Like so, that first day of madness had passed and several days followed.
I’ll tell you the results first.
“This kid! Didn’t I tell you to stop coming to school?!”
“Ehe. Sorry, Dad☆”
Don’t attach something like a star to the end of your sentence. Don’t wink at me while sticking out your tongue slightly in an attempt to look cute. My blood pressure is going up. I’ll rip that tongue out.
Saeyeon’s house. Even when I had purposely slammed the front door shut, this kid didn’t even remotely appear as if she had cold feet.
Thus, I turned my arrow of complaint towards Saeyeon.
“Saeyeon, you! Didn’t I tell you to stop bringing Jaim to school?!”
In response to my shout, Saeyeon lowered her eyebrows as if she were being scolded and responded.
“B-But······. It’d be boring if Jaim is all by herself at home······.”
“It’s not boring for me when this kid comes to school, you know?”
“I knew it! Dad also likes it when I come to schoo······ ubububu!”
“You really want to be punished, don’t you? You actually like it when I do this, right?”
“J-Jjaro! Don’t be harsh to our daughter! Bad!”
I let Jaim go because Saeyeon had hit me. Although it honestly didn’t hurt.
“In any case······. I told you several times already. If you bring this kid to school, then it’ll become complicated for several different reasons so you shouldn’t bring her.”
I’m slowly running out of excuses now.
On the first day of madness, the day ended with a three person talk with the teacher after school. No, it ended with a four person talk. It seems the ‘Memory Manipulator’ or whatever didn’t work as our homeroom teacher had called us to see him after school. Even before our homeroom teacher had called for us, my rear had already caught on fire because of the student supervisor and his broom.
“And you, kid, didn’t I tell you to say that we’re just relatives while you’re at school?!”
While in front of the teacher who was contemplating whether he should send us to the police station or not for having done a shotgun wedding, which was unprecedented in our school, but as expected of my brilliant brain, I was able to give an amazing excuse like ‘She’s a relative! She’s the third daughter of a regular in my first cousin’s second cousin twice removed’s neighbor’s store! She’ll be staying with us for a while!’. Although due to the law of inertia, I received 5 more hits.
‘Huh? That’s not true, Jjaro. She’s our······.’ from here, since I was able to properly stop Saeyeon from continuing her sentence and, ‘But you really are my da······.’, was able to hold Jaim’s mouth shut, I was barely able to succeed in persuading our teacher, but the problems didn’t end there.
“But Mom said that you shouldn’t lie. Right, Mom?”
“Of course! You shouldn’t lie, Jjaro.”
“The teacher is going mad because you two are like that!”
Since he understood when I told him that ‘Due to complicated family issues, she couldn’t stay at her own home, so she’ll be staying with us.’ he concluded it by saying ‘Then don’t bring her to school’. However, every time this kid came to school, our homeroom teacher would grill me with questions like ‘Are her family issues still not resolved yet?’, ‘How long is she going to be staying with you?’, ‘She’s going to her own school properly, right?’.
The pressure is terrifying for various reasons when our homeroom teacher asks me those questions with teary eyes despite being a gorilla who doesn’t even know what the ‘s’ in ‘science’ means.
“Do you understand, kid?! If you come to school again then I’m really going to kick you out, okay?!”
In response to my words that I had shouted as I removed my shoes and entered the house, Jaim’s eyes sparkled as she shouted back at me.
“But I have to keep an eye on you, Dad, so you don’t cheat on Mom!”
“I said I wasn’t! Do you know how hard it was on me because of that?”
Why is this girl, who is well aware of the situation, raising up the misunderstanding like this? I got in trouble today as well because she ran throughout the entire school spreading rumors that ‘Dad is cheating!’.
“If that isn’t the case, then why do you keep meeting up with that weird girl?”
“Be quiet! It’s adult business. Don’t come!”
“No! If Dad doesn’t promise me that you’ll stop meeting up with that weird girl, then I’ll keep coming!”
“Till the very end, this kid!”
As I thought, I have to shut her mouth first. The happily smiling Saeyeon squeezed her way in between me, who was approaching Jaim while growling, and Jaim, who was making an unsatisfied face while also growling.
“Wait. It’s good that you two are getting along, but family members shouldn’t fight each other.”
“Do you see this as us getting along?”
“Yup! Mom told me before. She said that when people argue, it means that they’re that close to one another.”
While grinning brightly, Saeyeon turned towards Jaim.
“Right? You get along well with your Dad, don’t you Jaim?”
“Yup! We get along!”
Get along, my ass. Saeyeon sat down on the sofa and spoke.
“Now then, stop bickering and let’s watch TV together. Okay? It’s time for the drama to start. Jjaro, Jaim, sit down.”
After looking at Saeyeon tap on the sofa, I let out a sigh and sat down next to her. Yeah, I’m too tired to even say anything now.
“Mom, are you going to watch that drama today as well?”
“Yup. Mom told me to tell her what happens while she’s on her trip.”
Click. Once Saeyeon clicked on the remote, the timing was perfect as the opening of the drama had just started to play.
The instant I turned my head, Saeyeon asked me a question with sparkling and hopeful eyes.
