TM Chapter 100

Chapter 100: Splashing while Riding a Sudden Current (4)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir


 

Eight in the morning.

I was still uncertain of everything when morning arrived.

After spending the whole night awake, all the remained were messily scattered coffee sticks and an empty energy drink. Piles of scenarios and synopses left their sticky mark on my suffocating heart.

Nothing special happened, for example, seeing the future.

Slumping against my chair, I clicked my tongue.

I shouldn’t be so reliant on my foresight ability. If I kept relying on it, I might become a fool that couldn’t do anything on my own. In order to stay cautious, I brooded over it.

It was a useless effort. I was already an addict.

Mentally ill and now an addict, I really had fallen far.

I downed my cold coffee in my stale mouth. Then I placed the three stacks of paper that had me pondering throughout the night into my bag.

Unconcerned about whether my mind was muddled or not, a new day began outside my window. It was time for me to go to work.

 

After parking the minivan, I waited for the elevator. The loud sound of wheels screeching rang out from my left. The male employee of the PR Team was pushing a handcart loaded with packages towards me.

“Hello.”

“Oh, Mr. Sunwoo! I saw yesterday’s broadcast!”

The male employee, who was always energetic every time I met him, nudged my arm with his shoulder. Maybe it was because my mind was wrapped in concerns, but I was very envious of his bright, refreshed expression.

“Lee Taehee’s song. When you first brought it over and pushed for it, I didn’t think it would do this well. Mr. Sunwoo’s choice was a divine move for this album.”

I was wondering if it was déjà vu, but they were the words the male employee had said in the future I saw before. That time, it was ‘Mr. Gunyoung’s choice was a divine move’.

“No, to be honest, our team was concerned for you. Even veterans aren’t certain if a song will do well or not, but just what is that guy confident in to push for this song like a bulldozer? How is he going to handle it if it fails?”

The male employee was astonished as he scanned me with admiring eyes.

“They were useless worries. I consider your discerning eye and senses at the same level as Nostradamus. I’m really curious, but do you get some sort of feeling when you see a project that you think will do well? Do angels blow their bugles or something?”

“I wish they did. Then I would buy stocks.”

I was the one who wished the angels would blow their bugles or vuvuzelas or something.

The male employee’s eyes glittered as they looked at me. His face overlapped with Kim Hyunjo’s, who encouraged me to pick a project that I thought would do well for Lee Songha’s next project. I didn’t eat anything this morning, yet I felt like I had indigestion.

We both got on the elevator, and the male employee asked,

“If we knew that her song would do so well, we probably would have gone for a single title track? With no need to divide our promotion efforts. It was dragged down by Simon Lee’s song. If they had gone with a single title track from the beginning, they could have also solidified their image as artist-!”

The male employee swallowed a cough.

The traitor stood rigidly beyond the elevator doors after stopping on the first floor.

Taken aback, the male employee opened and closed his mouth, and I stopped my finger from pressing the close button.

The traitor got on the elevator.

“… Good morning.”

“Ah, yes. Hello, Mr. Gunyoung.”

I thought that he would look even slightly upset, yet the smile on his face was so visible that you could see his dimples. The moment I saw this, the traitor problem surpassed the other problems that piled on me like a tower, taking first place.

It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Suddenly, the traitor said in a bitter voice,

“I begged Simon Lee because I wanted to see Neptune’s album succeed, but it ended up dragging them down.”

“Ah, no! Who would have thought things would go like this? When you first brought Simon Lee’s song over, everyone was surprised that a rookie did something the Artists & Repertoire Team couldn’t do!”

The male employee frantically shook his head. His gaze, as he looked at the traitor, was sympathetic and apologetic. Until we got off on the fourth floor, the male employee was sweating profusely as he did his best to console the traitor.

With this, I realized how great the traitor’s image in the company was.

I also saw how his slumped shoulders that looked like they were carrying all the suffering in the world straightened as soon as the elevator doors closed and how a dark displeasure flashed across his eyes.

