"Are you the guy named Philip?"
Who's this stranger? About the same age as me, perhaps a participant.
"You did a splendid job on your story. The construction of every sentence and plot is just breathtaking."
How come a stranger suddenly praised me this much, is it because I'm that talented? Who should I thank for giving me this talent, my parents or the gods?
Confidence: 88% -> 100%
Have I achieved my goal? The goal of regaining all of my lost confidence. Thank you mom, Mio, sir Nate, Jeremy and the rest of the class.
Even if some of you didn't realize that you've helped me, I will still thank you. I won't get this far without the help of others.
"Huh, why are you crying? Did I say something that made you upset?"
"May I know your name?"
"Thank you Henrick."
Those furrowed brows. You may be filled with questions but I can't answer them properly.
Enough weeping and start talking.
"I'm sorry that I didn't read your story. It's not that it isn't interesting, I'm just too lazy to read."
"No problem, I just want to have to talk with you that's all."
"Why do you want to talk with someone as boring as me."
Damn it, I got used on degrading my own name. I need to fix myself on that part.
"It is because I want to learn things from you."
"What in the world can you learn from me?"
I did it again.
My confidence may really have returned but my self esteem needs some work. It's okay to lower one's expectation to oneself but to the extent I'm doing is unhealthy.
"Well, a lot of things. First is how you construct the pieces of the characters. Second is progressing the story. Third is on how to make a bigger emotional impact to the reader.
Fourth is picking the right words. Fifth is-"
"That's really a lot."
Mio wasn't wrong, there are people who looked up to me. Judging by his enthusiasm, he has a passion for writing stories. I'll do my best to share my talent and knowledge with him.
"The thing that impressed me the most is how you made the start of the main character so tragic-"
Ouch, that hurts. Oh yeah, Henrick doesn't know that I based the start and the backstory of the main character to me. Still that hurts my feelings.
"-and how you made the girl and the main character fall in love with each other,"
"Enough with the praise and let's start the chase."
Those words may be meaningless but I said it anyway since it sounded cool.
After teaching the ways how I do my work, his look toward me was the same on how a fan looks his idol in the eyes.
From now on I will accept my past. The reason why I became a shut-in was because I was placed in the wrong enclosure.
A parrot was placed in the enclosure of the chicken and the flock I'm at right now is the place where I belong.
Before, I was forced to perform a poem I created but today, I did something that didn't go against my will.
"You really are an astonishing writer."
"Philip, we should get going."
Already? Time sure flies fast when you're savoring the moment.
"So this is where we say our farewell."
"Next year, I'm hoping that you will beat me."
"Yeah, next year I'll put up a good fight!"
I love his enthusiasm. Henrick, I'll remember that name.
I won in our district, the next competition will be against the winners of other districts in our province.
I don't care if I lose, I'm happy that I won in our district and someone acknowledged me as talented.
Halfway to our ride, we made a stop at a mall.
"Sir Nate, we had our lunch at the event, why are we stopping by a mall?"
"Didn't I tell you that I will be buying you a manga as a treat."
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. What manga should I request?
"Take one manga of your choice."
Hmm, there haven't been any new volumes that came out from the ones I'm looking forward to. Should I try a manga that doesn't fit my comfort zone, or just stick with what I like.
While looking around, I saw an employee filling up the Aphrodisiac Lover section. The cover seems new, it looks like the same cover as the one leaked on the internet.
Could it be the latest one?
Just one volume then.
"Here is it sir."
As sir Nate looked at the cover and the title, he gave me a disgusted look.
"Are you sure that this isn't a Doujin."
Same reaction as Mio when she first saw it.
"The title is kinda misleading but the plot is really good."
"Would you mind me taking a read?"
What excuse could I use. Rumors have been spreading that this volume has the most sex scenes compared to all of the volumes.
An inspiration material for future stories? That seems a bit desperate.
"There are many spoilers about the core of the story so I would highly suggest not to read that volume."
"Is that so then I will buy the first volume."
Heh!? really? God knows whatever sir Nate's thinking pattern is but I don't.
At least I avoided the inevitable judgement.
"Alright, here is your treat and let's head back to our vehicle."
Become a functional human being [accomplished]
Regain confidence [accomplished]