Chapter 2 – Message From a Mysterious Author
It was last Friday when Jeongjin received his first e-mail from the author, Musai.
As the closure for the company approaches, his work was naturally overflowing. He had been working overtime for quite some days now.
Musai’s e-mail came after he was beyond exhausted. Before this, he had been organizing the translation licenses and settling some designer’s outsourcing costs at the same time.
[New mail arrived (1)]
[Title: RE: Manuscript Contribution]
Attachment: The Prince of the Albion Kingdom.hwp
It would be impulsive of him to print out the manuscript that was submitted. His boss was lately stingy about wasting paper for printing.
He had thought, ‘I want to break down the printer and turn the office into a mess, but would that work?’
Soon, he threw the printed manuscript into his bag, the result of a spontaneous rebellion, and left the office right away.
That weekend, he was busy.
Jeongjin browsed through lengthy application guidelines in job search sites. He opened his cover letter with an unwilling heart. Immediately, his history and bachelor’s degree in liberal arts greeted his sight. He was now 32 years old, his career and academic background unfortunately bland.
When he opened a can of beer and threw the letter in front of him, he suddenly thought of something else. Jeongjin took out the printed manuscript from his bag as he emptied his cheap liquor.
The Prince of the Albion Kingdom.
‘What is this, fantasy? The author’s name sounds like a nickname.’
Moreover, how did this person know of his old and small company? They don’t even publish novels. Perhaps he misread the publisher’s name and mistakenly sent it out, was his only plausible thought.
Since he was used to the persistent submission of different people, Jeongjin started reviewing the paper with a light heart.
Surprisingly, the writing itself was quite enjoyable, so he spent the whole day reading to the end.
However, the story wasn’t complete.
‘Is this the end of part one? Did you write 6,000 copies of the manuscript?!’
The author’s postscript was attached to the back, of which he wrote first in his plain handwriting before typing it in the file. Comments on the manuscript: “taken and moved” had been written eight times.
‘Eight?! This author’s tenacity is insane.’
It was customary to refrain from sending rejection e-mails to those who submitted below the standards. However, Jeongjin finds it hard to turn a blind eye to the writer’s work because he saw that he had been writing with so much effort.
After reading the novel, Jeongjin decided to reply to the author. He quickly composed an email putting in his advice.
Of course, since Jeongjin wasn’t an editor of fantasy novels, so he kindly guided the author to more known publishers, and who dabbled in such genres, such as Golden Zina and Mo.
‘I thought that was it.’
He wasn’t expecting an unprecedented reply to come back as a result of his quick sympathy. And at three o’clock in the morning, mind you.
‘Doesn’t he understand he was rejected..?’
His mail had ended with “I hope to see your work one day, please continue writing…” It may not seem like rejection at first glance, but… how could he misunderstand it as wanting to lend a hand?
‘What do I know.’
Jeongjin, who closed the mail app, placed his phone back into his pocket. Then, beyond all wonder, a sentence flew across his eyes.
[The message has been received.]
“I see crazy things,” Jeongjin shook his head.
It must be the strong wind from the river driving him to become quite delusional. he figured it was time to get off the bridge.
All the street lights on the Dongjak bridge oddly turned off. And the bright lights from the apartments across the river were now submerged in complete darkness.
He hadn’t moved, but he found himself drawn towards the railing, leaning on it. The ominously dark waters pulled him in as if an oppressive force was present.
Jeongjin hated water. It seemed terrible things always happened in it. He slummed on the bridge over the Han river while he was drunk—if he had been in his right mind, he wouldn’t have done such a thing.
‘Someone might get the wrong idea I’m committing suicide.’
And it wasn’t good news to report the dreary end of a jobless, pessimistic man.
Jeongjin tried to retreat from the railing, but he couldn’t escape the otherwordly energy from the river.
After a few seconds, he found his whole body submerged in the river.