Chapter 26: < Protect – Episode 25 – Kim Soo Jung  >
If someone would ask what the motive of the hostage incident was, the answer was money. It was nothing more and nothing less. Even though the States’ motive and Central and South America’s complicated politics could have been involved, the end objective was money. This was a fact that would never change.
“The one who spiced it up was General Ashford.”
“We call him Crime Instigator or Crime Suspect Zero.”
Criminal organizations of bigger scales needed more maintenance than a regular corporation. If they acted like gangs and mafias, they were bound to be exposed by the investigation authorities. Criminal techniques had advanced as quickly as time and trends.
“Hm. He’s like Moriarty, who goes against Holmes.”
“No. General Ashford doesn’t refer to only one person.”
“They’re like a planning group. In Korea, you’d call them… a club?”
Kim Soo Jung gasped at what Ahn Soo Ho said.
“Are you saying crimes can be a hobby?”
“There are plenty of crazy people with money in this world.”
Collecting luxury goods and focusing on beautiful partners and sex in order to display wealth could only be done for so long. The ones who had already enjoyed all the luxuries in life were into more stimulating interests.
“They bet on the crimes they’ve planned and got points based on how close they get.”
“Oh! It’s similar. The only difference is that lives are in stake because of it.”
Kim Soo Jung covered her mouth with both hands. As someone who worked with many brutal cases in the newsroom, she thought she was pretty brave, but she got chills as soon as she heard what Ahn Soo Ho said.
“And the FBI and the CIA don’t know this?”
“The high-ranking officials know.”
“Then why aren’t you catching any of them?”
“There’s no proof. Above all, since there are many non-Americans, they’re probably careful about not creating a diplomatic issue.”
“It doesn’t make sense for an international gangster to worry about what other people think.”
Kim Soo Jung wasn’t an anti-American, but she didn’t like them very much.
“So they were the ones who planned the hostage incident?”
“Maybe around thirty percent.”
“Hm. That’s not a lot… and there’s no proof, right?”
“They don’t have it, but our country does.”
She tilted her head to his vague response and then opened her mouth.
“Korea National Association?”
“There are no borders when it comes to strange hobbies.”
The powerful always want to show off what they were capable of, and the Korean society was the perfect testing location since it was numb to overuse of power. Kim Soo Jung shook her head again.
“I don’t know about anything else, but our country’s public order is the best. A perfect crime? It’s possible, but maybe not in a country small as Korea. The rumor should have already spread by now.”
If it was not even something minor like tax evasion, but a violent crime like murder or theft, it was a whole different vibe. No matter how reckless a rich person was, they couldn’t do such a thing and conceal it so well.
“Of course, it’s hard to plan and carry out a high-risk murder. However, the punishment for violence or sexual assault is a lot weaker.”
“Are you talking about swapping or group sex?”
Even though prostitution was illegal in Korea, it was like an open secret. The reason why this country’s corruption perceptions index was so high was that illegal dealings had more influence than bribes. There might be people who have never engaged in an affair or prostitution before, but no one had only engaged in it once and once only.
“Our sexual culture might look conservative on the outside, but everyone does everything you can imagine while judging others.”
“I heard prostitution was made illegal so that it could be used against people as a weakness.”
As common sex scandals were among political scandals in the States, the personal lives of famous people received a lot of attention from the public. If one would pinpoint the oldest and most loved profession, prostitution was either 1st or 2nd place. Other professions might disappear in 100 or 1000 years from now, but prostitution would exist as long as reproductive organs exist.
Ahn Soo Ho passed a folded piece of paper to Kim Soo Jung.
“What is it?”
“A name and an address. Start there.”
She put the paper in her pocket without a word. Kim Soo Jung, who finished her beer in one chug, patted Ahn Soo Ho on the shoulder, exchanged glances with Oh Joo Kyung, and left. That was all there was to their goodbye. Oh Joo Kyung, who had only been listening to them all this time, showed a strange expression.
“What a broad-minded person.”
“She’s a man with breasts.”
He was just as comfortable with Kim Soo Jung as he was with Yoon Chul. So he wished their dating situation would work out. He didn’t really care if they broke up later, but if they did, they would have no choice but to avoid each other, which would make Ahn Soo Ho tired.
Ahn Soo Ho heard his phone ringing, so he pulled it out. Seeing how the number was restricted, it was a secured line. Or was it? When he answered it, he heard Cranky’s voice.
“It’s me, Mr. Guardian.”
“Get to the point.”
“It looks like target C5 is trying to approach A7… but I don’t think the intention is so great.”
“They’re planning to attack in two hours.”
