KK will debut soon.
If things go how they went originally, the debut will work out without any problems. However, it would be pointless to change bodies and live a new life if things were going to be the same as the ‘original’.
Two months have already passed. The days got colder and winter was coming. It will be M2M’s debut soon. He couldn’t help but feel impatient as time went on.
‘What should I change first?’
‘And how…..? Putting in more effort to become a singer than the past Kang Do Wook did isn’t enough’
‘What can I do so KK and Kang Do Wook can beat Seo Kang Jun?’
Do Wook entered the rehearsal room as he organized his floating thoughts.
Groups had been formed to practice cover dances so they mostly gathered together in groups during dance class these days. There was more excitement in the air than usual because of the routine evaluation to be held tomorrow.
Park Tae Hyung, who was also in Group A, greeted Do Wook. They passed the audition together and Park Tae Hyung couldn’t hide his admiration for Do Wook every time he saw him. Do Wook had the handsome face that he longed to have…He might at least be jealous if he was just a reasonable amount of good looking, but the difference in level was so great that he could only be envious.
“You came early.”
HIT Entertainment was now putting together debut groups. With a rough outline made, most people knew that the members in Group A would be the ones debuting.
The average skills of Group A members were outstanding, and it had many members who had been trainees for a long time. Group A had a total of 8 members. Among them, Kang Do Wook and Park Tae Hyung were the only newbie trainees who passed the last audition 2 months ago.
Although they were colleagues who practiced together, the relationship between the trainees was ultimately one of rivals because of their goal to debut. There was quite a bit of clashing among the trainees because of it, and newbie trainees became the target of that. It was ok if you were like Do Wook, who people could immediately tell is on a different level, but you were easy prey if you were someone like Park Tae Hyung.
Park Tae Hyung looked meek and tended to be awkward when speaking, making him the perfect target for harassment. On top of that, people got jealous of him once he was placed into Group A.
Thanks to that, the only person who would properly accept Park Tae Hyung’s greeting was Do Wook. The discord among the trainees was getting worse day by day.
They were all trainees who were about to make their debut in the entertainment industry so it didn’t go as far as violence, but mental violence is also undeniably violence.
“Park Tae Hyung! Don’t just sit on your ass you stupid bastard, go and bring some water!”
Tae Hyung nervously got up and headed toward the water dispenser. Do Wook looked at Tae Hyung, then looked at Jo Jung Min who ordered him to get the water, and sighed. Tae Hyung quickly brought the water in a paper cup. Jo Jung Min took one sip of the water and scowled.
“Fuck, the water is too warm. Go back and get me cold water.”
It was the same water, coming from the same water dispenser anyways. Tae Hyung headed back to the water dispenser without being able to say a word.
“Stupid bastard, he’s a fucking idiot.”
Jo Jung Min taunted for Tae Hyung to hear while his back was turned. While other trainees played it safe and discreetly bullied others, Jo Jung Min blatantly harassed people.
Do Wook felt a sense of deja vu when he looked at Tae Hyung, like he was looking at Kim Bo Myung, his past self. The severity and circumstances were different, but if Park Tae Hyung was Kim Bo Myung, Jo Jung Min could be considered as Seo Kang Jun. Do Wook became bitter that those kinds of relationships exist any time and anywhere.
Jo Jung Min had been a trainee for a long time. Just with HIT Entertainment alone he’s been training for about 4 years and was also the oldest at 21 years old. He even had a sturdy physique so he was the leader among the trainees. He was also the person who would later become a member of KK.
When Bo Myung was previously working at the agency, he often heard bad rumors about Jo Jung Min.
‘There’s no way his personality would be good just because it’s before he debuts.’
Jo Jung Min was one of the reasons why KK, a rising idol group, fell from their plateau. During his hiatus after the 3rd album, Jo Jung Min got involved in drunk driving and assault cases which greatly tarnished KK’s image.
‘As expected, for KK to beat M2M and become the best, the member organization has to change first. I need to deal with Jo Jung Min first.’
He was confident it was the right decision for everyone, whether it was for Kim Bo Myung himself or for the members of KK later on. He was even more confident after he saw Park Tae Hyung coming back with the cold water.
“Debuting is practically guaranteed after we get evaluated tomorrow, right hyung*?”
*Translator note: Hyung is how males refer to older males
When the atmosphere started to get ugly, Ahn Hyung Seo, the trainee that was sitting next to Jo Jung Min and trying not to get on his bad side, mumbled. It was a voice mixed with half anticipation and half concern.
Jo Jung Min bragged.
“Of course. Monster is now a has-been. The higher-ups have been in an uproar saying they need to debut a new group quickly. If they debut a group, who do you think it’d be? Obviously it’d be us.”
It was practically taboo to shoot one’s mouth off about a senior group in the same agency, but Jo Jung Min was not shy.
Do Wook who had been silently listening spoke up.
“Who said that? That Monster is a has-been?”
“What? Kang Do Wook, your tone is disrespectful.”
“Still, they at least debuted while the people here haven’t.”
The lively atmosphere of the rehearsal room became cold within seconds. Debut was definitely the word that easily excited trainees. It was more critical the longer you’ve been a trainee, especially if you’ve been a trainee as long as Jo Jung Min has been.
“Are you a Monster fanboy or something? You’re getting full of yourself because I’ve been nice to you.”
