Chapter 278: Kang Chul-In’s First Love

One summer night 12 years ago, on a playground... 

“Let’s break up.”

19 years old. Kang Chul-In, who was at the end of his teenage years spoke towards a girl. 

“Break… up? U-Us?”

17 years old. The girl, Han Ye-Sun, was so surprised that she couldn’t speak properly. 

“Yeah, let’s break up.”

“Why?”

Yes, why? Kang Chul-In and her usually couldn’t go a day without seeing each other. But he wanted to break up? Even though it was just immature love [1], it was still a sudden break-up notice. 

The reason was…

“I found someone else who’s way better than you.”

He was crying wolf. 

“Liar.”

Han Ye-Sun shook her head. 

“Oppa… are you telling me to believe that right now?”

“...”

“The lie that you found someone else other than me?”

Kang Chul-In couldn’t say anything to Han Ye-Sun’s scolding.  After all, it was a lie. Someone else? Kang Chul-In had never thought of anyone other than Han Ye-Sun. 

She was the only light in his life filled with part-time jobs and stress. 

“Tell me the real reason, Oppa.”

“I need a break…”

“Liar.”

“I’m sick of…”

“Another lie.”

“Actually…”

“Another lie again!”

 Han Ye-Sun shouted. 

“Oppa… I can tell whether you’re lying or not…”

“...”

“It’s plain to see… your eyes shake when you lie…”

The future Kang Chul-In was a sly evil person that you couldn’t read, but the young Kang Chul-In was surprisingly someone that wasn’t very skilled at lying. 

“Whew…”

The young Kang Chul-In sighed. It was a depressed sigh…

“Is it because…”

Han Ye-Sun opened her mouth thinking of something. 

“Is it because of my dad?”

“...”

“Is that it?”

Han Ye-Sun’s father, Han Kwang-Ryul. He was planning on running for the councilman of the city of Bucheon 2 years later. Albeit not a gold spoon, Han Ye-Sun had at least a silver spoon in her mouth, and Han Kwang-Ryul didn’t like Han Ye-Sun and Kang Chul-In’s relationship. To be exact, he hated Kang Chul-In with a passion. 

***

“Don’t go out with our Ye-Sun.”

A few days ago, Han Kwang-Ryul had come to where Kang Chul-In was working part-time. 

“Should my daughter meet with you when she should be studying instead? Hm?”

“...”

“Break up while I’m being nice. Got it? Why young people like you are dating beats me.”

Of course, Kang Chul-In had a natural temper back then as well. 

“I don’t want to.”

“Don’t… what?”

“It’s my choice to go out with Ye-Sun, and I believe that it’s Ye Sun’s choice to go out with me.”

“Y-You! What did you say just now?”

“I said exactly what you heard.”

“This bastard...”

“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear what you said. I’ll be off. I have to continue with my work…”

“Ha! Look at you! I heard you don’t have a father… I can see how your mom taught you…”

“Stop.”

The young Kang Chul-In stopped Han Kwang-Ryul’s cursing in a low voice. 

Boil, boil! 

His eyes were fiery. His clenched fists were just about to shoot forward. 

“You… you can curse me… but…”

“...?”

“If you curse my parents… I… cannot hold back… even if it’s you…”

It was a clear warning. 

Even if it was Han Ye-Sun’s father, he couldn’t listen to his father, Kang Han, and his mother, Park Sun-Ja, being cursed. 

“You can’t hold back? Ha!”

Han Kwang-Ryul snorted in disbelief. 

“You have no manners! Your mom and dad…”

Pakk!

“Oh my!”

That day, Kang Chul-In, who had been working part-time at McDonald’s, threw his fist at a councilman, and it had consequences. Part-time? He was fired. School? The discipline committee opened right away and Kang Chul-In who had been a high school senior at the time faced the danger of being expelled. 

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry… it’s all because I didn’t teach my son well… councilman… please…”

His mother, Park Sun-Ja, kneeled down in front of Han Kwang-Ryul to stop his expulsion. 

“Mother, why are you doing this!?”

“Be quiet! Beg for forgiveness!”

“Mother!”

“Now!”

“I just won’t attend school any…”

Thwak!

The day the disciple committee opened, Kang Chul-In was slapped in the cheek for the first time in his entire life, and he had to get on his knees for his mother, regardless of his pride. 

His pride had been stepped on just because they were poor. 

***

The young Kang Chul-In clenched his fists tightly remembering what happened a few days ago. 

F***!

It was funny. It was a plot that should’ve been in a show from the 90s, but the common cliche was now Kang Chul-In’s reality. 

Throb!

He could feel his skin being cut apart under his fingernails, but Kang Chul-In didn’t change his mind to break up with Han Ye-Sun. 

“My dad… was mean to you… so that’s why we’re breaking up, right?”

“No.”

The young Kang Chul-In shook his head. 

“I-It’s not?”

“Yeah, it’s not.”

“Then... Why…?”

“I want to earn money. A lot of it.”

“...!”

“I don’t want to live like this even when I’m an adult.”

“Oppa…”

“I’m going to succeed… I’m going to earn a lot of money to show everyone…”

This was the moment the seed of ambition grew in the young Kang Chul-In’s heart. 

“S-So?”

“I don’t have time.”

“That’s… the reason why? Because you don’t have time…?”

