Chapter 24:

Forever Dinner

I Became the Manager of the First Galactical Idols

The week flew by. We finished the fifth song—called Forever Gravity—and spent enough time to learn it properly as well as to practice the other songs.Bookmark here

Then Saturday evening arrived. Aki, Professor Fuku, and I planned to meet outside of the apartment buildings. I was completely fine, but I started to get nervous as I walked there. I couldn't understand why since I had stopped thinking about Professor Fuku as a crush. It felt like I was cheating.Bookmark here

Aki and Professor Fuku were chatting when I arrived. They wore very elegant dresses. They had told me to wear something nice as well, so I wore one of the fanciest outfits Aki chose for me.Bookmark here

"Look at that gentleman over there," Professor Fuku smirked.Bookmark here

"Right? I knew that outfit would fit him," Aki said.Bookmark here

"You chose it for him?"Bookmark here

Aki proudly nodded.Bookmark here

"Well, it looks incredible on you," Professor Fuku said to me.Bookmark here

"Thanks. You two look beautiful as well."Bookmark here

"Thank you!" Professor Fuku smiled.Bookmark here

"Me, especially. Right?" Aki smirked, but I knew it wasn't from happiness.Bookmark here

"Y-Yes. You, especially…"Bookmark here

Professor Fuku chuckled. "Shall we go?"Bookmark here

Aki and I nodded.Bookmark here

We started walking, following Professor Fuku. But I still didn't know where we were going.Bookmark here

"Where are we going?" I asked.Bookmark here

"To my car," Professor Fuku answered. "I made a reservation at one of Japan's oldest and most famous places: the Araki Restaurant."Bookmark here

"Really? Isn't that place super expensive? And don't you need to wait like six months?" Aki asked back.Bookmark here

Even she didn't know where we were going.Bookmark here

Professor Fuku nodded. "But I won a coupon in a raffle at the university. On top of giving you a twenty-percent discount, it allows you to skip the queue."Bookmark here

"The university does have quite the connections," Aki replied.Bookmark here

"Indeed."Bookmark here

We arrived at the parking lot and got into Professor Fuku's car. She sat in the driver's seat, while Aki and I sat together in the back seat. Just as the car turned on, Aki held my hand. I looked at her and she simply smiled at me.Bookmark here

The car rose into the air until it reached one of the established traffic lines at a certain height, then it slowly started going forward. The lines weren't visible by eye, they only appeared on the car's panel screen or you could use your glasses—although it wasn't very useful.Bookmark here

Everything was automatic, meaning that Professor Fuku didn't have to do anything. Still, the law required someone to sit in the driver's seat in case something happened, but nothing ever really happened; the cars were very secure.Bookmark here

The three of us chatted a bit as we traveled there and arrived twenty minutes later. Using a car was slower than any public transport, but it was a lot more comfortable.Bookmark here

The car parked itself and we got out of it. Aki never stopped holding my hand as we walked to the entrance. An employee opened the door for us and welcomed us. It wasn't necessary at all, but the classical theme of an Araki Restaurant was one of its selling points.Bookmark here

We approached the reception and Professor Fuku talked with the receptionist. She instantly recognized the reservation and asked us to follow a waiter to our table.Bookmark here

The entire place wasn't only classical, it was fancy too. It had a lot of ornaments and overly-decorated lamps, tables, chairs, and walls with old paintings. Everyone wore elegant suits and dresses too. I had never felt that out of place, but it was an interesting experience.Bookmark here

We sat at our table and the waiter gave each of us a menu printed on paper.Bookmark here

"They really went all-in with the classical theme, huh?" I said.Bookmark here

"Yeah, but I like it," Professor Fuku replied.Bookmark here

"Me too," Aki added. "You don't, Kaito?"Bookmark here

"I don't like it, but I don't dislike it either."Bookmark here

"So, you're neutral about it."Bookmark here

I nodded.Bookmark here

"Well, that's our opinion about the appearance," Professor Fuku said. "Now let's order something to give our opinion about what matters the most: the food."Bookmark here

We started looking at the menu. I recognized half of the dishes, but the other half were extremely old or exclusive to the restaurant. Still, all of them were exorbitantly expensive even with a twenty-percent discount. I noticed Professor Fuku was a bit nervous as she looked at the menu.Bookmark here

"Professor Fuku, we can help you with the bill."Bookmark here

Aki nodded.Bookmark here

"No, it's fine. I already knew the prices, but seeing them in person is still shocking," she giggled.Bookmark here

Worried, we continued looking at the menu until a waitress arrived. She asked for our orders. Professor Fuku chose one of the most expensive dishes available, Aki chose the second cheapest, and I chose the cheapest one. It was the one I was the most interested in anyway.Bookmark here

