Chapter 182: Chapter 182
“Dude, I… am suddenly… oh… I… um… am also sick! Khoff, khak, khak!”
“Oh gosh, I suddenly can’t move, dude… oh lord, it hurts.”
For a while, Eun Jiho remained silent without coughing, so I frowned and fell into thought. ‘Did my acting work? No, I will never go to that courage test.’
In a courage test where an actual ghost might appear, a person like Yoo Chun Young, who didn’t even blink while watching a horror movie, could stand that; however, a person like me would faint for real… I wiped the cold sweat on my forehead.
Although it was me who suggested such a thing… there was a vast difference between facing the courage test while being aware of a ghost appearing and just kids acting.
‘My mind can’t withstand that. It’s just sad movies that aren’t sad to me; horror movies are scary for a normal person like me,’ rambling those thoughts in my head, I waited for Eun Jiho to respond.
After quite a while, a deflated voice came through the phone.
“Wow, Ham Donnie… I can give you a Razzie Award for Worst Actress. Do you suddenly want to get ill?”
Yeah, it was too obvious, though. Thus, my once-in-a-life-time acting ended in failure.
Should I just go to the courage test then? As I heaved a sigh in frustration, Eun Jiho flung a question in a calm voice.
“If you wish, should I pass on my cold to you? You really seem to hate going there; however, be ready to catch my cold by coming here. I told you that I haven’t been talking to other people for quite a while.”
What a rainfall in a desert! Sitting blankly for a second, I finally asked him back loudly.
“C… an I really catch a cold from you?”
“If you breathe in and out in my room for an hour, then you will.”
‘Is it really worth it to get an awful cold just so I wouldn’t be able to go to the courage test, though…?’ I suffered under the perpetual necessity of this matter; my conclusion was, however, simple.
Holding the short-sleeved shirt rolling beside me, I replied shortly.
“Gotcha, see you later.”
‘No one can stop me,’ I steeled myself.
“When will you be here?”
“Not sure, but I’ll just ring the doorbell when I arrive.”
“It’ll take about a 20-min walk to pick you up from the entrance.”
Oh! From Eun Jiho’s remark, I, at last, realized the extent of how vast his mansion was. The building itself wasn’t that tremendous. If I dared to say, his house was an ordinary mansion with high ceilings, but the garden was extravagantly large. What he just said about needing a 20-min walk to pick me up from the entrance was not a joke. Instead of a response, I tossed a question.
“But you said you’re sick? Is it okay for you to come outside?”
“It’d be better than someone getting lost in our garden.”
“I’m kidding. Anyway, I’m not that deadly ill.”
“Okay, then I’ll leave right now. It’ll take about half an hour?”
The phone then got disconnected. Dropping my gaze at the phone, I heaved a sigh.
‘I’m doing everything to avoid a ghost…’ having that thought in mind, I changed my t-shirt into the one that I just picked up. As soon as I put on my slippers, I left my apartment.
* * *
Eun Jiho’s mansion slowly appeared when I passed Wangsimni Station near my house and walked down alongside Hanyang University for about 10 minutes.
It was my fault to come outside at three in the afternoon on a hot summer day of all occasions. There were many people in the streets than I expected. Thankfully, the number of people decreased as I crossed a few crosswalks; therefore, I could avoid the fact that a murder might take place just because of the fact that the people were walking close to each other. I tilted my head back and looked up at the sky.
Under the cloudless blue sky, sunlight poured down mercilessly. The more I moved my steps, the more strength was draining out of me.
‘Oh, Eun Jiho was a patient,’ I thought. Still, I couldn’t run late, so I boosted up my pace.
From his point of view, I lived within a stone’s throw of his place. Therefore, he always went in and out of my house, incessantly, for homework and stuff during our sophomore year in middle school. That was probably why I kind of lost my sense of distance between his place and mine. Measuring the overall distance by eye, it didn’t seem that close at all.
For what reason did Eun Jiho come over to my house almost every day and study with me and Ban Yeo Ryung back then? That was when we got along too.
Yoo Chun Young and Kwon Eun Hyung became friends, unexpectedly, quickly; however, it was genuinely exceptional that Eun Jiho and I hit it off right away.
Furrowing my brows, I recalled the shocking day when I first met Eun Jiho in middle school.
Nope, I wouldn’t want to think about it. It wasn’t such a good memory for me, though. If the Eun Jiho back then and now had something in common, then it would only be his hair color.
I wondered, through what channel would that horrifying boy go out with Ban Yeo Ryung. As we became friends, I found out that Eun Jiho was sound in mind and was also quite distracted. Now that I got to see them, I noticed that they eventually got along well. The only difference was that they didn’t have the usual relationship between female and male protagonists in standard web novels.
Frowning, this time, I brought up their behavioral aspects when the two were together. Lately, Eun Jiho was confining himself at home―it was revealed just now that he caught a severe cold― so what came across my mind at first was our most recent memories.
‘Dude, make it a locked-room mystery. That’s the scariest thing ever! You know, people dying one after another in an isolated place surrounded by heavy snowfalls… something like that. It’s the best way to create teamwork!’
‘Wow, this is getting fun! Let’s list those who’re gonna be dead. Oh, what tricks are used?’
Would this be fine? Was this novel going to be okay? I guessed both the male and female protagonists were out of their minds…
Instead of just a regular web novel, I must have been jumped into a mystery novel that adopted the elements of a web novel.
I never saw Ban Yeo Ryung and Eun Jiho finishing each other’s sentences with a twinkle in their eyes. If I could refer them to a specific category, they would be a squabbling couple in a romantic comedy.
‘No, no, it ain’t…’ fetching a sigh, I raised my head and continued my steps again. How long did I walk after getting into an alley…? From a distance, I saw something like the shade of Eun Jiho.
He was just wearing long summer pants under a loose t-shirt. On his head, he put on a cap probably to block the sun, so I couldn’t see his silver hair; however, from the time I spent with him, it was easy to figure out his silhouette. It was then the moment when I quickened my pace.
A human figure who was standing across Eun Jiho came into my sight. As I got out of the alley and walked toward Eun Jiho, I paused to stop on the spot.
She looked about ten years older than us. She was probably around her thirties. Glancing at her slim neck and small shoulders, I realized that she had a petite body.
The woman wore a thin sweater and a long purple skirt, which looked inappropriate for such weather like this. Her long hair flew straight on her back.
Under the bright sunlight, the two were looking at each other while standing against Eun Jiho’s fearsomely high fences.
As I stood still and stared at them for a while, I noticed that they seemed to be talking about something. The woman’s lips were pouting. I moved my steps closer to them again.
When I got a little closer, the woman’s face suddenly jumped to my eyes as if a camera was on focus.
Her appearance quite stood out. She, especially, had a beautiful nose and kept smiling with a dimple on her cheek. Her face was tiny for her proportion. ‘She, however, looks…’ I grimaced.
She looked quite familiar. Not her facial appearance, but the look on her face resembled someone I knew. Her smile was as bright and gorgeous as a flower in spring, but somehow, it looked like she was wearing a mask. Her hair shone dark brown under the bright sunshine.
I turned my head back to look at Eun Jiho. I expected that he would, of course, show a polite smile on his face since he was well-mannered to people older than him. Contrary to my expectation, when his face came into my sight through the shower of sunbeams, I felt my heart sinking.
His face was… I mean, I never saw any people with that kind of look on their face. A wave of rage was rising soundlessly around him. Feeling like everything in the world paused, a breeze that was quietly ascending his head seemed to have touched and pass by our shoulders in silence.