“But, how…!” Cai Kechang unknowingly gritted his teeth at the wretched sight before his eyes.
“Just what…
happened to him?!”

The ’sight ’ was none other than Jin Bao.
He was supposed to be carrying out the commission of ’investigating ’ Kang Jin-Ho in South Korea, but he suddenly became unreachable for some reason.
And it turned out that he was already back in China.

So, Cai Kechang wanted to know why Jin Bao and his partner—Wei Fong—chose to abandon their mission.
However, he couldn ’t ask anything.

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How could he ask someone who came back home as an invalid—a mental patient? Jin Bao ’s eyes were glassy, unfocused.
Drool trickled down from the corner of his mouth with no sign of stopping any time soon.
This sight was already enough for Cai Kechang to guess what had gone down in Korea.

’Still, what exactly happened? ’

It didn ’t take a genius to figure out that Jin Bao had lost to Kang Jin-Ho.
What Cai Kechang couldn ’t understand was just how bad the beatdown had to be for Jin Bao to end up in this wretched state.

Jin Bao was quite well-known in the world of shadows as a capable professional.
A professional who dealt with not ordinary, powerless targets, but with his fellow martial artists.
A man specializing in making cultivators disappear, so to speak.

Unsurprisingly, he had witnessed many unsavory things and experienced just as many dangers.
The concept of ’knowing all the tricks in the book ’ would surely be a fitting description of Jin Bao.

His death during a commission would have been far easier to understand.
His profession meant Jin Bao had to live with constant danger, after all.
But to see such a man come back as an invalid—an idiot—now that was something Cai Kechang just couldn ’t understand.

A martial artist ’s mental strength was so much higher than an ordinary person ’s.
Cai Kechang hadn ’t heard any of his fellow martial artists going insane unless they suffered from some form of Qi deviation.

But what choice did he have now but to change his mind? Something that went against his common sense was right in front of his eyes, was it not?

uwah…” Jin Bao muttered in a daze.

Cai Kechang turned his head and glared at Wei Fong.
“Tell me what happened.”

Wei Fong was responsible for finding and bringing Jin Bao back to China.
It seemed like a prudent idea to listen to his testimony.

“I do not know the details,” said Wei Fong with a slow shake of his head.
“During his final phone call, he said we needed to leave South Korea immediately.
He even yapped on about giving up on the commission, too.
And then…
He ’s now like this, sir.”

Wei Fong then pointed at Jin Bao.
“However, he sounded terrified, sir.
I ’ve been working with this guy for over ten years…
And that was my first time hearing him so scared.”

Cai Kechang ’s brows furrowed deeply.

can ’t tell whether this should be considered as a job done or not. ’

Jin Bao was supposed to investigate and bring data regarding Kang Jin-Ho, but since he returned empty-handed, this result should qualify as a failure.
On the other hand…
Jin Bao ’s state seemed like the best ’evidence ’ of what kind of a man Kang Jin-Ho was.

Jin Bao was turned into an idiot, which was a good indicator of Kang Jin-Ho’s cruelty.

“However, sir.
I ’m pretty sure Jin Bao was being pursued by Kang Jin-Ho, and—” Wei Fong continued to explain but didn ’t get to finish his sentence.

Jin Bao suddenly cut him off with a loud scream.

The name ’Kang Jin-Ho ’ served as the trigger, causing Jin Bao to buck and flail around like a rabid dog as foam bubbled out of his mouth.

“J-Jin Bao?!” Wei Fong hurriedly jumped in to suppress Jin Bao, but the latter continued to crazily thrash about like an unruly three-year-old kid.

He even began screaming, too.
“Kang Jin-Hoooo! Hiiiieeek?! Kang Jiiiiin-Ho!”

Cai Kechang ’s eyes coldly gleamed as he observed this spectacle.
He got his answers now.
And it was pretty clear, as a matter of fact.

Jin Bao moaned painfully.
did this…”

Cai Kechang narrowed his eyes.

The look of terror remained etched on Jin Bao ’s face as he began mumbling, “I did this.
I did this.
I did this.
I did this…!”

Wei Fong freaked out.
“Bao! What are you saying?!”

“I did this! I did this! I did this!”


“No, stop,” said Cai Kechang as he stopped Wei Fong.
Those words were not coming from Jin Bao.
Most likely, that was a message directly coming from Kang Jin-Ho.

Kang Jin-Ho was boasting that he did this to Jin Bao.
He was saying that since ’people ’ were curious about him, he would let them know in the surest way possible.

insolent bastard! ’

Kang Jin-Ho was such an audacious and cruel bastard.
Even worse, he even possessed enough martial prowess to toy with Jin Bao as if he was a mere child!

’Even though he ’s a mere bangzi…! ’

In the world of martial arts and cultivation, South Korea was seen as a proverbial wasteland.
That wasn ’t the case in the ’normal ’ world, of course.
While other East Asian nations revered the path of might since ancient times, Korea was the odd nation out that placed bigger importance on the pursuit of knowledge and literature while suppressing its own martial artists.
Doing so naturally led it to become a weak nation in the matters of martial arts.

