The Maknae Has to Be an Idol – Chapter 36

Chapter 36

We werent close to them, so an awkward silence filled the studio. For now, we moved towards Only One. With Park Young-Ho missing, Only One now only had four people while we had five people. We would win if there was a hand-to-hand combat...

What the hell am I thinking? I heard that when a person was in an awkward situation where they had to meet people they didnt want to, their minds practiced avoidance tactics. True to that testament, I began to have all sorts of random thoughts cluttering my mind. We pulled chairs out and sat together in the center of the studio. An order board made of cardboard paper was placed in the middle. We just had to place a nameplate with each teams name on the board to decide the order of the groups performances.

Its quiet. No one talked hastily. The Only One members seemed to be subtly glancing at one person, and that somebody was sitting with a monotonous expression and was staying silent.

Then Kang Hyun-Sung suddenly said, Arent you all tired?

The first thing he said to break the silence was asking us if we were tired or not.




His words could be interpreted in many ways. He could be asking if we were tired of this war of nerves, or if we were tired of this kind of broadcast setup.

But he said, Ah, you must have stopped by a salon early in the morning to come to the shooting today, but its already way past dinner time. I was asking if you guys were hanging on all right. Kang Hyun-Sung gave an additional explanation without any ill intent in his voice.

I wondered if he really meant his words as they were, but I didnt want to waste energy on pondering about his true intentions. I have to just accept it like that.

Ah, yes. Were all right.

Were doing fine.

What about you, Senior Hyun-Sung?

Yes, Im fine too.

We exchanged these types of conversations with Kang Hyun-Sung. I scanned the Only One members. The one sitting at the end was Lee Chul-Woon, and his position was the lead dancer. Kim Ju-Hyun was sitting next to Lee Chul-Woon, and his position was the rapper.

Kim Si-Woo was sitting next to Kim Ju-Hyun, and his position was the main vocalist and also the member who declared war on us before the introductory performance. The person sitting closest to the order board was Kang Hyun-Sung, whose position was the main dancer.

While seeing them directly like this, I thought, Its interesting though. The fact that they were the Only One I knew in my past life hit me again. Although everyone got gradually more handsome later on, their base appearance was the same.

You dont have to put senior before my name every time you say it. Kang Hyun-Sung said. We both came out as a pre-debut group on the same program, so were all in the same boat. Theres no such thing as a senior and junior here.

Ah, but...

When Yeon-Hoon hesitated, Kang Hyun-Sung said, I thought we were the same age. Was I wrong?

No, youre right!

When Yeon-Hoon answered with a nod, Kang Hyun-Sung said, Then shall we just be friends?

What? He made an unexpected suggestion, and Yeon-Hoon opened his eyes wide as if he was surprised.

Kang Hyun-Sungs expression was more flat. When a slightly uncomfortable atmosphere brewed between them, Kang Hyun-Sung took a step back and said, Lets get to know each other slowly.

Ah, yes... Then Yeon-Hoon looked at Kang Hyun-Sung as if he was somewhat disappointed. I guess he had just been surprised by the unexpected proposal and actually wanted to be friends with Kang Hyun-Sung. Yeon-Hoon was the type of person to make friends and hang out with an enemy, even in the middle of a war.

Shall we decide the order first? Naturally, the flow of the conversation centered around Kang Hyun-Sung. This was actually the best turn of events. Since the most famous person was Kang Hyun-Sung, it was most comfortable if he led the conversation.

When do you want to go? Kang Hyun-Sung asked.

I made eye contact with the members, and they looked a bit flustered as we hadnt actually decided on the order yet. I thought it was best to ask the composer and choreographer in our group as they were the ones who were going to set up the stage.

I asked, Woon and Do-Seung, when do you think it would be best for us to go?

Hmm. Let me think.

I think it would be nice if it were the latter but...

Do-Seung and Woon glanced at each other and Kang Hyun-Sung. They were both extremely passionate on stage and had a competitive spirit. Woon was usually gentle, but he went really hard on the members during practice time, and Do-Seung also directed every syllable in detail when recording Walya. I wondered why they were so hesitant this time...

Can you give us the ending? So I just fired away.




The members made a fuss, but I was calm. I wasnt asking Kang Hyun-Sung to lend me money but just asking if we could get the ending.

Ending? Why do you want to do the ending? Kang-Hyun-Sung asked why we wanted the ending. He was fiddling with Sirens nameplate in his hands.

