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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“How would you like to be confessed to?” Juho asked the club members in the room.
He had finally reached an answer after spending a long time thinking. He had decided to confess to his friends in the way they would like to receive confessions. Everyone gave him a puzzled look.
“What are you talking about?”
“Are you planning on asking a girl out or something?” asked Seo Kwang as he chuckled. After a brief time thinking, Juho nodded and said, “Something like that.”
Everyone’s eyes sparkled with curiosity.
“Who?” Baron asked gently, but since he couldn’t give a direct answer at the moment, Juho just smiled without saying anything.
“So, how would you like to be confessed to? Tell me.”
At Juho’s urges, Seo Kwang took the initiative to answer, “I’m sure a bouquet and a ring are a must. A serenade is always nice. Oh, appealing to her intellect with a book would be a huge plus.”
Little did he know that he would be the one receiving the confession. A bouquet and a ring, serenade, and a book. If that’s what he wanted, Juho was more than willing to give it to him.
“Is that what you like?”
“C’mon. Do you really think I meant all that? You look like you’re about to run off to the jewelry store.”
While Sun Hwa shook her head, Bom added, “I’ve heard people don’t ask each other out anymore. Apparently, they just end up dating without keeping track of when they first made the relationship official.”
“Wouldn’t that be confusing though? What if I’m the only one who thinks that we’re in a relationship?”
“Couples communicate with their bodies and minds, so maybe it still works out?”
“A flow of their own, perhaps?”
“Love is a magnificent thing.”
Juho listened quietly. Since none of them were realistic, he decided to ask the upperclassman, “What about you, Baron?”
“Probably, with a balloon in the middle of a square somewhere, ” he answered half-heartedly, resting his chin on his hand.
“Wow. That would be so embarrassing!”
“That’s quite unique.”
Despite the freshmen’s responses, he didn’t move a muscle.
‘In the middle of a square. There would be too many onlookers. That is a no-go,’ thought Juho.
At that moment, Sun Hwa suddenly chimed in, “Sincerity is the most important. I feel like the situation won’t matter as much as long as you’re confessing with sincerity, even if it’s over a meal.”
‘A meal,’ Juho imagined breaking out the news to his friends in the lunchroom. Like the square, there would be too many people around.
‘The snack shop, maybe?’ He thought about taking the club members to a room within the snack shop. It didn’t seem like a bad idea.
“While I’m at it, I’d like to be asked out by a muscular guy,” Sun Hwa added suddenly.
Juho glanced down at his arms. Not a chance.
‘Sorry, Sun Hwa.’
“A book-loving girl? You might as well say that you’d like to be asked out by Yun Woo.”
Seo Kwang smiled brightly at Sun Hwa’s answer.
“Oh! That sounds good! ‘I, Yun Woo, dedicate this book to my beloved fan, Seo Kwang Kim.’ With my name printed proudly on the first page!”
Unlike Sun Hwa’s cold reaction, Juho was drawn to Seo Kwang’s seemingly silly idea.
“C’mon, it’s just a thought. It won’t hurt anybody. If that’s asking too much… maybe in the epilogue somewhere?”
“Do you have to degrade Yun Woo’s book like that?”
“Who said anything about degrading it? If anything, he’d look better than ever with the romantic touch.”
“I think you should just stick to reading.”
‘That’s not a bad idea!’ while the club members made fun of Seo Kwang, Juho said quietly and immersed in thought. He remembered the new book at the brink of publication, which he had written it under the name Won Yi Young.
‘What if I mention the Literature Club in the epilogue? At least Seo Kwang would catch on. The book was written in Yun Woo’s style. It might be under a different name, but he’d know for sure,’ he thought.
Seo Kwang would find himself in a world of confusion, but he would eventually reach the conclusion that his friend Juho had been Yun Woo all along.
Mr. Moon came into the room. Glancing in Juho’s direction, he stood in his usual place and made an announcement, “If you’d like to put up your work on display, bring it here. At this moment, Juho is the only person who decided to take that action.”
