Minho, who had been completely caught up in the fun of cooking, hummed as he got in the van for the commute to KG Entertainment.
‘Cooking definitely is all about having the right touch.’
It was amazing how the ingredients were similar but the taste was completely different. This was truly alchemy, how the same things went into it but the results were an infinite variety!
“Have you been well?”
Manager Gong who was holding the steering wheel greeted him with a glad expression on his face as Minho got in the van. He looked content.
‘He couldn’t have brought a big workload, right?’
Minho thought of what happened previously and quickly erased it from his mind. He had to be careful what he said today because words can come true.
“Yes. Have you been well too, Manager Gong?”
“Of course. Couldn’t be better.”
Manager Gong drove off as Minho took his seat in the back.
“Producer Na sent a word of thanks. He thanked me for introducing him to a really amazing guest. I was only acquaintances with him so it’s the first time for me to receive a message like that.”
“That’s good to hear. To be honest, I thought lightly of it at first but then I was nervous to see everyone working so hard.”
The girls struggling to gain broadcast air time no matter what were truly professionals. Thanks to them, Minho was able to get rid of the thought that idol groups were just young and immature. They were more like cunning vixens rather than kind younger sisters.
“There were unexpected parts but they surrendered with both hands and feet in the air in the quiz part. And during the cooking, there was someone else that prepared food but you blocked them. At this rate I’m afraid the AT entertainment is going to release a warning against you. Haha.”
“Huh? Isn’t that next week’s broadcast?”
Manager Gong laughed at Minho’s unexpected question.
“Producer Na secretly told me the editing points for next week. We have to avoid any misunderstanding by the viewers so they put in the scene where the writers are preparing the questions. Since you didn’t script it with them.”
Manager Gong added that they smoothly included the scenes of Girl Seven, Dojin, and the floor directors dumbfounded and gossiping. After complimenting Minho for a while, Manager Gong cleared his throat and spoke.
“The president is very happy about the reaction to Youth Journal.”
“That’s a relief. But you sure she didn’t pay people to write comments?”
“Of course. The president might have increased the number of articles but she’s not the type to work on such trivial matters.”
Minho became anxious when he heard that president Sohee Im was happy. The President Im that Minho had seen through her pen wasn’t someone to carelessly waste money or time.
Just as he expected.
Manager Gong brought up the main point at last.
“She wants you to do a permanent program to increase your recognition. And I think the reaction from Youth Journal is a sufficient stepping stone for you to appear in a popular show as a permanent cast member.”
It was work. They were definitely people of business.
Minho stressed the conditions he had mentioned before once again for his safety.
“I see you guys have something in mind already. But music is definitely off limits.”
What is good is good. And the body being comfortable is good.
“Don’t worry about that.”
Despite his answer, Manager Gong’s face showed his disappointment. It seemed like he was going to try to convince Minho if it seemed plausible after probing for a bit. But he didn’t push any further after seeing Minho’s reaction.
“We’re considering shows that’ll save your professional gamer image. The conditions are complicated, but it’s a joy and challenge for me to manage such a celebrity.”
Manager Gong handed Minho an envelope with the next week’s schedule.
The schedule was different from this week and Minho saw that it was quite full. There were three big items– a catalogue photoshoot, an interview about the Youth Journal, and a guest appearance on a game broadcast program. It seemed like this week’s schedule was pushed back to the next due to Minho practicing the whole week in preparation for the quarter final tournament.
“The first thing you have to keep in mind is the T company’s autumn season photoshoot. The president strongly recommended you because the consumer age for their casual clothing line matches well with your smart image. So it was approved right away.”
‘I can’t believe I’m going to be appearing in something I saw on TV.’
It was a strange feeling.
“It’s July right now but we’re going to do an autumn photoshoot already?”
“The fashion industry is normally this much ahead with their preparations. They have to decide on the designs in the previous quarter so that the items can be released on time.”
It seemed like he was doing all sorts of things now.
‘Should I take care of my skin by putting on a face mask before I sleep?’
Minho was thinking about being a handsome guy with good skin but threw that plan out the window. It was because he had the leisure of the gourd bottle. He would be revitalized with one drop of the mind-clearing liquor so skin troubles such as dark circles and pimples would clear up without leaving a trace.
Minho looked over the photoshoot documents in the envelope as he nodded his head.
Then he discovered someone very familiar. The female model in the summery photo was someone Minho knew well, and she was beaming a smile.
Manager Gong, who was observing Minho in the mirror, roughly gauged the situation and laughed.
“It’s been a while since Ms. Eunha’s been this brand model.”
It was a casual clothing line that was simple yet graceful. Eunha Seo in the picture was a gentle pretty college student exactly fitting the description. It suited her more since she was truly smart rather than just having a smart image.
Minho was slightly excited.
“Do I take photos with her this time as well?”
“Of course. If your photoshoot gets a good response, you guys will be able to do it together in the winter and next spring as well.”
It was a chance to see the dolled-up Eunha all day right next to her.
Minho also looked over the next item on the schedule which was ‘Night of TV Entertainment.”
“What’s the format of the interview?”
“It’s a studio filmed interview. The broadcast is only five minutes but Girl Seven will be there as well so you have to throw in your remarks like a sword. It’s usually only one individual question that airs even though they ask thirty. It’ll be greatly effective if you react to the other members’ interview content and show your individual character naturally.”
On the bottom of the schedule table there was a note written by Manager Gong saying ‘Become well-informed with each member of Girl Seven’s recent broadcast appearances’.
That was nothing compared to the nightmarish pile of scripts. Whatever Manager Gong brought him couldn’t be as much as that time.
