68 – vs. Seong Yura (Part 2)
“From the morning breeze, what on earth is going on…?”
The rooftop of the tactical training ground, where the brisk wind rustled through.
“…Jin Soyeon has been kidnapped?”
Yoo Seolhyun, her golden hair swept back behind her ears, looked at me, her eyes narrowing, Ami lying disheveled in her lap.
Four people gathered on this rooftop.
Me, Lee Siwoon, Yoo Seolhyun, and Roxanne.
Lee Siwoon and I roughly explained the situation so far.
Listening attentively, Yoo Seolhyun and Lee Siwoon seemed to realize that the current situation was far from favorable, furrowing their brows.
Kidnapping an academy trainee wasn’t usually a trivial matter.
Especially if it was someone you had known and interacted with in the same class.
“I’ve heard unsettling rumors about Seong Yura, but kidnapping? This could be quite troublesome.”
Perhaps because they were somewhat familiar with Seong Yura’s bad reputation, my explanation, which might sound awkward to others, was accepted without much suspicion.
“Yeah, anyway, we heard your story. Lee Jinhyuk.”
Suddenly, Yoo Seolhyun raised her head slowly.
With her fist propped up, she looked at me sideways.
“Why did you tell me this story?”
It’s not like I genuinely didn’t know.
I responded bluntly because it didn’t sit well with me.
Given Seolhyun’s perspective, my request to her could be quite awkward.
Yet, outright refusing in the current situation might be awkward as well, and she might be playing mind games for no reason.
“You and Lee Siwoon need my help, right? As you know, telling the police, instructors, or anyone else won’t be believed.”
It was truly regrettable, but I couldn’t rescue Soyeon, who had been kidnapped by Seong Yura, with my strength alone.
Not only me, but even someone with the strength of a high-ranker would likely be the same.
An individual cannot defeat an organization.
Even someone as skilled as Yudahee, if they were to intrude alone into the fortress of Sungyura, they would not escape death.
At this moment, not only is a direct confrontation out of the question, but even resorting to tricks is futile due to the significant lack of power. Assistance from people like Lee Siwoon and Yuseolhyun is urgently needed.
To be precise, it’s the power held by the SL Group and the Gaon Nuri Clan.
‘In games, almost everything is resolved by the strength of the protagonist’s party, but in reality, there’s no need to follow that, right?’
Originally, the reason I tried to become close to Lee Siwoon and Yuseolhyun was because they had a powerful background.
Within the top five fingers of the South Korean business hierarchy lies the SL Group, and one of the representative clans, the Gaon Nuri Clan.
How about that?
Doesn’t it make you feel secure just hearing about it?
Of course, Lee Siwoon and Yuseolhyun are not official successors, and they are still nothing more than trainees who cannot casually wield their family’s power.
However, at this moment, they could be of considerable help.
“Hmm. Should we discuss the plan first? Do you have any good ideas? I’m sure Sungyura won’t be easy to deal with. We can’t act recklessly while hostages are involved, right?”
I hesitated for a moment in response to Yuseolhyun’s question.
The plan, huh?
There is actually a simple plan.
Whether it will work or not is uncertain.
“Before talking about that, Sungyura sent coordinates. It seems like she wants us to come to the location indicated by these coordinates. It’s an abandoned building on the outskirts of Gyeonggi Province.”
“… An abandoned building?”
“I checked it on the satellite map.”
I continue my explanation.
“There’s probably a lot of traps set up.”
After discussing various things with Roxanne, it seems I have been mistaken in thinking that Sungyura is strong.
“I might not come alone, so there’s a high possibility she placed quite powerful individuals in multiple locations.”
“Are you saying Sungyura’s forces are scattered?”
I nodded at Siwoon’s words.
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“But even so, it’s useless if we don’t know Soyeon’s location.”
“Soyeon is probably in Sungyura’s mansion right now. The mansion is located in the middle of Hajung Mountain. The name is probably under someone else.”
