Chapter 877.
Sequence 14

“Next time, I’ll make some food.
I can’t have you treat me all the time.
I’m not that good, but it should taste decent if I try my best.”

“Alright, Yuna.
I’ll look forward to it.
Go back home safely, Bitna.”

Bitna hugged the dog and said goodbye.
They decided to let Bitna take care of Woofie for two days.
Last time, Woofie stayed there without any signs of unease.
It seemed that she had taken a liking to Bitna’s house.
After seeing the elevator close, they returned to the house.
Thanks to Yuna, who said that she would clean up before going home, the living room and the kitchen were clean.

“Should we open another can of beer?”

“Sounds good,” Gaeul said as she sat down on the sofa.

Maru took out two cans of beer from the fridge.
That single bottle of beer they drank while eating sandwiches was a little lacking.
He also took out a handful of almonds and put them on a plate.
Nuts were the best beer snack to eat after a meal.

“I would not be having this trouble if I could just reveal everything,” Gaeul said as she opened the can of beer.

She smiled when she heard the fizz coming out as she opened the can.

“Every job that lives off of popularity is like that.
Even if you do want to reveal everything, you’re bound by a contract, so you can’t do that either, and even if you could, it will still be a problem.
Depending on your fans, there will be all sorts of unspeakable comments.
I’m sure there will be many people cheering you on, but those kinds of comments are less eye-catching.”

“Should we just announce our marriage at this point?”

“I’m sure it’ll be quite interesting if the parents of both households get notified of their children’s wedding through the news first.”

“If you say it like that, it makes me really want to do it.”

Gaeul’s eyes became playful.
Maru wanted to go along with that prank as well; they should just reveal everything without caring about the future.

“You know better than me that you can’t do that.”

Yet, his mouth stopped everything.
Starting from when she was cast as one of the main characters in Flaming Lady, she hit yet another home run with her role as one of the main cast in Doctor’s Office.
She was practically driving on a highway.
What she needed to look out for were small extrusions.
Even the most trivial things that look like they wouldn’t be a problem might cause a huge accident for a person who was charging forward after all.

“Don’t you want to become more successful as an actor? The Han Gaeul I know isn’t someone who would want to rest midway.”

“At times like this, you should just say ‘if you want to, then I’ll do as you say.’”

“It’s obvious that you won’t like it if I do, so why would I?”

“How do you know without doing it?”

“Fine, then if you want to do it, then go ahead.
I’ll call the journalists.”

“I planned to until about just 3 seconds ago, but I changed my mind.”

“See? You toyed with my loyalty.”

Maru held out the canned beer.
She lightly toasted him.

“Your next shoot is early morning on the day after tomorrow, isn’t it?”

“Yeah.
I’m going to be next to Kang Giwoo the whole day.
It’s making me exhausted just by thinking about it.”

He wrapped his arm around her as she leaned against his shoulder.
There was no one who could help her right now.
It was a war where she could not reveal any of her weapons and could only let her wits do the fighting.
It would be great if she could make allies who could fight with her, but Kang Giwoo was incredible at making the people around him his ally.
Even if she exposed Giwoo’s identity, no one would probably believe it.

“I can’t do anything but cheer you on.”

“That’s enough.”

“Considering Giwoo’s personality, he won’t talk to you so easily.
He was rejected outright after all.
But he won’t give up.
He’ll look for an opportunity and call out to you if he finds it right.
He has a strong desire to handle people as he wishes to.”

“What if I keep rejecting him?”

“If he’s a man with common sense, he should give up and fall back, but that guy said goodbye to common sense when he was young.
The scope of ‘common sense’ in his mind should be very different from ours.
If you keep not listening to him, he’ll definitely do something.
But, he won’t do something openly.
He’s actually quite a coward and is afraid of being exposed.
He hysterically despises making mistakes too.
It’s probably his grandfather’s influence.”

“Grandfather? Did you hear something from him?”

