Oh My Last, The Last.
Tap tap tap-
The urgent sound of footsteps filled the lobby.
In the time that he was rushing through the stifling atmosphere, Ha Joyoon started to feel that he had returned back in some form or another.
He was back where he needed to be.
Back to a place where he could do whatever needed to be done.
Indescribable emotions colored his face as he glanced outside of the building, a calm heat making its way up from his chest.
“It seems like the both of you have got quite a bit of guts.”
That was the first sentence they heard from Shin Kwonjoo, who was waiting for them with an impatient face at the front door of the conference room.
The sweat they had shed as they ran through the chilly air evaporated in an instant.
The look on Shin Kwonjoo’s face left no room for excuses or explanations as to why they were late.
The annoyance engraved on his face warned of what would happen after the press conference was over.
Ha Joyoon chose to stay silent despite feeling a bit wronged.
“Let’s go in first.
Hyunwoo-ssi, we will need to have a talk after we’re done here.”
“Yes? Oh, Director, I’m sor…”
The press conference begins in five minutes.
Ha Joyoon-ssi, please take proper photos.”
Ha Joyoon started to move after giving a simple answer.
Suddenly, the scent of lotion coming from the man walking next to him made its way over.
It was a refreshing yet deep scent.
As his strides slowed down little by little, the man noticed the gaze from his side and glanced at Ha Joyoon.
It was as if he was digging into him with his eyes.
Silence fell between them despite the place being noisy.
Moments later, he opened his mouth with a look of annoyance.
“Why don’t you take a break?”
“Are you going to stare at my face all day?”
In an instant, Ha Joyoon’s white cheeks turned red from the mix of ridicule and irritation in that voice.
“… It’s not like that.”
“Say that after you’ve stopped staring.
To be honest, it’s quite bothersome.”
Embarrassment stained his expression at the look of annoyance on the man’s face.
He felt bad that the other person felt uncomfortable, even though he didn’t have any special thoughts.
Ha Joyoon quietly apologized as he gently touched the tip of his hot nose.
Shin Kwonjoo turned his head around and hurried on his way with no intention of arguing anymore.
The silence was uncomfortable, but fortunately, they didn’t have far to go, so it didn’t take long for the conference room to come into view.
Happy to escape the awkward atmosphere, Ha Joyoon quickly put the pass he received into his pocket.
The identity of every visitor was thoroughly checked, emphasizing the importance of today’s press conference.
Although he was not familiar with the environment of domestic coverage, the seriousness of the current issue was made clear by the variety of journalists in the room.
Compared to domestic media outlets, which were often wary of the government, foreign media outlets were only slightly influenced by the pressure.
For this reason, most of the ruling political powers avoided the foreign press.
In particular, the more corrupt they are, the more closed the scope of media disclosure would become.
Considering the various conditions, this event was surprising.
Ha Joyoon swallowed his saliva and crossed the last gate to enter the conference room.
He could clearly feel the weight of the camera hanging from his shoulder, today more so than normal.
The inside of the conference room was filled with journalists who had already arrived.
In terms of ratio, the majority of the journalists belonged to domestic media outlets, however, the number of foreign journalists was also quite significant.
Some came alone, and some were accompanied by a local stringer as they were not yet familiar with the language.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Nam Hyunwoo took a look around.
“Pa’r gfjiis mgbkvfv lc tfgf.”
Vtlc Bkbcpbb rcbgafv jr tf rajgfv ja atf qfgofmais rfa qbvlew.
“Po atfs tjv bcis mjiifv atf qgb-ubnfgcwfca rlvf jujlc, atfgf kbeiv tjnf lcfnlajyis yffc j glba.”
“Pa’r j rwjga wbnf.”
Ktlr wjs aegc bea ab yf j agjq.”
Llr fsfr cjggbkfv bnfg atf vbmewfcar, tlr tjcv aegclcu bnfg atf qjqfgr olfgmfis.
Ktf wjc qeiifv eq atf mbgcfgr bo tlr ilqr jr tf ragbxfv tlr mtlc.
Ktf mbiv rwlif vlvc’a rffw ilxf j rwlif ja jii.
Lf rffwfv ab yf kfjglcu j wjrx atja kjr ragbcufg jcv wbgf raegvs atjc la kjr lc atf qjra.
Ha Jo-yoon, who had been listening to the conversation between Shin Kwonjoo and the employee, turned his attention back to the room.
Amidst the peculiar tension, officials were busy strolling around and investigating the environment.
As the matter was a serious issue, there were stiff expressions on everyone’s faces, regardless of whether they were a government official or a journalist.
He exhaled a long tense breath and found his assigned seat.
Shin Kwonjoo and the employee also immediately took their seats, finishing their conversation.
The journalists’ pre-prepared questions were then checked.
After about 30 minutes of inspection, silence followed the announcement that the conference was beginning.
The sound of breathing, typing, and pens writing on paper mixed together.
And soon after, the main character of the press conference came up on the podium accompanied by a strong-looking bodyguard.
