Top Management Chapter 118

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Chapter 118: What Comes and Goes Beneath the Water, a Trade (5)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir

This was our second meeting in private.

He had asked how I knew about Sung Dowon's problem previously. It seemed like he would bring up something regarding Park Dojin or Lee Songha. I did my best to prepare for whatever question he would ask.

"How old are you?"

I didn't expect this question.

"I'm 28."

"That's young. Any hobbies?"

"I like watching movies and dramas."

Why was he suddenly asking about my life?

He asked me a few more random questions afterwards. CEO Baek Hansung's voice and demeanor were always calm. Yet, I answered with a straight back because he still gave off an imposing feeling.

"Do you golf?"

"No, I have never tried it."

"Hmm, I'll introduce you to someone so try learning it. It's good if you do."

Then of course I had to learn it. I had to go even if I didn't have enough time to sleep or eat.

Bowing, I readily accepted his offer. Having already heard that those who held high positions in broadcasting companies and agencies discussed important details on the golf course, I had planned on learning it in the future anyways.

"I heard you refused to transfer to Team 2?"

Thinking this was the main topic, I clenched my clasped hands once before replying,

"Yes."

"It's exhausting if you don't get along with your superiors. That's also why I became independent."

This was something I hadn't heard from his interviews.

"I plan to divide the Management Business Department even further in a few years."

He continued,

"There will be new teams. The number of team leaders will increase as well. I've been observing a few experienced chiefs to develop into team leaders rather than selecting people externally. Someone who is well-connected. Someone who does his job well. And… Someone with skill and knows how to make deals."

I nodded my head as I listened when CEO Baek Hansung didn't hesitate as he said,

"Just do as you have been. Then I'll give you a team of your own."

Give me what?

The answers I had prepared in my mind were swept away. I forgot to maintain my calm, relaxed expression as I looked at CEO Baek Hansung with a blank expression.

"My own team?"

CEO Baek Hansung smiled faintly.

"Yeah, your team."

I went to the washroom as soon as I exited his office. I held onto the sink as I let out the breath I had been holding in. I vaguely remembered that CEO Baek Hansung talked about a lot of things including Lee Songha, but there was only one thing that filled my head.

My own team.

My team composed of my actors, my celebrities, and my people.

It was like a magic word. Just thinking about it made it hard to breathe as though I had just sprinted at full speed.

I felt proud and moved when I received my business card with the position 'Chief' written on it, but the position 'Team Leader' was one that felt incomparably distant to that of a chief, especially with my current experience.

Get it together.

I washed my hands with cold water and slapped my cheeks a few times.

Just as I saw my dazed face reflected in the mirror, I felt like I stumbled and the world became black.

I was sitting in a plush chair that seemed to bury me in its cus.h.i.+ons.

I was wearing an expensive suit and had my legs crossed with my hands clasped on top of my knee. My clear vision felt unfamiliar. So it was that. My fixed future. The future where I was the CEO of a management company.

How long had it been?

"I heard that W&U's CEO Baek Hansung was your role model in the past."

I heard a woman's cautious voice.

My vision swayed and I saw the two women sitting across the table.

They were Reporter Song and Reporter Park, no, Director Park.

"He was."

My future self replied. It was moderately smooth and leisurely.

"I have never met him before so I'm curious what kind of person he was."

Director Park seemed to reminisce the past as she said,

"He was one of the main role models of young people working in the management business. He was a self-made man who made his 1-person company into a major one within ten years. The press loved him since he was a successful young businessman. Now that I think about it, CEO Jung seems quite a bit similar to him."

Director Park's black lips curved upwards. I tilted my head.

"Is that so?"

"Yes, you both have numerous similar traits. Ah, besides your impression."

I suddenly recalled CEO Baek Hansung, who I had met in his office moments ago. My future self was similar to him? This perked my curiosity. I glanced around to see if I could see myself reflected on something.

"But why did you storm out of your role model's company?"

Storm out?

I was surprised for a moment, but when I thought about it, it was obvious. I had to have left W&U to establish my own company and become a CEO. But to say I stormed out rather than I left gave me a bad feeling.

My future self replied,

"I didn't like his methods."

"His methods?"

"I was young then so I must have become disillusioned while observing him."

I felt disillusioned by CEO Baek Hansung's methods?

I couldn't even begin to guess what had happened. I didn't even know if something like that would occur or not.

