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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Man, I knew I shouldn’t have come to school today. I’d kill to be there,” Seo Kwang said earnestly.
“I’m seriously missing out! This is what happens in bookstores in other countries! Man, this sucks,” Seo Kwang complained repeatedly.
Then, Juho heard another person shouting at Seo Kwang, “Hey! Zip it!”
With that, Seo Kwang’s grumbling came to an end.
“Are you with Sun Hwa?” Juho asked.
“Yep. Bom and I came to see her.”
It wasn’t hard to imagine them hanging out. With that, Seo Kwang gave him a brief update on the status quo of the school.
“Everyone’s anxious to find out whether you’re really Yun Woo or not.”
“Is that right?”
“Yep. There are guys making bets even. I did too.”
Juho laughed at Seo Kwang’s snarky remark. In actuality, it was a wise decision on Seo Kwang’s end.
“Which side are they voting for?”
“That you’re fake.”
“Well then, seems like you’re gonna win big time.”
At that moment, Seo Kwang already had a victorious smile on his face. He told Juho how Mr. Moon and the club members had been getting flooded with questions since Juho had dropped out of school, which made complete sense since the individual in question had left. Neither Mr. Moon nor the club members answered any of the questions coming in. Although the teachers were remaining silent about the matter in order to prevent the juniors from getting distracted from the SAT preparations, the club members had a slightly different reason for keeping their schoolmates in the dark: to show everyone up.
“What use is there in telling the truth to people who’ll never believe you?”
“It makes sense that they wouldn’t, though.”
Then, Seo Kwang snorted and said, “I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they find out. I’ll make sure to get a good look on your behalf too.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“Then, should I take some pictures and send it to you?”
“That won’t be necessary, either.”
“It’s fine. I didn’t mean any of that anyway.”
Then, as they hung up, Juho saw that he had received a text while he’d been talking on the phone. It was from Gong Pal. He had probably also seen the massive lines in front of bookstores. Underneath the article he was sharing in the text, there was a message that read, ‘Looks like the crowds in front of video game stores when some games comes out.”
When Juho looked around, there were even more people getting in line. The time flew by, and as it got closer to opening time, people waiting in line started growing anxious. Similarly, those around them also started whispering among themselves. However, the door to the bookstore remained tightly shut despite their hopes. The employees and employers seemed to be having a meeting. And just like that, another thirty minutes flew by. Then…
… an employee appeared on the inside of the store and opened both of the doors, and another employees also came out in order to keep the crowd under control.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you may now enter in an orderly fashion.”
However, those words didn’t hold much power. The crowd went rushing into the store, and the employees tried to slow them down in vain. It wasn’t long until the store was filled with people. Meanwhile, Juho looked at the scene attentively from beginning to end. An astounding number of people were all headed for the same place.
“Wow,” somebody murmured. The people each picked up a book at the same time, and the stack disappeared at an increasing rate, one book at a time. When people got their hands on a copy of their own, they immediately opened the cover, where they were told they would find the truth. Finally…
The fans got to see the face of their favorite author. They could finally say that they knew the young author. At that moment, somebody shouted for joy, and those who laughed at that also joined in on the celebration. The store was filled with the sound of shutters, as the crowd surrounding the stack of books was a sight to behold. Although the employees tried to keep people from taking pictures of the new book, it was all in vain. While some started getting in line to pay, others were busy putting the pictures up on the internet. With that, Juho went into the store, and the voices became clearly audible.
“So, he was real.”
“Who would’ve thought that he would include a picture with Kelley Coin? Now, I have to believe it.”
“So, that’s what Zelkova meant when they said to look forward to the picture.”
“Man, if it was just another picture of some guy, I’d have been so pissed.”
“So, that’s what he looks like.”
“He looks like a good writer, all right.”
“That’s Coin’s house, isn’t it?”
“Is that the Hugo trophy? So, that thing IS real!”
“Where’s the red hat?”
