Life, Once Again! - Chapter 724
Maru decided to look at what was clear for now.
-The revival occurred many times, the reason for which is unclear.
-Memories have disappeared. They have returned, but there’s the possibility that they might disappear again.
-The woman in the white suit is deeply related to this cycle.
As for the unclear things, he decided to put them in a corner of his mind for the time being. It was meaningless to hypothesize about a hypothesis. He had to base his assumptions on the facts. It was nearly impossible to take precautions against what would happen in the future, so he would have to act depending on the situation. He could only shirk back in order to survive the gaze of the omnipotent beings.
Maru grabbed a taxi. The fact that his memories had returned would definitely be unexpected. If even this was within the schedule of god, then every action he took after this would be meaningless.
Did the fact that no measures were taken mean that there was a hole in the surveillance? Something that was progressing according to divine providence had gone wrong. In order to set things straight again, god should send the woman in white or take away his memories or do something, but there were no reactions until now.
Not knowing or letting him go. Regardless of which was true, it did not change the fact that he had gained freedom. If he could meet the woman in white again, he would be able to get some hints through some questions, but she always appeared at the most random moments before disappearing after saying what she needed to. Was there a method to call her out?
Maru called for the masked man, but there was no answer. If god was really omnipotent and omniscient, he should have realized that Han Maru’s soul had split into two. Did he leave that alone while knowing it? Or did he not know about it?
He felt like Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Despite having an immortal body, the monstrous creature could not escape Buddha’s palm and eventually became punished after accepting defeat. The punishment even lasted five hundred years until the monk Sanzang freed him. Did a being like Sanzang exist for someone like him as well?
The more he thought about it, the more he felt like he was playing in the playground that god had made for him. To think that god had a blind spot in his view and that there were things he could not see made him feel like that was a too optimistic thought, but to think that god knew everything would make all of his assumptions meaningless.
In order to have a sense of purpose, he assumed that god had weak points, but ‘is that really the case?’ kept reverberating in his head. Was there such a thing as free will? Is the fact that he was thinking about this at this specific moment predestined from a point way beyond history? Was there really a path that allowed him to escape this cycle?
He slapped his cheeks. The taxi driver looked at him, wondering what was going on.
“Oh, I was getting a little sleepy. There’s something important today, and I can’t afford to doze off.”
“You look like a student. Sleep is very important for people of your age.”
“You’re right. I need to get some sleep, but I couldn’t because I had a nightmare.”
“Are you in your 3rd year of high school?”
“I guess it must be hard for you then. Here, have some of this. It will clear your throat and drive away your drowsiness.”
It was a throat candy. The strong mint refreshed his nose and throat. It would be great if it could refresh his mind as well – Maru thought in vain. He paid the taxi fare before getting off. When he went through the gates, he saw people gathered by the central door to the main school building.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Sorry for making you worried.”
A staff member that he had gotten to know patted him on the shoulders, telling him to be careful. Maru walked over to the stands. He saw Joomin and Dongho, who were getting ready to shoot.
“You came back pretty fast.”
“It wasn’t anything much after all. What about the shoot?”
“It’s going well. You really should’ve taken some time to rest at the hospital. There’s still some time.”
“I should come early and prepare beforehand.”
After talking to Dongho, he looked at Joomin.
“Noona, I saw that you spilled some coffee because of me. Is your hand okay?”
“It was completely lukewarm so I didn’t get hurt. Rather than that, how do you feel? Even if the doctor told you that you were okay, you should still get some rest if you don’t feel good.”
“If I really felt bad, I was planning to get some rest as well, but I completely woke up by the time I arrived at the hospital. The doctor also told me it was nothing to worry about.”
“Are you sure you weren’t anemic or something?”
“Yes. I think I was just a little dizzy because blood rushed into my legs. Looks like I need to do some more exercise. I feel like I’ve gotten weaker after resting for a while.”
“You have a good figure, you’re not lacking exercise. It must be because of your schedule. No matter how good your body is, you’re bound to become ill if you push yourself. You should watch out for your health. I still feel freaky if I remember how you stumbled and collapsed.”
