Chapter 242: < Protect – Episode 232 – Queen of Steel  >
In contrast to the chaotic world, Alexa’s mind was at peace. When she ended the life of her enemy in Czech, she felt a sense of comfort. Was that what enlightenment felt like? Or was that how Jesus felt when he came back to life?
Those who claimed that revenge was a waste of time didn’t know what they were talking about. There was nothing sweeter than revenge. Even her way of being feisty with men changed a lot. She was starting to change.
‘Will I be able to date a man?’
She shook her head.
She barely talked to men besides Ahn Soo Ho. Even with Logan, she was not very talkative. But that didn’t mean she was afraid of them either.
She just felt uncomfortable.
But not long ago, she started not to push them away. She actually started smiling at Ahn Soo Ho’s men. As soon as the ice queen started to smile, everyone started to respond favorably.
At Hosoo Entertainment Group, she was known as the information team leader. They were called the witches of Hosoo Entertainment, and both celebrities and fans were crazy over them.
Oh Joo Kyung
Han Chae Kyung
Seo Joo Kyung
Lee Sun Mi
Jung Joo Mi
The Mi sisters were the most famous.
But the most famous among them all was Alexa, who had blonde hair but spoke fluent Korean. She had the figure of a model as well. A photo taken of her and Jang Seol Hyun went viral online.
When people saw beautiful women, they were in awe, but they didn’t pounce like horny animals. On top of that, Alexa had an aura that made men freeze up.
Whenever producers and broadcasters saw her, they avoided her as well. They felt like they could get beat up. Or get cussed at. In any case, whenever Alexa appeared, they all ran away with their tails down.
“Hey! She’s here!”
“Huh? What? Gasp!”
The people related to Hallyu Culture Concert were busy taking photos but then stepped back.
“They’re all gone.”
After seeing the middle-aged men run away like crazy, the newbie group sighed out of relief and looked at peace.
“What’s wrong with them?”
“Because she’s here.”
The one who answered Serestine’s leader, Soo Hyun was the leader of Fairy Child, which debuted half a year earlier.
“Oh, hello. Come here, guys.”
Soo Hyun and the rest of the group gave an idol greeting. Yoo Jung looked confused. It felt weird being treated like superiors when they only debuted 6 months earlier.
On top of that, their debut time was similar while also being two years younger. She was young since she was 19, but most of the other groups were in middle school and elementary school.
The age of debuting was getting younger and younger.
“But who are you talking about, Sunbae?”
Yoo Jung smirked in response to Soo Hyun’s question.
“Just call me Yoo Jung.”
Yoo Jung clicked her tongue while looking at Soo Hyun’s smile. It was good to be pretty, but it was more important to have a pretty smile. Idols had to smile if they were sad, in pain, or annoyed.
‘She was born to do this.’
Since Yoo Jung wasn’t very good at smiling, her agency trained her hard in singing and dancing. There were some who just didn’t smile much, and that was Yoo Jung. She was good at singing and dancing, but she didn’t smile.
“You know Seol Hyun, right?”
All Koreans knew Jang Seol Hyun. People knew her more than the Korean president.
“Whenever she shows up, they all run away.”
“Because of who she’s with.”
Soo Hyun’s eyes sparkled. Jang Seol Hyun was a celebrity, but the women with her were also beautiful. Lila was a superstar, and Miss France and Miss Brazil were just as popular.
Since Alexa’s Korean name was Ahn Soo Hee, she felt that much closer to her since they had similar names. On top of that, when she found out Jang Seol Hyun named her daughter Soo Hyun, she became an even bigger fan.
“What are you doing calling me Miss?”
As soon as Soo Hyun saw Alexa in person, her heart stopped. Both her manager and coordinator froze as well.
“Huh? Are you new?”
“Ye… yes! We debuted last month! We’re Serestine!”
They stood like soldiers.
“People will think I’m training you.”
Her voice got even louder. Alexa shook her head and met eyes with Yoo Jung.
“You’re Yoo Jung, right?”
Alexa had met Yoo Jung before.
“You remember. Thank you, Ms. Alexa.”
“Not you, too. Just call me Alexa.”
Alexa went easy on Yoo Jung. The reason why they all respected Alexa was because she protected them.
As soon as Alexa sat down on the sofa, they crept over.
“Why are you looking at me like abandoned kitties? Come here.”
They ran over immediately. The managers looked at them pitifully because they were looking up to Hosoo Entertainment as soon as they debuted. But they couldn’t say anything either. Many managers were humiliated after messing with Alexa.
