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Top Management Chapter 167-168

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Chapter 167: Making Film, The Sky was Raining with Bait (4)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir

"One didn't turn off? Why did I forget to turn that off?"

Only one video was playing in the corner of the TV.

Seeing this, Im Seoyoung's reaction was a simple question. However, once the video began filling the screen, Im Seoyoung began to become fl.u.s.tered. Not knowing that a camera was rolling, Im Seoyoung freely moved around the living room.

She looked back at me with wide eyes. They were trembling.

"What is it, oppa? Why is that still playing? Did something go wrong in editing? Is it a broadcast accident?"

"No way. Producer Yoo spent all night editing this part."

"Huh? Why would she when I'm the only one… What did I do that day?"

She mumbled the date as though she was trying to recall what she did.

During this time, the Im Seoyoung on TV pressed the remote. The same TV turned on in the screen. It was a rerun of Royal Family. It was a scene with Lee Songha's character, Lee Sohee the sa.s.sy top star.

The Im Seoyoung in reality jolted up from her spot. Then she shook me since I was holding the remote.

"Le-let's watch something else!"

"We need to monitor this. It's only begun."

"We don't have to watch this part! It's harmful! Oppa, save me!"

"You're alive."

"Snake! So coldhearted! You have no sympathy!"

Giving up on convincing me, Im Seoyoung looked at the other members. She looked like she wanted to get them on her side, but the three of them were happily watching the TV. Im Seoyoung grabbed Lee Songha's shoulders.

"Let's go, Songha! I'll buy you braised pigs' feet!"{1}

"Braised pigs' feet?"

Lee Songha's eyes s.h.i.+ned.

"Yeah, pigs' feet!"

"I already ordered that. Why is it taking so long?"

Im Seoyoung stomped her feet at my words.

"d.a.m.n it! If you're going to watch it, you'll have to step over me!"

Spreading her arms out like a stingray, she rushed towards the TV. Then she was dragged back in three seconds. LJ had grabbed her back. She instantly rolled her on the rug and sat on her. She was like a pro-wrestler.

Im Seoyoung whined as she hit the rug.

The TV speakers began playing Im Seoyoung's voice.

{How can you not recognize me because I'm wearing sungla.s.ses? Are you blind? My chest, legs, and even my toes scream Lee Sohee! Do you think there's such a work of art anywhere else? Look! Look at me!}

It was Lee Sohee's line.

Royal Family's scene with Lee Sohee showed up as a reference as the broadcast continued to show Im Seoyoung following her lines. She even lifted her smooth legs up with such vigor and began wiggling her toes.

Her legs were elegant, and her terrible acting skills exceeded the realm of arts.

She followed a few more of Lee Sohee's lines before fanning herself. Maybe it was because she put her all into acting or because she was embarra.s.sed by Lee Sohee's lines, but her round face had become red.

Im Seoyoung, currently sat on by LJ, hastily made an excuse.

"I just tried it to see what it felt like!"

At the same time, the same voice resounded out the speakers.

{This is much harder than Cat Guardian Ghost. I wonder if she kept any of the Alive scripts?}

"Don't do this to me! Just let me die in peace!"

Im Seoyoung wailed.

Lee Songha shuffled on her knees and approached her.

"Unni, I have a lot of Alive scripts…"

"No! That's not it… Ahhhh!"

Im Seoyoung flailed her limbs crazily. The Im Seoyoung on TV brought out a stack of papers and a notebook from her room. The papers were sheet music.

The Im Seoyoung in reality stretched her trembling hand towards Lee Taehee.

"Uh, unni, why don't we turn the TV off and have some beer?"

"Seoyoung."

"I'll be a great drinking friend today."

"I can't hear the TV."

Lee Taehee, who sat up properly before anyone knew, said,

"It's cute."

"No! Unni, your words have no credibility!"

"Why?"

"You're an old grandpa who'll chuckle at whatever your grandchild does!"

Im Seoyoung despaired as she buried her head in her hands.

At this time, the Im Seoyoung on TV was drawing musical notes in her notebook. She was writing a song. She became so immersed in it that she even skillfully dancing to it, but it was putting pearls on a pig. Her song was more suited for a children's dance routine.

The show then showed Lee Taehee working in W&U's producer's room.

It then returned back to Im Seoyoung, She nodded her head in satisfaction after finis.h.i.+ng her song.

{It's not bad. I think it's quite good even.}

Next, she put rings on her ten fingers, which she doesn't do normally, as she ran around the room rapping. Producer Yoo Sooyoung heartlessly inserted a scene of LJ rapping as well.

