Chapter 90
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Chapter 90

    Dust Defenders(8)

    This is.

    Jeong-woo let out a bitter laugh at the realization that he had brought the wrong box. While it was Song Boyeongs mistake, it was also his own mistake for not checking properly before bringing it out.

    I got enchanted by those bewitching frog-like eyes.

    As Lungyun and the bidding officials approached the sensor area, Jeong-woo hastily closed the box and reassured Jun Chai with a smile.

    Ahaha, it was a different box, not this one. Ill get it right away.

    Why is that diaper-like thing there?

    Jun Chai couldnt understand why there was a box from KG Chemicals containing womens essentials in the luggage he brought.

    Ahaha, yeah. Why is this here?

    Muttering, Jeong-woo quickly walked outside with the box. A hurdle like this was unexpected for the sensor teams smoothly progressing work.

    Arriving at the back of the deserted building, Jeong-woo piled the contents on the floor and began contemplating how to resolve the situation.

    Stay calm. Theres always a solution.

    Taking a sanitary napkin in his hand, he gently tore it open and glanced at the compound inside. As expected, there was a tailored absorbent polymer inserted to attract specific molecular components.

    See. We have enough materials. The problem is that Senior Boyeong took two days for this task, and I have to do it in 10 minutes.

    Taking out a battery from his pocket, Jeong-woo began the task of probing the molecular world using dust particles, lightning particles, and infrared wavelengths.

    An extraordinary task carried out under the guise of chemistry.

    As the debris of what used to be a sanitary napkin increased on one side, the amount of tailored polymer crystal formations in the box also increased.

    10 minutes later.

    Jeong-woo shook his hands and stood up from his seat.

    Lets put the rest in for now.

    Putting two sanitary napkins in his pocket and incinerating the debris to make it unrecognizable.

    A neat solution. It was a perfect chemistry that was literally the equivalent of a perfect crime.

    Looking around, as he stepped outside, he saw Jun Chai standing behind Dusfs building. It caught Jeong-woo off guard since Sun Hui, the representative of the rival company, was with him.

    The two were in a serious conversation. Curious, Jeong-woo brought sound waves to eavesdrop.

    -Even if you insist a hundred times, I wont go to Dusf.

    -Maybe shes stubborn because she cant fix that personality. Jun Chai, why are you wasting your skills under her? Did you change your mind since you lived as half American? Do you like Mei by any chance?

    Jun Chai bit his lip, hesitated, and then replied.

    -Thats not something you should concern yourself with.

    -Its simple. I will have to concern myself with it now. If todays bid fails, your project is over, isnt it?


    -Its clear what Mei is aiming for. She wants to qualify for various government announcements in Beijing by winning this bid. Especially to present it as a gift to the school she graduated from. If Dusf takes that, will Mei come? Its not a lucrative business, but if its to get Mei, its worth a try. Well, cant you do the math?

    Upon hearing this, Jeong-woo recalled what Noh Jong-seon had said.

    Providing the best clean system to students living with respiratory diseases in the area of the thermal power plant. That was the driving force behind her persistence in this research.

    -I believe our system is superior to Dusf.

    -Youll have to reevaluate that, but still, you guys will lose.

    -President Lungyun seemed fair.

    -Well, of course. Hes in the position of managing under contract. Mei didnt tell you who I called today. I clearly mentioned it in the email.


    -Chairman Wang, the head of Jinma Group, will also be at the presentation venue. Hes very favorable to us. When Lungyun selects a company, whose opinion do you think he values the most? The grading sheet of the filter test? No, its Chairman Wangs.

    Finally, Jeong-woo understood the meaning behind Meis expression that he had witnessed before leaving the country.

    She knew the chances of victory were slim. If Dusf monopolized the public facility market, it also understood the crossroads she might face in choosing.

    What should I do In a fight where results are determined by connections, theres nothing I can do.

    With a deep sigh, Jeong-woo carried the box and entered the testing building of KG Chemicals.

    At 1:00 PM, the test of Burke in Germany began.

    Seated in the central control room, about a hundred participants watched the test process with tension for their own reasons.

