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Dream Breaker - Chapter 17

Graduate(17) Living in Reality


"Why won't he wake up?!"


There was a man yelling, clutching his innocent head with both hands.


He looked so disheveled that if people who knew him in his usual state saw him, they would doubt if he was the same person.


That's because he was,


"Mr. Yoo Il-am, this is a hospital. Please be quiet. That includes the bathroom."


The 'genius shaman' Yoo Il-am, who specializes in exorcising spirits!


"...I apologize. I was just too excited because I feel sorry for Song Seon-young and Kang Moon-soo, who were possessed by a powerful spirit."


The genius shaman Yoo Il-am, who was popular enough to appear on various public broadcasts, was in a miserable state.


Song Seon-young.


Kang Moon-soo.


He was blamed for the comatose state of the two high school students who showed no signs of waking up.


'I'm going crazy!'


The scene of him fighting with Kang Moon-soo was broadcast live.


If that had been all, he would have made various excuses to gloss over it, but the situation became so serious that it was uncontrollable as they didn't wake up even after several days.


The atmosphere was as if it was his fault that Song Seon-young was already in a coma when he first arrived at the scene...


It was driving him insane.


"I understand that you're frustrated, but please be careful in the future. It scares the other patients."


"Yes."


Although he obediently agreed to the doctor's request, this was the third time Yoo Il-am had caused a scene in the hospital by yelling and causing a commotion.


He felt like he was going to go crazy!


The stress was so severe that he couldn't maintain his sanity if he didn't at least scream like this.


"If you keep doing this, we'll have no choice but to impose a ban on you, even though you're the only guardian of patient Kang Moon-soo."


"...I'll be more careful."


What made him even angrier was Kang Moon-soo's family situation.


No parents! No relatives!


The homeroom teacher, who was in a position somewhat similar to a guardian, couldn't be there for a long time due to personal reasons...


Because of that, Yoo Il-am was stuck in the suffocating hospital, feeling as if he was eating mustard while crying.


'Of all times...!'


He couldn't avoid it because the accident happened during a live broadcast.


Not only was Kang Moon-soo's hospitalization fee an issue, but his rapidly declining reputation and popularity also made him more anxious.


"Mr. Yoo Il-am, we fully understand your frustration. We're doing our best to figure out the cause."


"...Thank you."


'Ha! Do you understand me? You must be enjoying making money peacefully! Incompetent fools!'


The doctors and experts in front of him believed that there was nothing wrong with Kang Moon-soo's body after a thorough examination.


However, the reality was that he showed no signs of waking up, just like a person in a vegetative state!


The only consolation?


Song Seon-young, who was found lying on the school rooftop, also showed the same symptoms. If it weren't for that, he wouldn't have been able to blame it on the 'spirit.'


'Even now, should I get a lawyer...'


It was because if Kang Moon-soo never woke up like this, there were signs that he would inevitably be charged with assault.


Just because he pushed him a little, this happened?


Even now, when he thinks about that time, he feels so wronged that he wants to cry!


"I have to check on other patients, so I'll be going now."


"Yes."


Yoo Il-am didn't care whether the doctor left or not.


'Damn it! I've been trying hard because they said my aptitude was to be a shaman, but it turned out to be crap!'


"Oh my! Doctor! Doctor! The patient has woken up!"


"What?! Really?!"


"Yes! Kang Moon-soo, who was in a coma, has woken up after ten days!"


"Oh! Such a miracle...!"


"......"


The conversation between the doctor and the nurse, which could be heard even inside the bathroom.


Yoo Il-am had no room to tell them to be quiet.


'Did he wake up?'


Life began to return to his half-given-up eyes.


"Oh no! This isn't the time!"


Although he wanted to run over and see for himself with his own eyes, Yoo Il-am grabbed his smartphone first.


Beep beep-


(Yoo Il-am, what's the matter-)


"Bring the camera to the hospital as soon as possible! Announce the live broadcast!"


The disciple who kept his distance by calling him by his name instead of the title 'master' which represents familiarity and respect.


It was very annoying, but Yoo Il-am didn't care. They had been using each other from the beginning.


(Well? But now is not the right atmosphere for broadcasting...)


"He woke up!"


(Is that really true?!)


"Yes! That's why I called you! Come right now!"


(Yes! Master!)


Click.


After finishing the short call, Yoo Il-am fixed his messy hair in the bathroom mirror.


"If I play my cards right..."


The corners of his mouth rose sinisterly as he quickly devised a plan.


* * *


"Excuse me... What's the date today?"


My voice didn't come out well due to my dry throat and tongue.


"It's January 3rd. Time has passed a bit, but happy new year, Kang Moon-soo."


The nurse brought warm porridge and told me today's date.


"January 3rd..."


Time had flown by. The time I had longed for was passing.


It meant that the same date and situation would not repeat anymore!


That was fine, but,


'Was it all just a dream...?'


Think-


My mind became hazy as if I had been hit hard in the head with a blunt object.


The time I spent with Song Seon-young, all those memories were not something beyond science but a dream!


I should have guessed when it couldn't be logically explained based on science.


'No.'


At first, I also doubted it was a dream.


However, because I couldn't wake up from the dream and got trapped, I had no choice but to start believing it was reality. I had always doubted it.


Is there still a possibility that it is a dream now?


There wasn't.


It's just not.


Now it's reality!


Although it was my baseless intuition, I had a vague conviction that 'me' lying in the hospital now was in reality.


"Please eat slowly."


"Thank you. But how about the hospitalization fee..."


A much more important issue than the bowl of porridge in front of me that mercilessly stimulated my appetite!


I couldn't eat comfortably without knowing.


"Don't worry. The hospitalization fee for Kang Moon-soo is-"


Bang!


