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The story of Kang Sae-byeok from Squid Game.
When Sae-byeok was still a child, there was a plague going through her town which killed her grandparents and her older brother. She saw soldiers carrying their corpses to a pile and lit it on fire, burning them together.
Eventually, Sae-byeok and her family decided to leave North Korea to start a better life in the South. While trying to swim across the border, Sae-byeok's father was shot and drowned. Her mother hid in China, but then was sent back to North Korea once the immigration agents found her. In the end, only Sae-byeok and her younger brother, Kang Cheol, managed to enter South Korea.
In 2020, Sae-byeok's brother is in an orphanage, so Sae-byeok struggles to scratch a living as a pickpocket to gather enough money to buy a home and entry to get her mother out of North Korea. At some point, she worked with the gangster Jang Deok-su in order to survive.
"Red Light, Green Light"
Sae-byeok is first seen in a gambling place, where Seong Gi-hun accidentally bumps into her while he is being chased by a gang that he owns money to. As he apologizes for knocking her down, she pickpockets the money he won gambling on a horse race. At some point, she was offered the chance to participate in the 33rd Squid Game and accepted it to help her family.
After the 456 players were taken to the island where the games happen, Sae-byeok reencounters the gangster Jang Deok-su. He accuses her of betraying him after he taught her and gave her a home, only for her to backstab him and then leave. Sae-byeok argues that he took more than he gave to her, and she didn't run away, she became independent. Deok-su beats her and tries to humiliated her in front of the others because she is from North Korea. Deok-su's attack is interrupted when Gi-hun recognizes Sae-byeok because of the scar she has on her neck and gets between them demanding the money she stole from him. Deok-su confronts Gi-hun because of this interruption, saying he is still not done with Sae-byeok. They stop, however, as the masked men of the Squid Game arrive to welcome them and explain the rules of the competition.
Sae-byeok is seen listening the staff tell the players the rules and then signing the consent form with three clauses of the game. During the first game (Red Light, Green Light), Sae-byeok and the other players discover that the losers of a game are killed. Sae-byeok figures out she can hide behind other players to survive the first game without being detected by the doll. She hides behind Deok-su, using him as her shield and threats to push him, which terrifies the gangster. Her strategy works well and she crosses the finish line within the time limit of this game, being closely followed by Deok-su.
Following the first game, most of the remaining players are scared after witnessing more than half them being killed and Cho Sang-woo reminds about the third clause of the consent form, which says that the players can vote and the games will be terminated if the majority agrees. However, before the vote, the staff announces that 25.5 billion of prize money was accumulated from the first game and they also reveal that the final prize will be ₩45.6. billion. However, if they quit the games, all the money will go to the families of the deceased players, and living players will be left with nothing. Sae-byeok is impressed by the great amount of prize money accumulated inside the piggy bank from the first challenge. This makes her decide to vote yes to continue with the games. However, the majority votes to stop the games, which disappoints Sae-byeok. Because of this result, the staff announces that the games are terminated, unless the majority later decides to play again.
Out of the games, the staff drops Sae-byeok with Gi-hun on the street. They are both tied, blindfolded and only wearing their underclothes. Sae-byeok takes off her blindfold and asks for his help to be untied. While she is dressing her clothes, Gi-hun asks for her help to be untied. She refuses, saying that Gi-hun will just demand the money she stole again. Gi-hun swears on his mother that he will forgive her about the money, but when Sae-byeok cuts the ties around his hands with her switchblade, he does exactly what she expected. She laughs at him clumsy jumping trying to get her with his tied feet, and then leaves him still tied and undressed on the street.
She is later seen visiting her younger brother, Kang Cheol, in the orphanage. She notices her little brother is upset and sees that his face is hurt, so she asks if he got into a fight. He starts to cry, saying he doesn't want to stay in the orphanage. Cheol reminds Sae-byeok that she promised to bring their mother from North Korea and they would be living all together after a month. He adds that the other kids told him that his sister is lying and he will never leave the orphanage, because Sae-byeok abandoned him. Sae-byeok embraces her brother and assures him that is not true. She tells him that their family will be living together in the same house by the next year, and reminds him that she always keeps her promises.
