“Your preparations?” Kang Jin-Ho asked.

“They are complete,” said Bang Jin-Hun without a moment’s hesitation.

Kang Jin-Ho silently stared at Bang Jin-Hun, his gaze containing many unspoken words.
For instance…
Was that preparation watertight? Was Bang Jin-Hun ready for the consequences if his preparations weren ’t good enough?

Bang Jin-Hun quietly bit his lower lip while reading those hidden questions contained in Kang Jin-Ho ’s gaze.
“How many years do you think I ’ve been preparing, Mister Kang? Your involvement has accelerated my plans by a little bit, that ’s all.
Even if you weren’t in the picture, I would have pulled the trigger sooner than later anyway.”

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded in agreement with Bang Jin-Hun ’s assertion.

Bang Jin-Hun had been consistently cooking up schemes to flip the Martial Assembly on its head until now.
If Kang Jin-Ho hadn ’t stepped up that night, the assassination of the Assembly Master would have been a success, and Bang Jin-Hun could have moved on to suppressing the dissenters through force afterward.

So, it shouldn ’t be surprising to learn that he had been meticulous with his preparations.

“My life, my ambition, hangs in the balance here,” said Bang Jin-Hun with unmistakable conviction.

It can be hard to make great work when its stolen from bit.ly/3iBfjkV.

Kang Jin-Ho nodded again.
“Got it.
Now, I ’d like to hear the details of the current situation.”

Bang Jin-Hun sucked in a deep breath before starting his briefing.
“First of all…
The power split is around seven to three.”

Jo Gyu-Min raised his hand and asked, “Are we the seven in this case?”

“No, we ’re three.”

Jo Gyu-Min frowned at that.
”Forgive me, but I don ’t understand.
From what I heard, you ’ve practically taken over the Assembly by now, so how come your faction only amounts to ’three ’? ”

“Don ’t forget,” said Bang Jin-Hun as if he was stating the obvious.
“This isn ’t a war between nations.”

“Even so…”

”It seems you still don ’t understand.
A war to take out the head of an organization isn ’t decided on the number of combatants.
I said seven to three, but we ’ll have to wait and see just how many on the opposing side can actually be called to arms. ”


”If we succeed, it ’ll be a revolution.
Failure means it ’s an insurrection.
I ’m sure this sounds humorous to you, but…
all those who failed and were branded as insurrectionists believed they would succeed and saw themselves as revolutionaries. ”

Jo Gyu-Min slowly nodded, his eyes gleaming softly.

‘This is unexpected… ’

Outwardly, Bang Jin-Hun looked like a rugged, rough-and-tumble kind of character.
He was wearing tidy clothing, indicating that he was paying attention to his appearance, but nothing about his facial appearance suggested that he was the brainy type.

But now, Bang Jin-Hun demonstrated that he was far more intellectual than Jo Gyu-Min had bargained for.

’Then again… ’

As a director, Bang Jin-Hun apparently wielded the greatest influence and power in the Martial Assembly.
Someone who managed to climb up to that position couldn ’t be an idiot.
No one would have followed him if he were, and he couldn’t have been able to seize power like that, either.

’In that case, this is the essence of the story, then? ’

‘It’s time to evaluate this man named Bang Jin-Hun objectively…’

He relied only on his own strength to shore up his status and climb to effectively the number two position in the Martial Assembly, even though the Assembly Master had decades of a headstart to build his base.
Bang Jin-Hun didn ’t stop there, as he even suppressed the Assembly Master seemingly with ease, managing to almost usurp the leader ’s position in the process.

If it hadn ’t been for Kang Jin-Ho ’s last-minute intervention, the Martial Assembly should have been in the middle of reforming under the watchful eye of its new Assembly Master, Bang Jin-Hun.

’I should not forget that this dude is also a self-made man. ’

The future direction would depend on how Jo Gyu-Min interacted and dealt with this Bang Jin-Hun character.

Jo Gyu-Min was confident about this.
No matter how amazing Bang Jin-Hun was, he wouldn ’t be able to overcome Jo Gyu-Min when Kang Jin-Ho was supporting him from behind.

Bang Jin-Hun ’s misfortune was running into Kang Jin-Ho.
Even Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu, a legend in the Korean financial world, would sometimes feel ordinary compared to Kang Jin-Ho.
As such, it was impossible for Bang Jin-Hun to avoid that kind of evaluation, either.

“In any case, that is the situation with the power balance.”

Next up was Kang Jin-Ho.
“Forget about the numbers.
What about the actual combat-capable forces?”

