Hae-gang climbed the stairs, and Director Han and his secretary were guided by the lady of the house to sit on the sofa.
“It’s been a while. Have you been well all this time?” Hae-gang asked.
“Yes, Director Han. I hope you’ve been in good health too. It’s been quite a while for Mr. Bum-Woo as well. I’m afraid I might forget your faces, all of you.”
“Well, this darn company never seems to slow down. It looks like I’m just living off my work these days,” Director Han replied, chuckling.
While Director Han and the lady of the house exchanged laughter and gossip, his secretary was busy sampling the snacks the lady had provided.
“So, how’s work been these days? It seems like you’re not the talkative type, ma’am. You must get bored.”
The lady of the house subtly caught the meaning behind Director Han’s words hidden beneath the surface. Perhaps it was because they had known each other since her first day at the company that he could see right through her facade.
“Director Han, are you curious about our lady of the house?”
“To be honest, yes. That damn CEO never tells us anything.”
The secretary’s eyes widened at the harsh words that came out of Director Han’s mouth. He quickly glanced up the staircase and lowered his voice.
“Director Han, what’s the point if our lady hears you?”
“The time it takes for a woman to prepare for an outing is not that short, Mr. Bum-Woo,” Director Han replied firmly.
The secretary hesitated, saying, “But still…” but the lady of the house smiled softly.
“What do you even know about me?”
She pushed the basket of snacks toward the secretary and continued, “But Director Han, he’s not as dull as he seems. Despite his appearance, he’s quite skilled at handling people.”
“Really?” the lady feigned surprise.
Director Han pictured the face he had seen earlier in his mind. He had only glimpsed it briefly, but it wasn’t as calm and quiet as he had initially thought.
“Lately, she’s been insisting on entering the kitchen to learn how to cook. She says she can handle it, but if you leave her alone, she’ll hurt herself or break dishes. I can’t take my eyes off her for a moment,” Director Han added.
“It’s surprising,” she said.
“Yeah, and then she looks at me with a face full of worry, as if it’s all written in her eyes. ‘What should I do about this?’ she asks,” Director Han replied.
The subsequent conversation continued with cheerful anecdotes. The lady of the house seemed to be proudly sharing stories about her like a doting parent, and Director Han quietly listened. Like all parental bragging sessions, it felt like a tedious time, with the secretary showing more interest in the snacks he was munching on.
Eventually, he decided to try one of the individually packaged snacks, but this time, he heard a different tone in the voice, tinged with concern.
“Still, those moments are precious. These days, she hardly ever comes out of the bedroom, and it worries me. I wonder if something unpleasant has happened.”
With a somewhat worried gaze directed upstairs, the lady of the house sighed heavily. Director Han also followed her gaze, realizing that, given the way Woo-jin had sent him here without uttering a word about his wife, it must be more than a trivial matter, maybe even a national secret concealed.
“Mr. Bum-Woo, I have a feeling that the task you’ve taken on today won’t be easy. Stay vigilant.”
Whatever it was, all Bum-Woo had to do was complete the task assigned by Woo-Jin. A task that had gone from his superior giving orders to him, a task involving the delicate art of appeasing his boss’s wife.
“I’m sorry. Did I take too long?”
Hae-gang descended to the first floor and approached the group engaged in conversation. Director Han, who had just put down his teacup, stood up politely and replied, “Not at all, Madam. Please, don’t worry.”
Realizing there was one person missing, Hae-gang looked around. Director Han, having guessed what she was looking for, resolved her curiosity. “Your secretary is waiting outside with the car.”
“Oh, I see. Shall we go then?”
Seeing Hae-gang’s intention to leave, Director Han, who had already put on his shoes, opened the front door for her.
Hae-gang, who had experienced similar treatment at Moon-Ik, didn’t feel particularly uncomfortable. She casually nodded her head and exited, giving a polite nod to the lady of the house. Director Han followed her.
As she stepped into the waiting car through the door opened by the secretary, Hae-gang placed her hand on her racing heart. She had come out as Woo-jin wished, but it still didn’t sit well with her. Anxiety and restlessness gripped her hands.
“Madam, is there any specific place you’d like to go?” Director Han inquired.
“No, not really.”
“Then, please have a look at what we’ve prepared.”
Sitting in the passenger seat, Director Han turned and handed her a tablet. On the screen were various high-end clothing and accessories.
“I’ve heard about the areas that you’re uncomfortable with from the CEO. So, we’ve prepared a VIP private shopping experience at Haesung Department Store. Would that be acceptable?”
If it took place in a private room, there would be no need to encounter others. Hae-gang nodded in agreement.
“Would you prefer that no department store staff enter the room?”
In case she had to change her clothes, her scars should be visible to as few people as possible. Of course, the staff entering the room would have received training in advance, but there was always a possibility.
