Chapter 359. What It Means to Change (1)

The door of the master bedroom didn’t open for a while.

The people who were anxiously waiting outside, wondering about the conversation taking place inside, left the living room one by one.

The mother went to the kitchen saying she needed a glass of water to calm down, and Yoo Seonhwa walked up the stairs saying she would go talk to Seol Jinhee. Yoo Seunghae also followed her sister upstairs.

Left alone, Seol Wooseok nervously stared at the bedroom door.

No news was sometimes good news, but it was too quiet.

He was expecting things to get quite rowdy inside and was prepared to run inside to stop his father, so he couldn’t help but wonder what was going on.

Looking outside, he noticed that the sky had turned dark. The streetlamps were illuminating the dark roads.

It was currently 9:47 p.m.

Dinner ended around 7:30, and Seol Jihu entered the bedroom around 8, so almost two hours had passed since then.

‘Should I go smoke?’

Seol Wooseok, who got tired of waiting, opened the veranda door. It was then.

Click.

The sound he had been waiting for was finally heard.

Seol Wooseok turned around like a bolt of lightning.

Seol Jihu was walking out of the master bedroom, slowly closing the door behind him.

His eyes were blank like he was lost in a daydream.

Seol Wooseok asked right away.

“So?”

Seol Jihu shook his head.

“What happened?”

When Seol Wooseok asked a second time, Seol Jihu shook his head again. Rather than saying it didn’t work out, he seemed to mean he didn’t know.

“He didn’t say anything.”

“Did you give him an explanation?”

“I was going to… but I thought I should apologize first.”

“Right. That’s good.”

“I think I was kneeling for an hour or two… then he said he got it and told me to leave, so…”

Seol Jihu scratched his head.

‘Hmm.’ Seol Wooseok crossed his arms.

After glancing at the bedroom door…

“Well, come on.”

He gestured to the veranda and shook the pack of cigarettes in his hand.

Seol Jihu didn’t refuse.

Shortly afterward, the two brothers stood side by side and smoked cigarettes.

“Don’t be so down.”

Seol Wooseok spoke.

“You know Father’s fiery personality, right?”

“Of course.”

“The fact that he hasn’t said anything for two hours probably means he has a lot on his mind. This isn’t something that can be resolved right away anyway.”

Seol Jihu nodded without replying.

“You have to mend the relationship one step at a time. Last time he told you to take the money and screw off. This time he just told you to leave, right?”

Seol Jihu smiled bitterly.

He would have to wait to see whether Seol Wooseok was right or whether his father decided to erase him from his life.

That said, he was fine with either result.

No, it wasn’t that he was fine, but that he had already steeled his mind.

“Even if I’m never forgiven…”

Seol Jihu murmured quietly.

“I’m going to continue begging for forgiveness for the rest of my life.”

Seol Wooseok glanced at Seol Jihu with widened eyes.

Then, he grinned.

“I’m proud of you… but doing it for the rest of your life is too much.”

“….”

“No matter what you did in the past, you’re still Father’s son. I doubt he’d treat you like a criminal forever when you’re sincerely apologizing and begging for forgiveness.”

Seol Jihu didn’t say anything.

It would be great if it was like his older brother said, but he didn’t want to forget the vow he made today.

“Thanks. For believing in me.”

Still, Seol Jihu didn’t forget to thank him.

“It was all thanks to you, Hyung, that I was able to come this far.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Seol Wooseok replied nonchalantly, then asked in a casual way.

“You remember what I said at the cafe last time, right? That if you betray us again… everyone in the family won’t be able to handle it again.”

“Yeah, I remember it.”

“…Okay, it’s fine as long as you remember it.”

Seol Wooseok rubbed the cigarette on the ashtray and then patted Seol Jihu’s shoulder.

“Well… if you’re that grateful, make me some ramen.”

“Ramen?”

Seol Jihu turned to the side, taken aback by Seol Wooseok’s sudden request.

