“Are you Kang…Do Wook? You’re Kang Do Wook, right?!”
Team Leader Shim Joon and Jung Yoon Ki looked at the woman approaching them with a puzzled expression.
The woman seemed about 170 cm* tall even though she was wearing low heels. She was a beauty, with distinct, very noble-looking features.
(TL Note: 170 cm is about 5’7”)
She kind of reminded them of someone, but they couldn’t easily recall who.
Do Wook was also puzzled.
“Yes. I am. I’m sorry, but who are….”
Do Wook asked carefully in case they knew each other and he didn’t remember, or in case he says something wrong.
The woman went “oh, right”, took out a business card from her wallet that she was holding in her hand and held it out.
‘Yoo Sung Fashion President Lee Yoo Min…?!’
Lee Yoo Min, who took on the role of Yoo Sung Fashion’s President, was also Yoo Sung Electronics’ President Lee Chul Ho’s younger sister. Do Wook finally started to get an idea of why Lee Yoo Min tried to say hi to him.
Team Leader Shim Joon, who got a glimpse of the business card Do Wook received, saw the words ‘Yoo Sung Fashion’ and finally realized who the woman in front of them was.
Yoo Sung Fashion President Lee Yoo Min was someone who quite frequently appeared in fashion magazines, not only doing interviews with women’s magazines but also frequently appearing in newspaper articles.
Among the numerous second-generation chaebols, she was one of the young leaders capable of creating a new wave in chaebol families.
In reality, Yoo Sung Fashion had gone through an image renewal, a new brand launching, and aggressive marketing after getting a president who had returned after studying abroad in Paris, and had risen from 5th place to 3rd place in the nation.
That someone like President Lee Yoo Min would be friendly with Do Wook. Team Leader Shim Joon was surprised.
President Lee Yoo Min accepted Do Wook’s greeting and gestured apologetically.
“Yes. It’s nice to see you. I didn’t think I’d run into you here. I stopped my car just in case it was you, it’s a relief that it really was you.”
Lee Yoo Min explained in a fast tone, took a breath, then apologized.
“I’m very sorry about last time.”
She was apologizing for running into Do Wook during Lucas’s brand launching event. He didn’t think that Lee Yoo Min was even aware of what happened that day. Do Wook shook his head.
“I’m ok. There were no big issues anyways.”
“What do you mean no issues? Your screen cracked. I was in so much trouble with my eldest brother, telling me to watch where I’m going.”
President Lee Yoo Min laughed awkwardly.
Lee Yoo Min, the youngest daughter of Yoo Sung Enterprise’s Chairman, was nu-ttoong-e* with a significant age difference with Lee Chul Ho, whom she called eldest brother. It was such a difference that if Lee Chul Ho had had a child at an early age, the child would have been around Lee Yoo Min’s age.
(TL Note: Term used for when someone has a child late in life, usually having a big age gap between that child and other sibling.)
President Lee Yoo Min, who was in her mid-to-late thirties, looked young enough to pass as someone in her late 20s when she smiled.
“I was so busy that day that I left without apologizing. I wanted to treat you to a meal to make up for it. It seems like you’re busier than I am?!”
“I’ve already received enough as an apology.”
“Don’t worry too much. Pretty please give me a call when you have time.”
Lee Yoo Min glanced at Team Leader Shim and Jung Yoon Ki in the back and spoke in a way to wrap things up. It wasn’t an order, but there was a heavy tension implying that he couldn’t refuse it.
Do Wook replied that he understood, knowing that it wouldn’t be polite to keep refusing President Lee Yoo Min’s invitation.
President Lee Yoo Min said to Do Wook as she smiled.
“You’re obviously accepting it out of courtesy. If I don’t hear from you my team will reach out. Bye then.”
“I’ll see you later.”
“Ok. Let’s meet up at a later time for sure.”
President Lee waved her hand and said goodbye to the two people in the back. With a gait overflowing with confidence she walked back to the parked sports car and got in.
The sports car made a cheerful engine sound as it quickly left the secluded mansion.
“I guess this really is a rich neighborhood. We saw Seo Tae Joon and even the President of Yoo Sung Fashion…”
Team Leader Shim muttered, feeling a little less anxious than before. Then, suddenly becoming alert, he asked Do Wook what that was about. Jung Yoon Ki, who was standing next to him, was also curious.
