Aura of a Genius Actor Chapter 69

Chapter 69 - A Name’s Meaning

༺ A Name’s Meaning ༻

 

  “What should I do if I can’t see any hope no matter how hard I struggle, Bohyung?”

 

  Tears welled up in Harin’s eyes.

 

  The combination of hearing Harin’s situation from Bae Ok-jin and Bohyung’s affection for her character made Yoomyeong’s heart tighten.

 

  She was only twenty-two years old, still closer to a girl than an adult. Yoomyeong gently patted her small shoulders using Bohyung’s touch.

 

  Then, she unexpectedly opened up her innermost feelings and revealed them, borrowing Hana’s honesty.

 

  “…Our company has only four celebrities… I’m the only actress, and the other three are in a girl group. The managers are the couple who own the company. In the past, we were much bigger than we are now, but everyone left, and this is all that’s left.”

 

  Yoomyeong listened to her story quietly without responding or interjecting.

 

  “My boss is really kind. He’s been taking care of me since I was young, and even though I’m a female celebrity, he always made sure nothing strange happened… That’s why I promised him when I was young that I would become a popular actress and that I would repay his kindness. I said that everyone would be impressed once they learned that he was the owner of Cha Harin’s agency and would want to sign a contract with him. I bragged loudly about it without even knowing better.”

 

  She laughed, recalling her fearless childhood.

 

  “The agency was run with honesty, but then things started to go sour. The established artists didn’t renew their contracts, and the investment in trainees and newcomers continued. That’s when the boss started saying that the debt just kept piling up despite all the work. Still, he pushed to debut the trainees who had been with us since they were young last year, saying they must debut…”

 

  It was a world where honesty and diligence alone wouldn’t help one survive.

 

  “Honestly, it’s been several years since I didn’t renew my contract. The boss told me I had no reason to stay here and that I should go somewhere better. But if I leave too, there won’t be anyone left in the company to bring in money. It’s not just the boss and his wife; even the kids who have been dreaming of becoming singers since they were young are struggling. I offered to pay off some of the debt myself, but he vehemently refused when I suggested it. So, I have to try to increase our revenue as much as possible instead.” 

 

  ‘So that’s why she’s working so hard…’ 

 

  “I want to focus on acting, too. Acting is really fun, you know? But events and commercials pay much more. I’m trying my best to do both… but how long do I have to keep doing this? Will it ever end? It’ll be great if the girl group members get popular and make things better, but would that ever happen?”

 

  Phew—

 

  Her sigh seemed like the sigh of a forty-two-year-old and not a twenty-two-year-old, her shoulders slumped as if they carried a heavy burden. 

 

  Yoomyeong had been puzzled when he first saw her acting.

 

  She seemed to use only the minimum energy for daily life and poured all her remaining strength into acting. Considering her age, her sparkling talent and focus were enough to place her among the top actresses in about ten years.  

 

  He wondered why he hadn’t heard of her being a top star in his past life. 

 

  “I want a Bohyung, too…”

 

  She blurted out like a child and then fell asleep, either due to her weak tolerance for alcohol or fatigue. 

 

  Tears dried on her pale and baby-like cheeks.

 

  She was similar to Kim Hana. She was greedy, but she couldn’t turn her back on what she had to protect. 

 

  And she was also a bit like his past self, who had never been able to act to his heart’s content because he was weighed down by the presence of others… 

 

  ‘And yet she’s not even considering the option of escaping on her own.’ 

 

  She was strong and upright.

 

  Yoomyeong soaked a tissue and gently wiped away the tear stains of the girl who had fallen asleep like a baby,

 

  So that her sadness wouldn’t show once she woke up and smiled again. 

 

  *

 

  Episode 9 aired during the first week of January.

 

  It was Do-jun and Gyu-min’s filming set scene.

 

  On that day, public opinion about Do-jun took a sudden turn.

 

  The scene was about Eunseong’s last attempt to dissuade Wolgong from his course of action as he stood on the docks. 

 

  Eunseong spoke solemnly but earnestly, as if he were reciting a poetic verse. 

 

  “Wolgong, the name that will ruin our country. Is this an act of patriotism or a scheme to become the empire’s leader with your brilliant mind? What’s unfortunate is that you genuinely believe that this is the best course of action. A capable person can misjudge their intentions, leading to the downfall of a nation. Once you cross this river, there’s no turning back. Can’t you reconsider, Wolgong?” 

 

  Wolgong quietly looked at Eunseong. 

 

  He was his former close friend, who escorted him to the border. 

 

  He was also the man who had sent assassins to take his life just last night. Wolgong looked at him without resentment, but also without regret. 

 

  “I will be back. I’ll see you again with good results.”

 

  “…Wol…” 

 

  Eunseong’s voice trembled as he called his childhood friend’s nickname for the last time, the affectionate nickname spoken despairingly.

