Chapter 44 - Day 12, Points
What was this?
It was the perfect response to the situation. In fact, the place became quiet. Kim Tae-hyun had casually asked this question. Naturally, there was no one who would raise their hand to say ‘yes.’
“...?” Kim Tae-hyun’s eyes widened. It was no wonder. Something happened that he didn’t expect. He never thought that there would be someone who would raise their hand.
"If you are referring to a city, then I have one.” I raised my hand. All eyes followed Kim Tae-hyun’s gaze towards me.
Why had Kim Tae-hyun asked this? In the first place, it was a ridiculous question. Who was a ‘king’?
“How surprising.” I muttered once I confirmed that there was no one other than me. “But why did you ask?”
“It’s nothing. I just wanted to verify the information.” Kim Tae-hyun said slowly in a calm tone. Perhaps he assumed that this conversation wouldn’t happen. Originally, I came here to figure out how many people I would have to get rid of. Sorry but it was a big bet for me just coming here. I didn’t intend to watch passively.
“Then can I ask you a question?” I asked him.
“What is it?”
“After this is over, I would like to talk to you about being a ‘king’. With just you.” Kim Tae-hyun’s expression became slightly animated. I didn’t know if the other people here could read Kim Tae-hyun’s expression, but I certainly could.
Due to the structure of the dungeon, it was only on the eighth floor that people would realize that being a ‘king’ was meaningful. Then how did Kim Tae-hyun know about it? Other than the people here, was he also a shark?
Kim Tae-hyun had a person who was a ‘king’ and ‘conqueror’ on his side. The chances were high that it was Kim Tae-hyun. “We are done, but if you wait, I’m going to pass something out to all of you.”
In fact, he had already delivered all his facts. Soon, the people in the black suits headed to the seats and handed out small handbooks. It was like a diary where additional papers could be added.
There was a total of three catalogues. There were familiar guns that I had only seen in games. The fingerprints from the dungeon gave a minimum of five points each. I could become the protagonist of a FPS game just by having four of them. There were a few bulletproof vests and grenades.
I used a ballpoint pen to check the price list of several things, including a high-performance radio or a heated suit made of a new material.
“Please exchange contact information with us so that you can call at any time. You don’t have to worry about legally possessing these items, but please bear in mind that there might be some confusion if this is exposed to others or leaked to the private sector.”
Kim Tae-hyun’s main point was finished there. “In the future, I will contact you directly if there is something else. Of course, it is up to you if you want to attend or not. We can mutually benefit from each other. I hope there will be cooperation between us.”
There was a sound as the back doors opened. I stood up. I headed straight to the back of the stage. Eight pairs of eyes followed me.
“Follow me.” Kim Tae-hyun and I walked into the hallway behind the stage.
As we headed down the emergency stairs and appeared in a quiet place, Kim Tae-hyun turned towards me. “Frankly, I was surprised. I didn’t think that someone would actively come out like this.”
“There was no reason to hide it.” Among the eight people here, there were two faces that I knew. Yoon Chan-hee and Yoon Da-hee. Yoon Ji-hee’s cousins who were siblings. I hadn’t met them directly, but had received photos from Yoon Ji-hee.
Let’s think about it. For the children of a chaebol, they had more to lose than gain from attending this meeting. Of course, if a grenade exploded in front of me right now, then I would surely die. But wouldn’t it just cost them some money to obtain guns that could be brought into the dungeon? So why did Chairman Yoon Sang-gyu instruct me to go to this place? If it was simply for reconnaissance purposes, was he planning to use me through Yoon Ji-hee?
“The position of ‘king.’ Honestly, I didn’t come here to talk about that.” I said. This place was safe, and I had something to gain. Even the chairman changed his policy about interfering and directed his grandchildren to attend. I looked through the handbook.
“Besides what’s listed here, can I use the points to purchase other requested things?”
“That's right." Kim Tae-hyun replied. It meant I could order weapons not listed in the catalogue.
“What exactly is this? I would like to ask you.”
This was South Korea. More than the gun itself, the right to own a gun was hundreds of times more expensive. It was like that even if I wanted an air gun for hunting. No matter how rich and powerful a person was, did they have the right to hand out weapons? It was easy for the UZ family to obtain a gun, but if it was seen outside the dungeon then it would cause an uproar.
Yet this person said a blind eye would be turned. The country’s rules were ignored to give individual rights. Was that the only thing that could be bought with points?
“Is it possible to get other legal benefits? Things like tax evasion or immunity for big and small crimes?” Kim Tae-hyun was silent for a moment. He didn’t seem confused. He looked at the floor for a moment before saying.
“The ordinary people woke up after dying, with no knowledge of the dungeon.”
“The number of people who can tell someone about the existence of the dungeon is reduced. In other words, the dungeon is a place that ordinary people don’t know exists. I have absolutely faith in that.” Kim Tae-hyun grinned. “But no matter what, the dungeon actually exists. Points are the same, in that they already exist. The department that I work in manages that.”
My speculation was right. Points were something that existed before the dungeon.
