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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
In the end, Nam Kyung went on his way without figuring out a solution for the young author’s lack of progress. “Take some time to think about this, but really, the sooner the better.” Although what he had implied hadn’t been clear, Juho had nodded. Then, after encouraging the young author to ask for help when needed, he had left. After the editor left, the first thing Juho did was call Dong Gil, who was apparently making a trip to Russia.
“What is it?”
Dong Gil’s low and cold sounding voice came from the receiver of Juho’s phone. And, knowing his personality, Juho got right to the point without hesitation.
“I heard you’re going to Russia?”
“How did you know?” he asked, sounding like he was somewhat taken aback that the young author knew about the news.
“I heard it from my editor,” Juho said, clarifying the source of his information.
“Ah,” Dong Gil let out, as if making sense of the young author’s answer.
“When are you leaving?”
“In four days.”
He was leaving much sooner than Juho had anticipated. Dong Gil was truly a man of action.
“Which part of Russia are you going to?” Juho asked.
“Let’s see… First, Moscow.”
With that, Dong Gil gave Juho a brief summary of the itinerary of his trip, sounding noticeably more excited, which was unlike him. Nonetheless, he sounded like he was in high spirits, almost enough to be willing to talk about something more cheerful and light-hearted. If only that excitement were contagious.
“Should we meet?”
“What was that?”
“Let’s catch up before I leave,” Dong Gil said, and since Juho had no reason to say no, he accepted Dong Gil’s suggestion gladly.
“Was that Juho?”
After putting his phone into his pocket, Dong Gil looked up at somebody who looked like the most easy-going person in the world. It was Joon Soo. Having already visited Russia in the past, he had been a tremendous help to Dong Gil in planning the trip, which had included getting the best possible price for lodging.
“Yeah. He found out about my trip somehow.”
“Ah! See? You’re a bigger celebrity than you think.”
“C’mon, now,” Dong Gil said, looking around his house, which was in disarray since he was in the middle of packing for his trip. The screen of his laptop showed the spreadsheet with the list of things he needed to take for his trip and his budget.
“Did Juho say he read it?” Joon Soo asked out of nowhere. But despite the lack of details in the question, Dong Gil was able to catch on to what Joon Soo was referring to immediately.
“I didn’t ask,” Dong Gil said.
“He probably did,” Joon Soo said, and Dong Gil agreed by remaining silent. Juho had to have read ‘The Full Moon.’ Yun Seo had to be about the only author capable of resisting the urge to read such a charming book. Turning his eyes, Dong Gil looked intently at her pupil, who had met with Hyun Do immediately after the release of the book.
“I’m telling you. You can’t help but fall in love with it.”
Those had been Joon Soo’s exact words after coming back from meeting with the literary great. An author loved by authors. It was a phrase that often came up when describing Hyun Do, which had also crossed Dong Gil’s mind. Hyun Do Lim was the prime example of an author, and Dong Gil wanted to be just like him.
“I wanna go too,” Joon Soo said, causing Dong Gil to snap out of his thoughts.
“You mean to Russia?” Dong Gil asked.
“No, Yun Woo’s house.”
There was curiosity in Joon Soo’s eyes, and Dong Gil was well aware of where he was coming from.
“I’m curious about what a genius author looks like at home too.”
How would ‘The Full Moon’ have affected the young genius? How would Yun Woo have digested that book?
“I’m telling you. You are the epitome of a go-getter,” Joon Soo said. However, seeing Dong Gil furrowing his brow at his compliment, he quickly changed the subject.
“Is Seo Joong still hiding himself at home?”
Although Dong Gil was looking even more irritable, the irritation wasn’t directed at Joon Soo. Dong Gil thought of his friend’s face, whom he had last seen a month ago. Back then, he had come over to Dong Gil’s house in his usual attire of sweatshirt and pants.
“He looked like such an idiot, blown away by the book he’d brought himself.”
