When I opened my eyes I was a Superstar – Chapter 22: Rising Sun (2)

Life Song was a live broadcast.

The members, who had stopped by the shop early in the morning to get their hair done and finished two rehearsals wearing the wardrobe they received from the stylist team of Lucas and his assistants, fell into a little bit of a state of panic.

Of course, they were fantastic in the rehearsal. Everyone who had seen KK’s performance, from the Life Song PD to the staff in charge of setting up the stage, predicted that it was the birth of a ‘monster rookie’.

Nevertheless, the members were in a state of panic for no other reason than they were extremely nervous.

Even Do Wook was no exception. Despite his mental age being over 30 years old, despite having lived this day before, it was the first time in Kang Do Wook’s life. Performing, that is.

“How about deciding on a chant?”

They were rookies that were gaining a lot of attention, but a rookie was still a rookie. KK was sharing a waiting room with an unknown band and a rookie idol girl group.

Due to the room being closed off by partitions, the six members and company staff had no choice but to use the cramped space. Thanks to that, everyone heard the suggestion Do Wook gave in a small voice and perked up their ears.

“A chant?”

Jung Yoon Ki, who took on the role of leader, asked back.

The chant yelled to pump themselves up before getting on the stage was determined based on that group’s unique characteristics. Not every team had a chant from the beginning. If an idol group went around loudly yelling a unique slogan during broadcasts, that slogan would become famous along with the group and become one of the identities that showed the characteristics of the group.

Shouting a chant before a broadcast was also a good way to have the group’s name stuck in the staff’s head. It was an idea Do Wook thought of while thinking of a way to ease the tension.

“I like it, sure!”

Ahn Hyung Seo got excited, saying ‘Let’s decide on a chant’ and urging people to give their opinions. He even asked Lucas, who was putting away the outfits, for suggestions.

At the end, they decided on one of Kim Won’s ideas as the chant.

***

The live broadcast began. KK’s performance was around the end of the show. The tension reached its peak.

When the staff called them, the members followed Oh Baek Ho and entered the hallway that connected to the stage. While the members were doing microphone checks etc., and leaving their bodies under the staffs’ care, the new idol girl group, who just finished their performance on the same stage, were coming out one at a time wearing identical outfits.

“Wow.”

Kim Won let out a small exclamation after seeing a pretty female member. Then, fearing Oh Baek Ho’s scary vibe, he gasped and closed his mouth.

The KK members were wearing free-spirited hip hop style outfits. The clothes were from existing luxury brands, but it looked new because it was reinterpreted using Lucas’s styling.

“Just do it like you do in rehearsal, guys.”

Right before they went up to the stage with Oh Baek Ho’s words in mind, the six of them put their hands together and yelled,

“I Kei, you Kei! Let’s go, KK!”

Then the six of them, who stood on the stage, opened their mouths and couldn’t help but be surprised. KK’s emergence was met with tremendous roars ringing in their eardrums.

It was on a different level than experiencing the reactions through the internet. The members almost lost their mind over the fact that there truly was an audience that was waiting for their performance.

The outpouring of cheers and attention, and within that the intro for ‘Sorry but I Love you’ started to flow out. The quiet sonata’s melody split the top of the stage and even a kind of wonder seeped in. ‘One, Two, Three’, Jung Yoon Ki’s rap matched the beat and the song started in earnest.

It was a performance that didn’t have even a single flaw. Everyone gave it their all.

At the part where Ahn Hyung Seo sang the high notes, he could feel the audiences’ eyes and ears gathering on him.

Additionally, when it was Do Wook’s part, the early audience who had already heard ‘Sorry but I Love You’ on the music file were singing along.

‘Ah…!’

At that moment, Do Wook got goosebumps. Do Wook barely fought back his tears. He still very often thought that this very moment might possibly just be a very long dream. He felt like he would be ok with it even if it were a dream. It was a good dream.

A dream where what he felt would never achieve came true. Instead of shedding tears, Do Wook sang even harder.

A success. It was a debut performance that could only be described as a success.

Oh Baek Ho was monitoring from below the stage. He was searching through the real time response on the live broadcast page on the internet. It was full of compliments. He could see that the reactions became hotter every time Do Wook was captured on screen.

He checked the article on the portal site. The performance wasn’t even over, but an internet article was already posted using the data that was previously distributed. The reactions in the comments were also very good.

Lastly, he checked the music chart site once again.

‘Rank 15?’

The impact of the broadcast wasn’t in effect yet. They rose to Rank 15 since midnight solely from promoting the music video and the power of the song.

As Oh Baek Ho was feeling the energy of the unbelievable music chart, he saw the KK members coming down after finishing their performance. The members, who had given it their all, were all drenched in sweat.

“You worked hard. Good job. Let’s hurry to the waiting room.”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you!”

The members thanked the staff like they had been taught while they received Oh Baek Ho’s encouragement and went into the waiting room. It was at that time.

