I rubbed my eyes and looked at the monitor again. However, nothing changed. What I saw was clear. Four years from now, exactly on February sixteenth, 2026, the U.S. and China would fire nuclear missiles at each other. It didn’t say who shot it first, or anything like that, but it was a fact that the two countries shot nuclear missiles, which flew to their capitals and caused tens of millions of deaths.
And then the news was cut off.
‘Washington and Beijing… where both have core political leadership… But that’s the beginning. Nuclear weapons are indeed the last means. They prepare for the extinction of human civilization as soon as they used. So there’s no way they would have fired only one shot. Washington and Beijing were just the beginning. They must have shot dozens or hundreds of missiles at major cities, including New York, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.
‘And there is a high possibility that our country is also caught up in it. Our country is an ally of the United States, and North Korea is an ally of China. Although there has been a stage of harmony and exchange between nations since 2018, neither side could have refused to participate at a time when the U.S. and China were at war. If the U.S. and China go to war, it is a foregone conclusion that the Korean Peninsula will become a sea of fire, and the news could no longer come out.
‘Perhaps nuclear bombs would have been fired at big cities like Seoul, Busan, and Incheon in South Korea, and places like Pyongyang, Hamhung and Chongjin in North Korea.
‘… this is how it’s going to be. No, maybe…it might have been destined to be like this.
Conflicts with the United States and China had continued since 2018. The two countries had begun with a trade war, followed by a currency war, resulting in the economic crisis in China last year. As a result, the U.S. took some of the cards it wanted, such as opening up its markets in China, resolving trade imbalances and blocking the Chinese government’s intervention, but it earned the strong antipathy of the proud Chinese people. So, recently, the relationship between the United States and China was actually in the process of entering a Cold War, as the American-Soviet Union did in the 20th century.
‘I heard that an American and a Chinese warship just passed in the South China Sea, right?
The occurrence of military tensions in the South China Sea had been so frequent since 2018 that it was no longer even news, yet they had avoided head-on collisions every time.
‘But… I guess some day in 2026, they won’t do that anymore.’
Come to think of it, it seemed to be a recurring axis of history. Such things were common in modern and contemporary history, given the birth of a new and fast-growing nation, conflicts, trade wars, economic crises, and wars following the global economic crisis. But the different thing about the last war and the upcoming war is that it is a war that was going to wipe out civilization, so badly that it would not even bring out the general news.
‘February sixteenth, 2026… is doomsday. Everything breaks down, everyone dies.’
As I thought about that, I stood up from the seat, closed all open windows above the monitor, and turned off the computer. I came out of the study and into the living room, from the living room to the bedroom where my wife was. She sat in bed watching the television on the wall, turning to me and said to me, “Are you done?”
I sat next to her, speaking in a quivering voice, “Haw… Yes.”
My wife stared at me and said to me, “What’s wrong? This job must be really difficult.”
“Hmm?” I tilted my head.
“Oppa, you are a little weird.”
I said, touching my face, “Am I?”
“Yes. Usually, you have a bright, confident look on your face no matter what the difficult task is. But your face looks a bit dark today.”
My wife knew me well. “… I can’t always be confident.” In front of World War III, where nuclear weapons come and go. I took the hands of my wife, Ah-young, with the latter words omitted.
My wife looked at me and said, “It’s okay, oppa. You’ve been doing a good job. You’ll be able to do your next job well.”
My wife put my hands over her belly. “Baby, did you hear that? Your dad is working hard for you, worrying about you. When you come out into the world, you have to be filial to your dad. Okay?”
At my wife’s words, I smiled on the outside, but I couldn’t laugh on the inside. A pregnant wife and the baby that would come out soon… but in a few years, the end of the world would come. My child might see the end of the world, two years after seeing light in the world. With that thought, I could never laugh easily.
“You must be tired and go to sleep, oppa. Think about your work tomorrow.”
We turned off the TV and the lights of the living room, and tried to sleep. However, I couldn’t sleep at all.
‘What shall I do? If there’s a nuclear war… Is Jeju Island a safe place? No. Jeju Island also has a naval base. I have to leave our country. If China and the U.S. go to war, the entire Korean Peninsula will be in flames. So where should we go? Europe? I don’t know what will happen to Europe. Most of them are allies of the United States, so how will Russia react? No, a safe place, regardless of that… is Switzerland, New Zealand, or Canada? No, why don’t I just buy an uninhabited island on the Atlantic side?’
