Rainbow City Chapter 14

Author: nicotine

“Then let me say it again. If it were me, even if Dr. Seok was carrying all those stones he had, it would’ve been possible, right?” 

“If such a situation arises, I’ll make sure to ask that of you.” 

Ha, Kwak Soohwan sighed heavily.

“But why were you like that today?” He tilted his head to the side.

It seemed like an action pondering ‘why indeed.’ The lounge’s lighting softly illuminated the surroundings as it used to when it operated as a restaurant, occasionally flickering.

“Wanted to see a different expression on Dr. Seok’s face?” 

“Excuse me?” 

“When you keep that indifferent expression, one must know what you’re thinking. We haven’t known each other for long, but at least when I die, you’d shed a tear, wouldn’t you? When you looked at me through those bars earlier, what were you thinking? ‘Major Kwak Soohwan, if I knew he’d die like this, I should have helped him out.’ That kind of look?” 


It was meant as a jest, but because Seokhwa responded seriously, Kwak Soohwan felt oddly unsettled. Lacking energy and always seeming distant, he might be more emotionally invested than initially thought. Hearing Major Jang say Seokhwa was very angry made him partly convinced.

“You called me bastard earlier” 

“No, there was no such occasion.”

With that statement, Seokhwa tightly pursed his lips. After briefly looking down, he began to leave the lounge, passing by Kwak Soohwan.

Kwak Soohwan slowly followed after Seokhwa. Catching up with his slow steps wasn’t challenging. He didn’t speak until they reached the elevator. They had to descend from the same floor as their lodgings were on the same level. Seokhwa knew Kwak Soohwan was following him but didn’t turn to look back.

Truth be told, he had thought that way. ‘Shouldn’t have said it was dirty if it turned out that way.’ Even if a person is dead, they say they fulfill their wishes. When Kwak Soohwan, a soldier always stuck to principles, asked for something like that, should he have given it to him? At that moment, it genuinely took her 0.23 seconds to consider. So, the feeling of being made fun of had definitely not faded. It felt like Kwak Soohwan looked down on him. He had no intention of showing authority, but he’d pass on such incidents like today in the future.

Seokhwa unlocked his room door.


Seokhwa, entering through the open door, finally turned his body. He leaned his face slightly towards Kwak Soohwan, who was observing him from a distance.

“Major Kwak Soohwan.”

Oddly enough, where did that ‘sir’ go? The sullen tone didn’t suit him. Kwak Soohwan chuckled, urging him to continue speaking. Seokhwa, gripping the door latch from inside, took a deep breath and then exhaled loudly. And then, he spoke as swiftly as possible.

“Starting tomorrow, don’t use informal language with me. And I didn’t say ‘bastard,’ I said ‘son of a bitch.'”

Caught off guard by the sudden attack, he huffed, and before he could rush forward to grab the door, it closed faster than expected.


With the door closed and no way to open it, Seokhwa’s hand, lost in search of a path, soon turned into a fist. He lightly tapped the door. ‘Son of a bitch.’ Kwak Soohwan chuckled and shook his head.

Come to think of it, Dr. Seok is surprisingly firm. Even though he thought it was a real situation, he didn’t tell me to go up alone, not once but twice. Normally, from what he’d seen, when it comes to life and death situations, people try their best to survive.

He was curious about what expression he would make when he opened the firmly closed door, but with the surveillance camera flickering there, he couldn’t help but just think about it.

“That’s right, Dr. Seok. The ‘son of a bitch’ is leaving. I’ll come back tomorrow morning, barking away, to serve you again.”

Inside the room, Seokhwa kept looking up at the ceiling.

As Kwak Soohwan’s voice faded, he continued ranting about the dog several times. He should’ve just ignored him. Meanwhile, Seokhwa, feeling drained again, unwrapped the plastic around the nuts. Because of his heat, the syrupy substance had melted and stuck. Seokhwa lay down on the cold floor, releasing the heat from his body onto the stone floor. It felt like fiery heat was also coming out of his mouth. It was the first time he had openly cursed at someone in his life.


Humanity’s impact on Earth was far greater than imagined. Especially in the city, there were countless skyscrapers, factories, power plants, tunnels, subways, making it hard to find places untouched by human hands. Humans created all of that and were also custodians maintaining these creations.

Old buildings had been maintained, sewage systems and electricity functioned safely under human hands. People learned, with the emergence of Adam, how quickly desolation could happen the moment the caretaker’s touch, who used to maintain everything daily, was severed. For the first few years, fires raged constantly, tunnels and subways flooded, and neglected concrete buildings slowly sank.

Even the Han River Bridge in Yeouido Shelter was consumed by vegetation; perhaps, apart from humans and animals, the current Earth was a utopia for other life forms. However, humanity wasn’t a fragile organism that would crumble easily. Just the birth of those who evolved rapidly, ignoring the pace of evolution to survive, was proof enough.

