The social network sites were in an uproar.

The rumor of Kang Eun-Yeong dating someone, a top-tier idol in her own right, could be considered a pretty major topic of discussion.
But now, she committed a massive on-air incident, and even her oppa made a stunning entrance as well—it wasn ’t an exaggeration to say a hurricane had up-ended the online chatrooms.

Thankfully, though, the general opinion online leaned favorably toward Kang Eun-Yeong.

– Let ’s be real here, if her oppa is that mad, that dating thing must be fake, right?

– But her family might be in on the whole thing, though?

– If Se-Ah ’s oppa makes his debut, he ’ll probably be more popular than her with his looks alone.

– Agreed.

– She looked so plain while standing next to her oppa.
Yup, a person ’s looks are subjective, aren ’t they?

Jo Gyu-Min sighed deeply after checking out the reactions online.
“Looks like we ’ve put out the urgent fires for now.”

The only thing remaining now was for both sides involved to issue press releases that categorically rejected the dating rumor.

“Who knew Mister Jin-Ho would overcome this crisis in this manner…”

Instead of Kang Se-Ah ’s image taking a knock, it seemed to have gotten a boost from Kang Jin-Ho ’s actions.
The public ’s trust in her went through the roof, with people saying that Kang Se-Ah wouldn ’t dare to date anyone with an older brother like Kang Jin-Ho around, who was brash enough to crash a live event just because of one gossip article.

In a way, this situation was a case of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.


Jo Gyu-Min glanced at the screen of his ringing smartphone before answering the call.

– Good day, Chief Secretary.
This is Seo Yong-Chan speaking.

“Good day to you too, Director Seo.”

– I ’ve just finished my phone call with the PD of that event.
Although their side was quite furious about what happened, we managed to come to an amicable solution.

“That ’s somewhat unexpected, I have to say.”

– I figured their side must ’ve heard about the rumor by now.
You know, that open secret about how Jaegyeong is looking after Se-Ah.
They probably think this kind of matter isn ’t worth us losing all decorum, if you know what I mean.

“I ’ll be grateful if that ’s true.”

– Oh, and uh…
That rumor about Jaegyeong launching an entertainment division soon…
Was your side responsible for that leak?

Jo Gyu-Min coolly mouthed a cigarette while replying, “That ’s news to me, Director Seo.”

-That means it ’s not true?

“Not sure, Director.
I don ’t have many points of contact with that part of the world, you see.
However, in consideration of our close relationship, allow me to offer you a small piece of advice.
I ’m sure you ’re aware of how…
disinterested our chairman is in regards to such things, yes?”

– Mm, I see.
I had a feeling that would be the case.

Jo Gyu-Min smiled brightly.
It seemed that a rumor cooked up just in case had taken on a life of its own and eventually trickled into the ears of the other involved parties.
Being a program director wasn ’t a lifelong job, to begin with.
Meanwhile, switching your allegiance from public broadcasters to cable networks, or vice versa, was so much easier these days.
After considering all these, both sides involved had probably tacitly agreed not to create any everlasting bad blood if they could help it.

– Thankfully, Miss Se-Ah ’s image is intact, so we believe there shouldn ’t be any problems with her career.

“I see.
That ’s great to hear.”

– Indeed.
Oh, and will you be directly handling the rest, Mister Jo?

I ’ll deal with it myself,” Jo Gyu-Min replied while lighting up his cigarette.

– I see.
We ’ll leave it to you, then.
I know that the chairman isn ’t interested in these sorts of things, but still…
At least mention my name once to him later.
I mean, who knows?

Of course, I will do that.”

– Thank you.
Then, have a good day, Mister Jo.

Jo Gyu-Min snorted as soon as he ended the call.
“Who knows, you say?”

Obviously, Hwang Jeong-Hu would never remember someone like Seo Yong-Chan.
Jo Gyu-Min took a deep drag of his cigarette, erased all traces of the smirk from his face, then got up to leave.

“Well, then.
It ’s time to…!”


Jo Gyu-Min gritted his teeth as he slowly made his way out of his office.


“What was that?!” Han Seon-Gu, the boss of FRC Entertainment, scowled deeply while yelling.

Director Lee Hyeon-Min sitting across his boss ’s desk could only scratch his nose while replying sheepishly, “Sir, they want us to pretend that we don ’t know each other.
Like, at all.”

“Did Code really say that?”

“Yes, Boss.”

“…On whose authority?!”

Director Lee grimaced helplessly.
“E-eiii, come on, boss.
We ’re talking about Code here.
The Code! Nothing good will come out of getting on their bad books, you know?”

“Hey, you dumbass! Did anything good happen to us while associating ourselves with Code until now? We ’re this close to going out of business, so shouldn ’t we be trying everything we can right now?!”

