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A Thousand Faces Chapter 51

Updated: Mar 1

After Fabio's introduction as a judge was completed, multiple cameras were set up around the square. 


They were there to capture the participants as they synchronized their actions. 


In this mission, the participants were to reenact scenes from the Academy Award-winning blockbuster movie 'Olympus', 

featuring a small group of world-renowned actors gathered from around the globe. 


The film depicted the greed and ambition of characters struggling to survive and reach the top in Hollywood. 


The characters' desires in the movie 'Olympus' could not be seen as just acting. It was because the real emotions, depth, and experience of the world-famous actors cast in the film were infused into their roles. 


Given this, Fabio and the production team did not expect the aspiring actors to achieve the same level of acting prowess. The purpose of this mission was to draw out the latent potential that they had not yet shown. 


The most intense emotion they currently possessed was the singular desire to 'rise higher'. 


When the participants' genuine emotions burst through the characters in the movie, the audience would undoubtedly cheer. 


"I'll be doing this scene with you." 


Junwoo specifically chose Yoo Tae-yang. 


Yoo Tae-yang had no choice in the matter. 


"Uh? What..." 


It was a sudden turn of events he hadn't anticipated. Yoo Tae-yang followed Junwoo as if spellbound. 


"What's going on all of a sudden?" 


"How can it be that easy for him...?" 


Voices of envy and dissatisfaction mixed among the other participants. 


Yoo Tae-yang himself was puzzled. He just scratched his head, feeling bewildered. 


"Why? Isn't Han Junwoo just rising through his charm, not skill?" 


"Maybe people just like Han Junwoo because he's nice and well-mannered?" 


"Yoo Tae-yang is easygoing and has a good personality, so maybe that's why he was chosen. He's easy to work with." 


Murmurs and speculations followed. Yoo Tae-yang's eyebrows twitched. 


Fabio casually wandered around the square, observing the participants rehearsing. 


Then, a particular team caught his eye. Fabio stopped in his tracks. 

Unlike other participants who quickly decided on roles and dived into practice to save time, these two were still familiarizing themselves with the script. 


As soon as he approached them out of curiosity, Junwoo slammed the script down as if the stage was over. 


"First off," 


Junwoo then said something that surprised everyone around, including Fabio. 


"Let's get rid of all the cameras." 




Fabio found himself captivated, almost in a trance, watching Junwoo's performance. 


It was supposed to be a rehearsal, but it felt more like a demonstration to be followed, and the dialogue was incomprehensible. 


Yet, what was unmistakably clear was that Junwoo's inherent capabilities were overwhelmingly superior compared to the other participants. 


Was this the reason everyone else was struggling? 


Even the production team, who should have been in control, hastily moved the cameras away at Junwoo's single command. 


The scene they were rehearsing depicted a character desperate to rise to the top, brainwashing themselves to hide their insecurities. 


But why did he specifically ask his partner to perform it? His interpretation of the role was so perfect that it seemed strange he wasn't more eager to take it on himself. 


Fabio couldn't comprehend what was happening. 


"This is my destiny." 


"This is not my destiny." 


The same line from the same role. 


Whenever Junwoo delivered his line, Yoo Tae-yang would counter with the opposite. 


For a movie scene rehearsal, it was an unconventional approach. 


Fabio realized that this was a warm-up exercise before diving into the actual rehearsal. 


However, he couldn't understand the purpose of this particular method. 


The participants around the square, already aware of Junwoo, began to gather their attention towards him one by one. Even the production crew, who had moved the cameras away and stood at a distance, and Fabio, who had halted his steps to watch closely, were focused on them. 


Yoo Tae-yang didn't even understand what he was doing at the moment. 


"But why are we doing this...? We could just go straight into the practice." 


"Just do it for now. Think about it afterward." 


Yoo Tae-yang glanced around subconsciously. 


He had always been the center of attention. 


But this felt different. 




"Where are you looking now?" 


Junwoo draws Yoo Tae-yang's attention. 


"Why do you think I put away the camera?" 




Has he always been the center of attention like this?  


He never realized it because he was always blending in with them.  


But how can they not be aware of it at all?  


When he was their age...  


"Even now. You can't focus, can you?"  


His gaze fixed solely on himself, as if nothing else matters at this moment. 


"Don't take your eyes off me." 


Even though he's not raising his voice, everyone holds their breath at Junwoo's words. 


Yoo Tae-yang barely nods his head before he starts to focus. 


"This place is the most enchanting in the world." 


"Everything here is a lie." 


Several lines of dialogue were exchanged. 


Up until now, he had only watched Junwoo act, but this was the first time he was directly receiving lines while making eye contact. It felt overwhelming, almost too much. He wasn't even sure if he was acting or lost in the moment. 


But something was strange. As time passed, it felt like the surroundings were fading away, leaving just the two of them there. As he followed Junwoo's pace and got absorbed, he didn't even realize that the past he had forgotten was starting to whirl back in reverse. 


"It will eventually come to that." 


"In the end, you'll amount to nothing." 


It felt like looking into a mirror. 


Yoo Tae-yang began to feel confused about who was standing in front of him. 


A similar pattern continued. 


Fabio couldn't take his eyes off Yoo Tae-yang, who was gradually changing. 


Just a moment ago, he seemed hesitant and unable to fully concentrate. 


It was strange. Rather than just immersing himself in the role, Yoo Tae-yang's emotions were intensifying bit by bit. 


"People will cheer." 


"People will be disappointed... no." 


