Chapter 18 – Their Circumstances (2)
“Aigo. You scoundrel! Mother worried about you so much”
As Woojin’s back was being slapped, he pondered about what to do. Should he just tell her the truth?
“Haigo. You spent 5 years playing a game like an addict then you came back!!”
Huh huh. That wasn’t it at all.
“Still, I’m thankful you returned in good health.”
Woojin thought about telling her a little bit more of the truth to resolve the misunderstanding, but he abandoned that idea.
Who cares if she believed this or that?
I’ve returned home, and his mother was happy.
The tears flowing from his mother didn’t have any resentment in it. If she held any resentment, it was towards the inhospitable years that had passed them by.
The hand that was hitting him started losing its strength, and her tear drops became thicker. Woojin cried with her.
He cried endlessly as he tried to shed the past 20 years.
Soo-ah’s eyes turned round as she asked a question.
“Huh? Why is mother’s eyes so red? Did you cry?”
“No. Why would mother cry?”
“No. You did cry. I know why mother cried.”
“You are happy since mother will also be able to eat beef. Isn’t that right?”
“Huh? Ho ho. You rascal. That’s right. I’m so happy that your oppa bought us beef, so tears came out.”
He could see a glint of tear on his mother’s eyes. It wasn’t from sadness. It was a teardrop of happiness. Woojin grinned slyly.
After they left the park, Woojin took Sooah to a meat grilling restaurant. It was rumored to be the best one in the neighborhood. The price was too expensive, so they had never been to the store before.
The beef made a delicious sound as Woojin cooked it, and he placed it on Sooah’s dish. While Sooah was chewing on her food, she picked up a piece of meat, and she placed it on her mother’s dish.
“Mom eat this. It’s really delicious.”
“Ok, ok. Since Sooah gave it to me, it is more delicious.”
His mother ate a piece of meat then she made a happy smile. Sooah grinned as she looked at Woojin.
“I really like it since oppa came.”
“Really? Do you like oppa since I bought you beef?”
“Yeah! I like it a lot. Minsoo always make fun of me. He says he always eat a lot of meat.”
“He is the richest in our class. That is why he brags about what he eats everyday when he comes to pre-school. He has a lot of toys. His father is a Roused, so he is really rich.”
“Huh. Is that so? Don’t be jealous of that. If Sooah wants something then just tell oppa. I’ll buy it all for you. Oppa is also a Roused.” (TLN:*cough* phrasing…maybe I should have gone for Enlightened as someone suggested)
“Wow. Really? Oppa is the best. I like oppa.”
Sooah laughed merrily, but his mother looked like she hadn’t let go of her worries.
“I’m still not sure you should do it.”
“I’ll be all right. I’m not that weak. Moreover, I won’t do something that is too dangerous, so you don’t have to worry about it.”
“Oppa is in danger?”
“No. Oppa isn’t in danger.”
As he started to seriously cook some more meat, Woojin took a bottle of soju, and he poured it into his mother’s glass. As if she was still sensitive to such actions, her eyes started to water.
“My son, who was in his 3rd year in high school, has come back as an adult. You are able to drink alcohol with your mother.”
“I guess so, but this is the first time I’m having soju.”
“Huh? This is the first time my son has drunk soju? You have to learn how to drink alcohol from an adult. Hurry up and take this glass.”
This was the first time he had soju, but he had drunk a lot of other alcohol. Woojin took the soju cup with a pounding heart.
“You father would have been proud if he saw you. Our son had already grown into an adult. You could drink alcohol with me, and you also bought us meat.”
When they talked about his father, he became melancholy, but it couldn’t even be compared to his mother’s sadness. Woojin drank the entire cup of soju. There was a bite to it. It was quite good, but he was starting to feel the effect of the alcohol.
There was a bitter after taste, and it was quite delicious.
‘This is pretty good.’
He didn’t know about the other stuff, but the taste of alcohol here was preferable to the ones at the Planet Alphen. As time passes, he’ll look fondly back at his experiences, but he couldn’t do that yet.
He had escaped that hell hole, and he was very happy to be with his family now.
“Let us be happy, mother.”
“Yes, my son.”
“Me too, me too!”
