Chapter 31.2

Upon her return to her office following lunch with her senior colleagues from Criminal Division 3, Yi-soo was taken aback to find an unexpected visitor waiting for her. It was the café owner, Jeong Su-bin, who had recently testified in Seo Jae-young’s trial. Her once bright appearance now bore a somber expression, and her body appeared even more fragile.

Su-bin had arrived at Yi-soo’s office without warning, and as soon as they were alone, she began to speak with a heavy heart. Her pallid complexion hinted at days of emotional suffering.

“…I’m sorry. I know I’m terribly late,” Su-bin offered a feeble apology.

“No, you’re not. If you have something on your mind, please take your time,” Yi-soo reassured her. She might have a hectic schedule, but she understood that pressuring the woman before her would not yield positive results.

Su-bin, just as Yi-soo had perceived, appeared timid and cautious. She had mustered the courage to come here and had made the journey, so Yi-soo was determined not to jeopardize the opportunity with impatience.

However, Su-bin’s hesitation didn’t linger as long as it had the last time they met. After a brief pause, she bit her lip, still unable to meet Yi-soo’s gaze.

“I committed perjury. I did a great disservice to Prosecutor-nim and Lawyer-nim. It was wrong, but I couldn’t withstand the threats. I was too afraid…”

Her voice quivered faintly at the end. Yi-soo continued to regard Su-bin without uttering a word. She aimed to foster a comfortable environment for the confession. Undoubtedly, perjury was a grave offense. Had it not been for Su-bin’s false testimony, it might not have contributed to Gi Dong-yeong’s tragic attempt to end his life. Nevertheless, Yi-soo believed in not unduly pressuring someone who acknowledged their mistake and sought to make amends.

“Did Seo Jae-young threaten you, Ms. Jung?” Yi-soo inquired.

“Yes…” Su-bin replied weakly. “As you’re aware, the café building is in his name. He made it clear I should vacate whenever he pleased. I could have endured that much. The real issue is…” Su-bin’s eyes shut, as though avoiding the dreadful image. Her voice quivered, and she seemed reluctant to continue.

“My mother works there. She’s been there for about three years… I feared that Seo Jae-young might target my mother too. You might question why I kept working there, but his parents are genuinely kind people. And, if both my mother and I lost our jobs at the same time, I wouldn’t know how we’d survive…”

“I understand,” Yi-soo replied.

“But when I heard about Mr. Gi Dong-yeong taking his own life, I felt responsible. It seemed like it was all my fault, and even thinking about that moment makes it hard to breathe…” Su-bin’s complexion turned pallid. Watching her struggle for air and exhale with a tint of anguish, Yi-soo fetched a glass of water from the cooler.

“Please, drink this,” she offered. “However, we need to correct this mistake before it becomes irreparable. The second trial is scheduled for later this year. Can you testify again then? Of course… you won’t be exempt from perjury charges. I’ll do my best to mitigate the consequences, but…”

“…Yes. It’s my fault, so I should accept the appropriate punishment.”

“Did you happen to record anything when Seo Jae-young threatened you? If it’s revealed that you were threatened, it could lead to additional charges, and your cooperation might be taken into consideration.”

Listening to Yi-soo’s compassionate words, Su-bin tried to recall. She hadn’t intentionally activated a recording app, but the café’s interior CCTV likely had both video and audio recordings.

“I’ll check as soon as I return to the café. Maybe… there’ll be evidence.”

“Good. I’ll be awaiting your call.”

“Yes. I’m sorry and thank you, Prosecutor-nim…”

With those words and a resolve to visit Dong-yeong, Su-bin lowered her head and departed. Chief Choi gestured toward the office door, silently signaling her to exit discreetly. Su-bin’s complexion had improved since 30 minutes ago.

“Nonetheless, it’s fortunate she came to rectify her testimony, Prosecutor Seo. If she hadn’t… goodness.”

As Chief Choi withdrew his hand from the doorknob, the door swung shut naturally. However, at that precise moment, a hand grasped the nearly closed door and gently pushed it open. The unexpected visitor caused both Yi-soo and Ho-yeon, along with Chief Choi, to turn their attention toward the entrance.


The individual who entered their view was as unexpected as they come, surpassing even Jung Su-bin’s arrival. Yi-soo regarded the newcomer with quivering eyes.



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