Chapter 40 — Suspicious Party (4)
When Kang Joon realized Chairman Seol was completely ignoring him, he was honestly almost amazed.
That it was possible to practice looking down at people to the extent that they could treat a person as less than air, Kang Joon found out for the first time as well. But that was why rather than being angry, he was purely amazed. It was a perfect disregard that seemed like he didn’t even sense that he was currently ignoring someone.
“You’re just as stupidly weak now as you were back then. Are working with him even knowing what kind of person he is?”
“That’s…. What do you mean?”
“There’s been a bit of a fuss lately. So I did some research of my own…. And I coincidentally obtained very rare information.”
Chairman Seol had done some digging around on Kang Joon, and his information network was of a completely different scale from ordinary people. The information he obtained in his research was more than enough to astonish him.
“Have you heard of a Hunter team called Union?”
“What…. is it?”
“A bunch of crazy bastards . It’s hard to elaborate, but basically…. that guy is a member of Union.”
As the name of an unfamiliar organization came up, Seol Yeong was at a loss and stared at Kang Joon. Kang Joon shrugged at her gaze that was full of questions.
“What you need to know is, those guys are an organization of slaughterers that kill people as if putting down monsters. Do you remember the terrorist incident that took place on Basilan Island?”
“It was the work of the Hunter team called Union.”
“That was the work of a monster, they sai….”
But Seol Yeong shut her mouth after saying that much.
The Nightmare of Basilan, it referred to the case in which a whole island was wrecked overnight. Although an official report came out that said it was the work of monsters, there were too many oddities to view it that way. The monster who had committed the massacre was nowhere to be seen, and the traces of the massacre on the island were too questionable to consider it the work of a monster, etc. there were a lot of suspicious parts.
People were discreetly thinking that way.
That the Nightmare of Basilan was not the work of monsters, but of Hunters. The tips of Seol Yeong’s fingers trembled.
“Your jokes have gone a bit too far….”
“Yeong, don’t work with such a suspicious guy. I’m saying this because I’m genuinely worried about you as your older brother. Can’t you see that guy is unable to refute anything at all?”
While receiving Chairman Seol’s hostile stare, Kang Joon tilted his head.
“Try and at least come up with some excuses. Monster.”
“I’m human, though.”
“Just because you’re wearing the skin of a human doesn’t mean that the content is, too.”
“Haha, that doesn’t seem like what someone who tried to kill a person by sending over defective equipment should be saying.”
Kang Joon already knew that AlphaSword had been the orchestrator behind the HyunWol case last time. Given just the fact that HyunWol’s main client was AlphaSword, and that Seol Yeong had some friction with AlphaSword, it was enough for him to deduce that much.
Except, he had just been keeping quiet because it would be hard to problematize. However, Chairman Seol didn’t bat an eye at Kang Joon’s provocation.
Kang Joon and the chairman were glaring at each other. It was a situation strained to the point of exploding any second.
Seol Yeong was a bit dazed while looking at Kang Joon. Nothing like betrayal could be seen, but it was a seriously shocked expression.
“Kang Joon-ssi…. Are you really…. a member of that Hunter team called Union or whatever?
Kang Joon replied curtly.
“You’re not…. lying?”
“Don’t mess around…. please answer me.”
“This is my only answer. Believe what you want to believe.”
Kang Joon said while looking towards Seol Yeong.
“I’m not anymore.”
If the chairman’s words were true, that Kang Joon had murdered people as if putting down monsters in an anonymous organization called Union was bound to be true as well.
Seol Yeong looked at Kang Joon with a wavering gaze and asked him.
“People…. did you really kill people like that? Kang Joon-ssi, you?”
“Am I crazy?”
Kang Joon shrugged.
“Why would I do such a thing?”
It was clearly a lie.
Kang Joon mentioned a lot of instances containing violence while talking about the past, and every time, even if he didn’t kill them, saying he cut off someone’s arm or whatnot, he told such stories like it was nothing.
“Yeong, are you really trusting the words of a suspicious guy like him?”
“Your words are harder to trust, and you’ve told me more lies yourself.”
As if it pricked at his conscience, Chairman Seol shut his mouth.
Kang Joon found that sight somehow amusing and snickered.
“That I’m an unexpectedly truthful person, you know that, too, right?”
