Chapter Two – TRL
No one could deny that Lee Jae-hun in the novel was a bad guy.
Not just since entering the underworld.
Even normally, he was quite old-fashioned, and a trash who saw people as tools rather than people.
Though he didn't do anything extremely bad like murder, Lee Jae-hun was already a good enough villain.
He had no qualms about abusing his position as a manager.
Thanks to that, he had a very bad relationship with the main character who held the position of assistant manager in the same department.
He isn’t pretending, because the main character is a fairly good person, Lee Jae-hun and he have bumped into each other many times before.
To be honest, even after remembering his previous life, he still didn't like the main character.
His past self’s personality wasn’t even good in the first place.
However, Lee Jaehun, who knew what would happen in the future, was willing to put his pride aside for his long-term gain.
He had a reason to look good to the main character.
'For now, let's give you an unexpected image.'
[Note: I think he’s saying he’ll surprise the Protagonist by acting completely different from before.]
Different than usual, he came out dressed lightly and looked around him.
Lee Jaehun sought a house near his company so that commuting would not be difficult, but it was generally difficult to find a house for rent in the middle of Seoul.
And it was the same for Jung In-ho, the main character of this world.
Lee Jae-hun before recalling his previous life did not know, but assistant manager Jung In-ho was commuting in an area that took more than an hour even by car.
According to what he said in the novel, he probably chose the cheapest house in order to become completely independent on his own.
In any case, the place where he lived was a rundown neighborhood that did not look very lively even to Lee Jaehun.
The only good thing was the walking trail, and Assistant Manager Jung In-ho did a light jog there every weekend morning.
He was equipped with basic stamina and agility, befitting the main character of an R-rated angst novel.
[Note: R19 survival novel → R-rated angst novel]
Lee Jaehun recalled that the Assistant Manager Jung In-ho usually jogs near the side of an esplanade, and after confirming that there was an ice cream discount store among the shops listed next to it, he moved on.
[Note: An esplanade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk.
The place he stopped by was at a liquor store next to a discount store
Upon opening the rusty door and entering, a variety of alcoholic beverages were lined up, from wine to rice wine.
He thought about it while searching on the Internet, though it was a small shop, it had a pretty substantial composition.
Of course, the quantity and quality were lower than that of the specialty stores he would usually go to, but it didn't matter much since his purpose wasn't alcohol itself.
Lee Jaehun just needed the excuse that he had to come here.
He slowly blinked his eyes and spoke to the storekeeper.
“I contacted you yesterday, I’m here to find Shaoxing Wine.”
“Ahh… It's you.”
Also called Shaoxing Noju, it was the name of an alcoholic beverage often used in Chinese cuisine.
Surprisingly, the distribution of alcoholic beverages in Korea was not very smooth.
What can be ordered by courier is usually limited to traditional liquor, and if you want to purchase more authentic alcohol, delivery is not possible.
In addition, in the case of Shaoxing Wine, compared to other alcoholic beverages it was not easily obtained in the surrounding area.
If it was alcohol such as cocktail or wine, it would have been available near Lee Jaehun's house, but if it was alcohol that most people did not know the name of, Lee Jaehun would have to find it himself.
He quietly watched as the store owner retrieved a bottle with dry hands.
“Actually, few people are looking for this, so there are few in stock.”
One bottle is enough.”
“Oh, you want to use it for cooking?”
“It’s not… It bothers me that my display case is empty.”
He wasn’t lying.
Lee Jae-hun is a very conceited person.
He was quite particular about decorating his house, so of course, displaying expensive or rare collections was also his hobby.
That's why he naturally also had a splendid wine bar.
But if you ask if this is the complete truth, of course it's not that either.
'Because it's just an excuse in the first place.'
Lee Jaehun looked at the hands of the shopkeeper diligently packing the liquor.
He had a lot of vanity, but he was not a drinker.
He’d argue that he liked a dinner party where he could lead his subordinates and reaffirm his power.
