The 12 Vassals
Translated by CleiZz
Edited by Seol!
Thank you for the support @Schatte. Here’s the bonus chapter. ☺🎉🎉❤
In the center of a large site that can accommodate dozens of 5-ton trucks stands a container building with three long layers of large containers stacked on top of each other.
There were dozens of 5-ton trucks circling around the container building, so it’s like a huge logistics center made of containers.
“Looking at the photos, I thought it was too shabby to call it the headquarters of Shine Mall, but the massive size makes it a bit overwhelming.”
“Though simple, the visual effects are greater due to its large scale.”
Shine Mall was a distribution company created after the world changed.
It operates only online without offline stores and is a company with a nationwide distribution network. It is also a company that has signed a supply contract with the Dungeon Logistics Center based on its distribution network.
It is no exaggeration to say that all of the hunters’ supplies go through Shine Mall, and when Jeong-Hoon worked at the Dungeon Logistics Center, he carried hundreds of Shine Mall boxes per day.
“I would have never imagined that Shine Mall would be ours.”
“To be exact, it is the Lord’s. And has your Grace ever thought about the possibility of having a convenience store in Shine Mall even though it’s part of Lumen?”
“… Convenience store? I’ve seen an underground department store with duty-free shops.”
E/N: Duty-free shops are retail stores that exempt the payment of import tax, sales, value-added, or other taxes. They are commonly found in airports.
He did think of a convenience store on the basement floor, but the only one that Jeong-Hoon saw was a department store named Lumen 24 on the fifth basement.
“The former head of the family said it was a convenience store, so I believe it is a convenience store.”
“… Seeing that Shine Mall belongs to the family, the real power of the family must be endless.”
“If you complete all the required tasks, even founding is possible.”
E/N: “Founding” refers to the founding of- (a country, building, nation, monument, land, etc)
Butler Joo smiled softly.
Tasks. This is the homework that Jeong-Hoon’s uncle had left for him.
To be honest, Butler Joo had planned to inform Jeong-Hoon about this ‘homework’ as slow as possible once he thought Jeong-Hoon was ready.
However, he changed his mind once Jeong-Hoon declared that he would make the world remember his name in the announcement yesterday.
Therefore, Butler Joo brought up the fact that there are businesses other than Lumen and that 12 vassals, who are key figures in the businesses, are leading the businesses. It was also announced that businesses other than Lumen cannot be handled by the current owner, Jeong-Hoon and that Jeong-Hoon must pass the tasks left by the former householder to handle them freely.
Of course, Jeong-Hoon’s aspirations in the big announcement were only made at the moment, but he was not in a situation where he could take back what he had already said, so Jeong-Hoon took part in the task at the recommendation of Butler Joo.
The first task was getting his hands on Shine Mall.
“About the founding that you mentioned. It only includes those that are within the business’s potential, right? And you’re excluding the other 3,000 vassals?”
“There are more than 3,000 vassals in the business, so of course it’s included.”
Jeong-Hoon smiled bitterly at the word ‘include.’
Among 3,000 people, only 12 were representing them.
Butler Joo stood in the frontlines of those 12 vassals. He is an SSS-class awakened being and is part of the 12 vassals under the title of the ‘Head Butler of the Family.’
Jung Yi-Young, the maid of honor, is an S-class awakened being.
E/N: Recall this person is Miss Maid, and her title is head maid -> maid of honor.
The rest of the 12 vassals were at least S-class awakened beings. In other words, there are 12 people who can respond to Jeong-Hoon’s finger snap.
Lastly, excluding the 12 vassals, about 3,000 other vassals are all A-class awakeners.
With that much power, Jeong-Hoon wondered if there is anything in the world he couldn’t do at this point.
“What a mess I got myself into.”
Even if there was no one else to inherit the family leader position, why appoint an ordinary man who knew nothing about this ‘world?’ Although he was given so much power to use in his hands, Jeong-Hoon felt weak in his knees when he thought of the coming tasks.
The inside of Shine Mall was very neat considering it’s a container building.
The steel structure looks as it is, but rather than giving the impression that it is not organized, it gave off the idea of an intentional interior design.