    Initializating step 1.

    Michael Grunt, Burkes Asian representative, commanded the activation of the air purification system in response to the voice of the filter test tube.

    As the danger level spiked on the monitors connected to sensors, the red warning lights flickered.

    From the building on the far right visible through the control room window, a buzzing sound of fans rotating reached their ears.

    While the danger level gradually decreased, the timer on the screen continued ticking.

    Finally, when it pointed to 23 seconds, the green light indicating safety lit up. In that moment of purified air, it was drawn through a special passage to the corner where the filter test tube was rotated to the precision analyzer.

    As the results were recorded, Ha Won-il, sitting next to Jeong-woo, asked.

    The purification speed seems slower than ours, right?

    Jeong-woo nodded since they had recorded 10 seconds in a similar experiment.

    [Step 1: Clean Grade 5] [Purity 99.73%]

    [Purification Speed: 23s] [Sensor Accuracy 80.67%5.3]

    On the large monitor on the wall, the results brought a relieved expression to Michael and Burke employees. The atmosphere suggested they had expected this level.

    Initializating step 2.

    Air with more pollutants was injected into Burkes testing facility.

    The red light turned on, and a few seconds later, Burkes sensors detected it and began self-purification.

    The time until the green light lit up for Step 2 was about 50 seconds. After purifying the air, the filter test tube continued the precise analysis.

    This process repeated five times in stages before coming to an end.

    After about 30 minutes, Michael and Burke researchers waited for the final results.

    [Step 5: Clean Failed] [Purity 67.03%]

    [Purification Speed: 4m 40s] [Sensor Accuracy 78.3%6.3]

    The last step, assuming a release of toxic gas, resulted in an expected failure in cleanliness. Here, purity and sensor accuracy were only reference points.

    The filter is certainly good.

    Kim Tae-san, who was sitting in the back seat, muttered.

    Seeing Burkes impressive results, the next in line, Kuroki Masato, the team leader of Sumimoto Chemical, had a dark expression as he stood up from his seat.

    Initializating step 1.

    The same process unfolded, and Sumimoto Chemicals results gradually appeared on the monitor.

    [Step 1: Clean Grade 6] [Purity 97.73%]

    [Purification Speed: 16s] [Sensor Accuracy 93.37%2.3]

    As expected, the test results continued to highlight the sensors performance.

    [Step 5: Clean Failed] [Purity 13.73%]

    [Purification Speed: Unmeasurable] [Sensor Accuracy 90.1%2.5]

    In the final step, the fan ran for more than 10 minutes without the green light turning on, so the filter test tube forcibly ended the process.

    Seeing the despairing cleanliness record of 5th step, Team Leader Kuroki frowned deeply.

    13%? Hm. I cant say that this level of filter is bad, but the basics of cleanliness should be maintained.

    Kim Tae-sans comment followed.

    While monitoring the result values on the screen, Lungyun, who was openly shaking his head, made Jeong-woo intuitively feel that he had been eliminated from the competition.

    Even if we have to consider connections or whatever, we must maintain an edge in performance.

    As the test progressed, Jeong-woos speed proportionally increased.

    Sun Hui, looking at KG Chemicals with a conceited smile, chuckled when his eyes met Jeong-woos.

    Prepare for the next one.

    At the voice of the filter test tube, Dusfs researchers stood up from their seats.

    Dusfs records significantly outperformed the previous two companies.

    Starting from Step 1, it showed efficiency close to Burkes filter and Sumimoto Chemicals sensor. Shockingly, in Step 5, it achieved air purification that even Burke couldnt complete.

    [Step 5: Clean Grade 9] [Purity 89.1%]

    [Purification Speed: 5m 9s] [Sensor Accuracy 91.2%3.1]

    A record that couldnt help but dominate in the overall evaluation. Lungyuns gaze also seemed satisfied.

    Bringing the best equipment pays off.

    Kim Tae-san clicked his tongue.

    Please prepare for the last team.

    At the instruction of the filter test tube, Mei stood up from her seat and looked around at her team members. Then she turned to Kim Tae-san and said.

