Chapter 993. Crank Up 9
Maru hung up and looked inside the shop. The awkward atmosphere looked like it was making even the plants dry to death. He opened the door and went inside.
“You should sing happy birthday.”
“We’re too old for that.”
Miyeon waved her hand in denial. Dongwook looked embarra.s.sed as well.
“It’s better than staying still doing nothing. As the youngest one here, I’ll light the candles and wear the cone hat.”
He took out the roll cake and stuck the candles in. Miyeon, who said she didn’t want to do it, didn’t hold him back. As the roll cake was rather small, he only put three long candles. When he put on the conical hat, which was a freebie, the two people sitting opposite him laughed at the same time.
“I’ll act cute in front of you elderly, so please stop with the cold war, and let’s bring back the peace and harmony. I’ll light it up now.”
He lit up a matchstick and lit the candles. The two people awkwardly looked down at the cake. If Maru let them act as they pleased, they might watch until the cake became covered in candle wax. He clapped and sang happy birthday. The two people did not sing along.
“Uhm, I’m going to sing this again and again.”
When he started singing again, Dongwook followed along, albeit awkwardly. Now, it was Miyeon’s turn. She hesitated before looking away slightly and laughing awkwardly.
“I can’t win against you, sheesh.”
After the happy birthday song, Miyeon blew out the candles.
“Since we sang the stereotypical happy birthday song, I should ask you the age-old question too, right? What did you wish for?”
“I heard that saying it out loud is no good.”
Miyeon took out the smoking candles and continued speaking,
“I wished that only happy things will happen from now on. I don’t want to experience those terrible things again.”
“I’m sure it’ll come true. You should make a wish too, hyung-nim.”
Dongwook twitched his lips before speaking — eat well and be happy. Miyeon glared at him, saying that she didn’t feel a shred of truth from that.
“Geez, you sure want a lot. Have some of this already.”
Dongwook sliced the cake with a plastic knife. Miyeon stood up, saying that she would bring some plates.
“I’ll get going now.”
Maru also stood up.
“Why? You should have some.”
“I’d love to, but I have something to attend to. You should eat by yourselves. Hyung-nim worked really hard this time. You should treat him to something good.”
He bowed to Miyeon, who looked at him with a look asking him to stay. Dongwook didn’t hold him back. It seemed that he realized that Maru truly had something important to attend to.
“Give me a call if something happens.”
Dongwook said those words before leaving. Maru left the shop and grabbed a taxi. The invitation was something he couldn’t reject. It wasn’t forced or anything, but the inviter was so charming that he wanted to meet that man even if he had to break his prior engagement. Though, Miyeon might have freaked out if she heard the name of the host.
The taxi stopped in front of Bukchon traditional town. Maru looked at the building on the other side of the road. Three black sedans were waiting in front of the large gate. Men who looked like security guards looked around.
“I apologize, but the reservation is full.”
When he walked up to the gate, a man in a suit politely informed him of that fact. Maru mentioned the name of the person inside, namely, lawyer Park Sunggoo. The man in the suit put his hand on his earpiece. He seemed to be checking immediately and soon guided him inside. Maru walked on the well-crafted road.
“A guest has arrived.”
A sliding door covered in old paper opened. Lawyer Park was sitting down right in front of the door. Maru greeted lawyer Park with his eyes and bowed to the chairman who was on the other side of the table.
“Yes, yes. Come in. I was worried that I called someone busy today.”
“Not at all.”
“Sit down first.”
He sat down next to lawyer Park. The food on the table was rather shabby. Some jeon, some sus.h.i.+, and some j.a.pchae were everything.
“You should order some more if you want it.”
“It’s okay. The liquor will taste worse if there’s too much to eat.”
“You know your stuff despite being young.”
The chairman held out a ceramic kettle. Maru unflipped the ceramic gla.s.s in front of him and grabbed it with both of his hands.
“Here, have some. You should have some too, lawyer Park.”
The chairman poured liquor into the two gla.s.ses and put down the kettle. Maru looked at lawyer Park. He asked who should pick up that kettle with his eyes. Lawyer Park smiled and grabbed his gla.s.s. He meant for Maru to pour it.
“Allow me to pour you a gla.s.s as well.”
He pressed the lid of the kettle and tilted it forward. He filled the chairman’s gla.s.s about halfway before tilting the kettle back up.
“Weren’t you puzzled since I called you suddenly?”
“It was rather puzzling because it was unexpected.”
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“I usually don’t make unscheduled appointments so suddenly, but you have piqued my interest, young Han. Let’s have a sip as a greeting for now.”
“And you aren’t that close, I gather?”
“That boy. He really doesn’t know who to befriend. I’ve always told him to get along with exceptional people and not some street thugs you can find anywhere, but he always has his runts around him. That’s what puts him at ease, because it covers up his flaws. The one who is supposed to be the true crane amongst cranes is practically chirping his greatness amidst crows. Though, I still let him be because what he does is cute.”
“I’m sure he’ll change once he experiences more of the world.”
“No, people do not change so easily. It’s one of my philosophies. That boy will ultimately gnaw away at the things I built up throughout his entire life. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’ll be happy as long as he grows up healthily. It’s just a bit of a pity. If my grandson was a talent just like my son is, YM will last another fifty years at least.”
At that time, lawyer Park’s phone started ringing. From how he didn’t put it on silent or off, it looked like it was a call he had to take.
“Chairman, allow me to leave for a little. It seems like the work I’m taking over has arrived already.”
“Go on, go on. Don’t mind me. It’s me who should be mindful of you.”
Lawyer Park left the room. Maru calmed his breath and looked at the chairman. It seemed true when he said that he called him here just to see his face. If he had any other intentions, he would have mentioned it already. The chairman was not someone who would be considerate of other people’s circ.u.mstances.
“I have told my grandson not to be hung up over some woman. Another man’s woman, no less.”
“Thank you for your consideration.”
“You too. Don’t be so at odds with him and get along. He’s my ugly duckling, but he’s my bloodline after all.”
“I’ll keep my heart open. If that fellow doesn’t hate me anymore, we’ll naturally get closer.”
“Well, I guess it would be strange of me to ask for any more than that.”
The chairman dipped a jeon in some soy sauce.
“Have you drunk with president Lee?”
“Many times, sir.”
“How am I compared to him? Are you enjoying drinking with me? Or is drinking with president Lee more enjoyable?”
“Had I known you better, it would definitely have been enjoyable.”
The chairman slapped the table with hearty laughter.
“True. Drinking with someone you don’t know is the most terrible way to drink. In that sense, I am indebted to you, young Han, and I settle my debts quickly. Now I’m obliged to treat you to something good to drink.”
 Korean drinking etiquette when drinking in front of elders.
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