The atmosphere of the Noeuls was almost like a party.
They laughed and cried at the same time.
Particularly, the core fans who had been following them since their debut were crawling on the floor.
[1st place… 1st place… 1st place… Ah, fuck, is this real or a dream? Is this really happening? Aaah, it’s so great!]
[They’re the fastest among the new groups, are they buying their way up?
└Shining Star + Robbing an Empty House
└└Ah, ㅋㅋㅋ, they really racked their brains]
[As soon as they were announced as 1st place, the members cried like babies ㅋㅋㅋcuteㅠㅠㅠㅠ
It’s so funny and sad and touching and greatㅠㅠㅠ I didn’t know I could cry this much…]
[In the midst of all this, Kang Ichae and Seo Hoyun are perfectly fine
└Their spirit is the true definition of a professional]
The reaction to them being 1st place was good.
Maybe it was because of their hardships during Shining Star, but everyone was deeply immersed in the moment.
[Wow, it’s really like a novel set up.
From total nobodies -> Appearing on Shining Star -> Rising to fame -> 1st place.
I’m so proud and going crazy…]
To begin with, the fact that this song caught on just as well as their previous one, add in the fact that there were fewer controversies, played a big part.
Meanwhile, when The Dawn’s performance and Seo Hoyun’s fancam were released…
Seo Hoyun’s individual fans were taken aback.
[;;; What’s up with Godking?]
[Why is he dancing so well? He must have practiced a lotㅠㅠㅠ So proud, it’s driving me crazy]
[What is Seo Hoyun lacking now… He has it all: looks, singing, dancing, and variety…
└Lack of manners
└ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅅㅂㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I’m laughing so hard right now]
Of course, the Noeuls didn’t mention his godliness.
To those who just casually liked Seo Hoyun, they might not know, but people describing Hoyun as “insane” seemed to know about his personality.
He was somewhat affectionate to his fans, but… he has a strong spirit and was definitely not friendly to everyone.
Some of them fully supported Seo Hoyun, no matter what controversy erupted.
In fact, when Hoyun chose Today, some of them just coolly laughed it off.
[Hoyun is just a baby, so that’s why ㅋㅋ
└└Are you laughing?
[Our rabbit might have done that tooㅎ
└Agree, agree ㅋㅋ]
As the saying goes, “Like idol, like fan,” they were shamelessly thick-skinned so much so that the members would be shock if they found out.
Anyway, as the increasingly powerful fans celebrated Seo Hoyun’s impressive growth with laughter, more and more videos titled “The Evolution of Seo Hoyun’s Dancing” appeared on YouTube.
The praising comments also increased, but of course, there would be flies at the growing feast.
[He’s only good at his own part ㅋㅋ.
You can see the level when idols barely manage to memorize their own parts and get praised for it.]
Naturally, the fans got upset.
[Wow, look at the subtle provocation coming in~ Ah, it’s so thrilling ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ]
[It’s proof that he did really well, right? ㅋㅋ]
They were slightly annoyed but not the type of fans to be swayed by this level of agitation.
If The Dawn became more popular in the future, of course, there would be more trolls stirring up trouble.
However, when the 1st-place promise fancam was released, even this agitation disappeared in an instant.
[The Dawn “Ocean Train” encore stage ? Congratulations on 1st place!]
[Pledge part summary!
Seong Jiwon → Kang Ichae,
Kang Ichae → Jeong Dajun,
Jeong Dajun → Seo Hoyun,
Seo Hoyun → Kim Seonghyeon,
Kim Seonghyeon → Seong Jiwon.
Please press like♡]
Whether it was a funny concept or not, the rap part and vocal part were switched.
Watching Seong Jiwon awkwardly rapping Kang Ichae’s part, even the hardcore fans of Jiwon couldn’t help but close their eyes tightly.
[He memorized it correctly… The beat is right… The diction is good… Why…]
[Jiwon……… Just sing]
[Jiwon, don’t do what you want to do
└ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋYou guys are so cold]
And then Kang Ichae imitated Jeong Dajun so well—waving his hands like crazy and copying his unique singing style—that everyone was in stitches.
[Kang Ichae is really shameless ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋFor a moment, I saw Jeong Dajun
└He’s really got a strong spirit but his personality is so good ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋThe epitome of being in his own world
└A person who would’ve been on top in any group… I just can’t help but love him]
Next up was Jeong Dajun.
