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9 Chapter 9. Master Park, A Fortune Teller From Gangnam 2

 It was Gun-Ho's first visit to a philosophy hall in an office-tel. He had been in a fortune-reading café and tarot-reading place around an educational institute area, for fun. Those places didn't charge much, around 5,000 won or 10,000 won.

'How much do they charge for a consultation?'

Gun-Ho felt small looking at the luxurious office interior and the ladies who were waiting for their turns; they surely looked wealthy. The receptionist talked to him with a smile,

"You have an 11 o'clock reservation, right? The people before you took more time than expected, so you will have your consultation around noon; is that ok with you? Would you like to have green tea?"

"Oh, no thank you. I will wait."

Gun-Ho was standing awkwardly and then sat on the edge of a sofa. The ladies looked at him at the same time; his cheeks burned with embarrassment. He felt like those ladies were wondering what this young man came here for.

"Hum, hum."

After Gun-Ho cleared his throat, he thoroughly looked at the office wall. On the wall, it said that the consultation fee was 100,000 won. He patted his pocket. He thought the consultation fee would be around 30,000 won. 100,000 won was too damn expensive.

One person came out of the office after consultation. She looked like she was in her 50s and seemed very classy. She paid 100,000 won to the receptionist and left. One of the ladies mumbled,

"That lady who just left seemed very sophisticated. She was wearing expensive clothes and carrying a designer bag."

The receptionist responded,

"Do you know who she is? She is the wife of OO secretary."

"Oh, of course. She looked classy and sophisticated."

"Don't tell anyone that she came here."

"Don't worry. I have no one to tell. By the way, Miss, how come there are lots of people today. I thought the consultation is given only in the morning on Saturdays."

"Right. We usually get 15 people on Saturdays and around 30 on weekdays."

Gun-Ho started calculating in his head.

'The consultation fee is 100,000. They get 30 people on weekdays... Huck! 3,000,000 won per day!'

Gun-Ho was amazed.

"Oh my goodness! Their daily income is more than what I make in a month!"

When Gun-Ho was living in Bucheon, he had a neighbor, uncle Jae-Sik. He once opened a philosophy hall then closed it because he couldn't even afford to pay the rent. Here, it is on another level. According to uncle Jae-Sik, except for a few rising fortune tellers, most of them maybe 90% of them made less than 800,000 won per month and couldn't afford to pay the rent.

"Jinyeo Philosophy Hall is truly popular."

Gun-Ho seemed to be the last client today. No one else came in after him. There had been some incoming calls for reservations. After one boring hour, it was finally Gun-Ho's turn.

"You have waited a while. Our master is waiting for you now."

The receptionist who was wearing glasses gave Gun-Ho a gesture that he could already enter the room. He opened the consultation room door. There was a man in his 60s sitting in a big chair; he was wearing a white shirt and tie.

"You must have waited for quite some time. Come and have a seat."

Gun-Ho sat on the guest chair in front of a large table. Gun-Ho expected to see a fortune teller wearing at least modernized Korean traditional clothes if not a typical outfit for a fortune teller, but he dressed like a gentleman with a tie. If looked at closely, he looked more like a professor rather than a fortune teller.

"I am Pan-Soo Park, the head of Jinyeo Philosophy Hall. People call me Master Park. Give me your date of birth."

"Gun-Ho gave him his date of birth.

"Is it according to the lunar calendar? What about the time of birth?"

"I was told that my mother gave birth to me after breakfast, around 9 AM."

"I believe it is Jin o'clock. You must be working with chemicals right now."

Gun-Ho's eyes widened. He was actually working with chemicals everyday washing drums at a plastic factory.

"Quit drinking!"

He unexpectedly started talking to Gun-Ho as if he was talking to someone a lot younger than him. He must've known that Gun-Ho drank every day by himself in his room, being distressed about his life. Gun-Ho blushed with embarrassment. Master Park took some time writing something on a paper. He scribbled in Chinese; it was difficult for Gun-Ho to read. Master Park continued writing for another five minutes without a word.

