Getting Help (6)
Hwang Jeong-Hu’s enraged voice echoed harshly within the corridor.
Choi Myeong-Gil and his fellow school administrators became deathly pale, unable to do or say anything in their defense.
Kang Jin-Ho could only sigh at this scene.
'What on earth…'
This whole soap opera-like scene was making him groan.
It might look like something serious was about to go down to onlookers, but for both Hwang Jeong-Hu and Kang Jin-Ho who knew what was going on… This whole ruse was just bizarre, ridiculous, and rather funny nonsense.
Hwang Jeong-Hu ignored the pleading Choi Myeong-Gil and addressed Kang Jin-Ho.
“By the way, why are you out in the corridors and not in class?”
“I was on my way home, actually.”
“Your home? Even though it's still morning?”
“They expelled me, you see.”
“Expelled?” Hwang Jeong-Hu slowly turned his head and glared at Choi Myeong-Gil.
But the one who responded to that glare wasn't the stunned chief director but the principal.
“N-no, that hasn't been approved yet, Mister Chairman! Y-yes, the procedure hasn't even begun, and w-we also haven't made the final decision yet!”
Hwang Jeong-Hu cocked an eyebrow.
“Well, if my grandson has done something to deserve expulsion, then there's no helping it, now is there? Jin-Ho, how about transferring to a school affiliated with my educational foundation?”
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“You also run a foundation, sir?”
“Large corporations like mine have to fund a foundation or two to avoid getting bad press, you see? That school is located pretty close by, so how about it?”
I like it here.”
“Is that so?” Hwang Jeong-Hu shifted his attention over to the principal.
“Why is my grandson being expelled? Tell me the reason.”
Well…” The principal faltered and couldn't say anything.
Hwang Jeong-Hu nodded as if he understood everything there was to know from the principal's response, then he glared at Choi Myeong-Gil once more.
“You little insect.”
“You should've been living the remainder of your life reflecting on your past sins, yet you dare to use your position to oppress other people? Bastards like you aren't even human in my view.” Hwang Jeong-Hu grunted, then turned to Jo Gyu-Min.
“That prosecution investigation? Gyu-Min, call them and withdraw the complaints.”
“This bastard doesn't deserve an investigation like that.
Hwang Jeong-Hu pointed at Choi Myeong-Gil.
“Make him go bankrupt in three days or less.”
“What is it?”
Baek Yeong-Gi also glanced at the stunned chief director.
“How about we let the prosecutors continue with their investigation? Considering all the things this man has done, he won't be able to avoid imprisonment, sir.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu cocked an eyebrow.
“Imprisonment, you say?”
“He'll spend time in a jail somewhere, then?”
Choi Myeong-Gil's complexion was drained of all color at this exchange.
Unfortunately for him, however…
“Tsk, tsk, tsk…” Hwang Jeong-Hu tutted in disappointment at Baek Yeong-Gi.
“Fella, how can you be this soft?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Modern jails are not worthy of their moniker, I tell you! They give you a warm place to sleep, feed you three meals a day, and even let you exercise! A prison might be a tough place to stay for someone with money, but it will be as good as a paradise for a pauper.
And this insect is about to become a pauper, so why are you trying to send him to such a nice place?”
Baek Yeong-Gi bowed his head slightly.
I was shortsighted, Chairman.”
Hwang Jeong-Hu clicked his tongue loudly.
“A prison funded by our tax money is too good for an insect like him.”
Kang Jin-Ho sighed again as the situation continued to unfold before his eyes.
From his perspective, Choi Myeong-Gil was definitely an authoritative figure with status and money.
Kang Jin-Ho might be 'stronger' in the darkness where people's eyes couldn't reach, but he was considerably 'weaker' within the constraints of modern society's systems.
It would be safe to say that Choi Myeong-Gil was someone beyond Kang Jin-Ho's 'normal' reach.
It wasn't like this back in Zhongyuan. Kang Jin-Ho's power back then was merely violence, but not even the emperor at the peak of political influence and wealth dared to provoke him carelessly.
Violence was be-all and end-all in Zhongyuan, after all.
But that logic was not applicable in the modern era—to replicate the situation from Zhongyuan, Kang Jin-Ho would have to display power to rival a country's armed forces. But doing that meant he would have to deal with the horrific possibility of producing countless victims in his quest to prove his power.
He wasn't willing to go through that, at all.
But now, Hwang Jeong-Hu only needed a few words to drop Choi Myeong-Gil to the depths of unimaginable suffering.
Violence could theoretically fight back to an extent against greater violence. But influence was useless against an even greater influence.
'Is it really necessary for me, then?'
It seemed that having influence might be necessary when trying to live a simpler life.
