TM Chapter 55

Chapter 55: A person who found something to protect (6)

TL: emptycube


 

At the same time. At W&U’s PR team office.

While Team Leader Park had gone out to call Jang Yoonok and say thank you, the female and male employees finally let out sighs of relief.

Since Lee Songha’s controversy once again turned into a heated debate, scales were gradually leaning towards Lee Songha’s favor as Jang Yoonok’s interview spread.

Lee Songha’s name was still first on the real-time search rankings, and Cat Guardian Ghost was rising in ranking again. This was because there were people searching for the date of its first broadcast, saying that they would absolutely watch the broadcast to confirm Lee Songha’s acting skills.

The female PR employee relaxed as she said,

“It looks like Songha really was good at acting since Mrs. Jang Yoonok is really picky. If she wasn’t impressed with her acting, then I don’t think she would have done an interview even if it was our CEO’s request.”

“At this rate, Songha might surge in popularity and instantly become a first-rate actress for all we know.”

At his words, the female employee smiled brightly,

“That’ll be great. There are lots of projects we miss and are taken by other companies because our actors can’t fit them in their schedules. It was a shame. Also, since Songha’s image isn’t fixed, she could pull off Ms. Joohee or Sora’s image, even Son Chaeyou-“

“Hey, hey.”

The female employee did a double take before closing her mouth. Then she carefully turned her head.

Son Chaeyoung was still sitting in the corner of the PR team office.

Unlike before, she was staring at her phone with gloomy eyes.

*

The path to the van after coming down from the stage was very far.

The girls were buried in a crowd of about ten people.

They gave autographs, shook hands, and took pictures.

Even though the bodyguard scolded them, saying that there might be an accident since the path was so narrow and to quickly get in the van, the people as well as the girls stayed put and didn’t think about moving.

Well, the girls didn’t have any immunity against such heated reactions.

We endured it until the next girl group went up on stage before the traitor, Kim Hyunjo and I dragged them from the front and pushed them from the back until we got them in the van.

“It’s a complete madhouse.”

When I closed the door and let out a sigh, the traitor next to me grinned.

“With this much? You should go check out Blackout’s autograph event later.”

“Why? How is it there?”

“This place is like a school of minnows while it’s like a school of piranhas there.”

He said as he looked off into the distance.

A school of piranhas. Would there be a day I would be surrounded by them?

The traitor got in the driver’s seat while I went around to get in the passenger’s seat.

“Excuse me.”

When someone called out to me, I turned around and instantly regretted it. Through a half-opened window of a white van parked nearby, Sugar Cats Han Saetbyeol was looking at me with a bright smile.

“Is Lee Songha okay? Last time I checked, there was a big fuss.”

“Pardon?”

“A source from Cat Guardian Ghost praised Lee Songha, saying she was an acting genius. Is she really good? Sh-“

“Yes. She’s really good.”

As the van started, I quickly ended the exchange.

“If you’re still curious, look at the article that was released afterwards.”

I replied with a friendliness I dragged out from within my soul and quickly turned my back on her.

When I opened the door and got in the passenger’s seat, the mood at the back was somewhat of a mess. I turned around to see what was going on here and became surprised. Im Seoyoung was biting her lower lip as she cried.

I had thought it was serious a while ago, but the dam finally broke. Her cheeks were soaked.

With a flustered expression, the traitor asked,

“Why… Why are you crying? Did something happen outside?”

“No, she says she’s crying because she’s so happy. Because she’s happy.”

Kim Hyunjo smiled as he said,

“The day Neptune has their own concert; she will probably sob and wail on top of the stage.”

Im Seoyoung slapped Kim Hyunjo’s back multiple times. Kim Hyunjo handed her a tissue.

“Okay, stop crying. Your eye makeup is running and it’s all bl- It’s fine?”

“Yeah. It might be because it’s waterproof…”

Im Seoyoung said in a half-crying voice.

Everyone who watched this burst into laughter.

