Big Life

Chapter 13: I’m Being Generous (2)

Chapter 13: I’m Being Generous (2)

Park Kyung-Soo ran toward Ha Jae-Gun. However, Ha Jae-Gun simply stood there blankly without moving at all. It was clear that Park Kyung-Soo’s sudden appearance was both puzzling and unpleasant for him.


“How did you find me here?”

Huh? Oh…

Park Kyung-Soo hesitated when he saw Ha Jae-Gun’s disturbed look. Park Kyung-Soo knew that beating around the bush wouldn’t help, so he decided to confess directly.

“The department head told me to come here. I was going to ask you about your exact location, but you just happened to come down…”

Ha Jae-Gun remained silent at that. He knew that there was no need for him to ask about how Department Head Ma Jong-Goo had gotten his address.

The industry was small, so it was common to see employees leaving the company for other competitors and vice versa. Plus, everyone probably knew everyone else, so it was not that surprising that Ma Jong-Goo knew someone in Star Books.

Haetae Media knew that they would offend Ha Jae-Gun, but they still chose to investigate his whereabouts. Ha Jae-Gun came up with a well-thought-out answer in his mind.

“Writer Ha, if you haven’t had dinner, we could have—”

“I already have a dinner appointment.”

Ah, of course. Why don’t we move to a cafe nearby for a quick chat instead…”

“No, I’ll be straightforward and will only say it once. These are my conditions for signing a contract.”

“C-conditions?” Fear started to color Park Kyung-Soo’s face. It was his first time seeing a confident and firm Ha Jae-Gun.

His surprise didn’t really come as a surprise because Ha Jae-Gun wasn’t like this in the past. Their roles were different, but he could still feel a certain amount of kinship between them back then.

Ha Jae-Gun folded each finger as he listed out his conditions. “11% in royalties, an additional 1% when sales go above three thousand copies and every thousand copies going forward, two years contract length, 7 to 3 ebook revenue ratio, of which my portion would be 7. Please convey these to Department Head Ma.”

“W-writer Ha?! This is…!” Park Kyung-Soo turned white as paper as he listened to the conditions listed. They weren’t unreasonable, but they were conditions suitable only for writers who could be considered similar to Hollywood stars.

“I believe you understand my conditions. Then, I’ll be leaving now.”

“W-writer Ha. Wait, wait!”

“Don’t follow me!” Ha Jae-Gun turned around, clearly annoyed. Park Kyung-Soo only managed to take a few steps after him before immediately stopping in his tracks.

“Don’t follow me, and don’t look for me at my place without permission. If you do that, then there will be no contract talks whatsoever. And please leave a message with your decision by end of the day.”

Ha Jae-Gun spoke firmly and turned around coldly before going on his way. Park Kyung-Soo stood rooted, and he took deep breaths to compose himself as he watched Ha Jae-Gun walk away into the distance.

‘...I’m sorry, Mr. Park Kyung-Soo.’

It wasn’t easy for Ha Jae-Gun to act out like this either, but he couldn’t help it. He had no choice but to do it.

As long as Park Kyung-Soo was still an employee of Haetae Media, there was no way he could treat the guy kindly, so he decisively burned the bridge.

When Ha Jae-Gun finally turned around a corner and left his line of sight, Park Kyung-Soo took out his phone and dialed a number, and the person on the other end of the line picked up the phone almost instantaneously.

Huh? Are you done talking to him?

Um, he said he would sign a contract if we accept his conditions.”

— Conditions? What are his conditions?

As Park Kyung-Soo repeated the conditions word for word, the huffing from the other end of the line turned rougher as Park Kyung-Soo spat more words.

— That crazy bastard! This is his first time getting a thousand reprints since his debut, and yet…! Does he really think that he’s on the same level as Jwa Park or Dragon Warrior? He has really become arrogant now that the public is getting more interested in his work!

Park Kyung-Soo stored his phone away and frowned at the yelling of the department head. He waited until the shouts subsided before asking, “What should we do now?”

— What?

“Writer Ha said to convey our decision to him by the end of today. Should we go ahead with it?”

— Deputy Park, are you crazy?! Stop talking nonsense! Just go and meet the writer of My Husband’s a Werewolf. Forget about Ha Jae-Gun.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

As soon as Ma Jong-Goo was done speaking, he immediately ended the call.

