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Chapter 39 - A Covert Proposal


Chapter 39: Chapter 40. A Covert Proposal

“Food? Oh right. Of course,” Mr. Jung said immediately.

“Thank you.”

I smiled and hit the call button. The employee came over and I ordered a large plate of spicy rice cakes and three servings of fries with cheese pork cutlets.

“Oh…I don’t need anything.”

“I didn’t order yours.”

“Oh, then why did you order so much…?” Mr. Jung asked, looking confused.

“I’m going to eat it.”

“Pardon?”

“I’m. Going. To. Eat. It.”

“….”

Mr. Jung remained speechless at my words.

“Now go ahead. What did you want to tell me?” I said casually.

“Oh, right. Well…I don’t really know how to tell you this…”

“It’s fine. Just say it.”

Seeing how Mr. Jung seemed a little fidgety, I had a feeling this wasn’t just any usual proposal. Finally, he spoke.

“Well, the truth is…”

“Here are your rice cakes,” the waiter said, bringing out the plate. That fast? It’s barely been a minute.

“How did you get this out so fast?” I asked.

“Oh, it just happened that way.”

“You didn’t just take out someone else’s leftovers, did you?”

“Of course not…hehe…the truth is, another customer had just cancelled…”

“Really?”

I guess that made sense. I immediately calmed down.

“Please bring out the fries and pork cutlets quickly as well. I’m really hungry.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

The waiter left and I dug into the rice cakes with my chopsticks before looking at Mr. Jung again.

“Go ahead.”

“Oh, right.”

Mr. Jung took a sip of water and started again.

“Uh, the thing is…”

“Here are your fries.”

The waiter put down the three servings of fries in front of me. That was fast as well.

“Did another customer cancel this as well?”

“Actually…yes…”

“Tell them to hurry and cancel their pork cutlets as well.”

“Actually, someone just did…I’ll bring it out right away.”

“Thank you.”

Why are so many people cancelling their orders? Eh, whatever. I guess it’s my lucky day.

The cheese pork cutlets came out just as quickly and I began to eat like there was no tomorrow.

“May I speak now?” Mr. Jung asked slowly.

“As I’ve said, go ahead,” I said, taking a bite of a fried squid.

“So…the truth is…my business card is fake.”

“Uh-huh.”

Like that matters. The most important thing is that I got to eat a meal for free. I definitely planned to order more but I would have to keep this guy around for that to happen.

“You’re not surprised?”

“Not really. Go on.”

I continued to eat my food.

“Actually, a corporate director from another company is a fan of yours.”

“Me? Why?”

“You’re pretty sexy. You’re beautiful and tall. Not to mention your curves…ahem.”

I saw him sneak a glance at my chest. Somehow, I refrained myself from jabbing the man’s eyes with my chopsticks.

“So, what does he want?” I asked, taking the last bite of the pork cutlet. I had already finished one plate. That was fast.

“Oh wait, before you go on, can I order one more?”

“Oh…oh, right. Sure.”

This time, I ordered kimchi cutlets. Mr. Jung continued.

“I am actually a…broker of sorts. I introduce female trainees who need money to wealthy executives who are willing to sponsor them. The clients receive sexual favors and in return, the female trainees earn lots of money. I help everyone create relationships that are beneficial for both sides.”

“Oh. So, you want me to be a prostitute?”

“Hehe…um, keep your voice down please…”

Me talking so loudly must have made Mr. Jung nervous because he gestured at me to lower my voice.

“If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. But the client really likes you, Ms. Lee, and is willing to offer a lot of money for your services. That’s why I’m here.”

“How much?” I asked, taking the last piece of fries.

“20 grand a night. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?” Mr. Jung said, smiling. 20 grand a night, that really is a lot of money. How much does this client earn that he can throw down that much money for an evening?

“It is.”

“So does this mean you’ll accept the offer?”

“No. I’ll have to think about it,” I said. Then I held up my empty plate so that Mr. Jung could see.

“Oh, go ahead and order more.”

“Thanks.”

I added five more servings of fries. There are people in this world who just don’t get full. I’m one of them. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I would have to wait and see.

“Why does he prefer me?”

“He’s impressed by you. And he thinks you’re sexy. Pretty. And you have pretty nice breasts.”

“Hmm.”

I nodded as I chewed on my kimchi cutlets. It’s true. I am pretty. Ever since I lost all that weight, I became downright beautiful. And my body is definitely sexy. No doubt about it.

