Magician of Insa-Dong – Chapter 2: Relic Appraiser 2

Jung SangPil’s body continued to tremble as he drove. It was so intense that even Han JinHo who was sitting next to him felt nervous.

“Ajussi, are you alright? Should I drive instead?”

“It’s fine. We’re almost there anyways.”

Jung SangPil started to regain his calm after talking with Han JinHo. He was extremely surprised today.

Soon, they arrived in front of Han JinHo’s officetel*. They hadn’t been talking during the drive. Both had a few things to think about.

[TLN: officetel = office + hotel]

“I wonder which guy did it.”

“Yeah.”

“Absolutely no-one knows about the fact that I make counterfeits as a hobby. Ajussi also found out today right?”

“Yes, I was also very surprised back then.”

After saying that, Jung SangPil asked in a subtle voice.

“When did you start making those things? From what I see, it shouldn’t be just one or two years ago.”

“A bit over ten years, I suppose, since I started when I was in middle school.”

“From that young? By the way, it really was amazing. It was to a level where even professionals couldn’t tell apart.”

“It’s just a hobby anyways. Besides, it’s a fake so it’s useless.”

“What do you mean ‘useless’? Even professionals couldn’t tell!”

Chusa’s work this time was especially superb. It’s not a well-known work so there was no worry of being found out.

If they could sell a few of those things, they could spend the rest of their lives in luxury.

“No wonder you could appraise goods so well; you had been making those kinds of things. What is so great about appraising? Making that is hundred times much harder, isn’t it?”

“Well, somewhat?”

“Somewhat, huh.”

Jung SangPil smiled, then took a deep breath and made a serious face.

“JinHo, listen carefully.”

“I’m not doing it.”

“I, I didn’t even start yet.”

“You’re trying to say, ‘let’s make counterfeits and scam others’, right? I don’t do that kind of thing.”

“What’s wrong about that? It’s just making things that don’t even exist in real. In fact, it doesn’t even count as scamming!”

Han JinHo firmly shook his head.

“You know that if I say something, I follow through no matter what. Just distribute the money. I’m tired so I want to sleep.”

“Mmm.”

Jung SangPil could only shake his head. He had been with Han JinHo for a few months so there was no way he didn’t know his personality.

“Wait a second.”

Jung SangPil took out the envelope and checked the amount within. There were 50 notes of fifty-thousand won notes.

“It’s a bit difficult to halve it. Here.”

Jung SangPil threw in 30 notes into an envelope and handed it to Han JinHo.

“I wouldn’t have earned it if not for you, so here you go.”

“Thank you.”

Han JinHo received it without rejecting it. He then stared at Jung SangPil and spoke seriously.

“Ajussi, be careful.”

“Un?”

“I have a bad feeling so be careful. The thing today was odd after all.”

Jung SangPil replied while smiling.

“Alright, alright. Am I not the best in the industry with relation to carefulness? Without that I wouldn’t have survived this long. There’s no need to worry.”

Han JinHo silently stared at Jung SangPil.

“Anything else?”

Han JinHo opened the door and got off as if what he needed to say wasn’t serious. He then spoke.

“Don’t contact me for a while.”

“Why? Why, all of a sudden?”

“I have something to do.”

“How long will it take?”

“I have no idea. I’ll contact you once I’m done.”

Bang.

Han JinHo closed the door after saying that. Jung SangPil hastily lowered the window and screamed.

“You have to contact me!”

Han JinHo waved his hand while walking without turning his head. It seemed like he was saying ‘don’t worry’ but at the same time, also felt like a farewell greeting.

Jung SangPil anxiously shouted again.

“You have to, okay? If you don’t, I’ll find you at school!”

Han JinHo only waved his hand in response, then disappeared into the officetel.

For some time, Jung SangPil continued to stare at the building entrance where Han JinHo disappeared into, with a lingering look.

For some reason, it felt like he wouldn’t receive a call anymore.

“Damn, did he find out?”

The things Han JinHo said today in the car kept replaying in his mind; things like ‘Be careful’ and ‘Don’t contact me’.

He acted the best he could to pretend innocence, but he knew how quick-minded Han JinHo was, and this left him anxious.

Jung SangPil shook his head as if to shake needless thoughts away, and started the car.

“It’s all fine since I got the money. It really felt as if my heart was gonna stop back then.”

The one who had sold Chusa’s counterfeit that they saw today was none other than Jung SangPil. He of course went through numerous procedures to avoid tracking, so he wasn’t worried of being found out.

But as a result, the money he received was a bit lacking.

“200 million won from selling and ten million from appraising… If I could do this a few more times, I really could change my fate.”

He glanced at Han JinHo’s officetel then pressed the accelerator.

Vroom.

His car sped down the road, roaring as it accelerated.

***

Clank.

Han JinHo walked inside after closing the door. The lights automatically turned on and brightened the room up.

Han JinHo’s officetel was rather big, but most of the space was filled with antiques and ancient books.

“I guess I need to clean those things up soon.”

The antiques and ancient books here were all counterfeits. They were things Han JinHo made.

It wasn’t actually due to a hobby that he made these things. It was a part of training.

He had left these behind due to the memories embedded within, but it seemed like he could no longer continue that.

“Seriously what a joke. He sold that for 600 million?”

