The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 85

Episode 85

I failed to maintain my composure. If I were to be honest… Min Jiheon was younger than me. But that’s not possible now.

I’ve become younger.

“Do I look that old?”

I frowned blatantly and acted as if I had heard a bad joke.

“I’m twenty-three. I’m younger than Min Jiheon.”

“Aha, so you’re twenty-three now?”

Min Jiheon laughed as though he’d heard something amusing.

When his laughter subsided, he seemed momentarily lost in thought before crossing his arms and looking at me up and down. But his gaze was strangely chilling, as if he were looking at something behind me, not me…

“About thirty-three…?”

“…!”

A red warning light flashed in my head, and chills ran up my spine instantly. Regardless, Min Jiheon looked at me while biting his lip.

“No… is it a bit more? I’m not sure about this….”

“…”

“Oh, it seems like I just made a rhyme, didn’t I?”[1]

With a narrowed gaze, I watched Min Jiheon as he muttered, “is it… is it not…”

Has he gone mad?

…Could he have guessed this just by throwing it out there? My thought process was slightly twisted, but as someone who had been a chatterbox for 32 years, I unconsciously let my mouth run.

“What… are you talking about?”

“…”

“Is this a candid camera?”

Min Jiheon, who had been mumbling to himself, just flashed a meaningful smile.

“You’re back, right?”

With his eyes even more narrowed, Min Jiheon looked behind me as if groping for something.

No, I didn’t think it was possible, but was a camera installed somewhere?

If I were to get caught talking nonsense here, wouldn’t it be a disaster?

“…I’ll admit that you’re really good at acting, sunbae. So, where’s the camera installed?”

“Um… hyung. First of all, I think I need to give you some additional explanation about me.”

“…”

“Have you ever heard that there’s only a thin line between a shaman and an entertainer?”

It seemed like I’d heard of it before. But I didn’t have the energy to listen to such nonsense at the moment.

Min Jiheon ignored my tense gaze and continued his story.

“I’m not a shaman~ My family is ordinary, but… um, I’ve been able to see many things that I shouldn’t have. So, when I was young, I had a lot of trouble….”

Min Jiheon calmly laid out his story as if he was explaining a character he was playing.

“If I don’t disperse this energy somehow, malicious spirits will really rush in like crazy. So, that’s why I act.”

“…What?”

“Don’t misunderstand. I really like acting too.”

Min Jiheon playfully tapped his cheek.

“…Yeah, it seems like you really like it. So, is your next role as a shaman?”

“Ahaha, my next project is Please Take the Camera. I haven’t played a shaman yet.”

Min Jiheon just laughed, like someone enjoying a night out. His gaze was still wandering somewhere other than on me.

“So, after seeing and experiencing so many different things… your case was a first for me. It was a bit confusing after a long time.”

‘I’ve never seen something like this before.’

… I remembered Min Jiheon’s words when he looked at me back in Jeju Island. [2] At that time, I thought it was just a simple provocation. Min Jiheon stopped his wandering gaze and stared directly into my eyes, muttering.

“Is it a person or a ghost…?”

Ding!

[WARNING!

I’m warning you.

Get out now.]

…The system window displayed a strong warning that I had never seen before. Beyond the rising warning window, Min Jiheon’s laughing face was visible.

“What was your original job? How did you become an idol…? Your skills were quite impressive.”

[WARNING!

I’m warning you again.

Get out immediately.]

The once-loose atmosphere tightened up in an instant. The dozens of system windows appearing in front of me… lent credibility to Min Jiheon’s words. This was not a staged candid camera but an actual situation.

It was time to change my stance.

“What is it?”

How can you believe that nonsense about seeing ghosts?

Min Jiheon was an actor, a very outstanding one, even deserving the title of national actor. Fooling the audience came naturally to actors like him; how easy it must be for him to fool someone like me. I spat out my words while looking at him with a cold gaze.

“Stop the nonsense and get to the point.”

I needed to figure out how he knew my information. This was inside a game. So far, the only person who remembered me was my younger sibling. Even if he somehow investigated me, there should be nothing he could discover.

Min Jiheon rubbed the corner of his eye and let out a slightly awkward laugh.

“…Hmm, you’re quite a scary type, huh?”

“…”

“It’s okay; I understand that it’s sudden and suspicious. But I’m really just trying to help.”