“Did you come alone?”
“No, Seol Hyun is here, too. Don’t look for her. She’s with the higher-ups. And I got out of there.”
A bunch of executives showed up to the Hallyu Culture Concert. But Alexa stuck out because it got boring. The Hallyu Culture Concert went on for 6 years now, and it was now handled by a civilian concert planner. Not only did they display K-Pop, but they also showed movies and dramas as well.
Girl group members from both Hosoo Entertainment and other agencies came running over. Some of the teams were sweating from performing.
“Phew! You smell! Wash yourselves!”
They all laughed in response. Even just a year ago, they were scared to face her. But after some time, they became close.
Ahn Soo Hee was just as impactful as Ahn Soo Ho, and for those going after her girls, she didn’t leave them alone. She even made a human rights committee for female idols and trainees who were often taken advantage of.
The media called them demeaning names. But she didn’t care. Alexa did whatever she could to protect the girls from being harmed. She even sued some agencies and even came out with wins.
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Hey, you have the same name as our Soo Hyun. You’ll hit it big.”
Alexa made it sound like Ahn Soo Hyun was her daughter. Of course, due to the name, she showed interest in Soo Hyun and Serestine.
There were over 200 girl groups active in Korea. But only 20 of them were known to the public. The remaining 90% put out an album or two and went to a few events, but disappeared shortly afterward.
“Why didn’t you sign up for Hosoo Entertainment?”
“It didn’t exist back then.”
Just two years ago, Hosoo Entertainment didn’t even exist.
“If your agencies push you around, call me. I’ll teach them a lesson.”
One of the managers on the side left out of discomfort.
“Serestine! Fairy Child! Get ready!”
An employee with a headset on came in and led the teams outside. Before they left the waiting room, they didn’t forget to say goodbye to Alexa.
As soon as they all left, someone remained. It was the leader of Hosoo Entertainment’s Baby Angel, Ye Seul.
“Alexa, you’re going to come with us to dinner, right?”
“Without you, the old men will bother us too much.”
“Your managers aren’t doing their jobs, huh?”
“Well, they are, but…”
“Then what is it?”
“Government workers are persistent.”
Government workers were a problem in Alexa’s home country as well. Societies still neglected idols. Actors and singers were acknowledged as artists, but idols were still below the rest.
“Okay. See you later.”
The girls cheered while Alexa left the room. She saw one of Jang Seol Hyun’s entourage loitering in the halls. He was probably looking for her.
Until they got to the VIP seats, they were strongly monitored by the Blue House guards.
“Where did you go?”
“I said hi to the girls. Why? Is that old man bothering you?”
Jang Seol Hyun started dissing President Lee Joong Hyun. She called him an old man. The entourage knitted their brows, but the president himself laughed.
“Haha. You’re right, Soo Hee.”
Since President Lee Joong Hyun wasn’t originally supposed to come to the Hallyu Culture Concert, there weren’t enough guards. Most of the president’s schedule was made a year or half a year beforehand, so the smallest last-minute changes caused a lot of trouble.
Alexa led the conversation.
“What do you think? Isn’t the energy amazing?”
“It is. Our Hallyu is really growing.”
“It’s not like the government has done anything for it.”
“Haha. You’re right.”
The Korean government hadn’t done much for Hallyu. That was because it was too small a market for them to lead.
“I admit it. The market is too small for the government to do anything.”
One economist estimated that the Korean entertainment market was worth 50 billion dollars, but in terms of scale, it wasn’t very big. But in America, the entertainment industry was huge.
It wasn’t wrong to say that succeeding in America meant succeeding in the world. Even for European soccer, it was nothing compared to America. No matter how famous one was in Korea or Asia, if one didn’t succeed in America, one couldn’t be at the top of the world.
“As you know, we have branches all over the world. And we pretty much dominated North America and Europe.”
Through Hosoo Entertainment Group America and Europe, they took over the two continents. But the media didn’t say one word of it. Since an American led it, there wasn’t much to talk about. However, it was true that they were under the Hosoo Entertainment Group.
The Korean media was busy trying to make Ahn Soo Ho into a hero. So why were they staying quiet about this? They were trying not to irritate America. Not even the media against North America was going to help them out.
The same went for HBS.
“The truth is, if the Korean market was harmed, we don’t get anything out of that. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Ms. Soo Hee.”
