Alternative Names: 엠파이어 오브 더 링
Genres: Action, Fantasy
Empire of the Ring is a Korean modern fantasy epic adventure novel that sets in the nations of the Caucasus mountain range which separates Europe and Asia. The nations of Caucasus are regions of many conflicts over territories, ethnicities, and religions. The story begins as Lee Youngho, a warm-hearted Korean merchandiser, takes a business trip to a disputed territory of the Caucasus nations to sell Korean unmanned security systems only to get misconstrued as a spy and caught by Armenian militia. Youngho eventually gets involved with the militia and CIA to help out people of the regions from conflicts and works toward a birth of a new empire in Caucasus.
- Chapter 1: An Offer Received After a Beating (1)*Disclaimer: The following contains depictions of religion and ethnic disputes. We do not support the author’s views, we are only translating and editing the novel. This fictional novel is inspired by real-world people, places, and events — the author has taken these people, places, and events and embellished them as characters with conversations and backgrounds as done in fiction.
- Chapter 2: Gunshots Fired in Nagorno-Karabakh (2)Fearing the escalation of war which might drag other nations around Caucasus, the international opinion pressured Azerbaijan to avoid war. Armenia was not in the position to declare war either because Russia was sparing any comments for supporting Armenia.
- Chapter 3: Gunshots Fired in Nagorno-Karabakh (1)The season has just changed to winter. Baku was such windy a city that people needed windbreakers in order to survive the winter. That was why the retailers of Chunho Merchant were busy selling clothes ordered from Korea.
- Chapter 4: An Offer Received After a Beating (2)Youngho was abducted in a quiet café in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. The city was not populated like South Korea, where the streets and restaurants were thoroughly watched by closely set-up CCTVs. Youngho’s disappearance could be easily called a mystery if they wanted to.
- Chapter 5: An Offer Received After a Beating (3)As soon as Youngho picked up the phone, he could hear the person on the other side of the line gushing out curses.
- Chapter 6: CIA (1)The phone next to the bed rang loudly.
- Chapter 7: CIA (2)“I’m not going to take back what I said. Please let me know what I will be doing.”
- Chapter 8: CIA (3)Park Jongil had worried for nothing.
- Chapter 9: City of Wind, Baku (1)With a population of over 2.1 million people, Baku was the largest city near the Caspian coast. Located at the edge of the Caucasus mountain range, the capital of Azerbaijan was a city of beautiful women and night views.
- Chapter 10: City of Wind, Baku (2)Karajan, the office lady of the Baku branch, continuously tried to talk Youngho into opening the brand’s directly operated store. She wanted to manage the store on her own.
- Chapter 11: City of Wind, Baku (3)Youngho planned on going to Korea for New Year’s Day with his friends who were working as drill instructors in Stepanakert.
- Chapter 12: On the Move (1)“Where did you steal these flight tickets from, Youngho?”
- Chapter 13: On the Move (2)Youngho visited the headquarters of the H Porcelain and Dongdaemun clothing factories to get acquainted with his business partners, and also to discuss about the taxation processes. The CEOs of the clothing factories pampered Youngho as a VIP partner. Youngho was almost like a savior since it was hard for clothing factories to meet a business partner that accurately counted and paid the material and designing prices. Moreover, in order to bring in business, they often had to pay high costs to bribe traders.
- Chapter 14: On the Move (3)Mustafa, who was drinking a canned beer that Youngho offered, asked Youngho directly, “I want to know what Margos had requested of me. Before you say anything, I’m telling you that I’m just a normal businessman living in Turkey.”
- Chapter 15: A Destined Encounter in Istanbul (1)Youngho, Jongil, and Mustafa visited Ortakoy flea market on a crowded Sunday. Ortakoy flea market was an outdoor market where people sold used products.
- Chapter 16: A Destined Encounter in Istanbul (2)The next day, Youngho had to be a photographer for Park Jongil, following after him everywhere.
- Chapter 17: The Secret of the Ring and the Leather Shoes (1)Youngho visited Poti Sea Port in Georgia.
- Chapter 18: The Secret of the Ring and the Leather Shoes (2)Edward of US CIA was delighted to hear that Youngho signed a large land leasing agreement with the Azerbaijan government. It was Edward’s achievement as well because he had assigned Youngho as a field agent in Baku.
- Chapter 19: The Secret of the Ring and the Leather Shoes (3)Sharim’s friends shrugged their shoulders as they talked in Turkish. Then one of the guys entered the house and came out with a girl.
- Chapter 20: Fatima, the girl from Istanbul (1)While waiting to hear from Mustafa, Youngho focused on learning Turkish in his hotel room. He wanted to speak to her in Turkish when he met her.
- Chapter 21: Fatima, the girl from Istanbul (2)In the morning, Youngho woke up to the sound of someone knocking at the door in haste. It was Fatima. Realizing that she had slept through the whole night without visiting her sister in hospital, she was flustered.
- Chapter 22: Fatima, the girl from Istanbul (3)Mustafa was thankful for Youngho who not only worked for his country but also tried to take care of Mustafa’s financial difficulties. Mustafa had been feeling guilty for not being able to help his own country as much as he thought he should be, but since he started helping Youngho’s work, he felt rewarded as he was indirectly helping his own country. Youngho was his tie that enabled him to give back to his country.
