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A Thousand Faces Chapter 33

Updated: Feb 5

The partner selection filming is over, and the studio is a mess. 


Yoo Sang-jun found a staff member sweating profusely with a troubled expression under the stage. 


Yoo Sang-jun walked up to the staff member, 


"Don't just say no without even considering it!" 


Lee Ro-woon was stamping his feet, looking unhappy about something. 


He was holding onto a staff member and demanding something. 


The participants were not all the same. Lee Ro-woon was already a popular idol with several years of experience. 


The staff member was not someone who could be treated carelessly. 


Yoo Sang-jun, who saw the scene from afar, made a face he could roughly understand. 


He had expected it, but he didn't think the reaction would be so quick. 


He saw them shake hands awkwardly. From the middle of the recording, when the two of them were under the participants' spotlight, Yoo Sang-jun caught on to Lee Ro-woon, who didn't seem to like his partner very much. 


Yoo Sang-jun approached the scene. 


"Is there a problem?" 


Lee Ro-woon identified the face that suddenly appeared and made a happy face. 




"It's been a while, Ro-woon. How have you been?" 


His face, which had been scowling, suddenly brightened up. 


They had already met before on another variety show. 


When Lee Ro-woon's group, Wise, was at its peak, Yoo Sang-jun had been very good to him. 


But that was then. Yoo Sang-jun hid his expression and kept smiling. 


"Hmm. I heard something about this. You want to change partners?" 


Yoo Sang-jun asked. The staff member's face became even more troubled when he confirmed that Lee Ro-woon and Yoo Sang-jun knew each other. 


"Well, I mean…the filming has already been done, so…" 


"PD-nim, I have something to say." 


Lee Ro-woon cut off the staff member's words as if he was done with him. He turned his body completely to Yoo Sang-jun and continued speaking. 


"There's a chance to change partners, right? You know, that kind of thing happens on TV all the time. The partner gets jealous and resentful and eventually gets replaced. Can you help me with that?" 


"Ro-woon? Are you sure? That wouldn't be good for your image." 


Yoo Sang-jun raised his eyebrows and asked. 


"Oh, PD-nim, you're joking!" 


Lee Ro-woon tapped Yoo Sang-jun on the shoulder. 


"Of course, I'm the one who's being envied. PD-nim, I'm the center of 'Wise.'" 


As soon as Lee Ro-woon's hand brushed against his shoulder, Yoo Sang-jun's expression hardened. Wise? What's that? It's been so long since they were in style. 


He was speechless. 


He should be grateful for getting on the bus, but now, who is he accusing… 


"If someone tries to tarnish my innocent image, it's over. Even if it's obvious, it's always my side that wins." 


Yoo San-jun had to suppress a laugh. Right now, there are some high-ranking officials involved in Han Junwoo alone. It was ridiculous that Ro-woon was even thinking about that. 


'I got so caught up with that child that I completely forgot.' 


Yoo San-jun thought- Yeah, this is the attitude that most participants in this program usually have. 


He forced a smile. 


"Why, what don't you like about him?" 


"Well, I…." 


Lee Ro-woon thought about his answer. He was embarrassed to say it outright. He couldn't bring himself to say that he was afraid of being overshadowed. He had a gut feeling. He was worried that even his remaining fans would turn their eyes to that kid. 


"I just don't like him. To be honest, he's kind of annoying." 


Yoo Sang-jun hardened his expression. Was the program that easy to take advantage of with such an excuse? 


"To be honest, I think it's going to be difficult to change partners just because he's kind of annoying." 


"What? PD-nim…” 


"Ro-woon. This is not okay. Have you said anything to your partner yet?" 


Lee Ro-woon was surprised. Yoo Sang-jun, who used to act like he would do anything for him a few years ago, had changed his attitude. Even though he was once a popular idol, was he ignoring him because he wasn't as popular anymore? 


No matter what, though. He's been defending that Han Junwoo kid thoroughly since a while ago. Why, who is he? 


Realizing that he wasn't getting through to Yoo Sang-jun, Lee Ro-woon began to reveal his honest feelings in a slightly subdued tone. 


"Do you know how other participants are talking about him right now…?" 


