“Did you pass the test, Mr.
The Dongmyeong Education Foundation's proxy chief director, Jo Gyu-Min, held back his laughter at Kang Jin-Ho's curt reply and handed over a cup of coffee.
Kang Jin-Ho trudged over to the office's couch and plopped down.
“You failed again, Mr.
'Yup, he's pissed…'
Kang Jin-Ho's face was totally expressionless.
But Jo Gyu-Min had interacted with the youth enough times to read the actual emotion underneath that stoic facial expression.
Jin-Ho, it's fine to be bad at driving, you know?”
“What are you implying, Mr.
“You can simply hire a chauffeur, after all.
How about it?”
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“I've been told that a driver's license is a must.”
“Well, that is true, but…”
Who would be! Sane enough! To let! Kang Jin-Ho pass?!
Jo Gyu-Min had the misfortune of going along for a ride during Kang Jin-Ho's practice driving after the latter had passed the theoretical test.
And after that day, he swore to never get in any car driven by Kang Jin-Ho ever again.
Jo Gyu-Min preferred a clean, quick death, not some abominable torture where his life continuously flashed before his eyes.
He definitely didn't want to go through that again if he could help it.
Especially after experiencing the 'miracle' of remembering so many old forgotten memories buried deep in the recess of his subconsciousness!
Jo Gyu-Min tried to sound as comforting as possible.
Jin-Ho, you don't need a driver's license in this day and age.”
“Are you telling me to give up?”
“…No, of course not.”
Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly sipped the coffee.
“Then, what about your next test, Mr.
“I've already applied for it.
It's scheduled to take place in three days.”
“Oh, I see.” Jo Gyu-Min inwardly prayed for the fate of the next examiner unlucky enough to ride next to Kang Jin-Ho.
“However, I'm sure you didn't come here to tell me that, Mr.
Kang Jin-Ho put the coffee cup down and cleared his throat.
“Ahem. I have a favor to ask.”
“A favor, you say?” Jo Gyu-Min's voice got louder at this surprising revelation.
The one asking for favors until now had been him, not Kang Jin-Ho, and that was what surprised him the most.
In fact, the latter hadn't made single demand from his supposed 'personal secretary' until now.
Technically speaking, the matters involving the orphanage and the bicycle were entrusted to Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu, not Jeong In-Gyu.
Jeong In-Gyu's job was to assist Kang Jin-Ho in any way he could, but he was currently stuck in a weird situation where he hadn't done anything noteworthy yet.
'Is it finally time to show what I can do?'
Jo Gyu-Min cried out in elation inwardly.
Lately, it had been getting somewhat embarrassing to make the same old bog-standard “Nothing noteworthy has happened, sir” report to Hwang Jeong-Hu over and over again.
But now, a chance to demonstrate his true worth had finally landed on his lap.
By combining his excellent administrative ability and the Jaegyeong Group's abundant wealth, nothing should be out of reach, and anything should be possible.
After all, Jaegyeong was prepared to support Kang Jin-Ho no matter what!
Jo Gyu-Min was confident in performing whatever task—perfectly and efficiently!
“Please speak, Mr.
Kang Jin-Ho nodded.
It's about Jaegyeong University.”
“Pardon? Jaegyeong Uni, you say?”
“What is this about?”
Kang Jin-Ho spoke as if it was nothing serious, “Should it be called special admittance? Wait, the university does have a screening process for special scholarship students, don't they?”
Jo Gyu-Min tilted his head slightly.
Didn't most universities have that admittance process? Although he hadn't looked into it yet, he was pretty sure that Jaegyeong University also had such a thing.
“Yes, they do.”
“Can you find out more about it, please?”
Jo Gyu-Min's head tilted even more.
The screening for special scholarship students, was it? But what was the point of finding out more about it? After all, Kang Jin-Ho had already earned a university free pass.
He could enter any university in South Korea as he pleased, and practically nothing could stop him.
So why did he want to know more about the screening process?
“Which specialty do you have in mind, Mr.
Jin-Ho? You can easily enter as a regular student and still get scholarships if that's what you want, you know?” Jo Gyu-Min asked.
