Chapter 118. The Price of A Human
Was it possible to put a price on a human being?
While most people in the room were tilting their heads in curiosity, there were some who were nodding vigorously.
Merchants or assassins.
These were the people who often put prices on the lives of humans.
Out of all these people, there was one man who was more experienced than the rest.
The man who was called the money-grubbing ghost in the church. He stood up, looked over the people in the room, and opened his mouth.
“All of those who have a problem with leaving the experts of the Alliance alive, raise your hands.”
A few people in the room shifted uncomfortably.
Wasn’t this too direct of a question?
Just how many people would be able to voice their opinions outright?
Did Jeon Bak even know where they were?
There was no way they’d let out their feelings in front of the Pope.
Just when everyone thought this,
Someone dared to raise his hand.
A member of the four families.
Those of the Tian clan had an unusually strong attachment to their bloodline.
The reason for doing so was simple: they produced the most amount of Popes in the history of the church.
“Rather than a problem, it’s more of a worry. Is it alright to put it this way?”
When Tian Zhongpae said this politely, Jeon Bak nodded.
“I suppose you can twist your thoughts that way, yes.”
“I am honestly a little worried? It has to be the same for the others. I am only this worried because the heir did something so massive.”
Jeon Bak heard all this, nodded, and opened his mouth.
“I get what you’re saying. But here’s the thing. Do you guys know how much your bodies are worth?”
“Just what are you…”
He was about to say ‘trying to say’ until he got cut off by Jeon Bak.
“I was asking if you all knew how much your bodies cost.”
Everyone made a peculiar face.
Did they know how much their bodies were worth?
What was the point of this question?
Around the point when everyone at the table made a similar expression, Jeon Bak opened his mouth again.
“I’ve been in charge of the church’s finances for a long time now. Most of my work often involved me putting a price tag on human beings.”
Put a price tag on humans?
When everyone made a dumb face out of surprise,
One of the old men in the corner grinned.
“Put a price tag on humans? Hah! You’ve been doing quite an interesting thing all your life, haven’t you? Then say, how much am I worth, Jeon Bak?”
The old man’s name was Jin Chun’ak.
When he, who controlled one of the ten battalions of the church, asked this question, Jeon Bak stopped all movements to take a look at the man.
Jin Chun’ak, seeing this, smirked.
“What? Is it a hard question? Do you need a lot of time?”
Everyone in the room looked at Jeon Bak with a face filled with curiosity. Jeon Bak twitched one of his fingers lightly and pointed at Jin Chun’ak.
“Hundred twenty gold coins.”
“Your body’s worth at least a hundred and twenty gold coins.”
Jin Chun’ak frowned.
Just one hundred twenty?
Was he worth that little?
It was a large sum of money, but this amount wasn’t enough to satisfy anyone.
After all, weren’t they the top brass of the church?
Everyone in the room made a conflicted face.
“…Are you for real?”
“Why would I lie in a place like this?”
“I mean, do you legitimately think I’m worth that little? Me, Jin Chun’ak, worth only a hundred and twenty gold coins?”
Jeon Bak nodded unhesitatingly.
To him, the emotion of the other party did not matter at all.
After all, he had calculated the amount correctly using the data he had collected.
“That’s right. A hundred and twenty.”
The moment Jin Chun’ak was about to go into a fit,
Someone put a hand on his shoulder.
It was Chun Zhongpae.
[Don’t get flustered. Did you forget who was in this room?]
Jin Chun’ak cooled down immediately.
The Pope was here.
Who would dare act out in front of a man like this?
Gongson Chun Gi had an excited expression on his face.
He had allowed Jeon Bak to take charge of the meeting but seeing how the man was talking about something he had never expected, his interest had been aroused greatly.
“Guardian Jeon, just what makes you come up with a number like that?”
Jeon Bak bowed once towards Gongson Chun Gi before opening his mouth.
“It’s all just simple algebra in the end, but if I were to dig deeper… I’ve always thought that you could put a price on humans, and I’ve put countless hours into researching the matter as well.”
“Interesting thought. Go on.”
“For the case of Guardian Jin Chun’ak, I’ve come up with that number based on his age, ability, and capabilities.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. In order to come up with this result, it is a given that one would have to do a significant amount of background research on a person. Since I possess information of all the guardians here, it is easy for me to come up with a number quickly. The more information I have, the more accurate I would be.”
“So according to your data, Jin Chun’ak is worth a hundred twenty?”
“Yes. After all, age does play a big part in all this.”
“Hehe, how interesting. Quite easy to understand, too. Makes a lot of sense as well.”
Gongson Chun Gi smiled at Jin Chun’ak, who was currently trying his utmost to calm himself.
“Don’t get so mad. Just think of this as one of those fortunes you can get from the streets.”
Jin Chun’ak couldn’t do anything other than calm himself.
After all, the Pope had spoken.
But it was impossible to hide his reddened face.
Cho Ryu Hyang, who had been observing the meeting room carefully, touched his glasses as he thought to himself.
Cho Ryu Hyang, too, had understood what Jeon Bak had said.
After hearing it, he nodded.
‘He took data from a certain group and analyzed it.’
In the modern day, this was known as ‘analytics’. However, during the time, such a term did not exist.
Because of this, even though Cho Ryu Hyang understood what Jeon Bak was speaking of, he could not exactly pinpoint what it was.