“······You really didn’t cheat on me, right?”
“The drama is starting.”
The drama that Saeyeon enjoyed watching was one of those so-called ‘Makjang Drama’. If I remember correctly, the title of the show was definitely 〈The Counterattacking Missus〉. I’m not sure how it was enjoyable for someone whose mental age was that of a child, but she has been watching it every day without missing even a single day.
(TL note: ‘Makjang’ is a slang word that means something that is so bad that it couldn’t get any worse)
Every day at 7 pm, it was a drama about a husband who had abandoned his wife after having an affair, a wife who dreamed of getting revenge ever since she was abandoned, a man who was the 3rd son of a major company’s CEO, he was also single and would make the show disappointing if he didn’t appear, that man’s ex-girlfriend, etc etc. I was aware that even with this tangled plot, it received zealous support from the stratum of old ladies and, with its also destructive plot, it led a cult-like popularity. The reason why I knew the exact details is because I’ve been constantly watching it with Saeyeon every time she watched it. Don’t misunderstand.
[You’re a foolish and old-fashioned person whose soul is trapped within the idea of marriage!]
[Your missus isn’t some ostensible decoration!]
While I was absentmindedly watching the drama, Saeyeon pulled on the edge of my clothes.
“What is it now?”
“What are they doing right now?”
“As you can see, the man threw the food aside because it tasted bad. As I thought, a man needs to have at least that much vigor.”
“Mom said that you shouldn’t waste food thoughtlessly, though······. But why are they hugging each other and going on top of the table?”
“Since tossing the food wasn’t enough to sate his anger, he’s venting his rage by smothering the food below their bodies. ‘This is my flesh that has become fattened because of this tasteless food!’.”
“Then why are they making weird noises while pressing their mouths together?”
“He’s saying that instead of making food like that, the woman should just stop breathing. The woman is making weird noises because she’s having trouble breathing.”
“Why are they taking off their clothes?”
“‘Know some shame!’ something like that.”
“Ah, it’s suddenly morning now, what happened?”
“Since the punishment that followed after that was too dreadful, they couldn’t show it to us. Mm, even if they omit it like this, it’s quite terrifying.”
In response to my generous vocal explanation support service, Jaim was looking at me with an incredibly dumbfounded gaze. What is it now, kid?
“······I’ve been curious since before, but······ is Mom acting like that on purpose?”
“Hm? What do you mean, Jaim?”
“No, I mean that’s······.”
“You’re loud, kid. Be quiet and concentrate on the drama. Whenever you watch something, you have to watch silently in order to not cause a disturbance for the people around you.”
I interrupted her in order to prevent her from talking nonsense.
More than that, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but how is something like this family appropriate enough to be aired at 7 pm? What are they going to do if kids watch this?
Well, in that regard, it’s okay since as Saeyeon’s guardian, I’m able to sit next to her and generously explain everything.
“Mom, they were actually······.”
“I said to concentrate on the drama, kid. Because of you, Saeyeon is becoming concerned as well so she isn’t able to watch properly.”
“No, it’s okay Jjaro. What is it, Jaim?”
“No. You have to properly admonish them when something like this happens. If you raise them without any concern, then they’ll grow up to become like one of those ruffians who turn their phones on in a theater, kick the seat in front of them, and disturb the people around them.”
“That’s right. It was embarrassing when Jjaro fought with the person seated in front of us at the theater last time.”
“Right? But I’m all right. It’s troubling if you put someone like me in a collinear spot with those untaught masses.”
“Ah, in any case!”
It seems she must have realized that I was furtively trying to change the subject since Jaim quickly spoke up and talked to Saeyeon.
“Mom, did you not feel anything after seeing that scene a second ago?”
“What kind of feeling?”
In reaction to Saeyeon who responded in a completely clueless manner, Jaim spoke while sending quick glances at me. Like I said, what do you want, kid?
“······Mm, Mom, have you never thought about, doing that······ pressing your lips together thing with Dad?”
In response to Jaim who started that question sounding annoyed but then ended up hesitating because of her embarrassment, Saeyeon’s face became red.
“J-Jaim! You can’t say something like that!”
“Okay, but! So with Dad, do you want to······.”
“J-Jjaro told me before. That, uh, because of bacterias and stuff, you might die······.”
I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw Jaim become rigid with her mouth held agape, making it evident that she was at a loss for words. You’ve underestimated Saeyeon too much, kiddo.
“So, why have you been glancing at me a bunch of time since earlier?”
If you have something to say, then say it properly.
“E-Even if Dad taught you that, Mom, h-have you never wanted to at least try it once?”
“Well, it happens a lot in manga and dramas, but······. Since Jjaro taught that to me······.”
“Don’t be like that, Mom. When a boy and a girl brings their lips together, it means they like each other.”
“But Jjaro said that it means ‘I’m going to suffocate you to death!’.”
“Jjaro, you lied to me?!”
As if she were truly surprised, Saeyeon opened her eyes wide. However, if I were to panic because of something like this, then I wouldn’t be Saeyeon’s guardian.
“No. I didn’t lie.”
