Chapter 32
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Chapter 32

    Christmas chemistry(1)

    With the sound of pencils scratching on paper, Jeong-woo opened his eyes. His head felt heavy, and he looked around to find himself in the sleep room.

    You slept for one hour and forty minutes.

    Dr. Moons voice caught his attention. She was sitting at her desk, as if studying something, and rolled her chair to come closer to his bed.

    Jeong-woo raised his upper body and paused as Dr. Moon shone a penlight into his eyes.

    Your pupil reaction is normal, and the congestion and eyelid tremors caused by overwork seem to have disappeared.

    When the light went out, Dr. Moons face came into focus.

    How do you feel?

    I feel refreshed after a good sleep.

    Dr. Moon continued to gaze intently at Jeong-woos smiling face.

    Its definitely strange.

    Whats strange? I feel better after a good sleep.

    Usually, insomnia is caused by stress. You have to spend the day feeling tired enough to not be able to sleep.

    Jeong-woo snapped his fingers at these words.

    Thats right. I once fainted in a warehouse a few days ago and felt the same way when I woke up.

    Was there any unusual environment that was different from usual at that time and now?

    With his chin resting on his hand, Jeong-woo turned his gaze to Dr. Moon, who was sitting upright with wet hair.

    Dr. Moon was wearing a T-shirt with a cute character doll that he had seen in the car, with all her makeup removed. The atmosphere was completely different from before, as if the coldness had softened.

    Feels like a pretty neighbor next door?

    For a moment, Jeong-woo was interested in Dr. Moons new look and recalled meeting a beautiful woman a few days ago that he couldnt take his eyes off of.

    I did have an impressive experience.


    Jeong-woo smiled, saying that there was such an incident.

    I was lured by a celebrity autograph and ended up working hard for stage setting that morning.

    Why did you work as a part-timer?

    I had some complicated circumstances Anyway, what kind of symptoms do I have?

    Dr. Moon wrote something on a memo pad, then moved closer again.

    Go to sleep.

    Jeong-woo received a note with the phone number of a place called Cheongdam Sleep Clinic and looked at it with a puzzled expression.

    Its a place run by a talented senior. You should get tested here accurately and come back. Since the test is conducted in a real sleeping environment, you should go there the day before your day off.

    Were the test results serious today?

    The numbers are all normal, but the results are not significant enough to judge symptoms. Sleep disorders are comprehensive diseases that encompass psychiatry, neurology, internal medicine, and otorhinolaryngology.

    Jeong-woo asked about one particular area among the specialties listed by Dr. Moon.

    Psychiatry? Does that mean its a problem with my mental health like depression?

    Dr. Moon, who was staring at Jeong-woo, replied.

    If you took on a part-time job on the weekend with those problems to get an autograph from a celebrity, you should suspect schizophrenia.


    Jeong-woo coughed awkwardly.

    I guess its related to neurology. Im a very sensitive and emotional type of person. My mother watches a lot of dramas, and when I watch them together with her, I get emotional. Last week, the protagonist disappeared saying they will come back with a glint in their eyes.

    Are you serious right now?

    I was joking earlier, but my emotions got hurt

    Dr. Moon turned back to his desk and said.

    Maybe its the adaptation period for AF-12 that you took, Mr. Han.

    Adaptation period?

    Jeong-woo remembered that he was getting better at dealing with dust and looked at his palm.

    Its late. You should prepare for work tomorrow.

    Looking at the clock after Dr. Moons words, it was past 10 oclock. Jeong-woo stood up from his seat and walked towards the door of his office.

    By the way, if the reason from the clinic really is because of overtime work

    Jeong-woo stopped talking when he saw Dr. Moon concentrating on a book. Dr. Moon turned his head and asked.

    Yes? What did you say?

    Ill work hard and become a researcher who can help with all of KG Chemicals projects.

    The next day.

    Jeong-woo barely fell asleep around dawn and woke up at 6am.

