The door of the Mobile Research Center’s vehicle opened, and employees from KG Chemicals entered, carrying boxes of compounds into the makeshift laboratory and placing them down.

Park Il-seong, the team leader, sitting in the passenger seat, sent a questioning gaze.

“What are you doing?”

“Director Yoon Jaegil gave instructions.”

Deputy Gong replied and went down.
Soon after, Jeong-woo and Yoon Jaegil boarded the bus.

“Oh, you?”

Jeong-woo nodded to the surprised Park, greeting him with a nod, and headed towards the inner makeshift laboratory comfortably.
He then opened his mouth to Yoon Jaegil.

“Formate or element? It wouldn’t be bad to use magnesium chloride hexahydrate as the base to enhance the exothermic reaction.”

“Hmm, we were excluding it due to production costs.”

“We’ll only use it temporarily.
Is the price important?”

“Well, as long as it’s effective.”

Yoon Jaegil opened the glass door of the laboratory.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Inside, Jeong-woo, wearing special gloves and a mask like someone preparing for surgery, began opening the boxes and transferring their contents into beakers.

Park, who had been watching, asked Yoon Jaegil.

“What is that guy doing over there?”

“He’s creating a compound that can penetrate this snowfield.”


Although he was a team leader, Park Il-seong was more of an administrator than a researcher, so he could only look at Jeong-woo’s actions with curiosity.

“Jeong-woo, let’s start recording the combination formula.”


Yoon Jaegil immediately turned on the integrated monitor and operated the keyboard to create a new section called “[HJW-1 Snow Melting Compound].”

Jeong-woo poured the compound into a rotating cylinder and then turned his gaze to Yoon Jaegil.

“Is there anyone willing to buy this at a price hundreds of times more expensive than calcium chloride?”

“Of course.
Every invention has its own application.
If this compound shows the effects you mentioned, we could find sales channels in Russia and Nordic countries.”

“It’s a global matter.
I don’t have a good sense for that.”

The powder and liquid inside the beaker swiftly entered the cylinder through Jeong-woo’s hands, as if it was a child’s play.

After applying heat to the rotating mechanism and passing electricity, the process of real-time compound injection continued.

Watching closely, Yoon Jaegil was amazed once again by the speed and precision of the process.

It can be said that he is a genius.
Each and every act of effortlessly mixing and initiating reactions is impossible without a deep understanding and a chemical sense.

“What’s the current ratio of magnesium compounds?”

“Um, 11 to 17?”

Yoon Jaegil, who was recording the combination formula on the monitor, couldn’t help but sigh at the absurd precision in Jeong-woo’s estimation.

Where else in the world can you find a chemist who can create a previously non-existent chemical product with such speed and accuracy?

After running simulations on the monitor based on the combination formula alone, Yoon Jaegil spoke.

“It should be at least five times more effective than high-concentration calcium chloride.
No, maybe ten times.
The de-icing fluid used on airport runways isn’t even this advanced.”

“Runway? Incheon Airport?”

For Jeong-woo, who had never been on an airplane, the talk of airports seemed like a story from another world.

“Taejin Precision Chemical supplies de-icing fluid there.
Kim Myung-sik, the director, would be amazed to see this.”

“I’m not familiar with that person.”

Jeong-woo opened the lid of the cylinder.
Yoon Jaegil focused his gaze on the resulting substance and said:

“Do we really need to involve people from various companies? As long as we know it well at Yujin Chemical.”

“What do you mean?”


Yoon Jaegil laughed but then spoke half-seriously.

“I’m not joking.”

As Yoon Jaegil’s expression gradually changed to a feeling of “I want it, Jeong-woo” the protein compound for preventing ice formation was transferred to the test tube through a pipette.

The most intriguing part of the manufacturing process.
Creating a catalyst that properly binds this substance with the existing compound in such a short time was a part that Yoon Jaegil couldn’t comprehend based on his common knowledge.

Jeong-woo, who had poured the contents of the test tube into the cylinder, glanced at Yoon Jaegil.
Then he smiled brightly and reached out his hand towards the cylinder, murmuring as if reciting a spell.

“What, what are you doing?”

“Wishing for a good mixing?”

Observing the flurry of dust particles rushing into the cylinder with a storm-like reaction in the chemical world, Jeong-woo spoke.

“I need to further research the catalyst.
First, let’s melt the snow.”

The vector inference for recombination didn’t work well.”

“We’ll have to rely on luck.”

