TL by Myoni
Edited by Myoni & Yoni
No, I can’t let it go on like this. I can’t let all my preparations go to waste.
“My brother is 10 years older than me.”
Hyunjo sighed as he heard my words.
“So you’re the youngest by a large age gap. Being the youngest with such a large age difference, you must have gotten pretty spoiled growing up. Then this kind of work would be hard for you…”
It was a common misconception.
You must have been well-cared for. Everyone must have spoiled you. I can tell you’re the young master type just by looking at you. You probably don’t have any guts.
Comments like these. I had heard plenty of them in the army.
However, I found this unfair.
“My brother married when I was in middle school.”
“The following year, when my sister-in-law went to the pregnancy clinic, they found out that she was pregnant with quadruplets. “
I still remembered the day our lives were flipped upside down. It was hard to tell if my brother, who was always quiet and dull as dried fish, was laughing or crying.
Mother, father, they said quadruplets. Hahahaha… ha…
Hyunjo and Gunyoung looked at me with wide eyes.
“My sister-in-law was planning on quitting her job to focus on the baby, however with four babies, she couldn’t quit. They needed both of their incomes to barely cover the cost of baby formula.”
“Th-that’s true. With four kids, just the cost of diapers and formulas would be incredible.”
“So eventually, the babies were left with my mother, but she was unable to take care of them by herself.”
“So I ended up helping out. During middle school, I spent my time changing their diapers and soothing them, during high school and university, I was pretty much a constant babysitter. Because my body constantly smelled of baby formula, my nickname was once ‘JungJumma’. Hahaha.”
“So it’s true that I am the youngest, but I didn’t grow up with that sort of treatment.”
“Yaah… You must have had to endure quite a lot. If you raised four kids, taking care of the members of a girl group must be nothing to you.”
It was as planned.
With this, I was able to avoid the bad first impression I had in my dream. In some ways, it was a relief. If I didn’t have that dream, the only thing on my mind right now would have been, ‘girl group? I’m screwed, screwed, so screwed, what do I do?’
But I really was screwed.
I was still shocked and dazed by the fact I was assigned to a girl group. However, I couldn’t just quit because I was unhappy.
W&U was the best out of all the companies I applied to.
Compared to other companies, the salary was good and there was much to learn from the way they tried to develop themselves in a foreign market while accounting for failure.
Above all, their system for promotions for road managers was much more systematic and stable. This was the biggest advantage. In those hit-or-miss companies, there were rumors that managers might simply drive for several years without a promotion.
There was no guarantee that if I quit, I would be able to find a better job and since it was already decided, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out the music and entertainment fields beforehand. Many actors would end up appearing on entertainment shows anyways. While assigned to the girl group, I could gain experience and there may be a chance to get assigned to an actor later on.
Might… damn it.
I picked up the profiles for Neptune.
Girl group. The unfamiliar pronunciation rolled off my tongue. The girl groups I knew were the incredibly famous ones or the ones I saw in the army. Besides those, I knew of the few that appeared in various movies or dramas.
Among those, there were none named Neptune.
After the boy group, Blackout, jumped straight to stardom, this was the second idol group W&U put their heart and soul into. A 4-member girl group. They had debuted 2 years ago.
The members each had the appearance to be responsible for the visual of the group.
Looking at their profile pictures, they were all beauties who each had their own unique charm. I tried to look to see if I had ever seen any of them before, but it would only tire my eyes. After carefully reading the last page, I shoved the profile into my bag.
I thought about my dream again.
Anyhow, could a lucid dream be used so splendidly? It was not like I was possessed by a spirit. Even if we say I somehow got the part about getting assigned to a girl group right, wasn’t it too chilling for me to get their debut year as well as the name right?
Wait. Could it be?
While I was searching articles related to W&U. I could have skimmed by a girl group named Neptune and their debut year.
I might not have remembered it, perhaps it was lodged in my subconscious and manifested in my dream. At least it was more believable than a lucid dream.
Although looking at the successful future self, it wouldn’t be bad if it was a lucid dream…
“Mr. Sunwoo, did you finish reading the profile?”
“Yes, I read it all.”
After selling out my brother’s quadruplets, Hyunjo’s tone became softer.
“Our management team 3 is the hardest team in W&U. Physically, mentally and emotionally. If you work someone for a while here, you can tell. That guy is going to last, that other guy is going to quit.”
As the mood became more serious, I sat up properly.
