“I could return now?”
There was nothing he would worry about. In few minutes those people will arrive at the master bedroom.
Kangmin quickly reached out and pressed the YES button.
<You will be returning to the real world in a few moments.>
With the message, his eyes started to blurry.
The last thing Kangmin saw was a person with a motorcycle helmet.
* * *
<You have completed your journey to the real world.>
<When you go back to the parallel world, you will go back to the same place and time you traveled.>
The cool wind from the window passed Kangmin’s face. Thanks to this, Kangmin slowly opened his eyes.
He saw a familiar ceiling.
Messages appeared in front of him, but he didn’t have time to read them.
“What about them?”
Looking right next to him, he saw the door closed.
“Home? And the door is closed?”
Before pressing the YES button, he clearly saw someone opening the door. But now the door was closed and other people could not be seen anywhere.
At his question, only then did he read the message.
<You have completed your journey to the real world.>
Kangmin’s eyes got bigger.
“I am back? To my original world?
He let out a sigh of relief. When he reached out and touched his back, he felt a bag.
He was lying down with a bag on his back.
Kangmin jumped up and took the bag to his front.
“There it is! There it is!”
When be opened the bag, the bag was full of cash and jewelry. His mouth opened up automatically.
He tried to hold back his laughter, but he couldn’t hold back anymore.
Kangmin just laughed out loud.
“It was real! I really went to the parallel world!”
He thought he was going to die in the parallel world, but just in time, the cooldown to return to his original world was up.
When he saw the same yard outside the window and the gate still intact, he was really back in his original world.
“Then can I do this, too?”
Kangmin finally checked one more thing.
(This was written in Korean but read as ‘status window’.)
Kangmin naturally thought that a blue window would appear in front of him as soon as he said it.
But nothing appeared. Kangmin blinked.
“Was my pronunciation weird?”
Kangmin shouted again clearly.
(This was written in Korean with the Korean words equivalent of ‘status window’)
Still, nothing came up.
“What’s wrong with this?”
Kangmin’s eyes shook.
Going to the parallel world was definitely not a dream. As evidence, numerous bills and precious metals were filled in the bag.
“If I come back to the real world, I can’t use the status window?”
Kangmin became nervous. Without the status window, it was impossible to know how to move to a parallel world.
It was a world full of zombies and dangers, but the parallel world was “El Dorado” for Kangmin.
(El Dorado was really used. In this paragraph, it is meant as a Treasure land.)
“What should I do?”
Kangmin, who was frustrated, grabbed the window frame with his hands.
The strong summer sunlight shone on Kangmin’s hand. Only then did Kangmin notice the pattern on the back of his left hand.
“Huh? The pattern turned black? Wasn’t it supposed to be red?’
The red flame pattern turned black, making it look like a tattoo.
But the tattoo was weird. Only the tip of the tattoo was light red.
In addition, although it was very dim, the red part was growing a little bit.
Kang-min thought about when he first moved to a parallel world. Obviously, the red tattoo on the back of the hand was shining.
“Oh, that’s how it was!”
Kangmin calculated the total area and red area of the tattoo engraved on the back of his hand.
“Exactly 7 days. It’s consistent with the information I’ve seen in parallel worlds.’
Kangmin clenched his fist. In the meantime, the red color has become a little wider.
“The moment all these tattoos turn red, I can go back to the parallel world!”’
Kangmin looked at the bag on the floor. It was full of cash and precious metals.
Kangmin held the bag tightly and laughed like a lunatic.
“Finally, luck has come to me! Luck adores me!”
With this money right now, he would be able to pay back the interest that had piled up. It wasn’t just that.
‘Two billion won (~$20,000,000) that’s not impossible.’
If he were to sell all the jewelry, he might be able to get two billion won.
His whole body became thrilled. He felt like the hard work he had been through, would be repaid at this moment.
Kangmin bowed to the jewelry box where he took the ring from.
“Father! Thank you, ancestors.”
This would be the end of his hardship and the beginning of happiness.
He couldn’t stop laughing, however, Kangmin suddenly got worried.
“What if the parallel world bills that I brought can’t be used here?”
