Author: 난기류 Editor: Flo

#109

 

The dinner, enjoyed solely by Moon Kyung-sik, began. It featured a feast of meat, vegetables, and fruits without any seafood.

 

“Is it to your liking?”

 

“Yes. This grilled lamb is  especially delicious.”

 

“I tried making it with the help of the employees, so I’m glad it turned out fine.”

 

Among the prepared dishes were also ones that Seong Chan-young liked. It was a request made to the kitchen lady to thoroughly search for memories of the original Seong Chan-young. Since it would be suspicious to fill everything with Moon Kyung-sik’s favorite dishes alone, I made up the excuse of using Baek Do-jun to help with the preparations.

 

‘I had no intention of catering all the food to fit Moon Kyung-sik’s taste.”

 

Even the ghost that eats and dies had a good complexion, but I didn’t want to make Seong Chan-young’s complexion too good.

 

The compassion or pity I had for the real Seong Chan-young evaporated during the process of my life being threatened. Right now, I was playing a chicken game where either I die or the real Seong Chan-young dies.

 

“Really? If it’s a coincidence, it’s a very pleasant one. I really like the food that Do-jun prepared.”

 

Fate?

 

‘If bad fate is also fate, then it must be fate.’

 

And Moon Kyung-sik called Baek Do-jun’s name without using the surname, just the name.

 

Baek Do-jun’s mouth twitched thinly at those words. It seemed like an unbearably unpleasant statement. Given that other guys had similar reactions, it must be negative.

 

Moon Kyung-sik poured wine for himself and the guys sitting together, along with a satisfied expression. Seeing him drink a suitable amount himself without getting too drunk, it didn’t seem like he was up to something against the alphas.

 

‘Is he implying that he is not messing around with alphas?’

 

I had preemptively administered an antidote to counteract the effects of the drug that could potentially nullify the effects of the rushed cycle, fearing that the nightmare of the suppressant incident might repeat itself. Thankfully, it didn’t.

 

As Moon Kyung-sik stepped forward to pour the wine, the alphas drank it with relief. The combination of rare-cooked meat and red wine made the entire scene reminiscent of blood.

 

—Now, please leave.

 

“Huh?”

 

I had heard this phrase before. Suddenly, I was hit with dizziness and a headache. I tried to control my breathing as much as possible to avoid being heard by the sensitive alphas. What was happening? What was it? Was something happening that I couldn’t remember?

 

The smell of meat filling the house felt sickeningly overpowering. Suppressing the urge to vomit, I observed Moon Kyung-sik enjoying the dinner once again.

 

“I’m starting to feel tipsy. Dizzy.”

 

As Moon Kyung-sik’s face turned even redder, the dining table became a sea of red. Was the alcohol content too high? Red flushes appeared on the cheeks of the other alphas as well.

 

“We feel the same way. Did you bring a stronger wine than expected?”

 

“Well, since we’re already here, I thought it would be better to enjoy being tipsy.”

 

“Ah, I see…”

 

It was a meaningful statement to me. If Moon Kyung-sik had any sense, he would know that this dinner gathering was not enjoyable. Yet, he pretended to be the happiest.

 

“No, I don’t think I’ll get drunk enough to blackout. As you know, alphas have a high tolerance for alcohol, don’t they?”

 

With that, Moon Kyung-sik took a sip of wine. Soon, the wine glass was empty.

 

“I might have had a bit too much. Excuse me, but may I rest here?”

 

“We can’t have guests lying on the living room floor. We have a room upstairs that we use, you can go there and rest.”

 

“Oh, really? Then I won’t decline your offer.”

 

It was a welcome suggestion. Despite Moon Kyung-sik’s flushed face, I instinctively sensed that he wasn’t drunk. I quickly went upstairs to my room as planned, hiding myself.

 

‘He’s definitely coming up here.’

 

While the alphas’ beds might be tempting, according to my prediction, Moon Kyung-sik would surely come to my room. Because he had to kill me. He believed that once the fake was driven out, the real one would return to its original body. Whether that was true or not was beside the point.

 

On the bed was a pile disguised as me, pretending to be asleep. I hid in the closet, waiting for Moon Kyung-sik.

 

Creak, creak. Faint footsteps drew closer and closer until finally, with a creak, my bedroom door opened. The outside light invaded the darkness, and I could sense Moon Kyung-sik’s pheromones.

 

“I’m quite drunk… So, please understand why I’m doing this.”

 

Moon Kyung-sik took something out of his pocket. It was a rope. Even though he had to kill the fake, it seemed he couldn’t bring himself to strangle his own body.

 

‘You crazy bastard…’

 

Could you understand if you were in my shoes? Huh?

 

“No, why should I understand? This is my body. My life. You’re the one who took it away. You should be the one asking for forgiveness. Of course, from me.”

 

‘Crazy.’

 

Goosebumps crawled up my spine. Were you really the real Seong Chan-young after all?

 

“If you want forgiveness, there’s one way. Give me back my body. With your death.”

