Life, Once Again! - Chapter 458
“Don’t give up on maths. You guys are going to major in engineering, aren’t you? Maths is the fundamental subject no matter which department you end up going to.”
“I’m going to go to the game development department though.”
“And? Do they not use maths over there?”
“Sure they don’t.”
“Like hell that’s true. When you game, you have your avatar, don’t you? Every single movement that character makes is done based on maths.”
The maths teacher tapped on the blackboard and told everyone to focus. It was 4th period – just before lunch. The mind of the students already belonged to the cafeteria so they didn’t bother listening to the teacher.
“What have you been looking at since morning?”
Maru looked at Dojin, who talked to him after poking his waist.
“What do you mean?”
“What do I mean? I mean the thing you put in your desk. Is it a l.e.w.d photo? If it’s something good, share it with me.”
Hearing Dojin’s words, Maru sighed and took out the card that he put inside his desk drawer.
“A tarot card.”
“What’s it about?”
“How would I know?”
Along with a sharp smacking sound, the chalk hit Dojin’s forehead before splitting apart into two.
“Teach, your skills haven’t rusted.”
While Dojin scratched his forehead with a frown, the bell signifying the end of 4th period started ringing.
“Have a nice lunch. Don’t doze off during 5th period. Also, don’t run.”
As soon as his words ended, the students left in a flash.
“I’m going off first! Hey, wait for me!”
Dojin tapped on Maru’s shoulders before leaving through the back door. The only ones left in the desolate classroom were Dowook, Daemyung and Maru.
“The radio is so bothersome.”
Daemyung patted on the back of Dowook, who fell flat on the desk.
They didn’t know what kind of strings Yeondu, who was in her third year, pulled but the acting club was able to eat in the broadcasting room. It was quite exhausting to run to the cafeteria to get lunch and immediately go to the broadcasting room without rest, but thanks to this, they had a much easier time eating lunch.
“Dojin was saying something to you before. What’s that about?” Daemyung asked with a curious face.
Maru took out the tarot card he showed Dojin. It was the card with the clown holding a black and white mask.
“You know it?”
“A little. I read about it on the internet. But why do you have one?”
Daemyung received the card before looking over it. Dowook also sat up and looked at it as well.
“There’s this fortune teller tent I came across after finishing the performance in Daehak-ro, right?”
“Yeah. I went inside since I was having some trouble, but I didn’t hear anything and only got that from it.”
“This is the only thing you got? That’s strange.”
Dowook picked up the card before asking if it was expensive. Maru shook his head.
“There’s no way she’d give it to me if it was expensive.”
“Then throw it away. You’re not a girl.”
Dowook threw the card. The card made a parabola in the air before hitting Maru’s c.h.e.s.t and falling down on the desk.
“If it was just an ordinary card, I was going to throw it away as well, but something about it tugged my mind.”
“What do you mean by that?” Asked Daemyung again with curiosity.
“I went home and looked this tarot card up online, but I never found a card with a picture like this. I get that there are a lot of tarot cards out there, but I didn’t find a single similar image, so I found it strange.”
Maru had seen a clown wearing the mask with the black and white mix of colors.
It was in his dream. In a number of dreams he didn’t know if it was a nightmare or not, Maru experienced a situation where a man wearing a mask similar to that one was talking to him from a stage. As it was a dream, Maru couldn’t say for sure whether the mask worn by that man in his dream had the exact same pattern as the one in the picture, but he felt that it was considerably similar.
The place that the clown on the card was standing on was also a stage, which was the same as the man in his dreams. This strange equivalence tugged Maru’s mind.
After looking at the card for a while, Daemyung spoke,
“There isn’t just one set of tarot cards.”
“Yeah, I found out about it already. I did look up tarot cards on the internet yesterday, and there were a lot.”
“There are cases where the ill.u.s.tration differs by region. There are differences in their nature, and even in their interpretation.”
“You sound knowledgeable.”
“I just know the general outline.”
Maru pressed on the clown’s face with his thumb as he asked.
“Well, no. It’s my first time seeing this too. Usually, the clown, that is, The Fool card, is depicted as a person standing with an animal on the top of a cliff. Though, don’t take my words for granted. I just looked into this stuff during middle school because I had interest in it.”
“That sounds plenty reliable. So you’re saying this kind of image is not that common?”
“Yeah. Also, these clothes. Don’t they look modern to you? It also looks a bit like a suit.”
The hems were just a bit tight, but the general look didn’t look that different to suits worn by salarymen these days.
“Also this. It looks like the man’s wearing a tie.”
When Maru had a closer look at where Daemyung was pointing, he saw a blue line around the neck. At first, he thought it was just a blue line, but when Daemyung mentioned that it looked like a tie, he thought that it was a tie as well.
“I don’t think this is the usual set of cards, but a custom-made one.”
Hearing that it was custom-made, Maru stared at the card for a while.
“Seonbaes! Food! Food! Food!”
Aram, who busted the door open as though it was her own room, came in while shouting food while dancing in an indescribable manner. Bangjoo followed suit with the same dance, while Jiyoon, who came in last, just jerked her shoulders in embarrassment. After flailing her arms up and down, Aram made a V with her arms and shouted ‘Food!’ at the end. Bangjoo imitated her well, but Jiyoon ended up looking down in embarrassment.
“Let’s get some food for now. We should get ready for the broadcast.”
Maru folded the card in half before putting it in his wallet. It wasn’t a problem that he could solve by thinking still on the spot, so it would be better to leave it to one side for now.
They went to the broadcasting room on the 2nd floor. When they went in, the spicy smell of kimchi-guk greeted them.
Yeondu, who started eating before them, waved her hand and greeted them. Daemyung and Aram quickly took seats and picked up their spoons and chopsticks.
