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    “Don’t dodge, hit it!”


    Se-han, with his eyes tightly closed, swung the bat and fell backward. Nam-woon quickly approached Se-han, helped him up, and dusted off the dirt from his pants.

    “That was better than before.”


    “Yeah. A little more practice and you should be good.”

    Se-han’s face flushed with joy. Nam-woon added,

    “Just a few more days and you’ll really be good at it.”

    “A few days…”

    Se-han’s face suddenly darkened. Nam-woon handed the bat back to Se-han’s small hand and checked his phone.

    “It’s late. Let’s go home.”

    Se-han followed Nam-woon like a little chick. As Nam-woon walked, dragging his bicycle, he turned to look back at Se-han.

    “The tire’s a bit flat, but do you want to ride?”

    Nam-woon said while walking, offering Se-han his helmet. Se-han’s face brightened again when he saw the Alkong sticker on the side of the helmet.

    Today, they walked up the familiar hill together.


    [You have successfully completed the quest!]

    [As a reward, you receive one lottery ticket.]

    Ah, right. There was a quest.

    He had completely forgotten about the quest, but it seems to have been fulfilled when he met Se-han by chance. Hopefully, it’s something useful. He had to be careful because there seemed to be a lot of unexpected things about the system.

    As he thought about the lottery ticket, Se-han looked up at Nam-woon innocently and said,

    “But Hyung told me not to talk to mister…”

    “Why am I “mister” if Kwon Seo-oh is Hyung?”

    “How old are you, mister?”

    How old was Nam-woon in the novel? He remembered that Seok Nam-woon was two years older than Kwon Seo-oh. The age difference wasn’t that big. Was that why there was such rivalry?

    “I’m probably two years older than your brother.”


    Se-han took a deep breath as he looked at Nam-woon. For a primary school student, even a two-year age difference makes someone look much older. Se-han hesitated, then asked cautiously,

    “So, what should I call you?”

    Nam-woon pondered for a moment.

    “Call me whatever you want.”


    Se-han looked up at Nam-woon.

    “What’s your name, mister?”

    “Seok Nam-woon. And you?”

    He already knew his name but asked out of politeness, as if they should introduce themselves formally.

    “I’m Kwon Se-han! Then, I’ll call you “Wooni hyung”!”

    “Wooni hyung?”


    Feeling the distance between them suddenly close, Nam-woon scratched his head and then nodded as if to say, Why not? Se-han suddenly lowered his voice as if someone might hear.

    “Don’t tell my brother about us playing baseball today. I’ll get in trouble.”

    “I can’t get caught either. I’ll get in trouble too.”

    “Who will you get in trouble with?”

    “Your brother.”

    Se-han tilted his head in confusion. Nam-woon looked at him and said,

    “Your brother is scary, isn’t he?”

    “My brother isn’t scary at all!”

    Not scary, huh? Nam-woon rubbed his cheek where Seo-oh had hit him before. It still seemed to bring a faint pain. The punch was really strong. He might really fall over if he gets hit again.

    As they arrived in front of Kwon Seo-oh’s house, it was dark inside, as if no one was home. Nam-woon asked,

    “Hasn’t your brother come home yet?”

    Squeak. Se-han opened the gate and answered,

    “No. He said he would be late today.”

    “What time is he coming?”

    “I don’t know.”

    Nam-woon slightly frowned. Seeing Nam-woon’s expression, Se-han quickly added,

    “It’s not every day, only on busy days. I can just go to the neighbor’s house.

    Kwon Seo-oh occasionally did odd jobs at one of the Chairman’s business sites. It seemed like he did everything from simple part-time work to paperwork, but the Chairman who recognized Kwon Seo-oh’s work, had personally placed him there. He brought Kwon Seo-oh into major businesses while leaving the discarded center to his own son, Seok Nam-woon. As expected, Kwon Seo-oh did not disappoint the Chairman’s expectations and did his job well.

    Nam-woon stopped in front of the house and said,

    “Then, should we practice baseball for a while? Let’s keep it a secret from your brother.”

    Se-han’s bright eyes widened and sparkled.


    Nam-woon sighed heavily as he pedaled his bicycle. He could see a large school visible in the distance.

    Ah, I don’t want to go.

    Nam-woon moved his bicycle sluggishly, glaring at the role fulfillment clause in front of him.


    But Kwon Seo-oh was standing in front of the main gate. Kwon Seo-oh had one hand in his pocket and the other looking down at his phone. Even though he was still, people were aimlessly hanging around him because of his good looks. It seemed that Nam-woon was later than usual. It was all because he felt embarrassed to see Kwon Seo-oh’s face and had been lazy in the office.

