“I’m saying this to you as a friend, but showing people how well you discipline the prisoners might not be that great. Those that are above Section Chiefs are only interested in their promotion and could care less about those under them. Not having any issues before they get promoted is considered lucky. In that sense, you’re a great tool Si Hyun. No matter who comes, I’m sure the Security Division won’t let you go. You could forever be stuck there.”

“…..”

“You’ve worked there long enough Si Hyun, so you should know how they’re treated.”

Of course he knew.

It was the most important at the same time, most challenging division.

Since they were called on first when there was an issue, it was a difficult division.

No matter who’s placed in that division, it’s assumed that they’re able to maintain the security, so there are rumors about the wards that worked in this division for a long time. They say that those wards are incompetent.

It’s the division that all must go through, but that’s all it was. It was a requirement.

“I understand what you’re saying.”

“Yeah? I’m relieved to hear that you understood.”

“You know.”

Si Hyun continued talking while looking straight at Woong Jae.

“I like the Security Division. I think their job is what I do best.”

“…Oh, really? Not much I can do if you think that way. Well, it’s impossible for Rank Nines to work at an office or at HQ and they’re only allowed to be promoted to Rank Six. If you work at the Security Division, you might get tired physically, but if it doesn’t affect you that badly, it’s not so bad.”

Woong Jae also looked straight at Si Hyun and talked.

Rank Nine and Rank Seven wards are treated very differently.

A small amount of people is selected through the exam, so there are quite a lot that started out at Rank Seven and worked their way up. There are those that stop at Rank Six or barely make it to Rank Five, but as long as they’re competent and work with the right people, it’s possible for them to be promoted to a higher rank.

Compared to that, a Rank Nine’s limit was clear.

It’s better now, but there were those that retired as a Rank Seven long ago. Many just suffered and retired without getting an official title.

“Woong Jae, don’t you think you’re being too harsh?”

Jong Hyuk intercepted.

Besides Woong Jae, everyone else here were Rank Nine wards. What he said was enough to make them angry.

“Oh, sorry. Was I too harsh? I wanted to give an honest advice, but it ended up coming out that way. I’m sorry.”

He only apologized after he said everything he wanted to say.

Si Hyun didn’t like his attitude, but since it was a college reunion, he maintained a calm expression so that it wouldn’t ruin the mood.

Despite of the fact that he made a mean comment at the end, he thought he could take the advice that he gave in the beginning.

“Have a drink.”

Si Hyun poured alcohol into Woong Jae’s cup.

“Thanks, it’s been a while.”

“I heard you got promoted to a Rank Seven in the administrative field, so why did you choose the classified division? People usually choose to go into the administrative field.”

“I’m not sure, but it’s probably because my father was a ward and I was affected by that, so I decided to go with that. My father retired before he could become a chief, so I want to achieve that dream for him.”

“I see.”

Woong Jae filled Si Hyun’s empty cup and continued talking.

“I acknowledge your skills. I was honestly surprised after watching the show.”

“Thanks for the compliment.”

“But do you think that skill will guarantee your promotion?”

Woong Jae didn’t wait for an answer and continued talking.

“I’m sure you know. That it’s a no. It may be unfair, but that’s life. Wards that are well-known for disciplining the prisoners usually retire as a Section Chief and even if they do poorly at their job, as long as kiss up to the higher ups, they become the head. That’s why I said it earlier.”

Woong Jae was being realistic.

The other wards must’ve somewhat acknowledged what he said because they all looked like they agreed.

Si Hyun nodded his head.

“I understand. But do you always connect everything to promotions?”

“Do you not like it? We’re not students anymore. Didn’t you understand the importance of promotions while working? Public service workers may not have it as hard. But when you’re not even considered for a promotion and your juniors start taking your spot, you might start feeling suicidal.”

“I agree that promotions are important. I’m human too, so of course I want to get a promotion, but the reason why I’m trying to keep everything in order is because…okay, I admit that that’s part of reason. But, the biggest reason is that I can’t stand the prisoners that come into the prison and live like they don’t care about the crime that they committed. They came in to get punished for their crime, so they should respect that. If the victims saw that, how would they feel?”

After hearing Si Hyun’s answer, Woong Jae had a smirk on his face.

“I like your sense of duty. Being a ward must be your calling.”

“And I don’t plan on stopping at Rank Six. I’m planning on going up to Rank Five. And I don’t plan on kissing up to the higher ups. I’ll get promoted just with my skills.”

Si Hyun pronounced his words clearly as he looked at Woong Jae.

