Chapter 19:

Warping Love

I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols

"Aki, you gotta move! Professor Fuku's knocking!" I whispered.Bookmark here

She didn't react at all; I simply felt her calm breathing. Then, Professor Fuku knocked again and asked for Aki, this time more worried.Bookmark here

Calm down, Kaito. She surely doesn't have permission to unlock the door.Bookmark here

"I don't know if you're there, but I'm going to open the door to make sure you're fine, okay?" she said.Bookmark here

Shit! I'm sorry, Aki. I have no choice.Bookmark here

Quickly, I pushed Aki aside onto the bed. I jumped out of it and lay on the floor to hide. Not even a second later, Professor Fuku opened the door and stepped inside. She then sighed.Bookmark here

"You're still sleeping? It's eleven o'clock already. And what are you wearing? Don't tell me you didn't sleep to make it."Bookmark here

"Maybe…," Aki replied with a raspy voice.Bookmark here

I got a bit upset. That's why she fell asleep so fast.Bookmark here

"This has happened many times already. Please take care of your health."Bookmark here

"I will, Aunt. Sorry. But didn't you do the same when you were young?"Bookmark here

"I'm still young. And yes, I did it twice. You've already done it four times this month. Promise me you won't do it again."Bookmark here

My anger kept rising.Bookmark here

After a moment of silence, Aki replied, "I promise."Bookmark here

"Good. I came to invite you to a coffee, but it's late and you probably haven't even showered. I'll leave you alone, but get up already."Bookmark here

Followed by a few steps, Professor Fuku closed the door. I exhaled from anger, disappointment, and relief.Bookmark here

I need to tell Aki not to do it again—Bookmark here

Out of nowhere, she pinched my ear while still lying on the bed.Bookmark here

"What are you doing?!" I yelled. "It hurts!"Bookmark here

"Why did you run away?"Bookmark here

"What?" She pinched even harder. "Because she would've seen us!"Bookmark here

"And? Didn't you already decide not to date her?"Bookmark here

"Yes, but… I don't know. I did it without thinking. Wouldn't it have been bad if she saw us?"Bookmark here

She let go of my ear. "We are adults with our own lives. I won't live scared of what my family thinks. Maybe you were embarrassed about being seen as red as a tomato."Bookmark here

"Probably…"Bookmark here

I stood up in front of Aki, who was still lying down.Bookmark here

"Aki, I agree with her. Take care of your health. You can pull an all-nighter once in a while, but not four times in a month."Bookmark here

She stared at me. "Are you worried about me not having the energy for Blostars? Or about me in general?"Bookmark here

"Both."Bookmark here

She smiled. "Don't worry, I already promised I won't do it anymore; I'm a woman of my word."Bookmark here

"Good. I should leave now."Bookmark here

"Why don't you stay to take a little nap? Do you have something to do on a Sunday?"Bookmark here

I remembered my hypocritical plan of looking for a venue on a resting day. Even though it was ideal to keep working every day, it would've been a bad example from the boss. It was exactly the same as how they felt, so I needed to hold back.Bookmark here

"I don't. But it doesn't feel right to stay here."Bookmark here

She sighed. "Where is the attractive Kaito from a couple of minutes ago? You just need to overcome your shyness."Bookmark here

"I'll try."Bookmark here

"Wonderful," she smirked. "Also, try to improve your wardrobe a little. I know! Let's go shopping!" she beamed. Then she immediately plopped back onto the bed. "But I'm dead. I can't move anymore."Bookmark here

"Let's do it next weekend, then."Bookmark here

"Are you asking me on a date?"Bookmark here

"I… Sure, I'm asking you on a date," I sighed.Bookmark here

"Fantastic! You just made my week. Now you can leave. Unless you want to stay and watch me sleep."Bookmark here

"See you tomorrow," I said, already opening the door to walk out.Bookmark here

I closed the door behind me and stood still, slowly inhaling and exhaling to calm myself down.Bookmark here

