“What ’s that?”

Employees commuting early in the morning to open up their respective places of commerce tilted their heads while staring at what looked like a stage being constructed practically in the middle of the street.

“Huh? Was there some kind of event scheduled for today?”

“Nah, I heard nothing about that.
Maybe it ’s for busking?”

“Hang on, isn ’t that thing in front of the new pizzeria?”

“Oh? You mean that almost-bankrupt one?”

“What? It only opened two days ago or something, so how can it be bankrupt already?”

”But it is going bankrupt, two days or not.
That record has to be unprecedented and stuff. ”

“Well, I guess you aren ’t exactly wrong there.”

“Man, it ’s not easy to go bankrupt that fast after opening a store in this location, you know?”

“I think the owner has a ton of money to burn.
After opening the store, the owner didn ’t even bother to hire an emcee, didn ’t distribute any pamphlets, and didn ’t even think about handing out coupons or something.
No one can survive in this world while running their store like that.”

But, uh…
Just what are they doing over there, anyway?”

“…Maybe they hired someone?”

The crowd stared at the stage with some puzzlement and interest.
It was normal to think of this unusual occurrence as a newly-opened store organizing an event.
However, the scale of the stage was a bit too grand to think that way.
It was as if a regional broadcaster had set up a stage for a live event or something.

“Is it okay to set up a stage like that in the middle of the street?”

“Call the business owners ’ association and find out.
Maybe it ’s an unlicensed event? Like, they didn ’t even get a permit for it?”

Jo Gyu-Min ignored the peanut gallery muttering away behind him and focused solely on setting up the stage.

’…I better do a flawless job, or else! ’

If he did a sloppy job with the stage, maybe Kang Eun-Yeong would try to publicly execute him or something just as bad!

“Director Jo, we ’re finished on this side.”

Jo Gyu-Min raised his head and responded, “Ah, I see.
Thank you for your hard work.
I ’ll leave the other side to you as well.”

At Kang Eun-Yeong ’s ’request ’ for a proper stage, Jo Gyu-Min had to summon people from Code.
Thankfully, the professional stage constructors contracted to Code had readily accepted the commission.

’Of course, it still cost us a pretty penny… ’

Jo Gyu-Min finally understood why the broadcasting industry was considered a money-hungry beast.
This stage would be dismantled after only one performance, yet it still cost so much money even Jo Gyu-Min went agog at the invoice.

Kang Jin-Ho strongly suggested that they should just unfurl some carpets on the floor and perform on top of that, but Kang Eun-Yeong hit right back, saying that doing such an uncouth thing would only damage the store ’s image rather than improve it.
That promptly shut Kang Jin-Ho ’s mouth.

’I hope this can recoup the investment somehow… ’

The construction team tried to give the best discount they could after learning that the stage wasn ’t meant for a TV broadcast or a public event, but the cost was still quite a burden to shoulder.
If this live event failed to turn things around, then well—only red would overflow in their ledger.

’Why am I even… ’

Jo Gyu-Min unknowingly chuckled helplessly.
This store was just a tool to evaluate Kang Jin-Ho ’s ability, but now, it felt like a big project the corporation itself had assigned to Jo Gyu-Min.
Maybe he had grown too attached after worrying himself to death about the store ’s fortunes and letting his personal touch infect many of its facets.

He even thought that he would stop at nothing to make this place a success.

‘Setting all that aside, Miss Eun-Yeong must have come out real strong against her agency, then? ’

Kang Eun-Yeong was seriously busy right now.
Not only was she in the middle of shooting that TV show, but she was also preparing to release a new single.
In other words, she barely had any time for herself at the moment.
Yet, she still made room in her packed schedule and spat some threatening flames in her agency ’s direction to force them to send a stage construction team over here.

When you ’re just trying to make great content at bit.ly/3iBfjkV.

Without her help, not even Jo Gyu-Min could have done this.
He might be a director of Code, but summoning a construction crew in just one day would still be impossible for him.
He was only a nominal director, after all.

“Director, we ’re finished.”

“Ooohhh!” Jo Gyu-Min enthusiastically nodded away while staring at the completed stage.
This stage sure was neat and smart-looking.
He could feel all the hard work the construction team had put in from the finished stage.
“You guys did a splendid job.
Thank you all so much.”

“Not at all.
We ’re getting paid, anyway.
By the way, when are you going to take it down?”

“…I ’ll go and ask.” Jo Gyu-Min turned around and headed to the store.
He pushed open the door and stepped inside—only for his eyes to open wide.
“Miss Eun-Yeong, when should we…
Huh? I guess she ’s genuinely serious about it, then?”

Kang Eun-Yeong was receiving makeup while in her full idol get-up.
Meanwhile, Kang Jin-Ho was standing askew next to her, his expression slightly distorted with dissatisfaction.

