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If Not Now, Then When?

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Whatever the AI assistant said had, without a doubt, come true that day. The god of fate truly sent a seemingly gentle breeze, one in the form of a petite yet feisty woman. The man was so baffled at the sight of this woman that he didn't even notice his drooping jaw. "Mr. Han, do you know her?", asked Ms. Yoon. But Han Ji Pyeong adamantly denied it, making the stupidest excuse he was able to whip up.

Seo Dal Mi, the woman who had captivated Mr. Han's focus by her presence, lived rent-free in his mind ever since that mild encounter. So when a worried Choi Won Deok came to ask him for a favor, he had no choice but to accept. Maybe it was his sense of duty talking, but he just felt like he needed to make sure Dal Mi would not get humiliated at her sister's Networking Party.

And so Mr. Han looked everywhere for Dal Mi's dream boy, and of course as fate would have it, was able to locate Nam Do San. However, the two men weren't able to come into terms - having to do a ridiculous favor at the expense of an unprofitable investment was not a good deal for the SH Ventures hotshot. Likewise, accepting to deceive an innocent woman without proper compensation through formal investment was never going to cut it for a failed child prodigy like Nam Do San. Thus, Ms. Choi's favor seemed impossible to achieve.

Unfortunately for Ji Pyeong, he felt too indebted to the lovely old woman that he had no choice but to take matters into his own hands. As he sped across the streets of Seoul, little did he know that Do San eventually felt bad for Dal Mi and her tragic imaginary penpal boyfriend. The two men raced against time to see who could save Dal Mi from a night full of embarrassment.

Han Ji Pyeong arrived early, seeing as how he hurriedly took a u-turn and occasionally exceeded the speed limit. His sweaty figure prompted him to head to the comfort room and freshen up. Seo Dal Mi arrived as well, donning her beautiful Avouavou Crepe Slim Line Belted Jacket and Crepe Wrap Skirt in Mint. Her halmeoni wasn't really the type to splurge on unnecessary things, but maybe making sure Dal Mi wouldn't get humiliated at Injae's party was deemed as 'necessary.' Her anxiety was off the roofs and she just felt the need of the touch of running water on her cheeks to cool herself off. She hurriedly went to the comfort room, not being able to take a glance at the signages. When Ji Pyeong lifted his head from the sink, he was shocked to see a woman enter the room. But almost as quickly as he was shocked, he instantly remembered her face and the reason why he even went to the networking party. Dal Mi was so anxious that she wasn't even able to notice a man in the same room as her until she completely cooled her reddening cheeks at the sink.

Their eyes met together, and it seemed as if time had ceased to flow. Dal Mi was able to snap back into reality, and abruptly apologized for barging in on the men's comfort room. Ji Pyeong soon snapped back in to reality, and couldn't resist the urge to comfort Dal Mi.

"It's okay, you won't be humiliated tonight—," Ji Pyeong blurted out.

The woman was taken aback by his words - words that felt so great to hear just when she needed to hear it, but at the same time was shocking to hear it coming from a complete stranger, one from the men's comfort room at the least.

"How did you know?" replied the superstitious Dalmi who believed the man standing in next to her was probably a mind reader or a fortune teller. Although, she thought he looked too handsome and kind to be one.

"You just looked like you were anxious about something/humiliating yourself — anyways I'm sorry for being too casual"

"No, it's fine! I really wanted to hear that from anyone today anyways."

"By the way, Ms., is the ladies' comfort room out of order?"

"Oh, yes! I mean no! I am so, so, sorry. As if promising for an imaginary man to escort me here wasn't humiliating enough, I really had to go into the wrong comfort room."

"Please forgive me for being nosy Ms?—"

"Ms. Seo Dal Mi, pleased to make your acquaintance!"

"Right, and my name is Han Ji Pyeong. The pleasure is all mine."

"Mr. Han, I am so sorry for this but can I ask you for a crazy favor. I know it sounds insane, but I can't bear to imagine how my sister would be so pleased to know I was bluffing."

"Um..."

"Could you pretend to be the man I was bluffing about? I mean, you fit the criteria! Looks? Check! Style? Check! Vocabulary? Check! It might seem too desperate and too pitiful but, at this point I don't really care anymore as long as I don't get humiliated by that woman."

