I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols
Fuku-sensei 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, Fuku-sensei 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 realize that before?"
She added some stuff to the pot and walked back to sit down at the table again.
"Does that mean she knows about the group?"
I nodded. "I actually talked with her about it a few hours ago."
I'm not going to mention that she's the woman I like.
She sighed. "Look, I haven't told my family about me becoming an idol. The last thing I want is my parents to find out. Let's say they aren't very fond of the idea of me being famous."
"But they will find out sooner or later."
"I know. And when that happens, I'll already be a proper celebrity. I'll show them that being famous is not dangerous. Even if it is, isn't it worth it?"
I smiled. "I guess so."
So they aren't against the idea of being an idol. They just worry about her. Too much.
"I just hope my aunt doesn't tell my parents," she added.
It's weird thinking about Fuku-sensei as an aunt…
"By the way, are you going to stay here?" I wondered. "The rent will get more expensive when you stop studying."
"I will, for now. Your pay is little, but enough. I-I mean, it's a reasonable pay, don't get me wrong," she giggled.
"I know, don't worry," I chuckled. "It will increase when we start making money."
It's the first time I've seen her nervous.
Aki and I sat in silence. We glanced at each other a few times before she stood up. She grabbed a QPad from her desk and sat down again.
"Whilst we wait for the food, let me show what I wanted to show you," she said.
She tapped a couple of times and slid her fingers across the screen. She turned the QPad around for me to see it. It was the drawing of a costume. It basically was a yukata, but the bottom half looked more like a skirt.
"It looks good," I said.
"Thanks!" she beamed. "Any suggestions?"
I thought for a moment. "It might be troublesome to move with it. The sleeves and the bottom half are quite long."
"That's what I thought, so I made three designs."
She swept to the next drawing. It was the same yukata, but the sleeves were shorter, covering only half of the arm. The skirt was a lot shorter. A lot.
"I think the skirt is too much," I giggled.
"Really? Isn't that what people like?"
"Maybe? But still…"
"Okay, don't worry. This is the third and last idea I had."
She swept to the next drawing. It was the same yukata but sleeveless. The skirt had a reasonable length, covering half of the thigh. And the sash wrapped around the waist had a ribbon on the back with long strips.
I stared at it, unconsciously smirking.
"I'm guessing you liked this one?" she asked.
"I love it. I can't wait to show it to the other girls."
The food was ready not long after that. It was a very complete soup, with many vegetables and chicken. It was delicious, but maybe a bit too heavy to eat that late.
We said goodbye after chatting a little about ourselves. I returned to my apartment and played a bit to wait for my stomach to process the food. Then I slept.
The rest of the week flew by. I asked Fuku-sensei some things about the registration process. She never mentioned what happened that night and I was too scared to bring it up. Aki and I ate lunch together every day. We sat at the same table as Umi, who simply ignored us.
The weekend started and it was time for our next meeting. I arrived at the dance studio—Sanae's and Risa's room—and everyone else arrived only a few minutes later. During the week, I had asked Sanae and Risa to buy two more chairs—with my money—so there was one for everyone. They all sat down, while I stood in front of them.
"I hope you enjoyed your last week at school," I said. "Starting today, we'll work hard every day except Sundays. Now, there are two important announcements. First of all, the agency is finally registered."
"Second, Aki came up with a design for the costume. Aki, please show them."
"Yes. Everyone, can I send the drawing to your glasses?"
"Oh!" they uttered—except for Umi.
"Please tell me what you think," Aki smirked.
"It's pretty," Risa replied.
"It's cool," Sanae said.
"Cute and rude!" Astra said.
"I like sleeveless shirts," Umi deadpanned. "It's okay, I guess. At least it won't be embarrassing to wear it."
"I'm glad you all like it!" Aki beamed.
"Great," I continued. "If everyone agrees, that will be the costume—"
Suddenly, Astra raised her hand.
"Sorry for raising my hand," she giggled. "I just had an idea, but I don't want to be rude or anything. I'm not a designer, after all."
"Just say it," Aki replied.
"Okay. I think the shoes could be knee-height boots instead."
Astra nodded. "And I think the shoulders are too empty. Maybe add some fabric that looks like a flower—"
Aki suddenly grasped Astra's shoulders.
"You cute little genius!" Aki shouted. "Give me one minute."
She stared at the ceiling, drawing on her glasses. Using the glasses to do something that precise was never the best, but it worked.
She finished not even a minute later. She sent the updated drawing to the girls and they all were amazed. Even Umi showed a bit of emotion other than indifference.
"Aki, can you send it to me?" I asked.
