His Descent (5)
The rainbow of lights from various neon signs brightly illuminated the streets at night and chased the darkness away.
“Heh, this isn't so bad.” Choi Yeong-Su chuckled while taking in the sight of the brightly-lit street.
“You look excited about something, dude.” Lee Min-Sik, the self-proclaimed right hand of Choi Yeong-Su, replied to his 'boss.’
“I don't have to go to school tomorrow, after all.
Which means I can mess around for the whole night right now.”
“Huh What about us, then”
Choi Yeong-Su grinned mockingly.
"Heh, why don't you scoot home first if you're worried about tomorrow"
It's gonna be a party, so we can't ruin the fun by not being there for you."
"At least you know." Choi Yeong-Su cackled before straightening his back.
"Urgh. That little twat trying to act tough really pissed me off, but this is already making me feel better!"
“Ah, that's right.
What happened to that bastard” Lee Min-Sik asked.
Choi Yeong-Su smirked.
“Did he come to school yet”
“No, he's still serving his suspension, I think”
It ain't gonna end with a simple suspension.
I'll show you how to ruin some punk's life for good.
So, get your popcorn ready.”
Lee Min-Sik quickly kissed Choi Yeong-Su's butt.
“Haaah. He dared to provoke you, so no freaking way he'll get away scot-free.
Am I right”
I'm telling you, he blindsided me back then.
That's all! You know that I can easily beat the living sh*t out of him."
“But that ain't gonna be enough for me.
Gimme a month, and I'll show you that pathetic bastard groveling before me.”
“Since the one and only Choi Yeong-Su said so, which means it'll happen for real then!” Lee Min-Sik gleefully exclaimed.
“At least you know, you dummy. Anyway. Since I'm in the mood, let's just head to that nightclub.”
Choi Yeong-Su and his goons stepped inside a dimly-lit alleyway.
Openly entering through the club's front door always felt good, but the ID inspections had gotten more thorough lately, leaving these teenagers with no choice but to use the backdoor.
One of the employees was already in their pocket, so he should open the door for them with just a call.
Choi Yeong-Su glanced at Lee Min-Sik.
"Did you call our guy"
“Yup, did that before we got here.
You know I'm the expert at figuring out your mood, right Anyway, our guy will open the door when we text him.”
“Yup, you sure know me well, Min-Sik.”
Choi Yeong-Su tilted his head and looked around.
“By the way, where did Hyeon-Seung disappear to”
"Huh He was right here only a second ago Did he go to the bathroom or something"
"Urgh, that idiot.
Where did he go Call him on the phone, will ya"
Lee Min-Sik took out his phone and called the other goon, Go Hyeon-Seung.
But he got a computerized voice saying the phone number was currently unavailable.
"What's this It says his phone's off."
“What the hell! F*cking spoiling my mood again.
Did he get lost while we were coming here”
"No, that can't be.
That idiot was definitely with us, so...
Where the hell did he disappear to Hang on, Yeong-Su.
Imma go and check over there." Lee Min-Sik urgently ran outside the alleyway.
"Eiii, f*cking hell." Choi Yeong-Su grunted and mouthed a cigarette.
His mood was getting better, only for Go Hyeon-Seung to piss him off once more.
"Nightclub or whatever...
F*ck, should I just call up some girls and have fun with them instead"
The girls he 'knew' were no longer interested in him, but they were still convenient distractions nevertheless.
Just a phone call from him, and plenty of willing girls should come running even at this late hour.
"Go Hyeon-Seung, you son of a b*tch! Just where did you even..." Choi Yeong-Su scanned his surroundings while muttering.
The alleyway was nestled between tall buildings and never received much outside light, to begin with.
Its sneaky location between the buildings meant that it was out of sight from the main street, making it perfect for a quick getaway if cops showed up for ID inspections.
Choi Yeong-Su frequented these alleyways even before he was a high schooler.
But now… For some reason, this familiar alleyway came across as rather sinister tonight.
"Geez, what a sh*tty night..." Choi Yeong-Su groaned, then tossed the cigarette on the ground.
While stubbing it out, he pulled out his phone to make a call.
"What the hell" He was calling Lee Min-Sik's phone, but his expression crumpled at what he heard next.
- My phone's off right now, so leave a message after the usual, okay
“Argh, what the hell is the matter with those two!” Choi Yeong-Su exploded in irritation while stabbing the 'End Call' icon on the screen.
Afterward, he shoved the phone into his pocket.
