Three days had passed, and the records were stacked high like mountains in Yi-soo’s office. Among them, he discovered some materials with sticky notes attached. He wished he could focus solely on one case, but there were far more criminals than prosecutors in South Korea. Each prosecutor had to handle hundreds of cases every month. Besides the Seo Jae-young case, there were numerous other matters demanding attention.
“The chief said he organized this separately… Detective, do you know where he went?” Yi-soo inquired.
“The chief… just left a moment ago. Ah, he’s probably gone to meet the victim in Seo Jae-young’s case! He just arrived at the prosecutor’s office entrance. It seems like the chief went to pick him up because he’s not feeling well,” the detective responded.
“Ah, Mr. Gi Dong-yeong,” Yi-soo remarked, recognizing the name.
It was unusual for the chief to personally accompany a witness or victim, but knowing Chief Choi’s caring nature, he couldn’t simply sit idle.
“Our prosecutor is overworking himself. Mr. Gi Dong-yeong has arrived,” the detective explained.
As the saying goes, even a tiger comes when you call for it. Just as Yi-soo settled back at his desk, the door to the prosecutor’s office opened gently. In walked Chief Choi, and a middle-aged man in a wheelchair, accompanied by a young woman in her late twenties, who seemed to be with them.
“Mr. Gi Dong-yeong, thank you for coming. But… who is this?” Yi-soo inquired curiously.
“Oh dear, no… Please take care of us from now on, Prosecutor. Ah, this is my daughter. Say hello. Don’t be shy,” Gi Dong-yeong replied warmly.
“Hello, Prosecutor. I’m sorry. My father’s condition has been like this… It’s a bit awkward for me to be alone with him, so please talk freely,” Seo-yeon introduced herself with a hint of nervousness.
As Seo-yeon released the handle of her father’s wheelchair and chuckled awkwardly, it was evident that there was a strong bond between them. The tender and grateful look in Gi Dong-yeong’s eyes as he gazed at his daughter spoke volumes.
Chief Choi, who had been listening to the conversation, rubbed his stiff shoulder and opened the inner door, inviting them to a more private space within the prosecutor’s office.
“Well, Mr. Gi Dong-yeong, please come in this way. As for your daughter…”
“Oh, I can wait outside; it’s fine,” Seo-yeon offered.
“Well, since she’s a family member, if Mr. Gi Dong-yeong agrees, she can stay here with us. It shouldn’t be a big problem,” Yi-soo assured.
“Are you sure, Prosecutor? In that case, Seo-yeon… stay with Dad. I get too nervous when I’m alone; it feels like my heart is going to explode,” Gi Dong-yeong said with a hint of embarrassment.
With a shy nod, Seo-yeon accepted Yi-soo’s indirect permission and gently pushed her father’s wheelchair into the inner room.
“If you need anything, feel free to call for me, Prosecutor. Oh, and don’t forget these records,” Chief Choi said as he handed over the files.
“Yes, Chief. Thank you for going downstairs. Take care of your work,” Yi-soo replied gratefully.
Finally, the door closed with a soft click. Yi-soo settled onto the sofa, heaving a sigh as he glanced at the pile of records and notepads on the table.
“Yes, Mr. Gi Dong-yeong. I had reviewed your medical records before… I’m relieved to see your significant recovery,” Yi-soo remarked warmly.
“Yes, it’s all thanks to the police officers and the prosecutor. To be honest, if the truth hadn’t come out… I might have burst from frustration. I’m diligently following the hospital’s regimen and doing my best in rehabilitation. My goal is to recover quickly and get back to work,” Dong-yeong replied gratefully.
“Mr. Gi Dong-yeong, you were hired as Seo Jae-young’s driver about six months ago, correct?” Yi-soo asked, seeking clarification.
Dong-yeong nodded, and then Yi-soo posed another question. “Has there been any offer of a settlement yet?”
“Yes, and even if they propose one, I won’t accept it. Taking that dirty money… it would only stain my self-esteem,” Dong-yeong firmly declared.
“Well, special injuries don’t fall under the category of non-negotiable crimes. Even if you agree to a settlement, he can’t escape the criminal punishment itself. If that’s why you’re hesitant about the settlement…” Yi-soo explained.
“Prosecutor, my… even though my daughter was raised alone after losing her mother,” Dong-yeong’s voice trembled as he spoke, revealing the weight of his struggles. His face bore the marks of time’s passing, but his determination remained unwavering. Yi-soo listened silently, allowing him to continue.
“I want to set a good example for our daughter until the end. It’s only natural for the bad guy to get punished and the good person to be rewarded, isn’t it? I can’t accept actions that try to bury the case by throwing a huge sum of money. I hope that bastard gets the punishment he deserves. I’ll earn the money even if I have to work my fingers to the bone,” Dong-yeong expressed with a slight quiver in his voice.
Yi-soo scanned the documents. Whether a settlement was reached or not, the charge they were pursuing was for special injuries, a crucial factor in determining the sentence. Usually, victims who agreed to an amicable settlement received lighter punishments like suspended sentences or fines.
However, the victim they were facing, Mr. Gi Dong-yeong, was resolute in not accepting any settlement. Yi-soo turned her gaze toward Seo-yeon, who sat beside Dong-yeong, contemplating the situation. Observing the tender bond between father and daughter, Yi-soo could comprehend the reason behind Dong-yeong’s decision.