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A Thousand Faces Chapter 50

Updated: Feb 29

Chapter 50 

 

Since the morning, the program's production team had gathered together. A meeting was underway, preparing for the main mission. 

 

"We've secured enough footage, excluding the main shooting. The participants' free time and the visit to the Diagne Fashion Show. When is the other schedule," 

 

"That's enough. We have enough. We're going straight into the real deal now." 

 

Park Jun-gil interrupted. 

 

"Everyone was so focused on following just one person that we didn't get the footage we expected..." 

 

He displayed a satisfied smile. 

 

"We got something even better." 

 

Park Jun-gil recalled yesterday's events. 

 

The scene where Roberto screamed and chased everyone out of the site, all because of just one young participant. 

 

All of it was captured on camera. 

 

No one inside knew what had happened. 

 

There, beyond the realm of art, unfolded a scene incomprehensible and unpredictable. Even if someone had witnessed the entire situation, explaining it would be equally impossible. 

 

"Seriously. Did you see that guy's expression? His eyes suddenly rolling back. What on earth happened there? Does anyone here know?" 

 

Park Jun-gil looked around at the production team members. 

 

As expected, no one could answer. 

 

But one thing was clear. 

 

"There's no better footage than that. A director influential enough to host a world-class show, chasing everyone out but leaving a young participant behind? If this gets on air..." 

 

That's when Yoo Sang-jun, looking a bit troubled, seemed to have something to say. 

 

"Of course, I think the same." 

 

"Of course." 

 

"I got a separate call from the assistant director on their side this morning." 

 

"Oh? Really? Did you hear anything? What exactly happened?" 

 

"I'm not sure about the details. But to sum it up... they said if we air that footage, it's over for us." 

 

"..." 

 

Park Jun-gil's face contorted with disappointment. 

 

"Damn." 

 

Figures. The production team members nodded in understanding. 

Park Jun-gil crossed his arms and expressed his dissatisfaction. 

 

"Are we going to just let go of such good footage?" 

 

"It's regrettable, but their scale isn't ordinary..." 

 

"The filming schedule was already agreed upon. They go on a rampage, and now they tell us to make a fuss?" 

 

Indeed, it was too precious a scene to simply give up. No matter how dire the warning from a world-renowned master, Park Jun-gil wasn't one to easily back down. After all, they could deal with the consequences later. 

 

"However, the casting matter you mentioned is now in its final stages." 

 

"Final stages? Wasn't it already finished?" 

 

"That's because... they keep raising their fee bit by bit. It seems they planned to do this from the start." 

 

They were discussing the Italian actor who was to be the judge for this mission, a crucial role in the show. 

 

The aim of this program wasn't just to be the biggest in the country but also to make an impact globally. 

 

For that, they needed an actor from here with a certain level of recognition, value, and skill. 

 

"They're really looking to cash in for just a day's work. Try to meet their demands as much as possible, but don't let them walk all over us. Draw the line somewhere," 

 

"Team leader." 

 

That's when Yoo Sang-jun interrupted. He had been staring at his laptop the whole time, and his face had turned serious. 

 

"What now? It's too late to scout a different actor at this point. With the current situation," 

 

"It's not that..." 

 

Yoo Sang-jun shifted his laptop screen towards Park Jun-gil. 

 

"Did you... know about this?" 

 

Upon seeing it, Park Jun-gil jerked and fell silent. 

 

The production team members were perplexed. 

 

Suddenly, the faces of both men had turned pale simultaneously. 

 

On the laptop screen, a news broadcast was streaming live. 

 

The face of Joo Mansik was pixelated, and subtitles about his scandal were prominently displayed. 

 

"What should we do? It seems to have escalated more than we thought..." 

 

"Those despicable people. Never thought they would go this far..." 

 

"What about the child...? Now that it's come to this, we can't keep it hidden forever, can we?" 

 

Park Jun-gil groaned as if he had a headache. 

 

"For now, we'll have to try and buy as much time as we can." 

 

*** 

 

Somewhere in Rome... 

 

A location where the exotic scenery of Rome was fully visible. 

 

Camera settings were being prepared for the shooting of the main mission. 

 

Before the shoot started, the participants were having a brief conversation. 

