God of Blackfield

Chapter 303.1: With Everyone

Due to her six-year-old and four-year-old sons, Han Kyung-Mi’s morning was quite busy.

Before marriage, she had been quiet and timid, but because of her two mischievous children, she now often found herself shouting, “You little punk!”

It hadn’t always been like this. Seeing them sleeping soundly had made her promise to herself that she would raise them with love probably more than a hundred times. However, as the years passed and the boys got older, things changed.

One day, while wiping up a spill in the living room, she heard her eldest son, Cha Seung-Ho, shouting, “Fly, Pororo!”

Soon after, she heard the dining table go crack!

Han Kyung-Mi felt her heart drop to the floor with a thud. Cha Seung-Ho had managed to climb up to the sink and jumped onto the table, causing it to tilt to the side. He then nonchalantly slid down to the ground.


What kind of mom wouldn’t be surprised by that situation? What if he got hurt?

Cha Seung-Ho shamelessly stood up and brushed off his head and butt a few times. Afterward, he started walking back to his room.


Han Kyung-Mi couldn’t help but be angry at herself for being so worried and upset that their dining table, which she had carefully polished to a shine to prolong its use, had been destroyed.


Han Kyung-Mi swung her arm as hard as she could. A startlingly loud crack came from Cha Seung-Ho’s back.

She didn’t mean to do that. She didn’t mean to hit him so hard. A cry threatened to escape her.

Children his age naturally overflowed with energy. She had kept him pent up in the room for so long that she couldn’t even imagine how frustrated he must have felt. She looked at Cha Seung-Ho with pitying, sorry, and regretful eyes.

Haha, that didn’t hurt! You didn’t hurt me at all! Bleeegh!”

Cha Seung-Ho mockingly shook his legs and hands.

This little son of a bitch! No, wait!

That would make her husband a dog. It would also mean she lived with a dog and gave birth to a dog.

Such shenanigans had become a common occurrence since.

When Cha Seong-Ho, who was two years younger than Cha Seung-Ho, started to copy his older brother, Han Kyung-Mi’s mouth grew even fouler.

She thought raising ten beagles would be much quieter than this.

It was already dinner time, but she was still shrieking at the top of her lungs.

“Cha Seung-Ho! Do you really want to die?!”

Despite already being used to her loud voice, Cha Seung-Ho still flinched. He obediently changed into new clothes, shaking his dirty ones off like a snake shedding its skin and then kicking them away.

Cha Seong-Ho copied what his brother did. However, since he was a bit younger, he cautiously observed how his mother would react.

After the warlike preparation, Han Kyung-Mi left the military residences holding her sons’ hands. She took the car that her father had passed down to her twelve years ago. She had been driving it since.


The sedan’s doors begged to be put to rest along with the rest of the car, but she wouldn’t be able to save a dime if she cared about all the little things.


On the way, Cha Seung-Ho and Cha Seong-Ho kept jumping around in the back, prompting her to shout at them a few times. Just as darkness began to loom over the city, they reached a coffee shop in downtown Jeungpyeong.


Pulling into the parking lot and opening the door, Han Kyung-Mi’s eyes began to water. Her husband was standing right outside.

His face was gaunt and pale. She had no doubt he hurt himself again.

It had been ten days since they last saw each other. He normally spent more than half of the year sleeping in some barracks.

“Dad! Daaad!”

Cha Seung-Ho and Cha Seong-Ho dashed over to him.

With a smile, Cha Dong-Gyu took both of his sons into his arms. A frown briefly flashed across his face as he tried to fight off the pain.

“When did you get here?” Han Kyung-Mi asked.

“Just now. Cheol-Ho is here too,” Cha Dong-Gyu responded.

Han Kyung-Mi tried hard not to cry.

Wives of soldiers, especially those in the special forces, had to be strong.

Kwak Cheol-Ho soon exited the coffee shop.


His left shoulder was bulging. It was probably bandaged underneath his clothes, stained dark with blood.

