“It is indeed you.”
The man sitting in the car confirmed that the person turning around to face him was Jin-Woo, and stepped out of the vehicle right away. As it turned out, he was actually quite a familiar face to Jin-Woo, as well.
Heck, he didn’t even need to dig through his memories to recall this man’s name, either. Because this man appeared almost non-stop in South Korea’s financial news segments. Not to mention, he was also ‘familiar’ to Jin-Woo in another meaning of the word, as well.
“I’m Yu Myung-Han from Yujin Construction. It’s a pleasure, Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim.”
Yu Myung-Han’s back remained straight as he lightly lowered his head.
It was a greeting neither disrespectful nor lacking in confidence.
As if he had learned that this was how to greet someone properly, his action was tidy and disciplined. Jin-Woo was inwardly taken by surprise.
It was because he didn’t expect a chairman of a huge corporation to greet a total stranger like himself in such a dignified manner.
Since the other party came out so dignified and respectful, Jin-Woo also returned a dignified greeting.
“I’m Seong Jin-Woo. It’s also a pleasure.”
After their brief introductions were over, Yu Myung-Han got right down to the topic.
“I apologise for coming to see you without prior communication, but if it’s alright with you, can we speak in private?”
A small suspicion brushed past Jin-Woo’s brain just then.
‘If he wants to see me….’
It’d have been more convenient for the Chairman to contact Jin-Woo through his son rather than personally showing up here. Yet, why did Yu Myung-Han choose to come all the way out here at the cost of his valuable time?
Jin-Woo swallowed back such suspicions forming in his mind and asked something else.
“What can I help you with?”
Yu Myung-Han replied with an apologetic face implying that he had no choice but to do it this way.
“It is regarding a topic that’s difficult to discuss here.”
Now that Jin-Woo took a look around, he could see that, although no one recognised him in his current get-up of a comfortable tracksuit with a hood pulled up, several curious stares were rapidly landing on Chairman Yu Myung-Han.
There were a fair few passersby on the streets, so indeed, it was not possible to discuss something important in a place like this one. Jin-Woo understood that point very well.
The only problem was….
‘….I don’t have any important business to discuss with Chairman Yu Myung-Han.’
He couldn’t even take a wild guess here.
If he were to really, really think about it, then maybe, something to do with the Chairman’s second son and the Vice-Master of the Ah-Jin Guild, Yu Jin-Ho?
While Jin-Woo’s reply got delayed, more and more people began looking at Yu Myung-Han now. Some even pulled out their smartphones to take snapshots as well.
The Chairman began feeling a bit more urgent compared to before, as more and more eyes were being directed in his way.
‘If I miss this opportunity, it’ll only become harder to converse with him.’
He had a very good reason why he needed to speak to Jin-Woo. So, he worked up his courage and asked for this favour.
“Seong Hunter-nim. If it’s not too much trouble, would you like to accompany me for a little while? I promise that I’ll never speak about a disrespectful subject.”
Jin-Woo took a look behind him first.
He spotted Yu Jin-Ho’s happy, no, ‘troubled’ mug as the kid was surrounded by the extreme levels of interest from the reporters. Jin-Woo hurriedly swallowed back his laughter once more.
‘Looks like Jin-Ho will be preoccupied for the rest of the day, then.’
Since he had been monopolising high-ranking Gates lately thanks to the consideration of other major Guilds, he thought that now might be a good time to take a break from going on raids for a while.
Jin-Woo nodded his head.
Chairman Yu Myung-Han bowed slightly and, as if he was treating a super VIP, he even opened the rear door of the car for Jin-Woo.
“Please, get in.”
Jin-Woo climbed aboard first, and the Chairman actually went around to the other side to enter the back seat next to him. The car was so big that even with two well-built men sitting on the back seat, there was still plenty of space left.
Before the car started, though, Jin-Woo asked first.
“Where are we going?”
“We haven’t decided on a destination. Is there a place you’d like to go to, Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim….?”