“E-even then…” Lee Hyeon-Min mumbled weakly.

However, his response only stoked Han Seon-Gu ’s anger even more.
“You dumb piece of sh*t! What kind of a golden opportunity do you think this is?! We gotta do everything in our power to seize this chance, you dumbass! You should be encouraging me instead of chickening out here! If we tuck our tails and back off now, we ’ll have to shoulder all the losses!”

Lee Hyeon-Min ’s head faltered, unable to say anything back to his boss.

“…Tsk!” Han Seon-Gu clicked his tongue in frustration.
“Code ’s got plenty of money, so it ’s fine for them to incur some losses.
They should learn to accept losing a bit while small to medium enterprises like ours earn some coin off their backs! I ’m telling you, Koreans have this tendency to get more stingy the wealthier they get!”

“But, Boss.
Will Code take this lying down? They ’ve been pushing Kang Se-Ah with all their might for a while, after all.
And we ’re trying to drag her name across the mud, boss.
Besides, she and Jun Yeong don ’t even have anything going as well.
From what I hear, our Jun Yeong saw her only once and decided that he liked her looks.
And that ’s why he ’s been trying his luck, but Se-Ah hasn ’t even spared a glance in his way so far…”

“It ’ll be fine.
I ’m telling you! That ’s how he becomes an oppa, then sometime later, honey!”


“Uh-huh!” Han Seon-Gu curtly cut Lee Hyeon-Min off.
“Listen here, damn it! Why can ’t our idols use this chance to get some exposure?! They still can ’t get a decent slot in a public broadcaster ’s programs even though they ’ve been active for nearly two years already! But now, one of our boys is rumored to be dating Kang Se-Ah! Yet, you wanna sweep this chance under the rug?! You dumbass! I don ’t care whether it ’s an affair or just a platonic relationship, we should be promoting our idols like hell using this chance!”

“But, Boss! What about the public image of our idols?”

“You think that boy ’s image will fall by dating someone as popular as Kang Se-Ah? Rather than a nobody, it ’s better to be known as a playboy, you dumbass!”

Lee Hyeon-Min sighed deeply.
“Boss, I wouldn ’t be opposing you like this if I thought things would play out as you say.
But Kang Se-Ah is someone sponsored by Jaegyeong, boss.”

“What? Jaegyeong?”

That Jaegyeong.”

“Fu-hahahahaha!” Han Seon-Gu exploded in laughter before dismissively waving his hand.
“You dummy! You ’ve been in this industry for how long now? Yet, you still can ’t even tell fake rumors and real deals apart?”

“Boss, that rumor is everywhere.”

“Come on, man.
Listen, do you have any idea what kind of a man Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu is?”


“Back in the day when company executives and politicians all thought it was cool to have a few pretty celebrities ’entertain ’ them, Chairman Hwang was the only person who stated his distaste for having entertainers show up in a get-together.
Sure, planning departments are responsible for mapping out the future strategies of large corporations these days.
And companies hire pro managers to hear their opinions all the time.
Knowing all that, you honestly think Chairman Hwang wants to enter the entertainment industry? That man?”


“Besides, he’s the type to charge straight in like a bull, so if he was serious about entering this industry, he wouldn ’t just support one or two idols from the background to test the waters.” Han Seon-Gu loudly tutted.
“How can you be so oblivious to Chairman Hwang ’s persona? That old man doesn ’t know the meaning of doing things in the shadows.
Since he doesn ’t do that, he ’s got nothing to hide.
Since he ’s got nothing to hide, he ain ’t gonna waste time just dipping his toes.
But now, he ’s doing what? He ’s sponsoring Kang Se-Ah?”

Lee Hyeon-Min suddenly had a moment of clarity.
That rumor was so widespread that he had simply taken it as the truth until now.
But now that he heard Han Seon-Gu ’s take on this matter, though…
His boss actually had a valid point.

“But, boss.
It ’s also possible that Kang Se-Ah is Chairman Hwang ’s hidden grandchild, or maybe even his daughter.”

“Say what now? You still don ’t know what Chairman Hwang is like, do you? Still spewing nonsense like that.”


“That old man stayed faithful to his wife he met when they were still dirt-poor.
Other people will kick their old, ugly wives to the curve and get married to new, hot young women when they taste success.
But that old man? He has never cheated on his wife.
Don ’t you know his famous saying about the only thing separating humans from smelly beasts is their morals? Chairman Hwang didn ’t marry again after his wife passed away.
Isn ’t that proof enough for ya?”

Well, uh, you do have a point…”

“Gimme a break.
I might be a low-life with no manners, but we shouldn ’t make fun of Chairman Hwang.
We ain ’t worthy.”

Lee Hyeon-Min slowly nodded.
“Then, what should we do about this incident?”

