Ji-Cheok roughly sorted out what he was going to say, and after taking a deep breath, he opened the door.
As soon as he did, a startled familiar face stood right in front of him.
Jung Ji-Han’s finger was just about to press the doorbell button.

“I came back because I heard something happened here, but… nice timing.”

“Oh, yes,” Ji-Cheok replied.

“Since everyone has found out about our offer, why don’t we arrange for you to meet with the other companies too? You’ll be able to make a better decision if you listen to their terms, but all in all, I’m confident that you’ll choose us,” Jung Ji-Han said.

He was more arrogant than confident, but Ji-Cheok would have been the same, considering his company’s offer.
On the other hand, there were famous guild headhunters out there and it was a great chance for Ji-Cheok to put himself up for auction.
Someone could very well suggest a higher price than the two billion Jung Ji-Han had offered.

“That’s a good idea.
There are guests waiting downstairs and I can’t just ignore them,” Ji-Cheok smiled nonchalantly.

“So, you’re going to try and make deals with all of them?” Ji-Han asked.

“No, I just want to listen to their terms.
I’d like to meet them, but not here.
I don’t want to inconvenience my neighbors, so maybe somewhere quieter,” Ji-Cheok responded.

Ji-Han laughed at Ji-Cheok’s words.

“Hahaha, you’re making me work hard to get you.”

“If I have to, I don’t mind talking to them on the mat in front of my door,” Ji-Cheok said.

“Well, that would definitely tarnish my reputation.
Fine, I’ll look for a spot,” Ji-Han shrugged indifferently.


[You have received 1 Like.]

‘What the hell is the standard for getting Likes?!’

Ji-Cheok felt his younger brother’s gaze on his back.

‘Don’t worry, kiddo.
I’ve got this.’

Shouldn’t his brother feel a little bit relieved now?

* * *

Ji-Cheok held his meetings in the temporary conference room inside the dorm.
Well, it was technically built for the staff as a cafeteria, but someone had hurriedly turned it into a meeting room.
They had placed fake walls on the side to minimize sound leaks to the press waiting outside, and replaced the dining tables with conference ones.
It seemed alright, considering the short time they had to prepare all this.

Jung Ji-Han guided the headhunters to the room and briefly exposed Ji-Cheok to the media in the hallway.
It wasn’t the kind of press conference where Ji-Cheok would answer questions — journalists just took pictures of him walking from the dormitory to the temporary conference room.
However, even that made Ji-Cheok nervous.

Ka-chik, ka-chick!

The camera shutters sounded like lightning bolts, and Ji-Cheok’s heart thumped at every flash.
He realized how difficult it was to keep himself composed.
Reporters shouted questions, but Jung Ji-Han stopped them.
Ji-Cheok heard one of them murmuring.

“Wow, he looks like a model.”

Probably because his brother had dressed him up well, the reporters seemed to have taken decent photos of Ji-Cheok.

When Ji-Cheok arrived at the room, the headhunters were already in their seats, and the top seat was assigned to him.
He bowed at a ninety-degree angle before sitting down.

“Thank you so much for coming all the way here.”

The headhunters looked slightly surprised by his actions.


[You have received 1 Like!]

[You have received 1 Like!]

[You have received 1 Like!]

[You have received 1 Like!]

[You have received 1 Like!]

As expected, he was getting so many Likes.
Awakened were usually discovered at a young age and they were arrogant.
Especially when they were freshly awakened and enjoyed attention from the headhunters.
Ji-Cheok remembered what veteran Hunters once told him a long time ago.

* * *

“In fact, there’s something else that guilds desperately want.”

“A powerful Awakened?” Ji-Cheok asked.

“Of course, power is the top priority.
But do you know what comes next?”

“What is it?”

Guilds are about teamwork.
But how many of the young newly-awakened, who are even called ‘aristocrats’, would have good social skills and be courteous to others, given their outstanding capabilities?” the veteran hunter asked.

“So you mean… with their talents, they wouldn’t care about others?”

“Yes, that’s the problem.
And guilds are responsible for controlling those guys.
That’s why their leaders are going mad.”

Jung Ji-Han looked to have gotten a sharp retort.

‘Can you hear the sound of my value increasing? Please listen to me carefully and calmly.’

“I would have never imagined this happening in my career, but… I’m so sorry for keeping everyone waiting.”

To them, Ji-Cheok was not only a rare all-rounder who was capable of melee, long-range and healing, but also a Hunter with a strong mentality, who managed to ward off goblin scouts without any real battle experience.
He was also a rookie whose appearance was above criticism and the perfect talk of the town.
Therefore, his politeness and good social skills were the cherry on top, and they would definitely increase his worth.

The headhunters began typing as if they were drumming together, and their phones vibrated like crazy.
The messages they sent to the Guild Masters and board members sounded to Ji-Cheok like applause from an audience.

‘Sorry, Jung Ji-Han.
I guess you’ll need to offer me more.’

* * *

There were headhunters from each guild in the conference room.
Ji-Cheok gave them thirty minutes to prepare and finish debating their offer to him with their superiors.
They read off their executives’ opinions on their laptop screens.

Managing Director Jeon Ji-Yong: Seeing how confident they are with their offer, the Jungha group seem to have willingly set this up.

Executive Director Kim Han-Sol: But it makes no sense for them to do this as it likely negatively impacts their company.
It’s probably because they are young blood.

They were only being polite and elegant with their words because they were using the corporate meeting messenger.
In reality this translated to, “Motherfucker, is the Jungha group trying to rub it in our faces and telling us to eat shit?”

The Chief Headhunter Choi Hyun-Jin from the Daehun Group firmly agreed with their thoughts as she laughed on the outside, but was clenching her teeth on the inside.

