Ju Yeong-Gi performed an over-the-top greeting to Kang Jin-Ho.
“Aigooo~! Dear President! So you ’ve decided to grace us with your presence today~!”
’s cheeks twitched.
It had to be some kind of innate talent to contain so much criticism in one ’s glare, like how Ju Yeong-Gi was doing right now!
While maintaining the OTT expression, Ju Yeong-Gi bowed his head deeply.
“While you were away, good sir, we did our absolute best to ensure our store would not have to close its doors.”
“I ’m sorry…”
“Eiii~, don ’t say that, Mister President! If you can ’t be bothered to come to work, it ’s up to us, the poor workers, to work our asses off to meet the revenue target, sir! If the store can ’t function without you around, that ’s the fault of us, the poor workers, isn ’t it, sir?!”
Park Yu-Min joined in as well, and he addressed Kang Jin-Ho in a pitiful apologetic voice.
“I ’m really sorry, Jin-Ho.
Yeong-Gi, me, and the rest of the kids did our best, but the revenue fell by more than half.
We really did try our best, you know…”
After seeing how depressed Park Yu-Min looked, the thing buried deep within Kang Jin-Ho
’s psyche, his conscience, started to prick him mercilessly.
Kang Jin-Ho sighed and muttered apologetically, “I ’ll inform you guys next time when I need to take a day off.”
He needed a day to cool off his boiling head and heart.
He did call and say he was taking a day off, but Ju Yeong-Gi seemed quite cross with the fact that Kang Jin-Ho suddenly decided not to come to work for no reason whatsoever.
’t as if Kang Jin-Ho didn
’t feel for these two.
This store was his, while Park Yu-Min and Ju Yeong-Gi were only here to lend their help.
So if he suddenly decided to abandon post like this, his friends would obviously be displeased.
Kang Jin-Ho was grateful that they chose to deal with this issue in a half-joking manner rather than with anger.
” Ju Yeong-Gi grumbled unhappily.
”At least we got to figure out what our problem was.
So our priority is now on ensuring that the store can function properly even when you ’re not around. ”
”Our problem? What? ” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“Take a look for yourself…” Ju Yeong-Gi muttered while heading to the kitchen.
Kang Jin-Ho followed, still tilting his head.
However, he soon had to stare in a daze at the sight waiting for him in the kitchen.
“What are all these?”
Ju Yeong-Gi suddenly raised his thumb up.
”Miss Choi Yeon-Ha told us this much.
The reason for our store limping along is that we have nothing else other than pizzas on our menu.
Since she talked about pasta, we tried to add them to our menu. ”
Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“…Wait, shouldn ’t you be taking one step at a time with this kind of thing?”
They were rank amateurs, so wouldn ’t it be an act of sheer madness to make pasta noodles by themselves just because they decided to sell some pasta?
Ju Yeong-Gi declared proudly, “Since we ’re doing it, we might as well do it properly!”
Kang Jin-Ho looked at his friend weirdly.
“Couldn ’t you just, you know…”
“…Hire a kitchen staff to cook pasta and other dishes? Wouldn ’t that solve the issue?”
Ju Yeong-Gi became speechless, his eyes growing dazed.
“H-hiring someone, you say?”
Find the original at bit.ly/3iBfjkV.
If you ’re stuck in the kitchen making pasta, what ’s going to happen in the dining area? ”
”…Ah. ” Ju Yeong-Gi sucked in a deep breath while making the face of someone who hadn ’t thought that far ahead.
Kang Jin-Ho could only groan deeply.
’I ’m a fool for expecting the store to be successful when things are like this… ’
Ju Yeong-Gi sobered up quickly enough.
”F-for now, let ’s delay our plan to introduce pasta to our menu.
Customers are waiting for us, so let ’s get the store ready for business first. ”
Got it. ” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, then headed to the staff room to change into his work clothes.
Since he was told the dough was left to mature—proof—since yesterday, Kang Jin-Ho only had to prepare the toppings this morning.
The sight of a packed dining area with customers greeted Kang Jin-Ho when he opened the door.
For some reason, the scene brought a smile to his face.
good business is better than a bad one, huh. ’
When there were no customers, he had too much time on his hands, and that made him feel a little worried.
On the other hand, this influx of customers left him no time for himself, but it also had the positive effect of calming him down.
Suddenly, a sense of incongruity washed over Kang Jin-Ho.
Wasn ’t he responsible for that huge bloody mess the other night? Yet here he was, baking pizzas as if all those murders hadn’t happened.
He kind of found this situation weirdly humorous for some reason.
Did the life on the other side exist solely to support this life, the one lived out in the open? Perhaps Kang Jin-Ho had willingly sought out that life in the shadows to vent all the urges he couldn ’t fulfill in the ’open ’ life?
“What are you doing, Jin-Ho? We have orders…”
“Got it.” Kang Jin-Ho accepted the order tickets and stood in front of the oven.
can ’t be sure. ’
It could still be too early to figure that out.
