ACT 3 Mother
“How is it? Do you like it?”
Hyun-woo looked at his mother’s expression and laughed. Her expression indicated that his mother still couldn’t understand the situation. She stared blankly at the house for a while before speaking in a hesitant voice.
“You really rented this house?”
“How many times have I said it? It is just like I said.”
“But the money required to rent this place…….”
“Mother, a son should have this much capabilities.”
“But the rental deposit for a house near the hospital…….you didn’t have to go through all that trouble. I never dared imagine a house like this…….”
“Mother doesn’t have to worry about unnecessary things like that. This much is nothing.”
Hyun-woo spoke with a proud expression and stared at the house. The rented house was a 3 storey house with a small garden.
‘I was worried at first but I somehow managed to make it!’
Over the past two months, Hyun-woo had almost gone insane with worry. The deposit fee for the rented house was 80 million won. Excluding the contract signing deposit, that was 60 million won. Thus Hyun-woo had spent the last two months running after money.
‘What will I do if I don’t have the money after two months? What is something unexpected happens?’
The thought of having no money to pay the deposit filled Hyun-woo with extreme anxiety. In addition, 60 million won wasn’t the type of money that Hyun-woo who only graduated from high school would have. After paying the hospital bills and the cost of living, he had a few million won at most. He had lived without making a deposit account in his bankbook. So naturally money was main thing on Hyun-woo’s mind. He was unsure if he could gather the rest of the rental deposit money in the two months so he had been quite restless. In the end he worried for nothing. After converting his gold to money, Hyun-woo’s assets was a lot more than expected. And he was able to have that type of gold because of ‘Ark.’
Aside from Ark, Hyun-woo also had the rehabilitation members, Roco, Sid, the three baby pig brothers and Lariette to help. After all, Ark had Sid and the three pig brothers in his group so that was 4 merchants. In wasn’t an exaggeration to say that Hyun-woo was in charge of asset management after investing in various projects. It was thanks to those investments that he could settle the rent balance. Hyun-woo now summarized the order that the money was deposited in his bankbook.
First from Buksil. Buksil had sold the items obtained in Magaro’s laboratory for 10% more than he expected so Hyun-woo received 3,200 gold. Then there was Sid who sold the 16,000 ores Ark received in Seutandal. In fact, Hyun-woo had intended to sell the raccoons living in Lancel village the ore. But no matter how much the raccoons like the ore, it was impossible to sell all of the 16,000 ores. And according to the law of supply and demand, the price would go down the more available the item was. That was when Sid heard the news and appeared like the wind. Sid used the information of the Continental Commerce Firm to check the ore price in Schudenberg Kingdom, then he used Sapjil and Ulmeok to increase the price. Thanks to that, Ark was able to dispose of all the ore and the profits was 30% more than he expected. So he earned 2,400 gold from that. During the several months Roco managed the store, she earned around 1000 gold! Just those three alone was 6,600 gold. That amount had exceeded his target goal.
‘Huhuhu, I also can’t forget about Alan’s help.’
Hyun-woo smiled and remembered the 9,000,000 won that had been deposited in his bankbook a few days ago. It was the price Hyun-woo received for selling the Steel Shield of Hatred and Despair he received from Wigurima in Ageiron. Hyun-woo had been disappointed after confirming the performance of the item. Although it was a level 300 boss, all Wigurima dropped was a rare shield which wouldn’t sell for that much. The most he would gain for it was 3 million won. But he received an instant purchase request the moment he sold it on the auction site. Surprisingly the person who requested it was Charming Man, Alan’s ID. Hyun-woo checked that it was the same ID who bought the gloves and his hypothesis was confirmed.
‘There’s no doubt. Alan also previously bought the Plated Gauntlets of Corrupted Hatred which had a skill related to the Hatred stat. The Steel Shield of Hatred and Despair is also the same. The only reason he would buy such items is because of the hatred stat. Alan is collecting set items.’