He grunted sourly.
“Isn ’t your skirt a bit too short?”

Kang Eun-Yeong glanced at Jo Gyu-Min.
“Chief Jo? Please remove this Confucius scholar from here.
He said he ’s from the Joseon era, and he ’s loitering around here after failing to locate Cheonghakdong.”[1]

“…Cheonghakdong is that way, Mister Scholar,” said Jo Gyu-Min.

Kang Jin-Ho furrowed his brow.
“I understand that certain aspects can ’t be helped when you ’re a professional singer, but you have your age to consider, so that skirt is—”

Kang Eun-Yeong dismissively waved her hand.
“Yes, yes.
Unfortunately for you, I ’m an adult now.
Your nagging when I was still a high schooler doesn ’t work anymore, orabeoni.”


“Besides all that, oppa, I told you to get makeup yourself, so what are you doing?”

“I ’ll be in the kitchen, so why should I get makeup applied on me?”

“Let Yeong-Gi oppa and Yu-Min oppa bake the pizzas.
That solves your dilemma, right? And you should be serving the food, you know? Why are you manning the kitchen, anyway?”

“Because that ’s what I wanted to do…”

“Wow, you ’re so bad at running a business.
If you thought you would make money this way, you must be a daylight robber! A dang thief!”

“M-mm…” Kang Jin-Ho sheepishly scratched his cheeks as if he had no excuses this time as well.

“You ’re way too uptight and old-fashioned, you know…” Kang Eun-Yeong helplessly shook her head.

Instead of jumping through all these difficult hoops, Kang Jin-Ho could have just uploaded a post or two to his fan club about his new store opening.
And that would have taken care of the initial business.
Well, his fan club still had some sway left, but…

It didn’t matter whether Kang Eun-Yeong ’s orabi was too old-fashioned or too stupid, the important part was that he hadn ’t even considered going down that route even once.

“In a short while, the members of my fan club will show up here.
The club president says he ’s almost here, too.”

“…Is there a need to go this far?” Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.


Kang Eun-Yeong slammed her palm on the table.
“Stop underestimating this thing called business, you dummy!”

“Yes, Ma ’am!”

“Everyone is doing their best to survive, so people with some money and the attitude of ’things will work out one way or the other if we just jump into it ’ are like an insult to their honor! Whatever it is, you better see it through till the end, right? You have to pour your whole being into it and give it your best shot, so when it still fails, you can then say that lady luck wasn ’t with you.”

I got it…” Kang Jin-Ho nodded in agreement, a look of satisfaction forming on his face.
Maybe because she started her career fairly early in life, but Kang Eun-Yeong ’s mindset as a professional seemed to have reached a level not even Kang Jin-Ho could dare to approach.

“Even if it ’s just a pizzeria, you still gotta make it succeed! That is your role, orabi!”

“Roger that.” Kang Jin-Ho nodded again.

Kang Eun-Yeong got up from the chair as soon as her makeup was finished.
“Sound team! Are your preparations finished?”

“Yes, Miss Se-Ah.
They finished not too long ago.”

“Okay… What about the dance team?”

“The dancers are on standby.”

Kang Eun-Yeong scanned her team with a determined look on her face.
“Please tell the sound team to adjust the audio volume when I ’m engaging with the fans between the sets.”

“Yes, Miss Se-Ah…”

Kang Jin-Ho couldn ’t help but be impressed by the sight of his little sister working with her support team to take control of the situation.
He had no idea that something as simple as singing on stage could involve so many people working in unison.
He had gained a renewed appreciation of how amazing the work Kang Eun-Yeong had been doing.

“What about the fan club members?” Kang Eun-Yeong continued to ask for updates.

“We have deployed them to the front of the crowd.
Don ’t worry, they will properly cheer you on.”

“Fuu-woo…!” Kang Eun-Yeong sucked in a deep breath.
Kang Jin-Ho didn ’t miss his sister ’s legs faintly trembling.

It had been over two years since her professional debut, and she had stood on countless stages since then.
However, she was still faintly trembling at the prospect of standing on this small stage.
Despite all that, her face was full of spunk and confidence.
No one knew how much she was trembling inside, and she was also too professional to show it on the outside.

’She ’s indeed a pro. ’

How amusing.
Kang Jin-Ho had already seen Kang Eun-Yeong sing on many massive stages and be showered with adulation many times before.
Even then, Kang Jin-Ho always saw her as a little kid.
But now, she seemed all grown up as she got ready to perform on this small stage.

’I guess I should nag her a little less than before. ’

Kang Eun-Yeong was already carving out her destiny in her chosen profession.
Kang Jin-Ho decided to stop treating his little sister like a kid and interfere less in her matters from now on.
Of course, no one knew if it would work out that way or not.

