“This place……, is huge.”
“Wow, all those people are in suits!”
Anri and I were standing in front of a large building.
We were standing in front of a large building, which was a major publishing company called KADOWA. This is where my meeting with Saeko-san is scheduled to take place.
Today was a day off from school, so Anri and I walked through the office district in our casual clothes.
I had never been down an office block before. There was a strange sense of tension in the city.
“Do I have to say my name at the reception? Ugh, I’m starting to get nervous. ……”
“You’ve been to a publishing company before, haven’t you, Pomeko? You have more experience than me.”
“But, the person in charge is my sister. And I’m worried about you, …….”
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to do anything crazy. …… Saeko-san is also very serious about her work, right? …… It will be fine. –Let’s go.”
I pulled my hand that was connected to Anri.
…… Before we knew it, we were naturally holding hands. It’s like we’ve always known each other. It’s so natural, it’s like it’s a part of you.
There was no embarrassment at all.
We walked into a large building.
I told the lady at the reception desk my name, and she called Saeko-san on the phone.
Not long after, Saeko-san came to the reception desk.
Despite her crisp suit, her hair was shaggy and she wore almost no makeup.
She had dark circles in her eyes, ruining her beauty.
“Oh, sis, are you fine? ……”
“Oh, good morning, Saeko-san. ……”
“Good morning, ……. Wow, sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been this early ……. Alright! Let’s go then! To my editorial department! ……, how long are you guys going to hold hands? Don’t you dare flirt with me here, ……, you’re so blinding. –So, are you guys dating already?
“No, we’re not dating! bakayaro!” – “Oh, we’re not in a relationship.”
Saeko-san fluttered her hands and lightly laughed through her nose.
“‘Pfft, you’re so cute. It’s so nice to be young. …… We’re not really dating and that distance, yada yada ……. I’m going to go quickly, don’t be silly!
Anri and I looked at each other.
We laughed because it was kind of funny. Saeko-san really has her own pace.
I followed Saeko-san as she walked slowly.
“Welcome, this is the editorial department, although it’s early now so there’s no one here at all.”
The editorial department was covered with posters of novels and manga. Some were famous works that everyone knew, some were works that were about to be published.
I’ve never been in a place like this before in my life. It was obvious, but I was getting excited.
“You look happy, Makoto. The first time I went to the editorial department, I was excited too.”
“Oh, this is–this is great. It’s filled with dreams. ……”
Saeko-san checked the whiteboard in the editing department.
“Yes, yes, we’re in the business of spreading such dreams to our readers. So let’s have a meeting to create a new dream! go the meeting room over here.”
She pointed to a small room in the corner of the editorial department.
“Anri, you wait in the next meeting room. It’s a confidential matter. I’m sorry. You can take your favorite novel there, okay?”
“Yes, of course! Good luck, ……!”
“Yeah, I’m off, Anri.”
“…… Keke, you’re newlyweds. It’ll only take 30 minutes, so don’t stare at each other so much! It’s like I’m the bad guy! Come on, Nyanta-sensei, let’s go!”
I was pushed into the meeting room by Saeko-san.
Anri saw me off with a wave of her hand.
The meeting itself was not difficult.
She asked me about the conditions of publication, the royalty rate, the text of the contract, her favorite artist, and how much of the web version would be used in one book.
There was a lot of reconfirmation of what I had heard via email.
“No, this was the first proper meeting, so to be honest, it was more like a face-to-face meeting. Of course, I’m going to have you revise the manuscript, pick out the artists, and I’m sure you’ll be busy with other things, right? Oh, and be sure to do your schoolwork ……. Don’t ever get a red mark (grades at school). …… I used to get complaints about that. …… Are you doing well in your schoolwork, Nyanta-sensei?
“Yes, I study well every day. I have a lot of alone time, so all I do is study. …… I probably won’t need to study for tests until the senior year of high school.
I sipped the tea that was offered to me. I guess I was nervous about my first meeting.
