“I keep getting reminded of how…
imposing this place is every time I see one,” said Kang Jin-Ho.

“Yeah, I agree…” muttered Ju Yeong-Gi.

“…Just thinking about walking in there gives me the shivers, guys.” Park Yu-Min shuddered while holding his shoulders.

The trio of Kang Jin-Ho, Ju Yeong-Gi, and Park Yu-Min nervously swallowed their saliva while staring at the massive interior of a building before their eyes.
To other people ’s eyes, this huge structure might look like yet another building, but to this trio? This place might as well be a gigantic dungeon.

A dungeon filled with salespeople doggedly tormenting them, endless rows upon rows of items, and labyrinthine corridors with not a single window among them!

The Final Dungeon birthed from the modern civilization ’s pursuit of convenience was called—the department store!

The gray structure large enough to swallow up tens of thousands of souls cast its imposing shadow, its overwhelming power easily cowering the trio of fashion criminals.

From this point onward, they would be entering unknown territory.

“Hmph…!” Ju Yeong-Gi suddenly shouted pompously, “Let me tell ya, a department store is the best place to get your shopping done! They have all the sleek, pretty stuff on sale, after all!”

It seemed that Ju Yeong-Gi didn ’t want to be seen as being on the same level as his two friends since he believed he possessed a modicum of fashion philosophy.

Park Yu-Min chimed in.
If we dig deeper, we ’re bound to find items with great cost-effectiveness in a department store this big.
We should carefully search the discounted goods for great deals.
I ’m sure we can find some.”

It seemed that the designs of the clothes didn ’t matter to Park Yu-Min, as it appeared he only cared about durability and cost.

“…Huh.” Kang Jin-Ho muttered, unable to retort the absurd claims of his friends.
He was already having trouble differentiating between what was good and bad when selecting his clothes, so he lacked the ability to fully understand what his friends were even talking about.

“Please stop acting like country bumpkins and lower your voices, will you?!” Kang Eun-Yeong hurriedly chided the two men with a hushed yell.
She was constantly scanning her surroundings, fearful that passersby might have heard their conversation.

She was currently under a heavy disguise of a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap pushed down low on her head.
However, the anxiety of someone recognizing her was still running rampant in her mind.
She had her pride as an idol to consider here, after all.
It would be way too humiliating for her if people discovered her out shopping with such dense idiots like this trio!

“You’re all here!” Baek Hyeon-Jeong walked up to them while waving her hand.
She was done parking the car in the underground parking lot and was looking for her companions.
“Well, then! Shall we get going?”

“…Yes, ma ’am.”

The trio lifelessly replied, then headed to the department store ’s entrance hallway along with Baek Hyeon-Jeong and Kang Eun-Yeong.

’We look like cattle being led into an abattoir… ’

Park Yu-Min following his slumped-shoulder friends from behind could only shake his head.


“Oh my! Dear customer, this suit is a perfect fit for you! Would you like to try it on?” The sales lady cheerfully smiled while pushing a set of a business suit in Kang Jin-Ho ’s direction.

“No, thank you.” Kang Jin-Ho firmly refused.

“Eii~, don ’t be like that, dear customer! Please do try it on.
Simply looking at clothes and wearing them imparts two totally different feelings, you see! The fabric of this suit is of very high quality, and I think it ’ll perfectly match your expensive taste, dear customer!”

“I said, I ’m not interested.”

“Please don ’t be like that~!”

Kang Jin-Ho groaned, praying for a way to escape from this nightmarish place.
Unfortunately, the wardens of this hell were just too formidable for him to handle.
His mother and little sister were glaring daggers at him like a pair of demons, ensuring that Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t even think about escaping.

’If we really had come here in the morning like my mother originally wanted, I might have broken through the wall to escape… ’

What a good thing it was that he managed to convince his mother before coming here.
He told her that they should consider coming here at least after lunch if they want to have dinner at the end of the shopping, which would serve as an ’appropriate ’ closer to the day ’s proceedings.
Just thinking about what could have happened if he had failed to convince his mother frightened him a little.