Afterwards, Sae-byeok visits a North Korea broker employer, who talks about the broker she paid to take her mother out of Korea. The man says that the broker took her money and fled, and she is not the only victim of a case like this. Because he claims it is very hard to track down a broker once they fled, he says that she will need to hire a new broker and star over. The employer tells her she will have to pay ₩40 million to start again, but Sae-byeok doubts the man. She throws his hot coffee at him and threats him with her switchblade, saying she believed him the last time and risked her life for the money which was lost. She says she will bring the money, but adds that if he tricks her again, she will cut open his throat.
Sae-byeok later has another chance to rejoin the games when the majority decides to return. However, when the masked staff comes to take her and tries to use sleeping gas on her, she is prepared. Instead of being put to sleep like the other players, Sae-byeok holds her breath and is taken to the island while still awake.
"The Man with the Umbrella"
Being awake when she was taken allows her to smuggle her switchblade to use in the games. When the masked workers are taking off her clothes of the unconscious players to dress them in their Squid Game uniforms, she uses her pickpocket skills to hide the blade inside the pocket of one of them. Then, once she is dressed in the uniform, she recovers the blade from the worker's pocket and hides it under her sleeve without any of the masked men noticing.
Back in the games with other 186 players, Sae-byeok reunies with Deok-su again. He offers an alliance, saying he will forget all that happened between them in past and asks her to join the team he is forming for the next games, and reminds her that they once worked together. Not trusting Deok-su, Sae-byeok recalls that others gangsters are hunting him down outside the games because of how traitorous he is. Deok-su tells Sae-byeok that even though she's tough, she won't survive playing alone. Sae-byeok responds that he should worry about himself. She tells the other members of his team not to ally with Deok-su, revealing that stole from other members of his gang. She explains that he stole from his own subordinates and later from his boss, which got him in trouble when he was caught and led him to join the Squid Game to pay his debts. She finishes saying that he is a revolutionary asshole, which infuriates Deok-su and he moves to attack her, making her discreetly draw her hidden blade. They are interrupted by Han Mi-nyeo who approaches Deok-su and asks to join his team.
Noticing the air ducts on the ceiling of the game facility gives Sae-byeok an idea of how to try to discover something about the next game. After the curfew, Mi-nyeo makes a fuss, demanding that the guards outside the players' dorm let her go to the bathroom. When a masked soldier finally decides to accompany Mi-nyeo to the bathroom, Sae-byeok takes this opportunity to execute her idea. She approaches Mi-nyeo and the soldier, saying she needs to go too. Mi-nyeo is annoyed to see that Sae-byeok is taking advantage of her effort after his scandal to be allowed to go. Sae-byeok ignores her, making Mi-nyeo call her rude.
In the bathroom, Sae-byeok startlers Mi-nyeo when she opens the door of her toilet holding her blade. Sae-byeok uses the blade to open and sir ducts and reveal to Mi-nyeo that she is going in to investigate them. She asks Mi-nyeo to distract the guards and promises to tell her if she finds out something. Mi-nyeo agrees and helps Sae-byeok get into the air ducts. Crawling inside the ducts, Sae-byeok follows a smell which leads her to the kitchen, where she sees the workers bellow her melting something in large pots. She is briefly startled when a rat climbs onto her shoulder, causing a worker to look up upon hearing a noise coming from the ducts. Despite this, Sae-byeok manages to go unnoticed and returns to the bathroom in time to help Mi-neyo with her act to distract the guards. When the soldier waiting for them decides that the two women are taking too long, so he goes inside the bathroom and opens the door of the toilet, he finds Mi-nyeo with her pants down and Sae-byeok beside her, pretending to help with her constipation. As Mi-nyeo accuses the soldier of sexual harrassment for not respecting her privacity and then leaves, Sae-byeok follows her.
