Chapter 241

“Are all of these hand made as well?” Dowook asked as he put down the clothes in one corner of the self studies classroom on the 5th floor. There was a police uniform, some strange shirt with thin metal chains on the shoulder and a leather jacket that looked like it would clearly outline any body figure. Some of those clothes could be bought from stores, but the police uniform and the shirt with the chain clearly seemed hand made.

“One of our OBs did clothing design and apparently, that person helped out even after graduation. I think that seonbae made this one as well.”

“I knew it.”

“Can you take the plastic wrap off and see if there’s anything wrong with them? We’d have to stitch them back if there are any rips,” Daemyung said to Bangjoo. Bangjoo replied in a loud voice and sat down on the spot before starting to go through the clothes.

“Well,” Dowook replied grumpily to Daemyung who was smiling at him. Even though he clearly expressed that he was not okay with this, Daemyung kept looking at him. Dowook felt that this guy was getting sneakier by the day.

In the end, though, Dowook sat down.

“Dowook, those are yours, so try them on,” The one Daemyung pointed to was the shirt with the chain.

“This one?”

“Yeah.”

“Hey, my role might be a delinquent, but isn’t this too overboard? It’s not like the delinquent is into heavy metal or something.”

“Ah, do you think?”

Dowook sighed and took off the plastic wrap first. The shirt was black and red. It wasn’t bad to the point of being unusable if the chains were taken off. It wasn’t a bad costume if the delinquent happened to be in a bike gang or something. Dowook looked for any flaws both on the inside and the outside and tried them on once. He put the clothes on and stood in front of the mirror to see if they fit him or not.

“Seonbae-nim. It suits you,” Bangjoo spoke from behind him.

“You’re saying I look like a delinquent?”

“Yes! You totally look like a gangster.”

This guy did not know his manners. Dowook chuckled before taking the clothes off. It didn’t hinder his movement. He thought that he could use this costume once the chains were taken off.

“Why are you staring at me like that?”

Daemyung had been staring at him for a while. When he asked, he replied back with a smile.

“I was just thinking that you’re actually quite thorough.”

“Once I said I will do something, I will do it properly, so don’t you worry about that. Rather than that, I can take off the chains right?”

“I think we can ask the dry cleaners to do it. But I think it looks cooler with it on though….”

“This looks cool?”

“I, isn’t it?”

“Hell no.”

Daemyung looked at the chains with pity. Dowook packed the costume in the plastic bag again.

“We checked all of them, right?”

“Can we leave these here? Others might come in.”

Although the self studies classroom was rarely used, students could still use this space since midterms were approaching. Although they were using it like their clubroom, it was originally intended to be used for studying so they couldn’t just lock the door.

“It’s fine. Teacher Taesik already got permission. He told the others that a study group will book the room….”

“So he lied, even though he’s a teacher.”

“...Perhaps studying acting is also a form of studying?”

“You’re sounding more and more like Maru these days, making excuses like that.”

“Y, you think so?”

Dowook gathered the costumes up into one spot and piled them up. He was used to tidying up. His father worked at the petrol station, his mother worked at a company, and his sister left home. As he grew up in an environment where he had to do the household chores, he did not like seeing things untidy. He suddenly had the thought that perhaps the reason why he researched about bicycles and even bought tools to fix them was because his subconscious told him to do everything by himself.

“I’ll go downstairs for a bit,” Daemyung suddenly said. He then stood up.

“Where?”

“To lock the container. I felt it when I took the clothes out, but it was really hot in there, so I opened it so that it could cool down a little.”

Daemyung brushed off the strands of threads that stuck to his school uniform as he stood up. He was about to leave when he turned around.

“Wanna go with me? I’ll treat you to some ice cream.”

“It’s not that you want to eat it as well?”

Hearing those words, Daemyung silently smiled.

“I thought you were trying to lose weight.”

“Today’s the last day. Bangjoo, you can come too.”

“Yes!”

Dowook shrugged his shoulders and followed him.

* * *

“Huh?”

Daemyung met Jiyoon and Aram in the convenient store. However, the two of them acted strange. Aram had a smirk on her face while Jiyoon did her best to hold her back.

“Seonbae!”

