When God Made Me - Chapter 7
There were a whopping three rewards. However, that wasn’t what was important - it was the contents of the quest. Seung-ho, who had been hesitating, made up his mind with this quest.
A short but deep voice. Han-joo flinched for a second but looked up at Seung-ho as if nothing had happened.
“What are you going to do?”
“I worked out a bit over break.”
Seung-ho fiercely squeezed Han-joo’s fist, which Seung-ho had been holding onto.
‘W-what is this?’
Extreme pain shot through Han-joo’s hand. It was as if his bones were pressing down on his flesh. Bastard; his grip was no joke.
He would have pulled his hand back if it were any other day, but there were a lot eyes on him right now. Not to mention the fact that this bastard was Ug-Face Choi Seung-ho. If Han-joo backed down from a loser like Seung-ho, then he would face humiliation forever.
“Are you crazy?”
Han-joo swung his other fist toward Seung-ho’s face.
However, the fist had stopped in midair. Seung-ho had stopped it with his remaining hand.
“That Kim Han-joo doesn’t seem able to do anything.”
“Maybe he was just putting on airs this whole time.”
The girls’ whispers could be starkly heard. Han-joo was pissed off to the point of grinding his teeth, but his two hands wouldn’t budge even though he put all his strength into it.
Seung-ho squeezed the two fists he was holding with all his might. As if he was crushing an apple, as though he was trying to break the record for grip strength - that strongly.
Whimpers started escaping Han-joo’s lips. However, he didn’t want to be humiliated in front of the others, so he gritted his teeth and endured the pain.
Seung-ho concentrated on his right hand and clenched his fist with all his strength; he could feel the bones beneath his fingertips.
‘Try enduring that.’
Seung-ho suddenly felt something weird under his fingers. At the same time, Han-joo’s scream was heard throughout the classroom.
Taken by surprise at the scream, Seung-ho let go of Han-joo’s fist. Han-joo dropped to the ground as soon as his fist was let go, and continued screaming as he gripped his wrist.
“Aaaaaack! My hand!”
Startled at the sudden reaction, the entire class focused their attention on Han-joo’s hand.
The hand’s shape had changed - it was as if the back of the hand had caved in.
Seung-ho had put so much strength into squeezing that the bones on the back of the hand had been partially crushed.
“S-son of a bitch!”
The bully, who had been standing nearby, yelled as he picked up a chair.
“Hurry and call the teacher!”
The other students fled to the far side of the room, until it was only the 3 bullies standing in front of Seung-ho.
When the guy holding the chair and the guy holding up his fists were having a hard time attacking, Han-joo yelled at them.
“Hurry and pulverize that bitch!”
Even though Han-joo had collapsed shamefully, his mouth was still alive and well. When Seung-ho took a single step towards the bullies, they simultaneously took three or four back.
“What are you doing? Do you want me to kill you?!”
Han-joo’s words kept irritating Seung-ho’s ears. In any case, it seemed as though the frightened bullies weren’t going to charge in anytime soon.
‘Kim Han-joo is going to get pummeled first.’
Bending down, Seung-ho grabbed Han-joo by the hair and pulled him up.
If a bald person had been watching, his heart would have been ripped to pieces at the scene. However, Seung-ho would have no idea about that, with his head full of hair.
“I just wanted an ordinary high school life, but you harassed me too much for the sole reason that I was ugly.”
“Fuck! You seem to think you can do everything just because you grew a little over break, but you’re really going to die this time.”
Han-joo didn’t seem to have grasped the situation yet. He kept spitting out words thoughtlessly.
“Kim Sang-hoon! If you stay still, I’m going to kill you!”
When Han-joo yelled at the bully who’d been hesitating behind him, Sang-hoon charged at Seung-ho with a raised chair as if he was disregarding consequences.
Seung-ho kicked forward a desk that had been in the back. The desk slid forward and slammed into Sang-hoon’s stomach.
Losing his hold on the chair, Sang-hoon fell to the floor. The students were watching this scene as if they were watching a movie, and were marveling at Seung-ho.
“Wow, he’s cool.”
