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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
‘The world sure is full of interesting people,’ Juho thought light-heartedly as he turned off the computer, picking up the sheets of manuscript paper scattered about the room and tossing them on to the desk. With that, he lay on his bed and went to sleep.
Another day came, and Juho wrote as usual. The world was quiet and peaceful, and he got ready for school as soon as he woke up. He wrote at school as well, just like he had been at home, then he went to sleep. Time passed, and yet another day came.
“What in the world is happening?!”
Upon checking his phone, Juho was taken aback by the number of missed calls. He took a closer look and found out that Jang Mi had made most of the calls, followed by Seo Kwang. There were also missed calls from the other club members, authors, and Nam Kyung. Yawning, Juho called Jang Mi.
“Mr. Young!” she answered the phone immediately. She sounded anxious on one hand and happy that she was hearing back from him on the other. “I couldn’t get a hold of you, so I was starting to get worried.”
“I just woke up. I wrote late into the night, so I went to bed quite late.”
“I see. Then, I suppose you haven’t heard the news yet.”
‘What news?’ Juho wondered as Jang Mi said hesitantly.
“So… This may sound somewhat absurd.”
“You’re involved in a dispute.”
Looking down at his pajamas, Juho asked again, “A dispute?”
“Yes. Between Yun Woo and Won Yi Young. The internet is a mess right now, and it’s getting worse. We’ve been getting calls from other publishing companies too.”
Juho remembered the post that he came across a few days back.
‘It can’t be that bad. They’d just hurl insults at each other at worst.’
Feeling perplexed, Juho asked, “How bad is it?”
“There’s a feeling going around that you plagiarized Yun Woo.”
“Plagiarized? But I didn’t plagiarize anybody.”
At his complacent attitude, Jang Mi answered in a serious tone, “Now’s not the time for jokes, Mr. Young. Your reputation is getting hurt, and Yun Woo has the upperhand in the matter because he debuted ahead of you.”
Unfortunately, the time of Yun Woo’s debut wasn’t his only advantage.
Juho calmly organized his thoughts. A Yun Woo fan had criticized Won Yi Young as a third-class author, and not only had it offended Won Yi Young fans, but also other fans of genre novels. It wasn’t long until even non-Yun Woo fans joined in on the dispute that treated fantasy novels as subpar.
The dispute intensified quickly, and it soon evolved from rivalry to comparing the literary value between the two books. To make matters worse, the dispute took an unexpected turn toward plagiarism after someone who was referring to HongSam’s blog pointed out that the two authors were dangerously similar in style. Already emotionally charged, the two parties got into a fierce mud fight.
‘I see… that’s why Seo Kwang was trying to get a hold of me so desperately,’ Juho thought.
“Are you there, Mr. Young?
“Things are blowing out of proportion, and the media is exploding. You’re both the most and the second most searched person on the internet. Yun Woo, Won Yi Young. Aren’t you being a little greedy? It would have been more than enough to stop once you reached bestseller status.”
With that, Juho pulled up a browser and scanned through the news articles about Yun Woo, Won Yi Young, and the plagiarism controversy between them. From an outside perspective, it was quite serious.
“… What do we do?” Jang Mi asked helplessly, and Juho heard the phones ringing restlessly in the background. The calls had to be about Won Yi Young.
Feeling hungry, Juho rubbed his belly, and said, “I’ll come clean.”
“That Yun Woo and Won Yi Young are the same person.”
“… I’m sorry, what was that?”
His hunger intensified.
“This is nice,” Jang Mi said, sipping her tea while sitting next to her boss, Dong Baek. The nutty fragrance of Job’s Tears tickled her nose. Because of the reporters crowding the entrance to the company, the two had no choice but to meet Juho elsewhere: the botanical garden. Although they were hesitant to open the door to the hidden room, they came to realize that it was a rather nice meeting spot.
Before making his way to the garden, Juho had a lengthy conversation on the phone
with Seo Kwang to calm him down. Then, having arrived at the garden, he took a cookie from a stack that Jang Mi and Dong Baek had brought and put it in his mouth. It was from a bakery.
“It’s nice to be quiet for once, away from all those phones,” Dong Baek said, exhausted. The staff at the publishing company was up to their knees with phone calls alone. From reporters, to readers and broadcast producers, questions regarding Won Yi Young were flooding the office. Of course, Dong Baek’s company was yet to make any official announcement, and Zelkova Publishing Company was the same way.
“They’re really letting me have it, aren’t they?” Juho asked.
Whether it was Yun Woo or Won Yi Young. Dong Baek couldn’t deny Juho’s question. Yun Woo and Won Yi Young. Pure literature and genre novels. Appealing to the masses and artistic value. Everything was in a jumble, and the purpose was no longer clear. It was a mud fight.
“Yun Woo fans feel that Won Yi Young is damaging their favorite author’s reputation and his unique work. By contrast, Won Yi Young fans are claiming that their author’s book is not something that can result from plagiarizing. That was when the two conflicting parties started talking down the work of the author they’re each standing against, and that led to them exchanging insults with each other and their authors. It’s all stale and pointless.”
Jang Mi gave a summary of the current situation while cautiously studying Juho’s expression. She was concerned about how he would feel as the person at the center of it.
“Interesting,” Juho said, chuckling. The situation was rather interesting to him. The two books written by the same person were at odds with each other. He was both advocated for and criticized.