As they return to the dormitory, Mi-nyeo asks Sae-byeok what she saw. Sae-byeok replies she will tell her in the next day. In the morning, when Mi-nyeo questions her again, Sae-byeok tells her about the workers melting something in pots, and that it smelt like sugar. Mi-nyeo is not completely satisfied with Sae-byeok's answer and threats the girl in case she is hiding something, but she lets it go and leaves to eat breakfast. Sae-byeok receives a bread to eat but stares at it instead of eating it. Unknown to her, she is being watched from afar by Sang-woo. When the players are walking to the location of the next game, Sang-woo approaches Sae-byeok and asks her what she saw last night. He reveals that he overheard she talking with Mi-nyeo when they were walking into the dormitory. Sae-byeok sees no reason to tell him anything, so Sang-woo explains that the games in the competition are the ones he played when he was a child. He says that if she tells him what she saw, he might guess the next game easier than her who is a foreigner and is not familiar with these games. This convinces Sae-byeok, and she tells him about the workers melting sugar.
The location of the second game is a playground, where the announcer says that the players should choose one of the shapes on the doors before the game. Keeping in mind what Sang-woo said about being able to guess the game, she watches him from afar. When Sang-woo chooses the triangle, she follows him, picking the same shape. The game is revealed to be Sugar Honeycombs, and her hunch that Sang-woo indeed guessed the game is proven to be correct, as he chose the easiest shape to cut out from the honeycomb. This results in Sae-byeok being one of the first players to complete the challenge within the time limit. She shows her triangle to a soldier and leaves the playground, even before Sang-woo finishes cutting out his own honeycomb.
"Stick to the Team"
After the players returned to the dormitory from the second game, the announcer says that 79 players were eliminated in this round, and Sae-byeok watches impressed as more ₩7.9 billion is added to the piggy bank.
During lunch time, a few players get no food to eat after Deok-su and his team got in line twice. One of the players confronts the gangster, and Sae-byeok and the others witness Deok-su beat him to death. Because there is no punishment for this action, they all realize that players can kill each other in between games. Afterwards, Sae-byeok is sitting by herself and Gi-hun notices Deak-su's team watching her. Gi-hun goes to Sae-byeok and asks if she will be okay because he thinks Deok-su's team is planning to attack her after the lights out. Gi-hun invites her to join his team, which will be reunited by his bed, in case something happens during the night. Sae-byeok says that she doesn't trust anyone, especially the players of the Squid Game. Gi-hun tells her that they don't trust people because they are trustworthy, but because they have no other choice while playing the games.
After the lights out, Sae-byeok draws her blade to protect herself, but then she is attacked by Deok-su and Player 040, another member of his team who attempts to strangle her with a bed sheet. She fights them off and manages to cut Deok-su with her blade, wounding him on the side of his stomach. When the gangster holds her against a wall and tries to strangle her, she kicks his lower parts and escapes, although this results in her dropping her blade which is caught by Deok-su. Sae-byeok runs and seeks for Gi-hun and his team for protection. She reunites with Gi-hun who is surprised to see her. She reminds him that he asked her to come, and they soon realize that she was followed by Deok-su. The gangster tries to stab Sae-byeok with her own blade, but Gi-hun gets her out of the way. Sae-byeok fights Deok-su's team along with Gi-hun, Sang-woo and Ali Abdul. When Deok-su tries to stab Gi-hun, Sae-byeok kicks him, but is attacked by Player 303 who breaks a glass bottle on her head. Sae-byeok is defended by Sang-woo who attacks 303 using a part of the bed while Gi-hun helps her to stand up again. Because Sae-byeok is being defended by Gi-hun and Sang-woo's team, Deok-su tells Gi-hun that less players alive would benefit him too. Gi-hun responds that Sae-byeok is one of his team. Then, they all spot the elder Oh Il-nam pleading the players to stop killing each other from the top of a bed, right before the masked staff enters the dormitory to end the riot. While patting down the players' clothes for weapons, a soldier finds Sae-byeok's switchblade inside Deok-su's pocket and confiscates it.
