Chapter 23 - Adjournment
“Ngh, Attorney Kang!”
“If you’re going to remain here, put away that contempt in your eyes. I feel like crap every time I see them.”
‘My eyes?’ The warning was completely unforeseen, so Yoonshin stopped thrashing about in pain and stopped himself from coughing. He stared back at the other with dumbstruck eyes, his face reddened from being unable to breathe properly. Sehun slowly released the younger man.
His face gradually returned to normal, but Yoonshin kept quiet instead of reproaching Sehun’s outrageous action. It would be more accurate to say that he felt such a mix of emotions that he didn’t know what to say.
Amid the stillness, Sehun regained composure first and broke the silence. “I’m going to give you a few days off. Think carefully about what you want to take from me. You can formally sign your contract then. I’ll let Attorney Song know of this.”
Pat, pat. Some moisture must have remained on Sehun’s hand as he lightly patted it on Yoonshin’s dry shoulders. Then, Sehun turned on his heels and left without looking back.
Yoonshin rubbed his head against the cold surface of the marble wall that he was leaning against and collected his breath. He stood all by his lonesome before turning his head to the mirror on his left side. He still looked pallid.
“Put away that contempt in your eyes. I feel like crap every time I see them.”
Goethe said that man tended to despise what he could not understand.
Yoonshin wasn’t aware that he was looking at Sehun in a particular way, but Sehun was probably right. Perhaps Yoonshin constantly had those eyes since he came to the firm. There was no way the experienced lawyer couldn’t catch that.
Did the other man read contempt in his eyes for a month?
He had a feeling that it was likely the case.
‘What the hell is this feeling?’
No matter how Yoonshin saw it, Sehun was the one in the wrong, a fact which Sehun himself knew very well.
But strangely enough, Yoonshin felt troubled because he felt like he battered Sehun.
* * *
There was a saying in the practice.
The best lawyer was one that didn’t take the lawsuit to trial.
Yoonshin generally agreed with that saying. He felt accomplished when the two pro bono cases he was working on for two months ended with a successful settlement. But no matter how cut out he was for public interest cases, Yoonshin felt that it was only right for him to stop warming up.
It had been two months since he was hired. There were still no instructions from Sehun.
“He told me to think. What can I think about if he won’t even show his face?” Yoonshin grumbled.
Yoonshin was technically a member of Sehun’s team, yet he had never actually assisted any of Sehun’s cases to date. This time as well, a new pro bono case was sent to his room as soon as his files closed. He had inherited two cases from his other seniors.
Much like the time before he entered the firm, Yoonshin had hoped for another coincidental meeting and loitered around the parking lot and lobby in the morning a few times. The time Sehun got off work was inconsistent, but he generally went to work at the same time, so there were higher chances of running into him in the morning. However, as if the two were nemeses in their past life, disallowed to meet, whenever Yoonshin waited for Sehun, he always missed the other lawyer narrowly.
Yoonshin peeked out his office door window out of habit and rested his eyes on the room across. Demonstrating the cold and unfriendly nature of the other, his door was obscured with blinds. Today was not the only day that this was the case. In passing, Yoonshin once asked Secretary Tak, who replied that Sehun did that frequently. Yoonshin couldn’t bring himself to grab Sehun for a chat because he had seen how busy the older lawyer was every day.
‘Somehow, I ended up just waiting to hear from Sehun Kang all month long.’ Yoonshin wondered what Sehun wanted to do with him.
Could it be that Sehun wanted to exhaust Yoonshin so he would go away on his own?
His train of thought continued until he reached the worst-case scenario, making him bolt up from his seat. Unwilling to prolong the situation any more, he exited his office.
It was lunchtime, but thankfully, Secretary Tak was still in his office. Yoonshin casually leaned his arm against the desk partitions. While glancing at Sehun’s room, he whispered, “Hey, Secretary Tak. Have you heard anything from Attorney Kang? Do I keep doing pro bono files?”
Secretary Tak tilted his head questioningly and replied, “I know, right? There’s no word from him. You clearly passed the first test.”
The memory of being humiliated in front of his seniors surfaced and Yoonshin redness bloomed in his cheeks. “That was a pass? I don’t need to retake the exam?”
“I guess you don’t know Attorney Kang well, huh? He’s really ruthless. If you didn’t pass, he would have sent you to a different team already. Just wait. He’ll give you the second test soon.”
“Will he though? I waited another month and he never followed up.”
Secretary Tak glanced at the worried Yoonshin, then at the covered windows of Sehun’s room before he leaned in and whispered, “You look a bit anxious, so I’ll tell you something. All the associates in the other teams saw a copy of your printout.”
“The one from the last test? How?”
“Apparently, Attorney Kang told one of them to copy it and pass it around. He said it was somewhat decent. He also said that, from now on, everyone should write up the main issues of each case like the printout. You know, lawyers work with a lot of documents, so it requires good writing, but even at our firm, a lot more people than you think write legal documents quite sloppily. Just so you know, none of the other associates have ever received such a compliment from the Senior Attorney before.”
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