Although a lot of things happened recently, KangYoon was putting a lot of effort into the girl group project. Especially, since he invested a lot into the girls’ teamwork. He intentionally put together two girls, who had bad affinity with each other, and constantly received progress reports, and he put efforts into scheduling practice where everybody got together. Especially since he tried to bring up teamwork by analyzing a lot of the data about their teamwork.
However, even after that, when he had a look at the most recent report, KangYoon’s head dropped down automatically.
“To think I have to use a harsh move like this…”
KangYoon creased his brows when he looked at the paperworks titled ‘Wonju Volunteer Activity’. Originally, this volunteer activity wasn’t for evaluation, the original objective was for everyone to enjoy performing while getting used to the gazes of the people. However, as they lacked teamwork, he had changed the objective.
While KangYoon was concentrating on his work, someone came in after a knock. It was Min JinSeo, who was always eye-catching with her tall height and thin body figure.
“Good day to you, sir.”
Min JinSeo now showed good will rather than nervousness towards KangYoon. Her eyes contained a lot of softness and gentleness towards her savior and her supporting pillar at the same time.
“Why did you call me?”
“I had something to give you, but I didn’t have the time to go downstairs. Did I interrupt you in your practice?”
“No, you’re busy though, aren’t you?”
Min JinSeo marveled while looking at the traces of work on KangYoon’s desk. It was like this the last time as well, and this time too, there is a lot of work on his desk. This man lived really busily.
KangYoon held out the paperwork which was at the top of the pile of papers. When she received it, she saw that it was a script.
“One-man act? There’s even a song.”
“It’s a one man-act script used a lot for practicing. There’s a charity performance in 2 weeks, do you think you can do it?”
At the word ‘performance’, Min JinSeo felt more excited than nervous. Looking at her expression, KangYoon knew immediately.
‘This girl is an actor sent from heaven.’
KangYoon could affirm that his choice hadn’t been wrong while looking at that. He talked about the performance to her, while she was reading the script slowly.
“In 2 weeks, the next generation girl group will go to Wonju for a volunteer activity. There, we’re going to do a charity performance and I want you to do a one-man act.”
“Then am I going as well?”
“Yes. You can think that you’re resting for 3 days and 2 nights. You’ll have you debut soon so you can think it’s a practice performance.”
“I will tell you the detailed schedule through your manager.”
Min JinSeo left the office and KangYoon started working again.
The pile of work on his desk decreased rapidly, but time went by fast as well.
When all the work was about to disappear, the moon was nigh.
KangYoon, who put on his blazer to leave work, heaved a long sigh. It was a sigh due to the fatigue from work. When he left the lobby, everyone had already left and there was no one there.
When he arrived, HeeYoon greeted him.
“Did you have a good trip, my dear brother?”
“Yes. I had a good trip.”
KangYoon embraced HeeYoon as soon as he saw her. HeeYoon exclaimed as she was slightly surprised, but KangYoon didn’t pay any attention to that. He felt like his fatigue was melting away thanks to HeeYoon’s warmth. HeeYoon also pat his back and accepted him.
“Thank you for your work today too, oppa.”
“You too. Did you get your dialysis today?”
HeeYoon, who took KangYoon’s clothes and hanged them up, looked like a wife. KangYoon told her that she didn’t have to do that, but HeeYoon replied that she did it because she liked it and pushed KangYoon to the living room.
After he had a shower, KangYoon came to the living room and lay down straight away. Now that he had rested at home, he felt like his body had become better. On his side, HeeYoon sat.
“HeeYoon. The week after next week, I won’t be home for about 3 days.”
“Eh? Are you going somewhere?”
“I’m going to Wonju. You can stay at home alone, right?”
“All the way to Wonju? Are you going because of work?”
“You know I’m doing the girl group project, right? It’s related to that.”
“I understand. Do I look like a little kid? Don’t worry about me and have a nice trip.”
KangYoon was always worried about HeeYoon. Of course, HeeYoon wasn’t a child who couldn’t stay alone. However, he was worried that something may happen to her.
“I will do fine by myself so don’t worry and go, my dear brother.”
HeeYoon knew KangYoon’s mind well. And so, she was always sorry for him – she knew very well that she dragged him back. Her brother had an amazing ability, and he couldn’t fly high because of her – As she always thought like that, she was always sorry.
“I should sleep. HeeYoon, you have a good sleep too.”
KangYoon, who was tired, eventually went inside his room and went to sleep. However, HeeYoon wasn’t that sleepy.
“Today wasn’t that fun.”
Especially today, there wasn’t anything good to watch on TV as well. HeeYoon went inside her room and opened a book. She thought that she may become sleepy if she saw her school textbook. (T/N: Lol, school textbook = sleeping drug.)
However, in the middle of the night, her mobile phone rang loudly.
-HeeYoon!! It’s me!!
The one who called HeeYoon was JooAh. Although it was night, JooAh’s voice was very loud.
“Did something happen?”
-I didn’t call you too late, right? I just finished.
“Of course you called too late.”
HeeYoon and JooAh seemed to have gotten close as they were unrestrained towards each other. Eventually, the two started chatting, and the phone had become a chatting tool.
While chatting for a lot, HeeYoon asked.
“JooAh, do you go to volunteer activities in your company?”
-Volunteer activity? We do. We go and perform and donate and advertise that ‘we do things like this too’ and stuff like that. Why?
“My brother said he’s going to Wonju for one. I was curious so I just asked.”
-Oh, really? Wonju?
JooAh seemed to have become curious as she asked again.
-Did you ask who he’s going with?
“No, he just said he’s going because of the new girl group.”
-Really? The next-gen girl group? So it’s for a practice stage.
“Did you also do things like that, JooAh?”
-No. I had no time for that so I had my debut first. Tch, I’m envious. They’re blessed, alright.
JooAh, who expressed her pity, talked with HeeYoo for over 2 hours. Thanks to that, HeeYoon could arrive 1 step before she was late at school the next day.
