In the heart of Yeoksam-dong stands the towering Terra Building, soaring over 40 floors high. It used to belong to Yoon & Kang, save for the ground floor occupied by a bank. Just three years ago, the building underwent a massive internal makeover, transforming it into the epitome of luxury and elegance, perfectly befitting the top law firm in South Korea.
Within the Terra Building, more than 500 proud lawyers of Yoon & Kang arrive each day to their office space, which now exudes a lavish ambiance. However, the heavy workload that comes with their impressive salaries leaves its mark on them. Many employees carry the burden of dark circles under their eyes, a testament to their dedication.
One Monday morning at 11 o’clock, as they exchange tired banter, they wonder why the day seems to be dragging on endlessly. Attorney Jung expresses his surprise, “It feels like we’ve been here for more than 12 hours already. Isn’t Kim Byeon exhausted?”
“He probably is,” says one of the lawyers. “But you know what? I don’t suffer from Monday blues.”
Ji-hyun, a second-year lawyer, interjects with a weary smile. Her eyes betray her fatigue, giving her smile an eerie resemblance to something from a horror film. She explains, “I work on Sundays too, Attorney Jung. It’s my way of finding solace. I was called in yesterday as well.”
Impressed, Attorney Jung acknowledges her hard work, “Wow, you really put in the effort. Respect.”
Jeong-ae gently comforted her colleague, lightly patting her shoulder as she noticed how exhausted and shivering she looked from overworking. Compassion welled up inside her, understanding the struggles of being an associate in the firm.
“These associate years are always the toughest, but once you become a partner, the workload tends to ease up,” Jeong-ae reassured her.
Still, the young associate expressed doubts, “But the pressure only increases. I don’t know if I can ever become a partner here. There’s so much competition.”
Jeong-ae nodded in agreement, recalling her own journey. “It was tough for me too until I finally made it. It’s definitely not an easy path.”
Taking a sip from her tumbler, filled with aromatic instant coffee, Jeong-ae remembered how she became the youngest female partner lawyer through cunning and ambition. She had relished the attention from her junior colleagues and had once held the title of “youngest partner lawyer” before passing it on to someone else.
“You remember Attorney Yoon? He’s still in his early thirties, and he’s already become a partner again. Truly impressive,” one of them remarked.
“Absolutely, I admire him a lot. If he becomes the next owner, the company will thrive for sure,” the other chimed in.
Jeong-ae couldn’t help but agree, “There’s no one quite like Attorney Yoon. He’s exceptional.”
As they continued chatting, waiting for the elevator to arrive, they overheard whispers coming from behind them.
Jeong-ae and Ji-hyun turned their heads in surprise, their eyes widening. It was as if the saying “speak of the devil, and he appears” had come true. Hyun-seong, along with his secretary Tae-jun, stood just a few steps away.
“Oh, we were just talking about you, Attorney Yoon!” Jeong-ae greeted him.
“Hello, Attorney Yoon,” Ji-hyun added.
Hyun-seong inquired, “Is the Hye-sung Construction case progressing well, Attorney Jeong?”
“It’s going okay so far,” she replied. “You must be busy with your cases too, Attorney Yoon.”
While they conversed, the female employees, including Ji-hyun, couldn’t help but sneak glances at Hyun-seong. Some even stared at him openly, captivated by his striking features—the sharp jawline, thin lips, and deep, dark eyes that held a mesmerizing allure. Even when he spoke, his straight eyebrows moved gracefully, adding to his charm.
“He’s really handsome… So… pleasing to the eyes…” whispered one of the employees.
“Working at Yoon & Kang does have its perks. Don’t you wish you were Attorney Yoon’s secretary?” another joked.
“If I was his secretary, I’d never leave my job” someone sighed dreamily. “But let’s face it, it’s just wishful thinking.”
From a distance, the females sighed in unison. They knew that Hyun-seong was no ordinary lawyer; he was Mr. Yoon’s son. The odds of things going well for them were almost non-existent.
As they vented their frustrations, the elevator doors opened, and Hyun-seong entered. Jeong-ae and Ji-hyun followed, pressing the 14th-floor button.
“Yoon’s office is on the 25th floor, right?” Ji-hyun confirmed.
“Yeah,” Jeong-ae replied, looking like she had something on her mind. “By the way, there’s something I’ve been curious about.”
With a knowing smile, Jeong-ae spoke up, “Are you about to get engaged? Rumors are spreading like wildfire, and everyone’s eager to know. But it seems like you’re hesitant, so I’m taking the lead.”
Hyun-seong nodded, “Yes, I am engaged. Has the rumor already reached everyone?”
“Wow, that’s great news! So, who’s the lucky person engaged to Attorney Yoon? Can you give us any hints?” Ji-hyun asked excitedly.
As they rode the elevator, Jeong-ae and Tae-jun were taken aback for different reasons. Yoon Hyeon-seong, who had been the subject of admiration among Yoon & Kang’s female employees, was now engaged.