ould slip through some of the narrowest gaps imaginable without a moment's hesitation.

“…I better stay back even further.”

Lee Dong-Sik increased his following distance from twenty to thirty meters, yet no one took advantage of that.
While tearing up, Lee Dong-Sik drove his car even slower than before.

The road users behind Lee Dong-Sik cruelly honked their horns at him without knowing the torture he was going through.
However, Lee Dong-Sik adamantly believed that being cursed at was infinitely better than risking his luck with an Aventador’s rear-end.


'Mm? It's kinda noisy behind me, isn't it?'

Were Korean roads always this noisy? Kang Jin-Ho wondered why the cars behind him were honking incessantly.
Moreover, they had been doing that for quite a while now.
The 'normal' attitude to have in this case would be to think you had done something wrong, but that didn't seem applicable to Kang Jin-Ho.
The horns had to go off at regular intervals for that to be true, so there could be something else at play here.

“Still, something doesn't feel right here…”

The Jaegyeong's HQ was too far to travel on a bicycle.
The 'Kang Jin-Ho' of yesterday might have taken his trusty Golden Elephant regardless of the distance, but his change of attitude meant that he had made a decision to enjoy what he had in possession without giving up on anything in the process.
Taking his Aventador out for a spin was the result of his new thought process.

“This is a mistake.”

This was Kang Jin-Ho's honest thought as he drove the car.
Never mind not giving up on what he had or whatever; he should have prioritized doing what worked the best for him instead!

Watching the jam-packed road ahead only intensified his irritation.
He would have reached his destination by now with Golden Elephant, but at this rate? He might need another thirty minutes.

Cars were invented to go fast, weren't they? Besides, wasn't this white car a so-called sportscar? To think that riding a bicycle was faster than an actual car!


Kang Jin-Ho groaned at length and scanned the packed road ahead.


“How's Sister Yi?” Kang Jin-Ho asked Park Yu-Min standing outside the ward.

“She's sleeping at the moment.”

“I see.”

“Still, she will probably wake up if she knows you're here.”

“No, don't.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“Let's not wake her up.
I'll just pop in to see her and leave.”

“Okay.” Park Yu-Min nodded, sensing that his friend sounded a little different now.
Kang Jin-Ho sounded down on the first day of his leave, but not anymore.

'He's back to his usual self, I guess.'

“I'm going in,” said Kang Jin-Ho.


Kang Jin-Ho silently opened the door and stepped inside the hospital room.
Sister Yi's soft breathing and the rhythmic pulsing of the ECG machine quietly rang within the room.
He cautiously walked toward her bed without making any noise.

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly scanned Sister Yi's unconscious face for a while.
Despite how wane her complexion was, her expression remained the picture of peace and calm.

'I'm not omnipotent.'

Even if his powers were nearing omnipotence, it still didn't mean he would be able to do anything and everything he wanted.

“That's why people strive to be better, isn't it?”

Striving to be better since they weren’t good enough yet—Kang Jin-Ho had forgotten about such a basic tenet somehow.
If only he had remembered it sooner, maybe Sister Yi wouldn't have to leave this world like this.
At least, that was the thought circulating in Kang Jin-Ho's head.
However, it was a bit too late for regrets now.

“I won’t regret from now on, ma'am…” Kang Jin-Ho quietly muttered, then bowed deeply at the sleeping Sister Yi.
However, he couldn't bring himself to leave the room after the end of his final goodbye.
He stood there and observed Sister Yi's sleeping face for a long time before finally tearing himself away.

He opened the door and stepped into the corridor to find Park Yu-Min waiting for him.

“Did you say…
goodbye?” Park Yu-Min asked cautiously.

Kang Jin-Ho nodded.

“…When are you going back to base?”


“Okay, got it.” Park Yu-Min slowly nodded.

By staying longer, Kang Jin-Ho might get to attend the funeral, but he thought that doing so would be pointless after coming this far.
After all, he had already heard everything he needed to hear from Sister Yi.
In addition, he had already done everything he could.

Which meant his role here was over.
Staying by Sister Yi's side until the end and ensuring she wouldn’t feel lonely during her passing…
That wasn’t his job.

“I'm sorry that I can't be here for you.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.

“Nah, don't worry about it, okay?” Park Yu-Min waved his hands dismissively, pretending to be fine.
“You should go and get some rest.
You're on vacation, after all.”

I'll see you again after I get my next leave.” Kang Jin-Ho turned around to leave without hesitation.
His steps felt heavy while they carried him out of the hospital, but not even once did he look back.


Kang Jin-Ho stood at attention and cried out, “Private 1st Class Kang Jin-Ho, sir! Reporting!”

Jeon Hyeok-Su smiled back.
You're back, eh?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You're back awfully early, though? It's not even sunset yet, so why are you here already?”

“Somehow, things worked out that way, sir.”

Seong Tae-Ho listening in from the side suddenly chuckled and butted in.
“Eiii, sir.
That story only applies to soldiers starving for more off-days, you know? Our Jin-Ho still has lots of off-days left in his pocket, so I'm sure he's not remotely worried about it, sir.”

“Ah, that makes sense.
Jin-Ho was gone for what, five days? Which means he still has 25 days left, right? And that's just from the reward he got the last time.
Add all the regular vacation time for a private, and… Wowsers, that's a lot.”

“I totally agree, sir.”


As expected, time flowed a lot smoother after returning to base.
Kang Jin-Ho spent the next two days organizing his articles and getting used to the base’s schedules.

[Private Kang Jin-Ho, come to the Administrative Office.
I repeat, Private Kang Jin-Ho, come to the…]

The loudspeaker summoned Kang Jin-Ho right after the roll call, forcing him to get up and head to the administrative office.
He could already guess why he was being summoned—a phone call had come from the outside.
He only had to confirm whether its contents were as he suspected or not.

Kang Jin-Ho arrived at the office and picked up the waiting phone receiver.
That was when he heard Park Yu-Min's rather composed voice.

“…A little while ago? I see.”


Got it.”

Take good care of it.”

This was the extent of Kang Jin-Ho's replies.
Then again, he and Park Yu-Min already knew, anyway.
There was no need to offer words of comfort.
After all, they had already done that before.
At this stage in their relationship, weak-sounding condolences made out of courtesy weren’t necessary.

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly exited the office, then mouthed a cigarette.

Click, sizzle…

The tip of his cigarette caught fire and burned away.
Kang Jin-Ho deeply inhaled the gray smoke before slowly releasing it back into the atmosphere.

If her God was looking after her…
Did she go to Heaven? And would she be happy there?


“Jin-Ho, my wish is for you to become a different person.
A person who can also accept other people's frailty.”


Kang Jin-Ho closed his eyes and recalled Sister Yi's words to him.
“Yes, Sister.
I'll become such a man.”

‘That's why, please don't worry about us.’

‘Rest in peace.’

“OTP” is an abbreviation of 'one-time password.' ☜

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