“…This is getting insane.
Seriously now.” The Chief of Code Entertainment ’s PR team, Min So-Yeong, muttered in amazement while looking at her monitor displaying Kang Jin-Ho ’s name and the TV show ’s title.
Those two topics were still dominating the real-time search results.

’This is on a historic level.
Unprecedented, even! ’

She also wanted to check out the situation on the TV show ’s own bulletin board.
However, its home page couldn ’t be accessed due to the high volume of users, preventing her from seeing the truth herself.

’This has to be the first time I ’m seeing stuff like this… ’

Indeed, when was the last time a single scene in a TV show managed to produce such an impact? It had to be the first time since a certain teen star, in their bid to reinvent themselves into a serious actor, stood on a rainy street and raised their umbrella to reveal their smile.
That scene catapulted the teen star into a mega star literally overnight, and no one managed to pull a similar feat ever since.

Back then, social media was still in its infancy, and audience feedback wasn ’t as active as now.
So, Min So-Yeong didn ’t think the impact back then wasn ’t as powerful as the current event.
Although she had a feeling that had social media been a thing back then, the craziness would have been far more over the top than now…

In any case, just one episode was enough to set off a massive explosion of fervent reactions online.
Word-of-mouth had to be incredibly strong, too, since the viewer rating for the rerun in the middle of the night was higher than the actual premiere.

“Chief! We ’re getting a deluge of inquiries! I don ’t know how to respond anymore, Ma ’am!”

“Urgh…” Min So-Yeong groaned, knowing that this situation wasn ’t exactly great in the traditional sense.
Yes, it was good to see a TV show starring one of the agency ’s talents being the talk of the town, but that talk was solely centered around Kang Jin-Ho.
Even Choi Yeon-Ha had gotten buried under the avalanche of interest aimed at her ’co-star,’ so Kang Eun-Yeong getting lost in the shuffle was rather unsurprising.

When Min So-Yeong calmed down sufficiently enough to rewatch the episode, she found out that Kang Eun-Yeong ’s acting talent was good.
Not just on the level of ’Hey, that ’s not bad, ’ but she was more like a natural talent.
She blended so naturally into her character that Min So-Yeong even briefly worried if the girl wouldn ’t stand out too much at one point.
In other words, the discussion about her acting ability shouldn ’t materialize.

’However, even if her acting were crap, people wouldn ’t have raised much fuss about it… ’

People were clearly not interested in if the episode was fun or if the actors did a convincing job portraying their characters.
In fact, their level of interest had to be below zero at this point! All they cared about were, ’Who is this Kang Jin-Ho? ’ and ’When is Kang Jin-Ho going to make his appearance again? ’

Min So-Yeong glanced at her underling nearby.
“Do you know what Mister Jeong Seok-Su is doing?”

“Sorry? Ma ’am, why are you asking me that?”

“Get him on the phone for me.
Imagine what will happen to him or to me if we fail to sign such a shocking talent to our agency when things are this crazy.
Even worse, imagine if some other agency snatches him up right under our noses! Can ’t you already picture the scene of our boss losing his sh*t and throwing things around like crazy in his office?”

I guess we ’ll be replacing more windows, then.”

Min So-Yeong nervously chewed on her fingernails.

Knowing the agency president ’s personality, he ain ’t gonna sit still. ’

Although she had to admit that something was weird about this situation.
The president of Code Entertainment could easily be described as a madman, yet he was keeping mum for some reason even now.

Having a bad temper alone wouldn ’t be enough to make him the top representative of a talent agency like Code, though.
No, the president of such a company had to be far more attuned and sensitive toward the current trends and what the media was saying.
Way more than Min So-Yeong, even.

Such a man obviously would know about the situation with Kang Jin-Ho and the TV show, but he still hadn ’t urged his underlings to get a move on even now? How come?

Min So-Yeong suspiciously narrowed her eyes.

’Could it be that he ’s losing his touch? ’


“Yeah?” She sobered up when her underling put his phone down and addressed her.

“The agency president is summoning you, Ma ’am.
And he wants Mister Seok-Su with you, too.”

’Yup, I knew this would happen… ’

Min So-Yeong inwardly nodded.
The agency president, boasting a keen nose akin to a hound, wouldn ’t have missed such an enticing scent in the air.
Even a fool could tell that as soon as Min So-Yeong and Jeong Seok-Su stepped inside the president ’s office, they would be bombarded with nonstop nagging about how they better sign Kang Jin-Ho up or resign!

I don ’t wanna do this job anymore…” Min So-Yeong groaned loudly while getting up from her comfy chair.
She then trudged toward the president ’s office and then…


“…I ’m sorry?!” Min So-Yeong ’s eyes opened super-wide.
Even Jeong Seok-Su sitting next to her could only blink his eyes in stupefaction and confusion while staring at the agency ’s president.