Following the riot, Sae-byeok sits with Gi-hun and the others of their team. Gi-hun recalls that the members of the team still don't know each other's names and says they should introduce themselves. After Gi-hun, Ali and Sang-woo said their names, Gi-hun turns to Sae-byeok asks for hers. Sae-byeok hesitates, unsure if this is necessary, so Gi-hun tells her that they need to build the trust among their team. Sae-byeok reveals her name, and Gi-hun says it is a pretty name but it doesn't suit her. In the following day, the announcer says that the players should form teams of 10 for the next game. Sae-byeok hears as Sang-woo and Gi-hun talk about the new players they should bring to their team. Sang-woo concludes that they should bring men to the team because they already have an elder and a woman, and adds that they should split to look for new members. While searching for someone to join the team, Sae-byeok sees Ji-yeong sitting by herself. Sae-byeok approaches Ji-yeong and asks the girl to come with her.
Reunited with the group again, Ji-yeong joins the team along with Player 276, Player 196 and Player 244. Sang-woo asks Ji-yeong who brought her to the team and she points to Sae-byeok. Sang-woo reproves Sae-byeok's choice, reminding her that he asked for men to improve the odds of their team. Ji-yeong feels unwelcomed and tries to leave but Gi-hun stops her because they are out of time to search for someone else. Right after, Mi-nyeo, who was abandoned by Deok-su's team, joins them. As they enter the arena of the third game, they find out it will be Tug-of-War. When their team is sorted to go against a group with only men, Il-nam proposes a strategy to win that will allow they to win with team work, even with a weaker team. Il-nam's strategy temporarily works well, but the other team eventually manages to pull back the rope, causing them to be dragged very close to the edge. As they are about to fall to their deaths, Sang-woo comes up with another plan.
"A Fair World"
Sang-woo's plan, allows them to knock down the other team, pull back the rope and win the game. After the Tug-of-War, while they are in the elevator in their way out of the arena, Ji-yeong gets annoyed with Player 244 who is a pastor and keeps praying to God instead of thanking Il-nam and Sang-woo for being alive. The two of them start an argument, making Sae-byeok tell them both to shut up. As the walk out of the location Ji-yeong asks Sae-byeok for her name. Sae-byeok sees no need to reveal her name, and tells Ji-yeong to leave her alone. Ji-yeong recalls that it was Sae-byeok who spoke with her first. Later, while eating dinner, Sang-woo recalls the riot in the previous night and tells the team that they should prepare in case it happens again. While the team plans what they should do, Sae-byeok tells them that during the riot she saw a man die in front of her, with his neck being broken by his own ally. She questions the team if they trust her and reveals the group that she doesn't trust any of them.
After Gi-hun tells the team that they should set up a barricate, Sae-byeok is seen helping Ji-yeong as their group moves parts of their beds. Sang-woo and Gi-hun then suggest Sae-byeok and the others that they should take turns sleeping and keep a watch in pairs to protect the members of their team during the night. While Gi-hun is guad duty with Il-nam, the elder seems to feel ill. Sae-byeok, who had woken up, offers Gi-hun a bottle of water to help the old man. After Gi-hun put Il-nam to sleep, he tells her that Sae-byeok can go back to sleep but she reminds him that they planned to keep the guard in pairs. Gi-hun thanks her for the bottle of water and Sae-byeok says that he should pay her back in the next day.
