A high school third-year student done with the National University Entrance Exams had nothing to do.
As such, some students started working part-time.
Some others even tried their hands at getting various qualifications.
However, most of them kicked back and took full advantage of being free for the first time in twelve years.
Kang Jin-Ho would have done the same if he was like other students.
Unfortunately, he had one serious problem.
Jeong In-Gyu had already begun repeating the year, and Park Yu-Min was busy preparing for the next tournament.
Lee Tae-Ho and Oh Min-Jae went on a trip as soon as the school vacation began.
Which meant Kang Jin-Ho was now left friendless and had nothing to do.
As a result, he found himself practically settling in at the Seongsim Orphanage lately.
Kang Jin-Ho ordered the children.
“Do not make noise.”
Park Yu-Min always helped out with the orphanage's labor-intensive tasks, but his frequent absence left a hole in the workforce.
The financial support from the Jaegyeong Group certainly helped with hiring more workers, but an orphanage with lots of needy children always had plenty of jobs requiring attention.
And that was why Kang Jin-Ho was kept surprisingly busy with all the work requiring physical strength.
The orphanage's director called out to him.
“Some good samaritans donated rice, but unfortunately, the couriers left them by the orphanage's entrance.
I know they are heavy and not easy to move, but still...
Can you lend me a hand”
“Leave it to me.” Kang Jin-Ho got up and walked to the building's entrance.
He stared at the huge sacks of rice piled up at the entrance and slowly licked his lips.
Rice sold in supermarkets would usually be packaged into a single twenty-kilo sack.
But these sacks of rice were much larger and quite bountiful as if they had come directly from a farmer.
The director stood next to Kang Jin-Ho and muttered, “The rice has come in these gamanis, as you can see." 
“Mmhm...” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
These are called gamanis.’
He grinned faintly as he scanned the several layers of rice gamanis.
It was rustic yet undoubtedly sincere.
This much rice must have cost a lot of money, yet some people still donated them without revealing who they were.
A world where people helped others out without expecting anything in return was not a bad place to live.
'People like these also existed in the past, didn't they...'
Kang Jin-Ho mulled, remembering about those people who, despite their own difficult lives, sought out those in worse shapes than them to lend a helping hand.
Now that he thought about it, the past seemed to have more people like that than in the present.
The director turned to Kang Jin-Ho and asked, “Do you think you can move them I'll call some people over, so let's carry them together.
Around three, maybe four, people should be able to finish the job.”
“No, it's fine, ma'am.”
“Hold on, Jin-Ho.
These are heavy, so...”
“Where should I move them”
“O-over there, but...”
Kang Jin-Ho picked up a rice gamani and hoisted it easily over his shoulder.
He could carry it by holding only the edge but he figured that the straw could burst at the side and spill the rice all over.
"O-oh my goodness! That's so heavy, so how can you...!" The director was shocked by this sight.
Unless one was a seasoned worker, trying to lift up such a huge, heavy sack would have been a challenge, yet Kang Jin-Ho was picking one up so easily…
He didn't stop there and picked up another rice gamani and hoisted it over his other shoulder.
“A-aren't they heavy, Jin-Ho”
Kang Jin-Ho lightly shook his head, then turned his head.
“Where should I take them”
He followed the director's guidance and moved all the rice to storage.
Each rice gamani looked heavy enough to give two well-built men a hard time, yet Kang Jin-Ho could carry two of them on his shoulders without breaking a sweat.
The director was left utterly stupefied by this display of strength.
are quite strong, aren't you"
“Not really, ma'am.”
“This is probably why they say you need a man in your household.
It would have taken so long to move them all without your help...”
Kang Jin-Ho faintly grinned.
“Thank you for your help, Jin-Ho.”
“It was nothing, ma'am.”
“Other kids are so occupied with having fun during their vacation, yet you came here to lend us your help.
I'm so grateful.”
Kang Jin-Ho pondered briefly if he should be honest and tell the director that he had nowhere else to go.
Then again, maybe being too honest wasn't strictly necessary in this case.
There was no need to say something unnecessary and emphasize how pitiful he was, was there
The clueless director continued to show her concern for him.
"You could've stayed home and gotten a much-deserved rest, too."
Kang Jin-Ho pondered once again if he should reveal that no one was home.