Kang Eun-Yeong suddenly called out to Kang Jin-Ho.


“In a short while, people will flood your pizzeria.
So, you gotta do your job properly, okay? This is as far as I can go for you.”

“Got it,” Kang Jin-Ho replied with a brief nod.

But then, Kang Eun-Yeong smirked back at him.
“So, how does it feel to ride on the coattails of your super-duper successful little sister?”

Kang Jin-Ho frowned slightly.

“With a little sister like me by your side, who needs ten older sisters?!”

“Yes, yes.
Get out of here and do your thing.”


Kang Eun-Yeong smiled brightly and strode outside the pizzeria.
And a cacophony of camera flashes burst into a dazzle as soon as she stepped outside the door.
It looked as if she had stepped into an ocean of light.

“…She ’s all grown up.” Kang Jin-Ho rubbed his nose.

Kang Eun-Yeong had always been like a little kid to him.
During his first life, she also wanted to become a singer, but her dream never became a reality.
Even if the car accident didn ’t take her life, Kang Jin-Ho thought that she would still not make it as a singer.
Since that thought had always been sitting in a corner of his mind, he had been paying more attention to her affairs and was especially worried about her.
After all, what if she fell in with the wrong crowd and strayed, for instance?

After seeing her now, though, he began thinking that all his worries might have been overblown.
Kang Jin-Ho ’s little sister was doing a lot better than he had expected.
So much so that she could shine brightly without him hanging around to help.

’…It ’s not just her.
Everyone else has grown up, too. ’

Kang Eun-Yeong had grown up.
And so did Park Yu-Min, as well as even Ju Yeong-Gi.
It seemed that the people Kang Jin-Ho knew were shining brighter and brighter with every passing day.
The only person still stuck to his spot was Kang Jin-Ho.

When he thought about it, only he had not achieved anything noteworthy.
He was simply relying on what he had achieved during his previous life to make his current life a little more convenient, that was all.

’I ’m not going to fall behind, though. ’

Rather than trying to do something grandiose, he decided to begin his journey by focusing on the matter at hand first.
Kang Jin-Ho firmly clamped his mouth shut and stepped inside the kitchen.


“Hi, everyone!” Kang Eun-Yeong stepped up to the stage and energetically waved her hand.
The crowd roared right back at her.
She scanned all the people tightly packing the stage ’s surroundings and smiled in satisfaction.

’Yup, this is what I ’m talking about. ’

One didn ’t really need to advertise anything nowadays.
Summoning the fan club and posting a couple of messages on popular social media sites about Kang Se-Ah ’s impromptu performance in this area would be more than enough to materialize a sizable crowd in an instant.

And the initial crowd didn ’t even have to be that large.
Those loitering the streets with nothing better to do would fill the surroundings up on their own soon enough, anyway.
As long as a small crowd was attracted at the beginning of the performance, the Human Wave would form all on its own.

“My orabeoni has opened a pizzeria recently, you see! But then, he just~! Can ’t~! Attract~ any customers!”

A round of raucous laughter went around the crowd.

“So, I ’m here to rescue him! When you buy a pizza and bring the check, you can take a selfie with me, so please buy lots and lots of pizza, guys! Okay!”

“Yes, ma ’am!”

A round of loud replies greeted her back.

Kang Eun-Yeong smiled radiantly at the crowd.
“Well, then! Let ’s start with a song, everyone!”

She began to match the rhythm of the music recorded[2]coming from the speakers behind her.
But then…
her expression began to stiffen.
Only now did she finally remember a fundamentally important question.

A truly, undoubtedly important question she had failed to even think about while directing the stage ’s construction and shifting around her busy schedule finally entered her mind!

’By the way…
Does my orabi even know how to bake pizza? ’


Rumble, fwhoooosh!

The flames roared vigorously inside the stone oven as if it were a miniature gas station on fire.
While staring at this specially-manufactured oven, Kang Jin-Ho ’s expression grew determined and heroic.

“J-Jin-Ho! Orders are coming in fast! And lots of them, too! We… we don ’t have any empty tables!” Park Yu-Min cried out in alarm.

However, Kang Jin-Ho responded with a light nod, then confirmed the order sheets.
“Shall I get going, then?”

A grin floated up on his lips.
For some reason, he was getting excited.
Kang Jin-Ho grabbed the dough and tossed it into the air.

Cheonghakdong village is located in Jiri Mountain, south of South Korea.
The villagers here still adhere to Joseon-era customs.

It basically means instrumental accompaniment.
In karaoke, it’s like music without the singer’s voice.
However, it’s more complicated when it comes to idols, they don’t just erase all voices, apparently.

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