Possessed 10 Million Actors-Chapter 167:

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Chapter 167:

"Hmm…"

After receiving a call from Go Seoyeong and agreeing to work together, the junior reporter, Lee Gija, was sitting in the office early in the morning, blinking at the file sent by Go Seoyeong.

"There's definitely something fishy about this."

The contents of the file sent by Go Seoyeong were straightforward. It detailed Kang Jinseok's school days, mentioning a brawl that landed several students in the hospital, and the fact that KL Entertainment possessed the related documents.

Moreover, the information suggested that, for some reason, KL Entertainment was still keeping quiet about the issue.

"If there was something wrong between KL Entertainment and Kang Jinseok, they would have exposed it right away… Why are they keeping silent?"

In reality, the reason was simple. Revealing this now would cause more damage to KL Entertainment. Of course, it could be strategic, saving it for later when the benefits would be greater, but Lee Gija's intuition didn't lean towards such an idea.

Tap, tap.

"I feel like there's something here…"

As Lee Gija pondered, tapping the mouse with his finger, the editor-in-chief, with long dark circles under his eyes, entered.

"What's this? Did this reporter pull an all-nighter?"

"Oh, Editor-in-chief, did you come in early today?"

"Yeah, did you sleep well last night or something? Woke up early in the morning."

"Did you sleep well? The dark circles under your eyes suggest otherwise."

"You're not in great shape either. So, why did you stay up last night?"

"Well, about that…"

Lee Gija chuckled and vaguely replied.

"It's a secret."

"A secret? What kind of secret?"

"It's a secret because it's a secret."

"Is this guy joking? Hurry up and spill the beans. Are you trying to bring in another nonsensical report and article?"

"No, it's not like that. This time, I'm really sure."

"You, last time you said it was definite and almost got our company, OS Entertainment, sued for trying to write an article about some square relationship between Kang Jinseok, Yeo Hyemin, Park Hayeon, and Seo Yeonsoo. I still haven't forgotten that. Hurry up and spill it! Do you know how much trouble I got into with the boss because of that?"

"Oh, that was originally not a lawsuit matter, but Senior Go Seoyeong set an example… Anyway, this time it's really, really solid, so look forward to it, Editor-in-chief. I'll go cover it!"

"Hey, you! Where are you going? Morning meeting…!"

Ignoring the editor's scolding, Lee Gija rushed out of the office door. Then, he raised his thumb to the editor and said, "Give me a week! I'll bring back something really, really solid!"

***

A few days after shooting the scene where the female lead and male lead met for the first time.

I returned to Dongkyung University to film the next scene. While waiting for my call time in the classroom I used it as a waiting room.

"Wow… Actor-nim, have you seen outside?"

"Outside?"

"Yes. There are a lot of rabbit fans today too."

"Rabbit fans… you mean my fans?"

"Yes. It seems like there are one or two times more than last time. Oh, there! That person seems to be selling carrots?"

Approaching Ha Jun, I leaned toward the window.

"…Really."

Looking outside, there were various fans in rabbit costumes, and occasionally someone even cosplaying with rabbit ears over a hat.

"Should I go say hello?"

I thought about it but quickly shook my head. It wouldn't be polite to act solo just before filming. Moreover, without any control, going to greet so many people could lead to trouble. It might cause inconvenience to the staff.

"But I should greet those who are still here after the shoot. Let me take a picture first."

Click, click.

After taking pictures from various angles, I returned to my seat. There was still some time until the call time, so I planned to read the script once more.

——

"Someday, we'll meet again." Leaving the woman's words behind, the protagonist Shirosaki returns to Tokyo. Back in Tokyo, Shirosaki visits the school again to repay the money he borrowed from the principal. While having a brief conversation with the principal, he realizes a shocking truth.

——

"The shocking truth is…"

I was about to read the next part when…

Knock, knock.

"Excuse me. Is Actor Kang here?"

A staff member opened the door and entered.

"Yes, that's me."

"Oh, there you are. Actor Kang, would it be okay to start the shoot a bit earlier?"

"Sure, I'll go now."

As I casually stood up, Ha Jun, who was next to me, seemed surprised. He didn't say anything, but his expression seemed to convey, "They're calling the actor when there's still 30 minutes until the call time?"

Call time is a promise actors must keep, but it's also a commitment the production team has to uphold. So, I understood and appreciated Ha Jun's reaction.

"It's okay, Ha Jun-nim. It's good to shoot quickly and move on to the next scene. Waiting is the hardest part in filming, after all."

I lightly joked, and Ha Jun nodded with a cool smile.

A little later, I arrived at the shooting location, the principal's office. As the staff had mentioned, the preparations seemed to be almost complete, with no bustle but the characteristic calm tension of a filming set.

"Ah, Actor Kang. You were in the waiting room."

Katahiro spoke with a slightly tired voice.

"I'm sorry for calling you in so early. The staff worked very efficiently, and everything was ready quickly."

"That's fine. It's good to take it easy during the shoot."

Katahiro responded with a satisfied smile and a nod.

"Well, as soon as Actor Kang is ready, we'll start. Let's do well in one take again this time."

"Yep."

I sat down at the desk in the center of the headmaster's office, where multiple cameras were pointed. The actor playing the role of the ‘headmaster' had arrived earlier and greeted me with a slight nod.

Since he was usually a man of few words, I also greeted him with a smile without saying much.

And a moment later.

"We're going to start filming right away!"

