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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“How’ve you been, Ms. Hong?”
They were at an Italian restaurant known for their pasta, where Jang Mi ate regularly. Following her suggestion, Juho placed his order accordingly.
“I loved your presentation.”
The editor seemed to view the exhibition event in a positive light. As the two caught up casually, their food started coming out. The pasta dish with tomato sauce was quite delectable.
“So, did you give it some thought?”
Juho stopped midway and looked at Jang Mi while twirling the noodles with his fork. There was another reason she had invited him out to a meal, and it had nothing to do with the presentation or with catching up with the young author.
“You mean about a ‘Language of God’ sequel?”
Looking at the young author with determined eyes, she was earnestly waiting for a sequel. Taking the noodles wrapped around his fork, Juho brought them up to his mouth and started chewing, washing them down with some water afterward.
“I have a general sense of direction.”
“You said you wanted to write about the past, right? As in, the root and the foundation of the world within the story? I’m fully on board with that. Readers are curious about that too.”
Juho had been hearing about the series a lot as of late, and it had to be because he had brought it up first on TV.
“Since the show aired, the office has been getting several times more calls from readers asking about the sequel.”
Readers welcomed the fact that there was another story even remotely related to the series in the young author’s mind. Nevertheless, Juho fiddled with the pasta on his plate.
“If you have something in mind, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to see where it takes you,” Jang Mi said. She was right. Putting down his fork, which still had the noodles wrapped around it, Juho said, “You know, I’ve been thinking that too.”
At that, the editor’s face lit up almost instantly.
“The thing is…”
“I feel cautious.”
Resting his chin on his hand, the young author replied, “There is a war in the series.”
‘Language of God’ held a myriad of information as it was. Culture, life, people, and language. The young author’s depiction of war would be quite realistic, which meant it needed to be approached with caution. Meanwhile, Jang Mi noticed the competitive spirit stirring up within his eyes.
“Does that mean you’ll start writing now?” she asked, doing her best to remain composed. After a brief pause, Juho replied, “I’d like to think about it some more.”
At that moment, Juho’s phone started vibrating in his pocket. After asking to be excused, he took the phone out of his pocket and answered. It was Nabi.
“Would you mind if I take this?”
“Not a problem. Feel free to answer it where you’re at.”
Slightly turning his torso away from the editor, Juho answered the phone.
“Mr. Woo, let’s go to Germany.”
“What?” Juho asked inadvertently. However, he was well aware of what the agent was referring to. She had already reached out to the young author a number of times by that point. Feeling Jang Mi’s gaze, Juho replied on the phone, “I thought we already discussed this…”
“Yes we did, and I’m aware that you’ve turned it down. I’m merely suggesting a vacation. That’s all,” Nabi said, changing her strategy.
Then, she proceeded to explain to Juho why he should go to the book fair. Korean literature, interaction with people from around the globe, being an official and meaningful occasion, a public appearance, meeting different people in the industry from other countries, career activity, reputation… etc. None of those reasons were attractive enough to draw the young author in.
“Think about it, Mr. Woo. We’re talking about four hundred thousand different books. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
“It sure does.”
“There will be plenty more to experience there. You said the sequel to ‘Language of God’ would be in the past, didn’t you? Who knows? You might get something out of the trip.”
Juho chuckled quietly. Both Nabi and Jang Mi were well aware of Juho’s priorities. The way they were going about convincing him was proof of that.
“That did cross my mind,” Juho said, contemplating for a brief moment. Juho didn’t think that his appearance at the book fair would be smooth. It was very likely that it would quickly turn into a massive meet & greet session. However, as long as he wasn’t forced to give a spontaneous lecture in front of a massive audience, it was a risk he was willing to take. Upon being reminded of that, the trip to Germany didn’t sound like such a bad idea.
Germany was a country with a history that left it in need of redemption. The apprehension that came from losing the First World War and the following economic crisis had led them to desire a powerful leader, which had ultimately led to the birth of dictatorship.
