Chapter 31: There’s Always a Twist (1)
Kim Hyunjo grabbed my shoulder just before I entered the office.
“For a new recruit, who hasn’t been working for more than a month, to enter the CEO’s office multiple times, you’re going to be successful in the future.”
When I simply smiled, Kim Hyunjo’s voice became low, almost to a whisper.
“From what I know, the CEO, Sung Dowon, the director, management team 2 leader and team 3 leader… Younghoon hyung are inside. If there are any problems inside, just ask Younghoon hyung.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
I had a few meetings with the management team 3 leader in the past so I knew him a bit.
He was a refreshing and funny person.
“Then I’ll be going now.”
I left Kim Hyunjo and Sung Dowon’s manager behind me and entered the office.
Like he told me, there were 5 people holding a discussion in the office. CEO Baek Hansung was sitting in the top seat, while Sung Dowon and the bearded management team 2 leader were sitting on the left sofa, and the director and management team 3 leader were on the right.
Because they had been able to overcome this crisis well, everyone was happy, except for the team 2 leader. He looked at me with unpleasant eyes.
Just what was wrong with him? I had never seen him before so why did he hate me so much?
“Oh my, if it isn’t our team 3’s Lucky Charm, come here and sit.”
Team 3 leader said jokingly as he tapped the seat next to him. I greeted everyone and went towards him. When I comfortably sat down and looked up, I saw Sung Dowon directly in front of me, smiling softly.
Wait. This layout seemed somewhat familiar.
I recalled why in a few seconds.
Last time I came here, I was too busy and the haziness in the office I remembered was too severe to make out… but now that I was sitting directly in front of Sung Dowon, I figured it out.
This was the office I was in the first time I experienced the faulty future.
“Your name is Jung Sunwoo, right?”
CEO Baek Hansung asked me abruptly.
“That is correct.”
“Did you hear the results of the photo?”
“Yes. I heard from Team Leader Park.”
“I heard our employees call you team 3’s Lucky Charm. I guess we could call you W&U’s Lucky Charm from now on.”
CEO Baek Hansung, who had been complimenting me, suddenly asked me another question.
“Do you have a car?”
“Pardon? No, I don’t have one yet.”
“You plan to get one though?”
Of course, I planned on buying one. I simply didn’t have the money.
“Then pick one out. The company will pay for it.”
“… Excuse me?”
Give what to me?
I looked at him thinking I misheard him, but the director added in while laughing.
“Why are you hesitating? You have to quickly accept when he offers you these things.”
“Ah, thank you.”
I was thankful, no, it was so abrupt that I became tongue-tied.
“But what are you going to do if he picks out a something like a Rolls Royce? Kids are scary these days.”
“Then I’ll have to give him mine and walk.”
Light laughter sounded out at his joke.
Holding onto the photo with Sung Dowon and the married woman, CEO Baek Hansung quietly said.
“What’s more important than the fact this photo is fabricated, is that Pure Star really did have a hand in this. It’s a relief we knew ahead. How shitty would we feel if we later found out that we had fallen for their tricks?”
As expected, it was Pure Star Entertainment.
So that was why he offered me a car… No. Let’s think about that seriously when I have more time.
Then what would happen to Pure Star now?
Taking photos without permission, fabrication and threats would be enough to file a lawsuit. Recalling what Director Park said in the future, it didn’t seem as though Pure Star Entertainment had continued to be victorious.
“Then Pure Star Entertainment…”
“Sung Dowon and I are going to meet their CEO tonight. That’s a problem we’ll deal with.”
I was curious what kind of conversation they would have.
It didn’t seem like they would simply talk to each other.
“Anyways, that’s my present. Dowon said he also has something to say.”
CEO Baek Hansung fell back and this time Sung Dowon turned his torso towards me. He slightly bowed his head in greeting before looking directly at my eyes and saying.
“You are Sunwoo, correct? I am really grateful about today’s incident. You are my benefactor.”
“Pfft, that’s too much…”
The team 2 leader grumbled, but Sung Dowon firmly shook his head.
“He is my benefactor. If it wasn’t for Mr. Sunwoo, I would have fallen for their trap and my acting career might have been over. So that’s why…”
The moment I heard these words I had continuously thought about to the point of memorizing them.
The faulty future had become my present.
“I would like Sunwoo to be my manager.”
Just when I was making my way through a torrent of complicated emotions.
The team 3 leader clicked his tongue and said.
“If it was anyone else, I would have said something about them taking away our good recruit, but I can’t resist our top star.”
“Sorry, team leader.”
“Oh well… Nothing I can do.”
The team 3 leader placed his hand on my shoulder.
“What do you think? Do you want to work with Dowon?”
“Ha, how frustrating. Do you really need to ask him?”
The team 2 leader cut in with a snort.
“Honestly, can we even compare Neptune and Sung Dowon? Even Jang Seomoon was able to become Dowon’s manager by overcoming multiple candidates. He’s offering someone, who hasn’t even worked for a month, a position like that. Who would be crazy enough to refuse?”
“Why do you have to say it like that? No one knows what will happen in the future. Who knows whether Neptune will suddenly increase in popularity next year? Neptune’s on a roll.”
I knew something for certain.
Even though they were both team leaders, they didn’t have a good relationship with each other.
