Rainbow City Chapter 11

Author: nicotine

The lights finally switched on, revealing the shadowy and unkempt bare back of the startled figure. There was no sound of breathing, indicating he had drifted into sleep. He brushed his hand across his rear but remained still. Kwak Soohwan switched off the ambient light, intertwining his fingers and resting them behind his head as he stared at the ceiling.

During childhood, he’d slept in beds even narrower than this, recalling it with a bitter tinge and willing himself to stop dwelling on the memory. It had been quite some time since he’d slept next to someone.


Yeouido Shelter wasn’t safe from the beginning. It had been a place where Adam had been pushed away several times before. Rainbow City, with its seven-colored zones, designated different colors based on the level of danger, even within the same area. Hence, Yeouido, currently designated as the Green Zone, had once been marked as the Red Zone.

“Uijeongbu’s risk level has lowered from Red to Violet as of 9 o’clock today.”

Following national integration, South Korea, which was divided by provinces, turned into a city called Rainbow City. Numerous areas were designated as zones uninhabited by people. 

However, while the exact population wasn’t accounted for, many civilians lived hidden in rugged terrains within these zones. Yet, they were not recognized as citizens of Rainbow City.

“Suwon has entered the Yellow stage. However, we’ve detected one additional sign from this recent Adam.”

Lieutenants deployed on-site and commissioned officers giving orders from the shelter gathered in the 53rd-floor military council room. Captain Park was also present.

Yang Sanghoon, who had previously exposed his lower body under the influence of alcohol, now had a sober expression as he continued the briefing. It was a routine report held every morning, and today was the turn of the Immortal Battalion, to which Kwak Soohwan belonged.

“An additional sign?”

Captain Park inhaled deeply, then exhaled smoke. In the dimly lit smoke-free building, no one dared to challenge the imposing general.

“When under attack and facing unfavorable situations… they retreat.”


Captain Park aggressively crushed the cigarette in the ashtray he was holding.

“They’re not soldiers, why would they retreat?”

“We’ve observed this sign three times in the current 10 Red Zone and twice in the 3 Violet Zone.”

“Is that information accurate?”

“We’ll provide a more precise report after further observation.”

Yang Sang-hoon stood upright, saluted with composure, and returned to his position behind the lectern.

“Hey, Lieutenant Kwak.”

Kwak Soohwan, sitting cross-legged under the table, straightened up promptly in response to Captain Park’s summons.

“Bastard, what’s with the soldierly demeanor? You should learn from Lieutenant Yang, huh? Where has your discipline gone?”

He was as naggy as a major but, after all, he was in his late forties.

“So, the Adam retrieval team mentioned that the Adam you collected from the 13 Red Zone said something. Is that true?”

Even if his posture wasn’t great, Kwak Soohwan was neatly dressed in a military uniform, a rare occurrence. He didn’t take a seat at the desk but stood in place to begin speaking.

“He did speak. He seemed like he was on the verge of mutating into an Adam. Perhaps Oh Cheong-woon’s Adam mutation was delayed compared to others. Normally, when someone is infected by an Adam, they transform into one within five to ten minutes, so that’s a bit odd. Apart from Oh Cheong-woon underground, there were no other Adams. There are no cases of natural Adams aside from spontaneous transformations, right?”

“Bastard, don’t make assumptions. Just give me the accurate facts. The military guy here is giving his opinion.”

Even when speaking this way, Captain Park valued Kwak Soohwan as much as he did Major Jang.

“More importantly, where’s Dr. Seokhwa? I told you to bring him to the briefing today.”

“He’s crashed out.”

Exposing his plump behind.

“Lieutenant Kwak! How dare you in front of the captain!”

Major Jang, who had been silent until then, suddenly raised his voice in a burst of anger.

“Enough, enough. This isn’t something to fuss over.”

Captain Park, who had extended his hand to put out the extinguished cigarette, stood up from his seat. Every soldier in the conference room stood up simultaneously, facing Captain Park. The sound of uniforms rubbing against each other was consistent.

“That wraps up today’s meeting. Lieutenant Kwak, you’ll be heading to the field soon. It’s something the higher-ups are expecting.”

It had only been a few days since Kwak Soohwan took on Seokhwa’s security detail. In the first place, the higher-ups hadn’t even considered sending Kwak Soohwan to the field. Captain Park exited the conference room, and Major Jang was about to approach Kwak Soohwan when he received a call on his radio.

“Sir, Dr. Seokhwa isn’t in his room. There’s no record of him accessing the lab today.”


Since Kwak Soo-hwan hadn’t brought Seokhwa out, they were instructed to come separately. But if he wasn’t found anywhere?

Major Jang squinted and looked at Kwak Soo-hwan, who just shrugged.

“Dr. Seok is in his room.”

“Hey, why is Dr. Park in your room?” Chaeyoon interjected abruptly, peering in.

“What happened between you and the doctor yesterday?” Even the Major looked perplexed.

“He fainted in front of me, so I brought him to my room. I nursed him all night.”

That dismissed any stories about alcohol. Besides, Seokhwa was the one who drank anyway.

“If that’s the case, you should have woken him and brought him here. Is he feeling any better?”

“Well, I tried waking him, but he wouldn’t get up.”

He tried tapping Seokhwa’s back.

“Then, is the doctor dead?”

Concerned, Chaeyoon spoke, but Kwak Soo-hwan chuckled silently. Seokhwa appeared quite fragile to others too. Meanwhile, yesterday’s film incident involving Yang Sanghoon was claiming that Seokhwa was someone else entirely.


