Jimin would finally give up on her business, which had been a bottomless pit that drained her. It was good news. So why didn’t it feel good? Woosung should have been the happiest one amongst them, yet he felt his heart sink. His heart had stopped long ago, but for a brief moment, it felt as if his heart was still beating.
Insoo spoke while eating a piece of meat.
“You wanted this to happen. You should be happier about it.”
“I... I know! I am happy!”
Although he spoke those words, Woosung didn’t look happy. He had been taken aback by his own unexpected emotions, so he didn’t know what to do with himself.
Insoo looked to the side. The two ladies were calm, but Woosang’s mouth had fallen open. It seemed that the news had caused him quite a bit of shock too.
‘Tsk! Poor kids!’
He inwardly clicked his tongue. He could guess why these children had reacted this way. When Jimin had told him about her intention to quit her work, he had also reacted the same way as these two boys. The only difference was the fact that the news had affected him by a much lesser degree.
“Close your mouth, Woosang. You are going to catch a fly with your mouth.”
Woosang recovered his senses and quickly closed his mouth.
“Personally, I understand your feelings. You should have felt good about it, yet it made you sad. It’s odd, right?”
“… you are right.”
Woosang kept touching his chin as he replied, and his cheeks had become a bit red. His reaction might have had something to do with Hweeyoung, who was laughing out loud as she kept slapping the table. Woosang glared at her, but there was no way she would be afraid of her own son. In fact, her laughter became louder.
“Don't think too hard about it. It is evident that you’ve put a lot of your expectations on Jimin.”
“We put our expectations on our noona?”
Woosung was having a hard time understanding Insoo’s point. It was the same for his hyung.
“You guys might have thought she was doing something useless, but in the back of your mind, you wished that she would find traces of your father. Also, you were secretly happy that your noona wanted to try finding her father. As, in the end, she was looking for your father too.”
The brothers didn’t speak.
“Of course, you want to make Jimin quit her company from the bottom of your heart. This emotion is much bigger than the other emotions. However, if Jimin folds her company, it means all the work going on towards finding your father would come to a complete stop too. Basically, the small thread of hope of finding any news about Jungbum would be gone. This is why you guys are shaken right now.”
“… you know us well.”
“In truth, I had felt the same way as you guys when Jimin had told me she was going to give up on the search.”
Insoo chuckled while replying to Woosung’s words.
Woosung also smirked. He pulled his head back to look at the ceiling. It was as if he was staring at the Moon, which was beyond the ceiling.
“Yes. Noona is giving up.”
Which emotions were contained with those words? Elation? Despair? Happiness? Anger? Woosung couldn’t identify.
Soon, he yelled out loud. He decided to let go of all those feelings.
“Whatever! If noona can stop working in vain, it’s a good thing!”
He picked up the soju cup in front of him and downed the alcohol. The bitter taste hit his nose as the alcohol went down his throat.
“We have no reason to be so down! We have to celebrate! Noona will be able to find her own happiness soon!”
“That is true.”
Woosung held up the soju cup and the bottle. He made a lot of noise to uplift the mood. Woosang quietly spoke towards Woosung.
“Anyways, you have to apologize to noona. I’ll accompany you.”
“I... I said I’ll go! Even I know that I have to apologize!”
“We’ll do it as soon as possible. Let’s do it tomorrow.”
“… c... can we go on a later date?”
At the very least, he wanted to go when Jimin had cooled off a little bit. He remembered the face she had made when chasing him out of the office. He had never seen her so mad.
However, his hyung showed no mercy to him.
Woosung’s body slumped. It was the complete opposite of the mood he had tried to create with the soju cup and bottle. However, Woosang wasn’t done talking.
“Also, you have to apologize to noona’s employee.”
Woosung raised his head in a flash. He looked like death warmed over.
He didn’t mind apologizing to Jimin. However, he really didn’t want to lower his head to the employee. Even if Jimin had given him the Gold Gem, the employee had used his father’s keepsake without much thought. Moreover, he was still suspicious of him. He knew how Jimin’s past employees had backstabbed her before exiting the company.
However, he gave up when he saw Woosang’s face. His expression was strict, as if he won’t take no for an answer.
Woosung hesitated, but in the end, he had to agree to it.
* * *
He yelled out his apology, almost making a 90-degree angle with his body as he lowered his head. If someone were to see this, one would think Woosung was a gangster underling afraid of being knifed. He looked like a gangster apologizing to his boss.
It had been a while since he had lowered his head, yet no response came. Woosung discreetly glanced up. However, he quickly went back to his original position. Jimin’s face was looking down at him. Her expression was cold enough to make the Siberian winds look like gentle spring winds.
‘This is why I wanted to come after some time had passed!’
Was she really not going to forgive him? Was she going to make him stay like this for the whole day? Woosung felt anxious and fearful.
At that moment, Woosung heard a voice that stood up for him.
“Please forgive him, noona.”
It was his hyung. He had dragged Woosung here against his will and had let things play out so that Jimin would feel better. However, she had gone too far now. When he assessed Jimin’s mood, he realized she might make Woosung stay like that for the whole day.
“I know he did something stupid, but he did it for you. In the first place, he has a single cell for a brain, and he gets easily excited. He just spoke without thinking. He had no ill intent in saying what he said.”
