‘So it’s today.’
It was dawn when everybody should be asleep. KangYoon woke up early and got the already packed travel bag. KangYoon carefully treaded towards the front door while carrying the bag in fear of waking HeeYoon up. However, HeeYoon seemed to have heard that small noise as the door to her room opened.
“…Oppa, you’re going?”
HeeYoon, who was rubbing her sleepy eyes, came out the door barefoot, without even tidying her hair.
“You should be sleeping. You need to go to school.”
“If I don’t see you today, I won’t be able to see you for a while though. Uu…”
Today, KangYoon was going to Japan.
The countdown to JooAh’s Japanese debut had begun so he needed to be in Japan for a while.
“You can’t miss the hospital appointment, okay? And contact me if anything happens. If there’s anything urgent…”
“Ok, ok. I just call JiHoon-ahjussi right?”
“That too. Keep you dialysis days, okay? Don’t miss your meals. Don’t overwork yourself, watch out for cars…”
“Ok, ok. It’s this again.”
Whenever KangYoon saw HeeYoon, his words multiplied.
They say ‘an oppa’s heart was all the same’. And KangYoon wasn’t that much different. His sister was always weighing on his mind whenever he thought about that figure which seemed as if she could be blown away with the wind, even when he had an important job.
However HeeYoon said to him not to worry and pushed her big brother confidently.
“There, there. Oppa, you should go. Team Leaders shouldn’t be late.”
“Don’t forget dialysis.”
“Ok. I am going to sleep. Do your best at work.”
After receiving HeeYoon’s farewell, KangYoon went to Gimpo airport. It was early dawn. As he didn’t have a car, he took the taxi and took out the schedule table as soon as he got on the taxi.
‘A meeting with the representative of Genex after going to the Japanese branch office, then…’
The schedule was harsh. Until now, the method MG Entertainment used to spread overseas was to build a branch office, and run around while contacting various people themselves. However, KangYoon used a different strategy.
‘Even if we have to split the gains, we need to get to know their know-how by leaving the contacting to them.’
Genex company was one of the big 3 entertainment companies of Japan. Like what KangYoon thought, they thought highly of JooAh’s possibilities. Their work with MG Entertainment’s promotion team and planning team connected well and they were producing a synergy effect. This would become the foothold for not only JooAh but for other singers in the future. Although they were splitting the gains right now, this would be a form of investment for the future.
Of course, the most important thing was the Music Station stage.
At Gimpo airport, KangYoon met the people of MG Entertainment and headed to Japan. After arriving at Tokyo Haneda airport, they headed to the branch office of MG Entertainment straight away.
“You’re late. Why are you only here now?”
When he arrived and proceeded to the training room, JooAh complained to KangYoon. It seemed like she was in the middle of practicing as she was wearing training clothes and there was sweat on her forehead.
“I came just in time. What do you mean ‘late’?”
“If I say you’re late, then you are late. I have tons of things to ask you.”
While emitting a smell of sweat, JooAh sat right next to KangYoon and started pouring out questions. They were mostly about the Music Station stage. She was excited just thinking about standing on that new stage.
KangYoon and JooAh were sitting on the floor of the training room. KangYoon unfolded the cue sheet where the order of the stage was written, a picture of the stage, and a sheet where the concept of the stage was written and the two started talking.
“Music Station is a live. You know that already, right?”
“I do. One pre-rehearsal, and live. And there’s interview 1 in the live broadcast.”
“You know well.”
“But is it true that I can only do one song, the title song?”
“I need to confirm with them but the most time a singer gets is 5 minutes at most. I will talk to them but keep in mind that it will be at least 5 minutes. Prepare to give them a big impact…”
“It’s a bit disappointing…”
JooAh was greedy for the stage. She licked her lips. A first stage will always be more exciting and heart-pounding. She seemed to be disappointed as she kept asking for more with her eyes.
“Endure it. If you hold it back here, a bigger stage will be waiting for you next time.”
“A bigger stage? Really? You know I don’t like empty words, right? It’ll be on the same level as the Tokyo Dome, right?”
It was half a joke, and half not. Of course, she was also testing KangYoon. However, KangYoon seemed confident as he nodded. JooAh was stiff for a moment before she continued speaking.
“…Ok. But I can really stand on the Music Station stage right?”
“That presen-whatever you did, I heard what people said. That big singers of Japan were hogging Music Station this week so I won’t be able go on it. And there’s no contact until now… Can I really practice for the comeback stage on Music Station?”
JooAh was unassured in one corner of her heart. Of course, she was excited about Music Station. However, if, that expectation frumbles, then the disappointment would have nowhere to go. If a singer had unassurance in his/her heart, then s/he would not be able to prepare properly. KangYoon felt that now was important.
“They will contact us within today. Don’t worry about it.”
“Music Station. There’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“You’re saying the truth, right? I can just believe in you, oppa, right?”
KangYoon nodded without saying anything. In these kind of situations, it was better to stay silent. JooAh looked at KangYoon’s confident eyes and closed her mouth.
“…Okay. I will focus on only on Music Station. Nothing else. Oppa should concentrate on Oppa’s work. But, promise me. That you will make me stand on Muisc Station.”
“Believe in me. It will definitely be like that.”
After that, KangYoon explained to her the matters about the stage and left with words of well wishes before leaving. JooAh murmured quietly while looking at his back.
“It must work. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I might do in disappointment.”
JooAh’s expectation of Music Station was bigger than anyone else.