Without taking the massive size in count, it would’ve been thought to be a small start-up company that had just started.
The mere sight of the crowded salespeople and the numerous Shine Mall employees serving them reminded Jeong-Hoon of the fact that this was indeed the Shine Mall.
The scene was the battlefield of Shine Mall, where companies somehow try to get into Shine Mall’s distribution network, and the cold evaluations they received in return.
Jeong-Hoon and Butler Joo passed through that battlefield with ease.
Lumen’s chairman Jeong-Hoon and Lumen’s director, Butler Joo, were classified as important guests in Shine Mall, so they were able to come up to the Shine Mall representative’s office without any problems.
“Butler Yeo Tae-Hyun! The Lord has arrived!”
Jeong-Hoon wondered if there was a need to keep the secret about the family if they’re just going to yell it out like that.
Even though it is run by the family, not all Shine Mall employees are vassals of the family.
Even Lumen, where Jeong-Hoon, the head of the household, is staying, looked closely upon the confidentiality.
Entering the room he saw a middle-aged man with a two-block regent hairstyle.
He had a slender jawline with slightly slanted eyes. He was wearing a light gray suit and a tie with a flaming fire pattern, giving off a look that he was part of a gang.
For someone who looked like a gangster, the way he stood behind his desk, body turned at a 45-degree angle towards the door made him seem like a dog that had waited for his owner to come home.
The man smiled broadly, lifted his arm in an attempt to wave, but hesitated under Butler Joo’s gaze.
“My Lord, this is Butler Yeo Tae-Hyun. As you’ve heard, he is one of the 12 vassals, and trivially, he is an SS-class awakener.”
“Ah.. I don’t think that’s not trivial.”
“I look forward to your kind cooperation. M’name is Yeo Tae-Hyun.”
“Yes? Ah. I look forward to working with you.”
Speaking in a tone that cannot be found polite, Yeo Tae-Hyun reached out his hand for a handshake. Jeong-Hoon inadvertently reaches out in return, but Butler Joo yells at Yeo Tae-Hyun.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“You should’ve matured as you’ve gotten older; why can’t you abandon that attitude?”
“Eh. I, too, keep my dignity if it’s in the eyes of the public or in a public event.”
“This may seem like a private event for you because the Lord is visiting, but it is still a family event.”
While listening to the nagging of Butler Joo, Yeo Tae-Hyun smiled widely and bowed his head towards Jeong-Hoon, with whom he finished shaking hands with.
“As Boss Joo said, my name is Yeo Tae-Hyun. You can call me Butler Yeo.”
“Oh, really? I feel like it may be confusing for me to call others with the butler title.”
Of the 12 vassals, except for Jung Yi-Young the maid of honor, all men are butlers, so it may be more confusing if there are members that happen to share the same surname.
“Butler Yeo Tae-Hyun is the representative of Shine Mall, so I’ll call you CEO Yeo.”
“Lord, except for Butler Yeo Tae-Hyun, there are others who lead the businesses of the family with the title of a representative.”
“… I’ll think about that later. For now, let’s differentiate between the butler and the representative.”
“If that is the will of your Grace…”
“Eh, I don’t care. I like it because it sounds like a nickname, it makes me feel like we’re close.”
Yeo Tae-Hyun raised his chin and looked down at Jeong-Hoon and smiled, shrugging while putting his hands on his waist.
“Butler Yeo! What is with the rudeness!”
“Oops, I’m sorry. My force of habit came out naturally because the Lord is treating me comfortably.”
“It doesn’t matter to me. You’re about the same age as my father in the first place.”
“Eh? What do you mean? I’m 42 this year. I’m still up and running.”
“I’m 20 years old. If my father was still here today, he would’ve been 47, so you are around his age.”
At Jeong-Hoon’s words, Yeo Tae-Hyun had an extremely shocked expression.
He had approached Jeong-Hoon like a friend in his own way, so it was obviously a big shock to him that Jeong-Hoon took it as almost a father-son relationship.
“Anyways, why don’t we finish up on introductions? There’s something more important to be done.”
