Chapter 54: A person who found something to protect (5)
Just then, the employees, who had been watching from behind, widened their eyes. Then they hurriedly lowered their heads, narrowly suppressing their laughter with strange expressions.
Team Leader Park said dumbfoundedly,
“That’s not the director.”
“What did you say?”
“It wasn’t the director who took Lee Songha there. Cough.”
After a dry cough, she continued,
“It was Sunwoo. Sunwoo, the manager assigned to Lee Songha. We laughed for a long time when we heard that ridiculous story, just where did you hear that from…”
As Team Leader Park’s explanation continued, Son Chaeyoung’s face reddened.
The employees gulped down the still steaming coffee to suppress their laughter.
Just then, another employee in a different partition hurriedly stood up.
“Umm team leader. I think you need to take a look at this!”
“What is it?”
Team Leader Park went over and looked at the screen. Then her expression stiffened as if cold water had been poured on her.
Her eyes were fixed on an article that was released just now.
[Exclusive] A Source from Cat Guardian Ghost, “Lee Songha is a born acting genius”
… A source from Cat Guardian Ghost hinted, saying, “It’s not an exaggeration to call Lee Songha, who is currently swept up in controversy about her acting skills, a born acting genius,” and “Will dispel the controversy the instant the first episode is released,” in an interview with our newspaper. Following the words of this source, Lee Songha received the admiration from all lead and supporting actors during the script reading session…
“What is this? Where is it from?!”
Team Leader Park hastily took out her phone and called, but before she could exchange a few words with someone from Seven Days, the male employee’s flustered voice was heard.
“Team leader, there isn’t just one article. I don’t know who it is, but it seems the person mentioned it in a place where a lot of reporters were gathered.”
“There are already similar articles being published!”
Team Leader Park roughly tangled her hair.
This controversy needed to be carefully handled like a powder keg. That was why, after the script reading session yesterday, Director Shin Taekyun personally went out of his way and asked others to refrain from interviews mentioning Lee Songha.
But someone couldn’t endure it for this short time and had already spilled the beans.
It was a grandiose title that, when used to refer to veteran actors, would still bring about unpleasant glances. There was nothing more to say about Lee Songha, who was currently swept up in an acting controversy. That wasn’t a compliment, it was a flame thrown at the powder keg.
When the PR teams’ employees were in a fuss, Son Chaeyoung took a step back and took out her phone. Then, with amused eyes, read through the newly published articles.
Not long after, her fierce eyes calmed, and a faint smile appeared on her previously tightly shut lips. Son Chaeyoung actually took a seat then looked at the hurriedly moving PR team employees as if she was watching a show.
Team Leader Park clicked her tongue and called another number.
It was CEO Baek Hansung’s phone number, who was currently in China.
Before they made a move as a company, she needed to first inform CEO Baek Hansung about this incident. As soon as he picked up the phone, Team Leader Park explained the situation as quickly and concisely as possible.
“Rather than revealing his or her name, I find the title ‘source’ more unpleasant. There will be people who think that the company is trying to brainwash the public because the reactions from the script reading session were good. Before it explodes on the internet, we sho-“
-Hmm. Team Leader Park.
CEO Baek Hansung calmly asked.
-Among the people who were in the script reading session, who was the most veteran actor?
“That would be Mrs. Jang Yoonok,”
Immediately replied Team Leader Park.
CEO Baek Hansung said.
-Then find Mrs. Jang Yoonok’s personal phone number and send it to me.
More and more people crowded in front of the outdoor stage.
Although there were a lot of people who knew and were waiting because of the idols that appeared on Next K-Star, the majority were pedestrians who stopped to see this performance without knowing who would appear.
The sun was setting, and the sunset, as if someone had turned on the lights, dyed the world red.
That was when the Next K-Star guerilla concert began.
The spectators moved their shoulders according to the addictive and powerful rhythms of unfamiliar songs, and their eyes were pleased to see the good-looking, beautiful idols that seemed to have popped out from a TV.
Although there were hate comments such as ‘That person doesn’t look as good in real life,’ ‘Looking at idols in real life, they are nothing but skin and bones,’ and ‘They all look the same so I can’t tell the difference between them,’ those comments were quickly drowned out.
The cheers of the spectators, who had become excited due to the outdoor concert, were exaggerated. Whenever a team would come out, introduce themselves, and perform, they shouted deafeningly and passionately waved their hands.
The heated mood even spread to nearby cafes. As the outside became noisy, people walked out onto the terrace on the second floor to watch the performances. There were even a lot of people taking videos on their phones.
“Let’s go see. They say eight teams will appear. If we don’t see them now, when will we?”
When a woman glanced towards the terrace, a man with wide shoulders like that of an athlete unenthusiastically said,
“Why go when we don’t know their songs or even who they are. They are all just going to be kids who come out, sing for a bit and leave.”
“How do you know when you haven’t seen them? Let’s go look. You never know. You might become so obsessed with a girl group that you will line up to get their autograph next month?”
“The hell I will.”
“Haa, fine, fine. I’m going to have a look myself.”
