Big Life Chapter 229: People Are Important (8)

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Chapter 229: People Are Important (8)


Department Head Bae…?


It was a call from Nam Gyu-Baek’s confidante. It was her first time receiving a call from him after saving his contact details in her phone.


“Jae-In, what are you doing not getting in the car?” Myung-Ja asked, peeking out from the back.


Ha Jae-In gave a forced smile and took a step back, saying, “I’ll take this call real quick.”


“Can’t you take this on the car? The in-laws are arriving soon.”


Ha Jae-In bit her lips. She couldn’t answer this call with her parents present.


Thankfully, Ha Jae-Gun caught the strange look on her face and said, “Take your time. Just come to us when you’re done. We still have some time, Mom.”


“Thank you, Jae-Gun.”


Ha Jae-In stepped out of the main gate, where her parents couldn’t see her. She then cleared her throat before answering the phone, “h.e.l.lo?”


— h.e.l.lo, miss.


Ha Jae-In gasped in surprise. Nam Gyu-Baek’s voice echoed from the other side of the line.


“H-h.e.l.lo, Chair…man…”


— I’m sorry for calling so suddenly. I would like to meet you now. Do you have time?


“Now?”


— Are you in the middle of something?


Her toes curled in her shoes. There was an important appointment with the in-laws later, plus it was also the day when she could enjoy watching the movie that was made from her beloved younger brother’s novel.


However, there was a larger reason behind her hesitation. She was afraid to meet Nam Gyu-Baek one-on-one. She couldn’t expect what the older man would say to her.


— Actually, I’m outside your academy right now.


“Outside the academy?”


Ha Jae-In looked up instantly. She looked in the direction of the academy, which was hidden from her view by the other buildings and gulped nervously.


Just then, Ha Jae-Gun came up from behind her and tapped her shoulder, startling her.


Go ahead.’ Ha Jae-Gun mouthed the words and smiled warmly to rea.s.sure his hesitating old sister.


“I understand, Chairman,” Ha Jae-In finally mustered the courage to reply, “I will be there soon.”


— You don’t have to rush. I’ll be waiting in the cafe across the street. See you later.


Ha Jae-In hung up the call. Wrapping her hand over her forehead, she let out a sigh and murmured helplessly, “I’m not sure what to do.”


“Meet him first.” Ha Jae-Gun held Ha Jae-In’s shoulders and added, “You don’t have to be afraid of him just because he’s the chairman of a large corporation. It’s natural for you to get fl.u.s.tered in your previous encounter, but it isn’t the same this time. So meet him, and share your thoughts with him.”


“It’s easy for you to say, Jae-Gun… But—wait—how did you…?” Ha Jae-In’s eyes widened in shock. How did her younger brother know of her things in such detail?


“Did you meet Director Nam by any chance?”


“Is that important?” Ha Jae-Gun exerted more strength into his grip and said, “You are not inferior or lacking in any way. You understand what I mean, right?”


“I-I know…”


“If you’re still feeling uneasy, shall I go with you instead? Alright, I’ll go with you. He’s opposite the academy, right?” Ha Jae-Gun pretended to stride over to the car, but Ha Jae-In ran after him and held him back.


“Why? What’s wrong? We can speak with him first and then meet Soo-Hee’s family at the cinema after.”


“N-no. I’ll just go alone. I can go alone. I’ll be able to speak with him clearly that way.”


It wasn’t an issue where someone else could step in and resolve it for her. It was something she had to go through on her own while facing her fears.


Ha Jae-In then continued with determination. “Don’t worry, I’ll do well.”


“You should have said that sooner.” Ha Jae-Gun grinned and turned around, heading toward the garage. “Noona, do you remember what you said to me after reading Demian back in high school? There’s a part by Sinclair about how people being afraid of people doesn't make sense. So, be confident and meet him.”


Ha Jae-Gun went to the garage and soon drove out. Both Myung-Ja and Ha Suk-Jae had dumbfounded expressions painted on their faces as they pa.s.sed Ha Jae-In. Left all alone, Ha Jae-In bit her lips and stood there for a while before turning around.


***


“I apologize for not contacting you earlier.”


“It’s fine, Chairman. You don’t have to say that. I should be apologizing instead.”


“My energy is decreasing by the day, and Gyu-Ho’s stubbornness is getting stronger as well… If I were healthy, I might have contacted you much later no—I might have not contacted you at all.”


“I understand…”


Nam Gyu-Baek and Ha Jae-In were currently sitting in the cafe opposite Ha Jae-In Academy. Ha Jae-In dropped her head before Nam Gyu-Baek. Where did all her courage go after opening the cafe door with determination earlier?


She was trembling in fear from head to toe.


It’s over…’ Ha Jae-In did not even have a speck of hope that Nam Gyu-Baek was going to give her a positive conversation.


