BONG SANG PIL
Scorpion, Choi Dae Woong’s righthand man seemed to have displayed a shocking ignorance about Bong Sang Pil’s character. During the prison's leisure hour, a grim and unfriendly Scorpion demanded that Bong should follow him to the laundry room. Everyone in the underworld suspected Bong of being the murderer of his uncle.
Bong could sense that they were heading for a showdown. He was usually circumspect when it came to fights with one of his own. The man was his uncle’s powerful assistant and a trusted elder in his uncle’s inner circle.
Bong didn’t want to be embroiled in any misunderstanding with Scorpion. Although he did not want to show disrespect, he was wary and guarded.
In the laundry room, Bong Sang Pil was cautious and vigilant. The physically imposing man, who was stocky and huge, had become intimidating.
It seemed that Scorpion had kept track of what was happening in the outside world. Kwon Man Bae, the eyes and ears of Scorpion, had tarred and discredited Bong with his tales. The false evidence provided for his uncle’s murder case in the court trial pointed to Bong’s guilt. Scorpion, an experienced gangster, should have been suspicious about it.
That Bong Sang Pil did not instantly blow up in a murderous rage was a measure of his respect and deference for the older man. He did not doubt his instincts and knew something was wrong. Bong, on seeing the quick frown and hostility, had hastened to explain that the trial wasn’t over but the other man, seemingly pig-headed, refused to allow any further explanation.
Bong, attuned to the rules of the underworld, was awaiting the crunch. The rough-looking man verbally thrashed Bong for his eloquent excuses, a result of his years of having honed his argumentative skills as a lawyer. Some men had brains as big as a pea and Scorpion was probably one of them.
Bong’s face was tense as he held his breath. He bolstered up his strength and braced for the strike. The punch sent him flying to a big clothes bin at the corner of the room.
Scorpion gave him a violent kick but Bong, trying to avoid it, slumped onto the washbasin. Scorpion gripped his clothes and flung him against the wall. The violent man expected Bong to fight back.
When Bong did not retaliate, the irrational man tried to strangle him. Bong’s face was scrunched up in pain. He was a victim of grievous injustice. He choked back the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes when Scorpion applied suffocating pressure on him. The man really meant business.
Jerking frantically, he tried to prise himself out of the other man’s vice-like grip.
Defensive fighting was not the solution. Unable to bear the pressure any longer, he hollered with all his strength. He wrestled himself away and the force of his exertion threw Scorpion off.
But, before he could even recover, Scorpion was back on his feet. He hit Bong but the lawyer was able to block the blow. Bong socked it to the man but his punch was blocked; his arm was swept aside.
Then, the punches flew fast and furious.
Bong, managing to grip Scorpion’s arm, turned him around. Scorpion was angry that Bong had fought back. He lunged again at Bong. Bong slid backwards.
Both traded punches. But, Bong found a moment in the burst of punches when he was able to jump up on the back of his opponent. Scorpion was hunched for a moment with Bong on his back.
The fighters seemed to be grappling and wrestling. Bong had, by then, encircled Scorpion’s chest with his arms in a back hold.
Scorpion tried to wrestle free. he was indignant that Bong Sang Pil would not submit to him.
As the punches flew back and forth, the footwork was also fast and furious. They were trying to overwhelm each other with a free flow of jabs and punches.
Then, in a greased lightning move, grabbing his opponent's arm with his left hand, his right hand swept to encircle Scorpion's neck in a back choke. They struggled furiously. In an effort to dislodge him, Scorpion arched his body.
The excitement rose as they struggled desperately.
In the end, the stout man grabbed hold of Bong’s body and managed to push him unto a table cluttered with washing utensils.
Being in a vulnerable position, Bong tried to protect himself as Scorpion let fly a series of punches.
There was a lot of thrashing, pushing and pulling.
They wrestled but Bong understood that if he did not let go, the fight would go on unabated.
Scorpion was determined to win; he had the intention to trounce Bong into submission. The pounding and the hammering would do nobody any good.
Scorpion knew where his weapon lay. He grabbed a toothbrush and broke it, with the intention to stab Bong with it.
In that moment of truth, the anguished-filled Bong decided to let go. It was a poignant moment. Least said, soonest mended.
Gritting his teeth, he grabbed Scorpion’s wrist to push the sharp weapon into his belly.
Blood spilled out in rivulets, to the shock of the other man. Bong seemed to be pleading with Scorpion to believe him.
Two shocked inmates, who came upon them, shouted for the guards.
Bong Sang Pil told Scorpion that it was the only way for him to prove his innocence. He urged Scorpion to flee or the guards would capture him.
Then, he slumped to the floor, crouching in pain.
The words of his uncle came back to haunt him. ‘This topsy-turvy world is governed by the law of the jungle. There is no one whom we can trust! Revenge begets revenge.’
Revenge against his nemesis, Ahn Oh Ju. Ahn Oh Ju’s revenge against his beloved uncle. Scorpion’s, his uncle’s trusted man, took revenge on him.
At length, Bong began to understand the deep meaning of those words.