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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 203: One Step Forward (3)

Chapter 203: One Step Forward (3)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“Kelley Coin,” Isabella, the editor in charge of him, called out to the author in an anxious, distrusting voice. Then, a horn sounded twice in the distance. Inside the car, Coin looked ahead after looking out the window for a little while and saw his editor, whose facial expression was anything but calm.

“I beg you, can we PLEASE do this without causing any trouble today?”

“We never caused any trouble.”

“Yeah, because you were never there.”

At that, Coin waved his hand in denial, indicating that he no longer wanted to waste his energy in the meaningless conversation. Then, swiftly ignoring his gesture, Isabella said, “No disappearing in the middle of the event, punching, or cursing during the interview, got it?”

“Sigh,” Coin let out, taking a big swig of the supersized coffee in his hand, which was already half-empty. Because of the bumpy ride, the advice of his distrusting editor, and the massive hassle that was the interview, the author grew increasingly irritable. However, the biggest factor contributing to his irritable mood was Yun Woo. Coin had heard the news that the arrogant boy had been chosen as a candidate for the Annular Award.

The questions in ‘Language of God’ were directed toward God. Along with the message of ‘nothing lasts forever,’ the novel portrayed an ever-changing world, and the dimensional characters living within that world who were being affected by it. With a world that consisted of facts and languages that were scientifically and historically sound, ‘Language of God’ appealed to the readers with its quality. It was more than good enough to be chosen as a candidate for the award.

“Are you bothered by the news about Yun Woo?” Isabella asked, interfering with his thoughts.

Then, his face twisted into a scowl ever so slightly, and he said, “If you already know, then be quiet.”

“I’m trying to talk to you BECAUSE I know. Well, what do you think? Do you think he’ll win?”

“Who gives a crap?! I’m sure the judges will take care of it.”

“I think he might.”

At that, Coin glanced over at Isabella, who seemed quite certain that the young author would win.

“Besides, it’s about time we have an Asian winner. Although, I was keeping my eyes on some of the Chinese authors, it seems like Yun Woo beat them to it.”

“Well, lucky for them that I was concentrating on pure literature this year,” the author said, making quite a pretentious remark. However, Isabella didn’t deny it since Coin was a four-time winner of the Annular Award.

Then, she added, “Who was the guy that grumbled the entire time he was getting his award?”

“I just couldn’t stand those arrogant bastards, is all.”

“Don’t ever say things like that during the interview.”

“I decide how I answer my questions.”

“You mean your brain.”

At that moment, the car came to a sudden stop. It didn’t matter whether it was Yun Woo or some Chinese author who was getting on his nerves. No matter how great or massive the award was, it could never supercede a well-written piece or its author. That was just about the value Coin placed on the Annular Award. The thrill and the joy of receiving the award was all but a moment, and the trophies and medals collecting dust in the storage room in his house were proof of that. Though it drew attention, the ribbon holding the medal was bound to come untied at some point. After all, what the people who chose to read the book kept with them until the end was the book itself, and not the ribbon tied to the medal. As long as the writing stayed alive and well, the readers would always have access to the touching moments they had experienced by reading the book.

“We’re here,” Isabella said, and the two got out of the car.

“Hello,” the author exchanged a brief greeting with the interviewer, resting his chin on his hand with his legs crossed.

Camera and lights. Couch and rug. As if he had expected it, the interviewer paid no attention to the author’s attitude and prepared for taping. As his premonition told him that the interview was going to be long and tedious, the author drank his coffee from the cup he had filled ahead of time. Then, when he looked toward a camera, he saw his editor, Isabella, standing behind it, narrowing her eyes and mouthing words at him. He had no interest in what she was trying to tell him.

“Kelley, it took a while to have you sitting on that couch,” the interviewer said, sounding slightly excited. Then, Coin nodded his head with indifference.

“Yes, because I didn’t want to be here.”

At the author’s edgy remark, the interviewer laughed, and Isabella’s brow furrowed.

