e financial support, there's the question of how long it should last.
We would have to continue providing support for at least fifteen years if we wanted to wait until the current group of orphans became adults.
However…” Jo Gyu-Min groaned at length.
“…That doesn't mean Seongsim will stop accepting new orphans.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly nodded.

Jo Gyu-Min stubbed his cigarette out and continued, “The morally right thing would be to continue supporting the orphanage.
Unfortunately, a corporation doesn't function on a single person's whims.”

“I understand.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded again, no longer needing a further explanation.
“What I'm interested in now is…
It's to find a trustworthy hospital.”

Jo Gyu-Min tilted his head slightly.
“You want to change the hospital?”

Can you find the best hospital for a cancer patient to stay in?”

“In that case, how about transferring the director to Jaegyeong Hospital? She will be able to receive incomparably greater benefits than other hospitals.
For one, she will be treated as a VIP.”

“…Isn't there a hospital specializing in cancer care?”

Jo Gyu-Min sighed.
“Mister Jin-Ho, modern medical science cannot overcome Stage 4 stomach cancer.
If we're serious about treating her, then there's no other choice but to administer experimental drugs with unknown side effects.
However, even if we go through all that, the odds of achieving complete remission are still slim, while the patient might be subjected to even worse pain.”

“I see,” Kang Jin-Ho replied calmly.
That wasn't what he had been thinking about, anyway.
“I understand what you're trying to say.
For now, please focus on finding out more about transferring the patient to a new hospital.”

I'll confirm and call you as soon as possible.
If I remember correctly, our foundation's hospital should be fairly close by.”

“Thank you…”

“Is there anything else, Mister Jin-Ho?”

I'm also looking for someone to manage the orphanage.”

“But, as I told you earlier…”

“That's not what I meant.
I'm not looking for a manager, but a caretaker to look after the kids.
Yu-Min's doing that by himself at the moment.
The people who worked there seemed to have all left after Sister Yi collapsed.”

“Mm, I see.
If we're talking about people who will work in shifts for monthly salaries, I think we can find someone.”

“I'll leave it to you, but please hurry.
As for their wages, I'll take care of that, so please focus on finding suitable people.”

“Understood.” Jo Gyu-Min handed over a USB drive containing the relevant information.
“Here, this has the info you asked me about.
I wasn't sure if it's really necessary, but I brought it with me just in case.”

“Thank you.” Kang Jin-Ho bowed his head before climbing out of the car.
“Well, then.
Until next time.”

“Of course.
If you need anything, call me.” Jo Gyu-Min bade goodbye and drove away.

Kang Jin-Ho sighed deeply, then trudged back to where he had parked his Golden Elephant.



Kang Jin-Ho pedaled away on his bicycle; his thoughts were messier than before.

'Why do I feel so frustrated?'

Today was the first day of his leave, and he should be feeling chuffed, but all he could feel right now was bitterness, frustration, and dissatisfaction.
As if to the knot in his chest, Kang Jin-Ho pedaled even harder, and he found his mood improving just a little as refreshing winds buffeted him.

“Uwaaaah?! What was that?!” The driver of a car traveling at around sixty kilometers per hour freaked out after spotting a bicycle shooting past him.
“S-Should I check the black box or something?! What just happened here?”

Despite leaving behind a wake of countless freaked-out people, Kang Jin-Ho paradoxically had no idea what was happening behind him due to his speed.

After scything through the city at a breakneck pace for a while, he began reducing his speed as he got closer to his home.
His pedaling slowed down to a crawling pace.

'This isn't something I can resolve by myself.'

Kang Jin-Ho's brows furrowed deeply when he reached that conclusion.
He would have already taken care of a problem requiring brute strength.
Unfortunately, there were far too many things in this world that physical strength couldn't do anything about.


Kang Jin-Ho finally reached his home.
He stored his Golden Elephant in the garage and stepped outside, but his legs felt heavy and lethargic.
He raised his head and watched the sun setting over the Western skies.

Unlike the setting sun that remained resolutely the same whether it was the modern era or Zhongyuan, Kang Jin-Ho currently didn't possess even one-tenth of his former strength.
And no, it wasn't as simple as his lack of martial prowess.

The status Kang Jin-Ho had enjoyed back in Zhongyuan was incomparable to the modern era.
He could have changed the world with just one word from him.
Yet, now…
This sense of powerlessness was utterly devastating.

I can't do anything without others helping me.'

When he looked back, all the problems he had encountered after his return had only been resolved with Jaegyeong’s help.
Sure, he could have resorted to violence and vent his anger, but unleashing a tidal wave of unbearable societal pressure to utterly sink his opponents? It was impossible for him.

In addition, Kang Jin-Ho instinctively sensed that matters fixable through violence would only get rarer with time.
The more systematic a society became, the harder it would be for an individual to resolve matters with their own power.

Kang Jin-Ho stayed outside and stared at the distance in a daze, as he was lost in his thoughts.
His goal had always been about living an ordinary life, but now…
He knew the truth.

The 'ordinary life' was simply a person enduring the thunderstorm and moving on with their life.
Submitting to unfair pressures, never resisting your fate, and obediently accepting your spilled blood as a trial given to you by the heavens—that was what living an ordinary life entailed.

However, could Kang Jin-Ho accept all those things? Could he lower his head; no, grovel on the ground, for the sake of living an ordinary life when a powerful force like the government or a corporation suppressed his family?

'I'm just thinking whatever I want, huh.'

He had always been insisting on living an ordinary life, but Kang Jin-Ho began thirsting for power when he had to bow his head a little.
Was it because of human nature, or had he always been someone with a tendency to pursue the path of supremacy? For now, he couldn't tell, other than…

'This can't go on.'

The decision that would bring about a massive change to Kang Jin-Ho and the world at large was made on this very day.

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