“What? Seriously? I mean, are you main character of a light novel? Well, that’s a relief. Huh, ……, I mean, Nyanta-sensei, you look different, don’t you? The dark atmosphere is gone,……, or maybe it’s sparkling,……, then–you’re in love with Anri, aren’t you?
“Wait, that’s dirty! I’m sorry, but my clothes got …….”
Oh, I just unintentionally blew out my tea ……. It’s because Saeko-san says strange things.
Not at all …….
“But thanks for the good response! Well, if you’re Nyanta-sensei, I can trust you with my precious Anri! If you make her …… cry, I’ll kill you, okay?”
“Well, Saeko-san, your character is becoming different. …… And besides, Anri and I are friends.
“You won’t even tell anyone. –I’ll keep it a secret. I’m looking forward to your future.”
“She’s not listening to me, isn’t she? ……
“Oh, yeah! I read your short story yesterday! That was a rare real-life romance, wasn’t it? I was so embarrassed when I read it, my face turned red! …… Well, Anri didn’t even notice ……. I’m a big fan of your work. Nyanta wrote a new romantic comedy! It’s a great way to make you feel warm and fuzzy when you read it! It’s amazing! I feel like I’m going to vomit sugar when I see you guys like that!”
“I’m sorry about that ……. Oh, so you read it.”
“Hey! The air is getting sweeter! Huh, ……, I’m kind of tired …….”
Saeko-san left the table, as if this was the end of the conversation.
“So that’s it for the meeting! You have a date after this, right? Have fun in your student life!”
“It’s not a date. ……. Good luck with your work, Saeko-san. ……”
The moment I said that, Saeko-san’s face turned serious.
“…… I’ll take care of the adult world. I’ll protect you. –Be happy.”
She opened the door with her back to me.
I felt like Saeko-san looked like a very mature woman.
“…… What the hell is this?”
Saeko-san mutters as she steps out of the door.
There was a beautiful girl in her school uniform. She was about the same age as us. She was about the same age as us, and was wearing a rare gyaru fashion …….
She had a healthy tan, and her shirt was buttoned up at the chest.
Her skirt was short, but her spats were sticking out, so there was no need to worry about …… her eyes.
Anri confronting such a gal?
Hey, what are you doing?
“What are you doing? Why aren’t you writing the rest of that novel? I worked hard to beat you at ……!”
“Shut up! I wanted to write it too, but I had a lot of problems with ……!”
It’s a Yankee word, ……. Yankee and gyaru are fighting it out …….
The small, lanky man behind the girl was giving Saeko-san a look.
Saeko-san shook her head.
“Haha ……, she’s a noisy girl, I went out of my way to shift the time ……. Anri? Why are you out of your room?”
“Well, Kanzaki-san and the person here came in out of nowhere. ……”
“Huh. 〜〜〜〜, Nyanta-sensei!”
Me? Why am I being called here?
Saeko-san looked at me with a mousy smile.
“I’ll protect you from the adults, but ……, the rest is up to the young ones! Hey, Ota-kun! You’re in for a sermon!”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Shinozuka-san! I can’t help it, Kanzaki-san…”
“You idiot! Just because you’re a big seller doesn’t mean you can’t be selfish!”
I looked at Anri and the girl called Kanzaki.
They’re both excited, but – I don’t know – I can sense a lonely vibe from Kanzaki.
I ignore the giggling adults and approach Anri.
Kanzaki-san points it out to me.
“What are you doing? Aren’t you too close to Pomeko-sensei? That’s not fair! I want to rub against her too!”
“Shut up! Don’t talk bad about Nyanta!”
“Ah, you two need to be quiet. …… Well, it’s nice to meet you, I’m Nyanta. I’m a new writer who is going to publish a novel from this publisher. –Anri, Pomeko-san is a dear friend of mine.”
Kanzaki-san looked shocked at the word ‘friend’.
