The first thing he did when he woke up from sleep was open the windows.
The first thing that he saw was ‘Woofie’ biting and causing a mess with a roll of toilet paper.
She was practically a rhythm gymnast with a ribbon.
When they met eyes, the dog whimpered in a low voice before letting go of the roll from her mouth.
Her eyes and gestures strongly claimed that she did nothing wrong.
The toilet paper rolled until it hit an empty beer can.
There were bowls with leftover food wrapped in plastic bags as well as empty glasses and empty cans lined up like an orchestra.
If any music was played it would be a pathetic symphony, and the bottle of champagne that was standing up would be Tchaikovsky.
The culprits that caused this mess left during the night.
Those who left were probably sleeping in satisfaction by now.
Even Gaeul, who was going to stay with him, left at midnight after being contacted by her manager.
She said that her schedule had changed.
“Hey, come here.”
He had Woofie sit down and placed the roll of toilet paper she was just playing with in front of him.
She declared her innocence as she rolled her big eyes around, but when Maru stared at her, she rolled onto her back and started acting cute.
It seemed that she had switched lanes after seeing that her right to stay silent didn’t work.
Maru couldn’t exactly vent his anger on an animal he couldn’t get through to.
Maru showed her the toilet roll once again and told her not to bite on it.
Whether the dog understood was a mystery though.
He opened the door to the balcony and started cleaning.
After cleaning the living room and the kitchen that made his heart feel unsettled, he felt a lot more relieved.
He sprayed Febreeze everywhere in his house while seriously considering a no-entry rule.
As for breakfast, he just ate some cereal.
Woofie changed her expression as soon as she heard cereal being poured and quickly approached Maru before wagging her tail.
She was incredibly quick at times like this that it was to the point that it made Maru wonder whether she really had an injured leg.
“Yeah, you need to eat too, don’t you?”
Her name became ‘Woofie’ yesterday.
When Chaerim asked what the dog’s name was, he replied that there wasn’t one yet, and suddenly, the game turned into a name-the-dog.
As they were all drunk, they each came up with a name, but there was nothing suitable.
James Bond, Dog Meat, Ssamjang, Nameless, Smartie; there was even a Han Maru among them.
For about thirty minutes, everyone used ‘Han Maru.’ If Maru didn’t interrupt midway by telling them that it was absolutely not happening, the dog’s name would have become ‘Han Maru.’ After a bout of conversation, they decided on Woofie.
They couldn’t care less at that point.
For Maru, Woofie was much better than ‘Han Maru,’ and that was selected.
He didn’t want to hear ‘Han Maru’s peeing’ whenever the dog did.
“They thought a lot about it, so don’t be too disappointed.”
Woofie didn’t even seem interested in what Maru was saying because she was too absorbed in eating.
After petting her head once, Maru brewed some coffee.
He enjoyed his leisure after embracing the peace that came to his house.
It was a peaceful Sunday only allowed to an actor who had one official schedule.
The film that featured Geunsoo was introduced in a movie critic program that played in the morning.
While watching the host introduce the movie with great talking skills, he grabbed his phone.
He remembered the conversation he had with Geunsoo yesterday.
He looked for Dongwook’s name and pressed the call button.
The signal didn’t last that long.
-A call from you on Sunday morning, huh.
That’s a first.
“Sometimes, I should try to switch things up.
Are you busy?”
-If I was busy on a Sunday, I wouldn’t be able to live.
What are you doing?
“I just finished cleaning and was watching TV.”
-You’re too much of a clean freak for a guy living alone.
Is it still as desolate as before? I mean, with a single sofa in the living room.
“There are a couple vases now.
Though, they aren’t mine.”
-What do you mean they aren’t yours?
“It belongs to the one who warms my side.”
-Did you finally get a girl?
“Yes, I finally got one.”
If you don’t want to grow old alone like me, you should date early and get married.
If you have time later, introduce her to me.
