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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Before meeting the interviewee, the interviewer and his team met up with Nabi and the editor of the publisher that often published Yun Woo’s books, Nam Kyung. Since they had been in contact, there was no awkwardness whatsoever.
“So, this is where Yun Woo lives, huh?” the interviewer said, looking out the window at the scenery rushing past. Although it might have been plain and uninteresting to Nabi and Nam Kyung, it was an unusual sight for the interviewer, who was from the States. He hadn’t intended on getting an answer when he said that, so Nabi chuckled quietly and played along, “Have you ever been to Korea?”
“No. This is my first time here,” the interviewer said looking at foreign characters as the car came to a stop. Since his Korean was limited to basic greetings and pleasantries, he was completely clueless as to what the words meant. “I’m seeing words that I don’t recognize, right off the bat.”
Without knowing their meaning, the words in that foreign language seemed closer to drawings.
“Lots of signs and billboards.”
“Oh! I see something written in English there!” the photographer said, pointing at a road sign, which included an English translation. He took pictures of the scenery from time to time, as if preparing himself before meeting Yun Woo, like he would his stomach with an appetizer before the entree. He was warming up in order to prevent himself from being too taken aback by the encounter. Meanwhile, looking at Nam Kyung, who had been Yun Woo’s editor-in-charge since his debut, the interviewer asked, “What’s it like to put a book together with Yun Woo?”
After some thought, Nam Kyung said, “Is this an official question?”
“Not at all.”
As the interviewer clarified that they were just making small talk, Nam Kyung smiled and said, “Then, I suppose I can be upfront about it. It’s incredibly daunting.”
It wasn’t a completely unexpected answer.
“I mean, my job involves editing Yun Woo’s writing after all. Let me tell you, it’s not easy having to comment on a manuscript written by an author who’s known as a genius.”
The interviewer nodded sympathetically.
“Editors who work with world-class authors all share a similar concern.”
It was their job to find ways to make improvements to the manuscript, despite the concerns in their minds.
“But it’s not entirely daunting, is it?” the interviewer asked, looking at Nam Kyung smiling, and of course, the editor returned the question with a positive answer, “It’s actually a lot of fun. I’m editing Yun Woo’s writing after all.”
“So, would you say that’s why you’re an editor?”
“I mean, I need to make a living, too,” Nam Kyung said as a joke. He seemed like somebody who would work as an editor for a long time. Meeting the people an individual surrounded themselves with said a lot about the person. Knowing that, the interviewer grew increasingly curious of whether the principle would apply to the interviewee he was about to meet.
As the car came to a stop, the interviewer got out of it first and looked around. It wasn’t all that different from the views he had been seeing on the car ride there. In other words, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Yun Woo was living in an ordinary neighborhood.
“There are small, triplet buildings there,” the photographer said, pointing at the three buildings nearby, which looked like houses that had been built haphazardly.
“I smell something delicious.”
Although it wasn’t clear where it was coming from, there was a potent scent of spice in the air.
“We need to go further.”
Following Nam Kyung, they ended up in a neighborhood that looked relatively new. Then, leaving the staff preparing the equipment behind, the interviewer got on the elevator first.
“I’m sure you’ve met countless authors up to this point,” Nabi said, striking up a conversation with the interviewer in the elevator. And with his eyes fixated on the changing numbers, the interviewer answered, “Sure. Not while they’re still moving in, though.”
At that, a subtle smile appeared on Nabi’s face, and seeing that, the interviewer sensed the confidence in her attitude. Then, he asked, “You’ve been here before, right?”
“Yes. Just yesterday, actually.”
“Is there anything special about the place that I should know of?” he asked light-heartedly.
Nabi gave him an equally light-hearted answer, “He only has the bare essentials.”
“That sounds nice.”
Although she noticed that his tone was becoming less and less formal, Nabi paid no attention to it. Then, with a quiet jingle, the door opened as the elevator came to a stop. As the two got out of the elevator, they turned left in the hallway and ran into a person checking his mail box. When the person looked at the two, he had an easygoing look about him.
At that, it became immediately clear to the interviewer that he was Yun Woo, and he almost chuckled at just how young the author was. He was younger than any other he had met so far.
“Mr. Woo, I presume?”
“That’d be me,” Juho replied. As always, there was no awkwardness in his English, just like his usual tone. Meanwhile, the door to the elevator closed, returning it to the first floor.
“Pleasure to meet you, sir,” the interviewer said genuinely. To which, Yun Woo smiled quietly. For somebody who was acquainted with Kelley Coin, he didn’t seem very edgy. Similarly, for somebody who had succeeded at such an early age, he was incredibly modest.
“How was your trip getting here?”
“It was good. Although, I was somewhat surprised by what I saw.”
“And what was that?”
At that, the interviewer gave a roundabout answer, and in response, Juho summed up his words and asked, “Is the neighborhood a tad too ordinary for Yun Woo?”
Although the interviewer rubbed his nose and smiled, he didn’t deny it.
“Where are the others?”
“They’re still down there. They should be here any minute now.”
“Well, then. Should we go inside?”
“Sure,” the interviewer said, trying not to show his excitement. Frankly, the interviewer had always felt nervous before visiting an author at their home. Inviting a stranger into one’s house meant that there was a level of trust involved. Then, the interviewer saw that the door was slightly open, which told him that the young author had been preparing to greet the guests. The three arrived at Yun Woo’s home shortly after.
“So, this is the place.”