Seol Wooseok licked his lips and rubbed his stomach.

“I’m feeling a bit stuffy because I was nervous when I was eating before… I think I’ll feel better if I eat your ramen.”

“Sure… that’s pretty easy.”

“Yeah? Then make me two.”

Seol Wooseok said in delight.

It was then.

Bzzz! Seol Jihu’s pocket vibrated.

He took out his phone in a hurry and saw Kim Hannah’s name on the screen.

“Let me take care of this first.”

Seol Jihu picked up the phone.

Seol Wooseok left, saying he would take out the ramen packs.

“Hello?”

—Mm, Employee Seol Jihu. Are you doing well?

A familiar voice rang out through the phone.

Seol Jihu grinned.

“Yes. How about you, Manager Kim?”

—I’m doing fine too.

“I’m glad to hear that… but what’s up? For you to be calling at this hour…”

—Oh? You’ve gotten bold, huh. Is it because you moved to a different team?

“Eii, don’t be so uptight.”

—How can I not? Jinah is dying to see her daddy.

Seol Jihu blinked.

—It would be lovely to go on a family trip, but Jinah’s Dad won’t even come back home. He’s too busy, working.

“Ah, yeah…”

Seol Jihu was taken aback. He didn’t expect to eat a counter.

—Are you home?

“Yes.”

—You met your parents?

“Yes, I did.”

—There’s no hesitation in your voice. Well done. Working is important, but you shouldn’t forget to spend some time with your family. Do you have any idea how worried our executive advisor was for you?

“Yes, yes.”

—Alright, I’ll see you soon.

Tk. The call hung up.

Seol Jihu stared at his phone indifferently before turning around.

He saw a random ear.

Seol Wooseok, who he thought had left, was peeking his ear out on the veranda.

“…Hyung?”

The ear went back inside.

“What are you doing?”

“Eavesdropping.”

“Eavesdropping?”

“I’m a curious guy. Anyway, this Jinah’s Dad isn’t such a good father, huh. He doesn’t seem to be thinking about his wife and kid…”

Seol Wooseok walked off while murmuring.

Seol Jihu stood dazedly before plopping down on a chair in the veranda.

He thought Kim Hannah was just joking with him, but it turned out she was being considerate of where he was.

‘That was close…’

All Earthlings had a duty to create and maintain a safe environment for entering Paradise.

Seol Jihu only now learned that this wasn’t as easy as it sounded.

“Jeez.”

Seol Jihu smiled blandly before placing his phone down on the table near him and finishing his cigarette.

A cool breeze blew past him.

It wasn’t bad.

Enjoying the cool night wind on Earth, at home, wasn’t bad at all.

*


Though it was late, Seol Jihu decided to go back to his apartment room.

His mother tried to make him stay the night, but he didn’t feel like it was appropriate yet.

After consoling his crying mother, saying he would contact her more often, he kowtowed once and then left the house. Yoo Seonhwa said she would see him off and left with him.

Of course, he didn’t forget to make ramen for his older brother before he left.

The master bedroom TV, which was playing a movie for several hours, was turned off.

The father was no longer lying on the bed.

He was standing at the window, looking down at the front yard through a small gap between the curtains.

His eyes were fixed on Seol Jihu’s back as he opened the door and left with Yoo Seonhwa.

His gaze lasted all the way until he disappeared past the alleyway illuminated by streetlamps.

He let loose a deep sigh and turned back.

He gazed at the spot where Seol Jihu was kowtowing.

[To tell you the truth, I got scolded. I even got beat up.]

[He said I shouldn’t be making the decision so shamelessly when I almost ruined other people’s lives…]

[Strangely enough, he said the same thing you did. That I shouldn’t think this matter is done and over with just because I returned the money I owed.]

[That I should put myself in your shoes…]

A bland chuckle escaped his mouth.

An old grandpa at his workplace, was it? He sure seemed to know some things, perhaps due to his age.

However, what lingered on the father’s mind the most was something else.

