Rainbow City Chapter 27

Author: nicotine

“Let’s not delve any further into Dr. Oh’s murder case. There’s nothing good that will come out of it.”

“Why not?”

Kwak Soohwan kissed the corner of Seokhwa’s forehead, making a soft sound, and pressed deeply.

“If you keep doubting and digging, even if you don’t want to be close, we will inevitably become entangled.”

Then, their lips touched, moving discreetly once again.

Mother is always watching.

He whispered.


Seokhwa stretched like a cat waking up. Feeling extremely hungry after sleeping for almost half a day since the effects of the medicine wore off, he put on a cardigan from the wardrobe and left the room. Perhaps because it was dawn, he didn’t encounter anyone while walking through the corridor.

Arriving at the 24-hour open restaurant, Seokhwa looked around. Soldiers who came out to eat late at night were scattered around. Seokhwa also picked up a sandwich on the counter. It was the sandwich Kwak Soohwan had described as disgustingly bad, made with a patty of beans. As he was about to unwrap it and find an empty seat, someone called out.


Lee Chaeyoon, holding a carrot, waved her hand cheerfully. As Seokhwa nodded and sat down, she quickly ran over.

“The Major said the guards made a huge mistake with you, Doctor. Is Yoo Jungkyung the bastard, by any chance?”

“Do you know him?”

“I sure do. He’s a perverted bastard. He enjoys torturing people but is terrified of going out to the field. If we ever run into him on the field, I’ll kill him.”

Lee Chaeyoon cut the carrot in half, chewed it thoroughly, and continued speaking. “Wait a moment, Doctor.” After saying that, she quickly jumped over the table and ran off somewhere. When Seokhwa looked back, Lee Chaeyoon had instantly gone to the vending machine and brought back two drinks. She handed one ion drink to Seokhwa and started sipping the other.

“I didn’t bring money.”

“No, this one’s on me, Doctor. You’ll get your salary the day after tomorrow.”

“Thank you.”

Shelter employees received their salary four times a year, based on a three-month cycle. Of course, citizens living in Green, Blue, and Indigo also earned their income by performing their designated tasks. They produced necessary goods and military supplies, and even as the world changed, the value of currency remained constant.

In Rainbow City, where currency was essential for survival, occasional incidents of criminals producing counterfeit notes were caught. Although there was something called Brig, conventional prisons were scarce. When the facilities became overcrowded and couldn’t accept more inmates, criminals were either expelled from the city or faced execution. Particularly for counterfeit money, severe penalties were imposed, and there had been no one who had escaped with their life.

“But Doctor.”

Lee Chaeyoon, who had already finished his drink and was chewing on a carrot, suddenly leaned in. Despite her smaller stature, she exuded much more energy and vitality. Just looking at her could boost one’s spirits to the point of feeling invigorated.

“Is it true that you and Major Kwak Soohwan have that kind of relationship?”

The words she had just uttered drained the strength out of Seokhwa, but he blinked his eyes and swallowed the sandwich. He hadn’t cared about taste before, as he only ate to survive, but since Kwak Soohwan had mentioned it, the sandwich had indeed tasted bland. Come to think of it, he had never known what a stone tasted like until the last time. The saliva was sweet, and the stone had no flavor.

“What kind of relationship is that?”

“Oh, come on, you know what I mean.”

With one hand making an okay sign, Lee Chaeyoon used the other to extend her index finger into the circle, mimicking a suggestive gesture. Seokhwa imitated the action.

“Yeah, that! The rumors have already spread throughout the shelter. They say the Doctor secretly meets Major Kwak Soohwan at night. They even say the Doctor went to Major Kwak Soohwan’s room? Oh~ That guy may have a good face, but he’s totally not my type. I feel sorry for you, Doctor.”

“Are there rumors that I am dating Major Kwak Soohwan?”

“I don’t know about dating, but at least your bodies are close…”

Could this be the result of Yoo Jungkyung’s words? If he had asked what happened when he went to Kwak Soohwan’s room and got the answer that they kissed, then rumors spreading was inevitable.

