The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 168

Episode 168

Kang Ichae finished the song.

A sweeping beat from the get-go, rooted in a low synthesizer, and a rich melody that stimulated the senses.

“…It’s really good.”

Even though all the members had listened to it dozens of times while recording the song that would be released a week earlier than the broadcast, they occasionally let out exclamations of admiration while dancing in the practice room.

Usually, Kang Ichae would respond with a sly retort or burst into a hearty laughter, but lately, his reactions had been flat.

“…It’s good that you like it?”

If he did bother to open his mouth, it was only to let out soulless words.

Despite the rush from working on the music to recording and submitting the final track, Kang Ichae still seemed unsatisfied with it.

Should I curse at Lim Hyeonsu or thank her?

The situation was definitely off, but she had managed to elevate an already high-level guy to celestial heights.

Eventually, intoxicated by the song, we decided to practice once more, continuing past dawn and not leaving the practice room until 6 pm, looking pale and limping.

“This is really the best one yet…”

“The song?”

“Both the song and the practice…”

In the middle, not only did Joo Woosung visit, but Han Chaeri also came once with a camera, and everyone had a curious expression.

I wasn’t sure if that was a positive sign, but for now, we had to do our best.

It had been a few days since the fourth episode aired, and I hadn’t had time to catch up on the reactions due to competition preparations, but I hoped to get a sense of our ranking.

“My brain’s not working…”

“…Let’s just sleep for three hours and come back.”


Pushing away Jeong Dajun, who clung to me, whining about being sleepy, I took out my phone.

“…You guys go ahead.”


“I need to stop by my place.”

“Why? Is something wrong?”

The members stared at me in surprise.

Scrolling through my messages, I realized it had been months since I had a proper conversation with Seo Hojin, not just brief replies, and I felt a bit awkward.

“Just need to pick up some clothes.”

It wasn’t like we contacted each other that often.

Thinking I might put it off again if I didn’t act on the thought now, I decided to see him, even if just for a moment.

The members nodded in understanding as I left, pulling my hat down low and headed home for the first time in a while.

I wonder if that kid’s been eating properly.

I entered the familiar door lock code.

Ding, ding, ding… Drrring.

As I burst through the door, the house was eerily quiet.

“Seo Hojin.”

Seeing no response, I thought he must have gone out.

I glanced at our parents’ photo next to the TV, took off my shoes, and went inside.

“Seo Ho—”

– “Do you know how it was last Friday?”

Just then, I heard voices coming from the master bedroom.

He’s here.

It sounded like he was on speakerphone, as I could hear the entire conversation.

Deciding there was no need to interrupt, I went to the kitchen to check the fridge.

He’s eating pretty well, the little rascal.

There was rice in the rice cooker and enough side dishes.

He had been taking good care of himself.

As I grabbed a drink and sat at the kitchen table, Seo Hojin, unaware of my arrival, was still on the phone.

– “You know what that fashion major said at the meeting? She asked if I could introduce her to the really handsome poli-sci class president.”

Seo Hojin was the class president?

Why would he bother with such annoying stuff?

– “ I told her not to be fooled by appearances, that you’re a piece of shit. And she looked at me like I was pathetic. Fuck. I don’t mind being a victim, but does it have to interfere with my love life too??”

“Stop talking shit… You’re giving me a headache.”


I nearly choked on my drink as I unintentionally eavesdropped.

…Why does he sound so much like me?

It wasn’t just similar; it was exactly my way of speaking.

The time to be cautious about my language in front of him had long passed.

Seo Hojin was an adult, and I figured he’d manage his own manner of speaking.

Feeling it wrong to keep listening, I set the can down on the table and kicked the door open.



Seo Hojin, who had been lying on the bed like melted jelly, flinched and got up.

“Oh, hyung, you’re here??”

– “Hyung?”


“When did you—”

– “Eh, Seo Hojin, you have a brother??”

His friend’s surprised voice continued to echo.

“Stop talking nonsense and just send the email.”

Seo Hojin quickly turned off the speakerphone, blurted out a bunch of words, and hung up.

I just leaned against the door, crossing my arms and watching him.

