“China is a country that invented gunpowder, compass, paper, and printing. It’s the place that gave rise to one of the four civilizations, and it continues to lead big trends even in modern times. I think those are not easy things to accomplish. I think it’s natural for Chinese people to have pride in their country.”
The interpreter who was translating what Do Wook was saying started to talk faster. The reporters who were writing down what the interpreter was saying also started to type faster.
“Because of those things, I always held a good image of China. It’s also good to have a nearby friend to learn from.”
The reporter who asked the question nodded his head when Do Wook finished answering.
It wasn’t a simple response like ‘I like the food’ or ‘I like sightseeing here’. It was a response that was overflowing with respect to the country of China. It was enough to satisfy the reporter.
At the same time, by saying the word “friend” he didn’t dismiss himself or his country too much.
His way with words also made the members, who were listening, think, ‘as expected of Do Wook’. He didn’t show signs of having prepared anything beforehand, but the members wondered if he had.
Department Head Hwang Hun, who had been observing it unfold, also nodded his head.
Feeling he’d seen all that he needed to, Production Director Kwon Heung Jo suggested to Department Head Hwang Hun that they go up to the meeting room.
There was no particular reason to make Department Head Hwang Hun, who wasn’t even a fan, stand through the whole press conference.
When Director Kwon Heung Jo said that, Department Head Hwang Hun gladly started walking.
Meanwhile, the questions pouring onto Do Wook wrapped up to a certain extent.
Afterwards, there were more trivial questions. The designated time was already coming to an end.
“You guys came all the way to Beijing, do you have anywhere you want to visit?”
“The Great Wall of course! We don’t have a chance to do it this time, but I definitely want to see it later. I heard you can even see it from a satellite,”
Kim Won answered enthusiastically to the reporters’ last question.
Amid light laughter, KK was able to successfully wrap up the press conference.
“Good job, good job. You worked hard,”
Manager Oh Baek Ho encouraged the members who had returned to the waiting room, which had been arranged behind the press conference site.
“The interpreter was also praising you guys, saying that you did very well.”
Gu Chul Min went around and distributed water to the members. The coordinators wiped the sweat off the members’ faces and touched up the makeup that had smudged.
There were a lot of fans gathered in their route back and in the hotel lobby, so they couldn’t go out as they were.
They had simply sat down and answered questions, but the barrage of flashes constantly going off and the hot lighting had made the members’ backs soaked with sweat.
Manager Oh Baek Ho told the members, who were catching their breath, the next event on their schedule.
The press conference was their last event for the day. Their lodging was also on the upper level of this hotel.
However, Manager Oh Baek Ho told them they had to say hello to the business partner who was with Production Director Kwon Heung Jo before they went up to their lodging.
“Business partner…who is it?”
Jung Yoon Ki asked, slightly anxious after hearing the words ‘business partner’.
“I don’t know too much either. Just that it’s an investment company in China,”
Oh Baek Ho didn’t know the details either so he replied as such, but it contrarily made the atmosphere regarding the investor more tense.
“It’s just to briefly have some face time and say hello. Don’t be too nervous.”
The members looked for the room on the top floor that Director Kwon Heung Jo and Department Head Hwang Hun were in.
The room, where the two people and the interpreter Director Kwon brought along were in, was not the kind of hotel room that people would usually think of. A junior suite room, it had two separate rooms and when entering there was a parlor that was like a living room.
Director Kwon and Department Head Hwang were lightly enjoying some wine.
When Manager Oh and the KK members entered the room, the two people stood up from their seats.
“您好，见到您很高兴。(Hello, nice to meet you.)”
With the basic Chinese phrases they prepared before coming to China, the members greeted Department Head Hwang Hun.
Department Head Hwang Hun smiled at the Chinese greeting and held out his hand for a handshake.
After finishing shaking hands with the members, Department Head Hwang Hun spoke. The members were told what Department Head Hwang said through Director Kwon’s interpreter.
“I’m Tae Hwa Group’s Hwang Hun. I was very impressed by the press conference.”
Jung Yoon Ki stepped up as the representative and greeted him.
“You’re the first Korean entertainment company we invested in so our expectations were high, and seeing you for myself I was given the certainty that you were worth investing in. Haha,”
Department Head Hwang Hun said as he laughed. The members, whose shoulders were hunched over from anxiety, relaxed a little.
“The Department Head says that he prepared a gift for you guys.”
“Huh? A gift?”
Surprised by what Director Kwon Heung Jo said, Ahn Hyung Seo asked back. Director Kwon Heung Jo smiled and nodded his head.
Department Head Hwang Hun had come up to the hotel room a little earlier and had the secretary prepare a gift for the KK members.
Director Kwon Heung Jo, who had heard him give the order to the secretary, had said it was ok and had tried to stop him, but Department Head Hwang Hun had said refusing it would be being inconsiderate of his feelings and had turned the tables on Director Kwon.
Department Head Hwang Hun was in an extremely good mood after seeing the press conference. He had started to have affection towards the group his company was investing in. Of course that affection was out of his conclusion that KK would earn him money.
‘They’ll expand to become a bigger star in this country than they are now.’
Department Hwang Hun had a feeling. He felt that if they were managed right, he could earn more money than investing in a decent movie.
Hwang Hun gave the gifts on the table to the KK members.
The members accepted the wrapped, heavy, slight-bigger-than-one’s-palm case.
“非常感谢! (Thank you very much!)”
Do Wook replied in Chinese and accepted the gift.
