Fortune Killer

 
 

Fortune Killer prologue part4


Translator: Miri

키에- Fortune Killer

Prologue (Part 4)

"This is my car’s current condition."

The moment Lain saw the photo on the screen the man showed him, just like a drawing in a manhwa, his eyes turned into dots.
The bumper visible on the photo was crushed to an appalling degree. Although the car body was not yet affected, the dented part was heavily damaged. It looked so gruesome that it seemed like someone had mercilessly hit it with a golf club or baseball bat over and over again.

"That…… it was clearly only slightly dented. So slight that it was not even visible."

When Lain said ‘like this’ and drew a slight curve, similar to a straight line, Alex grinned at him.

"When I came home it had become like this. There was no other accident on the way."

"There seems to be a bit of a problem with this……."

"There’s no problem. I also thought it was no big deal and had no thoughts of bothering to contact you but seeing that the 'new car' I just drove out of the store 'this' 'afternoon' has turned into this state, my insides felt a bit uncomfortable."

The firm tone Alex used to put an unusual emphasis on the words ‘new car’ made Lain swallow hard.
How much was this car’s bumper again, it was because this was the first thought he got. Of course, insurance would take care of it as they saw fit…… In that case, the insurance premium would rise to…….
For a second, a thought considering if he should just scrap his own car passed through his head.

"However, even though as I mentioned, my insides do feel a bit uncomfortable…… I am a quite lenient person when it comes to these kind of matters. To be honest, there’s no need to obstinately order the bumper in Germany and make shipping cost, duty and even repair cost add up.
It’s because as you probably know, this model newly came out this year, so components are not yet available within the US. And because a Jaguar’s repair has to be done by a Jaguar specialist.
Well, although there are also many other places, you know how problems are bound to occur when something new is added to an already assembled machine.
By the way, that car isn’t mine. To be precise, it should be counted as my partner’s car and that guy is a bit fussy. He might very likely send it to Germany to get it fixed."

Lain had never heard that changing a bumper caused any problems but he was already too frightened by the dented bumper to think of a rebuttal.
If he had known it would come to this, he should have become a lawyer specialising in traffic accidents, Lain was overcome with regrets.

"Well, that’s the car’s matter. The reason I asked you to meet up today is because of a different issue."

"……what kind of issue?"

"You are unemployed at the moment, right?"

"I am, so what are you trying to say?"

"If I say there is someone who wants to hire you as their personal attorney, what will you do?"

"Pardon?"

"I gave you my business card earlier but I’m not someone who works for a company. If I had to define my job no matter what, I guess I could say I’m self-employed? Or I’d have to say I’m in the service industry?"

"So a private detective……."

"I’m not."

Looking at Alex’ face that looked slightly annoyed, Lain started entering this and that into the calculator in his mind.
He did not know what the other’s job was- actually it seemed extremely shady- but for now, the business card he gave out was of the best quality and his suit was very high class.
The man’s watch was a silver ‘Patek Philippe’ 1 as well.
The clients at Dustin and Crawford were mostly nouveau riches, so he had gotten familiar with brand-name products. This man was definitely a millionaire 2 or a nouveau riche, one of the two.
In that case, if he was a private detective or whatever was none of his concern. He was unemployed at the moment and any person willing to hire him was more than welcome.
8 years of his student loan were still waiting for him. He could not become homeless.
Lain quickly came to a conclusion and, with a grin on his face, spoke to the man sitting in front of him.

"Please speak, boss 3 ."

It took precisely 10 minutes. After listening to Alex’ kind explanation that went on for 10 minutes, Lain stared at him while repeatedly blinking.
Rather than thinking of the whole situation as a windfall, Lain was much more shocked about the fact that the Jaguar he hit was no other than Edan Blake’s car.

"So what you’re saying, right now…… is that I should become Edan Blake’s personal lawyer and representative?"

"Right. However, under the condition that you stick to that guy for 24 hours a day. The contract is for one year. What do you think of three hundred thousand dollars for the annual salary?"

Lain’s eyes popped out in shock at the unprecedented terms of three hundred thousand dollars.
Of course, these terms were reasonable if one had to be on duty for 24 hours, but it was not a salary he who had barely worked at a law firm for two years so far should be receiving.
Even thinking that his work experience of two years had been acknowledged, it was a shocking amount to be receiving from just one client. His face caused Alex to slightly tilt his head.

"Is it too little? In that case, five hundred thousand?"

"What?"

