The Imperial Hunter Chapter 89 - The Vein of the Ungodly (4)

Author: Dawn

As we had agreed on the first day I arrived in this city, I brought Gao Shusen’s share of the stolen goods to a warehouse he had leased under an alias. Located on the north bank of the waterway dividing Haizhu and Liwan districts, this warehouse was a mere 1 kilometer away from the pier base of the Guangzhou River Police. Close enough that you could visually identify people’s movements if no boats were passing by.

Rather than hiding in plain sight, it would be more accurate to say he had connections here. Although cornered, Gao Shusen was still a high official of the Communist Party, and the first quality demanded of a communist official was the ability to manage connections. 

Of course, Gao Shusen had leased the warehouse to hide the location of his vaults from me. It would be crazy for him to request I deliver directly to his vaults. Not like I’d promise not to rob those too.

Waiting for me in person until this time, he spread his arms with a delighted expression as the cars I had borrowed entered the warehouse.

“Welcome, Chairman! I’ve been waiting for you with three autumns of longing!”

Three autumns of longing refer to missing someone so much that a day apart feels like three years. Judging by his bloodshot eyes, it was no exaggeration. After getting out of the Yongshi SUV, I looked at the suit-clad shoulders surrounding the Deputy Secretary and asked:

“Can all the people here be trusted?”

“Why would I have brought untrustworthy ones to an occasion like this? They each have insurance. So, show me the promised goods first.”

Clenching his fists, Gao Shusen peered like an impatient child.

‘Insurance, I see. That’s more reliable.’

I nodded in understanding then turned halfway around, gesturing with my chin to the subordinate in the driver’s seat. Thud. As the trunks of the Yongshi SUVs opened, Gao Shusen hurriedly went over to inspect the loaded cargo. The moment a sack was untied, a torrent of gold washed over his face.

“Oh, ohh…”

Was it really that great? Intoxicated, Gao Shusen shoved both hands greedily through the gold bars, grabbing handfuls back and forth, concentrating on one handful then pulling out another. Mixed among the gold bars were rhino horn gold and horse hoof gold. They were named after the horn of a rhino and the hoof of a horse which they resembled. Both were legacies from the Qing dynasty.

After fondling the gold and counting dollars to his heart’s content, when Gao Shusen checked the footage recorded from the mountain villa, he made a sullen expression.

“Although I’ve already agreed that the ratio of evidence to keep will be up to you, Chairman… with this much, wouldn’t it be alright if we took a little more? Whether it’s 10 kg more or less of gold bars, it should look about the same.”

What nonsense. I gave him a dry response.

“Deputy Secretary, right now you’re asking to scalp not just some gold, but your and your uncle’s lives.”


Behind Gao Shusen’s actions must also lie some suspicion toward me. Since the footage alone didn’t let him know the exact amount, he was anxious I might skim off more without him being able to tell. Gao Shusen’s demand was an indirect expression of doubt.

But what could I do if he was anxious? There were already this many safeguards in place.

“Don’t forget that the total value of the confiscated goods that will be submitted as evidence is exactly the same as the total amount of bribes reaching the top level.”

At my pretended reminder, Gao Shusen reluctantly backed down.

“Right. It must be so. I spoke out of turn. I apologize.”

“No need. I’m grateful you’re keeping the agreement.”

It’s difficult for anyone below the party’s highest level to get their hands on confiscated goods handed over to the state treasury. In other words, this is a rare opportunity to directly offer bribes to someone normally out of reach. If this proves enough value, Gao Shusen and his uncle Gao Ninghui’s lives would be guaranteed by the central party, making them untouchable by the provincial government level.

With a hand in my coat pocket, I continued the businesslike conversation.

“Then let’s move on to the next step. You have the intel on the Triads, right?”

“Ah, of course. It’s right here.”

Gao Shusen took out a USB drive and handed it over. It was information he had been reluctant to provide, making various excuses to delay it. After all, acquiring this intel may have been my sole purpose from the start, everything else merely deception. In short, he was worried I’d take it and run.

“I’ve included everything accessible under my authority from the public security database. And additionally, information my subordinates and I have unofficially obtained. Not sure if it’ll be enough.”

“It will be plenty. More importantly, what are the chances of you taking over the current provincial party secretary’s position after he’s purged?” (+) [1]

“Hmm, hard to say.”

Immersed in political calculations, Gao Shusen’s serious expression looked like an entirely different person from when he was enraptured by the golden glow earlier. This side probably resembled his true face as a party official more.

“Even if footage of the villa being robbed goes public, his head won’t roll right away. As you know, Chairman, short of extremely serious charges, he can’t be brought to trial until an agreement between factions, as is procedure here.”

“Still, it’s a well-established fact that his head will fall off, so I’m inquiring about what happens afterward.”

“After that, it’ll depend on me making my moves. I may even leapfrog over several middle stages and go straight to becoming provincial governor. Anyway, trust this man for now. I will make prudent use of the contributions you bring, Chairman.”

He only gave vague responses no matter how I tried to probe the party’s internal affairs.

‘It’s his turf after all.’

Unnecessarily revealing his own circumstances could show weaknesses. I didn’t pry further. In any case, all the actions we were taking together were in and of themselves a noose tightening around Gao Shusen’s neck.

