The Returner Chapter 153

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Yi Ji-Hyuk dug out his ear ca.n.a.ls to make sure that he didn’t mishear her.

"You wanna come, too?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"That’s right." (Seo Ah-Young)

"….Where to?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"To the very same theme park you two are going." (Seo Ah-Young)

Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at Seo Ah-Young with a totally flabbergasted face, before clicking his tongue.

"But, why? Why do you wanna join us?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Isn’t it supposed to be more fun with lots of people accompanying you to a theme park?" (Seo Ah-Young)

Uh?

Well, uh, she’s not wrong about that, but…. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

Seizing the opening created by Yi Ji-Hyuk tilting his head, Seo Ah-Young threw out yet another deadly blow.

"Unni!!" (Seo Ah-Young) (TL: Used by females to address older sisters/females)

"Ng?" (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min, who had been quietly observing the situation from a corner, raised her head.

"Wouldn’t it be nice if you went, as well?" (Seo Ah-Young)

"…Ng??" (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min’s brain began spinning quickly then.

Going to a theme park.

….With Yi Ji-Hyuk’s family.

That did sound nice, but….

Seo Ah-Young sensed the hints of reluctance coming from Jeong Hae-Min, and hurriedly ran over to the latter to whisper in her ear.

"That man’s going too, you know." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Okay, I’m in!" (Jeong Hae-Min)

Jeong Hae-Min enthusiastically agreed right away, prompting Yi Ji-Hyuk to flinch.

Grab!

"Mm??" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

A pale-white hand emerged from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s shadow and grasped his leg.

"What…? You wanna go, too?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

The hand gestured "OK" and submerged back into his shadow.

Just as Yi Ji-Hyuk began to get fl.u.s.tered by this rapidly-changing situation, Kim Dah-Hyun’s phone suddenly went off.

Kim Dah-Hyun picked up the phone and said something to it, before turning towards Yi Ji-Hyuk with a somewhat sheepish expression on his face.

"Uhm, excuse me, hyung-nim…" (Kim Dah-Hyun)

"M-mm??" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Dah-Som also wishes to go, as well." (Kim Dah-Hyun)

"….Huh?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

….O-oiii?! What the heck, how did this situation spiral out of control like this?

No, hang on a b.l.o.o.d.y minute here!! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

"How did she find out and call you this quickly?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

To Yi Ji-Hyuk’s succinct question, Kim Dah-Hyun couldn’t immediately answer and mumbled this and that.

"Well, uh, I, well, I don’t…." (Kim Dah-Hyun)

Yi Ji-Hyuk was instantly overcome with nasty gooseb.u.mps and hurriedly scanned his vicinity.

‘I’m being watched!! Being spied on!!’ (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

There was no doubt his every single move was being watched!!

"Can’t you manage your sister properly?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Kim Dah-Hyun became a victim of wayward shrapnel redirected in his direction and crumpled to a corner.

As if she was saying "I told you so", Seo Ah-Young snorted at Yi Ji-Hyuk.

"Well, now. We should all go together, then." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Says who?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk loudly shouted out.

"Don’t you have things to do?! No freaking way!! I ain’t taking anyone!! No!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Seo Ah-Young smirked derisively, then.

"In that case, Mister Choi Jung-Hoon won’t be getting a day off. His request for a paid leave is denied." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Wowsers…. So petty. Seriously now." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk gnashed his teeth.

He just wanted to see his little sister get married, yet they were trying to stonewall him??

"Make your choice. Either we all go together, or no one goes!" (Seo Ah-Young)

"Hul…….." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Suddenly faced with an unexpected crossroad, Yi Ji-Hyuk could only grab his head.

What the h.e.l.l?

How did things turn out this way?? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

Seo Ah-Young smiled triumphantly after seeing his reaction. She was deeply pleased with herself, because it felt as if she had finally managed to punch him in the face.

"Groan….."

Yi Ji-Hyuk groaned out grandly and opened his mouth.

He sensed that him trying to salvage the situation with sophistry would only complicate matters even further.

Most of all, the somewhat-chilly aura he sensed around near his legs placed a fair bit of pressure on him, and even if he tried to avoid all these hangers-on covertly, with Kim Dah-Hyun seemingly knowing everything, hiding from these people’s sights would be nigh-on impossible.

If that was the case, then….

