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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 169 – The Top Author (3)

Chapter 169 – The Top Author (3)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Leaving the kitchen, Juho walked to the office space to look around. It was quite spacious and it felt more like a rest area than an office, maybe because of the board games. Along with a sofa, lamps, paintings, photos, books and manuscripts, there was also a desktop on top of a long desk that was facing the wall. That had to be Dae Soo’s workstation. Next to it, was a wall covered by curtains, making it seem like there were windows behind it.

“What’s this?”

Dae Soo and Sang’s eyes followed the tip of Juho’s finger.

“Oh, that.”

Then, Sang’s expression grew darker, and looking at him, Dae Soo started giggling.

“It’s a courtesy for guests. Are you squeamish, at all?”

“Not really.”

“Bummer. You’re just too young. It’s not something I can show someone underage,” Dae Soo said playfully, but she was also emphatic. She was assuming that what was hidden behind the curtains might have a negative influence on the young author. Then, setting his curiosity aside, Juho stared at the black cloth between him and the mysterious object.

Sitting down, he asked Dae Soo, “Seems like that’s where the inspiration for your book came from, right?”

“I’ve said this before, but you really are a sharp one.”

Along with its bizarre and violent nature, her books were defined by their grotesqueness. At the same time, there was philosophy amid the horror, as well as love and life. Her books were loved by many, and she was often the target of those who criticized her for the violent elements in her books.

“What kind of photo is it?”

“It’s a picture of anguish.”

The very anguish she had peaked her head into was in the mysterious photo behind the curtains, but Juho didn’t insist that she show it to him. He was more interested in Dae Soo’s attitude toward the photo.

“Do you just keep the curtains open when guests aren’t around?”

“Yep. I’ve gotten used to it, so I look at it while I’m eating, too.”

At that, Juho remembered her most recent book: ‘The Finger that Rings the Bell.’ The book showcased Dae Soo’s distinct writing style, with its gloomy and musty plot that kept its readers on their toes, and its focus was especially provocative.

“Is there a reason for you to prefer to write about things that are over the top?”

“A reason, huh.” With that, she poked the fork thoroughly into a crisp apple slice. “Maybe I just have a different idea of what over the top means.”

“What does that mean?”

“I write based on real life events. People always talk about how I have a bizarre imagination, but my imagination is far from realistic. If anything, I start by trimming out things that are unconventional, so that it becomes more relatable for the readers. There are those who kill other people for no apparent reason in this world, but that can’t happen in novels.”

Then, she gave Juho an example that would be the easier to understand, and Juho looked intently at the completely peeled apple slice.

“So, with that out of the way, I probably won’t water down my books anytime soon. This world has never been better than at the present time.”

At that, Juho asked no more. Instead, he imagined the world she might have seen through the photo behind the curtains. Irrational reality and negative emotions. An image of Dae Soo twisting those things in her writing rushed past Juho’s mind.

After he heard Dae Soo’s story, Juho grew curious about Sang.

“How about you, Mr. Choi?”

“Me?” he opened his mouth as if he had been waiting for the question. Having a high opinion of himself, he was quite keen on being the center of attention. “I wanted to be God.”

His goal was just as lofty as his self-esteem.

“… God.”

“Yes, God. Then, I failed.”

It was an obvious failure, and Dae Soo stared at him as if he was beyond help.

“Before that, I wanted to be Mozart.”

It was a much more realistic goal than being God. However…

“You failed, didn’t you?”

“I sure did. He had a talent for music, but I didn’t. It was sad.”

“Seeing how your following goal was to be God, it seems like you didn’t quite learn from the experience.”

“No. It’s the opposite. I set that goal out of anger, but I still took it seriously. I read tons of books on religion and mythology and even went to the psychics, but there was no gods willing to make me one of their kind.”

“And?”

“So, I decided to be a novelist.”

Mozart, God, and now, a novelist. After a couple of failures, his dream had finally come true.

“How did you transition from being God to a novelist? Not that the transition between Mozart and God made anymore sense.”

“I heard somebody say that authors do something similar to God.”

“A-ha!”

Authors were compared with God occasionally, since they created whole new worlds, deciding the fates of the characters living within them and what they will go through in their lives.

“But it wasn’t exactly like the god I had in mind,” Sang said in a serious tone.

“In what ways?”

“First of all, I needed to put in the work. I’m not an all-capable being, so creating an entirely new world within one week is impossible.”

“You have to rest on the seventh day, too.”

“I just don’t have what it takes.”

In the Book of Genesis in the Bible, God had created the world in one week. Sky and land, light, day and night, etc. Having finished the load of work in six days, God rested on the seventh day, looking at his creation, the world, and saying, “Looks great.”

“And we, authors, have to do revisions as soon as we finish writing.”

“Right. The manuscripts are far from perfect before revisions and edits. It takes forever, too,” Juho said, chuckling quietly. “If we were God, we wouldn’t be able to write anything so human, don’t you think? Books filled with anguish and conflict.”

“Well, the sovereign God might be able to, but I doubt he would do as good of a job as I would have.”

Juho ate his apple slice while listening to the words filling the void between himself and Sang’s arrogance. Though he felt the chunks of apple getting caught in his throat slightly, they were still delicious.

“Now, I’m glad I chose to be a novelist. I can meet just about anyone through writing, so I’m satisfied.”

“Speaking of which, there were quite a few references to music and religion in your books. Although, the way they unfolded was quite scientific. So, that’s where you got those influences.”

