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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Upon hearing the set of words that sounded all too familiar, everyone in the bus looked in the direction the voice had come from and at the person who was still waiting in line to get on the bus. Standing close to the bus stop still, she was looking precisely in the young author’s direction. Then, just as he was wondering if he had been caught, another voice came out of nowhere.
“You’re Yun Woo, right?”
It was the person standing just behind Juho. Then, holding on to his hat, Juho thought, ‘How’d they know?’ In the end, he answered honestly as he got on the bus, “Yes, I am.”
As the young author answered awkwardly, the man pulled out his phone and asked, “Would you mind taking a picture with me?”
“Uh, yeah. Sure.”
Although Juho had taken turns to look at the driver and at the passengers and had hoped that the man would have realized that he was in a bit of a tight situation, the man had taken his phone out to the young author’s disappointment. In the end, Juho stepped out of the bus. The passengers on the bus started peeking their heads out of the window, and those who were waiting in line were hopelessly confused. Then, a voice shouted from the inside of the bus, “Are you getting in or what!?”
At that, Juho walked further into the street, away from the bus stop, and a number of people got out of the line to follow him. There would always be another bus that would come around, but the chance to meet Yun Woo wasn’t as promising.
“I’m a huge fan!”
“Would you take a picture with me?”
While the young author took pictures with those who had been waiting in line, the bus took off unhurriedly. However, it came to a sudden halt soon after, and a number of people rushed out of it and ran toward Juho.
“You ARE Yun Woo, aren’t you!? Take a picture with me, would ya??”
The sound of a camera echoed, and the pedestrians who were passing by stopped in their tracks, taking interest in the commotion.
“Who is that?” a voice asked, and another voice answered, “It’s Yun Woo.” Similar conversations could be heard from all directions.
“Me too!” said the woman who had called Juho’s red hat, walking toward him. “I loved your interview,” she said after taking a picture with the young author.
She repeated herself a number of times as they took pictures. Because she kept pressing the shutter release, the sound was even noisier than usual. As more and more people recognized the young author, the line for a picture started getting longer. The crowd was growing increasingly dense. Looking at the people screaming at the sight of Yun Woo before their eyes, Juho sighed internally and thought, ‘Guess I’m running late.’ It wasn’t until tens of minutes later that he finally managed to free himself from the crowd.
As he got away from the crowd by the skin of his teeth, Juho decided to catch a cab. When he messaged Nam Kyung that he was running late, the editor responded saying that he’d be waiting with Nabi while having a cup of tea. After one already-occupied cab and another that simply drove past him, Juho was finally able to catch himself a cab. The two cabs that chose not to let him in would most likely be clueless to the missed opportunity of having Yun Woo as their customer. As Juho told the driver his destination and rolled the window down, the driver greeted him, “Hello, there.”
Juho saw that he was wearing gradient sunglasses.
‘I need to get me one of those,” the young author thought to himself.
“Say, weren’t you on the TV recently?”
“… I’m not really a celebrity.”
“Aren’t you a writer, though?”
“Yes, I am.”
His popularity had caught him by surprise. In the past, there had been quite a few people who had walked right past him, unable to recognize who he was. Resisting the urge to sigh, Juho decided to take the opportunity to ask the driver, “Where did you get those sunglasses?”
“Oh, these? My daughter got them for me as a gift. Why do you ask?”
“I was thinking of getting a pair for myself.”
Then, after chuckling for a little while, the driver said, “Should I ask my daughter?”
“No, that won’t be necessary.”
Since the destination was quite far away, Juho spent plenty of time talking to the driver, who turned out to be quite loquacious. Starting from how he had started driving a cab to what had happened to his family when the economy had hit rock bottom. Along with all the other pieces of information about him, the young author also came to learn that his daughter was a fan.
“Would you give me an autograph later? Or a picture?”
“Sure, of course.”
Saying that there was more for him to show off to his daughter, the driver delighted to learn new information. Then, as if looking to extend that list of things about which to brag to his daughter, he started bombarding the young author with questions.
“You write some good books from what I heard.”
“I think authors are incredible. Are you dating right now?”
“No, I’m not.”
“How much do you make per book?”
“I make enough to make a living.”
“Writing a story must be hardly a challenge for you. Your pen practically moves on its own when you write, huh?”
“Not as smoothly and effortlessly as you’re describing.”
“You know, you’re a good speaker. I thought so when I was watching the interview.”
When it came to things that weren’t really worth hiding, Juho answered them honestly. The cab was quite fast, and since there was hardly any traffic, Juho was able to arrive at his destination a little earlier than he had anticipated. Then, as promised, he took a picture with the driver and gave him an autograph before getting out of the cab, thinking, ‘I’m adding that to my excuse for being late.’ With that, he walked into a building, which was incomparably quieter than the street booming with people.
The employees greeted the young author as he walked into the building. It was quite a strange experience locking eyes with those who had walked right past him in his previous visits.
“May I shake your hand?”
Then, it occurred to Juho that it was going to be a while until he reached the conference room.
“I’m surprised you’re late this time.”
“It’ll all make sense once you hear my explanation,” Juho told Nam Kyung as he took the hat off. Meanwhile, Nabi waved her hand in denial, gesturing that it’s OK.
