Chapter 4 Monster

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The news was good for the background music.
As I lay down on the sofa and looked outside the window, the anchor’s voice permeated the room.
The day had become shorter, and the sky had become dark, even though I just had dinner.

The days moved slowly, but if I looked back, the compilation of times moved fast.
I had nothing to do, and I achieved nothing, but soon I would become an adult.

I wondered what I could do.
My first workplace was a BBQ restaurant.
The only thing I could use was my body.
It was close to the youth shelter, and the hourly wage was big, so I applied there.
It was during the school vacation period, so I lied about attending a school, and I liked that they didn’t ask for student ID.
Unlike my worry about me having a young age and no experience, the restaurant owner liked me, so I was immediately accepted.

It was a restaurant where the employees were all men except for the people working in the kitchen.
There, I was the youngest and the quietest.

Smoking hundreds of cigarettes in the break between lunch and dinner, asking me to go to a billiard room after work or to have a drink, asking me where I schooled or where I lived, I was annoyed with all those.
As I didn’t answer them and those who stuck together like gum didn’t engage me anymore, I became alone for some time.

I thought it was fine as long as I worked nicely, but the manager called me and said I lack social skills.
‘You’re young and the youngest, so if you approach first cutely, the others will treat you nice.
Why are you keeping a distance? This is not school, but society…’ He said that but acted like in school.
I mean, even the school wouldn’t interfere with me much like that.
There was a lot they told me to do and not to do, and I tried to do my best, but because they were like shit, only shit-like words came out.

Serving the customers wasn’t an easy task as well.
I got a lot of provocation because I didn’t smile and some asked if I could work in a place like this because I looked young.
I especially hated to keep company drunken bastards emanating liquor smell and had drinking habits.
Still, I thought I was the one who was the most diligent in work among the employees.
Needless to say, I got fired.

The biggest reason was I couldn’t adapt and had a faint presence.
It was on probation time, and I was fired when it hadn’t been a month, so the money I got wasn’t much.
Then, I left the youth shelter.
I only said fuck to the sick pervert, but I ended become the most trouble kid in the world.

Should have I endured those? I wasn’t the only one who went through annoying things, but everyone was living well.
They must have endured it.
I can’t believe the place I came into because I couldn’t endure those was Lee Sugeol’s facility.
I, too, had a problem.

If it wasn’t for Yeon Woojeong, I…

—Dawon Corporation donated 200 million won for children in need ahead of Christmas.

I turned my head to the words that drew my attention.
The building of Dawon Corp.
continued with the face of the man I saw that night appearing on the screen.

—This is not the first good deed done by Dawon.

The news ended by reciting about donations, volunteering, and campaigns that the company had done so far.
A laugh flowed out.
I’m sure they’re paying money to promote such things.

I took my phone and searched for the man’s company on the internet.
Turn non-regular workers into regular workers, volunteer at orphanages, employee welfare… There were a lot of moving stories.
Of course, there were not only good articles.
I found writing cursing at the company, but then I turned off my phone because my eyes hurt.

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If I rethought about it now when my head was cool, the relationship between Yeon Woojeong and the man looked special, but not suspicious.
In the first place, it was hard to imagine Yeon Woojeong approaching an old man out of strange intentions.
If this man is only a good person for real.

The man was in his 60s.
He would die soon anyway.

I heard the passcode being entered.
I got up and went to the entrance, and Yeon Woojeong stared at me instead of taking off his shoes.

“Are you not coming in?”

“You came to welcome me?”

He subtly lifted the ends of his lips and walked past me.
There was something annoying about Yeon Woojeong with his little words.

“Here.
A present.”

When he reached the living room, Yeon Woojeong handed out the white bag he was holding.
As I accepted it and took a look, there was a book inside.

[World of Puzzles that Makes Your Brain Smart!]

I crumpled my face as soon as I saw the colorful cover.

“What the heck?”

“I saw you’re having fun last time.”

Does he think I’m a little kid?

While Yeon Woojeong went to the bathroom, I opened the book.
It was a book with various types of puzzles, including the puzzle I tried last time.
My head throbbed looking at the empty boxes, but I thought it was good to kill time.

I brought over a mechanical pencil from the book room and then I sat on the floor with my back leaning to the sofa.
As I turned the page one by one, number puzzles were the most common, and there were also word puzzles.

I was filling the compartment with easy questions, and Yeon Woojeong came out and entered the bedroom.
It seemed like he was going to change his clothes.
If he got home early, he wore comfortable clothes, not the bathrobe.

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After changing his clothes, Yeon Woojeong sat on the sofa.

“Have you had your dinner?”

“Yeah, what about you?”

“Same here.”

“What did you eat?”

“… Sandwich.”

I snorted.
I felt his gaze, but as I feigned ignorance, he asked.

“Why?”

“What?”

“You want to say, ‘you have to eat well because a sandwich can’t feel your stomach,’ right?”

“I never thought so.”

“Sometimes, the unconsciousness is far superior.”

He speaks as he pleases again.
I glared at him roughly and then turned back to the puzzle.

“What is the thing that walks with 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon, and 3 legs at night?”

“Erm, dog?”

“… Why?”

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“There is its owner watching in the morning, so 4 legs.
The owner left at noon, so it can freely walk on 2 legs.”

“At night?”

“At night… give me your hand.”

Yeon Woojeong reached out his palm to me.
I stared at it, nervous because I wondered what he was trying to do, but then he took my hand and put it on his.

“The owner adores it, so 3 legs.”

He smiled with his eyes closed.
When I seemed to be trapped in the eyes curved in line, I whipped out my hand.

“Dog only has 3 letters.
This one has 5.”

“Then puppy?”

I heaved out a sigh.
He must have no intention of being serious from the start.
I turned to the last page to find the answer key, and the answer was human.
I was looking at the explanation, and Yeon Woojeong asked.

“Is it fun?”

“I’m just doing it.”

I heard a smirking sound.
I ignored him and put ‘human’ in the empty boxes, and then I looked at the question for the other boxes.
From the explanation, the answer seemed to be a food name.
I looked to my side because I kept hearing the sound of the channels changing, and Yeon Woojeong was spacing out with the remote control in his hand.

“Do you even have food you like, Mr.
Yeon?”

“… Sure I have.”

“What is that?”

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“Warm food.
Also, rice.”

He put down the remote control and leaned his body on the sofa.
His toes wiggling caught my eyes, and it irritated me.

“Should I guess what you like? You like meat.”

“Is there even someone who hates meat?”

He put his arms wide open on the sofa and smiled shamelessly.
He rarely got home early like this, so there weren’t many chances for us to spend time together.
I wondered if there were other things we could talk about, so I looked at the questions.

“You must be good at studying, right, Mr.
Yeon?”

“Erm, I didn’t study.
I hated studying.”

“Then how did you become a prosecutor?”

“Back then, I worked harder.
To be a prosecutor.”

“Was being a prosecutor your dream?”

“It wasn’t my dream, and I thought that was the best job I knew.”

His hand moved down.
He touched my hair without my permission.

“Are you studying about me today?”

“I was only asking.”

“Alright.
Is there anything else you are curious about?”

I got reluctant to ask because he acted like that.
I rubbed the pencil on the corner and took it off when it was so dirty that I couldn’t see the blank space.

Should I ask him about that old man? But asking about past events seemed lame.
Somehow, a lot of things popped into my head, but I didn’t know what I should talk about.
None of the questions caught my attention.

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