In the following day, the announcer says that players should form pairs for the next game. When Mi-nyeo asks Gi-hun and then Sang-woo to be her partner, but is rejected by both, Sae-byeok tells her not to humiliate herself because no one wants risk themselves playing with a woman or with the old man. As Sae-byeok is about to go to look for a partner, Gi-hun questions where she is going. Sae-byeok asks him why he is interested and if he wants to play with her. Because Gi-hun doesn't reply, she just leaves. Sae-byeok is followed by Ji-yeong. While Sae-byeok searching for someone to be her partner, Ji-yeong approaches and asks Sae-byeok to play with her. Sae-byeok is uncertain of this and Ji-yeong asks if she willing to humiliate herself by asking the others. Sae-byeok replies she doesn't care with humiliation because she needs to win. Ji-yeong assures that she will make sure Sae-byeok wins if they play together and will do whatever it takes for it to happen. Upon being questioned about inviting Ji-yeong to join the team before the Tuf-of-War, Sae-byeok reveals that she invited Ji-yeong because she was the only person who looked like she would accept. Ji-yeong says she feels the same, and this is why she is asking Sae-byeok now. Sae-byeok accepts Ji-yeong as her partner and the two walk together to the place of the next game.
When they arrive at the location of the fourth game, they find out they will be playing Marbles. However, the announcer reveals that the partners will have to play against each other instead of together. The one wins all the marbles of the partner in 30 minutes will pass this game. This revealation shocks both girls. Ji-yeong thinks this is a great tragedy. She tells Sae-byeok that since they can create the rules of the game, she suggests they spend their time talking and only play in the last minutes, betting all the marbles in a single round. She says that it is better than play the entire time and they could share what they never told to anyone else without fear of embarrassment because one of them will die anyway.
The two of them bond over their dark backgrounds. Sae-byeok tells Ji-yeong that her family came to the South Korea for a better life. Sae-byeok's little brother who is now in an orphanage came with her, while her father died trying to cross the border and her mother was sent back to the North after immigration agents found her hiding in China. Sae-byeok tells that she wants the prize money to buy a house for her family, get her brother out of the orphanage and bring her mother from the North. Ji-yeong says that she could do so much more with the prize money and asks if there is somewhere she would like to go. Sae-byeok replies she would like to visit the Jeju Island because it is exotic and different from Korea. Ji-yeong thinks Sae-byeok should go to the Maldives and drink mojito. Sae-byeok tells her she doesn't know what mojito is, so Ji-yeong says that she will show her and teach more once they are out of the games. However, Ji-yeong then recalls that they won't be leaving together.
Ji-yeong asks if Sae-byeok had ever seen a dead body before joining the Squid Game. Sae-byeok tells her about the plague in her town that killed her grandparents and older brother, and she saw their bodies being burned together. Ji-yeong then reveals her dark past, saying that she found her mother dead one day after coming back from school, and also saw her father holding a knife beside the corpse. Ji-yeong says that her father was a pastor and was very abusive towards her and her mother. She later killed him herself with a knife. Ji-yeong says her father would always pray after molesting her and her mother. But he didn't pray in the day he murdered her mother and Ji-yeong thinks that he knew he would not be forgiven for this action. Ji-yeong was arrested for killing her father and when she was released, someone gave her the Squid Game card and she accepted the offer because she had nowhere to go. Ji-yeong reveals she has no idea where she will go after the games and asks Sae-byeok if she wants to go to Jeju Island with her, only to remember again that they can't leave the Squid Game together.
When they have less than 3 minutes before the game is over, Sae-byeok and Ji-yeong finally decide to play. They choose a simple game in which the winner will be the one who manages to throw the marble closest to the a wall before them. Sae-byeok decides to reveal her name and Ji-yeong also introduces herself, but then says she has no family name. After Sae-byeok threw her marble close to the wall, Ji-yeong drops hers on purpose, surprising Sae-byeok. Irritated, Sae-byeok asks what she is doing and if this what she meant with "granting her victory". Sae-byeok tells Ji-yeong to play again, but Ji-yeong admits she would lose anyway. Ji-yeong confesses she has nothing, no reason to leave the Squid Game. Ji-yeong believes, however, that Sae-byeok has a good reason to live: to help her family. Ji-yeong says that Sae-byeok should be the one to survive, and tells her to return to her brother, recover her mother and go to Jeju Island. Sae-byeok becomes emotionally distraught and cries as she hears Ji-yeong. As Sae-byeok walks away from the location of the game accompanied by a soldier, she hears Ji-yeong calling for her and stops. Sae-byeok hears Ji-yeong last words, thanking Sae-byeok for playing with her. Right after, a guard shots Ji-yeong in the head, eliminating the girl from the game, as Sae-byeok leaves the place crying for her friend.