As he checked the bills, it was the same as the one used here. But, there may be some differences that the eye can’t see.
“Until what time does the ATM run?”
Looking at the clock on the wall, it was 11:30 a.m. There was still plenty of time ahead.
“Huh? The time is weird.”
Obviously, the time he spent in the parallel world was seven hours. Then, no matter how bad at reading the clock he was, it should have been past 4 o’clock of the afternoon already, but the time remained the same as he came to this bedroom.
He checked his cell phone time in case a day actually has passed.
– Saturday, May 17, 2025, 11:30 a.m.
“Time… hasn’t passed at all.”
He doesn’t know why, but time didn’t seem to have passed while he was in a parallel world.
Kangmin opened his hand. Back in the parallel world, his palm was full of wounds caused by wielding an iron pipe, but now the wounds remained the same.
“The wounds from the parallel world remain the same. In the parallel world, the passage of time is reflected on my body as it is…”
Kangmin didn’t know much about the parallel world.
When his thoughts became complicated, Kangmin shook his head.
“Let’s not worry about it in advance. There’s only one thing I can do right now.”
Kangmin took out his wallet and took out a bill from his bag. He didn’t want someone stealing his bag, so he put it deep in the warehouse.
“I need to check if the parallel world’s bills can be used here too.”
After leaving the house, Kangmin went down the alley he went to every day.
A little later, he arrived at the place where he picked up the wallet and the place where he picked up the ring. He went to check if there was anything, just in case.
Looking to where he came from for a while, Kangmin walk a little forward and passed by the place where he saw the hand wearing the diamond ring.
Soon he arrived at the intersection.
Unlike in the parallel world, countless people passed and many cars passed by the road.
Kangmin entered the bank near the intersection, inserted his card into the ATM, and pressed the deposit button. When the hole to deposit money was opened, he put in the bills he brought from a parallel world.
-The transaction has been completed.
When the message came out on the ATM, Kangmin clenched his fist.
When he checked the balance, he saw 530,000 won (~$5,300). Kangmin jumped up and down.
People who were using ATMs looked at him as if he was a weirdo and moved away from Kangmin.
“Mom, that guy is weird.”
“Seorin, you can’t go next to someone like that. You have to avoid them no matter what.”
Kangmin was not aware of their conversation, but it didn’t matter even if he knew.
“All the money there is mine!”
The parallel world was a place where money rolled around like garbage.
It wasn’t just money. Precious pieces of jewelry also rolled around like stones.
Kangmin seemed to have become rich. Just the precious metals at home would give him a tremendous value.
He felt like his body was going to fly because he now have money.
Kangmin made a resolution after leaving the bank.
‘Now, I don’t have to work for others. I’ll live confidently.’
* * *
When he left the bank, it was over 12:30.
It was lunchtime, so restaurants around the street emit delicious smells.
Usually, he would have eaten kimchi or instant ramen back home, but he changed his mind when knowing he had money in his wallet.
‘I’ve been through a lot. I’ve fought for my life in the parallel world. Wouldn’t a small reward be okay?’
Ordinary people would have spent a lot of money as soon as they got a bit of money, but Kangmin wasn’t like that. He still has debt to pay.
Kangmin went into one place after contemplating for a long time at nearby restaurants. It was only a Chinese restaurant.
Kangmin sat at the last table and ordered.
“Black bean noodles.”
“Yes, I see.”
“I want double portion!” Kangmin closed his eyes and said to the man, who received his order before he entered the kitchen.
Kangmin’s heart fluttered, he really ordered it. Black bean noodles cost 4,500 won (~$4.5), a double has 1,000 won(~$1) added. The dish he just ordered is about a total of 5,500 won(~$5.5).
It was not expensive lunch for most the people, but Kangmin had never spent this much money on himself after being discharged from the military.
After a while, Black bean noodles were served on his table.
He naturally swallowed his saliva at the smell of Black bean noodles. He hasn’t smelled something so delicious after a long time. Kangmin sprinkled vinegar on pickled radish and onions, and then he poured plenty of red pepper powder into Black bean noodles.
