He’d been to the cocktail bar all week, but this was the first time he’d seen him. Nonetheless, the bartender’s ‘Mr. Woo’ call was not awkward. A bartender’s ability to make a stranger feel like an old friend was good quality.
Seung-joon fixed his gaze on the bartender, who wasn’t bad at all. The bartender sighed and poured another glass of whiskey.
“I said it clearly.”
The bartender tapped his fingertips across the whiskey glass’s lips.
“If you drink this, you will die.”
Indeed, he was a man who was engaged in a profession with a tendency for alcohol. As he said, Seung-joon’s alcohol consumption exceeded his lethal dose.
He was sure he’d pass out after this one drink. It was a line that had never been crossed before. Before taking the glass of wine, Seung-joon paused for a moment. The wedding ring was placed in the glass.
Looking at this, alcohol did not solve the problem, nor did it help him to forget. Ji-an’s voice echoed dizzyingly and gradually amplified in his head.
‘Know this in advance when you meet the next person. That person is marrying you for your money.’
It was just a venomous remark to provoke him, but Seung-joon didn’t believe Ji-an would decide to get married based on his wealth. He was a man of strong self-esteem.
Ji-an stated that he liked Seung-joon because he was a regular person. He was like a floating cloud in the glamorous entertainment industry, but he led a simple life. Seung-joon fell in love with that pure side as well.
‘It’s impossible to love you, hyung.’
He suspected that the last words he spoke were not sincere. At least not before. Ji-an had eventually given up on trying to love Seung-joon. He couldn’t figure out why. Seung-joon had no idea when or why Ji-an had changed.
“If you die, you will be reborn.”
It was bland nonsense, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t in his mind at all.
Seung-joon wished he could go back in time. He wished he could start over. He wanted to be the man Ji-an once loved. The issue was that he had no idea what kind of person that was. He had no idea that being reborn as someone other than Woo Seung-joon would be advantageous in this situation. The bartender scoffed.
“Ah, that’s too bad. It is not easy to be born as a person like Director Woo.”
Seung-joon just lived the way he was born and never considered himself lucky. Seung-joon believed that a better fate should be bestowed upon him, and he had no desire to live another life. As a result, he never took anything for granted. Only On Ji-an made Seung-joon want to be someone other than himself for the first time in his life.
“If you are born again, is there anyone you would like to become Director Woo?”
‘Something like an alpha eight years younger than me.’
Ji-an’s voice lingered in Seung-joon’s mind. Seung-joon took the drink. He drank everything in one mouthful. His distorted lips emitted a pitiful sincerity.
“The man that On Ji-an wants.”
He slammed the empty glass on the table.
Drunkenness hit his whole body like an alcohol shock.
Seung-joon shook the driver’s hand as he tried to get him into the car. His consciousness gradually faded as he walked. It was a food alley with flashy signs before he closed his eyes, but when he opened his eyes, he was on a bridge with cars passing by.
He felt dizzy and closed his eyes. When Seung-joon was hit, he staggered and opened his eyes. When he regained consciousness, he was bumping into random passers-by with umbrellas. It rained like there was a hole in the sky.
He was barely walking on the sidewalk’s edge. A car horn sounded piercingly loud. One of his feet fell onto the road beneath the sidewalk while he was rubbing his ear with his wrist. To avoid falling, he automatically tumbled his steps. He gave a blank stare, unable to even consider avoiding the headlights of the car in front of him because it seemed unrealistic.
The car that narrowly missed Seung-joon stumbled in the rain and honked twice. He could feel the passing of a large car. He was losing his balance. His vision went white as if struck by lightning the moment he felt the ground turn upside down.
He thought he was going to die.
It appeared that what the person said about him dying was right. It took him less than a half-second to recall his most recent memory, which from him dating back to when he was a year old. The memories turned into a sense of death that swept over his body.
The bartender’s warning, ‘If you drink this, you will die.’ He shouldn’t have drunk his last drink, and then someone grabbed Seung-joon’s shoulder roughly and pulled him.
“Hey, you bastard! Do you want to get hit!”
