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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Unlike how she was up to a moment ago, trembling with insecurity, Sun Hwa spoke clearly and calmly. From mechanical pencils to notebooks, textbooks, and cardigans, the desks were less than tidy. Under the desks divided into rows, were chunks of dust that didn’t quite make it into the dustpan during cleaning because of the old, worn out broomstick. Sitting in front of their messy desks, the freshmen were looking at the club members with intrigue.
“Our club activities are mostly related to literary arts. Which brings the question: What is literary art? Literary art is a term that encompasses both literature and art. In other words, the Literature Club can be identified as being a form of an art club.”
A few chuckled at the word, ‘art,’ while others lost interest and looked away. Then, observing the reactions of the freshmen, Sun Hwa continued, “I’m sure some of you are intimidated by the word ‘art,’ and to be honest, I know I was when I first started. Art feels like some sort of esoteric activity for the chosen people. Some of the finest brains and artists of this age, like Vincent Gogh and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, would be examples of those who created time-defying pieces of art.”
Then, as a handful of freshmen responded to her, Sun Hwa took the opportunity to lock eyes with them.
“But I must tell you. That is a preconceived notion. Why? Because these five, run-of-the-mill students are in the Literature Club, making art,” she said, pointing toward the club members standing in line in front of the chalkboard and looking at them.
“Now, we will briefly introduce ourselves. Nobody’s introduced themselves yet, right?”
The freshmen nodded. All the previous clubs had been busy talking about their clubs. However, what the freshmen were really curious about was what the experience of being part of a club was like. In other words, the situations they would find themselves in. If the club members looked anything like how the freshmen wanted to look in the future, the freshmen were bound to lean toward joining that club. At Sun Hwa’s signal, Bom started off.
“My grades were just above average, and I didn’t have a particular hobby either, so I joined the club with my friend here when I was your guys’ age. Also, I’ve won an award at an essay contest outside of school,” Bom said, hiding her embarrassment. The mention of her award had already been agreed upon beforehand, and just as the club members had expected, the freshmen began to respond to it.
“Grades: average. Hobby: reading. I thought about joining the Book Club, but the teacher there was intimidating as heck, so I gave up and joined a similar club instead: the Literature Club. I enjoy reading to this day, and that was possible because of how flexible the club is. One of our recent graduates used to draw most of the time during club activities. Also, the members get to choose whether or not to take part in the aforementioned essay contests.”
Upon hearing Seo Kwang’s description of the club’s flexibility, the freshmen responded even more.
“Grades: average. Hobby: table tennis. I applied to the club thinking that it would be a lazy club. By the way, I’d read a total of five books through my entire middle school career. Since joining the Literature Club, I’ve been realizing just how fun literature can be. Even if you don’t know a thing about writing, don’t let that stop you from considering our club. It won’t be an issue at all, trust me.”
At that, Seo Kwang let out a quiet sigh, but Bo Suk ignored it just as quickly. Lastly, the turn went to Juho.
“I’d always been writing, even prior to joining the club, but being part of the club was not something I was planning on. I picked up a pamphlet on the floor once, and I just joined without much thought, carefree. If I hadn’t joined the Literature Club, I would be in the Documentary Appreciation Club. I don’t know. It just didn’t sound all that bad to me when I first saw it.”
With the exception of the Literature Club members, everyone in the class chuckled.
Then, with a fierce glare in her eyes, Sun Hwa took the turn to speak, “Grades: top ten in the school. Hobby: reading comic books. Because the Comic Book Club was one of the lazy clubs, I decided to join the Literature Club instead. I’ve been maintaining my grades since the first grade, and with that said, if you’re worried about your grades suffering from the club activities, the Literature Club will NOT hurt your grades.”
A quiet exclamation came from the audience.
“As you’ve all heard, most of our club members had little to no association with either literature or art. Everyone joined light-heartedly, and needless to say, with no experience in writing. But now…”
As Sun Hwa looked at Juho and Bo Suk and gave a signal, they each took the compilations and stories out. The covers designed by Baron were more than enough to captivate the curious freshmen.
“… We’ve all grown to the point of being able to write books. There were no strict guidelines or restrictions. Everyone, art is freedom, and there is no limit to freedom. It’s for everyone, including a bookworm, a writer, a comic book buff, an athlete, and… well, somebody who didn’t like anything in particular!”