Why did the one searching for a missing idiot switch his phone off Choi Yeong-Su growled, "I'm gonna kill them both when they show up..."
He briefly wondered if he should also try searching for the two missing idiots, but gave up after thinking that they might miss each other.
All he could do for now was shove his hands inside his pockets and angrily kick the ground.
His nerves were getting pricked by the odor of cigarettes wafting from somewhere, too.
Wondering where that smell was coming from, Choi Yeong-Su glanced at his own cigarette on the ground, but he had already stubbed it out.
In that case... what was up with this acrid smell coming from so close by
"Urgh, what the hell" Choi Yeong-Su turned his head.
Finally, he noticed a shadow looming over him.
Choi Yeong-Su jumped up in surprise and stumbled back, only to trip over a jutting piece of rock and crash ungainly to the ground.
"Ouch!" Choi Yeong-Su cried out but still quickly raised his head to look at the owner of the shadow.
He could see the pitch-black figure of a person standing between the extending shadows of the buildings and a single lick of ember burned brightly within the darkness.
'Is that a cigarette'
Sounds of trudging footsteps softly echoed in the alleyway as the pitch-black figure slowly emerged from the shadows, revealing a familiar face.
“Y-you...! Kang Jin-Ho, you son of a b*tch!” Choi Yeong-Su roared, but his scared eyes had to do a double—no—a triple take at the man walking up to him.
He was definitely Kang Jin-Ho.
No matter how you tried to describe him, he was Kang Jin-Ho, but... Something about him was not quite right.
He looked exactly like Kang Jin-Ho from Choi Yeong-Su's memories, but something about him felt different.
It was as if this man only had the same face as that Kang Jin-Ho and nothing else.
Why did Choi Yeong-Su feel this way even though he saw Kang Jin-Ho only a few days ago Was it because of the darkness of this alleyway Or...
Kang Jin-Ho deeply sucked in the cigarette smoke and held it in for a second or two before slowly exhaling it.
Then, he finally opened his mouth.
"I finally remembered why I used to smoke."
“It's thanks to you.”
That low, cold voice dug sharply into Choi Yeong-Su's hearing.
The boy began shuddering as if he was inside a freezer.
Did you really come for revenge"
"You crazy son of a b*tch! Don't you know what will happen to you if you touch even a hair on me! After everything you went through, you still haven't come to your senses, ah! I'm gonna finish you off for good, pal!" Choi Yeong-Su tried to sound haughty, but his voice was pitifully trembling.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly shook his head.
“W-what am I wrong about!”
“It's not that I still don't know...
You helped me remember it again, after all.”
"Thank you for making me realize that I have to stay 'me' to live an ordinary life."
Choi Yeong-Su shuddered again.
“What bullsh*t are you trying to spew now”
A chilling grin formed on Kang Jin-Ho's lips.
This smile obscured in darkness was like a cold dagger stabbing into Choi Yeong-Su's eyes.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly walked closer to Choi Yeong-Su, one deliberate step at a time, and muttered, “I wonder, what have you done wrong”
“W-what was that, you f*ck! I, I haven't done anything wrong!” Choi Yeong-Su somehow managed to stand back up despite stumbling about ungainly.
He raised his clenched fist and got ready to defend himself, only to realize how badly his arms were shaking.
'W-why am I shaking so much!'
An unfamiliar feeling Choi Yeong-Su had never sensed before traveled throughout his entire body, causing his heart to pound away madly.
Kang Jin-Ho chuckled derisively.
“You haven't done anything”
Choi Yeong-Su clenched his fists even tighter as his opponent gradually got closer.
'He blindsided me back then, but now...!'
He felt confident about winning against anyone in a proper fight.
He was none other than Choi Yeong-Su, after all!
“Hah!” Choi Yeong-Su roared and threw an almighty haymaker at Kang Jin-Ho's face.
His fist accurately slammed into Kang Jin-Ho's cheek, producing a dull noise.
Choi Yeong-Su almost cried out in elation when his fist connected.
'Take a good look! I am not a weakling.
I was merely flustered back then!'
Unfortunately for him, though, the only sound his mouth could make was a scream, not a joyous cry.
Choi Yeong-Su rolled around on the ground while pitifully holding his hand.
It hurt like crazy as if he struck a slab of concrete with his bare fist.
G-goddamn it! F*ck...!" Choi Yeong-Su spat out curses and moans.
Kang Jin-Ho leisurely walked up and crouched near Choi Yeong-Su's head.
“I want you to think carefully about it.”
