Chapter 121 - Divergent #1
"It has been one month. You made sure to keep the promise.”
Tae-hyuk looked at Kang-suk as they rode the boat leaving Blue Dragon Prison. He seemed deep in thought and showed no reaction to Tae-hyuk’s words. The reply came from a man in a trench coat.
"Phantom? No, should I call you Kim Cheol-su? The promise compensation will be guaranteed.”
“Hrmm. I hope something like last time isn’t planned.”
The expression and tone of words was so creepy that Joo Hyun-ho couldn’t help gulping. That face was a fake that was created. Was it like the special makeup used to shoot movies? He would know clearly if he touched it, but unfortunately he didn’t have that courage.
Hyun-ho smiled and said,
"It’s not like you will be caught if that happens again.”
Tae-hyuk gave a meaningful smile instead of answering. Then Hyun-ho felt regret. He was a specialist in terms of identifying the criminal’s feelings and analyzing them. He didn’t show it, but he was very proud of that fact.
But Kim Cheol-su... No, he couldn’t tell anything about Phantom despite questioning him. However, this wasn’t enough to make Hyun-ho give up. Phantom, whom he wanted to meet so much, was within a touching distance. He needed to at least find out what midnight snack Phantom liked to eat.
"By the way, do you know Shin Chang-ho?”
"The name is famous, so I’ve heard it a few times. But is the commissioner healthy these days?”
"He has a pollen allergy so it is a little tough... Hup.”
Hyun-ho realized that he made a mistake while talking about the police commissioner’s recent problem. Conversely, he was the one being interrogated. This was a rudimentary mistake that showed the other person wasn’t a beginner. Hyun-ho’s eyes trembled.
As Hyun-ho panicked, Tae-hyuk gazed at the screen of the Demon Revealing Mirror floating in the air.
'Isn’t this a completely fraudulent skill?’
He rolled his eyes and gazed at the Demon Revealing Mirror again. There was a detailed description of the abilities and current psychological state of Joo Hyun-ho.
[No... It seems like the commissioner’s secret mission is a bust...]
This was the ability of the [Hawk Eyes] attribute. Tae-hyuk took advantage of it so that Hyun-ho would make mistakes that he wouldn’t normally make. It hadn’t been possible to use it until now because he needed 10 affinity points to acquire.
However, he gained those missing points with the end of the prison war. He guessed it was because he saved Park Sung-yul, who Shin Chang-ho was supposed to kill.
‘But when I think about it, two points were added.’
He only got eight points for dealing with the Triads killer. Then he got two points for saving Park Sung-yul’s life. He thought that he got affinity points by saving the lives of people who were destined to die.
'But the first one is too low, while the second incident gave too many points.’
Did Big Brother only kill eight more people in the future? It didn’t make sense. There was still some uncertainty regarding the affinity points that strengthened crime skills.
‘Anyway, the characteristics of ‘Hawk Eyes’... This is the full jackpot!’
If he activated it, he could grasp the state of the opponent, almost like mind-reading. In the eyes of Hyun-ho, who didn’t know about the crime skills, Phantom literally seemed like a monster.
Cho Kang-suk, who was quietly sitting beside Hyun-ho, opened his mouth.
"At any rate, I was able to finish the Park Sung-yul case due to Kim Cheol-su. Thank you very much.”
It was true that they solved the crime with the help of a criminal. Even though he solved a tough case, Cho Kang-suk didn’t seem pleased.
“There is no need for thanks. I am getting paid for this after all.”
"If it wasn't for your help, it wouldn’t have been so easy to find the identity of the victims.”
The image of the landlord after they found her daughter popped up in Kang-suk’s head. Now Park Sung-yul would pay for his sins. All of it was due to Phantom’s help.
As Kang-suk made a subtle facial expression, Joo Hyun-ho suddenly interrupted.
"By the way, the investigation headquarters is having a get together next week. Kim Cheol-su, why don’t you come? You were also crucial in solving this case. Furthermore, it will be very entertaining if you join...”
