Side Story 22. If You’re Going to Get a Beating, It’s Best to Get It Over With

Phi Sora packed her bags the same day and moved to SY Apartments.

“Uwoah~!”

She couldn’t hide her shock upon seeing Seol Jihu’s apartment. Not only did its simple, modern interior decor remind her of the North European style, but it also boasted a jaw-droppingly large space.

The view was also phenomenal. When she stood in front of the large window and looked down, the cars on the streets below looked like tiny ants. Standing there and looking at the city’s colorful nightscape, she felt like she had become someone special.

Phi Sora had heard about the famous SY apartment complex. The number of floors increased drastically from Building 104 to Building 101, and not just anyone could find a place only by having money. They also needed to go through a strict screening process.

Though it was said jokingly, Koreans called the complex an extraterritorial zone akin to the Olympus temple.

Phi Sora never imagined Seol Jihu would be living in Building 101, and in the penthouse at that.

“I can really live here?”

Phi Sora was grumbling when she was half-forced by Seol Jihu to leave her apartment, but now she was looking around Seol Jihu’s apartment with a huge smile.

Seol Jihu felt relieved after watching the happy Phi Sora.

Tringgg!

The doorbell suddenly rang. Phi Sora, who was looking around excitedly, froze in an instant. She thought it might be Seo Yuhui.

Thankfully, it wasn’t.

“Who’s…. Huh?”

“Hello.”

A woman, whose silver hair resembled a sparkling galaxy, bowed toward Seol Jihu respectfully. She was being ceremonious as if to treat someone who had done her a great favor.

“What brings you here, Seraph-nim…?”

“Suna-nim wanted you to have this.”

Seraph handed him a shopping bag. Seol Jihu took it in the heat of the moment, and then his jaw dropped instantly.

“Something so precious….”

“Suna-nim wanted me to pass on a message as well. Eat a lot and give birth to many children.

Seol Jihu scratched his head.

“It’s hard for me to refuse if that’s the reason. I still feel a little uncomfortable, though.”

“Please, don’t say no. I’m sure Suna-nim is hoping that Seol Jihu-nim and that Miss’ child grows up healthy and…. Kuhum. Just think of it as an investment for the future.”

“As I thought, it’s not Jihui, but Sohu….”

“Oh, and there’s one more message.”

Seraph cleared her throat.

I’m sure you’re still hesitating, but give it up. Don’t waste your contribution points on something completely futile… is what she said.”

Seol Jihu smiled bitterly.

“Yes, I understand.”

“Then, farewell.”

Seraph bowed again and headed back.

Once Seol Jihu shut the front door, Phi Sora ran up and chattered.

“Who was that just now? She was sooooo pretty!”

“She’s my neighbor.”

“Iya~ So that’s the kind of people who live here. Wait, is she even human?”

“...She might not be.”

“Huh?”

“Anyway, have you picked your room?”

Seol Jihu changed the subject. Phi Sora looked around the place a while longer before deciding on a room.

“I’ll go with this one!”

There was no particular reason other than the fact that she felt a warm atmosphere in this room, unlike the others. She felt like somebody actually lived here.

“Oh, that room’s no good….”

However, Seol Jihu rejected it right away.

“Yuhui uses that room.”

“Huh? Miss Seo Yuhui?”

Phi Sora’s eyes widened.

“You two were already living together?”

“Not exactly. How should I say this….”

Seol Jihu continued.

“I don’t remember when it started, but she started bringing her stuff over one by one every time she came to visit, saying that she liked the bathroom here better or that it was easier to sleep here….”

Seol Jihu tilted his head, but Phi Sora narrowed her eyes. Unlike Seol Jihu, she had picked up on the hints thrown by Seo Yuhui.

“You haven’t asked her to move in with you yet?”

“Hmm? Why would I?”

“Why would you!? She’s obviously hinting that she wants to!”

“Eh? No, I think you’re mistaken, Miss Phi Sora. There’s no need. Yuhui’s place is close by. She lives in Building 102, actually. It’s less than a 5-minute walk.”

“Hah—! I’ve never seen such a…!”

Phi Sora was about to yell something when she clutched her head and slumped down. It was because she realized that she was screwed. As if it wasn’t enough that she slept with Seol Jihu, if Seo Yuhui found out that he asked her to move in first….

Just thinking about it gave her the chills.

“I can’t do this. I better go back.”

“Eii, it’s fine.”

“What do you mean, it’s fine!?”

“I’ll talk with Yuhui. I’m going to meet up with her soon anyway.”

