Gun-Ho was thinking about what he would do with these two women.
'I don't have to do anything with Seol-Bing since. I haven't done much with her anyway. I just kissed her, and that's about it. I didn't even sleep with her. However, Mori Aikko is different. Despite the age gap of fifteen years, she seems to be in love with me, which is a problem. That stupid girl shouldn't have fallen in love with me who is fifteen years older than her. She is only 22 years old. She should have considered me as her sponsor, not a lover. Stupid girl.'
Gun-Ho thought of Mori Aikko while looking out the window in his hotel room in New Otani Hotel. He saw her crying yesterday. That hurt him, and he felt sad.
Gun-Ho took a walk in the New Otani Hotel's 400 years old garden.
'I remember the day when I and Seol-Bing looked down at the koi pond from the bridge in this garden. I held her hand right there. I wonder what she would think of me who hadn't contacted her ever since. I couldn't keep my word to see her again in this hotel. She probably gave up on building a relationship with me by now.'
He thought that it was the right decision that he didn't marry Seol-Bing.
'I don't want to be known to the public. I prefer to have a private life. Seol-Bing always wears dark sunglasses, and many celebrities wear a mask all the time in public so fewer people would recognize them. That must be very uncomfortable. If I married Seol-Bing, I would have had a hard time going out with her like in a restaurant or a caf. She also wouldn't be home most of the time, and sometimes she would need to make out with an actor for a drama shooting. I don't think I can stand it.'
There were some video clips on Seol-Bing's private life on the Internet, but Gun-Ho refused to watch it.
Gun-Ho made a call to the Korean restaurant ownerMs. Ji-Yeon Choi.
"This is Gun-Ho Goo. I'm staying in the New Otani Hotel."
"Oh, President Goo, when did you come to Japan?"
"I arrived yesterday."
"I was told that Mori Aikko is in Taiwan for a drama shooting. Did you meet her?"
"Yes, I met her yesterday. She went back to Taiwan early this morning."
"Oh, I see. If you haven't had your dinner yet, why don't you come to my restaurant? I'm there right now."
"Sounds good. I am on my way."
Gun-Ho walked out of New Otani Hotel and headed to Ji-Yeon Choi's restaurant.
The restaurant was not crowded at all. Ms. Ji-Yeon Choi was sitting at the counter.
"Hello, President Choi."
"You are already here. Mr. Kim, we have a customer here, take him to a room."
"It's okay. I will just eat in the hall. I will have a bowl of oxtail soup, please. Also, one bottle of Asahi beer please."
A waiter in his 20s who was wearing a white shirt with a tie brought a glass and a bottle of beer right away. Ms. Ji-Yeon Choi came to Gun-Ho's table.
"How's your business?"
"It's doing alright. Would you like to have a beer with me?"
"No, thank you. I'm at work; I can't do that."
As Ji-Yeon refused to join Gun-Ho to drink beer, she filled Gun-Ho's glass with it.
"So, you are married, huh?"
"How did you know?"
"I have my sources. For certain information, I'm very quick to learn."
"I believe you made the right decision to get married. Considering your age, you should have married earlier. Congratulations."
"I feel sorry for Mori Aikko though."
"Well, you are her sponsor. You two were not meant to marry each other from the beginning. Building a relationship with her more than a sponsor is not appropriate anyway."
"I still feel sorry for her."
"You probably feel that way because you've been together for a while now, and you care about her. Time will heal everything. The problem is on Mori Aikko's side. Strangely, she has deep feelings for you."
"She actually cried a lot yesterday when I met her."
"Did you tell her that you are married?"
"No, I couldn't."
"Women have a special gut instinct. She probably detected some changes on you."
"Geishas usually date other men in their same age group even though they have a sponsor since a sponsor is usually a lot older than them. However, Mori Aikko doesn't seem to be interested in other men of her age. I'm sure there are tons of men who are attracted to her."
"Why is that so? I'm too old for her."
"One thing I'm sure about is that you have very good manners, President Goo. There are many nasty sponsors who try to collect enough returns for their investment, and they constantly call for the geisha who they are sponsoring as often as they could. Also, Mori Aikko lost her parents when she was little. Maybe you are a brother and also a father to her, and she wants to rely on you like a family, so she probably wants to be with you forever."
"Oh, I see."
"I can't possibly know everything for sure about your relationship with Mori Aikko though. It's between you and Mori Aikko, and there is nothing much I can do for you in this situation. Just take your time, and let her go gradually."
Gun-Ho ordered one more bottle of Asahi beer.
"Mori Aikko came here the other day by herself."
"She sat at this table on the seat that you are sitting on right now and finished two bottles of beer by herself before leaving. I haven't seen her drinking before. She usually doesn't drink because she is a dancer. But that day, she drank beer, and it was strange. I think it was around the time when you got married."
Gun-Ho felt extremely uncomfortable listening to Ms. Ji-Yeon Choi. He took out an envelope from his pocket and gave it to her.
"When Mori Aikko comes here again, can you give it to her for me? It's her living expenses."
"Okay, I will do that."
"Even though she is a top dancer, I don't think she makes enough money. Of course, she has a place to live since you bought a condo for her, but still"
"I heard she is cast for a role in a drama. She is making money there, no?"
Ms. Ji-Yeon Choi let out a light sigh before saying, "In order to foster and train a geisha, it costs about 300 or 500 million won. It is a high maintenance job as well. Kimonos, necessary accessories, and make-ups are expensive, not to mention the cost of accommodation and food. You also need to consider the cost for those supporting personnel for her like a chauffeur and make-up artist."
"By the time she receives her performance fee, Gion or mama sans will try to collect their returns for the investment. Once they took their portion from the performance feel, nothing much would be left in her hand. That's why geishas have a sponsor, so they could focus on their artistic activities without worrying about making money for a living."
"In your case, President Goo, you don't have to send her living expenses regularly. You bought her a condo that many people wouldn't be able to buy in their lifetime. That should be enough. But, I will make sure that Mori Aikko gets this envelope that you just gave to me."
Gun-Ho walked out of Ji-Yeon Choi's restaurant. It was windy outside.
Gun-Ho's eyes were welled with tears, and he wasn't sure what caused it. It could be the wind or it could be his compassion toward Mori Aikko.