Chapter 185: Chapter 185
Eun Jiho heaved a short sigh too. He then raised his eyes to look at me.
“Since then, Woo Jooin’s father devoted himself to the new business imported from Japan. He might have been swamped. You know, back then, we had to go to the post office to pick up a package, but now, we use door-to-door delivery. One of the leaders who introduced that service was Woo Jooin’s father.”
“When Woo Jooin was about four or five, his family quickly became stable. That woman appeared around that period.”
Eun Jiho’s voice was then tinged with a subdued fury when he spoke about that part. A transparent flame of rage swayed inside his eyes. Holding my breath, I just stared at them in silence.
He clenched his hand that was on the comforter then looked me in the eyes. In the dim darkness, his gaze seemed sharp like a penetrating arrow.
Suddenly, he burst out a giggle. I was surprised. With a grin on his mouth, he continued his words.
“There’s something funny about him. Woo Jooin’s father’s side has many distinct characters. Everyone has exceptional talent in one area, while they have no room for the other. I’d say that they won’t let the other areas in their heads. What’s for sure is, Jooin’s father has a good business sense, but he’s a poor judge of character.”
“When the woman met Woo Jooin’s father, she, at first, kept spending his money in the name of her medical expense. She would have planned to extort his money and break up with him later… but well, she seemed to be touching him for alimony, or else she would not have married him.”
I blinked in surprise, thinking, ‘Is that what happened?’ Opening his hand to show his palm, Eun Jiho kept speaking further.
“Yeah, so they got married. Jooin’s father didn’t care about financial management from the beginning. Though he had someone in charge of that, it would be for the corporate account not for the household, huh? So probably, the money flow of the family was in the palm of her hand. At that period, Jooin’s father was too busy to work since the business expanded. I remember that too.”
“Because I lived next door. Woo Jooin… when he was young, he was expressionless, only wandered around in front of this alley until sunset every day, and went back home. I remember that he was always doing that. Then, one day, I approached him, became friends, and often hung out in his house. I remember those too.”
After saying those stories, Eun Jiho turned his head to cough. He then looked at me with a sudden blank look.
“Oh, from now on, should I cough at your face?” he asked.
“Nope, I’ll refuse that… so, what happened next?”
Eun Jiho shrugged and continued to speak.
“When I first went to his house, I saw that woman. Woo Jooin came in, but she didn’t say ‘hello’ and just glanced at him. She then looked at me, whom Woo Jooin brought to the house, obnoxiously as if saying, ‘What the hell?’ Woo Jooin, however, bowed at her politely and just went into his room.”
“But in the house, four to five big guys were sitting on the table. Later, I found out that they were playing a card game. When I was young, my father sequestered me from mass media, so I didn’t know about card games at all; it’s not as if I knew how to play.”
The more I got to hear about Eun Jiho’s father, the more I felt unsure about his character. He would indeed do such a thing for his son’s education, so I nodded in a slightly pale face.
“So?” I asked.
“They were gambling.”
“Gambling? Inside a house with kids?”
“The husband is outside until late, or if fortunate, he would pull an all-nighter at work. The kid is too young to know about the world, so why not? Later, it was revealed that she was a member of a professional group of scammers. Rather than a member, she was like a snitch, almost at the bottom of the group.”
A professional group of scammers? My face turned pale again. How could that exist for real? However, there was something more important than that.
I quickly flung a question, “How did that come to light?”
“Oh, it’s because of that woman…”
Eun Jiho paused with a frown. He then heaved a sigh. As if talking about today’s menu in a restaurant, he dropped his remark nonchalantly.
“She kidnapped me.”
“Precisely, the guys whom I saw whenever I hung out in Jooin’s house might have thought that I was the son of a wealthy family since they spotted my house. The woman was also planning to get divorced and leave with alimony since she lost the buzz on her way of living. Thus, they tried to commit something big as their last gig.”
“Commit something big?”
“Well, but they would not have known that I was the heir of Hanwool Group as well as an only son in the fourth-generation.”
Eun Jiho said those things while spreading out his four fingers unperturbedly. ‘Were you really the only son of the fourth-generation of your family…?’ My jaw dropped with that thought in mind.
His words kept on casually.
“That group of scammers was just a bunch of sloppy douchebags, but despite that, how could they handle the situation when our company was hell-bent on rescuing me? I got released within two hours; the woman was caught after a thorough investigation and got arrested for being an accomplice. She is now released from prison after serving five years.”
“How can you talk so indifferently about the fact that you got kidnapped… Jesus Christ, hey, it’s still a kidnapping, right? You must have been so scared.”
Eun Jiho shook his head with a look that seemed to say, ‘No, not really.’ Suddenly, he showed his characteristic, naughty smile on his face at me.
“Dude, I got released within two hours; besides, Woo Jooin was also next to me,” he said.
‘Even Jooin?!’ as I shouted in surprise, Eun Jiho continued with a nod.
“I don’t know. They might have thought that rich people would also care about a kid from another family. Jooin was next to me too. We just sat and talked inside a dark place for about an hour or two. Suddenly, the space turned bright, so we went outside. The situation was already cleared with police cars all over, and the bad guys all got handcuffed. That was all. Nothing to be scared of, to say the least.”
‘Do male protagonists in web novels experience a kidnapping once in their life like an event?’ having the thought in mind, I sighed. Eun Jiho kept on with his story.
“What’s more surprising is what happened next.”
“She siphoned money for the sake of her medical expense before their marriage. After getting married, she kidnapped her son and his friend. Thus, would Jooin’s father leave her alone? He filed a suit for divorce; however, the woman—I don’t know where she has heard it from—might have learned that bringing custody when getting divorced would reduce the sentence. You know that she couldn’t raise her stepson with his nephews and stay in prison forever, could she?”
In other words, she anchored her last, faint hope on Jooin… but how could she be so conscienceless? I detached my tightly shut lips.
“So, did she appeal to Jooin in the court about how she raised him… or something like that?”
“Wow, you’re being sharp today.”
“She’s completely out of her mind!”
“Tell me about it,” said Eun Jiho in annoyance.
Heaving a sigh, he coughed again and continued to talk with a frown.
“So, the woman begged him in tears. Honestly, Jooin was hungry for affection at that time. Even I could see that he was extremely devoted to his stepmother. The woman, however, knew one thing better than Jooin’s father.”
“What was it?”
“His memory. You know, Jooin’s insane memory.”
I vaguely recalled that time when Jooin was playing a card game when we were freshmen in middle school.
Just by looking at the worn out-traces on the back of the cards, he could clearly remember everything about what the cards were. If I could relate it to something devilish, then Jooin had such a diabolic memory.
Eun Jiho went on with a frown.
“His insane memory… she was the first one to notice that. It was also her who used it first.”
“Use it? Where?”
Wow… What in the goddamn hell… I was utterly at a loss of words eventually.