“That’s right,” Sang answered proudly. The love in his books was quite unique, and it started to dawn on Juho why the critics were saying that his books were dynamic and realistic.

“How about you?” Sang Choi asked.

And Juho blinked awkwardly, asking, “What about me?”

“How did you start writing?”

“Oh! That’s a good one.”

Dae Soo looked at Juho with eyes filled with interest. Although he preferred not to disappoint her, Juho didn’t have anything as lofty as Sang, like wanting to be God or Mozart. He was simply…

“I was bored.”

“But when did you first start writing, though? You debuted toward the tail end of your middle school years.”

“So, that must mean that you’ve been writing since you were young.”

Then, Juho brought up an analogy that rose to the surface of his mind, “It’s like a digestive process.”

“A digestive process? That’s an odd analogy.”

Juho agreed. It was a rather strange analogy.

“Well, it is true that one doesn’t become a better writer overnight. You know, I think I’m starting to realize how skilled Yun Woo really is.”

“You still have a long way to go, Dae Soo.”

“What?”

“In that case, Yun Woo’s level of skill isn’t something that can be achieved within the span of a few years.”

At Sang’s arrogant remark, Dae Soo’s eyes narrowed, and she asked, “Well then, what do you think?”

“I don’t really have an answer. This kid is a mystery, much like Yun Woo and how he came about.”

“I think you have a ways to go yourself, Choi,” Dae Soo scolded him and changed the subject. “Well, tell us more about what happened with Mideum. She wouldn’t even talk to me, saying that she’s busy working.”

“There’s not much to it.”

Then, Juho told them a brief summary of what had happened during her visit, and the two authors listened intently, immersed in his story.

“Let’s see how impressive of a character she comes up with.”

Remembering Mideum’s behavior in his room, Juho nodded quietly. He looked forward to how the next volume of her book would turn out.

Then, Sang opened his mouth and said, “I’m telling you, that big mouth of hers will be her downfall. She gets excited so easily and she can’t control herself. She’s always blabbering out loud, too.”

“What? She’s cute. Besides, she handled herself fine.”

“Dae Soo, you can’t just let her be. Who knows what kind of trouble she might get herself into?”

Just as Sang had said, Mideum was easily excited and influenced. Looking at Sang, who had talked about Mideum without hesitation, Juho said, “You must be close to her.”

“We’re part of the same group, after all. She’s one of the few authors that I know remotely well,” Sang said, as if confessing his limited social life.

Then, Dae Soo chimed in, “It’s so easy to convince him to do something, that it’s not even funny. All you gotta do is let him bring his own lunch.”

“His own lunch?”

“Yep. He’ll come out regardless of the distance, as long as I let him bring his own food. That’s why I told him to bring his own food when we were meeting at Madame Song’s restaurant.”

Although it made sense to Juho judging from Sang’s behaviors up to that point, it occurred to him that Madame Song might have been unhappy to see a customer bring their own food to her restaurant.

“Well, I eat there now. Gosh, that was ages ago!” Sang added in a hurry.

“You eat at the restaurant, now?”

“Yes. I can trust Madame Song’s cooking.”

“And you’re insisting on carrying your own lunch because you don’t trust all the other restaurants?”

“I trust ’em less. Who knows how they cook, or where those hands have been? That goes for the ingredients, too. I can’t eat anything like that,” he said emphatically.

“Well, I get free food from time to time, so that’s always nice. It’s super convenient, especially when I’m planning on staying at a hotel.”

Dae Soo had a habit of staying in hotel rooms when she experienced writer’s block, and she had probably been asking Sang to pack her meals, which explained why they had been communicating regularly. She seemed fond of Sang’s cooking, and Sang himself didn’t seem to have an issue with cooking for her. The romance and the grotesque. Even though their books were polar opposites in nature.

“You seem like you enjoy cooking for other people, Mr. Choi.”

“It’s an opportunity to show off my cooking skills. The better the response from those who taste my food, the better I feel,” he said proudly. It was a rather simple reason.

Then, Dae Soo whispered to Juho, loud enough for Sang to hear, “He’s so simple, isn’t he?”

There were all sorts of authors in the world. Hotel rooms, cooking. Thinking of a poet, or regretting repeatedly. There were even authors who lived in the mountains in order to write.

“Oh, I was just about to tell you,” Dae Soo said with a big smile. “It’s about the outing. We’re planning on having everyone come out in celebration of Yun Woo joining us as the new addition to the group.”

It was an occasion to which Juho had been looking forward as well, and Dae Soo gave him an update, “So, including Choi, here, I’ve confirmed with most of the members in the group over text. The only person I’m still waiting for is San Jung.”

At that, Sang Choi didn’t seem all that surprised.

“She’s probably in the mountain somewhere, writing. We can barely get a hold of her. Why don’t we just meet on our own?”

“No,” Dae Soo said emphatically, and while Sang looked dissatisfied, he didn’t try to argue any further. Instead, he explained calmly that finalizing the outing would take significantly longer if they were to wait for San Jung’s confirmation.

“She’s the hardest person to convince to come out to group outings. Even if we did manage to get a hold of her, she’ll come up with all sorts of excuses to stay home.”

Despite Sang’s pessimistic conjecture, Dae Soo was still wearing the same smile, as if she had a hidden card in mind.

“You seem like you have an idea.”

“That I do. An amazing one, at that.”

With that, she raised her hand, and at the end of her fingertip, was Juho.

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