Life, Once Again!

Chapter 49

Chapter 49

Chapter 49

“It’s hot,” Maru noted, staring up at the sky .

The blazing sunlight was making his shadow look longer than normal . Grayer, too . Even the shadow started to look a bit lighter from how bright the sun was . Some of the students were even coming to school in gym clothes . Since shorts weren’t allowed by the school, they just decided to come in gym clothes instead .

Maru had done the exact same as well . It was mid-July . The students were only a week away from starting their summer vacation, the weather has turned the school into a giant steaming pot .

As a matter of fact, it was so hot that even the disciplinary teacher didn’t leave the building all day . Thanks to that, the students who had their hair done were able to proudly walk into the school without any worries .

“Summer vacation can’t start soon enough . ”

After all, the best part of being a student was their vacation . Maru parked his bike and ran inside . The cold air was a huge relief .

“Phew, I feel so much better . ”

Maru sat down to look at the seat next to him . It didn’t look like Dojin came to school just yet .

“Ugh, it’s so hot . ”

Daemyung came over from his row to sit at Dojin’s seat . After the play, Daemyung had gained some of his weight back . He didn’t look very fat though . Just a little bit chubby .

“The fan on the front row isn’t working . ”

“You have a window though . ”

“The window’s only letting in hot air . It’s insane . ”

Daemyung fanned himself with his mouth half-open . There was a little picture of a computer pasted onto it . He must’ve gotten it near an electronic market or something .

“You got an extra fan?”

“No, you want to use this?”

Daemyung offered his fan, but Maru shook his head .

“You've been eating a lot of tasty stuff recently?” Maru asked .

“Hahaha, yeah, I’ve eaten a fair bit . Been craving a lot . ”

“Try to cut down a bit . You look perfect right now . ”

“Yeah, for real . If I try to lose some again for practice . . . ”

Daemyung’s face fell a little bit the moment he said the word .

Practice .

He hadn’t spoken the word in a while . The door to the classroom opened with a creak . It was Dojin . Daemyung stood up from his seat with a smile .

“You barely made it . . ”

“Man, I ran like I was going for a home steal . I flipping thought I had the alarm clock set, but when I woke up, it was eight already . I barely ate breakfast and just bolted it . ”

Dojin collapsed on his seat . Daemyung fanned Dojin lightly from the side .

“Did you play games last night?” Maru asked .

“It was intense last night . Right, Daemyung?”

Daemyung nodded with an excited grin .

“We ended up catching a boss we were waiting for . It’s a popular one, so it was super hard to try to catch it . ”

“We were lucky yesterday . Dojin managed to find it first . ”

Right then, the rest of the kids in the class walked towards them . They seemed to have played the game together . Maru smiled looking at the familiar scene .

“The drops were so trash though . ”

“Ugh, and I used so many potions too . . . ”

“For real . ”

“It did drop a lot of cash though . We should try again . ”

“You should join us too, Maru,” Dojin offered .

Maru received the offer several times in the past . In his previous life, he probably would’ve played the game as much as he could from the open beta period .

He was still playing the game now, but only up to an hour or two a day . He couldn’t catch up to the other kids . In the end, his friends were way above where he was currently .

“RPGs are no good for me . Too much grinding . I’ll just play whenever I feel free . ”

“Ugh, bro, I told you that I can grind for you . ”

“Just carry me bro . ”

The kids laughed in unison . Maru looked at his two friends for a second . This scene had become their daily life again . Contrary to last month, when they were gripping their scripts with passion .

“What are you thinking, Maru?” Dojin asked, waving his hand in front of Maru’s face .

Maru blurted out what was on his mind without really thinking about it .

“How long are you guys planning on just reading your script for the club?”

His two friends fell completely silent after hearing his words . That was a mistake, Maru realized . The two still haven’t recovered after the play last month .

Daemyung was the first to break the silence .

“We’re thinking about entering the teen acting competition hosted by Gwangho University . ”


“Yeah . ”

“Is it because of Geunseok?”

“ . . . . . . ”

They became silent again . The bell for the first class rang right then . Daemyung smiled awkwardly before returning to his seat . Maru turned to look at Dojin, who smiled similarly, before taking out a piece of candy .

“Want one?”

“Sure . ”

“Here . ”

Dojin popped a piece in his mouth himself and fell silent . Maru looked at his two friends . Their minds seemed to have come to a pause after the regionals last month .

* * *

At the play a month ago, the first thing Maru saw at the waiting room was Geunseok collapsed on the wall, with the club members looking at the boy .

“If it wasn’t for that kid, if it wasn’t for him… The judges . . . ”

Geunseok wasn’t able to raise his head . He was just repeating the same words over and over again . The club members didn’t look mad at all, they looked like they needed explanation . They didn’t understand what had happened .

Just what caused the perfect Geunseok to make such an amateur mistake?

That day, the club split apart . Miso didn’t try to assemble the club members either .

[Trying to come together on a day like this would be too cruel for that boy,] Miso had said .

The club met together the next day in the club room . The members tried to console each other saying that they would do better next time .

