I was still slowly rubbing my sore back, but the manager continued to voice his passionate speech.
“What if you get kicked out of the company? The president is scary.”
“You’re still too young and ignorant of the world.”
“Show me to the practice room.
And introduce me to the members.”
When I stopped talking, the manager looked at me with scorching eyes.
I ignored it with the brazenness I accumulated through years of social life.
I was used to being shameless.
“Seo Hoyoon, you’re being weird today.
You got sick and became a completely different person…”
He muttered constantly as if it was a chant.
I walked down the hall and looked at pictures of people I still didn’t know.
Ah, I knew this guy.
He was a famous actor who switched from plays to romance dramas.
At least this agency seemed like it catered and worked for actors in its own way…
‘Idols in a company specializing in actors…’
“How many trainees are there?”
“What nonsense are you saying? You’re the only ones.”
“You guys are the idols we scraped up to debut.
Whew…I was worried, actually.”
That was the setting?
While I was astonished by the shoddy system of a company that was worse than a small shop, the manager whispered to me.
“The kids, they… they might be a little sensitive.
The feedback hasn’t been good lately.
So don’t get flustered no matter what they say.”
“Will I get excluded?”
“Excluded… Well, you might feel that way.
But don’t worry, I’ve been continuously looking after them, they’re good kids.
They’re just like that because they’ve been under a lot of stress.”
Usually when people said their children were nice, they were often not nice at all.
I calmly stared as the manager, who was more nervous than me, walked to the door and opened it.
“Kids, Hoyoon is here!”
…God, I’ve lived a good life.
You can choose the members who will work well with me.
However, when I saw the members sweating and panting in the practice room, I clicked my tongue.
‘This isn’t going to work.’
They were handsome.
That was obvious, of course, because all idols had to be handsome.
Being handsome and pretty, being good at singing, everything was important.
However, in Korea, all handsome and pretty people flocked to the entertainment industry, so I couldn’t be complacent.
So, what did you need to survive?
It was star quality.
How bright they were, how cool they were even if they didn’t do anything, they were all very important factors.
I glanced at the four members who had huddled together.
And judged again.
Star quality didn’t seem like much, but it was actually really hard to get.
It was a necessary element to make fans go crazy with just one gesture, but it was terribly difficult to obtain.
They had to have a distinctive charm or charisma.
And if you had as much work experience as me, you’d be able to see the star quality in children at a glance.
But these members didn’t have it.
I asked with a sigh because they had no distinctive charm.
‘Hey… Can you see other people’s stats?’
As soon as I was about to lament, a sharp voice pierced my ears.
“I thought Seo Hoyoon left?”
It was a tall guy who spoke.
When I saw him, the system window automatically appeared with a character description.
[Kim Sunghyun, The Dawn’s Leader and Main Dancer
[Very sensitive about the risk of disbandment.]
Mn, I think I’ll know even if you didn’t tell me.
“But why are you coming back? What did you do well?”
Kim Sunghyun glared sharply at my side.
The manager panicked and mediated between us.
“Sunghyun-ah, what’s with you.
Hoyoon was sick.”
“Then what do you want us to do.
Is this group some sort of consolation match? Why is there a person here who hasn’t been actively promoting properly?”
To be honest, I thought that everything Kim Sunghyun said was right.
At the same time, I reevaluated him again.
‘Would he be popular if he had a rude character?’
Ordinary people were more likely to be attracted to someone who was rude to them once than to someone who was nice to them 99 percent of the time.
If you were always nice, they would just think you’re a pushover or a creep.
“Sunghyun-ah, let’s stop.”
[Sung Jiwon, Main Vocal
[He has a good heart, but bad luck.]
‘This one’s pretty good.’
Sung Jiwon stopped Kim Sunghyun and glanced at me.
As I shrugged and entered the practice room, Sung Jiwon welcomed me.
“Mm… Hoyoon-ah, I’m glad you came.
Are you feeling better now?”
I’m Seo Hoyoon.
Please take care of me.”
“Everyone here knows your name.”
“I just want to do well again.”
Whenever I left my house, perhaps because my lips were heavily coated in saliva, everything including lies came out shamelessly.
Kim Sunghyun’s face turned red, but I ignored him and looked at the other two.
The black haired guy’s eyes widened.
“Hoyoon hyung, are you really feeling better?”
[Jung Dajoon, Sub Dancer
Um… He’s very bright and polite.]
I feel better.”
I didn’t know what I was sick with so I answered vaguely.
When I looked to the side, a fox-like guy smirked.
“Hyung, I thought you were dead because you weren’t coming back.”
[Kang Yichae, Main Rapper
[He has a twisted character.]
‘Look at this rascal’s personality?’
This punk was perceptive.
“I didn’t die and come back.”
“Mm? …Hm? Haha.”
[Quest, ‘Let’s talk to the members!’, has been completed.]
[Everyone must be in a bad mood because you’re here!]
[Adding some charm.]
I answered moderately and looked at the quest window.
Main vocal, rapper, dancer; it seemed that the assortment was put together accordingly.
Or maybe they only gathered enough trainees to fit each position…
The manager smiled broadly, saying it was a relief I managed to greet the members.
“Yeah, I’m glad the members welcomed him! Let’s do well again, together!”
No one answered.
Nevertheless, the manager continued to speak firmly and energetically.
It was hard for an office worker.
I looked at him pitifully.
“I don’t know about Hoyoon yet, but you’ve been preparing for the comeback for a while now.
There’s still a month left until the showcase and broadcasting activities.
Let’s do our best.
The president is pushing us hard!”
