The manager ’s jaw dropped.
handed over fifty million won?!”[1]

Jun Yeong sheepishly nodded.

“What the hell, you crazy bastard! Did you ram into a Benz or something? Why did you give away so much money?!”

“It wasn ’t a Benz, but some crapbox on its way to a scrapyard.”

“And you still paid fifty million for that?!” The manager yelled again.

“Didn ’t you tell me to come to an agreement before it can become a bad rumor?” Jun Yeong protested unhappily.

“I told you to wait until I get there, didn ’t I?”

“What choice did I have? He looked like he would beat me to death right there and then, you know!”

Gimme a break.
This moron…!” The Voice ’s road manager, Kim Shin, could only groan nonstop while staring at Jun Yeong ’s downtrodden face.

Jun Yeong was known for being immature, but Kim Shin had no idea this kid could be this immature.
The gossip about dating Kang Se-Ah had caused so much ruckus already, yet he brainlessly went to her father ’s cafe and nearly caused another scene there.
To top it off, he even got himself a black eye for all his troubles!

Kim Shin continued to steer the car while groaning loudly.
“Hey, didn ’t we warn you to stay far away from Kang Se-Ah? You wanna die for real, you fool? Ah? You think it ’s my nice personality that ’s keeping me in check here?!”

Jun Yeong pouted and cursed loudly.
“Argh, what the f*ck? Why are you getting pissed at me for? I ’ve already talked to the boss about this, you know?”

Search for the original.

“…Say what? The boss gave his okay?”


Kim Shin narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
“But, why would he do that?! You little punk, if you ’re lying about this sh*t, imma hang you upside down and beat you to a pulp!”

Jun Yeong protested sullenly.
“I ’m not lying! You can call him and find out for yourself, you know!”

Kim Shin ’s expression crumpled again.
“Okay, whatever.
So? Did you see Kang Se-Ah, then?”

“I briefly spoke to her before leaving, that ’s all,” Jun Yeong replied testily.

“Oh, so you did speak to her?”


“…Who else was there aside from Kang Se-Ah?”

“Her father and oppa.”


Kim Shin stomped on the brake pedal.
The car screeched to an urgent halt, causing Jun Yeong ’s face to nearly kiss the car ’s dashboard.
Understandably miffed now, Jun Yeong began pouring out more expletives.
“What the f*ck?! What ’s the matter with you?!”

“Did you say her father was also present?!”

“Yes! He was there!”

“…Holy sh*t.
This f*cking…
What should we do now?!” Kim Shin began fidgeting in anxiety before stepping on the accelerator.
His car noisily shot forward and pounded the road again.


“Starwiz?” Han Seon-Gu tilted his head in confusion.

“Don ’t you remember them? The Starwiz incident from two years ago?” Kim Shin tried to jolt his boss ’s memory as a hint of frustration crept up in his voice.

However, Han Seon-Gu continued to tilt his head.
“What incident are you talking about?”

“…Ah, that ’s right.
You were not here back then, were you?” Kim Shin facepalmed after remembering the situation back then.
Indeed, Han Seon-Gu was behind bars at that time.
Remembering that helped Kim Shin with figuring out just where it went wrong.
“Two years ago, a talent agency named Starwiz was completely obliterated out of existence.”

“Hold up.
I think I remember that…
Starwiz, Starwiz…
Wasn ’t that Hyeok-Gi ’s agency? Bak Hyeok-Gi?”

“Yes, that ’s the one.”

Han Seon-Gu rubbed his chin.
“Now that you mention it, I haven ’t seen Hyeok-Gi recently and was wondering where that bastard could be.
You ’re telling me his agency got utterly destroyed?”

“Yes, boss! All thanks to that incident, the media had a field day while reporting on the unfair contracts entertainers were forced to sign.
And then, they found out about the slush funds of the agencies, prompting the launch of an in-depth tax investigation.
It was one hell of a mess back then.”

“Right, right.
I think I remember hearing some stuff about that.
But, why are you telling me this?”

Kim Shin spoke in a grave-sounding voice.
“Boss, there have been some rumors that the whole thing was Kang Se-Ah ’s doing.”

“…Say what?” Han Seon-Gu ’s eyes powerfully quaked just then.
“K-Kang Se-Ah? You sure?”

The trainees of Starwiz all became free agents after the agency got dissolved.
Some left the industry, while others went through auditions to become trainees in other agencies.
But Kang Se-Ah was the sole exception, boss.
As soon as Starwiz went bust, she immediately signed up with Code and got ready to make her solo debut.
As if…
It was Kang Se-Ah who blew apart her old agency so she could transfer to a new one.”

“…W-what is that supposed to mean?! S-so, are you implying that Hyeok-Gi rubbed Kang Se-Ah the wrong way, and that caused Starwiz to go burst? Is that it?”

“Yes, boss! And Bak Hyeok-Gi is currently serving time in jail, to boot!”

Han Seon-Gu cried out in alarm.
“Why are you telling me this only now?! Why haven ’t you said something earlier?!”