“I guess we can’t always live our lives the way we want to, even somebody like you.”

“That’s a big misunderstanding. I’m getting off this atrocious-looking couch the second I realize that this interview is not worth my time.”

“Oh, no. We can’t let that happen, can we? I’ll do my absolute best.”

With the author’s edgy sense of humor, the set grew clamorous. Then, at the director’s signal, the set sank back into silence. With a formal, opening phrase, the interviewer led the interview in the direction of Kelley’s works. The most recent. The biggest hits. The most memorable and some well-known anecdotes.

Questions followed after questions, showing the interviewer’s will to get as much about the author’s life out of him as possible. Understanding an author’s life was an incredibly helpful tool in interpreting their work. The interviewer dug deeper into the author’s life and upbringing, including environments or people he had been influenced by, as well as authors of the past and the present who could have shaped Coin as an author. Then, leaving out the core of the answers to those questions, Coin kept spewing out pieces information as if luring the interviewer into distraction, drawing the interview further away from important truths. It was subtle, yet crafty.

“Recently, there was a time when you became the target of criticism, and your career stalled a bit as a result. Needless to say, you managed to overcome it like a champion. Was that when you visited Korea?”

“Yes, that happened. Frankly, those criticisms had no effect on me. Those who are generous to themselves while being merciless toward others are not worth listening to. They’re kind of like a crying baby. Feed me. Change my diapers. When in reality, they’re just after what’s convenient for them. No matter what kind of image others put on me and my work, my work will never change. It’ll always stay the way it was printed,” Coin said, filtering his words as much as possible to avoid any harsh, offensive statements.

Although the look on his editor’s face didn’t look any better, the interviewer continued with his question, “So, what brought you to that country?”

“I wanted to meet this one author who’d been on my mind. So, I visited him, making a vacation out of it while I was at it. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I met him while I was on a trip,” Coin said, adding the latter half in a hurry.

“And who was this author who’d been on your mind?”

The answer was not a difficult one.

“Yun Woo.”

At that name, the filming staff responded with excitement, and the interviewer also nodded affirmingly.

“He’s one of the authors chosen as a candidate for this year’s Annular Award, but there was news of him long before that. His skill and potential as an author defy his age. Well, what do you think, Kelley? How was he like in person?”

“He was just a kid who spoke decent English.”

“What was that?” the interviewer asked for him to repeat.

At which point, Coin added, “I never made plans to meet with him. I mean, I was already in Korea before my publishers even found out. Then, when I got there, I found myself in desperate need of coffee, so I just asked a random pedestrian to take me to my favorite coffee shop, and it just so happened that pedestrian was the person I came across at the company building of the publishers responsible for translating my books in Korea.”

“Wait, hold on. You mean, that was Yun Woo?”

“Yes.”

The interviewer was fascinated by the author’s story.

“So, what you’re saying is that you ran into Yun Woo without even knowing, right? Did Yun Woo know that you were Kelley Coin?”

“Of course.”

“Right, obviously. Haha, man, this is incredible!”

Then, the interviewer moved on to asking about how the author came to request that Yun Woo become his translator.

“I told them to let Yun Woo take the gig if the spot was still open,” Coin said, giving the interviewer a brief summary of what had happened. From then on, the interviewer attempted to get more out of the author, but to no avail.

“What does Yun Woo look like? Of course, I’m aware of how strange and ridiculous I sound when I ask this, but I gotta know.”

“He was a person, with a pair of eyes and a nose.”

“Were you ever invited to his home or anything?”

“No.”

“Has Yun Woo ever visited the States?”

“How should I know?”

In the end, the interviewer put both of his hands up as a gesture of surrender.

“But it seems like you still recognize Yun Woo for his language skills, am I right?”

“Enough to write ‘Language of God.'”

“And clearly, he had the skills to translate your book. So, there’s a reason for everyone to call him a genius.”