“How do you know that, Lee Jinhyuk?”
“The location of the mansion is what I informed her about. We’ve been gathering various information about Seong Yura from our side for a while now.”
“And the reason Soyeon could be certain about the mansion was because of the location tracker.”
“…A location tracker?”
Ishiwoon frowned slightly as he looked at me.
The term “location tracker” didn’t seem to sit well with him. Well, considering the recent stalking incident, it wasn’t surprising.
Wait, does he also think Soyeon is a stalker?
“…Oh, don’t misunderstand. We installed it with Soyeon’s consent. It’s because of the incident at the academy some time ago.”
Come on. Can you please shift that gaze away?
“Anyway, now that we know the location of Seong Yura’s mansion and where Soyeon is being held hostage, all we need to do is rescue her.”
Ishiwoon threw a question as if he had no idea how to rescue Soyeon. Even if they were dispersed, Seong Yura’s forces would likely be waiting in abundance inside the mansion.
“Seong Yura’s large mansion has a few secret passages. By using these secret passages, we can easily infiltrate deep into the mansion.”
The so-called escape routes. There are several secret passages created to secretly exit the mansion in case of emergencies.
I remember them well from when we played the game.
During the first round, I didn’t know the location of the secret passage, so I played by defeating all the villains unnecessarily.
From the second round onwards, I used the secret passages freely, avoiding encounters with the villains and quietly targeting the boss room, as recalled from my vivid memories.
“If we successfully rescue Soyeon by infiltrating secretly, the members waiting outside will create a disturbance, taking advantage of the chaos to escape from Seong Yura’s forces.”
“…How did you find out there are secret passages?”
I could excuse myself to Yuseolhyun by saying, “I saw it through my future foresight ability,” but it wouldn’t work with Ishiwoon.
Now that I look at it, Roxanne also seemed to be looking at me with a slightly puzzled expression.
How do I explain this?
Well, do I really need to explain?
“I can’t tell you how I found out, including the existence of secret passages. It’s my bottom line.”
“Well, you don’t have to believe me. Even if you refuse to help because you find it suspicious, I’ll still go to rescue Soyeon.”
Isiwoon, you don’t even have any sharp skills.
There’s no need to bounce around when Soyeon is going to rescue her anyway.
You become quite reckless when Soyeon is in danger.
“Lee Jin-hyuk, I’ve heard the story, but even if you use a secret passage, it won’t be easy to rescue Soyeon safely, right? There must be Sung Yura’s forces inside.”
Even if they successfully infiltrate through a secret passage, there are many villains inside the mansion. With our current strength, we can’t reach Soyeon’s location without being noticed by other villains.
That’s why I’m asking for your help.
The power of Yoo Seol-hyun and Lee Si-woon’s households.
“So, that’s why I asked for your help.”
“Using the power of our households to help?”
“Bluntly speaking, yes.”
At my shameless words, Yoo Seol-hyun smirked for a moment.
She shook her head as if to say it’s unbelievable, and then slowly shifted her gaze to look into my eyes.
There was chilliness in her pupils.
“Sorry, but it seems a bit difficult.”
“Is that so?”
I wasn’t disappointed with Yoo Seol-hyun’s negative response. As Yoo Seol-hyun, there was no reason or merit for her to help. The responsibility she bears is not light enough for her to move easily just because a half-friend has been kidnapped.
“Well, I want to help too, but… the risk is too high.”
Yoo Seol-hyun lightly played with the tip of her hair.
“We can’t just send clan members into Sung Yura’s territory recklessly, and we can’t put clan members in danger easily. Just listening to your words won’t convince them.”
“Rescuing the kidnapped trainee is a good thing, but… it’s not our clan’s job. There’s no reason to convince clan members, no justification. It’s beyond my authority in the first place. Do you think Gaon Nuri clan members would see it as anything other than my personal matter?”