It’s true. I never lied. It does mean that you’ll suffocate them to death, doesn’t it?
“Uu······. I don’t know who’s telling the truth······.”
It seems I have to drive the nail in here.
“Ja Saeyeon, are you going to believe me or the kid?”
“Mom, do you think I’m lying?”
“T-That’s······ n-no, I don’t mean······. Auh······.”
Saeyeon must have completely gone into a state of confusion as she was holding her head and lowering it. Although I felt bad for her, it appears I was able to avoid the crisis for now.
“That’s it! Then Mom and Dad should press your lips together right now!”
Wow, this is a new type of idea.
Jaim spoke to Saeyeon with sparkling eyes.
“Right? If Mom and Dad ki······press your lips together, then Mom will be able to know who’s right. You’ll know if it feels good or not!”
Saeyeon blinked her eyes as she thought about Jaim’s words. At some point, those eyes that have been glancing at me were filled with expectation.
“······Fine. If that’s the case, then let’s test it out.”
Science consists of experiments after all.
Both Jaim and Saeyeon’s eyes became wide the moment they heard my answer.
“Dad? What did you say just now? You’re serious, right?!”
“Jjaro? What did you say just now? Really?!”
“You’ll be able to know how pressing lips together is like if we do it, right?”
“N-No, of course, it’s good for me if Mom and Dad ki······press your lips together, but I didn’t think that Dad himself would want to······.”
“W-What should I do? Eh, uhm······.”
Both Jaim and Saeyeon’s cheeks became red as they turned their heads away and started mumbling to themselves. They’re having a blast, aren’t they? They’re the ones who wanted to do this in the first place. I took off my glasses and gently held the back of Saeyeon’s neck as I drew my face closer to hers.
“It’ll be over soon.”
“B-But, as I thought, I need to prepare my heart for something like this······!”
Without waiting for Saeyeon, whom I was holding by the back of her neck while she was flailing her arms, I pressed my lips against hers with the intent to make a loud ‘chuuuuuuu!’ sound.
“W-Wooow······. For you to do it so calmly, I might end up admiring you······!”
Along with Jaim’s voice, Saeyeon’s face was at the peak of redness while her eyes were wide open and filled with shock.
As if she had no idea what was happening, Saeyeon’s eyes became wider and wider, but eventually, she closed them slowly.
The warm sensation spreading from my lips. The smooth lips that were touching my own twitched and Saeyeon’s waving hands stopped moving and were then clenched into fists. The breathing she was doing through her nose was tickling the area above my upper lip.
“······Uub, uu, uuuub! Uuuuuuuub!”
She then grimaced and her cheeks became a shade of red that was different compared to before. Soon, her exhaling became rough as well.
It seems I’m also running out of breath. Once I released the strength in my hand that was holding Saeyeon by the back of her neck, it was also around the same time Saeyeon had pushed against my chest with as much strength as she could muster. Saeyeon inhaled sharply and shouted at me with tears at the edge of her eyes.
“J-Jaro, what are you doing?! I almost suffocated to death!”
“See? That’s what pressing your lips together means.”
Both Saeyeon and Jaim opened their eyes widely. I put my glasses back on and spoke.
“I told you so, didn’t I? You nearly suffocated to death, right?”
“T-That’s······ right······ huh?”
“That’s what it means to press your lips together with another person. It’s a battle to see who can hold their breath for the longest period of time, a fight to see who can make the other person suffocate first.”
While glancing at Saeyeon who was blinking her eyes vacantly and Jaim who was standing still with her mouth held slightly agape, I continued.
“Also, make sure to brush your teeth properly. I told you before, but there are all sorts of bacterias that live in people’s mouths. Dentists are scary······. Since cavities don’t heal on their own, a dentist will have to use a drill and ‘drdrdrdrdr’ grind out your rotten teeth by drilling into them, and the instant they give you a Novocain shot, the needle will burrow into your skin and······.”
“I, I’ll brush my teeth right now!”
Saeyeon must have recalled her previous trip to the dentist as her face had become pale. While I was watching Saeyeon quickly run off to the bathroom, Jaim, who was still standing blankly, slowly opened her mouth.
“······Dad, you’re better than I expected.”
“Don’t think you can surpass me with that kind of flimsy scheme. Your intentions are as clear as day, you know?”
You were careless.
Once I walked out of the kitchen after having finished washing the dishes, I noticed Jaim sitting on the sofa.
“Did Saeyeon go to sleep?”
I was coolly ignored by the kid. If I consider the time, then Saeyeon should have definitely gone to bed, but what is this kid doing up this late? Since she was ignoring me anyway, I approached her quietly to see what she was doing only to discover that she wasn’t ignoring me. It seems she didn’t even notice me at all. What a remarkable concentration skill. All right, let’s see what you’re so concentrated······.
“Am I not speaking words to you?”
“Ow! Uu······. What are you doing all of a sudden?! I died!”
“No, I didn’t hit you hard enough to kill you.”
Rather than that.
“You, what’s that you have there?”
“Can’t you tell by looking at it?”
While rubbing her forehead which had just been hit, Jaim stretched her arm out and showed off the item that she was holding. No, I can guess what it is just by looking at it, but that’s not the point.
