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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 204: One Step Forward (4)

Chapter 204: One Step Forward (4)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“Do you have any idea of what time it is here?”

“No clue,” the confident voice sounded from the receiver of Juho’s phone.

Then, chuckling, Juho accepted the situation, thinking, ‘At least he doesn’t know.’

“Any time, now,” Coin rushed the young author for an answer. Having answered the phone while he was still half asleep, Juho remembered hearing Coin asking a strange question in English: “What do you think of me?”

Then, rubbing his eyes, Juho asked, “Well, what are you doing right now?”

“Me? I’m in the middle of an interview.”

“… Am I dreaming?”

In which case, it had to be a nightmare.

‘If I am dreaming, shouldn’t I be flying or something, at least?’ Juho asked himself while his body only felt heavier.

As if that wasn’t enough, Coin’s coarse voice murmured through the receiver, “Who gives damn? Answer the damn question and go back to bed.”

“… You’re in the middle of an interview, huh? Oh, are you on break?”

“No, the cameras are rolling.”

“… Are you sure you’re calling the right person? Maybe you misdialed some other colleague you’re close to.”

“I don’t have a colleague I’m close to.”

“Hahaha.”

Juho had no choice but to accept the situation. The person on the other end of the line was, indeed, Kelley Coin, who was being interviewed on the other side of the planet and who, for some reason, was calling the young author with no regard for him.

‘I’m sure the cameras are still rolling.’

It was something Kelley Coin was more than capable of doing.

“Your interview’s not going live, is it?”

“Nope.”

No broadcasting station would have the guts to air Kelley Coin’s interview live. First off, Juho got out of bed and turned the light on. Then, he picked up the cup of water from his desk and drank it in order to wake himself up.

“So, you were asking what I think of you?”

“Yeah. What do you think of me as an author?”

“I look up to you.”

“Bullshit,” Coin said, immediately doubting Juho’s answer.

Then, resisting his urge to yawn, Juho added, “I mean it. The number of works you’ve published alone impresses me.”

“What else?” Coin asked shamelessly. Though briefly thinking about hanging up, Juho was afraid that the ill-tempered author would fly to Korea just to punish him personally. “Why aren’t you saying anything?”

“I’m still half asleep. Cut me some slack, will ya?”

Kelley Coin, an internationally recognized author. Although Juho had barely been chosen as a candidate for the Annular Award, Coin had won the award four times throughout his career. On top of his indiscrimination toward genre, he was a fierce writing fanatic. Despite his notorious temper, there were countless people who were desperate to interview him, as well as those who wanted more of his books. Juho happened to be one of those people and, from author to another, Juho looked up to him quite a bit. After having immersed in thought, Juho opened his mouth and said, “So, it occurred to me while I was translating your novel.”

“Go on.”

Juho had realized deep down.

“You’re, seriously, an incredible writer.”

“…”

Unlike usual, Coin remained silent. Then, while the young author blinked his tired eyes, the voice on the other end of the line suddenly exploded into laughter. Juho had never heard Coin laugh before, and the sound of it woke him right up.

“That was the most pathetic opinion of me I’ve ever heard.”

How unfortunate.

“That’s unfortunate. Well, ya happy?”

“Yeah.”

“Also, I’m wide awake now, thanks to you,” Juho said, opening the window. As a cold breeze rushed into his room, the situation dawned on him, enabling him to imagine the look on the faces of the filming crew on the set. “Well, what are you gonna do about this? Thanks to you, I ended up revealing my voice.”

“Don’t worry about that. I’ll tell them to edit it out,” Coin said, and Juho heard a commotion break out in the background. Amid all the voices talking over each other, Juho heard what sounded like Isabella’s voice. The commotion went on for a while, which only made sense.

“Hey, Coin?” Juho called to the author on the phone, and Coin answered with a slight annoyance in his voice.

