Jo Gyu-Min explained, “It took some time to ship these articles from China since the method we used was similar to smuggling.
And when we did some checks on these swords…
Well, it turns out both items are pretty ancient.
The Chinese government would have classified them as valuable antiques and raised one hell of a stink if they got wind of what we were doing.
That ’s why we had to be extra careful about it, Mister Jin-Ho.”

Kang Jin-Ho briefly nodded.
“I ’m sure they would ’ve done that.
Thank you.”

Despite surviving all these years, both of these swords still retained their sleek, pristine appearances from when Kang Jin-Ho wielded them in the past.
Their monetary value was unknown, but it should be on the level of a national treasure, at least.
Even Kang Jin-Ho had no idea when these two swords were crafted.

The heaviness of the weapons in his hands ever so slightly excited him.
He suddenly recalled how he used to roam the wilderness of Zhongyuan with his trusty weapons by his side…
Although he only wielded the Crimson Destiny back then.

Jo Gyu-Min apologized.
“In any case…
I ’m sorry about how unexpectedly long it took, Mister Jin-Ho.”

“No, don ’t be.” Kang Jin-Ho slowly shook his head.

Shipping the swords here quickly or slowly didn ’t matter.
What did matter was that both weapons were now back in his hands.

For a moment there, Kang Jin-Ho was nearly overcome by a strange foreboding.
These swords returning to him at this time seemed like a weird coincidence that carried significant hidden meaning.
A certain premonition about his once-peaceful life getting dyed in the hues of battles entered his head and started ruling over him.

’The Yeongnam Group! ’

The time to stop postponing the punishment and making them pay the price—had come.

Jo Gyu-Min noticed the suspicious air about Kang Jin-Ho and cautiously asked, “What ’s the matter, Mister Jin-Ho?”

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“No, it ’s nothing.”

Jo Gyu-Min still stared, unconvinced.
“We still have one more item to discuss.”

“There ’s one more?”

“Of course,” Jo Gyu-Min pushed a catalog forward toward Kang Jin-Ho.
“Please choose.”

“What ’s this?” Kang Jin-Ho stared at the catalog and tilted his head.
It contained images of various sleek sportscars painted in an array of striking colors.
The cars ranged from—fairly ’ordinary ’ looking to bonkers-wild designs that seemed straight out of some outlandish cartoons.
Kang Jin-Ho flipped through the catalog before groaning grandly.
“Can ’t I get my old car back?”

“Fixing that wreck will cost more than buying a new one, Mister Jin-Ho.
If you feel truly attached to that Lamborghini, we can certainly try mending it, but I don ’t really see the need to go that far…”

“Well, I agree with you on that one.”

Jo Gyu-Min took the catalog back.
“If you can ’t choose, allow me to do it for you.”

“This time, please get something less flashy.

Jo Gyu-Min smirked at that.
“I ’d love to do that as well, but unfortunately, your driving style has already been modified to suit supercars, so I fear you will have a hard time trying to drive regular cars.”

“I ’m sorry?” Kang Jin-Ho muttered.
He wondered just what kind of logic that was while staring weirdly at Jo Gyu-Min.

However, Jo Gyu-Min simply chuckled while getting up.
“Hundreds of explanations will be useless compared to a single drive when trying to open your eyes, Mister Jin-Ho.
Let ’s get going, then.”

The sight of Jo Gyu-Min unhesitantly getting up also forced Kang Jin-Ho to stand up from the couch.
And then, a short while later…


“…This isn ’t going to work,” said Kang Jin-Ho.

“I told you so, didn ’t I?” Jo Gyu-Min sagely nodded away.

After reaching the parking lot, he gave his car key to Kang Jin-Ho and asked him to drive.

Kang Jin-Ho wondered what kind of time-wasting exercise this was, but he only needed to turn on the ignition and step on the accelerator to understand Jo Gyu-Min ’s intentions.
Afterward, they returned to the secretary ’s office to continue the discussion.

Kang Jin-Ho groaned deeply.
“To think your car would be this sluggish…”

Jo Gyu-Min chuckled and offered his sage advice.
“You can certainly upgrade, but a downgrade doesn ’t work, Mister Jin-Ho.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly nodded in agreement.

Most people wouldn ’t even notice or mind the tiny differences between how two different cars responded when the accelerator pedal was depressed or how quickly a vehicle reacted after the steering wheel was turned.
To Kang Jin-Ho; however, those minute gaps felt like a huge chasm.
As a martial artist capable of picking out even the tiniest movements, such things naturally felt rather serious to his senses.

If he were to exaggerate a bit, it felt like Jo Gyu-Min ’s car needed three seconds to respond after Kang Jin-Ho had turned the steering wheel.

