Where have I heard that name before? I know this name from somewhere.” I stared at the flyer for a while.
“Ah. It’s that piece of garbage.”
I remembered as soon as I connected loan shark with Hyungjae Oh.
“Oh Hyungjae, the human trafficker!”
Seoul became one of the better places to live in after the Otadolon stage. Well, to be more exact, the best place to live was Gyeonggi Province in Seoul, which the Sunbin Guild had control over.
The Chungcheong region of Jeolla Province was the next best place to live in, because of the control disputes between the Sunbin Guild and the Ojin Guild. The absolute worst place to live in was Gyeonsang Province, where the Yung Gong Guild reigned.
Gangwon Province and the area around it basically belonged to the monsters.
Gyeonsang Province was where a man’s life was worth about as much as a fly and where the conceited Yung Gong Guild and its associates lived as kings.
Mortals and devas who had the misfortune of living in Gyeongsang Province were rounded up by the Yung Gong Guild and forced to work as slaves, whether by force, threatened, or being held hostage. Every day, the number of these unfortunate souls rose.
Yung Gong Guild members spent a lot of time training in their dungeon. They left the job of clearing their territory of field monsters to regular devas.
As the guild members focused solely on their own gains, they weren’t able to keep a close eye on the happenings of Gyeongsang Province, and soon the guild began losing its hold over its territory. Little by little, mortals and devas began escaping and the guild could do nothing to stop them.
All they had to do was treat everyone else better, but the guild had no intention of doing so.
Devas got it worse than the mortals.
While Yung Gong Guild members were off busy training in dungeons, non-guild devas were left with the duty of clearing Gyeonsang’s fields of monsters.
Guild members were the only ones who could enter dungeons to get the double experience and the extra items and golden rings. Non-guild devas were absolutely prohibited from entering dungeons and could only hunt field monsters to level up.
The Yung Gong Guild even held mortal families of devas hostage, forcing the devas to field hunt for the guild, all the while taking away any golden rings the devas earned during hunts. The guild also closely monitored what skills the devas would learn.
Their mortal families didn’t live comfortably, either.
They lived in Ulsan and Daegu, Gyeongsang’s larger and safer cities, and had to slave away at pig farms, cattle ranches, and crop farms.
The Yung Gong Guild had no intention of sharing the fruit of its labors with anyone. It had to have everything for itself. That was the Yung Gong Guild!
The sins and disgrace of the Yung Gong Guild were soon revealed by the devas and mortals that had managed to escape, but Jeolla’s Ojin Guild was adamant in taking no action.
The Ojin Guild barely managed to hold on to Jeolla Province and parts of Chungcheong in a territorial dispute with the other guild. Everyone knew that the two held an unofficial alliance that split Chungcheong as long as the Ojin Guild was allowed to hold on to the mid-grade dungeon on Jeju Island.
The reason I still favored the Sunbin Guild after my return was that the Sunbin Guild did not ignore those in need.
There were three guilds with the most influence in South Korea: Sunbin Guild of Seoul and Gyeonggi Province; Yung Gong Guild of Gyeongsang; Ojin Guild of Jeolla.
There were other established guilds in Chungcheong and Jeju Island, but the three guilds were so powerful that none of them ever became worth mentioning.
If the Sunbin Guild had a STR of 1, then the Yung Gong Guild had a STR of 0.6 and the Ojin Guild had a STR of 0.3. People everywhere had the same belief that the Sunbin Guild had to be stronger than the other two guilds.
Although the sense of patriotism had diminished over time, people knew that they were still citizens of South Korea and eventually, with pressure from the Sunbin Guild, the Yung Gong Guild began to accept people like me into their ranks.
It didn’t matter if the Yung Gong Guild was one of the three largest guilds of South Korea; in front of the might of the Sunbin Guild, the Yung Gong Guild promised to cease all of its previous inhumane and illegal acts against devas.
“If only it weren’t for the guys from Japan.”
There was an entity that interfered once the Sunbin Guild put on its pressure and force. That entity was the number one Guild in Japan, the Nayuta Guild.
The Nayuta Guild was rumored to be as strong as, if not stronger than, the Sunbin Guild.
With the Ojin Guild continuing its neutrality, the Sunbin Guild no longer could take on the Yung Gong Guild that now had support from the Nayuta Guild. It knew that trying to take the fight directly to them would be in vain.
The Sunbin Guild’s previous acts of force and pressure against the Yung Gong ended after a few fights with the appearance of the Nayuta Guild.
People all around Gyeonggi and Seoul condemned the Yung Gong Guild for accepting a foreign power, but their complaints fell on deaf ears.
Nayuta Guild’s intervention didn’t spark any large battles between the Sunbin Guild and the Yung Gong Guild, but after four months of confrontations, the status of the Yung Gong Guild’s situation began to leak and no one went near Gyeongsang.
Even residents of Ojin Guild’s territory avoided Gyeongsang Province.
“Soon, they ran out of people.”
There were always people escaping, no matter how hard the guild tried to stop them. With no one setting foot in its territory, the guild members could no longer focus on leveling themselves and had to focus on other things. Soon, a lot of problems surfaced for the Yung Gong Guild.
Even with support from the Nayuta Guild, the four-month long battle against the Sunbin Guild was becoming a final stand for the Yung Gong Guild.
The Yung Gong Guild had to pour all of its manpower and resources into stopping the Sunbin Guild from advancing. As a result, the Yung Gong guild could no longer efficiently monitor the persecuted devas and mortals. Soon, the devas and mortals made a great escape.
The Yung Gong Guild was fighting for its life against the Sunbin Guild and it could do nothing but watch it all happen. The guild didn’t have the manpower to recapture the escapees or bring in more prisoners.
After the four-month long battle, the guild no longer had slaves to do all its dirty work and the guild members lost all of their luxuries.
The guild members that used to comfortably train in dungeons now had to run around the fields, clearing field monsters. The families of the guild members that lived in luxury now had to work the farms and ranches.
All the Yung Gong Guild had to do was to change its policy and live like the rest of the mortals and devas. But of course, the guild didn’t.
Instead, the guild decided to start kidnapping others.
“The piece of garbage that was at the center of it all was Oh Hyungjae.”
Back when I hadn’t been a Deva for a long time and had a hard time trying to hunt with a kitchen knife, I had taken out a small loan from the Sunbin Guild so that I could learn a skill.
But there was another loaner that loaned out lower amounts at no interest to beginner devas; that loaner was Hyungjae Loans.
“If I hadn’t borrowed from the Sunbin Guild and instead borrowed from this guy, I probably would have been dragged to Busan. Ugh… just thinking about it sickens me.”
People soon learned of someone that gave out loans to beginner devas with no interest and was very friendly.
But the reason this guy was a real piece of trash was that he placed extremely short deadlines on the loans.
When someone couldn’t pay the loan on time, he would start threatening and harassing the loanee.
He would bait the loanee by saying that he knew of jobs that could help the loanee quickly pay the loan back or of a dungeon the loanee could use to earn golden rings and level up at the same time. Once the deadline was up, he would then start harassing the loanee about financial obligations, or start threatening the loanee’s family, etc.
He used different ways to harass and threaten, based on his targets.
He thoroughly knew the weaknesses of his targets, so they couldn’t freely ask for help from those around them.
This guy and his associates also knew how to avoid suspicion from any potential investigators. If someone with connections intervened, especially from the Sunbin Guild, they would act very friendly towards that person and offer to extend the deadline or increase the amount that person could borrow. It was how they managed to stay in business for so long.
They didn’t just kidnap devas; they targeted mortals as well!