“Do you know what kind of guy Major Kwak Soohwan is, Doctor? When he goes out to the field, he goes crazy, and sometimes he’s so out of control that we don’t even know where he went. He’s been wandering around like a lunatic, trying to kill Adams all by himself for hours. He doesn’t even know how long we’ve been waiting for him.”

Bang! A large hand holding a drink descended between Seokhwa and Lee Chaeyoon.

“Could you guys tone down the gossip a bit?”

Kwak Soohwan was dressed casually, and it didn’t seem to be the materials provided by the military. Seeing him in a plain round t-shirt and slacks, he didn’t look like a typical soldier. Without permission, he sat next to Seokhwa and quickly pulled him into a hug.

“I can’t believe how surprised I was. He came to my room saying he wanted to sleep with me.”

As if smelling the scent of his hair, Seokhwa’s expressionless face subtly contorted. Lee Chaeyoon’s mouth hung open, and some soldiers who were watching were also perplexed.

“Hey, did you find the Doctor’s weakness?”

“What weakness? Seokhwa wouldn’t remember, but it was definitely that Yoo Jungkyung bastard. He came to my room saying he wanted to have sex. He just exposed our secret like that.”

Seokhwa wiped away the hair that had touched his lips with his hand.

Why tell such lies? Seokhwa pushed away Kwak Soohwan’s hand resting on his shoulder.

“I never came to him wanting sex.”

“Exclude that.”

Kwak Soohwan chuckled smoothly. Seokhwa couldn’t fathom Kwak Soohwan’s psyche. What was the reason for behaving like this in front of people?

“I said it was a kiss.”

A twitch, Kwak Soohwan’s face froze for a moment, then he smirked again.

“Why is it like this here?”

Thock, Kwak Soohwan ran his index finger across his forehead. Seokhwa wiped his forehead with his palm, but there was nothing on it.

“What the! Doctor’s forehead is bruised! Did Yoo Jungkyung do this too?”

Pressing a bit harder, it seemed there was some slight sensitivity. Even though he had been caught by the Royal Guard by the hair, his forehead had never been struck.

“Did that bastard Yoo Jungkyung use his fists for real?”

Kwak Soohwan wondered if that guy had beaten Seokhwa before he arrived. Since the truth serum had been administered, Seokhwa wouldn’t remember, and he might have recklessly handled Seokhwa’s body. He had thought of him as just a minor pest, but it seemed he was starting to cross the line.


Seokhwa calmly replied, which dampened his enthusiasm as he wouldn’t remember anyway.

“He won’t remember even if he did.”

“Isn’t this something Major Kwak Soohwan did?”

“What? Kwak Soohwan!”

Lee Chaeyoon stood up in surprise, and Kwak Soohwan thought there was confusion in Seokhwa’s memory.

“The person who brought you back safely, who was it? You shouldn’t misplace the blame on me.”

“Major Gwak kissed my forehead. It hurt a lot because he pressed too hard, and it seems there’s a bruise. But why did he do that?”

Hah, Kwak Soohwan chuckled briefly as he exhaled.

This was strange… It sounded as if he remembered everything.

“Dr. Seok, can we talk?”


“Not here.”

Kwak Soohwan grabbed Seokhwa’s arm, causing the sandwich he was holding to fall to the ground. He tried to pick it up again, but Kwak Soohwan’s grip on his arm and the force dragging him out made it more difficult.

“You eat that.”

“Get lost! He won’t eat what fell on the ground either! Hey! Where are you taking Dr. Seokhwa?”

“Don’t follow.”

Seokhwa wanted to finish the sandwich, but being forcibly dragged out made him extremely uncomfortable.

Kwak Soohwan’s face, which had been lightly laughing just a moment ago, turned stern. After surveying the corridor, Kwak Soohwan opened the emergency exit door and pushed Seokhwa inside.

His feet stumbled and wavered, but since Kwak Soohwan had a firm grip, he was merely pushed against the wall.

“I still want to finish the sandwich.”

“I’ll buy you a hundred if you tell me what happened earlier.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Did you receive the truth serum?”

“Well, yes.”

“But do you remember what I did in the Royal Guard, or what I said?”

