kid would've been fine, too.
He was the cause, so how dare he act all haughty and stuff for saving that kid?”

Kang Jin-Ho briefly pondered whether or not to correct that recruit since he never acted haughty, to begin with.

“W-Well, I guess…”

The atmosphere in the living quarters changed once again but in a different direction this time.

“Still, Jin-Ho didn't do that deliberately, right? It's not his fault that he's good at stuff.”

Besides, it wasn't that bad.”

The defiant recruit replied in dismay, “One of us got taken to a hospital, yet it wasn't bad? Are you for real?”

Logically, what he said sounded wrong.
Yet, something about his argument emotionally resonated with other recruits.

“Tell me, wasn't it all the fault of that bastard trying to show off?!”

Despite the naked accusation, Kang Jin-Ho didn't try to retort or explain himself.
It was pointless to speak logically to people driven by emotion.
Besides, he might end up causing a new incident by talking to them now, too.
As such, Kang Jin-Ho chose to stay in his bunk without saying anything.

“Look, Look! Look at that bastard! We're talking about him, but he doesn't give a sh*t! Isn't that like—he doesn't care whether that kid dies or not?”

“Come on, man.
You crossed the line.
Jin-Ho pulled that kid out, so you shouldn't be saying that.”

The defiant recruit clamped his mouth shut as if he had no comeback for that.
The chatter abruptly ended there.
However, it got going again soon enough.

The defiant recruit broke the silence once more.
“Still, I don't like that punk.”

“Why not? What got your knots so twisted, dude?”

“Let me ask ya, have you ever seen that bastard chatting to one of us in the last three weeks?”


“There's a limit to how much you can look down on people, no? But he just loves to fly solo, doesn't he? Do you really think he saved that kid because he wanted to save a life? I'm guessing no.”

That last statement made Kang Jin-Ho's forehead crease up a little.
He didn't expect others to always hold a favorable view of him, but that didn't mean they should fabricate nonsense like that.
What made that recruit say such dumb things with so much conviction when he couldn't even read other people's minds? Kang Jin-Ho couldn't understand it.

The defiant recruit, Recruit No.82 Lee Sang-Hu, finally began addressing Kang Jin-Ho directly.
“That's why you better stop trying to show off, get my drift?”


“Hey, I know you can hear me! So, stop pretending.
Open your damn eyes and say something, you f*cker.”

Kang Jin-Ho opened his eyes and raised his torso.
Before he could say something, though, the living quarter's door flew open without any warning, and Ju Yeong-Gi carrying a half-polished combat boot entered while emitting a scary aura.
“What the f*ck was that, you little sh*t?”

“Eh?” Lee Sang-Hu the instigator hurriedly clamped his mouth shut after noticing the scary expression on Ju Yeong-Gi's face.

Ju Yeong-Gi's tattooed-all-over physique was at least twice as big when compared to the average person’s body.
That helped him become the subject of fear in the living quarters.
Although he hadn't bullied any of the recruits, no one dared to go against Ju Yeong-Gi.

“I'm asking you, what the f*ck is your problem?” Ju Yeong-Gi growled menacingly.

“W-Well…” Lee Sang-Hu, responsible for generating the current atmosphere, began stuttering a little, “I… I mean, he's just a showoff, isn't he?”

“You stinkin' b*tch!” Ju Yeong-Gi suddenly threw the boot in his hand right at Lee Sang-Hu's head.


Lee Sang-Hu ducked, and the boot missed him by some margin, but it still clattered against a locker behind him and bounced around noisily.

Ju Yeong-Gi roared once again, “What is your problem, again? Tell me, you little sh*t!”

Lee Sang-Hu lowered his head and desperately avoided meeting Ju Yeong-Gi's glare.

“Jin-Ho saved a dying kid, yet you little sh*ts actually have the gall to talk crap about him? F*ck off! Do you really think you have the right to run your mouths off when you did f*ck-all during that situation? You bunch of little p*ssies.”

The recruits all silently looked away from Ju Yeong-Gi's glare.
The last thing on their minds was arguing about whose fault it was since none of them wanted to get on Ju Yeong-Gi's bad books.

“So? What did Jin-Ho do wrong? Ah?”


“He's done nuthin' wron', so why the hell are ya badmouthin' him fer?!” Ju Yeong-Gi's anger reached a point where his accent began slipping out.

“H-Hey, Yeong-Gi, dude! Calm down, man.”

“C'mon, Yeong-Gi.
They are still kids, you know? They are still immature and stuff.”

The recruits enjoying cordial relationships with Ju Yeong-Gi tried to calm him down.

Ju Yeong-Gi growled menacingly once more.
“Listen, you f*ckers…
If any one of you start badmouthin' Jin-Ho again, I'm gonna shove my boot right up your a-hole until you taste leather.
Ya hear me?!”

His spine-chilling threat forced everyone to shut up and remain unmoving.
The living quarters filled with people became deathly quiet in an instant.
The silence was so deafening that it even felt rather eerie.

Ju Yeong-Gi huffed like a bull as he started shouting again, “What the hell? Why aren't you bringing me my boot back already?!”

A recruit cautiously looking around picked up the fallen boot in front of him and carried it over to Ju Yeong-Gi.

“Dammit! And I was almost finished polishing it, too!” Ju Yeong-Gi muttered in irritation at the new smudges of dirt on his boot while exiting through the doorway.


The door slammed shut behind him.
Only then did a chorus of relieved sighs come from various corners of the living quarters.
The recruits immediately started chatting away again.

“Holy cow.
What's gotten into him? Wasn't he like the most anti-Jin-Ho out of us not too long ago?”

“Well, Jin-Ho saved his bacon back in the grenade training, so that's understandable.”

“Even then! How can anyone change his tune that quickly?”

“Nah, dude.
That's the correct reaction.
Still acting like an as*hole after being saved would be the stupid thing here.”

“Well, I…
guess you're right.”

While they continued to chat, Kang Jin-Ho remained half-upright on his bunk, his expression demonstrating how stupefied he was.
Eventually, though, a faint smirk crept up on his face.

'It seems there's no need for me to step up here anymore.'

Why did it feel like someone was always there to stop Kang Jin-Ho whenever he was about to do something?

He leaned back on the folded blanket propped against his locker, then closed his eyes.

'Things have already gotten to this stage, huh.'

Even though everyone here was a recruit, they still tried to pick a fight with Kang Jin-Ho despite him not doing anything in particular.
That could mean something about him was getting on their nerves.
In that case, what would it be like once Kang Jin-Ho reached his assigned base filled with higher-ranked soldiers than him? Since they held higher ranks, would they try not to pick a fight with Kang Jin-Ho, or would they be even more sensitive about such things?

'This place doesn't suit me, after all.'

Kang Jin-Ho had to accept that the military wasn’t a good match for him.
He had also finally figured out why his father and Park Yu-Min were so worried about him days before his enlistment.
By nature, Kang Jin-Ho was simply unsuitable for a life in a rigid organization like the military.
Still, there was one saving grace, and that would be…

Kang Jin-Ho opened his eyes and glanced at the person approaching him.
“Mm? What is it?”

“No, it's nothing,” Ju Yeong-Gi replied with a slight blush.

Kang Jin-Ho chuckled a little at that sight.
Things like this made the army experience somewhat entertaining and tolerable for him.

“What a boring bastard,” Ju Yeong-Gi muttered with an awkward look while climbing into the bunk next to Kang Jin-Ho's.

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