An indescribable sense of power emanated from his aged face.
It was a strange feeling, on the border between good and evil.
“Record everything properly, both of you.
Don’t miss a single word.
Get rid of any unnecessary sentiments and leave nothing but facts.”
Shin Kwonjoo, staring straight ahead with his cold eyes, enunciated the words slowly.
Ha Joyoon quietly nodded, understanding the weight of those words.
The hand holding the camera gained strength.
“First of all, I would like to greet the people of this nation.”
As the politician’s distinctive and appealing tone broke the silence in the hall, the camera flash exploded simultaneously.
The President’s corruption scandal, which erupted at a time when domestic and international relations were tense, was enough to shake the whole country.
The earlier self-rescue measures that only provided information to some pro-government insiders, and thoroughly controlled public opinion, were no longer effective.
This was because the truth was revealed in such a way that to say it was unprecedented wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
The Blue House’s breakthrough method to calm the people was a press conference in which both domestic and foreign journalists were invited.
However, the more questions and answers were exchanged, the worse the situation became.
Even as the press conference was going on, there were hundreds of thousands of citizens coming out to the city square to demand the President’s impeachment.
The expression of the government officials also darkened.
“He will not take any further questions.”
A spokesperson hurriedly stepped forward to clear the atmosphere that seemed to be headed for catastrophe.
“Isn’t that irresponsible of you?!”
“Shouldn’t there be an explanation for the money used in the transaction with Chairman Kim Taeho during the last presidential election?!”
In the wake of the sudden shut-down, boos and criticism erupted from the press area.
It looked different from the previous press conferences, which were conducted only in a strictly controlled environment.
However, communication had already ended with one side’s unilateral decision.
The view of the scene gets blocked as armed bodyguards in black clothes rush in front of the podium.
It was a despicable tactic of those who took the lead in power.
The shutter sound of the camera, which did not miss the expression of each person, exploded in small bursts.
Hands moved quickly to catch the truth as all nerves were focused on the world beyond the lens.
This was a moment in history that someone had to record.
Ha Joyoon had always considered it his mission to share these moments with the world.
All of a sudden, the finger had been busy pressing the shutter paused, as if it had frozen in time.
Emotions of remorse flowed out as the gap between reality and memory widened.
I believed this was my calling.
I believed that someone should record the cruel and unfair reality as a complete fact.
I thought that no one in the world should be completely free from people’s attention.
And I thought… you would understand me.
It was truly a selfish way of thinking.
I should have let you go when I realized that you couldn’t fully understand, but I couldn’t let go of my lingering love for you.
It was my fault… Nevertheless, I truly love this job.
“Take the picture”
A low voice struck him.
It was short, but it was enough to wake him from his thoughts.
His body, which had been frozen like ice, flinched and moved.
He returned to reality in an instant as shouts of the journalists and the sound of camera shutters rang in his ears. Ah. Ha Joyoon took a breath.
Next to him was a man standing tall.
The dark eyes filled with volition were staring frontward as if they were unable to show emotions.
“What are you thinking? You need to stay present right now.”
“… I’m sorry.”
Let’s quickly get back to reality and finish what I need to do right now. Ha Joyoon began to put his entire focus on the lens again.
“People of the nation…” The traces of the President’s bare conscience, who started the final greeting with a calm expression while ignoring all the criticism, were captured one by one by the camera.
The scene on the way out after the press conference was disordered.
There were many complaints about the ambiance of the conference room.
The improper treatment of the press led most of the conversations, but the reality was that it was impossible to know how the press coverage would go until it was done.
“Put the first draft on the intra bulletin board.
I’ll choose the photos in the end, but please sort them out with the editor first.”
“Okay, then I’ll move to the National Assembly right away.
Gates’ stringer hasn’t arrived yet, so I think I’ll have to go meet up with them.”
And as soon as you arrive….”
Shin Kwonjoo checked his schedule and nodded, giving some brief instructions.
The employee skillfully wrote down his words and greeted Ha Joyoon again.
“Oh, by the way, Journalist Ha.
I’m sorry I brought you here without any explanation.
I had registered it beforehand, but I couldn’t explain it since I was in a hurry.”
“No, it’s okay.”
The man smiled brightly as he was handed the distribution data.
“I will formally greet you again at the office.
I should probably go first to work on the coverage of this conference.”
His gentle tone broke down the tension that had persisted from visiting the office until now.
A soft smile formed on his lips without realizing.
The employee who was looking at him blushed and scratched the back of his head.
“I’ll see you later.
Please take care of me from now on.”
When he asked for a handshake, the other party happily grabbed his hand, thinking that he would be a good colleague.
After a few more brief conversations, the employee hurriedly rushed to leave.
Ha Joyoon’s eyes dimmed as he saw his back gradually moving away.
“You must’ve been surprised by the sudden job, but you did well.”
“… Yes, thank you for your hard work, too.”
Shin Kwonjoo took out and lit a cigarette.
It was unfortunate that the refreshing scent from before was covered by the strong smoke.
