Han JinHo walked downstairs to the underground parking lot with a bag on his back.
Due to a festival and several events consecutively being held, there was no need to go to school for a while. He now had approximately 2 weeks of free time.
Of course, it’s not like there weren’t any lectures during those 2 weeks, but those lectures were of optional attendance, so it wasn’t compulsory for him to attend them. And without mandatory attendance, there was no meaning in going to the lectures for Han JinHo.
In the parking area, there were five cars under Han JinHo, or rather, five cars which belonged to a foreign company which he created. From among them, he picked the most modest-looking medium sized car and loaded his bag on it.
All the other cars except for that were expensive and were around hundreds of millions (won). If he drove around one of those cars, it would stand out too much.
He loaded his bag on the car and was about to sit on the driver’s seat when his phone started to ring. The caller was Che MinYoung.
Han JinHo immediately received the call. At present, the number 1, most important person to receive calls from for him was Che MinYoung.
“Manager Che, is there any matter?”
– I’ve found some information on a secret auction. Do you want it?
“A secret auction? Do you know what kind of items are going to be on it?”
– It seems to be related to martial arts. Someone will be releasing large amounts of martial art books.
“Oh? That’s nice. I’m quite interested in martial arts recently.”
– But the source of the information is Black Bear Group. You know what that means right?
“Black Bear Group? You mean the guys who last time tried to steal the martial arts tome from me?”
– Yes, you’re right. It’s those guys.
“Then it’s highly likely that they intentionally spilled this piece of information. And the auctioning company could be a part of the Black Bear Group’s organisation too.”
– I haven’t investigated that far into it, but isn’t it too obvious?
This was a trap.
“Was it easy to gather the information?”
– Yes. They made it appear like it wasn’t easy but they can’t hide it from my eyes. It’s definitely an intentional leakage.
It was an obvious trap but Han JinHo wasn’t hesitant.
“When is it?”
“Send me the location on message.”
– Will you be going?
“If I know it’s a trap beforehand, then it’s a no longer a trap.”
Silence returned from the other side of the phone in response to Han JinHo’s words. Soon, Che MinYoung’s reply could be heard.
– Be careful.
Han JinHo replied okay while smiling and ended the call.
“This… is exciting.”
Actually, it hadn’t been that long since Han JinHo started to move proactively. Before, he hadn’t gone out and personally taken care of things that much.
Therefore, when these kinds of things happened, nervousness and expectations mixed together made his heart beat in excitement.
Until now, he used to think holing up by himself inside the workshop, studying magic and creating relics was how he should be. He had believed staying alone quietly, speculating, researching, studying and making something were what made him the happiest.
Till very recently, that was how he thought. However, he now slowly started to realise that that wasn’t the case.
Even today, he would naturally prepare everything he could before going, but who knows what would happen should he actually go there? It was still an act of jumping straight into danger.
And yet, his heart was thumping, and wanted the night to arrive as fast as possible.
“Did I become like this because of having power… or was I originally like this, and obtaining power revealed my hidden side?”
Han JinHo conveniently picked the latter.
“Anyways… do I have to catch a taxi this time as well?”
Of course, with his face changed – not to the one from before, but to another one.
With his eyes filled with expectations, he closed the car’s door and headed back up to the officetel.
[TLN: Just a reminder, officetel is a Konglish word meaning office + hotel]
It was time for preparation.
“Urgh, is this the right way? There’s nothing no matter how far I go.”
With anxious eyes, the taxi driver pulled his head out and looked around before asking. Han JinHo who was seated on the back seat casually replied.
“Yes, it’s right. If you go a bit more, you’ll see something resembling a big warehouse.”
Of course, he hadn’t seen it with his eyes; he spoke of what he understood from the information that Che MinYoung found.
The Black Bear Group must have gotten real serious with setting up the trap this time. It had suddenly become like a middle of nowhere and there was nowhere to hide nearby.
