“You’re reading again?”
Soo Hyuk knew that question was towards him but did not respond. He just silently continued to read a book while keeping his mouth closed.
Was it fate? Since second grade in elementary school until senior year of high school, Soo Hyuk and Yeon Jeung have always been in the same class.
Therefore, Yeon Jeung knew Soo Hyuk very well. He knew already of course, that Soo Hyuk wouldn’t respond.
Yeon Jeung sat next to Soo Hyuk. And then he lowered his head to identify the book Soo Hyuk was reading.
“Oh, [Force Master]?”
The name of the book was [Force Master].
“Isn’t this what you read a couple months ago?”
He couldn’t remember exactly. However, he was sure that it was the novel Soo Hyuk saw a few months ago.
“It completed with 24 volumes.”
The reason Yeon Jeung remembered this its because he too read it. At the time, Yeon Jeung read up to 19 volumes. He asked Soo Hyuk.
“It’s inside the backpack?”
This time, contrary to what happened prior, Soo Hyuk replied. Yeon Jeung heard Soo Hyuk’s answer and opened his backpack.
“Okay, exactly from the 20th volume!”
Inside the backpack were 10 volumes of books. Amongst them, four volumes were [Force Master]. And the four volumes were what Yeon Jeung needed to read, volumes 20 to volume 23.
“I’ll give them to you after I’m done reading!”
Yeon Jeung stood up from where he was sitting. Thereafter, he went back to his own seat while speaking to Soo Hyuk and began reading the book.
Ding dong deng dong ~
The sound of the bell signaling that time has passed and class was starting rang from the speaker.
Soo Hyuk, who was concentrating on a book, closed it with a regretful look on his face. And then he placed the book inside the drawer and checked his timetable.
Soo Hyuk smiled while checking his timetable. It was because it was time for literature class. There was a lot of reading material in the literature book and Soo Hyuk thought this class wouldn’t be boring as he took the literature book out of the drawer and opened it.
“Sorry. I’m a bit late?”
Shortly, literature teacher Choon Bok Lee arrived. Soo Hyuk briefly paused reading the book when Choon Bok Lee arrived.
“Soo Hyuk Kang.”
It was because of attendance. The first name to be called during attendance, with roll call number one was Soo Hyuk.
Soo Hyuk answered while concentrating on the literature book again at the same time. Although he read the literature book a couple times already, just reading itself was fun for Soo Hyuk. The look in his eyes was filled with interest.
“Today’s lesson will be on page 98, open the page to 98.”
Within that time, attendance ended and Choon Bok Lee began class. Of course Soo Hyuk had no intentions of participating in class and did not open his book to page 98.
The only reason why Soo Hyuk liked literature class was simply because the literature book had a lot of things to read in it. Soo Hyuk silently continued to read on in the literature book.
“We will stop here for today!”
Choon Bok Lee ended class. And while waiting for the sound of the bell signaling the end of class, began conversing with the students that were sitting in the front.
As soon as the class ended, Soo Hyuk closed the literature book right away. And took out the 24th volume of [Force Master] from the drawer. He loved to read. But reading something new was more fun than something that’s been read a couple times already.
Ding dong deng dong~
Shortly, the bell signaling the end of class rang and Choon Bok Lee left.
“Hey Hey, did you see the video yesterday?”
“Yeah, isn’t it a smash hit?”
“It was a smash hit. It opens 12/31 of this year right?”
“Yeah, are you going to do it?”
“Of course! But are you going back to your capsule? I don’t think you’re going to go back.”
“I’ll have to beg my parents to buy it for me. I passed the admissions exam for college, so don’t you think they’ll buy it for me? I mean, if they don’t, I have lots of time now so I’ll just have to work a part-time job like crazy.”
“Sigh, I envy your admissions pass.”
After class ended, the students gathered in groups of twos and threes and began conversing. However, Soo Hyuk did not move from his seat. He only focused on reading his book. Soo Hyuk’s eyes filled with joy.
* * *
“There’s only one month left until the College Scholastic Aptitude Test! Everyone stop screwing around and study hard! Dismissed!”
Hyun Gong High School’s gym teacher and third year, room 5’s homeroom teacher, Pil Gyo Kim ended the end-day meeting and immediately left the room.
“Wow, he didn’t even wait for us to say good-bye and left?”