Hadn't Kang Jin-Ho healed Hwang Jeong-Hu's illness in order to deal with the unfavorable situation he was in?
Kang Jin-Ho slightly shook his head after pondering this quandary for a bit.
Wealth could bring him comfort, but influence would result in 'ecstasy.’ He required comfort, but not that kind of ecstasy.
And the comfort acquired through influence would require the sacrifices of others' time or their circumstances to happen—Kang Jin-Ho didn't want these.
All he wanted was a peaceful, uncomplicated life.
“C-Chairman! Forgive me, I made a mistake!” In the end, Choi Myeong-Gil went down to his knees and began clinging to Hwang Jeong-Hu's leg.
Any thoughts of preserving his dignity in front of the students had long disappeared by now.
He was understandably desperate as he knew that Hwang Jeong-Hu had always been a man of his words, someone who did what he said he would do at any cost.
“Let go, now.” Unsurprisingly, Hwang Jeong-Hu remained uncaring as he pushed Choi Myeong-Gil away.
“Oh, and those punks siding with this insect and spewing nonsense? The mere thought of them calling themselves educators disgusts me.
Sure, regular people can behave like that.
But teachers should be prioritizing their students, no?”
The complexions of both the principal and the dean of students were instantly drained of their colors.
Jo Gyu-Min's eyes gleamed sharply at those two, then he bowed toward Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“I shall take care of these two as well, sir.”
“Mmhmm…” Hwang Jeong-Hu nodded in satisfaction, then grinned at Kang Jin-Ho.
“It's gotten a bit noisy here, don't you agree? Why don't we talk some more back in my car?”
“Alright, let's go.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded in agreement right away.
While following Hwang Jeong-Hu down the corridor, he glanced back.
Choi Myeong-Gil had collapsed on the floor, sobbing away profusely.
He was a miserable wreck right now.
Rather than unsightly, the current Choi Myeong-Gil cut a sad figure.
A man who had done all kinds of unsavory things to build his empire had lost everything in one fell swoop, leaving him with practically nothing.
“What were you trying to do back there?” Kang Jin-Ho asked with a stiff expression as soon as he entered the car's back seat.
Hwang Jeong-Hu grinned faintly.
“Fella, now that I've seen you in daylight, you're more good-looking than I thought.”
“Let's stick to the topic at hand, shall we, Chairman?”
“A man with no sense of humor will never be popular with women, don't you know that?”
Kang Jin-Ho was left speechless by that comeback.
Hwang Jeong-Hu boisterously laughed after seeing Kang Jin-Ho's stupefied expression.
“I was just investigating your situation and thought you might be in a bit of trouble.
I came here hoping to earn some brownie points.”
“You investigated me?”
“Isn't that obvious?” Hwang Jeong-Ho looked taken aback as he stared at Kang Jin-Ho.
“From your perspective, I'm just a patient you treat once a month, and that’s it.
But from my perspective, you are my sole lifeline.
If something happens to you and prevents you from healing me on time, then that will be my death sentence.
You can't just expect me to quietly sit and wait for you to show up once every month.”
“I didn't do it out of bad intentions, young man.
I merely wanted to make your life hassle-free and protect you at the same time.”
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head slightly.
“I'm not underestimating your ability, young man. Aren’t you the one who was able to heal me through a miraculous power and then leave and enter my very secure hospital room as if it’s in your backyard? Unfortunately for you, this world isn't as easy as you think.
No matter how amazing your powers are, sometimes life's hardships will leave you defenseless and unable to do anything.
You've already experienced it before, so I'm sure you know what I mean.”
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly nodded.
He had indeed been powerless against what was about to happen to him and his family.
The only thing he could have done was wait until people stopped looking and then take his revenge on Chief Director Choi Myeong-Gil.
But that wouldn't have been enough.
After all, revenge wouldn’t reverse the loss and pain he had suffered.
“That's why I ended up doing this, young man.”
“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho leaned against the car's seat.
He didn't like what Hwang Jeong-Hu had done.
He wasn't consulted beforehand about it, and his position wasn't considered, either.
But he still had to admit that he had dodged a bullet thanks to the latter’s swift action. He would have wasted a lot of time fixing the situation otherwise.
“For now, I'll express my thanks, sir.”
The way you speak to me has gotten quite a lot gentler than before.”
Kang Jin-Ho, who used to be curt in his tone, was now speaking in a considerably politer manner that he was even using honorifics.
He sounded unfazed in his reply, “It's still daytime, after all.”
“Mm?” Hwang Jeong-Hu cocked an eyebrow.
That sounded like a strange reason, but it made sense somehow.
Rather than saying the current Kang Jin-Ho had become gentler, it would be more apt to say that he had become a different person altogether.
