Chapter 208

Jaeho entered his house. The house was really big for one person, and Jaeho had hired a housekeeper that came over every day, which was the reason his house was free from even a single speck of dust.

He usually lived along with his family in his family house, but he wanted to be alone today. This vacation house was the perfect place for that.

Jaeho took off his jacket and haphazardly tossed it on the sofa. For a brief moment, he felt that his necktie was closing in around his neck.

Anger flooded his heart.

“Shit!”

He took off the tie and threw it on the ground.

“Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!”

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

His legs ruthlessly battered the expensive necktie.

“Huhk! Huhk! Huhk!”

Jaeho panted. He was still fit as he had always taken care of his body, but he was getting old and losing stamina.

It was inevitable unless he could regain his youth like Sungyoon.

“Fuck!”

Sungyoon's image flashed in Jaeho's mind, and he cursed and tried to get rid of it. Then, he sank on the sofa and roughly brushed his hair backward. The wrinkles on his face had deepened due to the anger. 

Jaeho tried to kill his temper and desperately evoke patience.

“Hoo-ooh~!”

He let out a heavy sigh as if he wanted to blow all his worries away.

Dealing with this situation had tired him, and he hadn’t been able to sleep properly for the past couple of days. His work had taken all of his attention.

‘Everything is messed up.’

When Jaeho had stolen Sungyoon’s technology, his company had become one of the few companies in the world capable of refining the moonstones from the Great Labyrinth. However, his time as one of the leaders of the industry lasted only for a short time. The bad news kept coming in waves.

The worst news to hit him first was the lack of supply of moonstones after the Super Golems had attacked Armstrong.

At that time, Jaeho had considered it a minor speed bump. He had thought it was inevitable that Armstrong would be restored and so would the supply of the moonstones.

However, his plans had gone down in flames when China and Russia announced the construction of a new Lunar city.

Armstrong had banned all the Connectors who helped build the new city, and this included a good number of Connectors who used to raid the Great Labyrinth in Armstrong.

Naturally, the supply of moonstones from the Great Labyrinth decreased even further. 

‘Then there is that bastard Woo Sungyoon!’

Jungbum had rapidly grown as a company, and soon, they had become Korea's main supplier of the moonstones from the Great Labyrinth. 

Jaeho's company was already having a hard time breathing when Jungbum had notified Jaeho that they would be stopping the supply of moonstones to Daesung Energy, his company. This incident had poured fuel on the fire lit up by the nosy media.

Jaeho was sick and tired of dodging questions from journalists who hovered around him like mayflies.

‘Then there’s the ore!’

Just hearing its name disgusted Jaeho. It was the new energy source discovered by Sungyoon, and Sungyoon had a large supply of it.

With the discovery of ores, the future of energy generation with the moonstones came into question. His company’s stocks had plummeted as a consequence.

However, then the news spread that the ores were still far from the stage of being ready for practical purposes, and his company’s stock had rebounded. 

Yet, it didn’t change the fact that his company was in the business of refining and selling moonstones. The appearance of a new source of energy was bad news for him.

‘Still, I’ve somewhat moved all the pieces on the board.’

Jaeho had used all his connections, and he was also attempting to acquire a sample of the ore. Although he had to pay above market prices, his company had procured a supply of moonstones from the Great Labyrinth.

Of course, it had cut into his profit, but it was necessary.

‘I somehow managed to invest in the new Lunar city.’

In a strange way, Sungyoon had helped him achieve his goal.

The new Lunar city originally wanted to bring Sungyoon over to their side and use him to elevate their image.

However, Sungyoon had turned their offer down. Moreover, he had a big hand in Armstrong city's return to normalcy.

Of course, the new city came to hate Woo Sungyoon. And when they heard Jaeho was Sungyoon’s mortal enemy, they agreed to let Jaeho become one of their investors.

Basically, the new Lunar city wanted to screw over Sungyoon.

Jaeho was the president of a global company, so his investment into the new Lunar city didn’t raise an eyebrow. 

However, the number of people interested in investing in the new Lunar city was too high, and that meant Jaeho got the worse end of the deal. Still, he was grateful to be included.

‘I’ll have to focus on the new Lunar city with this. It seems that bastard Sungyoon has a lot of sway in Armstrong, and they probably view me in a negative light.’

The cub that he had allowed to live had turned into a tiger. Jaeho had nowhere to retreat.

Bee-bee-bee-beep!

His phone rang. However, the ringtone belonged to his personal phone, and not his business phone.

Jaeho unconsciously frowned when he saw the name displayed on the phone.

“What?”

He spoke in a coarse manner. However, the voice on the other side of the phone matched his harsh attitude.

- I have something to say.

Miyun replied.

“I’m ending this call. I don’t feel like talking right now.”

Just as Jaeho was about to end the call, Miyun rushed out her words.

- Wait a moment! Did you forget the favor you owe me?

Jaeho had asked her to stop Sungyoon from talking to the press about him. However, his plan had backfired, and it had the opposite effect of inciting the media.

“Shit! I kept my part of the deal fair and square! You received the full amount of money I promised you, so why are you acting up like this again! Also, his company stopped dealing with my company after you spoke to him! Do you know how much damage I suffered! What are you going to do about it!”

- Why are you blaming that on me? I proposed the deal you wanted. I told him to stay away from the press! That’s it! He didn't speak a single word to the press thanks to what I did! Everything else is outside the purview of the contract!

When Miyun had met with Sungyoon and Jimin, they had told her they would contact her, but they never did. However, they didn't speak to the press either. 

Miyun had used her thick skin to lie to Jaeho and take credit. 

Of course, there was no way Jaeho knew about this.

“Shit!”

