“Kang Jin-Ho, is it…” The Crimson King picked up the report in front of him, perused it leisurely, then put it down on the table again, an uncertain expression on his face.

“Indeed, he is, my lord.” Cai Kechang deeply bowed his head.
To him, the Crimson King ’s comment regarding Kang Jin-Ho ’s ’ordinariness ’ sounded like the criticism of Cai Kechang ’s failure to find anything noteworthy.

“However, we still learned something,” said the Crimson King with a smirk.

“…?” Cai Kechang wanted to ask what they had learned, but the question remained stuck in his throat.
His status was far too low to boldly demand an explanation from the Crimson King, after all.

The Crimson King slowly rubbed his chin.
“It would have been great if I could go personally, but…”

“That will be difficult, my lord.”

“Damn it…”

If it weren ’t for the other two kings trying to keep the power balance in check…! The Crimson King wouldn ’t have hesitated to leave China for a little while.
However, the moment the word got out that he had vacated his position for a little bit would be when his faction would get crushed in the blink of an eye.
And the Crimson King would share the same fate as his destroyed faction.

Imagining that scenario made the Crimson King grit his teeth.

“My lord, may I be bold enough to ask why you ’re so interested in that young man? He ’s nothing but a low-life, after all.”

“…You wouldn ’t understand even if I explained to you.”

Cai Kechang sighed under his breath at that curt reply from the Crimson King.
“My lord, we ’ve managed to secure video footage of that man.”

“Is that right? Did someone send it to us?”

When you ’re just trying to make great content at bit.ly/3iBfjkV.

“No, my lord.
That man showed up willingly on camera.”

The Crimson King cocked his eyebrow and silently demanded an explanation.
Cai Kechang turned on his phone and played the footage of Kang Jin-Ho.

“Mm…” The Crimson King glared at the video, then shook his head helplessly.
“Now, I ’m more confused.”

His confusion was understandable, though.
At least on the surface, Kang Jin-Ho seemed to be leading an exceedingly ’normal ’ life.

’And that ’s what ’s been stumping me. ’

Judging from the traces of demonic arts left behind on Wu Yuan ’s body, Kang Jin-Ho should have been corrupted by the demonic energy right down to his soul.
People corrupted to such a degree usually possessed violent, vicious nature and an unquenchable thirst for blood.
However, Kang Jin-Ho displayed no outward signs of that.

“And he doesn ’t seem like one of those hypocrite types, either…”

Such types were good at pretending to be normal, well-adjusted human beings, but they still often unleashed their bloodthirsty nature in the shadows.
However, the Crimson King couldn ’t even spot a hint of such duality in Kang Jin-Ho ’s behavior.

“Are you sure we have the right person?” the Crimson King asked just in case.

“Yes, my lord.
Wu Yuan confirmed it.
He says that he’s definitely the one he fought,” Cai Kechang replied with a nod.

“Hmm…” The Crimson King shook his head again, unable to come to a conclusion.
“He ’s outside the scope of our understanding.
People like this will always cause an issue sooner or later.”

Cai Kechang noticed the deep frown of uncertainty on the Crimson King ’s face and cautiously spoke up, “My lord.”


“Is there a strict need for you to head over there personally, sir? If it ’s to test that brat, we already have a suitable individual on standby.”


“One of our own is already in South Korea.
He ’s of the Chaoxian ethnicity, my lord.”[1]

“I see.
However, that individual shouldn ’t have much influence in a foreign country.
In that case, will he be able to make that man come out of hiding?” the Crimson King asked in uncertainty.

“My lord, it ’s possible.”

“Mm? How?”

Cai Kechang smiled faintly.
“We ’ve already confirmed that Kang Jin-Ho ’s younger sister is a singer, my lord.
If we use her, we can—”


Suddenly, an explosive wave of destructive energy pounced on Cai Kechang.

Despite the intense pressure threatening to rob him of consciousness, Cai Kechang desperately prostrated on the floor.
“M-my apologies…!”

The Crimson King growled like an angry beast.
“Did you just suggest that we should act like a bunch of lowly criminals?! We are trying to combat demonic art practitioners, yet you wish for us to stoop lower than them by resorting to such underhanded methods?! Is this how a man receiving the graces of Martial Union should act?!”

“P-please, forgive this one, my lord…!”

The pressure crushing down on Cai Kechang suddenly receded, allowing him to gasp and wheeze for air.

The Crimson King harrumphed loudly.
“No matter what you achieve, it ’ll be worthless if you lose sight of what ’s right and wrong, Cai Kechang! The end does not justify the means! Do not ever forget that the results reached through the wrong means will ultimately mean nothing!”

Cai Kechang prostrating on the floor cried out, “I will engrave it on my heart, my lord!”

