SPACE 5. That Man
Silver General Hospital.
One car entered the parking lot. The person at the steering wheel was Gwon Hwa-rang and next to him was his wife Park So-mi. Previously Park So-mi had returned from serving in Africa and collapsed. Her husband and Hyun-woo were frantic only to discover she was pregnant. Since then she had been under the care of Gwon Hwa-rang. Today she visited the hospital for a general check-up.
“What are you thinking about so intently?”
Gwon Hwa-rang said with a bemused expression. He looked around for a while before saying.
“What did you say?”
“I asked what you were thinking about so intently. What are you worried about?”
“My worries…..you don’t know? Am I the type of person to worry?”
“I know you’re not.”
Park So-mi laughed at his words.
“That’s why you didn’t hesitate for even a second to go to Africa.”
“Of course. Wherever you go is my home.”
“This time it is a civil war area. This time we’re going to have a child so you should think about it more.”
“I’ll do whatever you want to do.”
Park So-mi looked straight at Gwon Hwa-rang.
“As soon as we arrive in Africa, you contacts in the police and military are picking us up at the airport. And when we reach the civil war area, you’ll be teaching the troops martial arts. You don’t have to keep your worries a secret from me.”
“I know. But I’ll never let you face it alone. Because you are the person I married. So I’m asking.”
Gwon Hwa-rang sighed at Park So-mi’s words.
“You’re not a person who easily expresses my worries. If you’re showing your worry then it must be something big. Isn’t it?”
Gwon Hwa-rang made an uneasy expression. Then Park So-mi laughed and nodded.
“Okay, you don’t have to say it. l believe in you and I’ll follow you to Africa. You must have a reason for not telling me. But please don’t worry too much. Because you will soon by the father of two children.”
Gwon Hwa-rang sighed. He had been troubled for a few days. His worry was related to Hyun-woo’s land in Taek Mountain. Gwon Hwa-rang intuitively noticed it when he met the rehabilitation members after returning to Korea. There was something hidden in the real estate slump. These days many people became public servants because it was difficult to find a stable job. But that wasn’t why Gwon Hwa-rang once worked as a detective. The reason he became a detective was justice! Therefore it was the most suitable job to achieve justice. That was the type of person Gwon Hwa-rang was. He couldn’t leave it alone once he smelt something rotten. Besides, the rehabilitation members were like brothers to his while Hyun-woo was his stepson. A father wouldn’t be able to pretend not to know.
Gwon Hwa-rang ordered in a cold rage. The rehabilitation members started diligently gathering information. And a few days ago they handed the results back to Gwon Hwa-rang.
‘I guessed to some extent but……’
The rehabilitation members had determined the actual owners of the Taek Mountain land. They were heavyweights in the local political or financial circles. This was the reason behind Gwon Hwa-rang’s worries. He was a man who wasn’t scared of the world. He was a man who didn’t hesitate to enter the office of gangsters when he was still a detective. There was no reason to flinch if the opponent was a local tycoon. Especially since the property belonged to Hyun-woo. No, money already wasn’t a problem for Hyun-woo these days.
In the process of examining the information received he discovered that many ordinary people suffered huge damage as well. It was to the extent that some who lost their entire savings tried to commit suicide. However, not one bit of this information was written in an article. Those behind this had the power to even silence the media. But that wasn’t the reason Gwon Hwa-rang hesitated. It was a fight for injustice. It doesn’t matter who the opponent was! Gwon Hwa-rang lived like this his entire life. Wasn’t this intolerance the reason why he left his home country to help in Africa?
……But that was when he was just ‘one person.’ Now he had a wife and was going to be the father of two children. He knew from his many years as a detective. The people behind this had huge political or financial power. In some cases they could be even more cruel than crime syndicates. His fury wanted him to enter straight into the execution phase. The fortune that Hyun-woo gathered might be lost. But if he engaged too deeply then it was his pregnant wife and son who might suffer the damage. A pregnant wife and a son. That was Gwon Hwa-rang’s only weakness.
‘What should I do…..?’
“If you’re sure……”
Then Park So-mi said.
“I know. I believe in you and will follow you. I’ll be here if you decide to confide your worries.”
A smile spread over Gwon Hwa-rang’s face. This was what she wanted to say.
“You don’t have to worry about such things. Aren’t you in the early stages of pregnancy?”
“I’m tougher than you think.”
“I know that. You wouldn’t have caught me if you weren’t. But no matter how strong you are, you still have to be careful because of the baby in your stomach.”
Gwon Hwa-rang said in a much light mood as he found a parking spot and prepared to get out of the car.
Suddenly a car appeared and blocked the path in front of him. 3 people in suits got out and knocked on the car window.
“Gwon Hwa-rang ssi?”
