The Imperial Hunter Chapter 8 - Search (4)

Author: Dawn

Suyeon calmly responded to the question.

“That’s right. That’s why using ‘People of the Desert’ as intermediaries for smuggling is different from other smuggling routes. It’s a good route for individuals who want to avoid the cartels while also knowing that Chief Chu doesn’t deal with them.”

“…I see.”

One commonality among Native American tribes near the US-Mexico border was smuggling. It might not make a lot of money, but it was better than having nothing, and psychologically, they felt closer to people from Central and South America than to the US. From the Native Americans’ perspective, the US was a nation built by invaders.

The “People of the Desert” tribe was mostly located within US territory, but a small minority lived in Mexican lands. It was ideal for carrying out independent smuggling operations.

I tapped the table with my fingertips slowly.

“I see. Among those, there’s a higher probability that those who paid extra for additional services might be connected to the cartels in some way. Not that it’s a good connection, though.”

“Having connections to the cartels doesn’t necessarily mean strained relationships with all the members within the organization.”

“I know.”

Even within a single organization, relationships of interest were often complex. To avoid being purged or to cover up their activities against rivals, many members had to cut ties with their families, friends, and close associates.

Suyeon continued, 

“The Chief values trust, so he won’t sell the customer’s information, but there’s a possibility he might consider confirming their intentions under certain conditions, assuming contact can be established.”

This girl really had a sharp mind. As I observed her silently, Suyeon modestly lowered her gaze.

By the way, was she related to the cartels in any way…

Crossing the border didn’t magically change someone’s status. Among those who sought Chief Chu’s help to get to the United States, there would be quite a few who, having struggled with life as it was, had become petty criminals. Such individuals would have no qualms about cutting my throat.

This was definitely worth trying. Compared to dealing with the risk of getting involved with the Pakistani intelligence agency like with the Filipino rebels, dealing with the casino’s Chief Chu was a much better option.

“Even so, I was planning to go to the US soon. Let’s give it a shot when the time comes.”


Suyeon, who was habitually taking notes, seemed a bit puzzled.

“If you were planning to go soon, does that mean you have other business as well?”

“Well, if you want to call it business, sure. I want to see the gigantic ones in this world with my own eyes.”

“Gigantic ones…?”

“Among all the creatures on Earth, the ones with disproportionately massive bodies.”


The person who couldn’t grasp it before finally sighed. I nodded in confirmation.

“Yeah. Those gigantic organisms will soon start showing signs of awakening. Maybe I’ll witness the moment their circuits first open up… I’m hoping to gain some valuable knowledge by observing such phenomena. Something no mage or imperialist has ever experienced.”

Suyeon, who had been pondering over what she heard, asked a natural question.

“Are those gigantic organisms perhaps whales?”

She might have thought of the blue whale. It was a common association, but it was not correct. If I wanted to see whales, there would be no need to go to the United States.

“Whales are the largest mammals, but they’re not the largest life forms. What I want to see in North America are plants and fungi.”

“Fungi? Could it be…?”


After hearing the answer, Suyeon’s expression revealed an uncommon shock.

“… There exist mushrooms that are larger in mass than whales?”

“There are.”

While the blue whale, the heaviest individual, weighed up to 200 tons, the mushroom I wanted to see was a single organism estimated to cover an area of 965 hectares with a weight of 37,000 tons.

Suyeon swallowed her surprise after a brief silence.

“Hey, I have a question–”

“What is it?”

Kyung-tae, with a playful expression, asked his question.

“You mentioned that the probability of gaining superpowers is proportional to body mass. So, does that mean overweight or obese people have a higher chance of awakening than slim individuals?”

“That’s correct.”

“Wow, I can’t believe it. You, Hyungnim, making jokes like this. Hahaha!”

He burst into laughter. I remained silent, and as the silence continued, Kyung-tae gradually stifled his laughter.

“Haha… Ha…”




“Could it be that it wasn’t a joke? You really mean that if you’re heavier, you have a higher chance of awakening?”

“When have you ever seen me joking with you guys?”

“Oh, my God.”

Kyung-tae was shocked and couldn’t close his mouth.

“Wow, this is really ‘Oh, my God.’ So, having a big belly makes your soul fat! Souls work that way? Calories were right!”

“Calm down. Don’t lose your mind. Do you really think souls grow that easily?”


“If your soul were a tree, your body would be a pot. But even if you repot a tree, it doesn’t grow immediately. There are differences depending on the species, and the years it has lived also have an impact.”

“Oh, right. That’s true.”

Kyung-tae, who had accepted the explanation, was puzzled again.

“But isn’t what you said about obese people awakening quickly contradictory? Unless they’re extremely old obese people.”

“That’s a slightly different story.”

I pondered for a moment before answering.

“Mass of the soul… It’s not a material concept, but for convenience, let’s call it mass for now. That way, it’ll be an easier analogy.”


