1. A butterfly in a vase (Part 3)

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Ji-Won, who stared sharply at where Hae-Soo was pointing, answered briefly.

 

“I can see it.”

 

It was a dead woman who seemed to have been dead for ten years. That’s amazing. This city is close to Seoul, but she had been holding out without getting caught. Looking at the extent of the blackening, it seemed she had already hurt several people. A young woman who seemed to have just passed 20 years old has so much resentment that she has become such an evil spirit…. No, I really shouldn’t, don’t want to know about the story of a woman with grudges.

 

Ji-Won, who was looking at the deceased’s face with a keen gaze, quietly swallowed a sigh when their eyes met. The deceased, who had been leisurely reclining on top of the tree after escaping from Hae-Soo’s hands seemed to be nervous at the unusual appearance of Ji-Won at a glance. Ji-Won lightly turned away from the drooping shoulders of the deceased, took out his notebook from his inner pocket and quickly began to draw the face of the deceased. It was a clear case that she couldn’t, wouldn’t go to a good place, so his mood was a little bitter. But there was no hesitation in the hand drawing and filling up the white paper.

 

“Thank you very much for coming, Brother. I was worried that I might miss her, so I thought a lot about whether to shoot her or not.”

 

“What are you talking about you crazy? Don’t you really have practice tomorrow? How many hundreds of fines do you think you would get saying it’s not a big deal? You’re gonna get a red line in this way. It’s like being an ex-convict. If you were unlucky, you might have been be eliminated from the national team.”

 

“Oh, there was such a problem? Come to think of it, the Olympic trials will be held in a little while.”

 

Ji-Won, who shot back fiercely but did not receive the reaction he was hoping for, looked at Hae-Soo with a ridiculous face and spat out a harsh sigh. He couldn’t believe that a human’s thought could be this simple. He was amazed.

 

“Ha, yes. You must be so comfortable immersed in your own little world without any worries of the outside world. How did your parents raised their son to be so bright in such a harsh world, huh?”

 

“Hmm, is that a compliment?”

 

“I’m complaining!”

 

Ji-Won, who exclaimed loudly, tore off the completed portrait in an instant and folded it in half before putting it in his pocket. He couldn’t light a fire in the forest, so he had to go down from the mountain first to burn the image.

 

“Why don’t you burn it? You have to hurry, Brother. It’s an evil spirit that killed eight people.”

 

“Can you only see dog poop with you dog eyes? Did you only see the illegal weapons control placards in your eyes? Didn’t you see the ads emphasising saving the forest life? If I take out the lighter and light it up, you and I will be sent to prison together. I don’t know about myself, but you will be definitely in the news.”

 

“Aha.”

 

“What ah-ha? Oh, good lord. Why am I even talking to you?”

 

Ji-Won, who shook his head with a completely fed-up face, looked straight at the deceased and spoke in a calm voice.

 

“Can you hear me, the dead woman on top of the tree?”

 

The woman flinched for a moment, but tried to pretend that she didn’t hear him. Regardless whether she heard or not, Ji-Won announced the Zanice’s principle in a mechanical tone.

 

“I’m Cha Ji-Won, a Guide from Jungcheon. You are a deceased person who cannot stay in this world, and you must immediately move to Jungcheon to be judged for what you’ve done during your lifetime. We would like to inform you that the merits and demerits will continue to be recorded even at this moment, and that if you do not follow the instructions of the Guide or run away, you will be greatly disadvantaged in choosing your future destination decisions. Also, from now on, we may proceed with the compulsory summons process under the authority of the guide….”

 

“Excuse me, hold on! I’ll never run away. So please listen to me. There’s a reason why I have to do this.”

 

The woman who was being judged understood her that the situation was unusual and flew down at once. Then she grabbed Ji-Won’s arm and began to cling desperately. Hae-Soo’s eyes became a little blurred by the desperate plea that made even the listener’s heart also tear up, but Ji-Won, who did not lift an eyebrow, coolly took the woman’s hand off.

 

There’s no one in the world who doesn’t have a story. The dead, who affect the material world this much, should not remain in this world, especially if they have a story of revenge.

 

“There’s only one left. If I kill one more person, the revenge is over. If I succeed in that, I’ll go anywhere, whether it’s Jungcheon or hell. So please wait a few days, okay? Please, please.”

 

“Now that you have said that, I have to hurry even more.”

 

“They beat a man to death like a dog! My brother, my kind and gentle brother! Six people surrounded him and beat him to death! Do you know what they said? They said it was for fun. They said it was funny that he couldn’t breathe! Those devilish things only spent two years in prison for killing my brother. Then, they began to breathe, eat and live well even until now!”

 

With a woman who was beating her chest and complaining of injustice behind him, Ji-Won quickly descended the mountain as quickly as possible. When Ji-won, who immediately entered a public bathroom, lit the portrait on the sink, the woman who chased him all the way down to the mountain began to wail to the point that deafening tears fell down and disappeared like smoke. Hae-Soo, who was watching the series of processes with an unkindly serious face, opened his mouth with a slightly excited voice.

 

“It’s not something a guide should say, but can’t those people die?”

 

“You graduated from an elementary school to say that.”

 

“Why are you mocking me all of a sudden?”

 

Ji-Won looked at Hae-Soo with pathetic eyes, then checked his ruined shoes and bit his molars tightly. His pride didn’t allow him to talk about the price of shoes to a child, but the more he thought about throwing away the shoes he wore for the first time today, the more annoyed he got.

 

“Didn’t you learn four-pronged operations at school? Can’t a single-digit calculation be calculated in your head? What did she say earlier? She said there were six people who killed her brother. But you said she killed eight people. And she said there’s one more person left. That means at least three innocent people will be dead.”

 

“Oh….”

