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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“I gotta say, there’s an irony to it,” Nam Kyung said, feeling hopeful. Whenever he would edit one of Yun Woo’s books, he felt like things were getting closer to the ideal picture in his head. He became curious about the readers’ reactions to the book they would buy just to see what their favorite author looked like. What would they think of the book? Nam Kyung sensed success.
“But I have to remind you. Once your face is known, you won’t be able to avoid interacting with the press. They’ll come for you, and they won’t let up.”
“Yes, I know. But I’ll keep it at the lowest key possible. I’ll interact with them when and where I chose to. But in terms of revealing myself to my readers, I’d like to do that through my book.”
“Of course, Mr. Woo.”
Not only was Yun Woo prominent enough to make requests like that to the press, but Zelkova Publishing wasn’t exactly the smallest company, either. They, too, were big enough to host an annual award ceremony.
“All right, then. That should take care of the reporters camping out in front of my workplace.”
Juho smiled at Nam Kyung’s witty remark. Then, the editor moved on to tell him about what had happened at his workplace during their visit to the States, which hadn’t been all that different from the current situation.
“Interview requests will be flooding in from overseas. It won’t be easy to choose.”
Juho sighed quietly at the dreading reminder of the interview requests. He still remembered having to set aside essentially an entire day for interviews. Because reporters and journalists would ask a series of similar questions, it ended with Juho having to repeat himself over and over. He had been blatantly greedy toward fame back then, wanting to be recognized by everyone until he couldn’t roam about the streets in peace. Although the goal hadn’t been bad in an of itself, what he had lacked had been his understanding of who he was: an author. If he wanted to be famous, what he really should’ve done was write rather than participate in interviews. It wasn’t until much later that Juho learned his lesson. Everything became clear in retrospect, and it dawned on him that he most likely wouldn’t have listened to anybody, no matter how much they tried to talk him out of going in the direction he had had in mind. A realization had little meaning unless one came to it on their own, and it wasn’t until much later that a person could reach one.
“Seems like you’re about to get a lot busier,” Nam Kyung said. Just as he had said, the young author was about to be unbelievably busy. Then, after checking his schedules on his phone, Nam Kyung decided to share some news with the young author, “By the way, did you know Mr. Lim is coming out with a new book soon? We haven’t decided on a release date yet, but we’ve been really pushing for it.”
At that, Juho remembered what he had heard from Hyun Do previously.
“Now that you mention it, he did say that he was working on a manuscript.”
“Oh, wow! Are you two that close?”
“Just something that came up during a meal.”
However, the editor didn’t pay all that much attention to his response.
“Does that mean I can expect to see you two in an interview together?”
“Hard to say.”
“Or on TV?”
“Mr. Lim isn’t a fan of getting involved with the press in any way, as far as I’m aware.”
“Man, just the thought of it puts a smile on my face,” he said simpering. No matter what Juho said, it most likely wouldn’t register to Nam Kyung.
“Oh, are you planning on taking pictures? Would you like a studio recommendation from me?” Nam Kyung said, adding that the young author had to pay close attention to his first official photo session in order to leave a positive impression on his readers.
“I know you’re not gonna like it when I say this, but you have to pick the one that comes out the best. You are Yun Woo, after all,” the editor said as if ready to take Juho to a photographer at any given minute. However, the young author shook his head.
“I already have a picture in mind.”
“Oh? What’s look like? How’d it come out?” Nam Kyung asked, and Juho nodded confidently. Juho, too, was aware of the significance of the picture, and he was expecting that his fans would have differing opinions about his looks, as well as the things that brought them doubt. Even if he were to present the publishers as his witnesses, there was bound to be people who doubted whether he was real. ‘Is this boy really Yun Woo?’ ‘He looks a lot better than I imagined.’ ‘He isn’t as good looking as I thought he would be.’ It was unlikely that the process, which involved an author who lived in people’s heads as an image becoming an actual person in reality, would go smoothly and noiselessly. Being well aware of that, Juho didn’t plan on choosing a picture of himself according to the expectations of his fans. Rather, he went with what seemed the most fitting for him.