- Chapter 23: Another Family (1)Youngho was at a used car dealer shop.
- Chapter 24: Another Family (2)“It’s me. Were you asleep?”
- Chapter 25: Another Family (3)Zeynep’s legs were shaking at the immigration office. She realized that she was now in a foreign country, and she got worse after seeing a few people being escorted to interrogation room by policemen.
- Chapter 26: Country of Fire, Azerbaijan (1)Youngho smiled as he watched Gerhardt humming to himself as he drove. Gerhardt finally looked relieved after the public opinion turned to their favor.
- Chapter 27: Country of Fire, Azerbaijan (2)It became chilly soon after the sunset, Youngho lit the fireplace on the first floor and turned on the lights using an electric generator. Because the building was not completed yet, he was using a power generator for electricity. He used oil for the fireplace and generator as much as he wanted, since the gas price was cheaper than drinking water in Baku, since it was in an oil-producing country.
- Chapter 28: Country of Fire, Azerbaijan (3)Two months passed since the Fatima siblings came to Baku.
- Chapter 29: Gunshots Fired in Nagorno-Karabakh (3)Youngho headed to Main Police Department as soon as he reached Baku. Seeing Youngho arrive, the director took him to a reception room to listen to the news about Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Chapter 30: Night in Baku (1)The next day, the morning news reported about the spontaneous fires from last night. They did not know who was behind the fire. Youngho felt satisfied because the retailers requested the mafia to get rid of Youngho first. Youngho thought that his revenge was not as harsh as what they intended to do, even though they lost all of their money.
- Chapter 31: Night of Baku (2)Youngho visited the Main Police Department and the director greeted him with bloodshot eyes. The police department must have been busy working day and night to find the arsonist. With a little guilt in his heart, Youngho invited all the policemen to a nice dinner. He wanted to make it up for getting them busy over his crime and he also had not thanked the director yet for using him as an agency to trade in combat rations. They did not reject his offer and ate out together. After treating them well, Youngho drove to his farm.
- Chapter 32: Night of Baku (3)The siblings stayed in the living quarters due to the sudden temperature drops. Thankfully, the electric wires that Youngho installed used as well in Korea were working well and kept the inside warm that they wore short sleeves in the building. Electricity was cheap like water due to the natural gas power plants, so they used electricity as much as they wanted.
- Chapter 33: Missing Seoul, and a Misunderstanding (1)“Oppa, the seat is so much bigger than the seats on the plane from Istanbul.”
- Chapter 34: Missing Seoul, and a Misunderstanding (2)After hectic schedules in Seoul, Youngho was on the plane returning to Baku. The gang who spent the five days in Korea in a tightly arranged schedule was already asleep on the plane. It was only Fatima and Youngho who were awake, they were reading some documents together. It was a model application form of a well-known Korean model agency. When walking in the streets of Myeongdong, Fatima was caught in the company’s staff’s eyes and was held by him for a long time, he tried to scout her as a model for his company and left her an application form in her hands. She was not as tall as other models but the staff must have liked her eye-catching appearance. Youngho was feeling relieved that she did not have any choice anyway.
- Chapter 35: Missing Seoul, and a Misunderstanding (3)“Youngho, why are you so busy these days? You never visit us anymore.”
- Chapter 36: Mafias of Sumqayit (1)The farm, which had been quiet all winter, was animated with the appearance of Park Jongil. With his natural charisma, he had quickly developed a close camaraderie with Gerhardt’s family, exchanging jokes with them all the time. He had been kissing up to Gerhardt’s father, who was Karajan’s uncle, in such an obvious way that it made Youngho cringe whenever he saw them together. In order to earn Karajan’s affection, he was targeting her family. The Fatima siblings also favored him.
- Chapter 37: Mafias of Sumqayit (2)The café was not so busy in the afternoon hours and only a few tables were filled with some men. They looked like mafias disguised as guests. Full of cigarette smoke, the room was not ventilated well, so Youngho stayed near the open entrance door for a while. Even though the bartender yelled at Youngho to close the door to prevent heat from escaping, Youngho waited a little while to ventilate the room before the door. Then he held the business card and yelled out the name on it, “Rodion?” A man who was sitting at the inner side of the café raised his hand, inviting Youngho to his table.
- Chapter 38: Mafias of Sumqayit (3)There is a proverb: ‘When fortune knocks upon the door, open it widely.’ Applying it to Jongil, Youngho decided to keep supporting Jongil when Karajan seemed to also be interested in him. Jongil needed to be matched with a woman for him to stop looking for the second Fatima. When they returned to Baku, Youngho asked Karajan to show Jongil around as a sign of appreciation for today. Jongil, leaping with joy in his mind, followed her.
- Chapter 39: Mafias of Sumqayit (4)An elk the size of a horse was looking for grass about thirty meters ahead. Youngho had never seen a deer this big before. It had the aura of a carnivorous animal rather than an herbivore. It was a breed that only lived around Northern Europe, and it also lived around the lakes scattered in the alpine regions of Caucasus Mountains. It liked to roam around alone. Its antlers were as wide as a big bucket stretched out to each side, giving an overwhelming intimidation. This elk had such strong kicks that even the wolves would not dare attack it carelessly.
- Chapter 40: Park Jongil’s Decision (1)“Nikolai, this is Lee Youngho. Your henchmen are under my custody. I assume you have a lot to say?”