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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 256: Read the Book (2)

Chapter 256: Read the Book (2)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“I don’t know what everyone else will think, though, since Yun Woo and Juho have such different writing styles,” Bom said, sounding concerned.

Meanwhile, Sun Hwa, who was resting her chin on her hand, said indifferently, “What can they do? He really is Yun Woo.”

“That’s true…”

“I’m sure Yun Woo had some sort of plan when he dropped a bomb this size, right?”

At that, Juho came clean, “It was half on impulse.”

“I knew it,” Seo Kwang let out, nodding.

“What did I tell ya? He has an impulsive side to him! If he ever gets into gambling, he’ll lose money left and right.”

While Sun Hwa gave Juho a pitiful look, Bom stepped in to save him, “But you managed to hide it for three years, though. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t have lasted a week.”

“That is true. You know, we played a big part in that too,” Sun Hwa said, and just like she had said, Juho was also grateful to his clubmates for keeping the secret.

“I gotta admit though. Part of me was thrilled to know something others didn’t. Now, I get to go around and show off, saying that I’ve written alongside Yun Woo,” Seo Kwang said while stretching, and everyone agreed. The club members seemed to be in a good mood.

“I’ve decided not to come to school from now on,” Juho said. The room sank into silence.

“But what about college?” Sun Hwa asked, breaking the silence.

“I won’t go to one.”

“You’re still graduating, right?”

“I was planning on dropping out, but my teacher doesn’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Of course! The semester’s almost over. I’d say the same thing.”

“Is that really necessary, though?” Bom asked quietly, looking sad.

To which, Juho responded with a shrug, “Things will be in perpetual chaos as long as I’m around. People will come rushing to see me from other classes. I mean, it’s Yun Woo of all people.”

“You’re so full of yourself,” Sun Hwa murmured, but ignoring her, Juho continued, “I don’t know if that’s what I want.”

“Does that mean you’re not coming to the Literature Club anymore?” Bom asked looking intently in Juho’s direction. Tilting his head, he answered, “I guess so.”

“Does that mean we don’t get to read your writing anymore?” the twins asked, their expressions growing darker.

At that Juho smiled and said, “You’ll find them in bookstores.”

“That’s not what we meant. We want to read your stories while they’re still fresh in their manuscripts.”

“Yun Woo’s manuscripts tend to cost a little more.”

“But we joined the Literature Club because of you…”

Although Juho had definitely played a role in talking the twins into joining the club, it was more accurate to say that Juho had provided them with an opportunity to join.

“What? You’re gonna leave just because I’m not around anymore?”

“No, we’re not.”

The time they had spent together up to that point was definitely enough to help the twins realize just how fun and rewarding writing could be. Seeing that the younger clubmates were about to burst into tears at any given minute, Juho comforted them, “I’ll buy you guys food if you call me.”

“Even fried chicken?”

“You got it,” Juho said, thinking that it had worked even better than he had hoped for. With that, the young author looked around the science room. Half of the room was occupied by junk, like old chairs and desks and experiment equipment and data for science class. Not only was the room dusty, but it was also quite small and dark. Yet, the young author had written a stupendous amount there. Juho had received many priceless things during his time in the Literature Club, such as relationships, Mr. Moon’s lessons, and him pointing the young author toward a new dream. The fact that one had a place where they belonged was something to be cherished. However, where there was a beginning, there was also an end. There would always be a next time as long as everyone was alive. With that, the young author rose from his seat.

“Break a leg,” Seo Kwang said, patting Juho’s shoulder in front of the classroom. Although Juho wasn’t sure of what Seo Kwang was getting at, he gave Seo Kwang an affirmative answer for the time being. Because he had spent quite a bit of time in the science room with his clubmates, class had started long ago. As Seo Kwang and Bom went into their classroom, Sun Hwa looked at Juho and asked, “You’re gonna be OK, right?”

“Probably.”

