With an awkward smile, he hurriedly escaped from the room.

Kang Jin-Ho's mother shifted her attention back to Kang Jin-Ho.
“Do you understand what I'm trying to say, Jin-Ho?!”

“Yes, Mother.”

“Talk is cheap, Jin-Ho!”

“No, I really do understand.”


“…Yes, Mother,” Kang Jin-Ho replied, inwardly thinking that he was prepared to jump into the fire if his mother demanded proof of his understanding.
Honestly, he was ready to do anything to escape from this situation.

“I'll be watching you, Jin-Ho.
And you, Eun-Yeong! Come with me this second.”

“But Mom, why me…”

“You dare talk back to me?!”

“N-no, Mom! I'm coming!” Kang Eun-Yeong suddenly shot a glare at her brother before hurriedly following her mother outside the room.

Kang Jin-Ho spat out a groan filled with genuine relief.
One more round of nagging like this, and he might start bleeding from his ears.

'I've grown soft.'

There was no need to nag anyone back in the Demon Cult.
If you got a mission, a successful completion would be rewarded handsomely, while failure would be met with harsh punishment.
Back then, no one dared to make long, tiresome essays filled with excuses to him, and that seemed to have weakened Kang Jin-Ho's immunity against nagging even though he must've heard plenty of it from his mother in the past.

He could hear the conversation between his mother and younger sister beyond the doorway.
They tried to keep their voices low and inaudible from the room, but too bad for them, Kang Jin-Ho's hearing was far more sensitive than they could have imagined.

“You gotta watch what you say to your brother, okay?”


“Your brother is clearly confused right now.
But you keep saying that he's strange and all that.
That'll only make it more difficult for him!”

“What do you mean, confused?”

“The doctor told me that his memories are incomplete right now, but it's not that serious, and he should go back to normal soon enough.
That's what's going on.
And that's why you must stop calling your brother strange and stuff.

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“Got it, Mom.”

Kang Jin-Ho smiled wryly. 

'Amnesia, is it?'

This seemed to be the answer that everyone had settled on to explain the difference between the past Kang Jin-Ho and the current one.
Medically speaking, that was probably the most logical explanation available.
Kang Jin-Ho would've preferred to be suffering from amnesia if he was being honest.
Too many memories of gangho flooding his mind only made his recollections of the modern era fuzzy and blurry, after all. Moreover, he also had a feeling this certain aspect of him wouldn’t improve in the future.

He could acclimatize to his surroundings, but even Kang Jin-Ho wouldn't be able to revive his long-forgotten memories.

A short while later, his mother and Kang Eun-Yeong stepped back inside the room.
Kang Jin-Ho glanced at them before looking outside the window.
Time would solve all of his current problems… Thankfully, he had plenty of time on his hands.


Whisper, whisper…

Kang Jin-Ho frowned slightly.
He could hear people whispering behind his back for the past couple of days whenever he walked around in the hospital.

Most nurses and assistants working in the hospital were women.
Nothing was as effective as them when it came to spreading gossip everywhere.
The news of Kang Jin-Ho beating up a serial killer had already traveled to all corners of the hospital in less than half a day.
Thanks to their loose lips, he now had to do his hardest to ignore all the curious gazes burrowing into his back whenever he was out and about in the hospital.
Since they showed no animosity, he found it hard to tell them to get lost.

His discharge was scheduled to be on the following day.
His wound was almost fully healed now, while the knife cut to his arm wasn't serious enough to warrant an extension to his stay in the hospital.
Meaning, he had no reason to stay here.

“Outer Space Oppa!”

Kang Jin-Ho heard a familiar voice and turned his head to find Ji-Eun jogging toward him.

She called out to him again, “Oppa!”


“Ah! I forgot to bring you cola this time.
You don't mind, right?”

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

From the sound of it, Ji-Eun must've viewed Kang Jin-Ho as some kind of a robot with cola as his energy source.

Ji-Eun continued. “Anyway, what a relief that I ran into you, Oppa.”

“What do you mean?”

“I'm moving to another hospital tomorrow, you see.”


“Mom said that we'll have to move somewhere else, even though I don't wanna…” Ji-Eun muttered with a dejected face.
She seemed less than enthusiastic about moving hospitals.
Then again, trying to get used to new nurses and doctors would be difficult for a young girl like her even at the best of times.

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“Isn't it fine to just not go?”

“Apparently not.
I cried and said no, but Mom scolded me with a smack.”

“I see,” Kang Jin-Ho replied as a faint smile crept up on his face without him realizing it.
It seemed that all mothers were the same, no matter who they were.

“What about you, Oppa? Aren't you gonna get discharged?”

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Ji-Eun replied with a grin, “Really? That's good since I'm leaving tomorrow, too.
I mean, if I'm gone, and you're left behind by yourself, it's kinda uncool, right? You'll get lonely without me, too.”

She seemed to be under some sort of misunderstanding, but Kang Jin-Ho didn't try to correct her.

“Oppa, I…” Ji-Eun suddenly stopped talking and clutched her chest.

Kang Jin-Ho's expression hardened.
“Does it hurt?”

“…No, it's fine.” She pretended to be fine, but even a blind could tell that she was in trouble.
She definitely was in pain.

Kang Jin-Ho reached out.
“Let me see.”

“What are you doing?!”


Kang Jin-Ho's extended hand was about to pull up her shirt, but Ji-Eun's sharp yell jolted him awake.
He quickly pulled his hand back.

She cried out, “Pervert!”

“It's a misunderstanding.”

“Never mind! I'm fine.
This happens now and then.
But it's getting more frequent lately…”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho slightly nodded and focused his senses on Ji-Eun's figure.
He noticed that the qi flow near her chest was clogged.
Placing his hand on her chest would get him a clearer picture of her condition, but he didn't want to attract unnecessary attention right now.

“Okay, Oppa.
I'm going back to my room now.”


“Doctors get mad at me if I wander around for too long, you see…
My condition got worse lately, and if I try to leave my room, they’ll start nagging the heck out of me.”

“I see.”

“Okay, then.
Oppa, bye.”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho watched Ji-Eun walk away but he suddenly called out to her.


“…What would you like to do if your illness is cured?”

Ji-Eun burst into a peal of laughter.
“That's so obvious! I wanna go back to school like everyone else, you know? I wanna go out and have fun, too!”

“I see.”

“Okay! I'm going for real now, Oppa.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly watched Ji-Eun's back in the distance, then slowly nodded his head.
“Like everyone else…
An ordinary life…”

He knew better than anyone how painful it was to be unable to lead an ordinary life.
Kang Jin-Ho reaffirmed his resolve, then turned around to leave.
However, his steps suddenly came to a halt as his head shifted back to Ji-Eun in the distance.
A quiet little murmur escaped from his lips.
“What happened to the honorifics, though?”

It seemed that the two of them became friends without him noticing it.

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