Chapter 27 - Charterparty
“Thank you for accepting me. I’ll do my best.”
“You’re not going to think about it at all? I told you to pick me apart.”
“If I was going to have doubts after coming in, I wouldn’t have come in the first place.”
Sehun nodded knowingly. “See? You’re very simple.”
It wasn’t quite a compliment, but it wasn’t an insult. Secretly relieved, Yoonshin grinned to himself, then his eyes widened in realization. Questions were written all over his pale face. “But why are you accepting me all of a sudden?”
“It’s not ‘all of a sudden.’ I was watching all along and simply came to the conclusion that you’re decent enough to keep—that’s all.”
“You didn’t even show your face often. I thought I was the only one who missed you.” Yoonshin didn’t understand why he was complaining as he would to a romantic partner. Despite being the one who said it, he was internally shocked at himself. What he wanted to convey wasn’t supposed to have that suggestive nuance, but he kept his mouth shut because trying to explain himself was also weird. Maybe if Sehun said something, the weird situation would have been alleviated, but the older man also must have thought it was suggestive. His eyebrow twitched as he stared at Yoonshin. The mood grew weirder.
Yoonshin cleared his throat and quickly changed the topic again. “Well, then, what do I need to do?”
Sehun checked his watch. He must not have had enough time left because he replied instantly, “There was something I needed to check with you, so I asked you to have lunch with me.”
“I’m all ears.”
“Fourth-year, as you already know, I sometimes do brazen things. Of course, this is only when needed.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Do you in detail?”
“I know that you coerce people using their weakness and sometimes topple over an entire company over the course of a day.”
Sehun gave an affirmative look and straightened up his attire. He tightened his tie and aligned his cufflinks quite mechanically. Yoonshin didn’t want to admit it, but Sehun was dashing in every moment.
“Finding the weakness of a corporation is a given. The opposing party—plaintiff or defendant and their surroundings, including their lawyer, prosecutor, and if necessary, the associate judge of the trial—I find their weakness at any cost. I’m a big fan of bargaining, negotiations, and expediency. Plus, I’m skilled at lying. I didn’t hit rock bottom yet to forge evidence, but it’s a common ordeal to pretend to not know of existing evidence. It’s not against the law to genuinely not know of evidence instead of having it and ignoring it.”
“Are you saying that I have to follow your ways from now on?”
Sehun’s hands stopped, then he flatly replied, “If you were the kind of person who could do that, I wouldn’t have taken you out for lunch when I’m always so busy. You keep working as you do because I’ll only give you what you can handle. Of course, I could give you something that you have to follow my tactics for. Even if I do, if you get caught by an outsider, then you will be responsible for your actions. I’m your superior, but I’m not your caretaker. Up to here—did you memorize all that?”
“And here’s the most important thing—don’t you dare question my judgment. You’ll never have this chance again. If I decide on it, you have to sleep with me.”
Yoonshin understood the gist of what the other wanted to say. It seemed like Sehun wanted to say that a partner’s words were an associate’s law. However, Yoonshin was a bit startled at the example Sehun gave, so he stayed silent for a moment. Sehun must have read Yoonshin’s thoughts because he added, irritably, “Don’t make that face. I’m not interested in your lower half.”
Looks were exchanged silently as if measuring each other. Yoonshin said what he felt was needed, so he decided to be mindful of Sehun’s warning. Sehun seemed to implicitly know that this was Yoonshin’s concern because he followed up by saying, “‘This is against the law, this is contrary to the principles of morality, this is a violation of a lawyer’s professionalism and ethics. Why did you go that far?’ I can’t stand when people have the sass to say those kinds of things. You’ll need to pack your bags if you do.”
“So you hate when someone points out that you’re wrong.”
“It’s not that I don’t like to hear it, I have no reason to. I’m never wrong.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Well, this may be the first time I was wrong about something. Taking you in, I mean.”
Yoonshin pointed to himself, asking if Sehun was talking about him. Sehun didn’t respond, but his reaction was an answer in itself. The younger man smiled awkwardly, which made Sehun knit his brow, seemingly displeased. The outlook of these two antipodal men’s journey didn’t look like it would be smooth sailing. But whatever the future held, today marked the day they weighed the anchor.
“No matter how I spin it, it’s my loss. Do I need to make a new deal?” Sehun muttered to himself.
“Did you make a deal with Senior Attorney Song on the condition that you babysat me? Can I ask what it was?”
“It’s something I always wanted. Freedom of sorts.”
The answer was abstract, so Yoonshin tried to find the answer himself. One idea immediately came to mind. “Was it about your dividend payout?”
Sehun didn’t answer. That only solidified Yoonshin’s suspicion. “That means I’m profitable, right? Do you like money?”
“Money is a trophy of victory. I don’t hate it.”
“It sounds to me like you don’t like it either.”
“I don’t have the time to spend it because I’m busy cleaning up after other people.”
Yoonshin pursed his lips and recalled what Secretary Tak said about Sehun feeling like the weaker party by birth. Perhaps he saw through Sehun’s true nature and perfectly hit the mark.
Yoonshin sat quietly, overcome with a complicated feeling. Sehun was done saying what he wanted and stood first. Then, he looked at Yoonshin as if he was foolish for not moving. “If you get the point, get going. There’s a mountain of documents to read.”
Yoonshin got up, collected his jacket and other belongings, and opened the private room door.
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