“We’re poor.”

“...”

“I’m a senior. I have to go to school and work part-time. I have to take the college admissions tests soon as well.”

It was the truth. Kang Chul-In wouldn’t have listened to a single word Han Kwang-Ryul said. 

However, 

If I can’t escape from this… cycle of being poor… I won’t change… forever…

The young Kang Chul-In was able to feel the impact of money through this incident. Han Kwang-Ryul? He was just a pig made from this capitalistic society, but Kang Chul-In didn’t have the strength, nor money, to stand against him. 

Money, money, money! This word was scratching his chest. Because of that, the young Kang Chul-In had decided to become a successful man so as not to suffer in this kind of situation again. 

“Stay well.”

He turned away from Han Ye-Sun. 

“Oppa…”

“Let’s not meet again.”

He walked away. 

Sorry. 

The young Kang Chul-In didn’t want to break up with Han Ye-Sun either. 

Throb!

His heart hurt. He wanted to collapse right then and there because it hurt so much. Others would say it was just the fleeting love of high-schoolers, but his emotions weren’t that shallow. However, there was nothing he could do. It was right to break up now. To succeed, and to support his family just a little, he had to stop meeting Han Ye-Sun here. 

“D-Don’t go!”

Just then, Han Ye-Sun hugged Kang Chul-In from the back. 

“Oppa… don’t go... Heuk…”

“Let go.”

“Opp…”

Plop!

The young Kang Chul-In pushed Han Ye-Sun roughly away. 

“O-Oppa!”

“Go away.”

They were cold words. He began to walk away again. 

“Hey!”

He could hear Han Ye-Sun shouting behind him, but he didn’t stop. 

“Kang Chul-In, you bastard!”

That day when he kicked his first love coldly away, he shook off his young emotions and became an adult. He had evolved into an ambitious fox, hardened by the world. 

Of course, Kang Chul-In hadn’t immediately succeeded after this incident, and after he became an adult, he worked himself to death paying back his family’s debt. Why? It was the time in South Korea when the employment rates were at their lowest. He was in the land where you couldn’t succeed just with effort. 

***

Dammit!

Kang Chul-In’s face crumpled. He had completely forgotten about it, but seeing Han Ye-Sun’s face above the teacher’s desk made him go crazy. 

It was best to say that it was cringy. It was a piece of a dark history that he couldn’t tell anyone. How could he bring it up? Revealing that he was a main character in a soap opera was as humiliating as kissing the dead Rothschild’s butt. 

You…

Just then, Han Ye-Sun mouthed another message to Kang Chul-In. 

Bad. Bastard. 

It was what she said to him when they broke up. 

I want to get away from here. 

He had to use supernatural patience to stop himself from jumping through a window. It wasn’t because he was regretful. Those emotions had already disappeared a long time ago. He was just surprised that he met someone he didn’t expect to see here, and his emotions were boiling up from the embarrassment of his history.

It’s been a while… to see her here...

Kang Chul-In and Han Ye-Sun’s last meeting was 2 years before the Great Summoning occurred in the past. 

At that time, the 27-year-old Kang Chul-In was paying back debts with three jobs, and Han Ye-Sun had said this when she came to see Kang Chul-In. 

“I came… because I missed you.”

Yes. Han Ye-Sun hadn’t been able to forget Kang Chul-In even after their break-up. It was more accurate to say that she hadn’t given up. When Kang Chul-In was in the military, she sent him letters and goods, and sometimes, she even requested to meet him and put Kang Chul-In in awkward situations. 

That wasn’t all. 

Sometimes, she walked passed Kang Chul-In as ‘random person 1’ and left porridge at his door when he was sick. It was pure caring love. 

Of course, Kang Chul-In’s reaction every time was, 

-Go away. 

It was cold. 

It’s been 3 years since the Great Summoning… if I add the 12 years from the past and the 3 years now… it’ll be 15 years since I last saw her.

Han Ye-Sun completely concealed herself after a Christmas day 2 years before the Great Summoning, and the two hadn’t met since. 

Until today. 

I’ll. Talk. To. You. Later. 

While Kang Chul-In was thinking those thoughts, Han Ye-Sun mouthed more words to him. 

It was an awkward situation. 

He was with his 3 wives, and he was participating in this observation class as his loving Arshelly’s father, not to see his first love!

***

 

“Alright, class is over.”

The parent observation class finished. 

“Next… Arshelly’s father will give everyone a special lecture,” Han Ye-Sun said as she pointed to Kang Chul-In. 

“...Me?”

Kang Chul-In was taken aback at Han Ye-Sun’s straight punch. Class? Why him? What did a villain like him have to say to these little seedlings? He couldn’t talk about murders, war, stealing, threats, and all those other evil acts. 

“I’m sorry,” Kang Chul-In said as he glared at Han Ye-Sun. 

“I can’t, Ms. Han.”

“I heard that you were giving a special parent lecture…”

“I think you’re mistaken?”

“Ah… I see… oh well. Then I suppose I’ll have to speak about my first love…”

“Ah, yes, it’s me. I’ll do it.”

Kang Chul-In quickly changed his attitude. He wouldn’t let her speak about her first love over his dead body. 

Dammit, shit!

Things were thoroughly messed up. 




[1] In Korea, you’re an adult when you turn 20.

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