And on top of that,
‘The photoshoot and interview is one thing, but the N Game Net broadcast is in my expertise.’
He was comfortable and familiar with it since it was the place where he had appeared in many of their broadcasts such as league opening filming to game introduction shows ever since he became a professional gamer.
Minho was checking his appearance programs and then froze.
Clear it While It’s On.
Of all shows it was this program. This was a notorious program known to endlessly film until you beat the final boss or achieve a specific goal of a random game they throw at you.
“How did you schedule this kind of gaming program?”
“Clear it While It’s On? I did some research and it was quite popular among the younger age group. I asked the cast and it’s a viewer special this time so they’re going to do it big in Hongdae.”
It didn’t matter if it was Hongdae or anywhere else, it was just playing a video game. The location was irrelevant.
“You can finish it in one or two hours right? But still, think about the broadcast and stretch out the time. I never thought the day would come when I would ask you to be bad at something.”
“Gosh. I wish it was like that.”
“Heh heh. You’re too modest.”
Minho laughed wryly at Manager Gong’s optimism.
The producer chooses a fitting game on the days they invite a professional gamer. Two years ago, when Yohan Jung appeared he had tried to clear the insanely crazy classic game Wing’s Scroll on just one coin.
The result could only be described in one way.
‘It was a freaking hard time. Psh.’
This wasn’t a program that Minholanded on coincidently, but it was chosen to fit his original occupation as professional gamer. It would be a headache but he felt somehow at ease.
That was about it for the schedule. They arrived in front the KG company building as they exchanged words about different things.
“Today’s going to be a bit busy since we have to have a photoshoot preparation meeting with the stylist.”
Manager Gong disappeared to park the van.
After getting out of the van Minho looked at the extravagant exterior of the building. He’d been coming and going from this place for a month now, since getting his new contract. It felt like it was becoming part of his daily life to commute to this place.
But it was mostly for the intense broadcast preparation work that Manager Gong gave him.
‘I have some time to spare.’
Minho looked at his wristwatch. There were 30 minutes left until the meeting so he went to the lounge first..
He received the ice coffee he ordered and as he turned toward the terrace he saw a lady who caught his eye.
She was sitting at a table on one side. She was looking at a thick textbook in the posture of an exemplary student who always sits in the front of the class.
Minho turned around towards the next table thinking it would be rude to purposely break her concentration by calling to her.
She had round glasses on with her hair tied up, and her skin glowed, maybe because of the sunlight shining in from outside. She didn’t adorn herself but her eye-catching beauty was still the same today.
Minho took out and browsed the documents Manager Gong had given him since it was a bit awkward to just sit there. But of course he was just holding them up and his gaze was fixed on Eunha. She was motionless as she studied and as Minho watched her he strongly felt that he was sitting with a picture of a celebrity that he liked next to him.
It wasn’t boring at all to watch her turning the pages as she read. She was truly a treasure for mankind.
The cellphone Eunha left on the table sent a signal as the alarm rang.
As she hastily stood up she dropped her pen.
“Seems like you finished studying?”
She bent down to pick up the pen but there was a hand that had already picked it up for her.
It was Minho. Their eyes met.
“Minho? How long have you been sitting here?”
“It’s been a while.”
Eunha understood from Minho’s gleaming smile that he was being considerate of her by not talking to her. In truth he was inebriated by her beauty, but this was how it turned out. She was wondering why Minho was here but then clapped her hands together as if she knew.
“The photoshoot meeting right? I heard the male model could change to you.”
“The chance was given to me somehow.”
“Oh wow! That’s good. Usually the preparation time is boring but I think tomorrow will be time well spent.”
Seeing her glad reaction as she clapped her hands, Minho had to wonder what she meant by ‘time well spent.’
“I’ll help you clean up.”
As Minho helped clear her table his gaze turned to her textbook. He wasn’t just scared of it like last time since he had put in some effort with The Theory of Political Development.
But what in the world. This book was something called ‘The Quantitative Political Analysis.’
‘Why are there so many horrifying books?’
The profound and mysterious title along with the packed notes made Minho’s head hurt.
Did he need to study that as well to converse with Eunha?
“There’s still one final left so I’m in a daze.”
“My mind is distant as well.”
“Oh, it’s my first time on a photoshoot so there’s a lot to concentrate on.”
Minho slightly changed his words around and Eunha smiled as if she understood him.
“You don’t need to pose perfectly like a professional model. Just be your normal natural self. Then their designer will like that as well.”
“I don’t know about good poses but I know there are a few that are off limits. A lot of people do this during a gaming league opening.”
Minho put Eunha’s bag on one shoulder and got into a posture as if he were pointing to a far mountain with his other hand. He also didn’t leave out the dazzling smile as if he were going to run right towards his dreams.
Eunha exploded in laughter at his pose that looked like it was from a 90s teen drama.
“Yes, don’t do that pose and you’ll be fine.”
The two headed toward the meeting room as they exchanged words on other things.
“Oh yeah, about the meal I was going to treat you to, shall we go after the photoshoot? I know a really good restaurant.”
“What’s the menu?”
Eunha seemed like she was about to tell him but then put her index finger to her lips and smiled.
“It’s a se~cret. You don’t have any foods you can’t eat right?”
“I’m not particularly picky.”
“Hoho. Then you can enjoy the anticipation.”
“…it’s not something weird is it?”
She entered the meeting room without telling him.
She felt like she was being mischievous preparing something to surprise him.
He might be anxious for nothing. But it felt like she was going to buy him something weird.