I had already changed the present so much. The situation I was currently in compared to six months ago, and even I had changed immensely as well.

The Jung Sunwoo being interviewed right now was 'W&U's Lucky Charm', didn't become a chief at 28, and definitely wasn't told that he would be given his own team by CEO Baek Hansung.

Director Park joined in,

"You regretted it after pompously leaving W&U, didn't you?"

"Of course."

My future self said with a smile,

"I would have grown much more quickly if I had continued to work under CEO Baek. After leaving, I realized the cold hard truth. That this industry was filled with so many people who were black to their stomachs that CEO Baek was considered grey."

What was he saying?

It seemed like I wasn't the only confused as Reporter Song asked instead

"What do you by grey?"

"Back then and even now, this place known as the entertainment world dyes people black. The higher up you go, the harder it is to endure while staying white. But if you become too black, then you become trash like the Pure Star people. It's really difficult trying to stay grey amongst them."

"Ah, then are you currently grey?"

I felt the muscles near my lips move subtly.

Then, with a low laugh, my future self said,

"Probably."

A drop of water ran down my cheek and dripped from my chin.

When I came to my senses, I was looking at my face reflected in the mirror.

I was back in the present.

I turned on the cold water, washed my face, and brushed my wet hair to the side. The future was odd the more I thought about it. The futures I had seen were always inhospitable, but they seemed like they wanted to tell me something. This time, it was ambiguous.

Thinking about it intently for a bit before stopping.

I didn't plan on storming out of the company right now anyways.

Like what my future self said, staying in W&U would allow me to become more successful more quickly than suffering on my own. This was also one of my new goals after I started changing my future.

Only, a single sprout of doubt budded in my mind.

My future self. What kind of person was I 20 years in the future?

I became curious about that.

I pressed the code in the keypad and opened the front door.

It opened a few centimeters before halting with a thud. There was a chain.

"Who is it? If it's Sunwoo oppa, tell us your nickname. Snake, snake, what kind of snake?"

"Stop speaking nonsense and open the door."

"It is you."

Im Seoyoung opened the door wide with smiling eyes.

"You weren't trailed by reporters, right? There aren't any reporters outside, right? You have to be careful. If you slip up, the paparazzi might snap of picture of you. We're now a girl group whose every move is newsworthy."

"Do you have full makeup on in case someone takes a picture of you?"

"My naked face is drab because I couldn't sleep due to our busy schedule."

She then pouted her glossy lips.

I looked at the other girls. Lee Taehee was slumped on the sofa, uncertain whether she was alive or dead, like always, and LJ was doing sit-ups on the floor next to her.

"We tried to stop her as much as we could."

LJ said while wiping the sweat from her forehead.

"She's being such a pain. Dummy, who's curious about your every move? The only one among us that paparazzi will follow is Lee Songha."

Now that I thought about it, one person was missing.

"But where is Songha? Did she leave?"

"She's in her room. She was going in and out of it just moments ago."

Im Seoyoung tilted her head.

"She somehow always knew when you were coming so she'd be out here watching the front door, but why is she so quiet today? Hey, Lee Son-!"

When Im Seoyoung opened her door, a sound of something breaking resounded.

"Oh my G.o.d, what the heck? Are you okay? So-sorry!"

"I'm fine."

Lee Songha rubbed her forehead as she walked out. Her forehead was red.

She didn't seem fine.

"What were you doing standing behind your door?"

"I was on my way out."

She replied as she glanced in my direction.

She opened and closed her mouth a few times before firmly keeping it shut. She tottered out and took out a bucket of ice cream with her name written on it from the freezer. Then she crouched down next to the sofa and began eating it.

Lee Taehee moved her arm to stroke Lee Songha's hair.

"She's acting like that because she's stressed."

Im Seoyoung said as she shook my arm. Lee Songha bluntly said,

"No, I'm eating it because I want to."

"Like h.e.l.l you are! Do you know how many meals you had since the scandal broke out? Yesterday and the day before, you ordered three night time meals instead of sleeping!"

"She didn't sleep?"

When I asked, everyone besides Lee Songha nodded their heads.

"She didn't sleep a wink."

"She didn't care much when the scandal with the Punchline member broke out, but this time, it like the world's ending. She would lie in the living room early in the morning, mumbling, 'dummy, dummy,' she's like a haunting spirit."

LJ and Im Seoyoung clicked their tongues and said in a quiet voice.

