In This Life, The Greatest Star In The Universe - C.36:


Chapter 36

The broadcast began as the PBS public hall was captured in a wide shot.

In the center of the studio, brightly lit by the lights.

An MC in a tuxedo and glasses appeared.

-Welcome, everyone. Thank you for joining us at Ha Seung-joos Music Cafe.

The camera screen showed the audience.

Young men and women clapping and cheering.

The opening remarks ended and the broadcast went on as recorded.

From Buster, a hot indie band in Hongdae, to Jo Yuri Band.

The performances of the four teams ahead of us passed by in an instant.

Uh, its our turn now.

The youngest rolled his feet and muttered Im so nervous under his breath.

-Well, now we have a new team for you. You know, these days, if you dont know them, youre a failed spy. Theyre the collaboration team thats flirting with the whole nation of Korea.

The intro of Something, which we sang at the venue this morning, flowed softly from the laptop monitor.


Our first reaction was admiration.

It was a stage that we thought was decent on the spot, but after editing, it changed into something amazing.

From the angle of shooting the singers to the scene transition between the audience and the stage.

It was as if they were showing off that we were the stars of the day, with meticulous directing that was noticeable.


Ri-hyuk covered his eyes with sweet potato chips every time his face was close-up.

His ears were red, unlike his pale skin.

Why are you like that?

My face keeps showing up on TV.

Hey, youre an entertainer, you should be happy to get attention.

I was incredulous, but I also sympathized with Ri-hyuks words.

Our faces on TV were unfamiliar and amazing.

We had been on music shows every day for a month and monitored them every time, but it felt different from then.

It felt like we really became entertainers.

It was the same when we sang at the venue.

We were amazed by the popularity of the song, not by the fact that we were entertainers, when the college students sang along to the chorus of Something.

Our hearts were still stuck in the long trainee life.

But when we saw our faces on TV, on the broadcast, we felt like we really became entertainers.

It felt like our feet were floating in the sudden reality.

We really became entertainers.

Everyone nodded.

I didnt need to look in the mirror to see what kind of expression I was making.

We all had the same face.

Soon, the first stage ended and the real talk began.

We looked great on the screen.

We were nervous for our first variety show, but the PD edited it well and we came out with a fresh vibe.

Of course, there was another reason why I was satisfied.

Hyung, youre really handsome.

Bi-ju smiled smugly.

I dont know why hes smug, but he liked my face and pressed the capture button on the laptop keyboard.

Jung-hyun agreed and drank his beer.

Woojoo hyung is handsome.

Yeah, he looks great on the screen.

Ri-hyuk retorted sullenly.

But whats the point of being handsome? He doesnt dress up normally.

Hey, I do dress up when I need to.

I dont think Ive ever seen you do that.

Who dresses up to go to the practice room?

At that, everyone turned to me.

To be exact, to me who was wearing a tracksuit up and down.

We dress up every day

Hes just relying on his face. Leave him alone, Bi-ju hyung. Hell get hooked sooner or later.

Hyung, you just said were entertainers.

Yeah, hyung. You should dress up more. Buy some clothes. Buy some cosmetics. Put on some BB cream.

What? Why is the atmosphere suddenly turning into a pro-Woojoo style debate?

I was dumbfounded, but I had nothing to say.

It was true.

Compared to what they do, I dont dress up much. Just shower, wash, sunscreen, repeat, like I did in the army.

On the other hand, our kids take an hour to get ready.

As a cat-like clean freak, Ri-hyuk didnt need to say anything, and even the most laid-back Jung-hyun spent five minutes every day deciding which snapback to wear.

I surrendered to my nagging siblings.

Fine. Ill dress up a bit more from now on.

Only then did they stop lecturing me to use a mask pack, apply moisturizer, and so on.

But I felt wronged after it was over.

Guys, at least I wear a different color of tracksuit every day

As they were about to roast me again, I gave up on my timid defense.

Meanwhile, the talk show at the music cafe was in full swing.

The audiences laughter echoed through the low-quality speakers.

They must have cut out the boring parts of the talk. Our members looked more witty and charming than usual on the screen.

It was about time for us to come out.

-But is this musical talent something you were born with? Of course, your own effort is important, but art is also about talent, right?

Then I started to talk about our dad with a serious expression.

On the data screen, a video of dad playing the piano at Carnegie Hall, a photo of him with the then US president, and a scene of him and mom holding a press conference at the airport appeared.

It was time to remember dads face, which I barely remembered, through the data screen.

My siblings, who had been laughing and chatting until a moment ago, were quiet.