It felt like a perfect presentation, and the club members looked around the audience cautiously. Then, Juho began to clapped quietly, and one or two students began to clap along. As the brief applause came to an end, Sun Hwa began to explain the club activities in more detail.
“First off, we members also write, and Mr. Moon, our homeroom teacher, teaches us how to write better. You all know him, right? I believe he teaches freshmen, as well.”
At the mention of the teacher’s name, a bright expression appeared on a number of the students’ faces. Mr. Moon was surprisingly popular among students.
“Our goal is to write as much as possible, and that means the process has to be fun. It can’t be boring. We’re always thinking of different ways to have fun while we improve our writing skills, and there have been times when we made a character out of a plaster figure or compared it to a dish, or observed pedestrians walking past the school.”
Sun Hwa was trying to bring up the positive aspects of the club as much as possible. It was the foundation of advertising, and Sun Hwa stayed true to it.
Then, Seo Kwang stepped out and asked, “Any book lovers here?”
There was no answer. However, Seo Kwang didn’t let up, either.
“I’m sure some of you hate writing and love reading, but you don’t feel like joining either the Literature Debate Club or the Book Club. If that applies to you, listen very carefully as I explain why the Literature Club would be just the club for you.”
Then, Seo Kwang proved his obsession with reading to the freshmen. Talking about books at great length was one of his specialties, and upon witnessing that, the freshmen were bound to realize the severity of the junior’s obsession, whether they wanted to or not. Then, with appropriate timing, Bom signaled Seo Kwang to stop.
“The desire to know more about your passion is only natural, and it makes you want to know everything there is to know about that subject. The moment you step into the Literature Club, that yearning will be resolved. You may have been merely interacting with books from a reader’s standpoint, but as soon as you create your first sentence, you get to see everything that happens in the background. The things you couldn’t see, no matter how many times or for how long you read the same part of a book, unfold right before your eyes the second you finish writing your very own sentence. It’s truly an incredible experience,” Seo Kwang said, his eyes burning with passion while expressing just how amazing the experience had been for him. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like there were any book lovers in Classroom 1, at least no one who liked books as much as Seo Kwang, anyway. Seeing the lack of response, Bom stepped in to deal with the situation.
“Uh, so, if we were to talk about our grades, our club has something to offer when it comes to boosting your student records: The Literary Awards. Our members take part in all kinds of essay contests on a regular basis, hosted by various organizations, and there’s an array of awards out there. Some contests offer cash prizes of a whopping thousand dollars, while there are also awards that offer special recognition that would get you accepted into a university. I’ve won an award, which was unthinkable when I first joined the club. But, I believe the only reason I was able to win was that I joined the Literature Club.”
The freshmen fixed their eyes on Bom. At which point, she emphasized, “So, on that note, I’d like to urge everyone here to consider joining us, even those with the most remote interest.”
Then, Bo Suk spoke up, “Everyone here knows Yun Woo, right?”
“Yes,” the freshmen answered in a more recognizable voice that time. Everyone in the class knew Yun Woo.
“‘The faceless, genius author, Yun Woo.’ People call him all sorts of cool-sounding names, right? The youngest, the first author in Asia and the world, and the first in Korea. He grabs coffee with Kelley Coin, apparently. His fellow authors get inspiration from him and include those in their own novels. Every single one of his books has made it to the bestsellers’ list, and they’re all in the top-ten bestsellers’ rankings to this day. If you go to any bookstore, you’ll quickly find the enormous stash of Yun Woo books. I mean, considering how many books he has sold so far, he’s gotta be loaded, and if I were to be honest with you, I thought to myself once that I wanted to be like him when I grew up. I’m sure everyone here has had the same thought at some point, at least once. Am I right?”
“Yes,” a student answered in a loud voice, and the class broke out into a chuckle. Then, Bo Suk pointed at the student and said, “Then, join the Literature Club, where your legend will start. Who knows? Yun Woo might come looking for you one day, impressed, asking you how you were able to write a novel like that!”
The freshmen looked unconvinced, as if they didn’t even wish for that to happen. Then, Bo Suk took decided to approach things from another angle.