At that moment, Min Jiheon gently touched the bracelet on his wrist.

“Showing it directly would be the most reliable, right?”

A black bead was strung on the jingling bracelet. I caught his eyes, which were unusually wavering in the odd atmosphere.

“You’ll want to know too.”

“…Yes?”

“I’m wondering what to show you… But first, you need to agree. This might hurt a bit.”

Min Jiheon now spoke very clearly. It was unbelievable compared to the person I met earlier.

I wiped my dumbfounded face.

“…Heh.”

What was I doing here? I couldn’t help but let out a hollow laugh.

“Fine, I don’t know what it is, but give it a try. You did a great job with this concept… isn’t the CEO behind this?”

“Ahaha, I don’t think the CEO knows. Anyway…you agreed, right?”

A wave of regret hit me instantly. I thought that following this chuunibyou-concept guy wouldn’t lead to any answers.

Still, half of me wanted to see how far he’d go, and the other half wanted to cling to any straw for answers.

“I did say it might hurt… I warned you.”

Min Jiheon rolled up his sleeve and stared at me intently while fiddling with the bracelet.

“Are you apologizing in advance?”

“…?”

And the moment Min Jiheon shook the bracelet…

“Ugh…”

I felt a tightening sensation in all my blood vessels at that moment and leaned forward. The words flowed out of Min Jiheon’s mouth.

“【Emptying the■■.】”

“What, what…?”

A wave of pain surged up from my stomach as if being stabbed by sharp objects. I clenched my teeth and tightly gripped the table as I glared at him.

Min Jiheon was looking at me while also not looking at me. He was looking at something beyond, something unknowable.

“【It’s not a ■■ just because there’s a ■…】”

His voice echoed in my ears like a slithering snake yet also muddled as if submerged underwater. With my ears feeling like they were filled with water, the system window’s warning sound rang alongside the screeching noise.

Ding!

[WARNING!]

“Gah!”

Gulping, something lumpy rose from my throat. I hurriedly covered my mouth with a napkin and spat it out, but I had no idea what it was. My vision was spinning, and the pain was so intense that I wasn’t in my right mind.

Ding!

[WARNING!]

[WARNING!]

[WARNING!]

“【Considering the ■■■.】”

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-Dong!

Ding-… ding-…

…….

…An unbelievable incident occurred.

The warning window suddenly disappeared.

Everything flowed like slow-motion in a movie.

The emotionless face of crazy Min Jiheon looking down at me, the music quietly playing in the restaurant, and the countless system windows that popped up as if warning me before vanishing.

Suddenly, everything felt so out of place.

The world I was standing in felt alien.

No…, it wasn’t that.

In fact, it wasn’t that the world was alien, but I was the strange one.

Like some foreign substance jutting out in a place where everything was arranged in order, I, standing at the boundary of reality and unreality, felt nauseatingly terrible.

Ding!

[E R R O R]

For a moment, my vision flickered.

Screech!

The steering wheel quickly spun past my eyes.

The clear blue sky, my body leaning to one side, the static radio…

When I realized I was in a car… … it was already too late, as I crashed into the sharp debris.

Crash!

“Ugh…!”

I held my breath. My body that was floating suddenly plummeted, and the sense of reality quickly returned.

Only my hands clenched tightly around the table were supporting my trembling body.

“Ugh, gasp, cough… ugh, fuck….”

A car accident.

An accident that happened ten years ago… in the past.

The car I was riding in with my parents… me sitting alone in the backseat. That damned accident in which I instantly lost both of my parents.

I clung to the table until my knuckles turned white and swallowed the trembling in my throat.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck….”

I muttered curses several times, not knowing where I was. As I coughed and covered my mouth, Min Jiheon urgently shoved a new napkin in my hand to block it.

Blood stained the white napkin.

“Uh…”

Min Jiheon’s voice, which had been groaning just a moment ago, was now clear.

“Uh… did I go too far?”

“…”

“Sorry, I didn’t expect it to be this intense.”

Min Jiheon, looking slightly flustered, stepped back and covered the bracelet again. I gritted my teeth from the vivid sensations of the car accident and gasped for breath.

Suddenly, blood flowed from Min Jiheon’s nose as well.

“Ah, but I’m also in pain… Wow, this is stronger than I thought.”