The real Im Seoyoung flopped on the floor.

If they took out all the inserted scenes, Im Seoyoung's one-man show didn't last long, but it was more than enough to wear her out. Im Seoyoung was covering her face while LJ sat on her.

LJ tickled her by lightly poking her sides.

"Hey, you look like you have fun alone? So that's why you don't go out often."

"Don't talk to a corpse, you hoodlum."

Im Seoyoung said gloomily as she pushed LJ away. LJ allowed herself to be pushed off. Im Seoyoung got up and glanced at the TV. The screen had changed to show the Pretty Girls members.

Like she was seeing a retreating enemy, Im Seoyoung let out a sigh of relief.

"How are the reactions, oppa?"

"They're good."

I immediately answered.

The majority of the posts that viewers uploaded while watching the broadcast was positive. The broadcast maintained the image that they were a talented girl group by showing inserts of Lee Taehee, Lee Songha, and LJ while showing Im Seoyoung off in an entertaining way.

There were quite a few posts asking who she was.

Whenever they popped up, fans replied that she was 'Im Seoyoung'.

Im Seoyoung shrugged her round shoulders.

"That's good then."

"You looked like you were about to die just moments ago though?"

LJ asked.

"Would you have wanted to show your dark past in front of your members?!"

Im Seoyoung shouted before quickly laughing.

"Well, that's that. Viewers' reactions are the most important. It's wonderful if the viewers enjoyed it and our popularity increases. I'm been in charge of Neptune's entertainment appearances for four years now, you know? Do you think I'm the type to get shocked by a hidden camera? My job's making people laugh."

She calmly said before glancing at me.

"Still, you should have told me! So that I could prepare my heart before watching it!"

"Sorry, I wanted to, but I had my reasons."

"Reasons?"

Im Seoyoung asked in surprise.

"Also, your job wasn't to make people laugh."

"Huh?"

"Your role. It wasn't to make people laugh this time."

"Then what was it?"

"Hmm, moving their hearts?"

I said in a quiet voice. Then I turned my gaze. Im Seoyoung's surprised gaze followed mine. The TV showed the living room once more. Im Seoyoung was hurriedly cleaning with her phone against her ear.

{Pretty Girls are coming? But I'm the only one home right now.}

Seeing this, Im Seoyoung's face became pale.

I watched the screen.

I roughly knew what was going to happen because Producer Yoo Sooyoung told me. However, that was it. I didn't see the recording or checked the edited content.

I still didn't know what exactly happened that day.

On screen, Im Seoyoung put her all in cleaning after hanging up her phone call with me. Soon, the doorbell rang. The visitors were obviously the Pretty Girls members. Although they had met a couple times before, their expressions were stiff as though it was a bit awkward for them to meet their sunbae.

{These are side dishes my mom sent over. I heard that you also lived in a residence so she sent us our share and two more. Umm, if you plan on eating, you…}

Oh Yeondu handed her an eco-friendly bag.

Im Seoyoung readily accepted it.

{That's great! We have a food G.o.d here so these will be eaten really quickly! Sit down and have some drinks. We have a lot here. Although I don't know where they are, there should definitely be some if we look around.}

{Can we even though it's not a filming day for us? There are cameras.}

{I turned all the cameras off so it's fine!}

Im Seoyoung invited the girls in with a bright smile.

The next scene was a tearful one. Maybe hearing that the cameras were off made them relax or Im Seoyoung's warm, friendly att.i.tude warmed their hearts, but they each held a roll of toilet paper as they cried and hiccuped.

Then, frightened, Im Seoyoung comforted them.

{What's wrong? Huh? Don't cry. You're going to make me cry!}

{I'm so-wwy. I keep thinking about it after hearing what you said…!}

{We'll be going now. Sorry.}

{Hey, hey! How can you go like this? You need to stop crying first. Wh-what did you think about?}

Im Seoyoung sat the girls, who were getting up while sobbing, back down.

{Mean comments? Were there mean comments in articles?}

{N-no. That's not it. It's because of the dregs.}

{What? Dregs? What do you mean?}

Yoon Sol replied, but it wasn't a human language.

Oh Yeondu and Lee Hwain looked at each other before barely managing to continue.

{The president said that to us. That only the dregs remained.}

{What could he do with them?}

{We are trying hard to prove that we aren't dregs, but we keep thinking about those words all of a sudden sometimes. Even though something incredible is happening, even though my mom and the chief have high hopes for us, I'm scared we'll disappoint them.}

{It looks like Jae unni isn't returning because she doesn't want to be in the same team as us.}

{Don't talk about Jae unni! It makes me want to see her…!}

Although I called them goldfish as a joke, they were really about to turn the house into an aquarium.