We performed third this time. I mentioned todays stage order when he asked us why and continued, So I want us to perform the ending for the next performance. While saying this, there were many words that were omitted in between. The nuance that I basically gave was that since you guys gave us the third order this time, Only One should give us the ending this time.

But didnt Siren do the ending for the introductory performance?

When Kang Hyun-Sung retorted like this, I immediately responded, We did, but we want to do it again. Frankly, I gave an obvious answer; just because we did an ending performance once, it didnt mean that we should be denied the chance to do it again.

Kang Hyun-Sung continued to fiddle with the Sirens nameplate without saying a word.

I asked, Will it be hard for us to get the ending performance? Honestly, since our side asked first, it would be harder for them to deny our request. This was why there was a saying that 'the person who attacks first wins'. I thought that we might just get the ending performance like this if we just dragged out the time, but

We also want to do the ending performance, too. Kang Hyun-Sung pushed forward without backing down an inch. Dont all groups want the ending? He even said that wanting the ending performance was not an act of selfishness but a natural desire as an artist. I agreed with him on that.

Hmm. With this, things became a little bit more complicated. If I argued on this matter, I would be the ridiculous one.

At that moment, Yeon-Hoon carefully gave his suggestion, Shall we decide by rock-paper-scissors...?

Kang Hyun-Sung and my expression relaxed at the same time at his peaceful suggestion, which was like a ray of sunshine.

I asked, How about rock-paper-scissors?

Kang Hyun-Sung replied, Yes, lets do that. He easily accepted the offer. Arguing further from here would only be a loss for both groups.

Lets make the leader of each group play rock-paper-scissors.

Yeon-Hoon and Kang Hyun-Sung played rock-paper-scissors. Although it was a peaceful solution, I unexpectedly felt nervous.

As a result, Yeon-Hoon revised the plan and asked, Can we play mukjjippa[1] instead?

Lets just play rock-paper-scissors to quickly end it. Kang Hyun-Sung cut him off.

Well, then

Yeon-Hoon and Kang Hyun-Sun began.

Rock~ Paper~ Scissors!

The result was...



Good job, Yeon-Hoon!

It was our victory. Yeon-Hoons paper beat Kang Hyun-Sungs rock. Yeon-Hoon ran to us and hugged us in his joy of victory. Since he flung himself towards anyone close to him, Do-Seung and I had to hold up Yeon-Hoon together. Aall west chptrs on n.o./vli/n/(.)cm

Then lets have Siren do the ending, Kang Hyun-Sung said and placed our nameplate at the ending slot. It was now time for Only One to decide their order.

Why dont we do the opening? Kang Hyun-Sung asked the other members, and they nodded cheerfully.

I think thatll be good.

Lets start the show with a bang instead.

Since its the first performance, I think it would also have a significant impact. I could understand why he chose the opening. If they started with the opening and made all the stages after that look dull in comparison, the audience's evaluation of Only One would significantly rise.

He must be confident in his skills. Indeed, if Park Young-Ho hadnt made a mistake on todays stage, I had no idea what would have happened. After all, before the dance break, the audience loved Only Ones performance.

Kang Hyun-Sung said, Then lets decide the order of the other teams.

We decided the order of the other groups with a relatively light heart. Second was Luminin, third was OnebyOne, and fourth was Bleshu. This was how the order of all the teams was decided.

Then lets organize it like this, submit it, and lets get off work today. In this way, additional filming between the two first winners was also completed.

* * *


Ugh! Im so tired! The shooting to decide the order was over. The members stood in front of the car while stretching their arms. Currently, we were standing in front of the car in the underground parking lot and waiting for Ms. Seung-Yeon and Ms. Hyuna. They had left a while ago, saying they needed to coordinate our schedules with the production team.

They said theyd be here in ten minutes, right?


Why did the production crew call Ms. Hyuna and Seung-Yeon at such a late hour?

Well, people at broadcasting stations are famous for working day and night.

The members exchanged conversations like this to pass the time. Then


Yeon-Hoons phone vibrated.

Huh? Yeon-Hoon looked at his phone and tilted his head, and said, Ms. Hyuna and Ms. Seung-Yeon said they're going to be a bit late, so if its possible, we should drive the car and return home.

It seemed as if the meeting with the production crew was going longer than expected.

Yeon-Hoon added, The message says any one of us should come up and get the car keys. Yeon-Hoon said and scanned us; his expression indicated that he didnt want to go up.

Well, Ill drive so... would it be possible for one of you guys to go up and get it? He cautiously asked us if one of us could go get the keys since he would be the one driving.

