There are countless companies that administer auctions in the world. Within them are many companies that deal with artworks and antiques.
And other than the white auctions that does things legally, there are also black auctions that are secretly carried forth.
From those black auctions, the company that received the most attention by special people and clans was Luina. The reason why Luina got so much attention was because the items they dealt with were extremely special.
Here, they only handled relics discovered in ruins, that had mystical powers in them.
The president of Luina, Nicks, was currently double-checking the list of items that were to be auctioned off this time.
Luina’s auctions were held once every three months. The exact time and place, as well as the list of items were to be released to the members, 15 days before the auction.
That day wasn’t far off, so he had to finalise the list soon.
“There’s quite a bit this time around.”
In fact, as more and more auctions were held, the number of items in the auction was also constantly increasing. As a result, there was not a small amount of goods that had a drastic decrease in worth now as compared to the earlier auctions.
An example was the potion of vitality.
The potion of vitality was literally a potion that increased one’s vitality, and one’s stamina would be boosted when consumed. As a result, rich old men used them to cheer their things up.
When they first appeared, many had been doubtful of its safety but after some time, it has become one of the most sought-out items. People found out it had no side-effects.
At the start, there was a limited supply so it was sold at a high price, but now that the supply had caught up to the demand, its price was so low that compared to other items in Luina, it was no different to being free.
“Should we stop auctioning potions of vitality?”
The quantity was too high, it might have negative impacts on Luina’s reputation. It was about time to cut it off.
While he was in the middle of sorting out the list, someone knocked on the door.
The fact that someone was knocking the door despite his warning to not disturb him, meant that there was a matter important enough to overwrite his order.
Nicks pressed a button that was on the side of the table. The door slowly opened. Before the opened door stood his secretary, holding a big silver box in his hands.
His eyes brightened after seeing it.
“It finally came!”
The thing he had been waiting for finally had come! He didn’t know what was inside the silver box, but he could guess that there would be an extraordinary item inside.
No-one knew the real identity of the sender of silver boxes. They only knew that he called himself ‘A’. The only thing Luina could find out was that the boxes came from Korea.
In reality, they had no intention to further investigate about him. They didn’t want to go over the line, splitting open the stomach of a goose that lays golden eggs.
“Come this way, be careful when you place it down.”
Nicks hurried with excitement. The secretary who naturally could understand Nicks’ feelings smiled, and placed the silver box on top of the table.
He could remember the first time he received this silver box. At that time, he wondered, ‘what a stupid dude’. But now, no-one thought that way.
After a few trial and errors, they (Luina and A) created a profitable partnership which both parties were satisfied with.
Nicks opened the lid with a thumping heart. His face was then coloured with glee.
“OH MY GOD!”
Inside was a beautifully crafted bottle with a rainbow-ish liquid inside. And, as always, next to the bottle was a memo with a bank account address written on it.
“It’s holy water!”
Nicks carefully picked up the bottle of holy water. He very cautiously took it and placed it into a different box. The box was custom-made with utmost care so that fragile goods could be safely kept within.
After placing the holy water inside the box, Nicks quickly stepped back. He then excitedly wrote ‘holy water’ at the very end of the list.
Everything else was printed from a printer, but only the holy water was personally written by Nicks. This made the holy water stand out from the rest.
Holy water was commonly referred to as a panacea. It was truly a magical medicine that could cure any disease and illness.
It was on the auction three times in the past, and every time they came out, they were always more expensive than last time.
Last time, holy water was sold off for 95 million dollars. This time, wouldn’t it go over 100 million dollars?
While calming down his fast-beating heart, Nicks picked up the memo that was still in the box.
“This time it’s to Panama.”
It was the account where the money was to be sent to. The account given was different every time, but they were always in tax havens.
Luina was a company that guaranteed the privacy of the auctioneers. They had no plan whatsoever in backtracking them.
However, even if Luina didn’t do it, other powerful figures could still do it.
Even though Luina tried their best to protect the privacy of their customers, there were still many others that exceed Luina in terms of power.
“Well anyways… I’m really looking forward to this time’s auction.”
Nicks couldn’t wait for the event.
Today, Han JinHo was at school since he had to attend the lecture, but he felt strange the entire day, as if something was tickling the back of his head.
It was as if someone was staring at him with piercing eyes.
Thus, he looked around many times. He of course didn’t do it conspicuously and only stole a few glances, but he was sure that he checked everything.
‘There aren’t any oddities…’
A thought suddenly popped up.
He touched a ring that was on his finger. A gentle wave of mana drew a circle as it grew bigger with him as the centre.
‘I knew it.’
Something reacted to the wave of mana. If there was nothing related to mana, such a reaction wouldn’t have come out.
He glanced at the direction which he sensed the reaction in. There he could see someone whom he couldn’t see before.
