Chapter 301 (END) – The Alternate Ending
Outside the ninety-seven story Sunbin Group office building in Gangnam, Seoul…
“Huh…it’s smaller than I remember.” I had to bend my head all the way back to get a glimpse of the top of the building, but for some reason, it looked really small. I looked back down and around me. Today was the day of the interviews for those who had passed the preliminary screening of the Sunbin Group’s special recruiting program. All around me were hopeful applicants who all had the same serious and nervous looks on their faces.
I slowly followed them into the building. Inside the first floor lobby, I saw a large sign that greeted us.
[Welcome, Interviewees, to the Second Stage of the Sunbin Group’s 2023 Special Recruiting Program!]
I gave the sign a quick glance and walked over to the front desk.
“Welcome. Are you here for the interviews?”
“Can I have your registration number and your ID?”
I handed over the proper documents.
“Thank you. Okay, you’re all set. Here’s your number. Keep it around your neck at all times and head down that way.”
I took the name tag, which had a picture of me and the number 115, and put it on before heading up to the auditorium on the third floor. The auditorium was almost as big as half a stadium. Inside, about a hundred people were already seated. They were all clearly elites. From all the news articles about the annual recruiting program I had read up on, more than a hundred thousand people applied and only two hundred were chosen. Each applicant was either a graduate of a SKY university or from a famous foreign university. I was most likely the only high school graduate here, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t a normal high school graduate.
I walked over the seat that had my number on it and sat down, making myself comfortable. The moment I sat down, applicant 114 on my left leaned over to me.
“I guess you couldn’t keep living off your parents’ backs.”
“I’m the same. I wanted to just enter my father’s company and eventually take it over, but he told me to get hired by the Sunbin Group and work for them for at least three years first. If I didn’t, then I would be cut off completely. He even took my freaking credit card,” he said as wiped the face of his expensive watch.
“Anyway, have you already given up on the interview?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean, you can’t come to a new hire interview in a suit that expensive. Honestly, I was going to do the same, but my father forced me into this cheap suit. I barely got him to let me wear my watch.”
I looked down at my clothes. It was a suit the Shire Group had sent me, wishing me luck with the interview.
“Wow…you have those shoes? They’re from the limited edition line that came out this year from that Italian company, right? They actually got imported to Korea? Man, that’s crazy.”
The shoes were also sent from the Shire Group as a set.
“Do you have time after the interview? I’ve never seen you around before, so I’m guessing you just came back to Korea. I’ll take you to a really fun place. They’ve got all the girls and drugs you want. Kekeke,” the man said with bleary eyes and a half-smile.
I didn’t like this guy one bit, but he didn’t seem to care and kept talking.
“They don’t let anyone in, but you and I aren’t the types to get too hung about an interview process like this, right? Besides, if you come, I’m sure you can make some sweet connections. Everyone from this country’s upper class hangs out there.”
“Hah.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I never had someone show that much of interest in me before; well, besides the time during the Otadolon stage and the Continent.
“I’m sorry. I’ve got a pile of things to do later. You’re going to have to go to that fun place by yourself.”
“…” When I completely rejected him, the guy’s face dropped. When I continued to ignore him, he stopped talking to me. Not long afterwards, he got up and left.
The auditorium was filled with the whispers of the interviewees, worrying if they should have prepared for more interview questions. No one was able to hear the shutter sound of someone taking a picture with their phone… except for me, that is.
-Was I too harsh?-
I may have spent most of my time during the Otadolon stage and the Continent in the spotlight, but I had lived a pretty normal life before all that. I didn’t like using women and drugs just to have some fun. I also didn’t like that affluent lifestyle, just because he was born to the right parents. Well, then again, had he been slightly more respectful, I might have gone with him. I was always curious about how the upper class had fun.
Anyway, I knew that he had taken a picture of me, but I ignored him.
“Motherfucker. You tell me off, of all people? I don’t know what hole you crawled out of or whose backing you used, but no one treats me like that,” Choi Kyungman swore. He was the only son of Choi Taesuk, the president of Sungjin Bio, South Korea’s leading Biociences Company. No one ever looked down on him like that.
