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Descent of the Demon Master CH 13

Author:Wolbaek Category:urban Update time:2022-10-04 04:46:50

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Chapter 13.

To School (6)

How far have I drifted away

Memories have faded, and feelings are strangers.

Days, forgotten and vanished…

Now I can't even see their traces.

Has the time moved on

Pain has faded, and reminiscence, my strangers.

Days, I can never get back,

It's all drifting away, away...

Those days, I have loved,

Those days, I walked the earth.

If only I could go back…

If only I could...

Kang Jin-Ho's singing couldn't exactly be described as stellar.

He didn't have the technique nor the powerful voice of a professional singer that would immediately catch your attention.

But for some inexplicable reason...

No one could take their eyes off Kang Jin-Ho as he sang.

Every word he sang touched their hearts.

They thought that they could finally understand what it meant to sing from one's soul.

How long have I drifted away

Time never stopped, and even pain's distant.

Days, forgotten and vanished,

Now I can't even see their traces.

Those days, I have loved,

Those days, I walked the earth.

If only I could go back…

If only I could...

Only after everything passed me by,

Did I look behind me

Only after I lost everything…

Did I realize how I miss them.

Those days, I have loved…

Those days, I walked the earth.

If only I could go back…

If only I could...

The song drifted to its end, and the karaoke machine displayed the overall score, but no one dared to say something to break the unexplainable silence still lingering in the room.

“...Whoa!” Han Se-Yeon deeply exhaled and shuddered.

“You are a really great singer, Jin-Ho.”

Lee Tae-Ho shook his head in disbelief.

“But you never sang this well, so how”

“I know this song, but... the melodies and beats were all wrong, you know But it was still nice to listen to, for some reason.”

These kids would never know.

They would never know that this one song contained every bit of emotions Kang Jin-Ho had carried with him during his years wandering in Zhongyuan.

Hence...

even if he lacked the technique, his singing would have still resonated with his listeners.

Even though he hadn't heard the original in decades, and while many parts of the song had naturally changed over the years, it would still have this kind of effect.

“That song isn't even that sad, but I almost cried just now...”

“Yeah, me too.”

Kang Jin-Ho wryly smiled while listening to the muttering of his audience.

If they felt the sorrow in the song, it meant that he too hadn't let go of the memories from those years.

In other words, the years spent in Zhongyuan still played a big part in who he was even though he was now back home, back in the modern world.

'I need to let go of them now.'

He had no need to hold on to the past.

Forgetting as quickly as humanly possible would be better for him if he wanted to keep living in this era.

Life in Zhongyuan had indeed transformed Kang Jin-Ho, but that transformation wouldn't be helpful in the modern era. After all, that life, which was filled with bloodshed and death, would only prove to be a burden on the current him.

"Jin-Ho, can you sing us another song"

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.

“That's the only song I know.”

“Can you sing us that song again, then”

“No, I won't.

Besides, I don't feel like it...” Kang Jin-Ho dismissively waved his hand and put the mic down.

Other kids shot him disappointed gazes but they didn't try to change his mind.

Han Se-Yeon sneaked closer and settled down next to Kang Jin-Ho.

“Uhm, can't you sing for us just one more time”

“Maybe next time.”

Han Se-Yeon looked unsatisfied but still gave up.

"Then...

You're definitely coming with us next time, okay"

“Got it.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.

The private booth was blanketed by the heavy lingering atmosphere, but the next song quickly washed away that uncomfortable feeling in the kids.

What an easy-going generation they were...

But maybe this was for the best.

What was the point of being too serious all the time, anyway There was also no need to get sucked into other people's negative emotions, either—the important part was to enjoy the moment and live their lives.

That was the most important thing…

The kids sang and danced for a long, long while and enjoyed themselves.

Once their rented time was up, they packed up and stepped outside the karaoke lounge.

Lee Tae-Ho began grumbling unhappily, “Tsk, they didn't even want to give us the extra hour!”

“That's because their fee is so high, though.”

“If they're so expensive, at least they should be more willing to extend our hour, no!”

Kang Jin-Ho ignored Lee Tae-Ho's complaints and looked up at the night sky. 

'Still no stars, huh.'

The heavens above looked inky black.

