Choi Hyun-Jin from the Daehun Group smiled as she continued speaking in high spirits.

“I trust that all of you are aware that the Daehun Group is the number one construction company in Korea.
Here is the area where we are planning to redevelop housing, it’s a great real estate location.” She turned her laptop so Ji-Cheok could see the screen.

Daehun Apartments, Korea’s top luxury apartments! Daehun Construction’s influence was so massive that anyone could sing the commercial jingle when they heard the company’s name.
While the Jungha Group dominated the IT industry, Daehun led the world in construction and engineering.
They had more than three thousand patents for technology that drove out monsters and protected residents.

“Our homes will be your castles! Live like royalty!” Advertisements would claim.

Their range of premium luxury apartments included White Castle, Brown Castle, Black Castle, and Castles of other colors, and their sales had skyrocketed as the buildings had protected residents without ever being damaged during the Monster Wave back in the day.
The United Arab Emirates commissioned the Daehun Group with an unbelievable deal, and other countries like the United States, Northern Europe, and Singapore followed suit.

“This area will be a part of Gangnam New Town and will develop into a luxurious 120-story residence.
It’ll be called Diamond Castle.”

‘Ah, they’re building another Castle series.’

For the people first moving in, the margin of profit would be insane.

“The Diamond Castle is where all of Daehun’s cutting-edge technology will be installed, and it’ll become the most luxurious building ever.
But please keep this a secret.
We’re taking extra caution because our chairperson is planning to live here.”

‘What’s the point of keeping this a secret?’

When people started to move in, it was going to be leaked by every single newspaper, and the whole country would follow the story avidly.

Choi Hyun-Jin continued, acting modestly.

“We tried our best to find one near K University, but we’ll look for more if you don’t like this place.
Of course, we’ll work hard to find one that fits your status and reputation, Mr.

Having a humble voice and attitude didn’t mean an individual was truly modest.
She was actually telling the other headhunters to fuck off if they didn’t have a better deal to offer.
Sure enough, their faces stiffened, and even Jung Ji-Han’s expression changed in a split second.

‘This is pretty interesting,’ Ji-Cheok thought.

Although he was nervous, he rode the momentum and carefully replied to her.

“I didn’t expect you would think so highly of my ability…”


[You have received 1 Like.]

“You are the person our Group is looking forward to working with.
We’d like to offer you more and we’re only concerned about whether we’ve missed something,” Choi Hyun-Jin said.

The Daehun Group’s offer was much more than Ji-Cheok had expected.

‘Ah… Daehun Group is indeed one of the largest companies in Korea,’ Ji-Cheok was impressed.

Ji-Cheok liked how the accommodation was close to his brother’s school, and that the Daehun Group was giving him a new place in the most expensive location for free.
Above all, he loved the four billion won they offered as a down payment.
He was so touched about how much the Daehun Group wanted him that he was about to cry.

* * *

The headhunters calmly resumed stating their deals.

“We’ll give you four billion and the management costs will be ten percent, with you taking ninety.
In the long run, gaining five percent more profit is a lot better than getting an apartment,” one of them said.

‘Really? But I don’t even know the extent of my abilities.
Who knows what profits I’ll be making?’

People called the state of excitement right after being Awakened the ‘Awakening syndrome,’ something similar to the famous ‘chuunibyou’[1], but Ji-Cheok managed to keep a level head.
Maybe it was because he had dealt with too many Hunter corpses to have any sense of omnipotence or excitement.
His trauma from work dragged him down forcefully, and he wouldn’t be able to recover from it even with psychological therapy.

‘An apartment… Wouldn’t it be the best for my future?’

He wondered if choosing the Daehun Group would be the correct answer, as apartments were insanely expensive at that point.
Twenty-pyeong[2] apartment units were often more pricey than hundred-pyeong marble mansions, depending on the location.

Then, another firm’s headhunter said, “Four billion is also the maximum amount we can give, but we’ll arrange your marriage with the Shinsung Group chairman’s family.
We’d like to build a deeper relationship with you through kinship.”

Others began murmuring.

‘What exactly do they see in me…?’ Ji-Cheok thought in confusion.

He knew they didn’t intend to make him an heir, so he would probably be married to some distant relative.
Ji-Cheok thought they really might have found his background check satisfying.

‘Even though I marry for money, what if the girl doesn’t like me? I’ve heard chaebol prefer to marry a capable guy, but will I be happy without love? Or are they going to set me up with a mentally ill person? Or maybe purchase me like a stallion to have the Awakened gene in the family?’

Ji-Cheok couldn ’t understand the headhunter’s offer no matter how hard he thought about it.

“Although it’s an arranged marriage, don’t you… have to ask the girl about her opinion first?”

The headhunters looked at Ji-Cheok as if his remark was a fresh insight.


[You have received 1 Like.]

He didn’t understand why he got one Like just like that, but then the headhunter replied.

“You don’t need to worry about that, she already agreed on it just by looking at your picture.
I can’t tell you which family she belongs to, as this is only a suggestion, but she brought up this idea first.”

Ji-Cheok agreed that appearance was an essential factor for a budding love relationship, but he was worried that she wouldn’t like his personality.
He thought becoming a chaebol would actually be amazing, since he could help his brother get employed after his university graduation.
However, it seemed like there was more troublesome work to do than if he signed up with the Daehun Group.

