Chapter 16

Sungyoon stood in front of a glass door. The door was located at the end of a corridor, and he could see shadows behind the frosted glass. However, he couldn't clearly see what was inside.

‘This is the place.’

Sungyoon was a bit nervous as he gripped the door handle.

There were two words written clearly on the side of the door. 'Jungbum' was the title written on the company’s nameplate. 

‘He said this is the perfect company for me.’

Insoo had raised his thumb as if he was a street vendor trying to sell him something. This sight had raised his suspicions, but he had nothing to lose by coming here. If he didn’t like this company, he could just ask to be introduced to another company.

‘I don’t have the luxury to be picky with the company I choose.’

His debt was ballooning right now through interest.

Sungyoon opened the door.

The inside of the room looked pretty good. It wasn’t large. However, it had a clean interior design, and it was lit up by ambient lighting. It left quite an impression on him. The front desk was facing the entrance, and there was a door to the side leading to the next room.

However, there wasn’t anyone present.

‘Did the employee go on a brief break?’

Maybe, the company wasn’t open yet. But if they had other business to attend to, they would have locked the door before leaving the company.

“Excuse me!”

Sungyoon yelled out with a loud voice. Right then, he sensed a presence beyond the door next to the front desk. Fortunately, there were people here.

“Please wait a moment.”

It was the voice of a young woman. Sungyoon thought she sounded like a strict housemistress. Her voice was that brusque.

However, Sungyoon had to revise the image in his mind when she opened the door.

She had straight black hair that swayed in the air. It was long enough to reach her lower back. Her skin was pale, and it was so white that perhaps just even a touch might dirty it. But unlike a sick person, there were no blemishes on her skin. Her eyes were large and she had a medium-high nose. Her lips were luscious. She looked like a piece of art.

She had worn a women’s suit. It was a typical suit worn to work at a company, but for some reason, Sungyoon got the impression that this was a suit worn to a funeral.

She walked on low-heeled shoes as she stood in front of Sungyoon.

He could smell something pleasant. Was it the scent of the shampoo she used? Or was it a perfume? It also might be her natural scent.

When she came closer, her beauty shone more. But he could also see grief-stricken eyes under the well-kempt eyebrows. It was as if one’s soul would be sucked out if one stared too deep into her eyes.

The only negative was the fact that her expression rarely changed. She had a cold expression on her face.

However, that couldn’t overshadow her beauty. The most beautiful woman he had seen up to this point was the woman who had brought Shinhae to him from the orphanage. The woman in front of him was almost on par with her. His wife had been a beauty, but Miyun was still several steps below this woman in terms of appearance. It seemed it was his fate to meet beautiful women in his old age.

However, Sungyoon wasn’t happy at all. The first feeling felt by Sungyoon wasn’t interest or love. It was wariness. He unconsciously took a step backward. He had developed a mistrust for women, thanks to Miyun, and his guard came up without a hitch.

“Are you Mr. Woo Sungyoon?”

Her small mouth moved gently as she spoke. However, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that her voice was ice cold. As expected, she was the owner of the voice from before.

“Yes, that is correct.”

She pushed her hand forward.

“It is good to meet you. I am the president of Jungbum. My name is Hahn Jimin.”

Sungyoon was surprised. At a glance, she looked to be in her early to mid-20s, yet she was the president of this company. When he saw her for the first time, he thought she was just an employee.

Her eyes narrowed. Sungyoon realized that he was leaving her hanging. Her hand remained hovering in empty air.

“…please forgive my rudeness. I was just surprised that the president was so young. My name is Woo Sungyoon.”

He gave a short apology, and he shook Jimin’s hand. Her hand was smooth, and he could feel her body heat.

“No, it’s fine. Most people are surprised by it.”

Jimin had experienced this a lot of times, so she didn’t make an issue out of it.

“Let’s go in and talk.”

Jimin led Sungyoon into a room.

It was a simple room with a desk, a cabinet, and chairs. It was more of a personal room than an office space.

“Please sit.”

Jimin brought a spare chair in front of her desk. After Sungyoon sat, she sat on the chair behind the desk.

She brought out several documents and placed them on the table.

“Mr. Woo Sungyoon. You are a 1st Gen Connector, and it has been two weeks since you’ve awakened.”

She held a paper with Sungyoon’s basic profile on it, and information about him kept flowing out of Jimin’s mouth.

“Your only family is your daughter, and you have a massive amount of debt.”

It seemed like a good amount of information had been passed onto her.

Sungyoon cringed a little when she mentioned his debt. Most companies didn’t like to hire an employee with a massive amount of debt. This was especially true for someone that owed an astronomical sum of money.

“…do all companies know this much about prospective Connectors?”

“No. Of course not.”

Of course not? Sungyoon’s brows twitched. Something was off, but Jimin was being nonchalant about it.

