Debut or Die Chapter 66

Author: LyraDhani

From the moment I met and talked to the agency official, I felt awkward.


He had been working in the planning and marketing team of another T1 affiliate, but this time he was appointed as the director.


In short, this person was the head of the company’s business division, and he had no experience in the entertainment business.




Fortunately, the content production team underneath him seemed to have been packed with experienced people, but this punk sounded strange.




“These days, most idols who are aiming for global fandom have a worldview. Right? All young kids… You like cartoons and stuff.”




You’re holding tightly onto useless things.


Worldview? That’s nice.


But if you say that you will release a new song within a month, is it okay to start by talking about the worldview? Even if it’s a single, you should talk about the song right away.


And Testar wasn’t in a hurry to see the world.


‘I made all kinds of characters and stories through auditions, but what are you saying…’


As far as I knew, the worldview was about providing content that fans could immerse themselves in and play with, but <Idol Inc.> itself was made for that kind of content.


In addition, the members had already gone through the debut process, gaining public awareness and positioning.


This meant that the agency only needed to bring popular songs, sophisticated choreography, and costumes.


Even if the worldview was still rough, it didn’t matter since we could be built it slowly while preparing for the next album.


‘Did you see a lecture or something?’


Recently, as agencies had been appealing their own independent capabilities due to the stock issue, it seemed that this guy was also affected by it because he kept referring to the worldview as if it were some kind of great plan of the century.


‘It’s because it’s your career.’


What was even crazier was that he worked hard without knowing much about it.




“Yeah! I watched the broadcast, you guys were doing good.”


The director praised each member, saying that he ‘binge-watched’ <Idol Inc.> diligently, and then he brought up a bombshell.


“Well, let me tell you right now. You’re going to perform two songs.”




“However, the company will only be in charge of one song. The other one will be managed by the talented Testar.”


Of course, we would do the confirmation and revision ourselves.


“Making it according to our world view, just like this~ It’s nice, isn’t it? Self-produced!”


Self-produced idols are the trend, blah blah blah…


He wanted to do everything that others said was good.


It seemed he wanted the new agency to have an image ‘independent and hip’.


Of course, the members were bewildered, but as befitting of those who successfully completed <Idol Inc.> where all kinds of tricks ran rampant, they didn’t show it.


“Ah, thank you very much… But it might be difficult with our capabilities alone.”


“Uhm~ Of course, all the staff do it together. You are free! Uh, make good use of your creativity and your inspiration, this is what I mean.”




The high-ranking person who was almost twenty years older was adamant, so Ryu Chungwoo swallowed his words with a bitter smile.


Kim Raebin’s expression was already turning blank.


‘You’re out of your mind.’


As I thought about what to do, I was more stunned by the enormous amount of work compared to the time limit.


“Come on, we have a lot of work to do, so we have to get up now, right?”




The director left after saying what he had to say. It was evident that he was happy that he had taken the time to take care of ‘Testar’ himself.


‘…Was the CEO also the nephew of T1’s owner?’


The future had already been drawn.


‘…It’s going to be hard if we don’t get first place this time.’


Looking back, I should have guessed it from the moment T1 suddenly created a new agency in order to intercept <Idol Inc.>’s debut group.


‘It’s a land that they fought and stole away… Of course, it would be impossible to continue with the preparations for the debut album that the original agency was going to do.’


Thanks to this, we had to make a new album right away.


In addition, since a person who was not familiar with the industry was sitting on top of the working staff, bullshit was running rampant and the deadline was extremely short.


‘Um, I really want to quit.’


…Again, I vowed not to expect much from this company.


The situation was the same in subsequent meetings with several people from the content production team and the A&R team under the producer.


These people hadn’t had any results yet.


…Actually, it was understandable. It had been less than two weeks since this agency was launched.


“Um… First of all, our worldview will go with the ‘school’ motif.”


“Ah… Yes.”


“I think we can focus on that. Um…”


There was no practical benefit other than just saying that the worldview was related to school.


“Of course, I’m not saying you should make a song at all. We will send you the candidate songs as soon as we get the final confirmation, so please take a look at them.”




“How long will it take?”


“Ah, um… It’ll be out in two days.”


