Following Plan A, I diligently prepared Plan B and immediately started to work on… no, persuading.
“Hyung, we should practice.”
“Can you trust me just once?”
“Yohan-hyung, do you want to become an idol?”
After much persuasion, Ban Yohan finally nodded with a trembling smile.
Sincerity indeed worked wonders.
[It seems Ban Yohan would instead practice than listen to you.]
No doubt about it.
Anyway, I began to work hard on training Ban Yohan.
I had a feeling that he would become my early shuttle.
“Teacher said earlier that we should be careful here, not to get hurt.”
If Mook Hyeseong was a cool and excellent teacher, Ban Yohan was a clever but slack student.
Based on his astonishing intelligence, Ban Yohan digested my messy explanations, and it once again made me feel a sense of crisis.
“No, you need to stomp hard here and move on.”
I briefly demonstrated.
“That’s right. But it doesn’t seem like you’re doing it correctly either.”
“Teaching and skill are separate things.”
Thanks to my thorough understanding of the theory, I was confident.
Ban Yohan reluctantly followed my instructions and tried the choreography.
[Ban Yohan feels grateful toward you for helping him even though you can’t take care of yourself.
Current Affection +18]
This guy’s true feelings seemed to be getting worse. Who couldn’t take care of themselves?
[Heart Attack: 31.99%]
Could it be that understanding such a difficult dance increased my proficiency with the song by more than 30% in just half a day?
What mattered most was the effectiveness of Mook Hyeseong’s explosive guidance.
Every time he pointed out my weak points, my understanding skyrocketed.
If this continued, how much would it increase tomorrow?
I was already looking forward to class.
Moreover, the understanding gained from teaching the other trainees and practicing alone wasn’t small either.
Feeling proud while looking at my understanding, Ban Yohan asked as he was catching his breath while kneeling,
“Can we rest now?”
“No way. We have a class with Teacher Mook tomorrow morning. Where’s the time to rest?”
“Did I do something wrong to you?”
“I know you’re grateful to me, even if you don’t say it.”
[Ban Yohan is dumbfounded, wondering how you knew that.
Current affection +17]
I could hear your true feelings. You’re such a picky bastard…
A little further away, our roommates glanced at us and whispered to each other.
“That hyung has been acting particularly nasty today.”
“Yeah. People should live kindly.”
You guys talk as if I’m torturing Ban Yohan.
Wasn’t this a heartwarming scene of me diligently caring for a struggling idol trainee?
PD-nim, Writer-nim, if you’re watching this, please push me as the kind character for this season.
In this kind of program, the most important thing was screen time. The second most important thing was the story, especially a good one.
No matter how good your skills are, it’s over if you don’t appear on the screen.
But even if you appeared on screen for a long time, if you only tried to take care of yourself, you’ll quickly become disliked, and your ranking will plummet.
Doing nothing also meant you won’t get screen time, so it was a dilemma.
It’s no wonder that this show depleted the trainees’ mental health.
“We’ll go ahead. Don’t stay up too late since we have to do this again tomorrow.”
“Good job, everyone.”
The trainees who came to practice earlier cleaned up after themselves and left.
Ban Yohan, who was sneakily resting on the floor, desperately stared at the door as it closed.
Nope, you can’t go.
I stood before him with a bright smile, blocking his way.
* * *
We finally finished our practice when the staff knocked on the practice room door, signaling it was time for us to leave.
For the last time, we all danced to the music together, and Ban Yohan, who lay spread out on the floor, didn’t get up even after closing his eyes. Did he die?
As if having the same thought, Jing Xiao poked Ban Yohan’s cheek.
“Don’t touch me right now……”
As soon as the finger touched his cheek, a gloomy voice flowed out as if a button had been pressed to playback a recorded sound.
Jing Xiao quickly backed away, and Nagase Ritsu chuckled.
By the way, I was lying next to Ban Yohan. I guarantee I’ll fall asleep if I close my eyes now.
A warning alert appeared, saying that my fatigue level had reached 95.
I didn’t have the strength to even lift a finger to lower the window.
“Get rid of it…”
I dropped the system window as if talking to Jing Xiao, who had given up teasing Ban Yohan and was now poking my cheeks.
It felt comfortable as the disturbing view disappeared.
Actually, I didn’t intend to be this exhausted.
As the trainees who left earlier said, we’ll have more filming once we wake up.
However, as we practiced more and more, our skills visibly improved, and although it was just repetitive practice, dancing and singing became so enjoyable that we lost track of time.
The sound of shoes scraping against the practice room floor, spinning in sync with others, and even the burning sensation in my throat from catching my breath felt good.
“But you two really seem to be getting better at dancing.”
At Jing Xiao’s words, Kim Junwu nodded his head. I felt proud.
