Showing Off (2)
Han Se-Yeon looked around the interior of the car.
“Is this really your car?”
“Yeah,” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Just when did you buy a car like this?”
She couldn't hide her shock at this unexpected revelation.
Just who was Kang Jin-Ho? Wasn't he the dude who commuted on his bicycle whether it rained, snowed, or a typhoon threatened to topple everything over? Such was his dedication that it wouldn't have been strange to see the Korean bicycle association awarding him with a medal or something!
Learning that someone like him owned a car was already shocking enough.
But to think that the car in question was also expensive, to boot!
That's not quite right, is it?'
Han Se-Yeon remembered hearing about how incredibly expensive Kang Jin-Ho's bicycle was.
Maybe he was the type to spare no expenses when his rides were concerned? But…
that didn't sound like the 'Kang Jin-Ho' she knew, though?
He eventually began explaining himself, “I didn't buy it.”
Han Se-Yeon nodded and thought.
‘I knew it.’
“Okay? What, then?”
“It was a gift, actually.”
“From Chairman Hwang?”
“I knew it.
You aren't the type of a guy to splurge on cars like this, after all,” Han Se-Yeon muttered while studying the Italian supercar's interior as if something had mystified her.
Kang Jin-Ho glanced at her.
“This car is supposed to be nice, right? Then, why is it so cramped?”
“Mm? Not sure.
I didn't buy it, after all.”
“The seat doesn't feel comfy, too.
It's a bit of a letdown, isn't it?” Han Se-Yeon started complaining while poking at the seat's material.
“You think so? Me, too.
I've been keeping this car in the corner of the garage at home until now.”
These two unhesitantly shared a conversation that would have made gearheads vomit blood.
Kang Jin-Ho depressed the accelerator a little harder after reaching the main road.
The white supercar quickly picked up the pace.
He expertly controlled the car and used only the minimum-necessary movements to dodge the slower-moving traffic on the road.
“Wow!” Han Se-Yeon cried out.
“What's wrong now?”
“You're a really great driver! I had no idea at all!”
Kang Jin-Ho was taken aback.
“You think so?”
“Yeah, it's so thrilling, you know!”
“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho smirked softly at that.
That would be the first praise he received for his driving skills.
He was suddenly motivated to drive even more enthusiastically.
His mood improved significantly after finally finding a passenger who didn't faint or scream in terror as soon as he started driving.
Honestly speaking, Kang Jin-Ho's driving was definitely safe.
His reflexes were on another level compared to regular people, so there was simply no way he would miss even the subtlest movements of other vehicles on the road.
His superior senses meant he could perfectly control his car, too.
Moreover, he was capable of safely escaping from the vehicle with his passenger in tow if things truly got dangerous.
Despite this, his previous passengers all cried out, 'Your driving is dangerous!' which stressed him out quite a bit.
“Looks like it was a correct decision to come and pick you up today,” said Kang Jin-Ho.
A sense of fulfillment filled him up, which was something he hadn't felt in a while.
Han Se-Yeon's threats of annoying him in the future had forced him to bring the car around, but her unexpectedly enthusiastic response meant he was now having fun driving.
Perhaps just as important was the car he was driving now, too.
It was a different beast from what he had driven in the past.
It responded immediately when Kang Jin-Ho depressed the accelerator.
Even the most minute touch of the steering wheel made the car squirm as if it was a living being.
In fact, it felt like he was controlling a living creature, not a soulless machine.
'Driving is surprisingly fun, isn't it?'
Unbeknownst to himself, Kang Jin-Ho was gradually falling for the charms of speedy driving.
“Kkyaa~! Oppa, hit it!” Even Han Se-Yeon had let go of her senses as the need for speed took over her.
After arriving at the university, Kang Jin-Ho chose to park his Lamborghini in a distant corner, far away from the lecture halls.
Han Se-Yeon got curious, so she asked him about it, “Why are you parking it over here?”
“Things might get annoying, that's why.”
“Makes sense, I guess…
Concealing the truth might be a good idea.”
Kang Jin-Ho didn't like showing off his wealth.
Even Han Se-Yeon had only learned about his financial situation only recently, didn't she? Actually, she might have never known about his financial situation if Chairman Hwang hadn’t visited their high school a couple of years ago.
He was that secretive about it, so there was no way on Earth he would deliberately drive such a fancy car to the university and advertise his financial status to everyone.
Besides, even Han Se-Yeon would love to avoid that kind of situation too.
Especially more so if that meant other women would learn about the truth!
Unfortunately, she found out almost immediately after climbing out of the car that the world would never move according to her whims.
“Se-Yeon? Is that you?”
“N-ng?! U-uh? Mi-Jeong?”
Coincidentally, Park Mi-Jeong, Han Se-Yeon's friend and classmate, was walking past that exact spot at the exact moment.
Han Se-Yeon grimaced.
I should've made sure the coast was clear first!'
Park Mi-Jeong stared agog at the white Aventador.
“Se-Yeon, w-what's up with this car? Isn't this what they call a supercar?”
