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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
The sound of water filled the bathroom. The water from the showerhead flowed into the drain as it trickled down Sang Young’s body. After washing his hair, he washed his body with a sweet-scented body wash.
After walking out of the shower, he took the moveable shower head and sprayed the mirror with water. The foggy surface of the mirror cleared up at once, and while checking his face on the mirror, he hummed cheerfully. He seemed much livelier. After looking at the mirror for some time, he stepped out of the bathroom.
“Ugh! I told you to dry yourself off in the bathroom!” his wife, Soo Jung, scolded him.
“Hehe. It’s been a while since I’ve been home. Sorry, hon.”
With that, Sang Young wiped the water off his body in a hurry, changed into his comfortable clothes, and he went to the table to join his wife for dinner. Impressed by the plentiful food, he walked over to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of soju.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea? You’re traveling tomorrow.”
“Just one glass. I gotta have a glass when there’s a table full of mouth-watering foods.”
“Then, I’d like one too.”
“Hehe. That’s my wife.”
Humming cheerfully, Sang Young took out a pair of glasses from the kitchen and poured the soju into them.
“Ah! That’s refreshing.”
“Here, sir. Have some food.”
There were pieces of seasoned squid at the end of the chopsticks in Soo Jung’s hand. With his mouth open wide, Sang Young ate what his wife had offered.
“This is good!”
“Right? I bought some when we went down to my parents’ place.”
The saltiness made it a perfect pair with their drinks. The two ate and conversed about various things. With her scripts on streak of success, Soo Jung was on the rise as a writer. Between a director and a writer, the conversation was always riddled with movies.
“Are there a lot of actors asking you about Yun Woo?”
“Yeah. I haven’t given them anything though.”
A large number of renowned actors had been cast for the movie, all sharing in the charm of the original book.
“I like Myung Joo,” Soo Jung said as she took a sip from her glass.
Sang Young agreed. A polite, yet confident person, he didn’t have much to show for in terms of appearance or career as an actor. He was in his mid-thirties when he auditioned for the role of Yun’s brother in Sang Young’s film adaptation of ‘Trace of a Bird.’ Thorough and well-prepared, he exuded eagerness. However, that wasn’t what had moved Sang Young to cast him. There were countless actors and actresses who were just as eager, but Myung Joo had one thing that set him apart from his colleagues.
“Especially his eyes.”
It was his eyes. He was the only actor who had portrayed Yun’s brother with such eyes. Sang Young couldn’t help but be drawn to him.
“Anyway… what do we do, hon?” Sang Young asked as he pulled out the script. He still hadn’t reached a clear answer since that day on the set. Feeling frustrated, he poured the rest of the soju into his mouth.
Soo Jung, too, took a copy of the script and read it carefully. When faced with his innate fear, Yun’s brother expressed it through anger. He killed the bird. He was an extremely violent character who wouldn’t hesitate to take another life in order to justify his feelings. Interpreting the character as such, Soo Jung wrote the script accordingly.
“Yun Woo said that he wouldn’t look at the script, right?”
Sang Young felt somewhat frustrated. On the other hand, Soo Jung was confident that she could change Yun Woo’s mind, which also came from her confidence toward her script. Unfortunately, Yun Woo refused to even look at it.
Studying the look on his wife’s face, Sang Young said cautiously, “He’s like that. He’s far from ordinary.”
She laughed as she pulled up her glasses.
“I guess that’s the kind of person it takes to write a book like that. Yun Woo’s different. Not only did he completely neglect all of the other directors who are more established, but he also willingly agreed to talk to you. On top of that, he gave you permission to make a film adaptation of his book. It’s baffling. One with a simple desire for success wouldn’t do such a thing. That is what sets Yun Woo apart.
“Think about it. How do you hand the copyright over to the director solely on his opinion? Let alone, a lesser-known director?”
“Hon, that’s kind of hurtful.”
Soo Jung chugged her drink. Looking in her direction, Sang Young asked, “What did you mean when you said he was “different?” As in… he’s not after success?”
“I’m sure he wants to be successful, and is probably just as afraid of failure as every other author. What’s different about him are his standards.”
With that, Sang Young remembered his conversation with Juho.
“He asked if I’d be able to surpass his book. I’ve never heard anybody say something like that.”
“He meant it, right?”
“He did. It sounded like he was asking me to impress him.”
Soo Jung poured herself another glass of Soju. Yun Woo was not after a conventionally understood success, and there was no way to know what he was really after. While curious, there was something else that she really wanted to know.
“So, the brother has to be different too then,” she said as she chugged her drink.
“We need to talk to Yun Woo.”
Seeing her eyes burning with passion, Sang Young felt like he was falling in love with her all over again.
“Would that work though?”
Sang Young set his feelings aside and thought about Juho. He had been asking him numerous questions and fighting for answers. His efforts were in vain for the most part, however…
“Didn’t you say he’s a little more generous when you ask him about the brother?”
While Juho spoke sparingly most of the times, but there were times when he loosened up slightly, and that was whenever he was asked about Yun’s brother. Though he never gave a direct answer, he spoke relatively more than usual. There was potential. As Sang Young hesitated with his phone in his hand, Soo Jung said, “Hon, whether or not it works out, bring it up at least. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t.”
With the encouragement of his wife, he tapped the call button his phone, and exclaimed cheerfully as Juho agreed to meet with him unlike what he had expected.
“Are you going out?”
“You’re eating out, right?”
“It’s cold out, so make sure to bundle up. Wear a scarf.”
