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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Just like that, the club members’ experience in promoting their club came to an end, and the club members emphasized the name of the club until the very last second on their way out. As the Literature Club stepped out of the classroom, the Volunteering Club, who had been waiting for their turn in the hallway, went in with their colorful tools.
“Honestly, the response wasn’t too terrible!” Seo Kwang said nonchalantly, and Bom agreed.
“Yeah, it really wasn’t that bad. I think we can keep it going like this!”
Then, remembering something, Sun Hwa stared daggers at Juho, “You know, you did well back there, but why do you keep bringing up other clubs?”
“It just came out,” Juho said calmly, and the displeasure on her face deepened.
In the end, Bo Suk interjected, “Let’s look at the bright side. I think the story about Yun Woo really worked. I saw their eyes sparkle.”
“That is true.”
“Well then, let’s move on and get this out of the way,” Seo Kwang rushed his clubmates, and they headed toward Classroom 2, which was right next to the classroom they had just left.
Then, after thinking for a brief moment, Juho asked to be excused, “You guys go on ahead.”
“What?… Well, we have to wait anyway, so hurry back.”
“It won’t take long.”
As if irked by him, Sun Hwa waved irritably and walked away. Then, Juho turned around and peeked his head through the back door of Classroom 1 and saw the student sitting in the backmost seat. Conveniently, the freshman with long, thin eyes was looking in his direction. As Juho waved, the freshman looked around in confusion. ‘Yes, you,’ Juho murmured internally, and the freshman, who wasn’t as tall as he had appeared to be, walked toward him.
“Were you looking for me?” the freshman asked in a rigid voice, obviously nervous.
“Yeah,” Juho said with a smile, indicating to the nervous freshman that he had come in peace.
“What is it?” the freshman asked, still nervous.
“What’s your name?” Juho asked light-heartedly. The freshman wasn’t wearing a name tag.
“Gong Pal Kong.”
A name that grabbed attention came from the freshman’s mouth. ‘Is it a name or a series of numbers?’ Juho thought to himself. Nevertheless, although it was rather unusual, it was also an interesting name, and swallowing the question that came to him by impulse, Juho got to the point.
(TL’s Note: ‘Gong Pal’ translates or sounds like ‘zero eight’ in Korean.)
“I wanted to ask you something. You’re not busy, are you?”
“No, not at all.”
At that, Juho nodded.
“We locked eyes in the library, didn’t we?”
“… Yes, we did.”
“I knew it. You were the one reading ‘Grains of Sand,’ huh?”
“Just like you said, it was just too good.”
‘But I had no clue that it was written by someone like you.’
That blatant flash of emotions appeared on Gong Pal’s face. However, Juho was quite fond of his honesty
“Gong Pal,” Juho called to him. It rolled right off the tongue.
“So, are you planning on joining the Literature Club?”
“I… can’t say at the moment,” Gong Pal said, looking at Juho.
“If you come to our club, you’ll find even more things to read.”
After Juho’s tempting words, Gong Pal just stared at him instead of giving him an answer.
“Not just what’s already been written, but what’s going to be written in the future, as well.”
While he was hesitant, Juho patted him on the shoulder as a gesture of telling him to think about it some more.
“It’s a fun club to be part of. Come visit if you’re ever curious.”
After a long pause, Gong Pal gave him an affirmative answer. Then, checking the expression on the freshman’s face one more time, Juho walked away in order to reunite with his clubmates while thinking back on the faces of the people who had been moved by his writing. Juho’s writing had a profound impact on people.
Gong Pal was fond of ‘Grains of Sand,’ in particular, and reading one’s favorite piece of writing brought about joy. Maintaining a state of joy was part of humanity’s natural instinct, and it was for that reason that people looked at books written by other authors. They wanted to replicate the emotional experience, and they wanted to experience it repeatedly. The bait that Juho had just placed before the freshman had to be quite appetizing for him, and Juho hoped that he would take it.