Then, the interviewer asked light-heartedly, “Did you ever feel threatened by him?”

At his question, the corner of the author’s mouth twitched by reflex.

“Threatened? How would that be possible? Writing is not a competition.”

“But I’m sure you felt like there was somebody else better than you at some point. No, writing is not a competition, but it’s not limited to the writer alone, either. As you share your work with other people, you find yourself getting jealous of your colleagues.”

“Is that from experience?”

“Of course! Interviews are not competitions either, but I get envious of my colleagues all the time.”

“Haha. You must have forgotten it while we were talking about Yun Woo, but I believe the person you’re supposed to be interviewing is me, Kelley Coin. If I thought my writing fell short of Yun Woo’s, I wouldn’t have had the time to spare on some interview.”

At the author’s edgy attitude, Isabella waved her hand, gesturing him to take a deep breath. However, when Coin ignored her altogether, the editor went over to one of the staff members and started talking to them. She had to be asking them to be mindful of the questions they were asking. Usually, when Coin met with an experienced interviewer, things like that happened frequently.

Then, in order to adjust the flow of the interview, the interviewer asked another question, “What kind of conversations did you guys have?”

“Hm. About paprika and unicorns.”

Although the interviewer’s eyes narrowed as a gesture of confusion, the author didn’t change his answer.

“So, are paprika and unicorns primarily what you guys talked about?”

“We talked about alcoholism, primarily.”

“In that case, I figure that it wouldn’t have been much of a conversation since only one of you could speak on the subject.”

“I have no intention of sounding like a broken record here, but I’d like to say that it wasn’t half bad.”

Then, after raising a mug in order to quench the thirst, the interviewer sat up and looked straight at the author.

“So, what was Yun Woo’s opinion of you?”

How did Yun Woo feel about Kelley Coin? Jealous? Inferior? Perhaps he snickered arrogantly? Coin gave no answer, and the interview immediately caught on to the reason for his silence.

“Did he ever tell you?”

“No,” Coin said, immersing himself in thought. He knew nothing about what Yun Woo thought of him. He had never bothered to ask, and Yun Woo would never give an answer to a question that had yet to be asked. Even when the young author met him, Yun Woo had pretended not to know him. Then, the interviewer’s question began to stir up interest in Coin’s mind. What did Yun Woo think of him, the author Kelley Coin? Coin had been conscious of Yun Woo to the point of visiting him all the way in Korea, but what about Yun Woo?

“Maybe I should ask.”

“Pardon?”

“Why don’t we ask him, right now?”

At that, the interviewer’s mind worked busily, thinking, ‘Did he just…’

“Now, where was my phone?” Coin said, suggesting that he was going to call the young author. The anonymous, mysterious Yun Woo. It was that very author that Coin was looking to call.

Then, with their eyes wide, the interviewer locked eyes with someone from the staff standing behind the camera, who also had a nervous look about him. The interviewer’s blue eyes moved as busily as his mind in order to seize the opportunity, while Isabella was giving the author an appalled look. The only person who was calm and indifferent on set was Kelley Coin.

“Uh…” the interviewer let out, but just as quickly, closed their mouth. ‘There has to be a significant time difference between here and Korea. Can we really call him like this? Did anybody get permission from Yun Woo?’ Although the questions traveled all the way up to the interviewer’s throat, he managed to swallow them. If that opportunity were to be lost, the interviewer felt like he would lose many nights of sleep in regret.

Click. A faint sound came from the receiver of the phone next to Coin’s ear. At that, Coin answered, and everyone on set listened quietly.

“Hey, what do you think of me?”

There was a response to the author’s absurd question, but unfortunately, it wasn’t very audible. Although the interviewer felt the urge to place a microphone next to the receiver of Coin’s phone, he couldn’t dare take the phone away from the author. The staff on set moved busily in order to capture Yun Woo’s voice, and after a few sentences, Coin said, “Me? I’m in the middle of an interview.”

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