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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“That’s how we got close, by going out together.”
At that moment, Juho realized that there had been no commonality between the three authors, and he became curious about the outing she had referred to.
“We might call it an ‘outing,’ but it’s nothing all that special.”
“We just get together and talk. That’s really it.”
“Almost like a hang out.”
Seeing how they each chimed in, Seo Joong and Mideum had to be part of the outing group. Juho listened quietly.
“It’s a small gathering of authors, eating and talking. No more than three people in most cases.”
“That’s quite a few.”
“We rarely have everyone come out. They each have their own lifestyles.”
It made sense. Some authors preferred to write in the evening while some woke up regularly at 6:00 p.m.
“So, who’s part of the group?”
“Let’s see… First of all, there’s the three of us,” said Dae Soo as she drew a circle with her finger around Seo Joong and Mideum.
“Dong Gil. Oh, you said you knew Mrs. Baek, right? Quite a few of her pupils come out too, like Joon Soo, and Geun Woo, who’s on the rise as of late,” Dae Soo said with a satisfied smile. She seemed happy about the fact that Juho knew Joon Soo and Geun Woo.
“That’s perfect! You won’t feel awkward then. We also have a hermit who lives in the mountains and a know-it-all snob, but neither of them would go around telling people about you. If anything, they’d be more than willing to keep it a secret.”
“I’m not too worried about that.”
Juho was already familiar with those people because they were authors of the same generation
“So, how did you all end up getting together?”
“It wasn’t anything dramatic. We just got connected through each other. You know, someone who knows a guy who also knew a guy.”
It sounded rather charming.
“Sometimes we inspire each other as we chat. We’re generally in better moods afterward, so that’s one of the reasons why we meet. We also get to talk about each other’s works.”
“When do you guys usually meet?’
“That’s TBD,” said Dae Soo.
“Who makes the decision?”
“Dae Soo is usually the one organizing everything. She’s the eldest,” Seo Joong said. It sounded quite interesting. The conversation so far had also been rather enjoyable in many aspects. They all spoke a similar language and were able to identify with one another in many ways. It started to make sense to Juho how come such free-spirited people like authors would go to such a gathering.
“Sounds great. Please let me know next week.”
With that, Juho left his phone number with Dae Soo.
Since then, Juho wrote like usual. He worked on his short story at school and on his novel at home. The process had been rather peaceful, yet consistent. Just as one didn’t think about having to breathe, he also wrote every single day without recognizing that he was writing. Just like that, time passed, and the seasons changed.
‘Grains of Sand’ had gone through nearly twenty revisions. By the time Juho felt content with how the short story had turned out, he finished the novel.
The time had come for him to submit his manuscript to a publishing company. Sitting in front of his computer, Juho logged into the website of a company that he had been keeping his eye on. The cover image of one of their major works came into view.
‘Behind the Curtains,’ it was the fifth book of the Dr. Dong series, and it was the very company that Mideum was working with, Dong Baek Publishing Company. In addition to translating a number of books from overseas, they specialized in literature and humanity-related books. Moving his cursor, Juho clicked on the link for the instructions on submitting a manuscript.
Written in order, the instructions were not very long. Although it was his first time following the general procedure, he was able to do it without difficulty. All it took was for him to send the appropriate department an email and send a hard copy of his manuscript by mail. The manuscript had to be a duplicate copy, while the email had to include the author’s address, phone number, and synopsis of the book.
Without hesitation, Juho typed out an overall synopsis for his book. Though it wasn’t anything challenging, his hand suddenly stopped.
“Title and author.”
He had to think about the a title for his book and a name he wanted to publish the book under.
‘OK. First, an alias.’ The name “Yun Woo” was the result of taking his last name and putting it next to the protagonist of ‘The Trace of a Bird.’
The name of the protagonist in his new novel was ‘One.’
‘One Woo? No, that sounds odd. What else is there? Unchanging. Adventure. A story about God. Mythology. Immortality. Eternal life. Forever.’
‘Won Yi Young.’ Just like when he came up with the name ‘Yun Woo,’ it took him less than a minute to come up with another alias.
(TL’s Note: Last name comes before first name in Korea, which would make the name ‘Young Won Yi.’ Young Won sounds like the Korean word for “forever.”)
Next, the title. ‘Title, title. How should I name it?’ As Juho looked around the room, his eyes were met with the pages of the characters in the languages he had created.
There was no way to explain the world Juho had created without the existence of God. It was the objective of the protagonist and his companions, as well as the representation of the book’s theme.
Language was also a crucial element of the book. After all, it was Juho’s gift for the new protagonist, ‘One.’ On the computer, he tried combining the two core elements of the book. At the center of the letters written side by side, there was the language spoken by God.
“The Language of God.”
Because authors had the freedom to change the title whenever they wanted, he didn’t have to spent too much time and energy contemplating it. Besides, it sounded rather charming as it was. Once he wrote the title of his book, the preparatory process came to an end. In order to avoid leaving anything out, Juho read through the instructions again.
‘Would it work out?’ Juho thought as he looked at the screen. There was no way to know how a publishing company would judge his work without the name ‘Yun Woo.’ While he was excited, he also felt anxious. Yet, he didn’t lose courage. After looking at his work for a brief time, he decided to submit his manuscript to multiple publishing companies. After all, nothing was certain. Having submitted to eight different companies, Juho turned off his computer.
“Sir?” Jang Mi called for her boss as he read something intently while leaning against his desk. It was one of the countless submissions spread throughout his office.
