The first thing Suyeon saw upon waking up was a group of bugs she has never seen before on the windowsill, there were caterpillars with exotic patterns dotted with little spikes and something that looked like an enlarged cricket. There was even a time when she looked out the window wondering if she had found a bird sitting on it, it turned out to be a moth bigger than the palm of her hand.
Suyeon walked down to the first floor; this marked her fourth morning in the villa. The location manager, film director, editor and the storyboarders all left on the first day. The only people living here were Moonjoong, Junmin, Geunsoo, and that author she still didn’t know the name of. Junmin and Geunsoo actually left for Seoul shortly yesterday morning, so there were actually just three of them in the house right now. Thanks to that, Suyeon was the one to prepare breakfast. She walked over to the kitchen with a little bit of expectancy, but there was obviously no one inside.
“Ugh, a lone lady’s cooking for three people by herself and that guy has the gall to stay inside?”
Just thinking about that author pissed her off. She tried her best to strike a conversation with him during the past few days, but she’s been ignored all this time. Was he just incapable of socializing or something? What was shocking was the fact that the man actually has a girlfriend. What was even more shocking was that he was incredibly cold to his girlfriend as well. Just what kind of a person was his girlfriend to be able to take that kind of attitude? Was she buddha?
“You’re treating me like a cafeteria lady? Ok, fine.”
She rolled up her sleeves and got to cooking, she was planning on making some seaweed soup and an omelette for Moonjoong. She has been living by herself for seven years now and has quite the confidence in her cooking. She set the table with food before walking back upstairs.
“Sir, you should have breakfast.”
A little while after she knocked, Moonjoong walked out.
“You didn’t have to think about me.”
“How could I not?”
She put her arms around his naturally as if she was his granddaughter, Moonjoong nodded and walked over to the kitchen.
“Oh my, you’re quite good at cooking. Whoever marries you must be very lucky.”
“Don’t just say that. Can’t you introduce someone good to me?”
As they talked, the author slowly made his way down to the kitchen as well. The man gave Moonjoong a curt nod before coming to the table. Suyeon didn’t prepare a bowl of rice for the man, it was her own way of paying him back for his attitude. Just thinking of the man looking at her in surprise made her feel good already.
The author blinked as he looked at the table, Suyeon smiled. If he wanted breakfast, he’d have to talk to her first. Right then, the man walked over to the fridge and casually took out milk and cereal.
“Why don’t you have some warm rice?” Moonjoong asked.
“That woman doesn’t seem to want to give it to me. They say eating food made by someone unwelcoming can make you sick, so I’ll settle with this.”
Moonjoong turned to Suyeon with a little laughter, Suyeon grit her teeth as she spoke.
“What are you talking about? I was about to get you a bowl right now.”
“It’s fine. I don’t like seaweed soup.”
“That’s odd. I thought I saw you eating it when Mr. Geunsoo made it a few days ago.”
“I’ll correct myself. I don’t like unappetizing seaweed soup.”
The author silently started eating his cereal without saying much else. Moonjoong smiled before getting back to eating himself, the man seemed to be enjoying the situation quite a bit.
“I wonder why that man dislikes me so much. Do you know, teacher?”
“Who knows. They say not even god can know the happenings between a man and a woman. I can’t even begin to imagine what’s happening here.”
“Hah. Teacher… Can’t you just tell me his name? He won’t answer me and I kind of feel foolish for asking at this point. And apparently that name on the book is just a pen name?”
“He’s just very shy. You should take your time with him.”
Moonjoong stood up as well, having finished his meal. Suyeon started organizing the table with a sigh, she’s gotten used to this life already. She thought she’d be back home in just a single day, but she was already headed towards her fifth day here.
‘At least I’m getting a lot out of it.’
Her tension with the author wasn’t anything special, her real objective here was to observe Moonjoong. The man would usually go on a walk after breakfast, along with the author. Today was of no exception. Moonjoong stepped out of the villa with the author.
“Let me join.”
Suyeon walked outside with the book in her hand, the three of them walked the garden path behind the building. After a few minutes of silence, Moonjoong came to a stop in front of a rotting tree.
“There’s a scene where the second son gets murdered with a baseball bat.”
“Yes,” the author replied.
“How do you think he felt?”
“The implication was that he was taking back what was originally his.”
“Yes. The sentence that best describes the crazed old man is ‘what’s so wrong about training wild dogs, using my life as bait?’ The old man simply felt that he was taking back what he gave to his sons in the first place.”
“Taking back, huh.”
It’s begun, Suyeon quietly followed the two from behind. The reason why they were here right now wasn’t just to scout out a good location for the movie, they were also fleshing out Moonjoong’s character. Apparently the author was the one who demanded this method. He said his book couldn’t be turned into a movie unless he got to speak deeply with the actor, which was why Junmin prepared this place.
In some ways, the author was an amazing person. How did he have the courage to demand such a thing when this was just his first work?
