📢Try To Re-load or Re Log-in to Show Loves

    Loves Error

    ⚠️Please don’t share this in any social media platform as it will risk this fan translation to get taken down⚠️

    1. Shadow 1 (Part 4)

    [T/N: Since Sejin’s name was already mentioned. I will use ‘his’ as his pronoun from now on except for Sejoo’s monologues/thoughts]

    His way of speaking was rather cocky. He had already accepted a ride, yet remained so confident. In this situation, where he should be begging for even a meal, he spoke so recklessly, unaware of his own circumstances. Cheon Sejoo silently smiled. On one hand, he found it amusing that someone he had known for less than ten minutes already saw him as trash.

    “What do you mean by ‘someone like me’?”

    After a moment of quiet contemplation, he asked Sejin calmly. There was a pressure in his subdued voice. Only then did Sejin realize he had made a slip of the tongue, closing his mouth with an embarrassed expression.

    His clear eyes glanced at Cheon Sejoo’s face. His smooth mouth was curled upward, but his cold eyes were not smiling at all. When their eyes met, Sejin bit his lower lip hard, then soon apologized in a timid voice.

    “I misspoke. You don’t have to buy me food. I’m not hungry. Just… please help me meet my mom…”

    Cheon Sejoo stared out the window absentmindedly at his swift retreat. However, contrary to his frightened voice, there was still defiance in his eyes. He could see him forcefully lowering his posture under his piercing gaze.

    He felt a sense of pity for his attitude. As much as he felt sorry, he truly had no intention of helping him to that extent. Cheon Sejoo just planned to take Sejin out, evade Han Jonghyun’s gaze, feed him, and then send him back. Beyond that, he was reluctant because someone kept coming to mind.

    Yet, the thought of a young child lowering his pride to meet his mother, even bowing to someone as worthless as himself… wavered his heart.

    “Do you want to see your mom?”

    Sejin nodded slightly at Cheon Sejoo’s gentle question.

    In fact, arranging a meeting just once wasn’t difficult. Ewhagak was not an unfamiliar place to him, and he had people there who could grant him favors.

    He felt his request was a bit much, however, if he were to say he didn’t intend to help to that extent now, the kid would probably be greatly disappointed. There was no need to earn someone’s resentment over something trivial. With that thought, Cheon Sejoo convinced himself and spoke.

    “Then you should listen to me. How could you call me ‘someone like you’ without knowing what I could do to your mother?”

    “…I didn’t mean it that way.”

    “I’m not some old man. I’m tolerating your rude informal speech, aren’t I? But talking like that isn’t right, is it?”

    At Cheon Sejoo’s cold criticism, Sejin bit his lip hard. Silence filled the car. Feeling upset by Cheon Sejoo’s threatening words, Sejin looked at him with defiant eyes and asked after a long silence.

    “Can you really let me meet her?”

    His question was full of distrust. Cheon Sejoo silently smiled and started the engine again. As he stepped on the accelerator and headed towards home, he spoke to Sejin.

    “There’s no one else who can help you there but me. So, will it be porridge or seolleongtang? Choose.”

    Sejin didn’t answer immediately. Watching Cheon Sejoo drive, he pondered if his words were true, then finally realizing he had no choice, he leaned back in his seat dejectedly and spoke.

    “Seolleongtang. With some noodles…”

    Cheon Sejoo glanced sideways and chuckled at his rather shameless demand. But the one who made the request seemed to say it without much thought, staring blankly out the window. Cheon Sejoo nodded and placed the order while stopped at a light. He spent the rest of the drive home thinking about how to handle the situation with the child.

    Taking the child to Ewhagak to meet his mother wasn’t difficult. But what next?

    He couldn’t just leave a child without a home behind. With his current living situation, paying off his debts while staying and eating at Ewhagak, however, they wouldn’t accept another mouth to feed. Even if they miraculously did, in the mountains of Gyeonggi Province, the place was too far from Seoul, making it unsuitable for Sejin to attend school.

    Tap, tap, Cheon Sejoo drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, pondering.

    Children without homes or parents to care for them needed to go to protective facilities like orphanages.

    So, should he send him there after meeting his mother?

    Cheon Sejoo frowned, thinking of the Angel Orphanage where he grew up. The head nun would take him in if he asked, but he hesitated at the thought of facing her. He had been intentionally avoiding contact for five years. Now, asking her for help seemed difficult, and he wasn’t even sure if there was room at the orphanage…

    What started as a momentary pity had become more complicated than he thought.

