Necromancer Survival
Chapter 119

Chapter 119

[Are you in a lot of pain?]

[Gasp… N-no… I-I’m fine…]

[I dropped by since I had something to ask you. Look at this photograph carefully. Apparently, he was in our guild–Park Hoseok, I mean.]

[Ah……]

When Koo Kyungman hesitated to answer, we could hear something that sounded like the dull thud of a blow. Did Koo Hui-seo hit his brother? However, it didn’t sound like ordinary violence. If one listened carefully, you could hear the sound of something being squeezed, like liquid squeezing itself through a too-small pipe–as if something was about to be cut off. This was followed by a long, ominous silence.

After about 10 seconds, there was a scream and an imploring voice, as if someone was seizing.

[I’ll ssppeak! Hyu..ng… Ple–ase…! P-please! Hnngk! Nghh….! I’ll sa–ay everything…! Please! No more….]

It sounded like he was both crying and laughing, but either way he was desperately begging relief for whatever torture he was suffering. Listening to his speech, I had briefly thought Koo Kyungman had perhaps damaged his teeth or was perhaps speaking through a gag, but there was no particular reason to voice that thought.

Afterwards, Koo Hui-seo did not do more to further urge his brother, but Koo Kyungman quickly spoke as if he were on the run.

[Dwuring… Wed Lo’us…]

[During Red Lotus?]

[Yes…]

[You’re talking about the annihilation of the Red Lotus guild?]

[Y-yes…]

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[Park Hoseok helped you then? The whole execution must have been conducted in such a secretive manner, though.]

[H-hoseokie… Hoseokie was…b-because ub mee… He was able…to marry…]

[Hmmm… By the way, how did you come to be so intimate with this Park Hoseok person?]

[H-he had been…borrowing…money… fwom me….]

[He borrowed money?

[Y-yess…]

[And then?]

[H-he couldn’t repay… Later in–stead… he said there was…some–one else…who cud repay…on his behaf…]

To summarize Koo Kyungman’s stuttered slurs, Park Hoseok had invested a lot of money into buying items and skill books in the hopes of becoming stronger as fast as possible.

However, the only way for Park Hoseok, a man in his late 20s from an ordinary family, to buy the items that caught his eye was through loans. Even though he thought it was a dangerous deal, he was forced to use the private loan service at the Red Dragon guild. To make matters worse, he had to waste time recuperating in a hospital after an accident while recklessly making his way through dungeons. The living expenses incurred during that time also added to his remaining debt.

The [Red Dragon] guild, even before hubs and dungeons, was a loan shark agency run by gangsters, so they had no mercy on those who could not repay their loans.

Eventually, Park Hoseok, who was dragged to the [Red Dragon] guild headquarters on the day of his discharge from the hospital, revealed that his acquaintance was in possession of [Gae Bolg] in a desperate bid to save his own life. Koo Kyungman, who happened to be at the collection site 1 showed interest in this info and offered to clear his debt if Park Hoseok could bring that weapon to him within a week.

[Th-thwee days… he managed to bwing it…]

[He managed to bring it to you in three days?]

[Y-yes…]

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[And since then he’s been your man?]

[I t-thought he’d b-be… a u-useful gu–uy so… ]

Since then, as Koo Kyungman said, the former guild leader had been literally using Park Hoseok like a dog; Koo Kyungman had been advised by the [Red Dragon] guild’s legal counsel to run all illegal activities through Park Hoseok. In the event of legal issues, Park Hoseok would become the chosen scapegoat that would shoulder all of Koo Kyungman’s blame.

Though Park Hoseok was definitely aware of that fact, he surrendered to the money Koo Kyungman provided. It was under that same context that Park Hoseok was given an exceptional promotion to become a [Red Dragon] guild executive. He buried his head in the sand like an ostrich and was made into a scarecrow–a puppet boss. 2

[Then, how did Park Hoseok transfer over to HaHae as its deputy guildmaster?]

[…I was suspicious… of B-bae Jaemin…]

[So, you sent him to be a spy?]

[Ye–es… B-but, lately… I… haven’t been able to… con–tact him…]

He said that recently he had doubts about HaHae’s current direction and camouflaged Park Hoseok as a loyal entourage to Bae Jaemin; however, it seemed like the dog wanted to cut off his leash.