[Trainees in Room 312 acknowledge you as unexpectedly diligent.
Overall favorability +1]
As we entered the dorms, a staff called us to stand.
“We’ll do a brief interview and then go upstairs. Yohan, please come first.”
The staff, who looked just as tired as us, took Ban Yohan into a nearby room.
In the meantime, I tried to fix my bangs slightly. When I looked at the mirror on the wall, I noticed they were sticking to my forehead.
But after doing so, there wasn’t much difference.
A short while later, Ban Yohan came out wearing a rather pleasant smile. Did he talk behind my back?
“You’re to go in.”
With a slightly uneasy heart, I entered the room where Ban Yohan had just come from.
There was a small makeshift set like what I saw in the studio earlier in the day.
“You can sit there. It’s no big deal, so please answer comfortably.”
I know how to turn even trivial matters into big deals.
The red light on the camera was like a goblin’s twinkling eyes.
“What’s your target grade?”
“I want to learn a lot from Mook Hyeseong and get an A.”
“After talking to your classmates, we learned that Raon helped them a lot. Wasn’t it tiring?”
“Honestly, both dancing and singing are difficult. Especially in our class, many people are not used to this kind of dance. Of course, I’m not good at it either, but I thought it was right to help if what I know can be helpful since we’re all in a difficult and tough situation together.”
“They said you especially made Yohan practice hard a while ago.”
What did Ban Yohan say about me?
Unfortunately, since my goal was for us to win-win and go up together, I tried my best to explain it well with a smile on my face.
“Yohan is really smart, so he memorized the choreography. But I guess because he’s still new as a trainee, he seemed to have difficulty figuring out how to physically execute the moves. Since we’re in the same class and roommates, I wanted to help him more.”
“Yes, you did well. Please call the next person in.”
Ban Yohan already went upstairs to take another shower after finishing his interview. I told the hesitant Kim Junwu to go in, then went upstairs myself.
After quickly washing my body and returning to my room, I found a thick blanket laid out on the floor. That floor was my sleeping spot.
In fact, on the way back after finishing practice, Jing Xiao had suggested playing rock-paper-scissors to determine who would sleep on the floor.
“How did I lose in just one try? And all by myself.”
“It must be fate.”
I couldn’t believe that my confidently extended fist could be so regrettable.
I had a reasonable suspicion that the problem could have been my low Luck stat, which was reduced from its initial value of 10 to 8 after trying to master the dance.
Only then did I remember that luck was as important as charm in the entertainment industry.
Of course, those destined to rise would rise, but only if they had luck.
So, increasing my luck stat was the priority from now on.
“You worked hard today.”
I turned off the light and crawled into my sleeping spot.
I was worried if I could sleep in this unfamiliar place, especially considering that this was a game. But surprisingly, as soon as I laid on the blanket, closed my eyes, and put my head on the pillow, sleep came almost instantly. It felt like someone pressed a button to turn off a machine.
[You had a deep sleep.
Thanks to the sudden alert, I could figure out the situation. Deep sleep meant I’d slept, right?
Did I… sleep?
But it felt like I had just closed my eyes 3 seconds ago.
It didn’t exactly feel like I had slept. Rather, it felt like I had just closed my eyes for a moment.
How was it possible then that I had a deep sleep?
As I thought about it, a system message appeared.
[Tip! This game provides two sleep modes.
In the default Fatigue Recovery Mode, players are forced to sleep deeply until Fatigue drops below 50.
In Normal Mode, you can have regular sleep, but the reduction in Fatigue is small.]
[Would you like to change the settings?
Considering my Health stat, fatigue management was almost impossible, so I decided to keep the current settings, albeit with some risk.
Although my fatigue had noticeably decreased, I still didn’t feel like I had slept, so I sat up with a strange feeling.
“You’re awake? You were sleeping like a corpse.”
Kim Junwu glanced at me as he applied lotion to his wet face.
“Yeah. When I got up from the bed, I accidentally stepped on something, which turned out to be your arm. But even though I seemed to have stepped on it quite hard, you didn’t budge. If you weren’t breathing, I would’ve thought you were dead. Did you sleep that deeply? Or maybe I didn’t step on it as hard as I thought.”
…Come to think of it, my left arm did feel a bit numb.
I guess I can’t react much when I’m in a forced deep sleep.
Since the faint pain would soon disappear and it wouldn’t be a significant obstacle to dancing, I just shrugged my shoulders at Junwu.
“What time is it now?”
“When did you wake up?”
“You woke up early.”
“My eyes just opened.”
There was a moment of silence.
Our eyes met, and as if we had made a promise, we both smirked with a mysterious laugh and looked at the guys, still sound asleep.
With smiles like third-rate villains hiding a secret, we both rushed toward the sleeping guys.
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