Genius Idol’s Strategy to Conquer the Entertainment Industry Chapter 21

Chapter 21

My mind was getting foggy.

Sitting on a bus stop bench, staring blankly ahead, I realized something had to change.

There had to be a way out.

First, I checked my remaining funds.

The transportation fee I got as a quest reward was long gone.

Hoping for something—anything—I rummaged through my pockets only to find a student ID I had forgotten about during the training camp.

I examined the student ID closely.

[On Raon | Hanla Performing Arts High School

Expiration Date 02/19 (month/year)

Birthdate 00/01/30]

It was the first time I had taken a good look at it since the day I received it.

I only checked the birth year before going into the photoshoot.

The birthday was the same as mine, so I figured I wouldn’t get confused if anyone asked.

When I flipped the student ID over, something was written on it with a black marker.

[home address: Busan Metropolitan City, Haeundae District…]

The English on the front was neatly written, but the Korean handwriting detailing the address of an apartment presumably in Busan was a bit crooked.

If it was specifically written here…

Could this be the player character’s home address?

Even if it was the right address, there was no way I could travel from Paju to Busan with my current situation, so it wasn’t very useful.

I belatedly thought about the school issue.

It had been so long since I attended school that I hadn’t even considered it, but in Korea, 18 typically meant you were in 11th grade.

Could it be that I must go back to school, not just the military?

This thought made the future seem even bleaker.

[You are currently not affiliated with any organization.]

Seeing the system display this message suggested the player character was set not to attend school.

Given there was a student ID, maybe they did attend but quit midway?

Just like me.

It felt like I was playing a detective game, trying to piece together clues to solve a problem.

Regardless, this was a relief.

Since it was the system, they wouldn’t scam me with this, right?

While staring at the student ID, I realized it still had a valid check card function.

Curious, I checked the bank balance using an app on my phone.

Thankfully, it unlocked with my fingerprint.

[Savings Account Balance: 10,000 won][1]

Were you kidding me?

A balance like this couldn’t just happen unless someone deliberately arranged it.

I’d bet my entire fortune of 10,000 won that this was another trick by the system.

[How did you know?

Wisdom +1]

Ah, my blood pressure.

After a while, the bus arrived, and I decided to board it.

After all, life was all about moving forward.


Since I was a student…

Now the balance was 8,900 won…

Fortunately, it seemed the card function of the student ID hadn’t been canceled.

I paid 1,100 won and enjoyed the bus’s heater for a while until I was unbearably hungry and got off.

Those stingy bastards.

Sending me off at 1 PM without even providing lunch.

How heartless.

Obviously, they did it to save money.

While passing a street stall, I purchased a bag of fish-shaped buns, three for 1,000 won, via bank transfer and continued walking aimlessly while eating, ultimately arriving at a quiet public park.

Elderly people were playing janggi in the park pavilion.[2]

As my legs ached, I sat on a bench munching the last tail of the fish bun when one of the elders addressed me,”

“What’s a young person like you doing here in broad daylight?”


“Right. You had a fight with your mom and ran away from home?”

The elder fixed his gaze on the suitcase beside me.

“…I didn’t have a fight.”

“Don’t you know leaving home means you’re in for a tough life? Better make up and go back soon.”

If only I had a home to return to.

Observing my silence, the elder spoke again,

“Do you know how to play janggi?”

“I was the best in the janggi club at Sohyeon Elementary School.”

“Well, then. You don’t seem to have any opponents here, how about a game with me? These old folks won’t play with me.”

“Why not?”

“They say it’s no fun because I’m too good.”

The other elders pulled a janggi board and pieces toward us.

“Then, as On Raon, I’ll uphold the honor of Sohyeon Elementary’s janggi club and accept your challenge.”

“Alright. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

* * *

It had been so long since I last played janggi that I struggled initially, but by the third game, I secured a complete victory, preserving the honor of Sohyeon Elementary’s janggi club.

[You have defeated the second-best janggi player in the area!

Intelligence +2]

The reward was sweet.

I wanted to ask for another game.

Surprised by my better-than-expected play, the elder coughed awkwardly and remarked,

“Boy, you play well. Who taught you?”

