It’s late afternoon during the summer vacations, and I’m having a meeting with the author of a Japanese novel, Rushia Kaida, at a coffee shop in front of the station.
I’m sitting by the window, and there’s me and Rushia-sensei.
She has white hair and red eyes, and is dressed in a red kimono.
“Well, let’s get down to business, shall we? I heard that you finished the manuscript for the new book …… to be published in the SR Bunko.”
Normally, when I work on a new book, we discuss the content first, and then I ask the writer to create a plot.
After confirming the content, I have them work to on the …… manuscript.
However, this is just an example, and everyone has their own way of working on a manuscript.
In the case of Rushia-sensei, it is better for her to work on the manuscript first and then revise it, than to make a plot.
“Yeah, it’s one of the most confident works I’ve written.”
Fusu and Rushia nodded in satisfaction.
She looked like a child who wanted to be praised for her work, and it made me smile.
But what I’m about to do is business. The other party is the artist, in other words, my business partner.
It’s my …… job to check the quality of their work. I have to take it seriously.
“I’m going to have a look at it. Please submit your manuscript to me.”
That was when it happened.
…… I had a bad feeling and turned around.
There was Akari, the blond-haired gal who was the younger sister of the twin JKs.
She smiled and waved her hand as she walked over to me.
Then, without asking me, she sat down right beside me.
“Thanks you for waiting〜♡ Have you waited long?”
“……Sensei, I’ll be out of here for a minute. Excuse me.” (Okaya)
“Y-yeah …….” (Rushia)
I pulled Akari’s arm and left the seat, leaving the confused Rushia-sensei behind.
We came close to the bathroom.
“What happened to your part-time job?”
“I’m done for the day.”
“Well, then go straight home.”
“I can’t do that.”
I poke Akari on the forehead.
” Akari. I’m at work. Don’t interrupt me.”
Akari is a very perceptive girl.
She knows that I’m working even if I don’t tell her.
“Muu……. I know what you’re doing. But ……! I’m curious!”
So you’re curious about my work, in other words, my work as an editor? [TL: No she is not]
“It’s certainly not something you see every day, so I can understand why you’re curious.”
“Hmm? I’m sorry Okarin, maybe you misunderstood something.”
“But this is a serious discussion. This is not a game.”
“I know that! I’m not playing …… either. I’m serious.”
And then, it happened.
I turned around and saw Rushia-sensei coming towards us.
“I’m sorry, I was going to be right back.”
“Okaya. I’d like the girl to sit with us.”
“Eh, is that okay?”
Akari was perplexed, but Rushia nodded with a serious face.
“I’m also [very] interested in that [girl]. I’ve been wanting to talk to her.”
“Fuun, ……, I see. So that’s what I [thought].
Rushia looks up at Akari and glares at her.
Akari’s usual smile faltered and she glared back at Sensei in the same way.
Akari is …… well, if she is interested in the editing industry, then she is probably interested in romance authors as well. I can see that.
Rushia is… collecting data, I guess. Of a high school girl.
“If Rushia-sensei is okay with it, I won’t say anything about it.”
“But Akari, it’s only while I’m reviewing Rushia-sensei’s manuscript. After that, we’ll be talking about work. If that happens, leave the place. Okay?”
“Hoo. Okay. In the meantime, I’ll settle this.”
“Hoo, ……, you’ve got some nerve. Come on, little girl. Come and get it.”
The two of them sat down, glaring at each other.
Akari sits down next to me. ……
“Wait. I want to sit next to Okaya.”
“Weren’t you sitting right in front of him just a few minutes ago?”
“You’re mistaken. I was next to Okaya from the beginning. Move over.”
“I can’t do that. I’ve already sat down.”
“What the hell. Get out of the way!”
I sighed, stood up and sat in front of Akari.
“Please don’t get into a fight in public, both of you.”
“Rushia-sensei, please sit next to Akari.”
The two of them sat in front of me.
“Now, let’s take a look at your manuscript.”
“Please take care of it.”
Rushia-sensei nodded and placed the handbag that was under her feet on her lap.
What she pulled out was a bundle of …… manuscript paper.
“Gee, manuscript paper?!”
Akari says with a blink of her eyes.
“What era are you from, you famous writer? Don’t you usually make manuscripts in Word on your computer and send them by e-mail?”
When Akari saw that Rushia was confused, she was also confused.
Yeah, right, that’s a first.
“Rushia-sensei is not good with all electronic devices. She can’t use a computer or a smart phone. That’s why she writes her manuscripts with a fountain pen on 400-word paper.
“A-are you really from this era?”
Musu, Rushia-sensei frowned unhappily.
Rushia-sensei, who always acts like an adult, was somewhat emotional today.
As for me, I think this is more appropriate for her age. She’s usually too mature.
“But, Okarin, when you make a book, you have to use data, right?”
“Yeah. That’s no problem. I type everything in.”
“D-Do you normally do that?”
“No, not normally.”
But it’s my job to adapt to the writer’s style.
“That’s right. Okaya is doing the typing work especially for me. He’s giving me special treatment.”
Rushia put her hands on her hips and stuck out her chest.
Akari said, fiddling around with her body, seemingly uninterested.
“Fu, fuun……B-But, isn’t that forcing Okarin to do extra work?”
“Guuu ……! T-that’s …….”
“It’s okay. That’s my job.”
“Okaya ……! Fufuntsu! That’s what I’m talking about!”
Doya…….Rushia’s face became full of pride.
Gununu … Just like that, Akari is gnashing her teeth.
