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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
After fiddling with the phone in his hand for a while, Coin punched the screen on his phone. It was obvious that he was angry, and Juho was made all the more certain that he was Kelley Coin himself.
“C’mon, you piece of crap! Show me where to go!”
No matter how angry the owner got, the phone didn’t succumb to his relentless threats. It must have taken after its owner’s stubborn personality. Then, Coin let out a heavy sigh as he took a pair of sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and took his hat off, ruffling his hair annoyedly. As he looked around, Juho stared at him intently.
Eventually, he realized that their eyes were locked. The sunglasses were looking in his direction. Despite knowing that there was no chance that Coin would recognize him, Juho couldn’t help but flinch internally.
“Hey, kid,” Coin called for him. Growing impatient with Juho’s silence, he walked in his direction to approach him. Upon closer inspection, Juho realized that Coin was looking at his hand rather than himself.
“Where’d you get that coffee?” he asked in English accompanied by awkward body language. He seemed to assume that they wouldn’t be able to communicate. Juho stared intently at his intimidating face.
“Damn it. Of course you wouldn’t understand. Hey, kid, that thing in your hand! Coffee! Do you know what coffee is?” Coin asked impatiently as he pointed at the cup in Juho’s hand with his coarse finger.
As Juho took many turns to look at his own hand and then at Coin’s face, the foreigner responded with excitement, “Yes! That! Where’d you get it? Where’s ‘Harpy?’ Can you take me to that creature? I might die any minute if I don’t get my caffeine fix,” he said, and then murmured, “Damn it…”
“How fascinating,” Juho said.
“What did you say?” Coin asked, squinting his eyes.
“Seeing how you’re looking desperately for coffee, you really must be that person.”
“What the hell are you blabbering about? You know ‘Harpy?’ Harpy! That damn coffee you have in your hand! Wait, maybe they pronounce it ‘Har-pwee-ah?'” Coin said as he emphasized the pronunciation of the word repeatedly. To which, Juho chuckled and responded in English, “I call it ‘Harpy’ too.”
“Oh, my God! You speak English!”
It was hard to distinguish whether he was ecstatic or angry. Then, he added in a hurry, “Can you take me there, right now? I’ll give you anything you want.”
“That won’t be necessary. Follow me,” Juho said as he slowly rose from the bench and then led him to the coffee shop.
He was walking with the infamous Kelley Coin, the eccentric brat, and problem child. Just as Juho hadn’t been aware that he was in Korea, most people in the country had to be just as unaware of his visit.
“Are you here on vacation?” Juho asked.
“No, I’m here to meet someone. Can we pick up our pace?”
“It’s not far from here. Once we cross that light over there, it’ll take us less than five minutes to get there,” Juho said as he picked up the pace, and asked, “Who are you meeting?”
Scoffing at his question, Coin changed the subject, asking, “Do you read any books?”
“How much? One book a month?”
“More than that. Enough to know your name, maybe?”
As they reached the traffic light, Coin lowered his sunglasses and looked at Juho, exclaiming…
…as if impressed.
“What’s your name, kid?”
After a contemplating for a brief time, he opened his mouth slowly and said, “Juho Woo, but feel free to call me however you wish.”
While Coin gave him an affirming answer, he didn’t seem to have caught Juho’s name. At a glance, Coin was a man with a figure enough stature to knock out those who criticized his books with ease.
As the light changed, the two resumed their way to the coffee shop. Much like his impatient personality, Coin walked hastily without even knowing the direction.
Juho led him past the large shopping mall and toward the bookstore that he had just been in.
“Do you see the sign there?” Juho asked, and Coin sprang toward the Harpy sign in the distance. The people around glanced at the jarring sight of the foreigner running at full speed.
By the time Juho arrived at the coffee shop, Coin was already on his way out with a cup in his hand that smelled potently of coffee.
“Not yet,” Coin said as he opened the lid of his cup and poured the steaming hot liquid into his mouth. At the astonishing sight, Juho couldn’t help but ask, “Isn’t that hot?”
“Of course, it’s hot!” Coin answered impatiently, then walked toward the cashier again and said, “I’ll take another one. Make it super-sized,” he said in English.
“Yes, sir… Wait, pardon?”
As the flustered employee studied the menu in a hurry, Juho chimed in and interpreted on Coin’s behalf.
“He would like one more of the same thing, but super-sized.”
With that, the employee gave them the price, and as Juho interpreted for Coin, the foreigner took a crumpled up ten dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to the employee.
“Would you like a receipt?”
After answering a few more questions, the employee walked toward the bar and started making the coffee. As Juho turned toward him, Coin said, “How convenient.”
Juho chuckled quietly and asked, “Why didn’t you come with an interpreter?”
“Most of them are too slow, so I just came on my own. It’s a way to warn those slowpokes that I’m a man of limited patience.”
‘I don’t get it. Your name alone would’ve done the job. I don’t know what he means by slow, but OK, whatever makes him happy,’ Juho thought as he nodded light-heartedly. Soon, the coffee came out. Though Coin drank it hastily, he didn’t chug it like he had done previously.
By the time Juho tossed his empty cup into the trash can, Coin was already out of the shop, and just like how he had been doing so far, Juho followed him without making haste. Standing in the front of the shop, Coin was looking toward the other side of the street.
“That’s the bookstore.”
