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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy Chapter 30

Redstone

The next morning, at the boarding house.

I woke up early in the morning as the sun was rising, but I stayed laying down, deep in thought for a while.

‘Aoki-shosa…… And Manager Kimitsu.’

Aoki-shosa and the Oriental Development Company executive. Yesterday, I happened to learn by chance that these two guys were the main culprits behind the disappearance of Joseon people.
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However, unfortunately, I couldn’t do anything about it.

‘I considered covering my face with a gourd and breaking in but……’
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That would have caused too much of an issue. Even if it would have been inside an empty shower room, fighting would have caused a huge racket, and there were a lot of ODC employees and Yeopsas outside the shower room tent.

So I had no choice but to just come back to the boarding house.

‘Even so, I have to get rid of them, somehow.’
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I was probably going to keep on entering the Spirit Gate, so I would be in big trouble if someone like Aoki decided to ambush me. Considering that not only me, but also other Joseon Yeopsas were being attacked, this was a problem that I could just look over when I considered it morally as well.
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This was the same about Manager Kimitsu. From what I overheard in the shower, that middle-aged man named Kimitsu had been the one to order Aoki to kill Joseon Yeopsas. If I’m not wrong, he was the head of the Department of Spirit Gate Development at the Oriental Development Company.

‘Now that I think about it, even the Oriental Development Company is suspicious.’

It was understandable that this man, Manager Kimitsu, with the Department of Spirit Gate Development at the ODC would hold hands with Aoki to reduce the number of Joseon Yeopsas to prioritize Japanese Yeopsas, but there were various other suspicious things.
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No matter how much it was said that the ODC manages Spirit Gates that open in Joseon, they had claimed it as soon as it opened near Dongsomun, and occupied it, even building full-scale facilities inside and outside the Gate in just a day or two.

‘This wasn’t the case on the day I woke up.’

That time, the Shimazu Gumi, a private Yeopsa union, arrived first, eliminated the monsters surrounding the Gate and only then occupied it.
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But it was a different story this time. It was as if they knew that a Gate would open there beforehand.

And the timing was weird, as well. A Spirit Gate had opened the day I woke up, but then, within a week, another gate opened near Dongsomun, which wasn’t very far from the first Gate. This was something that seldom happened naturally.

‘Could it be, an artificial Gate?’

Could it be a Gate that was man-made?

‘Using Redstones……?’

Redstones were an alien mineral discovered shortly after the first Gate opened in the year 2019.

At first it was just considered a rare but useless mineral, but when it was revealed that it could be used to open and close Gates, several guilds and businesses began to use Redstones to open gates and turn a profit.
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‘So, is the ODC also artificially opening Gates for that purpose?’

But I just pushed that thought out of my head and got up.

Although it was true that Redstones could be used to open and close Gates, this process required highly sophisticated mana techniques.

It was impossible to do at the current level of mana engineering, where they were using metal stakes to set up a barrier by infusing them with some mana.

And also, while Gates opening in a close distance just a few days apart was rare, it wasn’t completely unheard of.

‘Whether it’s artificial or not, that’s not what’s important right now. I have to first get rid of those two however I can.’

But I couldn’t just recklessly take Aoki-shosa and Manager Kimitsu out. The consequences of killing the two would be the real problem.

To kill the fiancé of the daughter of a noble family and a Japanese army officer, and an exec at a government-run company that helped establish the Japanese Empire.

This was on a completely different level to when I killed Choi Seoung-gil, the Joseon man who was pretending to be Professor Saigane. Also, during the Choi Seong-gil incident, Professor Kurobe cleaned up and covered the incident, but this time I would have no one to rely on.

‘How can I make it look like a death by accident…….’
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I thought, buttoning up my school uniform.

As I was about to leave my room with that thought in mind, I heard a ruckus coming from the next room.

“You can’t even go to school anyway…… Sell that crap or just put it in the bin!”
“Father!”

When I opened the room door and looked out, Ham Won-sam was just opening the main gate to leave, and a girls’ uniform was scattered all over the yard.

‘Why is there a uniform here?’

“Ah, mister…… What do I do?!”

