I looked out of the window. The green buds were coming out one by one through the ragged branches. I looked at it all and declared, “It’s spring!”
Secretary Seo, holding the steering wheel, agreed, “That’s right!”
Time passed and it was March, springtime. I opened the window to enjoy the warm spring sun. But rather than the good feeling of the warmth of the spring sun, the displeasure acridness of smog hit me. I closed the window right away.
“Ah, I think the smog is too much these days.”
“Is there no way we can solve it?”
“Wouldn’t it be a Nobel Prize if we could?”
“… that’s right. If I had a company like that, I’d invest my entire fortune. I’m sure it would hit the jackpot.”
Upon hearing the remark, Secretary Seo said in a slightly funny way, “Three hundred million dollars?”
I said, looking at Seo’s round face in the rear-view mirror. “Hmm? Three hundred million dollars?”
“Yes, three hundred million dollars. That’s what it said in yesterday’s article. It’s three hundred million dollars in the boss’s fortune.”
“Yes. Haven’t you seen it?”
“No, when did that happen?”
“I texted you yesterday, and I said you had some news in your name.”
Come to think of it, I had a text message yesterday. It was while I was eating with my sister and my parents.
– Boss, there’s an article with your name on it. I’ll send a link.-
I just looked at it and forgot. I picked up my cell phone and searched for Han Sang-hoon in the search window. Then I moved on to the news section.
[An Assemblyman, Han Sang-hoon made a bitter speech to the tyrannical presidential office of the Blue House.]
As expected, he was the first to appear. National Assemblyman Han Sang-hoon was still working hard. He was rather outspoken in his words and actions and was popular with supporters as a delightful and refreshing member of the National Assemblymen. Of course, people on the other side said, ‘His conduct is not neat and he is not qualified to be a National Assemblyman,’ but by his actions, public awareness was growing.
[Does National Assemblyman Han Sang-hoon hold the power of the party? There are even news reports that he could appear as a party leader.]
‘Hmm…’ scrolled down, thinking. CEO Han Sang-hoon, not National Assemblyman Han Sang-hoon, was hung at the fifth article.
[Kai Games’ Fantasy War Ground has been a big hit, and it has surged in the last few days.]
I clicked on the article.
[Kai Games’ Fantasy War Ground is gaining popularity, as it has broken the record of simultaneous users in a day. In the midst of the recent boom in Battle Royale genre games, the company also topped the number of simultaneous users on the global game provider platform Steam, beating all its competitors.]
First of all, the game was a big hit, like the future I had seen. If I went to a PC room in Gangnam, most people were playing Fantasy War Ground from Kai Games, and sometimes even I did. I dressed my character in pretty clothes, and if I spent my money on my company’s game, I would take this and that, and it would come back to me, like a payback.
[… the stock price of Kai Games responded to this. It has been rising rapidly since the open beta test. It is Han Sang-hoon, CEO of Invictus Investment, who is smiling the most. CEO Han Sang-hoon, who took over Kai Games from a Chinese investment firm late last year, has increased his stake to sixty percent through in-market purchases after absorbing other major shareholders’ shares.]
The other major shareholder here was Master T, Director Tak Joon-gi. He might have thought he sold his shares at a good price, but now his stock was almost four times higher than back then. I didn’t know for sure, because I didn’t have a chance to meet him, but I was sure he was going to be very upset, because the shares he had sold at seven million dollars were now worth thirty million dollars.
“You don’t play games, but you said you were playing games. Does that make sense?” I kept scrolling, making a sarcastic sarcasm that Director Tak Joon-gi wouldn’t hear.
[In total, Invictus Investment’s current stake is valued at $264,800,000, and CEO Han Sang-hoon, who owns 100% of Invictus Investment, is said to have more than $300,000,000 in assets, including his other companies OH Entertainment and Blue E&M.]
Ji-hoon seemed to think that my fortune was three hundred million after seeing this last sentence. Of course, this did not include the money in my personal accounts.
“By the way, who wrote this article?”
It was an article about me, but I didn’t even see where it came from. I scrolled up and looked up who wrote this article. This was from the company of Kaiji Lee Won-jae, Director of Light Economy News. I saw it as I pulled my chin.
Well, actually, it was news that would come out. Fantasy War Ground’s big hit and Kai Games’ surge was a good piece of material to write, but it troubled my mind a little bit as it came from this company.
‘He’s a black-hearted guy.’
I wondered if there was some strange intention behind it. I said to Secretary Seo, “Did they get in touch with our company when they sent this news?”
“Yes, they did. They were trying to write this article and asked me to review it. So I read it and it didn’t have a bad story to tell. I told them to write it.”
I turned my head out of the window and nodded, “… Okay.”
