༺ The Violet Girl ༻
The Auras I had seen so far were red, blue, and yellow.
Over the past decade, I have confirmed that they symbolize acting, singing, and entertainment respectively, with no exceptions to this rule. Moreover, even though the saturation and brightness varied from person to person, red was definitely red, and blue was definitely blue. I could never mistake them for one another. So it’s not like identification was impossible, there were no ambiguous colors either.
But what about violet?
The light emanating from the girl was undoubtedly a blueberry-shaded aura, something I had never seen in my life.
Stirred by curiosity, I extinguished the cigarette I had taken a puff from and approached the girl.
A set of pink short-sleeve tracksuits, black hair braided back like an Indian girl, a hairband tied forward, white sneakers, and sports socks.
She inhaled and exhaled, puffing her cheeks as if playing with the wind, and blew out a long sigh through her nose.
She nibbled on her thumb’s nail with an anxious expression and was hanging around the front of the workshop.
She looked like a participant who was late for the audition.
Judging from the travel suitcase she was pulling, she seemed to have just arrived from the provinces.
“Did you come for the audition?”
As I spoke from behind, she suddenly removed the finger she was biting and looked at me.
The girl who uttered an unintelligible snort looked straight at my face with her big eyes covered in circular blue lenses.
If it’s a staring contest, I’m confident.
I also looked at her.
She didn’t seem like a middle school student, probably a high school student.
Her skin was incredibly pale.
When I pointed to the office entrance and asked again, she finally nodded her head vigorously, her face flushed.
“Yes, yes. They texted me to come by half past two, but I’m not familiar with the roads in Seoul…”
“Uh, what to do? It’s all over.”
“Yes, right, right…”
It was a shame, but being punctual is one of the basics.
But that violet aura kept piquing my curiosity.
She was also quite attractive, it would be a waste to just send her away like this.
“What was your number?”
“Uh, wait a moment…”
The cell phone she took out of her pocket was a pretty old-fashioned feature phone, the likes of which I hadn’t seen in quite a while.
It seemed like the model my mother used about ten years ago. I might still find it somewhere in a drawer.
After pushing the buttons to check the message box, the latecomer showed me the text she had received humming a tune.
It was an information guide sent as an attachment for smartphones, but it could not be enlarged on the feature phone. What the hell does it say? The letters are too small to see.
If it were at least a filial piety phone, the screen would have been bigger.
“Um… The letters are too small to see…”
“The number was 374.”
Girl, it would have been nice if you’d said that earlier.
But wait a moment.
Wasn’t participant number 300 supposed to be the last of today?
I thought participants 301 to 600 were scheduled for tomorrow.
“It seems like you’ve misunderstood not just the time but the date itself. Participants after 300 are scheduled for tomorrow..”
“Really? Uh… wait a moment.”
She rustles and pulls out a piece of paper from the sports fanny pack she had in front.
It was the printed guide… No, then why didn’t she just look at that from the start?
She was making things unnecessarily complicated.
“Ah, you’re right. I’m scheduled for tomorrow!”
“That’s a relief.”
“Uh… then, I have to come again tomorrow?”
“I guess so?”
Concerned about her suitcase, I asked.
“Where did you come from?”
“From Gangjeong Village in Seogwipo City, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.”
She could have just said Jeju… why the full address?
“Do you have to go back today?”
“No, not necessarily, but due to certain circumstances, I really want to audition today.
Having had a brief conversation with her, she was the kind of girl who simultaneously evoked a sense of melancholy and sympathy.
It would violate the rules, but should I ask Hyundong?
More than anything else, I was curious about the identity of the violet aura, so I called Hyundong and explained the situation, emphasizing especially that she came from Jeju across the sea.
And he coolly told me to bring her in.
“Let’s go down.”
As I gestured towards the basement entrance, she let go of her suitcase handle and bowed deeply at a 90-degree angle.
“Thank you. Thank you, really!”
The orange suitcase she had released rolled down the inclined sidewalk.
“Ah, the suitcase, the suitcase.”
“Oh no, my bag!”
What’s with this ‘oh no, my bag!’’?
Why was she staring at me dumbfounded instead of going after it?
