The Line That Separates Them. — Line 10

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The Man Named Kawashima Takumi (Part 2).

“Well, whatever. Now, shall we begin our ‘meeting’?”

The boy in front of us said so and then proceeded to fold his hands as if to indicate the seriousness of the situation that we’ve found ourselves in. However, before the boy could say anything further, Anzai interrupted quite nervously and asked.

“U-Um, sorry for the interruption… However, I am still confused about what to call you?”

“Just call me ‘boss’ or ‘sir’…”

So nonchalant!!

“…Now then, since that is out of the way, do you guys know the reason why the only ones invited to this meeting were you three?”

“…No.”

Tadano-kun looked as though he was still quite suspicious of him. Having said that, even Tadano-kun adopted a professional attitude because the sheer pressure exerted by him was on another level.

“Riku-san, please explain to them what they’ll be doing in our company.”

It seemed as though he would be the one doing the explaining, however, his attention was captured by the waiter who was approaching the table with multiple dishes in his hands.

“Understood. Now then, out of the total five-hundred people we recruited this season, you three were selected for this ‘special’ kind of job. The three of you being from the same department was a complete coincidence, not that it matters. Since Takumi-kun took in-charge of the office, we’ve implemented a soft-core hierarchical system of differentiation among our employees. There are a total of seven levels. With one being the lowest…”

This is a little too much to take in, and why is he just peacefully munching on food as if this discussion had nothing to do with him.

“Let me explain it so that you may understand the concept a little better. A level-one employee is just your typical salaryman working in the office. His clearance and ability to attain information is at the bottom of the barrel as well, and as such, he’s mostly unaffected and ignorant to all the stuff happening behind the scenes. In contrast, the three of us are level-seven employees. We are aware of more than 95% happenings in the company, and that includes the personal and professional life of our boss and the other board members…”

She takes a deep breath and continues.

“Normally, the new employees would be allocated to level-one. However, during every season, under explicit orders from Takumi-kun, we pick-out three exceptional talents and give them level-six clearance right off the bat. Just for reference, a level-six position would be akin to a branch head or an executive. This position would normally take about 15-20 years of diligent work to obtain. And as such, we expect you to make up for all that time by producing exceptional results.”

She stops, and as if waiting for this moment, Sawada-san takes over.

“Don’t misunderstand. You three won’t be any level-six employees, you will be working directly under us, the secretaries, who work directly under the CEO. Currently, there are a total of 24 of your special level-six workers, and with you three, the number rises to 27. The reason we chose you three is unnecessary. All you three need to know is, starting this coming Monday, we’ll be working you to the bone. And also, information concerning this hierarchical system, different levels. and our CEO’s identity is highly confidential, and you three have already been exposed to this information… You guys are smart enough to know what that means, right?”

“‘Your lives are in our hands now’, that’s what they’re trying to say, right?”

Anzai said so and then proceeded to lean on the table and started glaring at Sawada-san.

“Sounds interesting, right?”

He said so while wiping his hands and mouth. All of us were conflicted. We were being forced to do something that we didn’t sign-up for, and also, we were being threatened from the front. However, getting a chance to work alongside one of the greatest businessmen to ever live, no one would want to give up on such a sweet offer.

“Fine. I am in.”

“No objections here.”

I glanced at the two people who answered quite hesitatingly, they had a tired smile on their face, but their eyes were radiation a sort of fiery-charisma.

“*Sigh~* I am in as well.”

I said so and then adopted a tired smile myself.

“I am pleased. You are free to order whatever you like, it’s on me. While you eat, let these girls explain to you in more detail what you guys will be doing and what you’ll be trained for.”

He gestured the waiter to come over and urged us to order anything that caught our fancy, no matter how expensive.

Being men, we didn’t hold back and indulged ourselves in the exquisite delicacies laid out before us.

After the ladies were done explaining about our jobs, timings, payments, and other such vitalities, I asked our boss with a hesitant yet strong tone.

“I am sorry if I am crossing the line here but, Sir, how do you feel about my sister? I ask this because she is, as you already know, in love with you. As a brother, I can’t help but worry.”

He had already finished his food and was looking at his cellphone. When I asked him such a confrontational question, he just placed his phone on the table and looked me in the eyes.

