Back then, when Yi Ji-Hyuk was throwing a tantrum here….
That was all the fault of Bae Jeong-Guk?
Park Du-Jin next to his boss began thinking that he should make an appointment with a dentist soon. At this rate, the President’s teeth might not remain in their original shape any longer.
“Director.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“….Yes, sir?” (Bae Jeong-Guk)
What kind of an embarrassment was this because of one moron?
Yun Yeong-Min’s bloodshot eyes locked on Bae Jeong-Guk. He then clenched his teeth and spoke.
“Why don’t we have that chat now?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“M-Mister President, every passing second is….” (Bae Jeong-Guk)
“That’s why we should do this quickly. Come with me. Now.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“….Sir.” (Bae Jeong-Guk)
The President stormed out of the office, with the lowered-head Bae Jeong-Guk powerlessly following after.
“It’s like watching a cow being dragged to an abattoir.” (Defense Minister)
The Defense Minister groaned under his breath after witnessing that spectacle.
A short while later, the President returned alone, with Bae Jeong-Guk nowhere to be seen. He didn’t waste time and spoke to Park Du-Jin.
“Find me new candidates.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“It shall be done, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
With that, Bae Jeong-Guk’s dismissal had been confirmed.
“Hiya~, will you look at how simple that was?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk cackled loudly, but Choi Jeong-Hoon was carrying a mixed expression.
‘That was so simple….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Although Yun Yeong-Min had been ‘used’ today, it was still a moment that Yi Ji-Hyuk’s authority had been put on full display.
‘Well, that did feel kind of refreshing, actually.’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
When he thought back to how Bae Jeong-Guk made his life difficult by demanding so much from him while not helping out at all until now, this event certainly qualified as a good thing.
Choi Jeong-Hoon’s profile had risen up a lot recently so the interference had lessened somewhat, but how much of an irritation that man used to be before then?
‘Wait, should I have spoken about this earlier?’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Then, the problem would’ve been sorted out with a proverbial snap of fingers, as demonstrated just now.
Now that he thought about it, he did feel a lot more reassured by riding on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s coattails, but he hadn’t really taken advantage of this arrangement yet, at least not to his knowledge.
Sure, he made some money on the side by negotiating on Yi Ji-Hyuk’s behalf, but he certainly hadn’t used the latter in the show of power until now.
“Please, carry on.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min issued an order, and the Defense Minister nodded his head. With Bae Jeong-Guk gone, it was now up to him to lead this meeting forward.
“I believe that the correct thing is to send the NDF over. We at the Defense Ministry initially planned to lend an aid, but after thinking about it, we now believe that sending a large contingent of armed forces across the DMZ can potentially stimulate both China and Russia unnecessarily.” (Defense Minister)
“Stimulating them, is it….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“It’ll be the first time since the Korean War that our forces would’ve moved up north, after all. Even if you think about it the other way, you won’t be able to allay your suspicions.” (Defense Minister)
“H-mm….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min nodded his head.
“How are the Japanese reacting?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“You don’t have to mind them for the time being, sir. After the Tokyo incident the last time, they don’t have the leeway to turn their gazes overseas at the moment. More importantly, the Japanese government is now in a position of nervously minding Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk’s moods, so they won’t try anything to provoke us.” (Defense Minister)
“I guess you’re right.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
It was unfortunate that the Foreign Affairs Minister was absent and that made it impossible to confirm the exact situation. His deputy was present here, but….
‘If I call his name out, he might die of a heart attack.’ (Yun Yeong-Min)
Seeing the deputy minister sweating buckets when the weather had become rather cold recently, the President couldn’t bring himself to ask the poor man any questions. He was suspicious that, even if asked, he’d not be able to get any satisfactory answers, anyway.
He figured that he’d get a separate briefing later; now didn’t seem like a good time to ask.
“In other words, it’ll be a good idea to lend our aid as soon as possible.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Well, sir. The conclusion has been established already.” (Defense Minister)
Yun Yeong-Min nodded his head.
Indeed, their problem wasn’t about what they should do, but how to entice Yi Ji-Hyuk and make him head north, instead. So, when everything was said and done – they needed to convince this dude, but…..
“Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Yes?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Allow me to be frank with you. For the sake of our country and her citizens, please agree to be dispatched to North Korea.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yi Ji-Hyuk replied with a pout.
“Oh, so you want me to go there now?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“….Y-yes, basically.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“And what good will it do for me when I go there?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“For one, the compensation is….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Will there be any benefits for the country?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yun Yeong-Min frowned slightly. What has this guy been listening until now?
“North Korea not collapsing will be of a great benefit for us.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Groan….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk was thinking of saying anything to get himself out of this, so he crumpled his expression to express his annoyance.
“There, there. Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
However, Choi Jeong-Hoon began placating him with an excellent sense of timing.
