TM Chapter 74

Chapter 74: A Historic Drama for Various Reasons (3)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir


 

I grabbed the man’s shoulder firmly and pulled him away.

After being released from the man’s suffocating embrace, Lee Songha hid behind my back. Her small hands touched my back, and I felt her hands grasping onto my clothes tightly.

“Are you okay?”

I asked in a low voice. She nodded. Although she didn’t show it, it seemed she was shocked as she stuck against my back and didn’t think to move. Well, since the dark-clothed man hugged and touched her, it would be weirder if she wasn’t in shock.

With a scowl, I glared at the still grinning man.

The man’s expression had no trace of seriousness. Instead, he licked his lips and closed and opened both his hands, which had slid down Lee Songha’s back.

“Were you surprised? I’m Ms. Lee Songha’s fan. I don’t know when I would ever have this chance again. Wow, damn. I won’t wash my hands for a few days.”

“Let’s talk outside.”

Although words I wanted to say surged up my throat, there were too many watching eyes, especially reporters. If there was a commotion and provocative words, such as ‘sexual harassment’, were tossed into the mix, then it would be the most troublesome for the female celebrity, which was Lee Songha, since various imaginations would run wild and leak to the public without a doubt.

A bodyguard came up quietly and dragged the man out.

Fortunately, aware of the situation here, Seo Jijoon and the host directed people’s attention their way and Kim Hyunjo went to talk with the reporters.

Although those near us were muttered amongst each other, this much would only result in a small incident if uploaded to the internet.

Sighing, I looked behind me.

“Songha, it’s fine now so you can come out.”

“Yes.”

Her voice was faint. I took deep breaths as my insides heated up. Although I had heard instances like this occurred more frequently than expected, after experiencing it personally, I felt my insides boil.

I didn’t think I could sleep tonight if I didn’t swear buckets at that man. I walked in the direction the bodyguard dragged the man towards, but Lee Songha followed behind me. When I looked around, her hands were still grasping onto the clothing on my back.

“Ah.”

It seemed she didn’t realize it either, as she relaxed her hands and blinked.

Then she stared at her own hands.

Silence hung in the air for a few seconds. While Lee Songha was opening and closing her mouth, the chattering host approached her and started a conversation. Then he introduced the next fan who had been waiting for his turn.

The event progressed smoothly.

I sent a text to Kim Hyunjo, asking him to swear my share at the perverted guy.

I couldn’t act personally.

Every time I moved, Lee Songha’s eyes followed behind me.

Although she acted like she was fine, in my eyes, it looked like she was nervous something like that would happen again. That was why I didn’t leave Lee Songha’s sight until the fan event ended.

*

On one side of the seats.

Amongst the fans clamoring to answer the quiz questions the host asked, a few people murmured to each other.

“It feels like we’re losing out on enthusiasm. We look like losers.”

“Seo Jijoon’s fans are so scary. I can’t even answer the quiz questions because I’m so intimidated.”

They weren’t fans of Seo Jijoon, who held the absolute majority amongst the fans gathered here today, nor were they fans of the drama, which was the second largest group. They were Neptune fans who had even joined Neptune’s official fan café.

“I want to take one picture with Lee Songha, but it seems that the chances are slim?”

“Let’s go ask the manager secretly later.”

“The manager? The manager will let you if you ask him?”

A man wearing horn-rimmed glasses asked. A woman, who still had baby fat on her round cheeks, nicknamed ‘Songha Eating’ busily snapped pictures of Lee Songha on her camera as she said,

“It depends on who you go to. There are three managers in charge of Neptune, and among them, there are two oppas who are always around them. You can tell just by their faces. One gives you a great impression while the other seems as cold as a chilly breeze.”

“Then we just need to go to the one who gives off a good impression?”

This time, it was another woman who asked. Songha Eating firmly shook her head.

“That oppa is strangely uncomfortable to talk to. Instead, you have to target the other oppa named Jung Sunwoo. People don’t usually approach him because they’re scared, but fans who actually talked with him always beg him. He usually does whatever you ask him for. He takes pictures and gets you autographs.”

“Really?”

“Yes. He doesn’t act in a way that would embarrass us, like be annoyed or ignore us. Ah, but if he says ‘no’ once, no matter how much you beg, he won’t change his mind. There are almost no incidences where he went from ‘no’ to a ‘yes’. He’s completely firm.”

“I need to remember his face. Is he out there right now?”

“He’s right next to Songha… Huh?”

Songha Eating, who was replying, widened her eyes. She saw a man step onto the stage after answering a question correctly, hug Lee Songha, be pulled away by her manager and then disappear out the door accompanied by a bodyguard.

Although this all took place in a few moments, the ones who found something was strange wasn’t only her. There were people muttering about how disrespectful the man was and how they envied him.

However, rather than the man who had hugged Lee Songha then disappeared, their focus was on someone else. It seemed she was taken aback by the fan’s excessive touchiness as Lee Songha stuck to her manager’s back like a turtle shell.

“Oh my god. A back hug… Who is that guy? A staff member?”

“They say he’s the manager. What the hell?! The fans are gathered, but the one who lucks out is the manager?!”