    Was he doing the right thing?

    Cheon Sejoo looked at Sejin’s profile, who wasn’t even sparing him a glance, and suddenly asked.

    “How old are you?”

    Judging by his way of speaking, he didn’t seem as young as he initially thought. When he was curled up, he seemed barely fifteen, but now, looking at him again, he seemed quite tall for a girl.

    But there was no answer to his simple question. Cheon Sejoo lifted the corners of his mouth and prompted him again.

    “Answer.”

    He had to abandon any pretense of gentleness. He didn’t seem like a child who would respond to soft coaxing. At Cheon Sejoo’s cold tone, Sejin finally responded in a sullen voice.

    “Eighteen.”

    So, he wasn’t fifteen after all. He hadn’t expected him to be almost an adult. Surprised, Cheon Sejoo muttered to himself like an old man, “Good times…”

    Ten minutes later, they parked and got out. Soon, the elevator arrived, and they went up to the 41st floor. As Cheon Sejoo opened the door, Sejin looked extremely nervous. Following a stranger to his home was understandable. Cheon Sejoo, not wanting to provoke the child, kept his distance and entered.

    “Come this way.”

    Cheon Sejoo’s apartment was almost empty. The living room had only a TV, a sofa, and a small table in front. There wasn’t even a chair at the kitchen table. Sejin busily looked around, probably never having been in such a place. Trying to hide it, he still seemed engrossed in exploring. Cheon Sejoo chuckled and pointed to the sofa.

    “I ordered seolleongtang, so sit and wait.”

    Kwon Sejin went to where he was pointing and sat down without saying a word. The child’s face was filled with curiosity and displeasure, as if he thought, “A loan shark lives in a good house by earning money by preying on others.”

    Cheon Sejoo went into his room and changed his clothes, leaving Sejin behind. He usually walked around the house almost undressed, but he couldn’t do that now so he put on a T-shirt and sweatpants. Taking off his shirt made the bruises on his neck more visible, but he couldn’t keep it on, so he went out as he was.

    Walking barefoot across the living room, he headed to the guest room furthest from his room. Sejin would stay in a room where Doyoon sometimes stayed. Finding it clean, Cheon Sejoo took new bedding from the dressing room and placed it on the bed before coming out. Just then, the intercom rang from the lobby just in time.

    “Thank you. Have a good day.”

    He opened the door, went out to the front, and brought the food in. Along with the seolleongtang, he had ordered some dumplings. Cheon Sejoo placed the bags on the table in front of the sofa.

    “What do you want to eat?”

    One was regular, and one was special. At his question, Sejin chose the regular one, as if trying to owe him as little as possible. Seeing him carefully open the lid, Cheon Sejoo also brought a bowl and scooped out half of his share of seolleongtang.

    For a while, the only sound in the large living room was that of eating. Sejin had good table manners. He ate quietly without making a big noise.

    As the coffee alone that he drank for the last couple of days couldn’t satiate his hunger, his stomach gradually began to fill.

    Cheon Sejoo put down his spoon before Sejin, then went to the fridge and grabbed a beer. He downed half of the small can in one go before speaking. He had a lot to say to the child.

    “We have to go to Ewhagak on Wednesday. You can’t just go there anytime and meet her. Until then, you’ll stay here.”

    Sejin, raising his head at these words, wore a complicated expression.

    Why tell me that now? Will you really take me there?

    His face was full of distrust and doubt as he stared at Cheon Sejoo. Looking into the autumn-colored eyes of the child, Cheon Sejoo asked to confirm.

    “Have you been home?”

    “I have. …There’s nothing there.”

    Sejin’s voice trailed off towards the end. He stopped eating and hung his head low, staring at his feet on the carpet as if he had lost his appetite. His slumped shoulders looked pitiful, enough to make anyone who saw him feel a pang of guilt.

    “You don’t need to worry about things like that… Just help me meet my mom.”

    Perhaps the earlier reprimand had taken effect, as he refrained from saying not to bother. Instead, he simply repeated his plea to see her mother. Cheon Sejoo finished his remaining beer and rested his chin on the armrest.

    Cheon Sejoo himself wanted to do that—to send Sejin to Ewhagak, let him see his mother, and then stop caring. However, he couldn’t bring himself to do that. After thinking quietly, Sejoo finally nodded and answered.

    “Fine, but while you’re in this house, so you have to answer my questions.”

    At the words he had deliberately uttered sharply, Kwon Sejin suddenly changed from his sullen expression to an annoyed look on his face and glanced at Cheon Sejoo. The change was surprising but still better than him just staring at his feet. To assess Sejin’s situation, Sejoo continued asking questions.