“Yep,” Yun Woo said, flinging the door open nonchalantly. Meanwhile, the interviewer and his crew had no choice but to follow the pace with which the young author led them. As the door opened, the hallway lit up at once, and they were greeted with an interior that was entirely white. The interviewer had never been anywhere like it. Then, as the shutters started clicking, the interviewer snapped out of it.
“Wow,” the photographer, who had followed him shortly after he had gone upstairs, let out from behind. While Nabi was smiling, the photographer gave in to his curiosity and asked the young author, “Did you write all that!?”
“Yes. Makes sense that I’m still in the middle of moving in, right?”
The sheer amount of manuscripts in the house was breathtaking, and without saying a word, the photographer pressed the shutter-release button repeatedly. The interviewer was just as excited. The pictures they were about to release through their magazine were going to be anything but coincidence. At least that was the dominating thought in his mind. Telling others of one’s effort came with a sense of fulfillment. The stacks of manuscripts were proof that Yun Woo had been writing without others knowing. And just as the interviewer and his crew were about to walk into the house to get a better look, Juho stopped them briefly and said, “I do have to ask you all to take your shoes off.”
Juho looked at the interviewer, who had finished preparing for the interview. Because they had planned on making a short video for the website, there was a camera on standby between them.
“I noticed that you have no furniture around,” the interviewer said, looking at the white walls through the camera. Meanwhile, Juho looked down at the chair he was sitting on, which was a folding chair he had bought for the time being. Not only was it void of back rest, but it was a rigid and uncomfortable chair that rested on four legs.
“I was planning on getting new furniture in the near future. It’s slightly better in the bedroom, though.”
The living room was filled with nothing but stacks of manuscripts. It looked nothing like a normal living room, which should have a sofa, a table, a rug, electronics, and maybe some sort of flower pot. Rather, the entire space was filled with manuscripts that were yet to have made it into the study. When choosing where to hold the interview, Juho had suggested to Nabi and Nam Kyung that the interview be held in the study. Not that it was much tidier, but at least the books were on the shelves, which was a slight improvement over a background filled with towering manuscripts surrounded by white walls. However, the interviewer insisted that the interview be held in the living room, adding that he wanted to convey his first impression of the visit to the house to the subscribers as directly as possible. Considering their willingness to have an interview, let alone a photoshoot at a house into which the owner was still moving, Juho realized just how determined they were to achieve what they had come for.
Meanwhile, following the boxes around him with his eyes, Juho looked around the house and realized just how bare and undecorated it was. Not only were there old, worn-out boxes scattered about, but the manuscripts that were yet to be put into boxes were stacked up against the wall with some newspaper between them and the wall, making it look like the owner was about to throw them out. At the same time, they weren’t too far off from being garbage. They were sentences that didn’t make it into the books. Yet, the interviewer and the photographer seemed to be rather fond of the place.
“I like that there’s no furniture in the house.”
“Is that right?” Juho asked.
“It reminds me that you really are an author.”
Then, sitting across from Juho, the interviewer asked, “You don’t think I can read any of them, do you?”
“That, I can’t do.”
Although the interviewer had asked as though he hadn’t expected the young author to let him, his eyes still lingered on the stacks of manuscripts. Juho was also somewhat familiar with that feeling because he had felt something similar during his visit to Coin’s residence.
“Seems like the only trace of you in this entire place is your writing,” the interviewer said while looking around the house. To be more precise, the manuscripts around the house.
“I see nothing about your favorite baseball team, celebrity, food, car, or brand.”
“Not a single poster.”
It was a tad too early for posters in a house that was lacking even the most basic furniture. Truth be told, Juho had never had a poster in his room. When he heard the interviewer, it dawned on him just how empty his place was.
Then, Juho looked at Nam Kyung and Nabi, who were standing outside of the frame of the camera. The two had visited the young author’s new place just yesterday, and Juho had had to give up on organizing all the manuscript before letting them in.
When Nabi came into the house with Nam Kyung, the first thing that came out of her mouth was, “Leave them be.”
“What was that?” Juho had asked, unsure of what she had meant. To which, Nabi had repeated herself in a friendly manner, “You can just leave things be until the interview.”
“But aren’t they going to take pictures of the place?” Juho had asked.
“They’ll be very satisfied, Mr. Woo. Trust me. They’re gonna find just what they’re looking for here,” she had said with a confident look on her face.”
“That’s right. This will do,” Nam Kyung had interjected while picking one of the manuscripts up to read. Although Juho had wanted to stop him, he had decided to let him read it until he had finished reading the page he had been holding in his hand. When the young author glanced at it, he saw the scene about the clown and the single audience member in ‘Sound of Wailing.’
“But aren’t I being too lazy? I mean, these people are guests from overseas,” Juho had said, and a smile had appeared on Nabi’s face. Then, pointing at the living room, she had said, “You’re more than ready, Mr. Woo.”
At that moment, the shutter sounded from the camera, and as the young author came to his senses, the interviewer asked, “There isn’t a whole lot around here, yet you won’t even let me read any of your manuscripts.”
It was just as Nabi and Nam Kyung had said. Fortunately, the interviewer seemed to be more than satisfied by the view.
“Are you asking indirectly that I let you read them?”
“That would be preferable, but no. I’m just coming to terms with the reality: that I can’t really read you still. It almost feels too similar to the time before your identity was known,” the interviewer said with a cheerful smile. “All in all, this is all very interesting,” he said with a smile, as if asking the young author for his permission to start his questions.
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