Chapter 65: The Most Important Thing in This Industry, Decision-Making (3)
TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir
It was a familiar scene.
As if sand had been scattered in front of my eyes, the future I saw was a static-filled one with a bad connection. I crammed everything I saw into my head. Although I didn’t clearly remember Lee Taehee’s song, I didn’t want to lose even a single, small detail from now on.
The sky was dark. A chilly wind cooled my sweat. I was outside. It was a groomed yard with brown grass, peppered with spots of green. I saw a wooden bench. I was sitting on that bench with my legs crossed.
I knew where I was.
I was in the outdoor smoking room on the 5th floor of the company. I knew it because it was a place I came to take a breather when no one was out here smoking.
“What are you thinking of by yourself?”
I heard a voice behind me. When I turned around, I saw the male employee from the PR team lighting a cigarette. Wearing a not-so-thick dress shirt, he put away his lighter in his cotton pants’ pocket and came towards me.
A dry voice came out from my mouth.
“Just thinking about how people don’t change.”
I wanted to hear more, but the PR team employee said something else as if he didn’t hear me.
“The reactions are really amazing. I never expected this sort of reaction when he pushed Lee Taehee’s song at first, but Mr. Gunyoung’s choice this time was a divine move for the album.”
Just then, my mind faltered.
I didn’t understand what he was saying.
“But that song, I heard that Mr. Sunwoo listened to it first? How did you lose the opportunity this time?”
I felt like I had been slammed into water head-first.
Then, my vision rippled once more. Like a transition in a drama, the scene changed. There was less static, but this too was, without a doubt, a future with a bad connection. I was sitting on a sofa instead of a bench. There were a short table and a dressing table with a mirror. They were familiar. It was PBS’s dressing room.
Then in front of the door of the dressing was Choi Gunyoung, leaning against the door.
He smiled as he said,
“I’m sorry I snatched it from you, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass by.”
The next moment I was sitting in a chair in the gukbap restaurant instead of the sofa. The sounds of TV and people’s voices rushed into my ears. When I raised my head, Choi Gunyoung was looking at me with a smile.
“Why are you looking at me like that? I said let’s do our best from now on.”
I said in a voice calmer than expected.
Of course, my mind was a mess. I decided to drink a glass of cold water first. It wasn’t enough so I drank another. Only then did it feel like I could breathe. As soon as I could think properly, I recalled what I saw.
The one who pushed Lee Taehee’s song was Choi Gunyoung.
My future self said people didn’t change.
I had just thought that people could change a moment ago.
Although I couldn’t know exactly what happened, I had enough pieces of the puzzle to guess. I experienced something that made me change my thoughts. Also, that probably was something related to Choi Gunyoung that made me feel a sense of betrayal.
The words Choi Gunyoung said at the end drifted in my mind.
Sorry I snatched it from you? I couldn’t let the opportunity pass?
My mind had become complicated when I heard Choi Gunyoung’s words previously.
The reason why everything I brought became a success, as though I was possessed by a god, was because I had a ridiculous ability. Something Choi Gunyoung didn’t have.
However, the complicated unease in my heart, the bulk of which was how sorry I felt, completely washed away the moment I saw the future.
When it was about Next K-Star, he lied and backstabbed me, snatching the opportunity that was right in front of my eyes. Now, in relation to Lee Taehee’s song, he chose to take the opportunity from me even though it meant acting wrongly towards me.
I was utterly at loss for words that I almost burst out laughing.
I knew it. I clearly knew it. I definitely thought this in the beginning. To be careful. That I was a fool if I was backstabbed knowingly. I almost became a fool just now. Perhaps twenty years from now, I might regret this day and say how it was this moment when I realized that life was a battle. I might have done an interview like that.
I raised my head and looked in front of me.
I saw Choi Gunyoung just a while ago, but now I didn’t.
The person in front of me was simply the traitor.
People didn’t change.
This fact nailed into my previously softened heart.
After going our separate ways, I walked down the street by myself. I needed time to organize my thoughts. I felt that the ash-colored sky looked foreboding, and sure enough, it started to snow. It was damn cold. My mind became colder along with it as well.
Like hell, we’re going to do our best together.
I would no longer foolishly stay nervous next to a bomb I didn’t know when would explode. What should I do? If I tried to find fault with things he hadn’t even done yet, only I would look like the crazy one. But that didn’t mean I wanted to set up a trap to be backstabbed and increase my mortal enemies by one.
