However, this wasn’t the first time Miyun had such thoughts.
“How’s Shinhae? Is she doing well?”
“If you speak Shinhae’s name one more time, I’ll rip your tongue out.”
“Are you capable of doing it?”
“If you doubt my words, you should try it.”
When Miyun saw the gleam in Sungyoon’s eyes, her confidence shrunk, and she closed her mouth.
The ‘pushover’ who always did what she asked when she smiled had vanished.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I have to talk to you about our child.”
Sungyoon didn’t say anything, and he just extended his hand. Thankfully for Miyun, Jimin grabbed Sungyoon's arm in time.
Miyun’s face turned white. Sungyoon's brutish hand had stopped right in front of her eyes, and it was still twitching.
“Please calm down. You know this woman is saying such words to provoke you. Moreover, a lot of people, including Shinhae, will be put in a tough spot if you get arrested.”
Even after Jimin had spoken, Sungyoon didn’t put his arm down for a while. In the end, he had to retract his hand. Then, he crossed his arms and closed his eyes as if he didn’t want to spar words with Miyun.
Jimin took up the baton and spoke in his stead.
“Go on, Ms. Lee Miyun. What nonsense were you going to say?”
Miyun couldn’t speak for a moment as she monitored Sungyoon.
She had come into this meeting with a very optimistic view. The Sungyoon from her memories had been an idiot. He was a simple man who treasured his daughter so much that he had purposefully let himself be dragged through the mud.
When Jaeho had made his request around two months ago, Miyun had assumed everything would go her way. She thought it would be easy if she used Shinhae as her leverage. After all, Shinhae was someone who Sungyoon wanted to protect at all costs.
Of course, he had gained great fame and wealth, so she had to modify her approach. However, she never expected him to use violence as the first resort. He wanted to rip her tongue out.
With his experience in the labyrinths, Sungyoon was no stranger to violence, and he had lived at the bottom of society. Then there was Shinhae’s importance to his life. Miyun couldn't understand it, but Sungyoon's response was obvious considering these factors.
Although it had surprised her, Miyun didn’t give up. Maybe, she had gained courage by the fact that Sungyoon had been unable to touch her in the end.
“Nonsense? As a mother, I just want to talk about my daughter.”
Sungyoon’s eyebrows twitched. His fingers moved a little bit, but he didn’t react any further.
Jimin was impressed. The face of the woman in front of her was still pale. Jimin could tell Miyun had been frightened when Sungyoon said he would rip her tongue out. Yet, she wasn’t backing down an inch.
'She has balls. I’ll give her that much.’
“What do you want to talk about Shinhae?”
“I would like to raise her from now on.”
Sungyoon immediately objected.
“We don’t plan on putting up with your bullshit.”
Jimin was also firm with her words.
“Then I have no choice but to sue you.”
“Do as you wish.”
The two formidable women glared at each other.
Sungyoon interjected himself between the two.
“At this point, I have a rough idea of what shenanigans you are trying to pull. If I don’t comply, you will threaten to sue me for custody of Shinhae. Stop beating around the bush. Get to the point. If you continue to bullshit me, I’m leaving.”
“For your information, Ms. Miyun, you should forget about the idea that you will have an advantage in court if you sue him. Unlike before, Mr. Sungyoon has time and money. He also has political connections. When he started going up to the Moon in the beginning, he did have to leave behind Shinhae. However, his actions pale in comparison to what you did.”
Jimin had a calm expression on her face as she said all this.
Miyun thought for a brief moment before responding.
“Alright. I want two things.”
“You're still a greedy pig.”
Miyun ignored Sungyoon’s insult and stated her demands.
“Firstly, I want you to keep your mouth shut about Mr. Jaeho.”
For a moment, an intense light appeared in Sungyoon's and Jimin’s eyes.
“Secondly, I want some money. You have a lot of money now.”
“I’m not sure. I wonder if twenty million will be enough?”
Sungyoon clicked his tongue, while Jimin smirked.
“That’s nothing when you consider Mr. Sungyoon’s earnings. Still, you really have no conscience.”
Despite Jimin’s insult, Miyun continued to speak to Sungyoon.
“Of course, I will make some concessions. I'm willing to sign the waiver to disestablish maternity.”
“I don’t care if you think you have any rights to Shinhae. I never planned on acknowledging it.”
Unlike his words, Sungyoon was interested in the waiver that would disestablish maternity.
Miyun wasn’t a mother to Shinhae, but she had to voluntarily disestablish maternity to waive all her rights to Shinhae in the eyes of the law.
Sungyoon wanted to sever all ties between Miyun and Shinhae, and it didn’t matter how small that connection was.
“Is this all the cards you have? I thought you would bluff and claim that Shinhae wasn’t related by blood to Mr. Sungyoon.”
“I might've done it in the past, but it'd be too easy to disprove it now.”
“I don’t care if you lie or not. Even if Shinhae wasn’t my blood daughter, I would never hand her over to you. I will do whatever that is necessary to make that true.”
Miyun once again flinched at Sungyoon’s gaze. It had been a while since she had seen her ex-husband, and now, he could stop a person’s heart with his gaze.
However, she had to endure it. It wasn’t courage or foolhardiness.
The man she had thrown away had risen so high that she couldn’t touch him. Miyun had no choice but to accept this fact, and this was the last bit of self-respect she had as an insignificant woman.
“What are you going to do?”
Miyun sounded a bit hysterical.
She hadn’t expected the meeting to turn out like this.
In terms of status in society, their roles had been completely reversed. Still, she had believed that Sungyoon would play into her hands in the end and accept her deal if she mentioned the waiver to disestablish maternity.
However, the status difference between the two was beyond Miyun's imagination.
In the end, Jimin was the first one to speak.
“We’ll have to discuss this a little further amongst us. Mr. Sungyoon received real estate in Armstrong city, so twenty million dollars is chump change to him. However, we don’t want to give you even ten dollars if we have a choice.”
Miyun had kept up with the news, so she knew Jimin was telling the truth. Everyone in Korea was hyper-focused on Sungyoon’s every movement and achievements, so any information on him was hot material. Recently, the news that Sungyoon had participated in the Golem extermination plan had been all over the TV. The media had reported that Sungyoon had received a massive reward, and some had guessed that the reward was real estate inside Armstrong.
‘Just the fact that he has real estate in Armstrong...’
The real estate in Armstrong couldn’t be compared to the real estate on Earth. One could generate massive amounts of passive income just from possessing land in Armstrong.
Jimin discreetly monitored Miyun. then she spoke something as if it were an afterthought.
“Well, if you bring something worth it to us, we can offer something beyond twenty million. We might even give you some real estate in Armstrong. However, you really don’t have anything worth that much to us. You're bringing the same old stuff to the table, trying to negotiate with us using the daughter you threw away.”
Jimin was clearly ridiculing Miyun, but Miyun didn’t hear it. The only thing ringing in her ears was that she might be able to acquire real estate in Armstrong if she could provide something of equal value to Sungyoon.
“… That's all I have to say. Just contact me when you have a deal to present to me.”
“We won’t see you off. Please wait until we discuss this amongst ourselves. Don’t contact us first. Ah! If you get impatient and start the lawsuit, the deal is off the table. Please don’t forget that.”
Miyun was annoyed. She took her handbag and left the cafe. Unlike her calm exterior, her mind was busy making calculations.
‘If I give him that, he might give me real estate in Armstrong...’
Miyun's greedy eyes moved on to a new target of desire.
“Did you see it?”
Jimin moved to the seat in front of Sungyoon.
“When I told her we might give her real estate if she could provide something of equal value, she showed a reaction. It wasn’t just pure greed. She knows she has something you might want. And there's only one such thing.”
Jimin's eyes shone as she spoke the rest of her words.
“The contract between Mr. Sungyoon and Lee Jaeho. It's probably the one that she handed over to Lee Jaeho.”
Miyun had probably kept the contract as insurance. No, she had definitely kept it to extract more money out of Lee Jaeho in the future. She was capable of such actions.
“Of course, it would most likely be just a copy of the original contract. However, that would be enough to expose Lee Jaeho’s fraudulent practices. Unlike before, you have the money to pursue this. And, of course, the general public will be on your side.”
Jimin slowly sipped her coffee.
“Did you hear about the documentary they're making about you?”
One of the major media companies was planning on making a documentary focusing on Sungyoon’s past.
Sungyoon’s past was too interesting and controversial. On the surface, he had gathered investors through fraud and tallied up massive debt in the process. He had been so deep in debt that he had been at the cusp of being sent to prison.
The company struggled with deciding whether they should reveal such a sordid past about the hero of Korea.
However, people kept finding new interesting information the further they dug into his past. It became clear that Sungyoon’s story was more interesting than most K-Drama. His past might even unearth an enormous scandal involving one of the premier conglomerates of the world.
“That woman moved because Lee Jaeho probably got wind of the documentary. If Mr. Sungyoon decides to speak up about it, it would be a great hit to his reputation. The producer even called me for an interview. I told them that I was busy, but I heavily implied that I might be willing to speak with them at a later date. Of course, they also requested an interview with Mr. Sungyoon through me.”
Any words spoken by the ‘hot’ hero of Korea would cause waves.
“If we have no evidence, Lee Jaeho’s image would take a hit, but it would fizzle out as a scandal. However, it's a completely different story if we can present some evidence. Mr. Sungyoon can regain everything you lost.”
Sungyoon had given blood, sweat, and tears to develop his technology, and he had a chance to recover it.
“… If I’m being honest, I still think about the technology that I developed. However, I don't want any controversy now. I just want to live my life with Shinhae.”
If Miyun and Jaeho hadn’t moved against him, Sungyoon had been willing to let it go.
“However, those two keep proving with their actions that they are a threat to the wellbeing of my daughter and me.”
Miyun had threatened Sungyoon using his most precious treasure, and Jaeho was the one who had asked her to do so. Sungyoon did feel a little threatened because Miyun had used her status as Shinhae’s mother against him.
“If I do as they wish this time, do you think they would leave me alone for the rest of my life?”
“Not at all.”
“I think so too. That's why I have to get rid of them somehow.”
A dangerous light appeared in Sungyoon’s eyes.
“I have to step on them, and we have to make sure they would never interfere with Shinhae and me ever again.”
Sungyoon was ready to reveal his teeth toward the two of them.
“Alright. I’ll proceed with that in mind.”
Jimin spoke. She would be the one to carry out the plan since Sungyoon had to focus on the Great Labyrinth.
However, Jimin wasn’t annoyed by this in the slightest. Shinhae had become precious to her too, and she also became motivated when she thought about Sungyoon.
“I entrust everything to you. I’ll be heading back up now.”
Jimin had been burning with motivation, but she looked a bit down when she heard Sungyoon’s words.
“… I’m sure this might fall on deaf ears, and I’m sure you’ll be fine, but please be careful.”
Jimin had been alarmed when she had seen Sungyoon’s Gems on his return. She knew that he had contributed greatly to the Golem extermination mission, but she hadn't expected his Gems to evolve so much.
Sungyoon's rapid growth meant that he had faced incredible risk to accomplish it.
“I’ll do my best.”
Sungyoon's flat answer exasperated Jimin.Previous Chapter Next Chapter