World of Masks – Chapter 5
“Do you know me?”
As the man in front of him was an older person, Jin-suk was very polite as he spoke. But that didn’t mean he didn’t tense his body in preparation.
Jin-suk couldn’t remember ever meeting such an old man. And now the place they were meeting was in a back alley with no one else around.
“Ahh. In fact I know you very well.”
The old man spoke with a meaningful smile.
“Ever since your parents died.”
Was he a friend of his parents?
However as far as Jin-suk knew, there weren’t any friends or relatives who looked like the old man in front of him. But it was quite normal for his parents to have a few friends that he didn’t know.
Of course, the situation of encountering them in an alley was still strange.
“So you’re my parent’s friend? Thank you for worrying, but I’m okay now. It’s been 6 months already. I’ll get over it eventually.”
“No. That’s not what I’m talking about…”
The old man shook his head slowly and stared deep into Jin-suk’s eyes, as if he could see through all deceit.
“I meant your urges toward destruction and murder.”
“Yes? What do you mean.”
The man took in the appearance of Jin-suk who only looked at him doubtfully.
“Hmm. You’re much calmer than I expected. I thought you’d be a bit more jumpy or speechless…”
The young man in front of him was much stronger than he expected. The young man could still keep calm even when he knew a secret that no one else should’ve known.
No, from looking at his expression, the young man seemed to be normal and similar to an old man like himself. (TL: this is referring to this temperament)
“Hey. Grandpa? Would you like me to take you to the hospital?”
“…Hmm. It’s quite new to be treated like an old person.”
However, the old man was quite satisfied in his heart. The young man in front of him still managed to remain calm in front of someone who knew something that could be considered his weakness.
Rather, he was making him seem like a senile old man. That meant that he was a very thorough human being.
“No. I’m not yet that old.”
As the old man lightly denied the suspicions of his senility by this abominable young man, he tapped his finger on the top of his cane, seemingly in a contemplative mood.
“It seems you won’t easily admit to it. What I want to see isn’t this good-natured Kim Jin-suk, instead I want the psychopath Kim Jin-suk.”
“Hey, grandpa. I’m a little offended by you calling me a psychopath. So first off, who are you grandpa?”
“You don’t need to know who I am right now. You don’t have the right.”
The old man stopped talking and looked at the hand that Jin-suk had just slipped into his pocket.
“And I don’t have any intention of harming you, so you can let go of the knife.”
Jin-suk, who had just grabbed a knife in his pocket, laughed awkwardly at being caught. However, even though the old man said that, he didn’t let go of the knife. No, instead he simply pulled out the knife that was hidden in his pocket.
“Well you see. I’ve been going through some rough times lately. I carry it with me in case I find myself in any strange situation…Isn’t this situation suspicious enough?”
“How sly. You are skilled at talking yourself over a wall.”
Despite the old man’s jeers, Jin-suk didn’t let go of the knife. Although he appeared to be very calm, he was in fact very wary.
Evidence of this was in the fact that he’d taken out the knife, which had never been taken out even when dealing with knife-wielding gangsters, in front of this elderly man who seemed to have no power.
However, even though he was rather bewildered at that moment, Jin-suk still remained level headed.
Should he kill? Should he silence this man?
No. There was no guarantee that the old man was alone. The situation might get worse if there was another person who witnessed the murder.
Should he just wait? He hadn’t done anything anyway, did he? Wouldn’t it be better to just treat him like a senile old man?
But how did he know? He couldn’t tell if it was a joke…but he was sure that that wasn’t true.
Jin-suk looked at the old man warily who had turned his head away a bit.
Then the old man, who had been muttering something for a long time, slapped his palm against his fist.
“Ah! That’ll do.”
It seemed as though the old man had thought of something, as he turned toward Jin-suk with a large smile on his face.
“Here’s what we’re gonna do. For now we’ll do a play.” (TL: like acting out a play)
“That’s right. A play.”
The old man nodded as if it was the best idea he’d ever come up with. But Jin-suk was instead incredibly confused. No, it was the sudden play.
The old man’s words were hard for him to understand.
“All you need to do is go along with this crazy old man’s play. You’re a good person, so you should be able to do that.”
In other words, what he meant wasn’t real acting. It was to use the mask called acting to instead show your true intentions.
“…I don’t want to ask, but my role is…”
“Of course it’s the psychopath suffering from the impulses toward destruction and the desire to kill.”
The old man said this without any hesitation. However, Jin-suk was also pulled into the story.
For Jin-suk who usually pretended to be a good person, the strange and suspicious old man who was sure of his impulses for destruction and murder was now asking him to act in that way.
He felt that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let down his mask once.
Even if the old man had a change of heart, he would simply say he was acting and he would use the tape recorder running in his pocket as proof.
After he was finished thinking, Jin-suk nodded.
“…Whoo. Then I guess I’ll do it.”
Of course, he made it seem like he didn’t really want to do it, he twisted his face like he was intending to do his best in this old man’s play.
The old man looked at him as if to say that he could see through his act, but he ignored that.
“So I’m the psychopath, what role will grandfather play?”
As he asked this, the old man in front of him gave him a bright smile and spread his arms.
“I’ll be the angel.”
Jin-suk’s expression froze.
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