He could only be amazed by the things that mathematics could achieve.
‘Setting a standard by finding an average between countless information……’
After that, one would use that standard to judge people.
“In any case, using all the things that I have done in the past, I can say this one thing.”
Jeon Bak began fiddling with his abacus again as he opened his mouth.
“We can earn three million gold coins using the people we have captured?”
Expressions of surprise floated up on everyone in the room.
Three million gold was much, much more than the amount a relatively large clan could make in a year.
Jeon Bak disregarded all of them as he continued to talk.
“This is the least amount of cash we can get from them, by the way.”
Everyone’s faces turned into that of absolute shock.
This was hard to believe.
At this time, the Pope nodded lightly at Jeon Bak.
Gongson Chun Gi already knew of what Jeon Bak was about to say.
“Personally, I would like to just bow down to the heir for what he had done, but… if you feel that killing them is the right thing to do, I shall comply.”
Jeon Bak calculated something some more and opened his mouth.
“But if we kill our hostages now, we’d be suffering a net loss of ten thousand gold coins.”
Everyone’s faces stiffened.
They didn’t have much of a choice, did they?
When the guardians’ faces turned grim, Gongson Chun Gi stepped forward.
After clapping his hands loudly, Gongson Chun Gi opened his mouth.
“Right, let’s just look at the results here.”
Just look at the results?
Things would be extremely simple, then.
The people of the martial world were already praising Cho Ryu Hyang and also referred to him by the name, Transcendent Evil Prince (超魔公子).
Cho Ryu Hyang, without his knowledge, had become quite famous already.
Adding to this, he not only suffered minimal losses on his side but also captured a huge number of hostages.
He created a way for the church to receive a huge sum of cash.
“He beat the enemy under ridiculous terms. That alone is something commendable. This isn’t something you should be criticizing. You should be praising him instead.”
In the first place, what they had complained about was something very insignificant.
The boy had done something unprecedented.
That was the only reason they used to start this meeting.
‘We did lack reason, that is true.’
Tian Zhongpae smiled bitterly.
In reality, this meeting was held only because of the four families.
They were worried about Cho Ryu Hyang taking too much power for himself.
Gongson Chun Gi knew of this but decided to let it go for now.
After all, these people were those who Cho Ryu Hyang had to take under his wing.
“It’s usually the case that when you decide to complain about something bad within someone’s good achievements, you will never stop. Let’s all take this event as an exception. Any complaints, Guardian Tian?”
“…None, your holiness.”
“You, Guardian Jin?”
“Of course I don’t, your holiness.”
The other guardians couldn’t dare to say something.
Plus, this matter wasn’t even supposed to get any complaints from anyone.
The heir’s achievement was just that big.
It would only become strange if the meeting was dragged out longer than this.
“Thank you for your opinions. We’ll adjourn the meeting here. Go rest, now.”
Everyone bowed towards Gongson Chun Gi and exited the room.
Now, only Sunwu Jo Duk, Jeon Bak, Wu Gyu Ho, and Ju Sang San were left.
Gongson Chun Gi looked over these people and smirked.
“Looks like the other side was quite anxious.”
“Looks like it. To think they’d hold a meeting over something so trivial… how troublesome.”
When Ju Sang San said this, Wu Gyu Ho chipped in with his own complaints.
“Why do you leave these people be, your holiness? Can’t we just sweep them away? Now should be a good chance to flush out the bad parts of the church.”
Wu Gyu Ho seemed ready to fight at any moment.
Gongson Chun Gi looked at him with a smile.
“Don’t be so angry. Fighting would be a bad move right now.”
Wu Gyu Ho twitched when he realized that Cho Ryu Hyang was staring at him, then opened his mouth apologetically.
“Please don’t look at all of us like those who were in the meeting. There aren’t many in the church who are willing to be that dirty.”
Cho Ryu Hyang smiled.
He, too, could differentiate between friend and foe in this meeting.
‘There were a few that I couldn’t judge, though.’
Those people shouldn’t be quite relevant, however.
In this aspect, his teacher was an amazing man.
The fact that he had someone who was willing to be angry and worried for him was enough to make him respect Gongson Chun Gi as a teacher.
“In any case, you all did well in staying quiet. These are the people who still work with us, after all. We just need to persuade them a bit in the future.”
Wu Gyu Ho immediately scrunched up his large physique when Gongson Chun Gi looked at him threateningly.
Gongson Chun Gi looked at the man’s polite(?) posture and opened his mouth.
“Don’t try to butt in into this any further than this. Let the child handle it. The other side shouldn’t try to make a move after this point unless they’re complete idiots. After all, they expended quite a bit of energy in trying to pull this off.”
Gongson Chun Gi turned around to look at Cho Ryu Hyang.
“How was your first meeting?”
Cho Ryu Hyang touched his glasses for a bit, then put down his hands and spoke.
“I’ve seen some good things. As I thought, this place is just as chaotic as the outside world. It was fun.”
Gongson Chun Gi grinned.
“Correct. This place isn’t that different from the outside. It’s good that you saw through this. It’s nice that you had fun.”
“Where else would you get the chance to sit peacefully with your killers?”
Gongson Chun Gi nodded.
“You’ll have to keep doing that for quite a while from now on.”
The man was right.
Like Gongson Chun Gi said, Cho Ryu Hyang had to work with his killers quite a bit in the future.