December Chapter 8

Author: nicotine

“Yeonwoo, you can take the next 20 minutes off.”

The blunt head chef had not spoken to me but was using only Japanese and recommended it to me after he became free at 9. I said thank you and was about to leave but I met Kijoon who was coming towards the kitchen carrying a bowl.

“Where are you going?”

“To rest up a bit.”

I pointed to the back door and he widened his eyes.

“Oh, Chef Bu let you take a break?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Wow, the previous part-timers were like slaves rowing a boat. What’s up with him?”

“Maybe it’s because I rowed really well?”

I answered but Kijoon pouted.

“Anyway, it’s because of your face.”

What? Did my face make it look like I was good at rowing? However, I came out the back door for a break and immediately realized that the head chef was not that considerate. It was cold. The wind on my cheek was as strong as a blade so I crouched my shoulders and looked around to see if there was any place to escape the wind.

However, there was no place to hide from the cold weather around that well-kept neighborhood. But I didn’t want to go back in. I kept carrying dishes and working for four straight hours without a single break so I wanted to use the 20-minute window to the fullest.

I had no choice but to head to the convenience store right next to the restaurant. I felt like I could finally live with the warm air. Inside the quiet convenience store, there was only one employee and one grandfather customer who stood bent. The old customer stood close to the table where he could have cup noodles and stared beyond the window.

Without much thought, I went to the front where hot drinks could be found and thought about what I should choose. I didn’t want to drink anything but I didn’t want to waste my time without buying anything. I scanned the drink section and stopped at one. It was the same coffee that the Hoobae from yesterday offered me. I was so busy with work that I forgot about him but it suddenly took over my head in an instant.

“Kim Shin.”

When he revealed his name, I could see his serious expression, low-pitched voice, and thick hair that reached his brow. The scent. I could sense his pheromone with every breath I took at the time. An icy, sour-sherbet-like tingle crept across my fingers, feet, and crown of my head.

My heart fell as an unexpected emotion spread through me. It didn’t occur to me after that. I was so preoccupied with my studies that I didn’t glance at him and kept my heartbeat which was erratic, hidden. Why did I have such a strong reaction to his pheromones? I felt mortified because this hadn’t happened to me before. Regardless of how powerful the Alpha was, and it wasn’t even my heat cycle…

“Sir, if you’re going to stay, you should at least buy something.”

I was surprised by the sound of complaints hollered by the employee of the convenience store. Did I take too long? However, when I turned my head, it was the grandfather customer that the employee of the store was arguing with. He was still observing something outside the window with his face on the glass and turned his frowning eyes at the words of the employee.

“I bought a lotto.”

“Yes, you did. Yesterday.”

The store manager tilted his head to the side and was even more enraged. The grandfather closed his lips with a frown on his face and looked at me.

“Kid, will you have a drink?”

Yes, I answered and he approached me, making a suggestion.

“Let’s drink one together.”

“…Together?”

“Yeah, as a 1+1 deal.”

I was rather relieved by grandfather’s irritation and quickly scanned the drinks section. There was 2+1 but there was no 1+1. There’s none, I wanted to say but the old man who checked the section before me quickly headed to the refrigerator. Cold drinks in the middle of winter…

I followed him, brainwashing myself that it was midsummer in July. I was nervous about whether the 1+1 was a strange drink but there were no 1+1 drinks in the refrigerator as well. The grandfather questioned the store manager.

“Why is it all 2+1? Do you think the customer who came to buy 1+1 would thank you and buy 2+1 if you let them know there are 2+1 drinks here? Do you do business like this?”

The store manager maintained an impassive expression and asked back, showing off his skills in dealing with multiple situations like that before.

“So are you going to buy it?”

“….Recommend me a 1+1 drink.”

The store manager checked the POS machines and informed him.

“There is only one left.”

“Which one?”

He pointed his chin at the open refrigerator where coffee drinks were usually located.

“Cass Fresh.”

…Ah.

“All right.”

…What? On the first day of my part-time job, I remember drinking digestive medicine to relieve my fatigue.

I didn’t promise but I headed to the library at the same time as yesterday. I started the part-time job yesterday so I had to organize a study plan but I could only think of Hoobae the whole bus ride. I was born an Omega, so I was instinctively more obsessed with relationships that offered primitive urges.

However, I didn’t know that someone whom I only saw twice or thrice would make me that bothered. If he was a Beta, I wouldn’t have those thoughts. Among all the features that attracted me, was his pheromones.

“The next stop is XX Library.”

I was surprised by the announcement made on the bus so I packed my bag.

Because of the large temperature difference between the inside and outside of the bus, the windows were hazy, and I didn’t realize we had arrived. I got up from my seat and stood in front of the back door of the bus, still confused.

If I saw him again, I wasn’t confident enough to stop my heart from beating again because of his pheromones but I believed myself that I would eventually be over it, realizing that it was not that big of a deal.

The bus stopped and the back door opened. The cold air stuck to me like a fog. I was still lost in thought so I got off the bus stop without looking around. So suddenly a young man blocked my way and I thought he was simply waiting for the bus, but suddenly I heard my name.

“Yeonwoo Sunbae.”

I was so surprised that I almost bumped into a passenger walking behind me. Fortunately, he quickly pulled my arm towards him to avoid an accident. No, it wasn’t really a relief. The person who called me was my Hooobae. He pulled so hard that I got close to him.

“Are you okay?”

I heard the question. Yes, I barely answered and tried to step back, but a person passed by again and stopped. I asked him a question to avoid my embarrassment.

“Why are you here?”

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nicotine

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Comments (2)

  1. Thank you for translating this amazing work! I absolutely love this story. Please keep it coming 🙏
    I would love to beta read this if you’re interested. Contact me if it’s relevant and I’ll fill you up on my qualifications.

  2. Thank you so much for translating this!! I hope you continue translating this please 🙏