Kim Shin threw his hands up in the air.
“I thought you already knew, boss! Besides, you haven ’t told me about approaching Kang Se-Ah again through Jun Yeong! Since that dating gossip thing was treated as just a misunderstanding, I thought everything had already become water under the bridge! They even gave us a veiled warning, didn ’t they? But now, Jun Yeong went to see her again, so it ’ll be a miracle if they sit still without retaliating!”

Han Seon-Gu ’s voice trembled in anxiety.
“A-are you sure about this? About Kang Se-Ah obliterating Starwiz?”

“…Of course, nothing has been confirmed.
But, look at the situation, sir.
Starwiz was disintegrated, and Kang Se-Ah was immediately transferred to none other than Code.
And then, there ’s the rumor about Jaegyeong supporting her from the shadows, too.”

“W-what would Jaegyeong gain by crushing a small talent agency like that, though? They have more to lose if the winds blow the other way against them, right?” Han Seon-Gu urgently piped up.

However, that only made Kim Shin shake his head in dismay.
“Why do you think there would be blowback against them? There ’s no blowback because we ’re talking about Jaegyeong here.”


“Not just the media, Jaegyeong basically has no enemies, boss! If they had behaved the same as other blood-sucking corporations that leech off common people, Jaegyeong would have become Korea ’s sole mega-corporation, not some top-five contender.
At least, that ’s what people say, but anyway! Who would touch them in that case? Rubbing them off the wrong way will get you rubbed out of existence, after all!”


Kim Shin groaned deeply.
“In any case, we gotta fix this as soon as possible, boss.”

“F-fix it?”

“Yes! Do you want to see your agency go up in smoke, too? You gotta sober up, boss!”

I should.” Han Seon-Gu muttered quietly.
It was quite evident that he was still suffering from shock.
Despite his chaotic mind, he tried to think of a solution…
only for his phone to ring loudly.

Han Seon-Gu confirmed the words ’Jaegyeong ’s Chief Secretary ’ popping up on the screen, and his jaw went slack from stupefaction.
He couldn ’t bring himself to answer the call.
Soon, the ringing stopped.

Kim Shin sucked in a cold breath, his expression one of anxiety and dread.
He had also seen the caller ’s identity on the phone ’s screen.


Han Seon-Gu ’s phone started to vibrate again.
Kim Shin looked at his boss and quietly muttered, “…You should answer that, boss.”

Han Seon-Gu continued to stare at the phone in a daze before reaching out to tap on the ’answer ’ icon.

– Hello, President Han Seon-Gu.
Do you remember me? This is Jo Gyu-Min from Jaegyeong speaking.
We met in your office some time ago.

“A-ah, yes! Of course! I remember!”

– I ’ll get right to the point, then.
Despite my earlier visit to your premises, it seems the situation has not changed at all.
I have to say, I was impressed by how gutsy that young man was.
The way I see it, his agency, your agency, seems to be in on the act as well? Is my assumption correct?

“N-no, of course not! There ’s no way that ’s true!” Han Seon-Gu quickly lied through his teeth.
In times like this, denying everything was the smartest move.
Besides, it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out what would happen if he admitted to being complicit in Jun Yeong ’s stupidity.

– Aaah, is that right? In that case, your agency isn ’t very good at managing your own talents, then?

“Ahahaha… As you may know, we are only a small agency, so it ’s kind of impossible to keep tabs on every one of our talents, you see? I did warn that kid not to do it, but, uh… Kids these days are just impossible to control, you know?”

– I see…

After that brief reply, Jo Gyu-Min said nothing for a while.

That silence crept up on Han Seon-Gu and terrified him more than anything else.
He might have dealt with this situation a little more calmly had Jo Gyu-Min acted all pissed off or outraged beyond belief.
However, that wasn ’t the case here, and Han Seon-Gu just couldn ’t figure out how to respond.

– I finally understand what you ’re trying to say.

“…I ’ll make sure to manage that kid properly so there won ’t be a next time, sir!”

– A next time, you say?


– It ’d be nice if there is a next time for you.
Unfortunately, I don ’t think ’next time ’ is a realistic dream for you, President Han.

“W-wait a minute! Mister Jo Gyu-Min! Waaaait!” Han Seon-Gu clutched his phone and desperately cried out after sensing the bone-chilling coldness contained within Jo Gyu-Min ’s voice.
“I, it was an honest mistake, sir! I swear, we really didn ’t intend for this to happen! Please believe me! If, if you graciously give us another chance, I ’ll make sure something like this will never happen again! If you want, I can even fire that bastard Jun Yeong, too! T-that ’s why, please give us another chance!”

– It seems you ’re under a mistaken assumption, President Han.

“I ’m sorry?” Han Seon-Gu gasped, wondering what that ’mistaken assumption ’ could even be.

– Our side also doesn ’t have time to think about a small fry like that kid.
What we don ’t understand in this situation is your attitude, President Han.
Even though we warned you in the name of Jaegyeong, you ignored it and treated this matter as a joke.

