The Returner Chapter 36
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While watching Ye-Won get dragged into the apartment, Yi Ji-Hyuk stretched his limbs, feeling rather refreshed for some reason.
What could this unexplainable sense of accomplishment be?
At least, he felt good to have a mom like that today. Seeing that feisty and confrontational Ye-Won, who always wanted a piece of him, become exactly like a rain-soaked hang dog and get dragged away really made his day.
Just as he was about to enter the building while whistling a happy tune, someone called out to him from behind.
"E, excuse me…"
"Mm?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Wondering what was up, Yi Ji-Hyuk turned around and found a blonde girl there.
Oh, that's right.
I thought Ye-Won was getting bullied because of this girl. (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Indeed, this girl was the victim that got pushed around by the hooligans earlier in the park.
"What's up?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The blondie hesitated for a bit, before trotting to where he was and bowed her head deeply.
"Thank you for your help earlier." (The mystery blonde girl)
'I helped her? Me?'
Well, from the blondie's perspective, it could have come across that way.
However, how could she thank me so easily like this? She must've heard that I am Ye-Won's oppa, so what's up? (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He couldn't be sure whether that was the case or not, but if it turned out that his little sister was indeed the leader of the hooligans bullying this child… Well, then. It wouldn't be too strange for this blondie to get angry at him while not-so-politely suggesting that he should do a better job of educating his siblings or some such.
However, seeing that she just thanked him outright, she must have been a possessor of a wonderfully kind heart.
She probably didn't even resist when they were abusing her and stuff.
"Why were you getting pushed around by them just now?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn't really need an answer from her as he could pretty much guess what happened, judging from the way the blondie was hesitating like that.
This girl didn't sport pure blonde locks like Ye-Won did; it was lighter shade than brown, and her skin was correspondingly pale too. Her nose was shaped quite attractively, and her height was also on the taller side, while her figure was rather slick and smooth…
In other words, she was a beauty.
Yi Ji-Hyuk found himself in admiration of a rare beauty standing in front of him.
But that was the extent of his emotions.
Why? He hated blondes.
And women with killer figures and pretty faces?
He hated them even more.
That was all because, whenever he saw such glamorous beauties with Western features, he was reminded of Berafe, that's why!
More importantly, without a doubt, almost every single one of those glamorous beauties with pretty faces and slick figures he met over there, were the personification of the Devil itself!!
They should all rot in hell for all he cared!!
"Ye-Won… she told me to dye my hair…" (The mystery blonde girl)
"Dye?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Yes… I transferred to her school last week, and she told me to change the colour…" (The mystery blonde girl)
So, what happened was…
Ye-Won was like, I'm also blonde, but this girl is also a blonde, and I can no longer stand out, so I gotta do something, is that right?
Or, maybe she got ticked off because, even though they are both blondes, the difference in the level of beauty between the two was too damn high to overcome?
Doesn't matter which one, Makjang is a Makjang, through and through.
Looks like I really need to punish her properly one of these days now, huh. (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL: If you're familiar with Kdramas, then you should know what "Makjang" is by now…)
It seemed that there was a definite need to re-educate his sister before she strayed any further than this. If he didn't, then his once-kind Ye-Won would never be able to revert back to how she was like before.
If he persuaded mom nicely, wouldn't she hand over all of that girl's educational responsibilities to him?
As soon as he extracted mom's permission, then he would pour all his being and properly carve the meaning of righteousness into her flesh and bone, thereby completely transforming her for the better!!
"Really now, why did you dye your hair blonde when you're still a high school student? If you continue down on this path, you might end up as a delinquent just like that girl!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"But… I didn't dye my hair." (The mystery blonde girl)
"Mm?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"I, I'm naturally blonde…"
What the hell. You're saying that bling-bling blonde locks are natural? Hey, am I back in Berafe? (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"You a mixed?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk made a "Oh, shoot!" face and gently grasped the girl's shoulder.
"I'm sorry." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Wasn't it uncool to openly say the word 'mixed' in front of a person of mixed race?
No, wait, since she was a beauty, wouldn't it be fine to say she's a mixed, since that was the cause?
"My idiotic sister really inconvenienced you, didn't she? I will do my utmost best to cleanse that rotten brain of hers, so please, you should never hang around her, okay?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The blonde girl stared at him with dumbfounded eyes.
"If you do, you might end up as a delinquent just like Ye-Won. Remember, you need to be careful when choosing your friends in the future, got it?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
While speaking like thus, he wondered about the whereabouts of his own friends.
They were all good… no, they were all close friends. But now…
Yi Ji-Hyuk quickly threw away the useless thoughts and waved his hand at the girl.
"Okay, I'm going home now. You should, too. Be careful on your way back, okay?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Ah, but I haven't even showed you my gratitude yet…" (The mystery girl)
"I'm the oppa of the harasser, so no need for that, you know? I should be the one to apologise, instead. Oh, and if those kids try to harass you again in the future, you just mention my name to Chang-Sik and tell them I'll sort them out real sharpish. That should sober them up real quickly." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"O, oppa's name is…?" (The mystery girl)
"It's Yi Ji-Hyuk."