His mother was still working at her old job, saying that suddenly quitting now would only cause her 'illness' of restlessness or some such.
Meanwhile, his father was occupied with running his shop, and it was easier to pluck the stars from the heavens than to see his little sister's face these days as her public debut loomed closer and closer.
All these events conspired to leave Kang Jin-Ho all alone in a now-much-larger Kang residence.
He really hated his situation, too.
Other people might get a refreshing sense of openness from how much wider their living room and bedrooms had become, but not Kang Jin-Ho.
Such open spaces only reminded him of the desolate administrative halls of the demonic cult.
They might have been expansive and comfortable to live in, with lots of luxurious ornaments adorning the walls, but...
But he could never relax in those halls.
The memories from those places were something he didn't want to recall, too.
Maybe that was why he had to leave his empty home as if he was making a great escape.
Kang Jin-Ho wanted to change the topic and decided to ask for more work.
"Is there anything else I can help with, Director"
“Will it be okay”
"Actually, we do have some things in storage that need to be sorted out.
But we couldn't touch them until now due to how heavy they are.
As you may know, Yu-Min struggles a little physically..."
“Where are they”
“Thank you, Jin-Ho.
Please come this way.”
Kang Jin-Ho followed the director deeper into the storage, sensing that the dust here seemed to be quite old.
He stood before some old furniture and electrical appliances, plus several carefully-packed luggage.
“I didn't know that you still had these things, Director.”
“These are our old things that we stopped using after moving to this building.”
"We're grateful to be provided with new appliances.
Kids are happy, and everything has worked out so well, but..." The director's voice quietened down.
“...But” Kang Jin-Ho asked while tilting his head.
The director smiled gently and continued.
"These things are certainly old, and you could even say that they should've been replaced a long time ago.
Even so, these items contain the memories of those days when we were struggling so hard to survive, both the good and the bad.
I know they should have been thrown away a long time ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to do so."
“In that case, isn't it fine to leave them be”
The director shook her head.
"Sometimes, you need to sort out what needs to be sorted out.
What's important isn't some old memories, but how we'll live in this new place.
You see, there might be some lingering regrets, but we can't keep them locked away in our hearts forever, don't you agree"
For some reason, the director's words seemed to be meant for Kang Jin-Ho.
She was obviously talking about herself, but it sounded more like she was advising him to let go of his old memories.
“Should I take them outside, Director”
First of all...”
Kang Jin-Ho followed the director's instructions to sort out the stored items.
He took them out of the storage, then separated those deemed still useful from those unsalvagable so that they could be donated.
As for the appliances...
"I wonder, can they be sold for cash" the director asked while tilting her head this way and that.
"Mmhm. You probably can, as scrap metal."
“You think so”
Kang Jin-Ho was right.
These appliances were only good for scrap metal as they had no value as second-hand goods.
Each device was so old that the idea of people using them seemed miraculous.
Perhaps selling them not as scrap metal but as antiques might bring in more money.
"...Yes, Director," Kang Jin-Ho replied with a nod.
“Yes, please speak.”
"I'm really sorry about this, but can I ask you for a difficult favor This will be really difficult, I'm afraid.
But I have a feeling that you can do it."
"Can you tell me what it is first"
“If you go around that street corner, you'll see a house with a red gate.”
"A grandma lives there all by herself.
She picks up scrap metal and discarded paper every dawn to survive, so I was thinking, wouldn't these appliances help her make some money"
“How about we simply sell these things and give her the money, Director”
The director shook her head as her complexion became gloomier.
"She won't accept money."
“Is that so”
“Well, she has many hidden scars, you see...”
Kang Jin-Ho nodded contemplatively.
I'll do it.”
But, there are a lot of things here, so... Ah, that's right! There should be a spare handcart behind our building.
That will make it easier to transport them.”
“Understood.” Kang Jin-Ho went behind the orphanage's building and located the handcart in question.
He brought it to the front and began loading it up with the refrigerator, the TV, and the other appliances.
That was when someone walked up to him and yelled, “Hey, you!”
“Mm” Kang Jin-Ho stopped and turned his head to discover the pouting Han Se-Yeon.
“What brings you here, Se-Yeon”
"Why do you even carry around a phone!"
