Crank Up 8
It was rather blatant.
Maru recalled what Giwoo did as he sat on his bed.
He was practically telling him to watch.
The guy who suddenly left for a long period of time to ‘make a phone call’ suddenly came back and revealed that he had a girlfriend before continuing the call inside so obviously.
Kang Giwoo said that it was no problem because he trusted the people there.
A robber with a knife saying “I won’t threaten you with this” might be more believable than that.
The eyes that looked at Gaeul on the screen did not belong to a man who had gotten himself a new girlfriend.
While Maru couldn’t see his heart, he was convinced that Kang Giwoo hadn’t given up yet; that in fact, his obsession had become a sort of paranoia and was burning intensely within him.
To classify, Kang Giwoo was ‘socially strong.’ Whether he wanted to or not, his environment would not let him stay ‘weak.’ Anything he wished to have would have entered his hands, leading him to believe that ‘anything he wished for can be his’, a proposition that no ordinary person could dream of.
The proposition should have been consolidated within him through numerous repetitions.
If he had not experienced this incident, he would never have doubted the ‘truth’ that he experienced for himself.
Maru switched the channel to a home shopping channel.
He lowered the volume as much as possible.
The whisper-like noise helped him focus.
From how the meticulous guy was in a hurry to the point of showing openings, it seemed that he was desperate due to something.
A few hypotheses flashed past Maru’s head.
He picked the worst of them all: Kang Giwoo was aware of the circumstances.
His mention of Kim Suyeon should also have been a way of probing him.
When he called Gaeul, she said that nothing had changed around her and that Kang Giwoo seemed to have become docile as though he had lost interest.
He was successful if that was an attempt to remove the suspicion on him.
He said those words himself after all.
The reason his attitude suddenly took a drastic change recently was probably that he must have recently realized that Maru and Gaeul had not broken up.
The time should be five days ago, when he just arrived in Ulsan.
It seemed that he was really urgent, from how he managed to smile in front of Maru, who he must despise to the bone at this point, and boast about his ‘girlfriend’ over a drink.
Maru walked over to the window.
He slowly walked along the wall and recalled Kang Giwoo’s actions.
If he realized that he had been deceived five days ago, what would he have done first He must have looked for a way to get revenge.
That guy did not have great patience.
Like a predator in front of prey, he knew how to wait for a little, but he was physiologically unable to set up traps and wait for the prey to get caught like a proficient hunter.
If Kang Giwoo was truly that proficient, he would not have expressed anything during these five days and returned to Seoul after participating in the shoot quietly.
If that happened, Maru would also have dropped his suspicion.
However, he was unable to stay calm.
He ultimately reached a hand out to the prey lingering in front of him.
Why did he keep appealing that he had stopped taking interest in Han Gaeul It must be a precursor to something.
Just like according to Heinrich’s Law, the visible, small incidents were signs of a bigger impending event.
Maru tapped on the wall in front of the bathroom with his index finger.
Giwoo must have devised his plans.
He had a reason to make a move.
Since he had a reason to move, it meant that he could not overcome his urgency.
Attempting to form a sense of distance so suddenly was for the sake of an alibi no matter how much he thought about it.
A scheme to prove that he was unrelated to anything even if something did happen.
Maru looked into the bathroom mirror.
If a thief who stole a pin would one day become a thief that steals an ox, what would become of a man who breaks people’s fingers for fun He recalled Hong Janghae.
That man was someone who could hold people in captivity and use violence without hesitation.
And such a man was under the wings and took orders from YM’s chairman, who was Kang Giwoo’s bloodline.
This meant that their relationship was like a retainer for a rich household and the heir to that household before they were president and actor in the same agency.
If Kang Giwoo asks Hong Janghae for a ‘favor,’ how likely would it be for Hong Janghae to listen to that
He felt chills on the back of his neck.
When he tied the two people into this, he got a clear answer.
It also explained Giwoo trying to form a distance.
Maru had experienced numerous times throughout his life how dangerous the thought, ‘there’s no way he would go that far, is there’ could be.
Blind faith like that could kill.
It might be just a delusion on his part.
He might be overreacting to this.
Despite that, he had to put up countermeasures.
Once something happened, he wouldn’t even have any time for regret.
Just because his life was set to never go past the age of forty-five didn’t mean that his life up till then would be a smooth sail.
Death from traffic accidents, overwork, disease….
The masked man said that he never chose to commit suicide, but before that man took consciousness, a Han Maru somewhere might have chosen to commit suicide.
Of course, the possibility of homicide couldn’t be ruled out either.
If attempted murder was too extreme, assault was definitely worth considering.