Seung-ho continued speaking.
“I could handle being cussed at because of my ugliness; I could handle being a delivery boy. I even got used to getting hit every day. However, you passed the line when you insulted my mother.”
As he spoke, Seung-ho started to lose control of his pent-up anger. All the sorrow that he’d felt about Han-joo and his gang of bullies gushed forward in a wave of emotion, making Seung-ho choke on his words.
Tears started suddenly forming; at the same time, it felt as if he was looking at himself from a month when he looked at Han-joo who was being held up by his hair and slapped.
“Try suffering the same thing, and see how degrading it is.”
Seung-ho had no need to use his fists. He just wanted to plant humiliation and defeat in Han-joo.
Seung-ho slapped Han-joo with a strong, large palm. The sharp sound rang through the classroom, and the students breathed “Woah..” simultaneously at the sound.
As if taken aback at Seung-ho’s sudden actions, Han-joo couldn’t raised his turned head and had spaced out.
“Do you know how torturous school was for me because of you?”
Han-joo stared at Seung-ho with an open mouth at those words.
Han-joo’s head turned to the left again. Even with only two hits, his cheek was turning red.
Although he felt the stinging pain in his cheek, Han-joo could do nothing. His right hand was mangled and Seung-ho’s hand, which was holding onto Han-joo’s hair, felt like a stone.
This time Seung-ho’s right hand exploded across Han-joo’s cheek. Han-joo’s head turned to the other side. Because the hand holding onto the hair was so firm, it felt as if the hair would rip out.
Han-joo’s brain reverberated in his skull. However, defeat sank down to his bones because he couldn’t do anything.
“Son of a bitch. You really need to disappear!”
Agitated, Seung-ho kept slapping Han-joo. The cracking noise rang through the classroom. Because Han-joo’s face had been hit so many times, his cheeks started swelling.
“Serves you right!”
“I can’t watch.”
“Look at those cheeks. They’ve completely gone puberty-red.”
Those who had been bullied by Han-joo even once felt delighted, and those who hadn’t felt sympathy for him.
Han-joo’s eyes had glazed over; it was no use hitting him anymore. Seung-ho tossed Han-joo to the ground and approached the bullies who had been watching from afar.
“We did it because he told us to!”
“Y-yeah. Kim Han-joo threatened us so we had no choice!”
“We won’t do it from now on!”
The three bullies simultaneously rubbed their hands together and groveled pathetically. However, Seung-ho felt like all the harassment he’d received until now couldn’t be forgiven with apologies like these. No, they wouldn’t be forgiven.
‘The same repertoire over and over again.’
The main character in a movie would forgive them then and there and would then lead them to the right path. But Seung-ho wasn’t one. His resentment wouldn’t be resolved with Kim Han-joo alone.
“Let’s just get hit three times.”
A panicked look entered the bullies’ eyes. Three hits were nothing compared to what Han-joo had received, but the memory of the incredibly loud sound of flesh-on-flesh did nothing to alleviate their fears.
“If you get 3 hits each, I’ll pretend nothing happened until now.”
The bullies ducked their heads and shuffled into a line. Seung-ho stood in front of them, towering with his staggering height. It looked like a teacher scolding three students.
As soon as the first student raised his head, his cheeks were stricken in quick succession. Left, right. The last blow fell on his back as a strike.
As each student was hit, they reached for the aching spot on their back that they couldn’t quite reach and rolled around on the floor.
As soon as the third student had collapsed to the floor like the others after a spike to his back, the homeroom teacher, who had left just a little while before, opened the classroom door and entered with a large baton.
“Hey, kids! Who said you could fight in the classroom?”
“Teacher, I finished writing it.”
“Alright. Go back to the classroom and be quiet during the lesson.”
Seung-ho left after writing a letter of apology and a report. He’d written that because all his pent-up anger and frustration, he had gotten worked up without realizing it and had beaten the students up. He filled the paper with promises that he would be careful not to let something like that happen again.
‘Yeah, I wasn’t myself back then.’
Han-joo, who had passed out, went to the school clinic; the other bullies were fine apart from the fact that their backs were still smarting. Peace of mind was restored when the school doctor said that even Han-joo would be fine.
