This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
She woke up at the sound of rustling. She lifted her heavy eyelids and looked next to her. Maru was smiling at her while on his phone.
She wanted to ask what time it was, but she couldn’t speak. The heater in the car had drained all of the moisture. It was only after she drank some water given to her by Maru that she could make a voice.
“You were here the whole time?”
“I can’t just leave you behind. It hasn’t been that long either.”
Gaeul sat up and had a look at the clock. It was 1 p.m. She thought she dozed off for only a moment, but hours had passed already.
“What about the shoot?”
“I need to get going soon. How are you doing? You were coughing while sleeping.”
“My back is a bit sore, but other than that, I’m fine.”
She twisted her waist left and right while sitting. There was a satisfying cracking noise.
“Did you book a hotel?”
“No, I looked for a hotel where you can check in during the night, but I didn’t find any. There’s a few around the airport, but that’s far away.”
“Should I look into it? You can’t keep staying in the car.”
“I can do that much. Rather than that, you should get going. You’re going to be late.”
Gaeul let go of Maru’s hand. She was usually picky with where she slept, but she was able to sleep without waking up, perhaps thanks to Maru’s presence. Though, she was still tired since it was a light sleep she had in the car.
“It’s cold outside, so put this on. Also, your eye makeup is smudged now. Your lips too.”
Maru left the car, telling her to give him a call if something ever happened. Gaeul checked her face through the rearview mirror. Her lipstick had spread to her cheeks, and her eye shadow had smudged, making her look gloomy. She sighed. Although they were close enough to wake up together on the same bed with bloated faces, she did not want to show him such a side of her. She quite liked the makeup since she had it done for the award ceremony, too. She took out some makeup cotton and cleansing oil to wipe off the smudged bits. If Maru didn’t tell her about this, she would’ve walked to the hotel lobby looking like that.
She put on the zip-up hoodie Maru left her and got out of the car. When she met Giwoo early in the morning, it was so cold that her teeth were clattering, but right now, she felt like she didn’t need to pull up the zipper. It was probably thanks to the sun melting the chill and her lessened worries melting her heart. Back when she met Giwoo, she had a terrible headache. If she had to spend the past few hours by herself, she probably would’ve gotten sick.
She walked to the hotel where Maru was supposed to be staying. People holding filming equipment were getting into various vehicles. It seemed that they were about to depart. She was watching quietly from the other side of the road and saw Maru coming out. He was moving alongside a man and a woman, presumably actors. Behind them, she saw Giwoo getting into his van. It was the usual Kang Giwoo with none of the frosty expressions he showed early in the morning.
Gaeul looked at Giwoo getting into the van with her head tilted. She could endure everything else, but she could not handle something bad happening to Maru. If something bad ‘happened’ to Maru, she would ‘do’ something just as bad in return.
Praying that Giwoo would stay still, she waved her hand at the small bus that Maru got in. In a few days, she would also be joining that crew. According to the director’s words, she only had a minor role and she might not have more than one scene, but still, she liked it because she would be able to shoot alongside Maru. Having Kang Giwoo nearby was not something she wanted, but she couldn’t help that. It wasn’t like she was in a position to voice her opinions either.
She went to a café and ordered some warm tea before looking up nearby hotels on a hotel aggregation app. She looked up a place where she could check in immediately and reserved a room. After finishing the tea, she went to that hotel. Her clear consciousness became dreamy soon, perhaps thanks to the warm tea. She received the key card given to her by an employee at the counter and went to her room. She flicked her high heels away and rushed straight into bed.
“That’s a lot better.”
She missed a comfy duvet. She thought about sleeping just like that, but she decided to take a shower. She wiped off her makeup and let her body lose to the warm water pouring out from the shower head. Usually, she would’ve hummed a song or something, but she didn’t have the energy to do that today. She wiped her body and put on a bathrobe. The last remaining bit of tension disappeared into the air along with her sigh.
She got a call before she lay in bed. Mijoo kept shouting ‘unni’ in an excited voice like it was her salary day.
“Mijoo, I’m really tired right now.”
-I know. I’m sure you must be tired since you drove all the way to Ulsan to see your sweetheart. But now’s not the time to be sleeping. There’s big news.
-I knew a day like this would arrive. This is why people should lead a kind life.
Mijoo said that looking at the internet would be faster than her explaining. She got into a fuss about how Gaeul would have a great sleep if she saw it before sleeping.
While her eyelids were heavy, Gaeul used her phone to open up a browser. The first thing she saw when she saw the web portal was Lee Miyoon, which took up first place on the search term rankings. The second was procuress, while the third was prostitution in the entertainment industry.