“W-What, a boy friend? –Don’t get carried away! You’re a new, unknown writer! I’m the one who met Pomeko first! I met her first!”
–Kanzaki …… It was a pen name I had heard before.
A poster in the editorial department proclaimed, “Ms. Hammi Kanzaki! Congratulations on the anime! Congratulations!”
“Oh, could it be that …… is Kanzaki-sensei from Tetsuro the Brave? Anri, Anri! It’s Kanzaki-sensei! She’s the author of Tetsuro, your favorite manga!
I was uncharacteristically excited.
Anri turned away with an awkward look on her face.
What? Was that a bad idea?
“Pomeko-sensei ……, you’ve been watching me ……. Hehehe …… I’m so happy …….”
What, she’s just a normal girl after all. You have a nice smile and you’re old enough.
Kanzaki-sensei turned crisp and said to me.
“Okay, you’ve got something to show for it! I’m gonna make you one of mine! You should be honored!”
“Idiot! Nyanta-kun, is going on a date with me! You’re still as selfish as ever, ……. Oh, de…, it’s not a date, okay? We’re just going to eat pancakes and go to karaoke!”
Saeko-san interrupted me unintentionally.
“No, Anri, that’s called a date. ……”
Kanzaki-sensei collapsed to her knees on the spot. In a whisper, she said, ‘Date ……, date? It’s hard for a lonely person to go on a date with a friend. ……
“Uh-huh. You know, I met this writer …… at my previous publisher, but I haven’t seen her since I stopped writing ……. She’s a bit of a pain in the a*s, but she’s not a bad kid, okay? she’s taken care of me in a lot of ways, but she’s become very famous. …… It’s awkward. ……”
I was about to call out to the crumpled Kanzaki-san when I received a call from my phone.
–Who is it at a time like this?
It was from Puggy. I reflexively picked up the phone.
“Puggy? Sorry, I’m kind of in the middle of something right now.”
“Excuse me for this, I’m Chisa’s …… friend, Dojima. I’m a friend of Chisa’s .”
I heard Puggy’s voice over the phone.
“Idiot! What are you doing on the phone? You said you were going to study today!”
“-What are you talking about?You’ve been messing around with your phone and losing focus. If that’s the case, why don’t you start with what’s on your mind?”
I felt my hand tighten around my phone.
“Oh, hey? You’re a friend of the pug kid? I’ve been wanting to meet you for a while. Puggy! Studying is just a bunch of stuff! I’ll teach you to death later, so come over here!”
“I see, you’re a man who knows what he’s talking about. Hmm, but it’s more efficient for me to teach you. I’m better at studying and hacking than I am at being physical.. –From now on, ……, by the way, what is a puggy? Is it possible that you mean Chisa? …… its not so bad. I’ll call you puggy too.
“Idiot! What are you doing deciding on your own, Dojima!”
The call was cut short.
My eyes met Anri’s, who was fumbling in front of the collapsed Kanzaki.
…… How did it get to be such chaos?
“Ma, Shinjo-kun? What’s going on? What’s wrong with, Puggy?”
“She got a …… guy, apparently ……, hmmm …… is he more efficient than me? I’ll have find out. ……”
“Makoto-kun is acting weird. ……, Aww, what should I do–“
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about,……, but for some reason I’m starting to enjoy it.
In the past, I would not have thought of this.
It’s not like this situation could have ever happened.
I’m slammed, but my heart is dancing.
I called out to Anri.
“Okay, Anri, let’s all go outside and assess the situation at once.”
“You can stand too, Kanzaki-san. Let’s go outside. I’m sorry for using Yankee language.”
“Umm, yeah ……, I’m sorry I got excited too ……, I’m glad to see you ……”
Saeko-san fluttered her hand while holding an energy drink and said to us, “Bye, have a good day.”
“I’ll be back by nightfall. You have to be back by nightfall.”
We left the editorial office with Kanzaki-san in tow. ……