Chapter 112: Lost Sword of the Great General (2)
“Let’s go first.”
Haejin wanted to ask her many things, but there could be someone watching them, so he decided to
leave the place first.
They put their luggage in the trunk of the car Momoko had prepared and sat in the back. Momoko
looked back at them from the driver’s seat.
“May I take you to the hotel?”
After the car started to move, Haejin thought he had to say something, but he couldn’t easily open his
Haejin had made her lose her job, and she almost lost her life as well, so he didn’t know how to start
Eunhae saw Haejin was grave and thought it would be better for her not to talk. She just looked out of
She would listen once someone started to talk, but she wasn’t going to talk first until then.
After about ten minutes of awkward silence, Haejin cleared his thoughts and said, “I was really
surprised when you suddenly disappeared like that.”
He asked in Japanese, of course, but she replied in Korean.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I had my reasons.”
It was the typical Korean accent of a Japanese, but she answered easily, so she was very fluent in
“Was it because of what was going on?”
This time, Haejin asked in Korean. He wanted to know how fluent her Korean was.
“Yes. The moment Director Yang Sojin found out the truth, I couldn’t stay in Korea.”
It wasn’t a perfect sentence, but Haejin could understand more or less.
“Then, you came to Japan right after that?”
“No, I had lots to worry about. If I had come to Japan, I wouldn’t have survived. So…”
“To survive, I made a deal with the knowledge I had.”
“The officials in Korea, the NIS.”
That was great courage and judgment. She had thought of meeting the intelligence agents of another
country and making a deal.
Most people would try to explain everything to Yang Sojin and beg for her forgiveness or just run away
and stay low.
“They… how did the NIS find out about you?”
“I gave some information to the Cultural Administration of Korea and asked them to help me meet the
“Wow… that’s impressive,” Haejin exclaimed. He really meant that.
“It’s not impressive. I only did what I had to do to survive.”
“At the time… no.”
Haejin was going to apologize, but he stopped himself. Apologizing would mean he had done
something to her at the time.
Then, Eunhae, who had been quiet, said, “Are you the one who is going to help us in Japan?”
Haejin had told her everything about what had happened in China, and what he had to do in Japan.
She took it calmly and prepared for what she would have to do.
She changed money, rented a car, and even prepared another place to stay apart from the hotel
Wang Mingwan provided.
She understood well that this could get dangerous. So, she also knew that she had to know what kind
of person Momoko was.
“Yes, I will help you while you stay here.”
Haejin couldn’t understand that and asked, “Then, you are an agent of the NIS now?”
“Yes, but no. There is someone else who supervises me. However, you will not get to meet him while
you stay here.”
The first sentence was probably ‘yes and no’. Haejin now understood what was going on. She was
working for Haejin instead of being an agent hiding in Japan.
It was to stop the agent’s identity from being revealed. Haejin thought it made sense.
“Then, how did you come to Japan? I think your old boss wouldn’t have been happy about it.”
“I’ve been given a new ID here. No one knows I’m in Japan.”
She was confident, and it was reassuring.
“That’s good. Then, what’s the schedule?”
“Rest at the hotel today and go to Tokyo tomorrow. I will tell you the details in the evening.”
“And the buddha?”
She checked her right wrist that was near the wheel. There was an expensive wristwatch on it.
“It should have arrived by now. Our people will retrieve it and bring it here tomorrow.”
“Do you know how they acquired it?”
“I don’t know. That information hasn’t been permitted to me.”
That was a dry answer like that of a machine, but she only knew a limited number of expressions, so
she had no other option.
Haejin and Eunhae arrived at the hotel, unpacked, and spent time sightseeing leisurely. They ate
dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and was about to drink tea when Momoko came.
She was holding a big box that was about 50cm tall. Haejin could guess the buddha was inside.
“Let’s go up.”
Haejin took the box from Momoko and went up to his room with her. Momoko breathed a little heavily
as if she was tired. Her face was a little red. She then took out a credit card from her bag.
“You may spend as much as you want.”
“What? What is…”
“The government will pay?”
Haejin wasn’t sure if he could take it, but Eunhae quickly took the card instead and winked to Haejin.
“Please tell them we thank them.”
Momoko thought Eunhae taking the card was the same with Haejin taking it. She sat down on the
sofa in the living room and took out a pile of documents from her bag.
As Wang Mingwan had booked a 5-star hotel’s suite room, there was a separate living room for the
“This is what Director Wang Mingwan of China sent you.”
Haejin sat down and read. It was about other photos of the Terracotta Soldier and the detailed
information about the black market.”
