Ju Yeong-Gi ’s jaw fell to the floor as he observed this situation from afar.

’Hang on a minute.
That woman…
Maybe she ’s a closeted weirdo? ’

Choi Yeon-Ha was not some random nobody but a top actress in this country.
Ju Yeong-Gi had practically no interest in the world of celebrities, yet even he had heard of her name before.
That could only mean Choi Yeon-Ha was really a big deal in the Korean entertainment scene.

But to think that such a big shot would yell something like that in a public space full of strangers! Ju Yeong-Gi found that logically hard to accept.

’When you think about it, though…
There aren’t all that many normal people around Jin-Ho, no? ’

Search tinyurl.com/2p9emv8w for the original.

A dude traveling on an elite trajectory toward a gobsmacking level of success in a huge corporation would devolve into a moron only good for bankrupting a pizzeria when hanging around near Kang Jin-Ho.
Then, Kang Jin-Ho ’s little sister was a certifiable brocon willing to flip her own agency upside down to hold a concert in her oppa ’s pizzeria.
Moreover, Kang Jin-Ho ’s father was a coffee otaku.
Not to forget, Kang Jin-Ho ’s friend was…

’…Hang on a bloody minute.
Does that mean I ’m also a weirdo in everyone ’s eyes? ’

Ju Yeong-Gi shuddered grandly.
There was no way.
Where would anyone find a person more ’normal ’ than him in this world?!

Going back to the story…

By the time he sobered up, the atmosphere in the pizzeria had grown so quiet and still.

Choi Yeon-Ha seemed to have belatedly realized what she said, as she began to visibly panic while looking around everywhere.
“N-no, wait.
T-that ’s not what, uh, I meant…”


“T-that date isn ’t what you ’re thinking of, you see? So, like, eh…
It ’s not a date where a man and woman…
goes on a date…
Not that kind of a date, but, uh…
So, like, two people make some time and talk privately, that is what I ’ve been trying to say…”

Park Yu-Min mopping the floor nearby voiced his opinion without a concern in the world.
“Miss Choi, that ’s what people usually call going on a date.”

“…!” Choi Yeon-Ha was instantly rendered speechless.
She couldn ’t do much other than open and close her lips repeatedly like a goldfish.

As for Kang Jin-Ho, it seemed like he still hadn’t figured out the situation at all, judging from how his voice sounded so unconcerned.
“I ’m flattered by your request for a date, but I ’m sorry.
I don ’t think I can go with you as there ’s not enough free time.”

“I never said I wanted to go on a date with you!” Choi Yeon-Ha yelled once again with her face beet red.

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head in genuine confusion.
“…I ’m sorry?”

“I-I ’m telling you, that ’s not what I meant.”

“I ’m not quite sure how to humor you in this case, Miss Choi.”

“This, this isn ’t what I wanted…” Choi Yeon-Ha shielded her face with her hands in sheer embarrassment.
Her skin felt so hot right now, as if she had come down with the flu!

’No, I mustn ’t behave like this! ’

Looking this embarrassed would make others think she really was asking Kang Jin-Ho out on a date! She believed herself to be a born actress, but to think she had failed to control her own expressions in a situation this minor!

Meanwhile, her fellow diners, as well as witnesses to her panic, started tapping on their phones.
Their expressions expressed how entertained they were by this development.

= Choi Yeon-Ha asked someone out on a date, then got rejected.
Am witnessing it live.

= Bullsh*t.

= No, really! At Kang Se-Ah ’s oppa ’s pizzeria.
Choi Yeon-Ha is here alone and asked him out on a date.
But Kang Se-Ah ’s oppa coolly said no.

Along with those easy-to-understand texts, the pictures of Choi Yeon-Ha trying to hide her blushing cheeks were uploaded to various social media sites.

= That ’s photoshop.

= This photo ’s been edited.

= Looks like someone got their hands on a still from a film set.

= I knew it was fake when I heard Choi Yeon-Ha got rejected by a dude.
A man can never say no to her.
Even a fantasy has to be believable, you know.
Go back and come up with something more plausible, will ya?!

One of the customers grumbled.
“Had they gotten scammed all throughout their lives or something?”

The customer raised his phone to take another photo of Choi Yeon-Ha, but a hand as large as a pot lid suddenly blocked the camera ’s viewfinder.

“Argh, what now?” The customer frowned and looked away from his phone only to be greeted by a ’gentle ’ smile etched on Ju Yeong-Gi ’s face.

Ju Yeong-Gi chuckled in a gentle voice.
“Dear customer, this is a no-photo zone.”

“…Y-yes, of course.”

No one could raise a voice of opposition in front of Ju Yeong-Gi ’s scary countenance.
Ju Yeong-Gu used that to his advantage by using nothing but his glare to discourage those daring to raise their phones.
Once he got everyone’s behavior right, Ju Yeong-Gi turned his attention back to Kang Jin-Ho and groaned loudly.

He strode toward the table where Choi Yeon-Ha was located and picked up her unfinished pizza.

