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    Paradoxically, however, Ju-in’s heart became more tranquil than ever, as if he had undergone an exorcism.

    “Ah…”

    The vulgar imaginings that had been swirling madly toward Seojin just moments ago had evaporated, and the gloomy haze that had settled in his mind cleared away. It was the astonishing calming effect of the talent [Partner’s Panacea].

    “So, you were anxious?”

    Noticing that the attempted contact had been effective, Seojin asked with a faint smile, reaching out both hands to cup Ju-in’s face. His touch on the cheeks was indescribably gentle, as if he found the possessive confession that his partner couldn’t even bear to see him mixing words with others endearing.

    “That’s why you’ve been monitoring me.”

    Seojin then lightly touched his forehead to Ju-in’s, who was looking down at him with wavering eyes, as if he had found the answer to a question that had remained unresolved. His complexion brightened slightly.

    “Jin-ah, I…”

    “You can do it. As much as you want.”

    “…What?”

    And he granted permission to be monitored in a generous tone. Of course, it wasn’t a decision made out of genuine understanding of the other’s feelings. It was merely a resolution to break free from the confinement and remove the shackles.

    “I’m saying you can monitor and follow me as much as you want if it eases your anxiety.”

    “Are you… serious?”

    “Yeah. I don’t mind anything as long as I can act freely.”

    Surprise spread across Ju-in’s face at Seojin’s words, followed by a gradual surge of delight mixed with gratitude. It was the reaction of someone who had finally seen a glimmer of hope that a door, firmly shut despite thousands and tens of thousands of knocks, would open.

    “Anything?”

    However, as if struck by a thought, Ju-in’s eyes turned strangely sultry, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. Sensing an unsavory vibe from that gaze, Seojin decided to take the initiative before things could escalate.

    “Yes. Even this.”

    Feigning composure, he cupped Ju-in’s cheeks and brought their lips close. With a soft smack, their lips lightly touched and parted quickly.

    It was a very natural skinship, as if he would do it to the point of getting sick of it if only the confinement was lifted. Ju-in’s eyes shook like a river hit by seismic waves at Seojin’s action, which he had never even dared to hope for.

    Gently nipping and releasing Ju-in’s lower lip, Seojin whispered with his entire being, ‘If you keep me confined here, it will only lead to a draining fight. Is that really what you want?’

    If their relationship warmed up, the self-harm issue, which was the original justification for the confinement, would be resolved as well. They could even monitor with the consent of the person involved and enjoy skinship as if they were lovers.

    [Han Ju-in’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    For the heir of a chaebol family trained to choose the best option at every moment, it was a problem of balance disruption that had to inevitably lead to the conclusion Seojin desired, having already habitually completed all those comparisons.

    Even with his eyes rolling back from the peripheral nerve-stimulating skinship, Ju-in couldn’t completely let go of the rational and reasonable judgment he had cultivated throughout his life.

    Although there were clear signs that he wanted to pounce on Seojin, driven by arousal, Ju-in restrained himself. He couldn’t ignore the look in Seojin’s eyes that seemed to say, ‘The price must be paid in advance, right?’

    “How could I win against you?”

    Suppressing his urge to act on impulse with rough, heavy breaths, Ju-in let out a resigned laugh. It was a declaration of unconditional surrender to Seojin, as always.

    ***

    A few days later, the first episode of the cable drama “Idol Who Catches Evil Spirits” aired.

    <Comments (5219)

