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    “…No.”

    In the space where only the director and Seojin remained, Seojin reflexively glanced at the closed door and shook his head in response. It wasn’t a lie. He had never actually watched what was known as porn.

    He had searched for many adult-only movies with suggestive content, but he had never been interested in the AV industry, which reflected the bizarre sexual fantasies of men worldwide.

    “Not even once?”

    Nathan paused for a moment and asked again with a surprised expression. He seemed a bit taken aback by Seojin’s answer, which was different from what he had expected. It was understandable, as it was very rare for an adult man to be like this.

    “I’ve heard there are many illegal videos, and it seems to be a world rampant with the exploitation of women.”

    “Oh… So Seojin, have you never wanted to see someone else’s naked body?”

    However, Nathan’s words, hesitantly and carefully asking, were a bit strange. Normally, he would have said something like, “Then how did you relieve your instinctive desires?”

    But suddenly mentioning naked bodies?

    ‘It’s already absurd to attempt this kind of conversation in a business relationship, though.’

    Shaking his head again at the ridiculous situation in many ways, Seojin thought he shouldn’t entertain this outlandish questioning any further. There was no reason for it from the beginning.

    “I’m sorry, but what’s this about?”

    “I don’t watch porn either. I find those videos aesthetically very unpleasant.”

    When Seojin tried to end the unnecessary conversation and asked the reason for bringing up this topic, Nathan gave an irrelevant answer.

    “Rather, it’s a good thing. I was worried that Seojin might misunderstand my proposal.”

    “Proposal…?”

    “Do you know that the films I made in France mainly emphasized the physical beauty of the actors in the thriller genre with a touch of romance?”

    It felt like the topic of conversation was bouncing around at will. However, Seojin nodded his head for now, hinting that he had watched all the independent films Nathan had made.

    “Yes. I also know that you are widely recognized for your artistry in appropriately incorporating content that may not seem to fit the scenes at first glance through sensual and elegant direction.”

    “Oh, really?”

    Nathan’s expression brightened considerably at the specific praise.

    “Then you must have also heard that I always struggled with censorship issues. Honestly, I have never fully expressed my taste in the works released to the public.”

    “Your taste, as in…?”

    “Like the protagonist being forcibly stripped by another character or being cornered into a situation where they can’t physically resist and getting mercilessly crushed?”

    Nathan, who openly confessed a secret he had never publicly revealed, continued speaking with a strangely excited tone in response to Seojin’s careful question.

    “A scene that gives the feeling of enjoying a situation where they’re being devoured by raw power while still resisting, like a prey with a tendency to rebel until the end without submitting or yielding to the hunter who ruthlessly suppresses them.”

    At first glance, it might sound like the unique theme of an artistic work using metaphorical techniques, but if you remove the rose-colored glasses of him being a genius director who will become great in the future and think about it, it was definitely a bit strange.

    “The problem is that such scenes are easily misunderstood as sexual expressions. If I include too many of those scenes, the production company starts giving me looks.”

    “…”

    “Especially if I feature a male actor as the protagonist of such scenes according to my taste, everyone despises me, asking if I have BDSM tendencies, and I have to endure their sneers, telling me to just shoot AV or GV instead.”

    Nathan softly lamented that if he had wanted to include scenes of the protagonists tangled together in a messy way, he wouldn’t have had to feel this way.

    It made sense, as the French film rating system was known for being lenient. Movies rated for adults only in Korea were sometimes classified as suitable for all ages in France.

    However, that broad rating criteria only applied to “consensual sexual acts.” It meant that the judgment would change if scenes of rape or molestation appeared.

    “So inevitably, my secret hobby became hiring actors with my own money, shooting unreleased videos, and keeping them to myself.”

    For a moment, a look of fatigue appeared on Nathan’s face as if he were confessing his various hardships. However, he soon made an excited expression with his eyes gleaming like a mad scientist in a science fiction movie.

    “If it’s a subject as aesthetically perfect as Seojin, even with a simple silhouette, I’m sure it can give birth to the greatest masterpiece of my life. Imagining how magnificent it would be if you took off all your clothes makes my heart race…”

    The crazy director, completely immersed in his own world like a pervert, let out a long, hot breath and licked his lips as he scanned Seojin’s body up and down.

    “You’re not… asking me to film a movie nude, are you?”

