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Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Finally Rosé ended her speech about her desired solo album. HardcoreBLINK got up from the armchair, sat on the table and pushed a white button to connect with a secretary through speakerphone.

“Way. I am listening, Mr.Blink.”
“Ms. Way, connect me with the Head of Production department please.”
“One minute, sir… connecting with Mr. Joo.”
“Hi again, Mr. Joo. Sorry for disturbing you right now after our conference. I want to know. Did YG plan Rosé’s solo debut?”
“Mr.Blink, this story lasts over the year. She gave us a demo of two acoustic guitar tracks. Mr.Yang ordered to send it to Mr. Teddy Park.”
“Did he listen to the demos?”
“Yes, sir.”
“What did Teddy say?”
“Khm… Mr.Blink…”
“Why are you delaying?”
“He said that he would rather become PSY’s backup dancer than to record songs without drum beats. Also he heavily criticized…”

Suddenly the line went dead. HardcoreBLINK noticed delicate Rosé’s hand pushing on a white button.

“Joo is talking trash. Teddy can’t say this about me, he appreciate us. It’s all Hyun-suk’s ugly game to leave me without a solo!”
“Why does Jennie receive all? Is this fair? I can sing and play guitar, I want to show Blinks my soul through my creativity! One solo album in four years. Is that too much to ask?”

Rosé has a self-pitying look with weepy eyes. HardcoreBLINK feels pain to see that his bias is suffering, but he doesn’t show any emotions. Meanwhile she approaches him in a dangerously close distance. Unexpected, he backs up slightly and in a whim, has lost his balance. To break his fall, HardcoreBLINK instinctively put his hand out on the table and accidentally pushes a red button on a speakerphone.

Red Button
A glassy wall is automatically curtained off by red roller blinds. There is a pattern of two huge hearts on it. Red low lights are turned on from above. “Careless Whisper” starts playing on the speakers.
Oh, shit. This button should be deactivated forever. I hate you, Hyun-Suk…

Surprisingly, Rosé listens to the first chords of the song with amusement.

“Wow, George Michael? Mr.Blink, you have taste! Didn’t expect that!”
“I am so sorry, Rosé, it is an accident. I’ll turn it off.”
“Wait, leave it playing for a bit. I love this song!”

Idol begins to catch a rhythm. She turns her back, raises her hands to touch her hair, while moving her hips in time to the music. She seems to like this song very much. Her body is smoothly bending under the groove.

HardcoreBLINK could feel his ears burn from embarrassment. He couldn’t take his eyes off from dancing Rosé. His heart began to beat faster. However, his mind was completely distracted on how to solve the puzzle with Rosè’s solo album.

Things got out of hand. Rosé isn’t gonna leave this office without a solo. I did not expect that she would be so assertive.

After being hypnotized for a while by the sudden performance, Hyun-Suk’s image appeared in HardcoreBLINK’s mind:

It’s impossible to manage the YG dungeon properly if you have feelings for idols. You should kill this love!
Kill this love!
Kill this love!

Hyun-Suk’s words replayed in his head like an echo in a cave, even louder than the “Careless Whisper” that had been playing in the background.

Rosé will get what she wants. But she’ll get it in a way which I want.

HardcoreBLINK makes this mental statement, turns off the red button and firmly takes the floor.

“Rosé, you have been my bias for a long time. How could you think I would deny your solo debut?”
“Oh, really!? I Can’t believe what I’m hearing right now.”
“No jokes.”

She climbs out on a couch and jumps with excitement.

“Rosé, there is another thing I want to say. Before we start working for your project, we need to make a promotional turn. My aim is to get the ball rolling before your upcoming release. Do you catch my drift?”
“Can you explain clearly?”
“I did not want to tell you, because I felt it should be surprise, but I can’t keep it a secret for much longer: the agency made a deal about your collaboration with a famous Western artist.”
“Is this for Blackpink’s or my personal collab?”
“Your collab.”
“OH MY GOD! Incredible news! Who is she? Or he?”
“That part is, unfortunately, a secret. According to the contract I can’t reveal their name yet.”
“Ah, ok. I understand. Mr.Hardcore, you are the best CEO we ever had!”

Rosé joyfully wraps her arms around his neck. HardcoreBLINK accurately steps back and resumes a comfortable distance.

“So, Mr. Blink, can I start working with Teddy on my album tomorrow?”
“Ermm, no. You should visit the USA for a few days. When you’ll come back, start recording for the album.”
“Oh, is this so urgent that I need to go to the States?”
“Yes, our partners are already waiting for your participation.”
“I see, I see.”
“Rosé, can you make a promise for me?”
“I am all ears!”

“I told you a big secret. Please don’t share it with others.”

“Especially with Jennie or other BP members.”
“My mouth will zipped tight!”

She moves her hand over her mouth showing a zipper and zipping it shut. Without any word, Rosé waves goodbye with a little bow and exits the cabinet where she runs into Way, the secretary.

“Miss Rosé, you are looking satisfied after the meeting with our CEO.”
“Hee-hee, I guess. Can you see it in my face?”
“Probably. May I ask what is the reason of your happy mood?”
“Sorry, Way, Mr.Hardcore said to keep it all a secret.”
“Hmmm… I heard some romantic music from his office.”

Way’s face slightly becomes sullen.

“Yeah, he put it on for me. Nice song!”
“Miss Rosé…”
“Don’t mess with danger or you will bleed.”
“Excuse me !?”

Way points his finger towards the idol’s leg.

“Your leg is near a sharp screw which is sticking out from the furniture.”
“Ah, right! Thanks, Way. I should be more careful.”
“Miss Rosé.”
” ? ”

“Don’t play with danger in Mr. Blink’s area.”

At this time Rosé had no doubt about what Way was mentioning.

“Good advice, Way. I will keep my legs unharmed.”
“It’s a pleasure to hear it. YG needs healthy idols. Have a nice day!”
“Ermm… bye.”

After the last dialogue Rosé had a strange feeling in her stomach. She rapidly disappeared into the dark corridors of the office building.


HardcoreBLINK decided to visit Mr.Joo, a Head of Production department for urgent case.

“So, Mr.Blink, did you promise her a collaboration with a Western star in America?”
“Yes, I did.”
“But YG had not any negotiations about it. I am sorry for being rude, it turns out you just lied to her?”
“Not quite.”
“Please explain clearly. Then I can help you.”

“I lied. Now your task is to make my lie into the truth.”

Cooperate with Legal Affairs Department to write the offer for three major American labels: Warner, EMI and Universal. I want from you, a short list of Western artists ready for collab.

“Mhm, it will be done, Mr.Blink.”
“Do it immediately, postpone all unnecessary work.”
“I see. Sir, even if we hypothetically do find an artist, it does not solve your second lie. Rosé demands to record an album. She might cause a fit.”

“She won’t because we’ll send her to America to spend some time on this collaboration project. Meanwhile we’ll use this time to start the preparations for a comeback. When Rosé will return in Korea to record her solo album, Blackpink’s comeback project will be almost ready. Afterwards, we can let her release anything she wants. That’s the main goal.”

“Oh, this feels like a game of chess, Mr. Blink. My department will make every effort to reach your goals, sir.”
“Good. If you’ll help me extricate from this shit, achievement will not keep you from waiting long.”
“Our team will do whatever it takes, sir.”

HardcoreBLINK had ended the meeting and decides to get some fresh air.  He walks out of the building and looks around. The streets of Seoul produce a lot of noise. He looks at the sky and notices a large orange zeppelin. Two balloons appear in the shape of a giant flying ass. There was a huge banner on it with advertisement of PSY’s upcoming concert.

“Disgusting” – HardcoreBLINK thought to himself, as he walks back to the office. On the front porch he sees a familiar face – Mr. Kang whom HardcoreBLINK fired today during a conference for being a Twice fan. “Pathetic traitor” –  HardcoreBLINK muttered to himself as he entered the building.

Mr.Kang was sitting on the stairs of YG Entertainment and had no idea what to do, where to go. His career was ruined. He was staring at the ground when he hears someone sit down next to him.

“So, you lost everything in the blink of an eye? I know just how confusing the world can get. I feel the same.”

Mr.Kang looks up, surprised. A man dressed in a black stylish business suit with a white shirt. He is wearing a mask, however it did not prevent Kang from instantly recognizing the person.

“Seungri? Wha… what are you doing here?”

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