Most people hated looking at that polluted sky, but Kang Jin-Ho found that starless darkness a welcoming sight.

Others might find it hard to understand how a dark sky could give him a sense of comfort.

But that was what night skies were like to Kang Jin-Ho.

A beautiful, clear sky with its numerous stars ready to cascade to Earth was forever tied to all the memories he would like to forget, after all.

Looking up at Zhongyuan's sky always made him miss this polluted one instead.

The modern era's night sky was quite different from that of Zhongyuan.

That was why his new life here simply had to be different from the one he had lived in Zhongyuan.

“Are you thinking of going home” Han Se-Yeon sneaked closer and asked him.

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.

“What if I am”

“Do you want to stop by at a cafe with me”

“Not really,” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a shake of his head.

His business here was done, anyway.

He would like to say no to any further 'fun' activities for today.

He came to sing, and after singing, he even stayed behind in order to not sour everyone's mood.

In his mind, Kang Jin-Ho had done everything he could possibly do.

“In that case...

I'll go home too,” Han Se-Yeon muttered.

But that led to the disappointed grunts leaking out from the group.

“Ahhh, really...”

The boys couldn't hide their disappointment when they heard that the future idol already wanted to head home so soon.

None of them had said it out loud yet, but they all were pining for Han Se-Yeon.

Lee Tae-Ho was probably the least open about it, but even he looked quite disappointed right now.

Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes a little. 

'A clumsy display of friendship, is it'

Lee Tae-Ho knew how Kang Jin-Ho liked Han Se-Yeon, and that was why he chose not to show it publicly, but anyone could tell that he also liked the girl. Unfortunately, the Kang Jin-Ho of the past was too dense to notice any of this.

Trying to stick up for his friends was a commendable thing, indeed.

But from Kang Jin-Ho's perspective, it was a waste of consideration.

If you announced your interest first, did that mean you had the priority in the queue Of course not.

The important bit was whether the two parties were mutually interested in each other or not.

But these kids were still young, and their thought processes were bound to be a little different from Kang Jin-Ho's.

He didn't mind telling them that it was okay not to be this considerate, but doing so seemed rather humorous in a tragic way.

Kang Jin-Ho turned around.

“Well, then.

I'm off.”

“Wait, let me go with you!” Han Se-Yeon quickly walked over in his direction.

He tilted his head a little.

“Your home's this way”

“Only up until the subway.

It's kinda scary to walk this part of the town alone, you see.”

“Even though it's so well lit here”

"I didn't mean the darkness, though.

It's the people that can get a bit scary.

Like...

Some of them keep glancing at me, and some might try to follow me, you know"

"I see." Kang Jin-Ho briefly nodded.

Although he didn't quite understand, he also didn't feel the need to question her.

If the girl said so, then in a way, it must be true.

It was her business, not his.

Besides, they were going in the same direction anyway.

As such, accompanying her didn't seem like too much work.

Han Se-Yeon began talking to him as they walked.

“By the way, your singing was amazing, you know that”

“You think so”

She nodded.

"Yeah.

I never saw anyone sing as well as you."

“I can only sing that one song.”

“Really”

“Yeah...”

“That's too bad.

I was thinking of recommending you to become a singer, you know.” Han Se-Yeon sighed in genuine disappointment.

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head in confusion.

“I thought you wanted to become a singer”

She shook her head.

"Nah, I'm not interested.

It's not like I can sing all that well, anyway.

It's not for me."

“Is that so”

“Yeah.”

This was surprising.

The kids' gossip made it seem like Han Se-Yeon was interested in becoming an idol.

But listening to her talk right now, she seemed to have already analyzed herself quite well.

If people kept kissing her butt and praised her all the time, she could've ended up with an inflated opinion of herself or with that lingering feeling of 'what if...' but Han Se-Yeon seemed to have her head screwed on properly.

She continued chatting with him.

"Wait, I remember now.

Your little sister has signed with a talent agency, right"

'That's true.' 

Kang Jin-Ho was reminded of that fact.

Maybe, Han Se-Yeon viewed his little sister as someone already living her dream

He calmly replied, “Yes, she is.”

“Wow.

I guess it's in the genes, then.

If she's as good as you, I'm sure your little sis will make her debut pretty soon.”

