Compared to a regular civilian hospital, it's not all that better, Mister Jin-Ho.
It can obviously provide standard medical care, but Corporal Ju's case might be too specialized for this hospital to deal with.”

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
“What's your recommendation?”

“I think it'll be better to contact Corporal Ju's guardian to get the consent necessary to move him to a different facility.
The Capital Hospital usually transfers its patients in serious conditions to other hospitals, after all.
So, the procedure shouldn't be too cumbersome.
I could make some calls and have him transferred to Jaegyeong's hospital.
Should I do that?”

Thank you,” Kang Jin-Ho replied affirmatively and clamped his lips shut to contemplate something.
He eventually spoke once again, “Have you tried to contact Yeong-Gi's guardian before?”

“No, I haven't,” Jo Gyu-Min replied while scratching his head.
His role was to support and monitor Kang Jin-Ho, not investigate the information on the people around him.
He had only checked Ju Yeong-Gi's matter since it took place in Kang Jin-Ho's base.
Without that, Jo Gyu-Min wouldn't have a reason to get interested in Ju Yeong-Gi.

Kang Jin-Ho continued, “The patient's condition is severe, so I find it strange to see no guardian staying nearby.
Can I entrust you to find out why?”

“Of course.
I'll take care of it.
You don't have to worry.”

“Thank you.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
It felt like a large lump of rock was sitting on his heart, and he subconsciously tried to brush it off his chest.

can't do anything by myself, huh?'

If Jo Gyu-Min weren't around, Kang Jin-Ho wouldn't have had any methods to deal with this situation.

After sighing deeply, Kang Jin-Ho asked another question, “I still have enough in the bank to do this, yes?”

“Mister Jin-Ho, your wealth is far greater than you think.”

“I see.
In that case, spare no expense in Yeong-Gi's care.
Do whatever it takes to get him conscious again.”

“I'll do my best, but…
I can't give you any guarantees.”

“That's good enough for me.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded while listening to the sounds of rain falling on top of their umbrella.
It sounded particularly loud today.

Kang Jin-Ho slowly closed his eyes as the sounds of raindrops echoed in his ears.


Jang Jae-Hwan saluted at Kang Jin-Ho.
“Welcome back, sir.”

“Yeah.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded as he stepped inside the 3rd Squad's living area.
“What happened in the base while I was gone?”

“The atmosphere here has become worse than the pits, sir.
We can't even breathe freely at the moment.”

“Sounds about right…” Kang Jin-Ho muttered while glancing at Jang Jae-Hwan.

Private Jang looked exhausted.
It wasn’t a surprise, as he was the first person to discover Ju Yeong-Gi, and he had to be under the investigators’ severest scrutiny.

Jang Jae-Hwan sheepishly muttered, “Corporal Kang, sir…?”


“I'm sorry.”

“About what?”

Jang Jae-Hwan's head faltered, his expression gloomy.
“If only I had reacted more calmly back then and tried to save Corporal Ju first…
I, I can't help but think that maybe the end result would have been better, sir.”

“Don't blame yourself, Jae-Hwan.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.

“But, sir.

“And, I'm sorry for getting angry at you back then.
I lost my cool as well.
Then again, who could have maintained their calm in a situation like that? It's not your fault, so don't blame yourself.”

“Yes, sir…”

Jang Jae-Hwan shouldn't be the one kicking himself for their actions.
Yet, he was still swimming in guilty conscience for failing to save Ju Yeong-Gi on time.
In that case, what were those two doing right now?

Kang Jin-Ho slipped outside and headed to the 1st Squad's living area.
However, even before he got near, various noises registered in his hearing.
Muffled sounds of laughter, calm-sounding chatter…

Kang Jin-Ho stood in the corridor and quietly listened to all those sounds.
The conversations he could hear didn't sound strange.
No one seemed to be insulting Ju Yeong-Gi, and the discussions centered around exceedingly normal, mundane things.

Everything seemed so…
The same as before.
However, Kang Jin-Ho couldn't accept that.

Someone they had been living together with under one roof was gone and was currently fighting for his life in a hospital.
Yet, those responsible for that state had returned to their everyday lives as if nothing had happened.
That set off a burning blaze in Kang Jin-Ho's chest.

'As if nothing happened…'

Indeed, as if it was just a lie, that nothing had really happened.
In that case, it really ought to be nothing, right? Nothing should have changed, then?

Kang Jin-Ho stood there and listened to the muffled conversations coming from the living area before turning around to leave.


The evening roll call ended, and Kang Jin-Ho laid down on his bedding.
He waited for a while until everyone had fallen asleep.
Only then did he open his eyes and silently get up.

His figure stealthily slipped past the night watch and leisurely left the building.


“I figured throwing it away might get us in trouble, so I hid it somewhere safe, sir.”


That was what Kim Hak-Cheol had said.
Which meant Ju Yeong-Gi had definitely left something behind.
The odds of it being a will were pretty high.
As for hiding it somewhere safe? It had to be where people wouldn't notice it.

The 1st Squad's living area should have been thoroughly searched by now.
However, considering Kim Hak-Cheol’s cowardly nature, he wouldn't have hidden something so important in the barracks.

In that case, where could it be?

Kang Jin-Ho could think of a few places.
A place to hide something where other people wouldn't notice? A place the other squad members wouldn't frequently visit but was intimately familiar to Kim Hak-Cheol…

Kang Jin-Ho headed straight to the 1st Squad's gun emplacement.
A human would never put something they considered important somewhere too far out of their reach.
Burying it in the middle of a mountain could very well be the safest hiding method, but the fear of someone inadvertently stumbling upon it meant that would never happen.
In that case, there was a good chance that Kim Hak-Cheol had hidden the 'evidence' somewhere he was most familiar with—somewhere he considered safe.

Kang Jin-Ho soon arrived at the emplacement and immediately headed to the storage containing the military supplies located in the corner.
Any artillery-related mishaps would have led to this place being turned upside down, but the investigators didn't even bother to show up here this time.

Kang Jin-Ho quickly went through various boxes in the storage before his eyes caught the sight of a large bundle.


All the soldiers disliked touching the camouflage netting as merely breathing near it would cause an endless dust storm to rise up from there.
Unless it was absolutely necessary during training, this netting was never, ever unfurled and brought out of storage.

Kang Jin-Ho unhesitantly shoved his hand inside the rolled-up netting.
He rummaged through it for a while, eventually feeling something different at his fingertips.


He reached in even deeper and grabbed a slender book-like object.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly pulled it out from the camouflage netting.

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