Semantic Error - Chapter 13.03
Jihye’s combat power was rapidly declining. Everything made sense according to that hypothesis. If Chu Sangwoo leaned that way, then it would explain why he hadn’t as much as looked at Jihye. Perhaps the two were already in a romantic relationship. Jaeyoung may have even lied about being considerate of Sangwoo. Jihye swept her face with her hand. She was on the verge of defeat.
“I’m sorry, but I have neither the time nor the liberty, nor am I even in the mood to be here while you sit over there and worry. I’ll say my piece and leave,” Jaeyoung quickly said at one point.
Jihye nodded and fixed her hair. She adjusted her posture and looked at her opponent once again. He was as expressionless as he had been when she had seen him upon entering the café.
“Chu Sangwoo, he’s one that makes one greedy. I, too, understand. He’s smart, cute, abides by the law, and has a cute neck. He’ll even make a lot of money once he graduates.
‘Wow… Really, what’s wrong with him?’
Jihye narrowed her eyes again, but Jaeyoung continued his businesslike speech regardless.
“What right do I have to force you to give up? Whether you keep hanging around Sangwoo like you do now, or if you make a clean break, it’s up to you.”
Jihye feigned a smile. She was confused about what he was doing, with him telling her to distance herself from Chu Sangwoo as soon as possible, which was the same as him forcing her to do so, yet telling her that it was up to her.
Jaeyoung laughed and continued.
“But, if you keep hanging around him, you have to be prepared to compete against me. Unlike you, I’m an obstacle that will drive a person to the point of exhaustion.”
“I look forward to seeing how bad it will be.”
‘I knew it.’
Jihye, who had already lost her combat power, sarcastically laughed. When she had entered the café, she had thought that she would be the one to get up first after clearly revealing her feelings, but when she came to her senses, she had been torn apart and was worn out.
Stifling her breath, Jihye finally said, “are you threatening me?”
“Yes. Didn’t I tell you that it was a threat to begin with?”
“I didn’t hear such a thing.”
“That’s it for the threat, and I’m going to conciliate with you now.”
Jaeyoung grabbed and pushed forward a briefcase from the seat next to him. With a suspicious look on her face, Jihye accepted a heavy envelope.
‘It can’t possibly be money?’
The ridiculous idea crossed her mind, but when she opened it, it contained letter-sized documents. Each page contained photos of people and brief personal information about them. Jihye frowned while going over the list.
The son of a congressman, a vocalist, a medical student, a law student, a music student, an amateur baseball player, a robotics developer, a voice actor, a prospective employee of a large foreign company… She went over each profile of the guys that looked as if they were meticulous about their appearance without a single hair being out of place.
“I didn’t know your type, so I picked a bit of everything. Everyone can be introduced to you. There’s no limit. If you don’t like anyone, I’ll find you new ones.”
“How many on earth are there here?”
“Eric Smithson? What the?…”
There were even foreigners of Swedish nationality.
“He speaks Korean very well. He might even be better than you.”
“What kind of nonsense is that?”
Jihye couldn’t help but laugh as the situation was so absurd. She saw a familiar face as she went over the last page with a faint feeling of desperation.
Park Hyungjin, 21, 180cm. Majoring in philosophy at Hanguk University. Current president of the theater department. Aspiring actor. Very responsible and loyal. Caring type when in a relationship.
“Is this person that Frankenstein guy?”
“He wore a lot of makeup that day, but you still remember him.”
“I can’t help but to remember him, can I? You sent him to our table so many times, oppa!”
“He did it on his own later on. He seemed to be interested in you.”
Jihye was speechless and puffed her cheeks up. She thought that it was ridiculous for this face to be the same age as her, but she was drawn to the words ‘majoring in philosophy.’
“Is the first contestant Hyungjin then?”
“No. I didn’t say that.”
Jihye placed the thick pile of blind-date documents into the envelope and put it in her bag. She straightened herself, sat up, and looked at Jaeyoung. He looked intimidating with his threats and conciliations, but she still didn’t want to look like a pushover.
“For now, I understand. I’ll consider giving up on my feelings.”
“I’m glad you understand.”
“Don’t be mistaken. Giving up is not because of your threat or your conciliatory bribe, oppa. I haven’t lost my reason enough to be as shameless as you, oppa. I just don’t want to get involved in a relationship that seems to be underway already.”
Jaeyoung laughed without saying a word.
She could hear the line ‘either way.’
After hesitating, Jihye asked, “we can still be friends though, right?”
“No. What have you been listening to so far?”
The response was an immediate one. Jihye slightly felt like she had been wronged, so she raised her voice.
“How come? He’s not interested in me anyway! He always treats me like a vending machine that explains cultural theory whenever a button is pressed. If something is incorrectly explained, I’m seen as a broken machine and get told that I have to study twice as hard!”
“Isn’t he always like that?”
“It’s not just liking him rationally. When I’m with Sangchu oppa, it’s nice and I have fun. I’m saying that I’d like to be friends with him.”
“You being like that is why I don’t like it.”
Jaeyoung folded his arms and put on a brazen look.
“Are you his younger sister?1 What do you mean by oppa, when you don’t even share a single drop of blood. And how dare you give your heavenly sunbae a vegetable nickname?”2
“Sangchu oppa said it’s fine if I call him that!”
“I don’t like it. Don’t do it.”
“Then what should I call him?”
“Don’t address him. If you absolutely have to address him, then call him Mr. Chu. Ey, Mr. Chu! Like this.”
A combined laugh and sigh escaped. Jaeyoung himself was laughing as if he was dumbfounded, so she couldn’t tell if it was a joke or if he was being serious.
‘What kind of situation is this, really?’
Jihye felt both wronged and happy, so she felt confused.
“Oh, really… Sangchu o… No, does Mr. Ch, Chu, know that sunbae is this kind of person?”
“Who knows? I think he thinks of me as an angel that’s great at design.”
“I feel bad for Chu sunbae.”
“If you know how hard I’m trying, then you would say such things.”
While muttering such words, Jaeyoung grabbed his cell phone from his pocket and checked the time. He rose from his seat while Jihye stared at him.
“I have to go. I’ll give you a call when I want to be introduced.”3
“And don’t call me. Sangwoo might misunderstand.”
“So what?!” Jihye cried out.
“Does it seem like a joke? It’s not.”
Jaeyoung left her with those words. Jihye remained in her seat for a while, staring at the seat he had left from in a whirlwind. Realizing that she had mindlessly been sitting there, a dejected laugh escaped her.
‘That’s how it turned out.’
She lost the game without any chance of winning. She had made a wise choice. Even if she comforted herself, she couldn’t help but to feel regret.
She thought that the effort she had put in so far had been a waste, that it was comical, why she always did things half-heartedly, and what it would feel to love like they did in movies or books. Thoughts. Thoughts. Thoughts.
She had followed her head and not her heart this time as well. Jihye didn’t hate herself for being like that. It was the 21st century, not the era when Romeo and Juliet commit suicide together.
“I guess it means I should study.”
She got up with a shrug. Even if it wasn’t much, at least she’d do better on the next final exam than Chu Sangwoo who’d be busy dating. Her pride didn’t allow her to forget that she had gotten eight points less than him on the midterm, despite studying the way she did. Jihye pushed the coffee shop door, stepped outside, and saw the unusually blue sky.
“The weather is annoyingly good!”
The fourth romantic relationship of romanticist Jihye had ended before it even started.
New characteristics to filter out in future romantic relationships – ‘No good-looking guys hanging around them.’
- The word used here is 동생, which refers to a younger sibling.
- If you remember, the nickname Sangchu is a play on his name, which refers to lettuce.
- Jihye is referring to one of the guys from the folder that Jaeyoung offered her.