“Originally, The Dawn wasn’t quite popular.
This year, though, a lot has blown up.”
“Their appearance in Shining Star was barely saved by Today’s drug scandal.”
This was quite interesting.
It had been a long time since I heard gossip about The Dawn, not counting the internet hate comments.
Even top stars like Joo Woosung and Yu Jia received those.
I tried to listen to what they were saying while I was behind the building, but I turned around just in case.
Ah, Kang Ichae.
I wondered if he would get hurt.
But he still had an indifferent face and continued to brush off the remaining sand off his hands.
[As expected, those guys…]
[These days, they link Seo Hoyun and Kang Ichae together like that.]
Anyway, Kang Ichae didn’t seem particularly interested.
But for me, listening to staff gossip was as entertaining and useless as ever, so I eavesdropped eagerly.
“I must admit that their skills are pretty good.”
“Ah, but Seo Hoyun isn’t that great.”
“He’s a terrible dancer.
It’s ridiculous to see him relying on his face alone to be an idol.”
“Really, everyone and their dog wants to be an idol now.”
Is this… a compliment or an insult?
I, who was now known as “the guy who only relies on his face without any skills,” gave them a special score for their fresh evaluation: 5 out of 10 points.
Of course, it had no credibility.
[You aren’t hurt by this?]
Even on YouTube, there were tons of videos with clickbait titles like “Hoyun, do you want to be an idol?” so it wouldn’t be a big deal to hear such things in person.
Knowing that, Kang Ichae tried to make a lame joke.
“Hyung, do you only rely on your face?”
“I’m so sick of this misunderstanding.”
I filmed a short video with Kang Ichae, but suddenly the conversation switched.
“But now that he’s doing well, does he have a powerful backer?”
“If that’s the case, it’s really ridiculous…”
I couldn’t help but laugh at that.
I wish I actually had a powerful backer and received such misunderstandings.
We were still making our choreography ourselves.
I quickly covered my mouth with both hands and observed the staff’s atmosphere before whispering to Kang Ichae.
“Hey, do you know who’s backing me?”
“The king god emperor general Chumugong majesty himself?”
As Kang Ichae joked about me, the staff’s conversation went even further.
“Could it be that he has a special relationship with Shining Star’s main PD?”
He was (had been) right.
Though it’s in the past tense now.
As I turned my eyes to see Kang Ichae, who seemed just as uncomfortable as I was, it was clear that we couldn’t just laugh off this rumor.
“Stop talking nonsense…”
I muttered softly and stopped Kang Ichae, who was glaring at them.
He looked like he was about to jump out at any moment.
“Just a moment.”
Kang Ichae raised one eyebrow, but he stopped in his tracks.
He’s not good at listening, but he’s good at assessing situations.
I didn’t want Kim Heeyeon to get hurt, so I tried to think of how to naturally stop their nonsense when Seong Jiwon suddenly appeared in front of them.
The gossiping staff members were startled.
As they bowed their heads towards Seong Jiwon, Kang Ichae and I exchanged glances.
Because I wanted to see how Seong Jiwon would handle it.
“Ah, hello… there.”
The staff rolled their eyes, clearly worried that he heard their conversation.
Seong Jiwon just smiled softly.
And he looked straight at the staff.
His smile remained, but his eyes were sharply focused, making it clear that he had heard their conversation.
The staff members looked uneasy, glancing around.
“Um, did you have something to say…?”
“…No, you were just staring.”
Seong Jiwon’s smile deepened.
“I thought the staff members had something to say to me…”
“I didn’t hear it clearly earlier.
If it’s okay, could you repeat it for me?”
Seong Jiwon is so fucking intimidating…
All of us—the staff, Kang Ichae, and me—froze.
Seong Jiwon was still smiling innocently, but his face said, “Try saying that one more time in front of me.”
In the end, the staff apologized to Seong Jiwon and bowed their heads.
“Ha, if you can’t say something in front of people, don’t say it behind their backs, okay?”
“I’m sorry! Time is up, so, um, I’ll go ahead first…”
“Yes, take care.”
As Seong Jiwon politely greeted the staff, they quickly fled.
Watching their retreating figures, he let out a frustrated sigh (surprisingly) and tried to run his hand through his hair but realized it was already set, so he just lowered his head.
Then, he inadvertently locked eyes with us.
Seong Jiwon’s eyes gradually widened, and in an instant, he returned to the familiar face we knew.
“Hyung… What’s going on?”
“Well, that is…”
Seong Jiwon stuttered with great embarrassment.
I looked at him with reasonable suspicion.