“Look at how close they are. I want to buy his back.”

People spoke noisily as they took pictures.

It was the same for Neptune’s fans.

“Wow, Lee Songha felt like a celebrity living in a different world from ours, but when she’s like that, she seems more normal.”

“It looks like it’ll be a hit ‘heart-throbbing’ picture. I need to post it on their official page.”

“Someone already posted it on social media. So fast.”

Songha Eating looked at her phone and admired. A picture clearly containing the two people, which was no doubt taken just moments ago, was posted on someone’s social media. Then it began to spread widely due to the many people who weren’t selected to attend the event and had been looking at pictures instead.

A man beside her scratched his neck as he said,

“But her manager is just a normal guy, is it okay to just post his face without blurring it?”

*

I also predicted this.

Ever since Team Leader Park asked if she could ‘sell my face on TV’, I accepted the fact that my face might one day spread on social media and websites.

However, I didn’t know that that day would come so suddenly.

“Mom, it’s nothing much. You don’t need to worry about it.”

-What do you mean it’s nothing much? Your aunt told me that a picture of you and a celebrity was even posted on an internet article.

The voice on the other side of the call was especially bright. Was this something a parent would be happy of? Well, it was a hundred times better than turning up in the papers under troublesome circumstances, but my face still felt hot.

It wasn’t only my parents, I had already been buried under the number of calls and messages I received from relatives and friends. Since my phone vibrated ceaselessly due to the group chat I was in with my friends, I turned off the notifications for it.

Things were hectic since this morning.

Sighing, I picked out snacks for Lee Songha from the aisles.

For some reason, it felt like the convenience store employee was glancing at my face for a while now. It was probably nothing, right? I was probably reading too much into it. On top of that, it wasn’t like I was Lee Songha, there was probably no one who would recognize a manager.

I was paying at the counter when I heard my mother’s voice mixed with laughter.

-Your father says he’s going to print out that picture and hang it in the living room.

“What? No, why?”

-He wants to show our relatives when they come over for Lunar New Year’s Day.

I was about to go crazy.

I rubbed my face.

-Your father kept worrying about you day after day at home even if he didn’t tell you, but that at least seems to have stopped.

“Well, that’s good.”

-Are you going to appear on TV?

“I’m a manager, not a celebrity, mom.”

Even while saying this, I recalled something. The Lunar New Year’s special program that Team Leader Park and Kim Hyunjo told me about. Well, since they didn’t say anything about it until now, it probably fell through.

-Still, you never know. If you going to appear on TV, you have to let me know in advance, okay?

“Okay, okay.”

 

“You’ve been cast for IBC’s special entertainment program.”

I had been looking at the large snowflakes falling outside when I quickly turned around.

Team Leader Park, who had dragged me outside for a coffee, was smiling in front of me.

“I’ve been cast?”

“Yup. It seems they looked into you after your picture was posted. They seem to like you after looking at the comments written by fans who actually met you. I looked it up too and your reputation among the fans is quite entertaining.”

“Ah…”

“An interview and now a broadcast, if things go well, you might become a star manager. Be careful you don’t catch ‘celebrity sickness’{1}.”

“Haha, that’s not funny.”

Either way, this was worth celebrating since it wasn’t just Lee Songha but all the Neptune members who were going to appear on a public network entertainment program.

Especially Im Seoyoung, once she heard this news, she would cry tears of joy. She was someone who had constantly polished her talents{2} and read general knowledge quiz books{3}, which looked completely useless in real life, for the day she would appear on entertainment shows.

When I thought about telling them, my heart, which felt like it was swaying in the wind, warmed.

Team Leader Park patted my shoulder with a smile.

“Although your face became known earlier than I expected, I think things turned out well. Think what would have happened if Songha stuck to Jijoon’s back that time? A scandal might have exploded, and she might be getting tons of insults right now. It’s because she stuck to your back, a normal guy, that people are glossing over it by saying it was heart-warming and stuff.”

“That’s a relief.”

I licked my lips and looked back out the window. In this short while, snow began to fall even heavier. Due to the snow being unexpected on the forecast, the white snow piled on the heads and shoulders of people walking in the streets without an umbrella.

It was because of this snow that filming for Cat Guardian Ghost had halted. They said that they would schedule it later when the snow stops, but it didn’t seem like it would stop today.

“But did you come out to just tell me that?”

When I asked while taking a sip of slightly bitter coffee, Team Leader Park frowned.

Then she leaned forward towards me.

“More than that…”

The coffee franchise we were in was bustling with noise at lunch as though it was a war zone so there wasn’t anyone paying attention to our conversation, yet her voice was so low that it felt like it would touch the ground.

“I felt like it was about time for Son Chaeyoung to appear.”

I opened my eyes wide.

‘Should I go see her?’ This would have been a crazy thought not too long ago, but now the situation had changed. Since Cat Guardian Ghost, which aired yesterday, beat Mermaid out of Water’s ratings, her face was probably like a demon’s.

“Is it because of another promotional article?”

“No, because a commercial came in for Songha.”

What?

“That’s why I escaped with you. Don’t come to work if you can today. Son Chaeyoung’s so crazy she might cause a huge fuss at work.”