There is already a combination formula for a catalyst that can perform the same action as those dust particles, but creating it took a long time.

This was the method chosen to shorten the working time, fueled by the desire to arrive in Seoul by 11 o’clock at the latest.

“It’s almost done… Ah! Team Leader Park!”

When Jeong-woo called out, Park, the team leader in the co-pilot seat, turned his head.

“Is it possible to get a manually operated fire extinguisher that can spray the chemical?”

“A pressure-based one? They should be in the cargo compartment.”

Fortunately, they had the necessary equipment for quick dispersal.

Jeong-woo transferred the contents of the well-mixed substance in the cylinder to an iron box.
He also scraped off the remaining powder onto the device brought by Team Leader Park.

With the iron container containing the highly concentrated de-icing agent and the pressure-based portable sprayer on his back, Jeong-woo stood at the entrance of the research institute.

“Let’s start with the first experiment.”

In just 30 minutes, the de-icing agent was easily produced.
Yoon Jaegil, filled with anticipation, followed Jeong-woo off the bus with a look of expectation in his eyes.

As soon as they stepped outside, a chilly wind rushed in, and Jeong-woo tightened his collar.
After adjusting his posture, he placed the nozzle against the bottom of the research institute’s vehicle and pulled the handle.

A certain amount of powder was scattered onto the area where the wheels and snow had accumulated.
The powder began to penetrate the ice layer, releasing latent heat and digging into it in no time.

“Let’s see.”

Jeong-woo noticed the red arrows ruthlessly destroying the snow crystals in the magnified chemical world and smiled with satisfaction.
The combination worked almost perfectly after experimenting in the lab.


Yoon Jaegil, who had been attentively watching the melting areas, made a sound that could be interpreted as admiration or a sigh of relief, then looked at Jeong-woo.

“What kind of effect is this… The melted parts don’t freeze again.
The anti-freezing effect is working properly.”

“That’s right.
We got lucky.”


Yoon Jaegil threw a skeptical look, unable to believe that such a complex de-icing agent was successfully created by luck alone.

Jeong-woo evaded giving a detailed explanation and simply smiled.

Now, with the mindset of just needing to spread the de-icer, he looked ahead.
When he saw how far the narrow path extended, he involuntarily sighed.
It was too difficult to go alone.

‘Should I ask someone else for help?’

Jeong-woo turned his head.
Yoon Jaegil, who was much older than him, and retired firefighter Park Il-seong, who was even older than Yoon Jaegil.
There were only two people.
There was no need for requests or persuasion.

Besides, Jeong-woo, who knew the effects of the de-icer well and could even see the chemical world, was the fastest at spreading it.

‘We should wear our fire-resistant suits.’

Jeong-woo went to the truck and found the box containing the fire-resistant suit he had worn during bidding competitions.
When he put it on, he immediately felt warmer.
After changing into gloves and boots with KG Industries’ logo, he felt fully equipped.

‘Alright, let’s go.’

With the de-icer sprayer hanging on his shoulder, as he descended, suddenly, a noisy voice came from behind.

“Are you alright? If anyone feels unwell, please let us know!”

“Due to the shortage of manpower, the de-icing operation is being delayed! There is an emergency shelter 2 km behind, so if anyone needs medical attention, please speak up now!”

Dozens of people in firefighter attire periodically shouted that they were in an emergency situation and approached.
Jeong-woo spotted a familiar face among them and raised his hand.



As the flashlight’s beam drew closer, they realized that they were all students who had graduated from the Central Fire Academy.

Jeong Pil-du, who approached, was surprised to see Jeong-woo carrying a device resembling a fire extinguisher.

“Where is the fire? I didn’t bring any suppression equipment…”

“Oh, this isn’t for putting out fires.
It contains a highly reactive substance in this container.”

“Highly reactive?”

“In a way, you can say it ignites a fire in the molecular world.

When Jeong Pil-du struggled to grasp the joke, Jeong-woo quickly pointed towards the front wheel of the research institute’s vehicle.

“It’s a de-icer that produces such effects.”

As Jeong Pil-du saw the asphalt revealed by the melted ice, his eyes widened.

Jeong-woo pointed at Jeong Pil-du and asked.

“How did you know about this place?”

“I received a call from Captain Miles and was on my way here.
We need to clear the vehicles stuck on the narrow path first so that the de-icing vehicle can move later.”

“Was the captain there too?”

“Yes, he was.”

When Jeong Pil-du mentioned that he was heading to the front, Jeong-woo thought it was fortunate and spoke.

