Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s sudden suggestion left Kang Jin-Ho visibly confused, so he began tilting his head.
“My own business, you say?”

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

“That ’s right.” Hwang Jeong-Hu nodded, then sent a sneaky little glance in Jo Gyu-Min ’s direction, telling the latter to start explaining.

However, before Jo Gyu-Min could do that, Kang Jin-Ho ’s phone rang first.

“Mm?” Kang Jin-Ho hurriedly tried to end the call only to notice his father ’s name on the screen.
He got up and looked back at Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“I ’m sorry, but I should take this.
Please excuse me.”

“Alright, go ahead.” Hwang Jeong-Hu nodded, then watched Kang Jin-Ho quickly exit the office.
He shifted his attention over to Jo Gyu-Min.
“Are we really doing the right thing here, Gyu-Min?”

Jo Gyu-Min, wearing his glasses for the first time in a while, quickly pushed them up his nose as he replied, “Chairman, as I ’ve alluded to earlier, Mister Jin-Ho is like a piece of blank paper.
If we ’re to introduce him to Jaegyeong ’s operation, we must prepare him first.”

“In that case, isn ’t it a better idea for him to earn an MBA or something? It ’s not like he has rocks for brains now, is it? No, he ’s smart enough to get into any university in the country if that ’s what he wants.
Hell, I bet he ’d have no problem getting degrees in overseas universities.”

Jo Gyu-Min shook his head.
“In any other corporations, that might work, sir.
However, Jaegyeong was built from the ground up through your hard work.
To inherit the mindset of the company founder, the potential inheritor must start from the bottom, too, sir.”

“Hmm…” Hwang Jeong-Hu rubbed his chin.
He liked what he was hearing here.
I have always been dumbfounded and dismayed by the stories of second-gens not serving in the army and skipping to other countries to get some useless degree or two before calling themselves businessmen.”

It ’s no longer the second-gens, but third-gens… ’

Truth be told, the ones at the forefront of the daily operations of other corporations were young enough to be Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s grandchildren.
Conversations like this would always renew Jo Gyu-Min ’s awe of Hwang Jeong-Hu, who could still keep up with the times and run this company as well as he had always been doing.

Jo Gyu-Min continued, “That ’s why I believe Mister Jin-Ho needs to learn about running a business as soon as possible.
At the very least, he needs to learn how money is made and how a business operates.
By doing so, he ’ll have a good idea of what to do while dealing with even larger business ventures. ”

Hwang Jeong-Hu rubbed his chin again.
“If that ’s your aim, wouldn ’t it be better to just let him run a small company instead?”

“Sir, a person who doesn ’t know how scary small wealth could be will not view money as valuable.
Mister Jin-Ho already enjoys enough wealth, so it will be difficult for us to make him appreciate the hardship of making money.
Which means…
We must force him to learn.”

“Hmm…” Hwang Jeong-Hu pondered something before asking once more, “However, what happens if his business is a success? Wouldn ’t he end up with a mindset that running a business is easier than he thought?”

“…Sir?” Jo Gyu-Min nearly fell out of the couch after realizing that he hadn ’t thought that far ahead.
Before he could grab his hair in despair, though, Kang Jin-Ho came back to the office.

Once Kang Jin-Ho was seated again, Hwang Jeong-Hu asked to satisfy his curiosity, “Did something happen? I saw it was your father calling you.”

“It wasn ’t anything urgent, Chairman.”

“Mm? I can see from your expression that it must be something troublesome, though?”

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“…My father said that the cafe ’s revenue has fallen, so I should come and help out during the day if I don ’t have anything on my schedule.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu frowned deeply.
“Mm? Just how much would the revenue improve by having you there? It can ’t be that much, no?”

Jo Gyu-Min quietly waved his hand to stop his boss.

Hwang Jeong-Hu was taken aback.
“What? It ’ll actually improve?”

“Yes, Chairman.
At least by three times, too.”

“…?” Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s suspicious gaze locked firmly on Jo Gyu-Min next.

’You sure Jin-Ho will learn to appreciate the importance of wealth? ’

Jo Gyu-Min avoided meeting Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s probing gaze and coughed to clear his throat as if now wasn ’t the right time to respond.

Kang Jin-Ho moved on to the real topic at hand.
“You said something about running a business a minute ago, Chairman.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu quietly smacked his lips.
They were already on the proverbial tiger ’s back, weren ’t they? In that case, they had no choice but to march forward regardless of whether it would spell the end for them or not.
“Even though I said business, I ’m not talking about something grand here, Jin-Ho.
No, I was thinking about you running a small shop or something similar.”

“May I ask why?”

“Mm…” Hwang Jeong-Hu smacked his lips again.
He couldn ’t come out and say Kang Jin-Ho should run a shop as a way to learn about managing a company.
He promptly decided that leaving annoying explanations to Jo Gyu-Min was a wiser move, so he turned his head and stared openly at the Chief Secretary.