I mapped out some scenarios. “From now on, I will make a private land and a private villa while pretending to invest in a safe place overseas. No matter how I decorate it on the outside, I will dig up to ten stories below the ground to create a shelter for nuclear war. I will prepare guns, bullets for emergency situations, and to be self-sufficient in clean air, food, and water for decades. Then, we can live under any circumstances. My child may not know what the sun is or what a friend is, but he or she will survive anyway.”
‘Yes… then… Let’s get ready from now on. Northern Canada… or the Pacific Islands… No, the Atlantic Ocean is better than the Pacific Ocean. Let’s search there first.’
I thought about it one way or another. Starting tomorrow, I would prepare for it secretly. While I was thinking about it, my wife was fast asleep. But I couldn’t seem to fall asleep today. I got out of bed, leaving my sleeping wife alone.
Out of the bedroom, through the living room, I walked out into the garden outside the house, located in the middle of the city center. It was November and the wind was quite strong, but I walked across the garden without regard to it. At the end of the garden, where I could see the night view of Seoul, I stood watching. ‘… I thought it wouldn’t be a problem for me anymore…’
I had become the richest man in Korea, had stronger connections than anyone else in Korea, and had the power to know the future, which had reached its highest point. So, I had been thinking not so long ago that I wouldn’t have any difficulties in my life. But World War III with nuclear weapons was coming!
It was terrible that the future would be gone, even though I could know all the future. I looked at the night lights of Seoul for a moment. If I looked from here, I could see the Suyeon Electronics building in the distance, which had become mine.
‘I was going to build step by step here, and I was going to have the emperor’s territory, but…
‘I am sad to learn that all of this that I can see now will be burned to ashes, that my assets will be blown away, and that this beautiful landscape will disappear. All the people who live with tears and smiles in this huge forest of buildings will die, too. This civilization, which has been built for hundreds of years, will disappear in a moment.’ I was thinking about it, but I bit my teeth.
‘How can I stop the war? I cannot sit down quietly like this. I can build a shelter somewhere on an uninhabited island to keep me and my family alive, but that won’t end well, either. When the civilized world is destroyed, my money, and my ability to see the future will surely be useless. Yes, I can’t let that happen. I can’t just run away.’
I thought about a few things that I could do specifically. ‘I’m going to have President Joo Sung-won… No, no. The alliance between our country and the United States is unbreakable by President Joo Sung-won. If he breaks it by force, he will be impeached. Then, what shall I do now?
‘Realistically, our nation cannot be saved by tampering with Korean politics. It’s a miserable situation as a sovereign state, but that’s the reality. After reunification, we can say like Switzerland which did during World War II, ‘We are neutral. Do it among yourselves, whether it is a nuclear war or whatever.’ Now, our country and North Korea are standing like vanguards of the U.S. and China. Neither country has a choice yet.
‘Well, why don’t I go to America and lobby actively? Whether the Senate or the House of Commons… If I can, I have to target even the president. If I send Crow over there… How about China? I may have a chance in China. Although it used to be really hard, after the economic crisis, the Chinese political community has become a bit more flexible.
‘If I dig that way, there will be a chance.
‘Then, let’s enter the U.S. and Chinese markets, and dig into political connections. And then, whatever I’m lobbying for, whatever I’m doing, I will try to stop the U.S.-China war. If I use Crow to do something there, I’ll find something out.
I concluded so. The power I had now was great. Though the U.S. and Chinese governments were tough, if I went all out, I could stop the war. Of course, it would not easy, but…
Suddenly I remembered what my wife had just told me. ‘It’s okay, oppa. You’ve been doing a good job. You’ll be able to do your next job well.’
I clenched my fist. ‘Yes, I can’t let this place, where my family and many friends live, be destroyed. Let’s do it whether it’s working or not. Try it and then think about the next best thing.’
I turned around after thinking about it. Then I returned from the garden to the living room, from the living room to the bedroom, and next to my sleeping wife, laid down my cold body, and warmed myself with a blanket. My wife and the child in her womb knew nothing about this and were asleep.
I looked at her for a moment, then closed my eyes, and slept. I had to sleep, no matter how disturbed I was, I had to sleep well and wake up to do my job properly tomorrow.
This is it for 12 Hours After Novel Chapter 182 - An Ominous Illusion at readnovel.net. I hope you find 12 Hours After Novel Chapter 182 - An Ominous Illusion 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 Poisoning the World: The Secret Service Mysterious Doctor is a Young Beastly Wife novel, Rise of The Undead Legion novel, Dragon Maken War novel.
Sometimes we all need a little push to try something new and may we recommend to you to visit our genre page. Here are some genre that you might like: Romance novel, Martial Arts novel, Drama novel, Comedy novel, and for those of you that have plenty of time and would like to really dive down into reading novels, you can visit our Completed novel