Aino Minako, beloved popstar of millions, sighed as she lifted another thick stack of paper and let it go right into the shredder beside her desk. There was nothing she detested in this world more than paperwork, but this wasn't the kind she could brush off to someone else that worked with or for her. She was far too particular about her bodyguard choices. The last one she had, Ace, had been fired due to getting far too close and personal and Minako felt like his job wasn't as important as bedding her was. He hadn't been happy and she had to have on site security for the office remove him from the property and make sure an order was put into place that banned him from all concerts.
She sighed as she picked the next stack up to read over it. Well the photo made him seem fairly fit which was more of a bonus than the first three she had gone through. Lower end pay request was okay. Work history...ugh empty. She knew people needed experience, but starting with a pop idol wasn't really an ideal starting point for security for sure. Minako even requested at least three years experience on her applications. Flipping to the second page, she was faced with a hand written essay about how much he enjoyed her music. Minako immediately flipped it to the front, and let it go into the shredder.
"Why does everything think that telling me how much they care about my music matters?" She huffed as she slumped back in her seat. "I'm not hiring you for damn liking me…" Reaching forward, she picked the next one up. Photo looked okay, a little blurry. Two years security experience at a bank. That was promising. Decent pay rate request. Nothing about her music. Flipping to the more detailed information about past work history, she groaned.
"Fired for stealing?" It was a note her team had made on it. While she was looking through them all, Minako asked her staff to do runs on the applicants for her. She needed help cutting out wasting time if possible. This one went into the shredder too.
Her forehead met desk in frustration. All these applicants seemed far more interested in her than the job she was hiring them for and that was the problem. Most applicants were males and the ones that were females didn't have any background information that would provide security to her. Lifting her head, she picked up the next one and frowned. Who in the hell didn't include a headshot photo that was part of the application process? That was just the worst. Picking the paper up, she turned to the shredder and started to lower it before something caught her attention.
Pulling it back to her face, she looked directly at the payment box. She expected numbers, sometimes ridiculously high or low ones. This one had nothing but text, but it didn't say open. All it said was all payments forwarded to Hikawa Shrine in whatever suitable amount. What in the hell? Her eyes went up to the name.
"Hino Rei?" Setting the paper back to her desk, she started to look through it properly. Female, 163 cm tall, black hair, violet eyes, AB blood type. Too bad. A blood transfusion would be impossible if that situation ever came up and...hm, interesting. They had the same birth year. This Hino Rei was older by a few months though. April 17th. That was good. She was probably in her physical prime. Minako felt kind of bad thinking it, but she was a looking for a bodyguard. She needed someone that could keep up.
Minako kept reading the application. So far, so good. Hino's work history was also very impressive. Ten years at the Hikawa Shrine as a shrine maiden before going into the security business. Interesting...what would inspire a shrine maiden to want to become a bodyguard?
And wow. Better and better. Rei was a nationally ranked archer just a few years ago? Athletic, focused, and knows how to handle a weapon.
"Hmmm." Minako smiled a little as she tapped on the paper. This would do just fine. A girl would be a nice change of pace because they would be more job focused and someone for Minako to rant and rave to and gossip if all went well. Yes, Hino Rei would do just fine.
Minako turned to her computer and flipped to her email account, typing in Rei's email address, typing up a letter to ask her to arrive early in the morning to begin paperwork before attaching a copy of her daily schedule. Then after clicking send, she immediately went into her search bar and typed in Rei's name.
Not surprising to see anything come up, giving she was a nationally ranked archer. Minako hummed as she opened an article and read over it, pausing at the photo of Rei and her eyes widened. Prime indeed. She was gorgeous, no wonder she was able to work as a shrine maiden. But when Minako typed in Hikawa shrine, she couldn't find a single photo of Rei existing there. Just that the older man that ran the shrine had passed away several years ago and that it was Rei's grandfather.
But...wouldn't that mean that her Father would be the one to run it? Minako stopped to think….Hino. The name, was familiar…
"No way." A few more key presses and she was met with the name Hino Takashi, famous politician of the area. But there was little mention of Rei associated with him. A dinner or two with photos but when Minako enlarged them, she could clearly see Rei ready to snap a chopstick in half in rage. Maybe not the best relationship.