After the Marbles game, Sae-byeok is still very sad for Ji-yeong as she eats a potato. She and the others witness Player 069 break down in front of everyone because he lost his wife in the fourth game. Player 069 begs the others to vote to terminate the games, but neither Sae-byeok nor any of the other contestants respond to him. When Sang-woo stands up and questions Player 069 surviving the Marbles game instead of letting his wife live as well as his weak will to continue, he turns to the others and challenges them to leave if they want to. None of the players reply, including Sae-byeok who is still sadly looking down. In the next morning, Sae-byeok and the others wake up when guards enter the dormitory carrying a coffin and then they become stunned upon seeing that Player 069 hung himself with the sheets of a bed during the night.
Shaken, but still willing to win, Sae-byeok participates in the fifth game with the remaining 15 contestants. Before the game, the announcer says that players should choose one of the mannequins numbered from 1 to 16. When the announcer adds that the numbers are the order in which they will be playing the game, Sae-byeok picks number 15, which means she will play right after Sang-woo who chooses number 14. Before the game begins Gi-hun chooses number 16, so he plays after her in the sequence. The game is revealed to be Glass Stepping Stones and they have 16 minutes to cross the bridge and get to the other side safely. Less than 10 minutes before the time is over, when Sae-byeok, Gi-hun and Sang-woo, are the only ones left waiting to move to the tiles, Sang-woo points out that if players in front of them become scared and waste time, it can be dangerous for them who are at the back. Due to the delay of the players in front of her, Sae-byeok is only able to move to the first glass tile less than 8 minutes before the game is over. When Gi-hun tries to follow her, he forgets which of the tiles is normal and which one is tempered glass, so Sae-byeok tells him and asks him to focus. Gi-hun thanks her for helping him.
Less than 3 minutes before the time is up, the majority of players were eliminated for falling into normal glass, and Sae-byeok, Gi-hun and Sang-woo follow the last player in front of them, Player 017, a man who formerly worked as a glass worker. They move forward being guided by Player 017 until the Front Man notices the advantage and turns off the lights, causing the glass worker no longer be able to know which glass is normal and which is tempered, just as they need to figure out the last glass tile. With less than 1 minute before the time is over, they make one last attempt to figure out which glass is which through the sound, with Sae-byeok and Sang-woo passing to Player 017 the marble Il-nam gifted Gi-hun in the previous game. However, Player 017 asks for another marble to throw on the glass and says he is still not sure about the next tile to step on. When there is less than 20 seconds left, Gi-hun and Sae-byeok are shoked to witness Sang-woo jump to Player 017's tile and push him off the bridge, having cited repeatedly that they are running out of time. This makes the glass maker break the last normal glass tile and fall to death, so Sang-woo jumps to the last tempered glass and then to other side with ten seconds left before the time is up. Sae-byeok and Gi-hun quickly follow Sang-woo, with Gi-hun jumping just as the timer expires. Once the time is over, the trio is surprised by all the remaining glass tiles suddenly exploding. They are all hit by the glass, but Sae-byeok is the only one gravelly wounded by a big shard which impales her stomach.
Mortally injured in the Glass Stepping Stones game, Sae-byeok bleeds as she walks back to the dormitory, leaving a trail of blood in her path. Despite this, she endures the pain in silence and holds the wound trying to stop the bleeding. Arriving in the dormitory, she limps back to her bed and sits alone while Gi-hun starts to argue with Sang-woo about Player 017's death. Soon, they all see the masked staff entering the room carrying gifts. The masked men congratulates them for winning five games, becoming the three finalists of the Squid Game and offer them the gifts for their status.
