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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
At the turn of the year, Juho became a sophomore, which meant that he had to move up to the floor above where him and his clubmates had stopped to go their separate ways. A new classroom meant new classmates, and he was placed in a unfamiliar environment yet again.
“Did you see it on TV last night?”
“What subject is first period?”
“Ugh, so tired.”
Thanks the familiarity shared by the students, the classroom was still rather boisterous. Some had ended up in the same class with their close friends, while others ended up with classmates they had hardly talked to. However, the kids adjusted quickly to their new environment.
Juho was the same way. It was the very class where he had come to visit Baron. He called for the classmate sitting in front of him.
“What are you up to?”
She turned around. It was Bom. They had ended up in the same class.
“Are you bored?” Bom asked as she brushed her hair over. Her bob cut had already grown down to her shoulders, and the change told him how much time had passed.
“A little bit,” Juho said. If it were Seo Kwang, he would have jumped into talking about books.
“I wonder how Seo Kwang’s doing.”
“He’s next door.”
“With Sun Hwa.”
Juho ended up in the same class as Bom, and Seo Kwang ended with Sun Hwa. While they related to one another in many ways, they didn’t agree with each other just as often.
“Do you think they’re arguing right now?”
“Hey guys, we’re supposed to register for club activities by the end of the day,” the newly elected class president announced timidly.
Sadly, his weak voice was buried by the student’s clamor. The class president seemed to have no intention of speaking any louder. Frustrated by the sight, his friend reiterated in a much louder voice, “Guys! Make sure to register for club activities by the end of the day!”
As the students answered half-heartedly, the class grew all the noisier with the chatter about the club activities.
“You’re staying, right?” Bom asked. To which Juho nodded and answered jokingly, “I gotta win an award at least.”
Knowing Juho’s identity, Bom squinted at him.
“Isn’t that cheating?”
“Well, I’ll be disqualified then.”
“You know what, I’m NOT going out to a competition with you.”
“You really don’t know?!”
Juho laughed at her annoyed response.
“But you’re a good writer.”
Juho was fond of her writing because of her literary expressions, which was apparent in the story she wrote last year. As autobiographical as the book was, it was just as sincere. While it was somewhat flat and dull, it had warmth.
“It’s slightly awkward in places, but your expressions are excellent.”
“… That sounds like an actual compliment coming from you.”
“I am the ace of the club, after all.”
“Did you just say that with your own lips?”
Then, Juho blurted out something he remembered all of sudden, “There are freshmen coming in this year!”
Since he had moved up a grade, Juho would be in that position Mr. Moon had raved about so much. The position where every freshmen would look up to: Sophomore.
“Wow… I’m a sophomore! That means there’s going to be freshmen who might look up to me!”
Contrary to Juho’s indifference, Bom was filled with excitement.
“I don’t have a younger sibling and I never had someone look up to me either.”
“Yeah. I don’t know why I’m getting so excited. I’m gonna help them adjust to high school and understand what Mr. Moon is saying when he speaks in riddles. I’m not really in a position to be teaching anybody, but still.”
As Juho listened to Bom quietly, he opened his mouth and said, “Do you think we should be expecting new members anytime soon?”
Bom stopped talking.
“The Literature Club doesn’t have all that much presence. Yes, we’re a bit more known than before because of the exhibition at the library, but we only have one junior in the entire club, so it wouldn’t be odd if we don’t get any incoming freshmen wanting to join the club.”
It was more than possible that they might not be getting any new members.
“I did think about that,” Bom said timidly.
“Still, people have been developing more interest in literature lately, thanks to our very own Mr. Woo. I’m certain we’ll have at least one person wanting to join.”
“What are you guys talking about?” a voice interfered. When Bom and Juho turned around, they saw Seo Kwang and Sun Hwa standing behind them. Juho gave them a brief summary of their conversation.
“We’re talking the incoming freshmen.”
Understanding immediately, Sun Hwa stood next to Bom. Since they were planning on staying in the Literature Club, they actively engaged in the conversation.
“It wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if we don’t get any new members.”
“Still, it’d be kind of demoralizing. It’s a new semester, and we’re sophomores.”
“I asked Baron, and he said not to expect too much from the freshmen as a sophomore.”
“Do you realize that you’re spitting on your own face right now?” Sun Hwa mocked Seo Kwang as she clicked her tongue. The club members had been waiting for the incoming freshmen, each with an expectation of their own.
“Well, we’ll find out whether there’s going to be a new addition to the club or not soon enough.”
“I’m gonna go on ahead.”
“OK! We’ll join you soon!”
As Bom and Juho went their separate ways, Juho walked further into the hallway, his footsteps echoing throughout. Soon, he reached a storage room labeled “Science Preparation Room.” That seemingly hidden room was also the meeting spot for the Literature Club.
“It’s been a while.”
As he opened the sliding door and stepped inside, he saw two desks that had been joined together, exactly how they had left them before the break. If anything, it seemed like there was more junk occupying the room.
As he waited for the rest of the members to arrive, he opened the window. They were at the canteen, buying snacks for the incoming freshmen without actually knowing if there would be any.
“Will they actually come, Mr. Moon?”
No matter how many times the club members asked Mr. Moon, he refused to give them an answer. His reason being: “What fun is there in knowing the answer ahead of time?”
A shout came from the distance. Juho was familiar with the sound as it tended to sound from time to time. It was either coming from the Athletics Club or from a student writhing from their hatred toward the school.
Juho turned around toward the source of the low voice that resonated throughout the room and saw that another person had opened the door to the science room.
“This is where the Literature Club meets, right?” the girl asked in a rigid tone, giving off a tense demeanor.
