After lunch, we had free time to do our own thing.
“Okarin, my sister and I are going to do a little shopping.”
“Oh, are you sure you don’t want me to follow you? If you don’t have enough money, I’ll give you some.”
“Hmm. No problem. I’m just going shopping without Okarin.”
“…… It’s a secret, nyaa.”
Akari and Nanako giggled and left me.
I was curious, but then again, there’s a world of children that adults don’t want to know about.
I don’t want to disturb them.
“Okaya-kun, can I go shopping by myself for a while? In the meantime, take care of the young lady for me.”
Rushia’s face reddened as she closed in on Niekawa.
” Young lady, I have some business to attend to, so please have Okaya-kun escort you.”
“B-But ……, i-it’s just the two of us. ……”
“I think it would be good to deepen your relationship without work once in a while. Right, Okaya-kun?”
“That’s right. I’ll take care of Rushia, so go ahead.”
“Yes, I will. See you, young lady. Good luck.”
With a quick wink, Niekawa walked away.
On the way, she bumped into a large man in black and a receptionist.
“…… Hey, Sis. What’s up?”
“…… Saburo. You got a date, you son of a b***h”
“…… It hurts! But it’s okay, sis, I’ll leave you two ladies alone.”
“…… It’s okay. Don’t feel sorry for me. She has worked up the courage to invite him on a trip. I want to leave them alone together.”
“…… Haa, I see. But if he’s taken, what do you do?”
“… Gunu. I-It’s okay, it’s okay … Rather, tell me what you’re doing.”
I see, she saw her colleague and went to talk to him.
“Oh, Y-yes ……?”
Rushia’s face turned red and her eyes swam.
“Shall we go? Is there somewhere you want to go?”
She smiled and shook her head.
“I don’t really have anywhere in mind, so we’ll just walk around.”
“Is that what you want?”
“Yeah. I’m happy just to be around you.”
I remembered that as a writer and an editor, we had eaten together and gone to cafes.
But we’ve rarely met in private like this.
“Shall we go?”
Rushia came along beside me.
She walked with a straight back and hardly made a sound as she walked.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Okaya?”
“No. …… I just thought you had a beautiful walk.”
“I’ve been forced to practice a lot of things for a long time, so it came naturally to me.”
“Practice huh. For example?”
Nnn, Rushia explained, folding her fingers.
“Ikebana, Japanese dance, Koto, …… and many more.”
“That’s a very old-fashioned way of learning.”
Her family is still shrouded in mystery.
But I’m sure she’s pretty rich.
It’s the same as what I’ve been saying and doing, and I’ve been allowed to learn so many lessons, I guess it’s proof that I’m wealthy.
“O-Okaya! Look at that!”
In a corner of the shopping mall, there was a capsule machine.
It seemed to be a store that sold children’s toys.
” This must be the gacha-gacha machine they’re talking about!”
Rucia said excitedly in front of the machine.
“You’ve never played it?”
“No. I knew about it, but this is …….”
“Why don’t you try it?”
She took out her wallet from her shoulder pochette.
She took out a gold credit card.
“Huh? This …… ummm? Where am I supposed to put the card, ……?”
Rushia was earnestly searching for the insertion slot.
She was a young lady, after all.
I guess she’s never played rumble before.
I took my wallet out of my pocket and put in 100 yen.
“You’re ready to play now.”
Pocan …… and Rushia rolled her eyes.
Kaa…..Rushia’s face turns bright red, just like her eyes.
“I-I see huh…….I can’t use my card ……”
“Yeah, it’s for coins only.”
“I-I see…….I-I’m going to use it in my novel.”
Rushia touched the casing with a flap.
“Okaya, what does turning mean? Do you turn this whole machine around?”
“No, you turn the handle right there.”
“? I still dont get it…..”
Rushia put her hand on the handle, but she seemed to be confused about what to do.
I touch her right hand on the handle from behind.
“It’s okay. Just relax.”
In a panic, Rushia suddenly becomes more relaxed.
Her skin had turned red all the way up to her arms.
I gripped the steering wheel over her hand.
I turn it twice to the right.
“Here it comes.”
“Haa, ……haa is …… over already?”
She gives me a covetous look.
“Do you want to do it again?”
