“Uhm, Inho-hyung,” Haewon carefully called out to Inho.
Inho wondered why Haewon called out to him. Heewon, who sat next to them, also naturally looked towards Haewon.
“Please take this.”
Haewon handed him a stash of half-folded bills under the table. He was being careful to not be noticed by the others. Inho asked as he looked at the money.
“What’s this about?”
“When you said that we were going to eat meat, I thought you were going to buy some from the supermarket and eat at someone’s house. I didn’t know we’d be eating at your father’s store. I heard that it’s not right to eat for free in a newly opened store….”
“Hey, hey. It’s fine. My dad isn’t such a petty person.”
“Of course, I know that. But it just tugs at my mind. Please take it quickly. If the others notice, they might feel unpleasant.”
It’s just enough for the food - Haewon added before giving Inho the money. Inho refused at first saying that it was okay, but he had no choice but to accept it in the end.
Heewon looked at the two in an awkward position. He was just about to put a ssam into his mouth.
“I brought my wallet too though.”
“Don’t you do that to me too and just eat quietly. We don’t want the atmosphere turning weird after someone notices,” Inho said firmly.
Heewon nodded and put the ssam in his mouth. His younger brother did what he was supposed to do. Well, it wasn’t like this was the first or second time such a thing happened, so he didn’t mind it that much.
“Haewon, you should eat some as well. It’s really good.”
“Also… you can reduce this week’s allowance.”
“I was going to even if you didn’t tell me. We’ll have to eat at home all week.”
“I wasn’t serious though.”
“But I am serious, you know?” Haewon tensed his eyes as he spoke.
Although he was a kind younger brother who did most of the chores, he was very rational when it came to living expenses.
“Looks like I should eat a lot then.”
“You’ll upset your stomach again.”
Hearing that, Inho tried to give back the money, but it ended up going into his pocket because Haewon politely refused.
“Heewon, eat a lot, okay?”
“I’m going to eat my money’s worth even if you didn’t tell me.”
He picked up an empty plate and went to the refrigerator to pick up some more meat. He picked up some skirt meat that was piled up like a mountain and reached out for the marinated ribs right next to it when,
“Please go ahead first.”
A rather chubby boy spoke as he retracted his hand. He was one of the students at the table diagonally opposite to them.
He nodded before picking up the tongs. While moving the meat to his plate, Heewon coughed awkwardly and glanced sideways. The chubby boy hurriedly looked away. He wondered what it was about.
‘There’s that girl from before too. Did I do something wrong?’
No matter how hard he thought about it, he couldn’t remember doing something that would make a complete stranger hate him.
“Excuse me,” he spoke up.
The chubby boy replied, visibly flustered. He didn’t look like a bad person.
“The girl sitting at your table kept staring at me and teased me. Is there something I did wrong?”
“Ah, no! That’s just a mistake of a junior of ours. Sorry about that.”
He apologized politely. Heewon was also rather confused because he apologized so easily. He thought that he would try to pick a fight with him, but he turned out to be rather polite.
“You don’t have to apologize. I must have been a little sensitive.”
“Not at all. My junior just wasn’t mature with her actions. I’ll bring her here and have her apologize.”
“No! Don’t do that.”
Heewon grabbed the boy’s arm as he was about to turn around. He intended to stop him, but he was dragged instead because the boy was so strong. Maybe this was what it felt like to be dragged around by a bull.
“No, if she did something wrong, it’s only right to apologize.”
Heewon shook his head. That girl seemed quite strong-willed. Also, she had a good build as well. He thought that he’d lose if he fought her, so he had absolutely no thoughts of meeting her face-to-face.
The chubby boy turned around. Heewon sighed in relief before letting go.
“You are from Hwasoo High, right?”
“Yes, we are.”
“You do acting, right?”
The boy nodded in acceptance all by himself.
“But how did you know?”
“Things happened. And also, do you know about Woosung Engineering High?”
“Woosung Engineering High?”
Heewon pondered for a moment. He thought that he had heard that name somewhere before, but nothing lit up in his head.
“No, I don’t think so.”
Hearing that, the chubby boy said ‘I see’ by himself before smiling awkwardly.
“Aha, so you don’t know us.”
Heewon was startled when someone said that behind him. The chubby boy was also surprised and took a step back. When he turned around, the girl that teased him a while ago was standing there. She looked very sturdy - despite how weird it might sound for a girl - from up close.
“Aram,” the chubby boy said.
It seemed that the girl’s name was Aram. The girl looked up and down before snorting and walking past him to the refrigerator.
“Get out of the way so I can take some meat.”
“Ah, okay,” Heewon quickly replied before taking a step aside.
At that moment, the chubby boy tensed his eyes and said to her,
“Jeon Aram, don’t be rude.”
When said did, the girl apologized to him unwillingly before going back. As soon as the girl left, the chubby boy shrunk his shoulders and just sighed shakily. He looked stiff to the point that he was worried for him.
“Eh? Ah, yes. I’m not used to doing things like that. I tried acting heavy for once, but it sure is hard.”
“You have it hard.”
Heewon subconsciously ended up encouraging the chubby boy. He knew what it felt like to be annoyed by a younger girl. The chubby boy faintly smiled.
