Life, Once Again! - Chapter 490
-It was a new challenge for me. It definitely wasn’t easy. I had to change my acting style after all. At first, I was not planning on accepting it. It was obvious that the shoot would be an arduous one. But then, I was persuaded. You are the only one who can do it – I was tempted by those words.
Maru looked at the elder on the screen as he took a sip of green tea.
A month had passed since the movie was released. It had maintained a small number of airing cinemas immediately after the release, but after a week, it strangely received a lot of attention and the number of airing cinemas increased explosively. Watching Twilight Struggles and then putting a review on the internet became a trend that spread around especially quickly among people in their 20s. The post that Bada showed him was one of those.
Twilight Struggles spread around the entire country through B-movie theaters, and there was a Twilight Struggles craze for a while.
Maru checked the internet and blogs from time to time and found out that many people were outraged at the state of reality after watching the movie. The media started talking about Twilight Struggles in their articles as well. When he looked at the strange timing of various articles that seemed to fan the flames, Maru thought that all this was Junmin’s strategy.
-You played the warm-hearted Han Sang-deok during the beginning of Apgu. Are you returning to the acting scene properly?
-I’m not sure yet. Nothing is set in stone. However, I do have the d.e.s.i.r.e to try out good pieces of work while I still have energy left.
When the reporter asked him to say some words of blessing for the new year, the elder smiled and wished that everyone could earn a lot of money in the new year.
After the interview ended, Maru switched the channel. Ever since Byungchan told him to watch TV as a duty, he had been sparing an hour a day to watch TV. Usually, he watched dramas, but if there was nothing to watch, he watched the news about the entertainment industry. He deeply agreed with Byungchan in that he should know what his industry was like.
“Hello?” Maru said as he picked up his phone.
-Maru, it’s me.
-You haven’t forgotten about tomorrow right? The get-together.
“You should take a break since it’s Saturday. I looked it up. It’s only the minimum taxi fare from the train station.”
-It’s fine. You care about me all the time, so I should at least do this much. Rather than that, this is your first supporting role, huh. Congratulations.
-I hope you gain a lot of popularity and earn a lot of money.
“I hope so too. Oh, right, what happened to the movie audition you told me about last time?”
-That? I haven’t heard anything back for two weeks. Looks like it was no good. And here, I was confident about it too.
“Then you should challenge it again.”
-You aren’t even consoling me?
“Would that change the outcome? I’m willing to drink with you if that’s what you want.”
“Good luck with that. There will be good results.”
-I sure hope so. Oh, right. I’m going to call you when I’m going to pick you up tomorrow so don’t turn your phone off.
-Alright, good night.
Maru put his phone down and looked at the calendar in the living room. It was the 23rd of December. There wasn’t long left until Christmas and the winter holidays. Oh, and the acting competition as well.
He turned off the TV that was talking to itself and went back to his room.
* * *
Park Hoon looked at the woman that walked towards him wearing heels. He was wondering who it was, and she turned out to be Kim Suyeon.
Suyeon pointed at the pork rind restaurant behind her. Park Hoon nodded.
“Oh my, I didn’t know that. I should become a regular here in the future.”
Park Hoon poked his junior who was blinking his eyes in a daze next to him.
“What are you doing? Go inside and get the order in.”
The junior walked backwards while staring at Suyeon until the end before going into the store. Suyeon smiled at the junior PD with a wave of her hand.
“He’s the assistant director, right? He looks cute.”
“Don’t touch such a newbie. He’s a good guy.”
Park Hoon picked his nose with his pinky and spoke,
“Looks like you have something to say to me. If it’s something important, you should leave it for the get-together tomorrow.”
“I just wanted to say thanks. Do you have a cold?” Suyeon asked as she handed him some tissues.
Park Hoon blew his nose as strongly as possible. When he tried to give Suyeon back the tissue, she paled in fright and took a few steps back.
“It’s not that dirty.”
“Geez, there you go again.”
“But what are you thanking me for?”
“For Han Maru.”
“Han Maru? What about that guy?”
The moment he heard those words, Park Hoon said ‘aha’ and snapped his fingers.
“When you called me last time and said something about a lobby?”
“Sorry. I was pooping back then so I didn’t hear you properly. I had horrible constipation so I was kinda out of myself.”
“…Ah, okay. Constipation, huh.”
Suyeon made a sour face before switching to a smile again.
“But how do you know Han Maru?”
“He’s in the same company as me.”
“Ah, you’re from JA?”
“Sorry about that. My memory is really not that good. Just leaving behind the necessary information in my head is almost everything I’m capable of.”
“Then I guess I’m not an important person to you, director.”
“Who said that? Of course I need you. That’s why I picked you as the teacher-in-training, didn’t I? So please do your best in acting, and just acting.”
“Yes, yes, sure.”
Suyeon was about to go inside the store as she said those words when Park Hoon discovered the junior producer looking at him with glee on his face.
“Where do you think you are going?”
“What else would I do in a restaurant? I’m going to eat.”
“With you, director. The assistant director is there as well.”
“Geez. I don’t want to have a stomach ache because I’m eating with a celebrity.”
“I’ll just eat obediently in the corner. Why don’t we get to know each other more? We’re going to be shooting together after all.”
Park Hoon sighed and nodded. Suyeon thanked him as she opened the door.
“Don’t say anything strange in front of that guy. He hasn’t been tainted yet.”
“Am I some bacteria or something?”
“I’m not sure about bacteria, but you sure are dangerous, that’s for sure.”
