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Sooho Novel Chapter 148
“Her name is Kim Yeon Ji, she’s 22 years old this year, and she goes to Hanchae University.”
Hanchae University was a shortened way of referring to Korea Sports University. National schools founded for the purpose of fostering talented athletes were highly competitive, and since Korea was centered on sports more than clubs, they were even more obsessed with entering.
“Her situation is difficult.”
That was the situation of the woman who wanted to be a war mercenary. As a result of her parents’ business going bankrupt, their family lost all their money, and then their parents passed away due to a car accident. She could deal with their debts by giving up their inheritance, or they could gather money from their relatives; doing that might ruin their relationship with their relatives though. There were countless relatives who cussed and even used curses.
“Once I gave up my inheritance, my relationship with my relatives suffered, and then I had to support my three younger siblings.”
“That must’ve been hard.”
“Not really. Korea might be known for having the worst welfare among OECD countries, but besides having poor service, their institutional programs are pretty extensive. The only downfall is that you have to go there and beg. So I went all over the place and received all the welfare benefits I could get.”
“Young kids these days are smart.”
He sounded like he was in his 60s. Ahn Soo Ho gestured her to keep going with his chin.
“Since she’s a young adult who’s a medalist and a national representative, she’s able to feed herself, but her three younger siblings still needed legal guardians. Most of the time, relatives are next in line, but as you know…”
“There’s no way they’d do that.”
“That’s right. And since her parents’ friends all drifted away because of debt, she was in trouble. If she were to take care of them herself, she was worried because she was not home most of the time. On top of that, the youngest is ill.”
“Is it a rare disease?”
The families that suffered more and more.
“Luckily, they have cord blood stored up, so they can do treatment, but…”
“It’s expensive, right?”
“Aren’t there any child specialized government workers?”
“If you’re talking about America’s child welfare, no, there isn’t.”
Over 20% of the world’s child poverty took place in America. A lot of it had to do with illegal immigrants as well, but even with that aside, America’s true face was more like hell than Heaven.
Numbers don’t lie.
“Even with government workers looking for children in broken homes, there isn’t enough manpower or money.”
Money was always the problem.
“But why does she want to be a military mercenary of all things? That’s not easy either.”
The secretary trailed off so Oh Joo Kyung stepped in.
“Because of you.”
“Because of me?”
“Yes. There’s more interest in mercenaries than ever. A news report even said that increased numbers of Koreans are signing up for the PMC.”
Koreans always had a tendency to copy others who succeeded, and the same thing happened this time around. ‘If Ahn Soo Ho can do it, maybe I can, too.’ The younger generations with no experience with war suddenly started knocking on doors to become war mercenaries in hopes of succeeding. What happened on the outside was a mystery, but students who dropped out of elementary school, middle school, high school, and mercenary school reentering the military life became a consistent feed for the media. There wasn’t anything special about it, but since Ahn Soo Ho became a worldwide rich man, they had no choice but to obsess over the profession.
“They think participating in a war as a mercenary is a way of becoming wealthy.”
“That’s true. But not everyone can become a mercenary. Especially in the American military.”
It was true that fighting as a mercenary was a sure way of making lots of money. The problem was that until they could, there were all sorts of evaluations they had to pass. They weren’t going to send just anyone to the battlefield just because they were desperate for men.
‘National representative for Taekwondo? A medalist?’
That kind of experience was of no help.
The first criterion was experience in the military, and all other experience didn’t matter. Then some might have asked if Korea was beneficial since they had a draft system, but no matter how skilled they were, lack of communication made them useless. How could they work together without communication?
‘Those foreign languages are the problem.’
Even those from the special forces were disqualified if they couldn’t speak a foreign language. With such qualifications considered, mercenaries were naturally elites. They were able to make good money even if they didn’t put themselves in danger. If men like that happened to leave the country, they got conned by middlemen or got employed at strange companies doing weird things.
‘They really become bullet bait.’
International thugs disguised as military organizations. If they kissed work ethic goodbye and used violence all the way, there was no solution.
“Tell her to come in.”
The secretary called in Kim Yeon Ji. She came in hesitantly and then sat across from Ahn Soo Ho.
“Ms. Kim Yeon Ji.”
“Ye… yes, Sir!”
Ahn Soo Ho smirked at her military response.
“You don’t have to be nervous. I’ve heard about your situation. I’m sorry about your parents.”
“That’s all right.”
“To tell you the truth… there’s no immediate way to become a mercenary.”
Kim Yeon Ji showed her disappointment.
“I’m not kidding when I say it’s probably harder to become a mercenary than to get a job in this country.”
She knew that as well. But she wanted to check anyway. She was disappointed, but from the look on her face, Ahn Soo Ho saw that she was somewhat expecting this answer. In contrast to the belief that athletes were dumb, brains were very much needed in order to do pro sports. And independent sports were even harder than team sports.
“But I didn’t just call you in here to tell you that. As your superior in Taekwondo, I’d like to offer you some help.”