“Well?” he asked briefly, but with the certainty that Juho would know the situation he was in. The filming crew wanted to hear Yun Woo’s voice, while Coin, himself, was waiting for an answer from the mysterious, young author. If Juho were to refuse, Coin wouldn’t allow the filming crew to keep a recording of Yun Woo’s voice, even if that meant the ill-tempered author had to break the cameras into pieces.

Then, feeling the cold wind rushing in through the window, Juho looked at his desk, where the thank-you message for his readers for the publishing company lay. ‘Maybe I should just read it out loud while I’m at it,’ Juho thought as he paused briefly in the middle of the conversation with Coin.

“All right. It’s just my voice.”

At the young author’s answer, the commotion grew even louder. And after a little while, another voice, speaking in an accent Juho wasn’t familiar with, sounded from the receiver of his phone, introducing himself as Kelley Coin’s interviewer. The excitement in his voice was quite noticeable.

“Yes, hello. Yun Woo speaking.”

“Oh, my! I can’t believe I’m actually talking to you! Uh, would you mind if I asked a few questions?”

“Sure, not too many, though.”

“I’m sure it’s quite late there, so I won’t take up too much of your time,” the interviewer said, speaking faster and faster. Then, searching desperately for meaningful questions, he dragged on for some time, all the while adding that he had read the young author’s books.

“Your stories were just beautiful. The popularity of your books, especially in this country, is an anomaly in and of itself. Are you aware of this?”

“Yes, so I’ve been told by my agency.”

“In my opinion, the one thing people pay the closest attention and are most impressed by in ‘Language of God’ is the language. Even linguistics experts acknowledged that they were linguistically sound. Now, I must ask, did you actually create them? There weren’t any other experts involved in the process?”

“Yes,” Juho answered briefly.

Then, after a brief silence, the interviewer asked again to confirm, “Does that mean there was nobody else involved in the writing process of the novel?”

“That’s correct. I never sought outside help in the construction of the language while writing ‘Language of God.’ Although, the languages that are used within the novel are all languages based on languages that already exist throughout the world, so from a very broad perspective, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that I received help from the all of humanity.”

“… Wow,” the interviewer let out quietly and moved on to the next question, “Are you really eighteen?”

It was a question the young author was all too familiar with. However, he was never asked the question in an official manner. Then, chuckling quietly, Juho said, “Yes, I am.”

At his brief answer, the interviewer grew silent once again. Then, he filled the gap with his own voice.

“So, this is about ‘Language of God.’ You’re currently a candidate for the Annular Award in the full-length novel category. If you were to win this award, it would make you the youngest and the first Asian winner of a literary award of international recognition with more than half a century of history. How did you feel when you first heard the news?”

“I was happy.”

“Was that it?”

“Hm. Well, when I got the news, I was in the middle of something, and I was also dealing with an important matter. In any case, other people decide who gets the award, so there was no need for me to do anything else.”

“… I have so many questions to ask you. If you were sitting in front of me, I would have asked at least twenty more questions, back to back. But, I’ll save you the trouble and ask you one more. What was more important than the news about being chosen for one of the four major, internationally recognized, science fiction literary awards? That is, the Annular Award?”

“Uh, I won’t get in trouble for saying this, will I? I was working on a manuscript back then, which is currently being revised.”

“… Which means?”

“I can’t say when, but it means I’ll be coming out with another book.”

“I heard that you published a short story in Korea recently and I heard lots of great things about it.”

“Yes, it was well received, thankfully, but it didn’t keep me from writing.”

After the latter half of the young author’s answer, what sounded like a faint sigh came from the receiver.

“Speaking of which, I’m in the middle of working on a thank you message for my readers. I accepted your request because I thought I might as well thank and show my appreciation toward them in person. Is that OK?”

“Oh, yes! Of course!”

