Second Try Idol

Chapter 148: End-of-Year Stage (18)



Chapter 148: End-of-Year Stage (18)

A special year-end stage meeting was underway at the SES Broadcasting Station's meeting room. It was an unusual hour, scheduled late in the evening as a considerate nod to the busy schedules of the artists and office workers alike. Many of them were drained by reckless overtime.

“So, for the special performance, we have Goh Yoo-Joon and Suh Hyun-Woo on one stage."

“Yes, we are looking forward to it.” The coordinator confirmed with a professional nod.

A chorus of agreements followed. “Yes, that sounds perfect. Thank you.”

Unlike KEW's focus on grand ensemble stages, the SES New Year Party was a tapestry of solo performances, with each artist shining on their own stage. There was an air of excitement about the upcoming event as it featured solo performances like Yeong-Yee, who was back from a hiatus, and Reina, who had dominated last year's music charts.

The planning team unveiled three unique joint performances and added a dash of surprise to the otherwise straightforward lineup.

1. A showcase by singers stepping into their twenties next year.

2. Boy group renditions of girl group classics.

3. Girl groups taking on boy band hits.

Next year, two members of Chronos, Goh Yoo-Joon and Suh Hyun-Woo, would come of age. Yet, Suh Hyun-Woo's recent injury meant a shift from a high-energy dance to a soul-stirring ballad. However, everyone was confident that their vocal prowess would captivate the audience despite the restriction in song choice.

Park Yoon-Chan was chosen for the second part—the girl group cover. This decision was made by Supervisor Kim to ensure equitable stage time for everyone.

“As I have already mentioned, we have scheduled the rehearsals in YU studio. Yoon-Chan will be there, and Hyun-Woo and Yoo-Joon will practice separately before coming together the day before the show. That's the plan, right?"

“Absolutely, we are on the same page." replied someone, followed by a nod of approval.

“That is...”

The director's phone suddenly rang, breaking the rhythm of the meeting. Looking at the caller's name, he let out a heavy sigh and excused himself.

“I need to step out for a moment. Writer, would you join me, please?” There was a hint of urgency in his voice as he left with the writer, leaving whispers of curiosity in his wake.

It was a call from the editing department, with whom we were collaborating on the broadcast. Something serious seemed to be brewing as the director hastily exited the meeting room along with the writer.

Such interruptions were common during meetings, so neither the manager nor the members of Chronos paid much heed to it. They sprawled across the vacant meeting room, a collective air of exhaustion enveloping them.

“Man, I am dying," Lee Jin-Sung exclaimed, his eyes shadowed by heavy bags underneath.

Lee Su-Hwan then offered some comforting words. “You've been awake all day long. Let's get some extra sleep tomorrow."

Kang Joo-Han then asked with a note of concern, “How is Hyun-Woo doing?"

The question instantly shifted everyone's attention to the manager, who replied, “The road manager said he's not in a serious condition, but walking is a struggle for him right now... He really needs to take it easy until he feels better."

“Hyun-Woo hyung tends to push himself too hard, especially for performances... I'm really worried about him." Park Yoon-Chan’s words seemed to echo in the room and resonated with the others.

Recalling Hyun-Woo’s pale face as he staggered with cold sweat right after a blackout was hauntingly troubling. However, persuading him to take a break from performing seemed like an impossible task as he had a deep passion for the stage.

Moreover, the thought of his injury weighed heavily on everyone's minds, given his roles in both dance and vocals for Chronos's year-end performance.

“He will definitely get on the stage for the SES party. Hence, we are planning to concentrate on his treatment, and we will only let him see the choreography videos for now. Please understand.”

“Oh, yes. For sure! We will take good care of him,” agreed the members, united in their concern for Suh Hyun-Woo.

In the midst of this heavy atmosphere, the unexpected sound of notifications broke the silence.

Ding! Ding!

Both Lee Su-Hwan’s phone and Chronos’s phone that Kang Joo-Han was holding chimed simultaneously.

“What's this?" Kang Joo-Han frowned in confusion as they checked their phones.

[CHRONOS] I'm okay! The live is starting now

“Huh?" Kang Joo-Han was puzzled and scratched his head.

With a nonchalant attitude, Lee Su-Hwan explained, “It's Hyun-Woo. He was worried about the fans being concerned, so I suggested he do a Q-app live."

“...How dumb. He should be focusing on recovering at the moment,” Kang Joo-Han sighed.

“He's more concerned about his image than his health. Seeing him so anxious about it was quite a surprise," Lee Su-Hwan added, and their conversation filled with underlying concern.

Just then, Goh Yoo-Joon's booming voice cut through the room. “Is Suh Hyun-Woo doing his own live cam?" This question prompted Kang Joo-Han to look his way. Goh Yoo-Joon was laughing in a somewhat playful manner, though dark bags under his eyes betrayed his own fatigue.