“I would prefer answering vaguely and avoiding the question, but that won’t work, will it? Don’t worry, I am a brother as well, I can relate to your sentiments. Let me give it to you straight, your sister is quite interesting. I know how many confessions she rejects daily, but she still manages to appear in front of my class without fail. I believe she has a strong heart and a strong resolve. As I am now, I don’t particularly hold those kind of feelings towards her, but I can’t be certain about the future.”

“I-Is that so…”

I’d personally prefer if my sister would stay as far away from him as she could, however, because of all the restrictions placed upon me as of 15 minutes ago, I am not allowed to talk about this to anyone, not even my family. Even so, there’s a part of me that honestly thinks that my boss isn’t that bad of a person. During our discussion, he was quite frank and sarcastic. He cracked jokes and took some with a smile. In conclusion, I wouldn’t mind him dating my sister, however, I am just a little paranoid because of his social status.

“Don’t worry Kobayashi-kun. I am a student first, and a businessman second. If I do end up with your sister, I guarantee that it would be as Kawashima Takumi, just a typical above-average student you’d find anywhere in the world. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Listening to such words being spoken, I was honestly a bit relieved. He has a certain reliable and dependable charm to him, so I can’t help but trust him.

While talking and chatting about random things, at about 9.45 PM, my boss received what seemed to be a call from his sister as his lips turned from a straight line to a smile while looking at the screen of his phone.

“She must’ve held back quite a lot…”

He said that under his breath, but I picked up on it because I was coincidentally looking at him. While we were talking, the topic of siblings came up, and it seems that my boss is currently living away from his sister, but he told us that she’d be moving in with him soon.

Our boss is a very enigmatic man with an impeccable poker face, but it is the complete opposite when it comes to his sister. His expression goes soft and his lips curl up. When asked, he said that she’s the only person in the world who he considers to be his ‘family’, and as such, strives to take care of her. However, all three of the ladies had quite the perplexed reactions to the conversation being turned towards the boss’ sister. It appears as though the boss’s sister is a hardcore bro-con, which displeases the girls which surround him as his sister can be extremely possessive and jealous.

“Sorry guys, I’ve gotta go. Riku-san, I will be taking the car, can you make transport arrangements for yourself and others?”

“Yes. You should probably go as fast as you can, or we’ll be the ones getting lectured.”

He slowly gets up from his chair and turns in our direction and addresses all three of us rookies.

“I apologize for bailing out on this discussion so early. However, all you need to know is that from this point forward, your life belongs to me. Your initial goal was to work for The Oracle, but now it has changed. You will not be employees of ‘The Oracle’. You will be working for ‘Kawashima Takumi’. And I promise you, I will help you reach places and obtain things that you never even imagined you could. Swear your loyalty to me, come be a part of what truly is the essence of business. Put all your trust and faith in me, that’s all I ask, and I will take you along on a fun journey that could very well last till the end of your life. So, will you, or will you not follow me unconditionally and loyally?”

A boy who was a whole generation away from us uttered such words with the utmost of confidence and the calmest of voice. He extended his right hand in our direction as if asking us to hold onto it if we wish to explore the world beyond. It felt exactly how our father would ask us to put our faith in him while learning to ride a bicycle. He asked us to give him our lives. Not cooperation, not support and not subordination, but ‘lives’. Normally, such words being uttered in the modern age of freedom and technology would seem hypocritical, but the same words coming from his mouth seemed as though they were carved in gold.

All three of us were visibly moved, Anzai couldn’t even hold his tears in. And without even the slightest bit of hesitation, we answered.

“““We will.”””

All three of us got up from our chairs and shook his hand one by one. Our handshakes were followed by handshakes and hugs from the ladies. While leaving, the boss took a glance at us and bowed.

As soon as he was out of view, we heaved a sigh of relief.

“That was the best hour of my entire life.”

Anzai said so and then proceeded to fold his hands and nod in satisfaction.

“True~”

Tadano-kun followed and threw himself on the table, giving in to the sense of relief.

“I am honestly still unable to comprehend what just happened.”

These were my honest thoughts on the matter. We were shocked to the core after finding out that one of the most famous people in the world is a young man of sixteen. On top of that, we were made to realize that we weren’t employed to be your typical office worker, we are to work under the CEO himself as his battle force. He said that he’d make us into humans capable enough to one day lead the world to the age of massive technological and industrial developments. He made promises, but we understood from the sheer power of his gaze that they weren’t empty.

