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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“The books are here.”
With those words, the window shook from a gust of wind.
“That’s right. The ones you guys wrote,” he said as he waved his hand holding the books with the covers designed by Baron.
“Whoa!” Sun Hwa exclaimed as she jumped from her seat, and the rest of the club members followed.
“Take it. This is for you to keep.”
Though they were thin, they were still books. The club members carefully took their book from Mr. Moon’s hands. Meanwhile, Seo Kwang went busily from desk to desk to see everyone else’s work.
Juho picked up his short story. Considering that it was made in school, the quality was rather impressive. The material of the book felt smooth to the touch. He examined the cover and saw the sand under a clear, blue sky. The colors were quite strong. One would be able to tell how much work went into making it at a glance.
“Do you like it?” Baron asked. The rest of the club members were busy reading through their book, but Juho nodded immediately.
“Yeah! It looks like an actual book cover!”
“I got some help from Mr. Moon. It turns out that he had some connections in the art community. It did take some time, but everything turned out quite good.”
It wasn’t strange for Mr. Moon to have such connections, and Baron appeared satisfied with his own work.
“I’m the sole artist in the club after all. This should be a piece of cake.”
Juho smiled at the sound of the familiar phrase.
“You must have read the story. The cover design works well with the book.”
“I told you I’d read it. I was curious.”
“So, how was it?”
Baron hesitated. He had been impressed after reading ‘Grains of Sand.’ Although the protagonist in the book didn’t say a word throughout the entire story, Baron had been able to imagine the sound of her voice with ease.
“It reminded me of Yun Woo, but different,” he said.
It made sense. Being written under the name ‘Juho Woo,’ the book was visibly different from Yun Woo’s work.
“I got a feeling that you’d end up being famous.”
“Yeah, like Yun Woo,” Baron said with a playful smile. “Who knows? You might end up as a superstar at school.”
“The school library doesn’t get a whole lot of visitors as is.”
“It doesn’t take long for word to spread. Especially in a place like this.”
“No high school student in their right mind would read a book by their own choice.”
“That’s not entirely true. Besides, a lot of people have been reading due to the Yun Woo fever. Parents have also been spending more money to buy their children books.”
“Well, I am somewhat of a decent writer.”
“It’s true. I’m a pretty decent writer, aren’t I?”
“… Now that you put it that way, I’m not as willing to agree with you.”
After being at a loss for words for a moment, Baron turned his eyes to Juho’s hands.
“It really read like actual literature. I wanted to buy it,” he said with his eyes fixed on ‘Grains of Sand.’ “You know I’m a fan of Yun Woo, right?”
“I think you have what it takes to be his match.”
“Do you think so?”
“I don’t know about beating him though.”
“Couldn’t you just keep things on the bright side?”
Then, Seo Kwang approached them from behind.
“Whoa! Look at the cover design!”
Juho handed his book over to Seo Kwang willingly, and he took the book from Juho’s hand in a fluid motion. Seo Kwang’s respect for books had been ingrained in him, and it was apparent in the way he treated them.
“I want to see!” Sun Hwa said. Seo Kwang placed the book on the desk, putting the cover in full display.
“Wow! You’re not playing favorites or something, are you Baron? This looks so much better than mine!” she said as she placed her book next to Juho’s for comparison.
There was a drawing of a busy square on it. It was full of life, just like Sun Hwa herself. It looked just as charming in Juho’s eyes.
“Yours is pretty too, Sun Hwa,” Bom encouraged her as she placed her book next to Sun Hwa’s.
This time, a pair of legs was climbing up a set of stairs. It gave off a calm and serious vibe.
“They all have so much character! Thanks, Baron! You did great!”
“I had fun.”
Suddenly, Seo Kwang squeezed his way in through the club members looking at their books and picked up ‘Grains of Sand.”
“I haven’t been able to read it for so many different reasons. Can I read it now?” he asked while looking at Mr. Moon. After exchanging a glance with Juho, Mr. Moon gave him permission.
“Hey! I wanted to read it too!”
“Rock, paper, scissors?”
Sun Hwa and Bom said in order. Before Seo Kwang had time to respond, Mr. Moon raised his hand.
“One thing. Since those books are for you guys to keep, how about we read it at the library? It’ll draw some attention too.”
“Draw attention? How?”
“If nobody’s around the book, it turns even the potential readers away. We should have at least one or two persons standing in line.”
“That’s true,” Sun Hwa agreed. Having been desperate to read the book, Seo Kwang put it back down reluctantly.
“Waiting seems to be a recurring theme for me as of late.”
“Is there something else you’ve been waiting for?” Juho asked curiously.
“Yep. I preordered a book recently. I hope it comes soon.”
“What the… Are you setting aside my book for another?”
“You can always let me read it, you know.”
“Don’t you have a responsibility at the library?” Juho said as he pulled ‘Grains of Sand’ away from Seo Kwang.
Seo Kwang added, scoffing, “I came across an article recently. It’s a debut title, but it’s been drawing a lot of attention. It seems like it’s already known among publishers pretty well. I can’t let something like that pass, you know? I’m sure I can expect for it to have room for improvement since the author’s a rookie and all, but I was drawn to it, so I didn’t hesitate to order it,” Seo Kwang said proudly.
Suppressing his excitement, Juho asked calmly, “What’s the book called?”
“The Language of God.”
Juho nodded calmly. As expected, Seo Kwang was his first reader.
“You read the epilogues too, right?”
“Of course! That’s when you can claim to have read an entire book.”
Seo Kwang followed up with a long lecture on what it meant to read through a book thoroughly. As he listened quietly, Juho anxiously waited for the moment.
