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A Thousand Faces Chapter 36

Updated: Feb 8

"No... you don't want to? But why?" 

 

Park Jun-gil asked as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing. 

 

"Are we even authorized to decide this on our own?" 

 

None of them had contributed to the making of "Heukryeong Island" in any way. 

 

In fact, It seems like there are even some here who haven't really watched the movie properly. 

 

"On whose authority?" 

 

The production team members looked at each other. 

 

When Junwoo frowned, Park Jun-gil became anxious. 

 

"Umm. I'm not just asking. I plan to pay a royalty of a certain percentage based on the profits. Of course, the percentage will not be insignificant. Don't be so quick to judge; just listen to everything and think about it for a while..." 

 

Listening to the conversation from the side, Yoo Sang-jun thought, "This kid doesn't seem to care much about money. But I didn't think he would refuse so adamantly." 

 

Yoo Sang-jun, who felt that this wouldn't work, continued speaking. 

 

"Something even bigger will follow than what you showed in the program. You interpreted it in a way that completely surpasses the director's original intention. If you produce behind-the-scenes footage with a role that the director didn't even think was important, it will definitely..." 

 

"Do you think the director didn't include it because he didn't know?" 

 

"What?" 

 

"Kim Mu-myeong is his character. I just acted it out." 

 

The reason why that movie was loved. 

 

"Did you think you could make money with that?" 

 

If they had deliberately focused on that role in the movie, they would have likely received recognition. 

 

The director's reputation, value, and name would have risen. 

 

For Gu Daewon, there was something more important than such greed. 

 

The final step to completion is subtraction. Sometimes, the absence itself holds value. 

 

It seemed like they thought Gu Daewon's giving up was due to a lack of ability. 

 

The team members were taken aback by Junwoo's unexpected reaction. They rolled their eyes quickly. 

 

The team leader's instructions to "somehow please him." What in the world does that mean? 

 

"I wouldn't have done it if I knew the camera was rolling. I didn't know it was being filmed." 

 

To think they were even thinking of selling it separately. Junwoo regretted the stage he had done for the first time he came here. 

 

Yoo Sang-jun spoke up in a hurry. 

 

"Think about it, Junwoo. If "Heukryeong Island'" becomes a hit again thanks to your influence, do you think director Gu Daewon would hate it? I don't think so. What do you think?" 

 

He already had the answer in mind when he asked the question. But, 

 

"Why are you asking me that? Then go talk to him first." 

 

Junwoo's answers were always quick and decisive, without any hesitation or doubt. Yoo Sang-jun was taken aback. He thought Junwoo was considering the director's perspective because he mentioned his authority. But that wasn't it, was it? He couldn't figure it out. 

 

"Talking about it without the person involved doesn't seem meaningful. Can I leave now?" 

 

As Junwoo started to pull his chair back, Park Jun-gil quickly waved his hand. 

 

"Oh, no, Junwoo. We're just... we think it's a shame to waste your talent... haha. I didn't know you'd dislike it this much. Please try to understand our position." 

 

Park Jun-gil was sweating profusely. Why does this kid always fail to see what's right in front of him? 

 

He can achieve many things if he sets his mind to it. 

 

Park Jun-gil could not understand what kind of thoughts a seventeen-year-old would have to be like that. 

 

He had made the offer because he thought he would like it for sure. If he had known it would touch his feelings like this, he would have found a different way. 

 

The existence of this child was too crucial to the program right now. 

 

Park Jun-gil was worried that the boy might even mention the word "quit." 

 

As he was opening his mouth to say something, Yoo Sang-jun spoke up. 

 

"I guess we got ahead of ourselves." 

 

Even though he had been told that the boy was not easy to handle, Park Jun-gil thought of him as just a child. He thought that even if he was a bit of a brat, he would be easier to appease than CEO Joo Mansik. 

 

"Let's talk about it again after we've neatly resolved all the possible cases that Junwoo might have questions about. I'll also be fully prepared then." 

 

*** 

 

The place was the rehearsal room. 

 

Four NK rookie actors and Junwoo, who had formed a team, gathered together for their fourth team mission. 

 

The rookie actors were in their early to mid-20s. 

 

They were all aware of the young rookie, who was silently exuding his presence. 

 

Junwoo glanced around the empty rehearsal room and scratched his head, wondering what to think. 

