Chapter 31 - Ill-Fated Relationship from a Past Life #2
Tae-hyuk was going home after he finished his shift as a security personnel when someone struck him from behind with a metal pipe, rendering him unconscious. When he woke up, he was holding a bloody knife, and a bloody man, who had been stabbed dozens of times with a knife, was lying in front of him.
There was no time to escape before the police came and arrested him. At the time, Seo Tae-hyuk had a blood alcohol level of more than 0.1%. According to a witness’s statement, the two were arguing when, all of a sudden, Tae-hyuk pulled out a weapon from somewhere and stabbed him.
Of course, Tae-hyuk didn’t have any memory of this. He was trapped in prison with no time to grasp the situation. Everything was done in a quick manner, as if things had been prepared in advance.
For reference, there were two oddities in the case.
Firstly, why had Park Jung-hwan passed by that area without any guards? Secondly, why were five witnesses just watching the fight?
In the early days of Tae-hyuk’s trial, some of the media outlets paid attention to these facts. However, it soon devolved into the process of turning Seo Tae-hyuk evil. They only focused on that, and he was treated like a sociopath.
At that time, Tae-hyuk was in prison. The media were unable to meet him and turned the arrow towards his family.
-What type of family could raise a son that would brutally kill someone that way?
-His parents passed away, and was raised by his older sister. Doesn’t she feel even a little responsible for this?
-I heard that he was violent since he was a child. Did she happen to be hit by him or something?
A ruthless news coverage sprang up against Seo Tae-min and Seo Ha-ran.
It became known to the public that both of them were Seo Tae-hyuk’s family members. Why did Seo Ha-ran and Seo Tae-min receive such treatment?
The ‘thing’ he met before receiving the death penalty said that Seo Ha-ran was fired from her job. However, would that really have been the end of it? What else had happened?
Tae-hyuk felt horrible just imagining it.
Tae-hyuk took deep breaths to calm himself down.
It hadn’t happened yet, and he had to make sure it didn’t happen in the future. First of all, he needed information on Park Jung-hwan. In order to do that, Big Mama's cooperation was needed.
Tae-hyuk opened the door to Big Mama’s pawn shop and went inside.
“Omo, Tae-hyuk came. Hung ~ those clothes fit you well.”
Big Mama laughed and praised Tae-hyuk’s new outfit.
"Hello. I came to receive the rest of the payment.”
"Of course, I have prepared it.”
Big Mama smiled and pulled a box of vitamin drinks out of her safe.
"I feel like it’s a crime to give you money in this box. It used to be that money was given an apple box, but this is what everyone is doing these days. One box contains 50 million won.”
"Well, then I’ll check it right away.”
Tae-hyuk decided to open the box to check the amount.
Big Mama was a criminal who dealt with information and stolen goods. If she deceived someone regarding money then it would be a blow to her credibility. However, it would be good to make sure.
The box contained 10 bottles of vitamin drinks. It was exactly as written on the outside of the box. Tae-hyuk cried out angrily.
"It is supposed to be Shin Saimdang! Shin Saimdang! Don’t be jealous just because she looks younger than you!” (Shin Saimdang: the first woman to appear on a Korean banknote, the 50,000 won note)
“Ohoho! It’s a joke, a gift. This is the real one.”
Big Mama pulled out two different boxes. This time, it really did contain a lot of money. Tae-hyuk carefully checked if the amount was correct. There were 20 bundles of 100 sheets, making an exact 100 million.
Now it was time to cut to the chase.
"By the way, is Big Mama in the information business?”
“How did you know? In fact, it is a new business that I started. By the way... the name Big Mama doesn’t hold the dignity I’m looking for. In the future, I might change it to something else.”
“... I can’t think of you as anything but Big Mama.”
“Ahaha. Anyway, what did you want to know? The three sizes of your favourite girl?”
Although he was a bit curious, he wouldn’t spend money just to know such a thing.
"I want to find out everything about Park Jung-hwan.”
"I figured you would ask that. By the way, my information is a bit expensive, so will it be okay?”
Tae-hyuk gazed at the box in front of him without saying anything.
"Pay a deposit of one million first. The investigation period is 10 days, and if I’m successful then pay me another two million.”
"Sorry, I didn’t quite hear that?”
"This time it isn’t a joke.”
It was more than three times the price of other pieces of information. She was probably trying to take as much as she could because he currently had a lot of money.
Big Mama said with a soft smile.
"Politicians on the front lines have a rating above A grade. Furthermore, he is currently in retirement. This is a reasonable price.”
"Kuheom! Yes, I understand. Instead, please make sure that the information is accurate.”
“I will zoom in so close that I will know if he holds on to his buddy with his left hand or right hand when he pees.”
While Tae-hyuk didn’t want to know anything like that, he didn’t want to miss any little clues.
"Then we have a deal.”
"Thank you for using my services."
Big Mama called out to Tae-hyuk as he was leaving.
"Oh, right. Tell me if you ever want to come back to work. You are always welcome.”
"How much will you pay me?”
"Hmm, 6,500 won an hour?”
Tae-hyuk laughed bitterly.
It was a little better than the minimum wage, but there were many things that he wanted to learn from her.
'Anyway, I have no choice but to wait.’
He would use Big Mama’s power as much as possible.
For Tae-hyuk, who only had four skills, this was the best way.
* * *
Tae-hyuk handed his report card to Ha-ran with a serious expression. He was second in the class, and seventh in the school.
