We'll wait for your safe return!”
It was his father’s turn next.
“Jin-Ho, be careful while you're in there.”
“Oppa! Don't get hurt, okay!”
His mother continued to dab away at the corners of her eyes, but Kang Eun-Yeong didn't bother to wipe her tears while waving goodbye to her older brother.
'What an odd feeling this is…'
Kang Jin-Ho couldn’t help but mumble to himself as this ticklish feeling continued unabated from a corner of his chest.
He turned around and walked away while savoring this rather pleasant feeling.
“Jin-Ho, wait!” Park Yu-Min called out.
He quickly limped over and patted Kang Jin-Ho's shoulder.
“You don't have to worry about me, Yu-Min.”
“No, that's not it…”
“If you think a beating is unavoidable, don't go all the way and only beat them half to death, okay?”
“…?!” Kang Jin-Ho made a flabbergasted face at that recommendation.
However, Park Yu-Min maintained a grave expression while strongly beseeching his friend.
“You will be too ashamed to face your parents if you cause a scene in the military, Jin-Ho.
Even if you really, really wanna wreck someone, you gotta hold yourself back, okay? If you think you can't, then just go AWOL for a few days to cool off some steam!”
“Just what do you see me as, Yu-Min?!”
Park Yu-Min didn't back down and spoke in an even firmer voice, “I'm saying this because no one knows what you'll do if you get pissed for real!”
Got it…” Kang Jin-Ho helplessly shook his head.
Wasn't he being treated like a walking bomb or something? Besides, why was his so-called friend acting like this? It was as if Kang Jin-Ho had been causing lots of trouble until now.
Even worse, his family actually agreed with Park Yu-Min's assertion.
“Yes, son! You must hold yourself back!”
“Oppa, don't cause a scene in there, okay!”
“You heard us, son!”
Kang Jin-Ho could only chuckle bitterly.
'They don't trust me, do they?'
He believed his life after returning to the modern era was more or less exemplary.
Judging by his family's reaction, though, that didn't seem to be true.
Their reaction was probably influenced by the fact that they had been observing him from close by.
Kang Jin-Ho waved his hand.
I'm really going to be on my way now.”
Be careful on your way!”
“Son! Even if the food is horrible, don't skip the meals!”
“I believe in you, Jin-Ho!”
While listening to his family's emotional goodbyes, Kang Jin-Ho walked over to the area where the recruits were gathering.
– Our country will look after your children from this moment on.
Dear parents, please do not be anxious about your children and wait patiently for them to return as dependable adults!
“Oh, piss off, will ya?” Kang Yu-Hwan shed his composed outer appearance as soon as his son was some distance away and swore at the announcement coming from the loudspeakers.
“How can they even say that lie with a straight face when so many kids die in accidents every year?!”
Baek Hyeon-Jeong yelled at her husband, “Dear, you're going to jinx it by saying that!”
“Tsk.” Kang Yu-Hwan tutted, then stared at Kang Jin-Ho in the distance with some frustration.
Those who knew what the military was like would naturally be more frustrated by their knowledge.
Kang Eun-Yeong and Baek Hyeon-Jeong were both females, so they wouldn’t be subjected to Korea's compulsory enlistment.
As such, their emotions were mostly sorrow-related.
But Kang Yu-Hwan was different… He knew what lay ahead for his son, and that made him nearly faint from sheer frustration.
“Why did my son have to be so insanely healthy?”
If only Kang Jin-Ho was a little 'sick' somewhere, allowing him to be assigned to some other public service duties…
Kang Yu-Hwan kicked the ground a couple of times for no reason before turning around.
His heart ached the more he looked at his son standing in rank and file with the other recruits.
“Dear, I'm sure he'll be fine,” said Baek Hyeon-Jeong while squeezing her husband's hand.
Kang Yu-Hwan sighed and nodded.
“Yes, I agree.
He's our child, after all.”
Kang Eun-Yeong tilted her head and asked, “By the way, Mom?”
“Mm? What is it?”
“Since he's enlisting now, when will he get his first vacation?”