Lee Taehee got up from the sofa, came over, and asked,

"I heard that Songha's manager might change because of the scandal, when will it be decided?"

"It already has been."

Lee Songha's shoulders flinched.

Eyes wide, the girls asked,

"Really? What's going to happen?"

"What do you mean what's going to happen? Of course, I'm still going to be a.s.signed to her."

Lee Songha turned her head so quickly that I could almost hear the wind.

Her eyes were wide like she couldn't believe what she was hearing. Her lips were slightly apart. She hastily abandoned the ice cream bucket and spoon she was hugging and came over to me.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"Ho-how?"

"I told you I had a plan and to leave it to me."

To be honest, I had been slightly uneasy, but I didn't show it.

"I personally heard the CEO's response. Even in the future, you are an actress under my care."

"Your actress…"

Color flushed on her pale white face.

Her eyes curved and her firmly shut lips squirmed upwards. I suddenly recalled what Im Seoyoung had said. Her expression was exactly that of someone who heard that the world wouldn't be collapsing after they had been preparing for it.

Also, she looked at me like I had somehow saved the world.

It was an incredible expression. If this was a scene in a drama or movie, I would have immediately screen-captured it and used it as my laptop and phone's backgrounds.

Thinking about this, I recalled something I had to ask her.

"Songha, I have something I want to ask you."

"Yes, ask me anything."

"The picture you mentioned."

The color drained from her face.

Avoiding the gazes of the other girls, we entered Lee Songha's room.

Lee Songha resembled someone who was going to the guillotine.

"Hmm, so you touched my face?"

"I think so."

"What do you mean 'I think so'? Why did you do it?"

She glanced at my expression before gulping and saying,

"It was out of impulse. It was night, you were sleeping, and for some reason, I was curious about it that night. I wasn't in my right mind. That momentary impulse beat out my reasoning and lead to me doing that. I looked it up on the internet and apparently, this occasionally happens due to hormones."

"Hormones?"

"Yes. It's all because of hormones."

I looked at her with a dumbfounded expression, and she, who pushed her hormone-driven impulse story, avoided my gaze.

"Though it's because of my hormones, I am very sorry for molesting you. You can touch my face if you like."

"… Don't say that anywhere else. It'll cause a huge fuss."

"I won't."

I rubbed my chin a couple times before asking again,

"All you did was touch my face and put your finger in my mouth?"

"It is."

"I saw the pictures in the CEO's possession."

She flinched. She definitely flinched just now.

I was waiting for her to confess on her own after taking the bait, but Lee Songha kept her lips firmly shut before saying,

"There's no way that's true. That's really all."

She didn't fall for it.

I let out a short breath while asking,

"Songha. You know, do you really not li-"

"I don't!"

Lee Songha shouted, cutting me off. She even shook her head.

"You really don't, right?"

"I don't."

Her voice was quite serious. No, it wasn't just her voice, her expression was as well.

The way she looked directly at me was also serious.

"I'm not going to like anyone and just work. I'm not going to date until I become successful enough to take responsibility. That's why you don't have to worry about it."

Lee Songha seemingly vowed before taking steadfast steps to her bed. She then quickly jumped into her sheets.

"Then I'm going to sleep now. Have a safe trip back."

"… Okay, rest well."

I came out to the living room as though I was repelled by something.

Even though I clearly asked her and heard her reply, my head was slightly complicated.

I decided to think about it on my way back and said my farewell to the girls. The girls saw me off at the entrance as usual. Looking around, Im Seoyoung tilted her head and shouted,

"Lee Songha! Oppa's leaving!"

There was no reply.

"What's she doing?"

"She's asleep."

The girls blinked when they heard.

"She's asleep when you're leaving? She is? The one who always sticks next to you? What the heck?"

"You said she didn't sleep for two days. Don't wake her up and let her be."

I waved and left their home.

I continuously thought about it until I got in my minivan. My emotions were all over the place. Should I say I was relieved yet disappointed? Distracted?

I glanced up the apartment building before clicking my tongue and starting my car.

It seemed that my hormones were running amok today as well.

As soon as it became quiet outside her room, Lee Songha kicked away her blanket and jolted up. Then she propped her chin on her window and looked down.

She saw a minivan parked under the streetlights.

The entrance lights turned on and she saw a familiar head.

Lee Songha quietly looked out her window until the minivan grew so distant that she could no longer see it in the darkness.

/ /

Top Management Chapter 118

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Top Management Chapter 118 summary

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