"Fine. Fine! Let’s all go. We’ll go together." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

His eyes gleamed brightly.

"However, if you get in the way? Imma chuck you into the Pacific ocean! Got that?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Get in the way? Of what?" (Seo Ah-Young)

"Well, there is a thing." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

He ignored Seo Ah-Young and her confusion for now, and looked at Choi Jung-Hoon.

Indeed, what did it matter if there was a crowd? As long as his goal was met, it didn’t matter anyways.

"Okay, so. Clear up your schedule." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Wait. There’s no need to do things in such a roundabout way." (Seo Ah-Young)

As soon as Seo Ah-Young spoke up, she picked her phone up and called somebody. When the call got through, Seo Ah-Young announced in a monotone voice.

"We’ll be on a break tomorrow." (Seo Ah-Young)

– "What?!"

"I said, we’ll be on a break, tomorrow." (Seo Ah-Young)

– "No, wait a minute! Director Seo! What is this all about? Please explain yourself properly!! Are you trying to say that the NDF will close up shop for tomorrow???"

"Yes." (Seo Ah-Young)

– "Are you out of your mind?! What are you trying to achieve here??"

"After the creation of this department, we all worked tirelessly without taking a single day off. We didn’t even rest on weekends, and continued to work overtime, over and over again. Which means, it should be fine for us to take a day off." (Seo Ah-Young)

– "But, what if something happens, then?!"

"We’ll leave a couple of people here, then. Is that fine?" (Seo Ah-Young)

– "Director Seo!!"

"Oh, in that case, should we operate on a rotation basis, with proper holidays and all?" (Seo Ah-Young)

– "….Have a relaxing day off."

"Thank you." (Seo Ah-Young)

Easily solving the situation, Seo Ah-Young ended the call and looked at Yi Ji-Hyuk.

"Tomorrow, it is." (Seo Ah-Young)

"………………."

She’s completely unanswerable.

Since when did she become such a charac…. Oh, wait. She’s always been like that, hasn't she? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

After inadvertently bringing out Seo Ah-Young’s true nature into the open, Yi Ji-Hyuk beat a hasty retreat in silence. Meanwhile, she turned around and made the announcement.

"You all take the day off tomorrow." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Waaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!"

The NDF agents all roared out in happiness.

They had come home after half a year in h.e.l.l, yet they were immediately thrust back into the usual daily routine without even a day of rest. So, quite obviously, their dissatisfaction had reached a pretty dangerous level.

Kim Jae-Beom also cried out in happiness, before asking a question with a smiling face.

"Oh, by the way, who’ll be manning this place tomorrow?" (Kim Jae-Beom)

"……."

Seo Ah-Young wordlessly stared at Kim Jae-Beom.

Receiving that stare, Kim Jae-Beom could only feel despair.

"Ah…."

So, it was me.

Yup, me. It was me…. (Kim Jae-Beom’s inner monologue)

Kim Jae-Beom’s head faltered. Seo Ah-Young placed her hand on his shoulder and flatly spoke.

"Keep your eyes open." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Yes, ma’am……." (Kim Jae-Beom)

"If something happens, you call me right away. And make sure to confirm the emergency hotlines, too." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Yes, ma’am……." (Kim Jae-Beom)

Choi Jung-Hoon dazedly stared at this unfolding spectacle, before vehemently opposing it.

"Tomorrow?! What do you mean, tomorrow?! You know how ridiculous the amount of work I need to go through is, yet how can you say I should take a day off tomorrow?? Even if the sky collapses on itself, I won’t be able to finish these by the end of today!! I’m not going!" (Choi Jung-Hoon)

After seeing Choi Jung-Hoon’s resolutely determined att.i.tude, Seo Ah-Young wordlessly s.h.i.+fted her gaze over to Yi Ji-Hyuk.

"Ng?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk couldn’t tell why she was staring at him. She quietly walked over and whispered in his ear.

"He’s got a lot of work." (Seo Ah-Young)

"Okay. So what?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Why would he have so much work?" (Seo Ah-Young)

"Well, that’s because there are lots of things to be taken care." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Then, why does he have to be the only one to do that?" (Seo Ah-Young)

….Uh?

Right, that’s wrong, isn’t it?