    Did I sleep too well during my afternoon nap?

    As he shook off his drowsiness, he went downstairs. After washing his face, he felt a bit more clear-headed.

    Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he tried to do what Dr. Moon had done yesterday.

    He checked under his eyes and looked around.

    Ugh, I dont know.

    He thought thats why he should leave the diagnosis to a doctor.

    As he ate breakfast, put on his shoes, and got on the subway, his body continued to feel sluggish. Sleep was so important, but he couldnt help worrying about not being able to sleep.

    Is this possibly stress?

    As the line 1 train departed, Jeong-woo looked for his earphones and plugged them in, thinking he needed mental stability.

    He turned on his phone screen and searched for good songs on a music site, but suddenly he thought of something and opened the search bar.

    [Yoon Yi-seol]

    As soon as he typed it in, a list of her records from various mini-albums to her second full album popped up.

    Then he noticed a list of recent activities that included videos.

    And he saw a title that caught his eye.

    Fantastic stage in snowflakes! Explosive views!


    There was a mini concert fan cam video from TS Mall, and when he clicked the link and pressed play, it was indeed the encore stage from that day, with support for up to 4K video.

    The video showed himself in white clothes standing still, and Yoon Yi-seol playing the guitar, for three minutes.

    The sweet song that came through his earphones reminded him of how he felt when he heard Yun Yiseols live performance that day.

    Its good. I have to listen to the 2nd album when it comes out.

    It was a dreamlike experience that he would probably never have again, but he felt proud. The fan cam video ended with the audience being moved and cheering.

    Recommended link: The identity of the White Magician

    He was surprised by the tag that appeared after the video.

    Whats this?

    As soon as he clicked it, he saw a very familiar warehouse.

    -Stop talking nonsense and focus on shooting my hands.

    Its me!

    -Creating letters in the air is not just about shaping the letters.

    -One of the dust particles sends a green light blasting.

    -It determines the moment when the fire shines brightly.

    Jeong-woo felt astonished that this video had 300,000 views. At the end of the video, there was a link to a separately edited video of fireworks from the mini-concert.

    He immediately dialed Park Soo-chans number.

    The signal connected, and a voice filled with sleepiness answered.

    -Hey, my buddy. Why are you calling me so early in the morning?

    Hey, why did the video of the fireworks combination you shot for me end up on the video sharing site?

    -That? The cameraman asked if he could upload it, so I edited it and uploaded it. I did a good job, right?

    Did a good job?

    -I heard that if it gets a lot of views, they give you ad revenue. Ill settle everything later and give you your share. Did you read the comments? Theyre calling you the white magician.

    Park Soo-chan chuckled, leaving Jeong-woo at a loss for words.

    -The cameramans name is Shin Ki-joon, and hes quite famous around here. He said that people like it when you create a separate page. Why dont you try making one? He keeps asking where the next stage is, so I told him you work for a chemical company. He was completely surprised to hear that youre a chemist.

    That was a few days ago, and youre telling me this now?

    -So what? If my friend becomes a YouTube star, its good for me too. Its good for you too.

    Watching videos uploaded by ordinary people with tens of thousands of views has become commonplace these days.

    Feeling perplexed, but at the same time thinking that it wasnt that surprising, Jeong-woo quickly did the calculations.

    Ill definitely make sure to receive the settlement.

    Of course. And hey, do you want to work part-time again? Theres a big event on Christmas

    Im busy. Ive recently been recognized at work.

    Got it. Take care of yourself, and lets have an end-of-year party.

    After hanging up, Jeong-woo opened the search bar and typed in [Han Jeong-woo], only to see a list of people with the same name. Curious, he typed in [White Magician], and found himself on the second page of the search results.

    3 minutes of magic that mesmerized shopping mall customers!

    The white magician from Sing Company, who lit up Yoon Yiseols stage.

    Its even on the second page.