“N-no, that ’s not true…”

– Allow me to share with you one of our Chairman ’s beliefs.
A person can make mistakes.
However, knowingly making a mistake is no longer a mistake.
That is all.
A mistake can be forgiven, but that doesn ’t mean the punishment for the mistake itself will disappear.
And now, you ’ll get to learn the meaning of that.

“W-wait! Mister Jo Gyu-Min! Mister Jo…!” Despite all the ardent pleading, the call was coldly cut off.
Han Seon-Gu ’s forehead was soaked in cold sweat by then.
“W-what should I do?”

Kim Shin was also making a dejected face while replying to his boss.
“That ’s why you should ’ve been more careful…”

“Listen here, you dipsh*t! You think I knew things would turn out this way?! Besides, what ’s the point of arguing whose fault it is now?! We gotta think of a way to fix this! A solution!”

’It’s too late for that. ’

Kim Shin groaned inwardly.

In a situation like this, finding a solution was nothing more than a mere pipe dream.
There was an old saying about how being a moron made you brave, and that had to be the reason for Han Seon-Gu ’s crazy decision to provoke Jaegyeong like this.
At least, that was what Kim Shin told himself while trying to figure out his boss ’s motivation.

Obviously, Han Seon-Gu knew who all the players in the game were.
He was warned by Jaegyeong to back off, after all.
Yet, he got too bold for his own good.
If he got crushed by this matter, then…
He was fully deserving of the next Darwin Award.

’As for me…
I gotta bail, pronto. ’

Kim Shin sneakily got up to leave.

It was anyone ’s guess what kind of hell would be unleashed after Jaegyeong decided to get serious.
Unlike other corporations, Jaegyeong wasn ’t as generous with their purse strings when it came to spreading wealth around in the political sphere, so the level of influence they could exert wasn ’t much, but it would still be enough to trample on people like Han Seon-Gu and his agency as if they were some little insects.

“P-president!” A loud voice suddenly came from outside the door.
That was when Kim Shin instinctively realized that Armageddon had begun.
The secretary flung open the office door and rushed inside without permission.
“We have a big problem!”

“W-what ’s going on?” Han Seon-Gu reflexively asked, but his expression said he could sense what was going on to some degree.

“We just got a call from team no.
2! They said that our scheduled appearance on public TV for this week has been canceled!”

“…Say what?” Han Seon-Gu suddenly felt dizzy as if the ground was caving in.
Just how much money and expensive booze did he waste trying to get a slot in that broadcast…? If he counted all the money he had spent greasing the palms of the PDs there, it would be enough to buy a nice house! He worked that hard under the table to make that broadcast appearance happen, only for it to get canceled out of nowhere?! What kind of nonsense was this?!

“But, sir! It ’s worse than that! It ’s not just the TV side, but even the radios have canceled the appearances, too!”

“D-did we receive any official reason?”

“No, sir! I heard that…
we only received a cursory phone call.”

“But, but?! Why did they cancel on us? Why!”

“I, I also don ’t know…”

Kim Shin left behind the panicking President Han and the secretary in the office and silently escaped through the open doorway.

’What do you mean, why? ’

Kim Shin tutted softly.

Even if Jaegyeong didn ’t go out of its way to exercise its influence, it was still one of the biggest corporations in the country.
The advertising budget Jaegyeong spent on TV stations alone should be unimaginably vast.
So, if Jaegyeong ’coughed ’ to express their discomfort, then well… A small-to-medium talent agency like this one would get swept up in a Category 5 hurricane.

’There ’s a hole in the hull, huh… ’

The only fate waiting for the passengers of a boat with a hole in the bottom in the middle of an open sea was a watery grave.
Kim Shin pulled out his resignation letter from his inner pocket, then placed it on the secretary ’s desk before unhesitantly escaping from the building.

Once outside, he looked back at his former workplace and sighed deeply.

’Gee whiz, so vengeful… ’

He thought that the retaliation could come in the form of a tax investigation if Jaegyeong were being gentlemanly.
Alternatively, the prosecuting authority could also descend on the agency to uncover the skeletons in the closet.
Either of those would have been enough to utterly disintegrate this agency, which was already choke-full of all sorts of corruption.

Despite knowing the surefire way to destroy its enemy, Jaegyeong displayed its intent to take its time and choke the life out of this agency.
Han Seon-Gu might have no idea about this now, but Kim Shin could definitely feel that intent.

“Yup, one shouldn ’t provoke a sleeping snake.”


Around the same time Kim Shin was tutting away while leaving his former workplace, Jo Gyu-Min sitting in his office had to stop calling everyone on the phone and scratch his itching ears.

“…Is someone talking crap about me or something?”

Since Jo Gyu-Min had done quite a few questionable things until now, he found it somewhat challenging to figure out who could be bad-mouthing him.
However, he cackled away like a villain and picked up his phone again.

At the time of TLing, 50 million won is around $35100 USD.

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