“W-what is going on, Gyu-Min?” Hwang Jeong-Hu asked in stunned confusion while peeking at Jo Gyu-Min ’s phone from the side.

“Sir, it seems that…
Mister Jin-Ho has decided to take the bull by its horns.
And it looks like we ’ll have to wait for a bit longer to gauge the public ’s reaction.”

It would have been so, so much nicer if this impromptu interview was broadcasted on national TV or, at the very least, a cable network.
Unfortunately, it was on a live stream on some vlogger ’s channel.
In that case, the number of viewers couldn ’t have been that large.

’No, wait.
Since it ’s ranked no.1 in the real-time search, maybe more people than I thought could have watched it. ’

Jo Gyu-Min ’s heart started to pound in anticipation as he checked out the reactions on various social media sites.
Soon, a barely-suppressed giggle escaped from his mouth.

– Wowsers, Kang Se-Ah ’s oppa ’s so unreal.
I have never seen reporters looking so shocked like that before! With a bro like him managing her life, most dudes won ’t even get closer to Se-Ah!

– Mom, look! The daughter of that family is so pretty! And look how their son is so handsome as well! So tell me, Mom! Why do I look like thiiiis?!

– I heard some rumors about how strong-headed Kang Se-Ah is, but…
They have to be fake.
Look how she couldn ’t even look her oppa in the eye!

– Nah.
The way I see it, this whole thing smells like a publicity stunt to bury the whole dating rumor.
Whenever I see folks lol ’ing over crap like this, I always wonder whether their brains are still functioning or not.

– Woooow.
Just for a publicity stunt, Se-Ah decided to figuratively flip a bird during a public TV live concert.
You know what happens when a singer gets on PDs ’ bad books, right? All those who think that was a publicity stunt, I ’m guessing you ’re still staying in your mom ’s basement, aren ’t you? What would basement-dwelling neckbeards know about stuff like this?

– Kang Se-Ah ’s Oppa! If she ’s really dating, retirement straight away! Excommunicado!!!

’Huh, the responses are better than I thought? ’

Despite causing a huge live broadcast incident, those who saw the live stream didn ’t seem to antagonize Kang Se-Ah or Kang Jin-Ho, at least not all that much.

’W-wait! We need to capitalize on this! ’ 

Jo Gyu-Min shot up to his feet.


“Sir, I need to spend some money on this.
Please give me your permission!”

“How can I say yes or no to such a sudden demand? Come on, fella! Give me a proper explanation first.”

“Sir, I believe we need to deploy an army of paid posters.
I know a company specializing in posting specific posts their clients want to see.
On top of posting favorable comments, we should also post an edited version of this stream to release on social media sites, sir! That will help with turning the tide in our favor.”

“W-what are you talking about now?” Hwang Jeong-Hu was clearly flustered, unable to comprehend the flow of this situation.

It was at this point that Jo Gyu-Min felt a strange emotion well up inside his heart.

’Yup, this is normal.
This is how it’s supposed to be! ’

It seemed Jo Gyu-Min was also suffering from the ill effect of running into a 180-year-old early adopter in China.
The more he thought about it, the more it sounded—

“…Sir, allow me to explain.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu listened to Jo Gyu-Min ’s explanation, and he revealed an unwilling expression while rubbing his chin.
“Isn ’t that…
media manipulation?”

“Technically, yes it is, sir.”

Well, something like that is a bit—”

Truthfully, I wouldn ’t even think about resorting to such methods if this matter directly involved Jaegyeong.
However, the entertainment industry is starkly different from the financial world, sir.
Even if you successfully create a wonderful product boasting top-tier quality, one wrong move will destroy your public image in one go.
That ’s what it ’s like in the entertainment industry, sir.
That is why I beg of you to be generous with the budget this time.”

“Well, if you say so, I guess it has to be right.
I ’ll leave it to your discretion, then.”