    Jeong-woo couldnt sleep and immediately took a screenshot and saved it.

    Entering the door of Research Room 1, Jeong-woo was overwhelmed by the real office space that felt like a place where people lived.

    Jeong-woo, youre here?


    Senior researcher Hong Ki-pyo, who he had met at a company dinner and recognized, stood up and greeted him.

    Jeong-woo pointed to the desk right next to the entrance.

    This is my seat, right, senior? (Sunbae-nim)

    Thats right. And now, drop the honorifics. Youre a direct junior researcher in Research Room 1.

    Ah, yes, senior. (Sunbae)

    Jeong-woo sat down. It was a bland space with nothing in it, but it was spacious, pleasant, and above all, there was an electrical outlet.

    Is the desk next to mine Senior Song Boyeongs?

    He noticed a middle-aged womans picture frame that looked like her. He thought it might be annoying to see her almost every day until he is dispatched at the beginning of next year, but it wasnt so bad to think of her as a friend to talk about chemistry with.

    At 9 oclock, all the seats in Research Room 1 were filled.

    Hmm? Why isnt she here yet? Is she late?

    Even after 30 minutes had passed, Jeong-woo looked up with his head tilted as Song Boyeong had not shown up yet.

    Senior Jeonghee.

    Jeong-woo called out to Senior Cha Jeonghee, who was sitting across from him, and pointed to Song Boyeongs seat.

    Do you know where Senior Boyeong went?

    Boyeong? Shes on a business trip to Daejeon with Senior Oh. Shell be there all week trying to bring in a new project from the research institute.

    Ah, I see.

    Boyeong cleaned up that spot yesterday because she heard you were coming. She even did the cleaning, which she never does.


    For some reason, Jeong-woo felt grateful but also missed Song Boyeongs cute face. Taking the opportunity to ask again, Jeong-woo said, Senior, what should I do today?

    If you havent been given any specific tasks, just do what you need to do. Youre going to be sent out anyway, right?

    Jeong-woo nodded and looked around Research Lab 1.

    From someone searching for overseas papers for their assigned research project to someone investigating claims from affiliated companies, to someone who just stopped by before going to the laboratory.

    I should do what Doctor Moon assigned me to do.

    Jeong-woo turned on his laptop and connected it to the socket.

    There were projects that Doctor Cheon Seung-guk had planned but abandoned. They were piled up in large numbers and seemed to have been postponed since the presentation at the planning evaluation meeting yesterday. If he could organize them and set up a research overview, that would be enough.

    There is only one body, but there are hundreds of projects to propose.

    At times like this, it is better to prepare without thinking too much.


    While sorting through the documents, a text message came in.

    [Did you arrive at work?]

    It was from Song Boyeong.

    [Yes, senior. Thank you for cleaning up my seat.]

    As soon as I replied, another text message came in.

    [Just words? Next time we study a paper, its your treat, Jeong-woo ^0^!]

    It was a text message that made me laugh as soon as I saw it. I didnt mind it.

    On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Jeong-woo continued his routine of going back and forth between the research room without any particular problems. However, he suddenly began to experience sleep problems while going about his daily life.

    While organizing his assignments, eating lunch, and chatting with his seniors, he found himself dozing off without realizing it several times. It seemed like a problem that couldnt be solved just by consulting a doctor.

    So now it was Friday evening.

    Ill go in, Senior Hong.

    Oh, yeah. See you next week. Have a Merry Christmas.


    At Jeong-woos response, Hong Ki-pyo pointed to the calendar hanging on the wall.

    Tomorrow is the 24th, the day after tomorrow is the 25th. Even though the weekend and Christmas coincided, the day that marked December was right in front of them.

    I didnt even realize.

    Despite only organizing Dr. Cheonseung-guks research records, I lost track of time and worked for longer than realized.

    Thats right. Im just addicted to work. What mental problems?

