qi to break down the alcohol in his system.
His highly-developed body would automatically do that for him as soon as it detected any traces of alcohol.

Drinking an entire barrel of booze could potentially make him tipsy, but his gut would burst at the seams well before that could happen.

Park Yu-Min suddenly yelled at Kang Jin-Ho, “That's why you should've treated her better, you know!”

“But, I'm sure I never treated her poorly in the past.”

“Well, you're not wrong, but…” Park Yu-Min spat out a lengthy groan.

Even he could tell that the problem between Kang Jin-Ho and Han Se-Yeon wasn’t about who messed it up first.
It was simply a matter of incompatibility.

Han Se-Yeon wished for Kang Jin-Ho to pay her undivided attention just like any other boy would have.
Unfortunately, Kang Jin-Ho just wasn't that kind of a guy.
Her one-sided decision to wait was based on the premise of Kang Jin-Ho eventually seeing the light, but he was an unchanging person.

What happened was merely the seed of discord that had been planted at the beginning finally blooming—that was all there was to it.

Kang Jin-Ho's reaction was quite unusual, though.

Park Yu-Min looked weirdly at his friend and asked, “Jin-Ho…
Aren't you sad about this?”

“Sad, you say?”


Kang Jin-Ho carefully thought about his current state before replying to his friend, “Rather than sad, my emotion seems to be closer to regret.”

“I thought as much…” Park Yu-Min could only tut at that reply.

During his previous conversation with Han Se-Yeon, Park Yu-Min realized just how indifferent Kang Jin-Ho was as a person.
He wouldn’t open his heart to anyone, and he never expected others to do anything for him in return.
He just accepted people as they were and went with that.

However, that wasn’t how relationships worked.
People in relationships would expect their partners to change so that they could be more compatible with each other.

'I guess that's why Se-Yeon couldn't hold on.'

Park Yu-Min wondered if he should have intervened and stopped that girl from getting too invested, but…

'No, wait.
That's not right.'

It would be bizarre to stop a couple wanting to date under the pretext of incompatibility now, wouldn't it? Park Yu-Min told himself that this was the inevitable result—something bound to happen sooner or later.

Kang Jin-Ho glanced at his friend and asked, “Do you think I did something wrong?”

“Mm, well…” Park Yu-Min felt troubled.
He wasn't sure how to answer that.

If someone else acted like Kang Jin-Ho, then Park Yu-Min would have emphatically said, “Yes, you messed it up.” However, Kang Jin-Ho was a bit of a unique case.

For one, Kang Jin-Ho was an indifferent, unchanging person, wasn't he? Besides, Han Se-Yeon knew what Kang Jin-Ho was like, too.
She believed she could handle him, only to run out of patience and energy toward the end.
In that case, was it right to blame Kang Jin-Ho for being so…

“Well, you two were just incompatible, that's all.”

“That's an abstract reply,” Kang Jin-Ho muttered as he softly sighed.

It was too late to think about it now, but…
If Han Se-Yeon asked him whether he held any special feelings toward her or not, Kang Jin-Ho wouldn't be able to give her a clear answer.
Excluding his family members, the only other 'special' woman in his life would be Han Se-Yeon.
There was no denying that.
However, if he was asked whether that 'specialness' was due to a romantic feeling?

'I'm not sure…'

He couldn't deny it, but he couldn't affirm it either.
He just liked her as a person and enjoyed hanging out with her.
However, he had never felt any noticeable obsession or a desire to possess her.
Kang Jin-Ho had once heard that when someone was madly in love, that person would care about their object of love more than their family.
However, Kang Jin-Ho's family had always been his number one priority, not Han Se-Yeon.

Since that was the case, what was he supposed to call the feeling he had?

Park Yu-Min tapped Kang Jin-Ho on the shoulder.
“Jin-Ho, listen.”


“I'm not just making things up here.
You two really are incompatible.”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
Something still didn't feel quite right, though.

Out of all the non-family member women he knew, Kang Jin-Ho was closest to Han Se-Yeon.
Yet, he wasn't compatible with her? Wasn't that basically the same as there being no women under the heavens compatible with him?

Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes.
“Yu-Min, be honest with me.”


“Was I at fault?”

Park Yu-Min silently stared at his friend for a moment or two before opening his mouth.
“When a new child joins the orphanage…”

“…?” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head slightly.
Why was Park Yu-Min suddenly bringing up the orphanage?

“At first, everyone feels uncomfortable and wary around the new kid.
Especially those who need to stay in the same room.”

“I see…”

“But give them time, and they will become friends eventually.
Do you know why?”


“Because they change themselves to fit in.”


Park Yu-Min sighed before continuing, “Humans are supposed to change themselves to fit in with each other.
If you put two toy-loving kids in one playroom, they'll start fighting each other to decide who gets to play with their toys at first.
However, they eventually learn how to share.
Just like that, people will give up a little of themselves to fit in with others they come across in their lives.”


“Jin-Ho, the way I see it, you kind of suck at doing that.
Let me ask you this.
Have you ever given up something of yours for Han Se-Yeon? Have you ever tried to do something for her?”

“…No, I don't think I have.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
He might have accompanied her to her home a few times, but other than that? It was safe to say that he had done nothing for her until now.

Park Yu-Min nodded and continued, “You two not being compatible isn't so far off the truth, you know? The thing is, though, no two people in this world will instantly click perfectly the moment they meet.
Se-Yeon showed you where you could fit in with her, and you simply didn't even bother trying.
Eventually, she realized she just couldn't keep on trying to fit in with you.”

“Are you saying that the problem is with me not changing?”

“Well, not exactly, but…” Park Yu-Min rubbed his forehead before emptying the soju glass in front of him.
He let out a guttural groan after the liquor burned his throat, then stared at his friend's face for some time.
He eventually put the empty glass down and spoke, “Maybe, that's the better way for you, Jin-Ho.
Just stay in your lane and wait for someone who fits in with you.
I mean, the 'Kang Jin-Ho' I know has all the qualifications for it, anyway.
However, if you don't make a move, no one will also come to you, either.”

“Sounds difficult, then…”

“Yeah, it is…”

Kang Jin-Ho had gained a renewed appreciation of how challenging the relationships between people could be.
While mulling over this subject, he slowly brought his soju glass over to his lips.
As for the clear liquor looking so sorrowful for some reason today, it probably had something to do with Kang Jin-Ho's state of mind.

'It's difficult…'

Knocked back, worn down, put through a wringer, and he even had to agonize…
But today, Kang Jin-Ho learned a new lesson about the world.

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