Chapter 18:

Starry Morning

I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols

I left the new studio in the evening and messaged the girls to tell them I wasn't going to go back to the current studio. I headed straight to the university. Professor Fuku hadn't arrived yet, so I sat alone and bored. It gave me time to reflect on her and Aki.Bookmark here

Am I losing interest in Professor Fuku? After liking her all this time, I finally have a chance to take the next step, but my brain is toying around with me; it's doing it on purpose. Still, I'm trying my best to keep the flames alive. I'm trying… Should I be doing that? Am I not forcing myself to like her? I don't think being doubtful is a good sign either. It means I don't like her enough…Bookmark here

"Miyahara," Professor Fuku greeted me as she stepped into the room.Bookmark here

"Professor Fuku!" I overreacted.Bookmark here

"What's the matter?" she chuckled.Bookmark here

"N-Nothing, I was thinking about stuff."Bookmark here

"Well, you always arrive early. It must be boring."Bookmark here

"It is," I giggled.Bookmark here

The lecture began a few minutes later and ended in the blink of an eye. As usual, she and I walked together throughout the gardens of the campus under the stars. There was nothing more than silence—as much as there could be with a city nearby, anyway. It wasn't awkward, yet my heart kept hammering my chest. I knew it had to be done.Bookmark here

"Professor Fuku," I called. I stopped walking.Bookmark here

She stopped walking a few steps ahead. "Miyahara?"Bookmark here

Hesitant at first, I was able to articulate the words. "What do you think about me?"Bookmark here

Her gentle smirk disappeared for a moment, but it came back. "I think you're a handsome, funny, eccentric guy."Bookmark here

Eccentric?Bookmark here

"You only see me as a guy?"Bookmark here

"It's not a bad thing, but I get what you mean. After you told me you like me, I've been struggling to sleep trying to figure out if I really like you or not. It took me until today to realize I still see you as a guy and not a man. I tried to force myself to change that, but I couldn't. I guess I was biased by the fact that you're the first person that has confessed to me."Bookmark here

We stared at each other in silence. My mind was blank.Bookmark here

"Miyahara, do you still like me?"Bookmark here

"I… I do, but not in the way I imagined. I thought I was in love with you, but that feeling has been fading away as we have gotten closer and closer. I can only guess I felt like that because I believed you were unreachable. The perfect woman I could never get."Bookmark here

She chuckled. "That's not true at all, I'm far from perfect. And you'll find that woman soon. Maybe you already did."Bookmark here

"What do you mean?"Bookmark here

"Nothing," she snickered. "So, I was your professor crush, just like kids have a crush on their teachers."Bookmark here

"I guess," I giggled, scratching the back of my head. "So, Professor Fuku, please let's keep being friends."Bookmark here

Her smile disappeared. "Are you friendzoning me?"Bookmark here

"N-No! I mean, I still want to get to know you and—"Bookmark here

"I was kidding," she laughed. "Of course, let's keep being friends."Bookmark here

The weight from my shoulders lifted. I felt liberated, yet there still was something bothering me.Bookmark here

We arrived at her apartment in no time and said goodbye. As I walked in front of Aki's apartment, I felt the urge to talk with her but didn't know about what. I controlled myself and returned to my apartment, where I jumped into my bed and buried my face into the pillow.Bookmark here

Even though my feelings towards Professor Fuku had been solved, I couldn't help but feel beaten; I had given up my love for the past three years. At the same time, I was glad I was able to clarify my confusion. Both feelings clashed against each other and overwhelmed me. I couldn't believe they made me tear up for the first time in years.Bookmark here

I somehow managed to fall asleep. I woke up at ten o'clock feeling a lot better. I did my daily routine more cheerfully than usual before heading to the studio. Even though I arrived early, the girls were already chatting with each other.Bookmark here

Umi let us hear what she had recorded for the third song, called Starry Sunrise. Just like Blossom Stars—the first song—it was joyous and energetic. However, it had more electronic sounds instead of being played only with normal instruments. It was fast. The rhythm never turned down on its intensity; it kept going and going. It was going to be a hard song to perform, one that the girls would need to put their soul into.Bookmark here

The girls immediately started brainstorming, while I had to leave to the new studio to supervise the last part of the remodeling.Bookmark here

The studio was finished a few hours later and I messaged the girls to come. They arrived in no time and the first thing they did was to perform both Blossom Stars and Sparkling Before After; they looked incredibly happy. They then showed me their ideas for the choreography of the new song. It was progressing well, but it clearly needed improvements.Bookmark here

