Chapter 181: Chapter 181
‘Why do I have to be concerned when I can just call them ahead?’ With that thought in mind, I browsed Eun Jiho’s number on my phone and pressed the call button.
However, Eun Jiho didn’t answer after a few long beeps. ‘What’s going on?’ I frowned my brows.
He would pick up his phone before it rang twice, even when he was with his father. At least when he wasn’t playing video games, he used to answer as soon as he could.
‘Maybe he’s playing games with Yoo Chun Young, but I heard that Chun Young is quite busy these days,’ I thought. When the beeping sound went on for about five times, his voice came over the phone.
Once I heard him speaking, I almost dropped my phone.
“H…e…llo… cough! Khoff, khak, khak…!”
What the heck is up with this martyred hoarse voice? His smooth tone was entirely out of that sound.
I didn’t want to admit it; however, Eun Jiho had a great voice that was enough to make the girls in our class exclaim with admiration. Well, it wasn’t only his voice, though…
What else I could say when he knew how brilliant he was in everything? Holding my phone, I replied with a sigh.
“Oh, my bad. I must have called the wrong number.”
[N…o…! Khoff, khak… oh, I’m dy…in…g…]
“Are you okay, sir? Should I call 911 to your place?”
He seemed to be nearly dying. As I asked him after being scared at the moment, there came his response over the phone. This time, he sounded a little comfortable.
“No, you don’t have to. There’s a doctor here, so…”
“Eun Jiho?” I asked half in doubt.
‘For real? Come on…’ I thought. His answer then came back again.
“Uh-huh, it’s me. Wow, how can you forget my voice from… cough!”
“No, it’s just that you don’t always catch a cold…” I replied like a murmur while thinking, ‘Come on, I’m serious. Are you really having a cold?’
It sounded as if he couldn’t even speak a few words without a cough. Listening to his voice, I fetched a short sigh.
“Not even a dog gets cold in summer…”
“Wow, woman… how can you say that? Khoff, khak, khak! Shoot, I couldn’t get over my cough…”
“Is it just the cough? Any other cold symptoms?”
“General cold. Cough, runny nose, fever… wow, how can I be worse than being a dog? Gosh, khoff!”
His coughing would last for a few moments to a minute at worst then. This looked like it wouldn’t be easy for him to answer the phone, so I just continued my words while swallowing a sigh.
“Dude, I’ll just hang up. You aren’t in the right state of mind to speak right now.”
That was when I tried to end the call. In a fading tone, his desperate voice came over the phone.
“Oh… no… don’t hang up…”
‘Is he seriously sick?’ I thought with cries of horror.
Eun Jiho would never call me that desperately unless he was ill. I could only hear those words when his mind finally wandered after hovering between life and death. Especially when it came to a guy like him who’s self-esteem reached the sky, those words would hardly come out from the mouth.
Having my ears tightly attached to the phone anxiously, my tension, however, subsided after hearing his words.
“Oh, I… seem to have caught a speech disorder since I haven’t been talking to people for a long time.”
“What if I become like Yoo Chun Young or Ban Yeo Ryung? Khoff, khak, khak!”
Sigh, I was concerned if he was sick to death. Heaving a short sigh, I kept on my words.
“What about Jooin?”
“He doesn’t want to hear my voice. He said that in a very bright and untainted voice…”
“Yoo Chun Young?”
“Have you ever seen him pick up the phone?”
That was true. I never saw him picking up his phone too. Suddenly, Yi Ruda and Yoo Chun Young quarrel at the café a few days ago came across my mind.
“Dude, did you know that Yoo Chun Young is turning into someone just like you?”
“Last time, I remained sitting in that café we were in with Yoo Chun Young when you guys left, then Ruda came in.”
“Khoff, khak, khak!!!”
Suddenly, Eun Jiho coughed out severely for quite a long time. He kept on coughing to death that I had to call Eun Jiho’s name in surprise.
How long did I call his name? I’m sure, but Eun Jiho replied while gasping hard.
“Uh… um… okay… speak woman… Wow, such love and war…”
“What? Oh, so Ruda was sitting across from us, but she suddenly fell back. Do you know what Yoo Chun Young said to her?”
“What was it?”
“He said that he has long legs. He felt that they were stiffening, so he stretched and kicked her chair.”
When I spoke until that part, I paused to wait for Eun Jiho’s reaction; however, though I expected him to respond loudly, Eun Jiho didn’t say anything for quite a while. He remained silent, not even uttering his usual coughing fits.
‘What? Hello? Is the call disconnected?’ rambling those thoughts in mind, I shook my phone.
“Eun Jiho?” I asked.
“He said exactly what I told him to do.”
‘Was it you?’ I murmured to myself after a while.
Yoo Chun Young rarely spoke those kinds of words, so I thought it was strange for him to say such things, but wow… Since I was at a loss of words for quite a while, Eun Jiho laughed out loud while coughing. Listening to him howling with laughter, I opened my mouth at last.
“Dude, they say that wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men, but why do you two only learn something like that from each other? Wow, one guy is teaching the other how to be narcissistic…”
“Excuse me? Did you just say that I’m narcissistic? I just taught him that a man can win against his opponent through his long legs and an excellent physical proportion. I just TAUGHT him THAT!”
“So, I’m telling you not to teach him something like THAT… A great thing about Yoo Chun Young was his candidness, but you broke that apart. I think the friendship between you guys are poisoning you two…”
“Wow, what a destructive word you’re using. Breaking apart? Khoff, khak, khak!”
“Oh, you’re coughing again…”
Listening to his cough, I suddenly came up with a different thought, ‘He’s having such a severe cold.’ I turned my head to look at the calendar.
The day of the courage test was just around the corner, taking place tomorrow. I felt that my face was turning pale.
Looking back to the front again, I tightly grabbed my phone and almost yelled at him.
“Dude, then you! Are you…”
“Cough! Huh? What?”
“Can you even come to the courage test?”
“Oh, for that one… I had such a marvelous plan…”
‘Is he talking about that locked-room mystery?’ as the thought came across my head and made me pale, his words continued.
“… From what I’ve heard so far, my fever would subside somewhere around late in the afternoon tomorrow.”
That was the very moment when I looked at the words’ courage test’ written on the calendar. A premonition came across my head like a flash. I never thought about things like that until now, so I became more perplexed. I spaced out while holding my phone. ‘What the… how can I not think about such a thing?’
As I stayed silent after blanking out for quite a while, Eun Jiho asked me consistently.
“Hello? Hey, khoff! Dude?!”
“Huh? Uh… hey, I…”
“What’s gotten into you?”
“How can I not think about that?”
‘What are you talking about?’ Eun Jiho asked in a feeble voice; however, I just covered my mouth without responding. Wow, I totally forgot about the fact that the courage tests were a regular topic for summer season chapters in web novels.
When a courage test took place in a web novel, these things would happen alongside. The most general situation was that a stranger would meddle with the event; he or she would eat and take photos together with the people there, but once the courage test was over, the kids would later notice that the stranger wasn’t real from the very beginning. That person had never been there from the start; however, he or she was still in the photo… something like this story was familiar in courage test episodes.
‘Thus,’ I bit my lips tightly, ‘a ghost actually would appear in courage tests because that’s what makes a web novel interesting!’
Wow, that was when I felt quite proud of remembering such a thing. I then attended to the phone again. As if he was somewhat worried about me, Eun Jiho flung the same question persistently.
“Come on? What’s going on?”
Hmm… looking back and forth between the calendar and the floor, I suddenly raised my hand and covered my forehead. I was about to perform a once-in-a-lifetime acting scheme right now.