“That’s…let’s get in the car first and then I’ll tell you. It’s not a big deal.”
“Ok. Let’s get in the car first! We have to let the company and other members know about performing at Seo Tae Joon’s concert.”
Team Leader Shim Joon yelled “fighting” at the top of his lungs as he opened the car door.
The activities for ‘LAST DANCE’, KK’s second mini album, also wrapped up.
Through the recent activities, KK expanded its range of activities by Kim Won and Ahn Hyung Seo going on entertainment shows once in a while.
The song took 1st place again at the music broadcast for the 4th consecutive week, and they held the glory of having every single album and title song they’d released so far getting first place.
With Sa Bang Shin Hwa’s comeback, KK came down from the top spot.
The top idol in Korea was still arguably Sa Bang Shin Hwa. However, it had now been 6 years since Sa Bang Shin Hwa had debuted. Considering the rapidly rotating top idol spot, starting next year, KK would be more than capable enough to overcome them.
In fact, Ara Entertainment had also sent M2M to inherit Sa Bang Shin Hwa’s position for that very reason.
“Tommy, how do we look?”
Kim Won asked Tommy in English.
Tommy was a choreographer that Seo Tae Joon had met while living in America after his disappearance. Once it was arranged that KK would do a dance performance at Seo Tae Joon’s concert, he was reporting for work at HIT Entertainment’s rehearsal hall to help KK.
Kim Won was in charge of communicating with Tommy, who was an American. There was not a lot of need for words since they were learning choreography, but there were times when they needed to exchange evaluations or opinions regarding the choreography.
“What did he say? Did we do well? Good, good, great?”
Ahn Hyung Seo asked Kim Won, who had come back after speaking with Tommy. Kim Won laughed as he replied.
“Yes. Good, good, great!”
“I knew it!”
“He thinks it’d be good to express it more fluidly. Right now it feels too forced.”
The other members, who had been listening to what Kim Won was saying, nodded their heads.
Yesterday was the last music broadcast performance for ‘LAST DANCE’. Without even one day of rest, the KK members immediately gave their all into preparing in earnest for Seo Tae Joon’s concert. The concert was one week away.
Even as they went on broadcasts, the KK members familiarized themselves with the video and choreography that Tommy had filmed and sent.
The fans were disheartened that KK left after the scheduled broadcast performance without any extension.
When they saw the disappointed fans at the goodbye performance yesterday, the members, including Ahn Hyung Seo, were itching to reveal that they’d start activities again soon at Seo Tae Joon’s concert.
However, the information was tightly under wraps, kept secret with nobody knowing except those who absolutely had to know.
The members started to dance again, following Tommy’s suggestion and doing it a little less stiff this time.
Even if you couldn’t communicate due to differences in language, you could tell certain things by looking at one’s expression.
Tommy’s big lips cleanly formed a smile.
The rehearsal clothes of the KK members, who did two dry runs of the three songs straight through like they would during the real performance, were already drenched in sweat. Each member sat down on the floor as they drank an electrolyte drink and let out a rough breath.
“Tommy said we did very well. If we keep it up, it’ll be perfect in a few days.”
At Kim Won’s words, Jung Yoon Ki flopped down on his back and said,
“It better be. We’re practicing until we’re about to drop dead.”
Suk Ji Hoon and Ahn Hyung Seo strongly agreed with what Jung Yoon Ki said. Do Wook was also thinking that it was a relief they were on the right track. Kim Won added,
“Tae Hyung, Tommy wants to make you part of his dance team.”
Park Tae Hyung, who was drinking his electrolyte drink, asked, surprised. Jung Yoon Ki laughed and praised Park Tae Hyung, who was feeling embarrassed.
“Wow Tae Hyung, you got scouted.”
“You can’t go! Tae Hyung!”
Ahn Hyung Seo made a fuss and grabbed Tae Hyung’s shoulders.
“Anyways, Seo Tae Joon’s stage…is this a dream? Someone pinch me. I’m itching to brag about it!”
“Should I pinch you?”
“No, I’ll just pinch myself, Ji Hoon.”
Watching Suk Ji Hoon and Ahn Hyung Seo bicker, Jung Yoon Ki made a throat-slitting gesture with his finger.
“You know you can’t yet, right? If it gets leaked, Kccchhk!”