“Being part of the Literature Club, you’re bound to hear about the literary world, including stories about Yun Woo. When his identity gets revealed, I’m sure the Literature Club will be the first to know. I mean, we’re all curious, aren’t we?”
Although the students remained unconvinced, they began to show interest in Bo Suk’s words. Then, Juho stepped forward quietly and lifted up the book in his hand, and Bo Suk gave him a helping hand.
“This is a compilation that the Literature Club has put together. You can say that it’s a record of our yearly progress. Don’t you just love the cover design? Well, guess what, it was designed by a member who has just recently graduated.”
At that, the freshmen were taken aback by its quality.
“There are plenty of other compilations like this that date back to a time even before we were in high school. You can learn about the school’s history, and dare I say, secrets. Not only are they fun to read, but they’ll move you from deep within. I recommend you check them out when you have time, but for now, why don’t we take a quick look at it?”
The two compilations were put in the hands of a student sitting in the frontmost row, and handing one to the classmate next to them, the two began to scan through the tomes. Rather than being genuinely interested in the content, it was more apparent that they were trying to be polite in front of the sophomore and juniors standing in front of them. The compilations circulated the classroom quickly.
“Now, these here are the stories that Seo Kwang mentioned that are being exhibited in the library. The covers for these books were also designed by the same person who designed the covers of the compilations.”
“Wow, that looks amazing,” a quiet voice sounded from the audience. Baron’s designs were pleasing to the eye, and things that were pleasing to the eye tended to captivate people, making them want them for themselves. They wanted to touch it for no apparent reason. Then, Juho nodded with a smile.
“This here was written by Sun Hwa, and this here was written by Bom herself And this one was written by Bo Suk. Every bit of these books was created by our respective members, down to every punctuation. They might not be that long, but I can assure you that they’re of great quality. Not only are they substantial, but they’re also fun to read. If you’d like to know if I’m telling the truth, you can find out for yourselves by looking at these books,” Juho said, locking eyes with each student. Then, the moment he was about to open his mouth to speak, a student sitting in the back of the middle row raised their hand. It was the first interaction up to that point, and Juho looked at the student and his long, thin eyes.
“Do you have a question?”
“Yes,” the student answered in a light voice. He had a playful look about him, and Juho imagined it would only become more apparent if the student were to put on a big smile. As if aware of that, the freshman maintained a straight face.
“Where’s the other book?” the student asked in a rigid tone of voice, unlike his appearance.
“Other book?” Juho asked, looking down at the three books in his hand.
“‘Grains of Sand is missing,” the student said.
As the long, thin eyes blinked, Juho explained the whereabouts of the book.
“It’s still in the library.”
“Why is that?”
“It was just too good. I wrote it, by the way.”
A handful of students chuckled, perceiving Juho’s statement as a joke. Then, Juho flipped to the later pages and handed the tome over to another student in the frontmost seat, who took it from Juho’s hand willingly.
“If a beginner were to see it, it would kill their drive to write. It’s a piece that encourages the desire to write, all the while taking away the courage to.”
There were times when two different emotions would come up to a person’s heart at once, and one of those times was when something captivating was in front of their eyes. They wanted to, yet they couldn’t. While feeling the desire to be able to write a piece like that, there was also a realization that they would never be able to. It wasn’t necessarily a bad phenomenon. Rather, it was a matter that took contemplation and decision-making. However, the club members were facing the particular situation of advertising for their club, interacting with students with no interest in books. Presenting a thick tome, made of classic literature to kids who had barely read a single book the entire previous year would only work against the club members. Only when people felt closer to the club members, would they be willing to consider joining light-heartedly. However, despite Juho’s intention, the freshmen looked at Juho as if looking at someone with a tad too much self-esteem.
“Well, that’s all a joke, but really, if you’re curious, go check it out at the library. It’s free,” Juho said with a smile.
“And those who find themselves moved by what they read, the Literature Club wouldn’t be a bad place to be. Sensitivity is a crucial element of art. If a piece written by an amateur manages to move its readers, it would mean that they have talent. I recommend checking out other compilations while you’re there. Also, the Book Club isn’t such a bad club, either.”
“It seems like our time is up,” Sun Hwa said in closing, cutting Juho off as he was about to advertise for another club.
“If you’re interested, please feel free to apply. You can turn your applications in to Mr. Moon. We accept anyone and everyone with open arms.”
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