“So, it ’s finally happening,” said Park Yu-Min as he scanned the neatly-organized store in a daze.

“It sure is…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded with no expression on his face while standing next to his friend, his eyes were taking in the sight of his new store.

“…I couldn ’t even imagine that this crazy shenanigan would eventually reach this point.
I figured it would all come to a crashing stop while we were mucking about doing nothing, ” Ju Yeong-Gi muttered with a face filled with dread of what was to come rather than appreciative emotions.
“In any case, let ’s do our best since we ’ve come this far!”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded.

Even Park Yu-Min replied with a determined face, “If we hadn ’t even started, it wouldn ’t have mattered, but now that we have reached this far, let ’s do this properly!”

“That ’s right!”

The trio looked at each other and nodded before walking back inside the store.
The collective aura gushing out from their backs was as heroic and determined as possible.
But then…


“Yaaaaaaawn…” Park Yu-Min yawned grandly while gripping a floor mop.

He wiped the drool off of the corner of his mouth, glanced at the store ’s windows, then got back to mopping the floor.

Ju Yeong-Gi asked, “What are you doing?”


That answer caused Ju Yeong-Gi ’s expression to crumple.
“What the heck? Who mops the floor for the whole day?! You ’ve been mopping for eight hours straight, you know?! Are you trying to make our customers slip and fall right through the exit or something?! Ah?”

“…No, well, you know.
There ’s not much to do around here.”

“Urgh…” Ju Yeong-Gi scowled deeply and glared at the entrance.
It was as if steam would come out of his head any time now.
“Goddamn it.
That ain ’t some legendary gate or something, so why…!”

The store ’s doorway wasn ’t some magical gate out of a fairy tale that required a special chant to open.
It was also not a cursed doorway that only the destined warrior could open, so why?! Why had no one walked through that door until now?!

To put it bluntly, not a single customer had decided to pay a visit to the store until now.

Ju Yeong-Gi glanced back to the kitchen.
“…Hey, man.
Just come outside.”

Kang Jin-Ho grunted.

“What are you doing in the kitchen when there are no customers to serve? Come out and play some games or something instead.”

“Mm.” Kang Jin-Ho emerged from the kitchen with an unreadable face, then sat down next to Ju Yeong-Gi.
He then asked Park Yu-Min, “What time is it?”

“It’s ten o’clock.”

“…Let ’s clean up, then.
It ’s time to close the store, anyway.”

“But I have been cleaning the whole day, though?”

“…Kuaaaaaaahk!” Ju Yeong-Gi failed to hold himself back and began throwing a fit.
“Why do we have no customers until now?! Why?! Today is the opening day, so what are we supposed to do when there ’s no one coming to buy our pizza!”

Park Yu-Min said in a hopeful voice, “Maybe that’s the reason why we have no customers? Because it’s the opening day?”

“Hey, you! Haven ’t you heard about the opening day rush?!” Ju Yeong-Gi immediately counterattacked.

Park Yu-Min grandly flinched.
“W-wait, does that mean we should have had the highest number of customers today?!”


“But, no one came today, you know? If this is the best we can do, what will happen from now on?”

Ju Yeong-Gi narrowed his eyes.
“You know, Yu-Min? You have this talent of looking innocent while stabbing people in their hearts.”


“Just keep quiet, will ya!”

“Yessir…” Park Yu-Min immediately cowered and shrank.

Ju Yeong-Gi held his head in despair.
“What could be the problem?! Shouldn ’t people stop by at least once to check the place out? Isn ’t that how it ’s supposed to be? I heard about some weirdos going around visiting only the newly opened restaurants, so where are they? Where did they go?!”

Park Yu-Min suddenly asked another question, “Wait, didn ’t you say your parents used to run a diner?”

“They did,” said Ju Yeong-Gi.
“But the diner was there even before I was old enough to remember things clearly.
How should I know what things were like when the diner opened its doors for the first time?”

“…Does that mean you really don ’t have any ideas?”

The two men panicked amidst the chaos, but Kang Jin-Ho glanced at them and chuckled quietly.
“This is only the first day, so it ’s fine.
Once we get a few customers, more will show up eventually.”

“Mm…” Ju Yeong-Gi slowly nodded.
Even though Kang Jin-Ho ’s words were based on nothing and held little persuasive power, Ju Yeong-Gi chose to believe them.
That would be better for his overall mental health, anyway.
“You ’re right! Things will get better from tomorrow! Let ’s go home for today.
Don ’t forget to clean up from head to toe, though.
Otherwise, you ’ll jinx us all.”

“Okay, you got it!”

The trio exchanged determined glances and began closing up shop.


The following day…

Park Yu-Min sourly muttered, “…I thought we ’ll have customers today? What happened?”

Ju Yeong-Gi quietly retorted to his friend, “The more I think about it, the more I ’m convinced that you have a horrible personality, Yu-Min.”


Ju Yeong-Gi gritted his teeth while shooting a sharp glare at Park Yu-Min who dared to stab someone in the heart oh-so-nonchalantly.