“Honey, what is it? Do you know these people?”
“Lock the car door. I’ll see what is going on.”
Gwon Hwa-rang looked at the men before getting out.
“I am Gwon Hwa-rang. What can I do for you?”
“Someone wants to talk to you for a moment. Shall we go by our car?”
“I have business with my wife. If you have a request then give me a business card. I’ll contact them later.”
“It won’t take long.”
“I won’t say it again. Either leave or give me a business card.”
“You must not have understood my words.”
One of the men looked Gwon Hwa-rang straight in the eye and laid a hand on his shoulder. There was strength in the hand that grabbed his shoulder. The tone was polite but it was obviously a threat. However, he had been a detective for 20 years. He could guess who had sent these people. Judging by the exquisite timing, they were probably sent by someone behind the whole real estate problem. They had sent their minions. A guy like that dared to put his hand on Gwon Hwa-rang’s shoulder. But he endured it. Because he was now the head of a family.
“……Okay, I’ll listen to your words.”
The man grinned and nodded. He probably thought his threat had worked and he was delighted. Although he really wanted to punch the man in his face, Gwon Hwa-rang showed patient and went to the car. And when he was about to climb into the back seat. Another man started beating on the car window and shouting.
“Hey lady! Put down the phone. It won’t be good if you start making noise for no reason.”
He threatened Park So-mi who was holding a cell phone! The barely restrained heart snapped. A bloody aura entered Gwon Hwa-rang’s eyes.
“You……who did you just threaten?”
“What? Heok! T-this guy! What are you trying? Let me go!”
The man shouted and swung his fist as Gwon Hwa-rang grabbed his collar. But he couldn’t do anything against Gwon Hwa-rang. Gwon Hwa-rang lowered his upper body to avoid the swing and approached the car. He smiled at Park So-mi inside the car and said.
“Close your eyes for a moment. The sight won’t be good for the baby inside.”
“Don’t be too hard on them.”
“It’s okay. This place is a hospital.”
Gwon Hwa-rang grinned and replied. His smile lasted until here. Once he was sure that his wife closed her eyes, he turned around with a face that looked like a predator. A low growl flowed through the mouth of the beast.
“You guys…..I need to teach you a lesson.”
“Ha! A guy like you……cough!”
Gwon Hwa-rang narrowed the distance and grabbed the man’s throat.
“This is your job so you should be slightly strong? Now, here I go. Try not to bite your tongue!”
Spread following the exercises, such as renovating! Gwon Hwa-rang rushed towards the 2 men who looked confused. However, they soon recovered and ran forward at the same time. And…..
They flew in an arc and hit the ground. Gwon Hwa-rang breathed out and looked at the men scattered on the ground.
“I will leave it here today. If you don’t want to be beaten even more then quickly leave the business card and leave.”
Then there was a noise and another guy got out of the car. He was a short man in his 40s and wearing a leather jacket. He alternated looking at Gwon Hwa-rang and the men before muttering.
“Your spirit is overflowing for someone your age.”
“Are you calling me old?”
“As expected from a former detective.”
“Oh, you know I’m a former detective yet you still did something like this? I’ll let you know the difference between someone who wags their tail for the rich and someone who catches criminals.”
“I don’t know what’s so great about a former detective.”
The man smiled.
“I planned to just stop in for a greeting. You’re the one who started it. Those are nice words but I’ll make you understand in minutes. Why didn’t you just leave with us?”
“This is sincere advice. Change your career.”
“What a meddlesome old man……”
The guy took off his leather jacket as he came up to Gwon Hwa-rang.
“I’m sorry but I need to save face in front of my subordinates.”
The man threw his leather jacket forward.
Gwon Hwa-rang struck the leather jacket and took a defensive posture. However the man had already reached him and his elbow headed towards Gwon Hwa-rang’s side. It was a bold and short attack that would pierce him in the vital spot! Anyone else would be floored and caught off guard. But Gwon Hwa-rang could tell with one glance. The other person might be short but he was familiar with fighting. It was the atmosphere of someone who could squash people if he was in the mood.
Gwon Hwa-rang stopped his elbow with his own elbow. He rotated his bod while grabbing the guy’s collar with both hands. And he tried to bend forwards to smash the guy into the ground. However, the man bent his knee and pulled back the collar. He smiled and bent forward like he was leaning on Gwon Hwa-rang’s body. Then his elbow dropped towards Gwon Hwa-rang’s neck.
“Please understand. This is just a job.”
There was a sharp sound.
Hyun-woo threw open the door of the hospital room and ran in. He had just exited the capsule to take a break from the game.
-Missed calls: 3. Text messages: 1
He had checked his phone out of habit and saw these messages.
