Chapter 211.1: My Kind of Country (1)
The entrance to the office was, as expected, secured with a system that required either a card or a fingerprint. There were two CCTV cameras at the entrance to the basement and the office as well, making it seem as if the Samseong-Dong office’s security system had been directly transferred to the building.
The door opened when Woo Hee-Seung pressed the card against the reader. Kang Chan couldn’t help but chuckle in disbelief at what greeted him. The middle of the grey-carpeted office was completely empty. Through the window on the left side were meeting rooms, reception areas, and a home bar with a coffee machine and various beverages. To the right were three lonely desks.
“Come this way,” Seok Kang-Ho greeted Kang Chan and guided him to the right side. Compared to what was visible from the outside, its interior was much more spacious.
The two stopped in front of another door that had to be opened by a card. Beyond it was another completely isolated area with a personal office and exercise room. On the opposite side of it were bathrooms and resting lounges.
“This is your room, Captain. I’ll be using the one right next to it, and Hee-Seung and the others will be using this room and the desks outside. I think we need a female employee, but I haven’t hired one yet because I thought I should discuss it with you first,” Seok Kang-Ho explained, describing the layout like a skilled real estate agent.
“There’s also a way to get to your room from the entrance, so you don’t have to go through the central area if you don’t want to. If we have to, we can prepare partitions so we can divide it into separate spaces. Now, why don’t we go have some coffee?”
They headed back to the open space.
“What would you like to drink?” Seok Kang-Ho asked.
“Do you have instant coffee?” Kang Chan asked.
“Phuhuhu,” Seok Kang-Ho laughed as he brought out the coffee. Woo Hee-Seung and Lee Doo-Hee made themselves comfortable at the desks. With cups of coffee ready in his hands, he carefully pointed at the ceiling with his finger. “Look over there.”
It looked as if they had fitted this office with the device that sucked in air like a tornado in the Samseong-Dong office too.
“I’m just glad we don’t have to worry about the people around us when we have things to talk about now,” Seok Kang-Ho remarked.
Kang Chan stood next to the sofa and looked outside the window, finding buildings densely packed in the distance and the wide road filled with cars.
“What about the security?” he asked.
“That window’s made of bulletproof glass that also prevents anyone outside from seeing through it. Manager Kim provided us with it,” Seok Kang-Ho answered.
Kang Chan slowly looked around again. From what he could see, there weren’t any suitable locations within their vicinity for snipers to attack them from.
“Manager Kim said we need at least five guards if we want to be completely safe. If it’s all right, I was thinking of discussing this with Director Kim Tae-Jin. I would like to hire their employees and have their security system implemented in the building. I haven’t done it yet since I was hoping to discuss it with you first,” Seok Kang-Ho said.
Kang Chan glanced over at him.
“What is it?” Seok Kang-Ho asked.
“You suddenly got smarter,” Kang Chan replied out of curiosity.
“Phuhuhu,” Seok Kang-Ho chuckled as he stood next to Kang Chan. He sounded proud of himself.
“I gave it a lot of thought while you were in France, Cap. I want to be helpful not just in operations. This is my way of fighting our opponents outside actual combat, so just accept it,” Seok Kang-Ho jokingly said as he looked outside the window. However, Kang Chan could tell that he was telling the truth.
“Daye,” Kang Chan began.
Seok Kang-Ho grew noticeably nervous as he looked at Kang Chan.
“Since we’re already doing this, we might as well do it properly. That’s why for every plan I make now…”
Kang Chan turned away from the window to look him directly in the eye.
“... You will be at the forefront,” Kang Chan firmly stated.
They both grinned.
“The coffee is going to get cold,” Seok Kang-Ho said. The two smiled and sat down at the table that was near the window.
“Man! This room is going to make me anxious. Put a few plants here or something,” Kang Chan scolded.
As they drank coffee and talked about random topics, something suddenly occurred to Kang Chan. He called Woo Hee-Seung over.
Woo Hee-Seung sat at the table with them, curiosity evident on his face as he waited for Kang Chan to speak.
“Do you remember Lee Yoo-Seul from Jeungpyeong? When I brought her to their car so they could head back home, I noticed they had an old compact car. She lives in the military apartment, right? What’ll happen to her now?” Kang Chan asked.