“He looks different from what I imagined.”
“They should’ve been a little closer to the camera.”
“Where is this? That’s Yun Woo, right?”
“The dynamic duo.”
“Boy, I would love to meet him.”
“Wonder what he looks like in real life.”
“That’s a good picture.”
“They look so normal.”
“Looks really nice. He’s got a good taste!”
‘Things aren’t looking too bad,’ Juho thought to himself as a smile spread across his face.
“What the…” a voice let out. When Juho looked toward the voice, he locked eyes with somebody holding a book, whose eyes got wider and wider as they took turns looking at the picture and at the young author. At that, Juho took a step back.
“Yun Woo,” the person let out upon recognizing the young author, looking straight at him. At that moment, a strange emotion beyond what words can describe washed over him.
“It’s Yun Woo!” the person said again.
“You’re Yun Woo, right?”
At that, people started looking up from their books, and the sound of shutters stopped. The very eyes of those who had been looking at the devices in their hands were now looking in the young author’s direction.
“It’s Yun Woo!” somebody shouted although Juho himself hadn’t said anything, and people believed what they were hearing without even knowing from whom it had come.
They were calling the young author Yun Woo without needing to be convinced. Similarly, they would no longer call him an impostor, even if Yun Woo were to try desperately to convince them of his identity. They were no longer getting him mixed up with someone else. Nobody would walk past him not knowing what he looked like. Meanwhile, the employee stared at the young author, taken aback, and those who had been looking into the store from the outside looked even harder upon realizing what was happening in the store. Only those who were yet to have seen the book were clueless as to what was going on.
“I’m a fan!”
“I love your work.”
“Oh my goodness! It’s Yun Woo!”
“Let me shake your hand!”
As a hand appeared out of nowhere before Juho’s eyes, the young author grabbed it gently and the person started stamping their feet. Then, after shaking it up and down for a little bit, Juho let go of the hand and said, “Enjoy the book.”
Upon hearing his voice, the person started screaming with joy, and Juho walked out of the store. While some followed him, others remained in the store. Some paid for their books, while others were attempting to leave the store without even paying. Needless to say, they were stopped at the exit.
Meantime, Juho ran as fast and as far as he could, past the lake and the park. ‘Was this liberating or am I just in another cell?’ he asked himself, unable to come to a conclusion. The scenery zooming past him was all in a blur. Although nothing seemed clear or definitive, one thing was certain…
… he was in a great mood.
“Yun Woo spotted.”
Since arriving at school, Seo Kwang had been looking through the articles about Juho. Seeing his friend’s name getting brought up on the internet all day long was quite entertaining. Considering his personality, it made things even funnier.
“So, he really was Yun Woo.”
The classroom was filled with the sound of students clamoring about Yun Woo. As the young author’s book was released, not only did his face become known to the world at an incredible rate, but what had merely been a secret joy to the students had become public knowledge. The picture included in the new novel was impeccable proof that the young author in the picture was, indeed, Yun Woo. It was clear that it was a carefully calculated decision. Although an insect might not leave a trace, Yun Woo was making his presence known.
Then, looking up, Seo Kwang looked around the class. The very students who had mocked Juho when he revealed his identity as Yun Woo were exhilarated by the fact that Yun Woo had been in the same school as them. They seemed to change their opinions according to the situation they found themselves in.
“If I had known this was gonna happen… I should’ve gotten an autograph.”
Whenever they expressed their regrets jokingly, a small sense of gratification washed over Seo Kwang. Since the truth was out, it was visible in their faces that they realized that they had been wrong. Seo Kwang made sure to get a good look at them, even going as far as visiting Sun Hwa’s class just to see those faces. As if knowing that or because she had her own things that she needed see, Sun Hwa didn’t visit Seo Kwang and Bom’s class first. She reminisced about that day, instead.
What had started it all was a confession.
“He really is Yun Woo.”
