The Main Characters That Only I Know (Novel) Chapter 26


Chapter 26

[White Flower Management]

Among the various management agencies with different names, this one was nothing special, but it was different for me.

It was a name that evoked nostalgia, and also reluctance.

A contradictory sentiment that I felt.

“Here we are.”

“Really? This is the place you were interested in?”

“Yes. Let’s go up.”

I led Kang Hye-rim to the office of White Flower Management. 

It was located on the second floor, and the door of the office was small and shabby. 

I guessed that the inside was not spacious either. 

This building had dozens of management agencies crammed together like a beehive, so I did not have high expectations.

Knock knock.

“Is anyone there?”

As I knocked on the door, I heard some movement inside.

“Slurp! J-just a moment!”

It sounded like someone was eating something, as I heard a hurried slurping noise and some rustling. 

Kang Hye-rim and I glanced at each other and then looked back at the closed door.

It seemed like there was a big commotion inside, as I heard some banging noises for five minutes.

When everything was settled, the door opened.

“Who are you?”

The face that peeked out from the half-opened door belonged to a young woman who looked innocent.

She had a bob cut that reached her shoulders, and her eyes were big and round. 

She might have been eating ramen just before, as there were some traces on her mouth, but she did not seem to notice them.

What surprised me more than her clumsy and lacking appearance was that she had hardly changed from the last time I saw her.

‘No. The vibe is definitely different from back then.’

I met her a few years after the apocalypse happened. 

She was outgoing then as she was now, but the atmosphere around her was very different.

At least, the woman I knew did not have such a flustered expression on her face.

‘Well. It makes sense. She had seen and experienced all kinds of hardships back then, so it’s natural that she’s different from now.’

I thought it would be rude to just stand there silently, so I smiled softly and said.

“Hello. Is this White Flower Management?”

“Yes. But why… Do you have some business here…?”

She asked with a voice that was half wary and half hopeful. 

Her eyes were more focused on Kang Hye-rim than me. 

She must have recognized her as a collector right away.

I nodded as if to meet her expectations.

“Yes, that’s right. Our collector here was looking for a management agency.”

“Welcome!”

The door that was half-opened was fully opened.

Kang Hye-rim and I followed her into the office. 

It was small and plain as I expected, but it was very neat, as if she took good care of it. 

There were an office phone, a computer for work, and some miscellaneous documents.

The empty ramen cups stacked in the corner… Let’s pretend we didn’t see them.

We sat down facing each other in the middle of the office.

“I’ll introduce myself first. I’m Baek Seoryeon, the representative of White Flower Management.”

“Wow, you’re the representative?”

“…Well, I’m the only one here.”

She shrank a little when I nodded and responded. 

She spoke with a voice that sounded like she wanted to crawl into a hole.

The mood became heavy in an instant, but Baek Seoryeon tried to smile and continued.

“But it’s okay! It will change soon! Anyway, you came here because you want to sign a contract with our agency, right?”

“Yes. The one who wants to sign a contract is this person here.”

I introduced Kang Hye-rim to her, and Kang Hye-rim just nodded slightly in response. 

Is she trying to act cool? 

Baek Seoryeon’s expression seemed to say that, so I nudged Kang Hye-rim and said.

“Hye-rim-ssi. You don’t need to act like that here.”

“Oh, really? Phew. That’s a relief. I was exhausted from acting all day.”

“Huh?”

Baek Seoryeon made a dumbfounded noise at Kang Hye-rim’s sudden change of attitude.

Well, I can’t blame her for feeling that way. 

Kang Hye-rim looked like an ideal collector on the outside. 

Her eyes were sharp and intelligent, and her cold appearance gave off an untouchable aura. 

There was a reason why people called her Black Fox when she kept her mouth shut.

Baek Seoryeon must have glanced at Kang Hye-rim with envy because of the charisma that emanated from her appearance. 

She might have thought in her heart, ‘How can such a collector come to my office!’ and felt happy.