Whenever he wanted to eat Black bean noodles, he endured it by watching a YouTube eating show. He wanted to act like the YouTubers as he ate the Black bean noodles.
He mixed the Black bean noodles well and started eating.
“Oh, my. It’s so delicious. It’s so good.”
He could taste this with just 5,500 won, but it was unfair that he couldn’t eat it in the last few years.
Kangmin ate Black bean noodles frantically.
The uncle, who was receiving the order, strangely turned on the TV with the remote control after watching Kangmin for a while.
[Breaking news] Han Min-joo of the group Pink Dream committed suicide at home. She had been suffering from depression…….]
When the breaking news of suicide came out, everyone at the Chinese restaurant looked at TV. It was the same for Kangmin.
TV showed the picture of the prettiest woman in the world.
“Why did she want to die with that pretty face? Pink Dream is very popular, right? Then, she must have made a lot of money.”
She committed suicide because of depression. Kangmin also has his depressed ways but hadn’t thought about taking his life.
Kangmin silently ate Black bean noodles.
The news ended the breaking news of the suicide and released the next article.
[Next news] Today, Guryong Group announced a new solar product. This product can increase the efficiency by 10% compared to the previous one and, above all, fix the inverter efficiency according to the weather, thereby increasing the efficiency by 25% in the final compared to the previously.
Kangmin, who was chewing Black bean noodles with his head down, went stiff.
A solar panel was on TV and familiar machines could be seen. After showing the machine for a while, the announcer appeared.
[Let’s talk with Kim Sang-Chul, director of Guryong Group’s technology research institute, who led this.]
A round-faced man in a high-quality suit appeared on TV.
He looked like a friendly neighbor with a drooping eye tail.
Kangmin’s eyes were opened wide and held the chopsticks tightly.
– Crack, crack.
The chopsticks are broken.
Kangmin cried inside.
[Hello, Director Kim Sangchul. Thank you for visiting the broadcasting station even though you are busy.]
[It’s an honor for me, I respect announcer Han Gyubong and it’s an honor to meet you like this]
The conversation between the announcer and Kim Sang-Chul was heartwarming.
Director Kim Sang-Chul explained the product with a smile to the announcer.
It was a warm atmosphere like an entertainment panel rather than news. The people in the restaurant also smiled and watched TV.
However, Kangmin could not do the same.
Kangmin hit the broken chopsticks on the table.
The Black bean noodles bowl fell on the floor. However, Kangmin couldn’t take his eyes off from TV.
[This inverter technology is the result of our efforts over the past 3 years…]
Kangmin couldn’t stand it and shouted.
“What? You guys can develop it! That’s what my dad developed, you punk!”
Kangmin’s face became red. Everyone in the restaurant looked at Kangmin.
[We, Guryong Group, will do our best until Korea becomes an energy powerhouse]
The interview is over.
Kangmin hurriedly paid and left the Chinese restaurant.
* * *
The weather was clear when he left the house, but now the sky was full of clouds.
The weather was like this when Kangmin first met Kim Sang-Chul.
“Is this KANGMIN? You are big already. You look smart.”
“Smart? Does that mean I’m ugly?”
“No, you are handsome. Come to think of it, your face is the same as your mom.”
At that time, Kim Sang-Chul gave Kang Min 50,000 won and patted him on the head to encourage him to study hard.
As he walked for about five minutes, raindrops fell one by one.
Kangmin’s head slowly cooled down because of the rain.
Kangmin touch the hair that Kim Sang-Chul touched in the past and shook it off in rainwater as if washing off all the traces.
‘Kim Sang-Chul, you look happy after betraying your father. While, my father was now buried in the cold soil.”
It rained harder and harder.
Kangmin stood amidst the rain. How long has it been? Kangmin’s blurry eyes began to shine at some point.
“Kim Sangchul, smile as much as you want. I’ll make you laugh and then cry. No, I’ll only make you cry.”
Kangmin thought of revenge.
In fact, this is what he wanted before. But at that time, he had no way to get revenge.
‘However, now is different.’
Kangmin clenched his fist and hurried home. His way for revenge was at home.