They rolled their eyes at me, pretending not to look.

Its okay, you dont have to worry about me.

I said that, but they still looked at me cautiously.

That atmosphere lasted until the microphone was handed over to Jang So-won sunbae.

Thankfully, when the talk changed, their expressions changed too.

From clueless faces to relaxed ones.

Jung-hyun started to drink his beer again, Bi Ju resumed peeling his apple excessively, and Ri-hyuk rummaged through the bag and took out a dried sweet potato.

This time, the youngest was super nervous.

What is he mumbling?

Hes saying it wont come out, it wont come out. Hey, Wang Ji Ho. Do you think it wont come out because youre wishing for it?

Be quiet. Hes making a wish.

Everyone laughed at the youngest, who was mumbling like a primitive man performing a ritual.

Then, the scene we had all been waiting for came out.

As Jang So-won sunbaes sad life story continued, the youngest on the screen started to cry.

It would have been fine if it was just tears, but the two streams of snot were the highlight.

His chubby face, still with baby fat, was covered with redness and snot, making him look like a country puppy.

Or maybe a rice cake soaked in tears.

Dont let the nose blowing come out. Dont let the nose blowing come out

The youngest prayed desperately, but soon he received a tissue and blew his nose loudly, making the PBS public hall ring.

The MC and the audience on the screen all laughed their heads off.


As the youngest covered his face with both hands and collapsed on my lap, the hyungs were all cracking up.

Ah, what is this!

The youngest, who fell on my lap, tore his hair and groaned.

Whether he liked it or not, I was in the best mood.

I thought of how he had teased me with souffl for a month after the broadcast, and I felt like I had taken a shot of soda.

I pressed the capture button and smiled.

Ill make him pay for this for the next month.


Thanks to the story of being the son of a genius pianist, our talk time was the longest among the guests.

But the talk was just a secondary element, the main event of the music cafe was the stage.

So we focused on the stage that was about to come out.

The title Jang So-won X New Black Between appeared on the screen.

The piano melody sounded in the intro.

Jung-hyun started the song with his rap.

The stage was well edited, just like the first one.

On the other hand, my mind settled down as I watched it.

As soon as I saw the title of the song Between, I remembered Untitled, which I had forgotten for a while.

How can we show our color?

What is New Blacks identity? And what kind of music is New Black-like?

I had to know that to give Untitled a title.

I monitored the Between stage seriously and checked the charm points of our kids.

Bi Jus dance line, Ri-hyuks voice, Ji Hos expression, Jung-hyuns rhythm.

I already knew them all.

They were the things I considered every time I planned a performance since the end-of-year evaluation.

If I had to consider myself, I would say stability?

What should I call it?

The balance of the group?

I was second best in dancing after Bi-ju, second best in singing after Ri-hyuk, second best in facial expressions after Jihoo, and second best in rhythm after Junghyun. But I was decent enough in all of them.

I had a wide vocal range that made me fit in any part, and unlike Bi-ju who filled his moves with tricks and flair, I was tall and danced by the book, making the viewers feel comfortable.

I feel embarrassed to say it myself.

Of course, this is not my opinion, but the result of gathering the opinions of my brothers.

Yeah, lets say I have a sense of stability.

If I think about all this, can I come up with a conclusion of what New Blacks music is like?

I thought hard, but I couldnt find an answer.

Maybe I should do a survey with the kids. Something like the 200 questions and answers I did back in the mini-homepage days.

Thats how I watched Betweens stage with my eyes, while thinking about our debut album in my head.


Suddenly, my eyes met with the brothers who were looking at the laptop.

Their faces were focused, as if they wanted to imprint their own stage in their eyes.

But it wasnt the kind of focus that made them stick out their lips or widen their eyes.

They were all smiling and enjoying the music comfortably.

At that moment, a thought crossed my mind.

Good music is music that makes you feel good when you listen to it, music that you want to hum along to.

Taste is one of the factors that define who a person is.

Then, wouldnt the music we like also be related to our identity as singers?

As I thought that, my head started to spin.

I already had a few ideas in my mind.

Some of them seemed doable right away.

Finally, when Somethings stage was over and our part was done, I called the kids.



But I couldnt say anything.

It was because of their expressions, still smiling on their lips.

I didnt want to ruin the mood by bringing up the work talk.

I shook my head at the kids who were waiting for my answer.

Its nothing. Lets clean up the table and go back to the dorm.

The kids who got up from their seats and started to tidy up the table.

I walked over to the youngest, who was frowning at his phone, and put my arm around him.