In her ignorance, Sooah pushed her cup forward, but he poured her some soda. Then they made a toast.
His mother seemed to be drunk as she kept thanking him. He took the happily smiling Sooah and his mother back home before he headed out again.
He had withdrawn money from an ATM as they walked the street, and he placed $1000 on top of the kitchen table.
He wanted to give her all the money he had earned, but he need it for seed money.
He needed a certain amount of money to pay for the entrance fee for the higher ranked Dungeons. It would allow him to quickly make money.
Woojin wanted to move to a decent house soon.
“Ha. This is great.”
Woojin accompanied his mother and Sooah home. Then he decided to walk the night street. It was 7 o’clock. He taken Sooah to an early dinner, so it was still quite early.
This was the first time he drank soju, and the taste continued to linger. He wanted to drink more, but he didn’t want to get drunk by himself.
Twenty years had passed, so instead of thinking about his close friend’s faces, the first face that came to mind was Do-jaemin’s face.
“That guy. I have to repay his money.”
He owed a lot of things to him. Woojin always settled his favors and grudges. He repaid good will, and he took revenge on those he had a grudge against.
Jaemin was a big help in learning about the changed earth.
Woojin visited a still open department store, and he entered to buy some presents. He wandered around in his thread-bare clothes, and he smelled of alcohol. Even seeing him like this, the kind salesclerk helped him out.
He went towards the cosmetic counter, and with the recommendation from the clerk, he purchased something a high school boy could use.
He spent a good amount of money, but he didn’t regret it. While he carried the present, Woojin bought a whole chicken at a fried chicken restaurant. He bought a bottle of soju at the convenience store then he headed towards Jaemin’s house.
There was no response as he pressed on the door bell, so he opened the panel to the door lock mechanism.
Dee Dee Dee, Dee! Dee! Dee!
“That bastard… He already changed his passcode?”
Woojin could have immediately called Jaemin, but it was about time for Jaemin to come home from his tutoring school. So he just waited.
Jaemin flinched in surprise when he saw Woojin standing in front of his front door.
“You are back?”
“Hy…hyung. You came?”
“That’s right. Let’s eat some chicken together.”
Jaemin stealthily glance towards Woojin. He covered his finger with his other hand before he opened the front door.
Woojin acted naturally as he spread the chicken and plates on top of the kitchen desk.
“Bring some glasses.”
“Ah, wait a moment.”
As soon as he took off his backpack, Jaemin brought back some cups. He felt uncomfortable since Woojin came to his house every night, but his mouth watered when he thought about the chicken.
Jaemin was at an age where he liked to eat. Jaemin tried to pour cola into his cup, but Woojin stopped him.
“Hey, you should have a cup.”
“What? Hyung. I’m only a high school student?”
“Sssoop. You can have whatever hyung gives you..”
Woojin filled Jaemin’s cup with soju, and he also filled his cup to the brim with soju. They didn’t have a soju glass, so they poured it into cups. The soju bottle emptied just from filling two cups.
“Ok, let’s drink.”
Woojin emptied the cup in a refreshing manner, and he bit into a chicken leg. Jaemin awkwardly turned his head, and he took a sip. Then his face scrunched up.
Bitter. It was bitter. Why would anyone drink something like this? Jaemin put a chicken wing in his mouth as he asked a question.
“Was your visit to the dungeons successful?”
“Of course. Hey, I got you a present.”
Jaemin opened the shopping bag with a confused face. When he opened it, he saw a bottle of cologne. When he saw the brand, it was a very pricey item.
“Stop being surprised, you little rascal. This is the money I borrowed from you.”
Woojin took out $500 from his wallet. Jaemin’s eyes became round.
“This is too much. You only have to give me what you borrowed. No. To tell you the truth, I don’t want it. Hyung has already done too much for me.”
Yes. A person should repay kindness. Woojin nodded his head with a satisfied expression.
“So, is that why you changed the house’s pass code?.”
“T, that is….”
Woojin grinned when he saw the flustered Jaemin.
“The rest is rent fee on top of the borrowed money.”
Uh? Does this mean he wants to continue to stay here?
Jaemin couldn’t believe his ears.