“Soo Ho went easy on this country because it’s his home country.”
Lee Joong Hyun became more serious as Alexa went on. Hosoo Group’s status was already above Daesan Group. And it was obvious, seeing how Ahn Soo Ho’s behavior changed the Korean stock market. Investors cared more about Ahn Soo Ho than the national branding itself.
“Do you want to end as a failed president?”
The person who refuted wasn’t President Lee Joong Hyun but the chief of civil affairs. He was huffing with rage.
“How dare you?”
As soon as Lee Joong Hyun glared at him, the chief of civil affairs froze.
“Get out, all of you!”
They all left the VIP room. Lee Joong Hyun signaled for the guards to leave as well. They flinched and resisted, but they eventually left.
“I’m sorry, Soo Hee.”
“That’s okay, Mr. Presidnet.”
Alexa took a breath and winked at Jang Seol Hyun without Lee Joong Hyun noticing.
“You know who Shilla and Youngjin are, right?”
He had no choice but to know. They were the result of a compromise made by the Korea National Association and Comradery Association.
“I heard you already talked with Soo Ho, Mr. President.”
Ahn Soo Ho and Lee Joong Hyun agreed to cooperate. That was how Hosoo Town began to be built in the middle of Gangnam. The reason why the Korean economy didn’t collapse following Hosoo Investment’s withdrawal was because of real estate invincibility.
‘It’s all a bubble, but still.’
Daniel Navarros was a scary man.
“You’re not mad about not being a part of the Emerald Plan, are you?”
“I am. I became a laughing stock because of it.”
Lee Joong Hyun gave an honest answer.
“Wouldn’t you say Gaesung was the result of the Ministry of Unification being stupid?”
“It’s true… but I can’t control all of my bureaucrats.”
The president was so angry that he flipped the Ministry of Unification upside down. He told them to be careful, but they were unable to abandon their bureaucratic mindsets.
“Shilla and Youngjin… might be easy for Chairman Ahn, but they’re scary people, Soo Hee.”
“Okay. Then make a choice. Then the one remaining will be on guard for the time being.”
They decided to bring Youngjin down.
“I won’t see you out, Mr. President.”
Alexa pushed Jang Seol Hyun down from trying to get up. The president greeted her with his eyes. Once it was just the two of them, Jang Seol Hyun sighed deeply.
“What did you just do?”
“We got rid of Youngjin. The only one left is Shilla.”
“Why would President Lee Joong Hyun do that?”
Alexa thought about it, but only for a moment.
“How much do you know about entertainment sponsorships?”
“A little? Yeah, you’re a lone wolf.”
For a top star, Jang Seol Hyun didn’t know many people.
“Listen carefully, Seol Hyun. The world is a scary place.”
Alexa explained the human trafficking world to Jang Seol Hyun. As she kept talking, Jang Seol Hyun became more and more shocked.
“Do you remember Soo Ho’s trip to Hong Kong last year?”
“He brought down a few people from a Chinese human trafficking organization from North Korea. And they brought the survivors to the Philippines. So Soo Ho doesn’t have money to develop North Korea. For tourist destinations, South East Asia or India is much cheaper. So why do you think it’s near Gaesung?”
“Are the people in Emerald Origin…”
“Yeah, they’re defectors. What’s scarier is that there are similar human trafficking rings in Korea, too.”
The problem was that it was 100 times bigger than the one in Hong Kong.
“Where do you think it is?”
“Shilla and Youngjin?”
Alexa gave her a thumbs up. Jang Seol Hyun grabbed her head as if she had a migraine.
“Doesn’t it make sense? You’re probably wondering why such a major conglomerate is involved with human trafficking. But what you have to remember is that if it wasn’t for Soo Ho, you would have ended up the same way as a defector in Hollywood.”
Jang Seol Hyun exclaimed. It was true. She almost got kidnapped in America.
“People easily become a product.”
Those with money and power could do anything. If the stories that Ahn Soo Ho told Jang Seol Hyun sank in, Alexa was just repeating what she already knew.
“There’s a human factory in India for human trafficking. And in China, there’s even a place where they have babies for the purpose of adoption. Japan’s numbers for serial murders are higher than that of America. And Europe is the place with the highest rape numbers. Then what about Korea?”
Alexa looked at the smiling idols on stage and continued with a serious look on her face.
“The number of missing persons in Korea is abnormal.”
‘Where could they possibly hide on this small land?’
< Protect – Episode 232 – Queen of Steel  > The end.