Chapter 14:

Sweet Choreography

I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols

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.Bookmark here

"Where are we?" I asked.Bookmark here

"What do you care? Why are you here in the first place? I don't need help."Bookmark here

"In case you needed it."Bookmark here

"Whatever."Bookmark here

The doors of the elevator opened and we stepped out. I followed her through another hallway for a bit until we stopped in front of a door with the number one hundred and seventeen on top. She unlocked the door but, before stepping inside, she stopped me with her hand.Bookmark here

"Stay here."Bookmark here

"Sure."Bookmark here

She stared at me for a moment and sighed. "You know what, come in."Bookmark here

Talk about indecisiveness…Bookmark here

I stepped inside behind her and saw something I didn't expect at all; a proper studio. The big, main room had dozens of instruments: guitars, a keyboard, drums, trumpets, and many more. There was a wide window with a room behind it. And there were more rooms I couldn't see inside.Bookmark here

What the…Bookmark here

"Umi, is this studio yours?"Bookmark here

"Yes. For now."Bookmark here

"For now?"Bookmark here

She approached a microphone in the middle of the room and did some stuff to it. Then she grabbed it by its stand and returned to the door.Bookmark here

"Doesn't matter," she answered.Bookmark here

When she opened the door to head outside, a man wearing a suit appeared and gently smiled at her. Umi seemed far from pleased.Bookmark here

"Good afternoon, Ms. Adachi."Bookmark here

She glared at him. "Get out of my way."Bookmark here

"Now, now. Aren't you going to introduce us?"Bookmark here

"No."Bookmark here

This girl…Bookmark here

"I'm Kaito Miyahara, fourth-year student of Business Administration at Saitama University. Nice to meet you."Bookmark here

"Finally, someone with basic manners. I'm the owner of this building, nice to meet you."Bookmark here

He didn't say his name.Bookmark here

"Are you done?" Umi questioned. "We're leaving now."Bookmark here

The owner stepped in front of Umi to stop her.Bookmark here

"I'm not done, Ms. Adachi. You know why I'm here."Bookmark here

After a long glare, she replied, "Give me two weeks."Bookmark here

The owner sighed. "Two more? I can't do that. You're three months behind on your rent."Bookmark here

Three months?! So that's why she needed the job.Bookmark here

"One week and no more," the owner continued. "This is your last chance."Bookmark here

"Fine. Now step aside."Bookmark here

Reluctant, the owner stepped back and let us head out. Umi locked the door and we walked back to the elevator, carefully getting inside with the microphone. She pressed the first-floor button.Bookmark here

"Umi—"Bookmark here

"Shut up, I don't wanna hear it."Bookmark here

"Why didn't you tell us you had a studio?"Bookmark here

She sighed. "Because every time I come, that jerk appears at the door."Bookmark here

Jerk, but he forgave her three months of rent.Bookmark here

"So, you needed a job to get the money for the rent because, if you don't pay it, you don't have anywhere else to store all that stuff, meaning you would need to sell it. And you don't want to do that."Bookmark here

"Basically."Bookmark here

"In that case, I can—"Bookmark here

"No, I don't need your pity."Bookmark here

"I wasn't going to give it to you. You know salary advancements are a thing, right?"Bookmark here

"But isn't that bad or something?"Bookmark here

"Not at all. You just need to convince your employer to give it to you."Bookmark here

"And how would I do that?"Bookmark here

"I'm already convinced. You have a completely equipped recording studio. Don't you think I want to use it?"Bookmark here

"So you just want to help me because of it?"Bookmark here

"You could say that."Bookmark here

She smirked. "Fine, I'll ask for that salary advancement thing."Bookmark here

"Good. But you need to write and send me a proper email. I need a reason for the transaction."Bookmark here

"Are you serious?"Bookmark here

I nodded and she sighed.Bookmark here

We stepped out of the elevator and walked out of the building to head back to the dance studio. We arrived with the microphone and placed it in the middle of the room. The voice was going to be recorded on it and transmitted to Umi's glasses for her to edit later.Bookmark here

"Who's first?" I asked.Bookmark here

"I divided the segments, but I don't know anyone's voice," Umi answered. "The first one needs a cheerful, high-pitched tone."Bookmark here

"Cheerful and high-pitched. That could be Astra or Sanae."Bookmark here

"I'm okay with Sanae being first," Astra said.Bookmark here

"No, no. It's fine, you can go first," Sanae replied.Bookmark here

This is going to be a problem.Bookmark here

"Umi, why don't we have everyone record the entire song? Then you can choose who fits each segment best."Bookmark here