[So I’m finally ready.]

[In front of my family… I’m ready to live as a criminal for the rest of my life.]

The way Seol Jihu begged for forgiveness usually followed a set pattern.

He would say that it was for real this time, that he should trust him just one more time.

He was always full of excuses.

But he wasn’t like that this time.

He didn’t demand his forgiveness.

[I’m sorry.]

His sincerity could be felt from just those two words.

More so than any other time.

‘Live as a criminal for the rest of his life…’

The father helplessly gazed at the spot where his second son had knelt before finally opening the bedroom door.

When he went to the kitchen, he saw his older son savoring every bite of ramen.

“You’re finally out?”

Seol Wooseok pretended to notice him.

“You must be hungry. I wonder if there’s any food left at all… Mother packed everything for Jihu.”

“Really….”

“Do you want some ramen?”

His father heaved a cough and sat down.

Seol Wooseok pushed his bowl toward him.

“Here. I’ll go rummage through the fridge. If there’s nothing, I’ll bring a new bowl and a pair of chopsticks.”

He got up as if he was being extremely generous.

However, this was a critical mistake.

When he came back with a few packed leftovers, a new bowl, and a pair of chopsticks, he froze stiff.

It hadn’t even been a few minutes since he left, but the noodles had disappeared completely.

“It’s like they say, hunger is the best sauce. It was good.”

The father put down the chopsticks in satisfaction.

He then saw Seol Wooseok dazedly staring at him and furrowed his brows.

“What’s wrong?”

“…How can you eat it all?”

“It’s just a bowl of ramen… You already had dinner, didn’t you? Why, you want me to make you another one?”

“That… Jihu made it for me.”

Seol Wooseok muttered like his world had come crumbling down.

His father flinched.

“I thought you made it.”

“It’s been years since I’ve had it…”

“I was wondering why it was so good.”

“I even coaxed him into making two portions… I was eating sparingly too…”

“…I left the soup behind.”

“So you at least have some conscience left in you.”

Seol Wooseok said in a rare, critical tone.

“It’s gonna be a hit if he ever opens a ramen shop.”

His father said with a dry cough and then got up.

“Oh yeah.”

He stopped before opening the bedroom door.

“You said you have them?”

“Have what?”

“His bank statements and salary breakdown.”

Seol Wooseok, who was putting rice into the ramen bowl with a glum expression, turned his head.

“Father?”

“Bring them to me. Or you can just leave them on the table tomorrow morning.”

Tang. The door shut close.

Seol Wooseok stared at the bedroom door for a long time.

He then stared at the ramen bowl and fell into thought.

Perhaps he was reading too much into it, but he wasn’t sure whether his father’s change in attitude was due to Seol Jihu’s sincerity or this absurdly delicious ramen.

*


Same time.

Kim Hannah was holding onto her phone.

“It looks like he really went. It’s easy to tell when he’s lying. His voice was good.”

—I was worried, so I’m glad to hear that.

An aged voice flowed out from the other side of the phone.

—Perfect. Let’s not delay any longer and proceed right away.

“Uh… will it be okay?”

—Probably not.

Jang Maldong said clearly once Kim Hannah showed hesitation.

—Jihu has replaced his gambling addiction with that place. The pleasure that comes from gambling is similar to that of drugs. The fact that he quit without any withdrawal symptoms means Jihu is feeling more pleasure from that side. There’s no way it will be okay.

“Then we’ll need to be fully prepared.”

—The saving grace is that Jihu took the right first step. But there’s still a long way to go. Even quitting smoking is notoriously difficult. Escaping the pleasure of gambling is going to be even harder.

“Jihu did have a severe case of addiction…”

Kim Hannah sighed.

“I understand. Then I will see you at the airport.”

—Don’t forget. Jihu is only now at the starting line. This is where it all begins.

“Yes, I will keep that in mind.”

—And don’t forget what I told you back then.

“Of course not.”

—Great. I’ll see you at the airport.

The call ended.


