It was the time when people scanned their ID cards to leave for home. KangYoon also joined the queue. Of course, he had a different objective.
‘I shouldn’t think of leaving early today either.’
Everyone was leaving work, but only KangYoon was leaving to eat. It was due to the fact that his work piled up massively due to the work with Sedy. Moreover, he also had to work on the girl group project from time to time, so he had a lot of work. In the end, today’s overtime work was set in stone.
KangYoon was powerlessly leaving the lobby when someone grabbed his hand. He turned back to see it was Jung MinAh.
“Oh, it’s MinAh.”
“No way. I was trying to surprise you.”
She wanted to see KangYoon jump in shock, but it didn’t turn out as she expected so Jung MinAh seemed disappointed. However, she still lively came to KangYoon’s side.
“Are you leaving?”
“No, I’m going to grab something to eat. Are you also?”
“No, I already ate dinner, and I came out to drink some coffee.”
“Is that so. Work hard.”
KangYoon was about to turn back when the strength grabbing his arms became stronger.
“Hey, we’ve met so it’s disappointing if you go like that.”
“I heard you were going to get coffee.”
Jung MinAh requested with liveliness. KangYoon smiled. The only trainee who treated him like that within the company was her. Of course, there was one singer… but this kind of no restraint attitude was cute in his eyes.
“What do you want to eat?”
“What the heck is that?”
KangYoon tilted his head in confusion at the name he heard for the first time, but Jung MinAh dragged him to the coffee shop which was next to the company building. It was famous amongst the trainees as a shop with tasty coffee.
“Welcome. You came today with one of the company people, eh?”
“Good evening, owner,”
Jung MinAh seemed to be a regular as she talked freely with the owner. They talked about what was happening in the company and what happened with her for the last few days. KangYoon quietly watched her figure.
“What do you want to drink, ahjussi?”
“Me? The same one as you.”
KangYoon ordered the same thing and sat down. The coffee came soon and when KangYoon was about to stand up to get it, Jung MinAh stood up first.
“No. I should be the one doing this.”
“It’s alright, sit.”
KangYoon went ahead of her and brought the coffee. After that, he even set the cup holder and a straw and held it out to Jung MinAh.
“This is nothing. But this has fresh cream on it, huh?”
“Yes. It’s very delicious.”
“I see, you gotta exercise like crazy, huh?”
Jung MinAh was doing well until she was given a scolding because of the fresh cream on the coffee.
Of course, it wasn’t long…
Jung MinAh, who didn’t lose her liveliness at KangYoon’s scolding, started talking to KangYoon in delight.
From talks about training to school life, she talked about everything without hesitation.
Just that there was nothing about Lee SamSoon.
It was a private place so KangYoon also didn’t talk about practice or evaluation or the sort.
He just silently listened to her story like an older brother.
Jung MinAh who talked for a long time, seemed to hesitate, but in the end, asked something.
“How many brothers and sisters do you have?”
“I have one little sister.”
“Little sister? If she looks like you, then she would be skinny, right?”
KangYoon had long legs. HeeYoon also had a great ratio. Although, she was too thin…
“My sister? She’s pretty, alright. How about… Ah.”
KangYoon stopped as he was about to say something.
Jung MinAh was an orphan without parents or siblings.
However, Jung MinAh gestured that it was alright at KangYoon who was embarrassed.
“It’s alright. Well. That happens sometimes. Anyway, how old is your sister?”
“She’s 2 years older than you. And perhaps because of that, we don’t fight.”
“If you two are that far apart then… You shouldn’t fight. You’re an uncle rather than a brother.”
Did she poke his weakness?
KangYoon and Jung MinAh started getting friendly.
Jung MinAh said with a slightly envious tone.
“I’m envious of your sister. Well… I have lots of friends too.”
The two’s talk blossomed as the conversation went on.
The two kept finding common topics.
KangYoon laughed it over when he saw Jung MinAh spotting details to coninue the talk.
While thinking ‘girls at that age must be like that’…
“It’s time to practice. You should go.”
“Yes. I will take my leave first.”
When it was time, KangYoon stood up and took away the empty cups. Jung MinAh tried to do it herself, but she muttered while looking at KangYoon who took it first and was heading to the bin.
“That’s what you call a cool man. Of course…”
Jung MinAh strangely couldn’t forget KangYoon’s back figure as he was putting away the cups.
