Huiwoo looked up to see him being accepted to Hankuk University after three years of trying. However, he did not attend school and studied for bar exams like other students. He explained the situation to the woman.
“I had spent three years of my life to get into Hankuk University and had romantic illusions about one’s campus life. I dreamed of reading books during picnics and going on dates. However, the reality was again trying to understand textbooks again. I did not like that.”
She watched the video with her eyes and listened to him with her ears.
“I wasn’t really good at studying, as I was at the bottom tier during high school. I went to the university because I wanted to be treated like a human being. I also did not have any dreams and really nothing I wanted to do.”
Huiwoo went into military service after being disillusioned about campus life and met Sungjae, who had entered a month early.
“Sungjae was a professional fighter, and I started practicing to be a different person from who I was in high school. I did not want to remain weak. I probably liked the sweat and the sound of my breathing growing rough.”
Huiwoo spent his early twenties as a professional fighter and had been praised. He had won some competitions and had winning streaks. However, Korean competitions were unpopular as people watched Japanese and American games. While Huiwoo wanted to fight abroad, he was refused for being old and that he would not bring in profit.
“Our sponsor does not want to sign a contract with you.”
Sungjae had told him that when Huiwoo gave up fighting. He had avoided looking at Huiwoo. Their team sponsor had called the day before to announce they would terminate their contract if Huiwoo was on the team. They did not want to invest in a fighter who was unpopular and without potential despite Sungjae pleading with them multiple times.
“Just think that you’ve been warned a bit earlier. You’re thirty, and there’s still time. Try to find something you can do.”
“What can I do?”
Huiwoo’s voice shook. His young dreams of being a champion had crumbled a long time ago. He shouted at Sungjae.
“How can you do this to me?!”
“Then, what can I do?!”
Sungjae went out of the office. Huiwoo knew deep inside that Sungjae would hurt almost as much as he did.
Huiwoo sat on the floor with blank eyes. His only remaining dream of being a famous fighter was now ruined. He spent some time like that before standing up and going out of the room. He was saying goodbye forever to the sweaty gloves and the arena.
He did not even get a retirement ceremony and only disappeared without anyone remembering his name. Huiwoo smirked at the footage.
“I started studying again, which was the only thing I could do. I earned money with part-time jobs and worked the night shift in a secluded convenience store. While I felt guilty to the owner, it was a good place to study.”
He managed to get accepted by studying day and night, and a newspaper noted that he was a professional fighter turned prosecutor. He worked hard and treated everyone equally under the law. Huiwoo’s eyes turned sharp as the footage changed.
“It was a coincidence I came to know about Prime Minister Taesup Cho when he tried to take me in at a pub.”
The woman’s eyes looked at Huiwoo.
“Your life is…quite interesting.”
While Huiwoo smiled at that, the woman’s expression was still serious. She spoke in a low voice.
“Can I make a proposal?”
She stood in front of him now.
“Do you want to catch Prime Minister Cho?”
“I’m a prosecutor, which means I want to catch bad guys. I had risked my life to do just that, and I want to see him rot in prison for the rest of his life.”
“You told me that you were about to place him in prison, right?”
“Yes, I had secured enough documents on his embezzlement.”
Huiwoo saw the woman slowly shake her head.
“If you weren’t dead and went to the lead prosecutor with all the evidence. Are you certain that you would have been able to take your case to court?”
Huiwoo could not say anything for a while before speaking up in a small voice.
He knew that it would have been difficult to go against the pressure from the upper chains of the prosecutor’s office. Taesup Cho was able to place anyone at any place in the government. Even if there was enough evidence, the current Prime Minister would have been able to go free.
“Prepare carefully and slowly before making a move this time, or you may get killed.”
The woman spoke on.
“I would have not revived you if you had told me that you could catch him without fail.”
“Just show him hell while he’s alive.”
Huiwoo saw that her eyes burned.
“What are you talking about?”
“Can you promise me that you can show him hell?”
He knew that she was serious and nodded.
“I will do that.”
The woman showed a moment of sadness.
“You may meet me if you come close to Taesup Cho.”
She continued to speak before Huiwoo could speak.
“You have to become a stronger monster to catch another.”
She bowed with a small smile.
“Then, I leave you to it.”
Huiwoo smelled flowers as she came up to him.
Huiwoo woke up to someone smacking the back of his head.
“Sleep at home and go buy me something to drink.”
Huiwoo blinked as he could not understand what was going on, but the boy threw a coin at him.
The boy went to sit at a desk in the back of the classroom near the window. Desks? A classroom? Huiwoo could not understand what had happened. He had been talking with that woman but now stood in a classroom. The boy who had thrown him the coin shouted at him.
“What are you doing? Are you dreaming?!”
Huiwoo could not distinguish exactly that. He did not know whether he was dreaming on that bridge about being in this classroom, or having dreamt that life in the classroom.