But the look of “how?” would still not leave their eyes . Geunseok’s mistake was just that shocking to them .

Nothing changed since then . They spent a full week consoling each other . And on the day when the results of the competition got announced, the club met again . Taesik, the teacher, was the one who announced the results . He told the club that this was a good experience for them, and that they could do better next time . But ultimately, he said the club failed to qualify .

Geunseok cried . He said in a sobbing voice that he was sorry . Daemyung was the next to burst into tears, with Yurim following the two of them . The eleven members of the club got together to console each other . Maru didn’t join in . Instead, watching from the side .

He had no place with them . They could only console each other because they worked together for the full three months . Maru didn’t have the right to cry or get angry together .

Joonghyuk was the first to recover, saying that they should practice for the other acting competitions coming up later this year . Namely, the college acting festival . It was nothing compared to the national one, but it was the one competition that started soon after the regionals .

The competition was also well-known as the ‘losers’ festival’ .

As the club members nodded at Joonghyuk, Maru noticed Geunseok saying something from the corner .

[If it wasn’t for that kid . . . ]

The boy was repeating the same words from before . It didn’t look like anyone else picked up on it . Right then, the two’s eyes met . Geunseok flinched like a surprised kid and lowered his head . Perhaps what he said just then was what he truly felt about the competition .

After that day, the club completely disappeared from the auditorium . They met on the weekends occasionally just to do some reading, but not much else . They didn’t need much practice, since they would go into the college competition with the same play from before .

There was a change, though . Miso stopped coming .

Perhaps the change should’ve been expected . She was only really here to help the club along for their regionals after all .

[I’m going into a different project this time . I wasn’t going to do it, but well, I have some time now,] Maru recalled her saying .

She tried not to show it, but Maru did detect a great amount of disappointment on her face . She loved the club more than anyone else . The loss of the club this time was probably very saddening for her as well .

Once Maru thought about this much, the door opened, and the teacher walked in . The first thing the middle-aged man said after walking in was “open your books” .

Time to focus on the class .

Maru took out his book from his desk .

* * *

It was lunchtime . Any other time, the students would have rushed towards the cafeteria, but this time everyone was walking like zombies .

It was hot as hell .

“Oh my god, it’s so hot . ”

“Seriously . . . ”

“Saying that’s only going to make it worse . Just imagine it’s cold . ”

“You sound like my dad . ”

“I mean, there’s a reason adults say these kinds of things . ”

Maru fanned with his hand as he spoke . The summer heat lowered his appetite, and the lunch menu was also unappetizing . He was craving meat quite a bit today, but… The school decided it was time for a vegetable party .

“Braised potatoes and braised lotus root . Anyone want to trade?”

“Pass . ”

“Yeah, I’m gonna pass on that too . ”

The food at this school was somewhat edible, but the braised potatoes were by far the worst . The crunchy potatoes and watery sauce made the braised dish unappetizing . In the end, the dish just tasted like a whole bunch of raw potatoes .


Daemyung pointed at Geunseok in front of him . The boy was going to the cafeteria with his friends . Behind him was Yurim and Soyeon .

“Am I imagining things? Why are the three of them so far apart?” Dojin said, narrowing his eyes .

Maru couldn’t help but think the same thing . The three of them were very good friends with each other . But the group seemed to have an awkward atmosphere today . Yurim and Soyeon still looked like they were good friends . But there was definitely something going on with Geunseok .

Dojin ran forward, coming right up between Yurim and Soyeon . What a social kid . He immediately waved his hand towards Daemyung and Maru . The two girls waved towards them as well .

“Let’s go . ”

“Sure . ”

Maru and Daemyung made their way over to the trio .

“Braised potatoes today . ”

“Soyeon, want some of my share?”

“I like eating, but it’s a hard pass on that . ”

They were talking about the potatoes here, too . Maru glanced over at Geunseok in front of him . The boy looked back after joking around a bit with his friends . Their eyes met . Maru raised his hand in a greeting, and the boy awkwardly did the same .

Geunseok’s definitely changed . Outside of the club, he smiled a lot, and became casual . It wasn’t like he started talking a lot more, but he was definitely more social than he was in the auditorium . But look at him now . He looked like a kid who did something wrong, not knowing what to do next .

Maru turned to look at Yurim and Soyeon . The two also had awkward smiles on their faces . There was definitely a barrier between the three of them . A pretty big one, too .

“Did you guys have a fight?” Maru asked .

He knew that he probably shouldn’t be asking something so personal, but he felt something strange was going on between the group .

The two girls shook their heads vigorously in response . Yurim, in particular, shook hard enough to make her hair flutter wildly .

“Nothing’s happening, nothing . ”

Yurim clenched her phone incredibly tightly as she spoke . There was no way she would look convincing doing so . It would be rude of him to pry further though, so he decided to continue walking into the cafeteria silently .

“There’s something going on, isn’t there?” Dojin whispered .

“Let’s stay quiet for now . They’ll handle it among themselves . ”

“Mm . ”

Maru looked at Geunseok in front of him . The smiling boy didn’t look as comfortable as he made himself to be .

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