    Seojin, who had been quietly listening out of courtesy, glanced at the tightly closed door again and asked, trying to keep his voice calm.

    “If it were up to me, I’d like to ask Seojin to be a nude model.”

    As if not noticing Seojin’s desire to run away, Nathan blurted out that he wanted to see his naked body.

    “But that would be too burdensome, so how about we agree on wearing a swimsuit or shorts?”

    The pervert director’s eyes, shamelessly attempting to negotiate after mentioning BDSM himself, were filled with an unmistakably burning desire.

    “No, I’ll have to decline.”

    Even at Seojin’s firm refusal that came without hesitation, Nathan’s attitude did not change.

    “I’m not planning on including bed scenes or anything like that. It’s just that, in between the development of a spectacular story, there will naturally be several scenes where someone forcibly takes off Seojin’s clothes.”

    The genre wasn’t even melodrama or romance but crime-thriller and mystery-drama, essentially close to a one-man show focusing on the protagonist’s inner transformation. There was no need to worry about it becoming a pornographic video. It wouldn’t be that kind of shooting method or work. Nathan tried his best to persuade him, saying those things.

    “You can name any amount for the appearance fee. I’ll match it all. I’m doing this commercial drama to spend money on my hobby anyway.”

    Since it was planned as a short film, the filming period would be shorter than expected. He would also adjust the schedule as much as possible to Seojin’s liking. If he wanted, they could add special provisions to the contract. Such words kept flowing out without rest.

    As he had felt since the audition, Nathan seemed to be a person whose standards for lines that ordinary people shouldn’t cross were completely different.

    Seojin shook his head repeatedly at the other party, who kept spouting misaligned words, not hiding his dumbfounded expression. Regardless of whether the intention was pure or not, it was clear that it was a strange proposal that anyone could see.

    “Director. Are you aware that this could be considered workplace sexual harassment?”

    Even as he asked, pointing out the core of the problem, Seojin imagined what would happen if he meekly answered, “I’ll think about it,” here.

    Nathan would probably try his best to accommodate him until he received a definite answer. He might be able to receive a lot of help even on the drama set, which was highly unstable due to the actor’s risk.

    However, Seojin had no intention of filming a video that could potentially become a dark history just to enjoy a brief personal benefit. He was determined not to even attempt anything that could leave a stain on his acting career.

    “That, no, no, no…”

    Nathan, who was about to offer an explanation with a flustered expression at Seojin’s cold response, couldn’t continue his words. It was because someone opened the door after a short knocking sound and peeked their head in.

    “If you’re about done talking, is it okay if I come in? I also have something to say to Seojin separately.”

    It was the main writer, Lee Hye-eun. Seojin quickly nodded.

    “Yes, Writer. Please come in.”

    “Director, you didn’t say anything weird to Seojin again, did you?”

    Sensing the strange atmosphere from Seojin’s peculiar air of welcoming her, Lee Hye-eun glared at Nathan, who had become sullen, with eyes full of suspicion, but not unkindly.

    “Seojin, don’t bother accepting all the nonsense the director spouts. He’s not a bad person, but he’s a bit unreasonable.”

    “Yes, I will.”

    Glancing at Nathan, who was chewing on his pen with a dejected face, Seojin took Lee Hye-eun’s advice to heart. Admiration for an industry master and sympathy for someone who seemed unstable were both forbidden.

    “Ah, by the way, are you interested in appearing in writer Kim Heesook’s drama? The first episode airs next Monday, and they’re urgently looking for an actor to reshoot because one of the actors caused a big accident.”

    If Lee Hye-eun was known for her solid narratives in genre works, Kim Heesook was a star writer who had risen to the ranks of ratings makers with romantic comedies. If it was a work airing around this time…

    ‘That big hit starring Nam Seungwon?’

    The drama “Idol Who Hunts Evil Spirits.” It was a massive success that captured both buzz and ratings, telling the story of a current idol protagonist who suddenly gains supernatural powers and solves incidents and accidents occurring in the entertainment industry.

    “Although the role is close to a minor one, dying sadly in just one episode, it’s a role with a strong impact. The problem is that the shoot is tomorrow…”

    This was an opportunity for Seojin to expose his face to the public faster than expected.

    “I’d like to try that role.”

    It was a golden opportunity to showcase good acting by fully utilizing the [Vitality Manipulation] ability he had used when escaping the kidnapping incident on his own.

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