For the first time in a while KangYoon went home early after finishing work. After the performance, it was an early leave he hadn’t had for a long time.
HeeYoon greeted him delightfully after he arrived at home by the hell-train.
“Oppa-nim, did you have a safe trip?”
“Yeah, did you go to the hospital?”
KangYoon asked HeeYoon about the hospital as soon as he arrived. She of course said she did, patted KangYoon’s shoulder and led him inside. KangYoon was also relieved since his sister’s face became brighter and looked like she had a good life. Even so, KangYoon still wanted for HeeYoon to have a kidney transplant as soon as possible, and wanted her to live as she wanted to. This was a wish that was always there in the corner of his heart.
After dinner, he would originally read the newspaper or have a conversation with HeeYoon, but today, he had something to do. KangYoon, who rested for a while at home, simply organized his hair and left home.
“Don’t drink too much.”
“You too, HeeYoon, go to sleep early. Don’t forget to lock the door.”
KangYoon reminded HeeYoon and left. It was a time when everyone else would have gone to sleep. KangYoon also wanted to rest, but he headed towards the place he had promised.
‘Is this it?’
The place KangYoon arrived at while looking at the rough map was a small bar. Although the building was small, it looked very neat and the lighting was pretty.
When he entered, a woman wearing a one piece was tilting her glass. The problem was that there was no one other than her and the bartender in the bar.
The woman waved her hand as soon as she saw KangYoon. KangYoon sat next to her after he saw the woman’s thick hands.
“Did you rent the whole place again?”
“I hate to be disturbed.”
“You’re the same as always.”
“Someone who’s earned a lot should spend a lot, shouldn’t they?”
The woman shrugged her shoulders. At that time, he could see her full neck moving. She was huge to the point that a passersby would look at her once, but KangYoon didn’t seem at all flustered as he received a glass and clanged it with hers.
“It’s been a while, KangYoon. Hi.”
“Me too, TaeJin-noonim is as always.”
“What? Am I still pretty?”
“I don’t think that’s true.”
“If you’re so blunt, then it will be hard for you to get married, you know?”
KangYoon bluntly dissed her, but she only laughed and didn’t say much. Of course, saying that she was ‘pretty’ when her arms were thicker than his own, was a bit awkward.
Her name was Song TaeJin. As a drama writer who was on a roll nowadays, she was a writer who was famous as a romantic drama writer. As KangYoon was acquainted with her from his manager days, their relationship had continued until now.
“My sister isn’t even cured yet, and you think I’m thinking about marriage?”
“You’re as always. You siscon. Just who lives like you nowadays? Such a loser.”
“Isn’t there one here?”
He could have gotten angry, but KangYoon seemed used to this as he laughed it out. To him, these were words he were used to. Although her words were violent, KangYoon just ignored it and continued conversing with her.
The private conversation kept going for a while. Writer Song TaeJin seemed delighted to meet KangYoon as she kept talking without rest. Most of it was about the industry. Talks about the PD saying that the structure of the setting will be difficult after receiving the scenario to the talks about how would we put any PPL (Product Placement, it’s basically advertising) here and they fought and whatnot, she kept going on about her experience.
KangYoon listened in to her talks while filling her glass as the things she talked about contained a lot of important things about the entertainment industry.
“KangYoon, what’s the reason you wanted to meet me today? I wanted to meet my boyfriend today.”
Writer Song TaeJin blushed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that pleasant to look at. However KangYoon just accepted it.
“Did I interrupt?”
“It’s not like that but… well, if it’s KangYoon who’s calling me, then I should come. It was you who called me, right?”
“If you think that way, then I’m thankful. In fact, I came here to ask you to recruit a person from me.”
Writer Song TaeJin made an ‘that’s unexpected’ expression. ‘KangYoo? You want to?’ – she was making such an expression. Although she was a well-off writer, there was no history of her recommending someone for a drama or used her powers to do so. Although there were a lot of times where she was requested, she only wrote scenarios as she wanted to and came up with the actor/actress’s image also all by herself. She said she didn’t want to be influenced by anyone and didn’t listen to anyone.
“That’s rare. Did you come here after hearing something?”
“I have a good one amongst my kids. You will like her very much.”
However, unlike KangYoon’s words, her expression wasn’t that good. Disappointment colored her face.
“…Well, it’s from you so let’s have a look at least.”
She didn’t look that expectant. Even at that reaction, KangYoon searched around his bag and took out a laptop without changing his expression.
“It seems like you came prepared, eh? You even brought a laptop.”
“Of course. You will like her.”
I will let you go this once since it’s you – or so was her expression. She would have abruptly stood up and left if it was anyone else other than KangYoon.