 

When he saw that, Choi Han-gyeol smiled with confidence. 

 

'That's right. He's probably wondering why the rehearsal room is empty when it's time for everyone to practice.' 

 

In the morning, Yoo Sang-jun called Choi Han-gyeol out separately. 

 

"Everyone has high expectations for the performance that the NK team will show this time. That's why the production team made this decision. We're giving you a special empty rehearsal room for the best quality, so please do your best." 

 

Yoo Sang-jun said with a bright smile. 

 

Choi Han-gyeol nodded, thinking, 'Well, of course.' 

 

The production staff of the broadcasting station and NK had a close relationship. 

 

Actor Kingdom benefited from the NK name, and NK also promoted its rookies thanks to the program. It was a mutually beneficial relationship. 

 

However, Choi Han-gyeol was mistaken. He misunderstood the meaning of Yoo Sang-jun's words. 

 

It was an order from Park Jun-gil to prevent anything that might bother Junwoo, including the previous Cho Kwang-soo incident. 

The target of the "please do your best" was Junwoo. 

 

Choi Han-gyeol thought that the production team was kissing up to him because he had won an award. 

 

"Do you think you're doing us a favor?" 

 

Choi Han-gyeol said with his arms crossed, putting on a show of strength. 

 

He remembered Gil Jun-ho's warning. After seeing Junwoo in person, Choi Han-gyeol couldn't understand. Why are you trying to survive with this kid? I can see that he's talented, but then why don't you just stop him from showing off his skills? 

 

Unfortunately, Junwoo, who was looking around the place, didn't hear Choi Han-gyeol's words. 

 

"...Kid. Can't you hear me? You are probably wondering right now. It's because of us." 

 

"..." 

 

"Hey, kid. Are you deaf?" 

 

Junwoo, who was startled, turned around. 

 

That's right. He was the youngest one here. 

 

"What did you say?" 

 

Choi Han-gyeol boiled over and said again. His arrogance didn't work when he repeated the same thing three times. 

 

But Junwoo wondered what he was talking about. 

 

Virtue? What virtue? 

 

Junwoo, who had already been using an empty rehearsal room since the third mission, did not think it was an act of intimidation. 

 

That's a unique first impression. Junwoo looked at Choi Han-gyeol for a moment as if he was a strange animal. 

 

It was understandable, 

 

"A total of five people. I thought there would be four people like last time." 

 

Because there was a separate reason why he was looking around the rehearsal room. 

 

At present, the four team members, the rehearsal room, and everything else. 

 

Junwoo was roughly measuring the angles. 

 

It was a habit that had become ingrained in him since he started practicing separately as part of the program. 

 

At that moment, someone took a step forward from beside Choi Han-gyeol. A woman with long, flowing hair reached out her hand to Junwoo. 

 

"I've heard a lot about you. I've seen you a lot too… Nice to meet you, trainee." 

 

Her eyes sparkled as she met Junwoo's gaze for a moment. 

 

Her hand, which was extended for a handshake, was trembling slightly with nervousness. 

 

Junwoo stopped thinking for a moment and looked at her face. 

 

"Ah." 

 

Junwoo clasped his hands together. 

 

"Me too. I'm counting on you." 

 

"What?" 

 

"...?" 

 

"Oh, no." 

 

She had to hide her surprise for a moment. 

 

She was confused whether Junwoo's "Me too" meant "I also hope you do well" or "I've also seen your acting so far." 

 

'Of course not. That would be impossible.' 

 

After seeing Junwoo's performance in the third round, she had already become a loyal fan. 

 

She had been keeping it a secret from the other team members, but the truth was that this situation was too exciting. 

 

She looked down at her hand after shaking his hand. 

 

'I thought he was just different on stage. Even his handshake form… Is he really a teenager?' 

 

Choi Han-gyeol was watching the scene with a sour look on his face. 

 

"Shin Dami, snap out of it. He's a minor." 

 

"...What did I do?" 

 

"You're just throwing yourself at him because he's so handsome." 

 

"I was just saying hello…" 

 

At that moment, Junwoo caught something. 

 

This woman named Shin Dami seemed intimidated by her colleagues for some reason. 

 

"Why is that?" 

 

Junwoo tilted his head. There was a reason why he really couldn't understand. 

