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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Man…” Myung Joo let out, both impressed and overwhelmed. “Amazing,” he added in affirmation. “Which means…”
“That’s right,” Yun Woo opened his mouth and said. “The brother isn’t raging.”
“… but what does that mean?”
“What do you think?”
Suddenly, the tension was broken by a loud noise. Looking in Sang Young’s direction, Juho found that his cup has spilled over.
“Please don’t be like that. Not here,” he said in a suppressed voice as if he were almost begging.
“What do you mean?”
“Mr. Woo…” Soo Jung was the same. Before Juho realized, a pen and a notepad appeared in her hands. “Mr. Woo,” the pleasant-sounding voice said.
“Please. Tell us.”
Desperation. With the exception of Yun Woo, everyone in the room was desperate for an answer from the author himself. They were dying to make it a part of their movie.
“What you really want is to be moved from within, right?” Myung Joo asked as he quietly locked eyes with Juho. “I’d like to be him: the perfect recreation of Yun’s brother,” he added, his eyes sparkling with strong determination.
Juho thought about the people he was surrounded by in the room. They were movie makers who wrote and acted. They were all different in age, gender and preferences.
“May I ask who your favorite authors are? Myself excluded, of course,” Juho asked, and they answered his seemingly random question without hesitation.
“I enjoy Shakespeare quite a bit.”
“Natsume Soseki for me.”
“Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of the greats of German literature.”
Three distinctly different people, coming together to make a movie. They all desired success. While they might each define success differently, all of them worked with everything they had.
“I’m confident. I’ll move the hearts of my audience with my movie no matter what, including yours. However…” Sang Young said as he wiped the table. “I don’t know if I’d be able to push on any further if I were to leave here without hearing an answer from you.”
Juho laughed off his seemingly alarming remark.
“C’mon now. Don’t take my hesitation too seriously.”
Sang Young had arranged the meeting with the intention of working together with the author. After all, it was about none other than Yun’s brother. At the end of the day, Juho was partly responsible for making it more difficult for Sang Young and his crew in their efforts to interpret the character. He couldn’t handle the violent nature of the character himself.
“He doesn’t rage,” Juho said, then looked at Sang Young and added, “You asked me about him before, right? If he’d commit murder?”
Murder. Abortion. Though indirect, he bloodied his hands by forcing his girlfriend to kill the baby in the same way that he would then kill the bird. After that, who would he chuck the lifeless carcass at?
“I tried to accentuate the contrast between Yun’s and his brother’s characters. Do you know why?”
Myung Joo shook his head.
“Because they’re similar.”
“Yes. They’re both afraid of the same thing, and they’ve witnessed the fear in each other’s faces. The brother destroyed what belonged to another person and hid in his brother’s house, all out of fear. What would Yun think at that point?”
“That he doesn’t want to be like his brother,” Soo Jung murmured.
“That’s right. From that point of view, the stark contrast in the two characters takes on a-whole-nother form all of a sudden.”
Her hands moved about busily.
“But they, themselves, would know that they share the same roots.”
“Yes, there are always traces of it.”
Taking a sip of water, he continued, “So, like you said, Mrs. Choi, the reason he chooses to invade Yun’s refuge and kill the bird there has nothing to do with encouraging or comforting his younger brother. He only did it for himself, so that he could be ready for the upcoming murder.”
“Does that mean one can interpret it as Yun and his brother sharing the same conscience?”
Having caught on immediately, Soo Jung moved her hands busily. It might have seemed that the brother chucked the dead bird at Yun on the outside, but at the end of the day, it was none other than himself. He had killed because he was afraid.
“So, it’s the brother’s hand that ends up getting bloodied. There’s something sacrificial about it. Yun places all of the emotions that he didn’t want to deal with on his brother, while he goes out into the light himself. After all, the brother is the dark while Yun is the light.”
Unlike Yun, his brother was a person who had never learned to love himself. Yet, he had tried desperately to. Only then, was Yun able to keep his self-love.
Myung Joo thought about Soo Jung’s words. It was simply too…
“Sad,” Juho said. At that moment, Myung Joo came to a realization. He heard the answer he had been looking for desperately.
Falling apart. Taking lives. Bloodied hands. Unable to rage. All that just to be left in the dark. Myung Joo was overwhelmed with sadness all of a sudden. ‘Did he manage to bear through the sadness of having to remain in the dark and sinning until the end?’ He felt something welling up from within, and it was a burden that nobody would be willing to share. Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to last long in that state, he asked, “Does he die?”
He didn’t ask “who.” Juho didn’t dare to write the brother’s demise. It was far too destructive for young Juho, and because of that, he had never seen the brother’s end.
Would he die?
“I’m not sure,” Juho said softly as he imagined the scene in his head. It was the small room where Yun had been hiding, where the walls had been splattered by the bird’s blood. Things like a wardrobe, a desk, and writing tools were spread about the room, giving it an untidy appearance. Two pens, one mechanical pencil, and half an eraser stained with the pencil’s lead. The covers gave off a stuffy odor, and faint daylight shone through the curtains onto it.
The bird had been as good as dead the moment it lost its wings. Despite knowing that it would never fly again, it fought desperately for its life, roaming around the room as if it were saying “So what if I can’t fly? I have legs.”