Choi Kyungman sent the photo he just took to a friend. Choi Kyungman would have just confronted the guy to his face, but this was the headquarters of the Sunbin Group. Furthermore, the guy clearly wasn’t an easy target. The clothes, shoes, and accessories he had on were easily worth more than a billion Won altogether. Choi Kyungman also noticed the tie pin that was embedded with at least a hundred small diamonds. Only three of those existed, and each cost seven hundred thousand dollars.
“Fuck. Where the fuck did this bastard even come from?” After sending the photo, Choi Kyungman called his friend right away. This friend, Lee Weechul, knew everyone who was anyone of the upper class.
“Hey, bro. What’s up? Why are you calling? Shouldn’t you be at the Sunbin Group interview by now?”
“Who cares about that? Did you get the photo I sent you?”
“Do you know who that is?”
“Nope. I never saw him before.”
“Look carefully. He’s got some threads on his back. The shoes and the tie pin he has aren’t exactly easy buys, either.”
“Huh… give me a second.”
Choi Kyungman waited. Soon, he heard his friend get back on the phone.
“Dude, you know that I know the top fifty richest people in the country, right? But I seriously never saw this guy before. But you’re right. Those are some serious threads. There are only three of those tie pins in the world, right?”
“Damn… I should know who he is if he’s that rich… did you meet him at the interview?”
“Of course I did. Where else would I have?”
“Do you think he’s new money?”
“Are you crazy? No matter how rich anyone is, it’s almost impossible to find those accessories. And he definitely doesn’t carry himself like new money. Fuck. I thought I was looking at my pops.” Choi Kyungman only felt that aura from those richer or more powerful than his father. No one from new money carried that much confidence.
“Wow. I wonder who this guy is for you feel that way and to escape my radar. Bro, invite him to one of our hangouts.”
“I already did, and he blew me off. He actually looked down on me. Fuck. If this wasn’t the Sunbin’s building, I would have beaten the crap out of him.”
“Shit. It’s that bad?”
“Fucking yeah, it is. He probably thinks he’s royalty or some shit. Hey, don’t you know someone on the Sunbin’s HR team?”
“Oh yeah! Jin Sungyul. He came to one of our outings once for a little bit. But not long after that, his dad’s business sank, and so did he.”
“See what you can learn from him.”
“You don’t like him that much?”
“Fuck. No one talks to me like that, not in Korea.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll see what I can find out and call you right back.”
After hanging up, Choi Kyungman turned around and glared holes into the back of the bastard’s head. “Just you wait. Once I find out you’re beneath me, I’m going to break that bloated skull of yours,” Choi Kyungman muttered before pocketing his phone and heading to the bathroom. There was still some time left until the interviews started.
Ten minutes later…
Choi Kyungman’s phone vibrated in his pocket. He took it out and saw his friend’s name on the screen. He smiled. Choi Kyungman stole a glance over at the guy to his right before getting up and leaving the auditorium. Once he was out, he answered.
“Yeah. Did you find out anything?”
“Bro. Is Lee Jiwon the guy’s name?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Lee Jiwon, number 115.”
“What? What is it that you can’t tell me right away? Is he Song Daechul’s hidden grandson or something?” Realizing that he had almost shouted the question out, Choi Kyungman quickly glanced around to make sure no one was around him. As rich and powerful his father’s company was, it still fell behind the Sunbin Group.
“Well… he’s an orphan and is only a high school graduate.”
“You heard me. He’s also wasn’t adopted by some rich family, either. He went straight to high school from his orphanage, then entered the army right away and came out as a sergeant. And then, that’s it. He’s practically a bum.”
“Are you sure you got the right guy?” Lee Jiwon did not carry the aura and confidence of a bum. This guy clearly had years of experience under his belt. Choi Kyungman found it hard to believe that he was only a high school graduate.
“I’m sure. I found it hard to believe too, so I had Sungyul take a picture of the guy’s entire application and resume. I’ll send it to you right now, hold on.”
Soon, Choi Kyungman received several photos on his phone. He quickly scanned over the pictures which confirmed his friend’s story.
“Did you see them?”