“What are you going to do?! I could have beaten the boss if I progressed a little bit further, but I died because of you, Dad! Take responsibility!”
A size that was perfect to be held within one’s two hands. With a streamline curvature as its base, there was a large screen in the center and there were buttons located on both sides of the screen. This was that, wasn’t it? I like these kinds of things too.
“What game console is that? Where’d you get that from?”
It’s my first time seeing this model. Jaim quickly turned her head away and stared at the screen again before answering me.
“I brought it with me before I came here. I might get bored while I’m here after all.”
“Aha. So in other words, you’re telling me that it’s a game console that you brought from the future, right?”
“Mhm, if I remember correctly, it’ll come out in about 10 years.”
“I see. Kid, there’s something I want to ask you.”
“What? Because of you, Dad, I have to start again from the last save point. Do you know how long this is going to take?”
“Didn’t you say that you didn’t bring anything from the future?”
Twitch, Jaim, who was staring solely at the screen, froze in place.
“I’m certain that I told you to hand over anything that could be profitable.”
“A-Are you some money-stealing delinquent, Dad?”
“Of course not. However.”
I grabbed onto Jaim’s cheeks before she could turn away and continued while pulling on them.
“For starters, you should have at least taken it out, kid! I follow the principle of ‘What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is also mine’!”
“Uu······. I-It’s obvious that it would have been taken away like this if I told you, Dad, so how could I?! Stupid!”
Jaim pointed at me with teary eyes.
“······Furthermore, you didn’t tell me that you knew Shin Nanda Oppa!”
“How is that related to this?”
“It is related! If you knew Shin Nanda Oppa, then you should have told me that sooner! I would have worn something prettier then!”
What is this kid saying all of a sudden? Was she shot in the head?
“In any case, why are you acting as if you know him? You’re even adding ‘Oppa’ to his name.”
“Do you know how famous Shin Nanda Oppa is?! Oh, right. Dad, I won’t go to school anymore so can you get me Shin Nanda Oppa’s autograph? Please?”
“Why do you want the autograph of some deadbeat?”
Towards me, who she was looking at as if I were pathetic, Jaim put more pity into her eyes as she gazed right at me. I’ll tear those eyes out.
“You know, Dad, if your friend is that famous, then you should try to get closer to him from now on. He becomes incomparably more famous than you, Dad, after all.”
“In the future, you know, a ‘Trot Boom’ begins and it all starts because of Shin Nanda Oppa!”
(TL note: Trot music)
“······Huh? What did you say?”
What’s this kid saying? Rather, why are you puffing your chest out proudly as if you’re bragging about something?
“The superstar who appeared like a shooting star within the declining musical circle! Starting from his debut album, 〈Clanging Beer Glasses with You〉, which sold over 1 million copies in a week, he’s now a world star with a hundred million fans across the entire world!”
“Do you know how cool Shin Nanda Oppa is?! While it’s unbelievable that he’s still in his 30s, he has good stage manners, amazing songs, and he’s even good at acting whenever he stars in dramas and movies! I was shaking so much when I went to watch his concert in person, but to be able to see him up close······. Ah, Shin Nanda Oppa······!”
Jaim’s eyes sparkled as she brought her hands together as if she were praying. That’s why I decided to ask her a sincere question first.
“Kid, when you came here from the future, did you bring any medication?”
“I don’t take something like that! You should try believing what your daughter tells you!”
“Everything you tell me lacks any credibility.”
Furthermore, this was even more unbelievable than the fact that I was going to make a family with Saeyeon.
“In any case, Dad! Get me an autograph, okay? Make sure he writes that it’s for his No. 1 Fan! No, that’s not right. I’ll go to school one last time tomorrow, so overlook it, okay? If it’s just tomorrow, then even if you fool around with that weird girl, I’ll pretend to not notice.”
“Don’t make me laugh.”
But for there to be a ‘Trot Boom’ in the future, I can’t imagine it. As I thought, isn’t this kid just saying whatever comes to her head?
“All right. You want me to get his autograph, right?”
“Hm? Yeah! Dad, are you really going to get it for me?”
In response to my words, Jaim approached me with glittering eyes. A brilliant smile was on her face. You, you’re way too close. Our noses are almost touching.
I smiled brightly and spoke.
“Now then, kid. You should have understood by now. What’s my principle?”
Her face instantly contorted. Honestly, it was an amusing sight.
“······Dad. You’re going to put a condition on even a small request like this?”
“Obviously. There’s no reason to do something that’s unhelpful.”
More than anything else, even if I say that it’s for this kid’s sake, what’s Nanda going to say to me? He’s definitely going to make fun of me.
“I’ll get his autograph for you, so go home.”
“······. ············. ····································. No.”
She thought about it for quite a long time. It nearly worked too. That’s unfortunate.
“All right, then show me everything you have.”
“······Dad, are you really some money-stealing delinquent?”
“Shut it. Right, I’m doing an inspection as your guardian to see if you have anything dangerous. Kid, you had a backpack with you when you got here, right?”
An inefficiently small and cute backpack at that.
