I originally planned to hold a meeting at the hotel out of consideration for Seong-Il, who was concerned about Ki-Cheol. However, Joshua had caught the public eye unexpectedly. Therefore, I had no choice but to move our venue.
We arrived at the headquarters of the World Awakened Association, which was previously known as Jeonil Resort, by helicopter.
Ki-Cheol pointed to the ground toward the entire building that was being occupied by Orca. When a giant tentacle suddenly soared through the air, the boy screamed briefly and then buried his face in Seong-Il’s arms like a child.
The helicopter pilot was also taken aback as the aircraft briefly tilted in midair. The massive tentacle that had rapidly grown and was about to reach the helicopter then suddenly retreated back into the building before vanishing.
“See? Orca is helpful. It was a good idea that I gave him the entire building, right?” Yeon-Hee looked at the bizarre building where tentacles were shaking as if she adored them.
Seong-Il consoled his son, “It’s okay, Ki-Cheol. That monster is under our control.”
“Hey, Seong-Il. Orca is going to be sad if it hears you say that. Shush.” Yeon-Hee smirked.
“By the way… why do you keep talking to my dad as if he is younger than you? Aren’t you just in your thirties?” Ki-Cheol finally asked.
This was why the boy had looked at Yeon-Hee stiffly throughout the flight. Yeon-Hee couldn’t help but laugh at Ki-Cheol’s brave comment.
Seong-Il apologized, “Sorry, noona. Ki-Cheol is still a child.”
She chuckled. “All kids are like that. I’m more familiar with those in his age better than you, Seong-Il. Hey, Ki-Cheol. I’m not a noona to you. I’m your aunt because I’m older than your father. And stronger too. Does that answer your question?”
A quick look at bit.ly/3iBfjkV will leave you more fulfilled.
She continued, “I’ll be the one to fulfill your wish because I’m the top one.”
Ki-Cheol glanced at me.
She flapped a hand at me. “Excluding him of course.”
Anyway, Jeonil Resort had lost its previous beauty as it had been changed to the association’s general headquarters. The swimming pools were filled with dirt and covered with marble. The murals on the barriers, which had been created to prevent public criticism, were removed and surveillance cameras were attached to them, resembling the tentacles of Orca.
As the helicopter touched down on the roof, I could see that there were workers installing a fist-shaped stone statue in the spot where the Jeonil Group’s logo statue had been removed. The new statue appeared to be clutching the air.
All of this was to be expected. After all, I had originally created this place for the purpose of making it the association’s headquarters. It appeared the construction would proceed smoothly as expected and be finished before the registration day of the Awakened.
The lights that lit up the night stood out. It was still disordered with construction going on, but it would have been more unsettled when we first returned to earth. I was informed that the bereaved families of both Revolucion’s and Tomorrow’s Awakened had held a joint funeral at this location. Additionally, some survivors purposely avoided reuniting with their families.
One of the security chiefs approached the helicopter. He was a civilian, and he had the corporate mark of the military company Whitewater on his combat uniform. He was heavily armed with automatic firearms and had magazines in his vest.
“It’s an honor to meet you. Please call me Benny.”
Ki-Cheol exclaimed loudly as if the disciplined mercenary looked more powerful than us.
It would be annoying if any novice reporters noticed us. They would write some nonsense about the armed foreign mercenaries while rambling on the sovereignty of the country. It was because a formal agreement with the U.N. had not yet been signed.
However, I had finished talking with the Blue House. They also believed that China, which was a permanent member of the United Nations, would soon declare it was surrendering and stamp the agreement. This was an area of extraterritorial jurisdiction, the real domain of the World Awakened Association.
Benny explained the progress so far. As one of the chief security officers, he would have realized that I was the top dog here as he was in charge of this place before and during the Day of Advent. He emphasized his accomplishments, which encompassed preventing infiltration attempts by the Korean CIA and foreign spies, as well as giving his subordinates their orders while we were flying toward here.
After a long explanation, he left while Yeon-Hee and Seong-Il came over.
Yeon-Hee said, “It must be gold.”
“Yes, and we have to offer a bill as a sacrifice,” Seong-Il replied.
The notification message that the Four Priests received lacked specific details, but the two of them definitely felt how nervous I was about them, similar to how Doom Kaos was concerned about me. They said the altar was supposed to be made entirely of gold, and the sacrifice being offered should consist of valuable bills, whether in dollars, won, yen, euros, or any other high-value currency.
None of this was funny to me. Rather, I became fearful. Doom Kaos had perfectly figured out what was valuable to me and humanity as a hold, and it was what motivated us normally. Seong-Il said a glass of soju embodied life, but in reality, a single piece of paper symbolized the collective anguish and yearning of humanity.
Money drove our world, and Doom Kaos was aware of it. Maybe he had grasped it from my nature.
Anyway, Joshua arrived two hours later.
He announced, “I was cleaning up the house, Master.”
Jonathan arrived the next day. Then, the construction of the altar room was completed after another four days. The golden room was connected to the secret passages and security devices deep inside the headquarters, where construction was still in full swing.
It wasn’t merely covered with thin gold foil. In fact, actual gold bars made up the walls, floor, and ceiling on all sides.
We, the Awakened, didn’t need any lighting as we could all see the golden color hidden in the dark. The altar was located on the front wall.
