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A Thousand Faces Chapter 14

Updated: Jan 9

Episode 14 (Complete) 

  

The day of the performance came. 

  

Even before it started, the theater world was abuzz with talk of the performance. From "He's coming to town" to "But why there?", all sorts of rumors about Gil Junho, who suddenly appeared to perform in a rural theater, were circulating online.  

  

-There's a rumor that NK Entertainment sent him away for self-reflection due to bullying. 

  

-Huh, self-reflection? Is Gil Junho in that kind of position? 

  

-Bullying? The story that was going around recently seems to be true. This is why I don't trust celebrities. 

  

Not only this false rumor but also, 

  

-Gil Junho is a bit much. Now, he's even taking on theater. 

  

-As long as he acts well, who cares what others say. Just stay focused. 

  

Even stories that confirm his reputation at a glance. 

  

It was the scene 30 minutes before the performance. 

  

And inside the newsroom of UNN Broadcasting Station located in Seoul. 

  

The Culture Department's press room is located on one side. 

  

The office employees, whose monitor screens lined the wall, were busy answering the constantly ringing phones. 

  

Among them was journalist Shin Yoo-young, who was responsible for covering theatrical news. 

  

She, who is currently handling her duties, is in the process of writing an article that will be sent out as a press release today. It was an article about a play that has yet to start. 

  

"...Okay." 

  

With a soft click, Shin Yoo-young nodded as she checked the headline of the article she had chosen. 

  

[Supporting Actor Emperor Gil Junho, Shocking Transition from Big Screen to Small Stage. The Reason Behind His Choice of a Small Theater?] 

  

She couldn't muster the energy to travel to the venue and watch a two-hour performance. 

  

Since Gil Junho's skills have already been proven, unless he suddenly causes a disturbance on stage, the content of the article to be used has already been decided, more or less. 

  

Gil Junho's acting lives up to his reputation, moving the audience to tears, receiving an outpouring of warm reviews, you know, that kind of thing. 

  

"Sigh." 

  

Shin Yoo-young yawned while reviewing a predictable and clichéd story for an article. 

  

The recent data from NK Entertainment proved invaluable. She swiftly incorporated it and was already crafting the article's concluding sentence. As the curtain fell on the performance, she knew uploading the piece would mark the end of my workday. 

  

If things continue like this, today will be another day without any significant disruptions. 

  

Shin Yoo-young planned to have some beer at a nearby pub after leaving work, considering the cool weather. 

  

However, two hours later, her wish did not come true. 

  

"Hey, Shin. Have you seen the reaction?" 

  

"Are you talking about Gil Junho's play today?" 

  

"Yeah, I guess so..." 

  

I'm working on that article right now. I'll be done once I submit it to the editor." 

  

"No, I think you should see this." 

  

"...?" 

  

Her colleague handed her his phone. 

  

The theater community "Theater Warehouse."  

  

Shin Yoo-young scrolled down to check the reactions of people after the performance. 

  

Hm? I could have sworn we were just talking about Gil Jun-ho. 

  

Every time she refreshed, new posts with unfamiliar names were quickly appearing. 

  

- The actor's name is Han Junwoo, right? It's on the banner. 

  

- Han Junwoo is only seventeen years old. That's crazy. 

  

- Wait, he's underage? Really? So, what agency does he belong to? 

  

Before long, the community's attention was completely focused on someone else. The name Gil Junho was nowhere to be found. 

  

Shin Yoo-young looked confused. 

  

"Han Junwoo? Who's that? Is he an actor from NK?" 

  

"I don't know either. Have you checked your email? The theater organizers sent some revised materials." 

  

With a feeling of dread, Shin Yoo-young checked her email. She was so overwhelmed by the task that she couldn't think straight. 

  

"I guess I'll have to start from scratch... This is going to be difficult." 

  

"Phew." 

  

Her colleague patted her shoulder, offering her encouragement. 

  

"...No. This can't be happening." 

  

One actor she'd never heard of, and she had to rewrite everything? 

In the midst of the chaotically noisy press room, Shin Yoo-young screamed internally. 

  

*** 

  

Here is what went down. 

  

A few hours before the performance, a large banner was hung at the entrance of the main theater. 

  

The title, "The Pursuer of the Frontier," was written in a dark and somber font on a black background. 

  

The title was written in a dark and somber font against a black background. 

  

Click. 

  

People took pictures with the banner in the background. 

  

Despite a packed auditorium, fans gathered outside the theater to catch a glimpse of Gil Junho as he left. 

  

The auditorium was filled to the brim with spectators, who were making a commotion. Murmurs of "Gil Junho, Gil Junho" could be heard here and there among the people looking at the programs. 

  

Mansik peeked out of the dressing room door and watched the scene unfold. 

  

"He really is Gil Junho, isn't he?" 

  

He had been following the guy around during rehearsal, so it was only natural that he would be impressed by the people's reaction. Seeing it for himself, he could now appreciate just how famous Gil Junho really was. 

  

"But the set is quite well done for a small theater, isn't it?" 

  

"I know, right? I've never seen anything like it before. Sets are usually pretty generic." 