Seung-joon lost his mind in the abyss and awoke with a heavy breath as if he had just been pulled from the water. Seung-joon turned to face the man screaming at him, gasping for air in shock.
“What’s your parents’ number!?”
He was past the age of searching for his parents because he was drunk and had passed out in the early evening. Seung-joon lacks the energy to be confused or to express gratitude, so he stumbles out of the place and pushes the man away with one arm.
It was a mystery how Seung-joon got to Jang Ki-do’s house in this state.
As soon as the front door of Secretary Jang’s house opened, Seung-joon grabbed his collar. Secretary Jang examined Seung-joon, who looked like a drowning mouse from head to toe.
Secretary Jang was never surprised by anything. Even when Seung-joon announced his marriage to Ji-an, he replied, ‘Then I’ll have to look for another job,’ with a dazed expression.
He was astounded to see Seung-joon’s wrinkled expression in his expensive mud-splattered suit. Not to mention Seung-joon’s crying expression, which didn’t suit him. Secretary Jang was startled when he met Seung-joon’s red bloodshot eyes.
“Get out before I call the police, you punk!”
Secretary Jang, who was grabbed by the collar, got water on half of his pajama top after Seung-joon came in from outside. It was a pajama with a pattern as bold as Secretary Jang’s favorite suit style.
Secretary Jang struggled like fighting a thief to get rid of Seung-joon. The more he did, the tighter Seung-joon’s grip on him became. Secretary Jang’s hand, which had been struggling with the low muttering call, stopped.
“Ki-do hyung, I can’t do it. I understand it now.”
“I can’t. Ki-do hyung, I can’t break up with him…”
Seung-joon lost his mind, and his strength was released at the same time. He simply went black and collapsed to his knees on the floor.
That was all, and now Seung-joon was looking in the mirror. This was the one who began yelling at Secretary Jang, ‘What the hell did you do to me!?’
Seung-joon eventually collapsed on the sofa, exhausted from looking in the mirror and running rampant around the house. From top to bottom of his chin, he covered his nose with his two palms. Even when he tried to hide his puzzled expression, the shock remained. Seung-joon looked over at Secretary Jang, who was leisurely sipping his morning coffee.
“Is there any way to fix this situation?”
He couldn’t have been that composed otherwise. Secretary Jang sips his coffee from his mug with a blank expression on his face.
“Not at all.”
“I asked just in case…! Ugh.”
Secretary Jang was always someone like this. He was as calm as a millpond when it came to someone else’s business. Seung-joon bravely turned to look in the mirror.
The reflection in the mirror was unmistakably Seung-joon, who had fallen while walking down the street. However, when he rubbed his eyes and looked closely, he appeared to be a different person.
His skin, which had been slightly brownish, had turned white and smooth, giving him an unfamiliar impression. Seung-joon, who was 30 years old, was muscular because he increased his exercise routine consciously, but at the age of 20, he was just a slim body with no weight to lose. As a result, the shape of the skeleton stretched out in a straight line was clearly revealed.
Even though his body was the same, his appearance had changed from when he was 36. He had been sharpening the expression on his face for the past ten years. Seung-joon also looked pretty when he was 20 years old, based on this.
Unless he compares a picture from 20 years ago to his face, the man in the mirror only looked like a young man who looked very similar to Seung-joon, who was 36. Even the secretary, who had grown up like a brother since the age of ten, pulled out his hair, claiming he needed to check the genes.
“Even if your appearance changes, there are many ways to prove that you are Seung-joon. There is genetic information and there is a pheromone test.”
“That’s not the problem now.”
It was a big deal to prove that this slimy youngster was Seung-joon. Seung-joon was a person who had to worry about the stock price even if he had a small scar on the edge of his eyebrow. He didn’t want to think about the consequences this would have. His identity as Seung-joon has to be kept hidden until he regained his original age.
He couldn’t even appear in this way in front of Ji-an. His head was spinning. Seung-joon creased his brows in concern and asked Secretary Jang,
“What about On Ji-an?”
“There’s nothing special after that.”
Meanwhile, Seung-joon had been receiving information about Ji-an’s whereabouts through Secretary Jang.