Volume 2 Chapter 8 Shirogane Aqua, First Commercial Shoot (CM)
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
”Hello, everyone! I’m Shirogane Aqua, from Beryl Entertainment. It’s nice to meet you!”
”Nice to meet you too!”
Finally, the day has come! It’s my first job as an idol. Although it’s a common debut for idols to appear in live performances, this time it’s different. It’s a Commercial shoot for Merry Biscuit, which I previously did a photoshoot for in a magazine. It seems that Ako-san, when leaving her previous company, was begged by her former boss to take on this job no matter what. As for me, I gladly accepted the opportunity without hesitation, thanks to the connection that Morinaga-san facilitated, which led me to where I am today.
”I’m sorry, Shirogane-kun.”
”No, I’m actually glad you got me a job so quickly.”
Last time, I was with Toa-chan, but today I’m shooting alone. I’m a little nervous about my first Commercial shoot.
”Thank you, Shirogane-kun. That outfit suits you very well.”
I double-checked my reflection in the mirror. The clean white short-sleeved shirt gives a strong sense of summer, and the simple style represents a refreshing feeling. It was a styling that effectively took into account the timing of the CM airing and the concept they want to sell.
”The CM is scheduled to air before summer, right?”
”Yes, this time we’ll also be taking photos for the website, as well as pictures for campaign flyers. So, please keep that in mind.”
I didn’t know much about it, but apparently, cookie and biscuit sales tend to drop quite a bit during summer when people’s mouths get dry. Morinaga-san made various efforts to sell the classic biscuit during summer by ensuring it has a light texture that doesn’t make people mouth feel heavy. The product development team worked hard, and as a result, they came up with the new and improved Mori Merry Biscuit. The distinctively bright red box is cute, and the image character, Merry (a sheep), has a design that I personally find adorable.
”Shirogane-san, are you ready to start the shoot?”
”Yes, I’m ready!”
I straightened my back confidently.
”If you feel tired, let us know immediately. We’ve scheduled breaks as well.”
”Thank you, I’ll do my best!”
I thought I would be nervous for my first CM shoot, but it was even more enjoyable than I expected. Time flies when you’re having fun. Although I entered the studio after lunch, by the time the shoot was finished, it was already dusk outside.
”Thank you, Merry-san, for today.”
I hugged Merry, the mascot character I worked hard with today, to express my gratitude. Merry’s fluffy costume felt incredibly soft, and my face couldn’t help but break into a carefree expression.
Huh? Did I just hear a somewhat silly voice from inside the costume…? I stared at Merry intently.
Hmm, it was just my imagination after all. I waved goodbye to Merry and expressed my gratitude to each staff member involved in the shoot. As a newcomer, it’s crucial for me to go around and greet everyone.
”Thank you very much for today! I’ll excuse myself now!”
”Thank you too! The result is even better than I had expected. If it’s alright with you, Shirogane-kun, I would be delighted if you could continue as the image character for our product.”
The important woman from Morinaga, the confectionery company, directs her gaze towards Ako-san, who was standing next to me.
”Thank you very much. It’s a valuable offer, so I would like to formally discuss it again.”
”Yes, that sounds good. Shirogane-kun must be tired today, so let’s talk again at a later date.”
Ako-san and Morinaga’s representative exchange a firm handshake.
I had consulted with Ako-san beforehand about what I should do if they asked for continuation. Thankfully, Ako-san mentioned that they want me to do the work I want rather than prioritizing the company’s interests. Personally, I want to value the relationship with Morinaga-san, which was my initial opportunity, and in the beginning, I didn’t want to be too picky and wanted to get the work on track. Just as Ako-san has been considering me the most, I also want to cherish Ako-san, who supports me. Therefore, I believe that continuing a long-term partnership with a major company like this will definitely be helpful in running the agency. It’s not something an idol would typically say, but money is important when it comes to doing something…
”Well then, shall we go?”
We express our gratitude to each passing person, just as we did before, saying “Thank you very much for today.” Come to think of it, when I first came here, many people were surprised when I did the same thing, but this time everyone responded normally.
In front of the elevator hall before heading to the underground parking lot, I suddenly felt the urge to use the restroom. Perhaps I was a little nervous after all. Once the thought of needing to pee crossed my mind, I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
”Sorry, I suddenly need to use the restroom…”
Ako-san showed a somewhat flustered expression for some reason. And she muttered something in a small voice.
”R-right… Shirogane-kun need to use the restroom too…”
When I tilted my head, Ako-san waved her hands frantically, trying to convey that it was nothing.
”Oh, no, it’s nothing. Well then, I’ll go downstairs first. I’ll also call your family members.”
”Yes! Thank you very much.”
After parting ways with Ako-san, I headed towards the area where the men’s restroom was located. In my previous life, the men’s and women’s restrooms were usually installed side by side, but in this world, the men’s restroom was placed in a separate section. It seems to be a measure to protect men. However, since men rarely go outside in the first place, these restrooms within facilities are not often used.
”Hey! Say something!”
As I thought something, I was startled by the sudden shout. Wait, could it be… me? I looked around but there was no one there. It seems that this angry voice was not directed at me.
”…Senpai, this is the men-only floor. Is it alright?”
The voices came from the end of the corner, where the men’s restroom I was heading to was located. Ah, I see. Maybe there’s a senpai who is teasing a junior, taking advantage of the fact that the men’s restroom is not frequently used. But still… I feel like I recognize the voice of the person being yelled at. Is it just my imagination? I approached the corner silently and peered in, trying to catch a glimpse of the situation.