“Please calm down and think about this. Gates will open up soon anyway, and you staying put doesn’t mean you’ll be free from any work. Isn’t that right?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Ng?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“However, by going to North Korea and taking care of business up there, you will be able to take a much-deserved rest for a while.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Why?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The North Koreans will treat you well.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“But, aren’t they so poor that they can’t even afford a bowl of gruel?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“The North’s upper class is famed for enjoying a luxurious lifestyle, actually. Also, there’s the old saying of, go South for men, while go North for women, isn’t there? Ladies there will be quite pretty, and…..” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Pretty?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
‘Ah….’ (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Such a thing shouldn’t be said to this dude.
His wife was none other than Erukana, so there was no way any other woman might take his fancy. More importantly, this insane fool even found that Erukana irritating and wanted to divorce her, so the less said the better.
….Wait, just thinking about it kinda p*sses me off? (Choi Jeong-Hoon’s inner monologue)
“Why are you glaring at me?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“N-no, it’s nothing. In any case, you might find quite a number of cuisines unique only to North Korea when you go there. When Kim Jung-Il was still alive, he was renowned as being something of an epicurean, you see.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“But, he looked like someone who’d chow down anything?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You can’t tell a person by their faces. Well, then. Going there at least once might be a good experience overall for you.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Groan. Fine. I got it.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Once Yi Ji-Hyuk agreed to do it, Choi Jeong-Hoon inwardly clenched his fist.
“Oh, ohh!!” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min watched this spectacle and exclaimed in admiration.
How should he put this? It was like he witnessed a man specialised in handling Yi Ji-Hyuk’s matters perform a cheap but still impressive magic trick. Such a ridiculous persuasion wouldn’t work on a normal person, yet he still managed to conclude the negotiation with that very story.
‘His abilities are for real.’ (Yun Yeong-Min)
It was not for nothing that Choi Jeong-Hoon was in hot demand from everywhere.
“By the way, what will they give me in return?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The smile on Choi Jeong-Hoon’s lips deepened.
“As you may well know already….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
It was unknown how long it had been since one could see Choi Jeong-Hoon standing so tall and so confidently like this. The powerful dandy aura emanated from him like a flood right now.
“…That is my area of expertise, isn’t it?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“….Wringing your opponents out until there’s barely anything left?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You could say I’m the Master of Negotiation, actually.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“In any case, I’ll just leave it up to you, then.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Yes, don’t you worry.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Finishing his negotiation with Yi Ji-Hyuk, Choi Jeong-Hoon turned around and smiled brightly as he stared at Yun Yeong-Min.
“Mister President, sir?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“N-ng??” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Sir, as you can see, my client-nim is a very reasonable person.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
….In which part?
N-no, before that. Your ‘client-nim’??
What on earth is up with ‘client’ all of a sudden?? (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)
“However, the Republic of Korea is a democratic nation that pursues the ideal of capitalism-based free economy. Isn’t it, sir?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“T-that’s indeed correct.” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“It’s the basics of basics for you to get paid what you deserve that matches your skill level. I’d like to help you out by naming a moderate price, but if I do that, it’d dismantle the foundation of our capitalism-based free economy and I simply can’t hide my extreme and profound sorrow at that unfortunate fact.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
What the f*ck… is up with this b*stard?
Why is he overflowing with a conman’s aura??
He doesn’t even look like one, yet he’s like a natural-born fraudster. (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)
“Okay, so what?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“If you name an appropriate price, that would certainly help alleviate my client’s unwillingness to make his move.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
I was already planning to give you money!
I really did!
I knew that yapping to him isn’t going to work from the get-go!
But if you come out like this, I’m getting less and less inclined to give you!! (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)
“Groan…..” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min sighed in defeat.
Unfortunately, his current position meant he had to give them money whether he was inclined or not.
“So, then. How much does he want….” (Yun Yeong-Min)
“Please hold, sir.” (Park Du-Jin)
It was at that moment that Park Du-Jin silently watching from the sidelines suddenly stepped forward.
“Sir, I think it’ll be prudent for me to participate in the negotiation from now on.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Ohhhh?” (Yun Yeong-Min)
Yun Yeong-Min looked at his Chief Secretary and nodded his head.
Park Du-Jin was a specialist in matters like this. If he stepped up here, it’d make the President’s life so much easier.
“Ho-oh, so it’ll be senior-nim, then?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Didn’t I tell you earlier that you will get burnt if you keep this up?” (Park Du-Jin)
“I have taken your advice to heart. However….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon slicked back the stray strand of hair and continued on.
“That day isn’t going to be today.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Ho-oh?” (Park Du-Jin)
Choi Jeong-Hoon smiled and pointed towards the exit of the office.
“Shall we?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Let us.” (Park Du-Jin)
And so, two men headed off to elsewhere, looking grimly determined.
“Hmm….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Now left unattended, Yi Ji-Hyuk began scanning the rest of the politicians sitting here.
‘H-h-hang on a second!!’ (Yun Yeong-Min)
If Choi Jeong-Hoon is not around, who will rein Yi Ji-Hyuk in, then?