“Mister Jin-Ho, you preferred riding your bicycle over public transport for the freedom it offered.
This means that you won ’t be able to adapt to a regular sedan like mine.
Even the best sports sedans can ’t compete with supercars, you know.”


“I thought this might happen, so I compiled a separate list of cars that might meet your standards.” Jo Gyu-Min pulled out a new catalog and handed it over to Kang Jin-Ho.

Kang Jin-Ho browsed through the second catalog, but then he cautiously asked with a defeated look.
“Excuse me, but… Aren ’t there other cars that don ’t look like toys like these?”

“Mister Jin-Ho, these vehicles weren ’t designed to look that way for giggles but to extract the best handling and aerodynamics performance.”

“Even if that ’s true, this is a bit—”

“If you ’re worried about being too flashy, let ’s be honest here, your previous ride was also quite eye-catching.
But you got more or less used to its looks, yes?”

Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t argue against that.
A white Lamborghini was already quite eye-catching, but he still drove it with no problem even after it got wrapped in eye-searing red, didn ’t he? He sighed before asking another question, “Do I have to…
adapt to the car I drive?”

We are, find us on google.

Honestly, I ’m confused, Mister Jin-Ho.
Someone at my age might react as you have done, but a young man like you should prefer supercars instead of regular sedans like mine.
Not just in performance, but also in design, you know?”

’…Chief Gyu-Min, do you even know how old I really am? ’

To Jo Gyu-Min ’s eyes, Kang Jin-Ho had to look like a brat in his early twenties.
But the truth was anything but—it ’d be safe to say that Kang Jin-Ho was like a grandfather who had lived many decades longer than Jo Gyu-Min.

Kang Jin-Ho was doing his best to maintain a youthful mind in this life, but he still couldn ’t do much about this feeling of repulsion when looking at garish cars like the ones found in the catalog.

Kang Jin-Ho sighed and shook his head.
“I don ’t think I can choose.”

“In that case, allow me to make the selection,” said Jo Gyu-Min.

“How will I pay for it?”

“Oh, that.
You don ’t have to worry about it, Mister Jin-Ho.
Chairman Hwang was thinking about giving you a gift for safely negotiating through your military service, anyway.”

“A car as a gift just for…
getting discharged from the army?”

“Mister Jin-Ho, you need to quickly get used to the scale of things like this.
You must not get stuck in the mindset of a petit bourgeois.
Otherwise, the stress will get the better of you.” [1]

“I see.
I ’ll remember that.”

If Kang Jin-Ho knew about how expensive these cars were, his response would have been a little more pronounced.
However, Jo Gyu-Min was smart enough to remove all references to the prices of these vehicles while compiling these catalogs.

Jo Gyu-Min grinned and closed the catalogs.
“Even though I ’m not buying my own car, I ’m still looking forward to this, Mister Jin-Ho.”

“You drive it, then, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“No thank you.
If I end up scratching it for some reason, my entire monthly wage will disappear in the blink of an eye trying to fix it,” Jo Gyu-Min chuckled while pushing a cup of coffee in Kang Jin-Ho ’s direction.
By the way… To store weapons like those two at home, you need a bladed weapon storage permit first.
I ’ve already applied for one, but it might still take some time.
The soonest should be around next week or so.
However, the applied permit is for house decoration purposes, so please refrain from carrying them around in the open, Mister Jin-Ho.”

“I ’m not senseless, you know…” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.

If he went outside with a pair of swords dangling from his hips, he would instantly become the center of attention.
And he was emphatically not the type to revel in the attention of other people.

“I ’m sure it ’s inconvenient without your own car, so I ’ll try to pick one that will arrive in the country the quickest.”

Whatever works.”

Well then…” Jo Gyu-Min grinned softly.
“The chairman is waiting for you.
How about dropping by his office and saying hello after we finish our coffee?”



“Fella, why is it so bloody difficult to see your face these days?” Hwang Jeong-Hu immediately started complaining as soon as Kang Jin-Ho stepped into the office.

Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t help but chuckle a little.
During their first meeting, Hwang Jeong-Hu oozed a somewhat fierce aura.
However, he was getting more and more like a grandfather wanting to hang out with his grandson as time wore on.
However, even though he maintained such a friendly attitude whenever Kang Jin-Ho was around, the latter never let his guard down with Hwang Jeong-Hu.

’Merchants are scary people, after all. ’

Even back in Zhongyuan, the biggest players in the world of commerce were seen as people with a thousand faces.
Dealing with such people had never been easy, and Kang Jin-Ho knew full well that dealing with Hwang Jeong-Hu would never be easy, either.

Right now, Hwang Jeong-Hu couldn ’t turn his back on Kang Jin-Ho.
However, there were no absolutes in this world.

Hwang Jeong-Hu pointed at a spot on the couch.
“Come, come.
Take a seat.
I should be the one pouting here, so why are you making that face?”

