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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Sigh,” Juho let out. Upon returning home and opening the door to his room, the young author was reminded that there was yet another thing on the list of things that needed to be organized: the boxes of manuscript paper. They were like mountains made of paper. Because he was running out of space for the boxes, some of them had been taking up one of the corners of the living room. His mother would always tell him to move the boxes elsewhere or throw them out every time she came into his room. Then, with the conviction that it wouldn’t be long until he’d lost his bed to the boxes of manuscripts, Juho turned toward the window and opened it. Of course, the boxes were getting in the way of him doing that.
Nevertheless, the young author didn’t find his room suffocating because everything that had stifled him at one point had all been turned into writing and was sitting within those boxes. The stacks of paper were the very proof that Juho had successfully alleviated his emotions. Having digested all of those emotions, it made sense that that much writing would’ve come out of him.
Then, Juho took a book out of his backpack. It was the book written by Yun Seo, which he had been reading constantly. Yun Seo had started writing that book just when she had thought she had had nothing left as an author. Although she had always claimed that she had had no more stories left to write, she had successfully created yet another outstanding story. She was just as great of an artist as she had always been, as well as a respected novelist.
Her book had the power to revive people. Yun Seo’s book carried a certain warmth to it. The fact that the young author was reading her book at that point in his life, in particular, was far from coincidence. Yun Seo had the ability to write books that people would reach for whenever they found themselves at a crossroads.
“A genius,” Juho let out as he remembered the conversation he had had with Coin. Juho had disliked the word quite a bit. However, regardless of how much he hated the word, Yun Woo and Won Yi Young had always been geniuses in the eyes of others. But what did that mean for Juho Woo? He was a run-of-the-mill high school student, and Juho much preferred that than anything. However, his peaceful school life was short lived. An underclassman had appeared and started calling him by the very title he disliked so much. It had to be a sign, a sign that Juho wouldn’t be able to get what he wanted staying where he was, and that the time to make a choice was imminent. It was a powerful sign, and Juho recalled hearing it even from his book-loving, yet cheerful friend.
Then, a bird chirped outside the window. The young author thought back to the conversation he had had with Dong Baek. He had described him as being charming. However, Juho was fully aware that, within him, lived a homeless, alcoholic man. He closed his eyes. He wanted to keep the conversation going and bring up what he couldn’t bring himself to bring up. The red wallpaper appeared before his eyes. In fact, everything was red, from the floor to the chairs. An image of red flowers lingered in Juho’s head.
“You’re incredibly charming, Mr. Woo,” Dong Baek said. “You have a mysterious side to you. For example, your calm, unfazed nature, as if you had poured all of your feelings into your work, and your maturity. You’re strangely mature for your age, but I find us often speaking the same language, Mr. Woo. I see how you’re able to write like that, and to understand is to accept.”
Dong Baek was certain.
“I still remember the day when I talked to you for the first time. As far as I’m aware, you’ll be greeted with opened arms by your fans, Mr. Woo.”
Juho recalled the president showing similar confidence previously. It had happened when they first discussed ‘Language of God.’ His prediction had become a reality, and it showed that he had the ability to read the market and the readers. Charming. That time, Juho didn’t try to shake off the image of himself at the lowest point in his past life.
“I might end up homeless, completely incapacitated from alcohol abuse.”
Then, Juho added the truth, which sounded all too much like an excuse, “It could happen to anybody.”
Although the young author couldn’t make out Dong Baek’s face, his answer wasn’t a serious one: “Well, that would leave me feeling uneasy, if you put it that way. I am the president of a company at the end of the day.”
Dong Baek, too, had a fear of failure. Meanwhile, Jang Mi, who was sitting next to him, nodded with exaggeration. Everything was as red as a warning light.
“In that case, everyone would blame the one who failed. In this case, the president.”
It was ugly and pitiful. Blaming those who had fallen away from society was easier than breathing. At the same time, it came with a strange sense of pleasure. Those who blamed were able to rest assured because they knew that they were in the position of being able to blame.
“Most likely,” Juho said.
The young author was afraid of getting blamed. He was afraid to fail, as well as of humiliation and the wound that came with it. Juho knew all too well just how painful that could be, and he never wanted to be on the receiving end of his readers’ disgusted glares.
“But, if I were to stay afraid, I wouldn’t be able to write.”
There was nothing more crippling for an author than fear of failure. It prevented them from writing a single word as their minds became filled with worry and insecurity. ‘What if there’s a better sentence? If I wrote this one sentence, would it ruin the entire thing? What if people say that I should’ve left that sentence out?’ The thoughts only grew scarier, leaving the author to obsess over a single sentence until it was impeccable.
“There is no such thing as a perfect sentence.”
Failures were painful, and it was only natural to fear things that caused pain. However, lingering in that fear left one entirely incapacitated. In that case, did that mean that it was natural for them to feel like they couldn’t do anything, making everything they had done up to that point unnatural? The answer was no. Fear hadn’t been the only emotion the young author had felt, and it only tended to come out when a concoction of emotions was becoming a piece of writing.
“Interesting,” Dong Baek said. He was listening to Juho’s every thought. “You seem to be at a crossroads.”
“Very much so.”
“You know, that’s not a bad thing. It’s just the process of reaching a conclusion of your own. After all, it’s part of life to ponder, act and problem solve.”
“But it leaves the mind in a jumbled mess.”
“I agree, and it’s definitely not something you want to make a habit of. Everything in moderation, right?”
