Life, Once Again!

Chapter 831. Sequence 10

Chapter 831. Sequence 10

How strange, Gaeul looked at the two men. For them to be friends who have known each other for years, there was too much distance between the two of them. From their words, they were close friends like no other, yet from the way they treated each other, they looked like they had met in a class reunion for the first time in twenty years. That is, the kind where they laugh with each other using their vague memories, ask about recent matters, and shake hands with each other. Her suspicion turned into conviction after they started conversing without looking at each other after having a drink. When one side talked, the other would respond and pretend to listen to the whole thing. The conversation was smooth, but there was no affection in their words. They looked as though they were reciting for an oral exam.

“Did you two fight?”

It was time for her to butt in. Heck, even talking to a wall might sound more affectionate than this.

“What are you talking about? As you see, we’re so close.”

Maru raised his soju glass. Giwoo also toasted him, saying that Maru was his best friend. Was this a battle of pride between two men? Or did these two have a reason to sit down smiling in this frosty atmosphere?

“Am I an idiot? Kang Giwoo, why did you call us if it’s going to be like this? Han Maru, what’s up with you? Tell me the reason, and don’t make me uncomfortable. I would have stood up if the stew here was bad, but I’ve been holding back since it is good, you know? But I can’t hold back anymore. If you two had a fight, you two will resolve things here, and if it’s not like that, let’s get up since we don’t have a reason to see each other.”

One was her boyfriend, and the other was a colleague she was working with for a drama. Both of them were important to her, so she could not accept that there was a mental war between these two. The two men, who had been pretending to be oblivious, only then looked at each other and spoke,

“Kang Giwoo. Shall we go get some air?”

“Alright. Also, Gaeul. I’m sure you’re misunderstanding something as this is how we usually are.”

The two men left with their arms around each other’s shoulders.

“That’s how you usually are?”

Did they take her for a fool? Gaeul poured some soju into the glass and emptied it into her mouth. If the two of them circled around each other in a lukewarm manner when they returned, she was planning on leaving. The men could settle the rest for all she could care. From the attitude the two were showing, they clearly seemed to have gotten into a fight. If there was something bad between the two of them to the point that they didn’t even look at each other, there was no need for them to drink together in the first place.

“They’re all adults. How childish.”

She only hoped that their battle of pride would end quickly. Of course, by reconciling, that is.

* * *

“Lord chaebol, this is a drink of the ordinary folk. Would you like to try?”

“There’s no distinction between chaebols and whatnot. I like that one too.”

“Really? I thought you didn’t drink stuff like this.”

Giwoo received the Pocari Sweat that Maru handed him. He had not expected Gaeul to react like that. She actually didn’t hold back and brought the topic up when that would inevitably make the situation go awry. Although he had known that she never held her words back from what he saw during the shoot, he didn’t know that she was like this. The rumor that she went against Lee Miyoon sounded more credible now. Thinking about how she glared back at that old fox was actually quite interesting.

“Seems like something good’s happening, smiling like that.”

“Something good huh, there has been.”

“Like what?”

“Like how the drama’s doing well? I saw that you were on Doctors. You were really good at acting.”

Though, his appearance was pitifully small, at around a minute for the entirety of the first two episodes. Giwoo sipped some of his drink and looked at Maru’s eyes. Since this guy had a smart brain, he should have realized that Giwoo was being sarcastic. It would be great if he responded. He wished for Maru to become angry, but on the other hand, he wished for him to not fall to a cheap provocation like this one. After all, ‘Han Maru’ couldn’t be such an easy guy.

“Not as much as you, though. I’ve seen all the episodes of Doctor’s Office. Honestly speaking, it was more interesting than Doctors. From how the viewing rate is better, I’m sure the viewers are thinking the same.”

“I’m sure there will be good reactions from Doctors soon. It’s good after all.”

“I sure hope so. It may be a minor role, but I still did participate in it. How’s the atmosphere on your side?”

“It’s the same as everywhere else really. We would meet up in the morning all fired up but become zombies by midnight. It’s a lot better when Gaeul is around. I mean, she’s a cheerful girl.”

“You’re right. Though, sometimes it’s a problem because she’s too cheerful.”

Maru put down his plastic bottle. A couple that entered the convenience store gave them puzzled looks. Giwoo lowered his head. He did not want to be disturbed when the conversation was just about to become fun. The man from the couple took the woman inside when she was staring at the two.

“Popular actors must have it hard. You can’t walk around in parks, can you.”

“That’s not entirely true. People don’t recognize me if I dress up a little. People don’t really care about what’s going on around them. Before, there was a time I was concerned about how they would all recognize me, but now, I know that walking around the neighborhood is just fine.”

He said the truth because he felt like Maru wouldn’t even snort even if he boasted. Whether it was before or now, he could not see any greed in Han Maru. The first thing he learned from his grandfather was to read the greed on people’s faces, but this guy didn’t have any of that. It wasn’t that he had no material desires and nor was he completely disinterested in financial success or fame, but for some reason, he wasn’t obsessed with such things. That didn’t mean that he was a complete ascetic either. Giwoo rolled his eyes in an attempt to read Maru’s nature.

“The night air sure is good, isn’t it?” Maru suddenly said.

What was he on about now? He was completely unpredictable, so Giwoo couldn’t guess what words he would say next. He definitely wasn’t the type to say that just because the weather was good.

“Why are you staring at me like that? You’re putting pressure on me.”