“I think you saw her once at least.”
“I’ll tell you the specifics when we meet up.”
-Does that mean you’re coming to see me?
“As long as you aren’t busy and have the time to hang out with a free young man like me.”
-I thought you just got a girlfriend.
Why would you meet me on a golden Sunday like this?
“Because she’s busy with work.
How about it? Let’s go fishing together after a long time.
The last time we went fishing was when I just finished my military service, and we haven’t gone since then, did we?”
-This is why I can’t help but like you.
Shall we go to Daebudo?
“I’ll bring the car, so lend me some gear.”
-I’ll give you the one I bought last time.
I tamed it, so it should be easy to use.
“I’ll go over to your house after getting some ramyun and a portable stove.”
He loaded the luggage in his car and headed to Dongwook’s house.
He saw Dongwook wearing a backpack in front of the apartment complex.
“I wanted to get a breather too.
I was almost getting fed up with going by myself.”
“Is the celibacy you were praising so much finally coming to an end?”
“It’s just a figure of expression.
If I get married, I won’t even be able to go fishing.
Heck, I found my friends pitiful when they were dragged to theme parks and whatnot every weekend looking like zombies.”
When Dongwook got in the passenger seat, Maru could smell a faint scent of cigarettes.
He didn’t say anything and just started the car.
The car eventually left Gangnam expressway and entered Western Coast expressway.
“Are you smoking again?”
He brought up the topic.
Dongwook, who was boasting about his fishing photo, brushed up his hair in an awkward fashion.
“Do I smell?”
You didn’t smoke at all after you quit.”
I tried not to smoke, but my mouth kept feeling itchy.”
“Did something happen?”
I just missed smoking.”
Maru no longer brought up the topic of smoking until they arrived at Daebudo.
The way he looked down at his hand before throwing his gaze outside the window made it look as though Dongwook was trying to hide the reason he started smoking again.
Urging a person who was trying to hide the reason was practically asking them to keep it even more of a secret.
He brought up the topic, so Dongwook would probably talk about it once he felt that it was necessary.
If he kept his silence, they could just have a blast fishing together and return home.
“There’s quite a lot of people.”
He parked his car in the port of Heungseon-ri and got out.
Dongwook, who was looking around, found a spot a little away from the port.
There was a wave of salty smell from the sea.
They opened their portable chairs and set up their fishing rods.
“I’m getting hungry.
Let’s cook the ramyun.”
“We just sat down together.
We should put a fish in the ramyun at least.
I mean, we came all the way here.”
“Ramyun tastes the best when it’s cooked by itself.”
They cooked some ramyun as soon as they grabbed a spot.
Although Maru said what he said, his stomach was craving more food as he only ate cereal for breakfast.
He also cracked open two eggs that he had brought.
“Fishing is something you do just to eat ramyun.”
“I want to retort to that, but it’s good, so I can’t really say anything.”
They emptied the ramyun in a flash before sitting down again.
Dongwook turned the radio on and looked into the distance.
He would sometimes sigh as well, but smile whenever they met eyes.
Two hours passed like that.
Dongwook turned off the radio.
“Do you remember Choi Miyeon?”
Maru probed his memories.
He was reminded of a journalist with whom he had an interview long ago.
The moment he matched the face and the name, the things she said started appearing in his memories as well.
“Is she the journalist from Sharon?”
I’m just asking in case, but did you hear anything from her?”
“About what, exactly?”
Miyeon said that she mentioned it to you once.”
“I did hear about it.
It was a long time ago though.”
“How much did she tell you?”
“She told me that Lee Miyoon is suspected to be a broker who sets up prostitution.”
“So you know almost everything.”
“Did that become a problem? I thought that things were resolved well since I didn’t hear anything much after ‘The Five’ became an issue.”
“One of two things happen when an accident occurs: it’s gouged out, or it is covered up so that it couldn’t be seen.”
“So that one seems to be the well covered up case then.”