KangYoon strongly nodded as if he was going to fulfill those expectations.
The night of when KangYoon and co. came to Japan.
In the temporary office of the Japanese branch, KangYoon was doing last-minute work.
“Team leader, team leader!!”
In KangYoon’s office, where KangYoon was looking at whether the background of the stage was fitting for JooAh or not, Chief Han JungSuk of the promotion team barged in without knocking.
“Is there anything?”
“Team Leader!! I… It’s out!!”
Chief Han JungSuk shouted while bouncing with his big body. His hand that was holding onto the night time newspaper was trembling, and he raised his voice as if he didn’t calm down.
“Look here!! Ryuuji, Rita, a secret meeting at the hotel. Team Leader’s words were right!!”
Finally what should have happened, happened. KangYoon sighed in relief. However, the real work started now. KangYoon calmly ordered.
“I understand. We were preparing for this moment anyway. Please get the materials we prepared yesterday. We will directly head to Asai TV.”
“Yes, Team Leader.”
Chief Han JungSuk wiped his sweat with a tissue while calming himself down. KangYoon took the necessary paperwork and left the office. Even while walking fast, he called Asai TV. Last time they didn’t accept the call so easily but this time he was connected to Producer Yokozeki right away. Perhaps he left an impression when he clinged to him with JooAh’s matters, he remembered KangYoon right away.
[I want to meet you, but is the time alright?]
[Then… Is today alright with you?]
This time, Producer Yokozeki seemed urgent as he accepted right away. KangYoon said okay and headed straight to Asai TV station.
The place where he met with producer Yokozeki was a café with a nice mood near the TV station. The small door left an impression, and it was a place where some Japanese celebrities often went to.
After exchanging greetings, the two went to the point right away. KangYoon was very direct with his words.
[I looked for you to talk about the matter I consulted to you last time,]
[The matter about the singer called JooAh?]
At KangYoon’s hand signal, Chief Han JungSuk put some materials on the table. JooAh’s album and her songs, and there were lots of contents about the stage and the concept of the album. Last time, Producer Yokozeki didn’t even try to look at them but today was different. He started looking over the materials.
[Hmm… The singer is alright. Her age is fine, and her stage seems to match exactly to out stage, too…]
However, he shook his head as if something weighed on his mind.
[However, as you know, there wasn’t a precedent where a singer from another country stood on Music Station. This is the tradition we kept until now. I’m not sure if the general manager will approve…]
Producer Yokozeki expressed his difficulties – There was a blank. But should I fill this blank even if I has to break the tradition? He was pondering. Of course, the materials were alright. However, should I do this even while taking the risks? Is your performance that good? Can I be reassured? – He was asking that.
[Would you have a look at this?]
KangYoon who caught on to that thought, took out a paperwork envelope. Then he played a video on the PMP. Unlike last time, Producer Yokozeki was serious when he was checking it out.
Then, his reaction became different. He, who expressed difficulties, started watching the video seriously, and he picked up his pen while checking various things from the document. After a long while, he finished and spoke.
[…You’ve really prepared well. You’ve done a fine research into the characteristics of the Japanese population. If it’s this stage, then it would get through even if it’s not Music Station. I’m honest.]
JooAh’s stage was definitely attractive. If the concert happens as designed and like the video, then nobody would even think about the blank left by the scandal. Producer Yokozeki praised KangYoon, which was rare.
KangYoon felt good since it felt as if he was rewarded for his efforts. However, it wasn’t like the performance was over so he didn’t relax.
[It’s a fine stage. And that condition to pay for the expenses of the first stage – it’s not a bad condition for us. The time…]
[If we want to show properly what we’ve prepared, we need about 7 minutes.]
[7 minutes, you say. Ok. We have a blank anyway so… 8 minutes. I will give you 8 minutes. You can increase or decrease the time by 1 minute so use it all you want.]
8 minutes, now it was sufficient to do 2 songs. He planned the debut to have one song for a big impact, but now he had time for another. This was great. And KangYoon realized.
‘The future has changed.’
He changed the future by his efforts. Originally, JooAh does only one song for the Music Station. But to think there’s two now… Was it a reward for his efforts? KangYoon was delighted but at the same time, nervous. He put in effort to pioneer his future but when the result actually came to him, he was very nervous.
[No, please take care of us. You can set the stage devices by Thursday. I will send you the detailed schedules by e-mail.]
After setting an appointment, KangYoon and Producer Yokozeki did a handshake before going their own ways. Coming out of the café, chief Han JungSuk couldn’t hide his delight.
“Team Leader. We did it, we did it! I was so nervous but it’s the real Music Station!!”
“It’s thanks to everyone’s efforts. Thank you for your work.”
In fact, Music Station was a reward for KangYoon’s work. However, he spread the contribution to everyone. At that figure, Han JungSuk was surprised.
“Team Leader is different.”
“You’re a cool person. Team Leader did most of the work and…Hahaha. I worked in this industry for 10 years but I didn’t know that I would get to work with a person like you. Today, I’m really happy. Hahaha!!”
He looked really happy. He laughed sonorously and KangYoon also laughed with a ‘pfft’ on the side.
‘Now for the main event,’
Music Station stage – now he was in orbit. KangYoon looked at the sky which looked clearer than ever. KangYoon’s heart was becoming more and more excited as the sky seemed as if it was blessing him.
Sunday Chapters are a double! (I changed, so now I have 6 regular chapters a week.) So be sure to click ‘next chapter’!!
Thank you for reading!