That was all for that phone call. Ahn Soo Ho got up and looked back at Oh Joo Kyung.
“Please go back to the company building without me.”
When she saw Ahn Soo Ho’s stiff face, she willingly nodded. She left the Japanese restaurant and got into the driver’s seat in one of the security service’s cars. Even though the new SUV Daesan came out with wasn’t as fuel efficient as Koreans wanted, it was quite popular. As soon as she stepped on the gas pedal, the not-so-common V8 engine pushed the vehicle forward with incredible force.
“Park Sang Goo.”
He used Cranky Carl Raider to monitor the objective of the Korean peninsula, and it was not just enemies that were on that monitoring list. There was his father, who hadn’t seen for years, as well as Mrs. Park Ok Nam, Lee So Hye, and Lee Jung Hoon. In the index, TA-7 was Do Kyung Ho, and TC-5 was Park Sang Goo.
“I knew it.”
When he heard that Park Sang Goo seized Chilsungpa, he knew this day would come. Kyung Ho might have wanted to believe that he left all of his bad memories behind, but the past had always caught up to them. It would pounce as soon as they put their guard down.
Ahn Soo Ho, who arrived near Jung Hye Jung’s shop, stopped the car and took out his phone. The reason why he helped them open the shop near Itaewon was that of today. There was no way the police would not worry about a case related to the U.S. forces.
“Henry. I need some help here.”
“Where are you?”
“Near the shop, I told you about earlier.”
“Okay. Is seven enough?”
Soon after, foreign men in ordinary clothes approached Ahn Soo Ho. Their big muscles looked very coercive. He recognized the black man at the front.
The black man saluted and then opened his arms for a hug.
“How long has it been, Soo Ho?”
“What brings you to Korea?”
“It’s not like we can turn down orders. The high-ups sent me here.”
His awkward smile told him that he was lying. Ahn Soo Ho smirked.
“You’re still a bad liar, Jimmy.”
“Haha. Is it that obvious?”
He shook hands with the rest of the group.
“What are we here to do, Soo Ho?”
“In just a moment, some people will assault innocent civilians. When that happens, pop out of nowhere and beat them up. But you have to act naturally as if it was a coincidence… Jimmy, you should stay out of it.”
“Oh, no! I can’t stay out of serving justice!”
Ahn Soo Ho looked at the determined black friend with a doubtful gaze.
“Report it to the military police.”
They were professionals, so they didn’t need detailed instructions. After waiting in their positions for an hour, they saw two cars with tinted windows approaching. The cars cautiously stopped in front of the shop, and six very big men with masks on popped out.
The sound of glass breaking was accompanied by swearing and screaming. The people outside were confused by the sudden commotion. Some of them took out their phones to call the police. The action movie in broad daylight caught everyone’s attention. Do Kyung Ho had to take all the punching and kicking in order to protect Jung Hye Jung.
It was just 2 minutes. The commotion changed within 2 minutes, and the unidentified assailants backed out before it got more crowded. However, a white man and a black man blocked the entrance.
“In the name of justice, you mustn’t be forgiven!”
Such an auditory hallucination could almost be heard.
Were these white men crazy? The unidentified assailants picked the wrong opponents. Was it possible for a bunch of thugs to leave a scratch on the Special Forces?
“Ugh! Ugh! Agh!”
If the human body was an instrument then people would be hearing various sounds today. People cheered. Even though the U.S. forces started it, it was clear that the masked men who came to destroy the shop were the bad ones. It became more chaotic once the police and U.S. military policemen showed up with noisy sirens. The police saw the Koreans on the ground and frowned at the guess that the U.S. forces caused a commotion again, but once he understood the situation, he sighed out of relief.
People showed up and started taking pictures of the Korean police and the U.S. military police, which turned Jimmy and the other soldiers into heroes fighting for justice. Ahn Soo Ho, who was watching from across the street, pressed a speed dial number.
“Soo Ho? You’ve put me in an embarrassing position.”
The person on the phone started the conversation with a complaint.
“I heard you agreed to find the guys that got kidnapped in Brazil.”
“I haven’t signed the contract yet.”
“If you agreed verbally, the deal has been made.”
Everyone knew that when Ahn Soo Ho says something, he always follows through.
“I actually have a favor to ask you.”
“Oh! What is it?”
“There’s a criminal organization called Chilsungpa that’s roaming around Seoul… Take care of them.”
“Chulsung, what? If they’re in Seoul, they must be a Korean gang.”
“Yeah. I’ll send you the materials.”
“What do you want me to do?”
He watched the police take them in with cold gaze.
“I don’t want to see them ever again.”
< Protect – Episode 25 – Kim Soo Jung  > The end.