The four priests began to stack piles of bags filled with money. I didn’t need to be there, but I wanted to see everything in person. One interesting fact was that all of the money contributed came from the priests’ personal funds.
Jonathan personally withdrew some funds from his account, while Yeon-Hee used some of the money she had earned while adventuring with me in the dungeons. Seong-Il’s contribution was the lowest as he had spent a portion of the two hundred thousand dollars he had received from the World Awakened Association to enter the Stage of Advent.
This was the requirement for the Doom Man priests’ offerings. It was said that I shouldn’t be paying for any of it, which meant a lot.
“This is the end of preparation. All that’s left is the ritual… But I’m not sure if it will end before the registration day of Awakened,” Yeon-Hee said with a nervous look.
I nodded to them, then stepped back toward the entrance. Starting with Yeon-Hee, they kneeled toward the altar. There were no spells or specific ceremonial procedures.
However, the tension that filled the narrow space sealed with gold was palpable. Then, the bags of money placed on the altar suddenly burst into flames. Right then, I heard voices from every direction. I knew these weren't auditory hallucinations.
The sound of a woman laughing.
The sound of a man crying.
The sound of an old guy screaming.
At that point, mixed voices of various genders and ages started to echo. It all originated from the altar as the priests were kneeling in silence. It didn’t take long before I realized that the sounds were a collection of all kinds of emotions. They wound around the room and didn’t stop.
When the weeping intensified, I grew sentimental. The sound of mirth made the corners of my lips turn up at the edges, whereas the scream was so agonizing that I physically felt the pain.
My people were being exposed to this vortex of intense emotion, and no one knew when this would end.
[Your priests are performing the ritual ‘Transition.’]
[Save your Power to respond to their wishes.]
I walked out of the altar with heavy strides. However, this reminded me that I had an ongoing task just as they had their own.
The war against China was ongoing, and they would have felt the urgency after receiving the agreement by now. They would move soon.
I sent a message to Kim Cheong-Soo.
「Be ready to attack.」
The State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Certain items were accessible within the national market, while others were not. For instance, certain medications were not obtainable inside China, and the Minister of Finance cited Iraq during the 1990s in order to exert pressure on international human rights groups. He warned them that imposing economic sanctions on their country could lead to casualties and constitute a severe human rights issue.
“How the hell are you doing your job?!”
The Minister of Finance threw his cell phone at his subordinate’s face, and the guy squeaked in response.
His subordinate apologized profusely, “I’m so sorry. The human rights groups seem to have agreed to focus only on implanting microchips to Awakened.”
“How should I report this to our leader?” the Minister of Finance snarled.
If economic sanctions against China were accepted as ‘unhumanitarian measures’ by the international human rights groups, then they could have turned the tide from there.
The subordinate couldn’t afford to deal with his bleeding nose because he had one more piece of sad news to report. The entire State Council was confused by the agreement that had been informed in advance by the United Nations.
「 Agreement Between the World Awakened Association and the United Nations About the Members’ Status 」
The Minister of Finance became speechless after reading through the documents, then he looked at the subordinate with shaky eyes. Then, there was an unbelievable answer.
The world was becoming crazier and crazier. The way they declared the end of diplomatic relations with China was frantic, but this agreement was even madder.
However, the leaders of the world, as well as their elite supporters, weren’t all irrational. The only explanation for their behavior was that a dominant force was manipulating them from behind the scenes.
“If we, the People’s Republic of China, don’t accept this, each country will…”
“Each country will make its own agreement with the World Awakened Association before the registration day of Awakened.”
After receiving a response from his subordinate, the Minister of Finance was convinced that a force existed that had the ability to influence the entire world, even in situations where the United Nations was unable to resolve the issues at hand.
However, he couldn’t assume that the power was the Bilderberg Club because they wouldn’t be able to manage oil-producing countries and Russia.
This power is much stronger than the Bilderberg…
The Minister of Finance suddenly became overwhelmed by a huge unknown force. A chill rushed up his spine, and goosebumps appeared on his skin. The anger that had previously soared up quickly dissipated.
Then, he met the leader, who had the same expression as he had after reading the agreement, in the hallway. Surprisingly, the leader had reached the same conclusion.
“Minister of Finance… I don’t think it’s the Bilderberg Club.”
“I can’t believe our insight into this was this narrow. We were big fish in a small pond.”
All the Awakened feared Odin. Since he possessed the strength of a deity, his force would have exceeded even the powerful entity that drove the world at the moment.
The Minister of Finance looked at the ground and thought, ‘It’s definitely not the Bilderberg Club.’
“So we have no choice but to dig up the dirt around the pond to expand it. Can you do that right away?”
The Minister of Finance raised his head in surprise.
“This is a good lesson for us. We should name the operation ‘Golden Fish.’ Let’s start all over again. What do you think?”
The Minister of Finance inwardly freaked out as the collapse of China was inevitable along with the downfall of the global economy.
His only hope was that he and his family wouldn’t be purged. Also, he saw the light because the leader was spending time with him instead of the members of a standing committee, including…
… the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister of Economic Affairs, President of the National People’s Political Consultative Conference, Secretary of the Central Organization and Discipline Inspection Committee, Director of the Central Office and Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress…
The Minister of Finance’s unsettled thoughts became resolute.
“You are right.”
The leader was right. If he became a fish in a pond, he would have no other option but to excavate the surrounding soil to enlarge it, even if doing so meant risking his life.