with the native Chinese before his departure date.
Even though the cost sounded exorbitant, such a thing wasn't enough to financially pressure Kang Jin-Ho.

Most people would gasp in shock at the amount of money being deposited regularly into the bank account created by Hwang Jeong-Hu for Kang Jin-Ho's use.
Considering Kang Jin-Ho's spending habits, that bank account wouldn't run out of funds for the rest of his life, at the very least.
As such, he could afford to splurge on a 'luxury' like this.

Besides, he didn't even really have to rely on the money from Hwang Jeong-Hu either.
Kang Yu-Hwan's cafe was doing quite well after word-of-mouth had worked its magic.
It was successful enough that a large corporation had recently offered a franchise deal, meaning the cafe should be doing even better than Kang Jin-Ho thought.

The matter of Kang Eun-Yeong's earnings should be considered as well.
As she was still a minor, her earnings were being managed by Baek Hyeon-Jeong right now.
It seemed Korean idols made a ton of money since even Baek Hyeon-Jeong admitted to being scared by the accumulating wealth in her daughter's bank account.

Kang Jin-Ho leisurely stepped toward the cram school building.
He wouldn't call himself a scholarly type that enjoyed studying, but he was also not the type to avoid learning things that had to be learned.

Just as he reached out to the handle of the front entrance, however, another man also reached out at the same time.



Two people reaching out to a door handle simultaneously wasn’t the most unusual thing in this world.
Although rare, it did happen occasionally, after all.
However, the unusual part about this situation was that they were acquaintances.
And, what if the level of familiarity was beyond 'mere acquaintances' and had gone into 'seeing each other often' territory? This occasion would take on a new meaning, then.

“…Mister Jin-Ho?” Jo Gyu-Min blinked his eyes in shock while staring at Kang Jin-Ho.

Kang Jin-Ho also had to tilt his head in confusion.
“Why are you here, Mister Gyu-Min?”

“Well…” Jo Gyu-Min couldn't say anything else for a little while and simply groaned several times.


“…And so, that's why I'm here,” said Jo Gyu-Min.

“I see.
So, that's what happened…” Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.

While waiting for a consultant to show up in the reception room, Kang Jin-Ho listened to Jo Gyu-Min's current circumstances.

“Mister Jin-Ho, when society tells us what to do, we don't have a choice but to do it.
And that's especially true in one's workplace.
I'm sure you've experienced it in the military already.
In a way, the enlistment is like a tutorial for your life…” Jo Gyu-Min muttered in a tired voice.

Kang Jin-Ho nodded in silence.
You would get discharged from the military sooner or later even if you were wasting time as a good-for-nothing, but doing the same in a workplace would get you fired.

Jo Gyu-Min continued with his whining, “That's why I'm here to do as told, but this is really unreasonable, Mister Jin-Ho.
Seriously now!”

Kang Jin-Ho failed to suppress his loud laughter this time.
It had already been a good few years since they knew each other, and today had to be Kang Jin-Ho's first time seeing Jo Gyu-Min looking and behaving like this.
Considering how expertly Jo Gyu-Min had been taking care of all the tasks thrown in his way without any complaints so far, his current behavior was a good indicator of the intense pressure he had to be feeling.

Kang Jin-Ho chuckled.
“You don't have to be so concerned, Mister Gyu-Min.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can communicate to a degree, and an interpreter isn't really necessary during my trip, anyway.
Since you've been working hard until now, you should think of this trip to China as an opportunity to kick back and take it easy.”

“…Mister Jin-Ho!” Jo Gyu-Min's eyes gradually teared up.

Just when did the little kid who used to ask for help with his math grow up into a splendid adult capable of offering comforting words to Jo Gyu-Min? Something about this situation made him rather emotional.

'He has changed a lot, personality-wise, hasn't he?'

Kang Jin-Ho had never come across as an immature student even in the past, as he often displayed his strong individualistic tendencies.
The past him wouldn't have tried to comfort Jo Gyu-Min this way.

“I see, Mister Jin-Ho.
If you can do that for me, I'll give you my undying loyalty!”

“…You don't have to go that far, Mister Gyu-Min.” Kang Jin-Ho coughed to clear his throat.

Jo Gyu-Min snapped his fingers.
“Ah! Does that mean I don't have to participate in this language crash course?”

“Well, you can do whatever you want.” Kang Jin-Ho shrugged his shoulders.

A bright grin formed on Jo Gyu-Min's face as he got up to leave.
He bade goodbye and was about to exit the reception room, only for the door to the school director's office to open, and the director walked out.


Jo Gyu-Min's eyes shook powerfully just then.

The director smiled brightly and greeted them first.
“Good day to you two.
My name is Yu Mi-So, the director of this school.
Nice to meet you.”

Jo Gyu-Min's jaw slowly dropped while Kang Jin-Ho slightly tilted his head in surprise.

'The director was a woman?'

Kang Jin-Ho assumed the director to be a man since, well, the person was the director of a learning institution and an expert in the field.
So, this revelation had taken him by surprise.
Then again, he shouldn't have assumed anything since Kang Eun-Yeong hadn't mentioned the director’s gender.

The director being a woman was unusual, but what was even more unusual was her age and looks.

'Well, it doesn't matter.'

A cat only had to be good at catching mice.
In that case, the cat being black or white didn't even matter.
Likewise, a teacher only had to be good at teaching, nothing more.

Yu Mi-So continued, “I hear both of you wish to learn as quickly as possible.
But what should we do? We only have enough opening in the schedule for one student, you see.”

Kang Jin-Ho replied to her.
“That will be fine.
This gentleman here was on his way home, actually.
I'll be the only one going through your course, ma'am.”

As soon as his explanation was over, though, Jo Gyu-Min hurriedly intervened.
“Mister Kang Jin-Ho?!”

“…Mm? Yes?”

“I've given this matter some more thought, and it's not right to burden you like this.
Besides, I have never ever dumped my responsibility on another person's shoulders in my whole life.”


“Not to mention, shirking from my responsibility will reflect badly on Jaegyeong's honor as well! So, please don't worry about a thing and go home, Mister Jin-Ho.
Before our departure, I promise I'll become as good as a native speaker!”


“Well, then, zaijian!” Jo Gyu-Min energetically waved goodbye to Kang Jin-Ho, then strode over to Yu Mi-So like a man with purpose and offered his hand for a shake.
“Miss Yu, my name is Jo Gyu-Min.
It's my pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Kang Jin-Ho spectating this scene could only groan under his breath.
Even he could guess why the previously-unenthusiastic Jo Gyu-Min had such a quick change of heart.
How could he not, when Jo Gyu-Min's usually sharp countenance had become noticeably mushy, as it contained a dumb-looking grin?

It seemed spring had come to the old bachelor Jo Gyu-Min.

This is a politer, more formal version of oppa. ☜

Aishiteru (Japanese) and Wo Ai Ni (simplified Chinese) both mean “I love you.” ☜

Hunminjeongeum, or the Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People, is a document describing an entirely new native script for the Korean language, published on October 9, 1446. ☜

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