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Sooho Novel Chapter 143
America was a very big country.
Arkansas was just a little bit smaller than Korea. And since the size of it was similar to that of Korea which had over 50 million people, that was pretty surprising. It was possible that Arkansas had more farmland in Korea. In contrast to the mountainous Korea, North America was quite flat. Once Michael’s funeral ended, he headed over to Tallahassee, Florida.
Many people thought of Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa when they thought of Florida, but their capital was actually Tallahassee. Since Florida was home to many blacks, Hispanics, and Spanish Americans, he was able to see dramatic changes in lifestyle throughout the area. America was still struggling with racism, particularly with black people.
“Florida is like the Jejudo of America.”
“Isn’t America’s Jejudo, Hawaii?”
“But Hawaii is way too far from the mainland. And it’s the north that governs America, not the south.”
“Are you from Hartford, Logan?”
For someone who wasn’t very American, he had a strong sense of its regions. New York and Philadelphia had always been famous rivals, and not only were cities up against each other but also put states as well. New Yorkers might have said Hartford didn’t stand a chance against New York, but the life Logan lived in Hartford was different. All the cities around New York saw New York as their rivals.
And just like how Korean high-schoolers went to Jejudo for their school trip, American students normally went to Miami, Florida for theirs. In contrast to Korea, who always stressed that their kids were underage, America let their kids leave the nest and face real life as soon as they graduated.
Tallahassee wasn’t as crowded as Miami.
Actually, no famous American tourist destination was always bustling with people. New York, LA, and Las Vegas were exceptions. What made Tallahassee unique was the fact that the city was right beside a forest. It wasn’t uncommon for wild animals to crawl out and roam around the residential houses late at night. It was almost hard to tell dogs and coyotes apart.
A skyscraper could be seen from afar, but everything else around it was just trees. There were also many lakes around the forests, and that was where many homeless people could be found. They lived in trailers that they parked nearby. That was definitely illegal.
This was proof of the double-sidedness of Americans.
Since there was a slum in the city, people just hoped that the homeless, drug addicts and cons would just hide out in the forests. It was no different from the New Yorkers who didn’t want to see or hear about any evil. There were crackdowns at times, but they only did it for formalities.
“There was probably a time when they dreamt of their bright futures, too.”
There weren’t many people who were homeless since birth. Most of them were successful businessmen, professors, or employees who made a mistake and let it get the best of them. How did they become this way? In a capitalist society, not having money was a sin.
The homeless noticed Ahn Soo Ho and Logan, but they couldn’t approach. They were so big that they didn’t think they could stand a chance. The homeless weren’t stupid. Unless they were crazy from all the drugs, they would always think before they stole money.
As soon as they saw a worn-out trailer, Logan stepped up and knocked on the door. What stuck out of the door was not a person’s face but a gun. Logan lifted both his hands to let him know that he didn’t have any weapons. The bearded man then put his gun away and peeked out, and he only showed a noticeable response as soon as he saw Ahn Soo Ho.
“Long time no see, old man.”
“Yeah, really. You still have that dislikable face, I see.”
“Haha. Are you going to keep us standing out here like this?”
Ahn Soo Ho followed him into the trailer, but Logan couldn’t take a single step. That was because as soon as he took a step, he saw the gun being pointed at him again.
Logan looked at Ahn Soo Ho for help, but he just ignored him. In contrast to how it looked on the outside, the trailer looked quite nice inside. The smell was weird, but that was because an old man was living there by himself. It would have been weirder if it smelled like flowers.
Ahn Soo Ho sat down on the broken couch. The man poured alcohol into a broken glass. Ahn Soo Ho put his lips to the glass and then laughed bitterly. It was alcohol, but it wasn’t normal.
“Is this moonshine?”
“Not the cheap kind though. It’s the good stuff. A guy named Greinke stole it off a truck on the high way.”
“How did he not get caught?”