“But 20 grand sounds too little.”

“Oh? Hehe…If that’s what you think…I could make a higher offer.”

“How much would an A-lister earn a night?”

“Oh…that…that’s a secret…”

“50 grand?”

“Um…the truth is, that’s a trade secret…I’m sorry. Anyways, 20 grand a night is still a lot of money.”

“I spread my legs once and I earn 20 grand. That is definitely a lot,” I said with a nod. There really were endless ways to make a living if you were willing to do anything.

“So how long will it take you to think about it?” Mr. Jung asked.

“Until I finish eating.”

“Oh, okay.”

Mr. Jung nodded. I continued to eat. I cleared out my plate of spicy rice cakes and ordered another one.

“You really do eat a lot.”

“Yep.”

I immediately began eating the new plate of spicy rice cakes. And added some ramyun while I was at it.

“You’re still thinking about it?”

“Yep.”

“Do you think you’ll take it?”

“I’m thinking about it so let me eat. The way you keep talking about it bothers me.”

“Oh, sorry,” Mr. Jung said, politely filling my empty cup of water for me.

“But if it’s possible, I was also wondered if you could ask the other members of Fifteen if they’d be interested as well. I have one client who is especially interested in Jia.”

The sound of Jia’s name made me a choke a bit, but I swallowed it back and continued eating. The moment I heard Jia’s name coming out of his mouth, I wanted to shove the hot soup down his throat.

After a while, I ate all of my food and finished off with a refreshing glass of water. Then, I looked at Mr. Jung.

“So what do you think? 20 grand a night. Even the most famous celebrities can’t earn that much that quickly. I hope you’ll accept the offer.”

He looked at me with a smile. He probably does get a ‘yes’ 99.9% of the time.

“You’ll accept the offer right?”

“Thanks for the meal.”

“What?”

“I said, thanks for the meal.”

I stood up from my seat.

“The…the proposal…?”

“What do you mean?”

“I…I…?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about?”

I gave him a shrug and immediately headed for the door.

“Wait, Ms. Lee! Ms. Lee!”

The guy ran after me.

“Excuse me, sir! You need to pay!”

The waiter said, grabbing him. That allowed me to escape out of the restaurant. But this guy was too fast and managed to catch up to me and grab my wrist.

“Wait, Ms. Lee. What do you mean? I thought you were going to take it! That’s very low of you!”

“What?”

In one move, I freed myself from his grasp, grabbed him by the hair, and pushed him down.

“Argh!”

Thud!

I quickly looked around to see if the coast was clear, and then I crushed his head under the sole of my feet.

Bam!

“Argh!”

The asshole clutched his head in pain. I began to notice that there were people watching us now, so I quickly knelt down and put on my acting gears.

“Oh my god, hey! Are you okay? Where does it hurt?!”

And then I leaned in to whisper into his ear.

“If you even try and touch the others with your filthy proposal, you’re dead meat. And you will fucking regret it.”

I glanced down at his crotch. He immediately began shaking his head furiously. In fact, his whole body was shaking. I wondered if I’d gone too far. He looked like he was about to pee his pants.

Anyways, back to acting.

“Hey! Oh my god, what do I do? Are you okay?! Can someone get an ambulance?!”

***

I returned to the dorms. The first one to greet me was Jia.

“Sian, are you okay?”

“What do you mean?”

“Your stomach.”

“Oh.”

My stomach did seem pretty bloated. But all I would have to do is go to the bathroom and it would become skinny again.

“I guess you ate a lot?”

“I did.”

“So what did the guy want?”

“Oh, he wanted me to become a prostitute.”

“What?!”

“I turned him down.”

“He really wanted you to become a prostitute?!”

Jia’s face was a mix of shock and fury.

“He promised me 20 grand a night.”

“Wow, that’s a lot,” Jia said. Then she added, “I know one girl who used to earn 50 grand a night.”

“I guess a lot of people do it, huh?”

“If your career isn’t going well and you need the money, you really have no choice. How else could you earn money? And 50 grand a night is nothing to sneeze at. But there are some who do it regularly.”

“Are you going to do it too?” I asked. Honestly, at this point, I wouldn’t judge her if she said yes…

“Not me.”

“Really?”

“I’m from a rich family so I don’t have to worry about stuff like that.”

“Ah.”

That’s a good point. Her family is pretty well-off. She really does have it all. A pretty face. A university education. And rich parents. Not to mention boys lining up down the block. She must have saved a country in her past life to be so lucky in this one.