But he wasn't the type to drink alone at home.
However, Lee Jaehun needed to deceive the suspicious protagonist.
The employees below Lee Jaehun must have vaguely known the address of his home because they accepted his rudeness several times.
There was no way that assistant manager Jung In-ho, a sharp-witted employee on the outside, would not be suspicious of me here.
[Note: ‘Accepted his rudeness’ probably means Old Lee Jae-hun gets drunk a lot and has to get one of the employees to send him home.]
Before entering the underworld, stalking or sudden misunderstandings must be avoided.
So, to make an excuse to come to this neighborhood, Lee Jaehun threw away the Shaoxing Wine from the display case last night.
He thought about just drinking it, but he had to drive.
And he thought there might be a problem if he kept the wine at home.
To be honest, it wasn’t a big deal by his standards, but there's no way the main character, who secretly pursues the law, would allow drunk driving.
He wondered if assistant manager Jung In-ho would come to his house and check the display case, these details are important to keep in mind.
If there is one thing Lee Jaehun has learned from his previous life, it is that there is nothing wrong with being thorough.
He held the paper bag the shopkeeper had given him in one hand and checked his watch on the other hand.
‘The time the main character jogs in the morning is from 9:30 to 10:30…’
The incident that Assistant Manager Jung In-ho witnessed the day before he entered the underworld occurred while the main character was on his way back after finishing his morning workout.
Lee Jaehun took care of his wristwatch and naturally stared at the situation outside the window.
A faint, familiar figure caught his eye in the distance.
Lee Jae-hun, who parted dryly like when he had come in, left the liquor store and walked down the sidewalk.
He had to walk a bit to the side of the liquor store and to the ice cream concession stand next door.
At that moment when the protagonist, who had been jogging for some time, gets closer, a child from the ice cream store ran towards a woman on the esplanade.
Lee Jaehun intentionally opened his eyes wide and pulled the child by the back of the shirt.
Shortly thereafter, a black passenger car drove right in front of the child.
It was quiet for a while as if the loud noise that was not suitable for an old and peaceful neighborhood had been eaten up.
Then a woman who seemed to be the child's mother screamed as if she had suddenly grasped the situation.
“A car, a car accident… ! keen! just now!”
“What, who died?”
Seeing the cruel interest that anyone would have shown on the faces seen in front of them, Lee Jaehun covered the eyes of the child he had pulled.
It was a very reflexive action.
Only then did the child, who seemed to realize the situation, burst into tears and grab onto his arm.
“Uuugh, uuu, aaaa, ugh…!”
[Note: the translation was literally “Heh, hee, hee, uh, uh… !” .
Thanks to this, his hands that had covered the child’s eyes became damp.
Even though when he lowered his hand that covered his eyes with strange discomfort and unknown embarrassment, the child did not seem to want to let go of his forearm.
His lightly-dressed shirt drooped, thanks to the kid.
Lee Jaehun felt strangely embarrassed.
He saw the woman running from the other side.
“Mi-Min Hong! Min Hong!”
“ah! thank you thank you, thank you….”
Lee Jae-hun frowned at the sight of her stroking the child with trembling hands and repeating the same words over and over again.
It wasn't because he was offended, it was because the woman talking that way made him feel like he was looking at a broken machine.
He sensed that she was about to say something else, so he brushed his hands away, not wanting to get caught up in something pointless.
Fortunately, the woman's attention quickly returned to her child, who seemed to be on the verge of tears.
Of course, he didn't know if this child is her son, but the main character in the novel also considered the two to have a mother-son relationship, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Above all, hadn't he already achieved the reason he came here?
Lee Jaehun took his cell phone out of his pocket and called out to the main character as if he had seen him by chance, and the main character's face, which previously hadn't even shown a hint of laughter, was covered with a smile of joy as if it were drawn.
Lee Jaehun internally snorted at the quick change, then held out his other hand to him without revealing his crooked intention.
