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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Looking straight at Dae Soo’s fingertip, Juho asked, “Me?”
“Yes. We have Yun Woo,” she said with a mischievous smile, and Sang exclaimed, impressed, “Even a hermit like San Jung would know who Yun Woo was, and as long as she knows who that is, she’s bound to consider coming out.”
At that, Dae Soo gave Sang an affirmative thumbs-up.
“All we gotta do now is get a hold of her.”
“That won’t take very long, either.”
With that, she walked over to the studio and brought out a laptop, searching for something on the internet. Then, she turned the screen of the laptop around toward Sang and Juho, which was showing the name San Jung Youn.
“San Jung Youn releasing new book.”
Juho read the title of the article that had come up just a few hours ago out loud.
“So, I got a hold of her editor earlier today and I was told that she finished writing her book, which means she’ll start charging her phone to check the dozens of missed calls, and that’s when we get her with the name Yun Woo.”
“Our fearless leader! You understand the art of persuasion,” Juho said, clapping quietly, but what returned was Dae Soo’s sudden warning.
“You might wanna stay on your toes.”
“What do you mean?”
“San Jung’s new book is coming out, and it just might mark the end of the Yun Woo era.”
She was right. San Jung was an incredible author who had built herself a house in the middle of a mountain out of sheer will to write. Taking about a five-year hiatus in between her books, she tended to spend quite a bit of time writing, and as a result, she came out with a quality product. There were a slew of readers who had been waiting desperately for her new book, and Juho was one of them.
“Before you turned up, the position you are in belonged mostly to San Jung.”
“Whenever she came out with a book, it would always reach number one, without fail,” Sang said, squinting at Juho.
Although their intentions weren’t clear, Juho smiled and said, “I’m excited!”
“Really? Did that really just come out of your mouth!? You should be worried!” Dae Soo said, looking both playful and disappointed.
“Of course. This is San Jung Youn’s new book we’re talking about!”
“I mean, yeah, but I was expecting more passion from your response. That was no fun,” she grumbled. At that, Juho quickly changed the subject, and the three conversed for hours on end in Dae Soo’s office. After confirming with each other when their next outing would be, they parted ways.
On his way out, Sang asked her to let him know ahead of time if the outing wasn’t going to take place at Madame Song’s restaurant because he needed time to prepare his food. Dae Soo waved her hand and answered half-heartedly as if he didn’t have to remind her.
A few weeks later, Juho received a text from Dae Soo about the place, time, and date of the meeting. When he saw that the meeting was to take place at Madame Song’s restaurant, he immediately thought of Sang Choi’s face. He wouldn’t have to pack his lunch, after all.
After sending a reply, Juho looked away from his phone and redirected his attention to a book he had been reading. It was San Jung’s new book, and he had been reading it quite intently. The content was exactly the same as he remembered from his past life, and Juho grew curious about her.
‘What is she like as an author?’
“It’s getting dark out.”
It was evening, and Juho made his way toward Madame Song’s restaurant as the sun was starting to set. Knowing that there would be quite a few familiar faces at the meeting, he wasn’t worried about feeling uncomfortable. And having managed to bring everyone in the group together successfully, Dae Soo was quite ecstatic, reserving the largest room in the restaurant.
Looking up at the dark sky, Juho took the wider path, unlike during his last visit with Hyun Do, when he walked through narrow alleyways. Although Juho would have taken the alleyways without hesitation, he had decided to take a different route as he had been informed about the meeting by Dae Soo ahead of time.
There were waves of cars and people in the street, as well as bicycles that squeezed their way through the sea of people and cars. It was an entirely different route from his previous visit to the restaurant. Perhaps, it was the absence of Hyun Do or vestiges of him, but the peace that he had felt when he had walked with him was nowhere to be found in those busy streets.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, Juho sent Dae Soo a text, informing her that he had arrived. When he checked the time, he realized that he had arrived well before the time they had agreed to meet. Paying no attention to it, Juho walked into the restaurant without hesitation.
‘Clink,’ the familiar doorbell rang.
As Juho came into the waiting room, there were few other, unrelated people who had arrived ahead of him, each wearing an excited look. Then, Juho stood in front of the mirror in order to make sure that he was dressed properly and walked toward the employee standing by the register, who greeted him with a welcoming smile.
“I have a reservation under the name Dae Soo Na,” Juho said to her, and the employee nodded and led him to the reserved room immediately. Walking past the tables and the restrooms, he also walked past the room where he had eaten with Hyun Do, and after going even further into the restaurant than he had ever been to, the reserved room finally appeared. It was the largest room in the restaurant. At that moment, Juho checked his phone as it vibrated. It was a text from Dae Soo, which read, “Already!? Shoot!”
The text gave Juho a bad feeling. ‘Is no one else here, yet? But there are eight of us. No way. I’m sure there’s going to be at least one person. I know most of them, so it should be fine,’ Juho reassured himself as he contemplated going to the restroom. Unfortunately, before he had time to act on his decision, the friendly employee opened the door to the room for him, revealing a figure who had been sitting in the room. Black. It was the first thing that came into Juho’s view. She was dressed in black.