It seemed like I was the only one who noticed these things. With my eyes that constantly observed him.

“Lee Taehee’s song become Neptune’s hit song. That’s great.”

The traitor suddenly said on our way to the office.

“While I shouldn’t be thinking this, to be honest, I’m a bit sad. I was quite confident this time, you know? I didn’t go to the get-together yesterday because my mind was complicated. Fortunately, the chief understood.”

Then he looked at me with a polite, friendly face.

I was at a loss for words because I was so dumbfounded.

Just where did someone like him come from?

I thought that his true nature that was hidden by his fake shell would reveal itself this time since he was clearly agitated these past few days. It was also an agitable situation.

The way he looked at me while Simon Lee’s song was ranked higher than Lee Taehee’s song was more obvious. His gaze was filled with elation, wanting to tell me that he won and ask me how it felt.

However, this was suddenly flipped.

That was why I thought I could see his true self this time, but rather than his true nature, it felt like his fake shell became tougher.

Looking at the traitor, I said,

“Do you remember the bet we made?”

“Of course, we decided to do something the other person wanted, right? What should I do? Should I get the chief’s permission to take over your schedule for the next few days so you can travel?”

I said those words to offend him, but his reply was ridiculous.

Since I couldn’t have a sour face when he was smiling, I stiffly raised the tips of my lips. We just had to be passing the lounge. There were two or three people who could hear our conversation.

“No, we’re so busy, do you think I’ll be able to concentrate on having fun if I left now?”

“Really? Then tell me whenever if you have something you want.”

At this point, it was almost disgusting.

Living my life however I wanted until now let me see a good amount of weird people, but it was my first time seeing someone like him. What was he thinking by acting this way? Did he have some ulterior motives? I couldn’t figure out his real intentions.

Seeing as he told me he was thinking about changing teams or companies meant that he hated working with me. So why was he acting so spine-chillingly coy now?

For what reason?

 

While my hand was handing over a synopsis, my eyes kept fixating on the traitor sitting next to me. Like normal, he was comparing the calendar on the table and his phone scheduler and organizing his schedule.

I tried to be proper enemies with him.

If it came to a situation where we could both call each other ‘dog bastard’ or ‘cow bastard’, then it would be easier to end my abnormal relationship with him. My heart would finally find something similar to peace.

Yet, if he acted like this, things became more difficult.

If I messed up, I could be the person who wanted to chase out someone, who was hardworking and friendly, but unlucky, all the conditions for gaining others’ sympathy, for no reason. Then I would be this area’s weirdo.

This wasn’t some game of chicken where we were waiting to see who would be the first to spill their inner thoughts.

Either way, I needed to settle this for my own mental safety, whether it was by forcefully dragging his true nature out or bluntly provoking him by asking if he also hated working with me.

Clicking my tongue, I was thinking who would win in the end when-

“Jung Sunwoo.”

I heard a dry voice behind me. When I turned around, my expression almost crumbled. I didn’t know whether this place was a company or an abode of demons. I already had a headache just dealing with the traitor, but another unwelcome face stood in front of me.

His attention-grabbing beard. His expression that showed he obviously didn’t like me. It was the team 2 leader.

Why was he in the Team 3’s office? To see me? About Son Chaeyoung again?

I was trying to deduce his motive while greeting him when an unexpected name came out of his mouth.

“I heard you talked about an exclusive contract with Im Joowon?”

Im Joowon?

“Yes, he seemed to want to change companies and the PR Team seemed like they were on the watch for actors appearing on the free market.”

“We got a call from him. He said he wanted to talk while seeing the contract. We talked to him on the phone a few times, but, for some reason, he seemed to think highly of you as the mood was quite positive. So… Come with me when we go meet him.”

“Me?”

“I’ll talk to the team 3 leader myself so adjust your schedule.”

If things work out, Im Joowon might join W&U.

Since it wasn’t difficult to do, I nodded and replied, but the team 2 leader glanced at the traitor behind me. The traitor, who didn’t have time to greet him because the team 2 leader went straight to the topic, bowed his head and greeted him.

