Chapter 59

Kang Ho-Soo hesitated for a moment, thinking about how to answer Hwang Yi-Young’s question. The story about Woo-Jin’s family affairs was akin to a makjang drama, and Kang Ho-Soo was unsure of talking about it in Woo-Jin’s absence. [1] However, he felt that Hwang Yi-Young should know a little more of the inside information, so he finally said something, “He did, but not anymore.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Woo-Jin’s paternal family didn’t run a conventional conglomerate, but they were still very well-off and successful; the business passed down from generation to generation had also been solid. Woo-Jin’s biological father, who had inherited the business, was a good businessman, and the family business had prospered under his leadership. He had also started a new business on top of that and was currently on a roll. 

However, there’s no such thing as a human who’s perfect in all aspects, as one could tell by looking at Woo-Jin’s biological father. After getting a divorce, Woo-Jin’s biological father remarried shortly after. His new wife was a docile woman coming from a rather good family. She had given birth to a son the following year, but she couldn’t stand the marriage any longer and got a divorce five years later because of the continued extramarital affair by Woo-Jin’s biological father with the same mistress. 

“So, his wife from his third marriage is the biological mother of Woo-Jin’s half-sister.” 

“His mistress has finally become his lawful wife?” 

“You can say that. However, the problem is that Woo-Jin’s younger brother… had passed away in a horseback riding accident last year.” All the problems stemmed from Woo-Jin’s younger brother’s death from the previous year. 

“In that case, that would mean Woo-Jin is the only son in the family now. Don’t tell me his biological father is suddenly trying to win him over by saying things like, ‘You’re my only son,’ etcetera. That’s not the case, right?” Hwang Yi-Young had a serious look as she continued saying how she had seen similar things in dramas. 

“Even though it’s not a drama, the reality is even worse. Additionally, I heard that his family is very patriarchal, and they value sons a lot more than daughters. That said, you never know. When Woo-Jin’s parents had gotten a divorce, not only did his father give up custody over their children but also gave up parental rights.”

When Park Eun-Soo had asked for a divorce, the most important thing that she couldn’t give up on was her parental rights and custody over Woo-Jin and Woo-Hee. Of course, it would be pointless to seek parental rights over Woo-Jin, who was now an adult, but from a symbolic and moral standpoint, his biological father was not qualified to do that. 

“This is absolutely ridiculous. He doesn’t care about his children or anything else when he’s crazy about a woman.”

“Hwang Yi-Young!” Kang Ho-Soo felt she had gone overboard and quietly restrained her. Aware of his intention, Hwang Yi-Young covered her mouth with both hands as she nodded. 

“Well, he’s been undergoing fertility treatments with his wife for the time being. If they succeed, Chae Woo-Jin won’t be in their lives, just like it’s always been. But if it fails….” Just thinking about it made his head hurt. Naturally, Woo-Jin would not waver or change his mind. It was more of a question of how the other side would act. If his biological father tried to act fatherly because of his need for Woo-Jin instead of genuine fatherly love, it would definitely hurt Woo-Jin. 

“We should be prepared to a certain extent.”

“I agree.”

“Come to think of it, I feel that Woo-Jin’s half-sister is kind of pitiful. Her presence must have been unwelcomed in her stepmother’s eyes, being labeled as an illegitimate child, and as a result, might have gone through some kind of trauma during her adolescence.” After hearing what the kindhearted Hwang Yi-Young said, Kang Ho-Soo couldn’t hold back his laughter and burst out laughing. They were sitting quite a distance away from the set, so it did not affect the shooting, but he quickly covered his mouth, stifling his laughter. 

“Pitiful? Her?” It might be pure speculation or prejudice, but when Kang Ho-Soo had taken a look at her social media accounts, he had a feeling that she had made use of her half-brother’s death to create a pitiful image for herself, similar to what she had done with Woo-Sa. Perhaps her mother’s former acting profession had influenced her, which could explain why she was very good at putting on an act. 

“You know that she’s the same age as Woo-Hee, right?” When Hwang Yi-Young nodded, Kang Ho-Soo proceeded to tell her all about the 18-year-old girl’s splendid life. 