They’re kind of close, these girls.
“I’m going to take a look at it now. Akari, please keep Sensei company in the meantime.”
“Nn Mou~. You don’t have to go out of your way to ask me for a favor~ You can just order me to do it like you always do~”
“A-always ……. ……?!”
I look over the manuscript.
The amount of words needed for a single novel is about 100,000 words.
Rushia-sensei has brought a manuscript paper on which she has written the story for one book.
” Sensei, did you brought the copy?”
“Umu. Of course. I’ve made a copy of it so that you can easily check it.”
I took out a red pen from my bag and started to read the manuscript, adding red marks.
“Well, ……, let me tell you my name first. I’m Rushia Kaida. It’s my pen-name. My age is 18.”
“Nn. Okay. You’re Rushia. I’m Akari Ina , and I’m 17.
“What, you’re younger than me? I thought you were a college student because you’re so …… well-developed. …… I’m jealous.”
“You are 18 years old. I thought you were a young lady from an old family because you’re so …… small and pretty.”
“What? Are you an esper?!”
The two of them have a casual conversation.
“W-What’s your relationship with Okaya?”
“We’ve known each other for ten years, and we’re kind of, like, committed to each other’s future, you know?”
“What!? N-no way….wait, wasn’t Okaya married to woman until recently?”
“Fufun. False, after all.”
“But it’s true that we’ve known each other for ten years! I wonder if Rushia knows the old Okarin? Hmm?”
“Damn! I envy you, ……! B-but this is a comrade-in-arms with whom I have a firm bond, having fought together for three years on the battlefield of the publishing industry!
“Gununu……..I envy you there……! B-But this is!”
Well…….I guess it’s time.
“I’ve finished reading it.”
“Eh!? It’s too early! It’s only been about 10 minutes!”
Akari shouts with her eyes peeled open.
There’s a bunch of manuscript paper on the table.
“Such a thick manuscript …… you finished reading it all in just 10 minutes!”
“Fufufu, you got it wrong, Akari. He read the whole thing and wrote down all the typos, comments and inconsistencies in the content. How about that, isn’t that amazing, [my] Okaya!”
“A-Awesome. …… Are all editors this awesome?”
“Mu? …… I don’t know about that either. Okaya is the first guy I’ve ever met. ……”
“Stop talking like that, it’s really pissing me off!”
I say with a sigh.
“It’s okay. I’ll move to a seat farther away so I don’t disturb you.”
“No, go home.”
“No, I won’t.”
…… Well, as long as you don’t interfere with my work, I guess.
Akari leaves her seat and we are left alone.
“So, w-what do you think, Okaya?”
“Yeah, it’s a great manuscript with a lot of energy.”
“I-I see! I’m glad you liked it.”
She squirmed and giggled as she stared at me.
“I did it for the fans, and most of all for you.”
I’m one of her fans.
In other words, she wants to say that she did everything she could to make her fans happy.
I can feel her enthusiasm in the manuscript.
“But it won’t become a product in this form. There were a lot of typos, omissions and inconsistencies.”
“Uhee, you’re going to fix all this? Isn’t that a bit daunting?”
When Akari said this, Rushia shook her head with a smile.
“No way! All of these deficits are written in a passionate and loving message that Okaya wants to make my manuscript better. ……”
Ha! And then, Rushia came back to her senses.
Akari, on the other hand, bites her teeth.
“What is that, a love letter?
“Lllll-love letter!? N-no no! i,iiiiiiiit’s not like that. ……”
“Because you’re sending a thoughtful text just for the person you love, right? How is that different from a love letter?”
“Uu~…..D-Don’t say unnecessary things.”
Rushia-sensei is about to cry.
“Akari, that’s enough.”
“Tsk, ……, but I noticed something.”
Yes, Akari raises her hand.
“This Rushia-sensei is our great rival in love!”
“L-love rival…..N-no wait! What do you mean “our”!”
I thought it was time.
“You guys, calm down.”
I poked Akari and Rushia’s forehead with my finger.
“We’re in a store. Don’t make a fuss. You’re bothering them.”
“”I-I’m sorry, …….””
They both bowed their heads together.
“Let’s call it for the day. Rushia-sensei, please revise the manuscript.”
“Yes, of course. I’ll fix the places you pointed out and have Niekawa fuss over it.”
Rushia collects the manuscript and bows her head.
“Thank you again for reading my manuscript and making so many corrections, Okaya. I can’t do it without you, after all.”
“I’m good at this stuff. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
“Yeah, I won’t be why. Because we are, you know, partners.”
Rushia-sensei smiles like a flower has bloomed.
It looks like it will be another good book.
Akari, on the other hand, is a little unhappy.
“It’s like you just showed me how lovey-dovey you are, damn it ……. Oh, right!”
Akari grinned and looked as if she had come up with a plan.
“Did you finish your work? Well, Okarin, [let’s go home together].”
Then, Rushia-sensei opens her mouth wide with a pout.
“O-Okaya, W-What did she mean with going home together!?”
If I tell her that I’m living with two JKs who are strangers, I’ll get in trouble.
I’ll just have to fake it. Let’s just say we’re relatives.
“Rushia-sensei, she’s actually …….”
But Akari immediately tightened her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek.
“Na?! A-Akari! Wwww-why did you kiss Okaya!”
“It’s okay, I live with Okarin because I’m his girlfriend~”
Rushia-sensei’s eyes widened as if her eyeballs were about to pop out of her head. ……
“EEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH！！！！ LIVING TOGETHER!?!?!?!”