The top representative of Code Entertainment, Yi Jin-Gun, puffed unhappily on his cigarette while warning his employees one more time.
“Didn ’t you hear me? I said, don ’t be stupid and leave Kang Jin-Ho alone.
Why are you having a hard time understanding me?”

“N-no, wait.
Sir, we do understand what you told us.
What we can ’t understand is why you ’re telling us that.
Don ’t you know that both the online and offline communities have gone crazy thanks to Mister Kang Jin-Ho?”

“Of course, I know.
I might as well call it quits if I can ’t even see that.
With that much hullabaloo going on, how can I not know?”

“In that case, why…?”

The order wasn ’t to ’capture ’ Kang Jin-Ho, but to leave him alone? This was even more flabbergasting than, say, ordering a car salesman not to sell cars.

“Sir, just why?”

Yi Jin-Gun stubbed his cigarette out in an ashtray in clear irritation.
“Let me tell you something.
In this world, some people are off-limits.
Drooling after someone who might cause us grief when provoked will only get our company in deep sh*t.
In any case, that ’s my order.
Don ’t go after him, that ’s all.”

“…Understood, sir.” Min So-Yeong slowly nodded her head.
Her boss had already put his foot down, so she couldn ’t go against him, even though she couldn ’t understand why.
What if Mister Kang Jin-Ho signs a contract with another agency?”

Yi Jin-Gun dismissively waved his hand.
“That ain ’t gonna happen.”

“Sir, anything can happen in our industry.
You know this.”

“Yeah, I do.
Anything can and will happen.
Doesn ’t mean Brad Pitt will suddenly sign a contract with us tomorrow now, does it?”

“Yes, that won ’t happen…”

Yi Jin-Gun nodded.
“This is something like that.
That Kang Jin-Ho dude isn ’t in need of anything, so why would he sign up with us and film commercials and movies? Why, when he has no financial incentive to do so? In any case, that ’s the situation.
You can leave now.”

“Understood, sir.” Min So-Yeong got up.
She still looked somewhat dazed and in disbelief.

Yi Jin-Gun snapped his fingers.
“Ah, I almost forgot.
Jeong Seok-Su?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Look after Se-Ah, okay? In times like these, you gotta constantly stay on top of things, more than usual anyway, and manage the talent well.
I watched the episode, and she ’s a good actress.
Even if she fails to get noticed in this show, your job is to make sure all the people related to this production will have a high opinion of her.
Make sure that people will talk about how talented Se-Ah is as an actress, as well as how hands-on and cooperative she is during film shoots.
Get my drift?”

“Yes, sir.
I ’ll definitely engrave it into my heart.”

“Oh, and one more thing…” Yi Jin-Gun hesitated slightly, then bit his lower lip in determination.
“Get a rumor mill going on the set.
It should be about how Kang Jin-Ho starred in this drama because of his litter sister, Kang Se-Ah.
So, make people think that if you hire Kang Se-Ah, her oppa might come along for the ride, too.
We need to surf this wave for as long and as much as possible.”

A quick look at tinyurl.com/2p9emv8w will leave you more fulfilled.

“Understood, sir.”

You can leave now.”

After exiting the president ’s office, Min So-Yeong couldn ’t help herself as she kept looking back at the office’s doorway.
The look on her face still showed her confusion.

’Why is he acting that way, I wonder? ’

No one could say it openly, but President Yi Jin-Gun was like a Doberman who would never let go once he had bitten something.
Such a description wouldn ’t usually be used in a positive way, but Min So-Yeong believed that such a venomous, tenacious drive was necessary to win in the tumultuous and deadly entertainment industry.

But now, such a Doberman was lowering his tail before backing off? It wasn ’t as if he had already bitten into his target before letting go, either.
This had to be… This had to be a first for Yi Jin-Gun.

’In that case…
Maybe that story was true all along? ’

The story of Jaegyeong backing Kang Eun-Yeong was an open secret among those who worked with her.
Code hadn ’t officially acknowledged the link, but those who knew already knew.

Didn ’t the Chief Secretary of Jaegyeong suddenly show up one day in the agency and become a non-executive director? Even a blind would be able to see that something was up after seeing that Chief Secretary only looked after Kang Eun-Yeong and no one else.

However, Kang Eun-Yeong had apparently denied that fact to the managers closest to her.
She even openly stated that Jaegyeong wasn ’t on friendly terms with her but with someone else.

When Min So-Yeong heard that, she figured that girl was just trying to be polite or play the part of a fool.
Now that the situation had ended this way, though, maybe Kang Eun-Yeong wasn ’t completely lying about her circumstances.

Although it was true that Jaegyeong was supporting her from behind the scenes, Kang Eun-Yeong was not tied to that corporation.
In other words, someone closely related should be the one with ties to Jaegyeong.

Assuming that Kang Jin-Ho wielded a major influence within Jaegyeong ’s corridors, and the corporation decided to support Kang Eun-Yeong to appease him, then—everything would fall into place.