Moreover, as the world changed and anxiety persisted, countless new religions emerged. Some even appeared worshiping Adam as the new species. Among them were rebels raising flags in Rainbow City. Eliminating those threatening Rainbow City was one of the tasks of the military.

Kwak Soohwan, staring at the white wall, sipped the whiskey he had obtained from Yang Sang-hun. Whiskey or wine, most of the existing productions were nearly depleted, meaning in a few more years, only the elite could indulge. Hence, saving and savoring were the norms, but Kwak Soohwan was indifferent to such things. He gulped it down now. When he activated Project Beam, Mother’s voice flowed through the room’s speakers with a tag [Awaiting].

“Mother, requesting access for Secret Code 3121.”

[Voice confirmation complete. Permission granted for Kwak Soohwan’s access with Secret Code 3121. Access up to Level 1 Confidential. Delivering Rainbow City Master’s message first.]

Text appeared on the screen instead of Mother’s voice.

[Destruction of Dr. Oh’s research data, reported as complete incineration after abnormal behavior, but cannot confirm complete destruction due to the discovery of Oh Cheong-woon in the underground residence. Watch Dr. Seokhwa closely and report.]

The higher-ups claimed Dr. Oh started bizarre research after showing signs of dementia. But did Dr. Oh have such symptoms? Did that eccentric gentleman weave such incredible stories over drinks with me?

“Progress on the cult leader’s trace?”


The screen Mother projected on the wall displayed several low-quality images. A man holding an apple stood at the center of all the pictures.

[The power of the rising cult, Eden’s Orchard, is steadily growing. They aim to separate Rainbow City from the Unified Nation and are known as a group trying to achieve independence. The man holding the apple in the photos is the leader. Currently, their believers are distributed across various regions, and as you know, the last trace of the leader was cut off in the 13 Red Zone.}

He almost went to the 13 Red Zone under the pretext of stealing alcohol, even almost reaching Yeongchang, but that day yielded nothing. Thanks to that, he became Seokhwa’s bodyguard.

“See if there’s any connection between the leader and Dr. Oh.”

[Loading data. There is no possibility. Based on the data I have, there is no connection.]


Mother was designed based on AI functionality a long time ago, but apart from accumulated information, it never provided clear answers. In the end, developing vaccines or eradicating Adam was entirely up to humans.


“No, wait. Show me some data on Dr. Seokhwa.”

After a few seconds of loading, data appeared on the wall alongside Seokhwa’s face. Kwak Soohwan slowly read through the detailed information about Seokhwa.

[From great-grandparents to parents, all from Jeju Island. Father’s identity unknown, mother deceased a few years ago. Exceptional academic achievements starting from Jeju Island Learning Center, recruited to Yeouido Center. During the stay at Yeouido Shelter, succeeded in vaccine research, eliminated side effects of sexual inhibitors, developed improved strains of corn and barley, and various health supplements.]

Seokhwa seemed to have been quite busy during the time in Seoul, before Adam’s 7th mutation. He developed a lot and made practical use of it all. Kwak Soohwan took another sip of whiskey.

[Researched mutations with the late Dr. Oh while at Yeouido Shelter.]

“Mutation research?”

[Researching and studying individuals born with genetic mutations, including Dr. Seokhwa. Upon returning to the shelter, it seems he resumed mutation research. No signs of insurgent tendencies.]

The additional notes below contained facts Kwak Soohwan was already familiar with.

[Dr. Seokhwa’s Mutation Obsession: Stone.]

“End it.”

The Project Beam illuminating the wall soon went off, and the surroundings turned dark.


“Ha, it’s cold. Freezing my balls off. If the seminal tank freezes, it’ll be a disaster.”

Yang Sanghoon, standing outside the Jeep, exhaled heavily. He parked the car on the first floor of the shelter and waited for the others.

“That tank, seriously. Annoying Freak Soohwan and you, damn it. Why isn’t our immaculate doctor showing up?”

“Didn’t Kwak Soohwan say he would bring the doctor out?”

“Probably, yeah.”

Lee Chaeyoon checked the clock embedded in the Jeep. It was 9:15, and still no sign of Kwak Soohwan and the doctor.

“I’ll go up and check.”

He was about to take off his cape and run out.

“No need for that.”

Kwak Soohwan was steadily walking from over there. Beside him was Seokhwa, carrying a backpack as huge as herself.

“Hey, why did you make the doctor carry such a huge backpack? Doctor, I’ll take it.”

Yang Sanghoon was surprised and tried to take the backpack instead.

“If he says he’ll carry it, let him. And it’s not heavy, it’s huge.”

“Yes, I can carry it. It’s light.”

“It’s so light it might fly away if you tie a balloon to it.”

“Why are you talking about impossible things?”

“Isn’t Seokhwa himself trying to do something impossible?”

Lee Chaeyoon and Yang Sanghoon exchanged glances. Whether it was because of yesterday’s incident or some other reason, their relationship seemed chilly at a glance.

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