The door to the hospital room opened refreshingly, and two men entered.


"Hahaha! Dear viewers, are you watching? Finally, after a long struggle, this genius shaman Yoo Il-am has driven out the spirit...!"


One was a shaman.


"I thought it would be tough since the spirit we met this time was so strong... But as expected, it's the master! This is a miracle!"


The other was his disciple, carrying a camera on his shoulder.


With the rude appearance of people I never wanted to see again, my expression naturally became distorted.


However,


"Mr. Yoo Il-am is paying for the hospital fee."


"...Oh! Mr. Yoo Il-am! I'm really happy to see you again!"


As soon as I heard the nurse's words, a business smile appeared on my lips.


* * *


Thanks to my father, I found out that if you stay in the hospital for a long time, it costs a lot of money.


Eating, pooping, sleeping...


In the hospital room, just breathing feels like money is draining away.


"As soon as I heard that Kang Moon-soo had woken up, I rushed over. I swear there was no consultation before the broadcast. Doctor?"


"Yes. As you said, Kang Moon-soo has just woken up. He needs to rest now, so the broadcast should be a little-"


"Thank you for your cooperation!"


Shaman Yoo Il-am pushed the doctor away after hearing only the necessary answer.


Swish~


He unfolded the beautifully painted yin-yang fan and looked at the camera with his unique cheerful tone.


"I enlisted the help of Kang Moon-soo to save Song Seon-young, who was possessed by a powerful spirit."


"Huh? I didn't do anything..."


"It's natural that you don't know. It's because I guided you to help."


"......"


Shaman Yoo Il-am cut off my words as if to tell me to stay still.


He continued to explain.


"In order to weaken the power of the spirit that possessed Song Seon-young, I transferred half of it to Kang Moon-soo."


"It's such a shame that we couldn't capture the moment when the master lured the spirit towards Kang Moon-soo on camera!"


The disciple with the camera chimed in with a regretful tone.


"It's okay, my disciple. A person's life comes first."


"Still, I feel wronged! When I think about how the master was misunderstood and criticized by the viewers..."


"Haha! That's how dangerous it was."


"But I believed all along. That the master would defeat the spirit."


"Of course! Who am I?"


"Korea’s- no, the world's best shaman, Yoo Il-am!"


"You've become better at flattering, my disciple."


"What can I do when the truth is like that?"


"Goodness..."


The master and disciple continued their conversation smoothly.


Their broadcast was so smooth that it was impossible to tell where the bluff and reality began.


That's why I was confused.


'Is what he said really true?'


Did shaman Yoo Il-am do something to me to make me fall into a dream?


I decided to gently prod.


"I had a long dream."


"Oh! Kang Moon-soo, can you briefly explain that dream?"


"...Yes. It was a dream of repeating the same time endlessly."


I explained very briefly, leaving out the story of Song Seon-young. I didn't want to share the memories I had with her with an unspecified number of people.


"Really amazing! You exceeded my expectations!"


"Thank you."


"I'm not just saying that! When we first met, you were clumsy, but you've grown into a great shaman in that short time!"


"......"


I couldn't agree with Yoo Il-am's last words that flattered my face.


Did I do something in my dream?


No.


Until the very last moment when I persuaded Song Seon-young, who was trying to commit suicide, I was just wandering around without knowing anything.


"Mr. Yoo Il-am."


"From now on, call me master. No need to be modest."


"Well..."


I tried to cooperate as much as possible because of the enormous hospitalization fee, but this was something I just couldn't do.


Did he notice my hesitation?


Yoo Il-am added.


"Kang Moon-soo."


"Yes."


"You may not realize it yet, but you have an infinite talent for being a shaman."


"Really?"


"P's aptitude test has never been wrong even once. If that's not enough, I can guarantee it with my name."


"......"


I felt his desire to take me as his disciple no matter what.


"I won't charge tuition fees for nurturing outstanding students."


"......"


"Also, if you help me with my work like this time, I'll generously compensate you for your efforts."


Startled.


I was shaken for a moment by the mention of compensation.


"It's not a bad proposal, is it? Kang Moon-soo, you'll be doing a job that suits your aptitude."


"...I guess so."


A job that suits my aptitude.


Shaman (巫堂).


Exorcising ghosts.


P's aptitude test, which had never been wrong once, taught me that I had the talent to be a shaman.


"Do you still need time to think?"


Whoosh.


Yoo Il-am held out his right hand as if to ask for a handshake.


In response, I said,


"I'm sorry."


I didn't have the strength to run away like before, but I conveyed my refusal in a firm tone.


"...Can I know the reason?"


"It's because I don't want to experience such a dream again."


It was empty.


The fact that all the memories I had with Song Seon-young were fake.


Even if we were in a situation where we had no choice but to like each other like a man and a woman trapped on a deserted island, my feelings at that time were real.


"Ah! If that's the case, don't worry. I won't make you do it again."


"You said you won't make me do it, but do you know exactly what kind of dream it is? Have you ever experienced it yourself?"


"Of course."


"Then, how did people look in the dream?"


"......"


"Don't tell me, you don't know?"


"......"


For the first time, Yoo Il-am's mouth, which had been speaking smoothly until now, shut tight.


* * *


Trudging along.


I slowly walked along the hospital's walkway to loosen up my muscles that had been stiff for quite a while, also serving as rehabilitation therapy.


'It's a big problem.'


How can I be discharged tomorrow in this state where I can't walk without a cane?


But there's no choice. This is the price for refusing Yoo Il-am's proposal to pay for my hospitalization fee.


In other words, it's my karma.


"Hmm?"


"Huh?"


"......"


"......"


On my way back to the hospital room after finishing my walk, I ran into her.



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