"I'm Kim Dah-Som."
Huh, Dah-Som, eh… (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Since she was of a mixed heritage, he kinda expected her name to be something like Angela Kim or Kasadian Lee, but that openly and proudly Korean name trampled on his expectations a bit.
"Mm, sure, I got it. Be careful on your way, now." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk headed towards the foyer of the building, before abruptly turning around to face her again.
"And also!!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The startled Kim Dah-Som stared at him with round eyes.
"Put some strength in your back and straighten it. Raise your head when you speak. Put some back into it! Be confident of yourself, that's what I'm trying to say!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Kim Dah-Som became puzzled at what Yi Ji-Hyuk was saying out of the blue.
"No matter whether you're a human or an animal, weak-looking things always get pushed around. In other words, if you don't want to be bullied, then at least, stop looking like a pushover, got that? If you remain hesitant and introverted like right now, bullies will try to harass you just to see what's up with you." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Y, yes, I understand." (Kim Dah-Som)
"Very good!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk then hurriedly ran inside the building.
Kim Dah-Som stared at that sight for a while, before letting out a low sigh.
What a strange night it had been.
Yi Ji-Hyuk's dad, Yi Chul-Joong was feeling mighty fine today.
A tune automatically broke out from his lips. It felt like every problem he ever faced was getting resolved so, so easily nowadays.
His missing son returned home, unharmed. Very good.
Although he was suffering from some type of amnesia, who cared about something so minor, as long as he was physically fine?
Also, the wifey's restaurant was steadily turning profit and helped out with the family's finances. His little girl was also just the cutest thing in the whole world to him, as well.
Sure, she had become a bit feisty and temperamental of late, but that was the angsty teenager phase for you.
On top of this, he was hearing about a rumour, the one that talked about him moving up the career ladder quite soon.
He was getting ever so slightly anxious because his age was nearly getting there, but hah, just as he expected!!
So, it was only par for the course that every day felt like a great day to him.
Well, if his tiger-like wifey could just tone down a bit and become a little more intimate, then he'd have nothing more to ask for. But then again, perhaps he was asking for a bit too much there, so he gave up on that one.
"What a great morning." (Yi Chul-Joong)
Yi Chul-Joong stepped into his office floor while whistling, only for his expression to turn into one of befuddlement.
"What's going on?" (Yi Chul-Joong)
His colleagues were glaring at him, for some weird reason.
And when Yi Chul-Joong found his desk disarranged, a stronger sense of bafflement washed over him.
It was then, he found a couple of men approaching him.
"Manager Yi Chul-Joong."
"Mm? You guys are…?" (Yi Chul-Joong)
"We are from the Audit Bureau."
Right away, Yi Chul-Joong's face froze up like a stone statue.
"Accompany us, please."
Yi Chul-Joong's briefcase fell to the floor powerlessly.
Completely unaware that hidden schemes and sharp blades were approaching him from all corners, Yi Ji-Hyuk spent every day in the pits of gaming bliss.
"Don't you ever get tired of playing the same thing over and over again?" (Ye-Won)
Checking out his sorry state while playing the game from outside his room, Ye-Won decided to take the opportunity to annoy him.
Since that evening, when she finally became the unwilling participant of mom's iron-fisted punishment, Ye-Won tried her darndest to annoy the hell out of him at every chance she came across.
"Shoo." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn't even bother to look at her as he shooed her away from his room.
"Can't you even look at the person you're speaking to?"
"Shoo, shoo. Be gone." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Why don't you stop before I break your wrist?"
"I'm going to scold you, so you should…" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Hmm? That was a different voice, though?
Yi Ji-Hyuk slowly turned his head.
And he saw his smiling mom by the doorway.
"Hehehe, mom. It was you?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"That's right, it's your mother. And you were shooing your mother away?" (mom)
"Eii, I didn't know it was you." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Ohh, so you were too absorbed in your game to even recognise your own parents. Is that right?" (mom)
"Eii, you sound like you're from the MOGEF, mom." (Yi Ji-Hyuk) (TL: MOGEF = Ministry of Gender Equality and Family)
With a bright smile, Yi Ji-Hyuk continued.
"Oh, that's right, mom!! A great timing, mom. There's something I'd like to talk to you about. Can you give me some money?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In the beginning, his parents gave him pocket money and said something about a man's wallet needing to be secure and stuff.
But that was then.
No matter how much wealth overflowed in the family, no one in their right minds would invest a single dime on a parasite that only knew to play at home and nothing else.
As far as fulfilling the duties of the parents were concerned, giving him something to eat, providing a roof over his head and letting him use electricity were more than enough.
If Yi Ji-Hyuk wished for more, than obviously he was a man without morals.
