Rainbow City Chapter 30

Author: nicotine

“Excuse me.”

“Yes?”

“Is Major Kwak Soohwan very busy?”

“Kwak Soohwan?”

Seokhwa answered only with his eyes.

“That guy? He’s not really busy. He just pretends to be. On top of that, he got in trouble for secretly taking alcohol from my room.”

So, is he somewhere drinking now?

“Oh, I heard he went to find and deal with the Eden Sanctuary base.”

Seokhwa blinked rapidly, as if surprised.

“The base?”

“But it’s probably not the actual base. The scene he went to is in the 13 Red Zone. Do you think they would establish a base within Rainbow City?”

“So, when is he coming back?”

“Doctor, is that rumor true? That something happened between Kwak Soohwan and you?”

He suddenly felt confused. He had just asked about when Kwak Soohwan would return, and he was surprised to learn that the base of Eden Sanctuary was in the 13 Red Zone.

Seokhwa seemed about to say something when Yang Sanghoon, who was sitting with his hand raised, took out a radio from inside his uniform.

“Immovable Unit, Major Yang Sanghoon speaking.”

Amidst crackling noise, a voice seeped through the radio’s speaker.

[Whether it’s Yang Sanghoon or not, who knows, kid. Come down to the first floor.]

“The first floor?”

[First floor.]

“Oh, okay.”

Yang Sanghoon put the radio back inside his uniform and opened his mouth toward Seokhwa.

“Major Kwak seems to have returned. If you need anything, would you like to go down together?”

“…No. Just tell him I found it.”

“Okay.”

Yang Sanghoon thought that if he delayed a bit, that guy would surely cause trouble, so he hurriedly ran to the elevator.

Seokhwa took out a paper from his pocket. The writing in the dim moonlight wasn’t clear, but it was not difficult to ponder the content he had seen before.

[Classified Level 1: Dr. Oh showed symptoms of dementia. He used his son (Oh Cheong-woon) as a subject for human experiments, and it is suspected that he embezzled funds for rebel financing under the pretext of developing a cure. The person who murdered Dr. Oh is currently unidentified. However, the day before the incident, an individual not registered in the shelter, currently presumed to be the suspect, was observed entering and spending a day in the shelter in multiple locations. The funds taken for vaccine development, under the pretext of developing a cure, are fifty times the cost of vaccine development. However, with no clear results, it is difficult for the Masters to easily reissue support permits.]

It was the data handed to me by the Advisor before heading to Jeju Island.

‘Dr. Seok, I hope you understand our situation. We have citizens to protect, and they are hesitant to support research that does not yield easy results. Look at smallpox without going far. We simply do not have the financial resources for that now.’

The disease that killed one-fifth of the world’s population in the 14th century was smallpox, a virus that had existed since ancient times. Although the cowpox method was discovered in the 19th century, mass production of the vaccine came much later. Smallpox was completely eradicated 200 years after the cowpox method was introduced, and the amount spent to develop an effective vaccine was enormous. The Advisor wasn’t entirely wrong in saying that. Seokhwa folded the paper neatly and put it back in his pocket.

Having cooled down, Seokhwa was no longer on the rooftop and changed his direction.

***

Major Kwak Soohwan pushed the man, whom he had cornered without a chance to move, into one corner of the first-floor lobby. The guy was so fierce that even when caught by me, he managed to dodge my punch and tried to bite my tongue. The guy with a bloody mouth, clenching his teeth, was still desperately trying to bite his tongue.

“Major Kwak, who is this guy?”

Yang Sanghoon approached, exuding a cold aura.

“What is he? Self-proclaimed Eden Sanctuary disciple.”

“What?”

Major Kwak Soohwan nudged the guy kneeling on the ground with his foot. The guy, with bloodshot eyes like Adam, tried to glare, but all he managed was to squirm.

“I think you should hand this over to the Guards, Major Yang. I’m sure they’ll enjoy dealing with this lunatic.”

“Why me?”

Yang Sanghoon showed an irritated expression.

“You’re from outside Rainbow City too, right? They say to take care of this guy who’s gone through some rebirth or whatever, feeling camaraderie with those who came from outside. He seems like he’s been brainwashed in a strange way. Think of him as a little brother.”

Kwak Soohwan approached Yang Sanghoon and lightly tapped his shoulder.

“He’s A-class or above. If you think it’s too much, just hand him over to the Guards.”

Despite the scars all over his face and his bulky appearance, the atmosphere he emitted still seemed like that of a young lad. He might be around sixteen.

“He claims to be an Eden Sanctuary disciple. Shouldn’t we hand him over to the Guards right away?”

“It seems like he firmly believes he’s an Eden Sanctuary disciple, but it looks like he’s been exploited by those pretending to be from Eden Sanctuary.”