As for the saleslady, she didn ’t seem to care what kind of thoughts were swirling inside Kang Jin-Ho ’s mind.
Well, she was in no mood to let this wonderful prey escape through her hands, after all!

When was the last time such a splendid living clothes rack similar to this young man walked into the store? The role of a salesperson in a clothes shop was to sell, not to match suitable clothes to the clueless customers.
Hence, they often had to lie through their teeth by saying that totally unsuitable clothes looked good on potential customers just to make the sale.

Obviously, constantly doing that would be stressful.
No wonder the saleslady perked up so much when a man with killer looks showed up on her doorstep.
She could already tell that any and all types of clothes would look good on this man.

“Oh, my goodness! It ’s as if this suit was designed specifically with you in mind~! Please trust my discerning eyes and put it on, see how good it looks on you! You won ’t regret it!”

“I said, not interested!” Kang Jin-Ho ’s resistance went up a notch, but it was quickly suppressed by his mother ’s threatening voice.


“…Yes, Mother?”

“Go and put it on, son.
The saleslady is trying so hard to convince you, so it ’ll be against the etiquette to keep refusing her.”

“Yes, she ’s right, dear customer! All you have to do is put it on and see.
You don ’t even have to buy it! We just want to see how good it looks on you!” The saleslady excitedly nodded along.

Kang Jin-Ho groaned deeply before giving up, then headed to the fitting room with the clothes in tow.

Kang Eun-Yeong silently observed that scene, then turned her head.

’My orabeoni ’s been more or less taken care of, but now… ’

What about the other two? Ju Yeong-Gi was prowling the other aisle of the men ’s formal wear section to hunt and torment the salesman there.
“Hey, man.
Don ’t you have something that ’s more sparkle-tastic?”

“S-sir? Sparkle…

“Come on, mister.
You ain ’t gonna sell much stuff if you don ’t get the lingo, man.
Y ’know, the jackets that shine under the light! Stuff made out of such fabric! Y ’know, like silk!”

“…Dear customer, jackets made out of such material are not in vogue at the moment, and we don ’t have any in stock.
However, the jackets found on this aisle are made out of similar material, and they’re—”

“C ’mon, man.
I ain ’t gonna look good with so little glitter!” Ju Yeong-Gi scowled in dissatisfaction, then resumed his grilling of the salesman.
How about shirts, then?”

The salesman put on a cramped smile and tried to usher Ju Yeong-Gi to a different aisle.
“Here, dear customer.
We have in stock some of the finest…”

“No, not those.
Don ’t you have shirts with, I don ’t know, flower motifs? These shirts are just too dull, you know?”

“…Sir? Are you perhaps looking for something similar to a Hawaiian shirt?”

“No, no.
Not that, but…
Dang it.
Y ’know, just flower motifs, man.

While the salesperson was tormenting Kang Jin-Ho over here, Ju Yeong-Gi was tormenting that poor salesman over there.
Kang Eun-Yeong briefly shook her head, then turned her head again.

’What about Yu-Min oppa, then? ’

“Excuse me? Can I ask you something? How durable is the collar area?” Park Yu-Min asked while holding up a sweatshirt.

A salesperson nearby quickly replied, “Dear customer, our clothes are all triple backstitched.
Our brand is well-known for its highly durable outerwear.”

“Mm, I see.
But the fabric itself doesn ’t seem all that durable, though?”

“That ’s not the case, of course.
Dear customer, the material used are all imported, top-quality items, and we guarantee their durability.”

“Really?” Park Yu-Min nodded as if he had come to a decision, then asked the salesperson, “In that case, how much discount can you give me?”

“I beg your pardon?” The salesperson put on an awkward smile.
“Dear customer, our store operates on a strict no-negotiation, fixed-price-only policy.
Moreover, the item in question already has a twenty-percent discount.”

Park Yu-Min chuckled good-naturedly.
“Eii~, nothing is impossible in Korea, riiight? Don ’t be like that, and knock off just ten thousand won for me, please?”

