It was Gun-Ho's graduation day from the Advanced Center for Administrative Development at Seoul National University. Even though it was not a degree course, being a part of the specific course program was meaningful, especially because the student body was composed of high social status people. They spent a year together in receiving a high-quality education and also establishing a precious social network. Gun-Ho couldn't tell what really happened between other students, but he was sure that there must have been some covert business deals between them during the past year.
Gun-Ho himself earned important connections, especially with Minister Jin-Woo Lee. He presided over Gun-Ho's wedding, and connected Gun-Ho's business to A Electronics. Gun-Ho was not sure if Minister Jin-Woo Lee would ever ask him to do a favor for him later in preparing his slush fund, but he determined that he would respond to his possible future request productively as long as it would be a fair dealing for both of them.
The professors and instructors were greeting the graduating students.
"I would like to offer my congratulations to all of you for your accomplishment."
The professors and instructors were standing up in a row and having a handshake with each student. The president in an academic regalia handed the certificate to each graduating student after having a handshake. A photographer took a picture of the moment for each student 20 students in total.
After the graduation ceremony, the entire class headed to the 63 Building for their year-end party. They wanted to celebrate their graduation as well. Before heading out, Gun-Ho asked the professors and instructors to join them at the party, but they all turned down the offer.
"You are all holding a high social position in our society. You will have more fun without us. Go and enjoy your day."
Gun-Ho didn't strongly keep on insisting on having them at the party.
The Chinese restaurant Baek Ni Hyang in the 63 Building was equipped with many large private rooms for a group of customers in preparing occasions like a special event or a party. Gun-Ho's group was placed in one of those private rooms; it was spacious even for twenty people. They were having a joyful time talking to each other while enjoying the course meal that they ordered. Attorney Young-Jin Park from Kim & Jeong Law Firm attended the gathering as well. He recently attended classes sporadically because of his busy schedule at work. He made the time to join this party because Gun-Ho asked him to do so.
"This place has a great view."
"I know, right? Look at the lightings across the river. They are so beautiful."
"Let me fill up your glass with liquor."
"I can't drink tonight. I understand that you have a chauffeur who will drive for you, but I have to drive home myself after the party."
"Why don't you hire a chauffeur?"
"I can't afford to have a chauffeur. I'm not the rich owner president of some company. I'm merely an attorney."
"I thought that the attorneys at Kim & Jeong Law Firm are being paid very well, aren't they?"
"Even if that's true, we can't compare our salary to the amount that you are making from your business, President Goo."
They were having a course meal, and a small dish came out one by one. There were twenty of them, and the room was filled with chatting noises. Minister Jin-Woo Lee stood up from his seat to give a toast. He probably felt the pressure to do so since he was the class president after all. He was holding a bottle of liquor called Shui Jing Fang.
"I'd like to propose a toast to the class. We finally finished our year-long course. As you will all agree, it was not an easy journey for us because of our age. Let me fill up your glass with this Shui Jing Fang."
Minister Jin-Woo Lee walked around the room and filled up each student's glass with liquor. And he gave meaningful and customized wording to each person.
"In my opinion, your opposite party in your area will try the strategic nomination in the next election. That's very possible, Mr. Congressman Park."
"Mr. District Attorney, you should get ready to be transferred to Seoul. It's time."
"Mr. Commanding Officer, you will live a long life as long as you have your mouth shut."
Minister Jin-Woo Lee eventually came to Gun-Ho's seat. He first filled up Attorney Kim's glass and said, "If I quit my job as a minister, will you find men a position in the Kim & Jeong Law Firm?"
"I'm sure you will stay in your current position for a long while, sir."
Minister Lee finally turned to Gun-Ho and said, "Mr. Class Manager, you have done an excellent job for the class for the past year. By reading your face, I can tell that you will make a tremendous amount of money next year."
"Wow, if that comes true, I would be really happy, sir."
Gun-Ho was not sure if Minister Lee was implying something, or if he was just giving him well-wishes. It didn't actually matter to him though. Gun-Ho felt good hearing those blessed words. That evening, Gun-Ho drank a lot.
When Gun-Ho came home in his TowerPalace condo in Dogok Town, the lights in the living room and the master bedroom were still on.
"Honey, I'm home."
Gun-Ho walked to the master bedroom while staggering. He opened the door and saw Young-Eun lying down on the bed playing with her smartphone.
"I love you, honey."
Gun-Ho came close to Young-Eun and kissed her on the cheek.
"Whew, you stink of alcohol!" Young-Eun frowned.
"Yeah, I had a few drinks."
"Stay away from me. You are drunk!"
Gun-Ho didn't back off, but he continued to ramble to Young-Eun about his day.
"I had a drink with Minister Jin-Woo Lee, Attorney Young-Jin Kim at Kim & Jeong Law Firm and others. Look at this. This is the certificate issued by Seoul National University. We had a year-end party today and also celebrated our graduation."
Young-Eun heaved herself halfway up on the bed and looked at the certificate that Gun-Ho held out to her. She didn't forget to hold her nose while looking at the paper.
"Okay. Why don't you go to your room? I can't stand the smell any more. I feel like throwing up."
"Okay, okay. I'm leaving. Bye-bye. I love you, Young-Eun."
"Got it. Go now!"
When Gun-Ho reached the other room across the master bedroom, he collapsed on the bed and fell asleep right away. He didn't even change his clothes.
It was the day of the year-end award for acting. Seol-Bing won an award. A lot of celebrities and journalists, and also people from entertainment agencies attended the award ceremony that was held at an event hall in the broadcasting station.
When Seol-Bing turned around, there was BM Entertainment's manager. Seol-Bing used to work with him when BM Entertainment managed her activities before she moved to another agency.
"Mr. Manager, you are here."
BM Entertainment's manager was wearing a neat business suit with a red tie.
It was Lia who recently came back from her trip to China.
Seol-Bing was displeased with the fact that Lia accepted the role in the TV drama The hymn of desire which she previously rejected, and that Lia was gaining in popularity due to that TV drama.
Seol-Bing said to Lia, "It's hard to see you around these days."
BM Entertainment's manager chipped in while smiling with his eyes, "Lia has been busy lately with the TV drama shooting in China."
Seol-Bing's eyes flew back to Lia and said, "Yeah, I read about the drama in China on the internet. Are you here today to receive an award?"
"No, sister. I just came here to congratulate my friends who will receive an award."
"I see. How's the drama in China doing?"
"It's okay. It's very new. We just started it."
The dandy entertainment manager from BM Entertainment chipped in again, "The drama that Lia stars in is a soap opera. It's called Shiguang Ru Meng. Even though the drama is new, its ratings are pretty high. The Korean company GH Media is funding that drama's production."
Seol-Bing asked, "GH what?"
"GH Media. It owns an art gallery as well GH Art Gallery. I think you've once been there by their invitation, haven't you?"
"I think I have."
Seol-Bing pretended as if she didn't care, but in fact, she was feeling enormous anger inside.
'GH Mobile's Gun-Ho Goo must have invested in that drama. Lia must have seduced him to do so.'