Chapter 50.1

The moment she heard the voice, an unmistakable familiarity washed over her. Her head swiveled, seeking out the face that belonged to the voice. It required a subtle contortion of her neck to finally glimpse the other person.

In that fleeting disorientation, Yi-soo’s crimson lips moistened with anticipation. “Attorney Yoon…”

A casual question followed, “The seat next to you is unoccupied. May I join you?”

“Oh, Sunbae Hyun-seong…! Of course. Your unexpected presence is a pleasant surprise. Please, make yourself comfortable.” Jo Hee-yeon rose from her seat, then discreetly beckoned to her classmates in hushed tones. “Hey, everyone, what are you doing? Our sunbae is here. Quickly, come and say hello.”

The pub’s atmosphere instantly buzzed with excitement. Graduates from the eighth semester, regardless of gender, converged around Hyun-seong without hesitation. Some sported flushed cheeks and claimed to be under the influence.

“Sunbae…! It’s been ages. I applied to join Yoon & Kang…”

“No one could’ve expected you here. I’m An Hyeok-jun from the Suwon District Prosecutor’s Office.”

“Hush, hush. Keep it down, folks. Sunbae might find it overwhelming. By the way, what brings you to these parts?”

Despite Jo Hee-yeon, the organizer’s, best efforts to hush the crowd, a soft murmur persisted, circulating through the room. Hyun-seong, the center of attention with dozens of eager eyes on him, appeared utterly unfazed by the curiosity swirling around him.

As Yi-soo discreetly observed his profile, she tipped her glass of ice-cold water, sharing the same inquisitiveness as the rest. Why had he chosen to attend this alumni gathering for the juniors? The question lingered in her mind.

Eventually, Hyun-seong locked eyes with Yi-soo. “I heard this is an event for both graduates and their significant others. Did I get the details wrong?” he inquired.

Hee-yeon responded with a reassuring smile, “Not at all. You’re completely welcome here. So, are you here to meet Yi-soo?”

Hyun-seong nodded. “I hope my presence isn’t causing any trouble, considering we’re engaged.”

“Of course not,” Hee-yeon reassured him. “By the way, what’s your drink of choice? Beer or soju? Hey, bring us a variety of beverages, and make it quick.”

As the words “significant other” and “engaged” circulated through the crowd, widened eyes swept across the room. The rumored relationship had indeed turned out to be true. What’s more, attending the gathering together suggested a connection that went beyond mere business.

A sense of discontent was evident on the faces of certain women who had once nurtured feelings for Hyun-seong back in their school days. Witnessing Jo Hee-yeon’s previous open displays of affection, Hyun-seong now held Yi-soo’s hand and rose from his seat.

“Let’s put the drinks on hold for a moment, Yi-soo. How about we step outside? I could use a cigarette,” he proposed.

Yi-soo blinked in response, asking, “Right now?”

Hyun-seong added, “Plus, it’s a good opportunity to get some fresh air.”

“Ah, alright,” Yi-soo agreed with a nod, and Hyun-seong intertwined his fingers with Yi-soo. As they pushed open the door to exit the pub, the attention of the entire room pivoted towards Yi-soo and Hyun-seong.

As Yi-soo and Hyun-seong faded from view, a cacophony of gossip surged from every corner of the room.

“Seriously, what’s up with Yoon Hyun-seong, that senior? He’s become even more striking. I’m recalling why I had a crush on him back in the day. How could I have forgotten him for so long? It’s just unbelievable.”

“But did Seo Yi-soo really get engaged to him? She’s quite something herself… How did she conceal her father’s identity so effectively? Rumor has it she’s not even his biological daughter. Lucky her. I wish my dad had that kind of money; I’d treat my senior well too.”

“Hey, is it all about the money? Yi-soo looks even more stunning after two years. Did she never wear makeup before? I thought she was a completely different person when she walked in with Choi Min-seo earlier.”

“Come on now, folks! We were having a private chat, so kindly stay out of it, okay? Mind your own business!”

In clusters both small and large, everyone continued their animated discussions, using Yi-soo and Hyun-seong as the opening topic. Meanwhile, Min-seo, sipping her shandy, let out an audible sigh and gently massaged her temples.

It was in this moment that she understood precisely why Yi-soo had been hesitant to attend such gatherings. 

Do people find this level of gossip about others entertaining? They’ve really gone overboard.

As the conversation grew increasingly exaggerated, Min-seo, who had been silently nursing her drink, suddenly set her beer glass down with a resounding thud. She cast a meaningful glance at the colleagues surrounding her. From now on, even if it meant arriving solo, she vowed not to bring friends to this gossip-fueled den.

The night continued to unfold with an abundance of flowing alcohol.



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