The Maknae Has to Be an Idol – Chapter 42

Chapter 42

I put a lot of emphasis on the word ankle pain. As my words clearly rang out, everyone around me turned their heads toward Park Young-Ho and me. Park Young-Ho scowled, chewed his lower lip, and glared at me. It was a look of complete embarrassment, and it surprised me that it was possible for peoples emotions to look so transparent on their faces.

While I was thinking this, the rest of my members approached me.

What do you mean by that, Tae-Yoon? Yeon-Hoon asked.

From what I saw, Mr. Young-Hos ankle seems to be shaking. It seems hes in a lot of pain every time he moves because hes breaking out in cold sweats behind his neck, I said, slightly exaggerating the symptoms I saw.

Park Young-Ho was not the type to stay still and counterattacked. I dont feel any pain. What are you talking about? He said in a slightly hostile tone.

From Park Young-Hos perspective, I might be just picking a fight with him, but before I could reply, Yeon-Hoon interrupted our conversation and asked, Mr. Young-Ho, are you sure youre okay?

After listening to Tae-Yoon, I think the reason why you stumbled on the stairs earlier was because of the pain.

Would todays shooting be okay?

From behind, Do-Seung and Woon also came to support me.

Dont get hurt~ Our bodies are our greatest assets~

After Dong-Jun also joined, Park Young-Ho closed his mouth. Since five members of another group were suddenly worrying about him, it became difficult for him to pretend that he was not in pain. The situation became quite funny. Five Siren members were worried about Park Young-Ho, and four Only One members were blankly staring at us. People passing by might think that Park Young-ho was one of our members.

Usually, when other members from another team started to worry like this, wasnt it normal for the members involved to step up and intervene? However, when I stared at the Only One members faces, everyone except Kang Hyun-Sungs, was bright red as if they were going to explode.

Judging by their reaction, it didnt seem like they knew. They really seemed as if they hadnt known that Park Young-Ho was in pain. How uninterested and uncaring were they about each other that they didnt notice he was in pain? I could tell just by looking at him, walking with a bit of interest. He was pretending to walk naturally, but there was bound to be a difference in an injured persons stride compared to a healthy person.

Im really fine. Theres just a little bit of pain left, but its not at a level where I cant shoot. Park Young-Ho suddenly started making excuses to the Only One members.

No, just rest if youre in pain. I looked at Park Young-Ho with a baffled expression, but I soon wiped this expression off my face and said, Mr. Young-Ho, can I touch your ankle for a second?


Please excuse me. I grabbed Park Young-Hos ankle and turned it to the side. If it were a person with no problem with their ankle, they wouldnt show much of a reaction. However...

Hmph! Park Young-Ho lost his balance and stumbled and grabbed the steel structure next to him in a hurry.

I said, Your symptoms seem quite severe.

I was amazed at this point. I wondered what made Park Young-Ho so anxious and fervent like this. If it hurt this much, he could have taken the day off, but he forced himself to come out to shoot even while enduring pain. At this point, no one was forcing him to shoot, but he was doing this of his own volition. I could roughly predict the atmosphere of the team.

It must be really suffocating. I stared at Only One. They all had their mouths sealed shut and said nothing.

As soon as I was about to say something more, Kang Hyun-Sung asked, Does it hurt a lot?

Sorry? Park Young-Ho acted surprised, as if he didnt expect Kang Hyun-Sung to ask this question.

Why didnt you tell us? He spoke with a low voice. Although his expression seemed gentle, it felt strangely cold. All the Only One members stiffened, and I now realized why the atmosphere of their group was so bad.

They must feel uncomfortable around Kang Hyun-Sung. Usually, a strong-spirited member was needed to lead the group, match the choreography, and unite everyone well during a groups promotion period. However, Kang Hyun-Sungs presence was so strong that it overwhelmed the other members. In a way, it was natural that the power balance was skewed toward one person; Kang Hyun-Sung was the overwhelmingly popular member, and they were all riding on his coattails.

But even then, he should lighten up the mood. Its too much. Even if the power balance in his group was skewed, he could have stepped forward and created a more relaxing atmosphere, as this was a little too much.

Why didnt you tell us?

Park Young-Hos face was turning pale as a ghost. He was incredibly nervous even when getting asked a simple question; this was a scene that showed what type of position Kang Hyun-Sung held in his group.