If this was true than the situation was different. People would normally look at the market price of the item before deciding how much they would spend on it. But Alan was rich. If he wasn’t after set items then he wouldn’t give up no matter the price. Thus Hyun-woo raised the price to triple the amount and managed to sell it for 9 million won.
‘Alan might be a surprisingly good guy.’
Thus Alan’s intimacy with Hyun-woo increased quickly without him even knowing. Of course, Alan would never wish for that to happen…….
Anyway, thanks to Alan Ark had 15 million won left in his account after paying off the rent deposit. But it wasn’t all good. Hyun-woo’s wallet thickening meant that Ark’s wallet had thinned. Thus he was once again saving 1 copper every day. Although he was attempting to save every copper he could, he wasn’t worried about starving to death.
‘And accomplishing that goal is not for me along.’
Hyun-woo looked proudly at his mother. Hyun-woo’s goal over the last two months had been to live together with his mother and that was his mother’s goal as well. Physical therapy and rehabilitation was essential. So she put in a lot of effort and moved her body whenever possible.
‘What is that? Of course someone sick would try to get better.’
……There might be people who thought like that. However, those who have stayed for a long time in the hospital or who had family there knew that it wasn’t an easy task. Hyun-woo had watched his mother struggle for 6 years so he knew all too well. At first all patients admitted to the hospital would try to get better. But after one month passed and then one year, most people would have misgivings. There would be a feeling of helplessness from living so many years with medical treatment and it was easy to give up. It was natural. Therefore they accepted that they couldn’t be completely cured.
“The patient will have to cross the most difficult mountain to receive a complete cure.”
That was something a doctor had said one year after his mother had been hospitalized. It was natural. Sometimes it was difficult for the sick person to endure the pain that came with the treatment. That’s why doctors would say that ‘the patient’s will is the most important.’ It was one of their favourite phrases when treating people. But his mother endured it. ‘I can get better’…..no, she never lost her commitment and she improved so much that the doctors were surprised and discharged her from the ICU.
“I wanted to tell you this. Patient Park So-mi really is like a honour roll student. Her figures have all improved so much compared to two months ago. The hospital treats people with the idea that the patients’ motivation is the most important but I never thought it would be so effective…… She must really want to live with Hyun-woo ssi. Although she should still be careful, a complete recovery in the future doesn’t seem that distant.”
The doctor in charge explained how eagerly his mother had been receiving treatment.
‘My troubles are nothing compared to my mother’s suffering.’
After 6 years apart, Hyun-woo and his mother were really eager to live together. Fortunately that dream could now be achieved. Yes, now his mother was healthy enough to be an outpatient and she was rewarded with a lovely house with a garden. But his mother looked at Hyun-woo with worried eyes and said.
“Hyun-woo, your mother can’t live here if you’ve obtained it through bad acts.”
Why were all mothers the same in this situation? Hyun-woo pouted and whined like a child.
“Why doesn’t Mother believe in her son? I’ve received a lot of education from mother so I know what bad acts are. Look at these clear eyes. They are innocent. They’re gentle like the eyes of a newborn baby.”
“…… They might be gentle and innocent but they are still impudent.”
“It is genetic. Anyway, I have done nothing that I am ashamed of. In addition, you don’t have to be concerned because Hwa-rang ajusshi looked after me while you were in hospital.”
“Oh, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve seen Detective Gwon. What has he been doing?”
His mother suddenly spoke in a concerned tone. Then a smirk appeared on Hyun-woo’s face.
“Aha, the reason you’ve been looking around restlessly is because of Hwa-rang ajusshi. Huhuhu, he’s the first thing you looked for when I started talking. Is that how it is? When did your relationship progress so much?”
“W-what are you saying…….?”
“What’s wrong? I am turning 24 this year.”
“24 years old……that’s right……. You were 18…….now you’re already 24 years old……6 years…….”
His mother’s face instantly darkened at Hyun-woo’s words.
‘Ah, I made a mistake.’
