Descent of the Demon Master - Chapter 71
Chapter 71. The Encounter (2)
The voice from the darkness whispered in a taunting voice, “Speak up. If you do, I’ll let you go.”
Park Hyeok-Gi desperately tried to say something. However, it was utterly impossible as his throat was gripped too tightly. He summoned all of his might to push down and shove away the arm gripping him, but no dice; this arm had to be made of hardened steel as it didn’t even budge an inch. In fact, it didn’t seem like it would move no matter what he did.
Kang Jin-Ho’s voice came to him again. “Speak up.”
Park Hyeok-Gi desperately screamed, but the sound leaked out as a powerless whimper from his mouth.
“I can’t hear you…”
Park Hyeok-Gi heard his wrist crack and twist. His eyes flew open as he screamed in shock. However, the shrill screaming of a tortured man remained trapped in his throat, unable to reach the outside world.
In the meantime, Kang Jin-Ho continued to taunt him. “I said, speak up.”
“I can’t hear you…”
This time, Park Hyeok-Gi’s shoulder shattered. Tears began streaming down his eyes. Trying to endure the pain of his bones breaking apart without passing out was far too torturous to even describe.
“Now, do you understand?”
“Now, do you know the pain of wanting to say something but you can’t?” Kang Jin-Ho quietly whispered.
Park Hyeok-Gi urgently nodded. He didn’t even know what he was replying to, but at the very least, his instincts told him to agree with whatever was being said. Unfortunately for him…
Kang Jin-Ho remained merciless. “No, you still don’t get it now, do you?”
Park Hyeok-Gi’s collarbone was shattered, causing his entire body to spasm violently. The collarbone fracture was one of the most painful injuries imaginable, after all.
Kang Jin-Ho calmly called out. “Park Hyeok-Gi.”
“I want you to answer me.”
Park Hyeok-Gi tried so hard to open his mouth, but no sound would come out. Only tears continued to flood down his face—tears of terror, pain, and even resentment. Kang Jin-Ho continued to stare at Starwiz’s director, then quietly asked, “Do you know what your mistake was?”
“…!” Park Hyeok-Gi madly nodded away.
That was when Kang Jin-Ho suddenly released his grip on Park Hyeok-Gi’s throat.
Park Hyeok-Gi’s falling body clattered noisily on the floor.
Kang Jin-Ho coldly stared at that scene, then asked once again, “Say it.”
“Heuh… Urgh… Why are you… doing this…”
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head. “Wrong.”
Kang Jin-Ho’s foot stomped down on Park Hyeok-Gi’s leg. The latter’s mouth flew open, but for some unfathomable reason, no sound came out. Was it because the intense pain had robbed him of his voice?
“Now, say it. Tell me what your mistake was,” said Kang Jin-Ho in a cold voice.
“…I… I… those… girls, I… did my… job…”
Yet another chilling sound of bones breaking echoed in the office. Kang Jin-Ho leaned in close and whispered quietly into Park Hyeok-Gi’s ear, “That’s not the right answer, Park Hyeok-Gi.”
The director of Starwiz stared back with unfocused, dazed eyes as he unhesitantly nodded.
“None of what you think is the right answer. You see, your mistake was…” Kang Jin-Ho grabbed Park Hyeok-Gi’s hand. “…Provoking me.”
All his fingers were shattered in an instant.
Kang Jin-Ho relaxedly muttered, “It’s impossible to find every guilty person alive and punish them. Besides, there’s no point. I’m neither an ally of justice nor a righteous judge. I wouldn’t have cared whether you committed crimes or not as long as it didn’t involve me. Do you understand now, Park Hyeok-Gi? Do you know what your mistake was?”
“Heuh… ugh…” Park Hyeok-Gi nodded with his face looking like a mess of snot, tears, and blood.
“Really? Then, say it.”
“Kang… Eun… Yeong…”
“Correct.” Kang Jin-Ho coldly smiled. “You should’ve behaved yourself.”
“I… I’m sorry… My… mistake…” Park Hyeok-Gi desperately apologized and begged for mercy.
But Kang Jin-Ho wanted none of it. “It’s too late.”
Terror rapidly dyed Park Hyeok-Gi’s expression.
“Yes, it’s far too late, Park Hyeok-Gi. For you and for me, too.”
Park Hyeok-Gi’s already labored breathing became even heavier and shallow as the oppressive aura bore down on him.
Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes and glared. “You might think I’m being unfair. Well, the fault wasn’t exclusively yours alone, after all. However, you’re the representative of this agency, aren’t you? It’s your job to take responsibility for the mistakes of your subordinates, isn’t it?”
“Since you’ve been enjoying the fruit of your position, isn’t it fitting that you bear the cost, too?”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly shook his head. “I don’t forgive. I merely trade.”
“That’s right, trade. You taste your own medicine. That’s the terms of my trade. Now, listen well, Park Hyeok-Gi. Once you wake up, you’ll discover that nothing has happened to you. You might think that all this was just a nightmare, but it doesn’t matter because I’ll come for you again. So, listen closely, Park Hyeok-Gi. You will taste the bitter medicine of your own making. Until the same time tomorrow, you shall prepare a billion won. If you don’t, we’ll be trading again, like today.”
“That’s right. And it better be in cash…”
Kang Jin-Ho pressed his coldly-smiling face close to Park Hyeok-Gi’s messy face, then quietly whispered, “Did you get all that? Or do you want me to explain again?”
Park Hyeok-Gi madly nodded, then shook his head. No one would be insane enough to listen to that explanation again. Right now, he felt that a billion won was a cheap price to pay to escape from this situation.
“Good. Don’t forget this, though. The moment you start believing that all this was just a dream, you and I will start trading once more.”
Kang Jin-Ho’s smile… No, Crimson Heavenly Demon Emperor’s smile seemed to flash brightly before gradually melting into the surrounding darkness.
“Hurrrrrk?!” Park Hyeok-Gi shot up from his seat. “Heok! Huff, huff!”
Like a madman, he hurriedly spun his head around to scan his surroundings.
‘A… a dream?’
He looked down at his hand, but… His broken fingers, leg, and even his collarbone were all intact. What on earth was going on here?
Was it really a dream, then? But it was too vivid to be dismissed as a mere dream. The pain Park Hyeok-Gi felt was just too real to be something his mind had cooked up during his slumber. It’d be nonsensical for a sane mind to imagine such horrifying and vivid pain!
However, he had no other way of explaining his perfectly-fine body. How could a person be wrecked that badly only to emerge fine unless it was a dream?
“Was it really a dream?” Park Hyeok-Gi muttered in a daze, but that nightmarish voice vividly rang in his brain.
‘Don’t forget this, though. The moment you start believing that all this was just a dream, you and I will start trading once more.’
Park Hyeok-Gi began shivering like a wet dog. What the hell was going on here? Was it a dream or not?! He couldn’t make heads nor tails of this situation. Unable to figure anything out, Park Hyeok-Gi just stood there shivering. Eventually, though, something snapped in him. He pitifully held his shoulders and chewed some desperate-sounding words out. “Y-Yeah, it’s a dream! It must’ve been a dream, I’m sure of it!”
He found a plausible explanation for himself. That must have been a dream that started from the memories of his throat getting grabbed earlier in the day by the older brother of that b*tch, Kang Eun-Yeong. That young punk’s glare had sent an ominous chill down Park Hyeok-Gi’s spine, so it must have remained etched in his memories.
In that case, what a f*cked up nightmare that was. Never in his life had he experienced something that crazy!
“F*cking hell!” Park Hyeok-Gi couldn’t stop himself from shivering, then he suddenly threw his jacket off. He had sweated so much that it felt like he was soaked in water and he wanted to dry himself somehow. He angrily plopped down on his chair and groaned.
‘Damn it. My health must’ve been getting worse lately from… Huh?’
Park Hyeok-Gi froze up in his seat. His wide-open eyes were staring at the jacket he had taken off. More specifically, he was staring at something strange visible inside the clothing. He stared at it in a daze, trying to figure out what that was.
A single crimson dot was visible on the jacket’s inner lining. He leaned in closer to take a better look and realized that this crimson dot was still wet.
The droplet’s shape and color… There was no mistake. A single droplet of blood stained his jacket. Park Hyeok-Gi slowly reached out and touched it. It was still moist. He could feel the sticky blood on the tip of his finger. But he didn’t have any injuries on him, so how could this be?
Just… where did this droplet of blood come from?
Park Hyeok-Gi began to shiver once more as he mumbled absentmindedly, “Just… just what the f*ck… is going on here?”
