The girls queueing up looked at me as I climbed the stairs. A few of them seemed eager and nervous. Others were accompanied by older people, probably their parents. And some even were deadpan.
They must be one of those people that show no expression when they are nervous.
I walked into the building, where a few more girls stood in line before the door of Sanae's and Risa's room. Butcher stood still with his arms crossed next to the stairs leading to the second floor.
"Hey, Butcher. How's it going?"
"Good morning, young man. I'm keeping an eye on the queue in case someone tries something."
"Did anything happen?"
"Great. Thanks for taking care of it. I'll check on Sanae and Risa."
I should hire him as a bodyguard.
I stepped into the room and closed the door. Risa kneeled down on the corner, whilst Sanae was nowhere to be seen.
"Where's Sanae?" I asked.
When Risa turned around, I noticed something yellow behind her. Sanae was sitting curled up on the floor with her face buried between her arms. I approached them.
"Is something wrong?"
"She's having a panic attack," Risa answered.
Sanae trembled and breathed heavily with short breaths. Even though it wasn't the first time I had seen a panic attack, I felt uneasy.
Now's not the time to worry.
I crouched down. "Sanae, I'm here with you. Tell me what you need."
"I… can't… breathe…"
It sounded like her breathing was getting faster and faster.
"Okay, I'll breathe and you'll breathe with me. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale."
Slowly, her breathing matched my rhythm. I stopped talking but kept inhaling and exhaling with her. Soon, her breathing remained steady without me needing to lead her. She leaned back against the wall. Her face was covered in sweat.
"I'm better," she said, looking at the ceiling.
"Great. Has this happened before?" I asked Risa.
She nodded. "A couple of times, years ago."
I guess we should have medicine for her, just in case.
"Let's review everything before the audition starts," I said.
With our glasses, we reviewed the key points we had prepared during the past week. Sanae slowly joined us and her panic attack was left behind. As much as I wanted to ask her about the cause, I preferred to wait until after the audition.
We weren't looking for many characteristics in specific. The only requirements were to be a girl, be good at dancing and singing, and have a charming personality—quite an ambiguous requirement, but we were going to use it as a determining factor depending on their answers.
It was time to begin. I asked Butcher to count the girls queueing up; twenty-two. Not many, but a lot more than I had expected. I told him to let them in one by one. Sanae, Risa, and I sat on the chairs we had bought during the week.
The first girl came in. Her hair was incredibly long, almost reaching the floor. She was tall and thin and her smile was soothing. It reminded me of Professor Fuku.
Sanae, Risa, and I took notes on our glasses.
"Before we begin, I need to see your public ID," I said.
"Is it necessary?" she giggled.
"It's just to confirm you're old enough—"
My glasses suddenly warned me about her using HoloForm, a technology capable of transforming anything into a completely different thing using optics. I never understood it completely, only that it used reflective panels projected from glasses and that it was far from cheap.
"Excuse me, are you using HoloForm?"
She seemed nervous. Her eyes moved around and she wouldn't say anything. Swiftly, her HoloForm deactivated. The panels turned off one by one until the real person behind them was revealed.
A kid. He doesn't even look fourteen. HoloForm will never cease to surprise me.
"I'm sorry!" he apologized. "My friends challenged me, please don't call the police!"
"We won't. Just leave."
He opened the door and ran away. Poor kid. I understand his position.
The next three girls were okay. They knew how to dance and sing pretty well, but none of us felt they were the right ones. Until a short girl with sky blue hair and two ponytails came in. Her irises were orange and her dark pupils resembled stars.
She doesn't look sixteen.
"Before we begin, I need to see your public ID," I said. "Do you allow me to? I'll keep your contact information for one day."
"Sure!" she smiled.
Once my glasses detected the permission, her ID with her public information appeared on them. Her picture matched her real appearance. Her name was Astra Celeste. She was a Japanese citizen and was seventeen years old.
Her name doesn't sound from around here. And she's older than Sanae and Risa but looks twelve; I would've never guessed it. Apart from that, everything seems normal.
