Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
After staring up at the moonlit night sky, Jung Hee Lee, the young assassin, looked down at a residential building where his target lived with a dangerous glare in his eyes. Raising his hand, he checked the time: 1 a.m. The target had already gone inside by that point, and the lights had turned off two hours ago.
With a murderous glare in his eyes, the assassin drew the bow from his back and pulled out an arrow from the quiver on his waist. Taking a traditional Korean archery stance, he inhaled, fixed his eyes on the target, and grazed his fingertips across the arrowhead. At that moment, a small ember formed around the arrowhead, which turned into a flame. With his eyes fixed on his target's residence, he pulled the bowstring back until the arrowhead almost touched the bow, aimed, and inhaled quickly. Then, he released the string, and the fire arrow flew toward its target, whistling as it cut through the air. As the arrow shattered the window and got stuck on one of the living room walls, the flame started to spread in all directions, as if the place had been doused in gasoline. Looking at the flame spreading through the house, the assassin curled his lips into a subtle smirk. His ability to control fire had earned him the reputation of being one of the top assassins in the Shadow Guild. Burning several times hotter than ordinary fire, his fire was impossible to extinguish without a cleansing potion from the dungeon. Until put out by the potion, it consumed everything in its path mercilessly and unceasingly.
Although the Central Hunters' Institute had expressed their concerns about the use of the fire, the young assassin had nothing to worry about as Kyung Tae, the supervisor of the guild, would protect him from any possible consequences. Watching the black smoke rising from the window, Jung Hee smiled evilly.
When Min Sung opened his eyes, he noticed the smoke and its musty smell in the air. His house was on the verge of being engulfed by fire, which soon reached Min Sung. The fire was spreading at a frightening rate, and with a furrowed brow, Min Sung got out of bed unhurriedly and walked out to the living room. Although he couldn't see a thing through the fire, he paid no attention to it, he made haste toward the balcony, letting his intuition navigate him through the flames. Upon arriving, he picked up the jar of soy sauce, which was also in flames. 'What happened?'
At that moment, the memory of his late grandmother, who had been his friend, mother, and father, flashed against the wall of fire in the living room. Still holding the burning jar, Min Sung rose slowly, walked through the flames unhurriedly, and walked out of the house through the front door. Upon escaping the thick smoke in the air, Min Sung opened the lid of the burning jar. Unfortunately, having long succ.u.mbed to the extreme heat, the soy sauce within it had turned into a heap of burning ashes. Closing his eyes, the champion focused his mind, heightening his senses in order to find the arsonist responsible for the fire. His senses spread in all directions like a spider web, and shortly after, Min Sung recognized the unusual nature of the fire. Following his senses, the champion made haste like a hungry spider.
Jung Hee cackled as he walked toward his car parked on the street. Regardless of how powerful the target might have had been on the report, the target couldn't have escaped his death when he had been completely unprepared.
'What should I do with all those diamonds?' the assassin thought to himself in delight. At that moment, as he reached for the door handle of his car's door, he froze in place upon hearing what sounded like an object cutting through the air. Then...
When the assassin looked to his side, he saw a man covered in ashes charging toward him, his eyes flashing brightly. However, upon getting a closer look, Jung Hee realized that the man was flying toward him with. To further add to his confusion, the man had something in his hand.
'Is that A jar? On fire?' Jung Hee thought with widened eyes. At that moment, the very jar he had been looking at struck the assassin's head.
Tapping against the surface of his desk with his index finger, Kyung Tae looked at his phone anxiously.
"He should be done by now What's taking him so long?"
Then, as Kyung Tae put a cigarette in his mouth, his phone finally started to ring. His eyes sparkled, and he picked up without hesitation. However, upon checking the caller's name on the screen of his phone, he couldn't help but furrow his brow. It was from the Shadow Guild. After organizing his thoughts briefly, he answered the phone.
"Kyung Tae Oh speaking."
"You're needed in the Central Operations Room."
"Who's looking for me?"