"Well this will be interesting. I do have to wonder why someone who is so used to peace and quiet...would put in to work for a world wide idol." Minako smirked as she leaned on her hand, looking at the photo of Rei in archery gear again, getting ready to make a shot. "I think this shall be quite entertaining…"
Once the email was sent, Minako took the application out with her and leaned on Natsuna's, her main secretary, desk. "So. What's this one all about? Slip past you in your older age?"
"I am not that much older than you." Natsuna took the application and smirked a little. "What, you think I missed it because she failed to put a photo?"
"Could have been Ace fucking with us, you know that?" It was a slight concern of Minako's since the applications were all submitted.
"He's not smart enough to list himself working at a shrine nor archery. He would have picked something far less graceful."
"So how come she got through? I said an attached photo was absolutely required." Minako really did wonder why her secretary would let something, a requirement, be forgiven when not provided. She was sure there was logical reasoning for it, there had to be. She had to know.
"First she still met the experience requirement. Good height to match yours so she's still seen and not hidden. A lot of work experience in general." Natsuna flipped through to the next page. "Same year as you so very close ages so I know she's not old and can more than likely stand a chance of keeping up with your insane schedule. Speaking of which, your music video is in six months due."
"Six months!?" Minako stood up at that with a groan. "I have to coordinate a concert, CD, AND Music video? I'm going to go mental."
"You did that years ago. Anyways, back on topic. She's used to crowds from archery competitions and has patience for being a shrine maiden. And as they often say, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover." Natsuna handed the resume back to her.
"There is no cover here to judge if there's no photo."
"Exactly. You think I don't pay attention? You look at a photo first thing. Then you look for the sappy little essay about how the love your music or your work or how inspirational you are. Then their work history just to be totally downfallen by every aspect. So without the photo it made you really look at this one."
Minako let out a little sigh. She was had.
"So I take it we shall see her in the morning?" Natsuna gave her a thousand watt smile.
"I hate it when you're right, you know that?" Minako smirked as she ran her fingers along the edge of the paper. "And did you actually research her?"
"Daughter of Hino Takeshi, politician. Mother deceased when she was younger. My best assumption is her Father left her with the Grandfather at the shrine. Hence few and far between interactions of the two."
That made Minako frown a little. This explained Rei's angry expression in the photos with her father she had seen. She was walking a path all alone with her grandfather now gone as it sounded. There had to be a reason she picked here and now. Minako just had to figure out why that was.
"Yeah she'll be here in the morning, punctual I assume. I'll have a test ready for her, I don't really have time to waste for a bodyguard who can't do a job, you know?" Minako let out a small sigh. She was ready to move forward with her works and this entire debacle with Ace had put a real stop to it all.
"Sounds like a plan then. I think she'll work out just fine, much better than any of the other applicants. I was starting to worry you were going to burn your shredder out putting stacks of paper into it like that." Natsuna smirked as she handed Minako an empty envelope with Rei's name on it.
"I sure hope so, Natsuna." Taking the envelope, Minako went back into her office to get everything moving back into place again. Idol work didn't do well standing still.
Another dead center shot. Letting out the breath she held slowly, Rei lowered her bow to her side and stretched the side of her neck carefully. One had to be cautious to avoid cramps when standing still in such a position so long with certain muscles pulled tight. Her eyes traced over to a light that came from her right side, where her bag was left. A message on her phone, an email given that Rei didn't believe in texting. If someone wanted to be in contact with her, it would be face to face or at the very least, through a phone call.
Taking the time to step forward she removed the arrow she had lodged into the target before sliding it back into her quiver. Then she addressed whatever may await her in her email.
A job offer for security. It was the one she had put in for that pop idol as a random application because she figured it could be good money to the shrine. It needed upgrades, repairs, clean up, and more staff on hand and she had to find a way to make it work. Archery had worked for a while, but that became more dull and boring to her with so much noise around the area and the egos that some of those archers had. The number of men who thought they could out shoot her was outrageous. She had split more than one of their arrows to prove a point.
Rei had done her research beforehand. Aino Minako was a pop idol, worldwide, with a few top selling records and had been number one on the charts with her song C'est La Vie. She hadn't bothered to listen to any of it, pop music was not her thing, classical or meditative was. In her research, she noted that she did charity concerts for sick children at hospitals or charity concerts to raise funds for programs to run. Rei had hoped that meant that she had a soft heart and was not like every other pop star and that what she had seen of her in video, was fake.
