on his spot, and…
he didn't move a muscle for one hour straight.
Dude! I thought he had fallen asleep!”
“…I-is that so, sir?” Jeon Hyeok-Su faltered after listening to a chorus of complaints.
That was when he instinctively realized the private sporting a yellow epaulet in front of his eyes might not be an easy opponent as he thought.
However, a private was just that, a mere private! It was the sworn duty of the senior soldier to teach the newbies what the military discipline was all about.
Jeon Hyeok-Su smirked suspiciously.
“Since you're pretty confident, I'm guessing you're also confident about your stamina, then?”
“Oh, so you're confident?”
“Yes, sir.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded affirmatively.
The smirk on Jeon Hyeok-Su's face deepened.
He had never made it pro, but Jeon Hyeok-Su was still good enough to participate in amateur tournaments as a top-ranked runner in his school's athletics club.
As far as stamina was concerned, he was confident of running most average athletes ragged to the point of vomiting and collapsing.
Jeon Hyeok-Su slyly asked, “In that case, how about getting some exercise with this hyung? Out in the training ground, obviously.”
“Can we do that, sir?” Kang Jin-Ho quickly raised his head.
It had already been three days since his arrival on the base, yet he couldn't get much exercise done and was feeling rather stuffy lately.
Circulating internal energy would maintain his physique and even train it, but nothing could beat a good exercise to deal with the frustrating feeling of being unable to move.
That was Kang Jin-Ho's current state, yet this senior soldier was volunteering to give him some exercise? He might not dare ask for it, but it was still what he desired, so of course, he would say yes.
Jeon Hyeok-Su beckoned arrogantly.
“Come with me.
I'll help you get some gooood exercise.”
“Thank you, sir!”
“No need to thank me, private.” Jeon Hyeok-Su smirked and headed outside the living quarter first.
'Heh, you better not throw up on me, kid.'
Unfortunately, Jeon Hyeok-Su would soon learn that something, somewhere, had gone terribly wrong for him.
Jeon Hyeok-Su was out of breath.
Totally out of breath.
He was so out of breath that his lungs felt like they would jump out of his mouth.
more…” Jeon Hyeok-Su gasped, unable to feel his legs anymore.
“Hang in there, sir,” said Kang Jin-Ho while lapping Jeon Hyeok-Su again.
That damn newbie spared only a brief glance at Jeon Hyeok-Su, patted him on the back, then continued to dash ahead.
'That crazy son of a…!'
Jeon Hyeok-Su swore in his head while witnessing this spectacle.
He was so dazed that he even forgot to wipe the drool dripping from the corner of his mouth.
Eventually, all strength left his legs, and Jeon Hyeok-Su crashed to the ground.
“H-Hyeok-Su! You okay?!”
The spectators watching on from the side of the training field hurriedly rushed up to Jeon Hyeok-Su to provide assistance.
“Here! Drink some water!”
“Holy sh*t! Look at how his limbs are shaking!”
The explanation for this situation was rather simple, really.
Jeon Hyeok-Su led Kang Jin-Ho to the base's training field, and then he made a simple offer.
Since regular exercise would be no fun, they should wager on something, he said.
In a way, what he had said sounded exceedingly plain but rather underhanded at the same time.
A 'naive' recruit new to the squad, which was Kang Jin-Ho, accepted the wager without knowing Jeon Hyeok-Su's true intentions.
Then the wager was set: the first one to lap the field fifty times would be declared the winner.
The loser would have to do a thousand push-ups before bedtime later tonight.
Kang Jin-Ho agreed without hesitation, and Jeon Hyeok-Su broke out in a content grin while imagining this newbie sweating buckets during the torturous push-ups.
However, wasn't this how all newbies adapted to life in the Korean military? By learning about the dignity and authority of the senior soldiers?
Unfortunately for Jeon Hyeok-Su, the situation didn't unfold as he had expected.
He ran leisurely for around ten laps while keeping pace with the newbie, then gradually upped his speed.
However, Kang Jin-Ho managed to keep up.
On the twentieth lap-mark, they were running at quite a high speed, but even then, Kang Jin-Ho was still easily keeping pace with Jeon Hyeok-Su.