Jo Gyu-Min ’s eyes trembled subtly just then.
He sensed Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s trust in him from the way the latter gave his permission.
What a monumental event this was! Hwang Jeong-Hu only showed his trust in Director Baek Yeong-Gi and a few select others, but now, Jo Gyu-Min could count himself as one of them as well!

He should be moved to tears by this development, but…

’But, why does it have to be in a matter like this?! ’

Wouldn ’t it have been better for the trust to come from—say—a business matter related to Jaegyeong?! To think that Jo Gyu-Min would earn his boss ’ trust while dealing with a mess left behind by an idol!

Jo Gyu-Min ’s expression could only cramp up at this situation.
He couldn ’t be sure whether to rejoice or wail in sorrow at the moment.
“T-thank you, sir…”

However, he was sure about his anger level rising up for some reason.
His head quickly shot up after realizing that there indeed existed a perfect candidate to vent his anger on.
“Sir, please excuse me.
I urgently need to be somewhere.”

“I… I see.
Then, you ’re excused, Gyu-Min.” Hwang Jeong-Hu watched in stupefaction as Jo Gyu-Min quickly rushed outside the chairman ’s office, then slowly shook his head.
“I just can ’t wrap my head around any of this…”

Despite his still relatively ’young ’ age, Hwang Jeong-Hu was being left behind by a certain, different old man.


Kang Yu-Hwan spoke in a firm voice, “Sit straight, Eun-Yeong.”

“Yes, sir…”

Search bit.ly/3iBfjkV for the original.

Currently, inside the Kang family ’s home…
An emergency family meeting was about to get underway.
Kang Eun-Yeong knelt on the living room floor, her face completely frozen stiff in nervousness as the Three Admirals—her mother, father, and oppa—glared at her without mercy.[1]

’Please, someone save my soul… ’

Kang Eun-Yeong felt every hair on her body stand up from the sharp auras emitted by her family members.

“So, explain yourself.” Kang Yu-Hwan got the proceedings off the ground.

But Baek Hyeong-Jeong ’s mouth began spitting flames even before her daughter could start.
“What is there to listen to, dear! She ’s still so young, yet how could she be so promiscuous already?!”

“But, darling.
We still need to hear her side of the story.”

“This is why I was against this whole thing since the beginning, you know! I told you that our daughter still isn ’t old enough to handle things like this by herself!”

Kang Eun-Yeong listening to her parents bickering away gradually shrunk more and more into the floor.
What an unfortunate thing this was…
Her beloved family could be far too rational in some things but in others? They could also act like a group of eccentric, irrational individuals!

Kang Eun-Yeong could tell that her oppa and father were utterly uninterested in finding out the truth of the matter.
As a matter of fact, those two seemed furious at Kang Eun-Yeong for getting tangled up in such nonsense in the first place!

“W-well, what actually happened was…” Kang Eun-Yeong swallowed nervously, then began her explanation, starting from how she ran into this Jun Yeong from the group, the Voice, and to the current situation.

Kang Yu-Hwan silently listened to his daughter ’s explanation/excuse before nodding away contemplatively.
“According to your testimony, you haven ’t done anything wrong, yet that punk kept harassing you and eventually caused this whole thing.
Am I right so far?”

“Yes, Dad! That ’s it!”

“Are you being honest with us?”

“Yes, sir!” Kang Eun-Yeong urgently nodded away.
She absolutely had to create at least one ally in this situation unless she wanted an early retirement from the entertainment industry.

’Yes, I ’ve convinced my…
Ah. ’

Kang Eun-Yeong sneaked a glance in Kang Jin-Ho ’s direction to check out her oppa ’s expression only to get the feeling that the world was about to crumble around her.
Her head quickly faltered again at Kang Jin-Ho ’s scary glare.
It was as if he wanted to chew her out no matter what she said today.

’Goodbye, my idol life… ’

‘Oh, my difficult but still enjoyable-in-its-own-right idol life…’

Kang Jin-Ho broke his silence.
“I understand what you ’re trying to say.