Lain’s shriek finally made Alex bite his tongue 4 .
Edan’s movie appearance fee fundamentally started from fifteen million dollars and his appearance fee per drama episode was four hundred thousand dollars. This had lead him to become dull in the monetary aspect.
Come to think of it, the annual salary Luke had received over one year amounted to one million dollars.
Thinking ‘damn millipede’ 5, Alex gritted his teeth.
The work they did was about the same anyway, so he keenly felt that if he had known it would turn out like this, instead of a worn-out old man, he should have hired a young and inexpensive attorney from the beginning.
He had already gathered a fair amount of information on Lain Jang before he came out.
After connecting to Dustin and Crawford and other acquaintances of his, he had done a check on his conduct at work, as well as his academic background and had come to the conclusion that he was a good lawyer.
The partner’s review was also okay. The reason he got fired was simply that there had been a scandal with a client- and a male one at that- but that point did not make him worry at all.
Since Edan hated if it was a man. And more than anything, the current situation was that not only Gale, Vince and Kyle but even the most important person, the attorney Luke had quit his job.
And above all, he had no time at the moment. If he could do taekwondo, was amiable, good at his work and diligent, then he could even pay him an annual salary of one million dollars.
He himself had to immediately take the plane at 11 o’clock today and go to Seattle. If he had to experience a divorce due to staying loyal to Edan, it would really be the end. Jane was a woman who followed up her words with actions. She did not use things like empty threats.

"As you probably know, the people around Edan have to be able to keep secrets 6 . It’s clearly stated in the contract but fundamentally, you mustn’t mention anything regarding Edan’s private life not only during the contract period but also afterwards and you cannot record any stories about him in your autobiography. You definitely have to stick to these rules."

That was a lawyer’s natural code of ethics. Although it was also important not to form a personal relationship with the client, one was also not allowed to shoot off one’s mouth about the client’s private life.
In the worst case scenario, one might even be stripped of one’s law credentials.
The reason it had ended with losing his job at the law firm for Lain was that the partner also knew about the fact that Lain actually had pretty much always disliked Edward Clark.
In other words, if he were to clarify the connection, his dismissal had more to do with Edward Clark’s influence than simply with him going against professional ethics.
It was because the Dustin and Crawford Law Firm also had no reason to go as far as offending an important client just to keep a newcomer like him at their firm.
That was why first of all Edward Clark had to die, Lain once again made a resolve.
On the same page, he also really wanted to sue Dustin and Crawford but if he actually put that thought into action, he would be unable to set foot into any of NY’s law firms ever again until the day he died.
If he were to begin a civil suit with Sam Dustin and Justin Crawford as opponents, the winning chances would be close to zero and in the end, no law firm would hire him who had fought against them.
This world did not side with justice, it sided with the people who have a lot of money.

"Can you tell me what exactly I’ll have to do?"

"What you have to do is simple. As you probably know, Edan is a Hollywood actor but his private life is on the clean side. He’s far from stuff like drugs or drunk driving. He’s also never been late for a meeting even once."

Obviously, he had never been late. He just did not come at all. He absolutely never canceled a shooting or was tardy after starting work, but this bastard was someone who harassed and caused annoyance to people in various ways until right before the contract signing.
It was merely that these things happened during unofficial occasions meant for lobbying, so no one dared to speak up in front of the person himself and nothing actually became known. Frequently disappearing and flying away was one of Edan’s bad habits.

"Yes, I know about that as well. The first thing I saw coming out of the airport after arriving in the US was Edan Blake’s jeans advert floating in the sky."

You know, the thing hanging from an advertising balloon, Lain kindly explained and Alex softly gave an exclamation.

"As expected! So you had that kind of tie with Edan."

At that moment, Lain thought that the man was a really good speaker. He even was good at glossing things over.
So in other words, 13 years ago- although it was still the same right now- Edan Blake’s popularity had been skyhigh.
The viewer ratings of the drama he had been starring in at the time had recorded an all-time high which had earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Best Actor Award at young age. He had managed to outdo all his distinguished competitors and had taken hold of the trophy.
Even after that he had never caused any of the issues teenage stars often got caught up in, like drugs, sex scandals, drunk driving or incidents involving violent behaviour and had not handed over the position at the top for more than 15 years.
At the age of twenty, he had even doubled as a producer and had reached an appearance fee of three thousand dollars for one movie- combined with the running guarantee it had amounted to a prodigious seven thousand dollars. Suddenly a memory of being unable to close his mouth after learning about this emerged in Lain’s mind and it gradually became harder and harder for him to believe the current situation.
No matter how he thought about this, it was too shocking.

"That, please wait a moment. No matter how I think about this, it’s too shocking. Above all, I have to say I just can’t bring myself to believe you are the Edan Blake’s manager?"

As if he had expected him to say those words, the man took out his cell phone and once again showed him a different photo.
Lain took the cell phone and felt his eyes pop out at the vivid two shot of the man and Edan Blake being displayed on the screen.

"We’ve been friends since high school. Back then, Edan was already a star and I lived next door to him.
We were always together after that and after graduation, I did not enter university and instead have been working as Edan’s manager. So we really are close friends."

"I, however…… As far as I know, Edan Blake’s personal lawyer is Luke Feltin, no?"

