Chapter 784. Sequence 5

“Watch out on your way home. Remember to bring Jiyoon home safely.”

Daemyung and Jiyoon grabbed a taxi. He felt a little guilty for making the girl drink when she had work tomorrow, but after thinking about how they were the ones who rejected his dissuasion, he decided to stop feeling apologetic. As waking up with a hangover and then going to work with it was one of the core qualities of a person in society, Jiyoon should receive a lesson.

“Seonbae.”

Sora tapped on his flank and signaled that they should have a talk between just the two of them. They walked under a lamp post.

“What did you tell our shy guy?”

“Shy guy?”

Sora pointed at Ando, who had a cigarette in his mouth, with her chin. He said he was going to quit, but it seemed that he ended up buying a pack while he wasn’t looking.

“What could I have possibly told him? I just listened to what he had to say.”

“What did he say?”

“I have a duty to keep secrets, so I can’t tell you even if I want to.”

“You said something strange to him, didn’t you? Before we came here, he did look stiff, but it didn’t look like he was avoiding me, yet he’s blatantly avoiding my gaze now. Look at him. He’s giving glances over here from time to time, but he flounders like an uneasy dog when I meet eyes with him.”

“Hey, you can’t just compare someone to a dog….”

Sora’s eyes became sharp. Maru swallowed his words. There was no need to make this worse than it is now.

“Seonbae.”

“What?”

“Help me out a little.”

“With what?”

“You should have heard everything, right? Try persuading that shy guy to bring up some courage. Heck, there’s no need for that, just persuade him to say yes.”

“Why are you telling that to me? It’s very rude to bring a problem that you two have to solve to a third person.”

“Do you want me to show you what rude is?”

Sora glared at him and took a step closer. Maru immediately took a step back just in case that forehead of hers flew straight towards his chin.

“What the heck is up with my luck today? Did I do something that bad?” Maru said as he looked up at the sky.

Are you giving me a trial because I keep getting distracted from the path you set for me?

“Who are you saying that to?”

“Someone terrible who’s up there.”

“You’re Christian, seonbae?”

“Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, Voodooism. I serve all gods.”

“Seonbae. You looked awful ever since you broke up with Gaeul-unni. You haven’t just lost it, right? Like maybe you’re going to mental counseling even though you might look okay on the surface.”

“Did you just realize that you’re asking for help from someone who should be in the mental ward? And about romantic problems on top of that?”

“Forget it and cooperate with me. Ever since he had a talk with you, the shy guy turned into a super shy guy. Get some of that kryptonite or whatever and erase that shy power of his or something.”

“If you know everything, then try being direct. I don’t think it’s something my intervention can solve.”

“Don’t you see that face on him? If I tell him now, he’ll cut all contact and run away.”

Ando, who was nervously looking over from the entrance of the store, looked like a debtor who had made up his mind to run away overnight. He looked like a simple ‘excuse me’ would startle him and make him start to run away. After all that talk about declaring celibacy, it seemed that he was either not ready yet or had his regrets. He was observing from a set distance.

“Koo Ando, he’s a decent guy. He’s moderately earnest and moderately kind. He also doesn’t have the guts to betray someone, but he has a useless amount of responsibility, so he’ll try to keep whatever promise he blurts out.”

“Try fanning him so he puts down that useless sense of responsibility. I’m not telling him to take responsibility for my life or anything, but he’s already worried about the distant future. I just want to date him. All I want is to be a little closer.”

“That’s just the kind of guy he is. You can’t call that bad. I mean, I have a similar personality to him if you think about it. Our thought processes are similar.”

“That’s why you should help him out. Honestly speaking, I want to get confessed to just like other people. It’s kinda funny to talk about what a man should do and what a woman should do, but there are things called commonly accepted practices. I grew up hearing stories like that too. I would smile, and he would approach me, tell me he loves me, and then grab my hand. But that oppa never did such a thing even once.”

Maru scratched his eyebrows and spoke,

“Why didn’t you try whining? That you’re a girl and want princess treatment.”

“Because I have a character. I did all the things I did until now, so it’d be strange to act cute after scrapping all of that, and even if I do, I can’t be sure he’ll look at me in a good light. I’m worried that acting feminine at this point might make him lose interest in me.”

“You’re good with words. Try saying that in front of him. There are times when a husband and a wife can’t get through to each other with a gaze even after living together for decades, so there’s no way a couple of rookies will get anywhere by venting their frustration on someone unrelated instead of actually talking to each other, is there?”

“What if I do that and Ando-oppa puts even more distance? He’s already acting like a frightened dog and is putting his distance from me even now, so what if my change in attitude actually triggers him to change his mind and actually leave? What if he starts thinking that a whiny girl is a nuisance…. I would hate that. I wouldn’t be able to endure it.”

“Now I get why there was no progress between you two for the past few years. He’s one thing, but you’re a problem yourself.”

“How?”

“I’m saying that you’re scared as well.”

“Me? No way.”

“You can’t deny it.”

Sora pouted disgruntledly, but she didn’t say anything. She sighed and stomped on the floor. It was only when a bus drove off after honking that she loosened up her frustrated expression. Maru wanted to call Ando over. It was sort of a pity to watch Sora, who looked like a little girl who had made a mess of her mother’s makeup tools, by himself.

“Help me out, seonbae. I really don't know what I should do.”

“Hey, you can make expressions like that too, huh.”

