ving anything to do around there.
He entertained the kids until they lost their interest in him, then messed around with his phone to pass the time, only to play with the kids again.
This cycle seemed to have repeated itself a few more times until the evening rolled in.
And he still didn ’t display any signs of leaving.

Only after the older kids came home from their long day at school did Kang Jin-Ho reveal his true intentions, though!

“I ’m taking you all to a department store,” said Kang Jin-Ho.
Since he had bought toys for the younger kids, he naturally wanted to buy something else for the older ones, too.

However, Park Yu-Min vehemently opposed it.
“Hey! These kids aren ’t charity cases, you know?! Why do you keep wanting to buy them stuff?!”

Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow and earnestly asked, “Isn ’t it fine for me to buy them something?”

“Stop trying to use your money for everything, and why don ’t you—” Park Yu-Min stopped himself from finishing that sentence.
He originally wanted to tell his friend to show his sincerity through the gifts of his heart rather than monetary means.
But saying that could push Kang Jin-Ho into constructing a jungle gym or something in the front yard of the orphanage instead! This dude was the type to do what he said he would do, after all!

“I ’m not trying to use my money that way.
I simply wanted to get them items that would help them out.” Kang Jin-Ho tried to speak in a calm tone.

“Regardless of what you say, it ’s still a no.” Park Yu-Min still flatly refused.

Kang Jin-Ho glanced to the floor and noticed all the older kids sitting wordlessly, unable to butt in.
They were obviously worried about hurting Park Yu-Min ’s feelings, but…

’It must feel like I ’m snatching away gifts out of their hands… ’

If Kang Jin-Ho hadn ’t said anything, it wouldn ’t have mattered.
However, since he had already said it, he had to take action.
He resolved himself and took a stand.
“Even if it ’s you, you cannot stop me.”

“Even if it ’s you, Jin-Ho, you cannot get past me.”

The glares of Kang Jin-Ho and Park Yu-Min collided midair.
For the first time ever since their original encounter all those years ago, these two stopped maintaining a peaceful united front and decided to wage war.

“In that case, it can ’t be helped,” said Kang Jin-Ho.

“Mm?” Park Yu-Min ’s puzzled eyes locked on his friend.
Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t the type to give up this easily, so what was going on?

“I ’m challenging you, Yu-Min.”

“…Challenging me?”

The loser will stop talking about this.
The winner takes all.”

“…And what will we be competing in?” Park Yu-Min suspiciously asked.
He was no dummy, of course.
One should only accept a challenge after knowing the method of the competition itself.
Even if Kang Jin-Ho was basically an omnipotent freak of nature, there were still some things Park Yu-Min felt reasonably confident in winning against his friend.
Such as Galaxy Craft or rock-paper-scissors!

Kang Jin-Ho grinned.
“That game from yesterday.”


Park Yu-Min suddenly shuddered.
“…Let ’s do it.”

His pride was at stake here.
Park Yu-Min was currently a challenger for a spot in the top rankings and was already ranked in the top 50 among the Korean players.
If Park Yu-Min hadn ’t tried to master and devoted all of his time to one character, his stupendous skills would have already guaranteed him a spot in the top ten.
But now, a measly diamond tier actually dared to throw a gauntlet in his direction!

“The match type?”

“One-on-one in mid-lane,” said Kang Jin-Ho right away.

The two men stared at each other and slowly nodded.
The pride of a man was at stake in this match.

Park Yu-Min issued an order without taking his eyes off his challenger.
“Go and set up two computers in the boys ’ room.”

“Yes, hyung!”

The boys sensed that a battle between men was about to take place, so they hurriedly rushed inside the boys ’ room to set up the computers.

Kang Jin-Ho, I hope you ’re not thinking of going back on your words,” Park Yu-Min cackled ominously.

“You better not cry after losing, Yu-Min.”

You can ’t win against me in games.”

“I said, you better not cry.”

Sparks shooting out from their eyes clashed in the air.
Park Yu-Min inwardly resolved himself to mercilessly break Kang Jin-Ho ’s spirit in half for impudently challenging him.

’Wait a sec.
Isn ’t this a bit… ’

There was no getting away from the fact that Kang Jin-Ho was only a diamond-tier player.
However, he achieved that simply by charging ahead blindly at the expense of tactics or strategies.
And that knowledge was making Park Yu-Min a little uncomfortable.

