Chapter 37 - Aid
“I’m really sorry... I should have been paying more attention.”
Cho Kang-suk bowed from where he was sitting at the kitchen table, a heartfelt expression of regret on his face. Although Kang-suk had the face of a friendly neighbourhood hyung, he was actually a homicide detective.
He had been too busy these past three weeks. He only said that he had a case, and that he hadn’t been able to catch the culprit yet.
Tae-hyuk put the cutlery down in front of Kang-suk and said.
"Hyung doesn’t need to be sorry, because I know that you are busy with work.”
“Still! Hu... No. I couldn’t receive phone calls properly because I was in meetings every single day. I’ll kill him.”
Kang-suk became aware of the events that happened to Tae-hyuk and Ha-ran after everything was resolved. He truly seemed to be suffering at the fact that he was no help.
Kang-suk turned and looked at Ha-ran’s back who was cooking food in the kitchen.
“... Ha-ran said that she wanted to go back to university.”
"If I knew this, then I wouldn’t have donated all of my monetary rewards.”
He felt like he was looking at a puppy that wanted to help its owner.
"Why don’t you confess? I'll help you.”
"W-What does that mean?! How could I say that to Ha-ran!”
“Hyung likes Noona, it’s written all over your face.”
Kang-suk’s face turned beet red. The hulking bear easily became a simpleton.
"T-T-That isn’t it! I have decided to first start as friends!"
“F-Friends? What is Hyung doing?!"
It was easy for even Tae-hyuk, who had no experience in dating, to know that Kang-suk was taking the wrong approach with Ha-ran.
"Anyways, have you been studying well?”
"Wow, what a change in subject!”
Tae-hyuk realized something after the Rosario theft and the SY Capital incidents. He couldn’t take care of Ha-ran and Tae-min alone.
‘In addition, I will have to start fighting the blacklist members in earnest.’
Kang-suk was a protector, who he could ask for help when things got dangerous.
Tae-hyuk believed that was enough, but it turned out that wasn’t the case.
Therefore, Tae-hyuk prepared a big plan to change the future, which was to decrease the gap between Kang-suk and Ha-ran. He could trust Kang-suk with Ha-ran. At the very least, he was a man who would shed his own blood before making a woman cry.
‘Besides, he likes Noona.’
Even Tae-hyuk could tell that his sister was nice and pretty, so it wasn’t unusual for Kang-suk to fall for her.
‘Hum hum. Will he actually become my hyung?'
According to Tae-hyuk’s memories, Kang-suk was an old bachelor in his 40s. Kang-suk wasn’t a popular type among women. In addition, he spent most of his youth running around, catching criminals. In the end, he attended a matchmaker to find a marriage partner; however, his dates would run away upon seeing Kang-suk. A big bear sitting down in a suit. It was quite a shocking sight. Kang-suk started to say that he was married to crime. In the end, he abandoned dating.
‘Hyung is charming when he laughs...’
Tae-hyuk lowered his voice to avoid Ha-ran hearing and said.
“Kang-suk hyung. This is a gift.”
Tae-hyuk handed him an envelope with a smirk.
“Eh? Are these planetarium admission tickets?”
"Go with Noona when you have some time on the weekend, she likes to see the stars. Say it is between friends. Can’t you go and play with that?”
Kang-suk coughed unnecessarily loudly.
“Cough. I appreciate it. I have work this weekend though...”
"Then go next week! These tickets last for a month anyways.’
"I’m sorry, but my weekends won’t be free until this incident is over! Sob... I like the stars as well.”
Kang-suk lowered his head.
Tae-hyuk felt a strange protective instinct emerge as he saw the hulking bear with a dispirited expression.
'While Hyung looks after Noona... I feel a strange maternal instinct!”
Tae-hyuk knew the truth about the two people.
Ha-ran would be entering a dormitory cram school next month. Prior to that, Tae-hyuk wanted for her to go on at least two or three dates with Kang-suk.
‘In order for that to happen, I need to solve Hyung’s murder case.’
Kang-suk had been working seven days a week recently. Even if he wanted to get closer to Ha-ran, there was just no time to.
Tae-hyuk asked in a small voice.
“By the way, Hyung. What case is it now?”
"Well, I’m sorry but I can’t say. Now that the mass media has caught wind of it, special instructions have come down.”
Kang-suk mimed zipping his mouth closed.
Tae-hyuk found out a few facts from Kang-suk’s words.
First of all, there were at least two possible incidents if it needed to be kept secret.
The media was more likely to make a fuss about a serial murder case. Or, if they didn’t want the media knowing, then it might be a terrorist attack that would cause a huge blow to the economy.
Obviously, Kang-suk was responsible for one of two things.
Cho Kang-suk said.
"Anyway, let’s eat.”
In front of the two people, there was the delicious smell of cooked mackerel.
"I have to do this for Kang-suk.”
Tae-hyuk grumbled as he used the ‘Violence’ skill on the roof of a house.
