Empire of the Ring

Chapter 30
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Chapter 30: Night in Baku (1)

The next day, the morning news reported about the spontaneous fires from last night. They did not know who was behind the fire. Youngho felt satisfied because the retailers requested the mafia to get rid of Youngho first. Youngho thought that his revenge was not as harsh as what they intended to do, even though they lost all of their money.

Gerhardt and Karajan were talking in excitement, saying that they were punished because of their unethical business manners. The local mafia was now being investigated for the fires. It was killing two birds with one stone, Youngho thought.

Youngho did not care about the retailers and the construction company. He kept on with his businesses. He ordered 100,000 combat rations for the director from Eti, the food company in Istanbul, at the price of $7.5 each. The Main Police Department paid a commission of $0.2 per ration as an agency payment, and Eti, the food company, also paid Youngho $0.3 per each ration for the business with an official government. Therefore, Youngho made $50,000 in total from doing the business. The director was satisfied with the quality and even bought drinks for Youngho.

Despite the fire, the clothing retailers were building a storage unit for clothing again. They must have a sturdy safe, thought Youngho. Karajan told Youngho that they made an order from China again. Youngho planned to set another fire once the clothes arrive.

The fire department estimated their loss worth at about one billion won. Youngho would make them bankrupt if he burned the storage again once it was filled with newly traded clothes. In fact, the construction company was the one that lost the most valuables. They recently bought a bunch of new equipment and sanitary earthenware and put them in the storage. Because of the fire, their loss worth was about one billion won too. In trying to catch the culprit, the company even hired a private detective. Youngho felt great to have had his revenge against both.

Youngho was not a greedy person who would spend money for only himself. He wanted to be rich to give and help others around him. Youngho wanted to take care of his family in Korea, the Fatima siblings, his employees, and poor farmers, but when he realized the clothing retailers would try to stop his dream, he could not stay still. Youngho knew that he might be acting selfishly, but he did not regret harming their business. It was his survival mechanism and minimal defense. Youngho had grown spiteful since he started doing business in the Caucasus nations. He was changing to protecting his family and business from danger.

***

The news reported that the police found weapons of mass destruction while searching through the local mafia’s base. They showed the weapons displayed in front of the Main Police Department building, and some of them made Youngho excited, like the AK rifles and portable rocket launcher called RPG-7. AK-47 was a well-known, simple and sturdy rifle, and RPG-7 was a heavy firearm that could shoot a target within 500 meters. Youngho wanted the weapons for his collection in the safe room. Watching those weapons on TV, an idea came into Youngho’s mind.

The next day, Youngho visited the director. Youngho’s visit was natural, because he visited the director just for a cup of tea sometimes since his stores were near the police building. Recognizing Youngho, policemen saluted him at the gate.

When Youngho shivered while mentioning the weapons from the mafia shown on TV, the director comforted Youngho, saying that they already sent the weapons to terminate. Youngho asked him why the army would not use the weapons. The director said that the army would not use illegally bought, unsafe weapons. Then the director started bragging about the potential of Azerbaijan’s national defense and he slipped the location of the weapons. He said they would be disassembled in the storage at the outskirts of the department domain. On his way out of the building, Youngho looked around the place to locate the storage.

At night, Youngho stopped his car near the police storage. He came to steal the weapons. The security was just poor. The storage was surrounded by barbed-wire fences and there was one guard post in front of the storage building. There were four security lights around each corner and one security camera in the front of the guarding post. Two armed policemen were inside the post, but the security was not tight because Youngho could hear their drunken voices from the outside. He waited until they went to sleep. When it passed 1 AM, they finally became silent.

Youngho, with the power of the mystical shoes, jumped over the fence which was three meters high. They made a loud noise when he landed, but the guards did not seem to notice. He was still not used to jumping with the leather shoes on. He approached a storage unit near him and gave a little push to the small door next to the big gate. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked and it opened smoothly.

With a little flashlight, he looked through the stuff in the storage. He found disassembled weapons—there were hundreds of AK-47 rifles. Youngho carried out ten of the AK-47 and ten ammunition boxes and put them near the barbed-wire fence. He did not forget to take two of the portable rocket launchers on his shoulders. The problem was carrying rocket ammunition boxes. They were quite heavy, but with the help of the leather shoes, Youngho could carry them without much trouble. He thought it would be too obvious if he carried out too many rocket ammunition, so he only took four boxes.

Because Youngho was being extra careful, he sweated like rain. When Youngho arrived at his car, ready to start the engine, he thought it was a waste to not take more of the weapons since the police would get rid of them anyway. He took another ten boxes of rifle ammunition. The police won’t check the number of weapons to be terminated, thought Youngho as he set off with a light heart.

The next day, Youngho stopped by near the police storage to get more weapons. However, there were more policemen guarding the storage unit. The police had noticed that they fell short of the weapons they took from the mafia’s hideout. So, Youngho changed his mind and decided to be satisfied with what he stole the night before. Youngho stored all the weapons in his farm, since he wanted to prepare for any danger in the future. Whether there would be a war or not, Youngho wanted to be safe, just in case.

Fatima and her siblings were sleeping, unaware that Youngho sneaked out from the farm two nights in a row. Gerhardt did not mind Youngho driving outside, since Youngho already told him that he had plans at night. Gerhardt would never doubt Youngho but would believe Youngho whatever he told him.

Youngho visited the Main Police Department frequently for the next few days to see if they noticed his movements, but nothing came up. In fact, they did not seem to care that much about the missing weapons. The nation was full of weapons in the black market anyway.

***

Youngho’s night walks did not stop there. Youngho went around and kept lighting up the clothing retailers’ houses, offices, and storages currently being built to complete his revenge. Realizing their lives were being threatened by mafia, even though their assumption was incorrect, the retailers eventually left the city of Baku for good. Youngho had successfully chased them away.

However, after they were gone, Youngho felt empty; like a boy who lost his favorite toy. So, he decided to burn the houses and stores of the porcelain goods traders and businessmen who ordered people to terrorize Youngho in the past.

The consecutive fire incidents alarmed the police department, since Baku was renowned for its well-maintained public peace. To catch the culprit, they enforced inspections in the streets and installed more security cameras in the city; but still, they could not find a clue about the arsonist. Ironically, Youngho made money because the police department had bought Korean security systems from him.

Youngho, who had been busy making fires for a while, was now getting sick of taking revenge against his enemies. One of the reasons was because he did enough already, but his conscience was also telling him to stop. He thought it would be hypocritical of him to teach the Fatima siblings to live morally. Even though he still did not forget or forgive other merchandisers who almost killed him, he realized that it was unfair of him to use mystical items to take revenge. He would get caught eventually if he did not stop. Now that he got rid of most of the dangerous elements in Baku, it seemed to be a good timing to stop.

He was also a little afraid that he might get punished by the mystical relics for using them to take a personal revenge on other people.

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