Chapter 1

News

Everyone inside the office of 765 Pro froze at Ritusko's announcement. Seeing that it was a full house with all 12 idols, both producers, Takagi, and Otonashi, that was by no means any small feat. Stunned silence continued to overtake the audience. Iori Minase, to whom this news was directly related, looked to President Junichirou Takagi. It was impossible for him to not know of this beforehand. He wordlessly nodded. A bright and indescribable joy filled her face. The young idol of only 15 turned to Ami Futami and Azusa Miura, her fellow members of Ryuuguu Komachi. They were victim of the same sensation of speechlessness.

"I don't believe it," was spoken by Haruka Amami not in disbelief, but in a kind of sensory overload that was impossible to comprehend.

But for a moment a true sense of doubt was born in the crowd, as if it really were too good to be true. To remedy this, Ritsuko repeated herself.

"It's true. Ryuuguu Komachi will be preforming a Live event in Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World!"

This time the office broke out into hysteria. Forget the IA, this was a debut on the world stage, let alone Japan. But this giant leap in success wouldn't be questioned tonight. Right now it was a time for congratulations and celebrations. Thus too the girls involved accepted their companion's best regards and well wishes with emotional acceptance.

Though she got caught in the flow, Iori knew for a fact that this was too good to be true, or at the very least, had a few strings attached. Well acquainted with the workings of the business world due to her family's success and her CEO father, Iori knew that this opportunity had less of a chance of happening then catching a meteorite with a baseball mitt. Takagi and the young debutant have been aquianteces long before her debut, and while she would never question his decisions, this time she had no choice. Iori wasn't the type of person to use her family's authority to influence her career, but when the festivities quieted down, she entered his office as the daughter of Minase, not the Idol Iori.

"You want to know the details of your Live event?" the president questioned her. "Shouldn't you ask your producer?"

Even Takagi, who usually appeared so laid back and non-confrontational, felt unease about this inappropriateness. Yes, it was better for the lowly idol to speak with her producer instead of breaking the chain of command, but the young girl and de facto face of Ryuuguu Komachi didn't want her teammates to become aware of her suspicions. Besides, Ritsuko intimidated her. Whatever would be discussed here needed to be kept between the two of them.

Avoiding his question, "Preforming in a venue as grand as Las Vegas has got to require a serious amount of revenue. With as cost conscious as we are with our accommodations, I hardly expect we could raise that kind of capital. Do we have sponsors for this event?"

Takagi edged back a little bit. Not long before the announcement, he'd had a very similar discussion with her producer Ritsuko. However, the trained and educated Ritsuko didn't have the same innate sense of business as the daughter of Minase. While Ritsuko achieved her dream of being a producer and was good at it, Iori was more the kind to take Takagi's place and run the company that hires those producers. The shelf life of an idol lasted only so long, and he fully expected the young girl to rise to such a status when she became older. However, even with as young and inexperienced as she was, Iori still was considerably formidable.

"You got me," the president declared, "we really don't have the money to handle this. I've had to take a loan out against the company, our office building, and my house to cover the expenses."

Iori half expected as much, but hearing it out loud shook her at her core. This was a big gamble. The biggest. If their concert failed not only would the president suffer, but 765 Pro entirely. If this Live turned into a complete bust, the entire production company might go under, including her best friend Yayoi and all the other idols. On the flip side, however, if they succeed the rewards will be insurmountable. Not only ticket sale revenue, but global fame. Certainly it would be worth the risk, but that would leave to question if Ryuuguu Komachi could handle that task. Obviously the president believed so, otherwise he wouldn't have put so much personal risk in this venture.

There was only one question of real importance, and she already had her answer, but there was something else she had to know, "Did my father have anything to do with this?"

"He brought the opportunity to me," he answered simply enough. "There was a sudden cancellation and the casino was desperate to add a replacement. Other then that he helped negotiate a low-interest loan, but that's all he did."

It was a very difficult thing to stand up to her father, but the one time she did Iori forbid him from interfering with her career by throwing his influence around. Though it was probably a waste of breath as he wasn't the kind to coddle his children. Although, he admired Iori's determination and humbly agreed. If he had turned back on his word she would become very upset. This situation, however, was in a kind of gray zone. He didn't directly interfere, but brought the opportunity to them. Had he fronted to money himself then his action would clearly be questionable, but as he left it to Takagi he merely let the man know of a once-in-a-lifetime chance. As Iori saw it, there was nothing to become upset about.

"Thank you," Iori bowed, knowing that she was granted a huge favor in satisfying her curiosity.

"Deko-chan?" was the first thing she heard when she exited out of his office. Only one person would ever call her 'forehead.'

"It's you," Iori responded to the blonde-haired Miki Hoshii in a rude manner as if it were routine.

Undisturbed by Iori's demeanor, "You suddenly disappeared, everyone was looking for you."

"As you can see, I'm still here."

Miki looks over Iori's shoulder to see the door she just exited, "Were you speaking with the president?"

"I had a few things to discuss," she hauntly replies, putting herself on airs like only a person born of privilege can do. "If we're going to be traveling abroad, I'll only stay at the best hotels in the largest suites. I just made sure he knew that."

"Oh wow. Miki wishes she were going."

"Ho ho ho! Maybe when you get as famous as me, you'll travel the world as well!"

Miki simply stood there and smiled. Though there was nothing betrayed in her expression, Iori thought that maybe the simple Miki might have seen through her act. Everything out of her mouth was a bold-faced lie, but it was to protect them from knowing what kind of risk the company was taking, and the unbearable amount of pressure that was put onto Ryuuguu Komachi. Not that Miki could have understood it that far, but at best she could only ascertain that something was amiss.

Nevertheless, now wasn't the time to be brooding over the negatives of the situation. Now was a time for celebrating. It was rare for an Idol to even leave Japan, but to headline in Las Vegas was surely a monumental feat. All that other stuff could be worried about later.