ht you had a lot more vacation time than that?”

“Yes, I do.
However…” Kang Jin-Ho muttered listlessly.
He was in too much of a rush back then and couldn't wait for the rest of his leave to be approved.
He had no choice in the matter, as the higher-ups said it would take another day for the approval to come through.
“…For now, I should just head home.”

“I guess so.”

Kang Jin-Ho opened his eyes and stared outside the car's window.
Sister Yi and Park Yu-Min were in one of the rooms in the tall building in the distance.

leave them be.'

That was not an occasion he should be intruding.
Sister Yi's remaining time should be spent with Park Yu-Min and the rest of the orphanage's kids.
As for Kang Jin-Ho, he…
He was just a leaf that had been temporarily blown in by the wind.

“Please take me home…”


“I see.” Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu let out a deep groan.
“So, things ended up that way, huh…”

Jo Gyu-Min spoke in a slightly anxious voice, “I thought I've seen all of Mister Jin-Ho's sides, but I've never seen him like that before, sir.”

“I'm not surprised.” Hwang Jeong-Hu shook his head while taking out a cigarette.
He was frowning a little as if he had tasted something bitter.
“Didn't you say the nun lady's condition had improved drastically?”

“Yes, sir.
Her condition did get markedly better, but…
Apparently, she deteriorated shockingly quickly.
Both her improvement and deterioration can't be explained logically, sir.”

“I see.
So, there was a limit, after all.”


“I'm sure you've had your guesses for some time now.
A terminal patient cannot suddenly become healthier without some kind of medical intervention.
It means Kang Jin-Ho had done something.”

“But, Chairman…!” Jo Gyu-Min's expression hardened.
“…Does Mister Jin-Ho really have something? Some kind of a…

“Don't ask what you already know, Gyu-Min.”

“But, sir…!” Jo Gyu-Min obviously had functioning eyes and intuition.
And how many years had he spent by Kang Jin-Ho's side already? No matter how much Kang Jin-Ho had tried to conceal it, the 'thing' writhing inside him was bound to get noticed by Jo Gyu-Min.
“Sir, I knew he's not an ordinary person.
However, no one can even begin to imagine that he possesses such…
extraordinary abilities, sir.”

“What abilities are you talking about, Gyu-Min? Something like a healing touch?”

“It probably is something like that, sir.”

Fufufu…” Hwang Jeong-Hu broke out into a soft chuckle.

“Was my guess wrong, sir?”

“Who knows? Only Kang Jin-Ho knows the answer.
Even I don't know what abilities that boy possesses, other than the fact that he did heal both the nun lady and me.
However…” Hwang Jeong-Hu's eyes became withdrawn.

'…I'm sure it's not some kind of a healing touch.'

He was certain about this.
Whenever the mask slipped off Kang Jin-Ho's facade and his hidden self managed to peek out a little, Hwang Jeong-Hu felt every hair on his body stand from the incredible sense of dread.
That was definitely not something gentle or kind-hearted like 'healing.’

Hwang Jeong-Hu slowly rubbed his chin.
“It might get unleashed, then.”

“What do you mean, sir?”

“The longer you wear the facade, the more frustrating and stuffy it gets.
Eventually, the animals called humans will have no choice but to unleash their real nature sooner or later.”

Gloominess crept up on Jo Gyu-Min's expression.
He even clenched his fists tightly after remembering the back of the 'scary' Kang Jin-Ho he had glimpsed in the past.

'That side of him will come out?'

It sounded like Hwang Jeong-Hu believed that side was Kang Jin-Ho's true self.
However, Jo Gyu-Min didn't share that sentiment.
“Sir, everyone harbors a monster in their heart, don't we?”


“The world would plunge into pure chaos if everyone unleashed their inner monsters, sir.
Surely, we all have some kind of a hidden desire to answer to our feelings and crush others to stand on top.
However, simply harboring such thoughts doesn't mean the monster within us is our real selves, sir.”

“Mm. You are not wrong there, Gyu-Min.”

“Mister Jin-Ho is a considerate person, and he also knows how to maintain the peace in his life, sir.
At least, that's what I think.”

“I see.
You've been observing that kid for a long time, so I should respect your opinion on this matter, then.” Hwang Jeong-Hu replied positively, but his voice sounded a little hollow.

'Unfortunately, that's only applicable to normal people…'

It didn't come as a surprise that Jo Gyu-Min still had no idea about it.
And maybe, just maybe…
Kang Jin-Ho himself could still be unaware of it.

In Hwang Jeong-Hu's opinion, Kang Jin-Ho was a man of duality.
Just how many people in this world possessed both the wiliness of a cunning fox and the naivety of a child? It was anyone's guess just how he had developed such a personality, but that didn't change the fact that Kang Jin-Ho was abnormal.

“Listen, Gyu-Min.
There's a possibility that…”


“You, me…
Neither of us has gotten it right, and we don't have a single clue.
What that man is like, I mean.”

Jo Gyu-Min gasped softly when he was hit by this weird disharmony caused by Chairman Hwang's assertion.
It was all because those words seemed to perfectly describe what he had been vaguely sensing.


Baek Hyeon-Jeong welcomed her son home with a surprised face.
“When did you get another leave, Jin-Ho?”

Kang Jin-Ho replied with a cramped smile, “Today, Mother.”

“But, you didn't even call us!”

“I was in a rush and couldn't find the time.
I'm sorry.”

“Did you have dinner yet?”

“Yes, I already have.”

Baek Hyeon-Jeong noticed how gloomy her son's expression was and gently patted him on the shoulder.
“I see.
It must've been tiring to travel so late in the day, so go wash up and rest, son.”

“Yes, Mother.” Kang Jin-Ho bowed and headed to his room.

Baek Hyeon-Jeong watched her son's figure slip into the room and sighed softly.

Kang Yu-Hwan emerged from the bedroom.
“Was that Jin-Ho?”

“Yes, dear.
He just arrived home,” Baek Hyeon-Jeong replied with a slow nod.

“He didn't even call ahead, though? Anyway, should we have dinner together, then?”

“I think we should let him be for now.”

“Mm?” Kang Yu-Hwan was heading to his son's room only to be stopped by Baek Hyeon-Jeong.
Not knowing why she did that, he looked at his wife and tilted his head.

Baek Hyeon-Jeong spoke in a hushed voice, “Dear, let's leave him for tonight.
I think it'll be better that way.”

“…You think something has happened to him?”

“It seems that way.”

“I see.” Kang Yu-Hwan glanced in the direction of his son's room, but he didn't try to open the firmly-shut door.
“…Let's not get too worked up about it.
He's our son, after all.”

“I'm not, dear.
It's just that…”

“Mm? What is it?”

Baek Hyeon-Jeong waved her hand away to indicate it was nothing to worry about, then headed to the bathroom.
As for the momentary sensation she felt, the one about their son coming across as a completely different person…
That was not something she could say out loud to anyone.

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