The Famous Millionaire

박승연

Chapter 77

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Chapter 77

While trying to read his countenance, Jungah introduced the young man to Hyunwoo. As he was a graduate senior, she found him rather difficult to deal with.

His name was Myunghun Koh, and he was only two years younger than Hyunwoo. Though he was excellent in drawing the character’s expressions, Myunghun was far from outgoing. In some ways, he didn’t look confident.

Thanks to Hyunwoo’s praises, however, the stiff atmosphere among them began to lighten up a bit.

“Oh, I was really surprised. The character’s expression was so outstanding,” said Hyunwoo.

“Hahaha. There are many who can draw as good as me. Rather it is Jungah who’s really outstanding. I really envy her capabilities.”

“Jungah?” asked Hyunwoo with a curious look.

But Hyunwoo soon seemed to know the reason. Myunghun said he was lacking in many aspects because he didn’t major in drawing.

Jungah cultivated her capabilities while attending a private arts academy.

Myunghun moved to Jungah’s artwork and said, “Look. The coloring here is lively. There are not many who can find out the right coloring that fits the character here. You don’t get it simply by learning. She has a natural eye for coloring.”

Actually Hyunwoo got the impression that the coloring was exceptionally bright when he looked at her artwork. Even though her drawing was not that refined, its coloring caught his eye first.

Having heard Myunghun ‘s explanation, Hyunwoo felt Jungah had an extraordinary talent in coloring.

Hyunwoo said, with a surprised look at Jungah, “Now I see. I have to look at you anew, Jungah.”

“No, no. Myunghun is just saying something good about me. I think he’s really talented in coloring.”

Jungah and Myunghun were praising each other.

Then a guy standing nearby approached them furtively and said, “If you genius are praising each other, there is no room for a wooden head like me. Right, Jungah?”

She said he was the head of the animation club at the school. He lowered his head to Hyunwoo and said, “I heard from her she would have lots of customers today, but I was really surprised there were so many like this.”

Hyunwoo looked at the place where he pointed. The seniors were having a makgoli (Korean rice alcohol) party with fried vegetable pancakes. Some of them were already drunk.

“Sorry, there are many seniors out there.”

At Hyunwoo’s remarks, he waved his hand, surprised a lot, and said, “Oh, no. How thankful I am to you for coming here like this. Thanks to your presence, our exhibition is really successful.”

Still, Hyunwoo felt sorry. Without him knowing, Hyunwoo gave 100,000 won to Jungah and said, “Go and buy some snacks for your friends. I didn’t bring anything as I came up here in a hurry.”

“No, no, you don’t have to do this,” said Jungah.

“Please, Jungah. Spend all the money to buy snacks without getting any change.”

“Okay, then.”

Jungah and her classmate went somewhere to buy snacks.

In the meantime, the club representative and Myunghun exchanged conversation about a variety of topics. Overhearing their conversation a bit, Hyunwoo found out it was about the difficulties of animation companies. Except for some doing well, most of the animation companies were on the brink of bankruptcy.

Hyunwoo cut in, “Isn’t it easy for the local animation companies to make their own animation products?”

“Well, it costs a lot of money but they find it hard to make profits. They might succeed someday if they keep trying, but most of them are small companies, so they can’t sustain operations without making any profits for long.”

Hyunwoo knew little about animation, so he just kept nodding his head at his explanation.

Suddenly, an idea came to his mind. Hyunwoo felt Myunghun’s talent would be of great help to the kids of Anifan of the House of Happiness orphanage.

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“Then, you’re still jobless, Mr. Koh?”

“Yes, I am,” said Myunghun.

“I wonder if you’re willing to donate your talent to the kids of the orphanage. I can pay some money for your work and transportation,” asked Hyunwoo cautiously.

Then Myunghun said with a bright smile, “Actually my parents are running a rice cake shop. They want me to stop animation and inherit their business. I’m seriously thinking about it. I’m afraid I have to help them.”

Hyunwoo made a regretful expression. Though it was important for him to donate his talent, it would be more important to him to help his parents.

“Oh, I see,” said Hyunwoo.

Myunghun left the place, citing excuse for another appointment.

Looking around the exhibition a little longer, Hyunwoo also left the campus for Ansan with the seniors.

Though it was only a brief visit, Hyunwoo felt it was a precious experience. The seniors, his parents and the kids of the Anifan also felt the same way. In particular, the kids’ eyes were sparkling as if they were thinking about their bright future.

Kyungsu felt satisfied looking at the kids.

Then, he got a call from someone, and frowned after checking out the caller’s number.

Hyunwoo asked curiously, “Who is it?”

“A friend of mine who wants to do business with me. He keeps tempting me.”

“Business?”

“Wait a minute. Let me answer the call.”

Hyunwoo overhead their conversation carefully and found out what’s happening.

Kyungsu expected that Imgingpia, his employer, would soon be bankrupt, so he already started looking for a job well in advance one year ago.

The best scenario for him was to get a job at a promising animation company, but it was not that easy, so he was planning to start a venture with his friends. As time went by, however, he felt skeptical about it because he had no particular vision of a new business except for his friend Sanggyu Maeng. Sanggyu asked him to start a business, saying that Kyungsu had to believe his capabilities.