“The highway patrol system in Florida is pretty screwed up.”
In America, a lot of distribution relied on trucks more than boats and trains. That was why so many transport trucks could be seen at rest stops. If one messed with a truck driver on a highway, something really bad could happen.
“What brings you here after over 10 years?”
“I’m retired, too.”
He had an absurd look on his face.
“A man wearing Armani saying he’s retired? Are you mocking me?”
“Of course not. I’m here to keep our promise.”
“Our promise…? Really?”
Ahn Soo Ho shrugged his shoulders in response.
“Back then, I thought of it as just a kid’s foolishness, but I was wrong. I apologize.”
After looking at him, he clicked his tongue.
‘I knew he was from a life of money… but he’s really no joke.’
In this world, retirement meant death, losing one’s mind, or hiding out. He had lived all alone ever since going into retirement over 10 years ago. He distanced himself from his family and friends to protect them and he distanced himself from the world to protect himself.
He was the man who managed an empire before Ahn Soo Ho’s time. They were only together for half a year, but they left strong impressions on each other which remained till this day. Strictly speaking, Ahn Soo Ho was partly responsible for Hector Garcia’s retirement.
“I’ve actually been wondering, how did you annihilate Kadesh Morken?”
Ahn Soo Ho gave him a careless but a very Ahn Soo Ho answer. And Hector just smirked in response.
“Well? Haha. That’s something you would say.”
“Are you going to keep living like this?”
“Then how else can I live? There are countless hyenas looking for my ass.”
“As I said before, your mistake was reigning with fear alone. No king can rule over an empire with fear alone.”
“How could I make friends when I had no idea when I’d be betrayed next?”
Who was right or wrong wasn’t what was important.
“Do you hear anything about what happens on the outside?”
“Are you talking about the New York and London terrorist attacks?”
“I guess you’re not completely in the door.”
“I don’t have cable, but I do have the radio.”
Ahn Soo Ho felt sad the more he talked to him. As a skilled man who ruled the dark world once, he was living a shabby life now.
“Don’t look at me like that, Soo Ho. You’ll get sick and tired one day, too.”
They both lifted their glasses and chugged. It was bitter in a bad way. He said it wasn’t moonshine, but how good could alcohol have been from the hands of a homeless person? But then again, alcohol was alcohol.
“Enough of the nonsense. Why are you here?”
“Are you going to keep living like this?”
“You already asked me that. Why do you ask?”
“There are lots of other people who will visit you soon.”
“This old man?”
“Your reputation is immortal.”
His body might have been old, but the experience he had ruling this part of the world never disappeared.
“The internal conflict in Angola must be more serious than I thought.”
“J-Law and Issac crossed a line they shouldn’t have.”
“This fight will only end once one of them dies.”
“But the problem is that you don’t know when that war will end, and if it doesn’t end soon, those in power will feel restless. Then they’ll need all the mercenaries and assassins they can get, and in order to meet their budget, are they looking for all the retired ones, too?”
“You’re a smart man.”
Ahn Soo Ho clapped his hands. He might have looked like the KFC man, but Hector Garcia still had it.
“Is it already in the works?”
“There are probably those who are refusing.”
“Their will doesn’t matter. They’ll probably make everyone do it no matter what it takes.”
“By using their weaknesses, like family?”
“They’re going to break the unwritten law?”
Ahn Soo Ho shrugged his shoulders in response. No matter what, families should not be messed with. That was the unwritten rule of this world. However, laws existed in order for it to be broken.
“If the unwritten rule is broken… it’ll become a lawless district. Doesn’t anyone know that?”
“It doesn’t matter. What happened has already happened.”
Hector hated that Ahn Soo Ho spoke so calmly about such a horrific scenario.
“I didn’t like you from the start.”
“Yeah. You never had the desperation of a raw human being. You’ve always treated war as if it was a game.”
“I thought I was pretty serious but maybe that was just my misunderstanding.”
