Chapter 4.1

“I never expected you to rush to judgment so quickly, Attorney Yoon Hyun-seong,” Yi-Soo remarked.

“Hasty judgments?” Hyun-seong raised an eyebrow, momentarily perplexed. However, he soon regained his composure as Yi-Soo retrieved a business card from her breast pocket. The rectangular white card had tobacco stains along its edges.

“I was adopted. And not until I reached adulthood. So, it’s not unusual for my last name to be different.”

“I’ve never heard that Prosecutor Park In-seong has a child. Furthermore, we work together in the same prosecution office.”

“Of course you haven’t heard. I specifically asked my father not to mention it.”

With a calm expression, Yi-Soo returned the business card to Hyun-seong’s hand. She had made a deliberate choice not to accept the suggestion of changing her last name.

Besides, the prosecution was a close-knit and conservative society. She didn’t want her adoptive father to attract attention, and she hoped to keep her true identity as the daughter of the Seoul Chief Prosecutor a secret.

Yi-Soo sensed Hyun-seong’s lingering doubt in his eyes. Reacting to his suspicion, she reached into her bag and pulled out her mobile phone, offering to call her father directly or arrange a meeting at the Prosecutor’s Office the following day.

“Well, if you were lying, you wouldn’t go to such lengths. But let’s put that aside for now… What does Prosecutor Seo Yi-Soo gain from our engagement?” Hyun-seong inquired, searching for an answer.

“…Isn’t it obvious?” Yi-Soo replied, masking her true emotions with a composed facade. Hyun-seong had always been adept at understanding others’ thoughts since his law school days. To keep her true intentions hidden from him, she needed to maintain a poker face, much like a player at a high-stakes poker table.

“The presidential election is scheduled for next May. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, there will be a change in government. The Ministry of Justice will undergo new appointments, including the Minister,” she explained.

“Is power your objective?” Hyun-seong questioned, delving deeper.

“In this realm, time is too precious to waste on those who understand each other. You should know that marriage in this field is merely a transaction,” Yi-Soo stated, her lips curling into a faint smile. She projected an image of a woman colder and more calculating than anyone else, yet her heart beat differently inside. All she hoped for was that the sound of her own heartbeat wouldn’t reach him.

Hyun-seong cast a casual glance from Yi-Soo’s forehead to her chin, his expression indifferent yet contemplative. It was as if he was attempting to decipher the thoughts hidden within her. His focus then shifted to the written clauses of the contract, which he audibly read aloud.

“Southern Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office, Criminal Division 3, Prosecutor Seo Yi-Soo, enters into an engagement contract with Yoon Hyun-seong, an attorney at the law firm Yoon & Kang. So, am I the second party?” he questioned.

“If you prefer, I can change that part for you… Well, I actually wrote the contract myself,” Yi-Soo replied, her face showing a hint of confusion. Given their equal status, whether he was referred to as the first or second party seemed relatively unimportant. However, on instinct, it seemed as though he had positioned himself as the first party.

Hyun-seong lightly extended his hand. It piqued his interest, as he had never experienced being the second party in his entire life. Gradually, he recited the next line, his voice low and captivating, resonating in Yi-Soo’s ears.

“Article 1: Performance Period. The engagement contract shall remain in effect from the date of signing until June 2023. However, if the matter is not concluded by the specified end date, the parties involved may mutually agree to extend the deadline.”

“Let’s try to wrap things up within a year if possible. If the engagement drags on for too long, the people around us will start pressuring us to get married,” Yi-Soo suggested.

“I couldn’t agree more,” Hyun-seong replied, aligning his sentiments with hers.

Hyun-seong lowered his gaze, his eyes fixed on the contract’s first page. Yi-Soo anxiously observed his profile, her eyes tracing the contours of his face.

His nose bridge stood tall and sharp, seamlessly extending from his forehead. His skin was flawless, devoid of any imperfections, and a subtle tan highlighted his masculine features. She couldn’t help but recall their time together in law school, when he used to let his bangs fall freely. Had his physique improved since then? It had been a few years since their last encounter.

Thoughts swirled in Yi-Soo’s mind, interrupted by the piercing gaze Hyun-seong directed at her face.

“As for the contract, Seo Yi-Soo,” he spoke, his voice breaking the silence.

“Yes?” she replied, her voice betraying a hint of curiosity.

“Have we met before? You look familiar,” he questioned, a faint confusion clouding his features. It seemed that he remembered her, even if it was just a passing encounter. Uncertainty fluttered within Yi-Soo, her heart racing as she wondered what he was thinking. Swiftly, she composed herself, adjusting her tone and expression.

“Well… I’m not sure. Since you’re a graduate of Korea University Law School, perhaps you were a senior. We might have crossed paths on campus,” she suggested, trying to find a plausible explanation.

“A graduate of Korea University?” he mused, his brow furrowing slightly. “Hmm, there’s something about your face that feels familiar.”

“That can’t be right. You must have mistaken me for someone else,” she quickly dismissed, her mind racing back to a brief encounter from four years ago. Though it lasted no more than ten minutes, it had left an indelible mark on her memory. However, she didn’t expect Hyun-seong to remember that incident. They hadn’t properly met or engaged in conversation since that day.



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