“You were held up by the fans on the street, huh?”
“Something like that.”
“I’ve been getting a lot of questions about you, too. Twice as much, in fact.”
People seemed to interpret Yun Woo’s recent identity reveal as a sign that he was willing to share every piece of personal information with them. And having witnessed that in person, Nabi could only imagine how the person directly involved felt.
“It got cold, but here,” Nam Kyung said, offering the young author the coffee he had bought for Juho. Since Juho was thirsty, the temperature of the coffee was hardly a concern, and he was able to let go of the anxiety as he drank.
“OK, now that we’re all here, should we take a look?”
The desk was filled with data and magazines from the companies that wanted to interview the young author.
“Are you really just gonna pick one? The number of countries alone is astounding,” the editor asked, and Juho answered emphatically, “Honestly, I was over it after the most recent interview.”
At that, Nam Kyung gave Juho a perplexed look and asked, “You seemed predisposed to interviews from what I saw. Why are you so emphatically against them?”
“And what gave you that impression?”
“You’re being the type of person who can eat his bento in peace just moments before taping.”
At that, Juho chuckled, admitting to himself that the editor had a point. After all, the young author had been eager to get himself out there in the past.
“What’s good is that the interview is being received incredibly well. Frankly, I was getting somewhat anxious since not a whole lot is known about you.”
“You got that right, Nabi. You have no idea how nervous I was!” Nam Kyung expressed his anxiety on the set. There was no doubt that people were clueless as to just how experienced Juho was with media exposure, which probably meant that people like Nam Kyung and Nabi would have been on their toes, not knowing what to expect from the young author.
“Might I add, this interview didn’t just prove that you’re a good writer. Other companies overseas that have been more passive are starting to express interest in you,” Nabi said and Nam Kyung added, agreeing with her, “We’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails lately too, saying that they’re interested in hosting events with you.”
“Look at this. New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, you name it. All these offers at our discretion. This must be a dream, Mr. Woo!”
As an agent, being in the position of turning down all but one offer from some of the most prominent outlets across the globe was, simply put, thrilling. Then, while her hands still shook from the excitement, she added, “This means we don’t have to take any nonsense from anybody, anywhere in this country.”
Pretending he hadn’t heard her, Juho looked through all the data on the desk, among which, were some of the most prominent magazines in the US that mostly covered current events and ran critiques on culture. They were names most people would’ve heard of at least once.
“Oh! I know this one,” Juho said as he picked one of the magazines up. There was a photo of an Italian author on the cover of the most recent issue. Looking straight ahead, the author was sitting on an antique-looking sofa in a natural position. Perhaps shooting in the study within her home had made the session more comfortable for her.
“They’ve covered Coin before, too, haven’t they?” Nabi asked as she recognized the background immediately, and Juho nodded. It was the same magazine that had covered Coin’s residence, which the young author had visited recently, in one of their issues. And looking at the content of the magazine over his shoulders, Nam Kyung said, “They cover authors’ homes, right?”
“That’s right. They’re pretty big, too,” Nabi said and brought up a name that Juho had also heard of. Juho remembered seeing the same set of letters on the business card of a journalist he had come across during his visit to the States. He had to have been affiliated with the same magazine as the one he was looking at currently. Then, Juho opened the magazine and started reading the interview of the Italian author, which was mostly about her upcoming novel. There were also photos of her posing naturally along with the transcription of the interview, and the questions in the interview gave off the impression that they had been more spontaneous than simply chasing after the author’s answers. Although the author had mostly talked about her book, Juho couldn’t help but feel like he was getting to know her at a much deeper level for some reason. Then, after some contemplation, the young author was able to reach a conclusion. It was the photos, more accurately, the photos of her room, which contained traces of the writer in the background, almost as if telling a story. While Juho was reading the magazine unhurriedly, Nabi asked, “How do you like it?”
“I think it’s decent.”
“Should I get in touch with them, then?”
As Juho took some time to think, Nabi added that she had been eyeing the magazine herself.
“You’re about to have your own place now. It works out perfectly.”
“But I don’t even move my stuff yet,” Juho said with an awkward smile.
“We can always adjust the schedule. As you’re probably aware, it’s just the right interview for the time.”
It seemed like a promising direction to take in terms of approaching his readers in a natural manner. And after some contemplation, Juho put the magazine down, reminding himself that there were still a lot more to look through.
“Let’s see what we have on our hands first, then I’ll decide,” he said, and Nabi nodded willingly, adding that there were also other magazines that she had in mind.
“I just want you to know that your moving situation won’t get in the way of finding what you’re looking for, by any means.”
Nabi seemed to imply that the people from the magazines would gladly fly to Korea even if Yun Woo were to live on the streets. Since Juho was in the position to make a choice, he didn’t have much to lose. Then, he reached over for another magazine, reading through it along with its data, studying which authors had been interviewed by them and the flow of the interviews. Every single magazine seemed like a decent choice, and while Nabi gave the young author some brief explanations in between, Nam Kyung recommended the ones with more appeal to the masses. Then, listening to his recommendation, Juho set one aside as his second choice. In the end, the one that ended up in his hand was the magazine with the old-sofa.
“All right, then! I’ll get in contact with them.”
At that point, Nabi had no doubt that things were going to be smooth sail from then on.
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