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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“So, this book is written by Won Yi Young.”
“But Won Yi Young is actually Yun Woo.”
“And you… you are Yun Woo.”
“You said you have piles of papers littered throughout your room?”
“If you’d like, I can show them to you.”
“Even Yun Woo’s manuscripts?”
Sun Hwa approached Juho and poked him on the cheek to see if he was real.
“Now, I get it.”
“I knew they were too good to be written by a student. No wonder you’re such a good writer! I mean, ‘The Grains of Sand’ carried an entirely different feeling from ‘The Sound of Wailing,’ but wow! You’re Yun Woo. Yun Woo himself!” she murmured.
“This doesn’t feel real to me. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to meet him in person, but I’ve been seeing him everyday this entire time,” Bom said, looking dumbfounded still. Because they weren’t as sensitive to writing styles as Seo Kwang, Sun Hwa and Bom accepted that Juho had been Yun Woo all along,
“Can’t you write in different styles as long you put your mind to it?”
“Can you change your own fingerprints just because you put your heart to it?” Seo Kwang answered Sun Hwa in a slightly tired voice. It made sense considering how much ruckus he had made. “There’s a reason why people compare an author’s style to their fingerprints. One can write like a certain author with practice. Yes, we can always hurt our fingers, but that doesn’t mean that we can change our fingerprints just because we want to.”
“But that’s exactly what this punk has been doing.”
Feeling Sun Hwa and Bom staring daggers in his direction, Juho looked away and locked eyes with Baron, who hadn’t said a word so far.
“Yes?” Juho answered.
Baron too had been an avid fan, as much as Seo Kwang. Shaking, he slowly approached Juho.
“Let me see your hands,” Baron said as he raised Juho’s hand up high as if he were holding it up to the sun. “So, this is the hand you’ve been writing with.”
“No, I’m right-handed.”
With that, Baron quietly moved onto the other hand. He was rather serious, and Juho’s attempt to lessen the tension with jokes ended in failure.
“I need an autograph.”
“Oh, of course.”
“Not a problem.”
“I mean it, thank you.”
Juho realized that he wasn’t just thanking him for the autograph. He had no clue as to what kind of effect his book had had on Baron. However, he heard the sincerity behind Baron’s words.
While he smiled quietly, Bom chimed in, “I would like one too, please.”
Her cheeks were glowing bright red. Bom, too, had been an avid fan of Yun Woo. Juho remembered seeing her among the crowd surrounding the imposter for a signature.
“I was here first. I’m supposed to get one hundred autographs.”
“What are you going to do with that many autographs? Juho, I only need enough for my family.”
“I’ll blow my nose with them if I have to.”
The club members acted as usual. Whether Juho was Yun Woo or not, they were always the same. He realized that he was the one who needed to be thanking them.
He had been writing with them. He had struck up conversations to get closer to them. He had also shared memories of a first love or invaded a world being sustained by a fragile friendship ridden with insecurity. Every person had revealed a side of themselves apart from their usual behaviors at school.
At that moment, the door slid open as usual, and Mr. Moon walked into the room. After making a brief observation of the situation, he went straight to the point.
“The compilations will be coming out soon.”
“It’s almost finished. I’ve been collecting copies your works. It’ll be finished once I include a free-topic composition from each and everyone here. So, I don’t care what you write, just bring me something.”
“Wow… how time flies.”
“What should I write?” Seo Kwang was smiling. “Maybe I should write about Yun Woo.”
“Hey! Shh!” Sun Hwa cut him off as she kept her eyes on Mr. Moon. She looked rather obvious.
“What? I just wanted to write about Yun Woo,” Seo Kwang said in a flustered voice.
Suddenly, Mr. Moon interjected, “If you’re planning on writing about Yun Woo, make sure you have his personal consent.”
“Pff. How am I supposed to do that?”
“You can write about me,” Juho said. All eyes were on him.
“It’s a free topic after all,” he added with a nod.
The air grew heavy with silence. With a shaky voice, Bom broke that silence, “Did you know, Mr. Moon?”
He answered with a proud smile, “Of course! A teacher knows all.”
‘You just found out too, Mr. Moon,’ Juho murmured in his mind. Just like that, the science room became rowdy once again.
By the time the club members had come up with an outline for their last works to be included in the compilation, Mr. Moon asked, “The school festival is right around the corner, right?”
Every class had been busy with preparations for the festival. They decorated the classroom and made food according to their class’ theme.
“Are we doing something?” Sun Hwa asked.
“Nope,” Mr. Moon answered. Everyone accepted his answer. Considering the size of the club and the nature of its activities, the five club members would be the only people who’d come to the school festival to write.
“If you want, think of your stories in the library exhibition as your own festival. You may roam as freely as you wish on the day of the festival.”
“That won’t be necessary.”
“Suit yourself,” Mr. Moon said.
“What’s your class doing for the school festival, Baron?” Sun Hwa asked.
“What are you guys selling?”
“I heard toast?”
“What about you? Do we get to see you in an apron?”
“You mean you’re going to be working?!”
“I have to. They’re making me.”
“I thought you wouldn’t even bother,” Seo Kwang said.
“I’m going to stick around for a little bit and bounce.”
“That’s still major progress!” Bom said. Everyone agreed that Baron was making a major breakthrough compared to how he had been in the beginning.
“What about you guys?” Seo Kwang asked.
