Descent of the Demon Master - Chapter 38
Chapter 38. Getting Help (7)
Kang Jin-Ho stared silently at the bank account passbook. Maybe the chairman still hadn’t understood what he originally meant?
“No, sir. I’m not looking for a lot of money. I want just enough to let me live a slightly comfier life.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu tutted at that reply. “Young man, it seems that you’re clueless about the pricing of the goods these days. One hundred million won’t even get you a decent house in Seoul.”
“Never mind buying one, you won’t even be able to afford the downpayment with that amount. In other words, living a comfy life with just one hundred million is an unrealistic dream.”
“I… see,” Kang Jin-Ho muttered, unable to say anything else. To him, a hundred million won seemed like a massive amount of money. It was a bit of a shocker to hear that such an amount wasn’t even enough for the downpayment for a house. Just how much money did he need for a comfortable life, then? Listening to Hwang Jeong-Hu’s explanation made it sound like money was worthless these days.
Hwang Jeong-Hu didn’t stop there and continued. “According to my investigation, you also have a younger sister. That means the house you want to live in must be a three-bedroom house. Hmmm, a proper three-bedroom home where you and your whole family can live a comfortable life, is it? I wonder if you can buy even the front porch of such a house with one hundred million these days…”
Kang Jin-Ho frowned deeply. He now understood that one hundred million won was not enough to realize his dream.
‘I’ve been complacent, it seems…’
Accepting only one hundred million won would have put him in the position of needing more money again. He finally realized that he should have systematically investigated some more before making his move.
“Young man, you were thinking of trying to help out your parents and make your lives easier, weren’t you?”
Kang Jin-Ho didn’t respond, simply staring back at Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“Unfortunately, one hundred million won will not help you in your quest. You’ll blow right through that money in a year if you aren’t careful with it. Besides, don’t ever think that your parents will work less because you brought home that much money. Just your tuition alone will eat up a massive chunk of that budget.”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded. He had to admit that Hwang Jeong-Hu was right about this and that there was a need for him to accept more money than he had initially demanded.
Hwang Jeong-Hu tried to hand the bank account passbook back to Kang Jin-Ho. “Since that’s the case, then you must accept this.”
“Sir, it’s still too much.”
“It’s always better to have more money.”
“Sure, if your wealth grows past a certain point, having more will make little to no visible difference to you. However, one hundred million won is definitely not enough to reach that threshold. That’s why I advise you to accept this. Besides, making your life comfier means you’ll concentrate more on my treatment. So, this isn’t strictly just for you, but for myself as well.”
“Mmm…” Kang Jin-Hu grunted while feeling like he was stuck in a dilemma.
Hang Jeong-Hu chuckled, “Young man, your mind will change once you have some money in your pocket. So how about accepting it for now?”
In the end, even Kang Jin-Ho started to chuckle.
Hwang Jeong-Hu seemed to be under the impression that Kang Jin-Ho had been living a less than well-off life until now. Outwardly, that might have been true, but the reality was that he had already experienced the zenith of wealth before. His financial muscle had been so gigantic that Hwang Jeong-Hu’s fortunes seemed like a joke in comparison.
But that was back when he was in Zhongyuan, of course.
Compared to the modern era, there weren’t a whole lot of things you could do with your money in Zhongyuan. However, it was safe to say that the wealthy people of Zhongyuan enjoyed a lifestyle that the modern era’s rich could only dream about. For instance, cars—no matter how much nicer and more expensive your car was, it was still a car, something even commoners with little money could drive around.
However, the commoners of Zhongyuan had to walk around on their feet if they wanted to go somewhere. Only some with money could ride a horse, while the wealthy people rode around in luxurious carriages pulled by thoroughbreds. While peasants had to walk and walk some more until the soles of their shoes wore out, Zhongyuan’s wealthy could just relax on the soft beds in their luxury carriages. A simple example like this one alone rendered the comparison between the quality of lifestyle enjoyed by Zhongyuan’s wealthy and that of the modern era’s wealthy a moot point.
If the actual value of assets was the only criterion for judging, then Zhongyuan’s wealthy would be comparable to the modern era’s middle class.
Relatively speaking, though, their lifestyle was incomparably more luxurious than the peasants of the same era. So much so that the modern era’s wealthy couldn’t even hope to compare when their fortunes could only bring them a slightly better lifestyle.