2 weeks went by in a flash, and the time for volunteer activity had come.
The 6 girls had come leisurely with a lot of luggage before the appointed time. Everyone had at least one travel bag and a backpack each.
While the girls were waiting inside the company lobby while chatting, KangYoon also arrived before the appointed time.
KangYoon called for the girls and gave out an envelope.
“What is this?”
Jung MinAh asked while opening the envelope. However, after she had a look, her eyes widened. There were 3 Lady Shin Saimdang’s (T/N: meaning 50,000 KRW notes, 3 makes a total of 150,000KRW≈130USD, interesting note, 50000 won notes didn’t exist back then in 2008). While everyone was surprised, KangYoon spoke.
“You can come to this place together by express bus. The address is inside the envelope so arrive there before 6 o’clock. Don’t be late.”
Then KangYoon left the lobby.
“Team Leader, Team Leader!!”
Jung MinAh became shocked and followed him, but KangYoon had left on the prepared car.
“What the hell? Did he just tell us to go by bus?!”
“I think so…”
Jung MinAh thought it was absurd and her insides boiled rapidly. She couldn’t do anything about her fiery temper. Christie An was pouring oil to the fire.
Seo HanYu also seemed shocked as she couldn’t close her mouth. No matter how bad of a treatment the trainees received, this was unprecedented. An absurd thing like this was a first for them in their 3 years as a trainee. No, he had just told them to go to Wonju by just giving them the money. This was more than just absurd.
“*sob*… Did we just get thrown away?”
“It’s al’ight. It’ll be alright. We will just go there.”
Lee SamSoon was consoling Ailee Jung who burst into tears due to the absurd situation.
Han JooYeon became dumbfounded and she lost her words. Even so, they were all of one mind.
‘What kind of human is that!!’
Just that they couldn’t express it.
President Lee HyunJi who was on the wheel herself, currently couldn’t hold back her laughter.
“Hahaha!! Haha!! Oh, it’s so funny… I’m sorry, Team Leader KangYoon. Haha. I still can’t forget those kids’ faces. Hahahaha!!”
She laughed even now when she thought about it. As her normal poker face had disappeared without a trace, and laugher kept coming out, she felt like she was going crazy. She could still clearly see their dumbfounded faces after they heard KangYoon’s words when they were rejoicing due to the money.
However, KangYoon’s face was serious.
‘Will they be able to come by the appointed time?’
Although he gave them only the money in pretext of them gathering their opinions and come to Wonju, his heart was nervous. Of course, as they were 17 year-olds or above, and are about to enter adulthood, it wasn’t something impossible for them. Just in case, had had ordered 2 members of the managing team to trail them. However, he couldn’t do anything about himself being worried.
Amidst of President Lee HyunJi’s laugh, KangYoon was headed to Wonju with a serious face.
KangYoon’s fears were right on the spot.
“Is it really here?”
“Idiot, we need to go to the central terminal. We’re going to Kangwon province, so why are we going to the southern terminal? Do you want to go to Jeolla province?”
“We need to go to East Seoul.” (T/N: Hey, that’s where I live.)
Inside the subway, the 6 girls were in a mess while saying that they were all right. There were 4 express bus terminals in Seoul. Amidst of them, they need to go to the East Seoul’s one in order to go to Wonju, but the girls were fighting while saying it’s the Central terminal, Southern terminal, and East Seoul terminal.
“Unnis, can’t we search on the internet?” (T/N: Note, this is 2008, 17 year old girls don’t have smartphones in Korea)
Seo HanYu who was fed up with the dispute, carefully spoke, but it was very difficult to hold back the older girls who had lost all of their reasoning. Excluding her, everyone else was 18. Already, they were wasting time by saying that they were right while saying their routes.
“Believe in me. For Wonju, we need to go to East Seoul terminal.”
Lee SamSoon, spoke fast, which was rare for her, while tapping her chest. However, Han JooYeon shook her head and denied it.
“That’s the one going to Chungcheong province. The Central’s the correct one. I heard that it goes to Honam but it also goes to Kangwon province.”
Then, Jung MinAh also chimed in.
“How can you go to Kangwon province from Central? What goes to Jeolla province only goes to Jeolla province. What goes to Busan will only go to Busan. But Gangnam terminal is the biggest one so it will be alright, let’s go there.”
Christie An also spoke, tyring not to lose to others.
“I asked my friends since I didn’t know. They said we need to go the Seoul terminal to get there.”
In the end, the 4 girls couldn’t narrow their opinions down and just cycled around the subway. Some tried to get off at the central park where a terminal was, and got held back, and when they were about to head to Gangnam terminal, they fought with each other saying it’s not. For a long while, only time had passed. In the end, Ailee Jung, who massaged her hurting legs screamed.
“Hey!! Let’s go to each one!!!!!”
The girls who were at the point where they were about to grab each other’s hair, were all suppressed by Ailee Jung. In truth, they all did that because they didn’t want to lose, they knew that this was a waste of time.
‘Isn’t searching the internet faster?’
Seo HanYu couldn’t understand why they were going through suffering like this even though they could just ask the internet in a nearby pc-bang. However, her thoughts flew away due to the older girls’ fast walking.
“What? It isn’t here?”
The girls, who arrived at central park, their first destination, became disappointed after they knew that there was no bus to Wonju. And Han JooYeon, who claimed it was here became embarrassed as she scratched her face quietly.
The girls headed to Gangnam Outer city bus terminal. Moving via train was hard for those girls even though they were in their teens. Moreover, they couldn’t find any seats today.
“Huh? There’s a seat.”
When they were inside the subway for a long time, they saw an empty seat far away. Jung MinAh quickly ran and sat on the seat. She was comparable to ‘Usign Boltwo’ in speed. (T/N: This author is so funny with the names, if you didn’t get it, it’s referring to Usain Bolt)
The 5 girls, who missed their opportunity, and expressed their disappointment and went towards Jung MinAh. They were very envious of her who was sitting. But then…
“Ailee, does your leg hurt much?”
