Chapter 167

And here Maru thought he paid attention in class. He looked at the math equation on his notebook and sighed. His memory and focus improved for sure, but he just couldn’t make use of it with stuff like this.

“Maru, we’re going to the clubroom after lunch, right?”

“Of course.”

Maru closed the notebook before looking at Daemyung, they were planning to advertise the club during the fifth period. There were a select few clubs in Woosung High that were granted the privilege of being able to advertise like this, most of these clubs were ones that did well in the nationals and whatnot. The acting club was able to advertise thanks to its past glory, but who knew how long this would last?

“The fifth period of the computer classroom is hanja. What do we do?”

“Well, we might as well try. If they don’t want us there, we can leave.”

The hanja teacher still hated the acting club as much as ever, so they probably won’t be able to advertise their club.

“Alright, let’s eat,” Dojin said, standing up.

Dowook stood up silently as well, he seemed to be having fish soup for lunch today. Or it may be a soup that smells slightly of fish, really. As they walked to the cafeteria together, they came across the design students on the other side.

“Looks nice,” Dojin muttered.

He must’ve seen Geunseok among the group of girls.

“Why don’t us electrical engineering students get any girls?”

“Dude, just look at the name, it stinks of men.”

Maru joked as he stuck behind the design students, Taejoon and Soyeon were there as well.

“Yo, Taejoon, weren’t you one of us?” Dojin asked.

“I’m in design only when I eat. Didn’t you know?”

“Tsk, tsk, this is why romance shouldn’t be allowed in schools. Such disgusting deeds happening in sacred educational grounds...”

Someone snatched Dojin away by his collar as the boy tried to nudge his way in between Soyeon and Taejoon, it was Iseul. She was here before they knew it, along with the rest of her fellow computer students.

“Stop ruining the mood.”

“O-okay.”

Dojin got quiet with an awkward smile. They looked like quite the couple when they were together, an energetic queen and her comical jester, Maru could already picture them together in his head.

“I heard the acting club is going to advertise today?” Iseul asked.

“Yup, with us three dudes.”

Iseul crossed her arms and nodded.

“Lots of girls should come for just Geunseok alone. Good luck.”

“Good to hear.”

It would be easy to drag in boys if they had Iseul, but it wasn’t like they could ask for help from someone who wasn’t even in the club anymore.

“How’s the cooking club? Dojin was happy with it.”

“It’s no joke. One of the upperclassmen already has their baker’s license. Another one already has a job in a Chinese restaurant. I think we’ll learn a lot. We’ll also be visiting famous restaurants twice a month. It’s gonna be great!”

“Good luck. Take care of him for me.”

Iseul gestured towards Dojin, who was nervously glancing at the two of them.

“Depending on how he does, maybe,” Iseul grinned. “Ah, what’s happening with the instructor? Is instructor Miso coming back?”

“Mr. Taesik asked, but it’s gonna be difficult.”

“Why?”

“She found herself a part in a play. She’s going to go on stage in about two months and she isn’t sure what her schedule’s going to look like.”

“Makes sense. She’s an actress after all.”

She probably wouldn’t be able to instruct the club full-time like before. She had the passion, but not the time.

“Think we’ll lose our funding, too.”

“...Because of the fire?”

“If they liked us, they wouldn’t have chased us out of the auditorium to begin with. We’ll probably get a significant cut. Or they might just get rid of the club altogether.”

“Man, now I feel sorry for leaving at the worst time.”

Iseul looked down at the floor bitterly, it wasn’t a pretty sight seeing her sad like that. Maru tapped the girl’s arm to try and cheer her up.

“We’ll make do. I’m more worried about the underclassmen. If we don’t get any new students, we’ll have to go on with three people. That’s impossible.”

They would need at least ten people. That was the rule for school clubs. If they couldn’t get the ten required people, the school would no longer recognize them as a club. At the same time, they would be penalized greatly. That is, their clubroom would disappear.

There weren’t many clubs that had their own clubrooms in the school. Music, acting, cooking, and Korean percussion. The other clubs made do with the empty classrooms during the weekend. In a situation like this, a permanent clubroom acted as a huge positive for the students. It was their home base. Losing the clubroom would negatively impact the acting club in a huge number of ways with the props were the biggest problem of them all. There definitely wasn’t a place nearby where they could store everything.

“We’ll need at least three for sure.”

The former second years would no longer be working with the club, but their names were still on the list. Joonghyuk decided to help them out after hearing about their situation. There were four second, no, third years on the club list, along with three second years. They needed three more students to meet the requirement.

“We’ll get three, right?” Daemyung asked nervously.

Maru shrugged.

“That’s the hope, but who knows?”

It was always good to think of all contingencies. Maru thought of a few friends in his class, they were the kids that didn’t like to take part in clubs. If he told them he’d let them go to PC bangs so long as they just put their names in the club, they’d put their names on the list. Maru would have to talk to Taesik about it, sure, but he’d probably let it pass. It was against school rules, but they weren’t in the position to care about that.

“They’ll come for sure,” Dojin said, as he tried to allay their worries.

* * *

“What’s this?”

“Advertising slogan.”

Maru handed Geunseok a piece of paper, there were lines on it that Daemyung thought up. Geunseok seemed to think it was pretty childish, but the boy was reading through all of it regardless.

“At least three people. More is better, of course.”