“But why is she acting like that? I just don’t get it.”
“Uhm, the thing is… we are from Woosung Engineering High.”
“We participated in the Gyeonggi regional preliminaries for the summer competition. Though, we didn’t see each other since it was on a different day.”
“Ah, I see.”
Now that he thought about it, he remembered that an engineering high school got the silver prize in the summer. So that turned out to be Woosung Engineering High.
“That girl is a little angry because we failed to go to the nationals thanks to Hwasoo High. Of course, I’m not saying that it’s because of Hwasoo High. We didn’t advance because we were lacking.”
The boy scratched the back of his head while laughing.
“Uhm, sorry about that,” Heewon apologized.
Even he would be angry if the results were bad when he prepared a lot. Of course, he was confused as to whether he should be apologizing or not, but he felt that it was the right choice when he remembered the girl that glared at him. For some reason, he felt really powerless in front of her.
“It’s not Hwasoo High’s fault. In fact, I should be the one apologizing.”
“No, no. You said that you weren’t able to advance because of us.”
“I said that’s not it.”
“Just let me apologize. Also, tell her I apologized.”
He would probably get an upset stomach if he kept eating while she stared at him like that. Since he paid a lot of money to eat, he wanted to enjoy it as much as possible.
Heewon stood there without saying anything for a while before nodding his head while picking up the plate he put the meat on. The chubby boy smiled and nodded back.
Everything seemed to be going well. But then,
“What are you doing?”
Heewon inwardly screamed when he saw his junior walking towards the salad bar. There was one in his school as well - a scary girl that didn’t lose out to that girl named Aram.
“Yeonji, it’s nothing.”
“What do you mean it’s nothing? What happened? Who are they to say something to you? I saw from the table that some girl was glaring at you. I know that our Heewon-seonbae has a ditzy side to him, but that doesn’t mean any random person can look down on him like that, you know?”
“Yeonji, it’s a misunderstanding. Also, ditzy, you say…”
“You stay quiet, seonbae!”
“Uh, okay. I’ll stay quiet.”
Heewon took a step back and signalled the chubby boy to run. However, unlike his immense physical strength, his personality seemed to be on the weaker side as he looked at Yeonji without moving.
“Did our seonbae do something wrong?”
“No, of course not! We were the one in the wrong.”
“Then why did you surround him and bully him?”
“So, the thing is….”
The chubby boy waved his arm in the air and tried to explain. Heewon realized that it was time to show his authority as her senior just like what he saw a couple of moments ago.
“Kang Yeonji!” He said in a strong voice and blocked her way.
“...Nothing. I’m just saying you should go easy. You know what I mean, right?”
“Geez, seonbae! It’s because you’re like that that those guys looked down on us in the theater last time.”
“That happened months ago though, why are you bringing it up now….”
“So I can’t?”
“No, you can.”
Kang Yeonji. Her nickname was bulldog. Of course, saying that word in front of her required some big courage. Even Inho, who was adept at handling others, had to relent in front of Yeonji.
Heewon subconsciously put his hands on his lower stomach. When he looked next to him, he saw that the chubby boy was doing the same. He signalled to ask why, but being pressured by Yeonji’s spirit, the boy just kept staring at Yeonji.
“What are you doing?”
A violent wave in the front, and a heavy storm in the back. That was how Heewon felt right now. The girl named Aram had returned.
A battle between a dragon and a tiger. There seemed to be no other expression that fit this situation.
“I think we should stop them.”
“Then you try.”
“Me? I can’t do it.”
“If I do it now, I think I might get shoulder-thrown. Aram’s good at Judo.”
“Ah. Actually, Yeonji is good at Taekwondo as well.”
“It seems like that girl’s name is Yeonji. What a feminine name.”
“Aram sounds cute as well, but why are they….”
Maybe this was what it felt like to suffer the same sickness? Heewon felt a sense of kinship in a strange way and talked to the boy rather randomly.
The two girls, who were glaring at each other while twitching their lips, eventually bared their fangs and were about to go at each other.
Just then, a savior appeared. The only one that could calm the bulldog Yeonji down. Heewon sighed in relief when he saw Haewon. With the appearance of his brother, Yeonji twitched her lips but held it in.
And a mediator appeared on the other side as well.
Even though he just called out her name just once, the girl that had scary eyes groaned before turning around. The boy that calmed down the girl that was as aggressive as Yeonji had a rather desolate-looking impression. The chubby boy called him Maru. That seemed to be his name.
“You can’t do that in a place you are supposed to be eating.”
“Let’s eat in peace, alright?”
Hearing the two boys nag them, the two girls made a sour expression and replied ‘yes’.
Heewon sighed. The chubby boy next to him was also sighing in relief.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
So we got Maru's counterpart (Haewon), Aram's counterpart (Yeonji), and Daemyung's counterpart (Heewon). I wonder if there's a counterpart to Dowook, Jiyoon and Bangjoo as well, lol
Also, another confusing name appeared. Yeonji (Taekwondo girl) vs Yeondu (broadcasting club.)
I may not like Heewon very much but he has a good dynamic with Daemyung. All of the character dynamics seem like they'll be entertaining actually.