“Uhm, Joohyun, please. Let’s do a shampoo commercial. It’s not just any shampoo, but Ella. You know Ella, don’t you? They pay in the hundreds of millions. They want you. Aren’t you the idol of all women in their 20s and 30s? Do you know how many people gasped when your hair waved in the air in the last drama you di… hey, hey hey!”
Team leader Han blocked the exit of the rest area to stop Joohyun from leaving.
“Oppa, no, team leader Han. Do you want your nuts cracked?”
When Joohyun said that with a smile, team leader Han immediately put his knees together and covered his lower region with his hand. Joohyun was the type of person who would do what she said. Nothing bad would come from being careful.
“No, but, Joohyun. This is Ella we’re talking about. Your hair, more elegant than ever, it’s that Ella! They rarely decide who they want for their commercial, and they chose you this time! Hey, other women from the company can’t even do this even if they want to, but you just had to kick the chance away without even looking at it. You should at least try to see what this opportunity is.”
“I don’t care about that. And so? Who got this commercial for me?”
“Uh, what? Why do you ask that?”
“Team leader Han.”
“I really like you, team leader Han. I know that you’re a decent person. I’m also aware that you’re trying your best day and night in order to keep the company running, and I’m also aware that you’re looking after our new recruits. However, you know who I am. You know what kind of mindset I came to the entertainment industry with.”
Her eyes were resolute without any shaking. Team leader Han, named Han Gwangjoon, bit his lower lip and scratched his head.
“Joohyun. Did you know? I feel scared whenever you talk to me like that.”
“And yet you still bring me such offers every time?”
“Haah. You really owe me a debt this time.”
Team leader Han took out his phone feeling very sad. Then, he called the CEO. He felt like he was having a stomach cramp, but he had no choice.
“Yes, president. I mean, about the thing you asked me to ask our super actress about… No, I haven’t talked to her about it yet. Yes, that. So, Miss Ahn isn’t exactly, you know, I think she’ll make losses if she takes the commercial. She has a villainous role in the movie, right? Such a woman saying lines like ‘for your hair’ on TV sounds somewhat strange, doesn’t it? Sorry? It’s fine because she has a bright character role in the drama? Oh, of course, you’re right. But uh… president. I think Miss Ahn damaged her hair a little. You know that she had to apply oil to her hair for three hours the last time she did one, right?”
Team leader Han took the phone off his ears for a brief moment. He was feeling dizzy due to the president’s shouts. He looked at Joohyun for help, but she just shook her head with her arms crossed. He was like the innocent bystander in this battle between Joohyun and the president. The president’s annoyed voice eventually died down. Team leader Han thought that he should visit a medical clinic after this as he put his phone against his ear again.
“Yes, president. I’m sorry about that. You know what kind of position Miss Ahn has amongst actresses, right? Her value would start decreasing if she keeps taking model jobs for ads. Let’s have her do something bigger later. She’s doing well in dramas and movies, isn’t she? Yes. I know that you don’t feel good since the movie doesn’t make any money, but she’s still one of the top actresses of Yellow Star, isn’t she? Please look after her a little more. Yes, president. Please take a good rest.”
Team leader Han sighed after hanging up. His head felt dizzy.
“Joohyun, you’re killing me here. I’ll be forty soon, but my hair is already falling out at a crazy rate. At this rate, I’ll start losing weight, hair, and even things that I shouldn’t and become a walking corpse.”
“Team leader Han. People don’t die that easily. Look at me, I’m still alive.”
“Yeah, I have to admit. If I received as many insults as you did, I would have left this industry already. Rather than that, where are you going? You don’t have any schedule now. Weren’t you going home to get some rest?”
“I’m going to meet my brother.”
“Your brother? Oh, Bangjoo, was it? Is he in middle school now?”
“He’s in his first year of high school.”
Team leader Han reminded himself of the kid he saw once before. He was short, but had a very energetic voice.
“Then be careful on your way there. Don’t drive fast.”
“Don’t worry about me.”
Team leader Han was about to leave the rest area. The door suddenly opened and a middle-aged man with a bored expression suddenly came into the room. Behind him was the CEO of the company who was forcing himself to smile.