And why was I the one rushing out to grab it?
As if under some mind control, I was the one who ended up catching it.
She clapped enthusiastically with a truly amazed look on her face.
“You’re so fast. I couldn’t have caught it. Thank you.”
Is ‘Thank you’ her catchphrase or something?
I handed her the handle and went down the stairs first.
The thumping of the suitcase hitting the steps echoed behind me. Turning around, I saw her still dragging the suitcase, wheels and all, down the stairs.
And that too, with the handle still not shortened.
Is this her concept or what?
“No, no, you have to shorten the handle and carry it down.”
“This… The handle is broken and won’t go in.”
“Let me try.”
I personally went up, pressed the handle button, and pushed it in.
It slid in incredibly smoothly, really smoothly.
“Oh… it’s fixed…?”
“You know how to press the button and push it in, right?”
“Yes, I know, but it didn’t work when I did it…”
She toyed with the handle, pushing it in and pulling it out repeatedly, marveling at it like a primitive man encountering the wonders of civilization for the first time.
Due to the height difference between the stairs and my stature, our faces were almost in line, and she met my gaze with a bashful smile.
Her expression was as pure as a five-year-old daughter showing off something to her father, saying ‘Dad, look at this!’
Oh dear, I really can’t seem to dislike her.
I ended up carrying the suitcase down the stairs myself.
I’ll just take it as if I’m working out.
“If you can’t sing after all this, you’re on your own.”
“Yes, I can sing well.”
“What are you auditioning for?”
That sounded suspicious, but as long as she wasn’t the world’s most tone-deaf person, she would pass on looks alone, so I wasn’t worried.
I brought her into the training room where people were previously gathered.
Seeing the judges who were having a meeting around the table, she quickly bowed in greeting and babbled out her introduction.
“Hello, my name is Yoo Eun-bit. I come from Gangjeong Village, Seogwipo City, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, and… um… I am nineteen years old this year, but because my birth report was wrong, my real age is twenty, yes, twenty. And I live with my grandmother and younger brother… um… the three of us. If you give me a chance, I am confident that I can do well. I will work hard. Yes.”
They all seemed to be at a loss for words at the unexpected appearance of a surprise character.
Hyundong’s cheeks and nose were twitching as if he were about to burst into laughter any moment. Though he seemed to regret it and covered his mouth with his hand.
She must have thought her introduction was inadequate.
Yoo Eun-bit squeezed out her introduction, rolling her eyes upwards at a 45-degree angle without properly looking at the judges’ seats.
“My hobby is singing, and my special skill is writing lyrics. Um… I can do a bit of rap too, but I’ve never learned to dance before. I danced for the first time while preparing for this audition, and if you teach me, I’ll learn hard until my joints wear out.”
“Hehehe, what’s your audition number?”
Perhaps she looked pitiful in her nervous state. The choreographer, Teach Luju, asked her gently while fiddling with a pile of participant profiles.
“Um… what number was it…?”
Ah, this damned kid. Good thing I still remember it.
I moved towards the judges’ table and answered on her behalf.
“It’s number 374.”
“Yes, it’s 374.”
“Do you want to start with singing? What song did you prepare?”
CEO Yeom snickered and asked her, and she said she had prepared a dance, so she would show the dance first.
Then, she cleared her throat.
Why was she clearing her throat if she was about to dance…
“You can start from where the tape is marked on the floor.”
CEO Yeom himself operated the full-body filming camera and set up the position.
Hyundong turned on the close-up camera for the face. Yoo Eun-bit’s face was zoomed in and caught frontally on the monitor screen.
Seeing this, Teach Luju nodded satisfactorily and murmured to Hoonmin-Hyungnim.
“Yep, they’re good.”
They were good.
It was hard to express it in better words than ‘Good’.
Apart from being cute, she had an odd charm.
Yoo Eun-bit too checked her face on the monitor and her eyes grew round.
“Wow, it’s my face…”
“Why? Do you find it unusual?”
As Hyundong asked with a snicker, she nodded vigorously.
“Is this your first audition?”
“Yes, it’s my first time. I also came to Seoul for the first time in my life. So, I got a little bit lost.”
