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Chapter 982. Crank Up 8
It wasn’t that it was noisy outside. It wasn’t that his alarm went off either. He just opened his eyes. If he had enough sleep, he would’ve woken up with a clear mind, but right now, he felt limp like his entire body was stuck on the bed. He turned his head around and looked at the window. Light was seeping in through the gaps of the blinds. He spat out a slow breath before sitting up. When he checked the time on his phone, he saw that it was 9. Ever since he came down to Ulsan, his sleeping schedule was no longer a schedule. It had also become a lot harder to do morning exercises.
He shook his head to shake his sleep off. The shoot was in the afternoon, so he set the alarm for 11, but his eyes opened by themselves. He slept well into the night, so he slept for about three to four hours. As he wasn’t the type to fall back asleep once he opened his eyes, he decided to move a little. It was much better to get some cold air rather than daze off in bed. He was about to get up, but he first picked up his phone again. There were missed calls and unread messages. Messenger notifications filled his notification bar. He was so out of it that he didn’t realize it earlier when he looked at it.
When he checked them, he saw that they were all from Gaeul. Perhaps she sent them as soon as she woke up, concerned that he reached out to her in the middle of the night. He was about to press the call b.u.t.ton with a smile when something caught his eye. It was 5 a.m when she made the call. There was no way she woke up in the middle of the night just to make a call.
Just then, he got a call. Looking at the name ‘Han Gaeul’ in the middle of the screen, he pressed the call b.u.t.ton.
Before he could ask her with a tired voice why she had called early in the morning, Gaeul had urgently spoken. It was a voice that chased out any lingering sleep in his body.
“Did something happen?”
-Can you come outside right now?
“I can, but did something really happen?”
When Gaeul said that they should meet and talk, he subconsciously nodded before recalling that he was in Ulsan. Before he could ask for the details, Gaeul asked him to come to the paid parking lot next to the hotel. It seemed that this wasn’t the right time to be asking. He immediately put on his jacket and left the hotel. When he turned left at the entrance and walked about two blocks away, he saw the paid parking lot. The parking lot was bustling with cars trying to come in for work. When he looked around, he saw a familiar car. He checked the license plate. It was Gaeul’s car.
He approached the car and opened the door to find Gaeul inside. However, with her expression, she showed that this was no time to be expressing his joy. Maru looked around before getting on.
“What brings you here?”
Gaeul opened her mouth slightly before closing it again. It seemed that she was organizing what she should say in her mind. Maru grabbed her uneasy-looking hand and told her that she could take it slow. A moment later, she started explaining.
After hearing everything, Maru couldn’t help but smile bitterly. He screwed up. He thought he had dealt with it well, but it caused a different problem elsewhere. Gaeul frowned, saying that it was all her fault.
“Why would it be your fault?”
“None of this would’ve happened if I didn’t come down.”
“If you didn’t come down, then we wouldn’t have had the chance to talk to each other face-to-face like this, so it’s not that much of a loss.”
Gaeul rested her head against the headrest. Her eyes were filled with regret as she looked upwards.
“I can’t forget the expression Giwoo showed at the end. That was different from before. He wasn’t getting angry and nor was he smiling in order to buy my goodwill. He looked like a child who had enough of playing around with a toy, and that keeps bothering me.”
“Gaeul, don’t worry about it too much. Him knowing won’t change anything much.”
“He’s someone who smashed a stranger’s fingers like it was nothing. Not only that, he had his friend do it. If that was what he could do in high school, I’m worried about what he could commit now. I don’t care if I get hurt, but when I think about how he might do something to you….”
Maru patted her on the back. The fact that the guy who always put on a mask when facing Gaeul had thrown away that mask was no simple matter. It might be a display that he had made his resolve.
“Sorry, if I had just picked up your call….”
“You don’t have to worry. It was bound to get found out someday. It just happened earlier than we expected. Also, even if Giwoo knows everything, he won’t be able to do anything to you or me.”
“He’s not the kind of guy who would step back obediently.”
“True, but nothing will happen regardless.”
Gaeul’s face was still filled with worry. It didn’t look like telling her not to worry was going to do anything. He needed something more than just words.
“Wait a sec.”
Maru still held onto Gaeul’s hand and picked up his phone. As soon as he picked up, he could hear Dongwook’s voice telling him to turn on the TV.
“I’m outside right now, so there’s no TV.”
-Then go on the internet on your phone. It’s probably in the headlines. I did expect them to be quick, but not this fast. It’s only been around six hours since we told Hong Janghae. Lawyer Park’s a heavyweight alright.
He ended the call there and opened the internet. In the web portal, he navigated to the news section. Gaeul asked silently with her eyes what happened. Maru scanned his phone. Just as Dongwook said, the news he had been waiting for was decorating the first page.