“······Fine. But it’s only for a bit, okay? I have to sleep soon as well.”
Although she sounded reluctant, she must have really wanted Nanda’s autograph as Jaim cautiously went to get her bag from Saeyeon’s room. Good.
“Let’s see here······.”
Although Jaim furrowed her brow when she saw me open her bag and spill its contents out, she didn’t react any further than that.
“······There really is nothing.”
I was going to at least try dismantling that memory manipulating device but I couldn’t now. While I was having those thoughts, I picked up an item that looked as if it had the most value. A notebook.
“······Is this that thing?”
“Yup! That’s my 〈Happy Family Planning〉!”
Although I received a mental shock by just the cover from which I could clearly feel the childishness that was unique to little girls, I tried opening it for now.
〈Happy Family Planning〉
1. Mom and Dad love each other.
2. Mom and Dad unite with each other.
I felt like this wouldn’t be good for my mental health if I looked at it any longer, so I closed the notebook.
“Whatever. The condition has changed. Hand me your game console.”
“That’s not fair! I even forgave you with my large and generous heart for going through a girl’s bag!”
“You don’t have to. I lose nothing.”
Once she heard my words, Jaim immediately looked as if she were calculating something before letting out a sigh and speaking.
“······Fine. It’s a promise, okay? You have to get Shin Nanda Oppa’s autograph, okay? Make sure he writes that it’s for his No. 1 Fan.”
“All right. I can do at least that much.”
Once I received the game console from her, Jaim leaned her upper body closer to me.
“I’ll tell you how to play it. So if you do this here······.”
The instant I moved the game console away from Jaim, who was stretching her hand out in order to fiddle with the console, she looked at me with blinking eyes.
Of course, I was displaying a smile that befitted the man who was going to rule the world.
“Wahahahahaha! You were deceived, kid! Did you think I was going to only play games? Too bad! When I said I was going to do something with it, what I meant was disassembling!”
Literally the left field! That was the path of a scientist!
“W-What are you doing?! Give it back! Give it back!”
“I was finally able to get my hands on future technology! Give up obediently!”
Although Jaim had quickly leaped over the sofa in order to make her way to my side, did she think she could win against our difference in height? Jaim started to hop up and down once I raised my hand high up into the air, but there’s no way she’d be able to reach it.
“Wahahahahaha! It’d be good for the both of us if you give up nicely, you know? I’ll get you your autograph as promised. Moreover, I’ll give this back to you once I’ve cracked it open and seen all of its inner workings! Thus, give up with this!”
Of course, even if it’s the genius me, I can’t confidently say that I’d be able to put it back together perfectly.
“H-How could you steal your daughter’s game console and do such a thing?”
“It’s always delightful to hear the cries of the defeated.”
The once hopping Jaim looked up at me with teary eyes. Do you think you can trick me with those tears? You already told me about them.
She must have been fairly upset about our difference in height as the whining Jaim bared her canines and growled at me as she spoke.
“Dad, if you don’t give that back to me right this instant, then I don’t know what I might do, you know?”
“You’ll do something? Go ahead. If you’re able to take this back from me, then I won’t have any lingering attachment!”
“I vow on my name!”
I declared confidently and stuck out my chest.
I can always vow my name on something that won’t happen.
After hearing my vow, Jaim nodded her head as if she had made her resolve.
“Okay. It’s all because Dad is the bad one!”
Then, in that moment, my eyes that were trained through gaming was able to perfectly capture all of Jaim’s movements.
A sharp glare and a sharp kick that contained her murderous intent as is. A good choice. If she couldn’t overcome our difference in height, then the wise choice would be to attack my body. If she kicks my leg, then I might lurch. However, something like the kick of a child, my trained body wouldn’t betray me because of one or two attacks like that.
There was a time when I had thought like that.
The thing I recalled in that moment, was a doctor’s familiar voice.
⎯⎯⎯Bare this in mind. From now on this doctor will······.
My children who can no longer be born!
If you wish to resent someone,
Resent the mass murderer who had messed up her family with her own hands······.
“Males are quite pitiful animals, aren’t they, Dad?”
The final smile I saw on the kid’s face was overwhelmingly terrifying.
Thud. I couldn’t even make a sound. I couldn’t put strength into any part of my body. That’s Deneb, Altair, and Vega. The summer triangle drawn by you······. Constellations were drifting around in front of me. It felt as if I were floating around in zero gravity. How? How could someone do something like this while wearing human skin······? More than that, didn’t she come here in order to make Saeyeon and I unite······?
“You’re right, Dad. It is always delightful to hear the cries of the defeated.”
After taking the game console back from my hands while I was rubbing my face against the ground and letting out a horrible groan, Jaim displayed a gentle, angel-like smile and spoke.
“Ah, if it’s that problem, then you don’t have to worry. Since I was born, it probably means that it’ll work properly again. ······Probably.”
Don’t add ambiguous words like ‘probably’······.
Lately, my life has been like this.