Jin-Woo shook his head, prompting the Chairman to give the signal to his chauffeur. He then looked back at his guest.
“I know of a place where we can chat without worrying about the interruptions from other people. Allow me to take you there.”
Jin-Woo leaned against the back of the seat. Maybe because this was a really expensive car, the suppleness of the cushions was indescribably amazing.
The car glided forward without making any noise and eventually, they arrived in their destination.
“We’re here, Hunter-nim.”
The chauffeur walked over to open the Chairman’s door, but Yu Myung-Han shook his head, prompting the former to approach Jin-Woo’s door, instead. He then opened it for the youth.
Jin-Woo stepped out of the vehicle and looked up at the tall, tall skyscraper in front.
‘So, this is where we can converse without worrying about others, is it…?’
As Jin-Woo stood there utterly speechless, a group of attendants suddenly came rushing out of the building to surround him and bowed their waists 90 degrees.
“Welcome back, sir!”
“Welcome back, sir!!”
Jin-Woo heard these six people shout out in complete harmony and could only express his admiration inwardly. Just how many times did they have to train together to match each other’s timing this well?
“Let us head inside, Hunter-nim.”
Chairman Yu Myung-Han displayed not one hint of putting on airs and took the lead, walking straight into the building. The words ‘Yujin Construction’ were clearly legible on the windows near the top of the building’s roof.
Soon, Jin-Woo followed after Yu Myung-Han and entered the building. The Chairman had been waiting for the youth to enter and matched the latter’s walking speed.
Employees bent their backs immediately after discovering their Chairman.
Yu Myung-Han maintained an expressionless face but still didn’t forget to reply to all the greetings coming his way with simple nods.
A real big shot – the atmosphere Jin-Woo once felt from the President of the Hunter’s Association Goh Gun-Hui could also be felt from Chairman Yu as well.
Jin-Woo silently followed after him while gaining a rough understanding of the man named Yu Myung-Han’s character through the gazes of these employees who seemed to wholeheartedly trust him.
Meanwhile, the employees bowing their heads to Yu Myung-Han naturally became interested in Jin-Woo walking alongside their boss.
‘Who is he?’
‘Huh? Isn’t he….?’
‘Could he be….?’
The jaw of every employee fell to the floor after they recognised the rank S Hunter, as he had taken the hood off upon entering the building.
The top Hunter of the nation and the top businessman of the nation. Two such people had stepped into the headquarters of Yujin Construction, so who would not be surprised by this amazing incident?
The eyes of the employees nearly fell out of their sockets.
The hearts of the female employees began palpitating unsteadily, while the male employees nodded their heads in Jin-Woo’s direction.
They didn’t know why Hunter Seong Jin-Woo was standing next to their Chairman. However, when the two men who could be considered the best in their respective fields stood tall next to each other, their considerable age gap didn’t seem to matter anymore, and this dazzling imagery now felt perfect and complete to the onlooker’s view.
If you were a man, then you’d yearn to be a part of this amazing sight, too.
And so, as such adulating gazes fell upon them, the two men climbed aboard the executives-only elevator waiting for them with open doors. The assistance of the attendants lasted until here.
As the doors silently slid shut, only Jin-Woo and Chairman Yu remained within the elevator.
As Chairman Yu kept his mouth closed, Jin-Woo followed suit and didn’t say anything. The elevator didn’t stop and rose straight up to the top floor, the Chairman’s office.
Secretary Kim, the right-hand man of Chairman Yu, was waiting for their arrival in front of the office. He performed a quick nod of his head to Jin-Woo as his greeting and lowered his waist to his boss.
“My apologies, Chairman. There is a guest already waiting for you inside.”
The expression of Chairman Yu Myung-Han stiffened up.
“Didn’t I say to not let anyone in whenever I’m not in the office?”
Secretary Kim rarely made mistakes, if ever. The reason why Yu Myung-Han’s expression had stiffened wasn’t because the emotion of anger but rather something much closer to surprise, instead.
Secretary Kim formed a troubled expression and blurred the ends of his sentence.
