Ryu Won’s stomach grumbled loudly, prompting Ryu Min to chuckle.
“Are you hungry? Want to grab breakfast at the convenience store?”
“Uh, sure, that sounds good,” Ryu Won replied, scratching his head self-consciously.
Despite the fact that eating at a convenience store might seem unappetizing for most people, it was the only option for the siblings, who were barely making ends meet.
Convenience stores had become so popular in recent years that they offered almost everything that people needed.
As they entered the store, Ryu Min walked over to the ATM.
“What are you doing, Hyung?” Ryu Won asked.
“Just getting some cash,” he replied as he inserted his card.
Ryu Won peeked over his shoulder and saw the balance displayed on the screen.
[Available balance: 133,202 won]
With a measly sum of 133,000 won, Ryu Min’s entire fortune was hardly impressive, but for those who struggled to make ends meet, it was everything.
Despite his limited funds, Ryu Min managed to eke out a living by working part-time at a meat restaurant every weekend.
Although it was a relatively impoverished existence compared to others, he was able to get by.
However, to his younger brother’s surprise, Ryu Min withdrew most of his savings in cash. “What are you planning to do with all that money?” his brother asked, bewildered.
“I have something in mind,” Ryu Min replied with a smile before heading into the convenience store.
His brother followed him inside, intending to purchase his usual instant noodles, but Ryu Min had other ideas. To his brother’s astonishment, he headed straight for the frozen food section.
“Here, pick something out from here,” Ryu Min said, gesturing towards the expensive frozen foods.
“But, Hyung, these are too expensive,” his brother protested.
“It’s alright. Today, we can eat to our hearts’ content,” Ryu Min replied, seemingly intent on spoiling themselves for once.
“Did the boss at the restaurant give you a bonus or something?” his brother asked, still suspicious.
“You know he wouldn’t do that. It’s just that it’s New Year’s Day, and we can’t celebrate it with just ramen.”
His brother’s discerning gaze seemed to probe him further, but Ryu Min simply shrugged it off. With all their expenses piling up, it wasn’t easy to make ends meet, but he wanted to give his brother a special treat on this day.
“Are you sure we can afford this?” his brother asked, still hesitant.
“We can,” Ryu Min reassured him with a smile.
His brother’s eyes lit up as he finally selected something he’d been wanting to try for a while, spicy pork belly with chili paste.
“Hyung, are you okay with this?” his brother asked.
“It’s fine. We’ll be able to get by,” Ryu Min replied, his smile never faltering.
His young brother knew that he was putting up a brave front.
The reality was that they were barely making it through each day.
This is why Ryu Won had never tasted pork belly before because it was too expensive for them.
“Don’t worry, Won-ah. Soon, I’ll make sure to take you to the best meat restaurant and treat you to some premium Korean beef soon,” Ryu Min promised, noticing his brother’s expression.
“It’s okay, Hyung. We can’t afford high-quality beef. This is enough for me.”
He smiled and said this, but Ryu Min knew it wasn’t true.
At a young age, he had never experienced dining out like everyone else. Of course, he wanted to try it too.
“Just wait a few days. I’ll treat you to a real meat feast that will satisfy your cravings,” said Ryu Min.
His words were not just empty promises. There was a reason why he was indulging in such extravagance.
A huge sum of money was coming in a few days.
“I’ll pick this one,” Ryu Min said, choosing frozen steamed chicken.
“Looks delicious, Hyung. Can you share some of it with me? I’ll share mine with you,” his younger brother asked.
“Sure,” Ryu Min agreed.
After picking two packets of instant rice, Ryu Min paid with his card at the counter. He returned to his seat, opened the packaging, and placed the food in the microwave.
Eating at the cramped house was never as comfortable as having a convenience store meal.
“All done. Let’s eat,” Ryu Min said.
“I’ll enjoy it, Hyung!”
They sat down and enjoyed a simple dinner together.
“Do you like it? Have some more,” Ryu Min said as he offered his brother his portion.
His brother was overjoyed and ate heartily, like a person who had been starving for days.
“Ah, that was good.”
As his brother patted his stomach contentedly, he suddenly looked puzzled and asked, “By the way, Hyung.”
“You paid with your card earlier… If you didn’t need money, why did you withdraw 100,000 won?”
He must have thought that Ryu Min withdrew cash because he needed it urgently.
“I told you, I have a reason for it,” Ryu Min replied, taking out a piece of paper and a pen from his pocket.
It was a lottery ticket.
“Why do you have that, Hyung…?”
“Can’t you guess?”
Only then did his brother realize why Ryu Min had withdrawn 100,000 won.
“Are you going to buy lottery tickets?”
“But you’re still a high school student. You can’t buy lottery tickets, can you?”
“Forget already? Today, I turned 19.”
“Ah… that’s right.”
He realized that today was Saturday, the day of the lottery draw.
But when he looked at the number of tickets that Ryu Min had brought, he was surprised.
“Wait, how many did you buy? Twenty tickets? Are you seriously spending 100,000 won on lottery tickets?”
“The maximum purchase limit is 100,000 won per person,” Ryu Min explained with vivid sadness.
His brother still jumped up and exclaimed, “Are you insane, Hyung? How can we afford to spend 100,000 won on lottery tickets in our current situation?”
Even buying just one as a celebratory purchase for turning into an adult was an enormous extravagance.
“It may seem like a waste, but it’s necessary to spoil yourself once in a while,” said Ryu Min.
“But who knows if it’ll even work! You’re just throwing your money,” replied his friend.
“Let’s wait and see,” Ryu Min said confidently as if he knew he was going to win.
But that wasn’t the only surprising thing.
“Hyung, what are you doing? Why are you picking the same number twice in a row?” His little brother was going insane.
“Well, it’s the winning number, so why not?” Ryu Min chuckled.
This is a new Novel, the first Korean novel here, with two more coming.
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