“Hey, what’s this?”
Everyone in class gathered around the blackboard. There were flyers containing information about the Literature Club and its members having their work on display in the school library.
“We had a Literature Club in our school?”
“You didn’t know?”
The responses were lukewarm. However, it wasn’t outside of what the club members had expected. Though Juho quietly accepted the situation, Seo Kwang suddenly got up.
“There are club members here, you know!” he said proudly. He seemed like he was intent on promoting the occasion to as many people as possible, and Juho observed him from a distance.
“Is this about your story?”
“No, but this friend of mine here wrote one.”
Just like that, Juho’s plan to observe quietly came to swift failure.
“Are you that good of a writer?”
“Very. This guy’s the ace of our club. He went out to competitions too!” Seo Kwang answered on behalf of Juho. On top of that, he was puffing Juho up deliberately. The word ‘competition’ did make Juho stand out more, but in truth, every club member had been part of a contest somewhere, including the sole artist in the club.
“Is it famous?”
“If you’re curious, go see for yourselves.”
At that, a hassled look appeared on the kids’ faces.
“Nah, I’ll pass. I don’t feel like going all the way to the library.”
“I’ve done my share of reading with Yun Woo’s books.”
They responded as Juho had expected. Yet, Seo Kwang didn’t back off.
“Yun Woo. Good stuff.”
“I ended up reading it because of my mom. It was actually a decent read.”
“Did you read all the way through?”
“Yep,” the student answered confidently as if he was proud of the fact that he had read through an entire book.
At that, Seo Kwang added with sparkling eyes, “It felt good, didn’t it?”
Forcing these students to read had never been effective. Though they might bring their books to school, most students merely pretended to read them. It was common for them to set their books aside and play around with their friends. However, Yun Woo’s book had been an exception.
“Right?” Seo Kwang asked, and the student scratched his head.
“Right… but I don’t plan on buying books with my own money.”
“Who said anything about buying? Our books pursue quality over quantity, so I can promise you that it’s going to be worth your time. It’s just as good as Yun Woo’s books.”
The student sneered at Seo Kwang’s confident response. After all, not many books were as immersive as Yun Woo’s.
“Yeah, right. The only thing you guys have common with Yun Woo is your age.”
Seo Kwang tackled those mocking words head on.
“Hey, don’t you know how level-headed I am when it comes to books!? His writing is the real deal! It’s a short story, so it won’t take all that long to read.”
Sadly, Seo Kwang’s head-on approach was not all that effective. Juho shrugged lightly.
“That didn’t work,” Seo Kwang muttered.
“We were expecting that.”
The student never changed his mind. However, it was too soon for them to assume that Seo Kwang’s efforts would go unnoticed. Juho looked around and heard students whispering among themselves.
“I didn’t know the Literature Club did stuff like that.”
“Should we check it out?”
“I don’t know. It’s probably not all that special.”
“They’re so confident though. We should go and see for ourselves.”
At that moment, Juho met eyes with a girl he remembered conversing with in the past. She hesitated.
“There’s going to be mention of your name. You should go see it.”
While looking anxious, she nodded in response. Seo Kwang observed proudly.
“Good thing I made a scene.”
Having gained some leverage, he encouraged all the other students to visit the library. Thanks to his effort, the existence of the Literature Club became known throughout the entire school.
Juho came down to the school library. While partially intending to observe, he decided to check out a book in the meantime. As he put his book down on the counter, a pale hand with a barcode scanner came into view. Juho remembered speaking with her a couple of times in the past. He asked while looking around the library, “How is it having more people than usual?”
“Tiring,” the girl answered immediately.
The exhibition area was in the corner of the library. Though small and humble, there were three books put on display. There were six students gathered around them, reading.
Although the number was nothing to brag about, the books weren’t doing such a bad job considering how the library usually was. As Juho was about to leave with his book and a proud feeling, the girl stopped him and asked, “You wrote ‘Grains of Sand,’ right?”
“Yes. Did you read it?”
“I did,” she answered, looking at the book in Juho’s hand. “Did you check out that one book on your last visit for reference?”
“But there was only one sentence in the entire story that had anything to do with sand.”
“I had to read an entire book just to be able to write that one sentence.”
At that, she stared at Juho intently.
“What?” Juho asked.
“You sound like an author.”
“I am an author. That’s my book over there,” Juho said, glancing at one of Yun Woo’s books.
“Right,” she nodded with her eyes fixed on the exhibition.
“You’re a good writer,” she added. “I enjoyed it quite a bit. I wanted to recommend it to other people.”
At that, Juho remembered their last conversation. She had compared Yun Woo’s books to sand.
“I see. How was my story? Was it sand-like?”
With that, she briefly immersed herself in her thoughts. She seemed to be the type who was serious about everything.
“Somewhat different, but yes.”
“How was it different?”
“It was damp,” she said.
“Your story is like a clump of mud scooped out of the water. It’s nearly impossible to separate it. It muddies the once clear water, and I can no longer see what’s happening in it. It’s different from the beach sand shining brightly under the sun.”
“Is that a compliment?”
Though her choices of words weren’t the most pleasant sounding, Juho decided to accept it as a compliment.
“Are you planning on writing again?” she asked, looking intently at Juho.
He was well-acquainted with that gaze. Seo Kwang had often given him the same look. In other words, it was the look of a fan.
“I sincerely hope you do. Your stories are quite enjoyable.”
A reader. That meant Juho had to keep on writing.
“Probably,” he said.
With her innocent smile directed at him, Juho made his way out.
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