I looked out the window. It was a dark country road, similar to the scenery I used to see on my way to my grandmother’s house when I was young.
‘Well… is there something in this place?’ As I thought of that, I asked Secretary Seo, who was holding the steering wheel in front of me.
“We’re almost there, right?”
On November third, I came here to Sudong Myeon, in Namyangju City, Gyeonggi-do. I had responded to the invitation of Garden Royale. It was the same during the invitation of the Garden Envy, but it was a strange invitation. The third generations of Korean chaebols, who would soon take over the conglomerates, were meeting in this rural area. As for me, it didn’t make sense. But somehow, my Bentley, driven by Secretary Seo, entered the Dong office.
Entering the office, Seo said, “It’s weird, boss.”
“What is it?”
“I think there’s no one here. If it’s the Dong office, it’s still the center of the town, but isn’t it normal for one or two people to be around?”
The office seemed to have recently cleaned up, as if it had been refurbished, but the lights were off and there was no indication of a person being around. It was 6:40 p.m. It was only a little early for the 7 p.m. meeting, which was odd.
“Let’s get out first.” I got out of the car with Secretary Seo and Secretary Park.
Two men in suits came up to us in the dark Dong office, more precisely to me. They came up to me and asked, “Are you CEO Han Sang-hoon? And who are these two?”
“They’re my secretaries. Can they come to the meeting?”
“Yes. Just one person.”
I gave an eye to Seo and Park, respectively. Secretary Seo took a step back, and Secretary Park approached and stood next to me. If they tried to do something strange to me, they would be rolling on the asphalt floor in a second or two.
But they didn’t, just reaching out to me. “Will you show me the invitation letter?” was the only thing they asked.
I took out a prepared invitation letter from my inside pocket and showed it to them. When the man saw it, he lifted his collar and said, “CEO Han Sang-hoon is here. Please send a car.” He radioed somewhere. Soon, from somewhere, a Bentley, the same type of my car, came into the parking lot. As I stared at it, one of them indicated the back seat and said, “Please get in.”
“Oh, wait a second.” I stood for a moment and checked my mailbox on my cell phone. I was wondering if there was any correction news. But it wasn’t there, and it meant I would be healthy in three weeks and visit the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
‘It’s going to be all right.’ I took the back seat with Secretary Park. When I got in the car, the driver, who looked a little older, greeted me and said hello. “Well, I’d like to ask a favor from you, Mr. Chairman.”
I didn’t know, but he was like a hired driver for this banquet. He drove off along the country road again.
I thought, ‘Where are we going? A hidden villa?’ Then, I saw a river. It was no different than Bukhan River.
‘… perhaps…’ But my guess was true. There was a huge cruise ship on the river ahead, brightly lit. I’d seen it on the Han River from time to time. No, I thought, it was bigger than that one.
The car stopped at the ferry near the river. There were people in black suits waiting here, too.
“CEO Han Sang-hoon, we’ve been waiting for you.”
There was no room for other people to interfere. I got on the boat with Secretary Park, while they held the wheel. Soon the boat made its way toward the cruise ship flashing its lights on the Bukhan River.
The inside of the cruiser was the extreme of splendor. The men on guard were handsome, and the women carrying food and drinks were beautiful. The bar was lined with champagne like Dom Pérignon and Armand de Brignac Champagne, and all the furniture filling the inside were antiques that seemed difficult to measure.
‘It’s gorgeous, but who’s going to pay for this?’
I tried to pay attention to the people inside, rather than the splendor of everything. There were quite a few familiar faces in this cruise. What was slightly different from my expectations was not just the business people here. Political and media figures were also here.
‘He’s the chief editor of the Koryo Daily News.’
‘He’s the son of a former president, isn’t he? What does he do now?’
There was also a very familiar face, Lee Won-sang. He was the elder brother of Lee Won-jae, who looked like Kaiji, considered to be the next owner of the Daewon Daily News.
‘Well… he’s here, too?’
Somehow, they felt similar. Tak Mun-su was in Garden Royale and Tak Joon-gi was in Garden Envy. Lee Won-sang was in Garden Royale and Lee Won-jae was in Garden Envy.
‘This is a place only the people who will be the next powers of the Republic of Korea will be invited to.’ This was the banquet of dragons, as it was said. I took a glass of champagne from a wandering beauty and overheard them talking.
“So what do they say the constitutional amendment is going to be?”
“It won’t be long before it passes. The presidential system will be maintained, with a two-term presidency, two four-year terms, and the National Assembly will be reorganized into an interlocking electoral system. The president and Son Hae-jin, the party leader, talked behind the scenes.”
“Well, now we will have to talk about the next presidential election.”
“Yes, if the amendment is passed, we have less than a year and a half left before the presidential election.”
On one side, there was the talk of politics; on the other, economics.
“So, do you think the price of oil will go up?”
“Yes, the U.S. will continue to destabilize the Middle East in order to check China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It will be the same with India and Pakistan. If the waist is cut, there is no Silk Road.”
“Ah, then they are selling shale oil at a high price – they are going for the effect of killing two birds with one stone. Trump warned OPEC that oil prices are too high.”
“He’s just saying that to get popular with the public. He says it’s hard to live in the working class because of the high price of oil, but he’s actually only making it more expensive.”