“Just as I thought…”
The black-market merchant who had the Terracotta Soldier was Hanoda Sake, who worked for Ando
Haejin knew Hanoda Sake well, but he probably didn’t remember Haejin since he was very young
when they met.
“He has great power in the antiquity market of Tokyo, and he is the right-hand man of Ando Hadake,
who practically controls the market. He can move the yakuza, so you must be very careful.”
Haejin couldn’t really get used to Momoko’s awkward Korean, but he knew what he was worried
She didn’t know what kind of history was between Haejin and Ando Hadake, so of course, he worried.
Haejin couldn’t talk about the past and make her understand, so he tried to move on. Then, she took
out some things from her bag.
They were makeup tools.
“I will come in advance before you leave tomorrow. It is to make your face look different without
changing it much.”
“Oh, you mean disguising, right?”
“Okay then, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
What mattered was the information Wang Mingwan had sent, so there was nothing Haejin wanted
from Momoko. He made her leave.
After Eunhae saw her leave, she sat opposite to Haejin and talked grimly.
“I know Hanoda Sake.”
“You know him? How?”
“Sometimes, artifacts from Saeyeon Gallery were leased to Japan for exhibitions. The museum that
leased the most is the Nez Art Museum, and Hanoda Sake is its director.”
Haejin hadn’t known that. His father might have known, but Haejin thought he was just Ando Hadake’s
right-hand man who brought in artifacts from abroad.
“It is risky to approach Ando Hadake himself with the buddha.”
“He always has three appraisers appraise the artifact he wants to buy. But the problem is that they
don’t do it together, they take turns.”
As the buddha was real, a more complex process wasn’t a problem.
“Is that a problem?”
“Not usually, but now, yes. I heard that it takes at least a week for all three appraisers to appraise.”
Haejin had nothing urgent to take care of and was thinking he would go sightseeing if it would take
time, so he thought it wasn’t a problem.
“The problem is that we will have to stay at his hotel for more than a week. And we would not be able
to know what happens in the meantime.”
Haejin recalled something only then. There was a hotel where his father always stayed whenever he
came to Tokyo, and Haejin used to stay there when he was in Tokyo as well.
“Is that hotel’s name Marianne?”
“Yes. How do you know? It’s Marianne Hotel.”
Haejin had forgotten about that hotel, but now he remembered.
At the time, his father looked agitated whenever he was in Japan. Haejin found out it had been
because of Ando Hadake only later, and to think about it now, Marianne Hotel was where it had
Where Ando Hadake got him and hostage and threatened his father to take his artifacts…
“Hmm… I see.”
This was bad. Even if Hanoda Sake didn’t know Haejin’s face, Haejin couldn’t guess what would
happen, and he couldn’t take Eunhae to such a place.
However, Eunhae’s eyes sparkled as she continued.
“But Hanoda Sake has a young lover.”
“What? A lover?”
He was over 60, what the…
“I don’t know much about her, either. Hanoda Sake once mentioned her briefly when I came to Japan
to meet him, and he said she was enthusiastic about collecting antiques. What is important is that we
get close to Hanoda Sake, hear about the Terracotta Soldier from him, and check it. Then, we
shouldn’t start at the bottom but use his lover to get directly to him.”
“Great. Great idea! But would she like this buddha?”
“I told you, she is mad about antiques. Maybe that’s why Hanoda Sake likes her. He said so himself.
That he had never met a young person who looks for antiques with such passion like her… I was also
surprised to hear that, so I’m still remembering it. That young lover is an actress.”
That was surprising. A young actress loving antiques instead of luxurious goods…
“Then let’s do it.”
Haejin thought that was a great idea. And, he also thought he had been right to bring Eunhae. If it
hadn’t been for her, he would have met an unexpected problem.
Eunhae immediately went out, saying she will try to find Hanoda Sake’s lover through her Japanese
friends, and the next day, at breakfast, she was delighted to say she had taken the bait.
“They will come to see it around lunchtime.”
“I thought she was an actress. Isn’t she supposed to be busy?”
“She is an actress, but her best days have passed, so she isn’t as busy as she used to be. All the
better for us.”
After breakfast, Momoko came and helped with Haejin’s disguise with her unique dry accent.
“You become someone else.”
Haejin became someone completely different with the mustache, makeup that highlighted his
cheekbones, and the M-shaped hairline. Eunhae burst into laughter to see that.
They spent time discussing the plan again and, around lunchtime, Eunhae got a call.
“They will come up now.”
Eunhae told them the room number with a fluent Japanese. Then, Haejin suddenly wondered
“Which university did you graduate from? And what was your major?”
Momoko blinked and answered.
“I majored in art history at Waseda University. Why curious?”