Chapter 231

* * *

“Yes, redirect all PPL calls to the marketing department, and reject anyone who tries to sneak something extra in. Also, call the actors and make a list of all items that they get sponsorship from. Since they’re all veterans, there shouldn’t be any problems, but take measures so that no one brings strange clothes to the scene. Yes, yes. Please work a little harder. Ah, also, what happened with the meeting with the special effects company? Buksanjeong? Order a good course meal and look into if there are any reservations in the tables next to us, and try to cancel those if you can. The distributors may join us midway, so save some room for them too. Don’t forget to call me once you’re all done.”

Junmin exercised his stiff neck and looked down from the rooftop. He was reminded of when he first bought this building. He thought that the matters of the world were really unpredictable. Who would’ve known that an unknown actor like him would eventually possess a building in such an expensive place? Although he wasn’t able to spread his name around as an actor, he was able to support those that would become real actors. Although it was a little pity that he was getting further away from his dreams, he did not have any regrets.

“Haejoo, am I really doing well?”

Although he wasn’t able to become the best actor, he now possessed the environment to raise those that would become the best. Junmin wanted to raise the best with his hands. Of course, he was well aware of how difficult it was since that was what he was doing all this time. Jung Haejoo. She had a god-sent talent for acting. He created countless acting curricula in order to replicate her, but it was impossible to replicate a god-sent gift as a man.

“Just one step. All that remained was just a single step….”

Junmin admired that woman. His feelings towards her were on a completely different level to the respect he had to numerous senior actors. She was a woman that he did not dare to use an expression that would put himself on the same level as her. There was no need to package her to look great, her very existence as an actor would wow any person. When he first saw that woman in a bankrupt theater, who introduced herself as an actor, Junmin caused a fuss, calling everyone he knew saying that he finally found the one. She was a woman who dazzled him with her light from the moment he looked at her. He disdained all the people who threw her away without recognizing her value and grabbed her. She was the woman who understood ten if you told her one. She absorbed all the acting knowledge that Junmin had and sublimated it so that it became her own.

At one point, Junmin even had the impulse to hide her from the world and hog her to himself. However, an actor’s worth and respect could only be gained on stage. When he used all of his powers to get her the best possible debut piece, she...died. It was an ordinary car accident. Dozens of people die to car accidents every day, and hers was something that didn’t even make it to the news. Agony shook Junmin to his core when he thought that he couldn’t even prevent such an ordinary accident. When he regained himself a little after her funeral, Junmin put all of his passion into raising new talents as though he was possessed. He no longer attended to his social circles and looked for new talent that could replace her while spending time with the dogs that she loved. He spent 3 years like that to finally realize that there were things that simply couldn’t be replaced in this world.

Now that time passed and he was in his 50s, he had an unreal amount of real estate in his hands and he was in a position where he could eat and drink with superstars. The days of pain and suffering that he thought would last an eternity eventually passed and now he was the Lee Junmin who could smile and laugh again. Just until a few years ago, he thought that humans were really evil, but now, even that faded out. What was left of her was his admiration towards that woman as well as the desire to meet an actor of her level once again. The days of agony and pain changed to memories. It was a bitter thing for him to accept, but it was the truth. If that didn’t happen subconsciously in the brain, many people would be in their coffins right now. Junmin blankly stared at the skies before turning around and heading towards the 7th floor.

“Why are you wandering around like that?”

The 2nd meeting room was occupied by Taeho alone. It seemed that the matter he asked him to do had been finished.

“Looks like you made your decision since they aren’t here.”

“Yes. I made a clean decision.”

“Who did you give delinquent 2 to then?” Junmin asked as he sat down.

“Han Maru.”

“Why?”

Taeho smiled and gave him two pieces of paper. One had horrible handwriting, and the other had a neat handwriting.

“The one that’s hard to read is Jiseok’s, and the other one is from Maru. I told them to write what meanings the lines of the delinquents had, and that’s what they gave me. I made an immediate decision after reading them. Have a look.”

Junmin had a look at Jiseok’s first.

“Thinks that the drunkard old man is pathetic since he’s sleeping in the streets at that age.”

He read it out aloud. It wasn’t wrong. The lines themselves implied that. Junmin put down the answer that Jiseok wrote and had a look at Maru’s

“Jiseok’s answer isn’t bad. After all, that’s what the script entails. Just looking at the line ‘Man, your sorry ass has achieved nothing even after all these years. What kind of shit life have you been living, gramps’, you can see how the delinquent is looking at the old man. But Maru decided to take a step further and write where those feelings stem from. For me, I want the delinquent to be nasty, underhanded, grumpy with the world, and twisted to the point that he couldn’t be any more twisted. Such a delinquent can’t just be ‘simple’, don’t you think?”

“Even though you say that, it’ll be just a single cut. Can this boy really imbue all of it into the line?”

“You know better than anyone that many cuts make a scene and many scenes create a sequence. You don’t know how things will go. You might tell me that that decision was the best choice I made in my life. And hey, what’s up with you? You don’t like him?”

Hearing that question, Junmin smiled and put down the paper on the table.

“So you’re picking on him even though you like him. Hyung-nim, people should be a little honest with themselves as they get older. Only then can you get married and have children and eventually grandchildren.”

“And so, are you married?”

“...I’m fine since I’m in my prime 40s.”

“You’ll be in your 50s before you know it, and your 60s if you daze out for a little. If you wanna get married, do it now.”

“Is that advice from a senior in life who couldn’t get married?”

“That’s right.”

“Haah. I don’t want to grow old with a dog like you are, but I don’t see any suitable ladies around me. I can only get married once a good woman appears.”

