[The Power Stone Vote button is finally back! T-T Ah, thank you Webnovel staff! I'm going to be extra careful from now on. Thank you readers for all your patience! I will make up the two missed chapters in a mini-mass release day next weekend.]
Upon exiting the plane into Incheon International Airport, the restrained feeling of embarking on something new, unpredictable and undeniably thrilling bubbled up from Iris's center.
"Koreaaa~~" She cheered softly in order to not attract attention as one of those typical starry eyed tourists; although, she technically was one too.
Most international flights were through Incheon rather than the closer Gimpo International Airport to Seoul, but a little sightseeing hike to the Big Hit Entertainment building in Nonhyeon-dong of southern Seoul wouldn't hurt. Besides, her two travel buddies needed to locate a hotel to stay in first.
"Iris-ah~" Cindy began, trying out her Korean. "Sinnani? Are you excited?"
The girl in question playfully punched her cousin. "Mullon-iyjo! Of course!" Iris laughed as they headed to retrieve their luggage.
She was going to be saying here for at least a few weeks, but she packed as light as possible in order to cut down on luggage fees. Even so, she sufficiently brought enough to last for all those days including her own music equipment.
Studying up on the South Korean economy, foreign exchange rates, and power parity in comparison to the United States, the smart Iris figured out it would be better to buy anything that she needed here. Clothes, food, and most other items were less expensive in Korean won currency than dollars if it were the same items in the US.
As long as she bought local, Korean products, then the money she had would be enough for the trip's living expenses. Of course, her cousin Cindy and her nanny on the other hand were the opposite of Iris's careful financial considerations.
Cindy's American father was a rich businessman and investor, so her family never lacked of money. Even though Cindy was well past her years in needing a nanny, Ms. Lisa Bell, or Bella as everyone lovingly called her, became a staple of the household. She was a part of the family. Now, she only took care of the house while Cindy's parents were busy—as they often were.
But since her parents began their company vacations, they were quite all right with Cindy and Bella accompanying Iris. Actually, Iris probably wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for these two chaperoning and convincing her parents to let her go to South Korea.
After receiving that offer a few weeks ago, Iris had jumped to informing her parents. It didn't go over so well. Remembering it now and the countless days of begging them, Iris shivered. Thankfully, she had Cindy on her side and was able to persuade them that this was just a summer jaunt. Iris would be back soon.
"Are you thinking about your parents?" Cindy queried upon seeing her cousin's thoughtful, somewhat downcast face.
Iris perked up her expression in order to not worry her cousin. "Just a little. But I'm okay! Thanks again for helping me convince them!"
Cindy softly laughed. "Of course, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I had to get it through their thick skulls that education isn't everything that your daughter needs a break and have some fun too."
She crossed her arms and nodded her head sternly. Then realizing that she sort of dissed her cousin's parents, her uncle and aunt-in-law, Cindy apologized, "Ah my bad, I actually love your parents. But yeah, they can be pretty strict."
Iris waved her hand to counter any ideas of her being offended. "Nah, I totally get it. I feel the same." She laughed at this, and her cousin grinned.
"Whew!" Cindy stretched her arms up before posing with a satisfied, triumphant gaze at her surroundings, the outside of the airport. "Here I am Koreaaa~~!!" She declared and ran about in a thrilled circle.
Somewhat mortified, Iris chased her cousin and slapped her on the back. "Ay! Quit it! It's not like you haven't been here before!"
Cindy stuck out her tongue teasingly. "But it's the first time coming with my best cuz!" And she pounced on her cousin in a hug.
Blushing, Iris returned the hug. After hearing about all of Cindy's travels, including South Korea, she was finally able to join her on the adventure. Truly, she was beyond excited.
They headed over to the hotel, Aiden by Best Western Cheongdam. It was located in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu in Seoul. The distance from there to Big Hit Entertainment was less than twenty minutes walking. But there was a train line which separated the more northern hotel to Big Hit which was located almost directly underneath the station.
After settling into the hotel—Cindy had chosen it for its layered loop design across the white high-rise hotel—the two girls explored the area before walking over to see the Big Hit building.
"Mmphf," Cindy nommed on tteokbokki, spicy rice cake, from a street vendor while remarking, "This building will always make me excited looking at it no matter how many times I see it."
Iris smiled and picked up a second toothpick with a rice cake attached. Just as she was about to stick it in her mouth, a voice called out to her, "Psstt! Iris-ssi?"
Startled, Iris spun around in the direction of the voice behind a pole. A man dressed in black waved his hand at her. She didn't recognize the part of his face underneath his baseball cap.
Confused, she approached the man warily. "Ye? Nareul aseyo?" She asked if the man knew her. Iris wondered if he was connected to Big Hit Entertainment, possibly part of the staff. Otherwise she wouldn't know how else he knew her name.
"Ne, (I'm a staff at Big Hit Entertainment. PD-nim sent me here in case you went to our old building instead of the new one)." The man gestured for her to follow him. "Ttarawa!"
Iris only picked up parts of his words, but she understood enough to know that it was safe to follow him as he directed. At first, she thought he was going to take her inside the building. But instead, he led them over to a black van.
Thinking that BTS or someone else was inside, the two girls hopped into the van. But after realizing that no one else was inside, they sat still for a moment pondering the situation.
"Hm? It's just us?" Cindy commented with a quirk of her head.
The two girls watched in growing alarm as the van started pulling away from the building and south onto the streets of Nonhyeon-dong.
"No way! This isn't kidnapping right?" Cindy panicked and looked around. They could just jump out of the van, but since no one was gagging them or anything, she hesitatingly tugged on Iris's sleeve.
"Where do you think he's taking us?" She asked with a hushed voice.
Iris lightly shook her head, unsure herself. "He mentioned something about Bang PD and Big Hit, so I think it's okay but… This is weird. They didn't tell me anything about meeting me before I began working tomorrow. I just figured I'd meet them all then."
Although the man didn't fully understand what they were whispering about, he heard them mention Big Hit and Bang PD and saw their concerned faces.
"Ah! (It's okay! I'm a staff!) Staff! New place! Big Hit!" He tried assuring them that he wasn't anyone sketchy as well as explaining the situation.
Of course, the girls didn't know what he meant by a 'new place,' but since he seemed friendly enough without any hidden motives, they stayed inside the van to gauge the outside situation. They didn't turn into any dark alleyway or ramshackle street, so one girl kept an eye at the front while the other looked to the side.
"Hopefully we aren't being taken anywhere weird. I can just see your parents now wringing me out for not being careful enough with you in Korea…" Cindy murmured while peering out the side window.
I did some studying for this chapter about Big Hit's old and new building. >_< Since this is in 2017 after their Wings concert, then this is the right time frame for when they got a new headquarters building.
I actually didn't plan this at all LOL! I didn't even know they had two buildings until I searched up where it was located. XD
[ 03.29.20 Addition - Created a Discord server, join at:
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