Right after, Sae-byeok goes to the bathroom by herself. In front of a sink, she takes off her shirt and checks the state of her wound. A large shard of glass still pierces her stomach. Sae-byeok painfully removes the shard, losing a lot of blood in the process, leaving the bathroom floor covered in red. She tries to stanch the blood with toilet paper while ripping her shirt and then wrapping it around the wound. After washing herself, she decides to open the gift and finds a tuxedo inside the box that the masked staff gave her.
During the night, Sae-byeok dresses her new formal clothing and is part of a fine dining that the staff prepared as reward for the finalists in the dormitory. Because of the wound and the blood loss, Sae-byeok is very pale and barely manages to eat, which is noticed by Gi-hun. As they all finish eating, Sae-byeok is the only one who leaves a large portion of her food on the plate. When the dinner is over, they masked staff collects their plates, but leaves each one of them with a knife. The Sae-byeok and the two men look suspiciously at each other, before three of them pick the knifes and keep them with themselves.
Later on, each of the finalists sits on their respective beds holding their knives. Sae-byeok struggles to stay awake and is startled when Gi-hun approaches her, making her hold her knife to defend herself. Gi-hun tells her that he didn't come to kill her and if he did, he would have already done it because she was almost asleep. He tells her that he only brought the knife to defend himself from Sang-woo and puts it inside his pocket to show that he means her no harm. Gi-hun says that he noticed that she isn't looking well, but Sae-byeok denies it. Gi-hun questions why she barely touched her food during the dinner and Sae-byeok says the food was not very good. Gi-hun knows that Sae-byeok is lying, however, she says that even if she is hurt, he wouldn't be able to treat her. Sae-byeok tells Gi-hun to care about himself.
Gi-hun suggests that the two of them work together against Sang-woo in the last game. Gi-hun says that he and Sae-byeok could win the Squid Game together and share the prize money. They have a conversation about their families. Sae-byeok questions what Gi-hun will do with the prize money if he survives and he reveals he will pay his debts, open a business for his mother, and he also wants to be a good father to his ten-year-old daughter. Sae-byeok realizes that Gi-hun's daughter and her little brother have the same age. When Gi-hun asks where her brother is, she explains about her promise to get Cheol out of the orphanage and about bringing her mother to the South, and that she wants the prize money to buy a house for them. Sae-byeok asks him to promise that if either of them manage to survive and win the game, they will use the prize to take care of each other's family. Gi-hun tells her that they will defeat Sang-woo and leave the games together, but Sae-byeok insists for him to promise he will take care of Cheol.
Gi-hun then notices that Sang-woo is sleeping on his bed and moves towards him holding his knife, with the intent to kill. Sae-byeok stops him, saying that he shouldn't do it because he is a good person. As Sae-byeok reclines on her bed in pain, Gi-hun then finds out she is bleeding profusely under her tuxedo. Gi-hun sees she is almost passing out and begs her to stay awake while he calls for a doctor. Sae-byeok last words to him is that she wants to go home. Gi-hun leaves a dying Sae-byeok on her bed and runs to the doors of the dormitory. While Gi-hun bangs on the doors and screams for the guards outside to help the girl, Sang-woo gets out of his bed and slits Sae-byeok's throat. When the masked staff finally enters the room, they come carrying a coffin to take away Sae-byeok's corpse. Gi-hun realizes too late that his friend had killed Sae-byeok while he was calling for help. Gi-hun mourns over Sae-byeok's body and tries to attack Sang-woo for it, but is stopped by a soldier. Gi-hun cries as he sees two soldiers put Sae-byeok inside the coffin.
Sae-byeok's coffin is then carried by the soldiers to the furnace, where she is cremated.
"One Lucky Day"
In 2021, one year after the events of the 33rd Squid Game, her goal is indirectly fulfilled by Gi-hun when he gets her younger brother, Cheol, out of the orphanage and leaves him in the care of Sang-woo's mother, giving them his fair share of the prize money.