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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“He’s a genius. What was I doing when I was seventeen?”
“I love Yun Woo. He’s a genius. By the way, I LOVE him. I love you, Yun Woo. Please, accept me.”
“I’m so thankful that I got to share a lifetime with Yun Woo. Keep it up! Can’t wait for your next book!”
“I’d been hearing the name ‘Yun Woo’ left and right, so I ended up buying his book just to keep everyone quiet. Now, I’m even reading ‘The Trace of a Bird.’ He’s the very first author I’ve come to like.”
“After reading his book, I became bedridden for an entire week. My body seemed to be fine, but my heart was in pieces. It almost felt like going through a breakup. The regret and sadness of the one who is left behind was much more than what I could handle. I’m afraid to read it again, but on the other hand, I’d highly recommend it.”
“I read this book for the first time at a cafe. Then, I regretted my decision. Before I even had time to think about what I was reading, tears began to fall from my eyes. Fortunately, nobody noticed me, but it was rather embarrassing. Still, I couldn’t help myself. Though my life looked nothing like that of the mother’s, its potency came at me like a third-degree burn. I found myself involuntarily reaching for water.”
“It’s a fun read, but you’d be wrong to assume that the book is merely fun. ‘The Sound of Wailing’ is heavy, yet fast-paced. Once I read the book, I realized that I’d been misunderstanding Yun Woo all along. Because he had an image of being pure, I had been assuming that he’d be frail and weak. I thought that he’d run for his life when taking a powerful collision. In my mind, he was a person of noble character who despised things that were dirty and gruesome. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This book is entangled and cruel to the point of causing concern to its readers about his well-being. It’s explicit. It almost felt like showed everything he has within the confines of two full-length novels. However, I believe that he’ll return with his third book, proving me wrong once again.”
Juho read through the reviews and comments of the readers that filled his screen. They were overwhelmingly flattering. Some were treading into the territory that made him feel uncomfortable. Every person had a different ID, font, and tone, just as they each led their own lives.
He went to the next page. Of course, as different as those people were, some didn’t view his book in such a positive light.
“Everything’s fine except for the ending. Why did she have to die? It’s as awkward as a kid pretending to be an adult. It felt pretentious the entire time I was reading.”
It had been a while since Juho had read a negative review. He read carefully through it again to see if there was anything he could learn from it. Pretending to be an adult, pretentious. Rather than a detailed explanation, the person seemed to have stayed true to his emotions. He sounded rather angry. Feeling sad that he couldn’t do anything to alleviate his anger, Juho moved on to the next post without hesitation.
“It makes no sense that a kid would write a novel like this. People blabber about him being a genius, but I don’t believe any of it. Somebody has to be behind this young author. The fact that he’s anonymous is proof. Just like Yun from ‘The Trace of a Bird,’ he’s timid because he feels guilty of something.”
More so than a review, it sounded like a conspiracy theory. They seemed to be entertaining a dangerous idea – a ghostwriter. Juho turned his chair around with a chuckle. The walls and stacks of manuscript paper came into view. Behind him, there was nothing but rough ideas written out. If somebody really had ghosted for him, he wouldn’t have had to go through all the trouble he had. The light from the screen shone onto a small part of a wall. Though it wasn’t the entire wall, Juho couldn’t help his eyes from being drawn to it.
From then on, there were confessions from infatuated fans, opinions on his style, and an in-depth analysis on what made him a genius. He took the time to read them one by one.
“I like that there are so many different opinions. People are interesting,” he murmured as he leaned back on his chair. Some liked his work whereas some didn’t. Some rooted for him while some were jealous of him. Thanks to the variety of opinions, reading through the thoughts of his readers wasn’t boring. Only, his eyes began to hurt from looking at the screen for a long time. He looked away and looked up at the ceiling, where he saw an afterimage of the screen.
‘Caw!’ a cry of a bird sounded out. Following the sound, Juho slowly lowered his head. Black feathers. Black beak. It was a crow.
“You,” he called for the crow. “I’ve noticed that you’ve been following me around for some time. You’re kind of noisy.”
Its eyes glistened in the dark as its large, menacing beak parted open. ‘Caw!’ Then, words came out it, “Sounds like you want it louder. CAW! CAW!”
“You have a childish side,” said Juho as he laughed.
“Hmph, there’s no use in trying to keep calm. You’re no different from me,” the bird said, scoffing.
“Is that so?”
Annoyed, the crow approached Juho while spreading its wings.
“You’re an idiot. I know you don’t see anything behind me, and it’s obvious that you haven’t even read what you’ve written. You’re just venting. I can tell. Stupid brat!” it said angrily.
“Shut up, shut up!”
Juho looked at the book underneath the birds’ claws. A bird on a gray background. ‘Could it be the same bird?’