“Germany, Italy, Japan… I was hoping to start from the country closest to home,” Juho said, looking toward Jang Mi. War was an inevitable part of the setting that he wanted to write about. It was a violent standoff between countries, which had yielded unspeakable events in history. It was an act to suppress the opponent’s will by force, and in order to handle it properly, one needed to properly educate themselves. However, that had little to do with the book fair. In fact, it would be better to go somewhere quiet. At that moment…
“Oh, did I tell you? Coin’s gonna be there!”
… Nabi’s voice interrupted Juho’s thought process.
“Coin? As in Kelley Coin?”
“Yes. You heard it right. Didn’t see that coming, did you? The German publisher must’ve made a special request.”
Coin was a person whose presence itself carried enough hostility. What would an unorganized, inconsistent conflict look like? It wasn’t rare to come across an interpersonal conflict, which often arose from one party trying to superimpose their will on the other. A wave of thoughts started washing over the young author, slowly filling up his mind. Feeling like meeting Coin all of a sudden, Juho said, “I think I can make this sequel happen.”
“What was that?” Jang Mi asked, taken aback despite having an idea of what Juho’s phone call was about.
“At least in the emotional state I’m in at the moment. I don’t have anything to back it up with though, which is slightly troublesome,” Juho said. Then, he raised his hand and gestured to the editor to give him some time to think. Shortly after, he said to Nabi on the phone, “OK. I’ll go.”
“You have no idea how desperate I was to hear that answer,” Nabi said, making Juho swear by his decision before hanging up. Meanwhile, Jang Mi was looking at him as though puzzled and delighted all at the same time.
“Well, I guess I’m going to Germany.”
“Sounds like it! May I ask what that call was about? Although, I have a slight idea,” Jang Mi asked, trying to suppress her excitement.
“It was about a book fair in Frankfurt, Germany.”
Being an editor, there was no way that Jang Mi didn’t know about one of the most widely recognized book fairs in the world.
“You mean in the South Korean booth? Are you giving a lecture, too? I mean, writing in front of an audience?”
“I’m just going on a vacation/learning experience. It’s nothing official,” Juho said and added, “I’ll bring back some research data.”
“Yun Woo, the genius author.”
Sitting at a park where a lake was visible, a man murmured with his mouth filled by a sandwich. Pedestrians gave him a weird look for his bizarre behavior, which involved ranting and smiling repeatedly. Then, somebody who recognized the man stopped in his tracks, taken aback by his presence.
At the mention of his name, the man looked up, removing the serious look that had been on his face. Having originally been an actor, he was quite handsome, features that were only further accentuated in the Sun.
“Can I help you?” the man asked.
After apologizing to the man for disrupting his personal time, the pedestrian brushed their hand down their face in disbelief and asked cautiously, “You’re Zara Jenkins, right? The director?”
“That’s me. Who else would look like this?”
“Oh. My. Goodness.”
The doubtful, scolding looks from the pedestrian slowly changed into those of interest and favor. If the man on the bench was really Zara Jenkins, the pedestrian would be more than willing to overlook his behavior, no matter how bizarre.
“I’m a big fan! Would you take a picture with me?”
“Of course! Here. Let’s take one with the lake in the background. It’ll make it even more memorable,” the director said, wiping the sauce off his mouth and putting his arm around the pedestrians’ shoulder.
“Hm. Think we can bring out the blue in my eyes some more. Let’s take another one.”
Then, after checking the photo one more time, the director took a picture himself.
“I love your movies. You’re a genius!”
“I’m flattered! How’s that look?” the director asked, tossing the phone back to the pedestrian and sitting back down on the bench. After obtaining pictures that would give him major bragging rights, the pedestrians disappeared into the distance before long. With that, the director took another bite of his sandwich and retreated back to his mind.
“I wanna turn it into a movie,” he said, putting the last bit of the sandwich into his mouth, not minding the sauce dripping from between the bread. He reached over for the book that he had been reading, which he had set aside, trying to rub the sauce off of its page. Although he only smeared it, he didn’t mind that either.
“I really like the background. I can just tell that this guy wanted things to look a certain way.”
Checking the year the book had been published, the director realized that it had been a few years since its release. However, he was reading ‘Language of God’ for the first time that year, which made him realize why all the other directors around him were so desperate for that book.