The studio Duka Entertainment rented was a small one. At that place, Lee JunYeol was in the middle of practicing emotionally with a microphone in his hand.
I was like that from the beginning – – What should I do – – What should I – –
Outside the studio, KangYoon and the people from Duka Entertainment was listening to his voice.
“Ha, I never knew I would get to see JunYeol practicing so hard. Team Leader. You’re amazing.”
President Kim TaeHoon of Duka Entertainment smiled. It wasn’t a neat smile but it was sufficient to express his satisfied emotion.
“I also don’t know how long it has been since JunYeol-hyung practiced. I always looked around arcades or motels to find him…”
While remembering the past 2 years of suffering, Manager Yu SeungCheol felt deeply touched. As he thought that he didn’t have to have a hard time looking for Sedy, he thought it was a dream.
However, unlike the touched people, KangYoon’s eyes were sharp. Strictly speaking, his eyes were directed to the light exuded by Lee JunYeol.
‘It’s too faint.’
It was bright at first but as the pitch became higher, it became fainter. KangYoon was agonized about what to do with this part.
At KangYoon’s advice, Lee JunYeol was resumed going to the hospital, but as expected, he only heard that it wouldn’t be easy to return to his former state
‘It won’t be easy. He quit smoking, so I have no choice but to do this now.’
Lee JunYeol kept his promise of quitting smoking. Moreover, he even quit women he liked so much. And while saying it was a proof of his resolve, his also cut his long hair short after he grew it for such a long time. At Lee JunYeol, who was as if he would listen to all of KangYoon’s orders, KangYoon had to submit.
“Thanks for your work. Oh, hyung!!”
When Lee JunYeol saw KangYoon he came running and hugged him. KangYooon felt uncomfortable at first, but when he knew that Lee JunYeol was originally like this, he let it go.
“Hyung, what’s up? Whatchamacallit, uh.. stage… scratch? Weren’t you busy doing that?”
“It’s sketch. And I’m not the one doing that but the stage production team is the one doing it.”
“Oh, well. I thought you were doing it. I’m kinda disappointed?”
“…Enough of that. How’s your condition? Are you alright?”
“You’ve heard me. I don’t like it.”
Lee JunYeol seemed to not like it as he shook his head. However, he had to adapt to the already changed voice. Or to develop that voice.
“I have something I want to hear, and something I want to say – that’s why I’m here.”
“Oh, really> SeungCheol, get us something to drink.”
Lee JunYeol directed KangYoon towards a sofa on one side, Soon, Manager Yu SeungCheol gave them simple drinks. It was orange juice in a plastic bottle and paper cups. When he saw that, Lee JunYeol sighed.
“Please understand. We’re all men here so we don’t have anything to give you.”
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with this. First, I’ve received the set list.”
“Already? That was quick. When are we?”
Lee JunYeol became interested when he heard that the order of sequence for the open broadcast. However, when he heard that they were last, his eyes widened.
“Yeah, why? Didn’t you like being eye-catching?”
“You can set a comeback stage as last?”
“That’s my job. To do the fancy and beautiful stage you want to do, then the last is the only choice. If we want to shoot airshots and spray liquid nitrogen, then last is the best.”
Last in sequence was usually given to well-known singers. To think that he, who went on hiatus for 2 years, was last… Lee JunYeol was touched and hugged KangYoon again.
“Let go, Let go of me. Ah, really. I don’t like men.”
“Auu,, auu, my dear hyung. I wanna smooch you. C’mere.”
KangYoon was frightened. However, Lee JunYeol, who enjoyed his reaction, clung to him more. KangYoon barely shook him off and continued speaking.
“Now the stage is set as you want. However, there is a problem.”
“Whether my singing gets through or not.”
“Yes. And so…”
KangYoon was careful. It was because what he was about to speak right now may touch a singer’s pride. However, he hesitated for a brief moment before saying with confidence.
“The song that matches your voice – let’s pick it again from the album.”
At KangYoon’s words, not only Lee JunYeol, but the people who were only listening, like President Kim TaeHoon, and Manager Yu SeungCheol, all froze.
Practice room where 5 girls were focused in practicing. The door slowly opened, and Seo HanYu came in.
“Seo HanYu, aren’t you late?”
