d, my bad.
When I ’m with you, I sometimes forget that you can be a smart dude.
But that ’s not my fault, you know? Let ’s be honest here… ”

“…I didn ’t say anything, though.” Kang Jin-Ho sourly retorted.

Ju Yeong-Gi resolutely waved his head in opposition.
“I get what you ’re saying, Jin-Ho.
But I don ’t like it.”

“Why not?” Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes.

”You ’re the one investing your own money into this place, so why should I be getting an equal amount of profit as you? What the hell, do I look like some kinda pauper to you? ”

Kang Jin-Ho tried to defend his decision.
“Everything would have gone downhill without you two, that ’s why.”

Park Yu-Min resolutely shook his head.
”No, Jin-Ho.
That isn ’t right, no matter how you wanna slice it.
If we get paid like that, I don ’t think we ’ll feel comfortable while working here. ”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho frowned a little after running into an unexpected hurdle.
Who knew some people would be this opposed to getting paid well?

Ju Yeong-Gi tutted loudly.
”Besides all that, dude! Giving us a percentage of the earnings…
That ’s not a good idea, man.
No one knows how long this TV show buff would last, know what I mean? When the business gradually slows down later, are you implying that we might as well suck on our thumbs or something instead of getting proper food? ”

“Ah!” Kang Jin-Ho gasped in shock and became dazed after realizing that he hadn ’t thought about that.

Ju Yeong-Gi groaned and facepalmed.
“Seriously? A dude like this is attending a famous university, yet—I…
I should ’ve studied a little harder back in high school or something!”

Park Yu-Min butted in.
”But you were never good at studying back in school, weren ’t you? ”

“…Park Yu-Min, you have become too cheeky lately, you know that?” Ju Yeong-Gi tutted again.
“In any case! I don ’t wanna get paid that way.
I just want my wages to be according to the work I ’ve done.
I ain ’t interested in biting more than I can chew.”

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“Is that right? Then, how much should I give you?”

”Dude, just pay me the same as other employees, okay? Besides all that, just how long were you planning to make us work here? It ’s not like we can stick around here forever, right? Once everything settles down for you, I gotta go back to living my own life, and Yu-Min’s gotta start preparing for his pro gaming scene. ”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded heavily.
He had also been thinking about this.
“In a little while, I ’ll have to go back to university, so…”

“Mm? You want us to stick together until then?” Ju Yeong-Gi asked.

“Am I asking too much?”

“Let me think about it first.
You still have lots of time left before going back, after all.”

“Mm, got it.”

By the time their impromptu business conference ended, it was well past midnight.

Ju Yeong-Gi looked at his watch and got up to leave.
”Okay, we ’ll be on our way first, Jin-Ho. ”

Kang Jin-Ho got up along with his friends.

”Hey, want me to give you a ride? ” Ju Yeong-Gi gleefully asked once they got outside the pizzeria.

“I ’ll take a rain check.” Kang Jin-Ho slowly shook his head while staring at Ju Yeong-Gi ’s car.
That thing always made him wonder how it was still allowed on the road.
Park Yu-Min gladly riding along in that thing sure was made out of stern stuff, wasn ’t he? He used to be rather spineless back in the day, but hanging out with Kang Jin-Ho all the time seemed to have finally desensitized him to an extent.

“Okay, we ’re on our way now.”

“Mm…” Kang Jin-Ho wryly smiled as Ju Yeong-Gi ’s car drove off in a cloud of choking smoke.

’I want to get him a new car, but… ’

Ju Yeong-Gi ’s pride meant he would never accept a car as a gift.
Besides, Ju Yeong-Gi was a hundred times more right than Kang Jin-Ho when looking at this matter through the eyes of common sense.
So, he couldn ’t even pressure his friend into accepting it.

Honk, honk!

Just as Kang Jin-Ho began submerging in his thoughts, he was woken up by a car ’s horns.
He turned his head toward the origin of the noise and spotted a familiar sedan getting closer to him.

“Please get in,” said Jo Gyu-Min while peeking his head out of the open window.