“Fine. It’s not like I’m expecting anything from you anyway. I don’t have the energy to waste on an opponent that I can’t win over. Oh, then why did you pick Maru?”
“Because he’s good, duh. You’re in the same company and you don’t even know the skills of your own member?”
“I do. I just tried my hand out just in case. Dang, I guess I did that for nothing. I was planning to show off to him a little.”
Park Hoon looked at Suyeon who walked ahead of him. She was probably shaking her b.u.t.t on purpose. The junior producer yielded his seat to her with a big grin on his face. He decided to tell him later to wake up.
“Excuse me, we need an additional glass here.”
Park Hoon sniffed as he walked to the table.
* * *
“It’ll be winter break soon once Christmas is over. Ah, I hope winter holidays come quickly,” Aram said as she looked outside the window.
Maru checked the time on his watch before standing up.
“I’m going to leave first.”
“Where are you going, seonbae?”
He had already told Daemyung about this beforehand, so there was no need for additional explanation. He ran away from Aram who persistently asked him what it was about before leaving.
“Hyung, I’m here.”
-Okay. Wait a minute. I’m almost there.
While he waited in front of the school, he saw a familiar car approach from a distance. It was the car that Byungchan always drove.
“It’s cold, get in quickly,” Byungchan said as he opened the window.
Maru got in the passenger seat. The car was very dry to the point that his nose felt dry minutes after he got in because the heater was on.
“Did I turn it up too high? I’ll open the window a little.”
The car departed with the windows slightly open.
“I heard that it’s going to start snowing tomorrow.”
“Wow, I guess we might get a White Christmas this year.”
“Do you have anyone you’re dating?”
“Me? Do you think I have one? I’m always waiting and need to leave at a moment’s notice. I’ll leave the romance for when my pockets are deep enough.”
“I guess this year’s Christmas will be a cold one for you.”
“You just had to poke me where it hurts the moment we met. Are you boasting to me about your girlfriend?”
Byungchan turned the wheel with a laugh.
“Usually, drama teams do a get-together like this once they finish casting. It’s just to get to know each other. There should be barely anyone around your age. While it’s a youth drama, most of the actors should be in their early twenties.”
“Looks like I’ll have to go around greeting everyone. I hope my throat survives.”
“Do your best. That’s the cheapest form of self-PR. Ah, you know that Miss Suyeon is playing the teacher-in-training role, right?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Now that makes me envious. You get to act together in a drama with Miss Kim Suyeon when I’ve never seen her before despite belonging to the same company.”
“Do you want her autograph?”
The car entered Seoul and stopped in front of a sushi restaurant. Maru asked Byungchan,
“Hyung, you aren’t going to wait here, right?”
“I’m going to drink with someone I know. I used to work with him as a manager, and he told me that he got fired recently. I should insult some high people with him.”
“What a tough world we live in, huh.”
“You tell me. That guy was really well known for being earnest, and he got fired all of a sudden. My heart fell when I heard that.”
“Our president isn’t someone who would fire people without reason so don’t worry about that.”
“Yes. That’s true. But instead, I’d get pressure as soon as I don’t produce any results.”
“He’s a picky one after all. I’ll get going then.”
“Call me once it ends.”
“I thought you were going to drink though?”
“Oh, I’m not drinking. I have to drive after all.”
“You should drink. I can just take the taxi home.”
“No, no, I can’t do that. Call me once it’s over, okay?”
Maru nodded and got off. After watching the car make a U-turn and disappear into the distance, he approached the restaurant. The 1st floor was noisy with customers, and when he looked at the staircase leading to the 2nd floor, he saw a sign that said ‘reserved’.
“Uhm, I heard that the get-together for New Semester is here.”
When he asked a nearby employee, he was told to go to the 2nd floor. Maru nodded and climbed up. The appointment was at 7, and it was 6 right now. When he went up, the first thing he saw was a separate room with a long table that had drinks on it.
A few people were sitting at a nearby table, and they glanced at Maru before starting to chat by themselves. Maru smiled and approached that table.
“Hello, my name is Han Maru. I’m a new actor.”
“Ah, yes,” one man stood up and replied to him.
“I thought you were in the wrong place. My name is Lee Jinho. I’m a manager at Hansung Agency.”
“I’m manager Lee Minwoon.”
“I’m manager Hwang Jeongmin.”
“So you were managers. May I join you?”
“Ah, yes, well.”
Maru sat down and spoke,
“You can drop the honorifics with me. I’m a lot younger than you all after all. Were you eating?”
“We were just eating a light meal since we came here early.”
The manager laughed.
“But why are you here so early? The appointment should be seven.”
“I was planning to greet everyone and talk to some people. Oh, you can continue eating.”
The managers looked at him for a while before eating with smiles on their faces. Maru sighed as he looked at them. He knew how hard their lives were.
“I’ll bring you some drinks.”
Maru picked up a bottle of coke and a beer from the separate room before coming back out again. The managers coughed awkwardly.
“It’s not that noticeable. If they say something, I’ll just tell them I drank it. Here, I’ll pour you a drink. Drinking beer with rice is always good.”
The managers looked at each other before receiving beer from Maru with grins on their faces. At that moment, two more people came up the stairs.
“Over here, Kim-hyung!”
“Hey hey, sit down here.”
It seemed as though both of them were managers. Maru looked at the two new people before sitting down. A small ‘who?’ could be heard.
“He’s an actor apparently. Han Maru, right?”
“Yes, you should receive a glass from me as well. You must be thirsty,” said Maru as he picked up the beer bottle.