The Maknae Has to Be an Idol

Chapter 216



I was already tired, but I felt even more tired after getting angry. I pressed between my brows and looked at the phone screen. He said he needed to get on my nerves for me to reply.

‘…How annoying.’ He informed me that confidential information about our group was being leaked to just receive a reply from me. I didn’t feel good because it felt like I was getting played by him.

‘Who the hell leaked information…’ I thought I should set a time to address this directly to the company later, but for now, I thought I might as well hear the reason why Kang Hyun-Sung contacted me.

—Why did you contact me?

—Am I not allowed to even contact you?

—Yes.

—I was thinking of getting coffee with you if you have the time today.

—Coffee?

At this time? Dinner had long passed, and it was now late at night. But above all, I hadn’t slept properly for several days and wanted to just go home and quickly sleep. I planned to tell him to let’s meet next time but…

—Aren’t you curious about our follow-up plans?

‘…Damn it.’ I thought this guy might really be able to read minds, seeing that when I was about to suggest seeing at another time, he knew just the right cards to play for me to continue the conversation.

—We strategically overlapped our promotion periods with this album, but we should avoid the next right. Don’t you think the same?

He was right. The rivalry between us would only be effective until this activity, and if it prolonged, it would only increase fatigue among our fans. In the end, rest was not an option for me.

‘I have no choice but to go out.’

—Yes, let’s meet. Let me know the location and time.

After a flat reply, I thought about taking a quick rest in the car, but I couldn’t even fall asleep immediately after his subsequent reply.

—The location is your dorm’s parking lot. Tell me when you’re available. I’ll pick you up.

He was going to come and pick me up in person.

—Okay.

I finally closed my eyes after replying to him for the last time.

***

Kang Hyun-Sung put his phone in his pocket. It was quite a short distance from the broadcasting station to their accommodation. They had just got on the car, but they were already passing by the entrance of their dorm.

“I like Sunday shows cause I can go home early.”

“I want to quickly wash up and go to bed.”

“I’m so exhausted…”

All of the Only One members were nodding off because of how fatigued they were. Among them, only Kang Hyun-Sung was completely awake. While sitting in the passenger seat, he turned around to check the members’ condition.

‘They’re 10 seconds away from passing out.’ Kang Hyun-Sung had anticipated this situation and had told his members hundreds of times to develop their physical strength even before their debut. Although they could increase their stamina, albeit slowly by doing aerobic exercise in the morning or climbing on the weekends and doing interval running while taking proper nutrition, No one followed Kang Hyun-Sung.

At a loss what to do, Kang Hyun-Sung had bought good nutritional supplements for fatigue and liver, but no one ate that properly.

“Let’s all take nutritional supplements until the next activity period.” Kang Hyun-Sung thought that the problem might be the location of the nutritional supplements on the table. If he left it in front of the entrance with a water bottle, he thought they might take one pill while going out.

“…Even my dad doesn’t take nutritional supplements to this extent…”

“…What did you say, Young-Ho?”

“…No, it’s nothing.”

Kang Hyun-Sung turned back his head and looked at the front again. His members’ stamina was a problem that he could take his time to solve. The problem right now was what to talk about with Bong Tae-Yoon after meeting him. Honestly, he had already decided the main topic he wanted to discuss—it was to share general information about their next activity plan. Currently, none of the fourth-generation male idols had as much impact and popularity as them.

Therefore, in the idol industry, people were grouping Only One and Siren in a separate category as 4.5 generation idols. In other words, since they had no other rivals in the same generation, if Siren and Only One coordinated their activities well, both sides could maintain their heyday for a long time without a major slump.

Of course, the prerequisite depended on whether each group’s form stayed consistent and they continued their activities without any scandal or major incidents.

‘I’m sure they can do it.’ From what he observed, Siren and Bong Tae-Yoon were not the type of group to self-destruct for stupid things. Siren was a partner that they had done activities together for a long time and a suitable pacemaker for their group.

Thus, he kept contacting and communicating with Bong Tae-Yoon. Since the very structure of the current idol industry was centered on Siren and Only One, the purpose of today’s meeting was to report their future trajectories between each other.

‘But…Hmm.’ Frankly, that wasn’t the only purpose of today’s meeting. Kang Hyun-Sung didn’t know everything about Bong Tae-Yoon, but he thought he had a good grasp of his character. Bong Tae-Yoon was cold and calculative, but as far as his group was concerned, he was more altruistic and sacrificial than anyone else. He didn’t seem to have much attachment for idol activities but seemed to be very attached to his group.

He was also the type of person that didn’t like complaining and showing his weak side, so he didn’t request other people’s help. ‘But there’s something off about him.’

There were times when Bong Tae-Yoon deviated from the characteristics he listed above. For example, during this promotion period, Bong Tae-Yoon suddenly posted a comedic video all of a sudden or planned a cover video. Previously, he had also suddenly asked Kang Hyun-Sung to pick him up on a highway near Sokcho.

Although people didn’t always move within his expectations, Bong Tae-Yoon’s actions were so far beyond that range of expectations that he was quite taken aback.

‘Is he getting chased by someone?’ He had thought this before and wondered if someone was threatening to kill him if he didn’t act like this right now. If he tried to think of it more realistically, he thought that Bong Tae-Yoon might be struggling with financial problems and might get into serious trouble if he didn’t immediately achieve a certain level of achievement and receive this amount of income.

Thus, Kang Hyun-Sung planned to ask about these parts if he could. He didn’t know if he could help, but he thought he could at least hear Bong Tae-Yoon out.

