215 – Interlude – Gap between songs
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The stage shimmered and Titor walked out, clapping his hands. Looking at Hana, he grinned and said, "Wonderful job, MirAI 01!"

Hana looked back and laughed. "Thank you, Mister Titor!"

More shimmers happened, and then everyone else showed up. Alfi ran forward and then pulled Hana into a hug. "Don't be sad, Hana! I'll always be here for you, okay?"

Aoko walked forward as well and then patted Hana's head. "Yeah, Sis. And you did good."

Hana's eyes watered and then she nodded her head, smiling. "Thank you, Aneue."

John walked out to the front of the stage. Taking a look at the wave of hearts and hundreds of bouquets, he laughed and turned back at Hana. "What were you worried about, thinking that you couldn't follow upon Jenny? You did great, Hana." He turned back to the crowd and said, "Isn't that right, guys?"

The crowd roared, sending more hearts and bouquets.

Well, a few of those members in the crowd were roaring at John, but he pointedly ignored that.

Titor walked over to the mic stand and adjusted it. After that, he walked over to John and said, "Of course she did." Titor spread out his arms and said, "The innocent girl from a ruined future, the bright orange fireworks reminiscent of a summer day... just like those times, Hana lights a fire within all of our hearts." He grinned and looked over at John. "How could such a person not be accepted by this world devoid of heart and passion?"

"...You really like being overdramatic, don't you?"

Titor laughed and then said, "Of course! Grandiose gestures become the spice to make an otherwise boring life interesting." He paused and then said, "Besides. Making people cringe is fun."

"You're breaking character, Titor."

Titor cleared his throat and said, "I have no comprehension of your strange words, my other half."

"Now you're just pushing it... but whatever." John glanced back at the girls.

Hana, Alfi, and Aoko were having a warm moment, quietly talking and cheering each other up.

Seeing that, John turned back to the crowd. "How's everyone feeling? Doing well?"

A roar echoed again, followed by a wave of thumbsup emotes in the back.

John laughed and said, "Good, good. This is our first time testing everything, so I'm glad to hear that nothing's going wrong."

Titor scoffed and said, "As if anything could go wrong after my masterful preparations."

John looked at Titor and said, "You mean the preparations you did by pulling an all-nighter literally the day before the concert?"

"You cannot rush true brilliance, my other half."

"That's what you call doing everything the night before? True brilliance?"

Titor shrugged. "90% of the work is preparation. 10% is execution." He tapped his head and said, "I spent most of the work within my mind, constructing the details and envisioning the features within the load region of-"

John cut Titor off. "Yeah, yeah... Anyway." John looked back at the crowd and said, "Thanks for sticking around and supporting the girls. As I'm sure you're aware... or that you're aware by now, the first to open the night was Hana Homura. And like Titor mentioned, she's a bright flame that always brings a cheer to the gloomiest of days." He glanced back at Hana and smiled. "She also works super hard every day to make sure that she can be the best idol she can be."

Hana looked over at John and smiled. "Thank you, Mister John."

"...Sometimes too hard too."


John turned back to the crowd and said, "Make sure to remind her if she streams too long or seems tired, okay? She's the type to go overboard without realizing it."

Titor shook his head. "This, from the man who works 48 hours a day..."

"Should the man who creates a null time zone to work a week in a single day be saying that?"

Titor nodded. "But of course! I create such a field to allow for proper breaks within my work flow."

"You mean proper breaks after Amadeus drags you by the ear to relax."

Titor cleared his throat. "...I admit, genius may need some persuasion to pause its momentum at times..."

Laughter echoed. Some light-hearted jeering and boos as well.

John chuckled and then said, "Anyway... Next up, we have Alfi Titor, my beloved daughter."

Titor crossed his arms and said, "You mean *my* beloved daughter, other half."

John paused and then turned to Titor, eyes flashing green. "We really doing this right now?"

Titor stepped back and said, "Fine, fine. I shall yield the beloved Magnum Opus to you, my other half."

[evileagle] Custody battle?
[marinemoose] Maybe the real ship was John and Titor all along...
[doubtingdove] So is Jenny the real one and John is her crossdressing? I'm confused.
[slysnake] Alfi *does* look like both John and Titor...

John glanced at the chat and facepalmed. "Goddammit." He pointed at Titor and said, "This is your fault."

"My fault? Are you not the omniscient and all-knowing god in charge of this project?!"

"And aren't you the time traveler? You should have perfect foresight because you can cheat and fake it with time traveling hindsight!"

In the back, Aoko rolled her eyes and said, "Could you two idiots get on with it already?"