“No, I don’t. ……………… No, that’s right. I-I do……”
“Ah, ah, ah.”
“Here it comes.”
“Haa…… haa…… that’s…..a lot…..”
Rushia murmured seductively.
The hair was wet with sweat, and the sweet smell of flowers softly …… hit my nostrils.
” See, this is the capsule.”
“Oh! There’s a wrap of [Ryo] and [Rei] from [Digimath] inside!”
Digimasu …… is a very popular title by the divine writer Kamimatsu.
His goods are now sold everywhere you go.
“Twist the capsule this way to open it.”
She gives me one of the capsules and I open it quickly.
Fumufumu, Rushia nodded and tried to open the capsule.
“Kunu ……! Kununu! Kunu!”
But there was no sign of the capsule opening at all.
I took the capsule from her and opened it quickly.
“Zee ……! Zee ……! Zee……! Irrepressible……”
It seems that opening such a small capsule is quite a hard work for Rushia.
I’ll be careful next time.
“Fumu …… Okaya. Here’s one.”
Rushia hands me the strap of the [Ryo].
“No, that’s yours.”
“It’s fine Okaya. Let’s wear them together. I want them to match.”
She smiles indulgently.
You want to wear matching straps?
She has a childish streak, doesn’t she?
“Well, be my guest.”
I put Ryo’s strap on my phone.
“What about Rushia? You don’t have a phone, right?
“Umu. But…….I have this one!”
What he took out of her handbag was a classic cell phone.
“I believe it’s a senior citizen type phone. ……”
It’s the kind of phone that can be used by the mechanically illiterate, with no push buttons and only three addresses that can be registered.
It was sold when I was in junior high and high school. ……
“I’m going to put a …… string through the …… hole in this thing….kuuu! It won’t fit ……!”
Rushia tries to pull the string through, but it won’t go in.
“Y-You are so rude! You’re just a piece of string, and you’re giving me a hard time!”
She struggles to put the strap on, but it’s so …… funny that I can’t help but watch.
Eventually, she gives up and points the strap at me.
“Here you go.”
I take it and quickly put the strap on.
“Thank you. You’re really good with your hands, you know that?”
“No, Rushia, you’re just clumsy.”
“Kuu…..I can’t deny it.”
Gakun, Ruthia’s shoulders drooped.
I couldn’t help but think her gesture was adorable.
I felt like I was looking at a white kitten.
“Look, Okaya, we have matching wrist wraps.”
“Hmmm. I’m going to treasure this. I want you to take good care of it, too.”
Rushia nodded, looking very happy.
“Speaking of Digimath, …… Okaya. The title of my next book.”
Me and Rushia are going to publish a new work in the SR library.
But we can’t decide on a title for it.
“Why don’t you give it a title, Okaya?”
“Yeah. I want you to give it a title, because you understand the work best.”
This is a request from her.
It’s not something I should refuse.
It’s the editor’s job to come up with the title.
…… I know that.
Even if I know what I’m doing, I’m still going…….
—–What is this? It’s a novel, right?
—–It’s a painful title~.
—–You’ve got no taste.
…… reminded me of something I didn’t like.
“Sorry, you’ll have to figure that out.”
“Because apparently I have no …… taste.”
When I became an editor, I learned a number of techniques.
But I’m not confident in anything that requires taste.
The three times I’ve been rejected have shown me that I don’t have the sense to write titles.
I can’t …… name the title of the long-awaited new work of a promising newcomer.
I don’t want to tarnish her masterpiece with my hands.
“Of course, I’ll consult with you. You come up with the idea.”
She looks up at me.
She looks at me with a serious expression.
” Okaya. I still want to entrust it to you. I would like you to name my child.” (Book)
“Please. I trust Okaya, the editor, the most in the world. If you decide on a title, I’ll accept it no matter what it is. So please…….”
I wonder if there are any editors who can say no to a novelist who trusts them so much.
I was honestly …… pleased.
But …… at the same time, I have some doubts.
The fact that I had failed in the past robbed me of my confidence, and anxiety occupied my mind.
But it’s not good to make her feel insecure by expressing your insecurities.
She has asked me for help, so I should respond to her.
“I see. I’ll leave it to you, Okaya!”
She smiled happily and beautifully.