Big Life - Chapter 24





“Hello, Writer Ha, Are you busy?”

“No. I sent in all the Modern Ranking Series and I’m pretty free. Tell me.”

Jaegun’s voice was brighter than anytime before.

Tewon, with his tongue, wetted his dry lips. Feeling a unknowing anxiety, he carefully opened his mouth.

“I wanted to talk about the sequel.”

“Ah, the sequel.”

“I know it might be hard, but following this momentum, it might be good if we release another project. What do you think?”

“Hm, that…”

Jaegun’s voice lost a lot of strength on the other side of the phone.

Tewon also lost some energy. Jaegun answered back to Tewon who was sitting down in front of the convenience store.

I haven’t thought about the sequel yet. And recently I have been writing a lot of projects consecutively.”

“It could be, there could be health issues.”

“I’m telling you because you’re the editor, but I’m writing a different work that I’m planning to release it to an exhibition contest.”

“Exhibition contest?”

“Yes, it’s called the Digital Literary Award that the Minister of Culture and Tourism is hosting. There was a novel that I was working on from my college days so I wanted to work on that and release it.”

Tewon had a bitter smile on his lips.

“Ah, yes, OK. You write great so there will be a great result.”

Tewon pressed his regret down and answered with encouragement. He knew that Jaegun was a person that had unlimited energy when writing. Therefore, even though his book didn’t sell well in the past, he opened his heart to him more than he did with the other writers.

“You’re coming to the Writer’s meeting on Saturday, right?”

“Yes. I should come. I promised Somii so I’ll be there.”

“OK, Writer. Then keep working and I’ll see you in the weekend.”

“Yes. You too, I’ll see you later.”

Cutting the call, Tewon took out a cigarette and bit on it. And he realized he didn’t have a lighter.

‘Should I smoke later.’

Tewon put away the cigarette back away and stood up. He was going to put away buying a lighter for later. In the cloudy summer sky, it was about to pour rain.

……

Vroom!

“Acck, Hey! Rika! You crazy?!”

Jaegun was startled when he came out of the shower.

Rika was scratching the T-shirts that Jaegun was going to wear when he was going out. There was already at least 3 holes.

“What are you doing? Are you telling me to not leave? Huh?”

Jaegun lifted Rika who made the T-shirt into a rag and asked. Rika only turned her head as if saying what did I do wrong.

“Ah,  this is bad. This was the best that I could have worn.”

He hadn’t bought any good clothes in the past years. Since his job of writing wasn’t turning out very well, he didn’t have time to care about clothes.

It was also because he was poor.

He had some times when he wanted to show off, but it was the days that he didn’t feel right even buying a shirt from a cheap mall.

“Rika, Let’s get your nails cut. I’ll learn once, and next time I’ll do it for you.”

“Meow.”

Jaegun shuffled through the smelly drawer and found a navy shirt.

It was old so the color on both shoulders and the back section was changed. It was better than the others, so he put the shirt on.

“Thanks Rika for making me spend money. I’ll come back as soon as I can so have fun.”

“Meow, Meow,”

Jaegun left home and hurried.

It was Seoul, but it was a remote place so he had to walk a distance to get to the intersection with the subway. The sun was hot so soon, his back was sweating.

Jaegun arrived at the subway. He went into a building connected to the department store. The air conditioner air came and cooled down his heated body.

‘I should totally change my mold.’

Jaegun thought as he looked at his clothes.

He was only going to buy the top. But now, everything from his jeans to the shoes were worn out. They were really old clothes that he had worn for a long time. It wasn’t a short time that he was a one-suit man.

Jaegun went around and moved to the store that fit his preferences. It was the brand that he didn’t even dare to look around in.

A girl employee smiling met him.

“Come in. Do you have anything you’re looking for?”

“I’ll search myself.”

Jaegun picked a navy PK shirt and a baize slacks and put in on the counter.

As the barcode was scanned, the price on the monitor of the two clothes went over 400 dollars.

“Good work.”

“Yes, Thank you. Come again.”

Jaegun went to the shoe store and bought a summer ropper and went to the bathroom. Then on the closest stall, he changed clothes and came out.

‘I should get a haircut, too.’

Since he changed into the new clothes, now the dirt hair came into view. Since he didn’t have much time left, he pushed going to the barber to tomorrow.

