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The woman put more pressure on Joonbum as he requested. She turned on a fan as the temperature rose.
Joonbum woke up as she slapped down on his butt, asking him to turn.
‘When did I fall asleep?’
After finishing off with a cold shower, Joonbum came out of the store after checking to see if Sungjae was sound asleep. He felt a sudden empty feeling, which he never experienced before when he visited this place.
‘It wasn’t bad but…’
There was nothing lacking, but Joonbum couldn’t help but feel something was missing and he knew exactly why.
‘You always feel the emptiness once it’s gone.’
Galfus’ departure had left a big hole in his heart. He felt apologetic to Sungjae, as today’s hang out was to ease his feelings rather than to encourage Sungjae on his struggles with his exam. But even under the influence of alcohol or a visit for his pleasure, it did not help as it only made him feel more emptiness overwhelming him.
Joonbum opened up a small water bottle he received from the shop and drank.
“Oh? Who do we have here? Long time no see, you prick.”
An unwelcoming voice was heard as soon as Joonbum spat a curse to himself. He turned to the voice.
‘What kind of cliché is this?’
“Did you just say ‘bastard’ to me?”
Joonbum frowned. Jinpok eyed him for a second, then let out a long sigh and glared at Joonbum.
“Bastard huh? You just said that right? You called ME a bastard? Are you f-ing out of your mind? To me? You really grew some balls! Have you lost your mind?”
Jinpok exploded at Joonbum. His face reddened as if it was a bomb ready to blow. A built man shouting curses was an intimidating sight, to say the least.
“Hey, is that a fight?”
“A gangster fight!”
Jinpok’s shouting grew wilder as he felt the attention of the people around him.
“You ungrateful b*tch, as if it wasn’t enough ignoring me! You think I’m some nobody? Huh?”
Jinpok grabbed Joonbum by his collar and started threatening him.
“Jinpok, I didn’t know you were there. I was thinking of something else. It’s a misunderstanding.”
Joonbum thought it was such a loser-ish excuse and frowned unknowingly.
‘Hah, he’s giving in! Just a bit more then.’
Jinpok thought of Joonbum’s excuse and his facial expression.
Joonbum was elusive these days as his popularity grew. Nobody was able to get into contact with him, and there was a line of female streamers wanting to do a joint broadcast with him. Jinpok utilized this by using his past acquaintance with Joonbum, claiming he could contact Joonbum whenever he wanted, but it soon caused a backlash as he could not keep his word.
[You’re all but talk.]
[I’m disappointed in you.]
[Huh? Oh… I don’t have time right now. Sorry, maybe later.]
People started avoiding him as they realized he had lied. Jinpok pulled up his sleeves to find Joonbum himself as he had lost all credibility. But even that wasn’t as easy as he thought. Unlike in the past, he could not simply throw a punch without avoiding doing time in prison. In the end, all he could do was a drinking broadcast to show off as always.
[HEY Jinpok, the pig is up!]
[Someone saw him drinking!]
[You wanna know where?]
[I don’t think he’s going. He’s just a show-off now.]
[Physical therapist my ass! You’re nothing against the real Russian mafia.]
[I thought you were going to catch Joonbum? No?]
Jinpok didn’t want to go. He was going to let it pass, pretending he was drunk, but his viewers increased as the news of Joonbum appearing spread quickly.
‘I’ll just pretend to look for him.’
Jinpok declared to his viewers that he would find him. It fired up the viewers.
[Hell yeah! Let’s find that pig!]
[He is getting too cocky these days. Get him!]
[Time for some pig hunting! Let’s go hunting, Jinpok!]
The responses exploded and Jinpok grew pompous. He followed witnesses’ reports and searched around. Reports surged as he searched with no success, however, Jinpok felt relief at that.
‘That fool is so unfortunate.’
That was his first thought as he saw back of the man. His viewers exploded with excitement. He heard a word coming out from Joonbum as he closed in.
‘This is my chance.’
Jinpok’s mind raced with thoughts as he pretended to misunderstand, threatening Joonbum.
“Misunderstanding my ass! You think I don’t know what you said? I heard you right. You ignored me because you’re big now after all I did for you? I raised you! This is why you should shut up you fatherless bastard, you mother f-”
“Get off me!”
Jinpok stepped back as Joonbum violently shook off Jinpok’s grab.
“You didn’t do a thing for me. Who raised who? You are not my mother, you bastard!”
“Wh- what? Are you mad?”
Jinpok was confused at the unexpectedly strong resistance.
‘What’s going on with him?”
