Prev Next

Chapter 193: A Way that Suited Me (5)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir

"Hello CEO."

Song Inho greeted him with a bow. Then he greeted the director and me.

"… Hello team leader."

Our eyes met during the short time we shook hands. Maybe it was because he became an upstart star beyond his expectations or because he had difficulty facing the CEO, but Song Inho looked tenser than normal. His hand was stiff and cold.

When I put more strength into my grip, his mouth opened and closed.

"Let's sit."

The Team 2 Leader urged him. As if being sent aside, Song Inho sat in an empty seat.

The mood was quite peaceful. The director fussed and praised Song Inho's achievements. CEO Baek Hansung looked pleased as well.

"How's work? I bet it's hectic since it's your first time."

CEO Baek Hansung asked. Before Song Inho could open his mouth, the Team 2 Leader replied,

"He said that it still feels surreal, but he's following very well. Now that we've made a good start, I've picked out a few dramas for his next project. I was planning on showing you some proposals when you had some time."


"We need to expose his face more through dramas before his popularity cools."

"What do you think? Do you have a project you’re interested in?"

CEO Baek Hansung asked Song Inho. Once again, the Team 2 Leader replied for him.

"Inho hasn't seen them yet. I decided to show him once I've narrowed it down to one or two choices. He doesn't have an eye for projects yet, so he might something strange if there are a lot of choices. Also, since he's already busy with other stuff, it'll only complicate things for him more if he looks at multiple projects. Isn't that what managers are for?"

The Team 2 Leader added in a rambling manner. That it was all for Song Inho. He looked like the stereotypical image of a helicopter parent. Song Inho didn't just look exhausted, he looked lethargic. He wasn't the type to make such a gloomy expression.

CEO Baek Hansung stared at Song Inho. He soon retracted his gaze.

When the mood reached its peak, the Team 2 Leader's shoulders spread wide as though they were waiting for this moment. He held his nose so high that he almost did a flip. His proud gaze fixated on me and the director. It looked like the appearance of a secret royal inspector. I guess Song Inho was like the royal badge?{1}

Unable to contain it, the director clicked his tongue.

"Yeah, Team 2 Leader, you really do have a good eye. I admit it. I'm sorry for doubting you."

"Why are you like this all of a sudden? I'm blushing. Did I say anything?"

"It's because of your prickly gaze. Narrow-minded fellow."

The Team 2 Leader's face, which wore a content smile, crumbled.

"Narrow-minded? Should we really bring everything up? To be honest, you've hurt me a lot. When I picked a rookie with my discerning eye, you asked me why I picked Inho over Nam Joyoon and whether I rejected him because Jung Sunwoo brought him."

"Oh, really? When did I ever say that?"

"It's how you said it. There are even crazy employees who placed bets on Nam Joyoon and Inho. Didn't this all start with you? Inho, he must have suffered a lot of hardship by being unwittingly involved in this."

The director avoided his gaze when he brought up the bets. The Team 2 Leader's gaze was now directed at me. Although he wasn't openly putting on airs, his eyes were drunk with anticipation.

"I said it before. To trust my discerning eye. Nam Joyoon isn't a bad actor. Only, if I had to pick one of them to be W&U's rising star, I judged that Inho had much more potential."

The Team 2 Leader proudly patted Song Inho's shoulder.

"Look. The results prove it."

Although he was speaking to the director, his eyes were still on me. He raised his chin.

"Team… Leader Jung, what do you think?"

"My thoughts?"

"I think you also thought that the reason I picked Inho over Nam Joyoon was for my own personal revenge. That's why you held a grudge against me. You acted so boastfully when Alive was released, but have your thoughts changed?"

I scratched my chin before taking a sip of my now cooled coffee. The Team 2 Leader's gaze intently followed my face like he didn't want to miss a single change in my expression.

I fully understood his feeling. This was probably the most refreshing and delightful moment.

He probably ground his teeth thinking of a way to screw me over since the meeting, and Song Inho happened to rise to prominence. He likely considered Song Inho as a priceless lucky charm.