“What’s up, why are you here without saying anything?”

“This is my house. Aren’t you just a freeloader who doesn’t pay rent?”

“…I know.”

Seeing Seo Hojin pout and grumble, I flopped down on the chair in front of the desk.

I diverted my gaze to the frame occupying a corner of the desk.

It held a photo of our parents and Seo Hojin, the three of them together.

“Nothing’s wrong, right?”




Seeing my expression, Seo Hojin laughed as if he found it absurd.

“Are you worried… Ah, hyung, weren’t you filming some program?”

“Yeah. The finals are coming up soon.”

His response felt a bit off.

Though he tried to act normal, Seo Hojin’s body was drenched in sweat, and he was gasping for breath.

“Are you sick?”

“Just overdid it a bit… There’s been a lot to do since the semester started.”

Man, this dude should rely on modern medicine when he was this sick.

Why was he struggling on his own?

“You’re 24, don’t you have anyone to take care of you?”

“I take care of myself very well~.”

Still, seeing him talk back properly made me think he wasn’t that sick.

“Do you want to go to the hospital?”

“I went the day before yesterday already.”

Better than me, then.

I noticed a torn medicine packet and a half-empty water bottle by the bed.

Just as I was about to let it go, thinking he could take care of himself, Seo Hojin gasped for air with a flushed face, seemingly getting worse as he wrapped himself more tightly in his blanket on the bed.

Wondering if I should take him to the hospital now, I turned on my phone to search for nearby places.

There seemed to be a place that offered night-time services.

While scrolling through my phone, I asked nonchalantly,

“What did the doctor say? A cold?”


Seo Hojin hesitated for a moment.

“They said I’m fine.”

I paused at the name of a hospital… and raised an eyebrow.


“Seriously. It’s stress, blah blah. As if there’s anyone without stress.”

Seo Hojin frowned, lifting his sweat-dampened bangs.

“Just took the medicine they gave me. So, I feel a bit better now.”

Thump, thump.

I could feel my heart starting to beat out of sync.

An inexplicable anxiety washed over me.

Because his symptoms seemed a bit…


…similar to when I got penalized for abusing the system.

Seeing me frozen and unable to speak, Seo Hojin sensed something was off and stood up.

“What’s with that face…?”

As he approached me, his complexion suddenly turned pale, and he hurriedly covered his mouth.



Expecting him to vomit, I supported him, yet a chill ran down my spine.

“Move, move.”

I watched dazedly as he pushed past me and ran to the bathroom.

“Ugh… Kuk…”

The sound of Seo Hojin vomiting brought a grim possibility to mind.

In the chilling air, I stood there, unable to get up or follow him to pat his back.


After a while, Seo Hojin came out, rinsing his mouth, and slumped at the edge of the bed.

“…Did I do something wrong?”

He looked at me with a pale face, gauging my reaction.

I swallowed what I wanted to say and quickly composed my emotions.

“Why? Feeling guilty about something? If you’ve got something to say, spit it out now.”

“No, it’s just—when you make that face—”

“Forget it, you seem worse. Just go back to the hospital.”

Seo Hojin opened his eyes wide in frustration, mumbling reluctantly.

“It’s not that bad…”

“Anyway, I found a clinic that’s open at night. I’ll send you the directions by Kakao. I have to go now because of my schedule. Here, take some cab fare.”

I pulled out my wallet from my back pocket and handed him all the cash I could find.

“Seeing you vomit, it seems like indigestion. Try not to eat just anything, you little shit.”

“It’s not that.”

“If you can’t go to the hospital by yourself, I’ll accompany you.”

“No need, I’ll go.”


After giving him a thorough look, I headed for the front door.

As I was putting on my shoes and fixing the laces, Seo Hojin followed me, standing awkwardly close.

“Hyung, that…”


I intentionally untied the laces I had just tied, listening to Seo Hojin’s lingering voice.

“There’s really nothing wrong, right?”

I fiddled with the tip of the lace and then tied it tightly again.


I abruptly stood up and turned to look at him.

“Why do you keep asking? Would you be happy if something was actually wrong?”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Seo Hojin with his foolish face.

With such an unnecessarily quick wit, that little rascal, who did he take after?

