The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 39

Episode 39

“Huh?”

Seong Jiwon rolled his eyes and smiled awkwardly.

“Where did you hear that?”

“They said you were a promising rookie.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.”

“I heard they were going to choose between you as the main vocal and center.”

“Well, among the members of Today, I’m the best, right?”

Seong Jiwon bragged without sounding obnoxious. He then asked another question.

“But why are you suddenly asking me about this?”

I felt embarrassed.

“Seo Hoyun, you know my position in Today, and it’s not just out of curiosity that he’s asking… You heard about that, didn’t you?”

Seong Jiwon had become very perceptive lately. It seemed like being chewed out like a squid changed him.

Seong Jiwon clicked his tongue.

“The world is small, too small. Bad news travels faster.”

“You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

“You’re right. What you heard is correct.”

Seong Jiwon sighed.

“I ran away because I didn’t like the sponsorship offer.”

“…Oh.”

“I knew there was growing pressure. Some members of Today already had some talks about it. They treated me like a fool. They said it’s almost like being guaranteed, so why not take this opportunity?”

Seong Jiwon kicked a small rock on the ground.

“I was… honestly not sure. I really wondered if I was a fool. And it drove me crazy when my positions were taken away one by one. But then, one day, I don’t know why or how, but my mind cleared up.”

He couldn’t have forgotten.

Is he just beating around the bush because he doesn’t want to talk about it?

Seong Jiwon’s normally smooth forehead wrinkled.

“What am I doing? I realized I was going crazy. I chose that path. And after a lot of trials, I finally found my current agency. The CEO and manager are nice people. There is no pressure like that here.”

“They’re nice people?”

“Well… they’re good people.”

Seong Jiwon shrugged his shoulders.

The CEO and the manager seemed the same, pursuing their ideals and almost neglecting the members when the results didn’t come instantly. They had such talented people under them.

“After that, just seeing Today would make me feel sick, like I would throw up. But you know what?”

“What?”

“Since that receipt incident, it’s just been funny to me.”

Ah, that one. I remembered Yu Hyeok’s desperate face trying to get a receipt he thought was a note.

“Whenever I think of his expression, it still makes me laugh.”

“You also told Yu Hyeok to keep his mouth shut.”

“Haha! I got a bit carried away with that. Today’s expressions this time were no joke either. I’m definitely going to watch the show when it airs.”

No matter how much he thought about it, Seong Jiwon kept chuckling. Well, it was funny.

When his laughter subsided, he hesitated for a moment before standing up.

“…Anyway, thanks, Hoyun.”

“You’re thanking me?”

I muttered in confusion.

“Why?”

I deeply suspected Seong Jiwon was a fool.

On the other hand, Seong Jiwon seemed to see right through my thoughts and laughed incredulously.

“There’s so much I owe you. I actually came out here to say thank you.”

Seong Jiwon stretched out.

“I trust you. No matter how many more embarrassing things you do here, I’ll trust you.”

“….”

“So please, trust us a little too.”

Seong Jiwon smiled faintly.

I might have been a little arrogant. The other members might have been right. I could have been pressing the accelerator too hard by myself.

But that was the kind of person I’ve always been.

I’ve lived like this until now.

I had to take responsibility on my own.

Could I change?

No.

I chugged the lukewarm yuja tea all at once. Then I got up and followed Seong Jiwon.

“Jiwon.”

Seong Jiwon’s eyes widened.

I’m sorry.

“I’ll make us number one.”

That was the only promise I could make right now.

I didn’t make promises I couldn’t keep. Seong Jiwon seemed to understand the meaning behind my words, and although his expression was a bit bitter, he soon patted my shoulder and said to me.

“Okay.”

“…”

“Let’s go inside. It’s cold.”

***

“Hey.”

“What?”

“Eat this.”

While waiting in tvK broadcasting station’s meeting room, Kim Seonghyeon suddenly threw me a red ginseng packet. It seemed like he had taken it from Seong Jiwon.

“Uh… Thanks.”

“Eat it quickly. You’re supposed to eat something like this once a day.”

“Why is he suddenly like this?”

“He says he’s sorry~.”