How much did he look forward to this moment? From igniting the public's interest in Song Inho, moving the press, until the title 'upstart star' was given to Song Inho. He likely waited for this moment as he added oil and fanned the flames the past week.

The moment he could show Song Inho off in front of me.

"What? You can't acknowledge it?"

"No, I do."

I decided to boost the Team 2 Leader's delight.

"It's true I held a grudge against your decision. I had thought that I inadvertently involved Joyoon hyung, Mr. Nam Joyoon, because you looked at me in a bad light."

Let's be honest, I was partly right.

I licked my lower lip and continued,

"I did, but I now acknowledge it. Your eye in picking Mr. Song Inho and your decision-making skills. The public is making a fuss about Song Inho right now, so there's no way I can't acknowledge it."

I glanced in front of me, and the Team 2 Leader's eyes glimmered with joy. Almost as though I was on my knees, giving him the highest praise. His cheeks jiggled and beard trembled like he was barely holding back from laughing uproariously.

Was this the Team 2 Leader's peak? Had he reached his peak?

I glanced at Song Inho before saying,

"I believe he's a great actor with a lot of potential. To the point that I want him."

"To the point you want him?"

"Yes, he seems more desirable every time I see him. That's why… Please give him to me."


The Team 2 Leader made a dazed expression.

"Give what?"

"Mr. Song Inho. I really want to work with him."

"What? You bastard? What kind of nonsense is that? Jung Sunwoo, are you crazy? Did you lend Inho to me? For you to ask me to give him to you?"

The Team 2 Leader wheezed out a laugh. I turned my gaze. Song Inho's eyes were wide open. The director was completely focused on the situation as if there was nothing more worth spectating that this.

And CEO Baek Hansung was smiling.

He looked happier now than he did looking at Song Inho, who was considered a rising star.

"Although I didn't lend him to you. It's similar. I did request the CEO."

"The CEO?"

The Team 2 Leader's gaze quickly turned. The air tensed.

"Request? CEO, what nonsense is he saying?"

"I told Team Leader Jung that, if he could persuade Chaeyoung to sign onto another project, I would let him fill his team with whoever he wants."


The Team 2 Leader jolted to his feet. The hair on his face stood straight from anger.

I was curious. How it felt for the ground to collapse as soon as you reached the peak.

"So? Don't tell me you're planning on snatching Inho and handing him over to him? What the hell kind of situation is this?! I picked and raised Inho! He's my child!"

Again, with the 'child'.

"It's only been a few days since you promoted him to team leader as a reward for succeeding a project! But what are you giving him for persuading Chaeyoung? If things are like this, shouldn't there be a reward for me, who made Inho W&U's rising star?"

"That's a bit different."

The director scratched the tip of his nose as he joined in,

"Then, since Team Leader Jung had huge hits with Royal Family and Alive early this year, should he be a director? The CEO had been waiting for an opportunity to promote him and simply used the project as a pretext. The CEO separately made a request regarding Chaeyoung."

"Still, this isn't right! Aren't you stabbing me in the back for him?! CEO, aren't you too biased? Isn't this why people in the company are spreading rumors about how he's your son?!"

CEO Baek Hansung laughed when he heard those words.

"There are rumors like that? Team Leader Jung, how old are you?"

"I'm twenty-nine."

"It's not impossible with a twenty-year difference."


CEO Baek Hansung waved his hand at Team 2 Leader's outburst.

"Calm down and sit. I won't split up good partners for no reason."


"Unless the actor wants to."

Song Inho's eyes widened once more. The Team 2 Leader's gaze alternated between CEO Baek Hansung, me, and Song Inho. Just as he was about to shout, the director nonchalantly said,

"Why are you acting like this? Don't you remember how you and Chief Jo barged in and asked to manage Lee Songha? He said that he would think about it if Lee Songha agreed. If Chief Jo persuaded Lee Songha, then her manager might have long since changed."

"Director! This and that are completely…!"

"What's different about it? If Song Inho doesn't want to, then that's that. Why? Do you not trust your child?"

