A burly guy suddenly leaped at him as soon as he went into the classroom. Maru dodged to the side. After the guy waved in the air for a little, he turned around and sat down again. He was one of Maru’s friends from the 2nd year.
“Hey, hey. The actor is here!”
Everyone rushed at him and congratulated him by giving him a smack on the shoulders, and each hit was quite painful since they were all high school boys with a good build.
“Let me go already.”
He dusted his hands before sitting down. It had been one day since the new semester began. Since there were only two classes for electric engineering, he knew all the faces in his class. One thing that changed after he became a 3rd year was that he was separated from Dojin, Dowook, and Daemyung. Those three were in the next class over. Though, they came over every break, making him wonder if they actually belonged to the other class.
“Lee Chan! Don’t do it!”
“That’s right, Lee Chan!”
“Lee Chan! Chan Chan Chan!”
He gave a solid smack to everyone who approached him to annoy him like flies.
“Lee Chan just hit me!”
“You’re that type of guy?”
“Call Yeseul here! No, get the class president here. Bring Kim Seri here!”
“Yeseul is better than Seri. Yeseul is cute.”
“Hey, hey. Yeonjeong is better than Yeseul.”
“Who the heck is Yeonjeong?”
“You know, the girl next to our Channy over here. The tall one with a slightly bigger chest.”
“Oh, her! Joomin, that’s right. I actually researched online and found out her name.”
Maru hung his bag next to his desk before leaving the classroom. When he kicked at the people that followed him out, they flinched before taking a step back. Of course, these people wouldn’t stop just because of that, so he quickly fled to the 5th floor classroom.
“I thought you’d come here.”
Daemyung was there already. He greeted Daemyung who welcomed him as though he knew of Maru’s struggles before sitting down. He was a bit tired after running up the stairs.
“I will probably not live my full life like this.”
“They’re like that today too?”
“I thought they’d calm down since they spent the whole day yesterday doing it, but I feel like this will last a week if it’s like this.”
“My class was in an uproar too. Dowook barely managed to hold back everyone from going to your class and teasing you, so I think you should take refuge here during lunch.”
Daemyung threw something at him. When he caught it, he saw a sausage. So this was what he was munching on for a while.
“I thought enduring a day would be fine, but this is a real pain.”
“Everyone’s like that because they find it curious.”
“You mean because they find it fun to tease me.”
“I guess that’s true too.”
“Why are these boys clinging to me? It’s creeping me out.”
“Don’t worry. The design class will also make a visit too. Our friends there have spread the rumors there too.”
“My lord. Enemies everywhere.”
“But doesn’t it feel good? You’re experiencing what it’s like to be a popular actor.”
“Do you want to be in my shoes instead?”
“I’ll be very disappointed if you really meant that even though you saw people calling me Lee Chan in the bathroom.”
“That’s true. Sorry about that.”
Daemyung threw him another sausage as an apology. Maru clearly saw his friend hesitating a little when he was about to throw that sausage.
“Let me ask you something. You’re going to tell noona where I am if she asks while treating you to a hamburger right?”
“I’m not that cheap. Though, I will spill everything if there’s coke too.”
“I can’t trust a damn person.”
“Enjoy it. You can’t help it. Everyone’s excited because of an event.”
He understood it for the first day of school. He laughed with anyone that blatantly teased him. He thought that their interest would die down the next day after all. He thought that it wasn’t such a bad thing to enjoy the popularity for a day.
But nothing had changed after a day. No, it was worse. People from other classes were going to make a visit. This was unforeseen. He would at least find it worthwhile if someone came up to him and told him how his acting was, how his character was, or talked about the plot at least, but literally everyone was parroting ‘Lee Chan Lee Chan’ at him, so he wanted to close his ears off.
“I think quite a lot of the kids in my class watched it.”
“Did they say it was fun?”
“They said it’s funny.”
“Some said it was childish.”
“But everyone talked about how instructor Suyeon was pretty.”
“I’d like to see their expressions when I tell them that she came to this school wearing a jersey when they were going home. It would be quite helpful in my acting as well since I can use it as reference.”
“There will be an uproar.”
Daemyung chuckled. Maru looked at the clock. It was 8:30. He woke up early in the morning, did his vocal exercise, and came to school early since he didn’t want to daze out at home, but he thought that he should make it just in time so that he wasn’t late starting tomorrow.
“How are studies going?” Maru asked.
“I was at the desk until school started, and it sure was hard. I think I’m getting used to it though. You kinda have to force yourself to get into the habit of staying seated.”
