Male Idol V7c3

Volume 7 Chapter 3 Shirogane Aqua, The Terrifying Talk Sho

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Today is the day of the Shirogane Aqua talk show taking place at Fuji Department Store. I’m a bit nervous for my first-ever talk show. Can I really liven up the event as someone who’s still fairly new to the entertainment scene? I’ve heard that today, someone I know will be the host, so I can rely on them to some extent, but I want the people who came to the talk show to have a good time, so I’ll do my best to answer any questions that come my way. Plus, even though Ako-san isn’t with me today, there’s another reliable ally by my side. For their sake too, I want to show my best today.

 ”Alright then, Kirika-san, please take care of me today.”

 ”Yes, Aqua-san, leave the driving to me.”

 My manager for today is Kirika Kotono-san. She was a customer back when I worked at Cafe Tomarigi and now she handles Nekoyama Toa’s and Oumi Tama’s management at Beryl Entertainment. I never thought I’d end up working at the same place, but Kirika-san is very diligent, so she seems to have become a sort of leader among the managers who joined at the same time.

 Ako-san has been observing Kirika-san’s work and seems to be considering her as a future head manager. That’s why, whenever Ako-san has important tasks or obligations she can’t avoid, someone like Kirika-san accompanies me as a sub-manager, like she’s doing today.

 ”It’s still a bit surprising to me that I’m working with Kirika-san like this.”

 With a slightly stiff expression, Kirika-san glances at me through the rearview mirror.

 ”Um… Aqua-san, having me at the same workplace, wasn’t it a bother for you?”

 A bother? I tilted my head just slightly.

 ”Not at all. Kirika-san, you’ve been a big help to me ever since the cafe.”

 For example, when I worked at the cafe, Kirika-san would casually sit at the counter and subtly manage the more unruly customers. Even though Kirika-san is the type who prefers to sit in a quiet corner, sipping her coffee in a leisurely manner, she would sacrifice her own time like that to help someone like me who was just a part-timer, and her considerate actions towards the other customers make her a wonderful person. Even if others didn’t notice, I was the only one who knew about Kirika-san’s wonderful qualities. Or maybe… I was lucky to have discovered how wonderful Kirika-san was. That’s how I feel.

 ”Actually, I was glad when Kirika-san joined Beryl.”


 Looking back at Kirika-san through the rearview mirror, I met her beautiful eyes. Some people might say that her firm gaze, which could be mistaken as a glare, is intimidating, but I don’t think so. Her strong gaze that looks straight at you reveals Kirika-san’s straightforward personality, and while she doesn’t smile much, when she does, her eyes soften, making her cute. Anyone who notices that would understand that Kirika-san is truly kind and wonderful.

 ”Kirika-san, you sometimes looked really tired when you came to the cafe, so I thought your work might be tough. But if we’re working together at the same place, and if you ever looked tired like that again, I could directly talk to Ako-san or do something to help you. That’s what I thought.”

 Perhaps, but Kirika-san might have been misunderstood at her previous workplace too. Fortunately, everyone at Beryl is nice, and not only Ako-san but also managers like Shintaro and Tenga-senpai are incredibly kind and considerate of others.

 Though I only know Kirika-san from our time at the cafe, I feel like she’s been smiling more since coming to Beryl. And to be honest, I really like and admire her. Oh, speaking of the other day, it was funny how I accidentally ended up calling Kirika-san “big sister,” and both of us blushed.

 Seeing her act all dependent and making mistakes like that was refreshing, and it made me realize how cute she is when her emotions are stirred up. That’s why I want Kirika-san to continue working at Beryl for a long time, and I secretly hope we can keep working together.

 ”At that time, you protected me at the cafe, so from now on, I’ll protect you, Kirika-san.”


 Huh? Did it kind of sound like a proposal? Maybe it’s just my imagination. Yeah. Well, a wonderful mature woman like Kirika-san probably won’t be swayed by a kid like me, who’s still a bit childish with his words. She’ll probably just brush it off.

 ”Uh… um?”


 ”We’ve arrived.”

 Oh, we’ve already arrived? Well, today’s move was from Marunouchi to Shinjuku, so it shouldn’t take too long.

