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A Thousand Faces Chapter 49

Updated: Feb 28

Bianca Ferraro. 


The beautiful Italian actress who captured the public's attention. 


The reason she switched her career to modeling was precisely that. 


Roberto, who had connections with Bianca from working on projects together, was inspired and produced this show. 


'Rebirth' is the concept and message of this fashion show. 


At the finale, Bianca, dressed in a dazzling gown, will perform on the stage against the backdrop of her own photographs, showcasing the essence of her acting career. It was to be the final showcase of her as an actress. 


The back of the show venue will be filled with beautiful photographs of Bianca. In fact, those alone were already perfect. But then, 




A child turned his back, seemingly losing interest at the sight of the photographs. 


The assistant director, following Roberto's gaze, noticed something. "What's with that kid?" The assistant director frowned. 


"He's just a kid who doesn't know anything. Don't worry about it. There are always a few kids who are behind in every class. He must not be able to concentrate." 


Roberto didn't respond. He just stared intently at Junwoo. 


It wasn't that he couldn't concentrate; rather, he seemed interested in something else. Roberto felt a mix of curiosity and unease. 


The expression on the child's face when he turned away didn't seem to be simply boredom; it looked like something more. 


While the others who came with him showed interest in the extravagant outfits and sculptures, the child sat down abruptly on the floor and started fiddling with a small light on the path, barely visible. 




Tap, tap. 


Jun-woo lightly tapped the head of the lighting equipment. 


Then, leaning in close, he scrutinized it from all angles. 


Suddenly, a light shone on Junwoo's face with a 'pop.' 


He squinted his eyes for a moment and quickly turned his head. 


Soon after, a pair of shiny black shoes stopped right in front of him. 


In the wrinkled hand was a remote control. 


"It seems you're interested in the equipment." 


When he lifted his head at the sound of a voice, it was then that Junwoo felt puzzled. 


A middle-aged man, looking almost like a recluse, was frowning down at him. 


His face couldn't hide the fear he was obviously feeling, though he didn't know what about. 


It didn't seem like the right time to start a conversation with a stranger. In a fleeting moment, Junwoo scanned the man's appearance – he was Roberto – and then casually nodded. 


"There are so many fascinating things here. It's my first time at such a large set." 


Roberto's eyebrows twitched upwards. They could communicate.  




"Why are you looking at that?" 


"I noticed that the sink thicknesses are a little different." 


"So what if you see it? What do you know?" 


"I'm just curious. What are the radius and projection distance?"  


"Why would you be curious about that? You won't even be watching this show anyway." 


Roberto emphasized his last statement. 


It wasn't a question or an argument. It seemed like he had another purpose, yet was unnecessarily dragging out the time. 


"Is it wrong to be curious?" 






For a moment, their gazes locked. Well, this guy isn't easygoing, is he? 


Under normal circumstances, he would have explained that he was the show's organizer. But right now, he couldn't say that. 


Instead, Roberto's expression just twisted further. 


"Why are you interested in useless equipment?" 


"It's not useless. This is part of the show." 


Junwoo's eyes swept over the equipment surrounding the stage as if to emphasize that these elements were more important for highlighting. 


"You should know that better than anyone," he added. 


Roberto's eyebrows twitched. 


"Do you even know what you're talking about?" 


He had asked out of a mere possibility. To his astonishment, the boy's reply revealed a deep understanding of the show's intent and concept story, originating from Bianca. He knew even the parts Roberto had not publicly disclosed. Just by observing the set, the boy had grasped everything Roberto wanted to convey, including the subtle emotions of Bianca he thought he hadn't fully captured. 


How could he possibly know all this? 


Roberto's eyes began to quiver. 


As if mesmerized, he slowly crouched down beside Junwoo. 


As time passed, Roberto realized that the boy's interest wasn't merely in the equipment. Encouraged to continue, Junwoo's eyes lit up with interest. 


He raised his hand and began to make adjustments in the air as if moving stage markings with his fingers. 


"This spot seems just right." 


The same went for other aspects. He was talking about the details that Roberto had spent months meticulously planning and adjusting as if they were obvious and easy decisions. 


Listening to the boy's straightforward remarks, Roberto was at a loss for words. 


From a single flaw he hadn't yet noticed to all the misaligned details, everything clicked into place in his mind. 


This boy had known it all along. Yet, Roberto found himself struggling to speak. 


"...Do you have a dream in fashion?" 


"No, I'm currently acting." 


"Then how do you know all this?" 


"Because I'm acting." 


Roberto had to ponder for a while to understand what that meant. 


Before he knew it, amidst this bustling and noisy scene, everything except for Junwoo seemed to fade into the background. 


Their conversation gradually shifted towards topics somewhat detached from the show. 


In contrast to Roberto, who was experiencing a whirlwind of new emotions, the boy seemed to belong to a completely different world. 


Junwoo surveyed the scene with a calm gaze, speaking in slightly imperfect Italian, point by point. Roberto asked questions and listened to the answers. Junwoo, intrigued by the realm of comprehensive art akin to cinema, also asked Roberto various questions. 


A strange foreign kid, as if suddenly appearing out of nowhere. 


It was a transcendence of common sense, a genius beyond understanding. Despite his long career and experience, Roberto felt as if he was undergoing a rare experience he had never encountered before. 


The sense of shame he had wanted to escape in this space was slowly being forgotten. 




And there were those watching this interaction from a distance. 


The assistant director was astonished. It was because Roberto had been distressed and had avoided even looking towards the main stage for the past few weeks. 


'He voluntarily went there...? And even sat down?' 


The production crew felt the same. 


"Capture that." 


