The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 25

Episode 25

“Wow, totally busted, Seong Jiwon?”

Who… who was he?

Kim Seonghyeon seemed to know something as he frowned, but Seong Jiwon just greeted him calmly.

“Hello, Yu Hyeok-sunbae.”

“Hahaha, just kidding, buddy! What’s with that disgusting look?”

The man called Yu Hyeok put his arm around Seong Jiwon’s shoulder.

Ah, now he seemed familiar. Today, a boy group that debuted three years ago. They were quite popular because they came from a large agency and even won first place a few times.

Speaking of which, was their agency D.go? It was the large entertainment company Seong Jiwon used to belong to.

“No matter how much earlier I debuted, we’ve been eating from the same pot for years. I just wanted to talk to you because it’s been a while, and I’ve heard good things about you lately.”

“…Thanks.”

It seemed the two practiced together in the past.

“I’m really glad things turned out well. My heart ached when your debut got canceled. I worried that maybe you were pushed out because of me like I stole your spot.”

“… Me?”

“I’m happy to see things working out for you, even if it’s late.”

But this guy, he was subtly jabbing at Seong Jiwon.

“I hope things continue to go well. Well… it’s a game with a predetermined outcome anyway.”

A predetermined outcome?

Before I could even deduce what he meant, Yu Hyeok glanced at Kim Seonghyeon. Seeing his glare at Kim Seonghyeon, I remembered where I had seen him before. He was the guy who stared too long when a girl group member handed a note to Kim Seonghyeon earlier.

“Your hoobae should work hard too. If you keep being clingy here and there, it’ll cause bad rumors.”

Ah.

Now the situation was clear.

This Yu Hyeok seemed to have a crush on that girl group member, and he was upset because she showed interest in Kim Seonghyeon instead.

Kim Seonghyeon, who had never been clingy, raised his eyebrows in disbelief. At that moment, I deliberately dropped a piece of paper on the floor.

“Oh, shoot!”

When I said it out loud, everyone’s attention turned to us. I hurriedly picked up the note and carefully put it in Kim Seonghyeon’s pocket.

“Seonghyeon, be careful with it.”

“…Seonghyeon?”

“What’s this after dropping it, huh?”

Kim Seonghyeon looked at me with a bewildered expression. He didn’t seem to understand what was going on. Yu Hyeok’s eyes were fixed on Seonghyeon’s pocket.

“No matter how many you receive, you shouldn’t be dropping them like this.”

“What…”

“Oh right, you said you weren’t interested, didn’t you?”

I pulled out the piece of paper from Kim Seonghyeon’s pocket.

“I’ll pass this on to the manager.”

“Hey, what’s that?”

“Oh, sorry for interrupting. Kim Seonghyeon is just so careless….”

Yu Hyeok couldn’t take his eyes off the note. I bowed my head with a kind smile.

“Thank you for the advice, sunbae. We won’t be swayed by such things in the future, and we’ll work hard.”

I grinned and playfully waved the paper.

It was an outright provocation. Yu Hyeok’s expression turned grim, realizing what I had done.

Seong Jiwon let out a hollow laugh, and next to him, Kang Ichae turned red as he tried to hold back his laughter.

“You… What’s your name?”

“It’s Seo Hoyun, sunbae.”

As I answered with a smile, Yu Hyeok approached me and snatched the paper.

“You little punk, already losing your mind? Thinking you’re something just because you got a note?”

I obediently handed it over. Shocked glances were cast from the side.

Hey, you’re the one who said to watch your mouth at the broadcasting station.

Are you crazy? A note with a sunbae’s phone number?

It’s personal information?

That was the kind of look they gave.

They were probably worried the note would be passed to that sunbae, and we’d get caught. But I was confident.

Yu Hyeok unfolded the note with a swagger.

“I’ll pass this on to that sunbae. You guys are already acting so high and mighty without manners… Huh….”

“…”

Yu Hyeok checked the folded paper and closed his mouth.

“Yes?”

“…”

“Yeees? What did you say?”

Because, you see, it was a receipt.

A receipt for the salad we had for breakfast.

I wouldn’t carelessly leak personal information like that.

“A receipt?”

I tilted my head. Kang Ichae was laughing so hard beside me that he was almost in tears.

“What is this?”

“Ah, it’s the receipt for the salad we had for breakfast. Our manager always tells us to take the cash receipts when we buy something.”

“…”

“But Kim Seonghyeon doesn’t know these things very well. Maybe because he’s only focused on practicing.”

“Then what you said earlier about not being swayed was….”

“Oh, I thought you were obviously talking about dieting….”

As I calmly replied, even Seong Jiwon’s face turned red, trying to hold back laughter.

I, on the other hand, sighed.

Being an idol was tough… These kids… were jealous of their juniors wanting to date…

“Sunbae, I don’t know why you want our receipt, but if you wish, feel free to take it.”

“Maybe he has a hobby of collecting cash receipts… That’s unusual.”