“Because I have nothing to ask. Oh yeah, what do we tell Gaeul? It’s not like we fought.”

“You and I have never fought each other and probably never will. We’re strictly in a business relationship after all. You don’t fight your business partner, you get along with them.”


“What’s wrong with it? I mean, we aren’t exactly close enough to be classified as friends. But putting it as enemies is somewhat wrong too. We have to see each other’s faces, but there’s no reason to get close, and nor do we want to make enemies of each other. What’s left then is a business relationship where we mutually benefit from each other.”

Look at this guy. Giwoo clenched his teeth, and he could feel an aching pain from his molars. Who was he to define their relationship just like that? A slave could not define his relationship with his master. If Giwoo said that they were friends, they were friends, and if he said that they weren’t, then they weren’t. Maru had no right to decide that. Above all, he had been acting like this guy’s friend the whole time, but he was the one to have denied it first. His lips started becoming twisted.

“How strange. I thought of you as a friend, Maru.”

“That really is strange. Was there ever an opportunity for us to become friends? Of course, I guess I can be a friend of yours from your perspective. A friend that you work out with at the gym, a friend you talk to from time to time, a friend who knows a secret that you don’t want to be exposed. The thing is, though, I have strict standards for picking friends. Giwoo, you get an above passing score for everything else but just one thing disqualifies you.”

Giwoo wanted to grab this guy’s head and chuck it in the recycling bin for speaking whatever he wished to. He couldn’t even hear whatever he said after ‘strict standards.’ If there was a competition that scored participants based on how to piss people off, Han Maru would be the gold medalist. He didn’t know about anything else, but Maru was definitely incredibly good at being cocky without knowing his place.

“You went a little too far.”

“Sorry about that. I’m not exactly well-educated. I don’t know if you know this; I graduated from an engineering high school because I don’t have the smarts. I didn’t go to college either. I did pick my words carefully, but it must have sounded awry to the young master of a chaebol family.”

“I think you should stop talking about that chaebol thing. I’m not someone who judges people because of that.”

“Giwoo, are you getting angry? It was just a joke. You’re not the type to get angry from just this. I’m about to feel disappointed.”

Fuming anger started climbing up his spine. Giwoo emptied the Pocari Sweat in one go. He didn’t like that Maru talked back to him all the time and didn’t like how he was being sarcastic, but above all, his very attitude that looked as though he read his mind was disgusting. The provocation he made before came back right at him. He would be making a fool of himself if he snapped out, yet if he laughed, he would lose. He gritted his teeth.

“I am a gold medalist material, aren’t I?”

Just as he was wondering how to deal with this guy, those words entered his ears. He let go of the plastic bottle he was holding. The plastic bottle fell on the floor and spilled its contents.

“Why did you suddenly throw that away? You didn’t even finish it. What a waste.”

“Gold medalist? What do you mean by that all of a sudden?”

He suddenly panicked as though his secret was exposed. Maru mentioned the word gold medalist without context as though he had been looking into his mind.

“It suddenly occurred to me. Maybe it’s because I watched the Olympics last night. Anyway, what made you so surprised?”

“It was quite curious when you said gold medalist so suddenly.”

“I can be quite random at times. But were you the type to be shocked when you become curious? Giwoo, you had a cute side to you, huh?”

“Shocked? Who? I wish you could watch your words a little more too. So that the listener doesn’t suddenly get taken aback.”

“I might be random at times, but I do think about what I say. Oh, what field do you think I would be a gold medalist in? I think you’ll know quite well.”

It was those eyes. The eyes that looked like the pale moon looking over the entire world in the pitch-black night. They were the eyes of his grandfather that saw through everything he could think of. Giwoo could feel the back of his neck stiffen up. His fighting spirit and determination to grind that guy’s face into pieces snapped apart, and an acquired submissive nature that told him to lay low started consuming him. It was a teeth-clattering sense of humiliation, but he couldn’t budge his lips. Giwoo pinched the inside of his thighs strongly. A pain strong enough for him to scream woke his mind up from a state that was no different from a trained dog.

“Something like a discussion tournament, right?”

He barely spoke. A sense of unease that he may never be able to go against Han Maru if he dodged the topic now, pervaded him. Maru smiled and nodded.

“Kang Giwoo, let’s get along in the future. You have a lot of things. Think of it as charity towards someone who lacks something and look after me, will you? We can’t be friends, but we can be good business partners, right?”

Maru stood up first and added that he would explain things to Gaeul. Giwoo picked up the plastic bottle from the table and threw it on the ground before stomping on it.

“Son of a bitch.”

Why was it that he became a frog in front of a snake when he looked at his eyes at the most decisive moment? He could feel insults rising inside him. He once again confirmed that he couldn’t breathe the same air as him. He no longer had any thoughts of hiring some people who would do anything for money to deal with him. That wasn’t enough to heal his wounded pride. He had to utterly annihilate the guy socially. He felt like he would only be relieved after seeing him become the modern version of a slave and crawl on the ground. He felt like he would no longer have nightmares only after hearing the words ‘please spare me’ from his mouth at least once.

“Fine, you don’t have anything to lose, huh.”

Giwoo uttered a short breath and calmed his expression. If that was what made him so confident, he could just give something to him. It would be quite a spectacle to see him once he pushes him off the cliff after giving him the things that would pain him if he lost them.

“Looks like I must give some things to that poor guy for charity.”

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