actually someone in South Korea capable of treating the one and only Chairman Hwang this way? Not even the President of Korea, arguably the most politically powerful person in the country, could speak to Hwang Jeong-Hu on the phone in that disrespectful attitude and tone.
'Wait, maybe it wasn't Chairman Hwang, after all?'
Ha Jin-Nam consciously decided to think that way.
If that phone call was real, this situation simply didn't make any sense whatsoever.
To preserve his sanity, Ha Jin-Nam convinced himself that Kang Jin-Ho was talking to somebody else, not Chairman Hwang, and then he promptly tried to forget about what just happened a minute ago.
“Charlie Battery Commander, sir! The Battalion Commander wants you back in the office, sir!” the secretary suddenly called out to Ha Jin-Nam.
“Okay, got it.” Ha Jin-Nam nodded, then dragged Kang Jin-Ho back to the entrance of the battalion commander's office.
“You, wait here.
Hang on, go sit over there and be on standby.
Do not cause any more problems, got it? Hey, secretary? Give this kid a cup of coffee or something.”
Ha Jin-Nam made Kang Jin-Ho obediently sit on one of the chairs in the corridor, then faced the office entrance.
After taking a deep breath, he opened the door and entered.
He only emerged after quite some time, and his complexion displayed his exhaustion.
Let's go back, Jin-Ho.”
Kang Jin-Ho and Ha Jin-Nam climbed into the back seat of the waiting vehicle and drove past the HQ's guardhouse.
Now that he was back in his base, Ha Jin-Nam began racking his brain.
The request from the Division Commander and the Battalion Commander was the only thing he could think about right now.
'Keep my eyes on him, but make sure the kid doesn't find out? How am I supposed to do that?!'
Monitor Kang Jin-Ho, but make it seem like he wasn't being monitored? Trying to figure that order out almost made Ha Jin-Nam break down and weep.
However, he wasn't dense enough that he couldn’t see why the higher-ups made that order in the first place, so he had no choice but to shut up and return to his base.
Besides, he was a soldier.
Even if he disagreed, ranks were everything to a soldier, and he certainly couldn't argue with the higher-ups now, could he? In any case, Ha Jin-Nam simply had to keep an eye out on Kang Jin-Ho now.
Since this matter was too great, he couldn't just inform the lower-ranked officers below him and let them handle it.
As a battery commander, his schedule was already jam-packed, so this addition only made his daily life even more hellish.
After about a week of monitoring Kang Jin-Ho, Ha Jin-Nam realized something.
Ha Jin-Nam witnessed Kang Jin-Ho organizing his locker and could only shudder nonstop.
Just who was Ha Jin-Nam? Wasn't he a graduate of South Korea's military academy? No matter how much the military valued discipline and was rife with improper activities, it would still pale in comparison to the academy as far as enforcing discipline was concerned.
In the academy, literally everything had to be done by the book.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the academy's education period was designed to drill military discipline into the very souls of its cadets.
Drilling cadets until the habits of 'perfect' morning wake-up routine, 'perfect' conduct at all times, and 'perfect' organization of everything they touched were instilled in them? Indeed, those were some hellish times.
What was the number one issue the recently-graduated second lieutenants faced after their deployment? Wasn't it with how they tried to apply the field manual to everything they did?
As Ha Jin-Nam was a battery commander now, the memories of his academy days had long become indistinct blurs.
However, watching Kang Jin-Ho rekindled the horrors of those days in his head.
Even that kid's uniform hanging on the clothes rack reeks of discipline!'
There was this thing called 'gravity' in this world.
However, how could those uniforms ignore that and remain so resolutely…
'disciplined' like that?! And the sight of Kang Jin-Ho perfectly folding and pressing the blanket threatened to reawaken Ha Jin-Nam's past trauma, too!
“K-Kang Jin-Ho! Jin-Ho, stopppp!”
“Jin-Ho, you dumbass! We told you to stop doing that!”
“I said, stop!”
When Kang Jin-Ho began 'disciplining' his blanket like that, the senior soldiers nearby rushed in and tried to stop him.
However, Kang Jin-Ho replied with a confused tilt of his head, “But, sirs.
I'm simply trying to organize my things.”
“And we're telling you to stop it!”
“I don't understand, sir.
I was taught that being neat and organized is the foundation of being a soldier.”
“We know, so stop doing it already!”
Kang Jin-Ho's head tilting intensified.
“Sir? I know that a senior soldier ordering a junior to organize their things can be considered an unreasonable practice, but doesn't the military actively recommend its soldiers to voluntarily clean their belongings?”
“Listen, Jin-Ho! I'll play the part of the bad senior here, so please, stop doing that! I'm even prepared to spend the night in detention, too!”
“Damn it, just how did we end up with a kid like him…?”
“Aigoo, Jin-Ho! I can't breathe because of you.
If you don't want to see your hyungs taken to the infirmary, please, please! Stop doing that!”
An unprecedented crisis of a junior soldier promoting the importance of organization, and his seniors doing their best to stop him, was currently unfolding in Kang Jin-Ho's barrack.
Ha Jin-Nam stealthily witnessing this scene could only shudder, his teeth clattering noisily.
'That, that crazy kid!'
Including his time in the academy, Ha Jin-Nam had spent almost a decade in the army by now.
A decade! However, hand on heart, he could swear that he had never met anyone like Kang Jin-Ho.
“Jin-Ho, just apply to become a non-com officer, will ya! Better still, just go attend the military academy! Why did you have to attend Jaegyeong instead and torment us like this!”
'…The academy won't accept a loon like him, you know!'
Ha Jin-Nam tutted inwardly while shaking his head.
It was a relief that Kang Jin-Ho didn't cause any… problems in the past month or so since joining the corps.
However, it seemed that it wasn’t him adapting to life in the military but the other way around.
What a historical and unprecedented event that was…
Still, nothing major had happened so far, and that was great for everyone involved.
Of course, some minor issues did make them raise their heads every now and then.
“Here she comes!!!”
Every military personnel staying in Barracks 5 rushed in front of the TV.
“Uwaaah! Dear Goddess, you're finally here!”
“Yes, our President! President of the Army is here!”
“I'm telling you, I have no idea how I would survive my military service without seeing Se-Ah's performance!”
The TV was currently playing a music show.
A young female idol in a provocative outfit was singing and dancing on stage.
“Man, she's such a killer!”
All of a sudden, Kang Jin-Ho carrying a floor mop opened the door and stepped inside.
It was the weekend, but he felt a bit miffed by the slightly dusty floor, so he went outside to wash the mop and get it ready for a bout of cleaning.
“Sirs, I'm going to mop the floor for a bit.”
“…You OCD-suffering idiot?!”
The seniors resolutely refused to budge from their spots in front of the TV, and Kang Jin-Ho could only furrow his brow.
“Hold your horses, will ya! We'll get out of the way once Se-Ah is done with her performance!”
Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes at how firm his seniors were behaving.
Then, he raised his head to look at the TV screen himself.
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