“Then the gap widens even further.”

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded without saying anything else, leaving Jo Gyu-Min to continue with the questioning.
”With that much gap in strength, are you saying you can take over the Assembly? When I ’m playing a video game, I prefer to build an overwhelming army first before engaging the enemy, you know? ”

Bang Jin-Hun nodded as if he understood what Jo Gyu-Min was implying.
“Objectively speaking, yes, my forces fall short.
However, I know I can win.”

“What makes you think that?”

The forces I ’ve talked about aren ’t everything. ”

“…Mm?” Jo Gyu-Min tilted his head in confusion.

Bang Jin-Hun narrowed his eyes and offered a better explanation.
”The Martial Assembly is divided into the Assembly Master ’s faction and the directors ’ faction, but… if war really breaks out, and people went up against each other with intentions to kill, then well, most will turn into neutrals.
From their perspective, it would be more beneficial to stay back and observe before siding with the winning team.
Besides… ”

As if he was dying of thirst, Bang Jin-Hun hurriedly gulped down the coffee before continuing from where he left off.

”Martial artists are mostly disinterested in this sort of power struggle.
They are very sensitive and hostile toward attacks from the outside, but they also have the tendency not to care about internal conflicts.
That ’s why only the confirmed forces directly under my command and the Assembly Master ’s command will fight. ”

”That sounds convincing… ” Jo Gyu-Min nodded as if he agreed with that view.
”So, you believe there ’s a decent chance of victory? ”

I believe I will emerge victorious.”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho stopped listening to the discussion between the two men and raised his voice.
“So, you said you ’re finished with all the preparations, yes?”


“I see…” Kang Jin-Ho grunted in clear disinterest.
“And your plan is watertight, you think?”

Bang Jin-Hun nodded confidently.
“Of course it is.”

“Throw them out the window.”

“I ’m sorry?” Bang Jin-Hun blinked his eyes in stupefaction, wondering if he had heard wrongly just then.

However, Kang Jin-Ho remained unperturbed.
“I ’m saying, scrap all of your plans.”


What on Earth was this bastard even talking about?! Bang Jin-Hun had to exert a considerable amount of mental energy to fight the confusion threatening to take over his head.

Kang Jin-Ho was capable of committing nonsensical acts without batting an eyelid once.
Since Bang Jin-Hun knew that, he shouldn ’t get agitated over stuff like this.
Otherwise, he would be the only person getting the heartburn here.

“May I ask for an explanation on why I should do that?” Bang Jin-Hun asked in a low voice.

Kang Jin-Ho still sounded unperturbed as he replied, “The combatants under you are the Martial Assembly ’s core fighting force, am I correct?”

“…Yes, more or less.”

Judging from Bang Jin-Hun ’s personality, he wouldn ’t have created a combat force made up of some random riff-raff.
He would have created a force consisting of a small number of elites, the most skilled out of the lot, the best of the best in the Martial Assembly.

This was obvious, considering Bang Jin-Hun ’s nature.
He believed the final confrontation would come down to a life-or-death battle between two ’elite guards,’ after all!

“It should be the same story for the Assembly Master, then?”

“Yes, I believe so.”

Kang Jin-Ho tutted.
“In that case, two sides fight and hurt each other, resulting in around half of the Assembly ’s elite force going out of commission.”

”…! ” Bang Jin-Hun ’s eyes trembled faintly.
He realized that he had been overlooking that possibility until now.

“After that fiasco, you think you can stop the Yeongnam Group?” Kang Jin-Ho asked in an unimpressed tone.

Bang Jin-Hun painfully replied, “…No, it ’ll be difficult.”

“When planning a civil war, one must always think about outside one ’s borders.
If you don ’t, you ’ll still lose everything after achieving victory.”

Bang Jin-Hun silently chewed on his lips.
How could he overlook something so plainly obvious until now?

’No, that ’s not it.
It ’s not like I haven ’t thought about it. ’

If things had proceeded according to Bang Jin-Hun ’s original plan, the Assembly Master ’s faction would have been thrown into confusion after losing their leader.
Bringing down a group without a uniting factor would be a cinch for him.

However, Kang Jin-Ho ’s appearance threw a wrench into that plan.
The shock from getting suppressed by Kang Jin-Ho ultimately caused Bang Jin-Hun ’s judgment to go astray.

Bang Jin-Hun quietly asked, “…In that case, what should I do?”

“There’s no need to mobilize a large force,” said Kang Jin-Ho.

“I see…”

“We wait for a little while longer.
And if there is no change, we will go back to your original plan.”

