It was 5a.m., when most people would be exhausted and their mentality reaching the lowest point. The paparazzi, Jo Myung-young, was fighting with his eyelids, despite drinking at least ten cups of coffee. He was dozing off, and just when he was about to fall asleep, his eyes suddenly caught sight of a figure. He immediately pinched himself in the thigh and charged over with his camera.
When Hwang Ji-yeon saw someone running in her direction with a camera, she was startled and held onto her sunglasses before burrowing into a cab before urging the driver to immediately leave. When the driver glanced at the rearview mirror, he asked after a brief hesitation, “Are you Hwang Ji-yeon?”
“You got the wrong person!” Hwang Ji-yeon turned her head over and looked at the paparazzi running over while gasping for breath through the rearview mirror.
Despite being declined by Hwang Ji-yeon, the driver wasn’t pissed and continued to ask, “Ji-yeon, my daughter is a fan of yours. Can I have an autograph?”
The paparazzi had already given up on chasing after the car and returned to his silver van. These days, driving was one of the paparazzi’s essential skills. Although the van was a few dozen meters away, it soon caught up to the cab. Letting out a sigh, Hwang Ji-yeon took out a paper from her purse and signed it with her name before handing it over to the driver. “Here’s an autograph. Please speed up and shake that van off!”
“Easy-peasy!” When the cab driver received the autograph, he jammed on the gas and the vehicle shot out.
When they lost the van, Hwang Ji-yeon sighed in relief, before saying, “Drive to Liwandong!”
Although Hwang Ji-yeon was nervous in the beginning when she slept in that room, she soon felt secure and comfortable in her sleep. She felt a sense of security from that Chinese young man.
After Hwang Ji-yeon left the car, the cab drove back to where it came from. After several routes, it stopped beside a van. The driver got out of his cab and knocked on the van’s window. When the window wound down, the cab driver shoved the paper with the autograph in before a hand extended with a few notes. After thanking the person in the van, the driver licked his finger and counted the bills before happily returning to his cab. It was easy money.
It was a plan to pretend to be a fan to obtain Hwang Ji-yeon’s autograph. It was a shred of irrefutable evidence that the paparazzi had planned.
The photographs alone weren’t reliable due to the distance and the darkness. Thus, the quality wasn’t clear, but it would become unquestionable with the evidence from the cab driver that drove Hwang Ji-yeon away from the hotel.
At this moment, the exhaustion Jo Myung-young was feeling disappeared. Adding this evidence to the document of pictures he prepared, he made some brief edits before sending it to the night-shift editor’s email. Shortly after, the night-shift editor called. “Is this real?”
“Of course. There’s ample evidence to back it up!” Jo Myung-young smiled. He was proud of himself.
“This is a piece of news that will take the headlines! Reporter Jo, you’re truly the best reporter for South Korea’s entertainment industry.” The night-shift editor flattered before smiling. “I will make a call to the Chief Editor. This news must be on the front page!”
“I’ll treat you to some alcohol if I receive the reward!” Jo Myung-young confidently gave a promise.
Hwang Ji-yeon had great fame in South Korea. Not only was her external appearance outstanding, but she also had the genuine ability to acquire fans of all age groups. She wasn’t like other artists who would join variety shows or films. She placed great effort in her singing career and was a singer with genuine skills.
Ever since she debuted, she was never involved in any scandals. Thus, she was known as the national Goddess by the entertainment industry. This was also the reason why this scandal would sweep waves in the headlines.
When it was 7a.m., Hwang Ji-yeon’s sleep was disturbed by her phone. Stretching her waist, she picked it up and her manager’s anxious voice resounded from the other side, “Ji-yeon, open the door right now. I’m outside your apartment!”
After a brief shock, Hwang Ji-yeon rubbed her eyes and opened the door. Her manager charged into the apartment and examined the place before tugging her arms together. She questioned, “Ji-yeon, there’s a huge incident now. Where did you go last night?”
The manager had a slender, tall figure, and a loud voice. However, her appearance was only ordinary.
“Where did I go?” Hwang Ji-yeon subconsciously tried the hide the matter and bluffed, “I drank with a few friends in a pub last night and briefly rested in a hotel. When I woke up, I took a cab back home. Tae-hee Unni, what’s wrong?”
After rustling through her briefcase, Son Tae-hee took out a newspaper before throwing it to Hwang Ji-yeon and raged, “What’s wrong? Take a look at it yourself!”
The title was “Heavenly Queen, Ji-yeon’s private secret appointment with her boyfriend — The Heavenly Queen’s private life exposed!” Aside from words, there were pictures that showed pictures of her entry, exit, and when the waiter delivered midnight snacks to the room.
“Tae-hee Unni, this is a misunderstanding!” Hwang Ji-yeon knew how damaging this scandal was, but she never expected that her worst fears would come true.
“What misunderstanding?” Son Tae-hee anxiously paced in the living room before saying, “Do you know how much pressure the company was under to create an innocent image for you? We pushed so many social activities away, but now our efforts are all be ruined by you!”