 

"I bet it's chaos back home now. I'm so curious." 

 

"Chaos? About what?" 

 

"What else? The reaction to our program in Korea. It must have hit the news. It's the premiere this week, after all. Obviously..." 

 

And then they all simultaneously looked in one direction. A few steps away, Junwoo was standing. 

 

Bits of their conversation had reached Junwoo. 

 

'Is it something that would make the news?' 

 

He pondered for a moment. At this point in time, Junwoo had no idea who was stirring up the internet back home. 

 

The production crew had thoroughly blocked any external news from reaching them. 

 

"Having come all the way overseas, you wouldn't want to just carry out a regular mission, would you?" 

 

The camera started rolling, and the production staff spoke. He then began to explain about the mission they would be undertaking. 

 

"You know we don't have much time left, right? In this mission, all of you will work together in sync to perform an act. I believe that while following the theme of the missions up to this point, you might not have found what you truly wanted to do. I hope this opportunity allows you to unleash your full potential." 

 

The production staff continued. 

 

"Think about who you could sync with to bring out your best." 

 

Upon hearing this, the participants' gazes involuntarily shifted in one direction. 

 

Soon, the production team brought someone in front of the participants. 

 

And as they recognized him, every participant's mouth dropped open. 

 

"Wow, amazing. It's Fabio." 

 

Someone exclaimed it almost reflexively. 

 

The figure standing before them was Fabio Ranchoni, a leading actor in the Italian film industry. 

 

His talent was unquestionable. Standing over six feet tall, his mere presence exuded an extraordinary charisma. 

 

"Nice to meet you. I've heard that Korea is a nation of justice, and the bond among the participants seems very strong." 

 

Known for playing charismatic roles, he was now looking down at the participants with a warm and pleased expression. 

 

While translating, the interpreter harbored some doubts. A strong bond? In this place, more like a battlefield than a haven of friendship? 

 

Yet, there was a reason for such a perception. 

 

Participants were crowding around Junwoo on either side of him, each trying to get their face in the frame of Junwoo's personal camera. 

 

They were trying to ensure they appeared on camera, even a little. 

 

Having been briefed by the production team beforehand, Fabio was already aware of the overall situation. 

 

He knew that there was a main character driving the program and that he was asked to help extract footage in line with this character. 

 

He had only a rough idea about the name and appearance but recognized him immediately. 

 

Among the ten participants who had survived fierce competition, each with striking looks and unique auras, one child stood out sharply, like a needle in a haystack. 

 

Not just the looks, but there was a sense of incongruity about him, a youthful face that seemed at odds with his surroundings. 

 

A child with an indescribable atmosphere, at once serene and chilling, yet also seemingly innocent. 

 

Fabio was curious but thought, 

 

'In the end, the skills of these aspirants are all more or less the same.' 

 

He glanced at Junwoo discreetly. 

 

'And he's even younger than I thought.' 

 

Just then, when he thought the child was looking elsewhere, lost in thought, Junwoo's eyes met his directly. 

 

Swiftly, as if caught in something, Fabio averted his gaze. 

 

'What was that just now... No, why am I...' 

 

When Fabio hastily turned his gaze back, the child was already looking elsewhere as if nothing had happened. 

 

He narrowed his eyes, now genuinely curious. 

 

"Who is the best participant here?" 

 

Fabio asked, wanting to gauge the reactions of the others. 

 

As expected, the participants hesitated, visibly startled. It was unlikely that they would easily single out anyone. Even if there was a dominating presence, this was a field of competition. 

 

While everyone was cautiously observing each other, Kang Hyeok, as if having made up his mind, spoke up. 

 

"This guy, this one right here. He's really amazing." 

 

A hearty voice chimed in. 

 

One of the participants, a man with a tanned complexion, was pointing at Junwoo. 

 

"Oh right, I forgot, that kind of modesty doesn't exist here. Haha." 

 

Scratching his head, he was slightly distanced from the cluster of participants. 

 

Yoo Tae-yang. He was one of the notable figures the production crew was focusing on. 

 

He was a rising actor who had gained attention for his charismatic personality on variety shows. 

 

With a deep, cavernous voice but a hearty personality, his sense of humor and wit were remarkable. His eloquence made every word stick and had a way of bursting everyone into laughter. 