'What the hell? Was this brat an athlete before enlisting?'
Just as Jeon Hyeok-Su began to notice something was wrong here, Kang Jin-Ho running alongside him, quietly asked, “Sir, is it fine for me to start running seriously now?”
“…Say what?” An earthquake erupted in Jeon Hyeok-Su's eyes just then.
However, before his brain could send the shockwaves to the rest of his body, Kang Jin-Ho suddenly accelerated and dashed far ahead of him in an instant.
'What the freaking hell?!'
Since Charlie was a separate company with its own base and everything, its training field was on a smaller side.
Even then, one lap around it should be at least three hundred meters.
Twenty laps around such a field meant six thousand meters—six kilometers, in other words!
Jeon Hyeok-Su was a former amateur track-and-field runner.
Yet, this newbie kept pace with him for six kilometers without breaking a sweat, and then that same newbie suddenly started to accelerate even faster as if the time to humor his senior was over?! How was Jeon Hyeok-Su supposed to interpret this situation?
It was precisely at this moment that Jeon Hyeok-Su realized he had made a huge mistake by making that wager with Kang Jin-Ho.
“…Eeeeek!” Jeon Hyeok-Su gritted his teeth.
The thing was, he had his pride as a man to consider.
Losing to his peers in this manner would be already quite embarrassing, but to lose to a junior? And not just any junior, but a fresh-faced newbie, to boot?! He wouldn’t be able to raise his head and act like a senior soldier anymore.
Too bad, but that was his second mistake.
Jeon Hyeok-Su ran as hard as he could to catch up, but Kang Jin-Ho simply glanced at him once and accelerated even faster.
Whenever Jeon Hyeok-Su thought he had almost caught up, Kang Jin-Ho simply accelerated, time and time again, to put some distance between him and the senior soldier.
Jeon Hyeok-Su couldn’t do anything about it.
“Uwaaaah!” Jeon Hyeok-Su ran as if his life depended on it just to somehow stay in the race, but when the lap count ticked past thirty, the sky suddenly turned a sickly yellow in his vision.
In the midst of this, Kang Jin-Ho and his stone-face lapped Jeon Hyeok-Su three times.
Eventually, Jeon Hyeok-Su's body threw the towel and crashed to the ground.
The other senior soldiers helped him drink some water, and once his burning throat was quenched to a degree, Jeon Hyeok-Su spat out heavy, shallow breaths.
The other soldiers could only shake their heads in disbelief.
How the heck…?”
“Whoa. That newbie is no joke, man.”
“I thought he's some kinda Terminator or something! Since the start of the race, his posture hasn't changed at all!”
“Look, look! He's probably not even tired at all.
Look at how he's running this way.”
Kang Jin-Ho had lapped the field one more time and was now running toward where Jeon Hyeok-Su had fallen; his speed and posture hadn’t faltered even once.
He came to a stop and asked with a tilt of his head, “Are you alright, sir?”
‘Don't you have eyes?! Can't you tell I'm not okay!’
Jeon Hyeok-Su dearly wanted to shout at the top of his lungs, but his lungs and throat couldn't care less about his brain's commands.
Even the act of opening his lips proved to be very difficult right now.
However, he still managed to squeak some words out.
Honestly, Jeon Hyeok-Su wanted to head to the infirmary right now, but his pride as a senior soldier simply wouldn’t allow that.
He continued to mutter weakly, “It…
it seems that my… uh, condition today wasn't so great.
Maybe I'm having a bit of a cold.”
“Ah, I see.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
“In that case, let's call the wager off for now, sir.
We can always do it at another time when it's fair for both of us.
How about it, sir?”
Jeon Hyeok-Su blinked stupidly.
“Y-you don't mind it?”
“No, I don't.
In that case…
Well, I'll just finish my running first, sir.”
Kang Jin-Ho finished what he wanted to say, then immediately started running once more.
Jeon Hyeok-Su saw this and could only mutter weakly to himself, “Wager? My ass…”
Jeon Hyeok-Su swore to himself that he would never, ever do another wager with Kang Jin-Ho in the future.
OCD is an abbreviation of obsessive-compulsive disorder. ☜
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