Chapter 183: Chapter 183
His eyes were swaying with a white flame, and his face turned pale like he was looking at a ghost. How could he have that quiet yet vicious look? I would rather believe that he was now wailing inside a shell.
I had no idea how many seconds or minutes had passed through the muted moments. Eun Jiho then slowly detached his lips. His jet-black eyes were directed precisely at the woman standing in front.
“Please go. You’re…”
“If you remember what you did to me, then you can’t call my name as well as Jooin’s too.”
He then paused, closed his mouth tightly, and took a step back waveringly. That was when I realized that he was sick. I walked toward him to help by holding his arms.
At the very next moment, what came out of his mouth was a voice closer to a roar.
“If you have a conscience… never ever… in front of Woo Jooin!”
“You shouldn’t appear in front of him, should you?!”
Shouting out loud, Eun Jiho then gasped roughly. Under the visor of his cap, something like a drop of sweat or tear fell from his shaded eyes. Raising his head to look at the woman, Eun Jiho continued his words.
“If you wandered around this area carelessly, your face would have been recorded on the security camera. You already have a long record of what you did to us, so we can do a lot of things with it.”
“Jiho, I just… I just want to know about my Jooin… how he’s been doing…”
“My Jooin? Oh, that Jooin, whom you chatter only when you need him, huh?”
With that said, Eun Jiho showed a twisted smile on his lips. I swore that I never saw him having that look on his face until now.
As I just stood blankly at a loss of words, I heard his voice from far apart.
“If Woo Jooin got to despise people, it’s all because of you. Get it?”
“Jiho! How can you say that… That was the only thing I could do back then. You know the situation I went through, don’t you? I was held to those scoundrels with no way out…”
“You solemnly affirmed that you would tell nothing but the truth in front of the honorable judges, but you did not, and now you want to change what you said before?”
“Oh, and those whom Woo Jooin detest the most in this world are people like you. Though you try to see him, it would still be unpleasant.”
Eun Jiho spoke frostily then turned back with great difficulty while his chin broke out in a cold sweat. His tottering steps looked as if he was using a pair of crutches. He then suddenly turned his head toward this side, which surprised me.
While I wondered what to say, Eun Jiho strode toward this direction. Although I wrote it as ‘strode,’ he nearly dashed to my direction.
The woman wasn’t looking at this side. Turning her back, she fixed her gaze up at the high fences surrounding Eun Jiho’s mansion. It looked as though she was genuinely searching for the security camera around the space. Meanwhile, Eun Jiho suddenly snatched my wrist and ran our ass off.
Just a moment ago, he tottered as if he was almost dying; besides, he wore something like a slipper with the back pushed down! Frightened of him running at breakneck speed out of the blue, I lowered my voice and screamed out.
“Dude, are you okay!? You were just now…”
“That ain’t important!”
While we talked back and forth shortly, the woman looked at our direction. I saw something like that between the brown brick pillars. At the next moment, Eun Jiho and I passed the brown brick pillars while sitting on both sides of the entrance and came inside his house.
Jesus, what a sudden spurt! Though I had a healthy heart, I couldn’t stand still for quite a while. Especially when I ran after the athletic Eun Jiho.
Hanging my head down, I tried to catch my breath with both my hands on my knees. I then heard Eun Jiho saying something from aside.
“Dual lock this entrance door, so no one can peer as it entirely.”
The black metal door with iron bars made the inside quite visible from the outside through the gaps.
A man in a black suit, who was standing beside him, then spoke something on a walkie-talkie on his waist. Soon, a dark wooden door attached to both sides covered the iron bars.
When I stared at the scene vacantly, Eun Jiho suddenly turned his head to see me, so I was stunned. He then flung a question while displaying such a grim look on his face, something that I would only see once in a century.
“Hey, how long have you been listening to us?”
It might have genuinely been a critical conversation. The words that went back and forth between Jiho and the lady sounded quite important. So were the names inside their talks. It surprised me to hear Jooin’s name in them.
Having those thoughts in mind, I realized that Eun Jiho’s surprisingly serious, black eyes were still on me. I frowned with my mouth tightly shut. It looked like he wouldn’t move on at all if I didn’t reply.
Recalling what I heard earlier, I opened my mouth.
“From… please go…”
“To… it would be as unpleasant as now…”
Eun Jiho dropped his gaze at me for a moment and didn’t say anything else. Taking a closer look, his black eyes seemed to have lost focus under the dazzling sunlight.
‘Is he sick? Well, he ran that fast while feeling dizzy and even had me next to him,’ I thought.
When I stretched out my hand and wave in front of his face, he grabbed my hand and put it down. He then covered his eyes with the other side of his hand and became speechless again for quite a while.
‘Is he sick or not?’ wondering, I carefully called him.
“Excuse me? Hello?”
What came out of his mouth after a long time of silence was a moaning sigh. Staring at him quietly, I heard him saying something else.
“So, you heard everything from the start to the end. Geez, I’m cra―.”
He suddenly paused in the middle of his words and drew in his breath loudly; therefore, I took a step back after sensing something dangerous by instinct. Eun Jiho, simultaneously, burst out a loud cough as if he was vomiting his intestines.
“Khoff, Khak, Khak!! Kaff! Khoff, khoff…”
“Young master! Young master, are you okay!?”
“I suppressed my cough until now, so… I couldn’t cough at that moment… Khak Khak!!”
“This is the entrance! Young master doesn’t look good! Call the ambulance!”
“No… ambulance, I’m fine… Khoff, Khak, Khak!!”
The entire fuss was over when the doctor finally showed up. Eun Jiho said that he was okay; however, the people put him inside a van by all means and also told me to get in.
Eun Jiho almost laid on the broad seat inside the car, whereas I loaded myself quietly across him. ‘Holy Christ, how can we move within the fenced garden by car?’ feeling dumbfounded, I murmured. Regardless, the car pulled out.
No one spoke a thing for quite a while. Eun Jiho gasped while lying on his seat; I was looking at him then turned my head to look outside the window. The green saplings passed through the scenery quickly.
It was my first time to come over to this place again after his birthday in September in our senior year during middle school.
I could still remember. When I asked Jiho that I want to hang out in his place since he’s coming over to my house as if it’s his apartment, Eun Jiho would show a sign of displeasure on his face. It looked like he just hated inviting someone to his house rather than disliking me.
Thus, I said that if he didn’t want to, then it’s okay. After all, he invited all of us to his birthday party.
What happened next was that we had dinner at the same table with… the president of Hanwool Group, one of the world’s best-known companies featured in newspapers almost every day.
Until then, we didn’t know at all how rigidly Eun Jiho’s life was under strict disciplinary control, especially inside this vast mansion surrounded by wall-like high fences.
The reason why Eun Jiho enjoyed visiting my house was probably that he liked my parents, who were so freewheeling. That was what I thought back then.
Eun Han Soo, Eun Jiho’s father, had a lot of interest in saplings that Eun Jiho’s garden was full of everything: stones with outlandish colors and patterns imported from somewhere in the world, a man-made lake that looked more natural with its half-dug shape, a bumpy hill, and weird-looking saplings obviously brought from all over the world.