Woo-Hee and that girl’s birthdays were only three months apart. So, after the divorce, without any explanations, people had naturally assumed she was Woo-Hee. It had been a reasonable conclusion regardless of her name, considering her age when she was living in the house. 

After the couple had gotten divorced, the father lived with his daughter, while the wife lived with their son. Usually, in most cases, it was the other way around. Even though people thought it was strange, nobody intervened or questioned anything, as it wasn’t their family affair. And Woo-Jin’s paternal family hadn’t bothered correcting other people’s misunderstandings either. 

After years had passed, the girl was naturally regarded as the daughter of his first wife. And after her father married for the third time, her biological mother had become her legal mother, except nobody knew that they were already related by blood. This was a much better outcome than tainting his family’s name with his extramarital affair and illegitimate child. 

“As long as people don't purposely look into it like CEO Jang did, then there's no way that child will suffer. Even though it’s going to be hard for her to marry into an esteemed family that nitpicks everything since she’s an illegitimate child, she still has a net worth of millions of dollars at such a young age. People like us are not in any position to say she’s pitiful.” 

Kang Ho-Soo truly felt that with millions of dollars worth of property in her name at her age, she probably wouldn’t mind being labeled as an illegitimate child by her father’s family. Hwang Yi-Young was shocked by what Kang Ho-Soo said and repeatedly mumbled millions of dollars with a spiritless smile. 

“He was truly crazy about a woman to the point… crazy bastard.” 

Even though she did not know everything about Woo-Jin’s past, she knew he had struggled financially. She wondered to herself, Even though he was so heartless to his wife, did he really have to put his children through hell as well?’ She also had a prejudiced thought of whether well-educated people from wealthy families were all like that. Hwang Yi-Young had a lot on her mind. That said, it didn’t mean that Woo-Jin was unhappy now, so there was no reason for her to be depressed. 

“Woo-Sa!” After hearing Hwang Yi-Young call its name, Woo-Sa glanced at her before immediately turning its head away. The arrogant Woo-Sa only looked at Woo-Jin the entire time, and although it was cold to Hwang Yi-Young, it was a warm and friendly cat towards Woo-Jin alone. 

“Everyone has a cat but me….” [2]

This was what we called a tragedy. 

***

After they were done shooting, Woo-Jin spent some time with Woo-Sa during their short break. As a senior cat with arthritis, it was evident that Woo-Sa struggled with moving around a lot. However, it liked being petted by Woo-Jin as they sat still or simply stared into each other’s eyes without moving. Hwang Yi-Young, who did not have a cat, spared no effort taking photos of them, as she lived vicariously through him.

‘Coordinator Hwang’ uploaded a post to Wish Baragi in real-time. She added photos and videos to the post that told the story about Woo-Jin and Woo-Sa’s fateful reunion after 12 years of separation. There were photos of Woo-Sa’s back view, as it stared at Woo-Jin while he was in the middle of shooting, as well as Woo-Sa sleeping peacefully in Woo-Jin’s arms, and so on. Hwang Yi-Young had also uploaded a video of Woo-Sa pawing Woo-Jin’s foot in response to her question – ‘Woo-Sa, where’s Woo-Jin?’ 

— It’s been 12 years since it last saw him, and yet it still remembers him. Animals are better than people. 

— Judging from the pictures, you can really tell it’s a senior cat. Hmm… perhaps it’s because I’m a bitter person, but isn’t it obvious why the old cat had been roaming around the streets for days? People are truly horrible. There should be attachment and affection after raising the cat for so many years though. 

— After reading this post, I went to look for a post uploaded by a Glooming Day staff member a month ago on his social media account. It was during the get-together after they had wrapped up the filming in Busan. He said in the post that Genie saw a stray cat and became concerned about the cat he had when he was younger. He said that he hoped it was still alive despite its old age… Ah, let me wipe my tears away.

└ By the way, that cat is clearly a British Shorthair, right? That’s the same breed as the one in the drawing on the Slipper Young Man’s suitcase. 

└ It is, right? We’ve already come to the conclusion that Woo-Jin is the Slipper Young Man. The problem is, how do we make it sound plausible to the general public? It’s not going to be easy at all. T_T

— You’ll meet whoever you’re destined to meet, and the truth will be out one day. Our dear Genie, who has been blessed by destiny, will be alright!!

