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A Thousand Faces Chapter 35

Updated: Feb 7

Yoo Sang-jun remembered Junwoo's stage. Everyone in the venue, including the officials and the judges, forgot their duties and were captivated by the moment. But there was a problem because of that. 


"The cameras weren't rolling at the time... So there's only low-quality footage taken by a staff's camcorder, right?" 


Park Jun-gil already knew that. 


"That's enough. I told you. I've already done the calculations." 


"...What are you thinking?" 


"If that kid makes Actor Kingdom a nationwide program, how much do you think the value of that behind-the-scenes footage will be?" 




He knew it. He wasn't the type to keep something that good to himself. 


"You're right, team leader. The public is more likely to cheer for those moments outside of the camera." 


But Yoo Sang-jun still didn't fully understand what Park Jun-gil was planning. 


Park Jun-gil shook his head. 


"Do you think only the public will be interested? 'Heukryeong Island' is not just a hit, you know?" 


Suddenly, a few words flashed through Yoo Sang-jun's mind. Director's cut, spin-off, re-release, revival, etc. 


Those were things that the director of the film, Gu Daewon, had briefly coveted. He had never thought deeply about them because it was an ambitious attempt. 


Was it really possible? 


Yoo Sang-jun thought he finally understood what the man was thinking. 


"... You're going to make a deal with the production company, right?" 


"That's right." 


He knew who Park Jun-gil was. 


He had forgotten. He had been so busy following the boy around that Park Jun-gil had started to look a little foolish. He was a man who never failed a contract negotiation. 


'He's already thinking that far ahead even before the show airs… He's definitely a quick thinker.' 


Park Jun-gil didn't know much about acting or movies. 


That's why he didn't know how good Junwoo was. He could leave that to the people who knew. 


One thing is for sure: he will be a sensation. 


Many stars have been born through the programs of W Broadcasting, which Park Jun-gil has led so far. That's why he's been able to get to where he is today. 


Yoo Sang-jun nodded. He had to admit that Park Jun-gil had good judgment. 


"What about the third round this time? Even though Ro-woon has been forgotten, he'll still be in the public's memory. As a pathetic star who once shone brightly but then faded away. If that kid has an impact on Ro-woon…" 


"What's the big deal?" 


Park Jun-gil didn't care about Rowoon. 


"Any production team could edit together a story about a fallen idol rising again, regardless of whether or not they're a good actor. Of course, I don't plan to do that." 


"So, you're saying you're going to focus entirely on that kid again this time?" 


"That's something that will happen on its own even if we don't interfere." 


"...So you trust that kid now?" 


"Trust, yes. I believe I know something about him. But talent never betrays. In any case, the important thing is not this mission." 




"Not this mission?" Yoo Sang-jun blinked his eyes. 


Park Jun-gil nodded his chin at the two people in the practice room. 


"Their opponent team can't even keep up with Han Junwoo's heels. I paired him with Ro-woon to create a scene. What I'm looking forward to is what happens next." 


Park Jun-gil was already thinking about the fourth mission as if he had already drawn the picture he wanted to draw in the third round. 


Junwoo didn't seem to have ever thought he would make a mistake or be eliminated in this mission. 


"After that..." At that moment, Yoo Sang-jun made a sound of realization. He remembered what Park Jun-gil had said before. 


"Those participants you mentioned last time?" 


He could understand why Park Jun-gil was expecting so much. 

As the highlight of Actor Kingdom was approaching, it was time to show the real thing. 




Actor Kingdom 4th mission. 


Park Jun-gil had been drawing a picture for a long time. 


"If I put them all together with Han Junwoo..." 


Four people appeared in his mind. 


Just thinking about adding Han Junwoo to the mix made his heart race. 


If Kang Hyeok's team 1 in the second team mission was the Avengers in terms of popularity, 


They were the Avengers, a collection of the real talents among the program participants. 


It had to be that way. They weren't just aspiring actors. 


NK Entertainment's rookie actors. 


