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    A serene and calm voice was heard. Jae-chan turned his gaze to the familiar voice.

    Nam Myung-sung, dressed in his work clothes and wearing a bucket hat, was approaching him before he knew it.

    It wasn’t surprising to him. He was always a man who was curious about his surroundings. This wasn’t the first time he had spoken to Jae-chan.

    “You’re the guide from the center, right?”

    The first day of monitoring. Nam Myung-seong said this to Seon Jae-chan, who had finished his eel rice. While patting Seon Jae-chan on the back, he managed to find out Seon Jae-chan’s condition, who was completely exhausted from the meals and nutrients he has been forcibly crammed into for health.

    In fact, Seon Jae-chan was born with the condition of easily approaching Nam Myung-seong. As in the past and now, Nam Myung-seong was a person who was very interested in ‘Guides.’

    “Why don’t you stop by for a midnight snack today?”

    Workers often made deliveries in groups from the few restaurants on the island. Nam Myung-seong kept an eye on Seon Jae-chan and suggested that they eat together.

    Today appears to be one of those days. Jae-chan has been attending such events without missing out because he can get information. He willingly nodded. However, Nam Myung-seong led Jae-chan away from the gathering of laborers to a secluded spot near where the walls were getting thicker.

    ‘…?’

    Not that he was wary of that plant-like fellow. He clenched his fists lightly, forming a basic defensive posture.

    Between the hollows of the castle wall, he found a figure hidden under a square shade. The white sneakers that followed Nam Myung-seong’s work boots stopped. Seon Jae-chan felt his heart sink when he saw someone carefully walking out of a dark place.

    “Dad.”

    A friendly and calm voice that was familiar to him at first glance.

    She stepped out from under the garden lights that cast a soft glow, dressed in a comfortable-looking dark gray field jumper and baggy jeans. Nam Hae-sol, younger and slightly more scruffy-faced than Seon Jae-chan remembered, approached with light steps, holding something like a lunchbox in one hand.

    “Hae-sol. This is the guide I was talking about.”

    Nam Hae-sol’s lips parted slightly at the introduction of the smiling Nam Myung-seong. She grabbed the handle of the small lunch box with both hands and lowered her head.

    “Hello!”

    Her long black hair glistened and fluttered. In response, Seon Jae Chan, whose mouth was as dry as a bone, stuttered and bowed. In a different way, the scene appeared awkward, and the father and daughter laughed discreetly.

    “Let’s go that way. I know a place where I can secretly lay out lunch boxes.”

    Nam Myung-seong bent his eyes further.

    Was it because of what was to come?

    Or was it because he has imagined this situation countless times since he found Nam Myung-seong?

    Seon Jae-chan was able to follow Nam Myung-seong and Nam Hae-sol with a rather calm expression. The three soon arrived behind the base building where the lawn work had been completed earlier.

    “It’s not a lot, but enjoy it.”

    Nam Hae-sol made the midnight snack herself and spread them out on one side of the dark and fluffy lawn.

    The menu was noodles, which can be said to be the standard of the night snack. There was sikhye(rice wine) packed as dessert. Seon Jae-chan helped her open the lunch box, thinking it was a very unnerving and odd appearance. He never thought that Guide Nam, whom he once considered his nemesis (?), would show up with noodles and sikhye.

    Indeed. I was definitely not nervous at all…

    His throat clenched. Seon Jae-chan couldn’t swallow his dry saliva properly, so he was very self-conscious and continued to help set the table. The anchovy broth steam rises to the top as soon as he opens the fairly heavy thermos bottle.

    “Your daughter’s cooking skills are amazing.”

    He said, trying to loosen his tight neck.

    “Oh. My daughter is the best.”

    Nam Myung-seong answered while tearing open a paper cup and three wooden chopsticks. Nam Hae-sol, who carefully divided the boiled noodles into thirds in the bottom compartment of the lunch box, paused and raised her head.

    “Oh, no… I can only cook noodles. Dad made the anchovy soup in advance.”

    “At times like this, you just say you did everything. -She grew up as an only child.”

    Nam Myung-seong chuckled as he told Seon Jaechan. Nam Hae-sol, who sat atop the landscape stone, resembled her father and only had her eyes slightly folded. Seon Jae-chan smiled as he accepted Nam Myung-seong’s words, but he thought Nam Hae-sol’s demeanor, which straddled the line between straightforwardness and uprightness, was exactly as he remembered.