Fortunately, these people were basically fond of the Testar members.


‘It’s thanks to the nationwide successful audition.’


First of all, the investment was basically guaranteed, and they had a personal liking toward the group, so the treatment also became more personal.


“They asked a lot of our opinions.”


Keun Sejin said after coming out of the meeting.


“O-Originally, i-isn’t it supposed to be like that?”






Unexpectedly, Cha Eugene and Kim Raebin responded strongly. Seon Ahyeon was taken aback.


“He didn’t listen!”


“He didn’t let us speak at all. The atmosphere was saying that working hard by following instructions is a virtue!”




Cha Eugene and Kim Raebin even recorded their debut song at their former agency, but it seemed that there were a lot of pent-up feelings because they got knocked down.


‘Their agency was doing well. maybe… Did it go bankrupt because their figurehead idol filed a lawsuit over a fraudulent contract?’


It seemed that the two of them got caught up in the process, so they left the agency and appeared in the audition program.


“There are some things I am worried about, but it’s a good environment to work hard. Let’s try our best.”






Ryu Chungwoo laughed, checked the number of members, and then got into the car.


There was some talk about it, but it was almost certain that Ryu Chungwoo was the leader.


First of all, Lee Sejin, who was one of the oldest, didn’t fit to be a leader, and the agency preferred to have an older person lead.


We would go through a plausible process in reality, but… It was pretty much fixed.


I didn’t have a complaint.


“I like home~ Oh?”


“What is it?”


“Claw doll machine!”


Cha Eugene was the first to enter the living room and ran after seeing the claw machine.


The director had called us early in the morning, so it seemed he’d forgotten that it was there because he had gone out half-asleep.


‘Thanks to that, his reaction is real.’


I went closer and took a look. Cameras were installed inside and outside of the machine.


The robot vacuum cleaner reappeared and handed over a card. It meant that we should roughly pick out a doll and carry out the mission inside.


“Hmm, ‘Each doll has Testar’s anonymous missions’ …Oh, am curious.”


“Let’s pick one!”


Most of the members were excited and stuck to the machine. For now, Cha Eugene, who was the first to grab the steering wheel, took control of it.




The result was a disastrous failure.


“…The machine is weird.”


“Leave it up to me~”


Keun Sejin took over the joystick from Cha Eugene who withered away and moved excitedly. And likewise, he failed.


“He’s right. The machine is weird.”


Since then, countless failures continued.


In the midst of lame excuses from those who couldn’t accept the results, I politely declined from joining.


‘It’s troublesome.’


If I just turned around, someone would take over.


And it was Lee Sejin who grabbed the joystick.


“…Which doll?”






And Lee Sejin succeeded in pulling it out at once.




The moment the furry brown rabbit’s head dropped to the outlet, people accepted the result.




“Hyung-nim, you’re good with your hands.”


“This was something I could pull out at once.”


“Can I pull another one?”


However, the claw machine had already stopped working.


It was probably a homemade machine designed to stop automatically once one was pulled out.


Behind Kim Raebin, who murmured that he would definitely pull out one tomorrow, the members stuck to the rabbit doll.


When I turned the doll over, a card was attached to its belly.


“Then, who wrote which…”


[Watch a horror movie together~*^^*]




“…Is it you?”


“Hey,  no way.”


Keun Sejin waved his hand. He was confident that he had written more usable content.


And Ryu Chungwoo calmly answered.


“Ah, it’s me.”


“Wow! That sounds fun. Horror movies!”


“I-I’m looking forward to it…!”


The surrender of the older person they weren’t very close with created an urgently mild atmosphere.


In the end, I spent the evening watching a horror movie. I concentrated on the popcorn as the movie was streamed. Screams rang in my brain.


It was a waste of time, but I felt comfortable.


And the next day, early in the morning, the demos for the debut title track arrived.


It was time for me to suffer.


* * *


“My ears hurt.”


Cha Eugene said after listening to all the demo songs about 20 times with the volume turned up.


Almost everyone except Kim Raebin faintly agreed with that. I just nodded.


Those who had been excited and enthusiastic about having their own songs were exhausted after listening to the songs for several hours.


“… I don’t think there will be a big change now even if we listen more, so let’s raise our hands”




“Then starting with number 1.”