Knitting her brows together, Hwang Ji-yeon unhappily replied, “Tae-hee Unni, you’re my mentor, and I respect you. But after all these years, you should know how I’ve spent my life. My life has only been work. Can’t I even have the right to occasionally interact with my friends?”
When Son Tae-hee was counter-questioned by Hwang Ji-yeon, she was briefly stunned. Although Hwang Ji-yeon had some temper, the latter never spoke to her in this manner. Hence, Son Tae-hee pointed her finger at Hwang Ji-yeon and raged, “You have to be punished for your rudeness and willfulness! From today onwards, all your activities are halted. Don’t think that you’re something after being called the Heavenly Queen. That was something the company created with money! Even without you, there will still be a second, third, and innumerable other Heavenly Queens!”
When Son Tae-hee left fuming in anger, Hwang Ji-yeon sat on the couch and brushed her black, glistening hair. She was heartbroken, since she knew the price of angering her manager. A celebrity can become famous overnight, but they can also disappear in another. If she was banned for a year or two, she would become a nameless person.
Humming a melody, Kim Jung-ho initially wanted to knock on Su Tao’s door. But after a brief consideration, he came to Liu Ruochen’s door and pressed on the doorbell.
The latter had a healthy lifestyle and woke up early. At this moment, she was fully dressed, which left Kim Jung-ho somewhat disappointed. He initially thought that he would be able to catch a glimpse of Liu Ruochen’s face without makeup.
“Ruochen, I’m sorry to disturb you.” Kim Jung-ho anxiously said.
“Something wrong?” Liu Ruochen was perplexed.
“Yeah, can you take a look online? You’ll know after you look at the entertainment industry’s news today!” Kim Jung-ho said with empathy.
After Liu Ruochen found her phone, she soon entered the browser app and found a popular website from China. There was a dazzling headline on the entertainment industry. “Hwang Ji-yeon had a private appointment with a mysterious Chinese male in the hotel — a young doctor!”
She did not read into the details, but she was briefly stunned before sighing, “That’s impossible. It must be fake news. Last night, Su Tao was in my room for some time.”
Wearing a wry smile, Kim Jung-ho replied, “You may know someone for a long time without understanding his true nature. I never expected that he and Ji-yeon would… when they just got to know each other. I’m seriously disappointed in him, and I know you have feelings for him. But a man like him isn’t worthy of your affection.”
At this moment, Liu Ruochen suffered a blow. After all, she had a favorable impression of Su Tao in her heart, not to mention that the two of them have just gotten closer together last night. But she never expected that Su Tao would meet with another woman in the blink of an eye, which was a significant blow to her.
“I’ll ask him!” Liu Ruochen tried her best to calm down. After all, the two of them weren’t in a relationship, they only just shared a kiss. So there’s no need to take responsibility for such a superficial relationship.
Letting out a sigh, Kim Jung-ho shrugged. “I initially wanted to ask him about it, but I felt that I should inform you about it after some pondering.”
Nodding her head, Liu Ruochen indifferently replied, “Thanks!”
When the two of them came to Su Tao’s room and pressed the doorbell, Su Tao swiftly opened the door. When he saw Kim Jung-ho, he smiled. “Brother Jung-ho, are you happy right now?”
Kim Jung-ho was briefly stunned. He did not expect that Su Tao would start talking about it first. Hence, he bitterly smiled. “Why should I be happy?”
“Because your plot succeeded!” Su Tao sat on the chair as he swept his glance over Kim Jung-ho.
“Plot? Su Tao, don’t speak nonsense!” For some reason, Kim Jung-ho felt a little guilty, as if Su Tao’s eyes could see through all truths. He tried his best to console himself that his plan was perfect and flawless. Thus, he calmly ridiculed, “You’re famous now. I believe it must have been an enjoyable night with Hwang Ji-yeon. But I have to tell you that the media is completely crazy about it. After all, no one can accept the fact of Hwang Ji-yeon becoming your woman!”
“I never expected that I would become a doctor with a loose lifestyle after traveling abroad.” Su Tao smiled in self-ridicule before walking towards Kim Jung-ho.
In the next moment, Kim Jung-ho could feel his scalp going numb from the killing intent. He immediately waved his hand and confessed, “Alright, I admit that I was the one behind this entire incident. Su Tao, do you know what you lack right now? You’re capable and smart, but you lack a better platform to showcase yourself.”
“So you arranged for Hwang Ji-yeon to arrive at Su Tao’s room and had a paparazzi tail them?” Liu Ruochen was speechless as she looked at Kim Jung-ho.
“Yes. I did this because I wanted him to be on the same starting line as me. I do not want my opponent to be someone nameless!” Kim Jung-ho showed a satisfied smile.
Kim Jung-ho plotted against Su Tao and even showed a look as if he should be thanked for the work. It was something that deserved some smacking!
Letting out a sigh, Su Tao became speechless at this fellow. Kim Jung-ho’s level of shamelessness nearly caught up to him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
To Hwang Ji-yeon: Just live a life like me, hiding behind my computer! No fear for scandals, just take on another handle! xD
Check out the VIP sponsor page on Wuxiaworld if you are interested in advance chapters and supporting my translation journey!