Healer

CH 2.2

The improvised office consisted of a missing desk and an artificial leather sofa.
In the middle of it, Giha smoked a cigarette and looked out the window.
One side of the wall was made of glass, so the wide night view that resembled a photograph could be visible.
Behind him, Imsoo rubbed the shoulder of his superior who had been up all night for several days.
The scorpion tattoo on the back of his neck twitched at the hand gestures of his subordinate.
After breaking the silence for a while, Imsoo asked.

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“Hyung.
I’m sorry to keep asking, but do you really believe what your father said?”

“I don’t believe in my father, but I believe in his research.
Even if I hadn’t looked into them, he would have been a well-known person in academia.”

Giha’s father was a man studying phonetics.
Fascinated by the human voice, he studied and collected the potential of the vocal cords.
His father, who was fascinated by tens of thousands of voices, claimed that there was a voice that could heal the soul.
A magical voice that healed not only the mind but also the wounds of the body.
Their voices were said to be different from birth.
A being that communicates with the Gods through crying, the first voice of man, and creates miracles.
His father called them ‘healers’.

“It was only natural that ridiculous assertions would be ignored in academia.
My father started a fight on his own completely.
One day, my father brought a middle school boy.
He was a man who had a lot of wanderlust, so I thought he was a child born outside.
However, he said that he had picked him as a research sample as he was studying singing.
Mom and I said it was crazy.
Until I went to my father’s lab.”

Imsoo, who was listening quietly, said.

“Then you heard the child singing.”

“Ah…”

Giha sighed and recalled the shock he felt at that time.
That day was the last day he visited his father’s laboratory.
It was to deliver the divorce papers on an errand for his mother.
His father had been chasing after the voices of others all his life yet he did not hear the cries of his wife and children.

He would have dismissed his father’s claims as bullshit born out of an overly active imagination.
That is, until he heard the song.

As he entered the laboratory, he saw a boy with a machine attached to his body.
And the moment he heard the boy’s singing voice, he lost his mind.
The boy’s voice did not have any mechanical sounds or artificial effects.
It was the sound that naturally sucked in the soul only with the vocal cords, and it was perfection itself.
When he came to his senses, he was already crying.

“A few days before going to the lab, I had an accident while driving drunk.
It wasn’t a major accident, but my arm was broken and my face was a mess.
But after listening to the child’s songs, I was completely healed.
Even if I gave way a hundred times and that was just my illusion… Wouldn’t this be great business if he were to possess other people the same way he possessed me and my father?”

Contrary to the excited Giha, Imsoo was still skeptical.

“Is your father’s research data reliable? It might be plain healing music or a placebo effect, right?”

“It’s different.
Two people from rare diseases and five who had conditions ranging from depression to dementia were cured.
All three cancer patients went from stage 4 to stage 2, and after a few months, the cancer cells completely disappeared.
At that time, I confirmed with my own eyes that the people who participated in the experiment were still alive.
Can you believe it? They were completely cured without taking any medicine or operation.
There is no better fit for treatment than this.”

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“I didn’t expect you to dip into the medical business like this.”

“Don’t be sarcastic.
I feel so good for the first time in a while.”

Giha smoked a cigarette and smiled.

“If I had my father, I would have had more information.
The thesis is also incomplete and there’s a lot of things that I don’t know as an outsider to that field.
But there is no one to ask for advice…”

“Didn’t you say that your father died a mysterious death?”

Imsoo waited for the next words, but Giha did not explain further.
His father apparently died during the study, and the boy, who suffered from delirium during the experiment, committed suicide shortly after being taken to the hospital.

After that, relying solely on his father’s research data, he released people across the country with the feeling of heading to the ground.
When a report came in, he would run to the place, but they were all only faux.
If there was only a little bit of information, he would run out even in his sleep, and he would suffer failure every time.
He had been doing that for about 4 years.

Now, the stage of discussing whether to believe or not to believe in healers has passed.
If he still doubted the existence of a healer, his 4 years will be completely disintegrated in the air.
Laughing at his father so much, he even ridiculed at the sight of himself following him down the same path.
However, leaving behind expectations for commercial success, he wanted to listen to ‘them’ once again.
Like his father, Giha may have been fascinated by their singing voices.

However, in the end, an anonymous investor announced that they would withdraw their hands from this unpromising act.
Another piece of information came in when he was pushed to the edge of the cliff.
He heard that there was a child in Bucheon who could heal by singing.
When he arrived, the family had already left.
After that, using information that he had seen in the vicinity of Seoul, he came all the way here.

“If I don’t bring him back within this month, the investment will go through the water.”

Giha took out a new cigarette and lit a fire.
Compared to his mountain bandit appearance, he acted swiftly like a squirrel.
Imsoo put his lighter in his pocket and looked somewhere in his office.

“So that kid is that… who you consider a ‘healer’.”

