Descent of the Demon Master
“I'd like to tie up the matter of some loose ends before I go back, you see.”
“I'm guessing you’re referring to the Seongsim Orphanage's matter?”
“Yes.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, then decided that he needed to explain further.
“The actions we took were based on the premise of the orphanage director making a full recovery.
However, I fear there will be an issue with the orphanage's ownership after she passes away.
Aside from that, there could be other issues to worry about.”
“Yes, I agree that there will be issues.”
“I thought it'd be a good idea to discuss them with you as soon as possible.
My apologies for bothering you so early in the morning.”
“N-no, no need to apologize.” Jo Gyu-Min was taken aback and hurriedly waved his hands.
“This is a part of my job, after all.”
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly nodded.
Jo Gyu-Min cleared his throat.
“In that case…
What are your thoughts moving forward?”
Kang Jin-Ho took a sip of the warm coffee and leisurely replied, “Actually, I haven't really given it much thought.”
“I'm sorry?” Jo Gyu-Min tilted his head, confused.
Kang Jin-Ho had come to see him about the orphanage's matter, yet he hadn't thought much about it?
Kang Jin-Ho clarified himself.
“I don't want to take the lead on things I have no idea about.
Employing a professional is a better way to handle this, I think.”
“Ah, yes…” Jo Gyu-Min slowly nodded to express his agreement.
As a man tasked with administrative work, he often had to take a long way around to stick to the orders from above, even though he knew of far better ways to go about those things.
Kang Jin-Ho put the cup down and asked, “You are still holding on to my bank card, yes?”
“Use that when you're in need of the funds.
I'll trust you to handle it.”
“Uhm, excuse me, Mister Jin-Ho.”
Jo Gyu-Min spoke in a troubled voice, “Do you know how much cash an ATM can dispense in a day?”
“…There's a limit to that?”
“It sounds like you've never withdrawn money before.” Jo Gyu-Min could only smile wryly at that.
Then again, Kang Jin-Ho had probably never had a reason to draw more than a million won in his entire life.
No wonder he had no idea about it.
“Until now, the level of financial support wasn't as big, so I could have taken care of it by swiping your card, Mister Jin-Ho.
Now that the issue involves the ownership, I need to be able to make direct transfers.
This means I have to manage your bank account.
Will that be fine with you?”
Please do that.”
“Mister Jin-Ho, this is not something you can consent to so easily.
Don't forget that your account contains a large wealth deposited by Chairman Hwang.
And you're about to entrust such a thing to someone else.”
Kang Jin-Ho replied without a hint of concern, “I don't mind that.”
“Do you trust me that much?”
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly stared at Jo Gyu-Min before answering, “I do trust you, but let's say I trust myself more.”
Jo Gyu-Min slightly tilted his head.
“What do you mean?”
A vague smile crept up on Kang Jin-Ho's lips.
“If you know what I'm like, even by a little, you wouldn't spend my money on unnecessary things.
At least, that's what I believe.”
“Ah, hahaha…” Jo Gyu-Min laughed at that, but his laughter gradually faded away.
'Well, this is kind of odd…'
The 'Kang Jin-Ho' Jo Gyu-Min knew wasn't the type to say such things.
Kang Jin-Ho would have normally said, “I trust you,” while displaying a certain level of detachment to money.
Some things about this conversation didn't make sense, but Jo Gyu-Min thought it wasn’t his place to argue.
He would have to chalk this down to Kang Jin-Ho's mental attitude experiencing a shift of some kind.
Jo Gyu-Min nodded.
I'll do as you say.”
Have a good day.”
“You need to give me a certificate of authorization as well as access to your OTP.”
“…What are those?”
“Don't you know how to bank online? You know, internet banking?” Jo Gyu-Min groaned after seeing the confused look on Kang Jin-Ho's face, then pushed himself off the couch.
It seemed the next item on his itinerary involved taking this caveman to a bank branch.
Kang Jin-Ho was currently driving his car.
Earlier in the day, he and Jo Gyu-Min went to his bank and tried to apply for this 'internet banking' thing.
However, the bank teller freaked out after confirming the customer information and immediately summoned the branch manager, which led to a minor inconvenience of getting dragged to the bank's VIP room, but things were eventually resolved favorably.
Kang Jin-Ho had to admit that he was a total moron in matters like this.
He vaguely remembered expertly using modern amenities during his first life, but the time he had spent in Zhoungyan seemed to have taken its toll on him.
Nowadays, anything new and fresh seemed indecipherable to him.
“Then again, I'm as old as…”
Strictly speaking, he and Hwang Jeong-Hu weren't that far-off in terms of age.
