TM Chapter 60

Chapter 60: Begin Filming (3)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir


 

{Video} Who has seen the fan cam of Neptune performing in the rain?

They say it was a live broadcast of a campaign from PBS, but as they rehearsed in the rain, Lee Songha fell really hard at 2:24. However, she got up in 2 seconds and continued. There were people who disdained her, saying she was participating in their team activities half-heartedly even thought she was a rookie, but when looking at this, she doesn’t look like someone who would do that.

-Oh my god. It hurts just watching.

-If it looks like this on screen, then it must have a huge downpour.

-I read the comments of the person who took the fan cam, and it said that they only did the rehearsal and didn’t even get to appear on the broadcast due to the weather. So sad. T^T

-I heard from somewhere that this was the day of the first Next K-Star recording. There were tons of people who were bashing her after watching the first broadcast, saying her expression looked sour or that she didn’t look like she worked hard, but to be honest, there’s no way your condition wouldn’t be good if you went to a recording after that.

-But when I keep replaying the video, she glances at her ankle at around 2:34 after she gets up. Maybe she got a sprain?

-Huh? You’re right.

-I’m honestly shocked by all the controversies about her attitude and personality. My friend saw Lee Songha in front of W&U before, and she said she was very friendly and let her take pictures and stuff.

-You have the photo?

-She does, but she says she can’t upload it online since her manager took the picture with his feet{1}.

 

The video of Lee Songha falling was quietly spreading with social media and community sites at its core.

It was different from before. It didn’t suddenly appear on the real-time search rankings or was plastered on articles. However, it wasn’t like the bait wasn’t effective either. Instead, it was surprisingly positive.

There were more people looking positively at Lee Songha herself without the label of ‘the hot topic headliner’ or ‘the controversy headliner’.

And this turned into a reaction towards Neptune.

 

-Even if Neptune’s performances were good, I didn’t feel like fangirling over them because of the gossip behind Lee Songha, but the fan cam slayed me. After watching this, I want to support them so much.

-Same, I agree. Ah, it’s so hard to fangirl over rookie idols since they don’t have any good material. T^T

-I’ve been looking since I was interested as well, but there’s nothing. W&U, go work! What are you doing by not putting them in public network broadcasts?!

-Let’s use this momentum to promote Neptune! You can’t leave once you join.

 

There were more people talking about Neptune, and there were people who weren’t satisfied with the material they found and were making their own. The number of people visiting Neptune’s official homepage, which was managed by the PR team, and their fan café{2} increased drastically in one day.

Since the homepage, whose comment section had been bare as an empty house, kept receiving comments, it finally felt worthwhile monitoring them. The Neptune girls opened their official homepage or fan café on their phones whenever they had the opportunity, especially Im Seoyoung, who I suspected was addicted to it.

Of course, the people making malicious comments about Lee Songha didn’t disappear. However, instead of people replying to them in the passing, there were now fans who diligently rebutted them.

The change was slow yet definitely occurring.

 

“What are those?”

“Presents. From your fans.”

“… Our fans?”

Although the other girls’ faces were dazed, Im Seoyoung’s was especially surprised. Her already large eyes widened even further. It seemed like her eyes would pop out if someone smacked the back of her head.

I placed the paper bags, of which I had two in each hand, in the living room of their residence.

They were presents sent to Neptune members. The company employee who gathered the presents and handed them to me laughed, saying that it was very little compared to Blackout, but it was more important that they received presents rather than how many.

This was proof they gained true fans.

“Really, are you serious?”

“Probably?”

When I said so jokingly, Im Seoyoung nervously glanced between me and the paper bags.

“Uhh, you can’t joke about things like this. Although oppa is heartless, I trust that you aren’t mean enough to joke about something as important as thi-“

“I’m taking this back.”

“No!”

When I picked up the paper bags, Im Seoyoung slid on the living room floor and clung onto me. I grinned and told the other girls to come closer as well. Although they didn’t make such a big deal out of this like Im Seoyoung, they all approached with expectant eyes.

I checked the contents of the paper bag and handed them out to the girls. Im Seoyoung received two bags while Lee Taehee and LJ each received one. I heard that there were weird people who sent garbage as presents so checked each one, but the presents sent to Im Seoyoung were of the small, cute character merchandise and doll variety.

Im Seoyoung loved her presents with teary eyes that seemed to she might cry any moment.

“Who? I wonder who sent it. Euaah… I received four dolls! How did they know I like dolls?”

“A photo was uploaded on our official social media, dummy. The one where you were bawling like someone who’s lost their country while hugging a doll.”

