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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
In order to catch up with his transcription, Juho took out Hyun Do Lim’s book and placed it gently onto the desk with his notebook. As usual, his effort was short-lived, but by now, he came to accept it.
Having opened the book, he had naturally started to read page after page. By the time he finished doing that, a significant amount of time had already passed. Though he couldn’t think of a specific reason, the book was always a good read. Every time he read it, he always felt that it was a good book. After that, he revisited the scene that left a deep impression on him.
In the house once occupied by his wife and children, the old man was left all alone. He stood in front of a mirror and confessed his life. ‘Where is it?’ he asked. The mirror was the only place to whom he could ask that question. Of course, the old man in the mirror did not speak until he did. Yet, he waited for an answer. It was idiotic. The restrained atmosphere made the reading experience unpleasant, but Juho was drawn to it still. The book had a way of attracting its reader emotionally.
Hyun Do Lim. He was an author who wrote well into his late years, an author loved by authors. Calculating and insistent in his style, he had inspired many people. His books were filled with philosophical content that had been dressed in beautiful writing. Of course, he was still active to that day. Juho brushed his hand across the letters in his book. At times, that was enough to move a person to tears.
“Where is it?”
Juho read the line out loud. The stubborn old man asked that of the mirror upon realizing the death of his family. There was no one left in that world that would listen to him. An old man who had been secretly watching the three brothers next door. An old man who had been infuriated by the injustice between them. Because he couldn’t tolerate the inexperience of children, he probably couldn’t forgive himself either.
Suddenly, Juho was overcome by an urge to look into a mirror. ‘There’s a mirror in the bathroom.’ After standing up from his chair, he headed for the bathroom. The mirror appeared as soon as he opened the door, and as he walked in, he saw himself in it. There were water stains on it that gave it a dirty look. He turned on the faucet in order to clean the mirror, wiping it with his wet hand. Although the stains disappeared, he still didn’t get the impression that it was clean.
As his fingernail hit the surface of the mirror, it made a light yet dull sound. After ringing out for a brief moment, the sound soon dissipated into the air. In the mirror, Juho saw himself touching the mirror with the same face, expression, and skin. If it weren’t for the boundary called mirror, there wouldn’t be a way for him to distinguish himself.
For no apparent reason, he flicked his finger against the mirror twice. Then, thinking of an author whose favorite number was three, he gave it another flick. The author’s books were still not doing well. Because the most recent had been published around the same time as Juho’s second book, it was suffering more than usual. Though Joon Soo had complained to Juho as a joke, Juho didn’t feel sorry for him. He knew Joon Soo would become successful one day in the near future. ‘Should I be on my toes?’ Juho thought, chuckling. Then, looking up, he looked into his eyes in the mirror and decided to explore his imagination a little bit.
‘Caw!’ A crow sat on his right shoulder. Black beak. Black eyes. Black feathers. ‘How long has it been there?’ Juho thought as he stared at it quietly. After bobbing its head a few times, it spread its wings annoyingly, as if it had been irritated with Juho for calling it for no apparent reason. Juho closed his eyes at the sight of the crow’s frantic movement. By the time he opened them again, it had vanished into the shadow. As he chased after it, Juho picked up a cleaning brush from the corner of the bathroom.
“Where was that detergent?”
With that, he started to scrub away forcefully. After cleaning the bathroom thoroughly, he dried the moisture on his hand and made his way back to his room.
As he walked in, he saw a shiny object on his bed. It was his phone, illuminating rhythmically, meaning that there was a message or messages that he hadn’t checked yet. Surprisingly, it was a text from Yun Seo, which he read through quickly.
‘Would you like to meet with Hyun Do Lim?’
“… Hyun Do Lim?”
Juho looked at the book he had been reading up to a moment ago. Standing still, he picked it up quietly and opened it to its first page, where the author’s profile was. Dark and silver hair. Handsome appearance that gave off a calm disposition. That was the person Juho would have the opportunity to meet.
“Ha…!” Juho couldn’t help but chuckle. ‘Maybe I can get an autograph?’
Just like that, the meeting with Hyun Do Lim was arranged.
Time passed, and Juho was a day away from meeting Hyun Do Lim, and he had been absent-minded throughout the entire school day. To be precise, his attention was elsewhere. Although the only difference was that he was awake, the fact that he wasn’t paying attention remained unchanged.
“Do you like someone?” Seo Kwang asked.
“Nope,” answered Juho, lightheartedly.
“Then what are you daydreaming about?”
“Yeah, you are, even as we speak.”
“This is bad,” said Seo Kwang, resting his chin on his hand. “Did something happen?”
“Yep, something good,” said Juho, chuckling quietly.
