She felt a lot better after sighing. Where did she even muster all that courage from?
“Are you okay?”
“Want us to go scare him?”
Jiyoon told her friends that she was fine now, she was trembling when Geunseok was right in front of her. With her friends here, she could stand her ground. Her friends may be odd and rough, but they were very good friends nonetheless.
“Um, mind if I come in?”
Maru appeared by the entrance of the classroom, Jiyoon had called him as soon as she saw Geunseok enter the class.
“What are you doing here?”
“Why are all of you in such a hurry to bully this poor girl?”
Jiyoon had to frantically stop her friends from stopping Maru.
“No no, he’s fine. I called him here.”
Jiyoon stepped towards Maru.
“Geunseok just left.”
“I know, I saw him. What happened?”
“Nothing bad, just...”
Jiyoon turned to look at the two girls at the front of the class. She knew them by name, but not much else apart from that Maru approached the two and asked for a summary. Jiyoon couldn’t help but notice how nice of a person he was, especially with how he kindly consoled the two girls.
“I’ll apologize first. It looks like he’s tried to bully the two of you.”
“N-no, it’s fine.”
Maru apologized to the girls and corrected the things Geunseok had said at the same time, the girls nodded with understanding.
“I had no intention of joining, to begin with. He was really weird, he was definitely mad when he first spoke to us. He kept repeating he was just kidding, but it definitely didn’t feel like he was joking around though. I didn’t even want to talk to him, but I was so scared so I kept listening...”
The girls spoke with trembling voices, Jiyoon felt sorry for them. If only she intervened earlier...
“Hey, you idiots. You should’ve said no if you didn’t like the situation. Why did you just keep listening? I thought you knew that weirdo.”
One of Jiyoon’s friends stepped up with a frown, Jiyoon tried to stop the girl. She knew her friend didn’t have any patience when it came to situations like this.
“Stop it, the one at fault is that senior.”
“In cases like these, the victims are also at fault. Stop being iffy and allowing yourself to get whisked away in such a situation. If you don’t like it, just say no.”
Jiyoon understood why her friend was mad, but she was also baffled at how she would try to remedy the situation. At the same time, she was a little envious of her friend’s confidence.
“What you said isn’t actually very easy, you’re the amazing one for being able to say no. There’s nothing wrong with the girls here.” Maru butted in.
Jiyoon’s friend glared at Maru. Jiyoon stepped in with a smile, but she couldn’t really do anything.
“Aren’t you a friend of that senior from a while ago? You’re both in the acting club. It’s also partly your fault for not taking care of your friends. How could you let someone like that rampage at our class?”
“First and foremost, I’m not his friend. Also, I’m sorry. You’re right. It’s my fault for not talking to him first. I didn’t even realize it until you told me. Thank you.”
Jiyoon’s friend seemed to be confused. This girl was a true tomboy, the type who was incredibly sporty since a young age. Her fiery personality stemmed from the fact that she often exercised with her brothers, Jiyoon was a bit surprised that someone like that could look so confused like this moment. She was more surprised that Maru was able to render her friend to this state.
“What the, backing off just like that?”
Jiyoon’s other friends laughed with playful mockery. In the meantime, Jiyoon sighed in relief. Thank god the situation didn’t escalate.
“I don’t like people who just admit their mistakes like that, it makes me just lose all of my adrenaline.”
Her friend pouted annoyedly, Jiyoon apologized to Maru for the scene.
“Again with your habit. Your friend did nothing wrong, your apology makes it look like your friend was in the wrong. Apologize only when necessary.”
“Ah, yes, I’m so… I understand.”
“Anyway, things got pretty annoying. I’ll try not to let this happen next time.”
Maru left Jiyoon’s friend an interested glance.
“By the way, didn’t you come to the acting club last time?”
Maru nodded after Aram pointed at herself with a finger.
“I went that one time earlier in the semester, I left because I wasn’t a fan of that bastard talking. I have a potty mouth, by the way, so you’ll have to be understanding of my language.”
“That’s not even really a bad word in high school. Besides that, would you like to join the acting club? We’re a bit short on people.”
“I’m good. I like moving my body, so stuff like that’s no good for me.”
“Acting is a very active activity.”
“But it takes a lot of time.”
“An incredible amount, subjectively speaking.”
“Why would I join a club like that?”
“Because it’s fun. The amount of fun you’ll have increases exponentially with the time you invest in it, it’s also that much annoying and tiring though.”
“Do you really think anyone would join from such words?”
“You think? I have no other way of explaining it. It’s just the way it is. Let me know if you find anyone else interested in acting around you. We’re recruiting until the end of the week.”