“All the new recruits have big dreams of becoming the chairman of a major company, what a load of bull, out of ten, seven or eight will quit within a year. The ones at the top may be like, ‘Kids these days don’t even have the basics’ or ‘Back in my day, it was much harder’… however, it makes sense. These days, almost everyone joins after they have graduated university. Did I study all those years to become a driver for young girls and get them kimbab? Why wouldn’t they think that.”
“You earn a small salary while your health degrades as you aren’t able to properly take care of yourself. On top of that, there is a countless number of people who like to flaunt their position. We’re constantly stuck lowering our heads, politely addressing them as Producer, Writer and Director. You definitely think about quitting a least a few times a day.”
Gunyoung and I blankly listened to his words.
Was he implying that it is hard to succeed in this line of work so to just quit now?
I did apply since I really wanted to work in this industry. It wasn’t like I just recklessly decided to follow my fantasies. There wasn’t anyone who didn’t know that the job of a manager was tough. I also heard that the entertainment industry was a cheap and dirty place to work.
“Do you know why I am telling you both this?”
We read each other’s eyes and answered differently.
“Since you’re our senior, so you wanted to give us advice…”
“Since we need to know the reality before we face…”
“If you’re going to quit, quit early.”
“What do I become if you quit after I train you both. I need to recruit new employees and train them again. So if you don’t think you can keep up, quit even a day earlier and go your own path. Don’t stay uncertain for 2 weeks or a month and make me more tired.”
Wow. This was my first day.
I hope not all new employees have to hear this.
“If you’re going to stay, do a good job, okay?”
I haven’t even started work and I was already exhausted. My chest felt stuffy as if a heavy rock was inside it. We didn’t speak a word while driving for 5 minutes.
“We’re here, it’s that small apartment.”
The van stopped in front of the apartment. I thought that there would be something special about an idol’s residence, but there wasn’t much.
Gunyoung commented while getting out of the van.
“It’s very different from Blackout’s residence.”
“You can’t compare them. They have obsessive stalkers. If they were to live in a place like this with a shabby security system, it would be chaotic.”
“That’s true… Stalkers are quite scary these days.”
“They give me goosebumps. One time, someone told me that when they came home after work, they found a fan in their closet. There are plenty of psychos.”
I looked around and asked.
“I guess Neptune doesn’t have any fans like those?”
“They don’t. How could they have stalkers when they don’t even have regular ones. However, even after they become popular, girl groups don’t have as much of a hard time as boy groups because of stalkers. There are occasionally some crazy bastards that run over to touch them during a signing event or celebratory events. Perverted bastards.”
Hyunjo loathingly entered the apartment. Gunyoung and I closely followed behind.
Our eyes met as I looked to the side. I felt a hint of both awkwardness and comradery. We laughed at the same time. The dimples on Gunyoung’s cheek became more pronounced. I felt the same way the first time we met, but I feel like he has a great personality. I wondered what was his impression of me. I hoped I was at least not a jackass in his eyes.
I stuck my hand out first.
“I am 27.”
“Oh? So am I. ’08 graduate. Should we talk casually since we’re the same age?”
I would have to get to know him more, but I felt that he wasn’t such a bad guy.
We took the elevator and went up to the fifth floor. Hyunjo didn’t even knock and entered the passcode on the door.
The hallway was still dark. After struggling to take off my shoes, I entered. Maybe it was because it was a girl group’s residence, but I felt like I walked into a whole different world.
Honestly, I was nervous. It wasn’t just me, Gunyoung, who was behind me, showed clear signs of being nervous.
As Hyunjo turned on the lights, the hallway instantly brightened.
It wasn’t very big. It was much better than my one-room, but it seemed like it would be too crowded for four people. A cute, round sofa. The character cushions and dolls spread on top. A cream colored rug. It showed clear traces that only girls lived here.
“Girls! Wake up and get ready! We have to get to the shop by 5!”
Hyunjo knocked on each door twice.
The first door to open was the one left of the veranda.
“Oppa, you’re here early.”
It was like when you watch a movie or a drama where the screen brightens up so the female lead looks incredibly beautiful. It was the secret filter used when the producer really wanted to push the lead or if there were some revisions made…
That was the scene in front of my eyes.
 JungJumma is taken from Jung Sunwoo and ahjumma (Korean for married woman)  Kimbab is Korean sushi rolls. Very common food, you can buy it pretty much anywhere.  Korean homes nowadays don’t have keys. They use passcodes to enter (Myoni is sincerely jealous).  Oppa is what a younger female calls an older male.