Manager Lee Tae-Yong (Information team): As far as we know, we’re certain that no contract has been signed.
Everything is still fair game.
We have attached a summary and sent it to everyone.

Attachment: UmJi-Cheok_profile.zip

Choi Hyun-Jin had already read the profile before she left for the meeting.
It was probably the same thing with the other headhunters there.

Managing Director Jeon Ji-Yong: I have read all the files and it’s always been tough when it comes to recruiting these rookies.
I feel that it ’s going to be a lot harder with this one.

Executive Director Kim Han-Sol: Nevertheless, he is not only a person with abilities that’s been big in the media, but also well-mannered and sociable.
He could really give a boost to our company’s image.

Managing Director Jeon Ji-Yong: We believe in you, Choi Hyun-Jin! You’re the MVP ^^

It was a do-or-die situation for these companies, and with how serious it was, even someone like Choi Hyun-Jin was gulping nervously.
She had initially joined the Daehun Group as a freelancer and then moved up to being a headhunter, keeping the position for the past eight years and counting.

Choi Hyun-Jin rolled up her sleeves, a habit she had when she was nervous.

‘I can’t chicken out, or else I’ll lose.
Do they really think they can make us sweat by putting him up for auction? Jung Ji-Han thinks he’s hot shit.
In this game, I have the upper hand, bastard,’ she thought to herself.

She knew every detail on Ji-Cheok’s file like the back of her hand.

‘He has no parents, no extended family, and his brother is in law school.
His brother ’s grades were good enough to get him a few scholarships, and they have the same exceptional appearance.
He took on the job of being a Hunter Assistant to help out his brother… There’s no way that their relationship isn’t close,’ Hyun-Jin was checking what she remembered.

She took a sip of her cheap coffee and found it bitter.
She was a bit surprised that the Jungha Group would be serving coffee so cheap that even her dog wouldn’t drink it.
That was probably what the company’s true colors were like, but Um Ji-Cheok was different from them.
Was he a diamond in the rough?

‘Because the Daehun group has good connections with the K university, I think we could win.‘

Choi Hyun-Jin wasn’t the only one pondering about her company ’s offers.
All of the headhunters in the room were all under pressure by their superiors.

‘The chairperson keeps saying that we need to take in Um Ji-Cheok no matter the cost… Why?’ some of the other headhunters were thinking.

Their bosses were the intuitive type — they trusted their gut feeling over rationality, and demanded that Ji-Cheok be recruited at all costs.

‘Will I be able to sign a contract within the budget set by the executive director?’ were worries for other headhunters.

Their bosses were the opposite — calculated and rational, they would pressure the recruiters to stay within the budget and do the job anyway.

Those offering benefits or a cut of the profits were more successful in negotiations compared to those who offered a higher down payment.

‘Yeah, scheduling a meeting like they used to do with celebrities… this kind of honey trap is not going to work anymore.’

Arranging meetings with celebrities to discuss deals was a thing in the past — handsome male headhunters would meet with female actresses and beautiful female headhunters with male actors.
Things were different now, though; the times had changed.
Maybe for the odd chaebol you could arrange a meeting, but for celebrities, it was long past the time when a negotiator could gain an advantage in a deal just by being attractive.

The younger the generation, the more realistic and level-headed they were when it came to their own interests.
‘Plus, isn’t this handsome guy so hardworking and busy that he’s never even dated anyone?’ There was no way Choi Hyun-Jin could simply set a meeting with him and persuade him like that.

‘I’ll have to take a different approach to get his attention.’

The timer finally reached the end of its thirty minutes.

Beep Beep Beep-

The small phone whose alarm went off had cracks and paint peeling off its sides, to the point that it was amazing it still worked.

It was Um Ji-Cheok’s own phone.
He turned off the alarm and took a deep breath.

“I look forward to your proposals.”

Again, he bowed again at a ninety degree angle.
His show of good manners made him more desirable for companies, as they saw his steadfast values and sociability firsthand.

[You have received 1 Like.]

[You have received 1 Like.]

[You have received 1 Like.]

[You have received 1 Like.]

Out of all the rookies these headhunters had met, this youngster had a different kind of hunger for success.

* * *

Choi Hyun-Jin was the first to raise her hand.

“My name is Choi Hyun-Jin and I am from the recruiting division of the Daehun Group.
May I go first?” The polite way Choi Hyun-Jin acted made her stand out compared to the other stone-faced headhunters.

It was a competitive negotiation anyway, and people were willing to change their terms according to someone else’s conditions.
Jung Ji-Han responded before Ji-Cheok was able to speak.

“Let’s go in order.
The Daehun Group will be first to speak, and the next should get ready to raise their hand.
I’ll let you know when to begin.”

Choi Ji-Hyun smiled and gave Jung Ji-Han a cheeky laugh.

“Oh you’re going to be the host today? Haha, okay.
Jungha Group’s younger generation sure seems to have some skill.” She was basically making fun of how someone as young as Jung Ji-Han loved to play boss in these situations.

She then turned to face Ji-Cheok.
“The Daehun Group is prepared to offer you a down payment of four billion won, a five-year contract and the management costs will be fifteen percent while you take the rest of the eighty-five percent,” Choi Hyun-Jin dropped the conditions of the contract.

All sorts of reactions filled the atmosphere, but Choi Hyun-Jin continued unperturbed.

“We can support your brother through K University Law school and guarantee five years of housing.
If you like the house you live in and want to renew your contract, we’ll give it to you for free.”

Ji-Cheok felt his heart pounding hard.
Four billion won.
It was double Jung Ji-Han’s offer, and even though the management costs were five percent higher, wasn’t it still a crazy deal?

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