Return of the Frozen Player
Volume 1 Chapter 15
The Return of the Frozen Player
[Translator - Castor]
[Proofreader - yukitokata]
Return of the Frozen Player 015
Personal Commission (1)
(TN: “Personal” refers to the fact that people specifically request SJH.)
The Myungho Group has been the number 1 company in Korea for decades.
The Myungho Guild, Myungho Electronics, Myungho Power, Myungho Manufacturing, Myungho Foundation, and so on…
They didn’t have any hidden agendas. The family that owned the ever-expanding Myungho Group had clean tax records and led lives that garnered both respect and envy.
“It seemed that they would be that way forever. Until misfortune struck.”
Seo Jun-ho looked up from the back seat. Sitting in front of him, Cha Si-eun briefed him with a quiet voice, as if she were reciting a story.
“Misfortune… You mean the daughter?”
“Yes. Choi Pil-ho’s eldest daughter was struck with a terminal illness: ‘Nine Yin Severance Syndrome’.”
“Ah, that’s a hard one to fix…”
Those who have Nine Yin Severance Syndrome were born with high Yin energy and most of them died young. The only way to treat it was to counteract it by infusing the victim with the opposite Yang energy. The problem was, it was hard to find anything these days with the appropriate amount of Yang energy.
“One of the only items that can treat Nine Yin Severance Syndrome is the Cinder Fox’s core. The world-famous player Specter-nim hunted the Cinder Fox and proved it 29 years ago.”
“Ah… Yeah, well. It’s not that amazing.” Seo Jun-ho scratched his cheek, embarrassed. Cha Si-eun glanced back at him.
“Excuse me, why is Jun-ho-nim embarrassed?”
“...I’ve admired Specter-nim all my life. I’m just nervous about the fact that I’ll be hunting the same monster as him.” He came up with the excuse on the spot. It wasn’t too convincing, but she glossed right over it.
“The core that Specter-nim recovered was sold to a rich Frenchman, and he successfully treated his wife with it.”
“Mm-hmm.” Seo Jun-ho nodded slowly. He remembered selling the Cinder Fox’s core for a high price.
“In conclusion, that is the background pertaining to President Choi Pil-ho’s commission.”
“It was a nice story. I understand now.”
“Thank you. I’ve also heard that you’re not the first one that Choi Pil-ho has commissioned.”
“But of course. His daughter’s life is on the line. How many were there before me?”
“Seven teams have accepted the commission and failed.”
“That’s a lot. Am I the only one going this time?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Well, I’m sure I’ll find out once we talk with him.” As if on cue, the car stopped. Seo Jun-ho got off and looked up at the Myungho Group’s company building.
“It hasn’t changed a bit…”
“Have you been here before?”
“Yeah. A long time ago.” Seo Jun-ho looked at Cha Si-eun with a faint smile.
“Let’s go in.”
As they approached the 1st floor reception desk, the receptionist smiled.
“How can I help you?”
Cha Si-eun reached into her pocket and showed her Player Association identification card.
“We’re from the Player Association. We have a meeting scheduled with President Choi Pil-ho regarding a personal commission.”
“Oh, player Seo Jun-ho-nim, correct? The elevator is right over the…?” The receptionist trailed off as a flustered look filled her face. At the same time, the chattering behind her got louder.
What is it?
As he turned, he saw a middle-aged man flanked by bodyguards approaching them. The man held out his hand as his clear eyes sparkled.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’ve been waiting. I am Choi Pil-ho.” Seo Jun-ho and Cha Si-eun were both shocked. Neither of them had expected the President to come all the way down to the 1st floor.
As Seo Jun-ho took his hand, he felt something in his chest. Perhaps he was sensing the sincere love of a father.
“I’m Seo Jun-ho. It’s an honor to meet you in person.”
“Haha. You’re a hero who’s saved countless citizens by clearing the Uncleared Gates. I’m the one who’s honored.” He laughed as he said this, but Seo Jun-ho could feel his eagerness in the way he gripped his hand.
“Let’s talk upstairs.”
They followed him to his office on the top floor and were greeted by the scent of good coffee. Choi Pil-ho waited for Seo Jun-ho to take a sip before he slowly opened his mouth.
“I’d imagine that you already heard everything, considering the Association’s ability to gather information.” Seo Jun-ho did not contradict him.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“It’s my only wish. My daughter… Please help my Sun-hee.”
With tears forming at the edge of his eyes, Choi Pil-ho no longer resembled the nationally-renowned businessman that he was. It was the face of a worried father who could no longer hide his sadness.
“I need the core of the Cinder Fox.” Seo Jun-ho finished his coffee with one gulp.
