Since J-Hope was tight lipped on the whole matter, Iris merely shrugged and returned to her dorm. It was a different room than the tiny space she had been cooped up in temporarily when had first composed for BTS. It felt so long ago, and yet everything had been a whirlwind.
The daily life of a k-pop idol was monotonous but fast. And because Iris needed to also learn the language while being professionally taught to sing and dance, her schedule was even busier.
Once inside her room, an apartment a few blocks away from the Big Hit building, Iris settled down to begin another daily task—vlogging. Yes, just like BTS who interacted with the fans before debut, so did Iris.
However, unlike BTS who were trainees attached in name to Big Hit, Iris remained unaffiliated on the web. This was a safety protocol that allowed her to be flexible as well. While she had to keep in mind what she said so that when debuting, she wouldn't be held for something indecent or controversial, Iris could cover a variety of topics.
"Hello everyone! Today is a bright sunny day both outside and in my heart. I made a lot of progress on my new song today. Hopefully I can share a snippet of the finished piece with you all soon!" Iris waved cheerfully at the camera. She had very light, natural makeup on.
"Oops! I nearly forgot the time stamp!" Iris exclaimed lightly and then pretended to stamp a corner of the screen. "May 30th, 2018." When she edited the video, a matching date would appear in that area. It was one of her signatures for vlogging on YouTube.
"May 30th…" Suddenly, something crept up in the back of Iris's mind. This date sounded familiar to her, like it was important. 'Maybe what Hoseok was saying was right? I really do feel like I'm forgetting some—'
Iris clapped her hands in realization. Fixing her eyes on the camera lens, she announced, "Today was the day that I joined my entertainment company! It was when I became a trainee! Ah no wonder Ho—hyung said it was an important day today…" Iris nearly slipped saying Hoseok's name, but she skillfully played it off as a slight stammer to a safer word.
Her subscribers were used to referring to her company friends as hyung; even though, she was a girl. They all also wondered what company she was apart of and why she kept it secret. Initially, she received mild backlash for claiming to be trainee but not revealing the label.
But very quickly, she won them all over with her bright personality and hardworking ways. She recorded many dance and songs covers as well as self-made choreographies and musical compositions. Upon explaining that she was bound by contract to not reveal her trainee identity until her company allowed it, the dubious subscribers didn't bother her again.
After all, it sounded perfectly reasonable that a company might do that to protect their trainee who was directly connecting with fans through social media and the internet. Although this did leave many wondering and even trying to figure out who she had signed under.
But most of them failed since a good number were international fans due to her English subtitles. As for the native Koreans, her traces were safeguarded by the fact that she didn't upload daily videos until a week later after the film date. Additionally, she often didn't visit the same place twice. And if she did, she scouted out the area.
Big Hit was a formidable force in protecting their artists and trainees—this was apparent by how well guarded and unknown the younger boy group was too. Thus Iris would vlog and travel to and fro from the Big Hit building with a disguise and proper safety protocols.
Recently, she had to have staff sneak her out of the building due to the large fanbase she had accumulated over the last year. Iris currently sat at a little over half a million subscribers. This was due to her channel variety, personal capabilities, and daily videos.
"Hm, I don't know what the fam is up to, but now that I've realized what day it is, this calls for a change in plans! I'm going to treat myself out to some barbecue! My favorite! Ahh~ I can almost taste the beef now, hehe."
Iris joyfully popped up from her seat and leaned forward to take the camera off the stand and with her to the restaurant. Then she smiled into the camera and snapped her fingers. When she edited, she would suddenly poof inside the restaurant like magic.
Upon settling down to grill the meat, she talked to the camera.
"When I first came to South Korea this day one year ago, I never dreamed that I would become a trainee. I had my life planned out—I would finish college, get a degree, and become a businesswoman or entrepreneur maybe. I wanted to be the first in my family to get a college degree but…"
Iris paused with a melancholic and profound expression. "I knew that deep down, that wasn't the life I really wanted for myself. So, when I was offered to become a trainee, I eventually decided to go for it without any regrets."
She laughed mirthlessly at her next words. "It was definitely difficult since I had to overcome the language barrier, but I made it through with my hyungs and company family. And of course, I had you all! Thank so much for sharing this journey with me. I hope we can meet officially soon!" Iris finished back on a positive note, waved and did a thumbs up at the camera.
Proceeding to grill and then eat all the food deliciously, she hadn't gotten much down when she suddenly had unexpected visitors.
Iris's head shot up with a mouthful of beef at the familiar voice. 'Shoot, don't tell me that they're—!' It would be terrible if anyone saw her with them outside of the Big Hit building.
And confirming her concerns, it was exactly who she thought.
It was BTS.
Or to be more exact, it was a heavily disguised V who somehow couldn't hide his impish countenance. And by his side, Jimin who looked like a suffocating black marshmallow.
Iris didn't have the luxury of worrying about whether the mochi Jiminie was okay inside that getup, for she whipped the two aside, furthest away from the camera and window's line of sight.
"What're you guys doing here! You know that this is risky! What if one of my fans sees me or your fans recognize you? I'm not disguised right now! Well, at least I can edit you two out."
Finally finding a break in Iris's scolding, V whined, "Iris-ah~ Please don't be mad. No one will discover us! But more importantly, we're here to escort you!"
Iris lifted an eyebrow. "Escort me? To where?"
Both of the BTS members smiled widely under their masks. "To the real party of course!"
I have something planned before Iris's "debut" that will spice things up a bit in terms of being exposed to the critical Korean society on idols.
Of course, now that she can communicate much better (Iris-ah you've worked hard!), this upcoming development won't decrease her and BTS's interactions.
I'll give you a hint though. June 15. ;D
[ 03.29.20 Addition - Created a Discord server, join at:
Hangout, chat, be notified of book updates~ :) ]
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