Jaegun only put the jeans in his bag and threw away the shirt and shoes in the trash can and left.

When he looked at the clock, there was only 30 minutes until the meeting time of 4.

It was going to be late if he rode the subway so he took the cab, which was almost unplanned for.

“Come in.”

“Thank you. Myung Kyung college Nadon please.”

Sitting on the back of the starting cab, Jaegun took out the novel script.

It was over 80 pages printed.

The title was ‘Child of the 90s’. The entire work was 12,000 so it was perfect for a short novel.

‘Would the professor like this?’

It was a story that he started writing from college.

After the 30s, it was a growing up drama that changed from past and present and showed friends’ friendship and betrayal, and the cold but hopeful reality

Jaegun once showed this to Professor Han Hesun and got terrible reviews. The professor’s words was that the story had no center and there was no difference between if it was a story or a essay.

“Jaegun, maybe you should think about what standard you want to put on your writing? This feels like a diary that only puts in more time than other people. It can’t be a story. It’s only a personal story of your self-pitying. Who would buy this writing that doesn’t even cost its price? You can bring any practice writing anytime, but please don’t give me a pathetic writing like this and waste my time with it. I hope you’ll have that much in you.”

Jaegun didn’t show it, but he felt a huge shock.

It was a work that he put effort in to.

But the professor only kept the cold attitude and didn’t give one word of encouragement.

Jaegun poured himself drinks after drinks and shoved the draft deep into his drawer.

Jaegun forgot all about, until he got Se Gunwoo’s powers. He took it out and revised the entire story.

‘It might be only me that’s feeling good. Fantasy and regular novels are different. If she says anything, there’s nothing to do but to revise it again.

Jaegun understood the professor’s skill deep inside him. With her review, 70% was accepting of it.

With the time of showing the draft coming closer, Jaegun soothe his nervous mind

‘I want to win…!’

A winning book that is released has the ‘Literature Award winning book’ in ribbons around it in the book stores.

This was Jaegun’s hope. He thought this was the only way to get recognition from his father.

He couldn’t get recognition from his father with just money

He need to get awards and get the honor that comes from this.

His dad, who was an ‘old person’, only thought books were paper books that he could buy from book stores. He didn’t think fantasy or martial arts and other genres were books at all. He didn’t say anything, but as his son, Jaegun thought so.

“Can I put you down here?”

Jaegun’s taxi arrived at its destination.

Jaegun, out of his thoughts, pulled out his wallet.

“Yes, thank you. Here.”

Jaegun knocked on the door of the professor’s personal lab. Door 403.

‘Come in’ was said by a girl’s voice, and Jaegun opened the door.

“Hello professor,”

“Jaegun, come in.”

Professor Hesun, in her late 50s, widely smiled and stood up.

Above the desk, a huge pile of documents was stacked like a mountain.

“You must have been screening a contest right now.”

“Yeah, there has been a lot of contestants so it’s been a toil. I’ve looked through about 30 or so but I haven’t found anything good. Coffee?”

“I’ll pour it.

Jaegun didn’t even ask and poured two cups of coffee. He knew He Sun’s coffee preferences. After he poured his coffee with one spoon of sugar, he gave the pale black coffee to her.

“Thank you. You’re coffee is the best.”

“It’s only coffee. Happy Birthday.”

“It’s fine, what’s so good about getting another year. But before that, did you bring the book?”

Hesun, who didn’t like greetings, went straight to the point.

Jaegun nodded his head and pulled out the book from his bag. Then he politely gave it to her to two hands.

“Is this a book that is good enough so it won’t waste my precious time?”

Jaegun couldn’t answer straight away. After thinking of the nights that he spend with his eyes burning red, he answered with prudence.

“Yes. Im confident.”

Hesun’s lip had a smile.

Hesun’s two eyes was looking into Jaegun’s mind.

Jaegun didn’t lose his firm posture and looked straight into her gaze.

“OK, I get it.”

Hesun sipped a bit of coffee and put it on the table.

“You have work so you can’t eat dinner together?”

“I’m sorry, I’ll come by alone next time.”

“Go ahead. I’ll read the draft quickly and contact you.”

“I’ll leave after I drink this coffee.”

Jaegun left the lab after finishing.