  

"I felt like I was walking into a real abandoned mine when I came in just now. Why is the lighting so eerie?" 

  

Mansik smiled to himself and closed the door quietly. 

  

The dressing room was bustling with activity. 

  

Unlike the other actors, who were still clutching their scripts, Junwoo, who had finished his makeup, was staring at himself in the mirror, looking awkward. 

  

Observing that sight, Mansik approached unconsciously and said, 

"Oh, right. No, I'm not."  

  

Pausing for a moment, he called again, 

  

"Junwoo." 

  

Still not fully accustomed, Mansik coughed involuntarily. Junwoo turned his head. 

  

"Are you ready? We're going on soon." 

  

It was 10 minutes before the show. 

  

*** 

  

"The Pursuer of the Frontier." 

  

Anton, a detective who has been chasing the criminal who brutally murdered his family and took one of his legs ten years ago, and Pavel, the fugitive he is chasing. 

  

The play was a suspenseful thriller that explored the hidden emotions of the characters. Actor Gil Junho played a detective who was driven by a burning anger and a fierce determination for revenge. Actor Junwoo played a fugitive who was falsely accused of murder. The two men chased each other relentlessly, each trying to deceive the other. 

  

The play kept the audience guessing until the very end, as it was unclear who was telling the truth. 

  

The curtain rose, and the audience held their breath. 

  

Eerie background music filled the theater. 

  

Gil Junho, carrying a cane, slowly walked onto the stage. 

  

Bang. 

  

"...This is his den, right?" 

  

The air in the theater was electric. Gil Junho was not to be trifled with. He was different, that was for sure. His vocal delivery was something else." 

  

The audience began to watch with awe and concentration. 

  

Some people secretly took out their phones to take pictures of him, even though it was against the rules. 

  

Gil Jun-ho began to monologue about his past and his emotions, which he had been chasing for a long time. 

  

His acting was incredible. Gil Junho was filling the stage all by himself. 

  

Gil Junho could focus on his acting because Junwoo had checked all the elements on stage in advance. He had already taken care of all the things that he needed to be mindful of, including his blocking. 

  

The audience didn't know about it, and neither did Gil Junho. His acting, which was becoming increasingly intense as his focus increased, was explosive. 

  

"Wow…" 

  

Mansik opened his mouth in amazement as he watched the stage from behind. 

  

"I didn't know Gil Junho was this good." 

  

I've seen many talented actors who have been around the theater scene for a long time. They were definitely in a league of their own. The stage was brimming with a power that I hadn't felt during rehearsals. 

  

But Mansik's attention was actually on the back of the stage, not the center. 

  

The audience would think there is nothing more to see on the stage that Gil Jun-ho has torn apart. Knowing this, Man-sik's heart was pounding even harder. Around the time Gil Jun-ho's monologue was coming to an end. 

  

Thump, thump. 

  

Junwoo, with a demeanor that was anything but ordinary, walked out into the center of the stage. 

  

Even though the lights had been turned off, some people were still paying attention to the inexperienced rookie actor, while others were trying to catch a glimpse of Gil Junho in the darkness. 

  

And the moment Junwoo's performance began, the game was completely turned upside down. 

  

"You made me a monster." 

  

The dialogue continued, 

  

"You're no different. Honestly, this is okay, right? Isn't it?" 

  

The audience's heads snapped to the side, one by one. 

  

"Huh?" 

  

"Who's that..?" 

  

Junwoo was cast as an adult who had enjoyed various gruesome murders for a long time. It was a considerable challenge for a 17-year-old to play. It was inevitable that his voice would have a young tone. But from the moment he began speaking, no one in the theater saw Junwoo as a 17-year-old anymore.  

  

The audience was completely captivated by Junwoo. They held their breath and didn't take their eyes off him. 

  

The response exploded at the climax. 

  

It was the scene where Gil Junho and Junwoo exchanged shouts at the peak of their emotions. 

  

On the left end, there's Gil Junho. On the right end, there's Junwoo. They face each other from opposite ends of the stage. 

  

Indeed, Gil Junho's projection was tremendous, echoing loudly throughout the theater. However, 

  

"No... I'm not! Haha, I said no! How many times do I have to say it before you believe me..." 

  

The face that was slowly turning into madness. 

  

The corners of his mouth kept twitching, unable to contain his pleasure in his own lies. 

  

All the spectators in the room could tell as they watched Junwoo shaking all over, spitting out his innocence to the end. 

  

That kid is a real crazy murderer. 

  

"Wow... gulp!" 

  

Someone involuntarily gasped and covered their mouth. 

  

Trembling. 

  

Mansik no longer had time to think one way or the other. 

  

Every time Junwoo spoke, Mansik felt a chill run down his spine. 

He was an overwhelming presence. 

  

Without even a moment to compare or critique the two performances, 

  

Gi Junho, who was giving a passionate performance on the stage to the left, was being forgotten. 

  

The audience, the staff behind the stage, the NK Entertainment officers, and even Gi Junho's manager were all mesmerized by Junwoo. 

  

Usually, audiences go to the theater to see the actors they want to see, regardless of the quality of the stage. They try to catch a glimpse of their idol actor, regardless of their acting skills. 