“If you guys need money, just tell me. Don’t let yourself be used like that.”

“Okay.”

Wow, I have to admit. Hearing those words from Jia made me see her in a whole new light.

We all soon gathered in the living room. We needed to plan for the mini-concert on Monday.

“What should we do?” Ji-hyun asked. We all looked at each other, but no answer came.

“Since it’s called a concert… We can’t just do one song. How about three?”

“Which songs should we sing?” Jia asked.

“Should we make a post on social media? We can ask people to give us suggestions.”

“Oh, that’s a good idea.”

Ji-hyun moved quickly. And just as expected, Ji-hyun was a whiz with social media and had a post up in seconds.

“Look! People are commenting already!”

Ji-hyun held out her phone and we all gathered around to read the comments. I don’t know why since we could all just look at it on our own phones. Anyways, the comments read:

[Sian with a sword!]

[I want to see Sian fight! 18 to 1!]

[Yoo-jin pumping!]

[Jia acting cute!]

[A rap battle!]

The comments kept popping up by the millisecond.

“A lot of them are for Sian,” Ji-hyun said, sounding a bit resentful.

“I guess so. But what’s this?”

My eyes immediately caught one of the comments. It read:

[I want to see Sian the pig!]

“What does she mean by that? A pig is just a pig.”

“Maybe she wants to see the old you?” Jia said with a smile.

“Maybe.”

It could be possible. But I’m sorry to say, there was no way that was happening again.

“Then let’s start with Sian sword fighting, and then we can follow up with us performing a dance track. And then we’ll finish with a ballad. What do you think?”

“Sounds good to me.”

We all nodded and agreed. An intense upbeat song followed by a ballad.

“But doesn’t the dance track usually follow the ballad?” I asked. At least, that’s the way I remember it.

“We don’t have to do everything the same way,” Ji-hyun pointed out.

“True.”

I nodded. The moment you do it the same way as anybody else, there’s no point. Besides, the true sign of a professional was someone who could still sing after an intense dance. Since we were all pros now, we should be fine no matter what the order.

“But most importantly, how many people do you think will come?” Ji-hyun asked.

“If we’re in Myeong-dong or Hongdae, it should be easy, right?” Jia said. But Ji-hyun shook her head.

“Not really. The manager told me that they might change it into an indoor venue. If a lot of people gather around us outside, it could cause a lot of problems in the streets.”

“Oh.”

We all nodded in understanding at Ji-hyun’s words. That was a good point. Myeong-dong already had so many people. If we showed up, it would turn into absolute chaos. There would definitely be major traffic jams. It would be better to make it indoors in case we end up with a lot of people.

“Then let’s wait for the venue to be selected and then go out on Sunday to advertise it. We can make flyers and pass them out to people with candy,” I suggested.

“Good idea. Let’s do that.”

Everyone agreed. Our first mini-concert. I wonder how many people will come. We’ll know for sure how popular we are after this.

***

Soon, it was Friday. The episode featured clips from the mukbangs and the ranking results. As soon as the episode ended and voting began, I was immediately put in first. I was now the most popular member. I heard from the manager that I was already receiving a lot of requests for endorsement deals. There was even a request asking me to write a diet book, but I pushed that aside. Like I have time to write a book. I could be using that time to eat more. Days passed and then it was Sunday. Promoting day. The chosen venue was an indoor theatre in Myeongdong. Both teams were going to perform there. Turns out, we were definitely more popular than we had all thought. But most of that was due to me. My name was popping up on every media platform, and that was how people learned about me and in turn, Fifteen. The video of me fighting against the four guys was still a hot topic, and as a result, the number of women in my fandom were growing by the second.

“We’ll go to Hongdae,” I said.

“Don’t get into any more fights.”

Why was Ji-hyun worried about me all of the sudden?

“Don’t worry. I only attack to defend myself.”

It was true. When have I attacked for no reason? I really am a nice person.

“I’ll take good care of her, Ji-hyun,” Jia said, linking her arm with mine.

“Okay. You two can go then. I’ll go to Ewha University with Jumi. The rest of you will go to Myeong-dong.”

“Okay!”

We all left the dorms and headed out our separate ways.

“Here, Sian,” Jia said, holding out a pair of sunglasses to me.

“What’s this for?”

“Let’s pretend we’re real celebrities.”

With that, Jia put on her own sunglasses. They suited her really well. She really did look like a celebrity. I put mine on as well, and just like that, we were off to Hongdae.


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