Who the students had thought to be an impostor had actually turned out to be real. What they had thrown out thinking it was a worthless rock turned out to be a priceless diamond. A piece of land they had gotten rid of thinking that it was useless had actually turned out to be the most valued property on the market. They had placed their bets on the wrong side, and now they had suffered an irrevocable loss. With the realization that they had made a poor decision, regret washed over the students.
“What’d I say?” Sun Hwa said with a bright, victorious smile. “I told you, idiots. He writes like Yun Woo.”
Not a single person objected. And before long, those students started talking about the young author and expressing their admiration for him in an exaggerated manner. “I seriously had no idea. Who would’ve thought? Yun Woo’s incredible.”
At that moment, Seo Kwang felt an unusual urge to write.
“What you doin’?”
A crisp voice disrupted his thoughts. It was Bom, who was sitting in front of him.
“I was just thinking back on that day.”
At that, a mocking smile, which didn’t quite suit her, appeared on Bom’s face briefly. It was obvious that she didn’t look at the group of students that had come together just to ostracize the young author in a positive light. Meanwhile, Seo Kwang showed her the screen of his phone, which was filled with news of Yun Woo. Upon seeing that, Bom chuckled quietly and said, “Getting fancy now, are we?”
“He was lingering around some bookstore on the date of his book’s release, and somebody took a picture of him.”
“People are flipping out, huh?”
Just like Bom said, everyone sharing their encounters with Yun Woo had been in an elevated emotional state. The fact that they could recognize the young author now had only made the experience more intense. It only made sense when considering all that he had accomplished without revealing himself.
What had been lurking beneath the surface was now peeking above the ground.
“Hey,” a voice called to Seo Kwang. It came from a group of people he had never really hung out with.
“What?” Seo Kwang asked, and one of them asked curiously, “You’re close friends with Juho Woo, right? Did he ever do your writing assignments for you or anything?”
Then, a smirk appeared on Seo Kwang’s face.
“Did YOU ever do his writing assignments?”
“He’s an author though.”
“What? Were you thinking that he would just write away anywhere he wanted, just because he’s an author?”
From then on, the boy kept trying to strike up a conversation with Seo Kwang despite them never having interacted before. Things like that had been happening more frequently as of late.
“Did you get an autograph?”
“Is that supposed to be a question?” Seo Kwang said nonchalantly, resting his chin on his hand.
“None for you. Stop asking.”
“C’mon. Help a brother out.”
“Are they talking about Juho Woo?”
Then, upon hearing their conversation, other students nearby came and surrounded them. As Seo Kwang was busy pushing them away, the homeroom teacher walked in through the front door. However, as if they had become useless to him after the SAT, the teacher didn’t bother to say anything. All the while, the desks were still scattered about untidily.
“Seo Kwang and Bom.”
“Come out with me,” the teacher said, gesturing at them with his hand. All eyes were on the two who were walking out through the door after the teacher. As the last person closed the door, the teacher started walking. Then, they saw Sun Hwa in front of the teacher.
“They’re here to interview you guys,” he said as he took the three juniors down the stairs. An interview. Grasping a feel for what it was going to be about, Seo Kwang asked, “Is this about Yun Woo?”
“Who knows? They want to know more about our Literature Club too, so talk to them. All you gotta do is sit in the English class and wait.”
“Make sure to look tidy for the camera. If you’re not in uniform on the outside, then take it off. Don’t try to stand out too much,” the teacher said, blatantly avoiding his question.
Nevertheless, it didn’t matter since Seo Kwang already had an idea of what the answer was. It had to be because the science room was small and run down, which meant it wouldn’t be an ideal background for the camera. Not only was it small, but it was also quite messy. Therefore, the school had provided a slightly better room for their interview, hence the English class.
“But it’s cold without my jacket,” Seo Kwang complained to no avail. At that moment, a thought occurred to him, ‘Maybe I should just make a run for it, like Yun Woo did.’
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