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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Are they filming?”
“I think they’re waiting for something to happen.”
The crowd talked among itselves. Meanwhile, Juho was observing the crowd of curious fans and reporters from afar. Staring intently at whoever went in and/or out of the building, there were no doubts that their purpose was completely different from that of the crowd at the book fest. A handful of them was even looking in Juho’s direction. ‘So that’s the crowd Nam Kyung was telling me about.’ Similar in number to the time when the schoolyard had to be shared between three classes, fans had gathered in front of Zelkova’s building in order to see their favorite author, sitting on the ground as if knowing that it wouldn’t happen any time soon.
“What are they doing? That’s just ridiculous.”
The pedestrians were glancing in the direction of the crowd sitting on the ground. While some whispered to each other and mocked them, others exclaimed with admiration, impressed by their determination. The standing crowd took pictures of the crowd sitting on the ground, while the cameramen captured them. Meanwhile, the crowd from the book fest was watching everything taking place from their respective spots. The crowd grew even bigger over time. Knowing that the crowd was there with ill intentions, Juho felt sorry for the building.
Standing still, the young author kept observing them from the distance. When a person left, another came and filled the spot. The dynamic was mutual across the entire crowd. While some withdrew, others held their places.
“You mean this whole crowd is here just to see Yun Woo!?” somebody let out. It didn’t take much until the entire street buzzed with voices. At that moment, while the crowd was buzzing passively, a group of people started moving, another group of reporters who had just arrived at the scene. Then, one of them approached the crowd sitting on the ground and, as if they had previous experience being interviewed, a person sitting in the frontmost row complied with the interview request.
“Are you a fan of Yun Woo?” the reporter asked.
“Yes. I own every single one of his books,” the fan said clearly, their confidence exuding intelligence.
“What do you like about him?”
Upon hearing that question, a smile appeared on the fan’s face, and it was clearly visible even from where Juho was standing.
“He’s just incredible. Not only is he a young genius, but he’s anonymous and he’s even managed to win some really famous literary awards. His writing drives me nuts. I just can’t get enough of it.”
Then, as the fan looked straight at the camera, the reporter walked a little closer toward them.
“How can you know whether you’ll see Yun Woo here or not?”
“I’m counting on my luck. As you said, there’s no telling if I’d be able to recognize him even if I were to see him. But who knows? That person might just be Yun Woo. And if he really is, then I will have met him.”
“How will you confirm the answer?”
“As in, whether you really met him or not.”
“Oh, that. It’s simple. I’ll know as soon as Yun Woo reveals himself.”
At that, the reporter continued as if the fan had taken the bait, “Are you aware of Yun Woo’s picture floating around the internet?”
“Yes, I am.”
“So, what does that tell you about your answer?” the reporter asked and the fan hesitated for the first time.
Then, with a slight disappointment in their face, the fan said, “I wouldn’t be here right now if it did anything to help me.”
As the reporter was about to ask a series of questions about what they had said, but the fan beat the reporter to it, saying, “But now that I know what Yun Woo looks like, I have the upper hand. I’ll be able to recognize him the moment I see him.”
“Do you think Yun Woo will show up today? It seems highly unlikely to me,” the reporter asked, and the fan responded with a shrug, “Only Yun Woo would know.”
With that, Juho turned his head by reflex to look at the people around him. Some were sighing, while others were growing irritable, frowning. They were all dying to meet the young author. At that moment…
… Juho locked eyes with somebody standing next to the cameramen. Although Juho was about to ignore it, the man didn’t seem to be thinking about doing the same. Then, raising his hand, he pointed in a direction, opened his mouth, and let out, “It’s Yun Woo!”
The situation took a turn suddenly. As the man said repeatedly, “It’s Yun Woo. He has to be,” the people around him looked around frantically. Meanwhile, the young author was still locking eyes with the man, even as his name was being called out. The man’s finger and tongue were both directed toward him. The crowd on the ground jumped up at once, and the crowd in their feet took their phones out simultaneously. At that moment, as the tightly-shut door of the building flung open, a number of people poured out of it, including Nam Kyung. Then, with an urgent look on his face, he shouted, “Hey! What do you think you’re doing here?”
