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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Yun Woo. Juho. They had always been the same person. With the exception of Yun Seo, everyone fixated their eyes on Juho, each wearing a perplexed look.
“Is that true?” she asked, her eyes sparkling with curiosity.
“Sounds like you have an interesting skill at your disposal.”
“Do you think so, Mrs. Baek?”
“Of course! Does Hyun Do know about this?”
Suddenly, Geun Woo interrupted the seemingly peaceful conversation.
“Hold on. Mrs. Baek, am I the only person who’s still confused?” Geun Woo asked. In his mind, the ability to write in two distinct styles was no more than a romantic idea, nothing short of wishful thinking. People each had fingerprints that were unique to themselves. In the same way, they each had one consciousness, and that was the basis of a writer’s style. An author’s writing reflected their personality for that one reason. Yet, the young author in front of his eyes claimed to have yet another conscience.
“We all dream about it as writers. Writing freely while being able to adopt a style fitting to the event or character. There actually was an author who strived to achieve that for years. Unfortunately, it’s impossible. Everyone who tried has failed so far. They may have been able to change their style, but nobody has been able to break away from their consciousness. Yet, what you’re saying is…”
Juho sounded like someone who possessed something that countless authors had been longing for. Geun Woo felt warm. Maybe he was feeling uneasy. Afraid, even. He felt a drop of cold sweat on his back. If what the young author was saying was really true, then Yun Woo as an author would be…
Geun Woo was dumbfounded. Juho was smiling, cracking light-hearted jokes. After his conversation with Yun Seo during his visit not too long ago, there had been a noticeable change in the way Juho treated his skills as an author. The boy who only knew how to disregard his own talent had learned to accept and embrace it, at least on the outside.
“How can you be so calm about this?”
Juho’s seemingly nonchalant attitude came from admitting his own talent. What set him apart from being arrogant was the fact that he wasn’t letting it define his identity…
“This is upsetting.”
… even if it meant upsetting those around him.
If Juho was capable of writing in another style distinct from that of Yun Woo’s as if there was another person living within him, Geun Woo wanted to see what it would look like.
“OK, fine. I get that you’re Yun Woo,” Mr. Moon said, having listened to everything quietly. “Seeing how Mrs. Baek and her two pupils are actually treating you as Yun Woo, I think I’m coming to accept it.”
“That means you have the ability to write in two styles that are completely distinct from one another. I’ll believe it for now, but cautiously,” Mr. Moon said as he emphasized the last word.
Taking his cup of tea, he took a big swig as if it was no longer hot.
“So, might I expect a demonstration in the near future?” he asked, wearing the distinct smile that Juho had seen often in the Literature Club. That smile usually indicated that he was about to make a sudden announcement.
“A book written by Yun Woo, but in your other style.”
“Uh… I can’t say.”
“What’s with that response? Are you saying that you’re going to hide behind such a talent? It’s much too flashy as a shield, don’t you think?”
“That’s not exactly my intention either.”
Mr. Moon seemed to have come to accept that Juho was Yun Woo. The fact that he wanted to see Yun Woo writing in a different style meant that he had come to accept that his student in front of him was Yun Woo himself.
“Surely you can do that much, especially having tricked your homeroom teacher. Right, Mrs. Baek?” said Geun Woo.
“Please consider it, Juho, even if it wasn’t for your teacher.”
Juho thought for a brief time while scratching his head. Another style. If he were to publishing something like that, the entire country would be flipped upside down. There were bound to be controversies, and at worse, he might have to experience yet another failure. He might regret his decision for the rest of his life. However…
“Heck. What should I write about?”
… an author wouldn’t be able to write a single word if he was afraid of failure.
“I like the enthusiasm. Yeah, that’s more like it. Man, dreams do come true! I wanted to meet Yun Woo in person at least once before I died,” said Mr. Moon. “Oh, wait! You must have felt really weird about that imposter at school a while back.”
At that, a face flashed across Juho’s mind.
“That couldn’t have been the first time. Must have been fun! Please, tell us more, Mr. Woo.”
“Not exactly fun, no.”
“Be honest with me. You liked it, didn’t you?”
“I did. I love my peaceful life.”
“Don’t be so shy now, Mr. Woo.”
“You’re starting to sound like you’re picking on me.”
“I’m actually curious too. Tell me, what’s the thing with the imposter about?”
“Yeah! You never know what could inspire you.”
Juho’s effort to resist was buried by the voice of the curious authors around him.
“Come to think of it, your first piece was rather unusual.”
“My first piece?”
“About the mackerel.”
“It’s a funny story.”
The noisy chatter between authors came to a sudden halt at the sound of Yun Seo’s clap. Everyone turned their eyes in its direction.
“We should take a picture!”
Despite Juho’s question, Yun Seo moved about busily. She had already brought her camera out from her room. The dark lens shone brightly. Making necessary adjustments to the camera, she turned toward the authors and said, “Let’s all go outside!”
Juho was puzzled. Similar things had happened in the past in the Literature Club. He wondered if Mr. Moon had gotten his unpredictable side from his teacher, Yun Seo.
“OK! Coming, Mrs. Baek.”
“She loooves taking pictures.”
“We better go, Juho. She’s virtually unstoppable once she has a camera in her hands.”
Without saying much, the three immediately rose from their seats. Juho quietly followed the figure that he had grown well-acquainted with.
With a tripod set up, the five stood in front of the camera and lined up shoulder to shoulder, looking right into the lens. The shutter sounded off.
“Agh! I think I blinked!”
“Let’s take another one!”
“I don’t think there’s much film left.”
“No, there’s plenty! Ready!”
