The Maknae Has to Be an Idol – Chapter 34

Chapter 34

Kang Hyun-Sung showed open hostility. I might be going too far to say that he was being outright hostile, but I saw clear antagonism in his eyes. His expressionless face, hollow voice, and the ambiguous distance he was maintainingthey were all signs, indicating that he didnt welcome us.

Even then, it was a speculation to say he was being hostile by these factors alone. However, the reason why I was convinced that he was coming towards us with animosity was because I knew he was not the type to approach people first.

Kang Hyun-Sung had seen me in The Showcase 2 for the first time, but I had encountered Kang Hyun-Sung through countless media platforms in my previous life. Of course, there was a huge difference between directly knowing a person and seeing them through the media.

However, a person also couldnt make up what they didn't have. The images he showed on the broadcast were somewhat consistent with real life as well. The Kang Hyun-Sung that I knew was cautious, quiet, and never went out of his way to make friends. He was reserved to the extent that the Only One members said they only knew his inner thoughts a long time after their debut.

The reason why I knew all this was because, although I hated to admit it, Ive loosely followed Only Ones activities in my past life. While I hadnt spent a lot of money on them, I checked them out during their promotion period every time they came out with an album. However, it was questionable whether I could call myself a fan with these actions.

While being a fan involved affection, my actions at the time were not out of affection. It was closer to remorse, longing, and envy. I had wondered if our group, Siren, would have looked like them if our group had debuted. In other words, Only One was the object of my meaningless IF games that I constantly ran through my mind. I got a little embarrassed when I suddenly recalled this time, and I stared at Kang Hyun-Sung without showing any emotions as much as possible.

I replied, Thank you. Senior, I was also impressed by your performance. It was basically a golden rule to give a compliment back after receiving a compliment first. Kang Hyun-Sung quickly reeled in the hostility that had been coming out of his whole body and smoothly changed his expression.

Then he smiled brightly at my answer and said, Thank you.

Um senior, is Young-Ho okay...? Yeon-Hoon brought up Young-Ho- Only Ones maknae, who twisted his ankle. I couldnt believe that Yeon-Hoon would ask about Young-Ho so outrightly like that. After all, wasnt it like a forbidden topic right now? However, judging by Yeon-Hoons face, he appeared genuinely worried about Young-Ho. Considering Yeon-Hoons personality, that was probably the case, but it was questionable whether Kang Hyun-Sung would also accept it that way.

Kang Hyun-Sungs expression got slightly colder, but he quickly changed his expression and replied, As soon as the stage was over, he went to a nearby hospital with our manager. Then he added, When we got in touch with him, he told us the injury wasnt that serious.

Yeon-Hoon replied, Ah! Thats a huge relief. Please tell him to get well soon!

Yes, thank you.

No need to thank me! Kang Hyun-Sung and Yeon-Hoon continued to have a friendly conversation. While Yeon-Hoon kept smiling, Kang Hyun-Sungs expression darkened little by little.

Then, see you again. Kang Hyun-Sung then went back to where the Only One members were.


I think hes even more handsome close-up.

Yeah, I agree.

After Kang Hyun-Sung left, everyone was busy praising Kang Hyun-Sung; their assessment of him was getting skewed by his fame once again. I just stared at the members and tried to infer Kang Hyun-Sungs psychology and how he must be feeling right now.

From his perspective, a strange team had joined a program that he thought Only One would be able to easily monopolize and was now sharing the spotlight with them. I wondered how long he would be able to endure this situation. While I was thinking about various matters like this, the production team went around and told me that it was time to film again.

Were going to shoot!

We began to prepare for the shooting again.

* * * d new chaptrs on no/v/e/lin(.)com

In the resumed shooting, we stood in the same formation as we had previously used at the introductory performance. We were going to shoot the delivery of the second-round mission and additional cuts.

Now! The first round of The Showcase 2 First Chance

We just saw the rankings for the first round. It was definitely an announcement that had a twist in many ways. Host Nahyun commented and glanced at our team. The twist must be referred to how we placed fifth in the introductory performance and rose to first place in the first-round competition.

On the other hand, there are some teams with disappointing results. Although no one showed it, we probably all thought of OnebyOne.

Frankly, I thought, It was a performance worth being in last place. Even I thought that performance had been unfortunate. Maybe with good execution, a gangster concept could make a solid impression, but they had a rap part that didnt fit and had sloppy acting in the beginning. Furthermore, they were shameless to argue that they showcased the concept of red by splattering a bit of blood.

Besides this, I wondered why the hosts lines were getting so long when Kim Young-Jin suddenly said, Now that youve all received your results, lets hear how you feel.

I realized they went on for so long to make us do this. Come to think of it, these scenes were included after every competition. The producers took the time to gather everyone together and asked each group how they felt after the ranking announcement.

Frankly, this was the cruelest part about the show: if the participants misspoke even once, they might completely fall out of the publics favor, and people might accuse them of being arrogant or not knowing their place. It was a setup where there was a good chance of making a mistake.

Lets first hear from OnebyOne, who came in fifth place. Host Kim Young-Jin said and pointed to OnebyOne.

There was a bit of a scuffle as none of the members from OnebyOne wanted to hold the mike, but after a while, the leader received the mike and said, Uh, ah, yes. First of all, we expected to be in fifth place. He continued, Because other teams showed such great performances, I think we prepared ourselves to be placed fifth bit by bit while watching them.

