Chapter 28.1

In the swirling chaos that unfolded before her, Yi-soo found herself unable to contain her shock. The pungent scent of blood hung in the air, mingling with the hushed voices of the onlookers gathered at the heart of the spectacle.

“Mr. Gi Dong-yeong,” she whispered, the name of the man she had encountered a mere half-hour ago now forever etched in her memory. There he lay, a victim of this unfolding tragedy, his lifeblood pooling around him, his strength utterly drained. For a fleeting moment, Yi-soo’s mind seized, unable to fully grasp the gravity of the situation. She slowly lifted her gaze, seeking answers from the heavens.

“What do we do? What’s happening… I should have stopped him,” she muttered to herself, grappling with the overwhelming sense of helplessness that threatened to consume her.

A shiver ran down her spine as she raised her eyes and saw figures peering down from the seventh floor above. This was the central rooftop, a serene spot designed for visitors to find respite. The railing, not particularly high, posed no substantial barrier unless one possessed the unwavering determination to leap.

“No… could he have done this to himself?” The unthinkable possibility crossed her mind, leaving Yi-soo in a state of numb disbelief. She had never borne witness to a suicide attempt before, nor had she ever imagined she would. Just as fear threatened to paralyze her, Hyun-seong’s urgent voice broke through the haze.

“Prosecutor Seo! Report this immediately. There’s no time!”

“Alright… I’ll make the call,” Yi-soo replied, her voice trembling. Her fingers shook as she swiftly retrieved her phone and dialed the numbers. One, one, nine. Even the act of pressing those three numbers felt like an insurmountable task as anxiety coursed through her veins. After several agonizing dial tones, the call finally connected.

Yi-soo’s voice trembled as she spoke into her phone, the tension palpable in her words. “Um, I’m here at the Seoul Southern District Court… someone has attempted suicide. It’s, it’s the central staircase. It seems like he fell from the 7th floor, but he’s unconscious. Yes, yes… Please help.”

Barely having finished the call, Yi-soo turned her gaze towards Hyun-seong, who had already sprung into action. Without hesitation, he knelt beside Dong-yeong and initiated CPR. His hands pressed down on Dong-yeong’s chest with a forceful determination.

Thud. The sickening sound of ribs cracking under the pressure reached the ears of those nearby, but Hyun-seong didn’t relent. In this moment, the priority was to revive Dong-yeong’s heart. Onlookers couldn’t bear to watch the gruesome scene, many turning away and making pained sounds at the sight of the blood.

Sweat began to bead on Hyun-seong’s forehead, causing his neatly combed hair to become disheveled. Nevertheless, he continued the relentless rhythm of CPR. It wasn’t solely because the victim was Gi Dong-yeong; it was because saving a life needed no justification.

“Hey, let’s switch! It’s exhausting like this!” a burly man urgently tapped Hyun-seong’s shoulder, desperation etched across his face. Hyun-seong, on the verge of exhaustion himself, was about to agree when the distant wailing of an ambulance siren pierced the air.

All eyes turned towards the approaching rescue team. Paramedics rushed to Dong-yeong’s side, swiftly deploying their equipment and expertise.

Hyun-seong finally allowed himself a moment to catch his breath, his shoulders and arms aching from the tremendous strain. The ambulance, now carrying Dong-yeong who had been given a second chance at life, vanished from sight in a flash.

“Attorney Yoon! Are you alright?” Yi-soo’s voice carried concern as she approached Hyun-seong, urging him to take a moment to rest. “Look at the sweat…”

“I’m… okay,” he replied, though his appearance told a different story. Yi-soo, still pale from the ordeal, closed the distance between them. Her worried eyes held a mirror to his own state. His heart pounded wildly, but he fought to regain his composure and evaluate his own condition.

Hyun-seong’s hands bore the evidence of the frantic CPR. Stained with blood, they seemed larger and stronger than ever. Yi-soo reached into her bag, retrieving a handkerchief to delicately wipe away the bloodstains. The white cloth quickly absorbed the crimson, turning it into a haunting shade of red.

“You’re far from okay,” Yi-soo insisted, her voice tinged with worry. Her words escaped without her conscious control, a reflection of the shock they had both experienced. It wasn’t just the sweat and blood that troubled her. Someone had teetered on the brink of death right before their eyes. No matter how intimately her profession connected her to criminal cases, such a sight was not something she could easily grow accustomed to.

As Yi-soo gazed at Hyun-seong, who insisted he was okay despite the obvious signs to the contrary, an inexplicable surge of emotions washed over her like an unstoppable tide.

“…I have to be okay. Because if I’m not okay, saying that won’t make it any better, Seo Yi-soo.”

Hyun-seong’s hand rose, its gentle touch cupping Yi-soo’s right cheek. The warmth of her skin flowed into his palm, a sensation that left him grappling for words.

He wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to convey in this moment, but a vague notion stirred within him. Yoon Hyun-seong, the man she had come to know, wasn’t one to wear his heart on his sleeve, a trait Yi-soo had gathered through observation rather than direct conversation.

Despite his tendency to speak candidly, there was a depth to Hyun-seong that remained elusive, a subtlety that defied easy understanding.



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