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Chapter 298

The hug came as a huge surprise and a shock to me, as I was expecting to be punished.

‘I'm not going to get……punished?’

I glance in Godfather's direction and am met with an approving stare.

"Mmmmm, my Eugene is a big boy."

No, why did you act so serious in the beginning if this is how it's going to be?

"That, father."

"Yeah."

"I thought I was in trouble."

So I decided to just ask him outright

He stopped hugging me and smirked.

"What do you mean? For what crime should I punish you?”

"I ignored the organization's discipline and used Corleone’s power for my own needs……"

The name of Corleone is incredibly restrictive in and of itself, and even more so depending on who it's directed at.

But a president, the head of a nation?

That's practically an unbreakable promise.

A promise that must be fulfilled at all costs.

To make such a decision arbitrarily, it was clearly beyond my authority.

But my father put his hand on my shoulder as if to say, "What are you talking about?”

"My son, what is Corleone?"

Before I could respond, my father spoke first.

"Corleone is a family before it is an organization, which is why we are called the Corleone Family. Son, what is your name?"

"Eugene……Eugene Han Corleone."

"And my name?"

"Vito Corleone…….

"Then, to you, Corleone must be your father; and how is it wrong for a son to be dependent on his father; and did you do this with the intention of leading him into error?"

"──No, not at all."

When I answered, my father smirked and patted me on the shoulder.

"Okay, that's enough. That means you're confident."

With that, he turned to look at my godfather.

"Dominic. What do you think Corleone stands to gain from this?"

"On a city development scale the benefits to Corleone will be astronomical, perhaps, surpassing all records."

"And the risks?"

"The sort of thing that, if done, would keep the president in office. It's not much of a risk."

"I see."

Shrugging and smiling, my father returned to his seat in the study and picked up the report I'd written.

"I'm rather surprised that you met with the President and made a deal of this magnitude. Did you have your master’s help?"

I nodded at the question and quickly began to organize the situation.

Fortunately, my father and godfather seemed to recognize my behavior as a sign of growth, so rather than condemning it, they embraced it and celebrated its benefits.

It's as if it's the personal business of a cadre, as it usually is.

And most of all, I feel like the path I've been on……has set the stage for this situation.

"Alright, I'll leave this to you, as an executive of Corleone. If you need any material assistance, feel free to report to me, and if you run into any trouble, be sure to tell your father."

"I'm here for you."

"Thank you."

With the support of my father and godfather, I bowed my head in gratitude.

After all, a person should live a good life.

* * *

The next day, as usual, I was working in the club room after lunch when Julie came in with some interesting news.

"Ray Pendragon avoided losing his position?"

"Yeah, that's right. Apparently, he found another artifact somewhere and delivered it to his family."

A Green Belt-class artifact?

"There's no way he could have gotten something like that, not so suddenly and not so soon."

"Well, there was……a guy who had something like that at home."

"What?"

Julie said, and showed me her cell phone screen.

There was a picture of a man on it.

"Jung Hoon, that kid, is the one who provided the artifact this time."

A picture of Jung Hoon flashed up on her phone screen. In his hand, he held an object that looked familiar to me.

"……Percival's helmet."

"That's right, the helmet worn by the Knight of the Holy Grail. This certainly does compare to the Green Belt, doesn’t it?"

"Ha!"

I thought I'd done a good job of destroying him, but it looks like there's still a hole to poke through.

"But why in the world would Jung Hoon help Ray Pendragon, even if it meant giving him a national treasure?"

In the first place, there was no recent information about Jung Hoon meeting or talking to Ray. The two weren't even close.

So why would he……?

"Well, I don't know, so I came to you. Do you know anything?"

"I think it's important to figure out what Ray can give him, and start with that."

No matter how far he's fallen, he's still the president of the student council and a member of the Pendragon family.

"Maybe it's for a position on the student council next year, like vice president……."

The Jung Hoon I remembered was a guy who had a strong sense of honor and loved to fight.

For him, the vice president of the academy would be a sweet position.

"Well, he must have been in a hurry."

"What? He was in a hurry?"

"After all, he's selling something, isn't he? The position of ‘vice president'. How did you get to be vice president?"

Was the question too abrupt? Julie is flustered and answers.

"……Of course I became vice president because of my skills! Do you know how much trouble the president had to go through to make me vice president in the first place?"

"Of course he did. But what about the other members of the student council?"

The executives that made up the backbone of the student council were all gathered based on merit. Even Ray alone was called the strongest when he was a freshman.

