Chapter 3 – A Mysterious Death (1)
Even if he called her name multiple times, the woman seemed to not hear him—she did not once turn around. In desperation, Tae-jun started running without even realizing it. All eyes were on him as he bumped into people. But he couldn’t care more, catching up to the woman before him was the only thing that mattered.
However, as soon as the woman stepped out of the hotel lobby, she quickly boarded a waiting taxi and immediately drove out of sight… far from Tae-jun’s reach.
Was it an Illusion? Or a ghost?
She had remained a vivid figure in his mind…Too vivid to be a mere imagination. He could not be mistaken. She was the person that he pictured in his head thousands of times. More than anything, she was the very reason for his life’s eclipse…
Tae-jun clenched his teeth and placed his hand on his chest. This painfully beating heart was proof of what he had seen. He felt his mouth dry up and even so, his brain. After four years… The woman whom he thought was dead and had mourned over, just appeared before his very eyes.
“Are you out of your mind? You left the party all of a sudden only to come back to ask for the guest list?”
A mithering Jae-won opened his office door, his steps heavy and brows furrowed. Upon walking in, he pressed the power button of his computer and crossed his arms in displeasure. Jae-won was on the edge. This list was not open to the public, not even to the hotel executives!
Tae-jun, annoyed by his endless complaints, tapped the plaque on his table bearing the words ‘Lee Jae-won, Planning Director, Seoin Hotel’ with his long fingers. The tapping sound seemed like a death wish to Jae-won’s ears.
“Do you want to lose your title?”
Jae-won cursed in his mind. Now this man is speaking from the bottom of his heart. If he’s even a little more irritated, that plaque will vanish tomorrow morning.
Jae-won sighed and recalled what had happened a while ago.
It was only ten minutes ago that Tae-jun, who said he would step out from the event hall for a moment, came back inside with a ghostly, pale face. And it was probably seven or eight minutes ago when he looked around the hall and like a mad man, snatched Jae-won by the collar without a moment’s hesitation. Hauling him into the elevator forcefully was perhaps 5 minutes ago.
Along the way, not a soul dared to talk to them and somehow stop Tae-jun’s barbaric actions. Not even his manager, Mr. Lee, who had been with him for seven years or so.
His fiancée, Si-yeon, could only manage to open her eyes wide and mouth: “Jae-won, what’s going on?”
Wow, what a surprise-filled engagement party. Despite his barbaric approach, Tae-jun showed no remorse.
Once the computer booted, Jae-won keyed in the security code and opened the guest list. This process, at best, took only five minutes or less. Nevertheless, he felt that Tae-jun’s patience was running out in real-time, so his hair stood on end.
“What the hell are you looking for? Is a notorious terrorist on the guest list? Like IS?”
Hotel Seoin was a go-to place for domestic and international VIPs, celebrities, and millionaires. So, the reservation system was under constant scrutiny spanning over several stages. Of course, terrorists couldn’t stay, but who knows if one snuck in?!
Instead of a proper reply, Tae-jun simply uttered a name, there was no telling whether it was a joke or not.
Clearly, it was a girl’s name. Jae-won asked back in a puzzled voice. “Hye-yeon Jin?”
“Find her on the list.”
At that moment Jae-won’s lips pursed. Find a girl on the day of an engagement party? No way, I hope not!
Nonetheless, Jae-won’s fingers flew over the keyboard trying to press his anxiety. A ‘Not found’ message appeared on the screen.
“She is not on the list.”
“How about the foreigners’ list?”
Tae-jun closed his eyes and touched his furrowed brows. I must think harder. Right, she was talking to someone on the phone as she passed by. She spoke English. It was noisy but I definitely heard some words.
“There is none. Who is she?”
To Tae-jun, the Jae-won’s voice coming from just next to him sounded distant. He was immersed in recalling the details of Hye-yeon and the phone conversation.
What was she wearing? She was not dressed as tourists or party guests. She was wearing suit pants under her trench coat and her hair was neatly tied up. What did she say? Cancel, Reservation?
Two words came into his mind. Additionally, she was talking in quite a friendly voice.
“Is there any foreigner who made a reservation then cancelled it?” Jae-won quickly searched on the list.
“We have two.”
“CHRISTOPHER SHAWN, LOUIS ERNEST. I do not see them as girls’ names?”
Tea-jun’s gaze went dark by Jae-won’s next words. “Could be her husband or boyfriend.”
If she had got out of the situation ‘in that way’ four years ago, she would be twenty-nine years old now. That seems old enough for her to have a husband or a boyfriend.
Tae-jun pushed Jae-won aside, sat down and skimmed through the details of each and every guest. This information was confidential. Still, unable to get the information that he wanted, he gave Jae-won another order.
“Call the security department and tell them to bring the original CCTV footage of the lobby over here.”
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