Chapter 26 - Trust and Confidence
“I think we need to straighten out your misunderstanding first. Unfortunately for you, I’m not a person to get fired. I’m the one who fires people.”
“Then I’ll be terminated regardless of who I sleep with.”
“So it works out like that. If you want to quit the firm, let me know any time. I’ll help.”
“I won’t quit. I will never sleep with Attorney Song or you.”
Yoonshin couldn’t figure out what he said that bothered the other, but it was clear that he did leave a scratch somewhere. Sehun’s face was placid as always, but Yoonshin instinctively felt the annoyance radiating from behind the calm surface. Even so, he couldn’t think of a way to address the situation except for changing the topic. “T-the two of you have an age gap, but I heard that you were very close friends. You’re comfortable with each other, and I know that Attorney Mihee Song was the one to scout you to Doguk and allowed you to come this far with her support. Is that not so?”
Thankfully, despite the awkward change in topic, Sehun added his thoughts. “It seems like you get along well with your close friends, and they would never betray you even in death, huh?”
“You don’t need to be so extreme.”
“I don’t have friends. I only have business partners who trust each other’s abilities. That person and I just have a long history together. Oh, and now she entrusted me with a piece of baggage.”
The way Sehun glanced at Yoonshin’s way was graceful. Even though he was saying such cynical things, he was strangely elegant. Yoonshin felt like he was watching a scene in a well-executed, artistic film.
Stupefied like a pitcher hit with a grand slam, the silent Yoonshin stroked his throat with his palm. Then, he looked directly at the other resolutely. “Excuse me, but—”
“You’re not excused.”
“—When did you start being so twisted?”
“Do you want an opinion letter about why I’m twisted? I could write an entire epic out of it.” It was a cold-hearted response, but Sehun didn’t seem upset. Yoonshin had an inkling of this since before, but Sehun didn’t seem to get upset when a subordinate was outspoken when exchanging opinions—on the condition that they were stating the truth.
As long as he felt like he was right, Yoonshin was the type to say what he wanted and achieve what he sought, regardless of age and the societal position of the other party. However, the practice of law moved vertically. One of the reasons he never considered applying to a large law firm was because he was somewhat uncomfortable with hierarchical relationships. The difference between Sehun and his positions was like night and day, so Sehun’s open-minded attitude in his respect always felt unprecedented to Yoonshin.
“I didn’t sleep with her. Are you satisfied now?”
“I don’t know. I feel more bothered.”
“You still doubt me, don’t you?” Yoonshin carefully asked, gauging the other.
Sehun didn’t seem to mind and replied, “No, you’re too simple for me to doubt you.”
“That doesn’t sound like a compliment…”
“Because it isn’t.”
Yoonshin bit his lower lip and observed the other. Sehun, who had been kindly looking back, explained indifferently, probably thinking he would have to explain sooner or later. “That was the last shred of suspicion I had of you. Rationally, I don’t think you have anything to do with it. But there’s a thing called a one in a million chance. You need to be particularly wary of anomalies and variables. Don’t forget that.”
“There should still be a limit to doubting others.”
“You said so yourself, about the professional negligence case five years ago involving a savings bank executive director. You said that the prosecutors thought that the business partner would never appear as a witness. Then what happened?”
After feeling convinced that the partner wouldn’t appear, the prosecutor disregarded any possibility that Sehun would bring the business partner and constructed his theory for the litigation. In the end, the prosecutor suffered the humiliation of watching the defendant, who he put in his effort to charge, getting away with probation before his very eyes. Sehun wanted to point out this one in a million chance.
Removing all suspicions with no space for error was a big strength as a lawyer. Double-checking everything, down to the small facts that could easily be overlooked, was truly working for the best interest of the client—this was something that Yoonshin felt like he could learn from Sehun. Looking strictly from the lens of a client, Sehun was the textbook example of a good lawyer.
However, that was limited to work—Yoonshin didn’t think that he could bear to live so neurotically in his personal life. Wasn’t it normal to trust a dependable, long-time friend?
“I thought so from the beginning, but we’re a bit different from each other.” Truth be told, Yoonshin wanted to ask if Sehun ever felt lonely living so mentally isolated from others. However, he couldn’t bring himself to ask that. Maybe it was because he couldn’t fathom how the other man would answer.
“I know that too.”
“Wait, then if you say that this was your last shred of doubt, then…”
“When you return to the firm, Secretary Tak will give you a contract. Sign it—of course, if you’re willing.”
“Are you serious?”
After a short pause, Sehun glanced at Yoonshin. Yoonshin, who was slightly downcast before, looked brighter. The real deal started now. However, compared to the past two months of anxiety while being conscious of Sehun—who didn’t even talk, let alone look at him—it was true that Yoonshin finally overcame one hurdle. Time at a law firm was denser than for other people, so two months felt like two years.
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