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Chapter 135: < Protect – Episode 134 – Talk Show  >
The National Tax Service, which warned Hosoo Entertainment about a tax investigation, reduced its scale as soon as Ahn Soo Ho returned to the country. They excluded the airline and investment firm and only conducted an investigation on the entertainment agency, and many media outlets were busy creating columns and broadcast specials on this matter.
“This seems like a desperate countermeasure to improve their image despite the popular opinion worsening. The government is probably in a dilemma. If they leave Hosoo Entertainment alone, it’ll look like they don’t take the politicians or government workers seriously, and if they just do what they have always done, things could blow up in a bad way. It wouldn’t just be a bomb but a ticking time bomb.”
“Did CEO Ahn Soo Ho ever look down on politicians or government workers?”
“I don’t think so. Seeing how he’s close with the current president and what kind of businesses they have, he’s going along with what the government officials like.”
“Then why are they talking about this now?”
“It’s all because of the absence of young leaders.h.i.+p.”
The newspapers thought the tax investigation was just a simple happening that would end soon enough while the broadcasting companies focused on using talk shows to predict Ahn Soo Ho’s relations.h.i.+p with politics, his influence on the financial world, what he could do outside of the country, as well as his plans as the head of Hosoo Entertainment Group.
HBS’s appearance hinted at a revolutionary change in the Korean broadcasting industry. Just like always, customs and manners didn’t work on Ahn Soo Ho, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have common sense either.
‘Young people! Let your voice be heard!’
The younger generation, which felt discouraged due to the current job market was very satisfied by Ahn Soo Ho’s bold actions, which were made despite strong resistance. It was predicted that if he ran for president, he would get 99% of the votes from citizens in their 20s and 30s. Since the internet was full of younger generations, Ahn Soo Ho was more popular than any superstar online. Just like how Koreans liked to label Korean stars with the word “national”, Ahn Soo Ho got a new nickname, “National CEO”.
“It’s a syndrome. The Ahn Soo Ho syndrome. This syndrome arose because the citizens are tired of the same old politicians, businessmen, and government workers.”
“Some experts are saying this phenomenon is quite overheated. What are your thoughts on this?”
“The truth is, syndromes aren’t good for democratic societies. For example, this is how Hitler gained popularity. Pretty much all dictators in history arose with the desire of the citizens, but please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion.”
When the PD and the host’s faces turned into a frown, he realized that he made a mistake. If he compared Ahn Soo Ho to Hitler, the discussion boards were bound to explode big time following the broadcast.
‘I’d better quit the internet for the time being.’
It was going to be filled with all sorts of insults. And as the panel predicted, the discussion boards really blew up. In the News Group’s thread were all sorts of comments regarding the influence one person had on an entire country.
Do people only prefer Ahn Soo Ho? Of course! He’s special!
That’s the problem. One person changing the world only happens in movies and dramas. What causes change in democratic societies is the various opinions of many people, not just one person’s belief!
If the people in their 20s and 30s are so obsessed with one man, maybe that’s a testament of how hard it is for the young generation in Korea.
It’s annoying to hear you say something so obvious in such an obvious way! This country doesn’t give chances to the young! Instead of change, they chase after stability! The self-preserving ways of the ones at the top make me want to vomit!
I don’t think it’s good for this kind of syndrome to exist! Because Ahn Soo Ho has already established himself as a rich person of Korean society! No matter how much he climbed to get to where he is, that doesn’t mean he’s not filthy rich right now! The rich are in their own league!
I agree! The reason why the reformation of the rich isn’t taking place is because we’re all being dominated by them! President Lee Joong Hyun has to understand that this is more serious than he thinks! The reason why we’re not impeaching him isn’t because he’s doing a good job leading the country!
Lee Joong Hyun is a fighting dog! He’ll probably rip the rich into shreds during his term!
I don’t trust politicians! They don’t know what honesty is! They’re all busy looking out for themselves!
Lee Joong Hyun is different! He’s already put a knife through a corruption scandal! Our country’s military is even more frustrating than the rich, so I want to praise the president for at least trying to reform the military!
That’s right! The military is a crazy organization! They’re not even patriots! Some of them still think we’re living under a military dictator! It’s impossible to understand the minds of old men!
The sound threads were having productive discussions while some of the other ones were busy cursing at each other.
Ahn Soo Ho needs to use a tank to seize the Blue House! He needs to get rid of all the corrupt politicians and kill the Pyeongyang pig while he’s at it!
Ahn Soo Ho needs to be careful, too! If not, he could get sniped by a CIA a.s.sa.s.sin!
An a.s.sa.s.sin? Is that really necessary? A cruise missile would take him down easy.
America knows what they’re doing, okay? No bullet or missile can kill the Ahnminator!
How can any person survive a bullet or a missile?