A breeze that blew into the room blew across Juho’s and the girl’s hair and along her skirt.
“You got something on your skirt.”
“Huh?!” she asked, and her voice went up as if she had been caught off guard.
With that, Juho added, “You got something on your skirt. Is it chalk?”
“Oh. I was on cleaning rotation today…”
“We don’t have tissues, but we do have gauze. Would you like some?”
“Yep. You know, the stuff that you use to rub alcohol or disinfectant onto your skin. Speaking of which, we have alcohol too.”
“…” She stood silent, wearing a dumbfounded look. After gesturing for her to come in, Juho walked over toward a drawer amid the piles of junk and took out a piece of gauze.
“Thank you,” she bowed as an expression of gratitude and began to scrub away at her forehead with the gauze.
“This is the Literature Club, right?”
Juho nodded to affirm her redundant question.
“And I’m guessing you’re here to join the club?”
‘Everyone’s going to be so happy about this,’ Juho thought as he looked around the room to find a seat for the new member.
“Where would be the best spot?”
‘Where should I sit her?’ he contemplated as each member tended to sit at the same place. The desks were exactly the same as when he first saw them in the science room.
“Sit here,” he said, bringing the new member to the seat that faced Baron’s. As Juho took a seat, she sat quietly and willingly. A breeze blew into the ever so silent room.
“So, what made you want to join the Literature Club?” Juho asked in order to break the ice.
“I wanted to chill and be lazy,” she answered without hesitation.
With that, the room sank back into silence, and Juho couldn’t help but think of Baron. The moment he opened his mouth to set her free from her illusion, the door suddenly flung open, and the rest of the sophomores rushed in with snacks along with Baron.
“Freshman!” Seo Kwang exclaimed cheerfully, but the new member was completely oblivious to him. She was distracted by Baron’s appearance. Recognizing her gaze, he opened his mouth quickly to introduce himself, “Baron Kim. Junior.”
“He-hello. I’m Bo Suk Noh.”
“Yes, Bo Suk Noh,” she reiterated in response to Seo Kwang’s murmur.
“We have a gem in the club now!” Bom said with a cheerful smile.
(TL’s Note: “Bo Suk” is the Korean word for gem.)
“That was a good one! You really sound like you’re part of the Literature Club,” Sun Hwa said as she also smiled.
From then on, everyone took turns introducing themselves to the new member. Bo Suk studied the atmosphere quietly. She was starting to realize that the Literature Club was not one of the ‘lazy clubs.’
“Why don’t we all sit and open up the snacks?” Juho said as he looked at Bo Suk intently.
“Yes, let us. Oh, wait! Aren’t we short on seats?”
“We have just enough.”
Then, Sun Hwa nodded as she looked toward the freshman.
“You have guts taking Mr. Moon’s seat, rookie,” Seo Kwang said playfully, and Bo Suk gave Juho an embarrassed look, to which he waved his hand and answered, “You’ll be fine. Most likely.”
As she was about to jump out of her seat, Bom stepped in to calm her down, “Mr. Moon has a chair of his own. The really comfortable one behind the podium.”
It was the chair that he had bought during the school festival. While it was hidden behind the podium, it was well maintained.
“Here, rookie. Have some snacks,” Seo Kwang said as he opened up a bag. Trying not to look awkward, Bo Suk quietly joined them as everyone reached for the snacks that were laid out on the desk.
“Are you here alone?” Seo Kwang asked with a piece of cracker in his mouth.
“You must be the only new member then.”
With the exception of Bo Suk, everyone laughed light-heartedly. Understanding it as Seo Kwang asking her a question, she opened her mouth and said, “I wouldn’t really know, but I do know that I’m the only student in my class who came here.”
“That’s great! Most people want to join a club with their friends,” Bom complimented her.
However, she remained indifferent and said, “It just happened that way. We just didn’t say anything to each other about our decisions.”
“So, which club did your friend end up joining?”
“The Photography Club,” Bo Suk said, adding that they weren’t close enough to ask each other for things. Because they were still in the beginning of the semester, the freshmen were occupied with adjusting to their new environment. Juho could imagine how she had come to join the Literature Club of all places.
“I want to be part of one of the lazy clubs. The Literature Club sounds just like what I am looking for,” Bo Suk said, to which her friend responds, “I want to join the Photography Club.”
That was the end of it. They neither forced each other or made suggestions to one another, and it reflected the distance between the two friends. Unhindered by the difference between her and her friend, Bo Suk walked into the science room alone. While the story itself wasn’t anything impressive, her process of ending up at the Literature Club had been rather candid.
As the club members conversed comfortably with the freshman, Juho sat and quietly munched on some chips, nodding occasionally.
Then, Seo Kwang brought up the subject of books as expected, “Do you have a favorite author or book? What about genre?” he asked, his eyes sparkling with interest.
“No,” Bo Suk said boldly, making Seo Kwang hesitate.
“… You know what? No big deal. Sun Hwa or Baron don’t have a favorite book either. You just gotta start somewhere,” Seo Kwang said, and she nodded quietly.
Then, Sun Hwa decided to take a shot at her, “What about comic books? They’re books too, you know?”
“I do read some.”
“Very good. I’ll teach you everything there is to know about comic books!”
“Gosh! Before you know it, our club’s name is gonna change to the ‘Comic Book Club,'” Seo Kwang muttered. He must have been secretly hoping for a fellow book lover. As he comforted Seo Kwang half-heartedly, Juho looked over to Bo Suk, quietly eating the snacks.
By then, she had to have realized that she was in the wrong kind of club. Yet, she quietly adapted to the reality of it and tried to blend in.
Juho became curious as to what kind of stories she would end up writing.
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