341 – Returning Transcendent Opens an Idol Agency – III
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Titor crossed his arms and tilted his head up, smirking. "So after everything, you've finally come crawling back to-"

John glanced towards Titor and said, "Finish that sentence and Amadeus will keep nagging at you about not having a real job."

Titor swallowed his words and then quickly saluted. "Yes, your highness! This one will do as you say!"

"...You are having way too much fun these days." John shook his head. "Still, I guess it's better to get all the fun out before you're a father."

Titor blinked. "...Scusi moi?"

"Anyway." John ignored Titor's confused look and turned to Kai. "We'll hash out the details more in another meeting, but what are your thoughts on a rival idol company?"

Kai frowned. "Do you not consider Shield Corporation competition?"

"No. I can't go into the details, but Akira is doing something completely different from us."

After all, Project MirAIs wasn't trying to change the fate of an entire world by presenting it as an interactive anime and allowing viewers to send much needed gifts via Superchats.

A brilliant idea though. It made John wonder how Akira even came up with it... and how he implemented it. But he still owed Akira a proper drink and double dinner date with Yue so he wasn't planning on poking too hard and upsetting the guy.

John focused his attention back on Kai and said, "What we need is a direct competitor. Another rock to throw into the puddle to counteract our waves, at least in terms of idols."

Kai slowly nodded. "...And that's where Titor comes in. I see."

Titor jabbed a finger towards John and said, "Oi! I'm not a CPU opponent!"

John glanced at him and said, "Well until real players join the game, we've gotta seed the playfield somehow. Besides, you're free to do whatever you want with that idol group."

"...Tch." Titor frowned and said, "Can't you do it yourself?"

"I can. But a chance for a proper job like this doesn't come very often you know. It's not everyday a guy in a briefcase will come handing over the keys to you while desperate to earn some money."

Kai coughed, his ears turning red at that comment.

John smiled for a bit before turning serious. "Anyway, we can hash that out more later. There's still a bit of time, so we can wait on that and time it with when other companies are starting to act to throw in some chaos." He swept his gaze back to everyone around and said, "Now we'll get to the core of why I called everyone here."

Was it because John usually wasn't serious? Or was he overdoing it a bit? Either way, the room was tense.

After letting the tension sit for a bit, John leaned back and placed his laced fingers on his lap. "Myth Incorporated has expanded a bit, but at its core we're an idol agency. I'm sure everyone is aware of that, yes?"

The two Divine Beasts and their girlfriends shifted in place. Everyone else though nodded.

Takashi adjusted his badge and said, "Of course, John. That's why we need proper security for the girls."

"Right." John nodded. "Proper security, proper management, proper support staff for the girls, a marketing team, staff that will take the initiative to go make sponsorship deals for the girls... If we're an idol agency, it's about time we act like it. And the first step to that... Well. I think it's about time the Prototype girls made a real world debut, right?"

Takashi frowned. "...How? Isn't the point of Project MirAIs to hide the girls' identities?"

John nodded. "It is. But as to how... Two words: Magical Girls."

Kai stared at John. Then he blinked and let out a deep sigh. "Tsuki is *never* going to stop pestering me about joining Project MirAIs now."

John smiled.

-----AI|IA-----

After a bit more talk about logistics, Kai and Takashi left to get started on making an IRL interview with the Prototype girls.

Well, mostly Takashi.

Kai ranted a bit about how John was placing the Prodigy girls at an uphill battle and needing more resources and discretion to resolve the issue first.

John gave it to him, of course. Partially because he trusted Kai's judgment. Well, he trusted Kai's judgment when that guy had a supportive and caring family to anchor him.

The main reason was that he was curious though.

Kai had taken in his three former idols as support staff and managers for the Prodigy girls, meaning that the girls would have proper role models and mentors in terms of being an idol.

In contrast... While John was planning to go back to getting more directly involved with the Prototype girls as their manager, he didn't have too much experience in making an 'idol.' At least, not to Earth's standards.

It made him wonder if the Prodigy girls were going to live up to their name and become the real idol group among Project MirAIs.

But he could think about that later. For now, he had a bigger issue to deal with. Specifically, the four staff members that hadn't dared to leave the room even after John dismissed the meeting.

John stood up from his chair. As he did, Jenny walked over to his side, idly adjusting her glasses. Titor moved over as well, smoothing his hair back.

