Chapter 6: What it means to be a Music Program (2)

TL by Myoni

Edited by Myoni & Yoni


 

It was still crowded in front of the studio. It seemed like a very famous idol group had arrived as fans were screaming behind me.

Who is it? Fighting! Don’t starve and eat something good! I will support you…

Although there were no jobs without titles, it seemed like the light shining on the entertainment world would cast an especially dark shadow.[1]

Well, they can do whatever they want. We searched around the studio for a coffee shop.

The cold air squeezed through my dress shirt. Even when I rubbed my arms, it was to little avail. Damn. With what mind did I decide to wear a suit. Since I dreamt about the future, it could have at least told me not to wear a suit.

“Brrr… It’s cold. It’s only October, but the weather is cold all of a sudden.”

“I know, right? Seems like we’ll have to wear winter clothes soon.”

Gunyoung hunched his shoulders and stuck right next to me. This fellow not only had a kind appearance, but his actions were also affable. I met him just this morning, but I already felt like I knew him for a long time.

Well, it was better to be friendly than to waste our energy competing against each other. It was a relief he didn’t seem like that guy who would stress me out.

“Are you going to continue working?”

Gunyoung asked abruptly.

“Why?”

“Since we already started, I want to work for a long time. I think we work well together. When I worked part-time with Blackout, I didn’t get along well with the managers so it was exhausting.”

Even someone as sociable as him had people he didn’t get along with.

I hesitated as I couldn’t answer right away. My thoughts were complex. In fact, I was still dazed. However, the members seemed to have good personalities and it didn’t seem bad to work with the sniper[2], Hyunjo and Gunyoung. Although, I’d have to get to know them more. These were my first impressions.

From what I heard from my working friends, all companies have their psychos. Considering that, this environment didn’t seem bad.

“I’ll continue to work. But, I actually wanted to be assigned to an actor.”

“An actor?”

“Yeah. I wasn’t interested in being a manager for an idol group, nor did I know anything about them… If I get the chance to transfer to the actor team, I will.”

“Ahh… That’s too bad. Then let’s get along until then.”

“Sure.”

“You might even end up enjoying the idol team more.”

“Haha. I’m a man of principles, you know?”

“Let’s quickly find a coffee shop, Jungjumma of principles.”

“Hey! That’s my nickname from middle school.”

While we were chatting and laughing, we quickly found a coffee shop. Its crowded terrace indicated that it was a famous shop. Besides coffee, they had bread, cookies, sandwiches and other pastries that the girls might like, so we ordered a few of each.

While waiting for my order, I overheard two men whispering to each other.

“Did you hear about BYG? I heard they wanted another minute in their title track performance?”

“What the hell. Didn’t they already set up a special performance with another idol group from their company as a condition for doing their comeback stage with KpopCon first?

“Sugar Cats?”

“Yeah, them. But even that wasn’t enough and they asked for another minute?”

“That’s what I’m saying. That’s why they had to cut a new idol group. They didn’t have enough time.”

“Really?”

“The cut idol group. I heard that their manager spent a whole month sending the producer gifticons[3] and begging him to let them on the show.”

“Wow. These moralless bastards. Let’s see how well they live.”

“They’ll probably live fine.”

What was wrong with today. I really picked the day, didn’t I. On my first day of work, I think I thoroughly learned the laws of the entertainment jungle. I felt that there were all sorts of things going on behind an hour long program that only gets a 1-2% viewership rating.

I wondered what the group, that was filled with expectations, was doing now? If I was their manager… I’d probably had opened a few bottles of soju by now.

Holding a box full of coffee and bags of snacks, we entered a convenience store. Sausages, salads, puddings and fruits, we didn’t even look at the prices and just grabbed whatever we thought the girls would like. I wondered if this was what they meant by ‘sensibly’…

When we returned to the waiting room, the Neptune members were already awake. A few were swinging their hands and feet. Were they practicing their dance? Before they were nodding off like pairs of sick chickens, but now they were full of energy.

“We brought coffee and snacks!”

Songha was the first to come. She was the one that was holding a container of ice cream in the morning, it seemed like she really enjoyed eating.

“I smell something good. What snacks did you buy?”

“Bagels, sandwiches, we grabbed everything in the convenience store.”

They were happy. Happy. What was this proud feeling I felt? It felt like I was taming them with food.

Taehee and LJ were sifting through the snacks as they drank warm coffee. However, there were only three. While the three were eating ham and cheese sandwiches and bread stuffed with cream cheese, Seoyoung was only drinking coffee.