“Yes. It’s the only method that’s been successful in treating my daughter’s disease.”
“That’s right. Since you already seem to know everything, let’s move on to the payment.”
“You’re straightforward. I like it. I was thinking… 150 billion won.”
150 billion won.
Cha Si-eun’s eyes widened. It was much more than she’d expected. She looked at Seo Jun-ho expectantly, as if to say, “Hurry up and accept it!”.
But after considering it for a second, Seo Jun-ho shook his head.
Choi Pil-ho let out a low breath and immediately raised the price. “200 billion.”
“Is that still not enough? Then 250… No, I’ll give you 300 billion. Do you need more?”
Choi Pil-ho stared at Seo Jun-ho, biting his bottom lip hard. Seo Jun-ho slowly opened his mouth.
“I’m not telling you to raise the price. 100 billion. I’ll take 100 billion won.”
“...?” Both Choi Pil-ho and Cha Si-eun’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Really?” He felt that Seo Jun-ho’s price wasn’t high enough. Specter had sold the core to the Frenchman for exactly 100 billion.
But things were different now. Inflation was one thing, but the Frenchman had bought the core without knowing if it would work or not. Choi Pil-ho was buying it with a guarantee. The price of an item went up depending on how badly one wanted it. Actually, the most he’d paid a team for this commission was 240 billion won.
“Yes. 100 billion is more than enough.”
“Can I ask why?” Seo Jun-ho grinned.
“The Frenchman actually offered 500 billion won for the core. He was willing to sell everything if it meant he could save his wife.”
“...This is the first time I’m hearing this.”
“Oh, I heard this from President Shim Deok-gu.”
“I see.” It wouldn’t be strange for Shim Deok-gu to know the truth of such a story because he had been Specter’s close friend.
“But the Specter refused the offer and sold it for lower. Do you know why?” After a moment, Choi Pil-ho shook his head.
“‘You shouldn’t play around with the feelings of someone who’s trying to save their family…’ is what he said.”
“I agree with Specter-nim. If I took advantage of such a situation to fill my own belly… It wouldn’t feel right.”
After listening to his explanation, both Choi Pil-ho and Cha Si-eun looked deep in thought. After a moment, Choi Pil-ho opened his mouth.
“...Phew, I think I should apologize first.” He bowed his head and started to explain as Seo Jun-ho looked on with a curious gaze.
“All the others who have accepted my commission were only after the money. I had to set a price for Sun-hee’s life and only looked for expensive hirees.”
“It must have been hard on you emotionally.”
“Thank you for understanding. You’re the only one who understands the pain that my family has been going through. I apologize once again for thinking that you were like the others.” Choi Pil-ho had been extremely touched by Seo Jun-ho’s words. That was because no other player had been this concerned or considerate of him.
“Anyway, I think player Seo Jun-ho alone will be enough this time.”
“I’m surprised. Are you that confident that I’ll bring back the core?” Choi Pil-ho laughed at the question.
“As I get older, the only things that increase are my wrinkles and my eye for people.”
“Thank you for your praise.”
“It’s almost lunchtime. Shall we dine together?”
“I’m sorry. I have to make preparations if I want to defeat the Cinder Fox.”
Even though he’d swiftly rejected the offer, Choi Pil-ho didn’t seem offended.
“Ah, I apologize. Your life is at stake. You should prepare as thoroughly as possible.”
“It’s no problem. We can dine together next time. When I return with the core, I mean.”
“I feel better just hearing that. I’ll prepare the best chefs.”
With a kind smile, Choi Pil-ho escorted them out.
“I’ll be counting on you.”
“Don’t worry.” Because you chose the best person for the job.
Seo Jun-ho swallowed those words and got in the car.
* * *
[Translator - Castor]
[Proofreader - yukitokata]
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* * *
“Is that story about Specter-nim true?” Cha Si-eun broke the silence, eyes sparkling.
“It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? He had an image for being cold and mechanical…”
Cha Si-eun shook her head.
“Nope. Actually, it makes sense that someone as kind as Specter-nim would do that.”
“...Is he kind? The Specter?”
“I think so. And after what you said, I’m more sure now.” Cha Si-eun closed her eyes as if remembering someone and gently placed her hands on her lap. “Specter-nim probably refused the initial offer because he was thinking of his own family.”
“Specter-nim watched his parents die right in front of his eyes. It’s probably his biggest regret. So when he saw someone faced with the same situation, he probably didn’t want them to experience the same pain… Don’t you think so?”
Seo Jun-ho quietly watched the Han river pass by before he closed his eyes and muttered a reply.
“Well, no one knows but Specter-nim himself.”
They rode the rest of the way to the Association in silence.
Webtoon: Chapters 11 - 12
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