It’s quite complicated.’ Frankly, there was no need for him to be curious about this. Bong Tae-Yoon was a stranger, and there was nothing more headache-inducing than being deeply involved in another person’s business. However, he couldn’t help but be bothered, and it was better to ask him directly than keep worrying about him like this.

“We’ve arrived~”

Just in time, the manager of Only One parked his car in the dorm.

“Ughh~”

“We’re here~”

“I’m going to shower first. I really can’t back down this time.”

“Then shall we take a shower together?”

“…Just wash up first.”

“Nice.”

While Only One members exchanged conversations like this and went up their dorm, Kang Hyun-Sung checked his phone again.

—Okay.

There was a text message from Bong Tae-Yoon. He put his phone back in his pocket after reading it.

***

I took a shower first as soon as I arrived at the dorm with my members. It was really nice that there were many bathrooms in the dorm, so it didn’t take us long to wash up. It already was 10 pm when I took a shower and lay down. The members went straight into their room without even chatting today.

“Guys, I’m going to bed.”

“I’m off to bed.”

“I’m going to sleep.”

“Good night~”

Yeon-Hoon, Do-Seung, Woon, and Dong-Jun all went to sleep right after they showered as if they had planned it beforehand. Since I shared the same room with Woon, I carefully checked to see if he really was asleep. However, I was able to confirm that he was deep asleep without having to observe him for long.

“Ummm…You move the arms…like this here…” He was talking in his ears.

‘Is he teaching us how to dance even while he’s sleeping?’ Anyway I looked at it, he was using words when he used to teach us how to dance. If he was teaching us even in his dreams, I wondered when on earth Woon was ever going to rest. I cautiously got up on bed and changed my clothes. Then I sent a text to Kang Hyun-Sung.

—I have time.

His reply came back in 10 seconds.

—If I text you, come down.

After about 20 minutes passed, I received a text message that I might get from a delivery driver.

—I’ll be there in 5 minutes.

When he told me he would pick me up, I thought he might come riding on a car instead of driving it.

‘Did he buy a car?’ I began to have my suspicions that he might have called me here today to show off his car. However, this suspicion immediately disappeared after five minutes.

“…It’s a taxi.”

“…Is there a problem?”

Kang Hyun-Sung came in a taxi, and it was the call taxi that he introduced to me before. It was the taxi that requested a hefty price for confidentiality.

“Get in.”

“Where are we going?”

“Where there are no people,” Kang Hyun-Sung said and pushed me inside the vehicle.

After that, the place we arrived was Gangnam of all places. I said, “I thought you said it was a place where there are no people.”

“It’s fine as long as there are no people where we are.”

Soon after, the taxi entered the underground parking lot of a building.

“Get off.” After getting out of the car, I saw an elevator directly connected to the underground parking lot.

“…You’re not going to do anything weird, right?” From this call taxi to this suspicious space, it made me think that he was going to drag me to the dark world.

“…We’re going to a café that my friend runs.”

“…Oh.”

“This is just the back door for employees. Since people might see us if we go through the front door, we came here.”

“…”

“Don’t imagine anything strange.”

When we took the elevator up, there really was a café, and the café owner seemed to really be Kang Hyun-Sung’s friend as they briefly greeted each other with their eyes. Honestly, I was a little surprised that even this guy had a friend. Well, that was beside the point.

“This is a room café on the second floor. It’s soundproof, so it’s good for conversation.” The place where Kang Hyun-Sung guided me was a room café. Unlike other room cafes, the structure was completely blocked by walls from top to bottom, and considering the very thick walls, I thought the sound insulation would definitely be good.

Kang Hyun-Sung had already ordered a drink as there were two cups of Americano on the table.

I said, “Did you order without asking for my opinion?””

“It has the lowest calorie. Were you planning to eat something?”

“…”

“If you want decaffeinated, drink this. I ordered one of them decaffeinated.”

“…It’s fine.” Whether I drank decaffeinated or not, I was on the verge of fainting so I just drank the americano in front of me. I drank one sip of americano and asked, “So, what’s Only One’s future plan? Since it’s late, let’s quickly wrap up and return home.”

“Before that, I have something I’d like to ask you first.” However, Kang Hyun-Sung shifted the conversation to another topic.

“Well…Are you desperately in need of money or something like that?”

“…What did you say?” Since it was such an unexpected topic, I gave a completely unfiltered reaction.

Kang Hyun-Sung also seemed to have found his question ridiculous as he made a hollow laugh and said, “No, I just asked because you’re working so hard like you’re being chased by someone. If you’re in a hurry, just forget about it.”

“…Ah…Yes.” But it was my turn to be surprised. ‘Why is he so

Since I was being chased by the system, the feeling that Kang Hyun-Seung received was not complete nonsense.

“Then let’s get straight to the point. What’s Siren’s goal for this year? And what’s your overall plan?”

“You want us to start first?”

“Well, does the order matter?”

“Since you called us, Only One should start first.”

“Well, that makes sense. Then if I tell you our plans first…”

Kang Hyun-Sung said and took the tablet PC out of his bag. I was a bit surprised that he had prepared so thoroughly. I thought I had nothing to lose by listening to their plans in detail when—

[A surprise mission.]

[Break the recorder under the desk.]

[Upon success, no reward.]

[Upon failure, this conversation will be leaked.]

“Wait a minute.”

“What?”

“Don’t say anything.”

The system helped me for a long while. There was a recorder here.

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