"With this, I'm getting the feeling that he might have been promised a position in exchange for something? This is a student council that I thought anyone could challenge if they were good enough, if they had the ability. What if this spreads throughout the entire organization?"

"It would ……probably take a toll, because buying and selling student council jobs is not something we would ever associate with the Seoul Hero Academy."

"What if it is?"

"I'll have to find proof. Or if there isn't, I'll create it."

"You're so easy to talk to."

I stood up, still deep in thought, and told her.

"I'm going to have to travel a bit far this time, so you can do some research on this at the Academy in the meantime."

"What? Going far, where are you going?"

"Yeah, pretty far away. Well, it shouldn't take too long, and if anything happens, you can reach me over Latte at the café." 𝗳r𝐞𝐞w𝐞bn𝚘ve𝚕.co𝐦

The Julie I knew would take care of things while I was gone.

"As for Ray Pendragon," I said, "I'll get to him……after I've done my job."

Well, I've got my work cut out for me.

* * *

With Corleone’s involvement in the matter, the ride to the DMZ was fairly uneventful.

"Heh, I was most worried about the mountain road to the DMZ, but what a relief!"

We borrowed one of the helicopters operated by Corleone and were comfortably heading north.

There were only two members, me and the old man.

However, that force was excessive for just conquering a single dungeon.

"Still, you were planning to take a car, huh? I arranged for a helicopter because I thought we might need to run."

"What? Am I crazy? My knees ache like hell whenever it rains these days, running is out of the question…! But the fresh air and cool breeze are so nice. Hahaha!"

As we flew further and further north, the landscape below began to change.

They flew over a city that looked like a forest of concrete and glass, and then the buildings began to be spaced apart, until roads and buildings became sparse.

"It's nice to be in nature after so long."

I wonder when was the last time I was in nature like this?

"It's better to drop out of the academy after all, right?"

"Of course not, what kind of crazy person skips the academy and goes directly to hell?"

"Is that so, hahahahaha!"

Except that where we're headed now isn't a tourist destination, or even a place to relax. It's the DMZ, also known as the Demonic Land.

So far, nothing major had happened, but the moment we got there, I could see the future of running hard without rest.

"Well, it's definitely not long until we get there."

We chatted about other things and enjoyed the flight.

Soon, we could see nothing but mountains and deteriorating roads, proof that we were getting pretty close to our destination.

Of course, along the way, we saw some buildings that looked like military bases, but they didn't appear to be communicating or trying to attack us.

Again, thanks to the President.

"We're going to fly over the military compound in a Corleone’s helicopter……Hahaha, how romantic."

Then the pilot's voice came from the headset on his head.

-Sir. We're almost to our destination, but the mana concentration is getting too thick for us to go any further.

I thought we were slowing down, but apparently not.

"This is good enough, just find a good spot and decrease the altitude."

-Okay.

Helicopters and cars seemed to have a harder time operating in mana-filled areas.

The high concentration of mana puts a strain on their operation.

In the past, Jeju Island was called a demonic land for a similar reason.

Even there, communication with the outside world was very difficult, and even ordinary cars couldn't function properly unless they were modified.

The helicopter gradually lowered its altitude and stood above the trees.

-Master and Mr. Kwak Chun-sik. I wish you good luck.

The pilot waves goodbye to us before we jump out from under the helicopter.

"Okay, thanks."

"Tough luck, hee hee!"

The old man acknowledges his greeting, enhancing his body with aura, and leaps downward first.

I follow suit and jump downward, focusing my aura on my legs.

In an instant, I begin to gain speed, and my body begins to fall downward.

Kuung───

My body falls through a giant cloud of dirt.

"You should wear a mask next time."

The old man who landed before me waves his hand to clear his vision, then slowly looks around.

"Huh, there really must be a lot of mana here. What kind of forest makes your lungs feel clearer just by breathing?"

The old man muttered with a refreshed expression, as if he could sense the concentration of mana just by sniffing, and took the first step.

"Old man, do you know the way?"

The old man shook his head as if he didn't know what I was talking about.

"I don't know, but shouldn't we just walk towards the place where the mana is thicker?"

"Yes…….But wait a moment, I've brought a guide."

"A guide?"

The old man shakes his head.

I activated the key in Midas's glove and summoned the dimensional warehouse.

I open the door and my eyes locked with a little boy chewing on a pile of lettuce on the floor.

Why bother finding the way the hard way?

"Hey, buddy, shouldn't you be going home soon?"

"Huh?"

When I have the best guide ever.

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