Ah, here I am, starting a new Translation Project even as I promised not to do so! Pardon me, and let me indulge in this guilty pleasure of mine. Playing With Innocence is a very long book, and is extremely tough to recap because of the many innuendos and the plots and the sub-plots underneath. I’ll write a synopsis soon. I know that you won’t get much of anything from this Prologue, but you’ll understand more once I release the next Prologue. Until then, this is what you get. Enjoy!
PROLOGUE 1: The Beginning.
NIS Headquarters, Seoul, South Korea.
Kim Joo-won, National Intelligence Service’s Director, was pacing around anxiously in his office. He checked his watch. It was past time, and the person he was waiting for had not yet come. The phone in his office started ringing. He walked over to pick it up.
“Yes?” he asked, crisply.
“Director, Mr. Kim has arrived and is waiting for you. Shall I send him over?” asked Ed, his secretary.
“Yes.” He hanged up the call.
There was a knock on the door. The camera showed the person outside.
“Come in,” he said.
The door opened and in walked a young man. He had trim sandy hair and light blue eyes. Joo-won frowned when he saw the young man’s attire. He was wearing a black cable-knit sweater and jeans.
“Good morning, Mr. Kim. I was afraid that you wouldn’t come,” politely said Joo-won.
“A very Good Morning, father,” replied the young man, smirking. Joo-won’s jaw tightened. “Even I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it here. But then, I decided that I shouldn’t disappoint my dear father anymore. So here I am.”
Joo-won grimaced. “You’ve not changed yet, have you?”
“Nope! Six months isn’t going to start any forgiving process. And, yeah, you’d better tell me what you want from me. I know that you haven’t suspended my one-year-leave to call me here and talk to me about me seeing the light.”
Joo-won closed his eyes. He couldn’t help but admire his son in times like this. He always acted to the point. Joo-won had great plans for his son. He wanted to see his son in the current chair in which he sat. But the last year had changed a lot of things. The last year had damaged their relationship beyond repair.
“Would you like to have something?” asked Joo-won.
“Wine please, if you have it. White wine will do good,” replied his son.
Joo-won walked over to the wine cabinet and drew out a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. He filled two glasses and handed one to his son.
“Cheers!” they muttered. There were a few minutes of silence as they sipped the wine. Joo-won noticed his son fingering the chain around his neck.
“So?” prompted his son.
Joo-won closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I have a job for you.”
“I’m on a leave.”
“I suspended it.”
“I can always resign.”
“This is regarding Jia.”
That stopped his son in his tracks. “Jia?” he asked slowly, as if he was coming out of a daze, “What about her?”
Joo-won smiled to himself in satisfaction. He knew that this would hold his son’s attention. “Well, you seem to insist that you want to resign. So I guess that it’s alright. I’ll hand over the Assignment to somebody else!”
“Cut the crap, father. Tell me what’s wrong right now!” snapped his son. Joo-won couldn’t help but smile again. He was watching his son as he was a year ago—that driven control, that firm stance. The façade of cockiness which he had built around himself crumbled when he heard her name.
He took his time in sipping the wine, and then slowly met his son’s eyes. He calmly said, “Jia’s life is in danger. We suspect that her father has caught on to her at last. After Mina’s death, he had become even more aggressive.” Joo-won noticed his son’s hand still when he heard her name, but he continued,
“Only we know why he’s been so desperate to find her. Well, now that he found her, he won’t leave it alone. You know everything. You have a copy of the folder on her. I will disclose the rest of the details of the Assignment, only if you accept to do it again.”
His son looked back into his eyes defiantly. His jaw tightened. His hand stiffened on his chain.
I won’t say much. You may have gotten confused a bit during their interactions, so I’ll clear it up.
Kim Joo-won is the Director of NIS, which is like the CIA of South Korea. The young man he’s talking to is his son. And for some reason, he and his son have bad blood between them. And the only person who can unite these warring father-and-son duo is a girl called Jia.
That’s it for now. I won’t reveal more than this.