In This Life, The Greatest Star In The Universe - C.67:

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Translator: MarcTempest

Editor: Rxel

Chapter 67

Woojoo thought he was busy with the Chinese fan meetings and stuff.

And it was a video call, too.

The kids swallowed their saliva as they stared at the vibrating phone.

“Are you going to answer it, Hyung?”

“Of course.”

It would be ridiculous to ask if he was busy and then not answer.

As soon as Woojoo pressed the answer button, the screen brightened up.

A sunny sky and a swimming pool were in the background.

There were parasols, tables, and sunbeds in a luxurious scenery.

A handsome man in a robe smiled at him from there.

Soon, a cheerful voice came through.

-Hey, military man.

Damn.

“How did you know?”

-I had a free schedule today. I was too lazy to go out, so I was just surfing the internet and playing, and I saw your face everywhere.

“…Did you watch it?”

-Of course. I showed it to the kids, too.

Damn.

Then, Woojoo heard voices in the background saying, ‘Who that Taehyun?’, ‘Who? A girl?’, ‘Is she a girl?’

-Say hi to Woojoo Hyung, guys.

He turned the screen, and three people in the pool waved their hands with a smile.

-Oh, it’s Woojoo Hyung. Long time no see, Hyung!

-Wow. Why did you age so much in a few months?

-Hyung, take care of yourself!

Woojoo heard laughter from the phone and from his side at the same time.

“…”

Han Taehyun laughed as he saw Woojoo’s expression.

-Don’t mind them. They’re just joking around.

He drank his fruit juice and stretched out elegantly.

-So, did you call me to play with me?

“You called me, didn’t you?”

-Oh, right. I guess I was out of it because I haven’t slept well lately.

He shrugged his shoulders and then looked at Woojoo slyly.

-I thought you were bored and wanted to talk. But you seem like you have something to ask me.

“That’s right.”

-What is it?

“Can our kids say hello first?”

This time, Woojoo turned the camera lens to the members.

Oh, the kids got up and greeted him.

“Hello, Sunbae-nim!”

-Aww, why are you being so formal? Don’t be so stiff.

He got up from the sunbed and bowed to them.

They laughed from both sides.

The atmosphere became more relaxed.

Indeed, it was a brilliant choice to contact him for fan signing tips.

He knows how to make people like him, like a popular idol.

Woojoo explained the situation to him.

-Hmm, fan signing tips, huh?

“You look tired. Should I call you later?”

-It’s fine.

He waved his hand and sparkled his eyes.

-But if I help you, will you buy me something? Food?

“I can buy you food, of course, but do you really want to eat a flea’s liver, you rich kid?”

-If you don’t like it, forget it.

“Fine. Let’s hang up.”

-Ah, ah, ah! I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you.

Then he asked cautiously.

-But you’ll still buy me food, right?

“It was nice knowing you, Taehyun.”

-I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you, seriously, you little brat.

At the word ‘little brat’, Rihyuk took out his phone and made a note.

Why was he writing down something like that?

Of course, Woojoo was joking and promised to buy him a meal sometime.

Including the last time with the SNS photo, something expensive.

-I’m not telling this to just anyone. I’m telling you because that guy is treating us. This is a real honey tip.

He said, flaunting his insider knowledge.

-It’s your first fan sign, right? Just remember three things.

He immediately followed with a lecture that the kids listened to with awe.

It was very useful information.

It was like a summary of the essential tips for surviving a fan signing event. Something like ‘Three Ways to Survive a Fan Sign.txt’.

It was much more practical than the precautions that the company gave them.

Woojoo was memorizing those tips when he said.

-Actually, you can forget everything I said and just remember one thing.

“What is it?”

-If you feel stuck.

Stuck?

-Just watch how that guy does it. I’ve seen him since I was a trainee, and if you follow him roughly, you’ll get by.

“Oh, yeah. That’s true.”

Bijoo clapped his hands and agreed enthusiastically.

-Right? I’m telling you the truth.

Even their pro discomforter, who always picked on Woojoo, nodded his head, and the other two also agreed loudly.

Woojoo was glad that they got along well, but he felt weird that they agreed on something strange.

What did they think of him?

Anyway, it was time to prepare for the pre-recording, so Woojoo ended the call.

“…Thanks a lot, Taehyun. Text me when you come to Korea. Well. I don’t know if we’ll have time to make plans, though.”

-Yeah, Hyung, later…

%&^!

“Why is it so loud?”

Woojoo frowned at the noisy background sound, and he got up from his seat as if to ask him to wait.

Woojoo saw his slippers shuffle.

Then he showed Woojoo his phone over the pool fence.

“…What is that?”

On the hotel ground.

Hundreds of fans were gathered there, making a fuss.

He waved his hand and a deafening cheer came back.

-There’s an event near here tonight.

