Chapter 42: < Protect – Episode 41 – Lee Joong Hyun  >
People who knew Ahn Soo Ho had no choice but to like him. That was because everytime Ahn Soo Ho would do something, it would involve a lot of money. He was a one-man company. A good one that had so many sales that even global companies would show him their business cards.
The mercenary business and business consulting that revolved around Ahn Soo Ho, consisted of the best of the best, so he was worth a lot, and his results were always the best.
“Hire them! Then you’ll get it!”
In this world, signing a contract with Mr. Guardian was like getting another life.
“Welcome back, Director.”
“Long time no see, Ms. Oh.”
When Ahn Soo Ho arrived at Daesan Hotel in Seoul, he was welcomed by Oh Joo Kyung and the hotel employees.
“Oh, I’m tired today. I’ll hear the briefing tomorrow. Nothing’s urgent, right?”
“The vice-chairman would like to have dinner with you.”
“Postpone that for tomorrow morning.”
When he frowned out of fatigue, Oh Joo Kyung backed off.
“Oh yeah! If I get any calls from the tile-roofed house, ignore them.”
“The tile-roofed house? Are you talking about the Blue House?”
“Hm. Is it hard to ignore them?”
It might be possible for Ahn Soo Ho who had guts, but most average Korean people couldn’t turn down their own country’s president. Even if she was a great career woman, it was hard to refuse an invitation from someone with power.
“If you get a call, direct it to me.”
Oh Joo Kyung excused herself. When he came out of the hot shower, Logan and his entourage were already getting ready to drink. The mercenaries without missions often indulge themselves in pleasure by throwing crazy parties. If that didn’t satisfy them, they would take drugs or get drunk with alcohol. The truth was that mercenaries were criminals in training.
“Have a fun time.”
“Are you really going to go on sabbatical, Soo Ho?”
“Did you think I was kidding?”
Ahn Soo Ho joined them with a can of beer.
“Do you think anyone will leave you to rest?”
“If I’m not going to do it, I won’t, Logan.”
He only got involved with the South American issue because it would have been helpful for Daesan Group and his future business. If the White House asked the Blue House for a favor, they were in a position to accept it.
“We’ll take a break too.”
“You? How many days will that last? You’ll probably feel fidgety after only a week.”
“Give me a guide so I can go sightseeing. Who knows? Maybe we’ll settle down in South Korea.”
Ahn Soo Ho gave Logan his middle finger and stepped out onto the balcony. The late afternoon of Seoul looked no different from any busy city—”The States will get revenge.”—As soon as they saw the terrors of the kidnapping incident, the hearing would very likely rule it as a military retaliation. There was no way the quick-witted lobbyists would miss this opportunity. Wars were rich mines. Actually, even if it didn’t go that far, as long as the U.S. military had their guard up, it gave them flexibility with the national defense business including the introduction of new weapons and defense contracts.
That was one well-planned scenario. When one gains, another had to lose, and regardless of how developed a country was, it was normal for them to have a profit model that only benefits the minority. Why did the majority had to sacrifice for the minority? In order to know the answer, one had to know the principle of law. Judges, lawyers, and juries all said the same thing. The judicial system’s cruel duality meant that ignorant citizens wouldn’t be protected.
“Is it important?”
Oh Joo Kyung returned with a serious face.
“Lee Hyo Geun assaulted your mother and got arrested by the police.”
“Is she badly hurt?”
Ahn Soo Ho came to his senses.
“No. She just got slapped in the face. The guard got control of him right away.'”
He smiled bitterly. He could picture what happened in his head. The guards treated Lee Hyo Geun as someone on the blacklist, but Mrs. Park was probably too nice to dismiss him after all they had been through. The fisherman was probably mad that he let off a fish that was already caught, and she was probably insulted by the pity act put on by a middle-aged man whose true identity had been revealed.
“People make mistakes over and over again.”
It was difficult to restore a marriage that had already been ruined. Ahn Soo Ho got his men to bring Mrs. Park and Lee So Hye to Seoul. Their snack shop was immediately sold and So Hye had to transfer schools, but it didn’t matter since there were people who would take care of that. The next day, he had a late breakfast with Kim Dae Chan.
