Life, Once Again! - Chapter 918
“Inspector, over here.”
Dongwook stood up and waved his hand. Inspector Choi smiled and waved back.
“I thought you had been looking good, but now you look haggard again. People might mistake you for one of my men in undercover missions. Men of age should think about what they wear.”
“You’re nagging me again right as we just met.”
“If you don’t want to hear my nagging, then you should get married already. Isn’t it boring for you to live by yourself after forty?”
“I don’t have any time to feel bored. I’m very busy these days.”
“Liking your work won’t last that long. Just wait until you get a little older. You’ll find that having a wife is better than not having one, even if she nags at you.”
He poured some sake for inspector Choi, who said he was thirsty. The omakase sushi that he had ordered beforehand came out just in time as well.
“You should eat something first. I’m sure you’re having a hard time catching criminals.”
“I wonder what you’re going to ask from me this time after this.”
“As I told you over the phone, when have I ever asked you to do something difficult?”
“That you haven’t.”
“So just relax and eat. We’re all doing this for a living.”
Saying that he was right, inspector Choi picked up his chopsticks. Dongwook ate a few pieces of sushi and spoke when the fried snapper head came out,
“You didn’t happen to come across a dead body of a man in his thirties around Incheon, did you?”
“What the heck are you talking about while eating? You’re making me lose my appetite.”
“How can you ‘just ask’ if someone died?”
Inspector Choi drank some sake before continuing,
“Well, I got nothing at least. My jurisdiction doesn’t cover all of Incheon though, so I’m not sure about other areas. Are you looking for an unidentified dead body?”
“No, I know who it is. I was asking just in case.”
“I wonder just what you’re digging into this time.”
Dongwook took out his phone and showed him the man caught on the CCTV.
“I’m looking for this man.”
“Did he run off with your money or something?”
“Would I have called you if it was something like that?”
Inspector Choi, who sucked on his teeth to pull out the piece of sushi, narrowed his eyes and put his face against the phone.
“To me, the one tied up behind that man catches my eyes more.”
As expected of an inspector from the violent crime section, he had good eyes. Inspector Choi put the phone down and looked at him. He looked like he wanted an explanation.
“The one I’m looking for is the man inside the van.”
“Tying that with how you asked about news of a dead body, did this man do something that might have killed him?”
“There are some circumstances.”
“If it’s a kidnapping, you should have filed a report. Catching guys like these is what we get paid to do.”
“As much as I want to, I can’t do that.”
Things would blow up out of proportion if he found out that this man was someone who connected prostitutes to high members of society. If things got out of hand and it was discovered that he was investigating him, Hong Janghae would cut off his ties without hesitation. Eliminating the surviving man and erasing any traces of evidence would be an easy job for them. Reaching the core of the YM group might be too greedy of him, but it didn’t look impossible to drag Hong Janghae down. Since he had started something that he shouldn’t have, he could not afford to end it moderately. His subtle wrath would only subside if he at least cut off their arms and legs.
“My experience is telling me that I shouldn’t dip my feet in this.”
“Of course, you shouldn’t participate in this. I just want to know who this man is. And if possible, get some info on this van.”
The inspector pouted his lips and tapped on the table for a while before asking if it was possible to take food out.
“They should package it for us.”
“Then wrap up some of the good ones for me, so I can bring it to my kid. He’s in his third year of high school, so he can get some energy to study.”
Inspector Choi pushed the phone towards him. Dongwook put his phone back inside his pocket.
“I know who he is,” said the inspector.
It turned out that was why he wanted to package the food.
“Who is it?”
“There’s a gang called the Lee Doosik Gang, and the underlings all scattered while fighting with another one. They were eventually absorbed by another group, and he used to be an action leader there. I’ve seen him a few times, so I do remember his face.”
Dongwook had found the right person for the job. Dongwook asked more about this action leader,
“Do you know what he’s doing now?”
“Ever since Doosik’s gang collapsed, he should have switched to loan shark business. But while he’s not a good guy, he’s not someone who would kill a man.”
“He should have accepted it if simple threats were all he had to do for money, right?”
“He’s crazy for money, so he should have accepted it if it’s just that. He even grumbled to me a couple times that he’s busy feeding his group.”
“Is there a way to contact this man?”
“So you can ask where the man in the van is?”
“If he likes money, I think I can get through to him.”
“Wait a little.”
Inspector Choi left the store. Dongwook waited while drinking some green tea. Not long later, inspector Choi returned.
“He’ll be here soon. Apparently, he’s nearby.”
Dongwook spent the remaining time listening to inspector Choi bragging about his children. Dongwook conditionally kept looking at the entrance from time to time, and it took 30 minutes for the action leader to show up. He was wearing the exact same clothes as the day he kidnapped Mari, as though he had walked straight out of the video.
“It’s been a while, hyung-nim.”