Park Kyung-Soo sighed and looked down at the ground in a daze. Doubt started rising within him as he started to wonder if the career as an editor that he had been dreaming about since he was young was the right choice.


“Are you sure this is fine? The president instructed me to treat you to an expensive meal.”

“I wanted to have some meat, and I don’t want to travel too far, so this is good for me.”

Star Books editor-in-chief Kwon Tae-Won and Ha Jae-Gun were seated in the corner of a barbeque restaurant that they often frequented whenever they met. A waitress approached them with the order sheet.

“What would you like to order?”

“We’ll have three portions of the Hanwoo ribeye first,” Kwon Tae-Won directly ordered the most expensive rib eye, which was thirty thousand won per portion.

Ha Jae-Gun was inwardly surprised, but he remained composed because he didn’t have to pay for any dishes they decided to order. The company credit card of Star Books would be used to pay for their meal tonight.

“Before we start eating, there’s something I wish to tell you.” Kwon Tae-Won grinned and said, “Records of the Murim Master will get another thousand copies of each volume.”

“Wait, are you saying that we’re printing four thousand copies for each volume now?”

“That’s right. You’ll have roughly 2.5 million won from the royalties, so you’ll be receiving that much every month from now on. Of course, that number is from the paperback sales alone.”

A smile crept up on Ha Jae-Gun’s face. It was all because he knew that he didn’t have to conceal his feelings in front of Kwon Tae-Won, who had always been a sincere, honest, and straightforward individual.

His income had now become steadier and more reliable, like any salaried person out there. Now, he wouldn’t have to wrap himself up like a sushi roll in the winter or jump around in the cold shower in summer just to save on his utility bills.

It was a bit surreal and unreal, but his life had changed. Of course, his life was still going to change and improve going forward.

“As long as the responses remain positive and like this, we might be able to hit five thousand copies per volume.”

“That sounds great. It would be great if that happens.”

“Speaking of, Writer Ha, do you have any plans to extend the story over ten volumes?”

Ha Jae-Gun put the cup in his hand back down and looked at Kwon Tae-Won before asking, “You’re asking me to extend the story?”

“Yes, I actually read the entire novel. The fight with Yama starts in volume eight, right? I think we can insert more into the contents from volumes eight through ten and extend it up to fifteen volumes. Any more than that, and we’ll be ruining the plot.”

Kwon Tae-Won wasn’t an editor-in-chief who would only think of the company’s profits. He had always been the type of person to maximize profits without ruining the novel, and his attitude was the reason he became well-liked among the authors of Star Books.

Of course, Ha Jae-Gun liked him as well.

“What do you think? If we can hit fifteen volumes, we can justify printing five thousand copies of each volume with the sales, and we could even go into printing six thousand copies of each volume…”

”This means a huge increase in your royalties as well,” added Kwon Tae-Won.

“That sounds great, but I’ve already wrapped up the story…” Ha Jae-Gun trailed off and tilted his head while staring at the restaurant entrance.

A young woman had entered the restaurant. She was roughly 160cm with a petite figure, and she sported large round eyes along with a chubby round face. The combination made her look like an adorable, cute puppy.

When she entered, Ha Jae-Gun felt as if the entire restaurant had become even livelier than before.

“Ms. So-Mi, over here!” Kwon Tae-Won raised and waved his hand at the young woman.

The cute young woman Ha Jae-Gun saw smiled brightly in their direction and placed her shoes in the nearby shoe rack before hurrying over to their table. She then stood before Ha Jae-Gun and bowed ninety degrees before introducing herself.

“Hello, Writer Ha Jae-Gun. I am Jung So-Mi from Star Books. I had to find parking, so I got here late. I’m sorry for being late,” said Jung So-Mi in a cheery voice. It wasn’t a surprise, but her cheerful voice fit perfectly with her first impression.

Ha Jae-Gun’s eyes were fixated on the white socks she was wearing as he returned her greeting ambiguously with his head bowed. The embroidered image of a cat on her socks—near her ankles—looked just like Rika.

This was their first meeting, but Ha Jae-Gun could already feel like they would get along.

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