With that, the people remaining in the room were divided.

On one side, there was John, Jenny, and Titor.

And on the other, there was Bai, Qing, Eri, and Sitri.

A tense silence fell in the room. But eventually, John broke it and said, "I won't ask for an explanation or for you to throw yourselves down and apologize. This isn't the Three Realms, so there's no need for that."

Eri frowned and said, "Three Realms?"

Bai flinched and quickly moved in front of her. "John-"

John held up his hand. "Relax." He smiled and said, "I'm the last person to criticize you on doing things for the woman you love. And since she's important enough to you that you'd forget your job and force me to pick up the slack, I won't do anything to her."

Bai gave John a suspicious look.

At the same time, Eri looked nervous, shifting in place behind Bai.

'Sheesh. I wipe out the guy's auction house and marketplace once and he doesn't trust me...'

John didn't even have a reputation of killing or harming women in the first place.

...Though Yue did.

Hm. Maybe he was more worried about her than John?

Either way, he had to address Eri's situation.

Looking to the doctor, John said, "Eri, right?"

She bowed her head and said, "Th-that is correct, Mister Smith."

John waved his hand and said, "There's no need to be polite. I owe you for helping to treat Rin's mom this entire time. Plus, we were neighbors for a bit, so I guess it's karma for this to happen."

Eri tilted her head before her eyes widened. She pointed at John and said, "You're that foreigner I bumped into a while back going to the elevator!"

"Yep." John paused and muttered, "Though I could have sworn we talked about this already..." He shook his head. "Anyway. Starting from this day forward, I'm going to be relying on you to do physicals on the girls every week to make sure they aren't pushing themselves. There are a few other things I have in mind, but we'll start from there."

Eri's eyes lit up and she smiled. "Leave it to me, Mister John!"

Bai let out a sigh of relief.

"Oi." John looked at Bai and said, "You aren't out of hot water yet. Do you know how much paperwork I had to sort through because of your aggressive buying?"

Bai flinched. "Ahaha..."

Eri frowned and then grabbed Bai's ear. "Bai! I told you to be more diligent!"

"Ow! I will, I will!"

At that time, Jenny adjusted her glasses and let out a cold smile. "Excellent. Then you don't mind coming with me to sort through the rezoning agreements and regulations, do you?"

"...Tch."

Eri tugged Bai's ear harder. "Bai!"

"Yes, dear. I'll go work..."

Jenny nodded and then glanced at John. "Then we'll take our leave first, Onii-chan. Miss Iyasu, Lazy Cat. Follow me."

"I'm not a-"

Jenny paused and then turned to stare at Bai. "Hm?"

"N-Nothing Miss Jenny..."

"I thought so."

With that, the three left, leaving just John, Titor, Qing, and Sitri.

Qing was still calm. Well, he was tense, but he wasn't overreacting or anxious.

On the other hand, Sitri was drenched in sweat, her white shirt slowly turning transparent to reveal... Not a shred of undergarments.

John let out a deep sigh and then waved his hand, causing a blanket to materialize and drape over Sitri.

She flinched and then her eyes widened in shock. Immediately after, she started trembling. "Y-You...?" She spun towards Qing and said, "You didn't tell me that your Boss was the Overlord!"

John nodded. "It seems so. And Qing never told me that his new secretary was an isekai'd Demon Lord sent to conquer Earth."

Sitri paled.

Titor let out a booming laughter and flung out his arms, causing his lab coat to flutter. At the same time, he tilted up his head and looked down at Sitri, a menacing gleam in his eyes.

Seeing that, Qing pursed his lips and then stood in front of Sitri. At the same time, he reached out to the side, gathering his power. "...Do you intend to harm her?"

John stared at Qing for a while and then let out a deep sigh. "Why does everyone always assume I'm going to hurt the ones they love?"

Titor dropped his act and then turned towards John. "Because you were a dick."

"As if you aren't?"

Titor nodded. "True. I'm a dick. But I'm not a dick with the ability to destroy mountains and flood chasms."

"...That's a weirdly specific description. But fair." John shook his head and said, "Anyway. I won't hurt her, Qing. But because of her, you made my life a lot more complicated by forgetting your job. So..."

Qing started to sweat. "So...?"

John looked at Titor.

Titor blinked and then chuckled, looking at Qing.

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