What he said could be interpreted as: “I don ’t have a clue what you were talking about, and I don’t really care.”

“If your scheduled performance was over, you could ’ve studied for your entrance exams.
Or, practice for your next performance! Orrrr! You could have come home, taken a shower, and gone to bed!” Her orabeoni ’s voice grew louder and more agitated.
“If you didn ’t feel like doing that, you could ’ve watched TV or an American drama online! But, as soon as you ’re done with your schedule, you went out with your older peers to have fun?! And in a bar, no less?! Aren ’t you still a high schooler?”

“I…” Kang Eun-Yeong progressively shrunk even more.

“Even though you ’re still a student, you gleefully went to a bar, then ran into some creep, which resulted in this nonsense.
Isn ’t that right?! And you still want to argue that you were not at fault?!”

“I ’m sorry! I was wrong, orabeoni!”

“Indeed, you are admitting your wrongdoing, aren ’t you?”

“Y-yes, I am!”

“And when a person is guilty, they need to be punished.
That is the law of this world.”

“O-oppa…?” Kang Eun-Yeong freaked out and hurriedly stared at Kang Jin-Ho.
However, all she could see in her oppa ’s eyes were the flames of non-negotiable, unyielding resoluteness.
Kang Eun-Yeong freaked out even more and quickly turned her head to her mother, Baek Hyeon-Jeong.

“Booze?!” Baek Hyeon-Jeong growled like a scary monster.
Kang Eun-Yeong ’s mother had already transformed into a devil by then.

“D-dad! Dad!” Kang Eun-Yeong desperately turned her attention to Kang Yu-Hwan, knowing she had no one else but her father to rely on now.

“Mm…” Kang Yu-Hwan let out a low groan while rubbing his chin.
“If Eun-Yeong is being honest with us, then I don ’t think her share of the blame isn ’t as large as we thought.”

Kang Jin-Ho quickly butted in.
“Father, she ’s still a student, yet she still went to a bar.”

“That ’s true.”

“In that case, is her blunder still not as big as you think, Father?”

Kang Yu-Hwan guffawed at his son ’s serious-sounding argument.
“Do schools automatically expel students who enter drinking joints, son?”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho had no comeback to that and instead decided to glare daggers at Kang Eun-Yeong.

As for the idol in the spotlight herself, she quickly grabbed hold of the offered ray of salvation and began cheering her dad on.
“D-dad ’s right, you know!”

Kang Yu-Hwan chuckled before continuing, “Yes, she is still at fault, but her error in judgment isn ’t serious enough to warrant an immediate retirement like you ’ve said.
You can even argue that she has already received plenty of punishment when that dating rumor started to spread online.”

“Y-yes, Dad! You ’re so right!”

“However!” Kang Yu-Hwan suddenly spoke in a firmer voice.
“I ’ll not be so understanding the next time something like this happens, Eun-Yeong! You wanted to chase after your dream, so we all did our best to support you and cheer you on, but to think you were doing such things behind our backs! I ’m quite disappointed in you, Eun-Yeong.”

Kang Eun-Yeong ’s head faltered in dejection.
“I ’m really sorry, Dad.”

“Of course, I understand that you ’d want to go to such occasions once or twice out of curiosity.
However, what I struggle with right now is not about you going to such a place.
No, I can ’t understand what those older girls were thinking of while taking an underage student to a bar.
And I ’m also struggling to understand what that creepy bastard was thinking of when trying to get close to a child.”

Kang Eun-Yeong found herself unable to offer any excuses.

Kang Yu-Hwan continued, “And finally, the one I struggle to understand the most is you, Eun-Yeong.
You ’re old enough to know what ’s wrong or right, so how could you befriend people like that? Why were you hanging out with such people, and why did you agree to accompany them to a bar?”

