Chapter 278

“Thanks for all your work everyone.”

After the run through, Daemyung gathered everyone around.

“Well then, can you tell me what you found lacking in that run? Let’s start with Bangjoo.”

Practice was important. It was the first step towards maturity. However, retrospect was just as important as practice. If practice was akin to walking down a path, retrospect was the process to check if the path they walked was the right one. Bangjoo spoke without hesitation. He mentioned that his pronunciation was lacking and that Jiyoon was too shy with her actions.

After Bangjoo came Aram’s turn. Aram also mentioned the things she found lacking. There was no hesitation as she mentioned the mistakes. Whether the mistake came from herself or from others, she mentioned them out loud regardless.

After a round, Daemyung summarized the things he had just heard in his head. They now had the problems, so it was time to look for the solution. That process did not involve any emotion on his part. He summarized the problems in a simple manner.

After telling the club members the problems that they had found, he started to give them advice just like he always did. Although he was giving out advice, they weren’t clear answers. There were numerous cases where the problems contained the solutions, and Daemyung only made it simpler for everyone to understand.

Giving them directions. It wasn’t like there was a clear answer like it was some mathematics question, so he just proposed some actions that they could take - what if we try doing this? As everyone was smart, they immediately understood what he was trying to say and solved their problems themselves, so Daemyung continued to use this method.

Of course, not everyone saw benefit through this method. There was always someone that was excluded from the discussion. It was none other than Maru. In this method where the members pointed and fixed each other’s mistakes, Maru was not mentioned even once. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t a bad thing. It just meant that Maru was digesting his role that well.

However, Daemyung found it a pity that he wasn’t of help to Maru at all.

“Should we stop here for today? It’s getting late.”

It was just part 8 o’clock. Daemyung asked Dowook to take care of the girls. After the first years and Dowook left, he sat down, breathing deeply when,

“You guys end really early.”

Daemyung flinched when he heard those words from behind him. He looked behind him and saw that Yoojin, who he had completely forgotten about, was standing here. Yoojin introduced herself as a friend of Maru. Today was her fourth day here already. At first, he thought that she would stop coming after the first couple days, but now, she came to this room earlier than even the club members.

“Aren’t you going?” Maru asked as he looked at the script.

“I’m going to wait until you guys leave.”

Yoojin sat down.

“You are going to practice with the two of you again, aren’t you? Then put me in this time.”

Daemyung gave Yoojin, who was extending her hand out with a smile, a copy of the script. At first, she just silently kept watching practice, but starting yesterday, she participated in it as well. As she was very skilled, Daemyung was happy to have her on board.

Maru took the salaryman and drunkard roles, Yoojin took the scammer and the hostess roles, and Daemyung took the policeman and the delinquent roles. As they lacked members, they didn’t do any actions.

The practice that began a little after 8 ended at 9. Daemyung folded the script in half and looked at the two others. They really had solid acting. Although the acting club kept practicing, Dowook and the first years made a few mistakes here and there. Above all, they were people who had zero interest in acting beforehand so they weren’t used to acting either. Considering that it hadn’t even been a month since they properly started practicing, they were doing incredibly well, but at the same time, they were lacking compared to the two in front of him.

Yoojin was especially proficient in the hostess and the scammer roles to the point that Daemyung wanted Aram and Jiyoon to study from her. It had only been four days since she started watching them practice, but after those four days, she was better than his two juniors who had spent a month practicing.

Indeed, a fully-fledged child actor was different, alright. She was a professional who even appeared on dramas.

What was interesting was the way Yoojin looked at Maru.

Desire. That was the emotion her eyes had when she looked at Maru, even though she was doing very well.

In Daemyung’s eyes, Yoojin seemed like a splendid actor who was equal to Maru. Despite that, it felt as though she had some kind of inferiority complex against him. He might be mistaken, but from what he saw from her during the past four days, it was definitely the case.

Just why was she looking at Maru with such eyes? After pondering, Daemyung came to a conclusion.

‘Perhaps I’m not seeing all of Maru’s skills.’

In Daemyung’s mind, both Maru and Yoojin were splendid actors. However, if they were similar in level, there would neither be reason for Yoojin to come to their school to observe Maru, nor any reason behind her eyes that looked at Maru with inferiority. He came to the conclusion that he himself wasn’t capable of looking at Maru’s full skills.

Daemyung looked at Maru.

Within the acting club, Maru took the role of the leader who guided everyone else. To compare it to a family, Maru was analogous to the father while Daemyung was the mother. The mother’s role was to look after the children in a more caring, up close manner. Consoling crying children, praising them for good actions. The father was a little different. The father does not get involved in the detailed things, but leads the family as a whole. They say a child grows in the bosom of the mother and lives looking at the father’s back. Although he might be mistaken, Daemyung thought that was how the current acting club looked like.

Everyone was developing their skills through seeing Maru’s acts. Daemyung did not doubt that this acting club should soon enter its stable period and that the members would bring out their fullest skills, becoming capable of showing a high-level play for others to see.

However, he realized that he was wrong.

Yes, their overall skill set would improve. Perhaps they might be able to aim for the grand prize that they weren’t able to get last year.

However, the gap between them and Maru would never be bridged. If he was at a level where Daemyung couldn’t even see, it would be almost impossible for the others that just started off to stand on his level, no matter how much effort they put in.

Was that a good thing? For the acting club as a whole, it wasn’t a bad thing. After all, from the outside, it looked as though the whole club was improving in pursuit of a dominantly good person. If it was a competitive situation, there might be some trouble thanks to Maru’s skills, but in acting, unity was the only way forward, meaning that the probability of such problems occurring was very low. Moreover, Maru wasn’t the type of person who liked to boast about himself. He only brought out his skills at the necessary times, but did not actually show off or want compensation for it. In other words, the acting club would be stable in the future as well.