Unable to understand what Kang Chan was trying to say, Woo Hee-Seung glanced at Seok Kang-Ho for a clue.𝒍𝒊𝒃𝒓𝙚𝙖𝙙.𝓬𝙤𝙢
“The same goes for Choi Jong-Il when I saw him at the hospital. I’m not saying we should indulge in luxury and enjoy countless privileges, but the clothes Choi Jong-Il’s wife was wearing… Her shirt was all worn at the elbows. What exactly is the compensation and salary for the soldiers?” Kang Chan asked.
Woo Hee-Seung let out a quiet sigh. Perhaps the question wasn’t what he was expecting.
“Tell me everything you know. I know it’s not something that can be changed overnight, but at the very least, I don’t think it’s right for the families of soldiers who have sacrificed themselves for their countries to have a hard time getting by.”
“The salaries…” Woo Hee-Seung began. He sounded as if he was having a hard time explaining it. “The special forces’ salary is relatively high. Taking everything they’re provided with into the calculation, including hazard pay, then the total will be around a little less than thirty million won every year.”
Kang Chan felt as if he had been struck in the head.
“And for the fallen soldiers?” he asked.
“It depends on what the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs decides, but the families are given around one million two hundred thousand won every month,” Woo Hee-Seung answered.
“Haah,” Kang Chan sighed as he turned his head to the side. “Then that’s what’s going to happen to the soldiers who lay down their lives during the recent operation?”
“Yes. Thanks to Manager Kim and the section chief, we were able to give them the best for funeral expenses and condolence money.”
“What about Yoo-Seul? Since she lives in a military apartment, she’ll have to leave, won’t she?”
Woo Hee-Seung hesitated for a moment before speaking up again.
“My fellow soldiers and I actually pooled some money in together for that.”
It was absurd. It wasn’t like they were living in a period where they had to fight for independence.
If one didn’t have it in them to sacrifice themselves or an intense sense of duty, laying down their lives for their country would have been near impossible to do.
“What will happen to her family, then?”
“They decided to move to a place nearby that’s up for rent,” Woo Hee-Seung replied.
Sighing, Kang Chan looked outside the window. He soothed her by telling him that her father was the bravest person in the world, but the reality was that she had to move to a rented apartment now. Even though he told her everyone was alive thanks to her father, she had to leave the military apartment anyway despite being able to barely afford another place with the money that the soldiers pooled together.
One million two hundred thousand won every month… Depending on one’s perspective, that much money could either be a lot or too little. However, to a little girl who would have to live the rest of her life without her father, it was too cruel.
“Is it the same for the other soldiers as well?” Kang Chan asked.
“There are some soldiers who are better off,” Woo Hee-Seung responded.
“So you’re saying the soldiers who aren’t better off are in a similar situation, then? What about General Choi’s bereaved?”
“His wife runs a restaurant. I heard she gives the compensation bonuses and the pensions she receives to the soldiers’ families,” Woo Hee-Seung replied.
That wasn’t right.
The people giving their lives for the country were struggling to get by while bastards like Huh Ha-Soo lived in luxury.
Kang Chan nodded, making up his mind.
“Daye,” Kang Chan said.
“Yes, Cap,” Seok Kang-Ho replied.
“I’ll make arrangements for you to get money today. Use it to buy medium-sized apartments for the families of all the soldiers who fell during the recent operation. Give each of them two hundred million won as well,” Kang Chan said.
“Got it,” Seok Kang-Ho responded.
Woo Hee-Seung looked at Kang Chan with a dazed expression.
“I want you to talk about the profit we make from the rent here with Michelle as well. Give an excess to the bereaved family members every month,” Kang Chan ordered.
Seok Kang-Ho pressed his lips together and nodded with determination. Kang Chan then picked up his phone and called Cecile.
- Hello? Channy! What’s up?
“Hey, Cecile. I’ll be sending someone named Seok Kang-Ho to you right now. Can you prepare twenty billion in hundred million bills and give them to him?” Kang Chan asked. “I don’t have much time to talk, so I’m going to have to call you some other time to speak about other things.”
- That’s a bit of a tall order, Channy! No matter the transaction, the owner of the account has to sign for it.
“Then can you expedite getting me the documents?” Kang Chan requested.
- Is it urgent? If so, then I’ll get started on it right away. I’ll just take the money with me so you can get it as soon as you sign the documents for me. Otherwise, our branch is going to be deep in hot water.
“I’m in the newly acquired building. Call me when you get here.”
- Got it! I’ll be there in fifteen minutes—no, twenty, just to be safe.
This content is taken from 𝘭𝘪𝘣𝑟𝘦𝘢𝒹.𝘤𝑜𝓂