Debut or Die Chapter 179

Author: LyraDhani

I had a lot to say to this bastard, but I would start with this.

 

“Let me ask you first. How the hell did you know that your crazy kidnapping plan wouldn’t get caught? After my vacation, everyone will be frantic to find me.”

 

“…”

 

Cheongryeo looked this way with dark eyes and answered without raising his tone.

 

“Because I was planning to finish it in ten days.”

 

He must have checked the vacation period on my smartphone.

 

“That means you will kill me if I don’t show any signs of committing suicide within 10 days. Got it.”

 

I changed my posture slightly. And asked again.

 

“And you firmly believe that if I die, I will restart, I know that, but where did you get the belief that you would go back together with me?”

 

It was a question that I couldn’t help but ask.

 

“Did you ever think that I would just die and you would be arrested as a murderer of an idol from another group?”

 

“…”

 

“Sunbae-nim.”

 

Cheongryeo leaned back on the chair. His face was expressionless.

 

“Well… They wouldn’t catch me.”

 

“…!”

 

“I have your phone… With the right gesture, if a member of an idol group that has a lot of incidents like Testar goes missing, there won’t be any police investigation. The agency will prevent it.”

 

Cheongryeo smiled faintly.

 

“They will think that you have given up because of the pressure, or that you’ve run away because you’ve settled down and lost your original motivation. And if they look for you on their own…Eventually, when the cost becomes high, they will give up. Even without hubae-nim, the remaining members will make enough money, and eventually, they will focus on rolling it.”

 

“…”

 

“That’s how Park Moondae will disappear after being dismissed as ‘suspended for health reasons’. Hmm… I think in about two or three years, you will only have people who sometimes reminisce about you.”

 

It was a leap of logic.

 

The contract period remained intact, so there was no way that the agency with T1 on its back would give up on ‘Park Moondae’ that easily.

 

In addition, I was currently popular enough to be one of the top 10 idols. The aftermath of my sudden suspension of activities wouldn’t simply disappear.

 

…However, when viewed thoroughly… There was an eerie plausibility.

 

‘F*ck.’

 

I almost went through that. Even though I clicked my tongue, I was satisfied with the conversation.

 

“I see. Thank you for your testimony.”

 

“…?”

 

I took something out of my pocket.

 

It was my smartphone that had its recorder running

 

“…!”

 

“You put it in a more boring place than I thought, so I found it quickly.”

 

He even considered the GPS tracking, so he turned it off, connected it to his laptop, and used a message app with bypass access.

 

Anyway, my smartphone, which I found in the dishwasher, was fortunately fine.

 

I pressed the stop recording button.

 

“Anyway, even if I report it, it’s a two-way assault, so if it spreads to the media, the controversy will only grow, and my last mission might fail because of this issue.”

 

I tapped my smartphone.

 

“I made a recording, left all the circumstantial photos, and even set up automatic backup to the cloud.”

 

“…”

 

“It means that if I get out of here and made a report, it’s over for you.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

“Yes. So be a little cooperative, you f*cking bastard.”

 

I sat down on a chair and hit him in the face.

 

Tack!

 

A short, dull sound coolly rang out.

 

I felt satisfied now.

 

Cheongryeo seemed to be feeling around with his tongue as if his mouth had burst, but he didn’t look particularly agitated.

 

“…I can’t make a comeback anyway. Hmm, it hurts. You said you weren’t feeling well.”

 

“The bastard who fainted after being beaten down by a sick guy is all barks.”

 

“Haha, hmm, I don’t think hubae-nim will report it, anyway.”

 

Cheongryeo met my eyes.

 

“Even if you have evidence, I don’t think you would want to get caught up in an accident like this and leave room for anyone to interfere with the mission.”

 

“You’re right.”

 

I nodded.

 

“But if I get too pissed off…Who knows, I might solve it right after the last mission is over.”

 

“…”

 

“It might get a bit noisy, but there is no one in the group who will oppose it. The report will proceed smoothly, what do you think?”

