Once it was revealed that Park Tae Hyung was the spy, the cast was shocked.
An edited video with Park Tae Hyung’s entire active performance was released, including how he was able to secretly shoot the other cast with the water gun, moving quietly while pretending not to know, etc.
Once it was broadcasted, it was a hot topic among ‘Run Man’ viewers.
‘Run Man’ was a program that had as strong of a fanbase as ‘Limitless Challenge’.
Furthermore, since the Run Man members had a lot of determination to win, the die-hard fans showed just as much animosity towards the guests invited for different special features.
Due to the nature of the missions given on Run man, the fun was definitely halved if that day’s guest either didn’t fully understand the game or wasn’t able to adapt to it.
Before this episode’s campus special featuring KK was even broadcasted, the reaction of die-hard fans were all negative.
Those who were looking forward to the episode were only KK fans.
Even among KK fans, ‘Run Man’ wasn’t a completely welcomed program.
Of course, appearing on an entertainment show on public tv meant KK’s popularity had increased so most fans were excited about it, but there were even more people who had wished for a different program if they were going to go on a public tv entertainment show anyways.
In the case of Run Man, it was hard to appeal to individual members’ charm, and if they ended up not doing well on the games they’d get a lot of criticism when it wasn’t a particularly helpful program to idols.
However, the situation changed once the broadcast aired.
-Invite KK again lolol
-Where are the people who said, “Not idols again” and were opposed to it? lol
-It was an episode truly fitting of Run Man. They were running around everywhere lolol
-I think they need to get some herbal medicine for the cameramen, looks shaky…they had to run a lot-they turned the Hyun Sae College campus upside down
-I didn’t even know who Park Tae Hyung was because he’s so quiet but I guess being quiet came in handy
-Spy…It didn’t even cross my mind. He killed it…maybe he got special training?
-What’s this what’s this, is our Dong Gook going up against Kang Do Wook? Is this real? Really true?
-Do Wook was superior
-It sure is nice to be young…
-Do Wook’s Rolled Tissue? Do they only wipe Kang Do Wook’s tears? What are they doing, they need to wipe Do Wook’s sweat too…all his makeup is getting erased
-It’s nice to see KK giving it their all~
-Look at them all sweating…just Suk Ji Hoon…lol Tae-mes Bond is so cruel to his fellow members
-Tae-mes Bond lolol
-It was really GOAT water gun skills
-Kim Won seemed good at archery when I watched the Idol Olympics. Kim Won as the spy would have been good too
-I made Tae-mes Bond!
-The water gun details lolol
-Is Park Tae Hyung going to be on the next season of 007?? haha??
The viewer message board was full of compliments about KK.
You could tell that every KK member gave it their all on the program. Perhaps it was because of the effort the members put into it, the Run Man fans were also completely satisfied. They even went on to say that KK should come on the program again.
In Park Tae Hyung’s case, he even got the nickname ‘Tae-mes Bond’.
Of course there were posters made, but an edited video of PARK TAE HYUNG’s performance was also shared through Mytube, making even people who weren’t Run Man viewers aware who Park Tae Hyung is.
Do Wook’s competition with Kim Dong Gook was also being shared around and causing a stir.
It was hard for fans to hide their joy over KK’s successful entertainment show appearance.
Furthermore, fitting ‘Howl’’s concept of showing off masculinity, the response to the ‘Howl’ performance got better and better.
It was also associated with their image from the Olympic Idol Competition where they briefly demonstrated that they were good at sports. They were given additional nicknames such as PE-dol, Relay-dol etc.
The response was so good that HIT Entertainment had a hard time from having to turn down the requests coming in from entertainment programs one after another.
It was because they had scheduled events they couldn’t push back.
“Tae Bon(d)! What are you up to?”
“Huh? Uh, uh. I was in the middle of… reviewing our performance.”
Park Tae Hyung took out one earbud from his ears and replied when Ahn Hyung Seo called out to him.
After Park Tae Hyung was named Tae-mes Bond, his nickname became ‘Tae Bon(d)’ among the members.
It was Taemes Bond shortened, and had a feeling of calling him a ‘Division Head’*.
(TL Note: Tae is his name, ‘Division Head’ is bonbujang. First letters together would be Tae Bon)
He got the name after going on an entertainment show, so he was called Entertainment Division Head. Park Tae Hyung was simply bewildered by the situation.
“Hyung, I asked you not to call me that.”
“Why, why?! You saw that edited video too, didn’t you?!”
Park Tae Hyung couldn’t say anything back to Ahn Hyung Seo’s question.
It was true that Park Tae Hyung also felt really happy when he saw the video. He didn’t think in his wildest dreams that it’d become this viral.
“Anyways, I’m worried about China,”
Ahn Hyung Seo said as he sat next to Park Tae Hyung.
The KK members were currently at the airport lounge getting ready to head to Beijing.
They had significant fatigue even before leaving the country because of all the pictures taken of them by fans, who swarmed them at the airport trying to take pictures of the KK members.
Because of the fans who stuck to them like glue, even saying they were going to get on the same airplane as them, the members gave up trying to shop at the duty-free store and came to the lounge to rest.
“It’s my first time in China too…”
“I’ve been there on a family vacation before when I was little, but the food didn’t fit my taste so I suffered a lot.”
Park Tae Hyung made a concerned expression over what AHN HYUNG SEO said.
“Will you be ok?”
