Episode 228

Chapter 9. Hey Ugly Korean (3)
1 week ago
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The Secret Society existed everywhere.

No matter where in the world you went, there were people associated with the Secret Society.

Not just employees directly affiliated with the Secret Society, but also spies cooperating with them, or those allied with the Secret Society share their purpose in abundance.

The man before us, Nguyen, was no exception.

“Is it really okay to discuss this here?”

“Of course. The people around us won’t be able to hear our conversation, and they’re not interested in us. I’ve used a power to impair perception.”

“Just like someone sent from the headquarters. Truly remarkable.”

Nguyen marveled as he scanned the surroundings.

Boldly sitting at a café table in the airport, discussing the affairs of the Secret Society, no one thought us odd.

It’s the power of special abilities.

Thanks to Yun Hye-ra and I simultaneously employing our magic power, no one looked at us with suspicion.

No one tried to meddle with us, a couple.

“But, your name is Nguyen…?”

“Yes. Nguyen Ong Bak. I’m a Kosian.”

“If you call yourself a Kosian.”

“It’s true.”

Nguyen, or perhaps ‘Bak Ong’ as this man was called, stirred his café latte with a straw, a self-deprecating smile on his face.

“Coffee and milk mix to become a café latte. But for some, that’s neither coffee nor milk. Too bland to be coffee, yet the scent of coffee is too strong to be just milk. I’m a café latte kind of man.”

“…….”

“Haha, just a joke. I don’t really harbor any complaints about such things. It’s something that can be changed moving forward. Together with the Secret Society.”

Nguyen bowed to us.

“Please help us. The hero association in this country has succumbed to the military. The hero association can no longer purify itself, nor can it receive help from other countries’ hero associations.”

“Because the military is already intervening?”

“That, but also because the top rank A man in this country is on the side of the military. Have you ever heard of ‘Laplace’?”

“Laplace?”

The only Laplace I knew was a mount.

“Yes. The top-ranked A, Laplace, has joined hands with the military, ignoring all kinds of tyrannical acts by the military, living in luxury and pleasure every day. He has seized control of the Thai Hero Association.”

“It seems the situation is more serious than we initially assessed.”

Forget all information about the real Thailand.

Just as Korea’s capital moved from Seoul to Busan after the Cataclysm, the entire world had become completely different countries with the same name after the Cataclysm.

In other words, this novel had no relation to actual persons, places, organizations, etc.

Coincidences with real names were just that, coincidences.

Like such a situation.

“The military and the top hero are working together to maintain a dictatorship. But isn’t Thailand outwardly a democratic government now?”

“Yes. At least it was until a decade or so ago. But that changed when the military started to mobilize Kosians. The military co-opted members of political parties to create laws for the military and Kosians, using the number of Kosians to dominate the ruling party.”

I didn’t know much about politics.

I had no intention of interfering in the politics of another country.

“Hye-ra, can you check if what I’m understanding is correct?”

“Sure, tell me.”

“So, a large number of mixed-race people have entered the political organization as members, and these people are closely associated with the military, and these members swarmed in and cast their votes, making that person the Prime Minister of Thailand?”

“That’s right.”

Indeed.

Although a picture formed in my mind, I decided to focus on the affairs of this world.

Anyway.

It was common for things to unfold similarly in modern society.

“Understood, Nguyen. So, what do you wish for this country to become? Do you hope to become the prime minister of this country? Or do you wish to change the constitution to become president?”

“What I desire is the overthrow of Laplace’s dictatorship.”

“Overthrow of dictatorship?”

“Yes. Laplace will turn 20 next year, reaching adulthood. And the Thai military and political parties are preparing to amend the constitution to lower the age requirement for becoming prime minister to 20.”

“Indeed.”

One could say that Thailand was quick on its feet.

It’s a political move acting faster than anyone in the era of special abilities.

“Intending to place the country’s strongest A-rank as the top political figure?”

“Should this be called collusion between politics and business? Hehe, collusion between politics and heroes.”

“If that hero acted as a normal hero, or rather, in a manner fitting of a typical hero, I wouldn’t have gone as far as to request assistance from the Secret Society.”

Nguyen sighed deeply and took something out of his pocket.

It was a notebook covered in cowhide, with some stains that looked like fingerprints on the surface.

“What’s that?”

“It’s the notebook of a former deputy prime minister who’s been reported missing. It was passed to me through his son.”

Blood.

“He had a habit of keeping handwritten records, and everything he saw and heard is written down here.”

“A memoir, then.”

“Memoir…? Sorry, my Korean is weak…”

“Think of it as a diary left by politicians. Though the contents might be serious enough to overturn a country compared to those of ordinary people.”

“Similar, I suppose.”

“Oppa.”

Yun Hye-ra sent me a look.

I caught on to her gaze.

Nguyen hadn’t fully caught on yet.

“Nguyen. There’s some unfortunate news.”

“Please, speak.”