So Kang Jin-Ho decided to focus on pushing the dough inside the oven in an effort to get rid of those distracting thoughts.
“That was seriously busy…”
“For sure, having Jin-Ho around makes a difference in the number of customers.
I ’m still speechless, dude.”
Ju Yeong-Gi and Park Yu-Min slumped over their chairs and sagged lifelessly.
The orphanage kids waiting on the tables had already been sent home before it got too late at night.
Customers only stopped coming as midnight approached, and the trio finally finished cleaning and tidying up the store after the hour hand on the clock had shot past twelve.
“Maaan, making money is great, but I don ’t think I can last longer at this rate…” Ju Yeong-Gi groaned loudly.
“Yeah, I hear you…” Park Yu-Min sighed along with his friend.
If only the number of customers had been reasonable, the trio could have shooed away any stragglers and closed the store on time.
However, the sunset brought even larger waves of customers, and around the advertised closing time of half-past ten, there were still long queues forming outside the store.
Obviously, the trio just couldn ’t turn all those people away, so they kept accepting a few more over and over again—until they found themselves in the current predicament.
“Where ’s Jin-Ho? How is he looking?”
”…I think he
’s dead now?
” Ju Yeong-Gi smirked while glancing at Kang Jin-Ho, currently laid out on top of a row of chairs by the corner of the pizzeria.
”That shy-as-heck dude had definitely taken over two hundred selfies today.
It ’d be weird if he ’s still in one piece. ”
“Yeah, you got a point there.”
“Besides all that.
He ’s one weird dude, isn ’t he? Today wasn ’t his first rodeo.
This madness has been going on for a few days now, so how come he still hasn’t gotten used to it?”
“Not sure myself…” Park Yu-Min shrugged his shoulders.
Ju Yeong-Gi chuckled again.
’Still, Jin-Ho is still Jin-Ho, isn ’t he? ’
When Kang Jin-Ho revealed his intentions to open his own business, Ju Yeong-Gi had to wonder why a loaded guy like him would want to waste his time like that.
A part of Ju Yeong-Gi was also a bit miffed by the fact that a dude who didn ’t need to worry about money problems for the rest of his life suddenly wanted to become a boss of a store.
Really now, even if Kang Jin-Ho was serious about this whole business thing, how long would his dedication last anyway?
After getting a good look at Kang Jin-Ho ’s current state, though, Ju Yeong-Gi had to admit that his previous thoughts had been wrong.
Without his superhuman stamina, Kang Jin-Ho was basically a dummy.
However, such a guy was willing to exhaust himself by chatting and taking selfies with countless people to the point of collapse to ensure his store’s success.
”Some people will always be slackers no matter how important the job is, but some other people will give a hundred and ten percent into jobs that don ’t need such passion in the first place… ” Ju Yeong-Gi muttered.
“Eh? What are you talking about?”
“I ’m talking about that.” Ju Yeong-Gi pointed at Kang Jin-Ho, prompting a nod of understanding from Park Yu-Min.
Park Yu-Min also knew that this pizzeria didn
’t hold much meaning to Kang Jin-Ho.
Even then, Kang Jin-Ho still worked himself to death like this every day.
It seemed some people in this world just didn ’t know the concept of taking it easy.
“By the way…
Just how long do we have to deal with the insane waves of customers?” Ju Yeong-Gi cautiously asked.
Park Yu-Min tilted his head.
“What ’s wrong? Are you finally sick of serving too many customers?”
“Hey! A store that complains about having too many customers deserves to go bankrupt, you know! I
’m not worried about too many customers here, dude.
No, I ’m just scared that all these people might suddenly stop showing up one day.
After listening to Miss Choi Yeon-Ha the other day, I finally know that we should ’ve gone under a loooong time ago. ”
Park Yu-Min shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, I don ’t think you ’ll have to worry about that for a while.”
“Eh? How come?”
“The TV station has been rebroadcasting the first episode like crazy, you see.”
“Right now, kids at the orphanage are scrambling for a spot to work here.
The fighting has gotten real nasty, you know? I had no idea they were so passionate about working part-time until now.”
Ju Yeong-Gi blinked his eyes in surprise.
However, he suddenly remembered that all the kids waiting tables today happened to be girls.
Park Yu-Min continued.
”Those kids have been around Jin-Ho since they were snotty brats, but they still behave like that around him even now.
I guess the power of media is really something else, huh? Don ’t you think it ’s funny? They know what he ’s like, but one appearance in a TV show is enough to put pink hearts in their eyes. ”
”…Funny, my ass.
” Ju Yeong-Gi shook his head helplessly.
You ’re saying that we ’ll be dealing with this scale of customers for the foreseeable future.
Is that it? ”
”Well, I guess the number might decrease.
I mean, Jin-Ho said he has no plans to appear again in the show, didn ’t he? At least, the number won ’t go up as long as he doesn ’t act again on screen.