When he heard ‘stupid’ and a ‘single cell for a brain’, Woosung became a bit angry. However, he pushed down his anger as he waited for Jimin to forgive him.
“He was scolded a lot by our mothers. Could you forgive him this one time?”
Jimin let out a big sigh. When she thought about what her immature brother had done, her head still hurt. However, her dongsaeng was apologizing with his head down. She felt a bit bad about ignoring him like this. When it came down to it, there had been no ill intent behind his actions.
“If you do that one more time, I won’t forgive you.”
In the end, Jimin forgave Woosung.
“Yes, yes! I’ll never do that again!”
He was forgiven. It felt as if a ball of steel pressing down on his chest was lifted.
“You won’t do it again.”
“Ah! I said I won’t do it again!”
“Alright. You also have to apologize to Mr. Sungyoon.”
“He’s my employee, and you openly insulted him.”
Woosung looked as if he had stepped in shit. He was still suspicious of the man. He wondered if that man had fooled his sister. He might be taking everything behind her back. It felt wrong apologizing to that person. But as he hesitated, he saw Jimin’s eyes turn sharp again. Also, his hyung spoke up to agree with Jimin.
“Of course. Woosung came here to apologize to him in the first place.”
His noona and hyung were pressing him. Woosung didn't have a choice, and he nodded.
He sounded a bit dissatisfied, but he had done his best to press down on that emotion. Jimin and Woosang didn’t scold him for that. One couldn’t force someone to change their mind. They would have to settle for a superficial apology.
“When is he coming?”
“You are in luck. He is scheduled to come in today. Just wait a little bit.”
She clearly meant he should wait until Sungyoon came. Woosung pouted.
While Woosang just nodded.
“That’s great! In the meantime, I want to ask you a question.”
“You have a question you want to ask me?”
“Be honest with me. What kind of person is he?”
“Who? Mr. Sungyoon?”
Jimin’s eyes narrowed. Woosang didn’t oppose her business outwardly like Woosung, but he didn’t look kindly on it either.
“I know what you are thinking, noona. However, it is our duty as your family to be worried about you. Also, it isn’t as if you have a stellar record of hiring good people.”
Jimin felt the need to speak up at that point.
“I’ve known him for only a half a year, so I only know him at a superficial level. However, I know that he is a good person.”
“Is he suspicious in any way?”
“Nope! Not at all.”
In fact, he was the exact opposite of her past employees. He truly was diligent in his efforts to reach the Great Labyrinth.
It was also the reason why Jimin’s sense of guilt was growing.
“That’s good. However, if something does happen, please call me immediately. I’ll help in any way I can.”
Jimin looked up towards Woosang. She remembered the image of him running around with a runny nose. It was as if he had shed that image like a butterfly, and he looked like a fine Connector to Jimin at that moment. She was astonished at how much things had changed. She didn’t realize it, but a smile had appeared on her cold face.
“You’ve grown up a lot. You used to pull on my clothes, while you kept saying noona. Ok! If something happens, I’ll rely on you.”
“I... I’ll help too!”
Woosung, who had been sulking in the corner, quickly spoke up. However, Jimin glared at him with sharp eyes.
“You should stay there and self-reflect until Mr. Sungyoon comes.”
Woosung’s shoulders hunched once again.
How much time passed while the three siblings talked to each other?
Sungyoon finally arrived.
“You have guests.”
There was wariness in Sungyoon’s voice, and Jimin inwardly let out a sigh. She felt shame when Sungyoon became guarded whenever she had guests now.
‘It seems I’ve only shown him the ugly side of my personal affairs.’
If she thought about it, Sungyoon had only seen two guests here. It was Ahjung and Woosung, and they both had yelled at her. It was reasonable for him to show such a reaction.
Jimin eyed Woosung.
“I’m really sorry for my actions from last time.”
Woosung bowed towards Sungyoon, who became a bit surprised by the gesture but quickly recovered. He realized what was going on.
“It’s fine. Please don’t worry about it.”
Sungyoon didn’t hesitate as he accepted the apology. To be precise, he didn’t really care if Woosung apologized or not.
Woosung became surprised when the man didn’t make a fuss as he accepted the apology. If it was him, he wouldn’t have been able to accept the apology with such a graceful attitude. He would have done it grudgingly, but there would also be some desire to settle the debt at a later date.
When Woosung’s apology came to an end, his hyung took a step forward.
“I’m sorry that my dongsaeng caused you a lot of trouble. ”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Hahn Woosang. I am Jimin’s first brother.”
He extended his hand. Sungyoon glanced towards Jimin, who nodded.
“My name is Woo Sungyoon.”
Sungyoon gave a light shake to Woosang’s hand.
“The one that caused you trouble is called Hahn Woosung. He is noona’s second brother.”
Woosang roughly ruffled his brother's hair. Woosung shook his head. He frowned as he took offense to Woosang’s action. However, he didn’t say anything. He had to have the lowest of low profile right now. If he raised his voice right now, his noona might really ban him from her life.
“My name is Hahn Woosung. I would like to apologize once again.”
“It is fine.”
Sungyoon and Woosung shook hands as they greeted each other.Previous Chapter Next Chapter