Chapter 12:

Unforeseen Turns

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.Bookmark here

She's Aki's aunt?!Bookmark here

Aki stood still next to the door, glancing between the two of us confused. After the awkward silence, Fuku-sensei finally spoke.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a visitor. I'll leave you alone. Goodnight."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Do you know each other?" she asked.Bookmark here

"Y-Yes. She's one of my professors."Bookmark here

"Right. She's the Business Administration professor, how did I not realize that before?"Bookmark here

She added some stuff to the pot and walked back to sit down at the table again.Bookmark here

"Does that mean she knows about the group?"Bookmark here

I nodded. "I actually talked with her about it a few hours ago."Bookmark here

I'm not going to mention that she's the woman I like.Bookmark here

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."Bookmark here

"But they will find out sooner or later."Bookmark here

"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?"Bookmark here

I smiled. "I guess so."Bookmark here

So they aren't against the idea of being an idol. They just worry about her. Too much.Bookmark here

"I just hope my aunt doesn't tell my parents," she added.Bookmark here

It's weird thinking about Fuku-sensei as an aunt…Bookmark here

"By the way, are you going to stay here?" I wondered. "The rent will get more expensive when you stop studying."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"I know, don't worry," I chuckled. "It will increase when we start making money."Bookmark here

It's the first time I've seen her nervous.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Whilst we wait for the food, let me show what I wanted to show you," she said.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"It looks good," I said.Bookmark here

"Thanks!" she beamed. "Any suggestions?"Bookmark here

I thought for a moment. "It might be troublesome to move with it. The sleeves and the bottom half are quite long."Bookmark here

"That's what I thought, so I made three designs."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"I think the skirt is too much," I giggled.Bookmark here

"Really? Isn't that what people like?"Bookmark here

"Maybe? But still…"Bookmark here

"Okay, don't worry. This is the third and last idea I had."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I stared at it, unconsciously smirking.Bookmark here

"I'm guessing you liked this one?" she asked.Bookmark here

"I love it. I can't wait to show it to the other girls."Bookmark here

"Me too!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

They clapped.Bookmark here

"Second, Aki came up with a design for the costume. Aki, please show them."Bookmark here

"Yes. Everyone, can I send the drawing to your glasses?"Bookmark here

They accepted.Bookmark here

"Oh!" they uttered—except for Umi.Bookmark here

"Please tell me what you think," Aki smirked.Bookmark here

"It's pretty," Risa replied.Bookmark here

"It's cool," Sanae said.Bookmark here

"Cute and rude!" Astra said.Bookmark here

"I like sleeveless shirts," Umi deadpanned. "It's okay, I guess. At least it won't be embarrassing to wear it."Bookmark here

"I'm glad you all like it!" Aki beamed.Bookmark here

"Great," I continued. "If everyone agrees, that will be the costume—"Bookmark here

Suddenly, Astra raised her hand.Bookmark here

"Astra?"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Just say it," Aki replied.Bookmark here

"Okay. I think the shoes could be knee-height boots instead."Bookmark here

"Knee-height boots…"Bookmark here

Astra nodded. "And I think the shoulders are too empty. Maybe add some fabric that looks like a flower—"Bookmark here

Aki suddenly grasped Astra's shoulders.Bookmark here

"You cute little genius!" Aki shouted. "Give me one minute."Bookmark here

She stared at the ceiling, drawing on her glasses. Using the glasses to do something that precise was never the best, but it worked.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Aki, can you send it to me?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Oh. Yes, sorry."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

It doesn't even look like she drew it on her glasses.Bookmark here

"Good job, Aki. And great suggestions, Astra."Bookmark here

Astra's cheeks blushed a bit. "It was nothing," she giggled.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"No," Umi immediately protested.Bookmark here

