e him gradually forget about it.

'In that sense, spending some time in the army wasn’t such a bad idea.'

Kang Jin-Ho was unable to see the importance of what seemed to be a mundane part of his life.
However, the military helped him realize his errors, so maybe the enlistment hadn’t been a total waste of his time, after all.

The Kang family continued to enjoy their reunion, and eventually, their time for departure arrived.


“There you go~.” Kang Eun-Yeong smiled and handed back the autographed notepad.

Jo Won-Gu quickly butted in before anyone else could.
“Miss Se-Ah! Please, can you sign my back?”

“Your back?” Kang Eun-Yeong tilted her head.

You can sign on the back of my tracksuit!” Jo Won-Gu turned around and presented his back.

Kang Eun-Yeong giggled and scribbled a large signature on Jo Won-Gu's back.

Unsurprisingly, a huge crowd of autograph hunters showed up, but Kang Jin-Ho and Kang Yu-Hwan didn't have to step up and organize a queue.
The chaos was promptly dealt with at the squad level.

“Ehhheeii! Can't you see you're bothering our Miss Se-Ah!”

“They came to visit a member of our squad, so how dare you butt in! Get out of here!”

“Sirs, you are not allowed beyond this point!”

Kang Eun-Yeong eventually finished handing out her autograph to the elated soldiers, and she waved her arms joyously at them.
“Please look after my oppa!”

The soldiers energetically cried out in response.

“Yes, don't worry about him, Miss Se-Ah!”

“We'll make sure everything’s perfect for him!”

Kang Eun-Yeong looked back at Kang Jin-Ho and poked her tongue at him.
“We're leaving now, but we'll be back soon.”

Come here for a second.” Kang Jin-Ho suddenly beckoned at her.

Kang Eun-Yeong faltered, but she still got closer to him.

He quietly murmured to her, “Don't forget what we discussed earlier.”

“…Do I really have to?”

“I won't repeat myself.”

Kang Eun-Yeong pouted deeply, but she still nodded.
Got it.”

“Trust me.
You can do those stuff later on, and it still won't be too late.”

“Okay.” Kang Eun-Yeong groaned, but she didn’t argue.
She was certainly unhappy, but knowing that Kang Jin-Ho had never been wrong, she decided to go along with his 'suggestion.’ Besides, her oppa wasn't the type to change his mind just because she argued back, anyway!

'He's so stuffy and inflexible!'

A man like Kang Jin-Ho couldn't have been from the modern era.
Funnily enough, though…
He wasn't that despicable, and that was Kang Eun-Yeong's problem.

Kang Yu-Hwan patted his son on the shoulder.
“Jin-Ho, take care of yourself in here.”

Baek Hyeon-Jeong spoke in a concerned voice next, “Don't forget to call us when you get your first leave, okay?”

“Yes, Mother.
Don't worry about me.
Drive safe.”

We'll be on our way now.”

Despite saying goodbye, Baek Hyeon-Jeong was less than willing to leave, so Kang Yu-Hwan had to practically drag her to the parked car.
Once she was seated, he turned his attention back to his son and grinned brightly.

“Yes, Father?”

“Don't forget.
Even if you don't agree with something, endure it.”

“I will…”

“I believe in you.” Kang Yu-Hwan waved his hand, then climbed into the driver's seat.

Kang Jin-Ho waited until his family's car drove past the guardhouse and then turned around to leave.
That was when Jo Won-Gu sidled up to him and wrapped his arm around the private's shoulders.

With a smooth smile on his lips, he addressed Kang Jin-Ho, “Listen, my brother-in-law.”


Kang Jin-Ho's expression distorted ever so slightly.

Failing to notice that subtle change, Jo Won-Gu continued, “Military life is pretty hard, isn't it? Wanna stop by at the PX with me?”[1]

Kang Jin-Ho replied stiffly, “No, I'm fine.”

“Aren't you… uh, hungry?”

I had my fill earlier.” Kang Jin-Ho slipped out of Jo Won-Gu's arm and hurriedly walked away toward the barracks.

“Uh-huh! Wait, Brother-in-law! Let's go together, shall we?!”

