[translation] Back Stage!! 2, Ch. 6 part 120
Type: Novel Translation
Title: Back Stage!!, Vol. 02
Series: Love Stage!!
Author/Circle: Eiki Eiki, Amano Kazuki
This time: Rei is running himself ragged trying to manage Izumi’s debut–but someone from his past is looking to stir up trouble.
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Rei’s brows furrowed at the strange letter he held in his hand, which he’d just retrieved from the mail slot servicing the Sena family and SenaPro.
As the manager of SenaPro, checking the incoming mail slot was one of Rei’s duties, and it was hardly odd for them to receive random deliveries in addition to mail concerning the entertainment agency. However, this was something else entirely.
“Good afternoon, Sagara-san.”
Rei glanced up from the package he’d been fixing with a serious mien, starting at the greeting. “Sotomura…” It was the CRUSHERZ manager, Sotomura. He was certain that Sotomura was meant to be out of the office all day on location with the band. “Did something happen?”
“I’m afraid so; we had a bit of an issue with one of the costumes, and Shougo-san mentioned he owned a piece similar to what we’d meant to use, so I came back here to fetch it. I’m about to head out again.”
Rei nodded at the man’s succinct explanation, mentally congratulating, ’I chose the right person for that job, if I do say so myself.’
Sotomura worked hard, not a lazy bone in his body, and he never once misused the influence of SenaPro or the CRUSHERZ. He was an honest, trustworthy man.
“I see; good work today, then.”
“Oh, I’m hardly doing the level of work you are, Sagara-san. Oops, better hurry! I’m off!”
After seeing Sotomura off again, Rei returned to his own seat. A fair number of years had lapsed now since the CRUSHERZ had debuted, and they were still going strong. Thanks to the steady pace of their popularity, SenaPro was presently locked firmly in their position among agencies. Shougo’s popularity alone showed no signs of slacking, and the idea that at one point SenaPro might have dissolved seemed like a dream now.
Now, Rei hardly ever worked himself so hard from the rush of work that he nearly collapsed mentally and physically. Ever since they had hired Sotomura as the CRUSHERZ primary manager, Rei found himself able to complete his work at a much more relaxed pace.
Or, well, he had been working at a relaxed pace. Unfortunately, just the other day, the Sena family’s youngest izumi—their last ‘normal’ child—had finally decided to make his own debut in the entertainment world, and Rei was once again a busy bee, just as before.
First he’d had to organize the debut press conference—and then he’d had to line up jobs for after the debut. Ever since that earth-shattering press conference, he’d been fielding non-stop offers from all manner of programs and media—all by himself. That, combined with his work as Seiya and Nagisa’s manager had him in full-on workaholic mode.
He knew he’d need to find Izumi his own personal manager one of these days, but when it came to Izumi…well, there was a lot of work and worry involved, so for the time being, he wanted to handle Izumi himself. He’d considered for a moment pawning Izumi off on Sotomura—but Sotomura was new, and the work would probably be too much for him; plus, he was doing so well with the CRUSHERZ that Rei didn’t want to chance ruining his pace. And yet he couldn’t possibly consider stepping down as Seiya and Nagisa’s manager either.
Despite the headache-filled days that came with the workload, though, the fact that he’d successfully pulled off Izumi’s debut left him with a great sense of fulfillment, and in a way, some measure of peace had finally returned to Rei’s life now that that hurdle had been cleared.
He snatched up the strange letter that had just arrived from where he’d left it sitting on his desk.
To Sagara Rei
A letter. For him. With no return address.
He felt a shiver of unease run down his spine, but still reached for a pair of scissors and carefully opened to letter. After confirming the envelope contained nothing dangerous like a razor or such, he pulled out the stationery sheet folded inside.
On the paper was written a single sentence: “I know about your past.”
“I figured…” Rei’s shoulders slumped as he read the line. He’d known deep down that eventually, something like this would happen. “I thought I’d been careful, but…” An unconscious sigh escaped his lips.
In his years of working for SenaPro, he’d taken care to ensure that he never showed his face anywhere public. Projects involving managers, or where managers were asked to talk about their charges, even discussion of Rei himself debuting in the entertainment industry—he’d received all sorts of offers, but he’d flatly rejected them all. With the personal debut discussion, he’d simply maintained that his career lay in the field of management; but the reason he refused to show his face in any form of media was because of his checkered past.
Before being taken in by Seiya, Rei had led quite a life of self-abandonment and desperation. He didn’t like to go into the particulars, but putting it simply, you could have called him a real punk-ass kid. He’d done things so terrible he hesitated to even say them, and with the number of fights he often found himself starting, he had more than his fair share of enemies out there. His sex life had been pretty screwed up too, so there were people out there who held grudges against him in that department as well, some nearly resulting in bloodshed.
In short, he had no trouble imagining that, if he ever showed his face in the public entertainment sphere, people who’d known him back then might slither out of their hiding spots to cause trouble.
But at Izumi’s press conference, he’d filled in as MC—which had forced him to appear in public. “This is gonna get annoying…” Not that it could be helped; he’d been the one to suggest Izumi make his debut in that manner, after all. But he’d definitely let his guard down, that much was clear.
After all, it’d been ten years since Seiya took him in; he didn’t even look the same. Plus, he’d been certain that only the celebrities of Ryouma and Izumi would actually show up in any footage captured. But holding the consequences in his hand, now, he had to admit he’d been naive.
“There really are some sharp-eyed people out there…” But Rei had been involved with a lot of people in some manner or another in the past, and he had no way knowing the identity of the sender from a single sentence. “Guess I’ll just have to see how the wind blows.”
The letter contained no demands, and since he had no way of identifying the culprit, there was nothing he could do at the present to catch them.
But he still had no intention of letting anyone know he’d received such a letter. Even if something eventually happened because of this—the blame fell squarely on Rei for what he’d done in the past. He absolutely couldn’t cause any trouble for SenaPro…for Seiya and his family.
He would have to resolve this issue on his own, and with his mind made up, he slipped the letter into the drawer of his desk and went back to work.
To be continued…