Yeon Jeung had a surprised look on his face as he stood up from his seat. No matter how urgent, Pil Gyo Kim always received good-bye greetings. Seeing that he didn’t receive the greeting, it must’ve been something very urgent.
Yeon Jeung slung his backpack over his shoulders and lifted the four volumes of books that were on top of his desk. They were the books Force Master that he borrowed from Soo Hyuk this morning.
“I read them well.”
While carrying the books, Yeon Jeung walked over to Soo Hyuk’s seat and gave the books back to Soo Hyuk. Soo Hyuk was waiting with his backpack open and after he received the books and put them in his backpack, he opened his mouth.
“Are you going to go right away?”
“You’re very interesting.”
Soo Hyuk had a surprised look in his face because of Yeon Jeung’s irrelevant answer.
“When you’re reading a book, you don’t speak like a speech-impaired person but when you’re not reading a book, you’re normal.”
Soo Hyuk smiled and slung his backpack over his shoulders as Yeon Jeung’s answer connected.
While carrying his backpack, Soo Hyuk lead and began to move his pace. Yeon Jeung followed behind Soo Hyuk and spoke.
“Hey, you have to give me volume 24.”
Yeon Jeung read up to volume 23. He could not read the last volume, volume 24. Although time was also a factor, it was because Soo Hyuk was reading it. Nevertheless, Yeon Jeung confirmed with his own two eyes Soo Hyuk reading all 24 volumes and taking out a different book during lunchtime.
“I’ll give it to you in the library.”
Soo Hyuk replied to what Yeon Jeung said.
“You’re going to the library again?”
“Yes, I need to return and borrow something.”
While conversing, Soo Hyuk and Yeon Jeung headed towards the library.
It was at that moment.
“Huh? Hey Soo Hyuk!”
Soo Hyuk looked forward, towards the sound of the voice that was calling him. And Soo Hyuk was able to see the voice’s owner, who was running fast towards him.
“Are you going somewhere?”
The voice’s owner was the librarian Ji Soo Yang. Ji Soo Yang had an urgent look on her face. In addition, Ji Soo Yang, who should be in the library, was in this place, which meant something had happened.
“Yes, a meeting’s been formed hastily. I told Ji Yool about the thing you requested. You’ll be able to go and borrow it.”
“Ok, thank you.”
“You don’t need to thank me, then I’ll be leaving now!”
Soo Hyuk said good-bye to Ji Soo Yang, who approached quickly and disappeared like the wind and began to move towards the library again with Yeon Jeung.
“Do you think our homeroom teacher left too because of the meeting?”
“I think so.”
Soo Hyuk and Yeon Jeung began to move their pace again after briefly stopping. And before long, the two arrived at the library.
As soon as Soo Hyuk and Yeon Jeung entered, Ji Yool, who was organizing books, approached. Soo Hyuk replied to Ji Yool’s greeting as he opened his backpack and took out the five books that were inside. He placed them on top of the desk.
“I’m returning these, and renting the book teacher asked you to put aside.”
She already heard from Ji Soo Yang and knew. After Ji Yool sat down and processed the returns, she proceeded with the rentals of the books Ji Soo Yang had put aside.
“But why are you borrowing these books?”
After the rental process, Ji Yool asked Soo Hyuk as she handed him the books. Soo Hyuk borrowed a total of three books, [The Importance Of Stretching], [If There Was No Gravity What Would Happen To Earth?], [What is Humanities?]. During the three years Ji Yool worked in the library, they were books that were never rented.
The three books had no relevance to each other. She couldn’t understand why on earth Soo Hyuk would borrow these books.
“What? Of course I’m borrowing them to read.”
Soo Hyuk replied with an obvious answer to the obvious question that Ji Yool asked, as he placed the books inside his backpack. He then took out the 24 volumes of Force Master and handed them to Yeon Jeung and slung his backpack over his shoulders.
“Keep up the good work~”
After Soo Hyuk accomplished his purpose in the library, he said good-bye to Ji Yool and came out of the library with Yeon Jeung.
“Is all of that readable?”
Yeon Jeung saw the types of books Soo Hyuk borrowed and asked with a fed up expression on his face.
“If what you’re asking is talking about understanding, then no.”
Soo Hyuk answered Yeon Jeung’s question. They have no relevance to each other and are respectively different fields. If you were able to understand just by reading the books then you’d be considered a genius. And not even just a normal genius. However, Soo Hyuk was not a genius. He did not borrow the books to understand them. He borrowed them only to read them.
