Volume 8 / Chapter 274
People of the lowest class who are called the dalit or hari kap in Hindi.
People who are so low that they are outside the Indian caste system. This means that they are treated like beasts or livestock, no, even less than that since people are not believed to be unclean just because they touched animals. These people are banished as though they have a contagious disease.
These dalits are usually a group of workers who take on the work despised by Indian society like corpse treatment, leather repair, street cleaning, and toilet waste disposal. They face contempt, prejudice, and religious, cultural, and social discrimination in their lives of poverty.
In the past, they regularly had their eyes taken out just for looking at sacred scriptures, their tongues cut off for talking about the scriptures, and any body parts that touched the scriptures cut off.
Though a lot of these inhuman discrimination and acts have disappeared in modern times, there are still remnants of unimaginable discrimination.
There is a child who lost his vision when his teacher beat him just for drinking water at school, and they are not even able to receive the lunch rationed out by the state.
These children have lunch by eating the other children’s leftovers even though they are students of the same school.
Dalits need to take on manure treatment, but they cannot use machine but must use their bare hands. They also need to clean out manholes, but a lot of people die due to toxic gas.
These are not old stories, but stories of today in the 21st century.
The interpreter did not allow Jun Hyuk to touch the little girl because of her social rank. And before the interpreter could finish speaking, dozens of rough men were already coming toward Jun Hyuk’s group. There were so many of them that the bodyguards looked tense.
The scumbags looked at the interpreter and spoke roughly.
“They say that we should leave if we’re not going to give the children money.”
The terrified interpreter was barely to speak.
“Tell them we’ll meet with this child’s parents.”
Jun Hyuk spoke with his teeth clenched. If he could, he wanted to kill all of these people on the spot.
“What? Parents? Didn’t you hear what I just said? The parents already sold them.”
“Don’t talk nonsense and hurry up and tell them!”
Before the interpreter could relay Jun Hyuk’s entire message, the men burst out in laughter.
“They say they’ll sell this girl if you like her. They’re asking for $10,000.”
“What? $10,000? These fucking assholes!”
The interpreter was able to understand up to the word ‘dollar,’ but unable to understand the rest. The interpreter does not know Korean.
Jun Hyuk breathed roughly, thought of people who would be able to kill these guys for him, and yelled to Tara.
“Tara. Call the White House. I need to talk to the President.”
“Jun, don’t do this. Don’t make this bigger…”
Before Tara could finish speaking, Jun Hyuk shouted,
“Shut up and do as I say! Who else can help me right now?”
Tara took out her phone with an anxious expression. She became even more nervous when she thought of the time difference. It must be the middle of the night in Washington.
“Oh, Maestro. Why are you calling me all of a sudden? I was actually trying to decide whether I should call you or not. I mastered the songs up to the 5th one. Ha ha.”
The President spoke over the phone in a pleased voice.
“Mr. President. I am calling about an urgent matter. I ask you to forgive the rudeness.”
Jun Hyuk pushed down his anger and spoke in a well-mannered tone first.
“No, it’s nothing. A call from you would always be welcome, even if we were in the middle of war. Ha ha.”
“I have a personal favor to ask of you, would it be alright?”
The President stopped laughed and became silent before speaking calmly.
“First, tell me what it is. I’ll decide if it’s alright or not after that.”
Jun Hyuk gave a brief account of his current situation. That bastards who cut off young children’s hands and feet are bustling here.
“I see. Then what is the favor?”
“I don’t care whether it is the Indian Prime Minister or the head of the police, just anyone who can catch these bastards in front of me.”
“Well… Is that all? I was nervous thinking you were going to ask me to launch a nuclear missile or something. Ha ha.”
Even as Jun Hyuk heard the President laughing, he felt nervous. But he heard the President’s refreshing response right away.
“I’ve got it. I’ll do that personal favor for you. It seems like this is urgent, so I’ll take action right away.”