“Be as vague as possible and drag it out, okay? Then, there’s bound to be another article or an opinion piece popping up sooner rather than later.”

“But, boss.
What if they sue us for, I don ’t know, defamation?”

“Pay the fine, then.
It won ’t be that much, anyway.”

“But it ’s gonna wreck our image, boss.”

“You dumbass.
When that happens, we ’ll just take the blame for it to protect our kids.
How? We ’ll act like villains and lament that our kids are being so brainless in public.
By doing that, the punters will think we ’re running an evil talent agency that treats its idols like slaves.
People tend to see idols and their agencies as two separate things, so they have no idea that buying merch and streaming songs will still line our pockets!”

“Hmm…” Lee Hyeon-Min felt a bit leery about this, but he couldn ’t oppose his boss ’ decision anymore when Han Seon-Gu was so adamant about it.
“Understood, Boss.
Then I will—”

That was when the office ’s intercom suddenly came to life.


“What the hell, I told her no calls during my meetings, so why?!” Han Seon-Gu yanked up the intercom ’s receiver and yelled at it in irritation.
“What is it now?!”

– P-president, sir! A guest wants to speak to you, sir.

“I don ’t have any appointments for now, so what gives? Send him packing away already!”

– No, but…

“Huh?” Han Seon-Gu scowled deeply, only for his expression to ease up quickly.
His secretary might sometimes piss him off, but she was neither blind nor deaf.
The fact that she insisted despite his irritation could only mean this unscheduled guest simply had to be welcomed no matter what—no matter when and how.
“…Who wants to see me?”

– S-sir, he says he ’s from Jaegyeong ’s Office of Secretaries.

“…From where?”

– Jaegyeong, sir.
And he says he ’s the Chief Secretary…

“Wha…” Han Seon-Gu ’s stupefied eyes drifted around in his office and spotted Lee Hyeon-Min pounding his chest while making an expression that said, ‘I told you, didn ’t I?! ’

“…L-let him in.”

– Yes, President.

A short while later, the office door was shoved open.
A man kitted out in a sleek, black business suit strode inside.

’M-maybe he ’s a con man? ’

That was the first thought that popped into Han Seon-Gu ’s head.
The position of Jaegyeong ’s Chief Secretary was one of the highest posts one could imagine.
A person holding such a post would be directly serving Chairman Hwang, so they usually possessed power equaling most high-ranking directors in a corporation.

As such, most Chief Secretaries were older than personal assistants.
But this man in the black business suit was too young to fit that profile.
Besides, this ’Chief Secretary ’ also came across as a bit too…
haughty and was deliberately grating on people’s nerves.

“A pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said the man in the black suit.
Before settling down on one of the empty chairs, he smartly extracted his business card from his wallet, then presented it to Han Seon-Gu.

Han Seon-Gu ’s expression became unreadable as he looked at the business card with the words ’Jaegyeon Group Office of Secretaries, Chief Jo Gyu-Min ’ clearly embossed on the surface.

I guess he ’s not a con man, then…? ’

If this man named Jo Gyu-Min was really from Jaegyeong ’s Office of Secretaries, something big was about to go down.
FRC Entertainment was a respectable mid-ranked talent agency, but compared to the one and only Jaegyeong Group, it was no better than a corner convenience store.
Never mind a huff, just a single snort from Jaegyeong would be enough to blow FRC away into oblivion.

“W-what brings you here, Chief Jo?” Han Seon-Gu asked in a trembling voice.
And his heart nearly tumbled to the pit of his stomach after noticing Jo Gyu-Min ’s stiff expression.

We are, find us on google.

“A child highly valued by an important person from our side is currently embroiled in a baseless dating rumor with an idol under your management,” said Jo Gyu-Min.

‘A child highly valued by an important person?! ’ 

Han Seon-Gu ’s eyes powerfully quaked.
Such a revelation would not be made in ordinary circumstances! Which could only mean—

A child highly valued by the chairman?!

“We got to the bottom of this matter, and it turns out the person from our side is not even remotely interested in your idol, but your idol continues to cling to her.
As you can imagine, it ’s not just Code, but the important person on our side is also not pleased.

Han Seon-Gu bowed forward ninety degrees in a hurry.
“M-my sincerest apologies! We had no idea it was true all along!”

Jo Gyu-Min tilted his head a little.
“Mm? What ’s true all along?”

Han Seon-Gu responded while making an unreadable grin, “Well, you said a child highly valued by an important person, so…
She ’s sponsored by Chairman Hwang Jeo—”

Unable to finish his sentence out of embarrassment, Han Seon-Gu sheepishly smiled instead.

However, that only served as a trigger to set Jo Gyu-Min ’s anger off.
“Hey, you stupid son of a b*tch!”

Jo Gyu-Min ’s angry yell echoed powerfully inside FRC Entertainment ’s building.

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