He just couldn ’t calm his restless mind.
What tortured him right now wasn ’t all these incidents happening around Kang Jin-Ho.

When he heard about Kang Jin-Ho ’s ’involvement ’ in the murder, the first thing Jo Gyu-Min thought of wasn ’t ‘How did he get tangled up in that?’ but more like, ‘Oh no, he has finally done it!’

What resolved his suspicion was his follow-up thought.
Funnily enough, it wasn ’t ‘Mister Jin-Ho wouldn ’t do something like that,’ but more along the line of, ‘That guy wouldn ’t have done such a sloppy job.’

Indeed, Jo Gyu-Min was being tortured by his mind that instinctively thought that Kang Jin-Ho being the murderer wouldn ’t be sloppy enough to leave evidence behind and let the cops apprehend him.
It could only mean that deep down, Jo Gyu-Min had already started seeing Kang Jin-Ho as a ruthless individual capable of cold-blooded murder as long as it served his interests.

’And that evaluation is not far off the truth, isn ’t it? ’

Since Jo Gyu-Min had witnessed some things back in China, it was getting harder to refute that line of thought.
And all these negative thoughts Jo Gyu-Min had? They were his subconscious perception of Kang Jin-Ho inadvertently rising to the surface, that was all.

Truth be told, Jo Gyu-Min thought of Kang Jin-Ho as a good person.
The young man possessed ’power ’ but tried not to haphazardly wield that power.
And he wasn ’t overbearing—mostly—toward the people around him.
He might not actively use all of his available powers to help another person, but he would still try his best.
Finally, he had never tried to suppress or destroy others just to secure his status.

Jo Gyu-Min had experienced plenty of times how ’power ’ could corrupt and control people, so he knew how honest and straightforward Kang Jin-Ho really was.

Jo Gyu-Min also knew something else—he knew about Kang Jin-Ho ’s other side.
That young man was definitely a good person with a surprisingly soft heart, but a beast was lurking within him.
Even if he knew that the beast would never bite him, he couldn ’t get rid of that anxiety about the inevitable crisis as the creature continued to aimlessly hover around his vicinity.

’It feels a bit inadequate to compare him to a lion, too… ’

Compared to the monster sealed within Kang Jin-Ho, a lion was like a cute cat, or rather, a cute little kitten.

“I hope it ’s nothing major…”

Why did it feel like more and more incidents were creeping up around Kang Jin-Ho lately? Before Kang Jin-Ho ’s military service, there weren ’t many…
’incidents ’ to worry about, but after his discharge? It felt like a series of incidents was always just around the corner.

Jo Gyu-Min couldn ’t help but wonder if Kang Jin-Ho was the source of all these incidents.
Well, that young man was different from everyone else, after all.

Maybe, all these incidents were simply the ripples created by the beast finally being let loose in society.
Up until now, he had been contained within restricted spaces like schools and the army, but now that those were gone…

“Fuu-woo…” Jo Gyu-Min sighed and stubbed his cigarette in the car ’s ashtray as he neared the cafe.
“Where should I park…

While searching for a parking space, Jo Gyu-Min ’s eyes shifted toward the side street.
He noticed a man and woman pair walking toward the cafe.
The man was Kang Jin-Ho, while the woman was someone Jo Gyu-Min didn’t recognize.
And she was quite a looker, too.
Her modernized hanbok seemed to be designed to look vintage, while her hair was neatly rolled up into a luxurious bun.
For a moment there, Jo Gyu-Min wondered if that woman was doing cosplay or something.

However, her facial features were more than enough to make him forget about such useless questions in his head.
Unfortunately, though, Jo Gyu-Min ’s attention couldn ’t linger on the woman even if he wanted to.
He quickly fixed his gaze on Kang Jin-Ho ’s face.

’Son of a…! ’

Jo Gyu-Min had only seen that expression on Kang Jin-Ho ’s face a handful of times.
Whenever that young man made such a face, though, something major had almost always happened.
Jo Gyu-Min ’s insight that was built up over the years he had spent next to Kang Jin-Ho was clearly telling him that…

…Someone had lit the fuse on the powder keg called Kang Jin-Ho.

Jo Gyu-Min bit down on his lip while quickly parking the car, then jumped outside.
Although his car was jutting over the parking space lines a bit, he had no spare time to correct his sloppy attempt at parking.
He cautiously walked over to Kang Jin-Ho.

The young man wordlessly raised his head and stared right back, causing a deathly chill to run down Jo Gyu-Min ’s spine.
No, never mind the chill, it felt like tingling arcs of electricity were numbing his entire body from the base of his spine.
His breathing clogged up as Kang Jin-Ho ’s beast-like eyes stared at him.
And this was Jo Gyu-Min.
Someone Kang Jin-Ho accepted as his close acquaintance.
What would it be like with a total stranger?

“Good to see you, Mister Gyu-Min,” said Kang Jin-Ho as his expression relaxed after he confirmed who had blocked his path.
Only then did Jo Gyu-Min finally release some of the tension in his muscles.

Two disparate emotions quickly formed inside Jo Gyu-Min ’s mind.
One, the pure terror that reminded him about how scary Kang Jin-Ho was.
Two, the satisfaction of knowing that Kang Jin-Ho did think of Jo Gyu-Min as an important person, someone close enough for him to force a smile despite his burning rage.

Knowing that Jo Gyu-Min had his foot across the line Kang Jin-Ho had drawn on the ground to keep the world away, he suddenly felt like he had nothing to fear.

“Mister Jin-Ho.
This lady is…?” Jo Gyu-Min was finally able to glance at the woman again after his psyche had calmed down sufficiently enough.

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly shifted his gaze to Lee Hyeon-Ju.

’…I guess it ’ll be a tall order, huh? ’

Lee Hyeon-Ju was completely frozen up from fright right now, so it seemed nigh-on impossible to make her talk about…
anything, really.
Even Jo Gyu-Min could tell that this poor lady had to have had a ’private chat ’ with Kang Jin-Ho’s monster mode, so it would be difficult for her to maintain her usual self.

Kang Jin-Ho grunted.
“This explanation might take a while…”

“In that case, I can wait until you ’re finished, Mister Jin-Ho.” Jo Gyu-Min briefly nodded.

However, Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“This isn ’t something I wish to hide from you, Chief Jo.
Let us go back inside the cafe.”

This was when Jo Gyu-Min suddenly received a powerful premonition.
The moment he became a part of the conversation about to take place between Kang Jin-Ho and this woman, Jo Gyu-Min ’s world, the one he thought to be real, would be completely obliterated out of existence.
That was what his gut feeling screamed at him.
In that case, refusing the offer and walking away could be the wisest option.
Well, Jo Gyu-Min ’s world and Kang Jin-Ho ’s were quite different, after all.


Let ’s go in, then.” Jo Gyu-Min smiled and opened the cafe ’s door.
Even if the ’new ’ world he was about to be exposed to were actually Hell, it wouldn’t be such a bad trade to stand next to this young man.

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