Jeong Dajun tried to be cool by slicking back his hair and doing various gestures, but to the fans, he was only adorable.
[ㅋㅋㅋIt’s just Jeong Dajun
└Jeong Dajun: ㅠㅠ;;
└ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋOur baby ㅠㅠ He’s so cute]
Kim Seonghyeon sang Seong Jiwon’s part effortlessly and sincerely.
Surprisingly, his voice was good, and there was a buzz among the fans.
[What is this….
What is this… Kim Seonghyeon taking on the main vocal part all by himself, what’s going on…]
[Too many settings on this guy… If he went on Today, there would’ve been so many settings, and people would’ve asked if the writer had a conscience…]
Everyone had fun revealing their gag skills or unexpected talents by switching parts, but the most eye-catching one was Seo Hoyun.
At first, he seemed hesitant to take on Kim Seonghyeon’s part, but during the dance break, he adjusted his strength according to the beat and danced well.
Compared to Kim Seonghyeon, he still had a long way to go, but it seemed like he was at least at the average level of other idols.
His graceful dance lines attracted even more attention.
[What? Seo Hoyun is good at dancing even when it’s not his part??]
[He knows how to control his strength]
[If Kim Seonghyeon is powerful and dignified, Hoyun knows how to adjust his strength accordingly.
His facial expressions are also good, so I’m just watching this with a fist in my moutjㅠㅠ
└Yah, take the fist out of your mouth
[Hey, those who said he can’t dance unless it’s his part, come out! Let’s battle~!!! (A big grin, fuck~!!)]
The reaction was precisely in the direction Seo Hoyun had aimed for.
“Seriously, they have no conscience.”
I said while putting on a gray jacket.
No matter how I thought about it, they were just too shameless.
Jeong Dajun, who was still in high school, whined while flitting around.
“I don’t want to wear my school uniform anymore.”
“Ah~ what good times.”
“Hoyun, why are you saying that? You only graduated four years ago.”
“No, it’s been a long time.” I wanted to say that to Seong Jiwon, but I gave up.
The Dawn was going to appear on a talk show program.
The concept was to dress up in school uniforms, become students, have dance battles, and determine the true “best” through a talk show.
“Kang Ichae, go.”
After finishing the shooting preparation, I followed the staff’s guidance and walked down the hallway to the classroom set.
For this concept, the shameless and cunning Kang Ichae was perfect.
He took the lead, opened the classroom door with a bang, and entered while fidgeting.
Then he smacked the desk with his palm.
“Who’s the top dog here?”
“These are all familiar faces.”
The celebrities, whom I had terribly troubled during my PD days, cheered without knowing anything.
“It’s The Dawn!”
Following that, Seong Jiwon entered, waving his hands gently, and the rest of the members came into the classroom.
We stood in line, smiled and greeted one another.
“We came to eat at this school.”
The shooting went smoothly.
As much as the camera was rolling outside the set, there were people who stuck with the concept and remained faithful to their fame.
“So, I heard that Ichae composed the song for this release?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“You must have made some money, right? How much did you earn?”
“That kind of money… I’ve seen it so many times that it’s disgusting.”
For a moment, that thought crossed my mind and I glanced at him.
Kang Ichae responded casually while fiddling around.
“Ah, unfortunately, the copyright royalties haven’t come in yet.”
Kang Ichae winked playfully at the camera.
“Please transfer the payment to Ichae soon!”
A man who strictly separates work and personal life.
Everyone burst into cheers at his relaxed appearance.
Jeong Dajun was teased for crying too much, and Seong Jiwon was asked if he was really a tiger teacher.
When it was Kim Seonghyeon’s turn, they indirectly brought up the school violence issue to grab emotional points, but Kim Seonghyeon… well, he deliberately avoided that topic with a nervous face.
“Yeah, don’t do that.
There will be a backlash.”
Each member had their turn to shine, and then it was my turn.
The celebrities suddenly leaned forward.
“Hey Hoyun, I heard you’re really smart?”
I showed an awkward smile.
I was curious about what would come up, and it was this.
“No, not that much.”
“What do you mean? We all saw it on TV.
You’re good at English, and you memorize dances quickly.”
