The Great Storyteller - Chapter 362

Published at 15th of August 2019 04:13:48 PM
Chapter 362

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“It’s not every day you get an opportunity like this, you know,” Seo Kwang said weakly, clearly exhausted and discouraged . However, Juho paid no attention to him, focused on reading instead .

“You’re a translator, and I’m a writer . I think it could happen again . ”

Hearing Juho turn the page on his book indifferently, Seo Kwang said, “… Life isn’t that simple . ”

“You make it sound like you know from experience . ”

“Shut up,” Seo Kwang said, looking away . Nevertheless, Juho was still looking in his direction . “I really wanna do this . I really want to be your translator . I can’t just sit here and wait for an opportunity that might or might not come,” Seo Kwang said .

“Well, then . I guess you gotta get on that translation . ”

The next step was simple, and the laptop in front of Seo Kwang was reminding its owner of that fact, which remained true even as he was lost and confused .

“I told you . It’s not that simple,” Seo Kwang said, repeating himself and laughing . By the time his laughter started to die down, he asked Juho, “Are you one of the judges?”

“Nope . ”

“I guess that makes sense . You wouldn’t be here otherwise . ”

“But I did translate it, though . ”

“What!?” Seo Kwang exclaimed, looking up and rocking the table . Juho stared at the cup of coffee on the same table, which wavered as if it was about to spill over at any given minute . Thankfully, every drop of the coffee remained in the cup . Then, paying no attention to the state of Juho’s coffee, Seo Kwang asked, “You mean the sample?”

“Yep . I tried translating it while I was writing it . ”

Seo Kwang seemed to have a lot of things he wanted to say . After several attempts to verbalize his thoughts, Seo Kwang said, “… Huh! What do you know,” and let out a heavy sigh . Lately, Seo Kwang had been realizing just how much of a gap there was between him and Yun Woo . The author was far ahead of the aspiring translator . Yun Woo and Juho were two completely different people . Yun Woo was impeccable, rational, competent, and widely recognized by everyone . If Seo Kwang were to stand by the author’s side, there would still be a ways to go .

“You even have the power to make directors like Jenkins mere extras . ”

“What?” Juho asked, and fumbling with his laptop, Seo Kwang replied, “That mad genius of a movie director . After reading your book, I asked myself if Yun Woo would be in the position he was in now if Jenkins hadn’t turned up . In my opinion, yes . Yes, he would . You would be in the same exact position, and ‘The Glory of Traitor’ would be just as successful as it is now, with or without Jenkins, whether he made a massively successful film adaptation of your book or not .

“Even if that genius of a director hadn’t called you the Great Storyteller, you would’ve achieved that on your own . Whether Jenkins is part of your life or not is completely irrelevant . All he’s doing is making things more confusing for everyone . Turtles might have survived the ice age when it wiped out the dinosaurs on land, but in front of you, that holds no significance . ”

(TL’s Note: Remember, Jenkins’ first name, Zara, in Korean, sounds the same as the Korean word for snapping turtle/Chinese softshell turtle: Jara . )

“What are you talking about?”

“Apparently, you can eat every part of a turtle, except its shell and claws . Have you had turtle soup before?”

As if a turtle retracting its head and claws into its shell, Seo Kwang swallowed his words . If Yun Woo’s presence was capable of diminishing a world-renowned, Hollywood director’s presence, then what would Seo Kwang look like next to him?

Putting the book down, Juho leaned back and asked, “Do you really think I would be in the same position if Jenkins hadn’t turned up?”


As far as Seo Kwang could tell, Juho wasn’t pretending to be modest .

“Actually, I think things would have turned out entirely different,” Juho said, as if he knew something Seo Kwang didn’t . Well acquainted with the shameless look on Juho’s face, Seo Kwang looked at his friend with a furrowed brow .

“If I hadn’t hidden my identity at school, what do you think would’ve happened?” Juho asked, changing the subject all of a sudden .

“Your identity?”

“If I had gone through my entire high school career as Yun Woo, how do you think that would’ve turned out?”

