Second Try Idol - C.131: End-of-Year Stage (1)

Second Try Idol

C.131: End-of-Year Stage (1)
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I didn't fully comprehend the extent of Yeong-Yee's influence until now. As I was born after Tenten's peak popularity, it's understandable that I wasn't aware of it.

However, I was taken aback by the audience's reactions on stage, which quickly propelled Yeong-Yee to the top of the real-time search rankings even before the show was broadcast. Within just an hour of shooting Halo’s Music Bus, "Yeong-Yee" claimed the number one spot on the search engine, with "Tenten" following closely at number two, and "Chronos guest member" at number three.

“‘Chronos guest member’ is trending right now. If you read it wrong, it sounds like Chronos has a new member. Some of our fans must be surprised," I said.

The manager replied, “Once they read the articles, they will be happy as well. Ah, Yoo-Joon, we have arrived."

“Got it! Should I tell Jin-Sung to come down?" asked Yoo-Joon.

“Yes, please.”

Goh Yoo-Joon then handed me the manager's phone and got out of the car.

“See you."

“Yeah, see you.”

I gave Yoo-Joon a brief farewell and turned on the manager's phone. Jin-Sung would take a while to come down, so I planned to check the fans' reactions to the trending searches in the meantime.

As expected, the Rings were complaining about the messed-up trending searches while simultaneously expressing their anticipation for the broadcast.

“Manager, is there a chance of an early release for today’s broadcast?"

“There hasn’t been any talk of that. Halo’s Music Bus usually doesn’t do pre-releases." The manager glanced at me through the rearview mirror and smiled slightly. “But now that Chronos has appeared, they might consider a pre-release."

“Nah, we are just a rookie idol group.”

“No, you guys are the most popular rookies. If you are on it, they will surely try to make the most of the footage."

Wow, the manager was more of a smooth talker than I thought. Just until recently, he was someone who said he "didn't know much" about Chronos, and now he already thought of us as a top idol group.

I stared intently at the manager who was focused on driving. Then, after some thought, I asked. “Manager, can I call you 'hyung?’"

“...What?"

I saw his startled eyes through the rearview mirror, so with a puzzled expression, I asked, “When Yoo-Joon suggested for us to speak more comfortably, you said, 'when we get closer.' Do you remember?"

“Did I say that?"

“It has been quite a while since you became our manager, and you seem to really like us, right?"

‘Especially me.’

“Can I just call you 'Su-Hwan hyung', and you can call me ‘Hyun-Woo?’"

We had meticulously planned Yeong-Yee's live show together, taking the time to understand each other's likes and dislikes. It felt like the perfect opportunity to become less formal with each other. However, the manager's response was not as straightforward as I had hoped.

‘Maybe it was still too soon? I thought we had gotten closer.’

As I was trying to gauge his reaction...

“...You can call me hyung," the manager said nervously.

“Really?"

“Yes. It's a bit strange for me to call you comfortably, but you could've called me 'hyung' from the beginning."

“Hyung. Okay, hyung."

Hearing this, the manager nodded at me through the rearview mirror. Just as we had a warm atmosphere between us, the car door opened, and Jin-Sung entered the car.

“Manager, Hyun-Woo hyung, did you wait long?"

“You came out earlier than I thought."

“Of course. Today’s a special day!" exclaimed Jin-Sung. He then clenched his fist, brimming with fighting spirit.

Right, today marked his first practice session ever since his injury. He must be really happy to be smiling like that.

“Please buckle up."

“Sure! So, no group practice for Chronos today?"

The manager nodded at Jin-Sung's question. “Today, it's just Hyun-Woo and Jin-Sung practicing for the joint stage part. It's a long section, so even that will be quite tiring for Hyun-Woo."

“I am already a bit exhausted," I said.

It had only been an hour since I stepped off the stage. As a result, I was not only physically tired but also mentally drained from the tension of the performance.

“Thank you for adjusting the schedule, hyung," I said.

“It’s my job. Try to rest until we arrive."

“Okay."

The moment I said ‘hyung,' Jin-Sung looked eager to join in. “When did you start calling our manager 'hyung'?" Jin-Sung's whining started immediately. “Let me call you that too! Only Hyun-Woo and Yoo-Joon hyungs get to call you 'hyung'! I want to call you that too!"

“Well, you can call me hyung. It’s not a problem at all," said the manager.

“Hyung, hyung! Last time we asked, you said ‘When we get closer,’ so I thought that meant no. I never expected that I would call you this way, hyung!” Jin-Sung enthusiastically called out 'hyung' as if he'd been waiting for this moment. The manager was a bit overwhelmed by Jin-Sung's passion, so he couldn’t really respond.

Lately, observing the manager had become my source of entertainment. Despite his professional demeanor, he was actually quite shy and had a unique personality of his own.

“...We are setting off now."

“Yes, hyung!"

“Ahahaha!” I laughed. Lee Jin-Sung's boundless enthusiasm was downright hilarious. As the car made its way to the practice studio, Jin-Sung engaged in an endless stream of chatter with the manager, and amidst their conversation, I slowly drifted away to the dreamland.

***

“Should we wake him up?"

“Yes, please do. Thank you." The familiar voices reached my ears. As the blanket was pulled away, I frowned, eliciting a few chuckles and gentle shakes from those around me.

“Hyun-Woo, time to wake up."

“...Have we arrived?"

“Yes, let’s head down for practice."