“Sir, I’ve already spoken to your guest regarding your wishes, but he was so insistent that I….”
Yu Myung-Han only needed to hear that much to immediately figure out who the guest was. He shook his head helplessly and pointed towards the Chairman’s office to Jin-Woo.
“It’s nothing to worry about, so you don’t have to pay any attention. Please, this way.”
The door leading to the Chairman’s office slid open.
An older gentleman sitting on the couch, passing the time by browsing through a newspaper, raised his head to look.
“Hyung-nim, why was it this hard to get in touch with you? You even cancelled our appointment for today, too.”
The man sporting a smooth and reflective balding forehead was none other than the younger brother of Yu Myung-Han, Yu Seok-Ho.
As he got up to greet his older brother with a bright face, Yu Myung-Han returned a bit of a frown.
“Didn’t I tell you that I have an important matter to deal with today? I’m currently occupied, so come back later.”
“What do you mean? Hyung-nim, I know your schedule back to front, so what important matter could you be…..??”
Yu Seok-Ho’s words came to a stop once he met Jin-Woo’s gaze.
“Uh? Uh, uh???”
Didn’t this young man’s mug look familiar, somehow?
Other people would’ve recalled newspapers or images from the TV news broadcasts, but the first thing Yu Seok-Ho recalled was the SNS profile of his daughter, Yu Soo-Hyun, instead. He remembered seeing a photo of two young people looking quite comfy with each other.
‘Is this really Hunter Seong Jin-Woo??’
In order to confirm the truth, he turned the newspaper in his hands to the front page. He kept blinking his eyes as he compared the front page photo and that of Jin-Woo’s actual face.
This situation was weird enough to fluster Jin-Woo somewhat, but for some reason, he didn’t find this unfamiliar half-bald uncle detestable at all.
‘Is it because his eyes resemble Yu Jin-Ho’s by a lot?’
Could a much older and balding Yu Jin-Ho look like this guy in the future?
Chairman Yu Seok Ho didn’t know that he had instantly become the aged Yu Jin-Ho in Jin-Woo’s mind. He didn’t even mind the sharpened glare his older brother was giving him and extended his hand out with a bright smile on his face.
“Aigoo! Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim!”
Jin-Woo unwittingly grasped the offered hand and shook it.
Yu Seok-Ho energetically shook hands as if he was greeting someone he met again after going through many years of hardship. He then introduced himself.
“I’m sure you have heard a lot about me, but well, I’m Yu Seok-Ho from Yu-il Pharmaceuticals.”
And just where would Jin-Woo have heard a lot about this uncle now?
Still, it wasn’t cool to shoot down someone greeting you so happily like this, so Jin-Woo said something suitable as his reply.
“Ah, yes. Hello. Nice to meet you.”
Yu Myung-Han was worriedly watching on from the side, but he was now forming a surprised expression, instead. Meanwhile, Yu Seok-Ho’s back straightened up in pride as if to show off a little, and he opened his chest up a bit more.
‘See this? Hyung-nim, my little girl’s standards for men are on this level.’
Yu Seok-Ho had been feeling a slight case of an inferiority complex over the fact that Yu Myung-Han’s daughter possessed a genius-level talent in music. But now, he thought he could definitely regain his self-esteem with this event.
Because, well, there wouldn’t be that many men as amazing as this youth in the whole of South Korea, after all.
‘….Seok-Ho’s connections run pretty deep, I see.’
Yu Myung-Han was planning to raise his voice at his little brother once Jin-Woo had left, but now, after seeing that these two seemed to have ‘heard’ of each other, his anger had rapidly melted away and disappeared completely.
It seemed that the talk could go down favourably because of this.
“Oh, my goodness. Where are my manners at?”
Yu Seok-Ho finally released Jin-Woo’s hand.
“Right, you said that you two have something to discuss, didn’t you? Looks like this is where I make my exit, so please, don’t mind me.”
He smiled in satisfaction and turned around to leave the office, but stopped next to Jin-Woo.
