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Author: WhatTheFlo Editor: Flo

Episode 1


“The next group to set the stage is none other than Stone Cherry! Before we see their performance, let’s meet Stone Cherry!”


The voice of the music broadcast MC felt distant, like a stiff formality echoing from afar. No, in this case, would it be more appropriate to call it a devil’s whisper?


Park Haeun stiffened with astonishment and nerves, extending his right arm and right leg simultaneously in a rigid manner. At that moment, someone tapped his shoulder from behind and spoke. Mechanically turning around, he first noticed the red hair. If it had been someone else, the tap on the shoulder might have felt like a gesture to ease tension, but with this member, it was a different story.


“Get it right this time. Don’t disgrace the group.”


As expected, his whispered words dripped with hostility into Haeun’s ear. Normally, Haeun would have grabbed his collar or hurled curses. But at this moment, surprisingly, he didn’t feel angry at all. Perhaps because he was too tense.


How did the situation end up like this?


Lost in thought, he found himself already on stage. If he were to take the mic they were thrusting at him in this state, it would be like handing a bomb to the one who turns it. Fortunately, they passed the mic to the brown-haired person standing next to Haeun.


“What kind of song is this for your comeback? Would Leader Ilhyun like to explain?”


“Yes! This time, our Stone Cherry is back with a song that embodies the refreshing and cool feeling of a summer sea instead of the powerful and dynamic image we’ve shown before. All our members worked hard to deliver freshness, so we’d appreciate it if you could enjoy it!”


His prepared lines flowed effortlessly from his lips. Although Haeun had already read the script countless times, hearing it directly from his stiffened voice made the experience different.


“I see. We’re also looking forward to it. Now, could Mr. Park Haeun next to you also say a few words?”


“Since fans will miss the lively and refreshing Park Ha [1] , can I ask for some aegyo [2] from you to hold their hearts?”


In the midst of her distraction, a question suddenly came to Haeun. Aegyo? Could he even do that? Haeun, who had never shown aegyo to anyone in his 20 years of life, was at a loss.


Despite needing to gather her thoughts in front of the camera, Haeun, whose mind had gone blank from nerves, made a fatal mistake. He opened his mouth without thinking, speaking in her usual blunt manner.


“Aegyo, f- What aegyo?”



In an instant, the atmosphere turned tense as if cold water had been poured over it.


‘Ah. fuck.’


Suddenly, his sense of reason returned. Haeun remembered one simple fact: they were live on air.


‘I am screwed…’


Not uttering stronger curses and stumbling through was the best outcome, perhaps? But it didn’t seem that way as the camera’s focus remained fixed on Park Haeun.


“Haha… Our Park Ha has been practicing to show a strong image lately…”


The leader standing beside him quickly wrapped his arm around Haeun’s shoulder and blurted out whatever came to mind. His grip was so tight that it hurt his shoulder. Despite living his life freely, there was no way Haeun couldn’t recognize this simple fact. He was truly screwed.


Then, with a lively and mechanical voice, a neon sign-like message flashed before Haeun’s eyes.


『Σ(゚ロ゚;) A pro-idol doesn’t use such bad language! (`Д´*)o』




Haeun internally screamed fervently. He felt even more cold sweat now than just a moment ago. Who would have thought he’d be so afraid of a guide message adorned with cute emoticons? However, whether Haeun was afraid or not, the harsh mechanical sound continued to tickle his ears.


『A forced penalty will be imposed to be reborn as a great idol!』

『Automatic selection after 3 seconds ♥』


So, they’re implying that he was not interested in becoming a great idol. Even when he tightly closed her eyes, the message didn’t disappear.


‣ Cute aegyo ♥

‣ Very cute aegyo ♥

‣ Very very cute aegyo ♥


He tried to choose something before the automatic selection, but it was futile. Whether it was very cute or very very cute, he couldn’t bring himself to choose such an option with his own hand.


『Automatic selection is completed ♥ Choices are automatically displayed!』


‣ Park Ha did that because he was so nervous (´ノω;`) I’ll show you my aegyo (>ω<)


Although he was aware of it, three seconds was very short. Park Ha became pale from fright and his lips moved automatically.


“Park Ha did that because he was too nervous. I’ll show you my aegyo~!”


It was hard to describe the feeling of spitting out words he didn’t even want to keep in his eyes. In order to express emoticons that were difficult to convey through speech, 'ㅇ' endings [3] were added automatically to the words, and short sounds followed by long endings were just bonuses. Park Haeun was being manipulated like a puppet.


He widened his eyes, placing both of his fists beneath his chin, and plucked out his lips to give an air kiss.






Damn it!


He could feel the stares around him. Not just the MC who demanded aegyo, but even the leader who seemed like he would crush Park Haeun’s shoulders with his grip, was now looking at him with a strange expression. Silently cursing, Haeun thought to himself:


“I shouldn’t have started such a game in the first place. I should have deleted it as soon as I installed it. I shouldn’t have stayed up all night playing it. I shouldn’t have applied for the beta test!”


But regretting it now was too late.


Despite the desolation in his mind, Park Haeun’s body moved busily, unaffected by the pouring gazes. He threw finger guns at the camera, raised one leg while blowing kisses, then made rabbit ears above his head. Next, he puffed his cheeks, shot finger hearts with both hands.


Watching the hurriedly ending interview scene, Park Haeun shed tears unnoticed by anyone.


How did the situation end up like this? As he pondered this thought once again, memories rushed back to the beginning of the tragedy, like a flame igniting a fuse.

  • 1. Park Haeun or Ha-eun is our MC’s full name while Park Ha is his stage name/nickname.
  • 2. Aegyo means acting cute.
  • 3. Adding ‘ㅇ’ in the end of the sentences make it sound cute like a child attempting to say it.
Author's Thoughts

First Chapter! 💖

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Comments (1)

  1. Translator, you know what? You made me fall in love with you! The story you translated is amazing, I can’t wait for the next one Please continue translating. kiss you