Chapter 52.2

Yi-soo, restraining the chilly emotions surfacing in the late autumn, responded, “I’m truly sorry, Detective Ahn. I just want to ask for one thing—the immigration record. It’s for my sister, and last night….” She paused, allowing the weight of the words to settle. Even if decades passed, the moments from the night before would always resurface with painful clarity. 

“…She took her own life.”

“Oh… Prosecutor, what should I say?”

“But something feels off. I have a feeling it might not be suicide. I really… want to investigate.” Yi-soo added after a moment of hesitation. “Because it shouldn’t be an unjust death.”

Whether Su-jeong faced death at the hands of someone else or took her own life, the profound wounds cut deep for many. Detective Ahn, after carefully choosing her words for a moment, finally responded.

“Understood. It won’t take long, so I’ll contact you again within an hour.”

“Thank you, Detective Ahn. I’ll wait for your call.” Yi-soo pressed the red end call button and quickly washed her face. The stress had left her neck stiff. Hyun-seong, who had silently observed her during the call, spoke up.

“Is there any other evidence that it might not be suicide?” he inquired.

“Oh, that. My sister, a few months ago…” As Yi-soo was about to answer naturally while adjusting her breath, she paused momentarily. Then she lifted her head and looked at the man in front of her.

The person she was currently talking to was none other than the next owner of Yoon & Kang. Although it wasn’t certain if Yoon & Kang was related to Su-jeong’s death, as long as there was a possibility, she couldn’t simply reveal the truth to him.

Large pupils, agitated by a pulsating light, trembled like a candle flame in the wind. Yi-soo averted her gaze, avoiding eye contact.

“It’s nothing, really,” she muttered. 

“Seo Yi-soo, if there’s anything I can do to help…”

The current Yi-soo appeared visibly unsettled. Though the cause of her distress was unclear, witnessing her in such a state compelled him to offer support. Hyun-seong gently held Yi-soo’s arm, seeking to provide comfort. However, his touch was met with rejection.

“I said it’s nothing!” Yi-soo pushed away Hyun-seong’s hand, her voice rising. Soon, she tightly bit her lower lip and lowered her head. “Sorry… I know I’m asking for something weird all of a sudden. But, I don’t think I can have this conversation with Attorney Yoon right now… Give me a few days, just some time.”

A drop of red blood clung to her pale, dry lips. It was painful to doubt and push away the one who had stood by her side during the toughest times.

From Hyun-seong’s viewpoint, the situation felt not just awkward but downright frustrating. Despite being well aware of the circumstances, the imposition of having to make a choice left him uneasy.

A nebulous cloud of emotions appeared to entwine within Yi-soo. Hyun-seong meticulously observed the contours of her face, tracing from the forehead to the corners of her eyes, the bridge of her nose, and down to her lips, his gaze sweeping across her dry countenance.

Indeed, it was reasonable for someone to become emotionally sensitive following the loss of a close sister. The natural ebb and flow of emotions during such times were to be expected.

After surveying the room, Hyun-seong broke the silence.

“I’m not sure what’s happening, but when you’re ready, reach out.”

“…I will.”

Yi-soo had seamlessly and deeply integrated into his daily life, to the point where he couldn’t fathom going a few days without her. Furthermore, he wished for her not to bear the pain alone in her current unstable state. He believed it would be preferable for her to release all the pent-up negative emotions, even if they were directed at him.

He picked up the phone lying on the floor, his concerned gaze lingering on the dry skin around Yi-soo’s lips, which appeared chapped as if she had been gnawing at them relentlessly.

“Don’t make me wait too long. I don’t think I can last long.”

Hyun-seong’s plea prompted Yi-soo to instinctively raise her head, a sensation of heartache enveloping her. Instead of offering a verbal response, she struggled to convey her agreement with a solemn nod.

In due course, the front door shut, and the resonating click of the door lock permeated the modest ten-square-meter space. Left alone in the room, Yi-soo shut her eyelids, a profound sense of distress engulfing her. How she wished for all of this to be nothing more than a terrible nightmare.

Yet, she was painfully aware that these moments were not the stuff of dreams but the harsh reality. Her heart throbbed in agony, and the profound loneliness rendered her fingertips icy. With a vacant gaze fixed on the ceiling, her head rested against the cold floor.

Nevertheless, Yi-soo had no choice but to endure. The rhythmic ticking of the clock reverberated in her ears like an unsettling hallucination.



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