Rainbow City Chapter 23

Author: nicotine

Kwak Soohwan left his younger brother alone and started running tirelessly as his brother’s image haunted him. Although his backpack gradually became heavier, the rhythm of his heartbeat remained unchanged. Kwak Soohwan had always felt vaguely different from others since he was young.

“Is it difficult?” he couldn’t empathize with such a question, and the words “Is it heavy?” made him feel even lighter. The boy leaped up to the 10th floor of an apartment where the elevator was not working and knocked on the door smartly.

Knock, knock, knock.

The morning sun had already risen, so there was no chance that his brother was still asleep. Kwak Soohwan turned the doorknob once. It was locked, and only a creaking sound could be heard.

Knock. He knocked on the door again. A damp and sticky sensation of something falling behind him caught his attention. The remnants of broken eggs were flowing out from inside the bag.

“Jihwan, I’m here, your Hyung.”

He opened his mouth, but no sound came out. It was time to clench his fist and knock on the door again.

[Knock… Knock, knock.]


Kwak Soohwan, who was asleep, opened his eyes. He looked weakly and turned his gaze towards the direction where the sound came from. His ears were as sharp as his senses, so he must have heard something real. Looking at the tabletop clock, the hands pointed to 5 a.m. He wiped his face with his large hand and sat up from the bed. The old springs creaked like my memories.

Knock. The knocking sound came again, but it didn’t sound like knocking with a hand. Instead, it was a more resonant and dull thud. He opened the water bottle and drank it all while approaching the door. Without confirming who it was, he opened the door, revealing a man smaller in stature than him.

“Dr. Seok?”

Whether he was sleepwalking or not, it was only 5 a.m., and he was knocking on someone else’s door? Seokhwa greeted him with a nod and extended his palm, offering something.

“What is this?”

It was a wet stone, as if it had been washed. Come to think of it, it seemed like he knocked on the door with this stone.

“It’s a moisture-soaked stone, Major Kwak Soohwan, I present it to you.”


“Please take it.”

What is this again… Kwak Soohwan, already in a bad mood due to the fierce dreams, felt amazed at Seokhwa’s inexplicable behavior.

He held the doorknob and leaned towards Seokhwa with the door open. “Dr. Seok, you’re the one who likes stones, not me, right?”

“Thank you… I couldn’t say that to you.”

Waking someone up at 5 a.m. just to express gratitude? Kwak Soohwan clearly felt that Seokhwa’s social skills were lacking.

“If you want to express your gratitude, bring alcohol or cigarettes. I’m closing the door.”

As Kwak Soohwan tried to close the door again, Seokhwa took a step closer. His hair seemed softer than usual, perhaps after taking a shower. The fragrance wafting up from below was quite pleasant.

“What are you doing?”

“May I come in?”

As if he didn’t expect the stone to be rejected, Seokhwa looked a bit dejected. Of course, he still had an expressionless face, so it could have been Kwak Soohwan’s misconception.


“Perhaps… Major Kwak Soohwan, do you know who kidnapped me?”

Kwak Soohwan felt the already scattered drowsiness completely disappearing beyond Rainbow City. He pointed inside with his chin. After Seokhwa entered, Kwak Soohwan let go of the doorknob.

Seokhwa looked back at the closing door and stood facing him again.

“I don’t know exactly who kidnapped Dr. Seok.”

“Is that so?”

“Do you know?”

“I think I do.”

Seokhwa answered without hesitation. Kwak Soohwan took another sip of water, clenched the water bottle in his hand, and punched his fist.

“But why didn’t you tell Lee Yeontae?”

“I’m not sure. Because the person who injured Lee Chaeyoon and the person who kidnapped me might be the same.”


“I’ve spent the entire night organizing my thoughts because my understanding is still insufficient to explain the series of incidents to Major Lee Yeontae. It seems that the rebels who kidnapped me… are like Eden, a new cult group. It also seems to be related to the murder case of Dr. Oh.”

Seokhwa looked at Kwak Soohwan intently as he brought up the story. His usually clear pupils, as bright as crystals, were exceptionally vivid. Well, diamonds and crystals are both stones when you think about it.

Kwak Soohwan, after putting down the water bottle, approached Seokhwa slowly. Seokhwa stood still, looking up at Kwak Soohwan approaching. As they got closer, Kwak Soohwan brought his face even closer. It was as if a slight tilt and bow of the head could lead to a kiss.

“Dr. Seokhwa.”

Kwak Soohwan spoke with a voice colder than usual and cleared his frosty gaze once.

“Are you suggesting something between us right now?”

He smirked.

“What are you talking about?”

“Are you seriously here at this ambitious hour because of that reason?”