Not hear, I snuck a peek – Maru erased those words in his mouth with a smile and sipped on the beer.
What stood behind Kang Giwoo was the thick shadow of YM Group’s chairman.
That guy used his grandfather as his standard for everything, and he probably set his grandfather as the ideal perfection that he should strive to achieve.
Maru could tell what kind of man his grandfather was without even looking.
Erasing the immature side of Kang Giwoo and making him more vicious would probably make him a lot like the head of the YM Group.
Though, the more accurate title would be the ex-chairman, since he supposedly retired.

“You should watch out for him when he’s staying still.
It’s proof that he’s trying to pull some strings behind your back.”

“I hate those things the most.
I just want him to come at me straight.
At least I can fight back openly.”

“Don’t just try to fight him, and try to listen to him to an extent, even if you don’t fully listen.
Be more generous.”

“I’ll try my best.”

Seeing her smile while saying those words, Maru once again realized that she had zero intentions of reacting flexibly.
She was someone who never relented.
He was worried about that side of her, but also adored her for it.

“We should stop talking about Kang Giwoo.
It’s not like we’ll get an answer even if we think about it, and he might avoid me first, right? If he does, I’ll be able to relax easily.”

She seemed to have finished her beer already as she put down the can.
When he asked if she wanted another one, she thought about it before waving her hand in dismissal.

“How do you feel, being in the center of attention these days?”

“That’s a quick change in topic.”

“I’ve been asking since morning, but you kept changing the subject all the time.
So don’t change it now and tell me about it.
There have been several articles, and the internet is in an uproar about it.”

“It’s not me that they’re in an uproar for, it is for the content of the drama.
Anyone else acting the same character would have brought about the same reaction.”

“Have you heard that being too humble is worse than being arrogant? Do I have to recite to you the comments I read to you in the morning?”

Gaeul took out her phone.
Maru quickly snatched her phone away.
Being haunted about it in the morning was more than enough.

“I’m insanely happy that I’ve received attention.
I would have no regrets if I could become a popular actor through this incident.
All good?”

“You’re good at putting on a thick face, but you are strangely embarrassed when it comes to receiving compliments about yourself.”

“It’s just because I’m not used to it.”

“Then you should get used to it at this opportunity.
I found this really memorable comment in the morning.
Actor Han Maru’s acting skills are not ordinary.
Maybe he’ll become a blue chip in the film industry in a little while? His acting was short, yet intense.
He had something that shook the emotions of people.
This is what acting is supposed to be.
The actor known as Han Maru has….”

Maru was reminded of a cat, one that was staring at a ceramic plate placed on the edge of the table.
The little demons who clearly enjoyed their owners flinching while tapping on such plates and Gaeul who uttered those embarrassing comments seemed structurally identical.
When he tried to stand up from the sofa, Gaeul pulled him back down.
She even began whispering the comments into his ear.
Maru felt like all his hairs stood on end.
When it came to other people’s compliments about him, he could not get used to it at all.

“This is so fun.”

Just when did she memorize all those comments? While looking at her smile in satisfaction, Gaeul sighed.

“There are many people looking forward to it.
Do your best.”

“Unfortunately, my shoot ended as of yesterday.”

“Why? The responses were so good.”

“Actually, it was supposed to end last week, but as you said, the responses were good, so the writer wrote an extra episode.
Ending it here is just right.
It’s good to receive good responses by using a character that reflects the current times, but if all the attention goes that way, we’ll be putting our priorities in the wrong places.
Although not mainstream yet, there are already opinions that we’re wasting time doing useless stuff.
The writer is pretty smart too, and she knows when to take her hands off it.”

“I guess it is a good idea to end it while it’s still unique.
But still, what a pity.
I always wanted to see my boyfriend doing well.”

Maru drank the rest of the beer and looked at Gaeul.

“I got a call for an entertainment program.”

Gaeul suddenly sat up.

“From where?”

“From ‘Chatterbox.’”

“The one that airs on Friday night?”

“Yes.
My manager told me today.
He said I should prepare for it because I’m going on it whether I like it or not.”

“Of course you have to go.
That program has decent viewing rates, you know? I’ve also watched it quite a lot whenever there were good guests.
But what’s the theme this time? If it’s Chatterbox you’re talking about, then the guests all have something in common, don’t they?”

