Life, Once Again! - Chapter 665
“I guess Maru has such traits. I mean, taking a jab like that. You’re not entirely wrong when you call him ‘lucky boy’. He did poke the gold vein after all. You will probably be shocked if you know what kind of deal he made with our president before joining the agency.”
“What is it?”
“I don’t want to tell you, but I’ll tell you since you’re holding the fork in a reverse grip.”
Ganghwan whispered into Jayeon’s ears. As she listened, Jayeon’s eyes became wider and wider. Maru could read a lot of things from Jayeon’s eyes. It started with disbelief before changing into interest and then turned into curiosity. Maru turned his head away and drank some water. He was given a sticky gaze from a viper looking at their prey.
“What a guy. 300 million huh,” Jayeon said as she held up three fingers.
“Hyung-nim, it’s not that good to reveal other people’s contract terms like that.”
“I should tell her stuff like this beforehand so that she knows you aren’t a cheap actor, and so she can make the most out of you. Who knows? You might get more screen time.”
“If that does happen, I don’t have any complaints either.”
Maru smiled at Jayeon. Jayeon laughed and said that she would think about it.
“Yoo Jayeon. You really struck gold. You won’t find anyone like him anywhere. He’s smart, and he’s quick-witted, not to mention his acting skills are good. Sir Yoon doesn’t treat him dearly for nothing.”
“Sir Yoon? Which Sir Yoon?”
“Sir Yoon Moonjoong.”
Jayeon turned her head to Maru.
“You know Sir Yoon Moonjoong as well?”
“He doesn’t just know him. He’s one of the few drinking friends that he cherishes,” Ganghwan said all that before Maru could say anything.
Maru just drank water instead of saying anything. The expectation placed on the three characters ‘Han Maru’ was rising. He didn’t know what Ganghwan’s intentions were, but he felt like they would arrive at a weird conclusion if he got caught up in their conversation.
Maru looked at the two people whispering to each other. Jayeon called Ganghwan ‘hyung’ while Ganghwan used a casual tone to speak to her. From the way they naturally touched and looked at each other, did that mean that they had feelings towards each other? Or were they just long-time friends? When Ganghwan told him to take the audition, Maru thought that it was just one of the producers he knew through his connections, not someone that was close enough to him that they could call out to each other casually.
“I have two things I want to ask, may I?”
“Go ahead. I’ll answer my lucky guy’s question anytime,” Jayeon said.
“Are you two dating?”
As soon as he asked that, Ganghwan threw some tissue at him. Maru tilted his head to dodge. Jayeon was gripping her plastic cup hard.
“Care to ask again?”
Jayeon asked in a mild tone. Maru said no before going to the next question.
“Did you pick me because of Ganghwan hyung-nim’s request?”
“What do you think? Do you think I would have listened to him or not?” Jayeon replied with a question as she crossed her arms.
“If hyung-nim did ask you to put me in, then I should be thankful. After all, it would mean that I passed the audition thanks to him. But I’m asking because it doesn’t seem like that.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because you said that you won’t look at connections. The producer I know doesn’t look like she would get swayed by something like that.”
“Look at this guy. He’s trying to score points since he’s joined us. Hyung, is he always like this?”
“That’s the type of guy he is,” Ganghwan replied.
“Hey, do you have confidence in your acting?”
Maru got a question this time. Maru replied immediately,
“If you don’t have any confidence in your acting as an actor, why would a producer use that actor?”
“Well, I’m not sure. I will not say I’m confident in myself no matter what I do, not just acting. Even if I possess the skill to finish the job precisely and have the eyes to determine that level of skill, I would still never say that I am confident.”
“Because they say it’s better to not say anything you can’t take responsibility for. You’ll go halfway if you stay still – I like these words quite a lot.”
“Who would want to buy a product that’s promoting itself as a flawed product?”
“You won’t promote the flaws. You just don’t exaggerate.”
“Hey, you might end up in the warehouse without anyone recognizing you.”
“That’s why I’m praying all the time that a good director will fish me out. I’m not perfect, but I promote myself as a useful product.”
“Oh man, this boy is totally like an old man. The way he acts is similar to my uncle,” Jayeon laughed.
“Did things go well for your uncle?”
“Well, there’s a role model. I guess I should maintain my attitude.”
“Alright. The decent ones are bound to get used even if they’re in a heap of trash. Why is that? Because they will shine amidst the rusty metal pieces. Unless someone’s blind, they’ll pick it up. Like how I did.”
“This girl, she always finishes up by complimenting herself,” Ganghwan commented from the side.
Jayeon did not mind his comment and chuckled instead, telling him to praise her more. She was rather different from what she showed during the audition and at the pojang-macha. During the prior occasions, Jayeon spoke as though she was a bomb that had its fuse almost all burnt, but all of her actions were trapped within a frame. Even when she shouted, drove people into a corner, or introduced herself as a crazy bitch, she looked like someone who stuck to the rules, even if she looked rather chaotic.
“Hyung, it’s not like that.”
Laughing next to Ganghwan, she looked very liberal, but it felt like the frame that formed her core was out of place a little. There was a sense of hurry or unease. Ganghwan called Jayeon casually while Jayeon called him just hyung. To Maru, it looked like she was drawing the line. Perhaps Jayeon found Ganghwan hard to deal with. Maru kept editing his impression of the two people and kept observing them. He was going to work together or clash with her a lot from now on. The common point between an enemy and an ally was that the more you know, the better.
