Life, Once Again!

Chapter 23

Chapter 23

Chapter 23

“What’s wrong with my resolution?” Daemyung asked .

Maru answered after a brief pause .

“I’m aware that you’re conscious about your appearance and I’m not going to say that your looks don’t matter, because they do . It is very easy to capitalize on your looks after all,” Maru continued, “I agree that you should try to change yourself, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to appearances . You said video games were a form of escapism for you earlier? Perhaps . But it’s also a part of you, something you’ve invested a significant amount of your time on . It’s fine for you to think you should focus more on sports, however it’s not fine to make that decision on impulse . If people make fun of you for being skinny later down the line, you’ll try to fatten yourself up again . Either way, there is no happy ending . ”

Maru paused for a second . This was a pretty difficult subject to talk about . There was no right answer for anything . It wasn’t like Daemyung could live in ignorance of the views of society . That didn’t mean he should mold himself in accordance to others’ ideals . Daemyung needed to find a balance, and maintain it . This wasn’t something that could be explained in words . It was something a person had to experience for themselves .

“Daemyung . ”


“Just follow these three things . Firstly, don’t look down on yourself . If someone else says derogatory words towards you, just tell them to stop . Second, start praising yourself more . Even for the small things . Last of all, and this is what instructor Miso said as well . Be conscious of your voice . Speak loud enough for you to actually hear yourself clearly . ”

“…Uh, sure . I will . ”

“It’s a random thing I came up with on the spot . You don’t really have to follow it by the letter . ”

Maru looked up at the sky for a second . He’s made that advice based on his life experiences and his readings from, but he didn’t know if this was actually good advice . At the very least, Daemyung looked more relieved about himself than before .

“Do you think I can do it though? Do you think I can become that confident?”

“I told you, didn’t I? People don’t change quickly . All that matters is that you actually try . You’ll see if you’ve changed or not if you look down the line later in time . ”

Maru pat Daemyung’s back lightly . He was used to giving advice . He’s done it a lot in his past life . All that experience was helping him out in this life as well .

“Let’s go . It’s cold . ”

“Okay . ”

“Yo Dojin! Let’s leave!”


Despite the cold weather, he left with a warm feeling in his heart .

* * *

Daemyung walked back into his house . The kitchen lights turned on as he walked in . It was his mother .

“You’re back?”

“Yes . ”

“It’s late . Go to sleep . ”

“Alright . ”

Mom turned to step back into her room . Daemyung called out from behind her .

“I’m going to change . ”

It was a resolution of sorts . It was embarrassing, but he wanted to tell his mom that at the very least . He could remember his mom crying when she found about him getting bullied . She was even fine with him transferring to a worse school than the one he was originally set on going to .

‘Mom must’ve had it hard as well . ’

He could see it now . How much his mother had cared for him .

“Y-yeah . ”

Mom stepped into her room with a bit of a confused expression . Maru previously mentioned that change was difficult .

‘Even so…’

12am . He would’ve stayed up gaming normally, but he decided to sleep . It wasn’t like he was giving up on games or anything . He just decided to turn it into a healthier habit . Balance was important .

“Work hard, me . ”

* * *

“I need to apologize to him,” Dojin said .

The two of them spoke a little bit more after Daemyung left . Dojin was feeling apologetic for his friend . That was the reason why he left his place to begin with . He was the bully, and Daemyung the victim . They might have gone to different schools, but that didn’t help with the guilt .

“Just apologize, then . ”

“…It’s embarrassing . ”

“Hesitating is even worse . Besides, you’re going to do it anyway, right?”

“I should . ”

“Just apologize and cheer him on . ”

“Damn it, I poked his sensitive spot because I was a little pissed off . Damn this stupid mouth of mine . ”

Dojin walked back home in anger . Maru donned his hood and started his ride back home . It was pretty late . By the time he got back, it was already 1am . He washed his hands and stepped back into his room .

But right before he could hit the hay, a knock on his door could be heard .

“Maru . ”

It was his dad . Maru got back up to try to open the door .

“If you're going to drink, at least learn how to drink from your dad . ”

With that, the man walked away . Maru stepped back into his bed with a grin .

‘He’s just like me . ’

He could hear the clock ticking near his bed . Maru closed his eyes . There were lots of things that happened today, at the same time it gave off the feeling that nothing happened . At least he was sure that he didn’t spend the day in vain .

* * *

Maru’s phone vibrated with a ding . Maru opened his phone for a second and closed it again . A call? This early in the morning? He tried to go back to sleep after hanging up, but the phone started ringing again . This time, he took the call with a sigh .