*

Seol Jihu walked for a long time after parting with Yoo Seonhwa.

For some reason, he felt relieved of all his worries.

His feet grew hot after walking for dozens of minutes, so he immediately grabbed a taxi.

“Thank you.”

After getting off and entering his apartment room, Seol Jihu collapsed on his bed.

In the past, he would come back home with a sour face every time he went to see his family. But now, he was free and unencumbered as he stared up at the ceiling.

However, he scowled in the next moment as he put his hand into his pocket.

“Ah, shit.”

He couldn’t grab his phone.

He didn’t leave it in the taxi.

Thinking about it carefully, he seemed to have left it on the veranda table.

“What a clutz!”

He ridiculed himself and rolled around in the bed.

His eyes twinkled as a small piece of paper slipped out.

Though he didn’t mean to, he didn’t have any way of contacting people at the moment.

There was a chance that someone from Area 1 was there.

Since he went to see his family, wouldn’t it be okay if he went back real quick?

‘Or maybe I should wait until tomorrow…’

Seol Jihu smacked his lips as he suddenly thought about his mother.

It was already deep into the night.

Wouldn’t the right thing be to wait until tomorrow and give his mother a call before going back?

Ding-dong!

The bell suddenly rang while Seol Jihu was deeply hesitating.

But who could it be this late at night?

“Who is it?”

—It’s me.

“Who’s me?”

—500 won if you’re curious.

‘…What crazy person is this?’

Seol Jihu took out a 500 won coin and opened the door with a confused face.

“Who…”

He was stopped short as a group pushed their way in as soon as he opened the door.

“Wow, it’s clean.”

“Hnng, it’s simpler than I thought.”

Eun Yuri and Oh Rahee commented as they looked around his apartment room.

They weren’t the only ones.

Yi Seol-Ah and Yi Sungjin came as well, and Jinah’s Mom, who seemed to be the ringleader of the group, was here as well.

“Stop blocking the way and step aside. Why are you living in such a tiny place anyway? Aren’t you loaded?”

Even Phi Sora walked in with two luggage bags.

For a moment, Seol Jihu didn’t recognize them because they were either wearing or dragging a luggage bag and wearing their casual clothes.

“W-What are you guys doing here?”

Seol Jihu snapped out of his daze and asked.

“What are we doing here?”

Kim Hannah said with a relaxed face.

“This.”

Chak, chak. She suddenly clapped twice.

The five remaining intruders all turned toward her and gave each other odd looks.

Just as Seol Jihu felt that something was off—

“Get him! Find it quickly!”

“Waaaaah!”

“Leave me out of this. I don’t want him to get all pissy at me…”

“Ah, hey! At least hold onto him!

Four people including Phi Sora rushed at him.

‘Yap!’ Eun Yuri hugged Seol Jihu from the back, and Phi Sora grabbed his arms.

Seol Jihu stood in a daze before feeling a hand reach into his pockets and realizing what they were trying to do.

“Ah, fuck!”

He tried to squirm out, but Yi Seol-Ah’s hand had already pulled the small piece of paper out of his pocket.

“Found it!”

She shouted with a beaming smile.

“Good job. Now bring it here.”

Kim Hannah put out her hand and spoke.

Seol Jihu’s eyes widened rapidly.

Without that piece of paper, he couldn’t go to Paradise.

Realizing that it had been stolen, a fire lit up inside him.

“The hell was that for!?”

A roar burst out and resounded in the small apartment room. It was so loud that Yi Seol-Ah, who was about to hand over the paper to Kim Hannah, shrunk back.

It wasn’t just her that was surprised. Everyone else was too.

Seol Jihu’s eyes were flashing blue with fury. He didn’t look like he was kidding around this time.

“Ah.”

“Oh my.”

Seol Jihu threw Eun Yuri and Phi Sora off and stomped toward Yi Seol-Ah.

“Hand it over.”

“Wait. There’s something I need to say to you.”

“I don’t care. Hand it over while I’m still being nice.”

