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Saiyuu no Ryouko: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 62

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  • atheniag
    [For Issues 1-57: http://www.yuricon.org/snb For Issue 58: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/24899 For Issue 59:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2008
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      [For Issues 1-57: http://www.yuricon.org/snb
      For Issue 58: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/24899
      For Issue 59: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/25103
      For Issue 60: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/25407
      For Issue 61: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon/message/25767%5d

      Saiyuu no Ryouko: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

      The Story So Far: Yuriko knew that her life would be changing today –
      but not this much or this fast. She is still shell-shocked after
      the first meeting with her new manger, Tsukiyama Kazumi.

      Volume 4, Issue 10


      Yuriko's day went by in a blur of exhausting activity. Dancing and
      singing practice sessions were followed up quickly by a short
      interview with a satellite and online music video station and a few
      freelance reporters. Mayumi and Yuriko gushed with enthusiasm for
      the cameras, praising each other's talent eloquently, then waited
      for the tedious, yet inevitable questions with smiles set firmly on
      their faces.

      "Yuriko-san, Is it true that you two are going out? Is your
      relationship with the writer Yukano Midori falling apart?"

      Yuriko did not dare glance at Mayumi as she answered this. "We're
      not going out, no," she laughed lightly, "although with all the time
      we're spending in each other's arms, it might looks that way!" She
      made herself sparkle with laughter, and hoped desperately that
      Mayumi would take the cue.

      Mayumi did. With an expression that oozed charm, Mayumi pouted in
      the direction of every adolescent male in the country. "Besides, I'm
      still looking for the right guy." The slightest stress on the last
      word made her point plainly.

      "Mayumi-san, can you tell us about your relationship with..."

      Yuriko rolled her eyes internally. It was always like this. No
      matter whether it was a TV show or a new make-up line, all they ever
      asked about was who you were sleeping with. She set her mouth into a
      open and friendly smile, without gritting her teeth visibly.

      She and Mayumi fielded the irrelevant, and irreverent, questions for
      a time. Yuriko could feel Mayumi's tension level rising - and her
      own blood pressure wasn't doing too well, either.

      "Hey, fellas," Yuriko called out, trying to wave forward a
      journalist she knew, "why don't you ask us something about the tour,
      instead of boring stuff about our love lives?"

      One of the paparazzi lifted his head from the lens of his camera for
      a second. "This is what sells," he replied, then leaned down and
      shot more frames.

      "Because this is what you sell," Mayumi retorted smoothly. "If you
      told people about our work instead of our personal lives, they'd buy
      that. Until you decide to talk about that, I think I'm finished
      here." With a flounce of skirt and hair, the singer turned away from
      the cameras.

      Watching her walk away, Yuriko turned back to face the press and
      made a small, Western style bow. With a big smile upon her face, she
      spun, leaping to catch up with Mayumi. She spoke over her shoulder,
      saying, "You know, I agree with the lady!" With a wave, she walked
      away from the crowd, while cameras rolled and snapped and flashes
      popped and questions came trailing after them.

      Once out of the eye and ear of the public's representatives, Mayumi
      and Yuriko separated and walked to their respective dressing rooms
      without a word.


      As soon as she was freed from the studio, the singer rushed off to
      squeeze in a session with Ruby. Her mind was not on her workout,
      however, and several times her trainer remonstrated with her for
      wandering off mid-set.

      Apologetically, Yuriko finished her workout, showered, changed and
      ran off to a thankfully not-televised awards banquet. She turned on
      the smile, got as much face time as she could with as many media
      representatives as she could, then tried not to fall asleep as the
      speeches started.

      She knew that days like this were few and far between, but it seemed
      that heaven was having just a bit too much fun at her expense,
      today. She kept the smile plastered on her face until the last thank
      you was spoken, then crashed in the back of her car.

      When she finally made it back to her apartment, it was well after
      midnight and it was all she could do to keep her eyes open long
      enough to undress and fall into bed, almost crushing Midori in the
      process. As the writer grumpily moved over to make room for her,
      Yuriko pretended that she hadn't completely forgotten that her lover
      was now a permanent fixture in the apartment.


      "What is it?" Midori's eyes were closed, but her hands moved the
      coffee mug to her lips with accuracy.