It was the same gesture as giving a command to a dog.
He continued, pretending that the current meeting was very embarrassing.
Wait a moment.”
“Ah yes… .”
“Did Deputy Jung live here? Okay, wait a minute.”
He hoped this stupid person who repeats what he says1 is taken aback by the unexpected situation.
Lee Jaehun thought so and called an ambulance.
People were already huddled together, so he wondered if he was needed to help the person in the car, but he knew from reading the novel.
He was one of the few people gathered around the car that hit the pole, but no one helped the driver.
They would only call an ambulance after the driver had stopped breathing.
The main character doesn't give any help, perhaps because the driver was the perpetrator who almost killed the child, but it was another thing for Lee Jaehun, who was already hated, to leave the injured person alone.
Truthfully, he didn't want to help the driver, but he had to help in order to improve his image.
After calling an ambulance, Lee Jaehun entered the crowd and opened the car door.
'The smell of alcohol.'
It appeared to be a drunk driver.
This bug is brave in broad daylight.
[Note: it actually says 이 벌건 which translates to this bee or this red thing, I assume this a slang or something, so I’m winging it.
The overall meaning is pretty clear though.]
Lee Jaehun was also a seed not very different from the driver in front of him, he suddenly thought that if he had fallen asleep while drinking Shaoxing wine yesterday, he could have been in trouble.
In a way, he almost bought hate from the main character.
Lee Jae-hun, who closely checked the driver's condition, decided to take simple measures instead of taking out the driver.
Because the car was quite dented, it seemed that if he touched him he would only increase the damage.
After removing the bandage on his arm from the hospital to stop the bleeding on the driver’s forehead, he made his way through the crowd of people looking at him.
He's not going to die anyway, so from now on, the people who came by ambulance will take care of it.
Lee Jaehun said with a distorted face to the main character who was looking at him with black eyes.
“What are you doing, Mr.
“Are you going to lend a hand to such a noisy matter? If Jung gets caught up in it, even I, the general manager, will be in trouble, so just ignore it and come quickly.”
The main character's face became quite strange at those words, but Lee Jaehun urged him, recalling his old self as much as possible.
It was quite difficult to keep the tone of his previous life from popping out unintentionally.
Lee Jaehun thought this while feeling the gaze of the main character chasing him at an appropriate distance.
'It must be strange.'
If you look at the trash talking, the old-fashioned manager is right.
[Note: Actual word used is 꼬라지 which transliterates to kkoraji.
It basically is used to describe someone who doesn’t look good, polite, neat, tidy, etc.
In english there isn’t a proper word to describe all those traits, so trash is the best equivalent I could think of.
Regardless, this sentence still doesn’t make sense to me.]
He didn't care if there was an accident or not, and he sounded like a piece of trash who didn't want to get involved in troublesome things.
However, Lee Jaehun was also the one who saved a child who was almost hit by a car just a moment ago and even treated the driver of that car.
Even though the words and gestures are as usual, it must have been a reaction that felt quite alien to the main character who was looking closely at the situation.
That old boss? Did the guy who talked bullshit and even thought it was worth taking sick leave, save two people just today?
If it doesn't feel weird, I wonder what would be considered weird?.
Even if he said he would improve his image, he wondered if he had done it a little hastily, but he couldn't help it.
'If it wasn't now, there would be no chance.'
Wouldn't they be eaten by the Underworld right away tomorrow?
If there was time, it was only today, and even Lee Jaehun had been given an advantageous opportunity.
Who would miss such a good opportunity?
Lee Jaehun, who swallowed his thoughts, opened his mouth to the main character who was making a dumbfounded expression.
Well… Does Deputy Manager Jung live here?”
“Yes… ? I knew that the manager lived near the company, but for some reason he came here….”
I have something to look at…
He deliberately blurted out his sloppy speech.
If it was Lee Jae-hun of the past, he would not have bothered to tell Assistant Manager Jung that he had come all the way here to fill his wine bar.