“Listen… Aaaah!”

Kim Hannah quickly stepped in and put out her arm, but she furrowed her brows in the next moment.

Seol Jihu had grabbed her arm hard.

As she fell to her knees moaning, Seol Jihu turned his gaze like a demon.

Scared out of her wits, tears welled up in Yi Seol-Ah’s eyes.

“So… sorry…”

“Ah, why’d you shout!? You scared her!”

Sensing that the atmosphere was turning sour, Phi Sora shouted back and cut in between them.

“Look, you made her cry! Was that something to get so angry about?”

“U-Unni, it’s my fault. I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

Once Phi Sora raised her voice, Yi Seol-Ah started sobbing.

Seol Jihu furrowed his brows.

He was feeling good after coming home, but it was all ruined, thanks to a certain someone.

Seol Jihu glared at Kim Hannah, who was biting down on her lower lip.

“Whatever, I’m outta here.”

Kwang!

The door slammed shut.

An untimely silence filled the apartment room that Seol Jihu left.

“I knew this would happen.”

Oh Rahee shook her head.

“I mean, I get why he’s angry, but how can he do that to us!? He’s pulled pranks on us a countless number of times!”

Phi Sora shouted in a sullen voice.

“…What should I do? I’ve never seen Oppa so angry.”

Eun Yuri asked, smacking her lips.

“…Huu.”

Kim Hannah smiled bitterly.

“Why is this so hard…”

She grumbled with her hands on her waist.

She recalled Seol Jihu and smacked her lips.

“Jinah’s Dad, my ass. You’re the actual Jinah, you son of a bitch.”

*


Seol Jihu didn’t go far.

He took a seat by a table at a nearby convenience store and smoked one cigarette after the other.

The Kim Hannah, Oh Rahee, and Eun Yuri trio were peeking their heads out from the corner of the alleyway staring at him.

Thirty minutes had already gone by.

“I didn’t think he’d be this mad…”

Eun Yuri tilted her head, not knowing the full background story.

Kim Hannah clicked her tongue.

Jang Maldong’s prediction was spot-on.

The reaction Seol Jihu showed just now was most likely the same as when someone prevented him from going to the casino.

That was why he lashed out.

In any case, just watching him like this wouldn’t net any gains.

Kim Hannah eventually called him. She figured it was better than talking to him face to face.

—Hello?

Kim Hannah’s eyes widened.

Seol Jihu didn’t pick up.

Moreover, the person who picked up the phone was a woman.

“Excuse me, isn’t this Jihu’s phone?”

—Yes, it is. He left it home. The caller ID says Manager Kim Hannah. Are you perhaps his senior from work?

‘This bastard.’ Kim Hannah shut her eyes, but quickly spoke.

“Ah, yes! It is. And you must be…”

—I’m his childhood friend. You called him quite late. Did something happen?

“No, no. I already met with Jihu.”

—At this hour?

“There’s an overseas workshop, so we have to get a plane ticket, but Jihu says he doesn’t have his passport.”

—Ah, it’s not that he doesn’t have it. He just doesn’t know where it is. You should be able to find it in the second compartment of his drawer.

This childhood friend of Seol Jihu seemed to know him better than Seol Jihu himself.

Kim Hannah furrowed her brows before recalling Seol Jihu’s family background and understanding.

Childhood friend. It must be his ex-girlfriend.

Once her thoughts reached this point, she asked just in case.

“Thank you. I’ll let him know right away.”

—No problem. He might be lacking in some areas, but please take care of my Jihu.

“Of course. Ah, by the way…”

—?

“There is something I’d like to ask if that’s okay with you. There was a bit of a problem, you see…”

Kim Hannah took Seol Jihu’s position and face into account and appropriately devised a story.

Once the explanation ended, a flustered voice rang out.

—J-Jihu is sulking?

“Y-Yes.”

—He’s a little childish, but he doesn’t get sulky that often… Is he sulking a lot?