“Kang Joon-ssi, you be quiet, too. I-I need to think…. for a bit.”
Looking at Kang Joon who was spouting off jokes even in this situation, Seol Yeong frowned severely, and Kang Joon tightly shut his mouth. Seol Yeong stood up unsteadily and walked over somewhere, and at the table, only the two with the charged tension flowing between them were left.
“Look here, Manager.”
“Why don’t we talk for a minute.”
The chairman stared at Kang Joon with a gaze overflowing with animosity, and stood up from his seat to head somewhere without even looking back. There was no one on the terrace outside of the banquet hall.
The chairman glared at Kang Joon, and straight away, scathing words flew out.
“What tricks are you playing. What’s the reason a Hunter of your level is playing at being a mere manager?”
“Why should I tell you that?”
“I can tell with my eyes closed that your lot’s personalities are dog shit. But if that’s the case, it’s only a given that you guys have earned your fair share. If money’s your goal, there’s no need to play house at a crummy place like Hero Management. What do you want?”
“To become like you, sir.”
Kang Joon sniggered.
“Is there a reason for needing money? Is there a reason for saving up so much money? Don’t you just need it because it’s money? I want to sit back and rake in money like you. Without doing anything. Without sacrificing anything. Comfortably.”
Kang Joon laughed.
“I need money.”
Then he slowly approached the chairman.
“And a lot of it, at that. A lot. A reason? Something like that isn’t important.”
Erasing the mirth on his face, Kang Joon glared at the chairman with an uncanny look. His eyes glinted coldly in the dark.
He threatened him in a very low voice.
“Chairman, do you know about Union?”
“I know that it’s an organization of maniacs who’ve lost their minds.”
“No, you don’t know about Union. Really, you don’t know anything about it.”
At those words, Seol Woo Joon furrowed his brow.
“The Basilan case, Gauss Contract incident, the fact that your lot was involved in those cases……”
“No. You don’t know what Union is. ”
After piercing through the chairman’s words, Kang Joon slowly whispered by his ear.
“If you really knew, you wouldn’t dare spout these sort of words before me.
“……It seems even maniacal murderers have some pride.”
Chairman Seol didn’t back off, but a momentary silence attested to his spirit being flattened by Kang Joon’s threat.
If you knew what Union was, you wouldn’t be able to so casually mention that name and threaten me. Kang Joon was saying this.
“I already know that AlphaSword operates a Hound team.”
“Even like this, do you have enough confidence to claim you know Union?”
After finishing his whispering, Kang Joon slowly backed away from Chairman Seol.
“Why, are you afraid that Union’s blade will take your neck?”
“Are you trying for a threat? I think you’ve found the wrong house number. Monster.”
Even at Kang Joon’s threat, Chairman Seol complexion didn’t change at all. But that went for Kang Joon as well.
Kang Joon didn’t regard the fact that he was a member of Union as such a big secret. Of course, most people didn’t know anything at all about a Hunter team called Union. Therefore, no one cared whether he was affiliated with them or whatnot.
But if it were someone who knew about the true identity of Union, it was a different story.
That wasn’t something of a nature that could be so easily discussed.
“Keep out of my business, and likewise, don’t meddle with Hero Management. Just leave us alone. You just take good care of your business.”
Kang Joon shot the chairman a warning with a hardened expression.
“I’m not sure where you picked up the name Union. But from next time on, you don’t mention that name so lightly.”
“If you don’t wanna fucking die. ”
He spit out words that were basically a threat.
Kang Joon really didn’t have much interest in AlphaSword. It was more than enough if they didn’t mess with him. Chairman Seol frowned watching a mere fledgling manager threaten him. He himself was also not sitting in that seat just for show.
“Trash running his mouth like trash. You’re under a great delusion right now.”
“Is there even anything in this world that’s not a delusion?”
“Many people have the wrong idea about me, but….”
“I’m not curious about something like the truth, and I don’t want to know.”
Kang Joon smirked.
“Either way, won’t it obviously be an excuse?”
Leaving behind those words, Kang Joon passed the chairman and walked further into the banquet hall.
“What a nasty son of a bitch.”
“Pretentious son of a bitch.” 
Surprisingly, the two muttered the same thing from somewhere they couldn’t hear each other’s voices.
