Sand like white dust piled up along the surface of the black shoes.
Kwon Taejung, his face inscrutable, looked at the demolished slum spread across in front of him, then turned to look at Secretary Baek next to him, and chuckled.
“It’s a perfect spot for a vacation, Secretary Baek.
There are no people so it’s quiet, and since there are no cars as well, there would be no reckless driving.”
A vacation spot, a term that didn’t suit the desolated and disintegrated slum.
Overnight, Kwon Taejung was displaced from the well-lit office of his, located in the bustling heart of Seoul to a wrecked village overnight, but without a word of complaint, Kwon Taejung continued reciting constantly how it was a vacation spot.
“From tomorrow, you can just visit me here.
I can come and get off work whenever I like.
Hm, there isn’t any other work that you have to seek authorization for.”
“When was the demolition scheduled”
“It is the 16th of June.”
“There are 3 more months left.
Gosh, I became famous because of the recent news broadcast and received a vacation on top of that, what should I say this is It was a word consisting of four letters.
Oh, I thought of it. Fuck”
Kwon Taejung, who seemed to ponder for a while, laughed lightly and turned to face Secretary Baek.
Along with his laugh, he spoke in a high-pitched voice.
“I was joking.”
Kwon Taejung who seemed to speak jokingly although his words didn’t look to carry such sentiment, threw his arms over the shoulder of Secretary Baek.
“Right, is there something that can be used as an office here”
“Ah…there is a container that was used as a labor office here.
I thought it would be good to use that place as a temporary office, so I told them to clean it up.”
Kwon Taejung, knowing he had no other choice, couldn’t conceal his displeasure at that fact.
He looked at Secretary Baek and nodded, letting out a heavy sigh.
If he could, he wanted to give everything up if it meant he could ease off for the rest of his life, but it was not possible, so he knew he had to compromise.
It was as if, rather than idling away the next 3 months, he was assigned to supervise the office just enough.
“Well, we should visit it first, I guess.”
Kwon Taejung slipped his hands off Secretary Baek’s shoulder and crawled inside the car once again.
Just as he was dissatisfied, he reclined his back against the seat and darted his eyes beyond the car’s window.
On the worn-out and disintegrated walls, were painted words expressing outcry against the redevelopment to be carried out by the Taesung’s group.
Negative sentiments were conveyed with stricken phrases against the suppression of the residents that the said group were implementing.
In some places, here and there, on the walls, crude words were marked.
Anyway **, Kwon Taejung’s mind was brewing with the word “Sex”.
It was just sex, sex, and sex every time.
Taejung let out a small breath, as he caught the word “Sex” sprayed in bold and large font.
Just a little further away inside from the wall full of graffiti, sat a red container sitting there all by itself.
Kwon Taejung knocked on the car’s window with his knuckles where the red container was visible, as if to point it out.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Don’t tell me, is that it”
“Qtja’r klat lar mbibg”
“Qfii, la kjr mbibgfv ilxf atja rb atja jcsbcf mbeiv rff jcv gfmbuclhf la ogbw jcs vlrajcmf.”
“Qbk, atfgf lr fnfc j gfjrbc obg mtbbrlcu remt j glvlmeiber mbibg.
Ct, yea P ilxf ygluta mbibgr.”
“Vtbeiv P mtjcuf atf mbcajlcfg”
P pera vbc’a ilxf atf mbibg.
Pa’ii yf j qgbyifw lo kf mtjcuf la ab j cbgwji bcf. Tbe xcbk tbk atf qgfrlvfca vlrilxfr atlcur ilxf atja.
Pa vbfrc’a wjaafg fnfc lo atfgf’r j gfjrbc ab mtjcuf la.”
Before Secretary Baek could get to open the door of the car, Kwon Taejung got off.
He rested his back against the car and looked at the red container, fixedly.
“Ah, should we start a fire If the place burns down, we can then change the container to a new one.”
Kwon Taejung would sometimes spout puzzling things which were very hard to figure out, whether he was joking or simply being serious.
If it was something serious, then it was to the point of being very exaggerated.
But if he was joking then it seemed serious enough to consider.
Therefore, it was very difficult to match his challenging flow of words.
“Our Secretary Baek was fooled again.
It’s a joke.
Do you think I would cause an accident again I appeared on the news because of the reckless driving incident but it wouldn’t look good if I appear on the news again, day after.”
Kwon Taejung laughed at Secretary Baek’s blanched face before heading inside the container.
Secretary Baek knew that Kwon Taejung was the kind of person to be igniting a fire for sure.
Without receiving the joke as one, Secretary Baek soon followed suit.
“It’s even lousier inside.
Fuck, look at the sofa.
Did a thug choose this”
Inside the container, there were two large desks, some office chairs, a sofa whose innards were oozing out in between torn fabric and a table which seemed to be out of date to be used these days.
Kwon Taejung, who was comparatively cheery before, couldn’t hide the feelings of discomfort as he raised his hands to pinch his nose.
Kwon Taejung prioritized cleanliness above anything else.
It wasn’t to the extent of having germaphobia but it was perhaps because of growing up in a clean environment since he was a kid.
So, the fact that there were people before him, who had recklessly used the container and left a nasty reek behind them was something that Kwon Taejung couldn’t tolerate.