In that case, Kang Jin-Ho's struggles didn't seem so out of place.
Unfortunately, Kang Jin-Ho was so nonchalantly telling himself something that would have made Hwang Jeong-Hu vomit blood, as the old man was surprisingly good at adapting to new technologies and ideas!
Kang Jin-Ho gently depressed the brake pedal as his thoughts intensified.
He only had a limited time left, and it seemed his schedule would remain really tight until the end of his leave.
The thing was, though, the really tight thing wasn't his time.
“Uwaaaah?!” Lee Dong-Sik stomped on his brake pedal with everything he had and began swearing nonstop at the white vehicle in front of him.
“Uwaaah?! Don't step on the brake like that, you motherf*cker!”
That white car was so cool and scary to Lee Dong-Sik.
If it had been parked and unmoving, that low-slung body and sculpted white body panels would have been a marvel to behold.
However, the story would change drastically with it driving on the road, like how it was doing right in front of his eyes!
“Why?! Why does a car like that have to drive around now?!”
There was no rule about when certain types of cars were allowed on the road, but Lee Dong-Sik still had to swear loudly nonetheless.
His own ride was a popular locally-made midsize sedan with lots of prestige, but it was as good as a cow-pulled wagon compared to that white vehicle.
“I, I gotta change lanes…”
Lee Dong-Sik scanned his surroundings, but he found it difficult to change lanes as both sides of the road were interspersed with too many other vehicles.
He even drove at least twenty meters away from the white vehicle, but not a single other road user decided to take advantage of the gap.
Even though they dared to honk their horns all the time!
“…Well, at least that car's rear-end is a killer, so there's that.”
Any hot-blooded male would feel their heart racing from that white car's rear-end design.
What an unfortunate thing this was, then, as it felt like the rest of his internal organs were also racing out of his mind right now! Even a slight trace of light coming from those fancy brake lights was enough to make Lee Dong-Sik feel like a huge wall had suddenly jutted up from the ground one millimeter in front of his nose!
It didn't matter how light a contact he made with that alien mothership-looking car; the tiniest mistake from Lee Dong-Sik would lead to him slaving away for the rest of his life just to pay for the damage!
“Bloody hell, I'm too scared to drive here…”
To make matters worse, the person driving that white car seemed to be in a weird mood.
For no reason whatsoever, he would occasionally touch the brakes.
Sometimes, he would slip through some of the narrowest gaps imaginable without a moment's hesitation.
“…I better stay back even further.”
Lee Dong-Sik increased his following distance from twenty to thirty meters, yet no one took advantage of that.
While tearing up, Lee Dong-Sik drove his car even slower than before.
The road users behind Lee Dong-Sik cruelly honked their horns at him without knowing the torture he was going through.
However, Lee Dong-Sik adamantly believed that being cursed at was infinitely better than risking his luck with an Aventador’s rear-end.
'Mm? It's kinda noisy behind me, isn't it?'
Were Korean roads always this noisy? Kang Jin-Ho wondered why the cars behind him were honking incessantly.
Moreover, they had been doing that for quite a while now.
The 'normal' attitude to have in this case would be to think you had done something wrong, but that didn't seem applicable to Kang Jin-Ho.
The horns had to go off at regular intervals for that to be true, so there could be something else at play here.
“Still, something doesn't feel right here…”
The Jaegyeong's HQ was too far to travel on a bicycle.
The 'Kang Jin-Ho' of yesterday might have taken his trusty Golden Elephant regardless of the distance, but his change of attitude meant that he had made a decision to enjoy what he had in possession without giving up on anything in the process.
Taking his Aventador out for a spin was the result of his new thought process.
“This is a mistake.”
This was Kang Jin-Ho's honest thought as he drove the car.
Never mind not giving up on what he had or whatever; he should have prioritized doing what worked the best for him instead!
Watching the jam-packed road ahead only intensified his irritation.
He would have reached his destination by now with Golden Elephant, but at this rate? He might need another thirty minutes.
Cars were invented to go fast, weren't they? Besides, wasn't this white car a so-called sportscar? To think that riding a bicycle was faster than an actual car!
Kang Jin-Ho groaned at length and scanned the packed road ahead.
“How's Sister Yi?” Kang Jin-Ho asked Park Yu-Min standing outside the ward.
“She's sleeping at the moment.”
“Still, she will probably wake up if she knows you're here.”
“No, don't.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“Let's not wake her up.
I'll just pop in to see her and leave.”
“Okay.” Park Yu-Min nodded, sensing that his friend sounded a little different now.
Kang Jin-Ho sounded down on the first day of his leave, but not anymore.