Kim Yeon Ji exclaimed at the word “superior”. He didn’t know how it was these days, but back when Ahn Soo Ho served in the military, Taekwondo was a requirement. Whether they liked it or not, they all had certifications.
“I’ll provide you with a scholarship, living expenses, and medical fees. I don’t have any other condition. Just continue training hard.”
Kim Yeon Ji was shocked.
She actually somewhat expected this. She was embarrassed and her pride was hurt, but she wondered if opening about her situation would elicit help from Ahn Soo Ho. However, when it actually happened, her mind went blank. She then bit her lip. Talking about how she would repay his kindness was even more humiliating. She sprung up and bowed at 90 degrees. Oh Joo Kyung laughed at how she came in crouched over but left with strength in her shoulders.
“She’s like a boy.”
“Haven’t you seen a female athlete before?”
Whether they were amateurs or pros, women who worked out talked and acted differently.
“Unfortunately, all I did was study during my school days.”
“Of course, you did. You went to a prestigious university as a result. I understand.”
Korea’s education system of sitting at a desk for a dozen hours a day was a dark one. All it did was make people dumb; it didn’t create any talented beings. The talents of Korea were created by education, so instead of maturing, natural talent was what caused their germination. Society was unable to produce great leaders.
“I’d better invest in it.”
“Are you talking about sports?”
“There’s no better way to win people over than sports. Athletes aren’t dumb. And favor and spite are clear in that field. Those who work out have a strong sense of fellowship.”
“Then let’s create a baseball or soccer club…”
“No, not that.”
Ahn Soo Ho cut Oh Joo Kyung off.
“Tell the ones who need advertisements to do pro sports.”
There was no need to get into fights with existing unions.
“I’ll talk to experts regarding the plan. Create a think tank regarding sport for life.”
“They’re all probably connected to Korea Sports Association already.”
“I’m telling you, this country is crawling with thieves. There’s got to be a younger group we can target.”
“I’ll look into it.”
The next day, a lunch buffet was the last activity of the 1 night and 2 days fan meeting in Jejudo. Ahn Soo Ho then saw off Jang Seol Hyun who was back to focusing on her filming and then looked for the F4.
“Soo Ho! Soo Ho!”
Being able to call Ahn Soo Ho by his first name was a skill. As soon as Emily and Rachel spotted him, they swarmed over and babbled away in English. They talked about how hard dieting was, how gross chicken breast and vegetables were, and how annoying the dance trainers and managers were.
Ahn Da Sol greeted him with a wave while Lee So Hye was busy wrestling with a pile of books. Mrs. Park Ok Nam wasn’t against her daughter’s debut, but she wouldn’t allow her to give up on her education either. The new manager of the F4 was someone Ahn Soo Ho recognized.
“Team Leader Lee?”
Lee Sun Mi responded with a smile. As soon as training began, they relocated to a different spot.
“Do you think they’ll succeed?”
“The directors sure think so.”
They hadn’t debuted as singers yet, but the F4 was already a hot issue in the industry. Since they broke the typical way of including foreign members from China or Japan by picking those with more diversity, people had no choice but to show interest. The sales point of the F4 was the fact that they all had a connection to Ahn Soo Ho.
Ahn Soo Ho’s little sister
Ahn Soo Ho’s cousin
Ahn Soo Ho’s friends, nieces
It almost seemed like they all got through connections, but once people saw their training videos, they all gave them a thumbs up. It was true that Lee So Hye was the most lacking in skill, but she actually had the most fans. Was it because of her older brother? Maybe or maybe not.
Ahn Soo Ho was truly shocked. His little sister through his eyes and through the camera was totally different. He always thought she was cute, but with full makeup and the right poses, she wasn’t the Lee So Hye that he knew.
“I have something to tell you, CEO Ahn.”
Ahn Soo Ho, who was watching his little sister through the window, turned around in response to Lee Sun Mi’s calling.
“Have you been briefed on Jung Hoon?”
“About his scandal?”
He had already been briefed about how he was crazy about girls. He responded in a calm manner as if that was expected of a man in his 20s, but when Lee Sun Mi shook her head, Ahn Soo Ho tilted his.
“Is there another problem?”
“I think he’s hanging around bad friends.”
“Well, I’m not in charge of him anymore.”
She showed a sad expression to his criticism. Ahn Soo Ho wondered if there was a problem he didn’t know about.
“Team Leader Lee, this doesn’t count as whistle-blowing. I’m still this company’s CEO, and this is something I need to be briefed on.”
Not many people talked about it, but Lee Jung Hoon was becoming more and more audacious. He understood. No matter what the rules were, no one was going to mess with the CEO’s little brother. The problem was that he used that power in a manipulative way.
“He used your name to use facilities connected to Daesan Group.”
“Hotels and resorts. Mostly foreign clubs.”
Daesan Group’s hotel chains didn’t manage night clubs in fear of obtaining a cheap image, but they believed that their foreign hotels needed adult entertainment establishments. Middle-aged men liked to go to bar lounges and restaurants while young men liked to go to clubs.
If that was the only thing he did, then it wouldn’t have been a problem.