In order for Kang-suk and Ha-ran to go on a date, Kang-suk’s serial killer case had to be resolved. He wouldn’t have any time to spare before it was resolved. Tae-hyuk was going to use his crime skills to help Kang-suk.
In the end, Kang-suk’s job would be to take care of Ha-ran.
"First of all, let's check the performance of this skill.”
The previous criminals that he met until now hadn’t been all that dangerous. He had to figure out exactly what he could do. Cho Kang-suk, a homicide detective, had been struggling for a few weeks, so it obviously wasn’t an ordinary criminal.
“Maybe it is one of the blacklist members.”
Tae-hyuk organized the list of criminals that he had written down. He memorized the dangerous criminals’ names, what they were doing, and how they got caught.
It was all listed in the blacklist.
“Hrmm... So far, I’ve met five?”
But one day, he would meet all of them. Tae-hyuk was sure of it.
He had met Yoo Cheol-ho on the day he received the future memories. Tae-hyuk had then helped put him in prison. Less than three weeks later, he got involved in the incident with Park Seong-ho’s son, Park Sung-kwang. Not long after that, he met the thief Moonlight Flower and Big Mama.
They were all criminals that Tae-hyuk remembered. Wasn’t this too much to be dismissed as a coincidence? It seemed like they were pulling him towards them.
"Either way, this criminal isn’t a joke. Who is it?”
The prosecutors wouldn’t be so desperate to conceal it if he wasn’t a cruel person.
Anyway, Tae-hyuk felt confident now that he had acquired the Violence skill. Unlike in the past, he could now physically overpower the opponent. It gave him a strange confidence.
Tae-hyuk grabbed the iron pipe created by the Violence skill. It allowed him to use his strength and agility.
Tae-hyuk wielded the iron pipe on the roof to rest how strong he was.
"Certainly, my body moves well, but I still don’t think it is enough to fight 17:1.”
Tae-hyuk was obsessed with the number 17:1. Among Tae-hyuk’s current stats, the lowest one was agility at 24 points.
Therefore, the movement of the iron pipe didn’t appeal to his spirit. If he could attack a little quicker...
"Anyhow, I can summon an iron pipe any time I like. Isn’t this surprisingly usable?”
The pipe was dented, and there was a handprint on it. At first, he was worried that moving it incorrectly would cause the pipe to bend. However, testing showed that it was very hard. It didn’t get any scratches, even when he pit all his weight into it. He would be able to use it as support in emergency situations.
Tae-hyuk put the iron pipe on his shoulder and pulled out the smartphone in his pocket. It was a phone that he had newly acquired after the last incident.
"The time for restoring is almost over.”
He checked and there were still a few minutes remaining.
The smartphone used by Kang-suk stored most of the data on its own server. If he had the ID and password then he could download it to his own smartphone. He could see everything from the contacts to the messages Kang-suk sent.
Tae-hyuk asked Kang-suk for help with purchasing a new phone.
In the meantime, he had been using Ha-ran’s old folder phone. In other words, it was a natural monument compared to the advanced technology of the smartphone.
Kang-suk made an enlightened expression, like an American missionary visiting Korea, and started his lecture. In the meantime, Tae-hyuk grabbed Kang-suk’s smartphone and obtained the ID and password. It was that simple to obtain Kang-suk’s personal information.
"I’d like to see some information about the investigation. Please don’t let me get nudes by mistake.”
First, he decided to be satisfied with this much. After a few moments, the restoration of the phone was completed perfectly. A smartphone with the same information as Kang-suk’s was born.
“Then shall I check his messages?”
Tae-hyuk skillfully navigated the touch screen to check the messages and mailbox.
“Wah. I feel nervous when there are no apps. By the way, he hasn’t linked his mail account yet? He uses a smartphone like an old phone.”
Tae-hyuk clicked his tongue. Kang-suk acted like a primitive person. But Kang-suk was like a caveman.
Kang-suk only used three things on his smartphone.
Telephone calls. Text messages. And the map.
Anyway, he was able to get a clue about this case. Then he muttered with a blank expression.
“Wait a minute. Is Hyung part of this bastard’s case?”
He was one of the five worst criminals recorded in the blacklist.
The watering hippo. That was his nickname.
Tae-hyuk stared at a bathroom from far away. One officer was standing guard. (TL: Bathroom in this case seems to refer to the public baths or sauna in Korea, not toilets)
‘Perhaps this is where the incident happened.’
Tae-hyuk referred to the blacklist as he chased after the trail of the hippo. But there was one strange thing.
The hippo he remembered didn’t start now, but three months later. Then why were there already victims? But looking at the method and frequency, the criminal was clearly the hippo.
‘There are already two victims.’
There was a common point about the days when the hippo committed a crime.
It was a day with a full moon. He murdered every 29 days.
Tae-hyuk looked up at the sky.
There was a round man with a slight dark edge in a corner. There was three days to the next full moon.
Before that, he had to find the trail of the hippo.
“Let’s make a connection.”
Tae-hyuk took out his phone and called the officer standing guard.
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