    Mr. Kim. Filter research. Thank you for your hard work.

    At her Korean words, Kim Taesan recalled the events of Friday and wore a puzzled expression.

    What have I done? Its all thanks to our team.

    If we fail in this bid, Mr. Kim, please take charge as the team leader and continue the project. Jun Chai will continue to handle the sensor.


    Even if this opportunity is missed, the Dust Project will definitely succeed.

    With a statement suggesting taking responsibility for the defeat, Kim Tae-sans eyes narrowed.

    Mei finished speaking and turned her gaze to Jeong-woo this time.

    Assistant Team Leader.


    Please assist from the side. It will be our turn soon.

    Since removing the mask earlier, Meis complexion hasnt been great due to continued movement in that state.

    Caught between a rock and a hard place, Jeong-woo could only look at Mei with sympathetic eyes.

    The researchers from Burke and Sumimoto Chemical seemed to have deemed it hopeless, as they left the control room and began their evacuation procedures in their respective areas.

    In the slightly dull control room.

    Mei nodded to the filter test tube.

    First stage initiated, she announced.

    The sensors activated, and the familiar hum of the fan echoed. Jeong-woo stood beside Mei, anxiously awaiting the results, his hands clenched in sweat.

    Ten seconds after the red light came on. The green light followed.

    With eyes that hadnt expected much from the fastest Stage 1 purification speed so far, Luwins gaze focused on the results monitor.

    [Stage 1: Clean Grade 5] [Purity 99.91%]

    [Purification speed: 10s] [Sensor precision 97.67% 1.3]

    Even the filter testers in the room were impressed by the overwhelming results, their murmurs filling the air.

    -The sensor is more precise than ours, isnt it?

    -What kind of filter is this?

    Unable to understand the conversation in Chinese between the two testers, Jeong-woo sensed the atmosphere from Jun Chais bright expression.

    [Stage 2: Clean Grade 5] [Purity 99.31%]

    [Purification speed: 34s] [Sensor precision 98.01% 1.4]

    The results of Stage 2 were superior to Dusfs.


    However, the difference wasnt as significant as in Stage 1. Jeong-woo felt a moment of concern.

    The fan was rotating slower than usual, and the damper control was unpredictable.

    As expected, Stage 3 showed results that fell short of Burkes filter.

    [Stage 3: Clean Grade 6] [Purity 96.31%]

    Burke had recorded 97% purity at this stage. Mei addressed the murmuring team members.

    No need to worry. Its just a margin of error from the facility construction. The sensor is maintaining its peak performance. Keep the fan speed steady, trust the filter.

    The performance of the sensor, enhanced with polymer compounds, was outstanding amid all this. In the midst of heavy pollutants, Jeong-woo found a certain degree of reassurance in its ability to maintain a constant freshness as if always new.

    Initializating step 4

    The red light lit up, and the sensor activated the purification system.

    The sensor warned of the presence of contaminants that could cause severe respiratory diseases if exposed for an extended period.

    Dusfs Stage 4 purification speed was 3 minutes and 50 seconds.

    Even as two minutes elapsed, KG Chemicals purification systems red warning light did not shift to orange.

    Come on.

    Perhaps due to silently chanting fighting inwardly, fortunately, it turned orange just before the two-minute mark. Jeong-woo sighed in relief.

    If the purification speed was the same, the sensor and filter results would undoubtedly be superior to Dusf.

    Team leader.

    At that moment, Jun Chai, who was observing the sensor, looked puzzled and glanced at Mei.

    Theres an air leak. Towards the adjacent building.


    Internally. The test air supply line.

    Is this a sensor malfunction?

    Meis gaze shifted to the monitor. Due to expanding the detection angle to eliminate blind spots, the situation in the adjacent building was clearly displayed.

    Sun Hui!

    At Meis call, Sun Hui turned his head.

    Theres someone in that building, right? Toxic substances are leaking from the internal supply line.

    Probably not, right? Does your sensor even detect that? Man, getting that patent wasnt in vain.

    Make sure! Its a heavy metal compound!

    Alright, alright.

    Sun Hui took out his phone and called the team leader.