“W-Well, the thing is…”
“Is it yours?!”
Han Se-Yeon hurriedly waved her hands in denial.
“N-no, of course not.
Where would I get the money to buy something this fancy?”
“Is that so? Which means…” Park Mi-Jeong's gaze shifted over to where Kang Jin-Ho and his expressionless face were.
“So, like, is this your car?”
As usual, Kang Jin-Ho didn't realize that now wasn’t a good time to be truthful.
“Ahhhh, I see.
So, it really is your car…”
It was only for a millisecond, but Han Se-Yeon still spotted Park Mi-Jeong's eyes sparkling suspiciously.
She quickly reached out to her friend.
But Park Mi-Jeong was already beyond her reach.
“Okay, got it! Sorry, but I gotta go first!”
“N-no, wait, Mi-Jeong!”
“See you all later~!”
Han Se-Yeon's hand was left clutching at the empty air as Park Mi-Jeong quickly trotted away toward the campus.
Eventually, she sheepishly lowered her arm.
Judging from Park Mi-Jeong's reaction, the story of Kang Jin-Ho showing up at the campus in his fancy supercar would spread to all corners of the university in less than one hour.
Just a single look at her energetic trot was enough evidence! Her desperate urge to tell the whole world right now could be felt oh-so clearly from her demeanor!
Han Se-Yeon sighed.
“Well, that's gonna be troublesome.”
“Mmhm.” Kang Jin-Ho also frowned deeply.
As expected, the story quickly spread everywhere.
It felt as if almost everyone now knew that Kang Jin-Ho owned a sleek ‘sports car.’ The men wanted to verify the ‘rumor’, so they went over to the parking spot as pointed out by Park Mi-Jeong.
They all came back with their jaws agape.
The verification of the car's make and model only added fuel to the fire.
Eventually, outright lies began sprouting up alongside the rumor.
“I hear he's a third-generation chaebol!”
“Yeah, his grandpa is a chairman of some corporation.”
“Why are his clothes always so crappy, though?”
“Don't you know that the real 'haves' are not interested in things like that?”
“Just how rich is he, then?”
The rumor now had a life of its own.
Han Se-Yeon wanted to put a lid on the situation before it spiraled out of control, but the bombardment of questions aimed at her took victory over her.
She had to escape from class to the relative safety of the campus lounge, and that was when she acutely realized how serious this situation had become.
For her, it wasn’t a problem that people had discovered Kang Jin-Ho’s wealth.
No, the real problem was that he was good-looking; no, make that extremely good-looking on top of being rich.
Moreover, he wasn’t a skirt-chaser and had conducted himself properly so far like the straight shooter he was.
In other words…
The odds of him becoming the no.1 target for those girls looking for a boyfriend were uncomfortably high.
Han Se-Yeon's worries turned out to be pretty much spot-on.
Han Se-Yeon could only look at Kang Jin-Ho with pity as the latter slumped over with the face of a man whose soul had abandoned him.
He had escaped from the lecture hall to seek shelter on a park bench where only a few people walked by.
She quietly walked up to him and noticed how the full-of-energy Kang Jin-Ho of three hours ago had turned into a pale-faced soggy sock who no longer wanted to keep on living.
She grimaced and asked him cautiously, “Are you okay, Jin-Ho?”
Kang Jin-Ho weakly muttered, “I couldn't say anything.”
“They didn't even give me a chance to open my mouth once.”
Any other men in Kang Jin-Ho's shoes would have been dying of happiness.
However, Han Se-Yeon knew what Kang Jin-Ho was like and could guess how stressed he was right now.
Because of me…”
The truth was bound to get exposed sooner or later, anyway,” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a dismissive wave of his hand.
He chose not to get too hung up about this situation.
Jo Gyu-Min told him this, didn't he? If Kang Jin-Ho wanted to live an ordinary life, he shouldn’t try to 'deny' the financial situation he was in.
He needed to accept it, then ensure that his wealth or status wouldn’t control him.
Han Se-Yeon wanted to help him perk up and made a careless remark.
“Well, I'm sure nothing serious will happen anyway.”
Unfortunately, those words came back to bite them in their butts.
A good-looking woman strutted toward Kang Jin-Ho in class and smiled radiantly at him.
“You're Kang Jin-Ho, aren't you?”
He suspiciously looked back at her “…Yes?”
“Do you know who I am? I'm Yi Jeong-Mi, your senior.”
“No, I don't know who you are.”
Yi Jeong-Mi's expression oozed confidence as her grin deepened.
We'll soon learn a lot about each other, anyway.
Is there anything you're curious about the campus life?”
Nothing in particular.” Kang Jin-Ho shook his head.
“I see that you're the strong-silent type.
I like guys like that.
Come with me.
I shall treat you, my cute little junior in university, to a heartwarming meal.” She seductively smiled and turned around first.
Kang Jin-Ho flatly refused her.
“No, it's fine.”
She nearly stumbled on her feet, but she still didn’t give up.
“I must tell you that I don't just treat anyone.”
Thank you, but…
Before Yi Jeong-Mi could say something, though, someone butted in first.