He must have thought that saying that the manager of a large company came this far to buy alcohol would damage his image.
Of course, apart from that, the main character must have figured out why he came this far.
He fell once while pulling the back of the child, at that time he was distracted, and the main character must have seen that he had left the alcohol in the paper bag.
Of course, Lee Jaehun didn't really go crazy, but at from the main character's point of view, he did.
Lee Jaehun hardened his face for a moment, as if realizing that he had left his alcohol behind, then relaxed his expression as he looked at Deputy Jung in front of him.
Even though he must have confirmed all of this, the main character's dumb skin was not broken.
'I was definitely more afraid of these type of guys in my previous life.'
Lee Jae-hun clicked his tongue inwardly, and on the outside he continued, acting as himself.
“Kuhm, that, that.
What can I say, but…
“Don’t go anywhere and tell anybody what I did today.
Got it? You know how annoying it gets when you get strange calls from drivers or parents later on?”
“ah… If it's a strange contact…
“Why are you pretending to be naive? Who knows if they'll demand compensation for the damage I've touched.”
This was bullshit too.
Of course, it was bullshit not in that he did not believe in the goodness of the people who were gathered there today, but in the sense that he casually spit out something he hadn't even thought about.
Damage compensation is a piece of shit, what did those guys do well?
After hearing Lee Jaehun’s words, the main character's expression became strange as if he didn't really sympathize, but Lee Jaehun steadfastly continued his acting.
If you show doubts here for no reason, wouldn't all the benefits be lost?
Fortunately, Lee Jaehun was quite talented in acting.
He continued talking, recalling his former self.
“What… no, anyway.
Doesn't Assistant Manager Jung help the general manager when he is having such a hard time? I'm not doing this because I hate you, it's just that I'm really bad at it.”
“If all is said and done with sorry, then why is there a law? What a clever person.”
It was not much different from usual, but unlike the shiny face of the past, the current assistant manager Jung In-ho's expression was a little distorted.
It meant that Lee Jaehun's tricks had worked to some extent.
Lee Jaehun, who noticed it with his previous life's experience, let out a sigh of relief in his heart.
'Yes, that's how it should be.'
Lee Jaehun was putting all his pride down and acting like a clown, but if it weren't for this small change, it would have been quite a headache.
This plan was based on the quick perception of the main character.
A traffic accident is more hectic than you think.
Most ordinary people are: firstly, confused by the roaring noises that they do not normally hear, and secondly, lose their sense of reality by the things they only see on the news happening right in front of them.
And thirdly, are shocked by the surroundings that have been disturbed by the commotion, causing shock to their souls.
That's why anyone who wasn't in the immediate vicinity would not know that he had saved the child before he was hit by a car.
It happened so quickly, and since the car was smashed right after, it was obvious which way the attention would be directed.
However, on the premise that the main character, who is subtly insane, would be recognizable, he found the places in the novel one by one and made excuses to come all the way here.
He would have been sad if he hadn't recognized the area.
Lee Jaehun opened his mouth as he opened and closed his empty hand as if he was sorry for the bottle he had left behind.
I'm sorry for nagging you on my day off.
You know I’m saying this because I think of you as my substitute, right?”
I am listening to everything.”
“I have to go to work tomorrow, but I cursed at him.
Deputy Jung also entered cautiously…
At this point, today's goal has been achieved.
His goal today isn't to completely pull the ugly hair out of his opponent.
[Note: Meaning his goal isn’t to completely eradicate the main character's hate towards him.]
It was impossible, and it could easily lead to misunderstandings.
It was not something that should be done in a hurry.
In the novel, Lee Jae-hun was a worthless villain whose death was used as cider.
A sudden change in personality would only increase the opponent's vigilance, so Lee Jaehun prepared an opportunity for himself to be seen differently through the unexpected behavior he showed today.
As it was directly related to people's lives, it will give time to look back on the basis of what happens in the Underworld.