Han Kyung-Mi covered her mouth with her hand, unable to stop herself from crying. Although she was grateful for what they did, she couldn’t help but think about how much their wounds probably hurt and what horrible things they’d had to live through.

Witnessing the grueling battle in Afghanistan on TV made these emotions of hers even more intense.

Even before that incident, the wives of the Jeungpyeong special forces soldiers already couldn’t bring themselves to watch war movies. Seeing soldiers shooting and being shot suffocated them.


Kwak Cheol-Ho’s wife came running out as well. Her eyes were also red.

Having read their mother’s mood, the two mischievous children nervously glanced at her.

“Get down, you two.”

Receiving Han Kyung-Mi’s fierce glare, Cha Dong-Gyun carefully set his two children down. There had been a time when he refused to put his sons down despite being injured. The merciless scolding he got back then had since erased all stubbornness in him.

Just then, a mid-sized car pulled into the parking lot. It was also an old car, well over eight years old.


The doors opened, and Choi Chang-Hoon and Park Yang-Ja got out.

Han Kyung-Mi and Kwak Cheol-Ho’s wife quickly greeted them.

“How have you been?”

“Good to see you again.”

Politely bowing, Chio Chang-Hoon answered, “I’m doing well. It’s great to see you too.”

“You’re already here? Wait, why is the first lieutenant and second lieutenant here as well?” Park Yang-Ja rebukingly asked as she turned toward Cha Dong-Gyun and Kwak Cheol-Ho, wondering why they were pushing themselves even though they were injured.

Cha Seung-Ho and Cha Seong-Ho swiftly remembered that one of the only times their father, Cha Dong-Gyun, got mad at them was when they behaved badly toward Park Yang-Ja. Hence, they immediately clasped their hands in front of them and did a ninety-degree bow.

“Hello, Mrs. Park,” they politely greeted.

Park Yang-Ja bent over toward them and asked them how they were doing. She then stood back up and hurried inside.

The wives didn’t take offense, however. They all knew she was just trying hard not to show weakness or her tears. Park Yang-Ja knew better than anyone that the “Seong” in Cha Seeng-Ho, the name of Cha Dong-Gyun’s second son, came from Choi Seong-Geon.

The coffee shop only had one table available. On this day of the month, its owner didn’t take any other customers.

Park Yang-Ja sat down, and Cha Dong-Gyun, Kwak Cheol-Ho, and the wives followed. Choi Chang-Hoon took their orders and went to the counter.

In their world, the husband’s rank determined the wife’s rank. However, to act like that in front of Park Yang-Ja was horrifying to even just think about. Once, during the holidays at Choi Seong-Geon’s house, she had scolded a sergeant’s wife for trying to wash the teacups for her.

Choi Chang-Hoon was Choi Seong-Geon’s second son. He always came to these gatherings to run tea errands and play with the children.

“We have all been promoted by one rank,” Cha Dong-Gyun informed Park Yang-Ja.

This was Han Kyung-Mi and Kwak Cheol’s wife’s first time hearing about it as well.

Cha Dong-Gyun added, “We heard on the way here.”

“Congratulations,” Park Yang-Ja said, masking her sadness, as Choi Chang-Hoon brought over coffee and tea. He set them down and took Cha Seung-Ho and Cha Seong-Ho outside. The children loved playing with him.

“First Lieutenant Cha—I mean, Captain Cha.”

Park Yang-Ja looked at Cha Dong-Gyun.

“You know I hate my husband, don’t you?”

Cha Dong-Gyun didn’t know what to say.

“That wretched man never wrote me a letter, but before he died, he wrote me one.”

Cha Dong-Gyun gulped. Witnessing his attempts to hide his emotions, Han Kyung-Mi and Kwak Cheol-Ho’s wife wiped away their tears.

“That mean man…”

Park Yang-Ja briefly exhaled to maintain her stoic expression.

“He must have known it would happen. He said it was our duty to repay our country for living off of it, but he also said that unless one’s a general, it would be hard for their family to get by.”

Even though it wasn’t his fault, Cha Dong-Gyun still apologized. “I’m sorry.”

