Once it was announced, an uproar broke out among the audience.
Not a single person had expected Park Cheon to let the heir marry into the Kim family!
To add to the absurdity, the subject in question was Kim Jip, a former special forces soldier!
However, upon thorough consideration, any observant person would notice that it was indeed a wise decision!
This marriage Park Cheon had arranged made absolute, perfect sense!
Though the Kims were not a family with immense wealth or a high-end political family, it was still a family that nobody dared underestimate.
As word had it, the Kim family’s ancestors were criminal law officers during the Goguryeo period and had been operating in the law industry since. The Kims’ law firm had been renowned across the globe for generations, taking charge of settling legal matters for a variety of major enterprises in Korea.
The greatest support of a family with such fascinating historical origins was nothing else but the networks and approbations accumulated over the decades!
The Kim family had never provoked anyone, and instead, helped said families through tough times. Who would not like them? Who would not give them face?
On top of that, the Kim family had never come into contact with the business or political industries. A man like Kim Jip had only gone to the special forces and stayed for a few years to perform military service duties. In the end, he gave up the opportunity of becoming a military officer and returned home. He was not in favor of becoming a lawyer and chose to be a bodyguard, but still nothing related to industries that would evoke disputes of interest.
The most worrisome thing for the Park family from this exchange would naturally be the possibility that Zhenxiu, as the heir, would risk being engulfed by the Kims after marriage and kids.
No other major family was suitable except for the Kim family. They have been a reliable family for generations and were also family friends, hence, they were their most reassuring choice.
Besides, Kim Jip was a reticent yet charming young man. Park Cheon had watched him grow from an early age and could attest to that. There was no denying that he was indeed the ideal match for Zhenxiu.
As for whether there was an emotional basis between the two of them, most of the people present would refrain from pondering such factors.
In this materialistic upper-class society, feelings and romance were nothing more than a feeble joke.
Once the gears in their heads slowed to a stop, the eyes in the audience glided toward the backstage in unison, fixated on the young man quietly standing there.
Kim Jip still held his signature indifferent expression as he stood tall in a white dress shirt and a matching suit, three metal balls resting in his palm. Not a single trace of his thoughts was manifest on his face or in his eyes.
Below the stage, the father-and-son duo of the Gong family turned green in the face. Gong Gyechung snorted with anger. Turning on his heel, he left the great hall without looking back.
Some people in the audience noticed their departure, but no one bothered to take a second glance. Within their hearts was more of derision.
Onstage, Zhenxiu’s pretty face turned into a red hot tomato. While everyone thought that she was bashful from the incident, she was actually irate and upset.
As a matter of fact, Zhenxiu was cool about Kim Jip and had nothing against him. But they had barely talked. So where did this engagement even come from?!
Under the pressure of this many visitors, Zhenxiu knew she could not express her dissatisfaction and cause a scene with Park Cheon. In her reluctance, she clamped down on her lip and scowled.
Hearing Yang Chen’s translation, Lin Ruoxi was overcome with astonishment.
“How did this happen? It’s too arbitrary,” Lin Ruoxi grumbled.
Yang Chen forced a smile. “It’s a norm among major families. The interest of the family is always of utmost priority. Kim Jip is obviously a better pick for Zhenxiu, rather than that fella Gong Woo.”
Lin Ruoxi tossed an eye-roll at the man. “That’s easy for you to say. I bet you’re feeling indignant right in there,” she remarked snarkily with a brief glimpse at his chest.
“What about me? What does this have to do with me?” Yang Chen replied with feigned lightness in his tone.
Needless to say, Lin Ruoxi did not buy that. “Cut it out, I know you way too well. You look like you’ve just swallowed a dead cockroach.”
Yang Chen spoke softly, “Honey, you can’t think of me as someone so dirty now, can you? I can’t deny the fact that I am dirty indeed, but Zhenxiu is like a younger sister to me…”
“Did I accuse you of having inappropriate thoughts about Zhenxiu? You said it yourself,” Lin Ruoxi interjected coldly.
Yang Chen froze and he stuttered, struggling to find his tongue. With a dejected shrug, he groaned, “Turns out someone was trying to set me up…”
All of a sudden, Lin Ruoxi’s expression grew stern and her eyes widened dispassionately. “If you won’t even spare Zhenxiu, I’ll… I’ll…”
Lin Ruoxi wanted to say something, but she could not find the right words. File for a divorce? Ignore him? Even she was doubting if she could bring herself to do that.
Yang Chen reached out and embraced the woman with what looked like a smile on his face. “Okay, okay, don’t swear this and that now. It’s impossible between Zhenxiu and me, alright. She only ever bickers with me and claims she’s better, does it look like she likes me?”
Lin Ruoxi thought to herself, “It’s those actions which worry me.”
However, there was no way she would say this to his face. Hence, she dismissed the thought with a muffled sigh.
Due to the same reasons, Lin Ruoxi could not help but anticipate their departure from Korea, the earlier the better.
At the end of the banquet, they finally retreated to the Park’s residence after entertaining the major families, celebrities, and politicians adequately.
Along the way, Zhenxiu exhausted every possible way to coerce Park Cheon into taking back his decision. However, Park Cheon was adamant regarding his arrangements, revealing no room for negotiation.