Could it be that this group, contrary to what I thought… was mentally not as soft as rice cakes?
“Um, when did you start listening?”
“From the beginning.”
“Oh, I got caught…”
Seong Jiwon scratched his neck, seemingly embarrassed.
“Was I too rash…? I’m sorry.
They didn’t know how hard we worked, and then they are spreading these weird rumors behind our backs.
It really hurts.”
Jiwon-hyung don’t lower your head like that.”
“But you know it’s embarrassing, right?”
Seong Jiwon sighed deeply again.
Then, he looked at me with a grave expression.
I instinctively felt the sparks flying my way.
“This time! Let’s make sure to show them!”
What does that mean?’
I hurriedly sent an S.O.S signal to Kang Ichae, who subtly took my side after noticing the situation.
“Let’s not push Hoyun-hyung too hard~.
He didn’t get to practice much lately because of his busy schedule.”
“No! He’s fine!”
Seong Jiwon roared.
Seeing his gleaming, crazed eyes, it seemed like the opportunity to persuade him with words had already passed.
Cleverly noticing that part, Kang Ichae smirked and discreetly took a step back.
He didn’t want to get involved.
I narrowed my eyes.
‘Hey, you were on my side.’
‘Hey, both of us don’t have to die.’
Kang Ichae just kept laughing without saying anything.
Though we argued among ourselves, the outcome was already a chaotic mess.
Seong Jiwon was burning with passion.
“I made up my mind!”
It was the comeback of the tiger teacher.
“I’ll turn Hoyun into a dancing machine!”
In the end, this thing came.
I sighed as I watched Seong Jiwon, who developed such passion in such an unexpected place.
I intended to ask for help anyway.
I’d lose my freedom starting tomorrow, but that was fine.
I planned to ask Seong Jiwon or Kim Seonghyeon for help anyway.
This time I felt really confident.
It was to be expected.
[Seo Hoyun can move from being terrible to average in dancing!]
※ Dance Concentration Set is equipped.]
I had already used the points I’d earned doing the various quests while appearing in variety shows to buy the Dance Concentration Set.
Dance experience increased by a whopping three times! It was worth the 3,000-point investment.
I expected that the hellish dance training with Seong Jiwon would continue, but preparation was already complete.
“Seong Jiwon, Kang Ichae, let’s go now.”
“… I hate it when hyung laughs like that.”
No one will call me a failure from now on.
“It’s coming out soon!! Let’s wait!!”
Today, as the youngest member of the planning team, Lee Jihyeon, finished preparing for the MV reaction strategy meeting for The Dawn’s comeback, she looked through the fans’ reactions on SNS.
The reactions to the released teaser photos and videos that were hot.
[Refreshing Refreshing Refreshing ahhh, I love it so much ahhhhh]
[Daepaseong Entertainment is amazing ㄷㄷ, I’m so surprised]
In particular, the visuals were so hot that sometimes they even crossed over to other timelines and caught people’s attention.
[I don’t know much about K-pop, but who is the member who looks like they’d barely get one 5-star card even if they spent a million won? (Photo)
└Ah, fuck that’s Seo Hoyun
[Seong Jiwon’s nose, I fucking love it
└Jiwon almost removed it
└?????????? I’ll vomit in front of Daepaseong then
└Ah, he wanted to remove it when he was in D.go
└Just burned it]
… It was a bit intense, but anyway, it was okay.
Jihyeon searched for other reactions with a trembling heart.
The newly released logo and light stick were the focus.
[Fuck fuck, I said I’d become The Dawn]
[No matter how much I think about it, Daepaseong went too far; suddenly releasing the light stick, official logo, and teaser in just one day (although grateful, I have a suspicious expression)]
[Daepaseong working so fast is fucking annoying ㅋ]
As expected, when it came to Daepaseong, only curses came out on Twitter.
Jihyeon could understand that sentiment, but she couldn’t help feeling a little down.
But it’s understandable… I’d be pissed too.
[The official logo wasn’t too bad]
The image of a horizontal line drooping in a triangle reminded people of the sun rising at dawn.
Below it was written THE DAWN.
[But the lightstick is…………..]
The lightstick was a stretch.
The design itself wasn’t bad, and as a modern light stick, it had the typical recognition features and LED mood lighting.
When the actual light stick was made, it had an inverted pyramid shape which was a bit off.
[Is it meant to stab people?]
While other idols’ light sticks were mostly round spheres, The Dawn’s light stick was too sharp.
[It could be considered a weapon at the airport]
[Is it their grand plan to stab overly-enthusiastic fans…?]