As cute as always, her answer was said in a cute way.
Jung MinAh hesitated for a moment before giving the seat to her.
“Wow, you’re kind.”
Han JooYeon shrugged her shoulders as if surprised. However, Jung MinAh was chic.
“Buy me a drink next time.”
Jung MinAh said it was nothing but Ailee Jung was very thankful to her for giving her the seat.
The girls who arrived at Gangnam Outer City Terminal quickly asked whether there was a bus to Wonju. However…
“What? There isn’t?”
At the staff’s negative answer, Han JooYeon, who ran as soon as they arrived, drooped her shoulders. The staff said that there wasn’t and met the next customer. There was no time for them to ask as there was a long line.
Jung MinAh acquired points for giving up the seat, but those points flew away in a flash.
With her with a reddened face at the back, the girls started discussing for a solution. No, there was no solution. Seo HanYu ran to the computer on one side of the terminal and found the terminal through searching the internet.
“It’s East Seoul.”
“SamSoon was right.”
Ailee spoke as if there wasn’t anything, but the other girls at the same age had to drop their heads. In the end, they had only wasted time and effort.
But then, Jung MinAh’s phone started ringing loudly.
-Is this MinAh? I’m KangYoon.
-What do you mean ‘eek’?
As soon as she got the call from KangYoon, Jung MinAh shouted as she was surprised. No, all the girls were shocked after they realized that it was Kangyoon. Whether he knew or not, KangYoon went into topic.
-Where are you at now?
“I… We are going to the terminal to get on the bus.
-Now? What did you do until now?
“We…it’s the first time we’re going to the terminal…we will go as soon as possible.”
-Okay. Call this number if anything happens.
“Yes. We will go soon.”
Jung MinAh quickly finished the call with KangYoon. She felt like she might slip something if she talked any more.
“What did the Team Leader say?”
Han JooYeon asked as she was curious. Jung MinAh sighed and replied.
“He asked us if we’re coming.”
“Was there anything else?”
Christie An also asked as she was worried.
“He said for us to come as quickly as possible. He also said to call if anything happens.”
“The Team Leader told us to hurry. Let’s go.”
At Jung MinAh’s words, Seo HanYu started fanning the flames. However, Jung MinAh just nodded her head.
“Yes. Let’s go to East Seoul.”
“I still have a bad premonition…”
Lee SamSoon was worried that they might make a mistake again, but Jung MinAh calmed them all down as if it was alright.
The 6 girls headed to East Seoul Terminal like that.
At Angel’s House in a mountain in Wonju, Kangwon province.
This was the place where MG Entertainment staff and trainees would do their volunteer activities while staying for 3 days.
KangYoon, President Lee HyunJi, and the other employees all arrived before the trainees and exchanged greetings with the owner and the children of Angel’s House. Following that, they spent their time while preparing various things such as work, and the distribution of rooms.
President Lee HyunJi and the employees did charity work for the children and the villagers of Angel’s House while KangYoon remained to check the various equipments. Although this was a volunteer activity, his aim stood in raising them. While re-checking the equipment and the performance order, KangYoon drew up how he should play the performance in his head.
The day became dark, and it became evening. All the people, including the people from Angel’s House and the villagers, had gathered in the field of Angel’s House to have a barbeque as it was the first night. Soon, a party started with the smoke of grilling meat and the loud noise.
However, KangYoon was not present.
‘They’re too late.’
KangYoon was at the entrance of Angel’s House. He was waiting for the girls who hadn’t arrived yet alone. Although he was worried, he hadn’t called Jung MinAh or the other girls. It was because he had already received a report from the staff who were following them, unknown to them that they were alright.
“Aren’t you eating?”
To KangYoon, who was waiting alone for the girls, President Lee HyunJi approached while emitting the smell of grilled meat.
“I will eat after those kids come.”
“You look after those kids a lot. They aren’t even singers yet.”
“Aren’t they my children? I should look after them.”
President Lee HyunJi’s words were reasonable. Not only MG Entertainment, but even in other entertainment companies, it wasn’t exaggerated to say that trainees were disposables. One of the countless choices to make a singer. This was the hidden definition of trainees. There were even jokes about feeding 2 portions of pork to the trainees while they fed 10 portions of beef to actual singers. (T/N: Beef is more expensive than pork in Korea.)
“Mr. KangYoon is sure different. You’re a lot different from the other Planning Team Leaders.”
“How am I different?’
President Lee HyunJi thought that the talk may get long and sat next to KangYoon.
“As for the intuition, I already told you before so I won’t say that again. These days, what I feel is your attitude towards the singers or the trainees. Originally, treatment of singers and trainees are different. Giving 0.1 to trainees if you gave 10 to the singers is an obvious thing. That’s how you decrease the amount of investments, and the trainees will try their best to become singers. This is the traditional way. However, Mr. KangYoon give more to those trainees. I think about…3?”
“They’ll do better if they have the confidence.”
“That’s the difference.”
President Lee HyunJi tapped her palms.
“If one person doesn’t become big for sure, then that investment will remain as a huge minus for the company. Then, this means that another celebrity has to make up for that minus later. In some sense, Mr. KangYoon’s actions are a minus for the company. However, nobody can say anything to you in the company. Why? Even if you make a minus, they can’t say anything as you made too much of a plus. Hahaha. I find that very funny. Do you know how hard the board is trying to find fault in you?”
“Not my problem.”
KangYoon didn’t have any interest in company politics. If KangYoon had any interest in company politics and the like, the directors might try to seduce him, but as he didn’t the directors all had a headache.
“And that’s why Mr. KangYoon is different. The other Planning Team Leaders all try to catch the eyes of the directors to get more budget, but you don’t have anything like that, don’t you? You only look at one thing: Whether this person will succeed or not. Although I don’t know how Min JinSeo will turn out, if it’s the current you, I look forward to it. Anyway, I like you very much, Mr KangYoon.”
