The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 2

Episode 2

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To sum up my life, I would say that I was like a dragon born in a time of peace.

My family was moderately happy, but we weren’t wealthy. Once I became an adult, my parents died in a car accident. After a difficult recovery, I had to raise my ten-year-old brother, Seo Hojin.

“Seo Hoyun, why do you live so harshly?”

“I want to live well and eat well.”

To survive in this harsh world and not be separated from Seo Hojin, I had to be ruthless and not back down from anyone.

When I passed the broadcasting station’s open recruitment as a PD, I felt like I had the world at my feet. I studied diligently, spoke fluently in front of interviewers, and worked on various news and entertainment programs. I earned the nickname “the most ruthless one” despite being a rookie and not a career PD.

Was that all? At 33, I made a small competition program called Pick the One, which surprisingly became a huge success.

– “Wow, isn’t the trailer insane?”

– “Won’t they face editing sanctions for this?”

The program captured the hearts of Koreans living in a competitive environment with trendy editing, appropriate MSG, tear-jerking stories, and a never-ending competitive format. As a result, I received numerous requests to transfer to various broadcasting stations and got to negotiate higher salaries.

That genius PD was me, Seo Hoyun.

“Hey, did you really become an idol, hyung?”

But then my career took a nosedive.

I became an idol.

It was unexpected.

“… Please repay my hard work.”

“But hey, hyung, you’ve really aged.”

“Be careful, you punk.”

I stood up and shook Seo Hojin’s shoulders, realizing that I had been overly protective of him, seeing that he was trying to stand up to me.

“Has anything changed about you?”

“No, why do you ask?”

Seo Hojin frowned and searched through his phone. He explained that his homework and the news were still the same. After searching for another five minutes, he came to a conclusion.

“Nothing has changed except for you.”

“Is this some kind of prank show?”

“Do you think I would do something like that and risk getting killed by you, hyung?”

I took Seo Hojin’s phone and searched for the Unknown Idol Tycoon game he had installed, but it was nowhere to be found.

“What is this…”


A system window appeared on top of Seo Hojin, but he seemed unable to see it.

[Quest: You are now trapped in Unknown Idol Tycoon!

We have provided a guide for those unfamiliar with the game.]

“…A guide?”

As I said it, the system window began to scroll through, and I urgently read the explanation that appeared.

[As PD Seo Hoyun, you ruined other people’s lives, so you have been trapped in Unknown Idol Tycoon. Apart from your family, Seo Hojin, and a few others, no one remembers you as a PD. Simply put, it’s better to consider it a parallel world.]

A parallel world?

[To return to your original world and become a PD again, you must clear Unknown Idol Tycoon. If you fail, you will be permanently logged.]

“What if I study and become a PD again?”

[If you significantly deviate from the main scenario, you will be heavily penalized.]


I was speechless. My previous world, where I worked so hard to achieve fame, disappeared in a single day. To regain it, I had to clear this game.

“What do I have to do to clear it?”

[Follow the main scenario.]

“What is the main scenario?”

[You need to become a first-tier idol recognized by everyone!]

My fist trembled. This reality was beyond belief.

I slumped onto the sofa and searched for a cigarette. As I tried to light it, the system window urgently popped up.

[Idols don’t smoke!]


I glared at the screen with a look that could kill. Shortly after, another window popped up.

[In Unknown Idol Tycoon, we respect the player’s freedom.]

The system window quickly changed its tone. I wasn’t sure if I should be thankful or angry for interrupting my smoking. Once I finished dealing with the bothersome system window, the situation was as follows:

[Begin the Main Scenario?

Yes / No]

As a broadcasting PD, I was used to calculating the entertainment industry. In essence, I had to become an idol – the kind everyone recognizes, the type that can dominate Asia, if not quite at the level of Billboard.


I took a deep drag on my cigarette and made my decision.

“Start the main scenario.”

[Starting the Main Scenario.

Quest Received.]

“What? Are you serious, hyung?”

The challenge was not about whether or not I could become an idol, but rather, how to make a living.


“What? Are you obsessed with food?”

I gave Seo Hojin a smack on the head. If we wanted to eat and survive, we had to take action. The outcome was already set in stone, but the means to achieve it was in our hands.

I ran my life like a maniac and earned the moniker “Devil PD.” It didn’t matter if the methods were clean or dirty as long as I could attain the status of a first-class idol.



“Have you ever witnessed me fail at anything?”

Seo Hojin stuttered, sensing the ominous atmosphere.

[New user reward.

You can check your stats.]


“Show me.”

[Seo Hoyun, D-list Idol.

