Chapter 24 - Adjournment
“Somewhat decent? That’s a compliment?” On the day of, Sehun outright threw the papers in the air, so Yoonshin thought Sehun had a problem. Yoonshin, who was very dumbfounded, was inadvertently loud, but the secretary simply shrugged. “Hmm, he is quite defensive in general, I guess.”
“Yeah, I know. He sometimes acts like a piece of his brain has been messed up.” Yoonshin’s reply that sounded akin to a self-utterance must have come across to the secretary as having multiple overtones because he fell in deep thought momentarily.
Prudently, Secretary Tak replied after a pause, “The senior attorney knows very well what’s right or wrong. He may feel uncomfortable about it, but he just ignores it. However, he thinks of himself as the weaker party by birth. Other people give him work, and he does that work. He never said it himself, but I think he feels used. Besides, this is the world where the law of the jungle prevails. If you lose the battle, you lose your value.”
When Yoonshin, who felt impatient, heard that, he felt like he stopped breathing for a moment. He couldn’t move an inch. He recalled what Sehun had said to him in the past.
The older man was aloof in every situation. Yoonshin wanted to know why Sehun was so shaken up by the contempt in his eyes. This had bothered him all along.
After he heard Secretary Tak’s observation, Yoonshin could finally come up with a reasonable explanation. However, it wasn’t Sehun’s personal opinion, so it was hard for Yoonshin to come to a clear-cut conclusion about Sehun Kang.
Was Sehun a bad person?
With complicated feelings, Yoonshin stared at Secretary Tak. Their eyes met, and Yoonshin noticed that his lips started to move before he realized it. “Secretary Tak, do you like Senior Attorney Kang?”
The other laughed like he heard something absurd. “Of course I do.”
“Is that such an obvious thing?”
“Mr. Kang has his good points. He’s very clear about rewards and punishments. Aside from doing your job properly, he doesn’t demand anything else. He never asked me to handle anything personal for him. Isn’t that the best kind of boss?”
“I just thought it was the first time I heard anyone talk about Senior Attorney Kang like this.”
“Well, other people you heard from don’t know Senior Attorney Kang well. I’m just telling you my opinion, as someone who has watched him as long as I have. This is my hunch, but I think he has been paying a lot of attention to you.”
Yoonshin wasn’t sure what the secretary meant by paying attention, but this was probably based on what Sehun told the secretary, so it couldn’t all be nonsense. Sehun said that he didn’t like Yoonshin. He even warned Yoonshin that he ruined Sehun’s mood. This was apparent to others too. Yoonshin tried to shake off his irrelevant thoughts and thanked the secretary. He was about to return to his room when Secretary Tak stood up first. “I was about to head down to the cafeteria. You should eat too. Hope you enjoy it.”
“Oh, right, I should. Let’s go together.”
“Go where? You should eat with Senior Attorney Kang.”
This was so out of the blue that puzzlement was written largely on Yoonshin’s face. “He’s willing to eat with me? When? Where? Why?”
“Didn’t you come out to meet him after you heard? He said he would tell you himself. I can confirm with him for you. One moment.” Secretary Tak lifted the intercom receiver to double-check when they heard a click.
The subject of the conversation, Sehun, came out from his room. Seeing the two side by side in the secretary’s office, he gave a questioning yet subtly irritated and listless look.
Was it Yoonshin’s imagination to think that the gaze stung slightly?
“Have lunch with me,” Sehun said.
Yoonshin couldn’t remember the last time that he heard this baritone voice from this close that he almost felt happy hearing it again. But before he could even convey his positive feelings, Sehun tossed his car keys at Yoonshin. Yoonshin reflexively extended his hands and caught the object. At the same time, he nodded enthusiastically which made Sehun frown slightly.
Slightly shaken, Yoonshin glanced at Secretary Tak to let the other know that he would go on ahead. Chasing after Sehun, he picked up his speed as he got closer to the elevator, bypassed the other man, and quickly pushed the down button.
The two stood next to each other, enveloped by a heavy silence.
The silence made Yoonshin uncomfortable, so he spoke, “Senior Attorney, did you know this is the first time you called me in a month?”
“I don’t know if you’re asking about my cognitive awareness or if you’re reproving the fact that I neglected you for a month, but I’ll pass on both of them.”
“…I was just trying to start a conversation. Not all people talk to scope the other person out.”
Their eyes met in the glass surface of the elevator doors. Yoonshin wasn’t sure if he saw right, but there seemed to be pity in Sehun’s eyes.
Yoonshin froze—he wasn’t trying to hide the fact that he was a bit sad as he looked at Sehun. He was worried that his eyes unintentionally made the other upset again.
About to explain himself in case there was a misunderstanding, Yoonshin turned his head in Sehun’s direction, but at that moment, the elevator doors opened.
“I was on the phone all morning, so my mouth is numb. Let’s go quietly, mouths shut,” Sehun said grudgingly and entered the elevator, with Yoonshin quickly behind him.
After the doors closed, Yoonshin’s eyes, once fixed on the instrument panel of the elevator, started to descend slowly like the floor numbers in the display. His eyes eventually landed on his destination, and while sneaking peeks at the striking curves of Sehun’s profile, a thought suddenly occurred to Yoonshin.
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