Chapter 103: Important Between Manager and Celebrity, Compatibility (1)
TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir
When were they there? Did they hear everything?
My brain churned in thought for a few seconds, recalling whether I misspoke or not and how I currently looked in their eyes.
Of course, they probably saw this as a mess.
Still, it was fortunate. Because I was recording the conversation, I didn’t think I made any mistake and the one grabbing the collar was the traitor, not me.
There shouldn’t anything bad for me.
It seemed the traitor also finished comprehending the situation at the same time as he quickly let go of my collar. Then he mumbled, “Fuck,” in a quiet voice. Seeing his face clearly showing he was screwed, my heart, which shook as though it was hit by a storm, calmed.
“So, to straighten the situation… God damn it, it can’t be straightened.”
After sitting me down next to the traitor, the team 3 leader rubbed his dry face.
“I experienced all sorts of things during my time in this industry, but it’s my first time experiencing such a ridiculous situation. So while thinking something completely different inwardly, this whole time, the both of you worked and talked… Can we work with kids these days when they’re so scary? Hey, look at him, huh? Look at how out of it he is.”
He gestured with his chin. Since Team Leader Park had excused herself already, only Kim Hyunjo was sitting next to him. For a while now, Kim Hyunjo had an expression that read, ‘What did I just see? Is this real?’ as he stared at us.
The team 3 leader looked at the traitor and asked,
“So, for the past six months, you intentionally and completely deceived us, right? The words you told me previously were all lies?”
Hoping to recuperate the situation, the traitor licked his lips and replied,
“I didn’t deceive you, I only tried my best to do well socially…”
“I already heard everything so stop. You’re sending shivers down my spine.”
The team 3 leader cut the traitor off. I didn’t notice before because he was pretending to laugh, but his eyes were chilly. Because he was always a cheerful person, I thought of him as a comfortable next-door hyung than my company superior. However, the mood right now wasn’t comfortable in the slightest.
This time, the team 3 leader looked in my direction.
“And you. You were observing him by yourself all this time?”
“That is… I couldn’t recklessly tell you because I wasn’t 100% certain.”
“Hey, you said you heard it from Simon Lee? Then you should have told us then!”
“Ah, that was a lie.”
The traitor turned his gaze towards me.
The team 3 leader and even Kim Hyunjo, who was out of it, looked at me with dumbfounded expressions. I glanced at the traitor, who was glaring at me, before saying,
“I only baited him just in case. He’s the one who took the bait.”
“You, fucking bastard-!”
The traitor, who shouted with bulging veins, faltered. His eyes were red with rage, yet it seemed he was still aware of the team 3 leader and Kim Hyunjo as he suppressed his rage. If the two weren’t here, a chair might actually be thrown this time.
The team 3 leader broke the bloody mood.
“This won’t work. Sunwoo, you go out for now. No, you can take the rest of the day off.”
“How can we talk with the two of you together? I’ll contact you later so just go home and cool your head. During that time, we’ll straighten this guy out, starting with what kind of deal he made with Simon Lee.”
The team 3 leader waved his hand, telling me to go out. Kim Hyunjo also nodded his head.
I glanced at the traitor, and it seemed he decided there was no point in keeping up his façade any longer as his face was surging with irritation. The way he was staring at me was filled with murderous intent.
Not that I cared, I calmly stood up and left.
While I didn’t know what they would talk about, one thing was certain. The next time I came to work, the traitor’s spot would be empty. I would no longer have to see his face in the company.
The morning of the next day.
While spending a non-break-like break, the call I had been waiting for finally arrived.
-It ended with his resignation. You will no longer have to see that bastard.
Kim Hyunjo’s voice rang out from the other side of the phone.
So he was fired. It was expected. Well, it was as expected as a happy ending in a fairy tale since the team 3 leader and Kim Hyunjo couldn’t let a person who threatened a songwriter keep working in the company.
“Chief, what about the thing with Simon Lee?”
-Damned bastard, he kept his mouth shut until the very end. Younghoon hyung personally went out last night to meet with Simon Lee, but it was the same there. I don’t know what kind of dirt Gunyoung has on him, but he was adamant that there was no deal between them.”
He sounded depressed. It was to the point where I could tell just how dispirited he was by his voice.
Well, he was the one most shocked about this incident. He had taken his junior around and trained him, a kind junior who he trusted to boot, yet that junior utterly backstabbed him. It would be fortunate if he wasn’t doubting life.
-Did that guy call you?
“I waited, thinking he’d call me, but he’s quiet.”
Seeing his murderous gaze, it wouldn’t be shocking if he came looking for me with a knife, let alone calling me. That was why I prepared a sturdy baseball bat, though I hoped I wouldn’t have to use it.
I looked at the clock, which was indicating it was just past 9, as I asked,
“When should I start work again? The girls have a schedule early this morning.”
-I’m taking care of that so don’t worry. I have to talk to the girls about Gunyoung anyways, though I don’t know if they’ll believe it when I, who personally saw it, am still dumbfounded.
The girls would cause a commotion once they heard.
I imagined the scene while clicking my tongue when Kim Hyunjo continued.
-I heard you’re meeting Im Joowon with Team 2. The team 2 leader was itching to get at you, but use this opportunity and help him properly to get him to owe you a favor. You can come to work starting tomorrow.
After hanging up, I got up from my bed.
There was a ton of time before my dinner with Im Joowon. Basically, I had leisure time. How could I spend this precious time, which I didn’t know when I would have again, stuck in my apartment? Since I got great news that the traitor was fired, I should celebrate by watching a movie.