“Eh? Mother called me? 3 times? Did something happen? Huk!”
Hyun-woo checked the message without any particular thoughts.
Your dad was caught in a fight and injured.
He rushed to the hospital as soon as he confirmed it. At first he wasn’t worried about the injury. But then Hyun-woo started going crazy. He caught a taxi in sweatpants and sinister thoughts ran through his head as it headed to the hospital.His anxiety became many times larger as he couldn’t connect to their phone. It was just like that time. When his father died and his mother started her long struggle with illness, he had been told of the accident through a text message and then the phone didn’t connect.
‘If something happens to Father……’
His imagination was going crazy.
‘Please! Please don’t let it be anything serious!’
He prayed as he ran into the hospital.
“Can you tell me what room Gwon Hwa-rang and Park So-mi are staying in?”
He found the room and immediately opened the door.
“Eh? Why are you here?”
Gwon Hwa-rang stared at Hyun-woo with surprised eyes. Contrary to his worries, Gwon Hwa-rang was sitting on the bed with a perfectly fine appearance. There was a big bandage on his forehead but he couldn’t consider it life threatening at all. Hyun-woo calmed his head and went over to Gwon Hwa-rang.
“What’s going on? Don’t you know how worried I was?”
“You’re asking why? I received a message that Father was injured!”
“Ah, your mother contacted you. I told her that wasn’t necessary……”
Gwon Hwa-rang laughed and scratched his head.
“That’s the great thing about marriage. I have a son who will come running if I get hurt.”
“You’re joking right now? Why didn’t you pick up my call?”
“Call? I left it with your mother. You know. We only have one cell phone.”
“Mother? Why did you leave it with Mother?”
“Today is the day of her regular check-up. So I borrowed the room. You know that your mother is slightly old to be pregnant right? She needs to take many early pregnancy tests so we have the room.”
“So nothing’s wrong with both of you?”
Hyun-woo sat down on the bed.
“But what on earth happened? Why is your forehead hurt?”
“It’s not a big deal. I just had a small quarrel in the parking lot.”
“Quarrel? Someone hit you?”
“What a imagination. Who do you think I am? There was a little bump during the struggle. My forehead hit his nose. Very lightly.”
Initially Hyun-woo didn’t understand what he was saying. But he imagined the scene of the forehead hitting the nose and could understand the situation.
“Don’t tell me you head-butted him?”
“Eh? There was a name for it? I thought I was the first one to develop the technique. Too bad. I thought of a nice name for it.”
“Oh my god! Are you joking right now?”
“What do you think?”
“Didn’t he know who Father is? You’re a person who can catch a bear with your bare hands. His nose muse be quite hard to damage your forehead to the extent that you have to place a bandage on it. Was Father attacked by some young delinquent? Why did this incident occur? What happened? Is the person going to sue your for this?”
“You don’t need to worry about that.”
Gwon Hwa-rang answered without even having to think about it.
“Your mother recorded the scene on her cell phone.”
This was the reason why Park So-mi was holding her phone. Park So-mi hadn’t been worried about Gwon Hwa-rang getting hurt. It was actually the opposite. She was worried Gwon Hwa-rang would injure them so badly they would need to spend 18 weeks in hospital. Therefore she took out her phone just in case!
“This is the trust between a couple.”
Well, he didn’t know if it could be called trust…..
“Mother is unbelievably strong.”
Hyun-woo muttered with an astounded expression.
“However I should meet with the victim. You encountered them in the parking lot so are they also in hospital?”
“That’s not necessary. Those guys wouldn’t sue even if your mother hadn’t taken the video. Did you think I would do things without thinking? I had my own ideas. Even if some of them died, those guys would never dare sue me.”
Hyun-woo asked with a frown and Gwon Hwa-rang flinched.
“It wasn’t just a random quarrel. Isn’t that right?”
Hyun-woo said in a low voice. Then Gwon Hwa-rang sighed and said.
“Yes, I didn’t really talk to them but I could guess who sent them. They probably figured out I was the one investigating them.”
“Father knows those people?”
“They are the original owners of the Taek Mountain land.”
“Father, why did you do this? I said I would take care of it.”
“I didn’t want you to handle all of it.”
“This isn’t a job for Father.”
“I wanted to.”
Gwon Hwa-rang said with a firm expression.
“The problem isn’t as simple as you think. Some powerful political and business people are involved. I only determined this today. That’s why they tried to threaten me. My son’s assets is invested in that property so how can I pretend not to know?”