“I ’m…
really sorry.” Thick tears began trickling down from Kang Eun-Yeong ’s eyes at her father ’s gentle but still-serious scolding.

“This gossip piece about you dating someone is ultimately not important.
What ’s important is that you have betrayed our trust in you.
Until now, whenever you didn ’t come home late into the night, we simply assumed you were busy with your work.
But from this moment on, we will wonder if you ’re hanging out in some bar somewhere, drinking with your so-called friends.
That ’s what I ’m trying to say to you, Eun-Yeong.”

“…I ’m sorry, Dad.”

“This is why trust is such an important thing.
It ’s easy to damage it, thinking it ’s nothing special.
But a trust once broken is hard to mend again, Eun-Yeong.
And now, it ’s your job to figure out what you need to do to earn our trust again.”

“…Yes, Dad.”

We would forgive you, but in reality, we would never trust you again—that was what Kang Yu-Hwan was telling his daughter.
Kang Eun-Yeong also seemed to have understood the implication behind those words as she didn ’t say anything else and just quietly cried.

“But, what about her punishment?” The ever-the-clueless Kang Jin-Ho suddenly butted in and broke the solemn mood.

Kang Yu-Hwan frowned a little.
“Jin-Ho, this isn ’t one of those cases where a separate punishment is necessary.”

“But, Father.
Reward and punishment have to be clear-cut, no matter what.”

Kang Yu-Hwan ’s frown at his son only got deeper at that forthright opinion.

’Sheesh, what a heartless son you are… ’

How could he even think about punishing his crying little sister?!

Kang Yu-Hwan cleared his throat first.
In my view, this incident only happened because Eun-Yeong still lacks life experience and social interactions.
What I ’m saying is, she made her debut in the entertainment industry while still attending high school, so she is still not good at analyzing people or the occasion she ’s involved in.”

“…Mm, I see.
You have a point there, Father.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded in agreement.

“In that case, how about letting her experience life and society in general?”

life? How?”

Kang Yu-Hwan smiled meaningfully as he stared at his daughter.
“When will my kids ever get to experience an ordinary life if we don ’t seize this opportunity? Indeed, this is wonderful timing.
Eun-Yeong, as soon as your schedule clears up, come to my cafe and work as a part-timer there.”

“…Eh?” Kang Eun-Yeong blinked her eyes in surprise.

“That ’s right.
While you’re working there Eun-Yeong, you should talk to customers and take on menial jobs to learn about the ways of the world.
Study and get better at life, that’s what I ’m saying.”

Kang Eun-Yeong jumped up in shock next.
“I… I have to study, too?!”

“No, not that kind of studying!” Kang Yu-Hwan tutted loudly.
However, his resolve became firmer at his daughter ’s adverse reaction.

’Even if you ’re my son, Jin-Ho, I won ’t let you destroy my daughter ’s career! ’

Kang Yu-Hwan just couldn ’t imagine the sight of his daughter quitting the life of an idol to enroll in a university to further her studies.
If Kang Jin-Ho heard his father ’s thoughts, he would no doubt state some nonsense like, “But, father, a person can do anything if they put in enough effort.”

Seeing his precious little girl enjoy a life full of happiness and flowers wasn ’t enough to satisfy a doting father like Kang Yu-Hwan, so he definitely had no plans to force Kang Eun-Yeong to go through any unnecessary hardships if he could help it.

Kang Yu-Hwan put his foot down.
“And so, that will be the end of discussion on this matter.”

“But, Father…” Kang Jin-Ho still seemed unconvinced and tried to raise his opposition.

However, Kang Yu-Hwan snatched away the initiative first.
“You are included in this, son.”

“…I ’m sorry?”

“At this rate, you will also not have any opportunities to do things ordinary people do every day.
So, you’ll be working as a part-timer as well.”

“…I ’m sorry?!”

And so, it was decided that Kang Jin-Ho would also apply to become a part-time worker.

This is a One Piece reference, BTW.

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