“I’ll definitely watch out.”
Just then, he could hear a ‘cut’ sound in the distance. Maru greeted everyone he came across and approached Park Hoon.
“Were there no problems?”
“That’s good then. You can make the shoot right?”
“Even if I collapse, I will do the shoot.”
“If you collapse, you can’t do the shoot. Anyway, I feel relieved to see you’re doing okay. Let’s get ready and start immediately. I pulled your scene ahead, so let’s get that done quickly so you can go home.”
“You didn’t have to do that though.”
“If an accident occurs under my watch because I’m working with a patient, it’ll be me who’ll be in trouble, okay?”
Park Hoon smiled and told him to go. Maru was just feeling complex because of all the thoughts that rushed into his head. He felt thankful for Park Hoon’s consideration. He thought that he should finish the shoot early, go home and think about it.
After wracking his brain over things that completely transcended common sense, he felt like he was resting now that he was met with a more realistic problem. While there was no correct answer to acting, there was a correct area. It felt so relieving to think about something with an answer. Maru smiled in vain and flipped through his script.
“Looks like you feel okay now.”
Giwoo had approached and spoken to him. Maru looked at him and nodded. He realized once again how scary losing his memories was as well as how scary the change in his cognition was when he looked at this guy. He acted kindly towards a person he would never want to keep close. He felt like he wanted to slap his own mouth.
How complex – the emotions from how he acted while he had lost his memories still remained within him. While the social Han Maru did not act the way he liked, it wasn’t something that should completely be ignored. The young Han Maru’s consciousness definitely helped when expanding his relationships. If he could let his forty-five-year-old self control the recklessness of youth, he would gain a social weapon. Take what was necessary and abandon what wasn’t needed. Although ‘challenge’ and ‘adventure’ were still terrifying words, he wouldn’t just exclude them outright from the get-go.
Of course, there were things that simply weren’t an option. For example, his relationship with this guy. He said all those things before he regained his memories, so he would follow along, but if he tried to do something, Maru would let him know why the tongue was called the knife within the mouth. There were young people who had to see blood to realize what they’D done wrong.
Maru looked into Giwoo’s eyes. The quicker a person’s thoughts were, the faster the speech bubble would appear. Giwoo very quickly managed to finish analyzing and judging the person in front of him. This guy, he has the same eyes as grandfather again – that was what was written above him.
Grandfather, huh. That was rather unexpected. Maru thought that he would not rely on others with the personality he had. The ‘grandfather’ that Giwoo thought of when analyzing him seemed to be a pretty important figure.
“Now that I think about it, we never talked that much, haven’t we?” Maru started off the conversation.
Giwoo made a comfortable smile, but Maru could see the minute cracks in it. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Maru’s eyes, which looked similar to Giwoo’s grandfather’s, have broken his tranquility. This might be a weakness. If he could get a grasp of what this person’s grandfather was like, Maru would gain the upper hand. While Kang Giwoo was trash that couldn’t be turned into anything good, there should still be a way to use him. For example, fight your enemy with your enemy – or in this case, clean trash using other trash.
“Maybe the reason I said all that to you before was because I felt envious.”
Maru could see his wariness rising rapidly. While Giwoo’s lips were still in the shape of a smile, his eyes that looked at him became a lot sharper. He was the type who would only feel relieved after knowing what the opponent had in mind. In that sense, Maru thought that Giwoo was like him. Because they were similar, it was easy to understand him. Moreover, while it might be superficial, he could read Kang Giwoo’s thoughts as well. If Maru took the time and effort to shake him up and down, things would become really interesting.
“What do you mean, envious of me?”
Giwoo looked really nervous when Maru sounded friendly. Maru did not go out of his way to relieve his nervousness. Reaching a hand out to a wary cat was a foolish thing to do. He had to make the cat stand down by itself.
“Who here do you think is not envious of you?”
“I’m not someone so amazing.”
“There you go, being humble again.”