The good thing was that the bullies didn’t try to blow the situation up. If they had, the harassment and cruel acts they’d committed would have come into light.
Seung-ho carefully opened the classroom’s back door and entered. The class was already in session. Even though he’d opened the door as slowly as possible, most of the students turned around at the sound of the sliding door.
He quietly ducked his head and sat down at his seat.
“Did you get into a lot of trouble?”
Choi Seul-hwa pulled her chair closer to Seung-ho and sat down. Her chair legs were as close to the desk legs as possible.
“N-no. It’s fine.”
Flustered, Seung-ho took out his math textbook.
‘She’s not usually this affectionate.’
Not knowing Seung-ho’s thoughts, Seul-hwa tapped his arm.
Seul-hwa smiled shyly and handed Seung-ho a biscuit that she’d taken out from her desk drawer.
“You can eat some.”
“Ah, okay. Thank you.”
Thanking her awkwardly, Seung-ho took the shrimp biscuit that she was offering and melted it inside his mouth. It was his first time eating something in math class, as well as his first time knowing there was such thrill to it.
“I didn’t like them from the beginning; bluffing around for nothing.”
Doubt suddenly struck him. As far as Seung-ho knew, Choi Seul-hwa had been very close with the bullies.
‘Is it because I got better-looking?’
“Turn down the volume back there.”
Choi Seul-hwa sullenly answered and started writing something while looking at her book. It was then that Seung-ho took a relieved breath and relaxed.
‘Talking to girls is still difficult. I was so nervous I thought I was going to die.’
Seul-hwa abruptly turned to Seung-ho and showed him her notebook.
[Tell me your number. I’ll send you a KakaoTalk message.]
Of course; there was no way Choi Seul-hwa would study. Seung-ho hesitated for a while before writing down his number on the notebook.
“End of class. Solve the workbook for next time.”
As soon as the math teacher left, the students flocked around Seung-ho once more.
“Are you okay?”
“I felt so satisfied back then!”
“You were so cool!”
“Did you work out? You didn’t seem average.”
“Tell me how you grew taller!”
Embarrassed, Seung-ho stopped. He’d thought that because the kids had swamped him earlier, he’d be able to take a quiet break but this was worse than before.
“I just worked out at home…”
Someone opened the door as if they were breaking it and entered the classroom.
“Hey, I heard that the guy who pummeled Han-joo is here.”
In an instant, the students between Seung-ho and the door moved away like Moses’ miracle with the sea. It was Park Han-seung, who was known as the second-in-command among the bullies.
The student next to Han-seung pointed Seung-ho out. Seung-ho gulped at Han-seung’s sudden appearance.
‘Even if I did beat Kim Han-joo, I’ll never win defeat that big guy.’
He’d trampled the business high school that was nearby; he had a terrifying record; the rumours about him were as uproarious as his appearance.
“You, there. Follow me.”
“Yeah. The one that just answered - follow me.”
A line of cold sweat began dripping down Seung-ho’s back. This was the bullies’ revenge that he’d only heard about. He’d beat up Han-joo, so he was getting back some of his own medicine.
“W-what do you want?”
Having said what he’d come to say, Park Han-seung left the classroom. He could be seen walking down the corridor through the window.
‘If I go I’m sure to be pulverized. But I can’t not go.’
Seung-ho pondered for a while but got up at last. Even if he did get beat up, it was better to get beaten up outside. He didn’t want to get hit in front of the others.
Even Choi Seul-hwa, who’d been chatting him up earlier, was ignoring him and scrolling through her phone. Of course.
Seung-ho followed Park Han-seung and the three bullies down the stairs.
‘The back of the gym is down here.’
The back of the gym was not only always encased in shadows and gloomy, but it was also a place that the teachers had absolutely no interest in. It was somewhere that the bullies frequently came to sneak a smoke. Seung-ho also knew the area well, because he’d been sent on bread-buying errands often; he also had a lot of memories considering that place.
Seung-ho clenched his fist. He was determined to show tenacity like he’d learned from the Internet, even if he was beaten up.