    “Let’s eat now. Sir Guide. Here’s some sikhye.”

    It was late at night, and the only sound was a quiet slurp under the sky with a big full moon. Jae-chan suddenly felt unreal as he ate noodles on a nice landscaping stone with the faint sound of grass insects in autumn in the background. Having Nam Hae-sol in front of him, who was very conscious, made him feel even worse.

    Even so.

    Nam Myung-seong’s hot soup, which he said he had prepared and steeped anchovies himself, went well with the cool autumn night air. Seon Jae-chan felt the warmth reaching over the paper cup, warming up his stomach.

    Nam Myung-seong, who was inserting wooden chopsticks between the noodles at the time, began talking.

    “Actually. My daughter is very interested in Esper Go Woo-jin. She’s also a guide.”

    “Wahh! Dad!”

    Hae-sol, who had been eating noodles, gasped at the embarrassment of being in the presence of a stranger. She, who was rarely excited, raised her voice involuntarily and slapped her father on the arm.

    “Don’t tell him that!”

    Even the darkness of the night couldn’t hide her blushing face. Nam Hae-sol couldn’t raise her head after seeing Guide Seon Jae-chan, who appeared dazed, and buried her face in her squatting knees. Her father was the only one who chuckled.

    On the other hand, Seon Jae-chan felt like he’d been drenched in cold water.

    ‘She must have liked Woo-jin from the beginning…’

    The warmth tingled his dry fingertips. He felt cold from the inside again.

    In the meantime, Nam Hae-sol got a little angry with her father and got up.

    “No, Sir Guide. It’s not like that. Everyone likes Esper Go Woo-jin. I just want to cheer for him from afar.”

    Then, she hurriedly left the place.  Jae-chan stared intently at the disappearing thin back of Nam Hae-sol. Nam Myung-seong, who had been drinking more anchovy broth, suddenly spoke.

    “My daughter’s name is Hae-sol. Nam Hae-sol.”

    “…”

    “I named her that so that she can live a leisurely life like a sea pine tree, watching the sea and catching the sea breeze.”

    Nam Myung-seong laughed, saying that it was a combination of Chinese characters and Korean words. Until she was born, he thought his daughter would live peacefully on this beautiful and secluded island.

    His voice trailed off as he continued. Taking a small bite, he fiddled with his paper cup, which had become soggy with broth.

    “However, I’m beginning to think that it’s getting worst. Far from being peaceful, my child suffered a lot because of me.”

    He almost got caught by pirates, and he couldn’t go out much because he was afraid of that. Nam Myung-seong’s voice continued bitterly.

    “Actually, I kept watching sir Guide with interest. To be precise, before sir Guide came, I also kept watching Esper Go Woo-jin.”

    Nam Myung-seong confessed everything honestly, saying that he had overheard what the soldiers were saying. At first, he thought of giving his daughter to Go Woo-jin.

    “My daughter is also a guide. Since the pirates also disappeared, I wanted her to have a chance to use her skills.”

    Nam Myung-seong smiled benevolently as he glanced in the direction where his daughter had disappeared.

    Seon Jae-chan quenched his dry mouth with sikhye. He forced his throat to move and made a sound.

    “As you said, there are no more pirates. If you have time, send your daughter to the District 4 center. She will be able to take the national Guide exam.”

    “Sir guide.”

    “…Yes.”

    “I know everything. Esper Go Woo-jin is the best Esper out of only 7 in our union, and the guide who calmed down such an Esper is also an amazing person.”

    Nam Myung-seong’s voice lowered slightly. He placed his wrinkled hand on his stomach. It was as if he had placed something there beforehand and remembered it at all times, and his grasp was unhindered.

    “Please take good care of my Hae-sol.”

    What he slipped out was a thick white envelope.

    “Couldn’t you, sir? I’m uneducated and unskilled, so I only know these things. Take a look and let me know if you need anything else.”

    It was a money envelope. Seon Jae-chan was at a loss for words for a moment.

    The reason why he didn’t do anything even when he saw the money envelope for the request was that he could feel the father’s deep love for his daughter. A slightly worn corners, but meticulously glued envelope. The neatly folded envelope reveals the heart, which must have meticulously collected each penny.

    The heart of a father who cherishes his children.

    Seon Jae-chan realized that Nam Hae-sol was born with something he didn’t have and something he was very envious of. Of course, it’s okay. He must have had a lot of other things that she didn’t have.

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