Jang Tae-joo (Go Soo) was (keyword: was) a intelligent, young, and dashing man studying to be a lawyer and a “filial son” who tried supporting his poor father in anyway he could. His dream was to become rich so that his family would never have to suffer again for lack of money and his sister could go to college. However, one day, the massive conglomerate Sung Jin Group buys off land (via a government contract) for 10% of market price which would become the catalyst for his darker descent (I stand by the opinion that Jang Tae-joo was a deranged man from the start) towards an insatiable obsession with money.
[Okay, so it might be much to say that he’s deranged, but there are only two good things he has done so far in the show and both of them are eventually negated. First, he gifts money to the man who works in Eden’s parking lot (a family friend) for his daughter’s wedding and second, protects Director Yoon Seul-hee (Jang Shin-young) once or twice from the pervert Politician. But then he turns around and destroys that man’s life by coercing him to join the election, and as for Seul-hee, the first ten minutes are enough to assess why the above is for naught.]
This piece of land included the property that Jang’s father bought with 30 years of savings in order to finally build a noodle shop for Tae-joo’s mother (such a dedicated man!). Everyone involved with the land is devastated by their land being taken over and set up a protest that prevents Sung Jin from beginning working on their reconstruction project. Choi Min-jae (Sohn Hyun-joo), who heads Sung Jin Construction, decides to forcibly take their land, leading to the deaths several of the protesters, including Jang’s father.
The thing is, what killed Jang’s father was not the violent takeover. It was the fact that the family had no money to pay the doctors for the operation to save their father’s life. The doctors could not perform surgery despite Tae-joo’s pleas and promises to pay the money after the fact. Tae-joo then comes with an elaborate and dangerous scheme to come up with the money, only to find that once he gets it, his father had already died.
Tae-joo is then sent to jail and happens to meet Choi Yong-jae, Min-jae’s brother. Yong-jae ends up dying after an asthma/panic attack in jail and Tae-joo is the sole witness. Tae-joo realizes that the dead man is connected to Sung Jin Group and attempts to find a way out of Jail by claiming to have heard Yong-jae’s last words. Min-jae bails Tae-joo out, but only because of his own hidden agenda (Min-jae is not stupid to believe that Yong-jae could have actually said anything at the time of his death) to convince his own father, Choi Dong-jin (Jung Han-yong) to go against Dong-jin’s older brother and Chairman of Sung Jin Group, Choi Dong-sung (Park Geun-hyung) in order to gain “rightful” control over the Group. In the meantime, the prized daughter of Choi Dong-sung, Choi Seo-yoon (Lee Yo-won), is doing everything in her power to thwart the plans of her cousin, which eventually leads her to require the assistance of Jang Tae-joo and his two pyung land.
But this is only the beginning, as the three of them will have their lives irrevocably intertwined as they fight over the ownership of Sung Jin along with everyone else in he Choi family.
Because there’s so much going on in the story, here’s just a few major character relationships of those wanting to own Sung Jin as of Episode 7:
- Choi Dong-sung: The Patriarch of the Choi family and is Chairman of Sung Jin. He has been on his death bed for the past 3 or so years with severe Dementia. He intends to pass the company onto his youngest daughter and confidante, Choi Seo-yoon, to hold until his grandson (Won-jae’s son) can take over the company.
- Han Jeong-hee: Choi Dong-sung’s second wife and mother to Choi Sung-jae. She was once married to a business man who had died as a result of Sung-Jin group’s ruthless acquisition of his business. She ends up marrying Dong-sung to steal the company and avenge her late husband. She also intends to place the reluctant Sung-jae as chairman, who is actually the son of her late husband.
- Choi Won-jae: Oldest son of Choi Dong-sung who was nothing but a rich spoiled brat for most of his life. However, his immature behavior is just cover of his self-disappointment. He desires the acknowledgment of his father, and tries to prove his worth by taking over Sung-Jin group. He currently works as a director in Sung Jin Group.
- Choi Seo-yoon: Dong-sung’s second daughter and de-facto heir of Sung Jin group. She becomes the acting Chairman (with the title Vice-Chairman) when her father becomes too ill to work. She has a love for literature, and only desires two things from being Vice-Chairman: one, to carry the legacy of her father, and two, prevent her cousin Min-jae from taking over Sung-Jin.
- Choi Min-jae: He currently serves as the president/director of Sung-Jin Construction, and wants to take over Sung-Jin because he feels that his family (i.e. his father) was cheated out of a rightful share. As of now, he is teaming up with Eden’s Jang Tae-joo to bring down Seo-yoon. The two agree to split their earnings in half.
- Jang Tae-joo: Founder and President of Eden, a real estate company that has some shadier undercurrents. He however is not happy with just the success of his own company, and would rather sit in the Empire of Gold where he can change the world with just the lift of his hand. He is business partners with Yoon Seul-hee, and has shown some ambiguous romantic interest in her. (However, as evidenced from the first ten minutes of this show, he ends up marrying Seo-yoon for some mysterious reason.)
- Yoon Seul-hee: She is a Director of Eden and Jang’s school senior. She starts out as Jang Tae-joo’s mentor to the world of real estate and underground business/black market, but eventually starts working for him. She is very romantically interested in Tae-joo and would do almost anything for him.