Park Yang-Ja smiled.

“For the first time in so long, I feel proud of him. Seeing the people who remember him shows me that he didn’t die in vain.”

Outside the window, they could see Choi Chang-Hoon running around with the two children.

Park Yang-Ja added, “I’m done raising my children now. I’d be satisfied with my life for as long as I can fulfill his foolish wishes.”

“Captain,” she then called.


“Don’t come to these gatherings anymore.”

Cha Dong-Gyun’s eyes reddened.

“We need to be alone so we can talk bad about you and First Lieutenant Kwak.”

Cha Dong-Gyun still couldn’t speak.

At that moment, the door opened, and the wives of the other special forces soldiers filed in. Lee Yoo-Seul’s widowed mom was one of them.

They each had a meal worth 5,000 won and reminded one another not to forget that they were families of soldiers living off of the country’s support.

With her restaurant’s income, Park Yang-Ja continued to help the families of the fallen soldiers.


“My goodness! My son!”

An old woman ran out the front door and greeted Um Ji-Hwan. Despite having no idea about what happened or that he had left for an operation, she still rushed toward him and carefully looked him up and down.

Um Ji-Hwan grinned. “What?”

“Are you okay? You’re not hurt anywhere, are you?” she worriedly asked.

“Look. I’m completely fine. What is it?”

The old woman’s legs shook, the strength leaving her.

“My dreams were so horrible that I couldn’t even eat properly.”

Um Ji-Hwan felt guilty for a moment. However, he still gave her an innocent look.

“You must really be getting old now.”

“I guess so. Have you eaten?”

“I’m hungry.”

“Alrighty, I’ll fix something up for you.”

His mother hurried to the kitchen.

They lived in an eighteen-pyeong residence–a home that his mother had slaved over to obtain after losing her husband early. Since Um Ji-Hwan now made money, she had been able to little by little put some money in a savings account.

Um Ji-Hwan went into his room and changed into comfortable clothes. He then walked back out into their tiny living room. His mother had cut a sweet potato and put it on a plate for him.

“Here. Snack on this. It’ll fill your stomach a bit.”

His mother was the type to always make a fuss, which annoyed him. However, he was her only hope and family. How could he turn a blind eye to her sincerity?

“I brought back a lot of laundry. I’m sorry,” Um Ji-Hwan said.

“I do nothing but lounge around all day at home. What makes you think I can’t handle a couple of dirty clothes?” his mother rebuked.

“You don’t just lounge around all day. You do all the housework.”

“Everyone in the world knows all I do is eat and laze about with your hard-earned money. They’re all jealous of me,” she swiftly replied without pausing from cooking.

“You don’t have to cook me anything,” Um Ji-Hwan said.

“I have to. People who work need to have hot soup to warm them.”

His mother pulled out all the side dishes and hurried to her room, fetching a rice container that was stored under the futon.

No matter how hard Um Ji-Hwan tried, he couldn’t change that habit of hers. She would always carefully scoop out the rice in the morning and store it under the futon to keep it warm.

Kimchi stew with large pieces of pork, a piece of hastily grilled mackerel, radish salad, and two kinds of kimchi were set on the table.

“Come, sit down,” Um Ji-Hwan urged.

“You go on ahead. You must be hungry,” his mother refused, busily moving around the house.

“It tastes better when we eat together.”

His old mother brought him some water and sat in front of Um Ji-Hwan.

“We have a really cool new hyung-nim at the company,” Um Ji-Hwan began.

“A hyung-nim?”

The longer they lived in Seoul, the harder it was to pin down his mother’s dialect. It came out more whenever she was panicking or in a hurry.

“Yes. He’s a lot older than me, but he treats me well.’

“That’s so nice of him. Don’t grow complacent and start taking advantage of him just because he’s nice.”

“That goes without saying.”

Um Ji-Hwan scooped up lumps of his food, quickly making his way to the bottom of the bowl.

“Want some more?” his mother asked.

“Do you have any?”

His mother probably couldn’t have made a happier face even if he had given her a check with her name on it.