“What’s wrong? I read it and it was good. Boss?”
I shook my head and said, “No. you did a good job.”
Secretary Seo thought he did something wrong. But he had only carried out my order faithfully: ‘If the news with my name on it isn’t very bad, let it go.’
I wanted to be more famous.
“By the way, how’s the acquisition of Oracle News going?”
“Vice President Jang says it will be finished by the end of the month.”
“Umm, it that so?”
Oracle News was a small to medium-sized Internet news company.
At my order, ‘Get one media company we can invest in, not to sort out whether it is listed or not,’ Vice President Jang brought me the lists of some companies.
There were a lot of companies on the list, probably because of the hustle and bustle of Internet newspapers these days, and I picked a news company that was as clean as possible. That is, as neutral as possible without the influence of big companies or anyone else.
Oracle News, which meant a prophet, was a bit strange since I’d become the owner who received the future news. Perhaps Oracle News would send out a little ‘future prophecy’ news to match its name in the future, by an anonymous contributor who hid his identity.
“But not that, uh… no progress on the acquisition of another company?”
“He says there are no sales. I wonder if Vice President Jhang is picky about the terms…”
“Well, then I’ll have to say that he should relax the terms, not to take care of the synergy, but just take it over if there is a decent company.”
“Yes. I’ve succeeded in making this investment. I’ll be a little aggressive.”
I decided to buy two companies to qualify for Master Class, even if they were rather expensive. The assets of Invictus Investment were going to be over three hundred million dollars, as was used in the article, and I was rolling around a hundred and fifty million. To be exact, there were less than fifty million in my personal accounts. I was earning enough money now, but if I were to upgrade here one more time, I’d have to upgrade to a higher grade, as well…
The car stopped for a moment at the intersection of Shinnonhyeon Station. It was almost at my apartment.
“So what else is our schedule for this week and next week? Is there another thing I’ll have to come to work for?”
“You don’t have to come to work… but you have to go to Seoul City Hall.”
“I told you last week. There’s an award ceremony Seoul City wants to give you next Wednesday.”
“Oh, yes, you did. Will the ceremony be at Seoul City Hall?”
I said, putting my fingers on my head, “Well… I didn’t expect to get a prize at my age.”
Our company recently received an award, as it had been selected as a model case for the Youth Job Creation Project hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. It was none other than Joo Sung-won, the incumbent Seoul Mayor. It was a funny coincidence that I had made a lot of money on the theme of the Seoul Mayor in the past.
Vice President Jang had said, “As you may know, even if I do not have to say it, current Seoul Mayor Joo Sung-won is considered the top candidate for the next presidential election. His approval rating has been rising even more recently.”
Mayor Joo Sung-won’s approval rating had risen further recently. I didn’t know whether he was doing well in municipal administration or not, but it seemed true that the rumors that had made the whole nation shake during the last Seoul mayoral vote last year were rather beneficial.
“Please meet him and make sure to open a relationship with him. Mayor Joo Sung-won was reportedly surprised at the CEO’s investment performance, and more, at your age.” Jang told me, ‘If you want to succeed in Korea, you have to be close to politicians to some extent.”
He seemed to say even more under his words. Frankly, I didn’t like the fact in itself, but in reality, I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to be held back by government officials and politicians for nothing, either in investment or in business.
‘Well, I’m going to go say hello, and I’m sure I’ll have an acquaintance with him… I don’t know how he’ll help me later. Who knows if he will be president two years from now? It’s a good start. We’ll meet as an award-giver and an award-receiver.’
While I was thinking about this and that, Secretary Seo drove the car into our parking lot.
“Well, you did a good job.”
“Don’t mention it! Goodbye.”
I got out of the car and took the elevator. My apartment was now something I was quite used to, and it really felt like ‘my home’. If I wanted to spend money, I might be able to move to a place like a luxury villa in Seocho-dong, or a rich town in Hannam-dong, but I felt most comfortable paying rent here.
At the sound, I came out of the elevator and promptly ran into my landlord, Lee Ah-young. She had jeans and pink knitwear on, and was holding a big bag containing picture materials. She looked like a graduate student at a college of art.
I bowed my head first and said, “Hello.”
She, too, bowed slightly to me and replied, “Hello!”
‘It won’t happen again’. As she had said, after she had slept at my apartment before,
she had never been so drunk again.
“Are you going to school?” I asked her briefly.
She said, “Yes,” and passed by, leaving the word behind.
‘Well, she begged me for help, but I didn’t do anything for her, so did she get upset?’
But there was no way I could help. There was a rather intense encounter, but we now felt like we were back in an ordinary relationship.
‘Well… maybe this is normal…’ I entered my apartment with such a thought.
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