Protagonist Knows Everything - Chapter 1: Prologue
Information is a weapon.
That’s the idea I’ve had since joining this company.
Speaking of information, it could be of any kind and involve all aspects. From stock market to real estate, political society, entertainment, sports, and so on; there are countless pieces of information roaming the internet.
But the one which I pay attention to is information about the people.
No matter how many artificial intelligences or sophisticated technologies emerge, this society will stay in the hands of the people.
In other words, acquiring information about people in our breathtakingly closed society, is the only key to success.
I believed it till a while ago.
When I was thinking about arranging my tasks for the day and starting to work in earnest, the CEO called me to his room.
I glanced over to the tidy man next to the CEO, who looked about the same age as me, maybe a bit younger.
As soon as I sat down, the first thing he said was…
“Nice to meet you. I am Kang Chun-woo.”
“Let’s do well in the future.”
I didn’t understand what he meant.
The best possibility that I can think of is that he’s a business partner, or a representative of a subcontractor.
“This is the HR team leader.”
The CEO grabbed my hand and waved to him.
Both of them had smiling faces.
“Sir, can you please explain the situation?”
“Haha. Definitely. I didn’t conceal it on purpose.”
The CEO scratched his cheek.
The next moment, his eyes turned to me.
It has been 12 years since I joined this company. Everyone knows that this raccoon scratches his cheek in front of you whenever there’s trouble .
“It’s nothing much, as Kim…team leader knows, the Head of the management post is vacant right now.”
I don’t know why but I was about to lose my composure.
I almost blurted out the words… ‘I will be the Head of Managment from next month.’
The CEO knew that I had been coveting the position since the former head of the management left the headquarters for personal reasons.
What does he want to say?
I’d been called to Golf and Tennis every weekend and had talk with him a few times while being fed a high-class brew till late at night.
Naturally, I talked about how I wanted to help the company from a more commanding position.
“From next month, Director Kang Chun-Woo will take over as the Head of the Management.”
Both of their faces twisted when he said that.
Take care of your fucking facial expressions.
“However, Why wasn’t I informed of the CEO’s order? I am the HR-department leader.”
“So I am informing you. I mean, I didn’t hide it on purpose.”
The CEO avoided my glance.
It seemed that the CEO understood what I meant to say.
‘So what is this? Are you going to throw me out now?’
Since the day I joined this company, I have always been a top performer, giving my all to the company..
I constantly thought of innovations that would benefit the company and its organization. So there have been many cases where employees who couldn’t produce results were relentlessly thrown out.
Heated topics such as pay-raise, evaluation, and discipline have always been addressed at the forefront.
All of that so that I could reach the top of this company.
But now, this raccoon in front of me did whatever he wanted.
I cleaned up everytime this raccoon made some mistake.
‘No. Was I a problem for him?’
I knew all the dirty stuff about the company, including the raccoon’s previous scandals.
I have the information about everyone in the company in my hands.
Like a spy in the Cold War era, I kept records of every person Ithey met, their masks, their loved ones, where they spent their money. I knew everything.
That information was my weapon.
Now the weapon was aimed at his neck.
“So now I am a burden to you? Because I know too much?”
I spat that out inadvertently.
The representative and the child named Kang Chun-woo widened their eyes. Then the CEO’s soft voice broke the silence.
“Oh huh. I don’t know what you mean.”
The CEO coughed and glanced at Kang Chun-woo.
Then, as if waiting, Kang Chun-woo opened his mouth with a soft voice.
“Kim Il-do. No, Kim Il-do the team leader. I know what you’re thinking.”
Why just my name? You’re not my boss yet.
“That may be a bit sad. I heard from the CEO that he suggested your promotion to the Head of the Management division several times, but it was refused.”
“I can’t wait to see you get back to the position.. Kim’s abilities are exceptional, but he still needs practical experience.”
“You have worked for 8 years”
The CEO and Kang Chun-Woo at first shook their heads.
But soon their faces changed into that of dismay.
“Three years at Sewoong Corporation, two years at Chaeum Pharmaceuticals, and after one year, you took a break by going on oversees trips….half a year ago, you joined the financial industry then returned..”
“What, what… how!”
“I know that your job at the companies you went to is a bit odd. If you’re the Head of Management, you’re going to have to do all the finances, but I don’t know if you can do it.”
The CEO did not pay attention to my sly manners.
He was more drawn to the content.
The CEO said.
“Kim, team leader Kim. Where did you hear all those things?”
“These are all the words that you said.”
“Yeah. ‘I am proud of my nephew.’”
It seemed as if the air had stopped.
Yes. This raccoon was afraid of me knowing too much. So he tried to appoint his nephew as the Head of the Management.
“Let youmy nephew take control… and all the information regarding the company transactions and embezzlement will be under my control.’”
‘Do you think I will leave it like that.’
