Christmas chemistry(5)

Yoon Yi-seol turned her head when she saw the clock on the corridor.

“We have 10 minutes left.
They said not to consume caffeine, so let’s have a warm glass of milk in the break room….”

Yoon Yi-seol had to touch her forehead.
Milk? Among the many drinks like juice, tea, and soda, why did she have to suggest such a childish drink? However, the response she received was positive.

“Sure, I’m thirsty too.”

Yoon Yi-seol’s face brightened as if she had been waiting for this answer.

“There are dried persimmons that the grandmother gave me earlier.
I’ll bring them.
You can go first.”

Before Jeong-woo could even respond, Yoon Yi-seol disappeared up to the second floor.

Jeong-woo smiled wryly at her unexpected energy and headed to the break room.

‘Why do I feel like I’m on a date when I’m clearly undergoing treatment?’

Even though he thought it wasn’t a bad misunderstanding, he couldn’t help but smile inwardly.

On this Christmas Eve, Jeong-woo headed to the break room, feeling grateful for this dream-like luck.

Upon opening the door to the space decorated as a cafeteria on the first floor, a large Christmas tree in the center caught the eye.
It wasn’t extravagant, but the multicolored mood lamps placed around it added charm to the stars and ornaments adorning the tree.

Under the sign “Self-Serve for All Beverages,” Jeong-woo walked to the refrigerator, took out some milk, poured it into a mug, and put it in the microwave.
As he watched the tree, the mood lamps suddenly expanded and shone brightly when he pressed the switch.

‘What’s this?’ Jeong-woo blinked his eyes.

Inside the bulb, there was a gas-shaped star floating around.
The colorful clusters emitting a glow and dispersing were halogen gas.
The information of the elements [I] and [Br] were added to the gas stars that seemed to be thick particles.

‘Iodine, Bromine.
You guys have a unique appearance.’

The gases inside the mood lamps responsible for one of the tree’s branches seemed to vibrate, as if asking to be touched when Jeong-woo stared at them.

‘Huh? You’re not even dust particles.’

Jeong-woo reached out towards them absent-mindedly.

Free electrons that gathered from all directions passed through the glass structure of the mood lamps and mixed with the gas stars.

As the temperature of the colors gradually turned redder, the glittering tree ornaments became even more vibrant.

‘These guys are interesting.’

Some of the mood lamps pulled some of the free electrons that had gathered around them and turned bluer, making the color of the star-shaped ornaments brilliant.

“What are you doing?”

Jeong-woo, who had been scattering dust stars like directing them towards the tree while reaching out his hand, was taken aback by this voice and stopped moving.

Yoon Yi-seol leaned her head and stood next to Jeong-woo.

The tree is amazing.”


Amid the mood light that became darker and clearer than before, the Christmas tree exuded a noble and elegant charm.

‘You adjusted it well at the right time.’

Jeong-woo saw the filament gas in the remaining mood lamp flickering as if asking him to fix it.

Not just the halogen gas, but also another inactive gas called krypton was mixed in.

Isn’t there a real problem?’

He felt anxious that it might burn out the filament, emitting even flashes.

“Hey, do you see this, Yi-seol?”


“Shall I show you some magic?”

Yoon Yi-seol nodded her head with great expectations.

“I just moved the positions of these bulbs a little while ago.
And there’s one left.”

Jeong-woo lightly touched the white-hot filament bulb mixed with krypton.

‘You guys, go in and dry the filament a bit.’

The dust particles immediately reacted and poured into the light bulb.
As the krypton gas surrounded the halogen gas, the unstable temperature stabilized and the flash disappeared.

The enhanced mood lamp, which began to emit a cheerful yellow-green light, became the center of attention and naturally illuminated the green leaves of the tree like a dragon soaring in the sky.

“Oh my.”

Yoon Yi-seol’s round eyes widened.

“Is this that thing? Magical chemistry?”


The bulb, which showed different wavelengths mixed with stardust, was something that Jeong-woo had never seen before.