Kang-suk applied a headlock to the smiling Hyun-ho. It was a bit much to recommend Phantom attend a party with cops who were trying to catch him.
“Hrmm. A dinner party. Not bad.”
"Do you see? Phantom thinks it is a good idea.”
"Unfortunately, it will become a crime if I attend, so I have to politely refuse.”
"O-Of course... Keok! S-Sunbae! I really will die!”
“Haha! Cheol-su. Forget about this idiot’s words.”
Unfortunately, Kang-suk and Hyun-ho didn’t correctly interpret Phantom’s words.
Phantom literally meant those words, since it was illegal for a minor to attend a drinking party.
Time passed by like the wind, and it had already been a week since Tae-hyuk returned from Blue Dragon Prison. He lied that he was studying abroad for one month, so there were no problems at all.
Forgery meant that he could come up with the necessary documents. He wondered about what had happened while he was away, since he gave some instructions to Kang Han-seong. They did better than he thought.
Even though Tae-hyuk had the crime skills, he was only one person. He could cover that disadvantage with them and the Bomber to some extent.
‘I’ll have to use it often in the future. Are these clothes enough?’
Tae-hyuk smiled at his appearance in the mirror. He had returned to his original appearance after looking like Kim Cheol-su for one month. However, the outfit he was wearing was slightly different. He was wearing a dark blue suit instead of his normal skinny jeans and leather jacket. Every year in spring, the three siblings would participate in a family event, and he was currently dressed up for it.
"Tae-hyuk! Are you ready?”
Ha-ran’s voice was heard outside his door. Tae-hyuk flicked back his long bangs and exited.
Ha-ran and Tae-min, who were ready to attend the event, were waiting at the front door. Tae-min pouted and said,
“What man takes longer to get ready than a woman? Detective Cho Kang-suk is waiting.”
Tae-hyuk laughed at his brother’s reaction, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time. It was the feeling that Tae-hyuk had returned to where he should be.
"I have to say thank you to Kang-suk for driving us.”
"Hah! Ah right, did you remember to bring the barley tea for Detective-nim?”
“Ah! I nearly forgot! It is in the fridge. Can you take it out for me?”
When he saw Ha-ran and Tae-min treating Kang-suk like family, Tae-hyuk realized that many things had changed in the past month. Tae-hyuk grabbed the bag on the floor and walked outside.
Cho Kang-suk was sitting in the driver’s seat of a shining new car. The black sunglasses and white gloves made him look like a chauffeur.
"Eh? Kang-suk hyung. When did you get a car?”
"Just recently. It is because I was sleeping at the office every day after missing the last train. I weighed the pros and cons and bought it.”
“Aye, isn’t it for a different reason?”
Tae-hyuk didn’t ask anymore questions, although it seemed like Kang-suk bought it to go on dates with Ha-ran. Tae-hyuk put his bag in the trunk and sat in the back seat. Ha-ran carefully climbed into the front passenger seat.
“Kang-suk, thank you for doing this favor today.”
Tae-min instantly started to question Kang-suk.
“Detective-nim! You solved another case? It appeared on the news. You look very good on screen!”
Kang-suk laughed and started the car.
“Haha. Then don’t forget your seat belts. We are departing.”
Kang-suk drove the car in the warm sunshine.
After an hour, the party was able to arrive at their destination. Once the left the city and arrived at a wooded place, the air was completely different.
Ha-ran spoke cautiously from her seat next to Kang-suk.
"You have been very busy for a while... Thank you for taking us on such a long drive during your break.”
Kang-suk smiled gently and replied,
“It is nothing. I wanted to come with you.”
Tae-hyuk took his bag from the trunk and headed for the familiar place that he visited every year. It was a city run tomb where the ashes of the dead were kept.
Tae-hyuk headed to the place where his parents’ remains were. It wasn’t difficult to find the familiar names. It was a good location, not too high or too low.