└ The commenter above me! Previously, you said that Genie ended up on Glooming Day because of destiny. You must really like destiny. Hahaha.

└ I do think it’s fate though. Glooming Day had more than 5 million viewers, though 6 million would be pushing it. Nonetheless, who could have imagined that movie to be so successful? The movie he debuted in hit 10 million viewers, and the movie which everybody assumed would be a flop, ended up becoming a masterpiece, so it’s fate. 

Naturally, there were several comments about various things under Woo-Sa’s post. His fans were delighted with Glooming Day’s success, and their anticipation for the drama he was currently shooting had been growing day by day. Even though there were concerns about The Blue Castle’s Master which would be aired at the same time, ultimately, everybody stood united and agreed it was all about quality rather than viewership ratings, and reminded everyone not to miss it. 

Also, thanks to Glooming Day, Woo-Jin had been able to secure middle-aged fans and not just the young ones. There was an aspect of Glooming Day that subtly stimulated nostalgia for one’s younger days. The schooling days in his youth, his subtle longing for his passionate first love, as well as his gratitude for his spouse in the present — this all had contributed to the film’s success. 

Naturally, it had started with the Barags, who had gone to see the movie at the theater with their parents, so it wasn’t that hard for them to include their parent fans to watch the drama when it aired. As the authority to decide what to watch on TV, their mothers’ support was paramount. 

Meanwhile, another topic had come up in Wish Baragi. 

<Hi everybody! The unlucky fan strikes again. Today, my grandmother went to the clinic and ran into a celebrity, so she took a photo with him and sent it to me. It turned out to be Genie! She even got an autograph from him. My grandmother looked at Genie and said, ‘How can anybody be so handsome and kind?’ And all the other elderly folks flocked to him and took photos with him. She said he had even signed autographs for them with his injured hand. 

I was brokenhearted when Fashion Coordinator Hwang said that Genie had injured himself in the morning and went to the clinic, but just looking at the photo of Genie with my grandmother made me extremely happy. Originally, my mom was going to take my grandmother to the clinic today but couldn’t accompany her because of work. And now, my mom feels very disappointed. I guess you’ll have good luck if you’re filial. 

But my grandmother has been saying something ridiculous – that Genie looks a lot like my oldest brother, but my brother looks like a toad. Even though he’s family, I can’t defend and cover up the fact that he looks like a toad…. Genie doesn’t know that, but still, I’m sorry.>

— Needlessly to say, Woo-Jin looks amazing, but your grandmother is very beautiful too. I want to see the other photos he had taken with the other elderly folks. 

— As expected, Genie oppa is kind to the elderly~!

— Your grandmother is so beautiful that I can’t imagine her grandson looking like a toad. According to Fashion Coordinator Hwang, his hand is only a little swollen, but I’m worried about Woo-Jin because he has to work with Production Director Park Jong-Hyuk. I hope he doesn’t make Genie do questionable or dangerous things. I’ll be praying every day in front of a bowl of jeonghwasoo[3]

└ I’ve already been praying. 

└ Count me in. 

— He’ll be shooting action scenes up until tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t get any more injuries and the shooting ends safely. 

— Production Director Park! If you make our Genie do questionable things, I really won’t let it go. I’ll use all my experience as an anti-fan and take you down! 

After looking at the comments on Wish Baragi, Hwang Yi-Young sighed and said Woo-Jin had already done something questionable by working together with Production Director Park. For some reason, she too felt like praying in front of a bowl of jeonghwasoo tonight. 


1. Makjang drama is an exaggerated over-the-top drama with unrealistic, ridiculous, and abnormal situations being the norm. Common storylines can include birth secrets, extreme revenge plots, twisted relationships, etc.

2. The phrase used here is ‘나만 없어 고양이’, which people say when they see a cute cat.

3. 정화수 or jeonghwasoo is the freshest and cleanest water drawn from the well at dawn. Traditionally, Koreans often prayed in front of a bowl of freshly drawn water which symbolizes the most divine and purest offering.

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