At school, I’m treated as ‘that guy who already has a doe-like wife and bunny-like daughter but still cheats on his wife with that eccentric upperclassman (omitted)’ by the other students and I’m treated as ‘although it’s good that he’s taking care of his poor relative, the guy who shows complicated family matters in stereo to the girl who came here in order to escape from her own complicated family matters (omitted)’ by the teachers. Moreover, whenever I go home, like this, Jaim, no, this kid tries to tomwist and destroy my peaceful days spent with Saeyeon.
But it’s okay. I have a dream, a hope, and an ambition after all.
More than anything else, I have a cooperator who’ll break this situation down.
“That’s why I said you need to make haste and unite.”
“Is uniting all you know how to say?!”
“Did I not tell you that that’s the fastest method? Just shut your eyes for a bit and let loose. You’re going to do it later on anyway.”
“I won’t! I absolutely won’t! At any rate, is there no other method? Hm?”
As a real man, I, Jin Jaro, have lived quite the unshameful life.
It should be obvious if you’ve watched my life until now, but I also have pride towards the way I have lived.
That’s why I absolutely will not kneel before someone easily. I have self-respect after all. As I was able to overcome all sorts of suffering and hardship until now, I’m a real man who possesses an unyielding soul and body that’s capable of setting the world on fire if the world itself tries to mess with me.
That me, was currently on his knees.
“Please, I beg of you, Upperclassman Ha Nabom! No, Teacher Ha Nabom! Think of it as saving a single person’s life, please!”
······Fine, I’ll be honest.
I was currently latched onto Upperclassman Ha Nabom’s leg and shouting.
“Please take Jaim away with you!”
“Please stop, Underclassman Jin Jaro. If you’re like that, then doesn’t it appear as if you’re begging after having been dumped by me? As I said before, I have no interest in someone who’s going to become bald.”
“My hair isn’t going to retreat! I’m going to advance one step at a time! ······No, rather, stop saying weird things and take Jaim away! I can’t live like this! All right, sue me! If you won’t take Jaim away, then sue me!”
(TL note: ‘sue me’ is a Korean slang. It can be literally read as ‘split my stomach open’)
Upperclassman Nabom looked down at me, who was clinging onto her leg, with sleepy eyes before gently asking me a question.
“Should I split you open?”
If it’s this person, then it feels like she’ll actually do it, so I furtively let go of her leg. Upperclassman Nabom indifferently wiped her leg with a handkerchief. She then flicked her handkerchief and let it fall to the floor. ······Woow.
“What exactly is the problem? It’s only been a week.”
“It’s already been a week, you mean! Every single day feels like the end of the world to me, you know? Do you know how much stress I have? Huh?!”
“For you to collapse miserably like this because of just those few days, it seems Underclassman Jin Jaro’s mental strength is weaker than a slab of tofu. Is your will on the level of radioactive matter that deteriorates on its own if left by itself?”
“Oh, that’s a good comparison.”
“Why are you sighing?”
I even complimented her, but she ruined the mood.
“In any case, has there been any changes in Miss Jaim’s behavior?”
“It’d be great if there were.”
Once I uttered that complaint, Upperclassman Nabom looked straight at me and spoke.
“Although Underclassman Jin Jaro, who comforts himself by calling himself a scientist, may already know this, ‘information contamination’ is a severe problem. I’d like it if you treated this issue seriously.”
“Now that I think about it, what exactly is that ‘information contamination’ thing?”
“Ara? Did I not explain it to you before?”
“No, I did hear an explanation, but······.”
In response to my weakening voice, Upperclassman Nabom let out a sigh and spoke.
“Haah, fine. For Underclassman Jin Jaro, who is as dumb as he appears, I’ll kindly explain it to you once more.”
The more I hear this person speak, I occasionally get the suspicion that I might actually look dumb. Though that’s impossible.
“If you travel from the future and to the past, then you’ll be exposed to all sorts of information. For example, meeting someone or going somewhere. Each time these trivial interactions happen, you’re exposed to new information that’s different from the pre-existing information which you originally had. In the end, a problem can occur due to that difference.”
Up to this point was something that I knew well about. The butterfly effect. The phenomena where a single alteration could change everything. Hm hm.”
“When an ‘information contamination’ occurs, there’s a chance that your pre-existing memories and personality can be sent into a state of disarray. New information from the past will save over your original data. The more frequent these points of contact become, the more your data will be modified, and as a result of these modifications, a change occurs from the most fundamental of hardware. Once you’ve reached the latter part, a Gestalt Collapse or a software alteration will occur from a conceptual standpoint. To be concrete, in a professional domain······.”
“······A problem will occur like this. Do you understand?”
“Yes. I understand.”
“Good. It seems Underclassman Jin Jaro isn’t completely······.”
“I understand that I don’t get it.”
The various mathematical formulas that Upperclassman Nabom had written on the whiteboard in order to give a better explanation have now reached the point of being abstract art.
“······Underclassman Jin Jaro, are you really a scientist?”
“I-I am! I’m the prodigy scientist of this age! Scientists are naturally only familiar with their own area of expertise!”
Upperclassman Nabom let out a small sigh and spoke.
“At least you’re good at talking. Well, whatever. This time I’ll really, seriously explain it in a way that’s easy to understand.”
