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Author: moni Editor: moni

“Are you still even a person?”

 

I was indifferent. Even in front of an idol who was shedding tears.

 

“Why?”

 

“If you had a conscience, you wouldn’t have edited me that way!”

 

I listened to him screaming in spite. This guy, who went into a competition program that gathered trainees who have not made their debut as idols despite their long time training, ranked fourth, which wasn’t bad.

 

Above all, those were the results that I made.

 

To be exact, they were results I made through editing.

 

An editing prodigy with the talent of a devil, the young 33-year-old genius [tnote keyword=”PD”]short for producer[/tnote]. That was the modifier that followed Seo Hoyoon.

 

I really liked it a lot.

 

Because money followed.

 

“You got 4th place.”

 

“What do I do with that? Everything that mattered to me is already gone. The public curses at me and calls me crazy. I lost contact with friends I’ve practiced with for ten years. They said that if they see me on the streets, they’ll throw eggs at me.”

 

“You’re going to live for a long time.”

 

“What?!”

 

“If you get cursed at, you will live a long life.”

 

I took out my cigarette and put it in my mouth. When I pressed the lighter with a flick of a hand, it lit up and the end of the cigarette caught fire. After taking a deep inhale, I saw the dumbfounded expression of the idol as I blew smoke.

 

“You’re not good at singing, you know?”

 

“I beg your pardon?“

 

“In the beginning, you said you wanted to be popular no matter what you did. I liked that answer because it was overflowing with passion, so I edited it and uploaded it. ‘He’s rude, but he’s a dance genius.’ ‘He’s annoying, but he’s a celebrity who keeps getting caught in my eyes.’ They called you my nephew because you were always on TV. You don’t even resemble me.”

 

After reciting the words that were on the Internet word-by-word, his face turned into a mixture of red and green.

 

“You said you wanted to be popular, so I helped you with that.”

 

That was obvious. If it weren’t for me, he wouldn’t be in fourth place. I spoke very objectively, but his jaw still shook in anger.

 

“Did I want that?”

 

“At the start, didn’t you say that was all you needed?”

 

“…”

 

“If you’re having a hard time, look at your bank account balance. Then you’ll be a little happier.”

 

Sometimes when the director poured alcohol and yelled at my face and the world seemed meaningless, I also looked at my bank account balance. And patted my chest.

 

Yes, nothing else mattered in this world. Money was everything.

 

He clenched his teeth and shook his head. I glanced at my cell phone. It was time to go.

 

“If that’s all you have to say, I’m going. I’m busy.”

 

“…Producer.”

 

As soon as I turned around and took a step, he called me. Then, as if possessed by a ghost, he turned his eyes away and cursed me.

 

“I wish for your downfall. The day will surely come when you will regret everything you’ve done. One day, our roles will be reversed and you will understand me. There will be no use crying and begging then.”

 

“Gosh, I’m so scared.”

 

I chuckled. I didn’t expect to have this kind of fun since I was having a bad day. 

 

I left behind his cursing and hurried on. I had to go back to the production office and edit again.

 

So, I disregarded what he said as an amusing incident.

 

But then the system window appeared.

 

***

 

Ring!

 

Ring!

 

Trring!

 

[Notoriety Points +100]

 

[Notoriety Points +350]

 

[Notoriety Points +500]

 

[The notoriety points have piled up. You have met the conditions for starting the game.]

 

[Loading…]

 

“Ah, what?”

 

The loud ringing made me feel annoyed. It wasn’t good to dream too much. For the past three days I’ve only been sleeping for four hours and drinking energy drinks because of editing. 

 

Then, the moment I was about to open my eyes in irritation.