Kang Jin-Ho's steps accelerated just a little bit when he heard that.


Kang Jin-Ho's daily life in the military didn't present many challenges to him.
As a matter of fact, he didn't encounter any notable troubles at all, which was totally against everyone's expectations.
However, that was a rather obvious outcome.

The so-called troubles usually arose from people and relationships they had with others.
However, troubles in the military usually started with the junior soldiers who couldn't take care of their duties properly.
It was understandable, as the newbie soldiers still didn't know how the military operated, so they couldn't pull their weight just yet.

This situation turned into a problem because not many senior soldiers were patient enough to overlook the mistakes their juniors had made and guide them until they got their duties right.

One would always be under pressure to do everything right in the military.
At the same time, juniors' failings would be blamed on the seniors for the lack of proper guidance.
No wonder their patience would start running thin no matter how good-natured they were.
Repeat this situation ad nauseam, and eventually, one’d lose your cool.

The vicious cycle of a rigid and closed-off society repeated itself relentlessly in the military.
One would often see a soldier becoming a lot mellower once they become an officer and start wielding some power.
That was because being an officer meant they had escaped from the neverending vicious cycle.

In that sense, Kang Jin-Ho would never fall victim to this vicious cycle simply because…

Seong Tae-Ho called out to Kang Jin-Ho in a spirited voice.
“Jin-Ho! Did you input the firing data?”

“Yes, sir,” Kang Jin-Ho replied expressionlessly.

“Did you clean the barrel?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What about the gun platform? Did you clean that, too?”

“It's already done, sir.”

Seong Tae-Ho's voice steadily lost its previous vigor.
“Did you, uh, pull out the weeds, too?”

“Yes, sir.”

“…Is there anything you haven't done yet?”

Kang Jin-Ho replied earnestly, “I'm currently searching for it, sir.”

He had already finished all his assigned duties and had even cleaned the squad's barrack.
He even considered cleaning the seniors' lockers while he was still in the mood.
The witness to this insane productivity rate, Seong Tae-Ho, could only stand there and ponder just what he had been doing in the military.

Seong Tae-Ho cautiously asked, “Jin-Ho, is this really your first time in the army?”

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head slightly.
“Are there people who enlist twice, sir?”

“…You haven’t seen them on TV?”

“No, sir.
I don't watch TV.”

Seong Tae-Ho groaned while staring at this monstrous newbie before his eyes.
He felt so small and insignificant compared to Kang Jin-Ho.

Truth be told, he genuinely wanted to look after Kang Jin-Ho since the kid was his direct junior and all.
With how things were going, however, maybe it shouldn't be Seong Tae-Ho looking after Kang Jin-Ho, but the other way around.

'I guess that's why the seniors are happy to have Jin-Ho around…?'

Jeon Hyeok-Su was openly on the fence about Kang Jin-Ho on the first few days, but now? He was full of friendly smiles and a happy-go-lucky attitude whenever Kang Jin-Ho was around.
This change of heart was different from Jo Won-Gu's, who had a ready-made excuse of his crush on Kang Eun-Yeong to blame for his current friendly attitude.
Meanwhile, Jeon Hyeok-Su was genuinely happy to see Kang Jin-Ho—that was it.

Then again, it felt like Kang Jin-Ho's introduction to the squad had halved the workload of the senior soldiers, so maybe, their happiness shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Seong Tae-Ho scratched the back of his head.
“Hey, Jin-Ho.
Are you done preparing for your leave?”

“Sir? Do I have to prepare for something like that?”

“We'll be receiving guerrilla warfare training as soon as you come back, you know? It's gonna be tough for us.”

“Guerrilla training, you say?”

It's my first time too, so I'm nervous.”

Kang Jin-Ho flatly replied to Seong Tae-Ho's worried words, “But, sir.
It's just training.
What's there to worry about?”

“…That only applies to you, Jin-Ho.” Seong Tae-Ho groaned once again as sorrow began to creep into his heart for some reason.

PX, or post exchange, is a type of retail store found in Korean army bases.
It's also called base exchange (BX) in other armies. ☜

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