Part 2: Transport Hunter
It took 40 minutes for Jiwoo to get ready and arrive at the convenience store. Seongmin gave him a warm welcome before asking about his Hunter life. Although he looked eager to hear more from Jiwoo, after glancing at his watch, he asked if it was okay to leave a little early.
“Yes, go ahead.”
Jiwoo didn’t ask about his situation. He had always thought how nice it would’ve been if people didn’t pry into his business and let him quietly take his leave when he had something come up. At one point, Jiwoo wished people wouldn’t ask why he needed to step away so he didn’t have to explain every single thing that happened. He didn’t do what he wouldn’t want done to him.
Jiwoo made a few mistakes at the start, but he soon returned to his former adept part-timer self. Like Seongmin had said, it hasn’t been that long since he was last here. Yet a lot has happened and changed during that time. And of all people, a specific somebody completely oblivious to those changes opened the door and entered the convenience store.
It was Kim In-Ah¹. The man who followed after her appeared to be in his mid-30s. She looked surprised.
Jiwoo was seeing her for the first time in a while, but he didn’t particularly feel anything. There wasn’t a trace of resentment from him either. His emotions were similar to what one might feel when seeing an ant pass by with breadcrumbs on its back; he simply acknowledged it was diligently living its life too.
“Oh wow, is that you Jiwoo Oppa²?” She said as she approached him. The man showed interest in Jiwoo and followed her.
“Do you know him?” The man asked.
“Yes, he’s an oppa I know. Jiwoo oppa, you work here? Why? Didn’t you work for a nice company?”
“Is she talking about Lims?” Jiwoo stared at her, wondering what she was referring to.
He realized then In-Ah didn’t know about him yet. Then again, Jiwoo did tell a select few people about his becoming a Hunter. Despite the reports about him in the news, it only mentioned a 26-year-old man whose Hunter tattoo manifested. Neither his face nor his personal information was released. Hence, if people had not been in constant contact with Jiwoo, they wouldn’t know the man in the news was him.
Jiwoo internally thought this would be fun.
“I never expected I’d run into you here. Oppa, this here is…” In-Ah took the liberty of introducing the man next to her.
“You heard of ‘All That Tools Korea,’ right? They manufacture Hunter equipment and weapons. My oppa works as a supervisor for All That Tools Korea. These days, it’s the top company college students aim to get into.”
“It’s not the top, it’s 6th place. Body firm is number 1.” The man stated. While In-Ah was yapping away, the so-called “Supervisor of All That Tools Korea” seemed embarrassed, but basked in the situation.
“I’m Lee Hyunsuk.” He gave his name as he took out his business card.
“What’s the point of giving him your namecard? A part-timer at a convenience store has no business whatsoever with the supervisor of All That Tools Korea.”
It was obvious from her tone that she was boasting about Hyunsuk while showing Jiwoo disdain. Otherwise, there was no reason for her to keep repeating that really unnecessarily long title. Jiwoo smirked since it was funny then took the business card.
“I’m accepting this because he gave it to me, but I’m not sure who you confused me with. I’ve never seen you before in my life.” Jiwoo said while looking at In-Ah directly, his expression unchanged.
Her face twitched at the unexpected response.
“What? Babe, did you pretend to know the wrong person?”
Hyunsuk flippantly laughed and teased her, which made her face turn bright red.
“What are you talking about? You don’t know me?” In-Ah raised her voice.
“Who might you be? Do you know me? Where have we met? What did we do together?” When Jiwoo asked again, the flush of red spread more.
“We must have something in common together since you claim to know me. Maybe we went to the same school together. Or we exercised together, though I don’t think that’s the case. But no matter how much I think about it, I can’t remember you. What did we do together?” Jiwoo said, looking straight into her face.
“Together” is widely known to contain a hidden meaning, which implies a relationship.
“Babe, stop it. You must’ve been mistaken. Didn’t you say you needed something? Let’s buy it and go already.” Hyunsuk tried to pacify In-Ah, but she shot forward to the counter and leaned in.
“You really don’t know me? Never seen me once before?” She yelled right in front of him.
“Oh yeah! Wait, are you her? The one in high school who tried to peek into my classroom from the hallway? The one who would stalk me to my cram school too?” Jiwoo spoke casually, which in turn made In-Ah lose it.
“What kind of bullshit?”
“In-Ah, stop. You’re only making yourself look worse.”
In-Ah should’ve listened when Hyunsuk said so, but she persisted until the end.
“I know you’ll recall if you think some more. Look at me. You should remember?”
“I mean, I wasn’t going to say this because there was someone beside you. But I do know someone who looks a lot like you. At first, I thought you were her. But she’s not in Korea.”
In-Ah crossed her arms and stared at him as if she was about to say something.