“He stormed out. Ah, don’t misunderstand though. It was clearly our fault.”

—H-He stormed out? Without saying anything?

‘Why is she surprised?’ Kim Hannah gave the phone an odd look.

—He really didn’t say anything? What was his expression like? Was it cold?

“I’m not sure, but he wasn’t completely silent. He shouted a bit and looked very clearly angry. Anyone would have been able to tell with just one glance.”

—Ah… that’s not too bad then.

A sigh of relief came out, though Kim Hannah was still confused.

—It’s a medium-sulk.

“…Medium-sulk?”

Kim Hannah furrowed her brows. Then, she showed a dumbfounded expression at the following explanation.

Seol Jihu apparently had five stages of sulking: tiny-sulk, little-sulk, medium-sulk, big-sulk, and super-sulk.

—I’m glad. I thought he erupted with big-sulk for the first time in fourteen years… The last one took a year and two months to solve…

Kim Hannah wanted to ask if she had to separate Seol Jihu’s level of sulkiness into stages but held it in.

—Anyway, I’m glad. Medium-sulk happens once every year or two, but it’s easy to solve with a special cheat key.

“Cheat key?”

—Yes. Is there anyone nearby that Jihu trusts?

Kim Hannah’s eyes fell on Oh Rahee and Eun Yuri.

“…No.”

—I guess there’s no choice. Let me talk to him.

“Are you sure?”

—I’ll be fine. Don’t say anything and just put him on the phone.

Kim Hannah did as she said.

After borrowing Eun Yuri’s phone, she carefully walked up to Seol Jihu and put her own phone against his ear.

“What do you—”

Seol Jihu, who was about to lash out again, jumped in a startle.

“Seon, Seonhwa? W-Why are you…”

Seol Jihu glared at Kim Hannah sharply as Kim Hannah pressed buttons on Eun Yuri’s phone.

“Okay, okay, I was a bit too harsh. I promise. No, really.”

—Did you just yell at me?

“No, I didn’t yell. O-Okay, I won’t yell.”

Seol Jihu finished the call just barely and then turned his head.

“Argh… Hey, Kim Hannah.”

Before he could say anything, Kim Hannah pushed another phone against his ear.

—Is this you, Jihu?

Jang Maldong’s voice flowed out.

Seol Jihu gritted his teeth.

“…Yes, master.”

—This is the first time we’re talking on Earth, isn’t it?

“It’s the same as in Paradise.”

—I heard you went to visit your parents.

“Yes, I came back not too long ago.”

—And your parents?

“I’ve met with them both.”

—Good job. Really, good job.

Seol Jihu’s bad mood subsided a bit with Jang Maldong’s compliment.

—Now you’re thinking you should’ve gone earlier, aren’t you?

“Yeah, haha…”

—Anyway, I heard there was a problem?

“No, these guys just…”

—Don’t be too harsh on them. I told them to do it.

“You did?”

—With your personality, I figured you’d enter Paradise right away. But now that I think about it, it was a bit harsh. I’m sorry.

“No, you don’t need to apologize… I know you’re thinking of my best interest.”

Jang Maldong let out a faint chuckle.

—Anyway, you should go with us. It will be a good chance to get some rest. Besides, do you really think I’m going just to have fun?

“Pardon?”

—You’ll know once you get there. There’s something I want to show you and someone I want to introduce to you too.

Seol Jihu couldn’t refuse with Jang Maldong putting it this way. Wasn’t he the one who advised him to visit his family too?

“…Got it. I’m sorry for causing trouble.”

—You punk, you changed in such a short period of time?

Jang Maldong chuckled.

After promising to meet at the airport, Seol Jihu let loose a deep sigh while holding the phone in his hand.

Kim Hannah was simply whistling as she stared at the far distance.

Once Seol Jihu stared at her fixedly, she stopped whistling and quietly spoke.

“…Sorry.”

“Sorry about what?”

“Sorry. I apologize.”