That was how it went to the last number 11.


They had a tendency. It was similar to what I had already seen while working on <Idol Inc.>.


First of all, Seon Ahyeon and Ryu Chungwoo preferred a medium tempo. Seon Ahyeon especially liked lyrical songs.


And Kim Raebin and Cha Eugene preferred songs with strong bass and rhythm.


Keun Sejin chose the trendy genre. And he raised his hand only on kitsch melodies.


I didn’t know about Lee Sejin because he raised his hand only for one song. I was the only one left… I just picked the ones that sound good.


But, as to how I could do that.


It was because of this characteristic which was selected in the <Successful stage> pop-up displayed during the live broadcast of <Idol Inc.>’s last episode.


[Characteristic: Snatching ears (A)]


– Do you think this song will do well?


: Ability to distinguish masterpieces +200%


The grade was A.


It stopped on a platinum-colored slot, in which there was only one in every ten slots.


‘Even without considering its grade, I have to keep it.’


If I was going to be in the music business, there was no other characteristic as useful as this.


Thanks to this, the characteristic ‘I want to be the center’ that raised my talent by one level was abandoned, but it was worth it.


To be honest, I even thought about throwing out ‘I heard it’s true’, but I kept it for now because I thought it could be used in various situations.


‘It’s fine because I leveled up my fallen talent stat through practice and stage achievements during the final.’


So here was my current status window.


[Name: Park Moondae (Ryu Gunwoo)]


Level : 0


Title: None


Vocal: A


Dance: C+


Visual: B+


Talent: B-


Characteristics: Infinite potential, I heard it’s true (C), Bacchus 500 (B), Snatching ears (A)


!Status abnormality: Win first place or die


The remaining points: 1


The problem was that the ability to distinguish songs obtained this time was not added as a fixed amount, but rather, it was added proportionally.


‘It means that if I am tone-deaf in the first place, the increase is ambiguous.’


I didn’t know because I’d never been very conscious of it, but since it was amplified to 300%, I thought it would work to some extent.


So the song I chose was…


“Then Moondae, you only pick number 7?”




Number 7 was the only one good.


The song was rather dreamy, with a trendy beat and a popular melody, which made it uniquely pleasing to listen to.


‘The rest is weak.’


The development was either slow or quickly worn out. I didn’t know the music theory, but I just trusted my ‘ears’ and judged it.


Still, Kim Raebin’s eyes shone as if it was plausible.


“It seems hyung has a good ear. Number 7 is the most perfect.”


“Hey, Raebin, you’re too much~ Is this hyung’s ear bad then?”


“N-No, that’s not what I meant…”


When Kim Raebin was sweating at Keun Sejin’s joke, Ryu Chungwoo smiled and sorted out the situation.


“Then there are number two and number seven left in a tie. Let’s focus on these two songs.”




Number 2 was an R&B song that was easy to listen to.


‘I didn’t raise my hand because I quickly got tired of it.’


Anyway, everyone seemed exhausted, so I agreed without a word.


‘I’ll have to push number 7 more properly next time.’


As soon as we finished the morning like that, we got called again.


It was a meeting with the content production team. I heard that the company had selected a title track.


‘…Shouldn’t they discuss the song with the A&R team?’


I had a bad feeling this time, but I couldn’t avoid it.


And the song they came up with…


“How is it? Is it okay?”




The song was good.


The problem was that they brought the concept of a baseball club to a disco song…


It was driving me crazy.

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (16)

  1. thanks for the translation !!
    at this point moondae might as well build his own label LMAO

    1. If they (T1) continue like this, the he might as well do it 🤣

  2. well…. maybe the next quest will be build a new agency or die 🤣

  3. seriously, how did they end up with a boss like that? anyways, thank you for the update~!

  4. What is the definition of “worldview” used in here? Because no matter how many times I reread this chapter, that term just seems awkward in the context used.

    Thank you for the chapter!

    1. it’s supposed to mean like a long running concept for k-pop groups. like bts’s fictional universe thing. most k-pop’s groups do this so that fans can go back and connect certain scenes together

  5. that agency suck for sure.. I kinda wanna smack them
    anw thankyou for the translation