In the law firm business, Luke Feltin was a legendary character. In a bad way, that is.
Lain knew very well how vicious and clever he was. If a small fry like him tried to steal that man’s client, his future would be done for.

"Oh, please don’t worry about that. He was stripped of his law credentials as of today."

"Why? Ah, that incident."

Since they belonged to the same system, he was fast when it came to things like these. With the thoughts, ‘so his license got canceled after all’, Lain nodded his head and asked him another question.

"……but why did you choose me of all people?"

"That’s an excellent question. Above all, to tell you one thing, Luke resigned today and I have to get on the plane to Seattle within tonight.
Furthermore, after I get there, I’ll be unable to move for one month. Because if I act otherwise, I’ll have to get divorced."

"Still, it should be easy to get introduced to a different attorney if it’s in the name of Edan Blake, no?"

Lain obviously was very doubtful just like any other lawyer. His first impression made him seem obedient and clumsy, so he had been thought of as easy to deal with so far but he was in fact a fairly persistent and sharp person.
This was why he hated lawyers 7 , Alex thought within his mind.

"I guess this is what we call fate? Or destiny. There are various reasons but to put it simply, I already obtained information regarding you before I came out and you can blame it on having a good reputation with the people around you.
You seem earnest and trustworthy and above anything, you can keep things confident. As you probably know, someone may be competent, but if that person easily shoots off their mouth it’s hard for them to work with celebrities. Especially if it’s with someone at Edan’s level…… do you understand?
I really think of him as family and have to protect him. In that aspect, I like Asians. They have loyality."

For someone who had lived his whole life knowing only Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan when it came to Asians, he was skillfully talking about one thing after another.
To tell the truth, the most urgent reason was that due to the current situation in which the attorney had been deprived of his license and even the manager and bodyguard had quit, he needed someone that was easy to deal with 8 and could fill all positions at his beck and call. Then he had found out that Lain who drove into his car today just at the right time was a lawyer, which allowed him to settle everything in one go and could not be called using petty tricks 9 .
And above all, much different than what was known about Edan Blake, he had a short-tempered and cranky personality. This was why the people who knew him extremely disliked having any contact in private and finding someone to work for him was comparable to plucking a star from the sky. Moreover, the people who threw themselves at him being blinded by money were difficult to keep from talking about confidential matters.
The type of person that made his head hurt the most were people who, after working with a celebrity once or twice, thought of themselves as an aquaintance and recklessly talked nonsense to reporters, calling themselves a friend or whatever.
According to the information Alex had collected in a short period of time, he was the perfect worker Alex desired.
From now, Edan needed a lawyer, a manager and a bodyguard for a minimum of one month.
Lain was an earnest lawyer and more than anything could even do taekwondo. In addition, his credibility was good.
And to be honest, he did not really care how he would manage. No matter what happened, he had to go to Seattle tonight and had no one to immediately entrust his work to.
So to put it simply, the dam had a hole and there were no bricks or cement at hand to immediately mend it, therefore he roughly used some stones/pebbles in his field of vision to block it.
It did not matter if Lain would quit and run off a month later. However, he at least had to work for him during the next month.
Whatever he did afterwards was none of his concern.
Edan also had to realize just how valuable his existence(Alex) was and should experience it at least once.
Regarding the topic of his bad temper, he oddly had many good people around him and even had extremely good fortune. Due to these, he had managed to maintain his image until now but he would have to suffer a setback at one time or another.

TN:

1 – I looked this up and apparently, it’s a Swiss watch manufacturer. The prices range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to (!!!) ₩5,413,243,904 which equals to 4,778,324.53$ or 4,270,601.28€. I’m sure there are even more expensive ones that aren’t being sold on the site I checked out.

2 – (Additional meanings: millionaire, multimillionaire, billionaire, zillionaire) <- So in short, a very rich or loaded person.

3 – (사장님 sajang-nim) <- Sajang can mean president, CEO, owner or in this case boss and -nim is a suffix expressing respect. This is not reserved to your own boss though, you can also call the owner of any other store or business sajang-nim.

4 – (lit. feel like ‘acha’) <- 아차 can mean Heavens!, Dear me! or a lot of other exclamations. Here it’s more like ‘Oh, right’ when he realizes sth is wrong.

5 – (lit. money bug/insect)

6 – (lit. have a heavy mouth)

7 – (lit. race, ethnicity, ethnic group of lawyers)

8 – ‘Easy to deal with’ as in pushover.

9 – Not too sure about this.

So we finally have only one part left before the story officially starts and things get more interesting 😋 Anyone excited? haha Sorry for my snail-like translation speed which probably makes the novel seem a thousand times slower than it actually is… I promise I’ll try to update more frequently in the future but I need to build up a stockpile first, so I can provide regular updates even when I’m busy.

I hope you enjoyed this part and please leave me some comments~~! 😊