“Sorry. But are you sure you have time?” (Mikiya)
“Yes. Don’t worry, I can sleep later.” (Yuki)
Fortunately, I have more than enough time. However, I can’t bypass going back to my room right now.
In the room I was taken to, I was offered tea and sweets. It was red bean paste. We were now in the back side of the building, where customers are not supposed to enter, in other words, the employees’ room. However, the only people here at this time are me and the man who brought me here. No, who is this guy?
“Is there something you want from me?” (Yuki)
“It’s not like that, but you see, don’t you remember?” (Mikiya)
“Didn’t we promise to go to Koshien together with me when we were little, Yot-chan?” (Yuki)
“Not at all, but who is that!? Our ages are too far apart.” (Mikiya)
“My Imaginary friend.” (Yuki)
“I’m in front of you …” (Mikiya)
“Well, I’ve never played baseball either.” (Yuki)
“Then why did you choose Koshien?” (Mikiya)
Then who the hell are you? I don’t recognize him at all, even though he said it in a dumbfounded manner. It is true that I often get acquainted with more people than I know, but that doesn’t mean that I have no jurisdiction over these new acquaintances.
“I met you at Misaki’s place, didn’t I? That’s when you called yourself an electrician.” (Mikiya)
“Electrician? I’m a student. You must have me confused with someone else.” (Yuki)
“You are the one who told me that! Misaki —- you met me at Himiyama-san’s house. We didn’t have any conversation then, so you might not remember.” (Mikiya)
After being told that much, I finally remembered.
“Oh, I remember. That affair from back then!” (Yuki)
“It wasn’t an affair!” (Mikiya)
I don’t mean to interfere with anyone’s love life, but you have to be reasonable.
“I know it’s rude to say this to a grown man, but Himiyama-san will be sad and you should stop having affairs. These days, even celebrities are expelled at the drop of a hat.” (Yuki)
“So it’s not infidelity, but ……. It’s not an affair, but I’m not sure if Misaki said anything about it after I left.” (Mikiya)
“I seem to remember she said something about getting it right ……?” (Yuki)
I can’t remember, but I think she said something like that.
“I’ll get it right huh. I don’t know what that means. Anyway, you and Misaki seem to be getting along quite well.” (Mikiya)
“We are natural enemies.” (Yuki)
“I’m curious to know what kind of relationship you have with her.……” (Mikiya)
I sighed and the man introduced himself to me again. To my surprise, this man was the president. He is the president of the Ryokan Umibara and his name is Mikiya Umibara. He was probably a little older than Himiyama-san. He has the appearance of a young president, but he looks tired somehow.
“No, what? I saw your face, so I was curious. That’s all.……” (Yuki)
The president slurred his words and asked an abrupt question.
“What do you think of this inn?” (Mikiya)
“It’s a universal design, it’s nice. And the hot spring was really nice.” (Yuki)
“You know some difficult words. Thank you.” (Mikiya)
“It’s hard to say bad things in front of you. I’ll write those things up on travel site reviews when I get home.” (Yuki)
“Would you like me to stop doing that? There are a lot of people in the same business who get bankrupt by that.” (Mikiya)
“It’s the dark side of the Internet.” (Yuki)
“I think it’s your darkside……. Well whatever. Have you noticed anything out of place in the facility?” (Mikiya)
“Out of place? Hmm. Well, I found it interesting that there were so many foreign words, but not much else.……” (Yuki)
“That’s the problem.” (Mikiya)
The president spoke up in a fluent manner. I wondered why I was being consulted about his problems, but decided to listen seriously for the sake of the red bean paste. This is so delicious!
“I see. So it’s not adultery. If that’s the case, you should have said so from the beginning. I was worried about what would happen if Himiyama-san got bashed or something.” (Yuki)
“I don’t think anyone told you that. Anyways, that’s why this inn is in trouble now.” (Mikiya)
President Umibara was officially divorced, so it was not adultery. I’m so glad to hear that.
“Good, I guess that settles it.” (Yuki)
“I hope you’re not trying to make a mess out of it.” (Mikiya)
“I can’t help it if you tell me that.……” (Yuki)
“It’s true, but I figured you and Misaki are good friends. If you want, you can help me.” (Mikiya)
I’ve already fulfilled my obligations for the bean paste.
I’m going to say no.
“It’s impossible. You can’t ask Himiyama-san to do something like that, and after all, who are you? Do you love her and want to be with her, or do you just want to use her?” (Yuki)
“I wish I could be with her. Like old times again.” (Mikiya)
“But you abandoned her, didn’t you?” (Yuki)
“I didn’t abandon her. I just didn’t have a choice at the time.” (Mikiya)
The words that were spat out with an anguished expression were filled with regret. I don’t know the details, but Himiyama-san’s connections are very powerful. If he is on our side, he can be a great help. That’s why I can’t just take advantage of it.
“It was your mother’s decision to shift the focus of the inn to foreigners, wasn’t it?” (Yuki)
“Yes, it was. It’s not that she hadn’t thought about these risks. But it’s true that she underestimated them and didn’t manage the risks well.” (Mikiya)
“Was it because of your mother’s advice that you broke up with Himiyama-san?” (Yuki)
“Maybe things would have been different if I could have proudly said otherwise.” (Mikiya)
I wondered what kind of scene was reflected in his nostalgic eyes. Still, all I know is that he can’t change the past.
“I’m afraid it’s not my place to interject, but if you regret it so much, why didn’t you protect her?” (Yuki)
“I was still young and self-motivated. I guess I was immature.” (Mikiya)
“So, if it were now, could you protect her against everything?” (Yuki)
“That’s …….” (Mikiya)
You can only choose one or the other. Everyone has such a choice. This man took his mother, his inn, and his position over his fiancée. The bigger the burden you carry, the harder it is to abandon it.
He had to make such a decision after weighing it. It was inevitable. No matter how much he regretted it, he could not blame himself for it.
“I think it’s wrong to ask for help now. Still, if you really want to, you have to be ready to fight against everything this time, or else you won’t be able to convey anything.” (Yuki)
“I wonder if that’s true.……” (Mikiya)
“It’s impossible for me to say anything to Himiyama-san. Or rather, if she finds out that I told you this, I have a feeling she’ll be furious and won’t let me see you again.” (Yuki)
“That’s not good.……. Even if it wasn’t about the inn, I still think she–” (Mikiya)
“Then you’d better reconsider.” (Yuki)
That’s obvious. If I take such indirect measures, it will definitely make her angry. I don’t know why my sensitivity is so low. If she finds out that I’ve asked her to do something, she’s not going to be happy.
I thanked him for the red bean paste and left the place.
I was an outsider to the inn and their relationship. I can’t get too involved. The rest was for the president and Himiyama-san to resolve.
Let’s take a short walk and go to the hot spring again in the middle of the night. I left the lounge and headed out.