“Since it would be our first time meeting, it would be a courtesy to introduce myself. In that sense, I thought there would be nothing better than this picture.”
“Well, which picture is it?”
“One that you’ve already seen.”
“I have?!” Nam Kyung asked with a perplexed look on his face.
“You know, the one we took while we were in the States?”
The States. Coin’s residence. As the picture came to mind, Nam Kyung clapped his hands together. There was no picture like it, and Coin had the original.
It was a perfect choice, and it would allow the fans to be able to accept the truth without too much trouble. It had to be the most convincing evidence when proving the young author’s identity. A picture of Yun Woo and Coin, standing side by side in front of Coin’s residence. Both authors were in comfortable attire, and their hairs were blowing in the wind. Although not exactly the tidiest photo, it was bound to make a positive impression on the fans.
“I’m not gonna lie, Mr. Woo. I thought this would be a lot more time-consuming,” the editor said, delighted that everything was going seamlessly.
At that, a subject came up in Juho’s mind, “So, I saw this advertisement on my way here.”
“An advertisement?” he asked, puzzled.
“Yes. It was for a paparazzi academy, but I thought their phrasing was quite threatening.”
‘Capture anybody you want, even Yun Woo!’
At that, an ambiguous expression appeared on the editor’s face. While his mouth was smiling, his brow started to furrow gradually.
“Paparazzi, huh,” he said. Nam Kyung didn’t believe that people would be able to take pictures of the young author when they didn’t even know what he looked like. At the same time, it was slightly disconcerting.
“Mr. Woo, you have to understand how hard we try to keep your identity hidden from the masses,” he said with a sigh. Then, remembering a manual in his department, which was made exclusively for Yun Woo, he added, “There are a total of three people who know what you look like in the entire company, and we’ve minimized the number of people who have access to information about you. We put a warning on every piece of data that has anything remotely to do with you. ‘Confidential. Destroy after reading.’ The general atmosphere within the company has been pretty cautious. I think people are assuming that they would be driven out of the industry if they leaked any information about you. We’ve been having our meetings in a different place every time,” the editor said, emphasizing that the company had been taking a number of precautionary measures in addition to normal.
“I appreciate your thoughtfulness, Mr. Park.”
If it weren’t for Nam Kyung and Zelkova Publishing, Juho wouldn’t have been able to remain anonymous for three years. Then, with a look of relief, Nam Kyung said, “Well, just a little longer now. We’ll keep our eyes peeled just a little longer until the book is released.”
At that, the young author nodded affirmingly.
The paparazzo smiled as he watched the secret meeting between Yun Woo and his editor from the inside of the car. The shutter sounded from his camera, and after taking some pictures of them, the paparazzo lowered the camera to check the photos of the two talking and drinking their fruit juices inside the shop. The young author and his editor appeared to be quite close to each other. ‘Is this really Yun Woo?’ the paparazzo asked, looking at the face that he didn’t recognize.
Then, he took a recording device out of their chest pocket, which contained the make and model of the editor’s car and its plate number, his schedules, and a recording of his voice about a future meeting that was more than likely to happen.
According to his informant, the editor should have left on a business trip that had long been planned for. However, he was still in Korea, meeting someone. More precisely, meeting Yun Woo. The man tried to suppress the wave of excitement washing over him.
“Well, things can always change.”
So far, everything had gone according to his informant, but as long as the paparazzo didn’t know what Yun Woo looked like, there was no way to be certain of anything. In comparison to the photos the paparazzo had been selling up to that point, the set of pictures he had taken that day lacked any substantial evidence that would prove their legitimacy. However, it was hardly going to be an issue because they were going to be sold regardless. There had been many companies looking for items of provocative nature rather than the truth. The name Yun Woo had already been a sensation a number of times previously. The paparazzo swallowed anxiously. ‘How much would I get out of these photos?’ It had to be enough to cover the amount he had spent on the piece of information just to be able to capture the young author on camera. Then, the paparazzo picked up his phone.
