“What ’s the matter?” PD Jang Hak-Seon frowned at the assistant director rushing inside the trailer.
All the crew working in this production knew of his personality, so they wouldn ’t go out of their way to raise a fuss like this for fun.
In that case, something big had to have happened.

“PD, sir! We can ’t get in touch with Mister Ji Min-Ho!”

When you ’re just trying to make great content at bit.ly/3iBfjkV.

“Say what?” Jang Hak-Seon frowned deeply.
“Why can ’t you contact him? Didn ’t he say he was on the way not too long ago?”

“Yes, he definitely did, but now…
We can ’t reach him.”

Jang Hak-Seon groaned loudly.
“Hey, maybe his phone ’s out of reach because he ’s on the move?”

“I, uh, I don ’t think it ’s as simple as that, sir.
The situation has gotten a bit complicated, you see…” the assistant director cautiously piped up.

Jang Hak-Seon’s expression stiffened.
“What do you mean by that? Explain yourself.”

“You mean…
right here?” the assistant director asked in uncertainty.

Jang Hak-Seon realized something and looked behind him.

’Dammit, I made a mistake…! ’

Judging from the assistant ’s behavior, the situation seemed rather ’delicate ’ in nature.
But it was too late to change the location after coming this far.

“…It ’s fine.
Speak,” said Jang Hak-Seon with a soft groan.
However, the assistant glanced at Kang Jin-Ho in silence.

The PD got impatient and raised his voice.
“He ’s Miss Kang Se-Ah ’s oppa, so just speak up already.”

The assistant sheepishly spoke, “Sir, we ’ve got ourselves a scandal.”

“A scandal?”

“Yes, sir.”

Jang Hak-Seon ’s groan deepened.
“It ’s only a scandal, so what is the meaning of all this damn fuss?!”

“But, sir! It ’s not just any scandal! This one involves a married woman!”

“…Say what?”

The assistant explained in a hurry, “Mister Ji Min-Ho was having an affair with a married woman, sir! The internet is having a meltdown right now!”

“….I see.
And we can ’t reach Mister Ji no matter what we try?”

“Yes, sir! He said he was on his way earlier, but now, we can ’t reach him at all!”

“Gimme a damn break…” Jang Hak-Seon got up in a huff.
He addressed his two actresses next.
“Can you wait for a bit? I need a smoke to calm down and figure out what to do about this situation…

He rummaged through his pockets before yelling in irritation, “Dammit! Where are my goddamn smokes?! Hey, do you have any smokes on you?”

The assistant director shook his head.
“I ’m sorry, sir, but I don ’t smoke.”

“You think I care whether you smoke or not?! Go find me some goddamn cigarettes!”

“S-sir! I ’ll go get one right away!” The assistant rushed outside the trailer.

Jang Hak-Seon tutted unhappily, then rummaged through his pockets once more, his frustration quite obvious on his face.

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly pushed forward his packet of cigarettes and a lighter in Jang Hak-Seon ’s way.

“…Uh?” Jang Hak-Seon stared dumbfoundedly at the cigarettes, then raised his head to look at Kang Jin-Ho.
He then cautiously accepted the offering.
“Thank you.
I ’ll give them back as soon as I ’m done.”


The PD went outside the trailer, prompting the actress to bid goodbye to Kang Eun-Yeong and the others before leaving as well.

“Heol! Oppa, it ’s huge news!” Kang Eun-Yeong immediately jumped up and started talking in excitement once her ’senior ’ and the PD left.
“Did you hear that? It ’s an affair!”

“Yeah, I heard,” Kang Jin-Ho replied disinterestedly.
“Is that person named Ji Min-Ho someone important?”

“Oppa? Don ’t you know who Ji Min-Ho is? He ’s one of the hottest rising stars, you know? He ’s also incredibly handso—” Kang Eun-Yeong was about to gush praises on how good-looking Ji Min-Ho was before abruptly ending her sentence.
She suddenly got a feeling that such a thing would mean nothing to Kang Jin-Ho.
“…In any case, he ’s a hot commodity right now.”

“Oh, I see.
Someone like that is now unavailable, huh? Wouldn ’t that cause problems with the production?”

“As far as I know, Ji Min-Ho was only supposed to show up during the first episode as a special guest star.
I don ’t think it ’s gonna cause a huge problem.
I hear the producers wanted him as the male lead, but his price has gone up so much that they couldn ’t afford him anymore.”

“Oh? I guess it ’s not all that bad, then.” Kang Jin-Ho shrugged his shoulders, feeling relieved that this scandal would be resolved without too many problems.

’After all, it ’s Eun-Yeong ’s first acting role, so… ’

Kang Jin-Ho thought that acting offered more of a future than being an idol, which clearly had an expiration date.

He slowly nodded, then asked his sister another question.
“Oh, and by the way…
That lady just now, was she the female lead?”

Kang Eun-Yeong looked stunned by that question.
“Heol…?! Oppa, don ’t tell me you don ’t know who Choi Yeon-Ha is?!”

“Nope, don ’t know who that is.”

