Chapter 46: The Family’s Condition #2
After eating An Eun-young’s stamina food, Tae-hyuk looked around the house.
‘It’s a little strange that there’s nobody at home when we’re studying together.’
Tae-hyuk had studied at An Eun-young’s house for a month now. However, he had never met her family even once.
‘Was her father the director of a general hospital? Her mother is also at the hospital for treatment.’
She said that her father only came home around once a week. He understood why the two people weren’t visible. But the problem was her older sister.
Tae-hyuk quietly looked at An Eun-young’s face. She talked casually, but he could see the deep darkness within her eyes.
“Eun-jeong unni doesn’t get along with my father. She isn’t interested in studying, and goes out to play every day. Therefore, he forced her to enter a boarding school. That was the beginning of the incident.”
Tae-hyuk sensed something and asked in a small voice.
"Did your sister go to L high school?”
“Yes. It is a prestigious school with a high placement rate.”
“And your sister is 25 years old this year?”
“T-that’s right. How did you know?”
Tae-hyuk closed his mouth. He hadn’t thought there would be a relationship like this.
He had memories of the next 14 years. Most of his memories were about criminals and the prison. Then there was the moment when he was about to receive the death penalty.
The problem was the day before the death penalty. At that time, he had met something that wasn’t human. It had gaping holes for eyes and a mouth that was ripped up to the ears. Whenever it laughed, red blood dripped down its face. In the end, Tae-hyuk didn’t know who it was. He just remembered that he had made a deal with it.
It had talked about the deaths of Ha-ran and Tae-min. Seo Tae-min had become a lawyer to save Tae-hyuk, but he struggled to find evidence until the end, where he was murdered and sunk under the sea.
Seo Ha-ran was fired after it became known that her brother was a murderer. She had become involved in a multi-level marketing scheme with a friend. The result was her ruin. She lost everything and committed suicide.
This was the future that Tae-hyuk remembered. The reason he didn’t want to be reminded of this was because the multi-level marketing scheme had caused the destruction of Ha-ran. Ha-ran was 25 years old this year, and she also went to L high school.
Was all of this simply a coincidence?
Tae-hyuk made a scary expression without saying anything, causing An Eun-young to wave her hands in front of his face.
"Oh, sorry I was thinking of something else. Continue the story.”
Tae-hyuk said with a casual expression.
An Eun-young resumed the explanation.
Her sister Eun-jeong thought of the school as a prison and went outside to play everyday. Then she met the leader of a bad group and they fell in love.
“... Unni left a letter saying she was sorry and vanished. She even took all of the gifts at home. Dad went crazy and removed Unni from the family register. It was the first time I’ve seen Dad so mad.”
"But how did you learn that she was involved in a multi-level scheme?”
"Hmm, that was a few days ago. I was coming home and a man on a motorcycle came with a note for An Eun-jeong’s little sister.”
"Did you see the man’s face?”
An Eun-young shook her head.
"He was wearing a helmet. This is the note.”
Tae-hyuk took the piece of paper that An Eun-young gave him and confirmed the contents.
'An Eun-jeong is in danger of falling into a multi-level scheme. Tiwai International.’
It was suspicious, no matter how he looked at it.
"Did you tell your father?”
“No... He tore it up as soon as I give it to him...”
Tae-hyuk had a strange feeling when he looked at An Eun-young, who didn’t care about her own safety. She believed in herself more than her parents.
He felt like he was chewing a mouthful of sand.
"Maybe this is better left to the police."
An Eun-young’s hands started shaking at Tae-hyuk’s firm answer.
T-that's right... S-Sorry. I-I just wanted to consult with Tae-hyuk so, don’t, I don’t want to be a burden.”
Tae-hyuk felt a knot in his chest. Was it possible to end it this way?
A multi-level company was a seemingly legitimate business with no problems showing. If there was a report to the police, then they would say that it was wrong. What would happen if a full-fledged investigation was started? There would be little difference. A few people in charge would be sent to prison, but they certainly couldn’t get a hold of everyone in the multi-level scheme. They would just move on to another company with a different name and sign.
Tae-hyuk sighed slowly.
‘Yes. This is the deal. If An Eun-jeong is really Noona’s friend, then I will plunge into this case. If there isn’t a connection, then I will consult Kang-suk hyung.’
Tae-hyuk pulled out his phone to send a message to Ha-ran.
-Noona. Did you have a friend called An Eun-jeong in high school?
He pressed the Send button. What answer would come back? Tae-hyuk swallowed his saliva. 30 seconds passed before there was a reply.
-Yes. Noona’s friend. It has already been a few years since I’ve met her. Did she contact you on my old phone? Tell her to call me.
Tae-hyuk's mouth trembled. As expected, Ha-ran and An Eun-jeong were friends. An Eun-jeong had drawn Ha-ran into the multi-level company world. If he helped An Eun-jeong now, then he could shatter the future of Seo Ha-ran, who fell into ruin due to the multi-level marketing scheme.
Tae-hyuk looked at An Eun-young, who seemed like she was about to cry. What if he suddenly changed his mind and said he would help?
‘Oh. Wait. There is that method!’
Seo Tae-hyuk was reminded of a game that could be called a man’s romance.