Then, Jang Mi chimed in, “I think you’re in denial, Mr. Woo.” And the table started spinning as if it would never stop. “You’re not thinking about what’s actually important.”
Juho nodded in agreement to Jang Mi’s statement.
“It’s not an in-depth analysis of the nature of failure that you should be thinking about. Rather, it’s whether or not you’ll face it.”
“I’m sure we’re sharing the same knowledge here, Mr. Woo.”
“And we’re not the ones you should be worrying about.”
Then, along with what sounded like wailing, another person walked into the room. It was Kelley Coin.
Juho heard the conversation they had had. The young author definitely recalled saying, “‘Genius’ isn’t enough. I don’t find it satisfying. I’d much prefer something even bigger, shinier and more embellished.”
Then, a burst of hearty laughter came from behind.
“I knew it. Pure, huh? You want more people to agree with you and recognize you. You want every person in this world to read your writing,” Coin said.
‘Of course,’ Juho thought. He didn’t deny it since he knew those very desires were hidden deep within him. The wailing didn’t stop. Then, when he looked at the wall with floral-patterned wallpaper on it, he saw a black stain that looked like a burnt spot.
“The bird’s here,” Juho let out, seeing the crow sitting still on the table. The table was still spinning, and although the crow flapped its wings by reflex, it seemed to be enjoying the ride that made the world around it spin, as if oblivious to the fact that the fun would eventually come to an end.
Juho was fully aware of what he had been avoiding. He had to make a choice. The world was full of terrifying things. From eating to walking, there was not a single thing that didn’t involve some sort of hazard. The young author had always been afraid of failure, but he had been just as afraid of success. A success beyond what one could handle was no different from a failure, and remaining in a place of success all by himself was the same thing. Once fear started creeping in, there was no end to it. With that, as if seeking advice, the young author asked the crow, “Have you grown weary?”
The bird shook its head.
“Are you tired?”
That time, the bird took some time to think, but it soon shook its head once again.
“In that case, you could probably handle taking one step forward from where you are, right?”
The young author had sought advice from a number of people. While some had encouraged him to reveal his identity, others had tried to discourage him from doing so. Eventually, Juho came to realize what he really wanted. The crow cawed. Juho wanted to be great, but what did that mean? Everything in toward that path was ambiguous, and the young author didn’t know how to get there. Nevertheless, that wasn’t to say that he was apathetic. He might have been afraid to fail, but he didn’t seek after success either.
Then, Juho swung his hand toward the crow. The table stopped and the crow, caught off guard by the young author’s sudden movement, took a step back, frightened. However, its eyes were still fixed on Juho. It was looking to resist him. Flapping its wings about, it hesitated out of fear, pondering.
“You and I are actually on the same page for once.”
Then, as if mocking him, the bird turned away from him, and it was at that moment that Juho opened his eyes. He looked at the book written by Yun Seo in his hand. ‘I’ll make a decision once I finish this book. That’s a pace I can manage to keep without falling on my face.”
‘Will we ever come to see Yun Woo? While the Earth keeps spinning, and time passes, the high school juniors in Korea are absorbed with preparing for the upcoming SAT. The number of days left until the test day is getting crossed off one by one on the chalkboard. I was both delighted and unsurprised by photos of a scene from a typical high school classroom, those that turn up every year. However, thanks to Korea’s very own world-class author, things are looking a little more special. Having debuted at an early age, his debut title had not only been received with critical acclaim, but it also quickly became a bestseller. BUT, that isn’t to say that’s the only thing that’s bringing him so much attention. There’s yet another factor that is bringing a type of curiosity that feels closer to torture. Anonymity. Yun Woo’s identity has been a mystery. In reality, there have been quite a few authors who have chosen to remain anonymous. Authors who are less popular, authors who suffer from social phobias, and surprisingly, even some authors who are credited with writing some of the greatest pieces in history.
‘As far as I’m aware, Yun Woo had personally requested his publishing company to keep his identity hidden in order to ensure his comfortable school life. Then, what would it mean for the young author once the SAT is over, and the juniors graduate? Would Yun Woo reveal his identity? Would he face his readers in person? Would he expose himself to the press? If not, would he remain anonymous to ensure a peaceful life as a college student? There are a number of possible scenarios… I, personally, share a hope similar to the rest of the fans across the globe. I hope that Yun Woo will reveal himself. Why? Because he’s our favorite author, who writes our favorite books. When it comes to somebody we’re fond of, we tend to want to know everything there is to know about them.’
Nam Kyung let out a deep sigh as he put the paper down. There were tens of other versions of similar drafts. That one had been written by a fan who hoped the young author would reveal himself, and similar posts had been turning up on the bulletin board of the company’s website.
The inquiries kept flooding in while the editor was busy trying to decide on the kind of paper to use for a book, looking at samples of bookmarks, setting dates for a meeting with clients, and even during a company meeting. “Is Yun Woo going to reveal himself?” Although the meeting in the editing department had been long over, the reporters had lingered in the meeting room. It had been an occasion to disclose information about Yun Woo that wasn’t going to be revealed to the public, and everyone had hoped for an official statement from the publisher.
“We’d have to wait for a response from Mr. Woo himself.”
Although it was unfortunate for the fans hoping earnestly to find out more about the young author, the publisher didn’t know what the young author was thinking, either.
At that, Nam Kyung resisted the urge to sigh heavily.
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