Episode 14

The English Department And Karaoke Incident
3 weeks ago
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The next day.

Seo Yerin was attending a lecture early on a Friday morning. Although it is said that the highlight of university life is having free hours, she wondered if it was needed to have them from the first year, so the diligent girl was busy taking notes.

However, even though her hand was moving, her mind was drifting.

‘I’ve realized that wanting to meet doesn’t mean you can.’

Seo Yerin had intended to go up to Kim Woojin, apologize for what happened yesterday, thank him, and ask him for his number.

But since their schedules were different, meeting up as soon as she got to the university like in high school wasn’t possible.

‘What do I do?’

It might get pushed to next week, but she didn’t want to delay this meeting so much.

She wanted to apologize right away.

‘We have overlapping lectures on Tuesday.’

There is a mandatory major class at 9 a.m.. She remembered eating pork bulgogi with Choi Yiseo and Kim Woojin after finishing the lecture.

‘Should I wait till then?’

While she was pondering over various things, the lectures ended. Seo Yerin moved on to have lunch with her friends as it was lunchtime.

Being poor freshmen, they couldn’t afford to eat out every day, so today they decided to buy sandwiches or triangle kimbap from the convenience store and eat them on the terrace.

“Yerin, are you alright? I heard there was this huge fight in the karaoke yesterday.”

The other classmates, who were concerned about Seo Yerin due to the incident, asked after her.

The important thing was that these classmates weren’t at the karaoke.

‘The rumors have already spread….’

It seems that the rumors have already spread.

Seo Yerin asked with a worried look,

“How do you know?”

“Just by the rumors going around? Kids were talking among themselves, and it even got posted on the Bamboo Forest.”

“…On the Bamboo Forest.”

Seo Yerin pulled her phone out to check the Bamboo Forest. There, indeed, was a noticeable post put up.

-Anonymous46: There were people at the Great Karaoke yesterday. Looking like they were students of the English Department, seeing a junior curse at a senior made me think the world had turned upside down.

Nowhere did they reveal names and though they spoke as if they were a witness, this was clearly written by a student of the English Department.

An outsider could have heard the fight but there was no way they would know which department, nor be certain of the senior-junior relationship.

A rumor done on anonymity.

But the countless outpour of replies underneath.

-Anonymous11: Freshmen of ’23 lack some sense.

-Anonymous190: Why were they fighting?

-Anonymous46: It seemed to be because of a girl. There is a girl who is close to the senior and the junior boy is getting jealous out of no reason and acting out.

-Anonymous87: How do you know so much about that? Aren’t you also from the English department?

-Anonymous31: Everyone in the English department already knows who it is. It’s just that a typical loner got to hang out once and got too excited.

-Anonymous224: Lol.

“……”

Clench.

Her grip tightened around her phone. It was unbelievable that Kim Woojin suddenly became the perpetrator and was being ridiculed like this.

“Kim Woojin, that guy is not good news.”

“There’s a reason he’s always alone. Senior Han-kang was misunderstood because of that yesterday.”

“Do you know Yoon-ji, who took a leave of absence after attending only one semester? That was also his doing.”

She couldn’t believe it.

“No.”

Seo Yerin said it out loud, making them all turn to her.

Since they were friends she got along with, Seo Yerin took a deep breath and began to explain.

“Woojin helped me.”

Seo Yerin had even put down the sandwich she wanted to eat, and explained about the situation which happened yesterday.

The friends were shocked, and had no choice but to believe her since it was Seo Yerin who had said it so herself.

“Woojin did that?”

“Ah… I feel bad for him now. I feel bad talking about him wrongly just based on rumors.”

“Right. Senior Han-kang is also a bit of a creep.”

She was thankful for their trust, but that wasn’t the issue. The problem was that the rumor had already spread unfavorably and she was worried about how hurt Kim Woojin would be if he saw it.

“This won’t do.”

Although she hadn’t thought this far, Seo Yerin immediately added Kim Woojin as a friend in the group chat.

She was originally planning to add him naturally after getting his number, but it seemed like she can’t just sit silently here.

-Seo Yerin: Kim Woojin, it’s Seo Yerin. Where are you?

Wanting to meet and talk, Seo Yerin sent the text but…

‘…No answer.’

Seeing that there was no reply made her more worried.

Maybe his phone was off or even put aside after reading about the rumors.

“Ah, really.”

Seo Yerin buried her face in her hands, letting out a deep sigh.

She was worried.

Could it be that Kim Woojin is under unnecessary stress because of her?

While she was lost in thought, one of her friends, Yu Arin, said,

“Should we do some media play?”

Tying her hair back, she swayed her ponytail like a tail and showed a sly smile.

“Media play?”

“How so?”

“We’ll write in the Bamboo Forest too. Saying all that is nonsense. Actually, Han-kang is the bad one.”

Why?

Yu Arin’s lips were curling up, enjoying the current situation, thought Seo Yerin.

“Alright, let’s do that.”

If it was to clear the false rumors about Kim Woojin any means was needed.

After all, correcting false information with truth shouldn’t weigh on one’s conscience.

“Everyone, open up the Bamboo Forest. Download it if you don’t have it.”

“Ah, this is interesting.”

“Feels like I’ve turned into a hacker.”

“Agent Yu Arin, turning on the Bamboo Forest.”

Under the lead of Yu Arin, Seo Yerin’s friends turned on the Bamboo Forest and began to flood the message board.