Joonbum was never more than a big, soft, and weak man. But Jinpok realized something was different right away as Joonbum shouted back at him.
‘Am I scared of him?’
Joonbum’s hostile action and his fierce attitude were unsettling.
“You were the one who ignored me as soon as you were done using me. I know you used me on your broadcast to make a fool out of me. Do you want to see that video again? Show it to your viewers and let them figure it out. You used me at every opportunity and you never looked out for me. I know you considered me a loser. Am I wrong?”
“Wh-what, you. Your ugly face was the problem!”
“It isn’t anymore.”
Jinpok barely thought up a retort but it was returned instantly. Joonbum continued coldly.
“Right, I know I am ugly. I know it’s a problem. So don’t try to contact me from now on. I have no interest in talking with you. Why cling to an ugly guy you so despise? You dirty parasite.”
Joonbum turned and walked away, not paying attention to the group of onlookers glancing between him and Jinpok.
Jinpok’s eyes glared with rage as he stared at Joonbum fading away into the shadows.
‘Ahh, you crazy fool!’
Joonbum ran as soon as he was out of sight. His expression right now looked like he had lost his soul.
“I must be crazy, talking back to him like that! Why did I do that? Ugh.”
He was back to his normal self. All alcoholic influence had left him by now.
It was unimaginable, the thing he just did, talking back to Jinpok in his face like that. He kept mumbling at himself being crazy for a moment until he finally shook it off.
“Greetings. Where would you like to go?”
Joonbum got into a taxi as soon as he reached a large street. He told his destination to the driver and sat down.
“Incheon, it is. Off we go.”
The taxi driver glanced at Joonbum for a second, then departed. Street lights flashed against the taxi window as it gained speed.
‘It- it was nothing.’
He felt his nervousness dissipating as the taxi moved. It started to make him grin bit by bit, thinking of Jinpok’s frowning look on his face. The reason he ignored Jinpok was out of fear. Everything he did was always intimidating.
Jinpok was like a gangster. He always looked down on everyone he met, swaggering everywhere he went. He also never showed respect to any restaurant servers and did so proudly.
‘It was nothing.’
Nobody said a word to him despite all that. All they did, including Joonbum, was talk crap behind his back. But, today was different. The emptiness caused by Galfus added together with his long endured suffering exploded when Jinpok insulted his family.
Or maybe he just wanted to get beaten up.
‘He hesitated. I was lucky.’
He thought of Jinpok’s clenched fists as he exploded in anger towards Jinpok. He expected a fist to his face but the voices and attention around them made Joonbum realize it.
‘I guess he hesitated because of that. I would be a dead man if it was in some alleyway. Let’s not run into him ever again. Never!’
Joonbum organized his thoughts as he sat in the taxi. He became tired as the nervousness subsided and felt catharsis. He smirked.
‘Hah, alpha male, my ass. That lying asshole.’
“I’ll get off here.”
Joonbum let out a big sigh as he got off the taxi. His face looked refreshed.
“Let’s shake everything away and start again.”
Joonbum stretched his body a bit and went to his truck. He checked if there was any alcoholic influence left on him.
“I think I still smell a bit.”
Joonbum lay back on the seat and closed his eyes. He could not stop grinning at thought of Jinpok’s startled look for quite some time.
After some time passed, his phone rang.
“Hey, I got the stuff you wanted. Want to come over now?”
The calm voice over the phone surprised Joonbum.
“Wow, did you really get that?”
“Yeah, it’s the exact same thing you wanted. I found a store having a close-out sale so it was also cheap. I remembered that you asked me to call you right away… Are you coming right now?”
“Yes, yes. I’ll be there soon. Thank you!”
“Don’t thank me. I’ll be waiting.”
Joonbum started his car as he hung up. He drove the car carefully through the road and the cold morning air removed the last bit of alcohol from his body.
‘He really found it!’
Joonbum was excited. He had asked Jinchul to find an armor, shield, or weapon from the Middle Ages. He also specifically asked him to only buy it if it was at a discounted price.
‘I didn’t expect it would possible. It was more of an ‘if possible’ thing…’
[Why do you want that?]
[My video concept is a fantasy world. Did you see those orcs or big wolves? I think equipment from the Middle Ages would be fitting for that kind of world, don’t you think?]
[Hmm, maybe. I guess there won’t be any monsters left if it had guns in it. But don’t you already carry a rifle?]
[Yeah, that’s true.]
[Oh well, I might be able to find some if people close down their stores. I’ll let you know if I do.]
[Please. Let me know right away if you do.]
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