354 – Pandora’s Box of Goodies – II
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It was a simple job.

Because Project MirAIs was growing, and because they would be expanding into different projects in the future, it was necessary to give the girls support staff.

Community managers, logistic support, personal assistants... that sort of thing. Streaming was already time and energy consuming, and then there were the idol training sessions on top of that. If the girls didn't have any support, they would run themselves ragged.

Well, John was sure that Alphy would be able to handle it, but he didn't want her slipping back into old habits, so it was important to make sure to nip the problem in the bud before things got too far.

It was a general problem for all the Project MirAIs girls, but Kai had experience in managing that sort of thing, so Prodigy was already squared away. Not to mention the fact that they had mentors who were already in the field to be able to jump ahead of any problems as well as avoid pitfalls.

But anyway, that was why John had hired on the Three Musketeers and the Alfis. Considering that they were part of the fanbase, were relatively competent, and were definitely completely loyal to Asako and Alphy, it should be great.


Foxy stared at Asako with glittering eyes and said, "How do you look so *pretty* Queen? And you're so fit too! Is it all the idol training?"

Asako shifted in her seat and let out a nervous smile. "S-Something like that?"

Orca adjusted a pair of sunglasses that he pulled out from somewhere and said, "Do not be ridiculous Foxy. It is simply her natural physique. As expected of my Queen."

Garbage rolled his eyes and said, "Oh come on. We all know it's because Queen is secretly an underground secret assassin. Right, Queen?"

Rin laughed and said, "Your fans are pretty thrilled about you, Aneue."

Asako let out a nervous laugh, subtly scooting away from the Three Musketeers.

That was all happening on the left side of the table.

To sum up the current circumstances...

After John gathered everyone and got down to business explaining things, all that was left was for the girls and new hires to get to know each other. Basically, mini breakout sessions.

On the left side of the table, Asako and the Three Musketeers were gathered. On the right side, Alphy and her Alfis were seated together... Well. It was a bit more chaotic than that, but John would think about that in a bit.

And at the head of the table, in the middle of both sides, there was John and Rin.

"And I beg of you, Alfi-sama. Please, allow me to be your chair."

That was 'Couch.'

"Hmph. Do you think you have the qualifications to serve as the chair for Alfi-sama? No."

And that was 'Knight.'

"I can't believe it... Just ignore them, Miss Alphy. I'll get them out of their star-struck state eventually."

Then there was the sensible and professional 'Hottie' reining back the other two's ridiculous piety.

Alphy giggled and said, "It's fine, um... Hottie, right?" She looked at Couch and Knight and said, "I think it's kind of cute, so it's fine."

Hottie blinked.

Couch's eyes sparkled and she jumped up to cheer. "Alfi-sama called me cute!"

Knight smacked his chest and let out a proud smile. "It is an honor, Alfi-sama!"

John gave them all a blank stare before shaking his head.

...Well. It was better than the terrified awe that Alphy used to get. And it seemed like she was enjoying it, so it... should be fine?

At that time, Rin nudged John's side and said, "Mister John."

"Hm?" John looked over and said, "Did you need something, Rin?"

Rin nodded and then looked at both the Three Musketeers and the Alfis chatting with their idols.

Well, one-sided scolding from Asako's side and then fervent worship from Alphy's side.

Anyway, she looked over at them both before looking back at John and said, "Do I not get support staff?"

John sighed and said, "Not yet. Unfortunately, all the qualified people for your team are still in school like you."

Well. There were a few who weren't, but John wasn't about to trust grown men and women of dubious backgrounds to handle Rin who was still a minor.

Plenty of experiences with that in the past. Over the countless eons John had been alive, he could count the number of people who didn't have ulterior motives when approaching a minor on one hand.

And that was including himself.

Well, after getting the wake-up call on the kind of place the Three Realms was, but that was besides the point.

"Oh." Rin looked down and said, "...So no fun times for me?"

John patted Rin's head and said, "Don't worry. It's a bit lonely for you right now, but I'll sort it out. In the meantime, I'll be handling everything for you just like old times."

Rin frowned and said, "...Will that be okay? Aren't you busy with Aurora?"

"Well, you're half-adopted at this point anyway. And considering how things are progressing with Asako and Alphy, you're practically family at this point, so..."

Rin laughed.

John smiled.

...And then he realized something and groaned.

"M-Mister John?"

John waved his hand and said, "Don't mind me. Just lamenting how complicated the family tree is going to get in the future."



A recently renovated office space in the Myth Inc. HQ. One that John expressly assigned for Asako and her new support to use.

...Well, John called it an office space, but Asako didn't think that was a proper name for it considering that it would definitely fail city code inspections.

The entire floor had been split into four main areas.

The first was right in front of the elevator and stairs leading to the floor. That area was a wide lobby with various potted plants and furniture strewn about.

Past that lobby, there was a work area with a mini streaming studio as well as some PC work stations. Automated lighting, a wall mirror that doubled as giant monitors, along with a rack filled with every game console imaginable... along with some that were Myth Incorporated proprietary tech.