’Since it ’s a 1v1, there are no teams involved here…! ’

Recalling the sight of Kang Jin-Ho utterly slaughtering the opposing team ’s laners like some kind of a berserk monster began to make Park Yu-Min feel nervous.

“Hyung, we ’re done here!”

Park Yu-Min glanced at the boys.
All of you, out.
For the sake of fair competition, I will not allow anyone to drop hints while we ’re playing.
And none of you is allowed to spectate, either! You ’ll distract us that way.”

“Got it.”

Kang Jin-Ho and Park Yu-Min glared murderously at each other while stepping inside the room, then the door closed shut behind them.
And that brought in a bout of heavy silence into the living area.

One of the boys cautiously piped up after a while.
“You think they have started already?”

Don ’t get close to the door, though.
Yu-Min hyung might bite our heads off.”


About thirty minutes after the two men had disappeared into the room…


The door was roughly yanked open, and Kang Jin-Ho emerged outside.
His forehead was caked in thick sweat, a sure sign of how intense the battle was.

The kids guessed how the battle had unfolded from Kang Jin-Ho ’s stiff expression and could only sigh in disappointment.

Kang Jin-Ho scanned them and quietly called out.

“…Yes, hyung?”

“Call for enough taxis for everyone!”

A loud cheering exploded from the kids the moment those words left Kang Jin-Ho ’s lips.
It was as if he had won a pro-gamer tournament!

Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t stop there and continued with a weighty voice, “We are all going to a department store!”

His expression was as solemn and determined as that of Yi Seong-Gye after choosing the path of ’Wihwado Retreat ’.

The kids screamed and yelled in happiness while changing into their outerwear.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded at this sight, then glanced behind him and murmured, “You were a worthy opponent, Yu-Min.
Now, get some rest.”

Park Yu-Min was slumped on his chair, his soulless face staring blankly at the monitor.
He muttered to no one in particular in a voice filled with sorrow.
“That crazy son of a…”

The man who once declared that even if he lost in a video game—he would never taste defeat in a battle triumphantly strode away from the doorway.


For the first time in ages, Jo Gyu-Min was leaving work on time.

“The matter with the opening the business has been more or less taken care of, so…”

The store ’s interior was more or less finished already.
Jo Gyu-Min started whistling leisurely while getting a feeling that the number of things that needed his attention had dropped off a cliff lately.

“Well, then.
Should I catch a movie today?” Jo Gyu-Min grinned as he stared at a free movie ticket in his grip.
It was supposed to expire later today, and as luck would have it, he got off work rather early.

The experience of catching a movie alone had this unexplainable charm.
And no, Jo Gyu-Min wasn ’t going to the cinema alone because he had no significant other in his life to watch a movie together—that was definitely not!

As he stepped into the corridor, his phone began to buzz loudly.

“Mm?” Jo Gyu-Min ’s expression stiffened ever so slightly after confirming Kang Jin-Ho ’s name on the phone ’s screen.
“…It can ’t be, right?”

‘Dear Lord, let it not be something bad.

“…Hello?” Jo Gyu-Min cautiously answered the phone while forcing a smile on his face.
“I ’m sorry?”

His expression quickly morphed to resemble Kim Gu ’s after his country was taken away from its people.[3]

“The department store is going to close for the night?” Jo Gyu-Min blinked his eyes in stupefaction.

‘Look at the time, man! Of course, it ’ll close for the day!’

“Y-you want to extend what? B-but that might be diffi—sorry? You ’re with the kids from Seongsim?” Jo Gyu-Min chuckled helplessly, then glanced at the movie ticket.
He crumpled it, then replied with a genuine smiling face this time, “Of course, it ’s possible, Mister Jin-Ho.
If not, I ’ll make it happen!”

This is supposed to be “Oppa, oppa.” ☜

Yi Seong-Gye, known as Taejo of Joseon, was a general of the Kingdom of Goryeo and the first king of Joseon.
The ’Wihwado Retreat ’ refers to a historical event that led to the eventual downfall of the Goryeo dynasty.

Kim Gu was the last President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, a government-in-exile that opposed the Japanese Occupation of the Korean Peninsula.

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