“What did you guys talk about? Were you advertising? How’d it go?” Seo Kwang asked, and at that moment, the club that was in the class came out of Classroom 2. Then, Juho said as he walked in, “He had a cool name.”
At that, Seo Kwang gave him an emphatic, non-verbal signal, suggesting that they should resume their conversation later. Meanwhile, Sun Hwa repeated things similar to what she had said in the previous classroom and Juho looked around the class, standing still with books in his hands. At that moment, his eyes were drawn to the backmost seat of the middle row.
They met again. The long, thin eyes. Juho blinked twice to make sure that he wasn’t hallucinating, but sure enough, it was the same pair of eyes from a moment ago. The student also had a playful look about her, and just like Gong Pal, she had a straight face, as if knowing that she could come across as insincere and frivolous. However, her long hair followed her sharp chin line past her shoulders. On top of it all, she was a girl.
“Juho,” Bo Suk called to him, poking at his side. Then, stepping forward in a delay, Juho explained about the books. At that moment, the girl raised her hand.
“Where’s the other book?”
Only then, did the rest of the club members recognize the student. Then, Seo Kwang, taken aback, asked, “You look just like the guy we saw in Classroom 1!”
At that, the girl answered sullenly, “We’re twins.”
“Huh, twins!” Sun Hwa said, also taken aback. As if familiar with the situation, the girl accepted the club members’ responses. After thinking for a brief time, Juho asked, “Your name?”
Then, blinking twice, the girl answered, “Gong Il Kong.”
(TL’s Note: “Gong Il” means “zero one” in Korean. The last name “Kong” is also interchangeable with “Gong.”)
At that, Juho found himself thinking, ‘So, not 007.’
(TL’s Note: Remember, last names come before first names in Korea!)
“Ugh! I’m beat.”
“Tell me about it.”
The club members were exhausted after having visited every single classroom on the freshmen’s floor. Believe it or not, speaking in front of a crowd was a rather taxing task, and with the exception of Juho, everyone in the science room was plopped on their desks, either on their cheeks or their foreheads.
“Guess we just gotta wait and see now,” Sun Hwa said in a slur, and Bom sat up slowly with a concerned look on her face.
“Do you think anybody will come? Now that I think about it, I do feel like we kind of rambled on. Maybe we might have been better off to have them experience things themselves, somehow.”
“We didn’t have enough time, though. There were other clubs waiting in line, too.”
“True. Honestly, I was hoping to have an in-depth conversation about books with them. Longer and more elaborate.”
“Then, they’d just join the Book Club.”
At that, Juho nodded and said, “We did our best.”
Whether the freshmen joined the Literature Club or not, the club members had done everything within their power.
“Besides, there’s nothing we can do, now,” Juho said, and Sun Hwa agreed.
“It’s too early for reflections, too.”
At that, Bom smiled faintly, and Seo Kwang, who had plopped his forehead on his desk, turned his head toward Juho.
“I miss Baron. He would have been so good at all this.”
“He would have come up with a poster in no time.”
Sun Hwa murmured that they wouldn’t have been as worried if they’d been able to stand in front of the freshmen with a poster from Baron.
“But there were a few who seemed interested, weren’t here?” Bo Suk said, unlike the rest of the club members who were filled with worry and concern.
“I think they liked it when we mentioned the cash prize, too.”
“Yeah! There were even some who seemed pretty interested when we mentioned a specific amount of money.”
“Hooray for capitalism!”
Through the experience, the club members learned that it wasn’t all that difficult to take interest in things, and that all it took was to give it a try. From money to grades, university, books, and awards, the club members had prepared an array of baits for a reason.
“I think we’ll have at least two,” Juho murmured, and the club members jumped out of their seats.
“Really!? You think so!?”
“Who? Was there anybody interested?” Seo Kwang asked, having caught on to where Juho was coming from.