To be honest, everyone had been worried a great deal before they got on stage since the situation changed once that source or whatever said she was a genius right after the public’s opinion of Lee Songha had become slightly better.

Once I get a hold of that person…

Either way, because of that, even Lee Taehee, who didn’t get nervous easily, had a stiff expression, and Im Seoyoung was nervous as she gazed out at the audience, saying she was scared that the cheering audience might become quiet when they went up.

However, her worries were for naught as the mood was great.

Although we didn’t know how long these cheering people would remember their performance and whether they would look up Neptune’s name on the internet, today’s performance was a success.

To the point where they could be happy and proud of themselves.

“Do you think there were any of our fans in the audience? Will there be people who will come watch us again?”

Said Im Seoyoung as she wiped her tears with the tissue. LJ shrugged her shoulders and said,

“Don’t get your hopes up too high. They say the higher your expectations, the more disappointed you become.”

“I can’t even get my hopes up however I want? You never know since there were so many people!”

“This is Hongdae. You might get a crowd that size if you turned on some music and blew bubbles.”

Yet, even as she said this, LJ was happier than ever. The lingering aftereffect of the performance didn’t easily fade, and she was even faintly humming.

“I don’t know if he was a fan or not.”

Lee Taehee, who was slumped in her designated seat at the very back, leaned forward and handed Lee Songha something.

It was a small bag of cookies sold in cafés. When Lee Songha stared at it, Lee Taehee nodded her head as if telling her to eat it. Lee Songha carefully ripped the plastic and began to eat a coin-sized cookie.

I looked at her vacantly.

Although they had all gone up with heavy hearts, the one who had the heaviest heart was probably Lee Songha since it was her controversy that impacted on Neptune.

Although all I could do was comfort her before, I now had something that could lighten her heart.

When I quietly gestured at her with my hand, Lee Songha leaned towards me.

Just then, Lee Taehee scratched her neck and said,

“Someone who was tall like an athlete gave it to me, saying it was a present. Those cookies.”

“Why are you saying that now, unni?! Don’t eat it! Don’t eat it!”

Startled, Im Seoyoung snatched the bag of cookies from Lee Songha’s hand.

“It’s the first present we received after our performance. We have to take it home!”

“It’ll rot, dummy.”

While the girls, as well as Kim Hyunjo and the traitor, were chatting noisily around a bag of cookies, Lee Songha approached me with a hopeless face as her food had been snatched from her right under her nose.

Then she stretched her hand out.

On top of her white hand was half a cookie.

“Do you want it?”

“No, you were only able to save that. You eat it.”

As if she had been waiting for my words, the cookie entered Lee Songha’s mouth. I momentarily laughed before taking my phone out from my pocket. I opened the new exclusive article with Mrs. Jang Yoonok’s interview and showed it to her.

“Songha, look at this.”

Lee Songha looked down at it with a strange look.

Not long after, her lips, smeared with cookie crumbs, opened slightly.

Lee Songha grabbed my phone and couldn’t take her eyes off the article for a long time.

“It’s probably been over 50 years since Mrs. Jang Yoonok began acting.”

“Ah.”

“An acting veteran like her complimented your acting. If it’s like this, then it becomes certain that your previous acting teacher was crazy. Now there is no need for you remember anything he said.”

It would be better if she forgot all his words that traumatized her.

Of course, even if Lee Songha forgot, I wouldn’t.

After having waited so long, how could I forget it so easily?

While I was thinking these insidious thoughts, Lee Songha’s lips moved slightly. I could hear her whispering voice once I perked my ears.

“Oppa’s words…”

“Hmm?”

“Always seem right.”

Then she stared directly at me. My neck itched.

“No, it’s… not like that.”

Lee Songha smiled faintly at my words while she mumbled that I was.

In the end, I simply laughed it off.

As my mind relaxed, a simulation on how I would catch Teacher Shim Kyungtaek ran even faster in my head.