“Artificial intelligence…”

“Artificial intelligence?”

Believe it or not, I was a gaming nerd with a sharp mind who placed third in a mobile janggi game tournament.

Subsequently, another elder pointed elsewhere and remarked,

“Look, the master is here.”


“Over there.”

Curious like the others, I turned my head.

Indeed, a distinguished gentleman was approaching, exuding a different aura from the other seniors.


What set him apart was, first of all, his attire.

A navy checkered vest over a white T-shirt paired with a grey wool coat was not something you’d see every day.

Quite the fashionista.

Kind of gave off the vibe of a real estate mogul who would talk about land prices while playing golf.

“Nice to see you.”

“It’s been a while.”

“I thought I’d come out since the weather warmed up a bit.”

The gentleman seemed to be acquainted with the others and greeted them.

He then looked at me and asked,

“Who’s this kid?”

“Ah, they said he ran away from home.”

“I told you; I didn’t run away!”

“Well, whether you did or didn’t, don’t waste time with these old men and go back in for some hot soup and rice.”

“The thing is… I might not have run away, but I have nowhere to go…”

The looks from the elders seemed to say, “Cut the crap.”

It felt truly absurd even as I said it.

Go Sujong, the elderly master who had been gazing at me intently, let out a genteel laugh before saying,

“How about we play a game of janggi for a bet?”

“A bet?”

“If I win, you go home nicely.”

“And if I win?”

“Since you’re out here with nowhere to go, I’ll let you stay at my place.”

As soon as Grandmaster Sujong finished speaking, a quest popped up.

[Sudden Quest Alert! “Hidden Master: Defeat Go Sujong”]

The title itself was “Hidden Master.”

Why was he even here?

[► Quest Description:

Go Sujong has challenged you to a bet on a game of janggi. Defeat him and secure a place to stay for the night.

► Confirmed reward:

Intelligence +10

Temporary Shelter (Go Sujong’s House)

► Failure:

Spend the night under the starless sky using it as your blanket.]


“Yes! Let’s do it! I accept!”

I quickly replied, and the elder beside us clicked his tongue.

“Look at that. Accepting so readily, definitely ran away from home.”

Ah, that’s not it.

I felt wronged.

Nevertheless, the janggi board was set up on a much grander scale than before.

Other elders who had been playing on different boards even came over to watch.

Go Sujong was no ordinary player.

The slightest lapse in concentration, and it felt like my lifeline was being cut somewhere.

Concentrating so hard, sweat beaded on my forehead despite the chilly air.

Another difficulty was the elders commenting every time I seemed to ponder.

It seemed to be because I was young.

Put this here. Move that there. You should discard that. If you do this, you’ll lose despite having the upper hand. Don’t catch that, go for the other one. Raise the soldier. Ah, don’t play so foolishly, come on out…

…I couldn’t take it anymore.

I stood up abruptly and exclaimed,



“There’s a saying by my life’s guide, Admiral Yi Sunsin.”

In fact, until this morning, it had been Mook Hyeseong, but wasn’t my role model supposed to change every week anyway?

“Admiral Yi Sunsin?”

“Yes! A person who left behind many wise sayings, but there’s one that comes to mind right now.”

“What is it?”

“It’s ‘Those who seek death shall live. Those who seek life shall die.’ I know, you must be thinking, ‘What nonsense is this kid spouting all of a sudden?'”

The elders hummed in agreement, nodding their heads.

“But! Think about it. The countless pieces of advice, steeped in your fierce janggi lives, seem to tell me to just survive. Facing the top dog of this area, the venerable Mr. Go Sujong, and surviving is your best bet!”

Go Sujong laughed heartily.

“However! That won’t lead to victory! Just surviving will only become my limit! So, I will willingly walk into the jaws of death. I would be grateful if the elders could watch how I overcome this adversity.”

“The runaway brat has quite the slick tongue.”

“I didn’t run away!”

“Alright, alright. Do as you wish. We won’t interfere anymore.”

[Even if you call a dog a cat, they’ll believe Achievement reward received.