“Something good? How good?”
Juho shared the reality that was too good to be true with Seo Kwang, “Hm, like meeting Hyun Do Lim in person good?”
Hyun Do Lim. At the sound of his name, Seo Kwang’s eyes sparkled brightly.
“You’re meeting Hyun Do Lim?? I wouldn’t be able to sleep for at least a couple nights. I’d probably take a sedative the day of, and then clutch my chest an hour before as my heart tried to jump out of me.”
“That’s oddly specific.”
“If I were meeting Mr. Lim at four in the afternoon, I’d be on cloud nine an hour before,” Seo Kwang said as he shook his own hands.
It wouldn’t have been odd to think that he was a prince from an alien planet. With a chuckle, Juho turned his attention away from his friend and to the outside. ‘One day away. Maybe I really need a sedative,” he thought as he looked down at his heart, which was beating calmly like usual. It was almost boringly calm. Because it had been arranged in such a spontaneous manner, he felt like it could get cancelled just as suddenly. He looked up at the sky and saw the clouds that were floating away as calmly as his heartbeat. There wasn’t a single bird in the sky. ‘Is this really happening?’ he asked himself. It all felt unreal.
The day finally came.
Juho woke up early that morning and checked his phone. There weren’t any messages that said anything about the meeting being cancelled. It was really going to happen. There was still some time, but it was still the day Juho would meet an author with the fitting reputation of a literary colossus, but the day felt hardly any different. As usual, he spent his time reading after showering and eating, then writing, daydreaming, and brainstorming.
‘Buzz.’ At that moment, his phone rang. It was Seo Joong.
When Juho answered, the familiar voice sounded from the other end. “Mr. Woo. What are you up to this fine day?” Seo Joong asked light-heartedly, and Juho thought immediately of his untidy appearance.
“I was getting ready to go out.”
“Oh!” he exclaimed. It was hard to tell whether he was surprised or disappointed. “Is that so? I wanted to treat you out to some food. Who are you seeing? A girlfriend?”
Juho answered his childish joke calmly, “Mr. Hyun Do Lim.”
The line went silent, and Juho checked to see if the call had dropped, but the call was very much ongoing, and the receiver hadn’t been muted. That meant that the silence had to be coming from the person on the other end.
Juho waited patiently for his response, and it didn’t take long to hear shouting, “H, Hyun Do Lim?! As in THE Hyun Do Lim?! The Hyun Do Lim I’m thinking of?!”
At Juho’s brief answer, Seo Joong grew all the more anxious.
“How? How did that happen?”
“Mrs. Baek asked if I wanted to meet him, so I said yes, and we scheduled it for today.”
“… You know Mrs. Baek too?”
After Juho’s brief answer, the silence returned once again. Just as he had done before, Juho waited quietly for Seo Joong.
“Get an autograph for me, will ya?” he asked childishly.
“I’m not sure. I think I got my hands full as is with getting one for myself.”
“Come on! I’ll give you my autograph too.”
“There’s no need,” said Juho with a chuckle.
“Where is it at??”
“Why? Are you planning on visiting?”
“I don’t have the guts for that.”
Juho shared the location of the meeting willingly. It was at a place he had never heard of in the past.
“I was told the meeting is going to be at Mrs. Song’s restaurant?”
“Ah, I see.” Seo Joong seemed to be familiar with the place.
“You sound like you’ve been there.”
“Yep. That place is well-known among authors.”
“The owner and chef, Mrs. Song, is an avid novel reader. Her food is amazing too. I don’t know the details myself, but it’s almost like a regular spot for writers. A friend of mine recommended the place, so I checked it out and met Joon Soo Bong. You might run into him too if you’re lucky. Although, nobody there will know that you’re Yun Woo.”
Joon Soo Bong. Juho was well-acquainted with that name by now. ‘So, Seo Joong and Joon Soo know each other, huh?’ thought Juho.
“I wanted to take you there myself, but it seems like Mr. Lim beat me to it. You’re one lucky guy.”
At Juho’s quiet chuckle, Seo Joong asked playfully, “Aren’t you nervous? You’re meeting one of the greats!”
“I’m not sure. Maybe it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
“Well, I can’t imagine you getting nervous either. You know, for your age, you’ve got guts.”
“You never know. I might get nervous when I meet him.”
“To this day, I’ve never met anyone who said things like that when they were nervous.”
When Juho checked the clock, he saw it was nearly time for him to leave the house.
“I think I need to get going.”
“All right, I don’t want you to be late either. Tell me more about it afterwards! Get me an autograph if you can.”
He was rather insistent about getting Hyun Do’s autograph. Juho hung up the phone with a half-hearted answer.
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