Especially when Son Chaeyoung, Teacher Shim Kyungtaek, and the team 2 leader already wanted to hassle me.
While thinking, I suddenly recalled what the traitor had said a while ago.
He said that he was thinking about switching to a different team or quitting if things didn’t go well this time. Though, I did feel a little suspicious when he said he did all sorts of things to persuade Simon Lee.
Either way, when I thought back to what the male employee had said, although I didn’t know how Simon Lee’s song fared, there was no doubt that Lee Taehee’s song was a hit since he said the reactions were amazing.
Yeah. They say you can’t let an opportunity pass?
I took out my phone and called Kim Hyunjo.
“Chief, it’s me.”
-Yeah, what is it?
“I heard Taehee’s song yesterday, and it was really good. I think it’s almost complete and that it’ll be best if you listen to it. A song written by a member will probably solidify the image that they are a talented girl group…”
Kim Hyunjo laughed on the other side of the phone.
-Okay. This isn’t the first time with you anyways. If you think it’s good, then, of course, I need to listen to it. If it’s not bad, let’s talk about putting it in the album. Still, don’t let Taehee get her hopes up since it might not.
That probably wouldn’t happen.
I swallowed my thoughts and hung up.
Then, at night, I went to the girls’ residence carrying stuff in both hands. LJ came over to me. It seemed she had been exercising as there were beads of sweat on her forehead.
“Did you come to give Songha food again? She’s sleeping right now, should I wake her?”
“No. There’s no drama shoot today for a change, so she needs to rest on days like this.”
When I glanced at Lee Taehee’s door before turning my gaze, LJ was standing crookedly with her arms crossed, staring at me. Her blue eyes deepened slightly.
“Did something bad happen today?”
“I don’t know. You seem a little. Let’s say you seem more like a venomous snake than a lucky one today.”
She had good senses.
“I took a blow to my soul.”
I said the truth as if it was a joke and changed the subject.
“But what are the other girls doing?”
“What do you think those addicts are doing?”
LJ said with a sour look.
“Taehee unni is pouring down beers while working on her song, and Im Seoyoung, that girl, is so busy checking whether there’s a new comment on the fan café that she even eats on her desk. From my perspective, both of them, no, including oppa, the three of you will probably be diagnosed with two or three illnesses if you went to a mental clinic.”
That was possible. I’d probably be diagnosed with distrust in humans or something like that.
Im Seoyoung burst out from her door. After greeting me, she soon began barking at LJ. Once it became noisy outside, Lee Taehee came out as well. It seemed she really working while drinking as her long, slender eyes drooped.
I handed one of the two bags I was holding to her.
“Is it for me? How odd.”
Even Im Seoyoung and LJ looked at me with suspicion. Lee Taehee halted when she looked in the bag. That was because it was filled with alcohol and snacks. There were cans of beer, bottled beer, champagne and even wine. I bought everything displayed in the store.
“Uh. Is today a drinking day or something?”
“Do you think there’s a day like that? Think before you speak. Think.”
The fight between the cat and dog reignited, and Lee Taehee scratched her well-brushed, brown hair as she asked,
“Really, what is all this?”
“Work on your song while drinking whatever you crave.”
She looked at me as if I was a weirdo. Well, it wasn’t an unfamiliar gaze.
“I told the chief that your song was good.”
Lee Taehee’s eyes widened at my words and her pupils shined.
“It seemed like a shame for only me to listen to it.”
Lee Taehee momentarily looked at me silently. When I glanced at the two who were still fighting, they came a step closer to me. Then, with a small cough, she asked.
“Do you really think that?”
“Then could you be more detailed…”
“I thought it was better than Simon Lee’s song.”
Perhaps it was because she was the leader, but she always looked relaxed and mature. Now that her eyes were wide with surprise, she looked her age. In that state, she stared at me as if seeing a one-of-a-kind weirdo in the entire world before smiling.
“I think I sort of get it.”
“What Songha felt.”
The next day, I talked with Lee Taehee on the phone a few times.
Every time, I listened to Lee Taehee’s song playing from the other side. To be honest, I didn’t know how or where it was adjusted and it sounded the same as the song I heard from the future, but, hoping it would be of some help, I tried my best to convey my thoughts.
Tuesday morning, I received a text from Lee Taehee, putting all the time I spent worrying until my head turned dull to rest.
It said that she finished her song.
In the same room as two days ago, with the same items, and once Kim Hyunjo arrived, even the people here would be the same.
