Osaka Kansai Airport.
On their way out after finishing the immigration process, the members were a little surprised when they saw the fans who followed them to Japan in front of the arrival gate.
Ahn Hyung Seo muttered away from the fans so they wouldn’t hear.
Unlike Ahn Hyung Seo, who was in awe, Oh Baek Ho scowled and held back the fans trying to crowd them. There weren’t as many people as at Gimpo Airport, but there definitely were a lot of fans who had followed them to Osaka since it wasn’t far.
Even on the plane, Oh Baek Ho was on edge because of the fans who had bought tickets for the same flight.
“Don’t dally and follow Do Ra Hee, guys.”
They each grabbed their luggage and followed Do Ra Hee’s lead.
Do Ra Hee had never studied abroad in Japan, but she taught herself enough Japanese to be able to speak to locals without trouble.
They had an on-site translator ready at the performance location, so Do Ra Hee and Manager Oh Baek Ho were enough as KK’s Korean staff. Of course the team of stylists they’d need for the entire event were with them too.
After Lucas quit to launch his own brand, the current KK stylist team was a professional idol stylist team of three in charge of styling and make-up.
Their group consisting of 11 people left the airport.
Then they split up and got into the two cars that were prepared for them in front of the airport.
“Did you see? That there were Japanese fans* too?”
(TL note: In Korean, what they said could also be misinterpreted as ‘They had Japanese fans’, as in the handheld foldable fans you see in Japan.)
“Oh…That type of fan…”
“That’s right. They had fans too. So interesting!”
Ahn Hyung Seo and Park Tae Hyung were talking in the back seat of the car. Kim Won also chimed in.
“Their attitude is different from Korean fans.”
“Attitude?…Man, you sure sound fancy when you say it in English, dude.”
(TL note: In these two previous sentences, the word “attitude” was said in English while the rest of the conversation is in Korean.)
Jung Yoon Ki muttered, in awe of Kim Won’s proficient English. When Ahn Hyung Seo, slightly self consciously, asked what attitude meant, everyone in the car froze for a moment.
Oh Baek Ho, who was sitting in the passenger seat rather than being the driver for once, facepalmed.
“Won, please try to make sure Hyung Seo studies English. Instead of snickering about useless stuff.”
“I’m studying too! I may not look it but I’m a college student!”
“That’s what I mean…You’re a college student but you still…”
Ahn Hyung Seo was attending Cyber University as a Broadcasting and Entertainment major. Actually, Ahn Hyung Seo was not interested in studying at all. Studying was different from being quick-witted.
“It’s fine to not know an English word…”
Ahn Hyung Seo looked out the car window as he grumbled. He was just making idle talk when he said Japan is definitely different. Now that they were out on the street, the scenery wasn’t much different from Korea. The street signs were really the only difference.
Jung Yoon Ki looked at Ahn Hyung Seo and giggled.
“By the way, are you guys studying too, Tae Hyung and Do Wook? It’s the national college exam soon…It must be hard because you don’t have much free time.”
Oh Baek Ho turned around and asked.
Park Tae Hyung had been smiling faintly while looking outside, but at that moment his smile disappeared. Do Wook’s expression didn’t change at all.
Park Tae Hyung stammered out of panic. Park Tae Hyung was also not interested in studying, just like Ahn Hyung Seo.
Only dancing! Ahn Hyung Seo lived 19 years of his life with the sole thought that he wanted to dance.
The reality was that most trainees weren’t interested in academics. It was kind of an obvious thing if you thought about it, since they were busy chasing a different dream.
However, those people would have a difficult time during career planning if becoming a celebrity didn’t work out. Since they didn’t keep up with the curriculum, their career choices were limited.
In Park Tae Hyung’s situation, he had already debuted. There was no problem with his future career so there was no absolute need for him to study.
Still, since an adult was asking him if he was studying, he took a defensive tone out of reflex.
Also, it was good to go to college. Since most idols were in their early 20s, they chose to enter college to delay their military enlistment.
Oh Baek Ho said to Park Tae Hyung, who didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t planning on crushing his spirit for no reason.