“You. Bring your phone up here,” the P.E teacher said to a student, taking their phone away. Meanwhile, having had their phone with them in secret, the student looked like they were about to burst into tears at any given minute.
“Make sure to clean up before you go inside.”
That was the typical end of the weekly P.E class. While some students were quite fond of it, others couldn’t stand it. With that, picking up a basketball, Juho shot into the basket. The students had been told that their test scores would be based on the number of shots they had made within a one-minute time limit. That day, the class had been mostly practicing for the exam, and the class was far from special.
Then, Juho went into the school building, which was noticeably cooler than outside. The junior had heard that the school was planning on going into renovations after he graduated, making a slew of improvements throughout the campus, like a lawn in the schoolyard, better air conditioning and heating, and repainting the outer walls of the building to a brighter color. Suffice to say, the juniors had much to complain about the slew of improvements that were taking place after they would graduate. No matter how much better the school became, it made no difference if they couldn’t take advantage of the improvements. Internally, they had to be coming from a place of sincerity, wanting the underclassmen to enjoy the new and improved learning environment, as well as from a place of mean-spiritedness.
Walls with scribblings on them. Dusty hallways. Windows with metal beams. The lockers, desks, and chairs, which were visible upon opening the classroom door. Chalkboard and podium. Looking attentively at those things, Juho took his seat. Students who had changed out of their P.E clothes were mingling with students who were yet to do so, either getting ready for the next period or snacking on something. On top of that, there was a mention of Yun Woo.
“If I were Yun Woo, I’d do backflips in front of everyone.”
“What’s that even mean?”
“It means I’d enjoy the heck out of being the center of attention.”
The young author chuckled quietly at his peer’s ridiculous remark. At that moment, the bell started ringing, and the teacher walked in through the door. Then, with the teacher’s strict voice, the classroom grew silent at once, and the teacher proceeded to teach. Taking notes and underlining their textbooks, the students marked the subjects they were told to expect in the upcoming exam with stars. Although nobody knew for certain whether or not they would revisit their notes, they took them and marked their textbooks busily. Then, as the teacher called a random call number, a student rose from their seat, barely answering the teacher’s question and sitting back down. The sounds of other students in P.E and shouts came from the open window. Then, the bell started ringing again, and the students started rushing out of the classroom. Meanwhile, the teacher packed their belongings unhurriedly and rose from their seat. The Broadcasting Club was playing background music during lunchtime, and recently, they had started reading quotes or English texts recommended by teachers in collaboration with the Newspaper Club. However, nobody seemed to pay any attention to it.
Although it was time for club activities, that was merely a formality, as it was really independent study for the juniors. Meanwhile, leaving his peers behind, Juho walked out of the classroom along with one of his peers, who was part of the Broadcasting Club. There were only a handful of students who were still going to their respective clubs during the club activities period.
When Juho arrived at the science room, the sophomore and the freshmen were already there, ahead of him since their classrooms were closer to the room. As he was greeted by them, Juho went over to his seat.
“Juho, did you see our stories in the library?”
“I sure did.”
“We loved the cover design so much!”
Designed by Baron, they were just as captivating as they had always been. Although, he let it seem like his schedule was busy enough to make him live on campus, the former club member had willingly designed the covers for his clubmates after reading Juho’s writing. The twins seemed to be blown away by the fact that their books were being exhibited in public. Meanwhile, Bo Suk raised her thumb, impressed by Baron’s outstanding work.
“I’m sure this is a no-brainer, but your book is the most popular out of all of ours, Juho,” she said. However, unlike what she had said, that wasn’t as obvious as the sophomore thought. As Juho was about to explain, she beat him to it, “But frankly, it seems like people are less interested this time around when compared to last year. Maybe it’s because we don’t get to advertise using Baron’s posters.”
Then, after some contemplation, Juho played along, saying, “Maybe. It’s important to promote.”
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