Kang Hyun-Sung asked, If you overdo it and get injured, it will interfere with the shooting. You know that.

Ah, yes, but...

But what?

Well, were not performing today...its a game...so I wanted to help the team... Park Young-Ho couldnt finish his sentence and kept making pauses.

I thought, Kang Hyun-Sung probably hates this way of speaking.

Say it properly. As expected, Kang Hyun-Sung spoke with a slightly annoyed voice. His expression was the same as usual, but the atmosphere he gave was clearly different. Since another group member found out that one of his members was hurt, this whole situation must have been embarrassing for him. But I wondered why he was taking it out on the maknae when he was the root of the problem, and this situation stemmed from Kang Hyun-Sung ruining the groups dynamics.

At that moment, a staff member approached us. Is there a problem here? Why arent you guys coming up?

Since we didnt go up to the studio and were standing in the middle while having a long argument, I thought it was understandable that we got told off by the production crew.

Our eyes all moved to the staff. This was now my chance, so I said, Mr. Young-Ho just said his ankle hurt a lot, so Im afraid itll interfere with todays shooting. I thought Park Young-Ho needed to be excluded from todays shooting.

Yes, I think our groups maknae hasnt recovered from his ankle injury yet, Kang Hyun-Sung said.

It felt like we were fighting a battle of nerves just a second before, but we were now on the same page. The production staff looked at Park Young-Ho with surprise and said, You should have said so if you were in pain, why...I think itd be better for you to take a break from todays shoot because there might be an accident.

The staff also told Park Young-Ho to take a break from todays shooting. As expected, the production crew also didnt want to get caught up in accidents as well. I thought this might be the end of this case, but...

I-Im really fine. I can do it! Park Young-Ho revealed his strong will to keep on going.

Damn it. I was about to intervene when

Then, if the pain gets worse, you have to immediately leave the set. Got it? The production staff took a conservative action and stepped down. Since they couldnt make an independent decision to pull one of the casts out, this was probably the best thing a low-level staff could do. Thus, I understood their response, but it was also true that I was disappointed.


Kang Hyun-Sung also twitched his brows while looking at Park Young-Ho as he also found this situation ridiculous. Park Young-Ho clenched his fist, avoiding Kang Hyun-Sungs gaze. I couldnt understand why he was trying so hard to be part of this shooting to this extent. He seemed to be unable to objectively grasp the situation and seemed to think that it would be unconditionally beneficial for his group if he participated in the shooting, even though his injury could lead to an accident.

Of course, people lost their judgment when they were emotionally driven to a corner. I could understand Park Young-Hos stubbornness in a rational manner, but I couldnt help being angry. I wanted to run back to the production crew and tell them that Park Young-Ho needed to be removed from todays shooting, but if I did so, they would stare at me like a madman.

Thats stepping way over my boundaries. Park Young-Ho wasnt even in my group. I was acting like this because I knew he was going to have an accident, but to outsiders, they might just think of him as a hardworking kid who was trying to work hard despite his injury.

In the end, the best thing that I could do was say, ...Mr. Young-Ho, please be careful in todays shooting.

Thats right, Mr. Young-Ho, dont get hurt. Yeon-Hoon supported my words.

Our bodies are an asset.

Dont overdo it.

The other members also pitched in and went up to the studio. My first plan to get Park Young-Ho out of todays shooting failed. However, there was a small harvest.

Its basically definite that hell drop out due to injury. I was able to narrow down to one out of many possibilities. Park Young-Ho would get hurt during todays shooting. Since I knew what the future would hold, I could prepare for it.

Uhm, Im looking forward to todays shooting.

What game do you think well play?

Hmm. Like Silent Scream*? [1]

I wonder what the prize is.

It would be great if they give us an 1800 sq ft apartment house in Gangnam.

What~ Arent you expecting too much~.

The members were lowering their anxiety by exchanging casual conversations with each other. I didnt join the conversation and looked around. Todays studio was decorated like a gym, and there was a long table in the middle. Bleshu, Luminin, and OnebyOne were on the left, and us and Only One were on the right. I thought this was the opening set. I subtly moved one step closer toward Only One. It was to keep Park Young-Ho within my range of vision. Then, I quickly scanned the surroundings.

Its definite that Park Young-Ho is injured, but how will that lead all the way to a boycott? This was the scenario that a god or the system or a strange being threw at me. I lacked the clues to fit the puzzle pieces.