Those were stories that seemed to be helpful if I listened carefully. I looked up at the sky. Some birds flew, I couldn’t tell whether or not they were migratory birds.
‘… birds are flying… Then… I’m sure they wouldn’t be surprised if a crow flies around.’ I thought of an eye patch I kept at home. ‘If I feel something is not enough after I hear and see things here, I’ll ask Crow to show this again through my dream.’
Then, suddenly, I heard a voice that drew my ears. “How about Han Sang-hoon?”
My ears pricked up suddenly. ‘They’re talking about me.’ I turned my eyes at the sound. It was the table where the political story came out.
“Han Sang-hoon is not bad. I think he has the potential.”
“Isn’t he a shallow guy?”
“He is a shallow guy and there is possibilities. These days politicians are popular only when they’re far from authoritarianism.”
‘Ahh… not me.’ Whether it was fortunate or unfortunate, it was not me who was being talked about here, but it politician Han Sang-hoon.
“There’s a good chance that Joo Sung-won will come out for the ruling party, since the other runners have already lost. If there are no other variables, Joo Sung-won will come out. The opposition party is interesting. It’s hard to predict the situation here. There’s Han Sang-hoon, but there’s also Lee Soo-won, or Jung Kyung-wha.”
“Wouldn’t it be a little hard for Jung Kyung-wha? In the past, she mangled an image of female politicians.”
“No, we can’t say that she is not possible because she’s a woman. It’s different from one person to another. Chancellor Merkel of Germany has been in office for more than a decade.”
‘Huh… Han Sang-hoon is doing great.’ Rep. Han Sang-hoon, who had the same name, was now mentioned as a presidential candidate. If that happened, it would be a little bit too bad for me. My plan to find my name on the news 12 Hours After and explore the future could be sealed for a few years. No one in Korea, even top celebrities, could beat the president’s name.
I thought, sipping champagne from the glass, ‘If he is going to be in the presidential election… or if he is going to be a representative for the opposition party, I’m going to have to investigate him through Crow. How much dust will it come out?
‘This is why the prosecution and the media become powerful in our country. If they investigate some politicians, something should come up. So the law sometimes becomes a dog of power, and sometimes a dog that bites the power.
‘The press is also the same. If the approval rating is high, they write good articles; if it gets lower, they beat the president with editorials and articles. So the president, the pinnacle of the power, is being investigated by those people at the end of his term and goes to prison. I don’t have the political power to wield the law, but I am confident that I could wield the media better than anyone else.’
I was thinking that, and a man in a black suit came up to me and asked, “Are you CEO Han Sang-hoon of Invictus Investment?”
I nodded, “Ah. Yes.”
“Your inviter, Chairman Jang Han-sul, would like to see you.”
I looked at him for a moment and nodded slowly. That was what I came here to do. At the dragon’s banquet, I would be swallowed up and see what was in its stomach. When Tak Jonn-gi tried to swallow me whole, he was dug up from the inside and died. No matter how big a dragon they were, they would not be able to swallow me. I followed him through the cruise ship with Secretary Park.
His destination was a cabin on the cruise ship. He made it difficult when he saw Secretary Park in front of the cabin. “I’m sorry, but you can’t accompany him inside.”
I looked back at Secretary Park and nodded. No correction news had come. I’d checked two or three times since I had boarded this ship. I walked inside. There were seven people in all.
I knew all those people at a glance. They were all faces that should be recognized at a glance: Chairman Jang Han-sul of KJ Shopping, Chairman Ko Jin-hee of JISUNG Fashion, President Kim Shin of Susung Planning, Vice Chairman Jung Sung-soo of Mirae Motors, President Ha Ji-yeon of Hotel Baekje, President Huh Joon-ik of LC Construction and Vice Chairman Tak Mun-su of Suyeon Electronics.
‘Every one of them…it’s a group of princes and princesses.’ The people here were simply those who could be the next heads of the nation’s conglomerates.
‘These guys are all here… what the hell are they talking about?’ I was thinking that, and the host, Jang Han-sul, who had invited me, rose from his seat and held out his hand to me. “Ah. CEO Han Sang Hoon, you are here. Nice to meet you.”
At that time, a person next to him stood up and asked, “Who are you?”
He was none other than Tak Mun-su, with the same face I had seen in my dream.
‘You already know.’
I was thinking that but Jang Han-sul introduced me to the other six. “This is CEO Han Sang-hoon, CEO of Invictus Investment. Recently, the market capital of companies he runs has risen to over a billion dollars, right?”
It was a story of property from the first meeting. ‘That way I’ll be able to sit at this table…’ I formally greeted them with such thoughts. “Nice to meet all the presidents and the chairmen. I’m Han Sang-hoon, the CEO of Invictus Investment.”
This is it for 12 Hours After Novel Chapter 134 - Banquet Of Dragons, Part I at readnovel.net. I hope you find 12 Hours After Novel Chapter 134 - Banquet Of Dragons, Part I to your liking, just in case you are in search of new novels and would like to take on a little adventure, we suggest you to look into a couple of this favorite novels The Mech Touch novel, Shikkaku Mon no Saikyou Kenja~ Sekai Saikyou no Kenja ga Sarani Tsuyoku Naru Tameni Tenseishimashita~ novel, Rebirth of the Strongest Female Emperor novel.
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