He said casually, smiling like a Hallyu star. They all looked nervous.

***

“Yes? Delay?”

The broadcasting station called to tell them about the delay before the pre-recording.

They should have told them sooner.

They were ready to go out in their costumes.

“How long do we have to wait?”

“I don’t know.”

Minki Hyung answered.

“It’s raining outside, so the set change is delayed. And there was an accident at the Street Boys’ rehearsal.”

“Accident?”

“The singer and the camera collided on stage.”

“Wow, are they okay?”

“I heard they broke a bit.”

“Oh no…”

They imagined someone lying on the floor, bleeding profusely.

Minki Hyung said, “The camera broke.”

“Really?”

“The person is fine, but the camera broke.”

“Oh no…”

Woojoo guessed they had a tough person in that group.

When they looked at him, Junghyun smiled sheepishly and rubbed his nose.

Woojoo didn’t know why he looked so confident.

“It’s a shame. I was in the best condition just now.”

Woojoo nodded at Jiho’s muttering.

They were full of energy to meet the fans, but now they felt like flat cola.

“Are the fans okay in the rain?” Bijoo looked out the window and said.

Tudududu-

The heavy raindrops hit the window.

Everything around them was blurred by the raging rain. Only the headlights of the cars passing by the road scattered.

The palm of his hand that wiped the steam on the window was cold.

“Everyone must have left their umbrellas at home since the weather was nice today. I wonder where they took shelter?”

“Well, I guess so. That’s probably what they did.”

Rihyuk scratched his cheek as he spoke.

“There are a lot of places nearby since we’re in Sangam-dong. There are burger joints, cafes, and more. They must have gone into one of them.”

“Should I buy some umbrellas with my own money and send it to them?”

“You’re so thoughtful, our youngest.”

Woojoo tried to pat his head, but he only tapped his shoulder because of his hair and makeup.

Of course, Woojoo appreciated his idea, but they couldn’t do it.

Who would go buy umbrellas right now? It would have to be someone from the company, but he couldn’t ask Minki Hyung.

-Hyung. Can you please buy some umbrellas for the fans with our money?

That was ridiculous.

That was why all they could do was hope that the shower would stop soon.

“But.” Junghyun, who was looking out the window, said, “The fans who come to the site are really amazing. I couldn’t do that. Coming to watch the pre-recording every day.”

They all nodded.

Really.

It wasn’t something anyone could do.

The time changed every day.

People who watched music shows must have wondered about it at least once.

No, it clearly says it’s live.

How did the singers’ stages connect without any delay?

If it was really live, shouldn’t there be a delay while the singers went up and down the stage?

That was what pre-recording solved.

They recorded it in advance.

During the live broadcast, Singer A goes on stage and performs the first verse, then switches with Singer B, who is next in line. Meanwhile, the second verse goes on TV as a recorded segment.

In the past, this kind of pre-recording was a symbol of popularity that not everyone could do, but these days, even rookies did it because of the various corners that were popping up.

The problem was that the recording time of this pre-recording changed every time.

Sometimes, if you were lucky, you could finish it in the morning, but sometimes, if you were unlucky, you had to do it at dawn. There was no standard.

Junghyun said, “It’s a schedule for us, but not for the fans.”

“Right. They don’t have to do this much for us.”

If Woojoo had to give a reason, there would be only one.

Just because they like them.

They came to see them every time because of that one reason, that they wanted to cheer them on.

“I couldn’t do that either.”

What, getting up at dawn to see them?

“Me too.”

Bijoo agreed with them.

“I couldn’t do it either.”

“Me neither.”

“I can’t even wait for rocket delivery, let alone do something like this.”

Woojoo saw other groups’ fans in the distance through the window.

Colorful umbrellas like a mushroom field.

Woojoo remembered the countless waves of fans that Taehyun showed him.

Whether it was in China or Korea.

In any country, the fans were always waiting.

Maybe the time of the fans was the time of waiting.

That was what he thought.

“…Ah.”

They looked at Woojoo when he made a sudden sound.

“What’s wrong, Hyung?”

“You have that look on your face again. What is it this time?”

Woojoo organized his thoughts for a moment in response to their questions. Then he opened his mouth.

“Guys.”

Woojoo had a good idea.

“I think I know what to give them as a gift for the fan signing event.”

***

Sunday, July 13th.

A multiplex theater in Yeouido.

[New Black 1st Single Album ‘The New Black: First Chapter Fan Signing Event]

The seats in the small theater began to fill up one by one.

A private fan signing event for 100 fans who bought the album.

The atmosphere was quiet.

It felt like if one could catch the words floating in the air, they would be words like anxiety, excitement, nervousness, and flutter.

They were face to face with their singer, whom they had only seen from afar, and having a conversation.

It was a situation that any fan would tremble in.

And.

