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Published at 16th of July 2017 04:14:55 AM

Chapter 13

Security and Physique – Part 1


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The get-together was simple .

The precinct differed depending on the prison, but the Korean prison usually had two floors and four sections, which made up one division .

That’s why, in each section there was one person in charge and an assistant . In total, including the District Chief, there were nine people .
Connecting one table was enough .

“Let’s mix the drinks today . ”

Chief Jung Yong Jin, who was stationed on floor five, section 1, suggested while looking at Si Hyun .

When there’s a get-together, it would be a lie to say that they didn’t offer alcohol, but they weren’t persistent about having to drink .
However, since the District Chief enjoyed drinking, they all gave me signals to play along today .

“Then, I’ll start mixing the drinks . ”

Si Hyun mixed beer and soju together while smiling .
The District Chief started speaking with a wide smile .

“Why don’t everyone make a toast, starting from the hard-working Lee Si Hyun . ”
“There’s no need, sir . There’s nothing amazing about a ninth rank ward . ”
“Ha ha, that’s not true . I have a keen eye for detail and when I see you work these days, I’m sure you’ll be promoted to the fifth rank . ”
“Does that mean he wasn’t before?”

Chief Park Young Hwan asked .

“Before, I felt that he would only make it to the sixth rank, but he’s changed lately . ”
“It’s an honor, sir . ”

Acknowledging his compliment with a smile, Si Hyun stood up .

“Then, I’ll make a toast first . Chief, thank you for your hard work . Please always be healthy and may your days always be filled with joy . ”

With that, others started making toasts as well .

While the District Chief gave a word of blessing to everyone, it was Si Hyun’s turn .

Sitting next to Si Hyun, the District Chief smiled and shook his hand .


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“When I look at the prison these days, I’m reminded of this saying . ”
“Which saying…?”
“You know, the thing that the wards talk about often . About how reformation is nonsense . ”
“Oh . ”

Si Hyun heard this from his senior while working .

- Their parents even gave up on them .

- I see…

- And what do they say? Reformation? How can someone do the thing their parents couldn’t do? We should just abandon the idea of reformation and just punish them .

Aside from the wards, most of the people probably thought that too .
It was a truth that I couldn’t deny .

US takes pride in being an advanced country and despite of agreeing to this theory, they ended up giving up because the crime rate wasn’t decreasing . There was no answer for this .

- I’m telling you, until the day you retire, if there’s at least one that genuinely improves, then they’re an amazing ward . You think it’s easy when I say at least one? You’ll understand what I mean when you’ve worked here for couple of years .

While Si Hyun was thinking about the past, he heard the District Chief’s voice .

“I do somewhat agree with that statement . It’s embarrassing to say, but while working in this field for 36 years, the number of prisoners that I thought that really changed was only about five or six . ”
“That’s not true . I think you’ve done more than enough if it’s that many . ”
“But you know, my thoughts have changed lately after looking at you . ”
“Excuse me?”
“At first, I thought the prisoners just followed you because you were treating them harshly . But, if that were the case, then some of them would’ve complained about it . ”
“Oh, right . ”

“But during the past few months, there wasn’t one prisoner that requested to have a counseling session . Also, after seeing their faces, none of them seemed dissatisfied . ”

After taking another shot, he continued .

“That’s why, I thought reformation would be possible if it was you . ”
“Wow, that’s quite a burden sir . ”
“If I can just add one more thing, it would be best if you didn’t leave the Security Division . ”

It was soon Si Hyun’s turn to move to either the Civil Appeals Division or to the court . People have said that working in one of those places is easier than working as a ward, so when given the chance, they tend to choose one of those places .


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Not knowing how to answer, Si Hyun stopped talking .

Then, the District Chief spoke with confidence .

“You’re meant to be part of the Security Division . ”

***

“Ugh . ”

I think I drank too much last night .

I knew I was going to have a hard time working today because of this hangover .

‘Now that I think about it…’

Si Hyun checked his calendar .

His younger sister, Lee Ha Young, was having her first autograph session today .

It’s been years since she dropped out of college so that she can become a webtoon writer . She worked for literary coterie magazine and it seemed like she tried many times to make her debut at a major website .

In the end, she targeted the romance readership and after being contacted by a new website that had romance related materials, she was able to debut successfully .

She released a paperback book and the reaction online was pretty good .

She managed to stay within the top ten .

My sister explained that that made her a popular writer .

Si Hyun tried reading it, but since it was more geared towards women, it wasn’t his cup of tea .

Anyways, after her name became popular, her and other popular writers decided to hold an autograph session at a large bookstore in Seoul .

That day was today .

I thought about calling her, but my phone rang .

Ring .

Looking at the screen, it was Ha Young .

“Hey, Ha Young . ”
“Si Hyun, you know what day it is, right?”

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“Of course I do . ”
“I’m really nervous…what should I do?”
“Most of the readers that will attend are going to be women . Just relax . ”
“…Okay . ”
“You can do it Ha Young . I’m proud that my younger sister is a popular writer . ”
“He he, right?”
“Yeah, so have fun . ”
“Okay!”

***

‘What do I do?’

I was more embarrassed than nervous .

It felt like my side had the least amount of people .

Ha Young was sitting at a table that was provided by the bookstore and nervously looked at her watch .

About 30 minutes was left until the autograph session .

Suddenly, the sound of people talking could be heard .

“Hey, that person bought 1,000 books . ”
“Really…? Do they even have that much in stock?”
“They said it didn’t matter if they didn’t have stock now and to just charge them for it . ”
“Wow…they must be rich . ”
“…That’s amazing . ”

Someone bought 1,000 manhwas at once?
Damn…I’m jealous of that writer .
While Ha Young was being envious, a person walked up to her .
It was a glamorous woman with cat-like eyes .
She was wearing a short, tight skirt and a white blouse while holding a bag with her left hand .

‘Wow, a Hermes bag . ’

Having a big interest in bags, Ha Young knew just from one look . And from the looks of it, it looked like it was made from crocodile leather with diamonds embedded in it .

“Are you the novelist, Lee Ha Young?”

Instead of publish her work under a nickname, she used her real name .

“Oh, yes . ”
“I’m such a big fan of yours . Could I get your autograph?”

In front of her was a book titled, “A Love Like Ice,” which is the manhwa that Ha Young drew . And she discreetly showed the receipt that was between her fingers .

“I prepared a small gift for your hard work . ”
“Huh? Oh…huh?!”

The receipt showed that the woman purchased 1,000 copies of that manhwa .

With a surprised look, she looked around briefly and noticed that other people were starting at them .

“Oh, oh…wow! Thank you very much!”
“It’s nothing . I wanted to give you this small present in hopes that you’ll release more great works . ”

With a bright smile, the woman continued talking .

“Could I have your autograph?”
“Oh, yes, of course! Your name?”
“It’s Lin Shu . ”
“Are you Chinese?”
“I am . ”
“Wow, you speak Korean very well . ”
“Ha ha, I tend to pick up languages pretty fast . ”
“That’s amazing . Oh, and I don’t know Chinese, so would it be okay if I wrote your name in Korean?”
“Of course . ”

With a happy expression, Ha Young wrote “To Lin Shu” in the prettiest handwriting and autographed next to it .

“I’ll remember this forever, Lin Shu . ”
“Let’s meet again if we’re given the chance, Ha Young . ”

 

<Security and Physique – Part 1> End

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