* * * *
Walking up the stairs to the 8th floor, Maru was able to catch up with the blue-shirt, Yoo Jiseok, who was struggling to pull the cart up the stairs.
“Why are you so late?” He asked with a flushed expression.
“Jeez, you’re a strange guy.”
“Speak later and help me pull this up the stairs.
I somehow managed to pull it up here from the 7th floor, but I reached my limit.”
It seemed that the loaded cart was rather heavy for Jiseok, who was 170cm tall and quite skinny.
He probably only got here with the help of the lady who carried the contents of the cart up the stairs by hand.
You’ll get hurt.”
The lady came down and spoke, her expression full of worry.”
We can pull this up the stairs in one go if we felt like it.
He didn’t sound that convincing since he was panting heavily.
Not only that, since when were they on such close terms? Maru clicked his tongue and stood next to Jiseok.
“I’ll pull from the front.
You push from the b…”
“Nah, get out of the way.
It’ll be dangerous for a rookie to be at the front.”
“This thing is heavy, though.”
“That’s because you aren’t using your strength the correct way.”
Pushing Jiseok aside, Maru grabbed the bottom of the cart and put the weight against his waist and thighs.
‘It’s within my limits.’
In his new life, his physical body was more developed than his previous one.
Exerting strength into his lower stomach, he started pulling the cart.
The wheels rattled against the stairs, slowly climbing.
“Whoa, you’re strong!”
“Don’t just cheer for me, push a little from the back.”
With someone to push from the back, it was much easier to pull for Maru.
Maru pulled the cart all the way onto the corridor of the 9th floor in one breath.
Thanks for all your help.
There’s a supply room on this floor so I’ll be fine by myself.”
The lady bought the two of them some canned coffee from the vending machine.
As this matter ended much earlier than Maru expected it to, the two had enough time to drink.
“They shouldn’t have called my name yet, right?”
It would be a pain to explain, so Maru decided to pretend not to know.
The interview continued and it soon became Jiseok’s turn.
“I’m going off first, then.”
As soon as Jiseok went in, people flooded out from where the elevator was.
It was over 11 o’clock right now.
They seemed to be the next set up interviewees.
As Maru had expected, they were all very young.
The interview was only 2 to 3 minutes long.
Some even came out as soon as they entered.
Jiseok also left the interview room after around 5 minutes.
“Wow, you were waiting for me?”
Ignoring Jiseok who came towards him with a big grin, Maru walked into the interview room.
Please go in.”
The lady made way for him.
Maru went into the interview room, quietly closed the door and stood next to the chair.
In front of him were 3 people, of whom, 1 he knew.
The person in the middle was a very large middle-aged man.
He asked after looking at Maru’s application.
He sat down on the metal chair and stood upright.
He pulled his chin inward and gazed at the middle-aged man who seemed to be asking the questions.
The middle-aged man glanced at Maru over his glasses.
“Are you in high school?”
“And you read the original work?”
“Yes, I have.”
“What role do you want to be?”
One of you wants that role.”
The middle-aged man tapped on the chair with the pen in his hand.
He looked towards his left as though he had no more questions to ask.
The man he looked at was likewise middle-aged, but unlike the middle man, he was well-built.
“You might not be able to go to school once we start filming.
Is that fine with you?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Depending on the location, we might go somewhere far, and in those cases, we might take some time.
It might not end in just one or two days, and you might be stuck in the location for a long time without a good reason if we decide to reshoot scenes.
If something happens during the shoot, the filming might get delayed and you might stay there without shooting for the entire day.
That might have an impact on your studies.
Is that fine with you?”
It’s not like I study well enough that missing a few days will impact my grades much.”
You speak well.”
The man in the middle spoke.
“Please, mind your etiquette.”
“Well, he’s younger than me.”
But being older isn’t something to boast about.”
“Oh fine, I get it.
I’ll stay quiet, so you do whatever you want.
You might as well be the director.
Why don’t you write the script, do the filming and do the editing all by yourself?”
The man in the middle became quiet, but he was clearly pouting.
The one on the left shook his head and told Maru not to mind him.
“Is it possible for you to do a role other than the delinquent?”
“I’ll try the audition and accept whatever outcome you give me.”
“Haha, that’s asking us to let you pass the interview.”
The man on the left nodded his head and stayed quiet.
Maru then looked at the man on the right.
Was he supposed to act like he knew the guy or what?
Just as he was contemplating, the man spoke.
“You have quite a peculiar name.
What does it mean? Your name Maru shouldn’t be the maru meaning floor, right?”
“It means the sky.”
Hearing that, the man in the middle clicked his fingers and spoke.
“That’s a good name.
The sky, huh? Man proposes, heaven disposes! Looks like having him on board will greatly increase our luck.
Hey you, come to the audition.
That’s it! We’re finished.
I’m dying from hunger.”
“There’s still around 150 people left.”
“What? 150 people? Are you kidding? What about food?”
“Make do with some bread.
We don’t have any time.”
“This is why I wanted to do this interview in groups.
Jeez, this guy just doesn’t have any leeway.”
“Can I tell that to the producer?”
“…Do you want to never see me again?”
The man in the middle was rather grumbly, while the man on the left was very strict.
Maru looked at the two of them before greeting the man on the right with his eyes.
The greeted man, Gwak Joon, faintly smiled.
“Thanks for coming.
You may leave.”
Maru stood up and left the interview room.
It seemed that this interview wasn’t intended to filter out people with bad personalities.
This meant that the interview was intended to see if the candidates matched the character in the story in regards to body shape, expression, and voice and other external factors.