Following Yoo Sang-jun's instruction, the camera zoomed in on the two of them. No one knew what they were talking about. It was just a simple conversation, yet everyone was surreptitiously glancing in their direction, an unusual scene that captivated their attention. 


Kang Hyeok looked in that direction and felt a bit relieved. He had come for a field trip, yet there he was, casually sitting on the floor, chatting away with a foreigner he didn't know. 


No matter how good an actor one is, this place was a fashion show. To be idling away in a place he had come to study direction seemed careless. Such a scene wouldn't look good on broadcast. 


'Fine, keep messing around like that. While you do that, I'll be here, memorizing every single detail of this place.' 


Then one of them approached Roberto. It was a staff member working under Roberto. 


"Director. I've finished the revisions you requested. You need to review them now," 


"Later. Don't talk to me." 


"But it's urgent right now," 


"There's nothing more urgent and important than this right now. Do it later." 




The staff member, looking troubled, glanced over at Junwoo, who was standing nearby. 


"And the broadcasting team said it's about time for them to leave..." 


At those words, Junwoo turned his head. Roberto's eyes began to tremble anxiously. 


"Is that so?" 


The moment Junwoo stood up, Roberto's face hardened menacingly. 


"...Where do you think you're going?" 


A heavy hand pressed down on Junwoo's shoulder. Roberto stood up impulsively. His eyes, having lost focus. He started striding towards the control room for the equipment as if being controlled by something. 


Then, a little while later, all the lights illuminating the large hall suddenly went out. 


Murmurs rose. Without time to assess the situation, everything in the hall started to come to life. 


Pop, pop, pop, the lights around the stage flickered on. 




The revolving stage in front of the stage began to turn. 


The people on site began to panic. 


"What's going on all of a sudden?" 


"Who touched something?" 


Soon, Roberto, who emerged, stopped in the center of the site. His face, looking like he was on the verge of madness, pointed outside the hall. 


"Everyone, get out. It's too noisy; I can't stand it." 


The staff and crew, who were busy preparing, all stopped in their tracks and looked around bewildered. This was an unexpected turn of events. 


"Can't you hear me? Get out!" 


The force in his voice grew increasingly intense. 


"Why are you doing this all of a sudden, Director? Everyone is working here," 


"Everyone here, just get out now. Who are you to tell me what to do? I am the organizer, the director, and the producer here. This, this, this, everything here! I created all of it. It's my work! Get out before I destroy everything right here, right now!" 


His voice exploded like a thunderous roar. Everyone froze. Junwoo, too, blinked in confusion, not understanding the situation. If the owner says to leave, then they should leave. As he tried to stand up to follow them, 


"No. You, stay right there." 


Roberto blocked Junwoo's path. It wasn't a request; it was more like an order. 


At that moment, decorum and manners were the last things on his mind. 


Just a moment ago, Roberto hadn't been acting like this. His sudden change in behavior left everyone on set puzzled, and they began to quietly head towards the door. The production team, also bewildered, blended in with the crowd. 


After a flurry of people hurried out, only two were left in the now-silent, vast hall. 


Junwoo felt awkward. He was less upset and more curious about why Roberto was behaving this way. 


Roberto almost forcibly placed a control remote in Junwoo's hand. 


"Try something. I need to see something here right now." 


Taking the remote, Junwoo lightly rubbed his nose. 


"Why should I?" 


"It's fascinating, isn't it? Fun. You said it's your first time at a big show venue like this. Just try anything you want. I'll allow it." 




"It might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." 


Roberto added that he was willing to change everything about this place right now. 


Swiftly, Junwoo turned his head to look behind. He gazed towards the large photograph of Bianca covering the back of the show hall. 


"I don't think that's necessary." 


Junwoo picked up a heavy light that had been brightly illuminating Bianca on the stage and headed toward the back of the photograph. 


Roberto, who had been skeptical about what Junwoo could possibly achieve with just a light, was able to understand everything a bit later. 


Behind the child standing tall on the main stage, a large silhouette stretched out like a shadow. The photograph seemed to move in sync with the child's movements. Roberto's mouth fell open in amazement. He couldn't understand how such a setup was possible. 


He realized it was a flaw beyond his capability, something he had missed despite his efforts. 


It was at the moment when the child in the center seemed to merge with the background. Roberto's eyes flickered. For a moment, he saw the child standing there as Bianca, dressed in a glamorous gown. 


It was more than a fashion show; it was an epic narrative. The reason he, a film director, chose to produce this show was unfolding before his eyes. 


Following the path of the stage, a Bianca more beautiful than any photograph could capture, emerged. It was a rebirth. Finally, a perfect finale was set. 




After the Korean broadcasting team left, Roberto struggled to regain his composure for a while. The assistant director felt a sense of foreboding. The director, standing dazed like someone who had expended all his energy, was in a worrying state. What decision was he going to make next... 


Roberto, with a vacant expression, was staring up at the photograph. Wait, just looking at the photograph? 


"Did you find the problem?" 




The problem he had not been able to find, no matter how hard he tried. The child who found it in a short time. And as if that was the only answer, it firmly lodged in his mind, allowing no room for rebuttal or other thoughts. 




If this show could be completed as the child suggested... For a moment, Roberto considered stealing the child's credit. After all, the child was going to leave. In his position, such a thing wasn't difficult. But Roberto knew himself too well. He was engulfed in a painful dilemma, contemplating which choice would save him. 


Roberto slowly closed his eyes. The conclusion was to acknowledge his own incompetence. He let out a long breath. 


"The show will go on as it is. Nothing will change. Nothing at all." 


The assistant director was startled. As he said this, Roberto's face was twisted as if it was difficult to bear. 


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