“I wish for us to work together in the future as well.”
President Lee HyunJi tapped KangYoon’s shoulders and stood up. Then, she pointed towards the 2 taxis which were slowly coming to the entrance. The girls were getting off the taxis.
President Lee HyunJi went inside and KangYoon quietly waited for the girls to come. As soon as they got off the taxi, the girls found KangYoon and ran in front of him.
Silence flowed. Neither Kangyoon nor the girls said anything.
The appointed time of 6 o’clock had been long past, and now it had become 9 o’clock. Everyone knew that KangYoon was meticulous with time. The girls were worrying how much scolding they’ll get from him and dropped their heads.
“Have you all eaten?”
“Have all of you eaten?”
However, a completely unexpected question flew at them. While everyone was looking at each other dumbfoundedly…
From Ailee Jung, a huge physiological sound could be heard. Ailee Jung’s face turned bright red in embarrassment, and the other girls couldn’t laugh or cry. Amidst the nervousness, KangYoon spouted out.
“You must be hungry. Let’s eat.”
“Go unpack and come to the field. Your rooms are…”
After KangYoon told them their room numbers, he headed to the field.
When KangYoon disappeared, the girls still couldn’t understand the situation and looked at each other’s faces dumbfoundedly.
“What was that? Are we getting disciplined in the field?”
“Ah… Kill me already.”
Jung MinAh and Lee SamSoon all spoke while sighing, and the girls headed towards the field quickly after they unpacked their luggage. They changed into training outfits to endure the discipline a little more easily.
“Come here. Eat.”
The scene that spread in front of the girls were very different to what they were thinking.
“Wha, iz, dat?”
While looking at the scene in front of her, Lee SamSoon was so shocked that her eyes looked like they were about to pop out. Seo HanYu was the same. Meat, in front of them, a huge amount of meat was piled up. Even after they rubbed their eyes, the mountains of meat was real. With a grilling sound, the person who was grilling the meat was KangYoon.
“What are you doing? You’re not eating?”
However, when KangYoon shouted, the girls realized that this scene was indeed reality. This non-reality that KangYoon was grilling beef with a pair of tongs in hand, was in truth, real.
“Thank you for the meal.”
However, don’t people say that hunger is the best spice? The nervousness they usually had in front of KangYoon had collapsed instantly in front of their appetite. Then, they started devouring the meat. As the girls didn’t have a proper meal, they were all hungry. They felt like they will forgive anything that might be said to them while they were eating.
However, unlike what they thought, KangYoon silently grilled the meat and handed them out.
‘Is this meat or cotton candy?’
‘*sob* *sob*… It’s sho gud…’
It was the best meat. They all felt like their suffering today had just melted with the meat.
The meat they were eating disappeared like melting snow.
“Unnis, please eat more.”
From some time, Min JinSeo also held out the meat to the girls. Thanks to that, KangYoon could concentrate on grilling the meat. Min JinSeo not only passed them meat, but she also gave out drinks and Kimchi, and thanks to that, KangYoon could relax a lot.
“Why did you come out? You should have rested inside.”
“You’re working so how could I rest?”
KangYoon and Min JinSeo exchanged amiable conversation while KangYoon grilled the meat.
Jung MinAh saw the scene where Min JinSeo was chatting livelily with KangYoon while eating the meat. She strangely didn’t want to see that.
“What’s up? Why are you frowning?”
“Dayum. I did that? No way.”
Seo HanYu asked, but Jung MinAh rejected and vaguely passed it. However, she was indeed frowning her face a little while looking at Kangyoon from time to time. She already couldn’t taste the meat as she didn’t know if she was chewing on meat or chewing on rubber.
After the meal ended, KangYoon silently put on the rubber gloves. Then, the ones who paled were the girls.
“Team Leader, Team Leader!! Don’t do that! I’ll do that!!”
KangYoon was about to go into washing the dishes when Lee SamSoon stepped in first. The other girls were the same. There was no way they could let the Team Leader wash the dishes on top of making him grill the meat even after they were late. KangYoon shook his head while saying it was alright, but in the end, he was robbed of the rubber gloves by the girls.
“It’s really alright though.”
“I’m not alright with it. We’re thankful so please rest.”
While contradicting herself, Jung MinAh pushed KangYoon’s back. Although her heart pounded a little when she grabbed KangYoon’s shoulders, her expression didn’t show any of that. A teen girl’s emotions were something like this.
It was when the girls were washing the dishes joyfully as KangYoon didn’t scold them and rather welcomed them. KangYoon just spat out some words, as a side note.
“Let’s do well in the performance tomorrow.”
Was it the power of meat? The field resounded with the girls’ voices.
The next day.
Inside an empty space in Angel’s House.
“Let’s have a go again.”
Han JooYeon encouraged everyone and they went into formation again.
They had 3 hours left until the evening performance. However, the group dance song didn’t go as well as they had expected.
“Ailee. You keep being late by half a beat. Follow me closely.”
Jung MinAh continuously scolded Ailee Jung. However unlike Jung MinAh who was flexible and fast, Ailee Jung wasn’t that fast. Although she was just flexible enough, Ailee was slow. Jung MinAh was about to be fed up, but she suppressed it and tried her best for Ailee to catch up with her.
The group dance was a difficult homework for them. It wasn’t a problem with difficulty. Matching with each other. This was their biggest homework. However, there were always little differences. Although they trained as a group until now, the difference in each other’s beat was very serious.
Jung MinAh and Ailee Jung were showing their beauty of being fast and being slow and waved their bodies.
‘It’s a party of grey light.’
KangYoon, who peeked at the girls’ practice, heaved a sigh when he saw the grey light emitting from the girls. The grey emitted when they danced made KangYoon subconsciously crease his eyes.
Even after they practiced more in order to match, the grey didn’t disappear. KangYoon concentrated on the dance in order to not just judge by the light, but as he saw various problems in beat and movement, there was nothing he could say.
‘This is a problem I’ve expected.
