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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Every character had a distinct personality. I like the story of the four individuals who each have something they’re after.”
Jang Mi changed the subject.
“The protagonist’s personality really stood out to me. Especially the drastic change that occurs from his youth to his adulthood. His misanthropic behaviors were also quite interesting,” Dong Baek added.
“That’s why the protagonist is so obsessed with God,” Juho said.
One was searching for God because of his hate toward humans. Some might see him as arrogant, while others might see him as admirable. That was the kind of character One was.
“The language that you made really accentuates each of the character’s personality.”
“I was hoping that would be the result.”
“And you’ve done it quite well, Mr. Young.”
Depending on the region, the language evolved differently. Vast and diverse. Some were even difficult. The only reason why the readers were able to understand the language in the book was because the protagonist served the role of the translator.
Due to that, Juho was able to portray the distinct characteristics of each village to their full potential. It became an element of fun in its own rights, and it was also one of the strengths of the novel.
“I liked that the four schoolmates who were never close as students came together as adults to go on a spontaneous journey. I’m looking forward to how things will unfold when a group of people who aren’t all that fond of each other are on a journey together.”
No one knew how the journey would turn out, and Juho shared the same excitement as Dong Baek and Jang Mi.
“It’s also unique that the characters are names One, Two, Three, and Four.”
“Ah, about that.”
Juho had named the four companions after numbers. Of course, it held a different meaning than what merely appeared to be a chronological order.
“Was there a reason for that?” Asked Jang Mi.
“Nothing special. We understand them as numbers, but in the world within the story, they can have an interpretation that’s entirely different. I saw it as an opportunity to exert creativity.”
“Their personalities are completely different, unlike their names, which lines up neatly next to one another.”
“Yes, and they are each looking for something.”
“Yet, they all share in the goal of meeting God. It’s so interesting!”
“I really liked the character “Bird,”” added Dong Baek.
Bird. He had just started to realize the significance behind the name. A bird was the first thing people associated with the name “Yun Woo.”
“I’m guessing he’s going to play a crucial role in the story?”
“Yes, he’s one of the core characters.”
Having read the synopsis, Dong Baek and Jang Mi had an idea of the character’s identity. The three shared a smile.
“He’s God himself,” said Juho.
Or maybe he isn’t.
“We’re really looking forward to how the story will unfold, Mr. Young,” said Dong Baek as he took out the contract that Jang Mi had prepared beforehand. Now, he was getting to the main point of the meeting.
“If you’re Yun Woo, Mr. Young, I think we may need to make some adjustments in the contract.”
Now that the name Yun Woo had been mentioned, things like royalties and advances were bound to change. Dong Baek quickly calculated in his head. Given that the company published under the name “Yun Woo,” Juho would be able to receive anywhere from 12 to 15 percent since it would significantly reduce the cost of advertising.
“That won’t be necessary,” Juho said. Dong Baek looked at him as he stopped calculating.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s exactly as I said. I have no intention of publishing this book under the name “Yun Woo.””
Juho was openly saying that he wouldn’t mind being treated like a rookie. Dong Baek thought for a brief time. Not being able to publish the book under the name “Yun Woo” would mean a loss in many ways. The name had already become something of a brand. Yet, the author himself didn’t want his book published under that name. Instead, he wished to publish under a different name.
Though it was unfortunate for Dong Baek and the company, he remembered the intention of the meeting. It was specifically to sign a contract with Won Yi. Dong Baek had contacted Won Yi solely based on his writing. ‘This book will do well even without the name “Yun Woo.”‘ He composed himself and went forth with the meeting.
“Sounds good. Why don’t we look at the contract together and discuss it in more detail?”
With that, he brought out two copies of the contract and placed one of them before Juho. Marking the important places, he gave Juho time to read through it.
Juho studied the contract and didn’t notice anything that stood out from the previous ones. As he slowly put down the pages, Dong Baek started explaining.
“So, if you look here, it gives you the definition of the words used to refer to the two parties and so on.”
Juho listened to him intently. They specified things and discussed when needed, and the steps had been exactly the same from the previous times Juho had signed contracts.
“And about your royalties…”
It was the process for determining how much an author got to take as his share. It was the most sensitive and crucial part of a contract because the numbers would vary depending on the author. More fame and skill meant a higher pay.
Dong Baek took the initiative to speak, “You, Mr. Young, would be a rookie publishing his very first book.”
He began to calculate it in his head. Typically, a rookie would be paid royalties within 5 percent of the book’s set price. Because Yun Woo himself had agreed to be treated as a rookie, there was no reason to complicate things. However, Dong Baek remembered how delicate of a world and characters this young author had created.
“How’s 8 percent sound?”
“That’s a lot higher than I thought.”
Eight percent was the amount typically paid to authors who were more established. Examining the surprised look on Juho’s face, Dong Baek made a subtle suggestion.
“If we publish under Yun Woo, we can bring that up to 15 percent.”
“I’m happy with 8 percent. I am a rookie after all.”
“Haha! Great, Mr. Young!”