At a loss for words, the Team 2 Leader clenched his jaw.

"Now shall we hear what the person in question has to say?"

CEO Baek Hansung gestured at Song Inho. As more gazes focused on him, Song Inho clenched his fist, which had been quietly sitting on top of his knees. His fist was clenched so hard that his knuckles turned white. CEO Baek Hansung tilted his head.

"Was it too sudden? Do you need time to think about it?"

"No, I…"

Song Inho opened his mouth but closed it once more.

Something was off.

I sent Song Inho a look that everything would be as he wanted with his reply.

However, as soon as his gaze met mine, his face distorted like someone who held all the worries in the world. His eyes reddened in an instant as tears dripped from his eyes. I had seen Song Inho cry a few times, but this was the saddest I've seen him.

I raised my coffee cup. I tightened my grip on it.

I could feel CEO Baek Hansung and the director's gazes on me. Asking me what was going on.

I don't know. I was wondering that too.

Did he have a change of heart? If that's the case…


The Team 2 Leader hugged Song Inho's shoulders in a comforting manner.

"Why are you crying? It's okay."

He shot a displeased glare at us.

"Now really. How shocked and taken aback must he be to cry? He's still young. He was already stiff before coming to the CEO's office, do you think he won't be shocked being caught in the middle of the CEO and director?"

He clicked his tongue before shooting me a gaze.

"Above all, Jung Sunwoo's a team leader. How can he not be cautious? Maybe if one was thick-skinned, but he's not so daring to reject an offer. He's too soft-hearted."

His gaze landed on Song Inho in the end.

"It's nothing much, so just speak what's on your mind. You just need to trust me."

"Team leader."

"Yeah, it's fine-!"

Song Inho spread his arms. The Team 2 Leader also spread his arms while smiling gently.

Immediately, Song Inho hugged…


It was so rough that it felt like my bones were breaking. It felt like I was caught by a giant squid. I let out a breath and looked past Song Inho's shoulder. The Team 2 Leader still stood with his arms spread. He seemed to still be processing what just happened.

The corners of my lips rose. I had been looking forward to this moment like the Team 2 Leader had before.

The moment the Team 2 Leader's mood hit its peak before falling.

Smiling, I patted Song Inho's trembling back.

"Why are you crying? Do you not want to work with me?"

"No! Of course, I want to work with you! I do, but…"


"Won't I be unable to be an actor anymore?"

Song Inho said tearfully. His voice was of worry and resignation.

"What are you saying? Why can't you be an actor?"

"The Team 2 Leader raised me up this far. If I follow someone else, people might say I'm ungrateful. They say you won't be able to work if rumors like that spread since the entertainment industry is so small. If you want to act for a long time, you need to mark those words…!"

"Ah, the Team 2 Leader said that?"

Song Inho quickly nodded at my question.

That moment, the Team 2 Leader, who had been blankly staring in our direction, crumbled.

And here I was wondering if he had a change of heart. He had been waiting to work with me like a child at an orphanage waiting for his parents. I was wondering why he was acting like the world was ending rather than being happy. It seemed like his mind was filled with the Team 2 Leader's words, which were no different from a threat.

My lips unconsciously made a crooked smile.

"Don't worry. I'll handle that."

I patted Song Inho's back and looked at CEO Baek Hansung.

"CEO, can I tell you more actors I would like to bring over to my team? I have already gotten their agreement."

"… Who? Son Chaeyoung?"

CEO Baek Hansung propped his chin up as he asked.

"No, let's just consider it as me helping the Team 2 Leader whenever there is an issue with Ms. Son Chaeyoung. I'll feel really bad if I brought over W&U's poster star. I'm not that insolent."

"Then who?"

I looked at the Team 2 Leader's distorted face as I smiled.

"Mr. Seo Jijoon and Mr. Im Joowon."

{1} Similar to an undercover cop revealing his badge.

/ /

Report error

If you found broken links, wrong episode or any other problems in a anime/cartoon, please tell us. We will try to solve them the first time.