Dal Mi was shocked at the bravado she possessed at that very moment, and so was Ji Pyeong. The audacity she had to ask a complete stranger to do such a demanding favor soon registered into her mind, and humiliation quickly rushed into her system. Her cheeks flushed and she automatically lowered her head as if the weight of her own humiliation was on her. Ji Pyeong, however pleased he was to hear her say those words, was worried whether she would find him weird if he were to indeed agree to do the favor or apathetic if he were to turn her down after literally just showing an ounce of sympathy a few seconds ago.

"I'm so sorry, please just forget that I ever said that-", the woman said as she caught Mr. Han's obvious look of confusion.

"No, I totally understand! It must be really important to you that this-"

"Really? Oh, my. I couldn't believe that I would implicate a random passerby into my grand deception scheme against my sister, but what's more unbelievable is that you actually agreed to help me. I cannot thank you enough! Please, if there is anything I could do to repay you, I'll give it to you two-fold!", Dal Mi cried out.

She was so ecstatic that she unconsciously hugged the man, unbothered by the predicament. The man was frozen stiff in place - he hasn't experienced being given hugs ever since he was a child. He has been yearning for one ever since, and boy did the spontaneous hug feel so much like he imagined. Although it wasn't done out of love, the mere ecstasy behind the initiation of the hug was enough to warm the cold boy's heart. He always knew it would feel this good, but he never knew his childhood pen pal would be the one to share such a milestone with him. They soon both snapped out of the trancing moment, and silence proceeded to fill the room. But deep within the hearts of the two were the rhythmic thumps of their beating hearts, so loud and so deafening. Seo Dal Mi was a clever and intuitive woman, and so she subconsciously tried to figure out why the man was insane enough to do a favor for a complete stranger.

The two had no time to rehearse as Dal Mi knew that her sister was already waiting for her at the party. Ji Pyeong, unprepared to fulfill such an audacious favor, told her to go ahead and that he would follow up. And so she did. Seo Dal Mi tidied up, got out of the men's comfort room, and began walking towards her sister and the trouble that was waiting to be unfolded. Of course, fate would have it that 'The' Nam Do San appeared at the networking party as the black knight who would rescue a damsel in distress for a humiliating situation. He walked up to her, easily able to identify her among the crowd of hundreds. She must've been the first woman that he ever saw as attractive, and after hearing Mr. Han's brief about the situation earlier, was able to put the pieces together and inferred that the beautiful woman in mint was indeed 'The' Seo Dal Mi. She was beginning to regret asking a stranger for help, but shook the thought off since she was already able to convince the stranger to help her. But when this beautiful man, Nam Do San, came to her beckoning - her shoulders rose in relief. Finally, the man whom she has prayed for has finally been sent by the heavens.

They were approached by Won In Jae and Ahn Bo Hyun, two women who were a part of Dal Mi's previous life - a life where everything was still perfectly imperfect. When Han Ji Pyeong finally mustered up the strength and was able to formulate a mini script in his mind, he got out of the comfort room and went straight to Dal Mi's aid. But he was greeted by a tall, handsome figure who was beginning to stutter over his own words. He knew that at any moment, Do San wouldn't be able to save Dal Mi from embarrassment and instead be the embarrassment himself. Although he felt betrayed by how Dal Mi had quickly forgotten that she asked him a favor, he could not in his own conscience allow Seo Dal Mi to be humiliated in front of her sister at all. He smoothly swooped into the failure of a conversation they had going, and proceeded to rescue what was left of it. Dal Mi was so relieved that the real Nam Do San had appeared in front of her that she almost forgot Mr. Han, the stranger whom she asked to do a favor for her. She was amazed at the sight of this man, and all of her burden seemed to vanish as he kept on going. The night went on quite well, until they had to part ways.

As Dal Mi and Do San drove off in Mr. Han's luxurious car, the owner of the car was relieved to say that the grand deception scheme has somehow been successful. Meanwhile, even when Dal Mi was in the presence of her first love, she couldn't help but have her mind wander off to think how Mr. Han was doing. She knew she needed to thank him for making him do something so bold, yet it seemed like a role he could naturally play.