“It won't be that easy…”

“Why do you say so”

Kang Jin-Ho spoke in a philosophical tone.

"That path is a lot harder than it looks.

Besides, she's completely different from me.”

"Really Let's forget about your sister for a moment, then.

I think you stand a good chance if you start practicing other songs."

“That’s not going to happen...” Kang Jin-Ho firmly shook his head.

Han Se-Yeon asked, sounding genuinely confused.

“How come”

“The training won't be easy, and besides, I'm not good-looking enough.”

“Mm, well...”

That reply left Han Se-Yeon in a pickle.

It wouldn't be nice to agree with him, but at the same time, it was also kind of weird to say that he was wrong, too.

It might be true, but the person in question wouldn't really say that about himself.

Worst of all, this topic didn't have an easy 'out' to steer the conversation in another direction, either!

“Uhm, well...

W-wouldn't it be possible after getting plastic surgery” Han Se-Yeon hurriedly covered her mouth the moment she said that; she belatedly realized her slip of the tongue.

Thankfully for her, though, Kang Jin-Ho replied as if he wasn't bothered, “There's a limit to that, though.”

She stared at him, not really sure how to respond again.

“You...

are surprisingly cool about it, aren't you”

“Cool What's that”

“Just, you know.”

“Mm...”

They continued to chat about this and that until they reached the subway entrance.

Han Se-Yeon looked at him.

“Aren't you going to ride the subway, too”

“No, I can walk home from here.”

“Really Okay.

I had fun today.

I'll see you tomorrow in school.”

“Yeah...”

“Then, bye.” Han Se-Yeon grinned and waved at him as she walked down the subway's steps.

Kang Jin-Ho watched her disappear into the tunnel before turning around to head home.

As he did, this slightly weird feeling kept gnawing at him.

'Have I been...

ordinary today'

After coming back to the modern era, he went to school, sat through exams, and even went to a karaoke lounge with the other kids.

It felt like he managed to live a little part of what made an ordinary life ordinary today.

A life that he couldn't be a part of for decades—hanging out with friends, playing computer games—and having conversations free from conspiracies and schemes, never worrying about hidden motives.

What about this street, where he could walk around freely, knowing that no one would suddenly start attacking him And what about his family home that he could return to whenever he wanted

This was the life he dreamed about.

Although he still felt that this life was precariously on the knife’s edge, Kang Jin-Ho was smack dab in the middle of the life he dearly wished to live.

He looked up at the dark sky once more.

The starless night sky stared right back at him.

'I'm finally...'

It finally felt real to him—he had really returned to the modern era.

He really was living the life of his dreams.

He had to walk long and hard but he eventually reached his destination.

The life he had lived in Zhongyuan, the one filled with constant battles and struggles, was now a thing of the past.

The era of pure savagery that lorded over him for all those years no longer existed.

That realization sent this unexplainable pulse of excitement throughout his entire being.

He stood still and closed his eyes for a while.

Eventually, he opened his eyes again and a smirk had formed on his lips. 

"Time to head home, then."

He really should go back home now.

Doing so before his mother started worrying about his whereabouts was the kind of thing an ordinary student would do, after all.

However...

“Mm, this is...”

Kang Jin-Ho suddenly discovered a serious problem.

He knew the way back to school, but for the life of him...

How was he supposed to find his way back home from here

“Which direction was it”

Obviously, there was no one here to answer him.

"Mm..." Kang Jin-Ho spat out a deep groan, then turned around to go back the way he came from.

Asking the passers-by should eventually get him home, but that would take too long.

So, he unhesitantly returned to his school instead.

His plan was to go back to school first and then head home from there.

Such an annoyance couldn't be helped until he got more familiar with the lay of the land.

“An ordinary life is surprisingly hard...”

It seemed that for him to get used to this life, he still had many challenges to overcome.

However, he was quickly blending into the modern era.

At this rate, he should be able to mingle with other kids his physical age and enjoy living an ordinary life sooner or later.

After a few more years, Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor of Zhongyuan would become nothing more than a fading mirage that would surely disappear without a trace, leaving behind Kang Jin-Ho with his ordinary life to live in the modern era.

Perhaps that was what he wished for the most.

Just to—just to live like this. Unfortunately, danger always showed up on your doorstep without any prior warning.

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