All the offers were so amazing that they didn’t feel real at all to Ji-Cheok.
Well, his sense of reality had vanished anyway from the moment Jung Ji-Han had offered him two billion.

* * *

The amount of down payment they offered continued to increase.

“We’ll pay for every piece of equipment you need during the contract period.
If you want, we can help you improve faster by matching you with Hunters or mentors at Class B or above.”

It was the best term for the beginning Hunters since it would be such a valuable experience.
However, Ji-Cheok thought mentorship and connections were unnecessary; his ability was unique and he couldn’t ask for help from others, not to mention he already had plenty of inside information.
Also, talking to experienced people might result in inadvertently disclosing his abilities to the world, which could be dangerous for him.

Another headhunter suggested, “We’ll provide you an artifact from the 3-Star dungeon that just opened.
How about a Silver Box?”

Hunters obtained Random Boxes after clearing dungeons, and no one knew what would be inside the Box until it was opened.
Scholars claimed that there was actually nothing inside a Box, and the item was only determined when the Hunter opened it.
A Silver Box would at least give Ji-Cheok a Rare item, which was a great start for a new Hunter.

All in all, the most attractive suggestions among the tens of offers were as follows.

Four billion + a Castle apartment in the most expensive area + eighty-five percent of the profit

Four billion + ninety percent of the profit

Four billion + matchmaking with a chaebol family + eighty percent of the profit

Four billion + silver Random Box + eighty percent of the profit

‘When I narrow it down… I… I want an apartment.’

Ji-Cheok searched for the competitive rate for purchasing one unit at Diamond Castle while pretending to look at the clock.
There were almost a thousand people competing for each apartment, and even though Ji-Cheok used “one-time cash payment” as a search condition, the buyer-to-apartment ratio didn’t change at all.
What’s more, looking at the market price, Ji-Cheok would earn at least eight billion if he resold it later.
The internet stated that celebrities, lawmakers and even famous entrepreneurs failed to buy one as the apartments were simply too popular.

‘There are so many people with lots of money worldwide.’

Ji-Cheok assumed most Korean celebrities lived in one such apartment.

‘Yes, I should choose the apartment.
The future is Castle.’

He felt bad for Jung Ji-Han, but there was no other offer that touched him except the term ‘apartment.’ However, just as he was about to make his decision, Jung Ji-Han started speaking again.

“Do you mind if we increase the amount from our initial offer, Mr.
Um?” He suggested in a calm voice.

‘Wait, why are you pissed off if you were going to raise the terms?’ Ji-Cheok thought.

“Jungha Group is offering a deposit of eight billion won,” Jung Ji-Han said.

It was twice as much as the others, but it was still not enough compared to the apartment price, and Choi Hyun-Jin from the Daehun Group said precisely that.

“Wow, twice as much, not bad, but that simple investment is meaningless when considering Mr.
Um’s future.”

‘Yes, real estate is my future! The new apartment on the most expensive and popular piece of land in Korea.
Castle! C.
E!’ Ji-Cheok’s eyes blinked with determination.

Ji-Cheok felt like an eagle, as the symbol of Castle Apartments was spreading its wings behind Choi Hyun-Jin.
Then, Jung Ji-Han added.

“I agree.
The future is really important, and I think a great person like Mr.
Um would need a family that can support him in the future, no matter what happens.
For this reason, we would like to add a Class B Awakening Stone on top of the eight billion.”

In an instant, the entire room became noisy.

‘Class B Awakening Stone? What? Is he crazy?’ Ji-Cheok’s mind went blank.

An Awakening Stone was an extremely rare item that turned an ordinary person into an Awakened.
Since it didn’t have side effects, even the lowest-class ones were insanely expensive, and even if one had the money, they were also incredibly hard to come by.
The class indicated the initial class of the target when he or she became an Awakened.
For instance, a Class D Stone would turn a person into Rank D Awakened.

“You’re lying.
The two Class B Awakening Stones from last year are owned by our company.
No more Stones are available on the market.” Choi Hyun-Jin snorted.

‘What? The Daehun Group has two?’ Ji-Cheok widened his eyes.

This kind of information could never be found in newspapers.

“Why would I tell you how I got it? Anyway, even if the Awakening Stone was resold, it would go for at least twenty billion.
What do you think, Mr.
Um? This is also an opportunity to make your brother into an Awakened.
Or you can just resell it,” Jung Ji-Han said arrogantly.

Ji-Cheok was dizzy.

“What do you think? What’s your decision?”

Everyone looked at Ji-Cheok.
He wanted to think about the true meaning of Jung Ji-Han’s words, but the sound of his heartbeat rang in his ears.
Ji-Cheok answered with difficulty.

“I’ll have to call my brother.”

Ji-Cheok needed someone to advise him.

“Middle-school second-year syndrome” or “eighth-grader syndrome”, an abnormal state of mind often found in early teenagers, which includes grandiose delusions, narcissism, belief that they have secret powers etc., and which translates into defiant, anti-social, and sometimes even violent behavior.

Korean unit of area and space.
One pyeong is around thirty-six square feet or 3.3 m2.

Bubly ’s Thoughts

retired penguin’s thoughts: raise your hand if you can 100% relate to Ji-Cheok’s housing dilemma

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