“Oh, the twins?”
“Speaking of which, you were gone for a little while to talk to one of them, right?”
“Why? Were they anxious to join?”
“No, just a feeling,” Juho said.
However, the club members ignored his denial and kept on, “Yeah, they were both really into ‘Grains of Sand,’ weren’t they?”
“They wanted to know more about Juho, too.”
“Neither of them seemed super outgoing, either. Normally, students have no hobby nor do they know what they want to do with their lives, so it makes sense that they would be drawn to the Literature Club.”
“That sounds reasonable,” Bo Suk said in a serious tone of voice. Unfortunately, as reasonable as it might have sounded, there was no way to back it up, making it all mere conjecture.
From all that, Juho witnessed just how much influence his words carried.
“Well, in any case, I’m sure somebody’s going to come.”
From then on, the club members went down to see Mr. Moon in the staffroom in order to check the number of applications that were submitted, and wearing an indifferent expression, the teacher showed them his empty hands. The club members became exceedingly disappointed and anxious.
“I’m going, now.”
“OK, bye,” Juho said while sweeping the floor with a broomstick, and without even looking back, Sun Hwa left the class. Feeling the stuffy air in the classroom, Juho stood near the window for a little while in order to get some fresh air, but the air quality was just as bad outside as inside. At that moment, a voice came from behind him telling him not to slack off, and Juho went back to sweeping the floor immediately and thoroughly. There were all sorts of things on the desks, from workbooks to textbooks.
“Done,” Juho said as he closed the window and wrapped up, leaving the classroom without hesitation. Then, as he went down to the science room by habit, he was met with his clubmates exploding into cheers and he was well aware that they weren’t celebrating his appearance. There were more people in the room than usual. To be precise, there were two more people. Two nearly-identical-looking silhouettes.
“Juho!” Bo Suk cried out upon seeing him, and at that, everyone else looked in his direction. Then, Juho walked into the room.
“Freshmen?” Juho asked despite recognizing the long, thin eyes, and the two answered at the same time, “Yes.”
“Have you guys turned your applications in already?”
That time, the twins also answered simultaneously, “We did.”
After their answer, Juho nodded with satisfaction.
“There’s no turning back, now.”
“So we heard.”
“Yes, I know.”
That time, the twins gave different answers. The harmony of their higher and lower pitched voices wasn’t half bad. Then, wearing an excited look on her face, Sun Hwa asked, “You guys joined because you liked what you heard, right?”
She wanted to know how effective her promotional tactics had been, and after locking eyes with each other, the twins answered at the same time, “Yes, we couldn’t resist.”
At that, Juho chuckled, and with blatant joy on his face, Seo Kwang asked, “Man, who would’ve thought we would be short on seats? We’re gonna need another desk, right?”
“Man, we haven’t done this in so long!”
Due to Baron’s absence, only one other chair and desk was needed, but that didn’t get in the way of the club members celebrating the new additions to the club. Because the club was mostly made of juniors, they wouldn’t be able to come to the science room as often toward the end of the semester. And previously concerned about that, the veteran members were relieved to bring in more members.
Then, Seo Kwang and Juho each brought out a desk and a chair, which had been collecting dust in the corner of the room, and Bom and Bo Suk wiped them with wet wipes while Sun Hwa explained the use of the manuscript papers stacked in another corner to the twins. Listening to the junior’s explanation, the twins looked awkwardly at the club members working with clockwork precision. Just like that, another desk was placed next to the one that had belonged to Baron.
“All right. Let’s have a seat.”
At that, Gong Pal took a seat closer to Juho, and after staring intently at him for a little while, the freshman looked away and down at his desk. Although he seemed awkward still, nobody pressured him to get used to the surroundings any quicker.
“Huh?! You guys already set the seats up and all,” Mr. Moon said as he walked in unhurriedly, looking at his pupils as if looking at objects that made his life easier and more convenient.
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