But now, someone this dangerous had shown up in such a country? Cai Kechang thought that this was an ominous sign of an impending storm.

’I better report this. ’

Anyway, this matter was no longer under Cai Kechang ’s supervision.
Reporting this result straight to the Crimson King was the correct thing to do.

Cai Kechang nodded and spoke in a grave voice, “Very well.
I understand now.
You can leave.”

Wei Fong stared back at Cai Kechang with a slight hint of dissatisfaction on his face.
He seemed like he wanted to say, shouldn ’t there be a suitable compensation since Jin Bao had ended up in this state during the mission issued by the Martial Union?

Cai Kechang chuckled hollowly at that expression.

’What a bunch of trash bastards… ’

How many unsavory, dastardly things these two had done so far under the context of carrying out commissions belonging to the darkness? The Martial Union left them alone because they were useful in more ways than one.
In any other circumstances, though, they would have been trampled by the Martial Union until nothing was left of them.

“Hmph.” Cai Kechang turned around to leave.
“Very well.
Go and get your commission fee.
With that amount and all the wealth you must have accumulated through every little dirty deed you ’ve done so far, you shouldn ’t have any issues living out the rest of your lives.”

Cai Kechang inwardly tutted while sensing Wei Fong bowing slightly behind him.
If Wei Fong was loyal enough to look after his mentally-damaged partner, then well, the remainder of Jin Bao ’s life would be guaranteed.
If not, then…
Jin Bao would get to live as a drooling nutcase only for a few days more, at most.

’However, it ’s merely his comeuppance. ’

Cai Kechang erased Jin Bao ’s name from his mind while heading to where the Crimson King was residing.


“You ’ve brought it~!” Kang Eun-Yeong gleefully snatched the paper bag away from Kang Jin-Ho ’s hand.

Kang Jin-Ho groaned, then playfully pushed her head down.
“You should be more thorough with packing your own stuff.”


“And if you ’ve forgotten something at home, you should have called me.
How dare you try to be crafty and call mother instead?”

“…But, dear older brother, you wouldn ’t have brought it over if I called you, right?”

“Well, that ’s true.” Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t even try to deny it.

“I really needed this compact, you know? What a relief, though! We couldn ’t even apply the foundation because I forgot this thing.
The filming could ’ve been delayed.” Kang Eun-Yeong sighed in genuine relief.

Her reaction helped to ease a little bit of Kang Jin-Ho ’s annoyance at needing to come this far from home.
“Why do you need this makeup so much?”

“Oppa, do you have any idea how different it is between looking at a face with your eyes and through a camera lens? Makeups specifically for filming exist for a reason, you know.”

“…If you say so.” Kang Jin-Ho slowly shook his head.

He knew nothing about the entertainment industry, so what else could he say here? From his perspective, his little sister throwing a fit over a single compact and forcing her brother to bring it all the way to Yeongdeok seemed very much an over-the-top behavior.
Then again, Kang Jin-Ho sympathized with Kang Eun-Yeong ’s desire to do everything right for her first drama appearance, so he decided to stop whining about it.

Kang Jin-Ho shrugged his shoulders.
“Okay, so.
I ’m done here, right?”


“What now?”

“…Can you go and buy me gimbap?[2] Pretty please?”

“Huh?” Kang Jin-Ho groaned.
“Can ’t you ask Yeong-Gi? Where is he, anyway?”

“Yeong-Gi oppa ’s still in the middle of his ’orientation ’, you see? And the manager oppa before him quit, so I have no one right now.
As a stop-gap measure, I ’ve got myself a temp manager, but, uh…
I don ’t know where he is right now.”

Kang Jin-Ho stared at his sister with a less-than-impressed gaze.

’Just how badly did she treat her manager for him to quit? ’

Kang Eun-Yeong might be his little sister, but even he couldn ’t lie and say she had a nice personality.
It was just that she couldn ’t go wild at home thanks to Kang Jin-Ho ’s iron-fisted rule and Baek Hyeon-Jeong ’s constant nagging.

On the outside, though, no such restrictions existed, so Kang Jin-Ho could already picture how bad his little sister ’s unruly behavior had to be.

’Hopefully, things will improve with Yeong-Gi around. ’

Ju Yeong-Gi had a knack for keeping his juniors in line.
Since he had also experienced unreasonable bullying in the military, he also knew not to go overboard with keeping people in check.

Kang Jin-Ho muttered in a disproving voice, “Do it in moderation, will you?”

“I haven ’t done anything, though!” Kang Eun-Yeong shot him a sharp glare.

“Just how badly did you torment your manager for him to run away?”

“…Oppa, you ’re sooo wrong about me bullying him.
He was too used to an idol ’s schedule and couldn ’t adapt when I got this part and that ’s why he quit, you know!”

