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    The man outside placed an elegant teacup on the table. Steam was rising from the cup. Chairman Seok held the cup, savored the aroma, and then spoke.

    “So, is the office running well?”

    Nam-woon, taking a shallow breath, looked up at Chairman Seok.

    “Actually, I have something to tell you about the office.”

    “Drink your tea first. If the aroma escapes, you won’t enjoy it properly.”

    Chairman Seok interrupted Nam-woon and sipped his tea. Nam-woon, holding the still-hot cup, hastily cooled his lips and set it down.

    “Father, I…”

    “I’ll give you a chance.”

    Chairman Seok stared intently at Nam-woon and said,

    “As you know, it’s better to keep your mouth shut if it’s pointless talk. Speak up only when there’s a chance of success. You’re too hasty.”

    However, even if there was no chance of success, even if it was hasty, it was something that had to be said at least once. After all, it was clear that the chances wouldn’t improve later on.

    Nam-woon couldn’t bear the thought of collecting money from people like the old man at Haengwon restaurant even more than handling Chairman Seok’s payment deadlines. Hiding his nervousness, Nam-woon spoke calmly. 

    “I want to quit the work I’m currently doing.”

    Ha-ha, Chairman Seok suddenly burst into laughter. The sound of his laughter was somehow chilling. Nam-woon’s face grew stiffer.

    After laughing alone for a while, Chairman Seok, once the laughter subsided, said to Nam-woon.

    “Wasn’t it you who wanted to do this job?”

    “But now I no longer can…”

    “I think I’ve said this before.”

    Chairman Seok cut off Nam-woon with a firm tone.

    “One must take responsibility for a task they’ve taken on until the end to be considered an adult.”

    “But I can no longer take responsibility for such work.”

    “…Such work?”

    Oops, it was a mistake. It was a word that directly offended the pride of Chairman Seok, who dealt with dirty money. Nam-woon’s eyes wavered for a moment. Chairman Seok stared at him and then spoke.

    “Have you forgotten how you begged me on your knees, crying and pleading to be given ‘such work’ just once?”

    The current Nam-woon couldn’t possibly know about such things. Chairman Seok continued,

    “What about the time you talked back to me over just a detective agency? Have you also forgotten how much you were beaten then?”

    Of course, Seok Nam-woon remembered how he was furious at receiving the detective agency, the least significant and almost pointless business among the many that Chairman Seok owned. But to be beaten…

    Nam-woon’s fists on his lap turned white.

    “Your mother.”


    “The money your mother stole and ran away with, there’s still a lot left.”

    Nam-woon’s mouth fell open. Money stolen by his mother?

    “The day I first brought you here, you said it.”


    “No matter what happens, you will pay back all the money your mother stole. It seems you’ve become a fool if you can’t even remember your own words.”

    Chairman Seok, looking at the shocked Nam-woon, elegantly lifted his teacup again.

    Novels from the perspective of the villain are rare. Supporting characters are just that, simple side characters based on the protagonists.

    The past of the villainous Nam-woon was not properly highlighted, though it was briefly mentioned. Nam-woon’s mother, who was in a common-law relationship with Chairman Seok, separated from him for some reason and lived alone after giving birth to Nam-woon. Later, Chairman Seok, needing an heir, sought out his son, and young Nam-woon and his mother came to live with the Seok family.

    However, the mother left Nam-woon alone and departed from the Seok family, and the novel did not mention why.

    Could that reason be what Chairman Seok is talking about now?

    Nam-woon clenched his fist on his lap. Regardless of how Nam-woon acted in the past, he is Nam-woon now. So he had to try what he could do right away.

    “The money my mother took, I will pay it back separately. So please let me settle the detective agency properly.”

    Nam-woon added to Chairman Seok, who was only sipping his tea,

    “And Kwon Seo-oh is a person who has nothing to do with our family.”

    “You never stop talking about Seo-oh, do you?”

    Nam-woon lowered his eyes.

    “…Please. Let Kwon Seo-oh just go to school and live a normal life.”

    Bang! Crash.

    A clear crystal ashtray hit Nam-woon’s forehead forcefully and then fell to the floor. Drops of bright red blood dripped down in front of Nam-woon’s eyes. The incident happened so suddenly that Nam-woon couldn’t fully grasp what had occurred. When he carelessly wiped his forehead, his hand was soaked with red blood.

    Chairman Seok stood up and looked down at Nam-woon.

    “You dare to whine when you’re not even worth the dirt under Seo-oh’s feet.”

