Life, Once Again! - Chapter 485

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“I think I’m going to go home late. You can eat dinner by yourself.”

But what about the bungeo-ppang? - Maru lightly ignored his sister’s words before hanging up. Bada had started to move a lot less ever since the weather became cold. During the summer, she was almost never in the house during the day, but right now, she was practically hibernating at home.

“Hey.”

Maru slapped Dowook’s back. Dowook looked at him.

“You should call Bada out and play together.”

“Are you teasing me right now? I’ll only be able to do it if I have the time to.”

“I guess that’s true.”

“But why? Did she say something?”

“She’s really edgy these days. Why does she come to me to nag about how you don’t call her frequently?”

“I have it hard too. I have to be on the phone for nearly an hour after midnight. My dad is already suspicious of me because the phone bill is pretty high.”

“Sorry about that, should I compensate for some?”

“Who said it’s a money problem? The problem is that dad keeps….”

Asking me if I have a girlfriend - Dowook added as he sighed.

“Why don’t you just reveal it to him?”

“I can reveal it to dad, for sure. But once dad finds out, my sister will find out as well. I don’t think I can cope with that.”

“I guess things will become a little tiring once Soojin-noona finds out since she dotes on her brother so much.”

“A little, you say?”

Even though there was no wind blowing, Dowook was shaking.

“Do you know what my wish is these days?”

“What is it?”

“It’s for my sister to get married. She’ll leave the house if she does.”

“Is it that bad?”

“It feels way too awkward now that she’s acting too close to me. It’s good that we resolved our misunderstanding and became close, but it’s honestly hard to cope with her coming to my room and chatting with me for an hour.”

“You should just try to understand your sister’s love for you.”

“Goddammit. Why don’t you take some of it?”

“I have to apologize, I have an owner already.”

Dowook panted in frustration as he started walking again.

“We’re almost there. The school’s right around the corner.”

Inho said those words after riding an hour by train - to Yatap station - and walking for another ten minutes. They walked deep into the residential area and turned right at the end. The school was there. Hwasoo Highschool. There was also another school in the distance. It was probably a middle school or elementary school.

From the school gate, the school building looked very clean and had a clear color. It seemed that it either underwent maintenance recently or was a newly built school.

“There’s Yoojin-unni’s school, and there’s this one. Why is our school the only one that looks shabby?”

“That’s because it’s an engineering high school.”

Aram went in as she twitched her lips.

There were quite a lot of people in the school field, and it seemed that a local soccer club had come out on an activity.

“That’s the hall.”

There was a dome-shaped building where Inho was pointing. Just like the main building, it didn’t look like it had been long since it was built. They pushed open the glass door before going in. Although there was a staircase to the upper floor, there was a sign that said no entry. It seemed that it wasn’t used normally.

“Wow,” exclaimed Jiyoon, who was the first to enter the hall.

Maru, who entered afterwards, also nodded his head as he looked around at the facility. The floor was elastic, which made him think it was urethane flooring. There was a platform 1 meter tall at the front, and on top of that was the national flag. He subconsciously imagined a principal’s speech, even though he had never seen that person before for this school.

“We do our practice here, and we keep our props over there. Since you’re here, wanna look around?”

Inho opened the door to the left of the hall. Behind the door was quite spacious. On the left end, there was gymnastics equipment like parallel bars and a gymnastics vault, and on the right were hangers with clothes, as well as some wooden boards that seemed to be part of a set.

“This is so spacious. I think it’s wide enough to fit five of our containers here.”

Bangjoo opened his arms wide to measure the distance.

“How many costumes do you have at Woosung High?”

“We don’t have that many. We had to throw them away.”

“Oh, I see.”

Inho smiled awkwardly and stopped asking. Daemyung said something about an unfortunate event back at the restaurant, so he seemed to have realized that it was a sensitive topic.

“I think we should exercise to digest what we ate, how about it?”

Inho switched the topic and pointed at the platform.

“Should we?”

Daemyung agreed and walked outside. Maru closed the zipper he opened when he entered the hall. He felt like the cold air reduced his body temperature a lot.

“There are heaters, but we can’t use them as we wish.”

There were large heaters placed throughout the hall, but they weren’t able to use them due to the electricity costs.

“Should we jog for a bit then?” Daemyung asked first.

Inho nodded before having his members stand in a line.

“Let’s stand with them.”

Behind Hwasoo High, who stood in two lines, Woosung High followed. Inho started jogging lightly. As the hall was pretty large, it took minutes to run a whole lap. They ran about three laps like that.

“I think that should be enough,” said Inho as he stopped.

The people of Hwasoo High seemed satisfied.

“Why?” Daemyung asked.

“Why? Because I think that was enough of a warm up.”

“Oh, I see.”

When Daemyung took a step back with a nod, Inho asked this time.

“How many laps do you do then?”

“Us? We usually run about ten laps around the school field before practice. At first, it was pretty hard, but we got used to it after doing it for a while.”

“Oh, ten laps?”

Inho looked back at his club members and spoke,

“Let’s go jogging in the school field.” 

* * *

“No, but how….”

Heewon panted and put his arms on his knees. He ran long enough to the point that he didn’t feel the cold anymore. He was sweating hard. He raised his head and looked at the others. Everyone was panting heavily.

“You guys are good!”

“Do your best!”

The men from the local soccer club shouted as they grilled some meat on the side. Heewon looked at the people of Woosung High’s acting club who ran their last lap as he heard those words.

“I think I finally warmed up.”

Even the feeble-looking Jiyoon didn’t run out of breath. Woosung High looked like they just did some light stretches at most.

“You guys are good at running.”

“We do it every day.”

“I guess we should take note of that.”