Ha-ran asked after seeing it.
"Is this Tae-min’s?”
"No, it's mine."
Ha-ran started to scrutinize his report card with a confused expression.
Seo Tae-hyuk’s name was definitely written on it.
Ha-ran reflexively stroked Tae-hyuk’s head and said.
“What did Noona say? I knew you could do it! Really well done!”
Ha-ran’s amazement didn’t end there.
"By the way, Noona. I have one thing to ask so please answer with the truth.”
"Noona isn’t stupid. In fact, aren’t you good at studying? It is enough to go to the university that you wanted.”
"I saw the acceptance letter that Noona hid during the voice phishing case.”
"T-That, I was just lucky...”
"No. Just tell me the truth. Noona had to give up on your dream because of Tae-min and me.”
“... Yes. Sorry.”
"Why are you sorry Noona? I’m the one who should be saying sorry!”
"Tae-hyuk doesn’t need to be sorry! I just did what I needed to do... So... Waaaah!”
Ha-ran suddenly started to cry.
Tae-hyuk gently stroked his sister’s back and gave her some tissue.
"Well, you did what you had to do, Noona. Please stop working at the factory now and prepare your luck. And... let’s take the university entrance exam together next year.”
Ha-ran gazed at Tae-hyuk with red eyes.
“... Huh? T-The living expenses...”
"I will do it somehow. The school registration fees as well.”
"T-That will cost a lot of money...”
The living expenses for a family of three and the school admission fees. If he included the university tuition, it was a lot of money.
"I have a lot of money right now."
"Haven’t you spent all the bounty money?”
In fact, he had saved quite a bit of that money.
He felt remorse for a moment, but that wasn’t what mattered right now.
"Not long ago, I met with the vice president of the Jinsung Group in private. He took me around his house, and in his house, there was a painting that I liked so much that he gave it to me as a gift. In fact, it was actually a very expensive painting.”
"R-Receiving such an expensive gift! Give it back right now!”
"Well. In fact...”
Tae-hyuk showed her the box filled with money.
“I’ve already sold it.”
Ha-ran held a hand to her head, as if she was dizzy.
The box was filled with 50,000 won bills. The total seemed to be in the tens of millions. It was the first time she had seen such a large amount of money.
"Isn’t this enough to live for a few years?”
Ha-ran said quietly.
"Go now and return the money.”
Tae-hyuk was at a loss for words. He knew that Ha-ran was overflowing with goodness but he hadn’t expected this.
Should he have thought of another excuse? Something like a passerby saving him. They gave him the lotto number or something like that.
But the water had already been spilled.
"Well, 50 million won may be a big amount of money for us, but is it really such a big deal for those who already have a lot of money? Thus, he gave me this as a gift. Moreover, I don’t think it is polite to return something received as a gift.”
In that case, Tae-hyuk would become a villain.
He first had to convince Ha-ran.
Tae-hyuk spoke smoothly.
“When I think about the personality of the person who gave it to me, I think we should use it. Study hard and go to a good university.”
“... Certainly, it is rude to return a gift.”
"That's right. Can’t we use this money? Let’s study hard and go to university together.”
Tae-hyuk patted Ha-ran’s shoulder.
"Well, Noona should put this in your treasure chest. That is the safest place.”
"Yes, I understand.”
"So, let’s go to a private cram school this Saturday. A friend of mine gave me the information, and she recommended the best cram school.”
"A friend? Is it a man?”
"No, it is a woman.”
At that moment, Ha-ran looked at Tae-hyuk with a shocked face. The kid who had followed her around finally grew up.
"Write the resignation letter immediately. From now on, Noona is a student.”
Ha-ran’s expression brightened the moment she heard those words. They were her dream words.
“Uh, yes. I understand. Tae-hyuk... Really, thank you...”
Tae-hyuk sighed with relief. Now, it would really start.
It would be different from his previous life, where everyone was unhappy. Ha-ran and Tae-min too. Everybody would be able to achieve what they wanted. It was his only reward for those who believed in him until the end.
Tae-hyuk muttered under his breath, as if he was making a promise.
"I'm going to slowly change it. The future... no, my destiny!”
* * *
Everything seemed like a dream to Ha-ran. She was several times happier this time, compared to the time when they had just moved into the new house.
Abandoned… No, she could achieve her dream that she had given up on.
Her brother, who she thought was a troublemaker, had reached the seventh rank in the school, and told her to go to university together.
She was so happy that she couldn’t help but cry.
She didn’t have to look at the face of the manager who harassed her anymore.What would he look like when she resigned tomorrow?
She expected that she wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. Ha-ran pinched herself to check if it wasn’t a dream.
“Ah! …It is real!”
She pulled out the treasure chest and checked the box that Tae-hyuk gave her. There really was 50 million won.
At that moment, Ha-ran became uneasy.
Tae-hyuk said that keeping it here was the safest place. However, a thief entered the house and had taken Rosario just a few days ago. Although it was recovered, the incident had left a big scar on Ha-ran’s mentality.
As the head of the family, she had the responsibility to protect everyone, and she couldn’t do that. If this money was stolen…
Ha-ran was worried, and prepared countermeasures in her own way.
“Ah, yes! This is it!”
Ha-ran smiled happily.
This money was necessary for her family’s dreams and happiness.
She had to protect it somehow. To do that, she was prepared to do anything.
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