‘That affectionate touch... Wait, who is this?’ My eyes snapped open in alarm. As I sat up quickly, the figures who had withdrawn the blanket looked at me with warm smiles.

“Da-Win hyung? Sae-Yeon hyung... What’s happening?" Da-Win and Sae-Yeon from Allure had entered the car and comfortably sat inside.

‘Why are they here...?’ My puzzled expression prompted Da-Win to pat my back, fully waking me.

“We are here for the joint performance rehearsal. Did you not know about it?”

“A joint rehearsal with us?"

“Yes, it’s a gathering of dance members from each group."

‘Ah, of course. How did that slip my mind?’ It made perfect sense for Allure to participate in a collaborative dance performance, and the thought filled me with joy. It appeared that the schedules were arranged in a way that allowed members from the same agency to synchronize their dance moves.

“Come on, let's get out." Following Da-Win hyung’s prompt, I reflexively got out of the car.

Jin-Sung had already stepped out and was eagerly assuring the manager of his robust health.

“Su-Hwan hyung, I’ve woken up Hyun-Woo. We will head up now."

“Thanks. The choreographer is waiting upstairs."

“Got it. Let’s go."

When Chronos was together, Joo-Han naturally led, but in the presence of both Chronos and Allure, Da-Win effortlessly assumed the leadership role. Having spent my trainee days under Da-Win’s leadership, I almost instinctively responded to his directions.

“Wow, Chronos gets to use such a great practice room? Why don't we get something like this?" Sae-Yeon exclaimed in awe as he looked at our studio through the glass walls. Da-Win seemed slightly annoyed and nudged Sae-Yeon in the ribs.

“Come on, what are you saying? Our studio is constantly being upgraded. Don't make the juniors feel awkward."

“I wasn’t trying to," Sae-Yeon muttered under his breath and opened the studio door.

“Oh, you guys are here early." Waiting inside the studio, the choreographer stood up and approached us.

“Hello! It’s been a while, noona."

“Yeah, long time no see. Have you been well since the last concert?" The choreographer was already acquainted with Da-Win and Sae-Yeon, so they exchanged easy greetings, while we were standing awkwardly behind, waiting for our turn.

“Chronos! Great to see you."

I naturally led our group's greeting. “On the count of three! One, two, three! Hello! We are Chronos!"

Our tense greeting seemed to please the choreographer who frowned approvingly. “Ah, the fresh energy of rookies. It’s delightful to teach such adorable kids."

"Hey, noona, the Chronos kids might be cute, but we've brought our youngest, Sae-Yeon, too."

“Sae-Yeon, how old are you again? Not cute at all."

“That’s mean."

Amidst the easy exchange of greetings, I found myself observing quietly, my eyes darting around. Noticing that Jin-Sung and I were somewhat awkward, Da Win let out a chuckle.

“Noona, the kids are feeling uncomfortable. Let’s start the practice."

“Alright then. You’ve all gone to great lengths to adjust your schedules, so I will make the teaching as simple and quick as possible."

“Yes!"

“Everyone’s skilled in dance, so it should be manageable. Hyun-Woo, step aside for now. Da-Win, Sae-Yeon, Jin-Sung, come to the center."

“Okay!"

I moved to the side, near the choreographer in front of the mirror, while the rest gathered in the middle of the room. The choreographer moved among them, arranging their formation.

“Let’s start.”

Thus began the intensive rehearsal for the KEW End-of-Year Awards’ special stage.

※ Side story

[Profile (Kang Joo-Han Edition)]

Name/Age: Kang Joo-Han / 21 years old

Birthday: July 6

Height: 184 cm

Blood Type: A

1. In Chronos, my role is the provider. I basically take care of everyone.

2. What am I currently interested in? Composing music and handling finances.

3. Favorite/Least favorite food: Coffee / junk food, rice cake.

4. What I like/dislike: Getting paycheque, my fellow members, cleaning / Not much, just getting stuck during songwriting.

5. What am I thinking about now? Goh Yoo-Joon and Suh Hyun-Woo are fighting in front of me right now, so I am tempted to kick both of them out.

6. What does Goh Yoo-Joon mean to me? My dear junior. Despite his playful demeanor and lightheartedness, he pretends to be strong and mature. He plays a crucial role in maintaining our team's family-like atmosphere and always considers the well-being of those around him. Additionally, our music tastes align perfectly, which strengthens our bond even further.

7. What does Suh Hyun-Woo mean to me? A dearly cherished friend. He may appear sensitive and fragile but is steadfast and often surges ahead when I least expect it. His dedication to the stage is unparalleled, and I respect him for his effort, perseverance, and talent. I rely on him quite a bit. (Although lately, his increasing fearfulness worries me.)

8. What does Park Yoon-Chan mean to me? He holds a special place as the member I spend the most time with these days. When I am working on songs until early morning, he comes in quietly and hands me a coffee before leaving. Yoon-Chan might really be a saint. (Be confident, and if you have something you want to do, just tell me anytime. I will help you out.)

9. What does Lee Jin-Sung mean to me? My adorable fool. He joined the company at such a young age that he still feels like a cute kid to me. However, he has bulked up so much lately that I can't handle his bear hugs anymore. Still, I appreciate that he always obediently follows me around, calling me 'hyung.' I hope he continues to be as he has been.

10. My goal in ten years? To be the king of copyright and to take Chronos to the Billboard charts.

New novel chapters are published on fr(e)ewebnov(e)l.com

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