June sat in the waiting area, his face covered with a bright pink cat mask. Fortunately, he was the last one to be interviewed, so only one person was in the waiting area with him.

The young teen, probably even younger than the former Joon-ho, looked at him with wide, sparkling eyes. June glanced at him and raised his eyebrows when he saw his amazed face.

"What ya looking at?" he asked, his Chinese accent barely noticeable since he was fluent in Korean. However, his "thug" accent was more evident.

The teen immediately turned around and scooted away, his ears bright pink from fright and embarrassment.

[You have to speak kinder than that, host. You sounded like your old self just now.]

June clicked his tongue.

"What do you want me to do, Fu? Old habits die hard."

The teen was once again startled when June started speaking to himself.

This mister--is he insane?

Minx, a young boy born in 2006 with big dreams of becoming an idol, was questioning why Azure, the TV station responsible for Rising Stars, cast such a person. He knew that Azure wanted to make the show entertaining, but he didn't think they'd cast a crazy individual!

Minx didn't realize that he was staring at the crazy man once again.

"Do ya have a problem with me, huh?" the man asked, his voice soft yet holding a deep sense of maturity. He must be older than him by a lot.

"Nothing," Minx nervously chuckled. "Your handsome mask is just fascinating, brother."

"Trainee Minx, it's your turn to be interviewed."

Thankfully, Minx was called for the interview. He stood up from his seat and nearly bolted toward the interview room.

At last, June was alone. He was about to tell that kid off for staring at him too much, but he was damn happy by what he said.

[Congratulations! You have succeeded on a mission: Have someone call you "handsome."]

Now, all of the three missions have been accomplished. He still struggled with giving that old woman her coffee, but after watering her plants and cleaning her house, he was finally able to accomplish the mission.

[The set of missions is now being reset. These are your new missions:

1. Get 100 fans

2. Trend on a social media app

3. Make a new friend]

"What the hell? Why did the difficulty increase so much more?" he clicked his tongue. However, Fu ignored him.

[You may now pick an aspect to improve.]

"Vocals," June said without any hesitation. He upgraded that one when he finished the "coffee" mission, too. He definitely needed to master one skill before the competition started.


[Current grade: B+]

That's good. He thinks he'd at least be a decent singer when the competition starts.

After a while, the young kid finally finished his interview, and it was now time for June to go in. The intern responsible for calling the trainees stopped in her tracks when she saw one man wearing a cat mask in the waiting room.

She sighed and shook her head. 'They definitely recruited more weirdos this season. I don't get paid enough to deal with people like this.'

"Trainee June, it's your turn."

June stood up from his seat and walked to the interview room. The interviewers were all tired after a long day of interviewing trainees. Yena was on her third cup of coffee while Yejin could barely keep her eyes open. Even the cameramen yawned.

Good thing it was the last trainee.

"Let's make this as quick as possible," Yena said, downing the rest of her coffee.

"June, huh? Like the month?" Yejin asked, going through the last trainee's folder.

"I think so," Yena said. "But what's with his picture? Why is it black and white and blurred?" she squinted her eyes to make out the young man's features.

Yejin shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. He's an independent trainee, and his audition tape also looked like it was filmed with a potato. We needed a filler for the 100th spot, so the team recruited him."

"Ah, whatever," Yena said. "We're going to see him today anyway."

They waited, bored out of their minds, for June to arrive. Yena wanted to see what he looked like since his picture and audition tape were both blurry.

Her tired eyes scanned the room. She couldn't wait to go home tonight. However, her eyes almost popped out of her head when she saw June come in.

Yejin, too, sat up straight as a pink cat sat down in front of them.

"What's up? I'm June."