    Mei bit her lip and then spoke to Jun Chai.

    All fans inhaling air, switch to reverse rotation. Fans expelling air, set to maximum speed. This way, the leaked air from the connected internal line will be sucked back in.

    T-Team leader?

    Jun Chai looked displeased at Meis directive, essentially giving up on the Stage 4 purification.

    There might be no people inside. And what if those idiots over there ingest some heavy metals? They wont die, right?

    Jun Chai!

    Mei shouted again, coughing.

    Even a mere second of exposure could lead to anyone becoming like me. Do you want to do that with your own hands?

    Jun Chai, seemingly resigned, manipulated the connected purification system. The trembling sound, like a fan wailing, echoed through the KG Chemical building.

    Jeong-woo realized that Mei was using the entire test building like an air purifier.

    Right. I can confirm that.

    Jeong-woo, looking out the window, monitored the front with infrared wavelengths detecting heat.

    Five figures, resembling human body temperature, flickered inside the Dusf test building.

    Theyre really there?

    Meis decisive decision to abandon the test, as if predicting the danger to rival company employees, prevented them from being exposed to harmful air.

    Jeong-woo wondered what choice he would have made if he were in charge.

    Mei turned her gaze to the filter test tube.

    What are you doing? If we cant resolve that leak line, this control room will soon be in danger too.

    The testers hurriedly instructed the employees. Meanwhile, Sun Huis voice, engaged in a call, suddenly escalated.

    They were already in the process of evacuation? Hey! Come out right now!

    Jeong-woo confirmed the five people escaping from the Dusf test building and looked at Mei.

    Its safe now.

    Pointing outside, Mei also noticed people running out of the door.


    Jun Chai restored the system to normal. Due to the excessive influx of contaminants for about 30 seconds, the sensors warning light turned red. It took another 5 minutes for Stage 4 to complete.

    An horrific result, far worse than Dusfs Stage 4, appeared on the monitor. Sun Hui pointed at the screen.

    This didnt happen because we wanted it. Since its an unregulated event, retesting is not possible. Start Stage 5.

    These damn idiots!

    Sun Hui, ranting, was met with a stern glare from Kim Tae-san.

    Team leader. We should have just let them ingest it, why bother!

    Smiling lightly at Kim Tae-sans outburst, Mei said.

    The flexibility of our purification system has been well publicized.

    Whether that would be acknowledged as normal, Jeong-woo observed Lungyuns expression. There was no sign of any emotion in his cold demeanor.

    The filter tester, who received a call from the maintenance team, spoke.

    Well take a break while the maintenance team handles the leak issue. Itll take about 15 minutes.

    There was almost no movement during the break.

    Jeong-woo approached Mei, who was catching her breath, holding her throat.

    Do you think well win?

    Of course. But we must adhere to principles

    Unable to finish her sentence, Mei started coughing heavily, Jeong-woo observing closely took out a battery.

    If I dont use it now, when will I?

    He scattered the dust particles infused with plasma. Freshly purified air enveloped Mei.

    Breathing became much easier for Mei. She looked around with a bewildered expression.

    The sparkling dust particles filled the surroundings, giving a feeling of vitality. However, this dust didnt trigger asthma but brought a sense of energy.

    After silently commending the lightning particles for completing their role and disappearing, Jeong-woo turned to Mei.

    Speaking of principles, but how about adding one more filter in the middle of the test?

    A filter?

    A customized bypass filter. The one I created when I was first assigned to the team.

    It was an idea that came to mind with the thought of trying everything that could be done.

    Mei cast a skeptical glance.

    Whether a customized filter with a catalyst will be effective or not, the pollutants in Stage 5 are complex substances that our sensors cannot detect entirely. Even if we start analyzing and producing it now, it will take time

    Thats a yes.

    Mei stopped talking, looking at Jeong-woo who was smiling broadly.

    Manager Ha!

    Jeong-woo suddenly called, startling Ha Won-il, who quickly stood up.

    Were going to make a bypass filter. Please manufacture the connecting parts. This one will be a bit larger.


