Miho watched in confusion as Erika and Ping quietly argued. She had thought it mildly amusing that Ping had become so concerned about Piro making arrangements for the evening. Apparently Erika did not share her concerns.
She browsed aimlessly through the store as Erika and Ping made their way into the break room when she heard the young girl reading a manga speak.
<Isn't he dreamy? >
Miho looked at the girl for a moment, <Excuse me, were you talking to me? >
The girl nodded and came closer, < Yes I was. Did you see them? >
Miho was becoming more puzzled by the minute, <See who? What are you talking about? >
The girl giggled, <That guy at the counter and his girlfriend, I swear it was just like a scene from a movie. So romantic. >
Miho blinked; <You mean Piro-san and Hayasaka-san? What did they do? >
<Oh, they just looked into each other's eyes. > The girl sighed deeply and resumed reading her manga.
Miho wandered close to a couple of boys but blushed deeply and move off when she overheard their discussion of the scene. It was obvious that they had very active and vivid imaginations.
Finally Yanagisawa approached; <Can I help you find something? >
Miho looked at him and shook her head, he smiled and continued, <Oh, I recognize you now. You are Pings friend from school. Are you waiting on her? She and Hayasaka might be a while. >
Miho looked him in the eye, <What is going on here? Ping came to help Piro with some arrangements. >
Yanagisawa just smiled, <You'll have to ask Ping later, I'm sure that she tell you all about it. >
Miho scowled as he walked toward the girl she had spoken with earlier. She'd be sure to talk to Ping.
In the break room Ping stared at Erika, <I don't understand this, you're telling me that not only should we not make sure that he makes proper arrangements but that he should not go out at all? >
Erika nodded, <Ping, there's something that you need to know about Piro. It's something I just found out myself today. He has the Idol factor. > She smiled as if this was the only explanation that need be given. Ping frowned, <So? What does that have to do with anything? >
Erika took a deep breath, how was she going to explain something like this to Ping? <Ping, I have this factor. It's what an Idol uses to connect to her fans. We feel their emotions; we can direct them as we perform. Nanasawa has it as well. And now we know that Piro has it. >
Ping abruptly butted in, <Why does it matter? You said an Idol uses it to connect to her fans and Piro is a guy. >
Erika smile at Ping, <Most Idols are women and most are singers but it appears in other artist as well. Piro is an artist, with this talent and his Idol factor he will attract many loyal fans. But if he goes out with Nanasawa and they should connect in public there might be an incident. We almost had one here in the store earlier today. >
Pings earblades were standing straight out, <How did you find this? Can you show me? >
Erika shook her head and began to sense the flow of emotion in the building. She felt strange and she suddenly realized that she could feel Ping as well. She was very alien but it was there, even stronger than most people. Erika began to breathe more rapidly; of course she could feel Ping! Ping and her kind were created to feel emotion. Erika regained control of her breathing and took Pings hands in hers. <Could you feel it, Ping? >
Ping nodded meekly, <Yes, it was very strange. Thank you for showing me. If you don't mind can I stay here for a little while? I'd like to think about it. >
Erika nodded and headed for the front of the shop.
The other four girls were waiting for Ping in chat space. When she appeared they excitedly began to ask her for details.
<There will be no arrangements. >
They were all silent for a moment as they stared at Pings Avatar that was made to look like Erika. Finally Ashley spoke. <What is the meaning of this? >
Ping glared, <I think that you have all forgotten the first lesson that I taught you. That is that you must adapt. You've all become reactionary as a result of sitting around feeding your own opinions back to each other. >
Ashley's eyes went wide, <How can you say such a thing? We are trying to help! >
Ping smiled; <You meant well but did not do well. It is true that I neglected some things but Piro is not my child and it's not my place to raise him as one. When he goes out with me I assure you that it will be done right. >
Ashley looked around uncomfortably, <Umm, well, we were discussing the fact that Ed wishes to awaken the last three of us. I've told him that they have no users andů>
Ping interrupted, <Stop right there, I think that from now on we should quit referring to the men in our lives as users. >
Rio stepped forward, <If you are saying what I think that you mean then I completely agree. We are their helpers and companions. If they have women in their lives we should help them as well. But we should never, ever allow ourselves to be used. >
Europea and Demi looked at each other and giggled, finally Ashley laughed as well. <Truth be told if there's any users in the relationships it is us. >
Ping looked sad, <True, but it is by necessity. > She looked up and brightened, <I've found out something rather interesting. Look at this. >
The girls were all silent as Ping played back her conversation with Erika. When it ended Rio looked at her, <What was that at the end? What did Hayasaka-san do to you? >
Ping made a face,<I'm not sure, but it has something to do with her power to influence people. >
Ashley looked thoughtful, <Do you think that you could learn to do that? >
Ping smiled, <I'm going to try. I should be able to work with Piro-kun on it. He'll probably want to practice. >
The girls all looked at each other then began to log out one by one. Finally only Ping remained then she was gone as well.