The Maknae Has to Be an Idol

Chapter 204



Chapter 204

I finished the live performance of the music show with my members.

“Kyahhhhh!” During the ending pose, cheers poured out from the audience. I was a bit out of breath, and my vision was slightly blurred under the bright fluorescent light. Although everything was hectic and crazy after the stage was over, I felt strangely overwhelmed with emotions. After finishing the ending pose, I made eye contact with the members.

Everyone had a smile on their faces as if they were satisfied with our good performance. We greeted the Sailors who watched our stage in the audience seats and then moved backstage.

“Haaaa! It’s over!” Dong-Jun exclaimed as soon as he came backstage.

“Great job.”

“Great job everyone.”

“Thank you for your hard work.”

“Thank you so much.”

We thanked all the staff we met while moving to the waiting room.

“We’ve managed to get through another day.”

“Yeah, for real.”

“Well done everyone. It’s been an especially long day.”

While sitting on the sofa, we all encouraged and uplifted each other for a day of hard work. However, we could feel in the air that our minds were not preoccupied by these remarks.

“...We’re all thinking about the same thing, right?” The first one to mention it was Dong-Jun.

“...Of course.” Do-Seung spoke next.

Sighhh. Yeon-Hoon let out a nervous sigh.

“...It’s all going...to work out...” Woon’s murmuring rang out in the waiting room as if he was trying to do self-mind control. There was only one topic that we were so pressed about—whether it was possible to win first place on today’s music show.

Since we just came down from the stage, there was only one group left until the end. The ending group was not a group with more album sales or music video views than us. However, since it was a reunion of a boy group that had been at the top of the music industry seven years ago, the broadcasting company set the ending stage for them as a courtesy.

We were happy about not having to go through a strange war of nerves with Only One to get the ending stage. Anyway, the ending performance would be over soon, and then the only thing left would be the first-place announcement. Since we were nominated for first place today, we also got time to do an interview in the middle of the live broadcast.

The host asked each group leader about their pledges, and Yeon-Hoon and Kang Hyun-Sung recited the pledges that the public already knew.

—We will upload Tae-Yoon’s humorous video and my cover video!

—Our group will post the second part of the comedic video on social media if we win first place.

I thought they would give out pledges within my expectations, but Kang Hyun-Sung seemed to have thought their pledge was too weak as he revealed one more option to it.

—We will also reveal our members’ natural morning routine that has never been revealed anywhere yet.

It felt similar to the collection of humorous videos they had originally released, but it was tailored to a more specialized topic. At that comment, there was a round of laughter or cheer from the audience. After that, the interview ended with each group’s point choreography. I wasn’t very nervous until the interview for the first-place candidates, but now that the time has finally come, my heart felt as if it was being squeezed tightly.

“Oh? The seniors’ performance is almost over.” Yeon-Hoon, who had been blankly watching the TV, said.

The performance of the group that decorated the ending stage from above was almost over. Soon, when the stage was completely over—

“Please be on standby for the first-place announcement! Please come out to the hallway and wait!”

The first-place announcement was just around the corner.

***

A Siren fan was sitting on her bed, watching a music show on her phone. She already did real-time text voting and early voting in advance and had even taken away all her friends’ phones, parents’ phones, and younger brothers’ phones to vote. Frankly, she wasn’t the type to so actively vote as she was the type to think that while it would be great if her idols won first place, she didn’t think her voting would make such a big impact.

In the first place, she was a light fan rather than a “heavy” fan, and she was the type who just bought an album when they came out with a comeback or only did the lucky draw in a pop-up store. However, she couldn’t help but be overly engaged in Siren’s first-place title.

“Please...Our guys are really desperate right now...God...please...” While watching those videos, she felt Siren’s desperation. She didn’t know what made them so desperate. Honestly, even if they didn’t get first place today, they could get first place on another day. However, Siren was as passionate as if their group’s life or death was dependent on winning today’s music show. As a result, they were even able to attract Siren fans who were not very interested in voting and even those who were not ardent fans due to the attention they attracted on the internet.

One negative aspect was that as much as Siren fandom fired up, Only One’s fandom also fired up.

—Keep our kids in first place!

—Let’s give them first place

—I’ll peacefully pass to the afterlife after seeing Hyun-Sung cry from receiving a trophy :*(

It felt like the topic of which group would win first place was set as a form of competition between Siren fandom and Only One fandom. Since their debut date was the same, it felt like even these small matters were being treated as competition. It felt like they would only win this game if their group won first place on a music shadow faster than the other group since their debut date.

Whatever it was, the Siren fan didn’t think this was bad as it felt thrilling. Just in time, the ending performance ended.