Before leaving, the waitress also asked what drinks we wanted. They were free, so we all ordered one.Bookmark here

We sat in silence for a moment.Bookmark here

"How is Blostars doing?" Professor Fuku asked to break the ice.Bookmark here

"Wonderful," Aki replied. "It is challenging and all of the girls are very fun to work with."Bookmark here

"I'm glad to hear that. And what are your future plans for it, Miyahara?"Bookmark here

"I just hired a merchandising manager, so we will have something to sell to the fans soon. Hopefully by next week. And I also posted a job offer for a PR but, since the salary is quite a bit lower than the average, I haven't gotten any replies yet."Bookmark here

"All of that sounds great, but what about the middle term future? Didn't you want to be a galactical idol group?"Bookmark here

"Well, once we are popular enough and have enough money, we will travel to other planets. We'll keep working on songs and on growing the fanbase."Bookmark here

Professor Fuku sighed. "The plans sound very vague. I know you're doing something kind of new, but you should come up with proper goals and a feasible way of achieving them. I think I'll give you an assignment for it on Monday."Bookmark here

"Yes, Professor Fuku…"Bookmark here

"Aunt! Why are you scolding and giving him assignments outside of school?"Bookmark here

Professor Fuku giggled. "I'm sorry. I just want your business to be successful. I trust in you and I know your employees trust in you as well. Trust is a very important thing that is gained over time but can be easily lost in a snap. Make sure to keep it high, Miyahara."Bookmark here

"I'm going to give my best," I smiled.Bookmark here

"Excellent. And how is your relationship going?" she asked, referring to Aki and me.Bookmark here

I didn't expect that question at all, so I couldn't think of an answer right away. Instead, Aki answered for me.Bookmark here

"Oh, talking about relationships, do you want to be my boyfriend?"Bookmark here

I looked at her. "Eh?"Bookmark here

"Here are your drinks," a waitress said. She put the glasses on the table. "Your food will be here promptly."Bookmark here

She walked away and I still stared at Aki, speechless. She looked back at me with a serious expression. I glanced at Professor Fuku to see her reaction, but she was drinking her water.Bookmark here

"I mean, we've already kissed and slept together, but I want to make it official. And this is the fanciest place to ask you, so I'll be able to brag about it. Otherwise, you would've never invited me to a nice place and I wouldn't be able to brag about it."Bookmark here

"Aki!" I yelled in a whisper.Bookmark here

"What? Is it bad that I want to brag about it?"Bookmark here

"No! The other thing you said."Bookmark here

"That you would've never invited me to a nice place?"Bookmark here

"That we kissed and slept together!"Bookmark here

She smirked. "What about it?"Bookmark here

After frowning at her, I glanced at Professor Fuku, who frantically drank her water until she finished it. Then she stared at us with a smile, but I couldn't tell what kind of smile it was.Bookmark here

"Professor Fuku! Yes, we kissed and slept together, but we didn't do anything—Ouch!"Bookmark here

I felt a sudden and painful pinch on my thigh. It was Aki, who stared at me with a passive-aggressive smirk.Bookmark here

What is she doing?!Bookmark here

"It's fine," Professor Fuku said. "You're adults. As long as you're responsible, you can do whatever you want. Just please don't tell me about your affairs."Bookmark here

"Sorry, Aunt," Aki smiled. "So, Kaito. What's your answer?"Bookmark here

"I…. Yes, I want to be your boyfriend."Bookmark here

"Wonderful! Let's take a picture to remember this moment forever."Bookmark here

She slid on the seat to get closer to me and pressed her cheek against mine. A hologram projected in front of us from her glasses. It functioned as a mirror and also showed a countdown. Once it reached zero, the picture was taken.Bookmark here

"I'll send it to you," Aki said.Bookmark here

"I bet you look cute in it," Professor Fuku smiled.Bookmark here

My glasses vibrated in my pocket. I put them on and saw the picture.Bookmark here

Aki looks cute, while I look like I'm being forced to take it.Bookmark here

A waitress arrived at the table with our orders. She quickly yet carefully placed the bowls and plates on the table. Before walking away, Professor Fuku asked for more water. Then we started eating.Bookmark here

The food was good, but nothing extraordinary; it wasn't worth the expense. At least it was for Aki and Professor Fuku, who seemed to enjoy it.Bookmark here

They chatted a lot, while I was quiet for most of the time. Though they included me in the conversation as much as they could.Bookmark here

We returned home. Aki and Professor Fuku walked together to their building, and I walked alone to my apartment. As soon as I stepped inside, I received a notification on my glasses and put them on.Bookmark here

Someone finally replied to the job offer. They are called…. Wait, seriously?Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.