JooAh prepared to stay up the whole night, but she didn’t expect the song selection would end so quickly. Thanks to that, she could return to her dorm early.
“Thank you for your hard work, JinSung-oppa.”
“You too, JooAh.”
After the manager left in his car, JooAh also went inside the dorm straight away.
The inside of the dorm was too big for one person and it was also neat. JooAh hopped onto the sofa and lied down. To JooAh, resting on top of the sofa by leaving early was no different from luxury.
‘He works really well, that oppa. I was prepared to fight a lot today.’
While rolling around on the wide sofa, JooAh looked back on today’s events.
The song selection process was literally a war. The producer, the planner, or the singer would all select songs from their point of view, so there was a lot of talking. However, the song selection was over in a mere two hours. And it was a result that left everybody satisfied. A peaceful selection like this never happened during her four years as a singer.
Today, too, she sang for 30 songs, but she didn’t have a hoarse throat. If she sang that many, it was normal for her throat to get hoarse or hurt. This was thanks to KangYoon who rapidly, and correctly, went through the song selection. Due to him having caught on to the feeling of the songs and having found the songs that went well with JooAh, they could quickly find songs for the album amongst the 30 songs.
‘I think I have met a great planner. I have to see the results to know, but I am very comfortable. This is a first, I think?’
The feeling that whatever she did would be covered. Whatever song she chose, it seemed like this planner would do something by himself.
JooAh decided – to do what she couldn’t do until now with music in this album, to spread out everything she desired until now.
“Then have a safe trip, my dear brother.”
“You’re creeping me out. You aren’t going to school today?”
It was the day when everybody rested, but KangYoon left the front door to go to work. HeeYoon cheered him up while seeing him out.
“Have a good rest at home. You can’t go to school, okay?”
At KangYoon’s request, HeeYoon’s tone dropped at the end. HeeYoon never satisfied the quota for self-study even during weekdays. There was no need to talk about the weekends. HeeYoon, who was now in her third year of high school, couldn’t hide her disappointment, but KangYoon was firm.
“Have a safe trip. Watch out for cars.”
KangYoon went to work by commuting a long route that included riding a bus and getting on a train. Due to it being Sunday, there weren’t a lot of workers. There was still a large crowd in the train due to families going out for an outing.
‘When this work ends, I should go on a trip with HeeYoon.’
KangYoon resolved himself after looking at the scene where people were going on trips with their families. The fact that he couldn’t take HeeYoon anywhere in his ‘past life’ was tugging at his heart. Success was important, but the most important thing, without a doubt, was HeeYoon.
KangYoon headed straight for the underground studio after arriving at the company.
“Good morning, Team Leader.”
“Good morning, Producer Oh. Has everyone been well?”
Everyone involved in the project was already waiting there. There was no way for these people to be in a good mood, being called in on a Sunday and all, but currently, they were in the middle of a big project. Nobody said anything.
After having a brief tea time, the work began straight away.
The songs were selected, so discussions about the album’s concept began for real. There were songs with the lyrics completed already, and there were even songs with the complete choreography. KangYoon gathered these songs and settled on the order, and discussed advertising strategies with the promotion team.
The work continued without any time for lunch. There were a lot of things they had to do. However, nobody could talk about lunch. In the end, after a rumbling sound came from one of them, they ordered food from a chinese restaurant.
Lunch time wasn’t long. After eating, various things – including strategies – were processed. It was a forced march but nobody complained. Today’s work would decide the direction they would go in the future, and hence, it was very important.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
When all the work was finished and KangYoon bade farewell to everyone, the sky was already dark. It was summer, and the sunset was late. It was only until now could everyone leave work on their cars with exhausted bodies.
KangYoon left his office after everyone left. He thought that a team leader should be a role model so he was putting this into practice.
KangYoon was going past one of the convenience stores near the company when he heard a voice calling him. When he turned around, it was Jung MinAh, who showed her thin, bare legs while wearing hotpants.
“You Jung MinAh?”
“What the heck is ‘You Jung MinAh’? If it’s Jung MinAh, then it’s Jung MinAh and if it’s MinAh, then it’s MinAh. You Jung MinAh? Ayy.”
MinAh was quite daring even while waving. However, KangYoon knew very well that this was her own style. He went up to her and sat down next to her.
“Training should have ended ages ago?”
“I did private training, pri~ vate~ trai~ ning~. What, you think I was smoking again?”
“I didn’t say anything. You got cold feet?”
Jung MinAh’s unique trait of speech – one that complains a lot – was similar to a sharp girl in puberty. KangYoon found this kind of Jung MinAh cute. It was as if he was seeing a little sister that didn’t listen. He was always near HeeYoon, who was quiet and feeble, so when he saw the active and strong Jung MinAh, it was a new experience.
“Ok, I got it. So, did you practice a lot?”
“A lot… Well… So so?”