It was as if he didn’t quite understand what Si Hyun was saying because Woong Jae didn’t have any reaction.

Then, a surprised look appeared on his face.

“Are you being serious right now?”

“Do you think I’m joking?”

“Oh, jeez…I didn’t know you were this kind of person.”

“Think what you want.”

“Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve met, so stop with the argument. You guys might end up fighting.”

Seung Min intercepted when he felt that the conversation was getting heated up.

The others couldn’t take their eyes off of them and kept on looking at each other.

“Si Hyun, come here. I want to talk to a celebrity.”

“Yeah, Si Hyun. I’m curious as to how you’ve been living.”

Noticing the atmosphere, Si Hyun stood up from his seat.

That’s when it naturally changed into a loud and lively reunion.

Si Hyun pushed aside the situation that occurred just now and focused on socializing with the others.

It looked like the reunion was going to end happily like any other reunion, but.

“Jeez, those prison guard bastards are so loud.”

A man with snake-like eyes was drinking at the table next to them spoke in an annoyed tone.

Si Hyun’s friends didn’t expect someone to start an argument here, so they didn’t know that his comment was about them.

Then, the man spoke even louder.

“I told you to shut up you prison guard bastards!”

“…..”

The mood suddenly became awkward.

Seung Min, Jong Hyuk and Woong Jae’s expression hardened.

The females had a scared expression.

Si Hyun calmly inspected the opponent. It was a habit he obtained during a raid.

There are times when prisoners that have been released feel bitter towards wards. That’s why, there were some seniors that advised him not to talk about working at a prison outside. There might be released prisoners that might listen in.

He wasn’t sure whether he was a released prisoner, but it looked like he was part of a gang. Behind the man that yelled at them to be quiet, there was another man that had a knife mark on the back of his head. When he rolled up his sleeve, it revealed a dragon tattoo.

“Don’t film you bastards! You’ve heard of the Southern Dragons right? Damn it, I’ll kill you if you don’t put those fuckin’ cameras away!”

Because of the sudden commotion, the customers that were within the restaurant were filming with their phones. However, when they realized that he was part of a gang, they became scared and placed their phones down.

There were some customers that quickly grabbed their belongings and left the place.

“You guys hurry on out of here too. We’ll take care of it.”

Si Hyun told their female friends.

The Southern Dragon.

Ordinary people might not know of them, but the wards that work in the area are familiar with the name.

The Southern Dragon was a major group that took up a fourth of Seoul.

The only way a ward is able to discipline a member of the gang is when they’re within the prison.

It was different ball game when they’re outside. They weren’t prisoners, so there was no reason for them to obey the wards.

‘They seem insignificant.’

Si Hyun slightly opened his eyes.

He noticed this while working, but a lower ranked member tends to be more annoying than the higher ranked member.

If it were the order of a high ranked member, they wouldn’t care what happened to them. Incidents where they abuse wards were ordered by high ranked members.

If you really look into it, this kind of incident happens because a ward would hurt the high ranked member’s pride in front of the other prisoners and due to their anger, they would order the low ranked members to physically abuse them.

The senior wards always tell their juniors that one of the ways to work with a gang member was to uplift the high ranked members.

Well, it’s not like an ordinary ward has any powers to really control them.

“Why are you causing a commotion all of a sudden?”

Jong Hyuk, who was part of the Special Forces, initiated the conversation.

“What are you looking at you bastard?!”

The man with snake-like eyes widened his eyes.

“Don’t let him get to you.”

Si Hyun grabbed Jong Hyuk’s arm.

If they start a fight, the public workers are the ones that would suffer from it. Members of a gang aren’t hesitant about getting into fights.

As if Jong Hyuk knew, he looked at Si Hyun to tell him not to worry.

He spoke again.

“What’s the reason?”

“Ha, reason? Okay, I’ll tell you. My boss will be here any minute now, so you think I’ll let him have a drink while sitting next to some shitty wards? Hurry up and get out of here you bastards!”

The man with snake-like eyes yelled.

The man with the knife mark pointed the stairs with his chin as if to tell them to leave.

“Let’s just go.”

Woong Jae spoke.

As long as they’re a public worker, it was best to avoid the situation before it became worse.

The biggest reason was because it could affect one from getting a promotion.

Si Hyun also agreed with Woong Jae’s plan.

He was not only a public worker, but also an awakened one. The gang members were just ordinary people. Things would get complicated if he got into a fight with ordinary people.

Right when Si Hyun was about to say what was on his mind, someone walked up the stairs.

‘That’s?’

Si Hyun recognized their face.

 

<Commotion> End.





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