“Angry rice cake, can you say it one more time? ‘If you guys even dare to touch a single hair on my hyungs!'”
“I never said that!”
Kim Seonghyeon and Kang Ichae teased Jeong Dajun relentlessly.
I patted Dajun’s head for a while before pretending to scold them, finally settling the situation.
“Ah, seriously, I hope they aren’t going to sue for assault, right? I just couldn’t stand it.”
“It was self-defense.
And there’s no way those guys have any time to worry about that now.
But how did you become so good at judo throws?”
“I did judo as a hobby in middle school… Ah, I regret it now.”
After the Today members fled the scene with pale faces, as if they had lost their minds, the set was quickly cleared up.
It was because it was decided that rehearsals couldn’t continue any longer.
The manager rushed over, heard the situation, and insisted we should go to the hospital, but the one who might actually need to go was probably Yu Hyeok.
“Do you think the camera caught that?”
“Ah, I’m curious too.
If it exists, I’ll watch it whenever I feel down.”
I talked with Jiwon about trivial things.
“Will the live broadcast schedule be delayed?”
“Well, I don’t know.
The entire program might be ruined.”
“Still, the audience is coming, and we can’t cancel because of this.
We’ll probably go on stage anyway.”
We looked at each other blankly.
Jiwon had a strange face.
“I don’t know.
It just feels like we made it happen, like you said.”
“So it’s over like this.”
Jiwon’s expression looked somewhat bitter.
He probably didn’t expect the things that had been tormenting him to crumble so easily, so he seemed to be feeling mixed emotions.
Jiwon lowered his long eyelashes and took a deep breath before nodding.
I took his thanks lightly.
I wanted to pass over it as if it was nothing.
I hoped this incident wouldn’t linger as a debt or burden for Jiwon.
… It’s just that, for some reason, it didn’t leave a clean aftertaste.
“Should we practice?”
Jiwon deliberately smiled brightly.
Before leaving, I looked around.
PD Kim Heeyeon…
I wanted to ask PD Kim Heeyeon about the program’s direction, but I decided to put it on hold.
She’s probably busy dealing with Today’s side of things.
I shouldn’t bother busy people, and we should handle our situation on our own.
I got in the van and checked the internet reactions.
Hundreds of posts were pouring out on social media in real time.
[Goosebumps ㅎㅎㅎ I always said Today was strong, but the drug incident ㅋㅋㅋㅋ It’s really over with the pictures spreading]
[Management!!! I told you! Look at their faces!!!!!!!!!!]
[Really fucking embarrassing…]
[What about the assault?? Is there a video posted?
└Search on YouTube
└└Don’t click on the link above, it’s just disgusting ㅡㅡ Just give us the link for Today’s video]
I checked the real-time search trends.
[Today Yu Hyeok]
[On suspicion of drug use, all of Today’s members were sent to the prosecutor’s office (breaking news)]
They were sent to the prosecutor’s office.
From this point on, it wouldn’t matter if Shining Star decided to part ways with them.
Next, I searched for The Dawn.
There were fewer posts compared to the explosive ones about Today, but some were still popping up.
[Title: The Dawn’s reevaluation is urgent
Picture of Kim Seonghyeon frowning at Today’s stage
Picture of Seonghyeon saying ‘Do I have to say it?’ after seeing Today’s stage
Picture of Yu Hyeok being blatantly ignored by Seo Hoyun
What kind of devil’s editing ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ They say it was actually angel’s editing, Kim Seonghyeon always frowning and not greeting Today, there was a reason
└Kim Seonghyeon, a big nose? How did he know? Fans didn’t even know
└└There’s a drug-detection dog story
└It’s still a sunbae, thoughㅋㅋ I think this is a bit harsh…
└└Better than building a relationship with drug users
└└Drug user idol and senior, bullshit my ass ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Are you a Today fan crying?]
[Title: If Shining Star continues, will The Dawn be in first place? Really curious
└If all the Today fans withdraw, it might be possible
└└School bullying idol vs.
└└ㅋㅋㅋFuck ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Battle of the century
└First, the biggest concern is whether the program will continue right?
└└Would they stop just because one group dropped out? The program is popular right now]
The online community’s reactions were furious.
[I’m so fucking pissed watching those ignorant people saying we need reevaluation… But still… Is it a relief, at least?]
[At least it’s a relief that Seonghyeon’s unfair treatment was revealed ㅜㅜ]
I also checked the Shining Star YouTube channel, where Kim Seonghyeon and The Dawn’s videos were uploaded.
The most popular comments hadn’t changed yet.
In the latest comments, there was one that caught my eye.
[Kim Seonghyeon, a school bully, stop making things up~]
[I feel sick and want to vomit watching The Dawn fans taking advantage of this situation]
There were quite a few likes.
This is a bit of a problem…
I scrolled through the comments while resting my chin on my hand and remembered my phone call with Kim Jaeyeon.
– “You found the school bullying victim, but they went to study abroad?”
– “They went to Austria.
I found the phone number, but it’s a bit difficult.
They don’t seem to use social media, and their email account has changed.”
I thought I could quickly resolve the school bullying issue, but things got twisted.
It would have been better to resolve it before exploding the Today controversy.
So everyone was still nervous while smiling at Kim Seonghyeon.
Kim Seonghyeon cried when he saw the Post-it last time.
That’s a problem.
What should I do about this?
As I was lost in thought, organizing my thoughts, the system window rang after a long time.
[A special service for you!]
It made me uneasy.
It felt surreal.
[Check the item shop!]
It was a shame that the shop was still empty, but there was a new tab in the item shop called [Special Service Item].
I clicked on it.
[Lucky Fortune Dice: Roll the dice, and the phone number you want will appear!
Usage count: 1.