If there’s a lot of work, then the number of workers should increase, no? Why should the original worker be subjected to more pain and suffering? (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

"And, well, didn’t you, you know, the last time?" (Seo Ah-Young)

When Seo Ah-Young said that, a vein popped up on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s forehead.

Ah, right. I completely forgot about that. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)

"Hold on for a second." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Yi Ji-Hyuk walked over to Kim Jae-Beom and asked for something. He got a phone number, and called it right away.

"H-mm…."

A certain man in the ‘prime’ of his life was enjoying the warmth of the lazy afternoon sunlight in his office with a piping hot cup of coffee in his hand.

His slightly-ash-grey hair and a face with just enough wrinkles brought a certain dignified air about him.

An afternoon of an astute politician would always be busy, but it could also be rather peaceful, as well.

"Well, I should…."

Since he had to meet the President and make a report, he should start preparing…..

Ringggg….

It was then, his smartphone suddenly went off, and the politician frowned in displeasure.

There shouldn’t be any direct calls coming at this time of the day….

If it was someone who didn’t know him, they wouldn’t call him to begin with; those who knew him wouldn’t deliberately try to disrupt his tea time, either.

"Who could it be….?"

He was none other the Foreign Minister, Hah Dae-Seong. He stared at the screen of his phone with irritation and a bit of anger, before his head tilted to the side. (TL: the author made a mistake with the Foreign Minister’s name. It’s supposed to be Hah Dae-Seok, but here, it’s Hah Dae-Seong. I’ll TL according to what’s in the raw.)

‘I don’t know this number….’ (Hah Dae-Seong)

He could just drop the call, but something didn’t feel right.

"H-mm…."

Hah Dae-Seok tapped the ‘Answer’ icon and brought the phone closer to his ears.

"Who is this?" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "Hi, Minister ahjussi."

‘….Minister ahjussi?’

Which crazy buffoon would greet so sloppily a government minister of a country like this?! Unless it was some random elementary school kid giving him a prank call after somehow getting a hold of this number!

Hah Dae-Seong was about to explode in irritation and hang up, but then, a certain ominous feeling brushed past his brain.

….Could it be?

"W-who is this?" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "It’s Yi Ji-Hyuk speaking."

"Heeeiiick?!" (Hah Dae-Seong)

Having received Yi Ji-Hyuk’s call totally out of the blue, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Hah Dae-Seong felt his heart fall to the pit of his stomach.

Why! Why was his calling?! Why!

"W-why are you calling me?" (Hah Dae-Seon)

– "I thought I definitely had asked you to resolve the situation this side, but it looks like nothing’s been done yet?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

Hah Dae-Seong squeezed his eyes shut.

What should he do about this crazy as*hole??

"It seems that you’re not aware of it yet, but a large organisation usually moves slowly like this. Even if I issued a directive, it’ll need some time for everything to get processed. And also, although I am a minister, I still don’t have the power to change the workings of a government to my whims overnight….." (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "Where are you?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Eh?"

– "I’m asking you, where are you currently?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"……………"

Why do you wanna know that now?! (Hah Dae-Seong’s inner monologue)

– "No, hang on a minute. You should still be at the Foreign Ministry. Wait for me there." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"Mm?? Mm?! Whwhat are you doing? What’s going on here?!" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "Since you don’t wanna listen, I’m going there personally to talk to you face to face, that’s all." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"N-no! Wait! Don’t do that! I have completely understood you, and I can definitely explain this! I’m being honest! So, please, just hold on for a minute there!" (Hah Dae-Seong)

Stop it, you, you…. crazy b*stard!!

Don’t come over here!

Do not come!!!! (Hah Dae-Seong’s inner monologue)

– "Huh, but nothing’s been resolved as far as I can see, you know?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

"I’ll definitely take care of it!! I’ll do it right now, so calm down, please! R-right, what do you need? Tell me, what do you need from me right now??" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "Huh. Uhm, well, hang on a sec." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)

It sounded like there was a conversation taking place, before someone else spoke through the phone.

– "Pardon me, sir. This is Choi Jung-Hoon speaking."

‘This son of a b*tch…..’ (Hah Dae-Seong)

The old saying went that one would feel even more hatred towards the sister-in-law smiling on the side, rather than at the incessantly berating mother-in-law - currently, Hah Dae-Seong was getting angrier at Choi Jung-Hoon instead of Yi Ji-Hyuk, for some reason.