Jeong Dajun chimed in from beside him. Apparently, he had regained his energy as he even managed to eat the tteokbokki that the manager had been dying to buy him for lunch.

Kim Seonghyeon playfully flicked Jeong Dajun’s forehead.[1]

“He’s regretting it, that’s why. Anyway, you’re the one who gets all the hate.”

“Hey, you better watch what you say.”

“What are you talking about? Hoyun must know about it already.”

Kang Ichae snorted. Of course, I knew about it too, but Kim Seonghyeon kept checking on me, worried that I might be feeling down after seeing the public’s opinion on the internet.

I looked at him with narrowed eyes. Could he really be upset with me?

…I’m such a piece of trash.

I felt disgusted with myself, but my first reaction was always to doubt everything.

“Oh my, aren’t you our lucky charms! Congratulations on winning the first round!”

“Hello~.”

“Hello! Thank you!”

Amidst all this, a staff member opened the waiting room door and entered. They were beaming, looking delighted.

“It looks like our viewership has skyrocketed! Our goal was to reach 1% at best, you know? Hahaha, but the first episode got a 2.3% rating! And the second episode is expected to reach 3%!”

Wow, that was an impressive rating for a cable show.

It’s worth celebrating with a firecracker.

“It’s all thanks to The Dawn!”

Of course, we are the show’s sacrificial lambs.

“Especially Seo Hoyun, what should we do to show our gratitude? The production team should treat you big time.”

“Yes, please treat us big time.”

Might as well make the most of my sacrificial role.

The staff was excited, but Jeong Dajun tilted his head.

“Is the PD not coming today?”

“Oh, the PD is not feeling well today, so I’m here instead. Now, let’s check the mission for the second round, shall we?”

The staff handed over an envelope containing the mission. Kim Seonghyeon carefully took it and slowly read the content.

“Second round mission: Sing a Different Song.”

“Yes! You have to sing a different song! Isn’t that the highlight of an idol competition~?!”

They were very excited, indeed.

On the other hand, our expressions soured. Excluding us, there were four other teams, which meant that there was a 1 in 4 chance that Today’s song would be chosen. This would only fan the flames of controversy even more.

“Now, let’s see which group’s song The Dawn will be covering!”

The staff shook the jar containing the lots with a big grin. Since there had been rumors of manipulation last time, I could have bet my wrist that only Today’s songs were inside that jar.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing for the production team.

“Quick, pick one!”

“Haha…”

Just as Kim Seonghyeon was about to pick a lot with his trembling hand, the door to the meeting room suddenly burst open.

“PD Kim?”

It was Kim Heeyeon, her hair disheveled. Wearing her hoodie backward and gripping her phone like a weapon, she looked like a mad woman.

“PD Kim, what is it? Didn’t I tell you I could handle it? Why did you come?”

Ignoring the staff’s words, Kim Heeyeon strode toward the table. A strong smell of alcohol wafted through the air.

Her dark circles looked worse, perhaps from the staff’s previous drinking party.

“Get out of here.”

Kim Heeyeon snatched the jar of lots from Kim Seonghyeon and dumped them all out. The camera director hurriedly stood up.

“PD Kim! What are you doing?!”

One by one, she picked up the scattered lots on the table. They all had the same content written on them.

[Today – “Make Love”]

[Today – “Make Love”]

[Today – “Make Love”]

[Today – “Make Love”]

All four notes were the same.

Kang Ichae let out a hollow laugh. The staff’s face turned pale.

“PD, have you lost your mind?”

“I told you to make the notes different, you bastard.”

“No, that was when you were drunk last night… The Dawn, don’t misunderstand. We made a mistake. PD, you can’t do this here.”

“Why not! I’m the PD!”

It seemed that Today’s agency had already started pushing for this outcome. Public opinion had flipped, so they planned to ride the “The Dawn vs. Today” narrative to higher ratings.

It wasn’t actually a bad strategy. That’s why everyone expected Today’s to come up.

But to get caught so blatantly was a first.

And by the main PD, no less…

“PD! Seriously, we’re going to get fired like this!”