 ”Thank you, Kirika-san. Let’s go then.”


 After stepping out of the car Kirika-san was driving, I entered the building through the loading entrance, just like last time. Then I pressed the button for the floor where the talk show’s waiting room was located using the cargo elevator. It’s an elevator just for the two of us. Inside that confined space, I sneak a glance at Kirika-san standing next to me. It was surprising to see her cosplaying, but the outfit she wore at the previous cosplay event suited her really well.

 Although she usually wears formal suits and doesn’t show much skin, I hadn’t noticed how toned her body was under those clothes. She must be doing proper exercise to maintain her figure. I thought that aspect of her seriousness suited Kirika-san very well.

 ”Is… something the matter?”

 Oh, I might have stared too impolitely. Kirika-san, who noticed my gaze, showed a bashful expression.

 ”I’m sorry. About the… um, cosplay from the other day, it really suited you.”

 ”Th-that, showing such an embarrassing side of me… No, well, you said it suited me and…”

 Seeing Kirika-san’s flustered state, I can’t help but smile. I must have relaxed a little too. Almost involuntarily, I reach out and stroke Kirika-san’s head, much like I do with Lapis.


 It’s too late now. When I realized what I had done, it was already too late.

 ”I-I’m sorry. You looked so cute, Kirika-san, so I kind of did it like I would to my little sister, and…”

 ”Cu-cute!? Oh… um, no, I mean… thank you…”

 What am I doing… Feeling awkward, both of us avert our faces in opposite directions. In times like this, why does time feel like it’s passing slowly? Does the freight elevator move slower? Please! I silently wished for the elevator to quickly reach our destination. Perhaps my wish was granted, as the elevator finally arrived at the desired floor.

 Stepping out of the elevator with haste, I head towards the waiting room for the talk show. Right before reaching the room, I encounter someone familiar.

 ”Oh… it’s been a while, Morikawa-san.”

 ”Long time no see, Aqua-kun.”

 Morikawa Kaede-san. Just like Kirika-san, she used to be a regular at the cafe and is a national broadcaster. We’ve interacted during runway shows and live TV broadcasts before, and today, she’s supposed to be helping out as the host for the talk show.

 ”Also, it’s been a while for Kirika-san too.”

 ”Likewise. Let’s do our best today, Morikawa-san.”

 Kirika-san and Morikawa-san shake hands firmly. Come to think of it, I saw them together at the cafe before, so they must know each other. The three of us, including me, working the same job is quite a coincidence.

 ”Aqua-kun? Is something wrong?”

 It seems Morikawa-san noticed that I had a slightly loosened expression.

 ”Oh, no, it’s heartwarming to be able to work the same job with these three. I never thought I’d be able to work together with the two regular customers from when I was working part-time in this kind of situation.”

 ”Indeed. I’m surprised too. I never imagined I’d be working together with that boy from back then, Aqua-kun, in a situation like this.”

 Morikawa-san smiles, showing her teeth. Seeing her vibrant smile makes me feel uplifted as well. That’s probably one of Morikawa-san’s charms. Among the relatively elegant and reserved people in the national broadcasting industry, even though she’s only in her second year, Morikawa-san has many fans and a lot of work.

 It’s likely because of qualities like that. I also want to become an idol who can bring everyone cheer just with a smile like Morikawa-san does. While I’m an idol and Morikawa-san is an announcer, I still want to learn from her, and she’s a senior in the industry whom I respect.

 Perhaps because I was lost in such thoughts, I ended up staring at Morikawa-san too intently. She blushed slightly, and her eyes blinked rapidly.

 ”Um… well, being stared at like that is a bit embarrassing, I guess…”

 ”Oh, I’m sorry. Your smile, Morikawa-san, really cheers me up, so I couldn’t help but gaze at you.”

 As I said that, Morikawa-san blushed even more. My heart starts to race a bit.

 ”A-Aqua-kun, you’re always saying such smooth things to various woman, aren’t you? C-come on, you shouldn’t say things like that as a joke, okay?”

 ”Hehe, so you noticed that I’m being smooth?”