Among them was a participant with a history of completing one drama and winning a rookie acting award at a film festival. 


NK Entertainment is considered one of Korea's top actor agencies. The reputation of its experienced veteran actors is, needless to say, but it was the first time the company had deliberately put its name on a program like this. 


They had completed a crash course training with the guidance of their affiliated actors and experts. 


"They're always nagging about how we need to show the world that we're at the top of Korea this time." 


One of the rookies said. 


This was the NK building's lounge. 


The four of them who had easily passed the third mission were leisurely chatting. 


"Honestly, it's too easy, so it's kind of boring. I wish we could finish this quickly and start filming a project." 


The rookie who said that while lying on the sofa was Choi Han-gyeol. 


He was the one who won the rookie acting award earlier this year with NK's support. 


"I don't know. The third mission was kind of interesting. Did you see it? Kang Hyeok seems to be really serious this time." 


"I know. I couldn't even notice his partner. Where did that kid learn to act like that without even an agency?" 


"Yeah. He's a little young but good enough to make me want to compete with him. The next round is a team mission, right? We'll be grouped together?" 


At that moment, one of them, who had heard a little from the executive, spoke up. 


"I heard there's going to be one sidekick joining us." 




"Yeah. But it's not just any sidekick..." 


He couldn't easily continue his sentence. The other three looked at him with puzzled expressions. 


"No way. You're lying." 


"That's right, it will be Han Junwoo. If what I heard is right." 


The room fell silent as soon as the name was mentioned. 


They had been avoiding talking about him implicitly. 




The silence lasted for a long time, each of them wondering what they were thinking. 


'...So, the thing I was worried about finally happened.' 


Choi Han-gyeol got up from the sofa. He recalled the past. 


It was when he was receiving advice and training from his affiliated actors before the program started. 


An unexpected visitor came to their practice room. 


"Oh, Senior! Hello!" 


With that, the rookies' backs folded one by one like folders. 


The four rookies lined up in a row. The one standing in front of them with his hands behind his back was Gil Junho. 


"What's he doing here...?" 


The rookies' tense bodies straightened up. 


He wasn't the kind of person to get involved in this kind of thing. 


"Gil Junho himself... It must be no ordinary feat to have the name NK attached to it." 




It was when they felt the heavy responsibility for the program even more. 


"You want to survive, right?" 


Gil Junho said. 


"Yes? Yes! Of course!!" 


"We will do our best to the end and never give up!!" 


"We will definitely win the championship; we will put the company's name on the line!!" 


The rookies cheered loudly in unison. 


"No, no." 


Gil Junho waved his hand. 


"There's a really handsome guy named Han Junwoo there. If possible, avoid him. Just that will get you to the middle." 




"Han...who is that..?" 


"You'll find out soon enough." 


To be honest, Gil Junho was looking forward to it. To see these kids, who are his juniors, and that kid on the same stage. 


Still, he's a junior. He said it as a kind of consideration so that they wouldn't be ashamed. 


Choi Han-gyeol was still in a daze. 


Gil Junho had never really paid attention to the rookies. He would only give them a nod in passing. 


This was the first time he had ever made eye contact with them properly. 


Choi Han-gyeol's heart was pounding with excitement. He had always admired his senior so much. 




'Why are you just standing there?' 


The rookie actors were puzzled by Gil Junho's expression. He was looking at them with a look of deep emotion that was uncharacteristic of him. 


Were they finally doing something to make him proud? Or was he worried about them? 


But neither of those emotions seemed to fit Gil Junho's face. 




He was a little odd. Was it a sigh or a huff? 


They didn't know that Gil Junho was envious of them. 




Gil Junho suddenly turned away and spoke. 


"Well, uh, is there any plan for a special judge?" 




"Or a guest, maybe?" 




"Something like a special stage with a famous actor..." 


"With us?!" 


"Well, I mean, it would be good with you guys too... but it's okay if not..." 


The rookies' faces were filled with question marks. What was he trying to say? 