“It was covered up cleanly.
Usually, common sense dictates that you shouldn’t touch something that was operated as cleanly as that.
It was the doing of an expert.
Even if you do poke around it, it would be hard to find a flaw, and even if you do find a flaw, it’s hard to make an issue out of it, so it just ends with a lot of suffering.”
Journalist Choi Miyeon dug into it, huh?”
After saying that, Dongwook waved his hand in the air as though to chase off a fly.
This is nothing much, so forget about it.”
“If you say that it’s nothing much after telling me all that, I wouldn’t be able to sleep in peace.”
“It’s because you don’t need to know about it.
Knowing won’t do you any good either.
Above all, it’s not like you can do anything.”
Dongwook took out a cigarette and put it in his mouth.
He lit it up and puffed it deeply.
“You know? If It was before, I would have just ended on that note.
It’s just as you said; if I can’t help you with it, I would think that there’s no need to hear about it.
To put it bluntly, there’s nothing in it for me either.”
“So you should stay out of it.”
“But you know? I’ve currently given up on something big right now.
You know that feeling, don’t you? When you face a really big problem, you tend to treat anything else as trivial.
That’s how I feel right now.”
“What problems do you have when you just found a girlfriend and must be feeling good?”
Maru didn’t say anything and just stared at Dongwook.
As he was once a journalist who ran among the front lines in order to reveal the truth and fight for the transparency of the media, he should be able to recognize the meaning behind Maru’s eyes.
Dongwook rubbed the cigarette on the ground to put it out.
“I don’t know what it is, but I can tell you’re serious.”
“Tell me about it.
Also, I’m not entirely irrelevant to this case.
My girlfriend is working close to that person.”
“Is she an actress?”
It’s Han Gaeul.”
“So that’s what you meant when you said that I must have seen her at least once.
Well, first, congratulations.”
“But did Lee Miyoon approach Han Gaeul before?”
“No, in fact, they’re enemies.
Apparently, it’s pretty famous that the two are at odds against each other.”
It would be hard for that hag to trample someone on Han Gaeul’s level.
No, wait, it might be a different story if she sets her mind to it.”
Dongwook kept rubbing the cigarette on the ground as he continued,
“Miyeon found something new as she dug into Lee Miyoon’s back.”
“Her connection to Soul or to be precise, Hong Janghae.”
“Soul is where the member that left ‘The Five’ joined, right?”
I talked to Geunsoo about this in the past as well.
I told him that Lee Miyoon was doing something shady.
But I couldn’t tell him anything this time since Hong Janghae was involved in it as well.
Even I couldn’t easily tell him that his father might be involved in bad business.”
“You should have.
Geunsoo-hyung would gladly step in to help you.”
“He did say something similar before.
He called his father ‘that man’ and told me that I should tell him if he’s ever up to no good and that he was willing to become bait.”
“That household is in a pretty complex situation.”
“And you know what the situation is?”
“Yes, by coincidence.”
“You’re involved in a lot of things huh.
You won’t end up good if you keep sticking your nose into other people’s business.”
“I’ve already seen every bad thing there can be.
I probably won’t be able to find anything worse.”
Maru wasn’t exactly lying since there was no one who lived more repeated lives than him.
Dongwook just sighed.
“Do you know who the parent company of Soul is?”
“It’s YM Group.”
“Miyeon believed that Lee Miyoon’s connection reached all the way to YM through Hong Janghae.”
“Believed, you say.
That means that she hadn’t found clear evidence.”
“Maybe she did.”
Dongwook turned around to the fishing rod.
“Are you going to do more fishing?”
“We ate ramyun, so I think we did enough.”
“Then wanna go somewhere with me?”
“I’ll wrap this place up for now.”
Maru got the fishing rod, the stove, and the pot and returned to the car.
Dongwook said that they should return to Seoul first.
 An island in Ansan.
50km away from Seoul.
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