It was a very slim woman. She was wearing leggings and a rash guard so if someone saw her, they’d think she was out exercising.
But this was school. There was no-one here in that kind of clothing, so it should’ve been very conspicuous.
‘And yet, no-one could see her until now.’
The woman was panicking. Soon, while emitting a small amount of mana, she vanished as if melting into the air. Han JinHo didn’t know what kind of a person she was, but he could easily tell what she was doing.
‘She’s observing me, but why?’
First, it shouldn’t be from Luina. It also shouldn’t be from Chairman Choi NamHee. There was no reason for them to do so.
Plus, that wasn’t just observation, it was inspection.
‘That means… she’s investigating me?’
From the looks of things, she either had special powers, or she had some equipment that controlled special powers.
Han JinHo’s estimation leaned more towards ability than equipment, and seeing what she’s doing, she was obviously related to investigations and information.
There was some information that he wanted to find anyways. He was planning on going around some suitable companies today, but it would be more convenient if he could use this woman.
“First off is the lecture.”
Han JinHo paced towards the building where the lecture room was in. He wasn’t really interested in the lecture itself, so his attention was on the woman that was following him.
Che MinYoung nervously watched Han JinHo walking away. She couldn’t simply approach him like she had been doing. If the abnormality just then hadn’t happened, she would’ve been following close behind him.
‘What exactly was that?’
She didn’t know if Han JinHo did something. From her point of view, Han JinHo didn’t really do anything just then.
And yet her stealth mode was instantly cancelled. What was more important was that she herself had no idea why that had happened.
She only made her move after she saw Han JinHo enter the building. Fortunately, nothing happened, but she couldn’t relax yet.
Stealthily and quickly, she climbed the walls of the building. Her stealth had reached a level that no-one would notice her even if she openly climbed walls.
While sitting on the lecturing room’s window sill, Che MinYoung closely examined Han JinHo.
‘He has no interest in studying.’
The mission was to find even the smallest things like these. At the start, the mission seemed so small and pointless, so she was hesitant on taking it. But she couldn’t just reject Chairman Yu MyungHo’s request.
The pay was quite high too.
She undertook the mission with a light heart, but she had unexpectedly met a tough reef.
‘Han JinHo himself isn’t that amazing…’
The lecture ended under her watch. Han JinHo walked out of the building. Che MinYoung hid herself and followed Han JinHo. As she was following, she began to realise that he was heading to a less crowded area.
‘This… Why is he coming here?’
Che MinYoung sparkled her eyes. She thought she finally found a big catch so she came a bit closer.
Right now, Han JinHo was climbing a small mountain behind the school. It was one of the places frequently visited by campus couples, but no-one would tread this deep. It was even more deserted since it was still quite early.
After going in for who knows how long, Han JinHo suddenly ceased his steps and hid behind a tree to the side. Che MinYoung felt a chill go down her spine, and hurriedly jumped out.
She checked behind the tree Han JinHo hid himself in, but found no-one.
Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain behind her neck.
Che MinYoung frowned from feeling her body become paralysed. On one side she felt speechless, but on the other side, she felt fear.
She saw someone insert their hands beneath her armpit and shivered. She didn’t even want to think of what was going to happen to her. But the scene she was fearing didn’t happen.
Han JinHo dragged her body and let her rest her back on a nearby tree.
“You should be able to speak, although you wouldn’t be able to move your body.”
“What are you doing?”
“I don’t understand why someone who was following me would say that before I do. I’ll ask you instead, what are you doing?”
Che MinYoung had nothing to say. In fact, it was over the moment she was found out by her target. Wearing a helpless expression, she spoke.
“I can’t tell you the employer.”
“Even if you die?”
“Even if I die.”
In this line of work, this would mark the end. If she spoke the name of the employer here, even if she survived this, she would ultimately still die. It might even be better to just cleanly die here.
Han JinHo nodded his head. In the first place, he wasn’t interested in finding that out from this woman.
What he wanted was her skill.
“What’s your name?”
“I work by myself. Working in this line of work, I couldn’t trust anyone anymore.”
Che MinYoung looked at Han JinHo with wonder.
“Give up on investigating me. That should be a fine price for your life, right?”
Che MinYoung’s eyes became enlarged. No doubt, she would do it. Only if she could safely leave from this place, that is.
“You can report everything you’ve investigated before being found out by me.”
“At any rate, I have to pay them penalty for cancelling the mission, so there’s no reason for me to tell them what I found out.”
After all it wasn’t just normal information. It was information she gathered while placing her life on the line.
Of course, she didn’t think so until just then.
Han JinHo smiled in response.
“Now, should we talk about work?”
“You’re not planning on playing around after cancelling your request, right? So why don’t you accept my request? You down for it?”
Che MinYoung blankly stared at Han JinHo. She then quietly replied.
Proofreader : Uptime