Not only did the editor look furious, but his voice also sounded quite agitated. However, none of it was directed toward the young author. When Juho turned back, he saw Nam Kyung’s nephew standing with a cheerful expression on his face, and a camera in his hand, capturing the chaos around him. From his appearance, seeming to be recording a video, Juho was made certain of what Nam Kyung’s nephew was feeling. He was having the time of his life as people called him Yun Woo. He was on cloud nine, as if he had become somebody significant, and it was at that moment that Juho saw his old self overlap with the nephew’s appearance. Drunk with fame, Juho had participated in interviews one after another in an attempt to expose himself to the press as much possible. The young author saw himself in the naive nephew, getting angry at people who didn’t recognize him, his body shaking with humiliation. At that moment, Juho felt somebody pushing him from behind. The world shook before his eyes, as if he was being washed away by a strong current. It was an incredible amount of force. It was dangerous, and Juho felt an urgent need to escape. However, he couldn’t move an inch as he was stuck in the crowd crushing and suffocating him. Juho felt an impact against his jaw, and pain on the back of his hand as well as his foot. The entire street roared with shouts.
Feeling dizzy, Juho closed his eyes. When he opened them again after a little while, he was distant from “Yun Woo.” The young author had barely managed to escape. Then, after gathering his senses, Juho observed the situation. The crowd surrounding Yun Woo as if there was an invisible boundary around him could be seen in the distance. Then, as employees squeezed through the crowd in order to protect him and as the barrier became clear, the crowd started going wild, throwing themselves at it in order to break through. It was quite intriguing when considering human nature was to be afraid of the things unseen. No matter how much the employees shouted at them to back up, it was no use. Meanwhile, Nam Kyung was desperate to take his nephew into the building.
“This is getting serious. What if people get hurt?” Juho let out.
While the crowd was growing uneasy, they were also quite agitated.
“It’s Yun Woo! Yun Woo’s here!”
A camera flash went off, and people were completely preoccupied with capturing the moment. The wall of voices and flashing lights was quite hectic. At that moment, Juho’s mouth moved on its own, saying, “I’m Yun Woo…”
The boy people were surrounding was not Yun Woo. Juho was the one responsible for writing those novels. Yun Woo wasn’t where people thought he was. When Juho looked up, he realized that nobody was listening.
“I’m Yun Woo.”
… but to no avail.
“Are you serious?”
Juho thought he was hearing things at that moment. As his mouth stopped moving, Juho turned to the side and looked at the person standing next to him.
The shutter went off, meaning that the real young author had been captured on camera. Then, the air sank back into silence.
“Yes, I’m Yun Woo.”
Despite the chaos, there was still somebody willing to listen to him, and Juho couldn’t stop himself from chuckling at just how absurd of a situation he had found himself in.
“Gong Pal, look.”
While Gong Pal was playing video-games, he looked back upon hearing his sister’s voice. Because he was fighting a boss, he couldn’t afford to look away for too long. When he glanced in her direction, what came into his view was her phone.
“What?” he said, watching the boss losing its hit points. It won’t be long until it met its demise.
“This is Yun Woo, apparently.”
His fingers slipped from the keyboard at the unexpected name. It was at that moment that Gong Pal found himself in a dilemma. While he couldn’t afford to let up during a boss battle, he wanted to see what Yun Woo looked like just as badly. Unfortunately, while he was wrestling with the conflicting desires in his heart, the boss took that opportunity to kill his character. Then, stopping the game, Gong Pal turned around on his chair and looked at his sister with his long and thin eyes and a sullen expression on his face.
“Let me see.”
At that, his sister handed him her phone, which was showing an article claiming that a paparazzo who had been following Yun Woo’s editor around had managed to capture the young author on camera. Although it was obvious that the picture had been taken in secret, Yun Woo’s face was clearly on it. It was a face Gong Pal had no recollection of seeing.
“Is it really this guy?”
Then, Gong Pal read through the article, which went into great detail about the situation. The article was claiming that the paparazzo had received information from an employee in the publishing company. The fact that Nam Kyung’s business trip had been canceled out of nowhere and that the two people in the photo frequently ate together made the photo all the more convincing. With that, Gong Pal moved on to the comments and came across somebody claiming that Yun Woo’s real name had been revealed, including which high school he went to.
