The Novel's Villain - Chapter 57
13. Vengeance Is Mine (6)
How many days passed?
Liu Wei was starving as he looked through the trash can. He found half a fruit, which he devoured in seconds.
He felt nauseous. There was a maggot in Liu Wei’s mouth, but he did not spit it out. He was so cold and hungry. He chewed it while enduring his nausea, and suddenly his shabby figure was reflected in the broken window he passed.
He was no different from a beggar.
Liu Wei kicked the trash can. He was furious. He had been full of dreams of returning home after transmitting the technology he received from Blacksnake with the artifact he received from the Seven Dragon Association.
He heard it was an expensive artifact that could move him to mainland China at once. It was indeed an expensive artifact. However, it was an artifact for assassination, one that could kill even a Knight-level competent person.
‘Wang Guo Liang…!’
Liu Wei had been left unable to pull himself together due to the tremendous explosive force for some time. His body would have been torn apart if he hadn’t worn the heirloom Iron Armor. His armor, as well as his sword, were shattered, and his internal injuries were serious. He barely gathered a handful of mana to survive by eating trash.
He had to eat garbage to live. They sold delicious food on the streets, but he couldn’t afford it. He was a fugitive.
His license as a Knight was suspended, and his nationality was revoked. He was almost completely blown away when he found out about it. The pain in his heart was greater than the pain in his body.
He was just thrown away to be exterminated after they received the technology.
Tears flowed down his cheeks. He never expected that his worth would be barely this much.
‘Where did it get twisted?’
His body trembled unconsciously when Lee Jin-woo’s face came to mind. When he went to desperately ask Blacksnake for help, what he found was a collapsed building.
Liu Wei managed to avoid the sword suddenly flying in. The trash can in front of him was neatly cut in two. He hurriedly turned his head and looked over the building.
‘T-that crazy bitch…’
It had been an endless chase that started a few days ago. She kept showing up and followed him again and again, no matter what. When he tried to rest for a while, she immediately appeared and swung her sword without asking. Liu Wei ran desperately. He had been told all his life that he was the best at running away.
Choi Hee-yeon, who landed where Liu Wei was, looked at her sword with a frown. She sighed at the thought that he was still far away. Swirling her sword, she gathered the trash to one side with the wind it generated. She was thinking of buying a new trash can to replace it.
Choi Hee-yeon fiddled with the necklace around her throat. It was a gift from Jin-woo, and fiddling with it strangely calmed her down.
“Focus a little more.”
The Sword Master appeared next to Choi Hee-yeon and tapped her on the shoulder. After retiring, he decided not to get involved any further in world affairs. The world was supposed to be led by young people, after all. But wouldn’t it be okay to give a hint? That was the responsibility of the adults. As a result, Liu Wei could never escape their pursuit.
“Hehe, it seems that Tang Men Jin taught him a thing or two about escaping.”
“Are you talking about the Ambassador of China?”
“Yeah, he was a pretty good swordsman. Well, he probably has a granddaughter.”
The Sword Master nodded. He said that Tang Men Jin was a pretty good swordsman, but all the matches against him were a draw. If only he lived a secluded life, the Sword Master grew to be the more dominant force, but they were neck in neck in their youth. As the Sword Master judged him, he was a good person.
“I think I heard rumors that she became a Knight.”
Choi Hee-yeon nodded.
“It seems that I will need to break her if I happen to meet her. With the swordsmanship of the Choi Family…”
“Hehe, if it’s meant to be, you’ll be a good match. Anyway, you need to catch him alive and take him to Jin-woo, so go for the bridge.”
The Sword Master turned his back. He felt determined for some reason. Choi Hee-yeon’s hand trembled slightly.
‘What’s going on?’
Choi Hee-yeon looked at him with a worried expression.
“Where are you going?”
“I’ll go for a while…”
The Sword Master was startled. Something fell off his sleeve as he tried to move quickly. Although it was quickly hidden, Choi Hee-yeon’s excellent body vision could see it.
It was a light stick.
“Cough, Sweetie Girls is finally debuting.”
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“They have great muscles, so it would be n-nice to accept them as my disciples.”
“Hahahaha! Then see you…”
Sword Master seemed busy these days, but it was only because he was enjoying a cultural life to his heart’s content. Choi Hee-yeon stared blankly at his back as he faded away with empty answers.