-Anonymous299: I am a ‘23 student in the English Department. The Karaoke post wasn’t true. It was the senior who hit on the girl first and the junior was protecting her.

-Anonymous30: I am saying because of the strange rumors going around. Is it fun to spread ill rumors about someone who did good?

-Anonymous59: Are you kidding me? Is this all what Gahyeon University amounts to? I can understand being bad but to switch the victim and the victim and the perpetrator, is this really the reality?

Seo Yerin wanted to write a post too.

She wanted to, but…

“……”

The Anonymous69 was holding her back more than ever.

Unable to do this or that, Seo Yerin was approached by Yu Arin who asked her,

“Yerin, did you write a post to? Just go with the flow without revealing you’re the person involved.”

“Uh, ah! I-I was going to directly contact the admin.”

“Hmm?”

Yu Arin thought Seo Yerin’s panic was odd but the situation was escalating now.

The reaction didn’t take place in the Bamboo Forest but rather happened in the English Literature Department and the department group chat.

-Han Hyo-rin: Is the Bamboo Forest buzzing with talk about the English Literature Department right now?

-Han Hyo-rin: (Photo)

A screenshot of the Bamboo Forest post is uploaded.

There were two screenshots, one being the initial karaoke diss and the other was the rebuttal by Seo Yerin’s friends.

-Kang Seo-un: It is a bit much that they are making a huge deal out of a small argument between Han-kang and Kim Woojin.

-Kim Dong-su: This totally ruins the image of the dept. It is one thing for the seniors to know, but it would be another if the professors hear about this.

-Se Bom: But I heard the rumors that Kim Woojin was at fault? Guess not?

“Woah! Fuck. Did we just make a huge deal out of this?”

“I’m kind of scared now?”

Seo Yerin’s friends were causing a mess, thinking they had stirred up something bad, and Seo Yerin was worried too.

“Hehe, this is it. Ah, this.”

The person who caused the situation, Yu Arin, was elated, nodding as she checked between the Bamboo Forest and the group chat.

Yu Arin, who usually had a light and playful image, seemed to be in a different mood than usual.

Enjoying the thrill of stepping out of the light and playful image, seemed to be in a different mood than usual.

Enjoying the thrill of stepping out of her usual routine, she giggled and pointed to the group chat.

“It’s out there now.”

-Choi Yiseo: It seems like our department students are the ones spreading the rumors, so please, students of the English Department, don’t post on the Bamboo Forest for a while.

Choi Yiseo, the student representative, stepped in to mediate. Moreover, she declared not to post any strange messages on the Bamboo Forest.

“See, this is why being anonymous is great.”

Yu Arin didn’t stop and continued to post. She didn’t mention names, but she implied who the victim and the perpetrator were by mentioning seniors and juniors.

“Ah, Arin, isn’t this too much?”

Eventually Seo Yerin tried to stop but Yu Arin just shrugged and said.

“He has been unfairly criticized, I need to do this much at least.”

While she did say so, Yu Arin wasn’t the kind to care about Kim Woojin. She was the kind to enjoy things for herself.

During that time, when the Bamboo Forest and the department chat were buzzing.

All the posts about the English department and the Karaoke incident in the Bamboo Forest were deleted.

“Uh?”

An administrator notice popped up.

-Admin: The Gahyeon University Bamboo Forest isn’t the English Department’s bulletin board. From now on, any posts regarding the English Department and karaoke will be blocked.

If you don’t want to get cut off, do not post anything regarding the English Department for a while.

A strong response from the administrator of the Bamboo Forest.

The reaction was heated.

-Anonymous11: Finally, the admin is doing their job. Right, those English majors were quite a sight.

-Anonymous190: It was fun though. Tsk.

-Anonymous27: Take a good look at the level of the English Department before they leave.

-Anonymous46: Absurd. What is the point of an admin controlling things on an anonymous free site?

-Anonymous287:…

-Anonymous87: Hey, 46, you are an English major right?

-Anonymous30: Aorry for muddying the waters for you.

-Anonymous299: I apologize.

-Anonymous69: Sex

-Anonymous79: Look at the admin’s charisma.

“Ah, it was just getting fun.’

Yu Arin was disappointed, but the other students sighed in relief, thinking it was for the best and Seo Yerin felt the same way.

She sneakily checked the chat but there was no response from Kim Woojin.


-Anonymous69: Please delete the posts targeting the English Department. Someone is being falsely accused.

-Anonymous30: I am a student of the English Department, ’23, the person who wrote about the karaoke is manipulating the facts. In fact the junior was the victim.

-Anonymous46: There are people contradicting my post, but they are just trolls, you know? Please don’t delete my targeted post.

-Anonymous287: Please delete the post targeting the English Department.

Seo Yerin must be worried and concerned about Kim Woojin, who scratched his messy bird-nest hair as he looked at the 1:1 inquiry chat.

There was one among them that caught his eye.

‘Anonymous287?’

Even Ahn Hyeon-ho, who was pretending to be so great, sent a 1:1 asking to take down the post regarding the English Department.

Kim Woojin, who was caught in between the fight of whether he is the victim or perpetrator, saw that the dispute hasn’t ended in the anonymous Forest but continued in the English Department’s group chat.

“Yawn.”

Having just woken up, Kim Woojin yawned and then checked all the related posts and deleted them while leaving a notice behind.

He lay down on the bed again.

It was a nice Friday with no classes.

“Why are they making such a fuss over over nothing? Just let me sleep.”

For Kim Woojin, who had become the core of this incident, a Friday nap was more important.

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