After dropping my sister off at school, I went to work.
I’m working at SR Bunko, a new company started by Editor-in-Chief Ugematsu.
It started out as a small publishing company, but after the Kaida Group became an investor, the business expanded.
As a result, it became a large publishing company with its headquarters in the Takanawa Building, where it was originally located.
At the SR Bunko’s ronobe editorial department.
A female editor in her mid-twenties, wearing a suit, comes over to talk to me.
This person is Sakudaira Mei.
She used to be an editor at Takanawa, but was brought in by Ugematsu.
The three initial members of SR Bunko were me, Ugematsu-san, and Sakudaira.
“We thought we’d have a meeting next week.”
“Next week’s …… Oh, you mean Comiket?”
We moved to a small meeting room.
Comiket. Comiket is a doujin event held in Tokyo during the summer Obon season.
SR Bunko is supposed to publish a doujinshi there.
It’s a trial version of the first three titles in our lineup.
On the table were the three newly printed copies of the inaugural lineup.
“But …… is always a gorgeous lineup, isn’t it?”
Sakudaira said with a sigh.
“The extremely popular Kamimatsu-sensei. Kurohime Erio, the author of the promising newcomer [Itadere]. And Okaya-kun’s Hakuba-sensei.”
“It’s not mine.”
“I’m kidding, AMO’s creator.”
Sakudaira knows that Oji and I are university friends.
“It’ll sell like hotcakes.”
” Yeah. But we must be careful. We’ve got to sell it right.
“I know. No matter how many divine works Kamimatsu-sensei and the others create, it’s our job to sell them.”
I had a meeting with Sakuhira about the summer comics.
She and I are both going to participate as staff on the day.
“Oh, that’s right. Kamimatsu-sensei has given you a recommendation letter.”
A recommendation letter. A recommendation letter, often found on obi belts and the like.
Sakuhira handed me a printed copy.
“Have you already finished reading Rushia’s new work?”
Actually, this time, I asked Kamimatsu-sensei to write the recommendation.
Rushia’s new book will be out after the summer vacation.
In order to increase sales as much as possible, I asked Kamimatsu to write a recommendation via Sakudaira.
“I sent you the data of the manuscript yesterday, I think, …….”
I think the book was almost 400 pages long.
“My god, he writes and reads so fast!”
Sakudaira’s chest heaved.
She is the editor in charge of Kamimatsu-sensei.
“And it’s amazing: I sent him an e-mail at 7:00 p.m., and at 7:10 p.m., I got back an e-mail saying he’d read it and a lengthy recommendation.”
It usually takes me a couple of hours at the earliest to read one of these novels.
But Kamimatsu-sensei read it in less than 10 minutes, and even wrote a recommendation letter. ……
I read through the recommendation.
…… Without realizing it, I burst into tears.
“Hey, isn’t it amazing?”
“Oh …… great. That’s a hell of a recommendation. That teacher not only writes great books, but even these small details in his work.
“That’s because he’s the number one god writer in the industry♡.”
At any rate, I got a recommendation from a divine writer.
In addition to the recommendation, he was also polite enough to write, “It was very interesting! I’ll buy the new book when it comes out, for sure!” It was even followed by an email.
He’s really a great writer, with both skill and personality.
“How much work do I have left to do? Rushia’s new book.”
“Author’s proofs …… illustrations.”
“Oh …… Kou-sama right.”
This time, I’ve asked the divine painter Misaya Kou to do the illustrations.
A very popular illustrator who has worked with Kamimatsu-sensei.
I know he’s busy, and he told me he was sick the other day.
However, it’s about time that I received a rough draft of the character…….
“That girl is a fast writer, but she’s slow to get to work.”
“Have you ever met Misayama-sensei, Sakudaira?”
“Yes, I have. I mean, …… of the Kamimatsu harem, oh, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
I’ve never met Misayama-sensei in person.
Just e-mails, or phone calls.
“I’ll try to get in touch with him. Thanks.”
“Hmm, okay …Hey ……… Okaya-kun?”
Sakudaira asks with a grin.
“When did you and Rushia-sensei become so close?”
…… What’s up with this girl all of a sudden?
“Because you kept calling her “Rushia-sensei” before. Hey, hey, what? What happened?”
…… This guy is good at her job, but she’s also very meddlesome.
Moreover, she is a big fan of other people’s love stories.
“Really? There are no romances between writers and editors?”
No. What about you? Isn’t Kamimatsu-sensei your life?
“Hmm, well, yes, but ……. It’s a little bit. There are a lot of rivals…”
Sakuhei smiles sadly.
I wondered if she had been rejected.
“I’ll let you complain some day.”
“Hmm. Thank you. But I’m sorry, Okaya, even if you had feelings for me, I wouldn’t be able to respond.”