Hesun pushed away the other works and started reading Jaegun’s draft. As she turned page by page, a smile was slowly turning up on her face.

In about 2 hours, she finished reading.

Hesun smiled as he saw the one sentence at the end.

-I’m planning to enter the Digital Literary Contest. If I win the prize and get the money, then I’ll give you a birthday present and come back.

“Of course, he’s strange.”

A knocking sound came from the door.

After Hesun’s words of come in, about 7-8 male and female came in a line.

All of them were Hesun’s students and Jaegun’s alumni. Suhee was also in between them.

“Hello, professor, you seem younger than last year.”

“I’ve read the review on the scholarly world monthly about the plagiarism issue. I thought, of course it’s by the professor. Very witty and piercing without any hesitation.”

The students all fought to give compliments to Hesun. It was like a madhouse.

There was even a student that even acted like he was dying.

Only Suhee pushed away from the crowd and was bitterly laughing.

“Professor, I wanted to bring Jaegun, but he said he had an appointment today.”

Suhee said after the greetings. Hesun with a smiling face nodded.

“I know, he gave me a call and came here already.”

“He came … here?” Why?”

“He wanted me to see his novel.”

She lifted the novel bunch in her hand.

‘A child of the 90s’ on the title with ‘Ha Jaegun’ as the name, Suhee widened her eyes when she saw that.

“What, Ha Jaegun has no manners at all.”

Another student behind her sneered and joined in.

The students as if they were waiting all answered.

“Yeah, he can’t even come to the professor’s dinner but he came to show his work, is that guy crazy or what?”

“That guy is funny, professor, you don’t even have to read a work made by a guy like that.”

The student who spoke last couldn’t possibly say ‘Read my work instead of Jaegun’s.’ and saved his words.

All of these students except for Suhee was all writing.

They were people who were busy with their work but didn’t lose their dreams of a writer.

Congratulating the professor’s birthday.wasn’t the only reason that they came here.

“Did you read it?”

Suhee asked.

Hesun, instead of an answer, showed the last sentence that Jaegun wrote. Suhee when she saw that, let a laugh.

“How was it? Do you think he could win the Digital Literary Award?”

At the mention of Digital Literary Award, a few students had a surprised look on their face.

They all brought drafts that they were going to enter to the Digital Literary Contest. As The Sun was one of the checkers, this was one of the main reasons that they came here.

“Hm, probably?”

Hesun said that and put Jaegun’s draft in the bag.

A girl student who was planning to enter anxiety gazing asked.

“Is, is his work that good? What is it about? Is the sentences and the descriptions good?”

“No comment, the result must be said. Why are you so curious? Aha, you guys are planning to enter the Digital Literary Contest, right?”

The girl student pushed her gaze down.

Hesun stood up and continued.

“Since I became a judge, don’t have any personal expectation. You know me? Myunghoon came here days ago with his draft. I scolded him because he said to be lenient on him because you’re a judge.”

“Myunghoon… is also entering?”

The students’ faces darkened.

Jaegun and Myunghoon are both entering.

These two were the best writers between their same college.

“Oh wait, look at myself, you have reserved a dinner? Let’s go before we’re late. I’m hungry.”

“Yes, professor, Let’s go.”

Suhee with Hesun went out first.

Behind them, the students were all walking limply, their confidence dropped.

….

“That writer is Oh Myunghoon.”

“Ah, the writer who work the Sweet Girl’s room?”

“Yes, the project that being worked into a drama right now.”

Across the table, there were writers whispering. They were looking at Myunghoon

Myunghoon who was dressed in expensive brands was talking together in between many writers. The writers around him were mostly girls who write romance.

“Maybe if I write romance, I could get the attention of the girls.”

“Hahaha, don’t say that. You’re making me gloomy too.”

This was a expensive restaurant called Yaettodamgeol.

StarBooks have borrowed this place for today. There was no other customers except for the 50plus StarBooks writers in the restaurant.

“When I see, it seems like his house also has a lot of money.”

“Yeah. I feel a bit sick just looking at him.”

Just then.

The door entered and a person entered the restaurant.

The writer’s glances all came to him. It was a face that they hadn’t seen before.

“Who is that? A writer?”

“Isn’t he a new StarBooks employee?”

Somii, who was cleaning up the table, stood up and turned around. As she looked at the person, a smile appeared on her face.





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