I’m sorry to show her the bitter truth.

“By the way, are you sure you want to do this here?”

“There’s nowhere else to go.”

“Um…”

She looked at us chatting comfortably and cautiously interrupted.

“Can I ask what your relationship is? I mean, I can tell that this person is a collector. But what about you, sir…?”

“What do you think?”

I suddenly felt playful and asked her that. 

I implied that she should guess.

She pondered for a moment and then opened her mouth.

“First of all, I don’t think you’re a collector. If you were a collector, you wouldn’t have to bring someone else here to introduce them. And if you’re from another clan or another management agency… That doesn’t seem right either.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, your attitude is too relaxed for that. Usually, people who come from other places either try to analyze or ignore and look down on us. But you don’t look like an ordinary person either.”

“I don’t think so. You two seem close, but you also lead the conversation naturally. I don’t feel like you’re ordinary. So…”

Baek Seoryeon stopped talking and closed her mouth. 

She looked like she was wondering if she should say it or not.

“You can speak freely. I want to hear your opinion.”

“Could you be… a teller?”

“Why do you think that?”

“It’s hard to explain… but it’s the vibe, you know. Tellers are different from other people, right? Of course, their personalities are different from normal tellers, but they have a unique aura. If you look at them casually, you might not notice, but if you look closely, they seem to be detached from this reality somehow. That’s why… I thought you were a teller. I’m sorry if I’m wrong.”

“No, you don’t have to be sorry. You’re right.”

“Really?! Then…”

“Yes. That’s right. I’m Kang Yoo-hyun, a teller from Celestial Corporation of  Story Room.”

When I admitted it without hesitation, Baek Seoryeon looked dumbfounded. 

She probably never expected that not only a collector, but also a teller would come to her office.

“Oh my god.”

As she stared at me with wide eyes, I muttered to myself in awe.

‘That’s surprising. Even Choi Jung-mo didn’t notice that I was a teller right away. But she sensed it instinctively as soon as she saw me?’

It was a talent, or an instinct, that was close to the realm of insight. 

And she could even objectify and distinguish it to some extent.

‘She wasn’t shining in the future for nothing.’

I recalled my past life.

White Flower Management. 

It was called that now, but she became the leader of White Flower Group, a huge organization that led people after the apocalypse.

She rose to the leader position with her excellent judgment and insight, and her charisma that attracted people. 

It was a rare case in those times when everything was ruled by power.

In a way, it showed how outstanding her abilities were.

And.

I glanced at Baek Seoryeon and Kang Hye-rim with lowered eyes.

They had been looking at each other with curiosity and interest since a while ago. 

It was like they were meeting for the first time, but also like they were facing old friends.

They seemed puzzled by their own feelings, but as a third party, I knew the reason.

‘Black Fox too… She joined White Flower Group after the apocalypse.’

Of course, I never saw Black Fox after the apocalypse. 

I only saw her vaguely from afar when she was active as a famous collector before the apocalypse. 

But I heard rumors. 

That Black Fox was part of White Flower Group.

Not only her. 

There were some other people who made names for themselves in the apocalypse who were also part of White Flower Group.

In the distant future, they were comrades who survived the apocalypse together and met again across time.

If there was such a thing as fate, they must have felt some attraction to each other.

‘That’s good.’

If they didn’t get along well, White Flower Group wouldn’t have lasted so long after the apocalypse. 

And I knew what their atmosphere was like, since I visited them a few times.

At least, Baek Seoryeon and Kang Hye-rim were best friends who got along well.

Well, I also had several conversations with Baek Seoryeon and we were somewhat… close enough to call each other friends.

I remembered that she was running White Flower Management here because she told me her old story.

But.

My heart felt heavy as I looked at her.

I was happy to see her again, but also sad that she didn’t remember me.

But more than anything else, what weighed down my heart was ‘guilt’.

Seeing her alive and smiling made me feel worse.

Because Baek Seoryeon was.

‘She was… killed by Choi Do-yoon.’