 

Choi Han-gyeol and his colleagues were pushing Shin Dami harder than usual. 

 

The one thing that distinguishes them from just aspiring actors is this. 

 

No matter what field, there are countless aspiring actors. Only a few of them can hold the title of actor. 

 

Having survived as a rookie actor in the war-like entertainment industry, they had experienced all sorts of bullying and hierarchy culture. 

 

It was a habit that had become ingrained in them to establish their hierarchy as soon as a new figure appeared. 

 

Choi Han-gyeol was aware of Junwoo as he threw casual remarks at Shin Dami. 

 

He knew that everyone said he was a genius, so he was worried that Junwoo might take them lightly, using his skills as a weapon. He had to show him that he was serious, no matter how young he was. 

 

"..." 

 

Shin Dami just kept her mouth firmly shut. 

 

She was quietly waiting until her role was finished. 

 

Then, 

 

"It's our turn." 

 

Junwoo, who had been staring at them, finally spoke. 

 

Choi Han-gyeol stopped and looked at Junwoo. He was a little nervous and curious about what Junwoo was going to say. He also wondered if he had been too harsh on a young kid. 

 

Shin Dami also raised her head slightly. 

 

"If you guys are going to keep chatting, can I go out for a while?" 

 

…Gossip? 

 

"It's already been ten minutes." 

 

Junwoo glanced at the wall clock with a bored expression. 

 

Every time this happens, he really loses interest. 

 

Choi Han-gyeol was taken aback. Was that respect or disrespect? 

 

But he looked like he was really going to leave. He was already turning his body towards the door. 

 

He had overlooked something: that they, rather than Junwoo, were the ones desperate for the mission's success. 

 

"...I was just about to do it myself." 

 

The fourth mission. 

 

This time, the topic was quite challenging. 

 

Each team had to create a 20-minute pure original short drama. 

 

In addition to acting, they had to create the story, plot, character composition, script, and even the shooting and editing outline themselves. 

 

The producers were only going to give them a few cameras and not interfere with their work at all. 

 

Most of the participants expressed their dissatisfaction. 

 

They thought they could only act, but suddenly they had to create and shoot? 

 

However, the NK rookies smiled as soon as they heard the topic. 

 

'This mission is perfect for us. They're really trying to give us a big boost.' 

 

He had already filmed several times. Plus, he had already received training on the subject from his agency. 

 

"Kid. You haven't done any filming except for the program, have you?" 

 

Filming… Junwoo thought for a moment about the movie he made with a camcorder in the practice room. Then, he just, 

 

"Yes. This is my first time." 

 

Junwoo took the camcorder away from Sang-jun. 

 

He didn't know what Sang-jun was up to again… but Sang-jun asked him to keep the work a secret, almost like he was begging. 

 

"Then just trust us and follow us." 

 

"We'll take care of the story, so you just have to carry it with your acting, kid. We saw your performance in the last round. We'll acknowledge what's worth acknowledging." 

 

Junwoo nodded without saying anything. 

 

Trust us and follow us… I can't believe that I can't trust them this much. 

 

"Actually, we had a rough outline of the overall story ready yesterday after hearing the topic." 

 

The story began with Choi Han-gyeol leading the discussion. 

 

"First of all, the location is the abandoned hospital we talked about. It's the one where the filming was interrupted the last time. I don't need to explain it, right? The recruitment is already done, and," 

 

"Wow. That was fast. Look at that drive." 

 

Junwoo was listening attentively, at least at first. 

 

"So, what are the roles? What's the story going to be about?" 

 

"I already wrote the script, but I should have brought it. I've thought about the roles too. You're good at using your body, so you should think of the feeling of Joo Hyun-tae in the movie 'King'. And you…" 

 

"That's amazing. You already have a script? I can't keep up with you, Choi Han-gyeol." 

 

"Tell me more specifically. What have you thought of from the beginning to the end?" 

 

Choi Han-gyeol laid out his ambitious plans that he had been planning all night. The rest of the team members silently gasped. But one of them was starting to lose focus. 

 

“ …” 

 

At that moment, one of the team members shook his head and clapped his hands. 

 

"We can just start filming right away, right?" 

 

Among the admiring team members, Choi Han-gyeol turned his gaze to Junwoo, who had quietly listened without saying anything. 