She only had a salad when the other girls were eating their lunches back at the salon, was she not hungry?

I brought out the snack I bought specifically for Seoyoung.

“This is low-fat yogurt and zero-calorie pudding; can you eat these?”

“Zero-calorie?”

Seoyoung showed some interest. Her face brightened after she examined the calorie count on the yogurt and pudding.

“This looks good. Is it new?”

“They said it was a new.”

“Looks tasty. Thanks, oppa.”

She devoured the yogurt in her hands. As he looked at her appearance, Gunyoung’s expression showed that he couldn’t understand.

“I don’t think you need to diet…”

“I’m the shortest out of the four and I have the largest bust.”

“Huh?”

Gunyoung stared at Seoyoung’s chest before he realized his actions and looked away. I was the same. As soon as the topic of Seoyoung’s bust came up, my eyes automatically looked down at her chest.

This was instinctive. Like a knee-jerk reflex.

Anyhow, Seoyoung’s words weren’t wrong. LJ had a similar size, but her arms and legs were long while her figure was fit. Seoyoung’s slim and short figure emphasized her chest.

But, what was wrong with that?

To the observer, it seemed to be part of her charm, but maybe it was different for the person herself?

“Because of my bust, if I gain even a bit weight, I look dense on TV. Also, my body is the type that gains weight by just drinking water, so I have to be on a diet.”

As she said that, she clenched her fists. It was like she wasn’t talking to Gunyoung, but encouraging herself.

LJ pressed the top of Seoyoung’s head and smirked.

“It’s true that you’re the shortest out of all of us, but you don’t have the biggest chest. Don’t try to subtly scam everyone.”

“Hey, you have to take into account that your genetics are different from mine!”

They were already fighting like cats and dogs. Though it did seem like Seoyoung was feeling a bit better because of LJ.

“Finish eating so we can go around and greet people. They should all be arriving soon.”

Hyunjo said while stretching his neck left and right. The members finished up their short snack time and got up. Even I got up while eating a sandwich. I was just starting to eat…

“Hello, we’re Neptune!”

‘Greetings’ were really just greetings.

The members went to each waiting room and bowed at a ninety-degree angle, greeting everyone. It was the sort of introductions celebrities would make on TV to their viewers.

If the singers in the waiting room were nosy and outgoing, they would share some polite words. However, it was usually the opposite. Usually, the singers would just tell them to cheer up, then the members would say thank you and that they would try their hardest. That was all.

Sometimes, as if they had implanted a steel rod in their neck, some bastards only nodded their heads slightly and there one rotten-mannered guy who would scan them once before ignoring them. I need to write down the name of that bastard.

Even though I could barely hold my anger, the Neptune members didn’t even flinch. Their strong mentality was really incredible.

It wasn’t like I was following behind the members either. How could I stay still when Hyunjo was going around, handing out business cards.

I understood why he stretched his neck before starting. He would greet the artists, greet the managers, greet the staff member and greet the reporters. I don’t know how many times I said, ‘Please take care of our Neptune’. My neck was killing me.

However, greeting was fine. The awkwardness that came afterwards was the real problem. People had a hard time receiving my greetings. It seemed like Seoyoung’s words were right, my suit made it seem like I was a superior.

When I told them I was a manager, only then would they start to laugh and greet me in a more relaxed state. Among those that laughed, there were some that held a bit of disdain.

There was one thing good about this situation… I could see celebrities as much as I wanted.

Men or women, they were all glimmering in full makeup. There were some who looked like they popped out of a manhwa. In the crowd of idols, there were a few times where I was distracted from seeing some famous solo artist.

In the past, I would sing that hyung’s song a lot… I barely contained the urge to ask for an autograph.

Even though I thought that the entertainment world was cheap and dirty, whenever a group of girls with fluttering apron skirts passed by, I wondered if this was heaven… Wait, was that a school outfit under that apron?

Let’s not stare.

“Hey.”

Gunyoung tapped my foot.

“What?”

He wordlessly gestured with his chin. When I looked over in that direction, I saw a sexy female artist wearing a swimming suit-like stage outfit.

This was heaven.

 

 

After going back and forth like a lost child, I leaned against the wall. Hyunjo was talking to someone over there and Gunyoung seemed to have gone to talk to someone or to the washroom as I couldn’t see him.

Since I had already made my rounds, I decided to rest for a bit. My poor waist. It was broken before I could use it properly.