“If it’s only reading that you like, wouldn’t it be better to read a book you can understand that’s also interesting, instead of a book you don’t understand?”
Yeon Jeung asked once more to Soo Hyuk’s response. If reading was fun, if reading itself was fun, wouldn’t it be better to read a book you can understand, which can make you feel entertained, instead of a book you can’t understand? This is what Yeon Jeung thought.
“It’s not that I don’t completely not understand.”
Soo Hyuk answered once again to Yeon Jeung’s question. It’s not that he couldn’t completely not understand. When he reads for the first time, he can’t understand the majority of what’s written, but Soo Hyuk doesn’t stop reading after only reading once. He read’s repeatedly a couple of times. As such, reading like that, things that were not understandable became understandable.
“Sigh, I can’t understand you.”
Yeon Jeung shook his head and mumbled as he heard Soo Hyuk’s response. Soo Hyuk grinned as Yeon Jeung mumbled and continued conversing.
“See you tomorrow!”
They conversed like that at school and shortly; it was time for them to part. Yeon Jeung said good-bye to Soo Hyuk and went inside the apartment.
Soo Hyuk waved his hand as he received Yeon Jeung’s good-bye. And after Yeon Jeung was out of sight, Soo Hyuk began to run. Honestly, it was a waste of time to not do anything and just move your pace.
Running home will be good for your health and it’ll save time, so it’ll be killing two birds with one stone. Soo Hyuk ran quickly and was able to reach a residential street shortly.
Soo Hyuk stopped running when he reached the residential street. And after catching his breath, he began to walk slowly.
Soo Hyuk stopped his steps. In front of Soo Hyuk was a three-story single house.
Beep Beep Beep.
Soo Hyuk naturally pressed the passcode and opened the door.
Soo Hyuk entered the house and did not say anything. There was no reason to greet. It was because no one was there. It’s not that he didn’t have parents.
Dual income, because of dual income, Soo Hyuk’s parents left the house early in the morning. This didn’t mean they came home early though. If they came home early, it was at 10 pm, but generally they would come home at 12 am, when it was the start of a new day.
Soo Hyuk could only see his parents late at night, and that was if he refused sleep and endured until late at night to see his parents. Universally, it wasn’t a good situation.
Nevertheless, this is if the case was literally a universal situation. Soo Hyuk was not a universal child. Although Soo Hyuk was aware that being in a situation where he was alone for the majority of the day was not good, he did not pay much attention to it.
The reason why he didn’t pay much attention to it is because he felt that his relationship with his parents was not distant. Because Soo Hyuk’s parents were not able to be with him often, the time they did spend together, they tried to spend more harmoniously. You can say it was slightly a problem of loneliness, but Soo Hyuk had his books. If he had his books, he wasn’t alone.
Soo Hyuk took off his shoes and checked the dining table. He smiled as he looked at the $50 and letter on top of it. Soo Hyuk walked towards the dining table and read the letter first.
Soo Hyuk’s mother wrote the letter. The letter contained contents of going on vacation this weekend and asking to go on a trip.
Soo Hyuk placed the letter down and put the $50 in his wallet.
‘I’ll be able to buy three books.’
The purpose of the $50 was already decided. There were a lot of books Soo Hyuk wanted to buy. After Soo Hyuk drank some water, he went inside his room.
Once Soo Hyuk reached his room, he opened his backpack and took out the books that were inside. He began placing them into the first bookshelf that was on the left side. After he placed all of the books inside, Soo Hyuk came out of his room and went up to the second floor.
Although the second floor was just as big as the first floor, it didn’t seem big at all. This was because the second floor had layers of bookcases taking place.
A library, the second floor compared favorably to a small library as it was prepared with many bookcases and books.
Soo Hyuk beamed as he looked at the bookcase filled completely with books. Whenever he went to the second floor, the feeling of ease and joy made him smile.
But, Soo Hyuk wiped the smile off his face as he let out a sigh. It was because he wanted to read the books right away but weren’t able to.
Soo Hyuk began moving his pace again and went up to the third floor. Different than that of the second floor, there was not even one book that existed on the third floor.
There was only exercise equipment. Yes. If the second floor was a small library then the third floor was a small gym.