Only after Seol Jihu comforted her for a long time did Phi Sora finally calm down. In the end, she picked out a room, settling with a story that there was a problem in her apartment and that she needed somewhere to stay for a few days.

This day marked the start of their cohabitation.

Phi Sora was still worried in some ways, but she couldn’t help but admit that this was a much better place to live than her previous apartment.

She especially liked the fact that there was no crazy neighbor to deal with. Because the walls were perfectly soundproof, there was no problem even if she screamed or skidded around the living room using socks.

And unless she was mistaken, the neighbors living next door seemed to see Seol Jihu in a favorable light. As they smiled whenever they ran into each other and sparked up conversations, she naturally began to see them in a good light as well.

All in all, she felt like she had become the wife of a successful tycoon.

There was no need even to mention the amenities available inside the complex. Without even the slightest exaggeration, she really felt like she could take care of most businesses within the complex.

That wasn’t all.

Seol Jihu had changed to the point she wondered if he was the same manchild she knew. He cooked for her whenever she got hungry and even bought daily necessities without her mentioning them.

He installed air purifiers and even picked up and drove her to places. She could tell that he was paying a great deal of attention to her satisfaction.

In addition, Phi Sora also caught him reading about pregnancy and child-rearing at times. Of course, the best part was that she could eat his ramen whenever she wanted.

Anyway, with everything being perfect, Phi Sora slowly began to change her mind.

‘Hm…. He hasn’t done anything to me after that…. Maybe living here isn’t such a bad idea….’

She no longer held the suspicion that Seol Jihu saw her as a friend with benefits. But one day, shocking news arrived.

After the two promised weeks went by, Phi Sora took out the pregnancy test she bought previously. She checked first thing in the morning and saw an unbelievable result.

“No way….”

Her fingers holding onto the test trembled. Her arms went limp as she sat on the edge of her bed. She tilted her head up and stared at the ceiling blankly.

She didn’t think it was possible. Becoming a mom when she wasn’t even 30 yet?

“I… what do I….”

Phi Sora looked around instinctively. She had fallen into a panic from the great unexpected shock.

Next to Phi Sora at that moment…

“It’s fine.”

...was Seol jihu.

His complexion wasn’t all that bright either. He looked like he had mixed feelings. Still, he pretended that everything was alright and embraced Phi Sora.

“Miss Phi Sora, if you’re thinking about an abortion….”

“Are you mad!?”

Phi Sora raised her voice.

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m going to raise this child even if I have to do it alone.”

Phi Sora growled while wrapping her arms around her stomach.

“Okay. I’m glad.”

Seol Jihu nodded with a relieved look.

“Don’t worry about anything and just rest. Actually, let’s go to the hospital first.”

Phi Sora, who was biting on her lower lip, breathed out. After nodding with great difficulty, she got up slowly, guided by Seol Jihu’s hand.

“Take it slow. One step at a time. We don’t want a miscarriage.”

Phi Sora snorted. She couldn’t hold back her laughter, seeing Seol Jihu making such a big deal out of everything.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Women are tough.”

She had to admit, though, that having Seol Jihu around was a relief.


*


Recently, Seo Yuhui had been putting in tremendous effort in working out. It was because she shocked even herself when she measured her weight not long ago.

Thinking about it now, gaining weight only made sense with how often she was eating Seol Jihu’s ramen.

Seo Yuhui had also worked out today when she was surprised to see Seol Jihu waiting outside the gym.

Seo Yuhui got inside Seol Jihu’s car, happily asking him what was up.

“I think I got a little fatter.”

Looking at the passenger seat’s mirror, she talked about her daily life as usual.

“I’m working out every day but not losing weight. You think I look fatter too, right?”

“Yeah….”

“What?”

Seo Yuhui glared.

Seol Jihu did a double-take, having replied absentmindedly.

“No, I mean….”

“Hnng, I see.”

Seo Yuhui hmphed and turned away.

“So I did get fatter. That’s why you haven’t loved me as much recently.”

Seo Yuhui giggled before blinking in surprise. Seol Jihu was incredibly tense. His reaction was a little too much for what was an obvious joke.

“What’s wrong?”

Noticing that something was up, Seo Yuhui asked worriedly.

“Did something happen?”

“...There’s something I need to tell you.”

“What is it?”

“This isn’t the best place…. I’ll tell you when we get home.”

Seol Jihu turned the handle and clenched his teeth.

“...Okay.”

Seo Yuhui’s expression sank as well. She realized what she had been worried about had finally come.

After that, an awkward silence filled the car. Neither of them said a word until they arrived at the apartment and even entered the elevator.