Hyun-woo sighed with frustration. Just thinking of the Taek real estate was enough to make his heart jump in anger. However Hyun-woo was silent despite Gwon Hwa-rang’s words. This was because he knew it far too well. Lucifer threatened Korea’s government with a nuclear power plant. That plant was located next to the Taek Mountain therefore the powerful figures wanted to capitalize on the situation and it became like this. In fact, Hyun-woo had been furious the first time he figured it out. The only ones fighting against Lucifer’s threat was Hyun-woo and some famous gamers. The Emergency Planning department said it was a secret so he never mentioned one word about it. However they obviously gave those guys the information. He wanted to visit the Emergency Planning department and question them closely.
However there was no evidence. And it didn’t matter even if there was evidence. Hyun-woo couldn’t make them take back the land that was sold or the land sold to Hyun-woo. Especially considering the fact that they were powerful figures. Of course he hadn’t abandoned hope.
‘The real estate prices plunged because of the possibility of a nuclear explosion. In other words, if the explosion is definitely stopped then the price might go up again. No, it might rise even more than before.’
In order to prevent the explosion, he needed to win against Lucifer. If he won then it was a jackpot. But Hyun-woo had confidence inside the game. At first he didn’t know what Lucifer looked like in the game. But now he had found Lucifer. He even managed to win against him using various methods. That was all thanks to Hyun-woo himself.
‘I won against the opponent. There is no guarantee I will win twice. That Lucifer bastard, it was a mistake to hold the Taek Mountain hostage and provoke me. If I win against Lucifer then the real estate price will double, no triple what I invested in it! And I’ll make the guys who sold the land regret it.’
That was how Hyun-woo would get revenge. But Gwon Hwa-rang unexpectedly cut in and made it dangerous. Yet he couldn’t confess the entire situation to Gwon Hwa-rang. The real estate problem being caused by Lucifer was only Hyun-woo’s guess. There was no evidence. No, there was a separate reason apart from Lucifer for the prices plunging. It was the VIPs who sold the real estate. That’s why he wanted to stop Gwon Hwa-rang. Hyun-woo worried for a while before pulling out his trump card.
“I understand how Father feels. But if those people are involved then it will be dangerous. There is no guarantee what happened today won’t occur again. I wouldn’t worry if it was Father alone but what about Mother? Mother is pregnant right now. What if something happens to my sibling?”
“I was also worried about that.”
Gwon Hwa-rang nodded with a serious face. He scratched his head before laughing.
“So I found another way.”
“It is me. Hey!”
Someone suddenly smacked him in the back of the head. That eerie voice penetrated straight into his brain! The one who smacked him was a man 180 cm tall. Hyun-woo knew of only one person like that.
“You still have more to learn. You have no manners. I’m the person who generously bestowed that body to you yet you don’t come see me anymore once you become part of a large company?”
The man who entered was Lee Myung-ryong. He was the one who taught Hyun-woo taekwondo and he was a part of the police agency’s cyber investigation team. His philosophy was ‘become stronger even if you’re broken.’ Lee Myung-ryong had enthusiastically showed Hyun-woo this philosophy by beating him day and night.
“W-why is Myung-ryong hyung here?”
“I called him.”
It was Gwon Hwa-rang who replied. Then Lee Myung-ryong flopped down opposite him. He looked at the bandage on Gwon Hwa-rang’s head and laughed.
“Kukukukuk. It really is a spectacle. Hyung-nim is losing his touch. Being hit by some neighbourhood thugs. The police agency would cry.”
“Who will cry? And I wasn’t hit! This is the side effect of a special move.”
“That doesn’t matter. Originally, couldn’t you beat the opponent without bleeding? No, tell me what happened. I heard an overview of the situation on the phone. What do you want from me?”
“I want to employ you as a madam.”
“Madame? Do you want me to get a gender reassignment surgery? That’s too much even for Hyung-nim.”
“Stop talking nonsense.”
Gwon Hwa-rang laughed and continued.
“I explained things on the phone. Like today has shown, this situation could become very dangerous. Well now I have a disguise.”
“A disguise? I’m not going to marry you.”
“That’s not it.”
“Then what do you want me to do? Should I just leave?”
“You really are talking nonsense. Anyway, it is dangerous so what I need is a disguise. The guys waiting in the parking lot was like a warning. If I continued digging then my family won’t be left alone.”
“Those guys often use methods like that.”
“Yes, that’s why I want to employ you as a front. I was given a warning but they might not notice a police officer digging.”
Lee Myung-ryong tapped his finger and nodded.
“So Hyung-nim called me so that I can be cannon fodder for you?”
“Why, you don’t want to?”
“What did you just say?”
Lee Myung-ryong stood up and shouted. He frowned at Gwon Hwa-rang before laughing.
“Wasn’t I just thinking about how bored I was these days? I came quite quickly when you called. Okay. I’ll take over this problem.”
A sigh flowed from Hyun-woo’s mouth. A difficult man to deal with had appeared.