That gaze that looks as if she’s looking at someone stupid is starting to get annoying.
“Underclassman Jin Jaro, on April 26th at 5 o’clock, 34 minutes, and 27 seconds in the evening, do you know what you were doing when you were 3 years old at that time?”
“Uh······ I was in preschool when I was 3, and since preschool would already be over by that time······.”
“Do you remember exactly?”
“How can someone remember something like that exactly?”
“All right. I’ll tell you the truth. At that time, Underclassman Jin Jaro was fighting against the 7 Apostles(The Round Table) that ruled the world in order to save your lover from your previous life.”
“When I was 3?!”
“While wearing a black coat, Underclassman Jin Jaro, you were groaning in pain with injuries all over your body. Even when your lover from your previous life pleaded ‘Don’t worry about me! There’s no need to fight any more than this!’, Underclassman Jin Jaro, while bleeding excessively, you put a cigarette in your mouth and bluffed saying, ‘How foolish. There’s no way I’d fall when I was able to defeat Catastrophe of Chaos(End of The End), right?’.”
“Let’s smoke once you’re over 19 years old! Actually, let’s just not smoke!”
“The 7 Apostles(The Round Table) boasted proudly saying, ‘Pfft, Catastrophe of Chaos(End of The End) was the weakest among us 7 Heavenly Kings······ You’re only able to take down someone of that extent’ and they were preparing their ultimate weapon, Requiem of Ruin(Fate of the Night).”
“Rather, how are you able to talk like that?!”
“That is the truth of Underclassman Jin Jaro when you were 3 years old on April 26th at 5 o’clock, 34 minutes, and 27 seconds in the evening.”
Upperclassman Nabom smiled and continued.
“Now then, how is it? The feeling of having become aware of your memories that were once sealed.”
“There’s no way something like that would happen!”
Was this person that? If I think about it, was she that? Well, she did show that kind of tendency when we met for the first time.
“I heard that this was trending during this time, so I tried copying it.”
“No, it isn’t particularly trending······.”
“At any rate, the average person would say that that’s impossible. However, if I took Underclassman Jin Jaro back to that exact time in order to confirm the truth and it turned out that that actually happened, then what thoughts do you think will go through your head at that time, Underclassman Jin Jaro?”
“······I don’t know?”
I’m not really sure, but if that were the truth······. Then······.
“Ku, ku, ku······ It’s blackening(The Final Mode)······.”
“Hello? Come back to your senses.”
“Ah, what was I······.”
It felt as if I had a long dream······.
While looking at me who was in that state, Upperclassman Nabom spoke as if she were satisfied.
“Well, it seems that that was an adequate example. As you recall your uncertain past, if there’s a difference between that and the past you know, then a difference will also be made to all of your life experiences until now and an alteration will occur. Although there are mathematical formulas that can explain it empirically, in any case, let’s just say that you’ve understood for now.”
“And if that happens, since there’s a chance that an issue may occur even in reality with Miss Jaim as the cause, please pay attention. If it becomes too complicated, then I’ll have no other choice but to take special procedures. You understand now, right?”
“Well, I have a rough understanding of it now.”
Though it’s a rough understanding to a certain extent. Regardless, I obtained important information.
“All right. It seems you at least have that much comprehension skills.”
“I do have two questions though.”
“What is it, Underclassman Jin Jaro?”
“First, is Upperclassman Nabom fine?”
In reaction to my question, Upperclassman opened her half-closed eyes widely. What’s wrong all of a sudden? Upperclassman Nabom smiled with her eyes and spoke.
“Ara, Underclassman Jin Jaro, surely you aren’t worried about me, are you?”
“No, after hearing all that, I was wondering just in case.”
“Did you perhaps fall for me? That’s troubling. For someone who already has a wife to······.”
“I didn’t fall for you! I’m not worried! It’s merely a scientific curiosity!”
I shouldn’t have asked. Upperclassman Nabom made a mischievous smile and answered.
“I’m fine. As I’m a dispatched officer, I’ve received training in order to be prepared for it. So what is your second question?”
“So when are you going to take Jaim back?”
“The conclusion ends up like this once more, it seems······.”
Upperclassman Nabom looked at me with pitying eyes. I could tell since I was slowly starting to be able to see through those sleepy eyes.
“No matter how much I think about it, I don’t profit from this at all. At school, the untaught masses are annoying since they go around saying that I’m cheating or whatever, and even the teachers are being bothersome now. Moreover, when I go home, that kid······.”
“That’s why you shouldn’t cheat in the first place. You already have a wife and daughter.”
“You’re the one who started it!”
It’s all your fault, you know?! Do you want to see me actually get angry?! Don’t make me blacken(The Final Mode)!
“Haah. So what’s your point? Are you saying that you’ll only act if there’s a reward? You truly are a child.”
“In the first place, I’m someone who doesn’t move unless there’s something beneficial for me.”
Even if you mark everything I’ve done until now off as a service, as I thought, if I keep moving like this, then my pride as Jin Jaro, the genius scientist, won’t permit it.
“······And I thought I could push you around impecuniously······.”
“What’d you say just now?!”