    The sound of a sick mind just thinking about it is uneasy.

    To go to the sleep clinic he had reserved for 8 pm, Jeong-woo finished taking a shower and changed his clothes before coming down to the first floor. He was startled when he saw his younger brother holding a glass of drink while waiting for him.

    Whats this?

    Drink it. Its orange juice that you like, hyung.

    Why are you doing this all of a sudden?

    Just because. You must be tired from work, right, hyung~

    Ugh, it gives me chills. Dont make that face and talk to me like that. Youre not just a clean-shaven guy anymore, youre a complete middle-aged man.

    Normally, Jeong-chan would have come out with a fighting spirit when he was hit like this, but he just laughed and handed him the drink.

    Jeong-woo took the glass and asked, What is this? Pentawatch Skin?

    As he took a sip, he was surprised by the unexpected answer from his brother.

    I was confessed to by a girl I go to the library with.

    Spitting out the juice, Jeong-woo abruptly turned his head.

    Really? What crazy girl confessed to you?

    Shes not crazy. Shes quite pretty. Not as much as the senior sister that was here before.

    So what did you say to her?

    Jeong-chan opened his mouth with a serious expression.

    I was too surprised and just nodded my head.

    What the hell, man?

    At his brothers words, Jeong-woo grabbed his stomach.

    Where can you find a guy who would receive a girls confession like that?

    So she asked me out on a date tomorrow. I have no idea where to go or what to do.

    Do you want me to help you out?

    But you and Eun-sil noona.

    Lets not talk about that from when we were in elementary school.

    Jeong-woo sat Jeong-chan in front of the kitchen table.

    Do you have the intention to date her?

    Huh? Uh

    Jeong-woo couldnt help but laugh at his younger brothers shy nod, but he also felt a tingling and fresh feeling.

    Alright. Its Christmas Eve tomorrow, so you cant lose points by just going on a date.

    Help me, hyung. Im almost out of allowance.

    Jeong-woo thought for a moment before speaking.

    Clean my room for three months.

    Three months?

    If you dont like it, then forget it.

    Okay. But if I succeed tomorrow


    Jeong-woo said immediately.

    Is there anything special about a high school date? A fancy dinner is fine for starters. A romantic movie is a must.


    Go to a popular street where there are a lot of people. Just walk holding hands. If the streetlights go out on Christmas Eve, then grab her tightly

    Jeong-woo looked at Jeong-chans face as he spoke.

    Oh, it wont work. You might get caught with that face of yours.


    Oh, never mind.

    Jeong-chan watched as Jeong-woo took out his wallet and pushed it away with both hands tightly pressed together.

    I was going to give you only 50,000 won, but I have a heart. Its a Christmas bonus~

    Jeong-woo had a full pocket from his part-time job last week, so he gave his younger brother the maximum amount he could.

    Thank you, hyung.

    Try to capture the heart of a girl with a taste beyond yours. Be a man of the Han family.

    After finishing coaching cleanly, Jeong-woo walked to the entrance and asked Jeong-chan.

    Where are you going hyung?

    Im going to sleep. Tell mom he wont be coming in today.

    Jeong-woo waved his hand briefly to Jeong-chan, who didnt understand, and went outside.

    A van stopped in front of a luxurious 5-story building with a sign that read Cheongdam Sleep Clinic.

    The back door opened, and a woman with a hat pulled down stepped out.

    I hope Yi-seol sleeps well tonight.

    You can sleep well here.

    Well, thats up to the directors opinion. Weve cleared the Christmas schedule, so feel free. Ill cover any dating rumors too.

    Really? With that actor that was your ideal type!

    As she clenched her fist threateningly, the man sitting in the car with her also clenched his fist together, showing his support with a fighting gesture.

    Please do that. Please make me laugh.

    The van left, and she looked back at the sleep clinic.

    Today will work out somehow too.

    She muttered quietly and went inside wearing a mask to cover her face.

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