“I’d love to make this into a movie.”
The villages, the languages, the lifestyles, the protagonist, the adventure and its story, God, the mythology. Everything about the book was so embellished that the director felt a strong urge to make it into a movie. Every sentence he read painted such vivid pictures, making his heart beat faster. Epic music, detailed props, quality filming equipment, a script written around the visuals, carefully chosen actors and actresses, and lastly, himself, who would be directing everything. He had a reputation that would bring him nearly endless support, which would enable him to focus on the production of the movie.
“Why is this guy still holding the rights? Tsk.”
The only issue was that the owner of the rights, in this case, the author, was refusing to sell them. Although he had approached Yun Woo with confidence, he, too, had been flat out rejected by the young author.
Yun Woo seemed to have no interest in movies whatsoever. Although the director had tried to find out more about him in many different ways, there was hardly any information known about him. Even watching every single interview and TV show that the young author had been on simply didn’t give the director enough information, forcing him to judge the author solely based on his work. From then on, he had bought and read every single book written by Yun Woo that had been published in the US. After which, he had made up his mind to make ‘Language of God’ into a movie at all costs.
“Nothing beats meeting in person, especially at a time like this.”
Jenkins was confident that he had what it took to be able to convince the young author. However, meeting him was proving to be a challenge. Even after calling Fernand or writing emails to the Korean publisher working with the author, his attempts to learn more about the author had gone in vain, including his efforts to meet him in person. By that point, Yun Woo had already made his stance known to both publishers: to turn down any requests regarding the filming rights.
“Maybe I should fly to Korea,” Jenkins said to himself, thinking about flying there and hoping for the best, willing to sleep on the street if that was what it took to meet with the young author. Actually, the one director who had successfully earned the filming rights from the author had done something similar in order to meet with him.
“Or maybe I could try Coin.”
Coin was one of Yun Woo’s most widely known acquaintances.
“I might come back with a broken nose, but that won’t take away from my good looks.”
Taking the phone in his hand, Jenkins looked up Kelley Coin on an online search engine, which yielded out a slew of information about the author, including his email address. Unlike Yun Woo, everything about Coin was significantly more accessible. At that moment, an article jumped out at him that said that Coin was participating in the Frankfurt Book Fair.
“Coin? At Frankfurt Book Fair? That’s something you don’t hear every day.”
One of the things that made Coin’s interviews fun to watch was listening to how the author had single-handedly ruined an official event. At that moment, the phone in Jenkins’ hand started vibrating. It was the call he had been expecting.
Unfortunately, the answer was an utter disappointment.
“I mean, how does one go about finding out Yun Woo’s official schedule? I told you, you can’t find something that doesn’t exist.”
“I don’t have time for this.”
Despite working for a large studio, the friend couldn’t figure out a way to know Yun Woo’s whereabouts.
“You there? I’m not done.”
“Then, get on with it.”
“Do you know the agent who works with him?” the friend said, mentioning the name of the agency, which Jenkins had never heard of.
“It’s a Korean agency. It turns out that they arranged a meeting at the book fair.”
“Well, duh! They’re probably there to buy or sell copyrights!”
“Hold your horses! I’m not done yet.”
There was something strange about his friend’s voice, which gave Jenkins a good feeling.
“So, this is something that cost me an arm and a leg to find out.”
“OK! All right! What is it?”
“I think he’s gonna be at the fair.”
There could only be one person to whom his friend was referring: Yun Woo. But for what? At that moment, the name Kelley Coin rushed past the director’s mind. The reason wasn’t important. Yun Woo was going to be at the fair, and that was the only useful information. In a calm tone of voice, Jenkins asked, “When?”
“The first day.”
The unhesitant words from his friend couldn’t sound more beautiful to the director’s ears.
“Get me a ticket to the fair, will ya?”
“That’s not a problem.”
While the call was still ongoing, Jenkins put his brain to work.
“It’s not like he’s giving it away for free. I hope he shows some flexibility. I went through hell last year trying to get consent from this dead author’s family, but who would’ve thought that it was about to get worse?…. Hello?”
Although his friend was bombarding him with complaints, none of it registered in the director’s mind.
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