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Dream Breaker - Chapter 11

 Graduate(11) Let's Do It Right

I love swimming.

I love the feeling of the water wrapping around my skin as it flows past, and I feel at ease when I float on the water.

Also, thanks to swimming, I was born.

"I must have been crazy back then! Not only did I save a man who fell into the water, but I even married him!"

"Ha! That's what I should say! If it wasn't for that incident, I wouldn't have married a female swimmer...!"

However, I hate being a swimmer.

It's the reason why my parents fight often.

"You really have a talent. I don't know how you became a doctor with that brain. You begged me to marry you, after all."

"I never begged!"

"You did! You begged me with a bouquet of flowers in front of the women's locker room!"


"Was I wrong?"

"...The situation was different. You were a national representative back then."

"There's no such thing as a forever national representative!"

In ordinary jobs, as you age, experience and knowledge accumulate, compensating for the lack of physical strength.

But athletes have a short period of glory, followed by a steep decline!

If you can't achieve meaningful results before that, it becomes even more miserable.

"Try being a swimming instructor."

"I can't even if I want to. My aptitude is not for teaching."

"Then at least be more thorough with housework."

"I'm trying."

If you participate in the Olympics and win a medal, you receive a lifelong pension from the country.

But what if you don't?

"You should know how lucky you are. Do you think it's easy to marry a talented doctor like me? Even now, there are nurses and patients trying to seduce me-"

"Enough, I get it."

"If you know, then do better. Don't just think about spending the money I earn."

"How can I do better than this...!"

The image of my parents always smiling at each other remained only in my childhood memories.


"Seon-young, you should know by looking at your mom, right? Never do sports."

"Seon-yeong, a son-in-law who plays sports is absolutely not allowed. You understand?"


I love swimming.

But I hate being a swimmer.

* * *

"You're good at swimming."

"I know."

I responded grumpily to Kang Moon-soo's praise, which was mixed with admiration.

It's natural that I'm good at it since I inherited my mother's strong swimmer genes and learned swimming. 

"How about making use of your aptitude and becoming a professional swimmer?"

"I'd rather die."

"I'm sure you're not kidding."

"Shaman, rest and get ready. This time, I'm going to time it."


I taught him all the theories. From now on, it's just a matter of practising consistently and correcting minor habits and postures.

It may not seem like much, but it's crucial in a competition where victory is determined by 0.1 seconds.

My mother, who had participated in the Olympics as a national representative, retired without winning a medal due to a 0.2-second difference.

"Ready- Go!"



With my command, Kang Moon-soo powerfully cut through the water.


I felt a vague sense of gratitude watching him swim so hard. He's willingly going along with my coercion without complaint.

It seems more so when contrasted with my dad, who finds even my mom's breathing annoying.


'Huh? What was that?'

My chest felt a sting...


"Ah, right."


I quickly stopped the stopwatch because of Kang Moon-soo, who didn't give me time to think about what it was.

"Ah, I'm tired. Did I do well?"


I checked Kang Moon-soo's latest record as he groaned, and I was slightly surprised.

'He got faster again?'

Not long ago, he was a one-day puppy wearing a burdensome swimsuit and doing the breaststroke...

Although I'm not a swimming instructor, Kang Moon-soo learned how to swim at a very fast pace.

"How is it?"

"...It's okay."

"How many seconds difference is it from you?"

"4 seconds."

"Ugh! I still have a long way to go."

"Come on, think about the beginning. There was a 42-second difference."

"Comparing it to when I was a complete beginner who knew nothing is a bit..."

"You're still a beginner."

If I were serious, there would still be about a 5-second difference.

"You're stingy with your evaluation!"

"That's why you should work harder."

"What will you do for me if I work harder?"


"Nothing at all?"

"Nothing at all. It's good for you to learn swimming this time. And you should be grateful to learn it for free from a nice girl like me!"

There are so many boys who want to date me that they would trip over each other.


'Huh? Just now, again...?'

It's not my imagination. My chest stung again.

"Motivation is important. Promise me. If I beat you, you won't commit suicide anymore."


"Can you promise me?"

"...I promise. My aptitude will change by then."

"Promise me even if it doesn't change."

"Alright. I promise."

There's no way I'll lose to Kang Moon-soo, no matter how hard he tries.

* * *

There are hardly any ignorant fools, but before P's aptitude tester came out, people who wasted their talents were as common as grains of sand on a beach.

A soccer player doing politics.

A doctor cooking.

A businessman playing baseball.

So it was a loose society where you could achieve some success if you worked hard, even if you weren't the best.

On the other hand,

"You're good at swimming."

"I know."

"How about making use of your talent and becoming a professional swimmer?"

"I'd rather die."

"I'm sure you're not kidding."

Because she really committed suicide because she didn't like her aptitude.

"Shaman, rest and get ready. This time, I'm going to time it."


Now, thanks to P's aptitude tester, everyone can know their talents.

Soccer players only play soccer.

Doctors only treat patients.

Chefs only cook.

As people no longer waste their talents and fully utilize them, a perfect society without waste has been completed.

In other words,

It's a tight society where you can't succeed just by relying on your talent and being lazy!

"It's tough."

"Is swimming tough?"

"Sports fields are all tough. Among all professions, athletes have the earliest retirement time."


