Gun-Ho once heard of Jae-Sik's mother that she became mentally ill ever since she lost her second son. Gun-Ho had to be careful when he asked Jae-Sik about his mother.
"How is your mother doing? Someone is supporting her financially?"
"She is doing okay. My father and I send her money regularly to support her living expenses. She is also getting an old-age pension even though it's not much."
"Then she should be financially fine, right?"
Jae-Sik smiled in response to Gun-Ho's question, and he said, "She spent most of that money to pay for her rent. It's a two-bedroom unit in the bas.e.m.e.nt, but it still costs her 150,000 won per month. She can't even dream to save money in the current situation. My father is making 1 million won per month. Out of 1 million won, he has to give 400,000 to the court and send 200,000 won to my mother. That leaves him with 400,000 per month, and that's his living expense for the month."
Jae-Sik filled up his water glass with soju, instead of the small glass for soju, and drank it before continuing to talk.
"A 30 pyung large condo in Gangnam District, Seoul City costs 3 billion won these days, doesn't it? Whenever I encounter news like that, sometimes I feel the urge to set fire on those luxurious condo complexes in Gangnam District. Hahaha."
"If I do so, I would easily get caught and arrested. I don't think I could even succeed in setting fire to them. I would get caught while carrying a bucket of gasoline to those condo complexes. I would be condemned harshly for the attempt. People would assume that I am a loser who doesn't try hard to succeed in society but rather chooses to blame the society for my current situation."
"You are drunk, man."
"President Goo, do you know for whom law exists? It exists for the wealthy, definitely not for the poor."
"You'd better slow down your drinking."
"I once borrowed the money that I collected to make the alumni directory book of our high school. I collected 50,000 won from each person in our high school union. I was going to use it just for a short period because I desperately needed money at that very time; I didn't even have money to buy food and pay for rent. And my high school friends simply assumed that I deceived them to take money from them from the beginning, and they called me a swindler without even trying to understand my situation. Hahaha."
"Let bygones be bygones, man. It's all in the past."
"President Goo, I want to succeed in China. I will make it. I truly appreciate you for giving me this opportunity. I know I've owed you a lot even when we were in high school. I still remember that day when Suk-Ho beat me up so hard, and you were the one who stopped him. I indeed owe you a lot."
Jae-Sik Moon filled up Gun-Ho's empty glass with soju.
"It seems that I'm the only one who is drinking here. Drink this."
"You don't owe me anything. I actually received help from you, especially when we sold GH Logistics' property. The sale was very successful, and I thank you for that."
"Gun-Ho Goo! You are really a good man. I'm sorry that I sometimes talk to you in an informal way even though you are the owner president of the company that I work for. Well, you are an amazing person. Those people who did well when we were in high school, like Won-Chul Jo and Byeong-Chul Hwang, are nothing compared to you. They've been doing fine just because they have a family that supports them. But, you are a self-made successful man. I'm so proud that I have a friend like you."
"Man, you are so drunk! Hey! Mr. Bas.e.m.e.nt! This should be your last glass of soju for tonight, okay? You are too drunk now."
"Hahaha. I sometimes miss that nickname, 'Mr. Bas.e.m.e.nt.' Excuse me, let us have one more bottle of soju, please!"
Jae-Sik ordered another bottle of soju.
Gun-Ho asked while placing well-cooked pieces of meat on Jae-Sik's plate, "I've heard that your mother has been suffering from some sort of mental illness after your little brother passed away. Is she okay now?"
"She was. That's true. She is okay now. She is hanging out with neighbors there. She seems to be doing fine. I saw her getting together with old grandmas there and peeled off bellflower roots' skin."
"Yeah, she makes petty money by preparing bellflower roots for a store or a restaurant."
"Hmm, that could be one of the sources of income."
"It's not easy work though. The last time when I visited my mom, I saw her nails turning all black. Peeling off bellflower roots' skin seems to make the handler's nails like that. I want to be of help to my mom once I get settled, but with the rent that I have to pay for my place in Mangwon Town, it's not easy. You really need to own your place in this country."
"I'm proud of you becoming the man that you are right now even though your family couldn't support you enough. You are talented enough to win an award with your full-length novel after all. You could have been more successful if you were luckier."
"I don't believe I have a talent!"
"And, the reason that I wanted to have a drink with you today is that I want to compensate you. I made profits by selling GH Logistics' property, and I want to pay you since I used your name in the process."
"You don't have to do that. I didn't do it to get paid."
"That's not how it works considering the practices and customs and all that in the business industry. You might not feel it's enough, but I will pay you."
"I spent 4 billion won in purchasing the land."
"That's about right. The old auto repair store cost you 2 billion won, and you paid 900 million won for the 1,500 pyung large farmland, and subsequently, you acquired another landlocked property for 1 billion won which was 2,600 pyung large. And if you add all the fees and acquisition tax incurred in the process, it should be 4 billion won in total."
"And then, I paid 300 million won for the land use conversion. The registration afterwards cost me 60 million won. Considering all other fees, taxes, and expenses to flatten the land and stuff, I need to add another 40 million won to the total cost. Therefore, the total cost including the land price and relevant expenses, I would say that it cost me 4.4 billion won. And, we are selling the land for 6.5 billion won, which would leave me with the profits of 2.1 billion won."
"You will need to pay enormous capital gain tax for that profit."
"My guess is that I will have to pay half of that money. Since I have possessed that land for a short amount of time, I wouldn't be qualified for the benefits given to the long-term land owners. If I assume that I would have to pay 1 billion won for the tax, I will be left with 1.1 billion won in my hand. From that 1.1 billion profit, I need to deduct the loan that I took out earlier in order to purchase GH Logistics' heavy equipment and trucks. It's 720 million won. In the end, I will be left with 300 million won."
"Even though you are selling the land for 6.5 billion won, you wouldn't make much."
"It's still a lot of money. It's 300 million won in cash. Also, I have a transportation company with 27 vehicles, and it's a loan-free business. I do thank you for the profits that I made with GH Logistics."
"I didn't do anything."
"Let me be direct with you on this. I want to pay you for the effort that you put into this transaction and for letting me use your name. I will buy you a small condo in Incheon City."
"What? You are buying me a condo?!"
"Of course, you deserve that. You had to change your residential address to buy that farmland, and you played a key role in the transaction. Once you have your own condo, you can support your parents financially, and it will give you peace of mind to a certain extent. So you will be able to focus better on the work once you get to China."