Chapter 32: A childhood friend barged in on me at my part-time job.
It was the night of the bottle-cutting and rat-catching.
The manager, who had pulled out early due to a summer cold, was put in charge of closing the restaurant, and Ayukawa and I were left to clean up after the restaurant.
That was convenient. There is something I want to do today.
I left Ayukawa in charge of the kitchen and started cleaning the hall. As Ayukawa taught me, I carefully wiped off the dirt — looking for listening devices and spy cameras. The rat must have been a decoy. It was a dummy to make me find it on purpose. I was sure that they were trying to make me feel safe and distract my attention from the real target. This is a common tactic of the Takayashiki family’s Intelligence Department.
As expected, the catch was huge.
There were six devices in all.
Some of them were state-of-the-art, even equipped with a human body sensing system.
There was no conversation that I didn’t want to be overheard, but I didn’t like the fact that the pig could hear everything I said. Above all, it was an invasion of privacy for Ayukawa and the other employees. Human rights must be protected.
I carefully stepped on each of them and swept them up with a broom and dustpan.
Ayukawa emerges from the kitchen.
“I’m done. Where are you?”
“Ah. just finished.”
Then, Ayukawa turned her head down and fidgeted.
“Uhm. D-Do you have a minute? Would you like to join me for tea?”
“Aah. I would love to”
She loosened her cheeks.
The quiet store is filled with the aroma of coffee brewed by the maid.
The two of us sit at a large table and enjoy a leisurely cup of tea.
“I couldn’t brew it as well as the manager”
“That’s not true. It tastes great.”
The temperature, the aroma, and the care taken in the brewing of the tea.
“….Mou. That’s too much of a compliment. When you say things like that with a straight face. …… ugh.”
Behind the steam from the cup, her cheeks turned red.
“I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while. Why did you start working part-time?”
“I wanted to have a normal summer vacation. I’ve been so busy taking care of the pig that I haven’t been able to do anything normal. So I want to enjoy my high school life as much as I can.”
“Pig, you mean Rua? That’s an amazing thing to say. The granddaughter of the Takayashiki family.”
“I don’t care about it anymore.”
I’m not going to tell Ayukawa about the wiretap. I don’t want to scare her.
“What are you going to use the money for? …… buy a present for that girl named Amane?”
She laughed jokingly, then looked sad for some reason.
“No. I’m thinking of giving something to my mom. Because she’s struggling to get me into Teikai, where tuition is so high.”
“……Don’t you have a father?”
“When I was a child, he ran away, leaving us with nothing but debts. It was that old pig who took care of it for us. It took my mother ten years to pay it off.”
I see, she muttered.
“Ah I don’t have a father, either.”
Is that why you’re working part-time?
“Yes. I was hoping to make a little money for living expenses.”
“I was surprised. I thought you were a rich young lady. Didn’t you have a lot of brand-name goods? You were bragging about it in class.”
So her boyfriend bought those things for her? That’s what I expected from a college student. The financial power is too different.
Ayukawa shook her head.
“They are all fake. Moreover, they are second-hand. The prices are super cheap. The price is so low that an elementary school student could buy them with their allowance.”
“Is that so?”
“Oh, I’m so vain. I get anxious if I don’t show people that I’m different from the others, that I don’t want to be normal. I also lied about having a boyfriend in college. I also lied about having a lot of experience. It’s all a lie. ……”
Her voice was getting quieter and quieter.
I took a sip of coffee and thought about the meaning of this confession. I want to be normal. Ayukawa, who doesn’t want to be normal. Even in the same school, in the same classroom, we are so different. The way of each person’s life is so different.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I wanted Suzuki to hear it, that’s what I thought. I don’t know why. I just know that when I lie to you, …… this part of me hurts so much …….”
She scratched her right hand across the chest of her maid’s uniform.
I reached over the table and gently wrapped my right hand around her.
“You can call me Kazu.”
Her wet eyes widened.
“Is that alright? Will you forgive me?”
I have a lot of respect for Ayukawa. It’s not because you have a college boyfriend, or have brand-name stuff, or are a special student in the dance club. It’s because Ayukawa is a maid with a great job.”
Her wet eyes became even more watery.
“Then, call me Ayaka!”
“What do you mean?! I thought we called each other by our first names!”
“Ayukawa is a beautiful last name. It’s perfect for you.”
“…………, again, Kazu you …… ah ah ah …….”
Now she turns red and squishy. I never get tired of watching her. She is much more attractive than the charismatic gal in the dance club.
At that moment, the door to the store opened.
I thought the door was closed.
Ayukawa stood up. “I’m sorry, we’re closed,” she said, but her expression froze. Surprise and shock turned her into an unmoving statue.
Standing at the entrance was a pig and a girl.
“Good day~ Kazu ♥ Aah thieving cat~~~~”
The pig stared at the dimly lit store.
“I lost contact with my servant, Geboku, and all the wiretap signals disappeared, as expected of my Kazu♪ I figured if you already knew, it’s okay, so I came over! It’s been so long since I’ve seen you in a butler’s outfit! You look so cool♪!”
While listening to the pig’s squealing, my attention was focused on the girl next to her.
–She’s a good, that girl.
Her short, shaggy hair is as white as snow and her eyes are as red as blood. Her limbs, wrapped in a jet-black rider suit, are supple and beautiful, like a beast. Her face is frighteningly well-defined, but it is devoid of any sense of life.