“You might have tried your best to cover your tracks, but it seems those tracking you are beyond your capabilities.”

“……!!”

Nguyen’s expression began to harden rapidly.

“That, that can’t be…!”

“Oh, don’t worry. We’re in a rather comfortable situation right now. It’s a good time for some espionage training for you.”

“…Pardon?”

“Look over there.”

I pointed towards some people approaching another plane from Korea, on the opposite side of the café.

“Who do they look like to you?”

“…Aren’t they Kosians?”

“Exactly. To the outside world, indistinguishable from Kosians. Kids abandoned, trying to make money by pretending to be guides at tourist spots.”

Three girls in academy uniforms approached the Korean tourists.

They gently approached them, chatting, and the three male tourists gladly accepted the girls’ offer and followed them.

“Thai beauties appearing right after landing at the airport. Even wearing uniforms resembling those of an academy, it’s as if a female ability user is acting as a guide. Nguyen, a question for you. What purpose do these girls have in approaching those men?”

“……To extract seed and take it back to Korea?”

“That’s a judgment from the perspective of someone from this country. Think as a person from the Secret Society. A hint: it’s about us.”

“……Could it be.”

Nguyen’s expression immediately hardened.

“The intelligence that I was going to meet with an agent of the Secret Society at the airport…?”

“It will. Always be careful when using watches, smartphones, and other electronic devices. You never know when or where a hack might occur.”

“……sigh.”

Nguyen was disheartened.

He must have been careful in his own way, but unlike Yun Hye-ra and me, who had a team dedicated to handling electronic information, his information was bound to be exposed.

Of course, according to the information we had secured in advance, Nguyen’s exposure wasn’t due to hacking.

It was due to information leakage by people, not electronic data.

“Nguyen. How much do you trust people?”

“…….”

“The son of the former deputy prime minister who handed over this memoir. Are you confident that he approached you out of innocence, questioning his father’s disappearance?”

“……Could it be.”

Despair flickered in Nguyen’s eyes.

At the same time, three Kosian guides and three Korean tourists took their seats at a table near us.

“Oh, oppa. This is a Taeguk Watch, right? Wow. It’s my first time seeing a Taeguk Watch.”

“Hehe. It’s the latest model. Well, nothing special. Just these features….”

The guides did their best to lift the spirits of the tourists, and the three men, thrilled by the bright actions of these pretty girls, were chattering away.

“Right now, those Kosian guides are searching. While conversing, they’re determining if these are just ordinary people, tourists, seed sowers with shady intentions coming to Thailand to spread their seeds wildly, or….”

“…agents of the Secret Society who have come in response to a hero’s request to somehow stop the collusion between politics and business. Unfortunately, it seems they’ve hooked completely different people over there.”

Yun Hye-ra pointed at the three men with a smile in the daylight.

“Nguyen. How many ‘real’ Kosians do you think there are among the Kosians?”

“……Pardon?”

“You know. Just because someone is Korean doesn’t mean they have a Taeguk flag hologram floating above their head. If they come from Korea, have a Korean passport, and wear a Taeguk watch, does that make them Korean?”

“…….”

“Mr. Nguyen, to become a true member of the Secret Society, you need a perspective that views the world in a darker light.”

“Hye-ra.”

“Why? Oppa, this person is too naive right now. We need to teach him the harsh reality.”

“Even if he’s A-rank, he’s only 21.”

“Do we have a big difference?”

Of course, that’s true.

“But the depth of darkness we’ve seen so far is different.”

“I, as an A-rank hero myself….”

“That’s what they call ‘counting chickens before they hatch.’ Nguyen. If you truly want to judge as a member of the Secret Society, want our help, and want to change this country together with the Secret Society, then just quietly follow our lead for now.”

Yun Hye-ra wrote something on the table with her finger.

“It’s an executive order. You’re not planning to ignore the executive’s orders, are you?”

“!!!!”

Nguyen’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

“No, no way… I, I thought if someone were to come, it’d just be an ‘agent’…!”

“I’m a manager here.”

“Nice to meet you, Nguyen.”

I extended my hand to Nguyen with respect.

“Manager Goblin.”

“…….”

“Well, it’s natural to be surprised when two executives come in response to a service call. But this is a matter that warrants it.”

The military.

The government.

Heroes.

And behind them, the devils.

“Let’s start with this case next to us, step by step. Following their trail, we’ll unravel the darkness that looms over this country, one by one.”

“So, we’re going to use them?”

“Our stance is to use what can be used. I mean the hyenas trying to prey on innocent sheep.”

I pointed at the three guides, who were not really guides, chasing the Koreans.

“Really, are they Korean?”

“……..”

“Let’s use them. Pretending to be Koreans…well, I’m not interested in which country they’re actually from. Anyway, we’ll use them, following where the guides take them.”

I pulled out a business card I received from Yun Hye-ra.

“To a scene of human trafficking secretly operated by the military and ignored by the top-ranked A hero.”

Its name was ‘Succubus Island.’

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