"And why would you need money?" (mom)
Was he trying to buy more snacks? Was that it?
Even though she was making a retort, madam Park Seon-Duk's hand was already sliding into her handbag. He was the kind of a son that made her feel so aggrieved just from watching him and hearing him talk from the sidelines, but regardless, he was still her child, and it wouldn't do to see him starve.
"I want to buy a skin." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"You want to buy skin??" (mom)
Did he want to buy cosmetics?
Of course, Park Seon-Duk tilted her head in confusion.
"Take a look at this, mom!!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When her line of sight followed Yi Ji-Hyuk's pointing fingers, she saw a some type of game character showing off a crappy pose inside the computer screen.
"Look, if I change the skin like this…" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When he clicked on a button, the said character on screen changed its 'clothing'.
"Isn't that so cool?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Ohh, so this is a 'skin' you were talking about." (mom)
"Ng! Please buy me this!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"How much is it?" (mom)
"It's not much. Around 10,000 Won?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"So, let me understand this correctly…" (mom)
Mom slowly pulled out her hand from handbag and placed it on top of Yi Ji-Hyuk's head.
"You do nothing but play games at home, eat, and sleep… But now, you need money so you can play a doll dressing-up game like a little girl? Is that what you are telling me?" (mom)
"Mom, this is completely different from a doll dressing up thing, you know?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"And how is it different?" (mom)
Yi Ji-Hyuk thought for a bit before answering her.
"Argh, it is really different, you know! I'm not lying! But, I, uh, I can't explain it to you properly…" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Shut it, you fool!! I can see it with my own eyes, dumba*s!!" (mom)
Mom's palm smash descended on Yi Ji-Hyuk's unguarded back.
Yi Ji-Hyuk desperately evaded her attacks and shouted out.
"No! Wait, mom!! This is too violent!!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"It's all because of you!! You!!" (mom)
"But, but, it doesn't feel like that, though?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"You and your big mouth!!" (mom)
From the side, Ye-Won provided support fire.
"Mom, mom. That guy, I saw him spill Cola on the floor, but he didn't even use a mop to wipe it properly and used a couple of tissues, instead!! It's true!" (Ye-Won)
That rotten b*tch!!
Even if they weren't bosom buddies, she shouldn't try to attack him from the blindspot at least!
She's going to get punished by the heavens at this rate!
"Who the hell is 'that guy', now? Didn't I tell you to address your oppa properly?!" (mom)
Sure enough, in came the punishment from the heavens.
Yi Ye-Won quickly fled from the danger zone like a scalded cat.
'I'm not gonna live for long at this rate…' (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk began to think about his options quite seriously.
When he came back, he got pretty laid back and enjoyed his stay at home like there's no tomorrow. But now, what with him getting completely acclimatised to the life this side, he was starting to crave the sense of freedom once more.
Plus, not to forget, Yi Ji-Hyuk lived like an emperor towards the end of Berafe's existence, too!
He didn't have to do anything - he just had to lie down and open his mouth for the food to be delivered, and for the drinks to be served without question.
And now, having enjoyed such a luxurious lifestyle back then, only to live under the constant fear of back smashing, he began to find this situation not to his liking at all.
If he wanted to leave home, he needed money.
And in order to get money, he had to get a job.
He had to work!
There was no way he'd work another day in his life. No, he never wanted to work ever again. Heck, he just wanted to live at least for a whole year without worrying about working!
"Mom!!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk got ready to fight back.
"And what is it now, my son?" (mom)
"I accept the fact that I do nothing but play video games all day, okay!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Oh, so you accept it now." (mom)
"But, mom. This son of yours had to go through so much suffering and hardship during the past five years. Isn't it fine to just let me fool around like this for the time being? Is it really too much of a sin to ask for one year of thinking and worrying about nothing and rest my weary soul?"
Sure enough, Yi Ji-Hyuk's fightback was strong.
He was certain of his attacks landing on mom's weak spots.
However, mom's armour was harder than diamond.
"You, didn't you say you can't remember what happened during those five years?" (mom)
Oh, I did say that before, didn't I? (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"So, why are you even talking about hardship?! You can't even remember it!" (mom)
"N, no, hang on… I mean, I must have, you know, went through hardship, like, circumstances were… You know, I must have…" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"You see, when you lose your memories after resting nicely for a year, then it's like all that playing around was in vain. So, it's time you stop 'resting' now, son." (mom)
Her words certainly possessed persuasive power.
There was no room to argue.
Yi Ji-Hyuk was nodding his head in agreement already.
"You could be right, mom." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Well, will you find a job now, son?" (mom)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned refreshingly.
"There's no way I'd do that." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
As if she had already expected such an answer, mom let out a long groan. But then, just as she was about to launch into another bout of incessant nagging…
The doorbell buzzed.
< 36.="" you="" don't="" trust="" your="" son="" that="" much?="" -1=""> Fin
The Returner Chapter 36
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The Returner Chapter 36 summary
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