The way to calm that feeling was different for each person.

Some logged in to the fan cafe or chatted with their friends, some fiddled with their camera settings, and some struck up a conversation with the person next to them.

“Excuse me, hello.”

“Uh… Yes. Hello.”

The awkward greeting was brief.

People became friends quickly for the reason that they liked the same thing.

“What are you watching?”

“The live performance of Night Sea from Wonderful Night.”

“Oh, I was listening to that on my way here too. Don’t they have such beautiful voices?”

“Right? It’s like they get into your ears the more you listen. That kind of feeling.”

“Really, our kids are so good at singing. You know, the fan cafe membership increased a lot after they did the live without accompaniment on the showcase.”

As one person spoke, another chimed in, and the conversation continued.

When they were about to start the fan signing event, the lights in the theater dimmed.

‘What?’

As they tilted their heads, the projector started and a video played on the screen.

‘Do they usually show VCRs at fan signings?’

…That question soon disappeared from their minds.

Because of the face that filled the screen.

He squinted his eyes and examined something close to the camera. It was a close-up of Seon Woojoo’s face, and someone swallowed their breath.

-Is it working?

He looked around the camera and turned back.

-It seems like it.

-Are we on? On?

-Guys, come over here quickly.

The fans smiled at the gentle voices.

The New Black members gathered in their dorm in their training clothes.

They frowned at the cramped living room for a moment, but laughed at the sight of Kim Junghyun, who was sitting like a statue in the middle, holding a sketchbook that said ‘D-5’.

-Junghyun Hyung, that looks like it. The mafia statue.

-Mafia?

-He means Moai, Hyung. Wang Jiho, do you really know anything?

-Wow, this Hyung really has a foul mouth…

-Guys, we’re sending a message to the fans. Be quiet. Okay, Woojoo Hyung, I think you can talk now.

Woojoo, who had been looking at his brothers with a fond expression, looked at the camera.

It was a different expression from when he looked at his members.

-Hello, fans. You must be very surprised right now. Uh, what? Why are they suddenly appearing? Like that.

He said.

-The reason we’re filming this is because we prepared a gift for you, but we wanted to show you how we made it, rather than just giving it to you. Shall we start then?

-…

-Isn’t there a cue?

-Hyung, who was supposed to do it?

-Right.

-Wasn’t it Wang Jiho? If you forget, it’s either Wang Jiho or Junghyun Hyung.

-Why are you biting me for no reason? I’m so cute…

-You?

-Yes, me…

They laughed as they bickered.

Woojoo picked up the camera and moved his seat.

-Hyung! Where are you going?

-I’m going to have a secret talk with the fans. Shut up.

He said and smiled at the camera.

-Please forget the bad behavior of my brothers. Now, shall we go to the making-film with me? Ta-da~

He posed for three seconds.

Then he looked down at the camera with a very embarrassed expression and muttered, “Did it record? It must have, right?” The video started with that.

The first scene was the same as before, inside the dorm.

They were gathered in the living room, drawing pictures.

They each made a crude caricature of their favorite animal, and then they started to transfer them to one picture.

The animals in the forest.

Below that, they wrote ‘The New Black’ in a cute font.

They each wrote two letters, but there was a debate over who would write the last K.

-Shouldn’t Kim do it since it’s K?

-Right.

-No, it should be Wang since he’s the King.

-Why are you arguing over this? Just let anyone write it.

-Then let’s leave out Rihyuk.

-What? Why? I write the best.

-Hey, guys.

Woojoo sighed and said.

-Why don’t we just add from in front of it?

-…!

It was a trivial conversation, but the fans who were watching had a smile on their lips.

Soon, the design was sent to the company.

D-4, D-3.

While they were waiting for the result, there were scenes of the members peeking at the fans outside the waiting room, practicing their signatures, and reading fan letters with delight.

Finally, D-1.

The members were happy to receive the product.

An eco-bag with a shoddy print.

Then the members put snacks and photo cards in it.

It was a short reality format like any other video that came up to the company, but it was a big gift for the fans who watched it.

Not only for the people who came to the fan signing event, but also for the fans who would see it on the internet later.

The members seemed to say this.

-We’re waiting too.

We’re always waiting for our meeting with you, as much as you’re waiting for us.

Throughout the VCR, their feelings were clearly conveyed.

The eco-bag was just a medium, it seemed like the process was the gift for the fans.

Then the waiting room of the music show came out.

-We’ll finally meet tonight. Actually, we’re waiting at the door while this video is playing. We’re about to go in, but you’ll welcome us when we do, right?

The fans glanced at the entrance.

-Let’s meet with a smile.

-See you!

The video ended there.

The afterglow of the VCR was floating around the room, when the door opened with the refreshing intro of Fireworks.

The five members appeared.

It was the second official meeting between New Black and the fans.

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