Chapter 16 - Friction
As Yoonshin continued to lock eyes with that sharp gaze, one possibility suddenly occurred to Yoonshin. ‘Does he perhaps remember what happened in the past?’
Come to think of it, Yoonshin only assumed Sehun had forgotten, but Sehun had never directly said that he didn’t remember.
When they first met each other a few years ago, Yoonshin was crying his eyes out. Sehun leaned against the wall and stood beside Yoonshin for quite a long time. They didn’t even know each other’s names. The older man probably assumed that Yoonshin was his father’s son based on his funeral attire, but Yoonshin learned that the other’s name was “Sehun Kang” when he was digging through old newspaper articles quite a while after that day. Yoonshin was so shocked when he found out.
Bewildered, Yoonshin swallowed nervously. Then, he said whatever came to mind to reverse this strange atmosphere.
“S-sir. When I was still in law school, I read a case while preparing for a mock trial on a crime related to business management. It was about the professional negligence of the executive director of a savings bank. You know, it caused quite the commotion around five years ago… Everyone expected that the executive director would definitely be sentenced to jail, but you ultimately lowered the sentence to probation.”
Yoonshin rushed to change the topic and soon after, the other seemingly lost interest in the droplets of water in Yoonshin’s eyes and took a few steps back to lean against the desk partitions. Sehun nodded slightly. Relieved, Yoonshin continued, “I always wondered. How did you convince his business partner, who fled the country, to come back to appear at court? I dug through and found that the prosecutors thought that the business partner would never come as a witness. If she testified, her own fatal accounting error would be brought to light, and she would be charged instead of the director.”
Sehun was listening quietly thus far, but his expression changed subtly.
The memories of that case stretched out like a panorama.
Extraordinary eloquence or amazing persuasive skills were required to push people. What was truly useful was to hold the other party’s weakness. The more one needed to protect, the stronger one was—on the flip side, having more generally made one weaker. For example, family, wealth, and reputation—things of that nature only served as avenues to be exploited.
From a young age, Sehun never had a family. He thought it would be convenient if he had wealth and reputation, but he wasn’t desperate for it. He had nothing to lose, so that was why he could come this far. Perhaps he didn’t love anything in order to climb to the top. But what difference did that make? People only remembered the result.
“With a method that people like you would never use,” Sehun replied.
It was also a method that Yoonshin would have to learn if he were to continue working under Sehun. However, Sehun didn’t feel the need to say that much.
“Did you offer him money? That does seem to be the easiest way,” Yoonshin asked.
Sehun did not answer, leaving the rest to the other’s imagination. Yoonshin felt his suspicions were confirmed as he observed Sehun’s unremorseful face. Yoonshin said, a bit bitterly, “So you did. As I thought, you do a lot of bad things here.”
“We work for money here. Whatever the case may be, the point here is that I dragged the business partner to the court.”
“But it’s still something you shouldn’t do as a lawyer. Because of that, the partner got charged with the crimes of the executive director as well and got sentenced to jail. What about that person’s life? I think that you should have used a more equitable method if you were going to make her stand at court, at least.”
“She probably got the sentence that she deserved, equivalent to her crimes. And regardless, I saved my client.”
“No, if I remember correctly, the partner received nearly two times the sentence she should have, out of spite. You knew that this would end up this way. You simulated this in your head and figured she was a good substitute. The business partner also committed some wrongdoings, so she was a good shield.”
“Is that really so regrettable? You should have stepped in like a hero and defended her.”
“I was in law school then…”
Sehun, who was rallying with Yoonshin quite sharply, cut the associate off suddenly. Yoonshin was used to this now. “Stop. I knew you would be like this. That’s why I was so against hiring you. I don’t like kids like you.”
“I’m leaving. Fourth-year, keep giving it your all.”
Just as suddenly as he came, he turned and left without notice. High-handed as always, Sehun’s tempestuous arrogance suited him well, especially since he didn’t look like he would have any obstructions in his life. Sehun left Yoonshin’s room without hesitation. Then, he went to his own office, lit his room, swiftly found what he was looking for, and then completely left Yoonshin’s line of sight.
The momentary light on the other side of the hall hid its presence yet again, and as Sehun disappeared from his vision, Yoonshin could finally sit back in his chair in comfort.
The coffee that he brought over was already cold, and the muddy stream left his floor a splotchy mess.
A sigh escaped Yoonshin’s red lips. For no reason, he brushed his lower lip that the other touched before feeling a bit weird and taking his hands off. He changed the topic because he was starting to feel embarrassed in the increasingly strange atmosphere, but he was clumsy in situations like this and had no self-restraint. Thanks to that, he felt like he ruined Sehun’s mood.
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