Why is she like that? She already said she's holding back, but can't she hold back more? Now I wonder what would've happened if she didn't hold back at all.Bookmark here

After a minute, my heartbeat became normal again. I started walking towards the elevator just to run into Professor Fuku stepping out of it.Bookmark here

I'm not even surprised anymore…Bookmark here

"Good morning, Miyahara," she smiled.Bookmark here

"Morning, Professor Fuku," I giggled. "You don't seem surprised to see me here."Bookmark here

"Well, I suspected something was going on when I heard a loud thump just before I opened Aki's door."Bookmark here

"Yeah…"Bookmark here

Hold back the need to give an excuse, Kaito!Bookmark here

She chuckled. "I wanted to drink a coffee with Aki this morning, but she probably wants to sleep. Unless she was lying to cover you being there."Bookmark here

"No, she really is dead."Bookmark here

"I see. Do you want to go with me? I don't like going alone," she giggled.Bookmark here

"Sure!"Bookmark here

"Wonderful. Just let me get something I forgot in my apartment."Bookmark here

So that's why she came back.Bookmark here

A minute later, she returned to me and we headed to a café nearby. I told her I didn't like coffee and that I was only going to eat biscuits. She got upset and thought I had come with her just because I would've felt guilty for rejecting her invitation, but I managed to convince her that wasn't true.Bookmark here

An hour flew by and we left the café. She went somewhere else, while I decided to relax at a park. It was somewhat crowded since it was Sunday. I sat on a bench and started reflecting on what had happened in the last month.Bookmark here

I had always thought how sad it was that practically everything in the world was artificial. It made me want to visit other planets more, something we were getting closer to achieving. Traveling just for tourism was quite expensive. The best opportunities were school and business trips since they were free or done with the goal of making a profit.Bookmark here

Even though teleportation was possible, it was far from being reliable enough to be used on a daily basis by civilians. The only form of intergalactic travel was rocket ships with Warp Drives. I could never understand the science behind them, but I got a rough idea.Bookmark here

The ships were made of what looked like five rockets with a pillar shape put together; one in the middle and the other four connected on its sides. They weren't colossal as fictional stories described, but they were big enough to accommodate hundreds of people and their luggage.Bookmark here

A ticket to travel to another planet was very expensive, yet still affordable since the costs of flying were extremely high. However, they were able to do it thanks to hundreds of passengers buying tickets, just like conventional airplanes when they first emerged. It was impossible if only one person flew at a time.Bookmark here

Once they reached space and got at a safe distance away from Earth, they would turn the Warp Drive on. To understand it, I had to imagine a bubble wrapping around the ship. Then, thanks to dark matter and energy manipulation, Space was bent like a piece of paper being folded—except for the ship being protected by the bubble.Bookmark here

The folding was relative to the ship. It was such that it basically moved the destination from its original position to the top of the ship. The more the space could be bent, the closer the destination would be moved. That meant that the ship could arrive faster, but the energy required exponentially increased, so the costs did as well.Bookmark here

The number that indicated how much the space could be bent by a ship was called a Warp Level. It was directly proportional to the speed of light. The velocity of a ship at level one was a thousand times faster than the speed of light, then level two was two-thousand times faster, level three was three-thousand times faster, and so on.Bookmark here

Normally, the cheapest option was a Warp Level of ten since lower levels were quite slow for intergalactic travel. Level fifty was the recommended option for tourists; fast enough and not too expensive. With it, the nearest system could be reached in less than an hour.Bookmark here

Even though public spacelines reached up to level one hundred, private ones—meant for rich people—could get up to five hundred. With it, they could reach the nearest system in only five minutes.Bookmark here

After thinking and fantasizing for an unknown amount of time, I returned to my apartment. Whilst walking, I looked around for more interesting places. I convinced myself it wasn't work since I was merely observing.Bookmark here

I played video games, watched videos, and chatted for the rest of the afternoon. Then, Monday began. I spent an hour helping the girls and watching them perform before heading out. I finally had enough material to convince the business owners to let us perform.Bookmark here

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