 

On the contrary, they would be astonished that I didn’t report it quickly.

 

Things were looking good already.

 

But his reaction when he heard it… It was out of standard.

 

“Yes? Hahaha.”

 

Cheongryeo laughed brightly.

 

“I thought you were smart, but you’re blind.”

 

“…!”

 

“Do you like your team now? Ah, now, you must think it’s great. You get good records, and you have to stick together because there are so many enemies outside, isn’t that great?”

 

Cheongryeo lowered his head.

 

“But how many years do you think it will last?”

 

“…!”

 

“No, not even in a few years. After a year or so, they will start saying strange things.”

 

He looked into the empty air. He looked bored as if he were recalling an obvious past.

 

“There are all sorts of people, from the guy who voiced nonsense about finding oneself to the guy who sold the group while going in and out of the clubs. It’s the same no matter what team you set up. Human passion and sincerity are exhausting.”

 

“…”

 

“Even if it doesn’t look like that now, think about it. Were there any minor flaws that bothered you? Later they… They will come back with great disappointment.”

 

The low, calm voice finished speaking.

 

“After receiving the payment once more after the tour, you don’t know if no one will tell you to stop doing stupid things and just move on.”

 

“…”

 

I didn’t really trust people either, but… This guy had it bad, perhaps because it came from repeated experiences.

 

I was speechless and looked at him, then shrugged my shoulders.

 

So what, you’re saying I should start focusing on efficiency instead of getting attached to useless things?

 

That’s ridiculous.

 

“If we don’t fit together, we can disband later. My missions will be completed by then.”

 

“…!!”

 

“It can be done only with similar-minded people… If the fight gets worse, I’ll just quit, why would I bother with a group like that? Ah, right. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard about the restart.”

 

I crossed my arms.

 

“Can’t VTIC be on a downtrend?”

 

“What?”

 

“It isn’t a field where you can stay being a top tier for thousands of years. Prime times are called prime times because they can come to an end.”

 

No matter how popular the idol group was, they had no choice but to face a decline after reaching their peaks when they went into the military and got older.

 

“Even if that isn’t the case, there will be a day when VTIC will be on the decline, so I don’t know why you’re trying to restart just to delay it for some time.”

 

He probably had a delusion that VTIC could be the best in the industry for the rest of his life.

Cheongryeo lost his expression for a moment, but then he smiled.

 

“Hubae-nim, you haven’t tried it yet, so you don’t know what it feels like, but in fact, restarting once is not a big deal. If you can extend the group’s lifespan, it’s worth trying.”

 

He lowered his head slightly.

 

“And I am not doing this because the group’s career is declining due to the unexpected event, but it’s because I plan a picture where we decline in a gradual curve. Don’t worry, it will happen next time.”

 

I threw out my words.

 

“It won’t happen.”

 

“What?”

 

“That perfect career, it’s not happening.”

 

I tried to rest my chin on my hand, but it hurt, so I stopped. Damn it.

 

“VTIC’s decline is an event that is bound to happen, only the timing is different. But how do you know the most perfect timing to start the downtrend? Are you going to keep restarting every time album sales drop?”

 

I came to a conclusion.

 

“Then you’ll have to restart forever. With the rationalization that ‘next time will be better’.”

 

“…”

 

Cheongryeo opened his mouth slightly as if trying to answer, but he couldn’t answer right away.

 

There was no expression on his face.

 

‘I guess I’ve hit the mark.’

 

I didn’t know if it was a landmine or a switch, but I had to solidify it now.

 

‘I have to break his momentum.’

 

I couldn’t let this guy get in the way of my work any longer.

 

After all, there was nothing more to spare now that I had come this far. I would put an end to it here.

 

I opened my mouth first.

 

“Anyway, even if I die, I can’t restart, so you won’t have a chance for that.”

 

Cheongryeo opened his mouth almost as if moved by someone else.