Oh Yeondu rubbed her tear-covered face with tissues.

{Sorry. You tell us a lot of good things and help us, but we are making you troubled by crying. We'll make sure this doesn't happen again. We'll work harder to be more like you… So you're my role model…!}

Listening to their gibberish, Im Seoyoung bit her lip.

Her eyes, which seemed like they could cry at any moment after sympathizing with the girls, became clear.

{You aren't dregs. I'm very envious of you.}

{Huh?}

{Sunwoo oppa personally went to get you. That's really something I envy. I've never had that happen to me. Our company sent Sunwoo oppa to us, and I was fortunate enough to be in that team.}

The Pretty Girls members were taken aback, and their mouths were agape.

Although it was slightly teary, she tried to keep her voice calm as she continued,

{Sunwoo oppa persuaded Songha to try acting and read the script with her overnight. After hearing Taehee unni's unfinished song, he worked all night and pushed for it to be the t.i.tle track. I tried all sorts of things, but nothing never happened to me.}

Im Seoyoung coughed awkwardly.

Then she curled up and placed her chin on her knees.

{I'm not confident all day like LJ, and I quietly read the mood.}

{S-sunbae, you're really great at dancing, singing, and do well on entertainment shows! When Neptune was unknown, you went to various entertainment shows…!}

{That was in the past. But right now, I'm sort of stuck in the middle.}

Im Seoyoung rubbed her neck.

{Other members get personal schedules on their own, but Sunwoo oppa has to look around to schedule mine. If you are the dregs of Pretty Girls, then I'm the dregs of my team right now.}

{N-no, you're not! I think you are amazing!}

Tears now gone from their eyes, the Pretty Girls members waved their hands in denial.

Seeing them not know what to do, Im Seoyoung smiled slightly.

{It's good if you thought that way. It's was worth working hard like a swan.{2}}

{Sunbae…}

{Anyways, if you think about being called dregs, then think about me. Although I'm like this inwardly, after working so hard, I got hoobaes like you who consider me as their role model. So don't miss this chance and continue working hard.}

Im Seoyoung smiled brightly again.

Her voice was bright but also slightly sad.

{Once some time pa.s.ses, things will get better for you.}

The gazes glued to the screen turned around.

It wasn't just me. We were all looking at Im Seoyoung.

Amidst our gazes, Im Seoyoung lifted her pale face.

{1} Common staple in Korea, commonly eaten at night and/or with alcohol.

{2} Referring to how we only see the grace and poise of a swan swimming in a lake and not all the hard work their webbed feet put into swimming.

/ /

Chapter 168: Making Film, The Sky was Raining with Bait (5)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir

Like an exposed person, Im Seoyoung shrunk away from our gazes. She ran away, unable to meet the other members' gazes. Her eyes, desperately looking for a place to hide, landed on me.

She painfully bit her lip.

The words that left her mouth clearly rang in my ears.

'Our company sent Sunwoo oppa to us, and I was fortunate enough to be in that team.' 'I tried all sorts of things, but nothing never happened to me.' 'Then I'm the dregs of my team right now.'

I knew. I was aware of it. There was no way I wasn't.

Since I could tell she was trying hard.

The foresight that let me glance at Lee Songha and Lee Taehee's success. The same one that told me of Pretty Girls' success, who I was only slightly acquainted to, was heartlessly quiet when it came to Im Seoyoung and LJ. As though it didn't notice them.

And it wasn't like I was hung up on them like Nam Joyoon either.

However, even if there wasn't anything like that, I wanted to make them successful.

LJ's situation was a bit better. She was famous for her talent since she was an underground rapper and was one of the top female rappers in the country. There were even plans of giving her a solo track on the alb.u.m and making a separate single alb.u.m if that went well.

On the other hand, things were difficult for Im Seoyoung.

Although she was good at singing and dancing, this industry was overflowing with people like her. That was why I put her on any entertainment programs I could get. The person I know as Im Seoyoung was lovely. She was someone who people would like.

But the camera didn't really pick up those aspects of her.

'I need to do better.' 'I need to try harder.'

Because of those thoughts.

She tried her all in changing, but it was naught.

That was why I set up this playing field.

A playing field that could be the turning point for Neptune and Im Seoyoung.

"Th-that was because I was caught up in their crying."

Im Seoyoung said in a bright voice.

As if she was trying to change the mood.

"There are times when you find little things big and when negative emotions explode! Thinking back, I think I might have been on a period that day!"

