Life, Once Again! - Chapter 117
“Stop . ”
The children let out deep sighs as they relaxed; the last run through had ended . Ganghwan gestured for everybody to gather in one place . Like always, the practice would be concluded by everybody reflecting back on their own performance .
“I wanted to use stronger intonations to speak louder, but it didn’t go as I wanted . It was hard to control my breathing as the pronunciation became stronger . Anyway, it was hard . ”
“Even if you gather strength in your stomach to voice out the sounds, in the end, the voice is formed by your mouth . If the form of the vibration is changed, then the balance will break . It would be nice if you could overcome it by controlling your breath, but if it’s hard, it should be better to give a point to one word, rather than emphasizing the entire speech . Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“I’ll try it once . ”
“Good, next . ”
Ganghwan looked at a girl standing next to them . Lee Yoojin, she attended Bosung Girls High . She received an Excellent Acting Award at the Youth Theater Festival that was held this year . Her team performance resulted in the Best Acting Award just short of the grand prize, but individually, her acting was superior to everybody else here . She’s already made her debut through the TV as well . Despite being a minor role, the experience she gained from working together with professionals couldn’t be ignored .
“It felt good because a lot of my nervousness disappeared . I could see more of the stage too . I was only able to see the center of the auditorium yesterday, but today, I was able to see the sides too . ”
“Good . The fact that your field of view widened means that you’re more relaxed . Was there anything you didn’t like about your performance today?“
“Nothing in particular . ”
“You’re confident, I like it . ”
In the end, they were the first ones to see their own acting . It wasn’t possible to please others if they themselves weren’t pleased with their own performance, actors had to carry a bit of arrogance that came from believing that their acting was the best . It was a world that they couldn’t survive in by just being flung around .
“Is there a role that you’re aiming for?”
“I would like Seulmi . ”
“Hm, the female lead . The competition will be fierce . ”
She could be called the protagonist of the scenario, ‘Year 3 Class 3’, that had been chosen for the practice performance this time around . In addition to Seulmi, there was the class president, teacher, and Chuljin . These four characters made an appearance in all the scenes . Ganghwan went a step further and extended the script for these four characters while creating a point of conflict amongst them .
Twelve students were participating in the play and there were four major roles, the auditions starting tomorrow would be competitive . The students that were here were all greedy for acting, nobody was doing it half-heartedly . On top of that, Yoojin, who already starred in a TV program, had been gunning for the main role .
Look at their eyes .
There were five girls out of the twelve students . The five of them had to fight for two main roles, Seulmi and the teacher that could be played regardless of gender . It was obvious that they all wanted one of the two .
It’s going to be fun .
Ganghwan went across the four remaining girls and asked .
“Is there anybody else who wants to play Seulmi?”
Three people immediately raised their hands . The one person who didn’t raise her hand said that she wanted to play the teacher .
“4 people . Are all of you confident?”
“Yes . ”
Nobody backed off . Everybody had an expression that showed the role was theirs . As I thought, kids these days are scary .
“Good, then Seulmi will be the first role that we’ll be auditioning tomorrow . Everybody should come prepared . Let’s see who best fits the role of Seulmi . Ah, I won’t be doing this evaluation by myself . You’ll be doing it as well . However, my evaluation will carry the most weight . ”
“How will the evaluation process be done?”
The one who asked the question was Maru . Ganghwan spoke as he stroked his chin .
“It won’t be split into detailed categories . You’ll be stating your impressions, while I’ll be giving the overall score . It’ll probably be fun . You’ll get to be the judge while also being judged . ”
Ganghwan took out his phone and checked the time . It was almost time to wrap up .
“Good work today too . Pack your stuff and let’s leave . ”
“Thank you for your hard work!”
The children stretched after giving a short bow .
“Han Maru . ”
Maru was preparing to go back with her, but looked back after being called . Ganghwan made a hand gesture . I wonder what it is .
“You have time today right?”
“Huh? Why are you asking?”
“Don’t ask . Do you have an appointment?”
“No, I don’t have any appointments . ”
“That’s good . ”
Ganghwan took out his phone and made a call somewhere . He had a bright expression as he took the call . His first words were, “Senior Junmin . ”
“Senior, I’ll be leaving with Maru right now . Yes, yes . I’ll see you in front of Teacher’s house . I’ll be there soon!”
Ganghwan ended the call and walked towards the door .
“What is it?”
