Side Story 23. At Least It Changed a Little
“There is a way to change the future.”
Seol Jihu’s ears perked up.
Really? There was a way to change the future?
“It’s nothing difficult. You just have to set your mind on doing it.”
Seol Jihu’s eyes widened. If there was such an easy method, why did Black Seol Jihu and Future Seo Yuhui not say anything about it? Because they didn’t know? Or was it on purpose?
Multiple questions arose in his mind, but Seol Jihu first asked.
“What is it? Tell me.”
“It’s to erase this fate.”
Seo Yuhui said firmly.
“Completely erasing the fate related to you. If the fate disappears, the future has no choice but to change.”
For a while, Seol Jihu couldn’t understand what Seo Yuhui was saying. But when he saw her spiteful gaze, a memory from the past struck his mind like a lightning bolt.
[All humans are born with their own Star of Fate.]
[The movement of this star rea~lly doesn’t change easily. No matter how much it is disturbed, it continues to advance toward its predetermined fate.]
[That’s why we are killing them. Because that is much more certain than a half-baked attempt at a change.]
Seol Jihu finally understood everything.
The reason why Black Seol Jihu and Future Seo Yuhui did not say anything, and just what it was that Seo Yuhui was talking about. In other words, getting rid of Phi Sora was the surest method of changing the future.
Seol Jihu turned pale. He looked up at Seo Yuhui with a look of horror and disbelief.
Seol Jihu stammered in a daze.
“Didn’t you say you would do anything?”
A cold reply came back.
Seol Jihu unwittingly turned around and looked back. He could see Phi Sora standing nervously in the corner. Her pupils were shaking, and her lips were sealed shut. It was apparent that she was anxious.
She should not have understood the exact meaning of what Seo Yuhui said, but she must have read the situation and understood the general idea.
When her eyes met Seo Yuhui’s, she instinctively protected her stomach and took a few steps back.
Seeing this, Seol Jihu made up his mind.
Seol Jihu looked back at Seo Yuhui.
“I can’t do that. I’d rather be the one to die….”
A heavy silence filled the air like a huge boulder crushing down on everything in the atmosphere. After ten minutes, that seemed like ten hours…
Seo Yuhui heaved out the breath she had been holding in.
“We can’t do that…. Dying or killing…. In the end….”
She unexpectedly retracted her previous statement.
Seol Jihu did a double-take. Right, there was no way that was what Seo Yuhui really wanted. She was a benevolent and merciful person by nature. There was no way she could do something like killing an innocent baby. She must have wanted him to know what she was feeling on the inside.
Realizing this, Seol Jihu didn’t know what to do. In the end, he could only lower his head back down.
Tok, tok. Seo Yuhui sighed while tapping her arm with her finger. She then spoke.
“For now… leave.”
Seol Jihu raised his head.
“I don’t want to see your face right now. I don’t care if you go to that world or your parents’ place, so just leave this house.”
Simply put, she was saying she did not want him anywhere around her.
Seol Jihu’s pupils shook.
“I need to talk to Miss Phi Sora privately. I also need some time to think.”
Seo Yuhui’s eyes flashed. Seol Jihu froze like a frog in front of a snake.
“Oh wait, this is your place. Alright, should I leave then?”
At that moment, Seol Jihu felt a slight nudge on his back. Phi Sora was standing behind him before he noticed.
Looking down at him with furrowed brows, she nodded her head faintly. Seol Jihu understood this gesture as Phi Sora saying she was okay and that he should listen to Seo Yuhui.
Seol Jihu slowly got up. He looked back at Seo Yuhui and Phi Sora before staggering toward the door.
After the door closed behind him, he did not leave and moved to the wall and strained his ear. He was worried Seo Yuhui would start bullying Phi Sora.
“Didn’t I tell you to leave?”
However, Seo Yuhui immediately noticed and yelled, and Seol Jihu ran off in a hurry.
‘This is serious….’
Phi Sora gasped inwardly.
Just who was Seo Yuhui? She babied Seol Jihu even when all the female members of Valhalla raised objections. Seeing someone who always spoiled Seol Jihu being like this, Phi Sora couldn’t help but be nervous.