“The age seems to match,” Gong Il said. However, Gong Pal was yet to be convinced.
“Is this really Yun Woo’s editor?” he asked.
Apparently. Did that mean the man in the picture really was Yun Woo’s editor? Was the person he was eating with in the photo really the youngest and the first Asian and Korean winner of the Nebula and the Hugo? Was he really an acquaintance of Kelley Coin? Was he really responsible for writing some of the greatest novels in literary history?
“Something’s not right,” Gong Pal said honestly. Although he didn’t quite understand what he had expected either, it was clear that he was disappointed by what he was seeing.
“Right?” Gong Il said, agreeing with her brother. It was common for the twins to have the same thought in the same situation.
“Not quite sure how to put it, but something feels out of place,” she said, and her brother nodded in agreement. It was out of place. Of course, what he was feeling was only natural since he had never met Yun Woo, but there was something about the Yun Woo in the photo that lacked affinity.
“I don’t know why I’m even expecting Yun Woo to be friendly toward me, but that’s how I feel.”
“Maybe you already had somebody in mind that you hoped would be Yun Woo?”
“You think so?”
“I don’t know.”
Gong Pal looked intently at the photo on the phone’s screen. He looked entirely ordinary. If he really was Yun Woo, Gong Pal would eventually come to believe it. Besides, the article claimed that not only the person was having a meal with his editor-in-charge, but that he also matched the description of Yun Woo’s age. It had also stated that there had been information provided by an employee of the publishing company. Then, a finger appeared on top of Yun Woo’s face, and Gong Il took her phone back from her brother.
“Everyone else in the club probably knows, right?”
“Probably. At least, I’m sure Seo Kwang knows about this.”
“What do you think Juho would have to say about this?”
At that moment, they thought of ‘Grains of Sand’ and ‘Fingernails,’ along with the emotional experiences they had after reading them. Yun Woo and Juho Woo. The twins remembered comparing the two not too long ago. A world-renowned author and an ordinary high school student, member of a literary club. Frankly, they were incomparable to one another.
“Why do I like Juho’s writing better?” Gong Pal asked himself. When they compared things with Juho’s face in mind, the twins found themselves preferring Juho’s writing over Yun Woo’s.
Then, having stood still for a little while, Gong Il said to her brother on her way out, “Well, I’ll let you play your game.”
Because he didn’t have a reason to stop her, he went back to his game without hesitation. However, he quickly realized that he was having trouble focusing on the game. Nevertheless, he pressed on and forced himself to play through it. Then, by the time he felt hungry, Gong Il came into his room again.
“Ugh! Thanks a lot. I died again.”
“Just look!” she said with agitation that time.
“What is it?” he asked, puzzled by what could have shaken her up.
“You showed me earlier.”
At that, Gong Il put her phone right in front of Gong Pal’s face. Being that close, it was hard to make out what was on the screen.
“All right! OK! Give it here,” he said irritably. That time, it was a post written by an ordinary person rather than an article.
“The real Yun Woo?”
Gong Pal read the post, which was written in the form of a dialogue. ‘This is insane. This is unbelievable!’ he exclaimed internally. His heart started jumping. In between the things said by the writer of the post, were what the narrator had experienced in person. The chaos in front of the entrance to the publishing company, and Yun Woo’s editor making an official statement. Yun Woo turned out to be at the scene, and as if expecting people to be skeptical, the narrator included a picture of the young author. Then, when Gong Pal saw the picture, he couldn’t help but let out, “Juho!?”
At that moment, he jumped out of his seat. It was clearly Juho.
“He’s Yun Woo,” his twin sister said.
“Juho was Yun Woo all along.”
At that, Gong Pal nodded quietly. That time, there was nothing strange or off-putting about the conclusion. If anything, Gong Pal found the post much more convincing than some article written by a journalist. The post contained the raw emotions of what the narrator had gone through. Juho Woo was Yun Woo. As the pieces in Gong Pal’s head started coming together, he started to feel overwhelmed.
“Do you think everyone in the club already knows about this!?”
“I don’t know. Let’s find out.”
With that, the twins called Seo Kwang that instant. Meanwhile, the post was spreading through the sea of information at an incredible rate.
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