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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Utopia is a tourist attraction, so everyone there walks about peacefully, enjoying the scenery. Unfortunately, those folks can’t stay in their bubbles forever. It would cost them money for them to settle in Utopia, and whenever I steal that money from them, the look on their faces alone makes my job worthwhile. They can’t do a damn thing about it even when I take it from them in plain sight, and they don’t even dare fight back, standing there, looking like idiots.”
“Seems like you get a kick out of seeing the look on those people’s faces.”
“You’re damn right,” Bill said with a mischievous yellow smile.
“You don’t think they aren’t resisting because they’re are afraid of you, do you?”
“They’re letting you keep their stuff, because they have homes to return to.”
“Money. Those people have something much more valuable than money. For example, they have their lives. What good is happiness or comfort if you’re dead? They can always go on another trip. Those people have fought through countless battles throughout their lives, so they have wisdom.”
Bill gave him no answer, but he wasn’t angry, so Juho observed him quietly.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard something like that,” he said weakly, and his voice echoed in the streets. “I got my money stolen once myself, and this whole time, I blamed myself for being an idiot. Why didn’t anyone tell me this yet?”
Although Juho wanted to encourage him, he decided to change the subject instead.
“If you’re looking to complain, Coin’s the person you’re looking for.”
Instead of giving him an answer, Juho looked for the baby mouse. It was yet to return home, still lingering around the pile of trash.
“So, why did you break up with her?”
He got to the main point. Bill was still in love with Susan, but why would he want to break up with her? Pondering for a little while, Bill answered, “Susan, too, had something that was more valuable than me. For example, her life.”
Then, he searched through his pockets once again, only to be reminded that he was empty-handed.
“I was sick and tired of getting abandoned and deprived. I hated that I had to live my in fear of those things, so I brought it up to her first, and she saw right through my weaknesses, then left without hesitation. That’s when I realized that I wanted her to stay by my side out of my own selfishness.”
“How did she leave you?”
“She was sad, and then she left.”
“Sounds like she’s not as foolish as you.”
Susan was inherently different from Bil, and she was someone Bill could only dream of becoming. Strong and wise, she had mourned the fact that she had been abandoned by someone dear to her, but at the same time, she didn’t wallow in her sadness.
“Susan is wise.”
“And thieves are dumb.”
Bill had given Susan up, and he dreamed of becoming like her. His love for her was similar to admiration, a dream or objective. That was the kind of person Susan was to Bill.
He had said that the only thing he could steal was money because it was the only thing that he could grab with his hands. In that case, who was it that took Bill’s love and dreams away? Utopia. The rich. The slums. It had to be something much greater, much more than an individual could handle.
“Tell me more about Susan.”
Unlike previously, he listed everything he knew about Susan, who was no longer with him. He still had vivid memories of her, and Juho wanted to tell him that it was not too late, that she hadn’t fully detached from him. He wanted him to know that there were still remnants of her within him.
“I see,” Juho answered.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t interfere in anyway. Juho was in a world created by Coin, and he had no choice but to listen to Bill quietly.
“Well, I better get going.”
“You’re gonna keep your promise, right?”
“Of course. What is it that you want?”
After contemplating for a little while, he asked, “Do you think I’ll be able to see her before I die?”
He searched through his pockets yet again, and of course, there was nothing.
“Yes,” Juho gave him an affirmative answer.
Then, Juho opened his eyes and saw Coin’s original manuscript in the monitor screen. It read: ‘I’m leaving you.’
From that statement, Juho was able to understand Bill’s position a lot better.
Bill was a thief who was also deprived of something. Just like all people, he lived by giving up one thing while obsessing over the other, and he couldn’t bare to accept such sad but obvious truth. In fact, he was hurt by it, and there was no one to comfort him. He never learned how to control his sadness, and he wandered about the alleyways like a lost baby mouse.
Along with a faint alcoholic odor, he gave off a foul smell and searched through his pockets habitually. Juho remembered what Bill had wanted: to see Susan once again.
