“No way, how could you possibly know that?”
“There’s Cucumber Alcohol too. You didn’t even eat Cucumber Kimchi. Are you… eating lunch for the second time?”
Boyoung was unable to hide her feelings because of his question and grew bright red. Jungwu who finally understood what was going on was left speechless. Boyoung had forced herself to buy and eat another tray of food just so she could speak with him.
“I…I was hungry!”
Jungwu couldn’t help but let out a snort because of her poorly thought out excuse, and had to cover his mouth.
“Sorry, I wasn’t trying to figure it out on purpose.”
“So you say.”
Jungwu had to stifle his laughter as Boyoung continued to glare at him with her mouth shut. Once she brought the food up to her lips, Jungwu made a suggestion.
“You should stop, you’ll make yourself sick.”
“Let me be.”
But Jungwu didn’t feel like watching her forcefully feed herself, so he put away his own empty tray and took the tray away from Boyoung.
“I was considering buying another set, so I guess it works out.”
“What are you doing?”
“If you want more, just go get another tray.”
Boyoung silently watched Jungwu deliciously eat away at her food while still holding her spoon in the air. Not too long after, Jungwu finished the food and rubbed his bulging belly.
“Ah, I ate well.”
Boyoung said to him after a long period of silence.
“Let’s just say you passed by and saw me eat earlier. How did you guess the side dishes so accurately? Did you put a hidden cam on me?”
“I saw the material on your lips.”
“That’s what I mean. How? What you just did, it was like watching Professor Chun again.”
Jungwu stacked the trays to clean up as he answered.
“I don’t think there is any reason for me to reveal what I learned from the professor to you, Sunbae, is there? We’re rivals too and what did you call it? Nobel Prize. There can only be maximum of three co-discoverers, right?”
“That’s true but…”
Boyoung suddenly seemed to wilt. Smiling happily to suddenly dismayed; this Sunbae was such a dynamic individual.
‘Like that time when she managed to create that static electricity outfit by doing the laundry. She can be strangely comical sometimes.’
Jungwu who ended up unintentionally stuffing himself knew that it was about time he should be excusing himself. If he were to stay here, he would be interrogated endlessly until lunchtime was over.
“Thanks for lunch, Sunbae nim.”
Once Jungwu rose from his seat, Boyoung stood up with him.
“Parachuter ssi, do you have any plans for the afternoon?”
“The 3rd team Sunbaes have asked me to continue to assist them. Taking turns 1 hour each.”
Boyoung realized that she would not have an opportunity to call him out separately because the work required constant supervision and observation of the chemicals. She let her shoulders drop at the thought that she would have to wait until the next day for another opportunity to speak with him.
Jungwu massaged his neck as he continued to observe the liquid spinning inside of the Automatic Analyzer.
The compound spinning inside of the disk shaped tray was a catalyst used to better separate the Light Olefins, which is produced when refining petroleum.
‘So these Olefins are used to produce plastic, right?’
Now that he thoroughly and completely understood the chemical processes unfolding before him, even though none of these were things he knew yesterday, the repetitive work he was doing in the name of research was nothing but yawn inducing.
Once the speed of rotation reached a certain value, the catalyst crossed over into the detector due to the centrifugal force. It reacted with the detector and values began appearing on the screen with the readout.
Once jotting those down, Jungwu waited another 10 seconds. Meanwhile, he yawned again which he seemed to be doing every 5 minutes.
‘So boring. I’m bored.’
After doing this for the entire day, Jungwu felt like he could understand what having ‘Cervical Herniated Disk’ would feel like.
The automatic doors to the analysis room opened, and a man poked his head in.
“Is it time to swap with somebody?”
“It’s the end of your shift so you can go home.”
A member of Contact Decomposition Catalyst development team, the 3rd team researcher quickly skimmed through Jungwu’s report before nodding.
“I don’t think this will need a check over. Have you participated in a research project before?”
“No, not really. I just kind of…”
It would be most appropriate to call it intuition. And this level of research didn’t even need the help of the vast chemical knowledge contained within his cells.
“You have a knack for this kind of work. I’ll look forward to working with you again.”
The researcher at the door gave Jungwu a thumbs up.
He decided that he would try his best to avoid any kind of supportive work like this that didn’t increase his work performance. This is not why he accepted the salary of 100 Million Won (USD 90,000) to join the research institution.
“I’m off then. Have a good day.”
Jungwu left the room and stretched before he headed towards the small chicken coop-like office where he left his bag.
But he still felt satisfaction from being able to assimilate into the research institution without much problem.
Once he opened the office doors and entered inside, he saw several full-time researchers sitting at their desks. Each of them was focused on something as if they were studying at their desks.
‘Looks like everyone’s planning on doing overtime instead of going home. Ah right, they must be preparing for the assessment.’
Jungwu had agreed to participate in the next week’s assessment, so he didn’t think twice before sitting down at his desk. He took out the old outdated laptop he had used all four years of his college years to take notes on and placed it on the table.
The desk was simple and had no electrical outlets built into it. And because the hallway was partitioned off to create this makeshift office space, there were also no wall plugs to be seen.
‘My laptop basically has no battery though.’
Jungwu let out a deep sigh and gazed over to the full timers who were working away on their high spec top-of-the-line laptops.
He had no choice but to work on it at home, he concluded, and stood up to leave. But then the cellphone in his pocket rang with a notification for a text message.
[It’s the end of your shift, right? Please drop by.]
It was Doctor Moon.
Jungwu packed his bags and stood at the entrance of the office.
“I’ll be heading home first, Sunbaes!”
The full timers turned in response to his enthusiastic farewell. An indifferent reaction. The only one to make an effort to give a short reply was Sunghwan who Jungwu had made acquaintance with today.
