Chapter 56: Chapter 55: Who Would Disturb a Sleeping Lion? Part I
“Hyung-nim! We found him!”
“You did what now?” Kim Jihan of the Hitman Guild asked, annoyed. He had been looking for any trace of Lee Jiwon all day to no avail. It annoyed him even more that he couldn’t put all of his resources in to the search and could only rely on his contacts.
“Lee Jiwon just passed by the Kaltz Hotel.”
“Are you sure?”
“OK. Continue watching him and report back to me. Don’t lose him again!” Kim Jihan’s face visibly relaxed when he heard his underling’s report. He quickly hung up and called his guild master.
“Guild master sir, it’s Kim Jihan.”
“Mm. Are you still on Lee Jiwon?”
“Are you keeping track of what he’s doing?”
“Yes sir. He checked in to a hotel last night and just came out.” Kim Jihan decided it would be best to lie that he didn’t lose him earlier that day.
“Do you think we can take him now?”
“Yes sir. I believe it should be possible.”
The Hitman Guild, Seoul’s only gangster guild, was the guild that had received Song Haechang’s request. Song Haechang wanted Lee Jiwon kidnapped, without any trace. They had to move quickly, as Lee Jiwon left few traces wherever he went.
“I’ll send a Specialist over. Quickly bring Lee Jiwon somewhere there aren’t any people around, away from prying eyes.”
“Yes sir, I understand!”
“Once he’s taken, use the Respawn Point item and set the point at the safe house.”
“There’s a fat reward waiting for us if we do this right. Make sure you don’t make any mistakes.”
“Don’t worry, sir. I’ll make sure everything is done professionally.”
“Good. I’ll meet you at the safe house later.” The guild master hung up.
“That could have gone worse. He’s sending a Specialist… this really must be important.” The guild master had five people in his inner circle that he used as Specialists. Each of them was someone powerful. This mission couldn’t be taken lightly if a Specialist was involved!
“I better prepare properly!”
I headed to Anton’s Store in Gangnam when I struck empty with the Gnosis Guild. On my way there, I passed the Kaltz Hotel.
“There’s nothing much I can do about the Gnosis Guild.” I wasn’t about to just wait a week for them while twiddling my thumbs. I could raise my level by at least a hundred!
“I might as well stop by Anton’s Store. I can finally learn a new skill and I should definitely get another ten slots of inventory.” I had a lot of shopping to do once I got to the Store.
I got a skill point when I passed level 50, and I wanted to get two more ten-slot inventories. I could get a twenty-slot instead, but if I did, I would go back to being poor. It was cheaper to get two ten-slots instead. Besides, I could always sell them back for more, later. Right now, I could buy a ten-slot for 80,000 golden rings with my discount and sell it back for 90,000. But then again, Anton would find out right away, and probably take away my VIP card. It probably wasn’t a good idea to abuse the 20% discount like that.
“I should also check out some equipment as well.” I had gotten used to the greatsword from using it all this time, but I still wanted a lance. Lances got more use out of AGI, anyway. My AGI was now much higher than my STR and would probably stay that way in the future.
“But I really need that one thing! If I have that, then I could safely reach the Seorak Mountain dungeon even if I run into the twin-horned griffon. I probably have about two more years to get it, but there should be a few on the auction house by now.” If I had that item, I could confidently go up against the swarm of griffons and the twin-horned griffon. Then again, even if I didn’t have the item yet, I could confidently make it to the dungeon while avoiding the griffon boss.
I passed by the Kaltz Hotel and headed towards Anton’s Store, while thinking about what I could buy there. I had more bounce in my steps this time than all of my other trips to the Store.
“Huh… looks like I have a tail.” I was only heading to the other side of Gangnam and there were a lot of other mortals and devas around, so I took my time walking. It would only take me about twenty minutes to get to the Store, so I had no reason to rush. But once I passed by the Kaltz Hotel, I sensed that something was off.
It felt like someone was watching and following me. At first, I chalked it up to that we were just taking a similar route, but after about ten minutes, I knew that it wasn’t a coincidence. This person had some sort of intention.
“I wonder who it is.” I didn’t look back and continued walking, while thinking of people that might want to follow me. But I couldn’t come up with anyone with enough reason to. I was asleep for four years. I had barely met anyone new since I woke up.
“Then it has to be someone from four years ago…” I kept thinking, but I couldn’t figure it out.
“Then why not meet them face to face?” If I couldn’t come up with the answer, I might as well get it out of them, since the person was going to keep following me.
I pretended as if nothing was wrong and headed towards two buildings standing close to one other and slipped into the alleyway between them.
“What should we do, hyung-nim?”
“What do you mean, what should you do? Follow him!” Kim Jihan wasn’t about to fail this time. The guild master’s Specialist was here, watching. Kim Jihan didn’t want to make a fool of himself.
“I doubt that that is his destination.”
“Then, do you think we knows we’re following him?” Kim Jihan carefully asked the Specialist. Kim Jihan didn’t know his name, and only called him ‘The Specialist’. He also knew how strong he was.
He was rumored to be over level 550. Anyone over level 500 right now was in the top 10%. There had been level 650-700 devas appearing now and then, but they were at a whole other level. No one could keep up with these guys and it was foolish to even think to try.
Anyone over level 500 was treated with the utmost respect. Kim Jihan was level 447 and was strong enough to not be pushed around, but he knew that the level 550 Specialist in front of him was someone who could get things done. He had to be careful around him.
“He might be onto us.”
“But didn’t the guild master say that he had been under for four years? He’s only level 32. There’s no way he has the ability to sniff us out. He’s basically a mortal, isn’t he?”
“There must be more to him. How many guys did you bring?” Kim Jihan just accepted the Specialist’s non-specific replies. He knew he was like that.