    He was surely not waiting for him, was he? If he had an appointment, that would be bad. Besides becoming the person who exercised by dragging an empty bicycle to the university on a hot day, he was afraid of the system.

    Nam-woon quickly ran and parked his bicycle next to Kwon Seo-oh.

    “I’m a bit late.”

    Nam-woon spoke awkwardly. Then Kwon Seo-oh answered while lowering the phone he was holding.

    “Class just ended.”

    While waiting for the next words, Kwon Seo-oh immediately closed his mouth.

    Just ended… what? Does that mean he wasn’t waiting?

    Well. It would be strange for him to wait for Nam-woon. It was a good thing for Nam-woon. He glanced up at Kwon Seo-oh’s face, which seemed unfazed. It seemed like he was pretending not to remember the brief argument they had in the office.

    Nam-woon silently offered the helmet he had brought in the basket. Then, surprisingly, Kwon Seo-oh took the helmet and spoke first.

    “Get off.”

    “Huh? Why?”

    Nam-woon asked with wide eyes, and Kwon Seo-oh grabbed one side of the bicycle handle and said again,

    “Get off.”


    As Nam-woon slowly got off, looking confused, Kwon Seo-oh suddenly put the helmet on Nam-woon’s head. In reality it was closer to throwing it.

    “What, what’s this?”

    Nam-woon held the tilting helmet with one hand and asked in confusion. Then Kwon Seo-oh said without looking at Nam-woon,

    “Get on the back.”

    Then he sat on the bicycle driver’s seat and grabbed the handle. The back seat of the bicycle was empty. Startled by Kwon Seo-oh’s sudden behavior, Nam-woon tried to take back the handle.

    “No, it’s okay. I’ll do it.”

    “If you drive, it’ll take two hours to get home.”

    Two hours was an exaggeration. Besides, Kwon Seo-oh was not cooperative at that time. Nam-woon was annoyed.

    “It was because you gave the wrong directions last time.”

    “That’s your fault for forgetting the way.”

    Kwon Seo-oh lifted one foot onto the pedal as if he were about to start immediately.

    “I have a lot of assignments, so I need to go fast. If you don’t ride, I’ll go alone.”

    “I’ll ride.”

    Nam-woon quickly climbed onto the back seat, anticipating that Kwon Seo-oh would start first. The solid-looking broad back was now close in front of him.

    He couldn’t see anything in front. Soon, the bicycle began to move. The view suddenly became blurry in an instant.

    “Is this speed… normal?”

    Kwon Seo-oh was riding quite fast, even with Nam-woon on the back. Whether he was really in a hurry for his assignment, didn’t like having Nam-woon on the back, or was in a rush for some other urgent reason, the penalty of carrying an adult male seemed to be meaningless to him. Nam-woon began to doubt his own physical condition.

    “Did I not realize my body was in such bad shape?”

    [Don’t blame yourself! ㅠㅠ]

    Suddenly, the system consoled Nam-woon.

    [You’re doing well fulfilling your role! Good job!]

    [We’ll give you a little support as a reward!]

    [10% support applied!]

    The word “support” made him tense up for a moment, but after a few seconds, nothing changed. Nam-woon sighed with relief and purely admired Seo-oh’s stamina. “He’d be really good at deliveries,” he thought.

    After getting used to Kwon Seo-oh’s speed, Nam-woon turned his head to look at the scenery. It was still a sunny afternoon, and the warm sunlight was shining down.

    They passed through a bustling area crowded with students and entered a main road lined with many tall buildings. They passed low commercial buildings and a green forest. Nam-woon’s hair fluttered in the breeze. Although it was a hot wind, it felt somehow refreshing. Besides, since a while ago, a faint, mysterious fragrance had been wafting around his nose. Nam-woon took a deep breath as if following the scent.

    It feels good…

    It was his first time riding a bicycle driven by someone else, and it felt like a breath of fresh air. He didn’t know when the last time he felt so relaxed. It was ironic to feel this way behind Kwon Seo-oh’s back.

    Then the bicycle came to a sudden stop.



    Nam-woon’s nose hit the back of Kwon Seo-oh’s shoulder.

    “There was a cat.”

    The low voice of Kwon Seo-oh vibrated through Nam-woon’s nose and mouth, which were still pressed against his back.

    What’s this smell?

    It was a pleasant scent. A fragrance was emanating from Kwon Seo-oh’s clothes. It was similar to the scent of the forest, almost like a clear floral fragrance. Since it was coming from the clothes, it might have been the smell of fabric softener. As Nam-woon sniffed around the area of Kwon Seo-oh’s shoulder blades without moving his face away, a grim voice came from the front.

    “What are you doing right now…?”

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