The Crimson King rubbed his bristle beard.
In any case, we still have to test that man.
If you have someone, then mobilize him.
Two things must be uncovered—how much the demonic arts have corrupted that man, and how strong he is.
It doesn ’t matter how long our man will take, so tell him not to resort to any unreasonable, underhanded schemes.”

“Yes, my lord! This servant shall obey!” Cai Kechang got up and bowed before cautiously exiting the Crimson King ’s chamber.
However, he was quietly furrowing his brows out of the Crimson King ’s view.

’Oh, my lord, if there are no results to speak of, the means will not matter as well. ’

For now, though, Cai Kechang thought it would be wise to follow the Crimson King ’s order.

…For now.


“N-no, wait! Fella, you wanna hurt yourself?!” The warehouse manager freaked out and rushed to where Kang Jin-Ho was.
However, he had to stop himself several steps away, as he was unable to get any closer.

Kang Jin-Ho was currently carrying four 40kg sacks of rice, two on each shoulder, toward the nearest conveyor belt.
His expression was as nonchalant as it could get.

’W-what the hell is going on here? ’

The manager ’s jaw fell right to the floor.

These sacks weren ’t the regular ones found in shops.
Those weighed ’only ’ 20kg.
No, these sacks came straight from the rural farmlands and weighed forty kilos each! Even the pros at this kind of work considered loading and unloading these rice sacks as the Alpha and Omega of the delivery service industry! Each of these sacks was so heavy that people needed ropes and A-frames to lug them around, yet this young man, he—never mind two, he was actually carrying four of them at the same time!

“Crazy son of a…?! That ’s 160 kilos in total…!”

Most people couldn ’t even squat 160kg, yet Kang Jin-Ho was carrying such weight on his shoulders without any issues whatsoever.

“Y-young man! You ’re gonna break your back like that!”

Kang Jin-Ho looked back at the manager.
“I ’m sorry?”

“Your back, man! You ’re gonna break it!”

“I ’ll be fine,” Kang Jin-Ho replied in a serene manner.
He was so calm, in fact, that the manager had to wonder if this situation was just an imagination.
A dream cooked up by his own mind!

Kang Jin-Ho ignored the stupefied manager and walked up to the conveyor belt to put the rice sacks down.

The manager could only rub his eyes.
what the hell did I just witness?”

Even the pros with years of experience would break their backs if they tried to lug that much weight around.
But now, some frail brat who looked like he hadn ’t worked a day in his life unloaded those huge rice sacks off the truck as if it was a child ’s play.
Not stopping there, he even turned around and headed back to the truck to get more!

The manager had no idea what his response should be.
F-fella, are you feeling alright?”

“Yes, sir,” Kang Jin-Ho replied in his usual flat tone.

“…Fella, are you an athlete or something? Like in…
amateur wrestling?”

“No, sir.
I ’m not an athlete.”

What about your military service? What did you do in the army?”

“I was an artilleryman.”

“Was it towed?”

155mm howitzers, sir.”

I see.
That means you must be used to carrying heavy stuff…” the manager muttered to convince himself, but it wasn ’t working.

If serving in the towed howitzer squads strengthened soldiers until they could carry 160kg on their shoulders…
Judokas and wrestlers shouldn ’t be sent to the Korean National Training Center but to artillery divisions instead!

’But, uh, what choice do I have but to believe this nonsense? It ’s the only plausible explanation, isn ’t it?! ’

Not really caring whether the manager was shocked or not, Kang Jin-Ho casually picked up four more rice sacks and carried them over to the conveyor belt again.

The manager watched on and muttered to no one in particular.
“…Maybe I should have assigned him to where they use forklifts?”


Han Seon-Gu yelled, “Listen, you dumb sh*t! Don ’t you understand what I ’m trying to say here?!”

Jun Yeong smirked and leaned back nonchalantly in his chair.
I fully understand, Boss.”

However, that attitude only made Han Seon-Gu even more frustrated instead.
“This brat! Have I been too soft on you or something? Is that why you can ’t grasp the situation?! We are talking about Jaegyeong here! Do you have any idea who they are?”

“Boss, every Korean under the sun knows who or what Jaegyeong is.” Jun Yeong cocked an eyebrow.

“If you know, why are you still being this stubborn, eh?! Why!” Han Seon-Gu pounded his chest in frustration.
“Do you have any idea what will happen to us by provoking Jaegyeong?! Do you?!”

“Boss, listen,” Jun Yeong replied with a frustrated scowl of his own.

Han Seon-Gu yelled even louder than before.
“What! What is it, you dumb sh*t! What!”

“Boss, will we become famous if we stop provoking Jaegyeong?”

“…Say what?”

“What do you think will change for me just because I got on Jaegyeong ’s bad books? At this rate, I won ’t even get a decent exposure before retiring early, am I right?”