The chairman owned a large corporation with a market value of eight trillion won. She could enjoy her Cinderella dream for a moment, but could she really get a happy ending like Cinderella in real life as well? Ha Jae-In shook her head; she didn't think so.


On the other hand, Nam Gyu-Baek remained silent. He had dropped by on impulse, as he had been struggling for a while and couldn’t come to terms with it. He thought that it was time for him to get to the point, and he needed some time to organize his thoughts with Ha Jae-In sitting in front of him.


“There’s something I want to ask you,” Nam Gyu-Baek finally spoke as their coffee cooled.


Still looking downward, Ha Jae-In said, “Yes, Chairman. Please go ahead.”


Nam Gyu-Baek gestured behind him with his finger. Department Head Bae, seated at the table behind, stood up. He respectfully placed a book on the table before Nam Gyu-Baek and Ha Jae-In.


“I heard that the female lead in this novel was inspired by you?”


“…?!” Ha Jae-In was surprised to see the book Foolish Woman on the table, but she didn't say anything in response.


“That’s why I wanted to ask you, how much are you and the female lead in this novel alike? Or is there anything different about both of you?”


There were signs of the book being read multiple times throughout the book.


“Chairman, this…” Ha Jae-In was at a loss for words at the request to compare herself with the female lead in Foolish Woman.


“I hope you’ll tell me in full.” Nam Gyu-Baek’s voice sounded both gentle and firm. “I don’t think we would be sitting here and talking like this if it weren’t for this book.”


Ha Jae-In nodded silently. The book on the table was the biggest gift she had received in her life. The fear that made her tremble all over was starting to disappear, and instead, pride began to overwhelm her.


“It’s all fiction, sir.”


“All of it?” Nam Gyu-Baek asked, clearly stunned.


Ha Jae-In nodded with a smile and replied, “Yes, sir. I’m not that foolish and kind. Plus, Foolish Woman is only its t.i.tle, but look at how she acts, so shrewd, and smart when she’s doing things for her family. I'm not as affable as her.”


Was she saying this with the thought that being humble was a virtue, or was this just a feeling of desperation? Ha Jae-In carefully raised a finger and added, “But there’s one thing that I’m better at.”


“And…what is that?”


“I love my family more than the female lead in the novel. Regardless of how great my brother is in writing, I don’t think he has fully expressed how much I love my family. This is the only thing I can tell you with confidence.”


Nam Gyu-Baek looked at Ha Jae-In in a daze. Ha Jae-In was grinning; she didn't seem to be intimidated at all. The face of his late wife during her most beautiful days overlapped with Ha Jae-In’s face.


“I see…” Nam Gyu-Baek nodded. His nose tingled as his late wife came to mind. “Thank you for answering such a tough question.”


“It’s nothing, sir.”


A bitter smile formed on Nam Gyu-Baek’s face. Images of his beloved son being born up to the present flashed across his eyes. It seemed like it was time to let him go, he felt like it was time for him to respect his will and life, just as he had back then.


“I saw that you majored in historical studies.”


Ah, yes… sir.”


“Are you not planning to advance into graduate school?”


“I was living life a little busier, so I didn’t have time to think about it. And now I am running an academy.” Ha Jae-In replied calmly, but she was trembling slightly inside.


Why did Nam Gyu-Baek bring up her major?


“There’s no need for the director to teach students personally. Shouldn’t it be alright to hire more teachers while you go to graduate school?”


“Yes, that’s true, but…”


“Then advance into graduate school.” Nam Gyu-Baek cut her off. “It’s because I have somewhere to use you.”


“What do you mean…?”


“My son is getting old, so let’s hold your wedding first. And I’m sure there are no issues with you attending graduate school when you’re still newly married.”


“…?!” Was she hearing voices? Ha Jae-In covered her mouth with her hands. The words from Nam Gyu-Baek were unbelievable. “And since we’ve met today, are you able to give me some more time? There’s a movie I’d like to watch, and I would love to have a date with you.”


“Sir…” Tears began to well in Ha Jae-In’s eyes. A sparkling drop of tear fell onto her phone on the table, and just in time, a message from Nam Gyu-Ho arrived, lighting up her phone.


***


"I’m sorry, Director Nam. I already have a prior appointment. Pardon? No. Not a friend but a great person. We promised to watch Storm and Gale together today. Ah, Director Nam. I’m sorry, but I can’t stay on the phone too long; I’ll call you again later tonight."


A great person…?


Nam Gyu-Ho bit his lips nervously and tilted his head. It was now 10 pm, yet there was no call from Ha Jae-In.


Who is it…? Is that great person a man? She went to watch a movie with another man? On top of that, such a meaningful movie was made from her younger brother’s novel? Who is she watching it with, if not with me?