Seo Yuhui slicked her hair back. Lifting her chin, she stared straight at the awkwardly standing Phi Sora.
At that moment, Phi Sora reflexively looked away. She didn’t have the confidence to meet her eyes.
At that instant, Phi Sora was afraid of Seo Yuhui. More so than when she was facing the Parasite Queen.
“I, I’m sorry.”
Unable to bear the tension, Phi Sora forced out a couple of words.
“I didn’t know this would happen…. Though, I’m sure it sounds like an excuse to you….”
Phi Sora lowered her head.
“I know I’m in no position to say this, but I understand how you feel. If I were you, I would have flipped out and thrown a fit about getting an abortion.”
“I’ll do whatever you say. If you want me to disappear forever, I will. Both from this country and that world.”
“So please, don’t make me lose my….”
Phi Sora couldn’t finish her sentence.
After a brief moment of silence…
“...Even if you say that.”
Seo Yuhui spoke up.
“I doubt Jihu will just stand by.”
“That’s something I can—”
“No, that’s not possible. The power of fate, known as Seol Jihu, isn’t something anyone can stop.”
Seo Yuhui’s cold voice rang out.
“I know it couldn’t be helped… And you’re right. The baby inside you is innocent.”
She continued in a suppressed voice.
“Fine, if that’s the mindset you have, I won’t tell you to disappear from our lives forever.”
Phi Sora widened her eyes in surprise. She couldn’t tell if she misheard her.
Seo Yuhui’s tone changed.
“I have no intention of letting go of Jihu.”
Seo Yuhui glared at Phi Sora and brought the handbag she dropped in front of the door. Then, she took out a slender stick from inside.
Phi Sora jumped in a startle. It was because the stick in Seo Yuhui’s hand was a pregnancy test. Phi Sora also saw two straight lines drawn in the center.
“It’s only obvious.”
Seo Yuhui replied calmly.
“We did it so many times and never used protection.”
“He shouldn’t know. I haven’t told him yet.”
Seo Yuhui bit her lower lip.
“I was planning on surprising him this week while bringing up the topic of us living together….”
‘Dear god!’ Phi Sora pressed her forehead. It was just too much of a coincidence. Now, she began to understand this ridiculous fate a little more.
“The important thing isn’t this.”
Seo Yuhui slumped down on her seat.
“I’ll be straightforward.”
She uncrossed her arms and placed her hand on her chest.
“I will be the lawfully wedded wife.”
“I’m not joking.”
Seo Yuhui spoke in a clear voice as if she had thought about this already.
“On Earth, while everyone is watching, I will get married to Jihu. The one Jihu introduces to his parents, no, his entire family will be me. He will introduce me as his wife and my kids as his children.”
“As I said before, I won’t tell you to disappear from our lives. But if you don’t plan on leaving, you will have to give birth to your child and raise him or her here.”
“If you can’t promise me this, I’m going to have to ask Jihu to choose between us.”
Seo Yuhui’s voice was resolute as if this was one thing she would not relent.
Phi Sora groaned. What could she say though? Phi Sora was someone who could put herself in others’ shoes. And she knew she would never be able to say the same words if she were in Seo Yuhui’s position.
Phi Sora dropped her head.
“You promised. Later, if you say something else, then I really….”
“Yes…. I understand…”
Phi Sora slowly raised her head. Then, she smiled sadly.
“But still…. Thank you.”
She spoke in a feeble voice.
“I was actually worried I would have to raise my kid without a father…. I guess I won’t have to worry about that anymore….”
Seo Yuhui’s complexion softened slightly. She felt bad seeing the usually headstrong Phi Sora murmuring with her arms around her stomach.
Seo Yuhui was a kind person by nature.
“...I’m saying that’s what we should do for now.”
Seo Yuhui smiled bitterly.
“As you know, Miss Phi Sora, the situation between that world and Earth is different.”
“Of course, I know.”
“We can put our heads together and think about what to do in the future…. The situation might change too if Jihu changes his mind and decides to tell his family about the secret.”
Seo Yuhui sighed again. She lost count of how many times she had sighed today.
“...How’s the baby?”
The atmosphere lightened up slightly.
