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    Dry Monsoon

    Chapter 7


    Chapter 7

    Translated by Translated by Raven
    Edited by


     

    Chapter 7

     

    “Yes, it is on my computer.”

     

    “Okay, please share it with me, I can use it in the forum.”

     

    “Sure, but the final drawing is with the senior Lim Soo-wan. The submitted drawing is the revised version and what I have is the original one I worked on.”

     

    CEO Shin gave a small clap as it was a good thing and placed his chin on top of his clasped hands.

     

    “Hmm… then I have to ask from Lim Soo-Wan as well. By the way, did anything happen in Germany?”

     

    SIN is an architectural firm that was started on the outskirts of Seoul. The company started with a simple villa design that was popular back in the 1990s. After that, it took over several projects to design residential and commercial complexes and townhouses to get to where it is today. The man sitting in front of me, Shin Ui-Joo, accomplished all these achievements with his own capability. He praised himself as the bible of a self-made man. 

     

    He is a cunning person who easily switched sides if it meant it could benefit him. Some gossiped saying that CEO Shin had got all these opportunities by being sly, but many do agree he received all of these with his own capability.

     

    He was a realist who wasn’t narrow-minded. I didn’t respect him because of that, but I regarded him as someone I could learn a lot from.

     

    I placed down the modelled house sample and pulled up a chair in front of CEO Shin and asked,

     

    “why? Sir, do you have anything to say to me?”

     

    “Huh? Of course not. I’m just asking if you had a good trip.”

     

    “Was sir always this kind?”

     

    He asked me, even though I was sure he knew everything. CEO Shin was the first to notice that Lim Soo-wan stole my blueprint, and he was the one who intervened. He already knew but still asked how the trip to Germany went, it meant that he had talked to Lim Soo-wan earlier.

     

    Unconsciously, I remembered meeting Kwon Lee-Hyun during the trip.

     

    CEO Shin was staring at me intently, he opened a drawer in the desk and took out a file.

     

    “I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Ji-Eun, how about moving on and changing jobs?”

     

    I blinked silently at the unexpected suggestion.

     

    “My junior, he’s far below the mark, but he’s someone who deserves to be recognized for his skills. He’s currently looking to hire someone. I was wondering if you could go there and work as a designer. We both know, we previously had some problems with your position, and there are many legal restrictions to register you as a designer. It’s not fair to you if I said hold on for a few more years in your assistant position.”

     

    I opened the file he held out. The first thing on the front page was the history of the junior that CEO Shin spoke of.

     

    “So you are advising me to resign from the company?”

     

    “No no, don’t I know Ji-Eun’s skills the best? I don’t want to let you go, but he said he wanted to hire you. You also can negotiate your salary. As you can see from his profile, he has a guaranteed future.”

     

    However, his words had a sense of doubt to them.

     

    He couldn’t fire Soo-Wan as he was his nephew, so he was coaxing me to leave the company on my own. Anyway, his proposal was attractive. I turned over the file, I saw his eyes twinkled and leaned over when he saw I was showing some interest in his proposal.

     

    “He is Joo Hae-in and he was a researcher at the MIT Institute of Architecture. He had worked under Richard Meier for 5 years. He is also a Harvard graduate and won the top prize at the Chicago Athenaeum. Also, he’s only 34 years old. Isn’t that just 5 years older than you? Why don’t you at least give it a try and meet him? He specifically chose you by himself.”

     

    I twisted my lips and bit them. No matter how good the offer is, I can’t get rid of the feeling of being thrown out. I thought the reason my handbag felt heavy these days was because of Kwon Lee-Hyun’s business card. It was getting tiring by this point.

     

    Even if it’s a little embarrassing, I’ll just bear it and step back, who knows what kind of a situation I will fall into if I don’t agree. Things are getting more and more difficult as the days go by, there were times I broke down at night when I was by myself.