KangYoon played the video. Soon, a video about a girl played. It was a video about a girl doing a one-man act.
“She’s that girl? The one on the internet?”
“I know this girl… kiss… Oh, The Girl who Calls Kisses!”
Writer Song TaeJin also knew of the video which was a hot topic nowadays. For a writer, it was very important to know the latest trend. Not only internet, she had to look through books and other trivial knowledge. There was no way she wouldn’t know about the video, ‘The Girl who Calls Kisses’, which was sweeping all over the internet.
“Huh, KangYoon. You’re saying that you want to give her to me?”
She laughed heartily. As there wasn’t anyone around them, the laughter resounded loudly. When the laughter echoed and filled the place, KangYoon gulped. This was the most important moment.
‘The drama that this noonim writes around this time is ‘Whispers of the Stars’. The role that she needs the most in that drama is the little sister of the male MC. Although there are a lot of child actresses, their ability for acting and their images will become a problem. A lovely yet young, and someone who provokes the protective hearts of the people – she should be thinking a lot about who to use for this role. Min JinSeo fits exactly in that role. This will definitely work.’
Of course, just because he knew the ‘future’ it wasn’t that he hadn’t researched at all. He gathered information and he came here since he had the confidence.
‘Whispers of the Stars’ was a good drama which had a record of 29% of viewer ratings. In KangYoon’s ‘past’ Min JinSeo had once confessed that she was disappointed that she had failed the audition for ‘Whispers of the Stars’. Although it recorded a high percentage of viewer ratings, the flaw in the jade was the little sister of the male protagonist. An actress called Park HaNee took the role but although she didn’t have anything wrong with her looks, her acting was bad and criticisms were everywhere, and people even changed channels because of her.
Song TaeJin who thought for a while calmly started replying.
“KangYoon, are you sniping my preferences or something?”
“Do you like her?”
“Ha… Seems like requests are good once in awhile too. It’s not a request for a main character, right?”
“Of course, it doesn’t matter where.”
“Wow. What are you going to do if I put her in the extras?”
“Ayy. You aren’t someone who will throw a jewel at a pig.”
Although Song TaeJin looked sassy on the outside, she was inwardly delighted. Although she didn’t say anything, she had already finished calculating which role Min JinSeo would be good at. Although she had no problems with the actors that were casted, she was disappointed with only the little sister role of the male protagonist. However, KangYoon had brought her Min JinSeo, so she felt very refreshed. There was nothing to speak about her looks, and she even had the acting ability that seduces other people instantly so… If it was such an actress, there was no way she wouldn’t welcome her.
“Good, good. Just tell her to come to me. Even if I go bankrupt I will definitely put her in, definitely!!”
“Don’t go bankrupt, you need a lot of money for your dates, don’t you?”
Song TaeJin laughed heartily. She felt very refreshed now that her worries were solved just like that. She felt that the drink she had after that tasted very sweet.
“But were you in charge of actors? You only did singers, didn’t you? I heard you were on a roll these days.”
“It’s just this once. I should only do singers from next time.”
“Hoo, so it’s like that, this girl’s that good? To the point that KangYoon was distracted?”
KangYoon smiled and nodded. As he knew Min JinSeo’s future, KangYoon could be sure. That Min Jinseo would become huge if Min JinSeo grew well like this.
“Okay, okay. I will do my best. Well then, let’s drink, drink!!”
“…Oh, stop it… I have to go to work tomorrow.”
“Drink up. This is a drink from your noonim.”
It was past midnight.
KangYoon felt like dying as he had to drink the whole bottle that Song TaeJin gave him.
MG Entertainment regular board of director’s meeting.
There was an especially hot issue today, so the directors were heating up.
“We acknowledge Team Leader Lee KangYoon’s ability. However, Min JinSeo is an actress. The method to raise a singer and the method to raise an actor is different and even the marketing methods are different. Even for Team Leader Lee KangYoon, we wish that Min JinSeo would be taken care of by another person.”
Director Yu GyungTae brought up the topic. His characteristic traits were his small height and glasses. Then, the other directors also raised their hands and shouted.
President Lee HyunJi shook her head. She seemed to have already expected this.
“Topic acknowledged. Please speak.”
When the topic was acknowledged, Director Kim JinHo started speaking. He had experience of being turned down by Chairman Won JinMoon after he submitted a report when he was in charge of the Japan debut project. Thanks to that, there was no way he would have any good will towards KangYoon who succeeded the project.