Jo Gyu-Min cleared his throat again, then began explaining, “Our Chairman thinks very highly of you, Mister Jin-Ho.
And he wanted to do you a favor by letting you experience something valuable.
Something you may not get another chance to experience after you get older, Mister Jin-Ho.”

“…A favor, is it?”

“Yes, it is.” Jo Gyu-Min grinned brightly.
“Even if it ’s a business venture, you don ’t have to be scared or burdened by it, Mister Jin-Ho.
Simply put, we ’re suggesting that maybe it ’ll be a good experience for you to run a small franchise store.”

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“A small franchise store…?”

I ’m certain it ’ll be a great experience for you.
Having a go before you get back to studying will no doubt be a great help to your life down the line.”

Kang Jin-Ho smiled back at Jo Gyu-Min.
He agreed that this was a nice idea.
”I ’m grateful for the sentiment. ”


“I don ’t want to get involved in anything too annoying, you see,” Kang Jin-Ho said before getting up to leave.

Jo Gyu-Min hurriedly jumped up from the couch in alarm and grabbed Kang Jin-Ho ’s arm.
He could sense Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s burning glare stabbing him in the back.
This ploy was Jo Gyu-Min ’s idea, so he would surely get marked ’incompetent ’ if he failed to get a handle on this!

’I won ’t let that happen! ’

Hadn’t he already declined the chance to walk away on his own accord? This meant he had no choice but to succeed on this path.

“Of course! Of course, I know that this idea doesn ’t hold much merit to you, and it ’ll only serve to increase your workload.
As such, we ’ve prepared an enticing benefit if you participate.
Why don ’t you decide whether it ’s worth your time or not after hearing me out?”

“Why do I get the feeling that it won ’t be necessary?”

“Don ’t be like that now! Eii~! Stay, please!”

Kang Jin-Ho smirked and wordlessly sat back down.

Jo Gyu-Min could still sense Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s dagger-like glare stabbing into his back.
He nervously wiped the cold sweat off his forehead, then resumed his explanation.
“First of all, we shall support you with the startup funds.”

“But I already have enough money on me?”

“Of course! Yes, you do.
You definitely do! Lots of it, too!” Jo Gyu-Min ’s voice became more urgent when Hwang Jeong-Hu ’s glaring eyes got narrower.
“However! Finding a suitable business location will be difficult even for you.
Yes, solving the location issue and the legal side of things will be difficult without help, Mister Jin-Ho! So, we shall provide assistance on those aspects! All you have to do is simply run the shop well for six months and then return the initial startup funds.
That ’s all.
You won ’t find a more favorable condition than this anywhere.”

“Well, I can ’t find my willingness to do this anywhere either.”

“I, I ’m not done yet! Why are you being like this, Mister Jin-Ho!” Jo Gyu-Min laughed while grabbing Kang Jin-Ho ’s shoulders.
His grip contained his determination to never let Kang Jin-Ho escape from here.
“So far, I ’ve been telling you about conditions, not merit.
Allow me to explain that part to you.”

Kang Jin-Ho leaned back on the couch.
What merit are you talking about?”

“Your university credit, Mister Jin-Ho.”

“…I ’m sorry?” Kang Jin-Ho stared at Jo Gyu-Min in a daze.
Credit? Where did that even jump out from?

Jo Gyu-Min smiled meaningfully.
“Jaegyeong Uni has a system of field experience as well.
A learner can choose to work in a field they are majoring in.
Three months of field experience earns you three credits.”

“Mm?” Kang Jin-Ho ’s brows quivered.

“Which means six months of field experience will net you six credits.
Unfortunately, that ’s the maximum attainable credit.
This excellent system is based on the wonderful business philosophy of our chairman, who believes that the theories learned in classrooms are meaningless if they are never applied in the real world, so we—”

“That ’s enough of useless banter, Gyu-Min.
Get to the point,” said Hwang Jeong-Hu with an unimpressed tut.

“Understood, Chairman.” Jo Gyu-Min licked his lips, ruing the missed opportunity to butter up to Hwang Jeong-Hu.
“In any case.
Mister Jin-Ho, you are enrolled in Jaegyeong ’s Business Management course, so working for six months as a branch manager or even president would get you six credits for your major.”

“That ’s not a bad system,” said Kang Jin-Ho while nodding away.

Jo Gyu-Min smirked triumphantly.

’That means you can graduate sooner, isn ’t it! ’

Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t have much attachment to studying at a university.
The only reason why he decided to go was to answer his family ’s expectations.
Especially when Kang Yu-Hwan ’s view on education was simple yet explicit.
And his view was that no matter how wealthy one was, poor education would make them just another nouveau riche.