Hyun-woo belatedly realized. In fact, his mother always became melancholy whenever Hyun-woo’s age was mentioned. She seemed to be thinking about how long she had been a heavy baggage for her son. Hyun-woo started talking in order to change the atmosphere.
“Hwa-rang ajusshi and the hyungs are waiting at the house.”
“At the house?”
“Yes, this is the first time I’m seeing the house after all my things were moved. I’ve been busy the last few days. So Hwa-rang ajusshi and the hyungs entered the house first to organize the baggage.”
In fact, Hyun-woo had paid off the deposit just before the battle with Karakul began. So while the game unit and internet had been installed at the new house, he had been playing at the game arcades. He was seeing the new house for the first time with his mother so he felt anticipation and excitement.
“Come on, let’s enter!”
Hyun-woo pushed her wheelchair energetically and finally entered their new home. There was the noisy sound of firecrackers as they walked through the front door.
“Noonim (formal way of saying older sister for males), congratulations on your discharge!”
Gwon Hwa-rang and the rehabilitation members were all gathered near the front door. Hyun-woo realized how comfortable his new residence was after seeing them gathered in one spot. The rehabilitation members were so huge that there was no space to move or breath in his old place. But the living room in their new place was so large that it felt like the rehabilitation members could play soccer in it.
“Hehehe, noonim, you have come.”
The rehabilitation members flocked around them.
“Thank you. You didn’t need to come…….”
“Why are you talking like that?”
“We are men.”
“Hyun-woo is our younger brother. So noonim is like a mother to us.”
“Oh, that reminds me? Should we call you mother?”
Then Gwon Hwa-rang’s face hardened.
“Hey you! Don’t say something so disgusting! Park-nim is different from you guys who have the DNA of animals. And who would want to have a child your age?”
“Sheesh, why are you mentioning our age? Anyway, I was just joking.”
“DNA? Why is hyung-nim mentioning DNA in this situation?”
“We’ve endured it until now, but hyung-nim is like a wolf drooling over noonim who is little Red Riding Hood.”
“It’s true. Noonim, it’s not too late. He is like the wolf who disguised as the grandmother. You should escape before he eats you. We’ll risk our lives to help you escape!”
“What, what the, these guys?”
“Hohohoho. Thank you. But Detective Gwon seems more like a bear than a wolf to me.”
His mother burst out laughing as she stared at the quarrelling Gwon Hwa-rang and rehabilitation members. Gwon Hwa-rang who had been grabbing Jjak-tung’s collar awkwardly laughed and blushed.
“Hahaha, yes I am a bear. I’m not a wolf.”
“Sheesh, suddenly a bear is really good. Tsk tsk, this old bachelor……get out of the way.”
Jjak-tung and Tazza kicked Gwon Hwa-rang and pushed him into a corner. Then they lowered their heads and smiled.
“Now, let’s forget about the animal who doesn’t know whether he is a wolf or a bear. Anyway, we are Hyun-woo’s older brothers so we’ve prepared a small gift to congratulate noonim on your discharge.”
When his words finished, a bouquet and cake suddenly appeared in their two hands. Then clapped her hands like a young girl and asked with startled eyes.
“Omo, it is amazing. Are you two magicians?”
“Heh, there is nothing we can’t do.”
They were an ex-conman and gambler so such tricks were easy for them. Anyway, then came the really amazing part.
“Shut up. All you could come up with was a bouquet and cake?”
“That’s right, now it’s our turn!”
Bul-kkun and the other rehabilitation members lined up in front of his mother. Then the ‘love of the rehabilitation members’ game began.
“We’ve prepared a gift for noonim.”
“Now, please look over here. The living room window is protected by the elegant windows. I know a merchant who specifically makes high end curtains. The 100% feel of silk when touching! It also has antibacterial and fungal control and is good for your health.”
Yapsab explained the curtains with a rapt expression. Then Bu Dong-san stuck out his tongue and interrupted.