'He's back to his usual self, I guess.'
“I'm going in,” said Kang Jin-Ho.
Kang Jin-Ho silently opened the door and stepped inside the hospital room.
Sister Yi's soft breathing and the rhythmic pulsing of the ECG machine quietly rang within the room.
He cautiously walked toward her bed without making any noise.
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly scanned Sister Yi's unconscious face for a while.
Despite how wane her complexion was, her expression remained the picture of peace and calm.
'I'm not omnipotent.'
Even if his powers were nearing omnipotence, it still didn't mean he would be able to do anything and everything he wanted.
“That's why people strive to be better, isn't it?”
Striving to be better since they weren’t good enough yet—Kang Jin-Ho had forgotten about such a basic tenet somehow.
If only he had remembered it sooner, maybe Sister Yi wouldn't have to leave this world like this.
At least, that was the thought circulating in Kang Jin-Ho's head.
However, it was a bit too late for regrets now.
“I won’t regret from now on, ma'am…” Kang Jin-Ho quietly muttered, then bowed deeply at the sleeping Sister Yi.
However, he couldn't bring himself to leave the room after the end of his final goodbye.
He stood there and observed Sister Yi's sleeping face for a long time before finally tearing himself away.
He opened the door and stepped into the corridor to find Park Yu-Min waiting for him.
“Did you say…
goodbye?” Park Yu-Min asked cautiously.
Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
“…When are you going back to base?”
“Okay, got it.” Park Yu-Min slowly nodded.
By staying longer, Kang Jin-Ho might get to attend the funeral, but he thought that doing so would be pointless after coming this far.
After all, he had already heard everything he needed to hear from Sister Yi.
In addition, he had already done everything he could.
Which meant his role here was over.
Staying by Sister Yi's side until the end and ensuring she wouldn’t feel lonely during her passing…
That wasn’t his job.
“I'm sorry that I can't be here for you.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“Nah, don't worry about it, okay?” Park Yu-Min waved his hands dismissively, pretending to be fine.
“You should go and get some rest.
You're on vacation, after all.”
I'll see you again after I get my next leave.” Kang Jin-Ho turned around to leave without hesitation.
His steps felt heavy while they carried him out of the hospital, but not even once did he look back.
Kang Jin-Ho stood at attention and cried out, “Private 1st Class Kang Jin-Ho, sir! Reporting!”
Jeon Hyeok-Su smiled back.
You're back, eh?”
“You're back awfully early, though? It's not even sunset yet, so why are you here already?”
“Somehow, things worked out that way, sir.”
Seong Tae-Ho listening in from the side suddenly chuckled and butted in.
That story only applies to soldiers starving for more off-days, you know? Our Jin-Ho still has lots of off-days left in his pocket, so I'm sure he's not remotely worried about it, sir.”
“Ah, that makes sense.
Jin-Ho was gone for what, five days? Which means he still has 25 days left, right? And that's just from the reward he got the last time.
Add all the regular vacation time for a private, and… Wowsers, that's a lot.”
“I totally agree, sir.”
As expected, time flowed a lot smoother after returning to base.
Kang Jin-Ho spent the next two days organizing his articles and getting used to the base’s schedules.
[Private Kang Jin-Ho, come to the Administrative Office.
I repeat, Private Kang Jin-Ho, come to the…]
The loudspeaker summoned Kang Jin-Ho right after the roll call, forcing him to get up and head to the administrative office.
He could already guess why he was being summoned—a phone call had come from the outside.
He only had to confirm whether its contents were as he suspected or not.
Kang Jin-Ho arrived at the office and picked up the waiting phone receiver.
That was when he heard Park Yu-Min's rather composed voice.
“…A little while ago? I see.”
Take good care of it.”
This was the extent of Kang Jin-Ho's replies.
Then again, he and Park Yu-Min already knew, anyway.
There was no need to offer words of comfort.
After all, they had already done that before.
At this stage in their relationship, weak-sounding condolences made out of courtesy weren’t necessary.
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly exited the office, then mouthed a cigarette.
The tip of his cigarette caught fire and burned away.
Kang Jin-Ho deeply inhaled the gray smoke before slowly releasing it back into the atmosphere.
If her God was looking after her…
Did she go to Heaven? And would she be happy there?
“Jin-Ho, my wish is for you to become a different person.
A person who can also accept other people's frailty.”
Kang Jin-Ho closed his eyes and recalled Sister Yi's words to him.
I'll become such a man.”
‘That's why, please don't worry about us.’
‘Rest in peace.’
“OTP” is an abbreviation of 'one-time password.' ☜
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