“Huh?” Juho let out, baffled. He wasn’t expecting to meet someone new that soon, and even as the employee closed the door on her way out, Juho stood awkwardly, facing her. She was dressed in mostly black, from her dark, long, wavy hair, to her eyes and dress shirt. Although it wasn’t visible because of the table, she had to be wearing either a black skirt or a pair of black pants, and most likely, her shoes were black as well. Something was telling Juho that she would be dressed like that underneath the table.
“Who are you?” she asked in a thin, sounding voice, and Juho came to his senses upon hearing it.
“Hello, Yun Woo,” he introduced himself properly, and the woman’s lips parted ever so slightly. Only then, did Juho recognize that she had been wearing another color other than black. Her red lips.
“Whoa,” a childlike exclamation broke the tension. She was smiling, with dimples visible on each corner of her mouth.
“Really?” she asked to confirm, and Juho couldn’t give her any other answer other than yes.
“If you’re still doubtful, would you like to talk to Dae Soo on my phone?”
“You really are him!” she said. Fortunately, she was easily convinced. “I knew it was gonna be worthwhile to get here early.”
Juho waited patiently for her to introduce herself, but what came out of her mouth was something entirely different.
“I came down from the mountains because of you.”
In the end, Juho had to piece the puzzle together.
“You must be San Jung Youn.”
“Ah! Yes. I’m San Jung Youn. You can talk to Dae Soo on my phone too, if you’d like,” she said as she took a flip phone out of her pocket, opening it and offering it to Juho. As Juho respectfully declined, she closed the phone back up. Then, the room sank into silence. Without even offering him a seat, she kept staring at him intently without saying anything. Juho felt his face itch for some reason. Her gaze was different from that of Coin’s or Hyun Do’s, neither burning nor gentle.
It was hard to figure out the right time to speak, and in the end, Juho decided to converse with San Jung while standing in his place. Besides, his legs weren’t going to hurt anytime soon.
“I enjoyed your new book quite a bit.”
It was a brief answer, and by the time Juho started to think that she had no intention to converse with him, San Jung opened her mouth and said, “I read your books as well.”
Her voice was thin, yet stable. However, it felt like it was coming from a distance and it gave off a mysterious vibe, and because of that…
“I couldn’t write for a week after reading them.”
… Juho caught her words in a delay.
“You couldn’t write?”
“Yeah, because the books were so raw.”
Not knowing what to say, he stood quietly. Fortunately, San Jung had something she wanted to say.
“They had lasting impacts. They reminded me of when I first read Mr. Lim, Mr. Kang, or Mrs. Baek’s books. Maybe more.”
“Thank you for the kind words.”
“Of course,” she said, acknowledging that her intention was for him to thank her. Then, the room sank back into silence. Before Juho opened his mouth to ask her about her new books, San Jung beat him to it.
“So,” she called for him.
“Are you really eighteen years old?” she asked in a doubtful tone.
Barely suppressing a chuckle, Juho asked back, “Do I look older?”
“Yes. Your writing.”
At that, Juho felt pricked in the heart.
“In that case, your books are no exception.”
“There’s a big difference between a person in their forties writing like they’re in their fifties, and teens like they’re in their fifties.”
She was right, and Juho understood what she was saying. There was such a thing as age in writing. Some authors’ writing was more mature than they were themselves, while others’ were less or just as mature, and not one was better than the other. Some preferred to write something more mature, and others wanted to write something more youthful.
“There are times when the age of the author dawns on you while you’re reading a book. Do you know what I mean?”
“I’ve yet to meet an author with such a drastic age difference between the person and the writing.”
Speculation and realization. Then, she asked again, “Are you really eighteen?”
At that, Juho looked through his pocket and asked, “Would you like to see my student ID?”
It was a rather serious answer. Taking the student ID out of his wallet, he handed it over to her, and after looking down at the rectangular card in her hand for a little while, she gave it back to him.
“How are you able to write like that?”
“There are all sorts of authors in this world.”
“Is that right? Maybe I’m just having trouble understanding because it’s just beyond the boundaries of my understanding.”
‘Unless you have experience coming back from the dead, there’s no way for me to explain this,’ Juho murmured internally as he decided to sit, walking toward a chair.
As San Jung called for Juho yet again, Juho retracted his step.
“Can you say something in Scandinavian?”
“Don’t you speak the language? You mentioned in ‘Language of God: Languages’ that you referred to the Scandinavian language when creating different languages in the book.”
While it was true that Juho spoke the language, San Jung’s request was simply out of place. Juho found himself in an awkward place, where things would be odd whether or not he chose to grant her request.
As he remained silent for a little while, she asked, “Do you not know the language?”
To which, Juho answered, “Sure, I do.”
In the end, he decided to grant her request.
“…” San Jung blinked awkwardly, wearing a disappointed look.
“Ski in Scandinavian means thin plank, and it also means the name of the sport we’re all familiar with.”
“…” The look on her face didn’t change one bit, and looking at Juho’s face, she said, “You’re funny.”
From then on, her eyes moved elsewhere, and Juho, too, turned around and saw Sang Choi standing behind him. Juho couldn’t be happier to see him. Seeing Juho standing and San Jung sitting in her chair, he asked, “What are you keeping him standing around for?”
“Oh. Right. Have a seat.”
Only then, did Juho take a seat opposite of San Jung, and naturally, Sang Choi sat left of Juho.
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