This was bad. June surveyed the room and found the other trainees and cameras focused on them. He glanced at the trainees by his side and saw they weren't any better. What the hell? Is that one kid crying?

'Fu, help me,' he said in his mind.

[System is resting. Please try again later.]

He pursed his lips. Why would a system even rest? It's not like Fu's a real person or something!

"I'll be playing the chorus part," Gun said, starting the music. The pre-chorus played, and some of the trainees started moving shyly, recalling some of the movements.

June had already memorized the dance—that was certain. He had quite a good memory, so remembering what the movements looked like was not much of a problem. The problem is he doesn't know how to translate the movements to his body.

He knew the first move of the chorus involved a pop-and-lock movement, but he didn't know how to do that. The chorus approached fast, and the trainees started moving to the beat.

It was a mess. None of their movements matched, and the crying trainee only made them look pathetic. June stood still, playing the movements in his mind. If only he could level up his skill, he'd know how to do them.

He was sure that if he had Joon-ho's passion for dance, he could have at least done a mediocre job. However, being a thug, he never had the opportunity to dance. Aside from Little Meow Meow songs, he had never tried dancing before joining Rising Stars. So, it's as if he's learning how to walk for the first time.

Gun stopped the music halfway through the song, clicking his tongue and looking at them disappointingly. "I expected more from the three-star trainees. And you, mask boy," he pointed at June.

June turned to him.

"I would have put you in zero stars if I knew you would be like this. You're lucky the other mentors liked your voice," he scolded.

June bowed his head, not bothering to say anything. He had to look remorseful somehow if he didn't want to become evil-edited.

"Those at the first row, stand up," Gun instructed.

This time, it was Jaeyong's and Jisung's turn to be evaluated. Along with them are trainees who have decent dancing skills, too. The music started, and they executed the dance pretty well for people who had only seen the movements twice.

Jaeyong and Jisung stood out among them. Their movements were precise, powerful, with the right amount of fluidity. It showed their natural talent and prowess in dance.

June couldn't help but let out a sigh.

He already wants this day to end.


After lunch, the trainees were back to their rooms for the second part of the training. This time, it would be for their vocals.

Mentor Jihyun entered the room, causing most of the trainees to sigh in relief. If Mentor Gun was a terror, Jihyun was the complete opposite. She had a very welcoming aura to her. She's strict but tolerates mistakes as long as you're willing to improve them.

"Good afternoon, mentor," the trainees said in unison.

"Ah, three stars," she said. "I'm so glad to be here. I was in the zero-stars room earlier and wanted to scream out loud. I hope you won't do that to me this time, alright?"

The trainees chuckled. "Yes, mentor!"

"Alright. Did you familiarize yourselves with the song?" she asked.

An ambiguous grumble resonated in the room.

"I'll take that as a yes. Grab your lyric sheets, and let's start. I'm sure most of you already know the song since you've had your dance lessons earlier on. Sing it together, alright?"

The music started, and the three-star trainees started singing in unison. When they sang the first verse, it sounded quite good. However, it became harder for them to sing as it reached the chorus part. Most of the three-star trainees lacked vocal skills, so they were placed at that level.

Even Jaeyong, who had some idol experience, struggled since he was originally a rapper.

Only June was the trainee who had been placed in three-stars purely because of his vocal skill, and it projected well when they sang the chorus parts. With a soft yet enchanting voice, June sang the notes effortlessly. The other trainees turned around to look at him, envious that he could hit the notes.

Mentor Jihyun, too, focused her gaze on the back. She was initially unsure who was singing since June had a mask on. But she couldn't be mistaken. It was the trainee she liked the most during the auditions!

She smiled. He was the very first one out of the two classes she handled who hit the notes precisely.

The chorus ended, and Jihyun turned off the music.

"Hmm," she hummed, a small smile playing on her lips. "There are a lot of voices that stand out. Overall, you guys aren't too bad. But the chorus part is a problem. It's good to have a fellow trainee who can help you with this. Trainee June," she said.

June lifted his head. He was memorizing the words of the song, so he didn't hear much of what she just said.

"Yes, mentor?"

"You did a good job," she said. "Can you sing it one more time?"

June nodded and sang the song. Now that he was singing all alone, the people around became even more in awe. His vocal tune sounded clear, and the lyrics of the song were projected well.

"Good job," Jihyun commented. "I would expect you all to do the same, alright?"

June bowed his head in gratitude.

Their vocal training continued, and June wondered if he should have done a worse job at it. For the entire duration, he was asked to sing by himself more than six times! He barely had enough time to practice for himself since Mentor Jihyun would always call him out to demonstrate.

Now that it was over, he plopped down on the cold and hard floor, his throat sore from all the singing. He wanted to get some rest before heading back to his room when Jisung suddenly approached him.

"Brother," he said. "I'm worried. I don't think I can sing the chorus part well. You did so good just now. Could you teach me?"

June reluctantly sat up. He really doesn't want to sing anymore. But Jisung's one of the people who could help him with his dancing.

"I can teach you this part, but you have to teach me the dance tomorrow."

Jisung beamed and nodded. "Of course, brother."

"Okay," June said. "Sing this part for me," he pointed to the lyric sheet.

"Dreams come true when we're together,

Hand in hand, in stormy weather.

With the people around, we'll reach for the sky,

United as one, our spirits flying high."

"Hmm," June thought for a bit. "It doesn't sound bad, but it's definitely not in your range. I think you can sing it an octave lower—just as long as it's still on the pitch."

Jisung's eyes widened in surprise. "Why didn't I think of that?" he asked. "Let me try again."

He sang the chorus part once more, and it significantly got better. June nodded in approval.

"I think that could work. But watch out for your pitch at this part—our spirits flying high. It's a bit out of tune. Let me show you."

June continued teaching Jisung, which attracted some of the trainees' attention.

Four other trainees approached June, and he saw that one of them was the crying trainee earlier.

"Could you teach us too, brother?" they asked.

June sighed and was about to decline. His voice was already raw, so he wanted to rest. However, Fu showed up before him.

[Congratulations! You have increased one aspect of trainee Jisung's skill: Vocal. Remaining trainees to inspire: 2. Deadline of side quest: 16 hours.]

He suddenly remembered he had a side quest to finish. June reluctantly nodded.

"I'll be heading first, then," Jisung said. "See you in the room, brother."

The four young trainees looked at him with wide, hopeful eyes. "Alright. What do ya have a problem with?"

After three long hours, June finally succeeded in his side quest.

[Congratulations! You have completed a side quest. You have now acquired a booster: Power Up! Gain a boost of strength or motivation once activated. Good for one day. Affects close proximities. To use, just summon the system and ask for a "Power Up!"]

June groaned and trudged toward their room. He doesn't even know if teaching those trainees was worth it. It took him two hours to raise their vocal aspect! He also sang a countless number of times, so his throat felt even worse than before.

As he entered the room, he saw his roommates already sleeping.

"Good for them," he muttered but stopped when he felt that something was wrong.

'Was that my voice just now? Why does it sound so husky?'

"Hello," he tested it out, his throat getting scratchy.

His voice sounded like the Sahara desert! It was dry and croaky, like that one time he watched a sparring event between Bo Wen and a new bald-headed recruit! It took him three days to get his voice back.

However, this is Choi Joon-ho's body.

His voice is probably going to come back tomorrow, right?