 Morikawa-san laughs softly while raising her hand to her face. Leaning closer to Morikawa-san’s ear, I whisper in a low voice.

 ”But what I said earlier is true, so it’s not a joke.”

 Morikawa-san pulls back from me in a hurry, her hand pressing against the ear I whispered into, her face turning crimson. Looking at Morikawa-san’s uneasy expression, I feel a bit happy for some reason. I find myself wanting to tease her or make her flustered when I look at her. This is probably because I’m still just a kid at heart.

 As I’m pondering such things, Kirika-san and Morikawa-san start whispering to each other on the side.

 ”Kirika-san, you’re doing well in this workplace.”

 ”Mental strength gets trained here, I recommend it, Morikawa-san.”

 ”As expected from you, Kirika-san…”

 ”Just to make it clear, don’t do anything rash. I wouldn’t want to report a friend.”

 ”Can you not lump me together with Shumi and Hagetoru? I’m a capable adult, you know?”

 ”Yes, yes, the kind of adult who uses all their paid leave.”


 I wonder what they’re talking about. But I didn’t have time to think about that.

 ”Oh… sorry, I’m going to change into my outfit.”

 I got caught up in the conversation. Time-wise, we still have plenty, but I nearly ran late in the previous stream, so I need to be careful.

 ”Understood. We’ll be outside the waiting room, so if you need anything, just call us.”

 ”Got it. Then, I’ll be heading in, Kirika-san. And see you later, Morikawa-san!”

 Entering the waiting room alone, I change into the outfit that was prepared in advance. Today’s attire is, of course, color-coordinated by Corolle, but it’s the type of outfit you’d wear a bit later in the season to promote autumn and winter products.

 In other words, what I’m trying to say is that the coat I’m wearing as an outer garment is a bit warm. Moreover, with the lighting hitting during the actual performance, it’ll probably get even warmer. However, these kinds of things are common, so I need to get used to them.

 After changing, I ask Kirika-san, who had been waiting outside the room, to call the makeup artist and hairstylist. Just like last time, the staff arrived on set before me. Despite that, they’ll be leaving the scene after us. I try to make sure they’re okay and not exhausted, since it’s a tough job. While speaking to them, I check their well-being and whether they’re feeling okay, as I don’t want them to fall ill due to overwork.

 ”Thank you again for today.”

 ”N-no, thank you very much as well.”

 On the contrary, it should be us thanking them, so I didn’t quite understand why we were being thanked. Still, I said goodbye to the makeup artists and, with Kirika-san, moved to the wings of the talk show stage. Morikawa-san, who will be the MC today, is already on stage, addressing the audience about safety precautions and such.

 ”If anything dangerous happens, please come back here immediately.”


 Perhaps it’s for disaster situations, Kirika-san is diligently explaining evacuation routes. Being thorough and serious even in such matters is one of Kirika-san’s good traits. After firmly memorizing the evacuation routes, I glance through a gap and look toward the audience.


 Oops, my eyes met with one of the audience members. Since it’s a rare occasion, I wave my hand at the person whose eyes I caught.


 When the woman turned around and waved her hand, it seems like other people noticed too. The audience starts getting excited.

 ”Apparently, preparations for Shirogane-sama are complete, so let’s welcome him with applause, everyone.”

 Morikawa-san raises both hands in front of her face and starts clapping, leading the way. The applause follows from the audience.

 I slowly step onto the stage from the wings and wave toward the audience. Continuing to the center, Morikawa-san and I bow slightly to each other and receive our microphones from the staff.

 We stand in front of the sofas facing each other, placed at the center of the stage. I take a breath while holding the microphone and, as if the waves of applause from before were all a lie, the audience becomes silent.

 ”Thank you for coming to my talk show today, Shirogane Aqua. May I also express my gratitude in one more way?”

 After making sure everyone in the audience is nodding, I shift my gaze toward the Fuji department store staff in the wings.

 ”I would like to convey my gratitude once again to the people at Fuji Department Store, who have provided us with this valuable opportunity to interact with everyone. Thank you very much. And to all of you in the audience, too. Let me express my gratitude once again. Thank you for coming to see me today!”