     

    Picking up the business card, I said that I would think about it and left the office. I was standing in front of the water dispenser when Lim Soo-Wan came in with a burst of loud laughter. He came in with a group of people. When he saw me in the room, he looked at me coldly and went back to his seat.

     

    ‘You’re going to get rid of me before I beat you to it and do it myself, right?’ I thought to myself.

     

    I dipped a tea bag in my tumbler filled with hot water. The tea flowed out into the clear water like a foggy haze. I glanced down at the business card in my hand with a huge sigh.

     

    ***

     

    “The plan for the distribution of excess profits will be put on the agenda for the second quarter general meeting.”

     

    Lee-Hyun received more than a dozen calls during his meal, and now he was writing an email.

     

    The French restaurant was designed in white marble, gold, and black as its main colours. It was a popular restaurant in Dosan Boulevard for its unique atmosphere.

     

    He finished the email he was writing and put down his cellphone to look at the lady sitting opposite him.

     

    “Do you have to work like that while eating? You are the typical workaholic, really.”

     

    Soo-Yeon wiped her mouth with a napkin and raised her wine glass to her lips with a tired expression. She licked her lips and emptied the white wine, next she cut the steak and black truffle, and put it in her mouth. Lee-Hyun’s brows wrinkled seeing his younger sister shoving food into her mouth boorishly.

     

    “Don’t be rude. Besides, when has there been any affection between us?”

     

    “Brother, don’t be so mean. I’m just worried about your future as your baby sister. How long are you going to be swayed by Yoon Jae-sun? You’re not dating anyone? Have you ever thought about marriage? I heard you didn’t even go to the meeting mom set up for you.”

    (T/N: Yoon Jae-sun is the wife of Lee-Hyun’s late twin brother Hae-in)

     

    “It wasn’t just once or twice. There were six dates she set up last month alone. I’m not going to do polygamy. Your mom will give up.”

     

    “She’s right you know, that’s how marriage is. Dating is something you have to do as an adult. And Yoon Jae-sun, don’t think about how pitiful that crazy woman is, why are you so afraid?”

     

    “I’m afraid that woman will contact the press and tell everything and cause a huge drama.”

     

    Soo-Yeon laughed at what Lee-Hyun said and laid down her fork loudly. Lee-Hyun’s brow twitched at the sharp noise. Looking at the fork, then back at her, he put the food into his mouth in an elegant manner.

     

    “You know she is crazy right? She was just acting when she fainted a few days ago. She pretended to faint because she couldn’t believe that you went to Germany. And do you know what she told me as soon as she saw me? The baby and Hae-in will look alike because the baby is his. She laughed and said the baby would look like you as well. Wow, what a creep! She’s just sick in her head.”

     

    Lee-Hyun sipped some water instead of wine.

     

    Whenever he went out with Soo-Yeon, he couldn’t win against her stubbornness. After Hae-in passed away, Soo-Yeon also had a hard time. However, she was tough, and soon quickly recovered and filled in Hae-in’s place by inheriting the Seoryang Foundation and Capital.

     

    Kwon Lee-Hyun, her second older brother, was the only one who acted foolishly and immature like a baby.

     

    “Next time, let’s go to a hotel. It’s noisy here.”

     

    “Are you crazy? Why would I go to a hotel with my brother? If you really want to do so, find a girl and go with her.”

     

    Lee-Hyun glared at her and frowned at the staff constantly rushing in and out of their private dining room to serve them. The room was surrounded by black tinted glass and the inside could not be seen from the outside thanks to the glass that blocked the view, but it was the opposite from the inside. Soo-Yeon complained about how the dessert hadn’t been served yet, so he called the manager over to ask them to speed up the serving.

     

    Lee-Hyun asked for coffee for dessert and returned the main cause that hadn’t even been half-finished. Angry at her brother’s cold attitude, Soo-Yeon exclaimed loudly, saying she would find a lover as soon as possible and abandon Lee-Hyun.

     

    He snorted and looked around the noisy restaurant, taking a sip of the hot coffee served.