"Oh. Yes, sorry."
The same drawing I had seen at the beginning of the week appeared on my glasses, but with Astra's suggestions. It was incredible how those little details improved it that much.
It doesn't even look like she drew it on her glasses.
"Good job, Aki. And great suggestions, Astra."
Astra's cheeks blushed a bit. "It was nothing," she giggled.
"That settles it; we now have a costume. Though it doesn't mean we won't modify it over time. Now, let's talk about our next steps. First of all, we need songs to dance to and sing. Since we are just starting, I suggest making covers."
"No," Umi immediately protested.
"But don't all artists start by making covers?"
"Yes, but I won't get myself known for that."
I sighed. "Then what do you suggest—"
"I'll write the songs."
"That means it will take us even more time to start playing shows—"
"I'll have at least one song for Monday."
"Are you sure?" I asked. "They need to be sweet and catchy."
"Are you implying that I won't be able to write something cute because of my looks?"
"And because you aren't very girly."
She frowned. "I'm professional. Who I am doesn't reveal what I can write."
I stared at her, surprised. "Okay. What about recording it? We don't have the equipment—"
"Are we going to release an album?"
"No? Not yet."
"Then it doesn't matter. Unless you want the songs to be studio-quality, you can record with anything. Still, I have the equipment."
"You could've started with that… Okay, we'll leave that to you."
"I won't do anything for the choreography, though."
"We'll leave that to the idol experts," I said, referring to Astra, Sanae, and Risa. "Lastly, it's my turn to do something for the group; I'll find places to play at."
"And how will you do that?" Sanae asked.
"I'll… ask around in bars, clubs, and restaurants."
"Oh. Good luck with that," she giggled.
The meeting ended a few minutes later. Astra, Aki, and Umi headed out, whilst I stayed to chat with Sanae and Risa for a couple of minutes. When I walked out of the building, Aki was still waiting for me. We walked together to the apartment buildings and nothing else happened for the rest of the day.
Sunday evening arrived. I took the monorail headed to the south of Japan, where my parents lived. I got off fifteen minutes later and walked for another ten minutes until I arrived at the house. A good thing about living far away from the center of the country was the possibility of buying a house, even if it was insanely expensive. Still, my parents' house had been inherited for generations.
I rang the bell and Dad quickly came to open the door. He squeezed me.
"Kaito! I'm so happy to see you!" he smiled.
"I'm happy too, Dad. You're suffocating me…"
"Oops, my bad," he laughed.
How is he still so strong at his age?
"Come in," he said, pushing me inside. "Aya and Takuya are already here."
And they were. Aya sat in the living room, wearing a suit and drinking something, whilst Takuya and Mom were cooking in the kitchen, shouting at each other.
Like the old days.
"Kaito," Aya greeted me with her usual, cold expression.
"Hi, Aya. I see you are dying of excitement to see me."
She smirked. "You know me well."
I headed to the kitchen.
"Mom? Takuya? You're not burning the kitchen down, right?"
"It's her fault!" Takuya yelled. "She told me to pour this in the pan, but it started splashing everywhere and burned me."
Well, yes, that's oil. And a lot.
"I pointed at the bottle next to it, not the oil," Mom said, clearly worried as she ran around the kitchen.
"How was I supposed to know?!"
You've been living alone for two months and don't even know that?
"I see you're having fun," I said. "I'll wait in the living room."
I left the hell happening in the kitchen and sat in the peaceful living room, on the couch in front of Aya. Even though her expression was cold as always, it felt different.
"What are you drinking?" I asked her.
"Whiskey. Do you want some?"
"I'll wait for dinner, thanks."
"You're missing out."
We sat in silence for a moment.
"Aya, is everything okay?"
She sighed. "I'll tell everyone after we eat."
It's not good, is it?
Half an hour later, dinner was ready. We ate livelily and chatted for an hour, except for Aya, who didn't talk much.
Right after finishing, Mom announced my announcement.
"Everyone, please pay attention to Kaito. He has a very important announcement to make."
"Did you finally get a girlfriend?" Aya asked.
"What about you?" I asked back.
"No. I finally started a business. One that I'm sure will work."
Almost, at least.
"Wonderful!" Dad grinned.
"Is it about games?" Takuya asked.
"No, it's about idols."
Everyone stared at me in silence.
"Idols?" Mom wondered.
"It will be faster if I send you videos."
"I'll go for my glasses."
"Wait," Aya interrupted. She sighed. "I can't hold it in any longer."
"Aya?" Mom worried.
"My company just got closed. I'm jobless now."