It was nice to be praised, but if I kept being labeled with this image, fans might get bored.
They keep hearing the same story again and again.
Was there no fresher story? While thinking lazily, I maintained a polite smile on the outside.
“Haha, it’s no big deal.”
“…but you’re really handsome.”
I think I heard similar things during my PD days when I first met them.
Of course, once the program started and we worked together, it was no secret that they called me a sly person who smiles and grinds people down behind my back.
Ah, it was fun back then.
I miss it a lot.
Now that I’m in the subordinate position.
“It seems like there are about ten teenagers on the other side of the camera?”
I calmly waited while listening to the whining of a celebrity with a mischievous image.
But there’s no laughter…
While waiting for a punchline to burst, my variety show PD alter ego was starting up… the next step began.
It was called “If You Die, I Die,” a secret revelation corner with a rather cheeky title.
“Hey~, let’s talk about scary stories.”
As the classroom darkened and the sound of thunder rang out, the comedians in the cast created an atmosphere by cracking jokes.
On a rainy day, the students in the classroom each brought up interesting stories.
A way to show off a star’s eloquence and return!
“Who wants to go first?”
As I was about to open my mouth, Kang Ichae suddenly raised his hand confidently.
“Ichae will do it.”
“Ichae, why do you keep mentioning your name?”
“So you’ll remember my name well.”
[Isn’t he just trying to be cute?]
I also think that’s right.
Anyway, Kang Ichae looked like he was trying to focus everyone’s attention by smacking the desk with both hands and putting on a serious expression.
“It’s a shocking true story I experienced.”
“What is it, what is it?”
“This time the protagonist is not me but Houhou-hyung.”
It’s his previous stage name.”
Kang Ichae’s finger pointed at me.
I crossed my arms and legs in a showy manner.
The production staff laughed warmly, thinking it was just a joke, but in reality, I had no idea what was going on and cold sweat was dripping down my face… I had made too many embarrassing mistakes in the past.
No, Kang Ichae isn’t the kind of guy who would mess around.
He wouldn’t say anything that would damage my image.
But then again, there was nothing.
All the recent conversations I had were related to Today, which would be edited out anyway…
As I forced my brain to work like an old, slow computer, Kang Ichae’s story began.
“That day… it rained a lot, just like today.”
Kang Ichae whispered in a low, gloomy voice, as if trying to match the atmosphere.
Kim Seonghyeon also listened carefully to the story.
A day when it rained a lot…?
“What is it? Hoyun, do you know?”
“No, not at all…”
I answered Seong Jiwon and quickly counted in my head, but still, I couldn’t figure it out.
“It was the day before the final recording of Shining Star…”
“Shining Star? You mean the last episode when we performed ‘Kismet’?”
“Yeah, that’s right.
You remember well.
At that time, there was a lot of talk about whether Shining Star would continue or not.
But what could we do? We practiced hard together in the practice room.”
I felt slightly anxious.
“I really wanted to be number one, so I practiced hard until I was exhausted, and when I was about to leave… Hoyun wanted to stay and practice more.”
But we just let it be because he’s a practice bug.
He even had to be taken to the emergency room once because he practiced so much that he couldn’t sleep and got sick.”
“Really? The ER?”
Voices of surprise echoed throughout the set.
Jeong Dajun nodded in agreement.
“Hyung suddenly collapsed.
We were all so shocked, it was no joke.”
“Wow! You’ve really lived a passionate life.
That’s so cool.”
I felt a little guilty as everyone’s eyes pierced me for having gone through such hardships, but I left the title of “an idol who was hospitalized for practicing too hard” alone, as it wouldn’t harm me.
To be honest, my anxiety was elsewhere.
What… what was it?
“Anyway… Hoyun is always calm and rational when he practices.
I was on my way back when I suddenly got a call.
They said that the Shining Star program would continue.
It’s good news for us, right? So, I called Hoyun to let him know.”
Kang Ichae banged on the desk twice.
It was a rainy day.
The day before the final recording of Shining Star.
The day when I practiced alone.
“But he didn’t answer the call.”
Feeling doomed, I jumped up and rushed to the desk, desperately trying to cover Kang Ichae’s mouth.
He struggled to avoid me while grinning, but he couldn’t resist my desperate attempt to stop him.
The flustered comedians stood up.
