Chapter 96

“What?”

Jungmyun was taken aback.

“I said I don’t want it.”

Sungyoon repeated himself in a calm manner. The scout looked into his eyes. The eyes staring back at him looked like they were made out of glass.

However, Jungmyun re-centered his mind. As a scout, he had met all kinds of people. Of course, he had also met truly trash people over the course of his career. In comparison to them, Sungyoon’s cold and brusque manner was almost cute.

He was that much of a pro.

‘Is he playing hard to get? Or does he really have no intention of signing this contract?’

By the look on Sungyoon’s face, it seemed it was the latter. However, Jungmyun didn’t take Sungyoon’s words as his final answer. It was pretty common for clients to manage their facial expressions to get slightly more advantageous terms on the contract. There was a reason why it was called a poker face.

“May I know the reason?”

Sungyoon didn’t even look at the terms of the contract in front of him as he answered the question.

“I made a contract with my president.”

“If you are worried about the contract you signed first, you don’t need to ponder on it. It doesn’t matter what clauses were added. I’ll be sure to break all of it. Of course, you won’t suffer any negative consequences from it.”

Jungmyun’s words were overflowing with confidence. Small companies like Jimin’s company could be bullied by them, and he was working with this underlying belief.

He was trying to change Sungyoon’s mind, so he wanted to make his company look appealing. However, Sungyoon had experienced losing everything when a large corporation had come at him with the same attitude. Jungmyun’s tactic backfired.

Sungyoon pressed down on the urge to cuss at this man.

“My president picked me up when I was struggling. I have no thoughts of leaving her. Please leave!”

Sungyoon gave his final decision, but Jungmyung was like a persistent door-to-door salesman. He continued to solicit Sungyoon.

“If your answer is rooted in a feeling of affection or indebtedness, it is all the more reason to move to a new company. This industry is strictly run on a business relationship. Your president picked you when she saw Mr. Sungyoon’s abilities. Even if you feel indebted, such emotions will only cause you harm in the long run. I’m sorry to say this, but if feelings of affection come into a business relationship, it never ends well.”

However, Sungyoon wasn’t showing an ounce of interest in his words. Jungmyun became a bit discouraged.

“Life isn’t all about affection or indebtedness. From what I learned in life, such emotions aren’t as sacred as the world makes them out to be.”

Sungyoon’s eyes twitched a little bit.

Life! That word got on his nerves.

The man in front of him looked to be of the same age as him. He might even be a bit younger than Sungyoon. However, Sungyoon didn’t think the man in front of him had undergone through the same degree of hardship as him. From the vibe he gave off, this man had lived the life of an elite.

He had walked a perfectly paved road in life, yet he wanted to lecture Sungyoon about life.

It was laughable. He almost snorted in derision.

Sungyoon pushed the documents and the business card toward Jungmyun.

“Please leave.”

“Mr. Sungyoon?”

“Please leave.”

Sungyoon told this oblivious human being to leave. 

* * *

A red foreign car drove into Sungyoon’s apartment complex. The eyes of the nearby residents were drawn to the foreign car. This was an apartment complex occupied by ordinary people, so an expensive foreign car would naturally draw their gazes.

Click!

The door to the car opened, and a person got off. The interest from the surrounding people intensified as a blonde beauty emerged from the car. She was more beautiful than most of the women in movies. She looked glamorous, and there was an inner radiance to her. People became entranced by her. There was something about this woman that made one develop a deep-seated fondness towards her.

However, the blonde beauty was deeply worried at that moment.

‘I can’t believe Jimin is doing this!’

Chelsea had borrowed Jimin’s car to come here.

The previous day, Jimin had pretty much fled from Sungyoon’s house. She had locked herself in her room. Usually, Jimin got up at 6 AM in order to get ready for work, and would be out of the house by 7:30 AM. She lived an almost mechanical life, so the fact that she was breaking her schedule was a big deal.

Jimin had expected scouts to offer contracts to Sungyoon, but she had underestimated the shock she would feel.

‘Mr. Sungyoon is a problem too!’

He saw her leave like that, yet he hadn’t called her. Wasn’t it his duty to call and inquire after Jimin? The fact that he hadn’t contacted her made Jimin all the more afraid.

A day had passed. He would have made his decision. He would have either accepted or declined the scout’s offer. 

Chelsea quickly headed toward Sungyoon’s house.

Ding dong!

She pressed the doorbell. She didn’t hide her displeasure as she crossed her arms. She waited for him to answer the door.

The front door opened immediately. If she saw Sungyoon’s face, she would give him a piece of her mind. However, Chelsea quickly relaxed her face.

“Unni!”

Shinhae had come out to greet Chelsea.

Even if she was in a bad mood, she couldn’t show such an expression in front of Shinhae. Shinhae glommed on to her leg. Chelsea lightly petted her head as she asked the question.

“Hello, Shinhae! Is your dad home?”

“Yes, he is!”

Shinhae called out to her father as she ran into the house. Chelsea followed after her and entered through the front door.

The first thing that greeted Chelsea was a sweet and fragrant smell. Chelsea liked sweet things, so her nose reflexively twitched.

“You are here, Ms. Chelsea?”

Sungyoon had come out. He looked like his normal self. In contrast to him, Chelsea and Jimin had stayed up all night in worry and fear. Chelsea felt anger rise when she saw no change in the man.

“Unni! Unni!”

This time she really was going to let her discontentment be known to him, but her attempt at giving him a piece of her mind was foiled once again. Shinhae was hovering around her.

The child pointed towards the oven.

“We are making cookies!”