Plus, it was an unpaved off-road – a vast field in the middle of nowhere, so a good SUV could easily get to places. It was also extremely wide.
If Han JinHo had come here without any preparations, it would’ve been a game over. All he could have done was fight until his stamina depleted.
‘I also still don’t know how much the Black Bear Group have prepared.’
Somewhat nervous, the taxi driver didn’t drive too fast and dragged the car slowly. Although it was slow, it was still faster than a person walking or running.
Because he was driving so slowly, more cars came from behind and overtook the taxi. They appeared to be people attending the secret auction today.
‘Or they could be dudes hired by the Black Bear Group.’
He calmed his heart down which became more excited the closer he got to the destination. It was true that he was nervous, but it was just the right level of nervousness.
Even if someone attacked right now and flipped the car over, he could calmly deal with the situation – such confidence started to steadily arise from within.
‘Should inspect myself now.’
Confidence was confidence, but he had to fully prepared. That was what a magician was.
He first checked his mana. If he wanted to pull out and use mana whenever it was required, there couldn’t be a single abnormality.
‘Mana check finished.’
The mana was flowing very smoothly. Unlike martial artists who gathered their mana in their dantians, his mana was scattered/distributed all around his body so it took some time to check them all, but it was something he often did so it was finished quickly.
The next thing was to check the relics he had prepared. He checked the relics attached to his body as well as the ones stored inside the other dimension, plus the things put inside his pocket one by one.
‘Equipment check finished.’
Now he only needed to repeatedly go through his plans carefully in his head and make sure he didn’t miss anything.
While he was doing that, the taxi arrived at its destination.
“Sir customer, there’s something that looks like a warehouse over there but… do I have to go near that?”
Near the warehouse, five massive buses were parked and there were several container trucks as well. A warehouse standing aloof at a dark place, and the bus and container trucks which surrounded it gave off a mysterious intimidating aura. It wasn’t odd for the taxi driver to be scared by it.
“Could you please go a bit closer? This is a bit too far no matter how you see it.”
“Yes, alright. Alright.”
The taxi driver replied in a frightened voice and carefully started to approach it.
“Stop it here please.”
The driver heaved a sigh of relief and stopped the car. Han JinHo took around ten 50,000 Won notes out from his pocket and handed it over to the taxi driver.
[1000 won = 1 dollar (approx.)]
“Be careful on your way back.”
The taxi driver’s eyes became as large as lamps when he received the money. His voice immediately became louder.
“Oigoo! Thank you!”
He bowed his head countless times. Han JinHo quickly alighted from the taxi and stared at the eerie warehouse.
He heard the sound of the taxi quickly picking up speed but didn’t care about it. When it was time to leave, he had to steal a car.
‘It’d be troubling if this isn’t a trap.’
It’s not like he could steal a random person’s car, could he? At the very least, someone had to run at him with their fists and weapon for him to bash them up without reserve.
“Well, it would work out one way or another.”
If need be, he could just ask someone to get on their car, or could even run back. He could think of it as a practice to lighten his body up which would put his mind at ease; would be a bit annoyed though.
Thinking along those lines, he slowly paced towards the warehouse. Lighting devices attached here and there around the building entered his line of sight.
With one glance, he could tell how big and powerful they were. If all those lights were turned on, the surroundings would become as bright as daytime; a bit exaggerated perhaps.
‘They even have searchlights?’
There were five searchlights on the roof of the warehouse.
‘This just made me all the more certain. It’s definitely a trap.’
This was a trap dug by the Black Bear Group. However, even they wouldn’t dare to start something carelessly, as they first of all didn’t know his face.
While walking to the warehouse, he stayed immersed in his thoughts. He thought of the reason he came here, what he was expecting, and what could be gained.
First, it was possible to gain martial art laws. He wasn’t sure how the auction would be carried out but the martial laws would surely be sold at reasonable prices.