The living room became even quieter. The moment Im Seoyoung, who couldn't even breathe properly and didn't know what to do, stood up, a pale hand held her ankle. It was LJ. LJ said to Im Seoyoung, who was flailing to escape,

"Sorry."

It wasn't just anyone. LJ apologized.

Im Seoyoung instantly froze.

"Calling you dummy and idiot all this time, I went too far."

"Hey, why are you acting like this? I know it was a joke! What I'm-!"

"If I knew words came true, then I would have been more careful."

Im Seoyoung, who was shaking her head and hands side-to-side, stopped. It seemed she understood the odd meaning behind LJ's words as her eyes widened. LJ pulled and sat her back down and said,

"Dregs? If you're dregs, then am I crumbs?"

"What?"

Surprised, Im Seoyoung jolted in her seat.

"Why are you crumbs! You-!"

"They are the ones who get schedules on their own. Do I have anything going for me?"

LJ gestured to the two on the sofa with her eyes before continuing,

"All I did was get featured on a couple tracks. I'm on entertainment and radio shows because I'm a set with you. If you are the dregs of Neptune, then I'm its crumbs. No, not just normal crumbs, I must be dust."

She placed her elbow on her raised knee. Her chin rested on her hand.

The corner of LJ's slanted lips was covered by her fingers.

"I look confident all the time? That's because I don't want to look embarra.s.sed or shallow. I'm better than you when you try to keep your expression under control. I'm a master at acting like nothing's wrong and like I'm fine. I'm a mixed-race."

LJ shrugged.

"Well, I'm just saying."

Her hand covered half her face.

This time, Lee Taehee spoke to Im Seoyoung, who stiff like a tree struck by lightning.

"Seoyoung, I always think that I am an incompetent leader."

"Unni!"

Im Seoyoung's complexion was turning closer to black.

Lee Taehee calmly looked at Im Seoyoung. Like always, her eyes were like a placid lake with no wind. However, they were dark inside. They were so dark if there was something lurking underneath.

"It's because we have you that our team is can continue without problems. You do what other team leaders should be doing."

"S-stop it, unni! I'm really fine. You don't have to comfort me!"

"I'm not saying this to just comfort you."

Lee Taehee smiled faintly.

"Without you, we wouldn't have been able to last without any troubles when we were unknown. Without you, we wouldn't as close as a family right now. I have no confidence in making a team like this. So why are you the dregs?"

Tears pooled in Im Seoyoung's teary eyes.

Still holding onto her ankle like it was some sort of lifeline, LJ joined in,

"Hey, do you know what our residence is like when you're gone?"

"Huh?"

"It's an area of solitude."

Im Seoyoung stopped crying and tilted her head.

"area of solitude?"

"I bet we don't say a word to each other when you're not here. Taehee unni is cooped up in her room, drinking beer and making songs, like some senior citizen. Songha reads the same scripts repeatedly like some social outcast. If they are moving around, it's only to the washroom or fridge."

She said, gesturing to Lee Taehee and Lee Songha. This time, she pointed at herself.

"I'm the same."

When Im Seoyoung's expression became serious, LJ let out a short sigh.

"It's not that our relations.h.i.+p is bad. It's just how we are. That's why the cameras in our home are usually off when you're not here. The producer said that there wasn't a rat's p.o.o.p worth of airtime to get from us."

She said before adding,

"Well, I'm just saying."

LJ flatly turned her gaze.

Lee Taehee's gaze momentarily fell on me. She spoke,

"I went to Sunwoo oppa before playing my songs to you. I probably wouldn't have told you that they were done if he didn't have a good reaction."

"What?"

"Why? The songs were great!"

LJ and Im Seoyoung asked simultaneously.

Im Seoyoung stretched her neck out, her previous crouching appearance gone without a trace. She continued by saying how she felt like lightning struck when she heard Lee Taehee's songs and how she felt they should be their t.i.tle tracks.

Lee Taehee rubbed the back of her neck.

"I'm not confident in my songs. I was scared I would fail."

Then she added while looking at Im Seoyoung,

"Stuff like that happened."

A strange silence hung in the air. Having expressed their inner thoughts, the members exchanged glances. Although it was as silent as before, it wasn't a splitting silence. This time, it was a bit moist.

Like the ground after rain.

Im Seoyoung took a deep breath and was about to say something.

"I thought I was the useless person in our team."

Lee Songha said as if she had been waiting for an opportunity to say something.

Instantly, the living room was in an uproar.

"What?"

"Which b.a.s.t.a.r.d said that!"

"Who said something like that?"

Everyone, including Im Seoyoung, shouted as they turned to look at her.