“Where are you from?” he asked.
“Shut your mouth. I’m not in a good mood. I’ll peck,” said the bird as it glared at him fiercely.
“That’s not nice. Look how sharp your beak is.”
‘CAW! CAW!’ it cried loudly as if it didn’t want to listen to Juho anymore. “If you had written it better, you wouldn’t have had to find out what those stupid people had to say. You’re an idiot,” said the bird, spiteful.
“Hehe. It’s a little late for that, don’t you think?” Juho answered with a smile.
“I’m being serious. Don’t you dare try to smile your way out of this. Why did you kill her? You could have let her live happily.”
“You know why.”
“No, I don’t. I can’t stand it. Pretentious? What does that punk know? Nobody’s pretending to be an adult, because you ARE ONE! PIECE OF TRASH!”
“Stop it. The readers have the freedom to feel. There’s nothing to gain from venting.”
“Shut it. You piss me off the most. Don’t you just sit there smiling like an imbecile. Write a comment. ‘Why don’t you grow up?!'”
“Hate to break it to you, but can’t do.”
“Damn it, DAMN IT! CAW!” It flapped its wings, infuriated. Its feathers fell around it.
With cold, motionless eyes, Juho captured that sight.
“Why don’t we talk about real you?” Juho said. The bird looked in his direction with its dark, glistening eyes that looked like they would engulf every bit of light.
“I’m a crow.”
“What else is there to know?”
“I’m sure there are a few things,” said Juho. He asked after a brief time thought, “So, what do you signify?”
“Are leaving room for my interpretation?”
“I couldn’t care less about your interpretation. I’m just telling the truth.”
‘That’s one salty bird,’ thought Juho.
“Alright, fine. What’s your name?”
“What do you think I am, a person? How would I know?” The bird asked as it opened its beak, sneering.
“You’re the only one who can see me.”
Juho said after thinking for a brief moment, “Crow.”
“I’m not going to give you a name.”
“Why?” The bird asked as it flapped its wings.
“Frankly, I don’t really want to see you around. If I give you a name, I might get attached to you,” said Juho in a friendly manner, smiling.
Without saying anything, the crow stared at him intently for some time while Juho stared back finally.
“Finally! We’re starting to agree on something,” it said as it hopped down onto the bed from the desk. The blanket tousled underneath the birds’ claws. Juho didn’t stop the bird as it walked toward the bookshelf and took out a book with it sharp beak. ‘Impressive,’ Juho thought. As the crow tossed the book onto the floor, it cracked open, revealing its white pages and letters written in black ink.
“What about it?” Juho asked.
“Caw! I can’t stand this book!” The crow said as it flapped its wings about, puffing its chest angrily. One of the pages flapped about.
“You know that I wrote it, right?”
The book on the floor was no other than ‘The Trace of a Bird,’ his maiden work.
This hoodlum of a bird had something to complain about. Recognizing the bright light coming from the monitor, Juho asked the crow, “What don’t you like about it?”
A straightforward answer. It might be short, but there were feelings in those word. Juho understood immediately that the crow was not very fond of him.
“Do you know how to read?”
“I’m a crow, nitwit,” said the crow as it pretended to retch.
“Do YOU even know how to read? I almost thought you couldn’t hear my insults because you were just sitting there, smiling like an imbecile.”
“If I can’t read, then I can’t write.”
“You write crap because you can’t read.”
The crow didn’t back down.
“Unfortunately, lot of people have already read this crap you’re referring to. I can’t take it back,” said Juho, snickering.
With Juho’s response, the crow folded its wings and picked up the book with its beak.
“Oh, but there’s more. A lot of people have been reading my next book.”
The crow covered its face with its wings, collapsing. Though it had been speaking like a human up to that point, Juho couldn’t help but think that it also moved like a human. Its feathers were intimidatingly dark.
“I can’t stand that people are reading this crap! I can’t stand it!”
“It’s ok,” said Juho, comforting the crow.
“Do you not like to write?”
“Look at how atrocious it came out!”
Still, it hadn’t been a no.
“The reviews aren’t as bad. Want to take a look?”
The crow didn’t move from his place. A black feather fell from its body. ‘Where did I see that?’ Juho tried to retrace his memory, but couldn’t remember.
“You could’ve done better,” said the crow. “You could’ve ended it better. Caw, caw,’ it added, crying sadly. “You could’ve gotten better reviews.”
“Haha. Are that you upset?”
After staying silent for a while, the crow changed the subject.
“I’m not good enough,” said the crow, weakly.
“Well, nobody’s perfect.”
“I want what I write to be perfect.”
“I want to be the great storyteller.”
The great storyteller. Juho stared at the crow quietly.
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