If Kang Jin-Ho was a fish big enough to have Jaegyeong at his beck and call, then Yi Jin-Gun ’s behavior from earlier would make sense.

There was still one unresolved question in that assumption, however…

’…If that ’s true, just what kind of relationship does Kang Jin-Ho have with Jaegyeong? ’

Min So-Yeong sighed under her breath.
She could tell that her thoughts were a waste of time.
The important thing to focus on was that Kang Eun-Yeong ’s TV show was receiving an unprecedented amount of attention all thanks to Kang Jin-Ho. Oh, and Code ’s PR team was getting crushed by the weight of all the inquiries coming in.

“No one will believe us even if we tell them the truth about Kang Jin-Ho not wanting to make his acting debut, right?”

Just like that, Kang Jin-Ho unwittingly created one more victim from his actions.


A brightly-smiling Jo Gyu-Min watched as Kang Jin-Ho opened the passenger-side door and climbed inside his car.
“Kuh-uh~! The global superstar has deigned to enter my car!”

Kang Jin-Ho retorted, unimpressed.
“…You want me to get out?”

“Eiii, of course not.” Jo Gyu-Min guffawed again.

Kang Jin-Ho groaned loudly at that mischievous laughter.

Jo Gyu-Min continued, “Did you see how much hullabaloo you ’ve raised in all the search engines lately, Mister Jin-Ho?”

“I have to say, I ’m surprised,” Kang Jin-Ho replied flatly.

“Everyone ’s raising one hell of a fuss about how handsome you are, Mister Jin-Ho.
Even though I have been sticking to your side all these years, I didn ’t think you were that good-looking, you know? But when you showed up on the screen with makeup and everything, even my heart started to pound…”

“I ’m getting out…”

“It ’s just a joke!” Jo Gyu-Min cackled while depressing the accelerator.
“Still, isn ’t this amusing? Opportunities to become the center of attention like that don ’t happen every day, Mister Jin-Ho.
Only the politicians capable of upending our country or the stars at the highest echelons of popularity can garner such an amount of interest as you have.”

“I ’d like to decline such opportunities, thank you.”

You definitely had a ton of customers in the pizzeria today, yes?”

“…How did you guess?”

“It ’s pretty obvious, you know.
The store ’s address has been widely shared on social media sites, after all.
Even if they are not your fans, people would still want to come to your store at least once now that you ’ve become the hottest topic in town.”

Kang Jin-Ho silently nodded in agreement.
He understood why some people would act that way since this was the era of judging food not by how it tasted but by how it looked.
People accepted a restaurant being famous for being famous these days, so he shouldn ’t be too surprised by people having that kind of mindset.

He glanced at the road ahead and asked Jo Gyu-Min, “Anyway.
Where are we going?”

“We ’re heading to Jaegyeong ’s head office.”

Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“May I ask why?”

“Didn ’t I say your items have arrived? And we also have other matters to discuss, so…
Well, you ’ll see once we get there.”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho frowned a little while glancing at the other cars on the road brushing past his side.

’My items… ’

Soon, the duo arrived at Jaegyeong ’s headquarters and headed to the chairman-only elevator directly connected to the top floor.
While Kang Jin-Ho waited for the elevator to arrive, people walking past kept stealing glances at his face.

’Had they seen that TV show as well? ’

Kang Jin-Ho suddenly realized that he should check out the TV show and see for himself just what kind of a scene did they see that everyone raised such a huge fuss about it.

Jo Gyu-Min noticed the concerned look on Kang Jin-Ho and quickly said, “Please calm down, Mister Jin-Ho.
They are simply trying to see who ’s about to ride in the chairman ’s elevator, that ’s all.
Even I can ’t get on this elevator by myself, you know.”

“Couldn ’t we just take a normal elevator?”

“Why didn ’t you say that earlier? Look, our elevator is already here.”

Kang Jin-Ho sighed under his breath and got in the elevator.
Why did it feel like Jo Gyu-Min was having so much fun teasing Kang Jin-Ho lately?

The duo arrived at the top floor and headed to the secretary ’s office.
Jo Gyu-Min asked Kang Jin-Ho to wait for a little while, so the latter found a spot on the couch to settle down.

As promised, Jo Gyu-Min showed up a short while later.
He was pushing a large box toward the waiting Kang Jin-Ho while grunting loudly.
“Haaa, haaa…
Here they are.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly opened the box.
He didn ’t even need to ask what was inside since he could hear the constant buzzing coming from the box for some time now.


The lid issued an aged creak distinct to wooden boxes to reveal its contents.
Kang Jin-Ho ignored the densely-packed straw and instead reached inside to pick up two swords resting in the middle.

Azuremourne and Crimson Destiny…!

The two swords that shared his fate had crossed the Yellow Sea to finally return to Kang Jin-Ho ’s hands.

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