    As soon as he finished speaking, Chairman Seok threw a ceramic ornament from the table at Nam-woon.


    It hit Nam-woon’s shoulder and rolled loudly on the floor.

    “There’s no other way with a beast that won’t listen. You know that, don’t you?”

    Chairman Seok slowly headed towards the desk and pulled out a golf club from the bag beside him. Nam-woon was clutching his forehead, overwhelmed by the sudden, excruciating pain.

    Then, there was a knock on the door from outside.

    “Chairman, he has arrived.”

    At those words, Chairman Seok’s arm stopped. Nam-woon couldn’t even look at Chairman Seok, he just trembled uncontrollably. Glancing at his wristwatch, Chairman Seok clicked his tongue and threw the golf club he was holding onto the floor.

    “It seems you haven’t prepared for this month’s payment. I’ll defer it considering my situation.”

    Nam-woon’s hands shook like trembling leaves as he sat still.

    His gaze fell on the dropped golf club. Just as he was thinking that he couldn’t stay here any longer, Chairman Seok issued an order to leave.

    “I can’t stand the sight of you, get out now.”

    Nam-woon slowly rose from his seat. With each step, drops of blood fell from his head. Behind him, he could hear Chairman Seok making a phone call.

    “Tell them to wait and come in to clean up.”

    The door opened faster than Nam-woon could reach for the doorknob. The subordinate of Chairman Seok, whom Nam-woon had seen outside, slightly bowed his head and stepped aside. Nam-woon, covering his forehead with his hand and looking down, moved forward.

    Just a few steps out of the room, someone outside blocked his way. He waited for the person to move aside, but the neatly polished shoes remained still, showing no sign of stepping away. With his head still bowed, Nam-woon said,

    “Excuse me, please move…”


    A drop of red blood from Nam-woon’s forehead fell onto the tip of the man’s shoe. As Nam-woon hesitated, a commanding voice came from above.

    “Wipe it.”

    The heavy voice continued,

    “You’re the one who dripped it all over.”

    As Nam-woon tried to look up at the man, Yong-deuk suddenly approached and blocked his view. Yong-deuk immediately apologized to the man,

    “I’m sorry. Our young master is not in good condition right now. I will wipe it for you.”

    Yong-deuk reached into his jacket pocket for a handkerchief and bent down to wipe it. The man laughed as if amused and stopped him.

    “Not you.”

    Yong-deuk’s hand froze. Hearing the man’s words, Nam-woon snatched the handkerchief from Yong-deuk’s hand and stepped forward. He didn’t want to waste time arguing with the man. He wanted to leave this place as soon as possible.

    Nam-woon’s hand was about to touch the man’s shoe as he kneeled down.


    The man commanded abruptly.

    “Lift your head.”


    Nam-woon clenched his fist, wrinkling the handkerchief in his hand. Yong-deuk stepped forward again, bowing to the man.

    “I apologize. Our young master is badly injured. Young master, step back!”

    “Why, I just want to see his face.”

    That’s when it happened.

    “Sir, I will escort you inside.”

    A subordinate who came out of Chairman Seok’s room approached the man’s side and spoke. The man, with his hands in his pockets, glanced at Yong-deuk and Nam-woon behind him, then stepped away and headed towards the inner door.

    “Are you alright!?”

    Yong-deuk, who had turned around to see Nam-woon’s miserable state had his face crumpled. He hastily rolled up some tissue in his hand and pressed it against Nam-woon’s forehead. The tissue quickly turned red with blood. Yong-deuk, unable to stay still, spoke out.

    “That’s why I told you to stay quiet and come back.”


    “Don’t defy the chairman again. You’ll hurt yourself.”

    “That man earlier…”

    Yong-deuk lowered his voice and whispered,

    “You did well to endure earlier. Don’t worry about him. You won’t have to encounter that person again. Let’s go to the hospital quickly.”

    Nam-woon, holding the handkerchief Yong-deuk offered, spoke in a weary voice.

    “Yong-deuk, not the hospital, let’s go home, no, to the office.”

    Sitting in the back seat of the car driven by Yong-deuk, leaning back, Nam-woon suddenly checked his phone. It was almost time for Seo-oh’s class to end. But in his current state, fulfilling his role is impossible.

    Would it be okay to miss just one day?

    [Go alone today.]

    It was the first time Nam-woon had contacted Seo-oh. He looked up to check the air. The automated system seemed quiet.

    Nam-woon leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. There was no reply from Seo-oh.

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