Chapter 38 - Pandora’s Box
‘That sadist is always working except when he sleeps. Does he ever feel out of breath?’ Yoonshin felt his thoughts muddle for no reason, so he leaned his chin on his hand and observed Sehun’s handsome profile. Just then, Sehun, who was facing the front, suddenly looked at Yoonshin’s office.
Yoonshin felt a pang of guilt for peeking, so he turned around and pretended to concentrate on something. At the same time, he heard the other rapping at his window. Feeling troubled, Yoonshin barely managed to lift his head and nod at Sehun. However, it seemed like Sehun wasn’t asking for a respectful morning greeting. He remained standing in front of the office door.
‘What’s he up to first thing in the morning? So what if I watched him a little bit? He takes me apart in my face,’ Yoonshin grumbled internally and stood from his desk. As he did so, the other beckoned with his finger. Yoonshin glanced at Secretary Tak questioningly, but although the secretary clearly was in the know, he simply indicated with his hand to follow Sehun.
With no other choice, he chased after Sehun into his office, and as soon as he stepped foot inside, a yellow envelope was pushed—almost thrown—into his arms. Yoonshin looked down at the envelope. “Ngh… What is this?”
Sehun hung his jacket neatly on a hanger, then started looking at the piles of documents on his desk. He replied disingenuously, “See for yourself.”
“Are they related to my file?” Yoonshin pressed on.
“Something like that. It’ll help with your negotiation. Don’t ask for the source.”
“Is it all right for me to open something with dubious origins?”
Sehun didn’t look very pleased that Yoonshin was questioning the reliability of the document he gave, so he retorted cynically, “Dangerous documents should be used surreptitiously and silently. Do I need to teach you that too?”
“I see that there’s no source, but it’s also… dangerous.”
Despite explaining in a way Yoonshin could understand, he still looked skeptical. Sehun ended up frowning. “Fourth-year. What did I say my words were?”
“They’re an associate’s law,” Yoonshin answered.
“If you got it, you can leave.”
“Yeah… Thank you, even though I don’t know what this is and where you got it from. I’ll use it significantly and dangerously well.” Yoonshin bowed and turned around. He thanked him while wishing Sehun would hold him back, but the older man ignored it despite knowing Yoonshin’s wishes.
The sound of paper quickly shuffling continued. Yoonshin took one slow step forward before turning back again. He marched up to the other’s desk and received the typical, haughty glare of Sehun.
“What is it this time? There’s a mountain of opinion letters I have to read, so I’m busy. Ask fast.”
Of course. Sehun didn’t hold Yoonshin back even though he knew.
“Have you ever dealt with a sexual assault case before? Or did you always do legal advisory work from the beginning?”
“I was in the corporate law team from day one.”
“Does that mean you haven’t?”
“I didn’t say that. I did a few pro bono cases until I hit my fifth year. Then I went to school overseas.”
“Can you tell me how you worked back then? I’ll keep it in mind when I plan my approach.” Yoonshin was extremely curious about Sehun’s past. He hadn’t been this curious about anything in years. He was dying to hear Sehun’s story, so although the other didn’t agree to answer yet, Yoonshin’s eyes were already sparkling in anticipation.
Seeing Yoonshin’s excitement, Sehun perhaps had a few minutes to spare as he glanced at his watch before leaning back in his chair. “For the most part, I didn’t go to trial; instead, I found ways to rip off the most settlement money as possible.”
“Even if you go to court, there’s very little in it for the victims. They’re only seared with the brand that they’re a victim of sexual harassment. Not only that, but that process is very painful. It would be nice if the assailant received a heavy sentence at least. However, as you may know, unless the offense was cruel and unusual, prison sentences are rare.”
“But what if the complainant wants a heavy sentence rather than a few more dollars?”
“Fourth-year. There are times when money is the touchstone of justice instead of a high sentence. You have to think of what the ultimate win is for the client. If your client has the wrong idea, then it’s your job to persuade and lead them on the right path.”
Yoonshin mused on the advice that Sehun was giving casually when one question cropped up. The question inflated like a balloon that was about to explode at any moment. It was hard to imagine the current Sehun doing this, but he had a feeling that perhaps he was different in the past. “By any chance, when you did pro bono work, have you ever sincerely consoled the victims? Since this type of case requires that to some extent compared to others.”
As Yoonshin reached the crux of his question, Sehun frowned, failing to understand why he would ask such a ridiculous question. “I don’t do that kind of thing. End of discussion. Get out.”
“Wait, I’m not done asking…”
“If you’re still here in the next minute, I’m going to call the police on you for obstruction of business. What’s your move?”
Yoonshin knew that if he stayed, Sehun would carry out his threat. Yoonshin gave a sidelong glance at Sehun, who stared dryly at the younger man with the intercom receiver in his hand. He then gripped the envelope tightly with both hands like he was strangling Sehun and stomped out of the office.
He traversed across the secretary’s office back into his room and sat upright at his desk. Then, he gazed at the yellow envelope on his desk and fell into deep thought.
‘A dangerous document of mysterious origin that would help in the negotiation, huh?’ The envelope was Pandora’s box. Once opened, Yoonshin felt like he wouldn’t be able to turn back.
Whatever was inside seemed like Sehun’s shortcut which led to the destination the client wanted. Yoonshin was compromising bit by bit with himself. It wasn’t as difficult or unsettling as he had expected.
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