To reach all the way to a boycott, Park Young-Hos injury needed to be entirely blamed on the production team, or there needed to be rumors about the production team abusing their authority with articles like The Cruel Reality of the Idol Industry in bold headlines plastering the front news. In other words, there might be an internal staff who could twist the news of what happened today to make it as sensational as possible.

But I dont think the set is such a mess that itll cause a controversy...? Of course, the work environment was far from perfect, but this was not a result of abuse of authority but from a few incompetent people.

After gathering all my thoughts together, I thought there was a high possibility that rather than an article about abuse of authority told from a whistleblower's point-of-view, a sensational article with a lot of grudges involved could be released. Because of one persons action, countless peoples efforts and the hard work of the idols gathered here might all go up in smoke.

First, I excluded the producers and writers from the candidates as there was no way they could be involved in a career-ending incident. Except for those in high positions, I began checking out others one by one. A part-timer was more likely than a full-time worker to write a slanderous article.

Among them, there was one person who caught my eye. Whats up with that yellow-haired man?

There was a man who dyed his hair bright yellow. He appeared to be in his early thirties. His hair color really stands out. But above all, Why does he keep touching his phone like that? DiiScver w storis on no//e()/lbin(.)com

He kept taking out his phone and looking around. Then, he took a picture of a steel structure or the lower part of the stage. After taking all the pictures, he quickly put the phone back in his pocket. He looked way too suspicious.

Mr. Kyung-Jun! How many times do I have to tell you to raise the tripod here!

Ah, Im sorry! That man didnt seem to be a full-time employee here. Based on the work he was assigned, which was moving tripods and other equipment, he was probably working time as a filming assistant. Since the evidence was so blatant like this, that man immediately became my prime suspect.

Theres a high probability that hes the one whos going to upload that slanderous article. Although it was just an assumption, in terms of probability, he was my prime suspect. Besides Park Young-Ho, I decided to keep an eye on that man today as well. Park Young-Ho, who injured his ankle, and a man in his thirties with yellow hair; my head hurt from thinking that I now had to constantly keep my eye on two people.

Well begin shooting! It was now time to shoot. The cameras lit up.

Hello, everyone! Host Kim Young-Jin and Nahyun, the hosts of The Showcase 2, came in from behind the studio.

We started the shooting by bowing to the hosts at 90 degrees. The hosts began to raise their energy by looking at the camera and began to make their opening remarks.

The reason why we have the cast of The Showcase 2 here today is...

The Work Hard, Play Hard theme is to...

Playing games is crucial to strengthen unity, etc...

Comments that the writers obviously wrote came out of the host's mouths. I appropriately clapped or nodded in response to their words while trying not to move my gaze away from Park Young-Ho and the yellow-haired man.

Finally, what everyone is waiting for! Ill announce the big prize that goes to the team that wins first place overall in todays games! Oh, I think everyone will be surprised by the huge prize! Then Kim Young-Jin raised his voice a little more than usual and raised the excitement.

I kept an eye on Park Young-Ho and the yellow-haired man and turned to Kim Young-Jin.

He announced, A chance to appear in PepColas commercial!

It was just as expected. In contrast, the whole studio completely flipped.



For real?

What, is this for real? Wow!

The Showcases class is on another level...

As expected of a big company...

Shooting a commercial was an area only allowed by big-name stars and was also an opportunity to increase ones awareness to the public. But in reality, this prize was just a month-long, ultra-short-term contract with minimal labor payment. I reacted with a moderate expression of surprise. The problem was that this huge prize could only be won if we won first place overall.

What type of game we would be playing was the most important factor. First of all, I was sure that eating lemons would be one of the games. While I was extremely curious about what other games different groups suggested, the host, Nahyun raised the energy of the set by saying her next lines.

Then lets start with the first game! Are you ready!

Yesss! I waited for the game to quickly be announced. While I raised my fighting power with the determination to destroy everything

The first game is...eating lemons quickly!

My increased fighting power turned straight into gastric acid and refluxed back to my stomach. Why was eating lemons the first game? I was hoping that it would come out for the third game or after, but it was finalized that I was going to have an upset stomach first thing in the morning. Nothing really was working out today.

1. Basically a game where everyone puts on earplugs or noise-canceling headsets while playing charades. ?

Chapter end

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