Choi Yuri was caught only two hours after we disclosed the culprit was her. The police succeeded in tracing down the phone signal and located the place where we were abducted; therefore, things proceeded smoothly afterward.
The police then pointed at somewhere, saying, ‘That kid helped us a lot hacking the signal.’ I could tell who was there even without a glance.
In the direction where they sent their gaze, Jooin was standing with a pale face out of concerns and anxiety. When our eyes met, he replied while showing a smile even though he was tired.
“It wasn’t a big deal.”
“Yes, it was. If we didn’t have you, we wouldn’t have been able to track them all day.”
Jooin, who wasn’t very accustomed to being praised openly, just kept his mouth shut and grinned. The police then continued to speak.
“Anyway, it’s such a mystery. When we arrived at the warehouse after tracing the signal, there was a helicopter just about to fly, so we thought, ‘They might be a highly-organized crime group to target guests at Hanwool Group’s party. What should we do?’ The kidnapped students then showed up by themselves out of the blue and even let us know the name of the culprit.”
I laughed clumsily. I did think that someone other than the police would come to save us based on the unfolding events in web novels; however, I had no idea that the savior would be a female crossdresser who would get there by driving a helicopter.
The police then wrapped up the rest of the story. As we testified, all the remnants were out cold; the culprit, Choi Yuri, was walking along the national highway near the warehouse and got arrested at the spot. Perhaps her party gown, which didn’t match the vibe of a secluded Route, had helped the police quickly apprehend her.
Anyway, that was how the case ended, but one question remained.
How on earth did Ruda locate where we were and came there to save us even with a helicopter? The Four Heavenly Kings and Hanwool Group would be able to mobilize more intelligence and manpower instead of Yi Ruda, who was just an individual, but what enigmatic way did she use at the time when they couldn’t even do anything?
Like Jooin, who was a run-of-the-mill high school student but, at the same time, had overwhelming hacking skills and reasoning power to help the police, Yi Ruda might also have a special ability as a female protagonist. Still, unless she had something like supernatural powers, what she had showed us was almost impossible despite her role in this world. Thus, I had no choice but to think that the genre of this novel was wrong…
‘This god damn genre… how far are you going?’ Having that thought, I suddenly turned my head. As if it wasn’t only me who was suspicious about it, Jooin was asking with a careful voice.
“But mama, why did you use none other than hyeong… I mean, Ruda’s phone to call me? Why do you have his phone?”
“Yeah, that sounds weird. Where did it suddenly come from?”
When Eun Jiho agreed to Jooin enthusiastically, Ban Yeo Ryung and I exchanged eye contact for a moment then opened our mouth. We spoke vaguely, ‘Well, just… um…’
“Earlier, I met Ruda at the party hall,” I uttered.
“That name wasn’t on our guest list,” said Eun Jiho with a bewildered look. It made me blench.
Yikes! Even if Eun Jiho wasn’t as splendid as Jooin when it came to brainwork, he still had a fiercely good memory; besides, I overlooked that he would never forget any information significant to him.
However, it was already late, so what could I do? I just diverted my gaze onto the sky with an awkward smile. I then responded audaciously.
“Really? Strange. Anyway, I met him there and later picked up his phone that he dropped. The kidnappers took all our phones except that one.”
Eun Jiho flung a question still in suspicion.
“How could they only forget that phone?”
“How should I know?”
Eun Jiho made it straightforward, whereas Jooin, who remained silent, narrowed his eyes that were on us. Averting my eyes from their gaze, I recalled the conversation that I had with Yi Ruda in the helicopter.
When we got out of the warehouse and tried to first reach out to the Four Heavenly Kings, Yi Ruda, however, denied us of doing so at that time. Given that fact, wouldn’t there be some reason why Yi Ruda had to hide her involvement, at least, from the Four Heavenly Kings? Thus, I should behave this way even though others wouldn’t largely credit Yi Ruda for the success of our escape.
I then heaved a quiet sigh. Regardless of all that, how could she disappear like that without listening to our gratitude when she wasn’t Robin Hood? I should talk to her once we meet again at school. I promised myself while looking down at the phone in my palm, then I turned my head as soon as I heard Jooin’s voice.
“Well, everyone has their own circumstances.”
Listening to Jooin murmuring leisurely, I smiled awkwardly. Indeed, I would not be able to deceive Jooin. He might have grasped the overall situation already.
Showing a stiff grin, I replied, “Haha, it’s true that I met him at the party.”
Jooin just put an enigmatic smile on his face even at my words.
* * *
Thankfully, Ban Yeo Ryung and my personal information weren’t disclosed since only a few hours had passed from our disappearance and the kidnapper reached out quite quickly, so only the kidnapping incident became known to the public.
The hotel was crowded with news reporters who already smelled something happening; however, it was Yoo Gun who dispersed them after Ban Yeo Ryung and I asked for the protection of our personal information.
Eun Jiho grumbled, ‘That man would never help someone without a wicked intension,’ then got smashed on the back of his head by Eun Hyung, who rarely did something like that.
Anyway, our information was protected properly; none of the people around us knew that Ban Yeo Ryung and I had been kidnapped.
Even if the case ended with little effect on us other than having a curfew, Choi Yuri and her father were in a different situation. Her family business had social and economic power in Korea, which also had critical, social responsibility at the same time; therefore, Choi Yuri’s kidnapping attempt created a stir. I could find the articles of that incident in every news.
Anyway, it also would not be a commonsensical thing in this world that a student had committed an abduction. Looking at the astonished and concerned people around me, I fetched a sigh of relief a few times.
Choi Yuri’s father, the chairman of Yuseong Enterprises and the person whom I had encountered less than a week ago at the party, appeared on the TV with such a thin and pale look. He finally broke the silence and issued a public apology during a press conference.
Watching his public appearance, I felt a little sorry for him. It looked like Choi Yuri was a nice and sweet daughter to his father.
Parents couldn’t know every aspect of their children; however, that unknown side suddenly showed up, slapped her father’s face, and even seriously endangered his lifelong business, which was now on the verge of disappearing overnight.
However, I decided not to have compassion. That was because I sincerely had no idea what Choi Yuri would have done with me and Ban Yeo Ryung after meeting Eun Jiho.
When they kidnapped us, the kidnappers didn’t even think about hiding their faces. It was right to say that they had given little thought to the possibility of us escaping alive. Thinking that way, it was only a miracle that Yi Ruda had appeared timely and saved us. Every time I recalled her, I offered a prayer of thanks to Yi Ruda with all my heart.
However, no matter how long I waited, Yi Ruda didn’t keep in touch. She said that I could give the phone back to her after school starts, but wouldn’t she feel uncomfortable without a cell phone? Yi Ruda would know that I would get it if she called her phone. For that purpose, I charged her phone regularly so it wouldn’t get discharged.
When I set my mind back to Yi Ruda leaving with her mother, Yi Jenny, from the rooftop, I kept feeling anxious as if an invisible hand grasped my heart; however, there wasn’t any call or messages from Yi Ruda until the break was just a few days away.
Waiting to hear from Yi Ruda and watching the post-processing of the incident as well as the end of Choi Yuri’s crime, my surroundings slowly were on their original track again.