is ears.
He thought it would be better for the two of them to be by themselves.


Kang Jin-Ho headed to the rooftop.
He got to his usual spot, then mouthed a cigarette.

“Mister Jin-Ho, this is a non-smoking area,” said Jo Gyu-Min.
He had followed Kang Jin-Ho up to the roof even though no one had invited him.
Despite what he said, he still lit up Kang Jin-Ho's cigarette.

“I thought I wasn't allowed to smoke?” Kang Jin-Ho looked at Jo Gyu-Min weirdly.

“I don't see anyone here who'll raise a fuss, so there's no helping it, don't you agree? However, you need to stop immediately if someone shows up.”

“Alright.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded and began smoking away.

How should he explain it? This strange feeling? It felt like he had resolved a matter, but it didn't seem finished just yet…

Even though he felt at ease, something was…

Jo Gyu-Min glanced at Kang Jin-Ho and asked, “Are you worried?”

“I think so, yes.”

Kang Jin-Ho hadn't felt the emotion of ‘worry' in such a long time that he couldn't exactly explain it.
Thankfully, Jo Gyu-Min was here to help.

Indeed, Kang Jin-Ho was worried.
However, why was he worried in the first place?

“Mister Jin-Ho, be at ease.
I shall take care of the rest.”

“I'm sorry?”

“I understand that you'd like to see Sister Yi's successful operation before going back to the army.
You detest walking away without achieving a clear result, after all.
However, you've already done everything you could, Mister Jin-Ho.
And it's time to leave the rest to other people.”

'Is that why I was worried?'

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.

A part of him did want to stay and witness Sister Yi's treatment process till its end, even if there was nothing he could do from this point in time.
If he got involved in something, then he simply had to see it to its end.
That was just what his personality was like.

Unfortunately, his leave had an expiration date.
He had to return to base soon.

“I see.
You're right…” Kang Jin-Ho muttered, then looked up at the sky, feeling a little lighter than before.
For some reason, the heavens dyed in the crisp blue hue looked so tall and vast today.


Kang Jin-Ho and Jo Gyu-Min went to a cafe to chat some more.

Jo Gyu-Min got the briefing going first.
“First of all, I've managed to hire the nursery teachers.
As the orphans aren't exactly normal, I've prioritized selecting candidates with a proven track record and personal history.”

“Track record, you say?” Kang Jin-Ho asked back with an arched eyebrow.

Jo Gyu-Min replied while smiling wryly, “Yes.
Seongsim's children suffer from various disabilities, after all.
'Normal' nursery teachers will not be able to cope, I'm afraid.
We're still discussing potential wages, and the offer on the table is 1.5 times the usual wages and slightly shorter working hours.
However, I think we can get a better deal if we negotiate some more.”

“No, Mister Gyu-Min.
Please proceed with those conditions.”

Those who worked fairly deserved to receive fair compensation.
Kang Jin-Ho wasn't prepared to ask the candidates to look after the orphans when his side failed to adhere to such a basic principle.
Even though most orphanages faced financial difficulties and had to scrape by in any way possible, Kang Jin-Ho had decided that he would intervene, so he didn't want to do things that way anymore.

As for an auntie as a cook, I was recommended someone with apparently great cooking skills.
She actually worked in a chaebol household until recently…”

“Could it be Chairman Hwang's house?”

She used to cook in the chairman's house.
However, after his sons were kicked out, the household didn't need as many staff members as before, and she was let go.
I contacted her, and she readily accepted the job.”

What a strange feeling Kang Jin-Ho was getting right now.
A high-class chef who previously cooked for Hwang Jeong-Hu was now cooking for a group of orphans.
Kang Jin-Ho could barely hide his smirk before asking, “Hmm. Even though the amount she must cook will be a lot?”

“If you know how many different dishes are prepared during each meal in a chaebol household, you'd say she'll have an easier time in her new job.”

“Oh…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded, thinking that might be the case.
Didn't he see how the TV dramas depicted the dinner scenes of chaebol households and thought that they had to be running traditional restaurants or something? Of course, he had no way of knowing if that was true or not.
“…What about her wage?”

“It'll be higher than the usual, but well…
Her skill level is not to be scoffed at, so…”

“That sounds fine.
Please proceed.” Kang Jin-Ho was happy with this.
Jo Gyu-Min should have a good reason for him to recommend that lady, after all.

“Alright, will do.” Jo Gyu-Min nodded.

“Then, here.” Kang Jin-Ho handed his bank card over to Jo Gyu-Min.
“Please use this to deal with the wages and the operational costs.
Sorry for making you do this, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“Not at all.
Is there anything else you'd like me to do?”

When Sister Yi recovered, the orphanage would also recover its director.
However, someone still had to take care of its operations in the meantime.
Sadly, Kang Jin-Ho only had his family and Jo Gyu-Min to entrust such a task with.
And there was no denying that Jo Gyu-Min would be the best pick.

“Mister Gyu-Min.
Even if the director returns to the orphanage at a later date, please ensure that I'll still be responsible for the wages and other payments.”

“Of course.
It'll be done.”

Kang Jin-Ho thought he was dumping a task not even worth all that much on an already-busy man's shoulders.
That made him a bit hesitant, but he convinced himself that it should be fine.
After all, Jo Gyu-Min's role within Jaegyeong's corporate structure was to deal with every single matter involving Kang Jin-Ho.

However, this was conveniently the price for butting into Kang Jin-Ho’s private life.

Not knowing what was going on in Kang Jin-Ho's head, Jo Gyu-Min continued, “What's left now is…
You'll be returning to your army service soon, then.”

“Yes, I will be.”

“Somehow, your leave kind of feels a bit long, doesn't it? However, I heard somewhere that the person enjoying the leave would feel exactly the opposite.
Is it true?”

“You sound like you've never had a vacation before, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“Aikoo~. You got me there.” Jo Gyu-Min and Kang Jin-Ho chuckled together.

Truth be told, Jo Gyu-Min felt a bit rueful.
He thought they had gotten pretty close, and the truth of Kang Jin-Ho going back to the army was leaving a bit of a bitter taste in his mouth.
He lightly shook his head and said, “Mister Jin-Ho, please give us a call every once in a while.
I mean, I need something to make a report with, you know?”

“I'll try,” Kang Jin-Ho replied.

Jo Gyu-Min had a feeling that Kang Jin-Ho probably wouldn't bother to call despite his half-hearted promise.

“Ah, also…” Kang Jin-Ho's expression stiffened a little.
“There's one more item I'd like to discuss with you.”

Jo Gyu-Min tensed up ever so slightly.

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