Nam Gyu-Ho was on edge. Ha Jae-In had rejected him when he asked her out to watch Storm and Gale together. He acted like it was no big deal on the phone due to his pride, but he was actually quite shocked.


Does she really have another guy, or did she say that just to provoke me? There’s no way the angelic Ms. Jae-In will do something like that. No, perhaps she has gotten a bit too frustrated with our current situation that she decided to do that?!


Nam Gyu-Ho ruffled his hair after failing to come up with an answer.


Just then, he heard knocking on the door and the head butler peeked his head from behind the door.


“Young Master, the Chairman has returned.”


“Oh, is that so?” Nam Gyu-Ho stood up, putting his thoughts aside. Nam Gyu-Baek was already out in the living room as he stepped out of his room. Department Head Bae was standing behind Nam Gyu-Baek.


“Welcome back.”


“Oh, yes.”


Nam Gyu-Ho went silent with nothing more to say. His relations.h.i.+p with his father had turned estranged recently.


“Where did you go?”


“I had a meal and a movie with a young lady.”


“Pardon…?” Nam Gyu-Baek’s eyes widened in surprise.


“Why are you so surprised? Didn’t you ask me to date?”


“No, yes. No, but Father. A young lady…?”


“You don’t have to know about it.” Nam Gyu-Baek took off his coat and sat down on the sofa. He then added indifferently, “Send to graduate school.”


“Graduate school? Who?”


“Who else?!” Nam Gyu-Baek roared in an instant.


“You better stop fantasizing about enjoying your marriage! I want you to make her study. I’m planning to let her take over the museum once it’s opened.”


“F-father…?” Nam Gyu-Ho lost all strength in his legs. Just then, he realized the ident.i.ty of the great person Ha Jae-In had said, as well as the ident.i.ty of the young lady his father had just mentioned.


“You’re…letting her take charge of the museum?”


Nam Gyu-Baek had collected over a thousand Korean artworks in his lifetime. He had also found an area to open a museum for his collection.


“You… you’re letting Ms. Jae-In take charge of the museum, which means…”


Nam Gyu-Baek threw his coat at Nam Gyu-Ho. “Why are you still here double-confirming things? How are you still in the director’s position when you’re so slow?”


“Father!” Nam Gyu-Ho knelt down.


Nam Gyu-Baek turned slightly pale and looked away. “Hey! Don’t kneel in front of me!”


“I’m not about to spout nonsense! I love you, Father! I love you the most in this world!”


“Did this punk eat rat poison or something? Stop the nonsense! Ah, let go of me! Stop!”


Despite the constant yelling, Nam Gyu-Ho did not let go of his father’s legs. Ha Jae-In wasn’t lying. His father was indeed the greatest person in the world.


***


[Storm and Gale hits China, breaking records daily!]


It was the third week since Storm and Gale was released in both Korea and China. News related to the movie was taking over the top portal sites. In addition, there were daily reports about the movie’s performance on all the public broadcasting channels.


[…Seeing the increasing popularity of Storm and Gale since its third week of release is scary. It’s about to hit seven million audience count in Korea, and what’s more amazing is the response from China. Let’s get connected to our local reporter, Reporter Kim Won-Tae from Shanghai. Reporter?]


[Yes, this is Reporter Kim Won-Tae. Behind me is a long line of Chinese nationals queuing to reserve tickets to the movie. This line made me realize the popularity of Storm and Gale in China, which has currently recorded over sixty million audiences.]


There was no way people wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. The movie’s popularity was huge in Korea, but its popularity was nothing more than a minnow when compared to its popularity in China.


60 million audiences in its third week! It was an unprecedented number, even in China. This was the result of Teencent Pictures’ meticulous marketing strategy as well as the efforts of top actress Yang Ying and Director Tae-Sung, who had been producing outstanding films based on original works.


Ha Jae-Gun had been staying at home recently in the midst of this typhoon. This was a period where reporters were pestering him to do an interview with him. He wouldn’t step out of the house if it weren’t for something he had to do outside, including the recording of Let’s Watch A Movie.


Tadadadak! Tadak! Tadadadak!


Today, Ha Jae-Gun was once again alone in his study, working on his writing. The working t.i.tle of the novel was Human’s Malice. He had been working on it on and off while working on the English version of The Breath. Nothing else had been decided for the novel, aside from the protagonist, who had evil intentions.


He was allowing his fingers to take the story to where it wanted it to go.


Bzzt!


His phone on the table abruptly vibrated. It was a call from an unknown number.


It must be from some broadcast company again. Or maybe a government office?


Ha Jae-Gun left the phone alone. After a while, the vibration stopped, and a text message arrived.

Big Life Chapter 229: People Are Important (8)

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Big Life Chapter 229: People Are Important (8) summary

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