Translated by Translated by Raven
Lee Hyun got off the 15th floor and opened the door to his room. Taking off his leather jacket and sweatshirt, he stood in front of the mirror and combed his hair back with his fingers letting out a frustrated sigh, his face was full of fatigue. He went straight to the bathroom and turned on the shower, letting the hot water pour over his head.
He stood under the shower for a long time, staring at the vapour stuck onto the glass wall with his dark, heavy eyes with an unreadable expression. The water ran down his toned muscles to the ground and straight into the drain. He slowly raised his head and let go of all the thoughts that filled his head.
After the shower, he came to the room and changed into a bathrobe. Then took out the vodka he had stored in the refrigerator and poured himself one. He leaned against the table and took a sip of ice-cold alcohol and called for secretary Kim, who was waiting outside the room.
“How did it go?” Lee Hyun asked.
“They said it was just dizziness. Both the madam**… oh, sorry I mean Yoon Jae-sun and her child have returned home safely.”
(T/N: Here 사모님 word was used for the word madam, which when translated refers to the wife. So instead of wife, I have used the word, madam. So basically here the secretary accidentally referred to Jae-sun Yoon as Lee-Hyun’s wife.)
He grabbed the leather jacket Lee Hyun had taken off and closed his eyes tightly. He bit his tongue blaming himself for the momentary slip of the tongue. As expected, Lee Hyun lowered his drink and turned towards secretary Kim and gave him a cold look.
“Will you stop calling her my wife? if anyone hears, they’ll misunderstand and think I’m married.”
His tone was unexpectedly plain. Secretary Kim, who was already nervous and dropped his head, lowered his head even more.
“It has become a habit, I’m sorry.”
“Until the divorce is finalised, be careful with your words, don’t screw it up.”
Lee Hyun put down his drink, took out a cigarette and went out to the balcony. He tilted his head slightly to light the cigarette, the quiet cityscape swayed in the smoke. Unlike in Korea, the fact that there were no high-rise buildings in a row was breathtaking.
He got a headache thinking about how he would be buried again in the forest of buildings in Seoul tomorrow, Secretary Kim came out to the balcony after tidying up the room.
“You need to rest sir now, you have to leave tomorrow morning, and today, you went all the way to Fussen.”
In his hand was a tray with a glass of vodka along with some pickles left by Lee Hyun. Before putting out the cigarette, Lee Hyun blew a long smoke and emptied the glass in one gulp. The bitter taste was removed with honey-pickled cherries. Secretary Kim took a step back and lowered his gaze.
Kwon Lee-Hyun was like a drowsy predator.
“Do you not know who that woman is?”
“You mean Ms Lee Ji-Eun?”
“Yes. She is the one Lee Jin-Tae, the president of Iris Cosmetics, had pushed me to meet. You didn’t know?”
Secretary Kim was surprised by what Lee Hyun said as he scrunched his eyebrows for a moment. Lee Hyun leaned against the railing while turning the empty wine glass.
“When I saw Ji-Eun at the venue, I thought she was stalking me… but she wasn’t.”
“What should we do…”
“Lee Ji-Eun isn’t even Lee Jin-Tae’s secretary as written in her profile. And she doesn’t appear to be a shy person… Rather, she is the type who can get easily annoyed by things and is very transparent.”
“If Ms Lee Ji-Eun is one of President Lee Jin-Tae’s people, I think we should be more careful about the request.” Said Secretary Kim.
“You think Yoon Jae-Sun will give up?”
“…I do not know.”
“I’m not going to give up. Jae-Sun is a smart woman, a woman who knows very well how to get me in trouble, also she knows how to take advantage of it. We are running out of time, we have to do everything we can.”
Secretary Kim was silent. The only time Kwon Lee-Hyun showed his emotions was when he was unhappy or when he insisted on making a decision. Moreover, whenever Yoon Jae-sun’s name came out of his mouth, there was always a small tension. That meant no matter how much you look at that sculptural face, not a hint of emotions would be detected.
Lee Hyun looked at Secretary Kim with a darkened expression and spoke quietly as if he was talking to himself.
“Kim Hee-Joo and Lee Jin-Tae have no children. Everyone knows that Kim Hee-Joo’s fourth husband is Lee Jin-tae… It seems that Chairman Kim’s health is not very good. The whole company is in chaos.”
Lee Hyun came out of the balcony while fixing his bathrobe. Secretary Kim, who followed him, locked the window and drew the curtains.
“If Lee Jin Tae calls again, make an appointment.”
“Okay then let’s call it a night.”
He looked around the room and went straight into the bedroom. As he walked he took off the bathrobe and dropped it to the floor, he swallowed a pill that was placed on the nightstand. He sat down on the bed and got his tablet. While he was reading through a couple of articles and reports from Korea, he fell asleep.
It had been only 10 minutes. Lee Hyun, who was exhausted had closed his eyes unknowingly and the tablet fell out of his hand to the floor.
After a while, Secretary Kim opened the door and came in, he placed the fallen tablet on the nightstand and laid him down on the bed. Lee-Hyun’s eyebrows twitched as he would wake up right away even though he was under the influence of medicine. Secretary Kim let out a deep sigh and left the room.
“The executive director is leaving at 8.20am in German time. Arrange the vehicle and attendants on time, also let the airport know and get their assistance.”
After ending the call, he turned off the lights in the presidential suite.
After counting the remaining pills, Secretary Kim entered his room. It has been 8 months since Lee-Hyun couldn’t fall asleep without sleeping pills.
After the death of his twin brother Kwon Hae-In, Lee-Hyun’s life turned upside down.
