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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 138 – The Trace of a Bird (2)

Chapter 138 – The Trace of a Bird (2)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“I told you back then.”

“Forget your seasonings! If you’re not planning on giving me a stroke, just go watch it!”

“Speak of the devil. I just bought a ticket, so I’ll be watching it very soon, Mr. Ju.”

“… Is that so? You should’ve told me earlier,” Sang Young said as he coughed awkwardly.

“There wasn’t any time to tell you,” Juho said as Sang Young cooled down.

Pretending not to hear Juho, Sang Young added, “Good to hear that you bought a ticket already. Give me a call after you watch it. I’d like to hear you say, ‘I was so touched. You’re the best director in this country. There will never be another movie like it in my entire life.’ OK? With tears and all,” he said confidently.

“You sound confident.”

“It came naturally as I heard the reviews from all around.”

“That makes sense. All of my friends loved it, as well as other authors I keep in touch with.”

“… Is that so?” Sang Young said as he coughed yet again. It sounded rather pleasant. “For the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed the filming process. It’s weird considering how much risk I took on for this movie.”

“That’s good to hear. The movie seems to be doing great too. It made the-most-pre-ordered-movie list.”

“I’d be lying if I denied that I’m on cloud nine. I’m seeing numbers that I’ll never be able to see again in my directing career. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel like there’s a loose end somewhere. I don’t want to be known as a person who talks the talk without walking the walk.”

“I already bought a ticket, I told you.”

“Right. Well, don’t even bother with the popcorn. It’ll only distract you. And make sure not to drink too much water so you don’t have to make trips to the bathroom!” he emphasized repeatedly. “Be safe now. Even if you were to die today, death could wait until after the movie.”

“You’re the best.”

Juho went to the theater. Although he got lost briefly on his way, he managed to arrive in time for the movie. Resisting the potent popcorn smell in the air tempting him, he made his way into the theater empty-handed.

Third row from the top toward the middle. The seat he had reserved was left unoccupied. Despite the late night showing on a weekday, there were still people in the theater. Couples, friends, or people alone. The screen shone brightly, revealing the relationships between the members of the audience. Although it was deep into the night, there were people of all ages and genders who had come to watch the movie.

The advertisements started playing on the screen, showing the faces of popular boy/girl bands or actors and actresses in the most recent TV dramas. They were dieting, drinking a beverage, or being physically affectionate toward each other. The time flew by, and Juho heard the conversations around him.

As he stared blankly at the screen, the lights turned off, and the theater was engulfed in darkness. His surroundings disappeared, leaving only the screen present. Feeling somewhat constrained, Juho rubbed his hands together, and after the announcement explaining the fire exit locations, the screen transitioned. With that, the movie began to play.

A majestic music filled the theater.


Juho let out by reflex as Yun appeared on screen. The music blended with the scene where he was running in the dark. There were sounds and sound effects that were not directly portrayed in the book. The view changed from Yun’s eyes, to his hair dripping with sweat, to his feet as they moved busily back and forth.

Juho felt the letters and words he had written rising up to the surface of his mind. ‘Yun ran as the drops of sweat trickled down from his forehead into his mouth. They were salty and unpleasant,” the narration dictated, and the actor’s voice echoed in the theater.

“It was dangerous to run in the dark.”

…because the runner wouldn’t be able to see ahead. There was nothing in Yun’s way as he ran, not even a street light. However, he swiftly ran through that street. What appeared to be a superpower was actually his experience. He knew exactly where to expect the insects chirping and where he needed to watch his steps.

“I was finally able to run.”

He ran as he listened to the insects chirping, jumping over humps with ease. It was dark out, and the screen was filled with it, leaving only his eyes visible. It was the same darkness Juho had had in mind when he had written the book, and he felt excitement welling up from within.

Yun made his way back to his resting place before sunrise. Then, after closing the curtains, he laid himself on the blanket and went to sleep alone. That’s when everything around him started to come alive. The movie seemed to have shortened a scene that spanned about twenty pages in the book.

He fell asleep and dreamed. It was a scene that indicated that his very resting place was the place where he lived in perpetual darkness, putting him in a state of near-death.

While there were certainly parts that were removed and changed from the original, the movie was quite good, and it immersed the author. Despite the darkness, there were distinct colors. Juho immediately understood what Bom had told him.

The movie portrayed darkness in various, carefully considered shades. Some scenes were slightly brighter, whereas others were slightly darker. At the same time, there were also scenes that were quite dark, sometimes pitch black. The intensity of it changed according to what was taking place in the scene.

Darkness wasn’t the only thing that stood out. The light that shone through the curtains accentuated the overall color scheme, and the feathers fluttered about the room beautifully. It was visually striking, and the fact that it was a movie made by Sang Young’s coarse hands stirred up Juho’s interest.

“Yun,” a pleasant, yet familiar voice said. It was the brother.


“How’ve you been?”

“Why are you here?”

The brothers continued in their crossed conversation, with visible fear on Yun’s face and a suspicious smile on the brother’s. Because of Juho’s recollection of the actor’s dull appearance, it was hard for him to imagine how the actor would portray the character.

“Are you afraid?” the brother asked…

“Yeah.” … and Yun answered.

He was exposing his weakness to his brother and sank powerlessly, without resisting or running away. The camera showed his eyes shaking anxiously. In them, was a deep sadness.