Joon Soo set up the camera and rushed back to join the rest. Seasons change, and time passes by like a river, ever flowing. By the time Juho would reminisce back to that moment, what would he be writing?”
With that, everyone smiled brightly. Because he had no answer, Juho decided to smile. The shutter sounded once again.
“That was delicious. It’s been a while since I’ve had this much fun too,” said Mr. Moon, patting his belly. Juho looked in his direction. The sun had already set. Having enjoyed his teacher’s cooking again for the first time in years, Mr. Moon wore a satisfied smile. Though complaining about overeating, the smile on his face remained unchanged. Yun Seo’s house had the power to charm her guests. They wanted to stay as long as possible. That was how comfortable the house was.
“Do you know why I came here today?” Mr. Moon asked suddenly, and Juho shook his head.
“I’m here to get advice on how to teach you.”
“Yep,” Mr. Moon said as he turned in Juho’s direction. “It seemed to me that you were going to end up being an author. Yes, you have the skills, but your posture and your attitude are just… natural. I’ve yet to see anyone like you, and of course, I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about the best way to teach you. As you know, I’m not exactly the best teacher. It’d been a while since I’d visited her too, so I came here to get some advice from Mrs. Baek. But, to my surprise, I ran into you.”
“Maybe this isn’t a coincidence after all.”
“Coincidence? No. It’s a result of having wrestled with myself. There is no such a thing as coincidence in this world. Or… I guess I’m looking at it in front of my eyes.”
(TL’s Note: Yun Woo would be Woo Yun in Korea, which sounds like the Korean for “coincidence.”)
Juho shrugged lightly.
“So, how are you planning on teaching me?”
“I’m going to let you be,” said Mr. Moon, smiling. “I don’t think there’s a better way to teach you than that.”
“How come? Why don’t you teach me some basics? Like how to write a sentence.”
“You wrote a book for goodness sake.”
Juho looked up to the sky. The moon had come up, yet it wasn’t entirely dark out.
“It’s nice here, isn’t it?”
“I loved it here. That’s why I held on to the best of my ability.”
Juho remembered their conversation from some time ago.
“Was that when you wanted to be a genius?”
“Yep. That was when I was doing a lot of “physical labor.” Sitting here, it’s really taking me back.”
“Do you regret it?”
Juho wondered if Mr. Moon had ever regretted having stopped writing. With a chuckle, Mr. Moon said, “Not at all. I loved every bit of my life back then, but on the other hand, it was a living hell.”
“Because I wrote. It felt like I kept going out of my way to awake the anger hidden deep within me. All that, just to write.”
“I know what that’s like,” said Juho in a calm voice.
“Perks of having an author as a student.”
Crickets chirped in the distance.
“It was frightening when I realized that I didn’t have what it took to be a genius. It’s scary to not know where to go. I quickly found myself surrounded by darkness.”
“That’s when Mrs. Baek taught me the word “great.””
Juho had received the word from someone who had received it from yet another person.
“I’d come to realize that I was gravely mistaken. Something broke, and I felt at peace. Then, I stopped writing. I felt like I could be a genius, but being great? That felt like a whole ‘nother level. I couldn’t even dare,” Mr. Moon said.
“I hate school, and work is a hassle, but I’m content with my life.”
He was content with his position as homeroom teacher of the Literature Club.
“If I were writing still, I’d have never taught Yun Woo, you know?” he said playfully.
“I think you made a very wise decision, Mr. Moon,” said Juho, playing along to his joke.
“Aren’t you shameless.”
After a brief pause, Mr. Moon parted his lips to speak, “You are different.”
Unlike his teacher who distanced himself from writing when introduced to the idea of being great, Juho desired for such a title. In order to take hold of it, he was writing more than ever.
“Yes, and I will get what I want,” Juho said calmly.
‘He has what it takes. Everyone is moved by his writing, feeling hurt and loved at the same time. His readers will come to recognize him from deep within as ‘The Great Storyteller,'” thought Mr. Moon.
“Oh, so what are you going to?”
“Having your work on display.”
“‘Grains of Sand?'”
“Yes, the short story. Are you going to do it?”
“Yes, I am,” Juho answered without hesitation.
He had resolved to have his story on display. When would he ever get to have his work on display in the school library? He would be publishing it under his name, Juho Woo. It was new, and something that had never been done. He didn’t want to pass on such an exciting opportunity.
“I’ve never published anything under my real name. I’m feeling anxious.”
“How many people do you think will end up reading your story?”
“They’d freak out if they found out that they were reading Yun Woo’s work.”
“Yes, exactly like me, you punk.”
The chirping stopped momentarily, and then it resumed. It was a rather pleasant sound.
“Are you planning on telling your friends?”
He was referring to the rest of the club members.
Juho answered as he breathed in the fresh air, “Yes I am. They’d still treat and look at me the same way.”
Juho had spent the last year being around people who didn’t see him as Yun Woo. The once noisy space had taken on a different look. No one approached him with the knowledge of Juho being Yun Woo or with the intention of getting something from him. Simply, he had been their classmate and schoolmate. They treated one another as colleagues. Despite his writing, they saw Juho as who he really was. Now, another person who was willing to do the same had come into his life.
Juho rested assured.
“I’m curious about their reactions.”
“Make sure their jaws don’t pop off.”
“Do you think it’ll be that bad?”
“Of course! Think about it! One of their friends has been Yun Woo all along. Haha! The thought of it is making me laugh.”
“You’re having too much fun, Mr. Moon.”
While listening to his teacher laugh, Juho contemplated quietly on how to deliver the news to his friends.
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