“It's not for me…”
Kang Jin-Ho grinned faintly.
“I wanted to see if Yu-Min can enter the university, you see.”
Student Park Yu-Min?”
Jo Gyu-Min's cogs quickly began turning to recall all the information related to Park Yu-Min stored deep inside his brain.
“Isn't Park Yu-Min-gun already set on the career of a pro gamer and has chosen not to go to a university…?”
“Yes, but the length of a pro gamer's career is generally quite short.”
“On average, it lasts around five years.
If he gives up on studying now, he will run into problems later after his retirement.”
“Oh, I see.”
The profession of 'pro gamer' certainly sounded like a cool job to have, but only a few earned the right to stay under the spotlight.
And even fewer people managed to remain relevant for years to come.
After retiring, most pro gamers would come to realize that their skills in playing computer games were not enough to overcome the hardships of life slamming straight into their faces.
Kang Jin-Ho explained his thought process, “In such a situation, having a graduation paper issued by a prominent university will help, wouldn't you say?”
“However, rather than going through such hoops, wouldn't it be simpler to…”
…To give some money? Hwang Jeong-Hu was impossibly rich, and Kang Jin-Ho had nearly-unlimited access to all that wealth, didn't he? Park Yu-Min could enjoy a life of luxury and never lift a finger for the rest of his life if that was what Kang Jin-Ho willed.
So, why go such a cumbersome length to support that boy?
“If you don't earn it by yourself, it will mean nothing to you,” said Kang Jin-Ho.
“The gratification you feel when getting something for free only lasts for that moment, after all.”
Jo Gyu-Min slowly nodded, thinking that Kang Jin-Ho had a point.
Acquiring something without putting in the required effort could make you mistakenly think that you deserved it.
As a result, you would never realize how precious it was.
A luxurious lifestyle acquired that way would not make you happier at the end of the day.
Especially more so when 'you' in this case was Park Yu-Min, who lived a difficult life in an orphanage but still tried to hold a positive outlook on life.
It would be a bad idea to stain someone like that to the allure of easy money.
Money had the power to corrupt even the purest person, after all.
'In that regard…'
Jo Gyu-Min glanced at Kang Jin-Ho, thinking that this youth and Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu were two remarkable people.
Hwang Jeong-Hu had amassed an eye-popping fortune over the years but was not obsessed about it.
Kang Jin-Ho also had little to no interest in the piles of money available to him.
If Jo Gyu-Min was in Kang Jin-Ho's shoes and held a key to a safe filled with billions of won at the latter's age, then…
He would never worry about his future ever again.
Money could practically solve anything, so what was there to worry about? However, Kang Jin-Ho wasn't like that.
Other than a sturdy bicycle, he held no interest in other things.
The only place he spent his money so far was to financially support the Seongsim Orphanage.
Even the new house his family bought at a fairly large sum was bought with the money Chairman Hwang Jeong-Hu had given to Kang Yu-Hwan.
'I can't tell if he's an amazing guy or just naive…'
Someone like Hwang Jeong-Hu in his advanced age could get less attached to money.
But Kang Jin-Ho was still young, so it would be rather mature of him to feel that way about wealth.
After all, even Jo Gyu-Min couldn't even imagine himself being that way!
Jo Gyu-Min shook his head and got back to the main topic.
“Okay, so… You want to let Park Yu-Min into the Jaegyeong University as a special scholarship student? Did I get that right, Mr.
“Yes, that's what I'm thinking…”
“In that case, how are Park Yu-Min's grades?”
Jo Gyu-Min sighed at that.
He didn't need to hear it to know.
If his grades were good, he would've just entered the university as a regular student.
Are his grades that bad?”
“…I see.” Jo Gyu-Min sighed again, his mind beginning to race.
To let a student with poor records into a university—that person must have some kind of irrefutable achievement under their belt that could convince others.
For instance, being a famous actor or an athlete would massively help.
Even if the grades were poor, the candidate would still be accepted if their admittance would raise the university's profile and bring in the related extra revenue.
Without something like that, the voices of opposition would be far too fierce to overcome.
A university wasn’t something an educational foundation could control at will.