Gasp! “They came up!” All the idol groups, including first-place candidates, came up on stage in unison. 𝒂ll new st𝒐ries at nove/lbi/𝒏(.)c𝒐m

The host came out and said the same lines. “We will now reveal this week’s first place candidates, Siren and Only One’s scores!” The host began to disclose important points one by one in determining first place. They first revealed the music score, which accounted for the largest portion of the pie.

—Siren: 8,095

—Only One: 7,894

Siren had the lead, but the difference wasn’t big. The next one was the album sales score.

—Siren: 2,092

—Only One: 2,504

Although Only One took the lead for this, it was hard to say they had a significant lead. It was the same for the music video score.

—Siren: 3,522

—Only One: 3,401

Those who could quickly calculate would have added all of these scores in real-time, but most ordinary people couldn’t calculate these scores so fast in their minds. Siren fan also followed the scoreboard, thinking that they were almost tied. Moreover, even their early voting scores were similar in this aspect.

—Siren: 1,502

—Only One: 1,485

While Siren and Only One fans were watching from the edge of their seats, the real-time text voting scores were finally released at the end.

—Siren: 3,997

—Only One: 1,755

“What?” For the first time, there was a noticeable margin. While lying in bed, she got up halfway from her seat. She started to feel it—although she hadn’t calculated the exact scores, she felt that Siren would get first place. Sure enough—

—Siren: 19, 208

—Only One: 17,039

In the final score, Siren took first place with a pretty noticeable gap.

“Kyahhhh!” She rose from her seat and cheered. Her whole body trembled even though she wasn’t the one to win first place.

***

Boom!

Flower petals fell from the sky. We also noticed on the monitor that we were getting a little higher scores. However, since we couldn’t calculate them in real-time, we stayed silent. However, once the final score came out, we confirmed that we scored higher than Only One—something hot rose from my insides. Soon after, flower petals fell with a bang, and cheers were heard from all sides.

“This week’s No.1 is Siren’s “’Blue Summer Night!’ Congratulations!” We managed to win first place once again.

“Ah...ahh...” I didn’t know if I was surprised or happy, but I couldn’t speak properly. I didn’t think I would be surprised even if we won first place. I had expected it somewhat, and I had created all kinds of fuss to get first place. However, once we really received it, it felt like someone just punched me hard straight to my heart. I turned my head and looked at my members.

“Hmph! Huhh! Baww....” Yeon-Hoon was already crying.

“Ha...” Do-Seung was pretending to look at the flower petals while pushing back his tears.

“Ahhhhhhh!” Dong-Jun screamed as if he had no intention of hiding his joy.

“I can’t believe it...” Woon looked at us and covered his mouth as if he couldn’t believe this situation.

“Gather around, boys...” At that time, Yeon-Hoon gathered us while crying. As if we were attracted to magnets, we naturally approached Yeon-Hoon.

“Well done...well done, guys.”

I felt something inside me stir by his words. Even though it was a very typical phrase, I felt the lump that had been locked up inside me for a long time. I thought about my days as a trainee, wondering whether I would be able to debut or not, and The Showcase 2, where every week was a fierce competition. I felt that I finally made it here after getting through all those moments.

Dong-Jun, who had been cheering, also started to shed tears now, and Woon secretly wiped away his tears with his palms.

“Here...the trophy...!”

“Ah!”

We forgot to get the trophy because we were too busy gathering together. It was our first glorious trophy at a music show. As soon as Yeon-Hoon held the trophy as our group’s representative, a microphone was pushed to him. They were telling him to say his thoughts about winning first place.

“Hmph. Hum. Yes.” Yeon-Hoon pushed away his tears and calmly began, “This first place...We really worked hard to receive it, so we’re so, so happy to get this award. Our members worked so hard and...”

I thought that he might start crying again, but he managed to calm down and said, “I want to thank our managers, Ms. Seung-Yeon and Ms. Hyuna, who always support us, and all of our Next Wave family members...” Yeon-Hoon continued his acceptance speech by listening to all the people he was grateful to. Seeing that they were all coming out smoothly like this, Yeon-Hoon must have planned a script in advance because he thought he would win first place today.

After he finished the thank you list, Yeon-Hoon shouted in a brighter voice, “We’ll continue to do our best! Thank you!”

The host left just in time, and the melody of our song resonated on the stage as the encore. At that moment—

[Mission success.]

[You won first place on a music show.]

[Your mission reward will be given.]

The system was now giving a reward for winning first place on a music show.

‘Why now of all times...’ Come to think of it, I had overlooked this part. The system was going to give Precognitive Vision back...

‘That hurts like hell.’ It was a pain that I couldn’t hide, and I was currently on stage for a music show. What would happen if I got Precognitive Vision here? I would be broadcasting myself getting tortured live in front of everyone. I couldn’t ruin our historic moment of first place like this. Perhaps this choice was almost instinctive; in line with the system’s notification that I would receive a reward, I instinctively activated Insight.

Ziiing—

And this choice led to a type of error.

‘Huh...?’


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