Han Seon-Gu was initially stumped for a response.
“…H-hey, how can you say that, Jun Yeong!”

“But that ’s our reality, Boss.
That ’s our story, but that girl is connected to Jaegyeong, you say? Isn ’t that, like, a jackpot for us?” Jun Yeong swept back the strands of hair covering his forehead and smirked deeply.

“You fool! They warned us to back off.”

“Come on, Boss.” Jun Yeong threw his hands in mock dismay.
“Did I lay a hand on that girl? Did I imprison her or something? All I did was try to get in touch with her so we can hang out later.
That ’s all.
Not even Jaegyong can do anything with that.
It ’s not like they ’ll abduct and bury me in some mountainside in the middle of the night, anyway.
So, what ’s there to worry about? If they don ’t like it, tell them to call the cops.
Anyway, I haven ’t done anything wrong.”


Jun Yeong smirked while slowly pushing a cup of coffee toward Han Seon-Gu.
“Boss, I ’m gonna have my cake and eat it too.
With just enough level of media manipulation, the public ’s awareness of me will go up.
They will remember me for being that guy who got involved with Kang Se-Ah! And, if things really do work out nicely with her, it ’ll be an even more lucrative jackpot for me, right? That girl was already killing it when Jaegyeong wasn ’t in the picture.
Now that we know the truth about her and Jaegyeong, how can you think about chickening out now?”

Han Seon-Gu ’s expression grew unreadable.
What Jun Yeong said was true.
By tucking their tails between their legs and backing off now, FRC Entertainment would walk away with nothing from this ordeal.
“…Hey, don ’t forget that this company will fall into hard times by being at odds with Jaegyeong.”

“You can stay out of it, then.”


Jun Yeong spoke while shrugging his shoulders, “Simply say you can ’t control me.
Isn ’t it fine to say the contract isn ’t iron-tight enough for you to do anything about my behavior? I ’ll take care of talking to the reporters, so all you gotta do is keep pretending that the agency isn ’t involved.”

Will you really be alright?”

“Ahahaha~!” Jun Yeong burst into lengthy laughter.
“Boss, I ’m Jun Yeong.
Have you seen any girl who could resist my charms?”

“You dumbass! Different girls have different classes! None of the girls you went after were on the same level as Kang Se-Ah!”

Jun Yeong chucked as if he had recalled something.
“Wow, that girl…
I thought she must be living under a rock or something, Boss.
She was so pure and innocent, know what I mean?”


She didn ’t seem to know anything, including drinking or having a good time…
You know how our trainees or kids in other agencies can get a bit wild and ’outgoing,’ Boss.
Not this girl, though.”

“Makes sense when you think about it,” said Han Seon-Gu.
“Since Jaegyeong treats her with utmost respect and care, she has to be a princess or something.”

“That is precisely why we can ’t let this chance go, Boss.
I ’ll take care of everything, so you just have to pretend that you know nothing, Boss.”

“Hmm…” Han Seon-Gu scowled; he was still unconvinced.

Jun Yeong sensed that he was close to convincing his boss, so he leaned forward and added, “Come on, now.
Boss, when I get bigger, I won’t be the only one who’ll get to enjoy the fruits of my success.
You have been helping and guiding me until now, so you should also enjoy the benefits when they come rolling in, don ’t you agree? For how long are you planning to make chump change in a tiny little agency like this one?”

“…Hah, this brat.” Han Seon-Gu chuckled in dismay.
His pride was slightly wounded, but Jun Yeong wasn ’t exactly wrong.

“Boss, don ’t get scared because we ’re dealing with Jaegyeong.
Companies that big can ’t do much in this kind of situation with all the scrutiny and pressure from the media and public.
If that ’s not it, I can always resort to using the media, saying that Jaegyeong has been pressuring us unfairly.
If I do that, the media will descend on this story like vultures! Now that I think about it, the public awareness of us will go up with that, too.” Jun Yeong rubbed his chin as if a great idea had just popped into his head.

’…What a stubborn bastard you are. ’

Han Seon-Gu inwardly clicked his tongue.
This Jun Yeong kid seriously reminded him of a venomous, sly snake.
However, bastards like this kid also knew how to spot ways to profit from a mile away.
Do whatever you want.
Remember this, though.
I will not be involved whatsoever.
I’ll pretend that I know nothing about it, so you deal with everything.”

“That ’s all I ask from you, Boss.” Jun Yeong cackled, then licked his lips.

’Kang Se-Ah, you can ’t escape from me that easily. ’

To Jun Yeong, corrupting an innocent princess and toying with her was easier than taking candy from a baby.
Unfortunately for him, though…

He had no idea—no idea what kind of beast was lurking behind that ‘innocent’ Kang Eun-Yeong.

Chaoxian ethnicity, or Joseonjok, is a Chinese citizen whose ethnicity is Korean.

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