    We dont have time, so lets talk about it on the way.

    Jeong-woo and Ha Won-il rushed to KG Chemicals test building.

    15 minutes later.

    Jeong-woo raised his thumb outside the window. As a signal that the installation was complete, Mei nodded to the filter tester.

    Were initiating Stage 5.

    As the test resumed, the values on the sensor in the monitor soared to the maximum in an instant.

    Amidst the continuous flashing warning window, KG Chemicals air purification system was activated.

    After one minute, the red light changed to orange.

    Jun Chai, who was attentively observing, was surprised and looked at Mei. Mei, also watching the monitor, couldnt believe that hazardous substances were being purified so quickly.

    Mr. Han. What on earth did you do?

    At 2 minutes and 15 seconds, the test stopped with the appearance of a green light. The filter testers, who were observing the process, even resorted to banging on their precise analyzers, suspecting a malfunction.

    After a moment, as the analysis results appeared, everyone in the control room fell silent, staring only at the monitor.

    In the midst of the silence, the door creaked open, and Jeong-woo entered.

    Huh? Hasnt it started yet?

    At this unexpected question, Kim Tae-san, sitting among KG Chemical researchers, pointed to the monitor.

    Jeong-woos eyes went to the result sheet.

    [Stage 5: Clean Grade 5] [Purity 99.99%]

    [Purification speed: 2m 15s] [Sensor precision 98.7% 1.1]

    Wow. Grade 5?

    Even Jeong-woo didnt anticipate this result.

    The product, with a catalyst like a detoxifier that neutralized contaminants, reached an astonishing level. Except for purification speed, it was at a higher level than Stage 1.

    Ha Won-il, who came in late, also stared at the monitor, his jaw dropping.

    Sun Hui, who had been staring at the monitor with a bewildered expression, walked towards Jeong-woo.


    Sun Hui questioned Jeong-woo.

    I saw you. Installing the filter. Whats that about?

    Why? It doesnt violate any regulations to make mid-test modifications.

    What on earth is that?

    If you need professional advice, formally request consultation from KG Chemical rather than prying into others trade secrets.

    With Jeong-woos words, Sun Hui turned on his heels, emitting a disgruntled cough.

    For a while, Lungyun, who couldnt take his eyes off the monitor, stood up.

    The results will be announced at 5 p.m. in the Jinma Group building conference room.

    Lungyun left with the officials.

    The filter team researchers gathered around Jeong-woo. Kim Tae-san, with a shocked face, spoke up.

    Jeong-chan only heard the Cheonan incident from Jin-soo. Never thought Id witness that. Making detoxifiers for 20 types of toxic substances in just 15 minutes. Wow, what a skilled individual.

    We havent even won the bid yet.

    Kim Tae-san, who was shaking Jeong-woos hand in amazement, made a puzzled expression.

    They must be weird if they saw all this and they dont pick us.

    Jeong-woo, sensing that they didnt fully understand the situation on the ground, just nodded.

    Assistant Team Leader.

    The team members stepped back, giving room as Mei spoke.

    Team Leader Yu, are you okay?

    Mei nodded at Jeong-woo concern.

    I still dont know the extent of your abilities. But I think I understand now Professor Noh Jong-seons words about you being able to make this research perfect in just three weeks. I apologize for initially misjudging you.

    No need for apologies. Im embarrassed.

    Meis expression wasnt bright. Jun Chai, standing guard next to her, was the same.

    I only assisted. Team Leader Yu, youve already won over there, not just in skills but also in character.

    Um, Jeong-woo. You spoke well.

    Kim Tae-san also nodded in agreement.

    The atmosphere sank despite the positive test results, as everyone had heard Meis intention to step down from the team leader position voluntarily if the bid failed.

    Lets be like Cho Sung-hwan one more time. We did the best we could.

    Resigned, Jung-woo fumbled in his pocket and pulled out his wallet.

    Lets have a dinner gathering tonight. I brought my corporate card. Lets try Peking duck.

    Kim Tae-san paused. Kim Tae-san was genuinely impressed by the majesty of the only regular researcher in the company with a personal corporate card.

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