Jang Mi Hong was the editor-in-chief at Dong Baek Publishing Company. Overwhelmed with work, she too had been putting off reading the manuscript submissions. She carefully studied the serious expression of her boss’ face.
“Huh?” the man answered.
He was the founding president of the company. Like many who found him difficult to read, the editor-in-chief often found herself confused about him despite interacting with him on regular basis. Even at that moment, she was clueless about what to make of the expression of her boss’ face.
“Did you have anything to say?” asked Jang Mi.
“Why do you ask?” The president asked half-heartedly, his eyes still fixed on the manuscript in his hand.
“You’ve been reading something without even moving a muscle, so I was just curious.”
As she sighed internally, her nose piercing dangled back and forth. With her boss’ permission, she had made the bold decision to get her nose pierced. Though she was often made fun of for looking like a cow, her pierced nose was her pride.
“Have you read this yet, Jang Mi?” asked the president.
Of course, Jang Mi shook her head and added an explanation, “I was planning on getting to it sometime tomorrow.”
“This is great!” said the president as if he hadn’t even heard her response. At his abrupt answers, she fixed her eyes on the pages of manuscript in his hand.
“Is it any good?”
“Yeah. The writer left the introduction empty, which means he’s a rookie, right?”
“It’s odd. No matter how I look at it, I don’t think this is his first time writing.”
‘I wonder what’s making him say all those things?’ With her curiosity getting the best of her, she moved forward to get a glimpse of the manuscript.
“Won Yi Young?”
“Don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. Have you?” he asked.
“Not at all. He has a unique name.”
“He has a unique style too.”
“In what sense?”
He flipped to the first page and handed the manuscript to Jang Mi.
“Right off the bat, the first character to appear is an imbecile.”
“An imbecile?” she asked wearing a puzzled look.
“A so-called neighborhood fool. She doesn’t even know when people are talking trash about her. Right off the bat. Before the book even introduces its world. It’s different, but it’s not bad.”
“It’s not? That’s so random! Ask anybody, and they’ll tell you the same thing!”
“It has a very defined plot development. That must be what’s making it less jarring. You can really see the writer’s ability.”
“Are you sure you’re not digging too deep into your thoughts?”
“Read it yourself.”
Jang Mi read through the overall story, a party of four who goes on a journey in search of God. It was rather simple. ‘What’s he so intrigued about?’ The fact that they were analyzing a manuscript showed how immersive it was. Seeing how much interest her boss was showing, Jang Mi started to have a good feeling.
“Read it within the next couple of days and get a hold of the author. He might have submitted it to other companies, so make it quick.”
“Yes, sir,” she said determinedly. She started reading through the manuscript as soon as lunch time began. While eating with one hand, she held the manuscript on the other, reading. Eventually, she held the pages with both of her hands.
Mr. So of the Planning Department had called for her the same way she had called for her boss.
“Lunch is over. Aren’t you coming?”
Although lunch hour had been over, she had barely eaten half of her food. She had yet to read the whole manuscript, but she had a good feeling about it.
“Yeah?” he answered, wearing a puzzled look. His eyes were fixed on her nose. A round piercing hung from it like the nose ring of a cow. He had witnessed her hiding it in her nose in several official occasions.
“I think we have a big one.”
Mr. So immediately understood her. She was referring to a manuscript that had potential.
“What is it?”
“It’s called ‘The Language of God.’ There’s nothing that falls short. What’s really jaw-dropping though is the style. I’ve never heard of the author, but I’m starting to doubt he’s a rookie.”
“That good, huh?”
“Especially this intro. I’m just in love with it.”
“Mind if I take a look at it?”
“I’ll hand it to you once I finish reading it at home tonight. I think I need to act quick. We can’t afford to lose this author to another company.”
Though she started growing antsy, she couldn’t contact the author without having read through the entire manuscript. With his eyes sparkling with curiosity, Mr. So stared at the manuscript in her hands.
“I better get going. Enjoy the rest of your lunch.”
“OK, I’ll catch up with you shortly.”
While forcefully shoving food down her mouth, Jang Mi didn’t take her eyes off of the pages. There was still a pile of things she that needed to do: proofreading, organizing a reprint of a recent import, a stack of paperwork for the Planning Department, and coming up with a commercial slogan.
“Wonder what he’s like?”
While curious, her mind was occupied by the thought of getting to the author before anyone else.
“Ugh, My ear!”
Rubbing his ear annoyedly, Juho fixed his eyes on the pages in front of him. He was reading through the manuscript of ‘The Language of God.’ In the beginning, there was a character who Juho was inspired to create after meeting Dae Soo and Mideum.
Despite being an adult, he was often mocked and ridiculed by children. Though referred to as ‘Bird,’ only the protagonist called him by that name. He was the only friend he had had as a student. As someone who was suffering a bad case of misanthropy, ‘Bird’ was the perfect person to talk to. After finishing his education and getting a job, One ended up taking care of his friend.
‘Bird’ allowed the protagonist, One, to be able to look at mythology from a different angle. Also, he played a crucial role in One setting a major goal. Having decoded the mythology with Bird’s help, One decided to leave his friend behind and go on a journey in search of God with three schoolmates who didn’t even know each other’s names beforehand. The beginning of their journey was rather insignificant, perhaps impulsive even. Each individual had their own agenda for meeting God.
With such seemingly insignificant reasons, they embarked on a grand journey that involved crossing the mountains and the sea.
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