One could argue that it was due to the magical ability of “AF-12”, but since Yoon Yi-seol believes it as it is, Jeong-woo did not add any further comments.

“I’ve never seen a Christmas tree that emits such warm light before.
It’s amazing, like a hot pack.”

“Since it’s something that a chemist messed with, you could call it a ‘chemi-tree’.”

Even at a simple joke, Yoon Yi-seol chuckled, and Jeong-woo joined in.

‘Is it because of the sleep training? Yoon Yi-seol’s reactions seems better.’

Jeong-woo thought that maybe he understood Yoon Yi-seol’s desire to look good in front of a top star and showed his approval by raising his thumb to the free electrons.

Time passed and it was time for the final stage of the personalized treatment, the counseling session.
Jeong-woo was sitting in the counseling room on the fifth floor, looking over the checklist that Seong Mi-na had handed him.

[“Practice Relaxation Techniques: Step 1.
Recall a time when you felt most relaxed.
Step 2….”]

“So these are instructions for what I should do during the week?”


“How do I determine whether it has been done or not?”

“You have to rely on your own conscience.
This is an essential part of the process of normalizing sleep.
In the case of Jeong-woo, it’s step one of the relaxation techniques, drawing the time when you were most relaxed.
It may seem simple, but it’s actually the most important part.
Why, when you take a leisurely walk in the park, or eat something delicious, or watch an interesting movie….”

Seong Mi-na’s gaze first turned to Yoon Yi-seol and then back to Jeong-woo.

or when you’re with someone you like.
It’s an effort to maintain that state on a regular basis.”

Jeong-woo glanced at Yoon Yi-seol, who was sitting across from him, looking at the checklist with a serious expression.
It seemed like they were both working on different things.

“Yoon Yi-seol, make sure you solve that too during the week.”

“It seems too difficult.”

“Be courageous.
Today’s treatment went well, didn’t it?”

At Seong Mi-na’s words, Yoon Yi-seol glanced at Jeong-woo surreptitiously and covered her face with the checklist when he turned his head.

“That’s the end of the program.
Thank you for your hard work.”

At 6 pm, the treatment ended, and Seong Mi-na opened the door and shook hands with them.

Jeong-woo walked outside and stood in front of the elevator.
Yoon Yi-seolalso came over to wait for the elevator together.


Yoon Yi-seol was about to say something, but Jeong-woo’s phone rang.

“Just a moment.”

Looking at the screen, it was his younger brother.


-Hyung! I’m in big trouble.

“Why, did you end up getting dumped?”

-No, I lost my wallet.
I think I dropped it somewhere while walking around with Soojin holding my hand….

“You’re such an idiot.”

Jeong-woo let out a deep sigh.

“So where is it then?”

-In front of that cafe you mentioned.
I just stepped out for a phone call.

“Cleaning the room for five months.
No compromise.”

-Got it.
Please save me, bro.

After finishing the call, the elevator arrived.
As they got on, Yoon Yi-seol asked curiously.

“That was your younger brother, right? What happened?”

“He lost his wallet.
It’s the first time in his life he’s walked holding hands with someone, and he lost his mind and his wallet in the process.”

“Oh dear, they walked holding hands? See, she likes him.”

Yoon Yi-seol clapped her hands and laughed.


Arriving on the first floor, Jeong-woo bowed his head.

“Thanks to you, I didn’t get bored today on the program.
Chan also helped a lot.
I appreciate everything.”

“Um… Mr.
Han Jeong-woo, will you come next week too?”

Yoon Yi-seol asked cautiously.
Jeong-woo nodded his head.

“Of course.
Until I feel better.”

“I’ll come next week too.
Take care of yourself…”

Yi-seol clenched her fist and emphasized her words, but then quickly added, “Sleep well.”

“Same to you, Yi-seol.”

As Jeong-woo disappeared outside the lobby, Yi-seol put her hand on her chest.

“Did I do well? I didn’t seem like a fool this time, did I? Good.”

