Life, Once Again! - Chapter 980
Chapter 980. Crank Up 8
“It’s over now,” said lawyer Park as he put down the phone.
Dongwook looked at the messy desk. The days and nights he spent in order to catch Hong Janghae’s tail suddenly all felt meaningless. A phone call and a calm conversation without any shouting were all it took to lead the case to the finish line. He almost laughed in vain, thinking about all the effort he put in until now.
“Does it feel empty?”
“A little. Considering all the things that Hong Janghae did, I thought he wouldn’t step back so easily, but it ended like this.”
“He readily accepted because he knew that he wouldn’t have anything even if he struggled until the end. They’ll probably move faster than us. The easiest, and the quietest, way to deal with this is to have an internal audit. There will be an announcement in just one day, that the president of Soul Entertainment, a subsidiary of the YM Group, did illegal things using his position and the power of the company. YM will immediately ask the press to stop reporting on it. They won’t be able to block it completely, but the conservative media outlets will not talk about it. The progressive media will report on it, but that’ll be after he is punished by the company and is put in court, so this will likely become a personal problem. You know what comes next. With fewer mouths to talk about him, the rumors will die down soon, and Hong Janghae will spend a few years in prison before coming back out.”
“So you’re saying that Hong Janghae will talk to the chairman directly.”
“It would’ve been similar even if I was the one to call the chairman. The only difference is who takes the initiative: Hong Janghae or the chairman. Both of them are incredibly adept at gouging out rotten parts, so it might happen tomorrow.”
“So even the punishment is something they decide.”
Dongwook desperately craved a smoke. He was originally going to hold back because he was in front of lawyer Park, but he felt like he could no longer control himself. When he talked about it, lawyer Park took out cigarettes from his pocket. Dongwook stood in front of the recycling area in the apartment and put the cigarette in his mouth. Lawyer Park lit the cigarette up for him. Dongwook nodded before puffing. The tip of the cigarette glowed red.
“Now that I think about it, you must have called Hong Janghae on purpose, lawyer Park.”
Lawyer Park did not show any hesitation and acknowledged it.
“I can’t completely become at odds with him. It might feel strange, but this is also a form of debt. If president Hong was ousted under the lead of the chairman, then he’s utterly doomed. However, if president Hong reports this matter first and claims that he will put the matter to rest just by himself, he’ll at least be able to remain a loyal dog to the chairman. His sentence won’t be that long, so it’s likely that he’ll be reinstated to his position once he’s discharged. The chairman does not accept an incompetent man’s mistake, but he tends to overlook a competent man’s mistake as simply a form of experience.”
Lawyer Park threw the cigarette on the ground. The unfinished cigarette cooled down on top of the unmelted snow.
“I’m sure that’s not to your liking, journalist Kim.”
“Before I left the house, I even felt a little betrayed. You practically left him a way out. But when I think about it, it’s nothing to get angry about. It’s you who dealt the finishing blow after all. As you said, it has become somewhat strange, but it doesn’t change the fact that that man will abstain from work and go to court.”
“If you wish to finish him with your hands, you can do that right now. You can report to the media right away. YM will also take action, but the attention to the news will be on a completely different level. On top of that, if you tell the media about the testimony from the victims, there will be a party. Would you like to do that?”
Dongwook pushed the cigarette to the corner of his mount and puffed a deep one before throwing it away.
“No. I’m glad that you put on the brakes, lawyer. If I was by myself, I would’ve done that. Things would’ve blown up out of proportion, and I would have pushed forward until the end with the witnesses at the front. But I was mistaken. I didn’t start this work wanting some grand finish.”
“Your priority is to protect that junior of yours after all. I understood it when I looked at the materials you gathered until now. Actually, you had more than enough material to make a big deal out of it, yet you endured and gathered piece after piece. You did that so that you can end this ordeal in one go, right? Before the people involved start getting controversial.”
Dongwook nodded. The reason he put so much effort into the background investigation was to finish this case cleanly. If there was an unnecessary commotion, his junior might be put in a tight spot, when she had just barely recovered. While absorbed in work, he got caught up in the thought to execute Hong Janghae grandly, but he was able to get a hold of himself thanks to the lawyer’s mediation. He did not jump into the frosty winds for the sake of vengeance. He just started it with the feeling that he was taking over what she was doing. Revenge was just a side thing.
“I also like it because there’s something in it for me too,” said Lawyer Park with a smile.
While he was a good person now, he would be even more terrifying than Hong Janghae if they met at another crossroad. Dongwook reached his hand out, as a gesture asking the lawyer to go easy on him if such a thing ever happened.
“Thanks for your work.”
“I’m embarrassed because I didn’t do anything much.”
“Lending your name in this case was impactful enough. The reason Hong Janghae gave up so easily is thanks to your reputation too.”
The exhausting marathon had finally come to an end. Instead of the dynamic conclusion commonly seen in dramas, the result here was quite bland, but that didn’t matter. In fact, Dongwook felt that it was rather fortunate that the conclusion was ordinary. He would be able to return to everyday life easily. As they were shaking hands, lawyer Park exclaimed as though he forgot something,
“There’s something I still need to do. It’s Lee Miyoon.”
Dongwook faintly smiled. He was so torn over the giant enemy that was Hong Janghae that he had almost forgotten about his other objective.
“She’s an actress I used to like, but since things have gotten to this, I should take responsibility. What do you want to happen, journalist Kim?”
“I don’t want to see her on TV again.”
“That’s not too hard. The materials you’ve prepared should suffice. Instead, I’ll proceed with this case under my name. You did promise that you’ll be lenient since you get to oust Hong Janghae, but I never made such a promise, so that’s a different matter.”
“Let’s start when YM comes up with countermeasures. I’ll leak the case about Lee Miyoon while president Hong’s matter quietly spreads. Conservative media outlets will jump at the opportunity and will write about her. In the chairman’s eyes, Lee Miyoon is someone worse than president Hong, so as regrettable as it is, he should use her as a scapegoat. Even if Lee Miyoon begs for help, no one will help her. The power in her possession entirely stems from the chairman. She should disappear from TV soon enough. The prosecutors will try to refrain from touching president Hong since he’s a close confidante of the chairman, but Lee Miyoon is a different story. She’ll be swiftly dealt-with with the help of popular opinion. Her assets will be checked to see if they are gained through legal means. She might not be entirely sucking on her thumbs in her later years, but she won’t be enjoying a rich life like she is now.”
Lawyer Park checked his watch and continued,
“Would that junior of yours be satisfied with this?”
“Well, I’ll have to go visit her on the day the news comes out. Personally, I hope that she’s not too overjoyed nor too disappointed that the punishment is negligible. I just hope that she smiles after realizing that Lee Miyoon will never influence her life again.”
“You seem to really cherish that junior of yours, journalist Kim.”
“It’s all karma, really. Once I’m done with this, I’m going to stop contacting her. Even if we see each other, it’ll only bring up bad memories.”
Dongwook told lawyer Park that they should go back in. The night air just before sunrise was unpleasantly chilly. As they walked to the apartment entrance, lawyer Park spoke,
“Do you have anything to do once you’re done with this?”
“Not immediately, no. I’m not shameless enough to tell the president that I’ll go back to the company.”
“Then how about you work with me? Lawyers don’t exactly sit at their desks all day.”
When lawyer Park asked, Dongwook smiled and replied,
“I’d rather do manual labor.”
Lawyer Park laughed out loud and nodded.