Kwon Hae-in graduated from the Department of Architecture at New York University, after that he received a doctorate in anthropology. Unlike Lee-Hyun, Hae-in is a man with no greed. Although they were born at the same time on the same day, the two were very different in temperament.
It was all because of Kwon Hae-in that Kwon Yi-Hyun came into SR industrial development, rather than the Seoryang group. Hae-in was assigned to the shared housing project built by SR. The project manager was Kwon Lee-Hyeon and Hae-in was an advisor.
Then one day, an unexpected strong earthquake struck Korea. Hae-in, who was at the construction site, was buried by the earthquake. The shock at that time was enough to shake the entire Seoryang group. Kwon Ho-Seop, who started to solidify Hae-in as the successor of SR industrial development, gave up eating and drinking at the death of his eldest son, and five field managers were reprimanded.
Lee-Hyun was at the construction site when the incident happened. He saw with his own eyes his twin brother completely getting buried by the unexpected earthquake. The field workers who were at the site had stopped him from jumping in like a madman. He had dug the ground with his bare hands, even in the aftermath when the aftershock continued.
After losing his twin brother, Lee-Hyun was like a person who lost his whole world, he was completely broken.
Out of nowhere, Yoon Jae-sun appeared after the funeral. She was the woman Hae-in loved, and she was carrying his child. Her appearance was a mess when she had opened the door to the secretary’s office, showing up unannounced to present her marriage certificate.
Kwon Lee-Hyun ignored her on purpose. Still, she grabbed onto Lee-Hyun, saying he had stopped her from attending the funeral even though he knew she was Kwon Hae-in’s wife. She was crying like a lunatic and fainted several times.
In Jae-Sun’s eyes, Lee-Hyun was a murderer. A devil who took her husband away from her.
After that incident, Seoryang hid the existence of Yoon Jae-sun. She was locked in a prison-like mansion and was monitored 24/7, but they provided everything she wanted. There was a condition, the deadline was until the child was born. The child would be a part of the Seoryang family, but not Yoon Jae-sun. With a certain amount of money in hand, she was told to start anew through a lawsuit for a marriage annulment.
That once crying woman changed her mind, like flipping the palm of your hand overnight.
Secretary Kim rubbed his tired eyes and took off his glasses. He may have to stay up all night to prepare for the departure. He who was lost in his memories of the past for a long time came to his senses and opened his laptop.
The plane smoothly glided down onto the runway and came to a halt letting out a huge screeching sound. Seoul seemed to be living in a different time than Germany. Maybe due to the fine dust or because of the incoming rain, the sky was looking gloomy. I dragged my suitcase and walked out.
Ten days have passed since the Red Dot Awards. I was so busy that I didn’t have the time to think about how I was doing or remember what was going on. My dad’s secretary was contacted a couple of times, but I ignored it.
But contrary to all my concerns, I returned to my usual routine. My best friend Kyung-Hwa was rambling out from the other end of the call.
“Does Chanel and Hermes even make sense? Isn’t my mother-in-law asking for too much? Why is she so arrogant about getting her son married? And why is she asking me for a luxury bag that I’ve never even received from my fiance in my life?”
Putting her phone between her ear and shoulder, Ji-Eun was listening to Kyung-Hwa’s weeping as she worked on modelling the landscape view of the art gallery to be built in Jangchung-dong.
(T/N: Jangchung-dong is a street name)
“Isn’t that how it is when you are getting married? There’s nothing you could do about it. She knows she won’t have another chance like this in her life, so maybe she’s trying to get her share. I heard Kong Yeon-Joo got her in-law’s a car.” I said.
“Hey! The price of the bag is the price of half of that car! Don’t you know the trend these days is to have a small wedding? My fiancée and I also had to pay the deposit for the lease! By the way, why are we preparing all the wedding gifts? We’re in a hurry to get married, but even if I do get paid better, do I have to decorate my in-laws’ home with gold while I can barely prepare my own household goods? Hah, I really hate getting married.”
“Everything will go smoothly. How about you just talk to her and explain to her that wedding costs are high and right now you can’t afford it?”
“She might ask me to take out a loan. She told me that one of her friend’s daughter-in-law got her a purse worth ten million wons and 200 grams of gold. Ugh, don’t even get me started. These days, before I even marry my fiancée, I’m on the verge of breaking up with him.”
“Well, think carefully. It’s your last decision before getting married. Oh, Kyung-Hwa, I have to talk to the CEO. Anyway, see you later. Relax, okay? Let’s have a chat later.” I said.
“Did you say Yoon-Joo is coming too? Then what are you going to wear? Ah, I know! Sorry I interrupted your work. Good luck!”
Even though I had said all of that, I didn’t know whether the two of them could live together. Kyung-Hwa was a teacher at an academy, and her fiancée was a salesperson at a pharmaceutical company. They were obviously a perfect match. But I never thought the love so passionate would sway because of marriage expenses.
Why on earth do people get married? Marriage is insane.
I shook my head and left the production room with my modelling work.
The place where I work, SIN is a small and medium-sized Architectural company with over 50 employees, but since this year, it has become prominent as the company took over Seoul Metropolitan Government’s public building projects. Because of that, the amount of work in the office had doubled, and most of the time the office was almost empty, as many employees were out on the field.
“Sir, did you call me?”
I knocked on the glass door with its blinds closed and after a few seconds, I walked inside. CEO Shin, who looked like he just popped out of a fashion magazine, waved his hand. Even at the age of 50, he was very stylish and looked younger than his age. He smiled brightly at me.
“Ms Lee Ji-eun, do you have the drawing of the villa of artist Kim Eung-soo?”
Read only at Travis Translations
Maybe this chapter is a bit boring but it explains the background of the story. I guarantee that it's going to be more and more interesting in the upcoming chapters. ❤️