“You are so self-absorbed.”
When I laughed, Sakuhira laughed too.
I’ve been working with this person since we joined the company together, and she’s a good person.
I can see why Ugematsu-san would pull her in.
“Well, take care of Comiket next week.”
I left Sakuhira and went back to my desk.
I checked my e-mail.
“……As I thought, Misayama-sensei hasn’t responded yet.”
Normally, I wouldn’t talk to him directly, but since it was so late, I asked him.
Ring ring ring♪
“I’m Okaya from SR library.”
Boom, bang! I heard a loud bang on the other end of the phone.
“Is everything okay, Misayama-sensei?”
“N-No problem, …….Defu”
“Sensei, how’s the progress on the character rough for [Kimitabi]?”
Thud, bang! A loud sound.
“It’s going well, sir!”
“How far have you progressed?
“Almost there! Only about ten percent left!”
Oh this is totally out of my hands. ……
“Misayama-sensei, is your schedule too tight?”
“N-No, not at all.”
“But aren’t you busy preparing for Comiket right now?”
BAM, bang! Loud noise
“Why do you know that …… is going to Comiket?”
“No, other illustrators also open their stores at Comiket this time of year, and above all, you announce it on Twitter.”
On the other end of the phone, I hear words that are not Japanese.
What language is it, ……?
“I’m sorry, I don’t seem to have a good signal, please try again.”
Misayama-sensei says in a panicked tone.
“I’ll send you the rough draft by the end of the day! Please don’t postpone the release!”
“Are you sure? Thank you very much. That would be very helpful.”
Misayama-sensei is on the other end of the phone again, speaking in a language that is not Japanese.
I wonder if he’s not Japanese. ……?
“So, please continue to work with me.”
“Well, I look forward to working with you ……, please.”
The phone goes dead.
“Hmm ……, well, I’m sure it’ll be fine …….”
The other party is a professional painter, too.
And there are worse painters out there.
There are a lot of people who don’t answer their phones or emails.
And then, when I was thinking about it, I heard…….
I got a notification on my desktop that an email had come in.
When I opened it, I found it was from Misayama-sensei.
“It’s too early for anything, …….”
Not even five minutes after I asked him, he sent me a character rough draft of the main characters.
Well, it was 90% done (as he called himself), so if you consider 10% to be 5 minutes, it would be …….
But still, it was fast. Too fast.
I called Misayama-sensei again.
“Thanks for your help, Sensei.”
“Hi, ……! I’ve sent you the illustration.”
“Oh, yes. I confirmed it. I thought I was calling to thank you.
“What’s ……, I thought you were going to kill me. ……”
Sounds like a mess.
“I’ll send your picture to the original author and get back to you as soon as I get confirmation.”
“Thank you very much, Sensei. The quality and speed of your work is excellent as always. I’m impressed.”
“$OM%#<%`<! MO%#<P%#! ＜P%#%#!”
I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was probably embarrassed.
“So, can you give us a rough idea of the cover?”
“There’s …… that, too, isn’t it?”
“Yes. I’d appreciate it if you could send it to me in the third week of August, as soon as the character roughs are confirmed.”
“A-as you wish…..! I’ll try not to be late this time, I promise! I’ll make sure the cover doesn’t come out in September!”
“Thank you very much.”
“If I’m late, I’ll commit seppuku!”
“You don’t have to go that far. Please keep working with me.”
I hang up the phone.
Next, I send the rough draft of the character to Rushiya by e-mail.
Then I called Rushia.
“Rushia. It’s me.”
“Okaya! What’s up? You’re more than welcome to ask me to meet you!”
A bouncy voice comes from the other end of the phone.
“Sorry to get your hopes up, but it’s business.”
“………………………… I see.”
She’s blatantly disappointed, Rushia.
“The date will have to wait until another time.”
This time, she seems to be happy for a change.
“The rough draft of the character for “Kimitabi” has arrived.”
Kimitabi. This is the second work that Rushia has released at our company.
“I’ve sent it to you via email, so please check it out.”
“U-umu, I’m sorry, Saburo is actually absent, so I can’t open the page.”
Rushia is quite mechanically inexperienced.
She told me that Saburo operates the computer for her when we communicate by e-mail.
“I’ll send the printed copy to your house.”
“Yeah. I’ll stop by there on my way home.”
“N-no, uhm, I’ll meet you outside ……, if that’s okay?”
“Okay. What time?”
“I’d like to meet you at right now …… if that’s possible, but is that too much to ask?”
I check my watch.
“No problem. I’ll be right there.”
“Oh! Thank you, Okaya. I’m sorry for making you go along with my schedule.”
“No problem. I’ll see you later.”
I hung up the phone, printed out the rough draft, and headed out in the company car.