“Thanks for the food.”
Maru also sat down. He scooped a portion of rice which was in a big bowl. As for the side dishes, they were piled up like a mountain on one of the food trays, so there was no need to worry about running out.
“Let’s start immediately after eating. Today, we have a story from someone, so it’ll take some time if we want to read that before the drama,” said Yeondu with food in her mouth.
“I get it, so please don’t talk while you eat. You’re spewing food everywhere,” Maru said as he looked at the grain of rice which flew all the way to in front of his food tray. Yeondu quickly picked up that grain of rice and ate it.
“Continue eating. I’m going to get things ready.”
Yeondu stood up first. It seemed that she was going to be busy preparing for the broadcast. Now that Maru thought about it, that junior of the broadcasting club couldn’t be seen anywhere.
“I got an earful from his homeroom teacher because I’m apparently taking too much of his time. I found out that he’s really good at studying.”
“Why would he be here if he’s smart?” Aram asked with a spoon in her mouth.
“He came here on the condition that he receives a full scholarship. I was ordered to not take him out so much since he’s precious to the school. Apparently, he’ll let them hang up the banner for Seoul University or something when he graduates. Aram, can you help me out if you’re done eating? Pull out that microphone cord for me.”
Maru also ate his last spoonful before standing up. Only Daemyung remained at the desk now. After making an awkward smile, Daemyung stuffed his mouth with five cherry tomatoes before cleaning up.
“But who’s cleaning up all this?”
“I am,” Yeondu said as she was checking on some broadcasting equipment.
She was moving around so busily that her short hair was fluttering. She did everything from planning the radio broadcast to menial chores. She was an incredible girl.
“Oh, and today’s story is about romance.”
After reading a story they got through the in-school mailbox, Maru reached out and received the script that Yeondu gave him. It seemed that this school benchmarked how drama scripts were written in the country as the scripts for the high school audio drama also came out just before the shoot. Rather than perfection, though, the objective laid in the revival of the student radio, so there was no problem with that.
“Wasn’t it Jiyoon and me today?”
Maru skimmed through the script. The script looked like a stereotypical youth drama, and it depicted a girl hesitating between two boys: one she liked, and one that confessed to her.
Jiyoon read the script once before making a difficult expression.
“Should we do some practice?”
Maru looked at Jiyoon and said the line in the script. It seemed that whoever wrote this script seemed to like romantic comedies as each one of the lines sounded like it was dripping with sweetness. No, it went beyond sweet. At this point, it was chemical additives.
“Uhm, I… pfft,” Jiyoon laughed while saying the line before making a teary expression.
“I don’t think this will do.”
She got the same line wrong three times in a row. From how she was making mistakes despite the fact that she was reading off a script, it seemed that it was a stretch for her to do this.
“Daemyung, you try. You should be better than me at least.”
Maru thought that she would feel better talking to her real boyfriend so he let Daemyung take his place.
Seeing the two, he gestured at them to start, but neither of them said anything for a while.
“What are you doing? We’re going to start in 10 minutes.”
Daemyung took a glance at Jiyon. Jiyoon also looked at Daemyung.
When the two met eyes, they flinched in surprise before staring at their scripts.
Only after repeating that action two more times did the two start saying their lines while stuttering.
“So I really l-lik….”
“S-seonbae. Y-you shouldn’t stutter….”
“Sorry. I was too nervous. Sorry, but can you do it first?”
“Eh? M-me? Uh…uhm….”
It took half a minute for their beige-colored skin to turn beet red. Maru brushed down his face before closing the script. The real-life romantic comedy was right in front of him.
“What are you doing!”
Yeondu interrupted before taking their scripts.
“If you can’t do it, I’ll do it instead. Is that alright with you? You guys should look through the stories. We have to choose an interesting one,” Yeondu pushed over the mailbox as she spoke.
“You’re doing it?”
“What, you dissatisfied with that?”
Maru shrugged. There was a limit to how good an on-demand acting would be. It would be fine as long as they could continue saying the lines without bursting out into laughter. The priority was to let the students enjoy themselves while listening to it, so it should be fine even if they screwed up some words here and there. Though, Yeondu probably wouldn’t allow that since she strived for perfection.
All members of the acting club took out stories from the mailbox one by one and started reading them. The mailbox was usually empty, but for some reason, there were over eighty letters in the box today.
“I went around telling people to write if they had any stressful incidents during after-school self studies, and that’s what I got in just one day. Oh, I also told them to write something that was memorable. After all, graduation isn’t that far away,” Yeondu said.
Ah, stress. The stress of an examinee student was really scary after all. On top of that, there was graduation.
When they had a look at the memos, there were all sorts of stories ranging from problems with school facilities, friendsh.i.p.s, and even domestic politics. They picked out suitable topics for the broadcast among them. A moderate amount of criticism, praise, as well as heart-warming or heroic deeds.
“I think this should do,” Daemyung said as he put away the non-chosen mail.
“Well, then. Let’s get ready.”
Yeondu set up the microphones and got ready to start the broadcast. It was about time the students started coming back to class after lunch. They started off the program with an idol song.
“The weather has become really cold. But why aren’t they turning on the heater? We want heaters!”
Yeondu shouted into the microphone as though she was singing rock. Hearing her comment, laughs could be heard outside the broadcasting room.
“Today, we got a bunch of stories for our Woosung High’s broadcasting club. If we had enough time, we’d love to read them all to you, but there’s no way the principal would allow that. Principal, I hate you!”
Was she trying to make today the last broadcasting session? Maru faintly smiled as he looked at Yeondu, who spoke with excitement.
 Considered as the best university in Korea at this time.