After eating lunch, I sat down in front of the TV in the resting room when someone placed their hand on my shoulder and spoke.

“Let’s go out and get some fresh air.”

It was my friend, Joon Chul.

“Why do you keep calling me when you’re smoking outside?”

“Hey, that’s not right. Since the air in here is stuffy, you need to get some fresh air. That way, you’ll feel much lighter when working later.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll go out.”

If you wanted to smoke, you would have to either go to the smoking room or outside of the building.

Joon Chul didn’t like smoking in the smoking room, so he would always go outside to smoke.

But, one days when they had the same schedule, he would ask Si Hyun to go out with him.

As soon as they walked out, Joon Chul smoked with a smile and then started talking.

“Congratulations.”

“Huh?”

Si Hyun had a confused look on his face.

“You didn’t go into the website?”

“I did yesterday, but not today.”

“The floor that you’re stationed at, it got first place for outstanding work.”

“Oh, really?”

From all the times that I’ve been working here, this was the first time it got first place.

It wasn’t a really honorable thing, but rather, it was something small. It did have a great effect at impressing the higher ups.

“It was shocking.”

“Ha ha, it’s nothing to be shocked about. I try my best as well..”

“Second place was the sticker issuing department and they got it five times in a row. But first place never got it once. Does this make sense? While working, you didn’t call the CRPT once? You never got caught by the manager or while patrolling the place? Not even in the dark room? Exactly how do you and the chief get work done? Are you working on something else?”

“Wha…zero times? Really?”

Si Hyun had a surprised expression.

Now that I think about it, I don’t remember the prisoners receiving the stickers this month.

“Why are you surprised? It’s a fact.”

“No, I didn’t know it was zero.”

“If you continue working like this, I’m sure you’ll get a good rating. Good job.”

They couldn’t check to see how each of the ward worked and who was doing the better job. It was impossible to know exactly what they did.

That’s why, depending on the year, the ward’s ratings are decided. But, the unfair thing about it is that, the wards with an office job have a better rating than the wards that deal with the prisoners.

Anyone can place a prisoner in custody, but for office work, the high ups may think that the wards need to be smart in order to work.

But, if there were definite results, like how Si Hyun was showing, then that’s a different story.

If they ignored those results, there would be a lot of complaints.

“You might pass the Promotion Test.”

Joon Chul said.

The Promotion Test consisted of ratings and the writing score.

There have been many wards that received a high score on their writing test, but had terrible ratings. For two years, Si Hyun received a high score, but to his ratings, he failed.

“I really want to pass this time. If my ratings are high and I still fail, I wouldn’t know what to think.”

“Do well on the writing test too. You know that our prison is popular at the Seoul office, right?”

“You said you’re going to continue working, right? You don’t plan on changing your mind?”

“Yeah. I’m already married and my wife’s job is located near here, so moving would be too much of a burden.”

Joon Chul got married when he was 35 years old and already had a kid.

“That’s true.”

If one works at the same station for a long time, they’ll be promoted up to the Sixth rank. Although it’s slow, it’s still beneficial. That’s why, there are wards that prefer this.

On the other hand, one can quickly get promoted through the test, but every time their rank increases, they have to continue moving to different stations. For example, one could be stationed at Uijeongbu and then be moved to Chooncheon.

Honestly, it was a question with no answer.

Depending on which promotion one chooses, that’ll be the answer.

“Anyways, I like you. So, it would be nice if we continued working in the same place.”

“Joon Chul, why are you overreacting today? I’m nothing special.”

Si Hyun waved his hands.

“I’m saying you’re one of a kind.”

“Looks like time’s up. I know how you feel so let’s get going.”

***

Kim Man Duk.

Although he was short, he had a sharp look in his eyes.

His entire was like a canvas. His body was only covered with tattoos, but with scars due to him injuring himself.

Man Duk walked casually in front of the ward. For some, a prison was hell, but for him, it was nothing more than a playground. Hurting himself was another game for him and he would do it when he was bored.

“Hello, one person arrived has arrived.”

The ward that was in charge of Man Duk saluted the chief and then quickly ran off.

“You’re here, Man Duk?”

Young Hwan greeted him with a not so bright expression.