His voice, posture, manners, and conduct, all were impeccable, no one would expect such refine movements from a high-schooler. However, he carried himself flawlessly, so much so that it made us rethink the whole concept of puberty and teenage.

“That wasn’t even a fraction of the power and charisma that he wields. You three are going to have some hilarious reactions, I can’t wait for you to find out what he can really do.”

Sawada-san said so and then chuckled a bit before getting up from her chair. Following her, the other two left her seats as well.

“See you tomorrow at the headquarters. Tomorrow will just be a tour and a detailed explanation. You’ll be starting work on Monday. Don’t be late, kay?”

“““Understood.”””

Tsukamoto-san left those words with us as she left. After this, we chatted for a bit and then left for our respective homes. When I reached home, it was already about 10.30 PM, and my parents were already asleep. I was about to head to bed myself as I have to reach the report early in the morning, but when I discovered my sister texting while sitting on the couch in our living room, I just couldn’t help but initiate a serious conversation with her.

“Hey, I wanna talk to you.”


“You’re back, huh. How did the super-important meeting go?”

She was still typing away on her phone, but she was paying attention to me as well.

“It was amazing. The CEO was… Nothing. It went quite well, I am very happy.”

“Is that so… Good for you then.”

Miya, my sister, ever since the start of May. has been acting a little more maturely and lady-like. Her behavior in and out of the home has significantly improved. Her cooking and cleaning skills have now become an invaluable asset to our family. Her movements have turned more refined, she even started being cautious about how she looks. She is careful with her words and seems more calm and composed than before.

I always wondered what could’ve happened to her that turned my sweet, childish and selfish little sister into a proper lady. Now I know the reason. It’s Kawashima Takumi, my boss.

“Hey, listen… About this guy you mentioned this morning, Kawashima-kun, was it?”

As soon as my words penetrated her ears, she placed her phone on the table and proceeded to fix her posture so that she was facing in my direction.

“What about him…?”

Her tone turned serious, and so did her eyes.

“Tell me, Miya. Do you genuinely love him?”

“When I first realized my feelings for him during the start of May, I thought it was just a matter of mere attraction. However, as time progresses, my feelings kept getting stronger. And during the aftermath of the result announcement of our first-term finals, I realized that I didn’t just like him, but I am in love with him. It’s at the level that holding back has become unbearable for me. Honestly, I just want to go and confess to him right this second, but I know that if I get rejected, I will break. If I rejected him, it will destroy me mentally and emotionally. I will wait, I will try to get as close to him as I can. I’ll seduce him if I have to. As for the question that you asked, yes, I truly and genuinely love him. Even if you tell me to stop, I will not stop loving him.”

Boss, what are you going to do? She’s obsessed with you.

“No, I will not tell you to do any such thing. I just wanted to test the authenticity of your feelings. Fine, I will support you. I will talk to mom and dad if something happens in the future, okay?”

Her expression displayed her shock. Her eyes were widened, her face was red. I could see her trembling while clutching her fists tightly.

“T-Thank you, Nii-san.”

“It’s fine. Bring him home sometime to meet our parents, he would be happy to take such a beautiful girl as his wife.”

Her face turned completely red and her eyes started wandering in all directions.

“Jeez, Nii-san! Don’t tease me like that!”

She started throwing the many cushions and pillows towards me. My sister, she is extremely beautiful. Even for me, as her brother, it’s hard not to think so. And to make such an impeccable beauty fall in love with you this hard, what exactly are you, boss?

Even after talking to him for an hour, I don’t know anything about the man named Kawashima Takumi.


“Hello?”

[Yeah, Takumi, I am really sorry for disturbing you. I just wanted to know when you will be coming home…]

The voice which came from the other side of my mobile phone was that of my sister’s. I just departed from the restaurant in which the meeting with the new special recruits took place. The meeting itself went as expected. The recruits were quite interesting, and they accepted the offer without resisting. We chatted about various things, I was able to gain their trust and faith, which was the deciding factor in their decision.

I am extremely tired, but I have to go home and spend some time with Miyuki. Speaking of Miyuki, her calling me at such a late hour means that she was holding back from contacting me all this while. And for her, that’s quite impressive.

“At what time did you arrive?”

[Around 6 PM.]

“And you haven’t contacted me since?”

[Fumiya said that you had quite the tight schedule today, and he confiscated my phone. He even disabled Lily’s calling function.]

“And how did you get the permission to call me?”

[I cried.]