“Mr. Woo Sungyoon. Our company wants to sign a contract with you. If possible, I would like to draft the contract right now.”

His suspicion deepened. They had barely met, yet she wanted to sign a contract with him. Even a convenience store didn’t hire their temp. employees like this.

“You don’t even know me, yet you’ve already decided to hire me?”

“I have a good idea about who you are. I’ve investigated your background.”

“Investigated?”

Sungyoon’s eyes were starting to show reservation. Suspicion started to appear on his face.

“…what are you plotting?”

Since she had a pretty face, his guard had already been up. Moreover, her odd behavior and words had the effect of pouring fuel on the fire.

“Plotting.... I guess that’s the right word. I won’t deny that I am up to something.”

When he heard those words, Sungyoon immediately got up.

“Then this meeting is over.”

He had already been stabbed in the back so hard that his back had become bloody. He didn’t want to work at a suspicious company like this. Above all else, the president was explicitly stating that she was plotting something. He had heard enough.

Sungyoon turned his back on Jimin, and he took a step towards the door.

But then, at that moment, he heard Jimin’s words.

“Your debt is 7.2 million dollars. It isn’t something that is easily overcome.”

Sungyoon came to a full stop.

“…what do you want to say to me?”

Sungyoon didn’t even turn his head as he asked the question. He had two Achilles heels. One was Shinhae, and the other one was his massive debt. He wanted to leave this company right now, but the mention of his debt kept him in place.

When Jimin was successful in stopping Sungyoon from walking out, she took out something from below her desk. She opened it on her desk.

“Please look at this.”

At times like this, he wanted to curse his life, which had become all twisted. He turned around.

From what he inferred, it had something to do with his debt. He couldn’t ignore it.

He looked at the papers on top of her desk. It looked to be printed copies of something.

“This is...!”

Sungyoon became surprised when he read the documents. These were the documents that had taken a mortgage out on his life. It was a shackle that made him tremble.

“Why do you have this?”

His promissory notes were in front of him. He growled as he glared at them.

“I bought them. I bought all your debt.”

Sungyoon’s eyes widened. 

“Now do you want to talk to me?”

“….”

There was silence in the room for a brief moment. Sungyoon looked down at Jimin. She also looked up at him without saying anything. In the end, Sungyoon let out a big sigh as he collapsed into the chair.

“I don’t know what you want, but I don’t have much that you can blackmail out of me. I’m not going to do anything illegal. Let me make that clear.”

“Do not worry about that. What I want you to do is within your power. It isn’t illegal. Moreover, I don’t plan on blackmailing you.”

“You are waving my promissory notes in front of me. You are using them to get me to sign a contract. That is blackmail.”

Sungyoon put a hand over his face when he heard the nonsense coming out of her mouth.

“Don’t worry about it. I won’t do anything if you decide to reject the contract. I didn't buy the promissory notes to threaten you. It isn’t a whip. It was bought as a carrot to motivate you.”

“Carrot?”

“That’s right, Mr. Woo Sungyoon. If you make a contract with our company, there won’t be any interest added to your debt.”

Sungyoon lowered his hand from his face. His eyes were twinkling from surprise.

“I’ll also indefinitely extend the deadline for your next payment. You can repay whenever you make money. I won’t quibble on when or how much you wish to pay back. I think this is a very lucrative deal for you.”

It really was lucrative. It almost wiped away all his displeasure in one go.

“I am also willing to take charge of Woo Shinhae’s life and education until you can get your life in order. You’ll be leaving your daughter behind to go to the Moon, so this is a great deal for you. Even if some unfortunate accident happens to Mr. Sungyoon, I promise I’ll support her until she graduates college.”

Sungyoon stared at Jimin. Her beautiful face was waiting for his answer. If he took her words at face value, she was like an angel sent down by the heavens to save him. She was a guardian angel that would solve all his problems.

However, Sungyoon was well aware of this truth. Angels weren’t the only ones that extended their hands towards humans. Demons did so too.

There was no way this deal was so one-sided in his favor.

“I’m guessing you have demands in return?”

Sungyoon was only a 1st Gen Connector. If he had been a top rate Connector, he might expect such treatment. However, there was no reason why this company should give such a sweetheart deal to him. There must be some price attached to it.

“Of course. I’m not in the business of doing charity.”

It was as he had expected. Sungyoon firmed his heart.

He wanted to immediately take the deal offered to him. Even if she asked for something a bit unreasonable, he might accept it. However, he had to be careful. If something bad happened to him, there was a good chance that something bad might happen to Shinhae. Even if he died, he had to make preparations for Shinhae’s future.

Sungyoon looked tense as he asked the question.

“What is it? What terms are you asking for?”

“I want Mr. Sungyoon to aim for the Great Labyrinth.”

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