The Imperial Hunter Chapter 84 - Metamorphosis (11)

Author: Dawn

The next morning on the passenger ship, Becrux, began with many noises.

The first sounds were of metal being cut and welded together. Windows that didn’t even open were reinforced with bulletproof glass, and some were modified into gun ports in preparation for defensive battles. Useless chairs were all torn out and disposed of as waste, and the freed-up space was partitioned off to secure additional cabins. On the inside of the exterior walls, a fragment-resistant liner made of Kevlar fiber was wallpapered to defend against improvised explosive devices by the Black Children’s Party.

‘After all, even a tin can could be turned into an effective penetrating bullet (EFP)’

More threatening than the ostentatious weapons that had penetrated the People’s Liberation Army vehicles in one shot were personally portable-sized bombs. You couldn’t check every single can disguised as an everyday tin can. Even a pineapple-sized EFP could penetrate a minimum of 10 cm of reinforced concrete from 30 meters away. And if the launch plate was designed to fragmentize, it became a directional splinter grenade that could easily shred up to half a dozen people. The efficacy of such purpose-built explosives made from just a can, explosives, and sheet metal. Even a simple ignition system combining igniter powder and primitive fuse wire would suffice.

The second sound was of loading new vehicles and cargo.

To impersonate the security bureau, we naturally needed their vehicles, gear, and credentials. After verifying my and my men’s capabilities yesterday, Gao Shusen had his subordinates deliver the necessities first thing in the morning. Among them was even an Ichi Audi (FAW-Audi, Audi’s local manufacturing JV) SUV likely from Gao Shusen’s own official fleet.

But Kyung-tae and I paid more attention to the license plates than the cars themselves.

“Quite the extravagant plates.”

Kyung-tae echoed my assessment.

“Should let us breeze through most checkpoints, Hyungnim.”

The plate’s letters and numbers read “粤O88899警”. The ‘Yue’ (粤) indicates Guangdong Province, also known as Yue Province. The alphabet ‘O’ denotes official government use, while both 8’s and 9’s were numbers favored by the Chinese for their auspicious meanings. Finally, the ‘jing’ (警) makes clear the vehicle belongs to the security bureau.

The other vehicles’ plates were similarly configured, differing only in the lucky digit sequences – at least two 8’s or 9’s in a row guaranteed anyone who saw them would assume a mid-to-upper-level security bureau executive was riding inside.

While looking pleased, Kyung-tae scratched his head.

“The plates are great and all, but like this, we’ll draw way too much attention from the Black Children’s Party just driving around. We should request some regular plates too.”

“Revealing his inexperience.”

For someone of his rank, a 1st class inspector, to have such short-sighted thoughts without even consulting subordinates… Just deciding things alone, all self-satisfied. The shortcomings of a nepotism official who made high ranks in the force based on Party connections rather than field experience.

Anyway, just having the ‘O’ was legally sanctioned to ignore traffic laws and drive however you wanted. The auspicious numbers were nice to have, but not strictly necessary tools. Good for bait, but you can’t hunt with bait alone, right?

“Oh right, this reminds me of the plates we used when tracking game around Beijing. Back in the days without even minimum oversight – made hunting so much easier, and great for squeezing out money too. I drove straight to the port with the trunk loaded with gold bars so heavy the rear sank, yet not a single checkpoint stopped us.”

What Kyung-tae reminisced about were the final golden days of the human hunting business in China. Back then, Beijing had a great source supplying official plates. Eventually, the guy got busted by the Discipline Inspection Commission for selling too many, but later discoveries showed his income from license plates alone had exceeded 4 billion won at the exchange rate of the time.


A thunder-like rumble echoed from the city to the docks – the third morning sound of the Black Children’s Party attacking the military and security bureau throughout the streets and alleyways. After several deafening blasts, the sound of gunfire followed. Just from the sounds, I could discern the types of firearms and distance from the firefight.

Kyung-tae, who had been inspecting the weaponry loaded into the security vehicles, turned and shrugged.

“Where do they even get all the explosives and guns?”

“Who knows?”

The explosions rocking the city had been endless since yesterday. The amount of explosives expended clearly exceeded expectations. While stockpiling over a long period was plausible without outside assistance, still…

“We need to examine the Black Children’s Party weapons captured today. Maybe we’ll find some clues.”

The likelihood of the British bastards holed up in Hong Kong reaching out here, or other backers being involved, was quite high.

Around this discussion, a crisp scent cut through the thick river smells as clicking heels approached. Miju, dressed in a suit, carried paper bags equal to our number. As I received my share, I told her.

“You should rest a little longer before heading out.”

The bags contained forged civilian IDs, security bureau credentials, passports, and Party membership cards with appropriately fabricated career histories. For now, prepared based on Gao Shusen’s provisions, except for the photos, which we supplied separately. After all, the ID pictures might differ somewhat from real life.

Miju silently shook her head.

“I’m fine. Since Deputy Secretary Gao Shusen appointed me liaison, I should head over early to secure my spot and avoid disrupting your work.”

“Well, if you’re sure.”

“Also, the Chief Secretary wants me to relay that the Diamond Casino side accepted your proposal. They hope to discuss concrete schedules soon.”

“Good to hear.”

Without realizing it, the consulting I offered would first train them as terrorists before absorbing them into my fold. Providing basic terrorist training would significantly reduce the time needed to weaponize them later.

“By the way, are you not going to call me ‘Hyungnim’ now?”

“…I’ll do my best.”

“Miju, you and the men I embedded on their side are my blades planted into their command structure. If Gao Shusen harbors ulterior motives, take care of it yourself – put a bullet through his head or groin as you see fit.”


