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“Get out of my sight! Now!”
“I said get out!”
The owner firmly ordered him as Doil rose up from his seat. His hesitation, made the owner, Dongsoo Lee, more angry.
“Didn’t you hear me? Get out of here and go home. You don’t have to come to work until I call you.”
“M-Mr. Lee. I’m sorry. I-”
Dongsoo waved his hand, showing him that he would not listen to Doil anymore. Doil frowned and exited the office. After Doil left, Dongsoo bowed to Sunsook who was silently watching him.
“I am sorry.”
“No, it’s okay.”
“It’s all my fault.”
It was so different from how he treated Doil. Sunsook experienced such a thing as an employee when she worked at the restaurant before. She knew what it felt like to be on Doil’s side.
“No, it’s because of me.”
“Definitely not. I think Doil was stressed out from the sales. A few asked for sponsorships before and we were placed in a bad position on the Internet. I think he was concerned because of that. I figured he would need some rest too. A few days of rest will get him back to his senses. Oh, I forgot my manners. Dongsoo Lee, owner of Taekyung.”
“Oh, yes. I’m Sunsook Lee.”
Sunsook nodded. Dongsoo smiled, then sat down to take a look at the contract.
“Was this all you needed?”
“I heard your son is a BJ?”
Sunsook frowned a little, but Dongsoo shook his head.
“I don’t want to be misunderstood-”
“No, not at all. If you don’t mind, can you tell me what is your son’s channel? With your confidence, I figured that we should be the ones asking to be featured.”
Sunsook hesitated, but she took out her phone and showed him Joonbum’s channel. Dongsoo’s face froze.
‘The first video has 35 million views and the latest one has 500 thousand in just two days?!’
It had been only two days since the last video was uploaded, but it had an enormous number of responses.
“Hmmm. That’s bad for the heart.”
A loud gunshot made the birds fly up in shock. Tens of thousands of birds flying toward the sky at once was a bizarre sight to behold even with the haze of dawn.
The Ainos people were also shocked by the noise. They had been warned about the noise, but none of them expected it to be so loud. They were more shocked at seeing all of the birds fly up.
The lake began glittering in the morning sun as the area brightened quickly. There was no more darkness covering the lake and the birds chirped joyously.
“This is nice too!”
“I’ll do it! I’ll do it!”
“Me! Let me do it!”
Kids ran against the net that caught a bunch of birds. They started pulling out live Basetts and threw them into the cage. The adults laughed at the sight of it. It signaled the beginning of a new day.
Food was prepared as the kids moved frantically about. Men threw in all the leftover meat and vegetables from the day before and started making porridge. After pouring some salt as a finish, a good smell started filling the area and the kids gathered around with their mouths watering.
It was chilly fall morning and the hot porridge that warmed Joonbum up was nice. The birds started flying around as they also woke up from their slumber. They were busy hunting for food all around the lake.
Joonbum also kept busy as he continuously installed the bird net and net trap for more Basett hunting.
‘Such dumb birds.’
Lots of birds gathered around at the trap. As he pulled the trigger, the net captured all the birds. They tried flying up three feet before they were stopped by the net.
The kids ran toward the net and started dragging the birds out. The adults also kept themselves busy. They spent the entire morning preparing all the birds that were captured the previous day. They also had to clean up the used arrows.
The arrows required heavy maintenance. They required additional care especially when wet. The water or extreme temperatures might warp the arrows, so the Ainos preferred to not use them near water. Since they were near water now, they all had to take care of their wet arrows.
It was only the kids and Joonbum who were free from such a task. Kids shouted in excitement each time the trap exploded. Joonbum and the kids captured over 300 live Basetts by the afternoon.
“They’re coming! They’re here!”
Joonbum turned to where a kid was pointing and saw his mother and group of Ainos women coming toward them.
“Mom! Did you not get hurt?”
“Of course not. How about you?”
Sunsook smiled brightly as she tightly hugged Joonbum.
“Thanks to you, I did all kinds of high-class things, you know. I’m so happy.”
- Following the arrival of the women was another wave of astonishment. They brought tons of fruit and watermelons with them. The Ainos who never visited the fortress before never tasted such sweet and watery fruit before. As Joonbum and Sunsook were surprised at all the animals and bugs, The Ainos were fascinated with the watermelon. The next thing that was popular was a red apple, then the pears.
“Did you get what I asked for?”
“The bird catcher? I brought about a hundred of them. I also got enough spare parts for repairs. Do you need more?”
“No, I think thirty for each tribe should do.”
“So, is that the Basett?”
Sunsook turned to newly-captured squeaking birds as they screamed under the net.
“It looks like a goose, but different in color.”
“Yeah. The feathers are all blue and green.”
“How about its taste?”
“It’s tougher than a chicken but softer than duck. We might need to boil it longer to make it softer. Maybe three hours or more? It also smells a bit.”
“Is it? I’m looking forward to trying it.”
Sunsook spoke as she felt she was getting hungry. She now ate more than before.
‘I might have to challenge my mom to an eating contest. Maybe that will be good to- wait. Let’s save that for later.’
Joonbum shook the thought away and asked, “Mom, did you get the RV?”
“Huh? Oh, THAT? Maybe~ I don’t know. What do you think?” Sunsook replied teasingly. Her grin seemed to show that she was trying hard to hold back showing off her achievement.
“What happened? Dear mom, would you please explain it to me?”
Joonbum bowed his head as Sunsook laughed.
“Hehe, so when I…”
She began telling the story from the beginning. It seemed like she was satisfied by the respect at first, but the sudden change of attitude angered her and she pushed for a demand to remove all the logos.
“Wow. What happened then?”
“But then this guy came out in middle of nowhere and he asked-”
His mother continued happily. Joonbum smiled at the sight of his mother who looked very happy. She always had to bow down to everyone, but she never had the chance to be confident and be respected.
“The owner was very nice. He cared for the employee as much as he punished him. He also agreed to sponsor three of the regular option vehicles and sell two fully-loaded ones. The condition…”
Joonbum was so happy to see his mom be this pleased. It was noon when she finished her story and she stood up to begin preparing lunch.
“What about roasted chicken for lunch?”
“That sounds good. Have you prepared it?”
“Yes. Roasted chicken and some beer sound good?”
The basin was filled with oil and a group of women gathered around Sunsook. The oil began to boil and the other tribes began to boil oil too. The Basetts that were ready to cook were cut to pieces and the women began to cover them with breadcrumbs.
The meat was thrown into the boiling oil and they began frying it. The kids who gathered at the sound and smell shouted in excitement as most of the cooking here was done by boiling or roasting. The frying method was very rare as oil was hard to acquire.
Also, the smell of oil burning was very tempting to the Ainos people with their heightened senses. Pretty soon, even adults gathered around to watch the rare sight.
When the first frying was done, the meat was pulled up and the women who were waiting began slicing it open for air and poured it back into the second basin full of oil.
The meat began turning light brown, tempting the appetite of those surrounding it. When all the meat was pulled up, it was dark brown, dripping in oil. Pickles and white radish were prepared on the table as the meat and various drinks were prepared together.
Adults and kids alike began feasting as the adults received a can of cold beer instead of soda.
“This is amazing!”
“I’ve never tasted such liquor!”
“It’s not even close to ours!”
“Whiskey was amazing but this is also great!”
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