Yoo Tae-yang turned his head. 


"This is exactly what I wanted." 






Yoo Taeyang's scene stops, and he starts to fume. 


But Junwoo didn't stop. He continued Yoo Tae-yang's lines for him. 


"That place isn't mine." 


Yoo Tae-yang squeezed his eyes shut. His face began to contort painfully as if he was struggling to endure something. 




"Everything will eventually disappear." 


"I want to stop." 


"Everything will go back to the beginning." 




His eyes flashed fiercely. Before he knew it, everyone was looking at them. 


"It's all hypocrisy and lies." 


"Hey you, can't you hear what I'm saying?!" 


He was someone who never swore. 


Always matching his opponents even in over-the-line pranks. 


Participants and production staff exchanged glances at the uncomfortable situation unfolding. 


It was Junwoo, not Yoo Tae-yang, whom they couldn't understand. Why won't he stop? 


"Damn it, I said stop!" 


Finally, Yoo Tae-yang, his eyes wide with rage, seemed about to charge. 


This was a side of Yoo Tae-yang never seen before, not on TV, not in any program. 


Why is he acting like this all of a sudden? The participants started to stare blankly as if they were fools. 


An excited demeanor never seen before. 


Despite the pressure from his surroundings and the stress of competition, he had always maintained his composure with ease. 


"Shut up!" 


Yoo Tae-yang, who had suddenly turned aggressive during the acting. 


The participants murmured among themselves. 


But now, as if he couldn't see or hear any of that, he began to charge at Junwoo. 




Junwoo dodged. Yoo Taeyang, rushing in, lost his balance and fell with a thud. 


The sudden turn of events left everyone on set with anxious faces, waiting for what would happen next. 


Given the recent events, it seemed possible that Yoo Tae-yang might suddenly get up and start throwing punches. 






Yoo Tae-yang remained still, his hands planted on the ground. 


Junwoo, too, simply looked down at Yoo Tae-yang quietly, not doing anything further. 


There was a moment of silence. 


Yoo Tae-yang's senses began to return to reality. 


The focus in his eyes slowly realigned. 


It felt like he had drifted somewhere else for a moment and then returned. 


Unable to calm his swirling emotions, Yoo Tae-yang took deep breaths. 


'What is this...' 


An indescribable feeling beyond words. 


Even amidst the confusion, something heavy that had been weighing on him seemed to have been suddenly cleared. 


The surroundings were silent. Yoo Tae-yang knew all too well that everyone had witnessed his recent actions. 


The realization that it was irreversible hit him hard. But why? It felt as if he had dusted off old, accumulated dust, leaving him feeling unexpectedly light. 




Junwoo, who had stopped the dialogue, slowly bent down and sat before him. 


"It's okay. Let's practice now, shall we?" 




As this scene unfolded, among the people on site, Fabio never took his eyes off Junwoo until the end. 


While everyone else seemed bewildered, wondering if it was a fight or something else, Fabio seemed to have a rough understanding of what was happening. 


The young man, still unable to get up from the floor properly, had just broken through a long-standing barrier. 


And there, crouching in front of him, was Han Junwoo, looking calmly at the young man. 


At first glance, he appeared expressionless, but there was a slight tension at the corners of his mouth. 


'And those eyes.' 


Fabio recognized it instantly. It wasn't just a simple feeling of accomplishment from helping a colleague discover their potential. That was exhilaration. 


Throughout the rehearsal, he had already acknowledged everything. 


An overwhelming acting ability that one would find hard to believe in a youngster, something beyond his own ability to assess. 


And a presence that commanded this vast set just by being there. 

But now, something else was stirring his interest. 


Fabio, known as a talented actor, harbored a secret vice unknown to others. 


With his unique presence and physique, he mainly starred in action and thriller genres. His hidden pleasure was using his status to push supporting actors or newcomers into extreme situations during filming. 


His obsession was part of the reason he had climbed this high in his career. 


He excused it as a way to enhance immersion by eliminating stunt doubles or stand-ins. 


But in truth, he relished seeing the hidden limits and desires of these people. 


The true nature of a human being emerging through their performance at the peak of being driven to the extreme. 


Now, he sees a reflection of himself in that kid. 


It was something only he, being who he was, could recognize. 


That youngster. Is he already enjoying this? 




Fabio gazed at Junwoo from a distance. 


He seemed too composed to believe that he was the instigator of the recent incident. 


Fabio honestly didn't want to admit it. 


This foreign kid appeared out of nowhere. 


The fact that this kid was not only annoying him but also constantly triggering changes in his feelings was irritating. 


Fabio realized that the kid had never been interested in him from the beginning. 


That's why, uncharacteristically, he had childishly chosen to consciously ignore him. 


However, curiosity overpowered his prideful stubbornness. 


The reason he started acting. The reason he made it this far. 

In his long-standing desire, there was a tinge of loneliness. 

The more he tried to ignore it, the more it followed him like a shadow, revealing his true self that he couldn't share with anyone. 


If that young kid truly possessed what Fabio suspected, he had to confirm it immediately. 


It was a fleeting discovery, possibly a misperception, but Fabio couldn't contain his excitement. 


Today was supposed to be his last day as a judge. At this moment, pride was a trivial emotion. 


Fabio started walking. 


"Excuse me, Mr. Actor..! Could you please take a look at us just once," 


He made his way through the participants towards the front. 


Then, stopping in front of Junwoo, who was sitting on a bench, he spoke. 


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