“Still, you’re not her. Though it is strange to call this a coincidence. I dreamed about her last night. She has good technique for her age, so she was great at that. I wanted to do her3 again, so imagine my surprise when someone who looks exactly like her walks in.” Jiwoo said everything he wanted to say and watched as In-Ah’s face contorted. Her pupils rolled around like a lost billiard ball. The smile vanished from Lee Hyunsuk’s face.
“Ah, that’s right. I remember you now!” The moment Jiwoo admitted it, In-Ah turned pale.
“Are you… Kim In-Ah? It’s you, right?
When her name left Jiwoo’s lips, her shoulder shot up then sank at once. It was here Hyunsuk’s expression hardened.
“Do you actually know her?” Hyunsuk asked.
“Yes. She and I don’t have a normal relationship.”
Jiwoo was calm and composed whereas In-Ah was swaying back and forth.
“Really? How do you know her?” Hyunsuk asked as he looked at In-Ah’s face closely.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations.”
He conveyed with his eyes, “A lot of body talk.”
“Still, you managed to remember me. Your oppa here thought you’ve completely forgotten about me. But you must have misunderstood something. Did you think I was easy? You believed I was a kind and hopeless idiot? It seems you were under the impression that I wasn’t the type to retaliate if you mess with me.” Jiwoo kept on going so In-Ah grabbed Hyunsuk’s arm with a trembling hand.
“Let’s go, oppa. I was wrong. I don’t know him.”
“What do you mean you don’t know him? He clearly knows who you are. What’s wrong, why’re you shaking like this? What’s this person talking about? Huh?”
Now, Hyunsuk was interrogating her. After glancing at Jiwoo, he went to the daily necessities section and brought over a few items.
“I didn’t think positively of customers disturbing another person’s business by fighting amongst themselves, but seeing us now, we’re doing exactly that. I’ll take these.”
Jiwoo nodded and calculated the total. Hyunsuk watched In-Ah quivering her lips. Once Jiwoo finished checking out the items, Hyunsuk left first as if to say he was done here and didn’t need to hear any more. Surprised by his sudden departure, In-Ah followed after him. Since she left the door open, Jiwoo went to close it.
“I told you, he’s working there because he caused trouble for his company and got fired. He has an inferiority complex. He’s talking out of his ass because he knows you work at a good company and earn a good salary. Can’t you tell just by looking at him? It’s because he looks the way he does that he got scammed by his own co-worker. He’s been tricked the most. He’s still trying to repay his debts.” Jiwoo heard In-Ah say as she ran towards Hyunsuk.
“Excuse me, wait please.” Jiwoo loudly called out to the other man who was near his parked car. Hyunsuk turned around to face him.
“I was going to remain silent because I felt sorry for the woman, but if I do, your life will turn into shit in a flash so I feel like I have no choice but to tell you.”
In-Ah’s expression contorted when she saw Jiwoo. It was the look which implied she didn’t expect him to follow them. Unable to do anything, In-Ah just stamped her feet on the spot. She was panicking, unsure as to what Jiwoo would say. She regretted messing with Jiwoo, but now it was too late.
“Yes, everything she said was right. I met with her for five months and didn’t break up because I liked doing her. She’s good at it. You don’t know? She won’t let you easily do her at first. Right? Maybe you haven’t tried yet. Make sure you do. You got caught by this weasel, the least you could do is have some fun. I’m sure she squeezed a lot of money out of you.”
In-Ah turned white as a sheet.
“Interesting. Why don’t you finish that story?” Hyunsuk responded.
Jiwoo didn’t feel any sympathy for In-Ah. If he shut his mouth, Hyunsuk’s life would be ruined, and if he opened his mouth, In-Ah’s life would be ruined. That said, there was no reason for him to concern himself with her life. So wouldn’t it be better to rescue the victim instead?
“I bet she tells others the same thing in the beginning, ‘I really like you a lot, I think you’re special, and I hope we’re together for a long long time. That’s why, I don’t want you treating me like a pushover. I want you to think of me as special just as I do of you. So. I’ll sleep with you when the time comes, but let’s do it when we’re sure about each other and we really love one another. You can wait, can’t you?’ Didn’t she say that?”
“By the way, when did you two meet?”
“It’s been five months.”
Hyunsuk removed the cigarette, which was suddenly in his mouth and answered Jiwoo’s question immediately. He was pretty focused on what Jiwoo was saying.
“Really? She was definitely two-timing. It’s been a while since we broke up, but the times do overlap.”
“Oppa, you don’t believe him, do you?”
“Please continue.” Hyunsuk said to Jiwoo, completely ignoring In-Ah.
¹ Kim In-Ah was Jiwoo’s ex. Refer to the early chapters.
² Oppa: Instead of calling by their names, females will use this title instead to call their older brother, male friends older than them, or their boyfriends. It can be used casually, endearingly, flirtatiously, or sarcastically.
3 In Korean, it’s called pounding the rice cake. Jiwoo was saying she’s good at sex.
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