He could easily create a scenario as well.
A man proclaiming to be Han Gaeul’s extreme fan would attack him.
Even if that man was caught by the police, they wouldn’t be able to do anything, and if he doesn’t get caught, it would still instill fear.
Without three or four people assaulting him at once, if he wasn’t lynched in an alley somewhere, he had confidence in fighting.
If Giwoo tried to solve it through violence, Maru could put up a counterattack.
It would be great if it ended with that.
He washed his face with some cold water.
In truth, he was most worried about Gaeul receiving harm.
After all, while Gaeul’s slaps were strong, she wasn’t strong enough to win against an adult man.
Perhaps that guy already had someone tag Gaeul.
Considering the circumstances, it was more plausible to think that there was someone giving him information.
Maru called Gaeul.
The one you have called is currently unavailable and….
— the girl who had her phone turned on even during the ceremony had her phone turned off for some reason.
He felt uneasy and called Mijoo.
-Gaeul-unni I took her home.
She looked really tired.
By now, she should have fallen asleep.
Her phone She used up her power bank as well, so it should have lost power by now.
She doesn’t have any schedule, so she might not have turned it back on.
Why do you ask
Maru hung up, telling her that it was nothing much.
He felt relieved when he heard that Mijoo checked on her.
Thinking about it, there wasn’t anything that Giwoo could do immediately.
No matter how impatient that guy was, he wasn’t foolish enough to make a move while knowing that it would put him in danger.
If he was cooking up a scheme behind Maru’s back, it would be much easier to strike him first.
He thought that he should try shaking him up a little.
Maru would be able to delay the impending series of events just by giving him a sense of warning.
He left the room and ended up standing in front of that guy’s room before knocking on the door lightly.
He knocked again because there was no response.
His face underwent a series of changes.
He was unable to hide his momentary puzzlement before he put on a smile.
It seemed that he did not expect Maru to make a visit immediately.
“What is it”
“I thought about it carefully.
As you said, we might not be close, but we shouldn’t be at each other’s throats.
I thought about what we didn’t have enough of and about what ultimately got us into such a volatile relationship, and I concluded that we didn’t have enough conversations.
Since it’s not too late, I thought we should have a talk.”
It was midnight, still too early to sleep.
Maru quickly looked inside the room through the slightly open door.
The duvet was strewn across the floor.
He also saw the remote control with the battery cover removed.
Sticky notes were sprayed across the floor as well like floor tiles.
Seemingly having noticed his gaze, Giwoo hurriedly came out and closed the door.
“I was just practicing my new character.”
“Looks like that character’s emotions are quite intense.”
I like using my body in acting, so it’s quite messy inside.”
“Then should we go to the lounge I saw that the bar is open until 4.”
“The corridor isn’t the greatest place to have a talk.
Or maybe that isn’t plausible because of your fans”
After giving him a glance, Giwoo told him to wait before going inside.
Maru leaned against the wall.
Venting his anger as soon as he returned, huh The messy room seemed to convey his heart.
If he had devised a plan, he would not have responded like that.
This might be a good opportunity.
Talking while his head was in a mess might make him leak some important information against his will.
This should be an opportunity to find out his true intentions and feelings.
Giwoo came back out wearing a jacket and a hat.
He had good looks, so everyone would be able to tell that he was quite handsome, but it would be hard to match him with Kang Giwoo.
They did not utter a word as they took the elevator together to go to the bar.
Maru forced the uncomfortable silence on him.
He should be feeling complex right now.
After all, Maru visited so suddenly and said that they should have a talk.
“We can’t drink anything heavy because of the shoot.”
“Don’t you think a light cocktail will be okay”
They ordered two glasses of a cocktail that wasn’t too high in alcohol content.
They sat down on a sofa far away from the bar.
Couples and families were enjoying the night at the hotel.
Not long later, an employee approached them with two glasses.
Maru spoke the moment the cocktail glasses touched the table,
“Gaeul’s dress was pretty.”
Grabbing the cocktail glass’ thin neck, Giwoo spoke,
It suited her.”
He responded quite adequately.
While he was full of holes in front of his room, it seemed that he had calmed down considerably on their way down.
As expected of the man who managed to draw a positive impression from everyone he worked with.
The speed at which he put on his mask was incredibly quick.
“Are things going well with your girlfriend”
“I never knew you had an interest in my girlfriend.”
“I am trying to start now.
We need to get to know each other better to get closer, don’t you think”
Giwoo’s fingers twitched as he held the glass.
Maru quietly raised the glass.
 A Korean idiom which says that someone who commits a small bad deed would one day commit a big bad deed.