Aram waved her hand and greeted them. There were quite a lot of students since it was lunch time, and Aram’s loud voice instantly gathered their attention. Daemyung was momentarily frightened by the numerous gazes and quickly went up to them.

“What is it so suddenly?”

“Seonbae, you know…,” Aram was about to say something when Jiyoon covered Aram’s mouth with her hands. Even Daemyung was surprised by the usually meek girl’s bold actions.

“Oh, it’s, uh, nothing, seonbae-nim.”

Jiyoon smiled awkwardly and stepped sideways. At that moment, Daemyung saw that Jiyoon was pinching Aram’s waist. Very hard, too. Aram also stepped sideways, teary-eyed.

“What’s going on?”

“Hehe, it’s nothing.”

Aram seemed to have some business with him until just moments ago, but she instantly changed her attitude when Jiyoon looked as though she was about to cry. Daemyung was curious about what was happening, but he felt that he shouldn’t ask.

“S, seonbae-nim. Wh, what are you going to eat? I’ll buy it for you,” Jiyoon carefully asked. Daemyung shook his head and spoke.

“I’ll treat you. What do you two girls want to eat?”

“I want milk,” Aram responded. Jiyoon hesitated for a moment before replying ‘the same one you’re getting, seonbae-nim.’

“Okay, wait just a moment. Dowook, Bangjoo. Are you two okay with ice cream[1]?”

Both of them nodded.

“Oh yes, seonbae-nim. I saw that the container box was open…,” Jiyoon inquired nervously.

“That? I opened it on purpose. The inside was too hot. We have to check on the props in the afternoon but I thought it would get too hot if I just left them like that, so I left it open just a little.”

“Oh, that’s it,” Jiyoon smiled as she said that. Her cheeks dimpled slightly. Daemyung absent-mindedly watched as Jiyoon brushed her hair away from her eyebrows with her hand before flinching. Aram had a suspicious smile on her face.

“M, ma’am!”

Daemyung quickly turned around and ordered the items. His heart was racing. He was worried that Jiyoon might think strange of him and turned around, but fortunately, Aram was talking to Jiyoon like normal. He wondered if he saw wrongly. He sighed and turned around after getting the items from the lady.

“Here you go.”

He handed out the milk and the ice cream. He subconsciously smiled when Jiyoon received her ice cream with her two hands. Of course, he soon came to himself and looked away. After all, Jiyoon might feel uncomfortable if some misunderstandings occurred.

“I, I don’t see Maru anywhere. I thought he was going to the cafeteria.”

“Maru-seonbae was in class though.”

“In class? In my class?”

“Yes.”

Daemyung was curious about why these two went to the 2nd year electric engineering class, but did not ask. He didn’t want to be nosy.

While the others chatted, Daemyung sneaked out. He had to lock up the container.

“Seonbae-nim. Where are you going?”

Jiyoon had caught up already.

“To go to the container. You don’t need to follow me. You should go back to class and get some rest.”

“No, I’ll help you,” saying that, Jiyoon quietly followed him. She was really kind. Daemyung felt proud since he felt that he had a good junior. At the same time, a sense of duty to show her his good side as her senior welled up inside him.

“Oh, seonbae-nim. It’s a little weird to call you... club president, right?”

“Y, you can just call me however you want. It’s not like being the club president is anything special. You can call me whatever you’re comfortable with.”

“R, right? Then, seonbae….nim is a little too weird, right? I’ll call you just seonbae in the future. A, are you okay with that?”

“Y, yeah! Call me whatever you’re comfortable with. I don’t care at all.”

Jiyoon smiled back at him.

“Uhm, seonbae.”

“Yeah?”

“Thank you for last time. I thought I didn’t get to thank you properly. Sorry about that.”

“Not at all. Rather than that, you look okay now. You are much brighter than before.”

“R, really?”

“Yeah,” after replying, Daemyung uttered a short breath. This was the first time he talked to a girl like this outside of practice. He became nervous and quickened his steps. He did this so that they could arrive at the container before they ran out of things to talk about.

