Debut or Die Chapter 27

Author: LyraDhani

I brought out the achievement pop-up that I had turned off.

 

[Calling for fame!]

 

50,000 people remembered your existence!

 

: Draw Rare Characteristic 👈 Click!

 

It appeared after the first episode aired, so it was a pop-up from a few weeks ago.

 

‘I unintentionally left it.’

 

In fact, not long after the third episode aired, I achieved the achievement of 100,000 people and it gave me points as a reward.

 

So here’s my current status window.

 

[Name: Park Moondae (Ryu Gunwoo)]

 

Level: 12

 

Title: None

 

Vocal: A

 

Dance: C+

 

Visual: B+

 

Talent: C

 

Characteristic: Infinite potential, I heard it’s true (C), Look at me! (D)

 

!Status abnormality: Debut or die

 

Remaining points: 1

 

For reference, the practice points obtained during the team match were already distributed one by one for vocal and dance stats before the team stage.

 

Ah, taking a look at the visual stat, wouldn’t it be a waste to turn my visual into an A stat? There was only one point left.

 

Of course, it would be a waste.

 

‘However… Unlike other stats, if my visual changes rapidly, I will be suspected of using plastic surgery rather than natural growth.’

 

This was especially true if the level of the alphabet was changed.

 

In the beginning, I upgraded it from C+ to B-, it could be excused that I started managing my visuals while preparing for the broadcast. But there was no excuse if I raised from B- to A- right away.

 

Raising B+ from B- was barely possible due to the long-month break and hairstyle change.

 

‘Well… I am thinking of strengthening my puppy image too, so this is fine.’

 

Looking at the search rankings, among dog breeds, golden retrievers seemed to be the trend these days, so it would be better if I could give people that impression.

 

Well, the chatter got long. Let’s go ahead and pick out characteristics from the pop-up.

 

‘I hope something useful comes out.’

 

In the new pop-up, the familiar roulette machine spun and stopped. It was a brass box.

 

Once again, I didn’t catch the silver box which appeared to be high-grade. Just as I was about to think it was such a pity, I saw the name of the characteristic.

 

[Characteristics: ‘Look at me! (D)’ Acquired!]

 

People pay a little more attention to your actions.

 

‘…?’

 

Why is it this one again?

 

The pop-up did not stop there, a new phrase appeared.

 

[Checking the duplicate characteristics!]

 

Do you want to synthesize ‘Look at me (D)’?

 

This… Isn’t this ‘Strengthening the duplicate items’ which is common in mass-produced trash games?

 

I couldn’t figure out where this system came from.

 

‘Once I debut and avoid sudden death… I’ll have to look into it.’

 

Anyway, there was no other choice, so I synthesized it.

 

[Successfully synthesized!]

 

Acquired ‘I want to be the center (C)’!

 

People pay a lot of attention to your actions

 

– When activated, ‘Talent’ stat rises by one level

 

The name was terrible, but the content was impressive.

 

If it could increase my Talent stat, I welcomed it. This characteristic used to be like a chicken rib, but now it was revived.

 

(TL note: chicken rib = something that doesn’t really give value or benefit, but you can’t easily throw it away.)

 

It felt like that.

 

But it was the ‘Talent’ stat. What a mysterious increase in ability.

 

To put it bluntly, it was the ability to stand out in front of the camera, and to put it simply… Um, it was equal to the quality of a star.

 

Just in time, there was the participant with the highest Talent stat next to me.

 

“Like this! The team has been decided∼”

 

“Uwaa!”

 

I heard the MC’s remark signaling that the recruitment of team members was over.

 

I also responded with moderate applause and secretly checked Cha Eugene’s status window.

 

[Name: Cha Eugene]

 

Vocal: C+ (B+)

 

Rap: B

 

Dance: A+ (S+)

 

Visual: A (S)

 

Talent: A+ (EX)

 

Characteristics: Black hole (A)

 

It was a terrifying window status even when I looked at it again.

 

The three consecutive A stats made me think this kind of guy was meant to be an idol.

 

In particular, Cha Eugene had the highest stats and potential among the participants.

 

It was higher than Youngrin, one of the judges, which meant that it was higher than most official idols.

