Descent of the Demon Master
“It ’s time for a meal break,” said the older colleague, Jo Sang-Pil.
“Understood…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, then hopped over from the scaffold to the skyscraper ’s roof.
Jo Sang-Pil tilted his head.
“Isn ’t that scary?”
This time, it was Kang Jin-Ho
’s turn to tilt his head.
Jo Sang-Pil couldn ’t help but feel dazed at Kang Jin-Ho ’s nonchalant response.
Maybe he ’s really not scared, after all? ’
Jo Sang-Pil remembered being too terrified to even look below the scaffold on his first day on the job.
A person’s courage and guts didn’t matter when they were being subjected to the intense pressure of potentially losing their life with just one slip-up.
They would be paralyzed from head to toe, unable to control their painfully trembling legs.
But this brat named Kang Jin-Ho treated the scaffold like a piece of flat ground.
Everything he did seemed so nonchalant and relaxed.
The window cleaning crew moved inside the building while chatting among themselves.
“I wonder, does this building have a cafeteria?” the supervisor asked in passing.
“But, you know how awful cafeteria food tastes, don ’t you? Can ’t we, like, go outside and get food?” Jo Sang-Pil piped up in a hopeful voice.
“Aren’t you in the individual crew?”
“…Oh, you ’re right.” Jo Sang-Pil slowly nodded.
“Oii, how can you forget that you have an individual shift and can’t spare some time to go outside?”
“Eiii, come now.
People can sometimes forget stuff, you know?” Jo Sang-Pil chuckled while waving his hand.
“By the way, Supervisor?”
“Can we take the newbie with us on the afternoon ’s individual shifts?”
“Say what now?” The supervisor was taken aback.
“You want to take the newbie with you?”
“Yes.” Jo Sang-Pil nodded while smirking deeply.
The supervisor frowned deeply.
“But won ’t it get too dangerous? It hasn ’t even been a couple of days for the new guy, so why do you want to bring someone that green with you? Nope.
“Well, the thing is, our newbie is one fearless dude.
So, I figured we should properly teach him as soon as possible.”
“I said, no.”
Jo Sang-Pil hurriedly grabbed the supervisor
’s arm and tried to plead his case.
“I ’m only doing this because that youngster is way too fearless, sir.
At this rate, he ’s gonna cause a huge accident.
Before that happens, we gotta sober him up by showing him the true meaning of fear.”
“…Dunno what ’s gotten into you, but you better stop your bullsh*t, you hear me?!” The supervisor ’s voice got louder, almost verging on a yell.
Jo Sang-Pil quickly carried on where he left off.
“I ’m telling you the truth! That guy was treating the scaffold like solid ground or something earlier.
Wouldn ’t idiots like that eventually stop bothering with safety ropes and then fall to their death later?”
’m sure he
’ll fix the error of his ways after we put him in an individual harness just once.
I swear, we ’ll scare him only for a bit before pulling him back up.”
“…You swear? You ain ’t gonna force him to finish the job all by himself, right?”
“Eiii~, of course not.
How can we trust him to do a good job when he ’s only a newbie? We ’ll probably have to go over the spots he was in charge of, anyway.”
“In that case…
You take the responsibility for his safety.
Understand what I ’m saying?”
“Of course, of course…”
A nefarious scheme involving Kang Jin-Ho
’s future was being hashed out without his knowledge.
“That ’s not gonna happen, Sang-Pil!”
Jo Sang-Pil replied in an exasperated voice, “But, sir! I ’m telling you, the supervisor said it ’ll be fine!”
“I said, it ’s not gonna happen! No is a no! Have you lost your goddamn mind, Sang-Pil? You wanna put a newbie on his first day in the bloody bosun ’s chair? Are you prepared to take the fall if an accident happens? Forget about it, Sang-Pil!”
“Eiii, come now.
There won ’t be an accident, I ’m telling you!”
The crew captain roared in anger.
“What the hell is the matter with you? It ’s idiots like you that cause accidents in the first place! Whatever, it ’s not gonna happen, so stop wasting our time with this bullsh*t!”
Jo Sang-Pil spat out a lengthy groan.
’Bloody hell, this damn boomer…! ’
The supervisor said it was okay, so why was this dude—the crew captain—raising a fuss and stopping Jo Sang-Pil now? Who did he think he was? Unfortunately, he had seniority over Jo Sang-Pil, so there was nothing that could be done about it now.
Jo Sang-Pil still didn
’t give up, though.
“In that case, will it be okay with a tray?”
“…You wanna install a tray now?”
I mean, we brought the newbie all the way here, so a tray should be fine for his education, right? I ’ll be accompanying him, so it should be fine, wouldn ’t you say so?”
The crew captain narrowed his eyes.
“I don ’t know what rubbish you ’re scheming here, Sang-Pil, but I ’m gonna kill you if you cause an accident.
You hear me?”
“Yes, yes.” Jo Sang-Pil bowed slightly while ruefully smacking his lips.