 

“…So if you fail the mission.”

 

“Well. I die.”

 

I uncrossed my arms.

 

And told the truth.

 

“I wasn’t originally Park Moondae.”

 

“…!!”

 

“I was originally a college graduate, but when I woke up, I was in Park Moondae’s body. I didn’t restart, I just went into someone else’s body.”

 

It was ridiculous even when I said it. I smirked.

 

“So maybe if the mission fails and I die… Even in the best-case scenario, I think it will end with me returning to my body. Don’t you think so?”

 

“…”

 

“Wasn’t it strange in the first place? I didn’t act like someone in their early 20s. I was originally 29 years old.”

 

For the first time, all sorts of expressions passed through Cheongryeo’s face. I guess it didn’t sound like a lie.

 

He murmured blankly.

 

“That can’t be true.”

 

“It can. Why would I lie when I’ve caught you?”

 

I laughed, rubbing the back of my neck.

 

I hadn’t told him because I was afraid it would be a weakness, but I had evidence of his attempted murder in my hand, so I could say this much.

 

I felt refreshed.

 

“You can’t restart now.”

 

“…”

 

Now, he was definitely agitated.

 

Now… I didn’t want to do this, but let’s throw him a carrot instead of a whip for a perfect stitch-up.

 

“So… Just because it’s flawed, you don’t have to give up your life now.”

 

“…!”

 

“What you have now won’t go away anymore. So just live comfortably. Raise a dog and do whatever you want to do.”

 

If he could just cut his hands clean here, I had no intention to sue him.

 

Of course, I would claim compensation for the damages.

 

‘If I can avoid getting involved with him in the future, I will be satisfied with the loss.’

 

I fidgeted with the itch coming from the cut.

 

“…”

 

Cheongryeo lowered his head. The hands tied to the table tie were shaking slightly.

 

At that moment, a pop-up appeared.

 

[‘Now that I heard it, it’s true (A)’ activated!]

 

I didn’t know what this meant, so let’s wait.

 

“….”

 

After quite some time, Cheongryeo raised his head.

 

He looked unexpectedly calm.

 

“I don’t know what to do.”

 

“Figure it out.”

 

“I see.”

 

Cheongryeo’s voice was calm, but there was something like a strange feeling of melancholy.

 

‘That’s understandable.’

 

If he didn’t succeed as an idol, he kept restarting, so he must have put all his value judgments on VTIC’s success.

 

‘Otherwise, he would go even more crazy.’

 

And if the mission wasn’t cleared, the situation that kept resetting must have been processed in his brain as an ‘opportunity for VTIC’s perfect success’.

 

But now, I stopped him and said, ‘That’s not an opportunity, it’s giving up!’

 

And I didn’t know what would happen in the future, but right now that this guy had definitely lost his fighting spirit.

 

‘It’s f*cking over.’

 

Now that I had the evidence first, the disclosure of my situation second, and attacks on his mind third, I would rationalize it in my own way for about half a year.

 

‘And by then, the mission will be over.’

 

It was great.

 

I immediately got up from my chair.

 

“Then I’m off. I’ll leave the tool next to you, so untie it on your own.”

 

My movement was limited, so it would be difficult to pick up the tool and throw it to him.

 

Tap.

 

“…”

 

Cheongryeo stared at the toolbox I was pushing with my foot, and he said quietly.

 

“If you wait a bit, I can give you a ride to your dorm.”

 

“I decline. The inhaled anesthetic is still vivid in my mind.”

 

“…”

 

Looking at it roughly, it seemed we were in a suburb of Seoul, there shouldn’t be any problem getting to the dorm by bus for an hour or two.

 

I wore long sleeves so the wounds on my wrists wouldn’t be visible.

 

I took my smartphone and immediately headed to the front door.

 

I heard a voice from behind my back.

 

“…I’m sorry.”

 

That feeling and attitude should last for more than half a year. Or else I would put him in jail no matter how much damage I had to take.