Junmin played along with Taeho’s grumbles before standing up. Taeho was an actor who was always on the top of the scout list in Chungmu-ro. His name was well known amongst the masses, and he had a good personality as well, so sometimes he would get offers to attend a marriage interview, but he had never heard of him going to one.

“Rather than that, hyung-nim.”

“What is it?”

“When are we doing the read-through? I know you’ll hold one after the get-together.”

“I am.”

“So when will it…”

“Within next week. But hey, why are you looking forward to the read-through? I thought you hated that.”

“When did I hate it? Anyway, see you then. I’m going to go back and have some sleep.”

“You’ve been sleeping until now and you’re sleeping even more?”

“I’m going to gain just 3 more kilos. Since my face is so handsome, gaining weight doesn’t really do much to my sharp jaw lines. Just look, my jaw lines are as sharp as ever.”

Taeho left with a grin. Junmin picked up his phone and told each department to reschedule the get-together. He had to go find someone to do some rituals, someone to pray for the piece, and even do some fortune telling. He wasn’t going to find someone to do a gut(shamanist exorcism ritual). In his last piece, he held one, and that didn’t even cross the break-even point. Ever since then, he never went to do one.

“So he got the role he wanted.”

Junmin put the two papers into the bin. The cast was over. The main roles had already gotten their scripts and started practicing. Right now, there were no changes to schedule. Although changes would be made to the schedule again and again once the filming began, the start was good.

Suddenly, his phone started ringing. He heaved a deep breath before answering.

“What? The mob scene’s location was cancelled? Why? Have you called the location manager? Fuu. Get the newbies in the production team and the special effects team to look for a similar location nearby. Don’t just use your phones and do some actual work. Get it done by tomorrow. Take photos of the location and send them to the director and to me. And also, what?”

Junmin scratched his head and picked up his pen. He suddenly regretted that he decided to command the filming scene. The saying ‘the old should just point their fingers from the back’ slowly crept up his mind.

“Double-check and get that confirmed. Get their fingerprints stamped so that they can’t back out later and…”

It seemed that he was going to get overloaded with work again today.

* * * *

“A movie?”

“Yeah. You know Maru’s been busy lately. That’s all because of the movie. He even passed the audition. Isn’t that great?”

“Wow.”

Jiyoon looked at Daemyung and exclaimed in a small voice. The fact that Maru passed the audition was definitely something celebratory, but to her, the fact that she was talking with Daemyung was something happier to her.

“The others aren’t coming. Wait a moment, I’ll go get them. Where’s everyone? Practice will be starting soon,” Daemyung spoke as he stood up. Jiyoon had a look at the time. It was 10 past 5. The practice began at 5:30. There was still 20 minutes left, so there shouldn’t be any real reason for him to be in a hurry.

“Wouldn’t they come when the time comes?”

“D, do you think?”

Daemyung wandered around the empty classroom while looking around all over the place, but eventually, he left the classroom saying that he would go look for them. Jiyoon found herself reaching out to him when he left and then sighed to herself as she put her hand down.

These feelings, it probably came from back then. The senior that listened to her while being very flustered. Jiyoon felt her heart throb when she saw that. It was a completely different feeling to when she saw Maru. It was the difference of admiring someone from afar and watching someone who cared for her. She had good feelings towards Maru, but that all felt unreal to her since he felt too distant. Perhaps due to that, she didn’t feel anything when she found out that he had a girlfriend. In fact, she found it so natural that she smiled to herself.

On the other hand, the first feelings she had when she found out that Daemyung did not have a girlfriend was relief. At that moment, Jiyoon realized. She realized that she held more than just good feelings towards him. It was a secret that she hadn’t told anyone yet. She felt that the secret would lose all worth once she said it out loud.

“Should I be a little more proactive?” She muttered to herself. However, she couldn’t continue thinking because just imagining it made her feel like her head would burst. Jiyoon absent-mindedly looked at the door that Daemyung left through.

* * *

“I think Jiyoon is uncomfortable with me.”

Maru frowned when he heard Daemyung’s groans. What kind of BS was this?

“Ah, no. I must be mistaken. It’s nothing. Ha, haha.”

Daemyung smiled and entered the classroom. Maru had a peek inside. Daemyung and Jiyoon were sitting far apart. That distance didn’t originate from discomfort, but from the immense pink-colored heat that was about to cause the two to burn. It was immensely obvious to him, but the two people in question, no, to be precise, Daemyung, didn’t seem to understand at all.

‘I did have my doubts, but they’re still like this…’

He was well aware that Jiyoon’s eyes when she looked at Daemyung was unlike anything else. Maru thought that Daemyung would take notice of that and that there would be progress between the two soon enough, but there was neither progress nor regress. There was still the awkward distance between the two. Jiyoon was a timid girl. The problem was that Daemyung was just as timid. It was understandable since both of them were more timid than most others, but still…

“Geez, they’re amazing, in a sense.”

He didn’t want to mention it in front of them and receive their glares. It would be good if the two went well, but if things didn’t go well, it would be a pain for him. Maru sat in the corner of the classroom and had a look at the two. Both of them were looking his way when they talked, but while Jiyoon sometimes took glances at Daemyung, Daemyung didn’t look at Jiyoon even once.

‘If you have good observation skills, please look at her.’

Maru felt dizzy from the smell of love, which made him leave the classroom for a moment. Daemyung was about to follow him out, but Maru kicked him back in. He then went to the window at the end of the corridor.

“Han Maru. What are you doing over there?”

He heard a voice from the direction of the classroom.

“You’re early today.”

It was Suyeon.

“I’m here to hold a party to celebrate your passing of the audition.”

She was holding plastic bags in each hand and waved at him to come.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Love is in the air~