“Hey Ris, Hey Ris!! Have you heard?” (Ris = Christie)
Christie An stretched while reacting chicly at her friend who was flustered. Her friend seemed used to Christie not being emotive as she started talking.
“JooAh-seonbae. She hit it big in Japan. A big Jackpot!! She sold over 500,000 albums and the TV…”
To Christie An, it was in one ear, and out the other. She was interested since it was a star she liked but she already knew all this. She didn’t want to hear the same story again. However, the slow-witted friend of hers kept talking about JooAh.
But even so, it wasn’t like she wanted to start trouble. Image making was as important as ability in this industry. A rumor from trainee days would persist even when she became a singer.
She just let it go with ‘whatever’.
When she was about done stretching, the trainer appeared.
Before practice, they would go through a brief registration but today, it was longer than usual.
“We have a notice today. One of the higher-ups will be coming to watch the practice.”
“A guest? The directors like last time?”
A middle school student, who had rolled up hair, asked.
The pressure on the trainees were high since higher-ups in suits were coming and going to select the trainees.
“Close, anyway. You will have to put more effort into practice.”
The trainer threatened them, but to Christie An, it was on the other side of the river.
The selected ones will get selected anyway.
She quietly prepared for practice in a corner.
“Welcome. This way, please.”
KangYoon was led by the trainer to the practice room. He didn’t bring anything that looked like an evaluation sheet in fear of giving pressure to the trainees. Just one. He just brought his phone. He planned to make a simple note on his phone’s memo pad.
“Good day to you, sir!!”
When KangYoon entered, the lined up trainees shouted in unison. KangYoon was surprised at their discipline and it even made him take a step back.
“Oh, yeah. Hello.”
“Hahaha. Team Leader. Surprised?”
“They have great discipline.”
He came here light heartedly, but he could only be startled at the military-like shout. KangYoon was startled at the greeting that would only be seen in the military.
‘MG Entertainment is not big for no reason, eh.’
How thorough mut their education be to become like that? KangYoon was in awe at the disciplined trainees.
“This person here is Planning and Management Team Leader, Lee KangYoon. Previously, he planned for the singer JooAh’s album, ‘Girls on Best’, and this time, he will plan for the new girl group and he came here to directly select the necessary people himself. Well, then, Team Leader. Please.”
At the Trainer’s words, KangYoon was stunned for a moment. He wished that he told the trainer beforehand. He only planned to watch for a little bit before leaving, but now that plan was wasted. Well, it became like this anyway, so he spoke.
“Hello. My name is Lee KangYoon. I will speak briefly. Relax and show me the things you’ve prepared until now. That’s it.”
The trainees all clapped. No, KangYoon’s simple sentence changed everyone’s eyes. To become a singer was every trainee’s dream. Moreover, to become a singer in the hands of the team leader who made JooAh, who was every girl trainee’s wannabe, a big star in Japan… Wouldn’t they become a star just by being selected, like, literally? Everyone’s eyes shined.
“Then, I’ll be over there.”
KangYoon sat at the very front, where the view of the trainees was the best.
“Then let’s start. How far did we go, again?”
The training started as soon as the trainer’s words ended.
After the training began, light was emitted from the trainees.
‘Ah, my eyes…”
KangYoon rubbed his eyes since he saw the light from everyone. However, he eventually got used to it, and started focusing on each person. The lights were all different. It wasn’t the type that harmonized to become stronger like the time JooAh was practicing with the dance team. It was the kind of light which attacked each other. Like the characteristics of the dance, the lights were also competing. There were a few dim grey here and there and the rare white light was too weak.
‘There’s nothing to record.’
KangYoon shook his head. Of course, he did think that the things they were showing him now wasn’t everything and he planned to watch for a few more days, but his expectations ended in disappointment. KangYoon shook his head.
When he was about to stand up, thinking he should go to another class, there was a light that was faint but caught his eyes. It was a pure white light. It tugged on his mind but the grey around it was so thick that he couldn’t see, and so he thinned his eyes and concentrated.
Christie An, a member of the ‘past’ EDDIOS. She had mixed blood, with her father being American. Her unique voice was charming and the chicness and girliness made her receive the male fans’ love along with Han JooYeon.
‘Oh… she was here. But her expression sure is dark, and she isn’t doing her best in dancing either.’
To think she is that sloppy even though she knows she will be evaluated… Was that confidence? Or defiance? The light was dim but Christie An kept catching KangYoon’s attention. It was foreign but Korean face, a slim body that everybody likes, and the cold atmosphere and expression. It was no wonder that she was so eye-catching.
‘But why is her ‘star quality’ only B?’
KangYoon remembered the star quality evaluation from the report. The attraction that makes one want to look at her more, that was an amazing talent. KangYoon was getting more and more confused due to the disparity between reality and the evaluation.
And finally, the practice ended. KangYoon whispered to the trainer and left the practice room.
Christie An went to the resting room when it was time to rest. However, the trainer followed her.
“Is something wrong?”
The trainer followed her quite hurriedly but there was no change of expression on Christie’s face. The fact that she was talked to alone meant that there was something important. However, there still wasn’t a ripple on her face. Was it boldness? Or something else? The trainer was surprised but she still talked.
“Go to the 5th floor.”
“5th floor, that’s…”
“Planning and Management Team Leader’s Office.”
From the 5th floor onward, trainees would usually have nothing to do with it. People such as Team Leader, Head director, President’s private rooms were located from the 5th floor. But to think there was a call from the 5th floor… It was Christie An without a single ripple but her expression trembled,
“Did I do something… wrong?”
“I’m not sure either. Just go. Right now.”
Christie An’s heart was pounding. It wasn’t due to something good. No, it might be. However, in her opinion, the person called ‘Planning and Management Team Leader’ didn’t have a good impression of the practice. She saw him leaving while shaking his head gently so she knew.
With her pounding heart, Christie An arrived in front of the Planning and Management Team Leader’s Office on the 5th floor. When she knocked and entered, KangYoon greeted her.
“Have a seat. Would you like coffee?”
“No. I’m fine.”
He was the team leader of the planning and management team. To a trainee like Christie An, he was as high as the skies. She was frozen stiff in a polite pose.
‘This is interesting in its own way. To think Ris is acting like this in front of me.’
Ris was someone who would become every man’s romance in the ‘future’. Albeit being a trainee, but she was frozen stiff in front of himself. KangYoon was amused at this fact, and also, surprised.
Of course, he wouldn’t bring it into work.
“Christie An. Dance: C, Singing: B, Star Quality: B. Overall evaluation: B-. This is your evaluation from last time.”
Christie An drooped her head. That evaluation was a source of fear for the trainees. At least A would be needed if she dreamed of being a singer, and only a tiny portion of those people who got As will be able to debut. But to think it was B-… And her age was 17. Her peer trainees were everywhere. When she thought about this point, she could only lower her head.
KangYoon suddenly ripped the evaluation paper in half.
What does this mean?
Christie An was surprised and she abruptly raised her head.
Regular Chapter 2/3
Do click on ‘Next Chapter’!!
Any good idea for Christie’s shortened name? The raws says ‘Ris’… Kinda weird, I know… but author says that… bear with it.
Thank you for reading!