The smile on the club members’ faces suddenly disappeared. It was a difficult choice, but it had to be made eventually. Though they would be presenting an amateur work with a cover illustration of the same level, the decision had never been an easy one.
“Thinking long and hard won’t always yield a good decision.”
“Yes, Mr. Moon,” the club members answered weakly.
Thinking with her fingers wrapped around her head, Sun Hwa looked in Juho’s direction and asked, “What made you want to do it?”
“You must have had a reason still. Something must have made you want to publish a book.”
“That’s true.” Juho stared at the ceiling for a brief moment and added, “it seemed fun.”
“Yeah, the fact that my work would be in the school library. A book is being published under my name. When would I ever get to do something like that?”
“Sure, but aren’t you afraid? This is school after all. We’ll be here for the next two years, and once the kids start making fun of us, we might as well kiss our school lives goodbye.”
“Is that right?”
Sun Hwa became irritable at Juho’s lukewarm response.
“What? Are you confident that you won’t get made of fun of because you’re a good writer?”
“Not at all. I don’t have that kind of confidence. I don’t even know how many people will end up reading my story. I’m sure at least one person will make fun of me in his thoughts.”
“It has nothing to do with that.”
“What do you mean?”
“I never begged for attention.”
Sun Hwa clenched her lips tightly.
“I’m not begging anyone to read my story and give me positive feedback. I’m human, so I’m sure it’ll upset me at times, but it’s nothing some good food can’t fix.”
“You’re so calm. I wish I wasn’t always so ambitious and greedy.”
Juho smiled quietly. Juho, too, wanted people to read his story and compliment him. In fact, those desires had always remained strong within his heart. However, he was fully aware that it would it take much more than him begging for it. It was the same for the opposite scenario. No matter how much an author begged for it to stop, there were always arrows of harsh criticism flying in their direction.
An author’s job had never been about begging, but to write something better than their last work.
The only reason Juho was able to tell that to Sun hwa was because he had wrestled with the idea for a significant amount of time.
Having listened quietly, Bom spoke up, “I want to do it.”
She sounded careful, yet unwavering.
“I’ve always wanted to show my writing to others at least once. After all, it is my own work, so I want to be confident like Juho,” Bom said looking up to Juho. He smiled as an acknowledgement of her sincerity.
“Ughhhh!” Sun Hwa grumbled in pain.
“You don’t have to be so serious about it. You have to have been thinking about it. Shouldn’t you have a decision by now?”
“I keep going back and forth in my head because there’s still time to change my mind!”
“What did you decide to do?” Juho asked.
“I decided to go for it,” said Sun Hwa as she looked up.
“Well, are you planning on changing your mind?”
“Are you not feeling confident?”
She gave him no answer.
“Then, you can always change your mind. It’s entirely up to you,” Juho said in a calm voice.
Freedom. He was right. It was a rare opportunity. There was no telling when Sun Hwa would be granted such a freedom again. She looked at her notebook containing the traces of her blood, sweat, and tears.
She had worked too hard just to turn away because of her past memories. She clenched her hands into fists.
“I worked my butt off. Who said anything about not feeling confident? I’ve already decided. I’m not going to change my mind. I’m going to have my work on display no matter what anybody tells me. Yeah, that’s right. Anyone who values their life should know better than making fun of me.”
“So, I guess that means I’m preparing three separate cover illustrations,” Baron said. A total of three people had decided to put up their works on display in the school library. Each one of them had reached their decision after long and careful consideration. They could very well end up regretting their decisions and find themselves feeling hurt by their readers’ responses. Yet, they had decided to carry on with their choices. Kids would grow more mature from that experience alone.
“So, who are you planning on confessing to?”
Having thought that it was a forgotten subject, Juho quietly looked away.
“What to do…”
Juho sat in front of his computer, contemplating what to write on his author profile at the request of the publishing company, ‘What would best describe Won Yi Young as a person?’
“Should I write about grilled mackerel?”
Aside from his writing, he had nothing impressive to offer. There was no way to know what kind of results his profile would bring. Yet, he felt content. After all, he wanted to be recognized for his writing alone.