Department Head Hwang Hun patted Do Wook’s shoulders in particular as he gave him the gift. Do Wook’s response during the press conference was one of the main reasons Department Head Hwang Hun felt a strong star power from KK.
After receiving the gift and saying ”thank you”, the members stood around unsure what to do.
They weren’t sure whether they were supposed to open the gift immediately or not.
‘I think I heard that in China, it’s impolite to open gifts immediately.’
Do Wook recalled the things he learned when he received education on business from his previous company. He held onto the gift and waited for Department Head Hwang Hun to continue speaking.
After briefly glancing at Do Wook, the members grasped the gift tight in their hands and stood there.
Because the members considered young Do Wook to be as good as most office workers when it came to manners and work life, they thought they could just follow what Do Wook did.
“You guys must be tired, it’s ok for you to head out. This old man shouldn’t keep you guys here,”
When Department Head Hwang Hun said that, the KK members thanked him one more time and then left the room. Director Kwon Heung Jo added that he’d see them back in Korea.
After returning to their lodging on a lower floor, the members wondered what the gift was and returned to their respective rooms to open it, puzzled.
Today, Do Wook was in the same room as Park Tae Hyung.
Do Wook and Park Tae Hyung opened up the gift as soon as they got back to the room.
There were loud thumping noises coming from the next room.
It was hard to tell if the sound proofing in the room was bad or if Ahn Hyung Seo in the next room was being too loud.
Do Wook, who was in the middle of opening the gift, stopped moving. The heavy high-end case had the words Gartier engraved on it.
Gartier was such an expensive brand that normal people would only get it when buying a wedding gift.
Actually, even the accessories for the brand were too expensive to give as a wedding gift. Even if you went with the cheapest accessory, it would cost at least hundreds of dollars.
“Do Wook… Is this really Gartier?”
Park Tae Hyung, who had been opening the gift on his bed, asked Do Wook blankly.
Do Wook nodded his head. When he opened the case, the gold bracelet was shining.
“He…he really has deep pockets…”
“This is my first time owning a Gartier too.”
“Is…it okay to accept this? It’s a little overwhelming.”
Do Wook’s hands were shaking too. However, he came to the conclusion that gifting an almost 10,000,000* Won gold bracelet was nothing to a person like Department Head Hwang Hun.
(TL Note: About $7600)
‘They were right when they said the richest people in this country are a different class.’
Do Wook replied to Park Tae Hyung, who was admiring it while wearing a grim expression, that it should be ok.
“Still, are you sure it wasn’t too extravagant of a gift to the kids…”
Director Kwon Heung Jo, who was continuing to have a drink with Hwang Hun after sending the members away, said cautiously. Department Head Hwang Hun shook his head, saying it was nothing much so not to worry about it.
“Yes, go ahead, sir.”
“From now on, you’ll be able to work as much as you want without worrying about the money that goes into producing KK.”
Director Kwon was briefly taken aback by Department Head Hwang Hun’s rather unexpected remarks, but soon understood what he meant.
There was a smile on Production Director Kwon Heung Jo’s face that he couldn’t hold back.
He felt that it would be a successful China business trip. It wasn’t just a feeling anymore, but a fact.
After the China events, some of the members had stomach aches for 2 days. They were suffering because of the different water and food.
Even Ahn Hyung Seo, who had prepared for various things, was no exception and had to constantly go to the bathroom.
Still, none of the members said that they’d never go back to China again. That was because in their individual places that each of them kept their own precious items, there was a Gartier bracelet.
Besides receiving the Gartier bracelet, going to China was very fruitful.
Thanks to the polite and hardworking demeanor KK showed in China, the Chinese fans were giving lots of support to KK.
Kim Won was also given the individual nickname ‘Sweet Guy’.
The sales for the Chinese version album also increased a lot. It had already been over a month since the album was released, but it continued to sell a lot.
With this momentum, they couldn’t help but look forward to this year’s end of the year awards.
There were a lot of fans who were expecting a repackage of the ‘Howl’ album, but there were no plans to release one.
It was enough that they had published two versions of the album.
Do Wook, who had returned from school, briefly sat at his desk and took the time to organize his schedule.
If they followed the activity plan that was set earlier in the year, they would be releasing one more album. However, Jung Yoon Ki and Do Wook’s personal activities pushed it back a little.
They would be holding a concert at the end of the year as planned, so the company decided KK wouldn’t release any more albums this year.
‘If we consider a slightly tighter schedule, I think we might be able to do it…’
A vacation was nice, but Do Wook wanted to push it a little further.
It was important to be active while you had momentum.
‘In this industry, timing is half the battle.’
However, the members were probably very exhausted. Do Wook couldn’t push it by himself.
Do Wook thought about the way KK could continue to get exposure without burdening the members too much.
‘I’ve already done an entertainment show and a drama this year. It’d be nice if I could show a little more music-wise.’
Do Wook closed his eyes as he thought, then opened his eyes.
At the same time, Do Wook producing and releasing an album again was definitely too much for him as well as for the members.
Do Wook was also tired. He was just as exhausted as the other members, if not more. His mind was simply overcoming his body.
At that moment, Kim Won knocked on the door and entered Do Wook’s room.
“Bro, are you busy right now?”
When he looked at Kim Won, who was smiling brightly without showing any signs of exhaustion, it created an illusion that his own fatigue was going away a little.
“It’s nothing serious, but…”
Kim Won handed Do Wook the cell phone.