“I said that I too thought about that issue in regard to presenting something to Underclassman Jin Jaro in order to increase your drive. Yup.”
I didn’t shout that because I couldn’t hear what she had said, but whatever. Once I gave her a sour look with my arms folded, Upperclassman Nabom surprisingly nodded frankly as if she understood my feelings.
“Then, what do you want?”
“Give me a time machine!”
“But there isn’t anything in particular that I can give you······ How troubling.”
“Give me a time machine!”
“Okay. Should I let you touch my breasts?”
“Yes! O······ no, wait. Give me a time machiiiiiine!”
Although those big and beautiful things that cause universal gravitation are also good, that’s not what I want! There’s only a single thing that I want!”
“If you can’t give me a time machine, then give me something that’s from the future!”
“Why do you want something like that?”
As our advanced civilized society is developing every day, the one who takes a step forward and catches that development first will be able to control the world. Just a decade ago, no one knew that cell phones would have this many functions.
In other words, if I’m able to acquire something here······.
“I could become a million, no, a billion, no, a trillionaire!”
“A historical figure who prevents the world from collapsing due to a time paradox, no, that’s not right. Since I’m on a mission that has the fate of all of humanity on the line, wouldn’t this sort of reward be obvious? It shouldn’t be difficult, either.”
“······You surprisingly have a rather thorough personality, Underclassman Jin Jaro.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. Now then, my arm is starting to hurt, hurry up and give me something.”
While receiving Upperclassman Nabom’s dumbfounded gaze, I kept my arm held out.
“But it’s unfortunate. In order to prevent the chicken-and-egg paradox, I cannot give you even a single item.”
(Author’s note • chicken-and-egg paradox: “If the young Shakespeare plagiarized the script of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ that was given to him by a time traveler, then who does the script belong to?” this kind of paradox)
“The only thing I can give you is······ my, body.”
“No. Even if you act all embarrassed like that, it doesn’t affect me at all.”
“For you to not even react to those words, as I thought, is the reason why you don’t want to unite also because of this? Of course······.”
“I told you it wasn’t! I have no issues down there! Don’t look at my lower body with such sad eyes, okay? Will you believe me if I show it to you?!”
“I do not wish to see something that requires a magnifying glass to see.”
“I’ll seriously report you for sexual harassment!”
While looking at the fuming me, Upperclassman Nabom let out another small sigh.
“Fine. Let’s put that aside for now. Although I cannot give Underclassman Jin Jaro a bribe······ since we are cooperating, I’ll give you a present.”
“A present that will help Underclassman Jin Jaro in the future.”
O-Ooh? Now we’re speaking the same language.
“T-Then, right now······.”
“DLCs require an additional payment.”
“I won’t do it! I won’t! Throw it all out!”
“It’s just at the level of an additional quest. Well, it’s not difficult.”
Upperclassman Nabom spoke while smiling happily.
“I also have a lot of interest in this current age. There are also things I became curious about after doing my research on this era. I want to visit famous places, watch the movies that were out during this time period, and go to idol concerts for people who were popular in this day and age like Miss Mary.”
She’s full of ulterior motives just as I had expected.
“However, no matter how much I try to enjoy myself on my own in this age, there are things that feel lacking.”
“If you give something, then you’ll receive something in return. If Underclassman Jin Jaro explains to me things like the culture and the products of this era, then I can offer you a present out of my own good will.”
“······In other words, a tour guide. Something like that?”
“Additional DLC quest ‘Date with your affair partner’.”
Resist, hold yourself back. I gain nothing if I get upset here.
“What do you say? Will you do it?”
“······Fine. If it’s something trivial like that, then I’ll do it.”
Although I had a strong feeling that this was going to come back and bite me in the butt later on, everything was an investment for the future.
“Really? Thank you very much.”
As she said that, Upperclassman Nabom smiled brightly. ······Yeah, if she opens her eyes properly then she’s really a beauty. It’s to the point that even I was nearly charmed by her for an instant.
However, that was it.
That’s not what’s important after all.
⎯⎯⎯I do not wish to see something that requires a magnifying glass to see.
······No, not that! It’s not that pathetic! Once more, if I concentrate a bit more······.
⎯⎯⎯And if that happens, since there’s a chance that an issue may occur even in reality with Miss Jaim as the cause.
That’s right, Upperclassman Nabom said it. That she had no plans to take Jaim away right now. However, she also added something at the end. If Jaim causes that issue, then Upperclassman Nabom will take her back.
That means that if she causes an information contamination or if I witness it and I report it to Upperclassman Nabom, then she’ll remove the kid. If that happens, then all the hardships that I had gone through until now will go bye bye. I’ll be able to return back to my peaceful days where nothing could bother me.
“Ku, ku, ku······. It’s blackening(The Final Mode)······.”
“······I see you’ve taken a liking to that phrase.”
TL Note: Thanks for reading the chapter. More lighthearted antics. It’ll probably get serious soon. Probably. I don’t know. I’m not going to spoil it. In any case, I keep forgetting what I wanted to write here, so I guess I’ll just save it for the TL note in the next chapter. I’ll see you guys then.