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Dream Breaker - Chapter 21


“I'm too busy with my part-time job to find time to learn swimming..."

In reality, I'm extremely idle!

I'm so idle that I can barely afford to pay my rent.

"What's the purpose of your part-time job...?"

"To cover living expenses."

"In that case, let's do this. I'll provide you with lodging and meals. It's a university dormitory and a cafeteria, though. What do you think?"


'That's great!'

I pretended to be in deep thought, while inside, I was jumping with joy.

It was a pity that there was no salary, but I couldn't wish for more. I can't expect to earn money while learning to swim.


'The duration is a bit ambiguous.'

Because swimming isn't my forte. I was lucky this time, but if I still don't improve after a year of training, I'll be kicked out.

But at least I bought some time.

One year.

I feel sorry for the coach who took me in, but I plan to find a decent job within that time.

'I guess he thinks the same way.'

Otherwise, he wouldn't have set a one-year limit.

After observing my abilities for the next year, he will carefully decide whether to extend the contract.

"Hyung  Moon-soo."



I told him to be quiet, just in case Choi Kang-hoon might say something strange.

'Variables are a problem.'

It's a crucial moment directly connected to my livelihood, so I can't afford any mistakes.


"Have you made up your mind?"

"...Yes. I'll do it. But I have a condition."

"What is it?"

"It must have been a tough decision for you, but it's the same for me. I have to quit my part-time job and leave my monthly rental room."


"No matter what happens, I would appreciate it if you could write me a contract guaranteeing the one year you mentioned."

"Don't worry about that. I was planning to write it as soon as you accepted."

"Thank you."

"We can't write the contract here, so shall we change the location?"


Having reached an understanding, we moved from the swimming pool to the office.

* * *


I carefully looked over the contract.

It was just a verified basic form with the addition of 'guarantees lodging and meals for 1 year.'

"Are you done?"

"...Director, what does this mean?"

I pointed to a part that wasn't clear to me.

"It's a double contract clause. It means you can't participate in competitions or join a team without my agreement."

"I see!"

"Do you have any other questions?"

"Yes, this part."

"When the contract period expires, there is a clause that gives me the priority for re-contracting. It's a measure to prevent the bad habit of taking other people's players."

"I see!"

I boldly asked whenever I was a bit curious, without pretending to know.

'I definitely can't.'

My father ruined himself by imitating an expert in a field that wasn't his forte.

A price for arrogance.

That's why I carefully reviewed the contract and asked questions. Because the excuse of not knowing later won't work.

"Ask anything you want."

"...I think I've asked everything now."

"Shall we proceed with the contract then?"


With a swoosh-

Deciding there were no issues, I signed the contract.

With another swoosh-

The swimming coach signed it as well.

"I look forward to working with you for at least 1 year, and potentially 5 years, Mr. Kang Moon-soo."

Up to 5 years.

It was a very meaningful phrase.

'Song Seon-young had mentioned it.'

The prime time for athletes is very short because younger, rising stars emerge every year.

It's an inevitable fate.

"I look forward to working with you too. And please feel free to speak casually, Coach."

"Haha! If we're still together a year from now, I will."


It meant that if my skills weren't up to par, he would decisively end the contract, not swayed by personal feelings.

That was more comfortable for me.

"The dormitory is the blue building you see out of that window. The cafeteria is not visible from here, but..."

"I'll find it myself."

I can do that much on my own.

"The dorm room you'll be using is 323. It's a double room, so someone else might move in when the semester starts."


I didn't like the idea of living with someone else, but I wasn't in a position to be picky.

The director opened a drawer in the office desk and handed me a card.

"It's a meal card. You can use it once for lunch and once for dinner, and you can't use it at other restaurants. And you can only choose from the menu of the day written at the entrance of the cafeteria."

"I understand."

'Wow! There are options!'

I'm satisfied that it's not a fixed menu like high school meals.

And it's free!

I really like it.

"Ah! And since you're not a student, Mr. Kang Moon-soo, you can't use facilities like the library or the computer room."

"That's fine."

When there's no training, I'll either rest in the dorm or look for a job.

"You can use the school bus, but don't rely on it too much as they might check your student ID at random."


I had no complaints since I wasn't paying tuition to the university.

The places I can use are the dormitory, the swimming pool, and the cafeteria.

I understood.

"I have things to prepare too, so it would be great if you could move your stuff today and tomorrow and start training the day after tomorrow. What do you think?"

"That's possible."

Because I'm extremely idle!

I could even start from tomorrow.

"Then come to this office at 8 a.m. on Wednesday."


We were able to successfully conclude the contract in a relaxed atmosphere.

And on the way back.

Choi Kang-hoon, who had quietly followed me at my request, finally spoke up.

"Hyung Moon-soo, can I speak now?"

"Yeah, go ahead."

"You should have hinted that you were thinking of becoming a swimmer."

Choi Kang-hoon was very disappointed.


I had to do it to make it seem natural, like it was not a pre-arranged script. Isn't there a saying that to keep a secret, you have to deceive your allies first?

"I'm just disappointed."

"What for?"

"If you had told me, I could have introduced you to the national team coach who taught me..."


What's he talking about?

"My dad sponsors him. He would've listened if I asked. It's not like your skills are lacking."


"He's coaching the national team, so he's treated differently among the coaches. His athletes also receive special treatment. Even though I don't know, the conditions would be better than now, right?"


I feel dizzy.

"Anyway, it's great! This place is close to high school! It would be great to come and hang out after school. Hehe."