Team leader Han inwardly thought that things were not going well. This man with a lot of wrinkles was from Ella. He also probably had a high position.
“My dear PR team leader was not doing his work properly, so I came. Well then. Hello there, you must be the actress Ahn Joohyun, right?”
The man entered the rest area as though it was his own house. Team leader Han looked at Joohyun’s face. She had a smile on her face. Any normal person would think that she was a kind woman, but team leader Han felt the opposite. He knew that it was her way of expressing her final warning.
“Hello, my name is Han Gwangjoon. I saw you from afar once.”
“Ah, really? Han Gwangjoon, Han Gwangjoon, huh. Oh, you’re the one in charge.”
“Tsk. Just what kind of a terrible job did you do that she kept refusing? Things weren’t going well so I decided to have a look myself. You know, since I’m here to have lunch with him and all.”
The middle-aged man stood in front of Joohyun with a satisfied smile. Team leader Han wanted to scream when he saw that he looked at Joohyun’s face once before proceeding to stare at her chest so blatantly. This person was too unaware of who Ahn Joohyun was.
“P, president. What were you thinking when you brought him here?”
“Don’t ask. He told me that we should have dinner together because of the commercial, but he barged in just as I was about to leave.”
“But you shouldn’t have brought him here.”
“Do you think I wanted to? He’s the president of the branch. Yeah, that’s right. The CEO.”
“He’s the CEO?”
“Then who did you think he was?”
“Someone who has the position of a head of a department?”
“Do you think anyone is crazy enough to barge into another company with that kind of position?”
“Then why is such a person here?”
“Why do you think?”
“No way, please don’t tell me it’s not what I’m thinking.”
Just as he was whispering with the president. The man from Ella took a step towards Joohyun. He was disturbingly close considering that this was their first meeting. Team leader Han felt a chill running behind his back. He was getting extremely close to dangerous territory. And just as he had thought, he saw Joohyun’s lips twisting.
Team leader Han felt that his stomach stopped cramping and it felt like it was being poked with needles. He felt like visiting the medical clinic wasn’t going to be enough. He then looked at Joohyun and, at the same time, he desperately shook his head. Please hold it in. However, Joohyun kept smiling. Her legs were very thin and bought the envy of many models. However, her thin legs were also thoroughly trained. She did kickboxing. Not to lose weight, but seriously to the point that she was at a level where she could participate in proper competitions. If that leg decided to strike that man’s shin… the results were unimaginable.
Joohyun was actually a pretty calm woman. She normally did not use any foul language either. The reason she was known as a violent woman was because she did a few interviews where people almost did unspeakable things to her. Indeed, Joohyun wasn’t someone that swore at someone right off the bat. She had common sense, knew how to endure, and was quite understanding of others. However, she was unforgiving when it came to one thing. It was none other than when men approached her sexually.
Team leader Han still remembered the event where Joohyun twisted the wrist of the president of a drama outsourcing company during a meal. That time, that person just laughed it over and didn’t mind it that much, but this man in front of him clearly didn’t look like the type of person that wouldn't ‘mind it that much’. Obstinacy could be seen from his face. He was the type of man to think that women existed for men. It was obvious from his disturbing stare.
Even he was able to notice that, so there was no way Joohyun, who had been receiving that stare, wouldn’t notice it. What would happen if Joohyun screamed at him? Definitely not something good for Yellow Star, that was for sure.
Looks like I should apply for a leave - team leader Han stepped in between the two with resignation.
“Wh- what is it?”
“I’ll bring you to a good place.”
“I hear that it’s not polite to keep someone so high up standing like this. Please give me an opportunity to make it up to you,” he bowed his head as he spoke.
What he saw was the shiny shoes that the president was wearing. They had to be those brand-name expensive ones that he would never be able to afford with his salary. Bowing his head to others and flattering them didn’t feel like anything since he was so used to it now. He only wanted to avoid an accident at all costs.
“This fella, you know your stuff.”
The president patted his shoulders before laughing heartily.
“Looks like you have a glib tongue.”
“I don’t act like this to anyone. President, why don’t you have a drink with our president in a good place? They say drinking during the day is the best experience.”
