Ms. Yoshida's innocent smile scared me more than calmed me down as we stood deep in the hallway, far from everyone. I didn't know if it was me, but I could swear she had been silent for far too long.
Finally, she opened her mouth to talk, and I expected to hear the worst threat I could imagine.
"We'd love for Blostars to perform again at our last show."
I remained silent as my brain tried to process what she had just said, yet the only sound I was able to articulate was, "Huh?"
"I'd understand if you don't want to," she still smiled. "It was quite rude on our part to abruptly cancel the rest of your tour with us like that I just hope you understand that we did it to avoid controversies. To be honest, it kind of backfired. We expected fans to be angry, but not that ma
"It sounds good enough, but are you sure this is the quality you want for an album?" Aeryx asked Miki. The girls, Ms. Yoshida, Aya, and I stared at Miki, whose jaw dropped but no words came out. Even though she didn't mean to, Aeryx's menacing glare was the most threatening gaze that had been laid upon me, so I understood Miki's fear. To my surprise, he was able to recover before I had to intervene. "What do you mean by that?" asked Miki. "Exactly that," answered Aeryx. "The sound is good, but I'm suggesting you should buy better equipment now that your popularity is growing exponentially. It's alright if you can't afford it, though." I looked at Aya, expecting some kind of magical solution, but she merely looked back at me. Obviously, it was something I had to decid
Midnight was only a couple of hours away, which was our target release time for the album, but a few songs and animation videos weren't finished yet- I stayed at HQ with Jun and Miki and, even though they didn't need to, Aya, Tomokazu, and the girls also chose to stay with us. I walked up and down the stairs, back and forth between the art office and the recording studio. There were several moments I thought we weren't going to make it on time, but Jun and Miki kept reassuring me we were. With only twenty minutes to spare, Jun glued the last song to its animation and scheduled it, along with the rest of the album. The nine of us headed to the dance studio, where we sat down on the floor in a circle, anxiously waiting for the clock to hit midnight. The closer the minu
We arrived with only half an hour left before the girls would be performing with Aeryx, giving them barely enough time to get changed into their new costumes and get their makeup done. They hadn't taken part in the sound check, and the song wasn't even on the setlist. The only opportunity they had to practice with Aeryx was when she came to re-record the song at HQ, and they did so for less than two hours. The girls stared down at the ceramic floor of the tunnel in silence. Not even Aeryx's voice rumbling through the walls would wake them up. I placed my hand on Umi's shoulder since she was the closest, but I couldn't tell if she was shaking, if the bass made her shake, or if it was me. There were many reasons to be nervous. None of us had come to Saitama Super Arena before and we didn't get the chance to see its hall, since we had arrived through a door at t
Another day began at HQ when Butcher received Aki and me at the entrance. Even though five of us lived under the same roof now, it wasn't necessary for us to leave and arrive together. Before Aki could kiss me, I kissed her on the cheek first. She seemed surprised the first time I did it, but she quickly grew used to it. A broad smile spread from cheek to cheek on her face as she walked upstairs, and so did my lips while I headed to the office. Aya, Tomokazu, and I greeted each other as I walked through the room to sit at my desk. Just like the last several days, I had to work on making sure the tour would not fall apart before it could even begin, and keep it like that for almost three months. Nothing could've prepared me for the number of details and people I needed to be aware of. Even with Aya's and Tomokazu'
"Any news?" I asked Aya just as I sat at my desk. "Yes, in fact," she answered. "A TV channel invited us to their show." My head snapped toward her. "Wait, really? Did it arrive while I was gone?" She nodded. "Five minutes ago, to be exact. I'm making sure I read it properly, so I don't have much to tell you yet." "That's alright. I'll check it now as well." It took less than ten seconds for me to open the QMail app and find the qmail at the top of our company's business account inbox. I hadn't even opened it and the happiness drained from my body. The invitation was from Fame Gain, the local TV program I hated the most. Their topics were always famous people's controversies
Claps and cheers came from outside the hallway as the two presenters walked onto the stage. Meanwhile, the two sound technicians continued to wire the girls' microphones. Once they finished, one of the crew members told us to be ready to go out in two minutes. Aya stepped aside, then the girls and I lined up behind the corner that led onto the stage. To be honest, my chest did get a little tight when I realized how much the situation resembled a concert. I didn't belong in front of the cameras, but I had to follow the plan. "There are two reasons Fame Gain is popular," said Tomokazu to Aya, the girls, and me. "They are one of the few TV programs that don't follow a script, so people like its unpredictability. However, the most important reason is that they go for the interviewee's throat as soon as
"I'm not exaggerating when I say that the Blostars' hacking has been one of the country's most important events in recent years,” stated the polite presenter. "Not only did the hacker reveal personal information about the group, but she also revealed the most impactful secret of a president in decades. Would it be fair to say that this event boosted Blostars' fame?" "Absolutely," I answered. "The timing was also perfect as we were just releasing our first album. I'm not saying it was good that it happened. It was difficult for all of us to deal with it, especially the girls, but it would be dumb to say it didn't help in some ways." The rude presenter said, "We can imagine it was. Obviously, the biggest revelation was that Risa and Sanae are the twin daughters of an affair the ex-president had. Many things have been clarified, but there's something that the pu
Blostars' first tour began for me when the clock hit midnight. Even though I went to bed as early as I could, I only got three hours of sleep. I stood up from the bed, careful not to awaken Aki. There was no need for me to take a shower since I had taken one before going to bed, so I simply changed into casual clothes and approached the door. At the same time I grabbed the handle, Aki's raspy voice sounded behind me. "Don't take long." "I won't," I smiled. I stepped out of the room and closed the door. Only one light illuminated the otherwise dark hallway, coming out through the gaps between the doorframe and the walls of Umi's room. She usually stayed up late and even playe