"Okay, so what is that you need?" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "First of all, I’d like to apologise for calling you in such a manner." (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Get the f*ck out of here, you sc.u.mbag!!

If you’re really feeling that way, then don’t worsen the situation to this degree!!

Yes, I was the moronic one, marching straight into that h.e.l.l, thinking that I could control that man. (Hah Dae-Seong’s inner monologue)

Now that his thoughts arrived at this place, Hah Dae-Seong’s hatred against Choi Jung-Hoon had lessened somewhat.

Well, he was sitting here, only receiving Yi Ji-Hyuk’s phone call after a long while, but Choi Jung-Hoon had to stick right by that crazy b*stard’s side all the time and be on the receiving end of the constant abuse.

"….Okay, so what is it that you need?" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "First of all, we’ll be vacating the premises tomorrow due to an emergency, so we need additional manpower to sub for us. Also, we need more than five additional full-time agents with a clearance grade higher than 5 who can at least manage the paperwork here. Oh, and finally, the current allocation of budget for our department is far too miniscule." (Choi Jung-Hoon)

"Funds and manpower, is it…." (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "Oh, and then…. Well, we’re located on the far outskirts, so it’s a bit c.u.mbersome to eat a proper meal here as well. We wish to build a cafeteria here, so please grant us the necessary budget and the manpower for that. That’s an issue of employees’ wellbeing…." (Choi Jung-Hoon)

Hey, you said you’re sorry, didn’t you? You son of a b*tch!!

Is that something someone feeling apologetic should ask for? Restaurants are far away, so you wanna build one nearby?! (Hah Dae-Seong)

Hah Dae-Seong was further subjected to more demands after that. He spoke up while fatigue washed up over him.

"Are they everything you want from me?" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "These are simply the matters we requested from you the last time. However, a few more urgent matters have cropped up in the meantime, and so……" (Choi Jung-Hoon)

What an immoral b*stard!!

Lessening of hatred, my foot!!

As soon as the matters with Yi Ji-Hyuk get resolved one way or the other, I’ll make sure that you find yourself sent to an uninhabited island all alone!! (Hah Dae-Seong’s inner monologue)

"However, you know as well as I do that all those matters can’t be taken care of in one day. I need to request a.s.sistance from the defence ministry first, and since the NDF is a branch of the Presidency, I need to make a report upstairs, too….." (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "….Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk wants the phone back, sir." (Choi Jung-Hoon)

"Tell him that everything will be sorted out. For real! Definitely before the end of today!!" (Hah Dae-Seong)

– "Well, in that case, I’ll take your word for it and hang up." (Choi Jung-Hoon)

"Groan…."

Hah Dae-Seong angrily shut the phone off. He stood up from his seat and loudly shouted out.

"Vice Minister!!! Tell the Vice Minister to come and see me!! Right now!" (Hah Dae-Seong)

The secretary waiting on the outside of the office let out a loud audible reply and hurriedly moved his a*s.

"I won’t die peacefully at this rate…." (Hah Dae-Seong)

Hah Dae-Seong plopped down on his seat. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it up.

He tried pretty hard not to smoke indoors, but he couldn’t help it, with what had transpired just now and all.

"Sure, it’s the most prosperous period in the history of South Korea, but…." (Hah Dae-Seong)

Ever since the founding of this nation…..

No, even when looking through the entire history, no other previous nation establis.h.i.+ng itself in the Korean peninsula would have enjoyed such an unprecedented power.

Just how satisfied did he feel whenever he answered all those very polite phone calls coming from the American diplomats?

"But then, why oh why….." (Hah Dae-Seong)

Hah Dae-Seong rubbed his eyes with his thick fingers.

And the wise old they said that ill fortune would always accompany the good omen….

Who would’ve thought that both the ill fortune and good omen just so happened to be in the shape of one man?

"Uh-whew……"

Hah Dae-Seong spat out a long sigh that embodied his sorry state.

And now, there was one more person in this world who had finally come to a realisation that being mixed up in Yi Ji-Hyuk’s matters would only make his life very, very arduous.

< 153.="" so,="" i="" shall="" allow="" a="" little="" bit="" of="" amus.e.m.e.nt="" -3=""> Fin.

The Returner Chapter 153

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The Returner Chapter 153 summary

You're reading The Returner Chapter 153. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: 라엘 already has 388 views.

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