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I glanced at the microphone on my clothes with newfound curiosity.
From now on, I should be careful with my words.
Fortunately, about two hours remained before the system’s profanity filter was lifted.
…Was that a good thing?
I couldn’t figure out where this possession had gone wrong.
Ten minutes later, the staff began to call the trainees’ names, some individually, others in groups of up to five.
Trainees called by name left the waiting room with nervous faces.
My turn came much later than I expected.
It was very unsettling that they gave a late entrance to a trainee with no money or connections, which was more likely to attract attention from other trainees.
Still, I felt a little better after getting some sleep.
Having caught up on some sleep, I was now preoccupied with a new worry.
I seemed to have figured out the singing, but what should I do about dancing?
It seemed like I could learn the dance if I watched a choreography video from start to finish, just like singing.
The problem was that my phone, the only means to watch such a video, had been confiscated.
I can’t just go out and do nothing.
It would be more embarrassing to do nothing in such a situation than to try something and fail.
In fact, I didn’t remember many dances I could perform right away, so the decision was quick.
After waiting for another 20 or 30 minutes, when only a few trainees left, my turn finally came.
“Trainee On Raon, please get ready.”
Trainees who sat scattered all over the place turned their eyes to me as I stood up. I showed a slight smile and left the waiting room.
Following the staff’s guidance, I took a sticker with “Individual Trainee On Raon” written on it and attached it to my clothes.
Then I had to wait again in a hallway with a full-length mirror on one wall while the trainee ahead of me finished selecting their seat.
Since there was a mirror, I thought I might as well practice dancing during the break.
I glanced at the camera above and danced to the choreography I had been thinking about while sitting in the waiting room.
The staff outside the camera saw my dance and stifled a laugh.
I didn’t flinch.
It had been so long since I danced that it was a bit clumsy at first, but at some point, the angle of my elbows started to come alive.
[Choreography: Dancing Catallena
Registered in the choreography list.]
[I exist. Therefore, I dance.
First choreography registration achievement reward has been granted.]
– Dancing Catallena: 87.95%
I don’t know why the understanding was so high from the start.
This was my first time practicing while actually moving my body.
[Tip! The level of understanding is influenced by the player’s experience, aptitude, and wisdom.]
Unusually, it was eerily helpful.
To sum up, Intelligence increased the probability of learning, and Wisdom quickly raised the understanding of the dances and songs learned.
Of course, there was a possibility that each stat had other additional functions that had not yet been revealed.
Lastly, if Intelligence and Wisdom were too low, learning itself would be impossible, right?
[You did a simple analysis.
It was really creepy but thank you.
But why don’t you raise my charm?
A little later, as I was practicing the dance, the staff, who was about to die from laughing too much, sent me a signal to go in.
I bowed once to the audience, who reacted enthusiastically, and moved inside.
It must have taken so long that something must have happened inside.
For example, a battle for the 1st place.
As I entered the set filled with intense and glamorous red lights, the atmosphere was indeed subtly tense.
As I walked up to the stage, over 90 trainees seemed to have been waiting and got up from their seats and greeted me sporadically, saying, “Hello!”
I also bowed and greeted them.
I could see the trainees who sat down again whispering to each other while looking at me.
The set was structured like a pyramid, with higher-ranking chairs placed higher up.
A red velvet throne-like chair for the 1st place was placed at the highest point, and at the bottom level, there were chairs for ranks 90 to 100.
Even if I ignored everything else, the heart-shaped chair backs were a bit overwhelming, especially the 1st place chair.
Then, the electronic signboard that announced I was an individual trainee changed.
What appeared was my profile picture, name, and…
[On Raon – Predicted Rank: 100th]
It seemed to indicate the rank they thought I would be.
Was it saying I’m 100th out of 100? Not 10, but 100?
This was a level of response that went beyond humility and raised doubts about the will to participate.
They all began to look at me as if they had the same thought.
I can’t say anything because it’s not something I did.
I walked through the pyramid set as if I hadn’t noticed it.
I decided to sit in the 92nd-place chair since all the seats from 1st to 91st were mostly filled.
There was no need to sit in the 1st place just to stand out…
[Quest Item: 92nd Place Chair
▶ It’s the 92nd place chair. It looks uncomfortable.
Fatigue +9 every hour]
Were you kidding me?
The shooting would take at least half a day; if I sat there until it was over, I’d be carried out.
I checked other chairs just in case, but all the chairs in the 90s were the same.
The chairs in the 80s seemed to accumulate 8 fatigue points.
This was, in effect, the system indirectly encouraging me to take the 1st place seat.
I easily caved into the system’s pressure and returned to the stairs, leaving the trainee in 91st place.
As I entered the central staircase and kept going up without stopping, the trainees stirred, saying, “Wow.”
Some even reconfirmed the 100th-place prediction still on the screen.
“Wow. He’s going for the 1st place.”
Some trainees even got up from their seats and stood a little distance away, apparently intending to watch properly.