  

Half of this theater was filled with Gil Jun-ho's fans. Even they were turning their backs on him, creating a strange situation. 

  

It was unbelievable. A rookie like him? 

  

A standing ovation erupted as soon as the performance ended, as if on cue. 

  

"Who is that? Who is that?" 

  

"I don't know. But wow, he's crazy." 

  

"Is this what theater is like?" 

  

As the crowd buzzed with questions about the incredible rookie who had suddenly appeared, the name "Junwoo" began to echo throughout the theater. 

  

Looking down at the standing audience, Gi Junho took a deep breath. 

  

He had reached this position, receiving nothing but respect and awe. He was ashamed of himself, who was once filled with pride in his acting. 

  

It was impossible for him not to see the audience from his position, where he could see them at a glance. 

  

"..." 

  

Where are their eyes looking? 

  

The kid on stage, with his calm face and his presence, is only seventeen years old. Gi Junho couldn't even imagine where Junwoo would go from here. 

  

It took less than 30 minutes for Han Junwoo's name to be plastered all over the internet. 

  

*** 

  

[The appearance of a monster rookie actor! A new legend in the theater world who is not inferior to Gi Junho.] 

  

Starting with the first article, rumors about Junwoo began to spread. 

  

Some of them also included articles about Mansik's theater. 

  

[The main theater, revived after 5 years, makes a new leap.] 

  

[The rediscovery of the main theater, who is the protagonist of the revolution?] 

  

Although it was not enough to stir up the entire nation, there was a big boom in the theater world. 

  

The reason was that people who had seen the play said the same thing, 

  

"I didn't see Gi Junho." 

  

"That's why. 

  

There had never been a precedent for a rookie actor to overshadow a veteran actor like Gi Junho. It probably won't happen again. 

  

-He was just distracted by the young and handsome guy, right? LOL. That's ridiculous. 

  

-It's a conspiracy. They must have all colluded to take a hidden camera video. 

  

-You fools, you've all been deceived. Gi Junho deliberately killed his presence to help the rookie shine. 

  

The people in the Gi Junho community who had not seen the play did not believe those words. 

  

In a barbecue restaurant in the city. 

  

Sizzle. 

  

"Hey, what are you doing? Flip it over quickly." 

  

The crowd was noisy. 

  

The main theater crew was sitting around a table, having a wrap party. Actors from the theater, various stage team members, and staff. 

  

There was also Gi Junho. The manager sitting next to him, who had canceled his schedule as soon as he heard about the wrap party, was pushing back. 

  

"Ahem. It's not polite to skip a once-in-a-lifetime wrap party." 

  

"Is it polite to cancel your shoot on the day of?" 

  

"It won't be a big problem if we move my part back today." 

  

Bong Joon-ho gracefully maintained a dignified expression befitting a giant in the film industry as he picked up a piece of meat. 

  

"Everyone, you've all worked really hard." 

  

As Mansik raised his glass, one by one, others lifted their glasses. 

At the end of Mansik's toast, 

  

"Doesn't the meat taste good?" 

  

Junwoo, with an expression that didn't hide his displeasure, stared blankly at the cola in front of him. 

  

-♪♫♬. 

  

At that moment, Mansik's phone rang from his pocket. Even without checking the caller ID, it was clear. 

  

"These guys again. No matter how urgent, they shouldn't be calling at this hour." 

  

Mansik took out his phone and stepped outside. 

  

Since the end of the performance until now, Mansik had been bombarded with relentless calls, responding with the same mechanical phrases. 

  

"Yes, yes. I understand. I'll review it and get back to you." 

Click. 

  

Calls were pouring in from various entertainment agencies, new talent agencies, and advertisers, all trying to ride on Junwoo's sparkling popularity and make something happen. 

  

It was astonishing how they made all sorts of proposals without even having seen Junwoo's performances, merely relying on articles and reactions. 

  

"What an idol? You can tell if someone has a talent for dancing just by looking at their face? What a joke." 

  

Mansik let out a hollow laugh. 

  

None of them could answer Mansik's question about Junwoo's stage. 

  

It wasn't even worth arguing with those who came to see him just for his star power. 

  

At that moment, someone spoke from behind. 

  

"Are you Representative Joo Mansik?" 

  

"?" 

  

"I had no idea I would arrive this late. I apologize. I heard there was an after-party here." 

  

The man who suddenly appeared was far from a neat suit; it was more like a disheveled and wrinkled ensemble. It seemed like he had walked through quite a rough journey. 

  

"Who are you?" 

  

"I apologize for the late introduction. I'm Yoo Sang-jun from the production team at W Broadcasting. I have a perfect proposal for you." 

  

The man looked around the barbecue restaurant as if he was looking for someone, even as he spoke to Mansik. 

  

Mansik frowned deeply. This was too much. 

  

"What time is it now? Is this important enough to interrupt this good time?" 

  

"Just listen to me first. We're working on a new program that's quite ambitious. No, it's probably on a scale you've never seen before." 

  

Yoo Sang-jun smiled confidently as if he was willing to accept the disrespect he had committed. 



 


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