She eventually sighed and left the alley.
Choi Hee-yeon could see a big bus parked nearby. Extraordinary figures were standing in line outside of it, a group of beautiful women and men of various ages. She felt an aura that caused goosebumps to rise on her arms. Besides that, the smell of blood mixed with mana was too thick. She reflexively placed her hand on her sword.
“It’s nice to be out after a long time.”
“I know, right. Have you seen that laptop? The specifications are incredible.”
“Yes, the world has changed a lot. How fast is the internet…”
The men talked like that.
“How is it?”
“T-this?! Where did you get it?”
“It was at a bookstore nearby.”
“It couldn’t express Master’s beauty properly, but I think it’s a good deal.”
“I know, right.”
A woman was showing something off with a proud expression on her face. On closer inspection, it was revealed to be a magazine with a photo of Lee Jin-woo on the cover.
“Now! Attention! It’s a special vacation from Master, so you have to use up your twenty-four hours and spend it well. I’ll call your number from now on. Answer me!”
When a well-built middle-aged man shouted at the front, everyone stopped talking.
“Then, No. 1!”
“Well, you must have left the torture tools behind, right?”
“I only took one, but…”
“Phew, give it to me. No! What’s wrong with you!”
“Well, I feel uncomfortable if I don’t have a blade with me…”
The middle-aged man roughly took the weapon when No. 1 pulled a large pair of scissors out of her arm. Blood was dripping from them. All numbers were called, then everyone boarded the tour bus. In front of the tour bus, there was a sign reading ‘JW Sightseeing Tour! Long live the Master!’
Hee-yeon stared blankly at the bus as it left. She came to her senses and went into the bookstore, leaving moments later with a magazine in her hand.
* * *
Jin-woo was living his daily life as usual. The Snake Shield Guild Alliance was completely crushed, as was the Golden Breeze Guild. The League Guilds seemed likely to protest, but they remained quiet for now.
Jin-woo bought the Arena Stadium, the symbol of the League Guilds, and took command of the best teams in the 1st division. He also offered enough support to the 2nd division that the name ‘Lee Jin-Woo League’ was circulating. A system was even built so that the 3rd division League, where league aspirants gather, no longer worked without Jin-woo’s support. He even rented out items to them, so he became a patriot who loved the League Guild, far from being criticized by it.
The Association of Competent People even awarded him a certificate for making a significant contribution to the development of the League of Competent People. Of course, Jin-woo didn’t go, but the head of the Future Strategy Office went and received it on his behalf. Even now, he hated going to such annoying places.
The buildings used by the Snake Shield Guild Alliance or related parties were undoubtedly destroyed, but the house prices around there were rising as it was said be built in their place. The media also openly criticized China and Japan for stealing technology. Both countries came out with a red flag. They even issued a statement asking the JW to send back the country’s competent people unjustly detained.
Yoo-na entered the study. Jin-woo had previously stopped her when she tried to step down and take responsibility for the incident. After that, Yoo-na’s expression darkened, but she tried not to show it. He was going to give her vacation time, but she soundly refused him.
“It looks like China and Japan are in trouble.”
“Yes, a serious level of disaster has been observed in Japan, but they will not seek outside help. China is desperately hiding it.”
The International Federation of Competent People offered a hand to Japan, but it was rejected immediately. Considering that artifacts and treasures from the Japanese were continuously transmitted, they seemed to be working hard.
The next international competition was to be held in Japan. They had announced that the international competition could be held without difficulty, but they were rejected when the International Federation of Competent People offered to send an examiner.
“Imports of Magic Crystal in China and Japan are rapidly increasing. Because there is no stock, the price of Magic Crystals continues to rise.”
It was roughly what he expected. Demonization was progressing around the Gate, but it seemed to be blocked by barriers and other defensive magic. Even a Knight-level competent person couldn’t maintain such a large-scale defense system without the Magic Crystals. In the end, they had to import Magic Crystals, but production was limited as they only came from higher-level monsters. Thanks to this, the price of the Magic Crystal was rising like a rocket.
“The Magic Crystal mining system has been completed at JW Gate. It is said that the prisoners captured this time are playing a big role.”
The Snake Shield Guild Alliance, the League Guild members, and all those involved were at the JW Gate since it was certified by the Association as a prison camp. The creation of a labor force using those prisoners was also approved. It was only necessary to pay a small fee to the Association to receive the appropriate documents.