“Well, you have a distinct specialty, so you can easily get into college with your skills. These days there’s lots of places that are 100% based on practical skills.”
It was knowledge he had gathered during the Monster members’ entrance exams.
“Just finish the basics. You never know. You can’t be like Hyung Seo who doesn’t know what ‘attitude’ means.”
“Hey, Baek Ho!”
Ahn Hyung Seo yelled. Oh Baek Ho pretended to not even hear it and turned his attention to Do Wook.
“How about you, Do Wook…Didn’t you say your grades are pretty good?”
“Ah, my school records aren’t good, but the mock exam grades were great at least…”
Do Wook’s school grades were not good because the original Do Wook’s grades were bad. The original Do Wook was a student who only slept during class so there was no way his grades could be good.
Do Wook’s mock exam grades were good only after his soul was switched. Though it wasn’t the only factor, what he learned back during the school days of ‘Kim Bo Myung’ also helped Do Wook’s grades.
He could have quickly gotten even better grades if he studied all of it again properly, but it was realistically impossible to study while being a singer as well as a composer.
Also, it wasn’t something he absolutely had to do. Kim Won was enough as the ‘studious’ member of the group. Kim Won’s outstanding language skills were recognized, and he was currently attending Seoul’s top university under a special acceptance.
Anyways, Do Wook planned on using his prior knowledge to get grades just good enough to get into his desired college.
“Wow, then the college entrance exam shouldn’t be too bad for you. What rank were you?”
Kim Won asked Do Wook. Do Wook told him his general mock exam score. Kim Won asked what level college he was considering, suddenly starting to give him admission counseling.
Kim Won was the only one who entered college the typical way, so he was very interested. At the sudden admission counseling, the other members shook their heads and each looked out the window, or looked at their cell phones, etc.
Suk Ji Hoon sat in the backmost seat and listened to music from the second he got into the car.
It was Jason Mori’s < I’m Yours >.
A 5-star hotel near Namba District.
The members and staff grabbed their luggage and exited the car. Do Ra Hee distributed the room keys once they gathered in the hotel lobby.
“Ooh, the hotel looks nice.”
Jung Yoon Ki muttered as he looked up at the chandelier on the lobby ceiling.
“The place the event organizers arranged was a business hotel, but Director Kwon felt the KK members were working very hard lately, so he told me to make separate arrangements at a 5-star hotel with the company’s money!”
Everyone nodded their heads at Do Ra Hee’s explanation. The members could feel that their standing in the company was changing drastically.
More than when they saw how much their fan base had grown, they felt how much their popularity had risen more clearly when they realized the company or broadcast stations were treating them better. That was the moment the members really felt their popularity sink in.
“I’ll have to thank the Director later.”
Before they all went to their separate rooms, Oh Baek Ho went over the upcoming schedule with the members.
“We came one day early for you to relieve some of your anxiety over your first overseas event. Today you can have free time and relax for once. Don’t do anything stupid.”
Ahn Hyung Seo opened his mouth and raised his hand straight up.
“Can…Can I go shopping?!”
“You have to rehearse for the performance starting early in the morning so come back before 10 pm. There’s people here who recognize you too, so be careful.”
Oh Baek Ho said as he checked the time. It was currently 3 pm. Free time until 10 pm! To the members, who had been constantly running around like squirrels on a wheel with music broadcasts and other events, free time was like rain during a drought. They felt that was plenty of time.
On top of that, they were in a foreign country so they could be more free than in Korea.
Even Jung Yoon Ki, who planned on sleeping the moment they arrived at the lodging, was full of energy again. It was their first overseas trip, so he was excited that he’d be able to explore.
“By the way, do you guys know how to speak Japanese?”
Oh Baek Ho asked when he looked at Ahn Hyung Seo, Jung Yoon Ki and Park Tae Hyung, even the latter of whom was standing around with shining eyes.
“Won, we have Won. And there’s Do Wook too.”
Ahn Hyung Seo grabbed Kim Won who was standing a little apart from them. He tried to pull in Do Wook too but Do Wook said with a slightly awkward expression.
