Around 10:00 AM in Myth Inc. HQ.
After an awkward vocal training session with Alpha, Asako had been assigned to secretary duties at the front desk in the lobby.
Not because the Seiryuu Heiress was bad at singing or anything. It turned out that she was at least average.
However, it also turned out that Alpha was below average. The black-haired and crimson-eyed beauty did her best, but it seemed that she just didn't have the talent for it. Not that she was terrible or anything. Just... for some reason, she seemed to lack a certain 'something' in her singing that made it sound too unnatural.
It didn't seem to stop Alpha from trying though, and Miss Beta seemed determined to help her older sister achieve her desires.
Asako could respect that.
But it also meant that Asako couldn't really do anything in terms of being an idol for the time being.
Apparently, there was another girl, Rin, who was the current and main priority of the company. Although she was out doing personal business at the moment, around noon she would return for lessons before using the streaming studio on the top floor for an evening karaoke performance.
Between her and Alpha, it seemed that Miss Beta simply didn't have enough time to teach Asako as well.
Which left the Seiryuu Heiress with manning the front desk to receive and then promptly turn away visitors.
That she could do. Asako had served as a bouncer to a few bars of her own and dealt with more than her fair share of annoying customers, so this was right up her alley of work.
...Although she did wonder something.
Miss Beta was currently in charge of the lessons and managing the talents of the company, but from what Asako could get out of their conversations, it seemed that Mister John Smith had been in charge of the lessons until recently. The same drop-dead gorgeous foreigner who Asako met for the first time just over a week ago and the ridiculously talented man who saved her life twice over.
Apparently, Mister Smith was preoccupied with something and would be for the next week, leaving him unavailable to handle most things in the company.
Miss Beta wouldn't give Asako anymore information than that, but Asako's intuition told her that he was doing something about the current situation with the Seiryuu Alliance and her father.
"There's nothing I can freaking do, is there?"
Asako sighed and slumped over the front desk.
Pieces were moving all around her, but Asako was stuck standing in the eye of the storm where it was calm.
Not that it was a bad thing. Just...
"It's weird. This is weird."
Asako muttered to herself and then sat up.
To meet the image of Myth Inc., Miss Beta had suppled Asako with yet another change of clothing for her uniform. A sharp, tailored suit with a golden badge over her heart etched with 'Asako, Myth Inc. HR Manager.'
Miss Beta had also handed Asako a pair of smartglasses that looked like normal ones from the outside, letting her read and lookup information by using a wireless keyboard and mouse.
It was neat. But also something that really didn't do much for Asako.
After all, she was more of a hands-on person and didn't spend much time on the internet. She didn't have the luxury to waste time on that in the past.
But now she did. And because of that, she was getting restless.
Asako shifted her gaze to the sides of the front entrance.
Standing there, just out of sight from any visitors, were a pair of intimidating men wearing shades and black suits that outlined a trained body. In-house security. They seemed to be foreigners as well, judging from the dirty-blonde hair.
Miss Beta said they were for emergencies and would handle any violent situations.
Not that Asako couldn't deal with those herself, but the men were supposedly there to uphold the company reputation... or something.
Asako sighed and turned her gaze to the stack of papers in front of her.
Since she had nothing better to do, she might as well start signing her contract.
Taking a pen from the desk drawer, Asako pulled off the cap and started to scan through the papers again to find the places to sign.
And then the front doors slid open.
The in-house security immediately turned towards the visitor. But they froze, as if recognizing the person, before abruptly turning back to face the sides like nothing happened.
"Hm?" Asako blinked and then shifted her gaze towards the visitor.
A woman with a crimson robe and an almost comically oversized pair of breasts. Ones that belonged in anime or cartoons rather than reality, and yet a pair of round hills that somehow defied gravity in a way that looked perfectly natural. She strode forward, her long black hair trailing behind her while her glimmering rainbow-colored eyes scanned the building.
Asako let out a sigh and placed down her pen.
Considering the way she looked and how she was acting, the woman was probably an addict or a foreigner cosplayer who wandered into the wrong building... or both.
Putting on as professional a smile as she could, Asako looked to the woman and said, "Can I help you, Miss?"
The woman shifted her gaze to look at Asako and then tilted her head. "Hm? For a mortal, you aren't half bad."
...Definitely high or drunk. Especially with those half-lidded eyes.
Asako shook her head and said, "If you're looking for a bar or a cosplay convention, Miss, this isn't the place."
"Mm..." The woman nodded. "You're right. I thought I sensed him here, but he's gone." She furrowed her brows and said, "And this godless world appears to be lethal to divine beings... Hah." She sighed and spun around, walking out. "I suppose I should return for now. It'd be pointless to lose my Authority here... and that imperial princess would be apoplectic with rage if I were to be the first to greet the Timeless Savant after he left so suddenly."