 

And now, one of the lowest stats in my status window was ‘Talent’ that I had just managed to fix.

 

It would be nice if I could get a hint during this team match as to which one of the two, Dance or Talent, that I should upgrade first.

 

“Everyone, please say hello to your team members first! As soon as the greeting is over, I will introduce the second team match!”

 

For now, the question was whether or not the team match would end well.

 

I thought silently as I looked around at the faces of the team members who quietly gathered according to the MC’s words.

 

‘Let’s not get involved no matter what kind of mess that might happen.’

 

* * *

 

“Oh, I look forward to your kind cooperation.”

 

Ryu Chungwoo, who suppressed the strange power struggle of other participants and became the leader, greeted the team members with a smile.

 

Everyone clapped their hands, but I felt the tension underneath it.

 

‘This… I think it’ll get caught even if it doesn’t get edited.’

 

The production team was amazing at catching this kind of restraint.

 

“Have you guys greeted each other?”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Oh, it’s good to look heart-warming~ Then, shall we announce the second team assignment?”

 

“Uwoooh!”

 

Even when the participants shouted at the words of the MC, the participants of this team had a relatively respectful attitude.

 

‘It’s like the feeling of losing your body when you’re in the same group with other students in liberal arts.’

 

Anyway, it’s not a problem that I can solve, so let’s just focus on what the MC says.

 

“For the second team match, there’s content that has been consistently done in <Idol Inc.>~ Do you know what it is? Oh! That’s right. It’s the <Rediscovery of Hidden Masterpieces> project!”

 

They’re doing it again this season.

 

“On the website… They voted out of 50 songs, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

There were murmurs around. Whether the participants actually knew or not, they all gave conventional reactions.

 

“Masterpieces that unfortunately didn’t shine for many reasons! This is a project that <Idol Inc.> will reinterpret and present in front of the public once again, and this year too, our shareholders have selected several idol masterpieces!”

 

To put it bluntly, it wasn’t successful but the song was okay, so they wanted us to remake it and use it as our own song.

 

‘The composition fee will be fixed so there is no creative economy.’

 

As I was admiring the production crew’s amazing cost-cutting ability, someone suddenly talked to me from the side.

 

Surprisingly, it was Lee Sejin.

 

“…Is there any song you want to sing?”

 

“What?”

 

He looked regretful for speaking up, but a question was still a question, so I answered it anyway.

 

“I hope it’s an addictive song.”

 

It meant that even though the song must have been low-profile, I didn’t want to do a song that wouldn’t do well.

 

“What about you?”

 

“I… I want to do <Base>”

 

It was a good choice. <Base> was the title song of a popular idol when they were still unknown, just like the debut song from the last team match.

 

I had actually seen the stage, and I remembered that the concept was strong and the melody was addictive.

 

“That’s a good song. I think it’ll be good to make it into a stage.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

Lee Sejin nodded in affirmation.

 

Just I wondered if he was finally starting to take care of his social skills, Cha Eugene suddenly intervened in the conversation.

 

“I like that song, too. ‘Base~ Uh, the ringing heartbeat~’

 

“…Ah, yes.”

 

Lee Sejin closed his mouth with an uncomfortable expression.

 

‘This guy is like this all the time.’

 

If this is how it’s going to be, I want to ask why you come out here in the first place.

 

Anyway, a camera was here so it would be better not to leave it alone. Let’s just sort it out.

 

“I see. I hope we can do it this time.”

 

“Yes!”

 

Cha Eugene happily affirmed, not a single thought behind those eyes.

 

‘He doesn’t have any sense or context, but he’s a positive guy.’

 

As they evaluated in their own ways, the MC finally announced the selection method.

 

“There are seven things on the table that you can see in front of you!”

 

Certainly, a table was seen quite far from the participants.

 

“These are belongings of the original singers of each different ‘Hidden Masterpieces’~ You can use your reasoning and intuition to pick one of these items! You can choose.”

 

“Ugh.”

 

“Ah~ I’m not good at this!”

 

“The method is- Oh, it’s traditional. It’s running! Leaders, please get ready!”

 

“Running?”

 

Ryu Chungwoo, who was good at sports, was the leader, so this situation was favorable.

 

Of course, it would be effective only if we could match the song selection by looking at the original songwriter’s stuff.