It was obvious that Kwon Taejung’s mood was spoiled so he walked out of the container with a frown.
He beckoned Secretary Kwon after.
“Are you saying that I should use that trash like place as my office”
It was suddenly decided yesterday evening, so the preparations were insufficient.
I will replace all the furniture by tomorrow and will have the cleaning done again.”
“I can tolerate other things, but I can’t tolerate dirty things.
Also do something about the nasty reek of cigarettes.”
“Yes, I will prepare it properly.”
Kwon Taejung nodded.
He climbed back into the back seat and plunged his back deep into the seats.
As he approached the back door of the car, Secretary Baek came forward and grabbed the door open.
To not irk Kwon Taejung, Secretary Baek softly closed the door, careful to not make a noise.
“Should I take you home”
“Yes, since there is nothing to do here.
Since I’m self-reflecting, I should head home, right”
Kwon Taejung loosened his once tightened necktie, impassively lifted the files and the tablet PC kept in front of him.
“What is this”
“Ah, this is the information regarding the redevelopment plan of Daramdong.
I think it would be great for you if you had a look, so I prepared these for you.”
“There are too many.”
Kwon Taejung, roughly scanned the several documents organized inside the file and soon lost his interest.
He turned on the tablet PC and hovered his widened eyes over the screen.
There was nothing particularly interesting.
“So, what should I do for the remaining 3 months I am informed that the place would be demolished in those 3 months.
Isn’t it the end then”
“There’s a document containing the list of residents inside the file.
Please look at it.”
After he opened the file, he took out the residents’ list and skimmed the information of the residents listed, indifferently.
“It is the list of residents who are still living in Daramdong.
There are eight families left.
All the residents must leave by the next 3 months because even if there is a family left, they can’t go through with the demolition.”
“Shouldn’t they leave knowing that their houses would be demolished”
“Well…I did inform the president about that before.
If you remember, there was a program broadcasted last year in November, known as “The nightmare of slums.”
The one supermarket’s mister appeared on.”
That time it was broadcasted only in Daramdong, and a violent accident broke out soon after that …you may also remember that the construction (demolition) was put on hold as a result.
After that, they compensated only those who were supposed to be compensated, all services regarding the demolition were stopped.
Although, with caution and rather barely, they have started the construction so even if there is a small problem, it would be stopped once again.
All the press’ eyes are fixed here so…”
Kwon Taejung guffawed after Secretary Baek had finished talking.
Secretary Baek and Driver Jung shot a look at Kwon Taejung.
“No, Secretary Baek is talking in such a roundabout way, tiptoeing around my mood.
So, to summarize, the protest barely calmed down and the construction is starting again.It’s not that I am back to square one after appearing on the news.
But, it wouldn’t be for the better if I happen to cause accidents and draw attention.“
“…What are you sorry for No, Secretary Baek, tell me, do you think I should have controlled myself back there That bastard picked a fight with my car first and tried to flee from the scene.”
As Kwon Taejung entered the search engine on a tablet PC, he swiftly searched videos on and played it.
Honestly, I didn’t know what I did so wrong that was worth constantly being picked upon.
That loser struck my car first and to teach that guy a lesson, I chased after him for 30 minutes and that was all.
“The person who riled me up is the victim and I, who is considered the perpetrator here, should reimburse him Isn’t it unfair that I was sent here, in this wrecked place just because I said that I am the one suffering in this accident, just because I am a chaebol”
“To be frankly speaking, the story that has been reported is being biased towards that person.
Since that person keeps doing different interviews, the public opinion of this whole incident is getting worse.
However, as more people are getting to know how unfair the president’s stance is in this whole situation, I suppose it will get better eventually.”
Kwon Taejung averted his eyes that were stuck on the scenery passing by behind the car’s window and rested it on the front seat’s headrest, before laughing at Secretary Baek’s words.
“Still, no one understands me better than Secretary Baek.”
“Me too, boss.”
Driver Jung, who carefully lifted his curled fist to express the same opinion, was smiled at by Kwon Taejung.
The video playing in the background was stopped as the chatter of the reporter died away and silence took its place in the car.
“Driver Jung understands me too.”
“Of course, sir! It’s been 3 years I have been working under you and until now, it has been rather normal.
That car owner even looks like a thug but sadly, the public was fooled by him.
But don’t worry, sir, the right people won’t believe him!”
“Thank you, Driver Jung!”
Kwon Taejung chuckled at Driver Jun’s excited tone, rested deeply against the seat ignoring how his hair got messy as a rest.
He flipped through the residents’’ list again.
“Continue saying what you were saying before, Secretary Baek.”
If the current situation is considered, it would be best to make it any worse so the public can’t find any faults about it.
The owners of the supermarket who appeared on the broadcast of the accident have moved, after receiving their compensation, so there is nothing to worry about.”
“The man who fought with the management left”
About two months after the incident.”
“Then, it’s not that simple.
If we inform the residents about the demolition in advance, they would be adamant to not leave.
So, we can just let them leave peacefully, at their own pace.”
Kwon Taejung looked through until there were no pages left to take in.
On the last page of the file, there were residents’ ID pictures listed.
Among all the residents’ pictures he followed until then, different from all of them, there was a picture of a baby-faced young boy.