    • Anonymous1 │ The ads are over! It’s starting!
    • Writer │ My heart is pounding >< I’m excited to see Nam Seungwon in idol makeup.
    • Anonymous2 │ Oh, the female lead’s entrance is already intense. Is she the successor of an exorcist family? . . .
    • Anonymous78 │ Wow, the guy just now is insanely handsome.
    • Anonymous79 │ Damn, who is he??????????
    • Anonymous1 │ Whoa, he’s crazy good-looking;;;
    • Anonymous80 │ What’s the name of the actor playing the rival and friend idol role? I’m desperate, please.
      • └Writer │ It says Seojin on the official website, but I’ve never heard of the name either. Who is he?
    • Anonymous9 │ Daebak; Face is heaven;
    • Anonymous15 │ What the hell, I can’t find anything when I search for the name of the actor playing idol Ha Yunseong… Is he a rookie?
    • Anonymous39 │ Is he not an AI but a real person?? Can a person even look like that?? I can’t believe it even after seeing it.
    • Anonymous24 │ No, you couldn’t create that even with CG. His visuals are insane.
    • Anonymous81 │ I missed all the important details while admiring the face of the guy who just appeared. Why did the female lead come to see the male lead?
    • Anonymous47 │ I think he was hit by a visual attack…
    • Anonymous7 │ Is he an elf? He seems to be a completely different species from me.
    • Anonymous82 │ He has sharp features. I’m watching this drama until the end. . . .
    • Anonymous1329 │ Phew, I watched it without being able to breathe.
    • Anonymous582 │ What the hell did I just watch?????
    • Anonymous376 │ The immersion is crazy.
    • Anonymous55 │ Who the hell is he? Not only is his face shocking, but how can he act so intensely?;
    • Anonymous4 │ For a moment, there was silence on the comments section, haha. It’s amazing, but I couldn’t type either. └Anonymous70 │ 22222 I also dropped my phone while watching, losing my mind, hahaha. 
      • └Anonymous999 │ 333 I only closed my eyes after the scene changed, haha. My eyes are dry.
    • Anonymous148 │ So this is method acting.
    • Anonymous1129 │ When Ha Yunseong was crying and bleeding, was I the only one who had trashy thoughts…? 
      • └Writer │ You’re not alone. 
        • └Anonymous61 │ Your comrade is here… 
          • └Anonymous83 │ Hahaha, an innocent face and not-so-innocent acting. 
            • └Anonymous2 │ His face was sexy too…! I wanted to lick his tears…
    • Anonymous666 │ Phew… It’s highly stimulating…
    • Anonymous54 │ What the hell, his face and acting are both too bad for my heart.
    • Anonymous1289 │ Nooo, don’t kill Ha Yunseong. It’s a loss for humanity! A loss of a natural cultural asset! I oppose! I oppose! Please let him live.
    • Anonymous47 │ What, so Ha Yunseong won’t appear from Episode 2? Why? Why? Why? Why?
    • Anonymous3 │ The murderer of the evil spirit is really trash. How can you kill him when he’s begging with that face? 
      • └Anonymous987 │ The trash doesn’t even have eyes to see. . . .
    • Anonymous88 │ Oh… oh… His pupils… His pupils look strange. I’m scared.
    • Writer │ The top corpse acting in Korea.
    • Anonymous1004 │ What’s with the flashback scene? I hate the Nam Seungwon x Seojin couple.
    • Anonymous82 │ Argh, his bare feet are so white. They look really soft. Please revive Ha Yunseong.
    • Anonymous11 │ Is the actor playing Ha Yunseong a minor? The school uniform suits him perfectly.
    • Anonymous404 │ The technology these days is amazing. They made a wax figure look like a real person.
    • Anonymous452 │ Whoa, I praise the writer’s foresight in creating the Ha Yunseong character drenched in white milk.
    • Anonymous47 │ PD-nim, Writer-nim, I’ll hold my breath until the episode where Ha Yunseong appears again. Huff…>

    The real-time response was explosive, just as the production team, who had felt the shock firsthand, had anticipated. However, Seojin had no time to pay attention to the enthusiastic reaction.

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has decreased by 1.]

    [An emergency mission has been assigned as a penalty for the collapse of the target’s Favorability of 85 (Trust).]

    ‘…What?’

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has decreased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has decreased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has decreased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has decreased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has decreased by 1.]

    [The difficulty of the emergency mission has intensified as a penalty for the collapse of the target’s Favorability of 80 (Intimacy).]

    It was due to the system messages that popped up one after another out of nowhere, like a bolt from the blue.

    ‘Has my acting… been exposed?’

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    [Item Free Pass (C) has been awarded as a reward for re-achieving the target’s Favorability of 80 (Intimacy).]

    However, before the startled Seojin could begin to deduce the reason,

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    [Cha Do-beom’s (Affinity: Highest) Favorability has increased by 1.]

    [Item Free Pass (B) has been awarded as a reward for re-achieving the target’s Favorability of 85 (Trust).]

    The Favorability that seemed to be falling endlessly was quickly restored to its original state. Although he didn’t know the exact circumstances, it seemed that Cha Do-beom had harbored a fatal suspicion toward Seojin but had erased it on his own not long after.

    Do-beom seemed to have reached a positive conclusion inwardly, but Seojin felt the need to check what had happened. He had to grasp the reason in order to readjust the direction of his life acting.

    ‘First, I’ll check the content of the emergency mission… Huh?’

    However, that composure soon evaporated.

    [Emergency Mission: Have your first sexual intercourse with one of the Favorability management targets. (0/1)]

    [Time Limit: 7 days (Remaining Time: 167 hours 59 minutes 31 seconds)]

    [Merit upon Success: Acquire 1 Diamond Talent Card, Acquire 1 Random Reward]

    [Penalty upon Failure: 90% reduction in time limit until final goal achievement (10 years → 1 year)]

    ‘Crazy.’

    Seojin’s mind went blank at the system’s warning that it would reduce the time limit to 1 year if he didn’t have sexual intercourse within a week. It had already required considerable resolve just to engage in light skinship…

    He couldn’t remember in what state of mind he had received hair styling and makeup. When he opened his eyes, he found himself waiting for the van in front of a shop in Cheongdam.

    As he stood there, dumbfounded, watching the time limit dwindle by the second, Seojin suddenly felt a force yanking his body. The sensation of thick arms firmly encircling his waist, the heavy and chilly unique scent.

    “Young master, did you miss me all this time?”

    The owner of the voice, tinged with a sly smile, was none other than Cha Do-beom, the culprit behind this situation.

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