It seemed that was the source of the sweet and fragrant smell filling the house. 

For now, she pressed down on her grievance. She went to the front of the oven with the little girl, and she listened to her enthusiastic ramblings. Shinhae didn’t even pause as she continued to speak. However, her high spirits became a bit dampened in the next moment.

“Hey, Shinhae! Unni has to go have a little talk with your dad. I’ll be back.”

“Yes!”

Fortunately, it didn’t hurt the feelings of the child. There was great anticipation in Shinhae’s eyes as she refused to move away from the oven. Chelsea left her and headed towards the master bedroom, where Sungyoon was present.

“What’s wrong?”

Sungyoon had his usual expression on his face as he asked the question. Chelsea had calmed down significantly while she played with Shinhae, so her voice remained relatively normal.

“You were scouted yesterday, right?”

“Yes!”

“… what do you plan to do?”

She felt nervous. Jimin’s future changed depending on how he answered this question. She gulped.

“I’m not going.”

It was as if Chelsea had become nervous for nothing. There was no excitement or disappointment in Sungyoon's voice as he spoke in a calm manner. Chelsea was like a suspect waiting for a verdict. She had been staring at Sungyoon’s mouth, and the tension dissipated in an instant.

“What’s wrong?”

When her nervousness went away, her body became awash with exhaustion. Unlike the relieved Chelsea, Sungyoon’s expression didn’t change. In fact, he looked at Chelsea as if she was acting oddly, and even asked if she was alright.

She wanted to pinch his expressionless face hard, but Chelsea barely held herself back. However, a funny thought came to her mind. In the past, she had really hated the idea of Jimin continuing to run her company. But now, she was panicking at the thought of Sungyoon quitting Jimin’s company.

“If you made the decision, you should have contacted us. We were worried.”

“Worried?”

“Yes. I was worried you would accept the offer and move to a different company. Jimin was also worried.”

Sungyoon thought for a brief moment.

“I see. I didn’t think this through. I thought I only needed to reaffirm my commitment to the company a little bit on my next trip to her office.”

“You should have told us as soon as possible. Jimin is especially worried right now.”

She was beyond worry. She was in a state of shock, and she had basically locked herself in her room. Of course, Chelsea didn’t reveal this to Sungyoon.

Sungyoon became a bit surprised.

“The president is cool-headed. I thought she would be making her next plans in an objective manner.”

Sungyoon had seen Jimin laugh and play with Shinhae, but she wasn’t usually like that. Normally, she was a cold and determined woman. He never expected her to be so worried over a scout.

Chelsea shut her mouth. Jimin wasn’t as strong as Sungyoon thought. Her surface was covered with a shield of ice, but there was a brittle woman inside. She wanted to immediately fix the image he had of Jimin, but she would probably be overstepping her bounds.

“Still, you should contact her.”

In the end, Chelsea shut her mouth. She didn’t talk about Jimin’s true self.

“Understood!”

Sungyoon picked up his handphone.

Chelsea stood up. She planned on giving him space, so he could talk to Jimin. She planned on using that time to play with Shinhae.

However, it seemed Chelsea had taken the man named Sungyoon too lightly.

Sungyoon fiddled with his handphone. His fingers awkwardly moved as he tapped at the display, then he put his handphone down.

“You aren’t going to contact her?”

Chelsea had been about to leave the room. She sounded puzzled as she asked the question.

“I already did.”

Sungyoon showed her the display of his handphone. A familiar SNS app was open on the phone.

“… you sent an SNS?”

“Yes.”

He stood tall as he said this. Chelsea had to close her mouth. She once again had this thought, but the person named Woo Sungyoon was a tough nut to crack.

In the end, Chelsea decided not to talk about the scout anymore. He did contact Jimin, so she no longer had to be worried about her.

When things were starting to wrap up, Chelsea became curious about something. 

“So why did you turn down the offer from the scout? In terms of benefits, it must have been much better than what Jimin had offered.”

“I have no idea what the benefits are. I didn’t look at it in the first place.”

Chelsea became a bit surprised at his words.

“You didn’t even look at it? Why?”

Sungyoon had a small frown on his face. It seemed he was a bit annoyed at Chelsea being too nosy. However, he couldn’t get the shameless researcher to drop the subject.

“I felt a debt to her. But above all else, I made a contract with the president.”

“… is that all?”

“Yes, that is all.”

Sometimes saying one short sentence was far better than a hundred words of nothing. He was able to clearly express his true feelings.

Chelsea looked at him with an odd look in her eyes. Sungyoon just walked past her. He walked toward his daughter, who was waiting for her cookies to finish.

* * *

He was having a hard time keeping his heavy shoulders up today. It was as if he was carrying all the world’s pain, hardship, grief, and sadness on his shoulders. It felt as if a heavy weight was pressing down on his chest.

“Whew!”

He let out a sigh. He already sighed a couple thousand times, yet it just made him feel more frustrated. His worries weren’t showing any signs of disappearing.

The man named Kim Soobin went into a high-rise building in Gangnam. In the past several years, this building had allowed him to walk around with pride. It was the building owned by the preeminent conglomerate that he was contracted to. However, the building felt oppressive today. It was stressing him out. His feet didn’t want to move. He had to practically drag his feet forward as he continued to move.

He went past a familiar lobby. He took the elevator and pressed the floor he wanted to go to, and when the elevator opened its door, he walked towards the room he wanted to visit. 

He gulped once again, and then, he opened the door.

“Welcome, Mr. Kim Soobin.”

The person who would inform him about his future was inside this room.

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