Chapter 509

“Hello, we are Blue Sky, the acting club.”

The teacher standing by the window told the class to applaud. The first year students started clapping with a dazed face. Daemyung, standing at the podium, waited until the claps ended before speaking,

“Since it’s class time, I’ll make this short.”

“No, no. You can take your time. I want a long rest.”

Since the teacher was quite well-known to have a good relationship with the students, he was quite generous. Daemyung thanked him.

“Then I’ll introduce us first. Does anyone know that there used to be an acting club here at Woosung High before you enrolled?”

Not even one raised their hand.

It wasn’t surprising. Maru signalled to Daemyung who just laughed with a slightly stiff expression. He came back to himself and started talking.

“Hm, the acting club was founded when the school was open for the first time, and this is the fifteenth year since it was founded. I am the 13th generation, and the people standing next to me are the 14th. Hahaha.”

“Summarize,” said Maru in a small voice.

There were still ten classes to go. They would only finish making rounds to every class if they took around 3 to 4 minutes in each class.

“Oh! The generations aren’t important. What I want to say is one thing. If you have any interest in acting or want to create a play, then I hope you will come to the acting club’s classroom on the 5th floor after school without hesitation. We don’t have an acting room since it’s a temporary classroom, but we’re practically using it all the time, so you might as well call it that.”

Maru tapped Daemyung’s waist. Daemyung stopped speaking when he realized that he was digressing. He was someone who didn’t know nervousness on top of a stage, but it seems like presenting in front of others was still quite nerve-wracking for him.

“Does anyone have any questions about the acting club?” asked Daemyung as he raised his hand above his head.

The first year students only looked at him with expressionless faces.

“N-nothing?”

“Yes.”

“...Okay.”

Daemyung smiled and said goodbye before stepping down. Maru showed everyone the application form for the club before speaking.

“I’ll put this next to the blackboard. Come and visit if you have any interest. There’s no pressure. Just think of it as getting some snacks. Sorry for interrupting your class, and thanks for listening.”

Maru said his goodbyes just like he planned beforehand before leaving the class. As soon as he closed the door, Daemyung spat out a deep breath as though he just surfaced from within the deep sea.

“That was unnerving.”

“Think of it as acting. There’s no pressure. Also, you’re using way too little time. You must attract their interest at least. It’s promotion after all,” said Maru as he looked at his watch.

“Seonbae! Do your best!”

Aram slapped Daemyung’s back. She probably did that to cheer him up, but Daemyung’s shoulders drooped even more when she did so. This happened last year as well when they were recruiting, but Daemyung was really not good around strangers. He formed a good relationship with anyone as long as he got past that first barrier, but that first barrier was hard to cross.

“But not a single person recognized Maru-seonbae, huh,” Aram said as she tilted her head.

“Of course not. Only the people that pay close attention will notice.”

“No. I heard it clearly when I went home yesterday with Jiyoon. There’s someone in the first year that knows you. Isn’t that right, Jiyoon?”

“Yes, there definitely is.”

He remembered what Jiyoon said during lunch. Some of the first years knew about him. Maru just shrugged. He was not wearing his glasses right now. On top of that, they might know the name Lee Chan, but not the name Han Maru. That first year Aram mentioned who knows about him probably overheard some third years talking about him.

‘There was all that fuss at the cafeteria yesterday, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the first year students caught that.’

Dowook pointed at the next class.

“Hey, we’re running out of time. Let’s go.”

“Uhm, Dowook.”

Daemyung frowned as he placed his hands on his stomach as though he had a stomach ache.

“I’m not doing it.”

Before Daemyung could even say something, Dowook refused.

“You’re the club president, so you do it. I hate stuff like this.”

“Y-yeah. I should be the one to do it.”

And yet, he was looking at Maru when he said those words. Maru scratched his eyebrows. People did not change easily, and it seemed that it was a bit of a stretch for Daemyung to continue the presentations in other classes. Even the bold Aram was shaking her head, while Bangjoo was avoiding his gaze.

“Should I do it?”

The one that said those words was Jiyoon, who had said it after gulping. She clearly looked nervous but looked like she was up for the task if Daemyung had a hard time. Now that he thought about it, Jiyoon was much more stable and was bolder compared to Bangjoo and Aram when they performed at Miso’s acquaintance’s café.

“Wh-what am I supposed to say?”

But it seemed that she was feeling a little confused since she was about to do something she hadn’t prepare for.

“Forget it. Let’s go. We’re really running out of time.”

Maru walked ahead and knocked on the door. Since he already made himself known through the window, the teacher inside knew what was up and did not ask why he was here. He first greeted the teacher. The teacher made room, telling him that he should get things done quickly.

“Hello, we’re here to promote ourselves. It might not be that fun, but it should be more fun than studying, so I hope you all can listen.”

He attracted attention to himself first and revealed his purpose here.

“We are Blue Sky, the acting club at Woosung High. People who like acting, and want to do acting, have gathered to create plays. There are many extracurricular activities at the school, but only a handful have specific objectives.”

It wasn’t that there was a club without any purpose, but since he was here to sell his product, he had to advertise his as the best. There was no such promotion that went like ‘I’m not sure if this product is good or not, but you should use it’.

“Does anyone here have experience watching a play, or have an interest in it?”

None of the students raised their hand. Though, it would’ve been quite a hassle if anyone actually raised their hand. Maru quickly scanned the faces of the students before pointing at a boy who looked back at him with confidence. It was the boy sitting right in front of him, and he looked defiant and judging as though he was expecting Maru to make remarks.

“Hello, there.”

“Yes?”

“Don’t you need to pay me back the 10 thousand won you borrowed from me last time?”