Even so, KangYoon didn’t say ‘You have to do this’ and he did not scold them. It was easy to scold them now. However, KangYoon was thinking of the bigger picture. The girls must feel reality properly.
KangYoon headed to Min JinSeo, who was practicing after she borrowed a small room, after leaving the girls. KangYoon quietly opened the door where Min JinSeo was in.
“And kiss his mouth
To heart’s desire,
And on his kisses
At last expire!” (T/N: This is a line from Faust by Goethe)
In front of KangYoon, who just opened the door, Min JinSeo was immersed in training. However, the problem was that the distance was too close. Due to being absorbed, Min JinSeo didn’t even realize that KangYoon was right in front of her.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“No, I should be.”
She could have been surprised at KangYoon’s sudden appearance, but Min JinSeo didn’t panic and quietly stepped back. KangYoon also calmed himself down and just laughed it off.
“What kind of line is this from a one-man act?”
“It’s a line from Faust. It’s about a girl Faust loves, Gretchen, falling into the an abyss as she falls in love with Faust. There’s even a song for it, do you want to listen?”
“…It’s not R-18, right?”
Although he did ask for a one-man act script from the trainer, the chosen script was too good. It was a mistake that he couldn’t check the script due to being too busy. Whether she knew of what KangYoon felt or not, Min JinSeo pointed at herself with her thumb.
“Do you want to have a look? I’m very confident.”
“…Ok. There will be the elderly too, so it won’t be a problem… I think.”
KangYoon sat with expectant eyes. The level of acting of Min JinSeo, as he knew it, was already at a considerable level.
Unfortunately, acting did not produce any light. KangYoon was disappointed that he couldn’t see any light from the parts which were not related to music such as singing and dancing.
While KangYoon was exclaiming at Min JinSeo’s acting ability. She started singing. Then, white light started emitting from her.
While KangYoon was satisfied that she may show a good performance tomorrow, the light from her started getting denser.
“That my sweet Gretchen’s form, so oft caress’d!”
Faust’s lover, Gretchen. Min JinSeo’s voice, which was acting Gretchen, as she lost more and more strength due to the bet with the devil, became stronger and stronger
‘Wha, what is this?’
The white light shining from her kept getting stronger and at the end, the light turned silver. It was a brilliance like those of stars. KangYoon rubbed his eyes and looked again at the magnificence of the silver light which was incomparable to the white light he was satisfied with before.
“And kiss his mouth
To heart’s desire,
And on his kisses
At last expire!”
Min JinSeo, who became immersed in acting stepped one step by step towards KangYoon. The silver light emitted to her surroundings were pervading him. The silver light which was stronger than the white light. KangYoon tapped his knees at the surprise.
‘Silver!! What… is this?! This… will absolutely work!!’
A light that surpassed silver was a first. Although he didn’t know the reason, KangYoon could be sure while looking at the power of the song. That this will definitely work!!
Although Min JinSeo was a study-worm, he never thought that her abilities were so high.
Eventually, the short one-man act ended soon. Min JinSeo seemed exhausted as she tumbled down onto the floor.
“Fua~. How was it?”
“You did well. This will do.”
“Should I do it once more?”
“No, it’s alright. Then work hard.”
He feared that he may be a distraction to her practice. KangYoon left the practice room and Min JinSeo focused in practice even after that.
‘Silver, it’s silver light. Is there a higher tier?’
While heading to the hall where the performance would occur, KangYoon deeply thought about his eyes which could only see white and grey lights until now.
The performance had come.
KangYoon stood next to the engineer staff. It was to watch the girls in performance. He had installed 5 cameras in all directions as well. He planned to use the materials from the cameras for monitoring and as various other materials.
The event began by the girl who was called the prettiest within Angel’s House. First, they lightened up the mood with a talent show from the Angel’s House, and then there was a talent show from the villagers. Following that, the main event, the girls’ performances had begun.
The first stage was with Han JooYeon and Ailee Jung. The two girls stood on the stage nervously.
“Hello. We’re trainee Han JooYeon and Ailee Jung of MG Entertainment.”
A loud cheer and applause erupted out. Then, the recording flowed out and the stage began. Han JooYeon was the one to step out first.
“Day by day – I get drunk in your fragrance —”
Han JooYeon’s fulfilling voice caught the audience. The normal yet soft voice touched them comfortably and everyone could accept her comfortably.
The pitch became higher and it became Ailee Jung’s turn.
“Finally — I lift my eyes and look at you —”
Ailee Jung’s voice had power. The rough yet feminine powerfulness gave the people a postivie impression and they all waved their bodies. Then, the pitch became higher little by little.
This was the first part that the two girls’ tones had met. However, KangYoon’s eyes while looking at the performance, became sharp.
The fine white light had suddenly become grey. It wasn’t slowly either. When the two voices got together, it had become grey in an instant. Moreover, the tones he could hear with his ears were in disharmony. All the people including the kids at the front and even the villagers all creased their faces and the result also influenced the two girls.
‘It’s becoming darker.’
The grey light in KangYoon’s eyes became darker and darker until it eventually turned black. It was the worst. Even the solo parts, which had white lights at the beginning, became grey and didn’t recover.
‘It’s difficult to raise the atmosphere but it’s very easy to lower it.’
KangYoon sighed and the two girls on stage also drooped their heads. The girls had to come down the stage with their heads down without being able to look at the audience until the end.
“Ahaha… Thank you. The next stage is…”
The presenter also seemed difficult as she laughed awkwardly. The audience’s expression didn’t look that good. The effect of the first stage was that big. Han JooYeon, who sings well, had failed. The people’s impressions had become bad.
The most important stage in a performance, if it had to be chosen, is the first and the last. But as the first had screwed up, it was obvious that the following would be difficult as well.
‘Mr. KangYoon. Are you going to leave them like this?’
President Lee HyunJi asked worriedly. However, KangYoon shook his head.
‘Yes. it’s alright.’
‘Those girls will be hurt you know. If it’s serious, they might even get stage phobia.’