“It is. Since you managed to persuade them, do your best at it. Your tuition is paid for too. You don’t have to rely on your parents for that.”
“I will. Oh, I’m watching the movies and dramas recommended to me by teacher. He told me it’ll help with studying direction.”
“It’s that person right? The one that did Apgu’s script. I can’t remember his name right now.”
“Writer Bae Chulho.”
“Right. Writer Bae Chulho. He’s a thankful person. Giving you tips like that.”
“Actually, I’m more comfortable around him than Joon-hyung. Joon-hyung is really merciless after all. Also, he’s a little scary when he doesn’t say anything.”
“Gwak Joon-hyung does have that kind of side to him. Anyway. Do your best. Since you’ve made a decision, you have to get top scores at this school at least.”
“I hope I can.”
“You will since you are smart. Oh, did you travel around with Jiyoon during the holidays?”
“Damn kid. You really can pretend to not have heard people. If you don’t wanna tell me, you don’t have to. I was just curious.”
When he had a look at the clock, he saw that it was almost time for morning HR. The HR teacher for his 3rd year was the kindest teacher among the teachers for his major and did not scold him even if he was a little late. Actually, rather than kind, he was someone that couldn’t be bothered with anything. Though, to a student’s eyes, that was pretty much the same thing.
“Let’s go then, shall w….”
“I kissed her first.”
Daemyung said those words when he stood up about halfway. Maru was flabbergasted. What did he just hear?
He stared at Daemyung. Daemyung, beet red up to his ears, told him to meet during lunch before leaving the classroom in a flash. He was very agile, unlike his body figure. Maru chuckled once before fully standing up.
“He acted all naive, and yet he does everything, huh.”
Maru wondered if he should gift him some condoms. The naive and pure ones were the ones that would take it all the way once they were in the mood, so he didn’t think it was a bad idea. Maru closed the classroom door before walking down to the 3rd floor.
“Lee Chan, where have you been?”
That name struck his ears without fail as soon as he entered his class.
* * *
“Isn’t 15% pretty decent?”
“Youth Generation had below 4% when it was nearing its end.”
“Then this is huge, huh.”
“Not really. Youth Generation also got more than 10% when it started off. It fell when Blue fell apart. Teenage girls were in an uproar and stopped watching.”
“I’m not sure since there aren’t any girls in our class, so how do you know that?”
“I heard about it when I hung around with the girls from the girls high.”
“Hey. If you went to a place like that, you should have brought this big brother there t….”
Maru turned around.
“Are you guys related to the drama industry? Stop it already. Aren’t you guys tired of it?”
“Maru, I mean, Lee Chan. This is only the 2nd day. There’s still a long way to go. Also, we thought about it, and if New Semester wants to be a huge jackpot, I think Suyeon-noona needs to wear a sexy outfit.”
“It sounds like we’re joking to you, right? That teacher outfit is way too old-fashioned. It’s out of date. A mini skirt, black stockings, and a white blouse.”
“This fucker must have watched porn. But I think I prefer that too.”
“Right? It’s a form of art.”
Maru shook his head in resignation. He underestimated the fantasies of high school students. Whenever they spoke, they were talking about some absurd things, and it made him rather embarrassed that he was once a ‘high school boy’ as well. He must have acted like that before he was reborn, huh. Maru wanted to rip his hair out.
One of his classmates hung his arm around his shoulders.
Maru blocked his mouth.
“Hey, I might turn crazy if I hear the name Kim Suyeon one more time.”
“Ooh, Han Maru, you still think that will work after knowing us for two years?”
“Lee Chan, I’ll take responsibility if you go crazy.”
Maru glared at his grinning friend before slowly closing on his lips. When the two pairs of lips neared each other, his classmate screeched and jumped backwards.
“I’m planning to shoot a homosexual movie.”
“You lunatic! That doesn’t mean you can….”
“Come at me. I’ll show you how tongue techniques can make you go limp.”
When he licked his lips and took a step towards that guy, everyone looked like they chewed on sand and shut their mouths. Maru sighed.
“You guys don’t even watch dramas properly. Let’s just stop it here. You must be bored of it by now, aren’t you?”
“Fine. Hey! Let’s go get food.”
Hearing the word ‘food’, everyone rushed away. Maru, who was left by himself, scratched his eyebrows before starting to walk.
“You’re having a hard time.”
“Why didn’t you smack their chins or something.”
Dojin and Dowook walked up to him.
“It sure is hard. You guys getting food?”
“What about Daemyung?”
“Don’t even talk about him.”
