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“Shall we go?”
“Yes, I’m ready.”
Joonbum started the car as Sunsook nodded at his question. The truck moved towards the Gate and their world shifted. They were back on Earth.
‘Covering the place with a greenhouse was a good idea,’ he thought, thinking nobody would guess something like this was happening within an old greenhouse. Even if someone grew suspicious, they would soon lose interest at such a plain sight.
The sound of rain falling against the greenhouse echoed inside as they got off the truck.
“Joonbum, be careful while driving.”
“Oh, yeah of course.”
“I think cars are more dangerous than those monsters.”
“Huh? What do you mean? That’s not true,” Joonbum asked in confusion as Sunsook smiled.
“Monsters growl so you know they’re coming. You can try to fight them too. With cars, you don’t know when you’ll get into an accident and get yourself killed. So always be careful. Especially when it’s raining like this.”
Joonbum answered as he felt his mother’s concern.
‘I guess all mothers care about their children.’
They drove the car to their shooting range shop and prepared coffee while checking to see if anything was wrong. Joonbum checked every rifle and Sunsook dusted here and there.
His alarm went off, notifying him that it was 9 o’clock in the morning.
“Mom, I have contracts to sign. I’ll be back around 10 o’clock at night.”
“Okay, have a safe trip.”
Joonbum got out and headed to the café he frequented. The rain was still falling heavily.
“Aww, I’m getting a headache.”
He always felt disgusted when he got back to Earth due to the bad air quality. Even though he lived here longer, he was much more comfortable with the other world now.
‘At least there’s not much traffic today.’
Joonbum feared that the rain would cause traffic jams, but it didn’t. It seemed that people refused to come out during such heavy rainfall.
‘I have seven contracts today.’
Joonbum thought about the seven new contracts he had to sign today. Five of those were asking for ten hours of exposure on one of the screens. The total of the contract fees added up to 200 million won. The other two were on a bigger scale, one being from Pulsy company’s soda advertisement.
The requirement was that everyone from the video drink their soda when they grew thirsty after hard work to quench their thirst.
‘Drink some soda for a month in the hot summer and get 100 million? What an easy job.’
Joonbum grinned. It was too easy. All he needed to do was give the people the kind of soda suitable for their age.
‘It will be scorching hot after this monsoon is over. I think that’s what they’re after.’
He remembered all those soda advertisements competing in the hottest season of the year.
‘And there’s an additional contract.’
There was an additional contract from Pulsy: if there was a video clip they liked, they wanted to be able to use it for their own commercial. They promised to pay an additional fifty million if they did.
The last contract was with Bapsey was also great as they had a monopoly of 60% of the ice cream industry. They promised to sponsor all the ice cream for an offer of 150 million.
‘All that ice cream for a month and 150 million? It’s just too easy.’
However, Bapsey did not want to use Joonbum’s videos for their own commercials.
Joonbum stopped his car in front of the café and walked in.
“Welcome, iced americano as always?”
“It will be right out.”
Employees seemed to recognize him as he visited the place every two days. Joonbum opened his laptop and checked the responses on the video.
[What was her job before coming here?]
[I think his mother is a farming master. Look at all those crops!]
[Does she have a bulldozer license? I think you need some kind of license, right?]
[Why would you need a license in the other world?]
[Is that place real?]
[Beep, beep. We welcome you from Gangnam Mental Institute. Feel free to contact us.]
[Pig Joonbum is turning into a human now.]
[He lost weight and gained muscles. What is most interesting is that he has grown! He’s now over 6’7″ tall!]
[He’s wearing heeled shoes.]
[Is he growing because he’s young?]
[He’s 24 years old. You can’t grow at that age.]
[You can. Some research proved that you can grow after 26 years of age.]
‘Hah, so many weirdos.’
Joonbum grinned at various responses.
“Should I upload more videos then?”
Time passed as Joonbum concentrated on uploading more videos. After a while, the door opened and a young woman in a blue suit walked in. She covered her umbrella with a plastic bag prepared by the café and walked towards Joonbum.
“Mr. Joonbum Jang?”
“Nice to meet you. I am Mikyung Jung from Pulsy. Marketing Team Leader.”
Mikyung handed over her business card as she slightly bowed. Her thin-brimmed glasses and a small spot next to her red lip was striking. She was slender with a full bosom that Joonbum found very attractive and he could not take his eyes off.
“This is the contract.”
Mikyung handed over the contract as she coldly continued. Joonbum received it but was a bit startled at her cold voice as if she was scolding him for his behavior. The contract was as discussed over the phone call and he just needed to scan through it.
“If you find everything okay, you can sign it here, here, and here.”
Mikyung fell silent as Joonbum started signing on the contract as directed. When Joonbum was almost done, Mikyung spoke.
“Mr. Jang, you should be extra careful that no other drinks from different companies are to be shown in the videos. If that happens, we might default on the contract and start a lawsuit against you.”
“Oh, yes. Of course.”
It was already listed on the contract and Joonbum already knew this.
“I’m not trying to be nosy, but it’s really important. Adults might be okay, but kids don’t think about it as much so they must be kept under supervision. Pulsy is really strict about that.”
Mikyung blushed as she continued.
“I will be careful.”
Joonbum nodded as he turned his eyes to her. She let out a sigh.
“Oh, I’m sorry. There were some who were in that situation and I didn’t want you to… It’s not like Pulsy is trying to be malicious. We have our own policies, that’s all.”
“It- It’s true. There are some instances where the advertisement contract goes south because some other products were shown and received more attention. We even had to default on the contract with some celebrities as they uploaded pictures of other products on SNS without much thought. Both parties lose at that point. That’s why I have to remind you. There are kids on your videos, right? They should be kept in check and you should keep other products away from them.”
She did not stop. Joonbum knew she was concerned, so he did not stop her. There were some reminders that he found helpful also.
‘But she’s more talkative than I thought.’
Mikyung continued to give him more advice.
- “I’m your fan.”
“A fan? Are you hot?”
Joonbum was confused when she spoke out suddenly, blushing from embarrassment. Mikyung spoke out again as Joonbum did not seem to understand the situation.
“I’m your fan! C-can I get your autograph? And a finger stamp! Signatures are too common.”
Joonbum grinned as he thought about what happened in the morning. He realized why Mikyung was so concerned about him.
‘Didn’t expect that. Anyway, it’s about time.’
A light started approaching at that moment. The sound of the vehicle roared as it closed in and came to a stop nearby. Joonbum dropped his cigarette and his eyes grew wide open.
Taesoo, who seemed to have brightened up a little from before, got off the car and tapped on it proudly.
“How do you like this? Huh?”
Joonbum swallowed at the sight. He could not find any words as he glanced between the vehicle and Taesoo.
‘How did he manage to get this?’
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