 

[Congratulations, Seo Hoyoon! You have been selected as a player in [tnote keyword=”Nugu”]literally means “who” in Korean, when used in the phrase “nugu group” or “nugu idol” it refers to an unknown or unfamous K-pop group or idol who hasn’t had their first win on music shows yet. The word used here is actually ‘듣보’, short for 듣’지도 ‘보’지도 못한것, which basically means ‘unseen of/unheard of’ but I thought ‘nugu’ was catchier as a game title[/tnote] Idol Tycoon. Congratulations on your 10 year rejuvenation!] 

 

[Seo Hoyoon: An idol from a small company

Age: 23

Characteristics: Military training, no talent in dancing.

A genius PD who no one remembers.

(※Excluding certain people)

If you fail to clear the game, you will be unable to log out permanently.]

 

I must have been hit hard while I was sleeping. When I woke up and opened my eyes, the system window was right in front of me. Seeing this, I laughed and turned my head away.

 

“Let’s sleep.”

 

I put my phone away and went back into the blanket. I guess I was working too hard on editing, which was why I was seeing strange things.

 

“What a strange dream…”

 

I must have overworked myself yesterday. However, the system window floating on the ceiling didn’t go away. In the dark room, the system window that was glowing softly with a blue light gave me a sense of surreality. 

 

Ring!

 

“…”

 

Ring!

 

“…What an extreme dream.”

 

I couldn’t even force myself to sleep because of the system window that kept ringing. When I shook myself awake, the system window was clearly visible.

 

[Quest Arrival:

‘Let’s embrace reality!’

Accept reality.

You are no longer a genius PD, but a player in Nugu Idol Tycoon. 

You have become an idol.

Embrace reality 0/1

Upon success: Receive the title ‘Failing Idol’

Failure to complete: Unable to log out permanently.]

 

Unable to log off permanently? I quickly woke up due to the ominousness of the title. What the hell was I dreaming now?

 

I swept a hand across my face and stood up. This dream was going on for too long now. I scrambled to the bathroom to wash my face. After dampening my face and waking up a bit, I turned my gaze to the mirror. 

 

“…What is this?”

 

The dark circles that didn’t disappear due to overtime and excessive work, the face that had gradually become dull—everything had changed.

 

My face now had a soft complexion. No, that wasn’t the only problem. This face…

 

Was the Seo Hoyoon from ten years ago.

 

Pure horror washed over me. 

 

I stepped back in surprise after touching and rubbing my chin. No matter how much I dreamed, it could never be this vivid.

 

How many people could easily say, ‘yay, I’ve rejuvenated.’ I ran out of the bathroom and out of the room.

 

“[tnote keyword=”Hyung”]how men call other men older than them (doesn’t necessarily have to be blood-related)[/tnote], what are you doing?”

 

“S-Seo Hojin.”

 

“I’m surprised, have you finally gone crazy?”

 

My younger brother, Seo Hojin, answered casually, then looked at my face and spat out the water in his mouth.

 

“Pff! Kof, kof… D-did you get plastic surgery?”

 

“What?”

 

“What’s wrong with your face? Is it possible to get this kind of plastic surgery in a day? Has Korea’s medical technology advanced this much? The face of Seo Hoyoon from ten years ago…”

 

Seo Hojin strode up to me, grabbed my face, and twisted it around.

 

Seo Hojin looked the same. Normally, I would have trembled and screamed, ‘why are you holding your hyung’s god-like face’, but I couldn’t.

 

[Seo Hojin]

 

[Seo Hoyoon’s younger brother. University student.

※A person who remembers you.]

 

I was looking at the system window that appeared next to Seo Hojin.

 

“Get out of the way.”

 

I picked up my wallet in a hurry. Then I found my resident ID card next to it. The first digit had changed.

 

“What’s this?”

 

[Once again, congratulations! Seo Hoyoon has become a player in Nugu Idol Tycoon.]

 

“Hyung?”

 

Seo Hojin also murmured dazedly as if he was dreaming. I picked up my phone with trembling hands and searched for a name. One page appeared.