 I thought I might be sounding a bit stiff, so I loosen up a little at the end. Looking at the audience, there still seems to be a lot of people who are nervous.

 I apologize to Morikawa-san in advance, but maybe I should try lightening the mood with some casual conversation?

 ”Oh, didn’t you mention being nervous backstage earlier? Like, ‘I’m nervous,’ or something? Am I correct?”

 As I’m thinking about this, Morikawa-san leads the conversation well. Truly, there’s a reason they call her the rookie announcer who can make the serious national broadcasting station loosen up.

 ”Well, I am still nervous now. So, please stay here. Somehow, when I look at Morikawa-san, I feel relieved.”

 ”Huh…? Is that so…”

 Morikawa-san seems to have picked up on something, and her face becomes a bit flustered. Her quick reactions are impressive; she’s truly perceptive. Regular announcers from the national broadcasting station wouldn’t normally react like this.

 ”Because Morikawa-san, even during the last broadcast, messed up, I feel like if I mess up, Morikawa-san will mess up even more, which might dilute my mess-up.”

 ”Hey, that’s not fair!”

 Morikawa-san, thank you for your swift reaction and exaggerated response. Indeed, she deserves her reputation as the number one announcer who makes commercial broadcasters tremble.

 Looking at the audience, it seems like everyone is remembering Morikawa-san’s previous blunder and smiling wryly. Oh, that was bad, wasn’t it? Even in that situation, the senior announcer next to me didn’t break her expression at all, which made it even more amusing, especially since she’s a pro.

 ”Ahahaha, I’m just kidding. I rely on you properly, you know.”

 ”Ugh, today, I’ll definitely show that Shirogane-san can rely on me as a senior!”

 ”Yes, I’m looking forward to it.”

 To be honest, I’m already relying on her quite a bit. Does Morikawa-san realize that?

 ”Speaking of relying on someone, there’s Tenga Akira senpai in Beryl who’s quite reliable, right? In the recent issue of AnnAnn magazine, there was a photo of you both riding a bike. Did you two go on a tour together or something?”

 During the photo shoot for the AnnAnn tour, the wind was really strong and it was quite a challenge. Tenga-senpai’s bangs were constantly blown around by the wind, and every time the staff had to redo the hair and makeup, they seemed really stressed. Even amid that chaos, I vividly remember being moved by the professional work of the staff who managed to take perfect photos.

 ”Regarding Tenga-senpai, yes. We’ve done quite a few tours and stuff. I’m interested in senpai’s bike, and I’ve ridden on the back of it once. Isn’t that cool?”

 ”Oh, I see. Wow, that’s cool.”

 As expected of a professional announcer, Morikawa-san is a good listener. She brought up an easy topic to talk about, making the conversation flow smoothly for both of us.

 ”Also, I’ve taken Toa and Mayuzumi for a ride in the back, and the four of us used to go out together in summer… Oh, by the way, there was a time we were shooting for ‘Driver,’ and we got back really late. Toa, Shin, Tenga-senpai, and I all rode together, and we went to have Katsudon as a memory. The restaurant was about to close, but coincidentally, Toa’s stomach growled right in front of the landlady, and she kindly opened the place for us to eat. I’m still grateful to the landlady for that.”

 ”Whoa… I casually asked a question, but I got an unexpected story right off the bat.”

 Huh? I couldn’t quite catch Morikawa-san’s voice; it was too soft.

 ”Did you say something just now?”

 ”Oh no, I didn’t say anything.”

 Morikawa-san slightly shakes her hands to the left and right, then clears her throat softly and continues the talk. Somehow, I feel like her smile deceived me, but maybe it’s just my imagination?

 ”By the way, speaking of getting along, you’re quite close with Nekoyama Toa from the same Beryl Entertainment, right? Shirogane Aqua, even though you don’t really take selfies on Social Media, you often appear in Toa Nekoyama’s selfies together. Fans are talking about how you two seem too close. What’s the deal with that? Hehehe.”

 To Morikawa-san’s question, not only the audience, but also the Fuji department store security personnel and staff members were nodding for some reason.