“Hmm, are you here because of the task the previous head of household left you with?”
“Yes, under the recommendation of Butler Joo.”
Jeong-Hoon nodded and looked at Butler Joo, who in return nodded back.
At that, Yeo Tae-Hyun opened the safe in the office with a grim look and took out a small envelope.
“I will now begin reading.”
“Is that perhaps?”
“Yes. This is the assignment left by the previous head.”
Butler Joo knelt on one of his knees down on the floor when he saw the envelope in Yeo Tae-Hyun’s hands.
At the scene, Jeong-Hoon seriously considered whether he should also kneel down as well.
“Your Grace doesn’t have to do this.”
“… I appreciate your words, but I feel hesitant when I see you kneel down as if you’re about to receive a royal command.”
“Your Grace, please don’t worry. We do it because we like it.”
Jeong-Hoon remembered the fact that there is a guild among some famous ones that keep to the etiquette in this way. Of course, it’s a guild’s concept of a play, not something they do seriously.
That guild became quite famous thanks to its unusual concept and became a popular guild, if not as much as the top guilds.
In addition, that very guild makes a lot of money through advertisements by breaking through loopholes in the Hunter Act, which is limited to only dungeon attacks and monster hunting.
“That’s what this is all about, right?”
“… It’s similar. The difference is that it’s a long-standing act that started from the era of the first lord to the era of the 238th lord.”
“Then it’s a tradition?”
Jeong-Hoon is the 238th head of household
In other words, it’s a long-standing tradition from the beginning to the present, not just a play.
“Can I abolish–“
“This is a will left by the 237th head of the household. If the 238th head of household wishes to take Shine Mall in his hands, then he must find and verify the most valuable item at the Shine Mall headquarters. I hereby appoint the person in charge of Shine Mall, Yeo Tae-Hyun as the examiner.”
Jeong-Hoon failed to sneakily try and abolish the kneeling tradition because Yeo Tae-Hyun stepped in and read the letter in the envelope.
“That is all. Here’s your seal. It’s not fake, it’s real. You can check it out too, Boss Joo.”
“… I checked it. This is certainly the seal of the Lord.”
When Butler Joo received the letter and confirmed it, Jeong-Hoon approached and confirmed it as well.
Seeing that the seal of a wonderful pattern is stamped at the end of the letter, Jeong-Hoon inadvertently thought of the national seal.
The seal didn’t look like Chinese or Korean characters, but it was large and splendid enough to carry the same level of dignity.
“Butler Joo, do you know if there are any royal seals that have been passed down from generation to generation?”
“… It’s not a seal, but there is something handed down.”
Speaking as if it was obvious, a realization flashed through Jeong-Hoon’s mind.
A family is like an independent state hidden in modern society.
A king named ‘Lord’ and 12 servants named ‘vassals.’ It is an independent country where there are other people called vassals. Therefore, their scale always exceeds that of the country.
The family has enough force capable of overthrowing the country, with the financial power that governs even the state, and the potential for foundings.
The threat of the family is the country, not a single organization or a group. The ruler of such a hidden independent state is himself, an orphan in his 20s.
“… Maybe I shouldn’t have said I’d do this?”
Jeong-Hoon, who is deeply regretting that he should not have picked up on the task, snapped out of his daze when he felt the eyes of Butler Joo and Yeo Tae-Hyun.
“My Lord, do you feel unwell somewhere?”
“No, I was just thinking about something else.”
“If the task is burdensome, I will ask Butler Yeo Tae-Hyun for more time.”
“There is no time limit for the task. Any time is fine, so you don’t need to feel pressured.”
“That’s fortunate to hear. Is that at your discretion, Butler Yeo Tae-Hyun?”
“Yes, that’s right. Instead, I’ll give you only three chances. You only have three chances to guess the most valuable item in this headquarter. For your information, it’s not a person, building, or land.”
Yeo Tae-Hyun smiled brightly as he gave the hint. The hint pointed out exactly 3 things that one can easily consider the most valuable.
His smile was so refreshing as if he had no doubt that the Lord, Jeong-Hoon, would get it right.
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