“How much do you plan to give me for this?”
“What I mean is that I have something to say regarding this matter. It seems to me Mr. Seo Uiwoo is quite satisfied with the guiding, and has no intention of sending me back to the 6th General Residential District. From my point of view, that’s extremely frustrating to say the least…”
Jaejin popped the steak Seo Uiwoo had ignored into his mouth and chewed it. Delicious. The flavor of wild pine mushrooms was excellent, and the just-right cooked texture that was juicy and tender was admirable.
“Initially, guiding Espers, from the standards of ordinary people, is almost like an expression of affection. It’s supposed to be an act that wells up from the heart, not something that can be forced.”
“An expression of affection?”
“Yes, there is such a thing. I don’t particularly want to explain it right now. Anyhow, from the perspective of ordinary people, actions like kidnapping and assault are cr*mes. No matter the difference in perception or the reasons behind it, they are unforgivable felonies.”
“Is that so? But there’s nothing I can do about it. Mr. Jaejin, you are now a guide.”
A strange wind blew.
An invisible current seemed to surge up from below, lifting Jaejin.
The metal chair where Kwon Jaejin was seated defied gravity and began to rise slowly. Seo Uiwoo was using telekinesis. And he was doing it with a faint smile.
“You might want to cling to an ordinary life, but there’s no turning back. Trying to go back would only result in a brutal death…”
As the chair levitated, Jaejin’s seated height increased as well.
Seo Uiwoo followed the rising trajectory of Jaejin.
Moments ago, he had been bowing deeply to kiss the top of Jaejin’s head, but now he was at eye level with Jaejin, sticking close to his face.
“Mr. Jaejin, you are a mutant.”
Seo Uiwoo gently rolled his eyes and lazily licked his lower lip.
Beyond the deepening grey pupils, I could feel his abyss.
A thrill that swallowed up instinct was boiling white-hot.
To Seo Uiwoo, every moment of contact with Kwon Jaejin seemed to be inexhaustibly satisfying.
“Do you know what a mutant is? They refer to Espers and guides who, like Mr. Kwon Jaejin, didn’t awaken immediately after birth but much later. They’re seen as uncontrollable risk factors.”
“A low rumble settled at the back of the neck. Seo Uiwoo’s voice, while calm, was cold and menacingly threatening. He had known all along that Kwon Jaejin had nowhere else to run.”
Seo Uiwoo, like a predator cornering its trapped prey, leisurely sucked on the gaping lips of Jaejin. He savored the moment, lightly parted, then murmured heatedly.
“So what will you choose? To be let out only to be shot dead, or to be hidden and live as a guide in my embrace, exclusively for Seo Uiwoo?”
In these moments, it felt painfully clear that Seo Uiwoo came from a different world than Kwon Jaejin.
Jaejin had lived in the General Residential District, where his safety had been assured, and he had led a normal life, going to university and working in an office, only because Espers like Seo Uiwoo had borne the dangers of living on the edge.
This harsh reality was not known to ordinary people.
If it were known, no parent would ever willingly send off their child to be isolated and raised as an Esper.
To ordinary people, Espers were seen as a professional class that lived in luxury in special residential districts, earning billions of dollars in salary, more popular and newsworthy than celebrities, heroes of humanity born of fate… This was the general image, and the media only ever showed the glamor, the repeated scenes of Espers using their powers to subdue creatures.
“Do I have to choose, whether to be an ordinary person or a guide?”
A cruel choice lay before him.
At first glance, it appeared to be a choice between two paths, but in reality, there was only one.
“Of course, I have no thoughts of leaving Mr. Kwon Jaejin to die as an ordinary person. I can’t send you anywhere.”
For a moment, the air seemed heavy as if soaked with water.
An invisible pressure weighed down on Jaejin’s shoulders.
The tableware on the table vibrated, clinking against each other, and water spilled over the edge of the glasses.
“If you say you’ll leave, I’ll just tie you up and lock you here. Handcuffs… are handcuffs okay?”
Even without intending to, the power emanating from Seo Uiwoo dominated the surroundings.
In an instant, the world turned upside down.
Jaejin, who had been sitting in the chair, …
Here’s the continuation and conclusion of the translation, with adjustments for coherence and readability:
…found himself suddenly lying atop the table, his stomach pressed down as Seo Uiwoo pinned him, hand pressing against his lower abdomen. From where his hand touched, concentric circles of harsh vibrations radiated outward.
“I’ll gag you and tie you to the bed. I’ll feed you myself. The bathroom, I’ll allow it once a day. And I’ll have a urinary catheter in place, so no worries.”
Seo Uiwoo muttered ferociously, his voice strained as if holding back a torrent of emotion.
Looking at Seo Uiwoo with his fangs bared, Jaejin lifted the corners of his mouth in a smile.
For some reason, the smile was tinged with bitterness.
‘Seo Uiwoo, was he this desperate at that time? In my memory, he only remained as a terrifying and fearsome figure.’
Disquiet roiled in his chest. His heart beat tumultuously, his muscles tightening as if his ribs were closing in. A heaviness settled below his sternum.
Suppressing his inner turmoil, Jaejin forced a smile. His dark eyes shimmered with complex hues.
“…Is that all you wanted to say? Now let me speak.”
He struggled to open his eyes under the weight of the oppressive gaze, but it didn’t matter. With a twisted expression, he sneered back.
“Who would choose death? I’ll be your guide, Mr. Seo Uiwoo. Just with a few conditions.”
Each breath felt like it flattened his lungs. Panting, he managed to stretch a trembling hand toward Seo Uiwoo. His fingertips brushed Seo Uiwoo’s nose.
Jaejin touched the creased brow and pressed it. Smoothing out the wrinkles.
He gently rubbed the area, and, perhaps because the contact was pleasant, Seo Uiwoo smiled broadly, his eyes crinkling horizontally. He lifted his head to look at Jaejin.
“First, money. I should be compensated for the work I do.”
The plainspoken response struck Seo Uiwoo’s ears sharply.
Jaejin spoke again, clearly.
“Espers receive billions in salary from the state. I expect the same. You will pay me for my services, Mr. Seo Uiwoo.”
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