"Yeah, it really worked out well. Ha, ha, ha..."

I wished I could go back in time.

* * *

He was looking at the contract Kang Moon-soo had signed a little while ago, smiling contentedly.

"Thank goodness."

Just like the athletes, coaches are also in fierce competition.

To recruit outstanding players?

You need to secure information about candidates who have taken the P aptitude test faster than other coaches! If possible, it's even better to monopolize it.

"This could be an opportunity..."

There was a candidate that famous swimming coaches, who he couldn't even dare to compete with, were eager to get.

Song Seon-young.

A prodigy who is evaluated to carry the blood of her mother, a former national team player, and even more potential.

But the girl firmly decided not to swim.

No matter how much they tried to persuade her, what could they do if she didn't like it? Even her parents, who could have helped persuade her, respected their daughter's choice!

So they had no choice but to give up.

'And this is probably my last chance.'

It's a rule that you can't go into a battlefield without weapons.

Similarly, a coach without an athlete to train isn't a coach.

But he didn't have any athletes around him, to the point where he had to strip down(?) and look for them himself as a lifeguard.

The decent candidates, although not as good as Song Seon-young, were all taken by famous coaches!

"Damn pigs."

There are so many recent graduates in the country who got 'swimmer' in P's aptitude test that you can trip over them.

But to become a national representative, you have to be among the top five. This means you need talent that overwhelms the geniuses. You also need the tenacity to endure high-intensity training.

In other words, no matter how well you teach, if the athlete's skills don't keep up, they can't even become a national representative, let alone win an Olympic medal.


He took out the stopwatch he had kept in his pocket.


"1 minute 54 seconds."

I wasn't mistaken.

I had high hopes and deliberately approached him from the start, but I was so surprised by the race result that I didn't reset it and left the record.

It was only 20 seconds off the world record for the 200m freestyle.

'20 seconds is not a small gap, but with that flimsy body?'

It's absurd.


"How did a shaman get such a record... Do you have to be a good swimmer to catch a water ghost?"


He chuckled while gathering up the contract.

'So what, if he's good at swimming...'

It didn't matter what the aptitude was.

* * *

"Goodbye, tedious one-room apartment!"

I didn't have the money to hire a moving service or rent a truck, but it was fine since I didn't have much stuff to pack.


"Wow! Hyung! Brother Moon-soo!"

I had a free younger brother who insisted on helping me move.

Advising this young master of a wealthy family that 'time is money!' wouldn't work.

"Just carry this."

"I was really curious because you never told me where you moved!"


I didn't want to show this warehouse-like - no, it was actually a warehouse - place to Choi Kang-hoon and his friends.

My poverty and unhappiness.

Thanks to always being neat and tidy at school, I was able to keep it a secret from everyone until now.

"I was shocked when I saw it."

"Is that so?"

He seemed genuinely surprised that I was living so hard.

"It's no wonder you're a shaman! It feels like a ghost could pop out at any moment!"


"Hyung Moon-soo, you're really amazing! So manly! I don't think I could live here for even a day... it's too scary...!"

"...Let's go."


While tidying up, did dust get in my eyes?

Suddenly, my eyes turned red.

To avoid being noticed, I turned my back and called him.



"If you have a tough issue, don't hesitate to tell me. I'll help you with everything except financial problems."

"Wow! Really?"

"A man doesn't go back on his word."

"A man! Yes!"

We headed towards the university dormitory with our stuff.


Thanks to a small cart borrowed from a merchant who was familiar with me from living in this old commercial building, it wasn't too hard.

We had a bit of trouble in the dormitory hallway and elevator where the cart couldn't fit, but,


"Kang-hoon, don't strain yourself. Just carry that."


Thanks to Choi Kang-hoon's help, we were able to move quickly.

'Thank you.'

This is sincere. The promise to help with everything except financial issues as well.

"Hyung, there are two beds."

"Since it's a double room. It's pretty spacious because it's for two people."

It's a pity that I have to share my privacy with a stranger, but there was a bathroom attached to the room.

Compared to the shared bathroom in the commercial building, this living environment is no different from a hotel.

I liked it.

"Uh... my shoulders are stiff."


Choi Kang-hoon, who slumped onto the empty bed, wiped the sweat beading on his forehead.

"Wait. There was a vending machine at the first floor entrance. What do you want to drink? Coke, cider, iced coffee..."

"Hyung, I have something to say before that."

Choi Kang-hoon hesitated as if he was watching my reactions.

"Speak freely."

"You said you would help with anything."

"I did. Except for money issues."

It doesn't seem like the young master of a wealthy family would ask to borrow money.

"Can I ask you a favor right away?"

"Of course."

"Do you remember my older brother? We didn't hang out often but..."

"Of course, I remember."

There is only one person whom Choi Kang-hoon calls his older brother in the world.

His half-brother, 'Choi Kang-min'.

However, as you can tell from the casual way he refers to him, they weren't close siblings.

"Why Kang-min?"

"Dad said he had invited shamans to treat my brother."

"That's right."

"But they were all fake."

"That's right!"

Because of people pretending to be shamans even though their aptitude wasn't 'shaman', I also indirectly suffered!

"But you're real."

"That's- huh?"

"Your aptitude is a shaman, right? It said 'shaman' on your aptitude test result. I saw it too."

"Well... that's true."

"Please treat my brother."

"But I can't even see ghosts, let alone tell fortunes-"



Let's think of it as a comfortable visit, even if he ends up disappointed.

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