In the end, the woman left, and only the man remained at the table. Similar happenings occurred around the second floor of the café. It looked like there were only those who weren’t interested in idols left in their seats.
Not long after, the man suddenly turned his head and thought, ‘What the? They’re good?’
Although he was listening to the song for the first time, it made him focus on it as it drew him in. The singer was so good that she could make people unknowingly hum along with her. There was a trembling high note that made those listening to it live nervous followed by a rap, which listeners were uncertain whether it was Korean or in a foreign language, cleansing their strained ears.
“The group performing now is really good? Are they just playing a recording?”
“I know, right? This is worth listening to. Maybe I should have gone out to take a look.”
One by one, the people sitting at nearby tables looked towards the terrace.
“Ahh, I know them. Neptune. I watched Next K-Star, and they were the ones who sang that song. I thought it was due to editing and post-correction, but they really are good at singing.”
The man took out his phone and searched the name he had heard just now. Plenty of articles appeared considering they were a new group, though the majority of articles only had a line mentioning Neptune and focused on a single member.
After reading a few articles, he stood up from his seat and joined the crowd on the terrace.
Because he was a head taller than other, he could clearly see below without standing in a good location. Four people in their stage outfits went around the stage as they sang. Their faces could be seen even under the lights, which emitted a similar color as the sunset.
The man crossed his arms as he watched. Although they were all pretty faces with their own unique traits, he was more attentive of their expressions than their faces. As the crowd cheered and waved their hands, they were so surprised that he could see their dazed expressions from where he was.
Especially the most petite and roundest member, she was so moved that he was worried that she might cry on stage. It looked like she was suppressing it by straining her eyes, but eventually, her teary voice leaked out during her part.
Perhaps it was because of this, but the cheers became louder.
“It was worth the wait even though it’s cold, right?”
“Yeah. It’d be nice if they performed another song before they left.”
“They say this is a program with some sort of a popularity vote? I should give them mine.”
There were positive evaluations all around, yet a man who had dyed his hair blond licked his lips and said,
“If Lee Songha didn’t ruin her image, I think that team might gain a bigger fandom.”
A woman who seemed to be his accomplice mockingly added,
“She already ruined her image. Did you see the article about Lee Songha that was published a while ago? They say she’s an acting genius, a genius.”
“I protected Lee Songha a lot, but that’s going too far.”
“Why did a ‘source’ do an interview saying that she received the admiration of all the leading and supporting actors? Isn’t it hilarious?”
“Did W&U release it?”
“If that’s the case, then their PR team hates them. Their public image was only now getting better, but with this, it looks like it’ll suddenly take a turn for the worse. Maybe Lee Songha or her manager personally told reporters?”
People became interested in the stimulating topic. The performance soon ended, and the four members of Neptune held onto the hands of nearby spectators and greeted them.
When he unconsciously thought this, the man tapped the blond-haired man’s shoulder.
The blond-haired man turned around half-heartedly before becoming surprised at the man’s figure. The blond-haired man’s head only reached the man’s collarbone.
The man frowned as he said,
“This is how bad rumors get started and spread, by ridiculous people like you chattering about wrong information.”
When the blond-haired man became intimidated, the woman he was with cut in,
“Are you a fan of Neptune? There was a big fuss when the article was published, what wrong information are you talking about?”
“We are only saying our rational suspicions considering the whole situation is ridiculous since the source didn’t reveal his or her name while saying that Lee Songha is an acting genius. It’s not just us, but there are a lot of people on the interest suspecting whether this article was released by them. Why are you picking a fight?”
“I’m speechless. Look at that article again. With your eyes open this time.”
At the man’s cynical remarks, the woman huffed as she took out her phone. Even the surrounding people who were glancing at the two sides took out their phones.
Soon, the woman, who searched the article, said as if telling him to read,
“Who’s the one who should be speechless. It says it right here. The source said she was a genius… What?”
The flustered woman blinked her eyes.
The content of the main article about Lee Songha was a bit different from before.
[Exclusive] Jang Yoonok “Lee Songha is a born actress and a hard-working genius.”
… Veteran actress Jang Yoonok opened her mouth to talk about Lee Songha’s acting skills that have once again become a hot topic after the script reading session.
Jang Yoonok praised Lee Songha, saying “Lee Songha, that girl, is a naturally talented actress,” and revealed, “She is also a hard-working genius who had almost memorized all her lines for the first script reading session. Everyone expressed their admiration for her.”
She also added, “I hope that there will be more talented, passionate, new actresses like her in the future.” …
“Do you have anything more to say?”
At the man’s question, the hesitant woman lowered her head and left the terrace with her group. People clicked their tongue as they watched their fleeing figures, and at the same time, people who checked the article mumbled,
“So Jang Yoonok personally had an interview. For them to say that it was media brainwashing or leaked by Lee Songha herself…”
“The internet is creating a fuss too. Wow, look at how people bashed her without knowing anything. So this is how rumors start. She must have felt so depressed.”
“But about Lee Songha, do you think she really is good at acting? I mean Jang Yoonok probably won’t lie. Well, she might have given her a higher evaluation so their project is more successful.”
“I might have to watch this drama because of how curious I am.”