It ’ll probably decrease gradually. ”
” Ju Yeong-Gi rubbed his chin.
”In that case, we should hire a pasta specialist before all the customers disappear to normalize our operation somewhat. ”
Park Yu-Min nodded.
Should I put up a job ad right away?”
“Nah. For now, let it be.”
Ju Yeong-Gi frowned as if he was surprised by Park Yu-Min
Look at our current table turnaround time, then imagine adding pasta on top of that.
The turnaround time will fall by at least half.
Even if you bring in the number one chef from Italy, they won ’t be able to keep up with Jin-Ho ’s baking speed.”
“I didn ’t know the number one chef position was decided on how fast you can make pasta, but in any case, I get what you ’re saying.”
Ju Yeong-Gi nodded sagely, then walked over to where Kang Jin-Ho was to grab his friend
’s shoulder and shake him around.
“Hey, dude! Wake up!”
“It ’s time to go home, dude.”
“…Mm.” Kang Jin-Ho got up with a slack-jawed look.
Ju Yeong-Gi chuckled hollowly at this sight.
His friend, Kang Jin-Ho, was capable of wrecking the instructors during the guerrilla training.
He even broke the ice to get enough water for a cold shower during the cold weather training, too.
He didn ’t even blink once during the hellish training regime of the Korean military, and people eventually started wondering if he was a cyborg…
But that Kang Jin-Ho was sagging on these chairs like a limp blanket after taking a few measly selfies!
Ju Yeong-Gi chuckled weakly.
“Hah, I guess you’re human after all, eh?”
“Mm?” Kang Jin-Ho looked up.
Anyway, get up already, will ya?” Ju Yeong-Gi shook his head.
Kang Jin-Ho managed to stand up, but he still looked half-asleep.
Ju Yeong-Gi patted his friend on the back to wake the latter up.
“Let ’s go home for the day, dude.”
“…What about the preparations for tomorrow?”
“It ’s already done.”
“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho staggered on his feet.
Park Yu-Min chuckled and pointed to the staff room.
“Jin-Ho, you should at least change your clothes first.”
“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho groaned and nodded.
Park Yu-Min pushed Kang Jin-Ho inside the staff room, then turned the lights off the pizzeria and finished tidying up.
’Mm? It ’s already this late in the year? ’
After opening the store, Park Yu-Min and Co.
had to work crazy hard until now.
And that made him forget how many days it had been since they started.
Now that he could take a breather, he realized it had been almost a month since the pizzeria had opened its doors.
Pretty soon, another winter would come around, and then…
it would be a new year.
’Jin-Ho will need to go back to class by then… ’
Even if this pizzeria started off as a project—a contract—between Kang Jin-Ho and Jaegyeong, Park Yu-Min had a sneaking suspicion that Kang Jin-Ho wouldn
’t let go of this place even after going back to university next year.
Park Yu-Min made that guess based on how much passion and energy Kang Jin-Ho was pouring into this place.
“I ’m sure he ’ll do what he thinks is the best…” Park Yu-Min muttered before quietly chuckling away.
He had faith in his friend.
Whether Kang Jin-Ho wanted to keep this store going or not, he would surely do what was best for himself.
Just like what he had been doing all along, as observed by Park Yu-Min.
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head while walking on the deserted street.
’I ’m still tired… ’
His fatigue didn
’t want to go away.
If this were him back in Zhongyuan, Kang Jin-Ho wouldn ’t have been this tired after going on a rampage once.
Unfortunately, the current Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor anymore.
’t feel right, though.
This fatigue seemed far too intense to be something caused by the backlash of his actions.
This can ’t be because I used up some of my strength. ’
If that wasn ’t it, Kang Jin-Ho ’s mind could be under strain after causing that massacre, which was something he hadn ’t done in such a long time.
It seemed weird, but at the same time, also unsurprising.
Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor wouldn ’t get tired of ’work ’ on that level, but Kang Jin-Ho? Not experiencing some kind of shock would be a weirder outcome instead.
Both of them were Kang Jin-Ho, but sometimes, it felt like two different personalities were sharing one body.
Kang Jin-Ho rubbed his face a few times, then raised his head.
Then, he discovered something.
Something—a man was watching him from afar.
The man in a sharp business suit sported a well-trimmed crew-cut hairstyle.
His physique was well-built enough for him to pass off as a gangster, but the elegance oozing off from his demeanor prevented such a first impression.
When their eyes met, the man smiled affably and approached Kang Jin-Ho.
His intentions of not wanting to annoy Kang Jin-Ho were evident from his slow, measured steps.
The man eventually got to where Kang Jin-Ho was located, pulled up his sleeve ever so slightly, then extended his hand for a shake.
While maintaining this posture, he raised his head a little and stared straight into Kang Jin-Ho ’s eyes.
’s an honor to make your acquaintance, sir.
I ’m Bang Jin-Hun.”
A smile bloomed on Kang Jin-Ho ’s lips.
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