Kang Jin-Ho chuckled, then headed to the passenger side to climb inside.
“What brings you here this late, Chief Jo?”

”I had a few things to discuss with you, you see.
And I also wanted to catch up with you while we ’re at it.
But, uh, why did you close your store so late today? ”

”Well, we ’ve been having a lot of customers lately, you see… ”

“Oh…” Jo Gyu-Min blankly stared at Kang Jin-Ho.

’Hang on, was the boost from the TV show supposed to last this long? ’

Jo Gyu-Min was reminded of how unpredictable things could be for self-employed folks.
Who could have guessed that a reason as weird as a TV show cameo could lead to an influx of customers of this scale? At this rate, it would be impossible to evaluate Kang Jin-Ho ’s business acumen.

’Maybe this is what the Chairman was alluding to? ’

The whole idea of ’business acumen ’ was a mere illusion, said Hwang Jeong-Hu.
One only needed the…
ability to achieve the desired result.
That was the only thing that mattered.
Finally, Jo Gyu-Min was beginning to understand what the chairman was trying to say on that day.

If this continued, Jo Gyu-Min would have to write ’Kang Jin-Ho ’s business acumen is unknown, but his store is a huge success! ’ on his report pretty soon!

“Chief Jo? What did you want to talk about?”

”…Oops! ” Jo Gyu-Min quickly sobered up from his daydreaming after Kang Jin-Ho woke him up, then pressed the accelerator.
”I ’m guessing things are mighty inconvenient for you without a car, yes? ”

“A little bit, yes,” Kang Jin-Ho replied grimly.

Up until last night, he was prepared to say he had gotten more or less used to being a carless person despite some minor inconvenience.
However, this morning ’s shenanigans on the subway had changed his mind.

People needed their personal space.
Especially for someone like Kang Jin-Ho…
Without a car, he had to be extra careful when stepping outside his house.

Things were already this insane for someone like him, so how bad could it be for top-tier talents? Kang Jin-Ho thought that he could finally understand, just a little, whenever those stars expressed their desire to murder the paparazzi and had a psychotic breakdown when the public paid too much attention to them.

Jo Gyu-Min continued.
”I ’ve picked out suitable candidates for you, Mister Jin-Ho.
Why don ’t we go and check them out personally? ”

“Okay.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded without saying anything else.

In the past, he would have said, “You don ’t have to go so far; I can deal with it myself.” These days, though? Kang Jin-Ho came to understand that Jo Gyu-Min never did things without a good reason.
Anyway, he was like that most of the time.


The car leisurely traveled toward Jaegyeong ’s HQ.

“Would you like a smoke?” Jo Gyu-Min asked.

“Yes, I would.” Kang Jin-Ho mouthed a cigarette without saying anything else.

Jo Gyu-Min followed suit and mouthed one himself.
After lighting it, he asked cautiously in a hushed tone, ”Mister Jin-Ho, by any chance, are you getting involved with the group called the Korean Martial Assembly? ”

So, here was the main topic.
Kang Jin-Ho quietly smiled after thinking that the thing with the new car was merely an excuse to get him to this position.
Jo Gyu-Min wasn ’t trying to hide his real intentions in other matters, of course.
It was just that he found it a bit difficult to ask that question from the get-go, so he decided to sneak it in within the pretext of sorting out the new car.

Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
“Yes, I ’m in the middle of getting involved.”

“Mister Jin-Ho…” Jo Gyu-Min gazed at Kang Jin-Ho with withdrawn eyes before parking the car in a deserted corner of the road.

Although it was sudden, Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t rebuke Jo Gyu-Min.
After all, he had earned the right to do things like this a long time ago.

”May I be allowed to be frank about this matter? ”

The idiom ’A legless horse can travel a thousand leagues ’ means words/rumors can spread really quickly.
In Korean, the word for ’horse ’ is the same as ’word/speech ’.

’Bulgogi '(literally means ’fire meat ’) is a grilled dish made out of thin, marinated slices of meat, most commonly beef, grilled on a barbeque or on a stove-top griddle.

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