“Bah, you foolish fellow!” How will be curtain be useful for her health? This fellow doesn’t understand houses. Noonim, please look down at the floor. Do you see the flooring? Hahaha, that’s right. This is called jade flooring. Indeed, isn’t this the best material for the floor?”
Then it was Hae Gyeol-sa’s turn.
“Heh, short, too short. These fellows are thinking in such a short sighted manner. Are they only seeing the bottom? Who cares about the flooring? Look a little higher. The most important thing is lighting. Don’t you see the TV? Doesn’t the mood of the interior depend on the lighting? Noonim, I’ve prepared for you a lighting system with 3 wavelengths and matching wallpaper.”
“Hahaha, what silly people!”
At that time, audible laughter was heard which shook the living room. He turned around and saw that Bul-kkun and Ddeok-dae were laughing.
“Curtains? Flooring? Lighting? Wallpaper? This is why you guys are only capable of cheap tricks. Isn’t health the most important thing? If you eat well then you will become healthier. That’s why I prepared this! A high end kitchen and refrigerator set!”
“And I’ve prepared a profession exercise set for your rehabilitation!”
“I’ll like to see any of you beat this. Our eye level is different from you. Hahaha!”
Bul-kkun and Ddeok-dae indicated towards the flashy kitchen and exercise equipment. Then the remaining rehabilitation members sank to the ground and murmured with sad faces.
“Ugh, how regrettable.”
“The most important thing is definitely food and exercise.”
“I only though to buy kitchenware……”
Gwon Hwa-rang finally noticed a change and quickly interrupted.
“Park-nim, I’ve prepared something as well. I’ve prepared a first class bed! It has a threefold spring structure and is very good for your back. Furthermore, it is so robust that you can use it for 10 years.”
However, all he got in return was the teasing of the rehabilitation members.
“As expected from an old bachelor. Disguising something blatant as a present…….”
“In addition, 10 years? Isn’t he intending to secretly prepare items for marriage? How sneaky……”
“Ohhh, please return to your zoo. You unscrupulous old man!”
“W-what are these brats talking about? I just……”
Gwon Hwa-rang face quickly turned red. Then Hyun-woo looked around the house with surprised eyes and asked the Gwon Hwa-rang and the rehabilitation members.
“Ajusshi, hyung-nims, this is the reason why you asked me for the key?”
“Well, it’s like we said. We wanted to prepare it beforehand…….”
“Did you think you were alone?”
Gwon Hwa-rang and the rehabilitation members studied Hyun-woo’s face before talking. Hyun-woo was the type who didn’t like receiving one-sided help. Therefore Gwon Hwa-rang and the rehabilitation members had prepared the gifts for Hyun-woo secretly. In fact, Hyun-woo had expected it to some extent. When considering their close relationship, he had expected one or two gifts. But Hyun-woo thought it would just be a few pots or pans. He never imagined that he would receive such large gifts. However, Hyun-woo’s reaction was different from what the rehabilitation members expected and he was just deeply moved. Hyun-woo wasn’t moved by the value of the gifts. It was because he could feel the thought and regard put into each gift. It was also for the sake of his mother…….
Yes, Hyun-woo didn’t like receiving things one-sidedly. But if it was for his mother…..
“Thank you. Ajusshi, hyung-nims, thank you very much.”
Hyun-woo was moved to tears and bowed. When was it? When was the last time he felt this much gratitude towards someone? And the last time he sincerely thanked someone?
“Eh? What the? What’s with this guy?”
“So….isn’t this much expected?”
The rehabilitation members blushed and scratched their heads at the unexpected response. Gwon Hwa-rang and the rehabilitation members looked at Hyun-woo awkwardly while his mother wore a soft smile. There was a subtle silence. Suddenly the front door slammed open and Jung Hye-sun came in whining.
“Huk huk, I’ve arrived. Huh? What’s wrong with everyone?”
Jung Hye-sun asked after belatedly noticing the awkward atmosphere. Hyun-woo just tilted his head to one side.