She pulled out a clear container from the fridge, put it in the microwave, and pressed a button.

“Why don’t you ask that hyung-nim to introduce you to a nice girl?” she asked.

“There you go again.”

Beep, beep, beep, beep. Click.

She pulled out the container from the microwave and picked up the steaming bowl with her bare hands. She then set it down in front of Um Ji-Hwan.

“This house might be small, but it’s enough for two people, isn’t it?” she asked.


“Oh stop it. If you get married, I’ll move to your uncle’s place.”

“That’s ridiculous. How would I be able to live with myself if I sent you away?”

“Do you want to live with me forever, then?” she scoffed.

Instead of answering, Um Ji-Hwan scooped up some of the meat and kimchi from the stew and dumped them into his rice bowl.

“Son,” his mother called.


Um Ji-Hwan set his spoon on the table.


She glanced at him.

“What are you doing? When Father died, you started raising me alone in the market. Now that I’m making my own money, you want me to send you back to the countryside so I can live here with a girl?”

During the short silence, his old mother blinked a few times.

“All right, all right. I was wrong. Hurry up and eat again.”

“You gotta stop doing that!”

“I will, I will.”

As Um Ji-Hwan picked up his spoon again, his mother quickly wiped her tears.

After scooping up a spoonful of rice, he glanced at her. “Enough with that nonsense, okay? I’ll find a girl who’ll have fun living with the two of us.”

“Okay, okay.”

His mother kept pushing the side dishes and stew closer to him while he stuffed his mouth full.

“How was the site this time?” she asked.

“Pretty good,” he quickly responded while shoveling rice in his mouth.

His mother believed that he was working for a construction company. If it weren’t for Seok Kang-Ho, she would have received notification of his death in this small apartment.

Gulp, gulp.

Chewing the rice in his mouth, he suddenly remembered his fallen seniors and their families, making him choke up with emotion.

“What’s wrong? Did it get stuck in your throat? Drink some water.”

“Hegh, hegh, hegh.”

“What is it? I told you, I’ll stop.”

“Heg. Heghh. Heghh.”

“I’m not going to the country, so hurry up and eat.”

His mother, in the dark, wiped his tears and tried to calm him down. Strangely, that just caused more tears to roll down his cheeks.


Lee Hui-Sook sank to the floor, seemingly about to collapse. They were supposed to be moving in two days. She was going to go with her husband, Han Jae-Guk, to a military apartment in Jeungpyeong.

“I’m so happy.”

She couldn’t believe the last memory she had of her husband was him being excited to be a member of South Korea’s top special forces team. It was only then that she remembered Han Jae-Guk’s phone call.

“Is the training hard?”

- There’s no such thing as hard training for me. I just can’t get out of it because they desperately need me. Your husband is always in demand wherever he goes, you know.

“Take care of yourself.”

- I will. You take of yourself too. Also…


Why had she picked up his call like that? It wasn’t like folding the laundry was so important.

- I know it’s not easy being married to a soldier. Thanks.

“Don’t be ridiculous. If I catch you meeting up with other girls at the coffee shop in front of your unit, you know I’ll kill you, right?

- I already have my hands full with you.

“Hang up. I have to fold the laundry.”

- Okay. I’ll call you once our training is over.

Why did she talk to him like that? Even if the laundry was torn or blown away, it still wouldn’t have mattered as much as him….

“The late Second Lieutenant Han Jae-Guk was awarded the Eulji Order of Military Merit. He was also promoted to First Lieutenant. The funeral will be in three days, after which he will be laid to rest at the National Cemetery.”

She couldn’t even understand what he was saying. It seemed like she should, though, so she slowly raised her head. Although dazed, her gaze slowly rose past the soldier's shiny shoes, perfectly pleated pants, white gloves, neat uniform, and white hat.

When her eyes reached his face, Lee Hui-Sook burst out sobbing. The soldier, his eyes bloodshot, had clamped his mouth shut to hold back his tears.

1. A form of address used by men to address the wife of an older brother or a close senior. ☜

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