- Wake up, Han Maru!!

The voice was loud enough to make his ears ache . Maru moved his phone further from his ear after a moment’s hesitation . Who the hell was this? It was 8:43am on a Sunday . Practically dawn . Who was crazy enough to…

Ah, Yoonjung . That makes sense .

“Yes, I’m awake, senior . ”

He rose up from his bed, still unable to muster enough strength into his voice to make him sound like anything other than a sickly patient .

- Come to school .

“Pardon me?”

- Come to school .

What the hell? Maru checked the day again . Right, it’s a Sunday for sure . Definitely not a day a student goes to school .

“It’s a Sunday, though?”

- Yeah .


- I know . Come to school, okay? You can, right? You don’t go to church? You don’t seem like a religious type . Right? Right? Right?

Maru wanted to tell her to take a step back and breathe for a bit, but chose otherwise .

“I’m going to church . ”

Of course, the Han family had been atheists for generations . But today especially Maru felt like he needed Jesus’ blessings .

- Really?

“Yes . ”

- When does it end?


When did his wife come back home on sundays again?

“After all the afternoon sessions, around 2pm? Or 3?”

- So late .

“Yes . I don’t know what it is, but I’m sorry . ”

Maru grinned victoriously . He had no intention of going to school on a Sunday and he wasn’t dumb enough to sacrifice his break to school activities . But just as he was about to hang up… his sister stepped into the room with a shout .

“I’m going out to meet friends! Mom and dad went out to do something a moment ago . They left 20 thousand won, so I took half, okay?”

The door closed with a bang . Maru put his phone back on his ear with an annoyed face .

- What was that about church again?

Maru replied with a sigh .

“5th floor auditorium?”

* * *

Maru arrived at the school, still struggling to wake up . School? On a Sunday? Ridiculous .

“Ugh . ”

The school was quiet . There was no way engineering students would come to school on a sun…

Oh, there goes one . And another one . There was quite a lot, actually .


There was a boy running past him with a guitar bag, and a girl running across to meet her friends in baggy pants . There were more in the field as well .

“Huh . ”

Students, on a Sunday . It looked like they were all here for club activities . He could make out the music club, the dance club, and even some of the sports clubs with their advisors . Interesting, he didn’t think people were this committed to their clubs .

“School on a Sunday…” he heard someone say behind him .

It was Dojin . Maru smiled tiredly back at the boy .

“Well, they told us to come, didn’t they?”

“Ugh, I definitely wouldn’t have done this if I knew it was gonna be this bad . ”

“You can still change, you know . Want to?”

“No man, I was just complaining a little . We haven’t even begun our club activities yet . Plus… girls, you know?”

Dojin walked in through the gate with a small grin . Maru shook his head as he followed inwards . The two of them walked up the stairs quickly, up to the auditorium . They stiffened up when they heard a few shouts coming from inside .



Maru didn’t dare open the door . Dowook agreed with that sentiment .

“I wonder what that sound is?”

“Dunno . ”

“Want to just leave?”

“I’m going in if you’re going in . ”

The two of them opened the door bitterly .

“Oh, you’re finally here . ”

Miso greeted them in her black gym clothes .

* * *




“Don’t scream . Pull it out from your diaphragm . ”

The club members were projecting their voices into the auditorium . Though it looked closer to screaming at this point than anything . All 12 of them were here in the hall .

“Starting with Joonghyuk, then we’ll start moving left down the line . I’ll be on the other side . Open your mouth widely, try to clear out your throats as much as possible, and put some strength into your abdomen . Don’t try to squeeze out your voice . Push outwards with the air in your stomach,” Miso continued as she walked away, “I’ll punish you harder if you make weird noises, so do your best . ”

Miso posed comfortably when she reached the other side of the hall . She shouted ‘start!’ from across the hall . Joonghyuk began with an ‘ahhhh’ . This was the sound Maru heard from outside the door . Now, Maru was a part of this madness .

‘You received a quest to satisfy the demon king, Miso . ’

Shouting? At this time? Maru kept his mouth wide open for now . He’s picked up a thing or two from his time as a stage manager back in the day, so he was planning on trying some of them out for this .


Miso’s voice sounded like she was speaking right next to them even from afar . Minsung was the next to start, but as soon as he started,

“Louder,” Miso said .

The boy’s voice got a little bit louder . This continued until they reached the final one, Iseul .

“Good!” Miso shouted .

Was this it? But right then…

“All of you, duck walk over to me . Right now,” she said with a smile .

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