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 stepped inside.
"You thought I was going to be late, didn't you?" Adachi said.
We walked into the room. They and Celeste stood together next to the door, whilst Sanae, Risa, and I stood in front of them at the other side of the room.
"Thank you for giving me this opportunity," Akane bowed.
"I guess I should thank you too," Adachi said. "I really need the money. You're going to pay us, right?"
"Yes, but let's introduce ourselves to each other before talking business," I answered. "I'm Kaito Miyahara, fourth-year Business Administration student at Saitama University. I'll be the manager of the group."
"I-I'm Sanae," she smirked with her hand on her hip trying to look confident, but she was obviously nervous.
"And I'm Risa," she smiled.
"They will be your group mates," I said. "Just like you, they want to become idols because…"
Wait, I haven't asked them.
"Because we grew up watching them," Risa continued.
Sanae added, "We didn't watch anything else as kids. We've always wanted to be like them; it's practically been our life."
"Oh!" Celeste and Akane uttered in amazement.
I continued, "Now that we all know each other, I'll briefly explain what this is about. You already know we will be an idol group. Our goal is to make people happy and show them that idols make society better."
And because I needed a final project, but I don't need to mention that.
"Humas can't replace living beings. Their method is rigid and selfish, whilst we'll work together to prove that only living beings can emotionally understand living beings. Humas fulfill desire, but idols fulfill happiness."
"If you agree with our goal, then there's only one step left."
With my glasses, I sent a permission request to theirs. Akane was already wearing hers, whilst Celeste and Adachi took theirs out of their pockets. They accepted the request and I sent the contract document.
"The contract is the same for the three of you, except for the personal details, obviously. Please take your time to read it and don't hesitate to ask me anything. You can sit on the chairs over there."
They walked past us and sat down. Sanae, Risa, and I stood beside the door.
"What did you think of my speech?" I asked.
"It was great!" Risa answered.
"Not bad," Sanae responded. "It could've been better, but I must admit it was encouraging."
"Great," I replied. "By the way, about your reasons to be idols, did you really not watch anything else?"
Sanae shook her head. "Since Gorō took care of us after he found us, he needed to work a lot to earn enough money. As typical, he gave us and showed us stuff for kids, but we hated everything. He struggled to find something we liked until he showed us a video of idols giving a show. We immediately fell in love, so Gorō played along."
Risa continued, "We wouldn't stop watching videos of idols, but Gorō realized we were alone in this building, so he took us to the café we went to the other day so we could meet people and watch all the videos we wanted."
"We met Kiku there. She would take care of us all the time, so Gorō would take us to the café whilst he worked during the day. You could say it was like daycare for us," Sanae giggled.
"So she's like an aunt to you," I said.
Or a grandma.
"You could say so," Sanae replied.
"And you? You haven't told us much about yourself," Risa wondered.
"Me? I'm boring. My life is boring. Study here, study there."
"Didn't you say you had a bad experience with a business before?" Sanae asked.
"I did. To summarize, I was so enthusiastic about it that I stopped being realistic. The business quickly burned and I was treated as a reject for years."
"Even by your family?" Risa worried.
"Not at all. My parents are the sweetest people you'll ever meet and My little brother was too young to understand it. My elder sister was disappointed but didn't treat me differently."
"You have siblings?" Risa smiled. "Will we ever meet them?"
"I don't know, maybe."
"Have you told them about all of this?" Sanae wondered.
"No, I'm waiting until it's certain we are doing it, which is close."
"Hey," Adachi called.
Does she really have no manners at all?
"What is it?" I responded.
"What do we need Interplanetary Passports for?"
Oops, I forgot to tell them.
"The group will travel to many planets; it will be galactical. That's why the name of the agency is Galactical Idols."
"You didn't tell us about that."
"That's my bad, I'm sorry. Do any of you have problems with that?"
"Nope," Celeste answered.
"As long as we come back to Earth often," Akane replied.
"I guess that makes it more interesting," Adachi said.
"Good. That reminded me of telling you that we don't have a theme nor a name for the group yet; we'll choose them together. If you accept the contract, that is."
Suddenly, a message appeared on my glasses, telling me that Adachi had accepted it.
"There you go. I didn't read the whole thing, I only cared about the pay. The passport caught my attention, though."
Not even a minute later, Celeste and Akane accepted the contract as well.
"Perfect," I smiled. "It's official: the group has been formed!"
Everyone clapped. I felt a burden lifting from my shoulders; everything was going forward. Yet I still expected an impossible obstacle to appear sooner or later.