Someone tapped my shoulders as I was massaging my neck and waist. I turned around thinking it was Gunyoung, but it was Taehee. I was surprised. At first, she looked really easy-going, but she looked completely different with makeup on. Maybe because she had this aura as the leader, but I never got the chance properly talk with her yet. Even though I said leader, she was five years younger than me, however, she still had that aura.

“What? Did something happen?”

“Do you see Seoyoung over there?”

Looking past Taehee’s shoulder, I saw Seoyoung surrounded by three girls in front of a waiting room.

“I see her.”

“Can you go and take Seoyoung away from there? I was going to ask Hyunjo oppa, but he was busy with another chief.”

Was this a bullying scene?

Surprised, I looked closely, but it didn’t seem like it. The girls were all smiling brightly and the atmosphere was very peaceful.

Then, what was the problem?

“They are a group called Sugar Cats and they were trainees together with Seoyoung.”

Sugar Cats? The ones who were going to do a special performance because they were a group from BYG Entertainment?

“They hold Seoyoung in disregard since they are gaining popularity while Seoyoung is stuck in the same place for two years. I hope you could act like nothing is wrong and just take her away from there.”

“If we go, it’ll damage her pride.”

Even LJ voiced her support.

“Okay. I’ll bring her.”

As I made my way there, I closely examined the situation again. Seoyoung and the three girls surrounding her were all laughing and seemed to be happy as they were meeting each other after a long period of time.

Were my eyes that of a fish? Why couldn’t I see it? Was it something that only girls knew.

“Umm.. Seoyoung?”

Seoyoung turned her head as I awkwardly called out to her.


[1] What this sentence means is that although there are no jobs that aren’t recognized in the world and since the entertainment world is so glamorous, we often don’t think of the number of people working behind the scenes.

[2] This is used to describe how Hyunjo comes out at specific times to insert his opinion on a certain manner

[3] Gifticons – Think of them sort of like gift cards? Gift coupons? But online

 

[Previous Chapter] [Table of Contents] [Next Chapter]

12 thoughts on “Chapter 6: What it means to be a Music Program (2)”

  1. I must confess that I’m not really into k-pop idol groups much. My knowledge of them is very general. I’m more into KVariety so any obscure knowledge of idol groups, I gleaned from watching them appearing as guests in such shows. That being said, I like the flow of this chapter. I can actually visually imagined myself as the MC, standing in the hallway, greeting other senior entertainers and people of interest and seeing all kinds of manners of people and the costumes of various groups and solo singers. I like the feel of this chapter though I did feel slightly down reading about the poor attitudes of some fictional people towards Neptune. And the bullying at the end! Oooh, my hand was itching for some bitch-slappings!

    I feel weird tho…I’m actually cheering for a fictional girl group of a light novel. Something I’ve never done for real idol groups before. x_x

    1. XD thanks for your wonderful feedback! I really like the author’s writing style. My knowledge on Kpop and the entertainment world comes mostly from Kvariety as well. What do you watch?
      -Myoni

      1. Diehard faves are 1n2d and RM. Remember I mentioned EXID? That particular info was from KBS’ “Happy Together” (the original format). I stopped watching the show when it became a total sausage-fest. *sigh* Though from that, it’s kind of ironic of me to like 1n2d ne? lmao

  2. He really should have asked which group got canceled. I’m betting it was them. Though I do wonder why no one has told them yet. Unless they haven’t agreed to cutting them yet?

    1. I think they will have time just to introduce themselves like: “We’re Neptune!”… And that’s it.
      Anyway, i really like how this series is going. Me want moree..

      1. Well, most songs are 3 minutes long. Only one minute is being cut, so they may be given the ultimatum of switching to a 2 minute song that they don’t have or getting dropped.

        1. I just want to clarify Neptune isn’t cut from the broadcast. This isn’t a spoiler. In the chapter, it said that a new idol group got cut, Neptune is 2 years old. Also, in a previous chapter, Hyunjo said that they were able to get in the music program because they had W&U and Blackout to support them. The staff wouldn’t cut a group that has connections to a ‘monster’ group like Blackout as they want to keep a good relationship, just like how they sucked up to BYG to perform their comeback stage on their program. Hope this clears things up! and happy reading~
          -Myoni

          1. Ah, I misunderstood. Its just so odd for a conversation like that to happen in a story like this and have it not impact the MC directly in some way.

Comments are closed.