“Seo Hoyun, you can’t do this!”
“Stop, let’s stop.
If this got out, I would really want to die.
As if trying to smother Kang Ichae, I hugged him and tried to stop his mischievous mouth.
Meanwhile, the other members who still didn’t know what was going on just stared at the situation with question marks all over their faces.
“Hey, you really…”
“Hyung! I said I’d take care of the variety show part for you.”
There was something here, something huge was about to happen.
The comedians, who had sensed something, laughed and separated me from Kang Ichae.
“Wow~, seeing Hoyun like this, there must be really something?”
“Ah, what is it? I’m so curious.”
Kang Ichae, who had become a mess, stood up from under the desk and spoke ominously.
“You can’t stop the truth, hyung.”
Laughter erupted even among the staff members.
Anticipating the approaching humiliation, I crouched down on a chair in a corner, covering my face and escaping reality.
I could feel the camera zooming in on me.
“So, I went back to the practice room because I was worried that he might have collapsed again.
But if he was practicing, I couldn’t interrupt him, right? So, I slightly opened the door to the practice room and—”
Kang Ichae made a gesture of opening the door slightly with his hands.
“—Hoyun was practicing his aegyo.”
Pretty. He was doing that.”
Kang Ichae even demonstrated by clashing the tips of his fingers together, making the comedians scream in empathetic embarrassment.
“…What did you say?”
“Did I hear it wrong….”
The other members acted as if they had heard something they shouldn’t have, digging their ears or looking at the ceiling.
I thought he was a good guy for not telling the members, but fuck, he was the kind of guy who would hold his tongue and endure it just to reveal it to the whole nation.
Kang Ichae let out a deep sigh.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing… Hoyun isn’t that kind of person… You’d know if you asked the members.”
“What’s his personality like?”
Curious, a comedian asked, and Seong Jiwon forced a smile and replied.
“Well… he’s calm and rational.
He’s definitely not that kind of person…”
“Exactly! He’s not that kind of person.
He’d never do anything that would put himself at a disadvantage.”
Kang Ichae, that trash, was stirring up the atmosphere with the people around him.
“But then, that person was doing this “I’m so pretty, I’m so pretty.’”
“Our eyes met through the mirror.
His face turned blue.”
As soon as I got up, people around me grabbed my arm and made me sit down again.
The filming set was already filled with screams and laughter from people (who had felt the empathy level).
“So, I quietly told them the news to spare you embarrassment, hyung.”
“Then I thought as I was leaving…”
Kang Ichae finished with a regretful face as he brushed his hair back.
“This hyung is… really trying so hard in life.”
“Wow, that’s a legendary story! Confirmed!”
Having become the target of embarrassment, I just lay down on the desk, pretending to be dead.
It seemed better to hide my presence and pretend not to exist.
” Hoyun, Hoyun, don’t you have something to say?!”
“Is it for the fans?!”
Everyone was so agitated that even the cast members forgot their informal speech concept.
I had to come to the lectern as the comedians kept making a fuss, asking if I had fainted.
Kang Ichae was smiling mischievously.
It’s not covering 2%, but rather 200%.
“Hyung, please share your thoughts.”
“…If the fans are happy, isn’t that all that matters?”
As I spoke honestly with a disappointed expression, even the staff couldn’t help but laugh to the point of almost sobbing.
Kang Ichae leaned on the lectern and laughed almost to the point of wailing.
“You’re so lovable, it’s so cute….”
It was the most depressing “It’s so cute, it’s so cute” in the world.
In the end, I had to do three reenactments of the aegyo, getting completely picked on during the shoot.
The staff even crazily waved the sketchbook, asking for more.
These crazy bastards…
No, I was even crazier…
I half-heartedly read the lines written in the sketchbook.
“Hoyun is… just born pretty…”
“Waah! So embarrassing!”
“Because others are just pretending to be pretty… Ho.
“Seo Hoyun, please! Please stop!”
That bastard Kim Seonghyeon was laughing so hard that he slid off his chair and fell, not even realizing it was his fault.
He didn’t even know the favor he owed me, fuck….
 Refers to a strict and disciplinarian teacher
 “너 죽으면 나 죽어” is a playful mistranslation of a Korean phrase that means “we will stick together through thick and thin” or “we will be together until the end.”
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