“Eh? Hye-sun, you have today off?”
“Ah, what are you saying? The day your mother is discharged from hospital is a national holiday.”
“National holiday? Today is a holiday? Isn’t it a weekday?”
Hyun-woo asked but Jung Hye-sun just ignored him and approached his mother.
“Mother, I’ve arrived.”
“Thank you for coming.”
“What do you mean? Of course I’m going to come. Today is the happiest day for me apart from Independence Day. Furthermore, I can’t leave Mother alone with these oversized brothers.”
“Hohoho, it is good that you’re so bright. How are you?”
Jung Hye-sun had visited the hospital several times so she had become quite close to his mother. Yes, but the original person concerned how no idea Jung Hye-sun considered her a mother in law. The strategy to win him over had already begun a long time ago. Hyun-woo looked at the exchange with confusion and asked.
“But what is that huge backpack? Did you have some business?”
“Oh, this? I can’t just let this day pass without celebrating. So I made a few things.”
“Who’s going to eat all of that?”
“Hyun-woo doesn’t know about the eating habits of the others. This much might not be enough.”
Jung Hye-sun just shrugged. The rehabilitation members nodded with serious faces.
“Huhuhu, as expected from our little cutie. She knows us too well.”
“Now let’s eat and drink.”
“Hey, Landlord! What are you looking at? Order snacks and drinks!”
Then Jung Hye-sun who had been taking out the food raised her eyebrows and said.
“What? I said there would be no drinking.”
“Eh? W-what are you talking about?”
“How can we eat all that food without any alcohol?”
“Yes, you know. Alcohol is like a digestive for us!”
“Ohhhh, it’s a tyranny!”
They were acting like they wanted to run onto the streets and give a candlelight protest.
However, they immediately quieted and lowered their tails like a dog when Jung Hye-sun shouted. Their year of experience with Jung Hye-sun meant they knew when not to push the line. In the past, the rehabilitation members had experienced all sorts of hardships like being threatened with knives in alleys. They never lost their courage…….but now their lips protruded and they whined like children.
“We can’t eat our meals without some alcohol.”
Ah, were they truly gangsters in the past? Anyway, their protest worked. His mother looked at Jung Hye-sun with a charming smile.
“Isn’t a little bit of alcohol okay?”
“But Mother, they turn into animals when they get drunk.”
“That’s okay. All men get a little noisy when they’re drunk. A woman only needs to worry when a man is too quiet. Hyun-woo, you go and buy it.”
“Ohhh, as expected of noonim!”
“I’ll swear allegiance to you!”
The rehabilitation members voluntarily swore their support after her decision. So at his neat new house……just by looking at the prepared food, a party of an extravagant scale had begun. The rehabilitation members ravenously ate their food and drank alcohol while teasing Gwon Hwa-rang about his mother, forcing him to drink. But Hyun-woo was actually confused about Jung Hye-sun.
“We’ve just moved downstairs. Nice to meet you.”
While the food was being unpacked, Jung Hye-sun greeted the 2nd and 3rd floor residents and even the next door neighbours. After she returned, she attached herself to his mother’s side and chattered tirelessly. Hyun-woo had no experience with dating or a sense of strategy, so he couldn’t understand that Hye-sun was trying to get close to his mother. Although it was difficult to form a conclusion yet, the strategy was getting good results.
‘Why is she so friendly?’
Jung Hye-sun seemed different to Hyun-woo for some reason. Around that time, an enormous hindrance to Jung Hye-sun’s plan appeared.
Ding dong, ding dong.
While they were all getting suitably drunk, the sound of the doorbell was heard.
“Eh? Who is it? There should be no more people……eh?
Hyun-woo’s mouth dropped with surprise when he opened the front door. A person he never imagined in this place had visited.
“Hello? Hasn’t it been a long time since I’ve seen you in real life?”
Amazingly, the person who arrived was Lariette or Kang Mi-su.
They met often in New World but it had been 1 year since they’ve seen each other in reality.