Lee Songha glanced at me. Seeing that, the girls began agitated.

"Op-oppa did?"

"I did."

Lee Songha was calm.

"I told oppa that. Before Cat Guardian Ghost."

"You dummy!"

Im Seoyoung shouted.

"Don't think that ever again!"

"Then you shouldn't think that ever again too."

Im Seoyoung, who was about to scold her, flinched.

She bit her lip before nodding.

"Okay, I get it. I get it so don't think those thoughts again. Why would you be useless? Look how much we've…!"

"To be honest."

Lee Songha cut her off and said,

"I still think that occasionally. Being able to help the team through my acting used to be a motivating factor for me. However, the mood of our team has become a bit unsettled because of me. There are a lot of bad rumors as well."

Her voice was calm, but her gaze, looking at the crumbs on the rug, was slightly wet.

"I want to return things to how they were before, but I don't know how. I want to keep living here. But I worry if I really should in case the mood worsens because of me."

"Of course, you can! It's our home! It's fine if you mark your territory in the kitchen as well!"

Im Seoyoung said in an almost screaming voice.

Lee Songha stuck the nail in.

"If you're dregs and LJ unni is crumbs, then I'm a nuisance…"

"Don't say it! Don't say it! Stop that!"

Im Seoyoung waved her hands as her face reddened.

Beside her, LJ mumbled to herself,

"A rash."

"Hey! Stop it!"

"It's my instinct."

LJ shrugged. Soon, Im Seoyoung and LJ began fighting. Having said what she wanted, Lee Songha rested her head against Lee Taehee's thigh, and Lee Taehee brushed Lee Songha's long hair as she watched the two fight like cats and dogs.

It was a normal sight.

The corners of my mouths curled up without me knowing. With a smile, I was watching the scene in front of me and the laptop screen when Im Seoyoung rushed at me.

"Oppa! You should have at least told me about that scene ahead of time! I almost fainted!"

Her small palms smacked my arm. Her slaps noisily filled the room.

"Sorry for not telling you before. I'm really sorry."

I said while scratching my cheek.

"I wanted to show the viewers this side of you. One where you aren't aware of the cameras and act normally. I thought that it would be a big hit if we could properly show that to the viewers.."

"B-bit hit…"

Her slaps became weaker.

I placed the laptop in front of her eyes.

"Look."

Im Seoyoung scanned the screen with an odd look. I had searched her name on the portal site. There were countless articles with Neptune and her name in the headline and continuously updating social media reactions.

There was also 'Im Seoyoung' on the real-time search rankings.

Im Seoyoung wavered as she grabbed the laptop. The tip of her finger touched the screen.

"Im Seoyoung's not going to be able to sleep tonight."

LJ smiled as she placed her chin on Im Seoyoung's head.

"Huh?"

"You always sleep after checking internet reactions when you're on TV. If you want to read everything, you won't be able to sleep tonight."

"I'll just read it all night then."

Im Seoyoung hugged the laptop. Her eyes were glazed like she was entranced.

Then she turned to look at me.

"But this was filmed a long time ago. What does it have to do with not telling me today?"

"The filming hasn't ended yet."

"Pardon?"

I gestured with my cheek at the daze Im Seoyoung. When I gestured to various placed in the living room, her gaze followed behind. Then after a long time, Im Seoyoung's eyes bulged as though she discovered something. Her trembling hand pointed at the shelf.

"What is that?"

"A camera. We installed them when you weren't here."

"Then…!"

Im Seoyoung hastily looked at me. Then she looked at the other members who didn't seem surprised.

"I told you. I wanted to show the viewers this side of you."

I said,

"We filmed all of it."

Im Seoyoung dropped the laptop.

Late at night, I sent the recordings to two places.

One was IBC Producer Yoo Sooyoung's editing room.

The other was W&U's PR Team.

Team Leader Park watched the recordings and made an odd smile. It was similar to mine. This was because the recordings clearly recorded a side of Neptune we had long since wanted to reveal to the public.

Lots would change depending on how we used these recordings.

The night was long and busy and heated with excitement.

The project team, including me, and the PR Team were all working hard on it. We also received help from Making Film's staff. After staying up all night, we create a ten-minute clip.

We removed all the inadequate parts and only got straight to the point.

The drizzle, which began early in the morning, was started to stop.

As the internet reactions of yesterday's hidden camera broadcast were beginning to cool and as Im Seoyoung's name began to slip from the real-time search rankings, we uploaded the clip to the portal site.

/ /

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Top Management Chapter 167-168 summary

You're reading Top Management. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Long Umbrella,장우산. Already has 455 views.

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