I glanced at the laptop on top of the table and placed a thin USB drive in front of me. The traitor’s gaze briefly fixed onto the USB drive.
“… Taehee made it?”
“Yeah. She said she finished it yesterday.”
“I can’t wait.”
The traitor’s cheeks slightly revealed his dimples. He really smiled often. I was busy controlling my expression because I kept recalling the future I saw yesterday. It wasn’t this hard when I feigned innocence in front of Teacher Shim Kyungtaek, but it seemed that the fact I couldn’t have been backstabbed by the traitor twice really had an impact on me.
Soon, Kim Hyunjo opened the glass door and entered with a deeply sunken expression on his face.
“Songha doesn’t have to come to work today, right?”
“No, she doesn’t.”
Why did he suddenly bring Songha up?
“Tell her not to be anywhere nearby. Son Chaeyoung’s here right now.”
“She was scolding Team Leader Park, telling her to strike while the iron’s hot. Looking at how her pride was reaching the sky, you’d think she’s a concubine who gave birth to a son.”
If it was Son Chaeyoung, it was perfectly possible.
Mermaid out of Water began yesterday night. With 11.9% national viewership ratings, it took first place against others broadcasting at the same time. They say it even peaked at 14% during the broadcast. Since it had been a long time since a drama started off with double-digit ratings, even the internet was causing a fuss.
Kim Hyunjo clicked his tongue and looked at me.
“Since Mermaid out of Water is doing so well, I don’t know if the thing you talked with the CEO about last time is going to happen.”
“Well, we’ll have to wait and see a little longer.”
Honestly, I wasn’t really concerned.
In the future, Mermaid out of Water’s ratings rose until its third episode before failing due to the fans of the original. That was why I wasn’t concerned, but I guess people would be agitated. Don’t tell me Lee Songha saw it too?
“Yeah, you never know until the end. What’s the point in trembling in fear now?”
“Cat Guardian Ghost’s ratings will go up too.”
The traitor added while nodding. Kim Hyunjo changed the topic.
“Let’s hear Taehee’s song.”
I plugged the USB drive into the laptop. I received it when I went to their residence this morning. Although it looked like Lee Taehee pulled an all-nighter judging by her exhausted face, she didn’t have dark clouds over her head like before. She seemed incredibly satisfied.
“Let’s listen to it first and bring it up during the next meeting if it’s good. But, since we have Simon Lee’s song, everyone’s standards must have gone up. On top of that, we are doing our best to keep the quality as high as possible.”
At Kim Hyunjo’s words, the traitor replied with a smiling face,
“Still, there’s a merit if it’s her song. It’ll also be good when promoting it.”
I moved the mouse and clicked play.
Soon, music began to flow into the small room.
It didn’t take long for Kim Hyunjo’s eyes to turn serious and for the smile to fade from the traitor’s leisurely face. Although he was quick to collect himself, I clearly saw it.
The moment his eyes frowned and irritation crossed his face.
At the same time, my lips curled upwards. It had been hard to smile nonchalantly before, but now, the muscles on my face were smiling by themselves.
As soon as the song ended, Kim Hyunjo rubbed his chin.
“This is better than I thought…”
He stood up and pointed to the USB drive.
“Can I take that?”
“I’ll talk with Younghoon hyung first before discussing it again.”
With those words, Kim Hyunjo left with quick steps.
There were now only two people remaining in the small meeting room, the traitor and myself.
As if he had never been unhappy, the traitor’s eyes calmed once again. A smile returned to his lips. However, it felt different from usual.
Just as the traitor, who had been staring at me, opened his mouth, the door suddenly burst opened behind me.
I turned around thinking that Kim Hyunjo returned but instead, ruined my eyes.
Son Chaeyoung was standing there wearing the expression of a concubine who had given birth to a son like Kim Hyunjo said. Also, she was looking at me as if I was a queen who gave birth to a daughter. No, since that was a bit terrifying, the queen who gave birth to a daughter was Lee Songha and I was like her older brother.
Putting that aside, behind me was the witch and the traitor was in front.
Haha, how great. This damn company was dirtying my soul. I would have to go to my brother’s house and receive some healing from the quadruplets soon.
Just as I was thinking this, Son Chaeyoung asked while brushing her long hair aside,
“I looked everywhere for you. Did you watch my drama?”
 This will make more sense a bit later in the chapter, but basically, comparing a queen who gave birth to a daughter and a concubine who gave birth to a son.