Chapter 44.1

Due to the heightened security measures, the USB device in Yi-soo’s possession could only be accessed on a specific computer. Memories of her futile attempts to access it in the Yoon & Kang building came flooding back from the past.

Despite her previous failures, a glimmer of hope sparked within her. Could it possibly work on Hyun-seong’s personal laptop? With this thought in mind, Yi-soo found herself instinctively settling onto the couch and reaching for her bag.

At that moment, there was something even more pressing than contacting Su-jeong. As Yi-soo retrieved the USB from her wallet, she cast a quick glance toward the study. The door stood securely closed, and the absence of any sound indicated excellent soundproofing.

Yi-soo felt like a mischievous child about to embark on a forbidden adventure. If it was a transgression, then so be it. She couldn’t bring herself to be honest with Hyun-seong.

With wavering eyes and a sense of trepidation, she finally opened the laptop. As she long-pressed the power button, the once pitch-black screen gradually illuminated, revealing a prompt to enter a password.

“Haah…” Yi-soo released an inadvertent sigh, realizing the enormity of the task ahead. It seemed improbable to access the contents of the USB under these circumstances. Clinging to a thin strand of hope, she inserted the USB, but as expected, nothing changed. Progress seemed impossible without cracking the password.

“I can’t even begin to guess it,” Yi-soo muttered in frustration. The password was an enigma, and she couldn’t even discern its length. It felt like searching for a needle in a haystack.

After a brief moment of contemplation, Yi-soo lightly tapped the keyboard, entering four digits: 0319, the last digits of Hyun-seong’s phone number. She pressed the enter key, only to be met with a message indicating that it was the wrong password. Yi-soo knew that Hyun-seong was meticulous by nature. He wouldn’t have set such a basic and straightforward password.

“It can’t be something as obvious as a birthday,” she thought aloud. Yi-soo attempted to think of numbers that might hold significance to Yoon Hyun-seong, but having known him for less than half a year, her mind drew a blank. However, she couldn’t bring herself to ask Hyun-seong directly for the password. Her motives were crystal clear.

As anxiety gnawed at her, rendering her incapable of even groaning, she suddenly heard the faint sound of a door opening in the distance.

Startled, Yi-soo hastily closed the laptop and unplugged the USB.

Her heart raced uncontrollably with each thump. She clenched the USB tightly in her fist just as Hyun-seong came into view, still in the midst of a phone call.

“Yes, I understand. I’ll schedule the meeting for next week. Please get in touch again if there are any changes,” Hyun-seong responded in a businesslike, dry tone, ending the call. His gaze fixed on Yi-soo, curiosity evident in his expression as he silently questioned why she was seated on the couch instead of at the dining table.

Nervously, Yi-soo let out a slightly forced laugh, her smile stiff. Fortunately, it seemed that Hyun-seong hadn’t noticed her previous intent focus on his laptop.

“Oh… I’ve finished my meal. It was delicious, Attorney Yoon,” Yi-soo remarked, striving to conceal her nervousness.

“There’s still plenty left. Help yourself to seconds. You wouldn’t want to go hungry,” Hyun-seong suggested.

“No, thank you. I’m worried about overeating and feeling unwell,” she replied, feigning nonchalance. As she pretended to retrieve her phone, Yi-soo discreetly placed the USB back into her bag. Hyun-seong regarded her with a knowing look, nodding subtly in acknowledgment.

Taking a seat near the couch, Yi-soo closed her eyes briefly. The frenetic beating of her heart began to subside, allowing her to contemplate whether to wait for the right moment or attempt a more direct approach.

She idly twiddled her fingers and surreptitiously observed Hyun-seong’s profile. His nose was sharp, and his jawline was defined—his features could easily be described as “sharp as a blade.”

In an effort to dispel the lingering awkwardness, Yi-soo seized upon a conversation topic as she glanced at a large painting prominently displayed before her.

“By the way… did you buy that painting personally, Attorney Yoon?” she inquired.

Adjacent to the sizable television, a painting depicting the sea against a night backdrop commanded attention. Its overall color palette leaned towards darkness, portraying crashing waves beneath an inky sky devoid of stars. The artwork featured the back view of an unidentified boy.

As her gaze lingered on the painting, a curious sensation washed over Yi-soo, almost as if the briny scent of the sea had wafted into her senses. She wondered if there was a specific reason why Hyun-seong had chosen to display only this particular artwork. Hyun-seong, who had raised his eyelids and was now studying the painting closely, finally broke the silence.

“I bought it three years ago during my trip to Greece,” Hyun-seong revealed. “I liked it the moment I laid eyes on it.”

Curiosity piqued, Yi-soo asked, “Do you have a hobby of collecting art? Is the artist famous?”

Hyun-seong shook his head. “Not really. I’m not particularly passionate about art, but this piece spoke to me. It’s not the work of a famous painter. I purchased it from an elderly man who was sitting on the sandy beach, painting right there.”



not work with dark mode