“Have you gone to the hospital?”
“Ah, yes, I went with Jihu today. The doctor confirmed that I was pregnant. What about you, Miss Yuhui?”
“I’ve been pregnant for a few weeks too. The doctor said the baby’s healthy.”
Seo Yuhui pointed at the chair next to her.
Phi Sora carefully sat down.
“Anyway, you’re incredible, Miss Yuhui.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know I’m in no position to say this, but… are you really okay with it?”
Seo Yuhui chuckled at Phi Sora’s words.
“I’m human too. Of course, I’m not okay with it.”
Seo Yuhui glanced at the front door with a complicated gaze.
‘Even if I try to hate him….’
Perhaps because of Future Vision, several emotions were now mixed in a jumble.
No, it wasn’t just because of Future Vision.
When she thought about how Seol Jihu knowingly sacrificed himself to send her back safely….
“To be honest, I’m not in any position to say anything either.”
Seo Yuhui smacked her lips.
“Though I don’t necessarily agree, I’m sure that person sees me as a thieving cat as well. I guess you can say I got what I deserved.”
Phi Sora tilted her head.
“Oh, there’s something I need to tell you, Miss Phi Sora.”
Seo Yuhui changed the subject.
“It might sound like everything’s settled… but don’t think it will end with just the two of us.”
Phi Sora blinked.
After returning to Paradise, Seol Jihu entered the Path of the Soul.
Black Seol Jihu immediately praised him, saying Seol Jihu was better than himself.
In the current situation, it was clear who the victim and the perpetrator were. This was easy to see just by changing places. Though Seo Yuhui definitely said it in a fit of anger, what would happen if she really came back pregnant with another man’s child? Would Seol Jihu be able to forgive her and accept her back?
Just thinking about it made his heart ache and his stomach churn.
Right, Seo Yuhui getting angry was natural. And she had every right to decide how to proceed going forward.
However, Black Seol Jihu could not do that for her. Unable to endure the guilt, he broke up with Seo Yuhui one-sidedly and ran away.
Left with no one to lash out at and no choice to make, Seo Yuhui had been struck with a tremendous shock. Setting everything aside, the trust she had in Seol Jihu as a human being crumbled down. It took Black Seol Jihu tens of years to rebuild this lost trust.
At the very least, the current Seol Jihu did not make the same mistake he had. He sought forgiveness immediately and waited for his punishment. Though he might not have done the right thing as a lover, he had at least done the right thing as a human being.
Of course, that didn’t mean he had anything to be proud of. As Black Seol Jihu rightly said, all that did was turn him into less of a son-of-a-bitch.
[I know I sound like a broken record, but be good to Yuhui. Make her your number one priority. It’ll be easier if you just pretend you’re dead.]
That was Black Seol Jihu’s advice.
Seol Jihu swore to follow this advice once again. That no matter what Seo Yuhui decided, he would make sure something like this never happens again.
He was determined to get a vasectomy as soon as he returned to Earth.
[Haha! That’s probably one of the most normal methods you could have thought of. But do you really think I wouldn’t have tried the same thing?]
Of course, Black Seol Jihu laughed at him, saying it was a futile effort.
[Three times. I had that surgery three times, yet I still got girls pregnant.]
[The doctor said I should just accept my fate, saying that these children were gifts of heaven.]
[I went mad once and tried to cut it off, but Yuhui practically risked her life to stop me. She said she couldn’t allow that no matter what.]
After spending a day in Paradise, Seol Jihu went to work at Seol Jihu Ramen?.
He did not plan to go home for a while or more precisely, until Seo Yuhui allowed him back.
‘I wonder how long it will take….’
Seol Jihu collected his mind while preparing for the day’s business when… Ring! He jumped in a startle at the sound of the door opening.
He saw Seo Yuhui walking in through the door, followed by Phi Sora.
“Oh, you were already getting ready? You’re early today~”
Seo Yuhui spoke as she usually did and went into the kitchen to change.
Seol Jihu stood in a daze while blankly staring at Seo Yuhui, who was preparing the ingredients.
“Let’s see~ What should I start with?”