Kang Jin-Ho had experienced that incredible lifestyle back in Zhongyuan. No matter how well-off Hwang Jeong-Hu was, would his fortunes be anywhere near the ‘wealth’ of the Demon Cult that had ruled almost half of Zhongyuan? Of course not…
Despite his past, though, Kang Jin-Ho wasn’t hung-up on wealth. His belief was that money would become just another hindrance beyond a certain point. Even so…
‘…The chairman has a point.’
He wasn’t alone anymore. Money was necessary to help his family out. What Kang Jin-Ho considered as being happy wouldn’t be the same as his family’s standards. In other words, it would be better to have more money to accommodate their needs.
“Understood.” Kang Jin-Ho accepted the bank account passbook, then looked at Hwang Jeong-Hu. “However, what about the account owner…?”
“Mmm, well. That’s a bit of an issue…” Hwang Jeong-Hu frowned deeply. “Transferring ten billion won to another person’s account without reason isn’t a simple matter. It’ll eventually become a problem if I keep transferring the money regularly. I might be fine, but you’ll definitely experience some headaches later on.”
“What do you mean?”
“People will start asking if you’re Hwang Jeong-Hu’s hidden child or grandson. Such rumors will spread around like wildfire. That won’t be good for either of us.”
“But sir, you already said I’m your grandchild back in my school.”
“That and this aren’t the same. Visiting a ‘grandchild’ isn’t going to generate much news. However… If people discovered that I’ve been regularly sending money to this grandchild, things will swiftly get out of hand. I wouldn’t normally care about such things, but the timing isn’t so good right now as the Jaegyeong Group doesn’t really have any heirs.”
If Hwang Jeong-Hu’s sons were still around and were still maintaining their positions in the company, a sudden appearance of a hidden grandson wouldn’t draw too much attention. Some rumors would undoubtedly start doing the rounds, but that much could be handled with little to no issues.
But the heir situation for Hwang Jeong-Hu was quite delicate right now. The sudden appearance of a hidden offspring would definitely set the people’s tongues wagging. Things wouldn’t change too much for Hwang Jeong-Hu, but Kang Jin-Ho would end up as the center of the world’s attention. Of course, this situation wasn’t ideal for either man.
“I see…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
“I considered various methods, but for the time being, this is the best option available. Use this account under my name for now. There could be issues with the gift tax, but I’ll deal with it on my end. I’m not a fan of dodging the law, you see.”
“By the way…”
“How do I withdraw from this account? Since it’s not under my name, I shouldn’t be able to withdraw at will, no?” Kang Jin-Ho asked seriously.
Hwang Jeong-Hu ended up chuckling at that. Did he need to explain such things, too? “There’s the debit card, isn’t it?”
“You… want me to use this card?”
“Yes. You’ll be able to handle most matters with that. Withdraw from an ATM if you need cold, hard cash, or visit the bank’s branch if you need more. I’ve already spoken to the nearest branch from here, so you probably won’t encounter any problems.”
“I see.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded again. It certainly sounded like a logical way to handle this.
Hwang Jeong-Hu grinned. “Then, I’ll consider this as paying my dues for this month. I’ll deposit more after the next month’s treatment.”
Kang Jin-Ho’s eyes widened. “You mean… Another ten billion won?”
“Isn’t that what we agreed upon?”
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head. “For now, I’m fine with this.”
“You’ll soon realize that it won’t be enough, young man. The more you have money, the more you’ll find reasons to spend it. You’ll see what I’m talking about soon enough.”
“When that happens, we’ll talk again, then.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
“Huh, are you thinking of using me as your personal ATM?”
Kang Jin-Ho replied nonchalantly, “I’m already doing that, sir.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu raucously laughed. “Hahaha! That’s true!”
“However, I do have a couple of favors to ask you.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu’s eyes briefly gleamed just then. Favors like this would only serve to deepen the relationship between him and Kang Jin-Ho. It was ultimately for Hwang Jeong-Hu’s benefit, of course.
“Alright. Let’s hear them.”
Kang Jin-Ho got serious as he spoke, “There is a place called Seongsim Orphanage.”
“You mean, where your friend stays at?”
“I see that your investigation has been rather thorough, Chairman.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu grinned meaningfully. “I have a rather capable man working for me, you see.”
“In any case… That orphanage is constantly suffering from a severe lack of funds. It doesn’t sound like they are under heavy debt or anything like that, though, so can you help them by finding a new place or building for them to move into? Their current place isn’t fit for people to stay.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu narrowed his eyes. Now, this was unexpected; he found it strange that Kang Jin-Ho had such a side to him. This young man looked like the type who wouldn’t be interested in other people’s business, but…
“Hmm, a new place to move into, is it?”