Ham Seo-ju’s and my eyes met as I was putting on my shoes. I went out to the yard, picked up the uniform that was thrown on the floor, handed it over to Ham Seo-ju, and said to her, as she held the uniform close to her chest.

“I’m going to school.”
“S-See you later……!”
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Leaving Ham Seo-ju, I rushed out of the gate. I could see Ham Won-sam walking not very far in front of me. I hurriedly caught up to him and asked.

“What was that?”
“It’s none of your business!”

Ham Won-sam grumbled like that, but I could get a glimpse of the situation. It was an issue about their family’s circumstances.

“Let me know if you need any help.”
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Even though it was Renka and her subordinates’ fault, Ham Won-sam had been beaten up for being connected to me, so I felt guilty and responsible for them.

So I felt that I would feel better if I helped them to some extent. It was a fortune my parents had achieved through treason, so I didn’t feel bad about spending some of it helping fellow countrymen in need.

However, Ham Won-sam after listening to that,

“What? Get help from a student? You expect me to live my whole life through the grace of a student!……”

He was absolutely raging. Whatever, I paid that no attention and took out a 10 won bill out of my wallet,

“Don’t be like that and just take this. Go get something for Seo-ju, too. If you don’t take it, I’m throwing this money away.”

And I forced it into Ham Won-sam. Then, Ham Won-sam,

“Tsk!…… Just because I don’t have a few cursed pennies……”

He said as he put the money in his pocket.
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***

『Hey. Shirabayashi.』

I went to school, and as I came out into the corridor after the morning assembly, I heard a voice calling for me.

I turned and it was Murasaki. He came up to me, his gang behind him, and said, lowering his voice.

『There’s someone that saw you two hanging around the Spirit Gate near Dongsomun yesterday.』
『Two?』
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As I asked, he answered.

『Yes. I don’t know what a Joseon noble and a Japanese aristocrat girl are doing together, but you’d better watch out.』

Damn. Someone saw me and Renka go into the Spirit Gate? He continued.

『I’ll tell my father if I see you do anything illegal. You know my father is the head of the Jongno Police Station, right? I don’t know about that cocky Japanese aristocrat girl, but as for just some Joseon noble like you……』
『When you say cocky Japanese aristocrat girl, are you, perhaps, talking about me?』
『Uh……?』

Renka was standing by us before we knew it. Renka, who was right in front of Murasaki, raised her hand and swung it at Murasaki without saying a word.

But,
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Thud-!

『……? Shirabayashi-san?』

I grabbed Renka’s wrist and stopped her. Renka was looking up at me, asking.

『I told you. Violence is bad.』

I turned my head and thought, as I looked at Murasaki who was still standing astounded by the sudden appearance of Renka.
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‘Considering this guy is the son of the police chief, he might be useful.’

I was going to do into the Spirit Gate again today, but since I was going in to get rid of Aoki-shosa, I couldn’t go with Renka this time.

‘Because he’s Renka’s fiancé.’

It looked like Renka didn’t know about Aoki-shosa’s crimes, but even if she did know, she would take his side. Even if they didn’t have the best of relationships, they were still engaged.
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It was the same case with Renkla’s subordinate, Takahiro, that I wouldn’t be able to use him as my entry ticket. So I needed to find someone else,

I was sure I could use this Murasaki guy as my ticket.

‘He can probably get into the Spirit Gate with his father’s backing.’

I thought as I held Renka’s wrist and looked at Murasaki. With me looking at him, Murasaki,

『Da…… Damn it! I won’t forget this humiliation! Just you wait, Shirabayashi!』

He yelled, as he disappeared across the corridor with his gang. Wait, I saved you from getting slapped by Renka in the face. Why are you picking a fight with me?

『……Shirabayashi-san?』
『Ah, yeah.』

I let go of Renka’s wrist. Renka rubbed her wrist as she asked me.
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『Are you going into the Spirit Gate today, as well?』
『Hmm……. No.』
『What? But-』
『I’m not going today. I think there really is a dangerous monster in there. You too, go home and rest.』

When I said this, Renka hesitated for a bit,

『……Is that so. Ah, this is for the mana stones from yesterday.』

She took an envelope from her pocket and handed it to me. As I took the envelope,

『Then, I shall go.』

She turned and left. She looked disappointed. Had she had fun hunting monsters with me yesterday? But I couldn’t today.
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‘I’m sorry, Renka.’