Seol Jihu repeatedly hesitated on what to say. It kind of seemed like Seo Yuhui was pretending the whole thing never happened. Still, this wasn’t something he could just gloss over and forget.
Steeling his mind, Seol Jihu called Seo Yuhui in a low voice.
At the same time, Seo Yuhui stopped moving.
“...I had a long talk with Miss Phi Sora last night.”
Sighing lightly, Seo Yuhui spoke while taking out a knife.
“We can talk about the details after today’s work. For now, just know that Miss Phi Sora will continue living in your apartment. And also….”
Seo Yuhui took a brief pause before continuing.
“I’ll also be moving in within a day or so. I already have my things packed, so wait in front of Building 102 with your car.”
Seol Jihu’s jaw dropped open. He doubted his ears, unable to believe what he just heard.
After standing at a loss for what to do for a long time, he turned to Phi Sora.
Phi Sora shrugged and then gave a strange smile.
Seo Yuhui continued while chopping the green onions with the knife. Her face was expressionless as if she wasn’t affected at all.
“We need to talk later tonight. There’s something I need to tell you.”
“Something you need to tell me?”
Seo Yuhui smiled.
“I’m not going to tell you to break up with me. But I’m sure you’ll be surprised.”
Seol Jihu’s eyes tinged red. He could tell Seo Yuhui had forgiven him, but the guilt he felt did not go away.
Seo Yuhui was speaking affectionately as always, but she surely must not be the same internally. No matter how dense Seol Jihu was, he at least understood that she was saying so with heavy heart and grit.
“I’ll… be better. I won’t make the same mistake again, so…!”
Seol Jihu ran into Seo Yuhui’s embrace. Though he said so sincerely, Seo Yuhui did not seem to trust him at all. She only let out an empty chuckle and patted his head.
“I don’t expect that much… but at least try to cut the number down by half…. Then I’ll acknowledge your effort….”
It almost looked like she was resigned to her fate.
Phi Sora smacked her lips while seeing Seol Jihu burning with eagerness. She was happy that everything worked out, but she was still in a state of shock with what she heard last night.
Seo Yuhui had told her to steel her heart. Seol Jihu’s decision to take Phi Sora in would make others, who were eyeing for an opportunity, reveal their teeth one by one.
‘Not one, not two, but eight? Is that even possible?’
Just as she thought so…
The front door opened.
“Hello! I came to play…?”
Teresa, who came in energetically, blinked rapidly.
The sobbing Seol Jihu, Seo Yuhui’s slightly sunken expression as she embraced him, and the awkward-looking Phi Sora standing to the side. Sensing the odd air flowing between the three, Teresa also made a strange face.
That day, Teresa volunteered to be a waitress and observed the three of them carefully.
When the restaurant closed, she followed Phi Sora, who said she had somewhere to go and dragged her to the kitchen.
“What are you doing?”
“Eii, don’t be like that. Just tell me~”
“Tell you what?”
“Come on. I can tell something has happened. You know I’m quick when it comes to things like this, right? It’s about love, isn’t it?”
“Love? More like morning drama about an affair.”
“Oho, a morning drama about an affair.”
Teresa tenaciously tried to pry information out of her.
“You’re not going to hide it forever, are you?”
“...I know it’s not possible, but….”
“Then hurry up and tell me! It looks like everyone’s going to find out soon anyway. Who cares if you tell me a little earlier?”
“And who knows? Maybe I can help you.”
Unable to withstand Teresa’s pestering, Phi Sora spoke reluctantly.
“So… there was a Neutral Zone reunion not too long ago….”
Rather than wanting any help, she just wanted to get it out of her system. Though the important thing was that Teresa was interested in something else entirely.
“And in the end….”
“My, my, how? His physical level is nothing to joke at.”
“This was on Earth, not Paradise. Don’t you know Earthlings’ physical levels get restricted when they go back?”
“Ah, right. But it still shouldn’t have been easy.”
“It’s the damned alcohol.”
The smile on Teresa’s face thickened. She looked like she had just found the solution to a long, troubling problem.
“I see, Jihu is weak to alcohol….”
Teresa’s eyes gleamed.
It seemed Seol Jihu’s women problem was only just starting….