"Okay, Celeste. Tell us about yourself."
She nodded. "I'm Astra Celeste. I'm seventeen years old and I'm currently studying at a high school not too far from here. Some classmates there were talking about the audition, so I got interested."
Tomokazu's posts got that far?!
"And why were you interested? Why do you want to become an idol?"
"I first heard about idols years ago. I loved them because they made people happy. It doesn't matter where people are from, their age, their gender, nothing. Anyone can enjoy watching them and that's what I want to do too. I want to make everyone happy."
Nice answer. I like her energy. She never stops smiling; she seems sincere.
"Do you think you have what it takes to be an idol?"
"I do. I've been practicing acting, dancing, and singing since I was a kid and I believe I have the personality to become an idol. I'm always cheerful and I like working in a team. Although I must admit I haven't practiced that much since I started high school," she giggled.
"Why is that?"
"I never found an opportunity to become an idol. I realized almost no one knew what an idol was, so I slowly moved away from it. Until I heard about this; I couldn't believe it."
"We were on the same boat, so we decided to do something ourselves."
"Thanks for that!" she beamed.
I really like her. But now's the moment of truth.
"We are done with the questions. Next is to show us your skills. The requirements are dancing and singing but, apart from those, you can show us anything you want."
"Okay. I'd like to sing first."
"Sure. Do you need us to play music for you?"
"That would be great."
After looking for the song she wanted, I played the instrumental version. She began singing flawlessly whilst not showing any nervousness. The song was cute, lively, and fast. Her high-pitched voice matched perfectly with it. On top of that, she moved around with energy. She was very likable.
She finished singing. Sanae, Risa, and I glanced at each other, pleased with her performance.
"Now let's see your dancing skills," I said.
She asked me to play the same song, now with the original vocals. She started dancing. To our surprise, her movements were torpid and rhythmless. It looked like she was about to fall multiple times and almost hit the mirror. We were about to stop her, but she eventually finished.
Sanae, Risa, and I glanced at each other in shock.
"Do you have any other skill you want to show us?" I wondered.
"Okay. That'd be all. We'll call you tomorrow."
"Sure. Thanks again!"
She walked out of the room.
"What do you think?" I asked.
Sanae sighed. "I really like her. She seems genuinely cheerful and eager to be an idol. Her singing was great, but her dancing deducted a lot of points. Which is weird, because her movements were good whilst singing."
"I think the same," Risa added.
"But she can practice and improve, right?" I wondered.
"Yes, but we would need to trust blindly," Sanae answered.
"Okay. Let's not rush it, we have the rest of today and tomorrow morning to decide. For now, she's a good candidate."
Sanae and Risa nodded.
Edited by RedPandaChick
A few candidates later, a redhead girl stepped inside. She was tall and wore a long ponytail. Her green eyes were behind a pair of round glasses. Her glasses are quite stylish. I repeated the same procedure as always. Her name was Aki Akane. She was a nineteen-year-old Japanese citizen. "Okay, Akane. Tell us about yourself." "Sure. My name's Aki Akane. I'm nineteen years old and I study Design at Saitama University." Oh, that's surprising. "How did you find out about the auditions?" "I was walking by and saw the sign yesterday." "And why were you interested? Why do
The weekend arrived. Sanae, Risa, and I were nervous and excited to see the girls. Soon, the first one arrived: Celeste. She knocked on the front door and I received her. We walked into Sanae's and Risa's room—which was about to turn into a dance studio. "Thank you for coming," I said. "Thank you for choosing me! I don't have the words to thank you enough," she bowed. "It's fine, you don't need to." Sanae and Risa approached us, but someone knocked on the front door again. Akane and Adachi stood together outside. I thought Adachi was going to be late. "Please come in," I said. "Thank you, gentleman," Akane replied as she steppe
