“Yes, but not right now.”
“I need to finish something first.”
“What? Oh, you mean, passing the driver's license test first?”
Kang Jin-Ho's expression stiffened slightly.
Han Se-Yeon didn't stop there, though.
“I heard you failed three times in a row by now.
Is that true?”
“…Did Jeong In-Gyu tell you?”
“You're so thick, you know that? How can you fail the driver's test three times? Others pass them on their first try, you know?”
“Well, I guess it can't be helped since it's the question of one's innate talents.”
Kang Jin-Ho silently clenched his teeth.
Han Se-Yeon grinned slyly.
“You can just forget it and stick to riding bicycles forever.
I guess you and cars aren’t meant to be together.”
Veins began bulging on Kang Jin-Ho's forehead.
“Do you have it, then?”
“I have what?”
“A driver's license.”
The corners of Han Se-Yeon's lips slyly curled up.
That was when Kang Jin-Ho realized that he had committed a grave mistake—he shouldn't have asked her.
“Who doesn't have a driver's license in this day and age? Isn't it weirder to not pass on their first try?” Han Se-Yeon took out her wallet and proudly presented it to Kang Jin-Ho.
There it was, her driver's license, prominently visible inside her wallet.
The sunlight reflected on its glossy surface momentarily blinded him.
Kang Jin-Ho's clenched fists began trembling.
“Right after the entrance exams.
I applied to a driving school, then passed it right afterward.
What should I do now~? I have the license, but you don't. Sooo~, what do you think? You want me to give you a ride home?”
“Very well, then.
It's about time we go back to the orphanage, anyway~.”
Kang Jin-Ho stopped walking for a moment, then approached her rather suspiciously.
“Mm?” Han Se-Yeon was taken aback and wondered what was going on with him.
Before she could say something, however, Kang Jin-Ho had placed the handcart's handle in her grip.
“You take this back.”
“Wait, what? You want me to drag this back to the orphanage? Just because I teased you a bit?”
“It shouldn't be hard as it's empty now,” said Kang Jin-Ho before turning around and trudging away.
Han Se-Yeon urgently called out to him.
“H-hey, wait! Even then…! I said, wait! Where are you going?”
“I have something to take care of.”
“Like what? N-no, wait! You're supposed to hang out with me!”
“Maybe next time…”
“Heeeey! Where are you going?! Jin-Ho!” Han Se-Yeon cried out, but he didn't even bother to look back even once while walking away.
She let out a deep groan, “You're supposed to be a man, so why are you so petty…”
Regarding that matter, I…” Jo Gyu-Min, his face as pale as a sheet of paper, was making a report over the phone.
Perhaps, persuading the chief director and the faculty could be…
I'm sorry? Ah, of course.
If you personally get involved, it'll be a cinch, Chairman.
The sharp, annoyed voice coming from the other side of the line had induced a flood of cold sweat to soak Jo Gyu-Min's figure.
Even though he had always been making at least one report a day through the phone, he still couldn’t get used to speaking to Hwang Jeong-Hu over the phone.
After making what felt like an hour long report, Jo Gyu-Min placed his phone down while looking utterly exhausted.
The side effects of riding shotgun in Kang Jin-Ho's car were still there.
The ride itself only lasted for one hour, yet the insistent fear akin to riding a rollercoaster nonstop for twelve hours still didn't want to let him go.
“No, wait! A rollercoaster is better than riding in that guy's car.
At least, I won't die from riding one!”
It might feel like you would die by riding on a rollercoaster, but that was just your mind tricking you.
On the other hand, riding in a car driven by Kang Jin-Ho had an irredeemable disadvantage of not knowing when you'd die for real!
“Urgh… I should ask for a vacation or something.”
Jo Gyu-Min had never taken a single day off until now, so getting a lengthy vacation shouldn’t be a problem.
Not manning his post for a while wouldn't cause much of an issue either since it was the middle of the school holidays anyway.
He should ask for the lengthiest vacation possible so that he could hold on until Kang Jin-Ho somehow managed to pass and acquire his driver's license.
Only then would Jo Gyu-Min prevent his lifespan from decreasing even further against his wishes.
“This won't even count toward my hazard pay, so…
Yeah, I gotta look after myself.” Jo Gyu-Min steeled his resolve and got up.
He was on a roll now, so he should immediately head to the corporation's HQ and get his much-deserved vaca…
…That was when the door to his office was angrily shoved open.
Kang Jin-Ho was standing at the doorway with a stiff look.
He then stared intensely at Jo Gyu-Min.
Jo Gyu-Min nervously gulped a mouthful of his own saliva.
Even though Kang Jin-Ho was expressionless, the undercurrents of rage were still clearly visible on his face.
Just what was he going to say to Jo Gyu-Min?
He slowly opened his mouth.
“I need to practice.”
Jo Gyu-Min's complexion was instantly drained of color.
“W-w-what do you mean by that, Mr.
“I must pass the test this time.”
“W-well, of course, but…”
Kang Jin-Ho flatly spoke, “Tomorrow is the test day.
So I shall continuously practice until early dawn tomorrow.
You don't have any pressing matters, I hope?”
“N-no, hang on! What about your father…”
“He's occupied with his shop.”
“What about your friends?!”
“The law says an experienced driver's license holder must accompany me while practicing,” replied Kang Jin-Ho with a slight click of his tongue.
Jo Gyu-Min's voice grew more desperate.
“A-am I the only one you know that fits that criteria?!”
“Well, there is one other person, but…”
“H-how about asking that person for a favor, then…?”
“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded unwillingly.
He had realized that he was being a nuisance here.
In the end, he took out his phone and called the other experienced driver's license holder.
– What's going on?
“Good day to you, Chairman Hwang.”
“Aaaaaaaah!” Jo Gyu-Min madly dashed from behind his desk and violently snatched the mobile phone out of Kang Jin-Ho's hand.
“H-hello, sir! It's me, Jo Gyu-Min! Don't worry about it, sir! It's nothing at all!”
– Huh, this fella.
Wasting my time…
“W-well then, goodbye.” Jo Gyu-Min ended the call, then stared at Kang Jin-Ho in pure desperation.
“D-do you have any idea what might happen to the Jaegyeong Group if the chairman rode in your car and had a heart attack?!”
“Why would he suffer from a heart attack while riding my car?”
“…Why did you call the chairman, Mr.
“He's the only other experienced driver’s license holder I know.”
Jo Gyu-Min began cursing the heavens above for bestowing him with such a calamity and wrecking his perfectly calm and peaceful life even though he hadn't done anything wrong!
'…Right, I should start attending churches.
Or go pray in a Buddhist temple.
I need the power of the divine to overcome this.'
Kang Jin-Ho, utterly oblivious to Jo Gyu-Min's inner torment, asked with a deep frown, “Who should I call, then?”
“…I'll help you, so please don't call anyone else,” Jo Gyu-Min replied with tears forming in his eyes.
He sneakily pulled out his wallet to take one last look at the photo of his wife.
'I'm so sorry, Yeon-Ji.
I might not make it back home again.
But my life insurance will pay well, so you must stay happy for both of us…'
Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.
“What are you doing?”
And so, Jo Gyu-Min had to climb into a car piloted by Kang Jin-Ho once more.
What he submitted to the corporation's HR department the next day wasn't a request for a vacation, but for a lengthy sick leave.
'sikhye' is a traditional sweetened rice punch-like drink. ☜
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