Act 9: Whimsically 10
And thus, the wedding ceremony ended after some twists and turns. Standing within the noisy hall, I glanced around in silence.
“You two really look great together…”
“The wedding song was good…”
“Where will the wedding reception be…”
“After that ends, let’s go…”
I could see the venue being emptied out realtime, resembling the low tide of the ocean. While whispering, some people walked outside while others stood still and shared conversations or took pictures.
Plus, I could also see Lee Suh-ah watching all that blankly.
Standing straight, her eyes were unfocused, seemingly having lots of thoughts bubbling up in her head. Watching that, I thought with a nod that it might perhaps be natural.
An eventful day like today would be a pretty rare one for her. It was her first time visiting a wedding ceremony and yet she had to sing the wedding song. And when she came, her close friend was there and she had to hide about her job.
It was quite literally a muddled-up situation.
‘Most likely, it was the first time she had such an experience in her life.’
Thinking that, I stared at her shortly before forming a smile. In any case, it was a great help that she could sing well even within all those circumstances.
If Lee Suh-ah made a mistake here, there would’ve been quite the penalty finding the next job, because this industry was one that was affected greatly by name value.
Just like how we found a job today thanks to Lee Suh-ah’s name value, if our image was ruined on the other hand, it meant we wouldn’t be able to find any jobs. However, if we performed like today without making any mistakes and built up the results, it would be of great help in making my future portfolio.
This was all thanks to Lee Suh-ah singing without being shaken.
‘It was worth giving Song Mirae an excuse.’
With a slight sense of satisfaction, I watched her and found her eyes slowly turning towards a direction from the ground she was facing. I chased the end of her gaze and found a person.
It was Song Mirae, having some chat with her relative at a distance.
‘Does she need to say something?’
I watched Lee Suh-ah staring at Song Mirae when she abruptly opened her mouth.
Her head turned slowly as our eyes met.
I could see her black pupils. Those relaxed eyes slowly started to change after perceiving me. From the initial blurry gaze, it turned solid as the unfocused pupils contracted and sunk in.
After making an expression that appeared like she had resolved something, she sturdily opened her mouth.
“You don’t have to help me anymore.”
What did I help her with? When she saw the curiosity reflected from my tilted head, she raised her eyebrows up.
“I’m talking about the jobs.”
Blinking my eyes, I carefully digested her words and thought in doubt. The jobs… we were just doing it together and it was strange to say I was helping her. It’s not like I would’ve earned more by doing it alone.
Besides, Lee Suh-ah might give me jobs instead like today so I was the one that wanted to beg her to do it with me if she could. Before, it was because I thought she was a rich lady that I didn’t request her for it.
That was also the reason I didn’t talk about it to Han Dasom.
With such thoughts filling my brain, I tilted my head when Lee Suh-ah opened her mouth with a stutter.
“That… thanks! I’m very grateful that you are getting jobs for me but…! I think you can stop now… we might see Mirae like today…”
After babbling on strangely, which was quite rare for her, Lee Suh-ah saw my face filled in doubt and stiffened before immediately changing the topic of the conversation.
“Anyway! I just don’t want to do it anymore. I did earn quite a lot so far and… I would be sorry for relying on you so much as well.”
I thought back slowly and soon came to an understanding. Although it only lasted 2 weeks, we did earn quite a lot. If she was to add all the concour prizes she gathered up, it should be enough for the school fees. I had enough to hand my father some capital for investing in stock as well.
Seeing me nod, Lee Suh-ah quickly added more words.
“Plus, we should start focusing on the concert as well.”
Hearing that, I nodded again.
There were roughly 2 weeks left till the concert. It really was time for us to focus.
The principal, Song Muntak was sitting inside his study.
There were all sorts of music sheets and books filling the study, which was one of the locations he enjoyed being in while organising his thoughts.
It was because he believed that the smell of paper, and the smell of old wood would clear his mind.
And naturally, the reason he came to this room today was simple.
A contemplation – thinking of something that wasn’t going the way he wanted, In the middle of that, Song Muntak abruptly had a flashback on the conversations he had with Timothy Dickson.
When he stopped him from leaving and carefully talked about Jo Yunjae, Timothy Dickson thought for a bit before saying this.
“So, if your words are true; if he could truly bloom and awaken the abilities of other performers in such short periods of time…”
Back then, Timothy Dickson had replied like this after deep contemplation.
“He might become a legendary conductor in the future…”
“Haha, of course, it’s just a small possibility.”
Leaving those words behind, Timothy Dickson covered it up in a joking manner but it had already etched the word ‘legendary’ into Song Muntak’s heart.
A legendary conductor. When he thought about exporting a talent like that from his school,
‘I can’t go over it as an artist myself.’
He thought with flickering eyes.
Of course, he did recognise his talents before asking Timothy Dickson but it was along the lines of ‘doesn’t he suit conductors more than singers’… and nothing more.
However, when he heard the word ‘legendary’ from an existence that was already being called a legendary conductor, his mind rapidly started weighing over to one side. It leaned towards Jo Yunjae’s conducting ability that recognised Han Dasom’s talents which no-one else had and awakened it.
‘But… how do I bring him in?’
His firm attitude of sticking to songs did not show even a glimpse of possibility… was what he was thinking about when a notification sound reached his ears.
It was a special notification sound that he had set up, that signalled a message from Song Mirae.
“Nn? Did something happen?”
She never messaged first usually… thinking that, he tilted his head when the message sent by Song Mirae entered his sight.
First off, he could see a picture.
On the bright, sparkling background that appeared to be a wedding venue, a pair of male and female were singing.