 

He had a look of lost motivation. 

 

'What is up with him?' 

 

His expression was definitely sour. 

 

There was no point in beating around the bush, so Choi Han-gyeol asked what he was thinking. 

 

"Why are you standing there? Don't you like it?" 

 

"Do you really like that?" 

 

Junwoo asked the other team members, not Choi Han-gyeol. 

 

"I don't know why they would want to ruin themselves." 

 

He could tell from their acting alone what their skills were like. 

Each member's skills should be maximized, but Choi Han-gyeol's plans were full of stimulating things. 

 

"He said he worked on this all night? That's 100% for show." 

 

After spending their childhood together at the same agency, could Choi Han-gyeol really not know the skills of his colleagues? 

 

"…Ruined?" 

 

"There's nothing to say about whether it's good or bad. The direction is wrong from the start." 

 

"Hey you...!" 

 

"Do you really want to do well? Not just to look good?" 

 

"That's really…" 

 

The team members were getting angry at Junwoo's words. Choi Han-gyeol immediately stopped them. 

 

He wanted to hear what Junwoo had to say. 

 

"What parts are wrong?" 

 

In reality, Junwoo was the one who was really angry. He couldn't believe that Choi Han-gyeol thought he would just go along with a script written with such a ridiculous idea. 

 

Junwoo took a moment to find a way to speak in a way that Choi Han-gyeol would understand. 

 

"Go ahead." 

 

"I know you want to show something amazing, but it's all show and no substance. It doesn't fit with the equipment we have, the location, or us." 

 

Choi Han-gyeol opened his mouth in surprise. 

 

"You're just focused on creating something, so you're stuffing in everything that looks good on paper. Stimulating characters, stimulating scenes. These are props that you can't even find anywhere in a short period. And what about the location? It's not even amusing…" 

 

Choi Han-gyeol felt dizzy. He thought Junwoo was just daydreaming, so he wasn't paying attention. If Junwoo had remembered everything he said, he wouldn't have been able to say those things. 

 

He was getting angry, but he didn't know if it was right to be angry. Choi Han-gyeol was confused. He couldn't refute a single word of what Junwoo said. 

 

"And the most important thing is…" 

 

"What else is there?" 

 

Junwoo had already seen the NK rookies' skills during the third one-on-one team mission. 

 

It was because of Kim Yoo-jin, who kept following him around and pestering him, saying, "They're real entertainment actors, so you should take a look and evaluate them." 

 

"They can't act. They can't pull off what you just said with their skills." 

 

"Huh?" 

 

"I told you. It's just too grandiose for nothing." 

 

Choi Han-gyeol frowned. Honestly, this was a bit of a blow. 

 

"Are you doing this because you don't know, or are you challenging me on purpose?" 

 

But Choi Han-gyeol didn't react like he did with Cho Kwang-soo. Instead, he said in a calmer tone as he thought about Junwoo's words. 

 

"So you're saying that my ambition is getting in the way of my skills, and that it's just too stimulating for nothing?" 

 

"That's about it." 

 

"Hey kid. Do you know what's most important in this industry?" 

 

"..." 

 

"People usually think that if they're recognized, they'll rise to the top. But the order is wrong. The public only recognizes people who have already succeeded." 

 

Choi Han-gyeol continued talking. 

 

"No matter how much you focus on artistry and skill, no one will notice you if you're just flying around at the bottom. The first thing you need to do is stand out." 

 

Junwoo felt like his head was getting cold. What have I been doing all this time? I've always thought that eventually, I'll be able to make it. 

 

He wondered if he had been hearing all those words through his nose. 

 

As soon as he heard Choi Han-gyeol's ambitious plans, his judgment was made. The countless possibilities that were drawn in his mind. He said no because it was not possible. 

 

He knows what kind of picture they are vaguely imagining, but, 

 

"Let's try it then. Let's see if that works." 

 

Those words made the team members really angry. 

 

"That disrespectful bastard." 

 

"Hey, what did you just say?" 

 

They started complaining, starting with, "What do you know?" and then went on to talk about how they had been recognized and awarded, even though no one had asked. 

 

Meanwhile, Shin Dami was listening to Junwoo's words with a serious face, without saying a word. 

 

Swish.  

 

Junwoo turned his gaze to her, leaving behind the stream of swearing.

 



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