“Hey, that’s boring. You should do a lot since you’re in your prime.”
“Oh, I did a lot. It’s awkward for me to say that I did a lot with my own mouth, right? Anyway, I need to get back into the singers class… I can’t give up like this as you said, right? A woman must have face.”
At the word face, KangYoon couldn’t help but laugh.
“Pfft, yeah, must have face alright. Work hard. Since you will definitely succeed that way.”
KangYoon tapped her shoulders and stood up, but she grabbed his arm.
“Why? Anything else you want to say?”
“Can I… really do it?”
She had strength one moment and none the next. KangYoon grabbed both of her shoulders, and spoke strongly to her, who seemed like she had a bipolar disorder.
“Of course. If it doesn’t turn out well here, then go to another place. Since it means that this place doesn’t have eyes for people.”
“I guarantee it. You will definitely become a great singer. Definitely.”
KangYoon put strength into his hands. He wanted to give her a strong confidence boost. In the ‘future’, KangYoon ‘knew’ she became a great singer, so he could say it confidently. Words with evidence have strength.
Finally, KangYoon let go of her shoulders. At KangYoon, who was coughing since he was embarrassed by his actions, Jung MinAh spoke:
“Thanks, then and now… for believing in me…”
“I spoke what I felt. It’s an unbiased evaluation.”
“Hahaha. It feels good when you say that, you know? If I become big, then I will make you the #1 fan.”
“Yeah, yeah. Please become big. Okay?”
KangYoon tapped her back and ran to get on the bus that could be seen far away. Jung MinAh stood up to say something, but KangYoon had already ran fairly far.
‘Tch. I wanted to speak a bit more… Anyway… He’s cool, that ahjussi.’
Until that wide back disappeared, Jung MinAh couldn’t take her eyes off the direction that KangYoon disappeared to.
JooAh’s album production process was smooth. After the song selection ended, the writing of the lyrics progressed really fast. They already requested lyricists who wanted to write them, and there were a lot of cases where the composers involved themselves in writing the lyrics too, so there wasn’t a big problem. It was just that, they were taking this album to Japan, so they had to consider the culture, the tradition, and even the pronunciation. So KangYoon had to check again and again.
‘Will this be received well by the Japanese public?’
In his manager days, he frequented Japan, so he could speak Japanese fluently. Thanks to that, he could read Japanese lyrics quite easily. In KangYoon’s point of view, the lyrics of JooAh’s songs weren’t difficult. Rather than going for lyrics which would attract extreme hate and extreme love, going for easy lyrics was better. He continuously checked the lyrics and gave it a pass if there was nothing strange after consulting with JooAh.
After the checking process ended like that, recording day came. With Producer Oh JiWan as the head, all the aces of MG Entertainment had gathered to put their efforts into this album.
JooAh also poured in effort with the recordings in Japanese, using her Japanese skills she studied until now.
A delicate white light shined from JooAh, who was putting all her effort into singing inside the booth. The delicate light filled the entire studio, and the majority of the people inside the studio seemed satisfied.
“JooAh, can we start again from this part? Ai— this part.”
After producer Oh JiWan’s request of starting again from the chorus, the re-recording began. JooAh, whose sweat already covered her forehead, shouted the chorus with all of her might. But it was then when…
JooAh emitted grey light.The grey light was mixed with the white light and was floating around. When JooAh tensed for emphasis, the grey light became stronger.
“Good. I think this is enough. Shall we go to the nex part?”
However, Producer Oh seemed satisfied and requested for the next part. Nobody else also seemed to notice anything. Until now, the grey light negatively affected other people, but strangely, it didn’t affect anyone this time. KangYoon was confused.
‘What is this?’
KangYoon pondered. He now never doubted the music he ‘saw’. Grey light definitely had a negative effect. However, there was no reaction from the people. KangYoon was lost in thought. What to do with this… Moreover, recording was the producer’s right and at the same time, his pride. Although he was the planning team leader, to intrude on such rights wasn’t a good decision.
KangYoon was agonized. What should he do? Should he just let this go? Or should he use another method? Nobody said anything even after some time had passed, as if they didn’t feel anything. However, KangYoon had some hesitation, but he firmly decided.
“No, let’s go over that again.”
At KangYoon’s words, everyone, including Producer Oh JiWan, whose rights have been intruded, looked at KangYoon with surprise and confusion. However, KangYoon looked back at them with eyes filled with confidence.
 It’s all turned into application now, but in the past, self-study after school (high school) was mandatory
 Extremely common in Korea. It’s cheap, fast and delicious (as for health… meh)
 Large convenience stores have tables and chairs in Korea. Dunno about other countries
 Raw is 가오(Ga-o), which is not a word in Korean, I think it’s 顔(Kao, JP) which means face
Chapters will be out until 2.4
Thank you for reading!
Editors: Nahct (from Path of Translations, thank you, and sorry T-T)