“Why are you laughing?"

“Hyung, can I borrow the phone for a bit? It's nothing major. My friend is doing his first solo live show, so I have to tune in for some moral support," Goh Yoo-Joon explained with a grin.

***

- [CHRONOS] Hyung, can you do some aegyo for your fans? We are running out of time~

“It's a bit awkward reading this nickname out loud, but this one's from Hyun-Woo's Sunflower."

- [CHRONOS] Hyung, Hyung, look at me~~~

“You guys asked if the video and stage performance at the KEW Awards were a spoiler for our next album.”

- [CHRONOS] Suh Hyun-Woo~~~

Ah, jeez, these chats in bright blue were too eye-catching. I could practically hear Goh Yoo-Joon's chuckle and see his playful expression behind the chat messages.

I tried so hard to focus and steadily read the fan's questions, but he bombarded the chat to the point of spamming. The messages were anonymous, but it was obviously him. The fans were also actively reacting with a string of “hahaha” and “lol,” making it impossible for me to ignore them any longer.

“Those guys..." I stopped mid-sentence, turning to look at Manager Hyuk-Soo behind the phone camera.

“Manager?"

“Hmm?" he replied distractedly as he was also following the Q-app chat on his other phone.

I asked in a composed manner, “Can we ban the members? There's someone spamming here."

- [CHRONOS] How could you do this to me? Suh Hyun-Woo is all about individualism~

- LMAO

- AHAHAHAHAHA the same age duo lol

- That is definitely Yoo-Joon lmaoooo

- Banning them? Lol that’s hilarious

“Isn’t Goh Yoo-Joon in a meeting? Can he be on Q-app right now?”

- [CHRONOS] It’s break time.

- AHAHAHAHAHAHHA Yoo-Joon, please have your own live session

- [CHRONOS] But I gotta go back to the meeting soon.

- [CHRONOS] Make sure you keep doing this until we come back in an hour.

‘...Ah, what should I do?’ I really didn't feel like laughing, but then, Goh Yoo-Joon's chat messages were too amusing to resist. I tried to suppress my amusement, but it only caused my cheeks to stiffen comically.

“Alright, I will think about it. You should go back to the meeting. You might end up getting scolded by Joo-Han hyung, you know."

- [CHRONOS] Joo-Han hyung is watching and laughing right now with us! Ok, I will wrap up soon and head over. Just wait a little longer, Rings!

- ?? Everyone went to the meeting, but Hyun-Woo couldn't because he's unwell... What a situation...

- lol Thinking about them giggling while opening Q-app is so funny.

“Really, Goh Yoo-Joon. You just can't resist playing around, can you? I bet this is definitely your doing, isn't it? Even the Rings think so." The chat confirmed my suspicion, and I let out a wry chuckle.

“Yoo-Joon's character is really something else."

Thankfully, his act considerably lightened up the somber mood that had hovered over the live stream. It was a real relief.

Since the [CHRONOS] chat spam had stopped, it seemed like they had returned to their meeting. I resumed speaking with a smile, “So, answering you guys’ earlier question, yes, today's performance and the video are indeed connected to the Chronos Universe. It was pretty obvious, wasn’t it?"

It was clearly a performance that contained a story. Moreover, the storyline was very much to my taste.

“Honestly, we don't have a complete grasp of the universe ourselves... Haha. But that's the beauty of it. It leaves room for everyone to speculate and enjoy, so I am not going to say more about it."

The chat was abuzz with curiosity.

- So, is it a spoiler for the next album?

- Really a spoiler?

- Will the next album also feature a universe-themed music video?

I watched the chat, my eyes playfully rolling. Then, I responded with a somewhat mysterious smile. “Well, I can't say for sure. But, oh, you are going to love what we have in store. Stay excited."

It was sad that I couldn't reveal more. Manager Hyuk-Soo was standing in front of me and gave a thumbs-up in approval.

Then, I felt a dull pain in my back, so I shifted my position slightly and scanned the chat for another question to answer.

“...Sigh."

The Ring who asked the question went by the nickname [Joo-Han with Cat Ears on His Ears]. The moment I saw it, my cheeks tensed, trembling as I tried to hold back my laughter. “First impressions of the members, you ask?"

The image of Joo-Han with cat ears popped into my head, filling my mind with an amusing visual.

“...Pfft, oh, sorry about that. That nickname, Joo-Han with Cat Ears...heup

." I tried to ignore it, but it was too amusing.

“...Hehe...Hah... my back! Ah, the nickname, it’s just..." It was so funny that I couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

“...Pwahaha!" I laughed heartily, clutching my aching back, as tears of laughter streamed down my face at the thought of Joo-Han.

“Ah, seriously... This is too funny.”