“Go ahead, fire me, damn it! I’d rather be jobless than live like this. I’ll report it to the labor office and get some compensation!”

“You crazy? There are cast members right next to you!”

“What! Why! What! Don’t you know I’m crazy?!”

It was a total mess. Everyone was watching blankly, and there was only one thought on their minds.

The editing… it’s going to be tough.

“PD!”

“Stop it, don’t do that. I’ll pick a new one for you.”

As the staff tried to stop her, Kim Seonghyeon picked up a dropped straw and asked.

“Are we going to sing our song today?”

“Well…”

The staff hesitated. They knew the answer from that alone. Kim Seonghyeon glanced at me.

“Yes.”

Kim Heeyeon, the PD, came out confidently.

“So, don’t do it. I’ll pick something suitable for you. Just do that. It’s the most I can do for you. I want to have a clear conscience.”

“No… we want to do this.”

Kim Seonghyeon said.

Hmm?

It was unexpected.

A hint of color returned to the staff’s faces, and Kim Heeyeon’s face turned sour.

“What, is everyone here crazy? I really don’t get it.”

“Please, let us do this.”

Jeong Dajun clung to the idea. I didn’t even need to say anything.

Kim Heeyeon slumped down and messed up her hair. Her already messy hair became even more disheveled.

“What’s going on? Am I the only one who doesn’t understand? Am I the only one feeling anxious right now?”

“PD.”

I called her discreetly and offered her some red ginseng. Kim Heeyeon glared at me, but I shamelessly smiled and tidied up my seat.

“Then we’ll go prepare the cover song.”

“…Sigh.”

“Yes! We’re counting on you!”

As I was about to leave with the members, Kim Heeyeon suddenly followed me.

“Seo Hoyun, can I talk to you for a moment?”

“Oh, sure.”

Following Kim Heeyeon, we walked down the hallway to the vending machine. She scratched her cheek and rummaged through her pockets before pulling out some coins.

“Do you like canned coffee?”

“Yes. Anything is fine.”

“Alright, it’s not much, but I’ll buy you one.”

Kim Heeyeon fumbled several times with her slightly trembling hand before inserting the coins into the vending machine. She looked nervous.

However, the vending machine only took the coins and didn’t dispense the drink. At first, she calmly pressed the button.

“Huh? Umm… it’s not working?”

“It’s not?”

“Haha, it’ll work soon. Just wait a moment.”

She pressed the button harder and harder. She pushed it until it almost broke, then banged and even kicked it.

People were startled by the loud noise and looked over, but Kim Heeyeon just yelled.

“Damn it, now even the vending machine isn’t listening to me! Are they trying to drive me crazy?!”

“…”

“Kim… PD?”

A passerby was startled. The person was CP, who appeared to be higher in rank than Kim Heeyeon, but she glared at them like a cat.

“Chief, what are you looking at? Huh?! You have a problem with me?”

“…Ah, no, I have work to do, PD Kim….”

The CP quickly ran away. As expected, she was the crazy one in the broadcasting station.

I just waited quietly beside her without saying a word. Kim Heeyeon spent quite some time in front of the vending machine before finally giving up, flipping her bangs, and turning to me.

“Forget it. I’ll buy you something more expensive later.”

“…Okay.”

“Anyway, Seo Hoyun, I didn’t call you for this. I wanted to talk about something important.”

Kim Heeyeon tried her best to calm down as she spoke.

“Just remember that I owe you one. I made a mistake, and it affected you.”

“Why is it your debt, PD?”

“It’s because I was in charge of this crappy program. Even though there was pressure from above, I was the one who carried it out. So, of course, I’m responsible.”

Kim Heeyeon roughly brushed her hair back, annoyed by her bangs that kept poking her eyes.

She didn’t need to do that. I would’ve been happy to owe them a favor if it were someone else. But because it was Kim Heeyeon, I didn’t want to.

I looked at her and realized.

If I refused, I would only scratch her pride even more.

“…Alright.”

“Good, you made the right decision. Just let me know anytime. If it’s within my ability, I’ll do it for you. Kim Heeyeon said that, and again, she slammed the vending machine. Strangely enough, a few drinks fell out. Huffing, Kim Heeyeon left the drinks behind and walked away with giant strides.