“Coin loved Bill,” Juho murmured and moved his hands busily on the keyboard. He knew for certain that Coin loved Bill, and that was the reason why the author gave Bill what he wanted, shaping his last moments so that he could see Susan one more time. Pretentious and ambitious, Bill was also timid and foolish.
Juho looked at the manuscript, and saw the title, ‘Belongings.’ Happiness, money and love. Whose were they? Being careful not to leave any trace of his creativity, Juho translated as close to the original as possible.
“So tired,” Juho muttered groggily as he buried his head on his desk, and Bom asked as she looked behind her, “Are you sleeping?”
“So you’re about to.”
Juho didn’t bother denying her. He had translated well into the night, and as he was yet to be familiar with the process. Translating was proving to be much more exhausting than he anticipated. Juho felt almost as if he was being robbed by Bill, and the longer he interacted with the thief, the more he became conscious of his own deficiencies. Coin was an incredible author, and as Juho got further with the translation, he felt that all of Coin’s choices were indisputable. At the same time, he found himself wondering what he would have done if he were in Coin’s shoes, asking, ‘How would I have treated Bill?’
No matter what he wrote, it would look entirely different from Coin. As the author, Coin was the only person who was capable of writing the book Juho was translating, and at the end, Bill had only been visible to Coin. He felt his eyelids getting heavy. His head had been filled with thoughts of Bill and Coin lately, and it had been the first time in a long time that he had filled his mind with thoughts of another author’s work.
“Well, that’s a sight I hadn’t seen in a while,” Seo Kwang said as he poked at Juho. Even though Bom tried to stop him, Seo Kwang didn’t listen.
A hoarse voice sounded from the desk, and Seo Kwang asked, “What were you writing last night?”
He asked that in a rather friendly manner, unlike his fingers.
“I didn’t write anything,” Juho said as he waved his hands.
“You’re lying. I know what kind of person you are now.”
It wasn’t clear as to whom Seo Kwang was trying to impersonate, but it was less than impressive.
“C’mon. Tell me. Please. I’m an eternal fan ever since I ran into you that day by coincidence.”
(TL’s Note: This is Seo Kwang’s subtle wordplay using Juho’s two aliases.)
As Seo Kwang called his name desperately, Juho looked up and said, “I’m serious. I’m not writing anything.”
“Then, what were you doing last night?”
“I was thinking about someone,” Juho said tiredly, clasping his head.
Then, Bom covered her mouth with her hands, exclaiming, “No way!”
“Who is it!? Spill it! Is it someone I know?”
“You might, yeah.”
At Juho’s answer, both Seo Kwang and Bom grew all the more excited.
“What’s their name?” Bom asked.
“… A foreigner?” Bom asked in a shaky voice, and Juho gave her an affirmative answer. Bill was a foreigner.
“Kelley Coin? As in Bill from his book, ‘Belongings?'”
“Yep. That Bill.”
Then, Seo Kwang’s face distorted from utter disappointment, and Bom let out a quiet sigh as Seo Kwang explained things to her.
“You really know how to get people’s hopes up. You’ve been into Kelley Coin’s books, huh? I heard that he was in Korea not too long ago!”
“Yep. I met him.”
Then, the two jumped with excitement.
“We met,” Juho reiterated, and the two jumped from their seats, making Juho look up, similar to the time he had conversed with Bill.
‘Bill must have been looking up at me like this.’
As he stared dazedly at the two, they grabbed Juho by his arms all of a sudden.
“What’s this about?”
Without getting an answer, they dragged him out of the class and walked through the hallway toward the room that hardly anyone paid attention to aside from the Literature Club members. Then, closing the door, Seo Kwang shouted, “Yun Woo met Kelley Coin!”
It was like the story ‘The King with Donkey Ears.’
“How and why did you guys meet? Did you guys know each other before?” Bom poured out a series of questions. As Juho contemplated which one to answer first, the door flung open all of a sudden. Startled, Bom and Seo Kwang turned around and saw Baron and Sun Hwa standing by the door, gasping for breath.
“There you are.”
“I knew you’d be here.”