After regaining my composure and wiping away the tears, I sat back down and turned my attention back to the temporarily paused question. “Phew, about the members' first impressions... Well, it's a bit hard to remember since we've been trainees for so long..."

- Hahaha, he is totally cracked up!!!

- Back pain <<< The image of member with cat ears

- Just tell us what you remember!

- Oppa awww I didn’t know you were having a live ??I love you so much <3!!!

“Speaking of the first impressions of the members... Let's start with Joo-Han hyung.” I paused to recall our first meeting, which was about eight... no, actually around fourteen to fifteen years ago.

“I must have been around ten or eleven years old when Joo-Han hyung joined us. He should have been in elementary school or maybe a first-year middle schooler then.”

Ah, I finally remembered our first encounter. “Joo-Han hyung back then, hmm... Did he wear silver-framed glasses? I remember him with thin-framed glasses and dyed hair. He came along with his parents, greeted everyone, and then left.”

He had seemed like quite a mischievous kid, different from how he was now.

“Being the youngest among the trainees, I was thrilled to have another kid join. However, when hyung first arrived, he couldn’t dance well. So, he would sneak off to the lobby after watching us from behind.”

He was quite different back then, good at studying and always received praise. However, he became quite reserved as he got scolded and struggled more than others.

“And Yoo-Joon, he was the typical troublemaker student. I met him when he was in middle school. Even back then, he looked a bit tough, both appearance and speaking wise.”

Around the time when Allure was a hit, more trainees around my age joined us. I remembered it vividly. He walked in with both hands in his pockets and scanned the room with a rebellious gaze, probably to assert dominance, haha. However, I also had a strong personality, so we fought a lot back then, both physically and verbally.

“I thought we could never get along. He was intimidating, and I had never met anyone like him. But then we ended up attending the same school. I hated the idea at first, but as we walked to and from school together, I realized he was just putting on an act and was actually a nice guy.”

Then, there was Jin-Sung. Jin-Sung and Yoon-Chan joined as younger trainees after I had been there for a while, so I didn’t remember them making a big impact initially. “Ah, Jin-Sung. He was already famous for his dancing skills before joining the company, so everyone was nervous to meet him. But when he joined, he was just a kid who danced incredibly well... Haha!”

He often got in trouble with Joo-Han, especially in his early years. He was competitive, ambitious, and always hungry, with some bad sleeping habits. Once, he was scolded so badly that he ran out with tears streaming down his face. Then, he yelled, “I hate Joo-Han hyung!!!!”

That was a memorable incident. We used to speak formally then, and Joo-Han chased after him with a frozen look. He said, “Is he leaving before I finish speaking? He must be asking for it.”

Joo-Han then grabbed Jin-Sung’s collar and dragged him back to the room. Then, he continued lecturing Jin-Sung again. He didn’t care about being disliked, but he couldn’t tolerate being interrupted.

“Yoon-Chan, well, he was the most delicate kid I have ever seen. Back then, he was even slender and paler, with wide, round eyes. I remember thinking, ‘Ah, so this is what star celebrities look like!’ He was introduced as someone who might become an actor, but then I saw him practicing with us.” Diiscover new 𝒔tories at n𝒐ve/lbin(.)c/o𝒎

I wanted to talk more about Yoon-Chan, but my memories of him during our trainee days were so little, so I didn’t have much more to say.

As I continued to engage in a pleasant conversation with the Rings by answering various questions, the sound of the front door lock echoed, followed by the bustling entry of the members.

“We are back!”

“Hey, wassup?”

“How did Hyun-Woo do?”

The once peaceful chat room reignited with excitement as the members returned from their meeting.

“It’s cold outside. Hey, why is the guy with a sore back sitting on the floor? Sit on the couch.”

“It’s okay, I put a cushion down.”

“Are you okay, hyung?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m fine.”

“Are you really okay? Oh, you are still live, uh, hello, Rings,” said Yoon-Chan as he waved at the camera.

“Rings, we are here! We missed you! Did Hyun-Woo hyung do well?”

“Yeah, I did pretty well.”

“How was my stage today?”

The situation became hectic as I tried to respond to the members and manage the live session simultaneously. Suddenly, Joo-Han excluded himself from the others and pulled down the hands of the members, sitting next to me. “Come on, give him a hug. Comfort Hyun-Woo.”

“Hyun-Woo hyung!”

“Missed you, Suh Hyun-Woo!”

“...” Surrounded and embraced by my fellow members, I wore a blank expression of astonishment as I gazed into space.

“What are you guys doing...?”

On the Q-app screen, only my face was popping out amidst their hugs.

“It's good you are alive!"

“Our Hyun-Woo needs to be happy!"

“Don't get hurt, hyung!"

“You've got to live well, hyung!"

“..."

‘Ah, this is unbelievable.’


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