He had a good reason; since driving was the most tiring, it was only right that the rest of us should go. However, the problem was that we were quite far from the meeting room of the production crew. The other members were also a bit hesitant, and it was times like this that the maknae had to step up.

I said, Ill go.



Thanks, Tae-Yoon.

Ill buy you a steam bun tomorrow.

The members were impressed by my sacrifice. I thought there was no need to be so impressed and asked, Did they say they were in the meeting room right now?

Yeon-Hoon replied, Yeah. If we come and text them, theyll just come out and hand over the key.

Then Ill be back. I left them behind and walked towards the meeting room. I drew the shortest route to the meeting room in my head as I walked up the emergency stairs. I thought it would be faster to go up a floor and then use the stairs of the main building, so I was about to quicken my steps when


I heard the emergency door open and someone come down the stairs. I thought it was one of the broadcasting staff when

Ah. It was Kang Hyun-Sung.

Kang Hyun-Sung and I awkwardly stared at each other on the stairs. I felt okay on the set just now, but seeing him outside the camera felt strangely uncomfortable.

It was because of the rivalry we made for the show, but I also thought, I feel a bit sorry for some reason.

Regardless of everything, I felt a bit bad because Only One was a team that would have easily won first place if we didnt exist. Currently, Kang Hyun-Sung had erased his makeup and changed it into normal clothes.

He looked at me and said, You havent left yet? He asked with a flat tone.

Yes, some things came up, I replied and tried to quickly escape.

But Kang Hyun-Sung stared at me closely and immediately got straight to the point. Could you explain what happened with the application video? He spoke without hesitation as if he had been biding his time for us to be alone. Although he didnt exactly have a friendly impression even when the camera was turned on, his expression was even more indifferent and cold outside of it. Since he gave off an atmosphere that there was no need for us to talk outside of the cameras, I never thought he would ask me so directly like this.

What explanation? I pretended ignorance at his question.

Your group filmed the same video and uploaded it at the same time. Its strange, He asked more specifically this time.

Whats strange about it?

Can that really be a coincidence?

Isnt it possible?

Ah, so thats what you think. Kang Hyun-Sung looked at me in silence, and I met his eyes.

Although I felt a prickle of guilt, I had to pretend ignorance till the very end, as I was not in a position where I could back down either.

Kang Hyun-Sung paused and then said, Is there anyone you know in our company? Even if he had his doubts, was this an issue that he could be this straightforward about?

It just happened to overlap. Please dont misunderstand. However, the more he pushed aggressively like this, I thought I needed to keep firm in my stance.

Kang Hyun-Sung looked straight at me again. His expressionless, black eyes observed me. Seeing him directly made me realize again that his eyes were more steadfast and wavered much less than other people. I wasnt sure if it was because he was emotionally calm, or if it was simply his physical trait. Whatever the reason, I didnt think it was important.

This world is very tough. Even with just one misstep, you can fall over a cliff. You should be careful. Kang Hyun-Sung uttered a very clear sentence of hostility without hesitation. He was right. The rivalry between us and Only One was dangerous. If we just took one misstep, we would get cussed out to the point of being no-name idols who dared to compete with Kang Hyun-Sung and be left in the dust. Kang Hyun-Sungs fandom had the power to make that a reality.

However, apart from feeling a bit sorry for him, I got a little angry that he was blatantly showing his enmity like this. Thus, I replied according to my personality, Thank you for your advice. Senior, you should be careful too, since this world is so tough.

Kang Hyun-Sungs brows twitched. You applied with the intention of winning this show, right? He spoke with a little more spitefulness. He was asking this because he knew that the other groups had applied to increase their fame rather than with the intention of actually winning the show. There was no way that Kang Hyun-Sung, of all people, didnt know that this whole playing field was centered around him and Only One. Thus, by this question, he was asking us if we seriously believed we could beat them and get first place.

However, I could also play hard if thats how he wanted to play the game. Yes, were going to win.

Our gazes collided against each other in the air.

Lets work hard together. Kang Hyun-Sung patted me on the shoulder as if he was encouraging me.

Senior, I also hope you prepare well for the next performance, I said, slightly pulling my shoulder aside to avoid his hand.

A moment of silence passed between us on the emergency stairs. It was at that moment, that Kang Hyun-Sungs expression began to get noticeably cold.

1. A variation of rock-paper-scissors where multiple rounds are involved. ?

Chapter end

Comic Sans MS
Font size