[“His Way and My Way of Love”] Seokhwa sat up on the bed and blinked his eyes. It was a daily struggle due to his low blood pressure. While gathering his thoughts, he noticed the title of a book on the table. It seemed like the book Kwak Soo-hwan was reading last night.

After regaining some strength, he stood up, using his legs with effort. Seokhwa reached out for “His Way and My Way of Love.” The cover displayed cosmos flowers, and the book seemed quite old with its discolored pages.

Almost unintentionally, he flipped open the first few pages. It felt like a tender love story unfolding right from the start. Reading a bit of the beginning, he placed the book down and perused the spine of another book lying on the table.

“Your Scent,” “If We Love Like Us,” “Restraints of Love,” “A Night with the Teacher.” It seemed like Kwak Soohwan had a preference for love stories. These books were stored in the shelter’s collection, and there were rental codes on them. “A Night with the Teacher” looked particularly worn out, more than the others, probably borrowed by many.

Seokhwa didn’t entirely lack interest; he mentally noted down the titles. These were released during peaceful times, so he thought of reading them later.

Now it was time to go out…

Beep, beep… The sound from the door caught Seokhwa’s attention.


With the system voice confirming recognition, the door opened. Naturally, it was Kwak Soohwan who had opened it, followed by Chaeyoon and Yang Sanghoon. Suddenly, Kwak Soohwan extended his arms, blocking the door.

“Why don’t you cover up? It’s not visible!”

Even when Chaeyoon pointed it out, he maintained his stance and said, “Put on clothes.”

Seokhwa then realized his state of undress. Feeling embarrassed, he slowly turned, picking up the clothes scattered on the floor. This resulted in Kwak Soo-hwan letting out a sigh.

Back in the day, there were those in the military who asked for soap. If this were that situation, Seokhwa would have just taken it in stride. Despite being born and raised in Jeju Island, there was no trace of caution in him. Perhaps, being so concerned with self-preservation made him oblivious to her surroundings.

Confirming that Seokhwa had put on his clothes, Kwak Soohwan moved his arm away from blocking the door. Chaeyoon, who had been quietly waiting in the background since he knew Seokhwa was undressed, was now visible. Stepping out, Seokhwa greeted Chaeyoon.


“Hey, Doctor Park. You fainted yesterday, are you okay?”

Seokhwa suddenly wondered if Kwak Soohwan’s friends always used casual language. Nonetheless, it didn’t bother him too much.

“I’m fine.”

“Hello, Dr. Seokhwa. Nice to meet you. I’m Lieutenant Yang Sanghoon from the Invincible Unit.”

Yang Sanghoon, from behind Chaeyoon, politely extended his greetings. Just because he was Kwak Soohwan’s friend didn’t mean they all spoke informally. But then again, he didn’t remember meeting this person before.



As Seokhwa mumbled, Yang Sanghoon widened his eyes.

“Dr. Seok, this guy just loses his memory when he drinks. He doesn’t even remember yesterday’s events.”

“Huh? What’s a ‘Boulder’?”

Yang Sang-hoon subtly asked Kwak Soo-hwan.

“Boulder, what’s that? You’re like a grain of sand, bastard.”

Yang Sang-hoon suddenly winced as if in pain, bringing his hand down, but there was no sudden discomfort.

“But why is everyone here for…?”

Zap! A hand in a V-shape shot in front of Kwak Soo-hwan. It was Chaeyoon.

“Lately, they say Adams are acting weird. I heard from Yang Sang-hoon that they move exactly like humans, right? You saw it.”

“It was a bit strange. Until now, they never backed away no matter how much shock they received. But then there were guys running away?”

Seokhwa subtly nodded. Adams running away? When Seokhwa looked at Kwak Soo-hwan, he seemed uneasy too. The strange phenomenon they experienced with the son of Dr.Oh was something they hadn’t encountered before.

“Anyway, let’s go eat breakfast!”

“Doctor, if you’re still not feeling well, should I give you a piggyback ride?” Chaeyoon raised her thumb, pointing to her back. Seokhwa said he was fine and started walking on his own.

The three lieutenants walked at a slower pace than usual, matching Seokhwa’s stride. If they were only here to inform about the peculiarities of the Adams, having Kwak Soohwan alone would have been enough, but going to eat together until breakfast felt odd.

Before going down to Jeju Island, Seokhwa had lived in this shelter for quite some time, but without Oh Yang-seok, he always ate alone. Particularly with the soldiers, he didn’t bond much, knowing there were many soldiers frustrated with his weakness. Seokhwa intentionally tried to pick up his pace but maintained his natural speed, thinking he shouldn’t overexert himself for no reason.

As it was a late breakfast, the dining area was relatively quiet. However, the remaining food was cold, and the popular kimchi had already gone sour. The restaurant staff, unlike the first day, moderately filled Seokhwa’s plate with rice and side dishes. The rumor of his face planting into his plate while eating had spread, and maybe someone instructed to give him less to prevent food wastage.

“They say the doctor eats as much as a mouse, but it’s more than that.”

Chaeyoon chuckled while pointing at Seokhwa’s plate.

Still, more than a mouse…

Seokhwa showed no particular reaction and placed his plate on the vacant space. Chaeyoon and Yang Sang-hoon sat opposite, while Kwak Soohwan naturally took the seat beside him.

“I eat a bit slowly.”

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