Maru took a beat of rest before speaking again,
“But you know? How does it feel to do that play of yours?”
He could see Giwoo’s shoulders stiffening as though he was about to attack at any moment. He looked like a soldier that had met an enemy during war. Maru looked into his eyes. Thoughts seemed to be flashing through rapidly inside his head to the point that there was no room to think about Han Maru. He could not see any speech bubbles. Though, he could see Giwoo’s lips trembling. It seemed that he was pretty flustered if he couldn’t maintain his signature smile.
If Maru wanted to stop him from doing bad things around him in the future by pressuring him, he could just stop speaking here. Giwoo would start worrying about the things he did after imagining all sorts of outcomes, and as a result, become rather docile. If this guy was an idiot, he would start rampaging the moment he realizes that he had been driven into a corner, but Kang Giwoo was cautious to the point that he would control others through phone calls, so he should probably choose to stay still.
“Why do you ask?”
There was a sense of urgency in his voice. The fact that he couldn’t stay quiet proved that Giwoo was shaken. Maru smiled as though it was nothing much. His objective was not to end all conversations with him; it was to disarm him.
“Nothing, I was just a little curious. I was also wondering if it was fun.”
“I thought you weren’t interested. In fact, you looked like you despised that sort of thing. You even warned me not to do it, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I did. But I realized recently that what you are doing might not be entirely so bad after all.”
“What do you mean by that?”
He still had not let his guard down. Giwoo was so absorbed in the word ‘play’. He was probably thinking of thousands of excuses in his mind to argue.
The human brain was actually very simplistic and could not do multiple things at once. In the case of a lie that required a high level of mental power, it would weaken the defenses of other elements once a person became absorbed in defending that lie. Maru was planning to make use of that.
“There’s someone I really don’t like. But I’m not in a situation where I can blatantly point him out. Just then, I thought about the play you were doing. It dawned on me that teasing some idiotic adults isn’t such a bad thing after all.”
While Giwoo was showing a positive reaction, his wariness increased by a level. Even if Maru asked him to let him in on these plays, Giwoo would never allow it. Maru could obviously tell that Giwoo was trying to cut himself off from everything related to the play. It also meant that there was a gap in his defenses now.
“He’s an old dude, and I really can’t like him. Do you have a grandfather at home? You should know how annoying elderly people can be.”
“I do have a grandfather, but I never thought of him that way. My grandfather is on a whole different level.”
Giwoo, who was preparing to defend the wordplay, ended up advocating his grandfather in a very strong tone. It sounded like it was beyond respect and more like admiration. If Maru asked him about his family history on a normal occasion, he would never leak any information due to suspicion, but he was so absorbed in defending the word ‘play’ that he ended up blurting it out so easily.
“Is your grandfather that amazing?”
“He’s the perfect man.”
Usually, the word ‘perfect’ wasn’t usually used to describe a person, not to mention ‘the’ perfect man. The fact that Kang Giwoo described him as such would mean that this grandfather of his was not an ordinary man.
“There’s a limit to how perfect old people could be.”
“Watch your words. Grandfather is in a whole different league from normal people.”
“Is he that amazing? I don’t think so. Are you sure you aren’t mistaken?”
The wariness and tension disappeared, replaced by the hostility that rose. Maru felt like the ‘grandfather’ keyword could be used against Giwoo pretty well.
“He’s the chairman of YM, yet you call that not amazing?”
After speaking with a proud face, Giwoo soon shut his mouth. Maru nodded. The man this little devil treats like a god, huh.
“He is an amazing person, huh. Okay, I get it.”
“Don’t go telling people. I don’t want things to become noisy.”
The people who should know about it probably know him already. The manager-level personnel probably got notified from those above them. Maru also remembered the distributor of the film that Kang Giwoo was going to play the role of the main character in was a subsidiary of YM. He sighed. This was a fruit that he could not pick and eat. He had a god to deal with, so he had no energy to deal with a chaebol’s grandson.
“Anyway, talk to you later,” Maru said with a smile.