People won’t recognize you even if you dance on subway line 1. They might assume you’re a subway maniac.]


[Vocals: B

Dance: D-

Talent: B+

???: ???

??: ???

Charm: B+]

“Are these my stats?”

It felt a bit awkward looking at it; my stats were incredibly pathetic. Even the song I sang while sticking a spoon in a soju bottle was praised by my boss. But hold on, wasn’t a D- in dancing excessively harsh?

[The stats have been objectively evaluated.]

I contemplated it as if I were judging an audition participant, then raised my head. In any case, the stats marked with a question mark would be disclosed later.

“Hey, why is my Talent only a B+? It should be an S.”

[Editing and making people laugh are two distinct things!]

“…That’s correct.”

I accepted it, but the system window sent me a quest message as if deliberately disregarding my words.

[Quest Alert: “Visit the agency!”

We are proud of you for accepting reality. Visit the declining group, The Dawn, and listen to their explanation.

Listen to The Dawn’s explanation 0/1

Success: Start the next scenario, Charm +5.

Fail: Charm -30.]

“What’s this Charm about?”

I muttered curse words and stepped outside. Like my younger brother, nothing had changed; it was still 202X Seoul. Despite going back 10 years, it didn’t feel like I had traveled through time. It was truly a parallel universe.

Since nothing had changed, there was no need to adjust. Suddenly, a thought crossed my mind.

“Wait, hold on! Take me back.”



“I need to go buy a lottery ticket.”


I ought to purchase a lottery ticket or invest in stocks or cryptocurrency, so I don’t have to listen to this absurd system window.

Muttering to myself with a sense of hopelessness, “My lottery ticket, my real estate, my coins….”

I clutched the feeling of emptiness in my chest and stumbled toward the entertainment agency, but I worried someone might recognize me. It didn’t matter in the end since no one even paid attention to me walking around without a hat.


[Can you hear me?]

Cease that irritating ringing noise.

I was more well-known as a PD since many wanted to pelt me with eggs. How can I turn this unfortunate situation into a success?

As I arrived at the address on my phone, a call came from a number saved as “Manager” at the perfect time. It appeared to be the preliminary setup for a game or quest.

“Yes, this is PD Seo Hoyun from QBS.”

– “Have you taken your medication? How did you become a PD?”

Oops, it’s my professional habit.

A man’s voice in his thirties spoke.

“This is Seo Hoyun.”

– “Seo Hoyun, have you finally made up your mind?”

“Yes, I’m standing in front of the company.”

– “Great, I’ll be there soon.”

I nodded as if I knew what he meant by making up my mind, using my intuition gained from years of experience in the broadcasting station.

“Daepaseong Entertainment.” I glanced at the lobby, but it wasn’t a location I was familiar with.

It appeared to be a combination of Unknown Idol Tycoon (a terrible name) and South Korea I used to reside in.

Looking at the lobby pictures, they appeared primarily focused on training actors. Sitting on the sofa, I scanned the room to see if I recognized anyone. The only familiar face was Min Jiheon, the “reliable actor.”

An unsuccessful agency.

“Oh, it’s our promising rookie.”

A man with the same voice as the phone call came out. He was around my age, with a slightly protruding belly and a round face.

I bowed my head and extended my hand as I would in sales.

“This is Seo Hoyun.”

“So, what’s the concept, Hoyun?”

“…Can we call it mind control?”

The 23-year-old idol version of myself was a bit different.

After I withdrew my hand, the manager led me inside with his shoulder.

“Have you recovered from your illness?”

“Yes, thanks for your concern.”

“Great, you’ve decided to come back, right?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re going to be an idol in The Dawn!”

The name of the group constantly reminded me of self-sacrifice.

“The company has been waiting for you. The CEO waited for you for a year – it’s a special gesture because The Dawn is so popular.”

But their MV views were low.

“It’s not too late. Your debut album was recorded a year ago, and since then, you’re the only one left… Well, odd numbers are preferable for center positions for idols, right? And there’s an open spot for you.”

“Are there no other willing candidates?”

Swallowing my words, I entered the CEO’s office, grateful for the new information.

  1. The Dawn was a one-year-old rookie group.
  2. It was an idol group hastily created by an actor management agency during the K-pop craze.
  3. The group’s performances have not been successful.

It’s a mess.

Nervously, the manager opened the CEO’s office door.

“Oh my, CEO. Seo Hoyun is here.”

“Seo Hoyun?”

The CEO was in his 50s.

I greeted him with the same curt tone I used with the manager.

“It’s been a while. I’m Seo Hoyun.”

“I’ve never seen you before…”

What did he say? I was momentarily stunned and couldn’t manage my expression, but the manager whispered that he was a celebrity under his management.