[Seo Dae-han, Nam Ji-soo’s Tomb]
Tae-hyuk pulled out a framed picture and placed it in front of the urns. The two people had been returning from the same workplace when they got into an accident. He remembered Ha-ran’s face when his parents were first brought here.
-You will be together for the rest of eternity... After you die, stay on the royal floor.
Tears had flowed from Ha-ran’s eyes as she said this.
Tae-hyuk muttered quietly,
"Don't worry. I will protect Noona and Tae-min no matter what. And...”
"Eh? I’ve already finished the preparations.”
“Sorry Tae-hyuk! Noona will do the rest!”
The rest of the group that arrived late started bustling around. They spread a mat on the floor and placed the prepared food on it.
Every year, on this day. It was the day to visit their deceased parents. The family gathered together and had a good time sharing stories.
“Kang-suk. Please try some fruit.”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I need to do something first. I will eat the fruit later.”
Kang-suk, who had been watching the family talking, got up from his seat. His black suit and sunglasses gave him a daunting appearance. However, he had a look of determination. Kang-suk stopped in front of the urns and slowly opened his mouth.
"Mother-nim, Father-nim. Nice to meet you. I am Cho Kang-suk and I work as a detective at Gangdong Police Station. Although I don’t have anything else, I am confident that I can support Seo Ha-ran.”
Ha-ran’s face turned red as she watched from the side.
"Omo, Kang-suk is really...”
Kang-suk slowly bowed to Seo Ha-ran’s parents. Then he declared with all his will.
"I will surely make Seo Ha-ran happy. Father-nim, Mother-nim. Please give me your daughter!”
The family showed various reactions to Kang-suk’s words. Kang-suk slowly got up and pulled out something from his pocket.
"I’m sorry Ha-ran. This should be done in a place with a little more atmosphere. Nevertheless, I wanted to greet Ha-ran’s parents.”
Kang-suk gazed at Ha-ran with passionate eyes. Then he kneeled in front of Ha-ran and asked, There was a ring box on his palm.
"I felt something the moment that I met you. Will you please marry me?”
Ha-ran stood without saying anything while Tae-hyuk interrupted the two.
"Wait a minute, Kang-suk hyung. You shouldn’t do this yet. I wish you would have consulted me on such an important matter. How can you even propose this way? You should at least rent a five star lounge and do a romantic event... Ah! I don't know! Noona! Erase this day from your head. You will meet again next week. In the meantime, I will surely educate...”
Ha-ran, who was standing quietly for a while, suddenly threw herself into Kang-suk’s arms.
“Yes! I will!”
In Tae-hyuk’s mind, he had the perfect proposal planned for Cho Kang-suk and Seo Ha-ran, yet Kang-suk had destroyed it all at once.
“Ugh... If you accept... The precious proposal... My plan... Ah, ahhhhh!”
Tae-hyuk literally fell to the ground and moaned.
Kang-suk placed the ring on Ha-ran’s left ring finger. Thus, the two people promised to marry.
Kang-suk laughed excitedly and said,
"Now, everybody must be hungry. Let’s go eat meat! How about beef? Meat!”
Tae-hyuk rose from his seat with a sigh. The situation was good for both parties so there was nothing he could do.
Then Tae-hyuk realized that his plan was a success. With this, Kang-suk was now part of the family of three. Unlike the previous life filled with despair, he had changed their fates perfectly. As Tae-hyuk’s chest warmed, the Demon Revealing Mirror screen appeared in front of him.
[You can use the affinity points to enhance crime skills or activate hidden attributes.]
‘What? Affinity points?’
He had gained unexpected points from Kang-suk proposing to Ha-ran. Tae-hyuk gulped and started thinking about the affinity points.
‘It don’t get it simply if I saved someone who was destined to die. That explanation doesn’t work with the four points I got now. This means...’
In the end, he finally saw what the true condition was for acquiring affinity points.
‘...By changing fate, the crime skills become stronger.’
The power to change fate. This was the hidden identity of the affinity points.
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