Yoo Seol-hyun is just a trainee.
She has no authority to move the members of the Gaon Nuri Clan as she pleases.
Especially in matters without proper justification or reason.
“…Of course, it’s not entirely impossible if I push it. There are factions that support me, and clan members who would lend a hand in such matters.”
She trails off before continuing.
“But there’s no return without considering the risk.”
This was a crucial issue.
“Even if I could convince the clan members and household with the prospect of gaining more than the losses, unnecessarily crossing paths with Sung Yura is problematic. If Sung Yura retaliates, it can become quite troublesome…”
“What if there’s enough gain and no worry about Sung Yura’s retaliation?”
“I know the illegal ledgers Sung Yura has kept, weaknesses of prominent figures involved in illicit deals, and the locations of hidden assets stashed away in some basement.”
I raise my voice a bit more.
“Pens, gold bars, opportunities to exploit the weaknesses of clans. Gaon Nuri should be able to handle it. Don’t you think?”
“The slush fund is substantial, so it should be quite lucrative.”
Unlike Lee Si-woon, Yoo Seol-hyun was skeptical without evidence but had gained a lot from me so far.
Believing in my ability as a future foresight holder, she had enough reason to trust my words.
And until now, Seol-hyun hadn’t suffered any losses by listening to me.
“I’m not asking for much, Seol-hyun. I’m not asking you to defeat the villains yourself. Just signal when rescuing So-yeon, draw the attention of the mansion guards. Make sure they can’t easily chase after us.”
Seol-hyun nods her head in contemplation.
“Are you sure about the ledgers and items that could be weaknesses for others… is that certain?”
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“Yeah, you know, it’s my ability.”
“But the risk is still significant.”
“I’m counting on you too, Seol-hyun.”
“Ha, even you? Geez, Jin So-yeon must be popular. Many guys are itching to save her like this.”
Seol-hyun nods in agreement, seeming to understand.
“If you all insist so much, I guess there’s no help for it.”
He picks and laughs as he speaks.
“But remember, securing the ledger and the items is the priority. Once we secure them, I’ll signal the clan members we had waiting outside the Seong Yu-ra Mansion.”
This time, I looked at Lee Si-woon.
“Si-woon, how about you?”
“I probably won’t be of much help.”
“If the family finds out I’m getting involved in this kind of thing, they’ll probably try to stop me.”
“Fair enough. I understand.”
“But there have been a few guards who have been watching over me since I was young. They’ll probably help without alerting the family. They’re skilled, too. Top-notch heroes.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
If they’re at the level of top-notch heroes, it would be a significant help.
“We may not be much, but we’ll do our best to help on our end.”
Suddenly, Roxanne approached.
Her blue eyes looked up at me.
They were clear and beautiful, like a transparent sea.
“That would be appreciated.”
“Now, since we have less than two hours left, let’s all get ready quickly.”
Ah, it would have been great to have Kang Dae-han at a time like this.
If it were Kang Dae-han, with the tough nature of the Kye family, once he decided to move, everyone would follow without question.
“Hoo. I’ll do my best for now, but I hope everything will be okay.”
If things went wrong before saving So-yeon, it could create a very tricky situation. Moreover, under Seong Yu-ra, there are many forces.
Even if the forces are currently scattered elsewhere, the security inside the mansion won’t be easy to deal with.
It would be nice if someone appeared to draw attention or reduce the forces a bit.
… But such luck probably won’t come, will it?
“Ah~ I kept moving all night… Is it here?”
The man, wearing a black hat and a tightly pressed mask, muttered while looking at the distant, large mansion.
“I don’t know why it kept detecting and not detecting, but I won’t let it slip anymore. Let’s put an end to it this time.”
The man tightly gripped the empty scabbard, swiftly moving towards the mansion.
“How much training are they giving to these damn dogs? Can’t they keep them quiet?”
Finally, the time had come to retrieve the lost sword.