Life, Once Again! - Chapter 397
-Everything can be forgiven as long as you aren’t found out. No, there’s no need for ‘forgiveness’. They can’t blame someone for something they don’t know.
The moment Uljin heard those words, his stuffy feelings became refreshed in an instant. It would be fine as long as he was not caught. Conscience was something that was only active when a person was seen by another.
When he first did such a thing, it was just mischief. He gave lukewarm water to someone who asked him to bring cold water. He quickly apologized when the person that drank the water felt something was off. When he did, that person smiled back saying it was okay.
That gave a strange sense of pleasure. He had definitely done something wrong. Although it was something childish, he disguised his intentional actions as a mistake. Seeing that someone who was supposed to get angry smiled back at him instead, Uljin felt his tongue go dry. It was a strange sense of nervousness, and it was the feeling of satisfaction that stemmed from superiority.
-Don’t do it to people who can cause damage to you. As for friends and family… well, that’s up to you to decide. The main targets are those who can’t fight back against you. There are people like them everywhere. Schools, libraries, streets, shops, parks. If you pay the slightest amount of attention, you’ll find people who can’t fight back against you.
Uljin found his targets according to those words. First, he excluded his friends and family. He had no leisure to be mischievous towards them. They were thankful people who he had to treat preciously and look after.
After a bit of contemplation, he thought of a very good target. With these people, it was highly likely that he would never see them again, and they were always the weakest. These people could be seen whenever he heard someone scolding someone else.
Extras. He excluded staff members from his target since he would see them often in the future, but the background actors were people he would never see again after seeing them once, so they were suitable targets of his mischief.
Calling background actors to a completely random place saying that the leader told him to do it gave him a small amount of pleasure. When he apologized to the leader, who scolded those people, in their stead, the background actors would thank him even though he was the one that got them into trouble.
Looking at them, who could only thank him despite the fact that they knew who got them into trouble, made him want to burst out laughing. Why was it that he only found out about such a fun thing now?
However, that pleasure only lasted a brief moment. After some time, doing such mischiefs didn’t make him enjoy it anymore. At first, when he gave that person lukewarm water, he felt like his heart was thumping so hard despite the fact that he had barely done anything. He wanted to taste that thrill again. Uljin then decided to up the scale of his mischiefs.
He looked for people who looked downwards when being scolded by the leader. At that time, he found a suitable target. He stepped on that man’s fingers, who played dead while the camera wasn’t rolling. For a moment, he had the thought that things might go wrong and quickly took his foot away, but when he saw the man’s awkward smile, his worries flew away.
He quickly approached him and asked if he was okay, and like always, the reply was that the man was okay. Uljin barely held himself back from laughing out loud before walking away. After that, he peeked at the man inside the alley. He looked to be in pain without any place to express it. He really looked pitiful and pathetic.
Such a man’s dirty life and his own life were completely different. A person that looked like he had children couldn’t say a word about his pain and had to sell a false smile to a person much younger than him.
Ah, what a happy life did he live compared to that man? Uljin felt thankful for his parents and his family. He also got some motivation to never let his life become like that. He reflected on his past self who didn’t want to practice, and he could also whip himself to do better in the future.
He was able to thank every single thing around him just by trampling on someone who he didn’t have any relationship with, for just a brief moment. Moreover, that someone was a person who could be found anywhere. What a cool thing was that?
The man that had his fingers stepped on was destined to be trampled upon by someone else somewhere else. If so, wasn’t it better for that person to become his foothold instead?
Uljin hung up as he promised to meet the friend that allowed him to experience such things. He was just about to enter the bathroom with his phone in his hand, but he felt a presence inside.
No one heard him right? He was a little excited, so his voice was a little loud. Despite that, though, he could say that he was talking about a game if that person just listened to the conversation. It was also likely that the person inside was just a tourist, so he could just enter without being worried.
When he entered the bathroom, he saw a familiar person standing in front of the mirror. He was the beggar that he shot with today. This fellow was quite good at acting as well. It felt rather nice to meet him after thinking about the man who lived a worthless life. Yes, life was supposed to be worth living.