Of course, Kyungsu recognized Sanggyu’s capabilities, but the problem was Sanggyu was not excellent in all the parts of animation. He was really good at storyboard only.

Despite that, his friends thought he had a great potential because of Sanggyu’s egging on.

Sanggyu was a good guy, but he trusted his own capabilities too much. He felt that if he produced a good storyboard, he would make a great success automatically.

Actually Sanggyu’s company produced lots of animation hits. Five years ago, his company started with only eleven employees since then it grew into one of the top ten animation companies, so Sanggyu was now entertaining with the idea of starting his own business, not content with being a salaried man.

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Kyungsu was tempted by his business idea because he knew Sanggyu’s talent in storyboarding, but he had no outstanding talents in other aspects of animation. What bothered Kyungsu above all was he didn’t have a great trust in Sanggyu. He was the type of guy who suddenly became energetic one day, but frustrated when things went wrong.

“Let me give it a little more thought,” said Kyungsu to Sanggyu.

“Why are you thinking more, dude?”

“The more we prepare, the less our chance of failure becomes. I think we have to think a little more about animation items.”

Without any further conversation, Kyungsu hung up the phone.

Though Hyunwoo wanted to ask, he didn’t because Kyungsu was lost in thought at the moment.

Back home, Kyungsu kept agonizing over the matter, but there was no easy answer.

“Oh, I just have no idea.”

He shook his head to get the agonies off his chest.

After having dinner with his family, he sat back before the computer.

“Why don’t you take a break on weekends like this?”

“I will, but I have to check out something,” said he with a wink at her, Kyungsu’s eyes widened, “Uh? Where is it? It’s supposed to be here.”

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He looked for it in his pockets, but couldn’t find the USB drive. As he didn’t bring his bag, he didn’t have to search it.

“Did I leave it at the office?”

He traced back in memory, but had no clear recollection.

“Let me stop by the office now. I think I left a USB there.”

“You’re going to work on Monday anyway, right?”

“It contains an important video. If other employees take a look at it, they might misunderstand. Let me go and get it quickly.”

Kyungsu headed for the office quickly, but he couldn’t find it there and even his computer was turned off.

At the moment his heart sank. He lost the USB. If someone picked it up, he could freely use the Anifan kids’ animation work freely.

What should I do?

After agonizing, he called Hyunwoo.

Hyunwoo then gave him the solution, “Can’t you register its copyright?”

“Oh, you’re right. I feel like a fool,” said Kyungsu.

The following day he visited the House of Happiness. He taught the kids, but at the same time he registered the video, characters and the story with the Korea Copyright Commission.

He felt relieved after taking the measure. but something happened the following day.

When he went to the office, he felt there was some grave atmosphere among the staff.

The source of the trouble was President Daeyong Ahn. Sitting at his desk, Daeyong looked very grave on his face, as if he were signaling to the staff that he was on the verge of exploding with anger.

I had better be careful today, Kyungsu thought to himself.

He cautiously sat down before his computer. At that moment Ahn called him.

“Mr. Kyungsu Han, come and see me briefly.”

“Oh, okay.”

He hurried to Daeyong, who said sharply, “Don’t you have anything to tell me?”

“What are you talking about?”

Kyungsu couldn’t figure out his motivation at all.

Daeyong began to say, as if he wanted to give him some clue, “Why do you think I pay you salary? Doesn’t it mean you have to carry out your duty faithfully for the company, right? How can you create an animation work without letting me know?”

Kyungsu’s mouth was wide open at that. Actually, he had been preparing a new animation for a new business with his friends. Though he was at the early stage of it, it was true he had been making the animation work secretly as Daeyong pointed out.

But there was something strange. He only worked on it at home, not at the office.

“How did you know that…?”

“That’s enough,” Daeyong abruptly interrupted.

Daeyong had some sort of expectation of Kyungsu to the end, and hoped the animation USB he took from Kyungsu’s computer was made for his company, but it was not.

He was disappointed at Kyungsu’s reaction, though. He felt he didn’t need listen to Kyungsu’s excuses anymore.

“I’m really disappointed. You know our financial situation is bad. And I was thinking of laying off several staff under the current situation.”

Kyungsu felt as if his heart stopped, and said, “I’m sorry, sir.”

But Daeyong was resolute. He turned back his seat and wouldn’t see Kyungsu. And he didn’t care a fig about what Kyungsu was saying.

Kyungsu felt as if the sky was falling down. While cleaning his desk, he suddenly shed tears.

He walked out of the office with bitterness.

Then Daeyong sprang to his feet and suddenly became active, “Lock the door and then come here, everybody. We’re going to start a new project.”

The staff gathered around Daeyong quickly.

Daeyong set up a monitor for everybody to look at and played one video.

It was that of the USB Kyungsu left behind, “This is a new project we’re going to work on this time. We’ll complete in as a candidate to submit to the public animation contest hosted by the Environmental Agency. We don’t have enough time. The survival depends on it. So, let’s work hard. Okay?”

“Yes, sir,” replied the staff spiritedly.

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