Debut or Die Chapter 169

Author: LyraDhani

Nobody knew about Park Moondae’s appearance in <The Calls of the Past> until the trailer was released. It was because the schedule was hurriedly set to the earliest airing date.


[(Preview) Testar and Golden Age become Sungkyunkwan students? <The Calls of the Past> EP36 | SBC Education]


And, of course, behind the scenes, public opinion swirled at once with unease.


It was a gut feeling that came from past experiences and worries about the provocations.


– Ah, f*ck, that group again

– Am I the only one who feels strange

– Get a healing show and go to a famous restaurant but instead, these bastards ask the already busy kid to study


Among the fans who care about public opinion, a lot of them had already realized that Golden Age was deliberately clinging to Testar.


Considering Park Moondae’s past, his family history, and the story of his unfortunate dropout, there was no way they would like this situation where he and a Korean University student appeared in a ‘brain training education’.


If the edits secretly compared and scratched those two’s academic backgrounds, they felt like they would go crazy.


– I am going to explode, I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the show

– If they annoy us again, I won’t be able to stand it. I am going to make it public


But not everyone dug so deep and thought like that.


The public opinion of the people who enjoyed being casual fans without looking too deep into the abyss was this.


– Crazy, Park Moondae dressed in hanbokㅠㅠㅠ even better, it’s Sungkyunkwan’s yusaengbok. Just looking at the preview, it’s definitely a masterpiece

– Thank you… Thank you so much…

– No, why so sudden? It’s very sudden, but I welcome it

– Looking at the preview, it seems Moondae is going to be active, I get so excited


This was also the one that the graduate student, who was going through a difficult master’s course, was looking at.


‘The joy of my life…’


The graduate student grinned.


She was thankful it was broadcasted late at night. Because she was in the lab room even during the daytime on the weekend…


‘I’m watching the show too!!’


She was so excited that she wanted to jump on the sofa, but she didn’t have the energy, so she sat quietly and turned on the TV.


“Here we go!”


The broadcast started shortly afterward.


[What is the past that calls them?]


The graduate student excitedly watched the opening where they removed the blindfolds and the MC was sitting in the monitoring room.


And unable to hide her smile out of excitement, she followed Park Moondae’s every move.


There was no better healing than seeing Park Moondae talking and laughing.


‘It’s a pity that he has black hair for this activity, but I still want to see you in the yusaengbok soon!’


However, this composure was shattered in the next scene.


[‘Gap’ and ‘Gi’ are working at Jiphyeonjeon.]






Because Park Moondae solved the first problem at a rapid pace.


“What? What’s with him? What’s up with Park Moondae?”


And the graduate student wasn’t the only one who thought like that.


The timeline of her SNS account, which she made clumsily for fangirling purposes, was filled with similar phrases.


– ??

– What’s this

– Park Moondae is crazyㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

– My man’s brain is so great, f*ckㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ


But it was too soon to be surprised.


[Hmm, three flying animals, one wild animal, two sea animals, one flying animal.… I wonder.]


[Why don’t you bring me the thing on the third shelf?]


Because Park Moondae’s performance didn’t end throughout the broadcast.




The graduate student looked at the screen with her mouth open.


The broadcast didn’t particularly use the magic of editing. This meant that as befitting of educational content, the sophisticated but not overly stimulating atmosphere continued.


Therefore, Park Moondae’s problem-solving felt like it was happening in real-time, making the taste even better.


[Huh? It shouldn’t be like this, though?]


[They’re supposed to solve it only after going around it once…]


[<The noisy monitoring team>]


With that extraordinary level of ability, the production team and MC’s candid reactions and lamentations set the mood.




The graduate student was at a loss for words looking at the screen, and her heart suddenly swelled.


‘This… I don’t want to express this in plain words like being smart!!’


He’d be an ace if he went on a quiz show that brought together smart celebrities to solve problems!


Perhaps the cast felt the same way, admiration and laughter poured out from here and there.


[Moodae, come here. Okay. Answer me honestly. …Are you a member of Mensa? Just tell me!]


(TL notes: Mensa is the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organisation open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardised, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test. Sumber: Wiki.)


[Yes? I am not.]


‘He has to be!!’


The graduate student shook her head back and forth, wondering why he gave an answer like ‘I am not’ even though he had to be.


And like her, who was very excited, fans who were worried about his appearance were pouring out comments about Park Moondae’s crazy performance, which far exceeded expectations.


– Crazy Park Moondae got it right again

– Is this a dream?

– He answered as soon he heard the questionㅋㅋKyuㅠAre you crazy, Park Moon Puppy?!!

– What is it that Moondae can’t do besides drawing? ㅅㅂ I was worried for no reason;;

– I… I thought our puppy was a genius in singing, dancing, and visuals, but it turned out that he is a real genius.