Moreover, it was heavy.
Remembering the rushed light stick production project made her head throb.
We can renew it next time.
But the cost would be no joke.
Lee Jihyeon skimmed through fan reactions, and it was already noon when she finally closed her SNS window.
It wasn’t an easy task to follow up a winter version of Apocalypse with a summer version of a refreshing concept… But the results were well worth the countless hours of brainstorming and worrying.
“Turn it on, let’s watch it again.”
“We’ve already watched it dozens of times.”
“We need to make sure one more time that there are no mistakes!”
Composer: Blue Tiger
Lyrics: Blue Tiger and Kang Ichae
Arrangement: Blue Tiger, Kang Ichae
In other words, Lim Hyeonsu and Kang Ichae did most of the work.
It was a trendy and refreshing song.
In short, it was a track that screamed, “We’ll be number one this summer!”
After refreshing the page and observing the rapidly growing view count, Jihyeon clicked on the music video once more.
In the middle of the video, with the sound of waves crashing, Kim Seonghyeon was standing.
“There he is—”
“Wow, it came out great.”
“He looks so cool and refreshing.”
Thanks to Director Jeong’s passion and hard work in editing, the overall look of the video was beautiful.
Kim Seonghyeon, who had been quietly staring at the sea at the beach, stood up and brushed off the sand from his clothes.
Then, the title appeared over his figure as he walked on the sandy beach.
The light and upbeat sound, different from their previous concept, gradually grew louder, echoing throughout.
Next, Seo Hoyun appeared, wearing a blue jacket and a white shirt.
Squinting as if blinded by the sunlight, he got on the train.
“The sun is shining on your back,
Quickly, get on this train.”
“Wow, his image is so different from “Second Chance.” Is Seo Hoyun the fixed center of The Dawn?”
“It’s probably because he stands out.
Kim Seonghyeon has more public interest, but Seo Hoyun really solidifies the color of The Dawn.”
“Right, he has a strong presence when he appears.
Same goes during meetings…”
“Let’s stop thinking about it.”
The planning team shivered as they thought about the last meeting.
Whenever they recalled how Seo Hoyun was able to point out the flaws in their logic like a ghost… the planning team leader grinded his teeth.
“In my opinion, Seo Hoyun is really something else.”
“Anyone can see that.
That guy, he’s on his second life,.”
Though it was a joke, it was half true.
“We’ve only just turned the first page,
Let’s see how far our story goes.”
The train started moving, and on the opposite platform, Jeong Dajun appeared.
He smiled brightly and he was the first to run towards the sea.
“It’s good that they incorporated Jeong Dajun as the ‘key’ into the story.”
“Jeong Dajun really matches the refreshing concept.
Maybe it’s because he’s young, he absorbs the concept quickly.”
“The sea train cuts across the sun.
Even if the waves crash over us,
Tide gets high and low,
It’s just the natural course.”
Kim Seonghyeon appeared again.
Jeong Dajun grabbed the hand of Kim Seonghyeon, who was afraid and refused to get on the train.
He was dragged in by Jeong Dajun.
“They’re going for that, huh.”
“They’re addressing his previous controversy.”
It was a scene that depicted the struggle Kim Seonghyeon had with the controversy during his time in Shining Star.
Kim Seonghyeon probably filmed it without thinking much about it, but his fans would go crazy seeing this and crawl on the floor.
At that moment, the screen changed, and Seo Hoyun, who had boarded the train with a stern expression, appeared.
Kang Ichae, already on the train, greeted him with a smile, seated Seo Hoyun, and took care of the following part.
Try pulling up the box sunk in the deep sea.
No need to be scared.”
Jihyeon stared at the screen for a long time.
Kang Ichae really holds the center of the team well.
Not only for his composing ability… His laid-back personality seems to work well within the fandom too.
“Tide gets high and low,
It’s just a part of us.
As Kang Ichae playfully pretended to shoot a gun, the train heading towards the sea began to gain speed.
“Wow, isn’t the CG is amazing?”
Of course, we spent a lot of money on it!
Jihyeon clenched her fist.
The train raced on and eventually derailed into the ocean.
As if time was moving slowly, the slow-motion scene showed the windows breaking on either side and water pouring in.
However, Seong Jiwon simply glanced at the scene, not trying to escape.
“You alone are my only answer,
You are my key-“
“Seong Jiwon’s vocals really… are insane.”
“I wonder how they brought them all together.”
“You, who I’ve been constantly searching for,
You are the one.”
The call back to the lyrics of “Second Chance” caught the eyes of the fans.