“We’re going to have to go somewhere together . ”
“To the house of a teacher who I respect . ”
“That teacher wants to meet you . Bastard, you’re pretty popular . You probably don’t know because you’re young, but he’s called Yoon Moonjoong…”
“Ah, it’s that elder?”
“You know him?”
“Yes, I met him by chance when I went volunteering at a nursery . ”
“I see, so that’s how he knows you . Anyway, let’s go . ”
“Yeah, right now . Stop talking and follow me . ”
Maru scratched his eyebrows . It wasn’t that he had other plans, but going to the house of somebody he’s only met a single time bothered him . On top of that, it was somebody who Ganghwan addressed as teacher . It looks like Teacher Junmin will be joining too .
-He was a super popular actor back in the days .
Maru remembered the words of the director from yesterday . It appeared to be true .
“Can you give me a moment?”
Maru went out the exit and looked towards the bus station . She was standing there while looking around, she didn’t get on even when a bus that headed towards her house had arrived .
I forgot .
He had made a promise to go back together . Maru felt sorry while running towards her .
“Where were you? The bus already left . ”
“Sorry, I have an appointment . ”
Maru pointed at Ganghwan who was walking towards a black car .
“With the teacher?”
“Yeah, he suddenly wanted to take me somewhere . ”
“Ah, you should’ve told me earlier if that was the case . ”
She pouted .
“Sorry . ”
“You were the one that wanted to go back together . Whatever, it’s fine . It’s not like we went back together before anyway . You can go . ”
It was extremely uncomfortable . If he turned around like this, it was clear she would nag at him later . He knew from his numerous experiences . What should I do . .
“Follow me . ”
Maru grabbed her hands and walked towards Ganghwan’s car . Ganghwan opened his eyes wide as he looked back .
“Coach . ”
“Uh, yeah . ”
“I have a request . ”
“People without girlfriends are going to be too lonely to live . ”
“Don’t be like that, it’s too late to send a girl back by herself . I planned to take her back home but I can’t do anything about it because of the appointment . ”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re the best . ”
They were on their way back to Seoul after going to Suwon from Myeongdong . It was almost 10pm . Ganghwan stepped on the gas after getting on the Gyeongbu Highway .
“I can’t believe I’m acting like a chauffeur for a kid at this age . It’s sad . ”
“I’ll introduce a girl to you next time . ”
“If possible . ”
“I have faith in you . ”
Ganghwan’s mood did a 180 . Maru knew that Ganghwan wasn’t behaving like that because he was lonely, it was just a habit . He never once saw Ganghwan go out of his way to attempt to be in a relationship, acting always came first . That’s why Maru was curious how Ganghwan would react if he really did introduce a girl to him .
“Anyway it’s getting pretty late, will you be ok? Teacher said it’s fine if we meet at a later date . ”
“They say to take the iron out while it’s hot . We might as well go since the situation is already like this . ”
“What about school?”
“Please take care of me . ”
“… . ”
“I already let my mother know that I won’t be able to go back home tonight . ”
“You need to respect your coach a bit more . I’m going to tell you right now, but I’m not your chauffeur . ”
“I know, but I believe that you’ll take me to school . You know Suwon’s a bit too far from Seoul . I’ll spend a night at the elder’s house before going back down . ”
“You’re really shameless, asking to sleepover at a person’s house you’re visiting for the first time . ”
“The situation calls for it, and I already received permission . ”
“Earlier through the phone . I asked if I could spend a night because the distance was too far . ”
“Meticulous kid . ”
“I’ll take it as a compliment . ”
Ganghwan clicked his tongue and turned the steering wheel .
Ganghwan turned off the engine of the car that was parked in front of a house . There was a pine tree in the courtyard that looked over the house, with an old chair in front of it . A pathway built out of pebbles led to the residence . It felt more cozy than elegant . The steel door attached to the wall was slightly open . Ganghwan couldn’t find a doorbell no matter how much he looked, so he ended up making a phone call outside the door .
“Yes, senior . I’m here . Ah, you want us to just come in? Yes, okay . ”
It appeared that permission had been granted, Maru took a step inside the door . The sound of pebbles being stepped on could be heard, followed by faint barking from inside the house . A savory fragrance wafted over .
“It’s meat and pine mushrooms . As expected, beef goes together the best with pine mushrooms . ”
Ganghwan hummed as he opened the door to the house . Maru took another look at the old chair that was left by itself in the courtyard before going in . As soon as he was inside, the strong scent of beef filled the air along with the smell of the pine mushrooms .