The trainer was looking over Christie An’s posture before finding Seo HanYu reflected on the mirror and said with a high voice.
“It’s the 3rd day already. Did some screws get loose because you were already selected for the singer team?”
Seo HanYu lowered her head like a sinner. She was 30 minutes later. There was no room for excuses.
“Being on time is the basics of the basics. You weren’t late even once until a while ago. Is there some kind of reason?”
The trainer asked but Seo HanYu didn’t answer. She was asked multiple times but the trainer, who saw that Seo HanYu couldn’t answer, didn’t ask anymore and just checked as late.
“Talk to the team leader later.”
“Ok, HanYu came so let’s practice once together.”
When Seo HanYu came into position, the main team work practice started.
“HanYu, what is wrong? Did something happen?”
“It’s nothing, unni.”
“You look really tired.”
Han JooYeon asked Seo HanYu, who looked exhausted, with worry, but she didn’t answer clearly.
The 6 girls’ practice continued.
KangYoon’s words of changing the title song could be considered interfering with Duka Entertainment’s work. However, Lee JunYeol had no hesitation.
As if he would believe even if KangYoon said that the sun rose from the west, he had no hesitation. It was instead President Kim TaeHoon who tried to stop him
“Title song’s aren’t to be changed easily. We have to change a lot of things including the concept and the album cover photo if we have to change the title song. We also did a music video already. If we want to take one again, it costs a lot of money.”
“He says it doesn’t fit my voice. It’s better to go with one that does. Clinging onto something that will fail is the same as touching a dead person’s balls.” (T/N: ?!?!?!)
“JunYeol, where did you learn that. How could I stop you… Do what you want.”
Lee JunYeol couldn’t be stopped once he was on something. As always, President Kim TaeHoon lost to him. It was the sadness of being the president of a small company.
“Hyung, what song is better?”
“That should be decided by you.”
“Can’t you do it?”
“Me? That’s intruding authority. If I…”
“It’s alright, it’s alright. It should be better than now.”
How did he change so drastically… KangYoon couldn’t understand the race known as ‘singers’. But as he was the one to offer it, he thought that he had to take responsibility and pick the song himself. When KangYoon gave his approval, Lee JunYeol jumped in delight and he was about to play the album right away. However, KangYoon shook his head.
“Sing it yourself.”
“Eh? Weren’t you going to choose after listening to it?”
“Live is better, right?”
“It is… but you want to listen to all 9?”
“Sing them once. Think of it as practice.”
Lee JunYeol went inside the booth and prepared to sing. The setting was already done so there was nothing else to do. Matching KangYoon’s signal, the song started.
The first song, ‘Light in You’. Befitting of being the first song, the impactful high pitch was pleasant to listen to but KangYoon shook his head. The light coming out from Lee JunYeol was weak, and the changed voice came out clearly on the high parts. After that, the next song flowed out and KangYoon paid attention to the light.
‘This is no good either. The color is too…’
It wasn’t grey. But the white wasn’t clear. Like the custom color panel on the graphic program *****shop, he had to differentiate many different colors of white and their intensity so he had to put all his mind to it. And as he also had to listen to the music, he had to focus on his ears too. There were many things to pay attention to.
First, second, third, fourth.
They were all not to his liking.
-Hyung, how is it?
“This is also no good, what do you think?”
-Me too. I think the second one was better.
Lee JunYeol drank a lot of water as he was tired from singing all those. It was reasonable.
“Should we continue some other time?”
-No, if we’re doing this now, then we should finish it. I’m alright.
“And your throat?”
-Don’t treat me like a patient. I’m alright.
Lee JunYeol stood in front of the microphone again. He was tired and exhausted, but his eyes were shining. KangYoon saw that and played the next song.
Memories – – – are better than partings – – –
It was the ringing bass tone again. It was no different from normal. However, the change started from the middle where the tone became higher.
While looking at the faint you — I – –
‘This is it!!’
The faint light until now was not there. From Lee JunYeol, blinding white light came out and filled the studio. The voice piercing the ears also harmonized with the pitch and the melody and enhanced the song.
KangYoon gripped his fists. He had the feeling. The thought that he definitely have to do this song pervaded his mind.
Sponsored by Beefcake, thank you Beefcake!
And sorry for the obvious development…
Thank you for reading!