“I’ll come with you.
And could you please help me carry this metal container? It’s too heavy to carry along with the sprayer.”

“No problem.”

Jeong Pil-du approached briskly and swiftly lifted the metal container.
Jeong-woo looked back at Yoon Jaegil.

“While we’re on the way, I’ll melt the ice on the narrow path.
We might need more, so can you make the base compound for me according to the formula I left? I’ll add the anti-freezing protein at the end.”


Yoon Jaegil, who answered like that, spoke to one of the staff members near the baggage car.

“Let’s bring our Snow Spray Matrix with us.
We need to ensure a safe passage not only on the narrow path but also on the main road beyond.”

At this, Team Leader Park stepped forward.

“I’ll go.”

“Team Leader Park?”

“I have experience in such situations.
I should go and assess the situation on the narrow path.
There are hardly any active-duty firefighters, so I have to help in any way I can.”

A little while later.

Led by Jeong-woo, the students from the Central Fire Academy marched forward in unison.
Park, the team leader, followed behind them.

Jeong-woo sprayed the de-icer, melting the ground as he walked.
The students pushed the stuck cars back into place, preparing for the upcoming movement.
Park, on the other hand, sprayed snow spray on the wheels of the stationary vehicles.

Everything progressed smoothly, with everyone in perfect coordination.

The once entirely white and secluded prison in the rural area began to show small gaps as the de-icing expedition crossed its frozen surface.

8:20 PM, in front of the narrow road.

“Is Cheonan that serious? We’re also on high alert.”

“I’d rather have a big crash than sliding and colliding with cars.
What should we do to prevent slipping?”

Miles spoke while looking out the car window, talking on the phone with the Central Fire Station’s emergency rescue control officer.

“The weather is turning out to be unexpectedly severe on the road.
When the chief ordered me to come, I didn’t expect it to be like this.”

“When do you think it will clear up?”

“I don’t know.
For now, let’s start clearing the blocked cars since the Central Fire Academy support team is on their way.
We’ll have to wait for the de-icing truck.
It’ll be an all-nighter.”

“Take care.
Don’t forget your shift change at 8 AM tomorrow.”

“Hey! Shin Jong-seok!”

The call abruptly ended, and Miles let out a deep sigh.
He was the team leader of Seoul Central Fire Station’s First Team.

There was nothing more frustrating than not being able to do anything in such a disaster situation.

But accidents like this often happen in these circumstances.
Situations that couldn’t be dealt with by the power of a single firefighter, or even the entire fire station.
Like here.

“Let’s get some sleep.”

Miles leaned back on the seat, wetting it slightly, and crossed his arms.
But he noticed an SUV that had been stuck on the drainage ditch near the narrow road, continuously spinning its wheels and attempting to move forward.

‘If they keep doing that, they won’t be able to move even if they manage to free the wheels.
Tsk tsk.’

Keeping an eye on it, he saw that instead of giving up, the engine roared and the vehicle increased its output.
Miles instinctively clicked his tongue.

He couldn’t afford to have the road get even more congested.

“It’s freezing cold.”

He picked up the megaphone that was rolling around on the passenger seat and stepped out.

-Hey! You shouldn’t do that.

Not sure if they heard him, Miles approached cautiously, trudging through the snow.

As Miles approached closer, the engine noise stopped.
Miles stood next to the driver’s window.

“Hey there.”

Tap, tap.
When he knocked on the window, the driver inside flinched in surprise.
The driver, looking startled not because of the cold but something else, tightly held onto the door handle and stared at Miles, even though the car door was locked.

Miles said smiling.

“Don’t scream.
I’m not a gangster or a thug.
I’m a firefighter.”

After rummaging through his inner pocket and sticking his official ID card with a 119 mark on the window, the driver rolled down the window.

“Why… are you here?”

“You, sir.
It’s not safe to drive out from here.
If you go up there and skid, you’ll end up crashing into the field.”


“When the tires lose traction and you can’t control the steering.
Have you ever received skid training? They say they do it during driver’s license tests in Finland or Norway.”

“Oh, no, I haven’t.”

Miles pointed down the narrow road and said.

“We have support coming from behind, so wait inside.
Don’t wander outside and risk freezing.
Do you have enough fuel?”

“I have two bars left.”

“It’s a bit risky to keep the engine running all night.
I understand.
Please don’t unnecessarily spin the wheels and wait safely.”

Miles moved away from the SUV and glanced at the long line of vehicles, as if realizing it was impossible, he put the megaphone to his mouth.