“That’s the reason.”

For some reason, it seemed like Seokhwa was trying to manipulate the conversation. There were times when he playfully teased, but the man who stood there looking at him after opening the door felt unfamiliar. Rather than being annoyed at being awakened, the man seemed more genuine with an expressionless and cold aura. He was as much of a mystery as the unknown kidnapper.

“Eden, Major Kwak Soohwan, you mentioned it to me first, right?”

Only then did Kwak Soohwan bring a chair and placed it in front of Seokhwa. He pushed the backrest forward, spreading his legs as he sat down. Kwak Soohwan leaned his arms on the backrest and gestured for Seokhwa to sit.

“Today, the kidnapper told me that. He claimed to be a member of the Eden. He said that Rainbow City is corrupt, and you, Major Kwak Soohwan, are the guardian protecting this corrupt city.”

One of Kwak Soohwan’s eyebrows twitched in displeasure.

“I also heard the last wishes of Dr. Oh.”

He opened his previously closed lips as if trying to interrupt the conversation. So, he spoke a bit faster.

“But it’s a bit strange.”

“The contents of the will?”

“I’m not sure because gunfire was heard right away. The only thing mentioned before was that I, who was in Jeju, couldn’t be contacted.”

“Then you should report that to Major Lee Yeontae tomorrow.”

As Kwak Soohwan tried to get up, Seokhwa grabbed his wrist first.

“The kidnapper who claimed to be part of Eden… Serpent.”

As if swallowing fire, a hot heat radiated from Seokhwa’s hand.


“Yes. But the strange thing is.”

Seokhwa hesitated for a moment, wondering if he should share his suspicions with Kwak Soohwan. However, he had already given it enough thought. The person who called himself Serpent had told him not to trust Kwak Soohwan, but in the first place, Seokhwa didn’t have much trust in him.

“He said he was a Serpent?”

Were they having different thoughts? Kwak Soohwan was the first to throw a question.


“What else is strange?”

“It’s strange that they have the testimony left by Dr. Oh. Clearly, he told me that it’s difficult for the rebels to approach the shelter. But how did they get hold of that testimony? It’s even the voice recording right before Dr. Oh was killed.”

As Kwak Soohwan listened to Seokhwa’s words, a smile gradually spread across his face. He thought that Seokhwa would have been excellent in the Special Forces investigation team with his physical strength alone. However, Kwak Soohwan displayed an indifferent reaction, as if he had little interest. In his mind right now, the dominant thought was about Serpent.

“Why did he tell me the truth before Lee Yeontae? Why does he want my help?”

Seokhwa concluded and detached his gaze.

“The access to the Special Forces incident records has been blocked.”

“Perhaps your level is insufficient.”

“I used to have access up to Level 2 classified information, but now even my level is marked as private.”

Maybe they blocked it just in case Seokhwa developed sympathy for the rebels. Kwak Soohwan made a rough guess.

“So what?”

“I have some information I want to look into regarding Dr. Oh’s assassination, but I was wondering if Lieutenant Kwak has access up to Level 2 classified information.”

“What, are you seeing me as?”

Seokhwa made a face that seemed expected. With the rank of Major, even accessing Level 3 classified information would be challenging.

“I can access up to Level 1.”

A faint smile appeared on Seokhwa’s previously expressionless face. A noticeable wrinkle formed on his forehead. How could I have access to Level 2 classified information when I can barely see Level 1? A similar sentiment seemed to be felt. Dr. Seok, is your pride hurt?

“I’ll pay you; just let me see the data.”

It seemed that getting answers to suspicions was more important than pride. Kwak Soohwan chuckled with a wry smile.

“I can allow you to see it. Money is not necessary.”

Seokhwa stood up from the chair with an excited tone.

“Really? Thank yo-”

“If you have sex with me.”

“…Excuse me?”

The wrinkles on Seokhwa’s forehead deepened far more than before.

“You’ll get the data and some sperm. How great is that.”

Sperm… Seokhwa mumbled and looked at the computer for a moment, then glanced at the stone in his hand, finally raising his head to face Kwak Soohwan.

“I don’t need money, so if you don’t want to, just say no.”

Kwak Soohwan rested his chin on his arms on the backrest. He had been quite playful a moment ago. The impulse to throw the stone at that smiling face, which now seemed more like a joke, came to mind, but he held back.

“I don’t want to see that side of you even in my dreams.”

Seokhwa turned around to walk away. However, his steps felt heavy. Besides Kwak Soohwan, no one else came to mind whom he could ask for a favor.

“Goodbye, Doctor.”

Because he even shook hands with him, Seokhwa took a deep breath and then spoke.

“Is there anything else besides that?”

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