he other hand, his expression gradually filled with horror as if he was facing a wild tiger.

“Urgh…” He groaned, before slowly reaching out toward his phone.
The first thing he said after answering the call was…
“H-hello? And the result is?”

– He passed, Mr.

Warm tears of relief began trickling down the man's face.
“Oh, thank you, Lord.
Thank you!”

– However, why do you need to confirm that young man's license test results? Just what is going on, Mr.

“N-no, it's nothing.
Don't worry about it.
Thank you for your hard work.

This man was, of course, Jo Gyu-Min.

The nightmare plaguing him had kept him awake through the night, but now, he could go to bed, knowing that his ordeal was over.
A smile of happiness bloomed on his face as if he now possessed everything he ever wanted in this world.


“You want me to come and hang out?” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head while answering the phone.

– Yeah.


– You know, the usual place.

“But at this hour?”

Park Yu-Min could be heard chuckling over the line.

– Don't you know what today is?

“It's December 31st.”

– That's right.
Shouldn't we hang out with friends for one last time this year?

Kang Jin-Ho chuckled slightly after listening to Park Yu-Min's reasoning.
Since when did this kid learn how to say things like that? Wasn't he the shy, retiring type not too long ago? “Very well.
What about the others, though?”

– Tae-Ho, In-Gyu, and Min-Jae said they'll be here.
Oh, and Se-Yeon said she'll join us, too.

“Her? Why?”

– I guess she has no one to hang around with.
In any case, hurry up.

“Got it.” Kang Jin-Ho ended the call and began typing on the keyboard.

=Looks like I'll have to go.

=Heol?! I still have a base left, tho?

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=I have RL things to do.

=A free win for me, then.
I'm not complaining. 

=In any case, later.

Kang Jin-Ho logged out of the game without any hesitation.
He was on the brink of another victory, but it was just a computer game at the end of the day, and he had no plans to prioritize it over his friends.
After all, playing games was just a fun distraction, nothing more.
Living life was far more important to him.

He changed his clothes and got ready to leave the house.

His mother called out when she saw him by the exit.
“Where are you going, Jin-Ho?”

“My friends wanted to hang out with me, so…”

“Jin-Ho, are you telling me that you don't want to spend new year's eve with your family but with your friends?”

Kang Jin-Ho stumbled and hesitated at his mother's pointed question.
He realized that a rather sensitive issue had been raised here.
“Well, uh…

“It's fine.
Go and have fun, honey.”

“Thank you.”

“Ah, actually, this is good.
There's a place your father and I wanted to go, you see.”

“Where would that be, Mother…?”

His mother smiled brightly.
“None of your business, hehe.
Just don't forget to have fun.”

“I will…”

With that, Kang Jin-Ho had no choice but to leave.
While making a slightly pouty face, he stepped outside the house and into the wintry afternoon.
He headed to the bicycle shed erected next to the garage at the strong insistence of his father.
His favorite ride, Golden Elephant, was resting silently inside the shed.

“Alright, time to go,” Kang Jin-Ho muttered while climbing on Golden Elephant.


The chains noisily spun around the cogs as he leisurely pedaled outside the front gate.



The air rushing past Kang Jin-Ho's face felt cold.
Compared to the winds of the northern sea, though, this level of coldness was nothing much.
Even so, the changes to the environment brought on by different seasons held their own unique charms.
Of course, Kang Jin-Ho was currently the only person that could appreciate such charms.


“Uwaahk?! What the hell was that!” A driver of a fancy car cried out in alarm.

His passenger, a pretty girl, was taken aback.
“What's wrong!?”

“Didn't you see that bicycle shooting past us just now?”

“A bicycle? When?”

“You didn't see that bicycle traveling in front of us?! It overtook us too, you know!”

“You must be hallucinating, Oppa! We're in a car, right? And we're doing sixty right now, so how can a bicycle overtake us?”

“Y-you think so?”

“Oppa, you've been feeling tired lately, haven't you?”

“Yeah, you must be right, with me seeing things and all.
I should talk to my doctor later or something.”

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“Right, you should take care of yourself more, Oppa.”

The occupants of the cars Kang Jin-Ho flew past all had similar reactions, but he remained utterly oblivious to them.
As a matter of fact, his bicycle was practically overtaking everything on the road despite him taking it easy.

“It's here!” A person riding in one of the cars Kang Jin-Ho flew past almost jumped out of their seat.

“What? What's here?”

“Camera! Where's my camera! N-no, my phone!”

“You're driving right now, dude.”

“Oh, no! Damn it!” The man swore, then finally located his own phone.
He urgently yanked it out and began snapping photos of Kang Jin-Ho's distant back.
He didn't stop there, though, and immediately uploaded all the photos he had taken online.

[The monster has been sighted!]

[Current position, on Hanguk Bridge.
My car, traveling at 60kph.
But then, the fabled monster shot right past us, dropped us like dirty rags, and disappeared.
My guess is that his speed was over 80.
Traffic is too heavy to chase after him.
If you're driving or staying near Hanguk Bridge, I request a speedy pursuit of the monster!]

The chatroom exploded in an instant.

=Rottung: Is it the monster on the Bianchi?

=RunawayBike: It’s a Bianchi.
But 80? Seriously?

=azurebicycle: It's the monster.
80 sounds reasonable.
All the sightings so far confirm that he's traveling between 70 to 80.

=RunawayBike: 80? You sure? Even a pro can only reach 60, maybe 70 at a push, no?

=Speedracer: nonono, that's not human.

=wannabeabeastman: maybe he got NOS and stuff.
No bicycle can go that fast.[1]

=Rottung: Isn't getting NOS for your bike illegal in Korea?

=hanriverBIKERgang: Any tip-off on where he goes to will be appreciated.

=died_going_uphill: what are you talking about? Who's the monster?

=Rottung: no way! You dunno who the monster is?

=azurebicycle: There's this guy on a Bianchi.
He shows up once every while.
He's so fast that no one can catch up to him.

=died_going_uphill: how fast is he?

=Pinarello: I ran into him some time ago and tried to catch up to him but failed in the end.

=died_going_uphill: OMG! Are you really Pinarello, the overall winner of the last tour race?!

=Pinarello: me winning isn't important, cuz that guy was hella fast.

The chatroom belonging to the country's top road racers club was practically blowing up right now.
Someone among the posters even volunteered to jump in their car to pursue the mysterious Bianchi rider and began asking for any leads.

=Pinarello: We still don't know who he is?

=azurebicycle: ya, still no clue.
Other than he's a high school student.

=Pinarello: There can't be that many higher-spec Bianchis in the country, tho.
Maybe we can back-trace his bicycle? Don't you know any middlemen uncles that can help?

=azurebicycle: someone tried that, but the frame must have been a direct import.
Importers didn't even know it was in the country.

Kang Jin-Ho remained utterly oblivious to the turmoil he had caused and continued to pedal away at his usual pace.
The chains creaked and groaned as if they would snap at any given moment, but the bicycle still shot forward like a bullet.

His destination was gradually closing in.


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