Gil Junho suddenly felt his face flush. 


"...No. Just practice." 


And then Gil Junho left. 


He didn't give them any specific acting advice or suggestions for the program. 


The important thing is that Gil Junho's talk about Junwoo only fueled their competitive spirit. 


They had been keeping an eye on Junwoo's existence since the preliminary screening. 


The shocking scene that Junwoo showed in the 3rd mission this time. Choi Han-gyeol remembered the moment when the set of the one-on-one competition was paralyzed in an instant. 


It wasn't just a shock 


Once cute and pretty, Lee Ro-woon's aura completely changed in a few days, and he perfectly played the role of a crazed criminal. 


The judges were so shocked that they opened their mouths wide. Then came the tremendous praise. 


Lee Ro-woon stood there in a daze, then suddenly burst into tears. 

They said it was all his doing. 


"So, to be honest, we were curious too, right?" 


"...Yeah. I thought we'd face off at some point." 


"But even so, he's just a seventeen-year-old kid, right? I know he can't win anyway, so what's the point?" 




Complex emotions such as anticipation, worry, and anxiety rose on their faces. 


And then, suddenly, the four rookies got up at the same time and started running. 


Their instincts were screaming at them. Run to the practice room right now. 




Meanwhile, Junwoo, who had been called to see Park Jun-gil, was in the production team's office. 


In addition to Park Jun-gil, all the production team members had gathered and were stealing glances at Junwoo. 


"How is it? Isn't it great?" 


Junwoo had just received a hint about the fourth competition mission. Park Jun-gil was rambling on about how he would be forming a team with the NK rookies. 


Junwoo nodded blankly. His face looked a little more haggard than before. 




Park Jun-gil was relieved that Junwoo had responded without saying anything. 


He was treating Junwoo with special care, putting in more effort and sincerity than usual. 


This was about the behind-the-scenes of the Heukryeong Island play that he discussed previously with Yoo Sang-jun. He had a special request for Junwoo. 


'He must be feeling a bit better now.' 


Yoo Sang-joon, who was next to him, started to ramble on with the second part of his speech. 


"Even though they're rookies, they're still actors. They've already had experience filming dramas. This is an opportunity to act with real actors, not just aspiring actors, right? He'll probably find it more fun since the class will be different from the participants he worked with in the previous missions. Well, I don't even have to explain it. It's NK. NK." 


At the end of the speech, the team members looked at each other and nodded in satisfaction. 


But why is there no reaction? The team members started to look at each other furtively and whisper. 


"I guess he's not satisfied because they're rookies." 


"You got any more tricks in your bag?" 


"I don't know either...!" 


Junwoo was trying his best in his own way. 


"NK... what was that again?" 


Honestly, he couldn't quite remember. 


"I think the public's reaction will be good since you've also had a relationship with actor Gil Jun-ho before. What do you think?" 


Gil Jun-ho? Oh. 


"Yes. NK. I know him." 


Junwoo looked at Park Jun-gil directly with a somewhat different look in his eyes. 


His looks clearly said, "I'm okay with it, so let's wrap up this meeting quickly." 


But Park Jun-gil, who didn't know that, started to get to the point. 


"Do you remember the stage that Junwoo showed in the first round of the finals? The Heukryeong Island. Everyone was amazed, right?" 


"Yes, but..." 


"To be honest, I thought it would be a waste for only us to see your talent. But only the camcorder footage remains, and the quality is not so good..." 


Park Jun-gil explained how he would use Junwoo's stage. 


"You don't have to worry. First of all, we need to focus on the program, so we won't ask you to reshoot it or anything like that. You liked writing scripts, right? You just need to do a little bit of editing to include your thoughts." 


Park Jun-gil was laughing inside. Of course, he would be tempted. 


It was the first time they had given a participant this much preferential treatment. 


Now it was time to talk about the benefits and financial rewards that would go to Junwoo. 


But Junwoo, who had been listening quietly, cut him off before he could even finish. 


"Uhm. I don't want it." 


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