 

  His right hand that was pressing his sword against the floor trembled.

 

  Profound emotions, so intense that they could make one’s heart ache, were embedded in his deep voice, and it spread its roots throughout the country.

 

  “Cut—OK—Do-jun, why are you so good? You’re seriously amazing.”

 

  The praise from the director of <Rivalry of Fate> also reflected Hana’s feelings. Hana genuinely admired Do-jun while waiting as a supporting actor and not as his road manager.

 

  It also reflected the viewers’ hearts.

 

  Apart from showing many impressive moments, one more element played a significant role in winning over even those viewers who still disliked him after Episode 1. 

 

  It was his genuine feelings for Hana.

 

  He pointed out areas for improvement in her acting and even offered her personal lessons.

 

  At first, it was out of pure goodwill, perhaps from his intention to become a better person. 

 

  However, over time, his intention to improve himself began to distort. As he saw Hana focusing solely on her acting and not him, his goodwill warped. 

 

  Emotions he kept denying emerged out of the twisted and stripped feelings. 

 

  “I like you.”

 

  “I told you not to joke about that. Playing with people’s emotions is a bad hobby, especially when you’re using your looks like that. It’s illegal.” 

 

  She laughed, deflecting his advances.

 

  “Kim Hana.”

 

  He pronounced her name clearly, looking directly into her eyes.

 

  “I’m not joking. I mean it.”

 

  At that moment, the voice of Kwon Do-jun as he called Hana’s name was filled with more intensity and earnestness than when Eunseong called Wolgong.

 

  And just like that, Episode 9 came to an end.

 

  *

 

  [Showbiz Studies Episode 9]

 

  └ Kwon Do-jun’s acting is really good. Wait, is it Baek Seunghyo who’s good?

 

  └ The earnestness of holding onto a friend who is going down the path of ruin for the country, kya~ That’s a real man! He’s so mature!

 

  └ I knew Baek Seunghyo was a good actor, but his setting of being a top actor in the drama doesn’t feel out of place at all.

 

  └ Tak Gyu-min’s acting feels a bit awkward. Is it intentional that he’s being overshadowed by Kwon Do-jun in scenes like this?

 

  └ Of course it’s intentional. Please don’t bash our oppa.

 

  └ Although it was intentional, there was no consistency in Tak Gyu-min and Wolgong’s acting at all… It’s a bit disappointing. 

 

  └ I thought Kwon Do-jun was playing the villain disguised as the male lead, but he’s actually the male lead. I admit it now.

 

  The viewer rating that day was 36.7%.

 

  And the next day in Episode 10,

 

  The viewer rating exceeded 40% for the first time.

 

  *

 

  – Episode 10 – 

 

  Hana was practicing for an audition with Bohyung.

 

  “Bohyung, did you know that the male lead’s name in this movie is also Bohyung?”

 

  “Huh, really? My name isn’t that common.” 

 

  “That’s right. Isn’t it interesting? It’s a significant role, so it probably won’t come to a rookie like me, but I asked them to let me audition. Since the male lead in this movie is also Bohyung, I feel like it will bring me luck.”

 

  “Are you saying… I’ll bring you luck?”

 

  “Of course~ You’re my lucky charm!”

 

  Seeing her bright expression as she sincerely said that he was her lucky charm caused Bohyung’s heart to tremble slightly.

 

  And then…

 

  “Can you help me practice?”

 

  “Me? What do I need to do?”

 

  “Please play the part of the male lead so I can practice my lines. They designated this part as the assigned acting.”

 

  “Okay!”

 

  Bohyung never thought that what he had casually agreed to would become a ’turning point.’  

 

  “Nyang~”

 

  Hana licked the back of her hand. She burst into laughter as Bohyung looked at her in surprise, and then explained.

 

  “This role is for a cat. The male lead picks up a cat and raises it, and the role of the cat is to help the male lead with his unrequited love.”

 

  “Ah…”

 

  “But I haven’t figured out the character and emotions properly yet, so I want to try various things.”

 

  “Sure, give it a try. I’ll tell you what suits you.”

 

   Suddenly, she leaned slightly toward him and called him affectionately.

 

  “Bohyung.”

 

  “…Yes?”

 

  Bohyung was taken aback and answered. It wasn’t Hana’s usual cheerful tone; instead, it was a subtly deep voice.

 

  “Hahaha, I was acting. Did you think I was calling you because you have the same name?” 

 

  “Huh? Uh… Yeah.”

 

  Bohyung’s face reddened slightly.

 

  “Here. In this part, the female lead transforms from a cat into a human and calls the male lead’s name for the first time. It’s the assigned acting scene. I’ll change my emotions and tone little by little, so tell me which one you think is better.” 

 

  “Uh… Sure.”

 

  “Bohyung~”

 

  She called him cutely.

 

  “Bohyung!”

 

  Then sharply, like a surprise.