“What are you talking about? It’s Seo Hoyun, one of the lead vocalists of The Dawn. The one the CEO has been praising so much.”

“Oh, The Dawn. That…”

It seemed like the CEO wasn’t interested in me, or more accurately, he didn’t seem interested in the idol group called The Dawn.

It was a planning company that was even worse than I expected.

“I’m returning after taking a year off.”

“Well, Hoyun, returning to The Dawn is a significant decision. It’s not that popular.”

He said it indifferently, sighing and looking through some papers without glancing at me.


The manager was sweating profusely.

As I listened to the criticism openly, I glanced at the manager. It seemed like the CEO was a little intimidating.

“Hoyun, as you know, we’re an actor management planning company.”


“If The Dawn doesn’t generate profits, disbandment is possible. Do you know how much money it takes to maintain an idol group?”

I did.

I already knew that the group would eventually disband.

How could I not know?

However, for some reason, I felt like I didn’t know anything since I was being scrutinized. While rolling my eyes momentarily, I looked around the CEO’s office and asked, “How much time is left until disbandment?”


I kindly asked again.

“How much money is left?”

“Seo Hoyun!”

The manager jumped. I was dumbfounded. It was easy for me to intimidate the CEO of a small planning agency that couldn’t even care for its own idol.

“Just behave yourself.”

The CEO appeared slightly taken aback and raised his eyebrows.

“…You’re bold for someone I haven’t seen in a while.”

Well, you claimed earlier that you had never seen me.

Although he could clearly see through me, I didn’t want to continue with a weak topic, so I returned to the main subject.

“Thank you for the compliment. So, how long will it take?”

“At most, six months.”

Six months. I shook my head. If it was six months, it was a period where we would end after releasing one title song and doing a few broadcast activities. What was important was how well we would perform within that period.

Can’t I debut somewhere else?

I asked the system window.

[Additional Explanation!

No, you can’t. When you draw your sword, you have to use it.

It must be The Dawn.]

It was obvious that I was just trying to stir things up.

“…I understand.”

I obediently replied, and the CEO scanned me up and down. Honestly, I wanted to make a bold move now, but I didn’t know enough yet.

“…Did you change because you were ill?”


“Yeah, you used to be a little blurry… Well, forget it. Send me the contract again. You have to reapply for employment.”

I couldn’t recall how I was when I was 23. I think I was similar, though.

Anyway, I nodded my head. I had to carefully review the contract. It was a crucial matter.

I’ll deal with negotiations later.

“Let’s work hard for now.”

In reality, he stuttered, “L-let’s w-work hard for now,” but I disregarded it lightly.


The system window appeared for a moment. I furrowed my brow and looked at it. It didn’t feel right.


  1. I’ll do it, no problem!
  2. Give me more money.
  3. I will succeed even if I have to sacrifice my life!]

What was this? These burdensome options?

At first glance, it appeared as if I had to choose one of them, but I really didn’t want to.

I tightly sealed my lips. Then the timer at the bottom quickly reached zero seconds.

Suddenly, my mouth moved on its own.

“…I will succeed even if I have to sacrifice my life!”


It felt like I was in an absurd historical drama. I couldn’t believe it, and the CEO awkwardly smiled at me.

“Um… that’s a bit much. You don’t have to risk your life for this.”

“No, that’s not it…!”

“Hoyun! Let’s go! Hurry!”

Feeling wronged, I opened my mouth, but the manager suddenly covered it and pulled me away.

I’m not to blame; I’m going insane!

Hey, what’s going on with you!

[Unknown Idol Tycoon offers various mini-games ^^]

You said you value freedom, you punk.

[Do not trust what the game status window shows! >//<]

This guy was truly…

[Quest Completed: “Visit the agency!”

You have successfully accepted the current situation.

Visit the declining group, The Dawn, and listen to their explanation 1/1.

Success: Charm +5.

The following scenario will commence.]

[Quest Alert: “Talk to the members!”

Greet the members of the declining group, The Dawn 0/4.

Success: Charm +5, and the next scenario starts.

Failure: Discord with The Dawn members.]

I intentionally chewed out what it just said. As I was flipping through the system window in frustration, the manager hit my back hard, causing my face to scrunch up.

“It hurts.”

“Are you crazy? Why are you like this? How could you talk like that in front of the CEO?”

I didn’t intend to say that.

“Did something just pop out of your mouth?”

“If that’s the case, we’ll have to take you to the emergency room.”

“Wow, this guy. I can see your mouth piercing me right now…”

The manager was irritated and thumped his chest.

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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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