‘Is it just right on time? That’s amazing.’
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Jin-woo nodded. Low-grade Magic Crystals were also extremely expensive, so a national consultation was in progress, but the mining facilities in the JW Gate had been completed. Yoo-na felt goosebumps.
‘Did he perhaps do it on purpose…?’
China and Japan desperately tried to hide it, but they could not deceive their intelligence sources. A hopeless disaster was taking place in both countries. It could be seen just by looking at the Magic Crystals import. Things were coming together so well.
‘Sudden disaster, production of Magic Crystals…replenishment of manpower…’
Yoo-na had a hunch. It was a big picture built from the time he discovered the mine, or even before that.
‘Even my mistake…’
The plan even included her shortcomings. Yoo-na bit her lip. She was ashamed of herself for being proud of serving the Young Master’s side.
‘If I don’t grow…’
Young Master must know even this shame and her desire for growth. He didn’t rebuke anyone because he knew it all. It wouldn’t even be worth it.
Yoo-na thought so.
When the situation worsened, China and Japan would have no choice but to purchase their Magic Crystals, even at a huge sum. That wouldn’t happen if Jin-woo didn’t allow it.
“China and Japan…”
Complete submission! They were puppets dancing in Young Master’s hands. Yoo-na glanced silently over at Jin-woo. He looked so relaxed.
“That’s great. Surprisingly, things worked out.”
“Don’t worry too much. It worked out somehow, didn’t it? Why don’t you take a break?”
“No. I will do better.”
Jin-woo spoke lightly to relieve Yoo-na’s heart, but she fiercely resisted.
‘Why does everyone hate vacations? It’s a paid vacation. I even give them flight tickets, pay the hotel fees, and offer bonuses…’
Jin-woo couldn’t understand. The research institute these days was even worse. He understood how they felt, but he wanted to stop them. In particular, Kim Se-yeon was said to be living in the laboratory.
Yoo-na continued her report.
“Kim Young-hoon has obtained the certificate of a Competent Person.”
“The Investigation Bureau has already arrested him. There’s no chance of escape.”
Kim Young-hoon was said to have provided information about Kim Chan-young. It was an undeniable truth, as it was the story he heard directly from Blacksnake’s mouth. Even though he was the main character, Jin-woo couldn’t just let him go. Jin-woo waited for him to become a competent person; only then would the Law of the Competent People apply to him.
That was the reason why the investigation into Kim Young-hoon had been delayed.
‘I’ll have to check.’
Jin-woo closed his book and stood.
With one phone call, Kim Young-hoon was transferred from the Investigation Bureau to the JW Gate. He was half out of his mind. Those who approached him to overthrow Lee Jin-woo were heroes in his eyes. That was why he gave them all the information they asked for.
He told them about Kim Chan-young in detail. Kim Chan-young usually told him a lot of things, so he knew a lot.
That was why what Rachel said was shocking. What he did for justice killed Kim Chan-young, got his sister kidnapped, and injured many others. Even key technologies that would bring prosperity to Korea were leaked.
‘I…what have I done…’
He believed it was justice. He was proud of himself for what he had done so far, so he had never looked back. He never thought of the consequences.
Kim Young-hoon sobbed with his head down.
“Brother…Brother Chan-young…hic, hic.”
Kim Chan-young was a kind older man who he loved and respected as a brother. Kim Young-hoon cried as if his soul was tearing apart. The moment he was handcuffed, he felt as if his world was being shattered.
The investigation was carried out quickly. He admitted everything. All of the debts Kim Young-hoon owed were gone. Of course, it was inevitable since he provided information to the company on debt cancellation. They looked very nice for canceling his debts, saying it was justifiable. However, when he came to his senses, he realized the villain he became, the worst type of scum who took money for handing Kim Chan-young over.
‘…I am the villain. I…’
Kim Young-hoon was curling up in a detention center designed for holding competent people.
Guilt overtook him. He wanted to be punished; it wasn’t worth living. He was already the worst criminal. He heard that Lee Jin-woo, who he thought was a villain, saved his sister and punished them while he pushed them into that situation.
Someone entered the detention center, someone Kim Young-hoon knew. Rachel looked down at him with a cold expression. He couldn’t meet her eyes properly.