“Well, that's because...” he mumbled a bit while taking out his phone.
Only then did he notice several missed calls.
“So Why do you even have it”
“...To make calls.”
“And not to answer any calls”
“I didn't know,” Kang Jin-Ho replied, realizing that he had forgotten to switch the phone back to the ringtone mode.
He had muted it earlier as he didn't want to surprise or frighten the kids.
Now that he thought about it, Han Se-Yeon wouldn't have a way to contact him, so how on Earth did she know he was here Now, that was quite the mystery.
“You're here, Se-Yeon” The director welcomed Han Se-Yeon with a warm smile.
“Director~! It's been too long, ma'am!”
“It's not that long, though.
You were here last week, after all.”
The director and Han Se-Yeon exchanged some pleasantries while Kang Jin-Ho continued with his task.
He knew he couldn't imitate Han Se-Yeon's stunning sociability, so he didn't even bother.
The director grinned and spoke, “I didn't think you'd come this fast, though.
It hadn't been long since I called you, after all!”
“I was in the neighborhood, ma'am.”
Thank you for coming.”
“By the way, what is Jin-Ho doing”
The director quickly explained the situation, prompting Han Se-Yeon to burst out in laughter at Kang Jin-Ho.
"Is that why you're silently loading all these things"
"That's right," Kang Jin-Ho replied disinterestedly.
"But that's so stupid, though.
You can call people to come and take them, you know"
“Yes, I know.”
“Oh Then why”
“I need to deliver them myself,” Kang Jin-Ho replied while getting ready to push the handcart forward.
Han Se-Yeon watched him leave, then quickly chased after him.
She looked back and said to the director, “I'm gonna go with him and show him the way!”
“Okay, please do!”
Kang Jin-Ho glanced at her and frowned slightly.
“Why are you coming with me”
“Did the director tell you which house you must go to”
It's the one with a red gate.”
Han Se-Yeon cocked an eyebrow and crossed her arms across her chest.
"Oh And do you know where that house is"
Kang Jin-Ho shrugged his shoulders.
"I'll find it eventually."
“I noticed a lot of houses with red gates nearby while on my way here.
Were you thinking of knocking on every door and asking them if we've found the right house our director told us about”
Kang Jin-Ho faltered, realizing that he had nothing to say in his defense.
"I guess you'll have to ask the director to come with you, then.
But she has lots of things to do back at the orphanage, right Too bad, she'll have to waste her valuable time now because of you."
“Be more polite, will you”
"...Please, let us get going, my lady."
I'll let it slide this time.
Kang Jin-Ho groaned and silently followed after Han Se-Yeon had taken the lead.
The noises of the cart's wheels traveling the coarse streets echoed loudly.
It felt like the cart was having a hard time coping with all the load from the noises.
Whether that was caused by the cart's age or the combined weight of the appliances, no one could tell.
Kang Jin-Ho began pushing the cart uphill.
The newly-constructed orphanage was located at the foot of the same hill, in the same neighborhood, to respect the director's wishes.
Kang Jin-Ho would have liked the orphanage to be moved to a better environment but various circumstances, including the kids' schools, made it unfeasible for the time being.
Han Se-Yeon worriedly asked, “Isn't it heavy”
“You know, I get this feeling all the time, but...
Jin-Ho, you're really strong, aren't you You must be the strongest in our school.”
But that's not something to boast about, you know Physically strong guys tend to be dumb, after all."
“Really By the way, what were your entrance exam scores, again”
Kang Jin-Ho easily thwarted Han Se-Yeon's provocation this time and continued to pull the cart up the hill.
She searched here and there before discovering a red gate by the distant corner, then called out to Kang Jin-Ho.
“Mmhm...” He stopped the cart in front of the gate and peeked his head beyond the open gap.
“Anyone home” Han Se-Yeon knocked on the gate, but no one answered her.
“I don't think there's anyone inside.”
“We should put the stuff down here and leave.”
“You think so”
A grandmother with a face full of deep wrinkles opened the living room door and cried out in a sharp voice while glaring at her unannounced visitors.
The open doorway revealed for a brief moment the sight of the interior.
It was just as dirty and run-down as the orphanage before it was relocated to the new building.
“Ah! Hello, grandma.
How are you”