“The weather is hot, isn’t it?”
The boy playing the 2nd beggar spoke to him. Although the two seemed to be similar in age, polite speech was the norm in the field. From how that boy could speak with polite speech without sounding awkward, he looked like someone with good senses. Uljin liked him more.
“Yes, it is. But where were you all this time? I couldn’t see you.”
“Oh, I was just playing a dead man for a while.”
The tap opened and water started gushing out. Uljin looked at the stream of water that came out through the silver-colored pipe. Was this guy next to the man who got his hand stepped on? He was a little nervous, but he soon realized that there was no need to mind about that and spoke,
“I was there too. It must have been hard. I mean, the ground was uneven, wasn’t it?”
“But it was cool, so it wasn’t that bad.”
“You were good at acting from what I saw. Do you study at an academy?”
“Yes. I do most of my studying at an academy.”
“I also want to do well, but I really can’t do it.”
“No way, you were good though.”
“Me? It’s the first time I heard that. Haha.”
“Have more confidence in yourself. We’re just starting off, aren’t we? You can do it.”
“That’s not true. I’m just a minor actor. I’m ways off compared to you, Mr. Uljin. You’re incredible for playing a lead role at your age. You must have practiced a lot, right?”
“I did. There’s nothing that can be done without practice, though, is there?”
“There can be. There are geniuses. Aren’t you a genius who puts in effort as well?”
“Hahaha. That’s not true at all.”
Uljin smiled as he rubbed his nose. A genius who also puts in effort. Those were some nice words to hear.
“Uhm, how old are you?” The 2nd beggar asked.
Uljin replied that he was eighteen.
“So we’re the same age. I should also get some practice and try to escape my current status. I don’t know if it would work though.”
“It will. I also became successful despite not having much talent. You can do it as long as you put in the effort.”
The 2nd beggar seemed to be looking up to him. Uljin made the leisurely smile of the one walking ahead of one of his peers.
The 2nd beggar looked in the mirror. He spoke after shaking the water off his hands and redoing his wig.
“That man back there.”
Uljin felt a prickle in his stomach, but he asked back without showing anything.
“Who do you mean?”
“The man who got his fingers stepped on.”
“Ah, right. I did make a bit of a mistake. I really feel sorry for him. Though, it didn’t look like he was hurt a lot.”
“I thought so as well, but he disappeared mid-way. From what I heard, he seemed to have gone home early.”
“…Go home early?”
The 2nd beggar spoke as though it was nothing much. He wiped his mouth with his fingers and looked at Uljin.
“It’s a bit…, right?”
“Eh? Well, I don’t feel that good. I should go apologize to him.”
Was he being condemned? Uljin felt himself shrinking back. Did his mischief go too far after all? Should he have stopped? But at the same time, he felt a sense of resistance against this boy. Why was he saying such a thing? Was he telling him to apologize? To feel guilty?
At that moment, Uljin heard an air escaping sound. He wondered what it was. When he raised his head, he saw the 2nd beggar making a faint smile.
“Why apologize? He chose that life?”
“Ah, did I go a little too far? Actually, I think that there are classes in life. Why should such a cool guy like you apologize to such a low-class person? Going home early just because his fingers were stepped on? That’s just not being a pro. Don’t you think?”
His thumping heart calmed down as though it never raced in the first place. He made a small sigh of relief, and at the same time, the feeling of pleasure dwelled in him. It felt as though he met an old friend at an unfamiliar place. The existence of a person who had the same mindset as him made Uljin excited.
However, he couldn’t just blatantly express that.
“But I am still in the wrong.”
“Wow, Mr. Uljin. You’re really kind. You’re a pro, and yet you’re so kind-hearted as well. Honestly, if it was me, I would have forgotten about it after apologizing on the spot. I mean, he went home just because he was stepped on? Tsk. You don’t need to be considerate of such people. Just look at the other actors. They stay at the shoot whether it’s raining or snowing. Are you going to take a break from shooting just because you sprained a few fingers?”
“No, I can’t do that.”