So, Kang Jin-Ho had to waste time receiving an education he didn ’t really need.
In that case, a chance to graduate sooner from the university would no doubt hold a ’major ’ appeal to him!

Kang Jin-Ho nodded again.
“This sounds like a great system.
But why wasn ’t I told about it until now?”

“It ’s actually unsurprising that a business major doesn’t know about it.
The criteria won ’t be satisfied unless you ’re running your own business, you see.
Being an intern or a part-timer won ’t be enough to say you have learned a lot about managing a business, after all.
But then, trying to create and run a business for a short period like six months isn ’t really feasible either.”

Kang Jin-Ho continued to nod away.
In that sense, one could say that Kang Jin-Ho was ideally positioned to exploit this system.
“I get that it ’s a great system.
However, I can ’t help but get curious about something.”

“I see.
Please ask away, Mister Jin-Ho.” Jo Gyu-Min smiled and waited for the question, believing that he had successfully half-convinced Kang Jin-Ho by now.

“Can you tell me the advantage of doing this over, say, taking vacation classes? I heard doing that also gets me six credits.”

“…???” Jo Gyu-Min instantly fell into stupefaction.

“The summer vacation is not going to work due to the timing of my return, but that ’s not the case for the winter vacation, right? Winter vacation classes can net me nine credits in total, so why should I go out of my way to get only six this way?”

“Oh…” Jo Gyu-Min dazedly asked, “…You were planning to attend classes during the winter vacation?”

“Of course.”

So, that ’s what you were thinking…”

Kang Jin-Ho looked wholly unimpressed now.
“If I need credits, I can always earn them during the vacation.
In that case, wasting six months just to earn six credits seems like a pretty inefficient use of my time, I think.
Isn ’t this why not many people know about this system? And why it only has a small number of applicants?”

The eyes of Hwang Jeong-Hu listening silently began to burn hotter and hotter like boiling magma.

Jo Gyu-Min urgently raised his voice.
“B-but! This field experience isn ’t counted toward the maximum credit for a year! Even if you include all the vacation classes, you can only earn up to 48 credits per year, but using our system, you can earn up to 54!”

“Mister Gyu-Min, I can ’t earn the maximum available credits this year anyway, since I was absent during the first semester.”

“Ah, you ’re right.
Aha, hahaha…” Jo Gyu-Min, now too mentally damaged to continue, slumped on the couch and began to weakly chuckle away.

Kang Jin-Ho smirked a little while shaking his head, then got up to leave.
“Well, then.
I ’d like to get going, everyone.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu blinked his eyes.
“Mm? You ’re leaving already?”

“I thought our business here is already finished?” Kang Jin-Ho bowed toward the dumbfounded-looking Hwang Jeong-Hu and his bobbing lips.
“Well, have a good day.”

Hwang Jeong-Hu remained dazed as he watched Kang Jin-Ho exit his office.
However, he sobered up soon enough and sent his killer-like glare to Jo Gyu-Min next.

“…Chairman, sir.
T-the thing is—” Jo Gyu-Min faltered and muttered weakly.

“You know this, don ’t you?” Hwang Jeong-Hu growled like a predator.

“I ’m sorry?”

“I don ’t need a dissertation from you.
I also don ’t need any excuses.
Now that things have gotten to this point, there will not be any retreat.
Do you hear me? Do whatever is necessary to make Jin-Ho start that business!”

’…Should I just quit? ’

Jo Gyu-Min ’s previous fighting spirit that chose to be next to Kang Jin-Ho for an exciting life over a peaceful one had disappeared somewhere.
In just one day, he was already regretting yesterday ’s decision.

Hwang Jeong-Hu roared.
“Do whatever it takes! If you fail, there will be no place for you to return to! Come back to work only after you succeed, Gyu-Min! Got that?!”

“…Sir, should I take that as a paid vacation for me?”

”Gyu-Min, have you heard about the term ’infinite unpaid leave ’ before?”

“That ’s…
getting fired, sir.”

So, do your best!” Hwang Jeong-Hu got up and headed to his desk.

Jo Gyu-Min lifelessly stood up, bowed his head, then exited the chairman ’s office.
He scanned the surroundings with a slightly stupefied face before dejectedly heading toward the stairwell.

“Looks like Chief Jo is heading to the stairs again.”

“I guess the chairman chewed him out again…”

Jo Gyu-Min heard people whispering among themselves behind him but had no energy left to defend himself.
He eventually reached the deserted stairwell and slowly pulled out his phone.
He scrolled through the contact list and tapped on the familiar number.

– Gyu-Min? Calling me so early in the morning and all? What happened, son?

“Mom, I ’m being serious here, so can I ask you something?”

– Getting fired will mean you ’re also expelled from the family register.

“…I just wanted to hear your voice, Mom.”

Jo Gyu-Min sighed again.
It seemed that he would continue sighing in the foreseeable future.

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