Then, clearing his throat and putting pressure into his abdomen, Juho said in Korean, “To all readers of my books, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

At that, the interviewer knew by instinct that the young author was making a closing statement. Then, after a brief goodbye, the phone was returned to Coin’s hands, and after telling Juho to go to sleep, he hung up. At which point, Juho stared intently at the phone in his hand for a little while, turned off the light, and went back to bed.

“Yun Woo’s making an appearance.”

James, a high school English teacher in Korea, heard the shocking news from his friend who had recently become a Yun Woo fan. And it was that Yun Woo that would be making an appearance in the interview of the internationally recognized author Kelley Coin. The station that carried out the interview had advertised the news extensively, and the crew that was present at the taping of the interview testified the truth. Accurate information regarding Yun Woo was difficult to come by because the young author never spoke first. After being chosen as a contestant of an internationally recognized literary award, the media overseas began to take interest in the young author. Articles claiming that they attempted to contact him directly were among the most common, and the ones that reported their failure to reach the author were even more common. However, thanks to Kelley Coin, the mysterious author had managed to take one step forward toward the rest of the world.

James waited anxiously for the show to come up on the internet. Although it wasn’t time for the broadcast yet, the comments had started going rampant as early as ten minutes before showtime. People who logged in to watch Kelley Coin’s interview and people who logged in to hear Yun Woo’s voice were mingling together in one massive group, and there were even those who introduced themselves as Koreans, some even typing in Hangul. No matter what their intentions for logging on, everyone on the website was a literature and book lover.

“Finally.”

The show finally came on. Since it was an interview, the atmosphere was quite serious. Kelley Coin and the interviewer were on set, sitting opposite of each other. And focusing on the two people in turn, the camera captured and aired their conversation.

“Among your novels, I like ‘The Pearl Earrings’ the most.”

“What else is new?” Coin said, nodding indifferently at what was meant to be a compliment toward him. Those who had even a remote interest in Anglo-American literature knew who Kelley Coin was, and among those who knew him, there was not a single person who didn’t know about his less-than-pleasant temper. The author had a history of ruining countless events and interviews, and Yun Woo’s appearance aside, his fans weren’t expecting any different from the interview. Using the phone in the middle of the interview had obviously been an accident.

“Paprika and unicorn.”

The interview continued in an edgy, yet serene atmosphere. While listening to Coin, the interviewer managed to make risky moves when taunting the author while making sure that things didn’t get out of hand, and Coin, too, respected those boundaries. He was never in the habit of running, but reacting. When taunted, the author taunted back, and when the other person let up, Coin also didn’t come after them. Coin wasn’t the one who grew tired in that type of dynamic. Then, James looked away from the show for a little while and looked through the comments, which were filled by fans waiting anxiously for Yun Woo’s appearance.

“Maybe I should ask,” Coin responded to the interviewer on screen and took out his phone. He was planning on asking the young author directly, and the interviewer was clearly caught off guard by Coin’s unexpected move. At the same time, the interviewer looked as though he had been gifted an opportunity. It was clear that he had a lot to say, but he also seemed determined to save all questions for when he heard the young author’s voice. James was well acquainted with what the interviewer was feeling in that moment. Then, when he listened intently, what sounded like Yun Woo’s voice came ever so faintly out of the speaker.

“No clue,” Coin said, overpowering Yun Woo’s faint voice with ease. Then, in order to get a better listen, James turned the volume up all the way, only to hear the murmurs coming from the receiver of Coin’s phone. The set was in a state of panic due to the unexpected situation, but paying no attention to the commotion around him, Coin focused on his conversation with the young author on his phone. Then, after a little while, three people who seemed to be part of the filming crew and a woman came into the frame, growing restless while surrounding Coin. Then, the woman said, “You know… You’re really creative in the way you get yourself into trouble, you know that?”

However, the troublemaker paid no attention to his editor, continuing on with his conversation with Yun Woo. Then, to James’ surprise, the author burst into laughter out of nowhere, and James doubted what he was seeing and hearing. Kelley Coin was laughing.

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