“People who suddenly became popular, or so I heard.
I don’t think I’m that popular though.”

“It seems like you don’t get it since you’re at home all the time, but if you go out to the streets right now, the soundtrack from Doctors can be heard frequently, and many people are talking about Bigfoot.
That’s what’s stressing our director as well.
I mean, the viewing rates are on par now.”

Gaeul tapped him with her fists, saying that it was a little sad that Doctors caught up in terms of viewing rate.
Doctors had been losing in terms of viewing rate compared to Doctor’s Office, but this week, they both hit 14% and became equal.
Not to mention Jayeon, even Eunbin rejoiced, saying that she could get some good sleep now.
The fact that the piece he participated in was doing well was something to rejoice about, but considering that the achievements of his partner were going down, he couldn’t just be outright happy about it.
Gaeul probably felt the same.

“Everyone’s talking about how the score will be reversed next week, but I don’t really know whether I should be happy or be sad about it.
Should I be happy since my boyfriend’s work is doing well? Or should I be crying because my own piece is doing bad?”

“That’s why you should’ve done your best.”

“You’re picking a fight with me because I teased you, aren’t you?”

“Was it obvious?”

Gaeul, who glared at him, suddenly stood up and went inside the bedroom as though she recalled something.
When he asked what she was up to, she told him to wait for a little.
A moment later, Gaeul came back out again with two tall bottles of lotion.

“Here.”

“What’s this for?”

“You’re going to an entertainment show.
You should practice.”

“They don’t use microphones like this.
It’s all wireless.”

“It’s just to get into the mood.
Quickly.”

He grabbed it since she was so adamant about it.
This was why he tried not to talk about it.
He could clearly picture her getting more excited than he was for it and urging him to prepare.

“Popular actor Han Maru has come to our studio today.
Please welcome him with a round of applause.”

Her commentary was smooth.
He looked up previous episodes of Chatterbox when he heard that he was cast, and the main host introduced the guests in such a way.

“You’re good.”

“I told you.
I watch that program.
Chatterbox is merciless when it comes to editing, and they cut out everything if they don’t find it fun.
You should get yourself together and react to everything and talk interestingly.
Otherwise, you’ll be staring at the camera for hours before leaving.”

“But still, there’s no need to go this far to practice….”

“You don’t get that entertainment shows and dramas are completely different.
If you heard about how I got traumatized during my first entertainment show appearance two years ago, you’ll want to practice right away, you know?”

“Oh, back when you went on ‘Happy Day’ and the only thing that showed up was your smiling face?”

“You saw that?”

“I did.”

“Why?”

“How am I supposed to answer that? It’s just because I wanted to watch.”

“So why? That’s a dark history of mine.
My agency told me that I should never go to entertainment programs after that.
That was also the first time my president sighed while looking at me.
Thinking about it still makes me dejected even now.”

“It’s that bad?”

“It’s no joke.
Don’t think about entertainment shows too lightly.
Some people have bad habits too.
They would treat famous actors with respect, but if they aren’t, most people become sacrificial lambs by the mouths of the comedians.
You need to get yourself together.
Otherwise, you’ll become like me.”

Seeing her sigh in regret, it seemed that the wound she received back then still remained.
Maru patted her shoulder.
Entertainment shows and dramas were definitely two separate realms.

“But I do have some confidence though.
I don’t really lose to anyone when it comes to letting my mouth do the work.”

“Fine, you’re awesome.”

“It’s just the truth.”

“I hope you just smile when you’re on and get edited out.”

Gaeul flailed her arms and legs like a grumpy child.
Maru grabbed her arm.

“Do your best.
You know that all of this is an opportunity for you.
Since you started late, you should grab onto it properly.”

“I’m not that old.”

“You could’ve started ages ago, but you didn’t do it, so you are late.
I feel like it’ll be my fault if you don’t do well, so you have to, okay?”

Seeing her worry about it seriously, Maru couldn’t help but nod at her.
When he did, Gaeul spoke as though she had been waiting for him to do just that,

“Then we’ll practice okay?”

It seemed that he had been fooled after all.

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