t you need.
Your job is to call the best professionals in the field of psychology and fix my son.
However! We must ensure that my son won’t have any records of suffering from a mental illness!”

“But, sir! Your son's condition is too severe to be treated at home!”

Noh Yeong-Deok raised his voice.
“That's why I'm going to provide you with all the necessary support!”

The doctor chewed on his lips for a while before reluctantly nodding in silence.
He could tell that words would never get through to this politician.
Besides, all the necessary support had been promised, so treatment should be possible if a good psychologist visited them often.

“However, sir.
Psychiatric medication cannot be prescribed without a doctor's diagnosis.”

Noh Yeong-Deok smiled meaningfully.
“Look here, Doctor Park.”

“Yes, sir?”

“This is South Korea.”

“…Ah.” Doctor Park nodded in understanding.

No more explanation was necessary.
Noh Yeong-Deok would surely source the necessary drugs when needed.
As he said, this was South Korea, and in this country, a third-term national assemblyman was afforded great power and influence—far greater than a civilian could even imagine.

“Understood, sir.
For now, let's have your son stay in his room and let him regain some mental stability first.
I'll quickly search for a suitable professional in the meantime. Ah, and by the way, sir.
There's still a danger of your son experiencing a seizure.
I recommend that you keep a close eye on him at all times.”

“I see.
I shall do that.”

“A young man experiencing a seizure will be difficult to restrain, sir.
As such, I recommend having several strong men guarding your son's room.
He might also resort to self-harm, so please keep away any sharp objects or knives.”

“I said, I will do as you said!”

The doctor could only look on helplessly at that response.
Despite the severity of the situation, this politician still seemed quite unhappy about his child being treated as a mental patient.
Was he worried about his son or the potential damage to his reputation? The doctor couldn't tell.
He sighed under his breath, then got up to leave.
“Well, then.”

Noh Yeong-Deok briefly nodded to bid goodbye.

Even after the doctor silently left the room, Noh Yeong-Deok continued to observe his son blankly staring at the ceiling.
He couldn't help but groan.
His anger started rearing its head again while looking at Noh Su-Bong repeatedly muttering some kind of gibberish.

'I swear, I'm going to make all of you pay!'

If he had his way, he would charge straight into the artillery company his son had been assigned to right this moment and demand answers.
However, doing that was unwise.
Both his party and the hostile media would seize this chance to descend upon him like a pack of vultures.

Noh Yeong-Deok got up in anger, and while heading outside the room, he addressed his secretary, “You heard the doctor, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Deal with this situation as quietly as possible.
Get the secretarial staff to monitor the household if it's feasible.
No good will come from this story leaking outside.”

“Understood, sir.
Don't worry.”

“I'll be heading outside for a bit.”

“Yes, sir.” The secretary bowed his head, not even bothering to ask where his boss was headed off to.
Noh Yeong-Deok would have said something if his trip was related to his work.
Since he hadn't done that, it was pretty obvious where he was going at this time of the day.

“I'll be back by tomorrow, so keep a close eye on my boy.”

“Understood, sir.
And sir, the party leader called earlier to see if you have an opening in your schedule.”

“Is that so?” Noh Yeong-Deok's brow arched slightly.

“Yes, sir.
It seems he wants a private meeting with you as soon as possible.”

“Hah. That old man must be anxious as hell, then.” Noh Yeong-Deok tutted loudly before nodding away.
“Answering the call right away is bound to make me look weak.
I'll deal with that myself so pay no attention to it.”

“Understood, sir.”

After issuing all the necessary orders, Noh Yeong-Deok strode outside the house.
The secretary sighed softly before glancing at the closed doorway to Noh Su-Bong's room.

'Just how…'


Regardless of what power one possessed—whether it be political or financial—it was still impossible to stop the passage of time.
The passing of the day heralding the advent of the night was common sense, whether you were stuck in the military or living as a civilian.

Noh Su-Bong's hand clutched his sheets tightly as he watched the darkness encroach the sky outside his windows.

'No, it won't happen, right?'

That devil couldn't possibly show up here.
Wasn't that the whole reason Noh Su-Bong had decided to run away? Even if that shadowy bastard was a monster, there was no way he could follow Noh Su-Bong all the way here.

What if he did show up here? What was Noh Su-Bong supposed to do, then?

Noh Su-Bong's body began to shiver like crazy once again.

One week, he said.
That devil gave Noh Su-Bong one week to endure.
And today was the seventh day.
This knowledge instilled unbearable fear in Noh Su-Bong, and he couldn't stay still at all.
He also had a feeling that the shadow devil would never let him achieve the ideal outcome.

In that case, the shadow would probably stop taking it easy like he had been doing until now.
Tonight, he could become a totally different beast than before.

…Just like what happened to Kim Hak-Cheol.
He seemed to have endured for a week somehow, but he still hanged himself on the final day, didn't he?

'…I, I'll probably end up the same!'

In some regard, Noh Su-Bong's current state seemed several times worse than Kim Hak-Cheol's.
At the very least, Kim Hak-Cheol still had some semblance of humanity left, but Noh Su-Bong, he…
His appearance was so wretched and monstrous that he couldn't even bear to look at his own reflection in the mirror.

In that case…
If that bastard also showed up tonight…

Would he, Noh Su-Bong be able to survive until the morning?


Noh Su-Bong's irises expanded as drool trickled from the corner of his lips.

Just where did things start to go wrong? Noh Su-Bong squeezed his eyes shut.
Had all the people he had destroyed in the past felt this way as well? Did they also think dying would be better? Probably.
That was why Ju Yeong-Gi tried to kill himself, no?

Noh Su-Bong wouldn't have understood it had he never known how far humans could be cornered mentally and physically.

The darkness was slowly creeping into all corners of Noh Su-Bong's room.
That was when he began to experience a bizarre sensation.
His fear was reaching its zenith, and at the same time, he began to lose all feeling in his body.
It was as if his fingertips had gotten crushed before disappearing altogether.

And in the midst of all this…
An unexplainable emotion was born.
An emotion uncomfortably close to…
Because he knew…

“I can't escape.”

Noh Su-Bong had done everything he could.
However, the devil wrapped in shadows would never let him go.

The time continued to tick by agonizingly slowly.
Noh Su-Bong stared at the darkness with wide-open eyes.
And before long, this darkness…
The irresistible darkness rushed in like a tsunami and enveloped him.

An eternity went by.
And finally…

“Were you waiting for me?”

The devil's whisper reached Noh Su-Bong's ears.

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