Dojin turned around and pointed at Daemyung. Daemyung was walking across the corridor, and Jiyoon was standing next to him. The two were holding hands, and they let go when they saw a teacher and held again when the teacher passed while smiling at each other.
“There goes their bullshit,” said Dowook as he saw the two.
“They look good.”
Maru smiled and waved at them to come quickly.
“If you’re jealous, you should hold hands with Iseul too.”
“I don’t want that. She’s way too into it that she scares me,” said Dojin as he trembled.
They walked to the cafeteria with Daemyung and Jiyoon. They sat down after getting the food on the food trays when they felt a gaze from afar. At first, Maru thought that he must have felt wrong, but he saw that some were blatantly staring at him.
“Maru, I think they’re looking at you.”
“They didn’t react when I was on Youth Generation and The Chaser. So why now?” Maru said in a small voice.
There were so many people that blatantly stared at him to the point that he felt uncomfortable.
“That’s because they didn’t know it was you back then. Even we didn’t know and we were in the same class. How would anyone from another department know?”
Everyone nodded when they heard Dojin’s words. Daemyung followed up.
“Also, I told you this morning. That people are spreading rumors.”
“What good is it for them to spread rumors?”
As soon as Maru said those words, Daemyung, Dowook, and Dojin all said ‘because it’s fun’. Meanwhile, Jiyoon said that some of the first year students knew about it as well.
“What a star.”
“I think we should stop eating with him tomorrow. We might throw up if we eat like this.”
“Don’t abandon me.”
“Why is the almighty Han Maru acting like this? Just act as you usually do.”
Dowook patted his shoulder in pity.
“If it’s like this for the first episode where you didn’t get to do much, things would be even worse when you are at the center of the story in a later episode. The shoot has progressed quite a bit right? Do any of the episodes have a lot of you in it?”
Maru nodded when Dojin asked. The 7th episode was centered around himself and Dongho. It was the episode where a prank turned into something serious. He had quite a lot of lines so there were many scenes where he appeared by himself.
“They’ll lose interest in due time. Maru, don’t worry about it,” Daemyung consoled him.
The other two just giggled and told everyone that Lee Chan was here. He only appeared on TV for a brief moment as a supporting character, yet he was attracting so much interest. He could finally understand why the top stars frequently had psychological consultations.
It would be easier if he had a personality that enjoyed such a thing, too. Maru tried his best to ignore some of the girls that were whispering to each other while looking at him and tried to focus on his food.
He emptied his food tray earlier than usual before returning to his class. Thankfully, his classmates seemed to have lost interest and no longer looked for ‘Lee Chan’.
Daemyung came to his class.
“I’m here to give you the application form for the acting club. The recruitment starts today.”
“Ah, that’s right.”
He wrote down his class, his seat number, and his name before returning the form to Daemyung. He wouldn’t be able to show up that often since he had a drama shoot most of the time, but he would be able to help out from time to time, so he decided to stay. Just like how the previous third years remained in the acting club despite preparing to get into college.
“Also, Joonghyuk-seonbae made a visit yesterday.”
“Yeah. He gave me some money to treat the new members.”
“Geez, that guy.”
He faintly smiled as he thought about Bang Joonghyuk. He was the only one among the previous 3rd year seniors that frequently made a visit. Yoonjung came from time to time, but she mostly laughed and chatted together with the others before leaving. Lim Danmi and Choi Minsung came for a brief moment at the beginning of the semester and never showed up again.
“Apparently, Joonghyuk-seonbae joined the acting club at his college.”
“Didn’t he say that he was going to become a salaryman?”
“You know he isn’t that type of guy.”
“Well, I guess that’s true. He liked acting so much, so he should continue doing it.”
Daemyung smiled at him before speaking cautiously,
“Can I use your name a little?”
“What the heck do you mean?”
The bell for 5th period rang at that time. When he turned around saying that they should talk later, he saw the application form in Daemyung’s hand. Maru realized what he was talking about.
“Don’t deceive the kids. Also, using my name won’t have that much of an effect. I’m not even that famous.”
“You never know. My wish is that we had a lot of members just like Hwasoo High or Myunghwa High. I really felt it when I watched their performance that having few members is a critical weakness.”
“Alright, do as you see fit. I don’t know how many of them have watched New Semester though.”
“There should be some effect if I tell them that one of our members appears on TV. I’ll be leaving for now. Talk to you later.”
Daemyung waved the application form before leaving the class.
 Author’s mistake. Is probably ‘The Witness’ instead
I realized that Yeseul and Iseul are similar names as well...
Welp, I don't make the names.
Yeesh. Who would have thought that Daemyung would have made the first move.