“Or maybe he just likes the smell of the salad on the receipt… Wait, do salads even have a smell?”

“Hey, hey. You should keep that kind of stuff to yourself.”

Jeong Dajun muttered seriously beside me. I pretended to stop him with a laugh.

Jeong Dajun, this guy was really funny. A great character for variety shows. Especially when there’s an opportunity to tease people, I must involve Jeong Dajun.

“These punks…”

Yu Hyeok’s face turned red and pale. He lunged at me as if to grab my collar, but I dodged him smoothly.

If Yu Hyeok threw a punch at me here, it wouldn’t be too bad to use it to our advantage. I was secretly looking forward to it.

It would be great if Kang Ichae was recording this. Yu Hyeok was trying to grab me at that very moment.

“Ah, Seo Hoyun!”

A familiar voice was heard. Turning my head, I saw Joo Woosung raising his hand and approaching.

Come to think of it, I heard he was here as a special MC.

Joo Woosung was nothing extraordinary, but because his debut and popularity were top-notch, everyone around him bowed 90 degrees every time he stepped in the hallway. It was a truly bizarre sight.

Are you some kind of god?

“What are you doing? You should greet people when you arrive.”

Hmm…

It was similar to what Yu Hyeok had said to Seong Jiwon earlier, but it strangely felt okay when Joo Woosung said it.

He must be trying to help.

I got goosebumps from his overly friendly tone, but I smiled broadly anyway.

“Sunbae, I went to see you earlier, but you weren’t there.”

“Sunbae? Don’t be so formal… Just call me ‘hyung’ like you usually do. And hello to the rest of you too.”

“Hello!”

“Have you been practicing? Did you improve from the last time I saw you?”

Joo Woosung chuckled and tapped me. I thought he had caught on to my intentions…

Is he actually helpful?

In terms of experience and recognition, Yu Hyeok was no match for Joo Woosung.

As if sensing something strange, Yu Hyeok looked at Joo Woosung and bowed at a 90-degree angle.

“Hello, Joo Woosung-sunbae!”

“Ah… Right.”

Joo Woosung glanced at him. Yu Hyeok quickly changed his demeanor and clung to him, flaunting their closeness.

“I’ve been enjoying the album you gave me last time, sunbae. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I heard you were coming as a special MC.”

Shouldn’t this guy have been an actor rather than an idol?

“Mmm… Thanks, Yu…”

“Yes, sunbae!”

“Yu… Yu Hyung, was it? Like a math problem?”

“…”

“Study guide?”

Joo Woosung burst into laughter after saying it himself. It was a dad joke.[1]

“Sorry, I’m not good with faces I don’t recognize well.”

Yu Hyeok was totally burned.

His expression twisted for a moment, and then immediately relaxed.

“…It’s Yu Hyeok.”

“Aha.”

Then Joo Woosung turned his gaze back to me. As an idol, he must have known the name of a fairly famous junior, so he deliberately ignored Yu Hyeok.

“Seo Hoyun, you have some time before the recording, right? Come to my dressing room later.”

“Why?”

“Well, I just want to catch up for a bit. It’s been hard to get in touch since you’re so busy, you rascal.”

Joo Woosung’s acting had improved since I last saw him. I pretended to be embarrassed for no reason.

“Oh, I forgot. Sorry.”

“It’s fine. See you later.”

I gave an OK sign and watched Joo Woosung walk away. Then, I smiled and greeted Yu Hyeok, who was dumbfounded after being ignored.

The sunbae Yu Hyeok tried to show off his connections with was treating Seo Hoyun nicely. That must be infuriating.

Such people definitely get frustrated.

“Sunbae, you seem hungry. Make sure to eat well—.”

Go practice or something, kid.

Everyone quickly moved away from Yu Hyeok, trying not to laugh. After a while, Kim Seonghyeon quietly added a comment.

“You’re really cunning, but it’s reassuring when you’re on our side.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

***

“Oh, you’re here.”

“Right before your eyes, the great Mr. Shin O Jeong X is here….”

“Come on in, come on in.”

Joo Woosung said this as I walked into the waiting room he was using alone.

“I was pretty good, right?”

Joo Woosung took his eyes off his phone and looked at me, bragging. I chuckled and plopped down on the sofa next to him.

“Why is the MC’s dressing room for one person so spacious? Ours is like a chicken coop.”

“Well, I am Joo Woosung.”

True. He’s one of the top idols in Korea, both in name and reality. Would I be able to escape this game after I complete the main scenario by reaching that kind of level?

I stared at him and checked his stats.

[You’re viewing Joo Woosung’s stats.

Singing: A+

Dancing: S+

Entertainment: A0

???: ???

??: ??

Charm: S-]

I was speechless for a moment.

“Wow…”

“What is it?”

“No, I just realized how far I still have to go….”

“Huh? Why?”

So, I needed to build up stats like this guy to be on his level? When would I ever get out of this game? Could I get out before I turn eighty?

Losing my enthusiasm, I pouted, and Joo Woosung narrowed his eyes.