“More importantly, when are you planning to hit the Triads?”

To Gao Shusen’s question, I casually replied.

“I’ll raid them tonight. As soon as I locate a suitable target point.”

“…You’re not tired? I mean, you just came from combat.”

“Take it as a sign of my sincerity toward you, Deputy Secretary. I need you to be safe so I can rest easy too.”

“That’s… much appreciated. You’re quite vigorous indeed. I’ll be trusting only my Chairman.”

With that, Gao Shusen turned to his underlings and gestured with enthusiastic clapping, substituting for verbal orders. Expressionless shoulders lifted the goods we had brought from the vehicles and moved them to the center of the warehouse. I detected not the slightest greed from them. What sort of insurance did this communist aristocrat have over them?

Capturing their families and holding them hostage in prison? With orders to kill them immediately if anything happened?

This was no rash conjecture. Concealment was the norm in the local governance of China, and violence and death were the norm in China’s prisons. Therefore, cornered communist aristocrats could freely abuse their authority however they wished. As long as they avoided a purge, minor abuses of power would be no issue, and if they were purged, such trivial matters would be unimportant.

The shoulders finished their task in the time it took Gao Shusen to smoke a cigarette. The valuables, now conveniently gathered in the center of the warehouse, would surely be moved again to somewhere safer before sunrise.

After waiting a few steps away to avoid the cigarette smoke, I bid the communist aristocrat a brief farewell.

“I’ll be off again now. I’ll be sure to bring good news tonight.”

“Go safely.”

I boarded the lightened SUV and instructed a return to the pier where the cruise ship was docked. I had to drive about 10 km back, crossing a bridge to re-enter Haizhu district, then following the riverside road. Lined along the scenic road were presentable buildings standing in a row. Beyond the thin, tidy band of high-rises, densely-packed slums crammed into the blind spots. By this point, it could be called a universal principle of land use throughout the Chinese mainland.

There, I saw the depths of human destitution. In the late dark hours, the alleys full of poverty were a fitting place for unemployed migrant workers tormented by hunger and homelessness to abandon their humanity momentarily. One starved corpse feeding many lives is not always an evil thing. After all, they were remains with no kin left to even hold a funeral.

The faces of those sharing meat and guilt showed no trace of expression that could be called such. The only emotion was simple, grueling fatigue. A line too difficult for one to cross became easy when crossed together.

I had expected it. Where there is severe famine, could cannibals be absent? Humans were originally creatures that lived by preying on each other, only how they preyed changed according to circumstances.

Moreover, there were far too many hungry people in China right now. The 70 million flood victims from the historically unprecedented great floods last summer. Having drifted to the cities in search of a living, they must have nibbled away at each other little by little even during their long journey to get there. Usually the corpses of those who collapsed while walking, occasionally the weak who lacked strength but were still alive.

Such a scene of humans repeatedly preying on each other, as there was no other way for the destitute to fill their stomachs. 

The proliferating cancerous masses were insufficient to fill their bellies either. The proliferation of cells that fed on magic power and mana was far too slow a process compared to the hunger of the masses. It was like a poor farmer who boiled and ate up all his seeds for next year’s planting as well.

“Truly an abyss of isolation.”

My words puzzled Kyung-tae.

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“I speak of ‘gu‘ – poisoning by isolation. Creatures with venom are confined together, prey on each other repeatedly until only the one with the strongest venom remains. It’s merely superstitious sorcery, but you must have heard of it at least once.”

“Ah, that. Of course, I know it. But why…”

“It just came to mind seeing people eat people at this late hour. Even those without venom will generate deadliness from preying on each other.”

In the end, anything that harmed people could be called poisonous, also because its spread would sicken society.


Kyung-tae glanced outside the car window following scenery I couldn’t see, shrugging as he said.

“They used to say the cruelest gu was confining and starving children to create ‘ren gu‘ – human gu.”

“Is that so.”

“Yes. Starving kids and letting them twist their bodies to crawl inside bamboo to die was considered the best, I heard….”

“Excessively unrealistic.”

“Who knows. If not for meeting you, I may have ended up like that.”



Kyung-tae laughed awkwardly and turned the steering wheel. The convoy gently curved following the river road.

I saw the providence of nature in this concrete jungle. Exploitation and oppression. Primitive, direct cannibalism and more civilized, indirect forms carried out through oppression. Beneath the lowest floors were more, and the weak devoured by the strong were predators preying on even weaker beings. In the seething cauldron of discrimination and oppression, soft human benevolence melted away, leaving only hard clumps of evil.

Now was the time for me as a hunter to step into that abyss of isolation.

  • 1. TLN: Please spare me if I make a mistake in translating any of the titles/positions in this novel. Since I’m new to translating novels with real-life background
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 :)
Enjoy reading~!

Want to read ahead of the scheduled release? You can check the Novel page on the website (or press the next chapter button) and buy an advanced chapter with only 20 Honeys! (100 Honeys is only 5$! So you can basically read 5 advanced chapters ahead of schedule!)

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height

Hello! If you any questions and if you found any errors on my translations, please do @ me on our discord server (@_dawn24) since I might miss your comment here. And also, I really appriciate your support by buying the advanced chapters or just giving me some donation, thank you!

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (0)