Book 2: Chapter 94
A long, rectangular table filled a large room, at which a dozen or so people sat.
As she took her seat, Joanna looked around the room. Those who sat at this table were all great figures whom most hunters would know by name.
Just from looking at the faces of these people, she found it hard to breathe. Even though she was pretty well-known herself, she hadn’t yet reached the stage where she would be known regardless of where she went.
‘…don’t be intimidated.’
Joanna took a deep breath before straightening her shoulders.
Sitting at the head of this table was none other than Vincent. This fact caused a few of the people there to feel a bit strange. After all, while Vincent was a fairly well-known hunter, he still lagged behind quite a few of them when it came to skill or fame.
But it couldn’t be helped.
Since he was attending the meeting as a proxy.
“First, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for taking time from their busy schedules to come here today.”
Aware of his position, Vincent’s tone was very polite as he spoke.
“Although not much, I am Vincent J. Heider, and I will be the host for this meeting.”
There was no applause. There were more than a dozen people gathered in the room, but no one could even hear the sound of breathing.
This was unspoken pressure for him to quickly get to the main point. Vincent tried to ignore the feeling that he was being crushed by the weight of the atmosphere.
Then, an old man spoke.
“Cardinal Thomas, I’d like to hear from you about the Association President’s condition.”
He was one of the board members. Although he lacked personal power, his influence could be ranked within the top five among the board members.
“It’s not good.”
Cardinal Thomas sighed as he answered.
“Have you heard of Rose Poison? It is very heinous. I managed to use my holy power to slow down its diffusion rate. But that is only a temporary measure instead of a true solution as I could only slow down and not stop the spread.”
“In that case, will the President die at this rate?”
Thomas hesitated for a moment at the board member’s blunt question before nodding.
The atmosphere in the room became heavier as though a lump of lead had been placed on it. This was natural.
President of the Hunter Association, Neil Prand.
The symbolism, influence, and authority that he had were beyond compare. It would not be as simple as one person dying.
His death would impact the hunters in every Association Branch in North America and even humanity as a whole. They couldn’t even begin to imagine how large the ripple effect would be.
“I don’t understand. Where and what the hell were the Manhattan hunters doing?”
It was Anderson, Leader of the Fighter Squad, who opened his mouth with a harsh tone. His hostile gaze turned to Vincent.
“This is none other than the President of the Association. The leader of millions of hunters. A man like that goes to fight one of the Five Dukes on his own and no one stops him. Are all the hunters here stupid?”
Vincent just bowed his head. He couldn’t refute Anderson’s words. After all, he was right.
It was true that Neil had gone on his own to confront one of the Five Dukes, but the hunters in Manhattan were also at fault for not stopping him.
“It has already happened. Is this really the time to point fingers?”
It was the Wizard Association’s Vice President who spoke with a cold voice. Anderson stared at her in displeasure for a moment before folding his arms and leaning back in his chair with a snort.
“What we need to do now is discuss a way to save Neil. The Association President cannot die.”
When most of those sitting at the table nodded to show their agreement, her eyes turned to Vincent.
“Vincent, you called us here because you thought of a solution. Isn’t that so?”
Vincent was silent.
Gloria was right. Regardless of if he was temporarily taking Neil’s place or not, there was no way he could bring these people together without a clear solution.
Nevertheless, he couldn’t open his mouth easily.
This was because he expected to receive a lot of resistance to the words he was preparing to say.
However, he couldn’t stay silent forever. So, with reluctant determination, Vincent opened his mouth.
“We intend to ask the Saint of Salvation for help.”
The sounds of astonishment came from every part of the table. There were a few who immediately made unpleasant expressions. Most of them were the religious individuals.
This was natural.
The Saint of Salvation, one of the Top Three.
Despite his title as Saint, he had absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. So for them, a normal man calling himself Saint was sacrilege.
It was Cardinal Thomas who spoke on their behalf.
Thomas was an extremely benevolent man who didn’t get upset at most things, but now, he had a glimmer of displeasure on his face.
This couldn’t be helped.
Thomas, who was a very famous religious figure with great faith in Catholicism, had been unable to drive the poison out of Neil’s body with his holy power.
Under these circumstances, asking the Saint for help was no different from propagating the Catholic Church’s incompetence.
And if the Saint managed to succeed in curing Neil of his ailment…
That would be a major blow to the faith of Christianity as a whole, not just Catholicism.
Vincent knew that as well. He knew just how rude his actions were at that moment. However, time was running out.
If it had been another Cardinal and not Thomas who was sitting at that table, then they might have burst out in anger or even left directly.
“Is that really the only way?”
Nevertheless, Vincent could only bite the bullet, not back down. He wanted to show his determination to everyone at the table.
Even if there would be strong backlash from the Catholic Church, saving Neil was the top priority.
Thomas sighed softly.
He could see the desperation of Vincent, no, of the entirety of America.
“Do you know where the Saint is right now?”
Vincent nodded and answered.
“It’s said that he’s currently in Korea.”
“It’s said that he’s currently spreading his eternal life religion.”
Thomas bit his lip at those words.
“…he’s selling faith. It’s unacceptable.”
“From a business perspective, it’s a pretty good market. The religious business works well in Korea.”
It was Anderson who said these words with a chuckle.
“However, the fact that he’s in Asia… That will be a pain in the ass.”
The fact that an unidentified man had suddenly taken over the Asia Branch of the Hunter Association was something that was known to everyone capable of sitting at that table. It was highly likely that Korea was also not free of his influence. After all, the Korean Peninsula was not very far from the Asia Headquarters in Beijing.
“Have you come up with a solution to this, Vincent?”
Vincent was silent for a moment before he answered.
“…there is a Korean person with whom I recently became personally acquainted. I’m thinking of asking for her help.”
“Can you tell us who it is?”
‘Where have I heard that name…?”
“Are you talking about the White Flower?”
The hall became noisy for a moment.
Min Ha-rin was a well-known rookie from Asia. Her fame hadn’t yet crossed the ocean to North America, but there were a few people at the table who’d heard of her before.
“She certainly should have some independent line of communication to the Korean Branch.”
“Then let’s leave the case of the Association President there for now.”
In truth, nothing had been resolved yet.
There was no way to know if the Korea Branch would accept Min Ha-rin’s communication request or if they would help them find the Saint in Korea.
More importantly, it was possible that after they’d found the Saint after tremendous effort, he would refuse to assist.
Or even if he did agree to assist them, he might not be able to fix the problem.
…And above all else.
It was possible that Neil wouldn’t survive until then.
There were a lot of things that they were unsure about, and anxieties were mounting.
But Vincent decided to stop thinking negatively. Worrying like this would only cause him to become sick.
Besides, there were still issues in North America that needed to be addressed.
After the attack by one of the Five Dukes, the civilians were filled with tension and fear at the thought that North America was no longer a safe zone.
They had to come up with solutions for all of these problems within the day.
This meeting, which would surely go on for a very long time, had only just begun.