I was planning on killing her fiancé today, so I couldn’t bring her with me to the Spirit Gate. As soon as Renka left, I chased straight after Murasaki.

Walking in the direction he had disappeard in, I found him smoking with his gang in the back of the main building.

‘Typical bad student.’

I approached Murasaki and shouted.

『Hey! Murasaki!』
『What is it?』
『I want to talk to you alone.』
『What?…… Hey, all of you go over there!』

He was suspicious, but he still sent his gang over. As soon as his gang had backed away, I came close to him and abruptly said.

『Hey, let’s have a match.』
『What?…… Right now? If it’s a fight you want, good! Let’s settle this!』

Murasaki flinched at my words for a moment, and was about to draw his sword right away. But I continued,

『No.』

As I stopped him.
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『You heard a Spirit Gate opened by the east door, right?』

Murasaki shouted angrily at such a sudden question.

『Of course! Don’t make a fool of me!』
『We’ll settle it inside there. Last time, I couldn’t fight properly because I didn’t want to hurt you, but I think I will be able to fight properly if it’s inside the Spirit Gate.』

I taunted him with those words.

『In school, there’s a limit to how far we can go with our duels, but if we’re inside the Spirit Gate…… Well, you know. Anything can happen inside a Spirit Gate.』
『This cocky Joseon bastard……!』
『So, are you accepting? Come to the Spirit Gate by Dongsomun by 5pm if you’re not scared.』
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Murasaki was red with rage from my provocation.

『You! That duel, I accept it! Today at 5pm! Don’t blame me if you die! Guys! Let’s go!』

And he left with his gang.

‘As expected.’

He was so easy to read.

‘I’m done with finding an entry ticket.’
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First, I was going to use this guy to get into the Spirit Gate, and then after knocking him out, I was going to kill Aoki-shosa and Manager Kimitsu.

‘What’s left now is, how do I kill Aoki-shosa and Manager Kimitsu, and make it look like an accident?……’

***

‘Just because I don’t have a few damn pennies……’

Ham Won-sam felt bad all morning because he had come out to work after scolding his daughter. Ham Won-sam thought that it was his own fault that his daughter couldn’t attend school and that they were living in such poverty.

At least the situation had improved a bit since the student guest had come into the boarding house and was paying for his lodging, but it hadn’t become so much better that he could stop pulling rickshaws.
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‘At least today’s earnings ain’t too bad…….’

The number of Yeopsa customers had increased thanks to the Spirit Gate that had opened near Dongsomun yesterday. Ham Won-sam, who had already picked up a few customers in the morning, pulled his rickshaw in front of Gyeongseong Station this time.

『Hey! Yobo! Shafu(車夫)-san!』
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As soon as he arrived near Gyeongseong Station, a Japanese man in a suit who had just come out of the station called for Ham Won-sam. Ham Won-sam turned around and said,

“Ye? Yes yes, I’m going!”

As he bowed down and pulled the rickshaw towards the Japanese man.

『Toshomon made ikura ka?』

The Japanese man asked how much it was to Dongsomun. Although he didn’t look like a Yeopsa, he was another customer who wanted to get to Dongsomun. Ham Won-sam answered.

“If it’s to Dongsomun…… Give me just twenty-jeon, ni juu zen.”

When Ham Won-sam asked for 20 jeon,

『Nani? Ni juu zen? Takai na! Juu zende i ya.』
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The Japanese man said 20 jeon was too expensive and asked for a ride for 10 jeon. Ham Won-sam cursed on the inside, but though 10 jeon was okay.

Then, he picked up the Japanese suit guy and took him to a rice field near Dongsomun, where the Spirit Gate had opened. As they arrived the Japanese Yeopsa threw his bags at Ham Won-sam, asking.

『Oi, yobo! Nakashi mo suru ka?』
“Yes! Yes yes! Soenne nakashi as well. Nakashi, nakashi.”