“Well, we’re done with one matter.”
“Done? What do you mean?”
Maru touched one of the articles and showed it to Gaeul. It was an article notifying the public of the crimes committed by the president of Soul Entertainment. The content of it though was different from what he expected. He thought that lawyer Park and Dongwook would burst out with the news, but it was instead the main YM Corp that exposed Hong Janghae. They even announced to the major media outlets that they felt responsible as the parent company and that they would make sure that such a thing would never happen again in the future. There was also some news about how they would deal with president Hong, a criminal, and the victims accordingly. Meanwhile, they completely drew the line between president Hong and the company and made it look like they had no involvement in it; they made it clear that it was simply the deviation of an individual and the parent company has nothing to do with it.
“I think it got resolved quickly thanks to some help from someone I know. From how Yoojin’s mother isn’t being mentioned, I think she slipped out safely.”
Maru had a look at the remaining articles as well. From how media outlets from both sides of politics talked about it, it seemed that YM had decided to cut its tail. Hong Janghae would become the scapegoat and take the brunt of the fall.
“Now you really don’t have to worry about it. Actually, there was one thing that worried me. I thought that that guy would do something to you through someone else’s hands, without being able to hold back. To do that, he would have to use someone tight-lipped, and it’s likely that Hong Janghae is the one he’ll go to. But since the situation’s like this, he won’t be able to move so easily. He doesn’t take actions that risk harming himself. That’s why he has used those around him since way back. He’s someone with a lot of fears, actually.”
Gaeul, who had a tight grip around his hand, sighed faintly and loosened up. She experienced it for herself, so she probably knew what kind of guy Kang Giwoo was better than anyone.
“As you said, he always did something behind people’s backs and never did anything himself. It was the same with Mijoo.”
“He does various things under the threshold that wouldn’t harm him, but he shouldn’t be able to take drastic action. He knows that he has a lot to lose. He shouldn’t want to make a deal that would cause him a loss.”
“But still, we should be careful, right?”
“Just act as usual. That should be better. By now, Kang Giwoo should have seen the news too. He belongs to Soul after all. Perhaps he might have heard from the chairman himself to be careful to not taint the YM name. I’m sure the chairman knows how terrible his personality is.”
Only now did Gaeul smile with difficulty. Her widened eyes also returned to normal. She loosened up and leaned back against the door.
“What do I do? I suddenly feel sleepy.”
“Now that I think about it, did you drive all the way here right after the award ceremony?”
“Yeah. And I met Giwoo early in the morning, so I’ve been uneasy ever since then. I think all the sleep is coming back now.”
“I’m not doing this again. Trying to surprise you once almost gave me a heart attack.”
Gaeul closed her eyes.
“Don’t sleep here. Let’s go to the room. You should sleep on the bed.”
“We can’t be spotted by others. I don’t want any more trouble. Or what, should we just date openly? I don’t think that’s bad.”
“Looks like you’re really tired. You need to look after your actress career, Miss Han Gaeul.”
“How sleepy are you?”
“I can fall asleep within five seconds.”
“Then get some shut-eye.”
“What about you?”
“I’ll also get some sleep next to you.”
“Don’t do that and go back to your room. You should look after your health. You’re the lead character of the film.”
“I’m looking after my health right now.”
Maru raised Gaeul’s hand that he was holding.
“I’m your charger?”
“Stop mumbling and go to sleep.”
“You should go back in a bit too. Don’t stay here.”
“I’ll take care of myself, so don’t say anything and get on that train to dreamland.”
Gaeul smiled and turned her head around. Not even a minute later, her breathing slowed down. After watching her sleeping face for a little bit, Maru turned to his phone again. Phone cameras were supposed to be used in situations like this.
Maru took off his jacket and put it on her. While he was taking it off, he let go of her hand for a bit and Gaeul flinched before probing around. And she said he should go back. It seemed like he wouldn’t be able to go back until she woke up.
Listening to her relaxed breathing, he looked at the internet. The fact that Hong Janghae abdicated from his position was a welcome piece of news, but what Maru really wanted to hear was his business partner being socially killed. What would happen to Lee Miyoon? He scrolled through the articles for a while before his eyes landed on the real-time popular search terms. The first place was ‘award ceremony’ and the second place was ‘Lee Miyoon.’ When he clicked on Lee Miyoon, he didn’t find a lot of articles. So why was it that she came up then? Maru looked at the social media posts instead of the news. That was where the rumors were circulating that the actress Lee Miyoon was the procuress.
“I guess it won’t take long.”
It was only a matter of time before major media outlets would talk about it. Maru marveled at lawyer Park’s working speed and put his phone down.