    “…”

    “You don’t have a home, so you must not have clothes either. What about school? Do you have a uniform?”

    “I’m wearing it…”

    Sejin hesitated before answering. Narrowing his eyes, Sejoo scanned the child’s appearance. The collar of a worn shirt peeked out from between his black hoodie and pale neck. What he had thought were ordinary pants looked more like school uniform pants on closer inspection.

    Do girls wear pants these days?

    Sejoo suddenly felt a sense of uneasiness as he looked at Sejin again.

    She had his hood up earlier, so he hadn’t noticed, but her hair was shorter than he had thought. Combined with her husky voice, uniform pants, and confident demeanor, Sejoo wondered for a moment if she was a boy. The name Sejin could be given to a boy too. She didn’t seem to be over 170 cm tall, however, there were many short boys…

    [T/N: It’s so hard to put Sejin’s pronouns T-T Sejin is referred to as either ‘her’, ‘they’ or ‘child/kid’ in Sejoo’s thoughts thus this part refers him to ‘her’]

    No way…

    Cheon Sejoo, staring at Sejin’s delicate features, felt his gaze, as if he was looking like a pervert, so he immediately turned his eyes to the window. But he couldn’t resist asking the next moment.

    “You’re a girl, right?”

    “…”

    Sejin didn’t answer immediately. He stared at him as if looking at human garbage, then coldly retorted.

    “Would you kick me out if I were a boy? I wasn’t joking about what I said earlier. If you do something bad to me… I won’t let it slide.”

    If he was going to say such things, he shouldn’t have come into his house in the first place. Frowning, Sejoo realized he hadn’t properly answered his question and asked again.

    “Are you a girl or not?”

    “You… can’t you tell just by looking?”

    His icy words were accompanied by a flush on his cheeks, and his eyes quickly reddened, as if he had been insulted. It didn’t seem he had made something up. Cheon Sejoo thought he might have gone too far, considering his age was very sensitive towards appearance, and quickly apologized.

    “Sorry. I’m just a bit suspicious.”

    “…”

    In response to his apology, Sejin glared at him and then turned his head away.

    How cute. Sejoo looked at the child, whose face was red up from his neck to his ears before standing up, and pointing to the far end of the hallway.

    “There’s a room at the end with bedding. Rest there after you finish eating. We’ll talk more over dinner.”

    “…You’re going to buy me dinner too?”

    Though he was eighteen, there was something cute about him. Looking down as if embarrassed, his words made Sejoo suppress a laugh.

    “I’ll get you some chicken. Go and get some sleep.”

    Sejin nodded silently. Sejoo glanced at his empty bowl and pushed his half-eaten seolleongtang towards him.

    “If you’re still hungry, have this,” he said, then turned and headed to his room.

    Closing the door behind him, Sejoo rubbed his face and sat on the edge of the bed. He reached for the cigarettes in the nightstand drawer, lit one, and lazily smoked as if it was the only thing to do.

    Lying on the mattress, he picked up his phone.

    “Yes, Sir.”

    Moon Sunhyuk answered before the signal could even properly connect. The bustling noise around gradually faded away. It seemed like he had moved to a quieter place. Cheon Sejoo waited for him, tapping the cigarette near the ashtray before flicking off the ashes with his dry palm, then slowly began to speak.

    “Where are you?”

    “I’m still at the office.”

    “It’s Saturday, but you haven’t left work yet. Haven’t you finished all your work?”

    “Kim Donggil mentioned he was going to catch gamblers tonight, so I thought I’d join him.”

    Sejoo chuckled at that. Debt collection wasn’t Moon Sunhyuk’s job. He just volunteered to supervise to prevent any trouble that might involve Sejoo again. Turning to look at the Han River outside, Sejoo spoke.

    “Donggil is good at his job. Let him handle it alone and do me a favor. I’ll give you some pocket money.”

    “No need. Just tell me what you need.”

    “Buy some clothes. Not for me, but for a girl about 170 cm tall.”

    How much does she weigh? Cheon Sejoo pictured Sejin in his mind. Her small face, slender arms, and legs looked like skin and bones. She was so petite he could probably lift her with one hand.

    “About… 30 kg…?”

    Cheon Sejoo realized that what he had said didn’t make sense and laughed at himself in disbelief. He couldn’t figure out why Sejin seemed so small to him. Even though his bones and muscles weren’t clearly visible under the hoodie, anatomically, he had to weigh at least more than 30 kg.