Achievement conditions: Persuade 100 people with nonsense]

Was this system for real? Who was the one spouting nonsense?

But thanks to the quiet, I could finally focus much better on my moves.

The elders, having ceased their interference, took out snacks like roasted chestnuts and yakgwa from plastic bags and fed them to me one by one.[3]



But eventually, the crisis came.

I was going to lose.

I had a strong feeling.

Ah, this couldn’t possibly be happening.

The mere thought of sleeping outdoors in this weather sent shivers down my spine.

Luckily, I had a trump card to overcome this difficulty.

“Can I use my phone-a-friend chance?”


“Yes. The admiral wasn’t fighting alone but went through harsh battles with trustworthy comrades…”

“Enough talk. You can use it, but only once.”


I had exchanged contact numbers with my roommates before parting ways.

Except for Nagase Ritsu, who didn’t have a usable phone in Korea, there were three names listed in my almost empty contact list.

I called Ban Yohan.

Surely, this intelligence-based character must know a move I couldn’t see.

He had to.

After a few rings, Ban Yohan’s voice came through.

The battery was at 5%, so I had to hurry.

– “Hello?”

“Hi, Yohan-hyung, whom I deeply respect and trust.”

– “…”


– “It’s a bit sudden and burdensome. Why did you call?”

This guy, even when saying nice things.

But I was the one in need.

I sent Ban Yohan a photo of the janggi board.

“Please check the picture I sent on KakaoTalk. I really need to win this, and you’re the only one I can call. I’m counting on you, hyung.”

[Ban Yohan is unexpectedly moved by your trust.

Favorability +2

Current Favorability 21]

Hey, don’t get me wrong.

It wasn’t so much you I trusted, but rather your intelligence.

Shortly after, Ban Yohan suggested a move that was eye-opening and innovative.

“Wow, hyung, you’re a genius. Totally on Zhuge Liang’s level.”[4]

– “But why janggi all of a sudden?”

“Just betting janggi.”

– “…You’re not betting money, right?”

“No. If I win, I get a place to stay.”

– “What? What does that mean? Explain…”


“…Ah, the battery died.”

Well, I had said all that needed to be said, and explaining my homeless situation felt awkward.

I refocused on the game.

“Are you done?”

“Yes. I have no more weaknesses now.”

“We’ll see.”

“Let’s continue.”


Thanks to that genius with undoubtedly a 999 intelligence stat, I managed to seize the advantage through the breakthrough he provided.

I would have to repay him with a heartfelt hug next time.

Though, I was unsure if Ban Yohan would appreciate my hug as a reward.


“Aigo, I lost. It’s a loss.”

“You’ve worked hard.”

“Indeed. It was a brilliant game.”

[Sudden Quest “Hidden Master: Defeat Go Sujong” Success!]

[You have been rewarded with +10 Intelligence and Temporary Shelter (Go Sujong’s House) as confirmed quest rewards.]

With a wrinkled smile, Go Sujong said,

“A promise is a promise. Follow me.”

[1] About $7.50.

[2] Janggi is like Korean chess.

[3] Yakgwa is a deep-fried cookie.

[4] It’s the guy from Ya Boy Kongming! 😉

Private: Genius Idol’s Strategy to Conquer the Entertainment Industry

Private: Genius Idol’s Strategy to Conquer the Entertainment Industry

Score 9.6
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: ,
Every thousand years, a trainee hailed as a "face genius" for his unparalleled beauty appears, On Haje. After rejecting a sponsor's proposal and losing his debut chance, he vowed never to step into the entertainment industry again. That is, until he finds himself reincarnated into an idol development game. Now, he has to rediscover his hidden talent and grow as an idol, deal with an uncooperative system, and uncover the past of the character he's reincarnated as. Despite starting with no money, no home, and no knowledge, he struggles his way through it all… "This is a big deal. It's actually fun." Whatever happens, he keeps moving forward, taking on challenges, and strategizing. This is the conquest of the entertainment industry by the genius idol, On Raon. #Thought_He_Was_Just_A_Pretty_Face #Turns_Out_He_Is_A_Multitalented_Genius_Idol
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