“Why is Mi-su ssi here?”
“Mi-su ssi? Ah, Lariette-nim? We invited her.”
Bul-kkun heard Hyun-woo’s question and replied.
“Hyung-nim invited her?”
“Yes, Lariette-nim has spent quite a lot of time with us. This is the long awaited chance to say hello properly so we invited her. By the way……you truly are a beauty.”
Bul-kkun looked at Kang Mi-su’s face while chewing on a piece of squid. Hyun-woo also agreed on that point. Just like Ark’s face resembled Hyun-woo, Lariette also resembled Kang Mi-su. Because Lariette and Hyun-woo had spent a lot of time together, he had been slightly desensitized to her face. However after meeting her again in reality, his heart started thumping like it was their first meeting. No matter how realistic the virtual reality character, it couldn’t outperform the original.
‘She seems to have become prettier than before.’
“Come in. Everybody has been waiting for Lariette-nim.”
Kang Mi-su smiled and entered the living room. When Kang Mi-su entered the living room…..Hyun-woo and Bul-kkun weren’t the only people affected by her. The moment she entered, the once boisterous atmosphere became quiet. The rehabilitation members had spent a lot of time with Lariette but this was the first time they’ve actually seen Kang Mi-su. Ddeok-dae, Hae Gyeol-sa, Jjak-tung, Tazza and Yapsab all opened their mouths absentmindedly and stared at Kang Mi-su. Kang Mi-su hesitated before handing a bouquet of flowers and a toilet paper set to Hyun-woo’s mother.
“I heard from Oppa. Congratulations on your discharge. This is a small house warming gift.”
“Thank you. But how do you know Hyun-woo?”
“Just…..I’ve received a lot of help from him in various ways.”
Kang Mi-su attempted to read Hyun-woo’s face before answering. Anyway, all the interest focuses on one topic after she appeared. Hyun-woo had previously mentioned that she had a rich boyfriend. Therefore the rehabilitation members hadn’t made any moves on her but who wouldn’t be tempted when a pretty girl was seated with them? They were also tipsy thanks to all the alcohol.
“Now all the leaders of the autonomous group in Seutandal have been gathered. I’m Bul-kkun. I’ll get you a glass.”
“Get out of the way! Hehehe, I am Yapsab. You’re an elf even in reality.”
“Have you ever heard that you resemble a celebrity?”
The rehabilitation members enthusiastically welcomed Kang Mi-su and blatantly competed for a seat next to her. However, they forgot about one person until they needed her…….
“Hey, Hye-sun. This dish is empty. Get us a little more.”
“And this one as well!”
Jung Hye-sun immediately started to feel displeased.
‘Bah, what the? Why was this woman invited?’
Jung Hye-sun lips tightened and she glared at Kang Mi-su. She had learnt Lariette’s name from the recordings. When Hyun-woo had dropped by Lancel village to obtain the Sacred Soil, Lariette was also with him.
Then she heard Jana the Meow shaman talk about the other woman with Ark. Thus Jung Hye-sun questioned the rehabilitation members about Kang Mi-su. The rehabilitation members said that Hyun-woo mentioned Lariette had a boyfriend so she stopped paying attention.
This time she saw her directly. Her woman’s instinct warned her that Kang Mi-su was a shrewd fox! No, it wasn’t just a simple feeling. After Kang Mi-su appeared, Hyun-woo’s attitude began to feel uncomfortable somehow. He made an uneasy face every time the rehabilitation members rushed to her. Jung Hye-sun was definitely disturbed by Hyun-woo’s restless movements. Therefore Jung Hye-sun turned her misgivings into hostility towards Kang Mi-su.
‘Deception is overflowing from that woman……. I heard she has a boyfriend but I can’t be careless. Hyun-woo oppa is clearly wonderful. I don’t know what but that fox might have an ulterior motive.’
This was clearly a misunderstanding. No, was it really a misunderstanding? Anyway, Jung Hye-sun felt an impending sense of crisis and approached Hyun-woo with a pleasant smile.