 

However, such an approach was possible.

 

“That pouch! I think it’s a girl!”

 

“Baseball… Are they a fan of baseball?”

 

“Oh, it’s a skull pencil. They’re somewhat unique?”

 

There were loud murmurs here and there. Everyone seemed to be thinking in their own way.

 

Oh, this team reached an agreement in a flash.

 

“I’d like you to bring the item that looks the most expensive when viewed from a close distance.”

 

“Um, yes!”

 

It looked like his reasoning was that someone who put expensive things here had a high probability of being a successful entertainer, it sounded plausible enough.

 

Perhaps it was a judgment that considered not only the song selection but also the amount of broadcasting footage.

 

At Kim Raebin’s words, Ryu Chungwoo nodded and agreed.

 

Soon after, the MC called the leaders again.

 

“Now, leaders. Are you ready?”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Well, here we go!”

 

The leaders ran recklessly and flew their hands over the table.

 

‘No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t look like you can afford to choose anything from there.’

 

Then isn’t this song selection just about luck?

 

“All right, I got it!”

 

However, Ryu Chungwoo snatched something and returned with a smile.

 

And he held out the object with a confident face.

 

It was a baseball.

 

“This is a ball signed by Ryu Wanbeom!”

 

“Wow.”

 

Everyone opened their eyes wide with a surprised look. Ryu Wanbeom was a famous hitter who made it to the Major League.

 

Cha Eugene immediately asked.

 

“How do you know?”

 

“I also watch baseball. So I found out right away.”

 

Ryu Chungwoo smiled then threw and caught the baseball. The atmosphere in which things were going well temporarily relieved the tension within the team and created a comfortable atmosphere.

 

But it didn’t last long.

 

“The owner of the baseball… Oh, it’s Lee Chanwoo, the vocalist of the idol band ‘Sun Island’!”

 

The owner of the baseball is… A stranger that no one knows.

 

“Who is that?”

 

No one in the team gave an answer to Cha Eugene’s question.

 

“Wow!”

 

Right next to us, Choi Wongil’s team was excited and making a fuss.

 

“Hello. I am Jung Haim and I am a movie actor.”

 

“Ooooh.”

 

The owner of the pouch chosen by the team’s leader, Keun Sejin, was a famous female actor.

 

Perhaps because of the first team match, there was a strange sense of deja vu.

 

I shrugged my shoulders.

 

‘Well, this kind of thing can happen.’

 

The most important thing is music anyway.

 

Of course, having a famous celebrity appeared would be advantageous in securing the amount of footage.

 

In addition, it would also be advantageous in blocking reactions such as ‘You are taking away precious songs from poor unknown idols.’

 

But in the end, it was overwhelmingly beneficial to have a good song. In an audition program, the stage had to be good.

 

So if you check the song…

 

“The song I will entrust to you… It is <Burning Like the Sun>!”

 

Oh.

 

Oh… This… What should I do?

 

“Ah!”

 

“I know that one!”

 

The other team members exclaimed.

 

“I am glad that you know this song…”

 

“Sunbaenim, I’m listening well!”

 

The team was overflowing with relief.

 

It seemed they had regained vitality because it was recognized and known as a good song.

 

The original singer also seemed excited and eagerly introduced the song.

 

“<Burning Like the Sun> was released seven years ago, but it is still loved as a cheering song. I’m sure those who like baseball have heard the chorus.”

 

“Oh, I know. It’s a great song.”

 

When Ryu Chungwoo answered softly, the original singer smiled happily. Cha Eugene opened his eyes wide and asked questions.

 

“How’s the chorus? I don’t know much about baseball!”

 

The original singer cleared his throat as if he had been waiting for that question.

 

“Ah, ehem. ‘Now, wake up∼ Like that burning sun∼’ This one.”

 

“Aha. That’s right.”

 

“Ha ha!”

 

The team members laughed harmoniously at Cha Eugene’s sloppy grammar.

 

It looked good to create a warm atmosphere with the original songwriter compared to before.

 

The problem was… The outlook was not good.

 

After this cut, I think they will probably put in subtitles that say ‘2 days later’ and show the team’s atmosphere as a preview.

 

Because that song is not suitable for idol survival at all…

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