“Did you resolve the external case?”
“Are you curious?”
“Of course. But you’re not going to tell me.”
“There are times when you’re better off not knowing.”
“That makes me even more curious.”
Kim Dae Chan whined like a little kid and Ahn Soo Ho changed the subject.
“What made you decide to play a role in a national project led by the president?”
“As businessmen, what else can we do?”
“What about the national association?”
“The president isn’t dumb or loyal enough to stay in a sinking ship.”
“What’s his name again?”
“Lee Joong Hyun. I told you last time.”
He remembered and nodded his head.
The president of Korea, Lee Joong Hyun.
He turned fifty-seven years old this year, so he was the youngest president in history—Someone who rose from a humble family!—That phrase described him perfectly. But the—”Make Lee Joong Hyun into President”—project was a daring plan that was planned for a long time. The impressive characteristic of Korea National Association was that they were able to walk on a tightrope in the midst of the public’s anticipation and wariness toward politics. Politics was a skill.
“He sent someone to me.”
“I’ve heard. So are you going to meet him?”
“You can’t make the president into your foe if you want to run a business in this country, Soo Ho.”
“That only applies to people who go into debt for their business. That’s not me.”
“Are you going to pull out of the stock market?”
“So you’re really not doing it to make money.”
Kim Dae Chan mumbled in a dejected voice. If he had known about the money that was with Ahn Soo Ho in the past 2 weeks, his jaw would have dropped.
“What about the tax issue? If you bring in foreign currency, the National Tax Service won’t just idly watch.”
“Don’t worry. I have my ways.”
As Ahn Soo Ho worked in this field, he became close with bankers and smugglers who were very skilled in dodging the National Tax Service’s eyes. A big part of the communication network created by leading bankers was a black market for money laundering.
“I’m going to pay the taxes on the money I make through my company.”
Even if Hosoo Entertainment became successful in the overall in the Asian market, it didn’t compare to what Ahn Soo Ho made on his own. Money wasn’t a problem. After their breakfast, he went to the high school that Lee So Hye would enter tomorrow.
Was it possible to transfer from Jejudo to Seoul overnight? The answer was yes. Daesan Group’s influence made all of this possible. Some might criticize because of the special treatment, but in this world, it was all about the influence people made on other people.
The school was so good in every aspect that an exclamation came out of Lee So Hye’s mouth.
“Is it okay?”
“Yeah! I feel like my grades will go up!”
“Will you be able to make friends? Don’t become an outcast.”
“Come on! It’s the same everywhere you go.”
The bright girl flexed her biceps to show her confidence. He didn’t know where she got it from, but she was a strong girl. And she wasn’t the type to go around getting beat up either.
“She could be the one beating up others though…”
When he took a good look, he realized they were siblings after all. Lee So Hye, dragged Ahn Soo Ho to another Seoul adventure after she toured around her new school. She wanted to go to a lot of places, to eat a lot of food, and to see a lot of things as any girl would. This time, Ahn Soo Ho drove himself.
“Why do you ask? Ask her yourself.”
“I don’t know. I really hate your dad. I’m sorry, but if I see him, I’m going to beat him up.”
“Don’t be sorry. I hate him too.”
Lee So Hye hated her father more than he expected. He thought Lee Hyo Geun cheated on her mom. Among females, if it was about adultery and affairs they felt the same way regardless of who it was.
“Should we visit Jung Hoon?”
“Jung Hoon? Hm.”
“We don’t completely get along.”
“You should be, like real siblings. Haha.”
“But you’re different from him.”
“Yeah. You’re taller than him, have more money than him, you’re caring, decisive, and good-looking. You’re my ideal type.”
Ahn Soo Ho laughed at her compliments because she was completely cold when they first met, but he didn’t dislike it. It was quite the contrary. He knew she was being clever, but he wanted to fall for it. Was this why fathers want to raise daughters? Ahn Soo Ho parked in a parking lot in Cheongdamdong. The Star Tower was decorated nicely, and the M&A process was still yet to be completed.