Inho, who seemed to be confident in his stamina, seemed to like that intensity of running. Heewon wanted to shake his head vigorously and tell him not to speak nonsense, but he didn’t since he didn’t have any energy.

“Hyung. It feels good to run.”

“I’m exhausted. Give me a piggyback.”

“Hyung. Try taking a deep breath. It feels really refreshing.”

Heewon wondered why there was such a contrast in stamina even though they were brothers. He took a deep breath as he looked at Haewon, who was smiling brightly. He immediately coughed. Forget refreshing, he felt as though his throat was being frozen.

“Now let’s go back to the hall and do some stretches,” Daemyung said.

Faint screams could be heard from Hwasoo High’s party.

“Sounds good!”

Inho was the only one excited. Haewon wished for someone to hold back that guy filled with vitality. Heewon walked back into the hall with drooping shoulders.

“How do you do your stretches? We just add some moves to the national exercise routine.”

“We do stretches according to what our former instructor told us. She always said that an actor must have complete control over their body. It’s a bit hard, but we keep doing it.”

The rather chubby Daemyung sat down on the floor before splitting his legs. It wasn’t a perfect leg split, but considering his body shape, it was shocking. Heewon could hear the girls murmuring - how is that possible?

He took it a step further and leaned forward. He was very flexible despite how he looked. But it wasn’t just Daemyung that practiced like that. Everyone at Woosung High split their legs and leaned forward. Aram and Bangjoo, who were said to be sporty, were almost able to touch their chests on the ground.

“Let’s try as well.”

Inho shouted energetically.

“Try that?”

“Well, yeah.”

“I don’t think I can do it, though.”

“At first, you won’t, but you will be able to if you keep trying.”

Urged by Inho, the club members sat against the wall. Heewon really didn’t want to do this. Leg splits of all things. He looked around and split his legs just to the point it wouldn’t hurt. At that moment, Haewon sat in front of him with a suspicious smile.

“What?”

“You know what. Hyung, I’ll pull you forward.”

“No. I’ll do it by myself. I can do it alone.”

“I’ll help you.”

He couldn’t find his brother’s personality of keeping his words more detestable than today. Heewon groaned and split his legs.

“You might get injured if you force yourselves, so take it slow,” Daemyung explained as he walked around.

Heewon looked at Daemyung with eyes full of resentment.

“D-do your best.”

Daemyung ran away and walked to the next person. Like that, Heewon wrestled with his own legs for around ten minutes until he fell down when he heard someone say that’s enough. His crotch was hurting. It seemed that everyone else seemed to be suffering the same as they were groaning.

“Your way of practice is definitely different from ours, huh.”

“I heard that it’s important for an actor to train their bodies as well.”

“I can’t refute that. What else?”

Inho seemed full of the desire to learn. Heewon raised his hand while feeling his hair stand on end. He thought that he might have to continue these torture-like stretches if he let Inho do what he wanted to.

“Shouldn’t we start rehearsing? Quite a lot of time has passed.”

“Oh, it’s that late already.”

“Right? It’s late. Physical training is good, but we should do acting as well.”

“Whoa, what’s up with you? I never thought you’d say those words, Heewon.”

“H-haha.”

Heewon smiled awkwardly and looked into the distance.

“Then should we show each other what we’re preparing? We’ll start. Oh, we are taking an approach where we freely comment on each other’s acting. I hope you too can tell us if there’s anything you find awkward or anything you think there’s a better way to do. We never get any feedback from people other than us.”

Inho clapped and cleaned up. The club members that went on stage stood at the center of the platform, while the staff members walked to the side.

“What about them?” Maru asked as he pointed at the people sitting on the right.

“They’re staff members,” Inho said.

Hearing the word ‘staff’, the people at Woosung High looked at them with envy. It seemed that they didn’t have any staff members since they didn’t have many members in the first place.

“Then we’ll start. The title of our play is ‘Ready, action’, and the main story is about the conflicts happening in high school acting clubs. I hope you have fun watching, and tell us a lot of things at the end.”

* * *

“You want me to play the main character?”

“Yes, you do it.”

“But didn’t we decide that Yoonjoo is the one playing it?”

“You suit it much better than she does. Anyway, I told you about it, so practice.”

“Seonbae-nim! Seonbae-nim!”

Maru stroked his chin as he watched Hwasoo High’s acting. This was the scene where there was discord occurring in the once-harmonious acting club due to problems regarding casting. This was probably the moment where the dramatic tension was being heightened.

“They’re good,” Maru said to Daemyung who stood next to him.

Daemyung replied ‘true’.

It was quite impressive that they weren’t feeling shy about going on the stage. Despite the fact that the stage was prepared rather suddenly and they were being watched by people other than their own members, Hwasoo High’s acting club was showing a smooth progression of the play.

This proved one thing: a lot of practice. While their skills as individuals might be lacking, there were no big holes in their acting. It would probably receive high scores from the judges who were scoring by criteria.

Maru turned around to the staff this time. They were writing things down while following the acting of the people on stage. The ones that didn’t have any writing equipment in their hands were making small props. The fact that there was a group of people to give feedback to them, and the fact that they had divided up the tasks perfectly was quite surprising when considering that the club was rather new.

He heard that the club president was Heewon, but from the atmosphere, Inho seemed to be the one giving directions. He managed to bring a bunch of high school students together like this in such a short time. The word leader really suited him.

“I don’t find any shortcomings,” Bangjoo said.

That was the main point. There were no shortcomings. There weren’t any trivial mistakes that caused the flow to be broken. The play made a smooth curve upwards. It was pleasing to watch.

And also,

“He definitely is eye-catching.”

Dowook looked at a certain place - it was the place where Heewon was standing

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