"Umi?"Bookmark here

"I refuse."Bookmark here

"But don't all artists start by making covers?"Bookmark here

"Yes, but I won't get myself known for that."Bookmark here

I sighed. "Then what do you suggest—"Bookmark here

"I'll write the songs."Bookmark here

"That means it will take us even more time to start playing shows—"Bookmark here

"I'll have at least one song for Monday."Bookmark here

That fast?!Bookmark here

"Are you sure?" I asked. "They need to be sweet and catchy."Bookmark here

"Are you implying that I won't be able to write something cute because of my looks?"Bookmark here

"And because you aren't very girly."Bookmark here

She frowned. "I'm professional. Who I am doesn't reveal what I can write."Bookmark here

I stared at her, surprised. "Okay. What about recording it? We don't have the equipment—"Bookmark here

"Are we going to release an album?"Bookmark here

"No? Not yet."Bookmark here

"Then it doesn't matter. Unless you want the songs to be studio-quality, you can record with anything. Still, I have the equipment."Bookmark here

"You could've started with that… Okay, we'll leave that to you."Bookmark here

"I won't do anything for the choreography, though."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"And how will you do that?" Sanae asked.Bookmark here

"I'll… ask around in bars, clubs, and restaurants."Bookmark here

"Oh. Good luck with that," she giggled.Bookmark here

Very uplifting…Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I rang the bell and Dad quickly came to open the door. He squeezed me.Bookmark here

"Kaito! I'm so happy to see you!" he smiled.Bookmark here

"I'm happy too, Dad. You're suffocating me…"Bookmark here

"Oops, my bad," he laughed.Bookmark here

How is he still so strong at his age?Bookmark here

"Come in," he said, pushing me inside. "Aya and Takuya are already here."Bookmark 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.Bookmark here

Like the old days.Bookmark here

"Kaito," Aya greeted me with her usual, cold expression.Bookmark here

"Hi, Aya. I see you are dying of excitement to see me."Bookmark here

She smirked. "You know me well."Bookmark here

I headed to the kitchen.Bookmark here

"Mom? Takuya? You're not burning the kitchen down, right?"Bookmark here

"It's her fault!" Takuya yelled. "She told me to pour this in the pan, but it started splashing everywhere and burned me."Bookmark here

Well, yes, that's oil. And a lot.Bookmark here

"I pointed at the bottle next to it, not the oil," Mom said, clearly worried as she ran around the kitchen.Bookmark here

"How was I supposed to know?!"Bookmark here

You've been living alone for two months and don't even know that?Bookmark here

"I see you're having fun," I said. "I'll wait in the living room."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"What are you drinking?" I asked her.Bookmark here

"Whiskey. Do you want some?"Bookmark here

This early?!Bookmark here

"I'll wait for dinner, thanks."Bookmark here

"You're missing out."Bookmark here

We sat in silence for a moment.Bookmark here

"Aya, is everything okay?"Bookmark here

She sighed. "I'll tell everyone after we eat."Bookmark here

It's not good, is it?Bookmark here

Half an hour later, dinner was ready. We ate livelily and chatted for an hour, except for Aya, who didn't talk much.Bookmark here

Right after finishing, Mom announced my announcement.Bookmark here

"Everyone, please pay attention to Kaito. He has a very important announcement to make."Bookmark here

Dad gasped.Bookmark here

"Did you finally get a girlfriend?" Aya asked.Bookmark here

"What about you?" I asked back.Bookmark here

"Touché."Bookmark here

"No. I finally started a business. One that I'm sure will work."Bookmark here

Almost, at least.Bookmark here

"Wonderful!" Dad grinned.Bookmark here

"Is it about games?" Takuya asked.Bookmark here

"No, it's about idols."Bookmark here

Everyone stared at me in silence.Bookmark here

"Idols?" Mom wondered.Bookmark here

"It will be faster if I send you videos."Bookmark here

"I'll go for my glasses."Bookmark here

"Wait," Aya interrupted. She sighed. "I can't hold it in any longer."Bookmark here

"Aya?" Mom worried.Bookmark here

"My company just got closed. I'm jobless now."Bookmark here

Cel T.
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