“What relation is there between Songha appearing on a commercial and Son Chaeyoung?”

She wasn’t going to make a fuss just because she didn’t want Lee Songha to appear on a commercial, right? Even though I thought this, I thought that, if it was Son Chaeyoung, it was plausible since she was a woman who exceeded my imagination.

However, Team Leader Park’s words were different from my expectations.

“The commercial for Songha used to be Son Chaeyoung’s.”

*

Son Chaeyoung entered the empty CEO’s office by herself.

Unlike Team Leader Park’s predictions, she didn’t seem mad nor was she causing a fuss. However, her chilly eyes, which were so cold they seemed frozen, looked like the calm before a storm. It wouldn’t seem unusual if she exploded in rage at any moment.

She glared at her phone.

There was one picture on its screen.

The man whose back was turned to the camera looked cold no matter who looked at him, but his eyes were filled with worry. The woman, Lee Songha, held onto his back and stuck close to him. Her eyes contained trust as they looked at him.

Click. The office door opened.

CEO Baek Hansung entered while taking off his coat.

“I heard some absurd news so I came to ask you personally.”

“Hmm. Say it.”

As he sat on his chair, CEO Baek Hansung nodded his head.

“Is it true the Chinese commercial went to Lee Songha?”

“It is.”

“CEO!”

“I added her in since they wanted to switch you out.”

Son Chaeyoung bit her lips at the CEO’s calm reply.

“So you gave what was mine, not to just anyone, but Lee Songha?”

“It’s better than handing it over to another company.”

Son Chaeyoung gripped her phone. Her eyes burned in anger.

“Why did it have to be her? Do you want to see me go crazy?! Any other person would have been better, I don’t want it being snatched by her! Are you doing this because I haven’t signed the renewal contract yet? I’ll sign. So don’t give her my commercial!”

Son Chaeyoung, who had been causing a fuss like any other time, stopped.

CEO Baek Hansung wordlessly looked at her.

Like usual, he was smiling leisurely, but his eyes were different.

Son Chaeyoung had been with W&U for a few years now. It wasn’t her first time seeing his eyes like that. However, his eyes were always gentle when looking at her. Not once was this look directed at her.

Until now.

Avoiding his eyes, Son Chaeyoung bit her lips again. Her lips, which had been bitten for a while now, were red as though they were smeared with blood.

After a moment of silence, Son Chaeyoung raised her head again.

“… Okay. That commercial, let her have it.”

Her lips became crooked.

“In return, Songha’s manager, assign him to me.”

 


{1} Koreans say this when people believe they’ve become famous after appearing on TV or the media a few times. People with this ‘sickness’ tend to be overly attentive of other people’s gazes and act a little stuck-up.

{2} Think of it in terms of talent shows. So imitations, dances, etc.

{3} A lot of Korean entertainment shows ask quizzes. A very common question would be ‘what is the capital of (insert country name)?’

 

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Comments 40

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  1. ⊙0⊙

    Σ(゜ロ゜;)

    Σ (  Д )ﻌﻌﻌﻌ⊙ ⊙

    Son Chaeyoung’s really desperate if she wants to swipe Jung Sunwoo to improve her career, especially with everything that has been done. Moreover, it’s totally crazy to think that she can easily do that.

    Thanks for the new chapter!

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  2. Thanks for the chapter! Hahaha, ‘Songha Eating,’ what a great name! Little touches like that (and the kdrama back hug, and the ‘I want to buy his back’) make this one of my favorite chapters – and one of my favorite novels!

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  3. OH NO YOU DIDN’T! So, is the CEO gonna accept her request or is it finally time for us to see how scary Songha can be?

    Aaaahhh, I need more chapters! Thanks for the chapter. =)

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  4. She doesn’t seem understand who she is talking to:/ that CEO understand his business well,there is no way he agree to that for a lot of reasons:/

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  5. Seeing Sunwoo through the eyes of other people is always interesting. Especially since from his P.O.V. he isn’t cold at all.

    Also interesting to see that the fans picked up on the traitors “true” personality.

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  6. Gah, great chapter. Really furthers the romantic tension between Songha and MC. Now I gotta wait for another week to get another fix.

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  7. inb4 sunwoo uses his trap card: CEO’s Favour.

    “remember when you say you’ll grant my 1 wish. yeah i dun wanna be son chaeyoung’s manager”

    Or did he use it already?

  8. I was rereading last 22 chapter, than i realized chief lee is enjoying (mis)fortune of sanwoo. Also at the end of each chapter writer end in a interesting way and start with a heartwormin way. In my opinion writer doesn’t want to make the Son Chaeyoung a enemy but a rival. Well I just have to wait and see.

  9. I don’t think she wants to swipe Sunwoo because she’s desperate for her career. I think she’s jealous and resentful. Sunwoo has made her enemy Songha famous and popular. If she takes him away she can suppress and bully him, and also distress Songha who obviously cares about him. So it’s about revenge.

  10. “The man whose back was turned to the camera looked cold no matter who looked at him, but his eyes were filled with worry.”

    From that all i can say is she maybe just wanted someone to care/worry for her like that.

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