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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Turning down Juho’s offer to see her out until they had reached a major street, Mideum left Juho’s house in a hurry. When Juho’s mother heard Mideum’s explanation as to why she had to leave in such a hurry, she let the author go willingly and quietly. Of course, Mideum didn’t forget to say goodbye to Juho’s mother on her way out, and the shout of joy that echoed in the alleyways sounded undoubtably like her voice.
After Mideum left, Juho began to organize his room, picking up the sheets of paper scattered about and organizing them in their proper order. It was a rather time consuming task. As he placed them in a box, he closed the lid. Then, he placed a hefty book on top of each of the stacks of papers, making the stacks towering over him even taller than before.
“That’s one interesting acquaintance you have,” his mother said while handing him the cup of tea that would have belonged to Mideum, who had left much earlier than expected. “Are all writers like that?”
“I doubt it.”
“I saw it on TV earlier today. Is it true that Arthur Conan Doyle had a thing for spiritualism?”
“I can’t say whether he had a thing for it or not, but he did want the ability to communicate with spirits.”
“He liked fairies too, apparently.”
“Well, he did believe a photo that ended up being a hoax.”
Doyle’s lecture on spiritualism had brought him a great deal of ridicule from the masses, and while he even wrote a book inspired by a photo of two young girls surrounded by fairies, his achievements before that were far too impressive for the book to receive the same amount of attention. By the time Juho was on his second cup of tea, his phone began to ring.
“Did you get results?” Dae Soo asked as soon as he answered the phone.
Realizing that she was asking about the bet, Juho answered with a smile, “Yes.”
“So? Who won?”
Juho heard some commotion in the background. It was Seo Joong’s voice.
“She just went home to write.”
“Yes! Uhm, hold Ahn for me, will ya?”
The victory went to Dae Soo, who had faith that her friend would turn up.
Bo Suk’s cheerful exclamation echoed throughout the science room, and the other five club members stared in her direction simultaneously. Then, she went on to pull out and pop the party popper that normally came with the birthday cakes from bakeries. The lone popping noise echoed throughout the room, and the paper debris from the popper fell on top of Seo Kwang’s head.
“Congratulations, Baron!” Bo Suk exclaimed once again.
While Baron managed to keep a straight face for the most part, Juho caught the corner of his mouth twitching. Then, he, too, joined in clapping and celebrating the junior’s recent achievement at the competition Baron had taken part in.
Baron had finished the art competition in third place, and Juho decided to overlook the irony of the first awardee in the club being an artist. After celebrating boisterously for some time, Bom murmured, “My result is coming out next week. I wonder if I will be able to measure up to Baron.”
There was a mixture of anxiety and anticipation in her eyes. Then, Sun Hwa patted her back forcefully, saying, “I’m sure you did fine. Don’t worry.”
“I sure hope so. Gosh, I’m nervous.”
“I’ll have the party popper ready!”
As if burdened by Bo Suk’s words, Bom smiled awkwardly and hunched forward, and Sun Hwa gave her another good pat on the back.
Then, Seo Kwang chimed in with his finely decorated head, “I know, right? If only SOMEBODY didn’t get disqualified from their award, Bom wouldn’t have had to take on so much burden.”
“Sorry about that, but from what I hear, somebody didn’t even get close to winning. Is that right?”
“We both came back empty-handed, you know!” Seo Kwang shouted annoyedly.
However, instead of listening to him, Juho decided to turn to Bo Suk to ask, “Well, how about you? Have you decided on the contest you want to compete in?”
“Uh… not yet,” she said timidly.
“There’s no rush,” Juho answered.
And after some brief hesitation, Bo Suk opened her mouth to say, “I’m thinking about competing in the same contest you were in last year.”
“You mean The Youth Literary Essay Contest?”
Aside from being it being where Juho first met Joon Soo, it was also the very contest where he first competed with Sung Pil. After a brief time thinking, Juho said, “Well, it’s not the shabbiest of competitions. Just be mindful of the space. You won’t get a whole lot of it.”
“Can you tell me more?”
“There’s not much else.”
Giving into Bo Suk begging, Juho told her what he remembered, from directions to and a description of the place, to the essay topics and the optional lecture after the contest, adding that it would be worthwhile as long as it was being delivered by Joon Soo Bong.
Bo Suk listened to him intently from beginning to end.
“So, do you still want to take part in it?”
“Yes. I think I can do it.”
A few days later, Bo Suk competed in the preliminary round and received a text informing her that she had been eliminated. Although she felt depressed for a little while, she regained her hope with the encouragements of the veteran club members. Then, the party poppers went off yet again with the news of Bom receiving first place in her competition. While the entire club was in high spirits, there were no more winners from then on. And just like that, time passed, and the school went on break. Although the club members were sad that they had to part ways, nobody expressed a desire to give up writing.
“Do you wanna come over to my office?”
The bus shook Juho’s body while he thought back on Dae Soo’s words. He was on his way to Dae Soo’s office. Mideum had been busy writing since visiting Juho’s house, and Juho was spending his break working on short stories.
Dae Soo chuckled as if the answer was obvious.
“My office. Dae Soo Na’s.”
A sudden invitation.
“Let’s play some board games!” she suggested out of nowhere.
“In the office?”
“It’s my office, so I get to do whatever the heck I want with it.”
