Chapter 2 Chunggong High School 1993
The sound that irritates Yi Geon's ears.
It's the noise coming from the lunchbox inside the bag.
For Geon, who is from the cafeteria generation rather than the lunchbox era, it's a sound of shock and terror.
“Ah, damn it! A man should have pride, not a lunchbox! What's with the lunchbox?!
It's not like we're going on a field trip.
During his high school cafeteria days, Geon enjoyed the life of a delivery rider with more than three different rides.
The lunchbox on top of the heavy bag was enough to evoke PTSD.
An unpaid walking rider for a 30-minute distance? Fucking shit!
“Gram is kilogram.”
It was something that the Master Sergeant, a former Green Beret from the Korea-US Combined Forces Command, often emphasized to Geon when he was praised as the top special forces soldier.
It's a special forces maxim to emphasize the lightest possible armament for survival.
A lunchbox weighing over one kilogram is a tactical factor that hinders smooth tactical walking, “kilogram is ton.”
“Ah, the weight distribution in this bag is terrible, and it's fucking heavy.
Is this like an old military marching backpack?”
The cross-body bag is heavy on one side, which bothers him as it feels like it might cause scoliosis.
He needs to purchase a vehicle, like a car or a motorcycle, as a means of motorized mobility soon.
Walking to school every day with a heavy bag like this was unbearable for Yi Geon, who valued his pride.
“Ah, the spatial efficiency of this cross-body bag, which seems to drain my pride, is also terrible.”
As he habitually strolls towards school, he notices middle and high school girls glancing at his bruised face.
As he stops at the traffic light, he sees the girls whispering and giggling while looking at him.
“Ah, this is so embarrassing.”
He doesn't know which jerk drew blue paint on his face, but that guy will probably face a time of shock, terror, and repentance until he graduates from high school, with 120% certainty.
Geon walked across the crosswalk with a flushed face.
However, he never ran, even when the girls whispered about him.
A man only runs at full speed during military interval running and when chasing an enemy.
Even when being cornered in a one-against-dozens fight, Yi Geon never ran.
Running away from an enemy would hurt his pride.
He had only quickly walked towards the elevator during the escape.
Anyway, that's how it went.
As Yi Geon was almost across the crosswalk, someone tapped his shoulder and went past him.
“We're late! Hurry up before the mad dog comes out! We're so freaking late.”
The sweaty, bespectacled high schooler yelled, his face turning red.
He turned his head and started running again.
“What's the big deal? A guy could be a little late.”
Geon underestimated the 1993 high school life at Chunggong High School, completely unaware of the impending disaster.
The sound of a long pole wrapped in black tape scraping the asphalt.
Students were lined up, face down, stretching out.
Wearing the armband of the disciplinary committee, the cafeteria students scowled at the leisurely approaching students.
'Is that jerk crazy? Why is he walking instead of running to avoid getting hit by the mad dog?'
'Who's that guy?'
“Hey, come here.”
A disciplinary committee member with an orange armband, signifying a second-year student, pointed at Yi Geon.
“What's up? You disrespectful…”
As the disciplinary committee member tried to grab Yi Geon's collar, Yi Geon quickly cut him off with a backhand strike to his arm.
“Tch! You? I'm writing your name down, see you later.”
Grimacing from the pain in his arm, the disciplinary committee member wrote down Yi Geon's name.
“Hey, what's wrong with you? Why didn't you hurry?”
A man, seemingly not normal and with slightly crossed eyes, gestured to Yi Geon.
'Is he a school teacher?'
“What the hell, man? Hurry up!”
The furious man sprinted towards Yi Geon and kicked his thigh with a low kick.
Yi Geon slightly lifted his leg in a habitual low kick defense, but the impact didn't dissipate.
Did he learn proper taekwondo or martial arts?
Why would a teacher hit a student? I'll report him to the Seoul City Board of Education and the Blue House's Human Rights Bureau…
The era of corporal punishment and beatings at Chunggong High School.
It's the era when countless students across the country became disabled from being hit by teachers.
'Just my luck!'
“Lay down and stretch!”
“Look at the movements, up, down, up, down! Don't bend your waist, down! One! Two! Fully automatic!”
Yi Geon felt like he was back in the military as he repeated the up-and-down motions.
“Spread the buttocks!”
Thwack~ Thwack Thwack~
The teacher with crossed eyes mercilessly swung the long wooden stick as long as his height.
Yi Geon felt a burning pain in his thighs but maintained his posture.
Maintaining his pride took precedence over alleviating the pain.
“Look at this kid.