Can anyone present here strong enough to deal with that man?! (Yun Yeong-Min’s inner monologue)
Cold sweat trickled down Yun Yeong-Min’s backside.
He then shot a knowing glance at the Defense Minister. The latter was very quick on the uptake and he quickly opened his mouth.
“Haha, Mister Yi Ji-Hyuk.” (Defense Minister)
“Yes?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“Have you eaten yet?” (Defense Minister)
“I was in the middle of my meal when you called me. I mean, what the hell, why were you telling me to hurry up and come, making me miss my mealtime?? As it turned out, it wasn’t even an urgent matter, anyway.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
The poor Defense Minister, needlessly opening his mouth and ending up in this hole somehow, shifted his embarrassed gaze back to Yun Yeong-Min.
‘You must continue.’ (Yun Yeong-Min)
The President, however, figured that keeping Yi Ji-Hyuk occupied right now was the utmost priority and lightly nodded his head once. The Defense Minister too formed a determined expression and carried on.
“Pardon us, looks like we made a terrible mistake. Well, in that case, how about we treat you to a meal? The restaurant here is actually a world-class. The one in Chunchugwan is very good, as a matter of fact.” (Defense Minister)
“Food, eh?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When Yi Ji-Hyuk displayed hints of being interested, Yun Yeong-Min began nodding his head even unbeknownst to himself.
“Should I just go get myself some food, then?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just as Yi Ji-Hyuk was about to stand up, the door was flung open. Choi Jeong-Hoon and Park Du-Jin strode gallantly inside.
“Mm?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s brows twitched.
It hadn’t been that long, yet the signs of fatigue were quite clearly etched on both men’s faces.
“Fuu-woo.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon sighed out at length and turned to look at Park Du-Jin.
“You were amazing.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Same for you.” (Park Du-Jin)
“I think we’ve incurred too much losses this time around. However, it won’t be the same story next time.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I’m currently worried about how I should make my report. You were really thinking of wringing us dry.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Fufufu.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon offered his hand.
“It was a wonderful negotiation.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I agree.” (Park Du-Jin)
The two men shook hands like a pair of real men.
Yi Ji-Hyuk witnessed this scene and voiced out his unfiltered opinion.
“What the hell is this?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
In all honesty, he didn’t want to bear witness to two ahjussis having a bromance moment.
“As for the written agreement, let’s get the signatures of both sides and store them separately.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Mm, let’s do that. I shall compile a formal official document as agreed in this list.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Alright, please do.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Now that the situation had been sorted out more or less, Choi Jeong-Hoon walked over to Yi Ji-Hyuk to talk to him.
“I shall handle the matters related to when you’ll head to the North and other sundry issues.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Do that, please. That means….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
“You might need to head out at any second, so please don’t go back to your house….” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Hul?? What am I supposed to do here, then? Play with the dear President-nim??” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yun Yeong-Min’s blazing glare landed on Choi Jeong-Hoon immediately.
“I-I shall search for a place where you can stay for the time being.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Sure.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jeong-Hoon quickly walked over to Park Du-Jin and whispered to him.
“I need a place with a good PC and internet. One with high specs! One that can play video games really well.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I-I understand.” (Park Du-Jin)
“Also, please prepare lots of sodas and snacks, as well. As for his chair, please get something plushy. No, hang on…. Isn’t there a PC Bang near the Blue House?” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I-I’m not certain.” (Park Du-Jin)
“….If we leave him here, he’s going to, uh, ‘play’ with Mister President.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“I shall get right on it.” (Park Du-Jin)
Choi Jeong-Hoon watched Park Du-Jin clench his fist tightly and nodded his head in approval.
There were many other things that needed to be taken care of besides Yi Ji-Hyuk. So, it’d be for the best for everyone to park that man’s butt in front of a computer ASAP, just like how you’d pick up the toys for kids.
“Ah, and he’ll get really cranky if he’s hungry, so please hurry and provide him with food.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“Understood.” (Park Du-Jin)
“We need to inform his mother of this situation as well. He’s going to take it out on us the next day if he goes back home late and get his back destroyed by her.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
“………..” (Park Du-Jin)
What the hell, who is this b*stard, really?
Is he a nanny??
Wait, did he have to act like this until now? (Park Du-Jin)
Park Du-Jin did his best to rein in the tears threatening to burst out and patted Choi Jeong-Hoon on the shoulder.
“Don’t worry about a thing. I shall take care of everything.” (Park Du-Jin)
“I’ll leave it to you, then.” (Choi Jeong-Hoon)
Choi Jeong-Hoon stared back at Yi Ji-Hyuk with worried eyes. He was about to leave behind a bomb in the Blue House and go to work, so he couldn’t help but get nervous.
“By the way… if we leave now, when are we supposed to come back? I gotta watch the finals of the game tournament happening tomorrow…. Does North Korea have wifi?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Choi Jeong-Hoon spat out a lengthy sigh.
< 303. So, you want me to go there now? -3 > Fin.
(TL: Chunchgwan is one of the separate buildings within the Blue House, used for press briefings and such.)