Then, after going on for a good while about her board game collection, she added, “Although, the games need three players.”
“What I’m saying is that there’s going to be another player. You interested?”
Then, Juho realized the intention behind her sudden invitation.
“A member of our group,” she added quietly.
She was referring to the group of authors who got together over a meal from time to time. Adding that the day everyone in the group was finally getting together was just around the corner, Dae Soo asked Juho, “If you’re gonna meet them, you might as well know who you’re meeting, right?”
There were only two people in Dae Soo’s group who Juho was yet to meet: San Jung Youn and another unknown author. Juho grew curious.
“Is it San Jung Youn?”
“Hate to disappoint, but it’s the other one.”
Unfortunately, Juho wasn’t very familiar with the name. There were countless authors in Korea, and quite a few of them had the last name Choi.
“Would you tell me the person’s full name?”
“Where’s the fun in that?”
“Does the person even know that I’m coming?”
“You know that I’m all about playing fair. Choi doesn’t know that you’re coming,” Dae Soo said cheerfully.
“C’mon, let’s play!” she said as if trying to convince a child, and as a current student, Juho couldn’t help but give in. In the end, on his way to the bus stop, Juho bought a bag of apples from the same store Mideum had bought the box of fruit.
Then, the bus arrived at the stop Dae Soo had told Juho previously. As he got off in a hurry, he saw that Dae Soo had come out to greet him, and they exchanged brief pleasantries.
“You didn’t have to come out.”
“I just thought I should come get you while I was out on a walk. What is all this stuff? You didn’t have to bring anything!”
Ignoring Juho’s refusal for help, Dae Soo snatched the bag of apples from his hands and led the way with confidence. Juho followed her quietly. They were in a neighborhood he had never visited before. There were a number of corporate buildings with a number of people walking about in formal business attire, and Juho walked as he looked at everything attentively.
“Where’s your office?”
“About fifteen minutes walking.”
“That’s not too far.”
“Right? Seo Joong, on the other hand, was throwing a hissy fit, complaining about how much he had to walk.”
“It must have been a hot day.”
“I’m telling you, you’re sharp.”
It wasn’t all that difficult for Juho to imagine, and neither was the look of displeasure on Dong Gil’s face.
“I can almost see the look on Dong Gil’s face.”
“That guy. He complains and judges Seo Joong every chance he gets, yet he still follows him around. He’s an oddball too.”
“Maybe they influence each other in positive ways? One’s too lax while the other is too rigid.”
“The way I see it, they both need more friends. Not only were they born in the same neighborhood, but they also went to the same schools. Not to mention, they’re in the same field. They only have each other as friends.”
“Isn’t that what you call a BFF?”
“Do you see them as BFFs?”
Juho thought of the two authors who acknowledged each other while being clear about the things they disagreed on. They weren’t all that fond of each other’s books and they weren’t afraid to express themselves regarding that.
“Yes, quite so.”
Then, Dae Soo swung her arm with the bag of apples in her hand, making a big circle.
“I think so too.”
From then on, Juho and Dae Soo conversed light-heartedly until they arrived at her office, which was in a new building.
“We’re here. Second floor.”
Following Dae Soo, who was leading the way, Juho went up the glossy stairs.
“Is the person in the office?”
“Yep, but don’t worry. Choi recognizes you as an author. Annnd, ta-da!” Dae Soo said, adding a half-hearted sound effect.
As they walked in, a spacious office came into view, filled with books and with various photos on the walls.
“This is the conference room, and this is the kitchen, and here, is the studio.”
After she pointed out, waving her hands about half-heartedly, Juho followed her to the kitchen and saw somebody standing in there. Seeing how his head was tilted slightly back, he had to be looking at the cupboard, which was covered by all sorts of patterns.
As another half-hearted sound effect sounded from Dae Soo’s mouth, the man turned around and locked eyes with Juho. Being a leading figure in romance novels, he was an author known for implementing elements of sci-fi and science into his works. His distinct style was shaped by his unique take on love, and it was growing rather popular. At the sudden encounter, Juho found himself at loss for words.
It wasn’t clear whether it was his long bangs or his sense of fashion, but the author looked much younger than his age. Before Juho even had time to greet him, his eyes went to the bag of apples in Dae Soo’s hand.
“Dae Soo, I don’t take food from other people, even if you are the one offering.”
“Whoever said anything about offering? Get your own.”
“I’m planning on eating my own lunch. I brought some fruit, too.”
Just as the author had said, there was a lunch box on the table.
‘So, he’s also part of the group, huh.’
The more Juho learned about Dae Soo’s group, the more intrigued he got. At the same time, Juho started to realize why there were such few people in the group.
“Who is this? He looks way too different to be your sibling. Cousin, maybe?”
“Yun Woo, who? Did you meet him on the way?”
“THE Yun Woo.”
The office grew silent, and the author’s eyes fixated on Juho. After rolling his eyes around for a little while, Juho took the initiative to introduce himself.
“Hello. Yun Woo.”
At the unexpected encounter, the author seemed to be at loss for words as well. For someone who refused to take food from other people, his eyes were rather intense. Then, he took a step closer and said, “So, this is what you look like.”
Although Juho didn’t mind his blatant fascination, Dae Soo slapped the author on his back. Only then, did he introduce himself properly and reached out for a handshake.
“Hello, Sang Choi.”
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