Chapter 40: Chapter 39: Searching for the Country’s Last Dungeon, Part I
The next morning…
“I’ll have the abalone porridge, the grilled mackerel, the steamed pork, and the beef noodles.”
I requested a limo service from the hotel to take me around for the morning. It cost me 700,000 won. I had the driver take me to all of Jeju’s best restaurants. We left at 7 am and started with another 24-hour restaurant.
“Go ahead and help yourself. I want to go to more places after this.”
“Ah, yes. Of course, thank you.”
Chauffeur Park had worked as a limo driver for Kaltz Hotel for the past thirteeen years, but he had never met a client like this before. For one, he definitely wasn’t dressed like someone who could afford a limo service. Secondly, his whole itinerary for the day was very strange, indeed.
I have to get to the airport by 10:45 if I want to check in on time. It is 7 o’clock right now and I also want to go to as many of Jeju’s best restaurants as possible. Can you do it?
In his thirteen years as a driver, this was probably the weirdest reason anyone had requested a limo and been willing to pay 700,000 for the morning, not the whole day. But, it was nice! The client didn’t look down on Park for being just a chauffeur and requested they eat together. The client treated him respectfully.
“But… are you sure you’ll be okay? Can you really eat it all?” The client ate so much!
Park had never met anyone who could eat as much as this client. He ate like the competitive eaters Park had heard so much about.
“I’m fine. The food here is great! You said the next place has grilled cutlass fish, right?” the client replied as he shoveled more food into his mouth.
“Oh! Yes, it’s only about five minutes away, and makes the best grilled cutlass fish. Only the locals know about it.”
“Perfect. Let’s go now then.”
“What?” Park stared at the client, wide-eyed in surprise. He looked down at the dishes in front of the client. His eyes opened even more.
“When did you…?” He was sure that two or three minutes ago the dishes were piled with food, but now they were picked clean. There was not a scrap left on the plates!
Park had only had about three bites, but this was some sort of magic show!
“I see you’re the type to take their time eating.”
“Uh…” Before he worked at the hotel, Park had spent ten years as a cab driver and picked up the habit of eating quickly. People always told him to slow down, that he would get indigestion, but this was his first time hearing someone tell him that he ate slowly.
“We still have to go the cutlass fish place to go to…”
Park dropped his spoon and got up right away. This was already the fourth restaurant they’d been to and after eating a few dishes at the previous restaurants, he had been full for a while now.
He was more curious as to how much more the mysterious client could eat. After the client paid, Park drove the client to the final restaurant.
This time, Park didn’t touch his chopsticks and just watched the client eat. The sight drew him in.
Park never understood why there were so many cooking and food programs on TV. But today, he finally understood. He finally understood why those programs and eating shows were so popular!
It just drew him in. He looked around at the other tables and saw that all of the other customers were watching too.
The client didn’t eat messily or noisily. He actually had very nice table manners, which was why more and more eyes were watching him. It was like watching a work of art.
Park had lived on the island as a native for forty-five years, but had never met another islander who could pick a cutlass fish’s bones as cleanly as the client. The client skillfully tore the flesh off the bones without leaving anything behind. His speed never faltered, either.
The client would lightly stab at the fish with his chopsticks and the flesh just came off. It was so natural, it was like the fish was just taking off its clothes for him!
“Wow! It’s really good! I never knew cutlass fish was this good! Excuse me! I’d like to order two more, please.” The client just finished three servings in five minutes, but just ordered two more!… Park didn’t have the energy to be more surprised.
The world really is a large place, Park thought. The client was probably the world’s best competitive eater that Park had never heard about. He had to be famous for this!
After they finished, Park drove them to Jeju International. They were a little short on time, but Park managed to get them to the airport without any problems.
“Thank you for today. Here’s your tip.” The client took out three 50,000 won bills and handed them to Park.
Park returned to the hotel after dropping off the mystery client.
“Today’s been a weird day. Did I just get spirited away for a bit?”
“I feel pretty refreshed now,” I said to myself as I arrived at Gimhae Airport. It really was a great morning. I felt pretty lavish after stuffing myself.
“Alright! Let’s get to work once more!” I would have to treat dungeon seeking as a job for the time being.
“Mr. Lee Jiwon!” As I was about to leave the airport, I heard someone call my name and turned my head in the voice’s direction.
“Song Haein?” I recognized the voice’s owner instantly. Crazy Calf Song Haein!
With her was the man she called Secretary Kim.
“Nice to see you again, Mr. Lee Jiwon.”
“Ah..,yes.” I never expected to see Song Haein outside of Seoul, let alone here in Busan, and I could only reply awkwardly.
“What brings you to Busan?” I couldn’t piece together why Song Haein would be in Busan so I asked her directly.
“I’m here to meet you.”
“I’m sure you don’t want me beating around the bush so I’ll tell you straight. My grandfather, the chairman of the board of Sunbin Group, would like to meet you personally.”
“You mean Chairman Song Daechul?” How could I not know about Song Daechul!? Before the deva era, he was considered an elite and highly successful businessman. After he became a deva, he founded the Sunbin Guild and led it as its guild master!
That was Song Daechul!