 

I opened the door and came out right away. The wind hit my face.

 

It felt cool.

 

* * *

 

I immediately caught an intercity bus at a nearby stop and headed to the dorm.

 

I had to transfer once, but it wasn’t a complicated route so there was no big problem.

 

The problem was that the pain was slowly coming.

 

‘I’ll have to run a test.’

 

I was thinking of making up an excuse once I got back to the dorm.

 

I checked my smartphone on the bus to forget the pain.

 

First of all, quite a lot of words have been exchanged in the group message room since the vacation.

 

They mainly focused on reporting on the recent situation and chatting about what they were doing, but there was also a guy who kept calling ‘Park Moondae’ without getting an answer.

 

Like this.

 

[Keun Sejin: Moondaemoondae? Did you cancel your smartphone?]

 

[Keun Sejin: … Looking for Park Moondae… Even if it is a vacation, to cut ties with the world… Indeed the Tibet is merciless]

 

And Cheongryeo replied like this.

 

[Me: Stop it.]

 

Honestly, the synchro rate was creepy.

 

‘…He made it sound more plausible than I thought.’

 

I bitterly checked the other private message rooms.

 

[Kim Raebin: Moondae hyung, Grandmother is asking for a video call. I’m really sorry, but can you give me one more chance? We’ll set the date and time to however you want!]

 

After that, a picture of Hallasan Mountain flashing in primary colors with ‘Thank you ♫ as always’ written in fluorescent colors was attached.

 

“…”

 

How should I say this… It was a very predictable situation.

 

And Cheongryeo, who impersonated ‘Park Moondae’, neatly refused.

 

[Me: Sorry. I want to rest, can we do it next time?]

 

[Kim Raebin: I’m really sorry. All right. See you after the vacation!]

 

It was kind of like this.

 

‘It’s not difficult.’

 

I checked the rest again, thinking I should do this when I came back to my sense after going to the hospital.

 

It was all similar. When they suggested something, I refused.

 

[Bae Sejin hyung: We have 3 for sale. Which one do you think is more balanced? (Photo)]

 

[Bae Sejin hyung: You don’t have to reply if you’re busy]

 

[Me: I don’t know. I’m sorry.]

 

It was like this here, too.

 

[Seon Ahyeon: Moondae, I’m on a trip with my family near Seoraksan Mountain and I like the autumn leaves because they’re so pretty. I am not good at taking pictures as you are but I’ve taken some pictures. I’ll bring them to the dorm (Photo)]

 

[Me: Yes, thank you.]

 

It was the same for this one.

 

And Cheongryeo’s last trace was found in the group message room.

 

[Me: I’ve come to a hotel to rest more. See you all when the vacation is over.]

 

[Keun Sejin: Wow, hotel vacation! (emoticon) Moondaemoondae, tell me, is it 5 stars??]

 

“…”

 

There was no reply from there.

 

No wonder.

 

I felt like my vacation was almost over.

 

‘F*ck.’

 

As expected, when the status abnormality was over, I would rage on and kill him.

 

Fortunately, looking at the date, I still had half of my vacation left. I calmed down as much as I could, resting my head against the back of the bus.

 

Since it was a weekday, no one recognized me wearing a mask and hat on the empty bus, and I was able to arrive at the dorm peacefully.

 

However, my physical condition was not as peaceful.

 

‘Damn it.’

 

As soon as I opened the front door and entered, I collapsed on the floor with a sigh of relief.

 

Thud.

 

I could hardly feel the marble glued to my cheeks because of the burning sensation in my whole body.

 

‘F*ck.’

 

This was bad. I couldn’t move.

 

I felt like all my cartilage had disappeared.

 

I didn’t have any strength.

 

‘An ambulance.’

 

No. Looking at the injuries left on my body now, I looked like a crime victim.

 

It had been handled so far, but unnecessary controversy before dealing with a status abnormality was a no-go.

 

‘Wouldn’t I be fine once I wake up after passing out a bit?’