Seo Joong’s reaction to ‘The Full Moon’ had been similar to the time when he had read ‘Trace of a Bird’ for the first time. He had read both books at the same place. However, he hadn’t been as tearful and emotional as he had been when he had read ‘Trace of a Bird.’ Rather, he had been in a daze, almost to the point of looking strange. On top of that, Dong Gil hadn’t been able to get a hold of him as of late. Seeing as though Joon Soo seemed concerned for his fellow author, Dong Gil shared a piece of information that he had barely managed to get before leaving for Russia, “He’s at his parents’ house right now.”
“Ah. Good thing I asked you,” Joon Soo said, clicking his tongue and sitting up.
“Honestly, of all the authors I know, I’m most envious of Seo Joong.”
“Really? That idiot of all people?”
“How deeply immersed do you have to be in a book for it to influence you like that?”
As Dong Gil remained silent, Joon Soo looked up at the empty air and added, “What do you have to see in a book to be affected that much by it?”
There was no doubt that ‘The Full Moon’ was a masterpiece that renewed one’s mind after reading it. However, Seo Joong’s response to the book felt almost excessive in Joon Soo’s eyes. It was as if the author was challenging the moon. It was incomprehensible. Looking at Joon Soo in such a perplexed state, Dong Gil reminisced to his younger days, when he had been a student. No matter how hard Dong Gil had tried, Seo Joong had always been a step ahead of him, drawing inspiration from the most unimaginable places and writing stories that he couldn’t even think of with ease. In the end, despairing and frustrated, Dong Gil had sought out his own path, and eventually, he had found himself alongside Seo Joong.
“Don’t know, don’t care,” Dong Gil said and looked away. There was no way to know how far his gifted friend would go this time. However, regardless of where or how far, Dong Gil knew one thing for certain: that he’d also move when Seo Joong moved. As if seeing the determination within Dong Gil, Joon Soo chuckled quietly.
“Seems like you’ve lost some weight,” Dong Gil said as soon as he stepped into the young author’s house. After making a cup of green tea for the guest, Juho went into his room rather than the living room. Dong Gil was looking at the books on the bookshelf in his room, and fortunately, the pages of manuscript that used to be scattered about the house had already been cleaned up before Dong Gil had arrived. Then, Juho handed the green tea to his guest, whose eyes were still fixed on the young author’s bookshelf, pulled a chair out and sat on it. As usual, Dong Gil was wearing a dress shirt that had been ironed impeccably. Although Juho was well acquainted of the author, he wasn’t as used to having Dong Gil in his room.
“What’s Seo Joong been up to these days?” Juho asked light-heartedly.
“No idea,” Dong Gil answered without hesitation, sounding slightly annoyed even.
“How come? Did he go somewhere?”
“I don’t feel like talking about him,” Dong Gil said emphatically, which Juho shrugged off while Dong Gil remained occupied with the bookshelf. Asking any more questions didn’t seem like a good idea.
“What are you looking so hard at?” Juho asked, noticing that Dong Gil had been staring at the same place for some time. Then, just as the young author had expected, Dong Gil said, “‘The Full Moon.'”
Juho had placed the book in the most visible spot on the bookshelf.
“Have you read it?” Juho asked, bringing up the question he had been meaning to ask.
To which, Dong Gil answered after a brief pause, “I have.”
“How was it?”
Then, instead of giving an answer, Dong Gil turned toward Juho and walked unhurriedly toward a comfortable looking chair opposite of him.
“How was it for you?” he asked.
“I asked first,” the young author responded.
Chuckling quietly at Dong Gil for playing the age card, Juho gave him an honest answer, “I’ve been having trouble writing what I wanna write these days.”
“It influenced you, didn’t it?”
“I’m in a pretty serious condition,” Juho grumbled jokingly. However, there was no change in Dong Gil’s expression. Rather, he accepted Juho’s playful comment at face value in a cold and brusque manner.
“Yeah… So, I’ve been looking for a change of pace,” Juho said.
“And am I the lucky winner?”
“Something like that.”
After hearing the young author’s answer, Dong Gil gave his answer to Juho’s question as promised, “I was deeply moved.”
“Because it was a deeply moving piece,” Dong Gil said, fixing his eyes on the ‘The Full Moon’ on the bookshelf yet again. There was an unusual affection in the way he was looking at the book, as if he was looking at one from Hemingway. ‘I wonder if that’s how I look at that book,’ Juho wondered. But, it wasn’t long until he reached the conclusion that he didn’t look at the book with the same affection as Dong Gil, whose eyes were entirely devoid of greed or the willingness to resist it. On the contrary, the young author was determined to outdo the book.