      "I don't want to be accused of keeping anything from you this time."
      Yuriko laid plates with buttered toast and eggs on the table. "I met
      Kishi-san's replacement yesterday."

      "Oh?" Midori's eyes were now wide open and quite alert. "And?"

      "And I'm doomed." Yuriko sounded resigned. "She has all these new-
      fangled ideas about me making my own decisions and managing my own
      career. Crazy talk, of course."

      "I like her already." The writer's eyes had closed again, as she
      thoughtfully chewed her toast.

      Yuriko did not immediately reply. In the light of a fresh new
      morning, the idea of being the captain of her own fate did not sound
      as horrifying as it had in the middle of a stressful day. And for
      all that Tsukiyama-san appeared to use shock as a weapon - much the
      way Kishi-san used derision - Yuriko had a nagging suspicion that
      she and her new manager would get along just fine.


      Leave it to Kishi-san to find her the best possible replacement in
      the nastiest possible way.

      "What's *your* schedule for today?" Yuriko desperately sought
      distraction from her own thoughts.

      "Writing in the morning – I have to get at least one more chapter
      done today, or my editor will have my head. But I was thinking about
      shopping for a new dress this afternoon. I've called and made an
      appointment with Adele….what?" The writer cocked her head at her
      lover, who was grinning like a loon at her.

      "Nothing," Yuriko could not stop smiling. "Tell me that you've
      decided to buy curtains or new plates or something, so I can revel
      in the domesticity of this scene."

      Midori laughed shortly. "You *could* use new curtains in the

      The smile slipped. "What's wrong with the curtains in the bedroom?"


      Although she did not have to report to the practice hall this
      morning, Yuriko's day was hardly free. It was to begin, she had
      reported balefully to Midori, with a meeting at Kishi-san's office.
      Now she stood outside the building that was as familiar to her as
      her own apartment, taking a moment to compose herself.

      She greeted the receptionist, who waved her into the elevator
      without a comment. When she reached the floor where Kishi had her
      office, she left the elevator, took a deep breath and strode down
      the hall. The door opened at her touch and she entered a room that
      was full to capacity. She glanced around quickly and suppressed an
      urge to wisecrack, "Who are all you people?" This was not the time
      for glibness. Today she would be as professional as possible.

      Kishi stepped forward to greet her - as much as the older woman
      greeted anyone, ever. "You're here, good."

      She took Yuriko's elbow and lead her deeper into her crowded office.
      Gesturing, she said, "You already know..." and launched into the
      names and titles of a dozen people standing or sitting around that
      worked for the agency. Yuriko nodded at her publicist and her two
      assistants, her financial manger, her contract negotiation
      specialist, her lawyer and his assistants and Tsukiyama. When the
      greetings were completed, Yuriko realized that there were two people
      in the room with whom she was completely unfamiliar.

      Tsukiyama stepped forward and picked up the introductions. "I'd like
      you to meet my executive assistant, Izumi Tomoko, and...." the woman
      paused dramatically, then continued, "your new assistant, Nishioka

      There was a pregnant silence, as the entire group waited to hear the
      singer's response. Everything within Yuriko rebelled at the thought
      of an assistant. But something in her manager's eyes told her that
      this was not just a whim, or a way to make her life miserable.

      Yuriko knew that the next words out of her mouth would set the pace
      for what would either be a very good, or very bad relationship with
      her new manager.

      "It's a pleasure to meet you," the singer managed with only the
      slightest hesitation. There was a collective, silent, letting out of
      held breaths, and Yuriko almost smiled at it. It was true, she had
      adamantly fought against having a personal assistant and had felt
      completely justified when the first one ever assigned to her had
      turned out to be more personal than assistant. Since then, Yuriko
      had made it quite plain that she would not be tethered to, or by, an
      assistant of any kind.

      It was equally true, she thought, as the introductions were
      completed, that this may well be the most important day of my life.

      Things were changing - the tour, her career, her manager - there
      were many things that would be changing in the coming days. And as
      much as Yuriko wanted to indulge in a fit of hysterics, to throw
      them all out and scream at Kishi for a solid hour, her sensible and
      practical nature won out. With a solid recognition of the inevitably
      of change and an unusual desire to be in control of it for once,
      Yuriko allowed herself to be led to a seat and prepared herself to
      discuss her career.

      To Be Continued
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