Awy huddled together and looked around at the post-it notes. There were words of encouragement all around.
“They didn’t know if we would come or not, but they still put them up?”
“Maybe they’ll collect them all and make a message book after to give us. I heard that from Black Rush hyungs.”
“Wow, amazing sincerity.”
When everyone was speechless, Jin said.
［It’s a popular spot.]
‘How much for this?’
［For this spot… I think it’s around 5 million? It’ll be more expensive if the duration is longer.]
Ian’s mouth fell open. Looking at the edge of the electronic display, the name of the home masters were listed in small letters.
［Usually, hommas sell goods like slogans and prepare for this kind of thing. If not enough, they’ll pay for it themselves. Judging from the good editing, it seems like they put in a lot of effort.]
If even the pessimistic Jin said this, it must be really good.
‘But, does homma make money?’
Ian suddenly became curious. A hand popped out of Jin and he folded a finger every time he listed something.
［Most can’t make money. They have to attend everything from music show commutes to fan signings, and even follow along on overseas tours if there are any. If they can’t make it for some reason, they have to buy data from others.]
‘Can’t they just follow as much as they can?’
［Those people are just photographer fans. For hommas, whether they attend everything or not can determine whether they become a top seed1Most popular. or not.]
［That’s why they usually take out a lot of loans. It can be replenished by selling goods like slogans, but sales vary depending on the singer’s popularity.]
Singer’s popularity… Ian groaned. This was because he remembered hommas and core fans who followed such a few schedules during Kim Yong Min’s time.
Did they also follow us while in debt? Then, if we want to repay the fans now, we need to become famous quickly…
‘So are all hommas running without profit?’
［That’s not it.]
Jin raised his index finger and shook it from side to side.
［Top idol’s top seed hommas make a lot of money. Mydear most popular member’s top seed homma sells at least 5,000 pieces just for one slogan.]
‘Wow, then how much is it?’
［Since it’s 20,000 won each, about 100 million? The higher the quantity, the lower the production cost, so the better the net profit remains.]
［They need to do their best to support the singer as much as that. But it’s still a profitable business.]
The more you know, the more surprising the world is.
［I think the hommas who put this up already showing their support to grab the top seed. If you want to repay them, the only way is to become famous.]
Of course, there is a dilemma when you become that famous. Going inside the airport to take pictures, or riding the same flight. Actions that are no different from sasaeng.
Well, it would be faster to experience it firsthand. Omitting detailed explanations, Jin floated in midair.
Awy stared at the display for a long time. A few women passing by behind paused their steps wondering, ‘no way?’. Park Dong Soo’s feet fidgeted among the growing crowd.
“Dong Soo Hyung, can we take proof photos?”
At Lee Joo Hyuk’s words, Park Dong Soo took out his phone.
“I’ll take it for you.”
Men in masks posed on both sides of the electronic display.
Someone who appeared to be a fan screamed, took out her cell phone, and pressed the shutter.
“Time to go, guys.”
“Can’t we stay a bit longer?”
“There’s no time. It’s also getting crowded.”
Awy sadly moved away from the display. Fans gathered near them one by one after hearing the news.
“What to do…”
The speed of gathering was faster than expected. Awy waved to greet the fans.
“Too many people are coming.”
Awy took a step back in fear. Park Dong Soo stopped the fans from getting too close.
“Please keep your distance, everyone.”
Fortunately, no fans crossed the line.
“We really have to go.”
“Let’s bet on who gets to the van first. Go?”
“Loser buys drinks. Dong Soo Hyung, go first!”
Jo Tae Woong made another bet. He was followed by the manager and other members. Before also running along, Ian approached the fan who took a video and slightly lowered his mask to show his face. The fans screamed.
“Thanks so much for putting up the display. Thanks for the support too.”
Ian grinned and ran away.
The fan who was filming the video opened her mouth wide. Fans around her who looked at the running Awy in a stunned manner approached the fan who filmed the video.
“Didn’t you film the video? Please post it!”
“You can’t watch it alone!”
“I… I’ll post it right away.”
The fan uploaded the video of Ian to Bluebird.
-The kids came to see the ad display in Hongdaeㅠㅠㅠㅠㅜㅜㅠㅜㅠㅠ
-The kids are all wrapped up, but their physicals are amazing ㅠㅠㅜ
-Hey, seen the video RTed a lot in Bluebird? It’s crazyㅠㅜㅠㅜ
ㄴSaw itㅠㅜㅠㅜㅠ Ian-ahㅠㅜㅠㅜㅠㅜㅠ
* * *
“Choi Ian is the last!”
“Oh damn it.”
This time, six members except Ian were determined to hold him in check. In the end, Ian sat in the van for the last time and closed the door.
“Hyung! Phone please!”
Panting as if still out of breath, Park Dong Soo opened the gallery.
“Dong Soo Hyung really took pictures well.”
The members flipped through the gallery. They felt proud as they looked at the big electronic display again.
“We even got this kind of advertisement… We succeeded!”
Everyone agreed with Park Jin Hyuk’s words, but Ian added unnecessary comments.
“It’s too early to discuss success.”
Park Dong Soo exclaimed. Ian returned the phone to Park Dong Soo and continued.
“At least we have to get to the COEX panorama ads to call it a success.”
“That 100-meter ad?”
“Wow, it would be amazing if we could get our ad up there.”
“But it looks expensive over there. Will there be fans who can afford it there?”
Park Dong Soo encouraged the confused members’ attitudes.