LJ said apathetically. Im Seoyoung, who had been enjoying looking at the dolls, instantly glared at her.

“Its leg ripped because you punched it, you gangster!”

“I did it because I was pissed at Son Chaeyoung! And I fixed it later!”

That was true. LJ sewed the ripped area together. It was quite well done. I was quite surprised by her unexpected talent. That was also uploaded on their social media, and maybe it was because of it, but LJ received a sewing box among her presents.

Lee Taehee’s presents were cough drops and red ginseng concentrate, which was effective against fatigue. Perhaps it was because she occasionally would thump her lower back or act lethargic, but it seemed she had a granny image, even though she was only 22.

After drinking a pack of red ginseng extract, Lee Taehee nodded her head. It seemed she liked it. I felt this when she was drinking the wild ginseng wine by herself, but her tastes were quite unusual.

I took some pictures of the girls holding their presents as proof.

Then I turned my head.

“…”

Lee Songha, who had been looking vacantly for a while, tilted her head and looked behind me. After confirming there wasn’t anything there, she looked at my thin coat pocket and empty hands before sitting down on the rug and flipping through the script. Although it looked like she was fine, her shoulders were slightly slumped.

“Songha, come and eat this.”

Lee Taehee handed her a cough drop. Im Seoyoung and LJ, both aware that only Lee Songha didn’t receive anything, hid their excited expressions. Im Seoyoung looked at me and mouthed, ‘Is there really nothing?’

“Wait a little, why is he taking so-“

Just as I looked at the front door, the door burst open.

The traitor entered with quick steps.

“Sorry, they fell in the elevator, and I had to pick them back up.”

The girls’ gazes were fixed on the dolly the traitor had dragged in. There was a box and two paper bags on top of it. The box was so big I couldn’t wrap my arms around it.

Lee Songha’s eyes shined as she came closer.

“This…”

“It’s for you.”

As soon as I said that, Lee Songha opened the box. Then she opened her mouth with a blank expression.

The inside was filled with things to eat. From a large bag of chips to a small chocolate bar, the large box was filled with snacks. On a bag, there was a sincere post-it, telling her to eat this and cheer up.

“You remember Seo Jijoon’s fans, right? The people you saw on your first drama shoot.”

“Yes.”

“They sent this to cheer you on.”

Maybe it was because they saw her eating the snacks piled up on her plate, but the present was optimized for her. Because those fans mentioned that Lee Songha liked eating after the drama shoot, her other presents were centered around food as well.

There were even hand-written letters.

The majority of them were encouraging her, telling her to cheer up even though the current situation wasn’t good, to ignore the hate comments, and that they were awaiting her drama.

Lee Songha sat down with her presents and went back and forth between holding snacks and letters.

Although she didn’t really show it, she was happy. She was very happy.

“Songha, you must be happy.”

“Hey, you can set up a convenience store in your room.”

“There’s even something that was handmade! How are you going to eat something so precious?”

When I looked at the four of them chatting together, I unconsciously smiled.

“Since they received presents, I finally feel that they’ve become more well-known.”

“I know, right?”

The traitor nodded as he said,

“If their fandom becomes more concrete, and Next K-Star, Songha’s drama, and their next album do well one after each other… They should be able to consolidate their footing by next year.”

“They have to.”

“Yeah, they do.”

I turned my head and looked at the traitor from the side.

His face gave off a nice impression, and his amiable eyes were looking at Neptune. He suddenly turned towards me. Our eyes met. Although his gaze wasn’t any different from just now, my fingers reflexively stiffened.

He smiled brightly as he said,

“We need to make it happen.”

 

The drama shoots were on a tight schedule.

They didn’t care about night or day, and of course, there was no start or end time for work. Depending on the situation, we had times where we arrived at night but had to wait until morning. Our meal times were erratic, and our sleeping schedule was more so.

Luckily, Lee Songha and I had the van we could rest in, but the staff slept anywhere they could sit their butts down. It was to the point where there would always be someone curled up sleeping on the emergency exit stairs during a shoot.

I was seriously curious whether there had been anyone who died of exhaustion during filming.

Luckily, since there wasn’t film shoot today due to a Next K-Star recording, I could avoid sleeping in the van. Still, I had to sleep in the night duty room at the company.

With a toothbrush in my mouth, I blankly stared at the whiteboard.

At first, Neptune’s name was as rare as a blue moon, but now that their name was posted at least two or three times a week, my heart felt plentiful even though I currently looked like I was homeless. Although the majority of them were Lee Songha’s drama schedules, I expected there to be more team schedules or other girls’ personal schedules in the future.

