that kid.
Listen, fella.
Do I look like the sort of person who'd personally pay a visit to a soldier I'm familiar with? Or even pay extra attention to them?”

“No, sir.
I know you are not that sort of a person.”

“That's right.
Besides, I wouldn't have assigned a soldier I'm personally acquainted with to this battalion, either.
If I had found out about him in the middle of basic training, I'd have him transferred elsewhere.”

“Indeed, sir.
And I respect that side of your character.
The thing is…” The Battalion Commander faltered there, unable to continue the rest of his sentence.

However, the Division Commander did that for him.
“What, you wanna ask why I even bothered to come all this way just to meet a measly little private and make your life difficult? Is that it?”

“N-no, sir! Of course not!”

The Division Commander boisterously laughed before pointing at the Battalion Commander with his baton.


“I have no plans to allow any special treatments or grant privileges to any relatives of mine.
And I will never let it happen under my watch, too.
Our issue here is that kid isn't my relative.”


“I can't tell you the exact details, but know this: that private is connected to a very influential person.
However, don't try to outthink yourself here since you'll soon find out, anyway.
However, let me say this ahead of time.
That private is protected by someone incomparably scarier and more influential than anyone you can think of.”

The Battalion Commander nervously gulped.

“That's why I'm asking you to be a bit more hands-on with that private.
But I'm not telling you to give him special treatment.
Oh no.
Just make sure he doesn't experience any unreasonable nonsense.
That's all.”

“Sir, I'll definitely make sure.” The Battalion Commander nodded affirmatively.
He noticed how the Division Commander stopped talking there for some reason, then cautiously raised his voice.
“By the way, sir…”


“My apologies, but…
May I know who this influential person is?”

The Division Commander stared at the lower-ranked officer with a less-than-impressed face before groaning at length.
Since that influential person had indicated his plan to visit this base once every month, perhaps it was a good idea to reveal that information ahead of time.
It's Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu.”

“Chairman Hwang Jeong… Huh? Who did you say it was?!” The Battalion Commander shot up to his feet.
He was freaking out so bad that he had inadvertently committed a cardinal sin a soldier should never do: speak rudely to his senior officer.
“C-Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu, you say?!”

The Battalion Commander felt as if his heart would leap out of his mouth after learning about Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu's involvement.
He had naturally assumed the 'influential person' behind Kang Jin-Ho to be a currently-serving politician, or maybe Kang Jin-Ho was the son of a minister or something.
At least, that was his thought after checking out the Division Commander's attitude.

But it was Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu?! This situation would've been less burdensome had Kang Jin-Ho been an illegitimate child of the current President of Korea.
Why was the living legend of the financial world being introduced into this tale?!

However, the tale wasn't over just yet.
The Division Commander continued, “I heard that Chairman Hwang would come here once every month to visit Private Kang Jin-Ho.
I don't have to tell you to prepare well in advance now, do I?”

The battalion commander fell back to his seat with a dazed expression on his face.

The division commander loudly tutted.
“Get a hold of yourself, man.”

“…Sir, could Kang Jin-Ho be his hidden child? Maybe a hidden grandson?”

“See, that's the weird part about this whole situation.” The Division Commander frowned as if merely thinking about this situation was giving him a migraine.
“We all have a pretty good idea about what kind of a person Chairman Hwang is.
He's definitely not the type to grant special privileges to his own flesh and blood.
After his comeback, didn't he chase his sons out of his company for making a mess of things?”

“Y-yes, he did.”

The triumphant return of Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu, and the subsequent mass resignation of the board of directors and management, brought about a massive shockwave to the financial world back then.
The Battalion Commander was a soldier and held little interest in the conflicts taking place within the civilian society.
Even then, he still got to learn quite a lot about Jaegyeong's upheaval after news outlets published articles and headlines about it nonstop every single day.

“According to my senior, Chairman Hwang's real personality isn't so different from what we see in the news.
He then told me he still can't figure out why someone like that wants some random young brat taken care of,” said the Division Commander.

“I-I see.” The Battalion Commander nodded.
At the same time, he figured out two things from the info he had just learned.

First, Chairman Hwang's personality was basically what they had heard about in the news and gossip.
Second, which was the important one of the two, this 'request' was coming from somewhere higher up in the food chain than the Division Commander.
If this situation could even be called a request, that was.

'Well, I guess that makes sense since it involves Chairman Hwang…'

To a battalion commander, a division commander was an existence even higher than heaven itself.
Compared to Hwang Jeong-Hu, though? A mere division commander was a nobody compared to someone like that.
Didn't the media evaluate Hwang Jeong-Hu as a legend, a giant of the financial world who would have won the presidential election without issues if he had run for it? That was before he got ill, but still.

Knock, knock…

Someone knocked on the door, and then a voice came from beyond it.
“Battalion Commander, sir! It's Captain Ha from the artillery corps Charlie.”

“Mmhm. You may enter.”

The door opened, and Charlie's Battery Commander walked in.
Following right behind him was a strapping young man.

“Victory!” Captain Ha loudly saluted at the two high-ranking officers in the office.
The young soldier following him also performed a salute, but his salute was a brief one.

The Division Commander stared at the young soldier.
“Are you Kang Jin-Ho?”

Kang Jin-Ho replied while standing at attention, “Yes, sir.”

“I see.
Well, take a seat.”

Despite the permission, Kang Jin-Ho didn't budge from his spot.

The Division Commander didn't give up, however.
“It's fine, Private.
Take a seat over here.
Come on.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly stared at the highest-ranking officer in the room, then slowly walked up to the spot on the couch pointed out to him.
Once he sat down, the questions began.

“So, tell me.
Is there anything troubling you?”

“No, sir.
I've just transferred, after all.
I've found nothing to trouble me.”

“I see.
What about your seniors? Are they treating you fairly?”

“Yes, sir,” Kang Jin-Ho replied flatly.

However, his attitude was misunderstood by the Division Commander as a sign of simple nervousness.
So, he spoke with a gentle smile on his face, “If you encounter any difficulties during your time in the military, do give me a call.
I might not be able to help you in many things, but I can certainly ensure that you don't experience unfairness while you're here.”

That was when Kang Jin-Ho's expression stiffened.
He stared at the Division Commander and slowly asked, “Was that a request from Chairman Hwang?”

“Hmm…” The Division Commander felt a bit sheepish after being asked so directly like this.
“For now, let's say it was.”

“In that case, sir, there's no need for you to worry about this matter.”

“Mm? What do you mean?” The Division Commander tilted his head.

Kang Jin-Ho explained himself in a stiff voice.
“I do not wish to receive any privileges or extra attention during my enlistment, sir.
Please forget whatever Chairman Hwang has told you.
And, please forget that I'm currently serving in the military, as well.
I did not enlist to become a recipient of special treatments.
If I knew this would happen, I would have prevented Chairman Hwang from coming anywhere near the base, sir.”

The Division Commander's jaw slowly fell.

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