Then past *that*, there was a connected bathroom with a large hot tub, shower space, and changing room. And then to finish off the floor layout, there was a living space at the back with some spare beds, a small kitchenette, and self-stocking fridges.

Asako wasn't sure how that was all possible, but considering John's last response was 'nanomachines and hard light', she gave up on getting a straight answer.

But anyway, that was all just a long self-explanation for Asako to distract her from the fact that she had to deal with the three hooligans walking behind her.

"Whoooaaa." Garbage looked around with wide eyes. "So this is where we'll be working, huh?"

Foxy's eyes sparkled as she looked at the streaming studio and then she turned towards Asako. "Ooh! Can I use that too, Queen?"

Orca gave everything a once over and then nodded. "As always, John does not do things in half measures..." He turned to Asako and said, "How do you intend to use this place, Queen? Do you want us to set up here?"

"Oh yeah!" Foxy quickly gave a salute and then said, "We're at your disposal, Queen!"

"Hey!" Garbage looked over at the two and said, "Don't just leave me out like that!" He looked at Asako and said, "I'm here to help too!"

Asako resisted the urge to let out a deep sigh. Instead, she rubbed the bridge of her nose to try and relieve some stress before saying, "Give me a minute to think."


"Of course."

"Whatever you say, Queen!"

Asako stared at the unnervingly bright gazes looking at her and then frowned.

...It wasn't that bad. This wouldn't be the first time she had subordinates to boss around. But it would be the first time they were actually loyal to her.

Was that why it felt weird?

The three goofed around a lot, but it was clear that they respected her. And while they poked and prodded, they also knew where to draw the line...

Well. Other than Garbage asking about the nude calendar every hour.

And speaking of 'Garbage...'

"What do I call you guys?"

Orca blinked and said, "I thought we went over this?" He pointed at everyone and said, "He is StraightGarbage, she is FailureFox, and I am GoldenOrca. The trio affectionately called 'Three Musketeers' by the Ki-sama."

Garbage placed his hands behind his head and said, "I dunno if it's 'affectionate'... but yeah, that's us."

Asako rolled her eyes and said, "I know that. It's not like I'm stupid... I meant what your names are. John never brought them up, and you guys didn't introduce yourselves either." She crossed her arms and said, "If you're going to be my direct subordinates, I need to know that much at least."

Foxy gasped and then clapped her hands together before cutely placing them next to her cheeks. "We're your direct subordinates?!"

Garbage pumped a fist in the air and said, "Hah! Take that you trolls! I told you I'd get to be part of Queen's crew first!"

"..." Asako sighed. "This is going to take a while, isn't it...?"


Meanwhile, on a similar office floor dedicated to Alphy and her support crew.

Knight adjusted a pair of square-rimmed glasses while sitting at a computer. "Done. The scheduled stream waiting rooms, alerts, and social media posts are properly arranged."

Couch held up a clipboard and scanned through it while checking the streaming equipment and games. After doing a once-over, she tucked a strand of her light brown hair behind her ear and looked towards Alphy. "Everything here is in order. And I have placed orders to stock the fridge with your favorite refreshments. I've also keyed the lock on the door to allow Lady Asako and Lady Rin to enter at any time, as you requested."

Hottie stood up to stretch from his spot at a table and closed the laptop in front of him. "I finished setting up the bots and plugins that you wanted to use as well and just completed reviewing the held comments and responses on the channel and subforums."

Then, as if rehearsed, the three turned to Alphy and said, "Is there anything else you require from us, Alphy-sama?"

A trio of perfectly professional and competent individuals, completely at odds with the exuberance and chaos they showed earlier.

Well, that Couch and Knight showed earlier.

Alphy looked at the three with a bit of a dazed look and then said, "U-Um... No?" She poked her fingers together and said, "I was expecting it to take a bit longer..." She sighed and said, "I guess that shows how bad I am at this..."

A loud bang. Knight slamming his hand against the table and jumping to his feet. "How could that be, Alphy-sama!?"

A loud crack, followed by fluttering pages. Couch tossed the clipboard aside and said, "Alphy-sama should not have to spend your valuable time on such trivial matters to begin with! Please, accept it as our gift to you!"

A loud sigh echoed after that. Shaking his head, Hottie ran his hand through his hair and muttered, "Fanaticism is terrifying... Is this why Miss Jenny refuses to acknowledge that superfan?" He shook his head once more and then looked at Alphy. "Anyway... If there's extra time left, is there anything that you wanted to do, Alphy-sama?"

"YES!" Knight slammed his hand against his chest and said, "If there is anything at all, we will fulfill it!"

Couch quickly nodded and closed her eyes before placing her hand over her chest in a solemn salute. "Even if it costs my life... I will accomplish it."

Hottie gave the other two a blank stare before looking back at Alphy.

"Um..." Alphy paused, thinking about it for a moment. And then she said, "...How about we go for a walk? I still haven't explored much of the city, so if you all would guide me..." She smiled and said, "That would be fun, wouldn't it?"

#[email protected][email protected]#%@#% I got sick the week of this story's birthday. Haaaaaaahhhhh. I need to figure out what to do to celebrate that still. Lemme think about it a bit...