“Why, if it isn’t Chief Park? Let me just go into my room. I want to rest.”

“Before you do that, place your belongings here, go into the office.”

“What is it this time?”

“Our department head wants to have a word with you. Go on in.”

Because the problematic prisoner was standing before him, Young Hwan complimented Si Hyun. If the chief treated the employees unfairly, there’s a chance the prisoners would treat them the same. There were a lot of wards that didn’t do that, but Young Hwan was the type to do that.

“Department head? Who’s the department head?”

“You don’t know who Lee Si Hyun is?”

“Never heard of him. What’s with the annoying interview? Just let me go into my room.”

“Stop being so difficult and give me your belongings.”

Young Hwan forcefully took his belongings.

Seeing how determined the chief was, Man Duk walked into the office while complaining.

Si Hyun was sitting in the office with a comfortable look on his face.

“Man Duk? Have a seat.”

“Let’s hurry it up.”

Man Duk sat down violently.

“You know me, right?”

“I don’t. Do I have to know all of the faces of the wards?”

The way he talked was getting annoying.

It was because Si Hyun was young.

Of course, Man Duk was older than him, but he wasn’t the type to show respect.

“I’m sure you’ll know from now on.”

“Stop talking nonsense.”

“Remember me, you bitch.”

Si Hyun’s suddenly talked violently. His voice hasn’t increased. He controlled it so that people outside wouldn’t hear him.

He wanted to grab him by the collar, but he couldn’t. It was because Young Hwan was watching from outside.

“What?! What did you say?! You crazy piece of shit! You…”

In that moment, Si Hyun released the Iron Ward spirit. He was able to practice it several times on the other prisoners and thanks to that, he was able to use it freely.

Then, the one once furious Man Duk had a surprising change.

“You…you…oh…will there be…dog meat for dinner today? Heh heh…”

“Why would there be dog meat a prison you idiot?!”

“Oh…right. I’m a pretty dumb piece of shit…heh heh…”

Man Duk suddenly had an embarrassed look on his face.

It was an expression he never had before.

His body started shaking like an Aspen tree.

‘…Scary! Scary! Scary! Scary! Scary!’

He wasn’t sure of the reason, but he was scared.

He couldn’t think straight and he wasn’t exactly sure what he was currently saying.

This fear was making his body shake.

“Hey, listen to me carefully.”

“Ye, yes! I’m listening. Of course I am. Please continue.”

“I usually don’t talk down to prisoners. I at least follow the rules.”

Si Hyun wasn’t the type to use profanity or even talk down to prisoners.

This time, he couldn’t help but use profanity.

The people that Man Duk scammed weren’t even able to get their money back. There were several victims who committed suicide due to an intense level of stress. Despite of the crime he committed, he’s been spending his days in the prison without much thought and on top of that, he’s been causing problems to the wards.

“Please talk down on me! Please continue! I’m comfortable with it!”

“Listen carefully.”

“Yes, sir!”

“It’s possible to be sent here after committing a crime, right? If that’s the case, then damn, you should live a righteous life here. Okay, let’s just say you acted like that one time. But how could you constantly injure yourself and make it harder for the other wards? You piece of shit! If you committed a crime, you should at least live a righteous life in prison while thinking about what you’ve done. Instead you injure yourself? Huh? Say something! You piece of…”

“I’m sorry! I’m really sorry! I won’t do it ever again! Really!’

Man Duk’s face turned pale as he placed his knees on the floor. He then started begging.

“Really? If you do it again, I’ll kill you, seriously.”

“Yes, I’m serious, really! Why would I lie about it when my life is on the line?”

“Okay, I’ll believe you this one time. You can go.”

“Yes, yes! Thank you! Thank you for believing in me!”

Despite of the fact that he never bowed to his deceased parents, he did to Si Hyun.

After embarrassing himself, he walked out of the room while trembling.

Young Hwan was standing outside with an expression that said he couldn’t believe what he had just seen. His mouth was wide open.

“Po Ah Him is very satisfied by your action.”

“Knowledge +8, Mentality +20, Mana +7 Recovered.”

His reward was awesome as well.

 

<The Righteous Prison Life> End





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