Ultimately, although they said let’s discuss, the two ultimately just spouted the words they had wanted to.
Both Kang Joon and Seol Yeong didn’t feel like staying any longer at the banquet hall, so they left. While they rode the elevator down, the two didn’t engage in any conversation. In the end, they didn’t gain any particular benefits, and the two of them didn’t talk from awkwardness in the weird atmosphere.
It was only natural that Seol Yeong was shocked.
The Nightmare of Basilan,
It referred to an incident where Hunters had killed the residents of Basilan Island, an island in Southeast Asia, overnight, without leaving out a single one. Since neither any trace nor clue was left behind, the case remained unsolved. Seol Yeong could tell at least that Seol Woo Joon’s words were not a lie.
It was true he would resort to any means or methods, but she knew her own brother.
“When you first introduced yourself, you said you were good at bullshitting, didn’t you?”
“Yes. I did.”
Inside the elevator, there were only the two of them. Seol Yeong looked up at Kang Joon and asked him.
“Then starting right now, I’ll assume everything you say is a lie and listen.”
Whether he told the truth or lied, it meant she would listen while assuming all of it was a lie. That attitude was quite a strange one. Rather, Seol Yeong’s words were equivalent to an attitude of whatever he said, she would think it was the truth. It was an attitude of, anything was fine, so no matter a lie or the truth, just tell me something.
“Were you a GR participant?”
It referred to the great crisis that befell the world five years ago.
“Were you involved with the massacre at Basilan Island?”
“Why did you do such a thing?”
“Because there was a need to do so.”
“……Union, what kind of people are they?”
At Kang Joon’s detached answer, Seol Yeong became crestfallen. The elevator soon arrived at the underground parking lot, and they walked to the parked car.
“Why did you have to kill the people on Basilan Island?”
“Because there was an enormous underground facility on that island.”
“Why, was Umbrella Corps  cultivating a zombie virus or something? And you had to kill the people before by any chance it surfaced above ground and spread the infection?”
Seol Yeong spouted some nonsense, bringing up talk of retro games.
It was a conversation of replying to bullshit with bullshit. Since she had given Kang Joon the freedom to answer with a lie, Seol Yeong could take it or leave it. Therefore, she was asking whatever she could and listening however much she could.
But Seol Yeong felt like all of Kang Joon’s words were the truth. But she didn’t ask about that. Seeing as she had told him to answer with a lie, it was nonsense to ask again if it was true. The wind going out of her sails for some reason, Seol Yeong sighed heavily as she sat down in the passenger seat.
“Fine. I probably don’t have anything like the right to ask you things like this.”
Whatever an employee did in the past, that wasn’t her territory. Whether Kang Joon replied with truth or lie, it depended purely on Kang Joon’s goodwill. Kang Joon was a manager, and it was more than enough for him to excel at working as a manager.
And he was doing much better than expected. In a president and employee relationship, just that much was enough. A murder case, whether he was a hero that assisted in saving the world by participating in GR, it didn’t matter. But Kang Joon had not answered her just out of pure goodwill.
“Then I’ll ask, too.”
As much as Kang Joon had his secrets, the same went for Seol Yeong as well. But Kang Joon’s conditions were a bit different.
“You have to say everything truthfully.”
“Even though I said you could lie, this is unfair. And can’t I just lie anyways?”
“When I see the person’s eyes, I can tell if it’s the truth or a lie.”
Kang Joon sat before the wheel and stared into Seol Yeong’s eyes. Since he had not started the car, the two sat inside staring at each other. Smiling mischievously, Seol Yeong opened her red lips and clearly enunciated.
“I’m 35 years old.”
“I see that’s a lie.”
“I told you, I can tell from your eyes.”
“Of course it’s a lie. I already knew long ago that you were 38.”
“H-ho-how? How did you know? My ID card? You peeked at it! Exactly when?”
“I just guessed. But you must really be 38.”
“Y-you…. you! You rotten! Rotten person!”
Kang Joon snickered, and dumbfounded with an expression of having been fooled again, Seol Yeong clenched her fist and ground her teeth. In various ways, when conversing with Kang Joon, one unknowingly got drawn in. Soon, Kang Joon started the car and slowly exited the parking lot.
“Hero Management going to ruin, is it related to AlphaSword?”
“How is it related?”