The team 2 leader half-heartedly nodded his head.

“You look like you’ll work hard. I heard that Neptune recruited another manager, is that you?”

“… Pardon?”

The traitor hesitated before asking.

I was thinking what kind of nonsense the team leader was thinking before figuring it out. So he got mixed up. No, still, could there be someone who really couldn’t recognize an employee who had been working in the same company for six months?

Smacking his lips, it seemed the traitor wanted to correct him, but the team 2 leader turned towards me and added,

“Having you alone as a troublemaker is enough so teach him moderately, bud. In moderation.”

The traitor’s expression, which seemed to have been stamped with a smile, became stiff for the first time. Even though he spoke late, his voice was unnoticeably calm.

“I’m Choi Gunyoung. I’m not a new rookie, but have worked here for six months now.”

“What? Six months?”

“Yes, I joined the same time as Sunwoo.”

“Ah, right. There were two. Then you’re the one who brought Simon Lee’s song…”

The team 2 leader’s expression became strange. I didn’t know what he was thinking as he scanned the traitor, but he clicked his tongue and said,

“You must also be frustrated. To be his colleague. If you want to change teams, let me know any time since we need someone to be Son Chaeyoung’s road manager. In the past few days, she crushed a few… Anyways, let me know if you’re interested.”

“…”

The team 2 leader looked at the traitor as though he was looking at a living sacrifice before leaving.

It seemed the Son Chaeyoung effect was great as his expression had yet to relax completely. Either way, they said that nothing in life was certain, for the team 2 leader to be helpful.

With a smiling face, I said,

“How’s Son Chaeyoung?”

“How is she? Are you seriously asking me?”

While he might think he replied normally, my ears picked up on a faint trace of irritation. He didn’t completely control his expression either. Seeing him like this, the smile on my face widened on its own.

Be more annoyed and throw a tantrum. On the day he says something worse than swearing, I wanted to shake a tambourine and cheer him to hit me. I was ready to take a hit if I could face his true self after getting hit.

I shrugged and continued,

“No, I just suddenly thought about how you said you could understand how Son Chaeyoung felt before.”

“… Did I say that?”

However, despite my urging, the traitor’s expression quickly returned to normal. While he still clenched his jaws, even that was buried under his gentle smile.

“Still, I’m not really interested in being an actor’s manager.”

“How regretful.”

Truly regretful.

 

Kim Hyunjo and the team 3 leader arrived at the company at around lunchtime.

While telling about the conversation I had about Im Joowon with the team 2 leader, I glanced at Kim Hyunjo. He seemed to be quite concerned with the traitor. Kim Hyunjo’s gaze was similar to the male employee earlier today, sympathetic and awkward.

My concerns naturally become more complicated.

We sat around a lounge table before lunch. We were talking about what to do after Neptune’s album activities when Kim Hyunjo and the team 3 leader, who were sitting in front of me, suddenly pushed their chairs out and stood up.

The traitor and I followed suit and stood up as well. When I turned around, I saw the director coming down the stairs with light steps. He was a welcome face. When he discovered us, he smiled and approached.

“Oh, all the people who are incredibly busy these days are gathered here.”

When I greeted him, the director gave me a meaningful look.

He nudged my arm and said,

“Lucky Charm, congratulations. Even the CEO sends his congratulations.”

“… Congratulation? Ah, for Neptune getting first on the music broadcast?”

“Huh? No, while that’s also worth congratulating, don’t you usually think of personal matters when someone congratulates you?”

“Personal matters?”

When I blinked my eyes, the director also blinked his.

“What? Why is he like this? As though it’s his first time being congratulated?”

“That’s because it’s his first time hearing about it. He doesn’t know yet, director.”

The team 3 leader said while laughing distractedly.

“Why didn’t you tell him yet? The CEO has approved it and everything. Because of his lack of experience? There are the things he’s done until now, and just him promoting Lee Taehee’s song and bringing home the music broadcast trophy is enough. I also heard he brought over Im Joowon as well.”

