The Imperial Hunter Chapter 42 - Starving Port (4)

Author: Dawn

“Mexico is a beautiful country. But it can never be a good country, Presidente.”

His mustache, which had forcefully put on a cheerful demeanor, sighed gloomily while drying off.

“The land may have been blessed by God, but the people who live on that land have been corrupted for a long time. They curse the shitheads, but starting from the president, who is a shithead himself, to the government that values pride more than the lives of its people, the cartels that are polluting the blessed land with blood and drugs, the incompetent army that can’t do anything about a single cartel, and the countless fatherless bastards all around…”

His comments about the government’s pride were probably related to the Sinaloa Cartel’s humanitarian activities. When the most powerful cartel in Mexico started humanitarian efforts in their stronghold in the northwest and in some major contested areas, President Obrador, whose dignity was hurt, expressed his displeasure by saying, “Stop that.”

‘To be honest, I understand. More people die from drugs and shootings than by helping them.’

The president’s demand meant that stopping inter-organization warfare and other criminal activities would be more helpful to more people than such hypocrisy. But from the perspective of the poor people receiving help, it sounded like “Don’t help the poor.” The chubby-faced Perucho was now voicing the anger of these weaker individuals.

The top cartel was always the role model for all the other cartels. Competitors who saw “Sinaloa” building a solid kingdom in the northwest each took similar actions in their own territories, whether big or small. It was clear that the federal government’s authority had dropped in every village where such support took place.

The cartels engaged in humanitarian activities invariably emphasized that they were performing the “government’s role.”

“Look at what Guadalajara has become. Mexico is a land of hopeless sinners. Here in Sodom and Gomorrah, Maria can’t even dream. She would be lucky to avoid becoming a vulgar unmarried mother or not turning into a drug addict, and it would be another stroke of luck if she lived through her baptism. Presidente, I want to give my daughter a better future.”

It was a heartfelt father’s sentiment, but it had nothing to do with me. And it was absurd that he was angry at the injustice of the country while being in a position where he probably accepted bribes. Half of the fat attached to the boat was likely earned through corruption. Based on what I’d seen over the past few days of him using my name, he was also ultimately a Mexican government official. He was one of those common weaklings who confuse weakness with goodness.

But it was a problem that the actor who should fulfill his role was in such a dark mood. Wasn’t it worth filling up the watch? I layered my indifference with feigned sympathy.

“So, you wanted to involve me in this?”

“Yes. Korea is indeed a good country, but I heard there are many heretics, non-believers, and bald heretics there, Presidente. You are a rare faithful person who keeps premarital chastity and has an excellent character, so I thought there was nothing more to see. I apologize if I made you uncomfortable…”

“Apologies accepted, let’s do it this way.”


“As soon as I finish my business in this city, I’ll look into a job for Maria. Whether it’s in Korea or the United States, I’ll make sure she can settle wherever she wants. You won’t doubt a job that I guarantee, right?”

“Oh, you have my gratitude! If you do that for us, we will never forget your kindness!”

“And here’s some advice: a child’s love life is not something parents should interfere with lightly. It’s something they should leave to their own choices. If Maria is a qualified person, God will help her, just as He brought you to me. Isn’t that right?”

“Yes, indeed!”

It was just because I didn’t want him to pester me that I said that, but a politician was a politician. Perucho nodded desperately as if he wouldn’t let go of the lifeline he had just caught.

I had no intention of actually looking for a job. Wherever I placed Maria, they would probably think that the company had a connection with “Huan,” who should disappear from this city for good as long as I was sane enough not to leave unnecessary traces.

I patted the now cheerful Perucho on the shoulder.

“I swear by the Almighty God that this promise will be kept as long as I, Huan, am alive. So let’s discuss the details later.”

“Thank you, Presidente!”

“But how many tens past the hour is it now? Surprisingly, the traffic seems a bit congested. It would be inconvenient if we’re late for Mass.”

“Uh, it’s 10:20! We still have plenty of time!”

Perucho, now checking the time, had become a person who cared about his precious watch again. That was good.