She was like a doll marionette without a will.
She gave me such an impression.
“I don’t know if you’ve met Kazu before. This is Rei Hikami. She is the new “Ten Greats” and has been on my guard since this summer.”
“So you finally found a replacement for Todoroki.”
“That’s right. “
The pig glared at Ayukawa as she stood there.
“How dare you touch my Kazu? Ayaka.”
“H-How did I work here?”
“I’ve known for a long time that you were working here. Everything from the fake brand goods you were flaunting to your college-aged air boyfriend. This Princess Rua’s classmates have all had their backgrounds checked. Isn’t that common knowledge?”
Ayukawa’s face turned pale.
“Well, I don’t care about that. Just saying, “You’re so vain, you’re so hardworking,” made me smile. It was rather fun, wasn’t it? But not this time. If you get on the bandwagon and make a pass at Kazu, it will be a war
The pig chirped, brushing back her long blond hair.
“In the first place, Ayaka, are you in a position to make a move on Kazu now? Why are you acting like such a good girl? Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about that karaoke box.”
Ayukawa froze like a frog being chased by a snake.
“At that time, I and Kazu got into a fight, but…Ayaka was laughing at that time too, if I remember correctly? You were pointing and laughing at Kazu, right? I think you laughed the loudest. Yes, I remember that too.
“……, ah ……, ……!”
Ayukawa desperately tries to move her mouth, but she can’t speak.
“What was that? Ayaka, are you pretending that it didn’t happen in your mind? You called Kazu a “shady character” and a “creep”, didn’t you? So what? It’s too late for you to find Kazu attractive now, you whiny b*tch!”
I can’t bear to hear it. It’s a verbal slaughter.
“Stop it. I have nothing against her. First of all, you have no right to blame her. You’re the one who was in charge of that place.””Kazu shut up. This is a woman-to-woman talk.” The girl doll is staring at me next to the pig. She is nothing compared to that rat. The eyes of a complete professional, or rather, a machine machine.”Really, Ayaka’s lie was laughable. What was it? The other day she was talking about her first kiss. After the date in the bay, her boyfriend drove her home and kissed her when they parted? I was struggling to hold back my laughter. I was even crying! She said she is love master, even though she has never had a boyfriend in her life. I was going to die hahaha.”
A large drop rose to the rim of Ayukawa’s eyes.
This time, it could not be wiped away.
The drops poured silently down her cheeks.
I regretted it.
Even though I didn’t know it, I had put her in this mess just by working here. I let the pig say whatever she wanted.
But regret is not the answer. Nothing will come of it.
I decided to live in the future, not in the past.
That’s what I decided.
I’ve made up my mind.
I called her name and gently hugged her shoulder.
Her soft body settled in my chest.
The piggy cries out, “Hey,” but I ignore her.
I pinch Ayukawa’s chin, who is sobbing, and make her look up, then hug her.
Steal every breath she lets out.
Gently pecking at the gloss-colored lips.
The silver threads crossed each other’s lips and snapped.
“Now you’ve kissed before, right?”
“It’s not a lie anymore. Nobody’s going to tell you that. No one can say that to you. I’m not going to let anyone say that to you.”
She shed tears again.
They were different from before, filled with warmth.
Piggy watched the whole thing with her mouth hanging open.
Her lips trembled, and then she said…
The doll, whose name was called, moved her eyebrows slightly.
“That woman ——– Kill.”
The doll jumped.
She kicks the wall on the right, and the recoil of the kick pounces on Ayukawa. Her gaze points at the target. The carotid artery. She intends to strike the target with her hand.
Do you think I’ll let you do it?
I pushed Ayukawa to the sofa on the left side. The doll doesn’t look away. It keeps a lock on the carotid artery, only shifting the trajectory of the hand-knife.
It’s admirable that it doesn’t cut its eyes off from its prey —- but that makes it less responsive to me.
I turn to my right and lower my stance as I sink down. I put my hands on the floor and kicked her in the head, gouging her out of her blind spot. I kicked the doll in the belly with my toe and blew its small frame to the wall on the other side.
If the doll had been slammed against the wall as it was, it would have suffered bruises all over.
However, the doll spun around in mid-air at the moment it was slammed into the wall. Kicking the wall with both feet to mitigate the damage, the doll staggered to a safe landing.
Her expression remains unchanged at all.
Only a little blood is flowing from its lips.
But the target of her gaze had changed from Ayukawa to me.
This doll won’t die even if I don’t go easy on her. For the first time in a few years, I can give it my all — at least half of my all-out effort.
Thanks to the pig’s invective, I’m more agitated than I’ve been in a long time.
I was in the mood for a bit of a rant.
“Come. Rookie. I’ll show you the power of the real “Ten Greats”.
4 comments »
nika77722December 8, 2022 at 1:05 am
Thanks for the chapter. This guy is too meddlesome. I don’t really have anything against Ayukawa, but the way she treated MC like s**t before just doesn’t sit well with me. He should’ve just ignored her or gone to work somewhere else. At some point this just turned into a harem BS. Well let’s see what happens later but it kind of got boring
SirCunferenciaDecember 8, 2022 at 1:10 am
Thank you for the chapter!
Alucard90December 8, 2022 at 6:39 am
Run her fade. I call for defeet.
GattsDecember 8, 2022 at 7:39 am
Thank you for the chapter !