He received instructions from the cult leader to go to the 13 Red Zone and confiscate food and medicine. Kwak Soohwan also rushed out immediately upon receiving the radio message about an Eden Sanctuary disciple being captured in the 13 Red Zone, but as soon as he saw him, he realized it was an imposter from the rebels. If he were a genuine Eden Sanctuary follower, he wouldn’t have ordered such sloppy actions against a boy like him.

“Why on earth are there people pretending to be rebels?”

“Don’t ask too much. Weren’t you also exploited by those pretending to be rebels?”

Yang Sanghoon scowled, signaling that the topic should not be brought up.

Non-citizens of Rainbow City formed their own factions, as surviving alone was difficult. Therefore, many people sought refuge in emerging religions. It was safer to be in a community than alone, or in a family rather than as an individual.

Some leaders used religion to satisfy their desires, and it wasn’t uncommon for young individuals to be exploited. Not only that, there were also scammers who pretended to be rebels on a large scale, deceiving people.

“Feed him well and try to persuade him. Whether to accept him or not will be decided at the Learning Center anyway.”

“That guy made trouble for himself.”

“All I did was cut off his chin.”

“Look at this kid. The twisted jaw is the biggest issue, you brat.”

While grumbling that this was definitely his responsibility, Yang Sanghoon supported the boy and lifted him up. He subdued the boy, who was shining like a wounded wild animal, by carrying him on his shoulder.

“Oh, right. Dr. Seokhwa was looking for you.”

“Why would he do that?”

Kwak Soohwan smirked.

“What?”

“Just go and find out.”

Watching the two heading towards the Immovable Unit room, Kwak Soohwan turned his gloves inside out and took them off. He had been feeling someone’s gaze on them for a while now. From behind the pillar, someone had been watching them.

Seokhwa, holding something tightly in both hands, was there. When he raised his hand towards Seokhwa, he spun around, trying to disappear into the interior. Considering that he could easily catch up by just taking a few steps, Kwak Soohwan didn’t bother calling out for Dr. Seok.

Kwak Soohwan crumpled the gloves and stuffed them into his uniform pocket before stepping briskly behind Seokhwa.

“What are you doing here?”

Seokhwa, caught up shortly after, slowed down his steps a bit. The item he was holding in his hands was the man’s jaw Kwak Soohwan had gifted him.

Given how openly he walked around without knowing how people might perceive him, Kwak Soohwan couldn’t shake off the thought that Seokhwa might be a dangerous individual. Even with soldiers who were full of vitality even after taking libido suppressants, there were many interested in such appearances. Seeing Seokhwa like that, one couldn’t rule out the possibility of guys with an interest in a bluish hue rushing at him.

“Don’t carry that around outside.”

He gestured with his eyes towards the coat under which Seokhwa had concealed the item.

“It’s too heavy to carry around.”

“Then, put it in your room as a decoration.”

“It has a nice texture.”

A futile excuse slipped out of his throat.

“Why did you look for me?”

“Eden Sanctuary… you arrested someone?”

“I must have mentioned it before. Doctor, focus on your research.”

Kwak Soohwan put his arm on Seokhwa’s shoulder. It wasn’t a good idea for someone to overhear their conversation in the lobby for no reason. He gestured to Seokhwa, playing with him like a puppet, leading him to the elevator. If someone showed an interest, he wanted to keep going until he got the right answer.

“There seemed to be many injured people earlier.”

“Not from Eden Sanctuary, but a poor guy exploited by those pretending to be them.”

“He’s still a person. And elevators don’t explode, even if crowded.”

He understood the first part, but the second part was utterly incomprehensible.

“Why did you look for me? I’m going for a drink now.”

While waiting for the elevator, Seokhwa raised his heel, leaned in, and whispered into Kwak Soohwan’s ear.

It was familiar for me to initiate this, but seeing Seokhwa coming onto him so boldly left Kwak Soohwan flustered. Unconsciously, he turned his face away, and then Seokhwa followed.

“What are you doing?”

“I wanted to whisper.”

Although he replied nonchalantly, it was too embarrassing. Was this guy really that fond of the stone? Of course, it looked more sophisticated than something carved by hand. Surely he wasn’t trying to charm him with a stone gift.

As if suggesting to stay quiet this time, Seokhwa’s plump lips started moving, brushing gently against his ear.

Is there a place without cameras?

While his lips teased like stimulating human erogenous zones, the words that came out were devoid of color. A place without cameras meant an area where surveillance cameras didn’t operate.

“Where would such a place be?”

[Opening.]

As the elevator doors opened, Seokhwa didn’t move his feet. Kwak Soohwan could have forced him inside, but he pulled his arms off Seokhwa’s shoulders.

“What time is it now?”

“It’s a little past 1 a.m.”

Exhaling as if telling Seokhwa to listen, Kwak Soohwan began to turn back. Seokhwa stood still, just watching his back. Kwak Soohwan spoke with a low voice.

“What are you doing? Let’s have a late-night date.”

 

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nicotine

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