A voice sounded behind him. Maru turned around. There was a man with curly hair dyed brown. He was very tall to the point that he would have to raise his head to see the man’s head. He seemed like he was at least 185cm tall.
“You’re here. Have a seat.”
Jayeon pointed at a seat. Maru moved inwards. The curly hair nodded before sitting.
“You should introduce yourself.”
“Ah, yes. My name is Ha Byungjae. I’m twenty-five this year.”
“Byungjae is well, how should I put it, very kind or very bland? Well, I like that part of him too. The one sitting next to you is Han Maru, and he’s going to work with you.”
Maru shook hands with Byungjae.
“Also, the cocky dude next to me is Yang Ganghwan. You’re forty this year, aren’t you, hyung?”
“Hey, don’t just add numbers to people’s age like that. Ignore her. I’m thirty-three. No, wait, was I thirty-two? Maybe four? Being younger is better, so let’s go with thirty-two, shall we?”
“As you can see, he’s a worthless man when it comes to something other than his acting. He’ll be playing the owner of the pojang-macha. Say hello to him, you’ll be acting the most with him in the future. Hyung, you should take a closer look at this boy as well. In my eyes, he’ll become big in the future.”
“Really? Then I guess I should get to know him. When would a worthless stageman like me get to shake hands with a TV star if not now? Nice to meet you, actor Ha.”
“D-don’t say that, senior.”
Byungjae and Ganghwan exchanged greetings. Maru looked at Byungjae, who was sitting upright as though he was nervous. He had looks that looked like he was cast from the street. He didn’t look as ripe as the other actors in their mid-twenties to early thirties who were becoming big, but he looked like he would not lose out to top stars in terms of appearance depending on how he put on make-up. Maru subconsciously touched his chin. Do male actors do a lot of plastic surgery too?
“Why do you look so nervous? Relax.”
Byungjae only then faintly smiled. Maru felt like he needed more time to observe him to see whether he was weak-hearted or was just warming up to them.
“I’m not late, am I?”
The one who came next was a woman who dyed her hair orange. Yes, orange. The bright tangerine color that would make her head look like it was floating by itself when she walked during the night. The woman with the eye-catching hair color looked at the seats before sitting next to Byungjae. The moment orange hair sat down, Byungjae pulled his chair inwards to gain some distance.
“If you’re here, you can introduce yourself.”
“Do I have to do something childish like that?”
“Then should I call you delinquent-unni?”
“Okay, fine. I’ll do it. My name is Choi Mira. My hobby is reading, and my specialty is reciting poems. Usually, I stay at home reading books. I’m a total shut-in.”
Maru scratched his eyebrows and looked at Mira. What was her hobby and what was her specialty? Mira finished introducing herself in a joking manner and added that she was twenty-four.
“Reciting poems? Do you have something you can recite off your mind?” Ganghwan asked.
Mira immediately recited a poem as though it was nothing that difficult. She recited the poem with a fair voice as though was singing and finished off with a ‘satisfied?’ at the end. Maru applauded. It was unexpectedly good. The poem recited by a woman with a flashy hair color and ear piercings was good enough to be called a specialty.
“Byungjae, don’t you think you have to show us something after that?” Jayeon asked without thinking.
Byungjae hesitated for a moment before impersonating someone, but no one could tell who he was imitating. Mira giggled and Byungjae looked down at the table in dejection. Maru stayed still. It wouldn’t do any good for him to show a reaction here.
“Whew, the youngest one is the latest. We should have a penalty for that, right?”
The moment Jayeon said those words, the door to the restaurant opened and Yuna rushed in. She looked around the restaurant while panting before rushing over to the table.
“Sorry for being late.”
“There’s still 10 minutes until the appointed time, so you aren’t late. Buuut, while you aren’t late, you are the last one here, so you have to show us your specialty, you know?”
When Jayeon said that while resting her chin on her hands, Yuna gulped before looking at everyone in the seats. She looked like a young gazelle that was separated from the herd.
“I’m just joking so don’t cry. I hate crying kids.”
Jayeon quickly waved her hand and said that. It seemed that the pure-looking eyes were something that even the cold producer couldn’t handle.
“But you should at least introduce yourself, right?”
“Yes! Hello. My name is Kim Yuna and I’m in 1st year class 2 of Myunghwa High School. No wait, forget the class. Uhm, I’ve been practicing since I was in middle school, and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to participate in this drama. I may be lacking, but please take care of me.”
“I’m not a caretaker though, ” Ganghwan, who was watching, suddenly uttered.
Yuna hesitated before speaking again,
“I will do my best not to bother you. I hope we can get along!”
“Jayeon, where did you find all these unique people? I totally love them,” Ganghwan said as he raised his thumb.
“Well then, sit down for now. We should commemorate the first get-together for the drama. Excuse me! Waiter!”
Jayeon put her hand against her mouth and shouted.
Orange hair with ear piercings who’s a shut-in and reads books for a hobby? Is this one of those gap-moe things?
Also, looks like Jayeon totally forgot about that there’s a bell to call the waiter on each table.
Dang it feels like its been a long long time since we got new actor characters.