Hmm.

Kim Heeyeon was starting to feel a backlash.

Everything was going as desired.

***

“What’s going on?”

I asked only after drawing a lot and returning to the practice room.

Everyone’s spirits were higher than last time. Even more so after the guerrilla performance. Their eyes were filled with murderous intent as if to say, “I’ll kill anyone who gets in my way.”

“This time, we’ll really, really, really do better.”

Jeong Dajun stammered.

“I talked with Seonghyeon all night yesterday. Truthfully.”

What kind of development was this? As I crossed my arms and raised my eyebrows, Jeong Dajun clenched his fist.

“If we choose a song by Today and perform it better – much better – we can prove that we’re better than them.”

“Right, that too. And it’s better to think of this as a revenge match.”

Hmm…?

This wasn’t the development I had in mind.

Well, it would be great for me if we continued to have a rivalry with Today.

My team members were so pumped up that my worries from yesterday about one of them losing their mental strength seemed unfounded. What if they didn’t win first place? Wouldn’t their mental state plummet?

As I stood there hesitating, Seong Jiwon patted my shoulder.

“Hoyun, it’s not about winning first place in this competition. It’s about showing people what we can do.”

“…You’re like a mind-reading ghost.”

“Haha, I learned from the best.”

Seong Jiwon smirked.

“As Dajun said, let’s show everyone we’re much better than Today. So much that no one can say anything about our skills.”

Kang Ichae held up his thumb.

“Hyung, you said it too.”

“What?”

“That just doing well isn’t enough. We have to do extraordinarily well.”

Kang Ichae opened his laptop. It had notes on Today’s songs and concepts neatly organized in an Excel file. Honestly, I was surprised.

“What is this?”

“I organized it yesterday. All night. Honestly, I thought we would perform with another group’s song at least once, so I had been preparing little by little, but not knowing which group it would be with made it difficult. Well, after yesterday, it was obvious that Today was the one, so I organized all the concepts and interpretations of the songs they had. I also decided on the arrangement atmosphere so we can be ready for any song we pick.”

What was up with these guys?

As I stared at them in shock, Kang Ichae glanced at Seong Jiwon and continued.

“Fortunately, Jiwon-hyung knows a lot about their situation, which made organizing much easier.”

“Is ‘Make Love’ within the scope of what we considered?”

“Yeah. We’ve even thought about the direction of the arrangement for that one.”

Kang Ichae rattled on.

“Look, as you can see from the ‘Make Love’ teaser video, Today’s vocal line is weak in both high and low notes. So, we’re going to lay the rap with low notes and put Jiwon-hyung and Hoyun-hyung on high notes to fill in the sound density….”

“No, no.”

“What? You don’t like it?”

I raised my hand to stop Kang Ichae.

It’s not that I didn’t like it or that I was jealous.

“When did you guys have time to prepare this?”

Kang Ichae tilted his head and replied nonchalantly.

“When you were sleeping?”

“When Jiwon-hyung went to talk to you!”

“Weren’t you guys sleeping?”

So, you weren’t gossiping about me behind my back?

“Kang Ichae, you didn’t come into the room because you went to talk about this?”

“What, did you think I went out because I didn’t want to see your face?”

“…”

Actually, I did.

Speechless, Kang Ichae burst into laughter.

“Wow… You were really hurt because we talked without you, huh?”

“Ha~, how can this hyung be so sensitive~.”

“Are you crazy?”

I was annoyed, but my team was already looking at me with strangely proud faces. Kim Seonghyeon sighed.

“We have to do our best too.”

“….”

“We can’t just take what’s given to us.”

I clenched my jaw for a while at his words, ruffled my hair, and looked at Kang Ichae.

“…How are we going to arrange it?”

Kang Ichae grinned.

[1] The sentence is actually “김성현이 정다준의 꿀밤을 때렸다,” which literally translates to “Kim Seonghyeon hit Jeong Dajun’s honey night.” “꿀밤” is a Korean slang word that translates to “honey night” but is used to describe a playful, light slap, or flick to someone’s forehead, usually among friends or people who are close.


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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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