Chapter 7: Strange People (7)
“It looks like I’ve mistaken you,” said the chairman.
Chairman Lee Hee-Jin closed his eyes, bobbed his head, and sighed. “Fine. Leave this matter to me.”
“…Yes?” Lee Jin-Woo was confused.
The chairman got up from his seat and looked at Jin-Woo with fierce eyes. “I will punish you. You’re to leave the mansion. It would seem that it’s far too early for you to take over. The management of the mansion will be left to Min-Woo. As of today, all financial support will be cut off.”
The place Jin-Woo stayed it, it was a place meant only for the chairman’s successor, it would seem. However, all was fine as he had no inkling interest to become the successor of the business in this dark and crazy world. Chaebol successors had always been at the forefront of receiving assassination threats. It was that type of world.
‘This is good too. I’ll be able to live.’
Jin-Woo was pleased.
“Yes,” Jin-Woo nodded.
“Leave.” Chairman Lee Hee-Jin turned around.
Jin-Woo sighed with relief. The crisis was over, or at least seemed to.
When Jin-Woo left, a soft chuckle escaped Chairman Lee Hee-Jin’s lips.
Lee Min-Woo looked at Jin-Woo’s back.
When he was a child, Jin-Woo had always been a bright kid –– pure and cute. Since when did his brilliance disappear? The way he looked at the world coldly, the utter disregard he had for life, and the horrendous rumors circling around him… when did it begin? Though thankfully, he hadn’t crossed the line of no return.
But was it just a coincidence? It began when the world became chaotic.
Lee Min-Woo shook his hands and sighed. He wasn’t one to talk. His hands had been covered with blood that could never be erased. He’d even gone and used his younger brother as a shield, and it was because of his younger brother that he returned from his overseas trip.
He knew that Jin-Woo was no longer the same person he once knew, however, he seemed like a completely different person. It felt like an illusion, like another soul had taken his body.
Lee Min-Woo felt that things were heading towards a direction that he did not expect. “Well, this is good too.”
There was a nervous, cold, and a surprisingly strong will behind Lee Min-Woo’s distorted smile. He had been cheating himself, hiding his true persona behind a facade as those glistening eyes were unfathomably deep with fervent desire for life.
It was horrifying to look at.
“I don’t believe in bloodlines or anything, but…”
Lee Jin-Woo was the only man to receive Lee Hee-Jin’s pure bloodline. He should look at the world like a lion, but he was like a cub at this very moment.
Lee Min-Woo was curious.
What had happened? Why did he look relaxed after leaving the chairman’s office?
‘Why are you laughing?’
Lee Min-Woo could hear the chairman’s ostentatious laugh. But it was brief.
After Jin-Woo left, the chairman called him in.
He stood at the door awaiting instruction.
“Come in,” said the chairman.
“Yes, sir.” Lee Min-Woo entered the room and bowed politely before the chairman’s presence. He was handed a document and he opened it up.
“You’re to go to the Chinese Confederation Official.”
“Chinese Confederation Official?” Lee Min-Woo asked.
The Chinese Confederation was in charge of running China’s society. And moreover, there were far too many spies looking in at Korea’s next move.
Chairman Lee Hee-Jin was confident in placing his trust onto Lee Min-Woo. He was competitive, had an entrepreneurial mindset, and was one of Korea’s national representatives. If groomed well, he would play a key role in higher power.
And while abroad, foreigners labeled him a monster.
Lee Min-Woo looked at the contents of the document. “Choi Family? Why are they here?”
“Jin-Woo planted a spy in the family in advance. He’s deep in.”
“Jin-Woo? The funds he’s spent recently… it was over there.”
Lee Min-Woo looked surprised. He knew his brother was flushing money like water, he never cared to inspect where Jin-Woo had used it.
Chairman Lee Hee-Jin modded with a pleased expression.
“He’s a nice kid deep down, that Jin-Woo. If he did something wrong, he won’t be able to fool me… it’s like I’m looking at a child,” Chairman Lee Hee-Jin said his thoughts out loud.
He sighed inwardly, troubled. Countless blood had been spilled to stand above the peak. With that came enemies from the outside as well as those waiting to bare their fangs from the inside. And thus the chairman needed to keep the image of a lion and that of a strong and overbearing chairman with power.
It was this reason that Jin-Woo grew up isolated. He was rarely given affection and only basic care was given to him.
Chairman Lee Hee-Jin believed that for Jin-Woo to become a predator, he needed to grow up as a predator and to live the life of a predator. He wanted Jin-Woo to learn to fight for himself if ever he was no longer around. Though hiding was also a good strategy. But thing is, it wouldn’t last long. Sooner or later he’d have to break from his cocoon and to a butterfly.
Lee Min-Woo nodded as if he understood. “So what was revealed?”
“He’s trying to keep himself safe by funding money to the Choi Family funds. And through the engagement, the family would be under his wings. I’m glad I could see his face falling apart when I spoke of the engagement.”
“I’m sure… I’m sure he’s not interested in the family but the daughter,” said Lee Min-Woo, “Since this operation costs us money…”
“It’s a small price to pay.” Chairman Lee Hee-Jin placed the teacup on the table.