Note: The item will disappear immediately after use.]
The system window actually helped for once? But how much is this?
Owned Points: 1,000]
I reopened the quest window, which was flickering as if asking to be found.
[Idol’s Aegyo is Essential!
Aegyo is essential for idols.
Practice aegyo to increase your proficiency.
Current Aegyo Proficiency: 0%.
Reach 30% for a reward of 1,000 points.]
The system window wasn’t trying to help; it was mocking me!
My body shuddered.
I looked at the internet comment section again, then the quest window, and finally at Kim Seonghyeon.
Kim Seonghyeon asked, puzzled.
At the same time, an image of Kim Seonghyeon wearing a hat and looking down at the electronic billboard passed by.
I clenched my teeth.
“Huh? Hoyun, are you going to practice more?”
You guys go ahead.”
“Hyung, aren’t you pushing yourself too hard?”
Jeong Dajun asked in surprise.
I waved my hand casually.
“I’m just going to do a bit more.
You guys go ahead and rest.”
“Alright… text me if anything happens.”
With Kim Seonghyeon as the last one, the rest of The Dawn members left the practice room.
They’re all gone, right?
Just in case, I checked the practice room several times, going in and out.
Yes, it’s the perfect time to be out of my mind.
I searched for aegyo on YouTube.
[I’m so cute, I’m adorable!]
I watched the videos, took a deep breath, and looked in the mirror.
Aegyo is good.
It’s essential for idols, and I have to do it if a fan asks.
I can’t make a sour face then.
If fans ask, I must obey.
I looked in the mirror and raised a fist next to my face.
[Aegyo Proficiency has increased by 1%.
Current Aegyo Proficiency is 1%.]
I unwittingly punched the mirror.
No, I can do it.
I can do it.
I have the ability.
I chanted the spell of victory several times and repeated the aegyo casting.
“Kkungkkotto… Gisungkkung… Ah, shit.”
Now the curse word slipped out.
The skill level had almost increased.
I was rolling on the practice room floor by myself.
I had no thoughts when I watched others do it, but when I tried it myself, I felt like I was going crazy.
“How does everyone do this? Is it innate? Do I have to be born this way?”
I took a deep breath.
It’s no big deal.
Everyone else does it too, so what would change if I did it too?
I brainwashed myself several times, jumped up, and practiced again.
“Save it in my heart! Save!”
[Aegyo skill level has increased by 1%.
Current aegyo skill level is 2%.]
I felt a bit more comfortable after letting go of my conscience.
After searching the internet for a while, I thought I could make it work.
Why is it disgusting when I do it but okay when others do it? I urgently needed to reassess Yu Hyeok, who was acting cute in front of the camera.
Seo Hoyun, get a grip.
Thinking that the disgusting me in the mirror was another self was a bit more comfortable.
I can do this.
This is nothing.
[Current aegyo skill level is 28%.]
I started to approach 30% after trying all sorts of nonsense.
Now it seemed like aegyo would come out with a simple tap.
I am an aegyo machine.
Just a little more, and I’ll reach 30%……!
[Current aegyo skill level is 29%!]
I was so immersed in practice when I felt something was off.
Chills ran down my spine…
I turned around with a startled expression, and there he was.
It was Kang Ichae.
Kang Ichae stood still in front of the practice room door.
As our eyes met, the usually shameless Kang Ichae smiled awkwardly for the first time.
“Um, I couldn’t reach you on the phone… I came to tell you some news about Shining Star.”
“Today dropped out, but Shining Star will still continue.
The live broadcast will also proceed as planned.”
“…Yeah… That’s good news.”
PD Kim Heeyeon was looking for you.”
I’ll call her.”
Even though our conversation was over, Kang Ichae stood there, scratching his head and glancing at me.
Usually, he was always laughing, so it would have been less embarrassing if he had just laughed and teased me, but his gaze seemed to pity me for some reason.
“Um… Hyung, um.”
With that, Kang Ichae quickly left.
My soul was stripped away, and I collapsed on the floor.
[Current aegyo skill level is 30%!
Aegyo is essential for idols!
I almost broke the wall because I was so embarrassed!
1,000 points will be given.]
I barely–barely–managed to fill up 30% aegyo skill level and checked the Lucky Fortune Dice at the item shop.
I almost shed tears, but I held them back.
I wouldn’t do this shit again.
I won’t do it, no matter what happens.
“Seonghyeon… Hyung is doing this much for you.”
[I will purchase the Lucky Dice.
2,000 points will be consumed.]
I muttered to myself as I purchased the dice.
A bright light poured out, and a nine-sided dice rolled into my tightly clenched hand.
“Do I have to roll it eleven times?”
[Austrian phone numbers have ten digits!]
Thanks, you little…”
With a heavy heart, I rolled the dice.
I wrote down the numbers that appeared in succession, 6 and 6.
How many times was it now? Without having time to think, I rolled the dice one last time, and it disappeared.
I wrote down the last number, jumped up, and took out my phone.
Wait, it’s an international number… As I entered the Austrian international dialing code, a long ringtone followed.
Pick up, pick up.
I’m doing this, so please pick it up.
I heard a soft clicking sound from not far away.
– “Hello, Hello, Hwang speaking.
I could feel the person on the other end taking a breath.
“Hello, this is Seo Hoyun, a friend of Seonghyeon’s.
Can you spare a moment of your time?”
I don’t care if you don’t.
Kae.” is a Korean expression that is short for “심쿵하게,” which means “heart-fluttering” or “making my heart race.” It is often used when someone is so cute or charming that it makes the speaker’s heart flutter.
Nae.” is a Korean expression that is short for “미안해,” which means “I’m sorry.” It is often used cutely or playfully to apologize for something minor or to ask for a favor.
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