Choi Yeon-Ha looked up at Ju Yeong-Gi.
“I-I ’m not finished, though?”

“Yes, I know.
Why don ’t we go inside first, miss? Too many people are watching you, so it must be hard to talk out here.”

“You have somewhere private inside?”

Ju Yeong-Gi nodded.
“Yes, we have a staff break room.
It should be fine to finish your meal in there.”

“Thank you so much.
Can you take me there as soon as possible?” Choi Yeon-Ha ’s expression brightened somewhat as she nodded urgently.
She also realized that the current situation was not ideal for her.

Ju Yeong-Gi shot a meaningful glare, and Park Yu-Min sneaked closer to the table to pack up the cutlery.

Soon afterward, Choi Yeon-Ha and Kang Jin-Ho were relocated to the pizzeria ’s staff room.
She fanned herself with her hand to cool her face down.
“…What are you going to do about this?”

Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
“What do you mean?”

“Because of you, I might get embroiled in a weird scandal.”

“Mm? But, I haven ’t done anything in particular?”

“Urgh…” Choi Yeon-Ha groaned.
She knew she had no choice but to agree with his assessment.
Kang Jin-Ho wasn ’t someone who would listen just because she was throwing a tantrum anyway.
“In any case, you ’re the reason why I ’m in this position, so you will take a day off for me.
Because, pretty soon, you won ’t have the time to do that.”

“I won ’t have the time? What do you mean?”

“Your pizzeria will be bursting at the seams with too many customers, that ’s why.”

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head, unconvinced.
“Is it because of your visit, Miss Choi?”

“No…” Choi Yeon-Ha giggled while covering her mouth.
“I ’m not some princess-syndrome sufferer, Mister Jin-Ho.
No matter how popular I am, I know a pizzeria ’s business won ’t pick up instantly just because of my visit.”

“Then, what was that warning all about?”

Choi Yeon-Ha blinked her eyes in surprise.
“…You really have no idea, don ’t you? That ’s for the best, though.
Knowing the reason beforehand might be worse than being ignorant, you see?”

“I can ’t quite follow you, Miss Choi…” Kang Jin-Ho ’s head tilting intensified, but Choi Yeon-Ha refused to elaborate further.
He would soon learn about it anyway!

Kang Jin-Ho stared at Choi Yeon-Ha ’s poker face and could only groan at length.
“…In any case, I ’d prefer if you don ’t pay me a visit anymore, Miss Choi.”

“Sorry, but my plan is to keep showing up before you…”

“I thought you were a busy person? Do you have that much free time?”

“Of course not.
I ’m always running short on time, Mister Jin-Ho.
But it ’s not a waste to invest time in my life, don ’t you agree?”

“Mm? Coming here is an investment in your life?”

As long as you ’re willing to change your mind just this once, of course.”

“…That won ’t happen, Miss Choi.”

Choi Yeon-Ha sagely nodded.
“Yes, I know what you ’re trying to say.
However, that doesn ’t mean I ’m giving up, though.
Don ’t worry; I won ’t force you or bother you about it, but please don ’t stop me from coming here.”

“Urgh…” Kang Jin-Ho groaned and rubbed his face in slight frustration.

Choi Yeon-Ha grinned softly.

’I ’ll stick to you like a leech and slowly strip you away, Mister Jin-Ho. ’

Coming out strong toward someone like Kang Jin-Ho could get you chased away quite ’strongly.’ The odds of that outcome were uncomfortably high.
Such a person boasted a deep-set point of view, and external pressure couldn ’t make them change their mind.

The way to conquer such people was surprisingly simple: one just had to be earnest and dedicated to the point of acquiring their sympathy.

Kang Jin-Ho ’s wariness of Choi Yeon-Ha was off the scale, so the best she could hope for was to take every opportunity to meet him and create as many connections between the two of them as possible.
Once he lowered his guard a bit, an opening should present itself.

Choi Yeon-Ha didn ’t even realize she was smiling while observing Kang Jin-Ho ’s groaning figure.

’Really now, his visuals are still top-notch… ’

She had been acting alongside some of the most prominent, well-established household actors of the current generation.
As such, she knew intimately well the importance of ’style.’ Despite his messy, overgrown hair and his sloppy dress sense, Kang Jin-Ho still had such striking visuals.

‘And he even lost his mortality when he put on the makeup last time…’

Choi Yeon-Ha couldn ’t afford to lose Kang Jin-Ho.
Absolutely not! Besides, she really liked his personality of being unyielding in his views without being rough or rude.
He was the type to never lose himself, even as he tried to match the pace of the people around him.

A man like him would surely become someone big one day.
Moreover, he also came from a pretty good family, so…

“I’m definitely going crazy,” Choi Yeon-Ha muttered.

“I ’m sorry?” Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head.

“I-it ’s nothing important,” Choi Yeon-Ha hurriedly shook her head, then pinched her cheeks.

’I ’m not here to interview prospective husbands! Wake up, Choi Yeon-Ha! ’

Why was she even thinking about Kang Jin-Ho ’s family anyway?!