They also went to the recording studio—which now was next to the dance studio—and recorded the singing for the song. Time flew by and I had to leave for my lecture. They left for their homes a bit later than usual, something I didn't like. I didn't want them to burn themselves out.Bookmark here

The lecture began and quickly ended. I walked with Professor Fuku and felt refreshed; not having to worry about my feelings towards her anymore was relieving. She laughed more than before, so she probably felt freed as well.Bookmark here

I returned to my apartment and slept like a baby. Then, Sunday arrived. My first thought was to go out and look for a venue, but I felt conflicted; I didn't like the girls working more than they should and I wanted to do exactly that. My position was different, yet it would've been hypocritical of me.Bookmark here

Not knowing what to do, a message suddenly arrived on my glasses. It was Aki, asking if I could come to her apartment in an hour to talk about something.Bookmark here

Does she always have to be this secretive?Bookmark here

I accepted. I headed out after showering and eating breakfast. This time, I wore something less formal, yet still nice.Bookmark here

I knocked on her door and she instantly answered. She opened it just a little and peeked out from behind.Bookmark here

"Come in," she smiled.Bookmark here

She opened the door more to let me in. Once I stepped inside, she closed it. I turned around and saw her striking a pose, wearing the Blostars' costume.Bookmark here

"Tada!" she beamed.Bookmark here

I stood still, staring at her in silence. My head was taking its time to process what I was seeing.Bookmark here

"Don't just stare; tell me what you think. Doing this pose is tiring."Bookmark here

I shook my head to wake up. "Sorry. The costume looks great, exactly like in the drawings. Did you make it?"Bookmark here

"Of course. And I didn't stop there; I made all the girls' costumes. They are on your left."Bookmark here

Confused, I turned my head and saw the costume for each of the girls. The color of the decorations matched the hair color of the girls, making it obvious which costume was for who.Bookmark here

She really made them…Bookmark here

"Now, how does it look on me?" she asked, still making the pose.Bookmark here

"It looks… very good on you. It makes your figure and legs stand out while still looking cute."Bookmark here

"What are you looking at? Pervert."Bookmark here

"S-Sorry! You told me to give you my opinion, so I went into critic mode."Bookmark here

She laughed. "I know, I'm just kidding. That was a useful opinion."Bookmark here

I sighed. "But Aki, I didn't ask you to make them. You already have a lot of work by dancing and singing—"Bookmark here

She approached me and placed her finger in front of my lips, followed by a gentle shush. I could barely feel her finger.Bookmark here

"I knew you were going to say that; that's why I didn't tell you. We are going to need them and I wanted to make them. Remember one of the reasons I joined the group was to advertise my work."Bookmark here

With that, she had shut me up. However, I couldn't remain silent.Bookmark here

"It's true that I agreed for you and Umi to advertise your stuff, but I'm your boss. You have to tell me if you're going to do things like this and I have to allow it. You already made them and they look great, so I won't complain this time. But please don't do it again."Bookmark here

Her smile had turned into shock. She stared at me for a long time without even blinking.Bookmark here

"Aki?"Bookmark here

"Has someone told you that you become a trillion times more attractive when you are assertive?"Bookmark here

"W-What? Well, I'm not usually like this—What are you doing?"Bookmark here

She started to get too close to me, making me walk back. I stumbled with the table before the bed stopped me from going any further into the room. Standing next to it, Aki pushed me and I fell into the bed. She then placed her hands beside my head to prop herself on top of me. My heart wouldn't stop raising.Bookmark here

What's happening?Bookmark here

"Kaito, did you make a decision?"Bookmark here

"I… did. I don't have a crush anymore, but that doesn't mean I chose you. I still barely know you."Bookmark here

She grinned. "That's enough for me."Bookmark here

Suddenly, she let herself fall on me. Her head rested on my chest and I could feel her legs on mine. I can also feel her breasts on my stomach!Bookmark here

"You can't imagine how hard it is to hold back from kissing you…"Bookmark here

"No, I can't."Bookmark here

A few seconds passed and nothing had happened. My entire body hadn't calmed down one bit.Bookmark here

"Aki, can you move aside? My heart won't handle this for much longer. Aki?"Bookmark here

She didn't reply. I leaned forward a little to see her; she was sleeping.Bookmark here

Are you serious?! No, she has to be playing with me.Bookmark here

"Aki, seriously, please move. I need to take a breath."Bookmark here

Someone suddenly knocked on the door.Bookmark here

"Aki, are you there?" Professor Fuku asked.Bookmark here

Again?!Bookmark here

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