“I knew you were weirdly uninterested in the entertainment industry, but this…
To think you don ’t even know who Choi Yeon-Ha is!” Kang Eun-Yeong looked at her brother in disgust.

Kang Jin-Ho’s brow furrowed at her reaction.
“It ’s fine not to know, so what ’s the problem?”

“Yes, yes.
You must be proud of yourself.” Kang Eun-Yeong looked at him weirdly, as if he was beyond understandable at this point.
Shouldn’t men around Kang Jin-Ho ’s age know Choi Yeon-Ha?

‘Even if keeping up with celebrity gossip and entertainment news is not your cup of tea, isn ’t Choi Yeon-Ha already an indelible part of pop culture?’

“Oppa, don’t you think she’s really pretty?”

“Not sure.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.

Kang Eun-Yeong ’s jaw almost fell in shock.
“You saw her in person, yet you can still say that?!”

“I ’m being honest, I really can ’t tell.”

“…Who do you think is prettier? Me or Senior Choi Yeon-Ha?” Kang Eun-Yeong narrowed her eyes and asked in a suspicious tone.


“Orabi? Why are you backing away without answering me? Orabi?”


“Gimme a goddamn break.
Seriously…!” Jang Hak-Seon continued to puff away at his cigarette.

“Sir? What should we do now?” the assistant asked worriedly.

“What do you mean, what? You can ’t even get a packet of cigarettes, yet you wanna discuss this situation with me? Listen here.
You better remember this cigarette brand properly, got that? Buy the same one and give it to Miss Se-Ah ’s older brother later.

“Y-yes, PD.”

Jang Hak-Seon took another drag of Kang Jin-Ho ’s cigarette, then scratched his head angrily.
Seriously now! It ’s only the first day, yet we gotta deal with this bullsh*t?!”

“But, sir.
Isn ’t this also a blessing in disguise? Even if Mister Ji Min-Ho wanted to power through the scandal, wouldn ’t that have been a problem for us? Since he ’s kindly staying under the radar, it ’s become that much easier for us to fire him, too.”

“Well, you got a point there…”

“Thankfully, that role wasn ’t big, so can ’t we just quickly find someone else to fill it? There has to be a crap ton of actors looking for a chance like this, you know?”

Jang Hak-Seon tutted loudly.
It ’s true that plenty of folks would love to get this role.
The problem is not with that, but with how I ’m not convinced with any of them.”

The assistant director spoke in exasperation, “But, sir.
Look at our situation.”

“Listen here! Didn’t you read the script as well?! Don ’t you understand why I tried to get that rude bastard Ji Min-Ho in the first place?! Only a stupidly handsome actor can make that role work, you know! Besides, the script for the first part is just too bland, isn ’t it?! Without a knockout holding the viewers ’ attention, we ’ll lose our rating in no time at all! Don ’t you get that?!”

“…I ’m sorry, sir.” The assistant director sheepishly lowered his head.

“We ’ve already set the schedule to start filming today.
So, if one thing goes astray, we ’ll always be chasing after the deadline! Don ’t you know that?”

The assistant director looked a bit more dissatisfied at the continued berating.
But he still wisely kept his mouth shut.
Of course, he knew what Jang Hak-Seon was saying.

Still, where would they find someone just as good-looking as Ji Min-Ho and willing to appear in only one episode? If such an actor existed, he should be trying to get the main billing in a TV production or, at the very least, a top supporting role—even if he was a newcomer.

If we hold an audition now…
No, wait.
Even if we find someone on short notice, we won ’t get any filming done today.
This means we’ll lose a day in our schedule.
And we ’ll all be saying goodbye to sleep for the next two months until we finish shooting all the scenes…” Jang Hak-Seon rubbed his chin while muttering quietly.

The assistant director cautiously asked, “But, sir…
Can ’t we film the later scenes now instead?”

“Oho? Why don ’t we do that then, dear sir? We only need to be near an ocean for this one scene, so tell me, good sir, what other scenes should we film in this particular location? Oh? Could it be that you want me to start revising our script right now?”

The assistant director clamped his mouth, unable to say anything to that snarky retort.

Jang Hak-Seon spat out a lengthy groan, then mouthed a fresh cigarette.
“That bastard, he really screwed us over…”

The thing was, though…
This situation was a hundred times more preferable than, say, a scandal breaking out after the production had already wrapped up, preventing the series from airing.
It was also much better than needing to spend extra money for reshoots.

In fact, PD Jang Hak-Seon should throw his hands up in the air and yell, “Hooray! Thank the heavens!” since the scandal didn ’t break out after the series had aired.
After all, that would have tanked the series ’ image and run it to the ground!

Unfortunately, that was not how a person ’s mind worked.

We gotta find a replacement, but where? Everyone I can think of will say no to this role…” Jang Hak-Seon groaned in bitterness.

Choi Yeon-Ha, who had been silently listening by the side, offered her opinion.
“We only need someone with good looks, don ’t we? From the get-go, Mister Ji Min-Ho is known for his looks and not his acting chops, after all.
If I ’m being honest, his acting is on the unbearable side, but his face worked so that ’s why he ’s been getting popular lately.”