“Ah, I was going to stay in the room…”
When Do Wook and Suk Ji Hoon said that, Ahn Hyung Seo nodded understandingly. The members knew that the two of them were preparing something together.
Do Wook had explained the situation to Oh Baek Ho and Do Ra Hee ahead of time. Of course everyone was slightly concerned about Do Wook’s idea, but was supportive of him and said it was a good idea.
“Then let’s take the luggage upstairs and then meet back up.”
Jung Yoon Ki moved faster than ever before.
After they unpacked and briefly got some alone time, Suk Ji Hoon got a call from Do Wook and went to his room.
Do Wook shared a room with Park Tae Hung, but he had already left to go shopping.
“Thanks for coming. Are you hungry?”
“No, I’m ok.”
“Then let’s finish this then go out and buy dinner.”
Suk Ji Hoon sat across from Do Wook as he nodded. Do Wook had already set up a laptop, a recording microphone, etc. on the table that was in the hotel room.
When he saw that, Suk Ji Hoon spoke up.
“Do Wook…I’m sorry for bothering you for no reason.”
“No, it’s something I wanted to try at some point anyways. I suggested doing it together because I thought it’d be better with the two of us.”
Do Wook chose a song that would bring Suk Ji Hoon closer to his fans and make him open his heart.
He could write a post to his fans, but words written on the internet have their limitations.
KK were singers. Singers talk with their songs. That was the simple truth.
Also, Do Wook believed that songs had a strong power to convey sincerity.
Therefore they prepared a song that was solely made for the fans, while not one from KK’s performance, and planned to upload the recording onto the fan cafe.
The song Do Wook and Suk Ji Hoon prepared was Jason Mori’s ‘I’m Yours’.
It was a song loved by the entire world, combining a melody that was easy to listen to, a unique soft voice for vocals, outstanding rhythm, and lovely lyrics.
The vibe also matched Suk Ji Hoon very well. They also chose ‘I’m Yours’ because they felt the lyrics conveyed their message to the fans particularly well.
“Then first let’s warm up our voices and do a practice recording.”
Originally, they tried to properly record it in a recording studio, even if it was just a cover song as a present for the fans. However, it wasn’t easy to find time in their schedule to go to a recording studio and record. The Japan event was scheduled in the meantime.
‘If they thought of it as a song that is being recorded and sent from overseas…would people think of it as a little more meaningful?’
Do Wook painted that image in his head.
He had learned a little bit of the recording basics anyways while studying composition. It was a little crude, but they decided that the realistic recording environment and the fact that it’s a song they prepared while in Japan could actually be more appealing to fans.
Look into your heart, you’ll find love.
Listen to the music when people dance and sing.
We’re one family.
To love, and to be loved, is a right given from God.
There’s no need to complicate it. Our lives are short.
It’s our destiny. I’m Yours.
The two of them started singing in sync with the sweet melody that was playing.
Suk Ji Hoon took the 1st verse, and Do Wook sang the 2nd verse. They put in a short harmony each time they sang the chorus. Suk Ji Hoon’s singing skills weren’t as outstanding as Do Wook’s, but his voice was still nice to listen to. Even if he fumbled a little.
Honestly, despite having to do more parts than when they recorded the KK album, Suk Ji Hoon sang better than Do Wook had expected due to practicing day in and day out.
It also felt like he had found his unique vocal color as he sang.
Do Wook was actually attempting something he hadn’t done before as well, because this song was completely different from the songs in KK’s album.
It was a good opportunity to test and showcase his musical skills.
The two of them did their cover of ‘I’m Yours’ at 11 pm that night.
Do Wook mixed it a little and it was uploaded on KK’s MyTube channel.
Suk Ji Hoon posted an announcement about the cover song he did with Do Wook on the fan cafe, along with 3 lines written in the caption saying ‘I can’t say it often because of my personality, but I love and cherish the fans’.
The view count on MyTube and the comment count on the fan cafe started to increase within seconds. The fans couldn’t help but be surprised. It was a surprise present that the fans couldn’t help but love.
ty for the chapter