“But, customer, this item costs twenty thousand won.”

“In that case, how about eight thousand won less?”

“I ’m sorry, customer, but I don ’t think you understand.
We don ’t discount our items.”

Park Yu-Min slyly smirked as if he thought he was getting closer to a deal.
“But everyone else does, you know?”

“D-dear customer…”

Unable to listen any longer, Kang Eun-Yeong hurriedly turned her head away.

’…Someone might recognize me! ’

She pulled her baseball cap lower, then adjusted her sunglasses.
Before anyone could see her, she sneakily took a few steps away.
Even if someone recognized her, she had to secure enough distance first so that no one would associate her with these three men!

Search tinyurl.com/2p9emv8w for the original.

’This must be what hell looks like… ’

Kang Eun-Yeong groaned deeply.
She came because her dear orabeoni asked for this favor, but now, she knew—she knew that she had to stay alert at all times whenever she was out shopping with these guys!

In the meantime, Kang Jin-Ho exited the fitting room, having changed into new the clothes.

“Oh, my! Oh my~! Dear customer! You look incredible!” The saleslady excitedly came up to Kang Jin-Ho, a look of delight on her face.

“…R-really?” Kang Jin-Ho asked back, still not convinced.

“Whoa!” Kang Eun-Yeong gasped loudly.
Even from her perspective, Kang Jin-Ho in a business suit looked so good that her jaw just fell to the floor all on its own.
Maybe she had gotten too used to seeing Kang Jin-Ho in rundown T-shirts with frayed collars? This transformation was just too much of a shock to her senses.

“I knew it.
My son takes after me, and that ’s why he ’s such a handsome child~!” Baek Hyeon-Jeong muttered happily, feeling over the moon at how good her son looked right now.

However, Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t share her sentiment and tried to stretch the shirt ’s collars.

“It ’s kind of stuffy.”

The saleslady feigned mock surprise.
“Goodness, dear customer! It can ’t be stuffy, you know? This particular article is designed to maximize the wearer ’s comfort, you see? But, if this feels too tight, I ’m afraid you may never get to wear other suits in the future.”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, then turned around.

Baek Hyeon-Jeong blinked her eyes in confusion.
“Where are you going, son?”

“Back to the fitting room to get changed, Mother.”

“…Wait, aren ’t you going to buy that?”

“No, I ’m not.”

Baek Hyeon-Jeong frowned deeply.
“It looks so good on you, though! Why don ’t you just buy that suit, Jin-Ho?”

“Next time, Mother.
I still don ’t need a business suit, after all.”

“Even so, you ’re an adult now, so you should have at least one business suit in your wardrobe.”

“Yes, your mother is absolutely correct, dear customer! This wonderful outfit might be gone the next time you need to buy one, you know? That ’s how the world works, after all.”

“Yes, son! She ’s right, you know! A man needs to have at least one business suit.
Let me buy it for you, so don ’t fret now, Jin-Ho.”

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“No, it ’s fine, Mother.”

“I said I ’m buying it for you, and that ’s the end of the discussion.”

“…Yes, Mother.” Kang Jin-Ho sighed in resignation.

Meanwhile, Ju Yeong-Gi couldn ’t see anything he liked and sauntered back to where Kang Jin-Ho was with his cheeks twitching unhappily.

He stopped walking, then began staring intensely at Kang Jin-Ho ’s suit.
Without saying anything else, he started alternatingly between the suit and Kang Jin-Ho ’s face.

Somewhat uncomfortable, Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow and asked, “What do you want?”

Ju Yeong-Gi beckoned at the salesperson nearby, then spoke in a confident voice, “Gimme the same thing as that guy ’s.”

His fighting spirit seemed to know no limits.


Ju Yeong-Gi carrying shopping bags in both of his hands stepped inside the elevator, his expression one of pure happiness.
Behind him was the exhausted Kang Jin-Ho, carrying only one shopping bag.
Park Yu-Min followed them while hugging a large shopping bag to his chest.
He was making a rather uncomfortable face.