However, what if the perspective was changed to that of Maru’s?

‘If he’s in a situation where he could show better acting but cannot do so due to the limitations of those around him….’

It would be excruciating to not be able to bring out his fullest skills. No, leaving aside the frustration and the pain, it was just inefficient. After all, it meant that he wasn’t getting any progress because of the ones around him.

“Should we rest a little?”

Hearing those words, Daemyung came to himself. It was his turn to say his line. Daemyung shook his head with a bitter smile. The only thing he could do right now was to go along with him. If he couldn’t even do that, he would feel too apologetic.

“Let’s take a break after finishing this round. It was my turn, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah.”

Daemyung nodded his head and continued with the script.

* * *

“It’s past ten already.”

Daemyung spoke as he looked at the darkened sky. It was about time they went home. It would be a pain to walk home after missing the last bus as it would take almost an hour by foot.

Maru left for a brief moment, saying that he had to go to the bathroom. Daemyung, who was left alone with Yoojin, felt embarrassed and went to a corner of the classroom and started staring into the script.

“Just what do you think Han Maru is?” Yoojin approached him as she asked.

Daemyung blinked several times as he looked back at her.

“I get that the atmosphere of the acting club is good. The way you guys practice is also good. You guys are serious too. I can’t find any flaws, but that’s not enough to explain it,” Yoojin said flatly.

“What do you think?”

“A-about what?”

“About Han Maru. Just what did he do to improve so much? Aah, this is driving me crazy. I thought I’d find a clue here, but it’s getting even more complicated,” Yoojin said as she scratched her hair into a mess.

Daemyung stared back at her. As he had expected, Yoojin was saying that she was lacking compared to Maru. It seemed that Maru was good beyond his recognition after all.

“What, why are you looking at me like that?”

Daemyung shook his hand saying that it was nothing when Yoojin closed in on his face, but Yoojin kept asking questions with suspicious eyes. Eventually, Daemyung had no choice but to reveal what he was thinking; that he felt a little pity because he couldn’t help her despite the fact that he thought that Yoojin was feeling somewhat inferior when she compared herself to Maru, as well as the fact that the club members might be holding Maru back from doing better.

“Your eyes are good.”

“What?”

“I’m saying that you have good eyes. Moreover, you know how to analyze stuff. I felt this while watching you all for the past few days, but I think direction or production suits you better than being an actor.”

“Y-you think?”

He suppressed his urge to say that that was actually the case and that he was preparing something else. That was because he believed that he wasn’t close enough to her to reveal such things yet. It would be quite embarrassing if things got awkward because he said some unnecessary things after all.

“You’re right. I do have an inferiority complex towards Maru. I mean, wouldn’t anyone? He seemed like he was on a similar level to me just until a while ago, but now he’s far ahead of me. You can’t blame me for him hurting my pride.”

For a person saying pessimistic words, Yoojin looked quite calm. No, her eyes were filled with a challenging mindset and it looked as though her eyes were glowing even though it was the night.

“If I’m lacking, then I must learn. If the gap widened, I must bridge it. I don’t know how Maru acquired such a good expressiveness, but don’t you think I can get a hint if I keep watching him? Of course, I felt annoyed as well. I mean, it does feel like the heavens only gave him the talent and not me. However, I don’t want to become a fool that blames others. I’m going to do everything within my powers first. Don’t you think so?”

Yoojin grinned. A faint image of Miso could be felt from her. Although it was for a brief moment, Daemyung felt that he would be able to be good friends with this girl. Someone who uses her inferiority complex as motivation. She was someone worth admiring.

“I guess I should do better too then,” Daemyung lowered his head a little as she spoke.

“Hey, since it’s like this, do you wanna go as well?” Yoojin widened her eyes and asked.

Go? Where to?

“The 18th. That’s the day Maru is filmed. Let’s go and see how he does. Maru’s acting here and Maru’s acting on location is quite different. How is it? Don’t you wanna go?”

“I do, but… wouldn’t that inconvenience him?”

“It’s fine. We won’t be distracting him or anything. Let’s just say we’re Maru’s manager for the day.”

“I-is that really okay?”

“It’s worth a try.”

Yoojin raised her thumbs up. She was just like Miso in her recklessness.

“What are you two doing?” Maru came back from the bathroom.

Daemyung shook his head saying that nothing had happened.

“Daemyung.”

“Yeah?”

“Is it okay if you stay the night out?”

“Stay the night out? I can tell mom and she’ll probably be fine.”

“Really? Then let’s go eat something.”

“You need to stay the night out when you’re eating something?”

“It’s in Seoul. Oh, you should get going already. You live in Seoul, don’t you? It’ll be quite a pain once you miss the last bus,” Maru said to Yoojin.

Daemyung made an awkward smile. Usually, it was customary to invite everyone on the scene, or just tell that person when they were alone, but Maru was really direct with his words.

“I’m tagging alone.”

“A brat like you doesn’t belong here. Go back home obediently. Your parents will be worried about you.”

“I’m the same age as you, you know? Daemyung, can I tag along as well? I can, right? It’s probably fine, right?”

Daemyung didn’t say anything as Maru had an awry expression on his face and Yoojin seemed so eager to go. It was obvious that he couldn’t satisfy both parties.

“...If you do wanna tag along, then pay for your own meal.”

“Alright!”

Yoojin stood between Maru and Daemyung and linked arms with both of them. Daemyung was startled and tried to pull out, but he couldn’t do so because she had a strong grip.

“Let’s go! For our friendship!”

“Who the hell is friends with you?”

Daemyung sighed seeing that the two had a staring contest like they were a cat and a dog.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Will people start shipping Daemyung x Yoojin now...? XD. I'm rooting for you Jiyoon!