How many times had he cursed today? Jaeho leaned back into the sofa and spoke with a tired voice.

“Just tell me what you want, then hang up.”

When they had worked together to sink Sungyoon to the bottom of society, the two of them had perfect chemistry. However, their relationship had deteriorated to such a point now that it was irreparable.

- You canceled the supply order with my father’s company. What are you doing?

‘Is that what she’s calling about?’

Miyun’s father ran a company that provided parts needed for the moonstone refinery machines, and that company was a subcontractor of Jaeho's company.

After the fiasco with Sungyoon, it had become known that Jaeho had an affair with Miyun. This allowed Miyun’s father to drastically increase his fortunes by selling parts to Jaeho’s company. Jaeho also allowed it as a personal favor.

“My company is barely hanging on right now. Of course, we have to decrease the number of parts we order. Above all else, the percentage of defective parts from your father’s company is too high.”

- Still, how could you cut all the orders all at once like that! My father is already having a very hard time because he's expanding his company!

“Hey, Lee Miyun. It seems you're under a misconception.”

This woman was sticking to him closer than a leech.

“I accepted your father’s products because you helped me take that technology. However, that’s old news now. My relationship with you ended long ago, and I can't keep buying products from a company that sells defective products. This is especially relevant since my company isn’t doing so well right now.”

- Wait a moment! Are you thinking about completely ending the contract with us?

“I gave your father a couple of chances to fix the problem. You guys were the ones who didn’t listen to me.”

Jaeho was thinking about cutting underperforming subcontractors, and the company of Miyun’s father was at the top of that list.

- Just wait a little bit! I’ll talk to my father….

“There’s no need. Our business has already ended.”

Jaeho’s voice turned very cold.

- … Do you really think I’ll let you end it like this?

“What can you do? Are you going to expose what we did to Woo Sungyoon? Do as you like. You and I are accomplices in crime. If I get sent to prison, you'll come with me too. Don’t forget that.”

Miyun loved to live in luxury, so she would never cross the dangerous bridge that might put her in prison. Jaeho would even bet on it.

“If you get what I’m saying, just keep your head low and live your life. Don’t try to live off of me. You should tell that to your father too.”

With those words, Jaeho ended the call.

“What a bitch.”

His head was hurt before that call, and this annoying bitch only sprinkled salt on his wounds. 

‘I gave her a bit of a good time because she stole Sungyoon’s technology. Does she think she’s on the same level as me? Is she that stupid?’

Jaeho decided to stop thinking about Miyun and erased all thoughts about her from his mind.

***

Puhk!

Even though it was one of the latest phones on the market, Miyun threw it on her bed.

She glared at the phone with a venomous gaze.

‘That son of a bitch!’

She felt humiliated. The deep scorn in Jaeho’s voice had been quite obvious. It enraged her so much that she bit her fingernails.

‘What should I do now?’

It was true that her father’s business was in deep trouble.

When she had sold out Sungyoon, Miyun had received money, but at the same time, a new avenue had opened up for her father. He had made a deal with a large conglomerate, which gave him a new source of revenue.

However, Miyun's father knew he couldn’t trust or rely on Jaeho. So he had tried to expand his business. However, he had tried to do it too fast and consequently overblown it. Moreover, the incident in Armstrong happened at the worst time possible, and his company was in dire straits.

When Jaeho had decreased his order for parts due to his own company's precarious situation, Miyun's father's company neared bankruptcy. And now, Jaeho planned on completely severing the relationship between the two companies.

All this made the situation grave for Miyun. She had invested all the money she had received from betraying Sungyoon into her father’s company. On top of that, recently, her father needed money to avoid insolvency. So she had used a good chunk of the money Jaeho had given her for stopping Sungyoon from going to the media, to help her father.

‘That bastard!’

Miyun couldn’t forgive Jaeho. She didn’t care if the products of her father’s company had a high failure rate. At this moment, Jaeho was a person trying to destroy her. Miyun turned to the corner of the room, and her gaze fell upon the lowest drawer of her desk.

***

If anyone mentioned the warm oceans of Southeast Asia, what would be the image that would come up to one’s mind?

Emerald green ocean? Blue skies? White sandy beach? A land full of palm trees?

One thing was certain. This place was better than all of this; it was an amalgamation of these imaginations.

Splash! Splash!

Shinhae was dressed in a cute swimsuit, and she was using an adorable pool float to splash the water around her.

Her face poked out above the white foam of the water as she paddled forward.

“Dad! I’m really good at swimming, right!”

“Of course! My daughter is really good!”

Sungyoon, who was by her side, raised his thumbs.

“I’m good at diving too!”

Shinhae put on her goggles and swam underneath the water. The water of the ocean was clear and clean. She could see the small fishes swimming through the waters and the white sand swaying beneath the ocean.

“Poo-haht! Dad! Fish!”

When she found a fish, Shinhae quickly re-emerged above the water surface.

“Fish? There are fishes?”

“Yes! Over there!”

Sungyoon was delighted as he watched his daughter play in the water. He put his face underneath the water to check the place Shinhae was pointing at, and saw several fishes lazily swimming.

“There really are fishes. Do you want to sneak up on them?”

“Sneak?”

“Yes. Let’s see where the fishes go.”

Shinhae’s eyes twinkled, but she shook her head from side to side.

“No! It's too dangerous to go far into the ocean! We might drown!”

Sometimes, Shinhae didn’t act like a child.

As a father, Sungyoon was proud of his responsible daughter. However, he was also worried that she didn’t behave like a child.

Was it because she was hurt as a child? It made him feel guilty.

“Shinhae is right. How can you not know that as a dad?”

Sungyoon was watching Shinhae with eyes that held an ache in their depths when Jimin approached the two of them.

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