The atmosphere grew a bit awkward in an instant, so Kang Jin-Ho wisely decided to change the topic.
“By the way, what is Eun-Yeong doing today?”

“Miss Se-Ah? She ’s on location, filming her scenes.”

“The main character isn ’t shooting her scene, yet Eun-Yeong has to?”

Choi Yeon-Ha chuckled before saying, “I guess you ’re not aware of how the filming schedule works, Mister Jin-Ho.
Miss Se-Ah has to shoot her scenes set in the countryside today, but I don ’t.
So, I didn ’t go with the film crew.”

“Hmm…” Kang Jin-Ho slowly nodded.
He couldn’t understand it, but he accepted the explanation.

“She should be back home by evening today,” said Choi Yeon-Ha.

“I see…”

“Which means, you don ’t mind if I stay here until evening, right?”

“…Mm.” Kang Jin-Ho gripped his own thigh without even realizing it.


“Aigoo, I ’m gonna die at this raaate…” Kang Eun-Yeong with an exhausted look climbed into the waiting van.

Her manager welcomed her.
“Good work out there.”

“I ’m dying here, you know! Gimme something to eat, please.
Don ’t you have some leftover kimbap or something?”

“The department head told us to watch your weight since you gained some weight lately.”

“I gained what now?! How dare he spread such slanderous rumors around when I ’m still this petite and frail!”

“Se-Ah, let ’s be honest here.
You ’re—”

“Stop right there!” Kang Eun-Yeong decisively cut her manager off before plopping down on a seat.
I ’m being worked to the bone, but no one even thinks about feeding me.
This is exploitation, I tell ya! Exploitation! You should at least give me something to eat before working me to the bone!”

“Well, how about enduring by using all the stored energy in your body?”

“That doesn ’t even make any sense!”

The manager chuckled as he turned the ignition on.
“All the grub you enjoyed has transformed into fatty tissues in your body, and they are eagerly waiting for you to use them.”

“Devil!” Kang Eun-Yeong grumbled while putting on her seatbelt.
She pushed the seat halfway back, then stared absentmindedly at the ceiling.

’A day of filming totally exhausts me, doesn ’t it? ’

This was a different kind of exhaustion than standing on a stage as a singer.
Pouring out all of her being during a gig led to this feeling of adrenaline erupting like a volcano.
It no longer mattered whether she was satisfied with the stage or not; because during those moments, an uncontrollable excitement would take hold of her as she performed.
Upon coming down from the stage post-concert; however, the only thing waiting for her was this indescribable emptiness.

However, acting was different.
It felt like acting continuously drained her stamina away.
Trying to act like someone who wasn ’t her for hours upon hours turned out to be far harder than it sounded.
And being on standby endlessly in character just to film a 30-second scene proved to be a huge burden as well.

’But, it ’s so much fun. ’

Kang Eun-Yeong closed her eyes.
The trip to Seoul from this location would take around three hours, so she figured she might as well get some sleep.


And as if it knew what she was thinking, the van set off smoothly on its journey.

’I ’m sure she ’s tired… ’

The manager, Jeong Seok-Su, glanced at the sleeping Kang Eun-Yeong through the rearview mirror and smiled like a caring dad.
She was like a beagle who got into trouble more often than not, but at her core, Kang Eun-Yeong was a good kid.
She deeply cared about her family, and she had never treated her managers harshly as well.

Jeong Seok-Su had witnessed too many good kids going bad due to fame, so he initially didn ’t hold that much expectation of Kang Eun-Yeong, but she hadn ’t changed a bit since her trainee idol days.
She did her best not to lose her humbleness while joking that a devil waiting back home would knock her down a peg if she got too full of herself.

That was why Jeong Seok-Su found her to be such an adorable, likable kid.
She was also passionate about her work, making her a delight to work with as a manager.

’I better drive carefully. ’

There was nothing else scheduled for today, so Jeong Seok-Su decided to drive slower and smoother, even if doing so might take longer for them to reach home.
However, just as he slowed the van down a touch…

“Mm?” Jeong Seok-Su frowned when a car behind rapidly approached while using high beams.
“Argh, what gives?”

Why would anyone want to drive with high beams turned on unless they wanted to cause an accident? How unfortunate—it seemed Korea had way too many drivers with rubbish road manners.

“…There are really way too many of them, aren ’t they?”

Jeong Seok-Su ’s van was now being tailed by several more cars with their high beams turned on.
He sensed something fishy and quickly stepped on the accelerator.
He still had no idea what was going on, but the sense of foreboding made him decide to get out of here.


A black sedan quickly caught up and suddenly rammed into the side of the van.

“W-what the hell?! Crazy son of a b*tch!”


The van rocked precariously as the two vehicles made contact.

“W-what ’s going on?!” Kang Eun-Yeong woke up from her sleep and hurriedly looked around in alarm.
Her widened eyes caught the sight of another car rushing toward the van at high speed.


Her frightened scream echoed through the road.

Yes, it really says this in the raw.

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