The hall for the performance was very small. Thanks to that, the distance between the performers and the audience was very near. Meaning that all the live expressions of the audience can be seen by the performers. If they were rejected so outright, then as trainees, it won’t be easy to overcome it.
President Lee HyunJi thought to go herself but she didn’t. Such an intrusion of rights wasn’t anything good. Moreover, she had the belief that KangYoon would do well.
“The next stage is…”
The next stage was Christie An’s solo stage. Perhaps due to the screw up in the first stage, she was very nervous. As she was worried, when she came onto the stage, the people’s gazes were unordinary.
‘Why are they like this?’
How much will you show us?
Everyone’s eyes were saying this. The influence of the first stage was affecting Christie An just like that. To her, who stood on stage for the first time, this kind of look was not easy for her to bear. In the end, she even trembled her hands.
“Sing ~~~ fo ~~ sing— “
In the end, she showed a trembling voice along with an off-pitch. She felt like her 4 minutes of singing was eternity.
‘…She does well but it becomes grey.’
KangYoon, who was at the very back, felt the same. When he looked at the people, the students were chatting, and the adults were sighing and chatting and couldn’t focus on the stage.
KangYoon was checking each and every one of these.
The next stage was a duet dance song with Jung MinAh and Seo HanYu. Fortunately, they were a little better. They just didn’t even look at the audience and did their performance. However, the after-effects of not looking at the audience was big.
‘It’s white. They did quite well.’
To KangYoon, it came out as colors straight away. Jung MinAh and Seo HanYu were a well matched duet. The two matched each other well, and they didn’t tremble at the sight of the audience. However, they were lacking in bringing the mood up.
Then, it became Min JinSeo’s turn.
“That unni looks so pretty.”
When Min JinSeo came on stage, one of the kids pointed at her. No, a lot of the people didn’t point at her, but they weren’t much different from the kid. Their gazes were fixed on Min JinSeo’s beautiful and tall height. If the trainees that came out until now were cute and lively, then Min JinSeo, with the thin and tall height, cuteness, beauty and everything.
Min JinSeo looked towards KangYoon, seeming uncomfortable due to the gazes. KangYoon seemed to have understood as he smiled and nodded his head at the back. She lightly smiled and signalled. It was the start.
“if it is for thee… I would fain die today.”
Min JinSeo’s clear voice resounded throughout the hall. Like her flawless skin, it was a bright and clear voice. The people who were all chatting until now all started focusing on Min JinSeo.
When Min JinSeo spoke each of her lines, the light emitting from her pervaded the people. The pervaded light made the people smile, and bright. Also, some even teared up slightly. This was the influence of her stage.
The performance went in to climax, and she started singing. And she approached the audience. At the front of the male teacher at the front, Min JinSeo kneeled and shouted.
“And kiss his mouth
To heart’s desire,
And on his kisses
At last expire!”
The man felt like his heart stopped. It wasn’t just because of Min JinSeo’s pretty looks. Her realistic voice, emotion and everything had pervaded him. No, she had influenced all the audience around her.
The white light had become silver from some time. Min JinSeo was violently shaking everyone’s emotions. As though everyone felt different emotions after looking at the performance, some covered their faces, some teared up, and some clenched their fists. Min JinSeo was shaking everyone.
It was short but Min JinSeo’s performance which shook everyone’s emotions ended like that.
Min JinSeo politely bowed, but the people didn’t recognize that the stage had ended. All the audience had become dumbfounded.
“Noona, you’re the best!!”
A moment later.
The people who finally realized that the one-man act had ended applauded as if to bring down the hall. The sound of cheers made a wave. All the people couldn’t leave her performance.
President Lee HyunJi, who was watching Min JinSeo from up front also slowly clapped. She finally understood why KangYoon played that soap opera for her. Min JinSeo was a jewel amongst jewels. The playing around-like stages that the girls did until now all flew away with her stage alone. It was like a big wave washing away all remnants.
“The next is…”
Of course, even after Min JInSeo’s stage was over, the performance continued.
Lee SamSoon and Christie An’s duet was not bad. However, it being a foreign pop song had held them back. Even so, they could get some cheer from the people due to the remaining influence of the previous stage.
The problem was the dance song that everybody did. Although they all resolved themselves to do well…
Jung MinAh drooped her head when she saw Ailee Jung being late by half a beat, as she always did. Especially when they turned to the left, or when they moved to the left, she became off beat by half a beat. Thanks to that, everyone’s dance had become an amateur’s dance.
‘The last part is grey. It’s good that it isn’t black.’
KangYoon wrote down everything and closed his notes. At the same time, the performance had ended.
With those words from the girls, applause filled the hall. However, the girls couldn’t lift their heads as they thought about what happened on that stage.
After a performance ends, fatigue always finds them. Thanks to the long years of experience, KangYoon knew that better than anyone. Thanks to that, he didn’t tell them the feedback straight after the performance.
However, KangYoon broke that. Not even one hour after the performance, he had called the girls into the hall where they had the performance.
The girls didn’t say anything and kept their heads down. No, they couldn’t say anything. KangYoon was also silent. KangYoon, who briefly kept the silence, calmly started talking.
“I will give you the feedback from now. Everyone sit.”
In principle, feedback was done with the trainers. But, all of a sudden, it was with KangYoon. The girls all solidified due to nervousness. Whether he knew that or not, KangYoon connected the camera to the projector and played the videos. Soon, the video on the girls’ performances played.
While looking at Han JooYeon and Ailee’s first performance, KangYoon spoke.
“First, JooYeon and Ailee. I won’t mention things that you did well. I will only say the things that you lacked in. The part where the voices of the two of you meet, and its beginning parts, so that is the chorus. This part is lacking. You felt it, right?”
“Then let’s do it again. Stand up.”
Han JooYeon and Ailee Jung stood up and started singing. Again, KangYoon could see the light. It was the same grey light as before.