The staff member who always announced the start of filming spoke with a strong voice, and—

"Ready… action."

Katahiro's careful voice signaled the beginning of the shoot. When the actor playing the ‘headmaster' in front of me started speaking, the scene changed.

***

"This place is… the headmaster's office."

In the familiar, slightly musty-smelling headmaster's office that I had visited before, Tadano stared into space with a somewhat vacant gaze, recalling the words of the woman he had met on his journey.

——

"If you have to live anyway, it's better to live happily than sadly. Smile and the whole world will smile with you… Cry, and you'll end up crying alone."

——

After parting ways with the woman at the bar, Tadano's mind echoed with her words and voice like an important command. It persisted during the train ride back to Tokyo and even at this moment when he came to repay the principal.

It wasn't just the words and the voice that came to mind. The image of the woman smiling brightly like a fool also lingered. Honestly, Tadano couldn't help but envy the way she lived so brightly.

However, that didn't mean Tadano decided to live as carefree and bright as she did.

——

"Ah, Tadano-kun. Sorry for being late. The meeting ran late."

——

As the headmaster opened the door and entered, Tadano stood up and greeted him.

——

"No problem, Headmaster. I understand you're busy."

——

"Thanks for understanding. By the way…"

——

The headmaster put his bag down somewhere under the desk and asked with a puzzled voice.

——

"Have you already finished your trip?"

——

"Yes. I used the money you gave me back then for the trip."

——

At Tadano's words, the headmaster scratched his chin and said in a perplexed tone.

——

"Hmm… That money shouldn't have been so little that you could spend it so quickly."

——

"Don't worry. I brought back the money you lent me."

——

Tadano's words made the principal raise his eyebrows as if something was strange.

——

"Well… It's not about the money. I'm just curious. I wondered what you did to spend that much money so quickly."

——

As Tadano was about to hand the wad of money back to the headmaster, his hand stopped. He didn't know how to answer the headmaster's question.

——

‘With that woman, for a day… No, for a few hours of chatting, I spent all that money. Well, saying it like that doesn't sound right.'

——

Regardless of the truth, he couldn't say he had spent such a sum frivolously. After a brief hesitation, Tadano spoke with the calmest voice he could muster.

——

"I spent it in a good place."

——

"A good place?"

——

"Yes. It was somewhere I really needed it."

——

“Hm…”

——

The headmaster stared at Tadano with a long gaze. When Tadano didn't avoid his gaze, the headmaster smiled subtly and spoke.

——

“I don't know what happened for the past few days, but your face seems to have improved. Your voice, too. You might not notice it yourself, but anyway.”

“What do you mean, I don't understand. I haven't changed anything.”

“People often don't realize the changes in themselves. Anyway, if it's difficult to tell what you did with the money, tell me what else you did. By the way, did you write a diary? It was also an assignment.”

“Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to write the diary.”

“It seems like you had quite an enjoyable trip if you forgot your assignments. You're a good student, just like that.”

——

As the headmaster spoke with a slightly teasing tone, Tadano chuckled.

——

“It wasn't particularly enjoyable. It was just a bit of a busy trip.”

“A busy trip, huh? What happened?”

“Well, that's…”

——

Tadano hesitated with his words. Then, as if reminiscing about old memories, he began the story with a vacant look.

——

“After parting ways with the headmaster at the station, I went into a restaurant because I was hungry and wanted to eat.”

“I see. And then?”

“I met a woman in that restaurant. We ended up sharing a table by chance.”

“Oh, so you shared a table with a woman? I kind of liked the sound of that.”

“It's not like that. We just ended up sitting together purely by chance. She was quite talkative, and I even got to know her name. Her name was…”

“?”

“Her name was… well…”

——

Tadano, who had been speaking casually, suddenly got stuck at the mention of the woman's name.

——

“…What was her name?”

“?”

“Wait a moment. It was quite a common name. Her name was…”

——

Wrinkles formed on Tadano's forehead. He struggled to find the woman's name in his memory to the extent that sweat formed on his forehead. However, the name eluded Tadano's lips.

After Tadano failed to utter the name for a while, the headmaster spoke as if unconcerned.

——

"It's okay about the name. More importantly, what kind of place did you go to? In travel stories, these details are important."

"Oh, yes. That place was…"

"?

"So, what kind of place was it? It was a shop that sold things that didn't suit Mozuku at all. They sold alcohol, too, and there were a lot of people. It was in an alley behind the station. For some reason, the woman said that people with stories gathered there."

——

Tadano struggled to recall the ‘shop' as if trying to memorize answers to an exam he had stayed up all night studying for. However, the crucial ‘shop' didn't come to mind, and only miscellaneous details about the shop circulated in his head.

The headmaster initially looked at Tadano with a smile, perhaps thinking that Tadano was joking inappropriately. However, as Tadano exerted himself to find the memories to the point where his breathing became labored, the headmaster's expression became a bit more serious.

——

"Tadano-kun? Is there a problem?"

"Oh, no. No problem. Just, well, the shop where I met that woman… a bar? No, it wasn't. I chased after her the second time we met. The first place we met was…"

Tadano continued to mumble and fumble. However, instead of obtaining the desired answer from himself, he kept muttering unnecessary information.

After a while, as Tadano continued to murmur, he asked the headmaster with a trembling voice.

——

"Um… Headmaster?"

"…?"

"Why did I go on that trip?"

Updat𝒆d fr𝒐m freew𝒆bnov𝒆l.c(o)m

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