Miju erased the faint smile that briefly surfaced and bowed at the waist.

“I’ll head out first then, Hyungnim.”

“Work hard.”

As Miju’s entourage boarded the security vehicles and drove off, Kyung-tae watched their departing backs and asked.

“Did something happen with Director Park?”

“Heard some candid thoughts from the alcohol last night. And made a promise if possible.”

“A promise?”

“That’s right.”

Kyung-tae was curious, being one of the few subordinates who called me ‘Hyungnim’, but the sentiments Miju had confided were personal matters that deserved privacy. The request involved vengeance. If a usable subordinate already shouldered debts and wished to shoulder more, I was inclined to consider it favorably.

Of course, I would never tolerate anyone trying to attach a new price to previously pledged loyalty. Any brazen punk who attempted that would deserve an iron baseball bat and a dip in the ocean. Miju had pleaded carefully and I had simply answered I would grant it if within my ability.

“How’s the reaction to yesterday’s uploaded videos?”

As I changed the topic, Kyung-tae snorted in amusement.

“Tremendous. Been topping the real-time rankings on Youku and Tudou since dawn. Want to check for yourself?”

“I wouldn’t bother. Any negative reactions were likely censored anyway.”

“Well, that’s true but still…”

For the Communist Party, yesterday’s clash with the Black Children’s Party biker unit was excellent propaganda material. The popularity of the dashcam footage and civilian shots directly correlated to Gao Shusen’s survival. We would need to continue racking up merits and coupling that with such public opinion offensives.

“Anyway, good reactions means Gao Shusen’s crew must have breathed a sigh of relief. When you get word that Miju has arrived, tell Gao Shusen I wish to inspect the confiscated Black Children’s Party weapons, so open up the municipal security bureau’s evidence storage. And prepare an accompanying executive.”


“Also, tell them to ready the reagents needed for non-destructive penetrant testing.”

“Ah…will we be able to procure that soon? Having to scramble for it in hours seems…”

“When it comes to the City Public Security Bureau, the Scientific and Technological Communications Department probably has it as equipment. Or they might obtain it from affiliated universities through a cooperative network. Even if Gao Shusen is being ostracized, a few sprays won’t make much of a difference. The Scientific and Technological Communications Department itself is not a department that directly engages in factional fights.”

“Well, that makes sense. I understand.”

Since the Public Security Bureau where Gao Shusen stayed was nearby, it didn’t take long for the communication to happen. Fifty minutes later, when I arrived at the Guangzhou City Public Security Bureau headquarters, I furrowed my brow slightly upon seeing Gao Shusen, along with his subordinates and guards, personally coming out to greet me. Why would the deputy come out when sending just one subordinate would be enough? It wasn’t just about misjudging the urgency of the task; the problem was drawing excessive attention from other factions and departments. They must be wondering. Why did this guy come here? And who are the people he’s meeting personally?

‘”In a situation where disguises are already insufficient enough.’

The silicone mask I used to favor was not suitable for situations where constant combat readiness was required. There was a concern about not withstanding the power of an ability user, sudden acceleration, and impact from collisions. If the entire facial skin twisted together, it would be as suspicious as it gets.

Therefore, the best option now was a combination of dark safety glasses and a mask, a balaclava, or a gas mask at most. Considering the environment where grenades were exploding here and there, it could be considered unlucky, but fortunate amid unfortunate circumstances.

In case Gao Shusen had already secured a target for theft and had come personally to avoid potential exposure, I could somewhat understand within the realm of a timid heart trying to convey it personally… An ignorant fool greeted me with laughs broadly, not knowing what was inside me.

“You’ve come. I was waiting.”

“…Please pay attention to your choice of words.”


Ah, saying the same thing. Only now did Gao Shusen change his attitude, raising his voice.

“Come in! Let’s work hard today for the party and the country! Hahaha!”

The evidence storage room was located underground at the headquarters. Passing through the metal detector and descending the stairs, I could see a window covered with iron bars and bulletproof glass, reminiscent of a bank vault. It was a space where especially dangerous or valuable evidence was stored separately. Naturally, there was also an evidence examination room.

As Gao Shusen’s subordinate, Hu Shanliang, a 3rd class superintendent whose face I was already familiar with, presented his identification to the window attendant, shortly after, following a brief electronic sound, the metallic sound of the explosion-proof door opening resonated. A desk officer armed with an automatic rifle handed over a key card for the interior compartments of the storage room, speaking in a composed tone and a mechanical demeanor.

“The authorized time is two hours, and the external export of evidence requires separate approval. In the event of damage or loss of evidence, regardless of rank, punishment may be imposed, so please be cautious. In addition, in the investigation room, only investigations approved for evidence that has obtained prior permission should be conducted, and the condition of the evidence should be carefully recorded before conducting the investigation. Please comply with the checklist provided in the investigation room for the record of the evidence’s condition.”

This dry warning seemed quite unpleasant to the Communist aristocracy. As soon as the blast door closed, Gao Shusen expressed his dissatisfaction, squeezing out complaints.

“To show me that attitude. Even though my position has completely changed from yesterday…”

At that moment, Hu Shanliang examined his superior mood and the ceiling alternately. The closed-circuit systems arranged to eliminate blind spots within the evidence storage room were models that allowed only visual surveillance. Hu Shanliang spoke reassuringly.

“I suppose you just consider it a brief stroke of luck. After all, it’s a life that will soon come to an end. If you continue to accumulate merits, sooner or later, one by one, they’ll start to bow and let you in.”

“Merits, merits…”

The softened gaze of the Communist aristocracy turned toward me.

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.
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