“I know. I see it,” Coin said and made his way toward the store. As he contemplated for a little while, Juho decided to follow him. There was no way to tell if or when they’d meet again, and if Juho had really found him to be a hassle, he would have driven him away long ago.
Lake, cafe and now the bookstore. Thanks to Coin, he was retracing his route thoroughly.
As Juho walked into the bookstore, he was greeted by its distinct smell, and he took a deep breath by habit. When he glanced at Coin, he was taking an even deeper breath.
“This store’s pretty spacious. I guess it’s not that bad to be surrounded by language that I don’t know from time to time,” he said with a satisfied smile. A foreign language. Gaining something also meant losing something, and having reached a point where he understood the language he was hearing with minimal interaction, Juho found himself in a place where he could no longer savor the mystery of a foreign language.
“Is that why you wanted to come here?”
“I told you. I’m here to meet with someone.”
With that, Coin walked further into the bookstore. Although there was no way to know who he was meeting with, Juho noticed that the expression on Coin’s face grew all the more intimidating at the mention of the person he was meeting.
‘I better keep quiet,’ Juho thought to himself.
As Coin strode about the bookstore, he picked up the book that he was standing closest to.
“Hey, kid. What’s this saying?”
‘Man, of all books!’ Juho thought as he saw the book he was asking about.
“‘Language of God.’ It’s the first volume of the novel written by an author by the name of Won Yi Young.”
“More like Yun Woo.”
As the translated versions of ‘Language of God’ were published, the news of Won Yi Young being Yun Woo’s other alias spread along with the book. Juho saw the displeasure on Coin’s face as he mentioned Yun Woo’s name. Coin wasn’t afraid to show his feelings.
“Do you not like him?”
“No, I don’t.”
‘I see. I wasn’t expecting to be hated by Kelley Coin,’ Juho thought to himself as he resolved never to reveal his identity to Coin. It might be a confession that cost him his nose. Instead, Juho decided to take a slightly different approach.
“How can you dislike someone without having even met them?”
“I can’t stand unicorns even if I’ve never ran into one.”
It was a rather emphatic answer. To Coin, there was no difference between Yun Woo and an imaginary creature like a unicorn, and that doubt was apparent in the way that he talked about the young author. With that, he looked around the store and pointed at the promotional banner, asking, “What’s it saying?”
“It’s a description of Yun Woo.”
Fighting the urge to sigh heavily, Juho read what was written on the banner.
“Number one daily best-selling author, Yun Woo. Youngest winner of the Dong Kyung Literary Award. The shocking truth gets uncovered. Yun Woo vs. Won Yi Young. The work of a trend-setting genius. Exported to twenty countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Japan, reaching best-seller status in thirteen countries. Young Won Yi, Yun Woo.”
(TL’s Note: Won Yi Young would be Young Won Yi in Korea, which sounds like the word, “forever.”)
“Enough,” Coin said as he raised his hand, glaring murderously at the banner written in a language that he couldn’t read. “I’ve been at the top for quite a while.”
“I won awards until I grew sick of them. You know who I am, don’t you?”
Juho was well acquainted with him and his achievements, as his profile contained his yearly record of awards. He had swept every single award in the literary world.
As Juho remained silent, Coin picked up a book beside him.
“How about this one?”
Unfortunately, it was the very book that was written by the author that he dreaded: Yun Woo. A bird on a white background.
“‘Trace of a Bird.’ That’s Yun Woo’s debut title.”
“Damn it. Is there nothing but Yun Woo’s books in this damn store!?”
“This it the best-seller section. His books are the current best sellers, including Won Yi Young’s.”
“Good for him. Where are my books?” he asked, looking even more displeased than before, and Juho led him further into the bookstore, where ‘Kelley Coin’ was on display.
“Here they are.”
A satisfied smile spread across his face as he saw his books being sold in a distant, foreign country.
“It’s quite different from where you’re from, huh?”
“The cover design is very clean cut, and the letters are rounder too. It’s not terrible.”
Then, he opened the book, and Juho translated what he was reading in real time. The name “Susan” stood out, and Coin knew immediately which book he was reading by the time his eyes reached the third sentence.
“‘The Pearl Earrings?'”
As he learned the title of the book in his hands, Coin examined the book cover once again. It was a widely-known fact that one of the characters in the book had the same name as his mother. The mother figures in his books tended to be the most powerful and influential among all of the characters. ‘The Pearl Earrings’ was recognized as a masterpiece, and it was the essence of Coin’s style.
“But why is this the only book there is? I thought my books were popular in Korea.”
“Ah! This is a ‘collection.'”
Coin was known for his reputation as a prolific writer, and Juho remembered his books taking up three entire rows on a display rack.
“I did hear about it from my agent once. So this is it, huh,” he said indifferently, despite it being his own work.
With that, Juho took him to the shelf that was organized by the names of the authors. There were rows and rows of books written by Coin. Aside from the books that were being sold in the bookstores, Coin had published countless others, including forty full-length novels, a hundred and eighty short stories, and a number of unpublished works in his study that were beyond count. He was truly obsessed with writing.
As Juho translated the titles one by one, Coin looked at his books with a satisfied smile.
“Which of my books did you like the most? I’m sure you’ve read enough to know.”
Juho answered without hesitation. He was especially fond of Coin’s debut title.
At Juho’s unexpected answer, Coin slowly took his sunglasses off, and Juho covered his nose by reflex as he saw the look on Coin’s face.
“… ‘Witch Hunt,’ huh,” he said in a surprisingly calm voice.
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