‘Then again, he isn’t all talk at all.’
He would’ve been shot down immediately if he was an amateur writer, but his book was the real thing. The book was incredibly immersive despite it being his first work. The night Suyeon got the book, she stayed up all the way till four reading. She couldn’t even go to sleep right away afterwards because of the chills she got. The crazed madness of the old man, the disgusting side of humanity, and yet, the love humans still carried for each other… The book had everything, she wouldn’t have hesitated to fund a movie based on this book if she was an investor as well. It was just that good.
“He’s a very pitiable human being.”
“The problem is that there are too many people like him.”
“Committing murder towards the son that cast him out… Thinking about it keeps making me question what is true justice.”
“That’s why we need to keep talking about this. Even my views have changed as I keep talking with you, teacher. I’ll have to consult the director, but I did feel like we might want to get rid of some of the dark feelings in the movie.”
“So you’re thinking of normalizing murder.”
“Sort of. I think the message will carry through regardless.”
“Sure, sure. I don’t have much of a say in terms of production, so do what you want.”
The two started walking again, Suyeon organized her thoughts as well as she stepped forward. These two in front of her were setting up the framework of the movie. Even the investors and the producers had to give weight to Moonjoong’s opinion, so their conversation here was very important.
The author was especially tempting to Suyeon the more she looked at him, the man said that he’d use the conversation here to talk to the scenario author later on. He even seemed to be preparing for his next work using his ideas from here, Suyeon had a lot of expectations for his later works because of this. Junmin seemed to want to turn this man into something big, There was no way he’d let the author have his way with this otherwise. This meant that the author’s later novels had a high chance of getting a drama or a movie based on it. If she manages to give him a decent idea, he might even base a character off of her. That would automatically give her an edge over everyone else.
The wind was getting colder. The two men made their way deeper into the mountain, Moonjoong slowly looked up to the sky as he passed by a pine tree.
“Is killing a person really that bad?”
Suyeon felt a chill go down her back, the man was eerily calm. Suyeon has been observing how Moonjoong tried to take hold of his character ever since she got here. His method was very simple, method acting. The thing was… Moonjoong seemed to become more and more like the old man in the novel as time went on. Every time she saw him say something frightening so calmly, she couldn’t help but feel a little envious and be impressed at his skill. She even wanted to steal his practice method.
Of course, there was nothing she could do to steal something that could only come through age and experience. The best she could do was to try to learn from the side, she could only observe what Moonjoong did to focus.
“No, no. Killing a person is wrong.”
“I share that sentiment, but I do find myself getting confused at the edge cases. If a family of a victim kills a serial killer, is that really a wrong thing?”
“I suppose it’s a matter of ethics and justice.”
“I occasionally think this, but the law is far too inhumane. Laws carry no love. Living in this era where personal revenge is forbidden romanticizes the violence in movies.”
“Was the old man right in his acts?”
“That’s what I’m hoping you would express. I don’t have a feel for it at all as of now.”
They walked forward with a mutual nod of understanding. Suyeon could only think of one thing when she saw them, a damn bunch of lunatics.
‘But that’s what makes them so charming.’
The world wasn’t for normalcy, it wanted the crazies. Suyeon followed them quietly today as well, hoping she could imitate some of that craziness that these two were expressing.
* * *
“It’s all because of you.”
Maru had to think for a few minutes about what he should even say when Geunseok told him that out of nowhere.
“You ruined everything. God damn it.”
Geunseok disappeared out of his sight with just that, Maru only found out the day after from Taesik that Geunseok quit the club.
“He switched clubs?”
“The study club, yes.”
“Why so suddenly...”
“He said he got bored of acting.”
Maru couldn’t understand what was happening for the life of him, so he went to visit Geunseok at lunch. He tried to talk to the boy but was met with complete silence, it would’ve honestly felt better to just speak to a wall.
“Let’s see how you guys can thrive without me.”
That’s the only thing Geunseok told him in the end. Maru didn’t even feel the need to respond to that smirk, so he just left.
“So what now?”
“You, me, Bangjoo, Jiyoon. And the four third years.”
“We still need two more people.”
Daemyung had a crestfallen face. They turned to look at the calendar at the back of the classroom, it was Saturday. The last day the students would get to choose their clubs. If they didn’t turn in forms by today, they would lose their clubroom.
“The filmmaking club was requesting their own clubroom. The vice president of the school council told me.”
They got some information on current events thanks to a friend. At this rate, the filmmaking club would take over their clubroom.
“I suppose we’d have to find two randoms.”
“Yeah, there’s no other way.”
“I mean, we need to keep our clubroom first and foremost. We can just change things again next week.”
They had no choice but to recruit first years next week. Maru stood up from his seat and walked to the front of the class, he gathered everyone’s attention by knocking on the blackboard.
“Anyone down for a part time job?”
They needed club members before anything else.Previous Chapter Next Chapter