“Mr. Lim is incredible. Authors in their prime tends to leave a strong, lingering impression in their readers. I just can’t stop thinking about him. I wanna be like him.”
Thoughts like those tended to occur even to authors with the most earnest yearning for their own colors and flavors. After all, Hyun Do’s writing was simply much too tasteful and stylish.
“His only flaw has always been that he’s too pure and clean,” Dong Gil said. Despite what it sounded like, he wasn’t referring to the actual state of the literary great. Rather, he was referring to his writing and how it had been received by the masses up to that point.
“It’s much too calculated and it leaves no room for the readers to enjoy the book in peace. It’s almost too detailed, to the point of being persistent. There were one too many things in his stories that I couldn’t reconcile with.”
“At least, his earlier works were like that.”
They were referring to Hyun Do’s earlier days as a writer, when Wol Kang had still been around. Although there was no way to confirm it, Hyun Do’s state of mind probably matched Dong Gil’s description of him even after Wol had passed away, at least for a little while longer. In fact, Dong Gil was somewhat accurate in the way he was describing the writings of the literary great until fairly recently.
“But I still liked Mr. Lim despite all that.”
Although critics might have had some opinions about Hyun Do’s writing, what had seemed like flaws to some had come across as a charm to others. It wasn’t clear when he had started changing, but he was certainly changing slowly. The number of those who were opposed to his writing started to decrease over time, and gradual, unhurried growth accompanied that with little to no pain.
“I got a sense of peace and composure from ‘The Full Moon.’ It almost felt like I was looking at the actual author. If I were to describe the change in his writing, I’d compare it to a rigid block of ice in the pleasantly warm, springtime Sun melting and rounding out its sharp edges.”
“And that isn’t to say that the flow of the story is weak, either. He left that pure writing style that’s distinct to him intact.”
“I think it’s more accurate to say that it’s been sculpted.”
Hyun Do was in his prime, all the while without losing a single thing. Or perhaps, he had already lost it all before, left with no choice but to start over. Nevertheless, there was only one description for the result of his work: beautiful. It was reminiscent of snow falling silently from the sky, which was also reminiscent of his white hair.
“Well, it sure made a lot of people think, including you and me,” Dong Gil said calmly, implying that something troublesome had occurred in his life.
“Is there any sort of connection between your upcoming trip and ‘The Full Moon?'” Juho asked.
“That’s both right and wrong,” Dong Gil said as he brought the tea up to his mouth. The steam rising from the mug covered his eyes. “I’m planning on writing a spy novel.”
Juho was genuinely surprised by that news. No matter how he looked at it, there was no reason not to welcome the idea of Dong Gil writing a spy novel, especially considering his hard-boiled writing style.
“That suits you really well, actually!”
“I think so too. Besides, I’ve always wanted to write one.”
“Since I was in high school.”
Considering how long he had been thinking about it, he had to have some sort of storyline in mind as well.
“I decided on the characters, their names, and personalities a long time ago, but I had the ambition to wait until I became a better writer. Like an ace up my sleeve, if you will.”
“I think I get it.”
“After reading ‘Full Moon,’ I came to realize that I wasn’t being ambitious, but cowardly,” Dong Gil said, his eyes sparkling, giving him an unusually aggressive look. “It was fear that I wouldn’t be able to tell the story I had in mind to its full extent.”
“Seems to me like you’ve underestimated yourself,” Juho said. That had to be the answer he disliked to hear the most. Dong Gil wanted to know himself better than anyone, and suffice to say, his brow was already furrowed slightly.
“When I realized that, I just couldn’t sit there and not do anything about it. So, I made a plan.”
He was referring to his upcoming trip to Russia, which he was taking place in order to put the long, aspired to story in his head to paper. Seeing how ‘The Full Moon’ had moved the once fearful author, Juho started making sense of why Dong Gil was in such a good mood. He was finally getting closure from his age-old struggle, which he was dusting off, taking a step forward toward its solution, never to let the past haunt him again.
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