“In the contract renewal season, they took all Hunters affiliated with Hero Management through ridiculous contract conditions and deposits. More than anything, they also stole away Hero Management’s areas of jurisdiction. Since there’s no need for Hunters to stick around at a management company that can’t even secure Hunting spots. And just like that, with the employees leaving one by one, and manpower decreasing as well, it became like this.”
“Why would they do such a thing? Is it like some kind of competition between successors?”
“No, my brother just doesn’t like me doing business. He probably expects me to be stuck at home, knitting or something.”
“Your appearances are quite different, were you born of different mothers? ”
Kang Joon asked a question that could be taken as offensive like it was nothing. Seol Yeong was at a loss for a moment at Kang Joon’s shamelessness, but by now she just went with it.
“Yes, my brother is the eldest son of the first wife, and I’m the fourth daughter of the seventh mistress.”
“If you’re gonna lie, please do it with vision. ”
“You’ve found me out.”
Once they drove outside the parking lot, it was already raining outside. The sudden torrent of rain beat fiercely at the windshield. Kang Joon turned on the windshield wipers and slowly advanced. In the passenger seat, Seol Yeong took off her heels and her body went limp as a noodle.
On many levels, it had been a tiring day. Under the slightly cool current of the air conditioner, Seol Yeong lay and spoke languidly.
“My brother’s mother passed away long ago. And I followed my mother when she remarried. I also heard that my biological father passed away ages ago. So I don’t have any direct blood relation with my father and brother. That’s why talk of succession or whatever has nothing to do with me. I have no interest in it either.”
“Then why is he meddling? Is there a reason for him to be like that, going so far as sending Hero Management Hunters defective equipment?”
Seol Yeong had turned her head and was watching the rainy streets of Seoul. Without looking at Kang Joon, Seol Yeong spoke slowly.
“It’s…. a bit of a complicated problem. It’s probably hard to understand as well….”
Seol Yeong evasively dodged an answer.
“You’re no idiot.”
Just now, Chairman Seol Woo Joon of AlphaSword had talked about Seol Yeong’s health. And because Kang Joon, just as Seol Yeong said, wasn’t an idiot, he had his suspicions from the conversation with Maria.
Therefore, Seol Yeong thought that Kang Joon would approximately understand the circumstances without her necessarily explaining. And her assumption wasn’t wrong.
Watching the car window, Seol Yeong spoke as if belittling herself.
“Like you’ve done so far, couldn’t you…. continue to pretend you don’t know anything?”
Seol Yeong’s tone of voice was extremely depressed. As Kang Joon quietly drove the car, he replied lightly.
“What the heck, sure, why not.”
Rain was still pouring as heavily as ever.
 I thought y’all might be interested in swearing in Korean lol so I translated ddo-ra-ii <또라이> as crazy bastards.
 reverts to informal speech banmal without polite sentence endings, drops politer address of “chairman” -nim added at end for somewhat improper dangshin <당신>
 added a swear here bc it had to be short, but there wasn’t a good substitute for dwejida <뒈지다> which is slang for ‘to die.’
 the chairman calls him jesu-eobnun sekki <재수없는 새끼> and Kang Joon calls him jesu-eopnun kkondae <재수없는 꼰대>. The word they both say just means nasty/unlucky/shitty. Sekki you just add at the end of every other curse, means bastard, basically. Kkondae is specifically for people who abuse their age to be a jerk, like old people patronizing young people, or seniors ordering juniors around.
 lol just bc I had to search it up, Yeong is referencing the Resident Evil franchise where Umbrella Corporations is the one producing all sorts of evil zombie viruses
 Kang Joon asks if the siblings are baedarun nammae <배다른 남매> which means brother and sister from different bellies. Cuz ofc we have a different name for every gender combination of siblings. (nammae: bro sis, hyungjae <형재>: bro bro, jamae <자매>: sis sis)
 <좀 대국적으로 하시죠> Kang Joon’s trolling her with a meme lol. It’s what Kim Je Gyu allegedly told the dictator Park Chung Hee before assassinating him, like “if you’re governing/doing politics, you should do it more internationally/taking into account the bigger picture” <정치를 좀 대국적으로 하셔야지요>
JEN: these chapters are pretty long, but don’t worry cuz I’ll be stockpiling some over break next week :3