Ham Won-sam said, pounding on his chest as understood the Japanese word for “porter”.

This was the reason why it was okay to just get paid 10 jeon for a rickshaw ride that was worth 20. Even if he was paid less than he would have liked, he could go into the Spirit Gate with a Yeopsa, acting as his porter, and get paid for what he had missed out on.

Not just make up, but as long as he kept the Yeopsa he was attending to in a good mood, he could maybe even get five or ten won from him.
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There were a lot of rickshaw pullers, like Ham Won-sam, who would work as porters as well. Of course, since they were going into a Spirit Gate it could get very dangerous, but the reward was so sweet, and they were confident in their running speed, so they agreed to being porters with the knowledge that if things went south, they could just turn around and run away.

Ham Won-sam became the suit guy’s porter and went into the Spirit Gate carrying his heavy bag. But when they entered the Spirit Gate, the suit guy didn’t head into one of the hunting grounds, instead he went straight to the barracks in the middle.

『~~~~~~!』

As soon as the suit guy shouted something in Japanese, a middle-aged man in glasses came out and started talking to him.

『~~~~~~.』
『~~~~~~.』

The Japanese was complicated enough that Ham Won-sam couldn’t understand what they were talking about, and soon after, the suit guy gestured to Ham Won-sam saying.

『Oi! Tsuite koi.』
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Ham Won-sam understood that meant to follow and said “yes, yes” as he followed the man deep into the barracks, carrying the bag.

Inside the room was an iron safe, and the Japanese man turned the number dial. Ham Won-sam, who was watching from behind, was surprised.

‘What is that?’

There was a red stone inside the safe.
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It looked similar to a common mana stone, but it was in the shape of a red “ruby” – not that Ham Won-sam had ever seen one – as it shone, and it looked unusual, even in Ham Won-sam’s uneducated eyes.

He had followed Yeopsas and worked as a porter several times before, so Ham Won-sam had seen regular mana stones before, but it was the first time he had ever seen something like this.

It seemed the man was some sort of technician, he took out some tools from the bag Ham Won-sam was carrying and used them to look at the red stone.

『Yoshi! Mondainai!』

After shouting out that there was no problem, the technician locked the safe again, told Ham Won-sam to wait there, and left the room.

Ham Won-sam looked at the locked safe and thought.

He didn’t know much, but in his eyes, that object looked very expensive. It had to be expensive considering it was so safely guarded.

How much could it be worth? Ten won? One hundred won? It could be several hundreds of won. If it was that money ……

Ham Won-sam suddenly was reminded of his daughter, Ham Seo-ju.

If he had that kind of money, he could send his daughter back to school. Not only that, but he could buy her clothes and even feed her rice and meat side dishes.
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Ham Won-sam gulped. The sound was so loud that he was surprised and he looked back in fear, but the technician was outside talking to someone.

Ham Won-sam approached the safe. He had seen the technician turning the dial, so he clearly remembered the combination.

Creak, creak.

Ham Won-sam’s heart was pounding as he turned the dial. Eventually, he opened the lock, picked up the bright red stone, used his petty ability to put it in his subspace pocket, and hurriedly locked the safe again.

Soon, the technician came back in again to check the safe was properly locked, and led Ham Won-sam out of the Spirit Gate.

But Ham Won-sam’s arms and legs started to tremble after he came out of the Spirit Gate and took the technician back to Gyeongseong Station, and they continued to tremble as he pulled the empty rickshaw.

How, and to who would he sell this? Wouldn’t he be in deep trouble if he got caught?
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If this was something like a mana stone, he could only sell it to a Yeopsa or someone related to Yeopsas, but they would need to be rich. But the only person that Ham Won-sam knew that fit that profile……

The only person that came to his mind was the person that was staying in his house, the student that was attending the Yeopsa school.


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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

경성의 헌터 아카데미
Score 9.2
Status: Ongoing Type: , Author: , Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
I woke up during the Japanese Colonial Era. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Comment

  1. Oriedroc says:

    LMAO, NICE JOB HAM WON, solved the question in a single chapter

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