The situation of ’no customers ’ was so bad the store now felt ten times cleaner than the opening day.
The trio had nothing better to do, so they started mopping, cleaning, and polishing every nook and cranny until the store no longer looked like a pizzeria but a soon-to-be-available model home instead! That was how shiny and spotless the store had become.

As a matter of fact, the store was so clean maybe the customers had found it too burdensome to dirty its floor with their shoes!

Park Yu-Min asked cautiously, “They will come tomorrow, right?”

“…Probably?” Ju Yeong-Gi replied with a groan.

“…Urgh.” Kang Jin-Ho sighed under his breath while watching his worried-looking friends converse away.


“…Is it a curse or something?”

One day was understandable.
However, two days of the same thing was a bit too much.
And three days? Now, that was stepping into the territory of ’unbelievable ’.

This location was on an avenue in one of the top five commercial districts in South Korea, but not a single customer had decided to check Kang Jin-Ho ’s pizzeria out in three days? That couldn ’t be explained away as merely bad luck.

Park Yu-Min groaned loudly.
“Should I go outside and start calling out to passersby?”

“Since when did you become a barker?”

“But, sitting here doing nothing but chasing flies is problematic, don ’t you think?”

“Urgh…” Ju Yeong-Gi groaned, and then he looked at Kang Jin-Ho.
“What do you think?”

“About what?” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.

“Why do you think we don ’t have any customers? This is already beyond the realm of coincidence, dude.”

I wonder…”

Ju Yeong-Gi helplessly shook his head.
“I was the idiot for asking you in the first place.”

That was when the door suddenly opened, and someone stepped inside.
The trio instinctively shot up to their feet and bowed deeply.


“Welcome, sir!”


However, they soon confirmed the person’s identity.
While plopping down on their butts again, the trio began to express their annoyance in full.

“Eiii, I thought it was a customer!”

“Yeah, me too.”


Jo Gyu-Min quickly protested against this unfair treatment.
Even though all he did was enter the pizzeria, why did this trio shower him with such disapproving glares?! “What the?! What did I do wrong this time?!”

“Nope, Chief Jo.
You haven ’t done anything wrong.”

“Yes, well.”


’These little punks…! ’ 

Jo Gyu-Min shuddered grandly.
He hadn ’t done anything wrong, so to think he had to endure this humiliation! “…Ke-heum.
How is the business going?”

“Don ’t you have eyes, Chief Jo?”

“No customers, Chief Jo.”


Jo Gyu-Min scanned the empty store before walking up to the table where the trio sat around.
“How many pizzas have you managed to sell so far?”

Ju Yeong-Gi ’s expression suddenly brightened up.
“Oh! Looks like it ’s my turn to explain the situation! Okay, listen closely, Chief Jo.
We have achieved a feat unprecedented in this district.
It may have never been achieved before, and no one can replicate it in the future, too!”

“Could it be?!” Jo Gyu-Min ’s eyes grew wide in anticipation.

“Hahahahaha! Yeees! We ’ve earned exactly zero won so far! Let me tell you, getting zero points in three days of competition is not something anyone can achieve!”

“…Eh?” Jo Gyu-Min ’s expression grew stupefied.
“Wait, you…
really had zero customers so far?”




The three consecutive blows left Jo Gyu-Min reeling, and he had to hold his head.
“N-no, hang on a minute.
This can ’t be right…”

This whole store idea was meant to evaluate Kang Jin-Ho ’s business sense.
In that case, shouldn ’t the business be on some kind of a trajectory, or at the very least, shouldn’t it have some customers first before his abilities could be evaluated?

If Jo Gyu-Min had to write a report that said, “The store failed as soon as it opened its doors due to zero customers,” Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu might just slaughter him right there and then.

“But why haven ’t you had any customers yet?”

“Who knows, Chief Jo…” Ju Yeong-Gi shrugged his shoulders.

The trio…
No, the four men held their heads and racked their brains.

Jo Gyu-Min worriedly spoke, “Not having customers to this extent is terrible…
Even a store facing bankruptcy would have some customers after opening its doors, so why are there no customers for us? I don ’t understand it at all.”

This time, Park Yu-Min responded powerlessly, “Who can say, Chief Jo…”

“The longer this drags on, the more money you ’ll lose, Mister Jin-Ho.
We definitely need some kind of urgent response, but what—”

“Who knows, Mister Gyu-Min…” Kang Jin-Ho groaned and shook his head.

“…Don ’t you guys have anything else to say other than who knows or who can tell?”

“Who can say, Chief Jo…”

Jo Gyu-Min stared at the three men with soulless expressions responding lifelessly and began to panic slightly.

This is bad! These three…
They ’ve totally lost their drive! ’

If this kept up, they would definitely bankrupt this store even before something positive could happen.
The interior redecoration and coming up with a new theme for the store had already pushed the initial starting budget to balloon exponentially.
Failing to recoup that cost would damn this experiment as one of history ’s most notable failures!

This is seriously bad.” Jo Gyu-Min held his head in despair.
But then, the sound of the door opening suddenly interrupted him.