“I packed a ton of gochujang and ramen. I also told Chul Min too.”
Park Tae Hyung nodded his head.
KK, who had never been aboard excluding Japan, had a 5-night 6-day schedule in Beijing this time.
During the almost week-long time, every day would be a busy day for KK in Beijing and surrounding areas. As soon as they landed, they first had a press conference and ‘Howl’ album showcase.
They also ended up performing at a city festival held in Beijing.
Of course they had an interview with a local magazine, but they were also scheduled to appear on an entertainment tv program. It was a program where K-POP stars were introduced.
It was a schedule they had been slowly planning ever since they were preparing the Chinese version album.
On top of that, they were gaining popularity locally, so it was clear that it was an opportunity to gain momentum and increase fame during this visit.
Rather, compared to the popularity they were quickly getting, it felt like it was getting a little delayed because of the activities in Korea.
“I know fewer words in Chinese than I do in Japanese. I have some studying to do.”
Ahn Hyung Seo was only now anxiously opening a Chinese conversation book.
When Ahn Hyung Seo, who was sitting next to him, did that, Park Tae Hyung also started to get anxious, so he took out the paper of responses that Fan Marketing Team’s Assistant Manager Do Ra Hee had prepared and studied it.
The paper was already wrinkled from looking at it several times.
On the other hand, Jung Yoon Ki, who would have to talk the most, was wrestling with his hair again.
Do Wook, who was quietly on his phone across from Ahn Hyung Seo and Par Tae Hyung, said,
“Hyung Seo, let’s all take a picture together on the Aibo account later and post it before we leave.”
Ahn Hyung Seo was one of the members who had been diligently active on the social media accounts from the beginning. He was a member who found the most joy in interacting with fans through social media.
“But why all of a sudden?”
“I didn’t know, but we have over a million followers on the Aibo account,”
Do Wook muttered, unable to shake the bewildered feeling.
Aibo was the main social media account Chinese people used.
Because it wasn’t as easy to use as Micenote, the Aibo account was periodically maintained by the Fan Marketing Team instead of the members themselves.
Nevertheless, they had over a million followers.
“What? One…one million?”
“Yes. One million.”
It was a tremendous number. Do Wook had to reflect on China’s population.
“Oh oh. Let’s definitely take one later. If we send it to Assistant Manager Do, she’ll post it for us, right?”
“I think she would,”
Do Wook replied to Ahn Hyung Seo’s question.
Manager Oh Baek Ho, who was next to Do Wook, said as if he had just remembered,
“You guys getting over a million followers on there is amazing, but your popularity on Haidu is no joke either.”
Do Wook, Ahn Hyung Seo, and Park Tae Hyung’s eyes shone.
Haidu was the largest web portal in China. How one ranked on Haidu’s search trend was also indicative of how popular one was.
“I could count on one hand the number of Korean celebrities who have accomplished that.”
Park Tae Hyung asked, his mouth agape.
The number of views for the Chinese version video was also continuing to rise exponentially.
KK’s recent steps had definitely been a series of surprising moves. It had always been surprising, but they were increasing that scale more and more recently.
‘Releasing an album targeted at China at the right time was definitely a good choice.’
Do Wook thought about the China market that would continue to grow moving forward.
Compared to the large financial capital it had, China currently had a lack of content they could pour their capital into.
It would take some time for singers as big as current Korean idols to appear in their own country. He planned to take full advantage of that gap until then to dominate the market.
‘Let’s go there and give them a proper performance.’
Do Wook thought and planned to use the Chinese market as a stepping stone to raise capital he could one day use to beat Ara Entertainment.
Entrance of Beijing Airport.
As expected, a great deal of Chinese fans were waiting for KK at the airport. Each of them held placards cheering on the members and started shouting out the names of the members.
‘Run Man’ hadn’t officially been exported, but it had spread through the internet and their popularity in China was already amazing.
There was even a fan who brought a ‘Tae-mes Bond’ poster they had made by putting Park Tae Hyung and 007 together.
Ahn Hyung Seo and Suk Ji Hoon pointed at the poster and laughed after noticing it, but that was brief.
Once the KK members started to move, the Chinese fans who were outside the guard lines started to ruthlessly push forward.
There were a significant number of staff dispatched in the airport, but it was not enough.
KK had also hired a Chinese security team. One by one they marked the member they were in charge of and were on their way out of the airport.
It was chaos. The chaos they went through when they were leaving Incheon Airport couldn’t even be called chaos compared to this.
The members, who were squeezed between people, started to slowly move forward even in the suffocating situation.
They heard a woman’s ear-piercing scream.
It was a different sound than calling out for the members.
“痛 !!! (It hurts!!!)”
“这里有人受伤了! (There’s an injured person here!)”
The members immediately stopped in their tracks.
A woman was on the floor, slumped over. The woman’s body kept being moved around because of the people who kept pushing even during that situation.
A deep male’s voice was speaking to the woman. It seemed like he was swearing at her, but the KK members couldn’t understand what he was saying.
“W…What do we do?”
Park Tae Hyung muttered, worried.
Oh Baek Ho, who had been standing in front of everyone, pulled Park Tae Hyung, who was right behind him, towards him. It meant that for now they shouldn’t get involved and should follow him quickly.
However, it was obvious that the woman had fallen like that because of the private security KK had hired. Regardless of whose fault it was initially, it was not a good sight to see. It could become a big accident.
Do Wook looked back again.