“Your puppy tears attack is quite destructive after all.”

[Hehe, I know right. No matter how much he hates me, he just can’t leave a beautiful girl crying all alone.]

“I feel sorry for him.”

[So… Where are you now?]

“I am getting in the car, I’ll be back home soon.”

[Yay! I’ve been waiting for you. I haven’t eaten anything yet, please come home and make me something delicious.]

“Yeah, yeah. Tell Fumiya that I am returning, and tell him to get the prep work done.”

[What kind of prep work?]

“Cleaning the kitchen and gathering all the meat we have should be fine.”

[Okay~ Come home soon~]

I ended the call and entered the Rolls-Royce waiting for me outside the restaurant.

As I journeyed through the roads which led to my mansion, I thought about what Kobayshi-kun asked and what I said to him in response.

“Looks like my life is going to be even busier than before…”

At about 10.30 PM, I reached the colony in which my mansion is located. If seen from outside, my mansion appears to be larger than it actually is. I bowed to the driver and tipped him, and after that, I made my way to the front door of my house.

As soon as I rang the doorbell, the door was thrown open and two girls jumped at me with quite the momentum. One started licking my face, while the other started rubbing her head on my chest. The affection of these two girls transcended species and went beyond humanity. Of course, these two girls were Sana and Miyuki.

Rub Rub Rub Rub

Lick Lick Lick Lick

I ended up frozen in place and on the receiving end of this attack.

“Miyuki, let go of me, don’t you want to eat dinner?”

She stopped rubbing her face on my chest and raised her neck slightly to take a look at my face.

“Fine! But you’re mine for the entirety of tomorrow. No Fumiya, no work, no sana, and no school.”

“Yeah, sure.”

I can’t be sure about Sana though.

She clings to my arm as we make our way towards the kitchen of my house. In the kitchen, I find Fumiya getting the ingredients ready for me to cook them.

“So… You guys didn’t hook up, huh.”

““Huh!? Why would I hook up with her/him.””

“No… It’s just that I am ready for that sort of development to occur. In fact, I’d rather give my sister to someone who I’ve raised than to some random guy.”

“..Raised?”

“Now then, who wants to eat dinner?”

“Me!”

Woof~

“Wait, wait, wait, didn’t you just say ‘raised’?”

“Everybody to the living room. I’ll call you guys when I am done.”

I urged Fumiya to go to the living room, he reluctantly took Sana and left for the living room. I could hear biting and crying noises in the distance, but I decided to ignore them.

“Aren’t you going to the living room?”

“You really think I am going to leave you alone?”

“Well… No. So, what do you want to talk about.”

“I am moving in next week.”

I stop my hands which were chopping up vegetables for a second.

“Next week? Wasn’t it going to be after you completed your second year? What happened?”

Her voice turns into that of a scared kitten as she starts to explain her situation.

“You know how there is this one home with all those mafia guys always hanging around it? It seems that they realized that I live alone. I found one of their guys hanging around my apartment yesterday. I am scared. Even before this incident, I wanted to move in with you, but I knew how much work you had, so I held back. I can’t live without you any longer, please, let me move in…”

Tears started rolling down her eyes. I stopped my work and went over to the other side of the preparation table and took Miyuki in my arms.

“It’s fine. This home isn’t even a home without you, Miyuki. Just move in whenever you feel like it, there are more than enough rooms vacant.”

“*sob* O-Okay *sob*”

It took a while for her to calm down, but when she did, she dropped yet another bombshell.

“Hey Takumi, it seems that the family is sending a potential groom for me. I am lucky that I am the sister of the family head, or I would’ve been forced to get engaged to some random guy who I’ve never met in my life.”

“So the 80 calls today were about that, huh. Don’t worry Miyuki, you are free to choose any man you prefer. If this guy they’re sending ends up catching your eye, just tell me, okay?”

“Okay. However, Takumi, I believe it is your fault that I can’t find a boyfriend. I end up comparing all the guys I encounter, to you. Which makes every man I meet nothing more than air.”

“Your animosity is misplaced, Miyuki.”

Like that, we chatted for a while. I completed the dinner preparations and called Fumiya and Sana in. We had a late dinner and discussed about various things like our respective school lives’ and future plans. When the topic of Miyuki’s move came about, Fumiya was clearly upset, but he accepted it without resistance.

In the end, the day was quite fruitful and profitable. However, it was a typical Saturday for me.


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