John cleared his throat and stepped back. "Right. Sorry about that."

Titor stepped back as well. Turning to the crowd, he bowed his head and said, "My apologies. It seems that I showed an unsightly side of myself just then."

Aoko scoffed and said, "Is there a side of you that isn't unsightly, you cringefest?"

Titor laughed and said, "Considering that the beauty loved by god was so enraptured by my brilliant self that she returned from the yellow springs to stand beside me, I would have to say that there is, oh Great Blue Dragon."

Aoko shuddered.

John sighed and walked to the mic stand. Once there, he tapped it, causing the stand to change. The gold shimmered, turning into a sleek titanium. At the same time, the mic on it changed, turning into a dark crimson color, like the entire thing was carved from a giant ruby. After that, he walked over to Alfi. "Are you ready, Alfi? Or should Titor and I stall a bit more?"

[pumpedpiglet] So you *were* stalling!
[cringecrocodile] Stall more! I love the banter!
[steins_snake] Give Titor more screentime, dammit!
[jealousjackal] Yeah! Get off the stage you stupid handsome bastard!

Alfi giggled and shook her head. "No. It's fine, Papa." She looked out at the crowd and said, "I think everyone's feeling a bit down after Hana's song... so I want to make them all a bit happier. After all." She looked at Aoko and said, "If I let Aoko-chan go next with the song she chose, people might get confused on how to feel. You know?"

John laughed. "Well, I suppose a song like that really isn't the best to follow up on Hana's choice. It works, but maybe a bit lighter mood would be better."

Aoko blushed and said, "And what the hell are you implying?!"

John held up his hands. "Nothing, Aoko-chan. Only that I can't wait to see you be a real idol."

Aoko crossed her arms and said, "Don't think I didn't understand the words you left off!"

"Hey now, you said it, not me. I didn't say that I can't wait to see you be a real idol for once, only that I can't wait to see you be a real idol."

[GoldenOrca] Fight back, Queen! Don't take that standing down!
[FailureFox] Yeah! Punch him in the face for me, Queen!
[StraightGarbage] Screw punching, kick him! Send that head flying!
[worriedwombat] Aoko's fans are... something else, huh?

Alfi giggled and lightly poked John. "Stop teasing her, Papa."

"Fine, fine..." John looked back at Titor and said, "Let's get off the stage, you Mad Scientist. We're stealing the show."

Titor walked over and said, "Self-aware at last, my other half?"

"I've been aware from the very beginning, unfortunately... I swear, it's like my life is a freaking light novel. A bad one too." He shook his head and kept walking, vanishing through the invisible veil. His voice kept echoing though. "At least people seem more interested in the 'side characters' now. Maybe I can finally get some R and R..."

Titor laughed. "First world problems at their finest... What a life to have."

[enviouseel] Rich, married, handsome... Why the hell is John complaining?
[uglyhen] You can snag literally anybody! STFU John!
[bumpywarthog] Get off the stage already, John!
[otakuoctopus] This isn't your show, you normie bastard!

Titor glanced at the chat and laughed. After that, stuck his hands into his lab coat pockets and walked through the veil as well, vanishing from view.

Hana gave Alfi a hug and said, "Good luck, Onee-chan!"

Aoko walked over to Alfi and tapped her shoulder. "Kill'em with cuteness, Alfi."

Hana glanced at Aoko and frowned. "Isn't the saying 'Kill them with kindness', Aneue?"

Aoko started walking off and said, "I know what I said."

Hana frowned and followed her older sister.

And then it was just Alfi alone on the stage.

The ashen-haired beauty spun around, taking in the crowd. When she did, she frowned, fiddling with the ribbon on her uniform. Even so, she walked forward to the mic. Taking one more look at the crowd, she let out a nervous smile and said, "H-Hello!"

A thunderous roar echoed, greater than any that came before it. At the same time, the crowd at the foot of the stage jumped up and down, trying to get Alfi's attention. And in the back, every single person in the seat started spamming red hearts. Not only that, but the bouquets and wave of hearts had already started.

Alfi giggled and then smiled, a soft and warm one in contrast to the nervous one she had just a bit before. "Thank you for cheering me up. Everyone is always so kind... but I guess that's why I love you- Eh?!"

The moment that Alfi said those words, the crowd collapsed. At the same time, the people in the back stopped sending emotes.

Alfi's eyes widened in panic. "W-What did I do?! Is everyone okay? P-Papa!"

[Alfis_HotCocoa] Worth it.
[stonedsnake] lol Alfi.
[Alfis_Knight] To perish before Alfi-sama's gaze... was worth it...
[rationalrabbit] Again, y'all crazy.