“A pleasant guest is here . ”
Moonjoong and Jumin were sitting on the floor . He wondered why they left the perfectly fine sofa to sit on the floor, but it was because they were lighting up the stove in front of them . The beef and mushrooms were being cooked on top of the small stove .
“Hello . ”
Maru bowed in the direction of the two teachers .
“Welcome, it was an unreasonable request, but thank you for agreeing to it . Come sit, let’s talk after eating . ”
“Yeah, yeah, let’s listen to the teacher and eat first . ”
Maru placed down a drink set that he brought as a gift by the entrance .
“You’re empty handed?”
“Haha, teacher . I’m the gift, you’re being too stingy when we haven’t met for a year . ”
“Tsk tsk, you can’t help but hate him . ”
It looked like Moonjoong and Ganghwan had a good relationship from the level of friendliness they showed . Maru grinned and took a seat .
“Maru . ”
“Yes . ”
“Do you like pine mushrooms?”
“Of course, I can’t eat it because I don’t have any . ”
“Haha, that’s good . ” Moonjoong laughed out loud . Judging from his face that had a red tint, it appeared that they already had a drink or two . As if to prove this, there was a ceramic bottle next to the box of mushrooms, with the words Andong Soju engraved .
“Hey, come here and flip over the meat . ”
“Yes, Teacher!” Ganghwan answered merrily .
“We’re going to go out for some fresh air . ” Junmin took the drunk Ganghwan out with him . Ganghwan wanted to stay inside because it was cold, but Junmin brought him out .
“Who did you learn how to drink from?”
“My father taught me . ”
“Good job, it’s good practice to have your first drink with an adult . If you make a mistake with the first drink, you won’t know the true taste of alcohol . ”
Maru kneeled and held out his cup . It was already the third cup .
“This is the last cup . ”
“Thank you . “
The soju flowed out and made a circle in the cup . It was Maru’s turn to take the ceramic bottle and fill Moonjoong’s cup .
“You don’t need to force yourself to drink it . ”
“It’s a precious drink, I can’t waste it . ”
“Hut hut, this child . ”
The two people quietly emptied their cups . Maru placed some meat and mushrooms on top of the empty grill .
“What made you start acting?”
Maru took a moment to think, and spoke truthfully .
“I’m not acting because I like it . I’m doing it to earn money . ”
“To earn money… Good, that’s good . I was like that as well . I wanted to become a singer at first, but my father said he would break my legs if I became an entertainer, so I ended up becoming an actor instead . It’s strange, they’re both occupations that deliver joys and sorrows to others, but one has a higher status than the other . ”
“I heard it was like that in the past . ”
“Everybody’s trying to become a singer now . It’s a good job . People shouldn’t be treating it so disdainfully . ”
Maru took notice and filled up the glass again . Moonjoong drank a bottle and a half by himself, but he was perfectly fine, he has amazing alcohol tolerance . Maru thought as he put aside the bottles .
“I heard you were late because you wanted to take a girl home . ”
“Yes, I was scared of sending her back alone . I’m sorry . ”
“No, no, I was the one that made the request, so there’s no reason for you to be sorry . She must be a precious friend . ”
“She’s somebody who I’m giving all of my heart to . ”
“Hut hut! You’ll get headaches later if you start talking about love at such a young age . ”
“I think so too . ”
The flow of the conversation was comfortable . As expected, a quiet seating like this suited Maru more than mindlessly talking with other kids . The sizzling of the food being cooked, Moonjoong’s soft laughter, as well as the occasional sound of the wind blowing through the window created a tranquil atmosphere in the living room .
“Is the reason you’re acting because of that girl?”
“… . . Was it that obvious?”
“How would I not be able to tell when such a clear child starts grinning nonstop when talking about her . So it’s for love . That’s also good . ”
Moonjoong made a pleased smile and turned towards Maru .
“I felt this when I first met you, but you’re really mature . However, it’s almost weird because the maturity seems so natural . When I look at your peers, I can roughly tell what kind of life they’ve been living, but it’s different when it comes to you . ”
“… . ”
“The reason I wanted to meet you tonight isn’t anything special . I just wanted to know a bit more about you . Would it be possible to tell me about yourself? Anything is fine . If you have any concerns, I can listen to them as well . The wits of an old man can sometimes become medicine . ”
Maru put down the chopsticks that he had been holding . It wouldn’t hurt to talk about some of the things I’ve been worried about to a senior in life .