When Seol Jihu opened the front door, Seo Yuhui became lost for words. It was because an unfamiliar pair of shoes was at the entrance.

Then, seeing Phi Sora, who was lounging around on her phone in the distance, Seo Yuhui closed her eyes.

“You.”

Seo Yuhui turned toward Seol Jihu, her pupils shaking in betrayal.

“What happened?”

“Can you… hear me out…?”

Seol Jihu lowered his head.

Seo Yuhui gritted her teeth.

“...Tell me what happened. From the beginning to the end. Without leaving out a single thing.”

Soon, a strange scene played out.

Seo Yuhui sat on a chair with her legs crossed and arms folded tightly. Seol Jihu knelt in front of her while Phi Sora was off to the side, swallowing her saliva nervously.

Seol Jihu confessed to everything that happened—starting from how he got drunk and went to Phi Sora’s place to how he got her pregnant.

The explanation ended. Seo Yuhui did not say anything for a long time. She only glared at Seol Jihu while trembling faintly.

By the time the painful silence was reaching the peak…

“So, what now?”

Seo Yuhui broke the silence at last.

“You slept with Miss Phi Sora and got her pregnant, so you want me to treat her well?”

Seol Jihu raised his head.

“Funny. Ah, why don’t I do this then? The trainer at the gym kept staring at me today. Can I go out and drink with him?”

“....”

“If I go to his place afterward, have sex with him in drunkenness, and come back with a baby, will you say, Oh, okay, and forgive me?”

“....”

“Is that what I need to do to make you understand how I feel?”

Seol Jihu had nothing to say. Seo Yuhui spoke spitefully, but her words came out trembling. Her eyes were watery as if they would break out into tears at any moment, and her hands hidden underneath her arms were clenched hard.

“That’s not it…. I….”

“Then what!?”

Seo Yuhui raised her voice.

“You want me to leave this house quietly since things turned out this way? You want me to break up with you?”

“...I….”

Seol Jihu lowered his head. He wouldn’t say anything, no matter what Seo Yuhui decided to do. Breaking up with her seemed like a good thing to do. But Seol Jihu couldn’t do so because of what the future Seo Yuhui said to him.

And so, he said, stammering.

“I’ll follow your choice…. I know I’m not in any position to say anything….”

Seo Yuhui’s eyes flashed. She looked down at Seol Jihu for a long time before heaving out a heavy sigh.

“...Who told you to say that?”

“Hmm?”

“Was it Blacky? Or the future me?”

Seol Jihu’s eyes opened wide.

“Y-You knew?”

“No… I just expected as much. Because I heard.”

“You heard? When?”

“In the Path of the Soul after I saw Luxuria-nim at the festival.”

Seol Jihu’s jaw dropped. He had an idea of how Seo Yuhui must have made contact with her future self.

Like himself, Seo Yuhui had the ability ‘Future Vision’. With her contribution points, going to the future would have been impossible. So she must have made one of her future selves create a ‘Past Vision’ to be a helper in the Path of the Soul.

“I heard… so I knew this would happen… but I still believed you and I would be different….”

Seo Yuhui’s upper body slumped forward. Her face fell to her hands, hiding her behind her falling hair.

Hearing the silent whimpering, Seol Jihu closed his eyes. He suddenly remembered Black Seol Jihu’s words.

[Let me say this again. You’re one hell of a son of a bitch.]

[Regardless of the reason, all Seol Jihus, who touched a woman other than Yuhui, are a son of a bitch.]

At the time, he did not think much of it. It was only now that his words felt real.

How much time went by?

“...Tell me.”

Seo Yuhui raised her head after sobbing for a while. Looking at Seol Jihu, who was searching for a hole to crawl into, she said.

“Fine, let’s say this matter was a drunken mistake. If I asked you to go to the past and change the future, will you?”

“Of course.”

Seol Jihu replied without a moment of hesitation.

“Can you do anything for me?”

“Yes, anything.”

Seol Jihu nodded firmly.

Black Seol Jihu told him not to waste his contribution points and time, but Seol Jihu couldn’t help it. If this was his fate, he was ready to accept it.

“Have you heard what happened afterward?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re still willing?”

“I’ll give it a try. Even if it doesn’t work.”

Seo Yuhui let out an empty laugh. It sounded like she heard what happened from the future Seo Yuhui as well.

After a moment of silence….

“...Then fine.”

Seo Yuhui stopped crying, her eyes flashing fiercely.

“It sounds like Blacky hasn’t told you, but….”

Then, she spoke in a chilling tone.

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