The LCD screen attached to the front of the limousine’s passenger compartment was tuned to a news channel. The city of Guadalajara in the low-quality video was burning like a battlefield. I instructed them to turn up the volume.

[The violence in the Guadalajara metropolitan area has now entered its 14th day. The cartel feud, which was once called the ‘Guerra de los Escudos humanos (War of Human Shields),’ has now acquired a new name, the ‘Guerra de los Condenados (War of the Damned).’ This is because the cartels, which used to send armed groups with local peasants as human shields, have now started deploying units composed of the ‘damned.’ ]

The expression used to refer to awakened primitive magic users in this land was originally “blessed ones (Bendecidos),” but the cartel’s ability users were called “damned (Condenados),” at least on public airwaves. It couldn’t be helped. After all, their deeds done with superhuman abilities were all wicked ones.

[President El Cacas has instructed the Durazo Montaño Minister of Security and Public Safety to prioritize the protection of critical functions and stable residences in the city. Opposition factions criticized this as a discriminatory measure that only protects the wealthy, but the ruling party expressed support, reminding everyone of the tragedy that occurred in Culiacán at the end of last year. However, some ruling party members expressed personal positions that do not align with the party, effectively giving a boost to the opposition.]

Culiacán was a city where the Sinaloa Cartel and the government forces had clashed. The countless sacrifices of citizens caught in the crossfire left no option for the government other than to retreat.

[Meanwhile, the man known to have triggered this war, El Maestre, the leader of the “Los Caballeros Templarios Cartel”, clashed with the defense forces in Las Huntars within the city of Guadalajara earlier this morning during a blockade operation. After killing forty defense personnel and damaging three vehicles, he and his associates managed to hijack the remaining vehicle and escape.]

The screen transitioned to show fragmented bodies and destroyed vehicles one by one. The injuries on the bodies were not visible due to mosaic censoring, but only the distinct marks left on weapons or vehicles that were cut in half could be clearly seen. Despite the vehicles having additional armor, there were numerous signs of penetration on the surface. One of them had its armored door cleanly sliced diagonally. The cut was so precise, contrasting with the armored plates and bulletproof glass. There was no doubt that this result was created by a single cut. The seats were covered in dried bloodstains.

As the TV volume lowered, the driver announced our arrival through the car’s speakers.

[We have arrived. It’s the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.]

Although there was still more than half an hour left until the Mass started, the narrow streets flanking the main entrance to the cathedral were filled with people who had come to see the Mass. They were likely attendees who had chosen this nearby cathedral due to “Huan’s” presence. The streets in front of the cathedral were crowded with worshippers, and if the police hadn’t controlled the road in front, they would have had to walk from a more distant location.

As we exited the car, the police officers saluted. Whether I held a salutable position or not was irrelevant. This was a strange country where even the cartel appointed the head of the traffic police.

A police officer of about the rank of captain (1° Oficial) extended his hand toward the cathedral.

“It’s an honor to have you, Don Huan. Please come inside. Everyone is waiting.”

The waiting individuals included the city’s high-ranking officials, businessmen, and local maintainers. They were the leading actors on the stage I had set.

‘For things that are difficult to do yourself, you can find people who are good at it and outsource it.’

The alliance of shadowy figures that ruled this city with a tight grip possessed exceptional abilities when it came to devising plausible plans and strategies that could offer hope to the citizens. Their extensive experience in milking this city for all it was worth spoke volumes.

In essence, what mattered was the plan, not the outcome. No matter how exorbitant the cost of a plan might be, I would only have to pay a portion of the initial expense. Plans like boosting employment among the poor, providing continuous relief supplies, urban redevelopment plans, expanding tourism facilities, and more plans, one after another. These manipulative con artists, made up of politicians, businessmen, and other high-ranking nobodies, had endlessly presented and publicized plans to drain the pockets of a well-intentioned foreign businessman, while injecting hope into the hearts of the impoverished citizens.

Watching these excellent maneuvers, I thought of the strategies employed by stock market players. Weren’t they fundamentally the same? Inspiring people with intangible hope to make them fanatical.

By this point, I had spent around 82 million pesos, equivalent to roughly 450 million Korean won. My initial budget had been 30 billion pesos, so I was doing quite well. If I could hold out for just three more days, I didn’t anticipate incurring many additional expenses during that time.

