Chapter 33: There’s Always a Twist (3)
“Oppa, you need to think of your future! The difference between Sung Dowon and us is too large!”
Im Seoyoung pounded her chest in frustration.
Lee Taehee showed a rare serious face and said.
“Don’t worry about us and think about it again. It’s a really big opportunity.”
“That’s right. Didn’t you say you wanted to be assigned to an actor originally? Then there’s no need to think. Of course, you need to say you are going to be Sung Dowon’s manager.”
Even LJ, who usually joked around, seriously seconded her words.
Even Lee Songha, who hadn’t spoken yet, stared at me to the point my face started burning.
Staying amidst them, my complicated mind started to fade.
Even if I didn’t see the future, and I chose Neptune over Sung Dowon based fully on my own decision… I might not have regretted this decision.
I smiled as I answered.
“I decided after thinking about my life. I didn’t get a good vibe when I thought about being Sung Dowon’s manager. And I think you girls will become bigger successes than Sung Dowon.”
The reaction to my sincerity was short.
Kim Hyunjo shook his head.
“Haa, there’s no use crying over spilled milk.”
“Really? You can’t change your mind?”
“The opportunity has passed.”
Im Seoyoung was the first to flop onto the floor. The other girls and Kim Hyun sat on the ground as well. I continued to hear them say that I threw away my good fortune and came back or that I was a weird person for a while longer.
Then, after the situation calmed a little.
“I need to practice harder from now on… I’ll really do my best.”
The others nodded at Im Seoyoung’s words.
The girls got up saying they would practice some more, and I told Kim Hyunjo everything I knew about Lee Songha and the acting teacher. I carefully mentioned Son Chaeyoung as well. When the girls joined in with me, Kim Hyunjo showed a serious expression and nodded his head.
“Okay. Younghoon hyung and I will look into this.”
He dusted off his seat and sighed when he looked at me.
“You should go home today and rest, eat something good for breakfast too.”
Okay, when would I go to work tomorrow?
“Eat lunch and come to work by 3.”
I asked again because I couldn’t believe my ears.
“Yeah. Since you did something big on your break. I’ll look at your schedule this week and give you another day off.”
Kim Hyunjo left while waving his hand.
After saying goodbye and turning around happily, I became startled. Lee Songha was standing right in front of me.
Ah right, I did have something to say to her.
“Why? Are you hungry?”
“Yes. But that’s not it…”
Lee Songha suddenly bowed her head.
“For paying attention to me. I am sorry for saying this so late. Thank you so much.”
Just when I was about to answer.
Huh? This was the second time today.
My vision changed, and I saw my future twenty years from now.
With no time to wonder, I heard Reporter Song’s question.
“It’s a question that I thought of after you said you don’t know how someone is going to end up, but who is the first person who comes to your mind when you think ‘I never thought that person would be this successful’ back when you were a new recruit?”
I perked my ears because this was a question I was really curious about.
But while my future self was thinking about the question, Director Park suddenly cut in.
“Isn’t it Lee Songha?”
“Who would have thought Lee Songha would suddenly succeed in acting, especially in Hollywood, back when Neptune was only singing and dancing? No matter how many people say you never know which cloud it will rain from in the entertainment world, for Lee Songha, it was more like it started raining in a cloudless sky.”
This was it.
A certainty that my thoughts weren’t wrong was nailed into my head.
My future self bitterly shook his head.
“That’s the part I’m most regretful of. Songha started acting long after I quit being Neptune’s manager. If I knew that she was talented in acting when she was young, maybe she would be a much more amazing actress now… I always regretted this.”
“Well, since Lee Songha did start acting in her thirties.”
“Even though it’s no use saying it now, but to be honest, I thought this when I first saw her.”
Ah… I could tell what my future self was about to say next.
Since I thought the same thing when I first saw her.
“That she should be an actress instead of a singer.”
The next moment.
Lee Songha was standing next to me again.
I tried to sound calm as I spoke.