Kang Eun-Yeong’s transfer to a new agency was handled at the proverbial speed of light.
Chairman Hwang’s command started the chain reaction. Jaegyeong Group requested the agency, Code, to take on an aspiring idol. Nobody in Korea would dare to say no to a polite request coming from one of the top companies in the country.
Thanks to this speedy resolution, the still-stupefied Kang Eun-Yeong now found herself in Code’s office to sign the new contract. Jo Gyu-Min accompanied her to eliminate any potential unfair clauses in the contract.
Once the signing was complete, and Kang Eun-Yeong was out of the earshot…
Jo Gyu-Min bowed his head slightly. “Thank you. We’ll leave her in your care.”
“No need to worry, Mr. Gyu-Min. However…” Yi Jin-Gun, the representative of Code, carefully threw out a question. “Just who is that girl? Seeing that Jaegyeong is involved and all.”
Jo Gyu-Min scratched his head, looking somewhat sheepish. “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you that.”
“Wait, could she be…”
Jo Gyu-Min cottoned onto what Yi Jin-Gun was implying and quickly shook his head. “No, that’s not it. Our Chairman does not have any hidden children. Of course, she’s not some hidden granddaughter, either. You know that Chairman Hwang is not the type to sneakily do stuff like that behind people’s backs, Mr. Jin-Gun.”
“Well, yes. You’re right about that.”
“However, please do note that she is definitely someone who can rival Chairman Hwang in importance.”
“I-Important enough to rival him, you say?” Yi Jin-Gun made a shocked face while interpreting that statement in his own way. Jo Gyu-Min could only smile wryly at that. But it was true that her identity as Kang Jin-Ho’s younger sister was far more ‘dangerous’ than her being Hwang Jeong-Hu’s granddaughter.
Jo Gyu-Min cleared his throat. “In any case, please do look after her. I know that the entertainment industry isn’t as squeaky-clean as people think. Even then… If something untoward happens to that girl, I assure you that Code won’t walk away unscathed.”
“I’ll engrave it to my heart…”
“Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not threatening you but simply telling you the truth. If something happens to her, even we will have a tough time trying to deal with the consequences.”
“I-I see.” Yi Jin-Gun nervously swallowed while nodding.
He had to wonder who the we in Jo Gyu-Min’s words could be. Could it be Jo Gyu-Min and his underlings or… the entire Jaegyeong Group? In that case, was Jo Gyu-Min trying to say that even a major corporation like Jaegyeong would be in trouble trying to deal with the aftermath if something happened to Kang Eun-Yeong?
Just what was that Eun-Yeong girl’s true identity that Jo Gyu-Min had to say such things?
‘Did I take on a ticking time bomb instead of a golden goose…?’
Yi Jin-Gun began thinking that he had been handed a hot potato.
Jo Gyu-Min bowed a little and got up. “Well, then. We should be on our way now. You see, someone above me gets rather unhappy if I spend too much time in a talent agency.”
“Of course. Ah, before you leave. May I ask you one more question?” Yi Jin-Gun raised his hand slightly.
“Yes, please go ahead.”
“What will happen to Starwiz…?”
Jo Gyu-Min replied nonchalantly, “That agency will most likely be closed down.”
“Ah…” Yi Jin-Gun let out a soft gasp.
Starwiz might not be the biggest talent agency in Korea, but it had remained a contender in the entertainment industry for a long time. However, an agency with history and tradition was wiped out literally overnight.
Jo Gyu-Min quietly muttered, “It’d be nice if things end there, though…”
“Ah, no. Don’t mind me.”
Jo Gyu-Min was just talking to himself, but his words loomed larger than any threats in Yi Jin-Gun’s mind.
Code’s representative spoke in a grave-sounding voice, “You can rest easy, Mr. Gyu-Min. Our agency will never do things that the public might see as unsavory.”
“I sincerely hope that will be the case. No, wait—that has to be the case.” Jo Gyu-Min got up while saying that.
Yi Jin-Gun also got up to see Jo Gyu-Min out of the office. Once his guests left, he picked up his phone and called someone. “Yeah, it’s me. Looks like we’ll have to increase the number of road managers. What? No, what I’m saying is we need more of them sticking close to that girl. Make sure to keep the kids in line so that they don’t cause any trouble! If we don’t do this right, we might end up in some serious crap!”
The worst crisis in Yi Jin-Gun’s life was approaching—he could feel it.