“My original plan? What do you mean?”

Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes.
“We hit the head of the opposing faction.”

Bang Jin-Hun shivered after remembering that the situation wasn’t the same anymore.

He had been waiting and waiting some more to find a gap in the Assembly Master ’s defenses.
While making sure the other side didn’t notice anything, Bang Jin-Hun trained a group of assets in secret, then mobilized them into action.
He judged it to be insufficient, so he even reached out to the Yeongnam Group to take advantage of the opportunity to kill the Assembly Master.

Perhaps his patience and heavenly luck combined to pay him dividends.
The Assembly Master usually had double—no, triple layers of protection at all times, yet Bang Jin-Hun ’s assets managed to get close to the old man.

But because the Assembly Master had survived the attempt, the latter would have definitely strengthened his security detail even further.
And he probably wouldn’t appear in the open ever again.
Most likely, he would hide in the deepest depths of the Martial Assembly, waiting for the next attempt on his life.

But now, Kang Jin-Ho casually stated that he would go with the same plan as before!

’He ’s not being idiotic, though… ’

had to be confidence.
The confidence of knowing that even the entirety of the Martial Assembly could not stop Kang Jin-Ho!

That incredible, indescribable arrogance prompted Bang Jin-Hun ’s body to react.
He didn ’t even realize that his fists were tightly clenched in excitement.

This was it.
Yes, this was bloody it! This was the martial artist Bang Jin-Hun wished to become when he started walking on the path of martial arts!

This was the true martial artist that could deny and denigrate the worldly forces and entangled connections through his strength alone!

’Indeed, I forgot…. ’

Time had worn Bang Jin-Hun down.
And after getting buffeted around by the world, he had to compromise with reality in his pursuit to grow his influence.
But his original desire when he started mastering martial arts had always been to become someone like Kang Jin-Ho.

Even though a part of him said Kang Jin-Ho was being reckless, Bang Jin-Hun ’s heart inexplicably started to pound with excitement.
What if…

What if he was the one who had just said those arrogant words while sitting on the couch like that rather than Kang Jin-Ho? What if he possessed unshakable confidence in his own strength and displayed a swagger of a man about to trample on the entire world?

“Kekeke…!” Bang Jin-Hun ended up cackling.

Even if he failed miserably and lost his life, he would still be able to stand tall and proudly declare that he had lived like a true martial artist.

“I ’ll abide by your recommendation.” Bang Jin-Hun got up, and then he bowed deeply in Kang Jin-Ho ’s direction.

He wasn ’t submitting here because he was weaker.
No, this was genuine respect for the man who had reached the position Bang Jin-Hun had to give up on to conform to reality.

“However, it won ’t be easy, sir.”

“Doesn ’t matter,” Kang Jin-Ho nonchalantly stated his belief.
“If you turn away now because it ’s too difficult, you ’ll have to pay the price later on.”

That sounded like it came from his own experience.
Bang Jin-Hun lightly nodded, then asked once more, “I see.
In that case, when will you be carrying out the plan?”

“In two days,” Kang Jin-Ho replied immediately.
“We wait two more days.
If there is no word by then, we make our move.”

“When you say ’word ’…?”

”The word that the Assembly Master will give up on his position on his own. ”

Bang Jin-Hun ’s expression crumpled a little.
“That old man is a greedy man, sir.
He will never give up on his position.”

”Again, it doesn ’t matter, ” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a faint grin.
”A rat forced into a corner has two choices.
Either it willingly gives up or struggles ungainly until the end.
That ’s it. ”

Kang Jin-Ho leisurely leaned against the couch while mouthing a cigarette.


Jo Gyu-Min smartly lit the cigarette up.
Kang Jin-Ho sucked in the unhealthy smoke, then muttered in a leisurely manner, ”Aren ’t you excited about finding out? Finding out how an old rat would struggle during its final moments.
I hope it ’ll be entertaining enough, at the very least. ”

Kang Jin-Ho ’s low but intimidating laughter spread throughout the office.
Inexplicably, goosebumps broke out on Bang Jin-Hun ’s skin, and he had to narrow his eyes as a new thought popped up in his head.

This man could be looking even further away into the future than I am. ’

He got a strange feeling that Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t waiting for the Assembly Master ’s final struggle for mere amusement.
There seemed to be something else.

’I ’ll find out soon enough. ’

Bang Jin-Hun clenched his teeth while glancing at the cigarette smoke lazily dispersing in the air.

Two days.
Two more days, and it would begin.

The world would writhe in two days—at the hands of the young man before Bang Jin-Hun.

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