Do Wook’s footsteps stopped. M2M members, who were preparing for their final performance, and Seo Kang Jun were in front of Do Wook’s eyes.

Seo Kang Jun.

Seo Kang Jun was using the stage name “Seo Jun” ever since he debuted with M2M. Even in the past, he only used his real name, “Seo Kang Jun”, as-is when he started to debut as an actor. Because of that, the name “Seo Kang Jun” was more familiar to the public later.

Even as he was preparing for the debut, Do Wook thought that he would run into him one day, and the MC’s comment on Life Song just last week was enough to predict today’s meeting.

Beneath the dark stage, Do Wook and Seo Kang Jun’s eyes met.

‘I ended up meeting him here like this.’

There was shouting exploding from the audience in anticipation of M2M performing next that was on a different level than when KK was on stage.

It was only by a few months, but KK was a junior to M2M in the music industry. Even in terms of calendar year, it came out a year after.

“Hello. Thank you!”

Greeting other staff and senior singers, KK members bowed their heads towards the M2M members and staff as they passed by.

Do Wook also lowered his head.

‘Right now I’m just passing by like this, but we’ll run into each other a lot in the future.’

The desire to do something to Seo Kang Jun immediately boiled up. He was no longer the ‘Kim Bo Myung’ who was sitting on the bathroom floor, crying.

‘I have to wait until the right time.’

Do Wook quickened his steps, his fist clenched tight.

M2M was a typical mystery-centered group. Each member moved within a strictly set concept.

It was a group that had the planning power of a big agency called Ara Entertainment, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it an ideal group that idol fans wanted. Thanks to that, M2M was a rookie but they were growing such a big fandom that it would be embarrassing to call them a rookie.

Seo Kang Jun, who was at the center of it, had the image of an untouchable celestial celebrity, seeming even more mystical with a cold yet urban appearance.

Because they used stage names on top of being immersed in the mystical concept, personal information like Seo Kang Jun’s school or family situation had not yet spread.

However, there must be students who went to the same school, so it was a matter of time until it became known.

‘Once I find out Seo Kang Jun’s school, it’ll be easier to find this world’s Kim Bo Myung even if my memory has been torn apart.’

Do Wook felt his heart tremble as he thought about it. A sense of fear also arose at the same time.

‘Even back then, Seo Kang Jun was surrounded by a school violence controversy since I wasn’t the only victim…Still, it ended up getting covered up easily. Seo Kang Jun’s father’s power, the agency’s power, and people who already liked Seo Kang Jun and didn’t believe he’s like that…’

Instead, the author who posted it on the internet was almost sued for slander and defamation. At that time, Do Wook couldn’t help but feel helpless once again.

Do Wook also had to gain strength to never feel such helplessness again. He planned on doing so even if it takes time.

He also planned to leave Seo Kang Jun alone to a certain degree so he could rise even higher.

‘That way, you’ll be punished more properly.’

The KK members entered the waiting room, with Do Wook at the end. Seo Kang Jun, who had been watching them, frowned and cursed quietly when he saw them.

“What’s with that bastard…?”

“What’s wrong, Jun?”

The manager who had been standing in front of Seo Kang Jun asked, surprised. The manager was anxious every day trying to make sure Seo Kang Jun was careful of what he said.

On Director Seo’s special orders, the M2M manager was managing Seo Kang Jun almost exclusively.

“There’s an asshole giving me the stink eye.”

“D… Don’t pay attention to it! You have to go on stage!”

It happened to be time to go on stage. The manager urgently pushed Seo Kang Jun.

***

“Ahhh, that’s awesome!”

If it were any other time, Jung Yoon Ki would have told Ahn Hyung Seo to be quiet and berated him about his overly excited shout, but Jung Yoon Ki was feeling happy too.

The members couldn’t stop smiling.

The members, who had arrived at the office, were congratulated by the RDT and Album Production Team staff who had come out even on a Sunday to celebrate KK’s debut. PD Yong Soo Chul was also present.

The people who had gathered watched the performance together first.

“Wow, I’ve seen him before!”

Kim Won shouted when the camera showed a fan holding a banner cheering at KK’s performance. It was because it was a fan he had seen in front of the agency. Ahn Hyung Seo shrugged his shoulders and was filled with joy, saying it was his fan.

After watching the performance, they took the time to point out what areas were awkward due to being nervous and other shortcomings, but that was brief and they focused on spreading today’s joy.

They cut the simple cake they bought from the bakery all together. As they were eating the cake, they felt like the hardship they went through together was worth it.

“Hyung, hyung! Now the real-time ranking!”

Midnight had passed and it was time for the music chart ranking to change.

At Ahn Hyung Seo’s urging, Manager Oh took out his phone from his pocket.

“······!”

“What is it, what rank are we?”

“Seriously. What rank are we?”

Even RDT Ahn Young Mi urged Oh Baek Ho to answer.

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