What are you looking at?

Im looking at the internet to see if theres any reaction to us.

Is there anything?

Not yet. I guess the news and stuff havent been posted yet because the broadcast is still on.

Well, whats the big deal. I only got a few comments on the community on the day of the college entrance exam.

Thats not the problem.

There was no need to explain what the problem was.

New chats popped up on the smartphone without a break.

Most of them were laughs like lol lol lol lol lol lol or boys chats like Wang Jihoo BS, or girls chats like Jiho lol lol lol .

Oh, right.

He goes to school.

Looking at the atmosphere thats still coming up, it seems like hes going to be teased a lot tomorrow.

I smiled and patted his shoulder.

Now you know how I feel.

I ignored Jihoo, who narrowed his eyes like Ri-hyuk, and checked the chat that came from my grandmother.

King God Kim Deok-soon [You did well]

King God Kim Deok-soon [You did well]

I smiled and read on.

King God Kim Deok-soon [The kids are so pretty]

King God Kim Deok-soon [You take good care of them]

King God Kim Deok-soon [Sent an emoticon]

I laughed at the emoticon of a cute bear waving cheer sticks.

Dont worry, grandma.

Just like you did for me, Ill take good care of them.


The next morning, when I woke up in the dorm, I was literally shocked.

A few missed calls, dozens of texts, hundreds of chats.

What the hell?

Did a New Black recording leak while I was unaware? Or did a war break out while I was asleep?

I cant even remember where I put my uniform.

I made such a silly thought and entered the messenger. I looked at the chats and realized what the problem was.

It was the Music Cafe that aired yesterday.

Uh, what the hell.

The kids who woke up from their sleep also grabbed their phones and frowned.

Judging by their expressions, they all seemed to be in a similar situation.

I went online to figure out what was going on, and blinked my eyes at the first page of the portal.

[Real-time search rankings]

10th. New Black Woojoo

Did people search for this on their way to work?

My name was shining on the real-time search rankings.

Hyung, our article is on the main page of the entertainment news!

What? Really?

And its an exclusive article by us.

Except for the occasional news of winning first place on music shows, our name had never appeared on the portal main page.

Even if it did, it was only briefly mentioned behind Jang So-wons name.

My heart pounded at the excited shouts of the kids.

I flipped through the entertainment news page with trembling fingers.

Huh? Is this for real?

Our group name was plastered on the main page, three times.

One at the top, one in the middle with a Music Cafe clip, and one at the bottom.

-New Black Universe My father is the pianist Seon Myungjoo

-[Music Cafe] Whats between us? Jang So-won X New Black Between

-Jang So-won and New Black, a sweet collaboration stage

Whats going on right now?

Just like when we found out about the success of Something on Jihos graduation day, we traced the path of this phenomenon.

It started with the article that came out after yesterdays broadcast.

The article about the broadcast content where we revealed who our father was.

Of course, we expected that much.

Our fathers whereabouts were enough to make headlines.

But what I overlooked was the influence that our father had as a pianist, Seon Myungjoo.

A genius jazz pianist who was the pride of Korea during the IMF era, and the tragic plane crash in 1999.

If you think about it, there was no way people wouldnt remember him.

The article that came out yesterday made those people recall their memories. And it sparked their curiosity.

The idol who debuted this time is Seon Myungjoos son?

A normal Friday morning before the weekend.

On a quiet morning commute with no hot topics, people looked at the entertainment news page and naturally moved on to the Music Cafe clip.

The views proved it.

The Music Cafe clip, which only the viewers watched, had almost doubled in views compared to other days.

And the most important thing was the quality of our Between stage.

The people who came without much thought watched our performance and gave positive feedback.

-Wow, the live harmony is crazy.

-Is that brown-haired guy Seon Myungjoos son?

-Are they not idols but some vocal trainer team?

-There are so many good singers in our country lol lol lol Amazing

-The vocal colors are so pretty

I couldnt help but smile at the comments that made me feel good, and the number of likes that piled up on them.

Was it an unintended event that turned into a huge topic?

Is this why celebrities children reveal who their parents are, I wondered, and it was amazing in many ways.

But the most amazing thing was the voice calling me.


I turned my head and saw Ri-hyuk looking at me with a blank expression.

It reminded me of that time.

He had the same expression when Something became number one.

Whats wrong?

Look at this.

He showed me his phone screen, where a music site was open.

And when I saw the ranking of Between there, I widened my eyes like Ri-hyuk.

1st. Jang So-won X New Black Between

The song that was released this morning was staying at the top of the real-time chart.