Before the job revolution, the retirement age for athletes was not early. It wasn't easy to find talented young dreamers.

Take soccer as an example.

Legendary Argentine soccer player 'Diego Maradona' played as a national representative for 17 years. If you include youth soccer, it's a whopping 29 years!

But what if thousands of 'young Diego Maradonas' debuted every year?

It would be hard to guarantee even three years, let alone 17!

That's exactly what the current era is like.

"It's not easy to find another job after retirement."

"I guess so."

Diego Maradona continued to work as a coach for 26 years after retiring from the front lines, until his death.

But this is also impossible in the current era!

There is a separate aptitude for 'coaching' because of that. So, there's no room for retired players to barge in.

"There's another reason."

"What is it?"

"It's tough."

"It's the same reason."

"No, it's different. Listen. To become a national representative, talent alone is not enough. Everyone has an abundance of talent. So to not be pushed by younger competitors, it's not enough to make an effort that's like squeezing blood."

"You know it in great detail."

"My mom was a national representative."

"Oh! It's in your blood..."

"You wouldn't know even if I told you. She didn't get any attention because she didn't have a medal."

"I see."

I think I understand why Song Sun-young hates her aptitude.

'I don't have anything to say to her. I can't tell her to squeeze blood like her parents...'

But wouldn't it be better to comfort or compliment her to break this awkward atmosphere?

I made up my mind.

"I'll make sure of it."


"If you're at the level to lose to me, you won't even be able to become a national representative, let alone win a medal."

"What do you mean?"

"I'll try my hardest to beat you for sure. Then, regardless of your aptitude, you can look for another job."

"...You're a cheeky beginner."

"That's why I'm a beginner."

I learned from my father that a man's ambition should always be as big as possible.

"...Thank you."


"I didn't say anything."




I just made the atmosphere more awkward by showing off my ambition.

* * *

"Kang Moon-soo, come out and solve problem number 3 on page 338-"

"Teacher! I'm really sorry!"

"Kang Moon-soo?"

"Today is a very important day for me, so I have to go right away! I'll explain separately to my homeroom teacher later!"

"You're leaving? Now? What's going on- Kang Moon-soo?!"


Instead of giving a detailed explanation, I kicked my desk, stood up, and swung my leg over the classroom window, then boldly jumped out.


"Is he crazy?!"


The screams of my surprised classmates came from behind, but I've been through this situation a couple of times, so I easily ignored them.


The branch I had anticipated broke under my weight and shock.


However, I didn't panic and stepped on another nearby tree branch like a staircase.


The tree branch bent as if it was about to break immediately. From experience, I knew it would break a second later if I hesitated.


Before that, I jumped off the bent branch like a trickster and landed on the ground in a parabolic trajectory.



This time, I didn't get hurt at all.


"Is this for real?"


I waved my hand leisurely in response to the admiration of the kids sticking their heads out the window.

"Don't ever try this! You'll break your ankle or crack your head!"

Sincere advice from an experienced person who has gone crazy in a repetitive situation.

"You jumped again?"


"Aren't you trusting me too much?"

"Shouldn't I?"

Even if I get seriously injured, if Song Seon-young can turn back time, it's as if it never happened. I would never have tried it without such surefire insurance.

"...Shaman. Stop talking nonsense and hurry up."


A full sprint to the swimming pool at the sports college, which is a 15-minute walk away!

Although doing this doesn't immediately improve my stamina or lung capacity, it's enough for a warm-up before entering the water.

'Today is the day!'

I quickly changed into the swimsuit that Song Seon-young bought for me in the changing room, and before my body cooled down, I rushed to the swimming pool and dived in.



"Come in quickly!"

Song Seon-young arrived when I had swum back and forth in the pool three times.

"Aren't you pushing yourself too hard without good endurance?"

"I'm fine. I have the energy to swim back and forth once."

"Don't make excuses later."

"Of course."

We stood side by side at the starting line of the swimming pool.

I've lost to her countless times so far, but this time, with my improved record, I must win!

“The rules are always the same. When the second hand points to 12 o'clock, it's the start."


I stared at the big analog clock hanging in the centre of the wall in front of me.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock-



My aptitude has nothing to do with swimming; I'm a shaman.

However, I don't think I'm so bad at swimming that I would lose to a swimmer who doesn't put in any effort.

Swish~ swish~!

'Exhale through your nose underwater, and both arms...'

The swimming techniques I learned from Song Seon-young came to mind one by one.

Although it's already a habit ingrained in my body and I don't have to be conscious of it, I checked them one by one as if going over them.


I wanted to win that much.


My fingertips touched the wall of the swimming pool.

'Song Seon-young?!'

And Song Seon-young's voice, which always arrived first and boasted, hadn't been heard yet.

In other words,

"I finally won~!"

"I won again!"



Song Seon-young and I stuck our heads out of the water and shouted simultaneously.

"No, you didn't."

"What do you mean?"

"I was faster."

"What? I slowed down so you could arrive first."

"You're lying."

"It's true!"

We stared each other down, not backing down from our claims.

A few seconds later,

"Let's say you won. But isn't it embarrassing for an athlete to barely beat a civilian?"

"...I admit."

"Then let's have a proper match with a referee next time."

"Alright. I won't go easy on you and will do it properly."

We agreed to have a proper match next time.

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