“Of course, it isn’t unrealistic like the dungeon. The rules are simple. Sometimes, the country can’t afford to pay a performance based compensation to an individual. If the country doesn’t have what the individual wants, or can’t give it, the person will be angry.”
“Then getting paid in points...”
“Points are for the sake of convenience. It works so that order doesn’t collapse in society as a whole.” So... It was a type of reserve fund for corporations to gain immunity. Then I had another question. What was the credit for the reserves?
What could I gain if I saved the points for later instead of changing it for a gun straight away? “You don’t have to use the points earned straight away. You can rest assured about that part. Hee-chul can contact us at any time.”
Kim Tae-hyun said my name for the first time. “It’s a system that has existed much longer than you think. Anyone can use the points. The way to use it depends on the person.”
“...” Applying it to things like stealing or killing. I didn’t know how many people used points, but no one could use points for such a purpose. Starting with taxes, there were a number of laws people would have to deal with as their social status increased.
“If I didn’t ask...”
“There is no obligation to tell you. You have to speak clearly. If you want additional items added to the catalogue then contact us later.” If I didn’t know the truth about points, then I would be wasting it on something else. Who among the eight people outside would be in a position to know about the points? I could presume that Yoon Chan-hee and Yoon Da-hee came for this purpose.
“I don’t think there is any problem. If you don’t have the status to know about it at first, then you will soon be out in the dungeon.”Kim Tae-hyun replied.
“... I think that is a very poor criteria for judgement.”
“Let's see? Society is already in transition. The bloodlines have already been filtered to a certain extent. I’m a little old fashioned.” Kim Tae-hyun gaze swept over my whole body. “Well, I suppose there are some exceptions.”
“If I hadn’t told you about points right now, I think you would have discovered it eventually.” Sometimes the first impression could be wrong. Just like this time. I was often mistaken for an office worker due to my dark circles and clothes, but I wasn’t one.
“Hrmm. Then are you questions over? Even though you raised your hand about being a king, I don’t think there is anything else to say about it.” I nodded. “Good. Well, I enjoyed it.”
As we walked, a door to the stage opened wide. A person wearing a suit hurried out. Kim Tae-hyun watched him with a confused expression before saying to me, “Well, I was nice enough to answer some questions. Now I have a little question. Did you have to take the risk of revealing yourself as a king for that?”
“You might think so.” The suited person came this way. My sensitive senses could smell the faint scent of blood.
“What do you mean?"
“Yes. The other eight people. Will they really leave without any conflicts?”
Kim Tae-hyun frowned and realized a tempo too late. He had good insight but it was still too late. The suited person was able to successfully approach this side.
There was a small explosion that was approximately one meter in diameter. “Keuk!” Despite quickly defending with his arms, Kim Tae-hyun coughed blood and was thrown back.
Five to six metres? Kim Tae-hyun slipped and hit the ground. I had already pulled my body back.
“You...” Kim Tae-hyun looked up at me with a puzzled expression. The front of Kim Tae-hyun’s body was severely burnt. Although his life wasn’t at risk, it was obvious that he wouldn’t be able to act right now.
“I’ll tell you in advance, but I’m not involved in this.” I said to Kim Tae-hyun. I shrugged as I looked at the suited man. If he had the talent then he was welcome to try and kill me. I didn’t know his abilities, but I definitely felt his killing intent. From the first time I saw the eight people, I was aiming at every one of them.
There was nothing to lose, especially if they turned out to be kings. Every one of them might be kings and pretending not to be. I just put it out there in the beginning. It didn’t even matter if they were kings. A wild beast would just ignore public authority. The person in front of me, one of the eight people, looked like delicious prey.
“If you’re not on the same side...”
“I will either fight or run away. But it is likely that one of you will die.” The suited man took one person by surprise but I was confident about facing him. It was enough to finish him off before others could come.
“But can you really kill someone? It isn’t something that can be overlooked.” The suited man said.
“...!” I had already stepped back while raising my guard. I could run away at any time.
“If the punishment for murder was lighter, then I wouldn’t flee...” I said to Kim Tae-hyun.
He replied. “I-I will take responsibility. No matter what happens here... I promise I have the authority...” Kim Tae-hyun was bleeding from a severe wound on his neck.
The suited person lowered his upper body towards us. There was no time left. How long was left until he would rush? 10 seconds? “... I promise.” Kim Tae-hyun declared.
“Is that the end?” I asked.
“Shouldn’t there be an agreement before I kill someone?” I looked at Kim Tae-hyun as I spoke. It was bait.
The suited person didn’t miss the gap and rushed forward. A hand quickly stretched out towards me. It was only for a brief moment, but I saw a pattern engraved on the back of his palm.
There was an explosion behind me. The hand of the suited man passed over my shoulder. I gripped his elbow firmly and pushing his other arm as far away from me as possible. At first glance, it seemed like a tense power struggle. The suited person looked like he didn’t know what to think.
I turned my head again, looking down at Kim Tae-hyun. “Back to what I was saying.” I met Kim Tae-hyun’s eyes.
“Points, how much will you give me?”