Didn’t you see the secret doc.u.ments revealed by Amba.s.sador Ransel? They’ve already tried to a.s.sa.s.sinate him! 100 times at that! So seeing how he’s still alive, that means 100 a.s.sa.s.sination attempts all failed!
Is that even surprising? Castro’s a.s.sa.s.sinations failed multiple times, too!
Castro was stuck in Cuba with no reason to come out. You can’t compare that to Ahn Soo Ho who’s just out and about!
You’re all forgetting something! The secret doc.u.ments that Amba.s.sador Ransel revealed expose how the b.a.s.t.a.r.ds of the West exploited Africa and Asia! And witches? This is a total violation!
I don’t know. Do you think they were the only ones? I bet Ahn Soo Ho has supernatural powers just like Barbara Huxley!
Hm, I can’t disagree with that one!
Right? It doesn’t make sense that he made all that money in just a few decades! It’s not like he’s Zuckerberg!
You idiots! Learn to use those brains of yours! People who mediate and resolve international issues get paid the big bucks! Don’t a.s.sume they make the kind of money that you do, you fools!
No matter what people call it, didn’t he make money from killing people?
Ha! I don’t know what to say anymore! Do you know how many people Ahn Soo Ho saved in Africa? Go to the African homepage! It’s full of messages of grat.i.tude for Ahn Soo Ho! He’s not the type of mercenary who’s only after money!
Murder is the worst crime a person can commit! He must repent! He’s a criminal! Hallelujah!
A Jesus man has arrived!
That man is not a Christian, everyone! Don’t be fooled! They’re all conspiring to slander the Christian church!
“Ugh, those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!”
Yoon Chul punched his chest with rage and Kim Soo Jung laughed at him while remembering that she had seen this before.
“I told you not to use the internet.”
“Why are they all judging Soo Ho? They don’t even know him!”
“Sir Ferguson is an amazing director and superior philosopher.”
SNS was a waste of life and even the internet discussions were a waste of time. Even on talk shows where people face off face-to-face, it was hard to convince the other person, so discussions that only used words were most likely to end up with sarcastic remarks and ridicule. They were visiting Star Tower with an appointment.
In contrast to the noisy Korean society, Ahn Soo Ho was busy having a fun time. If he didn’t have plans today, he would have flown over to Jejudo. Ahn Soo Ho was interested in recreational facilities these days. As soon as a secretary approached, the two entered the opening doors. And once they got inside, they saw Ahn Soo Ho sitting in his chair.
“What is it?”
“Is that how you’re going to greet us?”
“We know each other too well for that. Why? Are the wedding invitations out already?”
Kim Soo Jung elbowed Yoon Chul to speak up.
“I quit the police force.”
His tone got higher.
“Because I got sick of it.”
“Are they trying to make some connections with me by using you?”
It was obvious what the upper officers of the police were doing. Ahn Soo Ho didn’t talk him out of it. He wished he had stayed there for 2 or 3 more years, but he wasn’t interested in pus.h.i.+ng him.
“Do you still get a pension if you quit midway?”
“No… I came because I trust my wealthy friend.”
“You’re both gonna stick your straws in this, huh?”
Yoon Chul just laughed it off, and Ahn Soo Ho clapped his hands.
“This is good. I actually needed someone to take care of the guards.”
“Isn’t your friend, Dae Ho in charge of that?”
“He can’t do it.”
Do Dae Ho wasn’t capable enough to do the job.
If he left it to him, he probably wouldn’t have done horribly, but he wouldn’t have made any improvements either. Hosoo Guard Team—which was in charge of Hosoo Entertainment’s security—was the number 1 company in the eyes of anyone with great athletic ability or athletic background. Even if they went off to the Olympics and won a medal, their retirement didn’t look so bright without enough popularity. The hards.h.i.+ps of Olympic medalists have existed for a very long time.
“The ranks of those who use their bodies are pretty clear and an employee getting in through connections is bound to cause criticism. I don’t like the power game…”
“So you don’t want to?”
“No! That’s not what I meant.”
Yoon Chul changed his word as soon as Kim Soo Jung elbowed him.
“Join our guards as soon as you wrap it up with the police. I’ll let them know ahead of time.”
Ahn Soo Ho looked back at Kim Soo Jung.
“What about you?”
“Go on a talk show, Soo Ho.”
“We need a big one to make HBS take off.”
“Did you talk to Director Oh about it?”
“She said she’ll get it ready as long as you give us consent.”
The task of connecting all the different broadcasting stations was in the final stages of the process, but the amount of work was still immense. There was a lot of backlashes when it was announced that a young woman in her 20s would be in charge, but it cooled down after a few months. Oh Joo Kyung exceeded Ahn Soo Ho’s expectations.
‘It’s not a bad idea to give her a little more support.’
