Chapter 177: Chapter 177
Sometimes when I see Jooin… honestly, I kind of think that the only reason he had remembered me was because he was too smart to leave any remaining spaces in his head empty.
I didn’t know why but… he might need something to fill up his head, and coincidentally, I had taken that space. Until now, I could hardly remove that feeling inside me.
Once I thought that I knew him enough, Jooin would show me one of his entirely different colors.
Were all the people around the world behaving like this? There was, however, something obviously offbeat about him.
The next day, our summer vacation started, at last.
* * *
Eun Hyung and Yoon Jung In said to the kids that they would try to arrange a date for the competition, so they pleaded us to stay calm.
The so-called competition simply directed a group fight rather than revealing the truth of my case. From this aspect, I knew that the event had nothing to do with the Choi Yuri thing at all. Perhaps that was why Eun Hyung and Yoon Jung In kept the fact that they were preparing a courage test a secret. If they brought out the topic without preparation, the kids would complain like, ‘What the hell is all the courage test for? We want a real fight!’ Thus, it was better to plan successfully and say, ‘We’re all ready?! Class 1-1(1-8) boasted that they will win.’ This would instead draw the involvement of the kids easier. The courage test was, therefore, progressed secretly.
Eun Hyung would have asked our opinions after grappling with the problem. I knew about it already since I was the one who suggested the courage test. So was Yoo Chun Young, who didn’t look surprised as if he heard it from Eun Hyung in advance. Woo Jooin just grinned as usual while saying ‘Interesting!’
Those who reacted the most intensely was, of course, Eun Jiho and Ban Yeo Ryung.
As he heard about the plan, Eun Jiho spoke to us while glowing his jet-black eyes with vigor.
“Dude, make it as a locked-room mystery instead. That’s the scariest thing ever! You know, people dying one after another in an isolated situation by heavy snowfalls… something like that. It’s best to create teamwork!”
Pfft! I almost spat out the drink I was sipping. ‘Eun Jiho… I’ve always thought that you need to have your head examined, but this is too…’ with that thought in mind, I asked with a poker face.
“Hey, what the heck is a locked-room mystery? It’s a courage test, dude. Please get it together.”
Regardless of what I just said, Ban Yeo Ryung and Eun Jiho talked to each other in excitement.
“Wow, this is getting fun! Let’s list those who would die. Oh, what tricks should we use?”
‘Ban Yeo Ryung… how can she talk about something scary so nonchalantly?’ I thought. Despite her frightening words, Ban Yeo Ryung looked so sweet like a fairy, so it freaked me out even more. Eun Jiho replied with a giggle.
“Geez, someone should go get Detective Conan or Hajime Kindaichi.”
“Wow, you both are…”
‘You both are out of your mind already, and the break had only just begun,’ I tried to say those words but refused to do so since I felt like I would just repeat something so obvious.
As I looked aside, I saw that Woo Jooin’s shoulders were trembling while burying his head onto the table, whereas Yoo Chun Young and Eun Hyung exchanged glances with a look that said, ‘What’s wrong with them?’ on their faces.
Eun Hyung spoke with a sigh eventually as if he knew that there was nothing useful that would come out from us.
“I’ll just call the kids in Class 1-8.”
It looked as though he was saying, ‘It’s my wrong of me to expect something from you guys’ at the end of his words. Regardless of his reaction, Ban Yeo Ryung and Eun Jiho were still conversing in excitement.
Instead of Eun Hyung, who was having a short sigh, I took out my phone and pressed the call button after seeing Yoon Jung In’s phone number.
Before the signal rang, I heard that the call had already been picked up. ‘Why is he answering so quickly?’ As I giggled with that thought, an answer came over the phone, saying, ‘I just got up and was checking my texts.’
“Hey, Eun Hyung asked me how we would do the courage test. Do you have any plans?” I asked.
“Huh? Oh, we decided the location. Do you know, Achasan, close to our high school?”
That place was a small mountain, almost like a hill behind our apartment, that old ladies in our neighborhood enjoyed as a tracking course.
“In Achasan, there’s a school that had been shut-down about three years ago. Kids in the neighborhood used to hang around that space. The windows are broken, though, but not all of them. Overall, the place is spotless.”
“And the rule is to lock up kids from both classes in every classroom on the first floor. There are eight classrooms there, so we can put ten of them in each room. Each student would tell a scary story one after another, then, if it gets harder to endure, they could just leave the classroom and go back home.”
‘Oh, that sounds good,’ I replied.
“So, is this about the class that has the most people left… is that how we determine which class would win?”
“Yup, we can shake the curtains from outside and show some shadows to scare them a little. The kids who can’t stand those would definitely leave.”
“Does he have a good plan?”
Eun Hyung asked from beside me in an anxious voice. With a nod, I gave my phone to Eun Hyung.
Yoon Jung In also said the same thing to Eun Hyung, who kept nodding with a smile. He only had that look on his face when he was with someone whom he felt very comfortable with, so I felt a little weird.
“Oh, really? Okay, it seems fine for us to go there today. Uh-huh, I have time now.”
Eun Hyung then stood up from his seat and grinned at my side.
He said, “Okay, so it’s almost 3 in the afternoon now. Jiho and Jooin said that they have a family gathering today, and Yeo Ryung, you also said that you’re busy, right? I got something to do right now, too, so…”
“Yeah, I think that’s it for the day,” said Jooin, who stretched his limbs. There weren’t any traces of anger on his face, contrary to how he was the other day. When our eyes met, he spoke with a bright smile.
“Mama, see you next week.”
The courage test would commence after a week. I smiled with a nod.
While staring at Eun Jiho, Ban Yeo Ryung, Woo Jooin, and Eun Hyung’s back, leaving the café, I suddenly realized that there was a person who didn’t leave this space yet. I turned back.
Sitting against the glass wall where strangers walked past by, Yoo Chun Young rested his chin on his hand and dropped his gaze at the table with a nonchalant face. As our eyes met, he flung a question.
“Aren’t you leaving?”
“What about you?”
“I have a meeting around here after an hour,” said Yoo Chun Young.
He then touched the jet-black mask that he pulled down under his chin. It made me notice his outfit.
Yoo Chun Young, who was insensitive to the weather, sometimes wore long sleeves in the summertime, which astonished us. One time, he came outside while wearing a coat on top of his short-sleeved shirts. When Eun Jiho grumbled about the freezing weather, Yoo Chun Young would take his jacket off to put it on Eun Jiho and walk outside in short-sleeves. He was even wearing a flip flop…
I couldn’t remember why we dressed obviously in a hurry and walked outside the streets that day with those outfits. Even the person who Yoo Chun Young gave his coat to was none other than Eun Jiho. I giggled, and soon, a new thought came across my mind.
Oh, yes… that day was March 2, 2009.
On the day that my world changed, I was crouching in front of Jooin’s house, and he later found me. When Jooin saw me, he called Ban Yeo Ryung and the other three Heavenly Kings immediately. That was why none of them came outside with adequately dressed articles of clothing for the weather.
Eun Jiho, who was so sensitive to coldness, only wore long sleeves and sweatpants to appear in front of Jooin’s house on a chilly, early spring day. He and the other guys would have been shocked. Yoo Chun Young was the same.
‘A trench coat on top of short-sleeves and sweatpants… Maybe he quickly just put on his coat to dash outside,’ I laughed with that thought in mind.