They got immersed in the song, and their comments online soon followed.
As the highlight ended, everything seemed to freeze in time.
Seong Jiwon’s profile was motionless, and the camera quickly fell to the ground, capturing the scene of floating objects inside the train.
Bubbles surrounded Kim Seonghyeon as he struggled underwater.
He writhed in pain until he spotted a small, shining box at the bottom.
He swam toward it, reaching out to grab it just in time.
Then, someone pulled him up to the surface, allowing him to breathe.
As he looked up, he saw Jiwon smiling and brushing his wet hair back and Dajun sitting down next to him.
In Seonghyeon’s hand was the box.
Carefully, they opened the box.
A bright light burst out, and the beat of the song began to build up again.
Meanwhile, Seo Hoyun, who was sitting in the train car, tapped his fingers and stood up, wearing a knowing smile on his face.
“This is it.”
The lyrics of Kismet comparing the moment to the birth of a star.
The refreshing beat returned, and the train’s time resumed.
Hoyun and Ichae joined the others, walking coolly down the train’s aisle.
“The wave is pushing at your back,
Quickly, get on this train.”
On the other side, Seonghyeon, Dajun, and Jiwon appeared.
They walked with relaxed expressions.
“Tide gets high and low (It’s going to be fun, I promise you).”
The scene continued to alternate between the sinking train and the members walking nonchalantly.
When the members finally met in the middle of the train, a huge, powerful wave crashed over them, destroying the train.
The scenes of the members dancing on the beach and laughing inside the train intertwined.
“You alone are my only answer,
You are my key,
You, who I’ve been constantly searching for,
You are the one,
It doesn’t matter where our destination is,
We’re just here to ride the waves and enjoy.”
Hoyun approached the screen with a grin and covered the camera with his hand.
“So quickly, get on this train.”
The MV returned to the beginning, focusing on Seonghyeon’s profile as he sat alone on the beach.
He played with the box before putting it down and standing up to respond to someone’s call.
Let’s go now.
The camera gradually focused on the box lying on the sand.
It was empty, with “Memory” engraved on it.
Seonghyeon had been afraid of the box, but in reality, there was nothing inside it.
The words overlapped on the box’s surface.
[The Dawn – “Ocean Train”]
“Wow… That came out so pretty!”
As Jihyeon gave a calm assessment of the story she had created, the fans were in tears over the music video and the visuals.
[Their faces are so beautiful]
[I must be in paradise]
Jihyeon monitored the fans’ reactions through the screen, looking over her glasses.
Besides the visuals, there were other stories being told.
[Am I the only one disappointed? Where did the post-apocalyptic setting go?]
[Well, it can’t be helped… It’s summer, and post-apocalyptic doesn’t fit well in summer…]
Don’t underestimate stans.
She had long incorporated hidden symbols while maintaining mass appeal.
People would get more engrossed in the music video once they realized this, and various interpretations would likely be uploaded by tomorrow.
Jihyeon nodded in satisfaction as she stretched.
At this rate, there won’t be any issues with the post-apocalyptic trilogy coming out this winter.
While she was calculating in her head, others were already amazed by the music video.
“Look at the comments!”
After refreshing the page, the planning team gave a round of applause for the burning comment section.
“…It’s incomparable to last time, isn’t it?”
Laughter slowly filled the once-silent planning room.
They all had one thought in mind, “This time, we’re getting a bonus!”
“Okay, you’ve all worked hard.
Go home, get some rest, and come back tomorrow.”
“That’s it for today?”
“Right… it’s already dawn.
Ahaha! The Dawn sure picked a fitting name.”
Ignoring the planning team leader’s joke, Jihyeon continued to monitor the comments.
A few malicious comments were already starting to pile up.
[Is Seo Hoyun going to mess everything up this time too? I wish he’d just leave and stop muddying the waters]
Hmm~ They’re getting popular… even malicious comments are showing up.
Not wanting to dampen the excited team’s mood, Jihyeon just reported the comments and closed the window.
I hope Hoyun is okay.
While Jihyeon worried about him, Hoyun was lying on the floor of the practice room, catching his breath.
He rubbing the dark circles under his eyes.
In front of him, a blue system window appeared.
I did it.
As a result of practicing almost every day, cutting back on sleep to dance, the following message appeared:
[Dance Concentration Set, the effect has expired.
Congratulations! Your dance has ranked up from C+ to B-!]
The relentless efforts of the villain had finally borne fruit.
 The phrase “말랑콩떡” is often used to describe people that are mentally weak or easily affected.
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