Then, Baron walked toward Juho and grabbed his shoulder, saying, “You met Kelley Coin, didn’t you?”
‘How’d he know?’ Juho wondered as both Seo Kwang and Bom stood there asking themselves the same question. Then, before Juho even had the opportunity to ask, Sun Hwa opened her mouth and said, “The media is going crazy right now, saying that Kelley Coin mentioned Yun Woo. Apparently, he came to Korea to meet Yun Woo, and he did actually meet with him. He asked Yun Woo to translate his book.”
It was a summary that was both clean and straightforward, and there was nothing uncomfortable about it. It was the result of having trained in the Literature Club. Then, Juho imagined Coin disclosing the news of having Yun Woo translate his books without discussing it with his editor, Isabella, before. After all, he was unstoppable.
“Yeah. Apparently, Yun Woo’s going to be translating one of his books. This is Kelley Coin we’re talking about!”
Then, with her mouth agape, Bom murmured, “So, that’s why you said Bill…”
“Bill?” Sun Hwa asked, but Bom was too taken aback to give her an answer. Then, Juho looked at Seo Kwang, and saw that he was also looking at him. Seo Kwang stood quietly for a little while, and then began to ask questions uninterruptedly, “Oh, my gosh. THE Kelley Coin? Traveled all the way to Korea to meet Yun Woo? How’s your nose? Did he punch you?”
“I’m OK, fortunately,” Juho answered quietly.
“Is Kelley Coin that famous?” Sun Hwa asked Bom, and Bom explained things to Sun Hwa by using a famous comic book author as an example. Then, Sun Hwa gave Juho an envious look.
“So, where’s the autograph?”
“… ‘Scuse me?”
“His autograph. Where is it?”
Juho raised his empty hands, saying, “I don’t have it, unfortunately.”
As disappointment appeared on Baron and Seo Kwang’s faces, Juho added, scratching his head, “Honestly, I forgot.”
“That was the opportunity of a lifetime!”
“I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
“Oh, I’m sure, Mr. Woo. When the day comes, get us his autograph too.”
“The perks of having Yun Woo as a friend.”
Then, the door flung open once again, and the five pairs of eyes turned toward it. Bo Suk was standing by the door, and the room sank into a sudden silence.
“I heard Yun Woo?”
The club members exchanged glances. Although it was always possible to give her an ambiguous explanation, Juho knew that she wasn’t a bigmouth. Besides, even if she were to go around telling others, no one would take her words seriously.
Then, Juho looked at his three classmates and the junior who were frozen in place. None of them was so narrow-minded as to criticize Juho for telling the freshman about his identity.
“You heard right,” he said, and the others gasped. “I’m Yun Woo.”
Juho smiled, and Bo Suk’s eyes sparkled with curiosity. Then, remembering him recommending books written by Yun Woo, she turned her eyes to Seo Kwang.
“So, that’s why you said Yun Woo…” she said and checked the hallway calmly before walking into the room and closing the door. “Are you really Yun Woo and Won Yi Young? THE Yun Woo that Kelley Coin came all the way to Korea for, who’s also getting his hands on translating?”
At the brief, yet emphatic answer, her mouth gaped open, and she exclaimed, “That’s unbelievable!”
She was quite impressed.
“Oh, my goodness. Is this real? Did I just become one of Yun Woo’s acquaintances!? Wow!”
“That’s right. I understand what you’re feeling right now, but try to calm down,” Sun Hwa said as she patted Bo Suk on her back, but the freshman grew all the more excited as if Sun Hwa’s words had had the opposite effect.
Then, she asked a random question out of the blue, “Juho, did you study abroad?”
“Yeah. The internet’s going crazy right now with people saying that Yun Woo’s a foreigner, mixed, a student abroad, a relative of Coin, or a member of Mensa. There are people questioning whether an eighteen year old is translating a book, and some are even claiming that he’s not actually eighteen!” she said in disbelief. “And I get to ask all those questions to Yun Woo in person!”
Sensing that his school life was about to become a lot more tiresome, Juho briefly second-guessed his decision to disclose his identity to the freshman.
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