“Oppa, what are you doing? Lariette-nim should help me get the glasses for everyone. By the way, Unni’s (female term for older female) true personality is different from how you look.”
“Yes. I’ve only seen you a few times in the game but Unni seems really sly. I guess the trend in games these days is to reel in a man with a smile. Isn’t it easy to receive the help of a knight when you’re so pretty? Ah, I’m envious.”
Kang Mi-su’s face seemed slightly frozen by the end of her words.
“Hye-sun, those words are…….”
“Oppa, can’t you see that I’m trying to talk to Unni?”
Jung Hye-sun immediately glared at Bul-kkun who was sitting on the sidelines. Then Kang Mi-su smiled pleasantly at Jung Hye-sun and replied.
“Thanks for the compliment. But Hye-sun ssi also seems like an sly person. Although everybody is casually sitting with each other, you’ve stuck yourself to Hyun-woo’s side. Usually women who act like that are difficult to deal with. Honestly, I don’t know whether they’re sly or insensitive.”
“Omo, did I make you feel bad?”
Kang Mi-su covered her mouth with her hand and deliberately acted like she was sorry for Jung Hye-sun. In fact, Jung Hye-sun had received the impression that Kang Mi-su was the beloved daughter of a rich family. She thought that stabbing her once would take care of it. Her impression was that Kang Mi-su had a careful personality. However, her personality wasn’t as nice as Jung Hye-sun thought. She worked at the reception desk of Global Exos where she had to deal with various guests who were spiteful or nasty. A sweet character wouldn’t be able to endure working there. In the game, she was also a leader of the autonomous group in Seutandal but she tended to be in the background compared to the rehabilitation members. She wasn’t the type that would not retaliate after being blatantly attacked. Anyway, Jung Hye-sun’s mouth dropped from the unexpected counterattack. However, she just laughed after a brief moment. Anger was building up inside her.
“Hohoho, I’m finally able to see your true personality. But I’ve known Hyun-woo oppa for a very long time. I’m in charge of Hyun-woo oppa’s store in Lancel village. Isn’t that enough intimacy?”
“Well, I’ve also known Hyun-woo ssi for 1 year. And we also travelled together in Seutandal. At that time, Hyun-woo ssi taught me how to cook and fight. If it’s that much then shouldn’t I be able to visit his house and celebrate?”
“T-that…..he taught you to fight? Cook?”
Jung Hye-sun turned around and stared at Hyun-woo. Hyun-woo just looked back with a puzzled expression. He couldn’t understand why the two females were acting like this. But the only thing more unbearable than the two females was the rehabilitation members. While Jung Hye-sun and Kang Mi-su were engaged in a psychological war over Hyun-woo, the rehabilitation members just continued eating while glaring at Hyun-woo.
“Bah, shouldn’t an older female match better with an older man?”
Meanwhile, the atmosphere was becoming more serious as the two female’s psychological warfare started deteriorating into personal attacks. Then a vein started popping on Kang Mi-su’s forehead when she heard that.
“Older woman? Omo, I didn’t know. Hye-sun ssi is younger than me? I thought you were older than me judging by your skin. Hye-sun ssi should go to a skin care place to take care of it. Should I introduce you to a good place I know?”
“What? Did you really say that?”
“What did I do?”
Kang Mi-su tilted her head to one side while pretending to be confused. Then Jung Hye-sun clenched her teeth and extended a wine glass to Hyun-woo.
“Oppa, drink this glass of wine!”
“Huh? What? Why?”
“Hyun-woo ssi, wouldn’t you prefer to drink from my glass instead?”
Hyun-woo became upset as he was attacked by wine glasses from both sides. Hyun-woo wasn’t so foolish that he couldn’t grasp the general atmosphere. The two women extending a wine glass at the same time was blatantly asking him ‘which one of us do you prefer?’ But Jung Hye-sun was a younger sister who took good care of his mother. Meanwhile Kang Mi-su was a woman who made his chest tremble. No, what type of man would be able to choose in this situation? How could he handle this?