“Is that so? Is actress Ahn joining us?”
“Ehem, don’t say that.”
The president reached out and tried to grab Joohyun’s hand.
Team leader Han inwardly sighed inside.
It looks like I’m getting a ton of insults this time.
Team leader Han pretended that he tripped on his feet and fell over towards the president, just enough so that he didn’t fall over. As he did so, he pushed him slightly so that he had to step away.
“S-sorry about that. I’m feeling anemic lately.”
“...Hm. You’re quite feeble despite your age.”
“It’s you who’s very sturdy. You felt like an immovable rock when I fell over. Just what kind of exercise do you do to stay so healthy?”
“I’m like a rock? Haha, this fella. That’s obvious. I did some boxing when I was in my prime.”
“I knew it. I thought that the way you tensed your shoulder and your legs was not the actions of a novice. President, can you show me your punches?”
Team leader Han raised his hands to receive his punches. After laughing, the president got into a boxing posture and punched out. Tcsh, Tsch, he made sounds with his mouth and punched out with his fist but it looked very awkward. Any typical delinquent was better than him. Though, he couldn’t say that out loud.
“Oh no, president. I don’t think there will be anything left of my hands if you keep going like that. Looks like you should have become a professional boxer instead of running a business.”
“Of course. Isn’t that right, president?”
His president caught what he was doing and raised his thumbs up. There was a reason why people advised to be wary of flattery. It was because it was very effective. The president felt better and walked outside.
“I’ll be right behind you after I get some things ready.”
He bowed to the president that just left and raised his head. He had burned about half of his soul doing that. He could practically see the doctor saying that he had a stress-induced gastritis.
“You should get going at this chance. I’ll tell him that you have family matters that just came up.”
“Team leader Han, no, oppa.”
“Stop. I know what you want to say so just get going.”
“You’ll regret it if you keep living like that.”
“I know that. I might regret it. However, not everyone in this world can be as resolute as you in life. If I was able to keep living after kicking away the money in front of me, do you think I would still be doing this?”
“Then I’ll just settle the deal with him.”
“No! I’ll do it this time.”
“He won't stop his bullshit like that next time though.”
“Joohyun, please use nicer words. I can have him go back if I blab on for a bit. The commercial might be taken by someone else, but your image will not take a hit. You know that you’re the top star of our company, right? I cannot stand your reputation taking a hit.”
“I don’t have any reputation to take a hit.”
Joohyun sighed. Although she was known as the woman who said everything that was on her mind without caring about the others, she would have snapped at that man already if she was actually such a person.
“Miss Ahn. Please hold it in for a little more. You just need to go up a little more. You know that, don’t you? Once you reach the top, you won’t have to face people like that. At that time, you get to pick what commercial you want to do. I’ll pave the path for you, so you just have to walk the road I made for you without straying.”
In South Korea, celebrities were never superior to their business counterparts. They might look like they’re the superior ones with all the spotlight being directed to them, but the actors that could really act as they wished could be counted on one’s hand. Most of the time, entertainers had a hard time in their companies. Right now, Joohyun was in the transition phase. She gained popularity as a youth star, but she left the industry due to unfortunate events, and she had made her comeback a few years ago and was in the process of gaining reputation.
In team leader Han’s eyes, Joohyun had plenty of potential to grow up into a first-rate actor that no entertainment company could touch. The fact that she rapidly gained popularity as an actress despite the gap in her career was proof of that.
What she lacked was her skills in managing personal relationships. Team leader Han did not wish for her to smile at the advertisers and pour wine for them while revealing her breasts. Joohyun was too good for that.
An untouchable actress. Team leader Han wanted to raise Joohyun up to that level.
“If that guy does some bullshit stuff again, I’ll kick his balls even if I have to pay him for it.”
“My lord, Joohyun. Don’t say the word ‘balls’ with such a pretty mouth. I’ll take care of this so you just go to your little brother and have a nice dinner. Okay?”
After forcefully sending Joohyun off, team leader Han sat down on his seat for a while.
“...I should look into medicine that’s good for health.”
Team leader Han stood up as he thought about the president that would be waiting for him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Now, author's portrayal of reality is just depressing me out...