“Ugh, cough…”

“Should we try more… no….”

Min Jiheon muttered while closing his eyes as if feeling dizzy. I barely finished taking a deep breath and immediately grabbed his collar as soon as I grasped the situation.

“You crazy bastard…!!”

Bang!

The table was pushed, and teacups fell to the floor. Min Jiheon frowned and quickly tried to step back, but I pulled his collar tightly.

“You… answer me properly from now on.”

“Ah, wait a minute….”

“I’m not as gentle as you think.”

“I know! I can see that already!”

Min Jiheon might have been genuinely scared as he squinted his eyes. Either way, I grabbed his collar again.

“…How do you know about that incident? What did you just show me?”

“I understand you’re very angry, but grabbing my collar. I’m really struggling right now… No, you agreed earlier, remember?!”

“Answer me right now!!”

Enraged, I shouted, and Min Jiheon finally opened his eyes, which were tightly closed. His eyes were still cloudy and shimmering.

“…Geez, let’s just calm down for a moment.”

“…”

“Let’s just leave it at that for now.”

Damn it.

Min Jiheon said while releasing my grip on his collar. My insides were turning, and I felt like my brain was melting from the pain. I leaned on the table, gasping for air, and glared at him.

That son of a bitch…

“Hey, Min Jiheon!!!”

Just as I tried to seize the opportunity to attack him again, Min Jiheon’s manager suddenly burst into the room with a loud noise.

“What are you doing here?! You need to board your flight right now, don’t you know? Se-Seo Hoyun?”

“…”

As I kept silent and stared at Min Jiheon, his manager quickly assessed the situation and looked around nervously. But Min Jiheon concealed his earlier panic and answered nonchalantly.

“Sorry, I was meeting an acquaintance.”

“An acquaintance…? Seo Hoyun?”

In the awkward atmosphere, Min Jiheon’s manager discreetly moved closer to Min Jiheon and quietly asked. Min Jiheon deliberately turned his body to hide the blood-stained napkins scattered on the floor and smiled at the manager.

“Shall we go? I was just about to wrap up.”

“Of course, we should go right now…! But why are you meeting Seo Hoyun? Are you…close?”

“Well, no.”

“Then why did you come without saying anything…”

The manager glanced back and forth between the two of us with a sly look. It seemed like he sensed something strange but couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

“…But maybe we’ll try becoming friends from now on.”

A hollow laugh escaped.

He was a complete lunatic.

“…Anyway, we should hurry. Let’s talk more in the car. Ugh! Why are these containers all over the place? The whole floor is wet, be careful there!”

As his manager dragged him away, Min Jiheon hesitated a little and glanced back at me.

“…Min Jiheon.”

“Mi-Min Jiheon?”

I called out to Min Jiheon, who was about to leave the room. His manager was shocked by how I called him, but I didn’t have the time to care. [3]

The vivid sensations of the steering wheel that twisted abruptly, the excessively blue sky, the screeching sound of the tires scraping the floor—all of it was still clear in my mind.

“You…still haven’t answered me.”

“I’m, I’m really sorry, but not now… I need to catch my flight.”

The manager stuttered and looked at me while Min Jiheon pulled on his arm.

“As a hyung, your audition success must be guaranteed already… shall we meet at the set?”

“…”

“I’ll tell you then.”

I wanted to grab him right away and scream at him for what he did. But I couldn’t do that with watchful eyes around. My fists trembled with unreleased anger, and I heard his manager mutter as he left the room.

“So, so you were having a late-night chat…?”

“…”

“Audition practice…? But what the hell is it?”

As the room door closed and I was left alone, I crumpled the blood-stained napkins and threw them roughly into the trash can.

“Fuck… that fucking bastard!”

Even as I cursed like a madman, my mood didn’t improve. I clenched my fist and glared at the exit where Min Jiheon had just left.

“Set, my ass…”

Do you think I’d just sit still like this?

My jaw trembled violently.

[1] The rhyme appears to be based on the repeated syllable “가.” Jiheon says “긴가? 긴가민가하네” where “긴가” (is it a bit more?) is followed by “긴가민가하네” (I’m not sure about this). The sound “가” is repeated three times in two phrases.

[2] See Episode 57.

[3] Because Hoyun didn’t use honorifics such as sunbae.


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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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