“Seonbae, please!”

The people who were chatting in front of the restaurant asked them what they were up to. Sora told them to wait in a loud voice and glared at Maru. She looked like she was about to kick him in the chin if he didn’t answer right now.

“Are you going to help?”

“There’s nothing I can help you with.”

“Is this how you’re gonna be?”

“I’m saying there’s nothing I can help you with since there is nothing I can do.”

“Then what do I do? Should I keep waiting for his answer like this? While acting like a total tomboy?”

“If you want to change the situation, then you should change your tactics. You were the one who pushed yourself onto him until now, so try taking a step back now.”

“Seonbae, did you not hear what I just said? That shy guy will distance himself from me if I try to approach him like this. What do you think would happen if I actually put some distance? We’ll truly become just friends.”

“Have you tried?”

“What?”

“I’m asking if you’ve tried that awkward pushing and pulling.”

“How am I supposed to when I clearly know the result?”

“In your opinion, do you think Ando likes you?”

“It’s somewhat weird for me to say this, but one hundred percent. He’s only putting his distance because of his goddamn worries.”

“That’s why you should try taking a step away from him. Showing your weak side is a good option too. Don’t force a frightened guy to take action, and give him some room to decide. Give him enough distance so that he can make a choice for himself.”

“What if he disappears for real then?”

“Let’s clear things up a little. Do you want Koo Ando to like you, or do you like Koo Ando? If you have a clear answer to that, it doesn’t matter how Ando acts. If he approaches you, it’s a good thing, and if he tries to run away, you can just chase him. That’s what you specialize in, isn’t it? Dragging him around. If he gets frightened and starts running away, chase him down and get him.”

Sora looked down. She seemed to be in thought. After looking left and right, she lifted her head a little.

“Chase him down if he runs away, huh.”

“I know it’s a little late to ask, but what do you like about him?”

“Just like you said, he’s moderately earnest and moderately kind. Also, because he accepts my nature.”

“That’s true. That alone is enough for him to be respected. I mean, your personality isn’t exactly ordinary, is it?”

“I know that I’m not ordinary. But a girl is pushing herself onto him like this. A man with a dick should throw everything away and embrace her at least once, don’t you think?”

“What you said just now is sexual harassment.”

“What else should I call a dick but a dick? Should I call it cock then?”

Maru raised his hands and blocked his ears. A middle-aged man, who was passing by, looked at them with shocked eyes before hurrying away.

“Well, talking to you did clear things up a little. I was too unlike myself and worried too much. I should try everything out, and if that still doesn’t work, I just should cling onto him until the end of time.”

“I’ve been telling you since the beginning that there’s nothing I can help you out with, haven't I? It’s something that you two need to resolve between yourselves.”

“Thanks anyway. I’ll treat you to some food if things go well.”

“I hope that’s the case. There aren’t many men who can handle someone like you. But hey, why did both of you come to me about your worries? You’re putting me in a tight spot.”

“Well, that’s because you’ve changed a lot.”

“Me?”

“Didn’t you notice? I could tell the moment I saw you today. During high school, I thought that talking to you would not result in anything good, but it wasn’t like that today. How should I put this, even your eyes looked gentle? I mean, you listened to everything I had to say. That means that you’ve become that gentle.”

“I kinda feel like people around me notice the changes in me better than I do.”

“But of course. People can never truly see their own faces, right? A reflection in the mirror is, like the word, mirrored. The only one who can see their true face is the person next to them.”

Sora let out a breath upwards. Her bangs fluttered.

“I’ll settle things today and try doing that taking a step back thing.”

“Don’t devour him. It’s a crime for a wolf to assault a sheep.”

“Who’s the wolf and who’s the sheep?”

“People who know the answer to that are always the ones asking that question.”

Sora chuckled and stepped back.

“See you on the weekend. Make sure you prepare yourself. You know how picky I am when it comes to directing, right?”

“Sure I do.”

Sora turned around and shouted ‘Koo Ando’. Ando flinched and looked at her. Maru shook his head as he watched Ando being dragged away. He gave his condolences.

“Yoo Sooil, let’s go.”

Maru dragged the swaying Sooil and grabbed a taxi.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

KTLChamber's Thoughts

Author's notes from January 2017 (Just the relevant part)

I got a private message cheering me on, and at the end, I was asked how long I am going to continue serializing this novel

Well, I'm not sure. I'm not someone who plans everything out to the point I already have a date in mind.

I can tell you for sure that we're nearing the end, but I don't know how long I'm going to continue writing

The ending scene I was picturing while writing the first chapter is definitely a happy ending, but I assumed that the main character would never become hugely successful in the process... but there are too many people telling me to make Maru successful, so I'm trying to make him do well. Thinking about it now, I guess he should be doing well. I mean, he's been doing this for years.

-----------------

This novel has 950 chapters on Kakaopage... but guess what! The raws I'm translating from ends at 1027 (I assume this is because the raws I received is the serialized version from Joara), which means the last chapter will probably be 1025 (there's an offset of two chapters because of announcement chapters)

But hey, that's just the 'official story'. There's like 250 chapters of side stories as well...

...

WHEN IS THIS GONNA END! Release me from this suffering, god dammit.

Editor's Note:
Let's see; 1025 - 785 = 240 -> 240 + 250 = 490 chaps from today -> 9/11/2023.
Looks like I'll be here even after I graduate college :)