“My apologies.” Kang Jin-Ho took a seat while offering an insincere apology.

“So, how is the business? Having fun?” Hwang Jeong-Hu asked after leaning back in his chair.

“I ’m treating it as a learning experience.”

“It ’s not easy, right?”

“Yes, it is not.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu grinned in satisfaction as if he had foreseen that reply.
“The reason running your own business is so tough is that you gotta deal with other people.
Jin-Ho, you have a problem with meeting new people and dealing with them, don ’t you?”

Kang Jin-Ho unwillingly nodded.
“I do…”

“By interacting with lots of people while running your own store, your view on the world will transform, at least by a little.”

Jo Gyu-Min listening in sneakily clenched his fists.

’But, sir! You said you weren ’t expecting anything from this venture! ’

Hwang Jeong-Hu previously stated that he didn ’t care much about Kang Jin-Ho ’s business acumen and that he simply wanted to see the young man’s luck.
However, Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s true intentions were suddenly laid bare!

Hwang Jeong-Hu tutted softly, “Of course, if you make some coin along the way, that isn’t bad at all.”

’Hmm? Was I wrong? ’

Jo Gyu-Min blinked his eyes in slight confusion.
It seemed that he couldn ’t read Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s mind.

Kang Jin-Ho replied without much concern, “I ’m just doing my best, sir.”

“Indeed, that ’s what ultimately matters, not making a profit.
It’s great as long as you learn to appreciate how difficult it is to make others pay you.”

Jo Gyu-Min ’s lips parted halfway as words tried to break free from their restraints.

I must inform you that the pizzeria made a killing earlier. ’

The regular report hadn ’t reached Hwang Jeong-Hu just yet, so he had no idea what was happening with the pizzeria.
How would he react after learning that Kang Jin-Ho ’s good looks rather than his business savviness, was the reason behind the explosive growth in the pizzeria ’s revenue? Jo Gyu-Min suddenly grew curious about it.

Well, then…” Hwang Jeong-Hu turned his head and addressed Jo Gyu-Min, “Leave us for a minute.
We have a private matter to discuss.”

“Of course, sir.” Jo Gyu-Min unhesitantly got up and exited the office.

“You can smoke if you want,” said Hwang Jeong-Hu.

Kang Jin-Ho politely declined.
“No, I ’m fine.
Thank you.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu chuckled at that.
“Looks like you have gotten totally used to playing the part of a polite young man.
Seeing how you can remain so polite even when we ’re alone.”

“…Mm.” Kang Jin-Ho ’s eyes became ever so slightly withdrawn.

Hwang Jeong-Hu continued speaking, “Why don ’t we put our pretenses aside and be ourselves? Although I do enjoy speaking to your current side, it ’s easier for me to speak to your real self when discussing serious matters.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly took out a cigarette from his pocket and mouthed it.
After lighting it up, Kang Jin-Ho leaned back slightly on the couch while exuding a leisurely air and languidness, which was something he hadn ’t displayed a few minutes ago.

What do you want to talk about?”

Hwang Jeong-Hu’s heart pounded faster after witnessing that side of Kang Jin-Ho emerge after such a long time.

’I have never forgotten this part of him… ’

He hadn ’t seen this ’Kang Jin-Ho ’ since that fateful day.
Then again, Kang Jin-Ho had been playing the part of an ordinary young man adapting to the world around him until now.

Of course, Hwang Jeong-Hu knew the truth.

The true nature of a person would always remain, no matter what.
If someone came across as if they had completely changed, that was only because they were putting on a perfect facade of their transformed self.
Their fundamental nature hadn ’t changed at all.

’A predator is still a predator. ’

Just because a predator had decided to snack on grass, its fangs wouldn ’t suddenly retract.

Hwang Jeong-Hu was reminded of the fact that Kang Jin-Ho’s current attitude suited the young man the best.
The person he had been pretending to be until now seemed like a thoroughly convincing performance now that he was no longer hiding his true self behind a facade.

Hwang Jeong-Hu sucked in a deep breath.
“I have something to ask you.”

Kang Jin-Ho coolly nodded.
“Go ahead.”

“It concerns the world of martial artists.”

The unexpected question prompted Kang Jin-Ho to cock his eyebrow and stare at Hwang Jeong-Hu.
His gaze was withdrawn and still.
However, just the thought of Hwang Jeong-Hu wanting to discuss this topic brought about such a rapid change in Kang Jin-Ho, which mystified Hwang Jeong-Hu to no end.

“Do you really need to enter that world again?” Hwang Jeong-Hu asked in a grave-sounding voice, and Kang Jin-Ho furrowed his brows slightly.
“I ’m sure you are already aware of this, but this matter—it won ’t just end.
Once you dip your toes back in, there will be no turning back.”

“Petit bourgeois” means a member of the lower middle class.

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