 

The bed, disguised to look like I was lying on it, had been thoroughly infused with my scent. On the other hand, I had taken pheromone suppressants and even sprayed myself with a scent-erasing spray to make myself odorless, as Seo Eun-soo had advised.

 

Moon Kyung-sik, or rather the real Seong Chan-young, approached the bed without hesitation. I watched everything unfold through the tiny crevice in the closet. The rope descended onto the bed, which had been turned over.

 

“If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be this miserable.”

 

The rope was looped over the pile on the bed. Moon Kyung-sik muttered as if he were out of his mind, preparing to strangle himself. His face seemed both joyful and crying at the same time, which was eerie.

 

“Die. You arrogant human who doesn’t even know who you are. This… This is my body!”

 

Moon Kyung-sik screamed as he squeezed the neck of the pile under the blanket, so hard that it almost broke. My stomach churned as I watched.

 

“Die. Die. Die! It’s my body! It’s mine! Even if you discard it, it’s my body that I can discard!”

 

His cries, like screams swallowed in silence to prevent them from leaking out, felt like shattered glass. Suppressing a shiver, I quietly emerged from the closet while Moon Kyung-sik was fixated on the pile.

 

Step by step, I stealthily moved behind Moon Kyung-sik, holding a stun gun in my hand.

 

‘Please, don’t turn around.’

 

I approached Moon Kyung-sik closely, intending to use the stun gun. Just as I was about to reach him, it happened.

 

Instead of the back of his black hair, his face, flushed red, turned to me.

 

“You were there? My body!”

 

I froze.

 

His eyes, filled with madness, glared at me as if to kill me. At the same time, without even blinking, Moon Kyung-sik lunged at me. I activated the stun gun. It was the survival instinct born from the desire to live.

 

Zap.

 

“Ugh… Arghhhhhhh!”

 

“If you ask me to die, who do you think will just die quietly?”

 

Even while being electrocuted, Moon Kyung-sik, or rather the real Seong Chan-young, didn’t take his gaze off me, off my body. With trembling legs, he kicked me with all his might, showing the strength of an alpha’s physique.

 

“Ugh!”

 

“Damn it, I missed!”

 

As his leg forcefully kicked me, I toppled over onto the bed. The stun gun I had been holding tightly rolled to the floor from the impact. The real Seong Chan-young laughed.

 

“Did you think you could defeat an alpha with such a clumsy attempt?”

 

“You’re making a fuss for someone who’s not even a real alpha.”

 

“Shut up!”

 

Moon Kyung-sik tried to pin me down on the bed, but I dodged skillfully, causing him to gnash his teeth in frustration.

 

“Occupying someone else’s body, you presumptuous intruder…”

 

“Presumptuous? That’s amusing. Hey, waking up to find myself in a stranger’s body… Oh well, never mind that. Heck, I never knew I could possess your body like this.”

 

I conveyed my sense of injustice, but the real Seong Chan-young didn’t even listen to my words.

 

“Give me back my body! It’s mine!”

 

“As expected, words won’t work.”

 

Moon Kyung-sik rushed at me. Using only pure strength, I continued to evade his attacks. Frustrated, the real Seong Chan-young growled.

 

“How dare some random nobody take over my body? Disgusting, filthy!”

 

‘Am I being seen as a parasite?’

 

I wasn’t angry because I had never experienced this kind of treatment before. I was just dumbfounded.

 

“Who are you to call me disgusting? You’re the one who shamelessly clung to those four alphas.”

 

“What do you know?!”

 

“I know enough. Um… how should I explain this?”

 

I couldn’t bring myself to say that I know how agonizing your final moments were, as this world is nothing more than a novel written in text.

 

“I don’t want to die. You’ve been trying to kill me all along, haven’t you? But this time, it’s not going to happen the way you want.”

 

“Shut up, shut up… It’s my body. It’s mine. It’s my life! It’s my destiny! Give it back!”

 

Driven by intensified emotions, Moon Kyung-sik no longer cared if anyone outside could hear him as he screamed and lunged at me, wielding a jackknife in his hand.

 

“Are you crazy? This is your body?!”

 

“I tried to retrieve it in its entirety, but it’s unavoidable… It’s okay. Even if it’s a little damaged, I just need to reclaim my body.”

 

His eyes gleamed with madness. Dealing with this lunatic was exasperating.

 

On what basis did he believe that killing me alone would suffice?

 

‘What’s the point of killing me if he can’t return to his own body?’

 

The real Seong Chan-young gripped the jackknife tightly, aiming it at me with a deadly intent.

 

“If I reclaim my body, it’s you who will face scorn and punishment. I have to choose the lesser evil. Just because I’m marred doesn’t mean I cease to be myself…”

 

“You’re really out of your mind.”

 

‘Isn’t this going too far?’

 

“Where’s the backup? I told them to come when they heard a loud noise. Why aren’t they here yet?”

 

I wondered aloud as I tried to dodge the real Seong Chan-young’s attack, but this time, it was too fast.

 

“Die.”

 

‘Ah…’

 

For a moment, it seemed like black hands were reaching out wildly from Moon Kyung-sik’s body.

 

There was a sound of something piercing deeply.

Author's Thoughts

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