Lee Ro-woon glanced somewhere. In the distance on the stage, he saw Junwoo. 


Junwoo was sitting on the floor in a corner of the stage. 


The participants, who seemed to be his previous teammates, were gathered before him. 


"Can you take a look at it for me in advance? I want to play a role, but it's difficult because the age doesn't match." 


"Me too, me too." 


Junwoo sat there, looking a little bored. 


He was talking about this and that while his teammates nodded their heads eagerly with their eyes shining. 


"Hey, hey, where are you going? Just one more thing…" 


The participants seemed to ignore the acting coaches assigned to the program and their own partners and followed Junwoo around all day, bothering him. 


In a setting where it was natural for them to be aware of each other as competitors, they were treating the young man like a mentor. 


When Lee Ro-woon saw this, he bit his lip. 


"Everyone pretends to be uninterested, but they only talk about him behind his back. They curse him for being so arrogant, but they're always hovering around him. But I'm not like that. I don't want to be associated with that kid." 


Yoo Sang-jun nodded as he listened. Indeed, the boy's existence was not just a hot topic among the people involved. 


"Isn't the most important thing to win the competition? If they're that good, they can handle being eliminated." 




"On the contrary, wouldn't it be a good opportunity to advance to the next round?" 


"I have something more important than that," Lee Ro-woon said. 


"More important?" 


"If I don't achieve any results in this program, our team could disband, PD-nim. My members are all rooting for me…" 


Yoo Sang-jun's expression turned wry. Lee Ro-woon seemed to be preoccupied with the thought that he would be overshadowed. However, Yoo Sang-jun, who had already seen Junwoo's accomplishments several times, had a slightly different opinion. 


"You are really kicking away the gift that fell into your lap." 


Yoo Sang-jun knew that Lee Ro-woon would eventually benefit from Junwoo's talent. He had already seen it in the previous round. 


"He's just lucky, that's all." 




The participants who were given the genre gathered in the practice room. 


Lee Ro-woon failed to change his partner. He sat down across from Junwoo with a displeased look on his face. 


"Since this is how it is, I'm going to go with what I'm confident in." 


The script they were holding was for the movie "The Client." 


The genre was crime thriller. It was chosen by Ro-woon. 


It was a work that he already knew well, having finished analyzing and practicing it when he took acting lessons at his agency. 


Ro-woon's choice was unexpected, but Junwoo responded coolly. 


After thinking for a moment, Junwoo said this. 


"It would be a good fit." 


Lee Ro-woon was taken aback for a moment. In this movie, there was a role that was perfect for him. It was the role of the protagonist who knew who the killer was and kept the tension of fear and tension throughout the movie. 


He heard that Junwoo was a skilled actor, but even though they had only been talking for 30 minutes, it seemed like he had already put himself into the role of the movie. 


Lee Ro-woon emphasized to Junwoo that he had to win this competition. He said it was very important to him. 


Junwoo nodded. 


"I understand. I feel the same way." 


Lee Ro-woon tilted his head. 




Why? That was a silly question. Of course, winning is the goal. 


"I'm excited for what's next. I can't wait to see what we'll do." 

Junwoo was genuinely enjoying himself. 


'What's with his laid-back attitude? Is he just putting on an act?' 


Ro-woon naturally looked over the part of the script for the protagonist, "Lee Hyun-soo." 


But as soon as they got into practice in earnest, it was Junwoo who took the initiative. 


"Let's try this scene. The killer's lines." 


Ro-woon was surprised by Junwoo's sudden change in attitude. He didn't expect him to make him act so suddenly. And not the protagonist, but the killer? 


Junwoo stared at Ro-woon as if it were the most natural thing in the world. 


"But usually, don't we talk about the movie first? Like character analysis?" 


"We both watched the movie. We need to know how to digest the characters first. Finding the method is next." 




Ro-woon nodded without realizing it, then suddenly came to his senses. 


"But I'm not really that type. My forte is characters who are scared, like the protagonist Hyun-soo. You can tell just by looking at me, even without me explaining it." 


Ro-woon pointed at his own face confidently. 


He had fair skin and light-colored eyes. The faint redness around his eyes seemed to be natural. His innocent and tragic appearance was definitely well-suited to evoke protective instincts. 