“Mmm?” Kang Jin-Ho turned his head and realized that it was Jin Mi-Hui.
She grinned and leaned forward toward him.
“Didn't you promise that we'll go watch a movie together sometime?”
“So, how about today?”
She leaned in even closer to his face.
“I heard you drove your car today.
So, can't we go together today since you have your ride here and all?”
Kang Jin-Ho frowned slightly.
“Maybe next time…”
“Why not! Come on, let's go today~!”
Right after the attempts to dissolve Kang Jin-Ho's single status had been thwarted, it was the turn of some dude who walked up to him with an expectant look on his face.
like, can you gimme a ride in your car just once?”
“How about I just give you the keys?”
The man sheepishly scratched his cheek.
That idea is kinda making me nervous, you know? Is it true that a scratch on the paint will cost over ten million won to fix?”
It's too much responsibility for me.
Can't I be just a passenger while you drive, Jin-Ho?”
“Mm….” A cramped smile formed on Kang Jin-Ho's face.
He was inwardly praying for an escape from this hell.
Unfortunately for him, though, his hell had only just begun.
Kang Jin-Ho and Han Se-Yeon barely managed to escape from their lecture hall and headed to where he had parked the Lamborghini, but a crowd of onlookers surrounding the car was waiting for them.
Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“What's going on here?”
Han Se-Yeon anxiously scanned the crowd.
“I think they are just gawking at your car.”
Well, this parking spot was near a university attended by young people.
No wonder Kang Jin-Ho's car had attracted so much attention.
Not only was it expensive, but it was also rare, so just about everyone in the crowd had whipped out their phones to take pictures.
“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho groaned softly.
Han Se-Yeon glanced at him.
“Do we have to go past that crowd to get to my car?”
When she heard Kang Jin-Ho's rhetorical question, she turned her head to look at the crowd with a slightly fed-up expression.
“I guess so?”
He wordlessly studied the situation, then muttered quietly, “Should we just leave the car here and catch a taxi or something?”
She shook her head.
“Something weird might happen to your car if you leave it here for over a day, Jin-Ho.”
“I don't mind…”
“You shouldn't be so casual with money like that, you know?”
“You're right.” Kang Jin-Ho sighed, then slowly made his way to the white Lamborghini.
“Hey, stop pushing, will ya?!”
“Why are you pushing me, dude?”
The crowd complained as Kang Jin-Ho pushed his way through.
He lowered his head slightly and explained himself, “That's my car, so please excuse me.”
‘Please don't be like that.
That's just a car, you know.
Reacting as if you've seen a celebrity is only making me more embarrassed!’
The crowd’s burning gazes landed on Kang Jin-Ho.
He wasn't the type to cower from such intense gazes, but he still couldn't avoid feeling like a monkey in a zoo.
“I'm passing through.
The crowd parted slightly to make way.
Kang Jin-Ho bowed slightly to express his thanks and got past them, then opened the Lamborghini's door.
It was precisely at that moment that Kang Jin-Ho was nearly overcome with a strong urge to rip open this weirdly-opening door.
Why the hell couldn't it open to the side like any other regular car door and instead open upward?! Look how much unnecessary attention it was attracting! Did this car's designers want to kill the owner with embarrassment or something?! With how much attention it was getting, this thing was no different from a lethal weapon at this point!
Kang Jin-Ho had grown immune to public attention during his time in Zhongyuan, but he still found this whole experience too torturous to bear.
In that case, how much humiliation and shame would normal people suffer from being seen in this car?!
Kang Jin-Ho climbed inside and turned the ignition on, prompting Han Se-Yeon to hurriedly trot over to the passenger side with her head deeply bowed.
“H-Hurry and open this door.”
“Hold on.” Kang Jin-Ho reached across the passenger seat to open the door, and she quickly slipped inside.
She tried to hide her face while urging Kang Jin-Ho to get a move on.
“Hurry and drive!”
A light press on the accelerator pedal caused the engine to roar like thunder.
The crowd cried out, “Ohhhh!” from sheer excitement.
Han Se-Yeon gasped.
“I… I think I'm gonna die of embarrassment…”
What a relief that the interior wasn't clearly visible from the outside.
If that hadn't been the case…
The crowd hurriedly parted when Kang Jin-Ho steered the car out of the parking spot.
Han Se-Yeon complained bitterly.
“What did I do to deserve this?”
Kang Jin-Ho was lost for words at her grumbling and could only grunt under his breath.
Just whose fault was it that they were in this situation, anyway?!
He finally thought of something to say, “Never ask me for a ride again, got it?”
“You think I'm mad?! I'll never ask you! Besides, it's your fault for driving a car like this, you know?!”
Kang Jin-Ho had a lot to say but chose to abstain.
He prioritized escaping from here as soon as possible and cooling his burning face down somewhere.
After this day, Kang Jin-Ho graduated from being the God of Liquor and a member of Three Dongmyeong High Musketeers to solidify his new position as the Owner of the Best Car in Business Management.
Which was exactly the opposite of what Kang Jin-Ho wanted.
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