"As stipulated in the contract, its effects will take effect next week. Your status will be adjusted from student to employee, meaning that this is your last week at school. Of course, if you stop working and decide to resume your studies, you'll continue exactly where you left. Got it?"
The three of them nodded.
"And, since we'll be working together every day, we should drop the formalities. Just call me Kaito. Are you okay with calling each other by your first name?"
Everyone nodded again.
An awkward silence encompassed the room.
"Let's share ideas for the group," Sanae suggested.
"I can design anything we need," Aki said.
"I can make the music," Umi added.
"And I can give lots and lots of ideas!" Astra beamed.
"Are you sure?" I asked. "That would be more work for you. Your job is to be an idol."
"I'd love for my designs to be seen by everyone," Aki answered. "It’s not often that you get the chance to advertise your stuff on multiple planets."
"Same," Umi added.
"And I want to work as hard as I can!" Astra beamed.
I smiled. "I guess it's a win-win situation, then. Let's start with the theme of the group. What do we want to represent with our image?"
Astra raised her hand.
"Go ahead," I said.
Thoughtful for a second, I replied, "I saw many groups with that theme. Also maids, princesses, superheroines, nurses, and even metal bands. They are all an option, but let's try to think of something new."
"I see," Astra replied. "Swimwear?"
"I wouldn't mind," Aki smirked.
"I would!" Umi yelled.
"That would definitely sell, but I don't think it's appropriate for the stage," I said.
"Okay, let me think," Astra continued. She closed her eyes and hummed, swinging her head side to side.
"What about zombies?" Risa suggested.
Everyone stared at her, bewildered. She blushed and looked at the floor.
"I-It was just an idea…"
I didn't expect that from her.
"What if we tribute the classical idol style?" Sanae proposed. "They have been gone for a millennium, it would be nice to remind people of the roots."
"Not bad," I replied. "But there has to be something more."
"Why don't we just wear our daily outfits?" Umi said.
Aki responded, "Come on, Umi. We can't waste an opportunity to look fabulous. I wouldn't mind wearing a bikini."
"I already said I would mind!" Umi yelled.
"That's a shame. I can tell you have a nice figure," Aki said, squeezing Umi's waist.
Umi jumped away from the chair. "Don't touch me!"
"Okay, sorry," Aki smiled. "What about leotards? You wouldn't show too much skin."
"Why are you so stubborn about showing off our figure?!"
I sighed. That's how this is going to be, huh?
Astra raised her hand again.
"Sanae suggested to tribute original idols, but you said it needs something more, right?"
"What if we tribute classical idols and traditional Japanese culture at the same time?"
"Interesting. Please elaborate."
"Well, I just thought about it. Maybe a kimono but with colorful and flamboyant decorations, like a typical idol costume."
Out of nowhere, Aki—sitting next to Astra—grasped her shoulders.
"Astra, you're an adorable genius!" she said with sparkling eyes.
"Eh? Am I?"
"I’ve already imagined dozens of designs! Let's do it!"
It's only been a second!
"So our image will be of the traditional Japanese and idol cultures," I said. "I like it. Does everyone agree?"
"Sounds great," Sanae answered.
"I like it too," Risa replied.
"Doesn't sound bad, I guess," Umi coldly said.
"Then it's decided; our group will represent traditional Japanese and idol cultures. Now, let's choose a name."
"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
Since the incident at Aki's apartment happened, I had only asked Professor Fuku questions about the business registration process. Today was the first time she called me to her desk after that happened. "Yes?" I answered when I approached her at her desk. "How's your business doing? Have you had any problems?" "It's progressing well. I haven't had problems with the legal stuff. Thanks to your lectures, everything is familiar." "I'm glad to hear that," she smiled. After an awkward silence, I spoke, "About what happened at Aki's—" "It's fine, you don't need to justify anything. You're both adults and can do what you want, as long as you're responsible."
Only one day after finishing Blossom Stars, Umi had already come up with the next song but, instead of doing everything by herself, everyone was going to work on it. Meanwhile, I had another job to fill. I left the studio just one hour after the meeting started to head back to Saitama District. As I walked on the sidewalk of the busy avenue, I realized something I hadn't thought about. How am I going to convince the owners to let complete strangers perform at their business? I know I have more chances of finding a venue in the Trading District, but I wanted to try here. There's only one problem: what am I going to show them? I have nothing. Not even flyers. I don't want to ask Aki to make them, they already have a lot of work. I guess that leaves me with one option. I put my glasses on and called Jun, wh