“To me, it doesn’t look like there’s a problem with you, but a problem with the acting teacher, who taught you. I’ll try to confirm it properly so if you don’t hate acting…”
I took out the Cat Guardian Ghost synopsis I always carried in my bag.
“Would you like to read this?”
Lee Songha reached out with a smiling face.
When I woke up the next morning, I felt a stiff happiness in my chest.
Light shone through the small window in my one-room apartment and tickled my face. My pillow felt soft, and my blanket felt smooth; a smile crept up my face.
I felt it was worth paying my month rent for a change.
I stretched and got up. When I looked at the time, it was 1 p.m. Since I slept after 2 a.m. yesterday, I slept a ton. How long had it been? Maybe it was because I hadn’t slept properly in a while, but my head that had been muddled from sleep deprivation cleared and my body felt lighter.
Yes. This was it. This was how a person should live.
An employee who leisurely eats brunch before going to work. It felt good.
I looked at the dusty rice cooker and thought momentarily. It was a pain to cook rice. But I didn’t have enough time to order delivery.
Eventually, I microwaved some instant rice and set up my meal with the side dishes my sister-in-law brought me. The meal I set up for the first time in a while seemed a little boring so I chopped a few green onions and made steamed eggs. It was a sumptuous feast.
I ate with my spoon and chopsticks as I opened my laptop and began my daily routine.
The first thing I did was search Neptune and checked if there were any new articles about them. Well, there wasn’t much today. Only one line in a news article about Next K-Star?
I didn’t only check entertainment news but also large community sites many people participated in.
Luckily, there weren’t any negative comments.
There should some reaction after the first broadcast.
Next, I checked the lineup for winter dramas.
I may be getting ahead of myself, but I kept collecting information ever since the day I received the Cat Guardian Ghost synopsis, mainly on projects that would compete against it once Lee Songha got the part.
Time Slip and Mermaid out of Water were picked as the most promising projects out of the three public TV networks, and there were a few projects that caught my eye from cable and comprehensive programming channels.
I was glancing through new articles, and a few headlines in the entertainment section caught my attention.
[‘Mermaid out of Water’ Powerful Lineup, Son Chaeyoung confirmed] [Super Extravagant Casting! ‘Mermaid out of Water’ released in January with Son Chaeyoung] [Will the promising project, ‘Mermaid out of Water’, revive the stagnated public TV miniseries?]
Ah, so she ended up choosing this one.
The article continued to by stating Son Chaeyoung decided to go with ‘Mermaid out of Water’ as her next project, that there were higher expectations and interest due to the popularity of the original and their extravagant casting, and that it was a promising project that might save the continuous line of disastrous rating of public TV miniseries.
Well, the results of public TV miniseries these days were depressing.
There were no projects that surpassed a 20% viewership rating in the summer, and it had come to the point where a consistent 12-13% rating was considered a success.
The stakeholders were all probably hoping for a successful project to come out and break this streak.
Though, this mermaid drama would go under after hitting a 3% viewership rating.
Not long ago, I would have been regretted Son Chaeyoung jumping into the sea, but now I was surprised by how much it didn’t concern me. The fact she told me to screw off was secondary, it was more because I felt uncomfortable by my suspicion that she may have played a part against Lee Songha.
Although I didn’t see it through my foresight, it didn’t feel good. If it was later revealed this wasn’t only a suspicion, then even cursing her to fail wouldn’t be enough.
I clicked my tongue and opened the comment section. The reactions were explosive due to the popularity of the original. It hadn’t been long since it was published, but there were already hundreds of comments.
-Whoa, amazing. Son Chaeyoung? January come quickly *shivers*
-Euaheuah so good T^T I believe in Son Chaeyoung’s Rocco!
-Is it only me who feels a bit regretful about the matching?
-It’s just you. Son Chaeyoung is an amazing choice, don’t pour cold water over it.
-Though there is a bit of a mismatch between their images, I believe Son Chaeyoung’s acting abilities will be able to cover it.
-It will be a success as long as they follow the original well.