“What? I borrowed money?”

“Don’t you remember? You borrowed money from me in a hurry in front of the school saying that you had something urgent. This isn’t good.”

Maru used all sorts of actions to express his disapproval and that he was in a fix. The boy in front of him started panicking, and the kid sitting next to him asked if he really borrowed some money.

When the entire class looked at the boy who was desperately shaking his head, Maru smiled and apologized to him.

“That wasn’t much, but that is what acting is. To become a you that’s not you. There are a few things you can get through acting. First up, you can become iron-faced. You won’t feel a thing even if you talk to a complete stranger like how I did just now.”

That wasn’t entirely true.

“And you can gain confidence.”

This wasn’t entirely true either.

“Also, your pronunciations and expressions can become more diverse.”

That depended on the amount of practice.

“If you make some time after school today, we’ll be happy to explain how much acting can help out in everyday life, how fun school can become, as well as our experiences when we managed to put on a performance that we painstakingly prepared for.”

He didn’t lie since he did say that it was ‘painstaking’. Most of what he said now was true. There were just some individual differences.

‘Somehow, I remember assistant manager Park who told me I should get into selling insurance.’

After finishing his speech, he stepped down.

He didn’t see the need to introduce each of the members here. What was important was to get as many people to the 5th floor classroom after school.

“I’ll put the application forms right here. Don’t feel bad and you can leave after eating some snacks, so come around. Oh, and dating is free in the acting club.”

Some of the first year students changed their expressions when he said that suspicious line, regardless of gender. Actually, what he said just now would be more effective in mechanical and electrical engineering department classes rather than the design department class he was in right now. Those two departments barely had any girls after all.

They left after saying goodbye.

“I can clearly imagine the honeybees attracted to the sweetness of dating and finding out about the hardships of labor. Pfft,” Aram said in excitement.

“I didn’t lie though.”

“That’s right, seonbae-nim. You didn’t lie at all.”

Maru and Bangjoo high-fived before moving to the next class. The next class was the computer department. The ratio of girls was quite high in this department as well. Actually, the acting club was more in need of girls than boys right now. The boys around this age were too awkward at expressing their emotions and were more likely to become a stiff stick when they went up on stage. Above all, girls could crossdress to become boys on stage and still get emotional sympathy from the audience, but the opposite couldn’t happen. It would become a comedy at best. Of course, boys who could make stage props were welcome.

‘A five-to-five or a six-to-four ratio is the best.’

Maru signalled the people standing behind him with his eyes before knocking on the next class. He heard a ‘come in’ from the inside. The one that greeted him warmly and made way for him was the teacher in charge of the acting club and a history teacher, Taesik.

“I’ll take ten minutes of your time.”

“That’s a no-go.”

“What a pity.”

He smiled and said the same words as he did before. It seemed as though Taesik had notified his class beforehand as the students were listening quite earnestly this time. There didn’t seem to be a need to talk about some stories in order to attract attention.

After making a brief speech, he looked at the time. Thanks to everyone’s attention, he was able to finish early, so he decided to take questions for the remaining minute. He was going to leave if he didn’t get any.

“Does anyone have any questions?”

Maru expected there to be none. Someone broke that expectation though. A boy asked him a question.

“Doesn’t it take a lot of time to practice acting?”

“More than your average school club, yes.”

“Ah, I see.”

“There might be times when you stay at school until midnight. But staying in a classroom late at night with no one else is quite memorable in itself. If you want a new experience, then please come to the 5th floor. We’ll tell you about it in detail. Okay then, anyone else?”

The classroom was quiet. Actually, one question was a lot. He nodded and was about to wrap things up when he heard a voice.

“Are you really Han Maru, seonbae?”

The question was from a girl sitting at the back. It seemed that she had heard Taesik calling him Maru when he came in.

“Yes, I am.”

“You appear in New Semester, right? I mean the drama.”

The students started murmuring. It seemed that quite a few of them knew about the drama.

“I do.”

“So you are.”

Maru smiled and looked at the other students.

“If no one has any questions, we’ll take our le….”

“Uhm!”

The girl that just asked a question raised her hand again.

“Yes, go ahead.”

“Do you know Ahn Sungjae-oppa from TTO?”

That was a rather random question, but Maru replied without hesitation.

“I don’t.”

“I see.”

The girl shrugged and no longer spoke. Everyone around her asked her what it was about, but the girl just shook her head and smiled. Maru glanced at the girl once before stepping down.

“Come around after school. It’s on the 5th floor. You’ll get to hear a lot of the things you haven’t heard here.”

“Well then, give a round of applause for the acting club.”

Thanks to Taesik, the acting club was able to leave amidst applause.

“Do you know her?”

Daemyung asked after leaving the class. Maru shook his head. There was no way he knew a girl who was a middle school student up until last year.

“She seems to know you though,” said Aram.

“Maybe she’s mistaken.”

It was rather unexpected that she brought up Sungjae. Well, a hardcore fan of TTO might know about it. They should be aware that Sungjae appeared in Twilight struggles, and if she knew that he was in that as well….

‘No. There’s no way she knows that I was there.’

It was a bit strange, but Maru decided not to mind it. She might be someone who just knows a lot of trivia.

“So that proves that your popularity has spread to the 1st year students, right?” Aram asked as she stood up proudly.

“Fine, you’re completely correct and you da best. Next is mechanical, right?”

It didn’t look like he was going to run out of time. Maru walked leisurely.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Hm. I have theories on who that girl might be... but I won't mention it since my speculations might sound like they're spoilers. (At the time of writing this, I haven't read ahead.)

Put your guesses in the comments!

Editor's Note:
I hope she's interesting. Also, we need more scammer Maru.