"It's going to take more time, but it works."Bookmark here

"Great. Let's do it in alphabetical order. Aki, you're first."Bookmark here

"Yes, sir," she replied.Bookmark here

She approached the microphone and stood behind. She adjusted the height of the stand to be a bit taller and started warming up her throat.Bookmark here

"I sent you the track and the lyrics," Umi said. "Speak into the microphone to check if everything's good."Bookmark here

After a bit of testing and adjusting, everything was good to go. We sat on the chairs and Aki began singing. Everything went perfectly, but it was true that her voice didn't fit in all segments. We also realized the dance studio wasn't the best place to record. Even I noticed the sound wasn't the best in the room and that some noise from outside could ruin the recording. Luckily, Umi said it was good enough. She asked Aki to record again just in case and told her that she could change the way she sang if she wanted.Bookmark here

Aki finished recording and Astra was the next one. However, someone knocked on the front door in the middle of the recording, making us stop. I walked out of the room and opened the door. It was an old man. He looked scared until he saw me, then he glared at me.Bookmark here

"Yes?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Who are you? Are you the new owner?"Bookmark here

"No, I just work here."Bookmark here

"Well, you are making too much noise. I'd like for you to stop."Bookmark here

Great, exactly what we needed.Bookmark here

"Can it be only today? We really need to get it done."Bookmark here

"No, my ears are—"Bookmark here

Something started to creak behind me. It was Butcher, walking down the stairs. He approached us.Bookmark here

"Did something happen?" he asked with his stupidly-deep voice.Bookmark here

"B-Butcher!" the old man stuttered. His glare disappeared and the fear came back.Bookmark here

So that's why he was scared.Bookmark here

"I was just asking this young gentleman to keep the noise down. My ears are very sensitive, you know?"Bookmark here

Butcher scratched his chin. "I imagined that when the girls started singing. Can you bear it only for today? Then they won't do it anymore."Bookmark here

I already asked him that—Bookmark here

"No problem," he nervously laughed.Bookmark here

I should've expected it.Bookmark here

He walked away.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry, young man," Butcher apologized.Bookmark here

"It's not your fault. Luckily, we only need to record today. The rest is choreography, so it doesn't make any loud noise. And don't worry, I have an idea of where to move to."Bookmark here

"You're always thinking ahead. Impressive."Bookmark here

"Thanks."Bookmark here

There's no need to tell him I was just lucky.Bookmark here

I headed back to the studio and the recording resumed. Astra had to restart and then record for a third time, just in case.Bookmark here

A few minutes later, Astra finished and Risa started. Everything went smoothly, also for Sanae, who recorded after Risa. They all sounded great and it was obvious which segment was the best for each of the voices. Umi didn't have to record since she had already done it before.Bookmark here

"Okay, let's now get started with the choreography," I said. "Sanae, Risa, Astra, do you have any ideas?"Bookmark here

The three of them nodded.Bookmark here

"We could start with a peaceful pose," Risa suggested.Bookmark here

"Peaceful pose?" I wondered.Bookmark here

"Maybe standing and looking at the floor, with our hands behind us."Bookmark here

"Can you do it now?"Bookmark here

She nodded. She stood up and did exactly what she had described: she looked at the floor and put her hands behind her.Bookmark here

She looks peaceful indeed.Bookmark here

"But isn't the start explosive?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Yes, but we can do this for the entrance before that explosion. Then we can follow it up with something more lively."Bookmark here

"Right. I like it. Any ideas for the next movements?"Bookmark here

Astra raised her hand. "We can do something with our arms. Like this."Bookmark here

She stood up and started moving her arms in weird ways.Bookmark here

I had forgotten her dancing wasn't very good…Bookmark here

"I see," I giggled. "Why don't we—"Bookmark here

"Good idea!" Sanae said. She stood up and imitated Astra's movements, but with more grace and rhythm.Bookmark here

"Yes, like that!" Astra smiled.Bookmark here

The three of them began suggesting a lot of moves and we chose the best ones. An hour later, the choreography was decided, but it still needed a lot of fine-tuning and practice. By the end of the day, half of the choreography was done.Bookmark here

Everyone was incredibly tired—except for me. The seven hours of work had finished and I needed to go to class, so I headed to the university with Aki and Umi. Since they didn't have classes anymore, they walked together to their apartments.Bookmark here

I arrived at the lecture on time and it proceeded as usual, with Professor Fuku giving a wonderful class. It finished in the blink of an eye.Bookmark here

As I walked down the stairs to head out, Professor Fuku called me.Bookmark here

"Miyahara, do you have a minute?"Bookmark here

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