“Yes. Ah! There is no ill intent, by any means. It’s just that I mentioned our encounter to my grandfather, and he seems curious about you. I admit, we did investigate your background a little bit, but we’re not out to harm you in any way.”
“Huh!” To be honest, I wasn’t offended at all.
This was Song Daechul we were talking about. He was known to be very just and kind, and understood hardships. It definitely wasn’t going to be a waste of time to meet him once.
“You don’t have to be burdened at all. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to,” Song Haein quickly added when she saw that I might be worried.
“Ok, I’ll go.”
“Yes. But, I’ll go to see him. I won’t take more than a week.”
I was already here in Busan and I wanted to find the low-grade dungeon first. It was the last dungeon for me to find in South Korea, and I didn’t want it gnawing at the back of my mind.
“I understand. Here’s my business card. Feel free to contact me at any time.” She handed her business card to me.
The card had her name and her title, Sunbin Group’s Strategic Planning Team Leader. After that, Song Haein and I exchanged a few more words before separating.
“Song Haein and Chairman Song Daechul…” Sunbin Group, no, the soon-to-be-born Sunbin Guild, came forcefully to mind.
“The Sunbin Guild really is a dependable entity.” I didn’t have its generosity, or its amiability.
During those eleven years, I knew how hard it was to live in that world. I received help from the guild, too. But, to ask me to help others like that…to be honest, I wasn’t confident.
I was extremely normal. I had to take care of myself and would rather spend the time on my growth rather than help anyone else. I would never take away someone’s hard work ,but I wasn’t going to give anything of mine to anyone else.
“But I absolutely must prevent Eulsukdo’s dungeon from falling into the Yung Gong Guild’s hands.” To be honest, my mentality was that I didn’t want to make the effort, but wanted someone else to do it for me.
“Damn…I really am selfish,” I scoffed at myself. Still, I didn’t hate myself or feel guilty about it. I already had that moment.
I wanted to get stronger before anyone else, and I didn’t want to share my treasures with anyone else. I came first. Then I would think about everyone else.
“Still, I have to give props to the Sunbin Guild. There wasn’t anyone or anything that was as generous as the guild back then. Everyone was busy looking out for themselves… or busy stealing from others.”
The Yung Gong Guild was the prime example. The Ojin Guild wasn’t as bad as the Yung Gong Guild, but the Ojin Guild didn’t exactly pursue hardship. No matter how I thought about it, the Sunbin Guild was pretty great.
“Fine. If someone of that caliber wants to meet me, then I should meet him. If they need help, then I should at least point them in the right direction.” I wasn’t some psycho looking to throw someone in need under the bus. If I could help them without having to do too much, then I had every intention to.
“Alright. Let’s find this dungeon in one week, no matter what.” I promised them one week, but I didn’t want our first professional meeting to get awkward. I quickly hailed a cab and headed towards Eulsukdo Island.
“Damn, it’s big.” I stood on Eulsukdo’s North End bridge and looked down around me.
“Let’s see here. It’s 2,700,000 square meters, as big as 380 soccer fields…” I read through an Eulsukdo tourist pamphlet that I had picked up earlier.
“I know I promised them a week, but if I give myself a day to get back to Seoul and prepare for the meeting, I have six days to find the dungeon. That means about sixty-four soccer fields a day.” It didn’t seem that daunting. It actually seemed doable.
“Meh! I’ll just make it an even one hundred a day. It’s a bit late today, so I’ll do eighty.” It was a few minutes past one in the afternoon.
I punched the air every four meters as I ran around the town.
“It’s only because dungeon entrances are massive that I can go around like this. If they were smaller…yeesh.” The repetitive actions were boring, but they didn’t tire me out.
The open space of the town made it easier to cover more ground and allowed me to work faster…
As I sprinted around while punching, I covered about a third of the island by eight PM.
“What the? I already covered thirty percent? If I’m lucky, I can find the dungeon by tomorrow.” I wondered if promising one week was too long.
“No! I shouldn’t be too hasty with this.” I could have worked through the night without any problems, but I still had tomorrow and the day after. I decided to leave the island and booked a hotel room in the nearby Saha District.
“I’m using hotels more than I ever had in my past life!”
The next morning…
I had already pigged out so much back in Jeju, i decided to ONLY have a small breakfast at the hotel before leaving.
“Alright! I’ll work with the mindset that I’ll find it within the day!”
I continued my repetitive punching as yesterday.
“Nice!” I think it took about four hours. I found it some distance from Eulsukdo University. It sounded so much more pleasant than before.
Ting! Ting! Ting!
I pounded the shield spell as if I were playing on the piano, until it gave way with a great crack.
[Low-grade Dungeon 144 has been discovered.
Congratulations, You have discovered a low-grade dungeon! You will be given your bonus!
All stats will be increased by 5 points.]
[You have the special, Dungeon Seeker. You will be granted 1 point for discovering a low-grade dungeon. You will receive a bonus every 10 points.
Low-grade dungeon: 1 point
Mid-grade dungeon: 2 points
High-grade dungeon: 3 points
Current points: 6 points]
The two messages appeared, one after the other.
“Hahahaha!” I was proud of myself; I had completed one of my own quests I set out to conquer!