Ahn Hyung Seo said he knew that much and cut off Jung Yoon Ki’s nagging.
KK’s participation was a secret until the day of the concert. That was one of Seo Tae Joon’s conditions for having KK participate.
“We do have one condition.”
The day they had the meeting at Seo Tae Joon’s mansion, Team Leader Shim, Do Wook, and Jung Yoon Ki all anxiously waited for what Seo Tae Joon would say next. If the condition was too ridiculous or unfair, KK’s side did not intend on trying too hard.
“Yes. Please tell me.”
Seo Tae Joon said to Team Leader Shim’s reply.
“We’d like it if nobody knew about KK’s participation.”
“Do you mean until the day of?”
“Yes. Until they come on stage. Since KK is also a well known group, it could be mutually beneficial if there’s PR about it, but it’s the first concert in 8 years. If only for this event, I want to hold a concert where only those who want to listen to my music are gathered.”
Simply put, it meant he didn’t want KK fans mixed in at his concert.
Team Leader Shim Joon, who had been thinking it over for a bit, exchanged glances with Do Wook and Jung Yoon Ki, then nodded his head in confirmation.
KK would already receive a lot of publicity over just the fact that they performed at Seo Tae Joon’s concert. Even just the articles that the attending reporters would write after the concert was over would be enough.
It wasn’t a concert meant as a fan service performance for KK fans anyways. Also, when Seo Tae Joon’s live concert DVD was released later, they’d be able to easily get clips of the performance.
“We also plan on finding a dance team and have them rehearse too. If the news that KK is performing is leaked before then, we will immediately issue a rebuttal article and use our dance team.”
“Ok. Do you have any other conditions?…”
“We want to send our choreographer. And I’ll take care of remixing and producing the song.”
This much thoroughness was necessary for being able to disappear for 8 years without any news. When you thought about it that way, the conditions weren’t as prickly as they expected.
At that moment, Do Wook, who had been listening silently, started to speak.
“There’s something I’d like to tell you too.”
Hearing the pleasant baritone voice, Seo Tae Joon looked towards Do Wook. Seo Tae Joon furrowed his eyebrows and asked.
“What is it?”
After finishing rehearsal for the Seo Tae Joon concert, the KK members returned to their dorm.
Suk Ji Hoon, perhaps feeling that he was the only one whose skills were not up to par, said he’d practice a little longer by himself.
Some members were so tired that they went to sleep as soon as they got back. And some members were enjoying their precious relaxation time by watching tv in the living room.
After showering, Do Wook immediately went to his room and confined himself to the workshop.
On the desk there was a large pile of fatigue relief pills and vitamin drinks that fans had sent. As he grabbed one of the vitamins and drank it, he rubbed his drooping eyes.
After about an hour had passed, Do Wook called Ahn Hyung Seo, who was in the living room.
“What is it?”
“The first round of edits are done. Please give it a listen.”
Ahn Hyung Seo quickly put on the headphones Do Wook handed him. Do Wook replayed the music.
Do Wook was working on it restlessly. They planned on releasing the album immediately, almost without any period of inactivity. Discussions with the album production team were already done and the members were already informed.
There was a reason Do Wook was hurrying so much.
‘Once Seo Tae Joon’s concert is over, KK will get a huge spotlight too. It’s important to take advantage of this good opportunity.’
After 3 minutes and 8 seconds had passed, Ahn Hyung Seo, who had removed the headphones, gave a thumbs up.
“It’s amazing. Do Wook you’re really a genius…Dozart…”
Do Wook shook his head in disagreement as he accepted the compliment.
‘Ahn Hyung Seo’s high notes are important for this song.’
The voice color he had when singing a high note was undeniably good enough to be called the best. It was a voice like a treasure. Additionally, because his technical skills developed, he was able to make a high note more comfortably than before.
“What do you think? Do you think you can raise it this high?”
Ahn Hyung Seo, who had put on the headphones again, focused on the melody coming out of the cell phone.
Ahn Hyung seo warmed up his voice, going aahhh and mmmmmm.
Do Wook’s eyes shone. Do Wook gave a thumbs up to Ahn Hyung Seo just as he had done.
‘If we keep this up…we can do it!’
Do Wook emailed the edited file. For the recipient, he addressed it to Seo Sam Won and CC’d Team Leader Shim Joon.
It was a song Seo Tae Joon’s comeback needed.