‘Even if the four hit me at once, I’m going to wallop one and make sure he doesn’t touch me again.’
His hands were trembling without him realizing it, due to the familiar and scary atmosphere.
Park Han-seung, who’d been walking ahead, turned around and looked at Seung-ho.
‘Duck and counter-punch. You studied a lot through videos. Just do what the videos showed you.’
He hadn’t realized it when he was hitting Kim Han-joo, but he realized that the moments before a fight were this nerve-wracking.
“Your name is Choi Seung- What was it?”
Han-seung abruptly stuck a cigarette in his mouth and asked for Seung-ho’s name. Seung-ho’s fist, which had been clenched tight, relaxed.
‘I thought I’d get beat up as soon as we arrived.’
When Han-seung lit his cigarette, the other bullies followed suit.
“Do you smoke?”
Han-seung asked the question as if smoking was something he should obviously do. The fact that this question was asked meant that Han-seung had no idea that he didn’t know Seung-ho from his Ug-Face days.
Although Han-seung had seen Seung-ho a couple of times when he was the bread delivery boy for Kim Han-joo, Han-joo had never called Seung-ho by name so it was a given that Han-seung didn’t recognize him.
‘I’ll definitely get ignored if I say I don’t smoke.’
Seung-ho’s face was stoic as usual, but tried to look laid back and smiled as he spoke.
Han-seung took a drag and spoke again.
“You must be popular. Do you have a girlfriend? Show me a picture.”
‘Is that a compliment?’
It seemed like a one, but he couldn’t tell whether it was to rile him up or if it was an actual compliment. But the answer was certain.
“I-I’ve never been in a relationship.”
Because he was trying to smile with a stoic expression, only a corner of lips turned up. He didn’t mean to, but a forced, awkward smile was shown.
‘Is this bastard laughing at me? Is he implying that there are no girls up to his standard because he’s so good-looking?’
Sudden doubt filled Park Han-seung’s heart.
‘I’ve heard that he single-handedly crushed Kim Han-joo, but I didn’t expect this.’
There was no student who didn’t fear Park Han-seung. Even most seniors were careful about how they behaved in front of him.
But to think there was someone this laid back in front of him.
‘That composure; that expression. This guy certainly has guts.’
Park Han-seung marveled internally while continuing the conversation.
“By the way, I heard that you beat up Kim Han-joo.”
Seung-ho stiffened at those words. It was finally payback time. Han-seung looked as if he would burn him with the cigarette at any moment now.
“I-I did. But I was so worked up earlier - “
He was thankful? What an unexpected reaction.
“Ah, that bitch made a bit of a big mistake while drinking with the seniors yesterday. They told me to take care of him, but fortunately, you had trampled him. So I had less work to do.”
Park Han-seung stuck out his hand for a handshake. Due to the fact that the other party had stuck out his hand first, Seung-ho stuck his own, determined for a handshake.
“That’s why I’m thanking you. While we’re at it, let’s be on friendly terms with each other.”
As if the earlier terror hadn’t fled, Seung-ho’s hands kept trembling.
‘I can’t show my nervousness.’
So he wouldn’t shake, Seung-ho tensed his hand before taking Han-seung’s own. It was due to that fact that he clenched down on Han-seung’s hand.
‘W-what a grip!’
Park Han-seung had thought that he wasn’t one to back down from a grip, but Seung-ho’s grip outpowered those of regular high school students.
Seung-ho kept smiling with only a corner of his lip perking up.
‘This bastard; is he laughing at me?’
It was the bell signaling the start of classes. He’d left earlier without preparing for class, so he had to hurry back and get ready.
“Well, I’ll be going first. See you!”
Seung-ho hurriedly bid farewell and rushed to the classroom. Even after he’d gone back, a red handprint remained on Park Han-seung’s hand.
‘It still smarts.’
Seung-ho had the strongest grip of the ones Han-seung had felt so far. Han-seung had called Seung-ho for a simple thank you, but he felt as if he’d met the hidden master behind the power.
‘An incredible guy was hiding at school.’