“Sure, sure…” Kang Jin-Ho waved his hand dismissively as if he didn ’t want to hear any more words.

Kang Eun-Yeong puffed her cheeks.
Just buy me gimbap, will you? I think I ’m gonna die of starvation soon.”

“You haven ’t eaten anything until now?”

“How can I eat when I ’m about to receive the baptism of cameras?! What if my face gets swollen from eating the wrong food!”

Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“Then, why do you want gimbap now?”

“…I ’ve reached my limit, oppa.
I think I ’ve overestimated myself.
I ’m really, really dying of starvation right now…”

’Aigoo, you dumbass… ’

Kang Jin-Ho groaned inwardly while shaking his head.
This girl might be his little sister, but…
She seemed beyond salvation, didn ’t she?

He was about to say something when the trailer ’s door suddenly flew open to interrupt him.
A man and a woman stepped inside.
Kang Eun-Yeong sitting in the makeup chair and getting tended to hurriedly shot up and bowed ninety degrees.
“Good day to you! Sir!”

“You, too.
Carry on with the makeup, please.
We don ’t want to waste any more time, after all,” said the man.
The impression he gave off said that he didn ’t suffer fools and could be quite abrasive.
As for his attire, he had a baseball cap pushed down low on his head and a matching baseball jumper on his torso.
Rounding out his look was a pair of clean jeans and sneakers.
He seemed to be a rather pragmatic person.

“Yes, sir!” Kang Eun-Yeong hurriedly settled back into the makeup chair.

The man responsible for Kang Eun-Yeong ’s stiff attitude scanned the makeup work done to the girl, then offered his ’opinion ’ to the makeup artist.
“Make her look more vivacious, please.
We need her to come across as more unruly, after all.”

’Mm? Then, she won ’t need any particular makeup, though? ’

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
Kang Eun-Yeong was already unruly, to begin with, so what was the point of making her look that way? The casting choice seemed quite on-point in Kang Jin-Ho’s opinion.

The man looked at Kang Eun-Yeong through the makeup mirror and addressed her, “I just wanted to check up on you since it ’s your first day of shooting.
I hope you can do your best, Miss Se-Ah.”

“Of course! I ’ll do my absolute best! Director!”

“Not ’director ’, PD, Miss Se-Ah.”

“Yes, Director!”

The PD smiled wryly.
Still, he seemed satisfied by Kang Eun-Yeong ’s response.
Maybe he thought he made the right call by casting her.

“Are you nervous, Miss Se-Ah?” the woman with the PD asked Kang Eun-Yeong.

Kang Eun-Yeong nodded several times while making a nervous expression, something even Kang Jin-Ho hadn ’t seen before.
“Yes! No, I-I mean, I ’m not nervous, senior! I ’m fine!”

’…How can a person ’s words not match their own expression? ’

Kang Jin-Ho silently mulled while observing his sister.
If an actor could use nothing but their facial expression to show how nervous they were on camera, that person would probably win every acting award during the end-of-the-year award ceremony!

In any case…
Why was she so nervous, though?

Kang Eun-Yeong couldn ’t sit still while talking to this woman as if having a conversation with her was a massive honor or something.
She was so fidgety and nervous that even the makeup artist had to tell her to sit still several times.

The woman, whom Kang Jin-Ho assumed to be another actress, kindly spoke to Kang Eun-Yeong.
“I ’m glad we get to make this project together, Miss Se-Ah.
I ’ve been enjoying your music, and I hope you can be as dedicated to this project as well.”

“I ’ll do my best, senior! And working together with someone I admire so much is like a dream come true for me!”

“Eiii, you ’re putting me on a pedestal there, Miss Se-Ah~.”

Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes, thinking that his guess was correct.
Since this woman was with the PD, she had to have some clout in this production.
Maybe she was the top-billed actress? However, Kang Jin-Ho ’s interest in the pair ended there.
Who they were or what they did were none of his concern.

Kang Jin-Ho glanced back at his sister.
“You don ’t need anything else besides gimbap?”

The PD cocked an eyebrow and turned to look at Kang Jin-Ho.
However, his slightly-stiff expression softened almost instantly.
“Miss Se-Ah, this gentleman is…?”

He ’s my older brother, sir!”

I thought as much.” The PD nodded appreciatively.
At first, he was planning to admonish a mere road manager daring to interrupt the PD and the top-billed actress’ conversation.
After taking one look at Kang Jin-Ho ’s face, though, the PD instantly realized that such a face wouldn’t belong to a mere manager.

Just as the PD was about to introduce himself, the trailer ’s door suddenly flew open again.
A pale-faced assistant director urgently rushed inside and cried out, “PD, sir! We have a problem!”

This is a shortened and more informal/playful version of ’Orabeoni ’.

’Gimbap ’ (also romanized as ’kimbap ’) is a Korean dish made from cooked rice, vegetables, fish, and meats, that are rolled in ’gim ’ (dried laver/seaweed) and served in bite-sized slices.

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