Their team atmosphere was in shambles, but I wasnt sure if it would be beneficial for them to get a few more cuts like this. Then the team leader added, But we will reflect on our performance today and wont stop here. We will prepare for a better performance to get a high ranking in the second round of competition. It was a standard speech. Although their performance had been a mess, they must have prepared well for their commentaries.

The next was Luminin. A member, who was not the leader of the group, took the mike this time. He said, It would be a lie to say that we are not disappointed that our performance ranked fourth place, but we were roughly expecting this ranking. Although it was disappointing this time, we will show you a better performance in the second round.

As OnebyOne paved the way, everyone used the same standard lines to express their thoughts about the performance. If this pattern were repeated, the whole thing would be edited out. I hoped that Bleshu would at least say different lines but

First of all, we are very happy with our ranking. While it would be a lie if we said we had no regrets, well work harder and... They showed the same pattern as the other two. While expressing disappointment over the ranking, they respectfully said they would do better in the next performance. The same two phrases were packed into different words and have now been repeated three times.

I thought this whole scene might really be edited out, but at the same time, I also thought, Honestly, theres nothing else to say. It was for a reason why the other groups just repeated similar words. Since they didnt even give us time to prepare in advance, it was only natural that similar commentaries were coming out.

Then, please tell us how you feel, Only One.

Next, it was Kang Hyun-Sung, who grabbed the mike. He said, First of all, thank you for your generosity and giving us first place. Kang Hyun-Sung went differently from the beginning; this part was only natural since they won first place, and the next line was the important part.

I think I was able to learn a lot and gain motivation while watching todays performances. However, in the end, he was going to say the same thing as the others, and honestly, I didnt blame him as there was no need for him to take risks here.

However, contrary to what I thought, he suddenly pointed us out. After seeing Sirens performance that expressed the color blue, I realized that it was possible to show colors differently than I imagined and thought we interpreted gold too one-dimensionally.




No way.

My members gasped and craned their necks up.

I thought he was only going to talk about us, but Kang Hyun-Sung continued, Bleshus performance of black was also...

It seemed he was going to compliment every group. I thought it was actually better this way, but I also thought, The length of his words is different.

The nuance and length of his compliments were subtly different when praising the groups stage compared to when he was praising us. After realizing this, I had a good idea of what Kang Hyun-Sung was thinking and doing.

Ah. Right now, Kang Hyun-Sung was clearly uplifting and highlighting our performance. He gave a word of praise to every group for formalities sake, but he clearly gave us more praise and sincere ones at that.

There was no way that the producer wouldnt take notice of this. The reason why he must be praising us this much was

'He doesnt want to get insulted. He probably didnt want to be criticized for being tied for first place with us after his group made a mistake. If he praised us in this way, it would indirectly imply that they knew that their stage was not good enough to win first place. And like this, they would be partly shielded from insults that accused them of having no conscience for taking first place with popularity alone.

And now, Kang Hyun-Sung could garner reactions of pity like I think theyre embarrassed that their performance won first place.

Furthermore, this might not be the only reason why he suddenly complimented us. If I state another reason, it must be because he gave up on the royalty system.

He must have quickly given up on playing king in The Showcase 2. Since a group strong enough to tie for first place appeared, he would look like a sore loser if he continued to play king. Rather, it was better to acknowledge us and position us as worthy rivals. In short, he wanted to share the pie he had been planning to eat alone with us now, but in exchange, he wanted to increase the size of the pie since it would become troublesome for him if his portion became smaller. All in all, if there was a rivalry plotline in the show, it was easier to garner more of the viewers attention and create more tension.

Am I overthinking it? Of course, there was a high possibility that all this interpretation was purely my delusion. Kang Hyun-Sung might have really wanted to compliment each team. However

Whats the likelihood of that?

Kang Hyun-Sung joined The Showcase 2 after going through all kinds of hardships and debuting as a temporary project group from Select Your Idol. He had gone through too many sufferings and hardships to preserve his innocence. However, I stopped further thoughts about this as there were more pressing concerns. It was now time for us to comment about our performance, and Yeon-Hoon grabbed the mike.

First of all, thank you so, so, soooo much for looking favorably at our performance and giving us first place. Rather than believing that this was entirely due to our ability and being conceited, we will accept this as a push to do better next time and continue to work hard! Thank you! Yeon-Hoon spoke as kindly as ever. I clapped a little harder than others.

Now, weve heard the thoughts of all five groups. Shall we start preparing for that now? Kim Young-Jin said and laughed like an evil clown and said with a higher tone to lift the mood. Its finally time to announce the theme of the second roundwhat you have all been looking forward to!

Host Nahyun also kept up the tension and exclaimed, Wooow!

We didnt lose to them and cheered appropriately to raise the atmosphere.

Youve all shown a great performance expressing different colors under the theme, Color of Showcase, so whats the theme of the second round of the competition? That is. Kim Young-Jin stopped and took a deep breath.

Then at the perfect timing, Nahyun announced, Its Your Showcasecreate a performance with another groups song!

What? Another groups song? Your Showcase?

This was the first time I heard about it. Once again, the future had changed, but this time, I could easily guess what it was about as soon as I heard its name.

Among the introductory performances and the first round of competition, you have to choose a performance from another group you want to steal right now!

It was to steal another groups previous performance. In other words, I thought, Its to clearly show who can do better.

The production team was going to line up the five groups from worst to best as plain as day.

Chapter end

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