Jo Jung Min went off in a fit of rage.
“And didn’t you hear what I just said? Why wouldn’t we be able to debut? We’ll debut in two days.”
Jo Jung Min was definitely engulfed in his vanity that he would absolutely debut. It was understandable. Separate from his personality, he was skilled enough to debut originally so Jo Jung Min was right too. From HIT Entertainment’s scarce trainee pool, if they were to put together a debut group right now Jo Jung Min and a few others would be the best choice.
“Are you sure you’re confident about debuting?”
“What? This bastard, seriously.”
At Do Wook’s provocation, Jo Jung Min immediately raised his arms.
‘That assault case actually took a while to happen. If he’s already like this, it’s obvious there must have been numerous records of assault.’
Actually, Jo Jung Min was often on the verge of suspension during his school days for his violent behavior.
Do Wook’s eyes met with Park Tae Hyung’s who was standing behind Jo Jung Min holding the cup of water. Park Tae Hyung, who was discouraged, was looking at Do Wook with a worried expression.
‘He should worry about himself….’
Do Wook could again see Kim Bo Myung from Park Tae Hyung, who never once properly rebelled and was only kind, and felt frustrated.
Originally, Park Tae Hyung wasn’t in KK. It’s possible he just might not have known, but there was no one by the name of Park Tae Hyung that debuted even up to the day Bo Myung got in the accident.
“I understand why Park Tae Hyung couldn’t debut.’
You could tell Park Tae Hyung was timid just by looking at him. The world of trainees is also like the jungle, and it’s even more so when you officially enter the entertainment world. He would have easily gotten burnt out and left.
‘Still it’d be a waste for him to leave like that….he’s the type whose talents would flourish with a little bit of praise and help.’
On the day of the audition, Park Tae Hyung was the last member in Do Wook’s group. Thanks to that, Do Wook was able to see Park Tae Hyung’s audition performance. Even though there was no way he could know, he was certain that Park Tae Hyung was going to pass.
It was also Kim Bo Myung’s intuition as an employee who had personally spent time in the agency’s PR team.
What Park Tae Hyung had prepared wasn’t a song but a dance. He demonstrated a short one minute dance to go along with the music he prepared. Unlike the way he anxiously stepped forward, Park Tae Hyung suddenly changed once the music started. The body movements were extraordinary, and you could feel the groove with each and every gesture.
After taking dance lessons as a trainee, Do Wook was able to recognize again that Park Tae Hyung was really good. Park Tae Hyung entrusted his body to the music and performed the dance, more remarkably than idols who had been training much longer than him.
Also, it was none other than his dancing skills that got Park Tae Hyung into Group A.
“I’m asking you. Are you confident?”
Do Wook could pick up on what Jo Jung Min was going to say from his glare.
“If you’re confident, then beat Park Tae Hyung.”
Park Tae Hyung’s eyes got bigger as he stood there. From his point of view, he couldn’t even begin to fathom what Kang Do Wook was saying by suddenly getting him involved like that.
“Are you confident that you can get a better score than Park Tae Hyung at the evaluation tomorrow?”
“What are you …..!”
“You’re not going on about debuting and whatnot when you can’t even beat Tae Hyung who’s only been a trainee for two months now, are you?
It was in front of everybody. Jo Jun Min’s pride couldn’t allow him to answer no.
Just then, the rehearsal room door opened and the dance instructor came in. The gazes that had gathered started to scatter. The trainees got up one by one and formed a line as they gave their greetings.
“What’s all the commotion about?”
The instructor frowned and asked as if something was off but got no reply. The instructor promptly organized the area and prepared for class.
“You wait and see, Kang Do Wook.”
“Why are you saying that to me? It’s Park Tae Hyung you have to beat.”
Jo Jung Min was saying “this bastard” mixed with some swear words but Do Wook went and stood in the back without even pretending to hear it. Through the mirror, he could see Park Tae Hyung fidgeting nervously.
After dance class was over, Jo Jung Min dragged his group and left after kicking the door. He had a scowl on his face even during practice so everyone had to be careful around him.
Tae Hyung approached Do Wook, who was wiping his sweat with the towel he brought and was packing his bag. Do Wook looked at Tae Hyung without saying a word.
“Earlier, wi…with….Jung Min hyung….”
Park Tae Hyung shut his mouth, unable to speak anymore. Do Wook threw him under the bus, so to Park Tae Hyung, it was like a bolt of lightning on a clear day.
“Good luck tomorrow. You’re good at dancing.”
“Don’t think that you can’t do it. You won’t be able to debut that way.”
“I know what you’re worried about. Don’t be like that. Just do it like you normally do. If you do that, you’ll do great.”
It was written all over Park Tae Hyung’s face that he was worried about getting harmed by Jo Jung Min regardless of whether he wins or loses. If he hides or withdraws because of that fear, he would have no choice but to live like that forever. Do Wook assured Park Tae Hyung.
“That’s how you’ll get to debut. Not Jo Jung Min, you.”
If he could just debut, he had the talent to be one of the top 5 dancers among the many idols.
Using this opportunity, Do Wook planned to kill two birds with one stone. Stop Jo Jung Min’s debut, and increase Park Tae Hyung’s confidence so he can debut.
Enjoy the new chapter! Thank you to Watson for doing the PR