“W-we, uh…” Go Hyeon-Seung couldn't finish what he wanted to say.

“If one of you stepped forward and revealed the truth, my situation would've been different.
But none of you had done that, right?”

Kang Jin-Ho was talking to Lee Min-Sik and Go Hyeon-Seung, but his sharp words were actually addressing everyone in the class who witnessed what happened on that day. 

“Even though it was just a minor issue, none of you stepped forward, either because you couldn't be bothered or you didn't want to become collateral damage.
So, the question is…
Since when did you two become warriors of justice that wish to punish the wrongdoer for my sake?” Kang Jin-Ho's voice remained subdued yet audible.
“At least Park Yu-Min had a good reason.
Besides, the matter between him and I is just that, a matter between us.
You don't have a say in it, and your interference is not welcome.
And I'm warning you…”

Kang Jin-Ho stopped there for a moment or two to gather everyone's attention before issuing his warning.
“Do not appear before Park Yu-Min again.
If I ever catch you ignoring my warning, then you won't walk away with a simple conversation, got that?”


“Did you hear me?”

“Y-yeah, we heard you.”

Lee Min-Sik and Go Hyeon-Seung stood cautiously like a pair of mice minding a cat's mood before quickly escaping from the classroom.
With that, utter silence descended on the class.

Two things were confirmed with that exchange.
One, Kang Jin-Ho held no ill feelings toward Park Yu-Min. He was even actively trying to protect the latter.
Two, no one in Dongmyeong High would now dare to go against Kang Jin-Ho from the second year.
Lee Min-Sik and Go Hyeon-Seung used to do whatever they pleased in the school under Choi Yeong-Su's protection, but today, they had to tuck their tails firmly between their legs and run away. This meant Kang Jin-Ho had practically taken over the school by now.

The crowd of high schoolers surrounding Park Yu-Min stood there meandering in this awkward atmosphere.

Kang Jin-Ho groaned and shifted his tired-looking eyes over to Park Yu-Min.
The latter stared back, his expression a little stiff.

When Park Yu-Min initiated the conversation first, the others in the classroom suddenly became genuinely interested in what might happen next.

Kang Jin-Ho grunted.
“What now?”

“Did you stay up the whole night?”

Instead of a reply, Kang Jin-Ho rubbed his eyes.
After he tasted bitter defeat yesterday, the flames of his competitive streak were rekindled even fiercer.
As a result, he 'practiced' the game for the whole night and didn't even have enough time to perform the breathing technique to rid himself of fatigue.
He grunted once more.
“Somehow, yeah.”

“…You, uh, you shouldn't overwork yourself.”

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“You're too noisy.” Kang Jin-Ho waved his hand dismissively, then slumped on his desk once again.

Jeong In-Gyu smirked and lightly patted his friend on the back.
“Aigoo~, our little Jin-Ho.
Still feeling bitter about losing, eh?”

“…Mmhm?!” Kang Jin-Ho raised his head and glared intensely at Jeong In-Gyu like an angry predator.
His glare was so piercing that, if this had been the middle of the night, Jeong In-Gyu could have wet his pants.

“W-well, you know, I was just kidding…” Jeong In-Gyu grinned sheepishly and began backing off.

“I will win next time,” said Kang Jin-Ho.

“Actually, I think that's not gonna happen anytime soon.”

Win.” Kang Jin-Ho sounded like an obstinate old man just then.

Jeong In-Gyu coolly evaluated this situation.
By every metric imaginable, Kang Jin-Ho was one of the better players in that game.
Most likely, no one in this school would be able to beat him in a one-on-one PVP.
Unfortunately, though, Park Yu-Min was in another realm altogether.

Jeong In-Gyu spoke in a diplomatic tone of voice, “Jin-Ho, listen.”

“What is it?”

“Yu-Min's almost on a pro gamer level, right?”


“So, if you win against Yu-Min, doesn't that mean you’ll be on the level of a pro gamer?”

“…?” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head, wondering. 

‘Is that how it is?’

Jeong In-Gyu continued.
“Just give up.”

“No, wait.
I told you, I will win.
I have thought of a way.”

“Oh? How?”

Kang Jin-Ho pointed at Park Yu-Min.
“He will teach me.”


“For my goal, I will stop at nothing and do whatever I can.
Including learning from Park Yu-Min to defeat him.”

Jeong In-Gyu replied dismissively, “What if Yu-Min teaches you some weird-ass stuff? What then?”

“…!” Kang Jin-Ho's glare stabbed into Park Yu-Min next.

The latter could only smile awkwardly and mumble, “No, I wouldn't…”

Kang Jin-Ho chuckled before pressing his face on the desk again.

The door slid open just then, and Han Se-Yeon entered the class.
She immediately cocked her brow.
“What? You're sleeping in class again?”

Kang Jin-Ho held his head at her high-pitched voice digging into his skull. 

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'Why do women of this era all seem to know sonic wave techniques?!'

Not just Han Se-Yeon, but his little sister Kang Eun-Yeong, too…
They were all too freaking loud! You couldn't find women with such shrill and loud voices back in Zhongyuan even if you tried to.
The belief back then was that speaking in a gentle, calm tone would enhance your feminine charms.
Having lived in that era for so long, Kang Jin-Ho found the modern women too 'violent' and headstrong for him to get used to.

Han Se-Yeon narrowed her eyes.
“The mock exams are next week, you know? Can you afford to doze away like that?”

“…It'll be fine.”

“No, it won't be fine! Keep this up, and you will end up becoming a moron sooner or later.”

Jeong In-Gyu jumped in to stop Han Se-Yeon.
“Let him be.
He apparently stayed up the whole night, you see.”

“Was he studying?”

“Nope, he was playing a computer game.”

Han Se-Yeon's rebuking gaze landed on Kang Jin-Ho.
“I see that you're wasting your youth on such nonsense. How pathetic…”

Kang Jin-Ho shielded his head.
Please… All I ask for is a minute of peace, so I can get some rest…!”

“We, high schoolers, are supposed to rest at home.
I mean, which high school student thinks about getting some rest in their classroom?”

Kang Jin-Ho slightly raised his hand.
“I’m right here…”

“That's precisely why you shouldn't be like this.” Han Se-Yeon harrumphed matter-of-factly.

Kang Jin-Ho began chuckling hollowly at her comebacks. 

'It seems that trying to live an ordinary life won't be that easy.'

It had only been a month since he returned to the 'past.’ He managed to make a friend and was also gradually getting used to school life.
Sometimes, everything did feel strange and awkward.
But he was still able to chuckle at the simple fact that he didn't need to be so tense all the time in this life.

Unfortunately, problems always reared their ugly heads when you least expected them.

“Kang Jin-Ho?” The classroom door slid open again, and the class president stepped in before calling for Kang Jin-Ho.

The latter looked up.

“You've been summoned to the staffroom.”

“Staffroom? Why?”

“Not sure.
But a teacher wants to see you.”

“And which teacher would that be?”

“It's Bloody Mop.”

Kang Jin-Ho frowned slightly.
Why was Gong Ik-Hyeon, the dean of students, asking for him? He got up to leave while thinking about the potential reasons for this summon.

“I guess I'll go and find out, then.”

He wasn't sure what was going on, but since a teacher wanted to see him, he should be a good student and answer the call.

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