“Let’s wrap up today’s schedule and go back to the office.
There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
Although it was cold and emotionless, the serious voice had the ability to make the people listen.
Ha Joyoon, who had been paying attention to nothing but his tie for a while, quickly nodded his head instead of answering.
Shin Kwonjoo’s eyes narrowed slightly as he looked at him.
After a period of silence, he spoke again.
“Have you eaten yet?”
Ha Joyoon realized that all he had had so far after leaving for work in the morning were a few drinks.
After glancing at his flat stomach, he shook his head.
The sound of a small laugh was heard from his side.
When he looked up, he saw the man looking at his phone with a perfectly indifferent expression, as if the sound of laughter just now was an illusion.
“Let’s get something to eat before we go back.”
He checked his messages with serious eyes.
Did something bad happen? Ha Joyoon, who had been examining the hardened eyes of Shin Kwonjoo, shook with surprise when those dark eyes slowly moved and fixed themselves on him.
Seeing that, Shin Kwonjoo smiled and swept his hair to the side.
I told you not to stare so much, didn’t I?”
“… I didn’t mean…”
Before he could oppose, the smooth nose came closer to him.
“It’s hot.” Shin Kwonjoo said it casually as he took off his thin jacket and hung it over his arm.
The cool scent penetrated deep into his lungs.
“Don’t bother saying that it’s not like that.
Let’s get going.
There aren’t many places to eat nearby, so let’s go somewhere near the office.”
Before he could say anything else, the man strode towards the parking lot with large steps.
Even though the distance widened quickly, he didn’t look back.
He must be a rather short-tempered man.
Or it could be that he simply had no interest in the other person.
After meeting him a few times, Ha Joyoon seemed to understand a little bit about the characteristics of the man named Shin Kwonjoo. Perhaps his personality has been slowly changing from the past to the present.
It’s also strange that I’m becoming aware of my current state little by little.
After walking for a while with the hot sun on his back, he saw the entrance to the parking lot.
After seeing Shin Kwonjoo’s back as he made his way to the car from a distance, Ha Joyoon hurried his steps.
When the remote control was pressed, the headlights flashed for a moment.
The black bodied car with a sleek yet elegant curve matched its owner quite well.
Shin Kwonjoo opened the driver’s door and pointed to the back seat.
“Put your stuff in the back and get in.
I have some clothes in there, you can just move them.”
When he opened the rear door, he saw several shirts and jackets hung in an orderly fashion.
Due to the ample space in the car, there was no threat of anything wrinkling.
The hand that was tidying up the shirts paused for a moment.
In the past, he remembered that the man often pulled all-nighters in the office when they had a lot of work.
Even then, Ha Joyoon would often be sent on an errand to fetch a shirt from the car.
It seems that is one thing that hasn’t changed.
Alright, so I’ll be adding this at the end of the first chapter as well as this one for the lovely readers who are keeping up with the updates.
Anyway, this is a little explanation of all the honorifics + suffixes that have been used so far (or might possibly be used in future chapters) for those who are still confused about it.
Hyung – Literally means “older brother”.
A familiar term used by a male to address an older male sibling or friend (or boyfriend ;p).
Noona – Literally means “older sister”.
A familiar term used by a male to address an older female sibling or friend.
Oppa – Literally means “older brother”.
A familiar term used by a female to address an older male sibling or friend.
Unnie – Literally means “older sister”.
A familiar term used by a female to address an older female sibling or friend.
^^ All of these can be used with or without a name attached before it.
And yes, people in romantic relationships also use these terms for the other person, if they’re older.
Sunbae – Literally means “senior.” A term used by both female and males to address their senior, usually in school and university.
Rather than it being determined by age, it refers to the person’s seniority and experience in a certain setting.
Hoobae – Literally means “junior”.
A term used by both female and males to address their junior, usually in school and university.
Most of the time, the juniors or “hoobaes” are called by their name and this term is mainly used when referring to them in another conversation.
Again, rather than it being determined by age, it refers to the person’s standing and experience in a certain setting.
^^ Once more, both of these can used with or without a name attached before it.
Sometimes, people in romantic relationships use these terms too.
Usually, it’s “Sunbae”.
-ssi – It could mean either of these; Mr.
or Mrs or Miss.
A formal suffix that follows a person’s full or first name to show respect and formality.
-nim – It could mean either of these; Mr.
A formal suffix that follows a person’s full or first (usually full) name or title/profession to show more respect and formality.
^^ Both of these are usually used in professional and formal environments.
-ya and -ah – Doesn’t mean anything special in particular.
It’s used when speaking informally to a younger or same-age person directly.
While -ya follows a name that ends in a vowel, -ah follows a name that ends in a consonant.
For now, I believe this is all that needs to be explained.
While I’m at it, I want to say that I am aware of how much of a slowburn this novel is and it may get a bit frustrating for those who are keeping up with the updates but trust me, the romance aspect of the story will pick up in the coming chapters.
Thank you so much for reading.
Hope you have a good day <3
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