     

    Four women sitting at a table of six by the window caught his eye. Among them, he saw Lee Ji-Eun, who was with a tilted wine glass in hand, she was with three other women who seemed to be her friends. He noticed two bottles of wine had already been emptied on their table, and the smile on her face didn’t seem to disappear.

     

    Seeing his brother staring at something intently, Soo-Yeon followed his gaze. 

     

    “Who’s that? Someone you know?”

     

    He looked away and checked the time and was about to get up. Soo-Yeon, who had just cut a mille-feuille with chocolate cream in half, shouted.

     

    “Oh come on! Let’s just eat a little more!”

     

    “Hurry up. It’s your fault to invite someone busy to have a meal with you.”

     

    “What? Who doesn’t know that you work overtime just because you have nothing else to do? I know you work because you can’t sleep. Take a break will you, let’s eat a little more. Do you want your little sister to be really mad?”

     

    She stomped her feet as if she was angry, and began to slowly savour the dessert. Lee-Hyun sat back down again. In the meantime, she would raise her eyes several times to glare at Lee-Hyun, pointing at his cell phone with her fork and shaking her head. She was telling him to focus on the moment. Lee-Hyun covered his face with his hand.

     

    “Mmm, this is delicious.”

     

    She wiped off the cream on the plate and put down her fork. She saw Lee-Hyun staring at her annoyingly. Soo-Yeon pouted her lips and stood up.

     

    “Okay, let’s go. Come on! Someone like you is not my big brother.”

     

    “Watch your mouth.”

     

    “Yes, Mr Kwon Lee-Hyun.”

     

    When the manager opened the door to the private dining room, the outside noise swirled to a firm silence. Lee-Hyun’s attendants were waiting outside the room like shadows followed the two people who came out. Lee-Hyun stared at Ji-Eun sitting by the window, as he was handed the mobile phone from Secretary Kim.

     

    He saw Ji-Eun who was tilting the wine glass, seemed to have noticed their steps and turned her head. He was seeing her after ten days and her face was red from drunkenness, and her lips had become a little darker than before. He stared at her lips and raised his gaze to meet her eyes. As expected, she couldn’t hide her surprised expression. Why did he feel strangely pleasant for some reason?

     

    Lee-Hyun left the restaurant with a light smirk.

     

    Soo-Yeon returned to her professional mood and shook hands with the chef who had seen her off. Lee-Hyun called his attendants and helped Soo-Yeon into the car, while the manager was smiling and asked them to come back again. Soo-Yeon expected Lee-Hyun would drive her back, she lowered the car window with a pitiful expression.

     

    “You are going to the company to work at this hour? You promised you would give me a ride?”

     

    “Next time for sure.”

     

    He raised his head with an emotionless expression, the car window slowly closed, and Soo-Yeon’s voice disappeared into the car. Lee-Hyun glanced at his secretary who pulled out his car. He went back inside the restaurant. All the customers were gawking at him silently. He had an aura that always stood out alone amongst everyone else. Without care, Lee-Hyun strode towards Ji-Eun, who had just put a piece of salmon carpaccio in her mouth.

     

    She watched him approach with her eyes wide. Her unpredictable aura of not avoiding eye contact reminded him of someone.

     

    “It’s been a while, Ms Lee Ji-Eun.”

     

    Ji-Eun closed her eyes with a frustrated expression.

     

    His sister and Ji-Eun were the only women in this world who gave him that look. Lee-Hyun grasped Ji-Eun’s shoulder, as if to show the people in the room, and leaned down towards her right ear.

     

    She was surprised, but she didn’t say anything.

     

    “Did your father call you?”

     

    He felt her breathing quicken for a moment. She had a fruity scent to her, a ripe peach flavour. He lowered his voice even more with a pleasant expression.

     

    “Next Saturday, 5 o’clock. Let’s have dinner together.”

     

    She pretended not to know him until the end. With a light smile, he gave a nod to her friends and strode out of the restaurant with his signature smirk and got into his car.


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