“You just have to work hard enough to make it happen, guys. You guys are doing really well these days.”
“Absolutely! Director Seo was even wondering how many pre-order albums we should make.”
Album pre-orders don’t indicate sales volume, but rather how confident they are in selling them, so many agencies make media plays about how many album pre-orders they provide.
“Ah! Come to think of it, we forgot to bring the post-its!”
Kim Ju Young exclaimed in surprise.
“No. It’s right not to take them.”
Park Dong Soo said while turning the steering wheel.
“If they hear that you guys came and took the post-its, the fans will rush to put them up everywhere. Then the fans and staff will argue over it, complaining that it’s messy. If the controversy gets bigger, it’ll be even on the news. ‘Fandom culture has gone too far… Is this okay?’ Something like that.”
“Will it be really like that?”
“Yeah. It’s like a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for fans, but if anything gets too extreme, the noise only gets worse.”
Most of the members tilted their heads as Park Dong Soo’s words seemed to go over their heads. Park Dong Soo arrived at their destination and stopped the car.
“You’ll be going to go through it one by one. Let’s go to work.”
Perhaps because of the electronic display effect, everyone was motivated.
* * *
Awy had a busy time preparing for a comeback and repeatedly changed their schedule in the middle. The recording was re-recorded multiple times while the choreography that had been planned in advance was discarded within a day and started to be choreographed again.
Eventually, the agency withdrew the vacation they had given for Lunar New Year.
“It seems you guys can’t rest.”
“Ah… It can’t be helped.”
The members were disappointed but accepted it. Ian had originally not planned to go home, so he thought he wouldn’t be bored alone on Lunar New Year’s day.
“Still, I heard it’s better to work than to go home during the holidays.”
Ian consoled the members by quoting what he heard from Jin.
“Yeah. Let’s buy beef bone soup again and make rice cake soup.”
“No rice cake. You’ll gain weight.”
Park Dong Soo cut Lee Joo Hyuk’s words firmly.
* * *
There was only one good thing about not going on vacation. That everyone could monitor ‘With the Legend’ which premiered on Lunar New Year’s day.
And of course, the members weren’t about to listen to Park Dong Soo’s words that they would gain weight. They made up for not being able to go home for to Lunar New Year by eating.
“Who bought this kimchi? Too salty.”
“My mom made it for us, though.”
“Wow… Is it Joo Young’s mom’s home specialty? The combination of salty kimchi and rice cake soup is incredibly delicious.”
“Kimchi is supposed to have a salty taste, Hyungs.”
After a risky conversation, Kim Hyun picked up the remote control.
“Isn’t it time to start soon?”
“There must get a lot of ads. They keep coming out.”
“Wow, I’m nervous. Ours will come out in two weeks, right?”
Today’s episode will feature the first meeting of legends and junior singers and how they planned the stage.
After the last coffee ad ended and the screen transitioned, ‘With The Legend’ began.
The first team was Pinky Lady and Lee Chun Ja. Since it was a seat with a strong senior singer, Pinky Lady hesitated and offered their opinion.
(What concept do you think is good, Sonsaeng nim?)
(Well? Haven’t you guys thought of anything?)
Pinky Lady smiled awkwardly at Lee Chun Ja’s retort. Even when Pinky Lady presented their opinions, Lee Chun Ja refused, saying she didn’t like it.
［No wonder the stage was boring.]
The mood was similar to Pluto and Park Sung Soo, who came up next. When Pluto was so motivated that they threw various opinions, Park Sung Soo interrupted and blew the candle.
(After we do the backflips here!)
(That’s it! Good!)
M.O.M and Lee Seong Ho’s team had a pleasant atmosphere, overflowing with enthusiasm as they added this and that.
If Awy and Kim Hee Sang’s team felt like a grandfather and grandsons, this team felt like an owner showering love on his dogs. Of course, the dog position was M.O.M.
“Wow… Did they improvise that?”
When Triple Man and Kim Jung Soon sang a few songs without much discussion, the scene where they arranged as if inspired by each other was like a scene from a music movie.
“By the way, the show is almost over. When are we coming out?”
Said Park Jin Hyuk. He bragged to his relatives that he would be on the air.
“That’s right. Only 15 minutes left.”
“Uh? Coming out.”
(Here comes the best legend!)
Along with the narrator’s solemn voice, Awy enters Kim Hee Sang’s studio on the screen.
“Wow, Seo Dam shouldn’t wear that outfit anymore.”
“I look puffy right, Hyung?”
“Uh, you look fat.”
The members laughed, perhaps nervous about being on terrestrial TV during the prime time of the holiday.
“We look good in the camera now.”
“We’re celebrities, celebs.”
They also didn’t forget to brag.
After subtitles and narration that wrapped up the heartwarming scene of Awy and Kim Hee Sang, it was around the end of the broadcast.
(Sonsaeng nim, do you have any thoughts about dancing?)
The first episode ended with a close-up of Ian’s handsome face.
“Hiya, they ended it like this.”
“Today’s ending fairy is Choi Ian.”
“Fairy! Fairy! Please wash the dishes!”
“Huh, nonsense~ Let’s play rock-paper-scissors!”
Ignoring the boos of the members, Ian stuck out his fist.
And after the first episode of ‘With the Legend’ aired, the community response naturally exploded.
-Kim Hee Sang really came out?
-Wow, darn handsome.
-Dance lololololol Won’t it be a legend if Kim Hee Sang dances?
-They just threw that out lololololol
-So, who are they?
-If Kim Hee Sang dance, the whole community will explode lol