“We’ll get three easily. All girls too.”

Geunseok was smiling confidently, the boy was quite a relief to have around. Personality aside, he was very handsome.

“I’ll do comedy with Daemyung. You should put weight behind our words.”

Geunseok nodded, Maru turned to Daemyung with a grin. The boy wrote the script, knowing full well what Geunseok’s personality was like.

“Alright, let’s go.”

Last year, they were the ones lulled into the club. This year, they were the ones left to advertise the club. They needed to drag in as many first years as possible, their first target was mechanical engineering. They opened the class door after a small knock, the teacher recognized them and motioned them in. Maru started his spiel as soon as he saw the teacher sitting down with arms crossed.

“Hello everyone, we’re the Blue Sky acting club of Woosung High.”

Might as well start off strong.

* * *

Maru asked a question as he closed the door behind him.

“Next?”

“Design.”

“Hah.”

Daemyung took a sip of water nervously, the boy still hadn’t built up any resistance towards girls. On the other hand, Geunseok stepped in front of the class with a confident look. They’ve done rounds on six classes so far. Mech, Electrical, Computer engineering. Those classes were all filled with boys, so the reactions they received were very uninteresting as well. When one of the students asked them, ‘are there any pretty seniors?’ all Maru could say was, ‘we’re about to get some pretty underclassmen’. As expected from an engineering school, they needed girls. Only now was Maru able to realize why Yoonjung and Danmi were the ones advertising way back then.

‘One girl is better than a hundred boys.’

That was the truth, at least to a normal highschool boy.

“Let’s crossdress.”

“W-what?”

“I’m joking.”

“Don’t speak so seriously, I almost fell for it.”

Maru pat Daemyung on the back before knocking on the next class door. Geunseok would need to do well here, especially considering his appearance and his conversational skills. Given that not many students even cared for acting nowadays, these were the only two things they could rely on.

“Come inside.”

They opened the door at the teacher’s words, the first years all awkwardly looked at the three of them.

‘So this year too, the boys are going to be slaves in the design class, huh.’

The ratio of girls to boys was eight to two. In cases like these, the boys were submissive under the girls. If the boys don’t understand or learn the politics between girls, they can often get chewed up to death before even knowing it. Only a select few boys here would be able to live out a happy high school life surrounded by girls. The rest? As mentioned before, slaves.

Maru gave Geunseok a glance. Already, most of the girls were looking at the boy.

“Hello, underclassmen.”

Geunseok stepped forward with a greeting, Maru and Daemyung stuck very closely behind him. Please don’t make a mistake, please don’t make a mistake… Daemyung’s plan here was very simple: a handsome boy, and the dumb and dumber. As Geunseok talked in front of them, they danced rhythmically with a silly face. They got good reactions, thankfully. The girls were smiling.

“Don’t worry about the guys behind me. They’re kind of like a signboard of the club.”

Geunseok went on according to Daemyung’s script. He was clean. This too, in the end, was acting. He commanded attention with his calm voice. Noticing that most of the class’s focus was on them now, Maru gave Daemyung a glance. Their silly faces were only there to loosen up the mood, they clearly didn’t need it anymore.

The two of them went back to looking serious. Geunseok started to explain about the specifics regarding the acting club. Some of the students frowned hearing that the club would be difficult, it was understandable. No one wanted to put time and effort into something difficult.

“But you can’t exchange the joy you feel on stage when you get applauded with anything else. You know the word ‘catharsis’, don’t you? The cathartic feeling you get then is unforgettable. You can’t exchange it with anything. The acting club is definitely difficult. But I can at least guarantee this. The one year you spend in our club will completely overshadow everything else about high school.”

Geunseok took a step back to breathe. As Maru expected, Geunseok was done here. The nervous air in the class was still there. Maru looked at Daemyung, the boy looked satisfied.

“...Point is, you definitely won’t lose out on anything as long as you’re serious about acting. The acting club’s clubroom is located on the fourth floor, right to the left of the central staircase. You can register until Saturday, so please drop by!”

It was very clean. As expected, Geunseok could be trusted with stuff like this. Daemyung started handing out papers about the club.

“Please take a look and come by if you’re interested. You don’t need to be pretty to be a good actor. You’ll be fine as long as you’re interested. I mean, just look at me!”

Daemyung smiled before saying his last line.

“Let’s make a play together.”

* * *

By the time they finished looking around, the fifth period was almost over. Maru came back to his seat in the class as he cracked his neck sideways.

“How was it?” Dojin asked.

Maru raised his thumb.

“I’m happy for now. I don’t know how they’ll react, but Daemyung was really good with setting things up. Geunseok did well, too.”

“I didn’t do much...” Daemyung smiled awkwardly.

“How are they, though?”

“Who?”

“The first years. Are they pretty?”

Maru looked at Dojin for a second before sending a text message to Iseul. Exactly a minute later, the girl appeared in their class with a smile on her face. Maru looked at the clock after taking care of Dojin, there were three hours before five o’clock. How many students would come to visit them after school?

“You idiot, you just love making work for yourself, don’t you?” Dowook said, flopping down on his desk.

Maru threw a pen at the boy.

“I wonder how many people will come,” Daemyung said nervously.

“There were like four or five people who were really interested, so maybe three?”

They got good responses from design and chemical engineering. They should get three. Hopefully.

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