“47, 48, 49, 50……. Okay. Get up, Chloe.”
Chloe was letting out rough breaths while lying on the mat. Jo Minjoon, who was holding her legs, released his hands and asked.
“Isn’t it difficult to train everyday? People who exercised also do it in intervals. You will get injured.”
“But instead, I don’t do that much. And there aren’t that many training machines here……….”
Chloe looked around the gym with regretful eyes. They gym that was made not only for the participants, but also for the staff, wasn’t on the good side. Jo Minjoon looked at Anderson that was doing squats next to them. Anderson had a body that was unexpectedly built up. It was certainly different compared to him.
“………Should I also do some exercise?”
“You came here to do that, didn’t you?”
“Rather than coming to do exercise, I came to get some motivation.”
“You don’t get motivation from others, but you have to get motivated yourself. ‘I have to do some exercise……’ You just mumble these words by yourself and your body is still the same? And your will is also the same.”
“Fine. Then, should I start to…….”
It was at that moment that he was going to end the word ‘today’ that his phone rang. His handphone rang. Jo Minjoon raised his hand to Chloe for a moment and got outside the gym. The name that popped up the screen was ‘Jessie Dean’. It was a name he hadn’t seen for a while, so Jo Minjoon put on a welcoming smile.
“It’s been a while since you called. What happened?”
[ Just so. I was bored and I don’t have anything to do. ]
“But shouldn’t you be at school right now? Ah, New York is one hour behind.”
The conversation continued this way by catching up. She was still making jelly, how big was Grand Chef’s house. And of course, a question that couldn’t be out appeared.
[ Aren’t the both of you really dating? ]
“I told you that we aren’t.”
At the voice that was filled with curiousness, Jo Minjoon replied bluntly. Jessie groaned as if she didn’t believe him. Jo Minjoon let out a sigh and changed subjects. He was certainly tired of this theme. Because it wasn’t only Jessie, but also his family and friends asked him about Kaya when they called.
“How is Mr. Lucas doing?”
[ Well, it seems like he was starting a new company…… He doesn’t tell those things to me much. But he’s doing well.]
More than anything else, Jessie’s voice really brightened up. And with just that, he didn’t have anything in particular to worry about. Jessie asked him something that she was concerned of.
[ But, that Lotus girl……. There were bad rumours in the internet. It’s not true, right? ]
“By all means, it’s not. People always tend to think that they were the victims. Tess Gilly, so…… You can look at it as the same kind.”
[ Well, you should see people well. ]
“Also tell it to the people around you. Kaya, she’s not that kind of person.”
[ ……That isn’t so difficult. But it seems like you really take care of her? ]
Jessie asked as if she was suspicious. Jo Minjoon replied with a voice he was sick of.
“Let’s end this. I have to exercise.”
[ Ah, I’m sorry. Don’t cut. I’m bored. I’m bo……! ]
Even after Jessie’s eager voice, he couldn’t pull back his already extended finger. It was at that moment when the call ended and the screen was turning black. He heard a familiar voice.
“It seems like you were talking about me.”
“Ah! What a surprise…… Go making a sign.”
As he turned back to look at the owner of that voice, he saw Kaya pointing at her feet instead of replying. She was wearing high heels. Her feet moved. Clop clop. It was too clear of a sound to say it was silent. Jo Minjoon scratched his chin with an embarrassed face.
“I can’t listen well when I’m on a call.”
“I think that you are just deaf. So what? Wasn’t that about me?”
“If someone calls me they usually ask me about you. Aren’t you like that?”
“……..There’s particularly no one that calls me. Excluding my sister and my mom.”
Kaya pouted and replied. He knew he was supposed to feel sad at those words, but when she said it with that face, he thought she looked cute. Jo Minjoon smirked.
“And your sister and mother don’t talk about me?”
“They do. They ask me why I keep a fool such as you next to me.”
“……..Really? They really said that?”
“And you also believe that?”
Kaya clicked her tongue and shook her head. Jo Minjoon frowned. When he played with his younger cousins, he tended to be the one that fell to these childish plays. He was like that when he was with Kaya. Although he didn’t know if that was good or bad……..
“I’m going to do some exercise. Leave.”
“You are really going to exercise? You didn’t until now. Why, because I teased you?”
“Do I look like a kid to you? Who will exercise just because someone makes fun of me?”
“There’s nothing wrong with being a kid, and it hasn’t been long since you stopped being a teen. How about you also stop acting like an adult?”
At that moment, he did get angry, but he didn’t want to get swept up in her phase. For her, it hasn’t been long since he stopped being a teen, but that wasn’t the case. Because originally, he had lived until his thirties. It was an age where he shouldn’t do childish things.
“It hasn’t been long until I came back from the army. My body isn’t that bad.”
“Army? You were a soldier?”
Kaya opened her eyes roundly. She looked like she had never imagined it, because he had never told anyone that he had gone to the army. Jo Minjoon slightly rolled his eyes.
“Yeah. And I also fired a gun and got training.”
There was no need to say that he was from the administrative part of the army. So Jo Minjoon made up those last words. Kaya rolled her eyes with a confused face as if she had got a shock at the unexpected reality and then she asked in a careful voice.
“Then you did it?”
“That…….. Ki……. no, if you shot a person.”
