I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols
"Aki, you gotta move! Professor Fuku's knocking!" I whispered.
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.
Calm down, Kaito. She surely doesn't have permission to unlock the door.
"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.
Shit! I'm sorry, Aki. I have no choice.
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.
"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."
"Maybe…," Aki replied with a raspy voice.
I got a bit upset. That's why she fell asleep so fast.
"This has happened many times already. Please take care of your health."
"I will, Aunt. Sorry. But didn't you do the same when you were young?"
"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."
My anger kept rising.
After a moment of silence, Aki replied, "I promise."
"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."
Followed by a few steps, Professor Fuku closed the door. I exhaled from anger, disappointment, and relief.
I need to tell Aki not to do it again—
Out of nowhere, she pinched my ear while still lying on the bed.
"What are you doing?!" I yelled. "It hurts!"
"Why did you run away?"
"What?" She pinched even harder. "Because she would've seen us!"
"And? Didn't you already decide not to date her?"
"Yes, but… I don't know. I did it without thinking. Wouldn't it have been bad if she saw us?"
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."
I stood up in front of Aki, who was still lying down.
"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."
She stared at me. "Are you worried about me not having the energy for Blostars? Or about me in general?"
She smiled. "Don't worry, I already promised I won't do it anymore; I'm a woman of my word."
"Good. I should leave now."
"Why don't you stay to take a little nap? Do you have something to do on a Sunday?"
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.
"I don't. But it doesn't feel right to stay here."
She sighed. "Where is the attractive Kaito from a couple of minutes ago? You just need to overcome your shyness."
"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."
"Let's do it next weekend, then."
"Are you asking me on a date?"
"I… Sure, I'm asking you on a date," I sighed.
"Fantastic! You just made my week. Now you can leave. Unless you want to stay and watch me sleep."
"See you tomorrow," I said, already opening the door to walk out.
I closed the door behind me and stood still, slowly inhaling and exhaling to calm myself down.
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.
After a minute, my heartbeat became normal again. I started walking towards the elevator just to run into Professor Fuku stepping out of it.
I'm not even surprised anymore…
"Good morning, Miyahara," she smiled.
"Morning, Professor Fuku," I giggled. "You don't seem surprised to see me here."
"Well, I suspected something was going on when I heard a loud thump just before I opened Aki's door."
Hold back the need to give an excuse, Kaito!
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."
"No, she really is dead."
"I see. Do you want to go with me? I don't like going alone," she giggled.
"Wonderful. Just let me get something I forgot in my apartment."
So that's why she came back.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.