“You little bastard.”
Hector realized that Ahn Soo Ho wasn’t just any old crazy person. He was the craziest of the crazy. Many called him the human butcher, but Ahn Soo Ho was a perfect killing machine who was designed to murder.
The rich who received his protection called him ‘Guardian Angel’, but those who despised him called him a nightmare. The person who was actually ruling with fear was Ahn Soo Ho, not Hector. There was a new order ever since he annihilated Kadesh Morken all on his own.
‘Retirement can’t change that. Yeah right.’
Ahn Soo Ho’s retirement was different from that of Hector.
“What do you want, Soo Ho?”
“Yes, a balance between light and darkness.”
Ahn Soo Ho smirked in response to his confused face.
“Look at yourself, Hector. Isn’t your life too pathetic for someone who used to rule the darkness?”
“Many would say it’s what I deserve.”
His response contained bitterness and grief.
“You’re really an asshole, Soo Ho. But there’s something you once said that I couldn’t deny. Until now, we’ve never controlled the situation.”
“The situation has always controlled us.”
Ahn Soo Ho cut Hector off.
“As you said before, we’ve never controlled the situation, Soo Ho. If I had controlled the situation properly, I wouldn’t have ended like this. However, I’m not dissatisfied with where I’m at one bit. I’m actually at peace now.”
Surprisingly, many homeless people liked their new lives. Aside from the fact that Hector had a place to escape the wind and rain unlike many other homeless people, he was actually enjoying the hardships of being homeless.
“That’s good. Just like how you agreed with what I said, I agreed with something you said as well, Hector.”
“When I wiped out Kadesh, this is what you warned me.”
Hector moaned as soon as he remembered. He did warn Ahn Soo Ho after he annihilated Kadesh Morken by himself. He mumbled to himself.
“Our past will always be on our tail.”
That was the warning he gave him. He said it to imply that since he made a lot of enemies in his life, his life wouldn’t be all rainbows and sunshine. Was it a little bit of jealousy? He was embarrassed thinking back on it. Ahn Soo Ho mentioned a promise, but he didn’t plan on making a proposal right away. So he got up from his seat. Just before leaving the trailer, he looked back at Hector.
“Your past will chase you down in the very near future.”
They were going to pull the sick and old lion out from the safety of the cage. That wasn’t all. They were going to do whatever it took to get any veteran to work for them.
“Call your family first, Hector. If you miss this opportunity, you’ll regret it.”
“We found Hector Garcia.”
“Tallahassee, Florida. He lives by the national park with a bunch of homeless people.”
“Homeless people? That’s why we couldn’t find him.”
Issac shook his head as soon as his subordinate trailed off.
“What is it?”
“He met with Ahn Soo Ho.”
“Tsk! Pull out the monitoring team.”
“Pull them out? Then we could get the men taken by another group.”
Issac knitted his brows. He wouldn’t have talked about it in the old days, so this was proof that his organization was getting weak. There wasn’t much he could do, but he was still sad. The military dictators and terrorists who used to use all sorts of assassins showed negative responses, but just because Angola disappeared didn’t mean assassins would die off as well.
“There’s no need to draw his attention. Pull them out.”
“If he gets Hector Garcia on his side, he’ll get many more retired…”
Issac’s subordinate stopped himself. That was because his neck snapped off. Issac coldly stared at the broken man while turning on the interphone.
“Come in here and clean up after this mess.”
The body was cleaned up in no time. He had a bitter taste in his mouth. He had to fix his habit of being violent whenever he got mad.
He answered the interphone as soon as it rang.
“What is it?”
“It’s the CEO of Boeing, Vice-President Chenyabin.”
Issac, also known as Vice-President Thomas Chanyabin of United Aircraft, picked up his phone and answered.
“Has it been one month since our yearly aviation gathering, Jake?”
< Protect – Episode 142 – Angola  > The end.