Through this conversation, we had not only uncovered Park Hoseok’s ugly past but had also found out that while the amount of revenge targets may be numerous–there were plenty of holes and they were not infallible. It may have seemed like they shared a close relationship as comrades when they gathered together to defeat the Red Lotus, but, in the end, they were intertwined in their own interests and could not trust each other fully. If we dug into these weaknesses, wouldn’t we be able to destroy their bonds with little effort?

While I thought about the possibilities for a while, Seo Dawon pressed the stop button on the audio file. There were about 10 minutes left, but he must have judged that the remaining content was not worth listening to. “Actually, he sent this as a video, but–in my opinion–I thought it was too provocative so I changed it into an audio file.”

“Ah…”

“And, after this, hmm…Well, Koo Hui-seo is just ‘confirming’ the information he received, so there’s not much to get out of it.”

He meant that it showed something I wouldn’t want to see. I nodded my confirmation.

In fact, I had exhausted half my energy today just by listening to this conversation, so I was glad that he stopped at that point. If I continued to listen to Koo Kyungman’s clumsy slurs and the resulting torture… I felt sorry just thinking about it.

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Regardless of my complicated feelings, Kim Olim turned to me and explained, “So, I learned the address of the villa where Park Hoseok spends every vacation with his family. Next time he goes, we should take care of him there. I think it’d be a good chance to grab [Gae Bolg] as well.”

“It just so happens that he’s going at the end of this month–just two weeks away.” Jung Garam murmured excitedly.

Flustered by the fast pace, I responded, “In two weeks?”

Seo Dawon reassured me with a smile, “The dog who had, as time went by, been searching for the opportunity to escape must be feeling rising hope now that his owner’s disappeared. Now is the time Park Hoseok will be the most deluded. We’ll have a chance of victory to catch him off guard before he wakes up from his dream.”

Hearing that, the worry that things were happening too quickly disappeared. At that time, Park Hoseok, who was usually quite cautious, will be most careless.

Park Hoseok wasn’t a fool after all–he must have known that he had no future with Koo Kyungman. Furthermore, he had all that he wanted in the palms of his hands now. Because of Koo Kyungman, he got enough money to marry his long-cherished lover, but, in the end, he probably would have gone to jail or be killed for the sake of burying Koo Kyungman’s secrets.

Only then did I realize why Park Hoseok was so obsessed with his own safety: he was wary of Koo Kyungman. Then, at his owner’s command, he infiltrated Bae Jaemin’s entourage; when he was finally able to breathe, he would finally have the space to plot how to run away and escape Koo Kyungman’s eyes. “Is that why he was trying to cut off contact and organize his affairs when he infiltrated HaHae?”

“That’s right. Since he was free from being a laundering machine, he would’ve wanted a fresh start.”

“But, couldn’t Bae Jaemin already know of Park Hoseok’s identity and position? Or maybe Park Hoseok told Bae Jaemin…”

“Park Hoseok isn’t a fool. If one reveals themself and asks for protection, then all that will happen is that the name of the owner on the collar changes. It’s far from the genuine freedom he desires.”

“Ahhh…”

“In addition, if Park Hoseok hadn’t revealed his identity as a spy, then Bae Jaemin would have discovered that fact later. But, seeing how he has maintained his position in HaHae thus far, I think it’s possible that Bae Jaemin doesn’t know the truth.” Seo Dawon explained that a deputy guildmaster would exercise full authority during the guildmaster’s absence. If Bae Jaemin knew Park Hoseok was a spy for the [Red Dragon] guild, then he would never have been given that seat.

Of course, since there were often several deputy guildmasters, a guildmaster’s absence does not freely allow them to wield full power immediately. That still wasn’t a position to leave to a suspected spy.

TL: Heyo~ Thanks for being patient. Today will be a bit of a mass upload day (not for this novel though, I’ll be uploading a long chapter for another game-like novel I tl). This is what I do when students don’t come to office hours T_T

Whenever I forget about what happened to Koo Kyungman, I’m rudely reminded of his fate.

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Necromancer Survival Chapter 119
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