“You...! I will never let this go, you hear me!” Choi Yeong-Su roared in anger, but that only rewarded him with Kang Jin-Ho's hand grabbing his face.
Kang Jin-Ho's eyes burned fiercely like a predator about to pounce on its prey.
Choi Yeong-Su, who was on the receiving end of that bone-chilling glare, felt this illogical sensation of his throat getting ripped apart.
Choi Yeong-Su realized that fear was taking over every fiber of his being. '
what the f*ck is he!'
The 'Kang Jin-Ho' of a few days ago already felt somewhat different from the one Choi Yeong-Su remembered.
The difference back then was somewhat noticeable, but this time! This 'Kang Jin-Ho' had to be a completely different person from the one a few days ago.
And it was not even a 'good' difference, either.
It was as if this Kang Jin-Ho wasn't even human! A human being… A human being couldn't be like this.
Where on God's green Earth would you find a human being capable of making you shiver so pitifully with just a glare
Kang Jin-Ho softly asked, “You still don't get it”
“Kkeuh...!” Choi Yeong-Su wanted to scream at the extreme pain shooting up from his right hand, but for some weird reason, not much sound came out of his mouth.
His body even stopped listening to his brain's commands.
The 'fear' exceeding the limits of pain was driving him crazy.
is this a dream Am I dreaming or something'
The pain shooting up from his right arm was murderous.
In that case, why couldn't he scream like normal Trying so hard to scream only got him a sore throat with no sound, which made everything so much worse and… so much more terrifying.
Kang Jin-Ho grinned coldly.
Think about it one more time.”
“...!” Choi Yeong-Su tried to say something, but his lips didn't want to listen to him.
“Still don't get it, huh”
This time, it was the left hand.
Choi Yeong-Su began spasming like he was suffering from a stroke. His eyes turned bloodshot like he had become a madman.
And just like a second ago, no sound came out of his mouth.
Kang Jin-Ho quietly growled, “Think.
If you can't figure it out, then... It's not going to end.”
Choi Yeong-Su desperately racked his brain.
He needed to answer.
He must answer!
Choi Yeong-Su gave his everything to open his mouth.
But what could he possibly say when his vocal pressure point had been sealed already
“I can't hear you.”
It was now the right leg.
Choi Yeong-Su's arms shot up in shock.
Pain beyond description drove him utterly crazy inside.
He flailed about like a drowning man.
Kang Jin-Ho stared at Choi Yeong-Su before whispering softly, “Do you wish to speak”
Choi Yeong-Su desperately nodded.
His face had long become a mess of tears and snot.
“Do you want me to stop”
Choi Yeong-Su nodded hard enough to snap his head off.
Did you stop when Park Yu-Min begged you to stop”
I won't hurt you more than what you've already done.
Try to remember everything you've done.
Then, you'll get a good idea of what I'm going to do to you." A chilling grin formed on Kang Jin-Ho's face again.
“I can't hear you!”
Choi Yeong-Su trembled on the ground like a wet dog.
But Kang Jin-Ho was still unfazed by this sight, his words remained calm and relaxed.
“What was that”
Choi Yeong-Su wanted to bite his tongue if he could.
Dying felt like a better option than being subjected to this indescribable pain.
But he just couldn't move any muscle around his mouth no matter how hard he tried.
“You still can't figure it out”
Choi Yeong-Su looked up and silently pleaded with Kang Jin-Ho.
He couldn't speak nor move his body, but… The light in his eyes should still reach his tormentor.
“I guess I should stop messing around, then.
Now, speak.” Kang Jin-Ho finally unsealed Choi Yeong-Su's vocal pressure point.
The latter, still trembling pitifully, reached out with his faltering hand at Kang Jin-Ho.
"I'm not going to kill you.
That will be letting you off the hook too easily.
What have you done wrong What was your mistake"
I'm so sorry...”
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“That's not what I wanted to hear…”
“Listen well.” Kang Jin-Ho leaned in closer.
“Your mistake was provoking me.”
Choi Yeong-Su hurriedly nodded.
"But that's fine, I was thinking of letting most of the crap slide, you see.
I tried to be more understanding even if you had gotten on my nerves since this isn't the world I used to live in."
Choi Yeong-Su continued to nod, even though he couldn't understand what Kang Jin-Ho had said just now.
His instincts told him to keep nodding away, so that was what he did.
“But then, you went ahead and did something unforgivable.” Kang Jin-Ho's eyes grew so much colder and murderous as he glared at Choi Yeong-Su.