“Don Huan.”

After an hour-long Sunday Mass, one of the corrupt figures approached me in a dignified manner.

“Mayor Salazar Baquillano.”

“Oh, Huan. Why be so formal? Just call me Chellino.”

Salazar Baquillano, aka Chellino, was the gluttonous mayor of this hungry port. An individual who had risen up five rungs from a corrupt harbor official.

“All right, Chellino. Is there something you need from me?”

I inquired, and the mayor laughed, responding positively.

“Yes, indeed, I do. Well, not exactly something I need, but someone I’d like to introduce.”

Who was this person on the sixth rung? A federal government official, a prominent member of the ruling party, or perhaps a local cartel lord? Either way, they were welcome. While inflating people’s hopes with promises of prosperity, it would also make it easier to fulfill my role as “Huan” disappearing from this city.

“That sounds promising. If you’re introducing them to me, I’m sure they’re important connections.”

“Oh, haha! You’re being so kind with your words. Well then, if you’re agreeable, let’s go see them right away.”

“Right now?”

“If it’s convenient for you. One of them is the type who needs to get things done immediately or else he can’t relax, while the other has come from a far place and took the time out of his busy schedule to attend. Perhaps Don Huan has other urgent matters?”

“No, not at all. Businessmen can’t afford to miss opportunities, and if you’re introducing someone, Mayor, then I’d be more than willing to adjust my schedule to meet them. I’m already looking forward to meeting these individuals.”

“Haha! Great, great. You have an excellent attitude. Let’s leave the question of who they are until we meet them in person and savor the joy of that moment.”

“Chellino” Salazar Baquillano led me to his mansion, “Casa Sueños Del Mar,” located in the northern suburb of Bucerías. To get there, we had to drive 40 minutes north from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, where we attended Mass.

At this point, one should know that this mansion, with its rather extravagant name, was situated right in front of a seemingly endless stretch of beach, miles and miles long. Even if you brought the longest sandy beach in South Korea here, it wouldn’t compare. The only downside to this upscale neighborhood was the presence of tacky hotels and foreign tourists strolling along the streets.

Even in Bucerías, the line between rich and poor was drawn along the highway. The refreshing afternoon southwestern wind, carrying the scent of the sea and the waves, lost its vitality as it traversed the well-gardened residences and only permeated the alleys of the less fortunate after shedding most of its vigor. As I drove along the highway, this contrast became vividly apparent. The cars veering left were modern, belonging to this era, while those going right were relics from the past. In this city, even the change of eras was filtered like the wind, gradually seeping in.

The line of vehicles, including the limousine I was in, stopped when the paved road ended at the entrance to the property. There, two plainclothes guards armed with automatic rifles were stationed, and along the wall, high-end cars that had arrived earlier were neatly parked.


Among the parked cars, one stood out—a Porsche 911 Carrera S, gleaming in silver. Perucho, the stout man, shouted in a pale voice as a warning.

“Be careful! That’s El Juego’s car!”

I responded, feigning ignorance.

“Who is that?”

“He’s the heir of the Sinaloa Cartel’s Bucerías Plaza, a very ruthless and dangerous man. Do you know how many people have gone missing since that guy returned to this port six months ago? This might be a trap, an attempt to kidnap Presidente and demand a ransom! No one would suspect the Mayor’s invitation!”

“Calm down, calm down.”

I comforted Perucho, who was speaking frantically with a stern face. At the gate, the mayor was making a welcoming gesture, smiling. I signaled that I would follow shortly and faced the anxious man with a long mustache.

Author's Thoughts

This novel is a work of fiction! While it may incorporate elements inspired by our "real" historical world, including historical events, settings, and cultures, it is important to note that the story and characters are entirely products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or deceased, or actual events is purely coincidental. This work should be enjoyed and interpreted as a work of fiction and not as a representation of historical facts or reality.
Also, if you find some error in translation please do let me know by tagging me (@_dawn24) in our Discord server. Since this series is kinda hard to translate. But I'll try my best to make it at least readable :)
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