Seeing as how Juho was drawing a line, Dong Baek pushed no further. He just accepted Juho’s opinion with a smile. From then on, they discussed the contract for publishing the e-book.
As Juho studied the contract again, Dong Baek quietly studied his expression, the face of the elusive author, Yun Woo. There had been many assertions among the staff within the company. Some believed that he had an adult ghostwriter and some believed that he had a hideous scar on his face. Some believed that he would reveal his face when he became an adult, while some argued that he’d always remain anonymous.
Nobody had an answer since there was no way to ask the person himself. Yet, there he was, in front of his eyes. Neither did he lie about his age or have a scar on his face. He was simply an author who wasn’t swayed by money and understood his work better than anyone.
Though the author himself had turned it down, Dong Baek’s offer to pay him a 15 percent in royalty had not been an empty promise. Yun Woo was a colossal figure in the industry. Dong Baek felt confident. ‘I have a good feeling about this,’ he thought. Although the possibility of publishing under the name “Yun Woo” was no longer there, the fact he was dealing with a book written by the same author remained unchanged.
“Is there anything that you would like to discuss further, Mr. Young?”
“No,” Juho said as he looked up slowly. Dong Baek wore a big smile on his face.
“Now that I’ve met you in person, I’m coming to realize that your age has nothing to do with your passion and professionalism, Mr. Young. I’m sure you have more than what it takes to handle a book of such a large scale in many aspects. I’m certain that this book will be the talk of the town. Genre novels can easily get lost and forgotten, but those novels also have a tendency to sell uncontrollably once they start selling,” said Dong Baek.
Seeing how Juho’s expression remained unaffected, he added confidently, “I can see it. I know this book will sell. Not only is it a great book, but it also has an incredible literary value. It would be wrong for it to not sell. Of course, not everything is reasonable in this world, but I believe a publishing company plays an important role when it comes to bringing back reason into the world.”
Juho looked at Dong Baek’s confident expression. He was taking pride in Juho’s work at a personal level. Juho felt grateful and fascinated at the same time. ‘I wonder what’s giving him such confidence?’ he wondered.
Maybe it was because Dong Baek knew nothing about Juho’s past failures. To his eyes, Juho was probably no more than a genius author who was both young and lucky, writing his success story early on.
If it wasn’t for the memories of his painful past, would Juho have been able to celebrate or feel confident as freely as Dong Baek? He suddenly felt like wanting to return to the time before he experienced success as an author. If he had lived in a time before he knew how fragile and yet potent success could be, Juho might’ve been able to celebrate.
“So, when can I sign?”
Unfortunately, it was impossible. For that reason, he had resolved not to be afraid of anything preemptively. He might not be able to go back, but he was still able to change.
“Hahaha!” Dong Baek let out heartily while Jang Mi looked excited and anxious at the same time. Everything about the book was large.
“Pleasure to be working with you, Mr. Young.”
Juho willingly shook Dong Baek’s hand.
Juho nodded. In contrast to the shock on Geun Woo’s face, Yun Seo laughed cheerfully.
“That’s a fun challenge.”
“I heard back from seven places! I was kind of impressed myself.”
At that, Geun Woo shook his head with squinted eyes.
“Why are you doing that to yourself when you have a perfectly good name like “Yun Woo?” Is this what the “eccentricity of a genius” looks like? You might as well move into the mountains or something. It’ll make it easier. Don’t just sit there.”
“Eccentricity? No, this is a challenge. A challenge of youth.”
Geun Woo looked all the more confused, and Joon Soo interjected, “Geun Woo, we should be complimenting him first.”
He had a mature personality. Juho took the fork Joon Soo had given him and picked up one of the apple slices filling the plate in front of him.
“So, are you feeling confident?”
“As in, are you confident that you’ll survive through the days as a struggling writer?”
“No, not at all.”
Juho was not confident that he would be able to withstand the past darkness again.
“So, that’s why I’m planning on starting strong. That, I’m confident about,” Juho said as he remembered Dong Baek’s attitude. The confidence the president of a publishing company had displayed gave Juho a slight sense of relief.
“That’s a great posture to have,” Yun Seo complimented him.
Geun Woo stared at Juho quietly. In that moment, he was a young author who was eating his apple slice. He was impossible to read. He seemed like a person who would laugh all the more peacefully even if a bomb fell from the sky.
‘If I were Yun Woo, I’d take advantage of my name as much as possible when I wrote. Since I’d be the one who had brought myself to the top, I’d have nothing to complain about. I’d never turn an opportunity away,’ Geun Woo thought.
‘How is he able to leave behind a name like “Yun Woo” so easily? Is it because he’s never experienced failure in his life? No. There’s something much bigger and more powerful than a bomb falling from the sky. The role of trembling in fear belongs to those around him.’
“Well, should you find yourself not doing so well on the off chance, you know where to find us,” Geun Woo said as an attempt to empty his mind.
“That’s harsh,” said Juho in response to Geun Woo’s joke.
“You won’t starve as long as I’m around,” said Yun Seo.
“Aw! You too, Mrs. Baek?”
The four chatted cheerfully over a pile of apple slices.
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