“We have about ten experienced guys waiting, since we’re supposed to kidnap him. We just need to call them and they’ll be here in five minutes.”
“Tell them to get ready.”
“What?” Kim Jihan asked the Specialist in surprise. He had worked with the Specialist three times before, but never before had the Specialist asked for help. He took care of everything by himself.
“Ah! Yes sir, right away.” Kim Jihan decided not to ask any more questions and dialed his phone.
“Today… is looking pretty bleak,” the Specialist quietly said to himself.
The grunt followed Lee Jiwon into the alleyway. The alleyway was narrow, only about a meter and a half wide and only about twenty meters long. He could see the other end of the alley.
“Huh?” As soon as he turned into the alley, he couldn’t see Lee Jiwon anywhere and ran down to the other end. When he got there, he looked around but could not find him. He quickly called Kim Jihan.
“I don’t see him here.”
“What? Are you sure you kept him in your sights?”
“I did! I followed him into the alleyway as soon as he turned into it.”
“Son of bitch! Wait right there!” Kim Jihan cursed before hanging up.
“How the hell did he get away again?” As Kim Jihan stormed over to where his underling was, he didn’t notice there was someone watching him from the roof of a nearby ten-story building.
“How did this idiot lose him again?”
“Leave it. Let’s go to where he lost the target,” the Specialist told Kim Jihan and headed towards the alleyway.
“I definitely saw him turn into this alleyway. I didn’t want to lose him again and quickly followed him in, but I couldn’t see him anywhere. I ran all the way to the other end and looked around, but I couldn’t find a single trace of him.”
“Is that all you have to say for yourself? You’re supposed to be a good at this! The Tracking skill is wasted on you, you son…”
“Silence!” The Specialist shut Kim Jihan up and investigated the other exit of the alley. He then looked up at the roof of the ten-story building. He met eyes with their target, and the Specialist knew right away what had happened.
“Today…isn’t going to be easy.”
I locked eyes with the man wearing a weird bandana and jumped down from the roof. I drew my greatsword from my inventory and rested the blade on my shoulder.
“I don’t think you guys are here for a friendly chat? Who the Hell are you all?” I got straight to the point.
“…” The bandana-wearing guy stayed silent.
“How did he jump off a ten-story building so quietly?” The guy that was chastising his underling dropped his jaw in shock.
Kim Jihan had some ability, and knew that most devas could make that jump. But he also knew that it was extremely difficult to land softly and quietly the way Lee Jiwon did. He knew that there were only two ways that was possible. Either he idiotically put all of his stats into his AGI, or that the rest of his stats were just as high and he was extremely powerful.
In Kim Jihan’s eyes, he saw Lee Jiwon as the latter.
“What is this? You don’t feel like answering?”
“Are you Lee Jiwon?”
“I am, but what do you want from me? I’m sure you knew who I was when you followed me here,” I replied to the bandana man.
“We need you to come with us.”
“Huh? Just like that? I don’t get a say in this?”
“If you don’t come with us, we’ll have to force you.”
“Do you really think that you can?” I brought the tip of my greatsword over my shoulder and slammed into the ground. I didn’t put a whole lot of power into it, but the tip cut the asphalt like butter and dug in ten centimeters into the ground.
“I don’t know. I’m asking myself that question. Unfortunately, I have my orders and only have my fate to blame.” The hooded man suddenly reached into his coat and took out small throwing knives, holding them in between his fingers, and threw them at me.
I could see that the six knives were aimed at my face, chest, stomach and thighs. I deflected the two that were aimed at my face, used the broad side of the sword to block the knives at my upper body, and moved so that my greatsword covered my body, dodging the knives at my legs. This all took less than a second.
“Attack him! Kim Jihan, call your ten guys over here, now!” the Specialist yelled to the grunt and Kim Jihan when his attack failed.
“What? Oh! Right away, sir!”
“Oh? So you guys have ten more guys, huh? I guess I don’t have time to waste.” I had already begun my attack. I planned to take out two of them and leave that Kim Jihan guy alive. It seemed to me that he had the most information.
“Damn it! You! Do as the Specialist says and call the others here! Ice Field!” Kim Jihan shouted out a skill after giving an order to his underling.
The ground I was standing was suddenly covered in a thin layer of ice.
“Heh!” I lifted my right leg past the knee and heel-kicked the ground. The ice field cracked into pieces like glass. The magic wore off and the ice quickly melted into water.
“Urk. So easily…”
I may have been a fire mage in the past, but knew enough about ice magic, as all magic followed the same principle.
Ice Field was a skill that covered the surrounding area and lowered the health, attack, and movement speed of anyone caught in it. Its weakness was that it took a while to completely form, and a strong attack could break it while it took effect. Of course, the cast and form speed differed on the caster’s level, skill level, and equipped items, but when it broke at my attack, I could tell that the spell wasn’t very strong.
Kim Jihan’s face paled when he saw me break his Ice Field easily.
“Focus! Our opponent is strong!” the Specialist yelled at Kim Jihan, who was standing still in shock.
As soon as the Ice Field broke, I charged at the Specialist. The Specialist threw more throwing knives while dodging backwards. Unfortunately for him, I could see exactly where they were aimed at. I deflected them all with a single swing of my sword and closed the distance between us.
“Block him. Use your magic!” the Specialist yelled at Kim Jihan, panicking as he couldn’t slow me down, no matter how many knives he threw at me.
“Multi Ice Arrow!” Kim Jihan began casting
“His feet! Aim for his feet! Slow him down!” the Specialist screamed.
I ignored the Ice Arrows forming behind me. I had to deal with this Specialist guy first. He was obviously the strongest of them!
I felt a slight pain as two Ice Arrows struck my back…