“Originally, MG Entertainment took care of singer trainees and actor trainees separately. Marketing was the same, but as Team Leader Lee KangYoon started the girl group project and even put his hands on Min JinSeo, the existing order was breached. He spread his hands to the acting department even though he was in charge of the concert team on top of the next generation girl group. So even the trainees are confused at this. At this rate, the order we’ve built up until now may collapse.”
Director Kim JinHo linked a small reason to a huge collapse. Strictly speaking, it was just about their interests but to them, it was something they could use as a flaw. Min JinSeo and the other girl group trainees were a target of envy for the other trainees as they received such a deferential treatment, and there were even talks about going straight to debut if you catch KangYoon’s eyes. Things about ‘order’ wasn’t complete nonsense.
Director Lee HanSeo followed his words in agreement.
“Moreover, he has a higher budget use than the original rookie projects. Although it’s only going past the initial stages into the mid stages, his use of budget is as much as the entire project for other projects. Although it’s true that Team Leader Lee KangYoon has the ability, isn’t such a use of budget an breach of authority?”
The directors were on a roll. They all hated the fact that KangYoon, who raised President Lee HyunJi’s strength, had raised his voice within the company and had a relationship of trust with the Chairman himself. They were even worried about him getting some shares of the company and becoming an executive. They all jumped into the opportunity and tried to pull out his roots.
When the directors kept commenting about KangYoon, Chairman Won JinMoon quietly raised his hand. At that time, everyone became silent.
“How about we hear from the person himself?”
The directors all agreed. They, who were like grains of sand, got together in front of the enemy known as KangYoon. Their power of unity was frightening in front of profit.
Chairman Won JinMoon’s secretary contacted KangYoon and the director’s meeting paused for a while.
“Chairman, will it be alright?”
President Lee HyunJi carefully asked Chairman Won JinMoon, who was smoking alone in the Chairman’s office. Although she had heard that KangYoon was already preparing something, there was no way she wouldn’t be worried.
“I’m neutral. I’m on no one’s side. You know that, right?”
“I do, but, this is a breach of rights.”
Due to a stone from outside, the stones on the inside were making noises. (T/N: consider ‘stones’ as ‘influence’, it’s a modification of a saying in Korean) President Lee HyunJi shook her head saying this wasn’t right, but Chairman Won JinMoon was cold.
“Didn’t you say that Team Leader Lee also knows of this already? In fact, he did rise suddenly. The Japan project, concert team, rookie project, and even an actress now. Who wouldn’t feel threatened? If I was a director, even I would feel threatened. Of course, if it was me, I would make him an ally.”
The KangYoon that Chairman Won JinMoon knew of, wasn’t so narrow-minded. The KangYoon he knew was a person with principles. If someone didn’t go against his principles, then he would become an ally of anyone. The directors looked like they didn’t know of this fact.
“He’s about to come, right?”
When it was about time for KangYoon to arrive from his work outside, Chairman Won JinMoon and President Lee HyunJi went down to the meeting room again. When they did, KangYoon had already arrived and was waiting for them.
“You’re here? I’m sorry when you’re so busy.”
“It’s nothing, Chairman.”
KangYoon greeted everyone including Chairman Won JinMoon and stood at the front. As if they had waited for it, the directors immediately started attacking.
“Team Leader Lee, I’m sorry for making you come, when you’re so busy. The reason we’ve called you today is to solve a few of our suspicions.”
“Suspicions? Suspicions means that you’re doubting me. Did I do anything that aroused your doubt?”
KangYoon wasn’t suppressed at all even when Director Jung HyunTae tried to suppress him with his first strike. He should have been frightened as he was in front of the top echelons of the company, but KangYoon didn’t look like that at all. Director Jung HyunTae bit his lips and in the end, coughed awkwardly.
“Hmhm… Okay, it seems there was a problem with my word selection. Please answer my questions.”
“I understand, please speak.”
“First, it’s about the budget. The budget used in the girl group project until now…”
Director Jung HyunTae attacked in one spot why such a high budget was used while showing the budget used until now. KangYoon even wrote some things down and listened to the questions.
‘So it’s no different from a court hearing.’
Well-off people would receive jealousy from others. While achieving things, KangYoon had prepared for these jealousy while continuing to achieve success. Working meticulously and investing a lot of time had also something to do with this. KangYoon heard the entire question and started replying calmly.
“There are three reasons why the budget is higher than the original singers. First, you have mentioned ‘same period’, but that was in 2004. The prices are different from then. Even when investing the same amount of money, there’s no helping the difference in budget. Second, it’s the difference in numbers. Our members are 6 people. At that time, it was 3. It’s obvious that there should be differences. Third is that unlike in the past, there are a lot of things to prepare now. At that time, we didn’t invest in areas such as TV shows. However, now we have to invest in various areas such as TV shows, and foreign languages. I think I have answered your question. And above all…”
After collecting his breath, he calmly spoke.