“That’s not it. There are a few things we want to handle beforehand. We were planning on telling him this evening.”

When he said ‘things to handle beforehand’, his gaze momentarily fell on the traitor.

The team 3 leader scratched his disheveled hair as he asked Kim Hyunjo,

“Hyunjo, did it arrive yet?”

“It came yesterday.”

After nodding, Kim Hyunjo went into the office and quickly returned. He was holding a plastic rectangular box in his hand. When I looked closer, it was a business card case.

Kim Hyunjo stopped in front of me and handed me the case while smiling.

“I wanted to give it to you when the mood was right, but what can I do. Open it up and see.”

“Ah, yes.”

My eyes were fixated on the business card case the moment I spotted it. I opened the cover and took out a stiff business card. Beneath the W&U logo was a familiar name and phone number.

What was unfamiliar was the title next to my name.

‘Chief Jung Sunwoo.’

Chief. I blankly stared at the two characters{1}. Was this real?

It didn’t feel real. While the thought of a promotion brushed my mind when Kim Hyunjo told me there would be good news yesterday, I dismissed it because it had only been six months.

Seeing my expression, the director laughed warmly.

“While I don’t know about other places, just know that there has never been a similar case in our company. Lucky Charm, you’re the first one to ever join with no experience and become a chief after six months. Well, it’s our first time dealing with a recruit like you.”

The team 3 leader laughed cheerfully as he agreed with the director’s words. Kim Hyunjo’s worried gaze was directed next to me. I also looked beside me with a flustered gaze.

The traitor was staring at the business card in my hand.

His gentle smile had split like a field experiencing a drought.

 


{1} In Korean, ‘Chief’ is spelled with two characters – 실장.

 

Prev / ToC / Next

Comments 20

  1. Thanks for the chapter, and congrats for reaching 100!

    Hmm… I wonder if it would be better or worse for Sunwoo to push Gunyoung and Chaeyoung together. On the one hand, it would be the perfect punishment. On the other hand, they might be able to get along very well, united in their hatred of him. But at least he could remove the traitor’s influence over the Neptune girls.

    1. Aye. The visions are very important, yea, but all they did was give him a map to follow. He still had to walk the path himself. Plus, it’s like he was given a map drawn by a toddler, so the slightest mistake would’ve cost him.

      And traitor always keeps me on the edge of my seat. He’s basically a villain who doesn’t know he’s a villain and yet still grows in strength and danger alongside the MC… Like those bombs from the FF series who keep growing bigger and more dangerous with every hit. Gotta take them out fast else they’ll blow your face off.

  2. Congrats on your 100th chapter! 🙂 thanks for all the hard work!

    While I’m happy about Sunwoo’s promotion, I’m likewise worried that he’ll be dependent on his deja vus before making his moves. Instead of becoming a person whose future greatness is supplemented and complemented well by a superpower, I wouldn’t want him to be indecisive or doubtful of his own moves because he hasn’t seen a peek of a probable result. I’m wondering if the author will tackle this kind of development wherein his conflict lies within himself and not because he has to always keep his guard up against the Traitor.

  3. Just because he will stab you on the back doesn’t mean he has otherwise base personality,
    Just because he will do anything to win doesn’t mean he can’t accept a loss,
    Just because he is a traitor doesn’t mean he can’t have class

  4. Congrats on 100 chapters!
    Thanks for the new chapter!
    It’s true he needs to refine his skills more for when his visions fail to appear.

  5. Could someone please explain what his gentle smile had split like a field experiencing a drought means? Did he stop smiling? Or was it an empty smile?

  6. Fun factor those who don’t know:

    Michel de Nostredame, usually Latinised as Nostradamus, was a French apothecary and reputed seer, who is best known for his book Les Propheties, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains allegedly predicting future events like our MC. BUT HE DRINK SOME SORT OF ELIXIR TO GET ON TRANCE. WHILE OUR MC CAN’T CONTROL IT ALL.

    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply (No Spoilers)