It had been quite a while ago . After some thought, Seo Kwang replied, “I’m sure you would have had an easygoing school life . You know, being a celebrity and all . ”

“Do you think we would have met?”

“I don’t know . I think so . They say that some people are destined to meet . ”

“I doubt it . You’re kind of plain,” Juho replied, chuckling .

“Oh, I see . You are picking a fight . ”

“Just sayin’ . ”

“Just saying what?”

“I’m saying that’s as useful as those thoughts can be: starting fights, which I assume is what you want to do with Jenkins . ”

Seo Kwang tried to think of an answer . However, he gave up and murmured, “Seriously, I wonder how you see this world,” thinking, ‘How does he know how to get on my nerves so well? He just knows me too well . Man, the things I would do to give him a taste of his own medicine . ’

“Aren’t you leaving? I have stuff to do, you know,” Seo Kwang asked .

“Right . Good luck with that,” Juho said nonchalantly, rising from his seat . Badmouthing the young author under his breath, Seo Kwang started typing away . Just like that, a week went by, and Juho received a call from Seo Kwang saying, “I finished it . ” He sounded confident for some reason .

“Well? Are you satisfied with how it turned out?”

“I sure am,” Seo Kwang replied . He didn’t sound drunk either .

Nodding, Juho said nonchalantly, “OK,” ever so slightly envious of Seo Kwang’s confidence .

“I hate Yun Woo,” ‘A’ grumbled with Yun Woo’s sample in their hand . Although short and in English, there was profound beauty in the text, which reminded ‘A’ of what made Yun Woo such a great author . Of those who understood the meaning of the sentence, who wouldn’t be impressed? Yun Woo, as an author, was incredibly charming, and ‘A’ was very fond of the author and his writing, rejoicing with him when he got the Nebula trophy .

“But as a translator, that’s a completely different story . ”

‘A’ had read the book Yun Woo had translated, at which point, they couldn’t stop wondering how the author had been able to translate at the capacity he had . Whenever reading the author’s work, ‘A’ was reminded that the author’s talent, skill, and ability in translating was not something that could be taught .

“If I weren’t a translator, then I wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with these negative feelings toward him . ”

‘A’ felt depressed in knowing that they couldn’t like the author wholeheartedly, all while the desire to translate the author’s work existed within their heart . There was little they could do . Upon hearing the news about the translation contest, there had been only one thought in ‘A’s’ mind: ‘I have to do this . ’

“Even dating isn’t this agonizing . ”

‘A’ sighed deeply as they attached the final draft of the translation to the email . Envy and jealousy manifested only when one who harbored those emotions knew the subject of those emotions . After sending the email, ‘A’ put their translation of Yun Woo’s sample down to one side . They had lost count of how many times they had read it up to that point .

“I might not be at Yun Woo’s level, but I know what I’m doing . ”

After checking that the email had been sent to the right recipient, ‘A’ lay on the floor, where all the previous versions of their translation were scattered .

“I wonder how Yun Woo would’ve translated it,” they murmured .

“This one’s not bad at all,” Mr . Maeng murmured after skimming through one of the submissions .

“Bummer that it didn’t make it . ”

“There are a lot of those,” Ms . Song said . Then, Mr . Maeng looked to the stack of submissions on his desk . The results by the judging panel were coming out that day, and he assumed that the judges were busy discussing the winners .


“What is it?”

“Mr . Woo’s here, apparently,” Ms . Song said, looking at her phone . Locking eyes with each other, the two made their way to the lounge .

“Mr . Woo . ”

After being brought to the lounge by one of the employees, Juho looked up at the voice calling to him . There was already a cup of coffee in the author’s hand .

“Hello,” Juho greeted them, putting his phone in his pocket .

“We weren’t expecting you to come all the way here,” Mr . Maeng said, seeing Nam Kyung’s name on the screen of the author’s phone in passing .

“I was curious about the results . ”

“We could’ve let you know,” Mr . Maeng said .

“I was already out, so I thought I should pay a visit . Would you like some coffee?”

“Please . ”

As Juho pressed the button on the vending machine, a dark-brown liquid trickled down into the cup .