“The key point is that even with the same mass, volume and density can vary. The soul is intertwined with life. So, as the physical body gets bigger, the surface area where the soul touches magic power increases. It’s unrelated to mass.”

“I see. Like the difference in melting rates between granulated sugar and regular sugar?”

“The phenomena may differ, but the principles are similar.”

“I see…”

In a similar context, the awakening rate relative to body mass would likely be much higher for tiny creatures like insects compared to humans. If you compared individual entities, humans would naturally dominate. However, insects were like granulated sugar, and humans were like regular sugar.

Kyung-tae, who had calmed down, spoke with a serious expression.

“Hyungnim, I think I can see the future right now.”

“Why all of a sudden?”

“Don’t you see, Hyungnim? People who’ve been holed up in their rooms, day by day, gaining weight, will start pouring into the world, saying, ‘My time has finally come!'”


“These days, there are a lot of people like that, right? Living a tough life, having no hope, and even being excluded from the government’s unemployment statistics.”

It was an unexpectedly realistic prediction.

“But it won’t last long.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Less mature magic power circuits tend to leak during the process of converting magic power into magic power.”

“…What happens if it leaks?”

“Unrefined magic power, to a limited extent, exerts radiation-like effects on living things. It’s not exactly the same, but similar.”

“Oh, my…”

Magic power, and magical power, in particular, was the force that twists reality within organic beings possessing souls. If this power was not controlled, the first to be twisted was the organic being itself. This included cells and genes.

“While using their abilities might strengthen their circuits in accordance with those abilities, there will be no shortage of those who die before reaching that point. Moreover, these successive deaths will be enough to render the rest of the population quite miserable.”

Therefore, the future of the emerging awakened individuals was one of two possibilities.

‘They will either stabilize their abilities and join the ranks of the law-abiding, or succumb to cancer.’

It might be a bit difficult to comprehend, but using immense power in a short time might lead to multiple organ failure rather than cancer. In this regard, plants might be superior to animals. They were highly modular organisms.

“Poor souls. After all that effort to leave their rooms, they might just end up succumbing to cancer… It’s like a cicada, isn’t it? Spends several years underground, only to come out, enjoy the sunlight, and then die.”

Even saying this, Kyung-tae didn’t seem particularly looked apologetic.

Suyeon dryly commented.

“The cicada is better. At least they get to mate.”

“Oh, Noonim. That’s a bit harsh… And do you know how many cicadas can’t find a mate and die?”

“It’s unfortunate, but that’s life. We don’t owe them a warning.”

This girl wasn’t the type to mock others thoughtlessly. If she said she’d kill someone, she’d do it seriously.

Anyway, like Suyeon said, there was no obligation to give a warning.

Once the awakened individuals started appearing, national attention would be focused on them, and all sorts of inspections and research would be carried out. Although the information might initially be somewhat inaccurate.

Kyung-tae changed his posture and lightened the mood.

“Now, let’s stop joking about this… As the head of security, isn’t it somewhat risky for you to go to the United States?”

“Because of the people in London?”

“Yes. When you went to Brisbane and Singapore this time, you mentioned that, right? You said that any mage who senses this change would have the same idea as you.”

“That’s right.”

“This time, wouldn’t it be the same? No one would want to leave their position during such an important time.”

A valid point. However, it was not the right answer.

“It’s not necessarily so. What we were cautious about during the last trip was not an immediate conflict but the possibility of tracking us in the future. Right now, they don’t have the resources to exert themselves externally.”

“Why is that?”

“During times like this, no one wants to leave their position. And besides, there might be some political matters involved.”

Of course, there could be political conflicts. These imperialists were greedy, authoritarian, and filled with pride.

“From the beginning, it was my Master who aimed to monopolize the ‘Eye of the Golden Age’ and betrayed his comrades, you know? Their leadership, the ‘Round Table Cabinet,’ must have been a mess more than the old British parliament that they were kicking into by now.”

They must be fiercely arguing about their priorities for accessing artifacts and texts, establishing future orders, and the privileges of their families.

Kyung-tae nodded in agreement.

“I understand what you’re saying. But it’s just your speculation, isn’t it Hyungnim? That there won’t be room to project power externally.”

“For now, that’s true.”

“What else is there?”

“It’s about the size of the mushrooms.”


“The area it covers is twice the size of Yeouido Island, considering only the largest one.”


“And that entire area is full of national forests, mountains, and woods. How many personnel and resources do you think they’d need to deploy to capture me there? Let’s say, for argument’s sake, they mobilize that many personnel. Can they really avoid my detection?”

“It would be almost impossible.”


The imperialist bastards were probably even considering a rebellion against the current ‘Round Table Cabinet.’ They wouldn’t want to send out troops, whether attackers or defenders, not just mages but even regular soldiers. As I told Suyeon, mages were equally defenseless against bullets.

Furthermore, for the time being, I wouldn’t be able to use magic properly, just as I was busy adjusting my circuits.

I trusted the power ambitions and survival instincts of those aristocrats.

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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