“Good morning.”

Kim Hyunjo, who had also slept in the night duty room, yawned as he approached. I was surprised when I looked at his face. He was someone who seemed to have dark circles tattooed to his face, but his entire face was the color of dark circles these days.

“Chief. I’m asking this because I’m really curious.”

“Huh?”

“You divided the work you had before with Gunyoung and me.”

“Yeah, I divided it a lot.”

“But why does it seem like your work hasn’t decreased?”

Weren’t recruits supposed to think, ‘Ah, I need to work hard to be like them,’ when they saw their superiors? But why did I want to slump onto the floor when I thought that I might look like Kim Hyunjo in a few years?

“Hey, you know how, when you make money, there’s always something you need to spend it on?”

“Yes.”

“When you have more time, you have more things to do.”

Kim Hyunjo smiled faintly and changed the subject as he asked,

“But when is your next drama shoot?”

“Right after the recording. We have to standby until 2 a.m.”

“Wow, they’re really pushing you hard. Why are they filming that drama every day? You guys have quite a bit of the script complete and started filming early even compared to public networks. But how are you guys busier than Mermaid out of Water?”

“Director Shin is a perfectionist.”

First, he was very picky about the continuity of shots. It wasn’t simply displaying the positions of cameras and the size of cuts, but even their emotions and details about how it would be edited filled the pages of the book detailing them.

He even took the trouble to shoot each scene in various ways.

However, there was no one who was dissatisfied with this as they believed the degree of polish would be equally high. Also, if they filmed a lot beforehand, they wouldn’t be as pressed for time once they started broadcasting.

Instead of hurriedly filming it while broadcasting, it was better to be busier now.

“There are still two weeks before the release of Cat Guardian Ghost, right?”

“Yes.”

There were 2 weeks until the drama premiered.

The interest in Cat Guardian Ghost hadn’t diminished yet. To be precise, we were managing it so that it wouldn’t drop.

We periodically released short behind-the-scenes videos, teasers, and pictures taken during the film shoot, and whenever it seemed like Lee Songha’s controversy would die down, it surged once again. This was because Producer Go Joontae from Next K-Star was using Lee Songha as kindling for viewership ratings.

That damn bastard.

Next K-Star had recently hit its highest viewership rating at 7%. As it kept rising, Producer Go Joontae was becoming too big for his shoes.

It was great that Neptune’s popularity would rise alongside the rising viewership ratings, but the problem was he was burning Lee Songha. It was because it was Lee Songha that she was able to endure this long, if it was someone else with a weaker mentality than her, they would have lost it already.

He would edit the episodes in that way yet speak nonsense about how he gave her more screen time or whatever with a deceitful smile. It was to the point I wanted to rip open his mouth.

I would only feel refreshed if I threw shit at his face.

Still, since Neptune’s fans were bashing Producer Go Joontae into pulp online, I was calming my heart with that. If I didn’t even have that as comfort, I really might have been unable to control my temper.

Just as I bit down on my toothbrush, becoming irritated simply thinking about it, the traitor approached me from behind. It seemed he had washed his face just now as water dripped from his bangs. When I turned around, I suddenly became shocked.

Although Kim Hyunjo was also serious, he was worse.

His face showed that he was so exhausted he could die.

Even though I knew that he was helping Kim Hyunjo prepare for Neptune’s next album while I was busy with the drama, I thought that he would at least be better off than me. But what’s this? His face seemed to have suffered more hardship than me.

“I’ll be outside having a smoke.”

His voice croaked.

“Call me when you’re ready.”

“Okay.”

After listening to my reply, he disappeared, off to find somewhere to have a smoke.

While looking at his receding figure, I asked Kim Hyunjo,

“It seems the album preparations are tough too.”

“Ah, he’s been busy with something else these days…”

Kim Hyunjo, who was in the middle of a yawn, shut his mouth as if he said something he shouldn’t have.

“Something he’s busy with?”

Although I asked right away, Kim Hyunjo shook his head.

“There’s something like that. In my eyes, he’s just wasting his time, but it still counts as experience.”

When I asked him a few more times, he adamantly said it wasn’t something he should say now as he shook his head.

Something he was busy with…

Just what was it?

 


{1} Left it as it was since the meaning is pretty straightforward and I like it. Means he took a bad photo. Refer to Chapter 50.

{2} Simply put, a blog dedicated to people, usually celebrities.

 

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Comments 10

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      1. Thanks! I had forget too^^
        I will name him TCG now:traitor choi gunyoung…btw,that name is fucking cool:o

        Thanks for the chapter

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