Teach Luju checked the backing track for the dance written on Yoo Eun-bit’s application, then went on a streaming site via her tablet and added it to the playlist.
The song was ‘Getting Prettier Over and Over’ by VNF.
I really, really, hope she nails it.
“Are you ready?”
She fluttered her hands and took deep breaths. She tilted her head from side to side and rolled her ankles.
Having seen over 200 candidates, I felt like I had somehow developed an eye for this. There was something serious about the way she was loosening up.
It seemed like something extraordinary was about to start.
―Doom-chit-doom-chit-doom-chit-doom (hey!) Doom-chit-doom-chit-doom… ― (hey!)
At the start of the accompaniment, Yoo Eun-bit’s expression changed dramatically.
She narrowed her eyes playfully and took a pose.
Soon, she began to lip-sync to the flowing lyrics and started to hop around.
Her enthusiasm was exploding!
―In your gaze, I’m ice, frozen cold. Strawberry syrup blush, my secrets unfold.
She has no rhythm!
She was so out of rhythm it was almost unbelievable!
Her hands and feet were all over the place, and she couldn’t keep the beat, but the energy and expression, no matter what anyone said, were the stars of this stage!
It was an irresistibly sassy confidence.
“Like an infant, I turn and spin, my speech stumbles, can’t begin….”
A strange murmur, neither lip-syncing nor properly singing, more like an incantation, leaked out.
At this point, CEO Yeom and Hyundong finally burst into laughter.
From what I remember, this was the first time CEO Yeom had laughed during the audition.
Teach Luju, who was in charge of the dance, also seemed to be on the verge of laughter, covering her mouth with her hand and averting her gaze.
The only one properly observing the dance without a foundation was Choi Hoonmin-Hyungmin. He nodded his head with the most serious expression, even keeping up with the rhythm. It seemed as if he had fallen into a different world on his own. . . .
“Uh, uh, that’s enough.”
Finally, Teach Luju turned off the music, stopping the soulful dance.
However, Yoo Eun-bit, lost in a trance, couldn’t snap back to reality and continued her dance without music with all her might.
Ah, I’m reaching my limits.
The latecomer who realized the music was turned off hastily straightened her hair and bowed in greeting.
“Thank you. Whew…”
Was she satisfied by her own display?
Her satisfied expression was priceless.
Even while panting, she confidently gauged the expressions of the judges.
Teach Luju comforted her with a sympathetic but cute frown. It was not at all mockery.
“Oh, you really danced for the first time.”
“Yes, I practiced alone at home.”
“Yeah, anyone could tell it was a dance you practiced alone at home.”
At Hyundong’s mumbling, everyone couldn’t help but snicker.
Everyone seemed to not consider Yoo Eun-bit as a contestant. It felt like a casual atmosphere, as if they were simply enjoying a young child’s talent show.
As if to say she should try everything she prepared since she had come this far, CEO Yeom asked in a more relaxed tone.
“What song have you prepared?”
“I’ve prepared ‘Because I’m a Woman’.”
“Hmm, good song choice.”
“Can I have a sip of water before I start?”
“Sure, take a moment to catch your breath.”
The participant dashed over to the judges’ table and unceremoniously grabbed the water bottle I had been drinking from, gulping it down.
“Thank you for the water.”
Her cheerfulness was refreshing.
After returning to her spot, she cleared her throat again, readying herself.
She better be good at singing.
I broke the rules to recommend her, she better save face for me.
In the first round, it was standard to sing without accompaniment.
With everyone holding their breath in anticipation, Yoo Eun-bi, now composed, began to sing.
“If I give it all with ease, they say men quickly tire, A notion not untrue, that sets their hearts on fire.”
Everyone’s gaze shifted to the close-up monitor.
Note from Painter:
Hello everyone, after taking everyone’s input into account (from here and our discord) we decided to use Hyung, Oppa, Unnie and others, from now on. A list terms will be prepared and pasted here under every chapter. I’ll just need to retroactively edit the previous chapters first then make the terms list.
Anyway, hope y’all enjoyed the chapter, more will be posted soon.
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