    “No, more like 45 kg.”

    Women generally have lighter frames, and considering how thin her neck and wrists were, she must have been quite slim under her clothes too. Sunhyuk hesitantly confirmed and asked back at Cheon Sejoo.

    “…Are you talking about that kid from downstairs?”

    “Yes.”

    Moon Sunhyuk had previously seen Sejoo rescue a middle school girl who was getting beaten up from a back alley. Recalling his boss’ tendency to help others, Sunhyuk remained silent for a moment before answering.

    “Women’s sizes… I’m not very familiar with it.”

    “Just go to the store and buy some. She’ll only be wearing them at home. Get pajamas and underwear… that sort of thing.”

    “Underwear…?”

    “Panties and a bra…”

    Both men fell silent simultaneously. Though there was no one else around, they both felt a bit embarrassed. Cheon Sejoo awkwardly rubbed his cheek, recalling Sejin’s appearance from earlier. Her chest, even under the hoodie, didn’t seem prominent.

    Maybe an A cup…? Whispering his thoughts, Sunhyuk coughed before responding.

    “Yes, I understand. I’ll call you again when I get to the store, Manager.”

    “Okay. Thanks.”

    After ending the call, Sejoo closed his eyes, intending to take a nap. However, thoughts of Ewhagak crossed his mind, making him frown as he picked up his phone again. Searching his contacts, he found a number saved under a derogatory term ‘F*ck.’ and called it. Unlike Moon Sunhyuk, this contact didn’t answer until after two missed calls. When the response came, a nonchalant voice responded.

    “What?”

    “Please do me a favor.”

    Before he could finish speaking, the call cut off abruptly. Cheon Sejoo cursed softly and called again. After a long ringing tone, the other person finally picked up again.

    “Chae Beomjun.”

    The call disconnected again right after he said the name.

    Haah, a deep sigh escaped Cheon Sejoo’s lips. Sejoo pressed his forehead to suppress his irritation before pressing the call button again. the call button again, rubbing his forehead to suppress his irritation. This time, he didn’t speak first even after the call was connected. He took a slow breath as if he was controlling his emotions, and finally opened his mouth.

    “Manager Chae.”

    “What is it?”

    The respectful title finally elicited a proper response.

    Chae Beomjun was a man who worked under Shin Gyoyeon along with Cheon Sejoo, a man who could be considered Shin Gyoyeon’s right-hand man. Although they weren’t particularly close, Sejoo was confident that a small favor would be granted, hence promising Sejin that he could meet his mother.

    However, being treated disrespectfully just because of a title made him feel dirty and disgusted. Cheon Sejoo raised his middle finger to the phone and spoke through the speakerphone.

    “There’s someone I need to meet at Ewhagak. Can you arrange that for me?”

    “Who does Manager Cheon need to meet at Ewhagak? I don’t recall anyone. Unless you’ve got a new boyfriend there?”

    Ignoring Chae Beomjun’s snide remark, Sejoo explained.

    “There’s a woman repaying debt at the temple, and her kid wants to see her just once. Could you please help just this once?”

    “Oh… a mother? Is she pretty? If she is, I might consider it.”

    “…”

    Instead of questioning the unusual request, Chae Beomjun asked only about his interest. Sejoo looked at his phone with a disdainful gaze. Realizing he had no other option, he replied in a flat tone.

    “The kid is pretty, so the mom should be too. Are you going to help or not?”

    “I can’t just agree, but if  you call me ‘hyung’ first, I might just do it.”

    [T/N: hyung – older brother]

    ‘Hyung, my ass,’ he thought, suppressing a scoff. There had been a time when Sejoo wanted to call him that, but after feeling betrayed by Chae Beomjun years ago, he hadn’t considered him a brother ever since. Chae Beomjun, with s3x always on his mind, wasn’t someone Sejoo respected.

    He kept his mouth shut and avoided answering. As Sejoo lowered the speaker volume, he heard Beomjun chuckle softly as if amused and he continued.

    “Anyway, I understand. I can’t refuse when you’re asking me. I’ll talk to Jiwon. So, Manager Cheon, if you’re not busy, how about joining me for….”

    The bedroom gradually fell silent, and soon, silence settled in. Cheon Sejoo confirmed the call had disconnected after quite some time and closed his eyes, feeling a wave of exhaustion wash over him.

    ⚠️Please don’t share this in any social media platform as it will risk this fan translation to get taken down⚠️

    You can support the author on

    This content is protected.