’Well, although I ’m a bit disappointed… ’
In the past, individual cleaners had to be suspended on their own while cleaning the building
’s sides, but the trend nowadays was quickly shifting in favor of using scaffolds.
Five to six people would ride on one of those lengthy scaffolds and do their jobs as the platform gradually descended.
This set-up ’s heavier weight meant winds affected its stability far less than individual bosun’s chairs.
No wonder people overwhelmingly favored this setup these days.
However, there was a downside to this sort of large, heavy scaffold.
Due to its weight, it wasn’t practical to install it everywhere.
In narrow spots, the cleaners still had to rely on the bosun ’s chairs or get on a two-person tray.
“Dang it, a bosun ’s chair would ’ve been perfect for the job, though…”
Regardless of one’s fearlessness, dangling two hundred meters in the air with just a rope would quickly force them to confront their fears terrifying enough to make just about anyone pass out.
Jo Sang-Pil wanted to see Kang Jin-Ho ’s expressionless face go utterly pale with fright, but that chance seemed to have gone out the window.
As such, his disappointment was immeasurable.
’No, hang on a minute. ’
A sudden thought popped up in Jo Sang-Pil
Even if Kang Jin-Ho got sh*t-scared, what was the point if no one was there to witness it? A tray seemed like a perfect place to witness the look of terror on his face.
A tray suspended two hundred meters above ground getting shaken around by gusts of winds should be more than enough to bring tears of fright to Kang Jin-Ho’s taciturn face.
Jo Sang-Pil began cackling insidiously while getting ready to install the tray.
Kang Jin-Ho pointed at the so-called tray.
“Is this where I should go in?”
“Yup.” Jo Sang-Pil nodded with a meaningful smile.
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head while staring at a miniature scaffold suspended next to the building
It kind of resembled a large basket.
“What are you doing, Jin-Ho?”
’s nothing.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head before hopping inside the
The sides of this basket were tall enough to reach around his chest.
“Make some room, will ya?” said Jo Sang-Pil.
“Okay.” Kang Jin-Ho moved to the side.
Jo Sang-Pil carefully loaded himself into the ’tray ’.
“Don ’t forget to connect the safety harnesses, too.”
Kang Jin-Ho connected and secured the safety lines and harnesses as instructed.
Jo Sang-Pil inspected to see if everything was up to scratch, then handed over Kang Jin-Ho ’s safety helmet.
Kang Jin-Ho accepted it without saying anything.
“Remember, this thing shakes around a lot more than the scaffold from earlier.
However, don ’t panic.
Just keep holding on tight, and you ’ll be fine.”
Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
Jo Sang-Pil looked at the crane operator and shouted, “Alright! You can lower us now!”
The last part of the inspection of the water hoses and wires was performed, and the ’tray ’ began its gradual descent.
It can be hard to make great work when its stolen from bit.ly/3iBfjkV.
Unlike the much larger multi-personnel scaffold used in the morning, this two-person scaffold was already shaking and rocking about as it descended noisily.
“Don ’t freeze up, okay?” said Jo Sang-Pil.
“I ’m sorry?” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“And don ’t get too scared, too.”
“Understood,” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a cool nod of his head.
But that only resulted in Jo Sang-Pil furrowing his brow deeply.
’What the hell? Is this guy really fearless? Did he auction off his fear somewhere or something?! ’
Since Jo Sang-Pil had gone to such trouble to prepare the stage, shouldn ’t Kang Jin-Ho at least pretend to get scared out of courtesy or something?
‘What the hell? He ’s even leaning back as if it ’s nice up here? Did he forget that we ’re two hundred meters up in the air?’
Jo Sang-Pil cleared his throat and asked, “So? How does it feel like to be in here?”
Kang Jin-Ho pondered his reply for a bit.
“It’s more refreshing than I thought.”
At this point, Jo Sang-Pil had no choice but to admit that his definition of a
’t fit Kang Jin-Ho.
Like, none at all! This young man had to be suffering from a congenital lack of fear.
Jo Sang-Pil was half-convinced about it now.
Let ’s just get on with our job.”
The two men sprayed water from the nozzle onto the glass, applied detergent, then scrubbed them clean.
Just one wipe was enough to bring out the natural clearness of the previously-murky glasses.
It was as if they were saying, ’this is how we originally look like, you know! ’
Kang Jin-Ho muttered, “They are surprisingly dirty, aren ’t they?”
It ’s not like you can clean the sides this high up every day, after all.
The schedules need to work out, and there aren ’t all that many people willing to take on this type of job lately as well.
Although, that ’s good for us since we can charge more for our hourly rates.”
“I see.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded contemplatively.
Workers doing this kind of job were usually inconspicuous, but they were absolutely essential to modern society.
Kang Jin-Ho thought that their presence was what helped the world function as well as it could.
While cleaning the windows, Kang Jin-Ho noticed the office workers on the other side staring back at him as if they had seen something weird or mysterious.
Suddenly, a powerful gust of wind whipped through, causing the firmly-secured ’tray ’ to rock up and down.
