same as calling Hwang Jeong-Hu out to his face.

However, Jo Gyu-Min was a wise man.
He knew what had to be done in situations like this one—he simply had to keep his trap shut.

“Tell me, Gyu-Min.
If I go back in time, do you think I ’ll be able to build another company and raise it to the same level as Jaegyeong?”

“Of course, sir.”

’No one knows ’ is the correct answer.”


“You must not think that your success came about all thanks to your own capabilities.
It is unwise to omit the fact that divine luck had been with you.”

“M-mm…” Jo Gyu-Min weightily nodded.
Whether that assertion was right or wrong didn ’t matter to him right now.
Just the fact that someone like Hwang Jeong-Hu would think that way was beyond the realm of impressive and straight into ’scary.’

Hwang Jeong-Hu continued, “It ’s obvious that a kid with no business experience or knowledge will bankrupt his store.
Demanding someone with zero knowledge to show their capabilities in that subject matter is not being expectant.
No, that ’s being delusional.”

“In that case, why did you…?” Jo Gyu-Min couldn ’t understand Hwang Jeong-Hu and had to ask.
If that were the chairman ’s opinion, why let Kang Jin-Ho open his own business? Hadn’t they done all those so that Kang Jin-Ho could taste his first real failure?

Hwang Jeong-Hu noticed Jo Gyu-Min ’s puzzled expression and tutted loudly in dissatisfaction.
“Haven ’t you been listening to what I said?”

“…My apologies, sir.”

“What I wanted to see weren ’t Kang Jin-Ho ’s capabilities.
No, wait.
In a way, it should be seen as a part of his capabilities, too.
However, it ’s not what you think, Gyu-Min.”


“Obviously, a dedicated professional manager will be better than you when it comes to running a business.
If you wish for someone without a clue to be better at a job than another person who had studied and dedicated themselves to that subject matter, you ’re being way too unreasonable.
What I want to see from that kid isn ’t that, but…
How should I say this? His savviness? How lucky he is? Things like that.”

“But sir, that ’s just too vague.”

“Vague, is it? Not really.
Simply put, I ’m trying to see what kind of a result he ’ll give us by utilizing whatever he got aside from his business acumen.
Indeed, I ’m waiting to see what will remain at the end.
In short, the result matters.”

Jo Gyu-Min mindlessly nodded along.
It was too tough for him to understand Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s business philosophy.
He was merely a support staff rather than a manager, after all.

’Then again, how many people in this country can understand even half of our chairman ’s business philosophy? ’

Someone as lofty as Hwang Jeong-Hu was anticipating something from Kang Jin-Ho.
And that fact was making Jo Gyu-Min ’s heart race.


Lee Hyeon-Ju on the phone spoke first.

– I ’ve sent all the relevant information via email.

“Thank you,” Kang Jin-Ho replied in a relaxed manner.

– Excluding some information we can ’t expose, I ’ve sent them all.


– I have a request.
If you ’re about to clash with those people…
Can ’t you give our side a call first?

“And why should I do that?”

– So we can deal with the aftermath, Mister Kang.

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t say anything else other than a groan as if something were bothering him.

Lee Hyeon-Ju urgently explained herself.

– We ’re not trying to monitor you, Mister Kang.
This matter involves our survival, you know? If the wider world learns about us due to the serious scale of your clash against the Yeongnam Group…
That will generate massive shockwaves.
And surely, that will make your life rather difficult as well?

Kang Jin-Ho silently nodded.
He agreed with her assessment.
Lee Hyeon-Ju was correct.

What would happen if regular people learned about the existence of martial artists living among them? Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t be sure, but the shockwave sweeping across the world should be more intense than, say, the news of a pandemic breaking out.

“…I ’ll consider it.”

– I ’m sure you ’ll see for yourself in the provided information, but well, please remember that the Yeongnam Group is not a pushover.
And it ’s definitely not something an individual could deal with.
Since you demanded information, I have given them to you, but you should stop believing that you alone can do something to that group.

Kang Jin-Ho smirked at that.
It was silent, so Lee Hyeon-Ju wouldn ’t know he smirked at her over the phone.

– I ’m not trying to belittle your abilities, Mister Kang Jin-Ho.
It ’s just that no lone individual in this world can fight against an organization of that size.
You know this, don ’t you?

No one in this world, was it…
Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t immature enough to suddenly get triggered by that, but he still grew curious about something.
What if he lost himself like before and charged straight at the Yeongnam Group? What kind of a face would Lee Hyeon-Ju make, then?

Kang Jin-Ho got rid of the mischievous thought in his head and replied, “Yes, I do.
For now, thank you for the advice.”

– What will you do from now on?

“Not sure.
I haven ’t decided on anything yet.”

-In that case, may I make a suggestion? How about stopping by our HQ once?

“…I ’ll also have to think about that.
Well, then.
Goodbye.” Kang Jin-Ho ended the call.
He shoved his phone inside his pocket and started walking away.

’The Yeongnam Group and the Martial Assembly… ’

Kang Jin-Ho frowned slightly.
Lately, he was finding it a little difficult to maintain an equilibrium in his life.
In the past, he could separate the version of himself belonging to the modern era from the version of himself with his toes dipped in the world of martial arts.
However, that boundary seemed to be gradually crumbling these days.

The idea was to prevent the world in the shadows from impacting Kang Jin-Ho ’s other reality, but maintaining the balance was getting harder and harder as time went on.
One only had to look at the last incident involving Kang Eun-Yeong to see that.

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head and quickened his pace.

’Am I late? ’

He wanted to get there early, so he tried to get a move on, but he got more delayed than he thought.
After locating the meeting place, the cafe, Kang Jin-Ho trotted over there and stepped inside.

’Where is she? ’

He scanned the interior but couldn ’t find his date for the day.
However, just as he thought, ‘Great, I wasn ’t late, after all,’ a figure by the corner of the cafe suddenly got up and waved her hand toward Kang Jin-Ho.

Even before he could greet Choi Yeon-Ha, her shrill yell dug into his ears.

“You ’re late!”

Kang Jin-Ho ’s cheeks trembled a little.

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