“We’re doing a class bazaar,” Bom answered.
“That doesn’t sound all that interesting.”
“You’d be surprised. We’re selling food too.”
“Seems like you guys are going to be awfully busy.”
Sun Hwa and Bom sighed simultaneously at Juho’s response. They were expecting the same.
“What about you guys?”
“I heard we’re going to have a variety of games, like darts.”
“That sounds fun!”
Seo Kwang smiled proudly at Bom’s response.
“I’m the genius behind that idea.”
“I’m surprised they even let you come up with ideas.”
“What are you talking about? I should be the one coming up with ideas like that.”
“He’s right,” Juho agreed. “Seo Kwang’s was the only idea.”
“Hey, man, nobody needs to know that!” Seo Kwang said in attempt to cover up the truth.
“Really? That’s just sad. People don’t like to get involved in things in your class, huh?”
“Yeah. Our class seems to be pretty unmotivated in general. It’s as if everyone was agreeing to relax and not do anything.”
“That is the most comfortable thing to do,” Bom said with an awkward smile. Expecting a busy schedule in the near future, she looked at Juho and Seo Kwang with envious eyes.
After spending a significant amount of time discussing the school festival, Baron changed the subject, “I heard that the library’s been getting more visitors as of late.”
Everyone’s face lit up.
“Compared to the past, definitely,” Seo Kwang agreed, nodding his head.
There had been significantly less people in the schoolyard because of the cold, and more and more people were visiting the library as the word spread. Though it looked nowhere near as popular as a restaurant, it was more than enough to put a smile on everyone’s face. Though small, the fact that they had achieved something with their own hands brought about a great sense of reward.
“I’m realizing how much power there is in marketing. We’ve been getting significantly more visitors in the library since Baron put up his poster.”
With Mr. Moon’s help, the poster Baron had willingly created was posted on the bulletin board provided on each floor of the building. It was definitely eye-catching when walking up and down the stairs, and it successfully planted a seed of curiosity in those who saw it. Though Seo Kwang made a timid claim of credit, Sun Hwa swiftly ignored him.
“All my friends have visited. They told me they read my story too!”
“Did you hear any feedback?”
“They loved it,” Sun Hwa said proudly.
Though simple, it was more than enough to move the heart of the writer, especially for the members of the Literature Club who had never written a book before.
“‘Grains of Sand’ is the most popular one, right? I checked the library earlier. There was a long line in front of Juho’s book.”
“Juho’s book is like a specialty at a restaurant. People don’t hesitate to wait in line to have it. Some even come from far away.”
“That’s true. We’ve read it ourselves, so we know how delicious of a dish it really is.”
Seo Kwang and Sun Hwa said to each other calmly.
“Anyway, marketing is really important. We should all do everything we can to tell people about our works!”
She had said that in a way that resembled the president of a publishing company, and Juho quietly nodded. Marketing was always crucial, but Rumors were also just as important. He remembered his conversation with Dong Baek over the phone. They had discussed an increase in sales. In the publishing industry, rumors had the potentials to work to the publisher’s advantage. It made people want to be part of a success story.
The rumors usually had roots on a publishing company’s subtle marketing strategy. They were carefully formulated in order to make the books more visible to people and they often used words like “recommendation” or “critically acclaimed” in order to draw more attention. It was comparable to lighting up a fuse. It took some time until the fuse would completely burn out, but Dong Baek had predicted that they would know the outcome by the end of the winter.
Juho felt a sense of anticipation. How big of a bomb would be at the end of the fuse?
A sudden explosion sounded off, and everyone in the classroom complained.
“What the… You scared me!”
“Who was that!?”
“Quiet! Everyone, focus!”
Everyone submitted to the class president’s orders, and Juho’s eyes were met with balloons of various colors resting on the desk.
“This will take ages to finish.”
“Are sure this isn’t too many?”
“They’ll deflate over time. Don’t you think it’d be better to blow them the day of?”
Despite the kids’ wishes, the class president insisted, “It’s better to have them ready today. I know you guys are going to be wandering around on that day, so put those prize tags in and blow. Now.”
“Oh, c’mon. We won’t do that.”
The kids quietly submitted to the strong-willed class president. Those who were more actively involved in the preparation came together as a group and decorated the windows per the class president’s instructions.
“A happy gameroom. Catches your ears, right?”
Seo Kwang seemed to be happy that his idea was being actualized.
“If you’re that happy, you should go join your classmates.”
“You know, I did think about it, but it’s not like me to get my hands dirty.”
With a balloon in his mouth, Seo Kwang was reading a book that was resting on his knees. The class president glanced at him, but she didn’t seem like she intended on scolding him. After all, he had been following her instructions.
Juho brought a balloon up to his mouth, and the taste of rubber filled his mouth. He took a deep breath and blew into the balloon. As it puffed up, the tag inside of it moved about.
“Giveaway prizes are pretty much limited to snacks, right?”
“There are some writing tools too. Nothing special though.”
It was a school festival after all. No one could expect a laptop or a refrigerator as prizes. At that point, Juho was blowing on the balloons by reflex.
“I’m getting bored.”
Seo Kwang had been quiet. He glanced at his book while blowing on his balloons, closing the openings with a knot as he flipped the pages of his book. He was rather skilled.
Feeling his lips getting tired, Juho picked up yet another balloon.
“Tired?” a voice asked from behind him.
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