Although it had just been a verbal agreement thus far, this episode still weighed down on Zhenxiu’s chest like a rock, making it painful for her to breathe.
The minute they stepped into the living room of the Park’s residence, Zhenxiu immediately ran toward Yang Chen and tugged at his hand. “Brother Yang, please help me talk Grandfather out of this! He always listens to you!”
Yang Chen met Park Cheon’s eyes awkwardly. “I can’t interfere with this sort of matter as an outsider. What’s more, Kim Jip is an upright and honest man. It’s not that bad.”
Speaking, Yang Chen snuck a look at Kim Jip, who still had not uttered a single word.
As usual, Kim Jip was right by Park Cheon’s side. From his constantly unsmiling, grim expression, it was no wonder sometimes people mistook him as a sufferer of facial nerve paralysis.
Zhenxiu puffed out her cheeks in annoyance and called out to Kim Jip, “Hey, Kim Jip! Speak up, will you! Do you think both of us can get married when we’ve hardly talked?! Can you stop acting like you haven’t heard anything?!”
A deep frown plastered itself across Park Cheon’s brow. “Zhenxiu, how can you talk to Kim Jip in such an impolite way? He is your fiancé!”
There was not even the slightest change in Kim Jip’s expression. It was as if he did not even bother to acknowledge Zhenxiu.
Zhenxiu stamped her feet in exasperation and swung her clenched fists around in the air. “You’re all bullying me! I’m going to stop talking to you!”
With that, the girl ran upstairs in a dash, kicking her high-heeled shoes off and nearly hitting several servants.
Eunjung scanned everyone’s faces with a complicated look in her eyes. She had no choice but to follow Zhenxiu upstairs. It was still her duty to care for Zhenxiu after all.
Kim Jip quietly glanced upstairs and an inexplicable emotion seemed to flit across his eyes.
“Mr Yang, Ms Lin, my apologies. Zhenxiu is normally obedient. It’s just that this kind of information is rather difficult to swallow in the blink of an eye.” Park Cheon shook his head helplessly.
“President, Zhenxiu hasn't even turned twenty, you can take things slow,” Lin Ruoxi could not help but chime in. Arranged marriages did not appeal to her.
Park Cheon disregarded her statement. “From the viewpoints of the wealthy such as ourselves, having an heir settle down early on in life only serves beneficial and induces no harm. After all, studies and careers can wait. If matters like this are delayed, it will only cause one’s heart to turn fickle and impatient.”
“But if Zhenxiu dislikes Kim Jip, won’t it hurt both Zhenxiu and Kim Jip?” Lin Ruoxi pressed on.
Park Cheon whipped his head at Kim Jip and asked with a smile, “Kim Jip, do you like Zhenxiu?”
Kim Jip did not provide a direct answer to the question. “Per your orders, President.”
Park Cheon seemed to have expected this answer. He laughed heartily. “Kid, your father may be old-fashioned, but you are on a whole new level.”
Turning back to Yang Chen, Park Cheon began, “Mr Yang, do you still remember that person of the North Bureo Clan who disguised himself as Kim Jip?”
Yang Chen nodded, a little taken aback by the sudden mention. “What about it?”
“To tell the truth, their actions were not just to frame him but the entire scheme was also an extremely clever trick. Kim Jip is Lawyer Kim’s only son and Lawyer Kim has access to a seamless database on Starmoon, including information on our family. If these were to fall into the wrong hands, they can use it to their advantage to manipulate the Park family. I’d say it’s highly probable that they were trying to take this opportunity to break our trust in the Kim family and get Kim Jip arrested. That way, the North Bureo clan can brainwash the Kim family to take their side, through exhibiting their official power.
“Lawyer Kim has one son and I’ve personally seen him mature. He is more than just a youngster that I favor. Therefore, I am ultimately grateful to you, Mr Yang. It’s all thanks to you that Kim Jip and the Kim family, as well as ourselves, are not involved in disaster…”
Speaking as such, Park Cheon bowed solemnly. Kim Jip, watching by his side, followed suit and bowed his head.
Yang Chen did not expect there to be so much more than what meets the eye.
In fact, Park Cheon had not mentioned that Lawyer Kim also held evidence of his children’s corruption, and these were meant to be handed over to Zhenxiu in the future. As long as Zhenxiu had these materials in hand, Park Jiyeon and the other elders would not be able to mistreat her.
Park Cheon had everything laid out properly in the neatest fashion imaginable. As soon as the Kim family became in-laws, Zhenxiu would be able to sit back and relax.
Subsequently, the people lingered for a little longer for another bout of small talk in the living room. It seemed Park Cheon had no plans to rest early as per his usual routine.
As midnight approached, Park Cheon suddenly instructed a maid to summon Zhenxiu downstairs.
“President, Zhenxiu should be asleep by now, it’s already late.” Lin Ruoxi attempted to conceal her surprise as she racked her brains to place a finger on Park Cheon’s intentions.
Park Cheon smiled amiably. “Nah, the child may be mad at me but she’d never slack off on her duties. I’ve made an appointment with her to finish the official handover by midnight.”
Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi exchanged a skeptical glance. There seemed to be an air of mystery around this situation.