 

  “Bohyung~”

 

  She called him playfully, like a cat, 

 

  “Bohyung~”

 

  And then… affectionately.

 

  Thinking that she looked lovely, Bohyung’s heart sank with a thud. 

 

  His own name, which captivated his ears with various colors and scents, tickled his ears in an unfamiliar way. It was as if he was learning a new concept.  

 

  For the first time, he realized that his name could have so many meanings. 

 

  The trigger given by Writer Yook to the change in Bohyung’s emotions towards Hana was caused by his ‘name.’ 

 

  The most familiar yet, upon closer examination, was always a strange word. 

 

  Depending on who called it, its meaning could be amplified hundreds or thousands of times. It was the word closest to ‘him.’ 

 

  “Bohyung~”

 

  Once his heart settled down, Bohyung’s expression changed rapidly.

 

  His colorful expressions changed every time Hana called his name. 

 

  He looked at her affectionately when she called him cutely. 

 

  When she called him playfully, a surprised expression crossed his face as if he was wondering if Hana had that side. 

 

  Her sharp call made his breath catch in his throat, 

 

  And a desire to protect her surged as she called him like how a pet called its owner. 

 

  Yoomyeong’s face changed from call to call, and it was almost a miracle in itself. 

 

  In the pauses between Hana’s repeated calls, emotions flowed and unfolded, like a fast-motion footage of plants growing, budding, blooming, and bearing fruit.

 

  In an instant, Bohyung’s emotions toward Hana changed dramatically.

 

  And finally, for the affectionate call…

 

  Bohyung couldn’t bear it and grabbed Hana’s shoulder.

 

  “Hana. I’ll… be right back. Just a moment. I’ll be back.”

 

  “Huh? Why, Bohyung? Are you feeling sick?” 

 

  “No. It’s… am I feeling sick? Maybe… I’m fine, so just wait a moment.”

 

  “Bohyung?”

 

  Worried that his racing heart might be visible, Bohyung pressed his hand against his chest and fled.

 

  Leaning against the corridor outside the door, he finally let out a deep breath. 

 

  Phew…

 

  In Bohyung’s life, there weren’t many people who called him by his name.

 

  Except for his parents who had passed away early, it was mainly his grandfather.

 

  Most of the employees who surrounded him didn’t dare to call him by name, and the acquaintances who saw him only as “Hyukseong Group’s heir” had their calls hit a solid wall and fell to the ground. 

 

  However, the rapid-fire succession of his name, received in an unguarded state, was much sweeter than he had expected. 

 

  It smoothly crossed his wall and struck at his heart’s core like a sniper.

 

  Yoomyeong’s acting, which seemed to be a quick replay of one’s first love, became a sensation in conjunction with Bohyung’s popularity.

 

  On that day, the viewer rating reached 40.05%.

 

  *

 

  [Showbiz Studies Episode 10]

 

  └ Both Hana and Bohyung’s acting was outstanding in this episode. Hana’s character changes every time she calls Bohyung’s name, and it’s breathtaking to see how Bohyung’s emotions change rapidly. It was almost suffocating; I couldn’t even breathe.

 

  └ Wasn’t the original second male lead Lee Kyu-seong? It feels like the story has changed somehow… Oh, but of course I approve. 

 

  └ If a cat calls your name, you have to respond. Meow, be my owner. 

 

  └ Bohyung blushing after hearing Hana’s confession was so cute. His acting reminded me of my first love.

 

  └ There are no holes in their acting, and it’s so good. I don’t even think that Kwon Do-jun being a top actor, Kim Hana being an acting genius, and Yoon Bohyung being a chaebol heir are unreasonable settings.

 

  Criticism of the suddenly changed love line was not absent.

 

  In particular, TV critics poured out their criticism, saying, ’We thought a groundbreaking drama that broke clichés was coming, but it ruined the structure by following the popular trend.’ 

 

  However, in the end, the drama spoke for itself through its viewer ratings.

 

  Brand integrations were pouring in, and advertising rates soared.

 

  KBK emerged as the winner of the year-end and early-year drama war.

 

  There was also no need to mention the fame that Yoomyeong had gained. 

 

  He received his first fan letters,

 

  And people took pictures of him when he walked down the street.

 

  When he entered his name in the search bar, articles popped up by the dozens every day.

 

  One day, when it was no longer surprising, Miho asked him.

 

  {How does it feel to get popular and famous, kyung?}

 

  ‘Well…’ 

 

  Yoomyeong was aware that he was being too calm even though he gained something he had never experienced before.

 

  Back when he was hungry, he used to think that he would be happy as long as he had something to fill his stomach. 

 

 

 

 

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Aura of a Genius Actor

Aura of a Genius Actor

Score 9.99
Status: Completed Native Language: Korean
[Winner of the 5th Korea Web Novel Contest] He cast his very being into a life of acting, only to go unrecognized.   But now, his life begins anew

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