Chapter 1:

Stop Procrastinating, Star Projecting

I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols

What am I supposed to do now?Bookmark here

That was what I thought as I walked out of the university. I was meandering through my last year and needed to make my final project, but had no clue about what to do.Bookmark here

I wanted my own company, yet I never liked Business Administration. I had only chosen it because it seemed like the logical step to take in addition to that many articles mentioning it was a path that could diverge into many branches. Even if I didn't like it, it still could be useful.Bookmark here

And there I was, aimlessly roaming around the yard. I was going to get nothing out of it, so I headed off of the campus onto the streets to take a refreshing walk.Bookmark here

What was I thinking? The cars flying above me never let me concentrate. But there was no park nearby to escape from them. I had to conform with the noisy streets full of merchants selling their creations. I felt bad for them. Most of them seemed genuine, trying to earn a living, but there was no more room for entrepreneurs.Bookmark here

It was the thirty-second century. The world was practically out of resources and space. Our planet only thrived because of asteroid mining. It was the only way to gather resources. Without it, we wouldn't have survived.Bookmark here

Luckily, scientists found a way to travel between planetary systems in a matter of days, hours, or even minutes. It opened the opportunity for people to escape to other planets as soon as they were habitable. But even if they were, it still was a risky decision. They had only been colonized for a couple of centuries at most.Bookmark here

I knew there were many obstacles I had to overcome. First of all, I needed to graduate. And for that, I needed to make a final project that showed my skills to administrate a business. It would've been easy… if I hadn't procrastinated for three years.Bookmark here

Nothing's coming to my head! Come on, brain. Be useful for once!Bookmark here

As I walked on the sidewalk in front of old-looking buildings, I saw a particularly colorful, digital sign hanging on the door of one of them. I stopped to read it.Bookmark here

Manager needed? It doesn't even say for what.Bookmark here

"You are stepping on litter that needs to be collected," a feminine voice said behind me. It was a SweeperBot, trying to pick up something I had stepped on.Bookmark here

"Oh, sorry."Bookmark here

I moved aside, but no garbage appeared beneath my foot. There's nothing.Bookmark here

"On the sole of your shoe."Bookmark here

I lifted my foot to see under the shoe and there was chewing gum stuck on it. Who the hell dropped this?! I just bought this pair!Bookmark here

I sat on the stairs of the building. Disgusted by the thought of touching something that someone had in their mouth, I searched for something to peel it off. I found nothing.Bookmark here

"I can take it off without damaging your shoe," the robot said.Bookmark here

They have been busy improving their speech, huh? I couldn't even tell it was a robot when it talked. Still, I don't trust their delicacy towards humans. But I have no other choice.Bookmark here

I sighed. "Go ahead. Just be very careful—"Bookmark here

Without even finishing the sentence, the robot started vacuuming the chewing gum. It was not damaging my shoe, but the gum wouldn't come out. It stopped after a few seconds and stood still on the sidewalk, completely silent.Bookmark here

"Hello? SweeperBot?"Bookmark here

Suddenly, it started vacuuming once again. The noise was much louder. My leg was being pulled harder and harder.Bookmark here

"Calm down! You're going to—"Bookmark here

My shoe came off my foot and got stuck in the opening of SweeperBot's vacuum pipe because it didn't fit. The vacuuming stopped.Bookmark here

"The litter has been gathered," the robot said. "Please remove the shoe from my pipe."Bookmark here

Oh, it actually did it.Bookmark here

I grabbed my shoe and the SweeperBot left to continue cleaning the streets. Before putting it back on, I inspected the bottom. There was a hole in the middle of the sole. Are you freaking kidding me?Bookmark here

"Hey, are you here to apply for the job?" someone asked behind me. It was a blonde girl, probably around seventeen years old.Bookmark here

"Job?"Bookmark here

"You didn't see the sign? We are looking for a manager."Bookmark here

"I saw it, but it's very vague. A manager of what?"Bookmark here

She smiled before grabbing my arm and pulling me inside the building.Bookmark here

"Hey! What are you doing? I didn't even say I'm looking for a job."Bookmark here

The interior had a vintage style from the two-thousands. The walls were quite torn and some of the floor tiles were broken. Rotten wooden stairs led to the second floor. Dim lights barely illuminated the hallway.Bookmark here