Yeah, tomorrow… Let’s put an end to this.

 

The next day, 11 a.m.

Instead of being at work, I was sitting on a sofa in an office of an art school.

My hair was a mess as if I had just gotten up, and I had come wearing the same clothes as yesterday. The finishing touch was spraying soju{1} instead of cologne.

Even when I saw my appearance, I looked like someone who had been drinking all night.

In front of me was a man in his forties sitting in an intimidating posture. He wore an expensive suit and had a thick mustache and the good looks expected of a former musical actor.

Teacher Shim Kyungtaek. No, he was someone who was even called a professor here.

“What was the important thing you had to say…?”

Teacher Shim Kyungtaek scanned my figure as he asked. I scratched the back of my head. Then I acted like a new recruit who caused an accident.

“That is, I came here because of a problem regarding Lee Songha.”

“Lee Songha? I was curious why you suddenly came here.”

Teacher Shim Kyungtaek let out a sigh and said,

“I believe I apologized, saying that I felt my words were a bit too harsh…”

“It’s not because of that.”

I might have sworn at him just then.

After traumatizing a girl like that, ‘my words were a bit too harsh’?

Like hell that was an apology. How was that saying sorry?

“There’s such a big fuss about Lee Songha’s acting skill right now. It became a heated topic once again when Mrs. Jang Yoonok did an interview yesterday, personally saying she was born with acting talent.”

Teacher Shim Kyungtaek’s expression became uncomfortable.

Of course, it would.

Since the actress he said wasn’t talented was praised as a genius by a veteran actress, who knew the entertainment world like the back of her hand.

He was only able to sit there like that because of his thick face. If it was anyone else, they would have died from embarrassment.

“So?”

“I had a couple drinks with a reporter yesterday… He was very curious why Songha never pursued acting during their 2 years of obscurity.”

As my lies continued, Teacher Shim Kyungtaek’s expression stiffened.

I scratched the back of my head again and said,

“I was so drunk that I think I made a mistake.”

“A mistake? What kind of mistake did you make?”

I threw a pile of shit at the clearly taken aback Teacher Shim Kyungtaek.

“That Lee Songha gave up on acting after her previous acting teacher told her to never step foot in the acting industry… Something like that.”

Teacher Shim Kyungtaek’s face turned sour.

“The problem is that after hearing that, the reporter said that the teacher might have had ulterior motives and kept asking me who he was.”

“What?!”

He was so surprised that he was staring at me with glaring eyes.

Currently, Lee Songha’s name was the most enticing bait for reporters. Once an exclusive article about her was published, other similar articles would quickly cover the news pages. Then netizens would spread and plaster these articles everywhere.

But what would happen if a rumor that Teacher Shim Kyungtaek, who previously taught Lee Songha, severely criticized her to the point of traumatizing her and blocked her path as an actress?

Especially if this somehow involved Son Chaeyoung, then wouldn’t he express a reaction… beyond being angry at my words?

Since he wouldn’t want this to be exposed to the public.

I attentively examined Teacher Shim Kyungtaek’s reaction before recalling something else I wanted to throw at him.

“It seems I let it slip because I was too drunk. I came here because I thought I should at least apologize.”

Here you go, an apology.

 


{1} Popular Korean alcohol.

 

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Comments 10

  1. |  THANKS FOR THE CHAPTER!!!
    | ̄””‘、
    |ω` |
    ⊂  ;゙ oH YEAH BABY~ 
    |   / creating a perfect alibi like a smooth criminal
    |U”” the threat is so good I even hoping it’s real hahaha

  2. Slow clap, that was ingenious. At first i thought he will gloat in front of that bastard while watching his phone.

    Btw i literary forget traitor real name and feel it kind of funny that he are named like that for aproximately 40 chapter.

    1. Even more than 40 chapters^^ he got the name around chapter…5 or 6 maybe?
      So 50 chapters and I guess we will continue with that name until some big character devellopment between them

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