It was after the day of Dr. Wonho’s incident. Since then, with Dr. Oh, Seokhwa administered tiny amounts of AmoBavital to cultivate resistance to truth serum. Seokhwa, who was accustomed to conducting clinical trials on himself for stamina-enhancing drugs, didn’t feel tense even when Yoo Jungkyung mentioned administering truth serum.

“Why would investigating Dr. Oh’s case put me in danger?”

Kwak Soohwan swept his hair back.

“Dr. Seok, I don’t know if you have resistance to truth serum, but don’t give away any hints to the Royal Guard.”

“Why did you come to rescue me yesterday?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m your bodyguard, Dr. Seok.”

“Why did you press your lips against my forehead?”

“As compensation for saving you.”

“If you’re a bodyguard, why do you need compensation?”

Kwak Soohwan took a step back. Then, grabbing the emergency exit door, he opened it and spoke abruptly.

“I was worried. You should fall weak for a good reason, right?”

Seokhwa stood still without following Kwak Soohwan, who left through the emergency exit.

He could access classified information up to Level 1, showed unexpected concern for himself, yet there was a suspicious corner in that man. Seokhwa raised his gaze to the surveillance camera flashing its light.

Mother is watching. Perhaps it was another form of advice.


Oh, my foolish friend. Why didn’t you speak up? Why make me regret only now?

Kwak Soohwan occasionally shared a drink with Dr. Oh, but Dr. Oh had a drinking habit bordering on alcoholism. When he got thoroughly drunk, he often shed tears and poured out longing for a departed friend. Sitting on the Han River bank, watching the dark river, Dr. Oh used to lean his body on Kwak Soohwan and lament.

“Old man, shall we call it a night?”

“Just a little longer.”

“I’m leaving, okay?”

When Kwak Soohwan stood up with a bottle of alcohol, Dr. Oh grabbed his arm.

“If you go, I’ll be scared here alone. How am I supposed to stay?”

Even though he wanted to go outside, Kwak Soohwan brought him along because Adam was frightening, even in the Green Zone. Kwak Soohwan sighed and slumped down on the couch. Despite acting rough, Dr. Oh had helped him join the Army, enabling him to graduate and be assigned to the Ilsan Shelter. Old man occasionally visited him since then. Each time, Kwak Soohwan had to endure the urge to poke his sad eyes with his fingers.

“How about Yeouido Shelter? Any better than here?”

“Everywhere is the same. It would be more comfortable if Dr. Oh didn’t summon me. Can we stop drinking now?”

Tears filled his wrinkled eyes. Normally jovial and friendly, he cried when he was drunk.

“I’ve committed a great sin. Since I’ve committed a great sin, dying won’t be too bad.”

Dr. Oh, rising from his seat, swayed. Due to the torture he endured during the interrogation with Wonho, he would sometimes lift one leg on cold days.

“I apologize to you too, Major Gwak.”

“Thanks to you, I became a well-fed citizen of Rainbow City, even with all the apologies.”

After his parents and younger sibling died, another broker from Rainbow City approached him. Later, he found out that the person came with Dr. Oh’s money.

“If you hadn’t enlisted in the Army, how would you be living now?”

Perhaps he might have joined the rebels. Even if he could survive by raiding a mart on his own, during those desperate times, he needed somewhere reliable to depend on.

“Old man, do you want to hear words of gratitude?”

“No, no. I just…”

“Then don’t call me out separately like this. These days, there are many superiors keeping an eye on you, Old man.”

Dr. Oh swallowed the strong whiskey in three sips.

“Who knows? I left a will just in case, considering the uncertain future before me.”

“At your age, you should.”

He laughed heartily, making the tears he shed earlier seem inconsequential.

“How come you don’t resemble your parents at all? They were so lovely together.”

The reason Dr. Oh sought out Kwak Soohwan was because there was a connection to his parents. Kwak Soohwan’s parents were shelter researchers in the same research facility as Dr. Dr. Oh.

“Don’t bring up my parents in front of me.”

Kwak Soohwan snatched the whiskey bottle from Dr. Dr. Oh and finished the remaining contents.

“Let’s go inside. Old man’s nose is frozen.”

Supporting the staggering Dr. Oh, they returned to the shelter, and about a month later, Dr. Oh was found murdered in the research facility.