Maru spoke with a smile on his face, being quite frank with Jiyoon’s other friends for a second before finishing off by asking them to drop by once in the future. Jiyoon was reminded of a lady merchant in traditional markets during the whole exchange. She thought Maru was a very weighty, serious senior, but it felt like she saw a new side to him today. He seemed very friendly with his words.
“It’s almost the end of the break, thanks for listening to me talk. Be sure to drop by when you’re bored, I’ll show you a play we filmed last year.”
Maru took a look at the clock before finally stepping out.
“This one doesn’t seem like an asshole, thank goodness.”
“Yeah. He’s alright, actually. Kind of cute.”
“What, thinking of making a move?”
“Hey, don’t make this weird.”
Jiyoon’s friends started returning to their seats. Jiyoon thought of the acting club’s current situation. Maru sounded very casual about it, but Jiyoon knew full well how much trouble they were in.
“W-would you like to try acting with me? I just started myself, but the people there are really nice. It’s probably going to be tiring as the senior said, but it’s also going to be fun. Eh, so… so...”
She wanted to speak as seamless as Maru, but she couldn’t elaborate her train of thought. In the end, she just ended up finishing her line with an “it’s also going to be fun”. Her friends smiled.
“When will you stop being nervous in front of us?”
“Can’t be helped. We better take her on a lap around the school on top of our shoulders every time she stutters.”
Jiyoon ran away from her friends trying to ticker her into a corner of the class.
“Well, I want to try it, but band is pretty fun already.”
“Same, but with cooking.”
“I’ll watch your acting, so good luck.”
Unfortunately, they all refused. She wanted to be of help to Maru, but it proved more difficult than she initially thought.
“Hey, open your textbooks.”
The teacher entered the class, Jiyoon got back to her seat and opened her textbook. Right then, a ball of paper landed on her desk. She raised her head to see where the paper came from, Aram was pointing at the paper. When Jiyoon opened it, she found a message inside.
[Is the acting club really fun?]
* * *
[I think Geunseok has been spreading weird rumors.]
It was a message from Soyeon, who was in the same class as Geunseok.
Dojin leaned sideways to take a look at Maru’s phone. How brave of the boy, especially during class. Not that Maru was the one to talk, what with the phone under his desk. Maru showed Dojin the screen, causing the boy to frown.
“That bastard never changes.”
“You in the back. Be quiet.”
The teacher spoke as he smacked the chalk into the blackboard, Maru shut his mouth and focused on the lecture. The lecture about the crusades suddenly changed its course to king Lionheart, which eventually ended with the teacher recanting an epic of king Lionheart’s adventures.
“Don’t try so hard to memorize the latter part of the lecture. I’ll tell you what’s going to be on the test later.”
Engineering schools were odd in the fact that as long as you paid attention two weeks before the test, you could still easily get a hundred on the tests. The teachers were very lax in their classes as well.
“I, King Dojin the lion, will head off to punish that idiot now.”
“I bid you stay in your seat. I will take care of the matter myself.”
Maru pushed Dojin down by the shoulder as he stood up.
“I’ll come with you.”
Daemyung joined, Maru had no reason to stop a fellow member of the club from tagging along. Maru entered the design class, who were currently cleaning up the classroom before heading back home. He found Geunseok talking with his friends next to the television.
Soyeon looked at him worriedly, Maru smiled at her gently before stepping towards Geunseok. Due to his sudden visit, the entirety of the class focused on him.
“What the,” Geunseok widened his eyes. He didn’t seem intimidated thanks to the presence of his friends.
“The only thing you should do with your mouth is to speak, not shit with it. You’re a smart kid, so why are you going around saying things you can’t even handle?”
“You son of a bitch.”
Geunseok stepped forward, he didn’t immediately attack though. Geunseok’s friends started observing the situation alertly, they looked like they would step in to help Geunseok as soon as things went awry.
“Just where did you learn to swear with every sentence? Can’t you be a little polite?”
“Are you crazy? Hey guys, look. This is the kid I was talking about. The one that kicked me out due to jealousy and his own incompetence. What a bastard.”
One by one, the students in the class started gathering. Maru actually welcomed the attention, he wouldn’t have come here if he wanted to settle things peacefully in the first place. Maru raised his voice loud enough so that the class could hear him speak.
“Why are you saying such baseless things, Geunseok? Alright guys, think for a second. Do you think I could’ve kicked Geunseok out if he really was so talented?”
The students started nodding, causing Geunseok to immediately retort.
“Talent be damned. You kicked me out with that damn pig standing next to you. You did it out of jealousy.”
“So how the hell did we do it, if we even did it, to begin with?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter