Chapter 39.1

After wrapping up the investigation, Yi-soo found herself grappling with her complex emotions while awaiting Hyun-seong’s arrival. A police officer, having just opened the door of a patrol car parked outside her residence, cast a thoughtful glance her way.

“Would you like a lift to the prosecutor’s office, Prosecutor? It’s along my route,” he offered.

“No, not today. I’ll finish up my work here,” Yi-soo politely declined. “You’re Officer Kim, right? Thank you for your dedication today.”

“Don’t mention it; it’s all in a day’s work. Well then, I’ll take my leave. Stay safe!”

Officer Kim had recently earned his promotion, and he stood with a commendable sense of discipline. As Yi-soo watched him salute with confidence, a faint smile formed on her lips, and she nodded in response.

Shortly thereafter, Officer Kim drove off in the police car, vanishing from her sight. Before long, Hyun-seong’s sleek black Benz pulled up in front of the villa, where yellow police tape cordoned off the area. Yi-soo instinctively opened the passenger door and settled into her seat.

The air inside the car was imbued with a pleasant blend of vanilla and citrus from the air freshener. After ensuring her seatbelt was securely fastened, Hyun-seong gently pressed the accelerator, smoothly guiding the car out of the narrow alleyway.

“Thank you for picking me up. Did you come straight from the office?” Yi-soo inquired.

“Yeah, I did. How did the on-site investigation go?” Hyun-seong responded.

“…Not much to gain,” Yi-soo sighed, her weariness evident in her voice. Hyun-seong observed her closely, noticing the fatigue etched on her face. It seemed like she had been working overtime since Monday.

“How’s your back holding up?” Hyun-seong asked with concern.

“It was bothering me until last night, but it’s better now. Walking around helped,” Yi-soo replied.

“But why do you look so worn out, Seo Yi-soo?” Hyun-seong pressed, sensing that something was amiss. Yi-soo moistened her dry lips, grappling with how much to reveal.

One thing was crystal clear: Su-jeong had been investigating prominent law firms, with a focus on Yoon & Kang. Given Su-jeong’s tendency to expose the misdeeds of influential figures in politics and the corporate world, it was evident that there were significant secrets concealed within Yoon & Kang. And Yoon Hyun-seong was the son of the head of Yoon & Kang. She couldn’t predict what form the truth would take, but what if he was somehow entangled in it? What if he was aware of the truth but turned a blind eye to it for the sake of Yoon & Kang’s reputation? Her thoughts grew increasingly intricate.

“…I’m sorry, I’m a bit tired. Can we postpone dinner to tomorrow? The trial and on-site investigation really drained me today. I’m feeling unusually exhausted,” Yi-soo confessed.

Claiming poor physical condition was merely an excuse; the truth was, Yi-soo couldn’t muster the strength to share a meal with Hyun-seong in her current state. She knew that attempting to eat would be futile, as her throat would constrict with every bite. Gazing at her reflection in the rearview mirror, she arched her eyebrows once before speaking.

“Could you take me straight home?” she requested.

“Of course,” he agreed.

It was undeniable that the man known as Yoon Hyun-seong had stirred up Yi-soo’s emotions far more deeply than she had originally anticipated. Consequently, she felt increasingly bewildered, her head throbbing with confusion.

If he had been nothing more than a formal contractual fiancé, she wouldn’t have found herself in this emotional turmoil. Yi-soo leaned her head against the passenger window and closed her eyes.

A feeble breeze from the air conditioner brushed against her seemingly lifeless cheek. Blink, blink. As the silence stretched on, regret began to wash over her. It was an unsettling sensation that continued to weigh her down. In the end, it was Yi-soo who broke the silence first, not Hyun-seong.

“By the way… regarding Shin Min-yeol,” she started.

Hyun-seong cast a brief glance in her direction. “Why?”

“I was wondering what kind of person he was at Yoon & Kang. His reputation, or the tasks he handled,” she inquired. She added in a subdued voice, “It might be useful for the suspect’s interrogation.”

Hyun-seong, who had been driving quietly to avoid tiring her further, finally spoke. “He was a capable secretary. Originally, he aspired to be a lawyer, but family circumstances led him to abandon that dream.”

“What kind of lawyer was he working for?” Yi-soo probed.

At that question, Hyun-seong’s expression subtly shifted, clearly a topic he was reluctant to delve into. Sensing his hesitation, Yi-soo silently observed his profile. After a momentary pause, Hyun-seong responded in a composed tone.

“Kang Jin-won, a senior associate attorney,” he stated.

“Kang Jin-won? The one who wears glasses?” Yi-soo sought clarification.

“How do you know Kang Jin-won?” Hyun-seong’s foot hovered above the brake pedal as he instinctively began to slow down, but he swerved the steering wheel to the left as the left-turn signal illuminated. He hadn’t expected Yi-soo to have any knowledge of Kang Jin-won.

“I met him at Yoon & Kang the last time I was there. He gave me his business card,” Yi-soo explained.

“Kang Jin-won? And?”

“Well, I didn’t think much of it at the time. But today, coincidentally, I bumped into him at the courthouse.”



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