When I opened the movie theater app, it was filled with newly released movies. If I skipped lunch and moved quickly, I should be able to watch three movies.
While thinking about which movies I should watch, I became happier.
Then, an hour later, I was driving my minivan. Not to the theater, but to Paju, Gyeonggi-do.
With a troublesome fellow in the passenger seat.
“Hey, society really is scary. For Jung Sunwoo to get beat up.”
The most decent person among the troublesome friends I had known since high school, Kim Taewoong said while examining my face. When I lightly rubbed my lips, the slightly torn part still stung.
“Who got beat up? We hit each other.”
“Your expression is scary right now. Did you sue him?”
“I got a medical certificate. I guess this is considered an injury as they told me it would take two weeks to heal completely.”
“Really? Are you going to sue?”
“No, as a precaution in case that bastard sues me first.”
Taken aback, Kim Taewoong shook his head. Then he paused before asking,
“Wait, but why are you wearing sunglasses? Is your eye also-“
“No, if I don’t wear sunglasses, people recognize me.”
While no one came up to me asking for a picture and autograph since I wasn’t a celebrity, it concerned me enough with people murmuring at a distance. That was why it became a habit to wear sunglasses when I went out for personal reasons.
“Ah, right. You’re famous now. A famous person who appeared on the evening news.”
The gigantic guy clasped his hands together and blinked his eyes like a fangirl. Damn it, shivers went down my neck. After constantly chirping about how I was a famous person without caring if I cursed or not, he suddenly became quiet.
When I turned around, he was constantly glancing at me.
“Hey, you’re not overdoing it, right?”
“I’m not. I told you multiple times.”
Kim Taewoong scratched his head at my words.
“No, to be honest, I didn’t have much expectation when I called you, but I was taken aback when the guy, who’s too busy to meet, readily agreed and came out. You didn’t cancel an important meeting or something, right?”
“I canceled my movie tickets. Just know that I cried tears of blood.”
At my reply, Kim Taewoong exaggeratedly placed his hand over his mouth.
“Not something else, but you gave up movies to come here? The guy who cares more about movies than food? For me?”
“In your dreams. I came because it was your mother’s request.”
“How cold-hearted. Our love has cooled.”
“Stop speaking nonsense and tell me what’s going on in detail.”
Kim Taewoong, who had been chuckling and joking around, sighed before getting to the point.
“That is… My second aunt has an idiotic youngest daughter. She dreams of becoming a celebrity. My aunt gave up and is letting her do whatever she wants so that she’ll end up giving up, but she suddenly said she was going to sign with a company we’ve never heard of before. Because of that, my aunt clung to my mother, and my mother asked me, and I contacted you.”
Kim Taewoong said while reading my mood again.
“Just listen and check if that company is legit. Also, you’ve probably seen a lot of celebrities while working. She’s apparently filming an independent film right now so tell me if you think she won’t make it.”
“I got it so stop reading my mood, man. It’s gross.”
“It’s because I’m sorry, bastard. You probably receive a ton of requests like this.”
Requests. A few crossed my mind.
Like he said, after appearing on TV, I received a few calls. The content of the calls was similar. ‘My daughter, younger sibling, nephew, or whoever aspires to be a celebrity so can you meet him or her once because he or she is a good person.’
I heard there were a million celebrity-aspirants in the country, and my surroundings were overflowing with them.
After listening to what I said, Kim Taewoong blinked his eyes and asked,
“Hey, if you think someone’s okay, then does that person immediately become a celebrity?”
“How could it be so simple? The problem is how long the contract will be. Normally, there is a casting manager who specializes in finding rookies. The higher-ups discuss a ton when they bring over a few profiles.”
Even when recruiting so carefully, there were more cases where things ended in failure than success. It was the same even when they were promoted by a big company like W&U. The path to becoming a renown star from a nobody was as narrow as the eye of a needle.
While talking about various things, the road had become unpaved at some point.
We drove quite a bit down the unpaved road to find the independent film shooting site when we saw a group of people gathered in front of us. Two women and three men. A long-haired woman waved her hand when she saw us.
“Are they trying to hitchhike? In a place like this?”
“I don’t think they are greeting us.”
I stopped the van and lowered the window. Two women approached us with exhausted faces. I didn’t know from where they started walking, but their foreheads and necks were soaked with sweat despite it being a cool spring day.
“Excuse me. Is this a staff van? We are actors for the shoot this afternoon, but if you are, please give us a ride!”
Hearing they were actors, Kim Taewoong stretched his neck out. I also closely examined the faces of the people standing there in case I saw someone I knew. I had seen quite a few independent films when I had the time back in the day.
However, there were no faces I remembered.
“While we aren’t staff members, we are going to the film shoot. We’ll give you a ride.”
“Thank you! I thought my legs would break before I even got to act.”
The actors poured their thanks on me as they got in the van. Soon, I heard a grumbling voice from the back.
“Are they telling us to act or not? Why didn’t they come when they said they’d pick us up?”
“Maybe they went to pick up Lee Sunghyun again.”
“Is he the only actor? What are we? The background? Isn’t the director too mean?”
“What can he do even though he’s the director? If Lee Sunghyun leaves, saying he wants to go all in on a commercial film, he has to change the lead and re-shoot.”
I held the steering wheel, ready to drive again. However, for some reason, my gaze kept heading towards the rearview mirror. It wasn’t towards the pretty actresses, who were discussing the sorrows of being unknown, but to a man sitting at the very back even though I couldn’t see his face clearly because of his tangled hair.
Did I see him before?
The moment I thought this, my gaze met the man’s.
Then I recalled where I saw him.