“Get down!” Jo Sang-Pil cried out.
“Understood.” Kang Jin-Ho imitated Jo Sang-Pil and crouched into the tray.
The scaffold continued to rock for a while before finally stabilizing.
Kang Jin-Ho stood back up and muttered in surprise, “That shook around a lot more than I thought.”
’t get too impressed by that, fella.
Next time when you ’re out and about, take a closer look at the buildings.
You ’ll spot some folks dangling on a single rope and working away by themselves.
Did you know that winds can push them up to ten meters away from the building ’s surface? ”
“We aren’t the only ones in this line of work, fella.
Even those folks painting the walls of new apartment buildings have to gear up like us.”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded away.
Now that he thought about it, all those apartments should have been painted by human beings.
It seemed that people ’s touch could be found in many facets of society he had previously failed to notice.
This was something he should ponder more carefully from now on.
Suddenly, the tray began to shake once again.
“Eiii, why is it so windy today…
Hang on a sec.
There are no winds, so why is it shaking around?” Jo Sang-Pil tilted his head in puzzlement before checking the safety wires out one by one.
He eventually discovered that one of the wires supporting the right side of the tray was not as taut as the others.
He quickly picked up his walkie-talkie.
“Jeong-Hyeon hyung, the wire on this side is too loose.
Looks like you gotta pull it up from your side.”
His message should have been transmitted with no issues, but only static came from the walkie-talkie ’s speaker.
“What the heck?! Even though I told him so many times to be on standby next to his walkie-talkie!” Jo Sang-Pil grumbled in irritation.
Once aboard the
’tray,’ the workers couldn
’t do much other than dangle in the air.
Of course, they could lower or raise the scaffold, but other activities, such as maintenance, could only be performed by those on standby next to the crane on the rooftop.
That was why everyone had to hold on to their walkie-talkies even during their toilet breaks.
That was the rule, but this person named Jeong-Hyeon seemed to have vacated his position while leaving behind his walkie-talkie.
’m telling you, that hyung can be so brain-dead sometimes!” Jo Sang-Pil continued to grumble while taking his phone out.
He dialed a number and waited, only to tilt his head and stare at the phone ’s screen to confirm that he hadn ’t made a mistake.
weird? Why isn ’t he answering the call?”
People might not carry their walkie-talkies around all the time, but they wouldn
’t be able to live without their phones in this day and age.
In that case, why was Jeong-Hyeon not picking up the call?
“What ’s gotten into that dude? Gimme a freaking—”
That was when the tray suddenly rocked so much more violently than before.
“W-what was that?!” Jo Sang-Pil freaked out and hurriedly grabbed the nearby grab handle.
He looked up and saw something slender and long fall from the rooftop.
“…Son of a b*tch!”
A tray was supported by wires connected to its four corners.
And one of them was falling toward the ground!
“D-did it come loose or something?” Jo Sang-Pil sucked in a deep breath, then squeezed Kang Jin-Ho
“Calm down, Jin-Ho.
No need to panic, okay?”
“Understood.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, then looked up while narrowing his eyes.
Jo Sang-Pil tried to sound reassuring.
“L-looks like one of the wires came loose.
Things like this can happen sometimes, no matter how thoroughly we check everything.
Still, the other three corners are fine, so all we gotta do is go back up and change the wiring.
That ’s why you don ’t have to be scared, Jin-Ho.”
Jo Sang-Pil bit his lower lip.
He did his best to sound unconcerned, but this was actually his first time experiencing a faulty wire during work.
As this matter was directly related to the lives of the workers, the wires used were all rated for over a ton of load capacity instead of matching the maximum weight of the tray.
With such tough wires securing the scaffolds, Jo Sang-Pil had never experienced an event like this—until now.
’I ’ve heard about it a few times before, though! ’
Indeed, Jo Sang-Pil had heard about other people experiencing faulty wires during their work.
He sucked in a few quick breaths, then shouted into the walkie-talkie once again, “Jeong-Hyeon hyung! Can you hear me? Are you there? We are experiencing a faulty wire! It came loose! Damn it…
Is it okay to go up, or should we just be on standby?”
Only the eerie static could be heard from the walkie-talkie.
“Hey, you stupid motherf*cker! Just where the hell are you?! Stop pissing me off, will you!”
It seemed that the people inside the building had realized one of the wires holding up the tray had come loose, as they were now crowding near the windows to look.
“Bloody hell, don
’t they have better things to do?” Jo Sang-Pil grumbled in dissatisfaction.
If these people came closer to the windows out of concern, he wouldn ’t be this unhappy.
However, how could he not deeply scowl when these onlookers whipped out their phones and began filming the situation instead of helping them?
“Goddamn it! Just where could he have gone to?” Jo Sang-Pil raised his head and looked up at the rooftop.
That was when confusion filled his face.
He could see someone peeking over the side of the rooftop.
However, that person was definitely not Jeong-Hyeon.
At that moment—
Another wire came loose, and the tray began to shake and rock like crazy.
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