“Welcome to our store!”


However, the trio could only plop back down on their chairs and groan loudly after confirming who had entered the store.

Kang Eun-Yeong yelled at them, “Hey, you orabis! How can you openly groan in the face of a visitor like that!”

Ju Yeong-Gi shot back.
“We thought you were a customer, that ’s why!”

Park Yu-Min slowly nodded.
“Yeah, me too.”

Even Kang Jin-Ho joined in.
“Just go home, will you?”

Kang Eun-Yeong ’s face burned up.
“What ’s the matter with you three?!”

Even though she had worked so hard to shift around her busy schedule so she could find enough time to stop by and see how the new store was going, these three dared to actually—how could they treat her this way?!

She could more or less overlook Kang Jin-Ho ’s attitude, but the other two shouldn ’t behave like that in front of her! Just who was Kang Eun-Yeong AKA Se-Ah, anyway?! Wasn ’t she shining brightly in the first place of the ’Likeable Female Singer ’ in the survey done by a media outlet specializing in polls?

Even if someone were uninterested in the world of idols, that person would still display the minimum level of friendliness in her direction.
However, these three acted like a trio of seven-year-old kindergarten boys disinterestedly greeting a friend ’s five-year-old little sister…!

’Not even a cow would be this disinterested in a chicken, you know! ’

Kang Eun-Yeong never expected any reasonable something from her brother ’s friends, but this kind of treatment still managed to trigger her.
“Hey, why don ’t you guys have any customers?!”

Park Yu-Min lifelessly muttered, “Well, there are no customers, and that ’s why we don ’t have any customers, so if you ask us why there ’s no one here—”

Kang Eun-Yeong yelled, “How dare you play word games with me! You poured so much money into this store, so shouldn ’t you be working just as hard to figure out a solution to your no-customers problem?! Put your four heads together and come up with something, will ya?!”

All of a sudden, Ju Yeong-Gi smiled brightly.
“I ’ve been thinking about something here…”


“If the worst student in the school, another student one place ahead of him in the rankings, and then another one ahead of that dude, came together to study hard, do you think their grades will improve?”

Kang Eun-Yeong narrowed her eyes.
“…Isn ’t that, like, the fastest way to absolute and utter failure?”

To me, this situation is exactly like that.
No matter how much I think about it, the three of us racking our brains like this will get us precisely nowhere.”

Kang Eun-Yeong wordlessly looked at her brother making a bright; nay, innocent expression, then at the laughing duo of Park Yu-Min and Ju Yeong-Gi.
A lengthy groan escaped from her lips soon afterward.
She had to admit that Ju Yeong-Gi wasn ’t wrong with his assessment.
“B-but you still have Chief Jo with you, don ’t you?!”

It can be hard to make great work when its stolen from bit.ly/3iBfjkV.

“Chief Jo?” Ju Yeong-Gi cackled ominously.
“If he were a student, Jin-Ho wouldn ’t be the worst in school, you know?”

“H-hang on a minute!” Jo Gyu-Min quickly interjected.
“I ’m pretty good at running a business, Mister Yeong-Gi!”

Ju Yeong-Gi tutted.
“You ’d sometimes see a dude with baseless confidence jumping into the world of commerce only to totally bankrupt himself in no time.”

Kang Eun-Yeong shook her head.
“Okay, so…
You ’re on your way to financial ruination, is that it?”

Ju Yeong-Gi nodded assertively.
It ’s like we ’re properly experiencing the bitterness of society?”

“I knew something like this would happen,” Kang Eun-Yeong gnashed her teeth.
“You think running a business is a cakewalk?! This is a warzone! Everyone is competing as if their lives are on the line just to put food on the table, yet you jumped in with a mindset of ’If we open a store, people will come somehow!’ No wonder you ’re only seeing red! Nowadays, opening a measly little fried chicken franchise requires building a multi-faceted portfolio with in-depth investigations on the location and the potential competition in the area, so how could you three jump into this thing totally blind?!”

“You heard her, Chief Jo.” Ju Yeong-Gi glanced at Jo Gyu-Min.

“Yes…” Jo Gyu-Min ’s head faltered, knowing he had no excuses whatsoever.
“Now that things have come to this, maybe we should quickly accept our failure and search for a new—”

“No way!” Kang Eun-Yeong mercilessly cut Jo Gyu-Min off.
“There ’s no way you should do that! I cannot let the word ’Failure ’ stain my orabi ’s career!”

“…Then, what do you propose?”

“We gotta do whatever it takes to make this store a success!” Kang Eun-Yeong clenched her fists as her eyes burned fiercely.

“As expected of a member of our society!”

Let ’s be real, Eun-Yeong is the most financially savvy person out of everyone here, isn ’t she?”

Kang Eun-Yeong ignored the praises and yelled at her brother with her eyes burning even fiercer than before.
“Get ready, orabi! The counterattack begins now!”

Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“…What do I have to get ready for?”

A meaningful grin crept up on Kang Eun-Yeong ’s face.


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