“Listen to me. I don’t want you to be shivering in the cold.”
In the end, Juho gave in and went back into his room and wrapped his scarf around his neck. Upon stepping out through the door, he realized that it had been wise to have listened to his mother. It was rather cold out.
A cold breeze blew as he made his way to the meeting spot. His breath was visible. Dry tree branches moved about lifelessly, while people went on their ways with their shoulders hunched from the cold. As Juho kept on watching the scenery, a car became visible in the distance. In it, there was a person waving at him.
“How’ve you been?”
It was Sang Young, waving his hefty hands. While they’d talked over the phone numerous times, it had been a while since they met in person. Exchanging brief greetings, Juho got in the car, where Sang Young kept himself warm. Juho took off his scarf. Not too long after, he cracked the window open to let the air through.
“So, the writer and one of the actors are going to be there?”
“Yeah. The script writer and the actor who’s playing the brother. Just those two.”
“Is the brother becoming an issue?”
“He sure is.”
Yun’s brother was the most unique character in ‘Trace of a Bird.’ His character was more than Juho could’ve handled as a young author in the past. When Juho thought back on creating a character like that, he couldn’t help but smile bitterly for creating something that was more than he could deal with.
“I was surprised by how quickly you said yes.”
“We are talking about Yun’s brother here.”
When talking about the character, Juho couldn’t help himself. The words jumped right out of his mouth. That came from his regret of letting go of the character too soon. He was much better equipped as an author now, and though Sang Young had no clue about what was running through Juho’s mind, he rejoiced in the possibility of finding some clues.
“I won’t say much,” Juho said quietly.
“Don’t worry. We’re only stuck in one particular place. That’s where Myung Joo has a question for you.”
“You mean the actor?”
“Yeah. I saw his performance, and then I came to realize that something didn’t add up. Thanks to him, I’ve realized that my interpretation was wrong.”
Juho’s body leaned to the left as the car turned right,
“You should just hear him in person. We’re on our way to a high-end restaurant.”
“We could’ve met at a cafe.”
“Oh, no, no! We can’t do that! Besides, I’ve been meaning to treat you to a meal.”
“What are they like?” Juho asked as he rolled down the window a little more.
As if he had been waiting, Sang Young began to talk about his beloved, “My wife is a lovely person. She’s also one of the most sought-after screenwriters in Chungmuro. She’s been doing especially well as of late, like a swan spreading its wings open. Bold and confident, yet beautiful. Would you like to see a picture?”
“It’s OK. We’ll meet soon enough,” Juho respectfully declined as Sang Young was about to reach for his phone.
Then, he added in a much calmer voice, “And then there’s Myung Joo Mu. He’s never seen the light of day, but he’s quite experienced. He’s one of the most determined actors I know. We cast him through auditions, so you won’t have to worry about his acting. What really sets him apart though, are his eyes.”
“That’s right. He knows how to express emotion through his eyes. He’s a character. Just the one I’ve been looking for.”
Myung Joo was an actor who performed according to Sang Young’s direction. Though he wouldn’t be getting much screen time, his presence had a lasting impact. He was the perfect fit for the role.
“We chose these people specifically so that we can surpass your work. You should be!”
Juho laughed cheerfully at that. Sang Young had the habit of making direct remarks. It was for that reason that Juho had been able to hand the rights over to him with confidence.
After about thirty minutes, they arrived at a Japanese restaurant. As they entered, they saw a series of rooms lined up on either side of the hallway. A place like that would provide more than enough privacy for discussing any sensitive matters.
“The other two are already here, waiting for us. Shall we?”
When Sang Young gave his name, the usher led them to a room located further in. As Juho followed him, a series of dazzling works of pottery and flowers came into view.
“I’m curious about the face they will make when they see you.”
“Probably not all that excited.”
“Nah, they’ll be blown away.”
“Am I like an alien to them?”
“I guess in the sense that your identity is unclear.”
As they conversed on the way, the usher stopped at a tatami room and gently opened the sliding door.
“Enjoy your meal,” the usher said calmly.
Juho waited until Sang Young went into the room, as his large figure blocked the view and made it difficult to make out the interior. As he went in, the first thing that came into view was a large table decorated with a beautiful pink flower.
As he looked toward the source of the sound, he saw a tall, lanky man with a small head. His mouth was slightly open. The sound had come from him. His eyes shook with astonishment, excitement, anticipation, and a slight sense of tension. Strong emotions were visible in the man’s eyes, and Juho understood immediately what Sang Young had meant on their way to the restaurant.
A woman stood up and greeted Juho as he slowly made his way into the room. She was rather skinny. Her glasses were falling off as she bowed.
“Hello,” Juho returned the greeting.
With that, the woman laughed cheerfully. She was rather pretty. Again, Juho understood Sang Young’s words at once.
“Soo Jung Choi. I’m the writer who turned your book into a script. It’s an honor to meet you.”
“I’m honored to meet you too, ma’am,” Juho said with a smile.
Soo Jung was taken aback by Juho’s vibe. He was much calmer and more mature than she had imagined him to be.
“I heard about you through Mr. Ju here, but I wasn’t expecting you to be this mature.”
“Is that so?”
After exchanging brief greetings with Myung Joo, Juho took his seat. The meal began as soon as the table was filled with delicious dishes. Like any high-end restaurant, every bite was as delicate as the first.
“I’ve enjoyed your book, ‘The Sound of Wailing,'” Soo Jung said.
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