The Maknae Has to Be an Idol – Chapter 95

Chapter 95

Kang Hyun-Sung and I went to a 24-hour franchise burger place nearby. Though I suggested eating gukbap, Kang Hyun-Sung brushed off my suggestion and went inside the burger store.

Our food preference is very different, I noted.

Is that so?

Why do people even like gukbap that much? Kang Hyun-Sung asked.

You know that could become quite a problematic line?

Its just personal taste.

It was shocking to see a Korean who didnt like gukbap. It was like seeing an Italian who didnt drink coffee. I looked at Kang Hyun-Sung in shock and turned my eyes to the nearby kiosk. After just ordering some random things on the menu, I scanned the inside of the store. Though we were in Gangnam, the place was empty because it was so early in the morning. Still, I sat in the most unnoticeable spot since Kang Hyun-Sung was a pretty well-known celebrity, even if it wasnt the case for me,

My food came out after Kang Hyun-Sungs. Since we ordered individually, we didnt know what each other ordered, so I was surprised by Kang Hyun-Sungs menu.

Is a warm cup of coffee all youre going to have?ALL new hapters n nv()lbin(.)com

Yes. Kang Hyun-Sung simply ordered one cup of coffee, unlike me, who ordered the breakfast set menu.

If you eat a lot of sodium before a performance, you will look swollen.

Then what about me?

Now that I think about it, we are going to stand on the same stage. Kang Hyun-Sung took the saltiest food on my tray and put it to the side.

Eat it after the performance is over or something, he said.

Isnt that just telling me to only have a drink?

Is that a zero?


You can drink that, Kang Hyun-Sung said as if he wouldve taken my drink otherwise. I was usually the one scolding my members about their menu choices, but now, I felt like I could understand how my members must have felt.

I feel sorry for my members suddenly, I thought.

Kang Hyun-Sung wordlessly drank his coffee, and all I did was sip on my drink with a straw. We sat in silence for a bit. Since there was no music in this store, a heavy silence surrounded us. But since I was the one who called him to this place, it was only right for me to speak first.

The reason why I called you for breakfast was because I had something to ask you.

Yes, go on.

Why did you want to become an idol?

? Kang Hyun-Sung frowned slightly while looking at me. Are you running a background check on me?


Then, is this an interview for a magazine?


Its my first time getting this question outside of the cameras, he told me.

I didnt say anything and hung my head low. I knew this question was sudden. I wondered how many idols would ask a question like this outside of work. In the end, being an idol was also a job. Though people might have begun it out of passion at first, there were plenty of people who just did the work like any other job. Perhaps, I was trying to force out some past, innocent passion to a person who was worn out from reality.

Why do you ask that? Are you going to use my answer somewhere?

No. Truthfully, I did have a use for it which was to increase my groups probability of winning to over 90%.

[Probability of winning first place: 83%]

Objectively, this was already a high percentage. 83% was a good number to rely on, but in this third round, I couldnt allow for even the smallest chance of a mistake occurring. It was because if Only One got first place this time, it would be game over. Thus, we needed to be number one for the third round at all costs. Thus, at such an important time, I didnt want to leave even a 17% possibility of losing and wanted to drop it down to 10%.

I am asking out of curiosity.

Really? Were you the type to set a meeting like this just because you are curious?

How did he know me so well? Usually, I would never think of eating a meal with Kang Hyun-Sung like this.

But I need to hear it. Though I didnt want to admit it, the person whose personality was most like me in this industry was him. Anyone could see that he was a pro idol. He was nice and caring to fans, performed well on stage, and took care of himself well. I wanted to know where he got the drive to do all these things. If this person could do it, I thought I could also do the same.

Please, I ask you. Think of it as giving a consultation to a junior.

Okay, all right, Kang Hyun-Sung said after taking a sip of his coffee. Of course, in the beginning, I aspired to be like other idols.

Yes. This was obvious from this point.

Then, after that, it was jealousy. This part was slightly unexpected.

After that, it was rage.


My debuting process wasnt easy, he said. I was generally aware of how hard Kang Hyun-Sungs trainee days were while he was doing Select Your Idol.

Honestly, I almost forgot why I wanted to be an idol in the first place. Now, I think a part of me is doing this as a job and part of it as a dream.

This was a bit different from what I expected. I thought Kang Hyun-Sung would say a more bland and business-like answer.

I like communicating with fans and always like standing on the stage. It also gives me great satisfaction to build my career bit by bit.

Arent you the epitome of an idol?


Never mind. I thought Kang Hyun-Sung was like me but that wasnt the case. It was as if I found a part of him that was similar to my Siren members instead. And as I saw my members overlap with Kang Hyun-Sung a bit, I shook my head.

It seems my answer isnt what you wished for.

Can there be a different answer though? Its your story after all.

But there must have been an answer you were expecting.




Silence befell us again. Because we finished our drinks, there was only ice remaining in my cup.

Mr. Tae-Yoon, do you feel like you are internally stumped? Kang Hyun-Sung asked. Why do you want to be an idol?

I already had prepared an answer for this. I think I perhaps wanted to be loved.

What do you mean by perhaps?

I cant be certain of it.

Then, why are you trying to be an idol now?

I couldnt tell him it was because the system ordered me to.

Maybe the answer exists between the reason why you wanted to become an idol in the first place and why you are hesitating right now.

The reason between the beginning and now?

If you wanted to become an idol because you wanted to be loved, maybe you dont want to become one because you dont want to be loved anymore.

I never said I didnt want to become an idol, I said.