A sensitive topic like this could only be decided after considering the potential societal fallout, opinions of the alumni associations, and the voices of the student bodies.
“Mmhm. It's not going to be easy.”
Unfortunately, Park Yu-Min's achievement was nothing to write home about.
All he had achieved so far was reaching the semi-final of a gaming tournament.
He hadn’t even win that gaming tournament outright, so to grant the special scholarship to someone like that…
Even if the general awareness of the pro gamer profession had permeated throughout modern society, such an achievement wasn't enough to convince anyone.
Heck, even a tournament winner would find it hard to get the scholarship, so a semi-finalist…
“I'll see what I can do, but…” Jo Gyu-Min muttered in an uncertain voice.
“Will it be difficult?”
“If the university has already decided on the screening criteria, then it'd be too late to admit Park Yu-Min-gun as a special case.
We'll have to figure out where he has an advantage in the screening criteria, but I'm afraid that the profession of a pro gamer may not be enough to earn a computer science-related scholarship.”
Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“No, I didn't mean that way.”
“Isn't there a screening process for disabled candidates?”
“…Oh?” Jo Gyu-Min's jaw slightly dropped.
There was indeed a screening process reserved especially for disabled students.
Thanks to the Ministry of Education's policy, universities with courses that run for four years must provide a scholarship screening process for students with disabilities.
Since this process wasn’t brought up often, Jo Gyu-Min had completely forgotten about it until now.
But he knew for sure that it was available.
“Yes, you're right.
“Wouldn't his personal situation, as well as how law-abiding his life has been so far, be enough to make up for his poor grades? He also entered and reached the semi-final in a tournament despite his current circumstances, too.”
Jo Gyu-Min covered his mouth, sat back in his chair, and fell deep into his thoughts.
It felt like he was onto something here.
Being disabled was not going to be enough, but by emphasizing the boy's achievement as a pro gamer…
Maybe, a solid case could be made on his behalf?
“I think it's worth a shot.”
“Can it be done?”
“By taking the angle you suggested, yes, it might be doable.
A student who never lost his hope despite his challenging circumstances and had done his best to balance his studies and work-life…
Not only that, but he also managed to go pretty far in his profession, too…” Jo Gyu-Min muttered as his expression gradually brightened.
If this event was handled well, Park Yu-Min getting accepted could boost the university and the foundation's image.
“I can't decide on this by myself, however.
It'd require the consent of the chairman, the university's chief director, and the faculty members.
All I can do is simply deliver your request to the chairman and offer my opinion on the matter.”
Please remember this, though…” Kang Jin-Ho firmly drew the line on the sand.
“This process must not negatively affect someone else.
I'd rather have Park Yu-Min disqualified if it means he's taking away an available spot from someone else who's more qualified than him.”
“I get what you're saying, Mr.
How strict… One could even say that this was bordering on being obsessive.
Even so, Kang Jin-Ho didn't come across as dry and hardcore.
Probably because he was so crystal clear on his principle of not harming strangers even for his friends.
“I'll leave it in your capable hands, Mr.
I'll take care of it, so don't worry.”
Kang Jin-Ho nodded at Jo Gyu-Min's assurance and got up from his comfy seat.
Shall we get going?”
“I'm sorry?” Jo Gyu-Min stared at Kang Jin-Ho in confusion.
Get going? Where?
“Not sure I follow… Where are we going?”
Kang Jin-Ho replied in a disinterested voice as if Jo Gyu-Min had asked a dumb question.
“I told you, I failed the driving test.”
“So, I must practice.”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly cocked an eyebrow.
“Weren't you planning to help me?”
ha… W-well, as you can see, I'm a bit busy, so…”
“I came knowing that you don't have anything to do.”
Jo Gyu-Min's complexion was instantly drained of all colors.
“You will help me practice, right?”
Of course, I…
will…” Jo Gyu-Min got up and followed Kang Jin-Ho outside the office like a cow being dragged to a slaughterhouse.
'Oh, dear Lord, please grant me mercy and help me come back home safe and sound today…'
For the first time in many years, Jo Gyu-Min offered a prayer to God today.
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