“Thank you, Mr. President.”
He heard another voice before Jun Hyuk could even finish his greeting. It seems the President was connected over speakerphone. And the voice he hears now is not the President’s. It must be a staff member.
“Maestro, will you tell me your current location?”
Jun Hyuk told him what the compass on his phone said.
“Don’t move and stay in that spot, please.”
When the call ended, the interpreter had become pale and was looking at Jun Hyuk. Goodness, to mobilize the American President.
Jun Hyuk looked at the interpreter and spoke coldly.
“You can go too. I don’t even want to look at you. What? I’ll suffer if I touch the child? Your face is dirtier and uglier!”
As soon as Jun Hyuk spoke, a bodyguard dragged the interpreter away. That bodyguard’s face was distorted in anger as well.
After Jun Hyuk’s bodyguards and the rough men held off in confrontation for about 10 minutes, a loud helicopter and siren sounds rang with the arrival of dozens of motorcycles.
They used the fastest method of transportation because of the terrible traffic jam. A special task force in the helicopter landed on the ground and the police on the motorcycles ran over.
They aimed their rifles and blockaded the surrounding area, with a middle-aged man in a suit running over. He saw Jun Hyuk standing in the middle of his suited bodyguards, and took his hat off.
“Are you hurt anywhere? I’m from the Mumbai office. I’m Commander Farhan Akhtar. I received an urgent call that you are in danger.”
Commander Akhtar introduced himself in fluent English as he looked over Jun Hyuk’s body.
“First, please take care of those guys.”
Jun Hyuk gestured to the swarm of rough men. Their faces were severely distorted.
“Leave it to us. But beyond that, it’d be best for you to leave this place. We’ll escort you to your hotel. But this child?”
The little girl was frightened by the sound of the helicopter and sirens, and held tightly to Jun Hyuk’s pants.
“I’d like to protect her for a while. I’ll tell you in detail later. And Commander, are you also averse to this child because of her social standing?”
Jun Hyuk tested the Commander who was trying to help him. He became strangely sensitive while looking at the poor child.
“Hm. You’re saying she’s a dalit? I’m embarrassed that you saw the bad habits left over in our culture.”
Jun Hyuk’s face flushed red with the Commander’s courteous words.
“Oh, no. I was harsh, forgive me.”
“Maestro. Let’s talk about stuff like that slowly, and let’s start moving first. With this little girl.”
The Commander took the little girl’s hand and showed effort to calm her down.
Jun Hyuk’s group arrived at their hotel with a police escort.
“Maestro, relax here. I’ll take care of what happened today and call you.”
“Yes, thank you. I’ll be waiting for your call.”
The Commander saluted Jun Hyuk and quickly went back.
Tara took fast measures to find a hotelier who could speak in English perfectly, and she and a maid took the little girl shivering in fear into the bathroom.
The girl sat in the bathtub full of warm water and when she heard the language she was familiar with and the hotel maid’s touch, her fear began to subside little by little. Before they knew it, there was even the sound of giggling and playing with the water.
There was no way to know whether it is because she is a child or because it is her nature, but she quickly started adjusting to the sudden change in environment. She seemed to be rather enjoying it.
The girl bathed, changed into new clothes, and started to eat the food that the maid brought her, completely leaving her fear behind her and filling her empty stomach. Her face lit up with joy.
Jun Hyuk watched her bright face with satisfaction, and picked up the receiver.
“Mr. President. Thank you for listening to my strange favor. It was figured out well thanks to you.”
“Maestro, can you tell me exactly what’s going on? I asked the Indian office to help you because you were in danger… but it seems that wasn’t the actual situation.”
Jun Hyuk smiled brightly and told the President what he just did.
“You basically rescued me. I discovered a little girl who is like me, or maybe even rarer to find than I am. We’re together right now.”
“What? Someone similar to you, Maestro? You don’t mean… How could that be?”