But you are hesitating about your career as an idol right now.

What? Was he reading my mind right now?

So, if you are hesitating right now, isnt it because you dont want to be loved anymore?

Perhaps, thats the reason. I began to understand better as Kang Hyun-Sung explained. Perhaps, this was the right answer. In my youth, there was a time when I was obsessed with love. But my current self, who had gone through my members deaths, lived in solitude, and regressed, didnt feel the luxury of wanting to be loved anymore. Maybe there was a part of me who was feeling resistant to the happy idol life that I had dreamed of in my imagination.

[Probability of winning first place: 83%]

Yet, there was no change in my percentage of winning. Though Kang Hyun-Sung was right, it seemed this information wasnt useful for the performance.

But an idol who doesnt want to be loved? How does that make sense? Perhaps, there was something wrong with me from the core. No, I shouldnt think of this too deeply. The more I thought about this, my groups percentage of winning could drop below 83%.

Nevertheless, I am working hard to become an idol right now.

Yes, Kang Hyun-Sung replied.

So, that must mean that I do want to be loved after all.


If I really didnt want to be loved, wouldnt I have quit being an idol using all means possible? I asked. However, since I did try to quit beforeit was difficult for me to say more.

Disliking something is a bigger emotion than you think, so it will be very hard for someone to keep forcing oneself to do something they dislike, Kang Hyun-Sung said.

What he said made me think. If I really didnt want to be an idol, wouldnt I have thought of other methods to quit?

Perhaps, Im not totally hopeless after all? a part of me also agreed with Kang Hyun-Sungs suggestion.

But maybe its not that you dont want to be loved but dont know how to be loved.

You are saying I dont know how to be loved?

Well, you should think about that yourself.

Instead of A or B, there was now a C option. Simultaneously, the number before me changed.

[Probability of winning first place: 84%]

I looked at Kang Hyun-Sung with slight surprise.

It seems my advice helped you, Kang Hyun-Sung smiled faintly and got up. Lets go now.

To think that Kang Hyun-Sung actually helped mehe was a more useful person than I thought. Moreover, there was something that hung on my mind.

I dont know how to be loved This was a personal problem that was hard for me to fix. Perhaps, I already knew about it but was purposefully ignoring it.

How embarrassing. It felt as if my greatest weakness was exposed.

But I should try solving it with this opportunity. And by just thinking positively, the percentage shot up.

[Probability of winning first place: 85%]


After finishing breakfast with Kang Hyun-Sung, I returned to my dorm. Before heading to the studio, there were some things I needed to bring such as a rechargeable battery, earphones, and other daily necessities. By the time I returned, my members had already gotten up and were finished with their preparations to leave. It seemed they could all get up without me now.

Where did you go and come back from? Woon asked, seeing me come from the entrance door.

I went on a morning walk, I said, not wanting to reveal that I came back from meeting Kang Hyun-Sung.

Tae-Yoon~ Dong-Jun waved his hand at me lightly and fell on the sofa.

Okay! Is everyone done getting ready? Yeon-Hoon made the final inspection so that we could get moving.

Tae-Yoon, are you leaving with Senior Kang Hyun-Sung today?


Then, lets see each other at the studio.

All right.

How sad. It wouldve been better for all of us to go together, Yeon-Hoon said and hugged me.

Lets get first place today!

First place for sure!

Dance like you are going to capture all the audiences hearts!

Yes, sir!

My group members and I reaffirmed our hearts about the third-round performance. My group members left first and after I confirmed that I didnt miss anything, I also went outside. When I arrived at Kang Hyun-Sungs teams practice room, all the team members were ready to leave.

If everyone is here, lets leave now.


This team rented a minibus so that all nine of us could move together. After getting on the bus, we went to a salon in Gangnam, got our hair and makeup done, and headed to the studio set in Gyeonggi-do. My heart thumped now that we were going to the stage where The Showcase 2s third round would take place.

Today is the day. It was the day that could decide the final winner of the show. If Siren got first place, nobody knew who the final winner was, but if Only One became first place, it was over like this.

[Probability of Winning First Place: 85%]

Though the percentage was still lower than my liking, I began my mind training. I didnt know how this topic of accepting love became such a difficult problem for me. But this was a hurdle that I needed to overcome and I couldnt sit still and do nothing.

I need to overcome it, I thought.


The day of The Showcase 2s shooting, people who won the lottery seats to watch the third-round performances gathered near the studio. It was because people werent just waiting to be seated but were participating in the events happening near the area such as sharing unofficial goods or meeting people they had only talked to on social media sites. There was also some change with the audience from the first performances, and now, there were also some events ongoing for the Siren members.

Princess Lee Woon is so pretty

I want to get Wolf Tae-YoonI hope I arrive before everyone else.

It was because Siren gained quite some fans now though there was still a significant difference between the size of Only Ones fandom and Sirens fandom.

Am I the only one who thinks Bong Tae-Yun dances like a robot?

Bong Tae-Yoon has no charm. Dont understand why anyone would like him.

Seems like our guys are doing well, seeing that people are trying to drag them down.

Their popularity grew to the point that people were fighting about them on social media sites even before the performance. And what Siren haters were highlighting the most was how Bong Tae-Yoon had no stage presence and no idol charm.

This was the only fault that Siren haters had managed to find about the near-faultless Siren, and they dragged this point to its limits. Thus, there was a continuous scuffle happening between them and Siren fans. Thus, while people were treading over thin lines, the shooting for the third-round performances grew nearer.

Chapter end

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