“Ah, and by the way, Seong Hunter-nim?”
“Please, do stop by at my home if you have some time in the near future. I shall eagerly await for you, if it’s you paying us a visit!”
Stop by if he had time?
He’d eagerly await??
The good-natured uncle said some mysterious things and left the office like a refreshing breeze passing by.
Even though his loud voice and bright expression ensured that he didn’t come across as unlikeable, that uncle still came across as a weird quandary to Jin-Woo.
He stood there tilting his head a bit, and Chairman Yu Myung-Han cautiously asked him.
“Your relationship with my younger brother is….?”
Since the uncle in question was no longer around, was there a reason to mind his feelings anymore?
Jin-Woo’s answer was rather straightforward.
“It’s my first time meeting him today.”
His reply caused Yu Myung-Han’s expression to harden instantly.
‘Yu Seok-Ho, you fool….’
Just as he suspected it. Unfortunately, there was an important guest present here. As befitting the nickname of ‘Pokerface’, Yu Myung-Han immediately masked his emotions and suggested that they take a seat.
“Please, have a seat.”
Yu Myung-Han settled down on the opposite side to Jin-Woo. Secretary Kim entered the office with excellent timing and asked the Chairman.
“Sir, would you like some tea?”
“I’m fine, so please ask Hunter-nim.”
“I’m also fine, thank you.”
Jin-Woo shook his head.
Yu Myung-Han addressed Kim with a grave tone of voice.
“I wish to speak privately with Hunter-nim here, so can you leave us alone for a while?”
Secretary Kim exited from the office and stood before the door to guard it. He had received the orders to do so earlier on.
From here onwards, no one could enter the office, even if it was the President of the nation coming for a visit. That was how heavy the weight of the matter today was.
Just like how it was back in the elevator, another bout of silence flowed between Jin-Woo and Yu Myung-Han. However, there was a certain difference in the weight of the silence this time.
Yu Myung-Han needed some moment to compose himself. This wasn’t going to be a carefree conversation to catch up on old times or some such.
That was why Chairman Yu Myung-Han could only open his mouth after such a long time had passed by. Enough that one might start to get slightly bored by it, even.
Jin-Woo had been patiently waiting until then and replied calmly as well.
Yu Myung-Han pulled out a cheque from his inner pocket, issued under his name by a bank that often had dealings with Yujin Construction.
However, this cheque was somewhat different from a normal one.
Where there should have been numerical letters denoting the value of money represented by this slip of paper, there were none to be found.
He pushed such a cheque forward.
Jin-Woo looked at this blank cheque for a little while before raising his head back up again.
Yu Myung-Han continued on with some difficulty.
“I’m not some arrogant fool who thinks he can buy anything with money. Especially even more so, when I’m dealing with a rank S Hunter such as yourself.”
His mouth was drying up even further.
Compared to when he buried his father and inherited the corporation, back when he was about to give his first speech in front of tens of thousands of his employees, even when he was surrounded by hundreds of reporters and had to suffer from ignoble insults to his name – this moment made him tremble more than any of those times in the past.
But, it was obvious why. The importance of this matter greatly outstripped those moments in his past, after all.
Because, his desire to live, to see the future of the company he raised up by sacrificing his entire youth, and then, and then, the greed of a father wanting to see the growth of his offsprings for just a little bit longer – all of those were hanging in the balance right now.
“That is why… I’d greatly appreciate it if you consider this as nothing more than a small gesture of my sincerity.”
Chairman Yu’s eyes were burning in a determined light.
Jin-Woo could now guess the reason for him choosing this venue to hold this conversation. The things to be discussed from now on could not be leaked outside of these walls, that was why.
‘This isn’t about me joining his Guild or something like that.’
That was why the Chairman had chosen his own territory that he could control 100% per cent unless some kind of a natural disaster was to befall them.
Jin-Woo had always been quick on the uptake.
That was why he simply asked this question.
“Chairman. Just what is it that you wish to buy from me?”
< Chapter 167 > Fin.