“He's too green to do that.
For the time being, teach him the ins and outs of what you do.
Choi Yeong-Su, I'm sure you don't have time to learn some useless stuff in a university now, do you?”
“Yes, sir, I don't,” Choi Yeong-Su replied with a stiff voice.
Kang Jin-Ho lightly flicked his hand.
“Well, then.” Choi Yeong-Su bowed deeply, then exited the office.
Jo Gyu-Min waited until they were alone and asked Kang Jin-Ho, who had been watching Choi Yeong-Su leave.
“Why are you doing this, Mr.
“What do you mean?”
“I don't see the point of going so far for that man.
You know that Choi Yeong-Su is hostile to you, so why do you want to hire him?”
Kang Jin-Ho shrugged his shoulders.
“He won't even have a chance without being close to me, you see.”
“I don't follow…” Jo Gyu-Min furrowed his brow.
Kang Jin-Ho replied in an unconcerned manner, “For now, think of this situation as finding a well-behaved gopher to make our lives a bit easier.
Nothing more, nothing less.”
Jo Gyu-Min stared at Kang Jin-Ho as goosebumps began breaking out on his skin.
Was this 'Kang Jin-Ho' the same person as the one who asked him about his new position at Jaegyeong University?
His manner of speech was the same, and the way he carried himself hadn’t changed, but it felt like Jo Gyu-Min was talking to a complete stranger right now.
He was reminded of that eerie feeling he felt in Choi Yeong-Su's home several months ago.
'I just don't get this…'
Kang Jin-Ho desired an ordinary life.
To achieve his aim, he distanced himself from fame and fortune.
And he was extra careful in hiding his status.
Such was his obsession with being ordinary and plain that Jo Gyu-Min thought being a monk might be more glamorous.
How could one go about explaining the current Kang Jin-Ho? This version was willingly taking on a risk by hiring someone aiming for his life.
That was simply too bizarre…
Kang Jin-Ho spoke of living a peaceful life.
It wasn't just lip service, though, as he genuinely seemed to be yearning for an ordinary life filled with nothing but peace.
But he also committed acts like this without a moment's hesitation.
Just which side of him was real?
'Could it be…?'
Kang Jin-Ho was wishing for it deep down in his subconsciousness? Like a soldier addicted to war who spoke of peace while his heart longed for the blood-soaked battlefield…
Could it be that Kang Jin-Ho's true nature buried somewhere deep in his subconsciousness was already bored of this peaceful life?
'Maybe I'm overthinking this…'
It was impossible to draw any conclusions, and Jo Gyu-Min's thoughts were not based on any evidence either.
Even then, he just couldn't dismiss this uncertainty in his mind.
What if his assumption proved to be spot on…?
'Making him the heir can bring Jaegyeong Group down to its knees!'
This matter wasn't something Jo Gyu-Min could solve by himself.
He had to report it.
“What happened while I wasn't here?” Park Yu-Min asked in an accusatory tone.
Currently, the preparations for the university's track-and-field meet were in full swing.
Kang Jin-Ho and Park Yu-Min were by the futsal field to watch their fellow university students practice for the upcoming meet.
As it was a group activity, the atmosphere didn't permit the slackers to laze around, and everyone seemed to be more or less genuine in their participation.
Kang Jin-Ho pondered how he should reply to Park Yu-Min's inquiry.
Did something happen to you?”
“I was suddenly swarmed by people asking about your real identity, Jin-Ho.”
“I see.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
He had already expected something like this to happen.
That was why he tried to conceal the truth and not show off as much as possible.
However, he had no thoughts of criticizing the overreacting people around them.
They were simply reacting naturally to a fascinating situation, after all.
Honestly, he found the people of the modern era cute for reacting this way.
Especially when compared to Zhongyuan, where people groveled before Kang Jin-Ho's martial prowess and political power.
'Or maybe, the people here have stronger self-esteem…'
Whatever the case might be, it wasn't hard to predict this sort of outcome.
The problem was that there was a vast difference between what he felt in Zhongyuan and what he was receiving right now.
The level of intensity in the people's gazes was so much higher.
Enduring it was proving to be quite burdensome even for Kang Jin-Ho.
'That's funny, isn't it…'
What if the same thing happened to him right after his return? He probably wouldn't have batted an eyelid about such gazes.
'Does that mean I've changed?'
Kang Jin-Ho was becoming more self-aware of it—the rate of his change had become faster compared to the first few weeks after his return to the modern era.
He now had enough mental leeway to crack jokes and became more talkative than before, although it still couldn’t be compared to what he had been in the distant past.
All these had to be proof that he was acclimatizing to the modern era.
He had gained the wisdom to solve problems with other methods besides violence.
He had even acquired benevolence to smile and brush aside hostility directed in his way.
Kang Jin-Ho quietly closed his eyes.
The life he had been yearning for was slowly coming true.
– Are you happy?
A voice came from deep inside him.
The voice belonging to a monster that should have been slumbering deep within was reaching out to him more frequently lately.
– Are you truly happy?
What was the voice asking him about? Why was it asking him? After all, the answer was obvious, wasn't it? There could only be one reply…
Kang Jin-Ho was happy.
Compared to the past, he was now several times; no, dozens of times happier and relaxed.
– Are you happy?
“What are you thinking about?” Park Yu-Min suddenly asked.
Kang Jin-Ho opened his eyes and shook his head.
“It's nothing important.”
He tried to get rid of the useless thoughts percolating in his head.
It seemed that being relaxed had inadvertently led to an influx of idle thoughts invading his mind.
Park Yu-Min continued.
“You know, it feels like the girls are smiling a lot more at you now.
But for some reason, the guys are the opposite.”
“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho grunted after being reminded of the somewhat hostile glares directed at him.
Some men had acknowledged the chasm between themselves and Kang Jin-Ho and willingly gave up competing against him.
However, quite a few people refused to accept the unbridgeable gap, and seemed to be uncomfortable with all the attention Kang Jin-Ho was getting.
Their attitude wasn't surprising though, considering that their pride was being affected.
These people were proud of themselves for successfully entering Jaegyeong University, one of the country's pre-eminent learning institutions.
However, Kang Jin-Ho's existence had trampled on that pride.
'It'll all blow over if I stay quiet.'
One of the good points about the modern era was how short people's attention span was.
A topic that would have been discussed for years to come in Zhongyuan would become old news in less than one or maybe two months.
As proof, look no further than Kang Jin-Ho's relationship with Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu; his high school had been in a massive uproar, but things died down on their own not too long afterward.
'A passing shower is just that.
It'll pass by soon enough.'
Kang Jin-Ho decided to not cause any more trouble for the time being.
Unfortunately, the world wasn't kind enough to humor his requests.
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