”Hey! Just because you’ve been getting a little popular lately, doesn’t mean you can get carried away, you ugly b*tch!!”
A woman who appeared slightly older than me was furious, her face turning bright red. Trying to confirm the person being scolded, I leaned forward even more, peering into the situation.
”…I’m not getting carried away or anything. Sigh… Can I go home already? I have my next job.”
I was surprised when I saw the person behind the voice. It was Tsukimachi Ayana-san, the orthodox beauty with well-groomed features and glossy black hair, who sat next to me. I had heard that this building, where the photography studio was located, was primarily used by the entertainment industry, including talents, actresses, idols, and singers. Considering Ayana’s age and appearance, it was easy to speculate that she was more likely associated with that side of the industry rather than being a staff member or employee. I thought she was just a stunning beauty, but I never imagined she was a fellow entertainer… However, if she was indeed a celebrity, her exceptional looks made sense.
As I observed Tsukimachi-san, my classmate, I noticed that apart from the person shouting, there were two other women, presumably seniors, surrounding her, making a total of three.
”That’s right! Your attitude is getting cheeky!”
The person who appeared to be a senior raised her hand higher than her head. In response, Tsukimachi-san stared straight at her without any movement. I couldn’t help but think that Tsukimachi-san was deliberately enduring the situation to end it quickly by being hit.
However, I couldn’t just stand still when a woman was about to be struck in front of me.
”Hey, what’s going on here?”
I deliberately made my footsteps audible and appeared in the scene as if I happened to be passing by.
The women were surprised by my presence and showed signs of agitation.
”Uh… S-so, this person, from that magazine…”
”W-why are you here?”
I stepped in to protect Tsukimachi-san and gently held the raised hand of the senior with both of my hands to admonish her.
”I don’t know what happened, but by doing that, aren’t you just going to hurt your own hand? Please take better care of yourself. Besides, the other girl will be hurt as well, right? So why don’t we stop this foolishness?”
The woman whose hand I held had a bewildered expression. She had a slender figure, thin arms, and confidently displayed her face with her forehead exposed. Considering her strong expression earlier, I thought she might be a model.
”I apologize for intervening as a third party without knowing the reason… However, violence is not acceptable.”
The woman kept her mouth half open and silently nodded in agreement. I hoped she truly understood. I leaned closer to her ear to emphasize my point.
”Can you promise me that?”
When I asked her again by her ear, she responded aloud, indicating that she understood.
That’s a relief… At first, I didn’t know how it would turn out, but humans, if you face them sincerely and express your request out loud, they will understand. Afterward, the two girls behind her supported her as she suddenly seemed unsteady on her feet and carried her away. I wondered if she was okay. If she was feeling unwell and getting irritated, I felt a bit guilty. As I thought that, I heard Tsukimachi-san’s voice from behind me.
”Thank you. I really appreciate you helping me.”
Tsukimachi-san said, her expression a mix of apology and confusion. Ah… Maybe she didn’t want me to witness that scene? If she didn’t want it to be a big deal or wanted to handle it on her own, my intervention as a third party might have been a foolish move.
”Oh… No, I’m the one who should apologize for getting involved without fully understanding the situation and acting on my own sense of justice… But if it means Tsukimachi-san won’t get hurt by someone again, I would do the same thing.”
Tsukimachi-san lowered her gaze and tightly squeezed her other arm with her hand.
”No, it’s my fault for intentionally trying to get myself hit and inconveniencing you in the process. You don’t need to apologize for anything. Instead, I should apologize for causing you trouble.”
Tsukimachi-san bowed her head towards me. I waved my hands and asked her to lift her head.
”Umm… In any case, I have another job waiting for me, so…”
Tsukimachi-san expressed her gratitude in a somewhat distant manner and hurriedly left. Hmm… Even though I might be dense, I can’t shake the feeling that Tsukimachi-san is avoiding me. Is it just my imagination?
In the following days, Tsukimachi-san would acknowledge me with a slight nod at school, but she would still disappear during lunchtime, and our relationship remained unchanged.
Staff A: “Great job today! Oh, Chacha (Sasa, the person who wear Merry-san’s costume), you did well too.”
Staff B: “Huh? What’s wrong, Maru-chan (Chacha’s nickname)?”
Merry: “I’m not Chacha Maru anymore.”
Staff A, B: “Huh?”
Merry: “From today, I’ll be Merry-san.”
Staff A: “Um… sorry, but, someone… something is wrong with Chacha-san! Maybe she has heatstroke, please bring some water!”
Merry: “When I become Merry, Aqua-kun will hug me tightly.”
Staff B: “…(Oh no… Maru-chan, this is serious… But I understand how she feels.)”
Merry: “I’m Merry. Just a sheep. Aqua-kun’s pet.”
Staff A: “Excuse me, someone, please call an ambulance. Chacha-san seems to be in critical condition.”
Staff B: “(Sniff… Sniff… Oh, now that I think about it, Merry smells nice. Huh? Is it because Aqua-kun hugged her earlier? Huh, huh… just by smelling her, my underwear got wet… What should I do? Well, once she undress Maru-chan, I can secretly enjoy the costume later.)”
Honestly, I even thought to myself that if I’m going to write something so silly, I should do it in the main story. You might find it amusing if you know Chacha Maru (Dom) from Animal Crossing and imagine her appearance. Despite being a petite and cute woman with a short bob haircut, Aqua seems to have turned everything upside down… By the way, Merry is apparently going to appear in a winter commercial with Aqua. However, the commercial hasn’t aired yet, so I apologize for not being the bulletin board episode this time.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.