Because Park Moondae proceeded so quickly, the problem-solving part didn’t get particularly cut out.


Rather, they added to it even more.


[The first problem is actually simple if you organize it with logic symbols. Hey, can I have a pen… Thank you.]


Park Moondae explained the solution in an interview, interestingly reinforcing the amount of explanation of the problem that should have been originally presented.


It was so detailed that people who were about to curse couldn’t bring up the words, ‘The script is too obvious’ and “Didn’t he already tell the answer?’.


[It’s easier for me to put the same symbols together by overlapping them. Then like this… There are things that don’t fit.]


Anyone could see that Park Moondae solved it himself and completely understood it.


In addition, a background story about ‘why he’s so good at this’ had been prepared as the finishing touch.


[I like this program… I’ve watched it a lot. I studied a lot while thinking about how to solve it.]


Park Moondae honestly expressed that he had studied hard for this program.


Of course, the truth was, he only narrowed down the scope of the Korean history questions in this episode to make it easier to memorize, but it felt more true thanks to the mixed facts.


The excuse for the Korean history skill in the logic quiz was also added with some truth mixed in.


[Actually… I wondered what it would be like to become a civil servant, so I studied Korean history a bit before becoming an idol.]


It was a rather heartbreaking remark for those who knew Park Moondae’s situation.


Given that everyone knew the situation if they had even the slightest interest in Park Moondae, the remark was well-formed to the point that it was a bit mortifying.


Thanks to this, viewers’ reactions were filled with ‘I’m proud’ and ‘What should I do?’ and crying emoticons.


– ㅠㅠㅠDo whatever you want except retiring

– My mom keeps saying to herself that she’s so proud. She’s about to send a scholarship

– Thank you for being an idolㅠㅠ A civil servant… Wow, with that brain, it looked like he would have passed immediately…; It’s quite scary to see an idol world without squishy Moon Puppy

– So smart… A determined young man… With no opportunity to learn… The reality is deplorable!


It stabbed their national spirit that was burning with passion for education.


Indeed, with this atmosphere, it was awkward to bring up the manipulation aggro.


Still, from time to time there were ambiguous comments such as ‘It feels artificial’, ‘Ummㅋㅋ’, and ‘He’s aiming for this’ struggling to light the fuse, but they were far from enough.


Because the program had high reliability from the beginning.


– Not one of T1 affiliates, a public broadcaster is trying to show off Park Moondae in their show?ㅋㅋ They don’t need to

– Even the producers were bewilderedㅋㅋㅋㄱㅂ That’s so funnyㅋㅋㅋ

– This professional PD would rather go bankrupt than fabricate it, that’s why when he fails, he can’t recover sometimes, but he’s still firm


In addition, even if they tried to turn the direction of the criticism to ‘He took up the whole airtime alone’, they had no evidence.


Because Park Moondae didn’t take any particular action except when he was solving the questions.


In role-play situations, action scenes, or heartwarming scenes, Seon Ahyeon was brought forward.


[Wow! Wooow!]


[I want to do something like that…]


For example, it was quite a sight to watch as Seon Ahyeon gracefully and nimbly performed the mission where he had to extract hints without touching the hanji and persimmons hanging from the ceiling.


(TL notes: Hanji = traditional Korean paper handmade from mulberry trees.)


It suited him more because he had a neat posture.


‘He looks like some kind of Taoist.’


The college student was sure that all the slow edits for that scene would enter her timeline within a few days.


In addition, Seon Ahyeon also saved quite a bit of small talk.


[This… Do you want one?]


[U-Uh. I’m fine… No, I’m good.]


(TL notes: she switched from the modern way of speaking to the old one.)


There was a scene of Seon Ahyeon dipping a piece of rice cake in grain syrup and holding it out with the other hand to the court lady who was staring blankly at the rice cake baked by Park Moondae.


Perhaps he was wondering if it was okay to do this during the filming, the expression that revealed his internal conflict was cute.


Even the courtier, who appeared as an NPC to set the mood, forgot her duty for a moment and almost came out as a real person.


‘I can see why his nickname is Angel…’


The graduate student promoted Seon Ahyeon from her inner ‘Moondae’s Friends’ folder to the ‘Moondae’s Cute Friends’ folder.


In the meantime, the cast members were warm-heartedly solving the case on the screen.


[This mood is good?]


[Great, great! Shall we do it together?]


[Yes! Let’s solve it!]


Of course, as Park Moondae had prepared, the Golden Age’s Korean University students also received airtime in problem-solving and role-play situations.


However, because of his unfamiliar solo appearance and stiff talk, it wasn’t really fun.