“Again. JooYeon. Are you listening to Ailee’s voice?”
“How about you, Ailee?”
“You’re listening to each other’s. So why is the sound in complete disharmony?”
KangYoon could realize straight away. They were in a fight of wits in the song. You match my voice. No, you match – A bit like this. He could have gotten angry, but KangYoon didn’t.
Until it was fine.
KangYoon had resolved like that. Whether they knew or not, the girls were complaining at Han JooYeon and Ailee who were having a voice fight.
“This won’t do. Let’s try again.”
The grey light from them was as ever. Neither Han JooYeon nor Ailee seemed like they had any intentions in listening to the other’s voice and make a harmony. Although they repeated many times, the two didn’t change.
KangYoon was stubborn. Although Ailee Jung and Han JooYeon who weren’t giving way, could also be called stubborn, KangYoon was above them. Needless to say, he had shouted for them to repeat several tens of times. In the end, Ailee burst into tears saying she was exhausted, but KangYoon didn’t even blink.
“You can just match each other’s voice. Right, JooYeon?”
Han JooYeon was also becoming fed up with the person called KangYoon. Although she didn’t want to lose to Ailee, KangYoon was even scarier. Currently, he was showing them something that was above their imagination. Even the delinquent, Sedy, had to kneel for 3 days according to what they heard, and now they were feeling the same thing with their own skin.
“We only did it 100 times. Let’s try again.”
Now that it came to this point, neither Han JooYeon nor Ailee couldn’t not match their voices. However, matching their voices wasn’t an easy task at all. Sound was something that’s difficult to match another sound. When one became a singer, they have the ability to match after listening just once, but these girls weren’t at that point yet.
In the end, the girls had to swim in nightmares for several tens of times again. However, they did get released.
“This sounds ok.”
When they heard this line from KangYoon, they couldn’t even remember how many times they had tried. Whether it was Han JooYeon or Ailee Jung, they had pounded each other’s voices onto their body. They felt like they will absolutely never forget it again. KangYoon’s feedback was that horrifying.
“So next is Jung MinAh and Seo HanYu. Shall we?”
Jung MinAh showed too much of her emotion. However, the girls who would laugh it over normally also wouldn’t be able to laugh in this situation. Seo HanYu was the same.
In the end, these two also had to repeat the same movements to the point that KangYoon’s word, ‘again’, had been engraved onto their minds. Fortunately, they didn’t try as many times as the previous duo. Even so, it was still horrifying.
The feedback was applied to all stages. To solo stages to duet stages. KangYoon’s feedback was simple but for the girls, it was horrifying. It was because he pinpointed the parts the girls didn’t do well and made them repeat it. They were all so fed up with the repetition so the girls resolved that they will prepare meticulously, no matter what happens, in the future.
The girls went through suffering to the point of death, but the highlight was the last feedback, the group performance. This was the dance that looked like an amateur’s due to the half beat difference between Jung MinAh and Ailee Jung.
The time was already 4 AM. Fatigue was piled up on both the girls’ and KangYoon’s eyes but KangYoon kept on with the feedback with red eyes.
“There’s no way with the dance. You can only do it until it works. Let’s do it.”
Unfortunately, KangYoon didn’t have any specialized knowledge in dances. However, now, he didn’t require it. The ultimate objective of the current training was teamwork, since the teamwork for everyone to become one in the dance was very important. There was no way they could allow Jung MinAh being fast and Ailee Jung being slow like last time.
“MinAh, you match her.”
“What? Then it would become loose…”
Jung MinAh pouted as if she had a problem, but she didn’t retort to KangYoon’s words. KangYoon knew of Jung MinAh’s pride very well. She danced ‘too’ well. Literally ‘too’ well. Thanks to that, Ailee couldn’t keep up with her. In the end, it was better for her to match with Ailee’s. Raising the pace after that slowly was a better method for them to raise their skills as a whole. That didn’t mean that he told them that someone was absolutely in the wrong. It was KangYoon’s way of respect.
Then this method brought out its effects.
“It’s become a little better. Let’s speed it up a bit.”
Jung MinAh also seemed to have felt the change as she didn’t say anything. In dancing, she was very quick witted. The pace increased little by little. However, curiously, Ailee Jung, who couldn’t follow Jung MinAh’s pace until now, could now follow her fast pace, and in the end, she completely kept up with Jung MinAh’s pace.
The time was 10 past 7 in the morning. It was then when all the feedback had ended.
KangYoon finally made everyone gather.
“You’ve worked hard. Let’s wash up and sleep.”
“……Thank you for your work.”
The girls who performed and squeezed out all their power throughout the night, could be said to be a zombie. Their eyes were drooping as much as possible, and their hair was all greasy.
At KangYoon’s disperse declaration, the girls all limped towards their rooms.
‘…It’s really tiring.’
As soon as the girls left, KangYoon fell on to the hall ground, and went into sleep like that. In truth, KangYoon was the most tired person.
On their way home after all the schedule was finished with the Angel’s House.
The 7 girls were heading home in a small voice. As no one sat at the front other than their manager, the girls could speak about anything they wanted.
“*Sob*… It was hell. Hell…”
Ailee Jung seemed to be frightened just by remembering as she trembled her body. As they all had the influence from the overnight practice, the dark circle on their eyes never disappeared.
“Who said it wasn’t… Lee KangYoon you bastard…”
Han JooYeon also spoke. She felt like she wouldn’t be able to endure without spouting a line. Perhaps due to the after-effect from yesterday, her voice was all trembling.
“…I always thought that Team Leader was the kindest but he’s the most strict… He was so scary…”
Seo HanYu also clattered her teeth when she thought about the training that she never wanted to think about again. As the feedback was more traumatizing than the performance itself, it was horrifying just by thinking about it.
“MinAh-unni can’t even open her eyes.”
Seo HanYu and Lee SamSoon showed pity when they looked at Jung MinAh who fell into sleep in a corner as soon as soon as she got on. In fact they were also tired, but they didn’t feel sleepy. They were very jealous of Jung MinAh who could sleep as soon as she rested.