“Are you mocking me right now?”

“No, I’m not.”

“It sure seems like it….”

I was just admiring your stats, you brat.

There was no point in saying that since he wouldn’t believe me, so I ignored it.

“So, what is it? Why did you call me?”

“Talking about it outside would feel awkward, and I didn’t want to risk running into any White Cherry members.”

“White Cherry?”

I raised my eyebrows. Joo Woosung gave an uncomfortable smile.

“I’ve become a legendary jerk within White Cherry.”

Oh, right. They were dating.

“Did you break up?”

“I was dumped, actually.”

One of them finally escaped.

Of course, I was talking about White Cherry’s side.

“Kids these days are scary, you know? Splashing water wasn’t enough; they brought a big bowl of water from the bathroom and threw it at me. I was completely soaked.”

Well, that’s understandable.

I crossed my arms, looking at the legendary jerk.

“Well… I am a jerk, after all.”

What’s going on?

Was he finally going to treat his fans better? Or was it just a realization after being threatened?

“Anyway, if I leave, half of those people are my ex-girlfriends….”

“Hey, I’m not that bad… Am I?”

Joo Woosung seriously pondered. I ignored him.

“Anyway, I didn’t call you to talk about that. It’s something else.”

“What is it?”

“You guys are entering a competition this time, right?”

I was about to dismiss it as nothing serious and respond casually when my ears perked up.

“How did you know?”

“I heard it from someone. It seems the variety show department is pushing for that program this time. The lineup doesn’t look bad.”

Joo Woosung said, tapping on his phone.

Shining Star seemed to be a gathering of idols with moderate popularity. I didn’t know the lineup was considered good, though.

“Did you hear who’s participating?”

“From what I know, Refined, Maz, and Today, the ones who picked a fight with you guys earlier.”

“Hmm…”

Refined, Maz, and Today. All of them debuted between 1-4 years ago. The competition seemed fiercer than I thought. Today has overwhelmingly higher recognition. It might be tough to break through the competition here.

“But don’t expect to win first place.”

I quickly raised my head.

I thought he said that because of the difference in popularity, but Joo Woosung added calmly.

“There’s already a predetermined winner.”

“What?”

Shining Star and Today’s agency seem to have strong ties. They’ve already arranged everything and are proceeding with the program.”

“…”

A rigged program with a predetermined winner. That’s why Yu Hyeok said those words earlier.

The outcome is already set.

Today’s side must know it as well.

I wondered if Kang Ichae recorded it earlier but decided to drop it. Yu Hyeok’s words were too weak to overturn the situation. It would be over if he claimed he didn’t have such intentions since it was too vague.

As I was thinking about what to do, Joo Woosung casually said.

“This kind of thing is common. I’m telling you not to be too passionate and end up disappointed.”

“…”

“As far as I know, the second and third places haven’t been determined. You won’t be able to compete with other groups as the first place, but it’ll still be quite useful for raising your recognition.”

My disappointment must have shown as Joo Woosung’s words became lengthier.

“Thank you.”

“Huh?”

“I’m grateful you told me. Can I tell the members and the company about this?”

“…Yeah, they’d know anyway. Just don’t mention that I’m the source.”

“I understand.”

Seeing my unbroken spirit, Joo Woosung raised his eyebrows with a ‘Look at this’ expression.

More importantly, there was something else.

“Who’s the PD?”

“All of a sudden?”

“Yes. Did you hear who the PD of Shining Star is?”

The CEO said they were still searching for one. Joo Woosung frowned at the unexpected question.

“I don’t remember that. Why?”

“It’s important. Can you find out for me?”

“Well, finding out isn’t a problem… Whoa.”

Joo Woosung’s words trailed off, and he suddenly asked earnestly.

“Seo Hoyun, you’re not planning to threaten the PD, right?”

“I wouldn’t do that.”

“I can’t believe you since you have a history of it.”

It was difficult to damage a PD’s reputation, even when they had flaws. I had to look for another way.

Rather than threatening, something more enticing…

As I was pondering, Joo Woosung shrugged.

“Anyway, I’ll find out and let you know. If you have any more questions about the program, just ask.”

“Why are you being so helpful?”

Joo Woosung had been surprisingly helpful to a blackmailer like me. When I asked him honestly, he just grumbled.

“Even when I’m being nice, you’re suspicious, you bastard….”

“I’m joking. I appreciate it, so consider me in your debt.”

“What would I gain by having you in my debt?”

“Well, who knows what will happen in life?”

It was good for me that they were helpful. Joo Woosung and Lim Hyeonsu were softer than I thought.

My focus was already on Shining Star. It was understandable since a new quest window had appeared.

[Quest Arrival!

Win first place on Shining Star.

Success: Acquire hidden talent, +50 to all stats.

Failure: Unable to release the next album for 3 years]

I needed to create a new plan.

[1] So the joke is essentially a play on the similar-sounding words “유혁” (Yoo Hyeok, his name) and “유형” (Yoo Hyung, the word for study guide).


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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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