Junwoo answered without hesitation. 




"I know you're pretty. But your acting isn't good for that role. Your usual expressions and muscles." 


Ro-woon's eyebrows twitched. He had never been met with any resistance from anyone before. 


Everyone he knew had always said, "You'd be perfect for that role," as soon as they saw his face. 


"How do you know that? Have you seen me act?" 


"I saw you for a little bit during practice." 


How can he pretend to know so much after just a quick glance? What's his game? 


The killer in this movie was a pure evil. He was a cruel, uninhibited character who had no sense of guilt. 


It was a concept that Ro-woon had never tried before and had never even thought about. 


"But the actor who plays this role is originally…" 


Ro-woon didn't like Junwoo's suggestion. 


It was because the atmosphere they exuded from their appearance was completely opposite. 


For one, their body sizes were different. Junwoo's lats and shoulder width were intimidating. Plus, the killer in this movie had a rough impression that said "I'm the killer" on his face. 


"Imagine it. Would it look good?" 


Ro-woon scowled. 


He was already feeling stressed, and now that nothing was going according to plan, Ro-woon felt like he was going to lose it. 


"It's going to look good on the screen." 


Junwoo said it as if it were a foregone conclusion. That's why Ro-woon didn't trust him even more. 


He didn't even give it a second thought. 


In his years as an idol, he had seen his fair share of cunning people who would do anything to get noticed, even if it meant putting others in a difficult position. 


Did he... use to manipulate his teammates like this to get all the attention?' 


The thought made him feel a sudden sense of dread. 


Ro-woon sighed as he turned his head away. 


The emotions he had been suppressing since his encounter with Yoo Sang-jun came rushing back to him. 


"...Are you kidding me right now?" 


Ro-woon's lips twisted in anger. 


Junwoo saw something in Ro-woon's face that had changed in an instant. 


Junwoo thought for a moment about a scene from the movie. 


In the early morning, with the rain pouring down, Ro-woon was wandering the alleyway, dragging a bloody hammer behind him. 


"You said you had to win." 


Ro-woon frowned. 


He was angry, but the other guy was just smiling smugly. Was he teasing him? He was about to say something when he stopped himself. 


"You're just," 


"I'm listening." 


Junwoo's face suddenly turned serious. 


"I think I know what you're after. Winning is winning." 




Junwoo said it like it was a foregone conclusion that Ro-woon would choose whatever he wanted. It seemed that the important thing wasn't what he chose. 


"You want to prove something, don't you? Then just do what I say. Then you can have everything you want." 


Junwoo spoke with the confidence of someone who already knows how things will turn out. 


His face was so sure of itself that it was hard to believe he had any hidden agenda. 


Ro-woon was left speechless. 


"I think that could be fun." 


He suddenly remembered the scene where the team members chased Junwoo after the second challenge. 


But even though he hadn't done anything yet, Ro-woon couldn't shake off his anxiety. 


It would definitely be a stretch for Rowoon, who had been controlled by his agency to the point of controlling even one action or expression that would look bad on his image since he was a child. 


"What do you want me to do?" 


Junwoo stopped himself from touching Ro-woon, worried that he might get hit. 


"First of all, your posture is too stiff." 


Junwoo spun Ro-woon around by pointing at his body. 


"I will show you what your body looks like, so watch closely." 


Junwoo started to change his own body, slightly twisting it in different places. He was mirroring Ro-woon's usual posture. 


Rowoon's posture, which had been shaped by his agency's training and dance practice, was similar to Junwoo's. 


"What is he doing?" 


Ro-woon's anger melted away as he blinked. 


"Do you remember the movie? The killer's life?" 


Junwoo started to show a short performance. 


Suddenly, Ro-woon felt a strange emotion welling up inside him. 


A long-lost familiar feeling washed over Ro-woon. 


He turned his head to look around. 


By now, the participants who were practicing their acting with their partners had turned their attention one by one. 


They were looking at Junwoo, who had suddenly stood up and started doing something. 


Although they didn't say anything, everyone had been watching us since they first came in. 


Ro-woon realized this only now. 


And then, his face turned pale with shock. He had never seen Junwoo's acting up close before, and he was amazed. 


"He expects me to do that now...?" 

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