Hwang Jeong-Hu rubbed his chin. “Wouldn’t it be better to just construct a new building?”
“That’s… also fine.”
“Hmm. Doing so should be the simplest way to handle this.”
Kang Jin-Ho could only tut inwardly at the wealthy people’s idea of a ‘simple way.’ He then brought up his second favor. “And this next one will be slightly more complicated…”
“Mm?” Hwang Jeong-Hu became slightly tense at that.
“Does the Jaegyeong Group sell bicycles?”
“…Hmm?” Hwang Jeong-Hu was left somewhat speechless by that question. “A bicycle?”
Why was this young man suddenly bringing up a bicycle?
“Yes, a bicycle.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
“Well, uh, no. We don’t sell bicycles.”
Kang Jin-Ho looked a little disappointed. “Really?”
“What’s the matter?”
“I need a sturdy bicycle, you see.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu was stupefied by that reply and had to remind Kang Jin-Ho about something important. “Isn’t that what the ten billion won is for? Italy produces many famous bicycles, so you should consider buying the best one available.”
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head. “You misunderstood me, sir.”
“I’m not looking for a nice bicycle but a sturdy one. Sturdy enough to survive getting run over by a truck, with pedals strong enough to not break when I push them down as hard as I can. I want that kind of bicycle.”
“What? Even after a truck runs it over? Why would you need a bicycle like that?”
Kang Jin-Ho sheepishly scratched the back of his head. “I keep breaking my bicycles, you see.”
“You… keep breaking them?”
“Yes. I’m just pedaling like normal, yet all the pedals keep breaking, the chains snap in half, and…”
Hwang Jeong-Hu was left utterly flabbergasted. What on earth was he listening to right now? The sudden introduction of this weird topic stopped the old man’s brain for a moment or two. How was he supposed to interpret this request?
Although flabbergasted, Hwang Jeong-Hu still nodded. “I don’t really understand it, but there must be someone who knows what you’re looking for. Why don’t I hire someone to build the sturdiest bicycle in the world for you, then?”
Kang Jin-Ho nodded. “Yes, please. I’ll leave it up to you.”
“Well, then. Is that all?”
Hwang Jeong-Hu settled comfortably in the seat. “In that case, let’s get going.”
“Tsk, tsk. It’s no good if you’re this slow on the uptake, young man.” Hwang Jeong-Hu smiled playfully. “We need to go to your house now, don’t we?”
Kang Jin-Ho’s expression sharpened instantly. “Don’t try to get my family involved in this.”
But Hwang Jeong-Hu remained unruffled and began patting Kang Jin-Ho’s shoulders in pity. “Young man, you need to think carefully about this.”
“What do you mean?”
“How are you going to explain this money to your family?”
Kang Jin-Ho was instantly rendered speechless. Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t just hand this money over to his parents. How was he supposed to explain where he got this huge amount of money from?
“Were you thinking of telling them that it fell out of the sky one day?”
“Or, maybe you were thinking of telling them you won the lottery? However, how many ten billion won lotteries do you think there are in this country?”
Kang Jin-Ho powerlessly lowered his head.
“Young man, let me explain to your family. That’ll be easier and simpler.”
“I guess so.”
At this point, Kang Jin-Ho had decided to surrender wholeheartedly to Hwang Jeong-Hu’s cunningness. He was supposed to be in the dominant position by holding the chairman’s weakness, but it felt like he was being led around by the nose from start to finish.
But it didn’t feel so bad, though. Honestly, this situation reminded him of a certain old, faded memory. That person… That person could also turn Kang Jin-Ho into a hapless little kid like this.
“Well, then. Shall we get going?” Hwang Jeong-Hu asked with a grin.
Kang Jin-Ho immediately shook his head. “Maybe next time, sir.”
“I’m still in school, remember?”
Kang Jin-Ho replied in a matter-of-factly way, “I’m not expelled, after all. As a student, I can’t skip class and head home, now can I?”
“I-is that right?”
“I see. Then, you should go back to class.”
“Well, then…” Kang Jin-Ho opened the door and exited the car.
Hwang Jeong-Hu watched the young man walk away as an unreadable grin slowly filled up his face. “What a mysterious man he is…”
Kang Jin-Ho sometimes came across as incredibly astute, but at other times, he would also seem like a naive young man. But when his eyes flashed sharply just now, even someone like Hwang Jeong-Hu felt a shiver down his spine.
“I guess I won’t get bored, then.”
An important business and a source of entertainment had shown up all at once. Hwang Jeong-Hu was finally truly thankful for this second shot at life.