After picking the same clothes as Kang Jin-Ho ’s, Ju Yeong-Gi proceeded to select a few more with the help of Kang Eun-Yeong and Baek Hyeon-Jeong ’s discerning eyes.
In the end, though, he chose not to heed the earnest advice of giving up on the same business suit as Kang Jin-Ho ’s.

He even said, “Why do you keep saying that? I mean, it looks good on me, so I don ’t get it.”

And that was indeed the end of the discussion.
Everyone gave up on persuading Ju Yeong-Gi soon afterward.
And now, they were riding on the elevator after finishing this arduous shopping trip.

Baek Hyeon-Jeong excitedly looked back at her shopping companions.
“Now that we ’re finished, let ’s stop by at a restaurant and have a nice dinner.”

“Sounds good, Mom.
I ’m starving.” Kang Eun-Yeong quickly nodded.

“Yes, Mother.
I agree.” Kang Jin-Ho imitated his sister and nodded urgently as well.

He had never been the type to enjoy eating out, but his habit had greatly changed to favor restaurant food designed for a single person ’s consumption lately.
And it all began when Baek Hyeon-Jeong began feeding him like livestock…

However, that was because he could eat one person ’s share of food without any issues!

Baek Hyeon-Jeong remained oblivious to her son ’s thoughts and continued, “I ’m happy about going shopping with my son for the first time ever, but…
It would ’ve been even better if we stopped by at the casual section, too.”

“M-maybe next time, Mother…” Kang Jin-Ho hurriedly raised his voice.

“I guess…” Baek Hyeon-Jeong looked genuinely disappointed, but she still decided to let go of his leash for now.
She could tell that her son would never want to come back here if she insisted on making him go through more of this.

Fishing wasn ’t about a competition of strength, but more of a game of push and pull, after all!

Baek Hyeon-Jeong looked at Park Yu-Min next.
“What about you, Yu-Min? Do you still have any other clothes you wish to buy?”

“N-no, Auntie! I ’m fine, thank you!” Park Yu-Min nearly freaked out and tried to wave his hand only to almost drop the shopping bag.
His original plan was to act like a fly on the wall and buy one or two clothes when he got the chance, then head back home.

However, Baek Hyeon-Jeong had other ideas and dragged the poor guy around here and there to pick and buy several articles of streetwear for him.
Of course, Park Yu-Min tried to politely decline, but the Kang family matron made a sorrowful expression and said, “To think you ’d feel so pressured and uncomfortable just because of this! I ’m really saddened, Yu-Min…”

As a result, Park Yu-Min had to raise the white flag of surrender.

“Yes, Auntie! I ’m really fine! Really! I ’ve got all I need!”

“Is that so? Well, that ’s good to hear, then.
Next time you need something, let us go shopping together again, okay?”

“A-again?” Park Yu-Min gasped in shock.

Baek Hyeon-Jeong smiled brightly.
She was obviously unaware of how she had managed to instill the fear of the department store in the hearts of her son and his friend.

Kang Jin-Ho glanced at their interaction and inwardly sighed.

’I should try to weasel my way out next time… ’

The level of mental fatigue he hadn ’t experienced before even after going through countless life-or-death battles washed over Kang Jin-Ho.
And this cramped, stuffy feeling only intensified while staring at the tightly-packed elevator.

It seemed the elevator still had some ways to go before reaching the first floor.
The elevator stopped on every floor, allowing some shoppers to rush outside or enter.
This process repeated itself over and over again.

’…There are lots of people here. ’

Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t really understand why so many people willingly came to a place this stuffy and restrictive.
Was he the weird one? Or maybe he was the sane one, and everyone else was out of their mind?

Kang Jin-Ho seriously pondered this quandary before his expression suddenly stiffened at a sensation that shouldn ’t have been there.


Something sharp was pressing against his lower back.
It was like a slow, looming threat.

A quiet whisper only Kang Jin-Ho could hear slipped into his ears.

“Have you enjoyed your shopping, Mister Kang Jin-Ho?”

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