“Well, on the brighter side, things are not looking entirely bad. Thanks to the war between the fans, the rate at which the book is selling is increasing exponentially. Controversy can be an incredibly effective tool when it comes to raising numbers.”
“I always thought that my books would sell with or without controversy.”
“That goes without saying. I just wanted to show you that there is a positive side to all this.”
“I did expect a bomb, but I didn’t think that would be this big,” Dong Baek said as he scratched his head.
‘Language of God’ was ranked second in the bestsellers’ list. It was the achievement of a rookie who had nothing to show for, and Dong Baek had been more than content with the result. However, things had taken an unexpected turn, and he found himself the center of attention of the entire country.
“The fuse must’ve been burning too hot, and the spark must’ve lit another fuse near it. Perhaps we started off a little too strong,” he said.
Yun Woo simply had too much presence, and his clean and mysterious reputation had been caught in a controversy with a new sensational rookie, Won Yi Young, who was suspected of plagiarizing him. Once the hidden truth came out, another bomb would go off. It would be a chain reaction.
“I still think it’s best to come clean,” Juho said, and Dong Baek nodded.
“I’ve already made plans with a reporter.”
He was referring to Myung Sil Oh. At the sound of the familiar name, Juho tilted his head.
‘I know that name,” Juho thought, and suddenly, Seo Kwang’s face crossed his mind.
“Ah! I read her articles. She had a lot of good things to say about Won Yi Young.”
“Yes. She’s very experienced and skilled. Very trustworthy.”
Emphasizing that Juho didn’t need to worry, Dong Baek asked one of the questions that he had been wanting to ask Yun Woo himself, “Frankly, I’ve been curious. Why did you, Yun Woo, submit your manuscript under the name Won Yi Young?”
Once the reportes and those who could read the articles found out, they would ask the same question.
Juho remained silent for some time because there had been multiple reasons for that decision. He didn’t want his writing to be masked by Yun Woo’s shadow, and he had wanted to experience something that he had never done. He had wanted proof. He had wanted freedom.
“It wouldn’t be fun.”
Juho chuckled and said, “It’s boring to write under one name.”
“… Is that it?”
“No, there are a few more reason. One of them has to do with a crow.”
While Dong Baek gave up, Jang Mi’s eyes sparkled with interest. Although ambiguous, it was a rather Yun Woo-like answer.
“I’ll be counting on you.”
With Juho’s request, the two rose from their seats and made their way out. However, Juho sat back down and checked the time. It was time to meet with his editor, Nam Kyung.
As he waited patiently, he opened a book he had brought.
A tired looking silhouette walked in through the door and over to the vending machine. Buying himself a cup of tea, he sat on the same spot where Jang Mi had been sitting. The nutty fragrance was quite pleasant. Without even asking for the source, Nam Kyung reached for one of the cookies on the table.
“This is good! Where’s it from?”
Nam Kyung paid no particular attention to his answer.
“I enjoyed the movie,” he said in reference to ‘Trace of a Bird.’
Juho, too, picked up a cookie and said, “How does it feel seeing the book you’re in charge of being made into a movie?”
“How do YOU feel as the author? I heard you were against it for quite some time.”
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Juho said, chuckling.
Juho put the cookie in his mouth. It tasted exactly the same as the last.
“I felt proud for some reason. The movie’s doing really well too, isn’t it?”
“So I heard.”
“I’m telling you, Yun Woo’s always at the center of attention.”
The name “Yun Woo” was being mentioned frequently throughout, and because of that, it received more than enough attention and made marketing almost unnecessary. On top of that, there was yet another bomb in Yun Woo’s hand.
“So, you decided to come clean?” Nam Kyung asked, and Juho nodded quietly.
“I see, I see…” Nam Kyung said, wearing a serious look.
‘Yun Woo is Won Yi Young.’ Once the bomb drops, there was no denying that it would affect Yun Woo’s preexisting works.
“Won Yi Young or Yun Woo, you are an incredible writer.”
“That’s a compliment I’ve yet to hear.”
“Well, you’ll be hearing it a lot. People are attacking each other because they feel that they’re rivals, but once the truth gets out… Haha! Man, this is the first time something like this has ever happened in my editing career.”
“It keeps you on your toes, doesn’t it?”
“I feel like I’m getting older every day,” Nam Kyung said as he rubbed his tired eyes. His office was exploding with phone calls from those who wanted to know where Yun Woo stood in the matter, and the website had crashed long ago. Because the company was the only means to hear about Yun Woo, it was inevitable.
Nam Kyung looked at Juho, who was both Yun Woo and Won Yi Young, and smiled Once the truth was revealed, things would only intensify. Despite the business, things were not entirely tiresome.
“We’re reprinting both ‘Trace of a Bird’ and ‘Sound of Wailing.’ The more the book gets printed, the less misprints. That makes me happy.”
“Were there a lot of typos?”
“Yep. Still, compared to the first copy, it’s a thing of beauty.”
Like every editor who loved reprints, Nam Kyung felt revitalized as he was reminded of it happening to his books and sipped on his tea. It was delicious, and from then on, he became an avid advocate for Job’s Tears tea.
Then, he brought up something he remembered all of a sudden, “By the way, is it really true? What you told me over the phone?”
Juho caught on immediately. He was talking about of when Nam Kyung had called him after reading ‘Language of God.’
He had asked, “Did you make all this? The charts and all?”
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