Empire Of The Ring Chapter 343
This was exactly what Youngho was afraid of. If there was going up, there would be going down as well. Things did not always go well.
The reason that Youngho decided to take Koryoin immigrants earlier than planned was the unstable political status of Kyrgyzstan as well as their exposure to the IS.
There seemed to be no future for Koryoins in Kyrgyzstan. Youngho wanted to help Koryoins so that their children could dream of a better future.
Due to their hard life, Koryoins there could not even think of moving to a foreign country unless Youngho reached out to them.
Although he had done his best to save Koryoins from potential damages of the dispute in the country, things like this still happened.
Youngho regretted his inattention. He was sure that he could have saved those lives if he paid more attention. Those furious Uzbeks probably attacked Koryoins to take out their anger unless they hated Koryoins for their penny-pinching lifestyle.
Youngho called Jong-il with haste.
“Those b*st*rds buried every single one of them under the ground. Even infants.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me…”
“All the Kyrgyz people nearby were also slaughtered.”
“It shouldn’t be the Uzbeks rebels. There is no way they did such a cruel deed even if they were furious. They are furious at the government, not other people.”
“I don’t know exactly. The Kyrgyz military is investigating it now. They assumed that the IS was involved in this.”
“What is the casualty?
“Two Koryoin families, nine of them, and five households of Kyrgyz. A total of 28 people.”
Youngho felt like he was suffocated as he was infuriated at the number of casualty and the fact that they even killed little infants.
“Jong-il, wait until I get there. I will gather a few more security guards.”
“Dude! Calm yourself down. This is not your business. Are you trying to get involved in a dispute between other countries?”
“Believe me. My head is calmer than ever. I am only trying to avenge the innocent Koryoins. I need to get paid for innocent babies’ lives.”
“I’m saying we should wait and see how things go here.”
“Don’t worry about it. I will think about it on the way there.”
This Kyrgyzstan visit had to be unofficial for future’s sake.
Whoever victimized Koryoin families needed to pay. Youngho was ready to show that no one should lay their finger on Koryoins. Youngho was planning on being a true savage to handle the situation so they would never think about touching the Koryoins ever again.
Youngho had calmed down the next morning when it was time to depart. This trip would have no other meaning or emotions involved other than bringing justice to criminals who killed civilians for no reason. If killing infants was no big deal, they had to be brutes. Youngho did not need to be furious to kill brutes just like how killing animals was only to protect livestock and to get some meat and leather.
Koryoins of the Arirang Autonomous State had not heard about the situation in Kyrgyzstan yet. If they heard about what happened, they would not stay calm. Instead, they would definitely put their lives on the line to avenge their brothers.
For that reason, Youngho asked the administrators to keep it a secret. It would be harder to build a relationship with other countries if the state was rumored to use its force to meddle in other countries’ dispute.
If the IS was involved, it should be even more critical to keep it as a secret. Youngho made his move under the surface as much as he could. He only brought a minimum number of people with him.
When Youngho arrived at Bishkek with Hong Sung-ki and Choi Sang-ho whom he took to the recent Siberian expedition, the Kyrgyz government had already taken care of the rebels.
“Things are only roughly taken care of, only on the surface level. It’s quiet during day time, but those Uzbek rebels still roam around causing problems at night.”
“What about our agents?”
“Only the ones that have Russian origins are here. Otherwise, our agents might get mistaken as Kyrgyz people and get attacked.”
“What? Are you saying the Uzbek rebels attacked Koryoins because they thought they were Kyrgyz?”
“No way. It’s obvious Koryoins look totally different from the Kyrgyz.”
“So it was definitely intentional.”
“The deceased Koryoin victims had hired Uzbek workers before. I think they might have been hard on the workers.”
Still, it did not sound like a serious reason to kill babies. Someone had probably sent a request to act as savage like that.
“Let’s go to Osh right now. If we interrogate a few, they should spill out the truth.”
“Sung-ki and Sang-ho, you should stay here. I will go with Il-kwon and Jong-il. We need to keep a low profile.”
Sung-ki and Sango-ho were about to complain, but they soon stopped because Jong-il glared at them. The situation was too serious for them to argue.
“I need you to stay here and take care of Koryoins in the city of Osh. This is also an important task.”
There were still quite a number of Koryoins in Osh. These Koryoins were living a relatively safe and wealthy life. However, the incident might have given them a reason to move. It would be difficult to give up their businesses in Osh, but it was a life or death situation.
Osh was quiet. People were walking around the downtown, and many stores and restaurants were open for business. They seemed to go back to their daily life since the border guards were taking care of their security. Although they had a curfew at eight in the evening now, it was not a big problem for them. Most stores and restaurants closed around six o’clock in the evening, and there were not a lot of people in the streets because of the cold weather.