 

“And is there any guarantee that everything she said is true? How can a guy who makes money by being a guide be swayed by a dead person? If the deceased becomes an evil spirit, it will harm human society even if it is not intentional. So no matter what happens, the guide just needs to follow the procedure. Don’t you put your thoughts at the top of your head?”

 

“Wow, bro. You just sounded like the CEO. Of course, you’re a lot more violent, but…. Do you meet the CEO often?”

 

I don’t think I have the chance to see her often. I haven’t even seen the shadow of her nose in over two months. After Ji-Won became a member of Zanice Company, he encountered Gaon only four times, but only barely exchanged greetings. There was even a time when Gaon, who seemed quite busy, went away with only her eyebrows raised in his direction from afar.

 

“Wait a minute.”

 

Looking back, the only time he had a conversation-like conversation with Gaon was the first day he met her.

 

“It was quite embarrassing to be dragged here by force, but it’s even more absurd to be told to just leave like this. Is there any reason for my disqualification?”

 

It wasn’t a conversation, but he was rather arguing. Gaon’s expression was too emotionless even when he thought about it now, it was a calm face without an ounce of anger. He still couldn’t understand why it bothered him so much.

 

“I’m not belittling your ability. It’s a disaster because you overwork. It’s true that it’s a talent that we really need. Nevertheless, I’m just trying to send you back because there are few beings in this world that will hold your talent.”

 

“What does that mean?”

 

“If you become a guide, the boundary between this world and the underworld will be blurred in your eyes. A person who has no lingering attachment to this world can let go of his obsession with life more easily at a critical moment. Human life is so fragile that if you lose your will, it can easily turn off like a wisp of smoke.”

 

“You’ve got the wrong person. I’m not a person who gives up easily, and I have a lot of lingering feelings about this world.”

 

The first thing that came to his mind was definitely his aunt. No matter what happens, he couldn’t die before his aunt. He couldn’t have his aunt watch his funeral. If the heart of Lisa was the finest and clearest piece in him, the scathing curse of his uncles was the most evil and dark part. He wouldn’t want to give even a penny to those pathetic people. He’d rather grind them up before he died than leave his fortune behind for them to swallow.

 

“And I can’t guarantee this won’t happen again. If you don’t let me deal with the ghosts at all, I can’t ignore them since I see them all the time. Are you going to drag me here like this every time that happens? If that’s the case, please let me do it officially. I think that’s why you brought me here in the first place.”

 

The Chief of the Security, who had lost his usual smile at some point due to Ji-Won’s fierce demand, flagged without a sound. Contrary to his worries, Gaon seemed to have judged that his words made sense. Briefly lost in thought, she eventually reversed her decision, and although she did not know about Ji-Won at the time, it was not common.

 

“You run a gallery?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then it’s conditional to do your job at the same time. If you take your hands off the gallery or neglect what you used to do, you will be blocked from entering Jungcheon altogether. I’ll make another position next to Director Kwon and Director Seo.”

 

Of course, the result of being so stubborn was not always satisfactory. There were times when he wondered if he should have done something wrong to someone who wanted to kick him out nicely. Overall, however, the benefits were greater than the losses. First of all, it was quite hard to endure the boredom day by day, but each time the events were so spectacular, at least there was no time for boredom.

 

Above all, he found out that there were colleagues with the same ability as him, and the biggest harvest was the sense of security that he was doing a recognized job with them. He had been struggling not to show off, but in fact, the anxiety that he was really a psychopath has plagued him for quite a long time.

 

“All the guides are recruited by the CEO.”

 

“Well, that’s true. What kind of car did you bring today? Can you show me around?”

 

If I had stepped into this world when I was a little younger, would I have been able to live as innocent as this guy? Ji-Won, who was staring at Yeon Hae-Soo, smiled and shook his head. No, this is nature. It’s also a talent not to be hated while being selfish. Although Ji-Won was well-known for being a little cold to people, it was strangely difficult to be cold to Hae-Soo who was like a puppy.

 

“I don’t have it now. I told someone else to ride it. Let’s take your car.”

 

“Huh? I didn’t bring a car today…. Hey, the weather is nice. Would you like to walk to the bus stop? I just need to walk for 40 minutes for exercise.”

 

However, fortunately or unfortunately, Hae-Soo was also excellent in making Ji-Won’s weak heart strong again.

 

“What are you saying you crazy? Can’t you call a taxi right away?”

 

 

****

 

 

Breakfast with his aunt was very inconvenient and embarrassing, as expected. Lisa was not an opponent for Ji-Won to gloss over, but he couldn’t be honest with her either. When asked by her what he was doing yesterday, Ji-Won replied that his work was similar to environmental monitoring. He was well aware that it was not a plausible excuse for his aunt, who knew him well, but he couldn’t think of any other suitable excuse to explain why he jumped into the mountain road out of the blue.

 

“You’re doing volunteer work running with your body?”

 

“Well…. Somewhat. It gets a little boring by doing only gallery work.”

 

“What’s the name of your group?”

 

“Name…, uh…, It’s an organization run by Zanice Company. I even have my desk in Zanice’s Headquarters building. Of course I don’t go there very often.”

 

“Really?”

 

The doubt did not completely disappear from Lisa’s eyes, but the prestige of the name Zanice was great. Lisa made no further mention of the matter, and the two managed to finish their meal amicably. Ji-Won, who hurried to say goodbye to his aunt who had to return to New York soon left the hotel wiggling her eyebrows irritably when an unexpected phone call came. Oh, come on. I’m on vacation right now.

 

“Ha, it’s Cha Ji-Won.”

 

[Director Cha… Cough. I’m Kwon Hyun-Ho. I’m really sorry. I know you are on a vacation, but…. Cough, cough. Will you be able to accompany the CEO on her business trip to UK?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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