Gaeul was rather taken aback. Maru had told her about this before, that Lee Miyoon would be punished. However, she did not know that Lee Miyoon would be at the center of attention so quickly. When she saw the articles about Hong Janghae, she was surprised, but when she looked at the ones about Lee Miyoon, she was shocked instead. It was probably because she had seen her face every single day at work for the past few months.
What she found out through the news was that the truth was graver than she had heard. The boy idol band ‘The Five,’ who became a hot topic in the entertainment industry a long time ago, was also brought to the table. From the amount of attention the mass media was paying to this, it didn’t look like a fire that would be put out anytime soon. The public was enraged at the other face of the actress once nicknamed the ‘national mother.’ The real-time social media responses provided by the web portals entered her eyes. If words could kill, Lee Miyoon would’ve died thousands of times already. Lee Miyoon’s agency did not take any action either. It seemed that they realized that this wasn’t something they could block.
Many things changed overnight. Gaeul felt refreshed, but at the same time, it didn’t feel real to her. Just yesterday, no, merely some several hours ago, she had been sitting at the same table as her. While she had faith that Maru would succeed, she was rather taken aback now that it actually happened. Actors she was close to sent her a barrage of text messages. Most of them said that they were happy to see Lee Miyoon getting punished. Some of her senior actors and producers texted her asking if it was her doing. They were those that had a close relationship with Lee Miyoon. While she didn’t feel like it was worth replying to them, she tapped on her screen to text them back:
I did not do it, but I applaud whoever did this.
After that, she did not get any more messages. They probably knew better than anyone that the situation didn’t allow them to stand up for her.
When she refreshed the page, there was another piece of news. It was that Lee Miyoon had collapsed and was transferred to a hospital. Was she pretending to be the CEO of a big business company with her acting skills? Or did she actually collapse? — Gaeul didn’t know for sure, but considering Lee Miyoon’s personality, it was likely that she fell without being able to overcome her anger. Since journalists should flock to the hospital, it wouldn’t take long for the truth to be out.
She wanted to watch the situation more, but she couldn’t win against her falling eyelids. Gaeul texted Maru to have fun at the shoot before putting her phone by her head.
“This looks pretty bad. Something like this isn’t on the level of rumors anymore,” said Kim Gyungjin as he put his phone in his pocket.
The shooting set, which was supposed to be busy preparing for the shoot, had come to a pause due to the untimely news. Some of them spoke their doubts about the situation, but those in the industry told them that the news was true, saying that Lee Miyoon’s infamy was an open secret in the industry.
“It’ll be noisy for a while,” Maru said as he put down his phone.
“Noisy won’t be the end of it. Honestly, everyone knew about the bad rumors around that senior. They just kept quiet because her background was too great. But hey, it’s kinda getting awkward to call her a senior now.”
Park Yoojung stroked her arms, saying that she had goosebumps. She also added that what Lee Miyoon did was unforgivable as a woman.
“I’m pretty sure this woman’s in several ongoing dramas. Looks like the writers for those are going to be in trouble.”
“Either her characters are killed or they migrate to a different country. This is totally shameful. This is why you shouldn’t commit crimes. You put people around you in a difficult spot too.”
Gyungjin and Yoojung clicked their tongues at the same time. As the symbolism contained by ‘Actress Lee Miyoon’ was great, the atmosphere at the shoot also became rather messy. Many people even called around to check if the news was true. Maru looked at Giwoo, who was standing next to the camera director. He was fidgeting with his phone with a worried face, just like everyone else.
While he was sure that Giwoo must have lost his composure during his encounter with Gaeul early in the morning, he wasn’t the type of guy to show it during work. Even if he felt terrible inside, he should not do anything that goes against the atmosphere.
He locked eyes with Giwoo for a moment. Usually, he would wave back with a smile, but today, he quietly turned away. Maru was sure that he had lost his composure. Since Hong Janghae was about to get arrested, he would have to do the deed himself, but that wasn’t so easy either, so he must be feeling rather uneasy.
Kang Giwoo never took direct action himself. At least, within the scope of Maru’s knowledge. He was good at toying with people with words, but how would he be when it comes to using the body? It shouldn’t be easy for him to dip his feet into the case himself and come face-to-face with his opponent. The sense of realism given to him by the distance should be considerable pressure on him. Without the sharp weapon known as Hong Janghae, Kang Giwoo was a pretty easy opponent to deal with.
“Giwoo looked sick today,” Yoojung said.
Gyungjin also agreed.
“Maybe he had a nightmare,” Maru said as he picked up his script.
You can also listen on bestnovel.org