Despite Juho’s ambivalent attitude, Sun Hwa flung the door open. Suffice to say, as everyone looked toward them, Juho felt the piercing gazes on his cheeks, making him scratch them for no apparent reason. First period was math, and there were beautifully-drawn shapes on the chalkboard. While teaching the class how to solve an equation, the teacher merely glanced in Juho and Sun Hwa’s direction and returned to solving the problem on the board. It seemed like he had been informed by Mr. Moon ahead of time. However, the students were having trouble looking away from the young author. Sensing that they had a lot of questions they wanted to ask, Juho deliberately walked toward his desk and took his seat. For the time being, he took out his textbook and decided to stay until the end of the first period. Although math had always been one of the classes that had bored him to death, the realization that he was never coming back made it somewhat special. Meanwhile, the students remained distracted, whispering and passing notes to each other, glancing over in the young author’s direction.

“All right. We’ll stop here for the day,” the teacher said, and the class immediately broke out in a commotion. Because the bell had yet to ring, the students couldn’t go outside. Meanwhile, Juho started taking his textbooks out from underneath the desk and pack up his belongings. While he was busy separating what to keep and what to throw out, he heard someone trying to strike up a conversation with him, “Hey.”

When Juho turned toward the voice, he saw the peer who had been sitting next to him. He had always hung out with his own group of friends.

“What?” Juho answered nonchalantly. He had already seen him communicating with his friends nonverbally, with his eyes. Then, taking advantage his seat’s location, the peer asked, “It’s you, huh?”

It wasn’t exactly the most pleasant question.

“What did I do?”

As Juho asked briefly, a slightly irritated look appeared on the boy’s face. He seemed to be growing impatient.

“You’re the one who claimed to be Yun Woo, right?”

To them, the fact that Juho was Yun Woo was merely an opinion. Then, Juho gave him the answer he had been looking for, “Yep. That would be me.”

Although Juho said it calmly, the boy looked at him as though he was desperate for attention. There was a noticeable difference between those who believed and those who didn’t.

“Are you really Yun Woo?” the boy asked mockingly.

“Yep. I really am Yun Woo,” Juho said sarcastically, imitating his peer. At the young author’s confident tone of voice, everyone else around them turned toward Juho and his classmate.

“You mean, you wrote all those books?”

“Yep.”

“And you’re friends with Kelley Coin?”

“Yep.”

“And you’ve been to the US recently?”

“That’s right.”

As the young author repeated the same answer, his classmates grew even more impatient.

“Can you prove it?”

“Can you prove to me that you’re really you?” Juho asked, still in his calm tone of voice. At which, the boys brow furrowed. He seemed to be thinking that the young writer was slow to understand things.

“You know that’s not what I meant.”

“Why not? I’m Yun Woo, and Yun Woo is me.”

“Then, tell me every single book you’ve written up to this point.”

That would be a walk in the park. Not only would Juho be able to recite the names of each and every book he had written up to that point, but he would also be able to tell him the name of the new book that hadn’t even been announced yet. Yet, the young author chose not to.

“If I were to tell you, would it prove that I’m really Yun Woo? All you gotta do is type the name on a search engine on the internet. Anybody can do that.”

“Then, tell me something only you would know.”

“Do you think you’ll be able to tell whether or not I’m telling the truth?”

The boy’s expression grew darker and darker as the conversation strayed further away from the direction he had had in mind. Meanwhile, Sun Hwa’s shoulders moved up and down as she desperately resisted the urge to laugh.

“You’re lyin’ to me, aren’t you?” the boy said in a slightly agitated voice, and looking intently at him, Juho said, “No.”

Although a brief answer, Juho was genuine. However, his classmate seemed to think otherwise.

“Don’t you play games with me now.”

No matter how much the boy denied it, it didn’t change the fact that Juho was, indeed, the young author responsible for writing all those books under the alias Yun Woo. Neither did it mean that it invalidated the relationships he had built over the course of his writing career, nor the emotions he had pulled out of the depths of his heart that no longer belonged to himself. With that and without saying much, Juho looked away from his peer. However…

“Hey.”

… the boy called to him shortly after, yet again. Unfortunately, the students sitting around them seemed to be hoping that the two would continue on with their conversation.

“What?”

“Why are you packing?”

“‘Cause I’m not coming to school anymore.”

“What!? Why?”

“‘Cause I’m Yun Woo.”

‘Is he serious?’