Muttering to herself like that, she patted her head, and then checked her phone to see if her boss had arrived yet.

After getting on the van, Yi-seol was told by her team leader, “You’ve worked hard, Yi-seol.”

“It’s nothing,” Yi-seol replied.

The manager looked at Yi-seol’s face and his eyes widened.
“What’s so joyful?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re smiling.”

“I always smile.”

As the van started to move, the manager lowered his head.
“Your bright smile is rare these days.
Director Seong is amazing.
Just as the rumors say.”

“That’s right.”

Yi-seol sank into her seat and looked at the checklist she was holding in her hand.
“Can I really do all of this?” Items 1 through 10 seemed too difficult, but she had to accomplish everything in order to have something to say to Director Seong and that person at the program next week.

As the van turned at the intersection, Yi-seol noticed that person standing at the bus stop.


Manager Ji, who was driving, turned his head.

“What’s wrong, Yoon?”


The person who was moving to help her brother in a crisis of love.

‘Did he say they were going to the cafe I recommended?’

Yoon Yi-seol’s gaze lingered on one of the actions written on the checklist.

Spend at least an hour with an unexpected companion.]

“Manager Ji.”


“Shall we go to Once for the first time in a while?”

It’s Christmas Eve.
Let’s listen to some music.”

“Before we go…”

Yoon Yi-seol looked back at the bus stop.

“Let’s give a ride to the friend I got treatment with today.”


“At that bus stop.”

After saying that, Yoon Yi-seol picked up her pen and checked off the item on the checklist, then smiled broadly.

The van with dark tinted windows came to a stop and the door opened.
Jeong-woo was taken aback by the person inside.

“Get in, hurry.”

The person gesturing and wearing a beanie was Yoon Yi-seol.

“We’re going to the cafe.
Let’s go together.”

“Is that okay?”

Jeong-woo hesitated, but Yoon Yi-seol nodded, and he got into the van.

“Welcome, Yi-seol’s friend.”

The manager, who was in the driver’s seat, looked at Jeong-woo through the rearview mirror and raised his hand in recognition.

“I know this face.”

“You saw him last week.
He gave us a hot pack.”

The manager clicked his fingers at Yoon Yi-seol’s explanation.

“Oh, Han Jeong-woo?”

As the van started, the manager looked surprised and asked.

“Are you the one who works at a chemical company?”


“That event with the artificial eye spray was a hit.
And also, ‘The White Magician.’ I saw it too.
Doesn’t the agency contact you?”


“Just by looking at you, you seem tall and have specialized knowledge.
And from the stage footage, it seems like you can act.
I’ve been a manager for 10 years, so I have a sense for these things.
You’re perfect for a specialized broadcasting panel.”

As soon as he stopped at the traffic light, the manager took out a business card from his pocket and handed it to Jeong-woo.

“If you’re interested, you don’t need to go to different places.
We’re a subsidiary of KG Entertainment, and we can connect you to cable TV, and general broadcast stations….”

The manager, who had turned his head, met eyes with Yoon Yi-seol, who was sending a fierce look that said, “Just focus on driving quietly.”

You can discuss this later.
I’ll focus on driving.”

Jeong-woo shook his head inwardly as he looked at the business card that said “Manager Ji Seong-jae of Star Piece” in his hands.

‘I’m so busy with work, why bother with this.’

Yoon Yi-seol turned her head and asked Jeong-woo in the passenger seat, “How’s your younger brother doing?”

“He seems to be doing fine.
He’s going to take on cleaning the house for five months.
But why are you going to a cafe, Yi-seol?”

“It’s Christmas Eve.
It’s just boring if we don’t do anything, so I wanted to create some atmosphere.”

Looking at her bright smile, Jeong-woo’s heart was beating fast, and he turned his gaze out the window.

‘Yoon Yi-seol and Christmas Eve.
Am I dreaming? This is all because of Chan’s messing around….’

His heart was tingling.
Jeong-woo, who had been resenting his younger brother just a while ago, now felt like he had found a treasure.

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