He's a rare breed!”
The second-year homeroom teacher, Mad Dog Lee Jong-pal, was secretly surprised.
It was an emotional and strong punishment, but this kid seemed like a pain-immune cyborg, his facial expression remaining rigid.
'What's with this guy?'
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Yi Geon was a mere 170 centimeters tall with a lean build.
However, his toughness was extraordinary, unlike anything anyone had seen before.
It's true that smaller individuals tended to be more resilient than larger ones.
Thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack~.
The teacher added another five heavy blows as if punishing Yi Geon for being so tough.
“Go over there and lie face down.”
Despite the burning sensation in his thighs, Yi Geon walked casually towards the designated spot.
“Why didn't you run?”
Yi Geon received more punishment for his additional offense, performing push-ups and more until class time, making the punishment for the other latecomers more severe than usual.
The bell rang to signal the beginning of class.
As Yi Geon reached for his textbook, he felt a sharp pain in his thigh.
'It must be bruised badly.
But I can't get used to this hard chair.'
He didn't even dream of having something like a smart cool pad, which was popular among students, but the hard chair without a cushion made his already sore thigh even more painful.
Moreover, attending high school classes was maddening for Yi Geon.
In 1993, the textbooks contained so many Chinese characters that it was like deciphering ancient runes.
At least subjects like math and science weren't a problem, thanks to his early preparations for the college entrance exam.
But in this era, his advanced knowledge was like a cheat code.
'With my skills, I may not be the top student in the entire school, but I can at least rank among the top in my class.
The problem is the endless Chinese characters in these sentences.'
Thinking about it made him hungry.
It wasn't like he was doing manual labor, but since the school day started at 7:15 a.m., his stomach would empty quickly.
'I'm going crazy.
On top of that, teachers hit the students every hour to maintain discipline.
Some abusive teachers even seem to use us as a way to relieve their stress.'
Yi Geon wondered how students had survived the even more brutal 1980s.
Getting hit by teachers wasn't a huge issue, but he was so hungry that he considered drinking tap water.
If he ate his lunch now, he would be starving by late afternoon due to the intense classes.
'Right, there's the snack bar.'
The problem was he didn't have money to buy bread right now.
The spoon house in the poor neighborhood wasn't an ideal place.
'Should I start a business targeting the students?'
He had tried countless businesses before.
Even in his first life in 2030, he had been involved in almost dozens of underground businesses, most of which were successful.
How else would he have earned the nickname “The Dark Venture Capitalist”?
Especially in 1993, which was far from the age of endless competition and instead was a period of rapid economic growth.
He would probably have been able to touch some decent money even as a school kid.
‘Why not become a chaebol with all the future information I have? No, I shouldn't become a chaebol and suffer all alone.’
Yi Geon had seen several domestic chaebols in his role as a problem solver related to various domestic and international interests.
They were the chairmen of the second and fifth largest domestic conglomerates, as well as executives of the second and third generations.
Though they seemed to have it easy with professional managers running their group companies, their lives were anything but easy, far from the crazy chaebol characters in web novels.
Have you ever seen a chaebol chairman's car on the road during Seoul's rush hour? Of course not, because they leave for work even earlier.
When he saw the chairmen leaving for work at 5:30 in the morning with sleepy eyes, he didn't envy their high wealth rankings at all.
They were merely working robots with no freedom.
How else would the owner of the third-largest domestic conglomerate retire early and go back to farming in Cheonan?
Moreover, with frequent overseas business trips, jet lag, work fatigue, and psychological stress, a person's life would be shortened significantly.
Betting on the future strategy of a chaebol group in Korea is no joke when it comes to mental stress.
While domestic enterprise chairmen are in a better situation than those in export-oriented enterprises, life is still difficult for both.
Finding a carefree owner is as hard as winning the lottery.
Perhaps regional powerhouses or ruling party senior lawmakers would have a more comfortable life sucking honey, with absolute power that money can't buy, plenty of money, and essentially being kings of Korea.
Though internal strife and politicking are difficult, it's an easy level of difficulty compared to the tension of walking a tightrope among gangsters.
becoming a lawmaker in this life and entering the National Assembly to properly suck honey? No, I don't want to accumulate too much bad karma and suffer in the afterlife.
I should just moderately suck honey, make a lot of money, and accumulate some good karma.’
Thinking about quenching his hunger with tap water, he was about to stand up when someone hit the back of my neck.
'Ah, what the heck is this?'
He turned around to see a cheeky fellow, a little over 183 centimeters tall, chewing gum and glaring at him.
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