"Hmm..."

Master Park let out a moan looking at the note he just wrote.

"What is it? Are you seeing bad signs?"

Without responding to Gun-Ho's question, Master Park kept looking at his note. Gun-Ho thought that of course, he had seen bad signs; there was no reason or hope that a factory worker's life would get better, and that was why Master Park moan, he felt suffocated because of Gun-Ho's life. At that moment, someone knocked on the door. It was the receptionist.

"Excuse me, Sir, Chairman Lee is here. Do you want me to tell him to wait?"

"Huh? Chairman Lee? Let him in!"

A man in a suit that looked like he was already in his 60s came inside the room and then hesitated to enter when he saw Gun-Ho.

"Is it ok for me to come in? You are with a client."

"It's ok. Come and sit with me!"

Chairman Lee didn't sit on the chair but he stood next to the table.

"Look at the note. This is the fate of this young man who is sitting in front of us."

"Can I read it? It's about your client."

Chairman Lee nodded to Gun-Ho in greeting.

"Look at this. This is the fate of ShinWangJaeWang.

"Hmmm... It really is."

Chairman Lee said in a low voice looking over his glasses at the note that Master Park handed to him.

"ShinWangJaeWang?"

Gun-Ho thought they were giving him some cock-and-bull story.

"Moreover, he has Yang energy."

"He is getting enormous fortune too."

Master Park said looking at Gun-Ho while reclining his seat; he looked grim.

"Young man, you are born to be extremely rich. You will rake in a fortune."

"Me? I am working in a factory right now."

"I know. With your current luck, working in a factory is more than what your fate allows. You didn't get a proper education, did you?"

Master Park smiled craning his neck while locking his eyes with Gun-Ho; he was seemingly teasing Gun-Ho.

"I dropped out of a low-ranked college in the countryside, and then graduated from a cyber college."

"That is more than you were supposed to get. You could have not attended any school at all."

"Does that mean my life will get better?"

"Don't worry. You will be in a position hiring those people who graduated from top universities, a.k.a. SKY! In a position like a president in a big company."

Gun-Ho felt offended thinking that Master Park was telling him an absurd story just to make that 100,000 won. At that moment, Chairman Lee who was standing next to Master Park said staring at Gun-Ho,

"Wait a minute. You look familiar, young man."

"Me?"

Gun-Ho looked at Chairman Lee. He surely seemed familiar.

"Ohhh, I saw you at the fishing site in Pocheon."

Gun-Ho also remembered him. He was the man in his 60s at the fishing site, who came in that Genesis limousine.

"Huh? You have met each other already? At the fishing site in Pocheon? That's where your vacation home is in, Chairman Lee, right? Haha. You two were probably meant to meet each other."

Master Park laughed out loud and sipped his green tea. He then said craning his neck again,

"Young man, do you know who Chairman Lee is? He owns several buildings in Cheongdam Town ("Cheongdam"); he is a miser. Even so, Chairman Lee is a millionaire, and you are a billionaire. I feel so good to see a person with ShinWangJaeWang fate attached with a significant fortune; it has been a while since I saw this type of fate. I will remember your name for a long time. Your name is Gun-Ho Goo, isn't it? Gun means establishing, and Ho means big, right?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"Ok. Even though you feel desperate and distressed in your life right now, don't worry about it. After five years or so, you will be substantially rich. I will take only 50,000 won for a fee from you, young man."

"Thank you."

Gun-Ho bowed deeply low to Master Park. He also bowed courteously to Chairman Lee. Gun-Ho headed to the Gangnam station from the philosophy hall. Even if the story Master Park told him sounded absurd, Gun-Ho felt good thinking of being a rich man someday. For now, he felt like that all those tall buildings and people around him were smiling at him and applauding to bless him.