 ”We’re actually classmates. We sit next to each other in class, Shin, Toa, and then me by the window. That’s why we’re close. But occasionally, we fool around during classes and stuff. Just recently, during our home economics class, when we teamed up, we made pancakes with the leftover ingredients and ate them with our classmates.”

 ”P… Pancakes? My mouth’s watering…”

 We had time, and it would have been a waste to let the ingredients go unused. So, Toa and I kept mixing and frying the batter. Wait? Why did Toa and I end up frying all the batter that time? If everyone had fried their own portions, wouldn’t it have been faster? Looking back now, I have a feeling even the home economics teacher naturally grabbed a plate and lined up with us.

 ”Shirogane Aqua-san, do you… cook?”

 ”Oh, yes. When I worked part-time at a café… because we were short on staff, I sometimes helped out. And I often make pancakes for my little sister at home. I enjoy cooking; I’ve also made omurice and stuff. Oh, speaking of which, the other day, my mother and I made curry together. We forgot to buy stew roux, so we quickly turned it into curry. We all laughed and enjoyed it together… Oh no!”

 Looking at the audience, some people were crying. There were even those who looked up at the ceiling as if offering a prayer to the gods. E-Everyone, what’s happening!?

 ”Ugh, everything is ‘ugh, ugh’…”

 For some reason, Morikawa-san was pressing her eyelids strongly.

 ”Is something wrong? Did something get in your eye?”

 ”No, I’m fine. I was just bewildered, not knowing where to start with my response.”

 Ah… Did I make it difficult for Morikawa-san to continue the conversation? If that’s the case, I feel sorry for it.

 ”Earlier, you mentioned that you’re classmates with Mayuzumi Shintaro-san, and most of Shirogane Aqua’s songs are produced by Mayuzumi Shintaro-san, right? Is there anything you’d like to share about that?”

 ”Ah… Well, MojaP, Kobayashi Daigo-san, told me that my lyric-writing ability is rather ‘despair-like.’ So, I listen to the music and convey my thoughts to Shintaro, and he helps put them into words. That’s how it started. Shintaro has helped me a lot in school as well, and I’m really grateful.”

 Upon hearing that story, Morikawa-san nods several times.

 ”I see, so your lyric-writing is ‘despair-like.’ I understand… Mayuzumi-kun, the master of drawings, keep it up.”

 Looking at the audience, for some reason, everyone was nodding. Huh, why? By the way, didn’t she just mention ‘master of drawings’ earlier? Maybe I’m just imagining things?

 ”Oh, speaking of which, we’ve been standing this whole time. How about we sit down now?”

 ”Oh, yeah. You’re right. The talk with Morikawa-san got so lively that I forgot to sit down on the sofa. Sorry to the staff. They prepared it so nicely.”

 Phew… It’s really hot up on the stage, probably due to the lights.

 ”Ah… Shirogane-san, would you like to take off your outer garment? Aren’t you feeling really hot?”


 It’s the designated outfit according to the color coordination, so I guess I shouldn’t take it off on my own. I look towards the wings of the stage and see Kirika-san holding a cue card saying it’s okay to take it off and that it’s included. I don’t really understand what “it’s included” means, but it’s pretty hot with the coat on, so it’s a relief.

 ”Okay then, I’ll take you up on that offer.”

 Thinking I still have a long way to go, I take off my coat and hang it over the back of the sofa.

 ”Hmm… There’s a nice fragrance…”

 ”Hmm? Did you say something?”

 ”No, I didn’t say anything, and I haven’t been smelling anything.”

 Hmm? I have a feeling I said something weird, but maybe it’s just my imagination?

 ”Anyway, it’s really hot. Wasn’t the weather sunny today? That’s why it’s even hotter today.”

 ”Huh? Are you seriously talking about the weather now? Isn’t that a conversation for the beginning?”

 ”Ahahaha, you’re right. Morikawa-san is quite lively.”

 ”Oh no, there are just too many points to retort to in Shirogane-san’s statements!”

 As I thought, I’m glad to have Morikawa-san as the partner for today’s talk show. She’s an acquaintance, but beyond that, she’s really easy to talk to. It might be disrespectful to say that I don’t have to be cautious around her, but there’s a comfortable atmosphere where I can speak without hesitation. Perhaps because of that, a natural smile forms, and even the audience members who initially seemed nervous are now relaxed.