 

"Really? Is that so?" Fabio responded, intrigued. 

 

Fabio's interest was piqued by Yoo Tae-yang. He liked how this young man effortlessly lifted the mood on set without being imposing. 

 

Yoo Tae-yang continued. 

 

"Actually, winning wasn't my main goal. But... watching this guy makes me want to keep climbing higher. Ah, it does hurt my pride a bit. Anyway, it's really fun." 

 

Fabio's gaze remained solely on Yoo Tae-yang. 

 

"Haha. What made you like him so much?"  

 

"He's cool. His skills are beyond question. Always standing alone like an outcast, but he's the coolest one here. Look at him. He's moderately handsome. You know, the really good-looking ones usually lack a certain charm." 

 

Kang Hyeok flinched for a moment, for some reason he couldn't fathom. 

 

And then, at that moment, Junwoo finally turned to look at Yoo Tae-yang for the first time. 

 

"Interesting. A participant who's confident against me, not even trying to show off." 

 

"To be honest, I knew this much already, so now I'm just enjoying myself. No regrets. I'm satisfied with making it this far. Things get obvious when you look closely." 

 

Yoo Tae-yang scanned the rest, his gaze lingering on Junwoo. Their eyes met for a moment before Yoo Tae-yang quickly looked away. 

 

"But getting to see an actor like you in person here, now I really have no regrets." 

 

Interesting. This is getting a bit intriguing. 

 

"No regrets? That's a bit disappointing. I'm already finding you quite impressive." 

 

With Fabio's response, Yoo Tae-yang started to elaborate more. 

 

The interpreter struggled to keep up as the two exchanged words, starting to stutter. 

 

"Hey, you'd be surprised by the talent of the people here. Especially this guy. Oh, there's a video he made during a mission. I was wondering why he even came here. I only did the acting; I don't know much about editing, but if you get a chance, maybe you could take a look at it..." 

 

As Junwoo was continually mentioned, Fabio glanced at him again. 

 

Yoo Tae-yang's face was full of keen interest, the unmistakable expression of a kid pleased by compliments. 

 

So, this is the prodigy everyone's talking about. Even as Fabio showed interest in someone else, Junwoo didn't seem inclined to step forward. Perhaps his fame was more about his looks than anything else. 

 

Fabio turned his attention back to Yoo Tae-yang. 

 

"Well, skill is important, of course, but I'm eager to see your performance. I didn't expect to be entertained this much right from the start." 

 

"Really? That's quite an honor." 

 

These were discussions that had only been whispered among the participants behind the scenes. 

 

This was the first time someone openly praised Junwoo's skills in front of the camera. 

 

'What's going on? Why...' 

 

And as Kang Hyeok observed the scene, he felt something was off. Yoo Tae-yang kept talking about Junwoo, yet he didn't say a word directly to Junwoo, who was right next to him. Yoo Tae-yang's sparkling eyes were fixed only on the actor. 

 

And then, 

 

"And?" 

 

Junwoo addressed Yoo Tae-yang. 

 

"...Huh?" 

 

"Keep talking." 

 

"Eh...? About you?" 

 

"About anything." 

 

Yoo Tae-yang was slightly taken aback. He had assumed, as always, that Junwoo would simply ignore him. 

 

Junwoo slightly tilted his head as if eager to continue this interesting exchange. 

 

"Uh, well..." 

 

Junwoo's gesture drew everyone's attention to the set to the two of them. 

 

Yoo Tae-yang's speech became lengthy, seamlessly sharing everything he could about the program and his feelings. 

 

Fabio's mood soured, his face creasing in annoyance. He felt as though Yoo Tae-yang, with whom he had been enjoying a conversation, had been stolen away from him. However, no one seemed to catch his displeasure. Everyone else, including the production team, had shifted their focus solely to that direction. 

 

This was supposed to be his introduction as a judge. It was an absurd situation. He was a celebrated actor, accustomed to attention and special treatment wherever he went. What was it about this child that a single word from him redirected the camera? 

 

And later, when the rehearsal officially began, he quickly realized the standing of this mere participant in the program. 

 

Junwoo, with Yoo Tae-yang by his side, said, 

 

"First, let's get rid of the cameras." 

 




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