Juho called for the brother to ask him personally: ‘What would you do?’
He opened his eyes. The brother never turned up.
“Is it getting too late for you?”
He saw the puzzled look on Myung Joo’s face and said, “He must’ve either died or gone away.”
“Sigh, you’re not going to make this any easier, are you?” Sang Young grumbled, and hearing those words made Juho somewhat sad.
The publishing company was always busy. Editors worked busily everyday, and Jang Mi was no exception.
“Dong Baek Publishing Company.”
Editors were also responsible for answering the phones that would ring from time to time. Lately, she had been receiving calls asking about someone in particular.
“I wanted to ask about Won Yi Young?”
It was none other than Won Yi Young. The readers remained curious about him. If Won Yi was capable of drawing that much attention, how much more would Yun Woo draw? Wishing her editor-in-chief good luck, she interacted with the reader as brightly as possible.
“So, I’ve been really, really curious about this. Is Won Yi a professor or someone who majored in linguistics?”
“Oh, no. He’s an ordinary high school student.”
In reality, he was far from ordinary. After all, he was Yun Woo himself. Resisting the urge to mention the name, ‘Yun Woo,’ Jang Mi said, “I’m sorry. I’m afraid we can’t disclose that information.”
After complaining for some time, the reader moved on to ask yet another question, “When is the next volume of ‘The Language of God’ coming out?”
It had been among the most frequently asked questions as of late. ‘When is the next volume coming?’ At the question she was all too familiar with, Jang Mi had to resist herself from sighing heavily. The readers were already starting to get antsy. Even the company’s major work, ‘The Dr. Dong Series,’ had never drawn so much attention and anxiety.
“The date hasn’t been set yet, but we’re happy to inform you that it’ll be in the near future.
“Mhm… Yes. Thank you for calling.”
As soon as she hung up the phone, the phone rang yet again elsewhere, and another editor answered with the familiar phrase, “Dong Baek Publishing Company.” It was probably about Won Yi.
“Ah, yes. Mr. Young.”
Of course. She was far too used to the name by that point. The public had a certain image of the book, ‘The Language of God.’ It was widely recognized as a book that had become a bestseller by word of mouth, which led people to view the book in a positive light. Only the publishing company would know how busy they had been with marketing and sales.
Rising from her seat, Jang Mi made her way to the Planning Department.
The head of the Planning Department greeted her as he rose from his seat.
“I wanted to get some data for tomorrow’s meeting from you.”
“You mean the proposal? Give me one moment.”
After he handed her the document, she looked at the data and asked, “You were on your way to a bookstore, right?”
“Yep. We recently decided to increase the display for the book.”
He was referring to the display racks at a bookstore. The more the books were being displayed, the more they became visible. Books that were more visible tended to sell more.
“Now’s our chance. The book became a bestseller, so it’ll really start to take off. We should row while there’s water.”
With a pair of dark circles under his eyes, Mr. So smiled brightly. Seeing those dark circles, Jang Mi related to him as she most likely look the same.
“Well, you be safe.”
She looked at the document in her hands. The numbers that were growing steadily were starting to rise more aggressively, and she couldn’t resist smiling. While she did work hard to achieve those numbers, Won Yi’s work was at the center of it.
If the book had not been interesting, it would have never taken off no matter how much time and money they invested into marketing. A tree with rotting roots was destined to die regardless of how much water and sunlight it received.
The roots of Won Yi’s book would grow even deeper, and it would grow into a unshakeable tree.
“Jang Mi, did you take a look at the final draft?” a coworker asked.
“Not yet. I’ll look over it by tomorrow.”
“Oh, c’mon! You were supposed to look at it by today!”
“Well, you can blame Mr. Young.” Jang Mi moved her hands busily as work came flooding in, then asked about the topic that usually came up around the same time, “Speaking of which, the essay contests are going into their screening stage, right?”
“You mean for the Literature Award?”
The Literature Award was given to the work with the most literary value of that year, and the screening usually began in winter. There were countless awards offered by different companies, publishers and associations, but none of them were as significant or recognized as the Three Literary Awards of Korea.
Jang Mi was particularly interested in the Dong Kyung Literary Award. The reason being…
“It’s the only award that considers full-length novels.”
Unlike most literary awards that only considered short stories and mid-length novels, length was not one of the qualities judged by the Dong Kyung Literary Award. It judged a wide range of books that were published that year. ‘Which book would turn up at the top for its literary value that year?’
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Yun Woo. No doubt,” the coworker said.
Considering his presence, Yun Woo would be one of the most likely candidates. While agreeing, Jang Mi shook her head.
“But there are more established authors who did well this year. Seo Joong Ahn put out his first book in five years as well.”
“Speaking of which, Geun Woo Yoo’s ‘Sad Face’ was pretty well received. So did Joon Soo Bong’s, your favorite.”
The Dong Kyung Literary Award was an award that judged a book strictly for its literary value. It didn’t matter how famous or obscure the author was. If anything, there were quite a few books that had become bestsellers after winning the award. One additional sentence in a marketing campaign was more than enough for the book to sell: “Winner of the Dong Kyung Literary Award.”
“I wonder how this book will do?” Jang Mi said as she looked at ‘The Language of God’ in front of her.
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