Where Imsoo’s gaze arrived, Giha’s gaze also arrived.
In the corner of the room, a child was squatting and crying.
He was the kid he had brought a while ago.
Giha approached him and sat down at eye level.
This time it felt different.
The information was more accurate than the fraudulent reports so far, and the stories circulating in the vicinity were unusual.
Giha looked at the terrified child.

“You must have been surprised, but I’ve been everywhere to look for you, so please understand.”

A scorpion tattoo wrapped around the nape of his man’s neck made Sejin’s vision shrink.
The only light in the dark warehouse was an incandescent lamp hanging from the ceiling.
He stared at the long legs that stood in front of him in disbelief.
The men’s legs looked like a cursed grotesque forest tree.
Sejin trembled and said,

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“Please let me go.
Mister… Please let…”

Giha took a cigarette to his lips with a satisfied smile.

“From now on, I’m going to do a small test on you.”

Then Giha pulled out a knife and cut his own hand.
Sejin held his breath.
His hand dripping with his blood came to Sejin’s nose.

“From now on, you have to sing to heal this wound.
Only then will you be able to walk out of here.”

Sejin shook his head.
Healing wounds with a song couldn’t have been possible.
He felt dizzy and faint and his heart raced.

“I-I can’t… do that kind of thing! I… !”

As the child screamed with all his might, Imsoo, who was behind him, said,

“If you scare him like that, he won’t be able to sing properly.”

“I’ll judge that, so don’t speak.
A nursery rhyme or a song or anything.”

“I’m not the kind of guy that you guys are looking for! I’ve never healed anyone with a song! It’s true!”

Imsoo approached him and said bluntly.

“We don’t have time either.
If we don’t take you with us within this month, the men will end up sitting on the street.
I’ve already heard about you from around Bucheon.
You’re not in a situation to sing, but try.”

“Ugh… I can’t do that..
Ugh… I have never lived in Bucheon.
I’ve been living in this town since I was five…”

At that moment, Giha and Imsoo’s expressions hardened.
Giha said, holding Sejin’s shoulder.

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“It doesn’t matter if you lived in Bucheon or not.
The fact that you are Yoon Danse is important.”

“Urgh… I-I’m not Yoon Danse…!”

“You clearly said Danse earlier!”

“I-I said Sejin.
I mentioned earlier that I’m Jang Sejin… Urgh, heuk…!”

Imsoo turned his head and asked.

“Hyung.
Did you check when you brought him in?”

Giha took out his note from his inner pocket and checked it.

“I’ve been sick and tired of that name for half a year.
I checked your name, family relationship, and even your age.
I didn’t have a picture so I couldn’t check the face, but hey.
Even if you put everything aside, didn’t we catch him in this house? Is there anything more certain than that?”

“Danse, Jang Sejin… Hyung was a little excited earlier, and you may have heard the same thing because the kid’s pronunciation is poor.”

Giha rolled his eyes and grabbed Sejin’s arm and twisted it.

“You know, this ahjussi, trusting that fucking diary, I’ve been looking for you for 4 years.
I’m very tired now.
So from now on, you can’t answer a single word in vain.
I have a short temper.”

“…”

“Have you ever treated dying bastards with those shitty songs? No?”

Giha’s knife grazed the nape of Sejin’s neck.
Sejin said in a breathless voice as if his throat had been cut.

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“Ugh, uh… Please, save me… Save… Please…”

“Answer me without fussing!”

Sejin closed his eyes and cried.
His voice was thin, and he couldn’t help but look pathetic.
He was so afraid that he would rather be the one the man was looking for.

“I… I’m not like that… I can’t… sing… I’ve never treated a sick person…”

“You really haven’t?”

“I haven’t! How do you heal a person with a song?! I ‘m also not Danse!”

Giha’s expression was as strange as a composite photo.

“Fuck!”

Giha spat out abusive language and kicked and punched desks and chairs.
Sejin hunched over his body and panted.
Giha, who returned after hitting and smashing everything, grabbed Sejin’s collar and lifted him up.

“Fine.
Everything is fine, so tell me if the little boy named Danse lives in this town or not.
I’m telling you in advance, don’t make me ask twice!”

Four lively eyes were focused on Sejin.
All of Sejin’s nerves focused on the knife he was holding.

“… That kid… Such a name…”

Such a miracle was unlikely to happen, but whoever knew it was possible.
However, those are only the words of Chaewoo, and Sejin didn’t believe it in the first place, and Chaewoo wasn’t Danse.
So what they were after was an illusion that didn’t exist in the world.
It would end if Sejin said that he had never heard of such a name or anyone with such power.

“By the way… I don’t know because I heard it from someone too…”

It was the first sin the child recognized.
The child who was faithful to his own feelings at the time innocently sinned while trying to protect himself.

“In our town… There is one kid who can sing really well…”

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