“It’s women, isn’t it?”
“They found marijuana in some of the rooms as well.”
“Did they smoke them?”
“No. But the friends he were with did.”
Lee Jung Hoon wasn’t a top star, but he was a rising star with a face and name known to the public. Ahn Soo Ho stopped Lee Sun Mi with his hand and took out his phone.
“It’s me, old man. Yes. Have you heard about my little brother? Yes, not the youngest, but the guy. Yes, that’s right. I’ll make sure this never happens again. Yes, Sir. I’ll visit you soon.”
He hung up and then called speed dial.
“Director Oh, it’s me. Gather the board of directors immediately.”
This was the first time the owner of Hosoo Entertainment called an emergency board meeting. They normally scheduled the board meetings for at the beginning or the end of every month, and Ahn Soo Ho didn’t even attend. So there were executives he knew and those he didn’t know. The owner’s straight face made the vibe of the meeting room heavy.
“Is everyone here?”
Ahn Soo Ho propped up his chin with both his fists.
“Raise your hand if you knew about what my little brother’s been up to these days.”
No one raised their hands.
“I can do an investigation to find out.”
A few people raised their hands in response.
“Then how did I not know?”
The information was cut off mid-way.
If they wanted to come up with excuses, there were plenty. His own guards constantly followed his mother and Lee So Hye around so he was briefed on them right away, but he left his father and his little brother with the group’s guard team, so they were a whole another connection away. Some of them tried to wrap it up nicely while some others kept them a secret to use as weaknesses later on.
“I clearly told you that I am strict about the rules.”
A few of them gulped.
“Did you bring it?”
Ahn Soo Ho reached out for Oh Joo Kyung to hand him Lee Jung Hoon’s contract. He then ripped it up.
“Let him know that his contract’s been terminated. Actually, I’ll tell him myself. Where is he?”
“Cheers to Jung Hoon!”
Emperor Renaissance was a hot club in Gangnam. The stage was filled with men and women dancing, and the 3rd-floor room wasn’t somewhere people could book out with money alone. Lee Jung Hoon rubbed up against sexy women and drank the alcohol that his friends poured for him.
He was in a good mood. He liked that he was served wherever he went, but the one thing that bothered him was that he didn’t achieve the success himself. It was all thanks to his great older brother. With fans came anti-fans. Lee Jung Hoon’s anti-fans criticized him for succeeding just because he was Ahn Soo Ho’s brother. People insisted that he would have been an ordinary trainee if it wasn’t for his brother.
That wasn’t false. Lee Jung Hoon knew it, too. If Ahn Soo Ho didn’t exist, his success would have been put off until later. But he didn’t think that meant he had no talent. However, he hated that he would have been as useless as dirt if he didn’t have his brother. That might have been when all his amusement started.
Friends that praised him.
He knew that they would have ignored him if he didn’t have money or popularity. They probably thought of him as a pushover since he spent a lot of money on their trips abroad and clubs, but he had never thought of them as real friends. He just wanted to show off that he had succeeded.
‘I’m not the old me anymore.’
As the son of a snack restaurant owner, he studied hard and got into an Ivey League, but his life and reputation didn’t get better there either. He resented the fact that he wanted to live a cool life but was held back by his not so cool parents. So Ahn Soo Ho’s appearance was like welcomed rain. However, too much rain made even the farms wither away.
“Oh, you have a nice body!”
In the middle of touching a woman’s body, he suddenly grabbed her breasts. If he had done that in public, he would have been reported for sexual assault, but only those with such desires were gathered at this place. They all had partners they were sucking on. As they were approaching the climax, the door suddenly opened.
Ahn Soo Ho clicked his tongue at the sight. What would have happened if they put a bunch of horny men and women in one room? If sex was a natural thing, swapping was not.
He slapped one of the men who crashed onto the floor.
The wild beast’s growling made all of them sober up. They all gathered their things and left the room in less than a minute. Ahn Soo Ho then stared at Lee Jung Hoon. Lee So Hye was thankful for what she received while this bastard was jealous and resentful about the things he didn’t have.
“You crazy son of a bitch.”
He had no right to diss rich people. If one person succeeded, there were always others who sucked their blood out. The evil reputation of rich people came from mosquitos that all swarmed in for some blood. Machiavelli once said that one must be perceived as evil to truly be a powerful man. Anyone could make money, but not everyone could make a lot of money.
‘What do I do about this?’
If he really beat him up good, Mrs. Park would have resented him forever. After all, Lee Jung Hoon was her son. Ahn Soo Ho knitted his brows in thought and then took out his phone.
“Logan, your men are still in the States, right? Yeah, okay. When you go over, bring one more with you.”
After going over for Michael’s incident, Logan’s underlings were busy looking all over for the culprit. They looked into anything that had to do with guns, drugs, and gangs. The authorities were looking closely at their act of secretly invading criminal organizations, but they couldn’t find them since they disappeared like ghosts.
“Okay, do that.”
< Protect – Episode 147 – Guardian Angel  > The end.