The doors slid open. Shortly after, the woman with the oversized breasts and the crimson dress rounded the corner and then vanished.
Asako shook her head, muttering, "Seems like some people never grow out of their delusional high school days, huh?"
Talking about princesses and divine beings... What did that woman think she was, some great goddess like Amaterasu?
Asako sighed and went back to flipping through her contract.
The date... she could fill that out later.
The stipulations about her salary and benefits were more than enough, so Asako signed there.
Liability about exposing the identities of other talents... That was surprisingly reasonable. It also showed how much Myth Inc. cared about their talents, considering that it mentioned a full team of lawyers would be hired to pursue any breach of confidentiality.
Asako could respect that.
With a flourish of her wrist, the Seiryuu Heiress signed the box on that page and turned to the next.
But before she could read it, the doors slid open again.
Asako resisted the urge to sigh and placed down her pen.
"U-Um!" A tomboyish voice echoed in the lounge. "Is this Myth Inc.?!"
The visitor this time was a teenaged girl with short-cropped hair. Probably a second or third year high schooler. She was wearing a black and white hoodie with a pair of washed out jeans.
Asako placed on her professional smile again and nodded. "Yes. May I help you?"
The teenaged girl let out a sigh of relief and then walked forward, clutching a slip of paper in her hands. "I'm looking for Mister Smith. Is he here?"
Asako frowned. "Mister Smith?"
"Yeah!" The girl nodded and said, "John Smith! He's a foreigner that speaks really good Japanese! Um... Golden hair, really cool green and blue eyes... Also a warm voice! Oh yeah! And he's really handsome!"
Considering that accurate description, it didn't seem like the girl was looking for any random John Smith. But even then...
"I'm afraid Mister Smith isn't in at the moment."
"He isn't?" The girl snapped her fingers. "Darn! I knew I should have come here sooner." She sighed and then placed her slip of paper on the table, sliding it over. "When he gets back, could you give this to him? I think he messed up the tip when he paid for his order the last time I was on shift. The manager said it was alright, but I feel bad just keeping it."
"Hm?" Asako took the piece of paper and flipped it over.
A check, written for exactly 37000 yen.
"Oh yeah!" The girl rummaged in her pockets and then pulled out a folded piece of paper. She placed that on the table as well and said, "That's my number and email! Tell Mister Smith to text me the next time he's at Starbux so that I can make it up to him for not catching the error in time, okay? Thanks Miss..." She squinted at Asako's nametag and then said, "Thanks Miss Asako! Now, I gotta run to my next shift, so I'll leave it to you! Bye!"
With that, the girl ran off, her sweatshirt's hood bouncing on her back as she left.
Asako unfolded the paper and read it. The number and email address weren't too important. But the girl's name was written there as well.
"Yozora... No, Shu. Shu Yozora." Asako paused. "Shu Yozora?" She frowned and said, "Isn't that the name of the Night Sky Clan's Heiress from the north? What's she doing in Tokyo?"
The Yozora weren't yakuza, but they were a powerful and ancient family that had as much sway over the north as the Seiryuu Alliance had over the east.
Not only that, but the family members were kept isolated from modern society until they had perfected the Night Sky techniques that were said to be derived from the Dark Warrior, the northern counterpart of the Azure Dragon. Only then were they able to reenter modern society and decide what they wanted to do with their lives, be it open new dojos with their own styles, remain in the main family to teach future generations, or give up the teachings entirely.
And Shu Yozora was the one in the direct line of inheritance to the main branch of the Night Sky Clan.
Except... the last that Asako heard, that girl was supposed to be training in the Hida mountains alongside the current Night Sky Grandmaster.
Asako frowned. "Did that girl run away from home?"
It made sense. The training was supposedly rigorous and rigid... enough that even Asako's bastard of a father complained it was too much for what it provided in return.
And if a masochistic bastard like that who sought out ways to kill himself on a daily basis just to prove death wrong complained about it, there was definitely a problem there.
"Well... Not my problem."
After taking a picture of them with her glasses to show Miss Beta later and to provide a record, Asako tucked the check and paper into the desk drawer and went back to flipping through her contract.
Mister Smith could handle that whenever he got back from whatever he was doing.
Titor glanced down from the screen at John, frowning. "You catching a cold, John?"
John shook his head. "Don't think so..." He stared at his cup of diet cola and said, "I probably just drank the soda too fast and got the carbonation tickling my nose."
"Mm... Whatever you say, John."
John shook his head and then went back to scrolling through his laptop for onsen bookings.
It was probably just a coincidence.
After all, it wasn't like any more trouble could be stirring since he had locked himself up in the basement and isolated his presence from the world.