"Eun-young, I’m bored. Do you want to play Rock Paper Scissors? If you win, then I’ll help you with this case. Instead, if I win, help me with my newly developed magic...”
An Eun-young turned red with anger and threw out her hand to play Rock Paper Scissors.
Tae-hyuk, who was trying to lose intentionally by using the ‘Gambling’ skill, felt like crying. It was the door of truth that he never wanted to see!
“Tiwai International... it’s a multi-level company that was created 10 years ago, and will continue to operate for the next 14 years.”
Tae-hyuk muttered as he looked up at the 15 story building in front of him. This building was all Tiwai International.Usually, a multi-level company had around 1,000 members, and had billions of won in assets. That’s why it had such a great building. At least 10 times... No, more than 100 times.
There was a cardinal rule. If you don’t make other people your co-worker, then don’t bother going out. Maybe they were half trapped in the building.
‘It isn’t a building but a dungeon.’
The inside was illegally modified like a maze. People wouldn’t be able to get out fully without knowing the way.
First, he came to look at the situation. But it seemed like he had to prepare properly before entering.
‘There are janitors and security guards going in and out.’
Tae-hyuk suddenly came up with a good plan to infiltrate Tiwai International. He would pose as a janitor to go inside. In order to do that, he needed clothes.
‘This is when the Internet marketplace is useful. Let's see... The janitor uniform...’
In the old days, his guard uniform was commissioned from a uniform company. It took a lot of time.
Compared to that, Internet deals were easy and quick. A secondhand store selling janitor uniforms that boasted five million members caught his attention.
‘... Should I trade with Wang Grandmother Uniforms? It has a truly unique flavour.’
He travelled a few stops on the subway in order to make a direct deal with the person. Tae-hyuk made the right deal. After 30 minutes, he was able to get his hands on exactly what he wanted.
‘Then I’ll change in the toilets.’
He dressed as a janitor in the subway toilets and made his head damp with water. He used cream to appear haggard and now looked like a janitor. Then he went back to the entrance of the building where he was stopped by a security guard.
“What are you doing?”
Tae-hyuk used Voice Modulation to sound older.
"Kim-ssi’s body isn’t good so I came to replace him.”
The guard looked Tae-hyuk up and down.
“Hrmm. I didn’t hear about such a thing.”
"That’s why I came to tell you.”
"Oh, is that so? Then go in.”
“Yes, keep up the good work.”
In a building of this size, there were at least 10 janitors going in and out. At least one of them would have a surname of Kim.
Tae-hyuk shrugged and entered the building.
‘The beginning is good. The problem is where to find An Eun-jeong.’
The building appeared to have many rooms on each floor. But there were 15 floors. It would take a few days to search through each room. There was a loud noise from the entrance.
"I-I-I'm sorry. I’m late for a new employee seminar.”
A woman in a suit was talking to a security guard. Tae-hyuk smiled as he looked at the scene from afar.
‘An Eun-jeong has showed up in the wild.’
He found the person he was looking for. It was a more mature face than the one he saw in the photo. She was wearing a khaki suit and had makeup on his face. She literally felt like a new employee. But when he looked closely, he could see some similarities to An Eun-young.
An Eun-jeong took the stairs on her high heels. Surprisingly, this building didn’t have an elevator. It was so that the members couldn’t run off easily.
Tae-hyuk slowly followed behind her.
The seminar sat down the new people that the employees had brought and explain the company’s system. A middle aged man turned on a projector and was giving a speech.
Tae-hyuk snuck through the back door and casually sat in the back. He had changed from the janitor clothes to normal clothes.
In the seminar room, dozens of men and women of various ages were sitting. An Eun-jeong was among them.
'Is she a frivolous person?’
A person with this type of mentality. Everyone in the room responded together, even if they didn’t understand. Obviously, more than half the people in this room had frivolous characters.
The middle-aged man spat out.
"Remember the IMF in 1997? Do you know what caused it?”
People raised their hands.
"People buy and sell foreign goods. Doesn’t everything overseas look luxurious?”
The man said.
"Do you all know? Some will teach you from the textbooks. But I won’t. In fact, it is something that all big companies and the government can’t do.”
The man shook his head and plausible graphs and interviews with experts appeared on the projector.
"In the end, the big companies will wrong people in order to save money. But what will happen to them? All those who work are forced into early retirement. Their business goes into debt and they commit suicide. Your siblings living at home will have to clean the kitchen. It is due to overconsumption? People want to travel abroad or have foreign cars. How will you get your hands on these?”
The people in the seminar room were all quiet.
"So, you have to put survival above other people’s lives. Regardless of the labour reform, people do what they can to live as cheaply as possible. If you say that it is hard then your efforts aren’t enough. Let's compromise. Share the pain. Squeeze them more. Who will defend the salary of more than two million won that you will receive here?"
No one raised their hand.
"Do you know why? It is because things aren’t distributed properly? Distribute it. Is it distributed properly? That is the question. You should get paid as much as you can. So we have developed a new marketing system for you. Now, please pay attention to the screen."
The people who had been distracted 10 minutes ago, started listening to the man. Tae-hyuk stared at the man who caught the crowd’s attention. His eloquent words sounded plausible. His charisma overpowered the audience.
‘Choi Sung-yeol. You were here.’
One of the blacklist members. The scammer Choi Sung-yeol was here.
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