“The judges have finished their evaluations, right?”

“Yes . The results should be out soon,” Mr . Maeng said .

“Well, that’s the end of the first round . There were so many submissions . ”

“We wouldn’t have had this many participants if it hadn’t been for you, Mr . Woo . ”

“Please,” Juho said, chuckling . Then, as the vending machine finished making the coffee, Juho handed a cup to each of the two editors . The lounge was filled with the pleasant scent of coffee .

“I think we ended up choosing a lot more people than we had initially planned on . About twenty people . ”

“That makes sense considering the number of participants,” Juho said .

“Though, there will be only one winner in the end . ”

“Were there any hidden talents?” Juho asked .

“Of course! There were so many talented people . Frankly, people tend to land jobs in translation through connections most of the times, so this is definitely an unusual opportunity . On top of that, these are people who are passionate about your books, so the competition has been really fierce . ”

“We also got a lot of submissions from seasoned translators . Though, we don’t exactly know who they are . ”

“There were a lot of people who work in completely irrelevant fields too . Reading their translations is actually pretty fun . ”

Then, the two editors looked at the author simultaneously and said, “Though, we did want to see you translate it yourself . ”

“Kind of sad that it didn’t happen . ”

“Oh, no . We already have twenty people competing for the next round,” Juho said, shaking his head .

Although chuckling, Mr . Maeng smacked his lips . However, Ms . Song still seemed to have trouble moving on .

“I saw your translation . The moment I saw it, I found myself thinking: ‘This is it!'”

“Is that right?”

“Since when have you had such a developed sense of language, Mr . Woo?”

“I wasn’t born with it, I’ll tell you that . ”

“What’s the secret?” Ms . Song asked . Then, as if remembering something, she lifted her fingers and said, “I heard they’re showing your translation to the contestants during the second round interviews!”

“You’re kidding, right?” Juho asked . There was no way to know what kind of questions would be asked during those interviews . Then, just as Ms . Song was about to speak, Mr . Maeng said, “There comes the Chief . ”

When Juho looked in the direction Mr . Maeng was looking, he saw Nam Kyung, who made haste upon seeing Juho .

“There you are! You’re early,” Nam Kyung said .

“The wait wasn’t too bad though, thanks to these two fine editors . ”

Nam Kyung seemed exhausted for some reason, but that also made sense when considering he had been in the conference room up to a moment ago . Then, Juho reached his hand out .

“What are you asking for?”

“The results . ”

A smile appeared on Nam Kyung’s face .

“Aren’t you making it too obvious to me, Mr . Woo?”

“The winner of the contest will be translating my book . I think it’s only polite to greet them in person . ”

Without further questions, Nam Kyung handed him a stack of paper, which contained the numbers of the twenty contestants who were moving up to the second round . When Juho flipped to the next page, he saw the personal information of the twenty contestants, which Juho skimmed quickly . Meanwhile, the three editors watched the author anxiously .

“So, these are the lucky twenty,” Juho said .

“That’s right . ”

After remaining quiet for a brief moment, Juho returned the stack of papers to Nam Kyung .

“How are you doing?” Mr . Maeng asked . Instead of giving an answer, Juho shrugged, and the editor scratched his cheek awkwardly at the author’s ambiguous attitude .

“Well, I better get going,” Juho said . At that moment, Nam Kyung stopped him .

“How about you and I go out for a meal? I have something to tell you regarding the contest . ”

“Sure . ”

Since Juho didn’t have any plans, he accepted Nam Kyung’s request willingly . Upon arriving at the restaurant, the two placed an order, and when the food came out, the editor started eating in a hurry . He seemed famished . Juho was told a myriad of information about the contest, among which were the dates and the place where they would hold the interviews with the twenty contestants . Eating his tofu soup, Juho organized his thought .

“You seem to be in a good mood . Did something good happen?” Nam Kyung asked .

“Why do you ask?” Juho asked back, his hand holding the spoon still in the air .

“I noticed that you’ve been smiling . ”

Rubbing his nose, Juho replied, “Maybe . ”