Just that one thing had disappeared. Because that was the only thing without its sign appeared.

[TLN: Sign = The English initials, JH]

The sign appearing slowly over time was deliberately done, as that was a part of the training.

He had thought nothing serious would happen since there was an obvious mark labelling it fake. Thus, he didn’t pay much attention to security, yet this happened.

He had trusted Jung SangPil too much.

Han JinHo opened the cupboard and took out a large sack. He then threw in the counterfeits he made inside.

There was no need to be careful, since he planned to break all of them.

After taking care of everything, he sat in front of the workbench.

“Now, what should I make today?”

His phone rang while he was thinking of what to make. When he checked the screen, it was an unknown number. After some hesitation, he picked up the call.

“Hello?”

– Mr. Han JinHo?

“Yes, who are you?”

– I met you today at Chairman’s mansion. Do you have time right now?

Han JinHo ran his brain, and thought of all the people he met today and their voices.

He didn’t hear everyone’s voice, but he could recognise the caller.

‘The secretary?’

He was definitely the secretary who was standing a bit far away from Chairman Choi NamHee. Han JinHo heard his voice answering the chairman as he was leaving the room.

“What’s the issue?”

– I’m sure it won’t be a bad deal for Mr. Han JinHo. Can I go visit your house? Incidentally, I’m near your house right now.

“You’re near my house?”

How did they find the address? It seems like they did some investigating. Actually, the appraisal today could’ve been just laying the foundation for this meeting.

– If house is no good, we can meet outside randomly. There seems to be a coffee shop nearby without many customers.

If they investigated this much, there’s no point in meeting outside.

“Please come in.”

Han JinHo cut the call after saying that.

He then looked around to prepare a few things. Since he had no idea what was going to happen, preparation would be the shortcut to safety.

More so, if the opponent has investigated about himself.

‘Well… they most likely couldn’t find out everything.’

When he was almost done with his preparations, the bell rang.

“The door is open.”

The door was pushed open and three sturdy men walked in. Behind them was Chairman Choi NamHee’s secretary.

Clank.

The door closed. Chairman Choi NamHee’s secretary gazed at Han JinHo with sharp yet meaningful eyes.

“It’s a bit lacking in receiving guests since I live alone. Hope you understand.”

Han JinHo’s house didn’t have a chair or a sofa to use. There was only one chair which he used while working – and he was currently sitting on it.

The secretary didn’t care at all and stood in front of Han JinHo.

“I came here to try recruiting you.”

“Recruit? There should be many professionals better than me, though? I don’t even major in appraising. Ah, if you want me to make counterfeits, I’ll be refusing.”

“It’s not for making counterfeits, but for appraising that we want to hire you.”

Han JinHo quietly stared at the secretary, suggesting him to continue.

“The conditions should be satisfactory. Mr. Han JinHo is the first person who the chairman has taken this much liking to.”

“It isn’t bad to hear such things, even if you’re just flattering.”

“I’m not flattering. I’ll promise you the best treatment in the entire industry.”

Han JinHo tilted his head.

“Does the chairman purchase a lot of antiques? I don’t think there’s a need to hire a professional… Isn’t it much better to just make a contract with a company that specialises in appraising?”

Han JinHo made a face that showed he didn’t understand why they wanted to go as far as to hire him.

The secretary declared.

“It’s because of talent.”

“Talent? Not ability?”

Han JinHo made a strange face. The story was going in a different direction to what he was thinking of.

“Since we’re at this stage, we won’t hide things anymore. In truth, I was watching Mr. Han JinHo work from the side.”

“I went through a test, is that how it is?”

“I won’t deny that. It’s an important matter so a proper test is essential.”

“As I was saying, isn’t it fine to just do that ‘important thing’ with a specialising company?”

The secretary sparkled his eyes and questioned after hearing him.

“Have you ever seen an extremely special relic?”

“A relic? Jeulmun pottery period*, and gold crown, are you talking about those things?”

[TLN: Jeulmun pottery period is a period between 8000 BC and 1500 BC]

The secretary shook his head.

“They are indeed good relics, but not special ones. What I’m referring to are extremely special relics.”

Han JinHo quietly stared at the secretary.

The secretary spoke with pride.

“I assure you, they are extremely special relics that you have never seen before.”

“So, what are they?”

“To see what they are, you would need to undergo a special training session. You would need good eyes to see special relics in addition to a vast amount of knowledge regarding relics.”

“And that’s why you need talents?”

“Yes, exactly. And we do not doubt that Mr. Han JinHo would become a figure well-suited for the job.”

Han JinHo nodded his head.

“It doesn’t feel bad to receive a compliment. But you do know that it’s not something that I can decide on right now, right?”

“Of course.”

After saying that, the secretary took out a business card from his clothes and handed it over. He then continued after Han JinHo received it.

“Call me whenever you come to a decision. Night, dawn – time is not an issue.”

With that said, the secretary politely bid farewell and left the officetel.

Han JinHo glanced at the business card then crumpled it and chucked it into the bin next to him.

“Do I know special relics? Of course, I do. I know very well.”

Han JinHo smirked and prepared for work. There was probably no-one who knew more about special relics than himself.

“Because I’m the person who first found special relics.”

And the reason he had to endlessly continue making counterfeits like this was precisely due to that relic.


Translator: Rain27
Proofreader : Uptime

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