The reason why he brought Lee So Hye to Cheongdamdong was to see the house that had been bought through Oh Joo Kyung. Since he brought them to Seoul, he couldn’t just make them stay at Daesan Hotel. Someone was waiting at the entrance of the alleyway.
“Are you Director Ahn Soo Ho?”
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Hello! I’m Director Jung Hyun Jin of Daesan Construction!”
As soon as the big man with a deep voice bowed down, other people couldn’t help but notice them.
“It’s nice to meet you, Director Jung. Shall we go inside?”
“Please come in!”
Seeing how he didn’t lower his voice, he was either slow-witted, or he was doing it on purpose. How could a director of Daesan Construction not have any wits? If it was true, he didn’t get his position by climb up from the bottom of the company but got through by manipulating his connections.
“Was there a Jung in the owner’s family?”
Among those who were selected to give their lives to the Daesan Kingdom, only a few were able to join the collateral line. They were the true Daesan men that assisted the direct line by doing all the dirty work.
“What about the lot area?”
Jung Hyun Jin, who was going to explain something in front of the expensive house, stopped talking when Ahn Soo Ho shooked his head.
“I don’t need to hear the details. So when can we move in?”
He turned to Lee So Hye.
“What do you think?”
“Are we going to live here now?
“You can’t stay at the hotel forever.”
“Wouldn’t it be hard to set up a snack shop in this house?”
Ahn Soo Ho was surprised then laughed his head off.
“Haha! Hahaha! Wow, seriously! Thanks for making me laugh.”
“Was that funny?”
Lee So Hye tilted her head. Ahn Soo Ho just laughed instead of answering, she was clever yet innocent. His little sister’s dream of becoming the second boss of Eunhye Snacks hadn’t changed one bit.
She raised a queer voice to her big brother’s sudden hugging and patting.
“Don’t ever change, So Hye.”
His heart, which was frozen over from seeing blood and death in a world controlled by conspiracies, found a little bit of warmth. After being sent off by Jung Hyun Jin, Ahn Soo Ho and Lee So Hye walked the streets of Cheongdamdong. It only took 20 minutes to get to Star Tower from the house.
“Ta-da! This is mine.”
“Wow! You’re a Gangnam landlord!”
“That’s right! Praise me more, Little Sis.”
Ahn Soo Ho, who danced and put his hands on his hips, saw his nose growing longer than that of Pinocchio, but that was probably a delusion. Lee So Hye went with the mood and clapped for her big brother. People might have frowned at his immature behavior, but there were people who were greeting Ahn Soo Ho in front of the Star Tower.
“You look better than before, Ms. Kim.”
“Hm. I wanted to thank you.”
Kim Woo Jung, who was Jang Seol Hyun’s manager and team leader, ran three or four flights of stairs and barged into the board of directors’ meeting. The M&A of Shinhwa Entertainment and FNB Entertainment had been wrapping up, and the task force dispatched by Daesan’s legal team already began to form new management and organization.
“My little sister.”
“Oh! She looks like she’ll grow up to be a beautiful woman.”
“I didn’t know you used flattery.”
“It’s not bad if used moderately.”
Ahn Soo Ho exclaimed in response to Kim Woo Jung’s dramatic change. For people who had tasted power, they had no choice but to change whether it was good or bad. An unfamiliar voice jumped in.
“Oh my! Director Kim? What are you doing here?”
She wasn’t like Oh Joo Kyung, but her aura screamed—”I’m a career woman!”—as she approached.
“Come here, Mi Jin. I mean, Team Leader Kim.”
Kim Woo Jung dropped the formalities as if they were close, but once he noticed Ahn Soo Ho, he addressed her differently. Kim Mi Jin, who tilted her head to that behavior, saw Ahn Soo Ho with sparkling eyes. The variety show from yesterday was enough to make her group, Yesterday a hot issue. But there was one undisclosed clip that made the editing producers contemplate. He had brutally rejected their rising star, Mi Na, who was carrying her girl group, Yesterday.
“Agh! Fail Man!”
Yesterday, who followed Kim Mi Jin, shooked their fingers at Ahn Soo Ho.
< Protect – Episode 41 – Lee Joong Hyun  > The end.