“When will you stop calling a civil servant hyung-nim?”
“Once a hyung-nim, forever a hyung-nim.”
The action leader took his eyes off inspector Choi. Dongwook stood up and reached his hand out to the action leader, who was looking down at him.
“I’m Kim Dongwook.”
“I heard over the phone. You have business with me.”
“It’s not something bad, so please sit down.”
Dongwook immediately took out his phone. When he showed the action leader the video from the CCTV, his face darkened. He also gave a glance to the exit.
“Calm down. This fellow didn’t call you here to catch you. Neither did I,” said inspector Choi.
This action leader seemed to trust inspector Choi a lot and turned back around to the table.
“The one I’m looking for is the man who was inside this van on this day.”
“Let me ask beforehand: you didn’t kill him, did you?”
“Did you eat something wrong? Do you need meds?”
The action leader glared at him while grabbing a chopstick. If inspector Choi didn’t pat his back to relax, he might have been stabbed with it. Although he felt a chill, Dongwook did not take his eyes off the action leader either. He might have strayed off, but he also used to be a journalist for the local news. A chopstick wasn’t enough to snap the boldness he earned while facing those who killed people with words.
“You have pretty eyes. Relax. I was joking with ya.”
The action leader let go of the chopstick first. Dongwook also sighed in relief.
“I may be in a gang, mate, but I don’t wanna have to kill people. I’ll be honest with ya; I’ll be doomed if I kill a man in this tiny country, so why would I do that?”
“Okay. So the man is still alive.”
“We only scared him a little, he’s doing fine.”
“Can I ask who asked you to do that to him?”
“Mister, is there anyone who sends out such requests with their real name? We went through a middle man too. They told me they’ll give me some good business deals if I could take care of this. Though, it wasn’t that great since some Korean-Chinese people were mixed in.”
“Then who brought this job to you?”
The action leader stayed quiet. He seemed unwilling to reveal it.
“Alright. If you can’t tell me, then I guess I can’t do anything. Instead, just tell me where you took the man. Of course, I’ll make sure that you receive no harm.”
The action leader looked at the inspector.
“Go on, tell him. Only then would you not get another line added to your criminal record for kidnapping. Well, it’ll be a good thing for me if I can get another achievement. But aren’t you going to be spending quite a lot of time if you go in this time?”
Hearing inspector Choi’s words, the action leader sighed.
“Really, don’t you get me caught up in this. I’m only saying it because I trust in you, hyung-nim.”
It seemed like no money was necessary. Thanks to inspector Choi, the action leader managed to speak.
“We brought him to Busan. He’s probably doing manual labor over there.”
“What’s the address?”
Dongwook wrote down the address that the action leader told him.
* * *
Maru received a text from Dongwook saying that he was going to Busan. He called Dongwook.
“Did you find him?”
-I’ll have to go and see. Things are going well, but whether the results are good is something I’ll have to wait and see.
“Watch out. Let me know if something happens.”
-If something happens, I’ll be calling the police, not you. Don’t worry about me and do your thing. I’ll do my thing as well.
Maru hung up. Jiseok, who was in the passenger seat, twitched his eyes and asked,
“That’s one serious-sounding call.”
“It was perfectly harmonious though.”
“Like hell it was.”
“You watched too much drama. Maybe you see it that way since you play a corrupt role?”
“Is that how it is?”
Jiseok smiled blandly. Maru turned the wheel and changed lanes. It seemed like they would reach Incheon airport in twenty minutes.
“When did Yoojin say she got on the plane?”
“10:40. We’ll have to wait about 30 minutes when we arrive.”
“Aren’t we overreacting by going there a whole 30 minutes early?”
“Maru, if we’re late, you’ll be beaten up to death, not to mention me. How long had it been since you have not seen her?”
“At least five years.”
“You might see the reaper if you receive 5 years of resentment all at once, so brace yourself. You should’ve kept in touch.”
He parked the car in the airport parking lot before going to the arrivals section. They checked the landing schedule and went to the gate where Yoojin would be arriving.
“I hope at least one person recognizes me,” Jiseok said.
Saying that, he raised his head up and looked around. It was as if he was trying to promote himself.
“You became a famous star with your cute dance, but that didn’t happen for me.”
He smacked the giggling Jiseok on his Adam’s apple with the blade of his hand. Why was it that his cheekiness didn’t disappear with time? Although Jiseok’s aim in life was to enjoy every moment since it was unknown when things might go south, from how nothing happened to him until now, it looked like he would live a long life.
“That didn’t take long,” Jiseok said as he looked at the arrival schedule.
The airplane from Japan was landing at Incheon airport.
 Or “Joseon-jok”. People who migrated to China from the Korean peninsula in the 20th century. Strictly speaking, they’re classified as a minority race in China rather than South or North Korean.