Despite that, Maru seemed to have been a little nervous as he sighed in relief after leaving the room.
He walked along the long corridor before carrying himself onto the elevator.
He pressed the first floor before closing his eyes.
‘Since I’m in Seoul, should I look around a little before I go back?’
Thinking that, he stepped out of the elevator.
Someone ran towards him while waving his hand.
It was Jiseok.
Behind Jiseok were five others around the same age.
All of them were looking his way.
Perhaps they were Jiseok’s friends who came to cheer him on.
Maru squinted and had a closer look at those people.
Although they were all sitting on the same sofa, they clearly looked very awkward.
Maru walked up towards them and asked.
“Who here knows each other?”
All five of them shook their heads at the same time.
“We can get to know each other from now.
We are one, we are friends.
Where else would you find people like this? Right? We’re at the same age, and we’re here for the same audition.
Now that’s a drama in itself.”
Jiseok was practically blessing this meeting.
Maru left him to speak and asked the five other people.
“Who here feels awkward?”
When he asked that, all five of them raised their hands.
There was no way that Jiseok’s personality was something that they could get along with easily.
“You can go then.
Our ancestors were never wrong when they said not to hang out with crazy people.”
Leaving behind Jiseok, who was clearly very excited and was making exaggerated motions like punching the air, they left the building.
The five others followed Maru out and separated after wishing each other luck.
Maru was also about to leave before the annoying guy followed him, but that guy wasn’t ordinary.
“What, you’re leaving already?”
He was going down the stairs to get the bus, when the excited voice called out to him from behind.
Maru kept walking while making a ‘I don’t know this crazy guy’ face, but Jiseok got close without minding that at all.
“Aren’t you going home?”
“We just met, so it would be a pity if we separated, right? We’re all colleagues around here so we should get together and do something big, yeah?”
If you have so much energy, then why don’t you go run a lap around the park and go home and sleep?”
“You’re so cruel.
But, that cruelty makes you charming.
You’re the type that’s popular with the ladies.”
“Oh, and you can see that?”
This guy never ran out of things to talk about.
Maru knew that this guy didn’t have any malicious intentions.
He was a cheerful guy.
It was just that his wave of cheerfulness assaulted others around him.
As someone relaxing on a lone boat amidst calm waters, this guy was a catastrophe.
“I’ll give you an irresistible offer!”
Saying that he pulled out two tickets.
They were rather familiar.
“This is all the rage these days.”
The tickets he pulled out were for ‘Dream of Lottery’.
“As an actor, you can’t miss out an opportunity to watch a field manual play like this, no?”
“Do you even know what a field manual is?”
My brother is in the military.”
He grinned as he said that.
It was the same ticket as the one Miso gave him to watch with the rest of the club.
He already made an appointment to watch it next weekend.
Although it was worth watching the play twice, Maru wondered if it was really worth watching the play once again with a guy like this.
“You can go watch it by yourself.”
Jiseok blocked Maru’s way with puppy eyes.
This guy… he was a strong enemy.
Even Maru, who was adept at resolving human relationships, couldn’t easily get this guy off him.
“You don’t have any friends?”
“I moved around a lot.
I was in Busan just a while ago.
I do have friends, but there’s no one I can meet right now.”
“You’re making me feel sorry.”
“You feel sorry? Then let’s watch it together.
Today’s the last day.
It’ll be a waste to not use it.”
Maru took out his phone.
It was 12:11.
Since the play started at 3, there would be plenty of time even if he ate lunch and went to Hyehwa station afterwards.
“Did you have lunch yet?”
“Then let’s go get something to eat first.”
“…I don’t have any money though.”
“Then I’ll treat you so shut up for the next three hours.
Not a bad deal, right?”
“Then I’ll skip.”
Maru felt a headache.
When he walked while pressing on his head, Jiseok followed suit.
In his mind, he was thinking, ‘They wouldn’t do the audition together right? They wouldn’t both be picked for the role, right? It would be a real pain if that happened.’
Maru glared at Jiseok, who poked at his side.
“What was your name again?”
‘So he’s asking that now?’ Maru shook his head and walked forward.
“Hey! I’m asking what your name is!”
Jiseok’s voice reverberated in his ears.
* * * *
“To think that you’d show up for picking a minor role, the apocalypse must be approaching.”
Choi Joonggeun spoke as he glanced at the director, Park Hoyoung.
“That’s how serious I am about this.
Joon, you should receive a glass from me.”
Hoyoung poured a glass for Gwak Joon.
“Thanks everyone for today.
It’s over now.
The manhunt is going well, and the team is awesome.
Now, all that’s left is to get a good picture.”
“We didn’t hold the audition yet though.”
“I don’t want to put that on my mind.
The pros will do something about it.
How about you, Joon? Did you see anyone you like?”
“I found a few.”
“There you go.
Let’s reflect on the original author’s opinions as much as possible.”
Clang! They toasted with the soju glasses.
“Let’s do this.
I should leave behind something big during my megaphone life.”
“7 million is not enough for you?”
“It’s definitely not enough.
That’s my target.”
“Silmi-do already hit that though.”
“Then 20 million!”
“That’s a big dream.”
“I can do it, I know I can!”
Hoyoung put down his soju glass and started drinking from the bottle.
“Stop! I’m not dealing with you drunk again.”
Joonggeun restrained him.
Meanwhile, Gwak Joon just flipped over the grilling meat after giving a glance at the two.
’ is similar to being
I was going to use the word textbook, but the lines after it gave me no choice
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