Life, Once Again! - Chapter 988
Chapter 988. Crank Up 9
Hearing head manager Kang’s words, Junmin nodded and stood up. The visitor today was too much of a bigshot to welcome while sitting down. He didn’t want to have a power struggle with him either. He stood in front of the elevator, and the door soon opened. The chairman came out with a smile.
“Had you given me a call, I would have visited your residence.”
“I’m not shameless enough to call someone busy to visit me. Secretary Kim.”
The man standing behind the chairman held out a box. Head manager Kang received it in his stead.
“It’s some red ginseng. I heard you like this stuff because you’re looking after your health lately.”
“I’m short on them all the time.”
“I’ve specifically ordered it from China, so I’m sure it’ll be good for your body. If it’s a dud, you can bring it back to me.”
“There’s no way there’s anything wrong with it when you prepared it yourself, chairman, is there? I’ll gladly take it.”
Head manager Kang took secretary Kim and left through the corridor to his left. As he had sent all the employees to the lower floors beforehand, the entire 8th floor was quiet. Junmin came back to his office, bringing the chairman with him.
“Little Hong has never disappointed me before,” the chairman said as he sat down.
“He’s only human, so he can make mistakes. Would you like some tea?”
“Anything from you, president Lee.”
Junmin poured some green tea powder into a teacup and poured hot water. The chairman received the steaming hot teacup and took a sip. He nodded, seemingly satisfied with it.
“Lawyer Park Sunggoo. I’ve never been on bad terms with that fella, but he’s been attacking me aggressively this time, as though something’s possessed him.”
“If he really tried to, he wouldn’t have made you use your hand. It seems like lawyer Park wanted to get close to you, chairman.”
“Is that how it is? Well, seeing as how he let us take care of the aftermath, I don’t think he resents me that much. Thanks to Lee Miyoon, it’s getting a lot less attention.”
“Then is the matter with president Hong resolved?” Junmin asked while looking at the chairman’s eyebrows, which had a thick gray color.
“I guess you can say that. Both wings of politics are snarling at us because of one incident, and I had a pretty difficult time shaking them off. This is why I wanted to do business with celebrities and the like. I put in way too much effort just to see some promotion effect. I should wrap everything up at this opportunity, just leaving behind the music distribution business.”
“That’s how you have risen to the top, isn’t it? You didn’t focus on just one thing and considered all possibilities open. That’s how the current YM was made.”
“It was definitely thanks to a challenging mindset that I managed to create the current company from merely selling toothbrushes. But right now, it’s hard to keep holding on to what’s mine. I don’t know why people keep suing us for patent violations. The legal team is helpless without being able to keep up defenses, so it’s putting me on the edge.”
“So you need lawyer Park for that.”
“That fellow is a true fighter, unlike those who show off. He’s someone who’ll bring me what I want. With this case and all, though, I don’t really know what that fellow’s planning.”
“If you reach your hand out yourself, I’m sure he’ll grab it without hesitation. Perhaps he’s waiting right now.”
The chairman grabbed the teacup and circled the contents around in the air. He blew on it hard to cool it off before emptying it.
“Let bygones be bygones with this.”
“I don’t dare harbor any resentment towards you, chairman.”
“You’re good with words. Well, fine. I was just thinking that I should do away with the sex business. Back in my day, it was natural for women to seek the embrace of men, and it was nothing that was considered a crime, but these days, women’s rights or whatnot are really annoying in the media. Also, there are many good girls you can buy with money, so there’s no merit in it either. Not only that, there are eyes everywhere, so many more are beginning to say that it’s better to just play golf instead.”
“There are indeed more eyes than before.”
“The times are changing, so I should follow along. There are many people who disappeared into history while trying to be the ones leading the change.”
The chairman smiled bitterly.
“Little Hong has learned a good lesson this time. I’m sure he’ll find it uncomfortable spending 3 months behind bars while he’s getting old with me, but as a man, it’s not a bad thing to go at least once.”
“Please look after him once he comes out. Men who stayed by your side as long as he did are rare, aren’t they?”
“If it was anyone else other than little Hong who got in the mouths of those journalists, do you think I would’ve even cared? I’ll just send them off. But little Hong is a bit of waste to throw away with just this. I still have a lot I want him to do. Rather than that, what are your plans for the new year? If you aren’t so busy, you should have a meal with my son.”
“Sounds like you’re planning to make him completely inherit the company?”