Jang Hak-Seon chuckled wryly at that.
“You ’re right, Miss Yeon-Ha.
But a man with a face that handsome isn ’t some common pebble on the ground, you know.”

Choi Yeon-Ha smiled meaningfully.
“But there’s one close to us right now, isn ’t there?”

“I ’m sorry?” Jang Hak-Seon tilted his head.

“We know someone more good-looking than Mister Ji Min-Ho, and can fill in the role where his acting ability isn ’t going to be an issue.”

Jang Hak-Seon frowned a little as he failed to understand what Choi Yeon-Ha was talking about…
only for his brows to rise up higher.
“…Huh? Wait!”

She was right, there was one.
And that man was close by, too!


“What is up with this situation now…?” Jo Gyu-Min grumbled unhappily while staring at his phone ’s screen.

The news of Ji Min-Ho ’s scandal was one of the top search results on the portal site.
And when Jo Gyu-Min accessed the entertainment section, articles about the affair practically dominated every inch of the screen.
Jo Gyu-Min didn ’t even have to call around to check the netizens’ reaction either, since reading the comment section alone was enough.

“Argh, why did it have to be now?!”

Just how hard had he worked to get a meaty role in a TV show for Kang Eun-Yeong?! Seemingly every PD under the sun said she was too young, and her acting ability wasn’t proven yet.
As such, Jo Gyu-Min had to work his butt off to change their minds, and it finally resulted in getting this role after jumping through so many hoops.

Of course, Jo Gyu-Min didn ’t personally do that, but still!

But to think that on the first day of the shoot, Ji Min-Ho had to exit his fairly-important role —at the beginning of the series—due to a bloody scandal!

“Gee whiz.
It ’s one thing after another, isn ’t it?” Jo Gyu-Min shook his head.
He quickly called Code, Kang Eun-Yeong ’s agency, and told them to figure out the current situation and report back to him as soon as possible.

When he ended the call, a personal assistant to the chairman called out to him.
“Chief Jo.
The Chairman will now see you.”

“Understood.” Jo Gyu-Min straightened his suit, then knocked on the door to the chairman ’s office.

A familiar voice called out from the inside.

Jo Gyu-Min cautiously opened the door and stepped inside.
Hwang Jeong-Hugot up from behind his desk and greeted Jo Gyu-Min.
“Good to see you, Gyu-Min.
Come, tell me more about the situation.
Have you found out something?”

“Yes, Chairman.” Jo Gyu-Min nodded weightily.

“…Take a seat first.” Hwang Jeong-Hu pointed at the couch.
Hwang Jeong-Hu sat on the seat of honor and lit up his cigarette while waiting for Jo Gyu-Min ’s explanation.

Jo Gyu-Min sat up straight and said, “Sir, we ’ve determined that the ones aiming for Mister Jin-Ho ’s life hail from China.”

“China, you say?”

“Yes, sir.
When Mister Jin-Ho and I went to China, we ran into a little bit of friction with the locals.
It seems they wanted to get even and sent some people to this side.”

“Hmm…?” Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s expression stiffened as he took a long drag of his cigarette.
He seemed confused by something.

Only after a while did he release the cigarette smoke from his lungs.
So, you say there ’s a grudge between the Chinese and Jin-Ho? Who are they? Since they sent people over to this side, they can ’t be nice people, can they? Wait, could it be the same group that sent gun-toting assailants your way?”

“No, Chairman.
They were…” Jo Gyu-Min was about to explain further only to stop himself.
He pondered something for a bit, then stared straight at Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“Chairman, sir.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu also sat up straight after noticing that Jo Gyu-Min ’s voice had become graver.

“Sir, there ’s something I ’d like to ask you first.”

“Go on.”

“I always thought Mister Jin-Ho was a special, unique being.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu wordlessly nodded.

Jo Gyu-Min continued.
“However, during our sojourn in China…
I realized something, sir.
As it turned out, Mister Jin-Ho wasn ’t the only special existence.
And that there are quite a few such individuals living in our world.
That led me to believe that…
I didn ’t know anything about the truth of the world I ’m living in.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s expression became just as grave as Jo Gyu-Min ’s as he listened.

“Sir, is my thought correct? Were you aware of what I ’m talking about?”

Hwang Jeong-Hu leaned back.
He closed his eyes and didn ’t say anything for a while.
Jo Gyu-Min didn ’t interrupt him and quietly waited.

A short while later, Hwang Jeong-Hu slowly opened his eyes.
He took out a new cigarette from the packet, then offered it to Jo Gyu-Min.
“Here, have a smoke on me.”

“…But, Chairman.”

“I ’ll give you an answer, so go ahead first.”

Jo Gyu-Min nodded.
He then mouthed the cigarette and waited as Hwang Jeong-Hu personally lit it up for him.
He sucked in a lungful of the unhealthy smoke while listening.

“When I assigned you to the job of assisting Jin-Ho, I had a feeling this day would come.
I have been wondering how I should go about answering this question for a while now.
No matter what I thought, though, the answer was always obvious.
And I ’ll tell you everything I know.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu carefully began his explanation.

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