 Morikawa-san is a wonderful woman who can create such an atmosphere. By the way, today’s Morikawa-san is wearing a white frilled blouse and a yellow skirt, different from the cute yellow dress from last time. Maybe she likes the color yellow? It suits her image perfectly though, and I think it looks great on her.

 Our talk continues smoothly. We discuss topics like President, talk about “Driver,” and also discuss the recent commercial. The talk show is heading towards its final stages. The last segment is the Shirogane Aqua Question Corner, where the audience gets to ask questions.

 ”Well then, unfortunately, this is the last segment. Since it’s a special occasion, let’s make the final question segment a raise-your-hand style. Shirogane-san will directly point to people to ask questions.”

 ”Is that okay? I’ll call on people right away. So, everyone, please raise your hands. If nobody raises their hand, I’ll be crying alone backstage later, you know?”

 When I say that, smiles spread from the audience as well. Initially tense and stiff, everyone seems to be gradually becoming more at ease thanks to Morikawa-san. That’s why it’s a pity. I wish we could continue this for longer.

 ”Alright, then, let’s go, everyone! Anyone who has a question for Shirogane Aqua-san, raise your hand!”

 As Morikawa-san raises her hand, everyone in the audience follows suit and raises their hands.

 Oh… Impressive, Morikawa-san. By raising her hand first, she created an atmosphere that made the audience more willing to participate.

 ”Alright then, Shirogane-san, please make your selection.”

 Huh? Morikawa-san, you’ve been raising your hand all this time, but can you put it down now? You’re bouncing up and down a lot. Is that a sign to pick you? No, it can’t be that. I smoothly ignore Morikawa-san and shift my gaze towards the audience.

 ”Um, let’s see… 5th person from the right in the front row. The beautiful woman in the red dress!”

 As I select someone from the audience, disappointed and surprised sounds can be heard around. I feel apologetic for causing that kind of reaction, but at the same time, I’m happy about it. By the way, the woman I chose seems frozen, her face showing surprise. Is she okay? Oh… a staff member quickly approaches her. The woman in the red dress is given a microphone by the staff, and she hesitantly stands up from her seat. She looks a bit uncertain about what to do. Huh? Did the question slip her mind?

 ”Big sister in the red dress, please come over here if you’d like.”

 ”Eep, eep…”

 Her voice trembles, perhaps due to nervousness. I invite her onto the stage and smile at her with a gentle expression.

 ”Did you maybe forget your question?”

 ”Ah… We-well…”

 ”I see. But there’s no need to rush, take your time. Relax, relax.”

 I make eye contact with the woman in the red dress and reassure her that it’s okay. She leans towards the microphone and whispers with a small voice.

 ”I… love…”

 Huh… Love? Oh!

 Could it be that she wanted to convey that she loves me as a fan? If that’s the case, I have only one response.

 ”I love you too.”

 After all, I love my fans. Despite just expressing my feelings, the woman in the red dress seems to waver and almost collapse. I was about to rush to support her, but a staff member immediately steps forward, holds her, and they disappear backstage. Is she really okay?

 ”Um, just to be sure, can I ask what you meant by ‘love’ earlier?”

 ”Oh, well, I wanted to express that I love my fans just like how they love me. Did that come across okay?”

 Morikawa-san holds her head unusually.

 ”Phew… I was a bit careless. I need to get back into the groove.”

 With a small victory pose, Morikawa-san prompts for more questions, as if nothing happened.

 ”Alright then, next up, 7th person from the left in the third row, the cute woman in the black blouse. Could you please take the microphone from the staff and step forward?”

 The woman in the black blouse receives the microphone from the staff and slowly makes her way to the stage. Recognizing her blouse, I gently speak to her with a slight nervousness.

 ”That’s a lovely blouse. It suits you well.”

 ”Ah… Thank you. I got it from Corolle’s Department Store.”

 ”I knew it! Thanks, Miss. Actually, I’m wearing something from Corolle today too. So we’re matching outfits today.”