Although they hadn’t started thrusting their fingers at each other, the situation was growing more heated. But there was no mediator. CEO Baek Hansung and the director, they were elegantly drinking their coffee as if this was usual.
“We need to wait and see to know if they’re on a roll or not.”
The team 2 leader added flames to the fire by mumbling those words. This time, even I felt angry.
“Huh, what kind of dogshit manner is this? Why are you pouring cold water on someone else?”
“Who’s the one with dogshit manners? The guy next to you poured cold water on our Chaeyoung’s next project. Chaeyoung is a sensitive girl, but after meeting him, she became even more emotional.”
Son Chaeyoung’s name was mentioned out of the blue.
I was wondering why this team 2 leader I had never seen hated me, and now I knew.
“We’re lucky things went well this time, but I have never seen anyone, who is as meddlesome as him, not mess up. It’s already uneasy leaving him next to Dowon… I’m only letting it pass because we need to find a new manager once Jang Seomoon leaves anyways, and since Dowon likes him.”
“Wow, this is why your nickname is Mother-in-law.”
I flinched while listening to their conversation.
It seemed that Jang Seomoon was Sung dowon’s manager, who was outside. If they said they were going to push him out and place me in his position, didn’t that mean they were going to fire him? Because of this incident?
To be honest, I thought that this was more of Sung Dowon’s fault than the manager’s… Since it was Sung Dowon who lied and left the manager behind. But the one who was blamed and chased out was the manager.
Of course, I knew that the relationship between a manager and a celebrity wasn’t as close and familial like in the dramas. Since they were in a relationship tied by business.
I was well aware that there were many cases where a celebrity would abuse their manager and that the opposite was true as well. I knew that, in the worst cases, they would even end up going to court.
Though I was well aware of it… This situation felt a little bitter to me.
Since I felt that I could one day end up like Jang Seomoon.
“That’s enough. Let’s hear what the person in question has to say. He’s unable to speak because you two team leaders are bickering.”
The CEO calmed the situation.
The office quickly became silent. However, I wasn’t able to speak easily. If I accepted, that meant I would be Sung Dowon’s only manager, and if that was the case, it would be impossible to be the manager of both Sung Dowon and Neptune.
I turned my head to tell the team 3 leader about my worries, but just then, as if he had read my mind, he said.
“Why? Is it because of Neptune?”
“Yes. It is an important time for them… Would it be possible to be assigned to both Neptune and Sung Dowon?”
The team 3 leader showed a complicated expression as he scratched his neck.
“It’s good that you have a sense of responsibility, but that’s a bit difficult. Dowon has a lot of overseas schedules. He goes to China as if he’s going to lunch and we are planning on going to Hollywood next year. Since he’ll be new there, you’ll have to be next to him on set. You won’t be able to manage Neptune’s schedule with all that.”
“Maybe if you had the experience of a chief, but you’re currently still learning. This isn’t good for you nor is it good for Neptune and Sung Dowon.”
The team 2 leader suddenly cut into our conversation.
“Neptune has another new recruit anyways. You can come after letting him take over. I heard that you wanted to be assigned to an actor. Dowon is the top within our company. You can’t even tell when you’ve hit jackpot…”
If I looked at it rationally, the team 2 leader’s words were right.
This wasn’t a choice I needed to think about.
A top actor who possessed outstanding acting skills and box office performance. Being assigned to an actor like Sung Dowon was something I anticipated and wished for the most when entering W&U. And I had already decided that if I was to change the present, I would choose the better future.
Neptune was a group who had potential but was only starting to get traction now.
Sung Dowon was someone who was considered top in the nation and was preparing to go overseas.
If I asked 10 people, 9 would instantly choose Sung Dowon. And the remaining one would be called crazy.
Excluding the things that were preventing me from making a decision… When I thought about the connections and experience I would gain overseas, especially in Hollywood, the moment I accepted his offer and how beneficial it would be to my future. This wasn’t a decision worth troubling over.
But… why wasn’t I able reply right away?
It felt as if something was clinging to my ankle.
The director laughed as if this was amusing.
“I never knew you would have so much trouble deciding between Dowon and Neptune. It seemed you’ve gotten quite close to Neptune in such a short time. Should we give you more time to think about it?”
“Ha, I’m at a loss for words.”
The team 2 leader hit the table and said.
“What more do you need to think about? No, we won’t force anyone who doesn’t want to. Do you know how many people would quit their jobs to be Dowon’s manager? There’s no need for more time, decide here.”
The faces of Neptune, especially Lee Songha who had only today told me her true thoughts, passed by in front of Sung Dowon’s face which was looking at me.
Then that moment.
The world flipped over, and the scene in front of me changed.
“Well… It’s like that.”
Director Park clicked her tongue and said.
“Though the relationship between Sung Dowon and Pure Star was originally bad since they both had dirt on each other, they shouldn’t have crossed a certain line… But once Pure Star’s tricks came to light, they had passed a point of no return. That slowly started to worsen until it eventually exploded.”
What did Director Park say just now?
Sung Dowon and Pure Star passed a point of no return? It eventually exploded?
I tried to concentrate harder than ever to decipher Director Park’s words, but then she dropped a bomb.
“Sung Dowon and Pure Star started to expose each other and had press conferences which eventually led to both a criminal and civil suit in court.”
“They exposed each other?”
“Pure Star did a lot of dirty things, but it turned out, they were both peas in a pod.”
Oh my god.