‘Why are they fighting? And why am I involved?’
Hyun-woo looked at the rehabilitation members with eyes begging for help. However, the rehabilitation members just looked at him with cold eyes. In this situation, not even the rehabilitation members or their grandfathers would be able to make this dreadful situation cool down.
“It can’t be helped.”
Just as Hyun-woo was in a desperate situation, his mother pushed her wheelchair over and poked Jung Hye-sun and Kang Mi-su on their forehead. When the two of them looked puzzled, his mother smile gently and said.
“A woman shouldn’t make things so difficult for men.”
To his surprise, his mother was an amazing magician! That was all she said. The two women’s spirits, which was about to go crazy, calmed down. He didn’t know what type of magic was used. But Jung Hye-sun and Kang Mi-su scratched their heads before blushing and withdrawing.
“I’m sorry. We unconsciously…….”
“It’s nothing. You reminded me of my childish past.”
His mother smiled and stroked both of their heads. Just like that, the two quarrelling cats sheathed their claws. Jung Hye-sun and Kang Mi-su had no resistance against his mother. It was a powerful magic. His mother truly was amazing. However, Hyun-woo’s crisis wasn’t over.
“D-damn, so envious!”
“Even having such a wonderful mother……so jealous, I can’t allow it!”
The rehabilitation members rushed towards Hyun-woo and forcibly made him drink. Hyun-woo sensed the critical situation and once again looked at his mother to request help. However his mother, Jung Hye-sun and Kang Mi-su were talking with each other and were in their own female world. Hyun-woo eventually received the critical hit from the chain of alcohol and beer. How much time had passed from when the tragic incident caused by jealously and misunderstandings started? Hyun-woo suddenly felt a soft hand on his head. He had collapsed from the combined attack of the rehabilitation members. When he looked around the room, he couldn’t see Jung Hye-sun or Kang Mi-su. In the living room, there were the corpses of the rehabilitation members strewn all over the place.
‘Hah, I ended up drinking so much. Huh? Then…….”
Hyun-woo sighed and listened. After feeling the soft touch and the familiar smell, Hyun-woo realized that he was on his mother’s knee. Then the voice of Gwon Hwa-rang was audible from the side.
“Pass him to me. I’ll take him.”
“No, leave him here a little bit longer.”
His mother replied as she continued stroking his hair.
“…….But this house, did Detective Gwon help obtain it? Hyun-woo won’t talk about it…….”
“No. I honestly wanted to help but Hyun-woo refused. Although he is concerned about his mother, he doesn’t like receiving help. Hyun-woo gathered all the funds for the rental deposit by himself. Isn’t it really admirable? It is uncommon for an adult of his age.”
“Please don’t say that.”
“Hyun-woo doesn’t have a lot in common with adults his age? Yes, that’s right. But it’s not like that. The Hyun-woo I knew originally wasn’t an adult. 6 years ago he was a spoiled child who didn’t understand the world. I wanted the period where he could be a child to last longer. Did you know? I woke up in the ICU and heard your speech to Hyun-woo.”
“I knew at that time. The spoiled Hyun-woo was gone and he was going to be an adult……because of me he has to become an adult…..I knew. My heart was pained. Even now my heart is still hurting. Hyun-woo shouldn’t have to be an adult. He should’ve matured at his own rate instead of being forced into it.”
Suddenly, something fell on Hyun-woo’s head. It was his mother’s tears. His mother silently shed tears while firmly holding Hyun-woo’s hand.
“How much…..all his troubles in the meantime…… How much…….”
His mother’s voice gradually became quieter. He felt a sharp pain in his chest. The hot feeling seemed to be welling up from his heart. However, Hyun-woo closed his eyes tightly and held back the tears. He swore, that day……when his mother opened her eyes for the first time in the ICU. He would not cry in front of his mother again. He would only show a smiling expression.