At that, Kyung Tae sprung up from his seat. The chief was a four-star officer. There was an enormous difference in level between Kyung Tae and a one-star officer, so the fact that the chief of the Special Intelligence Unit was looking for him was startling, to say the least. Needless to say, the chance of even running into him was nearly nonexistent. Assuming that there had to be a reason for why a four-star officer wanted to talk to him, Kyung Tae realized that things were going seriously wrong.
"R-right. I'll be right there."
After hanging up, Kyung Tae was left in a state of shock as a wave of anxiety washed over him.
'Maybe something's wrong. Was it a mistake to send Jung Hee?' he asked himself as he wiped the sweat off his forehead.
'No, it's too soon to assume the worst. Who knows? It might be good news,' he thought, desperately trying to convince himself, but to no avail. With a hardened look on his face, he let out a deep sigh.
'Well, only one way to find out.'
Straightening his clothes, he made his way to the Central Operations Room. After getting on an elevator, he walked through a long hallway and arrived at the room. When the secretary saw that he had arrived, they made a phone call, and after getting permission from the other end of the line, the secretary opened the door for the supervisor. As he walked into the room, he saw a middle-aged man dressed in a luxurious suit glaring at him piercingly with a dark expression on his face.
Swallowing nervously, the supervisor rushed further into the room, bowed at a ninety-degree angle and said in a loud voice, "It's a privilege, sir!"
"How do you explain this?" the chief asked, pointing at a series of monitors behind him. Sweating profusely, Kyung Tae looked up at the screens, which showed detailed reports of Min Sung's identity and the assassin burning down the champion's house.
"S-so, there was this man who I thought would be a fantastic addition to the guild. I tried to recruit him, but he started insulting our guild, and I couldn't just sit there"
Chuckling, the chief walked toward the nervous supervisor suffocating with anxiety.
"How would you handle a subordinate who completely forgets to follow official procedures, because he let his personal feelings get the best of him?" the chief asked with a cold, blank look on his face, placing his hands on Kyung Tae's shoulders.
"I-I'll take responsibility for my actions, sir!" the supervisor said.
"Responsibility, you say?"
"It... it appears to me that I didn't know my place, and I was disrespectful of your authority. Forgive me, sir. I'll finish what I started!"
Sighing on the supervisor's face, the chief said, "Kyung Tae Oh."
"I'm a man willing to overlook other people's mistakes. But, it's a-whole-nother story when they keep repeating that same mistake knowingly," the chief said. Then, he squeezed the supervisor's shoulder.
Followed by the loud crack, sharp pain shot through Kyung Tae's shoulder. It felt as though his shoulder blade had shattered under the chief's inhuman grip.
"A-allow me to make it up to you, sir!"
"I'm not generous with my time. You understand?"
"Of-of course! Agh!"
With that, the chief loosened his hand, and Kyung Tae staggered in place, breathing harshly. Lighting a cigarette nonchalantly, the chief blew the smoke through his mouth and immersed himself in thought, scratching his forehead. Then, he nodded as though he had made up his mind.
"You realize that there will be consequences on your end, right?"
"Of-of course, sir!"
"Killing him is hardly a challenge, but you see, we have an image to uphold. Now, you shouldn't be going around making the guild look bad, am I right? It seems to me that recruiting this guy is not an option, thanks to you."
"You mean" Kyung Tae said, rolling his eyes around in confusion while swallowing nervously.
"Make up an excuse."
"That's your job now. Come up with something so that it seems like we didn't have a choice but to take this up-and-comer out. That way, we don't give the Central Institute a reason to pester us. Got it?"
"Fix this before the news gets out. Remember that your punishment depends on the weight of your responsibility."
"Now, go and come up with something," the chief said, signaling the supervisor to leave with his chin.
"Yes, sir!" Kyung Tae said, bowing politely and rushing out of the room. Meanwhile, putting his cigarette out on the ashtray, the chief sat on the couch with his legs crossed and looked at the screen.