Here was the result of ignoring all the advice she gave.
Rachel let out a sigh, wishing she had a drink.
“It will probably be difficult to come back out into the world if you receive a verdict.”
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“But it’s cheap. I…I…”
She wasn’t the sweet Rachel. Her words were as cold as ice.
“…I want to tell you…I’m sorry. Also to Brother Chan-young’s family…and also to Lee Jin-woo…”
“It’s been a while since you said the right thing.”
“I-I don’t know anymore…if what I believe is right. I shouldn’t think about it. I’m afraid…to think about it.”
Young-hoon had lived his whole life doing what he believed was right. Now that his beliefs were completely broken, he was afraid to think. Rather, being locked up like this would be a way to guarantee he wouldn’t harm anyone else.
The investigators brought the half-starved Young-hoon out. Rachel shook her head as she watched.
The place where Kim Young-hoon was taken was near the JW Gate. There was nothing else around.
Kim Young-hoon knelt and raised his head blankly to see Lee Jin-woo looking down at him. It was the first time they met face-to-face. He had seen him in photos, but this was the first chance he had to look him over in person. He was admittedly curious since the main character of the original story was right in front of him.
As described in the original novel, his appearance was normal. However, the overall atmosphere around him seemed quite pathetic. Jin-woo looked at him with the Magic Eye of information.
[-F] Kim Young-hoon
Potential Rank: F [Limit Lv 15]
*[F] Sense of justice
Pushes ahead with what he believes in.
It was very poor. If he weren’t the main character, he would be delegated to being a mook.
‘The Magic Eyes…’
He didn’t have the Magic Eye of information. Kim Young-hoon trembled, repeating that he was sorry again and again.
Jin-woo couldn’t hide his disappointment. He was the protagonist who prevented the destruction of the world. However, here he was, a low-ranked competent person with neither the Magic Eye nor potential. His spirit and good willpower were his strengths, but now he was just a frightened prisoner. In the original story, Lee Jin-woo was on his knees, and the main character looked down on him.
The protagonist didn’t kneel under any circumstances out of pride. But now everything was falling apart. Far from fighting an Emperor, he even couldn’t win over a single extra.
The General Manager was standing next to Jin-woo alongside the maids.
“Trial according to the rules. And make sure he receives punishment.”
“Yes, I understood.”
“Just keep an eye on him.”
Jin-woo turned his gaze away from Kim Young-hoon with a heavy heart.
‘It’s a big deal.’
Yep, he had been doing well without the protagonist so far. Nothing had changed.
‘Luck Rank is useless too.’
Somehow he wanted things to work out. Jin-woo sighed. Without mercy, the Emperors became Jin-woo’s problem to deal with.
What could be a greater misfortune than this?
* * *
Kim Young-hoon was immediately tried upon entering the gate. He was, of course, sentenced to life imprisonment. He avoided the chamber of punishment, but he was forced into serving JW for eternity.
The General Manager was faithfully following his orders from the master to watch him carefully. He just kept watching.
Kim Young-hoon could only think of one thing. He only worked when he was asked to work, keeping the time he was given to live. There was some friction with the other prisoners as they felt frustrated. After all, they only did as they were ordered. Among the prisoners, Kim Young-hoon’s nickname was Annoying and Frustrating, which led to several fights. Despite his weakness, he managed to survive each time.
General Manager saw the possibility. He burst into tears on the spot when the master showed mercy to Kim Young-hoon. There wasn’t an inch of doubt. That asshole-like honesty, his one-dimensional way of thinking, and the simplicity that carried him to the end once he believed in something. And even his unknown ability with his insane luck…
‘He has no talent. However…’
General Manager nodded. He realized the meaning of why the master had told him to watch.
“Talent can be overcome with a strong will beyond pain and death.”
What if only the master existed in that blank piece of paper? He had so far presented annoying and frustrating behaviors to everyone around him, but what if he could do that to his enemies?
It was so satisfying. That alone was enough. The General Manager had the prisoners read Lee Jin-woo’s biography thoroughly, but it wasn’t enough. A center was needed between the prisoners.
Kim Young-hoon didn’t let go of the book.
‘It’s time to build the second unit.’
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The General Manager nodded. Kim Young-hoon’s future has already been decided.
A new wind was blowing.