As it became clear that I was heading towards the 1st place seat, the one who was sitting there, Oh Hyeonjin from True Entertainment, got up with a subtle smile.
I knew that sitting in the 1st place seat didn’t mean you’d always get 1st place, but this guy’s appearance was no joke, either.
He was slick and handsome.
Our faces were close-up on the big electronic scoreboard on both sides.
While I was waiting endlessly earlier, a staff member explained that the 1st place seat was an exception where you could change seats, unlike other seats that were occupied by those who arrived first.
As long as both sides discussed and agreed, the method was free.
But for a moment, was there anything I could win with all my stats not exceeding 20?
It didn’t seem like there would be.
No, there had to be at least one.
Work, my pathetic intelligence.
“How about, like real men, we do an arm-wrestling match?”
However, before I could think of a contest I could win, Oh Hyeonjin took the initiative.
Oh Hyeonjin said so with a faint smile and thrust his fist in front of my face.
Huh? What? Whaaaaat?
A second later, laughter erupted among the trainees watching us.
“What’s with that hurt expression?”
“It’s like he’s been abandoned by the world.”
“This would be perfect with super sad background music.”
“La la la la… la la… la la…”
When I glanced at the screen, I was making an incredibly tragic expression in the face of my personal crisis.
And then, at that moment.
[You have acquired the Trait Born to be Pitiful.]
[Trait Born to be Pitiful
You look so pitiful that even a passing dog would sympathize with you. People will see you as pathetic, pitiable, and harmless.]
[Tip! Traits are generated based on the player’s actions in various situations and randomly activate effects.]
My first trait was something like this.
Why was it written with such fancy Chinese characters?
“What should I do? I’m about to cry.”
Was that sincere?
“It’s funny, but it’s sad.”
“It’s totally bittersweet and funny.”
Were you all enjoying my sadness?
Well, then, I was good.
I didn’t care about a trait without substance.
I saw the 1st place chair’s information with my eyes wide open.
[Quest Item: 1st Place Chair
▶ It’s the 1st place chair. The burden and comfort are proportional.
Fatigue -10 every hour]
Fatigue was a minus, not a plus.
It was an item that would recover the accumulated fatigue I incurred overnight.
That seat was mine!
I blinked once, cleansed my greedy gaze, and calmly rolled up my sleeve to show Oh Hyeonjin the essence of my 12-Strength flabby arm.
“What is he doing?”
“Isn’t that like boasting about having no strength at all?”
“But he really has nothing, not even an iota of strength.”
That was right.
My scrawny arms proved why my Strength, Stamina, and Agility stats were all at a mere 10.
Even the little bit of flesh on my arms was soft and jiggly, looking like freshly made rice cake.
“Let’s arm wrestle.”
My expression on the screen became even more miserable.
I couldn’t help but look pitiful—I had no money, no home, and no strength.
Just thinking about my situation made my eyes well up with tears.
The trainees watching us burst into laughter.
I was the only one who took things seriously here. Damn it.
“Ah… what should he do…?”
“Why does my heart ache just by looking at him?”
“It’s just so… pathetic.”
In the midst of this sympathetic atmosphere, Oh Hyeonjin’s expression momentarily faltered.
Would he still be able to sit here with pride after winning an arm-wrestling match against my worthless arms?
If he insisted on arm wrestling here, he would likely be edited as a heartless jerk.
I could accept my honorable death even before we started, but would it be okay for Trainee Oh Hyeonjin?
Why was my death honorable and his victory not okay? I don’t know. Because I said so. That’s all there was to it.
In reality, I didn’t say it out loud and just thought of it.
But it still counted.
“I’m ready. Please go easy on me.”
I extended my hand with a faint expression, and Oh Hyeonjin hesitated momentarily before stepping back as if he’d seen something he shouldn’t have.
Amid all the trainees rolling on the floor, laughing and crying at my desperate attempts to survive in this survival program…
[Oh Hyeonjin has lost his resolve. He gives up the match.]
“Please sit down.”
“Huh? You don’t have to do that.”
I tried to politely refuse with an awkward smile.
“No, please sit.”
[You have unlocked the Affection and Recognition System!
(Unlock condition: A change of 5 or more points in Affection)]
[Oh Hyeonjin dislikes associating with you.
Current Affection: -36]
This wasn’t a dating sim where I needed to woo everyone, so I didn’t really care about the Affection stat, but why was it like that for him?
If it’s -5, shouldn’t it be -5, not -36?
This was why such a messed up game couldn’t work.
“Then, I’ll gratefully take the seat.”
I hid my feelings and sat in the 1st place seat while receiving enthusiastic applause from the other trainees.
A notification popped up, saying that an unspecified number of people’s affection levels had gone up and down.
The moment I thought it was getting noisy and never-ending, the notification disappeared.
It was comfortable now.
[Such a Shameful 1st place Achievement Unlocked!
Why were you the one feeling embarrassed?
I just couldn’t believe it.
 The original Korean text had the trait as 《천생가련 天生可憐》.
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