Despite being capable enough, her gender and age kept her back. Korean society stressed the importance of age, gender, and rank way too much.
“Fine. But I’m going to put Director Oh in charge of casting.”
“That s.h.i.+m Il Kwon will hate that.”
“Oh! Do you understand the power structure already?”
Just because she worked in a broadcasting station for so long didn’t mean she didn’t understand politics. The reason why she kept her job despite being on the higher-ups’ bad side was all because of this.
“Then what’s his downfall?”
“His academic record?”
s.h.i.+m Il Kwon looked like a gentleman on the outside, but his downfall was his academic record.
“It’s actually not a big deal, but him thinking of it as a weakness made it into one.”
“In our country, academia is just as important as blood relations.”
“He respects rich people, so he also wants to be one.”
“I heard that he once got humiliated at some cultural art event. Oh, it was different this time, wasn’t it?”
“I don’t know.”
“I’d better ask Director Oh about this one.”
The story about how s.h.i.+m Il Kwon attended a cultural event for the rich and got humiliated was quite famous. Old men who only valued cla.s.sical music and looked down on pop art also didn’t acknowledge entertainers as real artists. However, the last event was very different. First of all, Daesan Group, who was the main sponsor, supported Hosoo Entertainment, so the other rich people couldn’t treat Ahn Soo Ho’s deputies, Oh Joo Kyung, and s.h.i.+m Il Kwon in a careless manner.
No matter how many distinct species there were in art, the rich were still afraid of him. There wasn’t a single person who wanted to risk being hit by a storm. Just because they were old didn’t mean they were dumb. They were actually more sensitive to the direction of power.
“Did you cast Seol Hyun?”
“If you do it, she’ll follow.”
The thread always followed the needle.
“Okay, fine. Go for it.”
“Are you going to have dinner tonight?”
Ahn Soo Ho looked at his watch. It was 3 o’clock. It was an iffy time, but after a bit of wandering, it was going to be dinner time in no time.
“How about we invite Seol Hyun and ask her while we’re at it?”
“I don’t know. Do what you want.”
As soon as Ahn Soo Ho’s interphone rang, he answered it.
“What is it?”
“Miss Ahn Da Sol is here.”
Ahn Soo Ho opened the door.
“See you downstairs.”
Once he sent Yoon Chul and Kim Soo Jung off, he called Ahn Da Sol over with his hand. As soon as the door closed, he told her to get straight to the point.
“What is it?”
“Did you know that we got an advertis.e.m.e.nt offer from Genesis Quantum?”
“Quantum. I think I’ve seen a report about them somewhere. But why?”
“Michel… I mean Vice President Michael Tobal of Genesis Quantum… has supernatural powers.”
Ahn Soo Ho made an exaggerated expression as if he was surprised, but he didn’t feel much. He had already predicted that many alpha organisms were dominating the authoritative positions that controlled the world. Huxley Group was just the tip of the iceberg.
“Aren’t you worried?”
“They could be approaching with intent.”
“Maybe. But so what?”
“They could be trying to use you.”
Ahn Soo Ho laughed loudly and Ahn Da Sol crinkled her face.
“You remind me of someone sometimes. She… also worried a lot. Why are you saying something so obvious in such a serious way? Of course, they’re approaching to use me. Why would they help us? The only person who’s kind to us without intent is our mothers.”
“Aren’t you worried about how brutal his plot might be?”
“It’s tiring to worry about all of that. And the intent of my enemies isn’t important to me.”
“Then what is?”
No matter what their intent was, if he got hurt in any way, that meant something bad was going to happen.
“What’s my motto?”
“That the ones who’ll succeed will.”
Ahn Da Sol mumbled.
The ones who were supposed to die on the battlefield would die, and the ones who were supposed to live would live on. Just like that, what mattered the most was the results. If the results were bad, it didn’t matter what the intent was. The reason why people made all sorts of excuses for their small mistakes was because they imagined there would be a better day tomorrow.
But there was no such thing.
“Michel? Or Michael? I don’t care who he is. If he thinks he can use me, he should try. But if that ends up with a bad result, I’m going to make sure he pays.”
In a world where witches existed, no one could say that there wasn’t an angel either.
“Responsibility for results.”
Ahn Soo Ho believed that the current judicial system disregarded taking responsibility for the results and provided a way for criminals to escape. The way they stressed that punishments needed to be reduced since the future couldn’t be predicted were all nonsense. However, Ahn Soo Ho’s rules had a contradiction as well. It was true that everything he did, resulted in some kind of victim.
Who would they get back at in revenge?
That was why Ahn Soo Ho didn’t avoid revenge. If he had a right to get revenge, so did other people. But it was his responsibility to take responsibility for the results. For that reason, the strength that allowed revenge to succeed was justice.
“Strength is justice.”
< Protect – Episode 134 – Talk Show  > The end.