 ”Wha, whaaat…”

 Huh… I tried to ease her nervousness, but it seems like she got even more stiff. Is it just my imagination?

 ”Well then, about the question corner, do you have something you’d like to ask?”

 ”Um, well… um… What type of girl does Aa-sama like?”

 What type of girl do I like? I show a hint of thinking before slowly responding to the question.

 ”Well, let’s see… I think I like girls who are striving for something, kind-hearted, and also those who can make me smile when we’re together. On the flip side, I also like girls who can make my heart race and bring excitement. It’s not about appearance, but I like girls who I find cute while watching, the kind of girls I want to protect. And conversely, I find women who can lead me quite attractive.”

 ”That’s definitely me.”

 Huh? Morikawa-san? Did you say something just now? Or am I imagining things? Like this, we engage with the audience, energizing the question corner.

 ”Alright, this will be the last question. Yes!”

 Of course, Morikawa-san raises her hand eagerly for the last question. Upon closer inspection, not only the staff but even Kirika-san, who is usually quite serious, is slightly raising her hand. Seriously, what’s going on? This must be Morikawa-san’s influence, without a doubt. I thought it might be pitiful to ignore this part, so I direct my gaze towards Morikawa-san.

 ”Well then, for the last question, the energetic Morikawa-san who looks great in bright yellow. Go ahead with your question.”


 ”Huh? Is something the matter?”

 ”N-No, it’s nothing. I just got surprised by the unexpectedness.”

 Unexpected? Ah, I see. Maybe she didn’t actually expect to be chosen.

 ”Um, well, this isn’t a question, but could you say ‘I love you’ to the audience here today and to the fans who will watch this video later?”

 Ah, I see where this is going. It feels a bit embarrassing, but as an idol, this is also part of the job. I once again turn my gaze towards the audience directly in front of me. At that moment, I felt like a switch flipped, and I turned into an idol.

 ”I feel grateful that right now, I’m loved by my family, by people at the company, by friends, and companions. Of course, that’s not all. Today, being here, I’ve learned that I’m also loved by all the fans. So, expressing love for something is something I believe is essential for living. So, whenever any of you feel like you’re about to be crushed, or your hearts are worn out and you’re screaming in despair, remember my words.”

 After taking a breath, I speak to everyone slowly, in a whispering yet clear voice.

 ”I love you.”

 While I was in the switched-on mode while saying it, after finishing, I felt a bit embarrassed, returning to my usual self. But it seemed like everyone was satisfied; they sent back an applause that didn’t waver, with tears streaming down their faces.

 ”S-So, with this, the Shirogane Aqua talk show, organized by Fuji Department Store and specially sponsored by the national broadcasting, comes to an end. Thank you all for joining us today, despite your busy schedules!”

 ”Thank you very much!”

 Together with Morikawa-san, I bow towards the audience, and the applause intensifies. Along with that sound, we exit the stage and continue waving our hands until we’re completely out of sight.

 ”Good job, both of you.”

 When we return backstage, Kirika-san and the staff members welcome us with applause.

 ”Thank you, Kirika-san. Morikawa-san, although this was your first talk show and you were nervous, we managed to pull through thanks to your support. Thank you very much. Also, to all the staff, we might have caused various inconveniences, but thank you for today.”

 After expressing gratitude to everyone, I stretch out both hands towards Kirika-san. She slightly tilts her head, showing a slightly bewildered expression.

 ”This is a high-five, Kirika-san. Ah, unless you’re not fond of this kind of thing…”

 ”That’s not the case. Let’s do it—high-five. I also want to high-five.”

 I give Kirika-san a high-five and then turn around. Morikawa-san, who was already prepared, extends her hands forward with a smiling face.

 ”Let’s work together again next time, Morikawa-san.”

 ”Of course! Let’s work together again, Aqua-kun.”

 I high-five with Morikawa-san as well, then with the staff members, and finally, I leave the scene.

 I must have been tired from talking so much today, as I ended up falling asleep in the car on the way back. However, Kirika-san safely escorted me home. I feel bad… I didn’t expect to fall asleep myself, so I think I inconvenienced Kirika-san by having her wake me up. I planned to secretly thank Kirika-san later for waking me up.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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