‘It’ll get better.’
Jungwu entered the elevator and selected the 10th floor where Doctor Moon was said to be working.
Medical Biotechnology Center.
The front page banner of KG Chemical’s website stated that the department was newly created and was aggressively pushing new research studies.
‘This research division focuses on the upcoming Total Medical Care era for the aging population, or something, right?’
Once he reached the 10th floor, he found Doctor Moon standing in the doorway across the hall. For one reason or another, she was wearing outdoor clothes rather than the medical gown he had seen her wear in the morning, so she looked very different.
Doctor Moon had her long naturally straight hair untied which flowed down to her shoulders.
Jungwu called out to her.
Under her graceful eyelashes were her unfathomably deep and intelligent eyes, which turned to look upon him. Jungwu felt as if he was purified by her gaze as he walked up to her and stood before her.
“Wow, such a warm welcome. It’s the first nice welcome I’ve received since entering this company.”
Doctor Moon looked puzzled for a moment, but she must not have placed much importance on it as she continued straight to her reason for calling him.
“You received security card for the Research Institution, right?”
“You can enter Professor Chun’s personal research laboratory with that card.”
Jungwu took out the red card from his pocket.
“But what’s the point?”
“You’ll know when you get there. There are notes and files there that Professor Chun was working on, or was planning to begin. From now on, head over to the laboratory after hours to confirm and familiarize yourself with them.”
“No way, you intend for me to continue…”
“That is correct. Please prepare yourself so that you can begin work as soon as the adjustment period is over.”
Doctor Moon walked into the Elevator Jungwu had just left. Jungwu was about to join her when she stopped him by raising her hands.
“I have to head down. The Laboratory you need to go to is on the 25th floor.”
“You’re not coming?”
“Why should I? I am a Doctor, not a Chemist. Although, if you pursue a pharmaceutical project we may end up working together.”
The elevator door closed.
Jungwu stood in place for a moment before he finally realized that Doctor Moon had just handed him a task that fundamentally required overtime to do.
She wouldn’t exploit him for having already signed the contract…he once again tried to reassure himself from the suspicion he was feeling.
As soon as the card was placed, the semi transparent glass doors opened up.
Jungwu looked around Professor Chun’s personal Laboratory with curiosity as he entered. The first thing that he noticed were the fact the laboratory was set up like a miniaturized version of the Fundamental Elements Lab.
‘So this is what an Executive Researcher’s personal office look like, eh?’
It was wide and spacious.
Once he opened the door on the far side, he found an office space filled from ground to ceiling with Chemistry textbooks on one of the walls.
The office featured a leather sofa for welcoming visitors, a wooden desk with a nameplate that read [Seung-guk Chun Head Researcher], and a very comfy looking executive style chair.
Jungwu briefly sat on the comfy chair.
A comfort like he never experienced before enveloped his back and behind. He could now understand why people spent so much money on good chairs.
‘There’s a computer here as well. I should use this office instead of the ones for temporary hires for preparing for the assessment.’
Jungwu propelled the chair along while remaining seated and moved himself to the cabinets. Once open, he saw that the cabinets were filled with documents that Professor Chun had been personally working on. And among them, he picked up the document with the most recent time stamp.
‘Perfect man Project?’
It was a crude title that used words which his knowledge of Chemistry did not provide any sort of explanation. And the document was completely blank. It appeared as though he came up with the idea but had not taken a single step forward.
The document was created on the June of this year, and there were no records afterward. It was also around the same time when Professor Chun had began his Sabbatical.
There was a mountain of research documents Jungwu was expected to be familiar with, so Jungwu turned his attention elsewhere.
How much time had passed?
Jungwu glanced at the clock on the wall and stood up alarmed.
It was already 10 in the night.
‘There’s no reason for me to force myself on the first day.’
Recalling that he didn’t sleep last night at all, he was worried that he might collapse tomorrow.
When he was trying to place the documents back into the cabinet, one document fell off the pile and onto the floor.
He picked it up and read it.
[Any production involving ‘AF-5’ needs to be carried out with utmost care. Even a small breakthrough involving the use of this chemical could shake the very foundation of society…]
It was a note that was stuck inside of the completely blank research file, “Perfect Man Project”.
Jungwu tilted his head, he recalled that a similar code name had been assigned to the small blue pill he had taken last night. The term ‘Perfect Man’ had nothing to do with Chemistry so no hint was provided to him as to what it could mean.
‘Is it possible that there are different pills than the one I took?’
Jungwu yawned as he left Professor Chun’s personal laboratory. He had far too many research material to read through to be worried about a completely blank research paper.
“Ah… So exhausted. I’ll just head home first.”
His heart was racing in anticipation of his first return home from work, the same way he had felt when he was on his way for his first day on the job.
He thought about how from now on he would go head home after work and take a shower, dry his hair, perhaps drink a can of beer and think about his day.
He felt very happy just thinking about the ordinary things he would do while being employed; this was a world that he couldn’t experience until even yesterday.
Jungwu’s steps were very light.
He felt that he would sleep very well tonight.
Case: Master of Static
Research: If the Nerve Fiber in the palm could send electrical signals to promote ionic reaction, then it becomes possible to manipulate Free Electrons to a certain degree
We would like to apologize for the hiatus. Our previous translator had left in May due to school priorities. After that, we had spoken with the author again and he asked Gamja specifically to translate his work (Chapter 7, 8 and 9 of Chemistry are in fact translated by Gamja as well). Gamja had been translating Master Hunter K and so we needed a replacement there which took us a while to find and train one so that the new translator is able to translate the novel in a similar style.
Long story short, Chemistry resumes again and GamjaLvl1 will be translating the novel.