 

[Houhou / Real name Seo Hoyoon

Idol belonging to Daepasong Entertainment

Debuted in 20XX]

 

No matter how much I looked at it, it was my face. Even though I was originally supposed to be a PD for QBS Broadcasting! 

 

The news that came out when you typed my name,

 

‘The Devil’s Editing, Seo Hoyoon, is this right’

 

‘A petition for broadcast sanctions imposed on Seo Hoyoon’

 

‘Producer Seo Hoyoon’s program viewer rating reaches record breaking high’

 

The articles that used to praise and criticize me at the same time were no longer there.

 

All that was left was an article profile of a ruined idol.

 

[[tnote keyword=”How how!”]originally written in English[/tnote] I’m Houhou, Daepasong Entertainment’s newest idol, please take care of me!]

 

“This crazy…”

 

“Hyung!”

 

I grabbed my hair with both hands and a splitting headache.

 

That genius PD, devil-given talent, editing prodigy Seo Hoyoon? Did you hear he became an idol?

 

***

 

“I apologize, hyung.”

 

These were the results of talking to Seo Hojin, whose complexion turned pale after he touched my face. 

 

  1. This was not a dream. (I asked Seo Hojin to hit me to wake me up, but it just hurt.)
  2. I was possessed by the game Seo Hojin was playing these days. (A mobile game called ‘Nugu Idol Tycoon’ which was a game that seemed to raise idols.)
  3. I returned to when I was 23 years old, but the rest were still the same. (Seo Hojin is still 23.)

 

And… the last and most important part.

 

“I can’t believe my hyung is an idol… The kind of idol that I’m thinking of? It’s easy to get [tnote keyword=”MR Removed”]Music recording removed. It’s when people artificially remove the instrumentals of a performance and leave just the vocals. People use this to gauge a singer’s ability by watching these types of videos.[/tnote], and if you don’t know how to answer common sense interviews, you’ll get jumped to death? The kind of idol who has to smile broadly regardless of whether it rains or snows?”

 

“Seo Hojin… Don’t make people mad with your strange ideas and be quiet…”

 

“I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

 

I became an idol. One that no one has ever heard of. Even if you search my name on the [tnote keyword=”green window”]most likely pertaining to Naver[/tnote], you can only see one page.

 

What the hell was going on here? My head was throbbing so I pressed my forehead down. The system window was still floating beside me.

 

[Quest complete!

‘Let’s embrace reality!’

Accept reality.

You are no longer a genius PD. You have become an idol.

Embrace reality 1/1]

 

[Succeeded.]

 

[You have earned the title ‘Failing Idol’!]

 

Seeing the title ‘Failing Idol’ hovering above my head made me feel like throwing up.

 

Why? Why me? No, where the hell was I?

 

“Then, what happened to the files that I worked on until yesterday?”

 

[It’s gone!]

 

I pressed Ctrl+S and even made a backup, but it’s gone?

 

“This crazy… crazy… crazy!!”

 

Seo Hojin rolled his eyes as I grabbed my head and muttered like a madman.

 

“Isn’t that useless now?”

 

“Be quiet.”

 

The first system window I saw came to mind.

 

Notoriety Points. People who cursed me the more controversial the program became. The last idol who cursed me.

 

-I wish for the producer’s downfall.

 

Hey, I’m screwed…

 

-One day, our roles will be reversed and you will understand me.

 

I understand. Can you try begging me again?

 

-There will be no use crying and begging then.

 

Ah, it’s no use…

 

“Hyung, calm down!’

 

“My saved files…”

 

I shook my head and muttered. It was concluded.

 

I guess I’ve become an idol.

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Comments (6)

  1. Now he and his brother are the same age, are they going to say they’re twins or something?

  2. What a workaholic! Still lamentating that his files are gone lol

  3. He’s more sad about his saved files 🤨🤣 I still don’t know what to feel about this MC, but I feel like this will be a great story 😊

  4. I feel you MC. All that work, all those hours, poof, gone! I’d be upset about them too…