For now, their reactions were positive and favorable.
I read other articles before searching Cat Guardian Ghost. There were only a few articles about how strong candidates for the main roles were reviewing it positively before, eventually, turning it down. Compared to the mermaid drama, there were far fewer articles, and comments were hard to find. It definitely lacked in newsworthiness.
I was looking at them seriously when my phone rang.
-Yeah. Can you talk?
“Yeah, it’s fine.”
Now that I thought about it, it had been a while since I called my mom.
-I packed and sent some side dishes and green onion kimchi. It’ll arrive tomorrow so put them in the fridge when you get home from work. You can’t leave them out for too long.
“Mom, you should have let dad eat them. Sister-in-law already sends me side dishes.”
-Even if we eat it at home, we don’t eat much. I made ginger tea by preserving it in honey so put some in hot water and drink it. So you don’t catch a cold.
“Okay. I’ll do that. And you and father aren’t sick or anything, right?”
-We’re fine. How’s work? I asked someone whose son works at a broadcasting company, and they said that celebrity managers have it hard.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. Even yesterday…”
I recalled something while thinking of something to say to set her at ease.
I didn’t have the time to think about it because yesterday was so eventful, but didn’t CEO Baek Hansung tell me to pick out a car? And the director brought up the Rolls Royce afterwards… No, let’s forget about that.
Still, me refusing Sung Dowon’s offer had nothing to do with it, right? Probably?
“… Mom, I think I’m going to get a car.”
Though I couldn’t believe it myself.
-Isn’t it better to lease a place to live once you have the money? And buy a car later.
“No, I’m not buying it with my own money. The CEO of my company said he’d buy one.”
Well, this was no surprise since I wasn’t sure even though I heard it personally.
Her voice was filled with worry and distrust.
-The company you work for, Double Ent…”
-Is it a proper company? It’s not a place with strange scammers, right?
“It’s a proper company. Mom, it’s quite a big company in this industry. I resolved an incredibly important problem so he said he would buy me one. Don’t worry. I’m not a fool, I wouldn’t accept if something was odd.”
I tried to explain the best I could, but my mom didn’t seem to buy it at all. There was a 100% chance she would call my brother and sister-in-law for more details. My brother would probably call me later as well.
I hung up after hearing repeatedly that the world was full of bad people and that I should always be suspicious. By the time I finished my food that had turned cold, it was almost 2.
Now that I had become accustomed to it, I got ready in an instant and left my one-room apartment.
Maybe it was because it was a weekday afternoon, but the subway was quiet. I bought some limited edition snacks from the muffin shop in the subway station. I bought some because I was going to work late.
While waiting for the subway, I went on the group chat that I hadn’t been on for a long time. Maybe it really had been a long time because messages popped up one after another.
They were from my friends I went to high school with who made me wonder if they were really my friends or enemies sometimes.
They were guys I met and hung out with constantly, but because I never went out after getting a job, they were all asking me if I was alive or not.
-I’m not dead. Just think I re-entered military service and forget about me for a while.
As soon as I sent the message, there were a bunch of replies.
It seemed like these guys were chatting instead of doing their work.
-Military? What? It’s that hard?
-To be honest, you need to buy us food the day you get your first paycheck. I bought beef. I remember exactly how much damn beef you ate that day.
-Hey, don’t you meet a lot of celebrities as a manager? Get me a date.
These crazy guys.
I told them to eat well and to stop spouting nonsense.
It didn’t take long to arrive at work. A big storm passed by yesterday, but things were running today like any other day. When I got off on the fourth floor, a familiar chief-level employee greeted me.
“Luck Thrower, you came?”
“Yes. Hello… Pardon?”
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 So this was the reason why I used Bokdongee instead of Lucky Charm previously. The employee called him Bokdangee, which roughly translates to Luck Tosser/Trasher/Kicker. Let me know what you guys prefer: Bokdongee/Bokdangee or Lucky Charm/Luck Tosser. Edit: I think I might go with Luck Thrower..