That night's 'Kang Jin-Ho' with not a single trace of humanity, the second 'Kang Jin-Ho' with a vulnerable side that appeared at the end of the 'promised' three days, and finally, the current 'Kang Jin-Ho'…
Just which one of them was Kang Jin-Ho’s real face? Hwang Jeong-Hu believed it had to be the first one.
That version of 'Kang Jin-Ho' couldn't have been a product of award-worthy acting.
The chairman of the Jaegyeong Group had gone through all kinds of ups and downs and had met many types of people in his life.
Among them were giants beyond even Hwang Jeong-Hu's reach, while some were so amazing that they left him utterly awestruck. He was quite certain that not a single person in his memories had given off the same mysterious vibe as Kang Jin-Ho had during their first encounter.
“Young man, just who…
or what are you?”
“It seems that your improved health has also reawakened your curiosity, sir.”
“How can I not be curious? Someone so young—a high schooler possesses a truly mysterious ability.
And he's also gutsy enough to choose the path of healing me, so how can I not be curious about you?” Hwang Jeong-Hu chuckled in a good-natured way. “If I had been a religious man, I would've probably thought it was God's miracle or something.
Maybe I'd be on my knees offering a prayer, thinking that you're the Messiah.”
“Good thing that you're not a devotee, then.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head and looked straight at Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“Sir, I'm sure you're curious about many things, but please, pretend that you haven't noticed anything.”
“Do I have to?”
Hwang Jeong-Hu easily nodded in agreement.
Not being excessively curious about your trading partner was one of a merchant's virtues.
Kang Jin-Ho continued.
“Oh, and you don't have to be so polite when talking to me, sir.”
“Will that be alright?”
“Mmmm, well…” Kang Jin-Ho quietly studied Hwang Jeong-Hu for a moment or two before slowly nodding.
He began thinking that maybe the latter was still older than him even after calculating all the years he had lived here and back in Zhongyuan.
And that opinion wasn't solely based on outer appearances alone, either.
“Yes, it'll be fine.”
Shall we get down to the actual matter that brought me here?”
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
Hwang Jeong-Hu pulled out a bank account passbook from his inner pocket and handed it over to Kang Jin-Ho.
“Here, the promised amount.
Take a look.”
“I'm sure it's correct, sir.”
“You still have to confirm it, young man.” Hwang Jeong-Hu urged, so Kang Jin-Ho sighed and opened the passbook to take a gander.
“Mm…?” Kang Jin-Ho's head tilted to the side even more.
He could see that the account was not under his name but under Hwang Jeong-Hu's name.
However, that wasn't really the problem here.
zeroes is this? One, two, three…'
Kang Jin-Ho's face progressively hardened with every passing second.
He looked up and muttered. “Sir, this is the wrong amount.”
“What do you mean? Are you saying I deposited the wrong amount of money? That can't be…”
Kang Jin-Ho opened the passbook's pages so that Hwang Jeong-Hu could see it.
“Sir, I definitely asked for one check’s worth.
Hwang Jeong-Hu nodded while making an expression of having known it from the start. Even though he did prepare 'one check’s worth' of money, he had been thinking that it seemed way too little.
He chalked that down to Kang Jin-Ho's naivety, but now…
It seemed that 'one check’s worth’ meant two different amounts to Kang Jin-Ho and Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“…It seems that I have misunderstood you.
I shall prepare the rest of the amount as soon as possible.
How much more do you need?”
The bank account passbook reflected the amount of ten billion won.
If this was an incorrect amount, then did the boy want one trillion won? 
Hwang Jeong-Hu could certainly prepare that amount, but it would require him to go through a lot of hoops first.
But his mental calculations came to a screeching halt at Kang Jin-Ho's unexpected answer.
“Sir, I was asking for one hundred million won.”
“Pardon?” Hwang Jeong-Hu furrowed his brow, wondering if his hearing was failing him.
just say one hundred million won?”
So I didn't mishear you? You really said one hundred million?!”
Kang Jin-Ho sounded a little flustered as he asked, “Is there something wrong, sir?”
“Are you telling me that my life, Hwang Jeong-Hu's life, is only worth that little?!”
“…Fuu. So, you’re trying to say that I gave you too much? Is that it?”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
Hwang Jeong-Hu directed a weird gaze at Kang Jin-Ho.
Rejecting the amount for being too little would be the norm, and not too many people in existence would refuse more money than they had asked for—especially more so when the amount was ten billion won!
However, this young man was displaying the behavior of someone who had already transcended the allure of money.
Hwang Jeong-Hu chuckled while pushing the bank account passbook back to Kang Jin-Ho.
“Just take it, young man.”
Ten billion won roughly converts to $7.9 million US.
One trillion would roughly be $790 million. ☜
Around $79k ☜
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