“Right? There are dozens, no, hundreds of people working for the drama at the shoot, yet he dares to cause trouble for their schedule? I can’t understand such a life. Well, it’s precisely because he’s such a person that he comes and does this job at his age, right?”
Uljin inwardly exclaimed. This boy’s words were without restraint, and his ideals were the same as him. His eyes were vivid and his face contained confidence. This boy, it was just like looking at that friend. Uljin barely held himself back from grinning and spoke.
“But that’s his way of living his life and….”
“You finally said something proper. You’re right. That pathetic life of his is just his way of life. Someone much younger than him, yes, I mean you, Mr. Uljin, is striving his best to become an actor, yet… nah, I don’t want to talk about it. Such a man isn’t worth talking about.”
The 2nd beggar washed his mouth as though he ate something bitter.
Uljin’s palms felt ticklish. He wanted to say it. He wanted to say that he thought the same. On top of that, he wanted to introduce that friend of his. Having a conversation between the three of them would be much more constructive than two.
“Don’t say too much. He must have his reasons,” he spoke as he barely held back from speaking otherwise.
When he did, the 2nd beggar covered his mouth and laughed.
“Mr. Uljin. You’re more naïve than you look. You know, I honestly think that such people should become our footholds. Bluntly speaking, even if there’s a truckload of such people, would they match up to you? People have their classes as well, from A to F. If people like you are A-class, such a man is F-class. It’s just like his job. He’s an ‘extra’ in life. Well, I’m also F-class right now, but I’m different from that man. At least I’m not pathetic enough to leave just because my fingers got stepped on. Don’t you think so too?”
A wet tissue flew towards the trash can. Uljin spoke after seeing the trash fall into the trash can.
“…Well, he definitely is less-than-ordinary.”
“Yes. I mean, he just went home after being slightly injured. Does that even make any sense? He just doesn’t want to work. He just came hearing that the part time job is easy, and just went home after getting an excuse.”
Uljin snorted and spoke.
“Did you know? Even if he leaves in the middle of the shoot like that, he will still get his pay for the parts he worked on. That’s absurd, don’t you think? He probably left knowing full well. He’s probably resting inside the coach right now. Then, he’ll slowly crawl back out and join the shoot again, and get some more money while at it.”
“Really?” The 2nd beggar replied as he didn’t know.
Uljin started speaking in excitement.
“It’s true. There’s a reason such people don’t have a decent workplace at his age. If it was me, I wouldn’t do such a job because of embarrassment.”
“Extras… it’s an embarrassing job, isn’t it?”
The 2nd beggar asked as he walked to one of the urinals. Uljin spoke boldly at his back.
“Of course. I don’t even know what to say about him looking like that at his age. Oh, I’m not talking about you, by the way. We’re still young. And you’re good at acting too. You have the skill, unlike that man.”
“Yeah, yeah. Sure. Not having any skill at his age. No wonder he’s looked down upon.”
“You’re right. You should’ve seen his face when he just grinned, saying that he wasn’t hurt. It was really pathetic.”
The 2nd beggar left the bathroom after saying that. Uljin quickly walked up to him and walked next to him. He found someone who he could talk to. He thought that he could become friends with him.
“Uhm, what’s your name?”
“Me? Why do you want to know my name?”
“We’re the same beggar family now, aren’t we? We should get along.”
“Ah, family? Haha, family, that’s right. We’re family.”
The 2nd beggar turned his head.
“I’m Han Maru. But don’t remember my name.”
“Why? I think we can become friends.”
“No way. How can a mere minor actor like me be friends with a lead actor? Just pretend like you know me when you come across me in the future.”
“No, but still….”
“I’m going off first.”
Han Maru waved his hand over his shoulders. Uljin looked at him with a rather dumbfounded expression. He thought that he could become friends with him since he could talk to that guy.
At that moment, Maru slightly turned around.
Putting on a smile, he continued,
“Actually, it really hurts when someone else steps on your fingers. I mean, it really hurts, to the point that you can’t speak. But it’s quite incredible that he can think about his children and smile instead, right? That’s right, I think it’s incredible. It’s an unspeakably amazing thing to do.”
Uljin stared at Maru as he thought about the incomprehensible words he just said.