‘No, he’s not…’
Looking around, everyone seemed to know that was a lie.
The anxious faces of the members proved that.
“Hoyoon-ah, do you want to listen to the song first?”
‘Let’s listen to your comeback song!’
This is The Dawn’s last chance!
Listen to your comeback song.
Upon success: Begin next scenario, +1 charm
Failure to succeed: Huge confidence drop for the members of The Dawn]
“Yes, please play it.”
Let’s hear how much of a mess it is.
[Pop, pop, pop like a pineapple!
Nyam, nyam, nyam like an apple!
Mang, mang, mang like a mango!]
Silence hung in the air.
It was a real mess.
It was a song about wanting to confess with the freshness of a mango like an apple like a pineapple to their crush.
Even if I was tone deaf I’d still think it was the worst song ever.
[Mang, mang, mang!]
“What do you think? Is the song good?”
I laid it down and looked at the manager who was smiling broadly.
…Could I laugh out loud? Even if it was clear that I would be ruined if I carried this song with me?
No, I would be ridiculed on the Internet for the rest of my life.
“Pop, pop, pop, like a pineapple! Kya, what a masterpiece.
The reactions are already hysterical.
Even the planning team is going crazy about how refreshing it is.”
Aside from the shitty beat and the shitty lyrics, would you say the song was refreshing in the winter?
It has already been half a year since summer, and you’re going to do this kind of concept in winter? Was the entire planning team dead?
I could already imagine.
Like a pineapple, like a mango, like an apple… You’ll see me singing all kinds of crap, and there will be three to four comments on the video on Youtube.
-Wow…..It’s a little pitiful…..ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
-ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋAnyone can become an idol these days~~~ I want to debut too~~
-Do idols like these have fans? I’m asking because I’m really curious.
The reaction was already obvious.
Trembling, I gave my evaluation to the gazes of the people around me.
“The song is very fresh.”
“Does the president run an orchard?”
“Hey, Seo Hoyoon!”
The members around me also got worked up.
“Hoyoon-ah, no matter what you think, that’s a bit…”
“Why~? It’s true.”
Let’s say that pineapple is pop, pop, pop.
Why is mango mang, mang, mang?”
Kang Yichae joined in.
I swept my face and got into an awful mood.
I might have put a cigarette in one of my pockets.
I needed to light just one.
He misunderstood my intentions, so the manager called me.
“Seo Hoyoon, where are you going.”
“I’m going to get some fresh air.”
I left my manager behind, went out of the building, crouched on the side of the street, and took out a cigarette.
Then I looked at the company building on the opposite side.
No wonder the building was small and old.
Even the songs I wrote would come out better than that.
No, how the hell did you make a song like that? It was ridiculous to compose lyrics with a summer concept in the middle of the winter season where snow would come soon, but what was with the random EDM, EDM…
[Are you going to give up?]
“Shut up… I’m thinking.”
What do you mean giving up, give up? I couldn’t give up because of my pride.
I held back my anger, remembering my freshman years when I was ridiculed in all kinds of ways.
I even remembered a sunbae who suddenly told me to pick up his business card from a garbage bag, and a top star who bossed me around using all methods of bullying.
Compared to back then, this was nothing, nothing…
Whenever anger within me arose suddenly, I would pull out the bank app, check my balance, and try to calm my mind, but that didn’t work now either.
I needed to feed Seo Hojin…
The main vocalist that I met earlier approached me.
His name… right.
I was barely able to pretend I knew him when I saw the system window pop up again.
He was a nice guy who mediated the members around him.
‘I can’t get used to it…’
No matter how I looked at it, whenever a man so much younger than me called me by my name so casually, it just reminded me of how crazy the situation I’m in really was.
…There was no answer, so I took another puff from my cigarette.
“We were a bit… too mean, right?”
I was just smoking, but Seo Hojin’s expression darkened at my response.
I quickly realized.
Right, idols shouldn’t smoke.
Seeing an idol who had to take care of his throat smoking was no different than saying he had already given up.
What was my position, sub vocal?
All I could do was sing with a spoon in a soju bottle at a company dinner.
I was already worried about how I was going to get on stage and sing.
“Please understand the members.
It’s because things haven’t been working out.”
“We’re going to disband soon.
I’ve already given up on everything.
The planning team left us, and that song was what we barely got from the company.”
He felt out of luck, so I squinted my eyes and looked at Sung Jiwon.
“I need to think about what to do after disbanding.
It’ll take a while for me to study again because I’ve been a trainee for so long.”
“How long have you been doing this?”
“I think 7 years?”
‘It’s not bad?’
The agency Sung Jiwon just said was quite large.
There was a group there called ‘Today’ that had recently gained some recognition.
Would he be able to do it? If he had some good skills, it would be less worrisome.
Although I wasn’t sure yet.
I inhaled a puff of cigarette as Sung Jiwon hesitated.
“It’s a big company.”
“But it didn’t work out.
Just think of it as leaving it as a lasting memory.
Don’t worry about the members and let’s do our best.”
“Why’re you laughing?”
What are you talking about.
I didn’t come here to make memories with you guys.
It was arrogant to decide that you’ve already failed before even starting.
In particular, this one here was putting his life on the line.
If you haven’t started properly, you shouldn’t throw everything away like this.
I pressed the cigarette on the floor and put it out.
“Who said that?”
“It’s the last time, or whatever it was.”
They haven’t tasted success yet, and were just lingering in front of the gateway.
I had to take these idiots and create a first-team idol.
And I was confident.
“Aren’t we just starting?”
I was confident that I could even take care of their meals.
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