Volume 2 Chapter 9 Shirogane Aqua, Reliable Adults
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
”I can’t find a good one…”
Moja-san, leaning back in his chair, unfolded his crossed arms and stroked his proud chin beard. His earnest eyes peered through the gap in his bangs, fixed on the notes he had placed on the table.
”I wanted to find a perfect song for you, but there aren’t any good composers around.”
Since that day, Moja-san has been giving me voice training regularly when he’s free. I think singing is a crucial way for idols to express their emotions to others. Nowadays, with the progress in software and hardware, it’s somewhat possible to fake it in recorded tracks without needing much practice. However, live performances are a whole different story. If I’m bad at singing during a live show, there’s no way to hide it. Moreover, I’m someone who appreciates live performances, so I want to concentrate on singing and dancing.
Fortunately, Moja-san is one of the top producers in this industry. He provides precise guidance, and although he was quite harsh during the first week, thanks to that, my singing ability has been improving rapidly.
”Well, there are some good songs, but they don’t really match your style. I mean, they don’t capture your unique charm… I need a song that can express that better.”
Moja-san then picked up the notes from the table, scratched his head, and said, “This won’t work.” The paper probably has a list of songs I’m supposed to sing. Just like Ako-san and Nobu-san, Moja-san thinks about me very carefully. That’s why I want to respond to his feelings.
”I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait for a while. Also… the first song you’ll sing might not be a new one. It might be that cover song we talked about. Did you hear about it from the agency president?”
”Yes! It’s the theme song for a late-night drama or something, right?”
To my delight, even though I’m a rookie idol, I was given the opportunity to perform the theme song for a drama from my debut. It seems the director of that drama is an acquaintance of Moja-san, and when he asked if there’s a good singer for a cover song from the past, Moja-san recommended me. Although I’m happy that Moja-san recommended me, I wonder if I’m really the right choice. The director on the other side doesn’t seem to have any particular concerns as long as it’s Moja-san’s recommendation. If they listen to the cover song I’ve done and say it’s not good enough, what should I do? Well, in that case, I’ll keep singing it repeatedly until the director is satisfied. I will give myself a pep talk to overcome my own insecurities.
”Heh, I thought you’d look a bit more worried. That competitive spirit of yours, I don’t mind it at all. Well then… let’s practice. Practice may sometimes disappoint your expectations, but if there are parts you feel lacking, there’s no other way to fill them but through practice.”
That day’s practice was filled with intense enthusiasm. Well… maybe a bit too much.
and before I knew it, it was already dark outside. Moja-san and I were scolded by Ako-san, who came to pick us up.
”Moja-san… just to let you know, our Aqua-kun is still underage. It’s okay for him to participate, but please inform me if he’ll be coming home late.”
”I’m sorry, I didn’t realize… Shirogane, as an adult, I should have been more responsible.”
”No, I should be the one apologizing. I’m sorry for keeping you out so late.”
Ako-san’s gaze then shifted towards me.
”You’re still a minor, and a male at that. Please be aware of the risks. There are dangerous ladies who walk around naked in the darkness, you know? If you’re going to be late, make sure to inform me or your family. Remember that you’re going to be an idol. So please, be fully aware of that.”
”Ah… Yes, I understand. You’re right… I’m really sorry.”
I was very curious about the concept of women walking naked in the dark, but I didn’t feel brave enough to ask Ako-san about it given the circumstances.
”If you’ve reflected on it, then that’s good. Well then, let’s head home!”
I checked my phone screen and saw an overwhelming number of messages from my family. I hurriedly contacted them to apologize. I had promised not to worry them, but here I was… What am I doing? I expressed my gratitude to Moja-san once again and left the studio, getting into the back seat of Ako-san’s car.
”By the way, Shirogane-kun, is there something else you want to say to me?”
Was there something I wanted to say? I genuinely couldn’t remember and was troubled. Then, after the car stopped at a red light, Ako-san, who was in the driver’s seat, pouted and turned around to face me.
”…Game streaming, Vtuber.”
Game streaming and Vtuber… Was she referring to the time I helped with that stream for Toa-chan? Wait, how does Ako-san know about that?
”It was Oumi Tama, right? Just so you know, it’s pretty obvious that Aqua-kun was also involved. I could tell from your ID and voice. That stream became quite a hot topic online.”
While I never explicitly introduced myself as Shirogane Aqua, Ako-san told me that it was obvious when people saw my ID and heard my voice. Apparently, that livestream got a lot of attention. I usually don’t use social media or search for information about myself. After all, when I was training to be an idol, they taught me not to do that. So, I only found out now that the livestream became popular.
”Was it… not okay?”
”It’s not that it wasn’t okay, but I just wanted you to say a word. After all, I’m Aqua-kun’s agency president and your manager. Even if it’s a private matter, when you publicly share something, I would have liked a word in advance.”
Now, I’ve come to realize how thoughtless my actions have been.
”You know, I actually like how Aqua-kun keeps pushing forward without hesitation. That’s why I wanted to support you and be there for you. I want to help you do the things you want to do. So, Aqua-kun, I want you to trust me more. Even if it’s just a post-facto report, the fact that you didn’t consult with me is quite sad.”
Ako-san’s sad expression pierces my heart. At that time, I was only thinking about supporting Toa-chan and how I could assist Mayuzumi’s stream. Well, to be honest, I simply jumped on board because it seemed fun and interesting. But I shouldn’t use those two as an excuse. By that time, I had already decided to work at the agency with Ako-san. Even if it was a private matter, not consulting with Ako-san before publicly sharing something with an unspecified number of people was a significant problem. It’s truly embarrassing to realize that I didn’t even notice that.
As I sincerely apologize, Ako-san interrupts my words as if to cut them off.
”Yeah. Well, let’s wrap up this conversation then. Now, let’s talk about what comes next.”
Ako-san speaks with a gentle expression, enthusiastically discussing my future.
”After watching that stream, I thought it would be interesting for me, Aqua-kun, to do streaming. And right now, streaming is incredibly popular, especially game commentary streams. It’s becoming a trend among young people. So, I thought it might be a good idea to separate from idol Shirogane Aqua and embody a different persona as a Vtuber. That way, idol Shirogane Aqua could attract fans who like 3d boys, and Aqua-kun as a Vtuber could attract fans who like fictional character. Hey, what do you think about giving it a serious try?”
When someone clearly does something wrong, being scolded by someone else can help alleviate the guilt within their heart. In Ako-san’s refusal to scold me and indulge my need for comfort, I strongly feel her love for idol Shirogane Aqua. She is not only guiding me on what went wrong, but also encouraging my growth as a person, not just as an idol.
When I first met Ako-san, I thought she was a more fragile person. But I’ve come to realize that people are not solely defined by their first impression. Ako-san is much stronger than I initially thought.
I could only express my gratitude to Ako-san. No matter what happens in the future, I swear in my heart that I will not betray Ako-san’s trust. I want to succeed together with her, make her feel that working with me, has been a positive experience. To achieve that, I am determined to grow further as an idol and as a person.
Aqua recently realized that having someone who scolds you properly is a privilege of youth. In that sense, someone like Ako-san, who is close in age and can reprimand Aqua, may be valuable to him. Miyuki-san, despite being expressionless, is the type to go all out and spoil him. In that regard, Miyuki-san may be the most unreliable among the adults.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.