“Yes, please convey that. I’d like to choose from the products available there.”
“Once you make your selections, they will be ready before we arrive.”
Deciding to focus on the tablet to distract herself from her current situation, Hae-gang turned her attention to it. The secretary proved his driving skills as the car moved smoothly without any sudden stops or noises.
After browsing through the available products and relieving her sore neck with a quick stretch, Hae-gang spotted their destination in the distance.
The car entered the department store smoothly at a favorable traffic signal and pulled up in front of the entrance. A staff member who had been waiting for them opened the door.
“Thank you for visiting Haesung Department Store, Madam. Please follow me; I will guide you.”
Following the staff’s guidance, Hae-gang entered the private room and removed her sunglasses. Inside, she found a selection of items, including those she had picked earlier, hanging on the racks. Although she wasn’t particularly interested if this could put Woojin’s mind at ease, why not? Hae-gang decided to take a quick look around.
“Madam, CEO Woo-jin is calling.”
Director Han, who had entered the room with her, handed her the phone. Hae-gang listened closely to Woojin’s voice on the other end.
“Ms. Dawn, today, let’s try being a bit materialistic and extravagant.”
“Sure, I’m good at that.”
Her quick response without much thought made Woo-jin chuckle on the other end.
“Don’t lie. Since you don’t seem to care much about your clothes, I’ll give you a mission.”
“Pick one gift for yourself. Something that suits your taste, my wife.”
Hae-gang’s hand, which had been casually touching a mannequin’s clothing, froze. With a teasing tone, Woo-jin continued, “Take your time to choose carefully. Something that suits you.”
On the other end of the phone, the sound of a pen scratching paper came through. Despite his busy schedule, she didn’t want to brush off his thoughtful gesture, so Hae-gang pushed aside the nightmares that had haunted her last night.
“Well, Min Woojin can make anything look good.”
“Thank you for saying that, but still, I need your input.”
He spoke firmly and politely, though the word “input” didn’t seem to quite fit. Nevertheless, she could clearly understand what he wanted.
“Okay, then. I’ll enjoy spending some money and relieving stress. No complaints later if I exceed the limit.”
“That’s what I hoped for.”
After the call ended, Hae-gang handed the phone back to Director Han, her expression completely different from earlier. She mentally started compiling a list of potential gifts.
“Please change all these clothes into men’s attire.”
Even with the sudden request, Director Han didn’t show any signs of confusion. After Hae-gang left the room and returned a little later, racks of men’s clothing were brought in one by one.
Watching the process of changing the racks while still wearing her sunglasses, Hae-gang stopped one of the departing staff members to ask, “Could you tell me if there are any perfume brands available in this department store?”
“Of course, Madam.”
Once all the staff had left, Hae-gang began her exploration in earnest. Although the situation wasn’t ideal, it didn’t mean she had no interest in shopping. She found it enjoyable.
When it came to her style, she preferred something more glamorous than understated, something adorned rather than restrained. Being from the prestigious Seoga Media family, she had spent a considerable amount on items like bags, shoes, and jewelry.
“Min Woojin, you made a big mistake with this,” she muttered to herself with a wry smile. If he wanted her to look her best, she would gladly comply.
With an empty rack at her disposal, Hae-gang started selecting items, starting with shirts and gradually filling the rack. Her scrutinizing eyes assessed fabrics and details, while her hands moved swiftly. Having Director Han present meant she didn’t have to call Woojin to inquire about sizes, avoiding an awkward situation.
It didn’t take long for the rack to be filled to the brim. When Director Han called for the staff to bring in the requested perfume brands and their product lists, Hae-gang had already shifted her attention to a pair of loafers.
“Here is the list of perfume brands you mentioned. If you’d like to sample them, I can arrange that.”
Hae-gang, who was perusing the list of brands, pointed to one name on the paper with a nod.
“No, there’s no need. I’d like only the ‘Silk of Sweet Flag’ perfume from this brand, and please gift-wrap it.”
While the wrapped perfume was on its way, Hae-gang handed over the loafers to Director Han and picked out a watch and a tie. Watching the entire process, Director Han cautiously inquired, “It seems like everything is for the CEO, but Madam, do you…”
“I don’t need anything.”
There might come a moment when she has to choose to leave that house. Increasing her possessions now would only complicate things later.
After the mountain of shopping bags had been moved by the staff, Hae-gang left the private room without any lingering attachments. She had only taken a few steps when a voice called her from behind.
If you want to support the Lunar Letters team, you can do so by pledging to us on Patreon and get to read advanced chapters of our novels! (Note: Patreon is not compulsory. Patrons can read ahead, but chapters will still be released to the public at a later date. This is only one way to financially support the team and keep the site running. Thank you very much!)
Browse our table of contents or Become a patron now!