"It's not necessary, but it would be great to come up with a name related to our image," I said. Everyone stayed silent, thinking of a name for the group. "Let's call it Traditional," I suggested first. "Only one word?" Sanae wondered. "Many names of bands, groups, and companies are only one word." She looked at the ground, thoughtful. "What do you girls think?" "I don't like the word," Astra answered. "Me neither," Aki added. "Sounds old," Umi said. "Fine," I sighed. "What about Tradidolional?" Monday afternoon arrived. Half of my lectures had finished; it was time to eat lunch. I walked out of the Accounting lecture, held in one of the biggest buildings on campus, and headed to the cafeteria, also one of the biggest buildings. As I walked through the campus' artificial gardens, I kept complaining about any subject related to math. Sadly, they were needed to manage a business. I arrived at the cafeteria and bought an apple from the food printer, which printed food almost instantly. It obviously wasn't natural, but it had the exact same properties as a real one. Luckily, scientists invented the printer just before Midnight Zero arrived, the day the Doomsday Clock was marked to have zero seconds remaining until midnight. A lot of people didn't—or didn't want to—believe it, but scientists were right. The climate drastically changed over the span of a f
I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols Hit
Monday afternoon arrived. Half of my lectures had finished; it was time to eat lunch. I walked out of the Accounting lecture, held in one of the biggest buildings on campus, and headed to the cafeteria, also one of the biggest buildings. As I walked through the campus' artificial gardens, I kept complaining about any subject related to math. Sadly, they were needed to manage a business. I arrived at the cafeteria and bought an apple from the food printer, which printed food almost instantly. It obviously wasn't natural, but it had the exact same properties as a real one. Luckily, scientists invented the printer just before Midnight Zero arrived, the day the Doomsday Clock was marked to have zero seconds remaining until midnight. A lot of people didn't—or didn't want to—believe it, but scientists were right. The climate drastically changed over the span of a f
The rest of the afternoon flew by and the last lecture of the day began: Business Administration. As always, Professor Fuku gave a fun and impeccable class. I stayed after it ended just to talk with her. "Great lecture, Professor Fuku," I said as I approached her at her desk. "Thanks, Miyahara. How is your project going?" "I wanted to tell you about it. It's going nicely. I improved the document with the tips you gave me after my presentation and I found the girls for the group. We already came up with a name and everything." "And what is that?" "Blostars." "What a cute name!" she squealed. "And you'll be surrounded by girls, too. You're a lucky guy."
Professor Fuku and I stared at each other. She was as shocked as I was. I wanted to say something, but words wouldn't come out. She's Aki's aunt?! Aki stood still next to the door, glancing between the two of us confused. After the awkward silence, Professor Fuku finally spoke. "I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a visitor. I'll leave you alone. Goodnight." With a forced smile, she left. Aki closed the door and let out a long sigh. She walked to the kitchen to check on the soup. "Do you know each other?" she asked. "Y-Yes. She's one of my professors." "Right. She's the Business Administration professor, how did I not real
Mom, Dad, Takuya, and I stared at Aya in silence. She grabbed her whiskey glass from the table and drank the remaining half in one go. She let out a long breath. "I feel better now," she smirked. That fast?! "Are you really okay?" Mom asked, clearly worried. "I mean, it sucks, but it was bound to happen. I just needed to let it out." "I see. As long as you're fine." "What are you gonna do now?" Takuya asked. "Takuya! You should be more considerate about her situation," Dad scolded. "I'm just curious." "It's fine," Aya replied.
We could've used glasses to record each of the girls' singing, but Umi refused to do it like that. Instead, I had to follow her to some building. It looked clean and normal, so I didn't feel weird about it even though I had no idea what was inside. Umi unlocked the front door and we walked through a hallway, where there were many doors with numbers on top. She wouldn't stop looking in all directions until we stepped into an elevator. She pressed the twelfth button on the panel and we stood still in silence. Her foot bounced on the floor. "Where are we?" I asked. "What do you care? Why are you here in the first place? I don't need help." "In case you needed it." "Whatever." The doors of the elevator opened and we stepped