“Spiritual beings? Are you out of your mind?”
Doctor Ahn was shocked. Spiritual beings were considered holy and were helpful just by their existence. It was hard to come across them and their numbers got less with the advancement of science. As such, it was not possible to even think about using such beings as research. Doctor Ahn studied the dead bodies of those beings, but never even considered studying them live.
Woojin wasn’t surprised by Doctor Ahn’s reaction. When Avatars and hunters worked together to fight against Amon, many spiritual beings joined in. The reason was because Amon and his followers captured spiritual beings when they got a chance and when hunters attacked Amon’s hideouts, they got hands on bodies of spiritual beings and Doctor Ahn began to study them.
That’s how he had found a hint regarding the Avatar Project. They were trying to focus on increasing the effect of Cocktails as they were at war with Amon, but Doctor Ahn told him that he had found a hint.
“That’s why I said we need to have a change of mind.”
Doctor Ahn spoke with a serious expression.
“Your idea sure is novel, but it’s not easy to hunt down spiritual beings. It’s not like there are people stopping you, but these beings are not your typical prey.”
Woojin knew very well. They were much more dangerous than most Avatars.
“Even if we make a request to the Hunters Guild, we won’t even able to get their blood.”
Spiritual beings were forbidden from being hunted and it was rare that they got the dead bodies of such beings. Even then, it wasn’t easy to get the body before the blood inside was ruined.
Woojin understood everything and decided that was why he needed to do this.
“I’ll get the blood myself.”
The doctor became silent. He looked down at his tea before speaking.
“Let me tell you one thing. It is forbidden to hunt spiritual beings.”
“And you still go get their blood?”
“I don’t have to kill them. I’ll just get their blood.”
The doctor hesitated a bit and warned.
“They won’t just give you their blood… do you know how dangerous it can be if they become angry?”
“And you will still do it?”
“It will allow us advancement on the project.”
Doctor Ahn hesitated. He did not see any downside for him, furthermore, they were not trying to kill the spiritual beings either. Besides, Doctor Ahn had never researched their blood before.
“Okay. I will get to work once you bring me their blood.”
Woojin had to meet with the spiritual beings for his own purposes anyway. He wasn’t sure if the blood was going to help with the Avatar project and if spiritual beings actually helped Doctor Ahn in the past. But if he were to give him the blood, the doctor would surely start on his research.
“I’ll call you next time.”
Doctor Ahn hesitated for a second and gave the business card to Woojin. Woojin then left, escorted by Brunhilde. As they were on the elevator back up to the street, Brunhilde spoke.
“You know that I am associated with the Hunters Guild, right?”
“You know that hunting spiritual beings is forbidden, so you must know that we cannot let the Hunters Guild ever find out that we are researching their blood.”
“We have never done it before, so I’m sure it’s not forbidden.”
Brunhilde turned to Woojin at those words.
“Isn’t that right?”
Woojin wasn’t a registered hunter so there was no way Brunhilde could stop Woojin from hunting spiritual beings. But even so, how was Woojin so knowledgeable about the rules for hunters?
“Yes, but it’s still not good if people find out.”
“It’s not like I’m going to tell anyone. I need this project more than the doctor himself. Don’t worry.”
Brunhilde then asked the question she had been holding in for a while.
“Why do you wish to become an Avatar so badly?”
Avatars were born to be Avatars. She had seen humans who wanted to become Avatars, but Woojin seemed different. Woojin even offered to get the blood of spiritual beings which would risk his life.
“I have something I need to do.”
Brunhilde read the determination in Woojin’s eyes and decided to believe him. She realized that Woojin would side with Doctor Ahn at least until he became an avatar. When they were outside of the underground parking lot, Brunhilde spoke.
“Be careful. Spiritual beings are dangerous.”
Woojin nodded and got on his bike. There was someone he needed to meet before getting the blood.
Woojin called Hwang to meet up and was invited to a restaurant. On the 2nd floor of the restaurant, it was completely empty, with only Hwang and Darkling seated. Woojin sat down next to Old Hwang at the table.
“So, why did you need to meet me?”
“I need to purchase something.”
“I see. But can I ask something before we get into that?”
Woojin nodded and Hwang turned to him and asked, “Bolkov. Did you kill him?”
“How did you know?”
Hwang was surprised. He knew Woojin was an experienced hunter after he killed two vampires. However, those were young vampires so it was understandable. But Bolkov was different. He was a hundred-year-old Werebear who was still in his prime. It was hard to believe.
“I heard the Dokkebis were taking care of a recent incident and found out Bolkov went missing after he entered the country.”
Woojin realized how much connections Hwang had. Woojin was only able to know about Bolkov because of the Dokkebis and yet Hwang already knew Bolkov was in the country.
“And you think I was behind it?”
“I didn’t realize Bolkov was on a job related to those vampires.”
Woojin grabbed his glass of liquor and drank.
“Do you want more details?”
Hwang, who bought and sold information, knew how much the information he wanted to know could cost so he didn’t ask. Hwang also drank.
“So, what do you want to purchase?”
“I need the Sarira of King Munmu.”
Hwang looked back at Woojin with surprise. He then asked in confusion.
“The Sarira of King Munmu? Are you talking about the Sarira that was found in Eastern Stone Tower of Kamunsa?”
“That is right.”
“We are not sure if it really is King Munmu’s Sarira. And it will be hard to get.”
“How much do you need to get it?”
Hwang looked at Woojin. He seemed determined to buy it, so Hwang sighed and replied.
“How many do you need? You know there’s only ten of them, right?”
“I just need one.”
Hwang took out a calculator from his pocket and tapped on it for a second before replying.
“I will need five hundred million.”
“How soon can you get it?”
“If you pay the deposit, I can probably get it in a week.”
“Can you get it in five days? I will pay the deposit today.”
“Hmm. Hold on.”
Hwang then picked up his cell phone and sent a text message. He then tried to pour more liquor but Woojin stopped him.
“I have to drive so I can’t drink anymore. Please send me someone so I can hand over the deposit, I’ll hand it over in the hotel lobby.”
“Go with him.”
Woojin turned to Darkling and stood.
“I’ll see you in five days.”
When Woojin left the room, Hwang took up his phone again and called.
“Get what I ordered. All ten of them.”
Hwang then hung up and poured more liquor. He wasn’t sure what Woojin was trying to use the Sarira for, but he surely had a reason. So he needed to get his hands on them. There might be a use for them in the future.
“Why would a hunter who killed Bolkov want the Sarira of King Munmu?”
As promised, Hwang got the Sarira in five days and Woojin paid up.
“Can I ask what you are trying to do with it?”
“It will be expensive.”
“Let me hear the price.”
“In my standards, I will need ten billion for it.”
Hwang knew that Woojin knew about the costs of this world. Unless Woojin was marking up the information, his information must have that much of a value. Hwang sighed and spoke.
“That’s expensive for solving a curiosity.”
Woojin smiled and stood up.
“We’ll see again.”
Woojin walked out as Hwang watched. He had purchased all the Sarira but the usage seemed too expensive. He put on his glasses and checked the Sarira. It wasn’t special, it held a faint spiritual power, but there were a lot of such objects out there.
He thought about paying the money but shook his head. He had gotten the money he used for smuggling the Sarira out from Woojin’s payment so he had not spent any money yet. Using ten billion to solve his question now seemed too much. He needed to stop here.