“Yeah…” The evidence was right in front of him. “Then who the hell is this guy? Are they fake? Can I not tell the difference between real and fake anymore? No, they’re real alright.”
“He and you are going to get interviewed together, right? You’re number 114 and he’s number 115.”
“Then you can find out then. The interviewers are definitely going to have the same questions as you.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Thanks.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just worry about your interview. Your dad’s going to be furious if you get dropped.”
“Ugh, I swear to God, the old man’s killing me.”
“Kekeke. Good luck. And promise me you’ll tell me about this Lee Jiwon guy.”
“Yeah, I will.”
After he hung up, Choi Kyungman looked over the photos again, in case his eyes were playing tricks on him. But he was right; there was nothing special about this guy.
“Tsk. Who the fuck is this guy?”
Lee Jiwon’s letters of recommendation were removed from his application and resume by Kim Jongmin of the HR team before anyone else on the team learned about them. Lee Jiwon’s specialties were also all erased completely, which was why Choi Kyungman, Lee Weechul, and Jin Sungyul, who had just committed a felony, did not know about Lee Jiwon’s uniqueness.
“Hmph, Sunbin needs to keep their people on a shorter leash.” I heard everything he and his friend were talking about. The auditorium was pretty noisy with everyone worrying about the coming interviews, but I could hear what he was saying as if he was right next to me. I didn’t mind all the insults he threw my way, since I had insulted him first by looking down on and ignoring him. I mean, I only did it because of the distance between our statuses.
I just didn’t like how easily my personal information was leaked. I wasn’t embarrassed about my orphaned past or my education, but he found out without my permission. Besides, I wasn’t really an orphan.
Then, as I was thinking of ways to punish this Choi Kyungman guy, the doors to the auditorium opened and a group of people walked in. From their confident gaits, I could tell that they weren’t interviewees. Soon, one of them walked up to the podium on the stage and addressed us.
“Uh, hello everyone. My name is Kim Jongmin of the Sunbin Group’s HR team. I would like to first off thank everyone for putting in the great effort to wish to work at our company. I sincerely hope everyone gets to pass so I can become everyone’s respectable sunbae. Don’t worry, I promise I won’t become your slave driver.”
Laughter echoed from the interviewees at Kim Jongmin’s small joke. It was probably the reaction he wanted.
“I will now explain how the interview process will work. The interviews will take place at the meeting room next door and teams of five will enter at a time. Each team will take at most thirty minutes. So, that should be about five to six minutes per person. So, you all can relax. Even if anyone makes a mistake, none of the interviewers will tear you apart. Just make sure to answer the questions as best you can so that you won’t regret anything. Now then, we will begin with the first team in ten minutes. Numbers 1 to 5, please stand up and follow us….”
I decided to end the story with the previous chapter. But then, I found myself starting the third and final arc to the story. I was going to dive deeper into Lee Jiwon’s life as a salaryman, his journey up the corporate ladder and about his love life with Song Haein, then how he tackled Earth’s problem…
But then, I realized that it would just drag the story along too much. So, I made the decision to end it here and scrapped everything else. This part of the story was going to take place in a completely different timeline and world. Honestly, if I had decided to keep going, the story arcs would have looked something like this:
The Judge’s Continent
Keeper of Terra
I didn’t really want to end it just like that. If I was going to keep going, I would have had to continue the story into a fourth arc and actually have to take Lee Jiwon into the Mamon stage. I had to convince myself to just scrap it and start a new, fresh story.
Seriously, had I added the chapter above, the story really would have gone into a third arc.
And so the novel ends.
Thanks to all our readers from me, RED, the editor, and HunterW, your translator for these 300 chapters of the Novel. I hope you enjoyed them for what they are, and didn’t hold the lucky, not-so-bright MC, against us.
Hunter is going to be taking up real life, so he probably won’t be translating another novel in the short term. It has been my pleasure to work with him, and I wish him best of luck in his new career of court recording/translating in the Santa Barbara area! Perhaps he’ll take up the pen for some beer and pretzel money in the future.
If you want another novel to peruse, I’m posting an original I update a chapter a day, The Power of Ten: Sama Rantha. Check it out if you like some video game in your fantasy novels!