Then, despite the young author having told the truth, the students started playing truth or dare among themselves. It was quite an interesting phenomenon. However, the students seemed to be approaching the matter with all seriousness. Soon, they moved on to Sun Hwa, who was sitting right in front of Juho.

“Hey.”

“What do you want?” Sun Hwa said with an irritated look.

“You’re part of the Literature Club, right?”

“Yeah. And?”

“Is this guy really Yun Woo?”

“Why are you even bothering me? You don’t believe him even when he’s telling the truth.”

“You’ve seen him write, haven’t you? Well? Does he really write like Yun Woo?”

As the classmates showed no indication of letting up any time soon, Sun Hwa said, “Yep.”

It was an emphatic affirmation. Having hoped that she would weigh in on their doubts, the students started pouring out questions.

“C’mon! Tell us! Is this guy really Yun Woo or not?”

“You need to work on your question-asking skills, man. I can’t even tell what you’re asking me. What does it even mean to write like Yun Woo, anyway?”

Then, as he was about to speak, Sun Hwa gave him the finger.

“Get lost and stop wasting my time. I need to study.”

With that, she turned around, and the students around her giggled at the sight of the student getting flipped off. Thankfully, it usually took a lot more than swearing for things to become tense between students. At that moment, the bell started ringing, and after glancing over in Juho and Sun Hwa’s direction, the teacher left the classroom. As soon as the bell sounded off, the hallway suddenly came to life, and Juho focused on packing his belongings. There were quite a few things that he needed to throw out.

“Hey, look. You got visitors.”

The boy sitting next to Juho seemed to have a lot to say that day. Unfortunately, there was a whole crowd of students where he was pointing at, including the underclassmen from the lower floors. Although Juho was well acquainted with the situation, it wasn’t quite the same as the past. That time, the crowd of students wasn’t looking at the young author in a positive light.

“He’s gotta be fake,” somebody let out. Something was tugging at their hearts. Most of the students seemed to believe that Juho was getting expelled as punishment, and his classmates enjoyed the situation from a distance. Although there were some juniors who weren’t pleased to see the underclassmen on the juniors’ floor, the majority of the crowd seemed to take delight in the situation.

“Him? Yun Woo?”

They were referring to Juho. At that moment, Juho remembered the time when the title of genius had fallen away from him. Revisiting an old memory was a strange experience. The young author felt his hand slowing down while he packed. People had been seeing impostors of the young author regularly. Those who they had believed to be Yun Woo had always turned out to be fake. When one became too familiar with one conclusion, it became harder to think outside of it. Similarly, maybe Yun Woo, too, had become too used to hiding. Then…..

“Huh?” Juho let out as a book appeared in front of his eyes. When he followed the hand holding the book, he learned that it was Bom and behind her, Seo Kwang.

“Can you sign my book?” she asked with a somewhat mischievous smile. Then, pushing all the preexisting thoughts from his head, Juho chuckled as he remembered something entirely different. Juho remembered the timid clubmate wanting to get her copy of ‘Trace of a Bird’ signed by an imposter during their freshman year.

“With pleasure,” Juho said, taking the book from her willingly. Meanwhile, Seo Kwang, also with a book in his hand, was standing in line behind Bom.

“Man! I only have workbooks on me!” Sun Hwa let out. “It’d be rude if I were to ask you to sign one of my comic books, wouldn’t it?”

“Dude! You’re part of the Literature Club and you don’t carry a single book!?”

“Are you saying that comic books don’t count as books?”

In the middle of the commotion were familiar voices, and the sound of them alone was enough to turn the humble book-signing into an entirely different experience from that of the young author’s past. Then…

“Give me a break,” a spiteful voice interfered. “I’m telling you, you’re wasting your book, a student said with an apparent look of displeasure.

Upon closer look, Juho recognized jealousy in his face. It was jealousy toward somebody who had succeeded early in life. The student was not keen on the fact that Yun Woo was around him, which was too much for a high school student living in a reality filled with uncertainty for the near future. Therefore, he chose not to believe, and most of his peers were more or less in similar positions. With that, Juho quietly packed his belongings.

“Bye,” Juho said. Then, as he rose from his seat, he was struck by the realization that he had remained mostly silent out of habit. At which point, he had to ask himself, “Is it really time for me to go?”

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