I smiled and said.
“You seem so amazed. I was merely gathering and organizing the words the CEO said here and there. YouHe once showed me thea picture of yourhis nephew at a drinking party.”
“What, what! I never did that! What else do you know?”
“I believe that information about people is a weapon. That’s all you need to know.”
Cold sweats formed on the faces of the CEO and Kang Chun-woo.
Perhaps that raccoon is looking back on the words he has spoken so far inside his head.
I’m sorry, but it’s already too late. I know everything about you, no… about everyone in this company.
Then I got up.
Politely bowed to them and said.
“But just having information doesn’t make it a weapon.”
“Utilizing the information is what makes it a weapon. Thank you for the good teaching.”
“Hey, hey. Team leader Kim!”
The CEO jumped up and bumped his knee to his table.
The teacup in front of him fell over and wet his pants.
I said in a gentle voice.
“Are you okay? You have to clean it quickly.”
“It’s the suit that your dear lover gave you as a gift.”
Knowing what I was saying, Kang Chun-woo looked at the CEO with a frightened face.
“Uncle… No, CEO. What is he saying?”
“How does he know so much about us?”
I left the two of them to their frazzled wits and exited the CEO’s office.
If you have it, you use it.
There are a few cards which I can play in the future.
The first thing I did when I got back was to clear all the documents from the secondary drives.
Then I transferred some specific data from my computer to the USB.
[Human Resources-For Business]
It’s a completely separate file from the personnel record book that I periodically report to the CEO. That personnel register for reporting was like bread without butter.
This file contained not only personal information that could be legally accessed by the company, but also all the personal information of every single employee.
I’ve compiled this for 12 years, it’s the product of my efforts.
I moved it to the USB and erased the rest of the files from my computer. Naturally, I also put a password on the file, but still.
Then I checked everything that was uploaded to my mailbox. Of Course I’d delete them.
With the USB in my pocket, I called…
“Yes, team leader.”
Even though he has worked with me for many years, Chief Choi, who always looked nervous like a freshman who just moved from the university, came running.
“What is it?”
“You’re going to the afternoon meeting.”
The chief looked as if he had heard a strange joke.
“Team leader is that an order?”
“Why are you so surprised?”
“No, since I joined the company, I haven’t been to an actual meeting…”
I raised my glasses and answered.
“It’s the first time then. Isn’t it?”
“Ah, hahaha. Yes. This must be something important.”
“Sir, sorry. I didn’t mean to intervene.”
“I’m not going.”
Choi’s face changed strangely to my short answer.
Did I say anything odd?
“The meeting starts at 2 o’clock. I’m not going.”
“Call me if anything happens in the afternoon. Now go back to your office.”
Chief Choi hesitated and then stepped back.
I forgot what had happened in the CEO’s office a while ago and immersed myself in my work.
Around 11 o’clock, the representative and Kang Cheon-woo appeared and glanced around me.
But without talking to me, they just left the office.
I glanced at the clock, opened the personnel log file, and left a note.
-Raccoon. Away at working hours. (11 am)
This is the first time I have left the office at this time, except for field related work.
I fiddled with the USB in my pocket.
Today, I am going to go home and read the files carefully.
I will have to collect useful materials from it, and set up a course of action and stick to it from tomorrow.
It’s crazy to talk about it because I hold all the information about the employees.
It is far beyond the legal information what should be accessible by the company.
So naturally, one needs to approach it carefully.
‘No one will have to go home, it’s merely to keep them quiet.’
I smiled bitterly as I repeated that phrase.
‘I would like to grab a few drinks today.’
I stood in front of the crosswalk and pulled out the USB.
And like a crazy guy, I muttered at this device.
“I believe in you. We mean well.”
Then the traffic lights changed.
I slowly crossed the crosswalk.
Maybe I was a little excited that time. It seems that the plan of jumping into the company’s politics, which I had never even thought of, was somewhat exhilarating.
So I didn’t look around more than usual.
But to be clear, it wasn’t my fault. Because the traffic light was green.
The moment I looked back at the sound, my body was already airborne.
A stupid voice, to think it came right from my mouth.
I fell and hit my head hard on the floor.
“Kyaa, it’s a traffic accident!”
“Someone call 119!”
USB! Where is the USB? My data, everything I gathered, 12 years of my life!
I wriggled through my pockets like an earthworm exposed to the burning sun.
And took the USB out.
The USB was fine.
“Oh. Thank God.”
But why is it so noisy?
“Hey. Wake up!”
“Ahhhh. I’m scared, mom!”
“Where is the ambulance?”
Someone is screaming.
“Yes Yes! Are you ok? Did you take a blow to your head ?”
“Please be a little quiet. I am very sleepy right now.”
By the end of those words, my mind went blank.
With the USB clenched in my hands.
I fell asleep.