Youngho’s group met up with the autonomous state’s intelligence agents at the city.
“This should be the rebels’ base. The recently closed building used to be a school where they taught the Uzbek language. It was closed for years but, lately, some youngsters are spotted secretly going in and out of it. You can see them at the restaurant right across the building.”
“How did they look physically?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m asking if they looked like if they had been through some military training.”
“They looked normal to us.”
Maybe it was too early to expect the agents to notice a subtle difference like this.
“Is there anything else to report about them?”
“It was a bit suspicious that they only moved by car.”
“Hmmm, that’s strange. They could be easily found out by military personnel and policemen on the streets.”
“They mainly inspect pedestrians. They don’t seem to have enough people to check cars around the town.”
It was highly possible that they were moving weapons if they only moved by cars. At least now, Youngho had a starting point.
“Well, it’s obvious that they are trained. Look at how the door guards keep looking around. Something must be in the building, right? Man… Look at those shoulders. He must’ve been through heavy gun training.”
“Hey, quiet down a little! Everybody in the restaurant will hear you.”
“No one in here would understand English. Am I wrong?”
Jong-il was giving a lesson to the agents. He explained how to tell if people have been trained or not judging by people’s ways of walking and posture. It was quite accurate and informative, even Youngho was listening and nodding without paying attention to the old school building.
The Korean special forces would not even teach these, but it seemed that Jong-il had taught himself with his keen instinct. He was a natural.
“Hey! You’ve got to watch the building. Pay attention.”
“I was listening to your pathetically detailed lies.”
“Shut your face. It’s rather a living education than a lie.”
“It certainly is living. When did you study all that?”
“Not anybody can take the position of the director of the intelligence department. It’s possible because it’s me.”
Jong-il was flattered by Youngho’s words. Watching Jong-il’s reaction, Il-kwon quietly laughed. Noticing that, Jong-il jumped on him.
Watching the two bicker at each other, Youngho quietly went outside to take a breath.
It was a snowy day. Tonight, lots of innocent lives would drop like the snowflakes in Osh. He felt sorry for how the Switzerland of Central Asia had turned into this mess now.
Russia was not to be blamed for this mess. It was the result of Kyrgyzstan’s ancestors settling for mediocrity. Just like Korea’s ancestors did. Still, Kyrgyzstan did not seem to have hope, unlike Korea after its independence. Koryoins in Kazakhstan were blessed compared to those in Kyrgyzstan.
“It doesn’t look elegant to break in. Maybe we should just go and gently ask them if they can open the front door for us.”
“Maybe you should shut up and jump up to the fence already.”
Il-kwon had agents stay outside to watch just in case. This had to be the headquarters of the Uzbek rebels. All the lights on the second floor were on except for a big classroom. There seemed to be at least 20 people in the building.
A lot of Kyrgyz military guards and policemen had searched for them, but they could not find this place. They probably did not even try that hard. Youngho would have missed this place if it were not for the agents that had been here for a while.
The enemy must not be the rebels in Kyrgyzstan, but the IS force who came to shake the whole nation.
The Uzbek had no reason to move in this organized way. They were only acting out to show their complaints about policies and laws of the Kyrgyz government. The problem was that due to the Kyrgyz government’s poor economic and military power, it would not be able to handle the rise of the IS in the country. The country would be an easy place for terrorism. The government’s weakness made innocent civilians including Koryoins suffer such terrorism.
“These guys don’t even have watchmen? I know I’m not fully prepared either but I don’t feel welcomed in here at all.”
As Jong-il said, the two of them only brought a pistol for each of them and some gasoline.
“Who would come in here without their permission? They would’ve thought that this is the best hideout for them.”
“There is a big iron door on the way to the basement. That should be it.”
There was an iron door with a huge lock. It was a piece of cake for them to pick a lock.
“Wow… They’ve stored a ton. These weapons are enough to equip a few military units.”
“Let’s hurry and make fire. See if you can find a grenade.”
“I found one!”
Jong-il was holding a Russian portable rocket launcher.
“What are you going to do with it? Let’s do it our way. ”
“I am sick of burning things all the time. Why don’t we try something different this time?”
The place was not guarded tightly at all. Jong-il whistled as he poured gasoline over the weapons.
Many said that a soldier who was defeated in a battle was forgivable, but a soldier who neglected watch duty was not forgivable. Judging by how carelessly it was guarded, the IS group turned out to be nothing serious.
It was quite pathetic that no one would see the firework that Youngho and Jong-il made in the city of Osh because of the curfew.