This is the Trading District for you.Bookmark here

The girl pulled me into a room with a huge shattered mirror. Another girl with green hair was dancing in front of it. Her movements were quite adorable.Bookmark here

"Risa, another applicant arrived!" the blonde girl said.Bookmark here

"Really?" the green-haired girl beamed. She stood in front of me."Do you want to be our manager?"Bookmark here

Why is she making puppy eyes?Bookmark here

"Wait, wait, wait," I interrupted. "First of all, I never said I wanted the job. Second, this place looks horrible. And third, where's your guardian?"Bookmark here

"Hey! Be more considerate of our home," the blonde girl scowled.Bookmark here

"Home?"Bookmark here

I looked around the room. There were two futons on the floor, next to two suitcases. And that was it. Eh?Bookmark here

"Where's your guardian?" I asked again.Bookmark here

"We don't have one. We are old enough to take care of ourselves," the blonde girl answered with confidence. Meanwhile, the green-haired girl—Risa—timidly hid behind her friend.Bookmark here

Seriously?Bookmark here

"So, it's only the two of you," I confirmed.Bookmark here

They nodded.Bookmark here

I shouldn't get too involved in this. But…Bookmark here

"Then what do you want a manager for?"Bookmark here

"We are forming our idol group!" the blonde girl shouted. Risa supported her with a reassuring smile.Bookmark here

I let out a deep breath. "First of all, I haven't heard that term in ages. Second, you should go home. This district is very dangerous."Bookmark here

I turned around to head out, but the blonde girl stood in front of me and blocked the exit.Bookmark here

"First of all, stop talking like that. Second, I just said this is our home. Third," —she pulled Risa in front of me, who started making puppy eyes again—"we beg you! You're the third applicant in a month!"Bookmark here

Only three in a month?! Well, judging by the sign, that's reasonable.Bookmark here

Curious, I asked, "What's the pay?"Bookmark here

"None!" the blonde girl smiled.Bookmark here

With a poker face, I walked around her and headed to the front door. Why was I hoping for a miracle?Bookmark here

"We want to be the best idols in the country!" the blonde girl shouted. "No, in the world! We haven't stopped practicing since we were little and we won't stop. This is our life. We just need an opportunity."Bookmark here

I sighed. "Look, girl. I'm sorry. The world is unfair. Everyone is looking for opportunities, but not everyone finds one. Even if you do, it might be worse than doing nothing. I tell you from experience."Bookmark here

"So you simply gave up?"Bookmark here

"You haven't seen the real world yet—"Bookmark here

"Stop saying that! I'm tired of hearing it. Adults always tell us that we don't know anything about life, while you know nothing about us. You're just afraid of failing."Bookmark here

"I never said I gave up. And yes, I'm afraid of failing. Because you only get one shot in this world. Once you fail, people will only see that and not your successes."Bookmark here

"You had a bad experience, huh?"Bookmark here

"You could say that."Bookmark here

"Then work with us. We might only be sixteen, but I assure you we are mature. We want to devote our lives to being idols."Bookmark here

I stood still, my hand ready to turn the knob of the door. She really wants to go forward. Meanwhile, I keep running away from opportunities, whilst others would die to even get one. Sadly, this won't work.Bookmark here

"I admire your determination, girl. But I'm sorry. I'm not qualified to manage an idol group. As I said, I haven't heard that term in ages. I know nothing about it."Bookmark here

"We will teach you! We just need someone to get us advertising and venues!"Bookmark here

"Even if you teach me, people know little to nothing about idols nowadays. So, you will likely fail if you don't have something unique, something big, something… galactical. Galactical…." I grabbed her shoulders as an epiphany hit me and shook her. "I'm a genius!"Bookmark here

"Stop shaking me."Bookmark here

"You said you want to be the best in the world, right?"Bookmark here

"I did."Bookmark here

"What if I told you that you need to be the best in the galaxy?"Bookmark here

She stared at me, perplexed. "I'd say you're crazy. But that sounds like a fun challenge."Bookmark here

"Excellent! I will use you for my final project!"Bookmark here

"Don't use the word 'use'. It's weird."Bookmark here

"I just need to learn what an idol is."Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.