However, not long later, he had to slow down. Jiyoon, who was following him, was panting. He walked by her side and the two walked to the back of the school. They did not say a single word as they walked. Daemyung was very uneasy, but Jiyoon had a calm - and perhaps a little joyful - expression. It seemed as though something good had happened to her today.

“Huh? Why is it wide open?”

Arriving at the container, Daemyung wondered why it was wide open. He remembered opening it just a little.

“Is it because of the wind?”

“It wasn’t like that when we came around.”

Jiyoon tilted her head as well. Daemyung took another step forward towards the orange-colored container. At that moment, a strong wind blew on his face.

“...!”

The wind contained a disgusting smell. It was the smell of paint. Not just any paint, but the waterproof paint that Maru bought. Jiyoon seemed to have smelled the stench of burning rubber as well and frowned.

“Can you take a step back?”

“Seonbae!”

Daemyung made Jiyoon step back just in case anything happened. He covered his nose and walked forward. As he walked forward, the sunlight that covered the entrance of the container was lifted, showing what the inside looked like. Daemyung frowned and walked into the container.

“What is all….”

It was green everywhere. No, some places had spray paint on as well. The problem was that some costumes and props were covered in paint as well. Daemyung coughed and first took out the costume within his reach. When it was exposed to the sunlight, its horrible condition could be seen. Even though it was a denim jacket, half of it was colored green. The white mourning clothes had black paint everywhere. From those alone, it was clear that everything was messed up.

“Seonbae….”

Jiyoon’s expression paled in fright and she covered her mouth. She should have been surprised as well. Someone clearly did this with malicious intent. Daemyung first took out his phone. He then pressed his shortcut key. After some signalling sounds, Maru’s voice could be heard over the phone. Daemyung cut Maru mid way through his question and spoke hurriedly.

“Maru! Come down to the container quickly!”

* * *

A burden. This referred to a heavy load carried by a person. When something refreshing happened, it is expressed as ‘a heavy burden was lifted off one’s shoulders’[2]. Geunseok realized what that felt like today. He really felt refreshed. No, he was thrilled. The glee when he found out that there was no one behind school, the feeling of awe when he saw that the container was open, as well as the excitement of finding paint inside. Geunseok opened the paint containers rapidly and poured it out on everything he saw. He was unable to contain his smile while watching the green paint draw a perfect parabola into every object inside the container. As he watched the props getting tainted, those bastards popped into his head, and a feeling of triumph welled up inside him when he thought about how Maru would never catch the culprit.

Fire was dangerous. He was a man with common sense. He had to finish things on a level that wouldn’t get him into big trouble even if he was found out. In that sense, paint was perfect for the job. It made all the objects useless after all. On top of that, there was that stench. Although it would soon go away since it was volatile, they wouldn’t be able to use the container for the time being. He was so happy because he could pressure them like this.

“Did something good happen to you?”

The girl next to him asked. It was a girl with long straight hair. She tied it up when she came to school to avoid the eyes of the head-of-the-year teacher, but she untied them once she was in class. Geunseok inwardly liked this girl since she looked more mature than her peers.

“Do I look like it?”

“Yeah.”

The girl giggled. She clearly had good feelings towards him.

Geunseok smiled.

Today was the best.


[1] In Korea, both ‘soft ice cream’ and ‘popsicles’ are called ‘ice cream’ (Though, some regions call popsicles ‘ha-d’(하드), which is derived from “hard” ice cream or ‘ice ke--ki’(아이스께끼), derived from the Japanese pronunciation of ‘ice cake’(アイスケーキ) ). They’re probably getting popsicles here, but I don’t know for sure. I will translate all ice cream(아이스크림) into ice cream in the future unless specified otherwise.

[2] Original expression literally translates to: “A decade-old indigestion was just flushed down”

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Aww! Just start going out already!

Note: Author's afterword usually mention nothing but his IRL stuff at the time it was written, so I don't translate them, but for this one, he has something else as well

"Please love Geunseok more. *evil giggle* "
"근석을 사랑해주세요. 킥..킥...킥...."

Another note: Jiyoon changed calling Daemyung from 'seonbae-nim' to 'seonbae'. It is IMPOSSIBLE to translate this completely into English... so I'm glad I stuck to Korean words for dialogues...

O.o (<- my eyes when reading the last part)