“I only proceed with the budget after getting the approvals from the directors, the president and the chairman. As we have to invest in various areas, I have mentioned that I requested for a lot of budget. The directors here have also signed it. These are the proof.”
KangYoon handed out the papers he prepared to everyone. There were papers about the required topics and budget papers. And they were all signed by all the people there. The approvals happened quickly as he had just succeeded a project and people wanted to push him more.
The directors’ faces turned red in an instant. This was a victory from meticulous preparation.
Director Jung HyunTae didn’t even pull out what he put in and sat down quickly. No, he couldn’t even lift his head. In the end, he had scolded a subordinate employee without even checking that he himself had approved it, so he was very embarrassed. The directors who agreed also awkwardly coughed and consoled their embarrassment.
However, there were a lot of directors. There were some who were shameless. It was Director Moon GwangShik.
“As always, Team Leader Lee KangYoon is meticulous. We just wanted to confirm since we were worried that so much budget was used. As it’s going well, then all is well. Thank you for confirming it with us.”
“Not at all.”
Although he was shameless, KangYoon didn’t comment on it. The important thing now was the next question.
“The thing I want to ask you now is about the acting team. Team Leader Lee is in charge of the concert team and the singer team, right?”
“That is correct, Director.”
“Then what will happen to trainee Min JinSeo? As far as I know, you‘re in charge of the concert team and the singer team, but doesn’t Min JinSeo belong to the acting team?”
Min JinSeo is not under your jurisdiction so stop sticking your nose in, and give her to me – was his meaning.
‘So he’s getting greedy now that she looks like she’ll become big.’
KangYoon could see greed from Director Moon GwangShik. Min JinSeo was really something. Although they all knew through KangYoon, they had enough judgement to know. The fact that Min JinSeo’s video kept attracting attention and will attract even more after her debut.
“Min JinSeo is also someone under me right now.”
“Two isn’t easy and you’re doing three? I feel that you’re too greedy about work, Team Leader Lee. Overwork always calls for mistakes.” (T/N: *Stabbed*, hey, that’s about me, isn’t it? Doing 3 projects and all…| E/N: im working three too :P)
Director Moon GwangShik stared at KangYoon. He never knew that KangYoon would be so blunt. The other directors were the same. They all whispered to each other and only when President Lee HyunJi stepped in, was the whispering stopped.
When the directors calmed down, Director Moon GwangShik snorted and spoke.
“Then what is the reason you have to be in charge of the acting team? Even while you have to disrupt company order.”
“First, I will talk about why the company order. I want to ask just which part of company order I have disrupted. Was I biased towards someone? I meticulously selected within the company system and selected according to the company standards. I have submitted all my selection standards with a report. I can give you another one right now.”
“Aren’t the rumors rising because of the selection process? It’s because the kids are getting jealous of the selected p..”
“Then should I even look after the jealous children? One has a stomach ache if one’s cousin buys land (T/N: This is a saying in Korean, basically means being jealous of others being good) but it’s not like I can control how other people thinks.”
Director Moon GwangShik had nothing to say. When he thought about it, there wasn’t a time when KangYoon breached the company system or treated it with contempt. Even when selecting Min JinSeo, they went through a confirmation process. If, Min JinSeo didn’t have the talent to strike a hit, then would she have called such a huge wave on the internet? Not at all. KangYoon had already organized this into a report and submitted it and the directors had also seen this.
KangYoon calmly continued.
“It is true that there’s an element of breach of authority on the acting team. However, I have already asked for permission beforehand, and have the approval from the Chairman.”
When KangYoon looked towards Chairman Won JinMoon, he nodded his head. To think that Chairman Won JinMoon had approved, even so, Director Moon GwangShik desperately found some words to say.
“Even so, wouldn’t efficiency drop if you do 3 work at once? Then the quality of work will drop, and if that happens…”
“I was also worried about that. I thank you beforehand that Director has thought so much about me.”
While Director Moon GwangShik was questioning, KangYoon turned his gaze to everyone.
“However, I won’t look after trainee Min JinSeo for long. Since she will have her debut soon. From now on, she won’t be a trainee but an actress.”
“I’m looking at about one month. I had judged that it will be better for me to suffer for a bit during that time rather than giving it to another person. As it’s an important period, I will take care of her just until she stabilizes after her debut and I’m planning for a take over after that.”
At KangYoon’s words, everyone became surprised and widened their eyes
Regular Chapter 2/3
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