When Lee Jaehun, who had finished his judgment up to that point, moved his steps naturally, a bizarrely clean voice caught him.
Lee Jaehun blinked at the call, which clearly had some intention.
“When did your arm hurt?”
'I forgot about this.'
Yesterday, today, and in his previous life, this kind of wound was insignificant, so he kept forgetting.
Even though it would be a very big wound to the general public today.
So Lee Jaehun calmly treated the driver and used the bandage wrapped around his arm.
At the time, he only thought that the bandage the doctor wrapped yesterday would be useful, but the sharp-eyed protagonist would not have been unaware of the meaning of the bandaged wound.
Lee Jaehun rubbed his fingers on the injured arm without looking away from the main character.
His eyes sank at the familiar touch.
Come to think of it, the doctor told him not to move too much with this arm yesterday, but it must have moved quite a lot today.
He only now noticed the sensation of the wound opening and blood running down his shirt.
After thinking for a moment, Lee Jaehun answered.
“… Yesterday, I was scratched by a protruding nail, so I went to the hospital.”
He was a bit taken aback, but not to the point of being caught off guard.
No matter how smart you are, the current protagonist is an ordinary person without any skills.
He wouldn't have been able to figure out what kind of wound it was in the moment he took off the bandage.
At Lee Jaehun's remark that the wound was from a nail instead of a knife, Assistant Manager Jung In-ho made a look of surprise.
“Oh, nails? It shouldn't have gotten worse.”
“So it is… .
Huh, no luck at all.
Yesterday and today was just a mess.”
This was half sincere.
The thought that if he hadn't recalled his previous life, he could have died without knowing anything blackened his head, and then disappeared in an instant.
Lee Jaehun sighed as he rubbed his forehead with his other hand, which was not bleeding.
“Anyway, Deputy Manager Jung, get going.”
“… Yes, boss.
Please be careful.”
Lee Jaehun's gaze, alertly noticing the momentary void, turned to his hand that was holding down his forehead.
His wrist, to be exact.
“The watch is broken.”
He murmured inwardly in irritation at having been overtaken by his opponent.
‘… This bastard was faking…
The glass of the delicately crafted watch was shattered as if it had been shocked in some way when it fell.
It was obvious that he didn't have to explain what condition his wrist was in.
The wound on his arm was not what Jung In-ho was aiming for.
What he wanted to check was the wound on his wrist that caused the watch to break, and he wanted to see how well manager Lee Jaehun was used to the pain.
Of course, Lee Jaehun, at least the old Lee Jae-hun, was not used to suffering.
Wasn't there a time when the company's stapler was wrongly inserted and he screamed loudly?
As far as the arm, it had happened yesterday, so even if that was the case, the pieces of glass that had just been lodged in and around the wrist were different things.
Lee Jaehun had admitted that he was used to new wounds.
But only the mentally ill were familiar with pain and wounds.
Yes, those crazy people who populated the world of his previous life.
No one even knew what it would sound like to be used to suffering in a world so calm and quiet.
That's why Jung In-ho noticed that Lee Jaehun now is different from before.
At least he would have felt a gap.
and perhaps that was a direction Lee Jaehun did not want.
‘I didn’t want to be considered familiar with pain… .’
A misunderstanding is also a misunderstanding, but he didn't want to create an excuse to be used harshly as a labor force in the Underworld.
If a person who is already on bad terms goes so far as to say that he is used to wounds, is there any way that a human being driven into a predicament will not drive the other person into another predicament?
He was skeptical of human goodness when in dire situations.
Lee Jaehun's gaze met the other's black eyes.
“I was so distracted, I didn’t even know I had a scar on my hand.”
The protagonist replied to him.
했던 말을 반복하는 이 멍청한 모습이 부디 예상치 못한 상황에 당황한 것처럼 보였으면 좋을 텐데.]
“내일 바로 출근인데 욕봤다.
정 대리도 조심히 들어가고….”
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