“You don’t even know why I’m angry, do you?”

Seol Jihu snapped at her.

“I understand your intent, but if you were that worried, you could have just asked for it. Why would you try to steal it?”

“Okay, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

As Kim Hannah apologized again and again, Seol Jihu stopped quibbling and held out his hand.

Kim Hannah obediently took out a piece of paper from her handbag and then handed it over.

“I’ll give this back… but can I ask something?”

“What?”

Seol Jihu retorted curtly as he put the piece of paper back into his pocket.

“If I had explained the situation and asked you for it, would you have given it to me?”

“Isn’t that obvious?”

“Can you swear on it?”

“….”

Seol Jihu didn’t reply.

“Let’s hurry up and go back. I have to apologize to the other guys too.”

Kim Hannah gave a sidelong glance as she watched Seol Jihu walk off.

At the same time, a doubt surfaced in her mind. She expected him to cause a ruckus like a bucking bull. However, he was reined in rather easily.

‘Childhood friend… Yoo Seonhwa, was it?’

This childhood friend seemed to know a lot about Seol Jihu. In great detail, no less.

Perhaps it wasn’t that Seol Jihu couldn’t be reined in, but that he was already reined in perfectly by someone else.

Kim Hannah couldn’t help but think, perhaps that was why she couldn’t control him.

*


Seol Jihu opened his apartment door with a cough.

There were three people sitting inside.

Yi Seol-Ah was sitting on the floor, sobbing, and Yi Sungjin was consoling his crying sister.

As for Phi Sora…

Tak! Tak!

She was on her knees, neatly folding Seol Jihu’s clothes.

Speaking of which, his closet and drawers were all open.

Even the emergency medicines, toothbrush, and toothpaste were stuffed into Ziploc bags and put into a luggage bag.

She seemed to be packing his bag for him.

Phi Sora glanced toward the front door as she packed Seol Jihu’s underwear in the luggage.

“…You’re back?”

She seemed a bit meek.

“Are you less angry now?”

“….”

“Sorry for going through your room without permission, but we’re short on time, so I figured I’d pack beforehand.”

“I should have done it…”

“I was actually pretty surprised. You have almost every basic living necessity. Everything other than your clothes was neatly packed too. You didn’t do this, right?”

When Phi Sora spoke as if nothing happened, Seol Jihu felt even more apologetic.

“…Sorry.”

He scratched his head.

Phi Sora humphed.

“Well… I’m sorry too. I didn’t think you’d react so strongly.”

“….”

“Still, how can you yell at these kids so suddenly? As the organization’s representative, no less. You’re like the father of the group too. Since you’re usually not like that, you frightened her even more. Just look at her.”

Phi Sora nagged on and on.

“O-Orabeowi…”

Yi Seol-Ah called out to Seol Jihu while sobbing.

“I’m sowwy….”

Seol Jihu immediately lowered his head.

“I’m really sorry. I kind of snapped in the heat of the moment….”

“Daddy says he’s sorry. You should stop crying too.”

Yi Seol-Ah nodded her head and wiped her eyes.

Once Seol Jihu consoled her, her complexion brightened a bit.

“Hah.”

A scoff rang out.

Kim Hannah was leaning against the front door with her arms crossed.

“When did you make another family?”

“What the heck does that mean?”

“You called me Jinah’s Mom, but what’s this? You already had two other kids?”

Phi Sora’s head turned at Kim Hannah’s words.

“Jinah’s Dad, make it clear if you don’t want a divorce paper delivered to your doorstep. Is it me or that bitch?”

“Hak!”

In the end, Phi Sora burst into laughter.

“Jinah’s Dad, she says! What a name! Kakaka!”

Seol Jihu smiled bitterly as he saw Phi Sora laugh hysterically.

Early that morning, a van carrying Seol Jihu arrived at Incheon International Airport.

The group consisting of Seol Jihu and six others got on the plane ride to Hawaii.

After about an eight and a half hour flight, the plane arrived at their destination.

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