When will that be, dear?” Baek Hyeon-Jeong heard her daughter's question and asked her husband for clarification.
Kang Yu-Hwan rubbed his chin for a little while, then replied in uncertainty, “There used to be a vacation after one hundred days.
I wonder if that still applies these days.”
“Yes, it does, Uncle,” Park Yu-Min replied to clear the doubt. 
Kang Yu-Hwan nodded in satisfaction.
Then, Jin-Ho will be out in around one hundred days.
So that means between three and four months…”
“Really?” Kang Eun-Yeong blinked her eyes.
But why did you want to know?”
It's nothing major.” Kang Eun-Yeong shook her head.
She mouthed 'one hundred days' repeatedly, then nodded as determination filled up her face.
“In that case, within one hundred days!”
Kang Yu-Hwan looked at his daughter weirdly.
“Why are you talking to yourself, Eun-Yeong?”
“Well, I'm not old enough yet to show my filial duty, but still… I gotta help out with my Oppa's military life, right?!”
“What are you talking about, Eun-Yeong?”
“Well, there’s a thing, but I can't tell you about it yet.”
“Hmm. That's deflating,” said Kang Yu-Hwan with a little chuckle, then he turned his head slightly to wordlessly take in the sight of the recruits performing a group salute.
The group then walked to the back of the training ground and disappeared from view.
“Phew…” Kang Yu-Hwan sighed once more.
Since the enlistment was bound to happen sooner or later, he tried to be calm about it, but seeing his only son join the army still made his heart ache.
“Let's get going, then.”
Baek Hyeon-Jeong sighed ruefully.
“Just why does our son have to go through this, I wonder…”
“Every man must go through this stuff sooner or later, dear.”
“But what if something happens to him? What then?”
Park Yu-Min interjected, a bright smile blooming on his face.
“Please don't worry about Jin-Ho, Uncle, Auntie.”
“Jin-Ho won't get into accidents.
I’m sure of it.
His sixth sense is just too good for that, after all.”
“Thank you for saying that, Yu-Min.”
Park Yu-Min continued to smile, even though he refrained from muttering out the rest of his thoughts.
'Yup, the military base Jin-Ho is assigned to will be the one in trouble…'
Park Yu-Min sighed for a long time while no one was looking before taking one last glance at the empty spot where Kang Jin-Ho stood earlier.
'It's gonna get lonely without him.'
Kang Yu-Hwan placed his hand on Park Yu-Min's shoulder just then.
“Join us for lunch, Yu-Min.”
“Thank you, Uncle.”
“Since Jin-Ho's not around, things will get a little lonely for us.
So do make sure to often visit us, all right?”
“Of course,” said Park Yu-Min with an affirmative nod.
Kang Eun-Yeong grinned sheepishly.
Yu-Min Oppa is really busy, you know?”
You know he's a pro gamer, don't you? He'll get incredibly busy once the season begins.
I'm guessing it had been difficult for him to find enough free time to come here, Dad.”
“Oh, I see.” Kang Yu-Hwan smiled brightly, then playfully ruffled up Park Yu-Min's hair.
“This kid! Thanks.
Still, you do get days off, right? When you do, stop by our cafe.
Let me show you what properly-brewed coffee tastes like, okay?”
“You and your damned coffee, again!” Baek Hyeon-Jeong moodily snapped at her husband, prompting Kang Yu-Hwan to flinch and reflexively hide behind Park Yu-Min.
Park Yu-Min formed a cramped smile at this scene.
While enjoying this vague, unexplainable warmth in his chest, he took another, final glance at where Kang Jin-Ho had disappeared to.
'Look after yourself, my friend.'
In Korean culture, friends of your children would often refer to the father and mother as “아버지 (abeoji)” and “어머니 (eomeoni)” which literally translate to “father” and “mother” respectively.
Park Yu-Min originally used “father” in that context in this line, but I’ve decided to change that to “uncle” instead to reduce confusion.
“Mother” in this context will be translated as “aunt” in the future as well. ☜
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