Seukang Li continued as he looked at the scroll painting once again, "If someone gave you this as a gift, you can take it without feeling indebted to the person. If you like it, why don't you hang it on the wall at your home?"
"Old people love this type of painting in Korea. Can you stay here for a minute? I will leave the painting in the room and will be back."
Gun-Ho came back to the lobby after dropping the scroll painting in his room.
"There is a very good restaurant behind this hotel. Their Shanghai cuisine is one of the best."
The restaurant that Seukang Li took Gun-Ho to was not a huge or luxurious restaurant, but it looked mediocre with the size of a bit larger than a regular restaurant.
"This restaurant primarily offers Shanghai cuisine, and their two top popular menus are Songjiang Luyu (a perch fish dish of Songjiang) and Hongshao Hui Yu (a grilled croaker fish dish). When I have a guest to treat, I often come to this place."
"Really? I guess because of its location on the coast of the East China Sea, lots of fish dishes have been developed and offered."
Seukang Li also ordered a bottle of Baiju as well, which went well with the fish dishes.
"Hmm, this is really good."
"Yeah? I know that many Korean and Japanese people like fish dishes. The price of these fish dishes is very reasonable as well. Please have them as much as you want."
"Can you fill up my glass with Baiju, please?"
"Oh, how come you've already emptied your first glass of Baiju? You don't usually drink much."
"What was the name of this dish again?"
"It's Songjiang Luyu (a perch fish dish of Songjiang). Songjiang is a river that flows through Shanghai. It's also the name of an area Songjiang District which is a suburban district of Shanghai. A perch fish lives in both freshwater and saltwater. Since we have the river and the ocean here, Songjiang Luyu is one of the most popular dishes in this area."
"Hmm, is that right?"
"You have read the novelRomance of the Three Kingdomshaven't you?"
"Of course, I have."
"This dish was mentioned in that novel."
"Cao Cao had a party in Xuchang City, and when he asked how they could possibly have Songjiang Luyu since Xuchang City was far from Songjiang, Zuoci responded by standing up from his seat and saying 'I will catch a few perch fishes for you.' Zuoci then grabbed a fishing rod and walked to the pond in the yard, and caught several Songjiang perch fishes."
"Haha, yeah, I think I remember reading it. That was the perch from this area, huh?"
The two men continued enjoying the fish dishes with liquor.
"Hey, President Goo. What did Huanle Shiji's President Baogang Chen tell you?"
"He proposed that we produce a movie together. A famous authorAiling Fenggave him a movie scenario called Menghuan Yinghua, and he wants to make a movie with that scenario."
"That's all he said?"
"He estimated the cost of the movie production around 10 billion Korean won, and he wants me to fund 50% of the cost, which would be 5 billion won."
"Whoa, 5 billion won!?"
"I recently sent 3 million dollars for Antang City's terminal project as my first investment fund in that project. Also, I put 1 million dollars for the TV dramaShiguang Ru Meng. If I decide to participate in the movie production and send 5 million dollars to the production company, the total amount of the money that I put in China will be 9 million dollars. Director Li! You tell me if 9 million dollars is a small amount of money or if it is huge money."
"Wow, it's definitely huge."
"I'm investing this much amount of money because you connected me to all those investment opportunities."
"I'm sorry, friend. I'm sure that we will see a good result."
"Movie production is the entertainment industry. One can either hit the jackpot, or he can lose the huge amount of money that he put into it."
"That's very true."
Gun-Ho and Seukang Li sipped their liquor without saying a word. Seukang Li then said in a low voice, "To be honest with you, Huanle Shiji's President Baogang Chen asked me to talk to you about his movie production. But, I just couldn't do that because I didn't want to impose you with another investment request. It seems that President Baogang Chen brought it up directly to you anyway. The thing is that we couldn't take a pass on Ailing Feng's scenario. If we don't take it, someone else will definitely take that opportunity."
"Is Ailing Feng that famous?"
"She is. I would say that she is a hitmaker. She was actually a teacher in an elementary school. When her scenario was selected for an award, she changed her career to a screenwriter. She is excellent in describing human psychology, and her witty lines are unique and funny. I think she is in her mid-40s. She is an absolutely talented woman. Huanle Shiji's President Baogang Chen has known her for a long time since he worked as an assistant director."
At the moment, Gun-Ho recalled that Seukang Li helped Huanle Shiji with the assignment of the prime time to be on the air.
"Oh, I wanted to thank you for your help with the TV dramaShiguang Ru Meng. I was told that you helped to reserve golden time for the drama. Thank you."
"Don't mention it, and I didn't really do much."
"If I invest in their movie production, can you guarantee that you will get us benefits in distributing the movie and succeeding in the box office?"
"I'm a government worker. I can't say that I will help you succeed in such a thing or not. Even though I can't tell you that I will guarantee it, I can definitely tell you that I will certainly be cooperative. What I can also tell you is that for a patriotic movie, I can put in a good word with my friends at Guangdian Zongju (National Radio and Television Administration)."
"Hmm, I see. By the way, you look like you lost some weight."
"I've been busy lately. There are so many things that I need to take care of, and a lot of people's interests are intertwined, and I have to keep a balance between them, which is very stressful. I'm on medication."
"You can still be under a lot of stress and pressure with the position of the director of Shanghai's mighty Bureau of Radio, Film, and Television, huh?"
"People think that this position is powerful and can be extremely influential, which sounds good, but all that power comes with a massive responsibility. That's why I sometimes come to this place by myself and have a drink. I wish Jien Wang lived close by, so I can have a drink with him sometimes.
Seukang Li sipped his liquor and then made a call to Jien Wang.
"Jien Wang? It's me. I'm with Gun-Ho Goo right now. We are at the Songjiang Luyu restaurant in Shanghai."
"Oh, really? Since Gun-Ho Goo is there with you, why don't you ask him about the movie production?"
"I can't do that to him. I've asked him for more than enough favor already. Gun-Ho has already invested 4 million dollars in China because of me. If I get him into this movie production business, he will have to invest an additional 5 million dollars. That will make his total investment funds in China 9 million dollars."
"Is it that much already?"
"I connected him to Antang City's terminal project and also to Huanle Shiji's TV drama production. I can't ask him to make more investment in the movie production business. Huanle Shiji's President Baogang Chen already talked about the movie to him, but I think it's too much even for President Goo."
"I understand. Let me talk to Gun-Ho Goo. I want to hear his voice."