“I’m planning to enjoy the old man in the attic lifestyle. I only took off my title in name, but I’ve practically been doing the same thing for the past year. Chairman this, chairman that. I’m honestly quite fed up with it now. Also, at this rate, it’s likely that my son will end up as a boss in name only, so I should give him real power before it comes to that. He also needs to know who his most powerful enemy is if he wants to get a hold on power too.”
The chairman looked at him while twitching his eyes. Junmin erased every scheduled event for this week in his mind. He had a few prior appointments, but there was nothing more important than an occasion prepared by the chairman. Above all, he had to have a look at his opponent, just like the chairman said.
“I hope my son has shiny ears just like me.”
Junmin asked back as he grabbed his empty teacup,
“You said it last time too, didn’t you? That I was able to see the value of people by looking at their ears.”
“Are you planning to play dumb again? I don’t have dementia yet. I clearly remember what you said. When I heard it, at first I thought ears meant something symbolic, so it was rather absurd when I found out that you literally meant ears. But you really looked like you were seeing something from people’s ears, not lying to me.”
Junmin did not 100% trust his memories. He knew how flimsy memory could be. However, he truly wanted to deny this whole ‘ear’ matter. He wanted to say that he had no recollection of the matter, that something was wrong. The chairman was pushing his semi-white hair backwards. Junmin sighed silently.
“Honestly speaking, I truly don’t remember. Of course, you have no reason to lie to me either, chairman. Above all, you’re not the only one saying that to me. I asked the people around me about ears. Apparently, I’ve never gone into detail, but some people have recollection of me saying something like ‘I don’t look at hands for fortune telling; I look at ears.’”
“Aren’t you too young to be losing your memories? In the modern world, the 50s is still pretty young.”
“It’s a strange matter. I don’t have a single memory of it, but people around me are telling me the same thing.”
“Well, I’ve gone through the same thing. It was back in ‘97 when the company was unstable. My mind was unstable as well, and I couldn’t remember what I ate an hour ago. It’s nothing big to worry about. The fact that you forgot means that it’s nothing important. For the most important things, you usually can’t even forget about it even if you want to.”
The chairman stood up from his seat, telling him to eat the ginseng without forgetting. Junmin also stood up and opened the door for him. Head manager Kang and secretary Kim were waiting outside, and they moved towards the elevator.
“Call me whenever you’re ready for a meal out with your son. I’ll visit you.”
“You should tell me when you’re not busy. We’re the ones inviting you.”
The elevator arrived. The chairman took a step inside but then flinched.
“I almost forgot something important.”
“Is there something?”
“Han Maru. I’ve been asking around, and it seems like this kid is the source of this minor scuffle. Is he someone you cherish? I almost touched this guy while trying to give a gift to my grandson, but it seems like that has gotten on your nerves. But still, you put me in this situation just because of a kid. I’m quite saddened by this. I’m sure little Hong is feeling rather sad as well.”
“He’s an interesting one. It’s very intriguing to watch him.”
“Then you should’ve given him wings. Had I known that you were looking after that kid, I would’ve taken control.”
“He’s someone who does well by himself. Even if I give him wings, he’ll just take them off. I can’t push him forward, so I should at least prevent people from reaching out to drag him down.”
“It’s been a while since I saw you cherish someone like that. He must be quite good, eh?”
“I’m not sure. But when I watch him, I can’t just let him be. I have a strange sensation that I’m looking at my past self when I look at him, even though we have nothing in common.”
“To think you’d say something so lukewarm. It seems like you’ve gotten old after all.”
“I’ll be hitting sixty soon enough. I might be young by your standards, but I’m old enough to be called grandpa, don’t you think?”
“You should live young. Only with you around will I feel less bored.”
“It’s you who’s way too healthy.”
The chairman smiled and got on the elevator.
* * *
“Secretary Kim,” the chairman said as he looked at the number going down.
Yes – along with the answer, the elevator opened again.
“Call the one looking after Giwoo right now and tell him not to touch anything related to Han Maru. From the way president Lee spoke, it looks like he’s going to give the kid a big push. Also, tell Giwoo to not think about anything weird. From how he reached out to little Hong for help, I’m sure he’s up to something.”
The chairman clicked his tongue.
“Can’t believe he was angered by a simple obstacle. Is that all Giwoo amounts to? He can never stop being my cute grandson. I have great kids, but below them, it’s not as good. I can’t just tell them to have another child.”
“I’ll also tell Giwoo’s friends.”
“Yes. There’s no reason to be at odds with president Lee. No, in fact, I should give him some wings myself. Let’s use that guy as our model for our new smartphone. Our meal with president Lee should be a lot easier if I give him some face.”
“I’ll have it done.”
The chairman nodded and got in his car.