Drip, drip, Kwak Soohwan turned the Rubik’s Cube, matching the colors one by one. In front of him was a soldier with a green badge, adorned with the emblem of an eagle. The Military Police Major stood at attention, noticeably tense.


While turning the cube, Kwak Soohwan asked.

“I have nothing to say.”

“Why don’t you have anything to say? A Military Police Major kidnapped a chief researcher and administered truth serum. Who gave the order to investigate the chief researcher?”

“Major Lee Yeontae instructed a light investigation, but due to Major Yoo Jungkyung’s excessive loyalty, ugh!”

Plop, the thrown Rubik’s Cube hit the forehead of the Military Police Major. Blood spattered, but he didn’t attempt to wipe it, instead straightening up into an upright posture.

“I apologize. I will demote Major Yoo Jungkyung to the Gwacheon branch.”

The Major then picked up the fallen cube and approached Kwak Soohwan’s desk.

“Who is responsible for keeping Dr. Seokhwa’s level confidential?”

“We don’t know that fact either.”

“Restore it as it was. Because of that, we’re only causing unnecessary suspicions.”


Without looking at the standing Major, he turned the Rubik’s Cube again.

“What are you doing? Go out.”

“Yes, I’ll wait.”

A Major in military uniform, who had just saluted, opened the door and stepped outside.

[Zone 21, Violet Sector]

It was a military zone near Yeouido, about an hour away. Despite being called a military zone, it was a place where only Kwak Soohwan and a few soldiers designated by him could enter. Although it had become barren over time, using it in this way hadn’t caused any significant problems.

Kwak Soohwan, who had completed the cube in an instant, stood up from the creaking chair.

This building used to be a high school, with not a single intact window. The infrequent rain had not washed away the bloodstains on the walls. Following Kwak Soohwan, the Major followed him out of the room that used to be the principal’s office.

Above the tightly woven central gate, there was a school motto hung askew. The writing was barely visible, as if not only one spider but several had connected their webs to create a large web. Despite that, it was difficult to see any prey caught in the spider webs.

Sure enough, one spider was attempting to use its web to tightly bind and devour its neighboring companion. Watching this scene, the Major had placed a dead dragonfly on the spider web, turned upside down with its belly exposed, probably dead for quite some time without surviving through winter.

“…Life begins with university.”


“That’s the school motto over there.”

The Major seemed to have managed to read the writing on the spider web.

“Forget about university. Life starts with eating.”

“In each era and place, there must have been different things that people considered most important.”

“And what about now?”

Kwak Soohwan pulled a gun from his holster. When the Major saw the gun pointed at him, he decided it was better to stay silent. As the trigger was pulled, the sound of a bullet hitting somewhere echoed. Turning around in surprise, he saw Adam, who looked like he was about to fall.

“Survival comes first.”

Kwak Soohwan holstered his gun again.

“You’re absolutely right.”

Major Cha laughed, deliberately hiding the fact that he was scared. Before getting on the Jeep parked in front of the main gate, Major Cha spoke first.

“Are you going straight back to the Yeouido Shelter?”

Kwak Soohwan didn’t answer; he just got on the Jeep and started the engine. The fact that he was the top graduate of the Rainbow City Army Officer Academy was well-known among soldiers. However, due to his recent erratic behavior, that title had faded somewhat. Dr. Oh didn’t know when he would die, but Kwak Soohwan was originally a member of the Honor Guard within the army. He had simply turned the name around to the ‘Immortal Platoon’ since being deployed to the field.

Kwak Soohwan opened the window halfway.

“Don’t demote that bastard to Gwacheon.”


“I need to torment him for a long time to satisfy my conscience.”


“Wait, step aside for a moment.”

Even though Major Cha stepped aside, expecting Kwak Soohwan to turn the Jeep, Kwak Soohwan didn’t seem to have any intention of leaving. Instead, it looked like he was about to get out of the Jeep. He bent over, picked up something from the ground, let out a satisfied chuckle, and then got back into the Jeep.

“Let’s go.”

Pressing the accelerator, they began to exit the sports field. It was only when the Jeep was completely out of sight that Major Cha finally opened the door. The question of why he picked up something in the first place was left hanging in the air, accompanied by a long sigh.

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