Not only Baek Seoryeon. White Flower Group itself collapsed under Choi Do-yoon’s hand.

The reason was simple. 

White Flower Group clashed with Choi Do-yoon.

White Flower was a group that maintained their humanity even in the apocalypse, and advocated for working together to survive in the world. 

If I had to describe them, they were a group of justice.

On the other hand, Choi Doyoon was… literally a lawless person, a psychopath, a one-man army.

He would kill anyone who interfered with him, annoyed him, or tried to use him.

He was like a cold-blooded killing machine that only had the word ‘kill’ in his head, input and output.

In a way, the clash between White Flower and Choi Doyoon was inevitable. 

It was rather surprising that they had lasted so long.

As Choi Doyoon’s subordinate, I tried my best to mediate between White Flower and Choi Doyoon as much as possible. 

I was in charge of collecting and analyzing information and doing all the other chores.

I liked the people of White Flower, and I thought they were necessary in this world. 

That’s why I became friends with White Flower’s leader, Baek Seoryeon.

When I went to stop the fight with Choi Doyoon, Baek Seoryeon said to me.

-You’re late. No matter what you do in between, the relationship that has already gone wrong won’t come back.

-But still…!

-Even if we let it go for now, we’ll surely collide again in the near future. It can’t be helped. It’s a shame. It seems like I won’t be able to see you anymore.

-…

-Why don’t you stop living with that monster who lost his humanity and come to our side? I can treat you well if it’s you.

Was it a favor for me, or was it because I was the only one who had some humanity among Choi Doyoon’s team who had a bad reputation?

She often made such proposals to me.

But I refused her offer. 

For me, Choi Doyoon was the strongest lifeline, and I didn’t care about anyone else.

In the end, despite my efforts, the relationship between White Flower and Choi Doyoon reached its worst point. 

They were like oil and water from the beginning, and they couldn’t mix. 

No matter what I did in the middle, I could only delay what would happen eventually, not stop it.

And the end was…

“Mr. Yu-Hyun? Are you okay?”

“Ah.”

I came back to reality at Kang Hye-rim’s voice.

“You’ve been spacing out since a while ago.”

“I’m sorry. I had something to think about.”

“I thought you were suddenly sick or something. So what are you going to do?”

“I have to sign a contract. That’s why I came here.”

At my words, Baek Seoryeon’s eyes filled with emotion. 

She must have been in a state where she had set up an office but no one came and she didn’t know what to do.

So when a collector who signed a contract with Teller came all at once, it was no wonder she was happy and excited.

‘That’s right. It’s all in the past.’

The current Baek Seoryeon is different from the one I knew. 

But her talent and the excellent skills she would show in the future were definitely trustworthy.

Personal sympathy for Baek Seoryeon led me here, but what made me choose her was ultimately her ability.

“We will sign a contract with White Flower Management.”

“Yes! Welcome!”

She didn’t even bother to negotiate the contract terms and just raised both hands to welcome me. 

Seeing her reaction, I thought, ‘She still lacks experience.’ If she was the one I knew, she would have doubted me first.

Now that we were going to be together from now on, I asked Baek Seoryeon something I was curious about.

“Do you have a dream, Ms. Seoryeon?”

“A dream?”

It was an abrupt question, but she answered seriously after thinking about it.

“Just… making a lot of money.”

“I see.”

I wondered why she got along so well with Kang Hye-rim, but they had similar dreams.

Hearing that, I just smiled as if it was amusing.

Suddenly, I remembered my previous life.

-What are you going to do, White Flower leader?

-We’ve known each other for more than a day or two, just call me by my name. So what do you want to do?

-We can’t just die after going through these tedious trials forever. Someday the trials will end and the world will become livable again like before.

-Become livable again? I didn’t think the pre-apocalyptic world was that great either. Well, if you ask me what I want to do later.

At that time, she… smiled decadently and said.

-Just, I want to make a lot of money.

As expected, it was an answer that suited her.


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