-Ah, this is Firefighter Miles from Seoul Central Fire Station.
I have a message for the citizen waiting inside the vehicle.

Walking forward on the narrow road, Miles continued speaking into the megaphone.

-If you’re running low on fuel, turn off the engine and if you see an empty seat in another vehicle, don’t hesitate to knock on their door.
Your pride can wait.
It’s not someone else’s responsibility to protect your body.

A nearby vehicle’s window opened, and someone asked, “Firefighter, when can we go? We called 119, but they only said they’ll come and there’s been no contact.”

-Cheonan’s 119 is probably tied up in the city.
They have hundreds of places to go while their bodies are limited.
Can’t you see it? This is not just snow.
It’s heavy snowfall.
Instead of calling 119 to complain, why don’t you call home and check on your loved ones?

The window of a vehicle that was partially stuck on the roadside ditch opened.

“Is there any way for us to get out of here? As you can see, we’re stuck.”

-The Central Fire Academy is sending support.
They contacted me and said they’ll arrive within about 20 minutes.
If the students over there give us a push, we’ll be out soon.

As Miles responded, the windows started opening every time he passed by.

“Should we keep waiting?”

-I don’t know either.
We can’t predict when the snowplow will arrive, so we need to be prepared enough.

“I really need to use the restroom…”

-If it’s something small, just go outside and do it.
If it’s something big… ah, just do it.
The temperature isn’t freezing enough to freeze your peppers.

“Will it snow again, sir?”

-That’s for the meteorological agency… hey, kid.
Don’t you know about 131? I’m 119.

“Fire Chief, here.”

One window opened, and someone handed a hand warmer to Miles.

As he accepted it and nodded in gratitude, he made eye contact with the pretty lady he had seen at the fire academy.
He lowered the megaphone, winked at her.

“So you were trapped here.
Thank you.”

“Should I give you another one? I bought several at the convenience store because the car is cold.”

“No, it’s okay.”

“Take care, Fire Chief Miles.”

With a bright smile on the girl’s face, Miles chuckled and resumed walking.

Song Boyeong watched as Miles approached the village bus parked on one side of the road and closed the window.

The two senior firefighters in the front seats were talking to their wives on the phone.

“Hey, Eun-yeong.
I think I’ll be even later.
Soyeon hasn’t slept yet? You’re wainting for me? Go to sleep at 9 o’clock.”

“No, honey.
It’s not that dangerous of a situation.
It’s just that there’s a lot of snow, and our feet are stuck.
Ah, why are you crying?”

Listening quietly, Song Boyeong turned her head to Oh Seung-ju.

“Aren’t you making any phone calls, Senior?”

“I just sent a text.
I didn’t want to worry them.”

“I see.”

“Did you contact your family?”

Song Boyeong’s gaze lingered on her phone.

In fact, ever since she started living alone, there was no one waiting for her to return home.
It was nothing special, but she felt a bit melancholic and checked her list of friends.

“Well, let’s call when something good happens.
Not in this situation.”

She missed Jeong-woo’s playful banter.
She regretted not taking the KG Chemical bus for transportation earlier.

Unable to trust the heater that kept turning on and off, she took out all ten hand warmers she had brought.
It made the inside of the car somewhat bearable.
She only wished she had something as warm as the one Jeong-woo had given her.

Looking at the town bus through the rearview mirror, she saw Miles helping the people inside to disembark and transfer to a small van next to it.

-The engine of this village bus won’t start.
Please help me out! If there are vacant seats, please flash the headlights! I kindly request you!

Beep beep.

Suddenly, Song Boyeong was startled by her ringing phone.
As soon as she checked the caller ID, she felt her heart pounding.
It was Jeong-woo.

“Yes, Mr.

-Where are you? I’ve been driving for a while, but I don’t see you.

“Where are you going?”

-I’m going there while clearing the road.

Through the phone, she could hear the sound of tires squealing and the loud voices of other people talking.

-We’re near the bus that’s standing strangely right now.
Huh? Fire Chief Miles?

At that sound, Song Boyeong opened the window and leaned her head out.

‘Is he nearby?’

Finally, she saw dozens of flashlight beams illuminating the dark night sky, approaching in a lively manner.

-We’ll clear the mountain road soon, so don’t worry about the other seniors.
Tell them we’ll be heading to Seoul today.

Jeong, what are you saying?”

Song Boyeong hung up the phone but couldn’t take her eyes off the back of the town bus for a while.

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