The movie worked up to its climax as the brother snapped the wings of the bird. The scene was filled with painful breathing and feathers fluttering about. He was calm. Without clenching his teeth or his veins bulging from anger, he quietly killed the bird.

Then, he chucked its carcass at Yun. It was fear, and the space became filled with it. The screen showed Yun’s eyes, filled with sadness.

Suddenly, he felt anger welling up from within that gave him the urge to shout.

At the sight, Juho also came to a sudden realization.

‘So, this must have been what it was like for all you readers. Angry, emotional,” he thought as he felt a tingling sensation in his hands.

The screen showed that it was night time. With the dead bird in his hand, Yun went out to look for the woman, thinking that she would be able to bury his deep-seated fear along with the carcass.

The music played as Yun ran, but he wasn’t on his usual trail. Suddenly, he stumbled on something unexpectedly and staggered, struggling to get back up. Holding his fear in his arms, he pushes on, his tears making him all the more pathetic and undesirable.

Juho clenched his hands into fists as the darkness grew more intense, leaving only Yun’s eyes visible. Yun stared intently on with his watery eyes at a shape made of light.

With a shovel in her hand, the woman buried the bird for him willingly. The darkness lingered, and the movie approached its end as the screen became gradually brighter.

“It’s OK now,” Yun said as he stood alone in front of a tomb. There were countless carcasses of animals buried under his feet. The darkness started to fade, and the sun rose to brighten the world.

Juho frowned at the white light that shone brightly in the screen. There was a wind, and countless birds flew up to the sky. With that, the credit music played, and a quiet sobbing became audible.

“Please exit this way!”

Following the voice, the lights came on and illuminated the theater. The velvety covers on the chairs became visible. The door opened, and people rose from their seats simultaneously, heading down the stairs. It was a bit noisy. They were excited as the made their way out of the theater with leftover popcorn in their hands.

Juho sat in the theater quietly until the credit finished rolling, and the music stopped. He felt the emotions linger within. It was just what he had been looking for.

If what he was experiencing was equivalent to the effect that his book had on its readers, then…

“I guess I’m not doing too badly…!”

… Juho would be content.

On his way out, Juho immediately called Sang Young as he had promised previously.

“Did you watch it?” Sang Young asked abruptly.


“How was it?”

After a brief time thinking, Juho gave his honest opinion, “I was pissed.”

“… Huh?” Sang Young asked in a flustered voice, and Juho added with a smile, “I was pissed or relieved where I should be. I felt something welling up from within at the end, but I soon felt proud.”

Sang Young remained silent at Juho’s calm and seemingly humble opinion.

“I see.”

Just like that, Juho hung up and walked about the unfamiliar street.

“‘Trace of a Bird,’ most pre-ordered movie. Box Office Number One'”

“‘Trace of a Bird’ reaches 70,000 viewers. Will it reach the 100,000 mark?'”

“The Box-Office Hit! Number One! Critically acclaimed! Sang Young Ju’s approach to the original.”

“The sensational stage greetings of ‘Trace of a Bird’ actors. Mentions of Yun Woo?”

“The author of the original, Yun Woo, responds to the movie. His advice?”

“The movie was sooo good.”

“The actor who played Yun’s brother was amazing. I got chills when he killed the bird.”

“Sang Young Ju might not be the most famous director, but he was always recognized for his visual presentation.”

“I second that. I didn’t know there were so many shades to darkness. I can really tell that they paid close attention to the props. I was touched when the birds flew away at the end.”

“What’s with the article titles? It says nothing about Yun Woo.”

“Actors and actress, please tell us more about Yun Woo. We’re dying here!”

“They don’t know either, apparently.”

“Actually, the director and Myung Joo Mu met with Yun Woo in person. There’s a rumor saying that the writer rewrote the brother’s character entirely.”

“They had to rewrite a character? How bad of a job did they do?”

“The director ‘prefers to keep it to himself.'”

“I’m glad that it’s not reflecting badly on the original. I was anxious throughout the entire movie.”

“It still feels like it falls short of the original. It’s a bummer that it didn’t have the same philosophical depth.”

“I don’t think it’s something that can be helped. Personally, I loved the movie.”

“I watched the movie without reading the book, and I loved it! On my way to the bookstore now!”

“‘Trace of a Bird’ is the current number one best seller. The movie’s proving to be a major boost.”

“‘Sound of Wailing’ following as a close second. Yun Woo gets all the money even if there hadn’t been a movie.”

“Nope. ‘Language of God’ is the second. I just saw it.”

“‘Language of God’ is second.”

“Love that book.”

“It’s a battle between Yun Woo and Won Yi! Pure literature vs. genre novel.”

“Yun Woo wins. No competition.”

“Just came across something strange. Here’s the link:”

As he saw the last comment, Juho stopped tapping on his phone. ‘Something strange, huh…’

Juho clicked the link that took him to a long post that was obviously written by a Yun Woo fan. In summary, it stated…

“‘Language of God’ is a third-class novel at best. ‘Sound of Wailing’ got pushed down to third because of that no-name author, Won Yi Young. Genre novels are cheap and tasteless.”

At the prolonged criticism toward genre novels, Juho couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Well, Yun Woo wrote that third-class novel, buddy.”

According to the writer’s logic, Yun Woo would also be considered a third-class author.

“I’m sure he didn’t know that when he wrote that post.”

The comment section was filled with people agreeing and disagreeing. It was a competition between Yun Woo and Won Yi Young, each hurtling insults at the other author.

“Interesting,” Juho said as he read through each of them.

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