Juho remembered the confident look the president of the publishing company, Dong Baek, had on his face. There had been an unwavering certainty there, and Juho decided not to forget about someone who held such strong confidence in his work.
Turning away from the computer, Juho picked up his pen. It was his first book as Won Yi Young. He was about to go out into the world for the first time without nothing to show for, and it was entirely natural. It was his first time after all. Self-introduction. No age or gender. Even the name didn’t belong to him. For those reasons, Juho wanted to be honest when it came to describing himself. Something he could write with utmost sincerity. It had to be about the things he liked.
The first thing that came to mind was books. He liked all genres of books and enjoyed both reading and writing them. He was also a fan of going on walks and interacting with various languages. An honest, yet modest self-introduction.
“Now, the epilogue.”
Juho turned to the next page. Fresh. Clean. No traces of visitors. The time had come for him to confess to his friends in the way they wished. It might be closer to turning himself in than a romantic confession.
‘A sentence that they can catch on as soon as they read it.’ Juho thought about what that would look like. The similarities between the five. How they met. The memories they shared. Traces.
They all had desired a piece of writing. The club members had tried desperately to get a composition from the sole artist in the club. They succeeded, and naturally connected with him and got to know one another in the process. A once blank page slowly filled with black ink.
Juho had a memory of seeing a white egret surrounded by four crows. Taking what he remembered, he unraveled it into something that closely resembled the Literature Club. He made sure to include a key phrase: ‘the sole artist in the club.’ Though it might not be significant to most people, those who were a part of the Literature Club with Juho would be able to catch on at once.
“I’m sure at least one person will see it.”
Putting his faith in his clubmates, Juho kept writing.
With Dong Baek in the passenger seat, Jang Mi started her car. They were on their way to meet with the reporters. It was also an occasion for them to promote a not-so-new rookie. Feeling a familiar tension, she took hold of the steering wheel.
She thought back on Won Yi’s writing. The compulsive details in the portrayal of its world and its history. A mythology that changed shape depending on one’s interpretation. The protagonist who had full faith in his interpretation and had left on a journey with his companions. The world that revealed itself as the readers came to know the characters. Above all, the unique language created by the author introduced a world that was inconceivably large. The protagonist and his talent enabled the readers to be able to get sucked in by that world.
The book was quite immersive, and Jang Mi felt certain of its success. The main task of that meeting was to have people take one good look at the book.
“Aren’t you nervous?”
“Not really,” said Dong Baek. Jang Mi quietly glanced at his legs. They were shaking noticeably.
“Well, I am. Maybe it’s because I’m hiding something.”
“It’s not like we’re doing something wrong.”
“On the other hand, I’m feeling a tiny sense of bliss.”
The fact that she was one of the only people who knew the identity of Won Yi Young brought her a sense of bliss. Dong Baek chuckled. He was the president of the company. He had started a publishing company despite those around him advising against it. In his journey to become the president, he had read countless manuscripts and met with countless authors.
He realized that he wanted to turn Juho’s manuscript into a book the moment he met Yun Woo himself and read his manuscript. He wanted to sell it to as many people as possible and felt an urge to force the book into people’s hands.
He had always trusted his intuition. There was no part of him that sought to resort to any sort of trick to get more people to read the book. He had no intention of degrading the book in any way and he resolved to wait until the readers eventually came to acknowledge Won Yi as an author and spread the word themselves. In order for that to happen, all it took was for one person to take a look at the book. Once they got their hands on it, the book would practically sell itself.
He intended on giving it everything he got.
“I’m just not the type to be anxious,” he said as he looked out the window.
Jang Mi listened to him intently.
“This is thrilling.”
“… Then, could you stop shaking your legs?”
“Let’s embrace it.”
Jang Mi stepped on the gas pedal as she took a deep breath. Fast. Embrace it. Thanks to her boss, she found herself in a confusing place, not knowing whether her heart was beating out of excitement, or if she was simply nervous.
“First, we soften up the reporters,” said Dong Baek. Jang Mi nodded quietly, agreeing to her boss’ plan of starting something that suited the enormous world within the book.
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