[TLN: The raws for martial art laws/books are 무공서, where 무공 means ancient(?) martial art and 서 literally means a book. I don’t really know what the best translation is, but having been affected by Chinese web novels, I think I’ll go with martial art laws from now on. Sorry for the inconvenience. If you have better translations, please tell me and I’ll try them out.]
The issue was the authenticity of the martial art laws. He had no intention to buy a fake martial law at a high price.
But unlike other relics, martial art laws were hard to tell whether one was real or not, because all Han JinHo could see was mana.
Therefore, he had prepared something beforehand – a specially created relic.
It wouldn’t be able to tell the authenticity of a martial art law, but it could tell how old the items that appeared in the auctions were. It was also easy to use; he just had to look through it.
The exact dates would of course be impossible, but it helped him get a gist of roughly how old they were. That was more than enough for now. If they weren’t recently made, the possibility of it being a fake would decrease accordingly.
‘Phew, they brought a lot.’
There were groups of three to five tough-bodied men standing everywhere on the way to the warehouse. They were all martial artists, although their skills were questionable.
Even with questionable skills, martial artists were still martial artists, and were strong enough to instantly eliminate a normal person who has trained to the peak.
There was no method for him to check whether they were all part of the Black Bear Group, or were simply a part of members of an attendee of the auction.
‘In any case, there seems to be no-one like me who moves alone.’
They were all clumped together and no-one stood alone by themselves. In the first place, secret auctions accompanied many danger so everyone seemed to have come in groups whether they were from an organisation or not.
But this auction would be different.
From far away, he could see several headlights of cars approaching. It made it seem like a flock of cars were running in from all directions.
And soon, dozens of cars arrived at the area near the warehouse.
They were all old cars, so old that no-one would find it odd even if they were scrapped tomorrow. Dozens of those old cars were stopped in front of the warehouse without order.
Number of people alighted from each of those cars, and each car had different number of people getting off. It varied from one to four, and in total, there were more than 30 people.
‘They’re the people Manager Che was talking about, huh.’
Che MinYoung thought that even if Han JinHo changed his face, going alone would still make him stand out. Therefore, she said she would hire lots of people to make sure he wouldn’t stand out as much.
The people that just came were the ones she was talking about.
It seemed that the reason they all brought old cars was also out of Che MinYoung’s consideration telling him to use them if situation calls for it.
‘She really works hard.’
As he experienced more and more things, he started to think more that hiring her was a really good move; not just Che MinYoung, but also Choi MiKyoung.
He had to take in a lot more skilled people in the future.
‘On that topic, Lee MyungHoon is also not that bad when it comes to having skills.’
His other parts were problematic though. While murmuring that to himself, Han JinHo walked into the building.
‘The preparation here is also amazing.’
It wasn’t a normal warehouse. There were places near the top for people to hide their bodies in and each of those places had two people hiding inside without fail. It was highly likely that the people hiding had ranged weapons in their hands. At the very least, they were not martial artists.
‘Either crossbows or guns.’
Looking back on the previous incident, he thought they were probably holding guns. Thinking of bullets raining down from all directions sent a chill down his spine.
But he wasn’t afraid, because he had prepared for that too.
Calming his heart down, Han JinHo looked around the warehouse. He was checking whether there was anything that could potentially be a threat to him, including the types of people inside.
‘There are five people that seem stronger than the guy who fainted after picking a fight with me.’
Of course, that was still nothing. There was not a single one here who was stronger than Park SeoJun who had attacked him in the abandoned factory.
And even if he had to fight them today, it wouldn’t be a frontal assault.
His eyes which were scanning around the warehouse caught sight of a barred cage attached to the ceiling. That cage started to descend slowly – this was the stage where the auction would be held.
Inside, a person that seemed to be the MC stood there holding a microphone. He was wearing a butterfly mask and had heavy mana lumped in his dantian.
The stage that was descending stopped around midway from the ceiling to the bottom of the warehouse. The auction was finally starting.
Maintaining a light sense of tension, Han JinHo looked towards the MC.
The warehouse suddenly became extremely quiet.