He did well in solving the quiz in his own way, but of course, it had no impact like Park Moondae, who solved it quickly from the beginning when people hadn’t expected him to.


Because the prior information that he was a student at Korea University was emphasized from the beginning, this much was expected of him.


[Oh~ Good good!]


[Thank you!]


It was just a normal scene with no uniqueness, and only the flow of broadcasting continued.


So, while Korean University students were not ‘so bad that he became a subject of ridicule and a pointless topic of discussion’, he was sorted out by viewers as ‘barely deprived of the spotlight’.


It was the best result for Park Moondae’s fans.


Thanks to that, their private communities and SNS were in a festive mood.


– It’s a topic that can only be told here, but I want to start it up

– He looked just like when he was in My Singerㅎ

– ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋAh, so much fun

– Next time, please look for a place to lie down and stretch your legs


(TL notes: Look for a place to lie down and stretch your legs = Think of the results before you start something.)


The atmosphere was established without opposition because Golden Age’s agency, which normally would have encouraged talks of ‘the tyranny of large companies’, was as quiet as a dead rat.


And the climax broke out at the end of the episode.


[This book.]


[Isn’t this just like Korean?]


It was a great procession of Park Moondae’s knowledge of Korean history and his quick reasoning.


[‘Gap’ and ‘Gi’ of Jiphyeonjeon have come to present <Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon> to Your Highness.]


This scene with a calm voice and a faint smile came out well, just like the climax cut of a drama or movie.


Thanks to that, as soon as the scene aired, it was clipped and posted on various SNS and communities.


[Today’s<The Calls of the Past> famous scene that the viewers could sympathize with]


[???: Doesn’t this look like Korean?]


[<The Calls of the Past> Park Moondae’s final deduction scene that gives you goosebumps]


Usually, those were titles that would explode because of the aggros, but instead of aggro, they received a lot of sympathies and quickly became popular posts.


Because it was the plain truth.


– It was super difficult, but he got it right in one try. I got goosebumps

– I guess his brain ascended

– This fit perfectly, but catharsis didn’t comeㅋㅋㅋㅋ

– Yes, I knew it would be like this from the moment Park Moondae took the lead in making the PPT for the debut songㅋㅋㅋ

– It’s such a waste. He’s so smart… Even now, the K-third-year in me is telling him to take the college entrance exam…

└ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋNo! Moondae has to be K-idol forever!ㅠㅠ


It was at this moment that the image of Park Moondae’s ‘unfortunate past history’, which was accompanied by weaknesses, was added with ‘genius’ and converted in a more three-dimensional way.


It meant that Park Moondae’s plan was carried out without any problems or variables.


* * *


‘It’s neat.’


I put down my smartphone. It had been a long time since I saw only refreshing results without any unexpected incidents.


“Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon! Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon!”


I heard Cha Eugene excitedly shouting those words in the next room as if it was some kind of cheering phrase. It was the result of monitoring <The Calls of the Past> together because the people who had empty schedules were bored.


‘Is it an American habit?’


His pronunciation was also correct, and it seemed that the scene left a deep impression on Cha Eugene, who was ignorant of Korean history.




Just in time, I could hear Cha Eugene’s roommate, Keun Sejin, laughing. Roommate reassignment content would be coming soon, I hoped I didn’t get stuck with those two.


But anyway… It had been a while since I had nothing to calculate.


I closed my eyes, ignoring the noise in the next room.


A relaxed feeling dominated me, so I didn’t even need airplugs. I thought of going to bed early today.


It was then.


Ring– Ring–


The smartphone started to vibrate continuously.


It was a phone call.




I had no one who would call.


However, calls that were not registered in the address book were set to be blocked, so it wasn’t spam.




Holding my breath, I picked up my phone and brought it to my eyes. Naturally, the name of the caller was floating on the screen.


[Golden Age Ha Iljoon hyung]




What… The person calling in the middle of the night was Gold 1.

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Comments (8)

  1. i’m glad moondae got to show off his smarts and got rid of those aggro. but now, i wonder what’s going to happen next…

  2. Mastermind Moondae: All according to keikaku


    Moondae: ⊙︿⊙


  4. I kinda feel bad for Gold 1 (and with Woongil as well now because they’re in a group together). He really seems to be a very good, and Woongil is also changing for a better person, sadly, their company is sly 😔 Moondae! Make your own company and take your friends 🤧💔

  5. this chapter was so satisfying, i felt VINDICATED like it was me who was experiencing all that 😭 if alternate universes really exist then park moondae you have so many fans in this dimension too!!!!

  6. i was expecting it would be cheongryeo lol.. because cheongryeo was always there to destroy his peace of mind 🤣 and cha eugene is so cute lol 😆 i could almost imagine him repeating korean words loudly 😆