“JinSeo must be good. You didn’t have a feedback.”
Christie An looked at Min JinSeo with envy filled eyes. Then, Min JinSeo shook her hand.
“No, I should have done it too, but I’m sorry.”
“No, if you did then only the time would have gotten longer. And didn’t you do well? Just when did your acting skills become so good? I was so surprised yesterday.”
Christie An’s words seem to have represented all the other girls’ hearts as they nodded. Min JinSeo said no and shook her head.
“Don’t lift me so high. It’s embarrassing. I just did as sir KangYoon said.”
“JinSeo wou’ be fine if ya had yer debut now. I’m so envious.”
When Lee SamSoon spoke in a slow voice, Min JinSeo reddened her face even more and looked down. The girls burst into a laugh when they saw that and Min JInSeo became friendly with them like that.
While they were chatting, they were already at an expressway rest area.
The girls who bought lots of snacks including Hodugwaja, a famous snack in expressway rest areas, eventually fell into happiness. The bus eventually turned into a snack party with lots of cookie sounds.
“Hahahaha. And so…”
Of course, chatting was never excluded. But it was when the bus was about to depart. The door opened and KangYoon put his head in.
Everyone solidified in position. Jung MinAh who was sleeping until then rubbed her eyes to see watch happening until she saw KangYoon, when all sleepiness flew away.
‘Argh!! What is this!!’
It was a secret(not) that her eyes became red.
“I came here since I have something to give you. Please talk about it on the way. JinSeo, you’re not related but I want you to give them help.”
KangYoon handed out the papers and went back to his own car. The girls turned their eyes to look at the papers.
“Evergreen Orphanage Performance. In 3 days… Huh?!”
Ailee Jung was reading in a clear voice when she expressed her emotion for all to hear.
“Whoa… what is this?”
Han JooYeon wasn’t that different. Another performance when they just did one… She felt like she will go crazy.
“Unni, look at this. ‘The contents will be the same as Angel’s House. Min JinSeo’s one-man act excluded’.”
Seo HanYu mentioned the important thing. The girls were all dumbly looking at each other’s faces. In the end, this was a test.
“This iz a test. Our Team Leader shur has the talent to roll people around.”
Lee SamSoon spoke in her characteristic slow voice. In the last few days, she had felt the fright of KangYoon horrifyingly. It didn’t just end with feedback. Now it was a test.
Jung MinAh stepped in then.
“We made up for what was lacking yesterday. It will be better than yesterday, right?”
Everyone nodded as they agreed. Han JooYeon spoke.
“Does the Team Leader not trust in us? Ailee, looks like we should show him our potential, right?”
“Of course, of course.”
Han JooYeon had become close to Ailee from some time. They had become close due to practicing together so hard. It wasn’t just them. All the girls became close to their partners they practiced with yesterday. They had to become the heroes to defeat the demon lord known as KangYoon. Now that the 1st raid had ended and they were about to disperse, the 2nd gathering had occurred. The girls had to come together again.
“Let’s show it properly this time. Let’s shock that old man.”
“Whoa, Jung MinAh, acting like a leader now, eh?”
At Jung MinAh’s words, Christie An clapped. The rest of the girls all burst into laughter,
and like that, the inside of the bus started harmonizing with the talk about the performance. They still had a long way to go, but the girls started to have the thing called teamwork form while matching with each other.
3 days passed by in a flash.
The girls went into practice with one mind. Especially the parts that KangYoon pointed out, such as the harmony of Han JooYeon and Ailee’s voices, and the beat difference between Jung MinAh and Ailee – they all focused in those while practicing. The words KangYoon emphasized, to match with each other, was engraved in their bodies, and now, they could do it subconsciously.
The result of the practice came out now.
“Let’s do well.”
The first in the sequence, Han JooYeon and Ailee Jung, embraced each other while wishing each other good luck and they stood on the stage. The harsh training made the non-existent comradery into real.
“Wow– a pretty unni.”
Han JooYeon smiled at the girl who said she was pretty. Then, that child giggled even more. The mood became light and Ailee Jung flexibly lightened the mood with a simple joke. The Ailee Jung who was trembling, from Angel’s House was all but gone now.
With Han JooYeon’s declaration, the song started. With a recording, her voice started softly permeating throughout the audience.
-Day by day – I get drunk in your fragrance —
While Han JooYeon was doing her solo part, KangYoon was watching the stage from the back.
‘So the solo part doesn’t have much of a difference.’
It was the same for Ailee Jung’s part which came out next. However the problem originally lay in the chorus. The part where their voices became one was very different to last time.
This was the most important first part. Ailee Jung’s low pitch and Han JooYeon’s high pitch met properly. The strong harmony assaulted the audience.
‘Wait? What is this?!’
While their voices were harmonizing, KangYoon doubted his eyes.
Normally, he would see faint or strong white light.
However, completely different to before, a blue colored musical note could be seen from the two girls.
Regular Chapter 1/3
Enjoy your super long chapter! (This chapter is 4 times as long as as a normal chapter)
And welcome Illidan! Finally, I get an editor.
Thanks to Toki(aka, Touka-chan) from Oniichanyamete for the lines from Faust~
As for this chapter-
Lol, imagine the girls’ faces when they were left behind just like that.
The silver light actually gave me the shivers when I first read it.
Right, anybody shipping people yet? (For those of you who I’ve spoiled, don’t spoil).
(Uhh, do not go like, YongHo x KangYoon, lol, or Sedy x KangYoon. I’m fine with
HeeYoon x KangYoon – actually, HeeYoon’s so sweet.)
And for those of you who don’t know what ‘noona’ or ‘unni’ –
A girl would call an older boy ‘oppa’, and an older girl ‘unni’
A boy would call an older boy ‘Hyung’, and an older girl ‘noona’
‘noonim’ which will appear later, is a mix of ‘noona’ and ‘-nim’.
Thx for reading~