 

Nevertheless, staying down in the hallway like this…

 

Ring–

 

Smartphone.

 

Someone was calling.

 

Almost unconsciously, I pressed the receive button on my smartphone.

 

After a certain amount of time passed, I heard a voice.

 

– Ah, connected…

 

I cut off the voice.

 

“Now… the dorm, 119… Don’t call… hospital, somehow…”

 

– What??

 

“The company… Don’t contact them…”

 

– Moondae? Park Moondae!

 

I just spread out.

 

That said, I fell into a deep sleep for a few days.

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Comments (12)

  1. F*ck. Moondae!!!!! Tell the boys about what happened so they can help you. You need therapy! More therapy than you’re already getting!

  2. Welp. We all know that theyll all rush in there, see him unconcious, see the scars/marks of the ropes, panic, panic, mote panic, hospital, some panic for good measure, the group speculating what the heck happened, r a g e.


    Everyone else? Panic.

  3. Please, I swear Moondae, please don’t keep everything that happen to yourself okay? Tell them!!! PLEASE!!! 🤧💔

  4. AAAAAAAAAGH THE CHEONGRYEO MOONDAE CONTENT. SO GOOD.
    moondae is much more hopeful than we give him credit for due to his personality. actually, it takes a lot of mental strength and resilience just to keep surviving like this, and to see the value in every moment of life, unlike cheongryeo, who had focused too much on an impossible future. i’m glad moondae was able to… kind of…? get through to him. regression, after all, must be very difficult regardless of how strong of a person you are. the experience of dying once would already significantly impact one’s mental health and stability.
    i’m not trying to excuse cheongryeo’s actions, but i don’t want to just blindly hate him, especially because i think moondae understands cheongryeo more than he even wants to. this doesn’t mean i like or trust cheongryeo, but he’s a complicated character who has probably lost sight of himself. he didn’t truly want moondae to die, if that means anything at all.
    anyway…despite the subject matter, the next chapter’s pretty sweet 😀
    TY FOR THE CHAPTER!!

    1. I never once read a story where an immortal/zombie-like character stays moral or make humane decisions. After death, compassion seems fruitless.

      1. ah!! have you ever read omniscient reader’s viewpoint (orv)? it’s my favorite novel, and while regression does also beget apathy/inhumanity there, it starts subverting that and rekindles compassion in the regressor! he isn’t my favorite character in orv, but i appreciate his development, and overall the characterizations and arcs are just extraordinary. the mc is my favorite novel character of all time.

        sss class suicide hunter is one of my other favorites. the title may sound cliche, but it’s REALLY well-written and emotional; the regressor mc there is just…i won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read it, but one of the main themes in the story is compassion/empathy. it makes me think critically and genuinely reevaluate my perspective on certain things.

        SPOILER WARNING FOR ORV:
        *
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        the orv ending is bittersweet…to me, it was more bitter than sweet, but i guess it depends on what you wanted from the story. just a warning in case you don’t like getting invested in stories without completely happy endings.

  5. omg i love this series so much, truly, got me on the edge of my seat whenever i read it but AAAAAA i cant believe i didnt read it for so long so let chapters stack up and now this is the chapter im left on ;-; moondae really acts strong until he physically can’t anymore and im so conflicted about cheongryeo now, i really really liked him and i understand that’s he’s lowkey gone insane from repeating his life so much but he really went too far this time :((( moondae my love u make me hurt >.<

    also, translator-nim, you work so hard and translate so much in such a small amount of time, ive never seen anyone this consistent with high-quality uploads, truly, thank you so so so much!!!!!!!!

  6. I like how complex yet reasonable Cheongryeo is. Hopefully he becomes a better sunbae now that he realized his own insanity…

  7. I FEEL INSANE WHEIFBROEBTODHSJDHEI MOONDAE MY CHILD

  8. moondae needs like a full-time therapist following him now that man is going to snap and burn something down one day !! thanks for the chapter !!