[Suh-ah and Yunjae came to sing the wedding song at that guy’s wedding ceremony today. Were you the one that called them uncle?]
Reading that, Song Muntak made a frown before slowly typing words into the phone.
[It wasn’t’… me… Jo Yunjae… he came to… that bastard’s wedding ceremony…?]
[Yeah. He said he was there for a job.]
Song Muntak slowly read the message and contemplated.
A job? Now that he thought about it, he remembered that Jo Yunjae’s household wasn’t very well-off. Maybe he was doing some casual jobs during the holidays to make up for the insufficient funds even after receiving the scholarship.
The instant his thoughts reached that point, Song Muntak’s thoughts stopped at one word.
In a flash, countless thoughts flashed past his head like bolts of lightning.
The stubborn Jo Yunjae.
Moving to the conducting department.
On the face of Song Muntak who was contemplating while sitting down, a faint smile surfaced.
‘Needs a scholarship huh… then I can just give him a scholarship.’
He leaned back onto the chair. The relatively comforting texture embraced his mood gently.
The Prac High-achievers Concert, although extremely obvious, was a concert in which prac high-achievers performed in.
Students that scored the top marks in each of their fields – it was a concert that aimed to show off the abilities of each and every one of those students to outsiders.
Thus, the structure of the concert was similar to the Improvement Concert and was a solo performance of one musician. For opera however, it was two with the accompanist as well.
So it was important to find a good accompanist but… thanks to Chloe suddenly requesting me to let her be the one, I could find one without much trouble.
[Me: Are your accompaniment preparations going smoothly?]
[Chloe: Yes! I finshed all the preperations so we just have to match it upp later.]
When I saw the message I received from Chloe, a faint smile appeared on my lips. Although she was good at listening, her writing was still slightly off at places. Holding myself back from the urge to fix those mistakes, I sent a reply saying that I got it and stood at the main entrance.
Before leaving, I was deciding which shoe to wear as I continued thinking about the Prac High-achievers Concert.
This concert which was held straight after the prac test had a short preparation time because it was held straight after the holidays.
It was merely a month.
With just that, it was slightly lacking to prepare a proper song. That was why most prac high-achievers used an under-handed method for their song choices.
It was none other than recycling – singing the song they sang at the prac test again.
‘There’s no particular restrictions on what we can sing after all.’
From the shoe rack, I took out the pair of runners and forced my feet into it while justifying myself. I mean, recycling isn’t a bad thing right?
In the prac test, the teachers were the only ones that heard the song after all, so it was a waste to just throw them away like that. Those were songs we prepared with tons of effort.
It would be great if we could let as many people hear it right?
‘Ah, the shoes are a bit tight. Am I going to get taller?’
Having some stray thoughts for a second, I tapped my feet on the ground and opened the gates. Facing the sudden rays of the sun threatening to pierce through my eyes, I raised my hand to avoid them. And while quickly carrying my feet, I organised my thoughts.
In short, I was going to recycle as well.
It was the first ever concert in this life so I should present the song I was the most confident in for it to be a good memory right?
Thus, from the two prac songs Elf King and Tristesse, I was planning on singing the Elf King again.
Getting on a bus, I stared at the passing scenery through the windows and blankly thought back.
The reason I picked Elf King out of the two… wasn’t due to anything great.
It was just that the expressions I saw on the faces of the judges and their reactions after that, as well as the feedback Sir Timothy Dickson gave me were stuck inside my heart.
“The second song, I really enjoyed it.”
“Tristesse huh? Your ability to embed emotions is amazing.”
With my eyes closed, I thought for a bit before heaving out a sigh slowly.
In fact, I was very glad that the evaluations I received from Tristesse were higher than I ever expected. The fact that they enjoyed my song was something to be extremely grateful for and was a joyous occasion for sure.
But even then, the fact that my first song, ‘Elf King’ was comparatively shunned left me with some bitter feelings.
Elf King was a song I really tried hard in and was a song handpicked by teacher Ku Mingi. Was this not good? Was it not as impactful enough? Those thoughts couldn’t help but appear in my head.
I had the greed for both of the songs I sang to be liked. Was I being too greedy?
Closing my eyes, I stayed still but when I heard a dinging sound, I immediately shot out from my seat.
Walking through the crowd of people, I escaped from the bus as steaming heat welcomed me outside.
Wow, it’s hot. As expected of summer.
Feeling my head immediately burning up, I took out my phone and walked while following google maps.
Right turn here… left turn here… and straight here…
“Is it here?”
Arriving at the entrance of a group of apartment buildings, I stopped my feet from the sheer pressure it gave off.
Since I was also living in an apartment, I thought it would appear familiar but… it was high-level to the point I pondered if the place I was living in could be called by the same word ‘apartment’ as this building here.
Right next to the main entrance where expensive cars drove past, there was a security building that stopped passersby from entering. Within that building were people throwing glances at me.
The security was strict to the level that it made me wonder if this was a modern version of a castle gate.
Slowly raising my phone back up, I double-checked the messages Chloe sent me.
When I scrolled up, I could see the conversations I had with her before.
[Me: When should we practise together?]
[Chloe: What about next Monday?]
[Me: Ok, should we meet at the school’s practice room?]
[Chloe: The school piano is a bit uncomfortablee…]
[Me: Really? I do remember hearing that it feels weird to use an unfamiliar piano. What should we do then…]
[Chloe: Do you want to just come to my place?]
Glancing over the conversation we had, I scrolled a bit down and found the way to enter.
‘So… tell them the apartment number and the house number…’
And after a long trouble, I finally arrived at Chloe’s house.
Chloe’s turn! But Munpia is down for overseas access and I won’t be able to translate for the time being…