The thing about any super idol, pop or otherwise, that they bounced around, all energetic and loud and annoying. Rei wanted a far more peaceful job, but the shrine needed the money, especially since her grandfather had passed. Her last job had ended two months ago and most people didn't want to hire her because she was a female and as it turned out, having a female guard a male was apparently not dignified. It damaged the man's image.
Her eyes scanned the details of the email. She was to start the next day and provided the address to arrive at with a time of 7:00 A.M. sharp. Rei would be there at 6:30 A.M. Early was on time, on time was late, and late was not acceptable. Paperwork would be filled out at the office before the day resumed it's normal schedule, which was attached. She noted that Minako herself had sent the email and frowned a little. Who signed such a professional email with heart?
She clicked open the file and stared, dumbfounded.
7:00 A.M. to 7:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M.
8:30 A.M. to 9 A.M.
9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M.
1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.
2:30 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
3:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Return to hotel/office
Who the hell had such an insane schedule? Did Minako ever sleep? She knew that idols had to work hard, but this was...ridiculous. A day starting at 7am and not ending till nearly 9pm going nonstop. Rei had to admit, she was highly surprised by the hard work efforts and she thought that maybe it would be this okay. It was clearly someone who didn't slack off on their job.
Going back to the email she replied with a simple few lines before packing her gear up, changing her clothes, and returning to the shrine to clean up and prepare for her new job.
'Thank you for this job opportunity and I look forward to seeing you in the morning time. Thank you in advance for the schedule.
Once inside the shrine, Rei pulled her glove off her hand she had been using during her practice and put it away. Then she took her quiver off her hip and hung it on the wall carefully along with the bow. Her eyes trailed over to the one her grandfather had used when he once trained her many years ago and she felt her heart clench in pain. Despite him having passed years ago, it constantly felt fresh and it hurt. She had already lost her mother at a young age and now this. Now she was completely alone.
Sighing, she walked over to the donation box and peered inside. Empty again. No visitors today either. She had been so unable to keep help around that it was frustrating to even hire anymore. The one's she did hire often goofed off. Not that mattered. Who wanted to go to a shrine in such poor condition when Tokyo housed plenty of others.
Leaving the donation box, she moved into the main house of the shrine and stopped to kneel at her grandfather's memorial shrine and pray to him that this would work out. That she could show the shrine and city the love her grandfather had. Once she was done, she stood up and moved towards the room with the sacred fire and sat down in front of it, pulling her knees towards her.
Her father had offered to give her money if she worked for him once he found out she worked security, but that was the last thing she wanted. She'd rather fall into a sinkhole that opened up in the middle of the shrine grounds than ever take that offer up.
Rei had loved the archery competitions initially, they had been great. Her name was out there, the shrine was mentioned in papers, and she had a steady income. But men were egotistical and there were a few, particularly foreigners, who didn't appreciate a woman showing up and out doing them. Enough to challenge her and aim a shot dead center. Rei had met that challenge and ripped through their arrow without hesitation.
As it was often said, all good things must come to an end. Rei couldn't handle the constant harassment in the field because she was too concerned about finally losing her cool and shooting someone with an arrow in a rage. So she made one final tournament, placed first, and retired. Then she went into security work after that. She wanted to remain working peacefully at the shrine, but that was no income. People were hardly coming since her grandfather had passed away and so even donations were rare.
The issue with being female is a lot of people didn't think you had qualifications for protective services and most ignored Rei's applications. The few that did hire her didn't like her cold exterior she had about her because it made them look bad apparently. So for Aino Minako to hire her, it was a complete surprise. No photo on the application. No stated payment. And it wasn't like Rei's name wasn't out there, it was. All over the place between archery and her father for sure.
Letting out a sigh, Rei stood up from the fire and stared down at it for a few short moments before stepping out of the room and sliding the door shut behind her. Too much thinking. Moving into her room, she opened her closet and pulled a black suit out and then an ironing board and worked on putting proper creases back into it for in the morning. It was going to be a very long day, that much was clear. Rei had zero idea how an idol worked, what days were days off.
Hopefully she got a few so she could at least get the roof fixed up before typhoon season started up.
Suit pressed, she hung it from a door frame to keep wrinkles out and put everything else away before climbing into her bed with a heavy sigh and staring up at the ceiling. "Let's hope this one works out because I don't think I can wait for another chance, Grandpa. I'm afraid I may lose the shrine, or worse...have to ask Dad." That pained her heart, but it was her grandfather's shrine and she would risk her life to keep it. Rolling to her side, she plugged her phone in and then she closed her eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.