“Hyung is heading to the finals but my dongsaeng has nothing to say?”


Seo Hojin crossed his arms and looked at me.

“Don’t push yourself.”

“That’s not it, you shit.”

I gently brushed Seo Hojin’s sweat-drenched hair while grinning slyly.

“I’ll come back as number one.”

And without hesitation, I left.


The door closed behind me, and I walked to the elevator, pressed the button, and leaned against the wall, waiting.

Unable to contain myself, I eventually headed down the stairs.


My previously unaffected face suddenly fell.

As I hurriedly descended, my pace gradually slowed, and before I knew it, I had stopped moving.


Why did I feel so bad?

Even though I couldn’t think of any major issue, with every step I took, it felt like I was walking through a sticky mud pit.

I tapped the railing with my fingers and summoned the system window.

“What did you do to my brother?”

The system window, which I thought would pop up with an excuse or perhaps even flee, crackled like it was filled with noise before slowly opening.

[What’s up??]

Was it really clueless?

Could I trust it?

I leaned against the wall and sighed.

“If you mess with that kid, I won’t let you off.”

I slowly sat down on the floor and ruffled my hair wildly.

Seeing my brother in pain after such a long time made the moments spent going up on stage surrounded by the members, eating together, playing around, and chatting feel suddenly distant.

Right, what have I been doing all this for?

I would successfully complete all the quests and return to my original world.

Feeling down, I turned on my phone and searched for Shining Star, High Five, and The Dawn.

The songs were bound to be good, and the stage was likely to be well-produced.

Yet, no matter how much I calculated the odds and adjusted the plans, the outcome always converged to one.

To anyone’s eye, it was a game we were bound to lose.

The Dawn might have been on a roll, but from the start, we couldn’t compete with High Five in terms of fanbase and capital.

Moreover, the final competition was based on scores from previously released songs and live voting, making it even more disadvantageous for The Dawn.

A quest window floated beside me.

[Win the first place in Shining Star Season 2!

The survival program is back after a long time!

Secure first place in Shining Star Season 2.

Success: Vocal stats significantly increase

Failure: Seo Hoyun’s confidential information leaked]

“…Heartless bastards.”

Indeed, a penalty where conscience had gone AWOL.

…I really didn’t want to use this method.

My mother came to mind first, and inevitably, so did Hojin, who resembled her so much.

The young Hojin who cried every time our parents were mentioned also flashed in my mind.

I weighed the future scenario and the actions I had to take against each other.

“…Ahhh… Damn…”

Since when had I been cautious about stepping into fire and water?

Even though I thought it was necessary, I couldn’t easily make up my mind.


I then rubbed my face with my hands, then licked my dry, chapped lips.


“Sorry, Mom.”

Let’s do it.

Having made my decision, I picked up my phone.

It wasn’t long before the person on the other end answered the call.

– “…Huh? Hello?”

“Yes, it’s me, PD.”

– “What’s up, why the call? Anything you need?”

“Do you have time?”

– “…Why?”

Kim Heeyeon, clearly on guard, made me rub my nose.

The PD wouldn’t be able to resist my story.

A bit of manipulation was necessary.

“That is—”

I hesitated for a moment before I began to speak.

…Remember, this isn’t me.

It seemed better to deceive.

I quickly adjusted my plan and gave a faint smile.

“Just meet me for a bit, let’s talk.”

A slight feeling of guilt and self-loathing crept up my throat, but continuing the conversation nonchalantly wasn’t hard.

After all…

“It’s about boosting the ratings.”

My conscience had been sold to hell a long time ago.

The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol

The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol

Score 9.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Artist:
[Congratulations Seo Hoyun! You have been selected as a player in the Unknown Idol Tycoon.] The good-for-nothing PD, who is criticized by everyone, becomes a unknown idol in a parallel world. Only his younger sibling remembers him. To return to the original world, he must become a top idol and clear the game! “…Quest accepted.” “Are you crazy?” “Don’t we need to eat and live?” His specialty is blackmailing, his hobby is persuasion. The survival story of the unscrupulous PD-turned-idol who will stop at nothing!
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