Even if she was trying not to show it, her big eyes were showing a light he had never seen before. And there was a lot of unnecessary hand gestures. Was it because of that? That even if he knew that it was childish, he wanted to tease her more. This man that was once 30 years old, replied with a really meaningful voice.
“Korea is a ceasefire country.”
Honestly speaking, she didn’t know what he was talking about. Kaya was weak with words that were hitting around the bush. Was there no way that they wouldn’t fire a gun because it was a ceasefire country, or precisely because it was such a country that there would be cases as that. Just listening to the weight of his voice, it seemed to be the latter case.
‘Is it difficult for him to reply?’
It was understandable for her to think like that. She was embarrassed to show that she didn’t comprehend. Kaya opened her eyes clearly and said.
“I don’t think about that in a bad way even if it did happen. I understand.”
Jo Minjoon smirked. Just what in the world was she thinking about. He wondered if she was thinking of Korea as a dangerous environment such as the Middle East. He didn’t know when he should clear the misunderstanding, and when he was going to be hit by annoyed punches.
‘Let’s worry about that later…….. First, let’s do some exercise.’
However, Jo Minjoon doing exercise that day didn’t happen. Even before he grabbed a dumbbell, the staff approached and yelled.
“We are moving to the mission place. Everybody prepare and come to the garage!”
While they were moving in the bus, the main subject of the talk was obviously related to the mission. Sasha opened her mouth.
“It will be a restaurant, right? There are only such places to go when you go out.”
“There’s also hotels. But the certain thing is that we are going to a kitchen, with whatever shape it has.”
“……..Will only one person get eliminated today too?”
“I don’t know. Thinking about the numbers, I think that it should, and there may even be some unexpected turns and 2 people gets eliminated. Just don’t think about getting eliminated. That’s more comfortable.”
Anderson said with a cynical voice. Listening to Sasha’s sigh, Jo Minjoon turned his sight to outside the window. How long has it been since he had gone out of Grand Chef’s house? Recently, reporters gathered so much that they couldn’t even get out. And as he could see the exterior like this, he felt that his stuffiness was getting relieved.
Right behind his seat, Kaya glanced at his back. She wondered if she had touched some hurting memories related to the army with just his simple appearance of looking outside the window.
‘…….How dangerous is it if it’s in a ceasefire state?’
There was no way that she would have learnt about that, or have some interest in it. Kaya poked Chloe’s side that was seated next to her. Chloe turned to look at her with a confused face.
“Shh. Get closer.”
Kaya said with a really low voice.
“Is Korea, I mean South Korea, still a dangerous country? And do they also fire guns?”
“I wonder. Not that I know. I even have some friends that travelled there. Well, I did see that people picked a fight with you through the news. But why?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
“What is it? Making me curious. Are you really not going to tell me? If you are talking about Korea, is it not related to Minjoon?”
“Sh! I told you to be quiet!”
Kaya put on a fierce face and pressed Chloe’s lips with her thumb. Chloe raised her eyebrows and looked at Kaya’s face and finger alternating. Kaya lifted her finger and said.
“Act a little tactful, Chloe.”
“So what should I be tactful about?”
“……..You can’t tell this to anyone.”
Kaya looked at those around her with vigilant eyes. Jo Minjoon was still looking outside the window, and Anderson and Sasha were talking about the mission. Ivanna was asleep. There was no one who would listen to their conversation. Kaya opened her mouth.
“Minjoon said that he was a soldier.”
“I think that you must serve military service in Korea, so it’s obvious that he went to the army. What about it?”
“So if you were a soldier you have gone to war and such. There were also some uncles that went to the army, but each of them had it hard because of the memories of the army. Minjoon doesn’t show it but…… Isn’t he suffering by himself? You know, there are those symptoms. PT……this and that.”
Chloe looked at Kaya with a strange face. Just what was this little lady imagining? However Kaya was still putting a face that was entirely in her own world.
“Thinking about it, he will return to Korea again. I didn’t think much about it before, but isn’t this a dangerous thing? He would have to be helping in the humanitarian division. Should I tell Minjoon to apply for it now?”
“………I think that you are having a big misunderstanding. Kaya. Korea is different to what you are imagining.”
“It’s a ceasefire country. He said that war can happen at any moment.”
She didn’t know how to explain it. And in the first place, even she didn’t know much about Korea. The problem was elsewhere. It was that if she left it like this misunderstanding on her own and worrying by herself, she became quite cute. However she wasn’t confident on being able to handle Kaya’s attitude after she got to know the truth and after she had feigned innocence.
“We have arrived!”
“So they say. Let’s talk about this another time.”
However, Chloe’s determination got cut by the staff’s yell. ‘Well, now is not the only time.’ Chloe thought like that and turned her head. The thing she saw outside the window was a restaurant. A restaurant that was half on water, and the other half was on the shore. Because most of it was built with white trees, it had quite a romantic feeling in it.
If anyone saw it they would have admired it, and Kaya wasn’t an exception. She, who got off the bus, forgot even about Jo Minjoon having gone to the army and simply expressed words of admiration. However the voice that was heard after that, and the mic that appeared before her suddenly crumbled her admiration.
“It’s Jessica Prada from Daily Street. We received an accusation that you bullied your schoolmate with malice, was that true?”
< The weight of a restaurant (1) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa