Ghost Story Club - Chapter 28
Chapter 28: Sixth Ghost Story – CSAT Banned Songs (2)
Finally, the hour that felt like days ended.
Our class of thirty didn’t delay at all, rushing out the door of the music room once the bell rang. I was also part of that crowd, and once I made it to the hallway I dashed to where SunAh stood.
“SunAh, are you alright?”
SunAh still had a fearful look on her face.
“Such a weird teacher, am I right?”
SunAh silently nodded her head.
“Since we’re already on the fourth floor, let’s go rest in the clubroom for now.
We were on the fourth floor, and the clubroom was on the fifth. In order to get SunAh to relax, it wasn’t a bad idea to go up and rest for a bit. Behind us, I could see GyeongWon and HaYoon naturally following us.
“Atama itten janai~? Is there something wrong with that teacher’s head OwO~?”
T/N: atama itten janai is Japanese for “Isn’t that person crazy?”
DukHun followed us, sweating as he did. The five of us entered the clubroom and plopped onto our chairs, letting out sighs. Although we couldn’t stay long since our break was only ten minutes long, it was still a time for relaxation and relief. We had been anxious the entire class, as if we were sitting on pin cushions, because the music teacher was just mindlessly mumbling those lyrics.
After being in a safe space like our clubroom, I could feel myself relaxing again.
“Kuso, it seems like the clubroom got a bit larger OwO~?”
“You’re just imagining things. But for real, what was that teacher?”
“It was actually a bit scary……”
SunAh was mumbling to herself, but soon she looked up and spoke.
“Thanks for helping me, HaYoon.”
HaYoon replied as if it took no effort.
Although the two were partners in class, they didn’t seem close at all originally. It seemed like it was only now that the two finally started speaking to each other.
I tried to console the crouching SunAh a bit more.
“She might have a mental disability.”
“Don’t worry too much. I’m sure something will be done about this soon. She’ll probably be told to go on break for a bit or something. I mean, over thirty students saw what she was doing for over an hour.”
“I bet the phones in the teacher’s lounge will be busy because of the parents.”
“I can see that happening.”
GyeongWon, who had butted himself into the conversation, mentioned a good point. I played along. However, it seemed like he suddenly had something to say.
“Um, Prez? I was about to mention something.”
“Huh? What’s up?”
“I just happened to think of something, since we are the Ghost Story Club and all.
GyeongWon adjusted his glasses.
“That song. It seems like it isn’t only a couple of people who are addicted to that song.”
“It’s that popular?”
“No, no, I mean actually addicted.”
The guy’s glasses began to flash.
“Do you remember the songs that were popular in the past, such as Ring Ding Dong, UR Man, or Jin Jin Ja Ra? The songs that were so catchy that once you heard them, they stuck to your brain and refused to disappear? We often call them CSAT banned songs.”
“Of course I remember. I was still in elementary school back then, but everyone was singing those songs.”
“The current popular song, ‘Oh Yeah’, is currently going through a similar phenomenon—but is actually much worse in severity.”
The current situation GyeongWon was explaining didn’t seem like a normal occurrence. This ‘Fourincess’ girl group’s debut single, ‘Oh Yeah’, was a bright and cheery song. The chorus started with ‘Oh Yeah~’ and was extremely catchy. Of course it was a well-loved song amongst the listeners.
The song was currently number one on the billboard charts and, because of that single, the very new girl group Fourincess was able to jump from no-name idols to a famous girl group in one go.
‘Up to that point it is consistent with my memories, but what happens next seems off to me.’
The problem was that the song was ‘too’ popular, almost beyond imagination.
From convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, makeup emporiums and the like, wherever I went, that song would be playing. A famous brand had already hired the girl group to star in their commercial, where the lyrics were changed to promote their product. The song was shaking the nation.
All sorts of YouTubers were either remixing the song or dancing and singing covers to it. Tons of unrelated images started using that song as background music. It was taking the internet by storm.
It was even said that for some of the people that heard this song too many times, they could hear the song even though it wasn’t playing, as if it had been implanted directly into their ears.
“It’s a phenomenon called an earworm, and it occurs when an addictive melody gets stuck in your head and continues to play out in your mind. In severe cases, I hear that you can even start hallucinating the sounds.”
I also had experiences where a commercial jingle would be stuck in my head when I needed to focus, but this had been happening at a national scale.
“Then, do you think that the situation with our music teacher was an extreme case of this earworm?”
“I think it would be safe to think that. Since she’s old, people in music tend to be oversensitive.”
I carefully considered what GyeongWon had just explained, then asked my fellow members about it.
“Is there anyone who is listening to this song often?”
SunAh and DukHun shook their heads.
“I’ve never heard it before……”
“It isn’t my genre of music UwU~.”
Since SunAh was poor and often just stayed at home, there was no avenue for her to listen to this music. DukHun was a weeb that only listened to Japanese anime music, he probably wouldn’t listen to Korean Girl Groups.
“How about you, HaYoon?”
“I don’t listen to that type of music either.”
“I have heard it before… but I’m not really the type to enjoy music in the first place. I’ve only heard it being used as background music in some YouTube videos.”
With a sincere expression, I made a request to the club members.
“Starting right now, I think it will be best if we all avoid listening to that song.”
SunAh asked because she was curious.
“It’s just this feeling I have.”
After I stated that, everyone except DukHun nodded with a meaningful expression.
As SunAh, GyeongWon, and HaYoon had been with me in the Dream within Dreams ghost story, they were more open to this type of situation.
“Let’s go down now. Break period is almost over.”
“Wheeze, wheeze, do I have to go down to the first floor again T.T?”
There were three reasons that I warned them to be wary of the song.
First, this song was not popular to that extent in my previous life. It did have its sparks of life, but as a catchy song with a good hook, it was short lived at best.
Second, the lyrics to the song were slightly different. While I didn’t remember the specifics, I knew that the lyrics in my past life were full of fillers—not that weird foreign language mumbo jumbo.
Third, it was the information that GyeongWon provided stating that the music would not leave one’s ears.
As a result, my warning to the club members was very accurate.
[2019, Mar. 22 | Friday, 07:05]
[Lee Joon – Number of Attempts: 2]
[Ghost Story Points: 12]
[Causality Rate: 9%]
A week later, it was Friday again.
As I was preparing to go to school and eating breakfast with my parents, the news played on our TV.
[This is your morning news at 7. Do you know the idol girl group Fourincess’s song ‘Oh Yeah’? It is the hit song that is shaking the nation with its catchiness. The problem is, this song’s catchiness is so severe that some people are claiming difficulty living their daily lives because of this song.]
[Today, on the 22nd, the city of Seoul’s mayor office has put out an executive order to ban all commercials using this song ‘Oh Yeah’ as the background and put all shows playing this song on indefinite hiatus. If the broadcast stations do not remove this song from their shows, it seems like it will be difficult for their programs to proceed on schedule.]
[The Fourincess’s agency is in chaos as they try to explain their side of the situation. This is the first time in history that a song has been banned in the media for being too addictive and catchy…]
“Joon, you should be careful as well. Mom is also stressed because that song is continuously stuck in my head. Huuu~”
Mom let out a sigh as she deboned her fish. Because our household was a dual-income household, Mom worked part-time as a mart cashier. She seemed to be having a difficult time because she had to listen to that song all day as she worked.
I nodded my head as I headed off for school.
It had been exactly a week since the music teacher’s weird outburst.
The world had changed quite a bit in that time.
Oh Yeah ♬ Oh Yeah♬
At the crosswalk in front of our school, between the rushing cars, there was one specific noisy truck that caught my eye.
O.E.O.U.♬ Oh Yeah ♬ eishiei ♬ dum! atom! Cadavri~shi ♬
A large truck with external speakers attached dashed down the street, blasting the music.
In order to drown out that song the best I could, I began to hum a different song to myself.
‘Yeah, of course it wouldn’t be that easy~ The world that would just accept me~♬’
Some of the students that were waiting for the traffic lights began to glare at the truck.
Recently, there had been more and more people that were acting like that truck driver, blatantly blasting the music as if to spread it to more people.
Some people would sing Fourincess’s single “Oh Yeah” aloud blatantly as they walked, some would play the song on their phone at max volume on the subways. Even at home, someone within my apartment building would blast the song from their TV as if to get everyone within the building addicted.
“Man, the world is going crazy!”
I headed to the school as I mumbled to myself.
“Now~ Everyone knows that everything is chaotic because of some song? Our class shouldn’t listen to that and focus on studying. Ohoho~”
During morning homeroom, Teacher DamIm warned us while giving his weird laugh. However, despite his warning, an incident occurred before lunch.
“Ah, fuck! Just turn off the music, my gosh!”
It was third period, and it was music class again.
However, the music teacher was at the hospital, so we were given self-study time instead.
A sensitive-looking male student suddenly got up while shouting.
“Wh-who is it?! Who keeps turning on the music?! Fuck! I can’t concentrate!”
The student kept looking at the rest of us, slightly deranged. As all of us were quietly staring at the guy, the broad-shouldered handsome guy sitting next to GyeongWon got up and looked at the male student.
“Hey, get yourself together, man.”
It was a tough and manly voice. He was voted as the class president by a landslide, class president Ban JangHun.
T/N: his name Ban JangHun is a play on words, as he is the class president or “BanJang” in Korean, and he is handsome, which is “Hun Nam” in Korean.
“It’s… noisy and all. They keep playing that music… Huh?”
The sensitive guy continued to shake as he looked around the quiet classroom.
“Wh-who is it? The teacher said… today not to listen to that music! Please… just turn it off! Please…”
The class president looked at the sensitive boy and spoke again.
“Hey, I said to get your shit together.”
The class president’s wide shoulders and bulging muscles could barely be contained by the school uniform.
If a class president with such a manly appearance came up to warn a person, most would have reacted at least a little. However, the sensitive boy just continued to look around anxiously.
“Please just turn that music off, please! I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night because of that song!”
“Hey! I said to stop with that bu-”
And at the same moment that JangHun shouted…
[The broadcasting room would like to inform all students that, since this is an important announcement, they should listen closely.]
Suddenly, the broadcasting system let out an announcement. From the voice, it sounded like a male upperclassman.
[Once again, the broadcasting room would like to inform all students that, since this is an important announcement, they should listen closely. I will now begin. O.E.O.U.♬ Oh Yeah♬ eishiei♬]
And suddenly, the sound of that song began to play everywhere over the announcement broadcast. The sound of female idols singing to bright, catchy music filled the school. And finally, the chorus to that song.
[Dum! Atom! Cadavri~shi♬ Oh Yeah♬]
At first, I was so dumbfounded that I thought I was just hearing things. However, after seeing the expressions on the other students, I knew it was real.
[Once again, the broadcasting room would like to inform all students that since this is a really important announcement, they should listen closely. I will now begin. O.E.O.U.♬ Oh Yeah ♬ eishiei ♬ Dum! Atom! Cadavri~shi ♬ Oh Yeah ♬ O.E.O.U. ♬ Oh Yeah ♬ eishiei ♬ Dum! Atom! Cadavri~shi ♬]
* * *
* * *
At that moment, the sensitive boy took out a paper cutter from his pencil case and began to swing it wildly at anyone near him.
“Turn it off~!! Please! Please, just turn that music off~!”
[O.E.O.U.♬ Oh Yeah♬]
“Shut the fuck uuuuup!!!”
“Kyaaa! Omg wtf? He must be, like, crazy.”
The students near him scattered like flies in their surprise.
DukHun, who had his earbuds in and was jamming to his anime music, looked at the disturbance with round eyes.
However, the chaos did not end there.
“Uha- Uhaha! Uhahahahahahahahahaha~!”
A male student in the very back started laughing as he got up and flipped his desk over.
And just like that, the student began to stomp through the class, flipping any desks he came across.
“Hey! What the fuck are you doing? Some one stop that fucker!”
[Now listen well. O.E.O.U.♬ Oh Yeah♬]
“Turn it oooofffff~! Turn off that soooonggg~~!!”
“Kyaaa! Run away!”
Crash-! Crash-! Tumble! Stomp!
The classroom was in absolute chaos. As the sensitive boy swung his paper cutter, the surrounding students ran away. As that was happening, the laughing student was flipping tables wherever he went.
Even the jacked class president was unable to do much in that situation, as he was quite startled by what was happening.
I tapped the stunned DukHun’s body and got him to pay attention to me.
“Get to the clubroom and hide, quickly!”
We quickly got up and headed towards the classroom door.
“Hey! Calm down! And put that down, you bitch!”
“Turn it ooooofff~! Pleeeaase just turn the music oooooooffff~!”
The sensitive student continued to swing his paper cutter around. The class president tried to bring order to the classroom but was unable to do much.
[How was the song? Just in case there was a student who didn’t hear it, we will play it another time, so please listen well! O.E.O.U. ♬ Oh Yeah ♬ eishiei ♬ Dum! Atom! ♬]
I passed through the fallen students and went over to SunAh and HaYoon. SunAh was frozen on the spot, while HaYoon just watched the spectacle with a completely neutral expression.
“Hey gals! To the clubroom!”
The school-wide broadcast announcement continued to play the song. I could see some of our other classmates slowly go insane, some of them started pulling their hair out or hopped onto a desk and started to flap their arms.
As the screams increased drastically, SunAh, HaYoon, and DukHun opened the classroom door and headed out. I noticed that GyeongWon had seen us and was following us out. As I was about to leave the classroom, I suddenly turned around and looked at the very back of the classroom, where I could see JinHee with a sleepy look, as if she had just woken up.
This girl was also a member of our club, so we couldn’t just ditch her here and run away.
She looked at me with a frown.
“Let’s go to our clubroom! Quickly!”
Although she had an annoyed expression, as if she wanted to sleep a little longer, she surprisingly got up and followed me out without making a fuss. After leaving the classroom together, I couldn’t see the others. They had probably headed to the clubroom ahead of us.
The hallways were an absolute mess. The other classrooms must have had students going crazy as well. Many of the students were looking back into their classrooms with worry, while some of the students were even acting crazy out here.
[This announcement is very important, so please continue to listen in.]
“That fucking bastard! He’s so fucking loud!”
JinHee started to curse, completely ticked off. With no care about the chaos of the students, the announcement once again began to play the Fourincess song.
The pretty voices of the girl group spread throughout the hallways. JinHee and I increased our pace as we found the staircase to go up. On the second floor, we could see the teachers banging away at the broadcast room door.
“What impudent student is causing this mess?! Hurry up and open that door!”
One of the teachers tried kicking the door open, but it seemed like the person inside had secured the door well, as it did not budge.
As we climbed up to the fifth floor, it was chaotic everywhere.
“Aaahhh! This bitch bit my arm!”
“Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah~!”
“Get the fuck away from me! Get the fuck away from me, you fuckers!”
As I ran up the four flights of stairs to the fifth floor, my stamina was running low. JinHee seemed completely fine, so she ran a little ahead of me and opened the clubroom door.
SunAh got up from her seat as she looked at me with a worried expression.
“I see you all got here safely.”
“Yeah… Are you alright?”
“I’m good. If you exclude the difficulty of running up the stairs.”
After closing the door to the clubroom, the loud noise of the broadcasts and the chaos grew quiet.
I started to catch my breath as I stood there. JinHee chose a chair and sat down.
“Hmmm, let’s see here.”
Then, I suddenly felt the gazes of the club members looking at me.
‘What’s this all of a sudden?’
Ah, the place I had stood was right in front of the whiteboard. The five club members were all sitting. The image reminded me of a club president giving instructions to his club members.
SunAh, GyeongWon, HaYoon, DukHun, and JinHee. Those five were sitting down and staring at me, the club president. Was it time for me to start assessing the situation?
I coughed and pretended to clear my throat.
It was eleven in the morning. Originally, we were supposed to meet like this after lunch during the Club Activities Period.
Somehow, we had all ended up here earlier instead. The expectant stares of the club members began to burn.
I was always the guy that found it more comfortable alone, so I would usually keep people at arm’s length. As I thought, I felt awkward trying to lead people.
‘Well, with the situation the way it is, I have no other choice.’
I picked up a dry-erase marker and moved closer to the whiteboard.
“Will all of you look this way?”
We still had another two hours until the Club Activities Period started. The Ghost Story Club assembled a bit early today.